BodyWorks: Just Get F*t, No Bullsh*t!

Meal Frequency: It’s Not One Of The 10 Commandments.

Q: When cutting, could I use a strategy of 1-2 big meals a day and get results? Eating 4-6 small meals leaves me hungry and I have better things to do with my time than spend it prepping meals.

Pigs

Does ONE BIG One=2 MEDIUM ones=several small ones?

Most meal strategies can be made to work, the trick is to find something that will fit your personality and lifestyle. Meal frequency may have bearing on gaining muscle and losing fat, but I don’t believe that it is one of the fundamentals of dieting. We were designed for a certain amount of food uncertainty. This is pretty evident in the fact that obesity has become pandemic in most first world countries where food is readily accessible and easily available 24/7.

Discipline is a double-sided sword that can wielded to make use of either edge. You can use it to cut yourself into the shape of the box that you want to fit into, or use it to cut the box into a shape that might fit you. In my case, the latter direction suits me. I find meal prepping sort of therapeutic and do it whenever I have the time, as a kind of meditation or focusing exercise. But time, it does take. Either way, one tries his best not to get hung up on stuff that is not fundamental, at least not yet.

Twice a day feeding can be looked at as a variety of modified fasting strategy that just needs the double-mealer (you) to sort out the right mix of nutrients & macros to make it feasible.

Will 2 Feeds Per Day Be An Optimal Eating Strategy?

Most likely. Back in the 90’s, when I was still in serious competitive training mode for competition, eating only twice a day was how I dieted. Reducing meal frequency can be a good & simple strategy for dieting and cutting. Although not an exceedingly popular or technical way to diet, it works. Undoubtably, this method won’t be favoured by very many bodybuilders and other athletes. But so what, the original question asked was not “How do I win a trophy for Most Popular Dieter?”

If you take a quick look at the animal world, the trend appears to be that the larger animals will, in general, eat less often than smaller creatures (as they usually have a slower metabolic rate). And just as long as we aren’t going around trying to publish as practicing scientists, we might be able to draw some significant parallels here.  Most athletes will become emotional about meal frequency because they feel it in just this way:  All sorts of havoc will be played with my muscles and performance levels unless I’m eating the mandatory 4 to 6-a-day.

Like most other forms of knowledge that relatively little is known about but everyone seems to have an opinion on, this subject deserves a generous helping of Caveat Emptor be served with it.

Always be a little cautious about “what everybody knows” and what the “commonly known facts” are. Because everyone believes a current trend, doesn’t make it true (remember the old Food Pyramid?) So, the answer to your question may not be entirely as self-evident as it seems to the semi-informed at first blush.

Although, not all about calories in vs. calories out, a good proportion of getting cut certainly is:

Not too many studies look at increased meal frequency and body weight gain, but the limited evidence at this moment indicate that weight gain is due to caloric intake rather than frequency. Examine

You might well do some experimenting and see what actually works for you. A little tacit knowledge is always helpful and will certainly come in handy here.

A small suggestion though, if you do plan to experiment, then go about it logically. Start with one or two 1200–2000 kcal meals with a 30–40% PROTEIN 30–40% FAT 20–30% CHO proportion ratio and play around on that. Perhaps you will find this to be (bad pun intended) too much (or too little) to bite off in your first chew. You will be able to acclimatise yourself to your chosen feeding pattern, slowly & gradually tweaking the macro and caloric value of your meal(s) from a baseline established through your own experience and experimentation. This individual and personal process is the thing that will ensure a successful outcome and result in securing the desired goal.

Perhaps You Should Just Deal With Post Training Soreness?

There are already many good answers to this question, some of them very good. So, rather than hack over the same old ground, I will let you ask Dr. Google about those and answer the corollary to this question: What you shouldn’t do to get rid of soreness or DOMS .

Most people hate pain, they think it the Devil’s Handmaiden. People believe pain to be an unnecessary aberration, do not want to tolerate it and intend to avoid it at all costs. Caring parents would like to see their children never exposed to it and pain to be immediately wiped off the face of this earth. Many modern societies & cultures believe it behooves them to do all that they can to keep the evil of pain from their constituents’ abodes. This attitude is completely intuitive, sympathetically understandable and simply mistaken.

(For example, let’s say) that after a particularly kickass training session last night, your biceps are killing you and so you decide to drop by the local chemist’s on your way home from work to pick up some Brufen.

Taking analgesics like Brufen probably isn’t the smartest way to solve your little pain problem because:

Ibuprofen alters human testicular physiology to produce a state of compensated hypogonadism

Now this sounds rather scary and undesirable (at least for guys trying to put on some buff) and it is. It is really rather counterproductive to why you went to the gym in the first place. And most likely, similar sides are bound to occur with many, if not all of the other analgesics (and anti-inflammatories, but that’s the subject for another post) that you received a script for on your last trip to your doctor’s.

