weight-scale1

“I’m gunna start working out because I want to lose X amount of pounds/kilos”. If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that. You might have said it yourself or have heard a friend say it. The reason I bring this up is because the general population believes that solely the scale can track progress. While losing weight will definitely bring you closer towards your target body, it won’t be of much use once you actually hit your target weight. I very rarely, if ever, look at the numbers on my scale. If I were to hop on a scale now I’d probably be sitting around 180-185 lbs. You may be wondering how I measure my progress if I don’t watch my weight. What I’m going to tell you might surprise you. Ready? Drum roll…..the secret to getting your perfect body is the mirror. Crazy right! It can’t get much simpler! Let me explain how I’ve come to this conclusion.

When I started working out I was skinny-fat and I weighed around 135 pounds. I needed to lose fat on my body but I was actually really light.  Typically when somebody has a higher amount of body fat they’ll immediately think losing weight will give them the body they want. I’m here to tell you that’s not necessarily the answer. I’ve seen people that look like they’re 180 pounds of pure muscle, when in reality they weigh 160 pounds. After my phase with p90x, I weighed around 175 and had some good muscle definition but I wanted bigger more defined muscles. 3 months later, I looked like I gained 10 pounds of muscle and weighed myself and was 2 pounds heavier at 177 pounds. How is it possible that I looked a lot heavier when I actually only gained 2 pounds? Would I have been as successful if I only used scale to track my progress?! No way!! DO NOT TRACK PROGRESS SOLELY WITH THE SCALE, TRACK PROGRESS BASED ON HOW YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR VS. WHAT YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE. That’s right, all caps, if you know what’s good for you, caps usually mean something important, so take it in again. MIRROR > Scale. 

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you how to track progress by using the mirror. The thing you’ll be focusing on changing is your body composition. Body composition is basically the amount of fat vs. the amount of muscle on your body. If you think you need to lose weight then you probably have a higher amount of body fat and want to convert that into muscle. I’ve found that my weight generally fluctuates 5 pounds,  give or take, from my starting weight. I like to eat just above my maintenance calories (to find yours click here)  with a macronutrient split of about 40% Protein 40% Carbs 20% Fats. This is generally my starting point when I start a program and I adjust the ratio based on how I look in the mirror. If a couple weeks down the road, I don’t see the definition I want, then I’ll replace a serving of complex carbs with a serving of fibrous carbs. I’ll eat this way for a week and then make any necessary adjustments again. I’ve found this method of measuring progress to be the best for me because instead of worrying about my weight, I can focus on how my body looks, which is, in essence, the main goal. We’re trying to shape and build a body that we want. You have to be able to visualize what you want your body to look like to get there. I’m sure you’ve seen photos of people with amazing bodies that you aspire to build. Use that as motivation. Recognize that the mirror will give you a better measure of your progress towards that dream body than the scale. You can see abs and muscles in the mirror but you can’t see those on the scale. How are you going to get closer to achieving that dream body if you’re only focused on the numbers on the scale?! You won’t, it’s as simple as that!

You can find everything you need to build your dream body on this blog. Use the nutrition articles to find out your maintenance calories and to create a meal plan, try my workout routines and continuously check progress in the mirror and adjust your nutrition accordingly. Results will follow and you may just be surprised of what you’re capable of looking like!!

Good luck and train hard friends!

As summer has recently left, we can only expect cooler temperatures, shorter day and miserable weather. This is when the general population decides that its time to completely loosen up on their diet and training and enter “bulking” mode. Time over time I hear people saying, “Ah summers gone, I won’t be shirtless so I’ll just stop doing cardio, eat more and start bulking”. Okay, that’s cool, but why?! Unless you’re competing there is no in season or offseason and definitely no need for bulking and cutting phases. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that you can totally ease off of healthy eating and hard training. This should be the time that you take advantage off, kinda like the construction period before the grand revealing. The idea that bulking (which includes eating more calories, putting on muscle and some noticeable fat gains, training heavy with lots of rest, reduction of/or no cardio) is the only way to put on muscle is ridiculous. Do you know what comes as a result of bulking? Excess fat gains. Yeah, not so good. We want to build muscle and burn fat simultaneously. Traditional broscience says it’s not possible but my experience tells me differently. I’ve used this method to get ripped, adding muscle to my frame while successfully losing fat and managed to carve out a pretty impressive physique. I was getting complimented all the time and it felt good. I want you to feel good. I don’t want you to waste your time. I want you to work smart and efficiently. That’s why I’m here. Because I’ve tried and tested this on myself and it worked. Try and test on yourself and see how your body responds, you might be surprised with the results you can achieve!

This method of nutrition is known most commonly as carb-cycling. A style of nutrition that allows the body to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously by zig-zagging your calories and macronutrient intake. This method increases the metabolism to encourage fat burning while providing calorie deficits to melt the body fat. The idea behind the zig-zag method is that you cycle your week between high, medium and/or low carb days. By timing these days according to your workouts, you can achieve the jacked results you’re looking for.

A sample week might look like this:

Monday : High Carb

Tuesday: Medium Carb

Wednesday: Low Carb

Thursday: Medium Carb

Friday: Low Carb

Saturday: High Carb

Sunday: Low Carb

 

 High carb days: 

  • Aim for 1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight.
  • Aim for about 1.5 -2 grams of carbs per lb of bodyweight.
  • Aim for about 0.5 grams of fats per lb of bodyweight.

