Break For Injuries

sport injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE and today I didn’t train. I will tell you why, because I feel pain to my left shoulder and my 2 knees. 6 day ago, it was my leg day and you know, I hurt my right knee during a martial art session. So I used lightweight to train my leg.

Since around 6 months, I felt pain to my shoulder (shoulder impingement) because of the dumbbell overhead shoulder press and dumbbell bench press. Since 1 months, I hurt my right knee in a martial art sparring, because I wanted to avoid a punch and my leg (my knee) was in a bad position. I had 2 injuries . I searched an alternative exercise for the dumbbell overhead shoulder press and dumbbell bench press to decrease the pain and I found out. I wrote 2 articles about it. Click here and there .

Too much injuries

sport injury

As it was a leg day, I decided to do front squat with lightweight to not hurt to much my right knee. After my front squat session, I did leg press with one leg. After my warm-up set, I felt a pain in my left knee, it was like if someone hit my left knee with a knife, I stopped my rep immediately. It was the first time I felt this pain and I didn’t like it. I tried to do an another rep to see the gravity of the pain and I stopped my leg day here.

I did the half of my leg day’s program and I thought it was a good idea to test the new way to do dumbbell bench press without pain. When I was walking with the dumbbell in my hands, I felt the pain in my left knee. I did this dumbbell bench press variant and I validate it.

Usually after my workout, I eat my meal (my post workout is solid food). While I was eating my meal, I thought it was the time to make a break. 3 injuries is too much for me and I decided quickly to make a break of 1 month to really recover, because since 2015 I train regularly 6-7 days per weeks and the longest break I make was 10 days. Yeah, 10 days. When I realized it, I thank God of Light for his gratitude. And you know what ? When I slept, I felt I a little pain in the middle of my back. It means to do my front squat, my body compensated the weakness of my right knee with others parts of my body to be able to execute the movement.

Special recovery

Now, it’s the 6th days and I continue to write article for my blog and I learned what kind of injuries I have and I want to learn deeper about sport injuries because I scare to become like Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie Coleman is the best bodybuilder for me, it’s because of him I started seriously to train like a bodybuilder when I was on the streets. And now, see this living legend who can’t walk without a crutch, it’s too sad.

I want to have the best athletic body I can until I die, I’m more focus about sport injuries. More I know about it and more I can avoid it. Every day I do my stretching session and I do 2 special movements to help my left shoulder to decrease the pain. I will see on 15th July, if my recovery session is effective.

It’s important not to take lightly the pain of your body. I know a lot of people who had pains a few years ago and they had to do some surgery. Now, they can’t use their capacity at 100%.

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-Steph

Feed Your Brain Is Important

feed brain

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

To be successful in the areas that interest you, there is an important principle that is to nourish your brain in a healthy way. It’s the same principle for your body. If you eat fast food burgers every day, you’ll become fat, your self- esteem will decrease, your energy will decrease, your libido will decrease and your lifetime will decrease.

If you feed your brain every day with the « burgers » of information, I mean news (newspaper and tv), you’ll have a negative state of mind. The information of these newspapers or these media are 95% negative and 80% of this information, you’ll forget them in 15 days. These are events where you have no impact on it, it uses your brain’s energy for noting and because of this negative information, you become more and more worried.

Good food for the brain

The most efficient and accessible way is to read books of excellent quality. When you read books of excellent quality, you have access to the best brains in the world for an affordable price, or even free if you go to a library. With books, you also have access to the best dead brains. It’s not because the person is dead that this person has to stop giving us value.

Purpose of reading these books is to allow you to have a solid foundation for achieving your goals. To start, you need to create a list of books and use the SMART goal method (SMART => specific, measurable, accessible, realistic and defined over time). If you want more detail, go to a search engine like Google of DuckDuckGo and enter : SMART goal.

For example, you can give yourself the goal of reading a book a month. I advise you to write a summary page for all the books you read. Scientific studies have shown that when you write the summary, you will remember more things and you will memorize more things than if you only read the book. Here are 2 scientific studies here  and there .

