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I’m always first in line when a new brand of supplements comes out and I have the opportunity to try them before they reach you guys.
If it’s not fit for the needs of today’s sporting athletes it shouldn’t be on Monster Supplements!
So I had a flick through the brand and chose a few product’s I thought deserved a trial. The product’s which caught my eye were:
• AMINO BEAST (AMNO BLEND)
• RAGING BEAST (PRE-WORKOUT DRINK)
• TESTO BEAST (TEST BOOSTER)
• THERMO BEAST (FAT OXIDISER)
In this article I am going to review the Amino and Raging Beast, including some key product highlights and when to use the products for best results.
Testo and Thermo Beast to follow next month.
The Amino Beast contains a blend of 20 amino acids including the 3 branch chains (L-Leucine, ISO-Leucine, L-Valine). So instantly I knew it ticked all the boxes I needed for this category of product.
Knowing it has such a wide spectrum of amino’s you can count on:
– Increased anabolism/amino synthesis within the muscle
– Reduced catabolism by replenishing depleted muscle amino level due to exercise
– Reduction in serotonin production which helps offset mental fatigue
– Improved digestion and boosted immune function contributing to homeostatic balance
As far as flavour if the Lemon and Lime is anything to go by you’re not going to get better, refreshing and zesty while mixing flawlessly. I added 1 scoop to my pre-workout drink which in this case was of course the Raging Beast and 2 more to 750ml of water to be consumed immediately post workout. Now that’s as soon as you stop training, before you even consume you normaly post workout recovery shake (carbohydrate and protein blend).
When it’s so critical for you perform at your best during that 1 hour window during training, it’s paramount that you chose the best pre workout supplement for the job.
There are 3 main benefits of a pre-workout in my eyes, 2 physiological and 1 psychological:
– Improved mental focus (without the post workout crash or sleep deprivation)
– Providing a potent balance of ingredients such as creatine and beta-alanine to improve muscular performance
– Increased key nutrient delivery to the muscles, also resulting in some quite scary muscle pumps and vascularity
With ingredients like caffeine, Cocoa Extract, trimethylglycine, Vit B12 and Tyrosine mental focus and neurotransmission are going to be vastly improved. Vasodilation from the Arginine matrix is going to optimise circulation of the creatine, beta-alanine and citrulline malate as well as any other nutrients in the blood stream.
Again flavour was spot on, I tried the orange and it was just like squash, BRILLIANT! I have a fairly high stimulant tolerance but still only needed 1 scoop with some extra BCAAs, Amino Beast would be ideal.
Taken 20 mins pre-workout and it pushed me through a gruelling 1hr workout no problem.
To wrap things up, they cover all the bases I look for in an amino and a pre workout product.
The taste is spot on for both and for the amount of servings per tub are competitively priced!
To click through to the BEAST YOURSELF brand on Monster just follow the link below:
Chris Brodie Social Media
TOP TIPS FROM SHAUN STAFFORD
Team ON Athlete Shaun Stafford started off his sporting career playing rugby to a national level, before a series of injuries forced his early retirement from the sport. This allowed Shaun to focus his energy on a new path as a highly successful Male Physique competitor. He went on to win The WBFF UK, European and Pro World Fitness Model titles in his first 18 months of competing. He followed this up by winning the WBFF Pro Fitness Model World Championship for a second time in 2014.
Today, he shares with us his top tips, and how he uses Gold Standard 100% Whey and Gold Standard 100% Casein to achieve his fitness goals with true 24-hour protein coverage.
A TYPICAL DAY IN SHAUN’S LIFE
I get out of bed and hit a scoop of Gold Standard 100% Whey Toffee Caramel Fudge with a shot of espresso and ½ a cup of boiling water. This starts my nutrition for the day with a high protein, hot mocha! I then wrap up warm and head out to walk my dog, this is great as it allows me to clear my head, and get set for the day…
I always have a nutritious breakfast, normally eggs or an egg white based meal, like an omelette or frittata. I like eggs early on as they are high in proteins and fats, and feel like the right sort of thing to have for breaky…Then I jump on my bike to work. A 30-minute dog walk and 5km cycle pretty much completes my cardio for the day!
