Your “Tasty Tuesday” Primer (6/5/12)

5 06 2012

Happy Tuesday, GymGeeks!

Thanks to everyone for bearing with me on the timing of posts.  This whole migrating to a WordPress.org format has been a total pain the ass from the start, but the hard work (and psychosis) will be worth it, since I will have more access to making this thing prettier and more user-friendly (including the option to post comments via your Facebook accounts).

Angry Jon

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

Despite the craziness of trying to get this done (on top of the day job of voicing scripts for the college AND dealing with the cable company over a bad internet connection), I’ve yet to fall into the trap of eating due to stress.  That’s what I wanted to touch on today in the primer…see?  I find a way to make my rants make sense!

A lot of people fall into the pitfall of eating not because they’re hungry, but because life has them stressed out.  For a scientific reason that I can’t really explain without having a PhD, your brain produces the same responses for chemical reactions due to both stress and hunger.  You, on the other hand, have the capability of telling what the difference is.

So when you find yourself in times of trouble (MusicGymGeek Problems), walk away from whatever’s stressing you out,  take a deep breath,  re-prioritize and get back in there.  You’ll save yourself unnecessary calories and gain a little bit more sanity.  Besides, it’s been proven that stress hormones do lead to less efficient metabolism.  Translation:  stressing out enough can help pack on the pounds.

That’s my rant for today.  Be on the lookout for a recipe (I’m keeping it a surprise, but I’ll leave hints on Twitter to get you guys following), but most of my day will be focused on making this site amazing for you guys.  You’ve proven that this is a worthwhile venture with all the new follows, view of my interview on YouTube and pictures on Flickr and I won’t let you down!

Jonathan





Your “Serenity Sunday” Primer (6/3/12)

3 06 2012

Sorry for the delay, GymGeeks!  Needed to buy a new power cord for the laptop.  It died on me last night at the health fair…GymGeek problems, right?

Speaking of the Winter Park Health Fair, it was an absolute success!  I had a great time talking with the other vendors and presenters, who ranged anywhere from testicular cancer testing to mental health screenings.  The funniest moment came from the girls from Winter Park Memorial Hospital, who were doing breast cancer screenings (or at least teaching women how to check for lumps).  They flipped out over the pictures for quite some time!  I think I got some new fans 🙂

I tried to donate blood, but unfortunately, the day job needed me to take my MMR vaccination and I’m not eligible until I get back from my trip to Kentucky.  Rest assured I’ll be back!

The greatest part (aside from promoting healthy living) was my impromptu interview with WIRP, an internet-based radio station here in Winter Park.  I was able to tape my talk with them and post it here and on YouTube:

In other news,  things may be running a bit slowly over here on the site.  Since GymGeeks are coming in droves,  I’m moving the site to a better server that’ll allow me to be a little more hands-on with content management instead of just being able to post/tag/repeat.  I’ll still be pretty active on Twitter and Facebook, though!  It’ll just be a minor setback, but completely worth it!

Anyways, go enjoy the day…since tomorrow we get back to work!





Supplement Review: Syntha-6

2 06 2012

GymGeeks…I’ve been holding out for long enough.

For the athlete, this right here is the holy grail of all post-workout nutrition.  I first discovered Syntha-6 as a last-second ready-to-drink shake at GNC before going out for the night (yes, I’m that guy who pre-games with protein…GymGeek problems).  What I got was 40 solid grams of protein with enough carbohydrates to keep me energized for the night without the crash of a 5-Hour Energy.

Syntha-6

Didn’t even need it carried to me by African swallows…

Granted, this was before I got super-serious about my fitness goals.  Now that I research the hell out of everything I put into my body (again…GymGeek problems),  I can tell you that it is perfect for any athlete or high-intensity fitness freak.  At 200 calories, 22 grams of protein (a mix of different whey types and caseins) and 15 grams of carbs per scoop, it’s a great blend to replenish your strength after a great lifting session.  On top of that, each scoop has 5 grams of BCAA’s and 10 grams of other amino acids,  your muscles will thank you!

