How to not train like a pussy and actually get stronger.

In a decade of training, I've only made legitimate strength gains in the last 2 years. #SadAF. Most people have no idea how to get stronger, especially personal trainers.

I'll prove this point using a recent study where trainers failed to produce any significant gains in their trainees. I'll explain what they did wrong and I'll show you how to train in a way that actually works so you don't waste 8 years of your life, like me.

This article is written for newbie to intermediate lifters with limited training time, with a primary goal of muscular strength, and don't use steroids. 

If someone approached me and said,

"I can increase your strength by a whopping 10%, increase your muscle by 3 pounds and decrease your body fat...kinda. All I need from you is 22 weeks of your life. You'll need to eat 14 pounds of powder and do a lot of boring and painful training. Furthermore, most of the gains won't transfer to any real athletic ability...what'ya say?!"

...I'd tell them to go fuck themselves. Sadly, this just happened.

In a recent study, untrained, middle-aged-men (30 - 50 yrs old) were divided into 4 groups and placed on a 22 week training protocol:

Group 1 - High intensity training (HIT) *Performed single sets to failure

Group 2 - HIT + High Protein (HIT+P)  *Ate 1.6 grams of protein, per kg of body weight, per day. "High protein" was a 33% increase over their baseline intake of 1.2 g/kg/day. They achieved this increase by supplementing a protein powder. 

To give you some context: 1.6 grams/kg/day for me (180 pounds), is a small steak. 

Group 3 - HIT + High Volume (HVHIT) *performed twice the training as groups 1 and 2...2 sets to failure for each exercise. This group didn't increase protein. They ate the baseline average of 1.2 g/kg/day.

Group 4 - Control *These guys did nothing.

I like this study because the sample group was untrained, middle-aged-men. Most of my friends and clients are this exact demographic, so its relevant. It's easier to relate to a study using people like us rather than a study on rats, elite athletes of elderly females.

Results:

Muscle Growth - All exercise groups gained muscle. HIT gained ~ 1 pound, HVHIT gained ~2.7 pounds and HIT+P gained ~3 pounds.

...I am not impressed...

study chart 1.PNG

Fat Loss - All exercise groups lost fat. However, only the HIT group made significant losses compared to control. The HVHIT group trained twice as much and lost less fat. The high volume group ended up eating more total food, this tends to happen when you work out a lot. This is a great example of "Less is More" training mentality.

Strength - All exercise groups increased strength by about 10%. The differences between exercise groups were non-significant, but HIT showed the biggest gains. A 10% increase in strength for an untrained male, in 22 weeks is dog shit. 

To give you context: If a man who can squat a 150 pound barbell were to increase his strength by 10%, he would almost be able to add two, 10 pound plates to each side. This amount of strength gain should be achievable in 1 or 2 weeks, not 22.

Time investment: The average training time for the HIT group was 36.6 minutes and 74.7 minutes for the HVHIT group. In 22 weeks the high volume group spent 29.8 extra hours working out, without getting stronger. I'm sure they had nothing better to do with that ENTIRE DAY!

Protein Supplementation: A 180 pound man would have consumed an extra ~14 pounds of protein powder throughout the trial...without getting any stronger. I'm sure 14 pounds of protein is easy on the pocketbook and sphincter valve tho.

study chart 2.PNG

This was no half-ass effort. The training protocol was professionally designed and quite complex. 

"...Certified instructors consistently supervised all sessions and checked the proper application of the exercise protocol including the aspect of “work to failure."”

Working to failure isn't easy or fun. It feels like your flesh is both searing and tearing from the bone. Once in a while it's cool but these guys went to failure EVERY. SINGLE. LIFT. 

They even controlled Time Under Tension (TUT). For example, trainees lift a weight for 4 seconds, hold for 1 second and then lower for another 4 seconds. FYI, this is the opposite of explosive lifting.

Here's what they actually did: 

"All main muscle groups were addressed by 10-13 exercises/session taken from a pool of 17 exercises (latissimus back and front pulleys, front chin-ups, seated rowing, back extension, inverse fly, hyper-extension, sitting bench-press, shoulder-press, military-press, butterfly with extended arms, crunches, leg press, leg extension, leg curls, leg adduction, and abduction"

They did isolated machine work. Notice, nowhere in the aforementioned list is a deadlift or squat mentioned.

