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 “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)





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!





Your “Workout Wednesday” Primer (5/30/12)

30 05 2012

“My name is Jonathan.  My alter ego is Nerdy Gym Rat, with the superpower of visible abs and a hulk-smash expression.” – A text message to a friend of mine yesterday

While this is (mildly) a paraphrase from a conversation I had with a friend of mine, it did lead to the wish, on their part, of wanting the same superpowers (well…at least the abs part…the hulk smash thing would be a little scary).

Frankly, I didn’t think this was necessary for this particular friend, but I digress.  It did get me to thinking this morning during my cardio session, though.  Every person strives for that amazingly ripped/cut look, but more often than not, they go about it the wrong way.  Whether it’s by doing a million crunches five times a week or starving themselves, hoping to see results,  the true formula comes from what you do in the kitchen and a ton of dedication.

Since I’m not one to pull punches about my past, I’ll use myself as an example.  Coming straight out of college, the first few weeks at the gym got me at least a mildly visible “V” (as they say).  This was pretty cool…but let’s keep in mind this was almost four years ago (and there’s an obvious bubba keg in the middle of that V).  It’s taken me that long to get to where I am now and there’s still room for improvement, in my opinion.

Me at 22…a work in progress

My point in today’s primer is this:  there is no such thing as spot-fixing in the journey to a healthier lifestyle.  There’s no magic pill that’s going to burn away pesky fat.  I assure you, if you put in the time and effort (both in the gym and in what you put into your body), the results will come.  Don’t get discouraged just because it’s not happening on your time frame.

With that said,  today’s posts will focus on some important exercises that focus on those core muscles (not just your abs; that’s just one piece of the puzzle).  On Twitter, I’ll be posting some tips that you can do, even just sitting at your desk during your 9-to-5 grind.

Also, thanks to a suggestion by a reader (who I’ll keep anonymous, but REALLY appreciated their input via e-mail),  I’ll curate a workout routine that I have used.  I only have one thing to say about any routine that will be discussed in this forum:  if you don’t find it fun or challenging and you quit on it after only a couple of weeks, it’s obviously not right for you.  Don’t be discouraged!  There is more than one way to skin a cat on this road to a better you.

With that being said…let’s get to work, GymGeeks!





Great Motivational Moments (…from movies…)

21 05 2012

I’ll admit it:  I’m a bit of a movie fanatic.  In fact, I believe there was a time in middle school when I could do the ENTIRE script of “Dumb & Dumber.”  Even looking back now, I’m kind of impressed with myself!

Aside from music, some movies always get me juiced to give my all.  That doesn’t necessarily mean just in the gym, just overall pumped to be great!  Whether it’s the Herb Brooks speech before the semifinals against the Soviets in “Miracle” or something from a comedy,  there’s always that one scene that can make you want to seize the day.

In fact, just to prove that these speeches don’t have to come straight out of sports movies (automatically means no “Hoosiers” or “Rocky” speeches…sorry guys),  here are a few moments that always get me excited to seize the day (you’ll see why I’ve said that twice a little further down this post…)

“Animal House” – Bluto’s Speech (NSFW, gang)


“Stripes” – Winger (Bill Murray) the night before the parade.

“Dead Poets’ Society” – Oh Captain, My Captain…enough said…I’m going to need a minute…

And how can you NOT have this gem from “Dodgeball” when talking about motivation (props to Lance Armstrong for his acting chops):

So what movie moments get you going, GymGeeks?  I’d love to hear it!








%d bloggers like this: