Is Alcohol Killing Your Physique?

I hope you’re not one of those guys that think, “If I train hard in the gym, the drinks I had from partying this week are cancelled out.” Think again. I truly hate to burst your liquid beer bubble, but alcohol can impact your body’s ability to burn fat and also lead the way to severe health problems down the road.

Alcohol is a toxin, plain and simple. When you down a few beers, your body on the inside immediately goes to work to break it down.  Alcohol (ethanol) is broken down into Acetyl CoA and NADH by an enzyme . What does this medical mumbo-jumbo mean for an athlete like you? Is booze actually even worse for athletes than it is for couch potatoes?

Get the rest of the story at  Bodybuilding.com.

Jedi Mind Tricks to Beat Your Food Addiction

With the new Star Wars movie hitting theaters soon, I found it appropriate to fully engage jedi mind tricks. It’s time to use the power of the force to beat your food addiction.

Food is a drug. This is an undeniable fact. Like cocaine, you can become physiologically addicted and the body shows withdrawal symptoms. The body will also feel a “high” in the brain after consuming food. Eating when you’re emotional (stressed) produces real, physiological relief like taking a Valium.

People are still suggesting to use willpower and discipline to fight cravings and beat food addiction, but that isn’t the solution.

You need JEDI MIND TRICKS.
Your entire approach has to be different from just “fighting it.”

Figure Out Your Eating Type – Then Dominate It

In Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink, PhD, he cleverly put many of us into five main categories based on our eating habits. Although categories aren’t new, his “catchy” category names can help you remember which kind of eater you are.

A. The Meal Stuffer – Meal stuffers eat primarily during mealtimes, but they stuff themselves and eat to excess. They often eat so quickly that they’re uncomfortably full after. These are the people with “great appetites” and often go back for seconds.

A man lying on a couch with sweets and popcorn in a mess

B. Snack Grazer – Snack grazers reach for food whenever it’s available. Convenience is usually the main reason. In other words, when food is available, they will constantly eat it as long as it’s there. Snacking is sometimes a nervous habit or something to do when bored. It’s popular for them to snack when watching TV, on the computer or reading.

C. The Party Binger – Party bingers usually work in corporate environments. Food is either a backdrop for business or fun and it’s easy to lose track of how much they eat or drink. Lots of social events, happy hours and business meetings equals lots of food and eating out.

D. The Restaurant Indulger – Restaurant indulgers are people who frequently eat out a lot at restaurants. Sometimes these are young college kids, other times they’re professionals who work a lot and don’t want to/don’t have time to cook. Thus, they eat out every day. Or, they simply enjoy restaurants – they eat whatever cuisine they want and don’t have to wash dishes. Restaurant dining is their simple life luxury.

Stress uomo in carriera

E. Desktop/Dashboard Diner – Desktop diners speed eat while multitasking on the computer or driving. They usually do it to save time, but also do it just to avoid the hassle of getting a real lunch. These people often eat alone and are more focused on the tasks they are working on opposed to what they are putting in their mouth.


Now that you know your own eating type, avoid going to the dark side. Prepare for these situations by having escape plans and strategically build your day around them.


An easy secret is to: (1) know your cues, and (2) avoid them. Spend time for 1-2 weeks recording a few things in writing:

  • What time of the day do I crave food?
  • What moods make me crave food?
  • In what situations do I usually over eat?
  • With what people do I usually eat the wrong foods?
  • What places usually end up causing craving? (Do you pass a bakery on your drive to work and “have” to eat a morning bagel with cream cheese?)

Swap the routine. So, let’s say you know that you eat food when you’re bored. Every time you start to feel bored, find something to do. For example, if you’re at home and you’re tempted to stream Netlix and grab a bowl of popcorn, instead turn off the TV and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Or, make a task list of home chores that need to be done and start checking them off one-by-one. Be productive.

portrait one sad man standing near a wall and covers his face

Do you suffer from mental chatter? I know that I do. I have a lot of self-talk going on when I try to fight food cravings. The more you focus on trying to talk yourself out of something, the stronger it becomes and the more it steals your attention. One of the easiest things you can do in regard to your mind is change your mental chatter.


