Monday, June 28, 2010

Muscle & Power

This post will first and foremost congratulate the two highest viewed videos and the athletes that appear in them. Although my promotion tactics are often over-the-top, the people have spoken with their views. Most threads on message boards and friendly websites yield positive feedback, but Mike "the Tank" Ivancevic's 'Push Press 225' sits with 2,100 views only four days shy of a month online.

Most of the comments on the boards and on his video page demand that he lift more weight! The fans beleive, as do I, that 225 is only teaser of what "the Tank" aka "Big Mike" can really push-press; however, as he himself will tell you -- he's just getting back into training and getting his numbers back up requires time. He will not be rushed! But soon, I hope, we'll see a 315 push press from :)

The Tank returns to the gym tomorrow at 6pm! It will be very interesting to see him train w/ Brian (his usual training partner) & Jonathan Bennett (Brian's current training partner) at some point. I have a feeling these three guys will put up some nice numbers and also work towards streamlining their physiques per Brian's philosophies on training. Jonathan also brings some Olympic Lifting philosophies to the table that may supplement the Tank's powerlifting routines.

(Also, for all of July, Brian G. Raymond will be the face of on

Karson "Six-Pack" Lattimore is by far the most promoted video so far, featured in Mighty Quads in Action. On most threads and sites, he's getting over 90% approval -- with only minor jabs for using padding and wrapping his knees (both approaches that will save his joints from unneeded wear and tear and possible damage in the future). In just about a week's time, the video near 2,000 Views and I predict will surpass the 5,000 mark by summer's end!

Karson's nickname, "Six Pack", is very fitting because of his remarkable abdominal development and his innovative, often gut-wrenching abdominal exercise ideas. To be able to simply pull your shirt off and get your chest, abs, and oliques in perfect condition to be photographed - at the drop of a hat, is great quality that I beliveve Karson only shares with fellow StrengthAddict Kelvin Perry.
Hurry Up & Wait!
Spencer Range's much anticipated feature column on Max-OT will be slightly postponed due to moving-related issues.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Decline Pectoral Exercises

There's certain exercises that are well known but seldom performed by the vast majority of gym-goers today. But what makes an exercise fall from such favor? We often hear about stimulating the muscle and addressing it from as many angles as possible; however, when dealing with pectoral development, at least, it seems that the emphasis is limited to the upper and middle portions of the muscle, with the decline execises like the decline bench press and decline flyes falling further and further into general disfavor.

So in an effort to tackle this phenomenon, I posed the following question to Blake Selby, Josh Castillo, and a few other of the notable members of the StrengthAddicts Facebook group -- but none replied. I am aware that people have lives and other commitments, but beyond the latter and the former I am also aware of how potentially-complicated this poll question.

I am very happy to present my question, followed by an excellently written response by one of our newest members on the Facebook group! He is an avid weight-lifter, coach, and has trained alongside Cassie Bishop on several instances. So without further adeu...

Christian Duque: What's your take on decline bench press, and how importantly would you rate this exercise with regard to sound pectoral development?

"In my opinion, decline bench presses are useful for only 2 reasons:

1. As a substitute to flat bench presses when you are nursing a shoulder injury. The unique biomechanical advantage of the decline bench press allows you to place less stress on the anterior deltoids, and put primary focus on the chest and the supporting triceps muscles.

2. For the same biomechanical reason listed above, decline bench press is also useful if your anterior deltoid strength is so strong that it takes away from your pectoral strength. You are able to utilize the decline bench press as a strategy to take the workload focus off of the shoulders, and place it more on the chest where you want it.

HOWEVER you must also keep in mind that just because decline bench press takes some load off the shoulders and directs it toward the chest, does not mean that it will help you develop the chest muscles to a greater level. Declines work primarily the lower chest, and to a lesser degree, the middle chest, and almost insignificantly the upper chest.
The majority of people already develop a great chest simply from flat bench press and incline bench press. Incorporating declines into your program will create a somewhat blocky look, due to diminishing the narrow separation between the pectoral muscles and the wall of the abdomen/sternum.

So in conclusion... if your shoulders are suffering from injury or if they are significantly stronger than your chest muscles, then substituting flat bench press for decline bench press may be a good idea. But if your shoulders are healthy and balanced, stick to flat bench and incline bench."

Brandon Mutti
Certified Strength and Fitness Coach
Redford/Detroit, MIchigan


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Obsessions, Ponderings, Stats, & MoRe!