This is one of the best-blended protein powders to ever have the privilege to be in my shaker bottle.  After 30 seconds and using both milk and water,  it blends completely with no clumps or sugar-esque crystals like you find in cheaper brands.

Taste-wise…holy crap.  It passes the Nerdy Gym Rat test (which, of course, is having a great cookies & cream option) with every option.  The best of the bunch is, without a doubt, chocolate milkshake is the best flavor.  I’d also recommend the mochaccino flavor, as it sure beats the hell out of a trip to Starbucks.

There is, of course, one catch: since it’s a premium powder, it comes with a premium price tag ($30 for 3 lbs. on Bodybuilding.com).  As such, I recommend it to any of my GymGeeks who are super serious about their workouts.  Otherwise, I’d stick to the whey proteins, since they are better for the beginner and the low-carb dieter.

Has anyone else tried it out?  Let me know what your thoughts are!





Your “Supplement Saturdays” Primer (6/2/12)

2 06 2012

Good Morning, GymGeeks (Old AND New)

I say that because Twitter has officially blow up.  Over sixty of you have become GymGeeks in the last 48 hours, which I find unbelievably impressive (and I screen for bots, spammers and everything)!  You guys have inspired me to do a few more things over the next few weeks (working on the merchandising as we type).  These would include contests and giveaways, GymGeeks!  So keep an eye out…

star wars, x-wing, death star, nerdy, geek

Battle of Yavin…X-Wings? Death Star? Blown Up? You guys get it…

Also keep an eye out (in a more immediate sense) for my talk about green tea, as well as the super-famous Syntha-6 protein powder.  I’ve been holding out as long as I can to write about it, since I consider it an ace in the hole that EVERYONE should read about, but since you guys are coming here in droves now, I feel the time is right!

Don’t forget to pay it forward and share the love via Twitter and Facebook!





Gym Pet Peeves (6/1/12)

1 06 2012

I sure hope you all get a good weekend of rest, because there’s a major national holiday on Monday that all of the GymGeek Nation should know about:  National Bench Press Day!

Ok, clearly I’m kidding.  I’ve just always found it interesting that there’s an unwritten rule that Monday’s are for bench presses.  I still shudder at the thought of waiting in line for the bench press stations at the UCF Rec & Wellness Center back in school (and we’re talking about a school with the second highest undergraduate enrollment in the United States).

There really is no explanation for this phenomenon, other than most meatheads like working their show-off muscles while girls are mildly interested in working out at the beginning of the week.

I bring up the bench press not because of the high traffic on a certain day.  That’s not so much a pet peeve as it is a necessary evil at every gym.  I’ve adjusted by doing my leg workouts on Mondays, just to knock out a tough day early.  Besides, no one’s fighting me to do squats!

So without further ado…

The Mayor of The One-Rep Max

This Pet Peeve Has a History…

I’ll be the first to admit it; finding out your one-rep max is a very important measuring stick when tracking your progress, in terms of muscular strength.  In fact, I do it once every two months just to see how far I’ve come.

But what about the guy that only does one rep…for ten sets?  It’s a head-scratcher to me.  All it does is get you tired, defeating the purpose of building both strength and endurance.  The idea of weightlifting is making your body efficient.

Doing your bench press in this fashion is a lot like driving a luxury car as fast as you can for ten seconds, hitting the brakes, resting at the red light, then doing it again at every…single…light.  All it’s going to do is beat the crap out of the car (or in this case, your body).

If your goal is to get stronger and bigger, you’re far better off doing three or four sets of four to six reps.  It’ll be much more taxing than doing ten sets of one while also giving your body a reason to recover.  Again, it’s about muscle efficiency.

So to this guy/gal, I leave you with this; use it as a measuring stick, not as part of your routine.  Besides, on National Bench Press Day, you’re also going to piss off A LOT of people waiting to get work done!  Also, you don’t want to end up like THIS guy, right?





Photos from “Men’s Fitness” Shoot

1 06 2012
Men's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 Shoot
Men's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 Shoot
Men's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 Shoot
Men's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 Shoot

 





Your “Fun Sh*t Friday” Primer (6/1/12)

1 06 2012

Another month, but the same Nerdy Gym Rat!