In a crowded gym, no one is using the power rack. This is why most people who "workout" are weak.

In a crowded gym, no one is using the power rack. This is why most people who "workout" are weak.

My Take

If you're an average guy with a time and money budget, looking to increase strength, taking "professional" advice, eating the right supplements and working your ass off MIGHT be a complete waste of time.

This illustrates a huge problem within the fitness/supplement industry. Most trainers have no idea how to actually make gains. Most supplements don't work. This way of training is unsustainable mostly because it doesn't actually work, but also because its time consuming, it hurts and its boring as fuck.

I'd love to see a retrospective study showing who continued with this protocol, for how long and what their gains were. 

Newbie Gains AKA Virgin Gains

The program used in this study was so bad that even with protein and consistent training they broke the law of newbie gains; which states that a lifter will make his biggest strength and size gains within his first 6 months of training. It's so easy to progress as a novice lifter that its harder to NOT make gains. 

This was the best this program could do. It's only getting worse from here on out. As we become more advanced our gains shrink. I put 100 pounds on my deadlift in my first year of powerlifting, without really knowing what I was doing. Now, I'm fighting tooth and nail for a 10 pound increase. 

Stop Wasting Time

The High Volume group clearly showed more training doesn't equal more gains. Imagine what you could do with 29.8 hours of wasted time. How could you connect with your kid, what could you learn from reading, what project could you tackle? How many seasons of Game of Thrones could you re-watch?

Powerless Men

The strength gains made here aren't useful. Technically, they got stronger. But, slow, isolated lifting doesn't translate to anything cool or athletic. Building a huge inverse fly and a massive 5-rep seated bench press will not increase your staying power on the mat at your local Ju Jitsu spot OR heaven forbid, an actual fight. Slow biceps curls make you better at...slow biceps curls. 

These guys were middle aged men, so its likely at least some were Dads. Believe it or not, Dads are in charge of family protection...A powerless Dad cannot defend his family as well as that same man could if he were powerful.

These guys made sure to cover every muscle group. But they never actually trained them as one unit...the body. Instead they trained the biceps...then the triceps...then the shoulders...then the quads. What happens when you have to fire all these muscles simultaneously like your life depends on it. 

Real strength comes from multi-joint movements that load the entire skeleton, like a squat. Power comes from doing those movements fast, like jumping. Useful strength...lets call it fighting strength, better yet, protector strength, is the ability to generate power throughout all muscle systems simultaneously with coordination. Seated triceps extensions will not train this type of strength, my friends. 

Power = Force x Velocity

The Solution

1. Lift heavy and aggressively, most of the time.

2. Let compound movements like the deadlift, squat and overhead press be the foundation of your strength programming.

3. Use isolation machines sparingly.

4. Be weary of "Certified Personal Trainers" especially if they're not strong and lean.

5. Eat real food, mostly animals. 

When you focus on these five points, your protein intake will be auto-corrected by your hunger. Your volume should be whatever you have the time for and whatever amount is fun and recoverable. More is usually better, until its too much.  

p.s. - There are times when slow, isolated machine work to failure is useful. It's great for elderly or injured people. I even know an elite wrestler who uses isolated leg curls with great benefit. This article is not for injured, elderly or elite athletes. 

Thanks for reading

Gabe

Coaching inquiries: Gabe@ancientgains.com

 

 

Powerlifting - the best sport for busy dads

Powerlifting - the best sport for busy dads

“Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not…”

“…A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.”

Read More

Video: 180 Method for Fatloss, Sugar Cravings and high Endurance

First and foremost I have to give credit to Dr. Phil Maffetone. He developed this method in the 70's and I owe my endurance to his teachings. Heres his book.

This is how you exercise when practicing low-carb or keto style dieting, the two strategies compliment one another. 180 method is THE best for fat loss, reducing carb and sugar cravings and building your aerobic capacity for endurance sports. 

The 180 method is not used for building muscle, power or bulking up...although it will make you much faster. 

It also aids in fat adaptation. Watch the video and just do it. 

Heres the super cheap heart rate monitor I use. You can also get a really fancy one but the extras arent necessary. 

