Manage Your Amino Acids

amino acids

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

To put it simply, protein is an assembly of amino acids which means that you have to eat protein so that your body can have amino acids. There are a total 20 amino acids, 8 are essential and 12 nonessential. Be careful, nonessential amino acids are also needed. When you see an amino acid with the word « star », it means that it’s an important amino acid to be in shape.

What we call essential amino acids are those that our body doesn’t not produce. That’s why you have to look for them from an outside source. This outside source is the food you eat in the form of meat, egg, fish, dairy product, etc. And it’s possible that the outside source is whey protein powder in concentrate, isolate or hydrolyzate form.

Each amino acid has one or more important functions that’s why I’m only going to talk about important functions to be in shape.

amino acids table

Essential amino acids

Here are the 8 amino acids :

Lysine

This amino acid transports calcium to your body and reduces the tryglycerin’s rate.

Isoleucine, Leucine and Valine are BCAA (amino acids star)

These 3 amino acids have the function of giving energy, repair muscle tissue, anticatabolic, helps in congestion (pump) and helps burn fat.

Methionine

This amino acid is an antioxidant, helps in burning fat in the liver.

Threonine

This amino acid creates elastin and collagen, it’s for the skin. This is beneficial for slowing down old age.

Phenylananine

This amino acid increases alertness.

Tryptophane (amino acids star)

This amino acid reduces appetite and promotes sleep. It’s also a precursor of serotonin, that is to say gives you a good mood.

Nonessential amino acids

Here are the 12 amino acids :

Histidine

This amino acid helps recovery and growth.

Arginine (amino acids star)

This amino acid is the Viagra of amino acids. It’s also the precursor of nitric oxide which helps with congestion.

Glutamine (amino acids star)

This amino acid helps to be focus, to have more energy and helps with recovery.

Aspartic acid

This amino acid increases testosterone but is not definitive. There has been a lot of scientific studies concerning this amino acid but unfortunately, it has not been 100% proven that aspartic acid naturally increases testosterone. This is why it’s interesting to read the latest scientific studies on amino acids because we’ll discover new things.

Gutamic acid

This amino acid is a neurotransmitter and it’s also used as a fuel of the brain.

Cysteine

This amino acid a detoxifier for the liver, fat burner and antioxidant.

Ornithine (amino acids star)

This amino acid derived from arginine. It increases your growth hormone, increases your sleep and gives you more vitality.

Glycine

This amino acid increases your energy and helps the synthesis of creatine.

Proline

This amino acid protects your joint.

Serine

This amino acid increases your energy, your memory and focus.

Taurine

This amino acid increases your energy, focus and endurance.

Tyrosine

This amino acid is important for the body because it regulates your hormones which are dopamine, epinephrine and adrenaline.

Amino acid derivatives

These amino acids are not part of the list of essential and nonessential amino acids because they derive from these 2 lists.

L-Carnitine (star)

This amino acid derives from Methionine and Lysine. This increase your energy, helps burn fat in your liver and burns fat.

Citrulline Malate (amino acids star)

This amino acid derives from Arginine which allows you to produce more Arginine in your body, helps to create more nitric oxide, more vasodilatation, more congestion, more endurance and more recovery buffer of lactic acid.

Choline and Inositol

These amino acids derive from Methionine and Serine. This helps in burning fat in the liver, helps to focus and it’s a fat burner.

amino acids food source

amino acids food source bcaa

If you don’t read my article about protein, click here.

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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.

How To Reduce Stress (Part 1)

stress

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

I am doing a synthesis of the Dale Carnegie’s book “How to stop worrying and start living”  and other sources on internet for a blueprint to manages stress in 4 steps.

Stress is about change, it means adapting to the environment of a changing structure. Stress is a feeling triggered by the interpretation of an event. It’s a reaction related to the constraints and the pressure undergone in its environment. Stress can be interpreted as something positive, whether it’s considered a challenge or as something negative, if it’s considered a harmful event.

The truth is that stress is a mistake of reasoning in relation to the attitude or behavior we adopt. This is an answer that isn’t adequate. It’s an alert for mental dysfunction as the body gives us an alert for physical pain. Fortunately, people can learn to control stress in 4 steps : Take a step back and analyze what triggered the stress ; anticipate and visualize ; organize yourself and communicate and turn away or adapt and accept.

