Tag Archive: Physical exercise



Hi guys and girls, Gert Louw from Cape Town.

Every year just after my birthday it is sort of a tradition for me to do a flexing and inspirational video.

This year it was my 52nd birthday.

So here is the video just after my birthday:

Click here to view video “Life INSPIRATION at age 52”

 

With this video I want to inspire a little.

Neither your age, nor your health should ever (!) stand in your way.

Now, most of you know by now that 12 years ago I nearly died and doctors did not give me any good news. But with faith I moved forward and apply healthy living on all levels and also did some house cleaning and moving closer to God ( I am a follower of Jesus Christ).

Obviously it was a long and hard road and the body took long to respond to this healthy living but the wheel did turn and it is keeping on turning as a result.

Now, I am not naïve in thinking everyone with serious health issues can and will turn around like I did, but what I do believe is that with faith in God and by living very healthy, one CAN make a huge difference. Obviously you need your doctor’s approval to embark on such a journey.

But, let me share with you the core of my healthy living

Gert Louw face2

 

My training program is as follows:

  • Mondays – Chest, Biceps and abs
  • Tuesdays – Shoulders, Traps and calves
  • Wednesdays – rest
  • Thursdays – Back, triceps and abs
  • Fridays – Legs, upper pecs and calves
  • Saturdays & Sundays – rest

 

My supplement regime

Health supplements:

  • ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
  • CQ10 (Co Enzyme Q10)
  • Omega 3+6
  • Strong Multi Vitamin
  • Slow release Vit C

Muscle building supplements:

  • Whey protein powder
  • L-Glutamine
  • BCAA

 

How do I structure my training?

I do a 3-months Cutting phase with a very specific cutting phase diet and training with lighter weights at a higher rep range followed by 1 week rest and then a 3-month building phase with a very specific building phase diet and training with heavier weights to absolute muscle failure at lower reps (about 8 reps per set) followed by 1 week rest and the repeat.

This allow me to build muscle but also to recover the strained tendons and joints.

 

About my diets

I make use of one of the top fitness nutritionists in the field (BERNADETTE BEYER) to work out my diets for each phase according to my bodytype and goals. This is the crucial part of your success and without a very focussed diet there will be no success.

My blog contains a LOT of info for free that can help you through all these processes.

But for those interested, I also offer my exact training/supplem and diet system via the ADVANCED SYSTEM II (option E). The same nutritionist I use will also work out your diet solution and I myself attend to working out your training and supplement attack based. If you want to signup, just choose option E via the following link: https://gertlouw.com/contact-me

Now, everyone…happy training!

Cheers

Gert Louw

Gert Louw REACH FOR THE STARS small


Hi everyone, just want to give you a heads up about one of the latest major scam supplement products out there. It is marketed under ESPN (which is NOT the real ESPN) and in the advertisement, fake stories are made up to support ridiculous claims of it’s worth.

 

These two scam products are: HYPERTONE FORCE and HYPERTONE EXCEL.

Neither the gold medalist, Wayde van Niekerk or me (Gert Louw), both mentioned as “proof” in the article, has ever touched this product. Both our photos stolen and fake stories written.

Please stay clear, this is a well known trick to get hooks into your credit card for monthly deductions and you’re going to get a worthless product.

Never (!) believe marketing articles with fantastical claims over the internet. 99% of them are scams to get access to your credit cards.

Here is a link to another in-depth article on Supplement Critique about these 2 scam products: http://www.supplementcritique.com/hyper-tone-force-and-hyper-tone-excel-review-7-big-reasons-this-is-a-scam/

Here the actual scam advert:

HtmlToImage


Cheat and still win with your diet!

Click here to view video “CHEAT & STILL WIN WITH YOUR DIET

Now this is probably what everyone wants to hear – lol! BUT, the truth is, there are methods to cheat and still get to the top!

Life is not meant to be without a dessert once on a while…and I am talking Baked Chocolate Fondant with oozing real sweet chocolate out if it’s center with ice cream (real ! ice cream) liberally used. The same goes for the odd glass of wine/whiskey or beer or whatever blows your skirt up, even a chocolate!

