Monday, August 1, 2011

The Fasting Month of Ramadhan – Keeping your Fitness Levels and Physique In Check!

I’ve been asked many times over the past few weeks on the so called ‘dilemma’ of sticking to an exercise program/routine during the month of Ramadhan. For the benefit of those who aren’t aware, Ramadhan is the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar and the entire month is spent fasting from dawn to dusk, by Muslims all over the world. Now, if you’re seriously into keeping fit, exercising, and weight training especially, you would know how important your meals are.. and therefore the ‘dilemma’. Many fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders especially, go through a tough time this month because of the fear and reality of losing precious muscle mass because they’re not able to eat as efficiently as they should.
To Muslims out there.. while I read that there are many spiritual benefits to fasting during Ramadhan, I think that this is also a perfect time to exercise/practise your skills of ‘mind over matter’ by being in control of the body’s hunger and appetite. Not easy, I know.. but I believe that a healthy soul/spirit can only help rejuvenate the body, and not bring harm. So, with this positive mindset of ‘improvement’ in mind, here are my thoughts on keeping your fitness levels in check during the fasting month of Ramadhan.
Ramadhan is definitely not about losing weight, but weightloss can be a strong indication of whether you are fasting properly. I’ve heard of people who try to take the opportunity of this month to lose weight.. and although possible, I honestly believe that you’ll have a better success rate and more effective/productive weightloss if you were to attempt it while youre not fasting. I’ve also heard stories of people who end up gaining weight in Ramadhan.. now how do you let that happen? Geez..
What sort of fasting is it if you are eating the same amount/quantity in calories, than what you would be eating on any other day?
You can easily use the calculator at the link below (Use the Basal Metabolic Rate & the Harris Benedict Equation on the page) to roughly determine how many calories you burn a day :
Now let’s say that you end up with a daily calorie requirement of 1950 calories. When you eat less than 1950 calories per day, you WILL lose weight. When you eat more than 1950 calories, you WILL gain weight. The overall law of nature does not change : you need to eat less than what you need, to lose weight. Simple.
When people fast, most people would be reducing their calories by the mere fact that they have only 4-5 hours to consume food, and they are unable to make up all the calories they would have eaten if they were capable of eating the full time that they were awake.
However, what I believe can be common among those who fast today is that there is a tendency for people to gorge themselves with fried foods which contain huge amounts of calories as the person tries to ‘make up’ for any missed calories in those few short hours.
Ask yourself right now.. are you going over your maintenance numbers or not? One obvious way to determine this without even having to whip out your calculator is if you are rubbing/patting your belly and having to loosen your belt after a meal.. you have obviously overeaten. Duhh!
Also, during the beginning of a long fasting period, you may lose a lot of water (which is natural), and therefore important to keep in mind that this is not an excuse to only stuff your face with more food just because your weighing scale tells you that you are lighter… because you havent lost any actual fat yet. It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose one pound, and if you spread this out, that means if you eat 500 calories less than the maintenance you calculated above, you will lose one pound of body tissue in that week.
Notice that I said body tissue, and not bodyfat. This is because when your body begins digesting itself, it rarely distinguishes between fat and muscle. This is also known as muscle catabolism, which is the breakdown of muscle mass as a result of injury/immobilisation or poor dieting techniques. If you’ve ever been admitted/bedridden in the hospital for over a week.. you’ll know what I’m talking about.
You would be surprised to know that muscle is something your body desires to get rid of. Biologically speaking, its active tissue and it requires constant food and attention from your body to keep muscle tissue alive… in other words.. its quite a ‘hassle’ for your body to preserve muscle tissue, and your body would rather get rid of muscle than consume its own fat (which sits comfortably on your stomach or thighs or – insert problem fatty area here:_________… hehe – requiring very very little attention).
So here, once again, ‘reckless fasting’ for an extended period of time affects your body because relaxing too much, sleeping all day, and being lazy through most of the day when fasting really worsens muscle loss.
To maintain your physique and gains in a healthy manner, you simply need to send a signal to your body that the muscle you carry is NEEDED, and that signal is sent by remaining active. Yes, in other words, if you’re a fitness enthusiast who wants to preserve your precious muscle mass during the fasting month.. you need to do some exercise at least. If you have a desk job, there is no need to go to extremes, but perhaps try some pushups, chin ups, or lift a few weights to send a ‘signal’ to your body that the muscle you’re carrying.. is NEEDED.
For the hardcore bodybuilder and the fitness enthusiast who wants to keep his/her physique in check, this means that while you won’t be able to pack on any serious muscle mass or make any outstanding progress towards your goals, you will be able to MAINTAIN most of what you have gained so far. So use this month of fasting to get comfortable with your body, your food intake, and hopefully, though not 100 percent – you’ll be able to maintain your fitness level at where it is today. Once the fasting month is over… then, you can go all out once again. Hitting the gym hard the day fasting is over may be a bit dissapointing as you will notice that you wont be in top form.. but it will only be a matter of days before your muscle memory kicks in, and you’ll be exactly where you last stopped.

Some points that I personally feel is great advice is:
- Group Exercise classes as are a great way to stay motivated even when your schedule is not flexible.
- If you can only fit a 45-minute workout into your busy Ramadhan schedule, then make it a concentrated 45 minutes.
So people.. don’t get lazy, or discouraged because it’s the fasting month. Get smart, get active – and stay just the way you are.

Happy fasting!
Supreme Supplements

Monday, May 16, 2011

Super Size Your Body With A Muscle PHD-4


Description of Workout:

If you are like me you have probably tried every training regimen and then some on every single web-site across the internet. You have done straight power routines, high volume, athletic performance, BFS, hypertrophy and so forth.  There are so many titles and names of different regimens FST-7, P.H.A.T, HCT-12, German Volume Training, Occlusion Training, and them some. Well let me introduce to you my personal formulated training regimen that I personally created called “PHD-4” Training aka Power Hyper Deload Training.
Now I am sure you may be asking what to expect from this training program, well here is the deal 95% of us who step into the gym want to be big, strong, and aesthetically pleasing. This program allows you to be all of those and better yet an overall well developed lifter, this regimen incorporates powerlifting, explosive training, and hypertrophy work.
If you are looking to be bigger, stronger, and develop a well balanced physique this program is for you. If you are looking to push your body beyond physical limits and become dominant in the gym this program is for you. If you are looking to separate yourself from the weak and be obsolete this program is for you. If you answered yes and told yourself what I just stated in the previous 3 statements is what you want then let’s get to work!