Quads: Front Squat University

Ok, the secret's out of the bag - I'm totally into leg training and developing size, strength, and definition in every StengthAddict's own set of wheels. There's no slice of scorn for those injured or otherwise in therapy -- but age, bodyweight, discomfort, and laziness (or inertia, lol) are not excuses. Any momo can bench press and do arms -- but you start seeing the boys/girl separate from the men/women when the training grows more demanding and the pain -- oh there's pain -- becomes more excruciating; I'm talking delts, quads, and backk!. Any idiot can do well on chest, arms, and calves -- it's what everyone does, from your 20yr gymrat to your Abercrombie & Fitch, metro-sexual gym poser that joins up to scope out the opposite sex and dabs his/her face with a Downhy fresh, little white towel. (These tools usually come out during New Year's first two weeks - and of course - during the hot summer months, lol).

(Note: these pipsqueaks are the deathknell of hardcore gyms, so promote this group and groups like it so bodybuilding and powerlifting remain on the business radar of gym management.

So back to the point of this entry -- legs. While I think people are privvy to the fact that for legs, squats are king! People are also aware that the silver medal goes to Leg Presses, with the bronze being awarded to Leg Extensions. However, there's at least one supplemental exercise that should not be discounted or excluded from your routine -- the almighty, devastating Front Squat!

What I like most about Front Squats are the control they demand from the athlete; unlike squats where the back, arguably, comes into play, the FS requires most of the overall balance to come from the quadriceps. And according to a great article published on, front squats require less spinal load, meanwhile are performed with less torque and spinal flexion that back squats.

In the coming weeks, I hope to be able to gather your thoughts on this excellent quad-building exercise, as well as hopefully taping a few of you at work on it! The photos in this section (from top to bottom) feature: Jake Hawkins, Karson Lattimore, and yours truly - Christian Duque.

The Joys of Dieting

It started with a handshake and a really nice greeting, "hey Christian, how are you buddy?" We clasped hands as my mind went racing. And this was no ordinary shot, this run made the Winston 500 seem like a back alley drag race.

The Women Need Role Models

The gymnasium is a place where bodies are carefully modified according to each athlets's seemingly clear mental blue print. But you're not going to be able to achieve hardly anything if your head's not screwed on properly. People need friends, inspiration, and motivation most definitely in places like the gym.

We all learn through trial and error, but everyone wants a role model, and the real-life kind always beat out the magazine and television stars that seem light years away. But even in a gym with several women considering competitive Figure contests and getting themselves into lean shape, I do not believe these persons to be accessible to the general membership.

This is why I'm very happy to announce that will be featuring local, Mighican female figure, fitness, and bodybuilding athletes, that have accomplished superb physiques, and continue to retain some sense of humility and at the same time, a true desire to help those that want to be helped, without being made to feel inferior in the process.

Covers & Stats

StrengthAddicts can be found on a great many forums all over the internet, but are most popular mediums are: Facebook, Myspace, Badoo, and YouTube. Members will be featured on the cover of our accounts, based on statistical information (e.g. video views, club activity, and subject matter). Gracing the cover of our Myspace, Facebook (group photo), and/or YouTube channel will mean that you will be the face of the 40+ men and women of the group. It's the cover of Time Magazine, but it's a great honor for those of us pushing through reps in the gym.

Great movements begin with just a few enlightened men and women. I don't dream small and I don't half-ass it - anywhere. This time (as opposed to 2008), StrengthAddicts will not stand down.

Current Coves -- Mike "the Tank" Ivancevic -- Karson Lattimore

Facebook/GR -- Spencer Range

For those of you wondering "wtf is badoo?" -- it's like Facebook, but it's huge in Southeast Asia and Latin America. I have many goals for this site (one of which is creating small fanbases around the world for all of you). I'm very proud of every StrengthAddict, and I want y'all to be seen :)

Casting Call: Gymrats Needed for Mighty Forearms!

One of the many forgotten muscles that are an integral part of every bodybuilder and powerlifter's arsenal are forearms. Use straps much? Use chalk? These are both great accessories for the modern lifter; however, they both soon become obsolete the stronger one's form's become. The human body gives us the tools to create an Iron-Grip and our very hands provide for the best stability and control conceivable -- in the form of calluses. So why do forearms gets lost in the shuffle on a day that may include triceps and/or biceps training?

Well, the answer is clearly in sex. Think of Sex and Sex Appeal in the same context. How many guitarists play their instrument with the oppposite sex in mind? How many heterosexual actors apply makeup on the set and/or have face-lifts at 40yrs of age? And how many athletes hit the gym to have aesthetically-pleasing guns, abs, and pec, meanwhile their back, legs, and delts look like dogshit?