So, perhaps a mind-reset is in order here, and this is a simple explanation for why you need one: when you have trained with credible intensity and invested a reasonable amount of sweat equity in your training session, you briefly upset your body’s homeostasis, you do a little damage on a microscopic level to muscle fibres or have overloaded some other physiological mechanism in some way, depending on your choice of training methods. And the result of this wilfully imposed stress is pain.

This just happens to be the way it is and it needs to be. You must recognise this discomfort as necessarily prerequisite to muscle hypertrophy (in the case of resistance training) and cardiovascular adaptation, in the case of aerobic training. You must Man up princess.

There may indeed be a few efficacious ways to reduce DOMS, experiment with them and see what works. The use of analgesics & painkillers after you hit the gym is something that won’t.

“Will You Sponsor Me?”

The sonic boom of online living in the last 5 years or so has certainly changed reality. In our opinion, one of the bad things that it’s done is install in some people the feeling that they ought to be famous. But (also in our opinion) it has really made being famous a lot harder and less important than it used to be.

A version of this article originated as an answer we made to a question that was directed toward us on Quora:  Alexander Anderson‘s answer to How does someone become a sponsored athlete by a supplement company in bodybuilding? Do they have to compete? 

We get many aspirants at Molecular Dynamics or BodyWorks requesting sponsorship for various competitions, challenges or athletic events. Most of these inquiries come from individuals who basically haven’t a clue, have never previously competed, nor had much experience in advertising or modelling.

What these individuals seem to be missing, even ones with possibly some potential to be successful athletes or models, is that the eggs don’t come before the chickens in this or any other real business. In other words, it is unrealistic to expect to be sponsored before you have a history of accomplishments or evidence of being outstanding in some respect.

You might know that you are a success story waiting to happen, but unless a particular company is making a specific request for new talent through a talent search or audition, you are going to need evidence of credibility to get your foot through the door and be considered for the job.

A business will indeed be looking for a return on investment from the sponsorship of an athlete or model. The best way to assure a businessman of being a good investment or vehicle for his business would be proof of saleability. Doing your homework through a little research into what the company or brand represents and is likely to be looking for wouldn’t hurt either. If the company markets to bodybuilders, they may not be looking for a cyclist, unless they intend a strategy of expanding into a new market.

The best way to prove to a potential sponsor that you will help improve his bottom line is by owning a track record of some relevant description and showing that he can depend on you to help develop his business.

Not A Bad One, Much Appreciated…

All in all, boys & girls–it’s been a pretty good year. It’s also been a little bit like war, but a fun hard war.

We’d like to thank all our members & customers for their business & support.

And as a little thank you, would like to let them know that they should be on the look-out for some new stuff to play with in January (see if you can figure out what some of this new stuff is, find a couple hints below).

Also, while we’re at it, we might as well inform those members (who might be a little prone to worry about such things) not to worry.

They won’t be footing the bill for these new toys, we won’t be raising rates to pay for them.

Although TBH, we were kind of tempted (mostly be our competition, but we decided “whatever”, and just let them get on with it while we keep doing our thing and improving the gym) .

Like we said:

THANKS!

 

Standing Up For Yourself: Why It’s Important to Do it With Class.

One of the problems that we face in running a business with a social media presence is, frankly, attempting to figure out how to handle our online SELF, i.e. our image.

If you spend a lot of time slaving over your business, a lot of energy trying to improve it, love and cherish your business, it becomes almost like a child to you. As if you two were hooked up with an umbilical cord that is stronger than steel. It has a lot of you in it, and it has a lot of its hooks in you. You love it and therefore become a little protective.

So, one of the options, when someone attacks your baby, is to ignore the slight and treat it like a crank phone call…just hang up and don’t answer it when it rings again. This is usually the way we handle it.

But recently we’ve had quite a bit of negative response from certain quarters concerning one of our posts, which on the whole, seems to have been a little misunderstood (those interested readers can read that post here What Those Who Can’t Do Do). And like a bad cold, this misunderstanding seems to be catching.

The post in question treated, in a very general and slightly humorous fashion, the annoying tendency to use social media to sell the emperor some new clothes.

So, what we decided to do this evening is to take some time out and respond to one particularly vociferous attack on our business, in the following way…

An Ignorant And Unfriendly Review:

“Horrendous Facebook presence. This company takes immature, unfounded, poorly researched, ranting shots at hardworking individuals and then defends their attitude by being passive aggressive to people in the comments section. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt the first time, as I was sure their page had be hacked, but I now know this is exactly the kind of business these people are running. And no, I haven’t been to this gym, but surely this page is for rating yourself as a whole business, not just on the quality of your gym equipment. I certainly wouldn’t feel welcome or safe at all at your establishment.”