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Check the book’s quality

books

To start, reading reviews on books that interest you on Amazon is a good place to start. It’s clear that it’s not done by experts but you can see people who like and hate the book. It’s up to you to do your own analysis of the numbers of positive and negative comments. If there are a lot of comments (at least a hundred), it’s a good sign.

It’s possible to access lists of books complied by people who read a lot of books. It’s obvious that these lists will never correspond at 100% to your objectives but it allows you to find pearls. If you want to train in business and personal development, Josh Kaufman’s Personal MBA  is excellent. It’s not necessary to like all the books of Personal MBA but most are extraordinary.

Action

Here is a simple exercise that I propose to you. Find 5-10 books of excellent quality that can help you achieve important goals for you. Determine a deadline (1 year) and calculate how many books you should read per month and how much time you have to spend every day reading.

I’m curious to know the books you found. Share this in the comments section and let’s go .

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Create Frequently Content Boost Your Business

create content

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

Here are the benefits of creating content frequently.

Share techniques

share

I like to share the techniques, tactics and methods that I tested and worked for me and for others. As an athlete, I like to see my potential’s extent, I like to win and I like to see people around me win. It’s always frustrating to see someone who has a talent and isn’t fighting to realize their dream.

Often when I discover something in a book or someone shows me a technique that I test and that works, I want to say to the world « Look this technique works, try it right now ». That’s why I created my blog.

Challenges

I watched a The Family‘s video  (I wrote an article about it Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3). I decided to publish 5 articles per week for several reasons :

As an athlete, I like to push my limits. Posting 5 articles per week has forced me to find themes that fascinate me so I can enjoy learning new things and writing articles about it. Every day, I’m looking for new things. There are articles I write and don’t published because I realize that it doesn’t fit my vision.

At the beginning of my blog, you can see that I write articles to introduce some bodybuilders and I stopped doing that because I decided not to talk about athletes using steroids. With challenges, it allows me to refine the vision of my blog and my failures are part of the learning process.

Frequency

frequency publication

From, 2014 to 2015, I published 1-2 articles per week. Toward the end of 2015, I watched a video about a 30-day challenge. After watching this video, I decided to write 5 articles a week for 30 days and after published 1-2 articles a week. During the 30 day challenge, it was difficult for me to write articles (find subjects and find the time to write texts) but my blog’s traffic seriously increased. When I took the rhythm of 1-2 articles a week, I felt less stressed because I had less pressure but my blog’s traffic of my blog had decreased.

I started to get frustrated because one of the important things for a blog is to have traffic. So, I started again this challenge of 5 articles per week during 30 days by writing only on topics where I have fun. My blog’s traffic increased like the first time. Frankly, it’s cool because I know that with this frequency, I can reach more people. And that allows me to develop my business. Yes, it’s possible to bring value to the world by bringing value to yourself, thus making money. Both are compatible.

Today, I have prospects and clients coming from my blog. People read my articles, it’s free and then they send me emails or messages with social media to find out if I can solve one of their problem.

Learn

With this frequency of publication, 5 articles per week, it allows me to accelerate my learning curve. You can see the difference of writing between my first articles and my last articles. I improved my writing style. All that, it took me a long time and I know that I have a lot of things to improve. And I also learned that success is something that builds little by little. There is no success in 3 months or 1 year. Success is a thing in the long run. You learn to make the difference between lies and truths to have a healthy life in all areas.

For 1-2 years, you can see I’m learning to make videos on Instagram and Snapchat. I make 5 videos a week. Since about 6 months, I make an audio file (podcast) on my old exercise articles. In this audio file, I read the article so that you can have the information in a passive way. You can listen to my audio file while driving, working instead of listening to music. Making videos and podcasts are things I learn to do for my blog.

