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.

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.

Improve Without Stress

stress

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

I think that’s already happened to you. Do you put so much pressure on yourself to reach a goal that you fail ? And that’s very frustrating when we do personal development. When we put too much pressure on ourselves, we have negative effects. The goal of personal development is to become a better version of ourselves by being happier throughout our lives.

There is a very instructive story between Buddha and one of his disciple. This disciple asks to Buddha this question : « When I meditate, sometimes I put to much pressure on myself and it doesn’t work, I’m too stressed. And sometimes when I don’t put this pressure on myself, I’m not focus enough and I’m almost sleeping. What should I do ? ». Here is Buddha’s answer : « To practice meditation, you have to be like a zither rope. So that the rope make the right note, it must be neither too tight nor too relaxed, it must be exactly in the right range. It’s the same for meditation, you have to be neither too tense nor too relaxed to meditate in the most efficient way ».

Middle

balance

It’s funny because it’s the same principle with the guided meditation of Headspace . In several guided meditations, at a certain point, the person leading the meditation says : « From now on, you can let your mind do what it wants ». This allows you to relax yourself , to decompress to better concentrate later. But be careful, as Buddha said, if you don’t put pressure on yourself at all, you fall into the opposite extreme of laziness, lack of attention, and etc.

The answer is balance. It’s not easy to find the balance, but it’s very exciting to explore and experiment with it. Because it’s part of this trip that makes us better people.

It’s up to you experiment between : I’m too relaxed and I’m too stress. Seek the moment you progress to reach your goals and also where you enjoy life. Whenever you find the perfect tension, you’ll produce the perfect note.

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.

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

Improve Discipline

discipline

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

Here is how I worked, a few year ago. I had a project that I really wanted to do and I thought to myself : « When I come back home tonight after eating, I work on it ». And after eating, I preferred to play video games or watch a TV show until sleep. I think that situation has already happened to you.

Regret is a poison

regret

Now I realize that if I had done these projects, I would have had more fulfilling lifestyle, I would have leaned to manage my money earlier and I would have interesting contacts earlier. Maybe I wouldn’t have had it all earlier but in any case a part, that’s for sure.

Discipline and productivity are important skills to create and evolve a project. I did project but these weren’t my most ambitions projects. These weren’t projects with big risks, so I dissatisfied inside of me. The problem is that all this insatisfaction transformed into frustration.

There are a lot of things I wanted to do in theory and that I never did.

As you know on my blog, I mainly talk about fitness/bodybuilding and I notice that many people enroll in a gym with a 3 months subscription and go to the gym only 2 times. This is a classic case.

Know that there is a solution because before I had very little discipline and productivity and now it’s improving more and more.

Track you progress

track progress

To have more discipline and productivity, you need to make sure that this is a long-term goal. This requires several years to have concrete results like for sport. We would like to have results right away but the best things take time because it’s an exploration in yourself.

This is not going to be Disneyland every day because there are times when you’re going to tell yourself you’re not going get there. That’s why you need to keep track of your results. It’s interesting to note why you’re less motivated to continue your project to better understand yourself. You’ll read books on personal development, follow training, meet people who have the same goal as you. With this methods you’ll build your own toolbox to improve your discipline and your productivity.

What is cool when we keep track of our results is that we can see our evolution from month to month, year by year. It’s funny to see your results 2 years ago to really realize your progress.

Increase your success

increase success

To find a way to improve my discipline and productivity, I read on internet that enrolling in a group of people who shared the same goals as me could be extremely motivating. So I looked for websites and Facebook’s groups. What is interesting in groups is that every week a person offers a challenge. Then everybody share their results and everyone shares their impressions.

It’s also possible that you find a person in your entourage who has the same goal as you. I find it really cool to put people around you into groups because the more people there are the greater the motivation.

You see, the fact of telling everyone that you are challenging, force you to be disciplined and productive to complete the project. And there were always funny punishments for people who didn’t show their project. And little by little, you improve and often you have proposals to make competitions.

