Sunday Night Recap

20 05 2012

This week was definitely interesting.  The naming of each day gives TheNerdyGymRat a bit more organization in what stuff gets rolled out and when.  As with any site or blog, consistency is key.  I know I quit reading Gizmodo when they went to a random design and I threaten to quit Facebook every time they change the layout.  GymGeeks deserve better and I’ll make sure to do my part!

Now, here’s what all you newbies missed this week:

  • Mondays will now be known as “Motivational Mondays,” where we’ll come up with a way to get rid of all of your excuses.  This week, we talked about the major guts in a man’s life.
  • Tuesdays are “Tasty Tuesdays!”  This one definitely got the best reception.  We’ll be talking about a muscle building or fat burning food, as well as share a recipe for the week.  We took a break from fish dishes to go with a little chicken stir-fry.
  • Wednesdays are “Workout Wednesdays.”  On these days, you can expect to see ways to spice up your lifting & cardio routines.  Abs and Tabata training were on the agenda this week.  I sure as hell used Tabata before volunteering at Orlando Beer Fest last night.  In four minutes, I was sweating like a mad man!
  • Thursdays…well…let’s just call them “Friday Eve Fit Tips.”  On Thursday,  pay close attention to Twitter and Facebook for some great tips on nutrition, fitness, workouts and just an overall healthy lifestyle.  It also frees us up for the quite-popular “Gym Pet Peeves.”  Hopefully you’re not the meathead that I talked about this week.
  • Fridays will be “Fun Shit Fridays,” where I’ll have interviews with professionals in the fitness industry, as well as some reviews of items and news in the sports technology department.  The Under Armour E39 caught my eye, so I wanted to share it with my GymGeeks!
  • Saturdays are going to be all about supplements!  I reviewed GNC’s “Re-Feed” (which, if Twitter is any indication, GNC loved seeing).
  • Which brings us to today, “Serenity Sunday.”  For most people, this is the “rest day” in their workout/diet regiments.  It’ll definitely have a laid-back vibe, where I’ll share a playlist or even fun things you can do on your day off from the gym.

I also want to take a second to thank everyone that’s been reading here, following over at Twitter and liking the Facebook page.  For something I started up on a whim three weeks about, you guys have been a phenomenal group.  I think a healthy lifestyle is something that needs addressing and I hope I’m helping.  I know I hated being talked at in a way where I felt I was being preached to.  I wish something like this existed when I was 240 lbs., so this is my way of paying it forward.  I can only hope you all do the same 🙂

Now get some rest…we start all over again tomorrow!

Jonathan





GNC BEYOND RAW “Re-Feed” Nighttime Blend

19 05 2012

For a guy who wakes up at 4:00 in the morning to be at the gym at 5:00, I sure as hell have a lot of trouble getting to sleep.

Now,  I’ve always used a casein protein of some sort as my last meal of the night.  The reason for it being to prevent overnight catabolism of lean muscle, which is bound to happen when you don’t eat for eight hours.  When I found out GNC had a casein with an “herbal relaxation complex,” I was curious.

To help with my sleep, I already use ZMA, but I was at least willing to give it a shot (since I’m a gold card member and get buy one, get one half off).

Part of the “BEYOND RAW” series of GNC supplements, I have to say “Re-Feed” does exactly what the name leads you to believe.  Packing 25 grams of protein per serving (2 scoops), it also has L-Leucine and Fenucreek, two muscle building blocks to fight your body’s want/need to find energy sources to build while you’re sleeping.  The five grams of L-Glutamine also help in recovery from a day of killing it in the gym.

Nerd Tested; Gym Rat Approved

With the “herbal relaxation complex,” it’s chock full of valerian root, as well as other plant extracts, so there is nothing habit-forming like you’d get from a sleeping pill.  That was my biggest concern before buying, but GNC is very good about being transparent on their nutrition labels and ingredients lists.

With 10 oz. of milk, it gives a thicker texture than most casein blends.  I tend to make it with an extra cup of ice and a banana, since potassium also has been linked to restful sleep.  The result is an amazing shake with great consistency.

The only complaint I have is the lack of flavor options.  Currently, it only comes in chocolate and vanilla ice cream.  Of those two, I highly recommend the vanilla ice cream, which tastes quite a bit like Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream to me.  The chocolate is a little bitter for my taste.  Hopefully they come up with a few more options (including my favorite option when available; cookies & cream).

