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VOLUME 77 | NO. 12
24 4 The notorious Fighter Conor McGregor is the face (and voice) of the UFC. Is he the Ali of MMA?
In EVERy ISSUE 12 ONLINE NOW 50 HOT BOD 176 THE LasT WOrD
FEATURES 14 Superset for Success British men’s physique Olympian Ryan JohnBaptiste reveals his most effective paired exercises. 108 #ARMageddon Part 2 The second half to Steve Weatherford’s sleevetearing arm programme. 112 Brain Power 25 ways to train your brain to be smarter, faster, and more efficient. 118 Volume+ Intensity Five weeks, two techniques, and one programme are all that’s needed to bust through training plateaus. 128 Meathead Millionaire Mark Bell turned his love of lifting into big money—you can, too.
138 Level Up: Shoulders We take old Straight Ups and increase the difficulty so that the gains never cease. 142 Stay Home, Get Ripped Build functional strength, add mass, and slash body fat without the gym. 152 Courtney King The bikini pro and IFBB champ discusses the hard work that goes into commanding the stage. 160 Ditch the Big Three Train around injuries and spark new growth with “big three” alternatives. 168 Hers Survival Guide Several tips for happier and healthier holidays.
SECTIonS 56 EDGE Readers’ questions answered; Mike Colter beefs up for Luke Cage; and Fear the Walking Dead’s hot fit star. 66 TRAIn 10-minute abs; build stronger glutes; why yoga should be part of your training. 80 FooD AnD SUPPS Carbs are not the enemy; the lowdown on healthy oils; alternative diets; and more.
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36 EXPERT The inside story of British strongman Eddie Hall’s historic 500-kg deadlift; Reality TV star Joel Corry talks about how his body has been his passport for success; men’s physique champion Oscar Young gets serious about abs; bikini and hot bods.
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Ryan John-Baptiste 2016 Men’s MENÕS physique P HYSIQUE olyMpia O LYMPIA COMPETITOR LY coMpetitoR R
PhotograPh Hy Y b BY y CH hR r Ii S s Tt o OPH h Ee r R b Ba A iI lL eE y Y 14
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RYan JOHnBaPTISTE I’ve been traInIng for quite a few years and have realised that if you keep the same routine, over time your body will start to get used to it, and eventually you will stop improving. Mixing things up is important if you’re looking to make changes to your physique. So what is most effective for someone who follows a standard split body part routine and has hit a plateau? to keep progressing, you have to find something that forces you to work outside of your comfort zone. For me, supersets are a great way of achieving this. I have always believed that if your muscles are burning, then you are taking the first step towards making a difference, and supersets burn like nothing else. Supersets are when you perform two exercises in a row without stopping. they enable you to train the muscles from different angles and give you a crazy pump. What I describe here are my go-to supersets for each body part. Don’t do them all in one workout—instead, introduce the back one to your back workout, the chest one to your chest workout and so on. Since I did that a year ago, I have seen some big changes in my physique that helped me place 11th at the recent Men’s Physique Olympia in Las vegas. go for a weight that really challenges you. I tend to fatigue at about five reps from the end and really have to dig in then. It is these last five reps that really count.
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AGE 32 BORN London LIVES Surrey HEIGHT 183 cm / 6 ft WEIGHT 95 kg / 209 lbs CAREER HIGHLIGHT 11th at 2016 Men’s Physique Olympia; 2014 British Men’s Physique Champion AMBITION To place in the top five at the Olympia. TRAINING ADVICE Be consistent and have fun. SPONSOR Get Bronzed SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram: RyanJohnBaptiste YouTube: RyanJohnBaptiste IFBB PRO
3-4 supersets of 15 wide-grip pullups 3-4 and 12-15 bent-arm pulldowns
The back is a complex muscle group. It contains different areas you need to hit and keep in proportion. I love pullups. Theyâ€™re definitely one of my favourite exercises and are a great way to warmup the back. As for bent-arm pulldowns, you really feel them in your lats, but I like to hold the end position and squeeze, which can help with the thickness, too. I tend to use this superset at the start of my back workout. MUSCLE & FitnESS
3 x 12 supersets of incline dumbbell flyes and 15 flat presses
Chest is not one of my strongest body parts, but I have definitely noticed improvements since I started doing this superset. Flyes and presses are the two basic foundation moves for building your chest. Putting them together is a killer, especially when you do the flye movement first and the pressing movement second. I tend to go heavier on the flyes, then go lighter, but for more reps on the chest press. 18
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Legs are half of your body, so if you want a great lower body, you have to target a lot of muscles. I find supersets a great way to stimulate many of these areas in one working set. My favourite leg superset involves combining a squat machine or barbell squat with a hamstring exercise. Squats are a good compound movement, working multiple joints and muscles. Afterwards, I head straight to the lying hamstring curl machine. I find I need to hit my hamstrings often because most popular leg exercises target mainly the quads. Getting the balance right is important if youâ€™re looking for a balanced physique.
3 supersets of 15 squats and 15 lying hamstring curls
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3 supersets of 15 seated dumbbell lateral raises and 12-15 seated dumbbell front raises
Full, round shoulders is the goal, right? Supersetting different areas of the shoulders helps to achieve this. I do these two sets of raises seated to prevent my body from swinging, which can easily happen in a standing position. The two movements hit the side and front shoulder. For these isolation movements, I like to use high repetitions and the result is incredible…we’re talking about a pump with a capital P! I sometimes also include a rear delt exercise in this set.
3 supersets of 20 EZ bar curls and 15-20 triceps dips
Nothing feels better than an arm pump. I love to include this superset in my arm workouts because it drives blood into your biceps and triceps. I don’t like to go too heavy with arms, as I find my elbow joints start to hurt. I’m all about the reps and getting that pump. 22
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3 supersets of 20 leg raises and 20 decline bench sit-ups
Compound movements automatically bring your abs into play, nevertheless, I tend to target them separately, normally during cardio sessions close to competitions. You canâ€™t go wrong with leg raises and decline bench situps. My aim is to develop a tight, detailed waist rather than thick, blocky muscles so I donâ€™t like to go heavy on abs. I tend to go for lighter, stricter movements and really concentrate on the squeeze.
MY aIM IS TO deveLOP a tight, detailed waist RaTheR Than ThICk, BLOCkY MuSCLeS. MUSCLE & FitnESS
The NoTorious ORIOUS FighTer > Conor McGregor is the UFC. He’s the
savviest striker in the Octagon and a poet on the mike. From his calculated retirement and verbal spats with Dana White to the main event against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, the one-time plumber from Ireland has become a polarizing figure, leaving the world wanting more—win, lose, or draw. B y B o B G u c c i o n e J r .
In AprIl of thIs yeAr, UfC sUperstAr Conor McGreGor, although “superstar” is an insipid word for his actual stratospheric stardom and importance to the UFC, did something he rarely does: After underestimating Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in March, he made a complete cock-up of a move—he retired.
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Iceland to fulfill contractual contractua promotional p o ot o a obligations ob gat o s in Las as Vegas, which he did not want to do. “I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting,” McGregor declared at the time. “Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in Connecticut or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobodygives-a fuck morning show did not get me this life.” One could speculate, not unreasonably, that having lost so
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He unretired two days later, in what must be some kind of record for big-statement futility. (It’s hard to call it a comeback when you haven’t left the building yet.) The 28-yearold’s out-of-the-blue announcement that he was giving up the fight game came just weeks after the rematch was announced with Diaz, who had handed him his one UFC loss to date. It was a power struggle with UFC boss Dana White over whether McGregor would leave his training camp in
McGregor’s McGreg gor’s Snapshot Sna apsho ot froM: Dub Dublin, bliin, Ireland Ire e la and d heIGht:: 175 cm WeIGht: t:: 77 kg g tUrned ed pro: p r o : 20 2008 008 nICknAMe: nA A Me:: ““The The e No Notorious” otoriious”” UfC reCord: r eCo o r d : 20 20-3-0 0 -3-0 0 WIns sb by y sto stoppAGe: o p pAG 17 fIrst-roUnd t-r r o Und d fInIshes: fInI 13
CLOCKWiSE: McGregor hyping up the crowd at the UFC 194 weigh-ins; Mystic Mac sharpening his famous left hand; ground and pound from the mount; the notorious practising his standup game; the Dublin native posing with the irish flag.
Conor McG r e G or
surprisingly but categorically to Diaz, beaten by a move he himself fetishizes, the rear naked choke, McGregor didn’t want to take the slightest chance of being unprepared for the rematch. But we all know what the second word of show business is, and by the time he announced he was back, a time measured in nanoseconds, he was gone: White had dropped him from the bill and replaced him. White and McGregor subsequently hugged it out, and two fight nights later, at UFC 202 in August, McGregor was back in the Octagon and outlasted Diaz in a thrilling five-round split decision, as narrow a victory as a fighter can attain. Reporters noted how intelligently McGregor adjusted his style to patiently exercising unexpected restraint, beat the taller, canny Diaz. What sticks out is their surprise. It seems never to have occurred to them that the Rock ’em Sock ’em Robot that McGregor resembles was capable of adapting his style against a tricky, more fluid opponent. IrIsh born And soAked,
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Conor McGregor, a 175-cm, 77-kg pounds Edward Scissorhands-and-feet of an MMA fighter—whose next opponent is Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205—is by a country mile, the greatest, most charismatic athlete in the fastest-growing sport on the planet. He looks like a leprechaun, not the false mythology of the fat little cheerful chap winking at you, but the original mythology of the vicious creature that wants the pot of gold and will tear your body apart if you try to take it from him. Out of the ring, he’s a handsome, often sartorial sprite, with
an oblong rather than round face that can, even when he’s talking calmly, look like a wounded Alsatian snarling. He’s a born showman, whose simple walk across a room has the immortal swagger of a rock star. His prematch, in fact, anytime, comments are the gold dust of provocative, harshly funny put-downs that build ticket sales and generate millions of pay-per-view dollars. Videos of his fights, where you know the result, cost $60 to watch on the UFC site. In the ring, his fat-free, almost fleshless slight frame transforms into a ruthless brutal weapon. He fights more like a traditional boxer, swivelling his shoulders to dodge murderous blows and delivering combinations of punches of deceptive power from someone his weight. In films of his fights, the astonishment of his opponents when punched betrays their pain. The kicks, elbows, and knees strikes must hurt too, but the punches rattle their being and look as if they penetrate to the places closest to death. His rise to the top was, to cuddle a cliché, meteoric. It took him slightly over two years from his first UFC fight to his first championship. White brought him to the States after hearing so much about him on a trip to Dublin, where McGregor, then an apprentice plumber, was building a reputation in cage fights, and signed him never having seen him fight. In McGregor’s second UFC fight, against Max Holloway in Boston in 2013, he tore the ACL in his knee, one of the hardest injuries for any athlete to recover from, but still won the fight. It could have all ended there. For someone less determined, and less singularly focussed, it would have. After 11 months of rehab and training, ignoring
I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.
advice to sit still—“movement is medicine to me,” he said in an interview with Esquire—McGregor returned and fought Brazilian MMA champion Diego Brandao, in front of a hometown crowd in Dublin, and destroyed him, mercilessly knocking him out in the first round. McGregor wants to fight Floyd Mayweather. He says he would “kill him in less than 30 seconds,” which is patently ridiculous. Except it’s not to McGregor. He believes it. “I’ve lost my mind being in this game, yeah?” he says on an Irish TV documentary. “Like Vincent van Gogh. He dedicated his life to his art, and lost his mind in the process. That’s happened to me. Well, fuck it.” Then he smiles his demonic grin and says: “I’ll die a crazy old man!”
> Retired MMAer Owen Roddy
has been Conor McGregor’s striking coach for 10 years. He spoke to M&F about McGregor retiring, a WWE career, and being the greatest of all time. B y J a s o n s t a h l
Conor’s been fighting for 10 years. How much longer does he have left? I always say this: It’s not about how many years, it’s about 28
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How often does Conor spend working on strikes? When we’re in camp it’s almost every single day, a half an hour straight just working on refining strikes. Everybody knows it’s the left hand, his uppercut. He lands his shots over and over and over and over again. It was a Bruce Lee saying: Fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times. Conor has his set shots that he lands on everybody and that’s because we spend a lot of time refining those. Who are some other great strikers? Everybody at SBG [Straight Blast Gym] has fantastic striking, although they don’t get the knockouts that Conor seems to get. They’re all different in regards to how they move. If you look at Artem Lobov, he moves completely different from Conor, but it works for him. And he also has
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M&F: What was your first impression of Conor? oWen roddy: When he came into the gym and onto the Irish team, we were all mainly grapplers with a bit of striking. There’s nobody that was a very powerful striker. When Conor came in I knew he had unbelievable power and very good timing, and then from very early on I knew he had something special. He was always very confident from Day 1. He hasn’t really changed in that regard. People think he puts on a persona for the TV, but he was always 100% [genuine]. He always had that belief in himself. So those two things set him up to have the potential to be one of the greats.
how many times that chin has been touched. I can count on my hand how many times Conor has been hit clean on the chin. It’s very, very little. He hasn’t taken any damage realistically. He took some damage in the Diaz fights. Other than that his chin is perfect. If he keeps doing what he’s done for the past 10 or 12 years, he could fight until he’s 40.
Conor McG r e G OR or
amazing knockout power. They’re all doing fantastic, but Conor, he’s a step above everyone else. What are Conor’s weaknesses? I think hardening the leg kicks—he never leg-kicks. He’s never really had to, and setting them up would have been a little more difficult for him being a southpaw. Conor is a competitor; people don’t realize how good he is on the ground and how good he is at wrestling. He’ll go for the ground if need be or if he sees something there, but he wants to knock people out. The way a common fight with Conor is, if he manages to take the shots off, he’s going to be trying for the takedown. It’s just the way it is. That’s why people are saying, “Conor hasn’t been tested in the ring, I haven’t seen him wrestle people, I haven’t seen him on the ground.” Speaking of wrestling, how would Conor do in WWE? Don’t be surprised if you see him in WWE down the line putting shots on people. He’s got the mike skills. He would definitely be a super villain in WWE. I think it’d be great, it would be a spectacle. Ronda [Rousey] has done it, Mayweather has done it; a lot of celebrities do it. I could see him going in as a general manager or that sort of a plot line and taking over the whole thing; it would be great to watch.
How is Conor’s footwork? He’s got some of the best feet in the game. You can’t really see it because it’s so subtle. He always maintains his lanes perfectly at all times. Floyd Mayweather is the best at maintaining his range and just staying fluid and making people fall into his shot. Conor’s so good at that. When it comes to landing the strikes, his feet position is on par with the best in the world in boxing; possibly one of the best, if not the best in MMA. Why does every boxer and fighter skip? Skipping is fantastic. It gets your coordination up, it gets your timing up, and it gets you light on your feet. In order to be able to move quickly and stable you have to be able to transfer your weight evenly and you have to be able to do it very quickly and in the blink of an eye. People don’t realize how important it is. Distance is key in terms of striking, but if you can’t reach your opponent you can’t really hit them. How do you teach keeping the proper distance? It’s years and years of training. For the new guys coming in we’ll get them to fire at arms length and stay at arms length and just at the edge of range. Just moving your head around in there because when you play with that edge of range, if your opponent throws at you and you slip his shot, they then will pull down a centimetre or two forward. When
mcgregor’s mosT mcGREGOR’S MOST NoTorious NOTORIOUS Kos KOOs
CWFC 51 | ViCtim: iVan BuChinger | DeC. 31, 2012 Before coming to the UFC, McGregor held two Cage Warrior Fighting Championship (CWFC) belts in the featherweight and lightweight divisions. He won the then-vacant lightweight belt against Ivan Buchinger with a left hook that collapsed his foe into a heap.
uFC on Fuel tV 9 | ViCtim: marCus Brimage | apr. 6, 2013 McGregor made a statement in his debut against Marcus Brimage when The Notorious landed an onslaught of precise punches and kicks before finishing off “the Bama Beast” with what would become his signature left.
uFC 178 | ViCtim: Dustin poirier | sept. 27, 2014 McGregor predicted his main event fight would end with a Round 1 KO, and he delivered. “The Diamond” did a faceplant 1:46 into the first round after McGregor knocked Poirier down and finished him with nasty hammer strikes.
uFC 189 | ViCtim: ChaD menDes | July 11, 2015 Chad Mendes took the fight on two weeks notice and lost in two rounds after being smashed with a straight left hand that forced him into a ball on the ground.
uFC 194 | ViCtim: Jose alDo | DeC. 12, 2015 It was one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history, and it lasted all of 13 seconds. McGregor dropped Aldo with a perfectly timed left hook, catapulting the Irishman into UFC’s elite.
CONOR McG R E G OR
they get pulled an inch forward, realistically, they’re going to get pulled into your range and then can fire off. It just takes years and years of timing and knowing exactly where your range is. In regards to your opponent, if guys are your same height, you know the range and distance. If you’re fighting a taller guy your range is a bit farther out and then when you get them to throw those shots you gotta be able to make a miss and close at the same time.
What is the Conor McGregor workout? The Conor McGregor workout, realistically, there is no such thing. But if you wanted to land the shot that Conor lands you just have to watch the shots that he lands continuously, look at how he moves his body, watch it slowly, watch it a thousand times, watch how he leaves his head there; everyone takes the bait, he pulls away the shot, falls into dead space, and he lands his shots. Realistically there is no magic potion. It’s down to hours on the mat. Put the hours in and you’ll get the reward. Does Conor practise any kind of yoga? He does a lot of those stretching movements—he won’t do a specific yoga routine but he’ll do aspects of yoga, he’ll do aspects of Pilates and every sort of movement that you can
McGregor’s training also includes elements of yoga and Pilates.
MUSCLE & FITNESS
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How has Conor’s training changed since you’ve been working with him? Since we started he had a bit of boxing but he had the same power. He was easily taken down, he was easily submitted. When I say easily submitted, he was a bit of a quick, scrambly guy. He resisted everything to look as great but he had no skill set on the ground. He’s open-minded, he realized where his holes were and he started to learn how to kick, started to learn how to stand the takedown, started to enjoy jiu-jitsu. I forced him to take jiu-jitsu, he had to do it. Maybe six to seven years ago, he started to enjoy jiu-jitsu. He put the gi on, and he started to enjoy it.
Are you still focussing on that? Oh, we’ve done everything. There’s always room to improve. We’re always trying to add new skills. When it comes to fight camp, then it’s strike down the opponents and put the shot in that we can land on him.
3 think of. But even before he was discovering movement, he was discovering being a lot more loose and 2 nimble and being able to put his body in positions that are uncomfortable and I can stretching out from there. What tips do you have for the average person who’s trying to gain flexibility? Go join a yoga or a Pilates class or gymnastics or something like that. If you can’t afford that, go onto YouTube and do it at home. It’s not about what you can do, it’s about what you actually do. Just get up and start moving, that’s the main thing. Squats, stretch, do some bear crawls up and down the mat or up and down your home. Just get the body moving and in positions where you feel slightly uncomfortable and from here you can get loose and more nimble.
rest my balls on your forehead.
When you sign to fight me it’s a celebration…you ring your wife, “Baby, we done it, we’re rich, baby! Conor McGregor made us rich, break out the red panties!”
When the history books are written, I showed up.
Me and Jesus are cool…I’m cool with all the gods. Gods recognize gods.
After training Conor for 10 years, do you push each other’s buttons? No, not really. We know each other so well that we get in and we can build off each other. It just gels. I know what he likes. He likes to have power, he likes to move. He knows what I’m trying to get from him. Tell us a time when things got heated. When I was fighting and he was fighting, we would spar very hard. He’d be trying to take your head off and he’d land a lot of times and I’d land some shots on him. He was always the more powerful kind of striker. The only way it gets uncomfortable is when everyone’s tired and all he wants to do is just eat and stuff like that. So that’s the only time he gets uncomfortable. A lot of the time he’s enjoying life and living it. If you fought Conor in your prime, who’d win? Conor, without a doubt. He’s so good, he’s just special. He’s the best in the world. Will there be another Conor McGregor? I don’t think there will ever be another Conor McGregor. The next breed is better than the last breed, but to have what Conor has is different. He’ll be like the Ali. He is one of those special fighters that only comes once in a lifetime. To have everything, that’s unique. I don’t know if we’ll ever see another Conor McGregor, but as in skill, the next generation of guys coming are unbelievable.
Precision beats power, and timing beats speed.
Jibber- Jabber Conor mcgregor’s exceptional skills extend well beyond the Octagon. His wit and intellect are as quick as his jabs, and his trash-talking persona stands head and shoulders above his 175-cm frame. Here are five of McGregor’s greatest burns:
To Rafael dos Anjos leading up to their scheduled fight at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016. (Dos Anjos pulled out with a broken foot.)
To 168-cm Chad Mendes before they fought at UFC 189 on July 11, 2015.
Calling out all fighters at the UFC “Go Big” press conference on Sept. 4, 2015.
Responding to a ribbing from lightweights Jose Aldo and Rafael dos Anjos after a loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016.
After KOing kilo-for-kilo great Jose Aldo at UFC 194 on Dec. 12, 2015.
The NexT coNor?
> Twenty-three years since its inception, the UFC’s fighters are
tougher than ever. These six fighters are leading the way for making MMA the fastest-growing sport in the world. sTepheN “woNderboy” ThompsoN
age: 34 | Weight: 109 kg height: 193 Cm | reCorD: 16-2 Fights out oF:inDepenDenCe, ohio
age: 33 | Weight: 77 kg height: 183 Cm | reCorD: 13-1 Fights out oF: simpsonVille, south Carolina
cody “No love” garbraNdT
Miocic is part of a new breed of heavyweight fighters who captivates the crowds with dynamic fights instead of lethargic slugfests. His superior conditioning, athletic footwork, and quick hands prove that big doesn’t have to mean boring. He has seven fight-night bonuses—three fights of the night, three performances of the night, and one knockout of the night.
