Nutrition

nutrition, food, energy, diet, metabolism, nutrient, calorie,

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.

Training stimulate muscle growth. To have an effective training, it’s necessary that your body has the sufficient amount of energy and enough raw materials. The role of nutrition is to carry this energy and these raw materials.

The function of nutrition is to learn how to stay lean, mean and muscular. With nutrition we learn how much food to eat in order to have the best results possible. This allows you to study the basic nutrients and calculate the amount you need. This also includes studying protein, vitamin, mineral and other supplements.

Learning nutrition allows you to be more muscular. It improves your health and improves your immune system to be able to do all your training sessions without being sick (cold for example). Good nutrition has other advantages, such as improving our recovery after training with very heavyweights, having a beautiful healthy skin, having excellent internal organs and the list is long.

Precious

precious, value, priceless, worth, rare,

For a bodybuilder, the basic of nutrition are as precious as the basic principles of training. Exercices requires energy and the amount of nutrients you eat is essential to having the body you want.

During the Arnold Classic, athletes are interviewed after their appearance on stage. At the question « What do you feel was the most important factor that helped you get in such tremendous shape for this contest ? », athletes don’t respond that it’s thanks to bench press, squat or muscle isolation. In the majortiy of cases, they explain that they improve their nutrition or their supplement to gain muscle, lose fat and be able to train with maximum energy until the competition’s day.

It’s important to say that advance in nutrition and supplements are the main reason why we’re seeing athletes with this excellent level today. Attention, progress has improved the training with the years but training has not been revolutionized as nutrition. Training and nutrition are complementary because it’s impossible to create a champion only with good nutrition. It’s essential that athletes have an intensive training, a good mental attitude and a good knowledge of nutrition.

In the past, bodybuilders approached nutrition on instinct, seat-of-the-pants basis. In a first phase, they were building muscle and getting big, but not really ripped. In a second phase, they were getting thinner (like Harnold Poole or Vince Gironda) but they were getting small. They hadn’t found the trick yet to stay big and getting ripped at the same time.

Nutrition’s fundamental are quite simple. In fact, I can’t say that it’s simple because each body is unique. It’s important to study these basic principles to apply them to your training, to understand the needs of your body and to see how your body reacts to different diets to gain or lose weight. There is always this instinctive aspect but with this nutritive knowledge, it’s easier to adjust the quantity to have the body that you want.

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-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.

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Stop To Be Shredded Everytime

black shredded athlete

black shredded athlete

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

Spring is here and I see that everyone wants to be shredded to show off this summer. I think it’s interesting to explain the difference between be shredded or cutting phase and losing weight.

Be shredded or cutting phase comes from the bodybuilding’s field. After taking muscle mass, be shredded allows to show your muscles striated in detail.

People confuse be shredded or cutting phase and a loss of weight. When you do a good weight loss, you lose water and fat without losing muscle mass and bone mass. When you’re shredded or cutting phase, you lower your bodyfat to 5% to see your muscles in detail as a bodybuilder competing.

Please, women and girls, stop saying that you are shredded or cutting phase. Naturally you have more fat than men and that’s normal because it’s to feed the baby when you will be pregnant. Your body programmed for that and that’s normal. For a woman or a girl to be shredded, it’s necessary to take steroids like women who participate in bodybuilding competitions. A clean weight loss is excellent and sufficient for toning and having a beautiful body.

Let’s talk about weight loss. There are plenty of stupid draconian weight loss programs. These programs cause loss of muscle mass, loss of bone mass, slow down metabolism and create health problems. I wrote 2 articles about it, click here  and there for Part 1  and Part 2 .

Wait

body under construction

I agree with this point of view and I think it’s necessary to be patient before be shredded or cutting phase. Wait 5 years before doing your first cutting phase. Make a clean mass gain for 5 years. Jamcore DZ waited 7 years before to participate in his 1st competition. At the 2nd competition, he felt like he was flat net to his competitors. He waited 3 years before participate in his 3rd competition. 10 years to gain muscle clean with a healthy nutrition to have nice muscle mass when he’s shredded.

