Archive for July, 2013

2-quickstart
Want a non-biased, non-endorsed review of this fat burning program? You’ve come to the right place my friend!

So recently advertised through email groups etc, is this multi-part program that is selling for $37. At that price I figured I couldn’t go wrong. The components included are: a main manual, four training programs (basic, accelerated fat loss, shredded & sculpted, Advanced athletic fat loss), workout program options guide, exercise instruction manual, as well as a couple “special reports” that include: Fat loss secrets, gender specific, 9-day emergency diet, and photo shoot secrets).

I’ll give a brief summary here:

FLS Manual

To be honest I was pretty disappointed almost immediately at the layout of this document. There are very few paragraph breaks which makes it really hard on the eyes. And when I read the first sentence: “First off I’d like to congratulate you…” I instantly felt patronized.

Chapter one of this manual is dedicated entirely to goal setting and basically re-hashes the same information found in virtually every other training and diet book. If this is the info you seek, Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle does a much better job.

Chapter 2 gets into the basics of nutrition, which once again, has been written about more thoroughly and more accurately by Tom Venuto. Ryan does mention a few very basic supplements, which are staples of most recreational bodybuilders, so nothing new or thought-provoking here.

Chapter 3 is basically a waste of paper, but Chapter 4 actually has some interesting content. He speaks here about spot reduction. Rather than addressing it from the long-since debunked notion of crunching to burn belly fat, he actually speaks of how storing fat in different areas means different things hormonally, which is nothing new, but is probably the best part of the book.

The book finishes by discussing cardiovascular activity and his take on the best ways to do it. It’s hard to argue some of it, but I don’t know that I agree that warming up for 20 minutes before HIIT is the best way to get full intensity.

Workout program guide

This is essentially just a checklist for you to go through to see which of the provided programs best suits your current fitness level. I think I’d prefer if this was based on your personal goals as opposed to how many push ups you can perform, but I can see where he’s coming from.

Exercise guide

This is perhaps the best component of the program. There are good pictures along with bullet points on how to perform each of the exercises he recommends.

The programs:

As mentioned before, there are four separate programs:

Basic Training – He put a lot of work into this one, which seems to gradually work you up as a non-trained individual (unfortunately I can’t imagine that anyone who buys this program will actually be a non-trained individual, so his best-written program will likely be the least used)

Accelerated Fat loss – This has a lot of giant sets, but nothing too Earth shattering.

Shredded & Sculpted – Appears very similar in structure to the accelerated fat loss.

Advanced Athletic – This one is only three weeks, and is essentially circuit training.

Personal record log

This might be the weakest link, and most annoying part of the whole program. I was hoping for printable workout sheets and diet journal pages (like the one found here), but it turned out to be a one page generic, and poorly conceived exercise table that I can’t imagine anyone actually using.

Fat loss secrets of super-lean athletes

This has a sexy title, makes you think there will be some new concepts here that will get you over the hump, doesn’t it?

Well again, it’s really more mind-set things, like be consistent and train with high intensity, and of course make sure to train with weights.

9-day emergency diet

Ever heard of the 21 day cleanse diets? That’s sort of what we have here. Just eat lots of fiber and veggies.

Photo Shoot Secrets

Layne Nortan has written some really good articles on bodybuilding.com, as have others, so I’m quite familiar with sodium loading, water loading etc, that many physique athletes do to get photo ready… this manual was a complete waste of time to me. No mention of special supplementation, just a run of the mill training schedule with rough dietary suggestions.

Conclution

Sorry to be harsh, but this is not a well written or laid out set of ebooks at all. I get the impression that he is just another lackey with nothing new to offer, and there are far better resources out there. Unfortunately I think he was trying to reach too broad of an audience to make it effective for anyone.

I’d save my money if I could go back… unfortunately this one doesn’t have a money back guarantee.

UPDATE: Actually they did refund my money when I expressed dissatisfaction, so good on him for that.


Super Hero Physique
superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington

2013 contest cut – week 6

Posted: July 23, 2013 in 2013 cut, fitness

After an astonishing finish to last week, I was really energized heading into week 6, determined to make it my best yet… well I’m not sure I totally got there.

A lot of the problems with this week is that over the past 9 days I’ve worked 8 12 hour shifts, some days some nights… so my sleep pattern has been way off. My training schedule has also been thrown off though I did manage to get in 4 pretty solid workouts and a few HIIT cardio sessions in between shifts.

Diet-wise it has been really hard to track due to everything going on, so while I know I didn’t eat too “badly” I also know I probably didn’t eat optimally and having not tracked it I can’t say specifically where I went wrong.

