Nutrition – How To Balance Your Food Intake While Being Out.

http://thebranchhtx.com/wp-config.php~ More hints How To Balance Your Food Intake While Being Out.

As Health and Fitness enthusiast we all have a big concern at times when being out and wanting to eat something “Healthy and Clean” rather than stopping at a fast food restaurant and eat burgers, fries, onion rings and more. While it’s ok to have a cheat meal once a week it’s not ok to have a cheat meal every single day of the week. Remember nutrition is the foundation of everything and what you eat will reflect as the saying goes “You are what you eat” I am a strong believer that we all need to monitor our nutrition and make the necessary changes to continue on that momentum of progress but of course not restricting ourselves from the foods and treats we like to a point that when we finally have them we will over eat and indulge.

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Fresh Corn Grill – Hollywood,CA!

Now that I have gotten that important factor out of the way, in Today’s blog I will be sharing with you how I manage my nutrition while being out and not wanting to eat fast food but something healthy and cleaner, geared towards Whole foods rather than fast food. Goal setting and knowing what you are training for is extremely important during this approach because when you remind yourself of your goals and what are you currently trying to achieve it will be a no brainer to go the healthy and clean route rather than the fast and cheap food.

How I Manage My Nutrition:

  • Upon waking up, the first thing I have is my breakfast. My breakfast may vary from a Protein shake to Egg whites & Oatmeal along with a Protein shake, it depends if I am training early in the morning or just focusing on cardio, this is when you evaluate your goals and manage your nutrition according to your training.
  • Mid day I would have a snack, wether it be fruits, almonds, or another protein shake – keeping my body fueled up it’s super important to me for energy source and not letting my body starve itself.
  • After my mid day snack, I wait roughly about 2-3 hours until I have another meal which is considered my “first lunch” and I focus on this meal to have all my major macronutrients such as Carbs, Fats and of course Protein. I do not measure my food or protein intake but I make sure the portion control is just where it needs to be.
  • Shortly after my first lunch and 2 hours after I would be heading to the gym to train weights or cardio (It depends what I did in the morning) – I would have a pre work out snack, fruits, yogurt or something light that has the key ingredients to give me the energy throughout my session.
  • After my work out i focus on having my post work out shake and a meal, again focusing that the meal has the macronutrients such as carbs, proteins and healthy fats (avocado), mainly because it’s lighter and it will not make me feel super full before bed time. (Remember, everyones body is different, so what I eat may work for you or it may not work for you). But this is a simple approach to my nutrition regimen.
  • Balancing all of this aspects above can be challenging or easy, it’s the way you prepare yourself, you have the choice to pack your meals and snacks or the choice to find a local healthy joint to eat and still be on track with your nutrition.

Portion Control Approach – Nutrition:

If you are confused about portion control and how to manage your nutrition without the need of measuring – you can follow the guidelines below that will give you an idea on how to make sure your portion control is correct.

portion-control-chart-with-calories1(1)Now, lets cover the most important aspect – How to balance your food intake while being out.

Managing your nutrition while being out takes serious will of wanting something bad enough and in this case for you, it’s achieving the body of your dreams. We know there is hundreds of temptations outside for us as we walk around town and find multiple cheat meal places, but remember that once you’re in this lifestyle, it’s all about choices and you have to make the  right choice to eat better and cleaner foods. I would recommend the following:

  • Find a local healthy restaurant near you or your work place that know it’s fresh and healthy.
  • Once you have find your place, take the menu home and scan through it.
  • If the place has a large option of meals, side orders and more, you can try a new dish weekly during your lunch time. (This is great because you won’t get tired of eating the same meal over and over).
  • If you would like to make a few changes to the meal, don’t be afraid to ask because 95% of the time the restaurant will meet your request and if theres a bit of an extra charge, go for it.
  • Keep in mind most healthy restaurants and those who are aware of portion control, their portion aren’t very big but yet it will be satisfying because you won’t feel super full and you will regain energy.

Now that you know how to balance things out and have this key factors in mind to balance your nutrition while being out – you won’t have a problem on feeling side tracked from your goal. Remember it’s a choice, it’s a lifestyle and it’s a journey, you are in control of creating the best you, so make the right choice and you will be on your way to achieving success and the physique of your dreams.

Best,
John Carter

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Kettle Bell Endurance Training – Lower & Upper Body Strength.

Kettle Bell Endurance Training – Lower & Upper Body Strength.

Kettle Bells is one of the greatest fitness equipments out there and I am a big fan of the endless amount of great work outs you can do with them. However; being aware of the kettle bell weight you select it’s extremely important to avoid major injuries and of course, focusing on doing the exercise correctly. In today’s work out I will be bringing you an upper and lower body routine with kettle bells that will be targeting all major areas of your body such as: Legs, Gluteus, Biceps and Shoulders. This is a muscle strength routine that will help you build stamina and improve your cardiovascular endurance. It’s not easy but a great routine that will take your body to the next level if you aren’t feeling comfortable with this work out just yet, you can tailor this by doing it with dumbbells or resistance bands if you are a beginner.