At $49.99 for a 2 1/2 lbs. tub,  I recommend it for those who are SERIOUS about building muscle.  Otherwise, there are other brands out there that’ll suit your needs (Dymatize has a great one, as we’ve said before).  If you’re a gold card member, it’s only $39.99.  Even then,  I’d wait until you need something else to take advantage of the buy one, get one half off of anything in the store (basically) before trying it out.





“Supplement Saturdays”

19 05 2012

Happy Saturday morning to my GymGeeks!

Hopefully you guys crushed your workouts this week.  If you didn’t…well…you have two more days to pick up the slack!  Never leave anything in the tank.  Otherwise, you’ll feel like crap.  I know I do.

Anyways,  today we’re starting “Supplement Saturdays.”  With this day,  you’ll get at least one supplement review and, down the road, some research and studies on different natural supplements from an expert on the subject.  Since most of us do our shopping on the weekends, it seems fitting to post these during the weekend so you don’t forget to pick stuff up if you need it!

Today we’ll be rolling out a review on a protein powder I’ve talked about in passing, but never really got a chance to give my take on, the “Re-Feed” blend from GNC’s “BEYOND RAW” series of sports nutrition.

Do you have a supplement you’d like to see reviewed by The Nerdy Gym rat?  Feel free to leave suggestions here, Twitter and on Facebook.

Now, off to my “active rest” day (translation: time to crush some cardio) before I go volunteer at Orlando Beer Fest this afternoon.  It’s going to be tempting to take a pour for myself for every person who needs one, but it’ll be a fun test in self control!

Everyone have an awesome day!

Jonathan





Nerdy Find of The Week: Under Armour E39

18 05 2012

Since I promise nerdy stuff from time to time (I think I have to since it’s part of the domain name…),  I thought I’d share my thoughts on something that I learned about a year or two ago:

Cards on the table: I am a sports junkie.  I eat/breathe/sleep sports, both collegiate (Go UCF Knights!) and professional (yes, I am terrified of the Heat losing to the Pacers).  More importantly, my addiction goes as deep as to watch the NFL Scouting Combine every year.  This is the beauty pageant of the sports world, where grown muscular men are measured, weighed and evaluated by other grown men who determine if they will fit their team’s needs.

Cam Newton: Property of Stark Industries

In the 2011 Combine, Under Armour rolled out a new piece of technology that they tested out on a few prospects, including eventual #1 overall pick, Cam Newton.  The compression shirt he wore had a sensor on it that resembled Tony Stark’s arc reactor in the “Iron Man” comic books.  From what I was told at the time, it was to measure what was once immeasurable in real time.  We’re talking about things like heart rate broken down by yardage when running a 40-yard dash and breathing patterns during cone drills.  All the data was then saved onto a 2 GB hard drive for further study.

The E39, as it became named, was yet another way for scouts to find out more invasive athletic information without actually BEING invasive.  Personally,  I don”t need to know if a player’s heart rate increases a X amount of beats per minute within five yards of the line of scrimmage.  However, I can see this being important for an Offensive Coordinator, who is looking at a wide receiver prospect and wants to make sure they have an initial burst at the line, as opposed to needing those yards to ramp things up (a-la Ted Ginn, Jr. and his family…I’m still bitter, Cam Cameron!).  Here’s a video explaining the E39 a little bit better:


The cost of this bad boy makes it obvious that it’s meant for professional athletes, as Under Armour has put the E39 in the $700 range.  I guess when you’re the sure-thing first round pick that Cam Newton was, your agent can foot the bill until he signs that contract.  I’m curious to see if these find their way onto college campuses.  I can see the E39 being useful in offseason conditioning or even spring drills.

However, it could open up pandora’s box, since college athletics programs usually have apparel sponsors (Nike, adidas, Russell Athletics).  The last thing the college football world needs (you know…aside from the BCS…) is a technology advantage for Under Armour-sponsored schools (Maryland, Auburn and the loathed University of South Florida).

So what do you think?  Is this useful data or just another shiny toy for soon-to-be millionaires to bring home as “swag?”