Have fun

have fun

Sharing content frequently no matter the format, text, audio, video, it’s something that I do with fun. People are asking me how do I keep doing this for years. The answer is that I have fun when I do that. It’s like when I train or dance Cuban salsa. When I do that, I have fun and if I can learn something to improve myself, I do it.

I know there are people who create content to make money quickly but it doesn’t happen that way. You need to do this for 3-5 years for free to build your reputation and then you can afford to make money. That’s why it’s important to have fun when you do that because the difficulties come, you see them from a different angle. There is no cheat code so have fun.

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

-Steph

The Importance Of Counting Calories

count calories

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video and I learned good stuff.

As you already know, food is our energy. The energy from food, we call it calorie. Calories composed of macronutriments : carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

Count the number of calories

count calories

With carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, we can know the minimum number of calories we need to consume, it’s the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to function without doing any physical activity. That’s the number of calories you burn while you stay in bed all day.

With your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), you can find your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) . Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is the number of calories your body needs in a day when you train.

Total Daily Energy Expediture (TDEE) varies according to your level of activity during the day (the intensity of the tasks you have to do during the day and the intensity of your training).

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is always dynamic because it’s influenced by the Not Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). Not Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the number of calories you burn in a day when you have no workout. But attention, it doesn’t count the calories you burn when you sleep and eat. It only counts the calories you burn when you walk, read, write, work, study, etc.

As the intensity’s level of your tasks that aren’t a sport activity changes all the time, it changes your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) all the time. Here are 2 scientific studies to better understand the Not Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), here and there .

Now that you’ve seen your Total Daily Energy Expenditure changes all the time, you need to know that it changes your caloric deficit when you want to lose weight (be shredded) and your caloric surplus when you want to gain muscle.

Lose weight or gain muscle

weight lose muscle gain

The phase for losing weight (be shredded) and gaining muscle influenced by 2 things : morphology (endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph) and genetics.

Take the example of an endomorph person. An endomorph person is a person who can easily store fat because, it’s a person who has greater resistance to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that manages your metabolism and your appetitie (leptin controls your feeling of satiety). An endomorph person who has this type of information has good tools to know how to manage his/her Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

For my case, I’m a mesomorph person. Which means that I’m a person who is losing weight fast and gaining muscle fast. At first, I didn’t count my calories because it easy for me to maintain a good physique. But since I’ve been studying my body to find out how it works, my results are really better for the long term.

That’s why no matter what your body type, I advise you to take the time to count your calories to have the best body possible in the long term.

I use an app on my smartphone to count my calories (you can scan barcodes). It’s My Fitness Pal. Try it, it’s really helpful.

If you intentionally don’t take care of your health, accidentally, you will have an illness.

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

-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

No One Around You Understand Your Passion

passion

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

I think once you found something and you found it so cool that you got excited about it. You found it so interesting that you talked about it to all your friends, family and so on. And unfortunately, quickly, you realized that everyone didn’t care.

Don’t worry, it did the same with me. In fact, several times already and I know that it will happen to me several times until death.

The passion

passion

For example when I stopped Taekwondo because my teacher returned to South Korea, I was out of sport and I was missing. I tried courses in other schools but the timings and location didn’t help me. After being at a 50 Cent’s show (the show was crazy, there was a lot police cars around the stadium, 50 Cent frightening everyone), I enrolled in a small gym in my hood and I really thought it was cool.

Having a flexible schedule to train really helped me manage school and little jobs. After a few weeks of training and reading books and website about fitness/bodybuilding, I talked about fitness to all the people I met. But people weren’t motivated to do sport and when I offered to train with me, they found excuses.

I was really trying to convert everyone to playing sport regularly, no matter what sport. it was important for me. All my family works in hospitals. My family , my uncles, aunts, cousins in Haiti, Switzerland, France United States and Canada and (I just realizing writing this article), I have a lot of friends in medical field. If you know the number of patients stories I know, you go crazy and every dinner it’s the same (even when I’m on vacation with my uncles and aunts).

