Understand How Your Workout Works In Your Body (Part 2)

body anatomy workout organs

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

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

Knowing your type of morphology (ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph) helps a lot to select a training program.

Morphology

morphology endomorph ectomorph mesomorph

Ectomorph

An ectomorph tends to be thin, and struggles to gain weight as either body fat or muscle. They can eat piles of food and stay looking the same, even when gaining muscular weight is their biggest goal. People who battle to gain muscle are often known as “hardgainers.”

Ectomorphs tends to have a lean build, long limbs, and small muscle bellies. Even if an ectomorph manages to put on weight, they may still look skinnier than they are, particularly in the calves and forearms.

Being an ectomorph doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be weak, though. You can still get remarkably strong, and you can be every bit as fit and healthy as someone who looks larger and more muscular. But if you want to gain weight, you’d better be prepared to eat like you’ve never eaten before.

Mesomorph

The mesomorph has a middle-of-the-road build that takes the best of both worlds. They tend to have wide shoulders, a narrow waist, relatively thin joints, and round muscle bellies.

In short, if you’re a mesomorph, you have a natural tendency to be fit and relatively muscular. Does this mean you can do nothing, eat everything, and get away with it forever? Definitely not—and you’re not necessarily healthier than the other two types, either. But you may be able to “bounce back” from being out of shape more easily than the other two body types, gaining muscle and burning fat with comparative ease.

Endomorph

The endomorph tends to gain weight and keep it on. Their build is a little wider than an ectomorph or mesomorph, with a thick ribcage, wide hips, and shorter limbs. They may have more muscle than either of the other body types, but they often struggle to gain it without significant amounts of accompanying body fat. If you ever feel like you gain 5 pounds simply walking by a donut shop, you may be an endomorph.

This definitely doesn’t mean that an endomorph can’t be healthy. They can be every bit as strong, healthy, and capable as the other two groups, and may actually have some strength advantages due to their additional muscle mass. But if and when they decide to lean out, it’ll take hard work!

If you don’t know your morphology type, you can click here .

It’s important to understand that our body is changing all the time due to the environment, age and food. That’s what this theory of Ecto, Meso and Endo is important for me to have results. I know there are people who don’t believe in this theory. My advise is to test this theory about yourself and see if it works or not.

There is also the skeleton and muscle genetics that influence muscle development.

You know, when I started to train seriously, my body responded well to exercises in the first year. I was happy, my body changed quickly. And all of a sudden BOOOOM, my body’s evolution stagnated. I started to worry and I think you know what I’m talking about.

Muscle mass

body anatomy workout muscle

Your muscle mass is decided by the stress that you will give to your muscle. The more you stress your muscle, the more it will respond. The more you rest, the more your muscle will respond. When you rest, your muscle recovers and your nervous system recovers. Understanding how much stress you put on your muscles is as important as knowing the difference between a set with high reps or low reps.

Look this example in my gym, click here.

You can’t walk around and talk to everyone in your gym like you’re in bar. The gym is not a bar ! When I started using the intensification methods, that’s where I really gain muscle.

Many people ask me if it’s possible to gain muscle and be shredded at the same time. The answer is that the first year of training, yes. In the beginning, you will gain muscle and burn fat, because you’re doing more intense physical activity than the year before.

But when you stop to train for more than 2 weeks , you have muscle atrophy and you start to store more fat.

If you spend several months without training, your muscles will turn into fat. The muscle is a tissue (soft tissue) and the fat is a tissue (adipose tissue). You understand !?! I know, I lost you and it’s the case for many people. The muscle and the fat are both cellular tissue.

It’s for this reason that you always need to continue to train because the more you train, the more you will gain muscle mass. And to gain muscle mass, you need to pay attention to your diet and recovery (sleep).

That’s the basis for gaining muscle. I know that on internet, there are several influencers like Christian Guzman , Steve Cook , Marc Fitt  who can say things that others dispute. But if you look deeper, there is only one way to gain muscle (regular training, diet and sleep), influencers explain only variants so don’t panic.

Conclusion

To explain it simply, you have your muscle and behind your muscle, there is fat. Fat is all the time waiting for the muscle works less to cover the muscle. The less you work on your muscle (muscle atrophy), the more the fat will cover your muscle. After several months without training, you will see in the mirror that you have lost your muscles. And you’re going to say : « Shit ».