Heart rate monitors are CRUCIAL for this type of training. But if you dont have one yet and you want to start, running at a pace where you can hold a conversation or nose breath easily is kind of around where your 180 method would be. 

Hit me up in the comments with questions or coaching inquiries. Im now offering one time phone consultations AND text message coaching. 

Thanks, 

Gabe

Gabe@ancientgains.com

Dad Strength Circuits

Dad Strength Circuits

When the public gym gets boring I train like William Wallace in my backyard. 

I swing medieval weapons, hurl large stones and increase my savage points by 1000. It's a fun change of pace and nice to train at home, in the sun and fresh air.

This training builds Dad strength in a way the gym can't. It's unconventnional, dynamic and functional. This type of training translates well to real life. 

Read More

KETO SUPERHERO - GETTING JACKED WITHOUT CARBS

PART 2 - STRENGTH TRAINING AND SUPPLEMENTATION

After publishing part 1 of this experiment I received a lot of feedback. Some people had nice things to say and others apparently think I'm a Cunt on Steroids. I learned that I have much to improve upon as a writer. I also learned that I cant please everyone. 

With that being said, I want to make it clear that the writing here is just my opinion. The methods are what worked for me personally. Im just practicing what much smarter people wrote down on the internet. I AM NOT WORTHY! There are many ways to the finish line, and this is the path I'm on right now. 

Any feedback is good feedback, so feel free to shit all over this post, but I've always prefered the positive comments slightly more. In the end I'm just trying to have fun with health and I hope some of you gain something from what I share. 

p.s. - I'm not on steroids. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Strength Training

If you want to get big and strong, you have to move big weights. This is non-negotiable. Compound movements that load the entire skeleton stimulate the biggest hormone surge and growth. I ditched the biceps curls. There are many strength training programs but this is what made the most sense for my goals.

I train without much carbs, sometimes fasted. To reitterate, I recommend anyone attempting this become significanly fat adapted first. Otherwise this will be quite unpleasant. 

Blood glucose 54 mg/dl; Blood ketones 3.3 mmol/L

Blood glucose 54 mg/dl; Blood ketones 3.3 mmol/L

Programming: I base my strength training on the work of Vladimir Zatziorsky. He’s quoted repeatedly in this article. He’s a world renowned sport biomechanist and former strength and conditioning coach to the Soviet Union Olympic teams. His book, “The Science and Practice of Strength Training” was my obsession. I read it, took notes, applied it in the weight room, re-read it and re-applied it. I’m stronger than I ever thought possible, it’s awesome and I feel like a super hero with the barbell.

I took a scientific approach to strength and size. There’s a lot of opinions out there. Everyone seems to be an expert. Listen to those with the best track record and mimic them. Find what works for YOU. And for gosh sakes have fun.

Powerlifting: Powerlifting is the competitive sport of the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. It’s the discipline I chose to reach my goals. Many powerlifters peak in their late 30's and early 40's. Being 31 this fact is a super confidence booster. Its what i needed to hear to get pumped for training...I can still be great goddamnit! If you’re dedicating time to fitness, might as well learn a sport and compete. Competition brings intensity, motivation and accelerated learning. Once I committed to a powerlifting meet my DNA changed. My training was fire! It’s like cleaning your house VS cleaning your house when a girl is coming over. Up the stakes…compete. I chose powerlifting because it seemed the most conducive to strength and size. You can find a meet near you here >> http://www.usapowerlifting.com/calendar/

Training frequency

Don’t train heavy too often. It decreases testosterone and interrupts muscle growth. I train 3 heavy days a week, once for each lift. The remaining days are for recovery and growth.

A friend of mine realized how important rest days are when he took a vacation. Usually he trains hard daily, but he was forced to rest. When returning home he obliterated personal strength records and gained lots of muscle. Training hard daily was stunting his gains.

If I have time for a 4th day I do accessory lifts, run trails or play with the steel mace. This all contrasts the strict linear movements of powerlifting and uses different energy systems.

If you’re one of those freaks that has to work out daily, get outdoors. Play with friends and family. Pick up a new hobby outside of fitness. Read a damn book, be creative, and stop being such a meat head.