I used to do this for sport at first but this concept is used in all fields such writing, photography, dancing (I like dance salsa), cooking, etc. And in all these field there are competitions several times in the year. Here is an example that astonished me, watch the paper airplane world championship .

No need to be a shaolin monk

shaolin monk

By tracking your results, you’ll find ways to boost your will without it being painful. You know, you don’t have to work to have the discipline’s level of a Shaolin monk, you just need to have a discipline’s level that allows you to make your projects a reality.

Several scientific studies have made an important discovery in order to better understand human beings. This is because the will is an element that trains as a muscle to develop. Which means that to develop your discipline, you have to train it like a muscle and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Here are resources, this article. Kelly McGonigal’s book « The Willpower instinct ». Viktor E. Frankl’s book «  Man’s search to meaning »  on attitude and discipline in the worst circumstances.

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

-Steph

Be Curious And Effective

curious

I watch an Olivier Roland’s video  and learned good stuff.

I personally like to learn new things in different fields. Generally these are fields that I don’t know at all. This stimulates my curiosity especially when it’s something I don’t know and I see a lot of people using that. I think it’s the same for you.

That’s right, I’m curious and I like learning but how to be curious and learn a new thing effectively to use it as quickly as possible everyday ?

How long to learn

the right time clock how long

This is something that I’m always adjusting but there are some fundamental principles for it to work.

Here is an excellent example : speaking a foreign language. I hope (and if not, I advise you to learn another language) that you’re a person who speaks a foreign language at a level that allows you to have simple conversations.

Now do a little analysis. How long did it take you to reach this level to have simple conversations (a level that allows you to understand 80 % of a conversation or a text) ?

As everyone is unique in his/her method of learning, imagine that with effective learning techniques, it took you 2-3 years to reach the 80 % level of understanding in foreign langage. How much time do you think it is necessary to move from a level of understanding of 80 % to 99.9 %?

The truth is more impressive than you think. To go from the understanding’s level of 80 % to 99.9 % (the native’s level), it’ll take you 20 years !

You know, it’s not necessary to have a 99.9 % level of understanding to be bilingual. If you understand subtile jokes, you can consider yourself a bilingual. On the other hand, if everyone around you laughs and you wonder why, you aren’t yet a bilingual.

What is effective

effective

It’s destabilizing but it’s a reality, it’s faster to go from 0 % level to 80 % level than to go from 80 % level to 99.9 % level. This is the law of diminishing returns. This law works in all fields. This law is similar to the Pareto’s principle. The Pareto’s principle is the fact that 20 % of actions brings 80 % of results, 20 % of customers brings 80 % of the company’s turnover , etc.

This means that at one time, it’s more costly to learn the little things that remain to be learned in this field than to learn something new in another field.

Let us continue with the foreign langage’s example. It took you 2-3 years to get an understanding’s level of 80 %. In the next 2 choices, what’s the most interesting for you ?:

  • To spend 20 years to reach the 99.9 % level for a foreign langage

  • To spend 20 years to learn 6-10 new foreign languages at a level of 80 %

You see the number of opportunities you can create in your life by knowing how to speak several langages, it’s cool.

But there is a difficulty in knowing when the law of diminishing returns is put into action, This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the individual and the field. It’s a personal expedition. We must also not confuse this with the « crossing of the desert » that everyone does when we start a new project.

The thing I do and I advise you is to track your progress to know when 20 % of your actions bring you 80 % of the results. With this tracking of your results, you can know everyday if you approach or if you move away from your goals. If you move away from your goals, it means that you have to adjust your strategy quickly.

When you have found a smart way to track you progress, it’s cool because you have an intellectual horizon, cultural horizon, tools, methods, strategies that are extremely varied and diverse that the majority of people. You have an effective toolkit that comes from an extremely varied horizon.

