Dietary Fats

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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

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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 .

Protein (Part 3)

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Before read Part 3, be sure you read Part 1  and Part 2 .

Protein supplements

In training program, there is always a nutritional plan because to build muscle lifting weights isn’t enough. The good quantity of protein in relation to your bodyweight is an extremely important element. But as you’ve noticed, it’s difficult to eat enough protein without eating too much fat. Protein supplements are a solution.

Protein supplements can increase protein intake without increasing the fat’s amount in your body and ease protein intake several times a day. Eating several times a day is essential for a bodybuilder and having tips to make it easier is appreciated.

There is an incredible variety of protein supplements and they really have a dessert’s taste. What’s interesting is that they’re more and more rich in nutrients with vitamins and minerals and in macronutrients with proteins and carbohydrates. Find a protein supplement that meets your nutritional needs and tastes can be a help in your nutritional plan.

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As there is an incredible amount of protein supplement, there are several things to check to help you choose. First, reading the label is important because there are some that really contain too much carbohydrate. It’s good to know that carbohydrate improve the conversion of food protein to muscle protein but an excess of carbohydrate creates an excess of calories which prevents your body from easily burning fat. Therefore, it’s necessary to count the number of carbohydrate on the label.

Second, protein supplement that is consumed pure, without a meal or without carbohydrate, isn’t metabolized effectively. Research shows that for the protein to be used for protein synthesis, it must be consumed with calories, especially those from carbohydrate. Otherwise protein and used as energy production.

On the other hand, if you’re on a low carbohydrate diet and you increase your protein intake for energy (to compensate the lack of carbohydrates), it may be a good idea.

Third, the protein source of protein supplements comes from 3 foods :

  • Milk protein (whey, milk protein concentrate and caseinate)
  • Egg protein
  • Soy protein

All these proteins are of high quality. For the moment, no scientific studies show that there is one protein better than the other. Protein supplements made from milk and eggs are the most popular among bodybuilders. Soy protein has a specificity because it can reduce serum cholesterol rate in some people. This may be advisable for people with cholesterol problems but it’s careful because it’s possible to find a lot of GMOs in soy.

It’s important to remember that protein supplements aren’t created to be the only source of food protein. A balanced diet consisting of whole foods is essential for a healthy diet and building muscles.

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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.

Protein (Part 1)

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

Your body uses protein to build, repair and maintain muscle tissue. Bodybuilders have a great knowledge of nutrition, especially the protein for building muscle. Since they want to consume much more muscle than the average person, they consume more protein than average.

Your body uses protein to build muscle only if all the necessary amino acids are available. The small problem is that your body doesn’t produce by itself all the necessary amino acids. Amino acids that your body can’t produce are called essential amino acids and fortunately they’re available in foods.

Proteins are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen like other macronutrients, but proteins have one more element, nitrogen. Bodybuilders often explain that they have a positive or negative nitrogen balance, which means that they’re in an anabolic state (muscle gain) or in a catabolic state (loss of muscle).

Food and protein

There are foods called complete proteins, which means that they provide all the amino acids needed to create usable proteins. Milk, eggs, meat, fish and many vegetable products have complete proteins. Be careful because these foods don’t have the same amount of usable protein by weight. For example a food that contains 10 grams of protein, your body can use only 7 grams.

Here is a table that shows the amount of protein by weight and the protein’s amount used in your body as a percentage for the most common foods :

Food% Protein by weight% Net Protein Utilization
Eggs1294
Milk482
Fish18-2580
Cheese22-3670
Brown rice870
Meat and flowl19-3168
Soybean flour4261

(Whey is a byproduct of milk that contain much more protein than eggs)

This table tells us that an egg contains only 12% protein by weight. Despite this small percentage, an egg contains an amino acids balance that allows your body to use 94% of it. However, the table tells us that soy flour contains 42% protein by weight. But because of the amino acids composition, your body can use only 61%. This shows us that there is a difference between the protein’s amount in a food and the protein’s amount your body can use.

This is the end of Part 1.In Part 2, I show you that in cases where you don’t have complete protein foods, it’s possible to make combination of food to have the maximum protein used by your body.

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 .

