By Chris Wilson, Head Strength Coach
Q: I am a natural drug free bodybuilder and it seems to me that I hit sticking points in my training a heck of a lot quicker that some of my buddies who are on the “juice”. No matter how hard I try, progress almost seems like an impossibility some times. Maybe I am just not tough enough or not training intensely enough. I know that you have trained natural all of your life so what are some of the secrets you have learned for making continued progress.
A: The simple answer…Do more heavy barbell squats and deadlifts to help create an anabolic effect. But then you might whine and tell me that you couldn’t do these kind of exercises because you have bad knees and a weak back. So I will stick with non-exercise tips to help keep you anabolic…sound fair enough?
To begin with, you want to avoid at all costs the negative influences which create a catabolic (muscle robbing) effect on the muscles such as: Over-training, poor nutrition, not enough rest and emotional stress.
The positive influences for staying in the anabolic (muscle gain) environment includes and is not limited to: Proper training, nutrition, rest and a positive mental attitude.
With regard to proper nutrition, the late Vince Gironda always seemed to have some natural anabolic secrets in his bag of goodies. So rather than give you my personal secrets to anabolism, let’s look to an icon in the bodybuilding world. Here are “3” of his secrets.
Vince used to suggest taking three to four amino acid tablets and 3 to 10 liver tablets every three hours to help keep the body in a positive nitrogen state between meals and during those times when a person can’t eat a normal meal or snack.
(Liver contains a red protein pigment called Cytrochrome P-450 which accounts for the endurance factors that many hard training bodybuilders receive from taking it. Back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s it was common to see many bodybuilding competitors take as many as 60 Liver tablets a day in the off-season and 100 tablets the last few weeks prior to a competition).
Another of Vince’s Anabolic Secrets that has proven to be beneficial in the promotion of muscular weight gains was to eat 1 boiled egg every hour that you are awake. I know that sounds like a ton of eggs and potentially challenging to do considering work, family etc…so then shoot for every 2-3 hours and see if that gets you anywhere.
Back in the 1960’s the late, Vince Gironda “The Iron Guru” revealed to the bodybuilding world the Euro-Blast Weight Gaining BIG SECRET that the European muscle monsters were using to gain muscle density. Vince begin using it on his students to increase their body weight by as much as 40 pounds.
Get ready to be slightly grossed out but also intrigued…
The BIG SECRET is simply drinking 6 ounces of half & half or certified raw cream mixed with 6 ounces of ginger ale.
Blah! I know, but it worked.
Sometimes to trigger the anabolic or growth mechanism of the body even further Vince would advise adding 2 ounces of a milk & egg protein powder.
Just so you know, milk and egg protein sources allow for some of the best absorption of all the protein sources. This means that both eggs and milk are more biologically available than several other protein sources making them high on the list of best protein options.
The students at Vince’s Gym in Ventura, California enjoyed this drink as a daily in-between meal pickup at 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
3 Secrets to Fat Loss Results
by Robby Blanchard, MBA, BS, CPT
Functional Movement, Constantly Varied and High Intensity…The 3 secrets to fat loss and results.
It always seems like there is controversy surrounding CrossFit.
Many people believe it is extremely dangerous and the risks outweigh the benefits.
Then there are others (like myself) who believe that CrossFit is an amazingly effective and safe method of training when done correctly.
As the owner of CrossFit Reach just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, I’ve been training people from all ages and abilities for over 6 years. And in those 6 years I’ve seen amazing transformations and results….from people losing 50+ pounds, getting of their diabetes medication and becoming stronger than they could have ever imagined.
So whats the secret sauce for the success my clients have seen?
It comes down to 3 things that make up the CrossFit methodology….
Functional Movement, Consistently Varied and High Intensity.
Functional movement is something that many of us already know…movements that are already programmed into our DNA. When you pick something up off the floor, thats a deadlift. When you get up and out of a chair, thats a squat.
By training these functional movements we are reinforcing what is already built into our DNA and that triggers results much faster than just isolating muscles or muscle groups.
Now once you have the functional movements down…you have to make sure that they are constantly varied. The body is so amazing and can adapt very quickly which is why it is important these movements stay varied.
Running, jumping, weightlifting, bodyweight movements…these should always be varied in both time and length, weight and resistance. When you vary these functional movements the results never stop.
Finally we have high intensity. You’ll notice that this is the last of the 3 secrets to fat loss. Why?
Without proper form in your functional movements…the intensity should not be increased (not following this rule is why people get hurt).
Now high intensity is really the key to fat loss and your results. If you feel like your results are slowing down…increase the intensity and you’ll quickly get back on track.
Now I realize that starting a crossfit routine can be tough and that is why I created my 6 week bodyweight training program…6 Week Shred.
This program is designed to give you short, high intense workouts that you can do anywhere. And the best part is…it only requires 10-15 minutes 3 day per week.
You’ll experience the same results of a CrossFit workout using just your own bodyweight!