Needs Of Bodybuilders

bodybuilder, bodybuiling, food, nutrition, ronnie, coleman,

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read a Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book « Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding » and I learned some good stuff.

Bodybuilders are unique athletes in the demands they have with their body. They want a maximum of muscle mass and a minimum of fat at the same time. For football, strongman or weightlifter athletes, they have a workout program to maximize the size and strength of the musles without worrying about reducing bodyfat. For boxing, wrestling or gymnastics athletes, they have a workout program that has allowed them to lose fat to be lean without really needing a diet to reduce bodyfat.

For bodybuilding competitions, bodybuilders must achieve a bodyfat level of 15-18% for women and 5-8% for men.

To learn constantly

bodybuilder, bodybuiling, food, nutrition, nutritionist, science

Bodybuilders have a small margin of error. They eat enough calories to grow muscles and they must be able to reduce their bodyfat by losing the minimum amount of muscle to be shredded. They can use aerobic exercise to burn the extra calories but it doesn’t have to deteriorate the strength training.

Bodybuidlers need to control calories by being careful to have enough protein to build and maintain muscles. Nutrition is complex and this science has a constant evolution. That’s why nutritionists teach us new things every day.

Fortunately, there are basic principles of nutrition that are implanted and mastering these fundamentals is essential for a bodybuilder to fully utilize his/her genetic potential for his/her physical development.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Universal And Unique Principles

converse chuck tailor black custom the simpson

converse chuck tailor black standard

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

I noticed that there is an approach to selling a service or product, especially used by coaches, which is based on the principle that « everyone is different ». Say like that, it’s hard not to agree with this principle because everyone is unique and everyone has their own characteristics.

When a person uses this philosophical principle, it’s easy to see his/her way of thinking and his/her actions. As many coaches use this principle, they try to set up a unique service for each person and each person evolves at his/her own pace.

It’s not a problem to use this principle but there are disadvantages. These people find no interest in methods that work for most people. For example, the McDonald’s method or school systems work in a universal way.

You have to realize that as a human being, there is a lot of common ground between us. There is 1% difference in our DNA compared to the DNA of a chimpanzee. So you see that the difference in genetics between several human beings is extremely ridiculous.

2 human beings coming from distant countries like a person from Botswana and a person from Norway have much more genetically in common than between a human being and a chimpanzee. All human beings all have a head, a body, hands, feet and we all have the ability to speak a language. It’s true that the language is different because it comes from culture but at the base, we all have the programming necessary to learn it.

When we understand that, we can see that there is a huge part of things that human beings have in common and that comes from DNA. DNA is a material like a hardware (computer, smartphone) and culture is like a software. Culture is the element that allows us to have different behaviors.

In the book « Influence : Science and Practice » by Robert Cialdini , he shows us several influencing factors that make people more likely to believe you, to listen to you when you ask them to do something. These factors are universal among all cultures. Cultures will just change the importance of certain things over others compared to other cultures.

Universal and unique

people diversity

Be careful not to let yourself be trapped in this principle. Yes, we’re all unique because we need to have things that correspond only to us. But there are methods that work for 99% of people. You can use a method that works for 99% of people and then customized products or services for people who want it.

You can meet coaches who use 100% this principle that everyone is unique and he often asks you the question : « Wait, you communicate to thousands of prospects and clients, how do you can do because each person is unique, etc ».

These coaches are right and wrong at the same time. It’s obvious that a customized product or a customized service so more effective, but if you can create a standard product or standard service, you can help 100 000 times more people.

For me, it’s necessary to use the 2 principles. You make a standard product or standard service and you make a customized product or a customized service for the people who ask it. With these 2 principles combined, you can really grow your business to build a legacy.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

The Reasons For An Asymmetric Body (Part 1)

asymmetircal body

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

When I look in the mirror, I see that my right biceps is bigger than my left biceps. And I also see that my left calf is bigger than my right calf. I think you too, you have weak points and an asymmetrical body like me.

I tried several technique to clear the weak point of my left biceps by doing more reps or lifting heavier with my left arm. But it didn’t work as I thought and I realized that there were even more factors that caused my asymmetrical body.

