Thursday, June 19, 2014

Guest Post: G.I. Gen - Why Strength Training Is So Important For Women

It’s been accepted knowledge for some time in the industry that strength training, also called resistance training, is an essential component in any fitness regime and is as important for women as it is for men. It has myriad benefits including improved muscle strength and tone, pain management, improved mobility and balance, increased bone density and strength and reduced risk of osteoporosis, reduced body fat and better self esteem (Source: Better Health)

The relationship between muscle development and reduced body fat is particularly interesting. Basically the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and therefore the more fat you burn. Strength training improves fat burning:

a)     Because you metabolize more quickly in the day or two following a workout, when your muscles are repairing themselves (this is the time you may experience DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). After a really good workout you may hurt for days, but personally I enjoy this type of soreness because it’s like I can actively feel the improved metabolism and fat burning occurring.

b)     Just simply having muscle improves your metabolism.

In addition, new research argues that exercising our muscles – releases chemicals called “myokines, which have a range of benefits including reducing the low level inflammation in the body thought to contribute to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s – and possibly working as tumour suppressants” (Source: The Age) The research is new, as I understand it, but promising.

Whichever way you look at it, strength training can only do you good. There used to be a view that if women lifted heavy weights, they would look ‘bulky’ or ‘manly’. Something like this perhaps

This misguided view is in fact quite disrespectful. Diet is the major factor in stripping body fat to expose that degree of muscle mass, and it takes in some cases YEARS of hard work to achieve a body like the above. The suggestion that a woman might lift a few dumbbells a couple of times a week and accidentally wind up ‘bulky’ is ludicrous. You need testosterone for that, and women generally just don't have enough. In fact, a moderate amount of muscle mass is what is more likely to happen, and with a low(ish) amount of body fat you’re far more likely to end up with a body like this:

Bulky? Manly? Hardly. Of course this may not be everyone’s idea of the ideal body, and we need to be careful about presenting these almost-perfect bodies as something to aspire to, because the reality is that our genetics play a big part in determining overall body shape and composition. Two people that have identical training regimes and diets will still look different. Genetics might mean you develop larger quads, or have a thicker waist or broader shoulders than the person next to you, but this should never mean that you value your self-worth based on whether you look like a sports model.  And it’s by no means a reason to stop, or even reduce the amount of strength training you do, because the benefits noted above far outweigh any aesthetic considerations (in my view). A fit, strong, healthy body is always going to be more attractive and add far more to your self esteem than feeling frail, under-nourished or obese.

Since losing almost a third of her body weight, Gen now blogs about her fitter, stronger, leaner reality over at G.I. Gen. Check her out there for more on a whole range of topics.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Our goals are not just our ideals, they're more of a promise. "I want to lose this weight this summer," isn't enough just to verbalize; I invite the idea of committing. Yes, you have some dedication and determination, how cute, but committing is an ideology. When things hit the fan, life gets rough, conditions change, you persevere, why? Because you are committed.

For anyone longtime athlete, one understands the difference between just going, and going to get things done. This relates back to my point about people spinning their wheels, there is no commitment! Therefore there is no progression. I'm not pushing the idea of defeating yourself, but there will be instances in time where things just drag, or what's placed in front of you seems impossible. You will be tested. I don't care if that test is 300+ pounds on your back, several miles on a track, endless rounds on a crossfit circuit, it won't matter because you are committed! Til' death do you and your workout part.

No doubts, just COMMIT! Never falter.

Alberto Nunez - Natural Pro Bodybuilder



Monday, June 2, 2014


Genetics! Either you hate em' or you love em'.

 CollegeHumor just posted this video. Found it really humorous, but so accurate. You can't change what you were born with, but you can capitalize on it! Stop looking towards the next guy and comparing yourself, chances are you will never look like them! Be humble with what you were born with.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Instinctive Training (Dem' Feels)

How do you feel this day? What's your mood, your attitude? What does the gym atmosphere feel like? It's all about dem' feels man! Honestly though, how many times have you stepped foot into your local gym/fitness center and just told yourself, "I'm about to annihilate this workout!", only to then proceed and then, well... annihilate that workout! How amazing is that feeling? Your endorphins kick in, tunnel vision engaged, and you're just wired, or as they say "In your zone".