When “Wonderboy” enters the Octagon, prepare for a striking clinic. Thompson’s karate-style attacks—which come from his days as an undefeated (57-0) kickboxer before joining the UFC in 2012—has earned him a seven-fight win streak, making him the next, and most challenging, fighter to take on current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Everyone is loving “No Love.” The fanfavorite “American Conor McGregor” is on a win streak that rivals The Notorious’ own 2015 blitzkrieg; Garbrandt has won all 10 of his UFC fights, nine by way of knockout, and now has his eyes set on the title. His extensive boxing background makes him one of the most technically sound bantamweights.
sTipe miocic (heavyweighT champioN)
MUSCLE & FitnESS
zuffa LLC/Get t y ImaGes
age: 25 | Weight: 61 kg height: 173 Cm | reCorD: 10-0 Fights out oF: saCramento, CaliFornia
Conor McG r e G or
TyroN “The choseN oNe” woodley (welTerweighT champioN)
age: 34 | Weight: 77 kg height: 175 Cm | reCorD: 16-3 Fights out oF: st. louis, missouri
Welterweight champ Tyron Woodley is a human piston responsible for most of the cringe-worthy, “Oh my, God” knockouts in the Octagon. His grappling is world class, stuffing 92% of takedown attempts with four submission wins, proving that his moniker, “The Chosen One,” isn’t just some hyped-up handout meant to sell tickets. He was chosen for a reason.
eddie alvarez (lighTweighT weighT CHAMPIO champioN) HAMPION) age: 32 | Weight: 70 kg height: 175 Cm | reCorD: 28-4 28 Fights out oF: BoCa raton, raton FloriDa
An MMA veteran, Alvarez has fough fought and beaten the best fighters in Dream, Bellator, K-1, and n now the UFC. Most recently, he re-established himself as a one of the most savage fighters on the planet by unexpe unexpectedly dusting former lightweight king Rafael dos Anjos (2 (25-8) in the first round at UFC Fight Night 90. Now, with a w whole division beneath him, who’s left for Alvarez to Conor, we mean conquer???
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expert Buff Boy Bo oy
Reality TV star joel corryâ€™s gym secrets.
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRisTOPHeR BAileY
advice on training, nutrition, and supplementation from top athletes and fitness professionals
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Reality TV star, fitness model champion, and DJ—who wouldn’t want to be Joel Corry? By JoHn PLuMMeR
Fitness has been good to Joel Corry. His toned torso helped him appear in seven series of the MTV reality show Geordie shore and has also catapulted him to success in fitness model competitions. But, he’s paid his dues in the gym. Muscle&Fitness: When did you get into weight training? Joel Corry: I started training at 15. My dad coached tennis at the local leisure centre. I was allowed to use the facilities for free, and found myself at home in the gym. I was the first in my school year to start lifting. When the results began to show, I gained respect from the other boys.
involvement in reality TV. This was the motivation I needed to start my journey to the stage, and prove I had what it takes to compete with the best.
What impact has it had on your life? Fitness played a big role in my physical and emotional development. The drive to always improve myself, along with a disciplined lifestyle and positive outlook on life has given me the capability and desire to succeed inside and outside the gym. It has made me who I am today.
Are any particular body parts important for commercial work? The main attributes for a commercial look are a good face and smile, then, of course, the washboard abs. If your aim is to be a successful fitness model and get noticed by the top agencies, then you have to accept that there is a shallow side to the industry. However, with the rise of social media and YouTube, there is more opportunity than ever to make a name for yourself. Personality and self-belief come before anything.
What made you compete? I always wanted to take my training to another level, and see if I could reach the heights of my idols. I was aware that my credibility in the fitness industry was questioned due to my
How does a typical training week break down? Monday Chest and triceps + abdominals circuit Tuesday Back and biceps + post-workout LISS cardio*
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“WhEn I aPPly mysElf To somEThIng In lIfE, IT’s alWays 100 PER cEnT.”
Legs + abdominals
circuit Arms + post-workout LISS cardio* FRiday Shoulders and chest + abdominals circuit saTuRday Rest sunday Legs + post-workout LISS cardio* THuRsday
*Liss cardio is 20 minutes on stairMaster
What’s your training style? When I apply myself to something, it’s always 100 per cent, and this applies to training. I hate wasting time, so when I’m in the gym, I make every minute count. I’m a big fan of high
Joel Corry AGe
178 cm / 5 ft 10 WeIGHT
80 / 176 lbs CAReeR HIGHLIGHT
Winning back-to-back overall fitness model champion titles. volume reps, incorporating drop sets and supersets, with short rest times and lots of variation. I begin with the essential compound movements and end with isolation exercises, sticking to mainly free weights. Do you train when youâ€™re travelling? Iâ€™m an international dJ, balancing touring with training has always been a huge challenge. even with the constant late nights, flights, and long drives, training is always a top priority. I plan ahead to make sure there is always time and a place to get my workout in, no excuses!
Do you stay lean all year? I work hard to keep up my image, so that requires being lean all year round. I understand the advantages of having a proper off-season between competitions, but with my current lifestyle, I need to stay in condition. Do you track daily macros? I only track my macros when I am preparing for a show. Outside of competition prep, I stick to a clean and structured diet. I generally know how much of what I should be eating, and have the discipline to stay on top of my diet.
To win more titles, continue to inspire and motivate others, and land a front cover on Muscle&Fitness! TRAINING AdVICe
research, research, reSeArCH! Knowledge is power! SPONSORS
optimum Nutrition and MuscleFood.com SOCIAL MedIA
Twitter and Instagram @JoelCorry
PHOtOGRAPH BY CHRiStOPHER BAiLEY
Oscar Winner Oscar YOung is one of the first stars of the new muscular
men’s physique category in Britain. BY JOHn PluMMeR It’s one thing looking good in the gym, but another to build a trophy-winning physique. Oscar Young, who must have some of the best abs in Britain, has done precisely that. Muscle&Fitness: What is muscular men’s physique? Oscar Young: It was created to bridge the gap in muscularity between bodybuilding and men’s physique. The posing criteria are the same as the physique class, but you are allowed to do a few more poses to show off your muscularity. How did you get into competing? I first went on stage in men’s physique in 2014. I didn’t expect anything and finished with a second place trophy and an invite to the British Championships. I then went to the British finals and didn’t get in the top 6, but the fire was already burning in my belly. This year I put on more muscle so I had to switch to the new class. What does it take to be successful? Mindset is the number one thing. Your mind will take you wherever you want to go. As one of my idols, Kai Greene, says: “Thoughts become things.” Then comes hard work—the harder you work, the greater the rewards. How does your training break down? My coach Jordan Peters decided that 40
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we should focus on two principles this year—progressive overload and frequency over volume. So I hit each body part three times a week. I trained two days on and one day off for eight months and the result was a thicker and denser physique, weighing 6 kg more than the previous year.
8-12 reps then go on to a rest-pause set. An example of this is: do 12 straight reps then rest for 20 seconds and go again to failure, then rest for another 20 seconds and go to failure once more. Something else I do is choose a weight I can manage for 15 reps and do 6 sets of 4 reps, taking a 10 second break between sets,
“YouR mind will TakE You whEREvER You wanT To go.” so I do a total of 24 reps. It’s one of the most horrible techniques I have done! Try it on the leg press or Smith machine squat.
What is your weekly split? SundaY Legs MOndaY Upper body push-pull TueSdaY Rest WedneSdaY Legs THuRSdaY Upper body push-pull FRIdaY Rest SaTuRdaY Legs SundaY Upper body push-pull Everything gets trained three times in eight days.
What do you eat in a typical day dieting?! The first thing upon waking is always a glass of water. Below is an example of a training day diet. On a non-training day I just eat protein and fats. Meal 1 Chicken
Isn’t three times a week over-training? Some would argue that, but there’s a notion that says that if you are not good at something, do it often. Plus, very few people train with enough intensity and volume to overtrain. It is all about smart programming to ensure you are hitting the muscles from different angles using different rep ranges. Sleep and a varied diet full of whole foods and supplementation will also help with recovery. How many exercises, sets and reps do you do? On average I do four exercises, but I am always mixing up rep ranges. I might start with two straight sets of
and egg whites Steak and eggs Meal 3 Sea bass and broccoli Meal 4 Whey protein and blueberries Meal 5 Carbohydrates intraworkout shake Meal 6 (Post-workout) Whey protein, jam bagels and cereals Meal 7 Greek yoghurt and pineapple Meal 2
How much cardio do you do? None at all during the off-season as I want to remain in a calorie surplus to be able to grow. During dieting I start with 20 minutes a day fasted cardio and gradually increase it depending on other variables. In my last prep the most I did was 45 minutes on the StairMaster. That machine kicks your backside!
PHOtOGRAPH BY CHRiStOPHER BAiLEY
oscar young AGe
30 PLACe OF BIRTH
Khartoum, Sudan LIVeS
178 cm / 5 ft 10 WeIGHT
90 kg / 198 lbs CAReeR HIGHLIGHT
uKBFF Muscular Menâ€™s Physique North-east champion. AMBITION
To compete on the olympia stage. TRAINING AdVICe
Nothing beats hard work. SOCIAL MedIA
Instagram: @young_4040 Facebook: @oscar young
Liz Richardson began to see results when she learned to love weights. BY MICHELLE BRANNAN LIZ RICHARDSON has always
Not bad for a 36-year-old mother with a busy job.
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been into fitness. She used to do everything from long distance running to show jumping, but she has achieved her best results since taking up weight training. Liz was inspired by a photo of a bikini fitness competitor in her husband’s copy of Muscle&Fitness, so she re-shaped her training, started competing, then joined my Showgirl Fitness training team in 2015. Our goal was to streamline her physique to create a better aesthetic on stage. Weight training is the best way to shape a woman’s body. Contrary to popular belief, it does not masculinise you. Instead, it helps to burn body fat by building lean tissue, which increases the amount of calories burned at rest. Lots of women complain about problem areas, for example, sagging glutes, and diet to solve the problem. But they don’t realise that diet alone doesn’t reshape the body; it merely creates a leaner or skinnier version of yourself. Only weight training can lift those sagging glutes and create a desirable shape. Just dieting for fat loss is also difficult to sustain because you need to create a calorie deficit large enough to reduce body fat, which may be achievable shortterm, but restricted diets are difficult to stick to in the long term.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTOPHER BAILEY
It’s far better for fat loss and body sculpting to combine diet and exercise.
WEIGHT TRAINING Liz’s favourite body parts to train were legs and back, but to be well balanced for the stage, she had to pay equal attention to everything. I designed a split body part programme with varied exercises and sets and rep ranges to keep things interesting and develop a more rounded physique by utilising different angles and techniques. Here’s her split:
TRAininG SPLiT Monday
Glutes and hamstrings Thursday
Back and chest Friday
We factored in 1-2 rest days a week for recovery. Liz, 36, has a busy lifestyle: she has a five-year-old son and co-owns a family business. It is sometimes difficult for her to fit in training, food preparation, work, and childcare. Rest and recovery are crucial for making her programme sustainable.
CARdIo I advocate some form of cardio alongside weight training to stay healthy and for added fat burn. Liz did it daily as her contests approached, mixing up the cross ramp, plyometric training, sprints, and steady-state running. 44
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“WEighT TRAiNiNg iS ThE BEST WAY TO ShAPE A WOMAN’S BODY.”
SAMPLE TRAINING PLAN BACK AND CHEST SIMPLE SETS Lat pulldown 4 x 12, 10, 10 and 8 Chest press machine 4 x 12, 10, 10 and 8 Reverse grip close-grip lat pulldown 4 x 12, 10, 10 and 8 Seated machine chest flyes 4 x 12, 10, 10 and 8 Wide bar row to waist 4 x 12, 10, 10 and 8 Incline dumbbell chest press 4 x 12, 10, 10 and 8
•¥ ¥• ¥• •¥ ¥• ¥•
LEGS SIMPLE SETS Leg press 5 x 15 SUPERSET Smith machine lunges with seated leg curl machine 4 x 15 SUPERSET Stiff-legged deadlift with leg extension 4 x 15 SIMPLE SETS Barbell travelling lunge 4 x 20 Single-leg hip raises on bench 4 X 15
•¥ ¥• ¥• •¥ ¥•
GLUTES SIMPLE SETS Single leg press 10 x 10 Cable kickbacks (alternate straight and diagonal kickbacks) 5 x 20 Barbell good morning 5 x 10 Single leg Smith machine squat 5 x 10 Weighted hyperextensions 5 x 10 Barbell hip thrusts 5 x 10
•¥ ¥• •¥ ¥• ¥• ¥•
Winning this year’s UK Nationals in Liverpool.
DIET Liz works well on a higher-fat, lower-carb diet. This means that she enjoys foods like meat, eggs, nuts and avocados in contest prep. A higher fat diet has the benefit of keeping you satisfied for longer as there are fewer insulin spikes than occur on a lower calorie diet.
THE RESULTS Liz transformed her body into a winning physique whilst staying on top of her business and home life. She took first place in the over-35 bikini fitness category at this year’s UK Nationals, placed fourth at the European Championships, and second at the Amateur Olympia in Spain. She is also now the current British champion in Masters Bikini Fitness. Her motivation comes from wanting to be the best bikini competitor she possibly can. She is always thinking about how she can improve, then sets about achieving her goals in the gym.
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN BREAKFAST
2 whole eggs, coconut oil and spinach, and a greens drink SNACK
Handful of nuts LUNCH
Grilled salmon and asparagus SNACK
Boiled eggs DINNER
Grilled chicken and avocado salad
ABOUT MICHELLE Michelle Brannan is an IFBB bikini pro. She also runs a coaching team called Showgirl Fitness and the online training subscription resource BodySculpt Pro. michellebrannan.com.
MUSCLE & FITNESS
A Tale of Two Diets No need to adhere to one eating plan all year long. Your best results may be gained by having a more…flexible approach. By RyAN TERRy, IFBB PhysIquE PRo When deciding hoW best to get your body where you want it to be, your instinct is typically to find a diet somewhere— maybe even in these pages—and give it a try. If it worked for Ryan Terry, it can work for me, right? While it’s true that people in my position may have more experience with goalbased nutrition, it’s important to remember that no diet works the same for any two people. A better bet would be to alternate between a clean, controlled diet and one that is more flexible. Believe it not, both have their place.
cLeAn + contRoLLed I have always followed a typical, healthy, balanced diet which mainly consists of good natural foods, lean protein sources, complex carbohydrates, good essential fats and plenty of fibrous vegetables. This is commonly known as a “clean, controlled diet.” I have eaten this way for years, altering my diet slightly to suit whatever my goal is at the time. I enjoy eating this way as I 46
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find it helps me to feel, look, and perform better. One main benefit is that you are focusing on natural foods, which tend to have fewer additives and are more readily digested by your body. This means they can be better used by your body to power your training and recovery. The macronutrient focus is crucial as well. Eating the right types of carbohydrates will allow you to control your blood sugar levels better, which is what we want when we’re looking to build lean muscle with minimal fat gain and maximum energy. Protein is sourced from white meats like turkey, chicken and red meats like steak and game meat. Fat is also crucial and I gravitate toward salmon and mackerel. It’s also important not to overlook the importance of fibrous veggies which will help promote good digestion and a healthy gut, both of which keep you lean while boosting your immune system. It may feel more bland and goal-driven, but the best part of this kind of plan is that you can use it
year-round without feeling deprived or run down.
FLeX it Now that you have a grasp on what a good, balanced diet looks like, let’s talk about the virtues of flexible dieting. Flexible dieting has only recently started to gain in popularity and it seems that more and more gym-goers and competitors are adapting it in to their daily diets.
EaTing RighT hElPs mE fighT ThE fighT.
But let’s get one thing out of the way right up front: Flexible dieting isn’t about eating loads of junk food and making it fit your macronutrients per day. It’s not to say that you can never allow for treats. So long as you’re hitting your predetermined macronutrient ratios and caloric requirements, having a little something here and there can actually help strengthen you mentally and metabolically. Flexible
dieting is really about allowing variation in your diet and making the diet fit your lifestyle so that you can adhere to it. Over the years, I have tried both diet methods and found that this approach works better for me with the mental side of dieting as it gives you that balance in life. This way you can still go out and socialize with your family and friends. The ideal time for this type of diet would be
when you’re slightly more relaxed and in more of an off-season mode as opposed to contest prep which is a lot more calculated and specific. The biggest caveat with flexible dieting is allowing too much room for those more indulgent foods. You can’t be physique-minded while staring at the gelato menu. You can end up depriving yourself of essential micronutrients and vitamins that the body needs in order
PhotogRaPhy By ChRiStoPhER BaiLEy
RYAN TERRY ThE suBJECTIVITy oF ChANGE All men are created equal. The same cannot be said for metabolisms. WhAT you WhAt WhA YOU need NEED to TO undeRstAnd UNDER UNDE RST STA AND when making or choosing a diet plan is that it has to be specific to you because everyone has a different body composition and metabolism. What works for me, for example, might not necessarily work for you. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a very fast metabolism, which allows me to tdiet on a higher carbohydrate count—it actually tallows me to maintain a fuller look but still allows me to get in to condition. However, when I’m trying to gain weight in an off-season, it can be troublesome as I really have to up the calories in order to balance the effect of my metabolism. This can be quite hard for me, making me a textbook hard gainer. Trial and error is your best tool when it comes to figuring out how your body responds to certain variables in your diet and whether or not you can afford the laxity of plans like flexible dieting.
“A bETTER bET woulD bE To AlTERNATE bETwEEN A clEAN, coNTRollED DiET AND oNE ThAT is moRE flExiblE. bEliEvE iT oR NoT, boTh hAvE ThEiR plAcEs.” for good health and to help promote a strong immune system, meaning you end up sacrificing valuable gym time to colds and other illnesses. But the more obvious risk is your body composition, which is compromised by wild swings in blood sugar. So do physique competitors use it? Absolutely. Some prep coaches may 48
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use flexible dieting approaches pre-contest if their athlete is coming in too quick or looking particularly flat. In that case, the strategic cheat meal as opposed to a refeed on clean food is optimal as it will spike your body metabolism and increase your body’s levels of leptin, the hormone that governs satiety.
betteR bALAnce I have tried both diet methods and don’t think one is better than the other. Both will work for you, provided they suit your lifestyle and needs. As with anything, it usually comes down to personal preference with which one you’re going to be able to sustain for a long period of time. This will take some time and is going to be a process of trial and error. It’s important to try different ways of dieting to keep things interesting through trying out foods to make your diet more enjoyable and also to get a good variety of protein carbs and fats in your diet.
SECRET tALENt SECREt TALEN ALENT I’m an ex-gymnast and still not too bad at the odd trick or two.
bodY B ODY PARt PAR THAT PART thAt GEtS GETS MoSt AttENtIoN MOST ATTEN A ENT ON Definitely my legs! They’re my favourite things to train. I’m doing justice for all the short girls out there!
BES bESt EST thING THING AB AboUt BOUT bEING B EING IN SHAPE? ShAPE? S My motto is ‘health and happiness’. Being fit helps me to promote this message and help others.
by b y John Jo ohn Plummer Plummer
The Welsh bikini competitor and ex-gymnast is representing well for petites everywhere.
Amy-Ma Amy-Marie arie e Williams Willi iams
PhotoGRAPh bY ChRIStoPhER bAILEY
dESCRIbE D ESCRIB ESCRI BE YoURSELF YOURSELF YO IN 3 WoRdS Driven, petite, and surprising.
bESt B EST CHRISTMAS ES ChRIStMAS PRESENt EVER PRESENT PRESEN A photo collage of all my memories and achievements with family and friends from the year. Sentiment wins over cost any day.
WHAT DO WhAt do O YOU YoU DO do O to RELAX? TO The gym is my relaxation zone. It’s my time to think of nothing else but the next rep. I’m also starting ballet lessons soon.
HEIGHT 157 cm / 5 ft 2
SOCIAL MEDIA YouTube: amy-marie williams
SPOnSORS Xcore nutrition PLACE OF BIRTH Bridgend LIVES Bridgend
WEIGHT 48 kg / 106 lbs AGE 26
r a b n i e t o r p a w e n k o h W ? d o o g o s e could tast BEST IN CLASS SPORTS NUTRITION
All Hail the Beast In the first of a new series of columns exclusively for M&F, EDDIE HALL reflects on 2016 and his record-breaking 500-kg deadlift. AT THE START OF THIS YEAR I had two main goals: become the first man in history to deadlift 500 kg and win the World’s Strongest Man. The World’s Strongest Man is on TV over Christmas and I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so I’ll discuss that in a later column. As for the deadlift, I’m sure many of you know, I achieved it at the World Deadlift Championship in Leeds. But I doubt you’ve heard my full story about what happened that day.
I wasn’t surprised by all the hype in the build-up. I’d done record lifts in America and Australia and they’d had a big global impact on social media, but the magic of the 500 mark had captured the imagination and taken things to another level. The world was going to go nuts for this event. I knew I was capable of lifting 500 kg. The most I’d ever done in training was 480 kg, but on that occasion, I fell forward and didn’t complete the lift. Two weeks before I attempted the
500 kg, I had done 450 kg for 3 speed reps so everything was on course. But with such a heavy lift, it only takes the slightest thing to go wrong for it not to happen—fractional body misalignment, a tiny quad tear, a poor stomach, or not getting enough sleep the night before. Everything had to be perfect. I spent £1,000 on physio in the fortnight before the event to make sure my body was in top condition. My food and supplementation was spot on and I took loads of probiotics and vitamins to make sure I didn’t fall ill. I did so much stretching, I could almost put my head on my knees.
“Oh my F *****G god, they are the
dogs B** ***S”
“MORE PEOPLE HAVE GONE TO THE MOON THAN HAVE DONE WHAT I HAVE DONE.” Two weeks out, I did speed reps at 50% of my maximum, so I was lifting around 250 kg, and concentrating on doing them lightning fast. My last proper session was eight days before and, from then on, I just did very, very light training.
PSYCHING UP TO EMINEM I stayed in a hotel in Leeds the night before the event. I got up at about 7 am and had a nice, big, full English breakfast then straight afterwards went back to bed until about 11 am. I then had one-and-a-half hours of physio and a quick dinner, which contained lots of fats, including pork chops, for energy. I then went back to bed again and slept until about 3 pm. That’s when my 54
MUSCLE & FITNESS
mental preparation began. When I’m psyching myself up, I like to play old music that brings back memories of my teenage years, particularly Eminem, so I was blasting that. I went to the First Direct Arena in Leeds at about 3.30 pm. Whenever I compete, even at the World’s Strongest Man, I like to be the first guy there. I like to get acclimatised to the environment, so when the place starts filling up, I get a gradual buildup rather than walk straight into a stadium that’s full to the brim. I also think it gives me an edge over my opponents. Being there first means I can get the best spot, take the best drinks on offer and find a place in the shade if it’s hot. It helps me prepare
and gets into my opponents’ heads. Once I arrived at the venue in Leeds, I started warming up and stretching, and ate lots of easy-todigest foods like fruit and flapjacks. I was nibbling away, trying to stay loose and keep my body perfect. It was all about building up to the big moment. As soon as I started doing my warm-up lifts, I was totally zoned out. I didn’t talk to anyone. The warm-ups felt good. Everything was going well. The competition started at 400 kg, but I skipped that and opened at 420 kg. I always planned to do three lifts, like powerlifters do, because after that amount of lifts, your body begins to tire. I did the 420 kg as a speed rep and it came up lightning fast, which was a good sign. On my second lift, I did a world record 465 kg, again, as a speed rep. When I did that I stood up and felt like Superman. There was no
doubt now that I could do 500. Half the battle with the deadlift is belief. If you don’t think you will lift it, you won’t. The fact that I pulled a world record so fast gave me huge confidence. I was on an absolute high. I felt invincible. While I was waiting to go for the 500, Benedikt Magnusson and Jerry Pritchett also pulled 465 kg. They were great lifts, but I knew they were at least a year behind me in terms of what they could achieve, so I was confident they wouldn’t be able to do 500 kg. But I knew I could. When I walked out, the crowd was amazing. Having 10,000 people chant your name as you’re getting ready to lift has a huge effect. Being in a gym and training to silence isn’t the same. I could hear my name thumping through my chest as I approached the bar. I strapped on to bar and rocked it a couple of times just to get a feel for it.