If you are capable of training heavy more than three times a week, you’re not training hard enough. IMO

Training intensity

I train hard. I get nervous before lifts and dizzy afterward. Sometimes my face feels like its melting, my ears ring and I see stars. It hurts. But pain from injury is different than pain from protein breakdown. Push it harder until your forehead veins are bulging and your eyes look like Pokeballs…then do one more rep. Its easy to rack the weight. But champions go hard. Dont be a bitch. Train so hard that a worm hole opens to the dimension of Asgard. Thor himself can scream “ONE MORE REP PUSSY!” Make the Norse gods proud.

“With repeated effort approach, the weight must be lifted to failure: Only final lifts, in which a maximal number of MU’s (motor units) are recruited, are actually useful. The saying “no pain no gain” reflects this demand” -Zatsiorsky

Training duration

Training sessions last 2’ish hours. It takes time to lift large volumes with recovery between sets. It’s time consuming, but necessary to get Juggernaut status. Find ways to be effective with your time.

Cerebro

Strength isn’t only about brute force, it can also be a meditative practice. Superheroes aren’t just gnarly hulks…they’re smart. Mindfulness is all about the present moment. Lifting heavy ass weights requires ultimate present moment or you will fail. Let the pressure of the iron cleanse the mind. Between sets I am still and clear mentally. Like Professor Xavier. My most creative ideas are generated here and I take many notes. This is The Zone.

Get Mad

Own the iron like Magneto, evolutionarily superior to humans. Feel the power. Approach the weight like a fuxking mutant! Psyche yourself up. Get mad…fuck world peace! Rip the bar off the ground like you’re tearing the planet in half! The human brain is capable of intense anger, utilize that. FEEL THE HATE FLOW THROUGH YOU.

Then bring the intensity back down.

Focus on breathing between sets. Coax your heart to calmness. Re-center and refocus. Imagine all the pretty flowers and butterflies...if you must. 

Powerlifting is a cerebral sport. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. In fact, its one of the most technical sports I've competed in. Use it to train your body and mind. Hone your anger. Technique is everything. Refine it. 

Magneto...quad game strong...

Magneto...quad game strong...

Accessory training

Accessory lifts are smaller movements that supplement the big lifts and stimulate growth. These are done after the main lift of the day. I do accessory work in 3 sets of 10-12 reps to failure, increasing weight weekly. Sometimes I dedicate an entire day to accessory work. Accessory work is easy compared to the big main lifts.

Deadlift accessory: Box squats, Yates row, weighted pullups, Romanian deadlift and calves

Here’s my favorite video for deadlift assistance work shown by George Leeman, an awesome powerlifter, and all around epic human. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msAyOuL-R0I

Bench Press accessory: Weighted Dips, Overhead Press, cable triceps extension, dumbbell flys

Squat accessory: Jumping variations, Pause squats, front squats (mostly with atlas stone), leg curls

Sauna Training aka steroid factory: This is the most underutilized tool in the gym. IMO. It boosts endurance, strength, muscle growth and brain health. In just 30 minutes you can increase growth hormone by 200%. Sauna speeds recovery, increases blood plasma and red blood cell count, Improves insulin sensitivity, increases norepinephrine which improves attention and focus. There’s literally too many benefits to list.

The feeling you get after the sauna is like doing recreational drugs. Basically, the sauna gets you high on opioids. I’d do sauna for this reason alone. 

I do 30-40 minutes at a time. Do intermittent cold shower to build your heat tolerance.

The benefits are endless. Tim Ferriss writes about it here > http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/04/10/saunas-hyperthermic-conditioning-2/

Rep/set scheme

My ultimate goal is maximal strength, for competitive powerlifting and because being strong is fun and boosts confidence. My second goal is size (hypertrophy) to look more like Dr. Manhattan. The best number of reps for strength is 1-5 and for hypertrophy is 10-12. I train both ranges to achieve both goals. Always train strength sets first.

“If both the maximum effort [strength] and repeated effort [hypertrophy] methods are used in the same workout, maximal lifts should be included first…

…Because lifting a maximal training weight (maximal effort method) is recognized as the most efficient way to train this should be practiced at the beginning of a workout, following the warm up.” -Zatsiorsky

Warm up only as much as you need to and not a smidgen more. Save as much energy as possible for strength sets.

