Posts Tagged ‘Muscle


Darryl Talks About Personal Training With the Fitness Connection Nation

Darryl has made great progress in muscle growth and loss of body fat.  It’s exciting to watch people make changes in body composition and completely change their lives.

Watch the video to see Darryl talk about his experience with personal training and changing his body composition.


Time To Go To The Next Level

Are you making progress in your fitness and nutrition?  If so then it’s time to take it to the next level.  If you are not making progress, then it may be time to reevaluate you training and nutrition and try to figure out what’s not working.

Sometimes it can be something simple like not getting enough protein or vegetables in your diet.  Or, it could be something holding you back like problems with digestion or stress.

If you are making progress, that’s good.  The worst thing we can do is think we got it made because we are seeing results from our workouts and nutrition.  One of the things I tell people I train is never think that you can do the same things you are doing this week and expect them to help you progress next week.

If you are looking to make progress, you have to change your workouts.  Your body is very good at adapting and once it adapts to the workout, you stop making progress.

This means you have to vary your sets, reps and even your cardio conditioning.  Basically, I never train the same sets and reps two workouts in a row.  The workouts always change so that muscles can not adapt to the training.

Have fun with your workouts.  In order to see any results, you have to exercise 5 hours a week.  If you are going to spend an hour each day in the gym for 5 days out of the week, you might as well enjoy the time that you are there.

Personally, I love working out.   When I’m weight training, it’s just me and the weight.  I never think in terms of the weight and me in competition.  No, the weight is there to show me what I need to do to make improvements.  If it ever turns into a competition, I will always lose to the weight.  I’ve come to terms with the weight and it allows me to see me as I am and what I need to do.

Make friends with your workouts.  Have fun and enjoy making progress.  It’ll make going to the gym something you look forward to rather than dread.

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Gaining Strenght and Adding Muscle with Pushups and Pullups

The past four weeks I’ve been training my chest and back muscles hard.  Usually, I recommend that you have at least 24 hours rest between workouts of the same muscle group.  I recommend this rest because generally muscle needs at least a days rest between workouts.  This is so that the muscle can repair itself and build stronger tissue in place of the tissue that was damaged during the workout.

But for the past four weeks I’ve decided to do something different.  For five days out of the week I do 100 pushups and 50 pullups.  NO, not all at the same time.  I split it up into three sets.  Something like a 40-40-20 for pushups and 20-20-10 for pullups.

At first this was exhausting because I was doing either an upper or a lower body workout along with the 100 pushups and 50 pullups.  The first week was the hardest.  But after the first week it’s been great.

Here’s what I’ve experienced.  An extreme boost in strength and endurance.  So much so that at first I was somewhat alarmed.

After 3 weeks of doing 100 pushups and 50 pullups per workout, I decided to do some unassisted dips.  My usual max on dips was right at twelve per set.  However, on the first set I reached 12 with ease and went right on to 15.  Doing 15 reps of unassisted dips kind of freaked me out and I did the last two sets of 12 dips.

The next day, after getting over the initial shock of the day before, I decided to see just how many reps I could do at one time of unassisted dips.  This time I went to 20.  That’s almost double what my max was before I started doing pushups and pullups everyday.

I’ve become so sold on basic pushups and pullups that I’m having most of my clients do them each workout.  Right now I don’t think they appreciate doing so many pushups and pullups as I do.  But I am certain that they will in a few weeks.

If you want to gain lots of strength and lots of muscle, then do pushups and pullups in each training session.  It’s that simple.  Not a whole lot of complication.  Just remember to do the simple stuff.  By simple I don’t mean easy.

See for yourself how far you can progress in a short period of time.  Have fun and train hard.

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Overcoming The Skinny Fat Syndrome

Have you ever seen some one who has lost lots of weight by just dieting and no exercise?  Most of us have ran across individuals who were by some freak of nature able to accomplish weight loss just through lowering their calorie intake.


Think Jared from the Subway commercials.  The guy was able to lose lots of his weight simply by changing his eating habits and walking everyday.  While this may seem to most to be the ideal situation, it has a tremendous amount of drawbacks.

Jared is what we call Skinny Fat.  Skinny Fat is a condition that occurs when a person drops a lot of weight but has done little or no strength training or conditioning.  The person looks better because of the weight loss but when you look at their muscle tone they are completely lacking.  Why is this a problem you are asking.  Simply because while you have lost all the weight, without lean muscle mass you have also lowered metabolism.  Lowered metabolism leads to the body storing fat instead of using it as fuel.  All the weight that was lost will come back and will be harder to lose.

In order to lose the weight and keep the weight off you have to raise metabolism.  And raising metabolism means building lots of lean muscle mass and eating the right kinds of food at the right time.

