If only I had known these essential ingredients for getting stronger, leaner and more energetic when I was competing in bodybuilding, I would have made things a whole lot easier. On second thought, I did know these things and many of you will know them too, it is only a matter of putting them into practice. If you are neurotic about your strength training and body, you will more than likely be of the mindset that more is better and sleep is for sissy’s. I have been fighting that problem all my life, but then something changed.
I was at a seminar in which I got the chance to see elite strength coach, Martin Rooney, speak. I actually saw him a few times and each time he talked about the importance of sleep. The first time, it kind of stuck, the second time, I listened and dug deeper. I made a promise to myself that for two months I would get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. This would be two more than my usual 6. At this time, I also started to supplement more with fish oils, taking in 12-20 grams per day. Without changing anything else, I lost ten pounds of body fat and had the best strength producing workouts of my life. Notice- I did not change anything with my nutrition, yet lost 10 pounds. I did not add in any extra conditioning either. My energy throughout the day was also superb. And, I was getting just as much stuff accomplished every day on my daily to do list. I did not get sick during the winter for the first time in the five years that I have been teaching phys. Ed.
I read the book, Why Zebras Don’t get Ulcers by Sapolsky and that shed some more light on the issue. Sleep is critical. If you aren’t sleeping enough, you are never fully entering a parasympathetic state, the state in which you recover and make your best gains. This is the state after the stress is applied and the tissue must adapt. Also, lack of sleep will lead to raised cortisol levels, some cortisol is okay, too much is the strength athlete’s enemy! The double whammy of fish oil and sleep with be the best ‘upper’ medicine you could ever find. I can’t emphasize enough to my students, athletes and clients how much sleep will aide in their growth, fat loss, muscle gain, cognitive function and everything else in between. Something simple, something overlooked too often, turn off the tv and sleep! And don’t forget the fish oil…
I remember the very first year that I competed in bodybuilding I would diet like a Spartan Warrior for 4 months. I remember getting extremely run down and running into many platueas.
I had protein intake very high, but both fat and carbohydrates very low. Needless to say, that was the last time and probably the only time I will be under 190 pounds in my life. If you diet on just protein for an extended amount of time, you will surely lose muscle. This is not good for any athlete. If carbs are going to be lowered, as they should for most people trying to take off some bodyfat, you must jack up the essential fats. A good rule of thumb is your bodyweight of bodyfat times 1.5 grams. Fish oil is the number one supplement on my list, it is anabolic and will greatly assist fat loss. Keep the essential fats high and watch the bodyfat drop. -Kyle
I mentioned an old article I wrote the other day and funny enough, it was just published on one of the biggest strength sites in the world today, check it out:
I went to an auction yesterday to pick up some new equipment for the gym and I won my bid but the overall bid came through, so I was denied. However, sometimes you cannot take no for an answer, so I am sending one of my buddies back up there tomorrow to speak with the guy who won. Yes, I will have to pay for a days work, but IT IS IMPERATIVE TO TAKE ACTION NOW!! I am still going to try and get whats mine!
Also, I had a question from a client yesterday about fish oil. I recommend 20-30 grams per day of fish oil, meaning 20-30 grams of the best ‘brain’ fats around. The client was concerned that this was too much to be taking in. I got to thinking…most people take in over 30 grams of saturated fat per day and then doctors get them worrying that taking too much fish oil is no good for them. Boggles my mind, not the client, but the doctors recommendations. Take fish oil until your stomach gets a little uneasy and then cut back, that is the correct dosage you should be at. Our cavemen ancestors used to take in 275-300 grams per week, the average person takes in 5 grams per week, if that. Just a random Wednesday with some food for thought….K
Hey guys, hopefully you have set your goals and are working on them already for the new year. Sometimes, when I don’t have any set topic to write about, I will just give you random thoughts from the view of a strength coach, so here ya go. Take Fish Oil, lots of it. It is so good for brain function, recovery, skin and the immune system, that you must take it every day. Things that are good for you, do every day. Things that are going to make you healthier, do every day. Think about things that are good for you and tell me if this is not true. How much Fish Oil, up the dose until the point where you get diarrhea (I know, gross) and then lower the dose slightly below this point. Second, SPRINT! Running a fast 5 K is not a sprint. Go out and run 100 meter sprints, 400 metere sprints, 40 yard sprints. It is very demanding and intense, great for the whole body, is one of the most natural things our body can do and is a great conditioner. It is fun too. Put these things to use, otherwise, you wasted your time reading this!