Basic Nutrients

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

There are 3 basics nutrients called macronutrients :

Protein

A protein is made of different amino acids to provide the materials constituting the muscle tissue. A protein is also a component used in all body organs such as tendons, bones, skin structure and other bodily functions because all enzymes are proteins.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are fuel for energy. They’re made of different molecules more or less complex than those of sugar or starch.

Fats

Fats or oils contain the densest energy reserves.

Water

Water is an essential element. It make up about 72% of the muscle and most bodybuilders drink several liters of water a day.

There are several nutrients called micronutrients :

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Vitamins

Vitamins are essential chemical elements that allow several biochemical reactions.

Minerals

Minerals are essential for many vital functions of the body.

Essential amino acids

Amino acids are part of the protein that we receive from food.

Essential fatty acids

Essential acids are elements that we receive from plants or fish oils.

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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 .

Nutrition

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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

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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.

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.

Tempo To Gain Muscle ?

 tempo

Do you have a level medium / intermediary ?

Small definition: according to the NCSA (the National Strength and Conditioning Association), a newbie is a person for less than two months of resistance training (weight lift). An advanced person, has done it for more than one year and an intermediate person has at least six months, 2-3 times a week consistently.

The majority of us situate in the intermediate or advanced category. The above definitions is very important because without it, I couldn’t write this article. The problem with this definition presupposes that you do a linear progression, which means that you become consistently drier, stronger and you improve your exercise techniques.

The reality is that the majority of people incidental progress and yet they still lifting weights (because it’s cool) and never experience real progress.

weight progress

The majority of people in this category is need to do one of two things:

  • Train with a coach: a coach with enough experience to understand that you lost your soul in the desert of intermediate level.

  • Understand that the exercises are a science and study the nuances to progress in stagnation phases.

The Nuances To Gain Muscle

Everybody noticed that the tempo to lift weights plays an important role in the size and quality of muscle tone.

Tempo is the speed of exercise’s movement during a rep. When you pay attention to that, you PROMOTED a greater secretion of growth hormone, better synchronization of neurons and increased protein synthesis. These are essential elements to become stronger and leaner. You just apply the right concepts at the right time.

Time Under Tension

Tempo is a separate entity from Time Under Tension (TUT), but they aren’t separate; tempo is simply a kind of TUT.

time under tension

What’s the Time Under Tension ?

The best way to explain the TUT is to think of it as all of the time when a muscle is under stress. This includes the tempo of an exercise but also other training practices such as density and isometrics.

Anything that gives more stress longer to a muscle is generally advantageous to gain muscle and be lean.

The importance of time can’t be underestimated. The timing for an exercise place stress on a muscle and in this timing, cell membranes begin to swell (muscle pump), which also requires vasodilation and nutrient influx to repair the damaged area.

This is a crucial intense technique.

Tempo + Cells Swelling + Nutrients = Success.

Tempo is an important factor in the equation and can help create muscle tone but it isn’t the most important factor.

Time, Tempo and Combining The Two

Now that you know the trick, we will take this knowledge and give you new methods to use at the gym.

The last series

Here is what you do: take a break of 60 seconds after your last set and decreases the weight about 20%. After the break, doing a set of 25 reps. With proper technique, your contracted muscles throughout the exercise when you raise and lower the weight.

The benefits of this is the use and development of parts of the muscle that you don’t know, well all the parts of your muscle, pump.

Isotension

Isotension was created by the bodybuilder’s coach John Meadows; It’s really painful and will challenge your desire to continue but if you want out of this poor physical, you have to continue.

Let’s be super creative, okay? Tell your loved ones that you don’t talk to them for 24 hours. Now stay focus.

You put a bench, biceps curl. You take a barbell with a reverse close grip. You do your usual number of reps in each sets and the last sets raises the bar halfway up. In this position, contract your muscles and keeps it worked most powerfully as possible for 10 seconds.

isotension

This works because the muscles can be strengthened in particulary isolated parts of the movement. Choose the part that you feel the weakest, be it half way throught (which can help the muscle to peak) or a quarter of the way from the top or bottom which helps strengthen tendons and ligaments near your joint.

Note: If you keep the biceps curls during a quarter from the bottom, you’ll develop that sweet cut between your biceps and your forearms (the one that makes your arms look more defined that they really are).

Now that you have these specialized techniques , you will not floundering in the sea of mediocrity. That’s good !

Try these techniques and you will see you will always be motivated, no plateau . Good luck.

-Steph