Instead of looking at the ice cream and saying to yourself, “Oh man, that is my favorite flavor and tastes so good, ” tell yourself the truth, “I know I can’t have just one bite…I’ll eat the whole thing.” Next, remind yourself of your goals, “I will feel down on myself and totally regret this.”


I find that it’s helpful to not just “think” these thoughts, but to verbally say them. The mind is powerful, but what you say is even more powerful. Hear yourself say, “I don’t eat french fries or any fried foods” or “cheesecake will kill my gains.” It will quickly become part of your identity and pretty soon your mental chatter will end.

This doesn’t mean you can never eat a treat again. First, you need to fully control the addiction. Never “reward” yourself with food. Though it may seem impossible now, once you stop eating unhealthy foods, your body will eventually stop craving it. Sugar is the biggest food addiction, so when you conquer that one, be proud of your accomplishment.

The force is strong with you. Stronger than you think.

 

4 Tips To Avoid Workout Burnout

We all know that January is the time of year when the gym is packed to maximum capacity. Bodybuilders easily consider this the most dreaded month at the gym. You can’t find a bench, people are curling in the squat rack and weights are all over the floor.

Thankfully, the “New Year’s resolution” members get weeded out within a month or two if they even make it that long. There are a few that actually hold strong to their new fitness promise and stick with it. Bravo! But, the year is far from over. It’s only August, yet this is month many newbies start to burnout.

Ironically, this is also the time many old-school hard hitters get a bit tired. It’s the end of summer, after all. We’ve been playing in the sun with our shirts off, showing off our ripped physiques and tearing it up with the weights. When the shirts go back on, some of us tend to take it a bit easier on the bench.

Here are 4 of the best tricks to avoid workout burnout:

tired bodybuilder athlete with protein shaker and towel in gym

1. Stop Being A Hater

You don’t like to squat because your knees hurt. You don’t like to bench press because your gym partner benches more than you do. You don’t like to do push-ups because you think they’re pointless. The list goes on and you sound like a baby. Sure, we all have specific workouts we hate to do. Many guys dread leg day and you’ve seen plenty of photographic proof: guys with huge tops and small bottoms. What you hate is usually what you’re worst at, so push yourself harder. Don’t injure yourself, but don’t make excuses either.

Man in gym with weights bar, biceps exercise

2. Stop The “Deja Vu” Routine

Every week is the same: Bicep Mondays, Tricep Tuesdays, Leg Wednesdays, Chest/Back Thursdays and Shoulder Fridays. You’ve got to mix up your workout routine before you drag yourself into the pits of dreading your workouts. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, you’re going to bore yourself (and your muscles) to the point of no return. Changing up your workout routine will not only perk up your gym days, it will break you out of any plateaus.

bodybuilder

3. Stop Over-training

Did you know that stress hormones (primarily cortisol) reach abnormally high levels when you over-train? You’re also more apt to plateau. Athletes must put their bodies under a certain amount of stress to increase physical capabilities. If the stress loads are appropriate, then the athlete’s performance will improve. If the stress loads are inappropriate, then the athlete will enter a state of over-training and burnout. If you think you’re going to get better gains by over-training, think again.

man thinking

4. Stop Being Your Worst Critic

Yeah, you heard me right. Stop beating yourself up. When you’re working out, you need to be a positive coach and your biggest fan wrapped into one. Push yourself harder without sounding like a sadistic drill sergeant. Don’t look in the mirror and hang your head in shame because you don’t look like Arnold. Just remember that the days you are most confident you’re going to lift better and also enjoy being there. It should be the time in your day that you’re proud of yourself and what you’re accomplishing.

Workout burnout is all too common and happens every day. I’ve known plenty of guys who were once at the top of their game only to get burnt out and lose it all. They went back to square one and nobody wants that. The gym became more of a thing they “had” to do opposed to something they “wanted” to do. These four tips will help you keep the gym in a positive perspective and also optimize your time while you’re there.

