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Just a “Regular” Guy Trying Probiotics

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Florastor.

health nut

I am definitely one of those people who wouldn’t be caught dead worrying about gluten free potato chips or even msg.  I know, that’s awful but true.  I do care about my health and feeling good but I am a “big picture” kind of guy.  I laugh at people that obsess about only eating organic food but continue to be 30 pounds overweight and have a resting heart rate of 80 bpms. What’s the point in eating perfectly healthy, but suffering from being obese and out of shape? I call that majoring in the minors – when you focus on the small stuff and miss the big stuff. However, I do believe the small stuff matters, if you are adding to an already healthy lifestyle.

florastor

I’ve always been curious about probiotics.  I’ve shied away from the topic because I just wasn’t aware of the benefits, nor my need for them.  Now, after a little research, along with a great opportunity and education from a leading probiotic company (Florastor), I find myself in a position where I think I could benefit greatly from probiotics.

steve pfiesterJust recently I had a traumatic injury at work, and was forced to take heavy doses of antibiotics.  I was shot with a 40 caliber hollow point round that took a big chunk of leg with it as it passed through both legs. This is a picture of me, with my bandages on my legs and my dog, Marley. The medication took a toll on my body in a lot of ways.  I know it was healthy for my wounds, but what about the negative affects antibiotics play on the rest of the body?

Hard core antibiotics kill all bacteria – good and bad.  I am aware of the “good flora (bacteria)” that exists in our bodies to maintain proper digestion, but I had no clue how this balance also affects our immune system, water balance, mood, and even energy levels.  To make things worse, I decided right away not to let the gun shot injury keep me down.  I am a fighter and I am gonna fight regardless of anything (I thought).

florastor

allergic reaction to AleveI started training for a bodybuilding show 3 days after getting out of the hospital.  I could barely walk, let alone do squats or lunges, but I continued to try my best.  Between aforementioned antibiotics, and now the increase in protein supplements and meal replacements, my body was in complete shock.  My immune system was reacting to everything, especially a near death reaction (out of the blue) to Advil and Aleve.

I have never been allergic to anything in my life, and now I cant take the one medication that actually gets me through intense training – not to mention my legs were still hurting like crazy, especially after trying to work lower body in the gym.  But here I am, completely reacting to Advil (photo of my crazy hives. Have you seen Hitch. Yep, that was me!).

I was learning that stress, diet, trauma, medications, and just plain ole life, can play a huge part in altering our bodies digestive health, and the biggest player in regulating immune function, nutrient absorption, and toxin excretion is our digestive tract.  My digestive tract was struggling, and I could feel the evidence of this in my mental, physical and emotional health.  What a perfect time to try out this “foreign idea” of probiotics.

FlorastorI’ve been taking Florastor for about 3 weeks.  The first thing I noticed was more regularity (but not anything crazy – meaning this is in no way a laxative or anything). Soon after, more energy.  I was unaware how probiotics affect water regulation, but it definitely does.  My mood and energy are restored to how I felt before I started training for the bodybuilding show.

I also noticed other small perks that I wasn’t even looking for.  My skin was better, my cravings were controlled, and all and all I just felt better.  Placebo? Perhaps when it comes to mood, but the other changes were very definite.  I still haven’t had the guts to try Aleve again, but that will be a blog for another time.

Does It Work? My Answer…

So, all in all, I’m pretty convinced that Florastor Probiotics are effective and making me feel healthier!

Here are some cool tidbits of info…

florastor

 

 

Feed with Purpose

In a “perfect world”, I’d be 6’2″ and ripped no matter what I ate – and I could beat up any 0ne I wanted. Oh yeah, and all slower cars would never ride in the left hand passing lane. BUT, we don’t live in a perfect world. So how does this relate to PFOOD?

In a perfect world, everything we put in our mouths would serve a purpose in regards to our body’s needs. Our body looks at food primarily as a fuel source, but also as building blocks to restore degraded tissue.  Lets “digest” this for just a second. Everything we eat should have purpose, either to help fuel or rebuild the body.  So the questions we must ask are “What are we fueling for?” and “What tissue is being broken down?”.

FUEL
Our bodies need the proper fuel if we want to perform at our best.  If it’s just another day at the office, and you are eating pancakes and Big Macs you may not even notice the havack you are reaping deep inside. But, when you call on your body to perform at its best, you’ll probably see that Big Mac for a second time.  Ewwwww! We must decide what our goals are.