A certain balance needs to be applied to stay sane with anything in life. I’ve just done a 3 weeks severe cutting diet, sticking 100% to it…and, it’s was hell! The more you are going to disallow yourself a treat once in a while, the bigger the chance that your diet will fail completely in the end. You would just say…”I had enough”. And you know what? I have big compassion for that…so let’s have a look here how (!) you can cheat regularly without crashing your diet and keep yourself sane and focused to stick 98% to your diet.

Sundays to Fridays – sorry that (!) is where you stick 100% to your diet.

Get yourself some sugarless, carb less, fat free sweets. Do some searching and buy those that have as little calories as possible…like below 10! Then during the Sunday to Friday period…pop a few (3-4) of those during the day when you feel the urge to treat yourself a bit. Apart from that – nothing else.

The key is always to eat all your regular meals and drink all your water (2L-4L)…THAT is what keeps you full and keep the urges to eat wrong away.

Obviously, if you are at your target body fat then some different rules apply. Then you are allowed 2 -3 cheats evenly spaced out during the week. But for this documents purpose, let’s assume we are dealing with all those that are still far from the target body fat levels.

Your cheat should be left for a weekend day…when you are less stressed, more relaxed and doing something you like. This cheat will go to great lengths to make you not feeling deprived of some great things and food in life. Even if you don’t feel like a cheat, maybe it is a good idea…simply to help you stay balanced and not feeling deprived later on in the week.

Gert Louw LEGS CB

Now, “HOW?” should you cheat?

There can only be one cheat and that cheat can only be once per day per week on just 1 day of the week!

First you eat the diet as normal for that day as specified.

Let’s look at the next cheat scenario’s:

1.       Ice Cream cheat / Soft drink / dessert cheat / potato crisps – once anytime during day. Then for 2 of your meals for the day cut out carbs completely. One small meals carbs and one larger meals carbs.

2.       Chocolate cheat 150g – anytime during day. The same as above:  For 2 of your meals for the day cut out carbs completely. One small meals carbs and one larger meals carbs.

3.       Alcohol cheat (500ml equivalent wine) – anytime during day. Usually late afternoon or evening you will use this cheat. So for the evening meal cut out carbs completely and ONLY clean fatless meat and salad…no sauces, no carbs, nothing else! And definitely no dessert. If you want dessert, then no wine! One or the other… [Note: be very careful with alcohol. It is the key reason why men, especially older men, struggle to loose fat around the tummy and have a bloated look to the tummy. Best is to cut alcohol COMPLETELY out and have other types of cheats.]

 

Remember that with any of the above cheats it will set you back 24 to 48 hours before your body reverted to the level before you cheated and only then will it be able to start losing fat again. So even though you have cheated it is STILL very much possible to loose fat for the week, but only within above rules.

 

I strongly believe that the only winning approach is a balanced approach. That keeps you focused and you feel like “life” is not deprived of you. Part of this balance is to cheat on a weekly basis with your diet by applying above wisdom!

 

Wish you all happy dieting and a great training week!
Gert Louw

http://www.gertlouw.com

Gert Louw green small

 


In all my coaching systems and many articles on my site, I regularly refer to the process of transforming into a wow physique by “climbing a ladder step by step”.

Facebook profil

Here I want to explain as to WHAT exactly I mean by that.

Now, many people think they are starting to climb the ladder and start transforming, and they actually start doing rather great, but then stuff starts happening…things like: getting sick regularly, tendon/joint injury or other serious injury or they lose hope because they just cannot put on muscle no matter how hard they train and some just cannot lose fat no matter how hard they diet.

This is when the train stops and they get off the ladder.

Not because it was not possible but because they LACK knowledge.

KNOWLEDGE in terms off:

  1. You CANNOT lose fat if the calories are too low…then your body enters famine mode and you WILL lose all your hard earned muscle first before it uses the fat – no matter how HARD you train! There is a sweet spot with calories where the body use fat for energy and keep muscles safe. You need to find it. (In my SYSTEMS I and II this is covered).
  2. You CANNOT build muscle if: caloric intake too low, body fat too low or you do too much cardio!
  3. You WILL get sick regularly if you continue pounding your body week after week, month after month, in the wrong fashion and you do not use certain basic health supporting supplements.
  4. You WILL run into serious tendon and joint issues if you do not alternate every 3 months between BUILDING and CUTTING phases to allow healing and strengthening.