Use a simple training program to understand the process for an effective training. It will be long. The 12-weeks training program is only a program that starts the process for your body to change, you need to train regularly all year long.

Stop listening to conflicting advice (it’s just for buzz), it’s the best way to stop you to have a better body. Choose a simple training program, adapt it to your schedule and use it all year long.

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

-Steph

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

The Only Thing To Be Successful In the Long Term

 long term success

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

Sir Winston Churchill said : « Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ».

I’m sure you’ve heard this quote . But there’s something that nobody told you about that quote. This thing is the « GRIT ».

What’s this

definition

The meaning of the word « grit » is : « passion and perseverance for a long-term goal ».

We discovered after several years of case studies that intelligence wasn’t the most important element to have success in school, at work and in life.

The most important element to be successful is grit and personality. It’s essential to have the courage to go through all the challenges and failures to find a new solution to achieve the goal.

Psychology Professor at University Of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworth shows in her studies that   :

« Smarter students actually had less grip that their peers who scored lower on an intelligence test. This finding suggests that, among the study participants – all students at an Ivy League School – people who are not as bring as their peers compensate by working harder and with more determination. And their effort pays off : The grittiest students – not the smartest ones – had the highest GPAs ».

And  :

« At the elite United States Military Academy, West Point, a cadet’s grit score was the best predictor of success in the rigorous summer training program known as « Beast Barracks ». Grit matter more than intelligence, leadership ability or physical fitness.

At the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the grittiest contestants were the most likely to advance to the finals – at least in part because they studied longer, not because they were smarter or were better spellers ».

These findings suggest that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time.

There is also this article by Thomas Friedman in New York Times: Need a job ? Invent one .

In this article, there is a quote from Tony Wagner, Harvard Education Specialist : « Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know ».

As you can see, it’s not the amount of information that is important to be successful but what you do with this information. It’s the same principle to have a healthy body. I know people who know a tremendous amount of information about how to lose weight and how to build muscle. But there is a problem, they’re all overweight and from year to year, they take on more weight and they need to take more medicines.

What is necessary is to use the information that you have every day. It’s useless to know all the answers and look for the perfect workout. Start with what you have now and day after day, you’ll improve your knowledge on the field.

How do I do

how much

Here is my case. As you already know, I plan my workout program throughout the year to gradually increase the difficulty (periodization). I have failures (very often) and I adjust. Every week I search for small changes and tactics.

Tracking my workout helps me tremendously to adjust the difficulty without creating any injury. I use an application on my smartphone to track my workout, it’s Jefit.

I know that all my life is going to be like that. Learn more, have more failures and find new tactics to progress.

It’s true that says it like that, you think it’s boring but it’s very motivating to see progress made week after week. Small details are important to your body. Often the people around you don’t see you making progress. They don’t see that your body is changing but you know you have more strength and better health.

What looked annoying is actually motivating. I like to see small changes on my body because I know that the accumulation of small changes make a great transformation. It’s the same principle as a video game, the main character is gradually becoming stronger and stronger.

When I look my workout’s tracking over several months or several years, I see that I have done great transformation. The amount of weight lifted has increased and my endurance has increased.

When I check my workout’program of the day, I stop to day to myself : « It’s going to be painful today, oh no ! » but « Mmmh, it’s going to have a little new record today ! ».

That is why I began to « document » the evolution of my body. If you watch my videos every day, you’ll not see any difference but when you watch the videos I made 6 months or 1 year ago, you see that the differences are really visible. And it’s the same for you.

Build the grit

grit

For several years I had several (one ton) failures and I searched to find small changes and new tactics to change my body little by little, week after week. I did all that to create « my new standard » and « my new identity » to have the best possible future in my life. All these small improvements on my body have developing more grit and perseverance.

Here is how to build your grit yourself :

  1. Determine your new « identity ».

    The more specific your new identity, the easier it will be to prove it to yourself. For example : « I’m the type of person who never miss a workout » and « I’m the type of person who always eats a healthy meal at lunch » and/or « I’m the type of person who works on his own business as soon as I have free time ».

    To always have these identities in mind put post-it in several places in your house like on the calendar, the phone and the mirror of your bathroom. You can also have it in the wallpaper (lock screen) on your smartphone.

