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Nutritional mistakes you are making right now

Calorie meme

All right guys, Cliff Challenger checking in with a few mistakes you are probably making in your current nutritional program. The internet is full of gurus and quacks telling you what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, how much to eat in one sitting, the optimal amount of sittings and it can get very confusing so I am going to lay down some rules that you should follow and some things that you really REALLY do not need to be bothered about.Calorie meme

Firstly I should say that if you are not following an IIFYM (if it fits your macros) program then there is probably something wrong. If this confuses you, please check out my IIFYM blog (http://pulledmuscle.co.uk/blog/iifym-if-it-fits-your-macros-overview/). So that pretty much covers how much you are eating, you should eat the same amount every day assuming your weight goal hasn’t changed. I get asked a lot if you should eat more on your training days and less on non-training days. The answer to this is purely preference, some people feel better psychologically if they don’t eat as much on non-training days but the reality is it makes no difference at all in the long run. If your current calorie intake is 2500, eating 2250 on non-training days and 2750 on training days will not affect your weight goals at all.

Next, lets look at meal frequency. This is another fitness hot topic so I will make it plain. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU EAT ALL YOUR CALORIES IN 1 MEAL OR 12 SMALL MEALS. AT ALL. NOT ONE BIT.

Phew… So once again it boils down to personal preference. If I use myself as an example I eat 3 or 4 meals a day and I split my calories and macronutrients fairly evenly throughout. I tend to make my pre workout meal a little more carb heavy just so I have the maximum amount of energy in the gym, but that is about it.

Nutrition label meme

NB. There is no maximum amount of protein you can absorb in one sitting either, so fear not.

So while we are on this topic we will deal with macro nutrient timing and once again this may fly in the face of conventional nutritional advice, but you do not need to time your nutrient intake making sure you have carbs in the morning and afternoon and that your final meal of the day is only proteins and fats. This is NONSENSE. It always comes back to 24hour nutrient balance, calories in vs. calories out.  The only little tip here would be try to avoid having a meal that is only one macro nutrient (or even two) you should aim for proteins fats and carbs in EVERY meal, the only reason for this is that each slow down the digestion of the other. What I mean by that is for an even ‘energy curve’ from your food you should eat all three at once so your body processes them evenly.

So now that we know you can eat what you want (IIFYM), when you want, in however many or few sittings you want, you should start the journey of finding out what you and your body prefer.spinach meme Some people prefer eating a lot at once and then not eating at all for large parts of the day (sometimes called intermittent fasting) while others feel bloated and would rather space them out into 4 or 5 smaller meals. So the bottom line is DON’T SWEAT IT. If your job only allows you to eat at 7.30am then again at 6pm, this will not affect your weight goals.

Finally, a quick word on ‘The Glycemic Index”. This is another thing fashioned by weight loss gurus and the like and the basic premise is that low GI foods are better for you as they are slower digesting than high GI foods. An example of low GI foods would be bran bread, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and sweet potato. An example of high GI foods would be white rice, standard potatoes, white bread and dates. Now that I have told you that I can tell you THE GI INDEX MEANS NOTHING AND YOU SHOULD COMPLETLEY IGNORE IT.sugar meme

There are a number of reasons for this and I shall try to explain the gist of it as quickly as possible. The idea is that low GI foods will digest slower and make you feel fuller for longer and high GI foods conversely will digest quickly and leave you feeling hungry. The reason for this is that tests were done showing this as a direct result. The only problem is the tests were done on subjects who were fasted for 12-16 hours previously and they were fed these foods in ISOLATION. So no eating for 14 hours and then a bowl of white rice. As I previously mentioned you should avoid eating meals that consist of only one food group as this is likely to happen but if you eat a NORMAL meal like NORMAL people with rice and some chicken and veg (even if fasted for 14 hours) the GI index is totally meaningless.

Which brings us back to eat what you like when you like and count your foods. It really is that simple. It is easy to think it isn’t that simple and people will try and tell you it isn’t because they want your money but really that is it.Nutrition-guide meme

See you next time guys

Cliff

 

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IIFYM (if it fits your macros) Overview

hot-girls-in-mirrors-5

If it fits your Macros (IIFYM) is the term used to describe a way of tracking your food and achieving your weight goals. It is, in my opinion, the easiest and most effective way to do it and I will refer to it in many other blogs, so this is just an overview in case you lovely people aren’t sure what its all about.

NB This blog is a bit on the dry side and pretty heavy on information so to make it readable, every hundred words or so there will be a picture of an extremely hot girl. BONUS!Hot Girl

 

Firstly lets quickly cover what ‘Macros’ are. Macros are the three categories you can split all foods into: Protein, fats and carbohydrates.  Protein and Carbs both contain 4 calories per gram and Fat contains 9 calories per gram.

 

Every day you should have a calorie target and these calories should be made up of the correct ratios of macros. I will not talk too much about the correct ratios as they vary person to person and I don’t want this blog to be too long but if you have the right ratios and hit the right numbers you can eat WHATEVER YOU WANT. This to me seems to be the right idea, as it is not a ‘diet’ and I really hate that word (http://pulledmuscle.co.uk/blog/diet-a-shit-word/). Each day can be different foods and as long as you hit your numbers you will be able to lose weight, put on weight or maintain your current weight.hot-girls-in-mirrors-2

 

My main problem with any ‘diet’ especially fad diets (paleo diet, Atkins diet etc http://pulledmuscle.co.uk/blog/the-paleo-diet-is-bullshit/) is that they all have a time frame. Without repeating what I said in my other rant, these diets all have a start and end date, which they shouldn’t, because whenever you come off it you are going straight back to how you ate before which wasn’t working for you.

 

Remember that ‘calories’ aren’t real. This is a term for a unit of energy that humans have made up in order to categorize food. If you are serious about hitting weight goals you need to go one step further and break down what those calories are so you know what is hot-girls-photo-mirrors-3going into your body.

 

For example, say your daily macros are 2000 calories split into 180 grams of protein (720 calories) 185 grams of carbs (740 calories) 60 grams of fat (540 calories).

You have 3 scrambled eggs on 2 slices of brown toast in the morning (26g protein, 32g carbs, 15g fat, 367 calories total).

2 chicken breast with 1 cup of boiled veg, 1 cup of cooked rice and half a tin of sauce (tomato based).  (55g protein, 57g carbs, 10g fat, 538 calories total)

250g of turkey mince with 1 cup of pasta 1 cup of boiled veg and half a tin of sauce (cream based).  (54g protein, 66g carbs, 30g fat, 670 total calories)

You are three meals in and still have 500 calories to play with… So why not have something you enjoy… Mars bar? Bag of crisps? McDonalds single cheeseburger…hot-girls-various-pics-4

All you need to do is every time you have a meal, write down the macros for it and then whenever you have that meal again it will be easy. It involves a bit of work at the start but you can do this for the rest of your life! It also means if you cave one day and have a large big mac meal (30g protein, 194g carbs, 54g fat 1350 total calories) then you just have to eat accordingly the rest of the day.

You don’t have to worry about nutrient timing, or about having to eat special foods or buy only organic food, you just track what you eat and hit your numbers.

Anyway folks, I am signing off at that, I hope this helps. Remember if you have any questions you can leave them as a comment or tweet me.hot-girls-in-mirrors-5Cliff

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Squat Depth – Don’t be a pussy

How low can you go? Squat depth seriously winds me up in the gym.

Nothing angers me more than watching someone put 180kg on the bar (400lbs for our American brothers) and go down a couple of inches, grunt a little bit then move it back up (this statement is of course a lie, lots of things anger me more, as you will see in future weeks). Not only is this pointless but also dangerous. You should put a weight on the bar that you can MOVE. You should be going all the way down until your knees are AT LEAST at a 90 degree angle to your thighs (our again as our American brothers would say, ass-to-the-grass). If you need help with this bring a standard weight bench into the cage and go down until your bum is just about to touch it, then explode back up to starting position. Ironically women I see in the gym are far better at this than men, they use weight they can control and go right down until their knees are fully bent. Good job ladies.Old granny squat depthSo that wraps up another blog, take heed men. Leave your ego at the door and go a little lighter, get all the way to the bottom and feel your quads move the weight. I guarantee you will see improvment and help prevent injury.

See you all next time

Cliff

 

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Noises at the gym should be illegal – Gym Etiquette

Making noises in the gym does not allow you to lift heavier. I understand that some people feel that it gets them in a better head space to lift. But what about my headspace that I have carefully cultivated that you are ruining, by groaning so loud THAT I CAN HEAR YOU OVER THE MUSIC IN MY HEADPHONES!

So for all you groaners out there, consider the fact that you are in a gym with other people and while squealing like a pig might help you get that last rep out it might also cause the person next to you to drop a bar on their neck.

Grunting while lifting Gene wilder
Share this if you agree!

That is all for now

Cliff

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The Paleo Diet is BULLSHIT

The paleo diet or the caveman diet, joins a long list of fad diets that are useless and don’t work. There are a number of reasons that I really should go into in depth but the fact is it hasn’t annoyed me enough to do a full blog (and when I do its going to be another rant, and is going to include the Atkins diet and whatever other diets are popular at the time).

Paleo diet flowchart
Fad diets are all bullshit.

Suffice to say, if anyone can ever show me a simpler diet than macro nutrient tracking then I am prepared to eat this guy.

fat guy i beat anorexiaThere isn’t a quick fix. If you want to lose weight, eat less food than your body needs. If you would like to gain wait, eat more food than your body needs. People constantly feel the need to put food into ‘Good Foods’ or ‘Bad Foods’ and it’s just not like that. Everything in moderation is the only way to keep yourself sane and achieve your weight goals.

As I mentioned, this is just the tip of the iceberg on my fury over fad diets, but I need to wait until something really grinds my gears before I unleash a full blog on the topic. See you all soon

 

Cliff

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A Guide to Pulled Muscles

Pulled muscle in back

It was inevitable. On a website called PulledMuscle.co.uk that we would need to give you some friendly advice on what happens should you do the unthinkable and actually pull a muscle.

Pulled muscle in backNow it should be said that prevention is the best form of defense, always warm up. With any activity you do, be it weight lifting, running, cycling or any competitive sports you should do at least a 20 minute warm up of stretching and moving whatever body parts are going to be most in use during your session. The most common sports injuries are pulled muscles in your back, or shoulders. But lets assume that you were an idiot and haven’t done that and have now pulled a muscle.

A pulled muscle occurs when you over stretch the fiber and tear it. There are a few steps to take that should allow it to heal as quickly as possible. PLEASE NOTE. If it is still swollen after 3 days, or the swelling goes down but it is still hurting after about a week, go to a doctor, as you have done something more than a simple muscle pull or strain.

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“Diet” A Shit Word

Today’s blog (rant) is about the word “Diet”. Its abuse in the fitness industry, and how people using the word diet incorrectly, set themselves up to live in a perpetual state of “dieting”.  Diet-Scam-Red-Flags

Firstly lets talk about what the word means. Diet can be defined as:

“The deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake”

However, I have a problem with this. It stems mainly from people saying that they are going “on a diet” because this implies that you will then get off the diet. Dieting is essentially giving your body less calories than it needs so that you can lose weight. If you combine this with a sensible exercise program then you will lose weight and become (even if marginally) healthier.

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Top 5 Ways To Optimize Your Workout!

Muscular arm flexing

  1. FormJapanese Muscular Man Flexing Muscles
  2. Rep Range and Sets
  3. Speed
  4. Consistensy vs. Muscle Confusion
  5. Stretching

 

In this article my aim is to show you how, in 5 easy steps, you can get better workouts! Making sure the time you spend in the gym is as productive as can be, is the key to building muscle quickly. Maximizing your gym routine isn’t difficult; just make sure you are doing the right exercises, the right way for the right amount of time. Implement the suggested changes below and I am sure you will see noticeable improvements. Remember with everything in fitness its a sprint not a marathon. Always give new things a full 4-6 weeks before you can expect to see results.

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Vascularity

Do you think women love a vascular man??

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Aspartame – The Truth

Ok, today’s topic centers around “diet” drinks. I hate the word diet; it angers me greatly for a number of reasons that I will divulge in a separate blog entitled ‘”Diet” A Shit Word’. Anyway, in todays blog, I will try to give you the basics on Aspartame. This is the main sweetener used in low sugar or sugar free drinks. Aspartame took the full brunt of an Internet smear campaign (largely based on the false accusations of one women) in which it was said to cause cancer, and a whole load of other things (including death!!!).

Watching the waistline?

The idea that aspartame is likely to cause illness can be dealt with two simple questions. They go something like this:
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