You have to know that there are real weak points and false weak points. And yes, there are 2 type of weak points.

Past sports

sports

These are the sports that you have done regularly before you train seriously at the gym. For exemple, I played soccer for 2-3 years so I developed a lot of my legs and calves. I have been doing karate, kung-fu and taekwondo for years (I have more than 15 years of martial art) so I developed a lot my back, my arms, chest and my abs. My past sports allows me to develop all these muscles (calves, legs, back, arms, chest and abs) even more easily.

Now I’m going to tell you about the difference between a real weak points and a false weak points. In my case, I have nice abs, nice, chest. My arms are correct (I have one arm bigger that the other) and my legs are correct (I have one leg bigger than the other).

For example, a soccer player or a cyclist will use his/her legs and calves more often. A boxer will use his/her arms, back and abs more often. This shows that the past sports is important in muscle development because people developed more rapidly the upper body’s muscles rather the lower body muscles or the reverse.

So don’t worry because absolutely everyone has an asymmetric body (if you know a person who has a 100 % symmetrical body, attention, it’s a robot).

Genetic

genetic

It’s the moment to go to the higher level. Now, you understood that there are people who can easily develop the upper body’s muscles rather that the lower body’s muscles or the reverse. In both case, there is the same problem : an asymmetry.

We’re human beings, we are not perfect and that is normal. Professional bodybuilders also have an asymmetric body like you. It’s for everyone like that. When we look at the mirror, we have a more developed part than the other.

Here are the causes.

Bone

bone

Because of your bones, there is one side of you body that can lift easily heavier weights that the other. So the side muscles that can lift easily heavier develop faster.

A) clavicle length

We all have a longer clavicle than the other. Take you time, check the length of your clavicles, you will be surprised. When the clavicle is longer, this affects the leverage when you lift weights. This means that it boost your strength and your muscular growth.

But, there is a solution to avoid that there is a big difference between the 2 sides. It’s learning to isolate and feel your muscle. I use a technique called « magic touch ». Before doing a set, I touch with my fingers the muscle that I have to work. This allows me to be focus and stay focus on muscle sensations. This is to create the connection between my brain and my muscle.

This is why it’s important to take light weights to learn how to perform a movement to learn the muscles sensations. For example, bench press. There are people who use too much shoulders when the arms are straight. Bench press is an exercice to work mainly chest and not shoulders. So pay attention to your muscles sensation when you to an exercise and adjust.

B) Short and long muscles

This is really a genetic case. There are people with short muscles or long muscle. Take as an example a short biceps and a long biceps.

A short biceps responds slowly to training because the muscles is less close to insertion with the joint.

A long biceps respond quickly to the training because the muscle is closer to insertion with the joint.

As you can see, there are some similarities with the clavicle’s length. When the muscle is long, it’s easier to develop the muscle.

This is something you can’t change and doing an operation to lengthen your muscle is useless. It’s your genetics that decides whether your muscles are short or long.

dorian yates

Wait, it’s not over yet, there’s still plenty of other things in the genetics that influence muscle development. In your training, you can use several techniques to stimulate your muscle fibers like « High Intensity Training » . Dorian Yates (6x Mr. Olympia), used this technique during his career as a professional bodybuilder. This technique stimulates muscle fibers even more that hypertrophy .

There is also nerve genetics. It’s the ability to isolate and feel the muscle you’re working on. It’s an ability that improves only with experience and time.

Here is the end of the Part 1. The Part 2 comes soon.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 2)

how much

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here 

Several workouts later

several workout

Now that you know your starting weight, you can do the « progressive overload » method.

« Progressive overload » method involves gradually increasing the stress in your body during training.

For beginners, this means increasing the weight at each workout session. You know after each workout, your body is healed. And if you do things well by having good nutrition and good sleep, your body becomes stronger than before.

When your body gets used to your workout, it’s bad sign. When your body used to do 5 sets of 5 reps, it will become more effective so your body will burn fewer calories and use fewer processes to achieve movement.