I like to eat just at just above maintenance level on this day, which is around 3000-3100 calories. I like to mix my proteins between chicken, tuna, x-lean ground beef, turkey and eat low-glycemic carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bagels. I eat fruits directly after my workouts. The fats are usually trace fats from the proteins (e.g. eggs and steak) and the remainder I get from almond butter and healthy oils.  I get around 180 grams of protein, 380 grams of carbs, and 90 grams of fats which is around 3050 calories.

Medium carb days: 

  • Aim for 1-1.5  grams of protein per lb of bodyweight.
  • Aim for about 1 gram of carbs per lb of bodyweight.
  • Aim for about 0.5-0.7 grams of fats per lb of bodyweight.

I like to aim for around 2400-2500 calories on theses days. I aim for about 200 grams of proteins, around 180 grams of carbs, and around 100 grams of fats. I hike up protein and fat consumption and lower the carb intake. I switch out a meal or two of slow-carbs and add fibrous carbs such as veggies. This ratio lands me at around 2420 calories for the day.

Low carb days: 

  • Aim upwards of 1.6 -2 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight.
  • Aim for about 0.5-0.8 grams of carbs per lb of bodyweight.
  • Aim for about 0.7-0.8  gram of fat per lb of bodyweight.

I like to aim for around 2200-2300 calories. On these days you basically eat only veggies and greens along with your heightened proteins and fats. I aim for around 270 grams of proteins, 50 grams of carbs and 110 grams of fats, which lands me at roughly 2270 calories.

I prefer to use a 6 day split when I use carb cycling. If I were to use the sample schedule as a template my workouts would look like this.

Monday : High Carb {Leg Workout}

Tuesday: Medium Carb {Chest and Calves Workout}

Wednesday: Low Carb {Abs and HIIT workout}

Thursday: Medium Carb {Shoulders and Arms}

Friday: Low Carb {HIIT workout}

Saturday: High Carb {Back Workout}

Sunday: Low Carb {Rest}

I like to hit the muscles hard and efficiently. Use my sample workouts provided in the muscle specific training in conjunction with this type of carb cycling schedule and see how quickly you melt that body fat and built some nice muscle.

I like to make things as convenient as possible so bear with me. I eat around 5 meals a day so this is what a 3 day cycles of high, medium and low carbs would look like.

 

High Carb Day

  1. Eggs & Egg White Omelette + Oatmeals w/t fruits
  2. Chicken + Brown Rice + Veggies
  3. Beef  + Quinoa + Veggies
  4. Chicken +Ezekiel Bread+ Jam
  5. Post workout Protein and Fruit Smoothie

Medium Carb Day 

I do this very simple, on a medium carb day I basically take out the carb portion of two meals and replace with an extra veggie serving. I also eat bigger protein portions (6-7 oz) to help shuttle protein into my body to feed the muscles and grow.

  1. Eggs & Egg White Omelette + Oatmeals w/t fruits
  2. Chicken + Brown Rice + Veggies
  3. Beef  +  2 servings Veggies + Almonds
  4. Chicken + 2 servings Veggies
  5. Post workout Protein and Fruit Smoothie

As you can see, the only changes I’ve made were to meals 3 and 4. I replaced the complex carb with an extra serving of veggies and added a serving of fats.

Low Carb Day 

The easiest day to plan but the hardest to get through. I basically take out the carb portion of all meals except for the postworkout meal and replace them with extra veggie servings, and I also add some fat servings and really hike up my protein and throw in an extra protein shake (protein and water) to add some much needed protein.

  1. Eggs & Egg White Omelette + Oatmeal w/t fruits
  2. Chicken + Brown Rice + Veggies
  3. Beef  +  2 servings Veggies +Chia Seeds
  4. Chicken+ Protein Shake+ 2 servings Veggies +  Nuts
  5. Post workout Protein and Fruit Smoothie

As you can see, the only changes I’ve made were to meals 3 and 4. I’ve replaced the complex carb with an extra serving of veggies and added a serving of fats.

So there it is, try it out and see if carb cycling is for you! This is not recommended for sports athletes whose bodies need carbs to perform at higher levels! If you’re extremely active, the reduction in carbs may impair your athletic performance so it’s not recommended.

Try out carb cycling and see if it’s for you! Remember to stick to the principles outlined in this article and to use the sample workouts to help you achieve that jacked body you’ve been working so hard for. Good luck and please leave any questions or comments!

Looking for bulging biceps with peaks the size of Everest?! You’ve found the right place. These workouts will have those arms bear hugging your sleeves within a couple of months. These are some of my favourites that help me build strong and powerful arms. I like to keep it intense by performing several different rep ranges within a workout, using dropsets, supersets and short rests to stimulate different muscle fibers in the arms and grow those puppies. Try one of these workouts the next time you train arms and see for yourself. Let me know how you like these workout by commenting!!

Workout #1

 Rest between 45-60 seconds after completing all exercises in the superset before performing the next set.

  • Superset: (A) Barbell Curl 4 sets of 6 reps (B) Close-Grip Bench Press 4 sets of 6 reps {Increase weight with each set, rest for 75 seconds)  
  • Superset: (A) Dumbell Hammer Curls 4 sets of 8-10 reps (B) Overhead Triceps Extension 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Superset: (A) Cable Straight Bar Curl 4 sets of 25-30 (B) Tricep Extension 4 sets of 25-30

 

Workout #2 

Rest 45 seconds between sets.