Alas, if you have been training for an allotted amount of time, you understand the concept of instinctive training. We cannot always step into our workouts with the same intensity. Sometimes you lack sleep, slack on nutrition, or more commonly your day just ain't going your way. Let's face it, there's an overwhelmingly small percentage of us with lives solely based off what we do in the gym. It isn't our likelihood, just a hobby or interest if you will.

What can we do to combat those days that just drag? Train to how you feel. As I said before we'll never be able to just push and progress every workout, but we can make every workout count.

Save the heavy days to a time when you feel good, your body is primed. Your body will not lie to you or be shy about telling you when it's had enough. Digging yourself into a deeper hole will not illicit growth, but only keep you farther from it. You should always push yourself, but be mindful. That PR (personal record) can always wait another day.


Sorry about the hiatus. Post will be coming alot more frequently with more content. Comment below for what you want to see.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Adonis Complex?

Tapered waistline, broad shoulders, wide lats, and a shapely squared off chest; just some of the few components that make up the ideal masculine aesthetics. The chase for the perfect physique is what has kept many in the gym to this day. Goals and dedication can become one thing, but desire has many faces. 

The fitness world has created a misconstrued idea of realistic physiques. In turn body image has become an increasingly critical objection and has spawned many unhealthy habits with men. Mild starvation and excessive amounts of training and cardio are some of the most common symptoms. Body dysmorphia, or also referred to as, The Adonis Complex.

Adonis - God of beauty and desire. Relating to males and their desperation for body perfection, and innate need to be desired by the opposite sex. One of the most common reasons for men to get in shape is to gain confidence. Ofcourse this would then just be counterproductive to anyone influenced by body dysmorphia as they would only be doing more harm to themselves than good.

Are we being overly critical of these dream chasers? Goals are great, right? When can it become an obsession? Coming to the realization won't be easy for many. Men (primarily younger) have started a trend of identifying themselves, or in some cases measuring their masculinities with their physiques. Going the lengths of damaging your body or making one self miserable sounds anything but alpha to me. Thoughts?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Used to Be

I've almost managed to convince myself that almost every athlete I've spoken to has at one time or another, been bigger, stronger, or faster than me. Is it just me, or does anyone else happen to encounter these ol' "back in the day" clowns. Not to say I'm any fitness genius or natural born athlete, but my progress has far exceeded my expectations, and for someone to come around and attempt to discredit this leaves alot of room for question.

Not to say I don't believe you used to bench 400 pounds in high school but, well.. I don't. I would appreciate if I could silently enjoy my progress and personal records in peace without your self-regarding commentary. Especially if no one asked for it!

Honestly though, who are these guys, and most importantly, where have their gains vanished to!? It's always a case of, "I used to look like this," or "I used to be able to lift this," but almost never any show.   Furthermore, why are you so concerned with a previous version of yourself?  For lack of better term, if you were "the shit" back in the day, and you look or perform like "shit" now, who exactly are you entitled to be preaching to?

I wouldn't have as much of a problem with this kind of thing if I didn't believe people did this in order to bring people down or to make themselves seem better than someone. We all work hard for our personal progress, not anyone else's at the end of the day. Bringing each other up and hailing our progress makes the fitness world more conducive for growth!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Anabolic Conditioning - Hill Sprintz!

What is anabolic conditioning you ask? Oh just only one of the best ways to breed a lean, mean, and powerful physique. It is one of the most highly effective tools in building muscle and burning fat simultaneously, making it one of the most optimal forms of cardio. Ready to hop on board now? Well beware, for it isn't for the faint of heart!

Anabolic conditioning has a habit of making a man (or wo-MAN) out of you. It is strictly a high intensity burst of movement that can include, hill sprints, prowler pushing, tire flipping, or any kind of intense cardio with moderate to high resistance. Best believe this kind of training will transfer into your weightlifting or even in your everyday life for functional purposes.

My plan of attack today were hill sprints. A very simple form of anabolic conditioning.

Step 1. Find a hill

Step 2.  Sprint your ass up there!


Step 3. Safely guide yourself down.

Step 4. Have fun with it! Bring a friend


I credit the term anabolic conditioning to Omar Isuf. Charismatic guy with extenisive knowledge in all areas of fitness. Check his youtube.