You can see in my blog’s articles that I speak of different field. I’m curious and I show what I learn by giving my sources because I find that being curious give me excitement to be alive. When you travel to a country where you don’t understand either language or writing, it’s exciting, right ? You can do the same thing on a daily basis by learning things in different fields.

Assemble different concepts

assemble assemblage

Now, let’s move on to the next level in curiosity. When you know extremely different fields, have fun connecting the concepts to each other. There is a type of creativity that involves linking concepts in a new way. Have fun connecting concepts that weren’t thought to be linked together and create something new. Look at how music evolves. You take 4 music’s types that nobody listen to, you mix all it and you create a new music’s type.

Today, we have the facility to have access to knowledge with books on billions of subjects. There are books on money, cooking, foreign languages, etc.

Attention, you need to learn in an efficient way with the principle of 20/80 and action (execution) everyday, no matter how difficult. If you learn all these things only to give you a good conscience and to impress your friends in discussions, you waste you time. It’s intellectual masturbation, it’s an illusion. It’s like this expression of Julien Greaux : « To be rich on Instagram, it’s like being rich in the game Monopoly ! ».

I hope that I motivated you to explore and learn new things effectively. And most important, you learn these new things to use them every day to boost your lifestyle.

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

-Steph

Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 2)

how much

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

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

Several workouts later

several workout

Now that you know your starting weight, you can do the « progressive overload » method.

« Progressive overload » method involves gradually increasing the stress in your body during training.

For beginners, this means increasing the weight at each workout session. You know after each workout, your body is healed. And if you do things well by having good nutrition and good sleep, your body becomes stronger than before.

When your body gets used to your workout, it’s bad sign. When your body used to do 5 sets of 5 reps, it will become more effective so your body will burn fewer calories and use fewer processes to achieve movement.

To know when you need to add weight, you need to look at the difficulty you had in your last set. That’s why it’s important to track your workout to analyze your performance. You can use a paper notebook, Evernote  or a fitness app like Jefit . Document how much you lift, how many sets you do, how many reps you do, the degradation of your technique arrived at what set and what reps and quality of your latest set.

If you couldn’t do all reps of the last set with a good technique, take the same weight at your next session to improve your technique.

Doing this guarantee you that you don’t stagnate because every rep you do is more solid et better than the last time. To improve, it’s not necessary to increase weights at each workout. You can rest less between your set, improve movement control or do more reps. All these variations mean that you become stronger.

On the other hand if you can do all sets with an excellent technique without the barbell’s speed, it’s time to add weight. It doesn’t matter than you add 9 kg (20 lbs) or 1.1 kg(2.5 lbs), you progress.

All professional athletes will tell you it’s better to add weights slowly and progress constantly rather than to progress quickly and hit a plateau. In this way, you build your strength, your confidence and your momentum.

That’s why I recommend you to start too lightly for you progress constantly.

In life, there are ups and downs so there are days when you can’t add more weight because there is a lot of stress at school/work or you haven’t sleep enough and so on. It’s important to listen to your body rather than absolutely lift the weight you want.

Find your ta 1 rep max

1 rep max

It’s really fun to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a rep from time to time.

However for a beginner who has just started, it’s better to make the movement with a proper technique and add weight slowly to try to find. I advise you to follow a workout’s program for at least 6 weeks before to try to find your 1 rep max.

Why

Even if your technique is good for a beginner, you’ll have a better results by learning to make ajustements and corrections as you go. When you start, your body isn’t prepared to do this performance so if after 2 weeks you try to find your 1 rep max, it will not be your true 1 rep max.

In addition, when you train, you train everything in your body. Things like muscles and bones will become stronger while others like the nervous system will become more effective. The more often you do something and the better you do. When you’re a beginner you get better quickly.

And as you are a beginner, you haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not safe to try your 1 rep max when you learn the movement. Even if you have a good technique with a light weight, you’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t have the experience yet.

When your technique begins to deteriorate, you need to have experience to complete or stop the movement safely.