When you lift for yourself - every muscle group is addressed, including distinct heads that are usually never isolated in [mainstream] compound movements. However, the athlete that trains for sex appeal, hits only those muscles that are in demand -- some guys would train their inner thighs and wear Strongest Inner Thigh Monster t-shirts around town if they figured it would score them points with the ladies. And some women are guilty of this phenomenon as well -- let's get out of the Victorian Age shall we -- women can be just as intelligent, sick in the head, and trendy as their male counterparts. Being Metro is an equal opportunity laughable phase in life.

So as of today -- I'm putting the call out -- if you want to train forearms and show the others a few tricks up your sleeve -- drop me a line - -- and if you live internationally and have a video on youtube, you may also contact me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chest / Diet / Recruitment

It's really not a groundbreaking concept to decrease the weight and pump up the volume on the intensity that is high-rep training. But there's more to the approach than a ton of reps -- there needs to be special emphasis placed on full range of motion, strict emphasis on proper posture, and TOTAL control during the positive and negative portions of the movement.

With Summer just around the corner, many of us are eager to get ripped (watching our meal-intake, doing cardio, etc), but many of us are also keen to the fact that while our numbers (on lifts) may be going down, this is an approach that can tone our bulky muscles and bring about promising, aesthetically-pleasing striations and cross-striations.

When a bodybuilder or powerlifter walks around in a stocky, sometimes bulky state, he/she is most likely his/her strongest. But that's the irony of the sport of bodybuilding -- when competitors look their strongest, leanest, and most cut -- they're actually their absolute weakest.

So what about Chest? Well, let's forget about those heavy bench presses and dumbbell presses and let's instead start working more on:

(1) Dumbbell Flyes
- Incline (1st, 5 Sets of 8 Reps)
-Flat Bench (2nd, 3 Sets of 8 Reps)
- 3rd Decline (1 Set of 8 Reps)

Flyes, as performed by Josh on the featured video, are so essential for pectoral definition, creating that valley between the two muscles.

Other great exercises that should also be considered for 3-5 sets per workout include: Smith Machine Bench Press, Push-Ups, Machine Press, and Cable Crossovers. The objective in this style of training is to assist you in dieting w/o losing quality muscle; however, there is heavy burden on your shoulders - you must treat those 30-50lb presses w/ the same R-E-S-P-E-C-T and conviction that you would for movements with 3x as much weight. The Low Weight / High Rep Approach is so much more mentally-challenging than throwing around big weights w/ simple brute force.

this approach that you will become more aware of how your body responds to stimulation - and - you will begin to develop your very own training techniques (this is like the passing on of the Holy Grail of weight-training).

Good Luck! And if you do this type of training -- another huge hurdle to overcome is how others perceive you -- or how YOU THINK they are perceiving you. Like I said before, this approach involves so much more than Strength, it's truly a very psychologically-draining process, but it's well worth it. You will grow as an athlete in ways too many to count and discuss here. :)

Another great magazine practically fell into my lap. The employees at my favorite supplement store in Michigan (GNC at the Lansing Mall) gave me the new issue of Muscle / Body when I purchased a couple protein bards. I had already made my monthly purchase a week earlier and renewed my goldcard, but they wanted to be sure I was taken care of and offered me this great read. :)

If you ever need supplements or just want to look around, I can assure you that will be very pleased with the selection, prices, and customer service you'll get here. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another Team Effort

I. About Yesterday's Entry

No apologies. Yes, this is our blog, but I do all the work here. And to a lesser, though still notable degree -- I'm the leader of the pack. If I can't be honest with my best buds in the gym (the only place that's really been important to me in the last 5yrs of my life), then who can I be honest with? I know there's local traffic, heck, I know there's international traffic as well (I get the fanmail), but bodybuilding isn't an outlet for ogres and midgets w/ Napoleon-syndrome... I want people to know that gymrats are very keen people, with expansive intellects and complex personalities; and yes, feelings too! :)

II. Truly a Team Effort!

What we're doing goes beyond lifting, spotting, and filming.

What the Hell's Wrong w/ Me?

I honestly believe blogging is as close to the spoken word of thought as anything else out there. It's like art in the spoken word, it shouldn't be processed, you shouldn't have to sugar-coat your thoughts or feelings -- just write, edit later.