  2. Have small victories every day to prove it to yourself and motivate you to do that

    Follow your evolution and highlight your small victories to see that you are in the right direction. Make a daily challenge that takes you between 5 and 15 minutes. Once this challenge is successful, it’s a small victory in addition.

  3. Increases the difficulty of your challenges every 30 days

    For a month, for 30 days, you’ll have small victories. Once you have 30 small victories, make a party to celebrate these victories and increase the difficulty of your challenges for the next 30 days.

    Attention, our will’s strength is limited so use all this will to build this new healthy habit.

  4. When you have created you « new standard », it’s time to improve it.

    Improve your « new standard » by making small adjustments. Make slow and steady progress to win. If you make drastic adjustments, you will have more failures than small victories and this will make you want to give up.

  5. When you fail in something , be sure to fail differently next time

    Failure doesn’t mean that you have a bad or a weak personality. It’s just mean that you didn’t have all the knowledge and experience to succeed. Learn and practice more on the field to continue towards the best.

It’s not important where you’re from, where you’re going that’s important.

I warn you already that this a path with more that 1 billion challenges but it’s the price to pay for a better lifestyle. To achieve the lifestyle of your dreams , you will create 1 billion versions of yourself, all better than the previous ones (it’s like an update).

The most important thing is that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish anything in you life (this also includes you parents).

If you know you can do it, do it !

What is the little victory you have recently made, and what the next ?

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

From Exercise Machines To Free Weights

machine free weights

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

Very often in gym’s advertisements, we watch a lot of high-tech machines to do exercises and the free weight zone is a small hidden room.

What I see in my gym, it’s people start their training with a little bit cardio and they use machines. They do this because it’s easier and this look more secure. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. The Matrix trap us with these machines.

Attention : If you have a medical prescription or you need to use machines for a special reason, continue to follow your training program prescribed by your doctor or physiotherapist.

Why

why

The truth is that machines force muscles and joints to make movements that aren’t natural.

Machines force your body to move weights in a single pattern (up – down or left – right). Our bodies naturally don’t move like it, this is the problem. Movements or our bodies aren’t straight lines, it’s rather « S ». The result is that machines develop our muscles in a way that isn’t balanced and they endanger our joints and spine.

Like you can see, machines don’t put your body in safety and in addition, they don’t work your stabilizing muscles. Don’t work stabilizing muscles is very bad for everyday activities.

When you bent forward to take something on the floor, you body use a dozen and a dozen muscles at the same time. But since you no longer work your stabilizing muscles because of machines, your muscles don’t know how to work together so your body uses a muscle.

Study case

« Smith Machine » is famous to do squat in safety so it protects your back. Lie ! This machine is perfect to destroy your back and compressed your spine because this machine force your body to move only up and down. The real squat allow to do the fundamental movement and when you do it, you notice that your body doesn’t do a straight line from up to down. With the real squat you do a natural movement.

Do exercise with weight or with bodyweight is more efficient to burn calories than machines.

Full body

full body

All exercises classified in 2 categories : pull and push

I remember, I did a full body training program for 1 year before lift weight. This is what my Taekwondo’s teacher advised me and he was right (wow, Korean wisdom). A full body training program, 3 times per week is more efficient than a machines training program, 5-6 times per week for beginners. If you want to train more, you can do Tai-Chi or walking during rest days.

Full body is important

With full body, you learn to each body’s muscle to work together, you synchronize you body. This is allow you to be healthy, avoid using too much a muscle and avoid injury due to a weak stabilizing muscle. To maximize your body, eat healthy and you’ll burn more fat, build muscle and build a body of which you’re proud.

What is great with a full body training program, it’s when you skip a training day, it doesn’t matter. You’ll not have certain muscle more developed than any others because each training session work all body’s muscles

Bodyweight (full body)

bodyweight training

Mastering basics movements with bodyweight is perfect to prepare you for a training with weights.

It’s primitive movements therefore natural that allow you to become stronger without material.

The best example are gymnasts. Look gymnasts body, it’s amazing, impressive and the majority of their training are with bodyweight exercises.

Basic exercises

  • Push = push up, dips, handstands

  • Pull = pull up, body rows

  • Legs = bodyweight squat, pistols squats, lunges, box jumps

For each exercise, you do 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

No it’s too simple  ! => Do this training program and if it’s too easy, increase the difficulty. You can do push up with one hand or pull up with one hand (like my friend Inti). You can also add more set ou repetition.