I can tell you that it’s obvious that if the patients did a little more sports, they would have had better health and they would have avoided the hospital. It’s better for their health and their wallets because once you’re sick, the money from your bank account, pffff, disappears. I’ve seen people make credits in the bank to pay for medical bills and medications. When you see that, it hurts !

Despite my motivation, I couldn’t motivate the people around me to play sports.

Express yourself

express yourself

After analyzing all this, I felt lonely. It was as if my speech was just an entertainment. Looking at fitness youtubers like Marc Fitt , Jamcore DZ , Steve Cook  or Christian Guzman , I found out that they also went through this type of problem. Everyone made one or more videos about their debut and difficulties, it’s motivating.

Documenting what I learn and what I do has given me a source of motivation. I’m a human being and sometimes I don’t want to write an article every day (especially when I see my friends partying) but with the internet, the whole world can see what I do and that, is a pressure of another level.

By creating my blog, every day I can build an international community of people who are as passionate as I am by fitness and blogging.

This blog created me 2 incredible opportunities :

  1. Do you like look stupid in front of others ? I think it’s NO and I’m the same. When you have a blog, a Youtube channel or a podcast, you tell the whole word that you are going to improve your physique and improve your content on the internet, this will create an external source of motivation.

    Imagine that a person asks you at what level you are in your evolution ? Can you answer that it’s been 6 months since you did nothing out of laziness ?

  2. My blog allowed me to create an international community of people passionate about the same thing as me and it’s very motivating because I didn’t find it in my entourage.

The most impressive thing is that my blog motivated me to learn something else than fitness like social media, entrepreneurship, learn other programming langages, data science, anatomy, biomechanics and I’ll learn several other skills. At school I didn’t like to learn but with my blog I want to learn and it’s mainly things I can use right away to improve my content and my relationship with my community.

Create your own media

social media

If you feel that people around you don’t care about your passion, don’t be depressed. You just need to increase the number of people you can talk to using the internet. Internet allows you to easily touch people who are passionate about the same thing as you. These people will understand you , accompany you, motivate you and give you challenges to continue.

That’s why if you have not yet created a blog, a Youtube channel or a podcast about the thing you passionate about, it’s time to do it because it’s an excellent source of motivation. The bonus with this is that it could become a long-term company.

The funny thing is that you will see people who criticized you at the beginning, change their mind and encourage you by telling you that you were right.

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

-Steph

Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 1)

how much

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

When we’re beginners and we have studied the theory well, the first time we train in a gym, we have this kind of questions :

  • What weight should lift to begin with ?

  • If my program tells me to do 5 sets of 5 reps at 80 % of my 1 rep max, how do I get to know my 1 rep max ?

  • In my program, there isn’t this notion of percentage and 1 rep max, how do I know the weight I have to lift ?

Here are some tips to start your program with the right amount of weight.

Bodyweight

bodyweight exercice

The fist step of your workout is to do bodyweight exercices to learn how to do well the bench press.

This may sound odd but I really advise you to take your time to learn to perform well without weights or with a very light weight. Imagine that you can’t climb stairs normally, What happens when you have to climb stairs with bags of supermarket ? Yes, you’re going to hurt yourself.

Here is how you can learn a movement without barbell, dumbbells and weights :

  • To learn barbell’s movement without barbell, you can take a broom stick or a PVC pipe.

  • To learn dumbbells movement without dumbbells, you can take 2 sections of PVC pipe or 2 bottes of water.

It’s true that it’s not the same sensations that with weights but it allows you to learn a movement without risk to hurting you.

With this method, you can train at home alone. No one looks at you like in a gym so you’re less nervous. What’s cool is that yo can film yourself with your smartphone to compare your videos with tutorial videos that you can find on Youtube of elsewhere.

To learn in depth how to move, I recommend the book Starting Strength .

Once you feel confortable with movements, you go to the next level.

Barbell

barbell

For your first training with the barbell for the bench press, you’ll use the barbell without weights to be comfortable with. As you read in my articles Back To The Source Of Equipment Part 1 et Part 2 , the barbell i’m talking about is the Olympic barbell 20 kg (45 lbs).