So wait at least 5 years to have a healty muscle mass gain before to be shredded or cutting phase. Maybe you find that long but see the reasons :

  • 1st reason : Learn and understand how your body works.

  • 2nd reason : Learn the art of patience. You’re going to have trouble but all the best things are hard to get. You will realize each summer with your friends who will show off but your friends are flat. They believe that they have muscle mass but in fact they’re thin and dry and you arrive and BOOOOM !

  • 3rd reason : After 5 years when you’re shredded, it will encourage you for the next cutting phase. You know that you have to rest your body for several years by gaining muscles in a healthy way to have a better body for the next time. I know that there are people who want to be shredded after 2 years but the results are poor : less experience and more muscle loss because there aren’t enough muscles that was built so a small muscle mass visible. Me, the first time I was shredded, I was disgusted, I felt flat because I had a small muscle mass visible.

    It’s depressing and most people when they’re in this situation, they think to take steroids to show off with pictures on social media. This is happening right now on social media.

  • 4th reason : The more you’re shredded, the more you will regress because you lose more and more muscles. When you’re shredded, you lose some of your muscles, this is the process. So if you do this every years or every 6 months, you lose each time a part of the muscles that you have built.

The most common question

ask question

To start, people who tell you that you can do this all your life are liars. When you start training, you do something new to your body several times a week. It’s like a romantic relationship with a girl. It’s beautiful and after 6 months, she starts to piss you off, you start to piss her off and after you breakup. For muscle mass, it’s the same principle. At first you’ll build muscles and you’ll change your composition’s body, it’s normal.

After a while (2-3 years), your body starts to adapt and you stagnate. That’s when you’re looking for a training system that suits you, you focus on muscle isolation during an exercise, you improve your recovery and you evolve slowly. Gaining healthy muscle takes time and you have to accept it.

At the beginning of your training, you’ll lose fat and water and gain muscle at the same time for 2-3 years and then you’ll stagnate. Most of people who gain muscle get fat because they eat too much and don’t do cardio. Cardio all year is important to help control your weight. When I say doing cardio, it means doing cardio at a middle level, not cardio at a high level to be shredded. Doing cardio while you’re gaining muscle helps you progress because you keep a metabolism that works.

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

-Steph

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Understand How Your Workout Works In Your Body (Part 1)

body anatomy

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

I will talk about the training or workout. It’s a simple subject but everyone is lost because of theories and training systems.

A training is a physical activity and we will return to the basic seeing the effects of a training in your body.

Why when we train we like to look at ourselves in the mirror and that makes us happy ? This is what we will see.

Training

training workout

Whenever we do an action, there is a reaction. When we’re training (lifting weights), there is an increase in oxygen consumption then, an increase in blood circulation and then, congestion of the muscle. Congestion depends on 3 important things : nutrition, H2O and muscle isolation.

Nutrition must be the best as possible. Water consumption must be high. Learning to master to isolate the targeted muscle during a exercise allows you to increase the possibility of having a huge muscle.

After the congestion (nutrition, H2O, isolation), there is sweat then, there is the release of hormones called endorphins. Endorphins will make you feel good. It’s happiness and it’s at this moment that you will look at the mirror to appreciate your body.

It’s the process of your body when you do a physical activity (training).

All training programs don’t work for everyone

training workout program

There are training programs that are good for you and some are not. To discover this, there are 2 principle :

  • Execution and mastery of the exercise

  • The experience that comes with time

These 2 principles aim to improve your ability to isolate muscle during exercise. Which means working the targeted muscle without the help of another dominant muscle. I wrote an article about it .

Joints

joints body

To master an exercise, it’s also necessary that you know your joints like oversupination, overpronation or valgus. Choose intelligently your exercises allows you to not break your joints (injury, tendinitis and muscle tears). Don’t do an exercise because someone told you it’s the best exercise in the world, choose an exercise adapted to your morphology.