Now what does PHD-4 stand for? It stands for Power Hyper Deload every 4th week, hence the short expression PHD-4.
  • Monday - Power Day - Incline Bench and Deadlift 5/3/1.
  • Tuesday - Power Day - Squat and Military Press 5/3/1.
  • Wednesday - Abs and HIIT cardio.
  • Thursday - Hyper Day - Chest and Arms.
  • Friday - Hyper Day - Back and Shoulders.
  • Saturday - Hyper Day - Legs.
  • Sunday - Off/cardio.
Power Day
Incline Bench Press 5/3/11RM
Deadlift 5/3/11RM
Accessory ExercisesSetsReps
Chest Accessory4-86-10
Back Accessory4-86-10
Bicep Accessory46-10
Tricep Accessory46-10
Power Day
Military Press5/3/11RM
Accessory ExercisesSetsReps
Hamstring Accessory46-10
Quads Accessory46-10
Calf Accessory4-86-12
Shoulder Accessory4-86-10
Hyper Day - Chest & Arms
ExerciseSets Reps
Speed Bench Press (Dynamic Effort) - 60%83
Chest Accessory6-88-12
Bicep Accessory4-68-12
Tricep Accessory4-68-12
Hyper Day - Back & Shoulders
ExerciseSets Reps
Speed Deadlift (Dynamic Effort) - 60%61
Back Accessory6-108-12
Shoulder Accessory6-88-12
Hyper Day - Legs
ExerciseSets Reps
Speed Squats (Dynamic Effort) - 60%102
Quads Accessory6-88-12
Hamstring Accessory6-88-12
Calf Accessory3-58-15

General Notes and Miscellaneous Information

The format and layout are that of Layne’s P.H.A.T. method. Monday and Tuesday are your power days, Wednesday is for cardio or completely off, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are your hypertrophy days, and Sunday you can do optional cardio or be completely off.
The power days are based off of Jim Wendler’s recommendation for those who can only train twice a week (mainly those who can only train early in the week on Mondays and Tuesdays). So Monday is Deadlifts and Bench then Tuesdays Squats and Power Presses with the 5/3/1 set rep scheme.
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday you will be doing speed work on your power lifts besides your military/power press movement. This is based of of Layne’s P.H.A.T format but the sets, reps, and percentages are based off the Westside Barbell principles. On these days I personally decided to add in resistance band and reverse band techniques to my speed work weights. You do not have to you can you use standard weight that falls under your percentage.
Every fourth week you will be deloading on your power days - Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as decreasing your accessory movement sets by half and weights by half. This practice and principal is based off of Wendler’s 5/3/1 regimen.
On your hyper and speed days during your deload week you have the choice to do speed work. Keep your hyper sets, reps, and weights the same.
On accessory and hyper work when it says "x amount" – x amount of sets for a particular body part. you can break up and utilize as you would like. So you can so BB Curls for a 6 sets on your Bicep Accessory work on Thursday, or you can do 2 exercise of 3 sets each, or 3 exercises of 2 sets each, etc.
If you are used to training once a week you will need to give this program a minimum of 2 cycles for your body to become adaptive to the volume aspect. Stick with it. You may feel weak in the beginning but once your body adapts the strength will grow and be on the up and up from then on.
If you have never incorporated power training into your regimen then this will be demanding on the body. Make sure you are eating enough to support the toll this will take on your body. Please practice proper form and technique when performing these lifts as serious injury can come about if proper form is not utilized.

Here is the lay out!
Week 1: 65% 75% 85% of your 1 rep max 3 sets of 5 reps (last set do to max rep effort no more than 10 reps)
Week 2: 70% 80% 90% of your 1 rep max 3 sets of 3 reps (last set do to max rep effort no more than 10 reps)
Week 3: 75% 85% 95% of your 1 rep max 3 sets of 5/3/1 (reps last set do to max rep effort no more than 10 reps)
Week 4: DELOAD 40% 50% 60% of your 1 rep max 3 sets of 5 reps (no max rep effort onlast set stop at 5)
Weeks 1 - 3 Warms up using 40% 50% 60% of your 1 rep max then jump into working percentages

Good Luck

Supreme Supplements

Monday, April 4, 2011

Back Specialization Workout!!!



Description of Workout:

Rest between all sets is 90 seconds unless specified.
Monday - Back Thickness
Back Thickness
Deadlift67/5/3/7/5/3 (Work to 3RM Twice)
One Arm Dumbbell Rows46 to 8
T-Bar Rows44 to 6
Seated Cable Rows412 to 15
Tuesday  Legs and Delts
Legs & Delts
Leg Press310 to 12 w/3 Drop Sets - 25 to 30 Reps per Set
Close Stance Squats312 to 15
Lunge38 to 10
Leg Curl312 to 15 w/3 Drop Sets - 25 to 30 Reps per Set
Seated Calf Raise315 to 20
Dumbbell Shoulder Press38 to 10
Seated Lateral Raise310 to 12 w/2 Drop Sets - 25 to 30 Reps per Set
Wednesday - Back Width
Back Width
Chin Ups68/6/4/8/6/4
Wide Grip Pulldowns To Rear48 to 10
Straight Arm Pull Downs410 to 12
Rope Pull Downs312 to 15 (Elbows Wide at Bottom)
Friday - Traps, Lower Back and Rear Delts
Traps, Lower Back & Rear Delts
Barbell Shrugs64 to 6
Seated Dumbbell Shrugs46 to 8
Weighted Hyperextensions48 to 10
Seated Face Pulls410 to 12 (Elbows Wide - Pull to Chin)
Bent Over Lateral Raise412 to 15
Saturday - Chest and Arms
Chest & Arms
Dumbbell Bench Press38 to 10
Cable Crossovers312 to 15 plus 2 Drop Sets
Barbell Curls310 to 12
Machine Preacher Curls312 to 15 plus 2 Drop Sets
Close Grip Bench Press310 to 12
V-Bar Tricep Pressdowns312 to 15 plus 2 Drop Sets