Have my second breakfast. By this time I am not only starving, but have usually been at work for over an hour and need a break. Typically this would be a 150 g salmon fillet, some brown rice or quinoa and some green veg. A good combo that is high in protein, fats and fibre, and keeps my blood sugar and energy levels pretty constant. Then it’s back to working with a few more clients.
Time for lunch – which is a mix of proteins, carbs and fats…my pre-workout meal.
This will either be chicken or turkey, for easily digested proteins, some more sweet potato for the low GI carbs, and a healthy serving of green veg for fibre and extra carbs. I would usually have a little more carbs during this meal, as it is about 3 hours before I train.
I work with a few more clients, whilst sipping on some instantized BCAAs, Glycomaize and Amino Energy. This gets my body primed for my workout.
I hit my weights session, sipping on my BCAAs, Glycomaize and Amino Energy mix.
It’s time to refuel after a tough session: I use Gold Standard 100% Whey as a fast-acting source of protein to help support muscle repair & growth and Glycomaize for a post-workout source of carbs.
I finish work and jump on my bike to get home, another 5km. Although this time it is up hill…which after leg day can be a bit of a struggle!
I have my last full meal. This is always a slow-acting casein shake, maybe with some peanut butter and celery on the side or some oats if I need to top up my carbs. This last meal is really easy to manipulate… if my carbs are already high for the day, I’ll drop out the oats, whereas if my fats are already too high, I’ll skip the peanut butter…
Then I log off from the computer and try to finish any work by this time. I then settle down for some R&R with the wife and pup, whilst finishing off my Gold Standard 100% Casein shake to provide me with a steady supply of amino acids while I sleep.
SHAUN’S FOOD & NUTRITION ADVICE
Protein is a key component of my diet, and allows me to train hard, and allows my muscles to repair and grow. I especially notice it when getting ready for a show or shoot, as my calories drop.
I try to consume about 2.8 g of protein per kg of bodyweight, which adds up to between 250-300g a day. I usually get this in between 6-7 meals or snacks, consisting of a wide variety of meats, fish and eggs, in addition to 3 high-protein Gold Standard shakes a day.
I am a beast that certainly gets affected by the amount and quality of sleep I get. I like 8hs+, can function off 7hrs… and struggle with any less. I think because of my long work hours, and heavy training schedule, my body craves rest. That’s why as soon as I have had my last meal, and sunk my Gold Standard 100% Casein shake, it is a fairly short amount of time before I am tucked up and headed to sleep!
SHAUN’S TOP 3 TIPS FOR UPGRADING YOUR DAY
1) Don’t get overawed by situations that appear too big to tackle, focus on taking small steps and doing the little things right first. These all add up to creating a bigger picture, and make the original daunting situation much more manageable.
2) Before doing anything, remind yourself of why you are doing it! If it is a grueling drop set in the middle of your workout, remember the feeling of satisfaction that you get once it is completed! This moment of thought before you do anything can give you a burst of energy, focus and motivation, and can definitely upgrade whatever you are doing.
3) Be grateful for the things that you have. Keep a log next to your bed and before you sleep every night, note down just one thing that you are grateful for. This process resets your mind, and makes what you have more than enough… this is an instant upgrade for your wellbeing, and the perfect close to any day!
#Upgrade #TrueStrength #ShaunStafford
The chest pump has to be the most satisfying of all body part pumps, with a chest pump comes that feeling of instant growth, looking swole after your set of heavy bench presses, with your shirt a lot tighter than it was when you first entered the gym. It seems everyone these days wants to build a chiseled chest, and rightly so! After all, a huge chest screams strength and power, and also looks great on the beach.
Moving away from aesthetics, functionally having a strong chest is good for everyday activities, reduces the risk of shoulder injuries and makes a pectacular statement on stage.
In this article I will go through a typical chest workout for me, you will see there is nothing fancy just good old fashioned basics that have been proven to work time after time.
After some rotator cuff exercises I’ll generally start really light with a machine fly and do 4 sets of 20 reps increasing the weight each time. I do this for a couple of reasons, it ensures the chest is fully warmed up, stretched out and prepared for the heavy push movements. It also pre-exhausts the chest so you can use less weight to take you to failure. Again, this means there is less risk of injury. If you struggle with mind muscle connection on the pec’s and are shoulder dominant, getting the pec’s fired up first before moving onto pressing movements will help that.
Flat Barbell Press
Still is, and always will be the king of exercises for a massive chest. As I have no shoulder issues I’m able to complete the exercise through full range of movement, with good form and pushing some heavy weight. To get the most out of this tremendously affective exercise form is crucial. Perform the reps at a slow tempo, focus on contracting the chest muscles on both the eccentric and concentric parts of the movement with a good squeeze at the top. Me personally, I don’t lock out my elbows as I like to keep constant tension on the chest and not stress the joints. I normally shoot for 4 sets, 15,12,10, 6-8 reps. Then add in some rest pause and drops sets.
Incline Dumbbell Press
Another great mass building exercise if executed correctly, using dumbbells over a bar bell has the added advantage of recruiting the stabilising muscles in the shoulders, which also act as a synergist in this movement along with the triceps. Like with the bench press form is also crucial here, controlling the weight is imperative as more injuries can occur using dumbbells over bar bells due the need to stabilise them with independently. The angle you have the bench is completely personal preference, for me 45 degrees is too high and recruits too much shoulders. So I like to have the bench around 30 degrees. I’ll do 3 sets of these, 12, 10, 6-8 with rest pause and drops sets incorporated into the last set.
I believe this is a massively under rated exercise and one that I include into every chest workout. Muscles grow by stretching and contracting and this exercise is perfect for that. Have the bench around 30 degrees, come down under control keeping your elbows back feeling the stretch across the upper chest, engage the chest, bring the dumbbells together, squeeze the chest and hold for a few seconds, the pump from this exercise will definitely induce some growth into the pec’s. I will normally do 3 sets of 12 reps massively focusing on lowering the weight slowly and squeezing the chest at the top of the movement.
I use dips to hit the lower part of the chest. Leaning forward, keeping the core tight and not locking the triceps out helps keep the tension on the chest as the top quarter of the movement is mostly triceps. You could use a dip belt, dumbbell between the feet or the chains like I’m using below. It’s an advantage using the chains as they bring you forward so help to keep the tension on the chest. I’ll do 3 sets of these till failure.
“DON’T WISH FOR IT, WORK FOR IT”
Fancy some motivational tips?
Check out Abby Pell’s Top Ten Workout Motivation tip here on the Monster Resource!
1. Don’t go it alone: Plan to train with a friend or book a PT session… if you make plans with someone else you’re less likely to cancel. Training with a friend or trainer can boost performance too as you’re more likely to push yourself a little harder if someone’s watching and encouraging you.
2. Set yourself a goal, and keep a reminder of this with you, for example a motivational quote or picture on your phone/computer screen saver.
3. Remember how good you feel after each completed workout, exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy… if you’re ever feeling low remember this and go hit the gym.
4. Treat yourself to new gym gear. Nothing puts a spring in your step like new gym gear, who says you can’t look good and work out? You’re more likely to get your butt in the gym if you’ve got nice kit to wear, and if you’ve splashed out on decent trainers then make the expense worth it by get good use of them.
5. Try something new… get a new workout programme, try a new class, set a new goal, don’t get bogged down doing the same old thing.
6. Get fired up with a pre-workout… If your energy levels are a little low try a pre-workout for a boost before you hit the gym, there are a great range of options here: http://monstersupplements.com/store/product_list-cat-7-asc-long_name-lang-1.html
7. Make a new music playlist and get the tunes pumping during your workout or download your favourite TV show to watch on your phone/tablet while doing cardio.
8. Wake up and work out! Get your workout in early in the day before your other daily commitments distract you from your goals. Statistically you’ll be more focused and productive for the rest of the day if you work out in the morning.
