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.

Incline Bench Sit-Ups

incline bench sit ups

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

Sitting on the bench with your feet under the pads and your hands behind your neck. Inhale and tilt your torso without ever exceeding 20° :

  • Move your torso back up by slightly rounding your back to better target the effort on recuts abdominis

 

  • Exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise work the entire rectus abdominis muscles and iliopsoas, rectus femoris and tensor fasciae latae (these last 3 muscles help pelvis anteversion). This movement is to do with high sets.

Variant

incline bench sit ups

When you back up, you can do a rotation of your torso to transfer a part of the effort to the obliques.

Example

A rotation to the left work more intensely right abdominal external oblique, left abdominal internal oblique and rectus abdominis on the right. Twists can be done alternately or unilaterally. The goal is to focus on the muscular sensation and it’s unnecessary to incline the bench too much.

Diagram showing the senses of action of abdomen muscle and the system of viscera’s compression

action abdomen muscle system viscera compression

 

  1. Rectus abdominis

  2. Abdominal external oblique

  3. Abdominal internal oblique

  4. Transverse abdominal

With quadrupeds, the entire rectus abdominis muscles passively support the viscera (like a hammock ) and help a little in locomotion.

With human being in bipedal mode, the entire rectus abdominis muscles have hugely strengthened so that the torso and pelvis is upright and prevent the pelvis from tipping excessively during walking or running. They became powerful muscles of contention and they built a strong core to maintain viscera in an active way.

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

-Steph

Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 2)

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

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

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

Legs

Improve your squat position

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

To reduce the lower back’s effort and limit the hamstrings tension, it’s possible to do like powerlifters by putting the barbell on posterior deltoids.

This technique decreases the cantilever and increases the power of lifting from the back. This allows you to lift heavier weights.

By using powerlifter of weightlifting shoes (solid raised heel) or a wedge under the heels, this reduces the cantilever by having the buttocks not too back by the advancing knees. This allows for greater amplitudes with the thighs flexion.

With that, we feel better the quadriceps work by limiting the torso’s inclinaison and the work of the gluteus maximus and spinal erectors.

The low barbell and raised heel combination allows you to lift heavier weights. This technique is recommended for rangy people and people with stiff ankles to correct their positioning at squat.

Front squat to target quadriceps

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Front squat limits the torso’s inclinaison. This has the effect of reducing the work of the lower back, decrease the tension of hamstrings muscles and adductor magnus muscle.

On the other hand, front squat increases the cantilever, which forces quadriceps to make more effort to extend the thigh on the leg.

Which means it’s the perfect squat for thighs. But it’s not possible to lift heavyweights like the classic squat and it’s recommended to do it with heels elevated for better stability.

For rangy people, front squat is very hard to do. The torso of rangy people is more inclined, which make it more difficult to hold the barbell which may fall forward during the execution of the movement.

Spread the legs to less incline the torso

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

There is a squat’s technique to limit the torso’s inclination. This involves spreading the legs with the feet outward. Some powerlifters do this technique with the legs almost wide apart. With the legs apart, this limits the legs flexion.

To be able to squat with the legs apart, it’s necessary to have an adequate bone conformation of the hip joint and to be flexible of the thighs adductor muscle. Which means, it’s a technique that can’t be used by everyone.

The advantage of the big belly

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Having a big belly for squat and deadlift allow to compress it against the thighs. This helps to limit the inclination of the torso and the back’s rounding. This has the effect of protecting the lower back and limiting the risk of herniated disc.

It’s for this reason that we can see a lot of heavyweight champion of powerlifting or weightlifting with a big belly. They take care to keep their belly fat with an excessively rich diet.

Different forms of knees

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

In bodybuilding, it’s important to take into account the different morphologies of the individual and especially for the knees.

Arched legs (genu varum) are not more risky than normal legs. For people with X legs (genu varum) or people who can overly extend the thighs (genu recurvatum), it’s often recommanded to not do leg exercises with very heavy weights.