While a lot of you college GymGeeks are out enjoying your summer vacations (unless you’re taking classes, of course…even then, get some time by the pool to relax!), us older folks with day jobs just look at it as just another day at the office.  For me,  today is dedicated to a few voiceovers and getting pieces together for a health fair tomorrow…

Which brings me to a last-second announcement!  I’ll be hosting my own table/booth at the Winter Park Health Fair this weekend.  I was contacted by the coordinator of the fair about a week ago, who happens to be an avid reader of NerdyGymRat.com.  Since I live in the neighborhood, I figured this would be another great way to get the name out there, so I clearly accepted!

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=821+West+Swoope+Avenue,+Winter+Park,+FL&aq=1&oq=821+w+swoope+avenue+winter+park+fl&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=37.735377,86.572266&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=821+W+Swoope+Ave,+Winter+Park,+Florida+32789&ll=28.602466,-81.359453&spn=0.010229,0.021136&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A&output=embed
View Larger Map

The fair goes from 5:30 until 8:30 and they’ll be performing seminars on self-assesment for both testicular and breat cancer.  I plan on also giving blood.  Anything I can do to help my community, I’m more than happy to do!

As I hinted at on Twitter yesterday,  I do have a special treat for my GymGeeks.  I have done some sneaky placement on Twitter and Facebook, but I wanted to share some of the “behind the scenes” pictures from the “Men’s Fitness” shoot, including the famous one used in the June 2012 issue.  The photographer, Sam Robles, was a blast to work with.  I was already a big fan of his work after looking through his portfolio and seeing a shot of my favorite Miami Marlin, Josh Johnson.  I’d recommend him to any aspiring fitness models or athletes in South Florida (we actually lived in the same general area in Fort Lauderdale growing up) and would work with him again, if the opportunity arose.

Also,  I have a great “Gym Pet Peeve” to share.  Now, this one came from one of my followers on Twitter, but I definitely noticed it happening earlier in the week and couldn’t agree more with the assessment of just how effin’ annoying it is.  Stay tuned for that bad boy later tonight.  I recommend reading on a full stomach so you don’t do a spittake…it’s that funny.

I hope everyone ends the week strong.  It’s a new month, so if you’re feeling sluggish crossing the finish line that was the month of May, consider today your mental “reset” button and get back at it!

Now off to the booth I go…be good, GymGeeks!
Jonathan




Your “Friday Eve Fit Tips” Primer

31 05 2012

Happy 1 Month Anniversary, GymGeeks!

We are now a month older and wiser, with 200+ followers on Twitter, 50 likes on Facebook and a pretty decent following on WordPress.  I have to say, for something that started from scratch, I’m impressed by the reception.  Thanks to everyone who has made it possible.

I also wanted to share our new logo, which was created by Facebook GymGeek, Haris, in his spare time after reading about the opportunity here at NerdyGymRat.com.  I happen to find it pretty kickass.  What do you guys think?

The beauty of the “Friday Eve Fit Tips” (and even “Fun Sh*t Fridays) is that it gives me the freedom to post all the stuff that doesn’t really fit on the other days, so while you’re looking around Twitter for tips on nutrition, fitness and overall health, you can expect a surprise or two over the next few days.  It could be an interview, a couple behind-the-scenes photos, or even updates on appearances I’ll be making in the Orlando area.

Guess you’ll have to stay tuned…stay hungry, my GymGeeks!

(Also, feel free to follow my personal Twitter account for even MORE access to the mind of The Nerdy Gym Rat, including rants about the Heat, Dolphins, Marlins and even my own UCF Knights)





How To Build Your Own Workout (With a Little Help From Men’s Fitness…)

30 05 2012

The #1 question I’ve been asked by beginning is “How do I start a workout routine?”  Luckily, it’s really not any sort of rocket science.  You don’t need phenomenal genetics or a high-tech gym to be in shape!

A great place to build your own workout is with this article from “Men’s Fitness.”  Basically, the idea is to create a routine that:

  1. Is goal-oriented
  2. Doesn’t stick you in a gym for more time than necessary (efficiency is key)
  3. Is built around a main lift, with secondary lifts to complement

I went into a little bit of detail about the “Big Three” earlier today with the deadlifts.  That would be considered a main lift.  If you’re working back and biceps (an all-pulling exercise day), you’d start with the deadlift, then go into your secondary lifts (i.e. lat pulldowns, bicep curls) that complement it.

A push press is a “main lift,” since it involves more than just your shoulders.

With your goal in mind (weight loss, muscle building), you basically determine how many repetitions and sets you’re going to do for each lift (and how much weight you’re going to use).  If your goal is fat loss, you’re going to go high repetition (12-15 range) at a lighter weight.  If it’s muscle building, you’re going to go low repetition (4-6 range) and higher weight.  Remember, though: no matter what your goal is, you aren’t going to get anywhere with poor form!

Now, we all don’t have hours to spend at the gym like professional athletes or fitness models.  I personally have only an hour, hour and a half tops, to get my work in daily.  That means no jerking around!  There’s no reason to do ten different exercises for your chest.  At a certain point, the muscles will be fatigued and won’t be able to take the beating and recovery will be brutal.  Keep it to three or four exercises per muscle group.

Another great resource that I’ve recommended to GymGeeks is Bodybuilding.com, where they have a “Find A Plan” option that makes it simple for you.  They have a great database of exercises (all with video instructions), so you can go into the gym more informed next time!

(Also remember, GymGeeks.  A healthy lifestyle is 20% gym, 80% nutrition.  You can bench press a Hyundai, but if you’re eating like it’s your last meal EVERY meal, you’re not going to see results.)

Now get your butt back in the gym! No excuses, no surrender!





Core Stabilizing (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Deadlifts)

30 05 2012

I figured an homage to a classic movie in the title will soften the blow…

As I mentioned last week when talking about how to boost your vertical jump, there are three exercises I consider the “Big Three” (very much like a certain NBA franchise in South Beach).  The first one, the squat, is great for building lower body strength since it incorporates pretty much every muscle fiber in your legs.

Today we’re going to talk about my LEAST favorite exercise of all time: the deadlift.  This is the brussel sprouts of a workout routine.  The reason I call it that is because while I hate doing it, it’s arguably one of the greatest exercises to help stabilize your core muscles (such as your abs…see how the primer set you up for this?)

Here is a video demonstrating how to properly perform a deadlift (courtesy of HanleyStrength.com)


Yeah this is a lot of information to process, so I’ll summarize it as best as I can for beginners:

  • The idea is to utilize the muscles in your lower back.  Think of your arms and grip as hooks, as opposed to part of lifting the weight.
  • In terms of positioning, the best comparison I can make is to a catcher’s stance before a pitch is thrown.  This means that your shoulders are parallel your knees (not in front), your back is straight and you’re looking directly ahead (or even a little higher, if it helps you to keep everything aligned).  The idea is to not arch your back.
  • Do NOT lock in your knees at the end of the lift.  The idea is to have constant tension throughout the movement.  Just like the way you can hurt joints in your elbows locking out a bench press rep too hard, the same can happen to knee caps if you’re using enough weight on the barbell.  Notice the slight bend in the example photo below:

Perfect Form. Notice no arch in the back!

Getting back to how this helps your core…the deadlift is not what one would consider a “glamour exercise.”  What I mean by that is the gains and development aren’t going to be as glamorous looking in a mirror as, say, barbell curls or the bench press.  However, if you’re serious about sculpting that mid-section,  you need to cover both the abs AND your lower back.  The focus should be a stronger core.  The six-pack will come if you perform the deadlift properly.  Think of it like rowing and bench presses: the push/pull evens out your body.  If only work one side, you’re going to be physically imbalanced.

Since I hate this move, I always put it at the beginning of my back workout (while I’m still on auto-pilot at 5:00 in the morning).  In fact, I suggest putting each of the “Big Three” at the top of your routine, since not only do they suck to do, but they also wake up all the other secondary muscles you’ll be working later on in your routine.

Enjoy!








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