For example for me, I know that I have the valgus , which means that when I do barbell curls to work my biceps, I have pain wrist. When I do barbell curls with an EZ bar, I have less pain. When I do dumbbell curls, I have no pain, it’s perfect. So for me, the best exercise for my biceps is the dumbbell curls and not the barbell curls because I know my joints.

Another example. When I walk, my feet are outside so when I squat my feet are outside and that’s happiness. If a person tells me that I have to squat with my feet in parallel because it’s the best position in the world, I could say : « Shut up, I know my morphology better than you because I have studied my morphology ».

The elements that influence the exercice’s performance are experience, joint’s flexibility and the respect of the biomecanics laws.

That’s why I’m telling you that you shouldn’t validate a piece of advice without having tested it on yourself. On internet, you can find video like « The 5 worst exercises ». These videos aren’t based on different type of morphologies, so they are not relevant information, it’s just to make buzz. If you want to work on your biceps, try several different exercises and keep the one that suits you best.

Here is another story. I watched a Christian Guzman’s video where he was doing the overhead triceps extension with an EZ bar. I did this exercise for 1-2 months and I noticed that I didn’t have a good feeling even if I had a good execution of the movement. I started looking for another exercise of the same type to work my triceps and I found the lying dumbbell triceps extension and now, it’s perfect.

I needed time to learn the exercise, realize that this exercise didn’t fit my morphology and find another better fit.

You may think I lost time testing this exercise for 1-2 months but I gained experience with this story. It’s by testing yourself the things you can know what is good and what is not good for you. Experience is the knowledge of things voluntarily acquired through pratice in the reality of life.

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

-Steph

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Bench Press

bench press

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and there is good stuff.

Lying on a horizonzal bench with your butt glued to the bench and your feet on the ground :

  • Takes the barbell with a pronated grip. The distance of your hands is wider than the width of your shoulder.

  • Inhale and lower the barbell by controlling the movement to your torso.

  • Press and exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercice work mainly the pectorals and a little bit triceps, anterior deltoids, serratus and coracobrachialis.

Variants

  1. You can do this exercise by arching you back like powerlifters, This allows you to use your lower chest which are more powerful for lifting heavier weights. But you have to pay attention to your back if you want to avoid injury, caution.

  2. You ca do this exercise by making the press with your elbows along your body to work more your anterior deltoids.

  3. You can do this exercie by changing the gap between your hands :

    your hands closer => inner chest

    your hands wider => outer chest

  4. You can do this exercise by changing the trajectory of the barbell :

    By lowering the barbell to the lower chest (near the edge of the rib cage) to work the lower pectorals

    By lowering the barbell to the middle of the chest to work the medial pectorals

    By lowering the barbell to the upper chest/lower nech area to work the upper pectorals

  5. If you have pain in the back or you want a better isolation of the pectoral work, you can do the « press » with your legs raised.

  6. You can do this exercise with a Smith machine.

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

-Steph

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Pushdowns

triceps pushdown cable

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy »  and there is good stuff.

Standing in front of the machine with your hand on the bar with a pronated grip. Your elbows are along of your body. Your arm must be do a « L » :

  • Inhale and make an extension of your arms making sure not to spread your elbows of your body.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

triceps pushdown cable

This exercise works triceps and anconeus muscles.

Variants

triceps pushdown cable

  • You can use a rope to work more intensely the lateral head of the triceps.
  • You can also do this exercice with a supinated grip to work the medial head of the triceps.
  • You can have an isometric contraction by hold the extension for one or two seconds at the end of the movement to feel the effort.

If you use a heavy weight, bend a little bit forward to have a better stability .

This exercice can be done by beginners to have enough strength to do more complex movement after.

Variant: back in front of the machine

triceps pushdown cable

This variant allow to feel more the effort of the lateral head of triceps.

-Steph

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