If you have difficulty with the Olympic barbell, here are some alternative.

A lighter barbell

Look in your gym if there are lighter barbell like the « women’s bar » 13.6-15.87 kg (30-35 lbs) or the « training bar » 6.8 kg(15 lbs). EZ curl bar isn’t designed for the bench press.

Dumbbells

You can use dumbbells. It’s true that isn’t really the same movement but it will help you to build your strength to be comfortable with the Olympic barbell.

Bodyweight exercices

Continue to do bodyweight exercice as squat, lunges, pull ups, push ups. This will help you to build your strength to be comfortable with the Olympic barbell.

That may be the opposite. For you to use the Olympic barbell without weight is easy. I still advise you to continue your first training with the Olympic barbell without weight. In this way, you can concentrate for each repetition to have the best technique possible. Wait the next session to add weights.

There isn’t ego in a gym. Unfortunately in gyms we often see people lifting very heavy weights with a poor technique and this happens more and more often. I have 2 friends who have dislocated their shoulders with the bench press and now they can no longer develop their chest and their shoulders.

One of these 2 friends showed in front of me who his shoulder dislocates when he do bench press and he regrets a lot of having lift too heavy with a bad technique. Since I’ve seen this, I prefer to lift lighter with a good technique and I advise you to do the same.

If after your first training with the Olympic barbell, you’re still not comfortable with. I recommend you to continue to train with the Olympic barbell without weights until you’re comfortable with. If you need to do this for 10 sessions, do it, there is not problem.

I’ll tell you something, Listen carefully. If you get hurt, it’s not because you body isn’t ready. It’s because you don’t trust in you under the Olympic barbell. Self-confidence is the most important element to lift heavyweights and heavier. It means knowing when you can lift and when you can’t lift. An athlete train his/her body and mind.

If you have planned to use dumbbells as your main lift (like me) and don’t use Olympic barbell, stat with 2.2-4.5 kg (5-10 lbs) dumbbells to work your technique.

Add weights

weight plate

Most beginners workout programs are 5 sets of 5 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or 3 sets of 10 reps. For this example, we’ll use 5 sets of 5 reps.

Your workout should always begin with a warm-up routine. Then you take the barbell without weights and you do the repetitions number of your program (for our example, it’s 5).

Yeah, yeah, I know. You thought that after the warm-up routine, you could lift heavy but you have not quite prepared your body yet. For each exercice, you need to warm your body with lightweights. It’s very important to do this because it allows your body to warm your nervous system and the muscles needed to make the movement.

For beginners, it’s really important to learn the good technique right away.

Increase gradually

Once your nervous system and your muscles are ready, add between 1.1 kg (2.5 lbs) and 4.5 kg (10 lbs) on each side. Do a set of 5 reps with this weight.

Note : If your strength training is based on dumbbells like me, starts with 2.2 kg (5 lbs) dumbbells, then 4.5 kg (10 lbs) dumbbells for example.

If you can do 5 reps without degrading your technique and without slowing the speed of the barbell, you can add weight. If it’s really light adds 4.5 kg (10 lbs) on each side or less like 2.2 kg (5 lbs).

Continue to do this process until the speed of the barbell or you technique begins to deteriorate. The weight you lifted before your technique deteriorates is the starting weight on which you will base all your future exercises.

The basic weight for your workout

If you thought you could lift more, don’t panic, that’s the right number. You’re not in a gym to impress someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or your 1000th workouts. It’s better to start too light than too heavy. The goal is to do quick reps with a good technique. When your technique deteriorates, you have reached a limit with your body, too much will create an injury.

In this process, you’re trying to lift the heaviest weight you can so use collars for your safety. When it becomes difficult, ask someone to be your spotter to avoid an injury.

This is the end of the Part 1. In the Part 2, I’ll talk about what to do after several workouts, find your 1 rep max and what amount of weight is respectable to lift.

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

-Steph