Friday, September 7, 2012

Still Alive..

Still alive. Just been busy. I graduated, am currently job searching, (girls suck), mother sold the house so I got an apartment, been skipping around to different gyms, went camping...It has been hard lately, but I have finally settled down here, I got a gym to go to and and ready to make all sorts of gainzzzz. My current weight is still between 172-175. My goal this year was 180lbs, it is still doable, probably more realistic to be 177 min and 182 max or something of that nature.

These progress pictures...what the hell. I am not suppose to be over 150lbs with my body type. I just know it. I have all sorts of aches now. My genetics are horrible and making gains have been tough. I stopped taking whey for about a month and as a result think I lost some size, which is weird. Stay tuned for more articles!!
"thats to much"

Monday, July 30, 2012

ON Amino Energy Review

Straight bicep shot.
So, I have tried many energy pre-wourkouts in my day, including big names like Jack3d and White Flood but I've always wanted to try ON's Amino Energy. Most pre-workouts seemed to be riddled with chemicals and stuff that you probably should not be putting into your system but Amino Energy comes off as a "clean" supplement. Lots of things in the blend seem to be very natural, whether it is true or not, I am not 100% sure of, but ON always comes off as a type of company that tries to keep stuff calm and natural.

Scoop size.
Taste: This IS the best tasting pre-workout I have ever tasted. If somebody were to tell you it was a cup of Fruit Punch (I bought the fruit fusion flavor) I would totally believe them. This stuff would taste good on a hot day in the sun, and all I was mixing it with was cold water and only 10 calories per serving. Can't go wrong.
5 stars for taste.


Performance: Well, the performance is the weird part. When you take Jack3d or White Flood you can feel when it starts to kick in, usually you will get an itch or a tingle sensation all over your body. With this it was a more subtle energy. During my workouts I just felt very consistent, as if I was not losing energy, but also not gaining energy. The energy blend in this is mainly caffeine, and I did not get to jittery, which is odd because when I drink coffee I get jitters, maybe because it was extracted from green coffee (but I have no idea TBH). The nice thing about this blend is that it does not contain creatine, from what I see, so if you try to avoid creatine regularly then this may be a good choice.

Did I feel better recovery? Nothing out of ordinary. Were my lifts better per say? No. It did keep me going though.
3 Stars for performance.


Price: Sucks. I bought this from Vitamin Shoppe for like $26 for 270g. When you boil it down, all it really is, is caffeine and an amino blend, so you could buy aminos separate and drink coffee for a lot cheaper. There are 30 servings in the container, and one serving is two scoops, I was taking 4-5 scoops at a time so it was really only like 15 servings total, so it was $1.75 every time I went to take a drink. Now there are more expensive drinks out there. Like RedLine, that stuff is over $3 a bottle. Pretty heavy on the wallet overall. If I had a lot of money, I would probably drink this in the morning versus coffee though, but I do not have a lot of money.
1 Star for price.


In conclusion, I think the stuff tastes great, it does it's job to keep me going in the gym, but it is not worth the buck. If ON made this stuff like $10 a container, I would probably live off of it. Or if they just made a sports drink out of it.Overall: 3 Stars
For your reference.













For your reference.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Olive Oil Tip.

Sorry for not posting in a while, school is getting busy. I figured I would post a quick olive oil tip today.

Lately I have been putting olive oil on everything in my attempt to get rid of butter type substitutes (Olivio, etc.) So here is what I have been doing. I keep two types of olive oil around. Extra Virgin Olive, this dark stuff, and Extra Light Olive Oil. I use the Extra Virgin for flavor. Essentially I just marinate with it or cook meat in it like a burger patty. I been cooking 93/7 lean burger patties in this stuff, essentially just adding some clean fats (monounsaturated) to my meat and some nice flavor.

For the Light Olive Oil, I use it for everything else. I will cook my eggs in this to avoid sticking as well as adding some more calories to my breakfast. I consume much more Light Olive Oil because I been putting this in my protein shakes lately instead of peanut butter, roughly 30ml (2 serving: 240 cals). I had done this before with Extra Vrigin, but I did not like it because it ruined the flavor of my shakes but when I discovered Extra Light Olive Oil I noticed the stuff barely has any flavor at all. It is a great way to add calories to anything.

As a young man I do not really worry about extreme health risks like heart disease and such, but according to WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/all-about-olive-oil) consuming 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil a day can reduce the risk of heart disease and also help lower bad cholesterol levels, this is mainly due to the fact that it is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Typical Grocery List

I go grocery shopping about once a week. Since I am going grocery shopping tomorrow I figured I would make a post about all the foods I try to have on hand.

SECTION I:

  • Tuna
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Almonds
  • Olive Oil
  • Whole Milk
  • Wheat Bread
  • Wheat Pancake Mix
  • Wheat Pasta
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice Cakes
  • Brown Rice
  • Bananas/Apples
SECTION II:
  • Olivio
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt and Pepper (der)
  • Seasoning Salt (moderated)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Parmesan Cheese (moderated)
  • Sugar Free Syrup
SECTION III:
  • Light Popcorn (less crap added)
  • Corn Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Frozen Pizzas (cheat)
  • Ice Cream (cheat)
So, section one is the brunt of my diet and things I eat. Obviously I do not buy every single item every single week, lots of things carry over for a few weeks. Also, I have a variety of different foods because if I feel I need to change something up I have the ability to do so.

Section two, as you may of noticed is a list of different things I use to modify the foods in section one. Some of these are pretty good, and some I try not to abuse so much.