All of these are covered in detail in my COACHING SYSTEMS (https://gertlouw.com/contact-me), but the bottom line which brings all these together are a continuous alternating between a 3 month CUTTING PHASE and a 3 monthly BUILDING phase.

Each Phase has its own specific training methodology and specific type diet.

The two phases are vastly different and by continuously alternating between them, you allow your body every 3 months to go through a process off:

  1. Loosing max fat while protecting muscles in Cutting Phase.
  2. Building max muscle at slightly higher body fat levels in the Building Phase.
  3. Allowing your body to be fed correctly for your exact goal and training methodology for each phase.
  4. Allowing tendons and joints to strengthen and recover regularly in Cutting Phase.
  5. Allowing the body a balanced and healthy approach preventing sickness and injury by not overtraining and stressing the body and immune system.

These 2 phases hold the KEY to climbing the ladder. One step on the ladder = 1 BP (Building phase) + 1 CP (Cutting Phase). After each step you will be able to see a significant difference in shape and size. THIS is how you climb up the ladder.

Look at the following graph showing the BODY FAT variation during the phases

This is what your body fat will do when sticking to my SYSTEM I or II training that incorporates these principles (BP = Building Phase, CP = Cutting Phase):

Climing the ladder BODYFAT

Every BP1 + CP1 covers a 6 month period. At the end of each of the cutting phases your body fat is lower and lower till typically after a 3 year period you reach crazy levels like 5% body fat.

 

Let’s look what your muscle size will do when alternating between the phases:

Climing the ladder MUSCLE MASS

At the end of each of the cutting phases your body weight is higher than after the previous cutting phase. That COUPLED with the fact that the body fat is lower after each Cutting Phase compared to the previous cutting phase makes a HUGE difference on how the body looks and the amount of lean mass you are carrying.

THIS (!) is how you climb the ladder…not after one cutting phase or one building phase but after various of these phases. Stopping with the process simply mean you stop climbing the ladder.

Simply put – After each Building Phase your muscle weight is higher at lower body fat levels, and during the Cutting Phase you show your results, keeping that muscles safe and dropping the body fat on each Cutting Phase lower and lower than in the previous Cutting Phases until after a few years you look back and say…”WOW!”

Wish you all happy training!

Cheers – Gert Louw

gert louw B&A

 

 

 

 

 


How do I start a body transformation from scratch?

Click here to watch the video “How to start a body transformation from scratch – for the novice”

 

I get ask by many guys how they should start out on this road of transforming their body.

They know what their end-goal is looking like, but the process just sounds and look very overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been into bodybuilding before.

So with this article let me help you to get it off the ground.

I am assuming you are starting from ground zero…very unfit coach potato with little to no weight training experience.

NOTE – FOR THOSE THAT WANT THE SAME SYSTEM I AM USING, HAVE A LOOK AT OPTION E (ADVANCED SYSTEM II) HERE: GERT LOUW’S TRAINING SYSTEM AND DIET CUSTOMIZED FOR YOU

Gert Louw at age 52:

 

Sure if you got the money, you can get yourself a personal trainer who will then guide you through the process – however, choose well, not all personal trainers are equal. In the very least, if his body does not look like your end goal body, stay away! You do not want someone with theoretical knowledge, u want someone who has the knowledge AND reached success!

But alas, most of us are not so fortunate to be able to afford a personal trainer.

The good news is that in the early steps (first couple of months) a personal trainer is really not a critical part. (and then after these first few months all you really need is a dedicated training partner with the same goals and dedication as you!)

The critical part is the fact that you have made the decision to change your life and to what degree you are ready to sacrifice your comfort levels to reach this success.

I don’t know you, but for this one time, tell yourself you’ve made this decision and gonna stick to it no matter what. Then be a MAN and show some dedication and perseverance!

OK, this is now week one, tomorrow is Monday and you want  to START!