Good luck

Supreme Supplements

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

3 Step Beginner Bigger Badder Biceps Workout!!!



Description of Workout:

Arms and biceps in particular are one of the muscle groups that most people are interested in working on and for good reason. After all, a good set of bulging biceps look great with your shirt off, wearing a tighter fitting t-shirt and you could even pull off the long sleeve look given the right amount of size.
So how exactly should we train biceps to get that same size, peak and definition?
Some people may suggest working your arms every day to “specialize” on them. The problem with that is you will quickly learn that training any body part every day without allowing adequate rest and recovery will lead to overtraining and less than optimal results.
You may have heard of using lighter weights and high repetitions (30+ reps) to ‘tone and define’ the biceps. However, it is important to understand you cannot truly ‘tone and define’ any body part by simply following a set rep range. High reps does not tone a muscle or define a muscle and neither does low reps. The so called ‘defined’ look is determined by muscle mass and lower bodyfat levels.
If you want to really bring out the best in your biceps and get that muscle bulging from your shirts that impresses onlookers, you need to combine proper training to build muscle mass that includes targeted exercise selection, progressive overload, recovery and a low enough body fat percentage to allow the definition to appear fully.

The 3 Step Exercise Plan for Bigger Badder Biceps

This 3 step workout can be included in your current training plan you are already using or you can use this as a standalone workout if you prefer. The key is to only use the volume prescribed and follow the guidelines provided so that you see the best results.

Standing Barbell Bicep Curls:

The first exercise in the workout will consist of a compound movement. Although the biceps are a relatively small muscle group that does not really allow for many compound movements, the barbell bicep curl is a great exercise to recruit the most muscle fiber activation within the least amount of time that qualifies as a compound movement.
After initially warming up, jump into the exercise and perform anywhere from 8-12 reps with good form. This exercise will be responsible for hitting the biceps when they are still fresh and allow you lift your maximal weight early in the workout.

Standing Dumbell Hammer Curls:

The standing dumbbell hammer curl will allow you to work your grip as well as work your bicep muscles from a different angle that will assist in forearm development.
Developing your forearms will compliment your biceps and balance overall arm proportions. This exercise is much more effective at building bigger forearms when compared to wrist curls or other direct forearm exercises because it allows you to use a heavier weight.

1 Arm Dumbell Concentration Curl:

This exercise should be positioned as a finishing movement at the end of your bicep workout. It focuses primarily on the peak contraction of the muscle and involves the least amount of muscle recruitment but allows you to place the majority of the stress on a different part of the biceps.
Really focus on squeezing the contraction at the peak of this movement to get the full benefit of this exercise. Complete one full set on one arm, then follow up with another set on your other arm. A set is only complete once you have performed repetitions on both arms.
Another great advantage to using one arm at a time is that it helps you to identify weaknesses in your arms and it forces both arms to work without any assistance from the partner arm.

The Workout:

This workout should be completed no more than twice per week and preferably only once per week will lead to much improvement in building bigger arms.
Below are the exercise demonstrations of each exercise at their start and stop positions. Should you have any concerns regarding proper form or execution, consult with a personal trainer at your gym or another informed trainee.
Also included below are three variations on this routine that are goal and lifestyle specific. Choose the one that fits with your schedule and aligns with what you would like to accomplish.
Workout A
Workout A
Standing Barbell Curl48-1260 seconds
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl48-1260 seconds
Concentration Curl48-1260 seconds
Workout B
Workout B
Standing Barbell Curl46-890 seconds
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl46-890 seconds
Concentration Curl46-890 seconds
Workout C
Workout C
Standing Barbell Curl48-10No rest
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl48-10No rest
Concentration Curl48-1090 seconds

Good Luck

Supreme Supplements

Monday, February 21, 2011

Intermediate Boxing/MMA Workout!!!


Description of Workout:

This workout is designed for anyone in Boxing/MMA and any combat sports. It’s a 6 day routine based on two compound weight days and four days intense cardio. This workout is for anyone on an intermediate level and beginners should do a 12 week beginners routine before attempting this one.
It was taken into account that most people would be training in proper classes so the day of that class would account for a cardio day on this routine.
Reps Can Be Adjusted To Suit Your Goals:
  • Strength = 4-6 reps
  • Gaining Muscle = 7-12 reps
  • Endurance = 15-20
Workout Schedule:
  • Monday: Weight Training
  • Tuesday: Cardio/Fighting Practice
  • Wednesday: Cardio/Fighting Practice
  • Thursday: Weight Training
  • Friday: Cardio/Fighting Practice
  • Saturday: Cardio/Fighting Practice
  • Sunday: Rest Day

Monday & Thursday - Weight Training:

Monday - Legs, Back & Grip Strength
Leg Press415-20
Leg Curls415-20
Calf Raises515-20
Pull Ups415-20
Lat Pull Down415-20
Seated Row415-20
One Arm Dumbbell Row415-20
Grip Strength
Hand Grips430 (slow reps)
Thursday - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
Bench Press415-20
Incline Dumbbell Press415-20
Military Press415-20
Dumbbell Press415-20
Upright Rows415-20
Close Grip Bench Press415-20

Tuesday & Friday - Cardio & Bag/Pad Training:

Fighting Practice 30 mins (using bags or pads)
Example of practice for BOXING:
  • 3 mins of Quick Jabs and Strikes
  • 1 min rest
  • 3 mins of Heavy Strikes
  • 1 min rest
  • 3 min freestyle combo's
Repeat as many times as possible and push it!
Followed by 30 min jog

Wednesday & Saturday - Martial Arts Cardio:

Fighting Practice 45 mins
Example for Martial Artists:
  • Loosen Up by moving through the combinations of your preferred style (Karate = Kata)
  • 30 second rest
  • 3 mins Quick strikes on bag
  • 1 min rest
  • 3 mins of heavier strikes
  • 1 min rest
  • 3 mins freestyle combo's
Repeat as many times as possible and push it!
Followed by 100-200M Sprints

Good Luck

Supreme Supplements

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blast And Pump Arm Workout!!!