  • Barbell Curl 4 sets of 15,12,10,8 {Increase weight as rep range drops}
  • Incline Dumbell Curl 4 sets of 15,12,10, 8 {Increase weight as rep range drops}
  • Spider Curl 3 sets of 10 {Keep same weight}
  • Tricep Extension 4 sets of 15,12,10, 8 {Increase weight as rep range drops}
  • Overhead Dumbell Extensions 3 sets of 10,8,6 {Increase weight as rep range drops}
  • Weighted Bench Dips 3 sets of 15 {Position yourself between two benches, and have a spotter put some plates onto your hips. Drop down into the dip and extend, that’s one, let’s hit another fourteen}

Workout #3

Rest 45 seconds, and add on 15 seconds until you finish your fifth set. Rest 120 seconds before hitting another 10 reps, then decrease by 15 second intervals as you move up the rep range

  • EZ Bar Curl 10 sets of 50,40,30,20,10,10,20,30,40,50
  • Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press 10 sets of 50,40,30,20,10,10,20,30,40,50

 

Workout #4

Rest 60 seconds for the first two exercises, then use short 45 second rests to keep the intensity up and the blood flowing into the muscle.   

  • Bicep Barbell Curl 10 sets of 10
  • Skull Crushers 10 sets of 10
  • Superset: (A) Preacher EZ Bar Curl 3 sets to failure (B) DB Single Arm Preacher Curl 3 sets to failure
  • Superset: (A) Tricep Extension 3 sets to failure (B) Dips 3 sets to failure

Workout #5

Rest for 45-60 seconds between sets. I want intensity here and maximal blood flow to the muscles. Let’s put some power into those arms.

  • Straight Bar Curls 3 triple dropsets of 10, 10, 10
  • Incline Dumbell Curls 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Standing Hammer Curls 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Tricep Extensions 3 triple dropsets of 12,12,12
  • Overhead Dumbell Extensions 3 heavy sets of 8,8,8
  • Weighted Bench Dips 3 triple dropsets till failure (Start with a 45 lb plate and rep out to failure, have a spotter replace the 45lb plate with a 35lb plate, rep out again, then replace the 35 lb plate for a 25 lb plate, rep out, rest and repeat)

Welcome to the Jacked Back Trainer. Here you will find some killer back workouts that will help you put on size, burn fat and build a massive, cobra-like back. I love to use various methods to keep the muscle guessing and working harder to adapt = GAINS GAINS GAINS. You think you’re ready?! Add these workouts into your routine and start seeing some real results!

Workout #1 

Rest between 60-90 seconds unless otherwise stated.

  • Superset: (A) Lat Pulldown  4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 {Increasing weight with each set}      (B) Wide Grip Pullups 4 sets to failure
  • Superset: (A) Bent-Over Barbell Row 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 (Decrease weight as you rep up(B) Standard Pullup 4 sets to failure
  • Superset: (A) Reverse Close Grip Lat Pulldown 4 sets of 10 reps (B) Close Grip Pullups 4 sets to failure
  • Superset: (A) Deadlifts 3 sets of 8,6,4 (B) Pullups (*Change hand grips every set3 sets to failure

 

Workout #2 

Rest between 60-90 seconds unless otherwise stated.

  • Wide Grip Pullups 4 sets of 10 {The set isn’t over until you’ve hit 10 reps. Use the rest-pause technique if necessary}
  • One-Arm Dumbell Row 3 sets of 8,8,8 {Triple dropsets;Go heavy and hit 8 reps, then grab a weight 20-25 lighter and hit another 8, then rep another 8 with a weight 20-30lbs lighter then previous}
  • T-Bar Row 50 reps {Pick something that you can perform at least 25 reps with then use rest-pause to get to the 50. Take as many breaks as necessary and move on to the next exercise only after completing all 50}
  • Superset: (A) Machine Hi-Row 3 sets of 15,10,5 (B) Machine Low Row 3 sets of 15,10,5 {Increase weight as reps decrease}
  • Hyperextensions 3 sets of 12 reps

 

Workout #3

Rest between 60-90 seconds unless otherwise stated.

  • Pullups 4 sets of 10 reps {Change your hand position after each set; E.g. Wide Grip, Close-Grip, One Arm, Behind the Head}
  • Superset: (A) One-Hand Cable Row 3 sets of 8 {Slide the cable to the lowest height setting, grab the handle and with bend knees and straight back, pull your hand back towards your body with your elbow as close to the body as possible} (B) Rope Row 3 sets of 8 {Slide the cable to waist height, attach the rope attachment, and pull the weight back with your arms separating the rope and hugging your body}
  • Close Grip Lat Pulldown 3 sets of 30, 20, 10
  • Deadlift 50 reps {Pick a weight that you can complete 25 reps, and use rest-pause technique to hit all 50 reps}

Workout #4

Rest 90 seconds for exercises with 10 sets, and 60 seconds for assistance work. Choose a weight you can do 20 reps for a set with and stick with that for all 10 sets. Do not go to failure, you’ll get there as the sets go on.

  • Bent Over Barbell Row 10 sets of 10 reps
  • Seated Row 10 sets of 10 reps
  • Wide-Grip Pullups 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Deadlift 3 sets of 10-15 reps

 

Workout #5

 Rest between 60-90 seconds unless otherwise stated.

  • Romanian Deadlifts 4 sets of 10 {Add weight with each set}
  • Pullups 4 sets to failure {1 minute rest between each; try to new variation of the pullup for eact set, e.g. Muscle Up, One-Arm, Close Grip, Wide Grip}
  • Bent Barbell-Row 3 sets to failure
  • One-Arm Dumbell Row 4 sets of 10 reps {Keep weight the same}
  • Seated Rope Row 4 sets of 10 reps {Keep weight the same}
  • High Cable Row 4 sets of 10 reps {Attach a wide grip handle to the lat pulldown station. Grab the bar, step back and put a foot onto the platform used to secure the legs when performing pulldowns. Row the bar towards your chest, the cable should be coming towards your chest diagonally if you’re doing it right! Increase the weight with each set}
  • Medicine Ball Hyperextensions 3 sets of 10 reps 

Welcome to the Jacked Legs Trainer. Here you’ll find some of my personal leg workouts that I use to add size to my legs and increase athletic performance. I don’t perform many isolation exercises for legs  because those do very little for athletic performance so I substitute isolations for plyometric movements for strong and explosive legs. If you play sports, these workouts will have you running faster, jumping higher and hitting harder, even if you don’t these workouts will give you a strong and powerful base with great functionality.

Workout #1

Rest for 90 seconds between each set for all exercises except for #1, in which you should rest until your are ready for another round, between 2-3 minutes. 

  • Squats 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Leg Press 3 sets x 8-10 reps
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlifts 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Superset: (A)Leg Extension 15, 12, 10 (B) Hamstring Curl 15,12,10 Perform exercise A first then immediately move on to exercise B, perform, rest for 60-90 seconds. 
  • Superset: (A) Seated Calf Raise  3 sets of 15-20 (B) Standing Calf Raise  3 set of 15-20

Workout #2

Rest 60-90 seconds between sets! If doing supersets or trisets, complete all exercises on after the other, rest, and repeat.

  • Squats 100 reps (Take as many breaks as necessary but don’t stop until you hit 100, vary the stance to hit all parts of the thighs. I use back squat, sumo stance, narrow stance and front squats, and aim for 25 reps of each) 
  • Triset: (A) One-Leg Leg Press  4 sets x 10 reps (B) Plyometric Lunges 4 sets of 25 reps {Explode from one leg to the other} (C) Wall Squat 4 sets of 30-45 second holds.
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlifts 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Superset: (A) Donkey Calf Raise 3 sets of 15-20 reps (B) Seated Calf Raise 3 sets of 15-20

  Workout #3

Rest between 60 -90 seconds between reps.

  • Bosu Ball Barbell Squats 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 {Set up in the smith machine, load up a barbell and flip a bosu ball onto its uneven side, unrack the barbell and find your balance on the bosu ball. Focus here, keep your core tight for balance, and drop into the squat slowly and push out, use a spotter if necessary!) 
  • Bosu Ball Hack Squats  3 sets of 8-10 reps {Lie a bosu ball with the uneven side on the platform of the hack squat machine. Stand on the even platform of the bosu ball and keeping your core tight, unrack the weight, drop into the movement and control it up}
  • Superset: (A) Bulgarian Split-Squats 3 sets of 10-12 reps (B) Squat Jumps 3 sets of 15-25
  • Superset: (A) Bosu Ball Lunge 3 sets of 8-10 reps (B) Standing DB Calf Raise 3 sets of 15-20

{Grab a pair of heavier dumbells and find a raised platform, stand on it with your heels off the platform, Drop down all the way and raise yourself using the calf muscles}

Workout #4

  • Squats 4 sets of 30,20,10,5 superset Standing Calf Raises 4 sets of 15, 25, 35, 45 
  • Leg Press  4 sets of 5, 10, 20, 30 superset Leg Press Calf Raise  4 sets of 50, 40, 30, 20

** REST starts at 45 seconds and increases 15 seconds until you hit the set with 5 reps, rest for 90 seconds, then move on to the second round of exercises going from 90 seconds back.own to 45.

Workout #5

Rest 90 seconds for exercises with 10 sets, and 60 seconds for assistance work. Choose a weight you can do 20 reps for a set with and stick with that for all 10 sets. Do not go to failure, you’ll get there as the sets go on.

  • Squats  10 sets of 10 reps {Keep the weight the same for all sets}
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift 10 sets of 10 reps
  • Superset: (A) Standing Calf Raise 3 sets of 15-20 reps (B) Seated Calf Raise 3 sets of 15-20

 

Hey Ladies,

I’ve asked my good friend Zita to write a guest post on her training program. She’s always been busy moving about and traveling, and despite never staying in one place too long she’s always managed to keep up her fitness. What she’s given you here is an awesome home/outdoor workout regime that doesn’t require a gym, therefore all excuses go out the door. Below you’ll find Zita’s post, so read, learn, perform and prevail jacked!

I’d like to thank Marko inviting me to participate in his new blog. I hope that the information will be appealing, especially to the lady audience. To say the least, I for one am not a gym person. My entire life has revolved around sports/activities of different kinds – be it dance, volleyball, soccer and for a brief period Muay Thai. I love sports and dance because they force you to use your body, engage your mind and before you know it, the “workout” is over and you feel amazing afterwards.

I’ve been living in São Paulo, Brazil for quite some time and contrary to popular belief, people here are NOT all about capoeira, (dance) samba and MMA. I could hardly find guys that actually dance at clubs! I have to admit, Jiu-Jitsu is quite popular, but nowhere near the Gym Scene. The Gym Scene here is HUGE! Some pay between R$200 to R$500 ($100 – $ 250) for monthly gym membership (excluding personal trainers) and are obsessed with musculação (engl. muscle training) especially the women.

