Athletica Performance

The Name of the Game is Patience

As a coach who works with multiple clients on a daily basis, I have learned to listen and absorb what my clients communicate to me. I’ve come to notice that most people are in a perpetual state of wanting to lose weight. Whether it’s 5 pounds or 25 pounds, many of them are yo-yoing. Yo-yoing is a vicious cycle of gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight, and so on.

For an industry that sees revenues of over $60 billion a year by selling various weight loss methods, through supplements, diets, or workouts, there is a huge disconnect between individual’s results and the promises sold.

 

 

From being in the trenches, I can testify many of these individuals are trying…really hard!! They are going to the gym consistently, they are eating healthy (for the most part) and they are following one of the many weight loss programs or methods. These consumers are not seeing the results promised. In turn, this causes them to lose motivation and fall back into old habits. They get in the mindset of “I am never going to look like the pictures in that magazine” or “I have bad genes, nothing is going to work!”.

The fitness industry has learnt to pray on these insecurities. They know most people are not happy with the way they look and are quick to try “the next best thing” on the market. So companies create and sell overpriced “magic” pills and special diets promising to burn fat and “amazing” transformations in 30 days knowing that the likelihood of individuals achieving their desired results is highly unlikely. This cycle keeps repeating over and over again leaving people discouraged and companies wallets even fatter.

 

Why am I writing this you may ask? I realize I may not be telling you anything new, but it might just be the reminder you need to re-focus your time and energy. The truth is, there is no magic supplement or quick fix diet. You need to stop trying to hack biology!

Health and fitness are a journey. First, you need to build good habits around eating and nutrition. Second, implement strength training in your weekly routine. You should get in the gym 2 to 3 times a week and follow a safe strength training program. Doing so will build lean muscle which will allow you to burn more calories throughout the day. My final advice is the most important one…patience! Don’t become a victim of another “quick fix”, patience is key day in and day out.

You need to come to an understanding you are not going to reach your goal in a day, or a week, or a month. That might hurt to hear, but I promise you astounding progress comes from astounding patience. You need to commit to working on yourself every day, and if and when the numbers on the scale do not go down, do not throw in the towel. Keep moving forward and stay patient. Remember your journey and remember that you 3 or 6 months ago would be jealous of where you are today. Celebrate your progress and surround yourself with people who want you to succeed.

When it comes to your goals with losing fat and looking good naked, build healthy habits around nutrition, strength train 2 to 3 times a week, and even when things do not go your way, do not stop. The most successful people, whether it’s in the gym or elsewhere in life, have the fortitude to understand that the more patient they are, the more successful they will be.

Shayan Vaghayenegar
CSEP-CPT

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The Importance of Nutrition

One of the most important factors of health and fitness is nutrition. It is 80% of your results in the gym. When analyzing nutrition prescription and breaking down macronutrients for our clients, we look at the individual’s goals. That is the base of all nutrition prescriptions, including specific macronutrients for the client.

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. Nutrients are substances needed for growth, metabolism, and for other body functions. Since “macro” means large, macronutrients are nutrients needed in large amounts. The three macronutrients consist of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Typical macronutrient ranges can look like this:

Moderate Carb – Maintenance

Maintenance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Carb – Strength

Strength

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower Carb – Fat Loss

Lower Carb - Fat Loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few tips to allow for proper intake and absorption of macronutrients:

1.Make your own food at home and avoid eating out.
2.Prepare your meals ahead of time and make enough for leftovers.
3.Eat REAL food, nothing processed.
4.Sit down to eat each meal and chew slowly. Enjoy the process of eating.
5.Drink 10 to 12 cups of water daily.
6.Lower anxiety and stress.
7.Spend time in the sun.

To enable optimal benefits food can provide, we need an awareness of our relationship and our daily practices with our food.

 

Shayan Vaghayenegar
CSEP-CPT

 

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Why I Like the 6-12-25 Protocol by Poliquin.