Whenever I diet, I diet hard - I don't know any other way. I supplement w/ the ECA Stack, watch my foods (not always my calories), and adopt a rigidity to my daily processes that would likely intimidate most people outside the [gym] loop. A person that's disciplined from within, as opposed to reacting to external actors and/or pressures, will almost always succeed. When you eat, train, supplement, and sleep w/ yourself as the recipient of all the benefits of your sacrifices, you selfishly will not settle for anything but the absolute best.

But peptalks aside -- I'm not your average guy. I'm normally hyper-sensitive and very emotional; I'm a guy's guy, but I have a really hard time not living up to people's expectations. A mean face, an unanswered greeting, a petty act that to most wouldn't even warrant a second thought, can truly break my spirits, f*ck up my day, and send my heart and soul on a wild rollercoaster ride that would make menopause seem like a happy-go-lucky recess from the pitfalls of everyday life.

In class today, (Con. Law Seminar) I literally doodled on my notebook and heard all my classmates opine per the cues of the professor. Many of the opinions were delievered in legal-ease, using far too complex terminology for otherwise simple (if not elementary) ponderings of a group far more enchanted by the sound of their voice, than making any kind of meritorious argument. Oooops...there I go now... sounding all scholarly, and all I could have said was -- they talked too much, largely about nothing. But... the professor applauded each one of them w/ "brilliant comment," "very well thought out," nice connection,".. you'd think he had Earl Warren, Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin Cardozo, and William Brennan for students!

I gave up even trying, he never once has complimented me like that and has even told me to let others have a chance -- I gave up speaking Wk4, it's now Wk7 -- I'm asked to speak, but I just can't and won't. I wanted to take this course soo badly, but now my whole time in class is spent doodling over the notes of points I'd fantasized all week about making in class, just to give me something else to think about but just balling in class right there. It's a total 2hr pity party -- and I'm the guest of honor.

So I wonder, is this crazy diet consisting of limited calories, further broken down into moderate protein, controlled fats, and only carbs that can defeat strict scrutiny prior to being consumed, a leading culprit in my seeming emotional breakdown? Or am I just a really bad grudge-holder and too immature for my own good? Is there a point in time where we as sensient human beings are too in-touch with our emotions for our own good?

I can hold a grudge longer than most. It goes back to the selfish motivation behind rigid dieting and hardcore training -- when you're the source of your inspiration and yours is the benefit reaped from sacrifice, you will settle only for the best. And when it's your feelings and your heart on the line, if it means holding onto to a grudge to save face, then you do it -- no questions asked, or at least I do it.

On that note, you also have to know when to let go. I don't know that I feel ready to participate as I did the first four weeks of school, but I did feel the need to give Ben (fellow lifter) an explanation for why I was ignoring him and his steady work-out partner. It's kind of unrelated, but it's also really not. If you're still reading, then read some more.

I basically resented the fact that two very fit members of my current gym were highly selective of who they spoke with and why during many instances it seemed my greetings fell on deaf ears -- it hurt me. I'm an emotional guy, and what makes me hardcore is that I'm man enough to admit it. The Alpha Male may be balls to the wall tough, but $10 says they can't articulate a single emotion -- it's not in them. So if you're an Alpha-anything and you think you're better than me -- may the next toilet you sit on have a generous amount of fresh superglue on it :). lol

The fact is -- in my way of thinking, warped as it is -- if a girl is rude or mean to you but her boyfriend is not, you have to quit talking to both of them. It's a respect issue for me; I'm not going to buddy it up with a guy and then ignore his girl -- that just seems off. Well as it turns out, Wong always said hello to me and was always super nice, as the grudge wore on, everytime I ignored this kid, it took a toll on me b/c I can't stand to live with myself when I'm being rude to nice people (even if this means merely giving the cold shoulder).

His workout partner on the other hand, like the female-halves of a couple of other duos, have forced me to cut ties with their really cool, genuine male halves b/c of the looming awkwardness earlier discussed. The young woman in question always seemed to be above and beyond my reach -- not romantic reach, mind you, but worse still, my social reach. It was like if there was a social ladder to reach her spot on the hierarchy of life, by the time I got a chance to climb, someone had hammered off most of the rungs off and greased the few remaining, thoroughly.

So, I gave up. And it seemed of little concern to her. But when I made up with Ben, almost immediately I received a compliment for losing weight and working hard from her. I found out that she only noticed I existed, because he made a comment about me. But guess what, I want to be noticed when I'm fat and out of shape too, because the amount fat I carry -- or don't, doesn't define me as a human being. The physique snobs of the world shouldn't measure the self-worth of their peers along the same lines as the body fat index!