Description of Workout:

The blast and pump arm building approach cycles between two different workouts. During the first week you will focus on volume training. During the second week you will focus on training intensity. You can continue to cycle back and forth between these two workouts for as long as you continue to see good results.
Do not train to failure. Perform as many reps as possible for each set, stopping a set when you feel like you might not be able to complete another rep. On blast days, when you can perform 10 reps for 6 sets on a given exercise (a total of 60 reps), add weight the next time you perform this workout. On pump days, when you can reach the top end of the "rep range" for a given set, add weight.
For example, on pump days some rep ranges are listed as 6 to 10 reps. Continue to push yourself each workout until you reach 10 reps. When you are able to do so, add more weight then next time you perform this workout.

Week 1 - Blast Workout

You will be performing 2 exercises each for biceps and triceps, for a total of 24 sets. Rest no longer than 90 to 120 seconds between sets. Do NOT shorten rest periods lower than 90 seconds. You want to allow for some muscle recovery. The blast workout is all about training volume, not training intensity. This workout should take about one hour.

Week 2 - Pump Workout

You will be performing only 2 sets per exercise during this week, but they will be brutally tough. Limit rest between sets to 60 seconds, and a maximum of 2 minutes between each exercise. The first set for each exercise will involve slow negatives. For the second set, you will drop to a much lighter weight and perform a pump set of 20-25 reps.
For the first set, perform each rep with a normal, natural cadence, focusing on a tight squeeze and contraction. Lower each rep back to the  starting position over a 5 second period. During the pump set, use a natural rep speed cadence when both lifting and lowering the weight. Do NOT lower the weight over a 5 second period for the pump sets.
The pump workout should take you 35 to 45 minutes max. Resist the urge to add in more sets. You may require a spotter when jumping to the lighter weight pump sets.

Workout Notes

Do not perform this arm day workout more than once per week. You may split biceps and triceps up if need be, to fit them in with your current training split. This approach is not recommend for beginning trainees.
Week 1 - Blast Workout
ExerciseSetsRep Goal
EZ Bar Skullcrusher610
Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension610
ExerciseSetsRep Goal
Standing Barbell Curl610
Alternate Seated Dumbbell Curl610
Week 2 - Pump Workout
Close Grip Bench Press16-10
Close Grip Bench Press (Pump)120-25
Cable Tricep Extension16-10
Cable Tricep Extension (Pump)120-25
One Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension16-10
One Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension (Pump)120-25
EZ Bar Preacher Curl16-10
EZ Bar Preacher Curl (Pump)120-25
One Arm Cable Curl16-10
One Arm Cable Curl (Pump)120-25
Zottman Curl 16-10
Zottman Curl (Pump)120-25

Good Luck!!!

Supreme Supplements

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top 10 Foods That Burn Fat!!!

Anytime the topic of discussion in my blogs, articles or newsletters has turned to my own personal grocery shopping list, there has always been a spike in interest. It seems that many people are not only curious about what foods a natural bodybuilder eats to maintain single digit body fat, but they also want to be taken by the hand and told exactly what foods to eat themselves while on fat-burning or muscle building programs. That’s why I decided to put together four separate “top 10” lists of healthy foods that burn fat and build muscle.
Exact quantities and menus are not listed, just the individual foods, and of course my food intake does vary. I aim to get as many different varieties of fruits and vegetables as possible over the course of every week and there are a lot of substitutions made, so you are not seeing the full list of everything I eat, only what foods I eat most of the time.
I also want to point out that while I don’t believe that extreme low carbs are necessary or most effective when you look at the long term, research has shown that there are some definite advantages to a low to moderate carb and higher protein diet for fat loss purposes. These include reduced appetite, higher thermic effect of food and “automatic” calorie control.
This list reflects my personal preferences, so this is not a prescription to all readers to eat as I do. It’s very important for compliance to choose foods you enjoy and to have the option for a wide variety of choices. In the past several years, nutrition and obesity research - in studying ALL types of diets - has continued to conclude that almost any hypocaloric diet that is not completely “moronic” can work, at least in the short term.
It’s not so much about the high carb - low carb argument or any other debate as much as it is about calorie control and compliance. The trouble is, restricted diets and staying in a calorie deficit is difficult, so most people can’t stick with any program and they fall off the wagon, whichever wagon that may be.
I believe that a lot of our attention needs to shift away from pointless debates (for example, low carb vs. high carb is getting really old… so like… get over it everyone, its a calorie deficit that makes you lose weight, not the amount of carbs).
Instead, our focus should shift towards these questions:
  • How can we build an eating program that we can enjoy while still getting us leaner and healthier?
  • How can we build an eating program that helps us control calories?
  • How can we build an eating program that improves compliance?
Here’s one good answer: Eat a wide variety of high nutrient density, low calorie density foods that you enjoy which still fit within healthy, fat-burning, muscle-building guidelines!
Here are the lists of foods I choose to achieve these three outcomes. This eating plan is not difficult to stick with at all, by the way. I enjoy eating like this and it feels almost weird not to eat like this after doing it for so long.
Remember, habits work in both directions, and as motivational speaker Jim Rohn has said, “Bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with and good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.”
These are listed in the order I frequently consume them. So for example, if oatmeal is on the top of the list, it means that is the food I am most likely to eat every single day.
My 10 top natural starchy carb and whole grains:
  1. Oatmeal (old fashioned)
  2. Yams
  3. Brown rice (a favorite is basmati, a long grain aromatic rice)
  4. Sweet potatoes (almost same as yams)
  5. Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, oats, rye. titricale and a few others)
  6. White potatoes
  7. 100% whole wheat bread
  8. 100% whole wheat pasta
  9. Beans (great for healthy chili recipes)
  10.  Cream of rice hot cereal
My Top 10 top vegetables:
  1. Broccoli
  2. Asparagus
  3. Spinach
  4. Salad greens
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Peppers (green, red or yellow)
  7. Onions
  8. Mushrooms
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Zucchini
My top 10 lean proteins:
  1. Egg whites (whole eggs in limited quantities)
  2. Whey or Casein protein (protein powder supplements)
  3. Chicken Breast
  4. Salmon (wild Alaskan)
  5. Turkey Breast
  6. Top round steak (grass fed beef)
  7. Flank Steak (grass fed beef)
  8. Lean Ground Turkey
  9. Bison/Buffalo
  10. Trout
My top 10 fruits:
  1. Grapefruit
  2. Apples
  3. Blueberries
  4. Canteloupe
  5. Oranges
  6. Bananas
  7. Peaches
  8. Grapes
  9. Strawberries
  10. Pineapple
Note: I DO include healthy fats as well, such as walnuts, almonds, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil (supplement - not to cook with), avocado and a few others.
Also, I do eat dairy products and have nothing against them, nor am I lactose intolerant. I simply don’t eat as much dairy as the rest of the stuff on my lists. When I eat dairy, its usually skim milk, low or non fat cottage cheese, low or non fat yogurt and low or non fat cheese (great for omelettes).
Last but not least, I usually follow a compliance rate of about 95%, which means I take two or three meals per week of whatever I want (stuff that is NOT on these lists - like pizza, sushi, big fatty restaurant steaks, etc)
I hope you found this helpful and interesting. Keep in mind, this is MY food list, and although you probably couldn’t go wrong to emulate it, you need to choose natural foods you enjoy in order to develop habits you can stick with long term. In the fruits and vegetables categories alone, there are hundreds of other choices out there, so enjoy them all!