No it’s too difficult => Do this training program and if it’s too difficult, decrease the difficulty. You can do sets of 3 repetitions. The principle is you progress to do 4 sets of 10 repetitions. Take your time but be regular.

No I want abs => When you do squat, push up and pull up, you keep your core tight and by this way you work your abs. But if you want to do an exercise specially for abs, you can to plank and side plank.

Strength training (full body)

strength training

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, dumbbells and barbells are your friends.

Basic exercise

  • Push = Bench press, Overhead Press

  • Pull = Deadlift, Bent Over Row

  • Legs = Squat, Deadlift

For each exercise, you do 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

No I don’t like squat => Do you think squat is an useless exercise ? I advise you to read the book of Mark Rippetoe. If you seriously want to train, this book is for you !

No I afraid of weights => Don’t panic. Most people in free weights section are too busy to look at themselves in the mirror, they will not look at you. You can use a barbell or dumbbells for each exercise to improve your pure strength. I advise you dumbbells.

No I’m afraid of being ridiculous => Everybody don’t care if you life a dumbbell of 4kg (8.8lbs) or you squat 181kg (400lbs) because everybody struggle to do their training program. Forget people, stay focus and do you training program until the end.

But if I do bad => At the beginning use light weight to do movements with the good form, the good technique. When you’ll stronger, you’ll can add weight slowly each week to reach your limit. You can hire a personal trainer for 1-2 sessions to learn and improve basic exercises techniques or form.

No I want only lose weight => It’s simple, you do basic exercises and you eat less. The training is the same for lose weight or gain muscle. It’s diet that make the difference ! It’s a science :

  • Eat more calories than you burn = gain weight

  • Eat less calories than you burn = lose weight

Your physical condition, it’s 80 % diet and 20 % training. If you want bulk, you need to have a specific diet to do this.

Track and adjust slowly your training program and your diet to see your progress.

No matter what you do, don’t be afraid of the free weight zone. Remember than 90 % of people inside are focus to do their exercises by looking in the mirror therefore don’t worry. Do your exercices, become better and become stronger.

What do you feel when you train with free weights ?

-Steph

3 Things To Be More Productive

more productive

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

There 3 things to boost your productivity

Mirror

mirror

Have a mirror on your desk. Some scientific studies show when we have a mirror next to us, we have a greater probability to take good decisions to reach our goals. For exemple, if you want to lose weights, you will eat healthy foods rather than junk foods when you have a mirror in front of you.

In fact, we don’t know why it works but there is a theory like what we have more conscious of ourselves and we have more guilt and shame when we didn’t resist to a bad temptation.

Have a productivity system

productivity sytem

Like in every domains, there is methods more efficient than others to be more productive. It’s better to have a productivity system than noting, really. A productivity system is a way of organizing.

The most famous method is « Getting things done ». This book is a little bit complex but there is good stuff inside.

It’s possible to make a mix of serveral books about productivity system like « Zen to done ». This book is a simplifiction of « Getting things done ».

The concept is to have a Word files or another word processor with your goals of the week. These goals must be done this week. Then you set your most important tasks of the day, max. 3 per day. These tasks must be done at the end of the day. It means that if it’s 19h or 7pm and all tasks haven’t been done, I stay at work to do it. I stay because it’s the most important tasks of the day and these tasks help me to reach my goals of the week.

Have a Word file or a word processor file help you to see what are your priorities. When you determine your most important tasks of the day (the day before or in the morning), they must help you to reach your goals of the week. When everydays you do some tasks that help you to reach your goals of the week, it’s really really cool.

Once you have done your most important tasks of the day, you do the rest by trying to group them.

Take breaks

take a break

It’s useless to work 4 hours non-stop without take a break. This decrease your productivity. The ideal is to have a method like the « Pomodoro », it means tomato in italian. This called « Pomodoro » because it’s a kitchen timer. For 25 minutes of work, you have 5 minutes of break or for 50 minutes of work, you have 10 minutes of break.

All 4 « Pomodoro », around 2 hours, you will take a break of 20-30 minutes. During this break do a meditation or play a musical instrument or walk in the nature to get your head out of the work. Don’t use this moment to make phone call or check your emails. Do something really different of your work to back to work more productive on current tasks.

Do you have some tips to be more productive ?

-Steph