Trainer Tip-Bulking Season – 5 Ways to Build Muscle, Not Fat

Lee’s Summit fitness friends, here is a repost from Titan Nutrition, Bulking Season-5 Ways to Build Muscle, Not Fat. Team PROformations Coach and Trainer, Robert Wichman, shares some insight on the topic.

We asked Titan Nutrition Athlete and contest prep coach Robert Wichman how he suggests going about a successful “bulking season.” Robert fired back five strategies to stick to for building quality mass in your off season, keeping you on track for the stage or beach next spring. Check out his 5 strategies here:

Don’t over eat

In the quest to add muscle in the off season, I see a lot of competitors eating calories way over what their bodies need, and can handle. This is typically a recipe for adding way to much body fat, which only slows down true muscle growth, from poorer blood flow, and nutrient delivery, to you muscles. This will only mean that you will have to diet harder, or longer, when it comes time to diet down for your next contest, or for summer, if you’re a non-competitor.

Increase calories slowly

Increasing calories slowly, in your off season is an important thing to do. If you find yourself adding in too many calories, too quickly, you are more than likely going to find that your body is storing many of those extra calories as body fat. By slowly increasing your calories, you’re going to allow your body to adjust to the increased calories, and use them to fuel muscle growth, and not just adding body fat. (chasing numbers on a scale) Keeping your metabolism running strong, is just as important in the off season, as it is during your contest prep, or leaning out phase, if you’re not interested in hitting the stage, but would still like to see a leaner physique.

Monitor body fat, and body composition levels

Keeping an eye on your body fat levels in the off season is a good idea, if you plan to keep yourself in what I like to call “Striking Distance”. Striking distance basically means, staying in a range where if you needed to, you could diet down with relative easy, by not needing to drop so much excess body fat. This will allow for a better show prep. You will not have to strip off as much body fat, and will not have to resort to extreme measures to pull off the necessary body fat by show time. You will also find that you are able to maintain more muscle during your prep, and find that you have a higher level of conditioning, that you may not have previously achieved. The method that I like to use for monitoring off season body composition, 1st and foremost, the mirror. The mirror is going to show you what you need to know. This is a visual sport, and touting arbitrary body fat numbers does not always translate to a stage winning physique. If you don’t see what needs to be seen, then it is not there. I do use the mirror in conjunction with body fat measurements, tape measurements, the scale, and photos (monthly in the off season). If you’re going to measure body fat, I find the Dexa scan to be the best, and most accurate method. You can also use calipers, and a bio-impedance (hand held, inbody, or scale that measures body fat)

Keep cheats to a minimum

While it is ok to have cheat meals in your off season. You want to make sure that you’re not undoing all your hard work, with too many diet deviations. We all want to be able to go out with friends, and go to family events, or dates with our significant other, and eat, or drink, as though we don’t have larger fitness, and physique goals. The way to still have a social life, and let loose from time to time, is to understand that cheats are the few, not the mainstay when it comes to your off season program. Make sure that you are planning your cheats around your clean eating, so that you don’t find yourself quickly sliding off track, from your nutritional goals. If you know that you’re going out on the weekend, make sure that you don’t load up your weekdays with unscheduled meals. I like to give my clients a set number of cheat meals per week, in their off season, and allow them to decide when they will implement them. Every body is different, so finding the right number of cheats that doesn’t throw you off your physique goals, is going to be dependent on how your body responds to your cheats

Have a plan

Having a plan in your off season is critical to being able to stay on track with your goals. If you approach your off season program all willy nilly, chances are, you’re not going to make much progress from show to show. I’m not saying that you need to be as strict as show prep, but you definitely need to have an organized plan with your nutrition, hydration, workouts, sleep, and supplementation. This is going to lead to systematic progress, and legitimate muscle gains leading into your next show. Think of it as creating a road map to where you want to go, and then you follow that map, until you reach your destination. If something comes up, that needs to be adjusted, you reroute, and keep your forward momentum towards your goal.

As always,

Lift Hard, and Train to Win!

Robert

*If you enjoyed this article, let me know. If you have suggestions for topics you would like covered in future articles, shoot me a message, and let me know.

r_wichman@hotmail.com

www.LifeTransformations-kc.com

www.RobertWichman.com

Trainer Tip I Healthy Halloween

Life Transformations Personal Trainer, Molly Wichman, in Lee’s Summit love to share healthy tips.  Check out these great trainer tips for a Healthy Halloween.

Ghosts, goblins and haunted houses may scare you. If there’s one thing that scares me about Halloween, it’s the candy. Packed full of sugar, artificial colors and flavors, chemical additives, and high fructose corn syrup, Halloween candy makes my skin crawl more than being blindfolded and sticking my hand into a bowl full of cold spaghetti! As a kid, I loved candy, of course. As a mom, I wish it didn’t exist. But I believe that depriving my daughter of the Halloween experience, candy included, would cause more harm than a couple of days of gluttony.

