How To Control Cortisol To Keep Muscles (Part 1)

cortisol hormone organ body

Cortisol. It’s a weird name that I hear rarely. One time, in the gym, a guy told me to be careful about it. When I asked him what is it, he told me: “It’s the stress”. Follow this logic, we stress every day, it means each day we lose a little bit of muscle? It makes no sense. The first time I tried to learn about it, I didn’t understand anything. Cortisol is a hormone and you have to learn some medical things. I didn’t like this situation, because I wanted to know how to control cortisol to keep muscles.

This week, someone told me about cortisol and his explanation was very vague. I see that many people are afraid of it because they don’t understand it. It’s time to go deeper to understand Cortisol, because the body doesn’t create it to destroy itself.

What is its role

role

Cortisol is a stress hormone and it works like a type of alarm system in your body. It controls your fear, motivation, mood to handle dangerous situations. This hormone has several role:

Organize the energy of the stores

It organizes all type of energy that your body has to always be functional for a dangerous event. It means amino acids from muscle tissue, muscle and liver glycogen and fatty acids from body fat.

Stabilize blood sugar levels

When your blood sugar levels are very low, it helps to keep normal levels.

Boost your stamina and attention

Cortisol boosts Phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT). PNMT is an enzyme that transforms noradrenaline to adrenaline. This method increases your adrenaline’s rate.

Boost the power of muscle contraction

This is a consequence of a high rate of adrenaline.

Boost the power of heart contraction and rate

It’s an effect of a high adrenaline’s level. Oxygen move better to muscle

Weaken the immune system

When there is a threatening situation, the body needs all the resources possible. For example, a fight. The high rate of cortisol will weaken the immune system to have the maximum of energy possible. When the rate decreases, the immune system has the full power back to repair the damage from the fight.

All these roles help you to get through an unsafe situation and survive. The thing is if the cortisol has a high rate for a long time, it can create problems in your body. Let’s see in different areas how cortisol can be bad.

Muscle Gain

gain muscle

A high rate of cortisol for a long period can impact muscle in a unhealthy way with these methods:

Muscle is less feed by food

Muscle receive fewer amino acids to create new tissue. Restocking of glycogen stores is decline too.

Boost muscle damage

There is a high level of protein damage (catabolism) than protein synthesis (anabolism). This is why we say “stress (cortisol) eat the muscle”.

Muscle take more time to repair

The immune system is very important to repair muscle. When a high rate of cortisol is recurring, it weakens the immune system.

Boost myosatin

Myostatin is a myokine, a protein created by the muscle and it limits its growth. It means when you have a high rate of myostatin, it limits your muscle gain.

On the long term it declines testosterone rate

Pregnenolone is a hormone that creates testosterone and cortisol. To have a high rate of cortisol, your body needs a huge amount of pregnenolone to make it. It means there will be less pregnenolone to create testosterone.

At the end of your training session, the level of your protein synthesis is big for around 24-30 hours. This is the period where your body repairs your muscle and add new tissue. When your immune system is fragile, your body uses these amounts of hours to only repair the breakdown you caused. Your body is not able to produce new muscle, it means you don’t gain muscle.

Recovery

fat loss weight

A long period of high rate of cortisol can impact your recovery in these ways:

Decrease the production of growth hormone

At night you have a natural spike of growth hormone and a high rate of cortisol disrupt your recovery. When your recovery is not optimal, you don’t progress.

Decline muscle glycogen storage

Gycogen is critical in the process of recovery.

Speed down the reparation of muscle

Growth hormone maintains, build and repair tissue. It means it also builds muscle mass. You gain muscle by repairing muscle. When the cortisol decreases the production of growth hormone, you don’t have results.

Increase adrenaline rate

Adrenaline (or epinephrine) is a helpful hormone before a workout session. It boosts your cardiorespiratory activity (more oxygen to the muscles). It also improves your metabolism, your mood, and your body is more reactive. Before to go to bed, it doesn’t help you to sleep.

Fat loss

The famous coach Charles Poliquin said that when you have too much cortisol, it stores your fat in abs. There is a problem here because cortisol has also as function to organize stored energy. Fat is a kind of energy for the body. It means cortisol doesn’t store fat, you know, fat is energy.

Another function of cortisol is that is a fat loss hormone when the rate is high while a short time. If the high rate is recurring, it complicated the action to fat loss.

Decline the transformation of hormone T4 to T3

A little explanation about these hormones. The thyroid is a gland in the neck. It creates three hormones: triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and calcitonin. T3 and T4 adjust the temperature of your body, your metabolism, and your heart rate. T3 usually sticks to protein in your body.

The thyroid creates a lot of T4 to change it in T3. T3 modifies the metabolism rate. When you have a high rate of metabolism, you burn more calories. In the case where your body has a low level of energy, the thyroid creates less T4. Fewer T4 means fewer T3 and the result is a low metabolism rate and the body burns fewer calories.

Do you remember what happens in a situation when your body lacks food? The cortisol rate is high to keep blood sugar stable and organize stored energy. This is a mechanism of the body to survive since the prehistoric era. Today is good because access to food is better. Unfortunately, cortisol can have a high rate because of other stress factors.

Insulin resistance

Cortisol boosts the blood sugar rate in a crisis event (lacking food, running away or fighting). These emergency circumstances allow the body to release glucose for energy. When people are sedentary and the blood sugar level is high, it’s not good. The level stays longer high and can drive to hyperglycemia. The body to avoid it creates insulin to decline the rate of blood sugar to a normal level.

Imagine a situation where cortisol’s rate is high a lot of time. It boosts the blood sugar levels and the body produces insulin every time. The result of this is insulin resistance. In the plan to lose fat, settle a caloric deficit is crucial. Unfortunately, insulin resistance and a metabolic rate low make the process more difficult. It can even create a surplus of fat.

Let’s be things clear, insulin alone doesn’t make you fat, it stores the elements of your food. It’s when insulin has a high rate that is tough for the body to use fat in a good way.

Insulin resistance means that the cells work badly with insulin. The result is the body needs to create more insulin to do the same task with the cells. When there is a huge amount of insulin, it takes more time to go back to the normal level. When there is a big quantity of insulin for a long time, the body has trouble to use fat.

It is the same thing for cortisol. Alone, cortisol doesn’t make you fat. It’s when cortisol has a high rate that is tough for the body to use it in a good way.

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

-Steph

How Does This Bodyweight Plan Bring Sexy Back

fitness body silhouette

This is The Stephane Andre and today I’m talking about how you can gain muscle anywhere and anytime. The solution, this bodyweight plan. Maybe you think you can’t gain a lot of muscle with it, but this is the first step to build a solid foundation.

When I decided to be in shape, I didn’t have the money to buy a gym membership. I used a bodyweight workout to be stronger and it learn me the basic movements to use gym equipment. When I am in a hotel and I don’t have the time to train, this is amazing. This kind of workout is very helpful for people who are under 16 years old and want to have a better body.

Do you know people who gained muscle years ago, and when you see them now, they gained fat instead? Generally, it’s because of a change in their life and they don’t have the time to train anymore. It’s sad.

It’s now or never to bring sexy back anytime, anywhere, no matter what changes in life.

Full bodyweight workout plan

Do this plan 2 to 3 times a week with at least one day of rest between. This workout plan can be done in 2 ways:

  1. For each exercise do 4 sets of the maximum repetitions you can do
  2. For each exercise do the maximum of repetition you can do for 30 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and go to the next exercise.

You can alternate these two training’s type in a week.

Start with a warmup of 20 jumping jacks

Jumping jacks

jumping jacks

Then

Mountain climber

mountain climber

Squat

squat

Lunge

lunge

Burpee

burpee

Crunch

crunch

Decline push up (chair or bench)

decline push up

Leg raises

leg raises

Push up

push up

Dips (chair or bench)

dips

Bicycle crunch

bicycle crunch

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

-Steph

Tips To Be More Productive

productivity, growth, increase, income

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I heard Olivier Roland’s tips and I learned some good stuff.

You know, sometimes I worked all day like crazy and at the end of the day, I felt like I haven’t progressed. Maybe you have already experienced this? That’s why I’m always learning new things to be as productive as possible. There are 2 books that help improve productivity and time management, it’s “Getting Things Done” and “Cut To The Chase” .

Here are tips from these 2 books to improve all this.

If a task can be done in less than 2 minutes, do it right away

Immediately make a task that requires less than 2 minutes has several benefits:

  1. Adding a task on your To-do list requires less than 2 minutes, it’s the same number of minutes as for a task that can be done right away.
  2. It’s more efficient to add the task that require more than 2 minutes on the To-do list, otherwise this list will be endless and unmanageable.
  3. Don’t make a task that requires less than 2 minutes right away can have disproportionate consequences in relation to the time needed to achieve it (like sending a confirmation or cancellation message).

So remember, if this task takes less than 2 minutes, do it now.

Warning

Sometimes you have to plan moments to focus only on a task or an important project. These specific moments shouldn’t be interrupted, even by a task than requires less than 2 minutes.

