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10 Tips for Healthy Gains

As athletes our main concerns are usually based around optimal performance and/or maximum physical appeal. We want to run faster, push harder, lift longer and appear like superheroes come to life! However, none of these things carry much importance if you are compromising your health. Let’s face it, nothing will derail you from your goals more quickly than falling ill, succumbing to disease, or shortening your precious life. This is why you must balance your approach in such a way that you are not only optimizing your gains (in muscle, power and strength), but also maximizing your overall health. Read on to learn about my some of my best healthy diet and training tips for growing gains in 2020!

1

Vary your Foods: Because all healthy foods have their own unique nutrient profiles it is best to try and consume the widest variety of proteins, carbs, fats (mostly EFA’s) and vegetables in your daily diet. While you can still achieve fantastic results as far as performance and physical appearance utilizing only a small number of foods, this is not a great way to optimize overall health and longevity.

2

Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals: As a coach and athlete for over 30 years now, I have found that better results are had by eating 5-7 smaller meals per day rather than 2-3 larger ones. Not only will this approach keep your body constantly supplied with nutrients essential for repair, energy and growth, but it will also keep your metabolism running more efficiently. In addition, while large meals can overwhelm the digestive system, smaller meals are more comfortable to eat and will assure that the body will absorb all nutrients more completely and effectively.

3

Work with your Body: When it comes to protein, it is best to consume your daily amount spread evenly amongst each meal of the day. In other words, if your goal is to ingest 200 grams of protein per day, you can eat five meals, each containing approximately 40 grams of protein per meal. However, when it comes to carbohydrates, it is best to eat the largest quantities with your 1st meal of the day and at the post workout feeding. This is simply because at these two specific times insulin sensitivity is at its highest, which will allow you to most effectively use the carbs for energy, storage in muscle, and to help ignite the anabolic response.

4

Eat your Fiber: Including adequate amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber from foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds have a myriad of health and performance promoting properties that all fitness-minded individuals should be concerned with. Not only will fiber help keep you “regular” and maintain bowel health, but can lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, lower body fat (by reducing appetite), and reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and most cancers.

5

Drink Plenty of Water: While there are no truly accurate guidelines set in place for exactly how much water we need to drink, I can tell you that most do not consume enough. And as athletes, we need more water than the average sedentary individual. There are too many benefits to list when it comes to increasing water intake, but a few that might jump out at you include – reduction in joint pain, better digestion of food, decreased blood pressure, prevention of kidney damage, healthier looking skin, weight loss, and increased exercise performance. I suggest trying to drink at least an extra 8 oz glass of water in between each meal in addition to your normal fluid intake.

The plan below is just an example of how one may eat on a daily basis for “growing gains,” while considering my 5 points above. The goal for everyone should always be to remain healthy while trying to progress towards his/her goals. Note: Overall calories and macronutrient amounts should be adjusted based on your lean body mass, weight, gender, age and desired outcome (as far as performance and/or physical appearance).

Meal 1
Meal 2
  • Protein: Chicken Breast
  • Carbs: Sweet Potato and Large Mixed Salad
  • Healthy Fats: Avocado
  • **30 min before meal 3 take 5-10 grams ALLMAX GLUTAMINE
Meal 3
  • Pre-Workout
  • Protein: Egg Whites (with 1-2 yolks)
  • Carbs: Fruit
  • Healthy Fats: Almonds
Meal 4
  • Post-Workout
  • Protein: ALLMAX ISOFLEX
  • Carbs: White and Brown Rice Mixed and Whole Grain Bagel
  • Healthy Fats: ALLMAX OMEGA-3 CAPS
Meal 5
  • Protein: Bison Burgers
  • Carbs: Quinoa and Vegetables
  • Healthy Fats: Olive Oil
  • **30 min before meal 6 take 5-10 grams ALLMAX GLUTAMINE
Meal 6

Drink Plenty of Water: While there are no truly accurate guidelines set in place for exactly how much water we need to drink, I can tell you that most do not consume enough. And as athletes, we need more water than the average sedentary individual. There are too many benefits to list when it comes to increasing water intake, but a few that might jump out at you include – reduction in joint pain, better digestion of food, decreased blood pressure, prevention of kidney damage, healthier looking skin, weight loss, and increased exercise performance. I suggest trying to drink at least an extra 8 oz glass of water in between each meal in addition to your normal fluid intake.

1

Train with weights in a 2 day on and 1 day off pattern. Allow at least one day of rest after every two days of resistance training.

2

Warm-up with an easy walk on the treadmill (or something similar) for 10 minutes before a weight training workout to raise core temperature and get blood flowing throughout the body.

3

After the completion of a weight training session spend 5-10 minutes stretching the muscles that were trained, as well as the hamstrings, low back, and any other areas that tend to tighten up after a workout.

4

Make sure to include cardio workouts in your overall program regardless of the goals you may have. At least 3-4 thirty-minute sessions per week will keep your heart healthy and your metabolism at its peak.

5

Train in phases. Spend 12 weeks or so maxing out on intensity, and then take 2-4 weeks to back off a bit so your mind, muscles and CNS can recover, repair and get ready for the next onslaught.

Sample Workout Program
Monday
CHEST
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Incline DB Press 3 7-9 2/0/2 2-3 min
Smith Bench Press to Upper Chest 3 10-12 2/0/2 2-3 min
Flat DB Flye 2 13-15 2/0/2 2 min
Low Cable Crossover 2 16-20 2/0/1/1 2 min
BICEPS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
BB or EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 7-9 2/0/2 2 min
Standing BB Curl 2 10-12 2/0/2 2 min
Concentration Curl 2 13-15 2/0/1/1 2 min
FOREARMS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Incline Hammer DB Curl 2 1 X 7-9 1 X 10-12 2/1/2 2 min
Seated BB Wrist Curl 2 1 x 13-15, 1 x 16-20 1/0/1/1 2 min
ABDOMINALS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Cable Crunch 2 16-20 2/0/1/1 2 min
Lying Bent Leg Hip Raise 1 21-25 or Max Reps 2/0/1 2 min
Lying Side Crunch 1 26-30 Per Side 1/0/1/1 2 min
Tuesday
QUADS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Wide Stance Leg Press 3 7-9 2/0/2 2-3 min
Narrow Stance Smith Squats 3 10-12 2/0/2 2-3 min
Walking DB Lunge 2 13-15 Per Leg 2/1/1 2-3 min
Single Leg Leg Extension 2 16-20 Per Leg 2/0/1/1 2 min
HAMSTRINGS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Lying Leg Curl 2 7-9 2/0/2 2 min
Stiff Leg Deadlift 2 10-12 2/0/2 2-3 min
Single Leg Seated Leg Curl 2 13-15 per leg 2/0/2 2 min
Adduction Machine 2 16-20 2/0/1/1 2 min
CALVES
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Calf Press 1 7-9 2/0/1 2 min
Seated Calf Raise 1 10-12 2/0/1 2 min
Single Leg DB Calf Raise 2 13-15 Per Leg 2/1/1 2 min
Thursday
LATS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Underhand Grip BB Bent Row 3 7-9 2/0/1 2-3 min
CG Seated Cable Row or Machine Row 3 10-12 2/0/2 2 min
WG Pulldown or Assisted Pullup 2-3 13-15 2/0/2 2 min
DB Pullover 2 16-20 2/0/2 2 min
LOWER BACK
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Partial Deadlift from Mid-Shins 2 1 x 7-9, 1 x 10-12 2/1/1 2-3 min
Weighted Hyperextension 2 1 x 10-12, 1 x 13-15 2/0/2/1 2 min
ABDOMINALS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Seated or Lying Crunch Machine 1 13-15 2/0/1/1 2 min
Vertical Supported or Hanging Straight Leg Raise 2 16-20 or Max Reps 2/0/1 2 min
Side Plank 1 Max Hold Each Side N/A 2 min
Friday
SHOULDERS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Shoulder Width Grip BB Upright Row 2 7-9 2/0/1/1 2 min
Standing BB or DB Overhead Press 3 10-12 2/0/2 2-3 min
Seated Bent Rear DB Lateral 2 13-15 2/0/1/1 2 min
Single Arm Incline Side Lateral 2 16-20 2/0/2 2 min
TRAPEZIUS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
BB or Smith 1 7-9 2/0/1/1 2 min
Seated Leaning Forward to 70 Degrees or Face Down on Incline Bench DB Shrug 2 10-12 2/0/1/1 2 min
CG Cable Upright Row 1 13-15 2/0/1/1 2 min
TRICEPS
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Skull Crusher 2 7-9 2/0/2 2 min
Incline 2 Arms Overhead DB or Cable Extension 2 10-12 2/1/2 2 min
Rope Pushdown 2 13-15 2/0/1/1 2 min
DB Kickback 1 16-20 2/0/1/1 2 min
CALVES
EXERCISE SETS REPS TEMPO REST
Standing Calf Raise 2 1 x 7-9, 1 x 10-12 2/1/1 2 min
Seated Calf Raise 2 1 x 13-15, 1 x 16-20 2/0/1/1 2 min

 

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