Our Response:

🤔 Perhaps this particular individual is really attempting to make us see the point:

Why be Passive Aggressive, when you can just be plain ol’ everyday garden-variety downright Aggressive, huh?

The woman seems to really be itching to have a go at us Tooth-and-Nail with this review of hers. There is quite definitely a rather petty, nasty little bee lodged securely and painfully somewhere deep inside her bonnet.

My dear woman, thank you for your ill-considered and less-than-intelligent review of something that you know very little about and have even less of an understanding of. We haven’t accused any particular individual by name, but certainly, if you feel that the shoe fits, toss it to whomever you like. 

And we disagree, you do not seem to have even the vaguest idea of what sort of business we are in, nor how long we have been in it.

No, our pages have not been hacked-we take great personal care of the value and quality of content that appears on our pages. As to the actual value of your “benefit of a doubt”, however it matters little to us. The lion rarely concerns himself with the opinion of sheep, as the saying goes.

Well now, on to our, according to this person, “horrendous” Facebook presence…-yes we do have a point of view, and yes again, we intend to stubbornly defend whenever we are able to.

When we see snake oil being peddled as the Holy Grail by con men who aren’t worth their weight in cheap fertilizer, well madam, we will not then go out of our way to mince words

We are also not going to lose much sleep over what someone, who has never been to our business or ever intended to be one of our customers, goes nattering on about.

We dislike precious, mealy-mouthed, self-righteous trolling masquerading as pompous indignation as much as the next fellow.

We will do our best to confront & refute this pointless & tiresome activity, whenever and wherever this distasteful action persists.🤗🤗

#ABirdintheHandisWorth2ontheHook #SayGoodbyetoTrolls #Ignorance#TheScoldsBriddle #ByHookorbyCrook

HOW WE ATE AND TRAINED AND USED TO BE

The Upper/ Lower Body Split Routine: Is It A Sound Training Strategy?

I answered a version of this question on a website that I waste a lot of time on called QUORA. It got me thinking about what the essence of a good training strategy, any good training strategy that made sense, might be. So I decided to use this idea for today’s blog.

As a trainer with over 40 years experience, I do not have a problem with an “up/down” split. In fact there are several good arguments supporting the logic of this training strategy.

As long as you give the ”down” bit the respect it requires. There used to be a standing joke floated at Gold’s about one particular guy who spent most of the week working his upper body, only to vanish like a puff of smoke when it got to leg day, something always more important to be taken care of, you see.

Giving the legs their own special day(s) actually is a very effective strategy for concentrating focus and emphasising intensity on them, especially if they are a weak point.

But the Holy Grail of training lore is to be aware that muscles are built on the yin-yang of intense work that causes the maximum amount of stress on the muscle and then sufficient time for recovery and repair from the damage that that intense work and stress has caused.

The more intense the work, the more damage it causes, the more rest and recovery time is required to repair this damage so that adaptation occurs and a net plus gain of muscle tissue results. This is a natural cycle that is disregardable only at your peril. If you don’t pay attention to its rules for long enough surprising and unpleasant things happen, no matter how physically tough and mentally gifted you are.

3 mediocre leg workouts per week are not better than two good workouts which are not better than one great leg training session. So avoid using frequency of training as a stand-in for the intensity of your training. It just doesn’t work that way.

More is sometimes used as a poor excuse for less and less quite often turns out to be more.

Observing the above advice should go a long way to setting you up to get the most of your upper/lower split training scheme. Or any routine, for that matter, that you decide to follow.

Good Luck.

“Ah, Brilliant! Just What We Need, Another Photo of Someone’s Food on FaceBook!”

Ok, understood. You’ve all seen food before.

You know what a a steak and a carrot look like. You can’t always tell the difference between Bullet and Bomb Proof Coffee, but you know there is one.

We get it. So, what’s the point?

Well, this is the point. Food is a pleasure and a tool, not a church. You’re not going to food hell if you eat a pizza and wash it down with a carafe of merlot.

Not eating red meat, eating “clean” (whatever you want that to mean), on the other hand, doesn’t automatically grant you  an indulgence from the wages of sin. Hitler and Charley Manson were vegetarians and rumour has it that each was very choosey about what kind of foods he ate and didn’t eat.

You can put high octane petrol in your car or can use Tijuana Tap Water (a particularly low octane grade fuel that the Mexicans sometimes sell to unwary Gringos) and it will still run on pretty much the same in the short term, but probably not with the same long term result.

Just taking a little time to choose, prepare and be aware of what you decide to eat and how you decide to eat it is key to the mindset that you want to cultivate to live a healthy lifestyle. Eating is necessary, take time to do it right and enjoy it. If you obsess over the word DIET every time you feel a hunger pang, you’re looking down the barrel of a gun and doomed to failure and an otherwise miserable existence.