Consider this…

CORRECT DIETING DETERMINES 80% OF YOUR BODY TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

CORRECT AND INTENSE TRAINING (AND NOT OVERTRAINING) DETERMINES 17.5% OF YOUR BODY TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

CORRECT SUPPLEMENTATION DETERMINES 2.5% OF YOUR TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

 

So, for now, forget about supplements and only focus on the correct diet and training. Supplements you should only consider once you have the training and diet well under your control.

 

WANT SOMETHING MORE ADVANCED & FULLY CUSTOMIZED?  The program I am following for the past 6 years, available now fully customised on all levels, just for you. before-and-after-dec2016Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: 

https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

 

How to approach the training:

MONTH 1

Train 4 days a week for first month: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Rest on the other days or do moderate cardio for not more than 20 minutes.

On these days train with weights (resistance exercises) for not longer than 30 minutes.

During each training session do the following:

  • One exercise for biceps
  • One exercise for triceps
  • One exercise for pecs/chest
  • One exercise for shoulders
  • One exercise for back
  • One exercise for upper legs
  • One exercise for calves
  • One exercise for stomach.

Each exercise must consist of two sets of 12 reps. No resting between reps. 1 min resting between sets.

Use a light weight allowing you to comfortably do the 12 reps.

Each 7 days increase the weights by about 10%…very important rule, this allows the body and tendons to adapt to the new exercise and weights.

 

MONTH 2

Train 4 days a week for the 2nd month: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Rest on the other days or do moderate cardio for not more than 20 minutes.

On each of these days train with weights for not longer than 40 minutes.

On each of the following day you must do:

MONDAYS

  • Three exercises for biceps
  • Three exercises for triceps

TUESDAYS

  • Three exercises for shoulders
  • Three exercises for trapezuims

THUSDAYS

  • Three exercises for pecs/chest
  • Three exercises for back

FRIDAY

  • Three exercises for upper legs
  • Two exercises for calves
  • Two exercises for stomach.

Each exercise must consist of two sets of 10 reps. No resting between reps. 1 min resting between sets.

Use a light weight allowing you to just-just complete the 10 reps.

Each 14 days increase the weights by about 10%…very important rule, this allows the body and tendons to adapt to the new exercise and weights.

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Stay with the same program from month three, but in month three increase the weight size to allow you to achieve muscle failure on the 8th rep in each set. From here onwards do only 8 reps per set and you MUST not be able to do 1 more rep after the 8th rep due to muscle failure!

This is the KEY PRINCIPLE for muscle growth.

At this point you are not considered a novice anymore and can start from month 4 with the following focused transformation training regime: https://gertlouw.wordpress.com/my-transformation-program/

 

Regarding the execution of exercises and which exercises to choose:

Always do the compound exercises fist in a training session…this simply means it is an exercise that involved the most possible amount of muscles: bench press, shoulder press, squats, deadlift, barbell bicep curls. These are the core group exercises that sparks growth.

Look around in the gym, ask trainers and talk to those who got the muscles to show you on how to correctly execute an exercise – 99% of the guys would be very friendly showing you the ropes.

dONATION BANNER

The DIET

This is a much simpler aspect and a basic plan can be laid down rather easily. Just remember….you will NOT grow if you do not eat for growth. You need to eat small balanced meals every 3-4 hours from waking up to the point of going to bed. The period just before and after training is also very important.

 

Diet

One thing I realized – I will not grow if I do not get my diet sorted correctly. Diet makes up easily 80% of muscle Building Phase success. I did not believe that in the past and paid hard penalties for wasted effort!

My diet is not a diet to lose weight without training. My diet will work great to lose unwanted weight but only with a dedicated and serious training routine.

This is just a sample. It can help you get started and may just be all you need to achieve success. However, each of us are different and body types and sizes vary…so if you have concerns, do more homework or best yet, see a sports doctor or dietician to design a muscle-building diet for you. However, I had GREAT success by following this basic diet structure.