Good Luck

Supreme Supplements

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Freaky Abs! The Monster Guide To A Shredded Six Pack!!!

Shredded six pack! Freaky abs! Nearly everyone on the planet wants a flat stomach or ripped abs. At times this goal can seem impossible. But if you are like most you continue to eat healthy and knock out crunches by the hundreds, determined not to give up.
Is it really that hard to forge a waistline you are proud to reveal at the beach? Well, the truth is this: having a great set of abs is not easy! Nothing worth having is ever easy. Unfortunately, most people make the quest for a six pack much more difficult than it is by focusing too much on ab workouts, while putting very little thought into a proper diet.
Just what exactly does it take to have great abs? Simply stated, you need to do the following:
  1. Build your abs - To build a thick and impressive six pack your ab workouts must be challenging.
  2. Reveal your abs - To reveal your thick abs you need to diet properly and shed fat while maintaining muscle.
This article will help you to do both. We will explore common abs myths, look at some of the best ab exercises and workouts, and detail how to best eat to shed some fat and reveal your abs. We will also present cardio and supplementation strategies to help you amplify your fat burning efforts.
So let's get started.

Common Abs Myths

Endless crunches and situps will tone the abs, and result in a six pack!

Wrong. You can perform 1,000 crunchess and situps every day for the next 2 decades and you still won't tone your abs and carve out a six pack. While ab exercises can help to build strong and thick abs, they won't strip away the fat that is currently covering your abs. Only a proper fat cutting diet can tone your midsection, revealing the abs that lie beneath.

As long as you are eating healthy you will lose fat and tone your abs!

False. While eating healthy is a good start, it doesn't guarantee toned abs. It is possible to eat only "good foods" and still gain weight. It is also possible to eat the wrong types of healthy foods, which might cause you to lose muscle, making it harder to see your abs! To lose fat the right way you will need to focus on the total amount of calories you are eating each day, while keeping an eye on protein, carbohydrate and fat consumption.

Resistance training isn't needed when dieting for six pack abs!

While resistance training isn't needed when on a fat stripping diet, it will help you to tone and maximize your current muscle mass. On the other hand, if you don't utilize some form of resistance training, you risk losing fat AND muscle while dieting. The end result might be six pack abs, but not much else to go with it.

Abs must be worked as frequently as possible with high reps!

No, not exactly. While the abdominals are a smaller muscle group, and can generally be worked more frequently, you should still train them like any other muscle group. Far too often the abs are not trained with progressive resistance, meaning that the workouts do not become more difficult over time. It is more important to make ab workouts challenging than it is to perform an endless amount of easy repetitions.
Also, abs should be worked about 1-3 times per week. As a rule, the more frequently your train your abs, the less daily volume you should use. Working abs everyday provides very little benefit, and makes it harder for your ab muscles to grow. As previously mentioned, an excessive amount of ab work will not tone your abs. Challenging your abs with more resistance will help to build a thicker six pack, and the larger your abs, the more prominent they become!

Working your abs will give you a bad back!

While overworking your abs, or any muscle group for that matter, could create lower back strain, a moderate and sensible amount of abs work will actually strengthen your lower back. The abs and lower back are opposing muscles and work synergistically during ab training.

Crunches are the best ab exercise!

Not so much. Crunching your way into oblivion is not the best strategy for building thick, six pack abs. Most of us can perform 25 to 50 crunches (or more) right now without stopping. The fact that crunches are relatively easy to do, or will become relatively easy to perform after only a week or two, indicates that they are not providing enough resistance. Once the body has adapted and is no longer challenged it has very little incentive to "grow" a muscle.

You can stay "freaky" shredded 365 days a year!

This is nearly impossible, unless you are a freak of nature. Fitness models or bodybuilders appearing on the cover of magazines are often 5-7% bodyfat or lower. It is very difficult to maintain a bodyfat percentage this low for weeks at a time. With that said, it is more reasonable and possible to keep 10-12% bodyfat for extended periods of time. You are a little more "smooth" at this bodyfat percentage, but you will look and feel healthier and should still have abs!

A low or no carb diet is the "only" way to shred the abs!

While low carb diets have many benefits, and are used successfully by some natural bodybuilders and fitness models, they are not the only "carb game" in town. Many fitness models and bodybuilders achieve great results with carb cycling which can involve high, moderate and low carb days. In addition, some of you will not need to cycle carbs at all, and may only need to eat fewer calories each day to strip away the fat. We will address diet later in the article.

It's just as easy for women to get six pack abs!

False. The female body naturally tends to hold higher bodyfat levels, and will often "fight" to retain bodyfat when it's at lower levels. This does not imply that it will be impossible for a woman to have great abs, but rather it will be more difficult to have freaky shredded abs.

You must do an insane amount of cardio to have abs!

Not true. Having a properly structured fat cutting diet is more important. While cardio can certainly help burn fat and stimulate your metabolism, you do not need to spend several hours each day strolling at a fast pace on the treadmill, or Stairmastering yourself into a mind-numbing trance. First and foremost, dial in your diet. Once your eating approach is on point, you can add cardio as needed.

You need strong abs to have a great six pack!

In general, no. While resistance training will definitely help to build thicker, more prominent abs, you do not even need to train your abs to have a six pack. Everyone has ab muscles. At a bare minimum you don't have to do any ab work to carve out a six pack. Once again, it's almost all about diet. Many grade school age children have the outline of a six pack, yet they have very little ab strength. Remember this: diet reveals the abs, resistance training makes them thick. If you don't care about having thick abs, and just want beach abs, you may not have to do any ab training at all.

Once you have abs, maintaining them is easy!

Sorry, but this is incorrect. For the average person maintaining great looking abs takes an incredible amount of discipline. This means eating clean and training hard several days a week. If you develop a six pack, it only takes a few poor diet days for it to soften or even disappear.

Top Exercises For Building An Amazing Six Pack

In this section we will look at some of the best direct and indirect exercises for building thick abs. Direct ab exercises are generally isolation exercises which only work the abs. Indirect exercises are compound lifts, and contribute to ab size because of the stress placed upon the core while performing them.

Best Direct Abs Exercises

Walking Planks. The walking plank takes an incredibly taxing exercise, the static plank, and makes it more difficult. From a static plank position, move one arm slightly forward, then the next. Hop, walk or slide your feet up several inches, keeping your body as straight as possible without bending your hips upward. Continue this pattern.
Sit Up, Stand Up. The sit up, stand up turns the sit up into an explosive ab destroying exercise. Start in a conventional sit up position, back against the floor and knees bent. Now instead of simply sitting up, explode forward doing your best to thrust your glutes towards your heels and gain momentum, while also trying to stand up. This exercise can also be performed with resistance, holding a medicine ball, kettlebell or dumbbell.
Weighted Roman Chair Sit Up. With your legs straight and anchored, place your glutes on the high point of the Roman chair pad. Holding a dumbbell or Olympic plate, slowly lean back until you are at or near a horizontal position. Sit up, and repeat.
Standing Cable Crunch. Using a rope attachment, place your back towards the cable pulley system and hold the ends of the rope above your shoulders and near your upper chest. With knees slightly bent, keep your lower body stiff and crunch downward, trying to touch your elbows to your thighs.
Barbell or Ab Wheel Rollouts. Using a barbell loaded with 25 or 45 pound plates, or an ab wheel, kneel and place your hands in a comfortable position. Slowly roll the bar forward until your body reaches a near horizontal position. From here, roll the bar back to the starting position and repeat.
Decline Bench Knee Raise (Reverse Crunch). Lie on a decline bench in the opposite position, with your head higher than your hips. Grab the padding of the bench somewhere near head level. Raise your knees, attempting to touch them to your elbows, then lower your legs and repeat. For added resistance, use ankle weights, or secure a cable pulley or resistance bands to your ankles/feet.
Side Plank. Start by laying on your side with one hand on the floor and your feet on top of one another. If you prefer, you can rest on your elbow instead of your hand. Lift your hips up until your body is exactly straight. Now hold this position for as long as possible. You should feel this exercise in your abs and obliques. Do not let your body sag in the middle; always stay perfectly straight.
Mountain Climbers. This exercise can be performed with your hands on the floor, on a bench, or upon an exercise ball. Start in a push ups position, with your arms locked and your body straight. Keeping your body still, raise your right knee towards your left elbow, and then return it back to the starting position. Repeat this motion, bringing your left knee towards your right elbow. Continue this climbing motion for the required number of reps.
Hanging V-Style Leg Raises. Hanging from a pull ups bar, raise your legs until they are parallel to the ground, keeping them somewhat straight or in a locked position. Instead of returning your legs to the starting position of the exercise, flare your legs out until they form a V-shape. Bring them back together, keeping your legs parallel to the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Best Indirect Abs Exercises

Believe it or not, some of the thickest, most stunning sets of abs weren't developed with an excessive amount of direct ab work. Compound lifts, or exercises that tax several muscle groups at once, require core strength and stability. They can help build great abs without the tedious need for set after set of situps. While it is not recommended that you forsake all direct ab training, the following exercises can help to varying degrees.
  • Squats - Squats are considered the king of muscle building lifts, and require a strong core to help balance the body while descending and performing repetitions.
  • Deadlifts - A very underused exercise, deadlifts are perhaps the most primal barbell lift. The abdominals work synergistically with the lower back while deadlifting to create an efficient and effective pull.
  • Overhead Squats - Overhead squats may be the most obscure exercise in this list, and require an incredible amount of abdominal strength to perform.
  • Overhead Presses - Not quite as taxing as overhead squats, overhead presses incorporate the abdominals and bring stability to this lift.
  • Tricep Push Downs - During tricep push downs your abs are in a near constant state of contraction, working hard to stabilize your torso while you knock out reps.
  • Straight Arm Lat Push Downs - Straight arm lat pull downs call the abs into play in the same manner that tricep push downs do, contracting hard throughout each rep.
  • Kettlebell Wind Mills - If you've never trained with a kettlebell, you're missing out on this incredible core blaster.

Thick Abs! Making Your Abs Workouts More Difficult

The cornerstone to building thick, rope-like abs is progression. Progression simply means making an abs workout more difficult over time. This change in difficulty does not have to be dramatic from workout to workout. Instead, you can focus on making small improvements on a weekly basis. Over time these small increases in progression will add up to big changes.
Progression, or the adding of difficulty to an abs workout, can be increased in the following ways:
  • Add Reps - Try to beat your previous performance on any given exercise by at least one rep. Over time small rep increases create an incredibly strong set of abs, and lead to some amazing feats of physical fitness. If you can currently perform 10 situps and add 1-2 extra reps per week, you will be knocking out reps like a machine in no time!
  • Decrease Rest - One of the best ways to increase the difficulty of an abs workout is to decrease rest between sets. If you start with 120 seconds of rest between sets, and slowly lower that time by 5 seconds on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you will be challenging your abs to adapt to new demands.
  • Add Sets - As mentioned in the ab myths section, you do not need to work your abs with a crazy amount of high rep sets. A good rep guideline is 10-25 per set. This is not a hard and fast rule, and can be adjusted based on the exercise performed and to your specific body, needs and goals. Once you can easily perform 25 reps per set, adding in an additional set will amplify the stress. Obviously, you can't continue to add sets forever. Overworking your abs with set after set is not the most effective form of progression.
  • Add Resistance - Resistance is the force that works against you when trying to complete a rep. Resistance should be added very slowly over time. This gradual increase in stress will force your abs to be in a constant state of adaptation, leading to muscle growth and improved thickness. Resistance can be added with free weights (performing situps with a dumbbell or plate on your chest), ankle weights or a weighted vest (ankle weights on hanging knee raises), or with bands or a cable/pulley system (performing lying leg raises with one end of a band secured around your feet and the other anchored to a machine).
  • Add Time - Certain ab exercises are performed in a static position, such as planks, side planks, and walking planks. By increasing the amount of time you hold these exercises, you are making the workout more difficult and forcing your abs to respond and grow.
  • Slow Negatives - Slow negatives are an advanced training technique that involve performing a rep at normal speed, and then lowering the body back to the starting position of the exercise in a slow and controlled manner. This slow lowering is extremely taxing and should not be overused. Just as with other progression approaches, it is recommended that you add in slow negatives in a gradual manner. You can amplify the difficulty of a slow negative by increasing the amount of time it takes to lower your body. When using this technique, start with 3-4 second negative reps and slowly build up to 10 seconds.