9. Treat yourself for working out… If you’ve completed a grueling gym session and burnt hundreds of calories… then yes why not have a little treat guilt free (don’t go over board) but trust me that bit of chocolate tastes so much better if you know you’ve had a good gym session that day.
10. Record your progress, either privately or on social media, encourage competition and motivate others… each week set a little goal to achieve something, either lift heavier, lose a little extra weight, do a few more minutes cardio… keep pushing, the extra effort adds up to make a big difference!
Firstly I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Monster Supplements for welcoming me to the team – I’m proud to be able to share my journey with fellow fitness & health addicts.
Secondly, I would like to welcome you all on my fitness journey.
So, you’re probably wondering who on earth I am and why a non-muscle bound person such as myself is an ambassador for a fitness brand.
Well, here’s a little insight into me;
My name is Alexandra Claire. Just over 14 short months ago I was on a quest to get the body of my dreams. I had been eating well, training well, and starting to see huge differences in my body. (Previously I would have been described as ‘Scrawny’… Thanks guys! Haha)
I was happy with my progress and lusted for more.
And then I found out I was pregnant.
Now many of you (ladies) may understand, particularly if you have had a difficult pregnancy.
But apart from the general weight gain and balloon on my belly, I found it difficult to eat well (due to sickness I was only able to eat crackers and ham sandwiches for the first few months, and from then on I could only eat high carb meals, so that I wouldn’t be running immediately to throw up).
Due to the sickness (which came back with a vengeance in my third trimester and ended up with me in hospital with severe dehydration) I was also unable to train.
I tried the occasional exercise bike, or the cross trainer, with the aim to do at least 10 minutes. But this was also a no-go.
I didn’t get ‘huge’ while I was pregnant. But I felt uncomfortable in my own body, and I didn’t like that feeling. I tried to focus on other aspects of the pregnancy, such as feeling my little boy roll around my belly, or trying to admire my body for sustaining another life. I then started to document my journey, physically and emotionally, in a blog.
Even though I was certain I was being over dramatic and silly, many of my readers messaged me to say how they had felt the same – and knowing that they weren’t alone was a comfort. It helped them as much as it helped me to write it all down. It came as a comfort to myself to know I wasn’t alone also.
Here I have an image of my body before, during, and now.
I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy just 5 months ago, and I have lost 3 stone in weight (most of that being the baby, mind), and inches everywhere.
Now I am much happier with my starting point – and I feel strong and healthy enough to be able to build on my progress.
So join me on my journey to fitness, I will be trialling products and explaining what training techniques I am using, and even sharing some excellent recipes – so feel free to try them too!
So it’s that time again, time to put down the pancakes and peanut butter, and pick up the food scales and fat burners.
Starting this prep in the middle of December was tough but I allowed for a few days of over the festive period by bringing my weight down a little beforehand. Some people may say dieting for 20 weeks is too long, but dieting this long enables me to bring my weight down slowly giving me more chance of retaining the muscle I have gained in the offseason. As I’m cutting out all the high calories foods and changing to clean foods this enables me to start with my food intake quite high, high enough that at times it’s a struggle to eat. The point I’m trying to make is, I don’t drop my food, add cardio and then add more cardio all at once, the prep is slow and steady, once I stop losing weight the diet or cardio regime will be adjusted accordingly.
My last prep I was guided my IFBB Pro Anth Bailes, I learned a lot through this prep and it resulted in me being in the best shape of my life. He introduced me to high carb days which we used around every other week to kick start the fat burning hormone “leptin” which can be severely decreased during dieting. I didn’t have any cheat meals, the high carbs days have a purpose, you’re not just eating for the sake of eating. However, on these days high GI sugary carbs are fine so the cereal bars and poptarts kept me sane.
In this article I’ll give you an insight as to how my training regime, diet and supplements look 20 weeks out.
Weight Training and Cardio
My exercise selection doesn’t really differ that much from offseason to pre-contest. I will include more volume in to the workouts but it is important to keep the weights heavy to maintain fullness. The intensity of the session will also increase by including super sets, drops sets, increasing weight or reducing rest periods between sets. I will focus a lot more on form and squeezing the muscle I’m training to bring out as much detail as possible.
My last prep I didn’t start cardio until 10weeks out, this time round I have added it in from the start for a couple of reasons.
1) Because I kept it in in the offseason for health reasons and to stop me getting to fat whilst eating extra calories so dropping it out completely would be a bad choice.
2) Because I am starting with my food higher than my last prep and I’m a little heavier I feel throwing the cardio in straight away is necessary for me to lose body fat.
For my cardio I will either use the Stairmaster on a steady setting for 45mins or incline treadmill at 4mph for 45mins on full incline.
A typical weeks training looks like this….
Monday 45mins LISS Chest and calves
Tuesday 45mins LISS Arms
Wednesday 45mins LISS Legs
Thursday 45mins LISS Rest
Friday 45mins LISS Shoulders and calves
Saturday 45mins LISS Rest
Sunday 45mins LISS Back
My diet is very simple and boring, I don’t believe in making my food look pretty, at this point I’m eating for the nutritional value not the taste. I eat 6 meals a day and the diet is typically low fat, moderate carb & high protein. This is the style of dieting which brought us many of the hard and dry conditioned physiques of the 90s which we very rarely see today. I don’t add any extra fats in apart from omega 3 and CLA, the rest of the fats I consume are what naturally occur in the foods I eat. If the carbs come down low, to 50g or 0g then the protein and fats will increase to keep the calories up. I rotate my carb and protein sources where possible as the body can build up a tolerance to certain foods causing digestive problems and bloating.
Here’s what a typical days eating looks like 20 weeks out…
Meal 1 60g Oats with 60g Whey isolate, 1g omega 3 & 1g CLA
Meal 2 200g sweet potato with 200g chicken breast, 1g Omega 3 & 1g CLA
Meal 3 200g sweet potato with 200g chicken breast, 1g Omega 3 & 1g CLA
Meal 4 60g Oats with 60g whey isolate, 1g Omega 3 & 1g CLA
Meal 5 228g white potato, 200g chicken breast, 1g Omega 3 & 1g CLA
Meal 6 228g white potato 200g extra lean beef mince
At 20 weeks out my supplement intake isn’t much different to my offseason, I tend to stick to the basics and the supplements I feel are essential year round. The only addition is the omega 3 and CLA with my first 5 meals.
I add these because my diet is very low fat but having adequate amounts of omega 3,6,9 in the body is essential.
My supplement arsenal consists of the following;
Optimum Nutrition Gold standard Whey – Fast acting whey protein which comes in quality flavours that makes dieting easy. Click Here for ON Gold Standard Whey
CNP Pro BCAA Burst – Branch chain amino acids to prevent catabolism during cardio and weight training, and to ensure to the body has adequate amino acids for protein synthesis. Click Here For CNP Pro BCAA Burst
Anabolic Designs Raging Full – contains a quickly absorbed card source called branch cyclic dextrin with digestive enzymes and a pump matrix, ideal for intra or post workout to keep glycogen stores replenished, keeping you looking full and pumped in the gym while on low calories. Click Here For Anabolic Designs Raging Full
Gaspari Qualitine Creatine Monohydrate – I use creatine to ensure my strength stays high while the calories reduce and its also used to draw water into the muscle keeping it in an anabolic state and looking full. Click Here For Gaspari Qualatine
Anabolic Designs Shredabull – used first think in the morning pre-cardio to mobilize fat cells so they can be used for fuel during my cardio session. Click Here For Anabolic Designs Shredabull
Anabolic Designs Matador – I take 1 capsule of these before every carb meal, it mimics insulin in a way that it will transport the carbs you eat to your muscle whilst keeping your insulin levels low and ensuring less carbs are stored as fat. Click Here For Anabolic Designs Matador
Animal Pak multivitamin – A good multivitamin is essential for normal body function and to keep your body performing at its best. Click Here For Animal Pak
Udos choice super 8 microbiotics – Friendly bacteria to ensure I have a healthy stomach with no digestive issues. Click Here For Udos Choice Super 8 Microbiotics
Ripped freak pre-workout – Can’t go wrong with a good pre-workout, this is exactly what you need when energy is down and morale is low to pick you up so you smash your workout. Click Here For Ripped Freak
…Check back soon for more about my prep!
Here we have a review of the NRG Fuel BCAA & Glutamine by commercial/fitness model, actor, personal trainer and NRG FUEL sponsored athlete Myles Leask
NRG FUEL’s BCAA & Glutamine forms an integral part of my supplementation for several reasons.
Firstly, as part of my training regime I perform fasted cardio early morning as I find this method of training extremely effective for burning fat.
A downside to training fasted, however, is that it can result in an unwanted loss of muscle mass as the body also breaks down amino acids for fuel. By taking NRG FUEL’s BCAA & Glutamine both pre and during my workout it helps prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue whilst preserving the fast and allowing for optimal fat burning.
I also use NRG FUEL’s BCAA & Glutamine during my resistance training. My personal favorite is the cherry flavor, not only does it taste great but I am able to simply add it to water and sip it throughout my training helping keep my body in a positive state of growth.
NRG FUEL’s BCAA & Glutamine is the best supplement I have found for aiding recovery, helping rid me of Muscle soreness (DOM’S) quickly and allowing me to be ready for my next session. It also helps boost my immune system which is vital in bodybuilding as levels of Glutamine fall rapidly during intense workouts.
Below is an example day in my diet and supplementation. I usually eat like this during the week and then have the weekend off.
Wake – 2 scoops of NRG FUEL BCAA & Glutamine
Breakfast (Post Cardio)
– 4 Scrambled eggs and 4 rashers of lean turkey bacon
– 1 chopped banana and zero Greek yoghurt
11am – 2 scoops of NRG FUEL 100% Whey Protein
Lunch – 2 Chicken Breasts, Spinach, Grated carrot, cucumber
Pre workout – 2 scoops of NRG FUEL NO2 Max
Intra Workout – NRG FUEL BCAA & Glutamine
Post Workout – 2 scoops NRG FUEL TTP Anabolic
Dinner – 2 Ostrich steaks, Tender stem broccoli, sweet potato chips
Pre bed – NRG FUEL Casein (In terms of handling cravings NRGFUEL Casein helps as its mixes into a delicious guilt free protein dessert which satisfies my sweet tooth).
Here we have a guest article from Sci-MX’s awesome athlete – Beth Workman!
In this piece Beth tells us how she fits her fitness efforts around her life, check out the below piece for a day in the life of Beth Workman!
How Beth Fits Training & Nutrition Around A Career
I often get asked how do I manage to keep up with training, eating right and staying in good shape with a busy career and being on the go all day. My simple answer is that if it makes you happy you will find a way; anything is possible if you are organised and you have enough drive and determination to be the way you want to be.
At the moment I am a Specialist Teaching Assistant. I work 1 to 1 with children with behavior problems all over Cardiff and I love my job, it’s very rewarding and I Personal Train in my own time around work because I still have a passion for Fitness.
I do sometimes feel that my life is non-stop, but I don’t think I’d be happy any other way. I love being busy, and the school holidays are always much needed! Working with children is hard work albeit extremely rewarding.
I have recently changed my training to every other day. I’m finding this works best for me in relation to training results, diet and most importantly work/life balance, which I believe is the key to happiness. So Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday are weight training days for me. Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday are either days off or cardio at home depending on how I feel and if there are any events or holidays coming up.
The 4 weight training days are also my carb days. The other days are my non carb days.
After trying many different ways of cycling carbs, I’ve found that this works best for me. For the time being anyway. If I hit a plateau I will experiment other avenues as I always do.
A Typical Day
(Weight Training & Carb day)
Off/Cardio & Non Carb day
(Believe it or not but this is a lie in!)
Coffee/SCI-MX X-PLODE Pre workout upon awakening on training days.
Arrive at my local (and the best!) gym UFIT Cardiff.
SCI-MX BCAA INTRA HARDCORE powder to sip whilst training.