Short example: If you’re running at a moderate pace for an extended period of time, and your reason for doing this is to lose stored fat, you might be better served running on an almost empty stomach to force your liver to make glycogen out of previously stored energy (fat).  However, if your goal is to do wind sprints to work the legs in an explsoive way and increase your performance in regards to speed, your body will be better served with energy that can be used for this purpose, like carbohydrates.  (and I’m not talking about donuts and snickers bars)

REBUILD
Exercise degrades tissues.  All tissues and organs of the body are affected in some way, even bone.  It is super important that we feed these tissues and organs what they need to not only repair, but also to “rebuild even stronger” post workout.

One of the reasons we train, and compete is to get better.  Apart from skill aquisition, our perfromance will not increase unless we “rebuild the body”  This subject is immence and can be discussed for a very long time, so lets keep it simple.  Refuel your body with what it needs to repair and rebuild the tissues you want to make stronger and healthier.  If you want to restore fat, eat fat.  If you want to restore muscle, eat lean protein.  Without a doubt, timing your feeding of certain substrates is of the utmost imortance.  See PfitPfundamental blog: Fat vs Muscle Part 1

PERFORM
The above was just a quick explanation as to why I added more carbohydrates into my diet.  I have been focussing on creating more explosive power and less focus on leaning out.  It’s a sacrifice, but my body needs the calories when I am fighting so I wont “gas” out and fatigue.  My purpose for fuel has slightly changed.  I need the extra glycogen to fuel me when I am grappling but the risk is.. unused fuel will get stored as fat.

Here’s how I’ve been fueling up lately…

Try some of the Beyond Raw supplements from GNC
and take your training to the next level.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

How to Get Perfect Abs

I love fundamentals.  Fundamentals are the foundation from which more complex and effective derivatives are built upon.  So many pro athletes achieve stardom and fame only to eventually fall into a slump and return to the basics.  Many coaches and athletes alike will tell you, if you perfect the fundamentals, there may be no need for much else.

My Striking, and grappling skills are continuing to get better.  As I get more advanced,  I’ve noticed that every class starts with repeating basic drills that I learned from the very first day; and so it is with abdominal work.

You can do V-ups, X-ups, sit ups, roll ups, knee ups, or just about any abdominal exercise you want,  and without using basic fundamentals,  you will never effectively work the target area.  Most ineffective abdominal work is caused from poor set up.  If you can accomplish a good starting position and maintain good positioning during the range, your abs will cry sweaty tears of bliss.  So, how do we set up to get all the “goody” out of our abdominal training? glad you asked!

1. Lay down on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor
2. Roll your belt line (low back)  into the mat or ground (a slight posterior pelvic tilt)
3. Use the hamstrings to lock your pelvis into position.  Do this by digging your heels into the ground and pull them toward your buttocks to tighten your hamstrings holding your pelvis in a posterior tilt
4. Place your hands behind your neck holding the base of your noggin (nuchal line) and keep your elbows open and wide.
5. Look straight up keeping your chin off your chest.
6. Pull your naval into your spine AS YOU EXHALE.
7.
As you exhale, PULL YOUR TRANSVERSE ABDOMINALS IN, LIFT YOUR SHOULDER BLADES OFF THE FLOOR UNTIL ONLY THE MID BACK (THORACIC REGION) IS TOUCHING
(NOTE: LIFT STRAIGHT UP AS IF YOU HAVE A GLASS OF WATER ON YOUR CHEST… TRY NOT TO ROLL UP IN AN ARC)

Congratulations, you just executed a perfect crunch!

Continue to use these same principals for all abdominal work.  These fundamentals will help facilitate and recruit more abdominal musculature durring your workout giving you “perfect abs”.

NOTE: Don’t forget – no matter how great your ab exercises are, you’ll never see them if you don’t diet. Diet is 80% of getting the abs of your dreams!

Tractor Tire Abs

Here is an entire ab & core workout I put together for GNC utilizing a tractor tire. Since many MMA camps and boot camps us tractor tires, I decided to come up with a few exercises to help you make the most of your tractor tire. Don’t have one? You can get a used on free at your local tractor repair store or dealer – or you can use a stability ball or bench.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

Keep It Stupid Simple

The gym is riddled with so many different types of athletes who have to differentiate their training for the respective discipline that they are training for. Furthermore, even within those disciplines are different body types and inherent deficits that the individual athlete must address if they want to improve performance or aesthetics specifically for their  body. While in the gym, it can be quite defeating to immolate the guy next to you unless you are training for the same sport AND have the same body type and needs.