Tristan "Lucky"Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

 

8 Stupid Gym Mistakes To Avoid

Every time you walk onto the weight floor, you’ll see guys using bad form or doing exercises that make you cringe. Those are just two of the many possible ways that lead to huge setbacks in terms of gains. We all make mistakes in the gym, yet some are not as obvious as others.

To save yourself time, get faster results and make your workouts more effective, avoid these following 8 mistakes:

1. WAITING FOR EQUIPMENT

Lines at the gym are bound to form during peak workout hours. The best option is to head to the gym during off-hours either early in the morning or after 7 p.m. once the after-work crowds have finished. No matter how busy the gym is, you should never have to stall your routine in order to wait for equipment. Come prepared with a Plan B routine to stay moving rather than wasting your time waiting for a bench to open up.

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2. SKIPPING THE WARMUP

Dodging the pre-workout warmup is a surefire way to injure yourself when you hit it hard at the gym. Have a dedicated warmup that involves bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, pushups and jumping jacks to elevate your heart rate prior to attacking the weights.

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3. CARDIO BEFORE LIFTING

Cardio can be detrimental when done at the wrong time. Completing a 30-minute job before a set of heavy squats may increase your heart rate and act as a warm-up, but by the time you get under the bar, you’ll be fatigued which can lead to poor form or potential injury. Get your form-intensive lifting session done first, then hit the cardio area.

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4. NOT TIMING REST PERIODS

According to Jason Ferruggia, head strength coach at Renegade Strength and Conditioning, “most guys should be in and out of the gym in 60 minutes, including warm-up, cool-down and a good lifting session.” To make that possible, avoid wasting precious moments in between sets of an exercise. Wear a stopwatch or use an app on your phone to limit yourself to under a minute. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you finish your workout.

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5. WORK CORE AT THE END

If you leave your core work until the end of your workout, you’re likely to cut it short. When you’re tired and nearing the end of a lifting session, the last thing you will want to do is multiple sets of planks, side planks and leg raises. Instead, get the core training out of the way early by incorporating the same moves in between exercises.

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6. FORGETTING YOUR WATER BOTTLE

Although it may seem trivial in terms of your overall routine, leaving your water bottle at home forces many guys to head to the water fountain in between sets. The result – wasted time in between exercises. To keep your workout going strong, bring your own bottle and fill it up beforehand.

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7. NOT PLANNING AHEAD

Walking onto the weight floor without a plan for your workout is like heading into the grocery store without a shopping list. You’ll end up aimlessly wandering back and forth, spending way more time than necessary. Your plan of action should be well-thought out in advance. Include the exercises, sets and reps as well as the order you want to do them in so you can plan your route around the gym floor.

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8. SAME MACHINES, SETS & REPS

Doing the exact same workout week after week will prevent new gains and lead to burnout. Failing to impose any new challenges on your muscles – such as increasing the weight you use or number of reps your perform – simply helps keep them the same size, whereas pushing yourself harder than you’re accustomed to will actually motivate new muscle and strength.

It’s not too late to correct your mistakes and push the gas pedal to speedy muscle growth. Knowledge is power. You now know 8 stupid mistakes to avoid in the gym. Now it’s time to learn about the 8 ways to lose muscle: read now

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

8 Ways to Lose Muscle

If you’re weight training, your goal is to gain muscle, not lose muscle. Unfortunately, some guys make disastrous mistakes that cost them precious gains. If you’re hitting it hard at the gym and not seeing the muscle growth you should be seeing, read this list. You may recognize that you are guilty of some of these.

healthy lifestyle, diet and people concept - close up of male hands with food rich in protein on cutting board on table

1. YOU DON’T EAT ENOUGH

While extra calories can mean extra belly fat, if you’re lifting consistently and correctly, most of what you’re taking in should be converted into muscle. The truth is that your muscles will never grow without a surplus of calories. For a lean guy looking to put on muscle mass, 2,000 calories a day won’t cut it. In fact, this kind of restricted diet is actually the ideal recipe for losing muscle tissue and sparing fat as it causes the body to shift into starvation mode and shed calorie-consuming muscle. It also makes you store fat for emergency energy. And the less protein you eat, the less of a chance you give your muscles to recover after a workout.