1st step – Take a step back and analyze

 

keep calm stress

 

It’s necessary to step back and analyze what triggered the stress. Because before trying to solve that, it’s important to know what caused it. By analyzing what caused the stress, we can avoid certain consequences.

To do that, here’s what you can do :

  • Make a list of sources of annoyance that you have in your family, friends, school, work, transportation, etc. Once you have found them, classify them from the most impacting to the least impacting. You can also do a 20/80 analysis, that means identify the 20% of the sources that bring you 80% of your stress.

  • Ask yourself these questions : « What is the problem ? What is the cause of this stress in these sources ? What are the most serious consequences that I suffer of my experience ? »

  • Understand the emotion that created in these moments. Then check if it’s a real fear or rather a theoretical concern that doesn’t have much to happen in your life.

If a situation is truly unavoidable, you need to prepare yourself to accept it. We must give up the impossible because it’s extremely stressful to have no way to change a situation. To avoid this, you need to anticipate situations that may lead you into an impasse. Once these situations identified, you must try to really avoid them or change the course of things from the start.

It’s impossible to keep control of all things in your life. It’s useless to set inaccessible goals.

2nd step – anticipate and visualize

 

anticipate visualize telescope

 

 

The best way to handle stress is to anticipate. Based on the list you made in the first step (source of stress), imagine solutions and possible answers. Ask yourself these questions : « Why did you agree to be in this situation ? ». If what you do make sense, it limits the stress.

Decide how you want to live a situation. An event that happens to you can have not effect on you until you choose words to qualify it. If you say that an event is happy, boring, sad or extraordinary, it can become so. By qualifying the event, you modify the perception that you have of this event.

The way you see the event determines your body’s reaction. So take a moment to think before judging and classyfying a situation as negative.

Take Olivier Roland’s example. When Olivier Roland began to meditate, his neighbor’s dog was barking. At first it disturbed Olivier to focus on his breathing, it was stressful and annoying. After a while, Olivier realized that it wasn’t the barking dog that was stressful, it was Olivier’s interpretation of the situation. From the moment that Olivier decided that the barking dog was something neutral or positive, he began to appreciate when the dog barks. It’s a sign of life.

Imagination can be used to help fight stress. Get in shape before a stressful event. You can create a positive state of mind when an event is negative. Think of something positive like music, a holiday, projects in progress. Visualize a happy moment, a happy memory.

This the end of Part 1. In the 2nd Part, I talk about organize yourself and communicate and turn away or adapt and accept.

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

-Steph

Individual Variations In Hip Mobility

hip mobility

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

Without taking into account the individual differences in muscle elasticity and ligament laxity, it’s bone shape of the hip joint that determines the main variation in hip mobility.

It’s mainly in the amplitude of hip abduction that bone configuration plays an important role.

Examples

  • An almost horizontal femoral neck (coxo vara) with an upper edge of the important cotyloid cavity and covering, will limit abduction movements.

  • An almost vertical femoral neck (coxa valga) with an upper edge of the less important cotyloid cavity will facilitate abduction movements.

This means that it is useless to raise the leg very high laterally if the morphology doesn’t allow it.

Attention

If someone forces the hip’s abductions, femur’s neck will bump on the cotyloid cavity edge. And this person will compensate the lateral raise of the leg with a pelvic tilt on the femur head of the other leg. It should be added that forcing oneself to make abduction sets may, over time, create microtraumas in some people that will cause excessive development of the cotyloid cavity upper edge. This has the consequence of limiting the hip’s mobility and creating painful inflammations.

hip mobility abduction

hip mobility abduction

hip mobility abduction coxa vara valga bone morphology

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

-Steph

High Calf And Low Calf

high calf low

I read Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff about the high calf and low calf.

You noticed that there are big differences in the shape of the calves. These morphological variations are due to the adaptations to the climate during the first human migrations. It was during the first human migrations.

High calf

It’s common to see African black people with long legs, flat foot, and a long calcaneus. This bone structure of the leg and foot provide a powerful extension of feet to walk. It’s an excellent lever in the ankle and a short calf, thin and high with a long tendon.