So I know I have to get back to the basics of writing down what I’m eating if for no other reason than to be able to effectively assess it.

supplement-wise, I’ve been keeping it pretty simple. My plan was to give my adrenals a break from stimulants this week, but I needed a boost here and there again due to the massive amount of shifts I’ve had to do at work. I have however added an adrenal support supplement to the mix which I will probably continue throughout the remainder of the cut as I slowly re-introduce caffeine.

I’ve also been using L-Carnitine L-tartate pre-workout, and making sure to get plenty of vitamins and minerals in. I’ve also added in 200mg of DIM throughout the day.

A few nights before bed I took a dose of a product called Bulletproof as well as some added ZMA to help me get a good sleep, and boy did I.

My training has been a combination of heavy training as well as hypertrophy training as I want to get my anabolic hormones as fired up as possible.

Week’s end Restuls:
My weight stayed almost identical at the end of this week. I’m not yet sure if that is due to my metabolism slowing down, or perhaps my hormones are out of whack. I’ve got a tough week ahead of me, that much is certain!

Spotting-Youre-Doing-It-Wrong1
For the last four years or so I’ve been on a mission to find the most effective methods of improving my physique and building muscle.

While I don’t believe there are “secrets” as such, I’ve seen enough people come into the gym year-in and year-out doing things in a less than optimal way… and they have the lack of results to show for their effort. This tells me that there are better ways to do things than to just picking up a set of weights, throwing them around and expecting results.

The following tips are not your run-of-the-mill suggestions that pop up all over the place, they are real life, effective ways to get the most out of your time.

TIP 1: Unplug music

The main advantages to having your MP3 player plugged into your head is that that it wards off chatty folks at the gym, and also gives you the ability to listen to something better than the Justin Beiber tracks the gym may have on.

The downside however is that it can distract you from the task at hand, so if you do have your own music try taking out the earbuds right before each set (including warm ups) so your mind can be completely on the movement.

TIP 2: Iso-contractions between sets

This works especially well with biceps and calves. Do these contractions in-between sets where the muscle you’re flexing is NOT the primary mover. For example, flex calves between sets of squats, or flex biceps between sets of chin-ups.

This is discussed in detail in my post on: How I added an inch to my arms

TIP 3: Record diet and training

This is a tough habit to adhere to, but like all habits becomes easier as time goes on. Every time I fall away from the practice of writing down my diet and training I also seem to stagnate in my progress, then I return to it and realize I should have been doing this all along. With diet, it is really helpful to keep a journal so you can remember what you ate, how long ago, when you’re due to eat again and then have the ability to assess the results. similarly logging your training helps you to continually ensure you are progressing.

The most affordable resource for this available is here: Buffer’s complete diet and training log.

It also becomes especially productive to record your food intake when you are incorporating the following powerful tip…

BONUS TIP

The ultimate goal of “physique artists” is to: improve the muscle:fat ratio. So whether you are looking to put on lean muscle or cut away fat, calorie cycling has been proven to be the most effective natural way of accomplishing either.

When dieting to burn fat, adding a high calorie day every 3-4 days will “trick” your body into keeping your metabolism high via the hormone leptin.

When eating for mass you can limit the amount of fat you put on by lowering your caloric intake strategically for short periods of time, which has the added benefit of compelling your body to use nutrients more effectively when they are in surplus.

TIP 4: Utilize multiple muscle functions

Our tendency is to do the same movements over and over (eg, bench press), which only focus on a single function of the muscle; by doing movements that strengthen other functions we tend to have a better balanced and more developed physique.

A simple google search will help you find the functions of a given muscle. I also address many of them in other blogs, specifically:

Chest: Building a Man of Steel Chest

Legs: Ninja Turtle legs

Arms: How I added an inch to my arms

Shoulders: Cannon Ball Shoulders

TIP 5: Incorporate core work

The primary function of the core muscles is to stabilize the spine. So You are essentially doing core work every time you sit upright during any exercise, and even at your desk at work.

A very creative way I’ve found to incorporate these muscles even more is by utilizing them during certain back movements by including a “pelvic thrust”. The main exercises this works well for are straight-arm pulldowns and deadlifts.

NOTE: I’ve seen people use the pelvic thrust on squats, and I urge you NOT to do this. It can be extremely dangerous!