“Oh, but I travel a lot and can’t maintain much food discipline, etc.” I hear you. A quick pitstop at the local Starbucks for a panini and double latte isn’t going to cripple you for life. Just make sure to take advantage of the gifts and pleasant surprises obtainable from other cultures’ food styles and cuisines that will surround you in those foreign lands. 

Look forward to what your experience truly is: an opportunity to traverse unknown landscapes of taste, broaden your culinary horizons and embark on gastronomical adventures. Refrain from accepting the boring temptation to court  and seek out the familiar stodge of ‘back home’ food.

When you fall off the wagon, just get back on as quick as possible, don’t wallow around in the muck & mud of guilt & cheap regret or use your momentary loss of balance as a dirty little excuse to swig down 3 more bottles of Red to kill the pain.

Now,  leaving you with these whimsical meanderings, we’ll just get back to our late and lazy Sunday Breakfast while enjoying a stunning SPP rooftop view overlooking Castle Cornet and the harbour.

We’ll even take a little time out of our dazzlement to post a photo on FB of what we’re having to eat.

Because we’re sure you are just dying to know.

(Pictured from L to R) Cup of rough ground Portuguese coffee with Peruvian cocoa, Sri Lankan cinnamon, Guernsey Cream and coconut oil from Hawaii. Raw local grown broccoli, Iceland humus, British free range coddled eggs with Guernsey butter and cheddar cheese, rustic French sourdough bread, fresh local figs.

Why Creatine Cycling Is Unnecessary.

Creatine cycling is probably not necessary at all.

Let’s have a brief look at why the claim for this POV should be true:

Creatine is not a drug. It is rather a nutrient:

A drug occupies a space on an a molecule (receptor site) either preventing it from being activated or activating it (a bit of a simplification but a good enough for our purposes). A drug shuts down, suppresses or otherwise turns off functions in the body by blocking chemical reactions.

A nutrient, on the other hand, activates, expresses, and turns on bodily functions or mechanisms, working much like a key that opens a locking mechanism.

Another drug characteristic has to do with tolerance, the desensitisation or reduction of the response of the body over time to it. In order to resensitize the body, it is necessary to reduce or eliminate a drug from the body for a period of time. Thus, the requirement for a cycling strategy.

Nutrients, like amino acids, essential fatty acids or creatine, on the other hand supply or furnish components or substrates that are necessary to perpetuate, continue and optimise metabolic processes.

Your body does not build up a tolerance to creatine, does not store the substance past a certain (probably genetically determined) level and any extra or unused creatine is simply excreted. Therefore, it is highly unlikely to cause toxicity or create an opportunity for overdose.

As creatine does not show these drug like characteristics, cycling is unnecessary.

CreatineMono1000g

What Those Who Can’t Do Do.

IF YOU CAN’T SUCCEED, GIVE THE INTERNET A TRY.

Just like my Uncle Charlie used to say, just before he sprung the trap: He said, “You can’t cheat an honest man. Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.― W.C. Fields

Living on an island far away from most of the cares of the big, wide world is often idyllic, sometimes repetitive…but on occasion it’s a little comical, too.

In most lines of work there is some sort hierarchy of spiritual and social nobility: the great, the near great, the average, the near average and sometimes, just the idiotic. My field is no different. Social media is often responsible for allowing the last group to have equal footing with and be given equal airtime to the first.

Not long ago we noticed a guy, who once owned a failed fitness business in town, touting his new online course purporting to teach the gullible: “What you need to do to succeed in the fitness business”. Who better to give advice on how to do it, right? And the best part? You can learn his secret from wherever you are in the world for only £99!

He starts out with ” I am so-and-so, Trainer To The Stars and Famous Sports Teams, etc., etc.” H’s uploaded quite a dodgy photo of Arnold doing a selfie with him in the background throwing a double biceps (well, isn’t that what you pay your entry ticket and stand in long lines at trade shows for, or is it just bad Photoshop?). Also, something about this being evidence of Arnold’s endorsement. All of this, of course, is complete HOGWASH. He is just some failed wannabe fitness guy from a small island. The internet has a lot to answer for.

Today, we hear of another individual, who lives locally and looking suspiciously like the handsome gentleman pictured in the cover photo of today’s blog. This gentleman is giving online classes on how to lose weight. We reckon that he should probably stick with his day job.

We also don’t know if this particular guru is asking for any payment in exchange for the valuable information that he is ready to shove down our throats , or just giving it away…whatever…one sometimes gets what he is willing to pay for, often he gets a lot less…

All in all, it doesn’t really make much sense to us. A little like a groundhog giving lessons on how to soar like an eagle or a pig offering instruction on the right and proper use of hand tools.

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#BodyWorks #YouHaveGotToBeJoking #ConMenKeepConin #JustShrugYourShouldersAndSayWTF #GetReal

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