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Running Outdoors

2. YOU AMP UP YOUR CARDIO

There are three ways that cardio typically cancels out muscle gains: doing it too often, doing it for too long or doing it on an empty stomach. In general, daily cardio sessions simply burn too many cumulative calories to allow you the surplus you need for muscle mass. The same can be said for sessions that last 45 minutes or more.

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Young Man Working Out Back

3. YOU FAVOR BODY-PART WORKOUTS

Breaking your training down into chest days, back days and arm days overworks some muscles and neglects others. It’s an old-school way to train, meaning it’s incredibly outdated. Most guys still do it and may make gains for awhile, but their progress eventually comes to a halt usually due to injuries. Body-part routines also prevent your biggest muscles from ever learning to work together in the kinds of coordinated effort you need to lift really heavy weights.

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Strething exercise after workout

4. YOU DON’T STRETCH

Boring? Definitely. But stretching has been shown to speed up recovery and increase a muscle’s range of motion, making more room for muscle fibers to grow. Simply lifting weights will increase your risk for injury and severely limit your ability to move athletically and with proper form.

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Dinner plate with clock face on wooden table

5. YOU EAT SPORADICALLY

It’s true that eating infrequently is nearly as bad as not eating at all. When you go more than three hours without food, your metabolism slows significantly. When that happens, every time you do get a meal, there’s a good chance that a large percentage of it will be stored as fat. Why? Blame your body. Without food, your body slips back into starvation mode and starts to think it needs to hold on to every calorie it can get.

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close up of man drinking protein shake

6. YOU DON’T DRINK SHAKES

Chugging a protein-and-carb mixture after your workout starts the recovery process immediately, replenishing lost glycogen (your muscles’ energy stores) and providing the nutrients your body requires to repair muscle and grow more of it. Skipping the protein shake and casually waiting an hour or more for your next meal is like ignoring a cry for help.

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sleepyhead

7. YOU DON’T GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Sleep is when muscle repair happens. Getting 6 or fewer hours of shut-eye a night limits your body’s natural production of crucial muscle-building chemicals, such as growth hormone.  Too much activity outside of your workouts, such as playing sports, all-night parties and extra stress – which are fine in moderation, but dangerous in excess – also cut into muscle gains.

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Routine written on multiple road sign

8. YOU RARELY ALTER YOUR ROUTINE

Doing the exact same workout week after week will prevent new gains and lead to burnout. Failing to impose any new challenges on your muscles – such as increasing the weight you use or number of reps your perform – simply helps keep them the same size, whereas pushing yourself harder than you’re accustomed to will actually motivate new muscle and strength.

It’s not too late to correct your mistakes and push the gas pedal to speedy muscle growth. Knowledge is power. You now know 8 ways to lose muscle. Now it’s time to learn about the 5 forgotten muscles you can’t ignore: read now

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

5 Steps To Reduce Rage

It’s not rocket science to know that building muscle aids in boosting testosterone. One of the characteristics of high-T males that is most commonly documented is their drive toward dominance and reactive aggression.

Some people are prone to rage more than others, but anger is a feeling that many of us could use a bit of help in handling. The choices we make when angry can often come back to haunt us, but the cycle is hard to break. Anger has power – but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with that power, from letting it control you, to wielding it in a way that spurs you on to something positive.

Here are 5 ways to tame your inner raging bull:

seinfeld

1. Do the Opposite – Remember that Seinfeld episode when George turned his life around by doing the opposite of what he thought he should do? Well, think of this as the Seinfeld approach to anger management. Do the opposite of what you feel like doing when you’re mad. Instead of lashing out, develop empathy. The next time you feel like swearing at the guy who cut you off, just remind yourself that few people are jerks on purpose. You’ve probably been guilty of doing the same thing a time or two.

sickgym2

2. Blow Off Steam Wisely – After you’ve acknowledged your physiological response to anger, trying to tell yourself to stay calm is one of the worst things you can do (second only to being told to calm down). As a human being, you’re programmed to act out when you feel threatened and angry. You need to release the rage in a healthy way so do what you already love: push-ups, bicep curls, squats…hit the gym and take it out on the weights.