I squatted down and began to stand up and as soon as the bar came past my knees I knew I’d got it. Once you get the bar over your knees, it’s done, so within half a second I knew it was going to come. The entire lift only took between 2.5 and 3 seconds.
PASSING OUT When I saw the ‘down’ signal from the judge, I was conscious. It was when I took my lifting suit off that the massive change of pressure hit me and I collapsed. When you lift, you hold your breath to stabilise your core. Then you pull and your whole body is under massive strain. On top of that, I was wearing a high compression suit, a belt and straps on my knees to keep my knees and hips in line and my back safe, so my entire body was under pressure. Some people get out of bed too quickly and pass out. In this instance,
I fell down too quickly and there was a massive drop in pressure. It was a scary moment coming to and seeing a puddle of blood on the floor but it was worth it. Would I do it again? Hell, yes. I’ve been asked many times how much do I think I could have lifted that day. I honestly think I could have pulled 520 kg—easy. Yes, doing 500 kg pushed me to the limit, but when you’re in the zone, you can do amazing things and I’m sure I could have managed 520 kg. The lift got 12 million views on my Facebook page alone. It trended on Facebook for a good week afterwards. When you think of all the people who shared it and all the international newspaper and media coverage, it comes to hundreds of millions of people. Everywhere I went afterwards people were shaking my hand and saying “well done,” whether I was in my local supermarket or walking down the street. I got approached every 10 or 15 metres. Being famous is hard work, but I enjoy it and get on with it. Unless I’m in a rush or need to pee, I’ll never turn a photo down. I genuinely love to give back to the fans. As for the deadlift, I think that’s it now. The magic 500 has been reached. If someone were to come along and pull 501, who gives a shit? The 500 has been done. I don’t think I’ll ever put myself through all that again just to add another kilo or two. At the end of the day I made history—I am the first person in history to lift half a ton. More people have gone to the moon than have done what I have done. 2016 was a fantastic year. I also won Britain’s Strongest Man and won UK’s Strongest Man for the sixth year running. These competitions are important to me. No matter how good you are, never forget your national contests.
Big Love, The Beast PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMIE LEE SMITH
BARE YouR solEs
Is there Is there an an advantage to lifting to lifting weights while weights while barefoot? barefoot? —Kyle F. —Kyle
There are a
EmIly SPLICHAL, EMILY SplIchal, D.p.m., D.P P.M., ., is a podiatrist based in New York and author of Barefoot Strong.
Shoes with as little cushioning as possible are ideal for gym rats. See page 50 for more on finding the right lifting shoe.
zel l er / © Fi t ne s s Publ icat i ons, in c
number of benefits to going bare. When you are barefoot, your core, or centre of power, is more stable, because when you engage your feet you also engage your deep core muscles. And the more engaged and stable your core is, the stronger you are and the more weight you can lift.
Pick your kicks
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Is there Is there a a universal universal sleep position sleep position that everyone that everyone should stick to?
Some individualS prefer sleeping on their side, while others prefer back or stomach. The key with sleep positions is to have a pillow that supports your head, neck, and spinal column in one line. Side sleepers will need a more voluminous (higher “fill power”)
Whatever your sleep position, use a pillow (or two) to ensure your spine is aligned. 58
MUSCLE & FitnESS
pillow than stomach or back sleepers who will need a flatter pillow so their head, neck, and spine are not out of alignment.
REbEcca RobbInS, ph.D., is the co-author of Sleep for Success!
sEnd YouR quEsTions To asK@musCleandFiTness.Com
HouRlY RATE powER nAp
What’s What’s the real the real difference between seven between seven and nine hours of sleep? of sleep?
are naps beneficial? If so, what’s the ideal length? —Tom K.
yES! ThERE IS a lot of evidence that proves most people’s energy dips in the afternoon, so a nap between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. can be a great way to get a boost in energy. set an alarm for 20 minutes so that you don’t go into REM sleep or you’ll wake up groggy. Your nap should be in a dark, quiet area. if you’re at work, bring an eye mask.
ThE SWEET SpoT is seven to eight hours a night when the most muscle and cognitive regeneration occurs. sleeping just an hour less, or even more, robs you of health benefits. Be consistent so that your body is attuned to when to fall asleep and when to be awake and alert.
muSclE gRoWTh Sleep is the forgotten catalyst of gains.
a l a m y ( 2 ); Pav el y t hja ll; jerem y hud son /g e t t y im ag es
I don’t drink often, but when I do, I sometimes feel tired even after seven or more or more hours hours of of shut-eye. shut-eye. Why? Why?
alcohol conSumED con in excess has a deleterious effect on your y sleep. It initially helps you fa fall asleep, then disrupts the arch architecture of your sleep halfway through. so, even after eight hours, hou you’ll still wake up feeling exhausted. exh However, there is some evidence that one or two drinks can c help you fall asleep without negatively impacting your sleep cycle.
Is the old “don’t let the let the knees knees go past go past the the toes on toes on squats” squats” saying a saying a myth? myth?
ThiS iS one of the oldest myths in
JIm SMIT JIM SmITh, ITH, H, c.p.p.S., C.P P.P.S., .S., is is the the owner owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning. 60
MUSCLE & FitnESS
Let your knees travel where they please. But be sure to push them outward by activating your glutes.
sam robles; getty images; michael darter
the fitness industry. If it were true, then try walking down the stairs without your knees going past your toes. Everyone is different and their squats will look different, but the principles of it remain the same. Follow these cues when squatting: hips back, knees out, chest up, and allow the knees to “self elect” where they want to go.
SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK@MUSCLEANDFITNESS.COM
TRAIN SMART Do I really need 48 hours of rest in between training a muscle group? — ANDREW F.
YOU SHOULD REST FOR 48 hours before working that same muscle again, but there is an exception to this rule: A lighter workout the next day can activate extra muscle fibres and force additional blood flow into the muscle, delivering more nutrients. Just make sure to rest longer after a double session.
JEFF YELLIN, JEFF YELLIN, D.P.T., D.P.T., C.S.C.S., C.S.C.S., is is a a physical physical therapist therapist with with Professional Physical Therapy in New York.
BENCH BOOSTER I want to bench 102 kg for reps like some Premier League players. How can I make this happen?
START BY TRAINING your bench press twice per week— dedicate one day to strength and one to power. One day, work up to a weight you can only lift for three to five
– JOE K.
reps. Three days later, do eight sets of three reps using 50–60% of your one-rep max. Do these reps as explosively as you can. For accessory work, hammer your upper back and triceps.
FAST PACED Rest only 60 seconds in between sets of the bench press.
BUDDY MORRIS BUDDY MORRIS is a professional sports team strength and conditioning coach.
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Hero Un-Caged MIKE COLTER packed on 14 kg of mass to bring superhero Luke Cage to life in Netflix’s live-action series. BY IAN COHEN MIKE COLTER MADE HIS
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debut as Luke Cage last year in the acclaimed Marvel-Netflix collaboration Jessica Jones. Cage, a wrongfully imprisoned ex-con with superstrength and impenetrable skin, was a supporting character who appeared in seven of the 13 episodes. Colter left a lasting impression on viewers by giving Cage depth and fusing his emotional vulnerability with his proclivity to kick all forms of ass when provoked. As a 190-cm bald dude with a bulky physique, the South Carolinian had enough cred for the role. But to own it, Colter packed on 14 kg, beefing up to 107. “I was careful about what I put in my body,” Colter says of his weightgain diet, which centred on whole foods such as fruit, oatmeal, nuts, sweet potatoes, avocados, chicken breasts, and steamed vegetables. He kept the supplement routine simple: a pre-workout, branchedchain amino acids, and two daily plant-based vegan protein shakes. Two-a-days at the gym were also common. “I’d do heavy lifting first, and later in the day go back and do a lighter workout,” Colter says. “I felt I had to put on as much muscle as possible in a healthy way.” To avoid stagnation, he switched training protocols often. “Every month or two you should be changing your routine,” Colter says. “Otherwise, you’re going to get bored and
A F A RC HI V E /A L A M Y; M Y L E S A RO N OW I T Z / NE T FL I X
your body is not going to get the same positive results.” Luke Cage picks up in New York City a few months after the season finale of Jessica Jones. He has moved to Harlem from Hell’s Kitchen in hopes of settling down and making ends meet without being forced to beat down goons and villains. But instead we see Cage kicking down doors, calmly walking into a hail of gunfire, and beating down the aforementioned goons and villains. “I did a lot of my own stunts,” Colter says. “Being in shape helps you get through it because you can still get hurt, even if it’s fake fighting.” Pre–Luke Cage, Colter was best known for his 2004 portrayal of boxer Big Willie Little in Million Dollar Baby. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Despite a moving performance in an Oscarwinning flick, Colter’s career was filled predominantly with one-off TV appearances in sitcoms, movies, and procedurals. But he also had plenty of prep to play a badass: He was a
special-ops solider in Zero Dark Thirty (2012), a ruthless drug lord in CBSTV's The Good Wife (2010–15), and a no-nonsense FBI agent in Seasons 1 and 3 of Fox’s The Following (2013–15). By casting Colter, Netflix delivers exactly what Marvel Cinematic Universe’s TV series have become known for: showcasing the complex existence of street-level superheroes and their struggles. Cage’s world is grittier and features more sex, booze, and violence than the superheroes in Marvel’s movies. But Luke Cage also serves as an evolution for the genre as a whole. Just as Cage was one of Marvel Comics’ first African-American superheroes, the 40-year-old Colter is the first black lead in a Marvel TV series. Show runners emphasized neighborhood diversity and went heavy on hip-hop for the soundtrack to create a realistic environment. Each episode is named for a Gang Starr song.
PUNISHER Before doling out punishment in Luke Cage, Colter was duking it out in the ring as Big Willie Little in the Academy Award– winning movie Million Dollar Baby.
FOLLOW Mercedes on Instagram and Twitter: @mercedesmason
Mercedes Rules Swedish-born Fear the Walking Dead star MERCEDES MASON is as cool as she is fit. BY BOB GUCCIONE JR. What’s your training regimen? It gets my heart pumping, gets me When I was younger I started excited. I’m one of those crazy modelling. As I got older, my body people on the stairclimber, and I’m wanted to develop boobs and a butt, full-on dancing. so I was fighting against that. In high school I had a great teacher who Can you kick all the other realized I was way underweight and girls’ asses on the set? taught me a lot about muscles, so I [Laughs] I think physically, but started weight training. Every time I emotionally I wouldn’t want to do did lighter weights my body changed that because I love them. Actually, I dramatically, a lot quicker than when I think I can beat up the guys—I think did cardio, so I concentrated on if it came down to brass tacks I’d muscle groups. Also, in Scandinavia take them all. we jump into ice-cold water and then go into the sauna, and I just find that my body reacts really well to DEAD that—something weird SEXY happens to my muscles. Watch Mercedes Do you want to be a Bond Girl or Bond? I want to be Jane Bond! I think it’s time for a role reversal, and I’ll have sexy Bond Men.
Mason battle walkers in the perilous zombie apocalypse during the second half of Season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead on AMC Global.
What’s better cardio: sex or the treadmill? Oh my god, who would say the treadmill? No, sex, of course. My god, yes, sex. It’s the best core workout in the world if you’re not just laying there. I get creative: I start out with a cartwheel, then I get into it. I take a running leap at my husband. Any training tips? I’m always doing something different. I’ll hike one day, run the treadmill another. But for me the secret is a really good sound track.
How does your degree in psychology help your acting? You know, honestly, I think it has so much to do with breaking down characters. And it has taught me how to deal with people. I’m surprised psychology isn’t more readily taught in school. It teaches you so much about human nature. Of course, I have obsessively studied serial killers, which has helped me no way at all. But at least if I meet a serial killer, I’ll be able to talk my way out of it! Why haven’t more models been successful as actors? I think models who do really well in modelling are almost a different breed. I modelled, but I was never a supermodel. I got by. But those girls, they’re almost alien, in a beautiful way; they were made for it. Their bodies are different; their facial expressions are different. I think a really good model can express everything through silence. And I think they’re such different worlds. On top of that, there is such discrimination against models. There’s the thought that they’re stupid or vapid, and no one gives them a chance, really. When Fear the Walking Dead ends, do you think humans and the undead will have learned to live together in harmony? We all want a happy ending. We want us to win. But who knows? I would imagine that zombies would outdo all of us at some point. They always ask me, “Would you survive a zombie apocalypse?” I think physically, yes. But emotionally? Would I want to? What sort of world is that to live in?
BUILD MUSCLE, BURN FAT, PERFORM BETTER EDITED BY SEAN HYSON C.S.C.S.
Take a Seat The box squat will have you using the right muscles. WHO WOULD HAVE thought squatting on a box could build muscle? It trains you to sit back on the way down (if your butt doesn’t reach the box, you didn’t do it right) and use your glutes and hammies on the way up for greater strength gains. Get a tall box to cut your range of motion down and overload the top of your squat, or a low one to force you to get comfortable at the bottom of the lift. After a few weeks, you’ll see your form improve on free squats when you go backto them.
Initiate box squats with a bend at the hips and push your knees out as you descend. Pause on the box, then drive up through your heels.
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FoR FOR FO R MORE MoRE RE tips and fitness
tweaks, visit muscleandfitness.com/ workouttips
thatâ€™s Classic Go old school for stronger deads and a bigger upper body. By Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.d., c.S.c.S. Named after 1947 Mr. America and 1950 Mr. Universe winner Steve Reeves, the Reeves deadlift has you grip the plates instead of a barbell. This challenges your traps and forearms and provides more range of motion in your hips and knees compared with a standard deadlift. Using light weight will also produce less joint stress.
How to do it
REEVEs DEaDLiFt Load an Olympic bar with the appropriate amount of plates, ridged side facing out. Bend forward at the hips and knees. With a neutral spine, grasp the plates with your hands. Keeping your hips down, head up, chest out, and arms straight, lift the weight by forcefully extending your legs and hips. Reverse the motion to return to the start position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
QUiCK tiP As you lift the weight, engage your core and make sure your hips donâ€™t shoot up before liftoff.
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FoR FOR FO R MO MOR moRe RE
body-weight routines visit muscleandfitness.com/body_weight
Add mass and burn major calories with this fiveexercise circuit that you can do just about anywhere. WHaT IT Is
For the reverse skull crusher, face the bar or table and lean into it, lowering yourself using only your triceps.
A five-round, fiveexercise circuit that will add mass to your torso and quads with minimal equipment. All you need is something sturdy to hang from and push against—a barbell in a squat rack, a thick table or bench, etc. Include one minute of active rest between rounds.
WHY IT WOrks BecAuse these Are all compound movements—or multijoint exercises—you’ll work major and minor muscles, which will burn more calories than isolated exercises. The 10-rep mark is optimal for muscle growth, while the active rest keeps your heart rate elevated.
THE WOrkOuT EXERCISE
Reverse Skull Crusher
Inverted Horizontal Row
Triceps Bench Dip
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A Clockwork Core Time spent doing suspension-trainer circles will bring out your six-pack. By Sean HySon, C.S.C.S.
How to do it
Performing two to three sets of 10 reps of circles at the end of your workouts will make you more stable during squats and deads.
Attach a suspension trainer to a sturdy anchor point and extend the handles so that they are a few centimetres from the floor (shortening will make the exercise easier). Grab the handles in a pushup position, supporting all your weight on them. Keeping your core braced, start moving both hands in a circular motion. Start with inward circles: one in a clockwise direction, the other counterclockwise. Make a complete circle and then reverse the direction. That’s one rep. Don’t let your hips dip or your torso twist at any time. As you feel stronger, make bigger circles.
Swim FOR YOuR LiFE Unless your core is fully engaged when using a suspension trainer, you’ll fall down, so you have to work your hardest whether you like it or not. Swimming with your hands—or making suspension-trainer circles— adds to the instability you have to fight. This makes an exercise you think is easy one of the most challenging you’ll ever try.
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butt, of course Jack N. sent us his lower-body workout and asked us to help him bring up his glutes. Here’s what we sent back. By SeaN HySoN, C.S.C.S.
Strengthening the glutes can prevent lower-back pain and increase your other lifts. (another perk: Girls like it, too.)
Old WORKOUT EXERCISE
M&F RATINg: b 74
MUSCle & FitneSS
Complete glutes training requires a squatting exercise, a hip hinge, lateral or rotary movements, and hip thrusting. You’re missing a lateral movement. Try lateral walks with a band: Loop it around your ankles and walk sideways against the resistance. Lateral training works portions of the glutes you can’t hit otherwise, leads to more growth, and prevents injuries.
nEW WORKOUT EXERCISE
Lateral Band Walk
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sculpt Abs Anywhere Blast your midsection when you’re pressed for time. By Sean HySon, C.S.C.S. Contrary to popular belief, abs are probably the easiest body part to train when you’re short on time and low on equipment. All you need is a floor. The
next time you’re in a hotel, or your gym is closed for renovations, whip this workout out, which trains the abs (upper and lower) and the deep core muscles in only 10 minutes.
10-MINUTE Ab workoUT Perform exercises as a circuit. Complete one set of each in sequence and rest as prescribed. Repeat for three rounds. EXERCISE
Sprinter Situp* Situp
10 (each side)
Leg Raise** Raise
Scissor Kick*** Kick
20 (each leg)
Alligator g Walk****
5 (forward andd bback) k)
*Lie supine, legs extended. Bend your right hip and knee 90 degrees. Perform a situp, swinging left arm forward and right arm back. Repeat on opposite side. **Lie faceup, grasping a bench or sturdy object with hands over and behind your head. Extend and raise your legs 90 degrees. Lower to just above the floor. ***In the same position as above, spread legs apart and back together. A crossover is one rep. ****In a pushup position, rest your feet on a slider or paper plate. Walk on your hands. Three “steps” forward and back is one rep.
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Outside of the gym, yoga has been shown to improve sleep quality, reduce food cravings, and bolster spirits.
Hit the Mat
Yoga can help you master the mind-body connection while increasing athleticism and strength. BY AMY SCHLINGER YOGA MAY BE A DISCIPLINE that’s more than 5,000 years old, but it’s never been more popular. We get that some guys can’t let go of the stereotype that all yogis are peaceloving stick figures. If that were true, 78
MUSCLE & FITNESS
UFC brawlers Diego Sanchez and Georges St. Pierre and NFL stars Ndamukong Suh and Russell Wilson wouldn’t waste their time grabbing their blocks. If you’re a weightlifter who has
thought about trying yoga but has yet to move into tree pose, noddle on the advice from Zac Armstrong, N.C.S.S.C.P.T., certified yoga instructor, as motivation to reassess yoga’s benefits. Namaste!
1. BETTER MENTAL CLARITY
Hardcore training leaves you feeling amped up, which can hinder your focus. Yoga’s slow pace and difficult body-weight holds force you to concentrate on balance and breathing. Over time, this can help clear the mind and increase proprioception.
2. IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY
A study in the International Journal of Yoga showed that 10 weeks of biweekly yoga increased flexibility and balance in college athletes. The isometric holds yield a big benefit. “You’re feeding muscles with oxygen and learning to ease into a position, as opposed to using adrenaline to get there,” Armstrong says.
5. FORCED PATIENCE
PA PER B OAT CR E AT I V E /G E T T Y IM AG E S
Unlike in weightlifting, you can’t cheat a yoga pose—you hold it or you don’t. It takes time to master the balance, coordination, and mental clarity required to execute difficult poses. Your patience will be tested as much as your muscles but will also serve you in other facets of life.
3. ENHANCED INJURY PREVENTION
Muscles can grow faster than their tendons and ligaments, and outlifting weaker tendons can lead to serious injuries. Yoga strengthens and increases the flexibility of deep connective tissues, which helps keep lifters in the gym—and out of slings.
4. HEIGHTENED AWARENESS
Yoga teaches you how to engage your muscles more effectively during poses while reinforcing proper breathing techniques. “You become in tune with how your body moves during a lift,” says Armstrong. “You’ll have the endurance to get through it.”
WHATâ€™S IN THE FRIDGE THIS MONTH
Different flavours of kombucha are derived from adding cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, rather than artificial agents. Look for the organic or non-GMO seal to ensure quality.
A serving of kombucha provides a mix of antioxidants and detoxifying acids, which fight free radicals, along with billions of live bacteria that can help to ease digestion.
FOOD STYLING BY SUZANNE LENZER
How it’s made
We can’t promise you’ll enjoy the taste of kombucha—it’s fermented tea, after all—but you’ll appreciate its ample health benefits. By Delfina Ure
A symbiotic bacteria and yeast culture is added to sugar, tea, and water. The yeast breaks down the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas, giving the drink its natural carbonation.
Why is a beverage that has notes of vinegar and beer-soaked cigarettes flying off shelves at three quid a bottle? Perhaps it’s because kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha), a microbe-based carbonated tea, is a healthy powerhouse that’s low in sugar, caffeine-free, and packed with probiotics.
One 225 ml serving contains about 40 calories, 0–2g sugar, and 7–9g carbs.
MUSCLE & FITNESS dECEMbEr 2016
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Kombucha is made only from four ingredients: water, sugar, tea, and SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and is fermented for seven to 30 days. Since it’s fermented, there are small traces of alcohol. Give yourself a two-week adjustment period to let the taste—made well, kombucha has a slight effervescence and actually combines sweetness and tartness—grow on you. The mental clarity, energy, and health benefits, though, will have you ditching those nutrient-void sugar bombs. Why the recent burst in sales? Health-Ade founder and CEO Daina Trout has one answer. “Our bodies crave kombucha, since it contains probiotics, B12 and healthy acids, which are things we’ve starved ourselves of over the past decade, during which we’ve adopted a more ‘mass-market’ diet,” Trout says. Kombucha has been pushed as a magic elixir, said to cure everything from GI-tract disorders to hemorrhoids. But with every food marvel, there’s a downside. Kombucha’s side effects, associated mostly with homemade brews, can include upset stomach and allergic reactions if made in unsanitary conditions. Kombucha isn’t widely available but can be found in some health food shops and online. When ready to consume, don’t shake the bottle before opening. As with soda, the results are explosive. Just healthier.