TIP 6: Take time away from the gym

This must wound weird by suggesting to NOT do something, but as fitness enthusiasts, we often push ourselves to the brink and don’t allow our bodies to properly recover. I recently discovered when I took a vacation and had some time off, as much as I was itching to get back into the gym, suddenly my body rebounded so astoundingly it was like I was a newbie again.

Something to consider: after intense training, a cascade of hormones work to repair the body and return to a state of normality. If that process gets cut short you will constantly find yourself on the wrong end of the hormonal spectrum.

TIP 7: Start strong!

This is a bit of a play on words, but I like it because there are actually two ways in which I use this concept.

The first way is by starting my workout with CNS-based training. As I mentioned in other posts, a major component of the CNS is the brain, so by starting off with heavy compound movements you are activating your brain, which sets you up for a more advantageous training session.

The second way I use the concept of “starting strong” is by giving as much attention to the starting point of each movement as possible. This often means starting from a bio-mechanical disadvantage, meaning I do not allow other body parts (or as few as possible) to assist with a movement.

Examples: For a lying leg curl start with the glute flexed into the pad; for barbell or dumbbell rows, start of by “spreading” your lats; for biceps I often start by pre-supinating my wrists.

TIP 8: Work AGAINST gravity

By viewing gravity as an active opposing force you can really start to make the most of free-weight training. One of the ways I use this a lot is with the wrist manipulation I speak of in the arm training blog.

I find this is also useful in training shoulders as it helps you to be consciously aware of keeping constant tension on your delts by slightly shortening the range of motion at the bottom.

TIP 9: Use intensifiers

Have you ever finished off a set knowing that you still have a little more juice in the tank? That’s where the beauty of intensifiers are best. By using these at the end of a set you can push yourself that extra little bit to get to the zone that is commonly referred to as “progressive overload”.

My favourites are:
Negatives/Cheats – These can be done either with the assistance of a training partner or on your own when doing unilateral (one side at a time) movements. On of my favorite examples is the one-handed overhead dumbbell extension. At the end of the set you can use your other hand to help push the dumbbell up and then let the working arm slowly lower the weight on its own.

Slow eccentrics – These are similar to unilateral cheats, except you would perform it at the end of a set, if you think you still have another rep or two left in you, instead just lower it extremely slowly.

Drop sets – These have been getting more popular these days, thanks in large part to Ben Pakulski. Essentially you finish off the set with 3-4 extra sets incrementally dropping the weight by 15-20%. I take this to another level in my Building a Man of Steel Chest with “SUPER DROPS” blog.

Partials – I especially enjoy using these on machines, where I know it’s safe and I can work the bottom portion of the movement a little more by doing around 5 partial reps. Arnold was famous for having added partials onto the end of preacher curls.

Rest/pause – I use rest pause very sparingly, but when used right I feel they can be very powerful. I find they are most useful in a progressive sense, for example if you’re determined to get 20 reps, then you are on fire and unable to get the last two or three reps you take a brief rest of less than 15 seconds and finish the set, then the next week you try to do it with less or no rest.

TIP 10: Train with “hormonal intelligence”

This is as much to do with training as it is to do with nutrition, but it’s a serious game-changer.

This is a subject I’ve mentioned a lot, but that’s because the more I learn about naturally optimizing hormones, the more I find I can get out of my training. Two amazing resources on this subject I would consider are:

  • Natural Hormonal Enhancement by Rob Faigin
  • The Anabolic Solution by Mauro Di Pasquale
  • Both of the above books present similar information and are well-written, and have stood the test of time. With the amount of contradictory information out there this is very welcomed!

    Some key points on the topic of hormones are the following:

    Growth hormone: facilitates muscle growth and fat loss… YAY! It is activated by high intensity training and blunted by high blood sugar. Carbohydrates consumed before or during exercise restrains growth hormone release.

    Insulin: It is a nutrient shuttling hormone, which is good when you are trying to build muscle but bad when you are trying to burn fat. In my blog about the perfect post-workout drink I discussed the power of combining an insulin spike with high GH levels. To be honest this is still one I am scratching my head over. My opinion may change in time, but my current thinking is this: the insulin spike is only effective in building muscle if you have good insulin sensitivity, which is actually accomplished by NOT taking in a lot of carbs. So it might be an idea to take post workout carbs sparingly.

    Testosterone: Major anabolic hormone that helps build muscle and burn fat. Also stimulated by high intensity work. Dietary fat, Zinc Magnesium and vitamin D support testosterone release.

    Cortisol: This is where things get tricky… cortisol is also activated by high intensity work, and works to negate the positive effects of testosterone and growth hormone. It seems to be a progressive thing that continues to rise after the workout is done, and can get worse over time if enough recovery time is not allowed. This tells us why a brief, highly intense workout is better than a long, low-intensity one. Cortisol can be reduced using certain vitamins (C & B) and nutrients, as well as ensuring adequate recovery. Magnesium can also help reduce cortisol.

    Takeaway points from this tip:

  • Train intense for shorter periods (60 minutes or less)
  • Include HIIT cardio training
  • Avoid carbohydrates prior to training
  • Keep your organs healthy as they create hormones
  • Consume optimal vitamins & minerals, especially vit B, C and D, Zinc and Magnesium
  • Eat plenty of healthy fat
  • Give these a try, especially one that sounds really weird to you… you might just be surprised with the outcome!

    Please join me on facebook

    Related:
    Superhero Physique
    superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington

    Unconventional Training Methods: Part II – 10 MORE tips

    supps
    Coming up with the ideal pre-and post workout nutrition has been a journey of research and experimentation for me. When I wrote the perfect pre-workout drink blog, it was largely based on maximizing the hormonal response of training. This one is about priming those hormones!

    Specifically we want to:

  • initiate growth hormone
  • prepare the body for insulin
  • support testosterone
  • inhibit cortisol
  • Additional things to consider pre-workout are:

  • compelling the body to utilizing fat for fuel
  • mental focus
  • By hitting all of these we set the body up for the most optimal results from training. To begin with, I’ve stated this before, but it is important to avoid carbohydrates for at least 3 hours prior to training as it will blunt the growth hormone resonse.

    Ingrediet 1: BCAAs (3g leucine) – Leucine has been shown to initiate protein synthesis on it’s own when taken in doses of about 3g. BCAA’s are the first amino acids the body will start to catabloize if the body decides it needs to use muscle tissue as a fuel source, so taking in BCAAs is also a preventative measure against this.

    Ingredient 2: EAAs – These can be taken free-form or simply in the form of a whole protein, preferably fast digesting ie whey. BCAAs are three of the 9-essential amino acids, but all are required to complete the muscle building process.

    Ingredient 3: Glutamine – glutamine is also one of the amino acids in muscles, but more importantly glutamine supplementation may help to stimulate growth hormone and supress cortisol. However it appears that in order to be effective high doses are required, so I suggest starting around 10g and possibly even move upwards from there.

    Ingredient 4: Minerals – Magnesium, chromium, calcium & zinc – these will help support both growth hormone and testosterone, as well as combatting any minerals that may be lost in the process of intense training. Chromium specifically will help with insulin sensitivity. Ensure that Magnesium is NOT Magnesium oxide as it is almost completely useless.

    Ingredient 5: Vitamins – primarily C & D to combat cortisol and support testosterone.

    Ingredient 6: L-Carnitine L-tartrate – the tartrate form of carnitine specifically has been shown to help the body utilize fat as the primary source of fuel.

    Ingredient 7: R-ALA – the R-form of ALA is an insulin mimetec (meaning it acts like insulin without the fat storage) as well as a powerful antioxident. Make sure it specifically says R on it, otherwise you are probably getting S-ALA, which is not effective.

    Ingredient 8: L-tyrosine – Shown to help mental focus and combat cortisol.

    Ingredient 9: L-Taurine – Also shown to assist with insulin sensitivity as well as muscle volumization, which may also translate to improved performance.

    Ingredient 10: Melatonin – low doses have been shown to increase growth hormone (usually 1g or less).

    Ingredient 11: Creatine monohydrate – both pre and post workout are ideal times to load up on creatine to ensure you’re getting the greatest benefit from it.

    Ingredient 12: Caffeine – I prefer to cycle caffeine as taking it regularily will take a huge toll on your adrenal glands and halt your metabolism, so use wisely; not constantly.

    In an ideal world you would add only one or two of these at a time to your pre-workout regime and assess their effectiveness. If you can find a pre-workout supplement that has several of these and NO carbs, it may save you some trouble, here are some examples you might consider…

    Mass pro synthagen: EAAs (and BCAAs of course), taurine, and magnesium

    Superpump Max: BCAAs, caffeine, L-carnitine L-tartrate, creatine, taurine, glutamine, tyrosine, magnesium, calcium and a small dose of vitamins

    Allmax muscle prime: BCAAs, caffeine, calcium, magnesium, tyrosine, taurine and vitamins.

    ON Amino Energy: EAAs (except for L-tryptophan), tyrosine, taurine and caffeine.