“Pyramid training, involves gradually changing the load in a series of sets in an ascending and then descending manner. This has been virtually abandoned by Olympic caliber athletes. The ascending part of the routine induces premature fatigue, while the descending portion is not efficient since it is performed in a fatigued state. For contemporary training, fast progression to the main training load is typical.” –Zatsiorsky

Basically, I work up to a few heavy sets of 1-5 reps, then I lower the weight and do a few sets of 10-12 reps.

Total Volume – Progressive overload

My bottom line is progressive overload. The load must be increased each week for gains. I track each pound lifted in my training journal. I enter the weight room knowing exactly how much I need to lift.

An example of Progressive overload in deadlift. Check out the total volumes.

Week 1

Strength – 5 sets X 5 Reps @ 315 lbs = 7,875 lbs

Hypertrophy – 5 sets X 10 reps @ 225 lbs = 5,625 lbs

Total Volume – 13,500 lbs

Week 2

Strength – 5 sets X 5 Reps @325 lbs = 8,125 lbs

Hypertrophy – 3 sets X 10 reps @225 lbs =  6,750 lbs

Total Volume – 14,875 lbs

Week 3

Strength – 7 sets X 4 reps @ 335 lbs = 9,380 lbs

Hypertrophy – 3 sets X 10 reps @235 = 7,050 lbs

Total Volume – 16,430 lbs

My strength and hypertrophy volumes increase each week. I increase weight over time to build maximal strength. As the weights get heavier, I have to decrease the reps and increase total sets. The set and rep scheme can be manipulated in many ways. All that matters is total volume and weight progression.

As the program peaks, I add in power sets. These are done fast and violently, improving explosiveness. Below is an example of programming at the end of a training cycle. It accommodates for maximal strength (@ 1 rep), power (@ 6 reps) and hypertrophy (@12 reps). This would be a long session.

Strength – 5 sets X 1 rep @445 lbs = 2,225 lbs

Power – 5 sets X 6 reps @ 365 lbs = 10,950 lbs

Hypertrophy – 5 sets X 12 reps @ 315 lbs = 18,900 lbs

Total Volume – 32,075 lbs

Notes from my training journal. They’re not pretty but they keep me on track. 

Notes from my training journal. They’re not pretty but they keep me on track. 

Supplementation

“Strength training activates the synthesis of contractile muscle proteins and causes fiber hypertrophy only when there are sufficient substances for protein repair and growth. The building blocks of such proteins are amino acids, which must be available for resynthesis in the rest period after workouts…

…It is important to note that the actual requirements are not for protein but rather for selected amino acids.” – Zatsiorsky

Vladimir says eat amino acids during the rest period (sleep). I pretty much do everything the good doctor says, so I searched the internet for the best amino acids. What I found was the “Perfect Amino” (that’s actually the name) by BodyHealth.

I take it every night before bed. I noticed a decrease in recovery time, soreness and improved overall strength. My joints seemed to feel better too.

I don’t particularly enjoy supplemental protein powders, so I stopped taking them. They usually contain sugars, carbs and other random junk. They sometimes upset my stomach too. There’s actually a thing called “protein farts”. It’s a common phenomenon among exercisers who drink protein shakes, and it’s not pretty. Excessive smelly gas is actually a sign that something isn’t working correctly.

Perfect Amino is only 8 essential amino acids, no carbs, no sugars no bullshit. It just feels like a “clean” product.

My favorite thing about Perfect Amino is the 99% utilization. Nearly all of it is absorbed by the body and used for growth and repair. There’s nothing else like this product. To put this in perspective, whey protein is only 18% utilized by the body. Bodyhealth, the company that makes Perfect Amino, tested this in a legitimate lab. I like that. Any protein you swallow that isn’t utilized by the body must be dealt with. Our bodies have to filter and excrete it. This is metabolically expensive…it takes energy. Energy that could be used for training, growing or just life in general. Perfect amino is efficient.

I’ve used all types of amino and protein supplements. This is my favorite. If you can find something better, I’d like to hear about it.

Full disclosure: I’m a Bodyhealth affiliate, but I was using the Perfect Amino long before becoming one. They reached out to me after seeing some of my social posts promoting their product.

If you want to try perfect amino you can use this link and coupon code Gabe10 for 10% off.