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recipe OF THe THE MONTH
AbouT ThE ABOUT ABOU THE cook COOK
Michael Schlow is a James Beard Award–winning chef with 11 restaurants across the U.S. michaelschlow.com
Beantown A chicken-and-bean dish shipped from Boston that has fed the monster appetites of many hardy New Englanders.
crispy chickEn brEAsT wiTh buTTEr bEAns, onions, cApErs, And lEmon sAucE serVes 2
1 tbsp coconut oil salt and pepper 1 skin-on chicken breast 240 g tinned butter beans 1 medium carrot (large dice) 1 small white onion (large dice) 1 celery stick (large dice) 120 ml lemon juice 120 ml olive oil 1/2 tsp xanthan gum 1/4 red onion (sliced thin lengthwise) ¼ 1 tbsp capers (rinsed) 6 parsley leaves ChiCken:
MuSclE & FitnESS
1. add beans to a pot. Cover with 1.4 litres water. 2. add carrot, white onion, and celery. 3. Cook on medium heat for 11/2–2 hours. taste. beans should be creamy in texture. 4. transfer to a metal mixing bowl to cool. Lemon sauCe:
1. in a blender, add lemon juice and a pinch of salt. blend on medium speed. 2. While blending, slowly incorporate olive oil, then xanthan gum. 3. blend for another minute and reserve. set aside until using.
nuTriTion pEr sErving
To assembLe dish:
1. Heat beans and red onion in a sauté pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. once hot, place in the middle of a plate. 2. return chicken to oven and briefly reheat. once hot, cut chicken in three. Place chicken on top of bean mixture. 3. scatter capers around plate. 4. With a spoon, drizzle lemon sauce around plate. 5. sprinkle parsley on chicken. 6. Drizzle olive oil on top of chicken and around plate. serve. brian klutch
f o o d s t y l iN g By s u s A N o t tAv i A N o
1. Preheat oven to 1180°C/Gas Mark 4. 2. Put a medium sauté sa pan on high heat and add coconut oi oil. 3. salt and pepper chicken breast, skin-side up. 4. add chicken to hot h pan, skin-side down. let chicken cook for about 1 minute, skin-side down, d on high heat. 5. turn down to m medium heat and cook chicken until skin iis brown and crisp. 6. salt and peppe pepper nonskin side of chicken breast, flip fli and cook for about 1 minute on medium heat. 7. transfer chicke chicken to baking tray and place in oven for 10–12 minutes; let it rest. 84
Recipe courtesy of chef Michael Schlow, Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar.
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ABOUT THE COOK Jenna
1 FOOD,, 5 WAYS
Werner is a registered dietitian nutritionist. instagram: @happyslimhealthy
sure, the mediterranean staple is deep-fried, but this chickpea mixture is also healthy and rich in plant protein. By Jenna Werner WitH extrA
Mix and match vegetables, nuts, or seeds for a variety of flavours and to maximize health benefits. Start with 1 tin rinsed chickpeas, 2–3 chopped garlic cloves, 65 ml fresh lemon juice, 4 tbsp whole-wheat flour, cumin, salt, and pepper, and toss into a food processor. Then add 2 tbsp of nuts or seeds and chopped vegetables. Start with kale, spring greens, or spinach, then add carrots, broccoli, onions, or beetroot. Blend everything, form into balls or patties, and sauté or bake.
Serve falafel in small bite-size balls and pair with a cucumber-yogurt dipping sauce. Make perfect mini falafel balls by using a melon baller; scoop mixture into a mini muffin tin and bake. Grease tin with oil, bake at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 15–20 minutes.
Use your falafel mix as a vegetarian protein stuffing. Spoon mixture inside peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes and bake at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for 30–45 minutes, checking often near the end.
Place falafel inside anything whole grain—pitta, bread, a wrap—or even inside butterhead lettuce leaf cups or a large spring green leaf. Pair with a layer of hummus or tzatziki sauce and add raw vegetables for a balanced and flavourful lunch.
Chickpeas provide a good source of protein and fibre. Adding nuts and seeds boosts healthy fat content. Layer salad greens with a mixture of carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and purple cabbage. Top with lemon and yogurt dressing: Combine 65 g Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp lemon juice, a squeeze of honey, 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, sea salt, and pepper.
veGGieS VEGG GGIE IES
Appetizer A PPETIZER
Men under 50 should consume 38g of fibre a day. Four balls (8g) offer almost a quarter of your daily fibre.
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f o n s e c a da c o s ta , m i g u el / s t o c k f o o d
chew on this
StUFFiNG STUFF UFFING
recipes and nutrition tips at muscleandfitness.com/nutrition
Chew on This
Just 100 grams of cauliflower provides 77% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin c.
sirloin STEAK SIRLOIN steak WITH with cauliflower MASH CAULIFLOWER mash Makes 1 serving
1/2 tsp olive oil 175 g trimmed sirloin steak salt and pepper 1 cauliflower head, chopped 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese 2â€“4 garlic cloves
f o o d s t y l in g by s u s a n o t tav i a n o
Low-Steaks Low-steaks Dinner grab a thick and flavourful sirloin steak and swap taters with cauliflower for a quick and easy low-carb rendition of this classic muscle-building meal. by Mike Mannai
1. rub oil on steak and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 2. Bring 2.5 to 5 cm of water to boil, ideally with a steamer rack, then add cauliflower and garlic. Cover until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. 4. Cook steak on a preheated grill or cast-iron pan, turning once (5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare). 5. add half the cauliflower to a food processor with cream cheese, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper; pulse. add other half of cauliflower and pulse until it reaches your desired texture.
nutrition Per serving
AbouT THE ABOUT ABOU ThE COOK cook Christopher Mohr is a consulting sports nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals. mohrresults.com
Know Your Roll not all meatheads are meat eaters. roll up this eggplant dish to get a vegetarian protein fix. by Christopher mohr, ph.d., r.d.
EggplAnT Rolls Makes 1 serving
1 medium-size aubergine 125 g ricotta cheese 1 egg 4 tbsp Parmigiano-reggiano 240 g pasta sauce 1. Preheat oven to 190Â°C/gas Mark 5 and place a rack over a large baking sheet. 2. Cut the ends off eggplant. Cut it lengthwise into 1-cm-thick slices. 3. Place aubergine on rack; add a pinch of salt and set aside for 15 minutes to release liquid; bake for 8 to 10 minutes. 4. Mix ricotta, egg, and Parmigiano-reggiano in a large bowl. 5. add mixture to aubergine slices and roll up tightly. 6. spread 60 g sauce in a 23-33-cm baking dish. 7. Place aubergine rolls on top of sauce seam side down. 8. Top with remaining sauce and bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.
Power of cheese
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Parmigiano-reggiano has one of the highest protein amounts, gram for gram, of any cheese. Combined with ricotta, this meal provides 50 grams of protein.
f o od s t y l in g by m at t vohr
NutRitioN PeR seRviNg
FOOD I.D. 2
It Oils Down To... Know which oils to use—and avoid—when cooking. BY THERESA A GAMBA GAMBACORTA ACOR RTA
PROP STYLING BY RENEE FLUGGE
Its relatively high smoke point, flavour, and health benefits make avocado oil a top choice, according to Jenna Werner, R.D. Whether you’re searing meats or fighting a dry scalp, avocado oil is low in saturated fats and high in the monounsaturated fats that protect your heart.
o t w o H r u o Y e s o o CH timum op iet D 90
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BY MARK GILBERT, B.SC. (NUTRITION), CISSN
It may be the most fundamental question in question in all all of of physique physique sports— sportsÑ what’s the best diet? The answer is complex and the only way to isolate results isolate results is is by by looking looking at at people with different traits and different goals. Speciﬁcally, Specifically, I’m going I’m going to to look look at at all all of of the MAIN the MAIN POPULAR POPULAR DIETS DIETS AND THEIR AND THEIR BENEFITS BENEFITS FOR FOR PERFORMANCE, muscle PERFORMANCE, muscle growth and recovery, fat loss and health. So, Very Low Carb Ketogenic (Atkins), Ketogenic (Atkins), Low Low Carb Carb (including Carb Cycling,) Low Fat, Fasting, Fat, Fasting, Paleo, Paleo, IIFYM IIFYM and the Mediterranean DietÉ Diet… MUSCLE & FITNESS
Over the last several years, no other single nutrient has been in the spotlight as much as carbs when it comes to performance, gaining muscle, and, especially, losing fat. Bodybuilders way back in the 1960s often cut their carbs to get lean. Then, low-carb dieting hit the mainstream with Dr. Atkin’s book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in the early 1970s. By early 2000, it is claimed that almost 10 percent of North Americans were on the diet. If you are a bit of a geek, check out some YouTube videos by the world’s leading keto expert, Dr. Jeff Volec. I remember meeting him at a science conference about 20 years ago and being influenced by his research on this type of diet and he’s been studying it ever since! A ketogenic (keto) diet is any diet that is low enough in carbs to cause your body to produce ketones, which, in the absence of adequate carbs, are required as fuel by the brain for it to continue to function. When your carb intake gets so low that you aren’t delivering enough sugar to the brain, your body produces ketones as an alternate energy source. Since there are no carbs available in this circumstance, the rest of the body is forced to increasingly use a higher percentage of fat for fuel. To achieve this, we’re not simply talking about “cutting carbs.” Carb intake has to come down to 50 grams or less per day.
Keto diets for performance As the intensity of exercise increases, the body uses more carbs (glucose) for fuel because they are more quickly metabolised for energy than fat. Because ketogenic diets force the body to use more fat for fuel and can’t deliver carbohydrates as quickly, this limits performance in intense activities like higher-rep or short-rest-between-sets weight training, activities like sprinting, and others that require more than a few seconds of maximal or near-maximal effort. Performance in lower-rep lifting, especially with longer rests between sets, should not be significantly affected in most people, especially after one becomes accustomed to being in ketosis (which takes 2-6 weeks). It has been suggested that, once 92
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adapted to a ketogenic diet, performance improves (and there is some research to support this—much of which has been conducted by Dr. Volek and colleagues). Some endurance and extreme endurance athletes seem to have success with keto diets, but most coaches and experts still believe that the performance advantage lies with higher-carb diets. Certainly when it comes to intense (anaerobic) exercise, performance as well as total training volume, intensity, and improvement is impaired on keto diets.
muscle Growth & recovery As with performance, the ketogenic diet’s effect on number of reps and sets makes it less than ideal for gaining maximum muscle mass, since the majority of people respond best to higher-rep (greater than 12), highervolume workouts. For those who respond well to lower-rep training, keto may not impair gains. In fact, it is important to point out that some ketogenic diet studies have shown improved fat loss and better muscular gains compared to a regular-carb diet. However, more research is required because in the key study on this topic, the ketogenic subjects consumed more protein (higher protein has been shown to cause both better fat loss and gains in muscle). Additionally, there is research to suggest that protein synthesis (the process that builds muscle) is stimulated to a greater extent by adding carbs rather than fat to the diet, especially after exercise. However, these studies usually lasted only a few days and therefore wouldn’t have allowed the subjects to adapt to a low-carb diet. It is well known that most people do not feel well and their exercise performance declines significantly for about two weeks or more when they first start very low-carb diets. Whether you can build as much (or more) muscle on a ketogenic diet is still up for debate. Any study seeking to find the answer must leave plenty of time for subjects to adapt to the diet.
muscle called ‘glycogen,’ each gram of which pulls in and retains four grams of water. When these stores are suddenly shed, a large amount of water weight is lost, resulting in a big dip on the scales. This has been a big criticism of the diet, but it does not mean that people are not also losing fat. Indeed the Atkins diet seems to cause fat loss as effectively or more effectively than many other diets. However, because keto diets involve greater protein and less total caloric intake (due to lower hunger and restricted food options), it is probably these effects, rather than something magical about being in ketosis, that is the reason it works. But, it does
Initially, the Atkins diet causes pretty
work—regardless of the reason why. Another problem for fat loss with this diet is that you can’t achieve as high intensities in the gym and much recent research suggests that higher-intensity exercise is more effective for fat loss (see
dramatic weight loss because you are depleting its stores of carbohydrate in the
The Muscle & Fitness Guide to HIIT and my videos on HIIT for explanation).
ALL iMAGES: iSTOCKPHOTO
ketoGeNic (atkiNS) Diet
ketO ketoGeNic OGENIC IC force the the DietS D IETS force IET body to use more fat for fuel and can’t deliver carbohydrates as quickly; this quickly; this limits limits performance in performance in intense activities, intense activities, such as such as higherhigherrep or rep or short-restshort-restbetween-sets between-sets weight training weight training and sprinting.
health One of the big dietary controversies of the last 50 years has been whether or not the Atkins Diet is dangerous or unhealthy. Hundreds of articles and comments by ‘experts’ have warned of the dangers of this diet’s high fat—and high saturated fat, in particular—intake. Some articles have even blamed it for the deaths of Atkins dieters. The original Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution book focussed mainly on upping fat greatly and ditching the carbs, without much of a focus on other nutrients. However, the Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, which came out several decades later, included several revisions such as focusing on certain healthy vegetables and healthy types of fat. To the chagrin of the hoards of ‘experts’ who had vilified the diet over the years, it turned out that several studies that compared Atkins/keto to normal or low-fat diets showed not only better weight loss but also similar or better changes in clinical markers of health. Particularly, keto seems
to raise levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of blood fats more effectively. Recent research shows substantially superior results on almost every clinical measure of disease risk from very low-carb diets for diabetics. Overall, from a health perspective, critics of low-carb, higher-fat diets have made the mistake of accepting the unproven premise that fat and saturated fat are bad for you. Moreover, even if they were bad for you, you can’t generalise from the effects of higher fat and saturated fat intake when consumed as part of a typical, high-carb diet to eating those foods as part of a low-carb diet. In other words, the mainstream nutrition community don’t seem to understand that when you remove substantial amounts of starchy or sugary carbs from the diet and also eat fewer calories (as with the Atkins Diet), there is no evidence of the purported negative health impacts—in fact, if anything, the opposite is true.
Ketogenic (atkins) diet conclusion So keto may work well for some endurance athletes, but not very well if you take your intensity up to or near 100% for prolonged durations or frequencies. Also, unless you thrive on low-volume, low-rep workouts with long rests between sets, it’s not ideal for maximising muscle endurance or growth. As far as absolute strength gains, most of the best strong men still do higher-rep work in addition to their sets of five or less and higherrep work can be an effective contributor to absolute strength. Overall, this diet is not ideal for most guys trying to get bigger, stronger muscles. When it comes to weight loss, the diet works well, but probably not better than other diets that are not so low in carbs but as high or higher in protein. When it comes to health, if it is followed strictly and includes enough vegetables, fibre, and healthy fats, the diet is as good or better than the standard, MUSCLE & FitnESS
low-fat, high carb choices and is best used by those with poor insulin function.
LOW-CARB DIETS OK, now that we’ve gone through most of the technicalities of what happens when you cut carbs severely and eat more protein, I can be much more brief in explaining the merits and weaknesses of other diets. Low-carb dieting just refers to any diet that decreases carb intake. The difference between this and keto diets is that you will rarely, if ever, take carbs low enough or long enough to induce ketosis.
Performance When it comes to performance and many other considerations, the low-carb diet has most if not all of the benefits of keto, without many of the drawbacks. To ensure optimum performance, you have to gradually cut carbs until weight loss comes to a halt (if that is your goal) or until you notice a decrease in performance. For a typical-sized man, anaerobic (high-intensity) performance will begin to decline when carbs go below 200 grams per day. However, there is genetic variability to this rule of thumb and also, many people continue to adapt to lower carb intake and maintain performance on as low as 150 grams or less. By paying careful attention to your intake and its effects on your performance and by consuming your biggest carb meals in the three-to-six hour window before intense training, you can have the benefits of lower carb intake and still maintain the same, or very similar performance.
carbs in their diet with protein (ideally at least 2 grams per kilo of body weight). Either of which leads to effective weight loss. Diets with a higher protein-to-carb ratio have been shown to significantly outperform high-carb diets when it comes to fat loss, the research is now very clear on this. The lower carb intake reduces hunger and the higher protein intake reduces hunger and preserves metabolically-active muscle.
Carb Cycling Carb cycling is a form of low-carb dieting in which you have lower- and higher-carb days and/or you have (as suggested above) more carbs strategically before your most intense workouts. This can work very well by strategically providing a level of carb intake that is appropriate for the level of energy output that you intend to expend in the near future.
Health Studies suggest that low-carb diets have similar (and potentially greater) benefits to those of keto diets when compared to typical higher-carb diets.
Low-Carb Conclusion Low-carb diets have most or all of the advantages of keto diets, but not the disadvantages like lowered performance and fatigue for the first few weeks. They also don’t impose the severe restrictions on your food choices, which can make the Atkins diet a difficult long-term commitment.
Ideally, someone using a low-carb diet will
Protein has the excellent properties of making you feel full longer, increasing metabolic rate, requiring more energy to metabolise, and helping to maintain muscle whilst dieting, so anyone who desires more muscle, less hunger, and less body fat should be on a higher-protein diet. To implement a high-protein diet without excess calorie intake, either fat and/or carbs must be replaced with protein. The vast majority of studies have looked at diets that replace carbs with protein and keep fat the same. Probably both will work well, but because of the essential nature of dietary fat and the many types of fat that should be
either gradually or immediately replace the
included in the diet in ideal ratios, it is not a
Muscle Growth & Recovery To put it simply, because low-carb diets still get all of the anabolic benefits of insulin (see my writings and videos) and most guys who eat this way and go to the gym also eat high protein, there is no negative effect of lower-carb diets on muscle growth and recovery. Also, the other options—cutting fat or cutting protein—are more likely to have negative effects on these parameters than cutting carbs.
MUSCLE & FITNESS
good idea to decrease fat inta intake beyond a certain point. Therefore, when we talk about effective and research-proven, research-proven high-protein diets, we are essentially talking talkin about the lower-carb diet as discussed above, with all of the same performance, muscle, mu fat loss, and health benefits.
FASTING The jury is still out on fasting. It certainly seems to work by the obvious mechanism of decreasing overall weekly c calorie intake. Performance-wise, I wouldn’t want to try to do any significant amounts of intense exercise after a day of fasting, fasting but most people can time their exercise around their one to three weekly fast fasting days. Theoretically, fasting should le lead to some muscle loss, but in the long-te long-term, if the diet is otherwise intelligently c comprised, the body seems to broadly compensate co for these long durations without witho food (although research is lacking). lacking) For fat loss, again, fasting will work, but I w would think that having three or four very low-calorie meals, consisting of just protein prote or protein and non-starchy vegetables would w arguably burn even more fat and reduc reduce the chances of losing muscle. Health-wise Health-wise, some research indicates that there may be health advantages of going long periods peri without eating. However, I’m not awar aware of any convincing research on this in humans and even if there was, as with so many studies on diet, it would be comparing a ‘typical’ diet with a diet that included fasting and pretty much any diet will outperform a ‘typical’ Western diet!
MEDITERRANEAN DIET This brings us to the Mediterranean diet—the current darling of mainstream nutritionists and dieticians. As with fasting, yes, the Mediterranean diet outperforms a typical (Western) diet for health, but what diet wouldn’t? Overall, this diet is great due to good fish, vegetable, fruit and healthy fat intake, but for the purposes of M&F readers, it can be improved by a reduction in excess starchy carbs and added protein, which would make it just as healthy but with the advantages of the high-protein, lower-carb diet discussed previously.
THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET outperforms outperforms a a
typical Western diet for health, but what diet wouldnÕt? wouldn’t? It is high in fruits, vegetables, ﬁsh, fish, and healthy fats.
This diet focuses on the consumption of foods eaten throughout most of the evolution of our species, meaning unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods—high in protein and low in sugar and starch—so it is consistent with a low-carb, high-protein diet. I would advise on the addition of whey protein and calcium (for performance, muscle growth, fat loss, and health) but otherwise, it is an excellent way to eat to achieve all of the goals that are the focus of this article.
No prizes for guessing that I’m not a huge fan of this diet. It contains unnecessarily high levels of carbs, which for most people means eating too much starch and sugar, which can result in constant hunger, poor insulin function, weight gain, tiredness, and inadequate protein intake. Except for some endurance athletes (and this is being challenged more and more these days), it has no advantages in any of the measures considered in this article.
IIFYM—IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS
This isn’t actually a diet, but a basic consideration of any diet. All diets should be constructed with macronutrient ratios in mind. IIFYM can work for all of the goals we are trying to achieve here, but overand-above macros, we must also ensure we eat enough fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (healthy plant chemicals), and effective supplements. IIFYM is the basic framework of your diet and other nutrients
In a nutshell, keto diets are unnecessarily low in carbs and high-carb diets contain them in excess, with no proven advantages compared to more moderate intakes and several drawbacks. Many of the advantages of keto diets result from decreased calorie and increased protein intake, so probably have little to do with being in ketosis. The Mediterranean diet has never been tested against a healthy low-carb diet and if it were, a healthy, higher-protein, lower-carb
besides just macros must be considered.
diet would almost certainly lead to more
fat loss and less muscle loss. The very occurrence of greater fat loss with this diet would probably also lead to better health outcomes. Fasting may work for some and has potential (but yet to be adequately studied) health advantages, but you’d probably be better off including a few very low calorie, protein meals throughout the day from a weight loss and muscle mass perspective. Paleo basically is a highprotein, lower/healthy-carb diet and IIFYM isn’t a diet at all but one key aspect of setting up any diet. The optimum diet is one with a high protein content and moderate carbs, which are gradually adjusted in line with your performance and aesthetic goals.
MARK GILBERT is an expert in Sports Nutrition and has worked with elite level athletes and formulated supplements for many of the industry’s biggest companies. See: www.MuscleDiet.net and the MuscleDiet YouTube channel!
MUSCLE & FITNESS
CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY > Turning carbohydrates into powerful
muscle-building, fat-burning weapons is a lot easier than you think. By John Kiefer
Until now, yo yoU haven’t had many options. If
MUSCLE & FitnESS
you u wanted w to get lean, you had to diet strictly—and weeks of foo food deprivation rivation stripped a little fat but also left you smaller malle and weaker. If your goal was to get bigger, you had to eat like a pig. Then, of course, you’d pack on not only muscle uscl but fat as well. The reason why both strategies lead ad to less than satisfying results can be answered in one word: ord: carbs. Consuming large amounts of carbs (particularly arti y the sugary and starchy kind) raises your blood ood sugar. This triggers the release of the hormone insulin uli to bring ring your blood-sugar level back down.
DID YOU KNOW?
Potatoes and other starches are potent muscle builders if you correctly time consumption.
CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY
If you’ve just finished weight training, that’s good because insulin will take the calories you’re consuming straight to the muscle cells for rebuilding. At any other time of day, however, insulin will store those calories as fat. Manipulating this effect is the key to getting the perfect body— lean, muscular, and strong. I’m going to outline two methods of carb manipulation I have researched, road-tested, and ultimately trademarked: the Carb Nite system to lose fat and carb back-loading to pack on lean mass. You can alternate them throughout the year to stay big and lean simultaneously. While you’ll While you’ll still still have have to to choose choose whether you whether you want want to to focus focus on on losing fat losing fat or or primarily primarily gaining gaining size, you size, you won’t won’t have have to to give give up up muscle or muscle or aa trim trim waist waist to to achieve achieve either one. either one. You You also also won’t won’t have have to count to count calories calories or or forsake forsake your your favourite foods. In other words, you have options—at last. As a former obese kid, I thought I’d never be able to stay muscular without muscular without being being aa little little fat. Using fat. Using these these two two strategies, strategies, II now maintain 6% body fat yearround without much effort and without giving without giving up up any any of of the the junk junk food I love. Here’s how it works.
Muscles Mu cles need carbs after a workout to replenish their energy stores and prevent further muscle breakdown breakdown.
If you want to get shredded and strong, use carb arb Nite, which takes advantage of your body’s weekly hormonal rhythms to help you lose fat, maintain muscle, and increase strength. You can cut significant fat without even working out.
DID YOU KNOW?
By shifting shiftin when you eat carbs, carb you can actually co control which kind of tissue tis grows.
HOW TO DO IT 10-DAY RECAlIBRATION
Prime your body to use fat for energy instead of carbs and stop all the processes that make it easy to store carbs as fat. You do this by following an ultralowcarb diet for 10 days. Eat 30 grams of carbs or fewer per day (approximately one piece of fruit or a small serving of oatmeal). Any starches and sweets in your meals must be extremely limited.
ENjOY A CARB NITE ENJOY
At this point, you’ve gotten your body to switch over from using carbs to fat for fuel. Return to the menu you used during recalibration, but this time you won’t have to follow it as long. Eat 30g of carbs per day, and once a week have a Carb Nite. Note that this is a six- to eight-hour “night,” not a daylong carb binge.
This is where you get to look ripped all the time. Once you drop below 10% body fat, you’ll probably need two Carb Nites per week to keep your metabolism going and spare muscle mass. So you could have your first Carb Nite on Wednesday and your second that Saturday.
c l a I r e b e N o I s t; F u at k o s e / g e t t Y I m a g e s
On the evening of your 10th day, starting at around 5 p.m., begin eating carbs. Your discipline can take a hiatus: Eat pasta, pizza, french fries, or any other sugary/starchy carbs you can get your hands on. Want brownies or Krispy Kreme doughnuts? Go for it. High-glycemic carb sources like these are actually better choices than sweet potatoes and rice. You need to refill your carb stores, crank up reﬁll your metabolism, and give your mind a break. You’ll get the best results if Carb Nite falls on a day
you lift weights, so try to time it accordingly. Don’t worry about getting fat. Several studies show that because of the change in enzyme production that occurs in your body throughout your low-carb days, gaining fat on a Carb Nite is nearly impossible.
CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY
NUTRITIONATA NUTRITION ATA GGlANCE
a quick look at how to use each method.
30 grams of carbs or fewer per day. One night per week, eat sugary/starchy carbs from 5 p.m. until bed.
SAMplE CARB NITE MEAl plAN calorie breakdowN for a recalibratioN day.
7 a.m. 7:45 a.m.
Upon waking wak Espresso Espres
10 9:30 a.m.
1 scoop whey protein plus 5g creatine
12 P.m. 1 P.m.
Chefâ€™s salad: 3 whole omega-3-rich eggs (hard-boiled, sliced) 60 g diced ham 240 g sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes 11 tbsp tbsp Par Parmesan Parmesan san cheese cheese
CARB BACK-lOADING BA ACK
30 grams or fewer of carbs until about 5 p.m. On training days, ingest carbs from post-training until bed. On nontraining days, have a single carb meal at night.
mUscles Uscles need carbs after a workout to replenish enish their energy stores and prevent further muscle scle breakdown. But if you’re on an ultralowcarb b day as prescribed in the Carb Nite plan—or you’re ’re doing carb back-loading but must train early in the he day—you can’t ingest many carbs without compromising mpromising the programme. These supplements can help you get around this problem. We don’t recommend ommend training without them.
Consume nsume 20 to 40 grams of a protein blend nd containing 50% whey and/or casein hydrolysates; rolysates; also have 5g leucine.
Thee same as for Carb Nite, but add 30 to 50 g of a high-glycemic igh-glycemic carb source like rilose or maltodextrin powder.
DID YOU KNOW?
You don’t need to follow any particular ticular regimen when employing eitherr Carb Nite or carb back-loading. Sincee nutrition is the most important aspect ect of gaining muscle or getting lean,, just make sure you fully commit to one ne eating strategy or the other. And make sure you follow “Post-workout Nutrition.”
PerceNtaGe of daily calorieS
t r av I s r at h b o N e ( 2 ) ; pa u l taY l o r / g e t t Y Images; Istockphoto; stIck maN/al amY
Chicken breast (175 to 200g) Bed of romaine lettuce 1 tbsp Caesar dressing
125 to 250 g of rump steak Asparagus (sautéed in light butter, cooking spray, or olive oil)
1 scoop whey protein 1 tbsp all-natural peanut butter 1 celery stick Decaf coffee
CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY
to lean out and gain muscle, try carb back-loading. as the name implies, this limits carb consumption until late in the day. Taking in carbs in the afternoon or evening is done for a strategic reason. Carbs make both muscle and fat cells grow—and often at the same time. But by shifting when you eat carbs, you can actually control which kind of tissue grows. As stated earlier, Carb Nite can be effective without training. Carb back-loading, on the other hand, requires resistance exercise to work. Your body’s sensitivity to insulin is highest in the morning and lowest in the afternoon, leading many to believe that we should eat carbs first thing in the morning because much insulin won’t be required to keep blood sugar under control. The problem is that if you raise insulin even slightly by eating carbs—30 or more grams will do it—you seriously impair your body’s ability to burn fat for the rest of the day. Worse, you may even get fatter because of the presence of another hormone—cortisol. A stress hormone, cortisol will break down fat all morning, but combined with
SAMplE CARB BACK-lOADING MEAl plAN calorie breakdowN for a day with eveNiNG traiNiNG.
raised insulin, it can actually cause your body to create new fat cells. For these reasons, most of your carb intake must come in the evening. Toss in a weight-training workout right before you eat carbs, and you maximize your ability for insulin to store them in your muscle cells while leaving fat alone. Studies in the Journal of Applied Physiology have demonstrated that lifting allows muscles to use and store sugar for several hours post-training—that means it will be quickly absorbed by the muscles you’ve trained to help them recover and grow. The best part? You get to eat tasty treats almost every day.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are 43 grams of carbs in one McDonald’s Big Mac.
Coffee (unlimited) 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream 1 scoop whey protein
165 g (or 6 rashers) bacon 115 g cottage cheese 1 medium tomato, mato, sliced
35 g almonds
HOW TO DO IT DEplETE CARBS
Follow a depletion phase similar to the recalibration period that begins Carb Nite, but over a shorter time frame. Keep carbs at 30 grams or fewer for five to six days and your body will store them more effectively.
What and when you eat will depend on when in the day you train (and if it’s a training day or not).
TraInIng AfTERNOON/EvENING TRAINING
This is the ideal setup. Until the afternoon, keep your carbs low—30 grams or fewer. Begin your weight workout at some point between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. (It’s fine if you have to train a little earlier or later, but this is the sweet spot.) Afterward, ingest a post-workout shake that’s rich in carbs, and keep eating carbs until you go to bed. The same foods prescribed on Carb Nite apply here—pizza, ice cream, and so on. It is not uncommon for followers of the plan to eat 400 grams of carbs and still lose body fat while gaining muscle mass.
If you train in the morning, you’ll need to eat a small all amount of carbs after your workout and take ake advantage of supplements that help spike insulin so you can recover from your workout without throwing off the hormonal rhythms of back-loading. That night, around 6 p.m., m , eat your carbs, but go mainly with less sugary ry sources like rice and potatoes.
NONTRAINING NG DAYS
On days you don’t lift ft (this includes days you just do cardio), limit carbs rbs to a single late-day meal. Say, dinner or a dessert essert before bed.
PerceNtaGe of daily calorieS l aur I pat t ers oN /g e t t Y Im ag e s; g or m a N s t ud I o; a N tag a IN / g e t t Y Im ag e s; t h o m a s F Ir a k / g e t t Y I m a g e s ; Ya g I s t u d I o s / g e t t Y I m a g e s
scoop whey protein plus 5g creatine
Mango ngo or banana slices s 3 scoops coops whey protein pro plus s 5g leucine 5g creatine
Splurge on yourr favourite foods, paired ed with 1 scoop whey protein rotein
UndER thE MIcROscOpE
RAZORWIRE RAZORWIRE is a powerful thermogenic formula designed to help promote fat loss, improve energy, and enhance mental focus. It contains a wide array of bioactive ingredients (e.g. bitter orange, green tea extract, caffeine, raspberry ketones, green coffee bean extract, etc) as well as a blend of B vitamins and chromium. BITTER ORANGE (CITRUS AURANTIUM) is a fruit that contains synephrine alkaloids. Synephrine alkaloids are beta-agonists, compounds that have effects similar to ephedrine but are much weaker. Ingestion of synephrine alkaloids increases metabolic rate (calorie burning), lipolysis (fat burning), and may help suppress appetite. In women, synephrine ingestion may also slightly increase the thermic effect of food, helping the body burn more calories during meals. As an agonist of the sympathetic nervous system, synephrine alkaloids can also slightly increase blood pressure in some individuals. However, when bitter orange is standardized to the p-isomer of synephrine, this effect does not occur.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT is revered world wide for reducing symptoms of the common cold, helping maintain normal 104
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blood sugar levels, and burning body fat. The active ingredient in green tea is thought to be a group of compounds called polyphenol catechins. One in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), appears to play a central role in controlling how the body burns fat at rest and during exercise. Specifically, EGCG inhibits an enzyme called catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) that breaks down epinephrine and norepinephrine, the body’s so called “fightor-flight” hormones. These hormones increase metabolic rate and help provide a burst of energy from stored carbohydrates and fats. Some recent studies have reported that chronic ingestion of green tea extract can actually upregulate genes that stimulate fat oxidation and downregulate genes that promote fat storage. Green tea has also been shown to partially block the absorption of dietary carbohydrate. This leads to increased insulin sensitivity and enhanced regulation of blood sugar. With hundreds of years of traditional use and scores of scientific studies demonstrating its benefits, green tea extract definitely deserves to be on your “short list” of supplements.
CAYENNE EXTRACT is derived from the capsicum fruit (found naturally in red hot
peppers). A number of studies, in both rodents as well as humans, have convincingly demonstrated that the active fractions of the capsicum fruit, known as capsaicinoids, can increase energy expenditure, fat oxidation and decrease calorie intake. Research on capsaicinoids themselves (6 mg/day for 12 weeks in 80 subjects) revealed significant decreases in abdominal body fat and an increase in resting energy expenditure, despite following a reduce calorie diet. This effect is unique and has profound implications for sustained losses of body weight and body fat.
CAFFEINE , also known as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, is the world’s most well-studied “nutritional” performance enhancer and fat loss catalyst. By blocking adenosine receptors in the brain, caffeine ingestion reduces the perception of effort, making tough workouts and competitions seem a little easier. The most well established effect of caffeine is as a stimulant. Calorie burning, as well as physical and mental performance, including focus and concentration, are all improved with caffeine ingestion. In fact, caffeine is one of the only “supplements” that can improve both aerobic (long distance) and anaerobic (weight lifting)
Tim N. ZiegeNFUSS ZiegeNfuss Taking a purely scientific look at the best products in the world of sports supplements.
ingredients than when they take them alone. Piperine may also increase thermogenesis (calorie burning), which makes this ingredient a great addition to fat loss formulas.
VITAMIN B6 is a water-
events. Doses of ~3-6 mg/kg bodyweight increase time-toexhaustion, promote greater work capacity, and make hard workouts seem a little easier. In addition, pre-exercise caffeine ingestion also improves high-intensity activities that last approximately 4-180 seconds and performance in some team sports.
CHROMIUM is an essential trace element that helps regulate blood sugar, improve mood, reduce appetite (binge eating) and assist in weight loss. These effects are all dose related (i.e. are more consistently observed when doses of at least 600 micrograms per day are used), and more pronounced in individuals with cardiometabolic health issues. In other words, chromium works better in people with slightly elevated blood sugar and a few extra pounds to lose. That said, this ingredient can be a strong adjunct to many pre-workout
formulas and weight loss products that contain caffeine. Why? Because caffeine can impair insulin sensitivity and chromium may counter this effect. In fact, therein lies the main mechanism of action of chromiumâ€“ enhancement of insulin action and/or signaling within the body. And proper insulin action is thought to be one key to improving body composition.
BLACK PEPPER EXTRACT contains the active ingredient piperine. Piperine is responsible for the pungency of black pepper, but it also enhances the absorption of other nutrients when taken with them. It has been suggested that this is due to its ability to increase blood flow to the digestive tract. Several studies confirm that subjects taking piperine along with other supplements (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and several herbs) have greater uptake of those
soluble vitamin that is essential for health. â€œEssentialâ€? in this case means it has to be obtained from the diet because humans cannot synthesize it internally. Vitamin B6 is found in high concentrations in chickpeas, tuna, turkey, bok choy, spinach, beef, cauliflower and other fortified foods. Despite this, deficiencies in vitamin B6 are quite common because many food sources contain the glycosylated form that has reduced bioavailability. Vitamin B6 is intimately involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism in the liver. In addition, it acts as important enzyme in the biosynthesis of hemoglobin (which helps transport oxygen throughout the body) and in the production of gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter which helps regulate sleep cycles and blood pressure. Supplementation with vitamin B6 also helps decrease urinary oxalate levels, which are a risk factor in kidney stone formation. Some studies have also reported that vitamin B6 can improve cognitive function and memory. Small, daily doses of vitamin B6 can help your body produce physical and mental energy, fight off bacteria and viruses, and support the anabolic effects of protein ingestion.
PROTEIN DYNAMIX Voted the best-tasting high-protein bar on the market, DynaBar breaks the rules when it comes to protein bars, combining a luxurious and decadent flavour with a massive 20g of high-quality protein to support the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
£21.99 for a box of 12, Save £5.00 with code MUSCLEFIT at proteindynamix.com
RAZORWIRE THERMO LACERATE Having taken the UK by storm this year, Razorwire Thermo Lacerate is proving itself to be a top contender in the weight loss and pre-workout category. A number of high profile athletes are highly rating the product. Stating, that not only is it beneficial for weight loss but they have an abundance of energy during and after their workout sessions. Also, giving them no quick come down allowing them to carry on the rest of their day as normal. RWTL’s 13 ingredients are combined in perfect proportions to support concentration and promote energy levels. Containing 3 different forms of caffeine, a metabolic stimulant, it is able to create extended energy levels, eliminate fatigue and give better focus. 106
MUSCLE & FitnESS
When tested in comparison to other well known brands, Razorwire Thermo Lacerate was the preferred choice due to the extra ingredients incorporated in it. RWTL is available in 3 versions: RWTL INFORMED SPORT, which is drug tested allowing it to be used by all professional athletes. RWTL YELLOW and PURPLE, which are not Informed Sport tested. All three in the range are vegetarian and suitable for both men and women over 16. DECEMbEr 2016
Whatever your sport RWTL is the ideal supplement to support and achieve your goals and desires. A healthy diet and plenty of water is recommended whilst using RWTL for perfect results. 4 capsule trial packs are available from many dis-
tributors for a “try before you buy” experience. Join us in the fight against fat and achieve your goals. GO ahEaD... GET RazORWIRE... GET RIPPED The battle is already won.
100% WhEY PROTEIN PROFESSIONaL 100% WhEY PROTEIN PROFESSIONaL is one of the most popular proteins in Europe and with good reason. Not only is it a high quality whey concentrate and isolate blend giving you 22g of protein per serving, but Scitec have added some additional ingredients that make Whey protein professional stand out. aMINO aCID MaTRIX gives you extra amino acids (l-leucine, l-glutamine and Taurine). UNIqUE DIGESTIVE ENzYME BLEND Papain and bromelain to help aid digestion. These two addition components are just a part of why Whey protein professional is more than just your normal whey protein. Our flavors and choice are second
to none, with flavors like Lemon Cheesecake, strawberry white chocolate, chocolate hazelnut and Orange Chocolate – you’ll never be bored! Yet, the most unique thing about Whey protein professional is that every batch is tested for quality and can be checked online. This gives you total confidence in what your consuming is exactly what is says on the label. Simply take the unique code on the top of the lid and check it online - http://www.scitecnutrition.com/uk/protein_analysis. php to see for yourself. We see this protein guarantee as our way of ensuring you only get the highest quality, lab tested products every time.
BRAND NEW, LOW FAT CuMBERLAND SAuSAgES IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOk a LOT LIkE ChRISTMaS, and chances are you’ll be stuffing your face with delicious dinners over the festive period… Let’s be honest – we’re all guilty of gaining a pound or two over the holidays, which is why the team at MuscleFood are so excited about their brand new Low Fat Cumberland Sausages. They’ve somehow managed to find a way to reduce the fat content to a miniscule 1.5g per banger… Now I know what you’re thinking… Without the fat, these sausages must be tasteless and don’t deserve to be on your plate for Christmas! Well deck the halls, because you couldn’t be more wrong.
We found these extra lean sausages to be succulent and meaty, while preserving that authentic Cumberland taste But that isn’t their only benefit they are also: -MSG FREE -Certified Gluten Free -14g Lean Protein -Officially Low Fat -80% Pork These bangers are worthy of making an appearance at any Christmas table, and at just £3.70 these are a must have on your Christmas list. But Christmas has come early for you lucky Muscle & Fitness readers as we have secured you 2 packs (12 Sausages) completely FREE.
Visit MuscleFood.com and enter code MaFCUMBERLaND to claim 2 FREE PaCkS of Low Fat Cumberland Sausages
Follow Steve weatherFord Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter: @weatherford5. Visit weatherford5.com for more info on the #ARMageddon e-book.
n o d d e g A M #AR Vol. 2
Former New York GiaNts star Steve t Weatherford spent the start of an NFL season away from the game for the first time in a decade as he continued i to forge a new career path as a TV and radio personality and an influencer and motivator within the fitness industry. Weatherford began training at the age of 14 in Terre Haute, Indiana. His goal was to add muscle to his skinny 52-kg frame so he could excel as an
> We showed you the mass phase of
Steve Weatherford’s #ARMageddon routine last issue. Now we take a look at his volume training. B Yy J Ii M m S Cc Hh M m aA Ll Tt Zz / / / Pp Hh Oo Tt Oo Gg Rr Aa Pp Hh S B Yy M m Aa Rr Ii Uu S B Uu Gg Gg Ee
athlete. He woke up early to lift, then finished the night pushing himself on the track. In the course of four years, he made a nearly implausible physical transformation, more than doubling his body weight. When he entered high school he was 170 cm and 49 kg. When he graduated, he was 190 cm and 102 kg. “I realise how much that dedication to fitness completely changed my life,” Weatherford recalls. “That’s one reason I wanted to transition from playing pro sports to going full time into media and fitness. I want to share my story, my motivation, and my experiences with other people, because it’s really easy to look at professional athletes and think, ‘They’re just built that way. God-made.’ ” Sharing hasn’t been an issue for Weatherford. He’s ultra-active on multiple social media outlets, updating his fans frequently about his life in and out of the gym. As he embarked on a journey to turn an already-chiselled set of arms into 40-cm pipes, his fans noticed the changes and fired off questions so they could follow his lead. The back and forth prompted Weatherford to create the e-book #ARMageddon. “Every single tool that’s needed to be able to grow your arms significantly
in 12 weeks is in this programme, so I’m superstoked about releasing #ARMageddon,” Weatherford says. The 12-week programme is broken into three trimesters and features workouts geared toward mass, volume, and “feeder” routines to promote continuous growth. We covered a sample Trimester 1 mass workout last issue (it’s online at muscleandfitness.com /armageddon). Now we’ll move into the more advanced Trimester 2 and 3 workouts. Exercise selection will ultimately be up to the lifter, as Weatherford explains: “There were exercises that I did on a mass-builder day that I wouldn’t do on high-volume days, with an example being barbell cheat curls and close-grip bench. Compound movements like those were usually reserved for mass days.” Weatherford’s photos prove #ARMageddon can deliver impressive results, but don’t expect them if you’re unwilling to put in the effort. “The execution of the plan is where 90% of people are going to fail in achieving their dream,” he says. “I could give you a plan that will succeed 100% of the time, but unless you’re willing to make the sacrifice, it simply won’t work.” Now, get to work.
St ev e w e at h e r for d
#ArMageddon Vol. 2
3 biceps + 3 triceps + 1 finisher*
*Alternate body parts each workout.
4 biceps + 4 triceps + no finisher
4 biceps + 4 triceps + 2 finishers (1 bi’s & 1 tri’s)
I realise how much [my] dedication to fitness has completely changed my life.
mass daYs: 6–12 reps / 4–5 sets HiGH-volume daY: 12–25 reps / 4–5 sets Feeder routiNes: Using light
dumbbells or resistance bands, choose an exercise for bi’s and tri’s and execute four sets of 50 reps, alternating continuously until 200 reps are reached for both body parts.
sAMple #ARMAgeddon VoluMe RouTine (TRiMesTeR 2) EXERCISE
Incline Dumbbell Skull Crusher
Reverse-grip Triceps pushdown
Squat Rope Hammer Curl
Dumbbell Single-arm preacher Curl
Standing Dumbbell Concentration Curl
Reverse-grip EZ-bar Curl
(TRiMesTeR 3) EXERCISE
*For Trimester 3, Weatherford added 1 biceps and 1 triceps + finisher for 2 sets till failure of an exercise not used in that day’s workout.
MUSCLE & FITnESS
For more about Weatherford’s #ARMageddon workout and exercise descriptions, go to muscleandfitness.com/armageddon
GrOOMInG bY CHrISTIE CAIOLA
ring Dip Using rings instead of parallel bars or a bench creates instability that causes you to work harder to execute the movement. If youâ€™re unable to perform ring dips, work up to them by holding yourself in a static position with arms locked out as you do negative reps.
barbell Kickback Grip the bar with a shoulderwidth grip, holding it behind your back. Bend forward until your torso is parallel with the floor and keep the bar on or near the back of your knees. Extend the bar until your arms are straight.
squat rope hammer curl Grab the rope as though youâ€™re doing standard cable curls and then squat down until your butt is touching your heels. Rest your elbows on the inside of your knees and squeeze the biceps as you curl the weight toward you. Begin using a lighter load than normal; the unusual positioning might require adjustments. S H O T O n L O C AT I O n AT n E x T L E V E L T r A I n I n G , C E d A r k n O L L S , n j
> 24 Ways to Train Your
Brain to Be Smarter, Faster, and More Efficient. By BRIAN GOOD
Heads Up In a lot of ways, your overall intelligence is fairly well established before you ever have anything to do with it. Family genetics, your diet as an infant, vaccinations, illnesses during childhood—there are studies linking all these factors and hundreds more to your eventual smarts as an adult. But just as you can work hard in the gym and change your diet to overcome bad physical genetics, you can also train your brain to far exceed its initial intellectual potential. “It may not be a muscle, but you can train your brain just like you would your 112
MUSCLE & FitnESS
biceps to perform at a significantly higher level,” says neuro scientist Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of the University of California, San Francisco. According to Merzenich, no matter what your age or current intelligence level, that grey matter in your skull is constantly changing and evolving. Put a little work into it, he says, and your IQ, visual acuity, and ability to manage and process data can grow and improve significantly. Here are 24 of the most effective ways to get you started on the road to pumpedup intelligence.
Get Laid More
go out for drinks. accept that blind date your friend has been trying to push on you. sign up for tinder—whatever it takes to get the job done. Why? When Princeton scientists studied a group of sexually active rats and compared them with rats who were getting it on only a few times a month, they found that the more active rats had an increased number of neurons in their brains, especially in the regions responsible for controlling memory. these rats also grew more cells in their brains over the course of the study—and had more connections between those cells—than the more virginal rats. you’re no rat, but researchers believe the finding may hold true in humans as well, thanks to the lower levels of stress hormones and anxiety found in people who have sex more frequently.
1 2. BanisH negative tHoUgHts
getty images (2)
Believing in yourself isn’t good only for your overall self-esteem and well-being. It can also play a crucial role in how well your brain performs in different settings. When researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the relationship between test-takers’ motivation level and performance on a standard IQ test, they found that those who scored the best on the tests also tended to have the most positive attitudes. A second study conducted at Columbia and Stanford universities supports the finding. In this trial, researchers found that teenagers who had the most self-confidence— including believing they could successfully develop their math skills—actually had the most success doing so, consistently outperforming their peers and improving their test scores throughout the course of the two-year study.
get more sleep
Pour Yourself a Drink
yes, too much alcohol isn’t ever goin going to do your body—or brain—much brain good. But just as it’s been shown to be g good for your heart in smaller smalle doses, alcohol also a appears to be good for your brain when consumed res responsibly. in a study conducted conduct at italy’s Catholic University Unive of the sacred Heart, researchers found that 29% of people over the age of o 65 who rarely drank during d the course of their life experience experienced some form of mental impairment as they g got older, compared compar with just 19% of people who dr drank moderate amo amounts of alcohol.
4. Your brain n isn’t just fresher after eightt full hours of sleep. It also lso has more learning potential otential and performs better than when it’s sleep deprived. How much of a difference does adequate sleep make? When German researchers esearchers at the University y of Lübeck gave a group off men and women between the ages of 18 and 32 a series of complex math problems blems to solve, they found d that well-rested individuals s were three times more re likely to figure out the rule le for solving the equations than those who weren’t getting etting enough sleep. And d the benefits don’t end there. Research from the University of Notre Dame found nd that people who get enough h sleep are also better able e to remember visual cues s and process emotional information than men and women who skimp on pillow time.
MUSCLE & FitnESS
B r a i n ga m e s
take a mUlti
5. The key nutrients to make sure you’re getting enough of include vitamins B, C, D, and E. In a study published in the journal Neurology, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University measured vitamin levels in the blood of 104 adults and then compared their scores on different cognitive tests, as well as MRI brain scans. The healthier the subjects’ diets were—and the more of these vitamins they had in their blood—the bigger their brains were and the better they performed on each mental test they were given.
8 Practise Memorizing Things
think of it as a pre-workout warmup for your brain. Pick something new each day—a cell phone number, a song lyric, a new vocabulary word, a favourite quote—and try committing it to memory, quizzing yourself every few hours to see how well you’re remembering it. “it may sound like a waste of time, but it’s an incredibly useful exercise,” says marie Pasinski, m.d., a Harvard neurologist and author of Chicken soup for the soul: Boost your Brain Power! “in the digital age, we’ve ceded so much memory to our phones and computers. But remembering things is a skill like any other—it requires maintenance.”
6. Working up a sweat for just 90 minutes can dehydrate your body enough to cause your brain to literally shrink away from the sides of your skull—the equivalent of a year and a half’s worth of aging and abuse. That’s the warning from a 2009 British study in which teens worked out in varying levels of sweat-inducing clothing; when they were then asked to play video games following the workout, brain scans showed their brains had to work much harder, and actions that would have been completed fairly easily took significantly more brain work to complete.
down some Java
MUSCLE & FitnESS
Widen Your Social Circle
“interacting with people challenges your memory and forces your brain to stay nimble and grow,” Pasinski says. it may not even matter whether the new friends are real or virtual: Psychologists at University College london analyzed brain scans from 125 college students and then looked at their Facebook accounts. they found that the students with the most friends also had significantly larger brains, especially in areas associated with memory and emotional response. DECEMBER 2016
andreW B. myers; reU t ers/a l a m y
7. It’s not just your imagination telling you that coffee makes you think more clearly. It really does. When researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences gave rats a jolt of caffeine equivalent to what a human would get from two cups of coffee, then measured the performance of nerve cells in the brain, they found that the strength of electrical messages being transmitted increased significantly. And when your synapses become stronger and perform better, your ability to learn and remember also skyrockets.
Get Off Your Ass
Just walking more can amp up your brain power, according to research funded by the national institutes of Health. in the study, sedentary men and women were encouraged to walk for 40 minutes three times a week. One year later, almost all participants in the study performed better on memory and intelligence tests, due primarily to improved connectivity between cells in the brain and nervous system.
eat like a pioneer
11. That means natural meats, grains, fresh fruit, and produce, and as little processed food as possible. (In other words, nothing with a label or created after about 1900.) Why? In a study of almost 4,000 children, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers found that kids who were given a “traditional” or “health-conscious” diet consistently scored better on IQ tests than children fed a diet high in processed foods. Although the human brain grows at its fastest during the first three years of life, researchers say a clean, healthy diet is just as important after the brain is fully developed.
12. avoid sUgar wHenever possiBle
“What you eat affects how you think,” says Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, Ph.D., a professor of neurosurgery at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “And eating a high-fructose diet over the long term may alter your brain’s ability to learn and remember information,” he says. The Chilean researcher found out just how bad too many sweets can be for your brain by studying animals that were given high-sugar diets and comparing them with animals fed a more standard diet. Over time, he says, large amounts of sweets in the brain can impair synaptic activity, disrupting the ability to think clearly. Instead of fizzy drinks, sweets, ice cream, and baked goods, get your sweet fix on M&F-approved foods like fresh fruit and Greek yogurt.
Fire Up spotiFy
13. ...or sign up for guitar lessons. Whether you’re listening to music or playing it, a good song expands your potential for learning. Numerous studies show that mastering a musical instrument changes the anatomy of the brain and rewires your cells to think faster and more accurately. Although the effect is less pronounced when you’re just listening, it’s still there. A classic UC Irvine study conducted in the 1990s found that the IQs of undergrads soared temporarily after listening to Mozart. The study led to a best-selling series of books called The Mozart Effect.
keep yoUr Blood sUgar in CHeCk
Even if you aren’t diabetic, large fluctuations in insulin levels in the body can dull your brain’s response times and inhibit peak performance. Some researchers even speculate that insulin resistance caused by consistently high levels of insulin in the body over time may be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. On the flip side, if insulin levels are low, or the pancreas stops production of the hormone, the memory may suffer as well: A study conducted at Brown University found that insulinresistant rats were more likely to become disoriented and have trouble finding their way out of a maze. Two ways to keep blood sugar stable: Eat carbs on the low end of the glycemic scale, and avoid both skipping meals and bingeing. MUSCLE & FitnESS
Hit the Gym Regularly “Use it or lose it” doesn’t apply only to your muscles. Leading an active lifestyle helps to keep the tissues in your brain every bit as young and active as those throughout the rest of your body. In fact, regular physical activity seems to help slow or even reverse the brain’s physical decay over time. Scientists at the University of Illinois have proven exercise’s prowess at keeping the brain healthy. In studies on mice, they found that regardless of whether the animals ate a superhealthy diet or traditional “boring” mouse food; had cages filled with toys and games; or were kept in a stimulation-free environment, the one factor most responsible for improving their memory and performance in cognitive tests was a running wheel. Mice who ran ended up simply being smarter all around in virtually every test, compared with mice who didn’t. Best of all: The increase in brain matter was visible after just a few weeks.
CUt BaCk on tv
MUSCLE & FitnESS
17. Have a tough work issue you’re trying to power through? You may want to go it alone rather than pull together a group for a brainstorming session. A recent Virginia Tech study warns that certain group settings—whether it’s a committee meeting, a class, or even a cocktail party—can alter the expression of your IQ, making you seem dumber (or, at least, less able to process information) than you’d be if left to your own devices. The finding, according to study author Read Montague, Ph.D., shows just how interwoven psychological traits like selfconfidence, intelligence, and outgoingness can be, and how impossible they may be to separate for certain individuals.
Buy the New PS4 Neo
Or unpack that old Xbox 360. Turns out improved hand–eye coordination isn’t the only reason to embrace your love of Grand Theft Auto or Madden. When researchers in Belgium did an MRI analysis of the brains of 150 teenagers, they found that those who played video games frequently had more brain cells in the left ventral striatum of their brain—the region responsible for controlling the interplay of emotions and behaviour. The better developed this region is, the better your potential for learning becomes.
order some FisH
19. Pile your plate high with salmon, tuna, and other ocean dwellers at least a couple of times a week. (If you don’t like fish, pop a daily fish-oil supplement instead.) In a study of 4,000 teenage boys conducted in Sweden, scientists found that eating fish twice a week increased subjects’ verbal and visuospatial intelligence scores by more than 10%. Although the exact mechanism behind fish oil’s ability to improve mental performance still isn’t known, study author Kjell Toren, M.D., Ph.D., believes the benefit may come from the combination of improving blood flow to the brain, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system—all courtesy of seafood’s ample supply of omega-3s and -6s.
a r t ig a PHO tO/g e t t y im ag es; a ndre W B. m y ers; Ja k UB g OJda /a l a m y
16. The more you watch, the less you know, says a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Scientists analyzed questionnaires from nearly 4,000 people, looking at not just their overall intelligence level but also their personal data, such as the amount of TV the respondents watched each day. Not surprising, those who watched TV or Internet-based broadcasts the most (four hours or more a day) also had the lowest mental-acuity scores. Compounding television’s mind-rot effect, a study from Iowa State found that students who watched more than two hours of TV a day were twice as likely to be diagnosed with some form of attention disorder, such as ADHD, due to the amount of rapid-fire stimuli the brain is typically overloaded with during television viewing.
B r a i n ga m e s
Quit Smoking— Today!
When researchers at the University of Michigan tested the IQs of 172 men—some of whom smoked regularly and some who didn’t—they found that the smokers scored lower on the tests across the board. According to their finding, years of tobacco use appears to dull mental performance, dimming the speed and accuracy of a person’s overall thinking ability. A more recent study conducted at Tel Aviv University confirms the finding. When researchers there measured the IQs of 20,000 soldiers between the ages of 18 and 21, they found that guys who smoked more than a pack a day averaged a 90 on their IQ tests, while the average score for a nonsmoker was 101 (typical IQ scores for healthy adults usually range from 84 to 116).
22. It doesn’t matter whether your body is battling infection, toxins, or chemicals— anything that leaves your tissue inflamed, whether inside or outside your body, may have a negative effect on your mental performance. In a study of 50,000 men ages 18–20, Swedish researchers found that inflammation in the body was consistently linked to lower intelligence levels. Among the best inflammation fighters: foods full of omega-3s and antioxidants.
Learn a New Skill
When you leave your comfort zone and do something new, your brain creates new neurons (that’s a good thing). It doesn’t matter what new skill you decide to take up—speaking a foreign language, painting, carpentry—any time you’re learning one thing, your brain is becoming better at learning everything. Need proof? When researchers at McGill University, in Montreal, enrolled a group of 30 men and women in tango lessons and tested their cognitive functions regularly, they found that after 10 weeks of classes, just learning a new dance had also helped the individuals score better on memory tests and get better at multitasking.
Always take a multi-vitamin and consider consulting your doctor for other supps that might make sense given your lifestyle and health needs. A simple blood test can tell you if you are deficient in anything (Vitamin D and Iron are common, for instance), as well as keep you informed and on top of any developing conditions.
Take Up Swimming Holding your breath while working out in the pool improves the flow of blood to your brain. As with your muscles, the more oxygen those tissues in your cranium get, the stronger and healthier they become—and the better they’re able to function.
24. Whatever form your relaxation takes, it will ultimately help you to be smarter in the long run, Pasinski says. When University of Oregon researchers taught a group of roughly 100 students a type of stress-busting meditation, they found that within just two weeks, study participants showed improved neural signalling within the brain, and after a month they found enhanced connections between brain cells—two of the primary factors responsible for better learning.
MUSCLE & FITNESS
INTENSITY TRAINING > Burst through plateaus by combining these two hardcore training methods.
BY CA MERON MC G A RR, C.S.C.S. /// PHO T O GR A PHS BY ED G A R A RT IG A
How many gym rats do you know who never seem to progress? Physique improvements flatline, and strength and size gains stall. It’s like once they reach a certain level, that’s where they stay—forever. Maybe you’re one of them? Many lifters forget that they need to be progressing intelligently—there’s more to it than upping the weight and going to failure. The solution: Alternate between heavy lifting one week and high-rep sets the next. Follow our plan for five to 10 weeks and you’ll be shopping for a larger shirt in no time.
VOLU M E + I N T E N SI T Y
HOW IT WORKS
Lifting lighter loads with more volume (sets x reps x load) provides a hard workout for your muscles, while your central nervous system (CNS) recovers after weeks of intense training (low-rep sets with heavy weights). You’re getting the best of both worlds in this programme—skintearing pumps one week and heavy weight the next. On volume weeks the weights will feel easy since you’re coming off a week of heavy training. On intensity weeks, you’ll feel strong and focussed because you’ll have to work up to only one or two hard sets. This undulation keeps your body guessing, prevents overtraining, and provides a mental break, which makes training less monotonous.
Perform each workout (Days 1, 2, and 3) once per week.
TIME NEEDED: 45 minutes.
FIND YOUR NUMBER
Let’s say a lifter’s one-rep max (1RM) on the bench press is 107 kg. Based on the chart, his eight-rep max would be 86 kg (80% of 235). In Week 1 (volume week) he’d use 85% of 86 kg (73 kg) for all sets. In Week 2 (intensity week) he’d use percentages of his 1RM (107 kg).
HOW TO DO IT: 100 %
MUSCLE & FITNESS
NUMBER OF REPS 92.5 %
PERCENTAGE OF ONE-REP MAX
S H O T O N L O C AT I O N A T M AT R I X F I T N E S S , A S T O R I A , N Y
GROOMING BY CHRISTIE CAIOLA
Perform the exercise pairs (marked a. and b.) as alternating sets. Complete one set of a, rest, then one set of b, rest again, and repeat until all sets are complete. Do the remaining exercises as straight sets.
1. Bench Press Hold the bar with an outside-shoulderwidth grip. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slightly arch your lower back. Lift the bar out of the rack, lower it to your sternum, and then push the weight up, making sure to drive with your feet.
SETS: 3 REPS: 10 (EACH SIDE)
TURN THE PAGE FOR “VOLUME VS. INTENSITY” SETS AND REPS. 2a. Off-set Split Squat Hold a dumbbell with your left hand at shoulder level, standing with your right foot in front of your knee. Keeping your torso upright, bend both knees and lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor.
SETS: 3 REPS: 10
2b. Dumbbell Push Press Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with a neutral grip. Dip your knees and then explosively straighten your legs and press the weights overhead using the momentum from your lower body.
VOLU M E + I N T E N SI T Y
VOLUME VS. INTENSITY
3a. Staggered Stance Bentover Row
HOW MUCH TO LIFT EACH WEEK FOR BENCH AND DEADS
4 sets 8 reps 85% of your 8-rep max
5 sets 50% of your 1RM for 12 reps, 60% for 8 reps, 75% for 5 reps, 85% for 5 reps, 90% for 3 reps
4 sets 8 reps 90% of your 8-rep max
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and stand with your left leg in front of the right, keeping the weight on the front leg. Bend forward at the hips and row the dumbbell to your side. Repeat with your other arm.
6 sets 50% of your 1RM for 12 reps, 60% for 8 reps, 75% for 5 reps, 85% for 5 reps, 90% for 3 reps, 95% for 1 rep
SETS: 3 REPS: 15 (EACH SIDE)
4 sets 8 reps 95% of your 8-rep max
WEEK 6 Rest
Repeat the cycle, adding 2.5–5 kg to each set.
THE BENCH PRESS AND DEADLIFT are the two lifts you’re working to get stronger on during this programme. For you to follow the setand-rep scheme, you need to calculate the loads you’ll use for both lifts. First, find or estimate your one-rep max (1RM)—the most weight you can lift for one rep. From here, you can figure out how much weight you can use for any number of reps. For example, during the volume weeks (Weeks 1 and 3), you’ll do sets of eight reps. You need to find a) the load that gives you eight reps based on your one-rep max and b) the load that’s the correct percentage of that eight-rep max. (You’ll use a different percentage each week.) See “Find Your Number” (page 178) to figure out approximately how many reps a certain percentage yields. The intensity weeks are simpler since you’ll use percentages of your one-rep max.
MUSCLE & FITNESS
3b. Cable Woodchop
SETS: 3 REPS: 15
Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and split your feet, with one foot slightly in front of the other. Rotate your torso diagonally downward until the handle is at the outside of your opposite leg.
SEE “VOLUME VS. INTENSITY” AT LEFT FOR SETS AND REPS.
1. Deadlift Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, bend down, and grasp the bar outside your knees. Your shoulders should be over the bar. Drive your heels into the floor and push your hips forward, lifting the bar until it’s in front of your thighs. Keep your back straight throughout the lift.
SETS: 3 REPS: 10
2a. Cable Row Sit at a cable station with your feet firmly planted. Keep your lower back in its natural arch and grab the handle with a shoulder-width grip. Row the weight to just below your chest and allow your torso to come slightly forward on the eccentric portion of the row. You should feel a stretch in your lats.
VOLU M E + I N T E N SI T Y
2 2b. High-incline Dumbbell Press Set an adjustable bench to a 75-degree incline. With your elbows in and your core tight, press the weights straight up. Start with a lighter weight since the steep angle recruits more deltoids, making the lift more difficult.
SETS: 3 REPS: 10
3b. Swiss Ball Punch Rest your forearms on top of a Swiss ball in a plank position. Brace your core and extend your arms, rolling the ball forward out as far as you can go, and then back.
SETS: 3 REPS: 15 (EACH SIDE)
SETS: 3 REPS: 15
3a. Single-leg Romanian Deadlift Row Hold a D-handle attached to the low pulley of a cable station. As you balance on one foot, keeping the natural arch in your lower back, bend at your hips and lower your torso. Extend your hips to come back up and then row the cable to your side. 124
MUSCLE & FITNESS
SETS: 3 REPS: 10
1a. Front Squat Rest a loaded barbell across your clavicle and shoulders, crossing your arms for support. As you squat down, keep your torso upright. Also, your knees should track over your feet. If they cave inward, you need to engage your glutes and push your knees out more.
2a. Bentover Row from Floor Hold a barbell with a shoulder-width grip and, keeping your lower back arched, bend over until your torso is parallel to the floor. Row the bar to your belly, pulling with your elbows. Rest the weight on the floor after every rep.
SETS: 3 REPS: 10
1b. Rear-delt Flye Lie facedown with a dumbbell in each hand on a bench set to a 45-degree incline. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you raise the weight out to your sides with your thumbs facing downward.
SETS: 3 REPS: 10
VOLU M E + I N T E N SI T Y
3 2b. One-arm Swiss Ball Press Lie back on a Swiss ball and brace your core for stability. Explosively press the weight straight up.
SETS: 3 REPS: 10 (EACH SIDE)
3b. Swiss Ball Knee Drive
SETS: 3 REPS: 10
Set up as you did for the Swiss ball punch, but keep your arms steady and drive one knee at a time up to the ball and back.
3a. Close-grip Pulldown Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Pull down, bringing the bar to your collarbone. Squeeze for one second.
MUSCLE & FITNESS
SETS: 3 REPS: 15 (EACH SIDE)
D A O L N WL EDITION OF M&F DO DIGITA THE
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Bigger, Stronger, STRONGER richer > Mark “Smelly” Bell turned his love of
lifting into big money, and you can too. By Sean HySon
When Mark Bell’s MoBile goes to voice mail, you hear: “You’ve reached Mark Bell, owner of Super Training Gym and inventor of the Sling Shot—and the question mark.” Right away, you know you’re not dealing with your with your average average CEO. CEO. Bell, who first gained mainstream exposure in the documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster*, has has run run the the entrepreneurial gamut from fitness guru to magazine publisher and, most recently, hip-hop music producer, earning himself the moniker “the Meathead Millionaire.” But he’ll be the first to tell you that he owes it all
to his lifelong love of powerlifting, beginning when he was a teenager in Poughkeepsie, New York, nicknamed “Smelly.” Bell is on a mission to make serious strength training the biggest trend since yoga, and he’s changing the way corporate execs can look, speak, and act. What follows is a step-by-step guide to how Bell built his empire and how fellow meatheads (and vegheads) can do likewise.
M a r k B e l l: B ig g e r, st rong e r, r ic h e r
believe anything, try everything
The Bell household Was a
positive, happy place—if not a little strange. “I have insanely supportive parents,” says Bell. “They’d do anything for their kids, and we were always free to use our imaginations.” The Bells would have get-togethers with extended family, and, though the children were small, they were mainly left to their own devices. “Some of us would be playing Wiffle ball, some shooting hoops, and then there would be a kid playing with an axe in the garage. My parents were protective, but they still let us figure out things on our own. They waited for us to find out what we wanted to do and then they’d stand behind us.” The openness of the family attitude led to Mark and his two brothers— Chris and Mike—pursuing a myriad of sometimes outlandish interests. All three boys got involved with pro wrestling, with Mike and Mark even competing as wrestlers in WWE’s farm system in the ’90s and early ’00s. Chris grew up to be a documentary filmmaker, helming acclaimed projects
such as Bigger, Stronger, Faster* and Prescription Thugs (both of which feature Mark). But Mark Bell’s greatest love was powerlifting. “I was always into the performance side of things rather than aesthetics,” says Bell. “And with bodybuilding, you end up in your underwear.” Bell became an elite powerlifter, training with the likes of Louis Simmons, founder of Westside Barbell in Ohio, home to the best powerlifters in the world. In full gear, his best total was 1,199 kg, in the 140-kg weight class, and his best lifts included a 490-kg squat, a 388-kg bench press, and a 348-kg deadlift. In 2006, he opened Super Training Gym in West Sacramento, California. Bell has no business training and never aspired to run a company or be wealthy. “My passion wasn’t business, it was strength,” he says. “My slogan is ‘Make the world a better place to lift.’ I fell into the business side in a weird way. I got injured and I had to think of a way I could keep training, and that way ended up being the Sling Shot.”
