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nutrition

Creatine: What’s the Deal?

Hey guys, i’ve got some exciting stuff today. I reached out to one of my idols in the Fitness industry Tony Gentilcore a few weeks ago to write a guest post. I anxiously waited around my email, checking constantly and drinking vodka to pass the time– okay, not really vodka– until I got a response. Tony was a very down-to earth dude and was thankful to have my contributions.
I was pretty jacked, I might have even peed a little. Okay, joking again, that’s weird.

Anyways, I’d really appreciate it if you would head over to his site and check out the post and drop me a comment.

Ready? See you there.

Creatine: What’s the Deal?

Creatine. We’ve all heard about it, but what’s the deal? I get boat-loads of questions regarding the safety and effectiveness of creatine.

Does it make me look better naked? What are these crazy ethyl-ester pills and shiny Pre-workout jugs promising a Skin Searing Pump?

With all the products and information it’s no wonder there are questions.  I’m going to dig in and tell you what creatine is, how to use it, and what to expect.

 

Creatine Monohydate
Creatine Monohydrate

What is it?

Creatine is a natural amino acid most commonly found in red meat,but also produced in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. In the body creatine becomes a fuel source for short duration high-intensity activities such as weight training, sprinting and jumping where phosphocreatine is converted to ATP.

The amount of creatine consumed through the diet and produced naturally in the body are low; supplementation increases available levels.

Continue Here… Creatine: What’s the Deal?

 

 

Strong. Shredded. Athletic.

-Eric

 

 

7 Tips to Get Un-sick

10465845 - busy city life

Cough, Cough.  Sniffle, Sniffle.

You glance around to find the source of the wretched sound: There sits the red-nosed snot goblin –20 feet away, blasting away on curls between sets of sneezes.

A snot-filled secretion spray projects through the air, splattering the dumbbells for the sixth time; you suddenly become aware of the season: Flu Season.

Shit.

You’re thinking, “there goes the rest of my workout, I don’t want what that guy has.” The gym already holds tons of bacteria from all everyone leaving their stank everywhere– how can you stay healthy during the avoid the soul-sucking winter flu-season?

As with any illness, it all starts with prevention. In the interest of crushing your training so you can lose fat and look great come spring, it’s best to be proactive against getting sick in the first place.

Proper nutrition, hydration, and basic hygiene are simple, but neglected behaviors that have a huge impact on your health and workouts. That first throat tickle or sniffle doesn’t have to be a sentence to cough syrup and Kleenex. Here are a few cold killers to keep you happy, healthy, and jacked this season healthy.

1.) Wash your poop-laced Hands

According to this study at Michigan State, only 5% of people properly wash their hands in public restrooms. That means as many as 95% of people are walking around with some grimy, fecal discharge on their hands.  Great.

Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds and hit your fingernails, between fingers, wrists, and  the forearms thoroughly. Seriously, this sounds easy…but are you doing it?

Want to Simplify your Fitness and start making progress today? Click Here.

 

2.) Drink More Water

Proper hydration is vital for optimal cell function. When fighting an illness your body temperature is elevated, increasing the need for fluids. The more water you pump into your body the faster your immune system will fight invaders.

3.) Avoid Booze

As tempting as “Hot Toddy’s may be they will keep you sick. Alcohol will dehydrate you, ruin  sleep quality, and depress your immune system. Sound like a recipe to stay sick? It is! Stick with water or green tea.

4.) Drink Green Tea

Green Tea is an antioxidant powerhouse. Studies show that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a  compound in green tea increases antibodies in the blood to stop the replication of cold and flu viruses. But, there’s a catch. If you have an autoimmune disorder, green tea may actually exacerbate the issue, as covered by Precision Nutrition here. As always, there is no perfect food or drink for everyone. But, should you be clear of any autoimmune diseases opt for some high-quality green tea.

5.) Take Vitamin D

 Notice how rarely you get sick in the summer and warm times of the year?

Cold and flu season takes place in winter; non-coincidently, most people become deficient of Vitamin D due to seasonal weather changes. Vitamin D supplementation provides a huge boost to the immune system. It’s hard to get too much vitamin D, as we consume copious amounts from the sun in warm months.

During cold and flu season supplement 2000-5000 IU’s of Vitamin D. Non-toxic levels have been reported at 60,000 IU’s per day for months on end, so don’t worry about getting too much. P.S. find out how Vitamin D improves your ability to build muscle, burn fat, and improve performance here.

6.) Exercise

Exercise is great for looking good naked, but it will also improve your immune function. Hit the weights 3-4x per week plus a few days of high-intensity cardio, walk your dog, play a sport, or go do some yard work. Just go do something.

Already sick? You can still exercise, just lower the intensity and keep your germs to yourself, bruh. Think stimulate, don’t annhilate when training with an illness. 

7.) Strategic Supplementation

Being the Arch Duke here at Bach Performance I can pretty much do whatever I want when I want. Hell, I’m writing this in my pajamas listening to old school hip-hop.

The problem? When I’m sick or not firing at 100%, my productivity and thus, my income goes down. With that said, as soon I feel under the weather I move heaven and earth to get healthy as fast as possible.  Besides quality sleep, food, and nutrition I’ve tried dozens of supplements. Honestly, most are bullshit, but I’ve found two products from Onnit to be game changers.

Personally, I take and recommend to all my clients a high-quality greens supplement like Onnit Earth Growth Nutrients. Since most of us never get 8-12 servings of fruits and veggies this fills the gaps, especially while traveling. Moreover, there are tons of antioxidants and phytonutrients to both boost immune function and improve gut health–an underrated component of staying healthy. Grab Onnit EGN here, you won’t regret it.

un-sick

Beyond that, I’ll also consume shrooms. No, not the psychedelic kind (not anymore at least), but Shroom Tech sport. When I get the tickle in my throat I’ll pop a handful of these, which generally knocks the cold off its feet by morning. This stuff is currently in clinical trials so the science is still coming. But for me, this has done wonders as a last ditch insurance policy against getting sick.

 

8.) Sleep More

My Pooch Rocky Balboa, get unsick
My Pooch Rocky Balboa

 

According to Michael Irwin, M.D., sleep researcher at UCLA , if your sleep decreases by greater than forty percent the effectiveness of your immune system declines by fifty percent. Fifty. I used to wear my “lack of sleep” like a badge of honor to show everyone how busy I was. Big mistake. Make sleep a priority both before and during and illness.

It sucks to wake up with a congestion headache or itchy throat.It sucks even worse to feel perpetually sick and underperforming in the gym. It’s time we change that.

  • Wash your damn hands. There’s probably poop on them. Seriously.
  • Drink more water. 1/2 an oz. per lb of bodyweight is good.
  • Avoid booze, sorry. Hard pass on Thirsty Thursdays.
  • Drink green tea to boost immunity.
  •  

    Take the D. Vitamin D that is.

  • Exercise. Stimulate, don’t annihilate.
  • Use Strategic Supplementation like EGN and Shroom Tech Immunity.
  • Sleep. It’s the best thing you’re not doing.

 

A final note. Are you part of our private Facebook group yet?

No?

Click here to join us. It’s free. And will help you look better naked 🙂

Our community is focused on simplifying fitness so you build your strongest, leanest, and most athletic body…without all the information overload.

 

Resources:

Chant, Ian. “Study Finds Only 5% of People Wash Their Hands Properly in Public Restrooms.” GeekoSystem. N.p., 11 6 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. <http://www.geekosystem.com/hand-washing-study/>.

 

Immunity Granted.” Men’s Health. Rodale Inc., 11 11 2011. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. .

Hormones and Body fat Distribution

getting back into shape, Fat Deposits and Hormone Correlations

Dude…is it true all this beer is giving me man boobs?

I keeled over and nearly spit my beer all over the table. I was 21 years old, an undergrad in kinesiology and kickin’ back a few beers on thirsty Thursday with my friend Chris.

“No, I mean, seriously. I heard beer has compounds that mimic estrogen. So drinking a lot of beer throws guys hormones off and gives us man boobs. Is this right?  At the time, I wasn’t sure. Three beers deep I was tipsy and didn’t really care. In hindsight maybe I was being a jerk. But then again, I wasn’t completely sure.

Do hormone imbalances play a role in where we store body fat? Is excess cortisol the reason some of us have stubborn belly fat that won’t go away?

Is excess cortisol the reason some of us have stubborn belly fat that won’t go away?
Taken a step further, by naturally working to improve hormone levels can we get rid of stubborn body fat to become stronger, leaner, and look better naked?