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3. Choose Your Words Carefully – When anger’s talking, steer clear of using the words “never” and “always.” Such as “You’re always telling me what to do!” or “You never let me hang out with the guys!” Not only are you stating inaccurate accusations, you’re alienating people who might otherwise work to find a solution. Once you’ve cooled off (refer to #2), try expressing how you feel in a direct, non-confrontational way.

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4. Rest Your Body and Mind – Sleep helps you function at your mental and physical best. In fact, good sleep improves your mood, your immune system and even your metabolism. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more stress hormones. A lack of sleep significantly ups your chances of blowing up at someone.

No Beer

5. Drink Responsibly – When you’re thinking, “Damn. I need a drink,” think again. The trouble with alcohol is that it doesn’t relieve high anxiety or anger issues and could actually make them worse. In some people, drinking when super tense can underscore the dark side of whatever stressed them out and push them over the edge. If you’re stressed to the max and know alcohol can bite you back, grab your iPod and cool off (refer to #2).

In a nonstop world of challenges pushing you from annoyed to enraged, remember the toll anger takes on your health. If left unchecked, anger clamps down on your blood vessels and can even promote impotence. Not good. Plus, strong negative emotions mess with your blood pressure and hormone function and provoke inflammation. To make the change for a better mood, figure out what makes you happy and start doing it as often as possible.

Tristan "Lucky"Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Working Out Can Be A Pain

Lifting heavy weights can wear down our joints over time and sometimes lead to injury that keeps us out of the gym from weeks to months. Personally, my knees take a beating from squats and my shoulders, elbows, hands and ankles will have ongoing phases of painful joints and inflammation.

Portrait of a muscle fitness man reaching for his knee in pain

You can always use wraps, apply some topical cream and do hot/cold therapy to help ease the pain, but I like to beat the game and I’m sure you do too. Instead of waiting for the pain to arrive and reach for an anti-inflammatory (like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen), the best thing you can do for joint pain is to PREVENT it from happening. There are a few natural ways you can lubricate your joints effectively allowing you to maximize your results in the gym. Time off can steal your gains that you’ve worked so hard for and nobody wants that.

Numerous research has indicated that glucosamine and chondroitin help with joint pain and improve function. Both of these substances are components of cartilage, which helps cushion the bones and protect the joints.

Supplement FactsGlucosamine is an amino sugar and part of the structure of chitin which actually compose the exoskeletons of crustaceans and other anthropods. Glucosamine is commonly sold in a variety of forms including: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetylglucosamine.

Chondrotin sulfate is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) composed of a chain of alternating sugars. Chondrotin chains can contain over 100 individual sugars and is proven to be an important structural component of cartilage, proving resistance to compression.

My supplement of choice is Synotrex which combines both glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. Synotrex even goes a step further by adding Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which is used for chronic pain and joint inflammation.

Synotrex provides a dual effect to provide joint pain relief since it (1) promotes the growth of new cartilage, (2) while helping to keep the cartilage from deteriorating further.

synotrex (1)Synotrex was my answer to preventing joint pain and inflammation. Even if you’re already suffering from joint pain, Synotrex guarantees you will experience pain relief within 30 days and offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, which I think is excellent.  Most companies only offer 30-day guarantees, if any at all.

No, I’m not being paid by the company to write this. I’m letting you know about a product I’ve personally taken for over a year with my daily supplement routine. No gimmicks, just facts.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

13 Alternatives to Peanut Butter

The love affair with peanut butter usually begins in childhood with the ever-so-wonderful PB&J sandwiches in your lunchbox. We would also slather that peanut goodness on apples, celery (ants on a log), crackers or just grab a big spoon and dig in. Today, the classic peanut butter we all fondly remember has competition from a variety of nut and seed butters. Some offer greater nutrition than peanut butter, while others are better left on the store shelf.