Bell and co-hosts Jim McDonald (left) and “Silent” Mike Farr (right) welcome a variety of guests to their podcast—Mark Bell’s PowerCast—each week.
MUSCLE & FitnESS
My slogan is â€˜Make the world a better place to lift.â€™
M a r k B e l l: B ig g e r, st rong e r, r ic h e r
if iF FY you OU CAN’T, Can’t, find F IND a A Way WAY to TO Can CAN
in 2009, Bell Was preparing for
a meet and felt a “twinge” in his pec during a bench workout. The muscle had torn, so Bell scrambled for a solution that would allow him to compete. It led him to experiment with bench shirts— tight, supportive gear for competitive lifters that fits over the upper body and helps them bench more weight. “I was looking at a really large shirt
for a super-heavyweight lifter, and I decided to throw it on, even though it was loose on me,” says Bell. Though the shirt didn’t work the way it was designed to, its elastic stretched at the bottom of the lift, creating a powerful slingshotlike effect that helped Bell press the weight up without pain. Sensing he was on to something, he tried similar but more readily available
Our philosophy is, ‘Let’s show people having fun and hopefully they’ll buy the product.’
MUSCLE & FitnESS
tools, including an oversize Under Armour shirt. Finally, his wife, Andee, who had been a competitive swimmer, suggested a friend who could build a prototype made from Lycra, the material used to make swimsuits stretchy. “I tried it and got goosebumps,” says Bell. “I knew we’d found something that was going to allow people to train around pain.”
More than just a powerlifter, Bell is also a coach and motivator.
The Sling Shot—basically a broad Lycra band with sleeves for the arms on each side—came out in 2010 and has been selling like mad ever since. It’s been used by powerlifters, pro wrestlers, and sports teams, including the NFL Carolina Panthers. Bell estimates the company he set up to produce it, Super Training Products LLC, will make eight figures this year.
WiTh perhaps The greaTesT
fitness invention since the postworkout shake on his hands, you might expect Bell to begin selling to the highest bidder, but he didn’t. Instead, he went about building a rapport with other lifters who had been in his shoes, offering as much free advice about training over social media as he could. “I’d run into a lot of lifters over the years who would say things like, ‘I used to bench 143 (kg),’ or 184, and it was always ‘used to.’ Now I had something that would let them do it again.” By establishing trust and creating fans first, Bell cultivated customers later. Half the time, Bell wasn’t trying to sell anything at all. He made his Sacramento gym free and open to the public, while social media proved to be the perfect showcase for his oversize personality and sophomoric sense of humour. The public speaking and hype skills he learned from cutting promos as a pro wrestler have given Bell—who claims he was shy and reserved as a child—the confidence to tell jokes,
wear goofy outfits, and spit out mock raps in videos to his audience, mixing useful tips into over-the-top entertainment that has made him one of the most recognizable fitness personalities on the Web. He’s part Joe Weider, part Muhammad Ali, although far more self-effacing. Bell’s YouTube channel— supertraining06—now has more than 180,000 subscribers, and his Instagram—@marksmellybell—has 250,000-plus followers. Not bad for someone who isn’t posting pics of his ass all day long. “His social media is an open river of genuine personality that gets people excited about him,” says Will Erb, COO of Super Training Products LLC (which has grown to offer a multitude of lifting accessories beyond the Sling Shot, most of them conceived by Bell himself ). “Bodybuilding and powerlifting are wrapped up in a lot of mysticism, and Mark has stepped out from that and said, ‘Look, this is what works and what doesn’t work and why.’ ” Bell’s policy of making friends first and customers later isn’t just a nice MUSCLE & FitnESS
M a r k B e l l: B ig g e r, st rong e r, r ic h e r way to do business, it’s a cleverly strategic one. Erb says there are several steps that a potential customer must go through before he gives you his money, such as first hearing about the product, asking friends about it, research, etc. “The one thing that cuts down on that consumer loop is a friend telling you they liked it and thought you should buy it. We’ve found that when someone on Instagram told you to buy, you were more apt to because it’s like a friend telling you. Whereas recommendations from Facebook are seen as paid advertising.” Bell gratefully acknowledges that if social media hadn’t been exploding at around the time the Sling Shot came out, he might have had to use a more traditional strategy to spread the word, and, without the ability to put his smiling, round face in front of consumers everywhere with the click of a mouse, the Sling Shot might have been dead on arrival. To Bell, the old ways of doing business—hired pitchmen and marketing reports—are giving way to real people who create passion projects in their own basements and sell them to their friends. The common man, or lifter, as it were, is foremost on Bell’s mind. So while he’s friends with many well-built celebrities, including old wrestling buddy John Cena, he avoids using them to promote his products. “We have a lot of big-name lifters using the Sling Shot whom we show, but also regular people,” says Bell. “Like, ‘Here’s this guy in Boston who’s benching 184 using the Sling Shot.’ Because the next day that guy will go into the gym and tell all his friends how he got featured. That gives us a lot more traction than even a guy like Cena. If he uses the Sling Shot, you’ll have people posting, ‘You suck! Hulk Hogan was way better.’ [Laughs] Sometimes people are very detached from these mega superstars. Our philosophy is, ‘Let’s show people having fun and hopefully they’ll buy the product.’ ” 134
MUSCLE & FitnESS
Bell in the studio recording the single “Meathead Millionaire.”
Mark Bell On…
Steroids, substance abuse, and training.
SHoulD STeroiDS Be legal?
n “Steroids have been misunderstood for so long. It would be cool to see some legalization. However, there has to be some regulation. When I made my gym free, my team got nervous, thinking it would be packed all the time as a result. And I said no, this is powerlifting. People can either hang, or they can’t. So I don’t think if steroids were legal everybody would start taking them. But people who have been on the fence about taking them would start. “As for ’roid rage,’ I’ve never seen it. I think if you have somebody who is temperamental to begin with, it’s possible steroids would make them worse, but then they’re already off-balance.”
The Bell brothers have all experienced success, but Mike died at age 37 of substance abuse and Chris has also battled addiction. Does great talent come with a penchant for self-destructive behaviour? n “I think being selfdestructive might go with the territory of being a dreamer. Sometimes you’re dreaming of something so large, and somebody tells you that it’s not possible to obtain. That didn’t happen in our house. If it had, maybe that would
have made us a little more even-keeled with our goals and not kill ourselves to get there. When you’re reaching for the stars and you don’t get there, maybe it leaves you empty-handed. When it comes to drug addiction, no one’s safe.”
How are you Training now? n “I’m on a mission to bench-press 272 kg. I tried it last year and tore my pec again, and now I have a rematch with it. The first thing I did was decide I have to gain some weight. My weight now is 129, and I’ll probably weigh 134 at the meet. Having more body mass really helps a lot. I’m only training bench once a week
now. Week 1 of three is, on a scale of 1 to 10, a 7 level of intensity; Week 2 is an 8; Week 3 is a 9; Week 4 is very light, like half of what I did the previous week. I did three weeks of straight weight, then three weeks of chains. Now I’m doing it with bands.” (See “Bell’s 272-kg Bench Programme” for a snapshot of his routine.)
Bell strikes a front double biceps pose while on set shooting the “Meathead Millionaire” video.
Go with what you know
Bell’S eMpire HaS grown To
include his own all-powerlifting publication, Power magazine, and a free podcast on iTunes, in which he regularly interviews some of the biggest names in fitness. His reach has become so broad and his persona so beloved that his brother Chris nicknamed him “the Meathead Millionaire.” This past spring, a fan and former pro rapper, Nik Platinum, wrote a song about Mark of the same name, featuring all the famous catchphrases and inside jokes he uses in his videos (“Strength is never a weakness,” “I got 99 problems, but my bench ain’t one,” “I’d rather be dead than average”). Bell was touched and not only produced
the campy tune, bringing Platinum out of retirement, but had Chris shoot a video for it. At last count, “Meathead Millionaire” had almost 100,000 views on YouTube and more than 20,000 downloads on Spotify. But if all this seems too grand, implausible, or out of your wheelhouse, Bell says he thought the same thing himself and that you should remember that it all began with one passion alone: lifting heavy-ass weights. His No. 1 tip for success is “stay in your own lane,” he says. “Stick with what you’re good at,” and the rest will fall into place. He points to CrossFit’s improbable
growth as an example. “[Founder] Greg Glassman was just a personal trainer who recognized some holes in the fitness industry. He knew that people wanted to squat 272 kg and run a six-minute 1500 metres. Now they’ve got people who can almost do it. He’s made hundreds of millions of dollars making people enjoy the rigours of physical fitness. So find something you enjoy and blaze your own path.” Bell also believes in transparency. “I’m not another guy trying to monetize a YouTube channel. It’s free. My gym is free. Don’t be afraid to show people what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.” MUSCLE & FitnESS
M a r k B e l l: B ig g e r, st rong e r, r ic h e r
do it noW noW! W!
your passion for Training is a
fine place to start any venture, but you’ll never finish anything if you don’t actually begin. “If you have an idea, you can’t wait,” says Erb. If it’s a product, “get it into a customer’s hands and then adjust it accordingly. That’s really what Mark’s strength is. He can take an idea, get a prototype, and get it out to customers really quickly.” As far as business is concerned, it’s
better to shoot first and ask questions later. Bell doesn’t waste time trying to perfect a product; he makes sure it’s good enough to sell and then waits for feedback from his customers to fine-tune it further. That’s the only way to know for sure what the market wants and how to give it to them. “The initial Sling Shot had a coating on it that made it easier to print the logo on it, but it affected the way it stretched,” says Erb. “When we
in full gear, Bell’s PRs include a 490 squat, a 388 bench press, and a 348 deadlift.
MUSCLE & FitnESS
changed that, it had a dramatic, positive effect.” Erb predicts Super Training Products LLC, will grow a staggering 150% in the next five years. He understands that, in order to do so, Bell will have to convert more people to his brand of fitness—i.e., deadlifts, chalk, and traps up to your ears. As unappealing as that may seem to a mainstream audience of gymgoers now, if anyone has the charisma to lead them there, it’s Bell.
“Look at yoga,” says Erb. “It used to be very niche, but the branding of it got changed so now no matter who you are there’s a kind of yoga for you. It’s not a workout anymore; it’s a lifestyle. We want to do the same thing with lifting—how can we grow that into a lifestyle? How can we make it palatable or interesting to the everyday person?” This doesn’t seem like too lofty a goal for the man who invented the question mark.
how HOW OW to TO USe USE the THE Sling SLING Shot SHOT The Meathead Millionaire gives his tips on his moneymaker. You’ve seen it online, you might
have bought it, and maybe you’re trying it on now, but how do you train with it? Here’s a tutorial on how to get the most from the Sling Shot, whether you have a pec/shoulder injury or not, from the man who invented it—Mark Bell. Do whatever bench routine you like, whether it’s 5x5, 5/3/1, pyramid sets, or anything else. “Then use the Sling Shot for three to four extra working sets beyond what you usually do,” says Bell. So if you’re doing three sets of 5, use the Sling Shot for an additional three sets of 5 with heavier weight. “Maybe you do 102 for three sets of 5, then you can do 111 for 5, then 120 for 5, then 130 for 5 with the Sling Shot,” says Bell. “The Sling Shot allows you to handle sets and reps and weights you normally couldn’t do,” increasing the overall volume of your session.
“And if you’re banged up, it’s a great way to keep training the bench press. Where you’re at the least advantageous position in the bench press is where the Sling Shot helps you by stretching across your chest. As you go to push the weight up, the Sling Shot contracts like a muscle.”
Bell’S 272-kilo 272-KILO Bench PROGRAMM BENCH PrograMMe PROGRA MME TIME
Bell performs the above routine for his first four-week cycle. He then repeats the process with 184 kg of chain weight and then bands. As his competition nears, he’ll reduce the reps and go heavier to build a foundation of strength. *Bell does light dumbbell presses in Week 4 to prevent burnout but also keep the muscles strong.
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THE LEVEL up sEriEs:
sHO sHOuLDErs HOULDERRS > Take your training up a notch with this
upgrade of our popular Straight Up Series. B y J o e W u e B B e n
BarBell BAR ARBBELL uPrIGHT UPRRIGHT roW ROW LeveL Up Difference: This move subs in for front raises. Upright rows emphasize the anterior (front) delts while also hitting the middle heads and even bringing the biceps into play with elbow flexion. All in all, just more bang for the training buck than front raises.
level up: shoulders
We debuted b ed the e “St “Straight Up” training tra series ies in 2012 2 2012 as as a a way way to to help help read readers develop elop individual al mus muscles without hout getting too fancy or cute. Feedback from you, the lifter, was positive and told us that the workouts allowed you to develop a bigger, more chiselled physique from traps to calves and everything in between. But you’ve advanced, so it’s time to “Level Up.” Each month, we’ll showcase the original workouts from “Straight Up” and give them a facelift to keep the results coming. Most of the underlying principles will remain intact: an emphasis on compound movements, appreciable volume, high intensity, and a continued aversion to cuteness. But key changes will promote variety and spur new growth. Let’s start with shoulders.
STanDInG STA A NDING DuMBBell DUMBBELL laTeral LAATERR A L raISe RAA IS ISE
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LeveL Up Difference: The subtle technique change from the original workout is that you’re now standing, taking a break from the seated position we spend too much time in. Also, the number of sets drops to two. Lateral raises in this workout are intended purely as a warmup, not a pre-exhaust. Keep the weight light.
level up: shoulders
THE lITTle THe LITTLE THInGS THINGS
The small tweaks in our new Level Up Series can be more than enough to help you prevent a plateau and training boredom.
BEN BenToVer ENTOVER DDuMBBell UMBBELL rear-DelT REAR R-D -DELT raISe RA A IS ISE LeveL Up Difference: This version engages the core and lower back more than the machine version while still targeting the rear delts.
STraIGHT STRAIGHT HT UP uP*
SHoulDerS SHOUL OULDDER ERS EXERCISE
Seated Lateral Raise
20, 17, 14, 11
Seated Alternated DB Front Raise
14, 12, 10
16, 14, 12
Seated DB press
14, 12, 10, 8
Static Hold DB Front Raise
*Originally published in the august 2012 issue of M&F.
dustin snipes; per bernal
STAA NDING STanDInG BBarBell A RBELL oVerHeaD OVER RHEAA D PPreSS RESS LeveL Up Difference: Aka the standing military press, it’s a serious strength builder that engages the core to a large degree.
Standing DB Lateral Raise
Standing Barbell Overhead press
10, 8, 6, 6*
Barbell Upright Row (subbing for front raises)
14, 12, 10, 10**
Superset with Bentover DB Rear-delt Raise
*increase weight every set, but only go to failure on the last one or two sets. start out light, somewhere around a weight you can do for 12 reps. **increase weight every set. if you miss the prescribed rep count on the last set before reaching failure, do a rest-pause set. upon reaching failure, rest 10–20 seconds and then continue repping out with the same weight until prescribed rep count is complete.
Stay Home, HOME, Get GET Ripped RIPPED > Take a two-week break from
the gym and continue to build muscle, boost functional strength, and nix body fat with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson’s at-home workout.
B Yy G Uu Nn Nn Aa Rr P Ee Tt Ee Rr Ss Oo Nn , C . Ss . C . sS . / / / P hH oO Tt oO G rR aA P hH sS B yY P eE rR B eE rR nN aA lL
MUSCLE & FitnESS
From prospective clients and random people at dinner parties to strangers on aeroplanes and vacationers at resorts, I’ve heard every excuse imaginable as to why none of them can make it to the gym: “I don’t have time to get to the gym” or “I’m uncomfortable in a public gym” are common. I’ve even heard, “I’m going to do cardio on my own, lose 5 kilos, and then start going to the gym.” Stop the excuses, get some equipment, and work out at home. Dumbbells should be the first acquisition. Whether it’s 5 to 15 kg, up to 25, or a set of adjustables—that’s a good start. Next, find a quality skipping rope that’s yours and only yours. Add a medicine ball, a utility bench (or a stability ball if you drive a Prius), and, if you can swing it, a barbell with 70 kg of free weights. And don’t get gouged paying retail—do your research. (Wallapop is an app that can lead you to deals on used equipment. And don’t forget about Craigslist and eBay.) Don’t tell me you can’t afford it. Skip a couple of Saturday nights out with the boys, and say no to poker, golf, fishing, and happy hour for two weeks. Ante up for your body. Then put that equipment to good use by following this two-week athome workout programme. You’ll see results because your training will involve big-boy full-body exercises with weights. There are intense intervals thoughtfully and scientifically sprinkled throughout to help you start knocking off body fat. There are hypertrophy exercises, strength exercises, and power exercises—but no exercises in futility. There’s running, jumping, calisthenics, and core work. And all of this can be done in the comfort of your own home gym, lunkhead-free. Now check your excuses at your front door and go after it.
Hom e Wor kou t
2-WEEK AT-HOME PROGRAMME G GRA R MME M
dumbbell Reaching Lunge with Lateral Raise For the lunging portion, focus on taking a big step forward to maximize the stretch in the hip flexor of the rear leg and touch that knee to the ground at the bottom of the rep. Do the lateral raise in the up position of the lunge (standing), not at the bottom.
MUSCLE & FitnESS
EquipmEnt NEE EquipmENT nEEdEd: EED D ED: A set of adjustable dumbbells or three pairs of dumbbells (light, medium, and heavy) Skipping rope Medicine ball (or a 2.5- to 9 kg dumbbell) Shoes with a solid base of support. Other clothing optional—you’re at home, that’s your business.
Warmup: 10 minutes of any cardio activity repeat 4 times: EXERCISE
Dumbbell Reaching Lunge with Lateral Raise
Standing Dumbbell Overhead Press
Bench Dip Bicycle Crunch
to failure 100
Run* Run Sprint/Walk** Sprint/Walk **
1 min. 30 min.
*This isn’t an all-out sprint for one minute but should be more than a jog. Push yourself as if you’re running a 400-meter sprint. If you have a treadmill at home, run a minute on that. No treadmill? Run down the block for 30 seconds, then turn around. **Every 3 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds; walk or jog in the 2½ minutes between sprints.
Lying Leg Raise to Hip thrust Lie on your back and do a leg raise to perpendicular, keeping the legs straight throughout. At that point, push your heels toward the ceiling until your lumbar spine is off the ground.
dumbbell Side Lunge with monkey Row A side lunge is when you step laterally instead of forward for each rep. A monkey row is like an upright row, except you drag the dumbbells up the sides of your torso with your palms in. Get those hands as close to your armpits as possible. Do a lunge to one side, do a monkey row, then lunge to the other side—that’s one rep. Think monkey rows are for wusses? Use a heavy set of dumbbells and get back to us.
Warmup: 5 minutes of any cardio activity, then skip x 100 skips repeat 3 times: EXERCISE
Dumbbell Side Lunge with Monkey Row Pullup or Inverted Row* Row
12 Wide grip x narrow grip to failure
Lying Leg Raise to Hip Thrust
Dumbbell Squat Curl
Deadlift** Deadlift **
*No rest between grip changes. **Or use a sandbag or another heavy object that can be lifted off the floor while maintaining a flat back. ***Every 2 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds; walk or jog in the 1½ minutes between sprints.
Ease into it and focus on the hamstring stretch at the apex of the kick.
Rear Lunge to High Front Kick On each rep of rear lunges, go right into a high front kick (leg extended) with the leg you stepped back with. Ease into it and focus on the hamstring stretch at the apex of the kick.
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Hom e Wor kou t
Warmup: 10 minutes of any cardio activity, and then skip x 200 skips repeat 4 times: EXERCISE
Side Plank (30 sec.) to Hip Bridge
10 (per side)
Single-leg Supported Squat Jump
8 (per leg)
Rear Lunge to High Front Kick
8 (per leg)
Standing Medicine Ball Rotation* Rotation
Cardio** Cardio **
*Reps increase each round. **Cardio activity of your choice, going at least 10% faster than in your warmup.
Single-leg Supported Squat Jump Do a one-legged squat, hitting parallel to the floor with the thigh. Go right into a jump at the top of each rep off one leg. As you lower down into the squat, hold onto something lightly with one hand for balance. Let your hand off as you jump up.
repeat Day 1 but do the exercise cluster three times through and add 5 minutes of cardio.
repeat Day 2 but do the exercise cluster four times through and add 10 minutes of cardio after the cluster.
take a 45-minute Walk OutsiDe, regardless of the weather. Dress accordingly.
pullup or inverted Row Not all of us own squat racks or a lat pulldown machine, so find somewhere to do pullups or inverted rows. Get a pullup bar for your garage, invest in a suspension trainer like TRX, find a playground jungle gym, or use an underhand grip on a firm tabletop. You can also sub in dumbbell rows.
Hom e Wor kou t
medicine Ball Lateral Hop with Stuck Landing
Warmup: 10 minutes of any cardio activity: 1 minute easy, 30 seconds hard (sprinting), 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard, 1 minute easy, 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard, and so on until you reach the 10-minute mark. repeat 4 times: EXERCISE
Pullup, Inverted Row, or Dumbbell/Barbell Row
*Same pace as warmup but for 15 minutes.
Warmup: 15 minutes of any cardio activity: 1 minute easy, 15 seconds hard (sprinting), 30 seconds easy, 15 seconds hard, 1 minute easy, 15 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy, 15 seconds hard, and so on until the 15 minutes are up. repeat 3 times: EXERCISE
Pushup Position Windmill** Windmill
6 reps per arm
5 rounds of 10 seconds on (sprinting); 10 seconds off (rest)
Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Medicine Ball Lateral Hop with Stuck Landing* Landing * Cardio**
20/30/40 15 minutes
*Reps increase each round. **Steady-state cardio activity of your choice. 148
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Hold a medicine ball underneath your chin as you would for a goblet squat. Explode laterally off one foot and land softly on the opposite leg. Make sure that the medicine ball stays in position and that your core is braced throughout.
Weighted Crunch Holding a plate, crunch upward. As you come back down, make sure not to fully rest at the bottom. The closer the weight is to your body, the more resistance youâ€™ll feel. If you have trouble completing all the reps, hold the weight farther away from your chest.