The more clients I work with, the more I believe hormones play a significant role in body fat and body fat distribution. Before going any further I must note that I am not a doctor. This is no attempt to treat any medical condition; rather, to paint a picture of a few possible reasons for stubborn body fat. That said, using well-planned resistance training, small tweaks in your diet, and avoiding environmental toxins you can potentially improve natural hormone levels for less fat and more muscle. I put together a free guide showing you what to do. Grab it here.


Here are some common issues and questions that my clients bring up when coming in for body composition testing, typically done as skinfold measurements and body circumference measurements.

“My arms and chest are toned and lean, but I just can’t seem to shake this stubborn lower belly flab, why am I lean everywhere but my stomach?”

“I can’t get rid of this stupid fat around my hips, it looks like a muffin top!”

“ Why am I developing man boobs  fat on my chest muscles?”

I’ve heard every combination of slang terminology for fatty deposits around the body. As funny as some of them may be they represent real, common problems that can wreak havoc on both physique and confidence.

Having body fat tested is a great way to get a reliable, quantifiable idea of your current body composition and is recommended for everyone. If this is not an immediate option, make it a priority. Check out this post on how to estimate your body fat percentage based on what you see in the mirror.

Skinfold measurements will provide vital information to track body composition with changes in activity level and diet. These numbers from a skinfold also provide important data that can signify correlations between important body altering hormones in the body and skinfold measures.

Here are the most common trouble spots along with necessary interventions and strategies to correct the issue:

High abdominal Skinfold

  • Physiological Correlation: High Stress, High Cortisol
  • Intervention: Cortisol Suppression, Stress Control
  • Potential Strategies: Frequent protein meals, improved sleep, BCAA’s, stress reducing techniques such as meditation.

High Suprailliac Skinfold (hip region)

  • Physiological Correlation: Large Insulin Release w/meals (Likely too much sugar)
  • Intervention: Control Carb intake and greatly reduce processed foods
  • Potential Strategies: Consider a low carb diet. Better yet, try carb cycling, as outlined in this article.

High Subscapular Skinfold

  • Physiological Correlation:Poor Insulin Sensitivity (too many carbohydrates, too little exercise)
  • Intervention:Boost Insulin Sensitivity
  • Potential Strategy: Add Fish Oils, R-ALA Supplementation, Low Carb Diet, potentially Intermittent fasting protocols

High Chest Skinfold

  • Physiological Correlation: Low Testosterone, high estrogen
  • Intervention: Support Healthy Testosterone Levels
  • Potential Strategy:Adequate caloric intake, adequate dietary fat intake, possible medical referral. Avoid alcohol, beer specifically.

High Triceps and Thigh Skinfold

  • Physiological Correlation: High Estrogen
  • Intervention:Reduce estrogen levels
  • Potential Strategy: Increase exercise volume, add cruciferous veggies (always a good idea), discuss prescription estrogens with doctor

As you can see there is a pretty consistent consensus that many hormonal issues stem from poor exercise and dietary habits. Body composition is very diet specific and using the potential strategies to attack trouble spots can help you lose fat, improve your overall health, and look better naked.

It is important to note that if body fat is high universally on all body composition measurements then correlations are relatively meaningless. You need to lose body fat to improve your overall hormone profile. Our 30-day fat loss transformation plan can help you lose 6-10 pounds in one month. Join us next month by applying here.

Other Tips

If looking to lose weight do whatever is necessary to increase your activity level, but studies show 5+ hours per week is what is needed to optimally lose weight. And if you’re looking for a workout program to maximize your fat loss, here’s a free program to get building your dream body.

Hook me up with the Free Fat Loss Program, Eric!

Sources:

Andrews, Ryan, MS,MA,RD. Berardi, John, PhD,”Chapter 12 Interpreting Client Information.” The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. 2nd ed. N.p.: Precision Nutrition, n.d. 316-18. Print.

Precision Nutrition Certification Review

Like any certification the number one question I have received after getting my PN1 is “Was it worth the Money?”

To make it easy the answer is yes, yes it was. The Precision Nutrition Certification strikes gold for coaches looking for top-notch results with their clients. The PN system delivers what few other certifications and educational courses can: Up-to-date information and a delivery system to implement change in your clients.