Abs Blasting Workouts

Use the following guidelines when deciding on which stage of ab workouts to use:
  • Stage 1 - Stage 1 workouts are for someone who has not trained abs in quite some time.
  • Stage 2 - Stage 2 workouts are for someone who is currently training abs but doesn't feel like they are making good progress.
  • Stage 3 - Stage 3 is the advanced stage. These workouts are designed for the hardcore abs fanatic, and are incredibly taxing.
Note: Remember to focus on progression. Make it a goal to beat your last performance, even if it's only by a rep or a small amount of weight.

How to train your abs properly to maximize results

To maximize results utilize the following ab training "rules":
  1. Workout Frequency - Train your abs 1-3 times per week. Set aside the belief that more is better. Instead focus on training intensity, followed by adequate rest.
  2. Workout Volume - Don't add additional sets to these workouts. If a workout isn't challenging enough, find a way to make it progressively more difficult.
  3. Workout Timing - If you are using a muscle building workout, train your abs towards the end of your workout. It is best to focus on abs after you have trained all major muscle groups for that day. If you are not trying to build muscle, abs may be worked at any time during your workout.

Stage 1 Abs Workouts

Start your first workout with the minimum number of sets and reps (for planks, start with the minimal amount of time). During the first several weeks try to progress slowly, performing more reps each time. When you can perform 20 reps, add a second set. For planks, when you can hold a plank for 45 seconds add a second set.
When you are able to perform 20 reps for 2 sets, add a third. When you can hold 2 sets of planks for 45 seconds (or more) each, add a third set. Move on to Stage 2 workouts when you are able to perform maximal reps for all sets in a given workout.
For standing cable crunches, pick a weight that is challenging and makes it difficult to perform 20 reps.
Stage 1 - Workout #1
Abs: Stage 1 - Workout #1
Decline Bench Knee Raise1-310-25
Plank1-320-60 seconds
Stage 1 - Workout #2
Abs: Stage 1 - Workout #2
Sit Up1-310-25
Side Plank (each side)1-320-60 seconds
Stage 1 - Workout #3
Abs: Stage 1 - Workout #3
Standing Cable Crunch1-310-25
Barbell or Ab Wheel Rollouts1-310-25

Stage 2 Abs Workouts

You will have developed a fair amount of core strength and abdominal conditioning by now. At this stage of your training you will need to incorporate some new forms of progressive, including limited rest between sets and the addition of resistance to certain exercises. There is no set standard for how long you can use Stage 2 workouts. Continue to challenge yourself, and only move on to the advanced Stage 3 workouts if you feel you have amazing abs conditioning.
Weighted Sit Ups - Hold an Olympic plate or dumbbell on your abs or lower chest, and perform sit ups. When you find that you can easily perform 25 reps with a given weight, add more resistance.
Planks and Side Planks - Focus on decreasing rest between sets of planks, or superset planks with another exercise.
Hanging V-Style Leg Raises - If you are unable to perform 10 reps, perform as many V-style raises as you can, and then finish a set with standard leg raises (or knee raises). If this exercise becomes too easy either superset it with another exercise, or add ankle weights as resistance.
Weighted Decline Bench Knee Raise - Add resistance either via ankle weights, or by attaching a cable or a band to your ankles/feet. If using a band, make sure that the opposite end is anchored properly.
Barbell or Ab Wheel Rollouts - If rollouts become too easy, incorporate slow negatives to increase the intensity.
Stage 2 - Workout #1
Abs: Stage 2 - Workout #1
Weighted Sit Up2-510-25
Plank2-560-120 seconds
Hanging V-Style Leg Raise2-510-25
Stage 2 - Workout #2
Abs: Stage 2 - Workout #2
Weighted Decline Bench Knee Raise2-510-25
Side Plank2-560-120 seconds
Barbell or Ab Wheel Rollout2-510-25

Stage 3 Abs Workouts

At this stage of abdominal training you should be very familiar with the various forms of progression, and what is needed to have a great abs workout.
Sit Up Stand Up - This is a very difficult exercise to master. Do not attempt it with weight until you feel completely comfortable with its execution.
Walking Planks - Instead of time you may also focus on repetitions, counting each stride as a rep.
Weighted Roman Chair Sit Ups and Hanging V-Style Leg Raises - These are performed as a superset. Add resistance, and/or other advanced progression techniques such as slow negatives and decrease rest as needed.
Stage 3 Workout
Abs: Stage 3 Workout
Sit Up Stand Up3-510-25
Walking Plank3-560-120 seconds
Weighted Roman Chair Sit Up3-510-40
Hanging V-Style Leg Raise3-510-40

The Big Reveal! Diet And Cardio For Eye-Popping Abs

The hard work is done, but the battle has only begun. You've made the effort in the gym and now it's time to drop the excess fat and reveal the hidden six pack.
This section will focus on both diet and cardio. A properly structured eating plan is the key to efficient fat loss, so that you can get ripped without losing muscle. Cardio will help you during that journey but it is not the be all end all. While both are important, remember that cardio alone won't create amazing abs. A well-planned diet with minimal cardio can help you shed fat, but cardio with a poor eating approach puts you on the road to nowhere!