Even with all of these parameters in mind, you will get so much more out of your training if you just K.I.S.S.!  Let’s go back to basics, the foundation that training is built upon. Reliable research has been published for years that, if followed, will bring about the desired outcome, whether that be aesthetics or performance.

Keep in mind there are a lot of  different philosophies on modalities of exercise (the what, when, where, why, and how of training).  Research will support much of it. Even if sometimes the research seems to contradict itself or other published data.  This is why it is important to understand the fundamental principals behind the sub-categories we will discuss,  and try to employ different combinations until you find what makes you the best in your field.

RESISTANCE:

No matter what sport you are training for, you have to overwhelm and fatigue what your body can already accomplish if you want your body to adapt to a higher level of performance.  Think of what your respective sport requires of your body and mock this resistance in the gym.

GOAL: To increase…
  #1 Power- work at 80% of your maximum
  #2 Hypertrophy (size)-  65-75% of max
  #3 Stamina– 40-60% of max

REST & REPETITION:

Rest and repetition go hand in hand.  The less rest you give yourself will dictate whether or not you can do the next set at the desired resistance for the desired amount of reps.  By decreasing recovery time, you will increase intensity and force your body to adapt to a very intense atmosphere like “competing”  However, if your discipline allows for adequate rest, but you still must produce power, or you are trying to get larger muscles and stamina isn’t a factor, then rest as much as needed for the results you need to produce.  But allowing your body to recover as “it” dictates will never bring about a more fit level of performance.  (Did you here me bodybuilders and powerlifters?)

To Increase Power:
Rest- 2-3 minutes recovery
Repetition-  1-6 reps

To Increase Hypertrophy:
Rest- 1-2 minutes
Repetition- 8-15 reps

To Increase Stamina:
Rest- 10-60 seconds
Repetition- 15+

Tempo:

How fast or slow we execute each repetition can extremely change the intensity of training.  Tempo is a very effective tool to help facilitate more muscle fiber recruitment at different points of the range of motion.  For instance, we could accentuate the negative (eccentric contraction) by “slowing our roll” on the return. There are many different advantages to tempo changes and holds during the different phases of the repetition.  Again, we must dissect the movements that are used in our respective disciplines.  Fighters may want a very explosive concentric contraction and a very fast eccentric return as well.  A powerlifter may want a slow return during the negative, and a bodybuilder might benefit from maintaining constant tension throughout the lift with no starting and no stopping.

Duration:

This is a very controversial category.  It is safe to say we need to train up to, and at sometimes beyond, the length of time we will be competing. For example, if I am running a 5K, and I know I can complete a 10K effortlessly, then I should dominate anything less.  If a fighter needs to be ready for 7 five-minute rounds, and they can fight for 8 six-minute rounds at the same intensity, then they will be ready to compete at the highest level possible for fewer rounds.

Be careful not to overtrain, but please push your self, make your body adapt, and DO NOT UNDER-TRAIN!  If you have a 1.2 mile swim coming up in a tri, don’t let race day be the first time you try that distance.  Train for it, and be prepared!

Fuel

Finally, make sure you are getting the supplements you need to perform your best, repair and grow. As most of you know, I use the Beyond Raw line and truly love it. Unfortunately with training, you are only as good as what you eat. If you eat like a ballerina, you will never be able to look, or perform like, a football player. The fuel you choose for your body is crucial to making positive gains.

Each one of these sub-categories could be its own text book.  I just wanted to touch on some fundamentals.  You don’t need to know all the crazy science  on a cellular level (I love that stuff).  It’s more important to look at these things as they relate to, and manifest themselves into, performing at your very best!!!!!

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

Putting Supplements to the Test: Performance Vs. Physique

Here we go again. 
The story began 5 months ago when I had an opportunity to try a line of supplements from GNC.  It wasn’t a challenge as much as it was an experiment.  I used this 90 day experiment to get ready for a few media events that BCX was contracted to complete.  If you read my story you already know how aprhensive I was to rely on a new, and unknown, supplement regimine.  Any trainer or nutritionist will tell you, training and diet is extremely important – but we were talking about taking it to the extreme. You know, I’m talking about the last little bitty pounds…. the “miniscule” amount of water and fat that seems impossible to rid our butt and gut of.  So, tried and true was the extreme transformation, it was truly “Beyond Raw”.  So what now?

