Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The future

Hey guys, I've had a busy week but I'll have some time these next few days to get some good content up. I'm planning on redoing my diet, so I'll run you guys through that process and show you how I do it. Also I'm gettin to the last week doin my current routine(that god!!) I've hit some personal bests this week, and my body is screaming for mercy!! My ankles, shoulders and elbows have all been experiencing some pain lately.

I hit PBs in:
DB Shoulder Press - 90s x 7, 100s x 1
Deadlift - 345 x 8

I've never considered myself strong, I can't lift extremely heavy. But I've worked extremely hard to achieve these and I'm very excited to have come this far!!

I really want to get some training videos, but I'm having a hard time matching schedules with any of my training partners. However I promise I'll get some kind of video up this week, so you guys don't always have to read a wall of text!!! I'm heading off to do quads/calves, here's my routine:

Front Squats 7Sets 6-10Reps
Hack Squats 5Sets 6-10Reps
Leg Extensions 4Sets 10Reps

Seated Calve Raise 5Sets 10-15Reps
Standing Calve Raise 5Sets 10-15Reps

There is a lot of volume in this routine, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who doesn't have their diet and sleep habits in check!!!!! Recovery is key to training like this and I've only been doing this split for 3 weeks (this is my last week.) Wish me luck :-).

Monday, June 13, 2011

How I built my new arms!

Hey guys, like I promised I'm going to let you know what I changed about my training to finally get a pair of thick arms attached to my sides!! First I must say that it didn't happen overnight, and it also didn't come easily. I worked hard in the gym, and even more importantly than what kind of movements I did, I ate BIG!!! Know firstly that any kind of workout plan you read about will only work if you back it up with proper diet and rest!! And with that said, lets get started on what I changed in the gym to make this happen:

You can do any workout you want but if you don't EAT BIG this will never happen to you!!!!!!
 So a few years back when I was starting out my arm day would look something like this:

Dumbbell Curls 3sets 8-12 reps
Isolation Curls 3sets 8-12 reps
Hammer Curls 3sets 8-12 reps
Reverse Curls 3sets 8-12 reps
Dumbbell Overhead Extensions Alternating One Arm 3sets 8-12reps
Cable Triceps Extensions 3sets 8-12reps
Cable Overhead Triceps Extension 3sets 8-12 reps

I thought this was a pretty solid routine, my arms would get some blood in them, especially once I started using NO-Xplode. But after a while I came to the realization that my arms really weren't changing much, confirmed by measurements that I had taken. My chest and legs had put on considerable mass, how come I still had stick arms?? Well my routine was a failure for a few reasons, 2 of them are hugely to blame:

  1. The emphasis put on biceps was unnecessary. I wanted bigger arms and I thought that meant bigger biceps! But your triceps are a much bigger muscle than your biceps, and if you want some WOMD attached to your shoulders you're going to need some huge triceps.
  2. Secondly I was using movements that aren't going to build big muscles. There is a place for those lighter "isolation" exercises, but if you want to get bigger you gotta do everything bigger!!!! I was using too many light exercises like DB Overhead Triceps Extensions.
Once I read a few articles about lifting heavy on arm day I realized I needed to change my ways. I quickly noticed the results as my training partners would throw comments at me like "Where did you find those arms??"!!!! So I changed the emphasis from my biceps to my triceps and I incorporated some heavy badass movements on arm day. My new arm plan looked something like this:

Closegrip Bench Press 4sets 6-10 reps
Weighted Dips 4sets 6-10 reps
DB Overhead Extension 2arms 1DB 3sets 8-12 reps
BB Skull Crushers 3sets 8-12 reps 
Barbell Curls 4sets 6-10reps
Preacher Barbell Curls 4sets 6-10reps
Machine Curls Alt Arms 3sets failure

Compare the new triceps lifts with the old ones, the amount of weight being moved in the new exercises is significantly more! Closegrip bench you should be able to nearly do as much as you can bench press, and dip strength will come with time, but eventually you'll be able to attach some weight to your body. I often have 100+ lbs. hanging from me on my last couple of sets!! These movements will force your arms to grow in order to adapt to this immense new stress.

For biceps I switched a lot to barbells, and I made sure to go heavy and not be afraid to throw some cheat reps in there. Safety always comes first but once you become comfortable with your form there is a safe way to do cheat reps, and they are an important part of introducing your body to new stress levels which will force it to grow/adapt!!!!

So stop picking up the 15lb. dumbbells and doing 100 curls and overhead extensions and wondering why you still have arms you could floss your teeth with! Bring those heavy compound movements into your arm day!!!