Monday: Shoulders & Glutes
Wednesday: Back & Chest
Friday: Legs & Glutes
Saturday: Arms & Abs
7.10AM – Finish Training
Post training I have SCI-MX ULTRA WHEY PROTEIN, Vanilla Flavour with 30g Oats in the shake.
Non training/Cardio Days I still have Oats & Protein for breakfast, as it works best both physically and mentally for me, but they will be the only carbs I will have on an otherwise non carb day.
8.30AM – Start work
10.30AM - Break
10 Almonds (I count them out so that I don’t have to resist any urge!)
12PM – Lunchtime
I am usually on the go for part of lunchtime because I am in different schools morning and afternoon, so preparation is key for me.
On a carb day I have already prepared either a portion of rice cooked in coconut milk, or potatoes.
Along with some protein, usually fish, eggs or chicken and an avocado.
On a non-carb day I will have a tub of cottage cheese or some fish with greens and an avocado.
3.30PM – Finish Work
4PM to 6PM – These hours are when I would train a PT client
6PM – Evening Meal
Meat or Fish with greens, carbs again on a carb day, more veg instead on the carb free days.
GRS 9-HOUR PROTEIN Slow releasing Protein by SCI-MX, in Strawberry or Chocolate flavour.
9.30 to 10PM
I aim for an early night on a school night to get a good quality 8 hour sleep. This doesn’t always happen of course, but this is what I aim for.
With most meals I take SCI-MX TRI OMEGA EFA Fish Oils and plenty of vitamins.
To many people this diet would probably seem bland and boring, but I’ve eaten this way for so long since competing, that it’s become normal to me now and I love it.
My boyfriend has also eaten this way since before we met, so it’s even easier to keep to it because we both eat the same (apart from the portion size), plus there are days when he keeps me on the straight and narrow, and vice versa.
But we are only human at the end of the day. I relax a little on the weekend, some weekends more than others, and I definitely eat a lot on holidays! We take holidays regularly because it’s what we like to do most. It gives us a focus in life/work, and it certainly helps with training motivation. You can’t physically and mentally function this way all year as I’ve outlined, so breaks/holidays or special occasions are just as important.
I could talk all day about what I like to eat on a ‘relaxed/cheat’ day shall we say. A healthy cheat would be Fajitas or Beans on Toast with Cheese. The really BAD things I love are Chinese food, Donuts, Cookies & Ice Cream; probably the worst things you could have so they have to be well earned!
We are planning a road trip through California soon. Americans are big on food so I can’t wait for this. I will be taking regular trips to Muscle Beach Gym or any other gym nearby to maintain shape though!
And that is a typical day of working, training and nutrition for me – around my career.
On a side note, I rarely drink alcohol these days. Once in a while I have a big night out with my girlfriends or boyfriend, I drink whilst on holidays and maybe the odd glass of wine at home on a Saturday night. My party animal days are behind me; I’m old, healthy & boring now, and want different things out of life and am happier than I’ve ever been!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading an insight into my typical day.
You can follow Beth on Twitter
I used to think that once I’d had children I could kiss good bye to feeling confident in a bikini ever again. I read articles about how much harder it is to get in shape after having a baby, people told me it damages your body specifically your stomach beyond repair.
That your body shape changes and you get cellulite and stretch marks and that there was nothing I could do about it!
Well for some girls that’s enough to put you off motherhood all together… but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, from someone who has been there done that, I can clear up a little of the uncertainty with the following Myths Vs Facts:
My body will never be as good after having children.
Your body will go through lots of changes during pregnancy, you put on weight, your abs separate and your ligaments loosen. And don’t get me wrong it doesn’t all go back to normal over night. But it’s very possible to get a great figure even after you’ve had kids. I know plenty of mums who train and actually say their figure is better now that before they had kids (me included).
If you have a big baby or C-section/difficult labour you can kiss good bye to your chances of ever having abs.
Your size, your babies size, the type of labour doesn’t affect your ability to get back in shape after having kids. I put on 3 stone during pregnancy, my little girl weighed 9lb 6oz when she was born and that was after 42 hours of labour and an emergency C-section.