Fortunately, there are options. If you’re going to be treating trick-or-treaters this Halloween,life transformations personal training trainer tip halloween consider stocking your plastic pumpkin pail with non candy options. 

  • Halloween Rings
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Vampire Teeth
  • Granola Bars
  • Raisins

Now, of course kids will get LOTS of candy for Halloween.  It is up to the parents to set limits.  Limit the amount of candy eaten at a time to prevent a candy overload.

Trainer Tip- Fitness Tips

The Life Transformations Personal Trainers in Lee’s Summit offer personal trainer tips to try and help clients workout in the gym.  Try out the latest personal trainer tip on your next visit to the fitness center.

There are plenty of exercise misconceptions in the world, some of which may be holding you back from your best body. Do the following 5 exercise myths sound familiar?

1) You should make sure to eat before you exercise.

Experiment with what works best for you. Try training on an empty stomach and see how you feel. Then instead of going hungry, enjoy a small, nutritious snack about 90 minutes before you exercise. See how you feel after that.

2) Cardio is more effective for weight loss than weights.

Cardio alone is never as effective as a routine that also includes resistance training. Strength training is essential for building lean tissue, which increases your metabolism and decreases your body fat.

3) If you exercise enough, then you can eat anything you want.

Even if you exercise daily at an intense rate, your diet still matters. To top it off, most people Life Transformations lees summit Personal training lees summit 3113overestimate how many calories they burn as well as underestimating how many calories they are eating. This can be a fattening combo.

4) For optimal fat burn, exercise longer at a low intensity.

Intensity matters when it comes to getting great results so do a workout that challenges you.

5) Unless you exercise often, exercise is a waste of time.

Research continues to prove that any exercise is better than zero exercise. So you can only exercise once a week? Do it. Any exercise is better than zero exercise.

Just remember:

  • Be Consistent: exercise at least 3 times each week
  • Be Challenged: keep your routine intense
  • Be Patient: true fitness results take time
  • Be Excited: find a form of exercise that you love

Follow us on Social Media to get more tips like this!  Get fit…Stay fit!

Trainer Tip- Organizing your Cabinet

Life Transformations Personal Training in Lee’s Summit, MO shares tips to help you get organized.  Most everyone has a plastic ware cabinet.  This can be a challenge to stay organized and keep from plastic ware falling out.  I’ve been there and solved the problem.  The solution is to keep it simple.  I used to have round, square, rectangles, Rubbermaid, Gladware, Hy-Vee Brand, Dollar Store brand and many more.  So, I consolidated to one brand and fewer shapes.  I choose Gladware for my family.  It is very universal, user friendly, sturdy and works for all three of us.

Here is what I did to reduce clutter and cleanup my plastic ware cabinet.  Since we take food many places, usually batch cook a weeks’ worth of food into individual meals, we use quite a bit.

So I stocked up on some new Gladware.  We have a majority of our meals in Gladware Entrée containers.  These usually come in a five pack.  These are great for meals, sandwiches, and storing extra leftovers.  Next, we use Gladware Deep Dish for larger    meals and storing larger servings of leftovers.  Both of these options are square shaped, stack well and can fit great into most coolers or bodybuilder meal bags.

personal training lees summit gladwarepersonal training lees summit gladware1personal training lees summit gladware11

Next we throw in some extras.  Gladware Mini Go is a small round container.  These are great for small servings of fruits and veggies or snacks for kiddos.  Then we add a few Gladware Dressing Cups.  These are a little secret cup that snaps in the lid of ALL Gladware.  Fill the cup with dressing, oil or what you desire and snap it right in the lid.  Last, I use some Gladware TMNT To Go circles.  These are great for my son’s lunch and snacks.  Some of my tricks for my son’s lunch at school include the To Go Circles and dressing cups.  I do chicken nuggets with ketchup, ravioli with marinara, little smokies with barbecue.

So let’s put all of these containers into motion.  Here is a picture of my plastic ware personal training lees summit gladware kpcabinet.  All lids interlock and containers stack perfect.  I’ve done the different brands of similar shaped plastic ware, but they just don’t stack very well.  Then you need to search for the correct lid for the correct container.  So save time and energy and consolidate.

Next, let’s see how the filled containers stack so nice in the fridge and cooler.  Stacks greatpersonal training lees summit gladware k and stays fresh.  The Gladware even does great in the freezer.

My goal of writing this is to help simplify your cabinets and storage.  If you are like my family…busy, like to eat healthy, and eat often…then you may benefit from organizing your plastic ware cabinet.  If you aren’t for sure what to do with your old mismatched plastic ware, donate to a thrift store or non-profit to help someone in need.