In Brazil, personal trainers are a must and so, when I visit the gym (yes, I’ve conformed) I typically see people in fancy gym outfits with their personal trainers going at some workout. What I also see is that these people spend a lot of time socializing with their trainers and others at the gym. Beware; this huge distraction diminishes the effectiveness of your workout because resting time should last a maximum of 60 seconds. Note, I don’t have anything against personal trainers and do believe they help people achieve their fitness goals. But, I do not invest in this because there are workouts you can do on your own, which can be quite challenging, more effective and can save you some money.

The program of the workout I’ll go on to describe below was given to me by one of my friends’ personal trainers and consultants (my friend is a professional (Olympic) athlete). When I asked him how could I burn fat and tone my body at the same time, he told me that the right combination of Aerobic exercises and HIIT Circuit with resistance exercises could do the trick. Below, in Table 1, The Timetable is defined. Alternatively, you can modify it in whichever way you like, consider a maximum of 2 days rest if you want to achieve best results.

Table 1: Program’s Timetable

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Aerobic

HIIT + Cardio

Aerobic

REST

HIIT + Cardio

Aerobic

REST

n.b: If you prefer the HIIT + Cardio training to Aerobic, feel free to do it 3 times a week as opposed to 2. Similarly, choose your resting days as you please.

Before I go on, I would like to emphasize the importance of monitoring your heart rate. My friend, the expert, told me that in order to burn fat in cardio exercises, you have to monitor your heart rate and make sure it does not fall below 130 bpm (beats per minute) and does not exceed 155 bpm. Thus you have to make sure your heart is beating within this interval, otherwise you are burning energy and not fat.

So, BUY A SPORT WATCH AND FILL IN YOUR PERSONAL SETTINGS J

In addition, HYDRATING WHILE YOU WORK OUT IS A MUST. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS. When I jog (cardio/aerobic section), I make sure I have a sip of water every 2-4 minutes. By the end of the entire workout, I’ve downed between 1 – 2 liters!

The 2nd Table, below, outlines the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) combined with Cardio. Notice the heart rate intervals…

Table 2: HIIT + Cardio Training Outline

Exercise

Time

Description

Heart Rate (bpm)

HIIT + Cardio

10 min.

Jog – Warm up

115 – 130

HIIT Circuit

5 min.

Intense warm up: Some stretching, Jump rope, jumping jacks, etc.

Nice and high!

20 min.

1) Lunges (Light weights, optional) – 20x
2) Push-ups – 20x
3) Squats (Light weights, optional) – 20x
4) Crunches (use aerobic ball for back support) 20x
5) Donkey Kick 20x (10x each leg)

 REST FOR 60 seconds

REPEAT the circuit 5 times, rest for 60 seconds between each section. Do it quickly and effectively. FEEL THE BURN!

Cardio

20 min.

Light jogging

130 – 155

Stretching

15 min.

Stretch thoroughly

Falling

TOTAL CALORIES

450 – 550+

As you can see, the HIIT training section is composed of several resistance exercises. Naturally, you can pick the resistance exercises you please. They key is to do these exercises properly and quickly so that your heart rate goes up nice and high. The 60-second rest is a chance for you to recuperate and have a few sips of water J. It is harder than it looks! I made my boyfriend (who has a great fitness level) do these exercises and by the end, there was a lot of huffing. The Cardio section after the HIIT Circuit serves to help your body metabolize all the lactic acid you built. Last but not least, thorough stretching after your workout is paramount. Focus on the areas that feel tight! This is not only good for your muscles, but gives them beautiful shape.

On the other hand, the Aerobic Training is a chance for you to diversify your workout. If you have the opportunity to play sports or participate in activities, DO IT! Table 3 below outlines the Aerobic Training.

Table 3: Aerobic Training Outline

Exercise

Time

Description

Heart Rate (bpm)

Aerobic

45 min. – 60 min.

Pick any aerobic activity you like and feel free to alternate during the week
Consider sports: Tennis, Volleyball, Soccer, Cycling
Activities: Aerobics class, Zumba, Dance
OR: Jogging/running

130 – 160

Stretching

15 min. – 20 min.

Stretch thoroughly

Falling

TOTAL CALORIES

350 – 450+

If you don’t have the time for sports or activities, jog outside or indoors on a treadmill (I usually do this).

Bottom line; buy a sport watch to monitor your heart rate (some good brands include, Polar and Suunto), a BPA Free water bottle in order to hydrate. When you work out, try not to talk to others so that your resting time doesn’t exceed 60 seconds, stretch and eat healthy!

And for some motivation, MUSIC helps (alongside picturing your fit body in a bikini in some faraway paradise, like Croatia J)

Happy working out people!

If you’ve had a chance to read through some of the content on my blog, you’ll see that I train a certain way and eat a certain way. How do I know what works for me? Experimenting!!! I’ve read countless articles, tried countless programs, used various methods over the years and I’ve found out the style of training that my body best responds to in terms of progress and aesthetic gains. It’s taken me years, and it’ll take some time for you as well, but a good starting point to figuring out your direction is knowing your body type. Knowing what kind of body type you have will help determine your training regiment and your nutritional needs. It all comes down to this, do you train with a purpose? I do, and so should you. Find yours and work smart. Know your body type. Know what works best for it and experiment. That’s the only way you’re going to get better at anything is with experience and experimenting. You’ll get to learn your body and train efficiently. Not wasting you time with training styles that will hinder your performance. Sound good? Stay with me and learn about the 3 body types, figure out yours and even get some training and nutrition recommendations based on your body type! Think 3 months from now. That’s transformation time. That’s 90 days and those are your 90 days . You won’t let any day go to waste. Make sacrifices and reap the rewards. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Think of the last time you saw someone with an impressive body. You were probably thinking oh must be nice to be that guy. Guess what. It is and it’s possible for you too. Learn about your body type, apply your knowledge and love the results. Let’s go!