To know when you need to add weight, you need to look at the difficulty you had in your last set. That’s why it’s important to track your workout to analyze your performance. You can use a paper notebook, Evernote  or a fitness app like Jefit . Document how much you lift, how many sets you do, how many reps you do, the degradation of your technique arrived at what set and what reps and quality of your latest set.

If you couldn’t do all reps of the last set with a good technique, take the same weight at your next session to improve your technique.

Doing this guarantee you that you don’t stagnate because every rep you do is more solid et better than the last time. To improve, it’s not necessary to increase weights at each workout. You can rest less between your set, improve movement control or do more reps. All these variations mean that you become stronger.

On the other hand if you can do all sets with an excellent technique without the barbell’s speed, it’s time to add weight. It doesn’t matter than you add 9 kg (20 lbs) or 1.1 kg(2.5 lbs), you progress.

All professional athletes will tell you it’s better to add weights slowly and progress constantly rather than to progress quickly and hit a plateau. In this way, you build your strength, your confidence and your momentum.

That’s why I recommend you to start too lightly for you progress constantly.

In life, there are ups and downs so there are days when you can’t add more weight because there is a lot of stress at school/work or you haven’t sleep enough and so on. It’s important to listen to your body rather than absolutely lift the weight you want.

Find your ta 1 rep max

1 rep max

It’s really fun to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a rep from time to time.

However for a beginner who has just started, it’s better to make the movement with a proper technique and add weight slowly to try to find. I advise you to follow a workout’s program for at least 6 weeks before to try to find your 1 rep max.

Why

Even if your technique is good for a beginner, you’ll have a better results by learning to make ajustements and corrections as you go. When you start, your body isn’t prepared to do this performance so if after 2 weeks you try to find your 1 rep max, it will not be your true 1 rep max.

In addition, when you train, you train everything in your body. Things like muscles and bones will become stronger while others like the nervous system will become more effective. The more often you do something and the better you do. When you’re a beginner you get better quickly.

And as you are a beginner, you haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not safe to try your 1 rep max when you learn the movement. Even if you have a good technique with a light weight, you’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t have the experience yet.

When your technique begins to deteriorate, you need to have experience to complete or stop the movement safely.

If you look at weightlifting or powerlifting competition, sometimes the way to lift does’t have the best technique you’ve seen. However, the lifters have enough experience to handle this and know how to stop the movement if something goes wrong. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know how to do it.

The respectable quantity to be lift

bench press fail

In fact, I think you already know the answer : it’s the weight that suits you. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your workouts because your’re competing with the « You » of the last week. It’s like racing your ghost in Mario Kart.

You’re like me, you want to have a strength better than average strength but it’s more complex that what you think because it depends on your body’s type, your background as an athlete, your genetics and other factors.

If there was a formula or a calculation, we would all have a superhero’s body but this is not the case.

This is why you have to concentrate on lifting the weight that is right for you today. At your next training, you’ll try to lift heavier and if you can’t do it, you will do more repetitions or decrease you rest time between your sets.

In this adventure to have an athletic body for life, forget people around you. The person who is next to you do squat at 226.7 kg (500 lbs) and you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) ? Forget it ! If you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) and it’s a challenge, it means that it’s the right weight you should lift.

Never modify your workout to impress the personne who is next to you. No one is judged by the weight he lifts and if people do that, they’re not future winner/champion. It’s the losers who seek shortcuts.

Remember :

  • Winners warm up with the empty barbell.

  • Winners focus on their reps and aren’t ashamed to lift less than the person next to them.

  • Winner take the time to do things right, even if it means lifting less than what they know can do.

  • Winners started with a beginner workout program like you

Remains cautious, begins slowly, adds weight slowly.

It’s better to train in safety early rather than hurt yourself and be frustrated before you’ve progressed like my friends hurt in the shoulder. My physique has progressed a lot while their bodies stagnate because of their shoulder injury.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

The Bulking’s Myth

bulking

I read an article on T-Nation  and here is what I learned

Here’s what you need to know :

  • After a certain point, your ability to gain muscle will not go faster by consuming more food.

  • The body can’t build more than a few kilograms (pounds) of muscle in a month. Remember that the weight you gain is not only muscle.