Building muscle to destroy the Skinny Fat Syndrome

Optimal muscularity requires, well, muscle.  The more muscle you have, the better you’ll look.

The system I typically use to add muscle as quickly as possible starts with the following:

1. Perform three total body workouts per week with at least 48 hours rest between each session.

2. Perform an upper-body pull and push along with a squat or deadlift in each session.

3. Use different variations of each movement throughout the week, with single-limb exercises being employed at least half of the time.

4. Change up the sets and reps with each training.  Typically I have trainees do 3 x 12 on Monday, 4 x 6 on Wednesday, and 2 x 20 on Friday.

Those four parts comprise the base of the system. What you add, and where you add it, is specific to the person. Curls, side raises, calf raises, etc. only come into play if time and energy allow for it.

Eating The Right Foods At The Right Time

You should provide your body with the energy that it needs and can use at that particular time, but no more. As you do with your vehicle, fuel your body based on what you are about to do or what you’ve just done.

Because carbs and fat both provide energy, it’s important to manage the amounts of each that you consume.

For example, your first meal, along with your pre- and post-workout meals, should have more carbs. Your fat intake should be low in these meals to avoid providing your body with too much available energy at one time, which would cause some energy to be stored as body fat.

You should consume ample carbs post-workout to maximize recovery from that workout. It only makes sense to fill the tank up after you just emptied it, right?

Another meal that warrants higher carb intake is your pre-workout meal. Remember, carbs are training fuel. You need more fuel when you have just trained and when you’re about to train. So adjust your carb intake accordingly.

Consume More Carbs…

• Upon awakening
• Pre-workout
• Post-workout
• First half of the day in general

Each meal, and this means six meals per day, should contain a lean protein such as chicken breast, turkey, fish or extra lean beef.  If you have access to grass fed beef and/or bison, these are excellent choices.  Protein is essential to muscle growth.

Virtually all of the protein you eat will be used as building blocks. Very, very little will be available to produce our body’s energy currency, glucose. Even less would be available to create fat, largely due to the inefficiency of this process.

When you consider that protein is very unlikely to cause fat gain along with the fact that protein consumption boosts metabolic rate by about 25%, you can see why it’s a important in the building and maintenance of lean muscle.

Vegetables are free and can be eaten at each meal.  It’s going to be important to get as much fiber in you diet as you can.

Developing lean muscle mass will not only raise your metabolism and stop you from adding body fat the moment you stop dieting, it will also make you look and feel great.  The name is the game is not what the scale says.  It’s all about total body fat and lean muscle mass.

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To Succeed You Have to do The Opposite

“If you look around and do the opposite of what everyone else is doing, you have a 98% chance of doing it right.”

Most people, when asked, will tell you one of their main goals is to lose weight.  With so many people wanting to lose weight, why is it that so few people actually lose weight?

There are three factors that determine a person’s ability to meat their weight loss goals.  They are diet, exercise and attitude.  If a person lacks any of the three of these factors they can kiss their weight loss goals goodbye.

Exercise and poor diet does not work.

A recent study done by Dr. John Berardi at the University of Texas was done on individuals who worked out intensely for 6 hours a week for 16 weeks.  However, they did not change their diet.  After the 16 weeks the average weight loss for the entire group was 1 pound of body fat.  Again, exercise without proper nutrition does not work.

In another study with teenage girls in a detention center.  The girls worked out for two hours a day for six months.  For their nutrition plan they followed the USDA nutrition guidelines, which is heavy on carbohydrates and low on fats.  And because they were in a detention center they had no choice but to follow the diet.  The results were that on average they gained 6 pounds, increase 1/2 inch in their waist and increased 3/4 inch in their hips. So, if you exercise and eat a poor diet you will not see any benefits from your exercise program.

Diet by itself does not work.

In a study of people that followed weight watchers but did not exercise found that people lost weight but the weight they lost of muscle and not fat.  This is highly problematic because muscle burns calories.  If you lose muscle you lose the ability to burn calories and you do significant damage to your metabolic rate.  This is referred to as metabolic syndrome.  In order to lose fat and keep the fat off you need lean muscle.  Without lean muscle, it is very difficult to lose body fat and keep the fat off.

In the same study, people who went to a gym and ate properly lost less weight than people that went to weight watchers.  However, they lost more visceral fat (abdominal fat).  And they gained muscle which is heavier than fat.

Attitude “If you want to know where your mind has been, take a look at your body today.”

Our life is a reflection of where our mind has been.  We become what we think about all day long.  Physiology follows psychology.  If we have a bad attitude toward exercise and fitness, it will show up in how you body looks.  Also, if you have a bad attitude towards proper nutrition it will show up in your appearance.