Try it so you don’t have any insomnia

Insomnia reduce productivity. Often the source of insomnia is malaise, bad mood, stress, poor sleep hygiene, etc. Insomnia can have serious consequences in the relation with others and can also cause road accidents, drowsiness, memory loss, absenteeism and the list goes on.

For chronic insomnia, it’s advisable to see a doctor for treatment. For transient insomnia (up to 3 months), there is an tip to free your spirit of thoughts that obsesses you.

Put a paper and a pen next to your bed. When you have a thought that obsesses you, you write it on the paper and beside you write the action you have to do to erase this thought.

Here is 2 example:

  • If the thought is: “I have to send a quote to this client”. You note on the paper: “Client quote => Look for supplier prices”.
  • If the thought is: “I have to lose weight”, you note “Lose weight => Look for a personal trainer”.

As you write down your thoughts and the action you should take, you should feel more peaceful.

Have an attitude “Let’s go see”

Sometimes, going on the field can help you learn more than analyze data on your computer. So the next time there is a problem, go see for yourself on the field. This may allow you to have ideas for finding a solution more quickly.

Don’t use a foul language in the workplace

foul, language,

It may sound like grandparent’s advice but it’s common sense. When you use a foul language, you can offend a person without knowing it. A person who doesn’t feel offended in the workplace is a serene and productive person. An offended person doesn’t want to work and wants to find another job. Many entrepreneurs have lost talented people because of their foul language without knowing it.

Not using foul language avoids conflict and difficult situations to manage.

When you do something, ask yourself why you do it

Often we do things out of habit, without wondering if it’s worth doing. This can waste time and energy and it would be better to stop doing this task or delegate it.

So regularly, ask yourself this question: “What happens if I delete this task?”. If the answer is nothing, stop doing this task. If the answer is something else, look if you can delegate this task.

Do it

No matter what dream you have, do it realize in your life. Here is a quote from Goethe: “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”.

Close the loop

has anyone ever told you, “Well call you back if there’s a problem”. And 2 week later you have no news and you wonder if everything works well. I know there is this quote: “No news is good news” but it’s frustrating t be in uncertainty. When a person doesn’t close the loop, it leaves others waiting and this can complicate relations. Don’t be like these people, stay in touch to avoid complicated situations.

Don’t let your smartphone become your master

With new technologies, we can stay in touch 24h/24h. But that’s not a reason for every smartphone notifications to be a priority. Sometimes I see people, every time there is a notification, they take their smartphone as if it was the end of the world. No matter where they’re and no matter what they do.

Define time slots and limits for the use of new technologies. Turn them off when you need to be focused for a task or meeting. Let others know that you no longer look at your emails and messages after a certain hour or weekends.

With that, you create a clear border between the moment you work and your private moments. It allows you to destress.

Personally, I turned off the sound for notifications from my smartphone. It’s really cool to do that, I’m more serene.

Save your computer file regularly

There are 2 types of users:

  • Who often back up
  • Who don’t back up until the day they lose important data

Losing files on a job you’ve been working on for months is very annoying. So backup often and take advantage to make copies at different locations (such as an external hard drive). With Cloud, you also have access to Google Drive and Dropbox which are very effective. Better to save than not enough.

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-Steph

Body Under Construction 2019-04-28

bodyfat

Each month I do my body check to track my body’s evolution with photo, measurements and body fat(%) to reach my Golden Ratio.

I take my results in the morning with my stomach empty or just a glass of water.

I calculate my body fat ( %) with the 1 site skin fold (fat caliper) and I use the caliper’s chart.

Current

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)
  • Weight : 84.5 kg (186.29 lbs)
  • Body fat(%) : 12.7 %
  • Waist : 89.5 cm (35.23 in)
  • Chest : 98 cm (38.58 in)
  • Arms : 34.5 cm (13.58 in)
  • Forearms : 29.5 cm (11.61 in)
  • Shoulders : 121 cm (47.63 in)
  • Hips : 96 cm (37.79 in)
  • Thighs : 63 cm (24.80 in)
  • Calves : 41 cm (16.14 in)
  • Neck : 38 cm (14.96 in)

Goals (Golden Ratio)

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)
  • Weight : 80 kg (176.37)
  • Body fat(%) : 8 %
  • Waist : 75.07 cm (29.55 in)
  • Chest : 107.25 cm (42.22 in)
  • Arms : 39.93 cm (15.72 in)
  • Forearms : 31.63 cm (12.45 in)
  • Shoulders : 121.47 cm (47.82 in)
  • Hips : 91.16 cm (35.88 in)
  • Thighs : 61 cm (24.01 in)
  • Calves : 39.61 cm (15.59 in)
  • Neck : 39.68 cm (15.62 in)

Websites where I found my Golden Ratio, it’s here .

Websites where I calculate my body fat(%), it’s here .

And you ? Have you set your goals ?

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-Steph

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

Dietary Fats

dietary, fat, oil, fish, avocado, nut, olive

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read some advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger and I learned some good stuff.

Of the 3 macronutriments, fats are the nutrients that are the most dense in energy. Fat is composed of the same thing as carbohydrates (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) but the difference is that the atoms are not linked together in the same way. Fat is in plants and animals. Oils are liquid fats. Fats are insoluble in water. Fats are organized in 3 categories:

  • Simple fats (triglycerides)
  • Compound fats (phospholipid, glucolipid, lipoprotein)
  • Derived fats (cholesterol)

Here are the 3 fat’s functions in your body:

  1. Fats are the main source of stored energy (body fat)
  2. Fats help to protect and cushion the major organs
  3. Fats have an insulator effect, preserving body heat and protecting against excessive cold.

Fat is the most dense nutrient in calories 1 pound (453gr) of fat contains 4000 calories while 1 pound (453gr) of protein or carbohydrate contains about 1800 calories.

When you do exercise and stay within your aerobic capacity, it means you don’t run out of breath, your body uses fats and carbohydrates as a source of energy at around 50/50. But if you continue, your body will use more fat than carbohydrates as a source of energy. If you train for 3 hours, your body can use fat to create 80% energy for your body.

As you could read, there is different type of fat: saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated. These terms mean the number of hydrogen atoms attached to the molecule. Here is an analogy with a string’s ball so that it’s easier to understand. Saturated fat is like a length of string in a messy clutter. Unsaturated is like a rope with some entanglements. And polyunsaturated is like a rope carefully wrapped without the sign of a tangle. The more fat is saturated (tangled), the more likely it’s to remain in the body and clog the arteries, which increase the risk of heart disease.

There are also other factors. Diets rich in saturated fat tend to increase cholesterol levels in the blood. Health experts advise that 2/3 of your fat intake is polyunsaturated fat.

Saturated fats are found in:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Shellfish
  • Egg yolks
  • Cream
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Chocolate
  • Lard

Unsaturated fats are found in:

  • Avocados
  • Cashews
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Peanuts, peanuts oil, peanut butter

Polyunsaturated fats are found in:

  • Almonds
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Margarine (usually)
  • Pecans
  • Sunflower oil
  • Corn oil
  • Fish
  • Mayonnaise
  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Walnuts

Essential Fatty Acids

fatty, acid, saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega,3,6,9,linolenic, linoleic, cla, gla, arachidonic, epa, dha, oleic, lauric, myristic,palmitic, stearic

Essential fatty acids are inevitable in a healthy diet because your body can’t create it itself- That’s why it’s essential that you eat foods containing essential fatty acids. It’s a shame because many bodybuilders have low fat diets and they develop deficiencies in dietary fat. Fortunately there are foods and supplements that provide “good fats” to avoid this extreme. Here are some examples:

Fish oil

Instead of eating low-fat fish, test salmon, trout or mackerel. Fish oil is needed by organs, especially the brain. You can also take fish oils as supplements.

Polyunsaturated vegetable oil

In vegetable oils, there are 2 acids that are valuable: linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Supermarket oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil don’t contain linoleic acid. Soybean oil is the only supermarket oil containing linoleic acid but you need ot pay attention to GMO. For linolenic acid, you can find that in linseed oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil.

Monounsaturated fatty acids

There are the most harmless fatty acids compared to some polyunsaturated fatty acids because they don’t affect your cholesterol or your prostaglandins (regulators of the hormones action). Monounsaturated fatty acids are found in olive oil and macadamia nuts.

Supplements of fatty acid

These supplements contain essential fatty acids from fish oils and other sources.

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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 .

Difference Between Websites And Blogs

blog, website, computer, laptop, tablet, smarphone

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I heard Olivier Roland’s tips and I learned some good stuff.

Often people ask themselves this question to start a company on internet: “What is the difference between a website and a blog ?”.

The answer is that there is no difference because a blog is a website. To be more precise, a blog is a type of website because there are websites that aren’t blogs. A blog is a type of website in which the content is published by antichronological order (it means that the last published article is displayed first). It’s possible to have a static home page for blogs, this is an option.