Cases of genu valgum are often :

  • In people who were overweight during their youth when leg bones weren’t fully developed and still « malleable ». Legs are deformed because of the overload. Now, they have this X shape.

  • In women. The fact that women have wider hips to have children, this influences the femurs direction which are generally more inclined.

For people with genu valgum. If the genu valgum is to excessive, the joint would be overused. The medial collateral ligament would be extremely tense. The lateral meniscus, the articular surfaces coated with cartilage of the external condyle of the femur, and the external lateral tuberosity of the tibia would be subjected to excessive friction, which would cause pathologies of wear.

For people with genu recurvatum. These are people who are essentially very flexible named hyperlaxes or women whose muscular and ligamentous hyperlaxity is related to reproductive function.

Rarely pathological, knees with genu recurvatum can sometimes have some problems like the meniscus pinching. This can happen when the knees are rapidly expanding and the meniscus haven’t had enough time to slip, or during an exercise with a heavy weight that has forced the hyperextension of the thigh.

It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to people suffering from a genu recuvatum pathological never to totally block the knees at the end of extension to the squat or to the leg press.

Note

For 2 people who are the same size, it’s important to consider the torso-leg ratio.

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Type A :

People with proportionally long legs and a short torso will have trouble doing a proper squat without tilting their torso excessively forward.

On the other hand, the short torso (which limits the cantilever) facilitates the execution of the good-morning, classic deadlift and Romanian deadlift.

Type B :

People with proportionally short legs and a long torso will have the facility to squat safety without tilting their torso excessively forward. It’s for this reason that the great champions of powerlifting squat specialist have this type of morphology.

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

-Steph

How To Do Squat

squat

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

Squat is the #1 exercise for bodybuilding because it works a lot of the muscular system and is great for the cardiovascular system. Squat allows to have a good thoracic expansion and a good respiratory capacity.

  • Standing in front of the barbell resting on the support. Put yourself under the barbell and place the barbell on your trapezius a little higher that the posterior deltoids. Take the barbell with a pronated grip. The spread of the hands is variable according to the morphology. Pull your elbows backwards.

  • Inhale deeply (to maintain an intrathoracic pressure that will prevent your torso from sagging forward). Arch you back slightly, squeeze your abs, look forward and take off the barbell.

  • Back 1 or 2 steps. Stop with your feet parallel (or slightly outward). Your feet are about your shoulders width. Squat down by tilting your back forward (the flexion axis passing through the hip joint). Control the descent without rounding your back to avoid injury.

  • When your femurs arrive horizontally, do an extension of your legs by straightening your torso to return to the starting position. Exhale at the end of the movement.

Squat works mainly quadriceps, glutes, adducteurs, erector spinae, abs and hamstring.

Note

Squat is one of the best moves to develop the gluteal curve.

2 ways to place the barbell

squat barbell posiiton

  1. On trapezius

  1. On deltoids and trapezius like powerlifters

Variants

  1. People with stiff ankles or long femurs can place a wedge under the heels to avoid too much torso inclinaison. This allows to postpone a part of the effort on quadriceps.

  2. The barbell’s position may be on the back (on the posterior deltoids). This reduce the cantilever by increasing the lifting power of the back which allows to take heavier weights. This is a technique used by powerlifters.

  3. It’s possible to do squat with the Smith machine, which makes it possible to avoid the torso inclinaison and to locate the effort on quadriceps.

How to place the feet

The feet position is important during the execution of the classic squat (feet apart at about the shoulders width). Feet should be in parallel or slightly outward. What is most important is to respect the person’s morphology and to place the feet in the physiological axis of the knees. For example, if you walk with your feet out, squat with your feet out.

Different torso’s inclinaison according to the morphologies

squat morpology

  1. Short legs, long torso : slightly inclined torso, weak cantilever

  1. Long legs, short torso : very inclined torso, important cantilever

Good position

squat good position

During the squat, the back should be as straight as possible throughout the movement. According of the morphologies (long/short legs, stiff/flexible ankles) and the different execution’s technique (feet’s position, use of compensated sole, barbell in up/down position), the torso could be very inclined or slightly inclined because flexion is done at the hip joint.