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About the work out & key advice for maximum results:

  • Before perfoming this routine – be sure to warm up your entire body. It’s an overall upper and lover body routine that requires you to be warm and stretched out, not stretching or warming up for this exercise will cause you to be in risk of injuries.
  • This type of routine is not a super set style – which means you will perform one exercise – rest 30 seconds in between and continue to do the rest of the exercise (Lower body first, upper body second).
  • The primary muscle being targeted when doing the lower body portion of this work out which is single leg walking lunges are your hamstrings and secondary muscle being targeted are your gluteus.
  • The primary muscle being targeted when doing the upper body portion of this work out are your biceps and secondary muscle are your shoulders.
  • Make sure you keep your core engage throughout every rep you do and throughout every exercise while doing lower and upper body work – Keeping your core engaged at all times will help you stay balanced and most of all – focusing on strengthening your core.

Reps & Sets per exercise & Fitness Level:

  • Beginner Routine: If you are a beginner and would like to try this exercise – Make sure you select a kettle bell that isn’t too heavy, pick the right weight that you can do without risking form and being in risk of injuries. Focus on doing 10 reps for Walking Lunges, 10 reps for bicep curls & 10 reps for shoulder pressing. Remember you can rest 60 seconds in between exercises until you are clear to do the next routine, the last two routines of the upper body are steady single leg lunge, so you will be taking a step forward and performing the curl – for the shoulder presses it will be the same approach, single leg lunge and shoulder press. The different on the upper body and not doing a walking lunge it’s that will be targeting most of your gluteus and calves.
  • Intermediate Routine: Pick the right weight that you can do without risking form and being in risk of injuries not heavy, not light but moderate weight. Focus on doing 20 reps for Walking Lunges, 20 reps for bicep curls & 20 reps for shoulder pressing. Remember you can rest 40 seconds in between exercises until you are clear to do the next routine, the last two routines of the upper body are steady single leg lunge, so you will be taking a step forward and performing the curl (Back To Back Lounge, up down – up down) – for the shoulder presses it will be the same approach, single leg lunge and shoulder press. The different on the upper body and not doing a walking lunge it’s that will be targeting most of your gluteus and calves.
  • Advanced Routine: This type of routine isn’t a muscle growth routine but geared towards strength and endurancepick the right weight that you can do without risking form and being in risk of injuries yet a challenging weight to keep you in the game but if you look at the rep range selecting a weight that you will be able to do for all the sets is the main aspect to get the most out of this advanced routine. Focus on doing 25 reps for Walking Lunges, 25 reps for bicep curls & 25 reps for shoulder pressing. Remember you can rest 30 seconds in between exercises until you are clear to do the next routine, the last two routines of the upper body are steady single leg lunge, so you will be taking a step forward and performing the curl (Back To Back Lounge, up down – up down – up down 3 total) – for the shoulder presses it will be the same approach, single leg lunge and shoulder press. The different on the upper body and not doing a walking lunge it’s that will be targeting most of your gluteus and calves.

If you have any questions regarding this great & challenging work out – Be sure to leave them down below and I will assist you.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Squat & Lunges – Lower Body Tune up Smith Machine.

Squat & Lunges – Lower Body Tune up Smith Machine.

It’s time to train that lower body and maximize those gains you are trying to achieve. Throughout my time in the fitness industry I have been aware that not many people are a fan of training legs and their lower body, it is definitely one of the most neglected body parts in general but training your lower body will indeed bring you great results in the long run. Lets talk about the great benefits of training legs before i begin to share this great routine that I implement into my lower body training days. Working out your lower body is vital in many ways – why? Because when you train your legs your upper body will be stronger and your strength will increase, training your legs will also improve your other lift while doing compound movements and overall cardiovascular endurance routines. While the aftermath of training legs may cause you to be very sore, don’t take it in a way that you will neglect legs because of the feelings it causes you to have. Being sore is a great thing and it also means that you’re making progress and your body has been stimulated in a way that it hasn’t been trained before – so keeping your body guessing while training legs will also help you make gains and overall upper body improvements.

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How to break up your leg training routine:

  • Always evaluate your current goal and what are you trying to achieve. Remember to have a work out plan that you will follow where the lower body is being targeted at least twice a week.
  • You can break down your leg training routines by doing two lower body parts one day of the week & two days after two extra lower body parts. Example: Quads & Calves / Hamstrings & Thighs.
  • Be aware of the weight you lift each and everyday when training lower body and write it down, this will help you monitor your improvements & the strength you have gained since your first time training legs.
  • Be sure to keep your body guessing and implement different lower body work outs – such as low weight and high reps, high weight and low reps and even body weight movements with different gym equipment.
  • As per usual, be sure to stretch before, during and after your lower body work out this will ensure that the soreness won’t be as bad and will keep your lactic acid build up to a minimum & of course, train smart

About the work out & Muscles being targeted: Gluteus, quads, hamstrings & calves.