The Breakdown

Precision Nutrition Certification Review
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/415651103/

Precision Nutrition contained two distinct portions of this certification. The first portion of the textbook and lectures was based on nutritional science. This portion covered topics such as cell structure and function, energy transfer and metabolism, energy balance, macro/micronutrients, special populations, and hydration status.

The information is up-to-date, and extremely thorough. Precision Nutrition does a phenomenal job breaking down difficult topics such as the Krebs cycle with both in-depth explanation, workbook questions, and video lectures to fit all learning styles.

The Best Part

The scientific based parts of the certification are great, but the practice, coaching, and implementation are even better. The practice portion of the certification contains extremely thorough client prep and information collecting, how to interpret this information, nutritional supplementation information, setting realistic and achievable goals, and how to provide continuing education and support for clients.

 

Advanced Strategies

Because PN does such a great job analyzing behavior and making change stick, advanced strategies are much easier to master. PN covers the following topics in-depth, providing calculations and estimations based on individual goals and body types for the following:

  • Carbohydrate cycling
  • Calorie cycling
  • Athlete sports nutrition as it relates to immune function
  • Nutrition for injury and rehabilitation
  • Supplementation to speed healing of injuries
  • Plant based diets
  • Eating disorders
  • Nutrition and cardiovascular disease
  • Nutrition and diabetes

These advanced strategies are an awesome addition to any repertoire of nutritional knowledge bombs. They might not apply to the majority of clients, but they are extremely thoroughly and helpful to the advanced clients that do dictate the strategies.

Why It’s Better

The Precision Nutrition Certification is NOT the only nutritional certification available to fitness professionals, but it does offer an entire section based on implementing change with clients. Too often certifications leave the coach with a wealth of information without the tools to successfully carry out the strategies into practice. This is where the PN system separates itself from the others. Dr. John Berardi has the hands on knowledge and experience from years of working with clients ranging from elite professional and Olympian athletes to non-athletes and average-joes.

If you are a fitness professional looking to take your business to the next step then I strongly recommend the PN1 Certification and Precision Nutrition.

For more information go check PN out at http://www.precisionnutrition.com/ and explore the wealth of information they have to offer. Specialized programs such as PN Lean Eating as well as Scrawny To Brawny programs are available to guide you towards your specific goals.

For information on how I implement the Precision Nutrition System with my clients please contact me through my newsletter and pick up your free gift here ==> Hook me up!

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

5 Essential Nutrition Habits

Below are 5 essential habits via the Precision Nutrition System. These wicked-awesome 5 habits are pretty Kick-Ass! Why?!

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...
Food for Life distributes food on an international basis produced solely from vegan and lacto-vegetarian ingredients. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, they are easy to follow, especially if you looking to lose body fat ( NOT GAIN lotza MUSCLE) and optimize body composition without the work of calorie counting and spending countless hours logging and tracking your food choices (which is still a good idea).

Enough with my blabbing, here is the list.

1.)Eat Slowly and Stop at 80% Full. It takes 20 minutes for brain signals to kick in, take your time and enjoy your meal.2.)Eat Protein dense foods with each meal.

Women- 1 Palm (20-30g)

Men- 2 palms (40-60g)

–This will support positive nitrogen balance, leading to better muscle development, body composition, and metabolism.

3.)Eat Vegetables with each meal. ½ cup raw= 1 serving, aim for 10 servings between fruits and vegetables per day. 2 palms per meal!

–These are filled will all kinds of good shiznit, such as phytochemicals, fiber, and anti-oxidants. Fight cancer, fill up on good stuff, and be healthy!

4.)For Fat Loss, eat most carbs after exercise. Keeping carbs low until aftr exercise will promote burning stored fat before/during exercise.

–Keep carb choices slower digesting, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, oats, quinoa, and whole wheat if you tolerate them.

5.)Eat healthy Fats Daily. Get roughly 30% of kcals and include healthy fats during each meal.

Get 1/3 from each type of fat, saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated by varying your sources between lean meats, fish, nuts, and healthy oils.

For more information regarding Precision Nutrition check out my review of their level 1 certification below:
http://ericbachperformance.com/2013/01/21/precision-nutrition-level-1-certification-review/

 

Resources:

Berardi, Dr. John, and Ryan Andrews. The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. second. Precision Nutrition. INC, 2012. 345-351. Print.

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