In the late 40’s, Dr. William H. Sheldon developed the theory of Somatypes; a theory which described three basic body types:

  1. The Ectomorph
  2. The Mesomorph
  3. The Endomorph

The Ectomorph 

The ectomorph is characterized by:

  • Long limbs and thin frame
  • Lean and lanky
  • Generally tall
  • High metabolism; hard to put on muscle
  • Lose fat relatively easily
  • Tend to do well at endurance sports such as running, cycling, swimming, etc.

Exercise and Nutrition Recommendations: Due to their high metabolism and low amount of muscle mass, the best type of training for ectomorphs are short but intense training sessions, with heavy weights and low reps with longer rest periods. Cardio should be minimal, maybe 1-2 sessions a week at 20-30 minutes of LISS (Low Intensity Steady State)  to maintain cardiovascular health. Changing up programs every month or so is key to progressive gains. Aim to add 2.5 – 5 lbs to your lifts from week to week to keep pushing your body, moving heavier weight and growing. Lifting is only part of the equation!  If you’re an ecto looking to put some muscle on that frame you’ll need to eat like a beast and rest.  A LOT. This is incredibly important. Ectomorphs must eat high quality, whole, nutrient dense foods to grow. I ate 5-7 meals a day and made sure that I was getting in at least 1 gram of protein per pound of my goal weight. Eat low-glycemic carbs (oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta), avoid sugars and eat fibrous carbs. Drink lots of water and rest. Ecto’s are usually considered noobs  and tend to believe more is better and spend hours training in the gym, leading to overtraining and wondering why their not growing. Muscle repair happens outside the gym when your resting, not in it. Take the hint. Less is more. Get in. Kill it. Get out. Feed. Rest. and Grow! I’ll provide a list of suggested programs that I’ve used with great success to provide myself with the foundation to build the body I have today. Stay tuned!

The Mesomorph 

The mesomorph is characterized by:

  • Most desired bodytype
  • Muscular and athletic body
  • Rectangular shape, with full chest, good broad shoulders and narrow waist
  • Low body fat
  • Gain muscle easily, but can gain fat easily as well .

Exercise and Nutrition Recommendations: Mesomorphs must train differently from ectomorphs to reach their genetic potential. Due to the large muscle mass and lower body fat, the mesomorph must frequently mix up workouts and use variety to prevent burning out or plateauing. The best way for meso’s to train is to keep the body guessing. Using a combination of rep ranges and techniques such as supersets, dropsets, negative reps, forced reps, rep-pauses, etc, will help the meso grow and progress while limited the chances of plateauing. To keep body fat levels low, I recommend 2-3 HIIT cardio sessions lasting 10-15 minutes. My favourite forms of HIIT cardio include ice hockey, sprints, crossfit WOD’s, and circuits. In relation to nutrition, meso’s should keep protein around 1-1.5 grams per bodyweight, fats around 15-20%, and the rest taken by complex and fibrous carbs. Drink a lot of water, 3+ litres a day and get lots of rest. As mentioned above, rest is when the muscles grow. So train. feed. rest and grow! Follow my muscle specific workouts if you fit into the meso body type. As I am in this body type, the training and nutrition that I follow will be best tailored towards achieving your genetic potential.

The Endomorph 

The endomorph is characterized by:

  • Round body type
  • Lots of excess body fat stored around the waist, arms and legs
  • Small shoulders and wider hips; pear-shaped
  • Generally quite strong
  • Slow metabolism

Exercise and Nutrition Recommendations: Due to the large amount of bodyfat stored on the body and the slow metabolism, it is recommended that the endo use circuit-style training, in conjunction with 3-4 days of HIIT cardio, in order to rev up the metabolism and melt off the fat hiding the muscle away. Like the meso, the endo must change workouts often and use various techniques to get the body burning maximum calories. The training that will best suit this body type is moderate/light weights with minimal rest in between sets. In order for the endo to slim down a bit, it is recommend to eat at a calorie deficit some 250-500 calories below maintenance. Protein intake is key for muscle building, while dropping some low gi-carbs in place for some fibrous carbs, will help along with the results. Try to limit fat intake. Drink lots of water. No booze or soft drinks. This is your body here, not some trashcan. I’ll also post some workout for my endomorph followers to provide kick ass fat burn and muscle unveiling.

What’s up everyone. Here are some of my favourite shoulder workouts that I like to cycle between when trying to put some size on my delts, while dialing in the striations by utilizing various training methods, including supersets, dropsets, rest-pause and german volume training. Try these out and see how effective they are for yourself!

Workout #1

  • 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8* rep Behind the Neck Seated Military Press

 (Increase weight with each set, on the last set perform a triple drop set, hit 8 reps with the weight, drop the weight and rep through the next few until failure, drop the weight again and pump them out)

  • 1 set of 50 reps of Lying Upright Cable Row  

Pick a lighter weights here and rep out to 50. Take as many breaks as you want but don’t stop until you hit this number.

