Manage Your Carbohydrate

carbohydrate source food

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

If you want to learn how to manage your protein, click here and for amino acids, click here.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. It’s true that we can have energy with proteins and lipids but they provide less quantity of energy.

To put it simply, when you eat carbohyrates, they turn into glucose and then into glycogen. To better understand, I’ll take the example of a gasoline tank. Imagine that the tank is a muscle and that the gasoline is glycogen. Gasoline in the tank helps move the car and glycogen in the muscle helps move your body.

This glycogen is shared in many places in your body : 80% in your muscles, 14% in your liver and 6% in your blood.

Carbohydrate type

 

Most people know 2 types of carbohydrates, slow carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. There is a 3rd type, it’s fibrous carbohydrate and unfortunately many people neglect them.

Slow carbohydrates :

  • Whole wheat bread / white bread (refined carbohydrate)

  • Whole wheat rice / white rice (refined carbohydrate)

  • Oatmeal

  • Cereals (muelsi is excellent because there are often lipids and carbohydrates that are added like nuts, raisins, etc. ).

  • Sweet potato / potato

  • Whole wheat pasta / white pasta (refined carbohydrate)

  • Kinoa

  • Couscous

Simple carbohydrates :

  • Fruit (fructose)

  • Honey

  • Dextrose

  • Maltodextrin

  • Lactose (it’s sugar in the milk)

  • Cluster dextrin (it’s perfect during your training session because it has a low glycemic index).

Fibrous carbohydrates (vitamin, fiber et minerals) :

  • Vegetables (aspargus, carrot, cauliflower, salad, etc)

Carbohydrate, insulin and insulin spike

insulin spike blood sugar

There is a special relationship between carbohydrates and insulin. When you eat carbohydrates, they turn into glucose, which is a type of sugar, and then glucose is turned into glycogen. Glucose is managed by insulin. Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas. The insulin’s role is to manage the sugar’s level in the blood. This avoids having too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia) or not enough sugar in the blood (hypoglycemia).

The problem is that the majority of people eat any type of carbohydrate anyway and they may quickly get a lot of fat. It’s important to understand that each carbohydrate has a different gylcemic index and this glycemic index will cause different insulin spikes.

Glycemic index

A glycemic index indicates how quickly carbohydrates become glucose in the blood. It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to eat carbohydrate with a low glycemic index rather than those with a high glycemic index.

Carbohydrates with low glycemic index  :

  • Sweet potato

  • Oatmeal

  • Kinoa

  • Sugar free fruit juice

  • Whole wheat rice

  • Whole wheat bread

  • Whole wheat pasta

  • Fruits (apple, orange, cherry, pear, apricot)

  • Cluster dextrin (for your training session)

 

Carbohydrate with high glycemic index :

  • Potato

  • Couscous

  • Table sugar

  • White rice

  • White bread

  • White pasta

  • Cereal (Kellog, Nestle, etc.)

  • Dextrose

  • Sweet drink (soda)

  • Fruit (melon, watermelon)

Here is an exemple of low glycemic index carbohydrates to eat. For high glycemic carbohydrates, it’s recommended to eat them in moderation because if you eat them in large quantities, after several years, you have the risk to becoming diabetic or having other health problems.

Consumption

Always take into consideration your bodyweight and your training’s intensity. There 2 bad situations :

  1. Have a not very intense training and eat too much carbohydrates, which results in having too much fat in the body.

  2. Have intense training and eat a little carbohydrate, which results in being weak.

Take for example :

  • A man who weighs 85kg and is a beginner. In this case, it’s recommended to start with 3.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 3.5 x 85 = 297.5gr of carbohydrates to eat a day.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who is advanced or pro. In this case, it’s 5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 5 x 85 = 425gr of carbohydrates to eat a day. As an advanced person, the training sessions are really intense, that’s why you need this amount of energy.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who wants to be shredded. Let things be clear, it’s being shredded and not losing weight. In this case is between 1.2 ans 2.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so it’s between 102 and 212.5gr of carbohydrates to eat per day.

The carbohydrates amount to eat is to be divided into 4-5 meals a day for ease of digestion. Each meal is balanced in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

To be shredded

shredded lean lose weight vs versus

Let things be clear, be shredded isn’t a weight loss. In this situation, leptin must be taken into consideration. Leptin is a hormone that regulates your appetite. When you start to lower your glucides, leptin will aslo decrease and you’ll be hungry. These feelings of hunger are created because of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone called « hormone hunger » because it stimulates the appetite. Ghrelin also affects your insulin and testosterone.

This means that people who too quicly decrease their carbohydrates will fail because the lack of energy will be too brutal. The feeing of hunger will be too intense because the body has not had time to get used to the new diet. This is where nutrition is out of control.