Physique vs Performance
I saw my physique change, but what about performance.  Aesthetics is one thing, but what could Beyond Raw do to how my body could perform?  My “huckleberry”,  Alfonso Morreti (AKA “The Angry Trainier”) and I are not afraid to put our phsysiology on the line to give you guys answers.  He and I are average Joe’s with a passion for results.  We want to know what works – and what is just fluff.  No doubt, Beyond Raw can chisel a 42 year old body, but can it take this physique to a level of performance that normal biology would deem,  EXTREME?

I want to know if Beyond Raw can increase performance – and if so, in what disciplines.  I know I can get leaner and build muscle at the same time – proved that already.  Now I want to know, can these supplements make me stronger, more powerful, faster, create endurance, increase repair, and maintain leaness?

I want to know what discipline of exercise, in what arena’s, and what environments, could these supplements be employed to take both aesthetics and performance to a level that is Beyond Raw. (side note… every time I write “BEYOND RAW”, in my head, I say it like an announcer with a really deep voice).

My next experiment:
I plan to test the limits of GNC’s Beyond Raw line beyond aesthetics.  To put these supplements to the test, we will see what they can do to take this physique from competing against aesthetics of body building in july, to a ½ Iron Man in September, to a MMA tournament in October. For some, this may not be crazy. But I promise this is already sounding insane to me – “beyond insane”.  I havn’t competed in body building in over 6 years, I have no experience with marathons or tri’s (NONE!), and I just started training in mma late last year.

My goal is to “compete  and complete” each tournament.  Semper Persevera… never give up!!!!

Stay Tuned…

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own. 

Beyond-Raw Journal “FINALE”

Who wants to try something new when it really counts?  That’s exactly what GNC and FitFluential asked me to do.  GNC asked me to use this amazing new line of products they call their “Beyond-Raw” line to get ready for my next event.  Normally I would accept and try anything with no reservation… EXCEPT this time I really needed to be in tip-top condition.  Not just for photos, but Bonnie and I and a group of nationally recognized trainers were leading a Fitness Retreat in Cancun Mexico (pictured below) for Fit Studio and My destination wellness.

As a trainer,  on-lookers compare what you are saying by living it.  In other words, our words are validated by our physiques.  There are no excuses when you talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.  So I had my reservations.  I didn’t want to be judged a hypocrite if this “stuff” just didn’t work.  I know how to dial in my training, and I know how to tweak my diet down to the last calorie.  I can cut 12 pounds of water in 6 hours… but what was I thinking when I told GNC -DAN to send the Beyond-Raw supplement to Florida?  It was on.  Didn’t help that I was starting this “experiment” at the heaviest and softest I’ve been in over 6 years.  Or that I only had 2 months to drop about 20 pounds or 6% body fat.  But a deal is a deal… It had better work.

The first month I cut back on the calories and began the supplementation and immediately I lost about 5 pounds in the first two weeks.  I was floored.  I was thinking to myself, this is a cakewalk.  AND THEN…. n o t h i n g… for the next month.  I couldn’t get the scale to move.  I resorted back to a body composition report and realized… my body fat was indeed decreasing as I lost 3 more pounds of fat but gained 3 pounds of muscle.  I’m almost 42 years old.  I haven’t gained muscle in over 6 years.  I redid the body comp every day for a week because I thought I was dreaming.  I dropped from almost 13% body fat to 9.1 in less than a month. This gave me a fever to push as hard as I could.  The discipline to eat and supplement perfectly was effortless because I was seeing my body respond daily.  Don’t get me wrong, after the initial loss, I was discouraged, but after the body comp showed the mass gain… I was sold out for the “Beyond Raw” line.  I wanted all I could get.

The question is,  after your training, after your nutrition, how much can supplementation really do???  Listen; genetics, training and nutrition can only take you to the edge. When you are ready to jump, you better be packing “Beyond-Raw“.

Before & After:
Here are my “RAW” pics – and a couple photos from a photo shoot I took the same weekend as my after shot.

Here’s what I did:

I started my day, training or no training,  with one scoop of RE-GROW.  In short, this protein is formulated to increase lean muscle anabolism and decrease  lean catabolism.  If we can train hard and not break down muscle, and still stimulate growth… then I want more.