  • There is a better way to gain muscle. Don’t used the bulking period as an excuse to eat junk food.

The gluttony game

To have more volume you have to eat more, we agree. You will be able to gain a large amount of muscle mass only if you eat enough calories and nutrients to help your body to build muscle. For those who take steroids, that’s another story. In fact, if you don’t eat enough, it’s possible that you lose muscle even if you train hard. More you eat, more you grown.

But not so fast

If you don’t eat enough, your muscle growth will stagnate but that doesn’t mean that if you eat more, you will gain much more muscle.

A major mistake that you can do when you train to have a muscular physique and aesthetic, it’s eating too much junk food and have a high percentage of body fat to boost your muscle growth.

When you are natural, your body has a limited ability to build muscle. The amount of muscle you can build depends on the ability that your body has to synthesize new muscle tissue from protein you eat.

The ability of your body to synthesize the protein depends on your natural testosterone levels, your testosterone with your cortisol ratio, your insulin sensitivity and your genetics.

You can eat the amount of food that you want, you can’t change your ability to synthesize protein. Overeating will increase your body fat percentage.

Your body is a construction worker

body under construction

Imagine that your muscles is like a house you trying to build. The bricks are amino acids (from proteins) and the money to pay construction workers are carbohydrates and fat you eat.

If you don’t give enough bricks (protein), they will not be able to build the house as fast as they can. A deficiency in protein means a slow muscle growth.

If you don’t pay your construction workers enough with nutrition, they will not be motivated to work hard. If you really don’t pay your construction workers, they will even destroy your muscles (catabolism due to a too low calories intake ).

In summary, if you don’t eat enough protein and calories, you will gain muscle very slowly.

Giving more bricks (protein) to your construction workers , they will be able to build the house faster. But at some point, sending too many bricks will not speed up the construction speed. For example, your construction workers can add 1000 bricks per day in a wall. If you give them 2000 bricks, it will be useless because it will exceed their ability to work. This is the same thing for the salary (calories).

The athletic threshold

« But I gained 6.7kg (15lbs) in 3 months and I didn’t gain fat »

This is something we often hear. If it’s possible to gain only a few kilograms (pounds) of muscle per month, why so many people say they have gained much muscle without gaining fat ?

It’s possible to gain muscle without gaining much fat and the answer is : an athletic body. An athletic body isn’t the body you see in bodybuilding competitions. An athletic body has a body fat percentage between 10-20%.

The guy believe he gained 6.7kg (15lbs) of solid muscle because visually, he looks to have kept the same body fat’s percentage. But if we look in detail, he gained 2.7kg (6lbs) of muscle, 3.1kg (7lbs) of glycogen and 0.9kg (2lbs) of fat in a period of 3 months.

Here are two situations :

Situation A

  • Go on a bulking phase

  • Gain 11.3kg (25lbs) over a period of 6 months

  • The details of 11.3kg (25lbs) is 2.2-4.5kg (5-10lbs) of muscles and the rest is 0.9-1.8kg of glycogen (2-4lbs) and 4.5-6.8kg (10-15lbs) of fat.

  • To lose the excess fat, you have to do a strict diet. If you are extremely strict, you can expect to lose 0.4-0.9kg (1-2lbs) of fat per week without losing muscle.

  • The best scenario is 6-12 weeks to lose fat. Otherwise 12-20 weeks.

Situation B

  • Increase your calories but just enough to give your body the nutrition needed to maximize your muscle growth.

  • You gain 0.6kg (1.5lbs) of muscle per month with less fat.

  • After 6 months, you gain weight 2.2-4.5kg (5-10lbs) but only 1.3-2.2kg (3-5lbs) of fat.

  • To lose fat, you need to do a diet for a month.

The best way

Many people ruin the potential of their body with the internet gurus tips that advise eating as much as possible (even junk food). Result, a lo of unnecessary fat that gives the impression of being muscular.

Many people don’t eat enough to help muscle growth but eating too much or eating junk food isn’t the solution. We must calculate the number of calories that we have to take a day and select food throughout the year.

Did you go in a bulking period ?

-Steph