Anyways, I won't talk to this woman. It's awkward as hell talking to Ben and having her stand there beside him, smiling, nodding along as if she's an integral part of the conversation. It's awkward for me, because her demeanor is seemingly that of a really nice girl that wants to be my friend, but I'm also regularly reminded of all the times I was invisible -- even when I wasn't holding any grudges... you don't ever want to be made to feel like you're a nobody -- not anywhere, but much less in the gym.

You can use that rejection as motivation to work harder and get better, but it's not optimal; the feelings of inadequacy will trump all others. Even bone dry, razor sharp, vascular, grainy, and balanced - or - well-read, prepared, and eager to debate... a wounded heart will crush your soul.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saved by the Bell?

As many of you already know, I'll go to no end to promote the StrengthAddicts brand, and I do so largely because I believe in what we're doing and who we're working with! On that note, I want to congratulate Steven A. Smith for his awesome post on our Facebook' wall. Steven, defied a grim medical diagnosis, and went on to put 2.5" of solid muscle onto his biceps. I'd also like to take the opportunity to give kudos to an old friend and fellow member of our Facebook crew Alex Llinas, a Florida native, that at 145lbs benched 225! Congrats to both of these great guys!

Cool Magazine
As for the topic of the thread... I picked this issue of Maximum Fitness from a Meijer in Battle Creek, largely because I was surpised to see A.C. Slater (aka Mario Lopez from hit series Saved by the Bell) and the great physique he'd created for himself. The cover-story, as well as at least another dozen columns, articles, and blurbs were both helpful for blogging purposes, as well as entertaining.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More On Wheels

I had an unpleasant experience at the gym last night and some other drama last night, so today I decided to hit the gym early and train legs. This is the only workout of the week where I feel myself sent into another world. I have to divert a great deal of effort, which would otherwise be centered on lifting, in the hopes of creating a mind/body focus that will serve me faithfully through a series of painful, unpleasant exercises. Pain is not the name of the game, but it certainly makes itself a key player throughout.

I have always believed in getting your heaviest lifts out of the way first. I begin my routine by setting aside 3-5 minutes for stretching, then I perform a set of eight squats, using only on the 45lb. bar. Although I don't count the first set, even as a warm-up, I feel it's imperative to use this point in time to visually perform what should be the perfect, model rep, repeated 8x for the news to spread to all back alleys and corners of my mind and the vast realm of the subconscious.

The first real set, consists of a warm-up of eight repetitions with 135lbs performed far beyond parallel. There is also a second warm-up set, again with 135, going just as deep as its predecessor. The following sets are of 225, 275, 315, and 335 -- w/ the reps decreasing as the weight increases.

Following squats, I hit front squats (usually 3 sets), lunges (3-5 sets), hack squats (usually 5 sets), leg extensions (usually performed single-leg for 5 sets), and I end the day with two calf exercises.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Getting Ripped: As much mental, as physical.

I don't know how many of you are aiming to get ripped by summer -- or are already there, but I know how to lose 60lbs in three months and I'm well on my way. Is it healthy? It's healthier than being fat, let's just say that. In a couple of days I start cardio (the 2nd phase) and within 4wks I'll have another 20lbs off. But the hardest weight to lose -- is that last 20lbs. I refuse to starve myself; I also refuse to take anything stronger than an ECA Stack. Trust me fellas -- you can get anything in a gym (not necessarily our gym, but any gym). And let me be the straight-edge, PSA/Public Service Announcement person here, and let me tell you what you're already prolly thinking I'm going to write.. even if you're curious -- it's not worth it!

I used to know of a guy in FL (through his gf), that used to deal in rolaids, and the secret was that he'd extract all the antacid from the vile and replace all but 10% of it with peanut oil and vinegar. People were buying what they thought was a strong antacid and what they were getting was generic salad dressing. Heck.. you could go over to Meijer and pick up some of Paul Newman's best Italian dressing for way cheaper! Worse of all fellas... if you got busted -- even buying counterfeit antacids -- you'll still be sent to the bighouse. But I digress ... back to getting cut and not going beyond the controlled-but-still-legal ECA Stack.

So I must commence w/ the first critique you'll prolly hear along the way - "don't overtrain." Well that's just a crock of hooey! lol. How can you expect to get ripped by not going the extra mile? You're not trying to tone, and you're not trying to get in shape -- you're 20, 30, 40, but you're not 80! Your idea of cardio is not sitting on a plastic chair and moving your orthopedic Reebox around an inch this way, and a inch that way. I mean who here wears Depends, and of those of you that do... how many of you have a Pacemaker. I mean what's this overtraining nonsense I keep hearing.