Next I would take Re-Fine before training.  If I wasnt weight training I’d take Re-Fine before conditioning, even if it was yoga.  What I loved about this pre-workout thermogenic is I was able to stay focused during the rush.  Didn’t notice the fat loss until it mattered most.  From 9% to 6% it was completely apparent.

I used the Re-Power as a recovery drink.  The BCAA are made to absorb fast and preserve muscle, and prepare them for the next bout of intense training.  It is one of those supplements that you can feel working to repair muscle.  The last supplement was the most confusing for me, and the one that forced me to do a little research to understand the mechanisms at work.

Re-forge is taken at bed time. Anyone who schools themselves on rest and repair is aware of how important our endocrine function is at night.  This is when our body is re-pairing and re-building the cells that we spent brutalizing all day.  Re-Forge is what is responsible to encourage our body to release the right hormones and enzymes to maximize repair and lean muscle growth during our sleep cycle.

So there it is… My Journey that took me “Beyond-Raw“.  The before and afters were for me only, but a picture is worth a thousand words.  When you have gotten every ounce of muscle out of your training and nutrition, i hope you do your self a favor and try “Beyond-Raw”  it’s truly “BEYOND-RAW

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

HOW TO “NOT” START A DIET

So, you wanna start a diet and get skinny.  Well hooray for you, good luck with that… nooo, don’t get mad… Just say’n…
 OK, I’m sorry.  My sarcasm stems from years and years of trying to drive this “how to”, point home.   After 3 health clubs, 2 weight loss reality tv shows, thousands of twitter and Facebook friends, and most importantly… my own life, this is what I’ve learned…

 ITS HARD AS A “MOFO” TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!!!!!
How do we bear down, draw a line in the sand, and say NO MORE?  Wellllll…
The truth is, almost all cold-turkey diets don’t last!

Here is what I mean… 

This is what I call “the evolution of a diet”.

1. First, we try purge our house of everything tempting, unhealthy, or non-conducive to a new diet.  (most of us now will polish off  the rest of our ….fill in the blank… , beer, ice cream, Doritos..  instead of throwing it, or giving it, away)  

2. Then we research and grocery shop for the “healthy alternatives”.  Try to fill our houses with healthy foods and snacks. (shopping for any and everything that we can eat a dump truck load of and not get fat, instead of realizing, we must learn to eat a little less of everything)

3. Research diets.  (Monday, we are going to get a shot of, only god knows what, and eat 500 calories)

4. Join a gym.  (We might even hate working out, but all the magazines say we need to workout because lean muscle will burn calories while I sleep)

… Are you getting the point yet?  This is a recipe for disaster.  Yes, more than likely you will lose weight, maybe even hit your goals, BUT, you will have to change your belief system about food and activity if you ever plan to keep the weight off.  98% of all people, even if they hit their goals, will gain their weight back, and then some. 

So what should we do:

Here are some very realistic ways to begin to develop a lifestyle change that will lead to a healthy and successful diet conducive to weight loss and fuelling our performance in or out of the gym.

Week one: Educate and become aware.  

As you are eating this week, research your calories;  become aware of everything you are putting in your mouth.  Decide what really taste good, and decide what you might be able to do without.  Also become aware of when you might be eating for taste or actual hunger.  Sometimes we just have to suck-it-up-just-be-hungry !

Week two: Purge the naughty.
 Only purge the things that you deem a waste.  The foods and candies that you know will destroy every attempt at a healthy diet.  Continue to research healthy alternatives or substitutions for some of your vices.  Try not to binge other foods as a replacement.

Week three: Actual “diet” begins. 
I would be surprised if you havn’t noticed a slight change in your waist and a bump in your mood, but even if you havn’t… “STAY THE COURSE” It’s about to get fun…  Week three you must begin to look at the amount of food that you are consuming and compare it to what you are burning.  This means math… I know I hate math too.  The Harris-Benedict Formula will give you an estimate of your Basal Metabolic rate (calories burned at rest).

BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.76 x age in years )
BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )

Multiply this times our activity level and we can get a close estimate of calories burned per day.