    There are plenty others out there, but you get the idea. Being intelligent about what goes into your body prior to training (and what doesn’t) can make the difference between great and mediocre results.

    Related: Unsung Bodybuilding Supplements; The perfect post-workout drink; Why Numbers are meaningless in bodybuilding


    tmnt_leg

    I was in the gym limping over to my locker after an especially hard leg training session with my coach, when I heard a kid giggling with his buddy and using the term “Ninja Turtle legs”, before promptly going into a discussion about the cookies he was about to bake. Something in me wanted to smack him around enough that he might avoid the meathead future that lay ahead for him, but instead I pondered the notion, and that was the genesis of this particular post.

    Legs are one of those things that set the boys apart from men in my view. I see a lot of guys with well-developed upper bodies and chicken legs, but just as many untrained people whose legs have gotten quite strong beneath their large frames while the rest of their body is as soft as lemon lime jello.

    While legs have never been a particular strong point for me, I’ve also never let them lag behind either; so I tend to have a relatively balanced body most of the time. But when I want to really raise eyebrows, I’ve found my legs tend to respond well to lots of stimulus.

    I’ve had the most success when I break each group of leg muscles into two movements, and treat each of those movements slightly differently.

    Here’s the breakdown of each muscle group, their primary functions, the two different movements for each, and how I utilize those movements for the best results:

    Quads:
    Functions: Extend knee, flex hip

    Movement 1: Pressing (Squats, leg press) – high volume AND high load, no lockout, incl super slow negatives, outward tension

    Movement 2: Extension (machine leg extensions) – high volume, burn, flex to initiate, slow negatives

    Hams:
    Functions: Flex knee, extend hip

    Movement 1: leg curl (lying, standing, seated) – heavy, flex quads at bottom, squeeze glute into pad

    Movement 2: Stretch (stiff-leg deadlifts, hyper-extensions) – moderate volume, squeeze glute at top

    Calves:
    Functions: plantarflexion, dorsiflexion

    Movement 1: seated – very high time under tension, slow movements

    Movement 2: Standing – heavy

    One of the least used exercises these days, which I like to use as much as possible for leg training is: Walking Lunges. It’s a very functional movement (though exaggerated), and hits virtually all of the muscles. Walking lunges can also help strengthen grip, core and traps, especially as the weight gets heavier.

    If the back of the legs are a priority, Weighted Glute Bridges tend to utilize a lot of the leg muscles as well.

    Also make sure to take lots of electrolytes and water before and after your workout to help avoid cramping.

    Good luck, and good legs!

    Related: Wolverine training; Man of Steel training


    Super Hero Physique
    superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington

    2013 contest cut – week 5

    Posted: July 16, 2013 in 2013 cut

    An interesting thing happened this week… I spontaneously decided my kids and I needed a vacation so I packed them up and headed down to Niagara Falls for a couple days where we stayed at a “Bates motel”-ish place which obviously had no gym.

    So going for a few days without training as well as spending 12 hours on the road and not being as strict on my diet as usual was bound to be a setback; and initially it was. When I returned from vacation my weight was up about half a pound from where I ended last week.

    But then it all changed in a hurry… within a couple of days the fat began to virtually melt off of me. It was only when I stopped to think about it that I realized I had probably fatigued my adrenals, possibly lowered my leptin and even thyroid, and likely trained myself to the point of having lowered anabolic hormone levels… this mini-vacation turned out to be the best thing I could’ve hoped for!

    I have been searching high and low for a legitimate copy of Rob Fagen’s Natural Hormonal Enhancement. I read a sample chapter I found online, and the information in this one chapter is amazing. It verifies much of the knowledge I already live by, and offers some new insights as well. I’m trying to find a vendor that I actually trust to buy the full book from.

    Week end results:

    I wound up going down 2 pounds from the previous week, which is pretty astounding considering I was actually heavier part way through the week.


    wolverine

    Over the years Hugh Jackman has done some pretty incredible things with his physique from X-men 2 & 3, X-men Origins, and most recently, The Wolverine.

    What we see in his physique in the latest film is a well-balanced upper body and extremely lean.

    As much as I’ve been a fan of these movies, I’ve found that the methods used to achieve his physique have been nearly as well guarded secrets as project Weapon X itself.  Even those sources that claim to know how he was trained presented very vague and generally unbelievable routines (and most have been sales gimmicks). – M&F mag will be publishing a Wolverine inspired issue in August, but if it is as disappointing as their Man of Steel one, I think what I outline below will serve you much better.