Many clients come to me with a goal of building muscle and losing fat. Initially I take them through a prep phase and a hypertrophy phase, each phase is performed for 3 to 4 weeks. We follow that with the Advanced German Body Composition by Charles Poliquin. The results have been great. Not only does the Advanced GBC lead to fat loss, but it is also quite effective in growing muscle and developing muscular endurance. The 6-12-25 drop set rep scheme includes rep ranges that vary from relative strength, to hypertrophy, and finally to muscle endurance.

 

Bench spot 3

 

Weight/load selection is important for this protocol. You must choose weights that accurately reflect your 6RM of an exercise, your 12RM, and your 25RM. To execute this strategy you need to select a load that will challenge you to get 6 reps with good form at a 40X0 tempo (lowering phase is 4 seconds, no pause, raising phase quickly as possible, no pause, repeat). Take that load and cut it in half. Use this new load to perform 12 reps of the same movement with as little rest as possible at a 20X0 tempo. After that set is complete, cut the load that you did for 12 reps in half once again and attempt to finish 25 reps with it at a 10X0 tempo.

For the first 3 weeks perform 3 sets for each body part. Progress to 4 sets after 3 weeks. The prescribed rest is 10 seconds between the movements and 2 minutes between each set. The cycle is meant to be performed 6 times. Doing it longer will hinder your results.

 

IMG_0075

 

The prescribed training split is as follows:

Day One: Chest and Back
Day Two: Legs
Day Three: Off
Day Four: Shoulders and Arms
Day Five: Off
Repeat

 

This protocol applies to the latest sports medicine research to build muscle strength, size and endurance at the same time. It also applies practical knowledge gained from cross training methods, such as CrossFit, to develop a well-rounded fitness. Intense, short workouts build fitness quickly and effectively. The high-weight, low-rep sets overload the nervous system, which trains motor units to respond quickly and explosively. Sets using less weight and more reps stress muscle metabolism, which accelerates muscle protein synthesis and growth.

 

Example of a workout routine:

Chest & Back

A1. 6 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press at 45 degree @40X0
rest 10 seconds
A2. 12 Flat Barbell Bench Press @20X0
rest 10 seconds
A3. 25 Incline Dumbbell Bench Presses at 30 degree
rest 2 minutes
3 sets

B1. 6 Lat Cable Pull Down @40X0
rest 10 seconds
B2. 12 Single Arm Dumbbell Row @20X0 (each)
rest 10 seconds
B3. 25 Cable Row
rest 2minutes
3 sets

 

Shayan Vaghayenegar
CSEP-CPT

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What is Tempo Training?

As we get ready to launch our weekly training programming for our Performance class; I would like to explain what tempo training is and why I think it’s one of the best ways to get stronger. There is a lot of research behind it and all of the top strength coaches in the world use it as a tool.

Tempo training allows for you to have a grasp on the time under tension throughout the exercise. Completing 5 repetitions of a movement explosively on the eccentric (descending) and concentric (ascending) portions will not have the same effect as if you pause during a certain stage of the range of motion. Different tempo prescriptions lead to greater training variety and stimulus. This will lead to improved strength gains. Through tempo training we can also improve an athlete’s technique. It allows for the athlete to feel which muscles are activated, and allows them to have better control of their body.

So what does 30X1 mean? Tempo prescriptions are written in a series of four numbers. These numbers represent the time (in seconds) it should take to complete the four stages of a lift. In a program, the tempo follows the number of repetitions prescribed. For example:

Back Squat 5 reps @ 30X1

 

First Number

The first number represents the lowering (eccentric) portion of the lift. Using the above back squat example, the 3 represents the time in seconds it should take you to lower the weight to the bottom position of the movement.

Second Number
The second number represents the amount of time spent in the bottom position of the lift. In the back squat example, the 0 means you should immediately begin your ascent when you reach the bottom position.

Third Number
The third number represents the amount of time it takes to complete the ascending (concentric) portion of the lift. The X signifies that you should explode to the top as quickly as possibly.