Low

It’s common to see Nordic people with short legs with a plantar arch of the foot and a short calcaneus. This bone structure of the leg and foot requires a massive and uneconomic effort to walk. It’s a long calf to help to do an extension of feet to walk.

.

high calf low anatomy

This type of massive and long calf is actually an adaptation to cold climates to keep body heat. This prevents legs from cooling too much during the freezing cold. In the past, when a leg froze it was necessary to amputate it. These massive and long calves are aesthetic in bodybuilding competitions. Unfortunately, it’s not suitable for running and more vulnerable to muscle tears.

Long calves require a careful warm-up. It’s important to do stretching exercises before and after a calves workout

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

-Steph

Back To The Source Of Equipment (Part 1)

source water rhone

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

When I began, I went is a small gym at Sous-Moulin . It was a gym in sport center for volleyball, basketball, soccer players. There were only machines (because people stole dumbbells) and when we were 10 people, the gym was full.

2 years later, I went in a real gym. I’ll not lie to you the first time I was alone and I was afraid to the free weight section because I was afraid of hurting myself. But I had so much desire to have the 50 Cent’s body that I watched several times exercice’s video on Youtube and I did it.

On internet, there is a lot of excellent video that explain how to do squat, deadlift, etc. I downloaded videos of my workout program on my smartphone to heard instructions in the gym to do it right. It’s funny, I still have these videos on my smartphone and on my Cloud.

Now I feel good in a gym, I share with you gym’s basic principles and equipment that you’ll see most often. You’ll not have a loser’s head like me the first time.

Gyms filled to the maximum of equipment but you don’t need to use all of them to do an effective strength training. I’ll talk to you about basic equipment.

First time

first time

It’s easy to lose your mind the first time when you go in a gym. There is a lot of things and everyone seems to know what to do.

The most of gyms have :

  • Cardio zone (treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, etc)

  • Free weight zone

  • Group fitness room

  • Locker rooms

There are gyms that have pool, sauna, jacuzzi but it depends.

The fist time you go in a gym, it’s normal to ask for a visit. It’s important to do it because even if you’re used to gyms, you don’t know where are equipements you want to use. It would be a shame if you miss something. I don’t really remember but it was 6 months that I was in a gym and I discovered by chance, hidden in a corner, a machine to work calves.

Free Weight

free wieghts gym

During the visit you’ll see a lot of equipements. Personally I find that the gym’s staff concentrates enormously on machines and cardio during visits. It’s a shame because it’s the least interesting part. Let’s go to the free weight zone.

Barbells can have a size from 1.2m to 2.4m (4’-8 feet) long and a diameter from 25mm – 51mm (0.98’’ – 2’’).

Olympic bar

olympic bar

It’s the standard training barbell (Olympic men’s barbell). This bar is 2.2m (7.2 ft) long and weight 20kg (45lbs). The Olympic bar has bearings that make it spin nicely to help assist the Olympic lift, snatch and the clean and jerk.

There are also gyms that have « woman bar » is 2.1m (6.9 ft) long and weight 15kg (33lbs). There is also smaller bar to lift weight between 4.5kg – 13.6kg (10lbs – 30lbs).

Fixed weight bars

fixed weights bar

This is a small barbell with weights already fixed on it. They’re usually located next to dumbbells.

Dumbbells

dumbbell

There are several dumbbell’s design but it’s just for the style. Weights are from 0.45kg to 90kg (1lbs – 200lbs).

Ez-Curl bars

ez-curls bar

This bar is special because it is short and it has « W » form. This bar is only use for curls. I use this bar to do curls because with a normal bar, I have wrist pain, it’s my morphology (read this article). So if you hurt when you do curls with a normal bar, use that one.

Trap bar

trap bar

You can also name this bar « hex bar ». This bar has a hexagonal shape and allows you to be in the middle to lift weights with a neutral grip. This bar allows you to do deadlift and shrugs but it’s not an indispensable bar. Olympic bar is indispensable.

Safety squat bar, Cambered bars, Apollon’s axe, Strongman logs (and others)

safety squat bar cambered bars strongman logs

Theses bars aren’t necessary but it doesn’t mean that it’s useless to use them from time to time. If the gym specialized for Powerlifting, you’ll find these bars.

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

-Steph

P.S. To read Part 2, click here.

Lateral Raise

shouler exercise lateral raises

This is The Stephane Andre and today I’m talking about lateral raise with dumbbells. I read Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and there is good stuff.

Standing with your legs slightly apart. Your back straight, your arms along your body with a dumbbell in each hand :

  • Raise your arms to the horizontal with your elbows slightly flexed

  • Back to the start position

This exercise works deltoids, mainly middle portion.

The middle portion composed of several bundles which have the shape of a feather converging on the humerus and having the function of maintaining relatively heavy weights and of moving the arm accurately in all directions. It’s smart to vary the start of the movement (hands behind butt, hands-on sides or hands in front), which makes it possible to word well all middle portion’s bundles.

According to the different morphologies (long/short clavicle, acromions more or less covering, humerus insertion of the deltoid more or less low), it’s necessary to seek the optimal working angle to his/her morphology.

Lateral raise works also the supra-spinous, non-visible muscle that lies deep in the spra-spinous fossa of the scapula (shoulder blade) and is attached to the major tubercle of the humerus.

We can raise arms over the horizon and work the upper part of the trapezius.

Lateral raise is done with relatively lightweight and set of 10-25 reps. Vary working angles with short rest times. Work until it burns to have better results. To have more intensity, it’s possible between each rep to keep arms horizontally a few seconds.

-Steph

P.S.

To track my calories, I use MyFitnessPal

To track my workout program, I use Jefit 

Back To The Source Of Human Strength (Part 1)

source

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

When I’m in gym, people tell me why they started to train. There are several reasons, lose weight, gain muscles or to be in shape for a special event. There is a golden rule to have result in strength training, it’s eat clean and lift heavy.

Everybody says it, eat clean and lift heavy but what does that means ? I think it’s time to go back to the source.

Why

why

The life is easier when we’re stronger, did you notice it ? By exemple, to carry bags from supermarket, to carry a piece of furniture, to run to be in time, etc. Everything is easier.

Strength training is extremely efficient to build muscle and burn fat. Whether to lose 6kg (15lbs) or 45kg (100lbs), it’s the same thing.

Strength training help to build muscle and lose fat but it also help to stop or even reverse sarcopenia (it’s skeletal muscle reduction with aging). Train our skeletal muscle allow us to be independant (therefore avoid nursing homes) and live longer.

The profits list isn’t finished yet.

A nice athletic body

Strength training help you keep your muscles while you’re in calories deficience and losing weight.

Strength training allows you to have a better oxygen consumption than aerobic exercices. After training your body needs to make a lot of efforts to recover and return to the normal state so the state you had before the training. Scientific studies have shown that your metabolism‘s level increase for 38 hours after your training.

Strength training increase your metabolism, increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) because your body needs more calories to keep your muscls than to keep your fat. It’s estimated that for each 4.45kg (1lbs) of muscle, your RMR increase of 30-35 calories.

Improve your health

Strength training help you to improve your balance and coordination, improve cholesterol’s rate, help to control blood sugar, stop muscle loss, improve blood flow, reduces your resting blood pressure, build a stronger heart and increase bone density.

Feel better

It’s clear with strength training you have more self-confidence, your have more energy, a better mood, less anxiety and less stress . It also improves the quality of your thoughts, a scientific study has shown that this increases the cognitive function .

It’s not advisable to do a strength training 1 hour before sleeping. On the other hand to train early in the day helps to prevent sleep apnea  and insomnia.

Prevents diseases and degenerative diseases

You notices that many men and women die because of cardiac disease. Stength training helps to solve problems that are factors of heart disease such as inactivity, diabets, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Cardiologists begin to advise strength training to people who have heart attack.

Strength training helps to manage and improve the lifestyle of people with clinical depression , cancer survivors , have had a spinal cord injury ,who have recently had a stroke , fibromyalgia , Lymphedema , Down Syndrome , Parkinson’s Disease , Osteoporosis  and Arthritis.

It’s fun

Strenght training helps to reach your goals whether an effective training of 20 minutes to have a good naked body or to do a sports competition. It’s fun to see our progress because it’s like increase level in a video game. If you want to be better in a sport like badminton or rock climbing, strength training is a good choice.

People who shouldn’t train

The only people I’ve found who shouldn’t train are people who have an injury and it’s a break that doesn’t last long. We’re human being and it’s natural to carry things and move. Strength training is recommended for pregnant women , children and teenagers  and even paraplegics .

Obviously, it recommanded to see his/her doctor before beginning a strength training program to adjust the training program.

Basic objections

objection

But I’m too old, it’s not reasonable

When people between 30 and 60 years old tell me that they’re too old, I laugh because it’s a lie. It’s like say : « I don’t have time » and later I see a messsage on Facebook like : « Yestersay, Game of the thrones was epic ! ». Scientific studies have shown that people between 70 and 90 years old had impressive results in 10 weeks .

Other scientific studies have shown that this helps to avoid dementia  and to delay Alzheimer’s .

People who think they’re too old to train are exactly people who should train.

But I just want to be better for a sport and I want to stay fit

Strength training improve your muscle’s endurance, scientific studies have shown it. Resistance exercices help to increases overall muscles endurance , fix nervous system problems and increase activation of motor units within your muscles.

I don’t want to bulk too much

It’s a great strength training’s myth, it’s not in 1 year than you’ll have the bodybuilder’s body no matter wheteher you’re a man or a woman.

For women, here 2 exemples of moms who have become strong and fit without having a bodybuilder body. This is the story of Veronica  and Bronwyn .

Have a the body of a famous bodybuilder doesn’t happen in one night. Naturally we don’t have the amount of homones to have the body of a famous bodybuilder. We need to eat a huge amount of food (8 000 – 10 000 calories per day) and a huge amont of drugs (no, no, it’s another type of pharmacy, it’s true).

I’m fat, I want only lose weight

I’m fat, I want only lose weight

It’s a good reason to start strenght training. By losing weight, you surely want to keep your muscles. I mean, yout want to keep your muscles while you lose fat. With strength training you lose quickly centimeters (inches) in different body’s parts. It’s true that the overall weight loss may seem slow, that’s why is important to track your measurements. With strenght training when you eat with a caloric deficit, it’s increase your metabolism so you lose fat.

It’s boring

What I like with strength training, it’s we can see our progress quickly. It’s like increase level in a video game. I think people get bored when they expect nothing to do between 2 sets. This is why I advise people to have headphones to listen to their own music selection or an audio book to increase motivation.

Muscles and strength training

muscle fiber

Don’t be fancy, it’s interesting to understand how our muscles work to avoid failling into the Matrix’s trap. What I mean is that the only person you gave to impress is yourself and not the others.

It’s our muscle fibers that are small muscle cells that build up our muscles. Our muscle fibers are long, cylindrical and have the size of a strand of hair. Our muscle fibers are composed of myofibrils surrounded by sarcoplasm. I really summarized that but if you want to see it in detail, click here .

We have around 642 skeletal muscles that work together to make move our body. Imagine, when you bend your arm, your biceps contracts and your triceps does the opposite (elongates) to let the elbow bend. Every muscle of your body work as a team to make you move.

We have different type of muscle fibers :

Slow twitch (Type 1 fibers)

Slow twitch fibers are used to convert oxygen into energy for a long period of time. They don’t move quickly to be resistant to fatigue. These are the fibers we use most for marathons.

Fast twitch (Type 2 fibers)

Fast twitch move quickly so they’re not resistant to fatigue. Our body has 2 categories of fast fibers. The type 2A fiber has an endurence characterisitc used for long sprints. The type 2X fiber has « super fast » characterisitc used to short sprints or lift weights. I really summarized that but if you want to see it in detail, click here .

Each individual has a different percentage of slow and fast fibers. It’s for this reason that people are naturally better to run long distances or sprints. It’s funny because we can see it in strength training with people who are better to do sets with high or low repetitions.

It’s the end of the first part and the second part is event more interessting.

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

-Steph

P.S. To read Part 2, click here.