    Some people go as far as to suggest that he used steroids to achieve the simultaneous muscle gain and fat loss, but I personally don’t believe anabolic agents were involved, primarily because I’ve done some pretty amazing things with my own physique in the last year, and have come across some pretty effective methods that aren’t commonly practiced among amateur trainees.

    Putting on my detective’s hat and doing a little research I’ve made some interesting discoveries and logical conclusions.  First let’s consider that Hugh Jackman is a Hollywood star and has access to the world’s elite training and nutrition experts… even more so than most professional bodybuilders do.

    Still, there are some clues left behind that can help gear a training program towards his style of physique. First let’s look at…

    Weight Training:

    I suspect to get his abs to “pop” he trained them frequently for a good two or three months. A very effective way to do this is to alternate upper/lower ab training with oblique training for 5-10 minutes prior to each workout during a cut (while focussing on muscle gain this amount of ab training is overkill, and I prefer to focus on core strength).

    The rest of his resistance training was probably a strategic combination of strength training and endurance/GH training.

    While training to get cut, it is important to incrementally increase intensity. This could come in the form of gradually increasing volume, adding a second training session on certain days, as well as progressing from straight sets to supersets to tri-sets to giant-sets.

    The actual training split you do can vary based on your own perceived weaknesses. For me that means making back and delts a priority. A cool way to stimulate the muscles enough to both spark grown and allow for recovery is to do a sort of zigzag rotation. For example (this is one of my favourite training splits btw):

    WEEK 1:
    Day 1: Chest, Biceps, abs
    Day 2: Back, Calves, obliques
    Day 3: Shoulders, Triceps, abs
    Day 4: Legs, obliques

    WEEK 2:
    Day 1: Legs, abs
    Day 2: Shoulders, Triceps, obliques
    Day 3: Back, Calves, abs
    Day 4: Chest, Biceps, obliques

    Cardio:

    Cardio training should also increase in intensity, which will mean the incorporation of HIIT style cardio. For a long time the way I did this was jogging/sprinting and going by the standard 1 min high, 1 min low format that a lot of people recommend… but there is a far better way to cut through the fat!

    Using an upright stationary bike you can make your high intervals insane! go FULL OUT for only 15-20 seconds and don’t hold back! It will usually take 2-3 minutes on a low-speed to recover and go onto a second high interval. Do this for about 15-20 minutes.

    The goal for each session, or at least each week is to increase the total time spent at the high intensity. This can be done by lowering the rest periods or by slightly increasing the high interval time by a second or two.

    At the end of a HIIT session I want to keep track of how many seconds at 100% intensity I did and in how much time.

    Nutrition:

    Dr Martin Young & Molly Bray conducted research published in the International Journal of Obesity that would suggest eating a high fat, high protein breakfast is the best way to keep a healthy metabolism.

    Along these lines, Charles Poliquin suggests eating a meat and nuts breakfast. I personally find that whole eggs and some added fish oil works quite well, as nuts tend to make me fat for some reason.

    To get that lean you’ll have to be very strategic when it comes to carbohydrate intake. Carb cycling is the most popular way of doing this. If you can get your hands on The Ketogenic Diet by Lyle McDonald, he not only discusses how to go about eating extremely low carb, but also discusses the science behind it, which is information that I have found to also come in handy when truing to build muscle.

    To keep it simple, when I’m trying to get ultra lean I keep my carbs below 100g per day for 3-4 days then have a re-feed day where I eat about twice as many carbs (and lower my fat intake) in order to “trick” my hormones into continuing the fat loss without slowing down my metabolism. These re-feed days are also important to help fill out your muscles since you will likely have depleted a lot of glycogen.

    Another key point I want to mention is that when dieting I have had the BEST results when I log each and every thing I put into my mouth.

    Doing this makes me accountable, helps me to adjust my diet as needed, and one of the most important things is that during the day I can remember when I’m due to eat again. Since I’ve already plugged a couple of people with whom I have no association, Here’s a little something I made that I truly believe will benefit anyone trying to get into the best shape of their lives, and I’ve set it at a price that is so low I’m not actually making any money on it either: Buffer’s Complete Training and diet log

    When you are trying to get shredded while maintaining your muscle mass, Growth Hormone is your best friend… and I’m not speaking about IV drugs, I’m referring to naturally creating a hormonal environment that will be conducive to this. Definitely avoid carbs pre workout, and possibly even post workout. Supplementing with glutamine in large doses may help with this as well, as will taking melatonin before bed.

    Related: Man of Steel training and diet

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    Superhero Physique
    superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington