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Ashfit420

Life Update!

I’ve recently traveled 200 miles.I am currently living in a different state. The food, the climate ,everything is different.I haven’t trained in a month due to the shift.My Nutrition has taken a hit.

But it’s Worth it.

I am currently training under a World class power-lifter ,Mr.Raghu Hondadakeri.

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His approach to training ,His gym and its environment is phenomenal. I’ve followed a standard style of training (i.e. standard hypertrophy style training),with elements of powerlifting. But now my goal is to live and understand the Powerlifting lifestyle.

My approach to health is this-Wholesome Fitness.

I’ve been doing this long enough to understand that health and competition style training are not synonymous .It’s become a trend to follow a competitive athlete’s workouts.While it may get partial results,remember why you are doing this,What is your End game?

If it is to be healthy and longevity of fitness,do you really need the intensity of a competitive athlete?

That is why I strive to understand, what element of which sport is absolutely crucial for the average Joe. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of endurance , cardio and resistance training.When I start coaching people,I wish to coach from first hand experience rather than theoretical knowledge

I will be sharing the valuable knowledge that I learn here,in the next few blogs.My only wish is that, you experiment what you learn here and tell me what you feel and whether it suits you.

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Points to remember.

  • No matter how much you hate it ,include functional fitness workouts in your routine.Farmers walk , sledge pulls, plyometrics go a long way in maintaining health.
  • Core strength is absolutely crucial,But please don’t go about it the traditional way.Include Planks, unilateral holds i.e.- functional abdomen fitness.
  • Static Stretching is not a devil, especially if you’re recovering from an injury.Limit the static stretching(before workouts) to  the area that’s recovering.Post workout-give it your all!
  • Do not forget workout specific Warm-ups, Most commercial gyms preach 10 mins on the treadmill to get you warmed up.This is not ENOUGH.Opening up your hip flexors, the muscle you’re gonna work, rotator cuffs e.t.c can give  the edge you’re looking for.
  • If you involve long duration endurance sports in your workouts ,then plan sufficient recovery time. If you plan on doing 3 hours of cycling and hit a pr squat in the gym the next day, It ain’t possible without sufficient nutrition.

 

 

Home Workouts Vs. Gym Workouts

Let’s rewind the scene to 1800’s. Eugene Sandow. The man was ripped AF!

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His understandings and fitness regimen was nothing less than the modern routine to say the least.. His ideology about Nutrition and sleep was on point, too.Even today where resistance training for women and children is considered depreciating to their overall health,He preached resistance training to women and adolescents back in 1800’s!

In an era where fitness was not a trend, He believed in experiment based truth.He practiced his principles before preaching it.He was the first person to conduct a bodybuilding show,First person in history to try and market fitness!

Fast forward a few hundred years.

Bro bodybuilding and aesthetic bodybuilding reaches its peak. Aesthetic freaks have become iconic and are being hailed as the pinnacle of the fitness industry.

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The common man is familiar with Ketogenic diets and Intermittent Fasting.He is ready to accept the strenuous lifestyle required to look a certain way.Open Instagram and you can see shirtless hunks with Abs that ripple with veins and underage kids with muscular bodies that would put Bruce Lee to shame!

What changed?

It is amazing that in the history of fitness that few people have been able to create such a huge impact and change the course of history and the attitude of General public towards fitness.The influence of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Reg Park was huge.They opened up an avenue which started in fitness and ended in Show Biz!

Don’t get me wrong, Fitness Community was growing rapidly in the 60’s and 70’s.I’m talking about the recognition of their work by the society. During the late 60’s, Power-lifting was gaining credibility.Other Sports like Cycling, Olympic Lifting ,Marathon running e.t.c were getting streamlined and systematic.

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In the late 90’s ,The general scene was splitting into two:-

  • Calisthenic style training(Endurance,Cardiovascular,Resistance),was being analysed.Workouts that were effective, that you could do from the comfort of your home.Workouts that revolved around utilizing one’s own body weight as resistance to bring about change.
  • On the other Hand, Fitness was being “Glamorized“.The money that could be made from the industry was starting to attract a lot of Corporate companies.This led to introduction of “commercial gyms”.The beginning of this revolution was by Joe Gold and his chain of gyms.

Now that you’ve read the backstory, Let me address the topic at hand!

The general public that fell in love with what pop culture was showcasing as fitness were interested in aesthetic benefits.When commercial Gym were ready to fill in that need, Gym memberships started selling like hot cakes!

People who were introduced to exercising through some sort of athletic activity preferred something more agile,with heart racing and with interesting activities peppered in.That caused the birth of Calisthenics, Power-lifting gyms and triathlon e.t.c.

Commercial gyms became the hub spot for people looking for a fit life.Amazing new machines and innovative nutrition helped the clients achieve their goals.But, Fitness couldn’t be contained to six packs and bicep curls!

That’s when people started realizing they could use elements of Hardcore sports and started practicing Functional fitness.

The Judgement-

Home workouts do give a certain advantage of flexibility(Whenever,However).But the number of gyms that understand wholesome fitness including calisthenics, are increasing.Hybrid Gyms ,Cross-fit Gyms, Power-lifting Gyms are just a few examples.I believe even though Home workouts are being utilized more but gyms are being revolutionized at an unbelievable rate.

 

 

Nutrition 101.

The images you see was taken 6 months apart.In both the pics ,I’m the same body weight-76 kilos.The difference?My understanding about diet and nutrition.

The pic on the left- Where I was following an extremely “Keto” Diet , but pushing my body on a daily basis at the gym. I felt the most miserable ,I’ve ever felt.

The pic on the right-I altered my diet with basic proportions of all three- Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. I was still killing it in the gym but I was fueling it much better.

The Million dollar question asked- What should be the quantity and quality of my nutrition?

The question you need to be asking- Should I revolve my diet with my lifestyle in regard or the other way around?

  • Let me Explain-The central nervous system dictates when an athlete tires and how much the athlete can endure.Being aware of the stress that you put yourself through in and out of the gym should be the crucial factor affecting your diet.
  • The above statement means energy expenditure throughout the day should be taken into account before you decide how many calories deficit\addition should be incorporated.
  • When you do not have enough budget, tracking your macro-nutrients other than protein i.e. Carbohydrates and Fats becomes crucial.When your body is deprived of the building block of muscle(protein), any other macros is used as fuel.
  • In such a  state, reducing your carbohydrates and fats to get ripped will do you more harm,which is essentially the mistake I made.

To transform from the left picture to the right one ,the biggest change in nutrition was,not avoiding any particular food type.Your body requires everything but in moderation.

In case of Clarifications, mail me at ash.topper@gmail.com.

Knowing your Limits.

One of the main mistakes that Athletes tend to do is over-estimate hard work.

The amount of work that an athlete puts in should result in corresponding positive output.The number of hours invested in developing the body should be enough at the same time should not push over stress him\her.

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Dorian Yates and Mike Mentzer were big believers in lower volume higher intensity and their results were proof for it’s success.The argument place against them were the usage of steroids.

Points To Take Away

  • If you’re a natural Athlete,Understand that food and supplementation is the main form of fuel your body uses.
  • The body can perform under a ketogenic state ,but only for so long.If you’re involved in a sport, getting your nutrition right is key.
  • Proper food and supplementation is expensive.If you’re not in a position to spend that much, You have to schedule workouts according to your diet.
  • For the athlete with a budget , Peak performance should be planned with your diet in mind.Do not Push Your body to the maximum everyday or your central nervous system burns out too quick,
  • The usage of Drugs changes how you workout and volume involved in working out is totally different,and this blog is not For you.

If you have doubts mail me at ash.topper@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Don’t workout!

Without understanding all the elements required for longevity- DON’T WORKOUT

When it comes to fitness,terms like “hard work” and “paying your dues”,is common.What you do not hear is plan and understand what your body needs.Top bodybuilders, power-lifters, and athletes are realizing that longevity in any sport is determined by a lot of factors.

Stan Efferding’s rant on how sleep is more important than exercising, is proof that even the top brass are retracing their steps to understand how focusing only on strength is a setback in the long term.Major elements to focus on other than strength-

1)Active recovery– The debate between static and dynamic stretching is a long one.The main topic that gets shadowed is active recovery.Any type of athlete need to recover  and the efficiency of his results depends on how quick he can recover.Sleep and nutrition is the ultimate tool but yoga is the most under appreciated magic that helps almost instantly.

2)Over-Training- As somebody who regularly dabbles in endurance training and power-lifting regularly, over-training is not a myth.I believe over-training is largely related to nutrition.Every time CNS fails to recover ,the large reason for the failure is not providing adequate nutrition for the body to function properly.

You can out train a bad diet ,but with specific goals in mind, nutrition is a key factor.

3)Too many goals-

With power-lifters like Larry Wheels and Ben Pollack proving aesthetics and strength are achievable simultaneously, where is the line drawn?

Periodization principles ,Adding de-load weeks and layoffs are common techniques used to combat avoiding too much volume.Athletes who practice different type of sports are more likely to face this problem.

P.s. The next few blogs will provide solutions for the problems raised in this blog.

Endurance workouts, why?

Bodybuilders avoid endurance workouts.Endurance workouts get a bad  rapport(long endurance workouts burn more muscle than fat),but it’s not always the case.

1)Introducing endurance workouts into your regimen ,can help shock your body into utilizing volume.

2)Which endurance sport suits your liking is a billion dollar question.Everybody has their own preference.Try everything.

3)Endurance sport is an addiction.Use it as a tool to shock your Central nervous system,not to annihilate it.

4)Endurance events done for long periods of time should maintain your heart beat at a moderate level.Burning out too much at the beginning reduces longevity.

5)Keep in mind, inclusion of too much ,too soon is going to affect your metabolism.It is a poison to be consumed occasionally.

 

Dead-lifting(Intermediate athletes).

Dead-lifting raw(without wraps), going heavy has a lot of benefits.Improves grip strength and overall back development.

1)Understanding when to go heavy and when to back off, is much more important.When you go heavy every session, your central nervous system is destined to burnout.

2)If you’re going really heavy, don’t expend to much energy in warming up i.e. use appropriate weights and get the blood flowing quickly.(but adequate warm-up is crucial).

3)Dynamic stretching is apt before your workouts.I am a big fan of plyometric exercises before any big workout.

4)If you’re trying for a 1 rep max, then ensure you do a few back-off sets i.e. reducing the weight and performing few sets.This re-enforces good technique(usually 1 rep max sets are not performed with ideal form and understandably so.

5)Try yoga after a few hours.Surya namaskar is a movement routine which utilizes the whole body and aids in much faster recovery.

Squatting, for the rookie.

1)Learn the movement pattern suitable for you.Experiment with all varieties of the squat.

2)Define the purpose for which you are learning the movement.Professionals ,athletes and amateurs have different expectations,respectively.

3)Body-weight squat,goblet squat, front squat and then the traditional barbell squat would be a perfect transition for understanding the movement.

4)Developing mind-muscle connection should be the first priority.Paused squats are an excellent variation for re-enforcing technique and overall strength development.

5)Internet has a variety of sources.Try out various foot placements ,bar placements and find which one works for you,Every body is unique.

Bonus tip- Johnny Candito has an excellent set of tutorial videos on youtube.

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