When to take amino acids:

Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men

BCAA: Another amino acid supplement I take during workouts is “Scivation Raw BCAA” (no affiliation). Studies show BCAA’s boost anabolic gains. I’ve had good results using them. They help with training intensity, duration and seem to aid in recovery.

I chose this particular product because, like Perfect Amino, it’s no bullshit. The name “Raw” is accurate in that it only contains amino acids.

I’m a minimalist when it comes to supplementation. I think most of our needs are met with real foods.

Pre-Workout: My stance on pre-workout is that if you need it, you shouldn’t be taking it. If you’re not naturally amped to train you need to improve your sleep or nutrition.

With that being said, there are some pretty cool supplements out there that kick the intensity up a notch. Like a powerup. I like to take these occasionally, not because I need the pick me up, but because they’re fun. I’ve always enjoyed stimulants…all types. Just make sure the ingredients of whatever you eat are legit and in line with your nutrition goals.

My all-time favorite is old school caffeine. Simple, but effective. Studies show it’s great for exercise. I prefer really strong green tea. I brew 2-3 bags for one drink and start sipping it 10 minutes before training.

Link to study: Caffeine and exercise: metabolism, endurance and performance.

Next post...Hormones and sleep...

Thanks  for reading,

Gabe

KETO SUPERHERO - GETTING JACKED WITHOUT CARBS

PART 3 - SLEEP AND HORMONES

My Superpower

I can read scientific texts on nutrition and strength training all day long with fervor. Then I obsess until finding a practical application to daily life. Ok, so its not cool like supersonic flight but it's how I designed this program. 

I saw the need for a healthy and sustainable means to strength and size. Most online programs are more complicated than string theory. Everything here is based on the research of much smarter people. I pieced everyting together in a way that made sense to me.

Performance Enhancing Drugs

As far as I can tell, this final piece is the balls of the program...literally. The endocrine system...consider it your Arc Reactor. Like Iron Man, without this powersource, gains are puny.

Steroids work, which is exactly why Keto Superhero is geared to boost your endogenous steroid hormone production. Your personal cocktail of performance enhancing drugs, manufactured by your endocrine system. 

Boner Problems

You will feel a sharp increase in aggressiveness and libido at the beginning of this program, I sure did. You will feel like a goddamn man and you might have the occasional never-ending boner. This can be distracting but it's not unmanageable. Take this as a sign things are working. Horny = Healthy

A word on Steroids

Steroid use is so common within the fitness realm it’s almost required for membership. Non users are referred to as “Natty” (short for natural). I didnt know this until recently but it's important when choosing a fitness program. Online fitness gurus use a wide variety of performance enhancing drugs ranging from anabolic steroids to fat burners and powerful stimulants. Most don't disclose their usage publicly, especially if they're selling something. This isn't fair to clients, who will surely be dissapointed when they dont experience results as advertised.

I'm not the most shredded guy online, not by a long shot. But theres no hidden pills, potions or powders here. Everything I do is outlined in Keto Superhero and you can expect similar results.  

I’ve never used steroids. I don’t mind if others do, it's none of my business. I just dont think they are in line with total wellness. Just my personal opinion. 

A popular fitness site distinguishing natural from steroid using readers. Spoiler...th article recommends prioritizing big lifts to boost anabolic hormone production.

A popular fitness site distinguishing natural from steroid using readers. Spoiler...th article recommends prioritizing big lifts to boost anabolic hormone production.

Hormones

“In addition to the amino acid supply, the hormonal status of an athlete plays a very important role. Several hormones secreted by different glands in the body affect skeletal muscle tissue. These effects are classified as either catabolic, leading to the breakdown of muscle proteins, or anabolic, leading to the synthesis of muscle proteins from amino acids. Among the anabolic hormones are testosterone, growth hormone and insulin like growth factor.” -Zatsiorski "The Science and Practive of Strength Training"

Those anabolic hormones that Dr. Zatsiorski is refering to are all made out of cholesterol. Are you starting to see the value of 12 eggs a day and high fat? 