To help you pick, we’ve listed 13 nut and seed butters that include their nutritional information (based on 2-tablespoon servings):

pecan nuts in a rustic scoop against a grunge wood background

Almond – Nutrition facts: 190 calories, 18g fat (2g sat fat), 7g protein
Almond butter is a great source of omega-6 fatty acids and a better source of omega-3 fatty acids than peanut butter. Benefits: Almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut, meaning they’ve got the highest concentration of nutrients per calorie and ounce. We’re talking potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. Other studies have found that eating almonds (the raw variety, at least) can help lower blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL.

Close up of a coconut and grounded coconut flakes

Coconut – Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 18g fat (16g sat fat), 2g protein
Coconut offers minimal omega-6 and barely any omega-3 fatty acids. Benefits: For thousands of years, people have been eating this heart-healthy nut that supports the immune system, boosts metabolism and can even help prevent bacterial infection. Cons: There’s not too much protein in a serving of coconut butter and the saturated fat content’s pretty high. So be sure to spread a limited amount on fortified bread or another great protein source.

Close up of hazelnuts on the wooden texture

Hazelnut –  Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 17g fat (1g sat fat), 4g protein
Like peanut butter, hazelnuts are a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, but don’t offer too much omega-3. Benefits: Also known as “filberts,” hazelnuts are packed with the good stuff: protein, fiber, vitamin E, copper and manganese. Cons: The problem is that a serving of hazelnut butter has about half the amount of protein that peanut butter has; therefore, it’s best to pair the butter with fortified pasta or another protein-packed food item.

Bowl of Macadamia nuts, with shelled nuts in foreground

Macadamia – Nutrition: 230 calories, 24g fat (4g sat fat), 2g protein
Macadamia nuts have a lot more omega-6s than omega-3s, though not quite as much of either fatty acid as peanut butter. Benefits: Of all nut varieties, Macadamias contain the greatest concentration of monounsaturated fat (good for the heart). In fact, research suggests that eating macadamia nuts can help prevent coronary artery disease. Cons: Even though it’s the good kind, macadamias are still pretty high in fat, so try not to exceed the 2 Tablespoons serving size. They’re also relatively low in protein, so punch up the nutritional value with milk, fortified bread or even oatmeal.

pecan nuts

Pecan – Nutrition facts: 213 calories, 20g fat (2g sat fat), 4g protein
Pecans are packed with about 20 times as much omega-6 as omega-3 fatty acids. Benefits: It’s like a vitamin (and mineral) shop in a nutshell. Pecans are packed with vitamins A, B, and E, plus magnesium, potassium and a ton of fiber. And studies have found pecans can help lower cholesterol levels. Cons: Pecans are a little higher in fat than peanut butter, so consider limiting intake to 2 Tablespoons, as tempting as it is to eat an entire jar in one sitting.

Roasted pistachio nuts seed with shell

Pistachio – Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 13g fat (1.5g fat), 6g protein
Pistachios are also a much better source of omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. Benefits: These super-nuts are full of fiber and potassium, and more protein than most other nut varieties. Some research even suggests pistachios can lower cholesterol and boost antioxidant levels.

soya beans on wooden surface

Soy – Nutrition facts: 200 calories, 14g fat (2g sat fat), 10g protein
Though a better source of omega-3s than peanut butter, soy nuts are also a better source of omega-6s than omega-3 fatty acids. Benefits: Soy nuts offer a hefty dose of protein (even more than peanut butter) and all essential amino acids. Plus the isoflavones in soy products may help prevent heart disease and cancer.

Fresh walnuts in the basket

Walnut – Nutrition facts: 174 calories, 17g fat (10g sat fat), 3g protein
Walnuts are a great source of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, though they’ve got more omega-6s. Benefits: Look inside the shell for antioxidants, plus vitamins and minerals that can improve blood vessel health and help reduce inflammation. Cons: Walnuts are pretty high in saturated fat and low in protein, so consider limiting the serving size and sprinkling some other protein-power nuts, like pistachios, on top.

Brazil nuts on a spoon on wooden background.