Little to no exercise Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1–3 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3–5 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (6–7 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.725
Very heavy exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.9

As long as you eat fewer calories than that number, you will lose weight.  Unless you weigh and measure your food (not forever… just until you get a grip on portions and calories) you will never know how many calories you are taking in.  After you determine calories out and calories in, you can determine if and how fast you will lose some excess body weight. This is the week you must begin to decrease your portions.  Change the way you think!  That slight hungry feeling is your body wanting to be skinny, it is the feeling of your beautiful body burning gobs of fat.  Please embrace that small hunger feeling, do not chase it away with a burrito.

Week four: proteins, fats, carbs… 
now the most delicate part of this “blog Vomit”.  How do I make sure I’m losing fat and not muscle?  You have to determine where the calories you are eating are coming from.  There are a lot of great sites online for this, but you must still know your portions to get correct data.   My suggestion for anyone starting a diet and isn’t sure… if you are trying to decide between High protein, or low carb’s, or no fats, let’s just start with equal amounts (in calories) for all of these. In other words, 33% of your calories coming from every substrate except, of course, alcohol…  so on a 1200 calorie diet, you could eat 400 calories of protein, 400 calories of carbs, and yes… 400 calories of fats.  Don’t make this crazy hard, or what I call majoring-in-the-minors . Its’s just one meal at a time…

Beyond Raw Journal: The 4-Week Mark

I love this challenge before me… To get shredded abs and not lose any lean mass, while becoming faster, stronger, and harder. It reminds me of the intricacies of training and diet.

So often we train and eat off of feelings and moods, only noticing huge unmeasurable changes. Only when those changes push the confines of our “gross” (meaning large and ambiguous) parameters do we stop and take notice.

For instance, instead of doing a body composition to measure my body’s relationship of size, weight, and fat ratio to muscle, I wake up one day and can’t button my jeans, my shirts are tighter (and not in the biceps), or I am huffing and puffing trying to get through a normal cardio workout.  So what gives?

Many of us don’t notice phenomenal changes in our bodies, whether good or bad, until they push past whatever limits we measure “our status quo”, by..ie. tight jeans.  By the time your clothes become noticeably uncomfortable, you could have gained 15-20 pounds.  Sometimes it’s seeing yourself in a picture that a friend just posted on Facebook and itlooks like you are hiding nuts in your mouth for winter.  Depositing a little fat here, and a little fat there, begins to creep up on you until the “DAY OF RECKONING”. The day you take a good and honest look at yourself and say “WTflip”

That day for me ,was 4 weeks ago now. As I prepair for FitStudio’s Mexico Body Camp (which by the way you TOTally need to ENTER to WIN), I decided “enough!“.  I researched some ideas for diet and training and supplementation and decided to dRAW a line in the sand.  I started by going back to a diet that works,  Mostly meats (fish, turkey, and chicken) and vegetables with “measured” occasional carbohydrates in the morning for fuel.  I also wanted to take my training up a notch, which in turn, would have to be supported by quality supplementation.

For training,  I am leaning on slightly more intense strength training, and four days a week of intense BCx (strenuous conditioning program).  But what about supplementation?  I am getting my fuel,  calories, and training squared away, so the biggest piece of the puzzle is rest and RE-building. What we wreck during our training, must be RE-paired.  Understand the way we get stronger, fitter, and faster is by punishing and overwhelming our bodies physically, to the point that “forced adaptation” must occur – if your body wants to survive the carnage you have planned in tomorrows workout.  If you don’t push your body past the limits you can already accommodate, there is no primal need for any physiological changes to occur, like fat loss and muscle gain.  But after a brutal workout, it is imperative that you RE-feed and rest your body on a physiological level.  Taking supplements that will drive your cells to RE-pair, RE-store, and adapt.  I believe I can say after 4 weeks, and some trial and error, I am really loving the brand new Beyond Raw products coming soon to GNC.

At first I was hoping to see my weight drop drastically. I did not. I was wanting to see my jeans fall off of me after at least a week of starting my diet.  They did not.  What is happening is even more interesting.  My weight has only dropped 5 pounds.  I peaked at 203 and I am down to 197.7.  My body fat is at 10% which is only down 1.5%, however, this is the leanest I have ever been this close to 200 pounds.  I have gained 3 pounds of muscle and lost 3 pounds of fat.  I have 6 more weeks to tweak the diet and come down 10 more pounds of fat, and to start to decrease my waist size again.  The biggest change I have noticed is my performance in the gym.  I turn 42 this year and I am lifting for more reps and heavier weights than I did in my 30’s.  During my bouts at BcX, I am keeping up with guys that I out weigh by 30 pounds.