Dieting For Fat Loss

Cutting fat isn't just about reducing calories and eating more healthy. Believe it or not, you can  eat healthy and eat fewer calories but still be eating wrong. In addition, many generic diet approaches actually make it hard to shred up and reveal your abs. Let me explain...
While healthy eating is, well....good for your health, it's not the most efficient "beach body" dieting approach. Healthy eating is a generic term, and 9 times out of 10 it lacks focus and the key ingredients that are required to shed fat and reveal your abs. A proper fat cutting diet will help you to maintain muscle while losing fat, and this is what you want.
When you are "only" eating healthy, your diet is probably working against you because you are losing muscle AND fat. This makes it difficult to reach the proper bodyfat levels required to see your abs. Simply stated, you become thin, but a good portion of the weight you lose is muscle, so your bodyfat percentage drops more slowly. This prolongs the length of your diet causing you to lose more and more muscle.
With this approach there's a good chance you will never reach the goal of seeing your abs. If you do, you won't have much of a physique to go with it. Here are the cornerstones of a proper cutting diet approach; one that allows you to retain most of your existing muscle while losing fat:
  1. Meal Frequency - It's better to eat every 2.5 to 3 hours than it is to eat a small breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a random healthy evening dinner. Frequent, small meals not only help you mentally (because your next meal is only a short amount of time away), but they are also proven to be an extremely effective method of getting ripped.
  2. Protein - Most diets don't include enough protein. Protein is required to repair and build muscle tissue. Without enough dietary protein you make it difficult for the body to hold on to the valuable muscle you worked so hard to obtain. As a general guideline, men should  eat about 30-35 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours, and women should consume about 20 grams every 2.5 to 3 hours.
  3. Fat - Don't avoid healthy fats! The body needs fats to function properly. Forget the idea that eating fats make you fat; it's not true. 20 to 35% of your daily calories should come from healthy fats.
  4. Calorie Intake - Rapid weight loss is not the best way to get shredded abs and a great body. If you are losing more than 1.5 to 2 pounds per week, there's a good chance that much of this is muscle loss. Dial in your daily calories so that you are losing the right amount of weight each week.
  5. Resistance Training - Don't make the mistake of using lighter weights and higher reps while trying to get ripped. This is a major mistake! You need to train just as hard in the weight room while cutting as you did when trying to build muscle. Using lighter weight sends a signal to your body that the current muscle mass you are carrying is no longer needed, and that it's ok to give it up.

Supplements And Fat Loss

Dieting presents a whole new set of challenges for the body. By restricting calories you are also restricting nutrients. One could make the argument that supplementation during fat loss is more important than supplementation during the muscle building process. In either case, the following supplements are worth considering:
  • Multivitamin - It is simply not good enough to eat healthy and hope that all your nutritional bases are covered. Weight training and cardio tax the body, depleting it of vital nutritional resources. In addition, you are placing your muscles in repairing and building mode, meaning that you will need more than an average share of vitamins and minerals. A good multivitamin product will fill in all the "holes" in your diet.
  • Fish Oil - Fish oil, or healthy essential fatty acids, should be a staple for anyone that trains hard. Healthy oils and essential fatty acids are well known for improving overall health, vitality and brain function. But healthy oils also play an important role in muscle building and fat loss. A Danish study proved that supplementing with the correct ratio of essential fats can increase stamina, improve muscle development, speed recovery and improve cardiovascular function.
  • Pre-Workout Formula - A pre-workout supplement allows you to train longer, stronger, and with more energy. Simply stated, a pre-workout supplement functions in a synergistic manner with your fat loss supplement, and with your aggressive training approach, amplifying your efforts and maximizing fat loss.
  • Fat Burner - There are many fat loss supplements available that can help you burn fat fast. To find the fat loss supplement that's right for you, check out our fat loss supplement guide.

Cardio For Fat Loss

While cardio can be beneficial to the fat loss process it is often overused or used incorrectly. While cardio can help you shed fat, performing too much cardio when it's not needed can result in the loss of muscle tissue. It's best to only incorporate a moderate amount of cardio when starting a cutting diet, perhaps no more than 3-4 sessions of 20-30 minutes per week. If you feel that this is not enough, or that your fat loss diet has hit a plateau, slowly add in additional cardio.
Here are some tips to maximize your cardio:
  • HIIT vs. LIT - HIIT is high intensity interval training, such as cycling between periods of sprinting and light jogging. LIT is low intensity cardio, such as walking on a treadmill or using a Stairmaster. There is a heated debate over which of these is most effective for burning fat. The bottom line is this...exercise is exercise, and all forms of cardio help to burn calories and elevate your metabolism.
  • Cardio and Resistance Training - If muscle retention is a primary goal, perform cardio after weight training. If you enter your resistance training sessions fatigued, it will make it hard to perform at 100%. The human body needs all the incentive it can get to retain muscle while losing fat. Sub-par resistance training workouts can put you on the fast track to muscle loss.
  • Cardio on Off Days - Cardio can also be performed on off days, or on days in which you are not performing resistance training. It may also be convenient to perform cardio first thing in the morning or several hours before your weight training session. If you use this approach make sure you feel 100% before hitting the weights.
  • Cardio Monotony - Cardio does not have to be mindless and boring. Pick an enjoyable form of cardio, and if one doesn't exist, create one! Cardio can be performed in intervals, using everything from sled dragging to swimming to kettlebell swinging. Don't chain yourself to a treadmill. Exercise should be fun.

End Notes

Carving out a six pack or flat stomach is hard work. Maintaining one is even more difficult. Make sure to set realistic goals. Even the most shredded and ripped bodybuilders and fitness models will tell you that it's impossible to stay in peak condition year round. With that said, you don't have to allow your bodyfat levels to get out of control.
If you find that your bodyfat levels are beyond a comfortable and manageable level, go on a short term cutting diet. If you are already lean, losing 3 to 6kgs of fat over a month's time should help to shred you up.
Also, never allow yourself to get more than 10-15 kgs past your ripped to shreds body weight. Losing 13kg of fat will require a 16 week cutting diet. 40 pounds of fat would require you to diet for half a year!
Remember that a healthy fitness lifestyle is a balanced lifestyle. Allow yourself one reasonable cheat meal per week. If muscle building is a goal, keep in mind that it can be very difficult to add muscle without adding some fat.
Become a master of your own body and know the food you put into it. This will lead to success, and to an amazing set of six pack abs.

Good Luck

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