I’m pregnant so it’s ok to “eat for two”
If you eat more calories than you burn you will put on body fat, simple as that! When you’re pregnant you do burn more calories than normal, you are growing another little human after all. But your baby needs good nutrition, if you’re not eating it, your baby will take what it needs from your body which is why pregnant women are more likely to suffer from vitamin & mineral deficiency’s if they have a poor diet. I craved all sorts during pregnancy, some healthy things some not so much, you do have to listen to your body but don’t use it as an excuse to gorge yourself as you’ll only have to work harder to get back in shape afterwards.
I won’t have time to work out when I’m a mum.
Yes kids/babies are time consuming, but an hour’s workout is 4% of your day… look at how much time you spend watching TV, browsing the internet or doing other non-essential time consuming activities per week… it’s committing the time regularly to doing something that is potentially going to make you feel uncomfortable that is the problem. You’ve had a busy day, you’re tired, do you really want to go and sweat it out in the gym?
Probably not, but look at the long term goal, focus on what you want to achieve. Working out is a great stress relief and once it’s done you’ll be a hell of a lot more glad you did it that if you didn’t. Once you get into a routine you’ll be surprised at how addictive it becomes, because like bad habits your body will also become accustomed to good habits… make exercise one of them and enjoy the results.
So the moral of the story is… Being a mum is no excuse for not achieving your fitness goals. 9 months of pregnancy followed by labour and parenthood… that’s the hard part. Working out a few times per week is nothing in comparison… Be Fit, be healthy, be happy, it’s a great example to set your kids!
In this article Chris Brodie goes over what to look for in a Pre-Workout formula…
Pre-workout cocktail to MAXIMISE performance!
As a Guru and advisor at Monster I often get asked “What is the best pre-workout?”. Although this is a broad question it is definitely something you should be asking yourself if you want to perform at your best!
I would break pre-workout nutrition down into 2 intakes or feedings. The 1st being your pre-workout meal eaten around 90 minutes pre-workout. The 2nd being a drink, taken about 20 minutes before exercise. I believe both are essential. I am going got try and give you some key points to consider when choosing the best immediate pre-workout supplement/supplements when shopping online.
People tend to want different things from their pre-workout drink but here are the bases I would want covered, I would want a supplement to provide:
Mental stimulation and focus
Raw energy for exercise
Anti-catabolic and muscle building agents
Increased fat burning
In a ideal world it would be great to be able to buy one product that would not only cover these bases, but also maximise the benefits from each. However I have found that by combining several supplements which excel in each individual area to be the best for performance overall based on effective doses of the key ingredients.
So let’s get in the zone!
For mental stimulation, focus and fat burning you are going to need to look out for caffeine, bitter orange peel and vitamin B6 & 12 complex, which are my big top 4 ingredients! Caffeine is a very common stimulant found in pre-workout drinks, around 250-300mg per serving I find to be optimal. Bitter orange peel is perhaps a less well known ingredient but contains several metabolites similar to ephedrine (a very strong stimulant). The vitamins B6 & B12 aid in the production of serotonin and the conversion of fats to carbohydrates. I have found the best products on the market for this are:
Raw energy is going to come from carbohydrates and creatine.
To keep cost low and this aspect simple, I use a combination of dextrose and creatine monohydrate, and have found the MyProtein Dextrose and PhD creatine to do just that:
Anti-catabolic agents for me are paramount!
High intensity training means huge damands are put on the body for energy and we need to make sure we have the right compounds to make sure we preserve as much muscle tissue as possible. Now people wil argue that glutamine and HMB are worth a mention in this section but I stick to a BCAA powder (leucine, iso-leucine and valine) and top this up with a separate pure leucine powder. The reason for this being that I am trying to home in and super dose the most effective compounds for a better result. Overall sticking to these maximises increased protein metabolism.
So there you go!
By combining a serving of each into your pre-workout drink you not only have something that covers all your bases but something that’s going to make sure you perform at you best every time!
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Photography Credit: https://www.facebook.com/JackGrayPhotography
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