Lastly DO NOT forget that your arm work out is just a small piece of a much bigger puzzle. I got my arms from this workout, but I also needed to do all of the following things as well to accomplish what I have:

  1. Squat and Deadlift heavy. (These exercises are intense!!! When you do them your body releases a bunch of extra testosterone and growth hormones and these things are required in order to get some beefy arms!!!!!!!!!!)
  2. Eat a TON (I can't stress this enough, you have to eat over your caloric baseline consistently in order to put on muscle, don't ever be hungry!!)
  3. Sleep (You grow and recover when you're asleep, stop reading reddit until 5am, and instead go to bed earlier!!! Sleeping should be the easiest part of getting huge muscles, who doesn't looove sleeping?? But it's a part that a lot of people are missing in their lifestyle!!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

To do or not to do (Steroids)

There was a point in my life (about a year ago) that I was really debating whether to try steroids or not. A couple friends of mine had tried it with varying degrees of success. I did a lot of reading from both sides of the argument, and in the end I decided not to. I do not have anything against people who do use steroids, that's their choice. I don't think I'm better than them, or have some higher level of self confidence or morality. I just chose to go down a different path. And if you think it's as simple as injecting yourself and muscles appear, then you're silly. Those guys work their asses off too.

What made me decide to not use steroids? Some very motivating people, who have provided inspirational videos/pictures/and information about natural bodybuilding. That's actually been the reason behind me making this blog as well. If I can motivate even one person to change their lifestyle this blog will be worth it!

So without further ramblings from me, I'll leave you with the natural lifters who have provided me with a lot of the information and motivation to accomplish what little I have so far:

Jim Cordova
Inspirational natural physique, and some GREAT advanced training articles on his website.
Layne Norton
Just google his name, and you'll find a TON of great natural information.
A link to his blog and YouTube channel are on the right side of my blog. This guy is awesome!
Tuan Tran
Tuan has uploaded a ton of good YouTube videos, his channel link is on the right side of my blog

I know it's important for me to know that I'm getting my information from a natural source, just so I'm sure my body can handle it. So I figured I'd make this quick post to let you guys know that this blog is a source for natural information.

Quick post on my transformation

I'm going to write a decent post later about what I did specifically for my arms. I did have to try quite a few different things before I found out what put size on for me. However I'm fairly happy with the change in my arms in the last 2 years. Here's a comparison in the same shirt! My hobbies have changed, and so have my arms (can't do much about that ugly face though :-) LOL)

Some people draw, some people paint. I sculpt, and I've been working on this piece for 2 years.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Eating on the Fly

Hey! I wanted to make a quick post about eating when you're in a rush/not at home. It's something holding a lot of people back from gaining a decent amount of muscle. It's super important to get your meals in!! You want to eliminate any period of catabolism(the state your body is in when it breaks down your own muscle for energy)
from your day.

The Importance of Tupperware!
The first thing I did that changed everything about my dieting was I went out and bought some good tupperware. I got good quality, microwaveable pieces. I use the shit out of these things! Going to work? I pack a couple. Going to my girlfriends house for the night? I pack a couple. Going on a roadtrip? I back a cooler bag full of them!!! Even if I don't need to use them they are there, so that I don't go long without good quality food!!

I like to get up well before work and weigh out some meals in the morning. Then I have my meals packed and ready for any moment!
My trusty scale.

Weighing out meals for the day(s) ahead!

This will last me for an 8 hour shift, as long as I eat before I go and when I get home :-)

So now you have no excuse for not eating while at work/school/on a date!!! And don't give me that shit about not having time at work. If you could see how many "bathroom breaks" I've went on just so I could go cram rice and cold chicken down my throat, then you wouldn't be whining!!!!! Yes sometimes eating properly can get a little ugly, but that's part of what makes it feel like such an accomplishment :-)

Quick Meal!
Sometimes I get stuck watching workout videos or browsing reddit too long and I realize I have to leave for work/appointments/hot dates with human females and there isn't enough time to cook up that steak I've had my eyes set on all day. Do not fear!! Blender meals are some of the quickest, yummiest, and healthiest meals you can make!

Here's an easy one I have all the time:

1 Banana
Handful of mixed berries(blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
75g Greek Yogurt
250ml Skim Milk
1 Scoop Whey

The health benefits of blueberries are commonly heard. But raspberries and blackberries are also an AWESOME source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Toss everything in, blend it up, chug, and run out the door!! Easily done in 5 minutes.
Drink it right out of the blender, its way cooler and stuff.
So stop reading my blog, go buy a blender and some tupperware, and change your eating habits for the better by eliminating time constraint as an excuse!!!

I run my PARE test tomorrow for the RCMP application process, but after that I'll be back in the gym lifting heavy, and I'll try to get some good video footage for you guys!! CIAO.

My Current Diet and Supplementation

Hey guys, so I'm gonna show you what my current diet is like and what supplements I take, and why I take them!