Bad position

squat bad position

It’s necessary not to round the back while performing the squat because this can create injuries in the lumbar region and spinal disc herniation.

Note

To really feel the work of the glutes, it’s necessary to have the thighs horizontally.

1-2-3 : negatives phase

4: full squat

squat full

 

It’s possible to have thighs lower than horizontal to better feel the glutes work but this technique can be done only by people who have short femurs or flexible ankles. It’s necessary to be very careful with the full squat because it is really easy to round the back.

Attention

For all exercises done with very heavy weight, it’s necessary to perform a « blocking » :

  1. Take a deep breath and block the breathing to fill the lungs like a balloon. This stiffens the ribcage and prevents the top of the torso form tilting forward.

  2. Squeeze abs stiffens the belly, This increases the intra-abdominal pressure and prevents the torse form sagging forward.

  3. By slightly arching the lower back with lumbar squeeze, this allows to have the spine’s bottom in extension.

These 3 simultaneous actions is what we call « blocking ». This « blocking » has the function of avoiding the rounding or bending of the spine because with very heavy weights, it can create disc herniations .

 

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-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

Have A Little Or A Big Audience

audience big small

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

Is better to target a large audience ou a smaller audience but more educated ? Good question.

Audience size

audience size type

Often people tell me to put more humor in my articles because it would touch more people. It’s not a bad idea to put more humor but I don’t want to become a comic. I don’t care and I don’t have the talent to do this. My blog is about bodybuilding, weights training and I show to all who want to see how I develop my body and my blog by providing advice. I know I will touch a smaller audience than if I do something more popular or pure entertainment.

I also know that among th people who read me, there are many who will never apply my advice or not much. Because there is always an abyss between education and action. I know where I’m going by doing this and I estimate that 5 % of people who read me apply what I share and improve their lifestyle. Most other say : « Wow, it’s interesting ! » and after they forgot.

It doesn’t matter if you target a smaller audience than the number of people who are connected on internet. What is important is that you connect with people who are compatible with your mission. My mission is to help people to have a better muscular body without supplements and to create a company with a blog. I lot of people don’t like this message and I’m OK with this. I’m fighting for the small minority who apply my advice and improve their lifestyle.

I know this small minority of my audience can influence people around them to have a better lifestyle regardless of country and it makes me happy.

Elite audience

elite audience mastermind

If you want touch a big audience, it’s good too, you can mix humor and education but can you offer a content/product that attracts the elite of your audience ? Something that can interest extraordinary people of your audience. Extraoridinary people of your audience can be people who have accomplished a lot of things, people very educated or luminaries. Offer something to attract your hiddent audience.

Your hidden audience will not appear because they don’t have a truly reason to do it. The reason why they will appear, it’s because you will offer them something that interests them. A high-end service or a specific product.

Ask yourself : « What can I offer to my elite of my audience and how can I do ? ». Because it’s worth it for your content and your product/service to offer something for your elite of your audience.

-Steph

Mistake That Skinny People Make To Be More Athletic

skinny

Before I was a sportsman and skinny and I became skinnier by smoking weed. But I often traveled to the USA and I gained weight. As I’ve already said 50 Cent change my mind. When we go to a gym and we are seeing people more muscular, it’s daunting. We want to have results as soon as possible to be able to look like.

The worry is that in the Matrix, there is full of lies and we quickly make bullshit.

Not eating enough

The way you eat now make you’re skinny, normal. You think that by eating like it and doing intense exercise, you will be able to gain muscle ? You’re smart, you know that isn’t possible. You have to eat right to have an athletic body.

You must eat between 500-1000 calories per day. Oh yeah ! At first you’re going to force yourself to let your body get used but you’ll quickly feel the difference in training. Let things be clea :: Justin Bieber haven’t an athletic body, this is bullshit, it’s the Matrix !