Skipping If youâ€™re serious about your fitness, thereâ€™s no excuse to not own a skipping rope. You can get one for less than (pounds) 6 at most sporting goods stores or online. If you want to go hardcore, splurge and get a weighted rope. Either way, get a rope.
hom e wor kou t
Lying Medicine Ball Russian Twist If you donâ€™t have a medicine ball at home, use any 2.5- to 9 kg object you have (other than a newborn baby).
Pushup Position Windmill From a pushup position, lift one arm off the ground and rotate your body until your arms form a straight line toward the ceiling. Bring your up arm back down to the pushup position, then repeat with the opposite arm. Thatâ€™s one rep.
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Barbell Row Bend at your hips so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle. With an underhand, wider-than-shoulderwider-than-sho width grip, grab the bar and row to your belly b button. Make sure you’re squeezing your shoulder shoulde blades together at the top of the movement. Use dumbbells if a barbell is unavailable.
Warmup: 5 minutes of any cardio activity, then skipping x 500 skips repeat 2 times: EXERCISE
Bulgarian Split Squat* Seated Medicine Ball Rotation Lying Medicine Ball Russian Twist* Cardio** **
12–15 per leg 30 12–16 30 min.
*Reps increase each round. **Cardio of your choice; steady-state with a 10-second “push” (burst of intensity) after every minute.
repeat Day 1 but do the exercise cluster three times through and add 10 minutes to the cardio and 100 skipping after each round.
repeat Day 2 but do the exercise cluster four times through and add 10 minutes to the cardio after each round.
take a 55-minute Walk OutsiDe, regardless of the weather. Dress accordingly.
WHEN IT CO COMES OMES TO O SHOWCASING SHO OWCA ASING HER RP PHYSIQUE, HYSIQ QUE, COURTNEY CO OURTNEY KING KNO KNOWS OWS HOW TO O COMMA COMMAND AND THE STAGE BY IAN COHEN PHOTOGRAPHS BY IAN SPANIER
MUSCLE & FITNESS
Keeping her eyes e on the prize has never been a problem for 22-year-old Courtney King. From an early age, the Chicago native was determined to come out on top, no matter the sport or event. “By the time I graduated high school, I wanted to become an IFBB pro athlete,” King admits. From that point forward there was no stopping the determined teen. She first stepped onstage at age 17 and made an instant splash,
MUSCLE & FITNESS
quickly racking up awards and taking top honours in a host of shows. Asked how she vaulted the ranks so fast, the confident competitor sums it up with one word: work. “Nothing in life is handed to you,” King says. “If you want to achieve success, go out and get it. To accomplish what you desire, no matter what it is, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. If you have the work ethic
and the drive, you will succeed.” Something else King attributes to her success as a competitor is a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. While her peers were out partying in high school, she forwent the common temptations that go with being a young adult and took the road less travelled. “The social norms that a teenage girl often follows, I never really did, because I was always so focussed on what I ultimately wanted.”
Clearly, all the sacrifice and brutal, body-sculpting workouts have paid off. Along with being a top-three Bikini Olympia contender and a three-time pro champ, the 165-cm, 55-kg beauty is also a BPI Sports athlete and Celestial Bodiez athlete. In addition, she’s a successful health-and-fitness lifestyle coach who creates customized plans to help clients reach their fitness
goals. And as any knowledgeable coach will tell you, exercise alone won’t get you to the promised land, which is why she puts as much emphasis on nutrition as she does exercise. “Nutrition is key to achieving the physique you want. The saying that you can’t out-train a bad diet is one I believe in 110%,” King emphatically states. Here are some of her top nutrition tips.
Portion Control: Of course you would love to eat the whole box of your favorite cereal, but it’s all about balance and controlling the amount you consume. That way, you can eat the things you like most—in moderation. Get Your Protein: Be sure to include protein in your meals throughout the day. I get my protein from lean whitefish, chicken, ground turkey, eggs, and whey protein shakes. Carb Up: Carbs are not evil. I incorporate lots of carbs into my diet depending on the times I train and what I’m training for. Carbs I prefer include porridge, quinoa, rice (brown and white), sweet potatoes, essential flaxseed bread, and Cheerios.
More Veggies: They’re packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals, so make sure to get enough servings of colourful, healthy vegetables each day.
Make a Meal Journal: Having a notebook or a journal to track your progress can have a very positive effect. It holds you accountable for what you’re eating each day.
Healthy Fats: It’s a fact: Avocados, walnuts, almond butter, olives, and flaxseed oil are healthy fats that are always welcome in my diet.
Train Your Brain: Are you truly hungry or just bored?
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Don’t be tempted with unhealthy foods by having them in the house. It’s the only way to guarantee you won’t eat them at a time of weakness. Spice Things Up: Adding different spices and seasonings to your meals can add much-needed flavour to keep your taste buds satisfied.
While King continues to reign as a dominant force in IFBB competition, she’s also keenly aware of the necessity to find a balance between fitness and all other aspects of life, including spending time with family and friends. “Fitness should play a vital role in your life, but you should allow room for other necessities that make you feel good about yourself. If you learn to love the journey, you will find yourself on the right path for success.”
HAIR & MAKEUP BY BRIT TANY SPYKSMA
MUSCLE & FITNESS
KINGâ€™S TROPHY CASE 2015 IFBB Dennis James Classic, 1st; 2013 Tampa Pro bikini, 1st; 2013 IFBB Europa Show of Champions bikini, 1st; NPC USA Championships bikini class D, 2nd (earned pro card)
MUSCLE & FITNESS
DEADLIFT BENCH PRESS BACK SQUAT
DITCH THE BIG THREE > The “big three” are overrated when it comes to building size. Try these alternatives for pain-free lifts that’ll spark enormous growth. BY ANDREW GUTMAN /// PHOTOGRAPHS BY PER BERNAL
IF YOU PLAN ON UPPING YOUR CALORIES, SCALING BACK on cardio, and
packing on mass, then we’re willing to bet that your training regimen centres around the big three: back squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. Because adding mass without these compound lifts is simply impossible, right? Not exactly. Paul Carter, a strength coach and hypertrophy guru swears by not using them, especially when it comes to training around injuries and hitting angles that will better target your muscles for growth.
Back training is considered incomplete without the deadlift, but the but the move move isn’t isn’t aa one-way one-way ticket ticket to to gains. gains. “If “If someone someone is is trying to focus on building his lats, traps, and rhomboids, the deadlift doesn’t put any of those areas into a lengthened position. Which means the hamstrings, glutes, and quads are doing the brunt of the work,” explains Carter. These alternatives emphasize time-under-tension (TUT) while retaining the strength benefits of the deadlift.
Deficit Stiff-leg Deadlift BENEFIT: HYPERTROPHY Standard stiff-leg deads primarily work the hamstrings and glutes. Adding a slight knee bend and lifting the weight from a ten-centimetre deficit puts the lats and upper back in a more lengthened position. In the end, your back—not your hammies—does most of the work throughout the set. DO IT: Stand on top of a box or a few stacked plates, set up like a regular deadlift, but with a slight bend in your knees. Refrain from resting the weight at any point to keep tension on the muscles in your back.
DI TC H T H E B IG T H R E E
For guys with longer legs and a shorter torso, the traditional back squat can prove problematic prove problematic to to execute execute with with proper proper mechanics. “Not mechanics. “Not every every guy guy will will have have the the leverage of leverage of someone someone like like Tom Tom Platz, Platz, who could squat to rock bottom and stay completely upright,” explains Carter.
Safety Bar Squat BENEFIT: STRENGTH The safety bar shifts the centre of mass of the weight, taking some of the strain off your lower back while forcing you to stay upright. You can handle highvolume leg work with the safety bar but be sure to focus on keeping your torso vertical. DO IT: Grip the pegs for control, descend into a squat and be sure to not round your back forward on the way up.
Smith Machine and Hack Squats BENEFIT: HYPERTROPHY Because your feet are placed so far out in front of you during both exercises, you’ll produce more knee flexion— they’ll travel forward—leaving your quads to do the brunt of the work. 162
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Barbell row BenefitS: StaBility, Size The barbell row isn’t a direct deadlift variation but it’s one of the best movements for increasing your deadlift strength while adding size to your lats and traps. The benefit comes from rowing the weight in a static position, which strengthens your core and lower back for deadlifts. Do it: Maintain a 45-degree slant with your torso and row the weight to your belly button, pulling with your elbows.
Dorian Deadlift Benefit: Strength Named after six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, this variation eliminates the bottom portion of the movement, putting the upper back into a more stretched position. “Done properly, it strengthens your thoracic extensors—a collection of small muscles in your back that extend your spine—but keeps the lumbar spine in a safe, neutral position,” adds Carter. Do it: Set up like you would for a regular deadlift but lower the weight to the middle of your shin, then explode back up instead of bringing the weight to the floor.
s h o t o n l o c at i o n at g l o b a l f i t n e s s i n c . , g a r d e n a , c a
DI TC H T H E B IG T H R E E
THE BENCH PRESS
The move often becomes a source of shoulder and elbow pain. Two common reasons for this include poor shoulder mobility (see Carter’s shoulder warmup routine on page 96 for aa ﬁx), fix), or or the the bar bar preventing preventing the the lifter lifter from from moving moving naturally. naturally. Ease the pain while increasing the tension on the muscle with the following bench-press variations:
Dumbbell Bench Press BENEFIT: INJURY PREVENTION These allow your joints to travel in a more natural path than when they’re locked in place when using a barbell. DO IT: Keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle and lower the dumbbells until they touch your chest, then explode the weight back up.
Cambered Bar Bench Press BENEFITS: STRENGTH, STABILITY The curve lengthens the path that the weight travels and allows for more of a stretch throughout the movement.
DO IT: Use the same grip you would for a standard barbell bench press. Just make sure to start light. At first, there’s a good chance it’ll feel unstable. G R O O M I N G B Y B R I T TA N Y S P Y K S M A
DI TC H T H E B IG T H R E E
BENEFIT: HYPERTROPHY The guillotine press stretches your pec fibres in the way that they naturally lay across your joints; a standard bench press doesn’t. DO IT: Grasp the bar wider than shoulder width. Unrack the bar and lower the weight to your neck, keeping your elbows out entirely to the sides.
CARTER’S SHOULDER WARMUP
Rather than put a Band-Aid on the issue and avoid exercises like the guillotine and cambered bar press, you should address poor shoulder mobility so that you can perform them. They’re effective to have in your mass-building arsenal.
here’s how to get big without the big three. Use this flexible three-day training template as a guide. Accessory work is your responsibility, though Carter provided some examples for guidance. Start with lower reps and heavier weight to hit your type IIA fibres and central nervous system for strength gains. Then you’ll lighten the load and work up to a set of 20 for optimal growth.
Shoulder WarmuP EXERCISE
CheST, ShoulderS, TriCePS SETS
*Hold a stick or band with a very wide grip at your thighs. Lift the object overhead and behind your back. Bring it back. That’s one rep.
6, 12, 20
Low Incline Cable Crossover
Reverse pec Deck
pJR pullover* pullover
Day 1: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Day 2: Back & Biceps Day 3: Legs Note: Each week, replace each exercise with any variation of a similar exercise.
*PJR Pullover: Do a DB pullover with elbows significantly bent. Extend elbows to activate the triceps when lifting the weight.
6, 12, 20
Underhand Barbell Row
DB Shrug with pause
preacher Curl and Incline DB Curl
Back Squat Alternative
6, 12, 20
Lying Leg Curl
Smith Machine Split Squat
MUscle & fitness
MUSCLE & FITNESS
TIPS FOR HEALTHIER (HAPPIER!) HOLIDAYS
Season’s greetings got you feeling stressed? Relax—we asked top fitness, nutrition, and health experts for their favourite tips to help make your Christmas a breeze. REPORTED BY CAT PERRY, DIANA KELLY, SARAH LEE & KRISTIN MAHONEY
For fresh training and diet motivation, head to muscleandfitness.com/hers. Follow us on Twitter and Pinterest @MandFHers, on Instagram @MuscleandFitnessHers, and like us on Facebook.
If you’re a regular gymgoer, you likely already do split routines, working different muscles on different days. “That’s fine when you can control your own schedule every day of the week. But over the holidays, when obligations pile up, so do the missed workouts. That’s why it makes sense to switch to total-body workouts, hitting all your muscles each time you lift,” says Lou Schuler, author of Strong: Nine Workout Programmes for Women to Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, and Build Strength for Life. You’ll get more from each workout and probably gain some muscle and increase strength, according to a surprising recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. “The lifters assigned to do total-body workouts gained more strength and size than the ones doing body-part splits, most of whom had previously used split routines,” adds Schuler.
MUSCLE & FITNESS
PREVIOUS SPREAD: CARLOS HERNANDEZ/CORBIS. THIS PAGE: SASA NIKOLIC/GET T Y IMAGES
SWITCH TO FULL-BODY WORKOUTS
02 HIIT This WOD TIP
On a day when you know there will be temptations galore, do this sweat session from Blair Morrison, author of 365 WODs. It’ll set your body up to fry calories throughout the festivities. Do
this Workout of the Day outside or on a treadmill. Each kilometre represents a break from running but not a break from the workout. Pick the level that works the best for your schedule and fitness capacity.
K A ZUTOMO K AWAI/GE T T Y IMAGES
DON’T GO TO THE GROCERY STORE AFTER WORK Participants in a study by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab tended to buy higher-calorie items between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. If you can, shop just after a meal in the morning or after lunch.
Level I: Run 5 km. After every km complete 30 air squats + 30 pushups. Level II: Run 6.5 km. After every km complete 40 air squats + 40 pushups. Level III: Run 8 km. After every km complete 50 air squats + 50 pushups.
04 Have Some Afternoon Delight TIP
05 Beat Belly Bloat TIP
Potassium-rich foods can help flush out sodium, which makes the body retain fluids. “Swap your ice cream cone for a frozen banana, nix toast
EAT IT & DELETE IT
Crush holiday calories with these easy activity fixes from Rowley
EAT IT: 1 GLASS OF WHITE WINE (121 CALORIES) DELETE IT: 32 MINUTES OF WALKING
EAT IT: 1 GLASS OF LIGHT BEER (102 CALORIES) DELETE IT: 12 MINUTES OF JOGGING
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with your morning eggs and instead enjoy a bloat-busting grapefruit, and replace your starchy rice at dinner with a portion-controlled baked or sweet potato,” says Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., founder of Nourish Snacks and Nutrition and the health expert for NBC’s Today Show.
06 Eat Out Smarter TIP
Hitting a chain restaurant with family or friends? You’ll find some surprisingly healthy menu options at some of these popular eateries.
EAT IT: 1 CUP OF EGGNOG (344 CALORIES) DELETE IT: 29 MINUTES OF SWIMMING
EAT IT: 1 SERVING OF STUFFING (108 CALORIES) DELETE IT: 28 MINUTES OF WALKING
EAT IT: 1 CANDY CANE (60 CALORIES) DELETE IT: 7 MINUTES OF JOGGING
FOLLOW THESE 3 HEALTHY FOOD FIXES Go light on lunch: “Combining simple vegetables with a protein like chicken or fish will help you fill up on healthy proteins and fibre without wasting calories,” says John Rowley, best-selling author, certified trainer, and director of wellness for the International Sports Science Association. Steer clear: “Swap heavy, creamy soups and creamed dishes at dinner for cooked vegetables and low-fat or clear soups,” Rowley says. Use your noodle: Spaghetti squash and courgette noodles give that same pasta-noodle consistency without the carbs. Make your own pasta sauce or just toss noodles with olive oil and garlic. Add a protein, like chicken or turkey meatballs, for a healthier twist on a traditional favourite.
I M A G E S O U R C E / C O R B I S ; D I E T E R L E N / C O R B I S ; P AT R I C K L L E W E LY N DAV IES/G E T T Y IM AG ES; A NDRE A BRIC C O/G E T T Y IM AG ES; NG O C MINH & JULIAN WASS/GE T T Y IMAGES; LE W ROBERT SON/GE T T Y IMAGES
Here’s a fun way to ease holiday stress: Spend a little time between the sheets. It may not burn massive calories (researchers from University of Alabama-Birmingham found the average burn rate during intercourse is about 3.5 calories a minute), but having satisfying sex can help boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure so you can handle the Christmas crush with ease. Invest in
a great organic water-based lube like Good Clean Love (goodcleanlove. com) that’s free of the petrochemicals like propylene glycol, which may increase the risk of yeast infections and STIs.
08 Open Up a New Supplement Sup TIP
To slim down in a hurry, try taking ta a supplement that includes glucomannan, a natural dietary fibre that may help relieve bloat and constipation and boost weight loss. Glucomannan is derived from the konjac root, and it may also help stabilize blood sugar, which means you won’t have as hard a crash if you’ve had a few sweets or cocktails. Try GNC Total Lean Chitosan with Glucomannan (gnc.com).
09 Train While You Travel
PERK UP WITH PROBIOTICS ship manager for a weekly or daily pass. (Be ( sure to allot 30 minutes during the first firs visit for walking the gym with the membership manager.) Some day passes may even be free; or find boutique gyms that offer a free first-timer day pass.
10 Chill Out to Burn More Calories TIP
TIP T O PI C PH O T O AG EN CY/ C O R B IS
Being on the road is no excuse for sacrificing your fitness. Before booking a hotel, ask the concierge about the hotel gym, or search the Web to find a full gym close to your preferred hotel, then ask its member-
Women who experience one or more stressful events the day before a big meal burned 104 fewer calories than those who kept calm, despite consuming the same foods, according to a study from Ohio State University. They also had higher insulin levels, which causes fat storage.
Recent research shows that the depression symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can be greatly influenced by gut health. Eating foods rich in probiotics—such as sauerkraut, kimchi,, and kefir—as kefir as well as prebiotics, such as Jerusalem artichokes and jicama, may strengthen your microbiome, says Raphael Kellman, M.D., founder of the Kellman Centre for Integrative and Functional Medicine and author of The Microbiome Diet. That in turn can have positive effects on mood and a significant impact on relieving symptoms of SAD. Watch out: A few surprising foods may make symptoms worse, including dried or tinned fruits, juices, potatoes, and sweet potatoes—all of which feed glucose and/or starch to unhealthy bacteria.
SQUEEZE IN A SWEAT SESSION
For a great do-anywhere workout, try this tough routine from CrossFit trainer Erica Giovinazzo. Try to get through this circuit as many times as possible in 30 minutes. Run (1 minute) Pushups (10 reps) Situps (15 reps) Skip (1 minute) Body-weight squats (20 reps) Clapping pushups (5 reps) Toe touches (lie faceup with legs in air, reaching for toes; 15 reps) V-ups (10 reps) Jump squats (15 reps) Skip (1 minute) Burpees (1 minute) Up-down planks (forearm to full plank; 10 reps) Lunges (10 reps per side)
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13 Find Carbs That Calm TIP
Your brain is naturally drawn to comfort foods loaded with carbs. “Carbohydrates release a chemical in the brain called serotonin, which is the ‘ahh’ chemical that makes you feel better,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., creator of betterthandieting .com and author of Read It Before You Eat It. Just choose your carbs wisely. Go for whole-grain carbs like whole-wheat toast with almond butter that will last longer in your system.
14 Power Your Plate TIP
Don’t let the Thanksgiving feast leave you feeling like a stuffed turkey. “Load your plate with white meat and veggies first (no butter, please!), then add smaller amounts of traditional favourites you don’t want to pass up,” says trainer Julie Lohre, an IFBB fitness pro. “Fill 70% of your plate with the healthiest options available, then let the other 30% be whatever else you want.”
15 Think Half-full
T IM TA D D ER / C O R B I S
We know it’s nice to celebrate with a glass or two of something bubbly, but be careful because too much of the strong stuff can make for empty calories and more uninhibited eating. On the other hand, research by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab has shown that those who never pour more than half a glass of wine at a time drink about 18% less. Try using glasses that are tall and thin, which appear fuller, so you’re less likely to overpour.
16 Make Hosting Easy TIP
“Stock your kitchen with flavour bombs that can give a healthy edge to your culinary entertaining,” suggests Brad Farmerie, chef/ proprietor of six food and beverage properties in New York City and one in Moscow. Focus on ingredients that will liven up any dish and impress your guests, he adds. Olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers/caper berries, pickled peppers (Peppadew), feta cheese, miso, sriracha, and harissa all have a long refrigerated shelf life and can make meals memorable with pops of colour, acidity, and flavour.
17 “Pear” Down the Booze TIP
To help slow down alcohol absorption, try drinking juice that contains Asian pears before imbibing. Research shows that this fruit may speed up the enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism and hasten alcohol’s elimination from the bloodstream. The fruit also helps reduce blood levels of acetaldehyde, a toxic metabolic often blamed for hangovers.
FOR MORE tips and advice,
THE LAST WORD
follow M&F Editor in Chief Shawn Perine on Twitter: @shawnperine
MICHAEL PHELPS’ DNA has helped him win 23 gold medals.
Genetics, Genetics, Genetics
No matter how hard you train, achieving greatness comes down to having superior DNA. titled “Get Small,” in which I discussed the importance of coming to terms with your genetic lot. In my case, this came with the realization that no matter how hard I trained, I would never get big enough to be a 176
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successful competitive bodybuilder, regardless of my ambitions. I received more responses to that column than all others put together. Clearly, the message resonated with readers who also found themselves in a tug-of-war between aspiration and reality.
LAST YEAR I wrote a column
I was reminded of this as I watched the Summer Olympics. The Olympic Games are a celebration of athletic achievement, heralded as a place where childhood dreams, years of hard work, and unwavering focus converge to create awe-inspiring moments of human performance. This is all true. But there is also a piece to this puzzle, perhaps the biggest one, that is almost never mentioned: genetics. Michael Phelps is the greatest swimmer—and perhaps Olympian (Winter or Summer)—of all time in part because of his work ethic and desire, but they are hardly enough to earn 23 gold medals. His height, torso-toleg length, hand and foot size, shoulder width, aerobic capacity, fast- to slow-twitch muscle-fibre ratio, and on and on, are all integral pieces to the most prolific swimmer in history. His genetic makeup is the difference between being just some regional swimming champ and the greatest ever. The same holds true for baseball players, basketball stars, and IFBB pro bodybuilders. Their success is largely predicated on having a genetic leg up on the rest of us. Pair that with hard work and drive and you have Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This doesn’t apply only to physical traits: Albert Einstein wasn’t able to postulate the theory of relativity simply because he studied harder than other physicists. I write this not to crush your dreams, but to unburden your mind. Don’t beat yourself up just because some guy at the gym grows twice as fast as you despite training half as hard, or because you can’t seem to get as lean as one of our models. Know that your body is uniquely your own, warts and all, and learn to maximize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses. Embrace your own DNA. Go ahead and make the most of it. Your greatness should never be measured in comparison with others: It is your own and as great as anyone else’s.
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