If you look at weightlifting or powerlifting competition, sometimes the way to lift does’t have the best technique you’ve seen. However, the lifters have enough experience to handle this and know how to stop the movement if something goes wrong. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know how to do it.

The respectable quantity to be lift

bench press fail

In fact, I think you already know the answer : it’s the weight that suits you. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your workouts because your’re competing with the « You » of the last week. It’s like racing your ghost in Mario Kart.

You’re like me, you want to have a strength better than average strength but it’s more complex that what you think because it depends on your body’s type, your background as an athlete, your genetics and other factors.

If there was a formula or a calculation, we would all have a superhero’s body but this is not the case.

This is why you have to concentrate on lifting the weight that is right for you today. At your next training, you’ll try to lift heavier and if you can’t do it, you will do more repetitions or decrease you rest time between your sets.

In this adventure to have an athletic body for life, forget people around you. The person who is next to you do squat at 226.7 kg (500 lbs) and you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) ? Forget it ! If you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) and it’s a challenge, it means that it’s the right weight you should lift.

Never modify your workout to impress the personne who is next to you. No one is judged by the weight he lifts and if people do that, they’re not future winner/champion. It’s the losers who seek shortcuts.

Remember :

  • Winners warm up with the empty barbell.

  • Winners focus on their reps and aren’t ashamed to lift less than the person next to them.

  • Winner take the time to do things right, even if it means lifting less than what they know can do.

  • Winners started with a beginner workout program like you

Remains cautious, begins slowly, adds weight slowly.

It’s better to train in safety early rather than hurt yourself and be frustrated before you’ve progressed like my friends hurt in the shoulder. My physique has progressed a lot while their bodies stagnate because of their shoulder injury.

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

-Steph

Dispersing In Several Projects

project

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


I know several people who explain their projects and 6 months later, they explain a new project and so on. I think you know people like that too.

It’s a problem that happens very often and to understand that, you have to see the 3 steps of a project.

Fist step – start

This the excitation step. You discover project’s elements and everything is wonderful

Second step – crossing the desert

This is the step where you understand that you must give a lot of effort for little result. What is frustrating in this step is seeing people who have many years of experience doing incredible things easily while your work like crazy to do a basic thing.

Third step – experience

This is the step where, thanks to the experience you accumlated in the crossing of the desert, you begin to master the elements fo your project to make better progress.

What happens is that there are a lot of people who addicted to the first step : start. This is understandable because it’s in the step where everything is wonderful. When it’s necessary to go to the second step : the crossing of the desert, these people find a new project to redo the frist step.

Changing project for all the time to stay in the first step is a type of intelligent procrastination. These people avoid every second step, they want to have excitement without having the disadvantages of being persistent in something.

In this case, intelligent procrastination is about giving you a good conscience by telling yourself and others that you’re doing something positive for your project. But inside, concretely, you avoid doing the most important things to do to advance your projet. For exemple, you worked for months designing your Amazon website (this looks like a good idea) but since the creation of your website , you have done only 2 sales (it’s really a problem).

Solution

solution

Projects are means to reach your final goal. The first thing you need to do is to determine your final goal and then select projects to do to achieve this goal. For exemple your final goal is to become a successful author and your project is to have a blog where you’ll write chapters of your book.

Becoming conscious of your final goal is important but it’s not enough. You need to take action to complete your project because therse projects are just means to reach your final goal.

There is another phase, it’s that after a certain time, you need to select a minimum number of projects. Successful entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs who know how to say « NO » and it’s really important. You can’t succeed in all project in your life.

Select project

select project

How to select a promising project ? This is what you’ll want to know during the first step : start. This is the start step that will let you know if you’re ready to go to the second step : crossing the desert. It’s obvious that there is always a risk in the choice of a project. That’s something we can’t avoid at 100 %

One way to have more perseverance is to have organization, increase the strength of will and increase discipline. These are elements to work on a daily basis.

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

-Steph