Having unrealizable expectations

When we see people more muscular at the gym, we want to have results as soon as possible. We see training programs for 8-12 weeks with impressive body. Fuck the bullshit, it’s the Matrix and people in the pictures have been training for at least 5 years.

The truth, you gain 0.5-1kg (1-2lbs) of muscle per month. At first, you can gain more, then your body adapts and it’s pure muscle building. An empire isn’t built in a day.

Not having a solid plan

plan

To build quality muscle and that your strength is useful in the life, you need to have these exercises in your workout program.

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Overhead press
  • Rows
  • Pull-up with weight

Otherwise you’re like Daniel Craig that have muscle just for a 5 minutes scene in a James Bond. He’s still shape ? And Russell Crowe from Gladiator ?

Not doing enough

It’s possible that early in your training, you start with bodyweight exercises. Later, your body will adapt and you’ll feel that exercises make you less suffer than before. It’s time to use weights to increase the resistance on your muscles. To have an athletic body, the bodyweight isn’t enough. You don’t believe me ? Tweet a professional athlete, you’ll see his response.

Go too fast and get hurt

« Quick, quick, quick, I want to have muscles as fast as a click on a website ». If that were true everyone would have an athletic body but the reality is very different. Stop looking athletic bodies all day on Instagram or YouTube, these people train for at least 5 years. The guy you admire has waited at least 5 years to have the body that makes you dream ! But you want to have the same thing in 1 year and at this moment, you stop to follow your training program and to bullshit.

Because of that crap, you’ll hurt and you’re no longer able to train you for 6 months. Worse, I have two friends who are injured during training in the shoulder, now they can’t gain chest, it’s over. How you want to have a symmetrical body when there are muscle groups that you can’t train ? My body is still evolving, they stalled and it’s for medical reasons, it’s over.

Being consistent and patient are the keys to success to have an athletic body. Leave your ego in the locker room !

Don’t follow a sustainable strategy

strategy

It’s like the resolutions for the new year : « January 1st , I stop this, I begin that, blah, blah, blah » and three months later you’ve stopped everything. It’s too radical, if you don’t let your body adapt to your new activities, you’ll do a burn out ! And this is normal. At school you learn gradually, so is the same thing with your training. Begins with two days of training in a week and after a few months if you can add one more day, it’s good otherwise keep that pace throughout the year.

After a year look at your results and plan your training for the next year. You make a sport that requires a lot of patience because these sport develops all the muscles of your body. This is the reference for all athletes.

Don’t make it a priority

The truth when I started, bodybuilding wasn’t a priority. I was all the time on internet, video games, go out to drink alcohol, smoke weed or pick up girls. Go to train after drinking alcohol or smoking weed, I also did. The problem, do theses things prevented me to achieve my results, it’s like taking a step forward and three steps back.

I had the trigger to change my lifestyle when I saw a documentary about Ronnie Coleman « The Cost Of Redemption ». I thought that athletes who were taking steroids had a quieter lifestyle. When you see Ronnie in training, this is war and the discipline in his lifestyle is impressive. Go see the documentary right now, you’ll understand !

Don’t train all muscles

You want to have a symmetrical body or not ? I don’t have a lot to say on this subject. Look at the people in your gym with big shoulders but not chest, a upper body athletic and thin legs, big chest but no muscular back. Look and you will quickly understand that it’s important to work all your muscles, otherwise it’s bullshit !

Don’t rest enough

« Sleep is useless » is another Matrix’s trap. Stay up to 1-2 hours (1-2AM)in the morning to watch your TV show will make you an athlete ! The problem is that :

The muscle makes 24-48 hours to rebuild.

Sleeping less than six hours per night aren’t going to help you have an athletic body. Sleep is a priority because it’s at this moment that your muscle can repair and gain power. It isn’t during the day. This is why I advise you to sleep as much as possible, trying to sleep 7-8 hours.

Oh, you’re gonna tell me that Zyzz was skinny and he became muscular and he make parties all the time. I stop you right now : Zyzz is dead !

You still struggles to avoid being skinny ? Ask me a question if you want help

trasformation skinny muscular

-Steph