Cholesterol has been labeled as a bad guy, but the sooner you get over that, the sooner you can reap it's health benefits without worry. Here are some of my favorite articles to calm any Fat-phobic nerves.

https://chriskresser.com/new-study-puts-final-nail-in-the-saturated-fat-causes-heart-disease-coffin/

http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/cholesterol-friend-or-foe/

Excess carbohydrate and sugar lowers testosterone. Unlike traditional fitness diets, Keto Superhero is very low in sugar and carbohydrate. A big advantage over your oatmeal pounding gym partner?

Link: Negative effects of high glucose exposure in human gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons.

So, Increasing cholesterol and decreasing carb/sugar is good for our hormones. Why then do so many people eat low cholesterol, high carb/sugar diets? For one, its what we were taught in school. Remember the food pyramid? The largest portion of which was processed carbohydrate? More like Failed Pyramid. The average exerciser is swimming upstream against hormone production. Is this what draws so many to steroid use? Because they’re not making enough of their own? so many questions in one paragraph...

I’m not smart enough to know exactly what’s going on biochemically, but I’ll try to explain my theory as simply as possible.

1.       Increased protein consumption leads to an anabolic response and supplies raw materials for protein synthesis.

*Eating more eggs and meat makes muscles grow.

2.       Heavy strength training causes protein breakdown leading to protein synthesis and anabolic hormone production.

*Lifting heavy things makes muscles grow.

3.       Increased cholesterol consumption supplies the raw materials for anabolic/steroid hormones.

*Eating lots of fat makes muscles grow.

4.       Amino acid supplementation during rest periods boosts protein synthesis.

*Eating Perfect Amino before bed makes muscles grow.

5.        Adequate recovery and sleep allows for anabolic/steroid hormone production and protein synthesis.

*Sleeping a lot and taking rest days makes muscles grow

SLEEP

“Strength gains are greater if trainees exercise when they are not tired”- Zatsiorsky

The bottom line: If you want to get big, you must sleep big. Sleep at least 8 hours per night. Only during deep sleep are muscles grown and hormones produced. You can train like a chimpanzee on PCP but if you don’t sleep well you won’t make gains. Type A personalities beware. Here are some tricks I use to sleep big:

1.       Limit artificial light exposure after sundown. Avoid it like the plague. It disrupts your circadian clock, triggering wakefulness. 10 seconds of artificial light can halt melatonin production for 4 hours. No phones, laptops, vehicle headlights, TV or bright bulbs. Use blue blocker glasses if you must use artificial light in the evening. 

2.       No caffeine after 2:00 p.m.

3.       Sleep in complete darkness. If you can see your hands it’s not dark enough. No LED lights from electronics either.

4.       Put phones on airplane mode. Cellular data disrupts sleep cycles. The alarm still works in airplane mode.

5.       Grounding Mat. By far the best sleep hack I have.

6.       Supplemental Magnesium and Zinc. I take this after dinner. It’s a damn tranquilizer.

7.       Sleep with ear plugs, an eye mask and breathe right strips.

8.     Read in bed to fall asleep faster. Do meatheads read? Be like Beast.

Conclusion - "Why so serious?"

Obviously I'm not a Superhero. But compared to life before ketosis, I kind of feel like one. Im having fun with fitness. I could have drolled on with hard facts and science, but theres plenty of that on the internet. It's exciting to write with hyperbole and imagination. I'm not a research scientist or a medical doctor, I'm just Dad. My kid has inspired me to have more fun which is what this was about. 

My goal is to be the best Dad, boyfriend and coach I can be. Overall, more happiness and fun in life is my pursuit. Fitness is a tool to support those goals, it isn't the goal itself. 

I see young people sacrificing so much in the name of abs and arms. Their lives revolve around fitness. I commend the hard work but is that really what life is about, looking sexy? Dont fall prey to the "Eat, Sleep, Train, Repeat" lifestyle if thats not what your life was meant for. 

Know what your ultimate goals are and design your fitness around them. For me, this is what that looks like.  

If you want to be more Superhero like but everything you've tried has been too extreme, unsustainable, or doesnt work without steroids, I challenge you to try Keto Superhero.

I hope someone takes something away from what I've shared. I put a lot of time and sweat into this. If you have any questions please reach out in the comments or by email. Let me know how training is going, seriously, I can chat training all day. Nerd alert.

Thanks for reading

Gabe

Keto Superheroes

Keto Superheroes