Welcome To “Fun Sh*t Fridays!”

18 05 2012

(Note: Thanks to Twitter, I can’t use this as a hashtag so there it’s #FunStuffFridays…but you all know you wanna say shit!)

Congratulations on making it through three weeks of “The Nerdy Gym Rat!”  For those of you who are new to the site/blog, welcome and get ready for a crazy ride…

Today is meant as a break from the non-stop fitness and health posts I put up five/six days a week (with multiple posts every freakin’ day).  It gives you, the reader/follower/fan a chance to see the inner geek, as you can see from the meme above.

If you’ve been on the Facebook fan page, you’ll notice I put up some links about technology and sports, with the most recent being Usain Bolt’s branded headphones (which I believe I compared to crappy “Beats by Dre,”  which I can say with confidence as an audio engineer by day).  I’ll share a few here as well and give my take on each.

Also, if time permits, I do have an interview ready to go with a professional in the health & fitness industry.  This is something I’d like to do on a weekly basis, as long as people are interested in doing it.  This week,  we have Dylan Farr, founder of the California-based “Fysiologik” studio.  Look for my chat with him to be up this evening (before you get to happy hour, of course).

Aside from that…you’ve all been very awesome in following me, whether it’s here, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.  I’m hoping with the all-mighty Zuck’s (Mark Zuckerberg) recent acquisition of Instagram, there will be an easier way of getting you guys over there to check out some pictures I take, both in the gym and in the recording studio.

Hope everyone enjoys “Fun Shit Friday!”  If you’d like to see something on these days, I’m totally open to suggestions.  Again: BETA TESTING IS AN AMAZING THING.  With your help, this site can do great things.  We’re all in this together!

– Jonathan 

 

 

 





Welcome to “Workout Wednesdays!”

16 05 2012

I’ll tell you: the revelations you come up with at 5:00 in the morning on a cardio day are very underappreciated…

Well, as you can tell by the post, I’m now declaring Wednesdays as “Workout Wednesdays.”  What does this mean for my GymGeeks? 

This means that all posts on this day (and over on Twitter and Facebook) will be about different ways to spruce up your workout routines, whether it be changes to your cardio days (today we’ll be looking into Tabata training) or on lifting days.  Today’s switch will be on how to work your abs using crunches…but with a slight modification that (hopefully) some of you already know about and are using.

Speaking from current experiences, I’ve actually had to modify an exercise in Jim Stoppani’s “Shortcut to Size” program.  Since my current gym only has dumbbells that go to 75 lbs., I’ve had to resort to barbell rows, as opposed to the prescribed dumbbell rows on Back/Biceps/Abs days.  I’ll admit it’s not as good at getting rid of possible imbalances in the muscles of my back, but it does allow me to control the movement a bit better, without losing the full range of motion that I’m a big fan of.

So what types of variations would you like to see up on NerdyGymRat?  I’d love some fan/follower/reader participation.  Hell, it’s how I knew that “Gym Pet Peeves” is a keeper on a weekly basis!

Let’s get through this hump day and keep the eyes on the prize!

Jonathan





Mother’s Day/Rest Day

13 05 2012

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hope everyone did something good for the woman in their life.  I actually spent the weekend with my mom (and dad) in South Florida this past weekend.  Nice little weekend with a cheat meal at J. Alexanders (Scottish Grilled Salmon & Orzo…I do love me some salmon!), some lunch from Whole Foods and a brunch on the beach today.  Couldn’t have asked for a better way to recharge the batteries.

While we were at the beach, my mom did give me a suggestion on a post I should do, which I’ll work on this week.  It’ll be in the same vein as the Cinco de Mayo Survival Guide, but geared towards something a LITTLE bit different…

A lot of people have given me some great ideas for what to write up this week, including products to look into (apparently I’ve neglected Syntha-6, a product I actually use) and some more switches to your workouts. Hell, I have people subscribing to my playlists on Spotify!  I really hope you guys are digging them, since they’re helping ME through Jim Stoppani’s “Shortcut to Size” program.  Phase 2 begins tomorrow…

You’ll see these coming more often in the coming weeks.  Any other stuff you guys want to see, feel free to leave in the comments section.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some tilapia to cook and some cottage cheese & pineapple to portion out for the week!

Jonathan








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