In the case of e-commerce, a blog can be a complementary website to attract qualified prospects. I take the example of fitness. You have a company that sells fitness accessories (weightlifting belt, squat knee sleeves, etc). You create a website to sell your products with Prestashop , Shopify , Magento . By creating another blog type website, you share content that will interest your potential clients, fitness fans.

On the blog, you share articles like: “Protect you back with these 4 strength coach secrets” or “7 exercises to build your strength and power foundation” or “How much protein, fat and carbs should you eat to lose weight”. Topics that interest people who do fitness. You have to publish content to attract qualified prospects, it means, qualified prospects who are likely to buy your products.

Study case

analysis

It gives a huge advantage compared to your competitors who don’t do that.

Here is a concrete example. Bonnegueule is basically a blog about French men’s fashion. But the Bonnegueule’s founders did more than what infopreneurs usually do (sell online training and ebooks) They created their own clothing brand in collaboration with fashion designers. Since 2014, they have 3 physical stores in France.

What is innovative with Bonnegueule is that on the products sheet of clothes, there is the complete details of the materials used, tips to be elegant with the clothe, how to associate this clothe with others, tips for good maintenance of the clothe and the fashion designers pictures.

With all this people see Bonnegueule as advisers and not sellers, even if they sell products. And that makes a huge difference in the relation with clients.

It’s also smart to create multiple types of content (text, video, audio) on other platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Soundcloud to attract other qualified prospects to other locations.

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 .

Carbohydrate

carbohydrate, bread, rice, pasta, potato

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read some advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger and I learned some good stuff.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body. All carbohydrates are sugars that are molecules containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Glucose is synthesis by plants through the photosynthesis process (using the sun’s energy) or by animals during the glycogen synthesis process. But be careful when I talk about glucose (sugar), I’m not talking about table sugar. There are several categories of glucoses (sugars). Here they are:

Monosaccharides

  • Glucose (blood sugar)
  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
  • Galactose (a kind of milk sugar)

Oligosaccharides

  • Sucrose(table sugar)
  • Lactose(milk sugar)
  • Maltose (malt sugar)

Polysaccharides

  • Plant polysaccharides(starch and cellulose)
  • Animal polysaccharides (glycogen)

The speed of which carbohydrate metabolized are measured with the glycemic index. A high glycemic index (a large increase in serum glucose) indicate that carbohydrates metabolized rapidly. A low glycemic index (a small increase in serum glucose) indicates that carbohydrates metabolized slowly or differently.

What’s cool now I being able to check the gylcemic index of foods on internet. For example, Chinese restaurant rice has a very high glycemic index compared to brown rice or wild rice.

carbohydrate, bread, rice, pasta, potato

Carbohydrates are the easiest type of food to turn into energy for the body. When carbohydrates converted to glucose, glucose circulates in the blood and helps muscle contraction. Glycogen in the muscle and liver stored for future use. A supply of carbohydrates is necessary for an ambitious bodybuilder for several reasons:

  1. Carbohydrates are a basic type of energy. Carbohydrate stored in the muscles in the form of glycogen will allow to train intense and heavy.
  2. Size of muscles increases when the body stores glycogen and water in individual muscle cells.
  3. Carbohydrates in the body have an effect that prevents the body from burning excess protein to create energy.
  4. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain to be operational. Carbohydrate deprivation can have very negative effects on mood, personality and mental abilities.

There is a reason why carbohydrates are really needed as fuel for a workout. This is because most exercises are anaerobics exercises. Anaerobics exercises are flushed through intense puffs and exceed the body’s ability to provide enough oxygen to sustain the effort. But the carbohydrates structure allows to continue feeding the muscles during an exercise for a short period without oxygen. Therefore, when you do intensive weight training or you run a 100 meter sprint, your energy for these efforts is mainly composed of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate supplement

carbohydrate, supplement, powder

Intense training creates a demand in the body to replace glycogen and amino acids. Be careful that your body contains enough carbohydrates after training, otherwise your body may start using amino acids (protein) as a source of energy. The period during which the body is in very high demand for carbohydrates is shorter than for proteins. The best results are obtained when you give the necessary carbohydrates to your body about 20 minutes after your training.

This need for immediate replacement of glycogen is the reason why many bodybuilders use a carbohydrate supplement after training with a protein supplement. It’s very useful when you do a strength training with a cardiovascular session (treadmill, stepper or bike). If you do cardio too soon after your strength training, you’ll be depriving your body of carbohydrates. And as you lack energy, your body will quickly use your amino acids (protein) to create the energy that is missing.

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 .