Cashew – Nutrition facts: 160 calories, 14g fat (4g sat fat), 4g protein
While cashews have slightly more omega-3 power than peanut butter, they don’t pack quite as much omega-6. Benefits: Cashews have a ton of important vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorous and manganese. The nuts may also reduce triglyceride levels, especially important for those with diabetes. Cons: Cashews are lacking in the protein department, so add a glass of milk or another source of protein to the meal.

pumpkin and seeds on wood background

Pumpkin  Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 14g fat (4g sat fat), 10g protein
Pumpkin seeds pack more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. Benefits: After Halloween has come and gone, this superfood still makes an awesome snack in any form. Its best benefits include a ton of protein (more than peanut butter), fiber, potassium and beta-carotene, a nutrient associated with boosting the immune system.

sesame seeds

Sesame – Nutrition facts: 170 calories, 16 g fat (2 g sat fat), 6g protein
Like peanut butter, sesame seeds are filled with omega-6 fatty acids, and not so much omega-3. Benefits: Sesame seeds are a great source of nutrients including calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B1 and fiber. Research suggests the seeds can lower cholesterol levels and help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Heap of hulled sunflower seeds

Sunflower Nutrition facts: 180 calories, 16g fat (2g sat fat), 6g protein
Sunflower seeds don’t offer much omega-3 fatty acids, but they’re brimming with omega-6s. Benefits: Sunflowers offer a great source of magnesium and antioxidant vitamin E.

While JIF and Skippy are nice on your wallet, most of these alternative butters are less processed and better sources of protein and Omegas. You can usually find them located in the natural section of most grocery stores. You can also order most of these butters online. As much as I love a good PB&J, using almond butter instead of peanut butter is just as tasty. Give it a try!

Tristan "Lucky"


Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

 

Top 10 Features That Women Find Sexy

Let’s be honest, we work out in the gym to look good, not just for ourselves, but to be as attractive as humanly possible. What guy doesn’t love a girl checking him out? Fact is, we all instinctively make judgments quickly based on appearances. Would you like to know what features drive women wild?

Let’s reveal where a women’s eyes go first. According to new studies, these are the answers, and some of you guys out there may be surprised….

Hot blonde posing with sexy guy, close-up

1. Buttocks – That’s right guys, she’s all about that bass! Women like a good, firm ass as much as we guys do. They love a nice curve and all agree that the shape is what is most important.

Fit body of shirtless man with tape measure

2. Slimness – Most men in the reverse poll thought muscular arms would be at #2, yet that feature (gasp) didn’t even make the top ten. Although strong arms are traditionally a sign of an alpha male, times are changing and men are now under pressure to stay thin. (HUH?) Women have obviously lost their minds since they now pick the Ryan Goslings over the Jean-Claude Van Dammes. Maybe it’s just a phase, but arms are out and thin is in. I can’t believe I just typed those words.

Thumbs up for a beach body

3. Flat stomach – Well, this reminds me of #2, yet I’m guessing we can finally talk about a six-pack? Women definitely want to stroke their fingers down your abs and not see the Pillsbury Dough Boy. They also seemed to agree that sitting around drinking beer and playing video games isn’t sexy. Wait…no more GTA???

Young man coverin eye

4. Eyes – This is way more popular than most of us guys realize. But, I mean, we all like a pair of sexy eyes looking at us. So, it’s not that crazy. Women claim they are all about some soulful peepers. And, again, Mr. Gosling tips the charts, with Bradley Cooper not far behind. If only I had played the lead in The Notebook…the world would be a better place.

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5. Long legs – Okay, well this one I can’t help. Being 5’7″, my legs are not long by any “stretch” of the word. But, needless to say, women dig a man who has a nice stride in his walk and additionally men who are taller. I totally lose this category. Time to invest in stilts.

Giant love

6. Height/Tallness – Wait one freaking second. Wasn’t this #5? Obviously not. There must be a bunch of short guys with long legs running around somewhere. The average height for men is 5’8″ and for women it’s 5’4″. The good news is that many women just want a man taller than they are, even when they’re in heels.