Never reduce carbohydrate to 0. The people who do that, make a diet ketogenic and you have to master this type of diet. The professional bodybuilder is doing this diet for 4 weeks, but they can do that because of chemical aid (steroids) and they have a dietician. The problem is that those who aren’t professional athletes and who are on a ketogenic diet do that because someone told them it was good. That’s why in the gyms there are people who lose consciousness because they don’t have enough energy. You need 50 to 130 grams of carbohydrates, just for your brain, it’s not a simple diet to lose weight.

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.

Overuse Injuries

overuse injuries sport injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

There are 2 types of injuries : Acute injuries and overuse injuries. Acute injuries are usually caused by a single traumatic event. Here are some examples :

  • Wrist fractures

  • Ankle sprains

  • Shoulder dislocations

Acute injuries are less common in sport than overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are usually subtle and appear over time, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. Here is some example :

  • Tennis elbows

  • Swimmer’s shoulder

  • Pitcher’s elbow

  • Runner’s knee

  • Achilles tendinitis

  • Shin splints

Why

Human body is extraordinary to adapt to physical stress. We’re used of thinking that « stress » is bad for our emotional well-being, but physical stress is simply doing an exercise or activity. This is beneficial for our muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. This physical stress causes an internal process called remodeling. Remodeling process involves both the breakdown and the build up of tissue. It’s necessary to have a good balance between 2, if breakdown occurs more rapidly than buildup, an overuse injury occurs.

Causes

overuse injuries sport injury gym fail

Usually, it’s training errors that cause overuse injuries. These errors are too fast acceleration of intensity or duration or activity frequency. These injuries can also happen to people who return to the sport/activity after an injury. They try to make up for lost time as quickly as possible to reach the level they had before the injury. Doing an exercise with a good technique is important to avoid overuse injuries. When the exercise’s technique is bad, it creates overuse injuries. It’s for this reason that coaches, athletic trainers and teachers can play a preventive role so that athletes avoid overuse injures.

There are people who more easily have overuse injuries. An unbalance between strength and flexibility around certain joints predisposes some people to have this type of injury. Body alignment, such as knock-knees, bowlegs, unequal leg lengths and flat or high arched feet, also impact overuse injuries. There are also people who have weak links because of old wounds, incomplete rehabilitation of wounds or others anatomy factors.

Other factors must also be taken into account as equipment such as the type of running shoe or ballet shoe and terrain (hard versus soft surface in aerobic dance or running).

Diagnosis

Generally the diagnosis is based on the athlete’s history and physical examination. It’s recommended to make a diagnosis with a sports medicine specialist with a specific interest and knowledge of your sport. In some situations X-rays, bone scan and MRI may be necessary.

Treatment

overuse injuries sport injury ice

Here are some recommendations for treating an overuse injuries :

  • Cutting back the intensity, duration and frequency of an activity

  • Adopting a hard/easy workout schedule and crosstraining with other activities to maintain fitness levels

  • Learning about proper training and technique from a coach or athletic trainer

  • Performing proper warm-up activities before and cool down after

  • Using ice after an activity for minor aches and pain

  • Using anti-inflammatory medications as necessary

If symptoms persist, a sport medicine specialist may create a more detailed treatment plan for your specific condition. This may involve an exam of your training program and an evaluation of predisposing factors.

Prevention

Majority of overuse injuries can be avoided with a proper training program, common sense and learning to listen your own body. The quote : « No pain, no gain » doesn’t apply here. The 10% rule helps a lot to get things to the next level.

In general, you should increase the training’s intensity to a maximum of 10% per week. This allows your body to have enough time for recovery and response. This rule should be used to increase pace or milestone for walkers or runners. Or for the weights amount to increase for strength training programs. In strength training, add flexibility exercises and core stability exercises help tremendously to minimize overuse injuries.

It’s recommended to seek advice from sports medicine specialist or athletic trainer to prevent chronic or recurring problems. Your training program can also be modified to maintain fitness levels safety while you recover from your injuries. You must return to the sport only if an authorization is granted by a health professional.

Remember, it’s very important to warm-up before training and cool down after training.

Stats

3.5 millions of children are treated for overuse injures every year.

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 Reasons For An Asymmetric Body (Part 2)

asymmetical body

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

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

When it’s a real weak point, the only thing you can do is to be persistent and patient. For this, it’s important that you learn to isolate and feel the muscle’s sensation.

Learning to isolate muscle involves 2 things :

brain muscle connection

  1. Intermuscular competition. Sincerely, 95 % of people do exercises don’t isolate and don’t feel their muscles. It’s not their fault, there are people who learn it intuitively. When you learn to use it with the « magic touch » technique, you’ll evolve much better and discover the real bodybuilding (the fake bodybuilding is to have the biggest muscles in the world).

    Intermuscular competition is to work a muscle but in fact, it’s the dominant muscle that works more than the muscle targeted by the exercise. For example, bench press targets chest but it’s shoulders and arms that work more than chest. Biceps curls target biceps but it’s forearms work more than biceps. Squat target quadriceps/hamstrings but it’s glutes work more than quadriceps/hamstrings. Intermuscular competition is the inability to isolate and work (feel) the muscle you should be working on.

    2. Engine program. The engine program is to connect your brain to your muscle. When you do an exercise, you leave a piece of memory in your brain, a piece of memory in your muscle and a piece of memory in your nervous system (the nerves in your muscle). When these 3 pieces of memory connect, this is the engine program. This is the brain-muscle connection. But beware, when you do an exercise with a poor execution, you do this exercise in « intermuscular » mode and repeating this exercise with a poor execution, you’ll create and improve a defective engine program. If you do an exercise with a good execution, you will create and improve a correct engine program.

Solution

solution

  1. Be more aware of intermuscular competition. That means you learn to isolate and feel the muscle you want to work. You need to be patient because it’s a skill that comes with time. Changing work angles for an exercise allows you to feel your muscle differently.

  2. Learn to isolate your muscle to improve your engine program. As you know now, during an exercise you create a piece of memory in your brain, muscle and nervous system.

  3. Discovers muscle contraction. You need to use an middle weight to discover the muscle contraction. It’s impossible to discover this with a heavy weight because, in this situation, you’re only focused on doing as many reps as possible. With a middle weight, you can focus on feeling your muscle because it’s a weight you can manage

  4. Learn how to transfer sensations. When you feel that your muscle doesn’t really work, corrects the movement’s execution to have the sensation on the muscle you want to work.

Execution, execution, execution. You need to practice as much as possible to improve your brain-muscle connection. This is the best way to evolve but I warn you, you need to be patient because it takes time. This is not something you learn in 12 weeks.

It’s also important that you organize your training program intelligently in the week. For exemple, don’t work your biceps 2 days in the row because your biceps need to rest. Organize the training of your muscle groups so that it doesn’t interfere in the recovery. For example, one day you train your legs and the next day you run. In this situation, you don’t help your legs to recover.

All former professional bodybuilders (who talk about this) say that steroids don’s help as much as the media make believe. Steroids only help to recover. Watch this Rich Piana’s video.

Personally, I don’s like steroids and I don’t advise you to use this. That is my position and I will repeat it again.

Now, it’s your turn. Start to learn to feel your muscles to improve your body. And the most important, be patient because it take time.

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

From Exercise Machines To Free Weights

machine free weights

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

Very often in gym’s advertisements, we watch a lot of high-tech machines to do exercises and the free weight zone is a small hidden room.

What I see in my gym, it’s people start their training with a little bit cardio and they use machines. They do this because it’s easier and this look more secure. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. The Matrix trap us with these machines.

Attention : If you have a medical prescription or you need to use machines for a special reason, continue to follow your training program prescribed by your doctor or physiotherapist.

Why

why

The truth is that machines force muscles and joints to make movements that aren’t natural.

Machines force your body to move weights in a single pattern (up – down or left – right). Our bodies naturally don’t move like it, this is the problem. Movements or our bodies aren’t straight lines, it’s rather « S ». The result is that machines develop our muscles in a way that isn’t balanced and they endanger our joints and spine.

Like you can see, machines don’t put your body in safety and in addition, they don’t work your stabilizing muscles. Don’t work stabilizing muscles is very bad for everyday activities.

When you bent forward to take something on the floor, you body use a dozen and a dozen muscles at the same time. But since you no longer work your stabilizing muscles because of machines, your muscles don’t know how to work together so your body uses a muscle.

Study case

« Smith Machine » is famous to do squat in safety so it protects your back. Lie ! This machine is perfect to destroy your back and compressed your spine because this machine force your body to move only up and down. The real squat allow to do the fundamental movement and when you do it, you notice that your body doesn’t do a straight line from up to down. With the real squat you do a natural movement.

Do exercise with weight or with bodyweight is more efficient to burn calories than machines.

Full body

full body

All exercises classified in 2 categories : pull and push

I remember, I did a full body training program for 1 year before lift weight. This is what my Taekwondo’s teacher advised me and he was right (wow, Korean wisdom). A full body training program, 3 times per week is more efficient than a machines training program, 5-6 times per week for beginners. If you want to train more, you can do Tai-Chi or walking during rest days.

Full body is important

With full body, you learn to each body’s muscle to work together, you synchronize you body. This is allow you to be healthy, avoid using too much a muscle and avoid injury due to a weak stabilizing muscle. To maximize your body, eat healthy and you’ll burn more fat, build muscle and build a body of which you’re proud.