 

Here an example of my typical dieting routine:

(note: 40g of whey protein shake can easily be exchanged with 6 eggs whites or 150g tuna in brine or 150g chicken fillet, etc…)

 

MEAL 1: UPON WAKING

whey protein

1 scoop (20g)

casein protein w/ water 1 scoop (20g)

 

MEAL 2:

oats w/ fat-free milk 1 bowl

honey 2 tbsp

 

MEAL 3:

egg whites 4

whey protein w/ 400ml water 1 scoop (20g)

apple 1 medium

 

MEAL 4 – 45min before training

whey protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

 

MEAL 5: POST WORKOUT

whey protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

banana 1 medium

 

MEAL 6:

casein protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

1 apple

 

MEAL 7:

steak chicken, or fish 150g

veggies or salad w/ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 large serving

 

MEAL 8: BEFORE BED

500g of fat free cottage cheese

2 tablespoons salt free/sugar-free peanut butter

 

Here is a more advanced diet approach for a shredded look: 

Click here to view video: “Advanced cutting diet for a shredded look” 

 

More Diet Info:

Meal 1:
For extra calcium and protein, I sometimes mixed my shake with fat-free milk. However, water is cheaper. I never drank concentrated shakes. I used at least 400ml of water/fat-free milk.

Meal 2:
Oats and muscle-building go perfect together as a morning meal. Oats release their energy slowly throughout the day, so I won’t feel drained or experience hunger pangs. Substitutions: none really, nothing comes close to oats. Sometimes I used cinnamon over my oats. Be careful of the calorie count and do not exceed the calorie count of the oats.

Meal 3:
The 50g at this meal was a solid food protein. I was weary of bananas. They are excellent directly after working out, but due to their quick releasing energy, I want to avoid them at any other time. Substitutions: 50g protein = 4 medium size egg whites / small piece of chicken fillet/fish or beef fillet.

By small is meant about half a fist size. Although the yellow of an egg is healthy, the amount of calories it has due to its fat content makes it unsuitable for muscle-building purposes. At most I took one yellow and mixed it in with the 4 whites. But as stated, it’s best without.

Meal 4:
This I took immediately before working out. Substitutions: None

Post Workout:
Note this is the ONLY time I ate a banana. My body requires immediate energy after workout and a banana is excellent in providing it. Substitutions: The whey and glutamine cannot be substituted. However, the banana can be replaced by 200ml fruit juice, any flavor. Apple works great. But, a banana stays the number one choice.

Meal 6:
Substitutions: None

Meal 7:
Small evening meal with no starches, only veggies/salad and protein (fillet, chicken or fish – 150g). No butter and limited salt with veggies/salad. I used a liberal (2 spoons) amounts of extra virgin olive oil with salad/veggies.

Meal 8:
Substitutions: Although the casein protein powder is preferred, I sometimes ate 250g fat-free cottage cheese.

General Diet Points:

  • I did not eat starches after 6 p.m. That means no rice, pasta, bread, rusks, potato, etc.
  • The protein portion in the evening was a solid food and is typically the size of my fist in volume.
  • All the protein portions were fat-free. I chose chicken fillet, beef fillet or fish.
  • I was careful to use sauces over protein. It adds a lot of unwanted calories. I rather use herbs and spices liberally and things like squeezed lemon juice, basic gravy sauce. I also tried to cook the chicken in orange juice for a tangy change.
  • I allowed myself a large salad portion. But we are only talking basic salad here, no fancy stuff. Only green leafs, tomato, cucumber, gherkin, seeds, very little nuts and some parmesan shavings allowed. I used 2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil over salad. For a something different, I also used balsamic vinegar to taste. It goes especially nice with the olive oil.
  • Cooked and raw veggies were allowed.
  • Butter and salt were a taboo for me. However, over veggies I used a tablespoon of butter for taste purposes.

Critical Diet Points I Adhered Too:

  • I tried staying away from diet carbonated drinks and too much coffee (only 2 cups daily with fat-free milk and no sugar). Both these items act as a mild diuretic and means I will have to drink even more water to replace the water lost as a result. Plus the sweeteners used in diet carbonated drinks are questionable!
  • I NEVER skipped a meal. This is the #1 enemy for Building Phase muscles.
  • I never ate more than the suggested amounts, otherwise I would gain fat.
  • I never ate less than the suggested amounts or I would struggle to build muscle.
  • I ate my meals even if I felt full!
  • My meals were spaced between 3-4 hours apart.
  • I used NO alcohol during the week and weekends only one glass of wine or one beer per day. Alcohol is a big enemy of dieting and building muscles. Cutting it out completely is the best option.
  • I do NOT smoke. I cannot be successful at building muscles and continue smoking, the two oppose each other.
  • Sweets and chocolate: Sorry, I had none of these.
  • Cheat meal? Once per week (only one meal). I never stuffed myself (important), but had a sit-down meal and ate whatever my taste buds felt like including my favorite dessert.

Why did I use two different proteins powders?

  • Whey isolate is a quick releasing protein powder and perfect to use when my body requires an immediate uptake of protein.
  • Casein protein is used when I need a slow uptake of protein, such as while I am sleeping.
  • I tried to use trusted local (South African) supplements when I can, simply because they are cheaper than the imported ones.

Why so many shakes?

  • Well, simply to make my life easier. I did not have the time to stand for hours at night preparing the next day meals. But know this, solid protein sources are always preferred to protein shakes if you can manage the time. But I was careful not to replace my existing solid meals with shakes. The human body was not designed to live on liquids alone.

 

Conclusion

Remember – Each one who has reached body transformation success holds some truth. Use these recipes but keep on educating yourself and starting to mould it to make it your own unique winning recipe that suites you best.
Never change more than one aspect at a time before verifying that it works and only then introduce another change.

It is a battle of the mind and wills…but we each has but ONE life to live…and we need to make it the BEST life we can!
Don’t wake up like me at 41 and start making a difference…if u are young, use that opportunity and never live with any regrets about wasted opportunities! But that being said, even if you are 60, you can still transform to kick many a lazy 25 y/o’s ass! Time is precious…never let it slip you by.

 

gertxb

 

I wish u MUCH success!

Gert Louw


How to train for aesthetic growth?

You might notice many guys (and girls) doing their sets religiously, train hard, eat right and rest well but it just seem that they not really getting anywhere. Yes they get bigger but it is not really a good-looking big but just …bigger.

bicep_curl

Then you see these guys (not many of them) looking really good…muscles in proportion, well-formed and they just got this “wow factor” when you look at them. But you don’t understand because they simply do not train harder or lift heavier weights than you…what is going on here!?

 

The jealous bunch will scream “steroids!” of course…but there is another much less sinister reason.

OK, granted, some of them might actually be juicing but I am gonna stick my neck out here and say me don’t think so.

 

What they do is they train right, but what is right?.

gert2

Let me explain…

  • It don’t help just lifting heavy and training hard week after week. You need to get a “mind muscle” connection for each rep of each exercise that you do.
  • You need to focus in your brain on the primary muscle you going to use for contraction and then do a slow controlled rep with perfect form. When you reached the max position you need to squeeze the target muscle for a second or two before you lower the weight AT THE SAME SLOW (!) SPEED that you used to lift or push the weight.
  • The negative move of the exercise must be at the exact same controlled slow speed and perfect form that the positive move of the exercise.
  • NEVER throw the weight around in a quick fashion.
  • Look less in the mirror and focus more on getting this “mind muscle” connection and absolute slow perfect form for positive and negative aspects of the rep.

Each and every exercise should be performed this way.

arnold-schwarzenegger-biceps-curl-alternate

You will find that you will gradually increase this “mind muscle” connection until you eventually have very specific control over the target muscle for a specific exercise.

 

Range of motion

Do NOT cheat on the range of motion of an exercise…you need the full range of motion to targets ALL AREAS of the muscle.

Cheating on the range of motion means you will not be targeting the complete muscle and thus not develop an aesthetic pleasing look. (ie: only your middle part of the muscle will develop well and not the sides or front/back)

gert1

Strengthening the “mind muscle” connection

Doing 20 minutes of posing in a mirror after training helps to further strengthen this “mind muscle” control.

The better this control the better your technique and focus on the muscle exercised and the result will be a full and balanced development of the muscle.

 

Look at those guys that have this wow factor. Look at how they train. You will see that their positive and negative speed and form is with absolute control and full range of motion.

Sure genetics always play a role.