It feels like I have the strength of  a 250 pound gorilla and the agility of a 25-year-old athlete.  I have seen this improvement over just 4 weeks.

The next 6 weeks, as I restrict more calories, I (and you too, if  I get the cahonies to post a pic) will see me maintain these adapted gains and decrease my bodyweight to show a body fat % of about 6.  The goal is to be able to perform and lift with the same intensity at 6% body fat,  as I am now at 10%, with no change in strength or energy.  So-far the RAW line has not let me down… 6 weeks to go!!!!

MEXICO OR BUST!

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FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Beyond Raw week one

Week one of my GNC Beyond Raw experiment started off perfectly.  By day 3 of week one I was on fire.  The supplement synergy was kicking.  I was feeling how the products in this line were starting to work together.  Placebo? maybe… but I don’t care at this point, because even if a “placebo feeling” leads to “factual action”, I’m all in.

Fast forward to day 4.  Much like my golf game, the wheels fell off.  Missed my REFINE supplement, which is the thermogenic in this line, got distracted, had a few business meetings and had to shoot some workouts for one of the companies Bonnie and I work for. I could go on and on with excuses.  Needless to say, missed some meals, workouts, post workout shakes, and this led to me taking the gloves off and just saying… forget it till next week!  So I chalk this first week up to getting familiar with the supplements, when to take them, when to train, getting my nutrition and my training scheduled on track.  I will consider the first week as a trial run, and most important, I’m not going to let it defeat me.  I will hit the training and supplements better this week.

What I learned is, in the first three days I felt my training gain intensity, and I was encouraged.  This week I will protect my schedule from erroneous crap that will detour my goals of getting in shape by April.  The take home for those reading… I don’t care if you have to restart your diet and training 100 times, as long as when you get knocked down, you get up again.  Week two…  get-r-done!

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

“Mikey” He’ll try anything

Remember back to the mid 1970’s, there was the LIFE CEREAL commercial about “Mikey”.  He was the boy who would eat anything.  Well, when it comes to health and nutrition, I am your “Mikey”.  If you told me honey badger feces’ would make me stronger, faster, fitter, with no side effects, then I would find a way to cook it, drink it, or smoke it.

As a skeptic, I am a tad bit negative when it comes to speaking the truth.  I seem to always start off with a pessimistic attitude towards new supplements, fitness gadgets, shoes, etc…  But I’m also able to keep an open mind and give credit where credit is due.  Recently I have been approached by GNC to try out their newest line of products that GNC will be launching this year, the, BEYOND RAW line.

GNC must have complete confidence in these products if they are going to bring these products and promises into my house, as they fully know I am going to bash them if their promises are empty.  My credibility to review supplements and the pursuance of truth is dependent on my opinion staying independent from what GNC’s hopes and feelings are.  With that being said, I am also putting my body and health in their hands for 60 days.

I have some big shoots and shows coming up, and by April, I need to look and perform at my best, and at 41,  I ain’t getting any younger.  I will let the pictures and video’s speak for themselves.  In the off-chance you see me shirtless, don’t be a douschtard and call me fat, I’m very sensitive like that… must be my “metro side”… but for proving or disproving the efficacy of the BEYOND RAW line, I’m willing to take my clothes off.

The Pros:
I’ve never seen a company so pursuant of filling a need of their clients as the research and development GNC has put into this line.  Another positive, I have been a student of exercise,  nutrition and physiology my entire adult life, earning degrees in everything from nutrition to physical therapy. I guess I’ve always been my own science project, as I applied my education to my training, diet and contest preparation over the last 20 years from mma to bodybuilding. So I have a good understanding of what it will take, apart from these supplements, to reach the level of physique necessary for the media events that are coming my way in 60 days.  GNC… don’t let me down.  Only time and training will tell.

The Cons:
Once I start there is no going back, my immediate future is in GNC’s  hands.  Change or no change, I will stay committed to the RAW program.  Secondly, when it comes to taking pics without my shirt on… I’m a little bit of a girl.  Lastly, if RAW doesn’t work, I will do my best to explain why, but chances of offending some very experienced researchers will be imminent.

Check back in weekly and I will take you step by step through the products and the results.  Whether the results are positive, or negative…

Stay tuned…  BEYOND RAW… or bust

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