  • This type of work out is considered a Muscle Endurance work out – Where the weight is light and the reps are high.
  • You will only be resting a minimum of 50-60 seconds between sets – Testing your cardiovascular endurance while also stimulating lower body strength.
  • You will perform the first exercise (Squats) followed by Single Leg Lunges when done performing the first exercise.
  • The reps will be 20 per legs when doing lunges and 20 repetitions of squats – If you cannot do the reps, decrease it to a weight you feel comfortable on doing.
  • Be selective about the weight you choose, it’s not a routine thats meant to be lifted with heavy weight but geared towards endurance and overall cardiovascular approach.

Advice for maximum results:

  • Be sure to stretch before, during and after your work out – The lower body needs to be warm and prepared for the session to avoid major injuries.
  • Do controlled and slow paced repetitions, remember it’s not a race – Engage every muscle group through the reps being performed.
  • You can do this exercise without smith machine but I recommend it for this because it’s a superset style work out and the smith machine will help you get the most out of each set without sacrificing forms and keep you away from injuries.
  • Do not hunch your back forward when squatting and lunging that will prevent you from targeting the muscle group thats meant to be targeted so keep your back straight at all times.
  • The Lunges it’s a great exercise that targets your gluteus and quadriceps.
  • Engaged your core through every rep.

If you have any questions regarding this routine – please leave your questions down below and i will assist you.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.

Biceps & Forearms work – Superset style.

Biceps & Forearms work – Superset style. 

Are you short on time and willing to make the most of your time in the gym when training arms? Well you’re in the right place. Today, I will be sharing with you one of my favorite arm routines that will help you maximize not only your results but make the most out of the time you’ve got at the time. Supersets work great because you are doing more than one exercise at once shortly after finishing one, it also helps you improve your overall cardiovascular endurance and strength, so if you haven’t tried this method of training before – I highly recommend you do so.

BicepsIf you are in the quest of muscle building this is the work out for you and of course, it works just as great if you are on a maintaining phase which means muscle endurance – but I will get into that shortly and the necessary changes you have to make in order to manipulate this work out according to your goal. Muscle building phase of this work out will challenge you to lift heavy weight with limited reps, remember do not sacrifice form to lift heavy and be in risk of injuries but do lift a weight that will challenge you while keeping sound and clean form and if you cannot do it, don’t be afraid to drop the weight because as you will get stronger you will be able to achieve the weight you’re trying to lift. I will discuss the rep ranges on the breakdown of the training method down below.

For those focusing on muscle endurance, this will be a different approach than those willing to gain muscle mass. Muscle strength falls into the category of lifting for higher reps and with a limited number of sets. What do I mean by higher rep range? This method will help you gain & keep solid strength while also focusing on overall cardiovascular endurance, taking your heart rate to another level and improving your overall stamina. The rep range may vary for some, but normally 15-20 with a max of 25 reps is ok for each exercise. The weight management doesn’t have to be very heavy or very light, just a weight that will keep you challenged but a weight that you’re able to achieve for the desire reps you’re willing to do without sacrificing form.

Workout advice & techniques.

  • You will be performing for the first exercise the overhand grip for the forearms, keeping the arms tucked in to your side without flaring them out – this will help you target the primary muscle which is your forearms and secondary muscle being your biceps.
  • Once finished with the forearms exercise, proceed to do the following exercise which is the regular and well known Bicep Curls – again make sure to keep your elbows tucked in and don’t flare them out, when flaring the elbows you won’t be able to target the primary muscle and will sacrifice form and most of all, being in risk of injuries.
  • Make sure to keep your core tight throughout every set and reps you do. Keeping your core engaged at all times will help you activate your core and most of all – keep you balanced throughout every rep.
  • You can perform this exercise with either dumbbells or with machine with cables like shown on the photo – Either way you will be able to get the same benefits of the work out. Dumbbells are more challenging and draining because they aren’t attached like cables are and if you want the extra challenge – I highly recommend it, I’ve done both and it works great.

Reps & Sets depending your fitness goal:

  • Muscle Strength: 10-12 reps | Sets of: 5 | 1 Minute Rest.
  • Muscle Endurance: 15-20 max 25 reps | Sets of: 4 | 60 Second Rest.
  • Evaluate what are you trying to achieve before performing the exercise, if you are unsure of your goal – doing either of the work out methods provided won’t hurt you – If you keep your body guessing with new and effective routines you will have better chances of reaching your goal and the body of your dreams.

Incase of any questions and confusion throughout this exercise – leave your questions down below.

Train Hard & Smart.

Best,
John Carter

Connect with John | Facebook & Twitter.