I have five meals a day, breakfast is my biggest, the last meal is my smallest. I do weigh my food every once in a while to make sure my portions are roughly the right amount. But other than that I only follow a few simple rules.

1. Pre workout I avoid heavy proteins like steak, and opt for something lighter like Tilapia
2. Before bed I eat steak or greek yogurt because it will break down slower and last longer into the night, I also have slow burning carbs like oats
3. I try to avoid liquids a couple hours before bedtime if possible, because I hate mid night bathroom runs LOL

Protein Powder: ON Whey Gold Standard
Helps me get that extra protein in my diet, in a quick convenient form. 3 scoops max a day.

Carb Powder: Waxy Maize and Dextrose
I use these mixed with Whey for a post workout shake to help my body recover and start working on muscle repair.

Creatine: EFX Kre Alkalyn
Creatine has been a huge factor in my strength gains, I really like using this and I know for sure it helps me. The brand I use EFX Kre Alkalyn is a great brand and it doesn't break the bank. 1 pill pre workout, 1 post workout.

BCAA: SciVation Xtend
I started to look for something to drink during my workouts as I was feeling a bit drained mid way though. Especially when I had been at jiu jitsu earlier in the day. My research led me to BCAA powders and SciVation Xtend. I take 2 scoops during my workout and put 3-5 scoops in my 4litre jug that I drink throughout the day. It's definitely made an improvement in my energy levels.

Multivitamin: Multi Pro 32x
Multivitamins are essential. If you buy no other supplement, buy this. Don't get the shitty one a days either, make sure it's a good multi for athletes. 1 pill in the morning, 1 at night.

Other then that, I have glucosamine and fish oil pills to help with my joints. The fish oil pills do a TON of other good things too, I'll make a post just on them later. And also the Universal Torrent which is a post workout powder that I bought a while back, but I have to use it slowly as the regular dose (3 scoops) gives me a sick stomach because of the sugar.

So that's basically everything that goes into my body. I'm always looking to add to and improve my diet so I'm open to any suggestions!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A bit about me!

I'm going to give you guys a bit of background information on me, so you can get a bit of an idea about who I am!

I was a small kid growing up, coming into high school I was probably around 120lbs., About half way through grade 12 my friend Jeff got a bodybuilding book from his dad. It talked about HIIT and other bad ass things like squatting until you puke!!! We thought we would be so jacked just by following the book! I did put some size on, I reached around 160-165 by the end of highschool, but I wasn't lean at all.

After high school I basically stopped lifting. I joined a BJJ club and started grappling, and through that I kept relatively active.
A few years back when I was still a blue belt, before I started lifting again.
I got hooked on a lot of video games (mostly StarCraft ^_^), and before long I was at an all time low for fitness(but a high from APM ^_^)
Playing some StarCraft, skinny little arms:):) 2009 i think?
A couple of my friends got memberships at the local YMCA and I decided to go workout with them, and I got hooked once more! But not long after I had surgery on my shoulder that had been dislocated from wrestling, so I was set back a little bit.
Surgery put me out of the game for 3 months. After about 6 months I was back at my pre-surgery strength.
 I kept reading information, mostly on, and lifting heavy stuff and I slowly packed on weight. I began to get a little bit of a hobby in eating a ton of food. Like way too much! My fav. was pasta. Near the end of 2010 I was a bloated 190lbs. because of meals like this:

This pasta was 5lbs. (we weighed it) 4000 calories. yes, 4000.
A couple days after that 4000 calorie pasta I decided it was time to lose some body fat. I really didn't look good anymore, I had a big belly :-). I made my own diet plan and added some cardio to my training. It was the first time I really dialed in my diet. I went 28 days without 1 cheat meal, and ever since my meal planning and diet have been much improved!
I ended up at about 171 on day 28 and looked much better than my fatty 188.9lb self :)
This was about 3 months ago, since then I'm back up to 182lbs. I haven't had alcohol for 3 months(and don't plan on having it anymore), and become the strongest I've been. So that's pretty much where I'm at! I'm no expert in any area, although I've learned a lot about what does and doesn't work for me through a lot of trial and error(tons of that error stuff :P). So maybe you can learn a thing or two from my posts, and maybe you can teach me a thing or two as well!! So feel free to make comments to me here on my blog:)

New Blog

Hey! I'm a 23 year old Canadian. I like lifting weights and eating food. I enjoy watching videos and reading blogs by other people who lift weights so I decided to start my own! My posts will be about my progress, diet, workouts and other related topics.

I'm always looking to learn more to help me on my road to building muscle!!!!!!! Hope you enjoy my posts :) and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about anything or give me some tips, and maybe I can give you some back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm currently 182lbs., 5'7"