Stylist Drying Hair Of A Male Client

7. Hair – Don’t freak out just yet. Some women don’t mind a bald head on the right guy (think: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). But, women definitely enjoy hair in general. They want to run their fingers through it, pull on it during sex and they also said it needs to have a great style. No worries if you’re thinning, there are some really great all-natural hair loss solutions you can use to get it back!

lipstick on man neck

8. Neck – Seriously? I would have never thought about this one at all. No wonder men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Women like a good neck for some hot nuzzling. They like a man who smells good and has a rough edge of stubble. Women agree there is something very masculine about the male neck. Who knew?

couple in bathroom

9. Penis – I was beginning to wonder is this was even going to make the list! It appears our manhood is overrated by us. While there’s no doubt it’s important, many women actually aren’t mega concerned with the way it looks. They care about how it performs more than aesthetics. So, it’s okay to have a compact car with a dent on the side as long as it drives like nobody’s business.

Handsome muscular man shirtless wearing white pants over black background

10. Muscular chest/shoulders – I would have bet my paycheck this would have beat out the neck. Still scratching my head over that one. In reverse polls, many men thought this would be women’s #1 pick. Not so. I hate to break it, but it appears many women don’t like the hyper-muscular, steroids, work out 10 times a week look. They do love muscles (sigh of relief), but the real issue for them is that they don’t want a man who spends more time admiring his biceps than they do.

Just remember, this doesn’t account for every woman out there. Obviously, no one is created equal and my opinion of hot (Rachael Leigh Cook…oh yes, oh yes indeed), may not be your opinion of hot. We all have different tastes of what is sexually attractive to us. You have people with red-head fetishes and then others who are anti-gingers. You just never know, so my advice is to be YOU and the right person is gonna dig you hardcore.

Tristan "Lucky"

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

Let Loose the Juice!

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Joe Cross (Day 1 and Day 60)

This past week I visited my home town of Atlanta, GA and spent some quality time with my folks. While flipping through Netflix one evening, I stumbled upon a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  Of course, many people already know who Joe “the juicer” Cross is and how he lost a ton of weight and got mega healthy (even removing all of his medications) doing a 60-day juice fast.

Why does this matter to you? Let me get to the point in regards to guys who are already fit.

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Athletes and Celebrities alike are Mega Juice Fans! They know how a healthy inside and outside is vital to everyday living.

Among his many plans, Joe also has a 10-day “Reboot”, and while this is definitely the opposite of our mighty meaty diets, it does something for our bodies that we need: flush out disease-encouraging toxins and help recharge our bodies to a healthy status.

In a nutshell, Rebooting your system by drinking 100% liquid sunshine or eating restorative plant-based energy will give you a hydro-boost to sustain vitality, fight disease and also lean you out.

Don’t worry, though, weight loss tends to happen in the people who have excessive weight to lose. If during the 10 days you feel like your losing too much weight, simply include juicing to eating a clean diet for the remainder of the days.

Joe says that, “People who are undertaking a Reboot for health reasons often worry about losing too much weight. It is our experience that Rebooters who are slim to begin with need to still be consuming enough juice and nutrients to keep their body healthy and their weight as close to stable as possible.”

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Dr. Oz isn’t the only medical professional who believes 100% in the power of juice.

If you’re feeling tired, have a mental “fog” and your body stops feeling “peak”, it’s probably time to juice up with the nutrients found in fruits and veggies to get your system running at supreme condition. If your body isn’t where it needs to be, you can’t lift at your maximum performance.

Juicing isn’t anything new. Celebrities have been doing it forever and people like Dr. Oz have promoted it for years. Another great documentary on Netflix to watch is Hungry for Change. Don’t you want to look good on the inside too? I know that I do.

I’m planning on starting my 10-day Reboot on Monday. My Breville Juicer is arriving tomorrow, thanks to my Amazon Prime account. Gotta love that 2-day free shipping! I’ll post an update with my results.

Joe’s Mean Green Juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 2 apples
  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 inch piece of ginger

My Favorite Red Juice

Ingredients:

  • 2 Beets
  • 6 Carrots
  • 2 Apples
  • 2 inch piece of ginger

Wash all of the produce, peel the lemon, core the apple, add all of the ingredients in your juicer and enjoy!

Tristan "Lucky"

 

 

 

 

Written by: Tristan “Lucky”

 

The Science Of Muscle Performance