  • 3 Sets of 12 reps One-Arm Cable Lateral Raises superset with 10 reps of

Barbell Front Raise

This one will BURN. Pick a relatively lighter weight and rep out 12 lateral raises on the cable per arm. Immediately after, grab a lighter straight bar (I use 40lbs) and lift the bar with straight arms to eye level, bring down and raise again, with straight arms, over your head, that’s one rep. Perform 10 more.

  • 3 sets of 12 reps Hyperextension DB Reverse Flyes superset with 12 reps of Cable Face Pulls

Position the pads on the hyperextension bench so that you can hand over with your lower body stable and locked in. Bend over as if you were to do a hyperextension, and with dumbells in hand, perform a reverse flye. After you’ve hit your numbers move on to the cable machine and set the cable with the tricep ropes at eye level. Grab the rope and pull the rope towards your face.

  • 10 sets of 10 rep Arnold Press on Swiss Ball

This is the final burner and will kill all heads of the shoulder. Grab a swiss ball and some light dumbells, maybe 40% of your 10 RM (I use 17.5 lbs) and perform 10 reps. Stop, count to 10 000, by thousands in your head. And perform another 10. Follow this method until you hit all ten sets. You’re shoulders will be toast by now.

Workout #2

Rest 60-90 seconds between reps.

  • Arnold Press 4 sets of 12 superset with Standing Military Barbell Press 4 sets of 8
  • Seated Lateral Raises 3 triple dropsets of 12,12,12 superset with seated front raises 3 triple dropsets of 12,12,12
  • Reverse Machine Flye 3 sets of 10 superset with Reverse Cable Flyes  3 sets of 12

 

Workout #3

Rest between 60 -90 seconds between reps.

  • Shoulder Press 3 x 8-12
  • Upright Row 3 x 8-12
  • Lateral Raises 3 x 8-12
  • Front Raise 3 x 8-12
  • Seated Reverse DB Fly 3 x 8-12

 

Workout #4

  • Barbell Shoulder Press 4 sets of 30,20,10,5 superset Lying Upright Row 4 sets of 30,20,10,5
  • DB Arnold Press 4 sets of 5, 10, 20, 30 superset DB Lateral Raise 4 sets of 30,20,10,5

** REST starts at 45 seconds and increases 15 seconds until you hit the set with 5 reps, rest for 90 seconds, then move on to the second round of exercises going from 90 seconds back down to 45.

Workout #5

  • Machine Shoulder Press (Body facing towards machine) 4 sets of 12, 10, 6, 6

Performing machine shoulder presses facing towards the machine will put a focus on the anterior (front) head of the shoulder.

  • One-Arm Lateral Raise 4 sets of 12 reps superset Lateral Raises 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Straight Bar Front Raise (Eye-Level) 4 sets of 12 reps superset Straight Bar Front Raise (Arms Fully Extended Over Head)  4 sets of 12 reps
  • Pronated Dumbell Reverse Rows 4 sets of 10, 12, 15, 20

 

Pancakes..mmm.. who doesn’t love them! Thought eating healthy was boring? You’ll think again after you’ve had some delicious banana chocolate protein pancakes. These are some of my favourites to make! They’re delicious. They’re healthy and they’re convenient. You can make these the night before and heat them up next morning if you’re usually out the door before eating breakfast. If not these can be the perfect  breakfast,post-workout meals, or meal anytime during the day. So easy to make, you’ll be wondering how you lived without em!

Here are the ingredients and the recipe with pictures to help you follow along!

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1/4 cup oat flour ( I use Quaker Instant oats and the nutribullet to mill the oats into flour. You can also buy oat flour at health stores, but their pretty expensive, so I prefer this little improve).

3 egg whites (You can also use liquid egg whites, just use the nutrition info to calculate the equivalent of 3 egg whites).

1 scoop of protein powder (I use Kaizen Whey Protein because it’s natural, without any GMO’s or gluten, and it doesn’t give me stomach problems. You can also use any type of protein powder; whey, casein, egg, oat, hemp, etc.

1 medium-size organic banana 

1 tablespoon (Tbsp) of organic coconut oil

Preparation:

  1.  Mix the dry ingredients (oat flour, cinnamon, and protein powder into the bowl).
  2. Mash the banana into a smooth consistency and add the to bowl.
  3. Break (or pour) the 3 egg whites into the bowl and mix all of the ingredients together.
  4. Place a pan on the stove and set it to medium. Grab a Tbsp of coconut oil, and coat the pan with it.
  5. After all the ingredients are mixed you should have a lightly runny consistency. Pour some from the bowl onto the pan.

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6. Let it sit for a 1 minute or two, until you can slide the spatula under it without any resistance. Flip it for another minute     Repeat these steps until the bowl, is empty. This mixture made me 3 smaller pancakes and one bigger pancake.

**OPTIONAL: Pending on your goals, you can add this!! I don’t like to eat my pancakes dry, so I used a Tbsp of 100% pure organic maple syrup. I’m in Canada so this stuff is amazing and its available to me. I tend to stay away from the calorie-free, sugar-free syrups because they are full of ingredients that aren’t very good for the body. Pure maple syrup has natural sugars and has more antioxidants then blueberries and spinach. So with a little moderation, you can eat these natural sugars on occasion. Unless your allergic, in any case, natural honey and agave syrup are good alternatives!!

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I used this as breakfast, but the mix of protein and low-glycemic will release nutrients into my blood through the next couple of hours until I re-feed. As mentioned earlier, these are super convenient, easy to prepare and will provide a sustained energy release. If you haven’t tried them, have a go and let me know what you think!!