In section three I have some snack foods and cheat foods that I will usually tackle once a week. (Cheat days are going to be another post)

CONCLUSION: If your grocery basket looks healthy, and at the end of the week all the groceries you bought are dwindling down, then chances are you are doing okay!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Goals and Progress

So, as I promised yesterday I said I would post on how to track goals and progress. The best tool for tracking actual progress is by making a bodyspace at bodyspace.bodybuilding.com. Here you can connect with various other people, set specific goals, keep track of your lifts, body weight, bodyfat %, and more.

Weighing:
Specifically tracking size and such is sort of self explanatory, but we need to be careful sometimes. Get your self a scale, I prefer digital with large numbers, make sure to get an accurate one. Weigh yourself. Best time to weight yourself? In the morning I feel is most adequate, also I like to be wearing similar clothing every time so my numbers do not get thrown off to much. How often to weigh yourself? Some people like to weigh themselves once a day. This is a bad idea in my honest opinion. It is normal to have weight change + or - 5 pounds or so. So seeing to much fluctuation may be discouraging at first. Pick one day a week and weigh yourself on the same day every week (I have to agree with the WeightWatchers fellows on this approach). Also when it comes to weight fluctuation sodium can play a large factor in this, I will touch upon this in another post.

Muscle Measurement:
You could also measure actual size of muscles and areas. This is not an easy task though. I have never gotten it done professionally, but a kinesiologist would be the professional that would properly measure muscle size with something called a gullick measuring tape. I am not one to keep close track of these types of measurements, but if you are looking for a ballpark measurement, then go grab yourself a tailor's tape and you can do some measurements with that at home. One of the most general measurements everyone would like to know is the size of the arm (upper arm, not the forearm). The way I was taught is to flex your arm as if you are trying to get some babes attention at the beach. Then have a friend measure the largest point on your arm, and make sure not to pull the tape to tight. So, theoretically, the lowest point of your tricep and highest point on your bicep. After you have taken this measurement....measure again for consistency, and measure both arms. Like I have said though, I am not one to practice this type of measuring regularly.

Lift Progress:
Another source of tracking is a very simple one. Are your lifts increasing? I feel you should be able to up the weight on lifts every week, the weight intervals may vary from week to week, for example a squat's weight interval increase will most likely jump higher in weight than a bicep curl's weight interval increase, just because of the size of that muscle group. It is always important to make lifting progress. Write down your lifts (I keep mental track) and then try to up it a bit every week. I usually up it every two weeks because I am a freak about over doing weight, but I see a lot of people like to up weight week to week.

Body Fat % Measuring:
Ehhhhhh I don't like this one. If you would like to try it, get your self a pair of calipers and measure up. The calipers will most likely come with a fat % measuring chart. Do not be afraid of some fat gain though. I got scared because I though I was getting fat my freshman year here in college, then I ended up not eating for a week. (Such a chick move.)


Goals:
I handle my goals pretty simple. What I do is pick a goal for weight, say for example I want to be able to put the 100lb dumbbells up on flatbench 4x as a goal. I will set the goal over a course of a year (it is not bad to set a quarterly or half year goal either, I just happened to do it a year at a time) then on top of that I set one unrealistic goal so I would say 150lb dumbbells at the unrealistic, then I shoot for the unrealistic one. Sound weird? It is. But it keeps me pumped up, and if I don't hit the unrealistic one, then no big deal; i tried. Then I set an overall weight goal (also yearly, but I do keep track weekly). A realistic goal over the course of a year is 12-18lbs (this number may vary depending workout experience, beginner gains, puberty etc.) for me, this is realistic. Unrealistic I say about 30lbs. Once again I shoot for the 30, but I do not want to get to carried away with that one because I don't want to get fat.

Pictures (Smile):
The final, and one of my favorite progress trackers (and most important) is images. Take pictures of yourself. Take pictures of yourself in a regular setting from all angles, flexing, relaxed, etc. Then take another picture in a couple months with similar "poses". I have seen some pretty impressive results for people trying to lose weight, in just under a month, but losing is a bit different. Gaining may take some time seeing as how the process takes a bit longer. Don't expect to see INSANE results just after a couple months, but if there are traces of progress, then you should be happy. Remember to stay positive and confident on how you look no matter what. If some b***** are calling you thin (happened to me before; often) take that anger out on some weights and show them whose boss.

Oh man, GUNS! On the left is a picture of myself I found on facebook from high school senior year (it was 80s day, I like the wig). Pretty sure that shirt was waaaayy to big for me. It was an X-Small.






On the right, here is a picture from a few
weeks ago. Not huge, but decent progress.




Conclusion: Make sure you are making gains on the scale and weigh yourself regularly every week and at the same time of day. Measure a muscle or two, or all of them. You should be lifting more and more every week (at the same reps of course), but do not over do it. Take pictures of yourself. It is really easy to track all this information in a bodyspace account on bodybuilding.com. Most importantly, do not get discouraged and do not take progress benchmarks EVERDAY or else it is really easy to get discouraged.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Before and After.

Well, this one is 'after' on the left, and 'before' on the right. If you are ready to have a sweet full body transformation make sure you take some good before pictures from all angles. Side, front, top, bottom, and don't forget your legs and back. I made the mistake of not doing this. A few months ago I found a picture of me using my new camera in my dorm mirror sophomore year, so I decided to remake the exact picture. Here was the outcome.

This was a two year span. Wanna hear the screwed up part? At the time of the older picture [right], the sophomore year picture, I considered myself in the best shape of my life at 132-137lbs. I was not dieting correctly at this time, I was super cut up tho. So with proper nutrition for this past year and a half or so I have managed to keep all my abs and gain some quality size and strength.

Ah yes, and non of my slim fit small t-shirts fit me anymore. 

Tomorrows post will be about goal setting and weighing yourself.