What is great with a full body training program, it’s when you skip a training day, it doesn’t matter. You’ll not have certain muscle more developed than any others because each training session work all body’s muscles

Bodyweight (full body)

bodyweight training

Mastering basics movements with bodyweight is perfect to prepare you for a training with weights.

It’s primitive movements therefore natural that allow you to become stronger without material.

The best example are gymnasts. Look gymnasts body, it’s amazing, impressive and the majority of their training are with bodyweight exercises.

Basic exercises

  • Push = push up, dips, handstands

  • Pull = pull up, body rows

  • Legs = bodyweight squat, pistols squats, lunges, box jumps

For each exercise, you do 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

No it’s too simple  ! => Do this training program and if it’s too easy, increase the difficulty. You can do push up with one hand or pull up with one hand (like my friend Inti). You can also add more set ou repetition.

No it’s too difficult => Do this training program and if it’s too difficult, decrease the difficulty. You can do sets of 3 repetitions. The principle is you progress to do 4 sets of 10 repetitions. Take your time but be regular.

No I want abs => When you do squat, push up and pull up, you keep your core tight and by this way you work your abs. But if you want to do an exercise specially for abs, you can to plank and side plank.

Strength training (full body)

strength training

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, dumbbells and barbells are your friends.

Basic exercise

  • Push = Bench press, Overhead Press

  • Pull = Deadlift, Bent Over Row

  • Legs = Squat, Deadlift

For each exercise, you do 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

No I don’t like squat => Do you think squat is an useless exercise ? I advise you to read the book of Mark Rippetoe. If you seriously want to train, this book is for you !

No I afraid of weights => Don’t panic. Most people in free weights section are too busy to look at themselves in the mirror, they will not look at you. You can use a barbell or dumbbells for each exercise to improve your pure strength. I advise you dumbbells.

No I’m afraid of being ridiculous => Everybody don’t care if you life a dumbbell of 4kg (8.8lbs) or you squat 181kg (400lbs) because everybody struggle to do their training program. Forget people, stay focus and do you training program until the end.

But if I do bad => At the beginning use light weight to do movements with the good form, the good technique. When you’ll stronger, you’ll can add weight slowly each week to reach your limit. You can hire a personal trainer for 1-2 sessions to learn and improve basic exercises techniques or form.

No I want only lose weight => It’s simple, you do basic exercises and you eat less. The training is the same for lose weight or gain muscle. It’s diet that make the difference ! It’s a science :

  • Eat more calories than you burn = gain weight

  • Eat less calories than you burn = lose weight

Your physical condition, it’s 80 % diet and 20 % training. If you want bulk, you need to have a specific diet to do this.

Track and adjust slowly your training program and your diet to see your progress.

No matter what you do, don’t be afraid of the free weight zone. Remember than 90 % of people inside are focus to do their exercises by looking in the mirror therefore don’t worry. Do your exercices, become better and become stronger.

What do you feel when you train with free weights ?

-Steph

Strength And Honor

gladiator russel crowe

Young or old, big or small, be strong is the best attribute that you can give to yourself. Maximus Decimus Meridius just like he to his army in the movie, Gladiator, there is a real sense of honor that comes with strength.

When I was in school, I often was not in the first to be selected soccer or basketball team because I was clumsy but also because I was weak. This is why I started seriously doing sports, Maximus taught me that there is honor in strength and I wanted it.

That’s how that started my love affair with strength training. Now I love even be stronger than ever.

Whether you’ve never made push up or deadlift. You prepare to run a marathon or simply be a better person, be strong is the best gift you can give to yourself.

This is a part in your life and I’ll tell you why.

We are made to be strong ! There are many good things that came with technological advances but now that our survival isn’t related to our strength, it’s not something « necessary ».

However, we are genetically designed to move. To be active. To be strong. It’s in our DNA and it needs to be activated if you want to be healthier, happier, be a stronger version of yourself.

strenght

Besides, strength training improves memory, reduces anxiety and improves learning knowledge.

Don’t worry if you start with just a few push up and squat in your bedroom. Earlier you begin strength training, earlier you’ll reap the profits and regain control over your future.

I train my strength because I want to see what I can do. I want to know how I can become strong. I want to prove to myself that with enough time and focus, anything is possible.

I train my strength because I believe it’s my responsibility to become a better version of myself. I didn’t want to look at my past and say « what if … ».

gladiator russel crowe

I plan to live a long time and I know the best way to have a healthy and happy life is to be strong and I motivate myself to become stronger.

When is my next workout ? When is it ?

Your turn ? Why you train your strength ?

-Steph