There's merit to it -- and opinions are like _____, eveyone has one. But aside from qualifiying my opinion as just that, how is anything supposed to get done in the gym, if we train only for a mere forty-five minutes like Skip Lacour advises, or what if we train a bodypart once every ten days like Mike Mentzer would (at times) advocate with his High Intensity Training (a program that was later followed by IFBB greats like Aaron Baker and 6x Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates). The bottom line is that the two aforementioned athletes are bodybuilders whose history will cetainly make for our sport's textbooks (and we're very proud of them!), but we aren't vying for the Mr. Olympia or the coveted (Natural) IFBB Team Universe - we're a blue collar bodybuilding and powerlifting club.

You know... I take great pride in being an "everyday lifter," but given that distinction, I also realize that many of us aren't that different from mainstream society in that we demand instant gratification. Thank God for the Doogie Howser's, but America was built by the George Jefferson's, the Archie Bunker's, and even.. the Al Bundy's -- the blue collar workhorses!

Even bodybuilding... Milos Sarcev knew the science, Ronnie Coleman bled from his nose and worked like a superhuman; true, he wasn't natural, but NO ONE lifted more, suffered more, and endure more. This is why Coleman was the best. It's just like when I was ten years old -- I used to bleed green -- I was the biggest Celtics fan ever! I used to idolize Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, and Robert Parish -- and even though Jordan made me cry everytime he shut out Boston -- you just can't deny Jordan was the greatest that ever lived. Workhorses. Workhorses -- not scientists, not bookworms, not philosophers -- certainly not funny-walking/snooty/unapproachable/broom-up-their ass, male PERSONAL TRAINERS!. Workhorses.

So at the risk of sounding like an ignoramus (given the easy accessibility of programs like HIT and Max-O.T.), I'm going to say: "train balls to the wall, till your legs give out, because there's NO Shame with laying on your own pool of sweat on the gym floor that everyone's walked all over.

We don't wear pretty t-shirts, we don't have clients that call us and pay us huge chunks of change to hear us talk to them on the phone about how they need to get their fat-butts on a treadmill, and we don't have film crews following us around (well...sometimes I'll follow you around with my Insignia camera, lol).
And YES there is such a thing as "," but chances are, most people never even come close to that point and already they're lookin at the door. Are you a New Year's Resolution lifter -- or are you a f*ckin StrengthAddict?!! When you train like a wimp -- you're making ALL OF US look like wimps with you! Thanks...
Train hard. Over-training should be in the same pile w/ words like over-achieving, overly-successful, and overly-ambitious. But that's just MY OPINION.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's A Question of Class

You know... I'm a guy's guy, and I love a great joke just as much as the next guy. But in case some of you amongst us missed the bus -- or maybe you don't have mothers, sisters, female cousins, or close female friends... there's a time and a place certain kinds of joke, and there's a time and a place to joke around with women. This time and place should most certainly be influenced by the presence of unsuspecting third parties. Anyways... I should just mind my own business, but in two separate occasions now, I feel sorry for the female recipients, and offer them unsolicited advice. I actually tell them, 'hey, can I offer you some unsolicited advice?

That advice is, nothing is more cool in a woman, than the self-respect needed to respond: "you know... I don't think that comment _____ was appropriate." In both situations, the women have told me: "he was only kidding," and brush it, as well as my advice, off. The sad thing folks, is that while a third person may not have been there for the whole conversation, whenever they hear something offensive hurled at a woman and she just takes it -- it's upsetting.

So without naming names (something I'll never do), I just ask that the male members of StrengthAddicts never stoop so low as to publicly objectify women -- especially in earshot or in the presence of totally disinterested unsuspecting third parties. What this will do, is no doubt, lower that woman's self-respect to that passerby traffic. Be a real man -- treat women with respect.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

3 Days in One Post

Had the chance to train alongside fellow StrengthAddicts member Josh Castillo. We were both working on biceps and I must say he's looking absolutely amazing. I believe he said he was weighing around 154lbs. and was hoping to compete at around 147.

Caught a little head-cold today, but made the gym anyways. Traffic was an absolute nightmare and I ended up having to leave 496, taking MLK to Oakland and going the long way. I trained Chest w/ John and a new face Brian Z.. All in all it was a very productive session; we hit incline, pec-dec, bench press, and flyes. I was also able to hang out a little with friend & competitor Blake Selby (webmaster of who was training legs.

I went ahead and bought a new weight-training belt as I'm on the second-to-last pair of belt holes on my XL. I've never used a Large, so I'm hoping if I get halfway into it, I'll reached my lowest waist size since my teen years. I think if I could sport a 38" weight I'd look very formidable.