You have to see, feel and experience what you want to become.  If you want to change your body you have to not just exercise, or just diet.  You have to have a good solid workout and nutrition plan.  And you have to have a good attitude about what you are doing.  Without any of these tree components it is going to be extremely difficult to have success in meeting your weight loss goals.

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What would your life be like?

One of the first things I ask someone who is just starting to train with me is “what is your life going to be like with you reach your weight loss goal?”

In other words, how is your life going to change?  Most people only thing about losing weight and how that will cause them to wear smaller clothes sizes.  But there are many other ways in which weight loss has an effect on our lives.

How will people view you now that you’ve changed your body composition.  People are generally creatures of habit and most people don’t like change.  Even when it is a good change.  How will your family and friends react to your new appearance?  How will they react to your new lifestyle?  Will they encourage you or will they see your change as a threat to their security and try to sabotage it.

Don’t think that everyone will like what you are doing.  Especially if they see you doing what they so desperately need to do themselves.  This is why it is so important to have people in your life that are supportive and want you to succeed.  I have seen so many friends and family try to sabotage a person’s weight loss goals.  Life is too short to have people in your life that are not 100% supportive.

How will you view yourself when you reach your weight loss goals?  What will it be like to have confidence in yourself like you’ve never had before? Setting and obtaining weight loss and muscle development goals is a feeling like you’ve never had before.  No longer will you feel out of control with your weight.  Feeling powerless is a very powerful feeling.  Feeling in charge of your life and secure with your body feels more powerful than the powerlessness you felt before.

How will things change in your relationships with your spouse?  Your dating life?  Your carrier?  Your relationship with food?  Yes I said that right.  How will you relate to food and how everything you eat effects you?  Will you be able to develop boundaries with your meals so that you know when to eat, how much to eat, and what not to eat?

These are all important questions and in reality don’t have answers because none of these things have happened yet.  But when you do start your journey, hold on, it’s going to be a wild ride.

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Just Say No To Barney Rubble Legs

There’s not a day that goes by I  see someone who reminds me of Barney cankle-shotRubble working out in the gym.  You remember Barney?  He was Fred Flintstones best friend/sidekick.  Barney was short and had a very stocky upper body.  But his legs were way underdeveloped for his upper body size .

I see lots of guys working out their upper bodies and totally neglecting their legs, gluts and calves.  They look off balance and I often wonder how they can lift anything being so top heavy.

There are several reasons why you want to workout your lower body, aside from not wanting to look like Barney Rubble.  First is by working your lower body you are helping your body to produce more testosterone.  More testosterone means bigger stronger muscles.

Second reason is metabolism.  If you train the large muscles in your legs and glutes, you will raise your body’s metabolism and burn more fat.  Guys that are top heavy tend to have problems with body fat around their midsection.  It would be easier to keep body fat lowered if the lower body is developed.

And, your body tends to be more balanced meaning that your upper body is stronger.  Better lower body development means the upper body will be easier to train.

When I get a chance to ask someone why they don’t train their lower body more the typical response is they have poor genetics and can’t get their lower body to grow.

i-love-canklesI think this is partially an excuse.  Yes, we all have limits on muscle development.  However, there is no reason why the lower body should be neglected.  I can usually tell that the lower body is not being trained just by looking at a person’s “cankles”.  You know, no separation of the calf and ankle.  The lower leg appears to be one single mass from the bottom of the knee to the ankle.

Here is what you should know about the different muscles of the lower cankles-are-amazingbody.  They all respond differently to stimulus.  The calves are smaller muscles and need lots of reps.  The hamstrings and glutes are larger muscles and respond better to heavier weight and lower reps.  The quads respond better to higher reps.

To get the calves to grow you have to do lots and lots of reps.  Most people don’t like doing lots of reps on the calves because, well it just hurts like hell.  However, you have to do as many reps as you can to get the calves to develop.

Here is a training routine I use for working out my calves:

Stand on a stairway or platform and do 20 calf raises.  Rest for 30 seconds.  Bring your toes together and do 20 more calf raises.  Rest for 30 seconds.  Bring your heals together and do 20 more calf raises.

After you complete the third set do some glut or hamstring work.  Then come back to the calves and this time stand on a platform and raise your heals so that your calves are now working in an isometric type of exercise.  Keep your heals raised in this position for one minute.  Then lower your heals past the bottom of the platform.  Feel the pull on your calves in this position.  Keep your heals lowered for one minute.

Your calves will feel like they are on fire by the time you finish.  And you may be more than a little sore.  Keep doing this.  I actually work my calves every time I train even on days that I am training upper body.  The calves can never get enough training.  Well they can, but there’s no need to worry about over training them.

Train your calves and you will never have to worry about looking like Barney Rubble.  And you will see lots of improvement in balance and strength.

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