Fourth Number
The fourth number represents the amount of time you should pause at the top of the lift. In our back squat example, you should hold the top position for one second prior to starting the next rep.

 

 

How should you count? I realize this is a simple task. However, many people will count to three in one second. To ensure you count properly, use “one thousands” (1-one thousand, 2-one thousand, 3-one thousand).

I would highly recommend for you to try tempo training for a couple of months. You will notice a change with the quality of your movement and an increase in your strength. If you are not sure how to create tempo prescriptions, then follow our weekly training for the Performance class. If you are looking for a program more specific to your needs, please email me in regards of online coaching.

Shayan Vaghayenegar
CSEP-CPT

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Fitness & Weight Lifting Advice for Beginners

Everyone has to start somewhere and it can be slightly overwhelming and at times discouraging. I have spent the past twelve plus years working on my personal fitness goals and also spent two years full time in college earning a Human Kinetics diploma. On this path, personal, professional, and educational experience have taught me a fair bit. Here are some helpful suggestions.

Consistency is the Best Strategy

Most of us, when starting a new exercise regimen, can be overenthusiastic. We want quick results and we may think we can achieve them through quantity. In most cases more is not better. Spending three hours a day, seven days a week training will not help you achieve your fitness goals quickly nor efficiently. As a matter of fact it will result in the complete opposite. Over-training will lead to injury and fatigue, halting your progress and in some cases diminishing your motivation in the long run.

All you need is consistency in the gym. It takes time for your body to adapt and change. You will not manifest your dream body within two weeks of starting training; not even after two months. But you will be very pleased with what you see within twelve months of consistency. By that time exercise will have become a part of your lifestyle; which is not only aesthetically beneficial, but more importantly beneficial for your physical, mental, and emotional health long term.  Achieving your optimal body is a constant work in progress.

Your goal should include resistance training three to four times per week. Obviously things come up in life; travel for work, vacation, illness, etc. The key is, preferably, not to take longer then one week off. Some rest is always necessary to allow the body to recuperate and adapt.

nigel

Strength Training is Key

Strength training will allow for a denser body. Your body will get leaner, but the numbers on the scale might not change. You will be building muscle (no ladies, you aren’t going to look too muscular, but that’s a whole other topic), your bones will be denser, tendons and ligaments will become stronger and body fat will decrease. Your body composition in general will change for the better, and most importantly functional strength will improve.

It does not help to just show up at the gym and go through the motions. This will not allow for the amazing results you demand of yourself. You need to push yourself in many ways. You need to keep close to perfect form at all times, push yourself to get another 1 or 2 more reps, and challenge yourself to learn new exercises and variations.

Strength training will enable your physique to improve, shaping your body and creating natural body curves. This can not be achieved through cardiovascular exercise. Follow a structured strength program and your body will be thankful.

It Becomes Easier as Time Passes

At the beginning, things might feel awkward. Coordination and rhythm might be lacking. Maintaining proper mechanics and form can be challenging, especially as the load increases. The mind-muscle connection will take time to cue. Trust me, this will change for the better and the sense of achievement will become addicting.

Every training session will allow for your neuromuscular capabilities to increase. Every week the movements will feel more and more natural. Make sure you are using strict form throughout every exercise. Your nervous system will be mapping out motor programs so they become somewhat automatic and you want these to be perfect. This becomes crucial as you start taking sets closer to failure repetition.

Outside Pushing

You Can Not Out-Train a Poor Diet

  The following can not be emphasized enough. A proper nutrition plan is more important then any training routine. You need to be consistently consuming the proper amount of calories and proper ratio of fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Most people consume too many calories and most importantly too much sugar. You should be eating five small to medium size meals through out the day every day. Don’t get me wrong, you need to enjoy life and have the odd bowl of ice-cream or slice of pizza. Just make sure you are not sabotaging your hard work in the gym with a poor diet.
Shayan Vaghayenegar
CSEP-CPT
shayan@ap-fitness.com

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