I also swung by my favorite store in Lansing (the Lansing Mall GNC). I bought a tub of Ulitmate Nutrition Wheat Protein Isolate, a new shaker cup, and some other goodies, namely a couple packs of Cliff Shot Roks). I also renewed my GNC Gold Card and hung out w/ the Lori for a good hour or so.

For today's post, we polled four members of the StrengthAddicts' Facebook group. The question we posed them was what they each had for breakfast -- and why? Below you'll find menu ideas that range from Low Carb, to Low Carb/Low Fat, and mixed selections. Please take a moment to review their responses.

"3 local pastured eggs cooked in grassfed butter with raw cheddar cheese--it's optimal high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutrition that's tastes great and makes you healthier than you ever thought possible!"

Jimmy Moore
Webmaster of

"Sample first meal:
1.5 cups steel cut oats
1 cup milk
1 banana
3 whole eggs

Glycogen stores diminish during the overnight fast (sleep), and need to be quickly replenished. Simple carbs do the job here. You are at the beginning of your day, so you will need energy for later, which is why you consume complex carbs. Relatively fast-digesting protein is useful for much the same reason as the simple carbohydrate; combating the overnight fast and getting aminos back into the bloodstream. Fat has many uses, but aids in achieving a higher calorie breakfast, which kickstarts the metabolism, turning you into a fat-burning inferno.

Blake Selby
Webmaster of

"Typical Meal #1: 6-10 oz baby carrots with either 300 grams liquid egg whites or 3-4 lowfat cheese sticks.

Why: Carbs here come from a fibrous source (carrots). I use them because they are extremely portable, and not so light (like, say, lettuce or something) that I'll become light-headed or develop a headache if I don't have something else for carbs. Many programs will advocate starchy carb sources for the first meal. I find nothing wrong with this (as you'll see in my second "typical meal"), however, I've found over time by taking painstaking notes about my own personal diet for several years that I am able to "cut" better while still keeping my strength up by having fibrous sources for my first meal (this allows me to devote more calories to my pre and post workout nutrition later in the day - a MAX-OT principle).

Protein-wise I use either cheese (casein) or whites because, again, they are very portable. Ideally, I would probably go to whey (isolate), as that is a faster absorbing protein, which is desirable with the first meal. However, I've had no issues keeping my strength up thus far sticking with cheese and whites, and they tend to be cheaper and more portable.

Typical Meal #2: 40 grams Whole Oats with Splenda (I measure grams because I've learned over time that simple cup or ounce measurements can sometimes be off significantly) and 250-300 grams liquid whites (note: GFS sells these frozen and are FAR superior to anything you'll find in powder form or at Meijer or Wal Mart).

Why: Pretty straight forward. Oats and whites. It is probably less common that I go to this meal. However, it is still one I'll go to, especially if I'm having a day where I am trying to restore glycogen levels in my muscles so that I don't feel so flat and to rid myself of what's referred to as "muscle bellies" every now and again (just a bloaty feeling that can come on whenever your body is bordering the line between a normal state and a state of ketosis). However, I also have learned that it is not the worst thing to even bother addressing this "flat" feeling. It's not always a bad sign, and can in fact be a very good sign, but it can be quite annoying to the lifter who want to both look and feel good at the gym.

For both meals, I might sometimes throw in some strong coffee with an ever so slight amount of fat free creamer, especially if I have a chance to do my lifting in the morning or (more likely), I"ll be doing my cardio that morning. I used to feel strongly about the principle of cycling caffeine, however, after learning MAX-OT and keeping up on Paul Cribb and Co.'s research, I no longer find it especially important that it be cycled.

Spencer Range

"--- Upon Waking up (7:00 am) ---

1 Scoop Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein (when I'm not in a rush)
1 Living Green Liquid-Gel Multi
1 Optimum Nutrition Amino 2222 Softgel
3-4 Slivers of Raw Ginger

--- Shower/ Dress (approx. 20 min) ---

3-5 egg whites
2 whole eggs
over medium (with Pam) served over 1/2 cup plain oatmeal

2 Bags of Lipton Hot tea
3 Packets of splenda
24 oz. Water

--- Explanation ---

The whey protein gets my body anabolic, after a night of being catabolic. I try to spread the aminos (6/day) and multi-vitamin (3/day) throughout the day. Furthermore, the multi's are worth taking a look at. They possess a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins that most people miss. Finally, the Ginger helps alkalize my stomach. An alkaline stomach absorbs more vitamins and prevents acid reflux (which is quiet common when eating big meals).

