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!

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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!





Pineapple: The Tropical Muscle Builder

22 05 2012

I’ll let out a little bit of the nerd in me:  I’m a big fan of the (recently cancelled) TV show, “Chuck.”  In the first season, they did a Thanksgiving episode which revolved around the dreaded day-after holiday that we’ve all come to know as “Black Friday.” 

As employees of the Buy More (the fictionalized version of Best Buy), they devised an emergency protocol, where if things go sideways, someone says one…simple…word…(which can be seen at the link below, since YouTube won’t let me embed!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZA29AhiP6Y

Little did I know until doing some research into my own diet that this one word…this one fruit…would have so many benefits for building lean muscle mass! 

For starters, a single cup of pineapple contains 50% of your daily requirements of both thiamine and manganese.  These two minerals are responsible for the removal of free radicals that could be detrimental to mitochondria, which we all know from our high school biology class, is the body’s source of energy production.  As GymGeeks, we need every ounce of energy to get a serious workout in!

Another benefit of pineapple in your diet is its ability to aid in digestion of protein.  Thanks to a little-known mineral, bromelain, the body can better digest and break down proteins for consumption in the body.  It has also been studied as an anti-inflammatory, which helps in the recovery phase.

The way I personally get pineapple into my diet is by using a cup of diced bits (by hand, GymGeeks…no canned stuff!) with a cup of non-fat cottage cheese.  This not only gives you something sweet to cut the saltiness of cottage cheese, but it also helps in breaking down the natural casein in the stuff!

Since pineapples are currently in season, you should be able to find it at every supermarket in your area for a good price.  Get out there and cut some up!





Your “Tasty Tuesdays” Briefing (5/22/12)

22 05 2012

Your protein bar sucks.

I learned this a few years ago.  Being in a time crunch on the way to and from Fort Lauderdale,  I’ve pulled over to buy one while gassing up my car.  I also grabbed one on the go when I was working a long shift at the restaurant where I was Kitchen Manager during college.  My thought at the time was that protein bars with high amounts of protein were perfectly fine for consumption, right?

Yes, at one point, this was a good option.

I couldn’t have been any more wrong.  Sure, a bar can promote 32 grams of protein per serving,  but upon further inspection, it’s not the highest quality protein.  Using the MetRX “Big 100” as an example,  take a look at the nutrition label and remove protein content from the equation.

Couldn’t have been ANY more wrong..

That is a meal chock full of fat, sodium and sugar.  While it’s only 5 grams of saturated fat, those three pieces of nutrition each contain 25% of your daily needs!  When you’re eating small meals every 2-3 hours (as you should be),  that’s a recipe for disaster.

Anything with a novel on it’s packaging ain’t worth it!

Also, take a peek at the ingredients list.  I don’t claim to have a degree in biomedical sciences or chemistry, but I can only tell you what purpose a handful of the ingredients serve.  The rest (i.e. xantham gum, brown rice syrup) serve as filler.  Nothing more.  Even breaking down where the protein is coming from, it’s good to see that it’s isolate sources, but soy has been known to be a less stable building block for muscle-building than whey.  The soy crisps in this particular bar are also the source of most of the sodium content in the bar!

What does this all have to do with today’s “Tasty Tuesday,” you ask?  Well, today’s recipe is how to make a protein bar using fewer ingredients (more importantly, that you can actually pronounce).  I’ve always been a big advocate for making as many of your meals as possible, since that means you know what you’re putting in your body.

So I hope you enjoy your “Tasty Tuesday,” GymGeeks!  If you want to share your thoughts on the topic of protein bars (or want to share what’s on your plate today),  feel free to share it here and over at Twitter or Facebook.  I’m up for a lively debate today! 🙂

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








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