Thanks for reading.  Happy organizing!

Trainer Tip- Stretching

Lee’s Summit fitness friends don’t feel out of shape and sore. Here are some tips on stretching from Life Transformations Fitness Personal Trainer, Molly Wichman. Try it out!

Stretching… Just Do It

Did you know that stretching can be as important as exercise? It can be hard to add stretching into your daily fitness routine, but it does have many benefits.

Some of the benefits of stretching are increase flexibility and range of motion, improve posture, increase blood flow and reducing muscle soreness.

Here are some tips to help make stretching part of your daily routine.

Wait on your stretchmolly wichman personal trainer lees summit stretching

Your muscles should be warm before you begin to stretch. Keep your regular warmup before a workout. This should be something to get the blood flowing to your muscles. Stretch after the workout when your muscles are already warm. A brisk walk or swing arms in circles are great warmup movements.

Post Workout Stretch

Instead of trying to stretch your whole body after every time you exercise (unless you have time), focus on an area of the body each time. If you have tight muscles, then focus on stretching those muscles. However if you have time, try a full body stretch.

 

Here is an easy full body stretch that can take 10 minutes. Find a good area in the gym to stretch. I like the upright bike. You can adjust the seat to hip height.

Hamstrings- Place foot on seat, keep leg straight, lean forward to stretch, stationary leg is on floor.

Hips- Place foot on seat, bend knee so leg in in L shape, lean forward to stretch, stationary leg is on floor.

Quads- Stand facing away from bike, bend foot to glutes, hook toes on bike seat, lean backwards into stretch.

Shoulders- Hold onto bike handles with both hands, keep arms straight, lean forward will upper body is parallel to floor.

Chest- Hold bike handles with one arm, (arm away from body), keep arm straight and lean away from handle.

Back- Hold bike handles with one arm (arm in front of body), keep arm straight and lean towards handle.

Back- Bend knees, hold under bike seat with one arm, fall further into squat.

*While stretching, make sure the equipment is fastened to the ground or stable. Do not pull equipment on top of you. Always keep joints soft, not locked out. A good stretch is held for 30 seconds or more. Stretch at your own level, don’t push too hard.

Trainer Tip- Survive the Holidays

Lee’s Summit fitness friends don’t let the holidays be an excuse to waiver on your fitness, weight loss and health goals.  Here are some trainer tips from Life Transfomations Personal Trainers in Lee’s Summit on surviving the holidays.

Tips to help you and your waistline survive the holidays?

The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many it also becomes a time for over-eating and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Over a lifetime, holiday weight gain can really add up. Following a few simple tips can help you and your waistline survive the holidays.

  1. Limit to one-a-dayLife Transformations lees summit Personal training lees summit healthy holidays

While you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth. If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain. One way is the one-a-day method. Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising. If you aren’t confronted with holiday foods that day, just skip your one-a-day – but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the next day.

  1. Always plan ahead – Never go to a party hungry

Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack such as a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt or a low-fat, whole grain granola bar. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving hors d’oeuvres.

If you’re going to a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish to share such as a salad, veggie or fruit tray. This will ensure at least one healthy dish.

  1. Be in charge of your party choices:
  • Small plate, please Be wise when choosing appetizers – a small portion of some appetizers may help you from overeating at dinner. Pick up a small plate, and stick with vegetables, but limit or avoid the heavy dips
  • Restrict your intake of crackers, chips, cheese. If you must have a deep-fried appetizer, eat only one small serving. Never go back for seconds. For dinner, fill half of your plate with salad and vegetables, then a healthy protein and carb/bread.
  • Avoid the sauce Avoid sauces made from cream or meat drippings. For salads, use oil and vinegar, vinaigrette or low-fat dressings..
  • Finish it off light The best low-calorie choices are fruit, Jell-O, pudding, an unfrosted mini muffin, shortbread cookies, ginger snaps or angel food cake. If you must have a dessert with frosting, butter cream, cream cheese, or chocolate chips, limit yourself to one small cookie or one thin slice of cake.
  • Watch the drinks Try to restrict your alcohol to one or two servings. Holiday punches; eggnog and holiday spirits are filled with hidden calories. Try a light beer or wine or calorie-free drinks such as water, unsweetened ice tea, hot tea or coffee.
  1. Say No Politely

Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say no politely, such as “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious”, or “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful”. You’ll find saying no isn’t so hard to do after all.

  1. Focus on socializing

Remember, the holidays are meant to celebrate good times with family and friends. Enjoy the holidays and plan effective strategies to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Achieving what you sought out for will give you one more good reason for holiday cheer! Happy Holidays! Resist temptation