I shower before I eat my breakfast to maximize bio-availability. The body can only absorb so many nutrients at a time-- you've gotta spread them out.

Egg whites = high protein w/o the cholesterol. However, I include a few whole eggs for the flavor. Oatmeal is a great carb that won't cause you to gain weight (grits will, so I eat those when I'm trying to gain). The hot tea offers more caffeine than coffee and helps to settle the stomach. Finally, splenda allows me to indulge in sweets w/o feeling bad about the carbs.

-- Conclusion ---

I've perfected the routine above. If you don't have time or patience to work it into your diet, then just do the eggs and oatmeal. They are probably the most essential piece."

Josh Castillo

Facebook Keyword: "StrengthAddicts"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Reduce Carbs Close to Bedtime

"Well the primary reason eating carbohydrate later at night is a problem for people desiring fat loss is the insulin spike that takes place during a sedentary state. Since you are as inactive as you can possibly be during sleep, there's nowhere for the stored energy (body fat) to go or be used. This is why if you're going to eat carbs it's probably best to do it earlier in the day when your body has an ability to use the energy up before the insulin stores the fat. Lesson here: DON'T EAT CARBS AT NIGHT! :)

Jimmy Moore
Livin (Founder)

Christian's Daily Gym Rant
Interesting day at the gym today. Trained shoulders and hit abs (just tuned to Motley Crue's Hooligan's Holiday off their best album ever (and the only one w/o original singer Vince Neil).

One of the gym's up and coming competitors was working out today - and in typical competitor mode - said hello to eveyone except for yours truly. I have a feeling when StrengthAddicts gets bigger, people will start being nicer to me... it won't help. Certain people will never enter our group. Another notable-but-frightening event occurred on my way out.

A lady I've seen in the gym quite often -- always kickin butt on cardio and weights was leaving ahead of me, and since I never have said hello to her I did. I guess she didn't hear me the first time, so I said hello again. She gave me the coolest smile and seemed really nice -- so I said "you're very friendly" and smiled. I was happy to meet a nice person, but upon giving her the compliment her face morphed into downright fury -- did I miss something? "You seem friendly" and a smile... are these fighting words? Ya got me - I'm clueless.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Push Through & You'll Succeed!

Working through your sets is lot like life and its many hurdles. To the everyday-public working out is just pushing and pulling weight, and to some it's nothing more than "a waste of time..."

What do you see in this picture? I see an athlete driven to press 225lbs. over his head; I also see three of his buddies rooting him on. And you know what else I see? I see a great deal of discipline and ambition as well. I see a guy that not only overcame the hurdle, but overcame it Five Times - and even still - seems unhappy. He knows he's capable of more, so instead of celebrating, he's already psyching himself up for the next challenge.

We're different people than mainstream society. We're cut from a different fabric. Good job Mike - kick ass lift! :)

Don't be a Sucker!

Some of you are grown ass men and women and you shouldn't have to be told to quit handing over your hard-earned money for what amounts to little for than a handful of magic beans. If you're overweight, set realistic goals for yourself - don't go around the gym saying that not only are you going to drop literally half your bodyweight in fat in six months - but that you're also going to win a bodybuilding pro card, simply because you retained a nutritionist or got yourself on a stack of little more than sugar pills you purchased at the local health food store.

Supplement ads are nothing more than over-the-top sales pitches targeted at an intentionally-impressionable audience that want to believe in what their common sense at the 5th grade level would have had them ignore at first blush.

However, if you're dead set on buying Leucine in a pill bottle that says "Leukic" for $70 (on sale, lol), then meet me at the Go Workout parking lot before I train. I don't have any pills, but I can fill up your bottle from my $15 bag of leucine from Supplement Direct, and you can give me the $70. I'll make $55 profit and still have twice as much product as you do.

Bodybuilders have homes, families, bills to pay. Supplement contracts afford bodybuilders the ability to make a living -- you think Jay Cutler left ISS for MuscleTech b/c NitroTech works better? I mean he may say that, but money talks. Even when Ronnie was winning Sandows, it was rumored Jay had a better supplement contract (and was making more $$$) -- this is why BSN gave Coleman the "biggest contract in bodybuilding history"...

In any event... if you hire a guru or buy a "stack" of sugar bills and food supplements at the health store -- don't buy the hype -- and if you do -- don't go around preaching it to the poor non-believers. People will think you're delusional, and some would say - deserving of getting ripped-off.