Nutritional Info:

Per 1 Serving

Calories: approx. 100 calories

Protein: 9.45 grams

Carbohydrates: 4.68 grams

Fats: 4.125 grams

Ladies, what if I told you that lifting weights WILL NOT make you bulky. Squash that belief, and next time you’re in the gym, step away from the cardio equipment, and get on the gym floor. It’s no secret that these days strong is the new sexy. Toned, strong, and curvy women are back in and skinny women are out.  Eating healthy and working out WITH weights will help you get lean and sexy, improve your shape and curves.

All too many times I’ve heard girls saying, “I don’t want to use weights because I don’t want to have bulky muscles.” Almost 99.9% of the time, this is coming from women that have never touched a weight because of this myth. I’m here to tell you why these women are wrong and why weights are so important in building that strong and sexy body.

Testosterone. This is the mythbuster. Testosterone is a male steroid hormone that is the culprit behind the stereotype that lifting weights will make you bulky. The testosterone level in males is DRASTICALLY higher than that of females.   The average level of testosterone in males is anywhere between 270-1100 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter), whereas women have testosterone levels between 6-86 ng/dl. As you can see, there is a significant difference. So what does that mean? It means that unless you are taking testosterone injections or anabolic steroids, your body will not be able to naturally add bulky muscle. Lifting weights will NOT give you the same muscles as a man; they will help shape and tone your body.

Now there have been proven studies that men and women do not need to train differently, with that said put down those 5 lb dumbells and grab something a bit heavier. So tighten and tone that body, we’re going to be lifting and heavy. Don’t worry, those muscles wont be getting bulky they’ll be getting sexy and lean, and you? You’ll be getting jacked. Your version of jacked. The jacked you that you’ve always wanted to be. It’s possible, and this is how!  There is a general “guideline” for rep ranges that I will provide you with. Rep ranges of 1-5 are general said to help build strength and power. Anything between 6-12 leans toward hypertrophy, and anything in excess of 12 reps is used for endurance.  So which are you going to be doing? You will find out soon! Before that let me throw in some nutrition advice!

To build the ideal body we want to burn fat and build muscle. How do we do this? We find our maintenance calories and then add 250 calories to that number. We find out the final number and then set our macronutrients.  The female body burns a greater ratio of fats-to-carb then its male counterparts. This means that the body uses fat as energy more than men. This means that you can handle lower carb diets more easily. Adequate protein and EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) intake is required to build muscle and burn that fat. Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods and avoid anything processed. Drink lots of water. 3+ litres a day. The benefits are amazing, and you’ll feel full longer! Stay consistent, feed your body whole foods, and enjoy the progress! Now onto determining your body shape.

female body

No woman is shaped the same! That’s because there are four general female body shapes and knowing yours is the first step to getting to that lean and sexy you!

The Banana (Rectangle) Figure 

Characteristics of women in this category include:

  • Thin frame, long limbs with a petite upper body.
  • High Metabolism; eat pretty much anything and remain skinny.
  • Ectomorph body type
  • Examples include Cameron Diaz or Kristin Stewart.

Workout Prescription: As women with this body shape are petite and thin, heavy weights mixed with some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) should be used to add some muscle and curves to the frame.  Gym sessions with heavier weight and lower reps will help add some beef to the frame and 2-3 HIIT sessions will sculpt and tone that muscle into a beautiful body.

The Hourglass Figure

Characteristics of women in this category include:

  • Naturally proportionate; chest and hips of same size, with a smaller waist.
  • Classified as a meso-endomorph; tend to look heavier than they are
  • Examples include Scarlett Johansen and Kim Kardashian

Workout Prescription: Women with this body shape generally have proportionate chest and hips, with a smaller waist. To accentuate the curves, I would prescribe HIIT cardio 3-4 times a week coupled with weight training, performing heavy aiming each set in the 8-12 rep range.

The Pear Figure

Characteristics of women in this category include:

  • Smaller upper body and waist with larger thighs, butt and hips
  • Tend to have a slower metabolism.
  • Classified as an ecto-mesomorph.
  • Examples include Jenifer Lopez, Beyonce, Rihanna.

Workout Prescription: Women with this body shape generally have a smaller upper body with larger thighs, hips and butt. To accentuate the body shape, I would prescribe 3-4 HIIT sessions a week with a focus of using heavier weights with lower reps to build the muscles in the upper body, and use moderate weights with higher reps to tone the lower body.  Building up the upper body and toning the lower body will help build a pear shape build a body that resembles that of the hourglass figure.

The Apple Figure

Characteristics of women in this category include:

  • Top heavy with thinner arms, legs and hips with a tendency to store bodyfat in the midsection.
  • Classified as an endomorph.
  • Apple shapes have a tendency to drop weight and build muscle easier than the other shapes, but can also regain fat quickly if not maintained.
  • Examples include Queen Latifa and Catherine Zeta-Jones

Workout Prescription: Women with this body shape are generally top heavy with thinner arms, legs and hips. In order to accentuate the body shape, lifting heavy weights and using circuits/supersets will ignite your metabolism and burn the bodyfat sitting in the midsection. Intense circuit style gym sessions along with 2-3 days of HIIT cardio. This plan will have you feeling sexy and looking the part if done right.

To conclude this post, there are two main points that I must emphasize: (1) determine your body shape and  (2) lift and eat you’re way to your true potential. You will NOT bulk up, this I promise you. Follow the blog, educate yourself and build that beautiful, toned body of your dreams.