But no matter how bad your genetics, training in the correct way will develop that muscle in a balanced way and you WILL LOOK GOOD!

conc_bicep_curl_0

 

Stop plundering ahead and start training wise.

Wish you success!

 

gert3


Injuries will be one of the main obstacles for anyone in serious training, especially for the over 40 crowd. Even the youth don’t escape it, but us more mature subjects has less flexibility in our muscles and tendons. This result in injuries.

For a 20-year-old one month from training does little harm. For a 45-year-old it is a severe setback (due to the lower testosterone and growth hormone levels).

So the older you are the wiser you need to train!

gert1

I am going to focus here on just the most common injuries:

  • Tennis and Golfers elbow.
  • Muscle tear prevention.
  • What to do when a muscle is torn?

Tennis and Golfers elbow

Tennis-and-Golfers-Elbow

Tennis elbow is the tearing or damage of the tendon on the outside of the elbow and golfers elbow the damage on the inside of the elbow. Both hurts like hell and can derail your training completely.

If you already have the condition, step number one is to go to the doctor and get and injection to get the inflammation under control. That should be followed up by about 10 days of anti-inflamatories to keep the inflammation down and allow for healing.

You should be able to keep training but the following training guidance is critical.

Train correct to allow healing or prevention of Tennis/Golfers elbow.

How to prevent Tennis/Golfers elbow?

For guys (and girls) who lift…there is a simple rule to prevent both those conditions: Keep your wrist straight. Your hand must ALWAYS be completely straight and aligned with your forearm. This should be during the WHOLE movement. NEVER bent your wrist up or down while lifting or carrying weights. That focus the tension on the inside or outside tendon (depending on which way the wrist is bent, bent upwards = outside tendon, bent downwards = inside tendon) and result in the tear or damage.

Concentrate on this during your whole workout. Never ever bend your wrist while lifting weights or train on machines or even while holding weights. Keep the hand and forearm always a perfect straight line. That place equal pressure and stress on both the front and back tendons and lower the change for damage.

images

Muscle tears

Just about 99.99% of muscle tears (shoulder, bicep, leg) is a result of failure to warm up the muscle sufficiently.

What to do to prevent a muscle tear?

  • Make sure you do proper warming up. Basically that means get the blood flowing and just start to break a sweat. (It takes me 7 – 10 minutes). That could be treadmill or similar cardio exercise.
  • Before you jump into lifting heavy you need to do at least 40 reps with a light weight to make sure the target muscle is well warmed up.
  • Now you should be ready to start lifting heavy, but I always make sure my first set is just 50% of my max weight. My 2nd set is at full force.

Another point of note here: I believe stretching the target muscle after each set keeps your muscle and to a lesser extend the tendons flexible. Many fitness people don’t support the stretching benefits (some research has been done which actually support some aspects of their thinking.) However, I believe in the stretching even if it just to help the muscle relax after the intense contractions. Choose for yourself but stretching has only helped me in my training.

I am speculating and say that that stretching might even influence the muscles eventual shape. Intense lifting make the muscle tense up. Stretching help it relaxes and does the opposite than the intense contraction. I believe it does play a part in the aesthetics of the muscle even if a small part.

What to do when a muscle is torn?

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Do not run off to your physio!

Go straight to a sports medical doctor.

He will most probably send you for a scan to confirm the suspicion. If that suspicion is confirmed a small operation need to be done to attach the muscle again.

It is CRITICAL that the muscle is attached as soon as possible. If you want to fix this 2 months or so down the line…sorry but that muscle cannot be attached anymore.

IMMEDIATELY get to your doctor and make sure no muscle was torn.

If a muscle is only partly torn then no operation is needed and with some treatment (injections + anti inflamatories + physio) the situation can be remedied. But if the muscle is completely torn, YOU HAVE TO GET OPERATED and quick!

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Steroids and muscle tears

To the steroid crowd, you need to be very carefull of tearing muscles and tendons. Some anabolic steroids will make the muscle stronger and more powerfull instantly but the tendons stay weak. It means you can more easily get injured. Even if you have the power, be carefull to lift too fast too quickly because the tendons needs time to grow and get strong before you can jump too much in weight size lifted.

 

Diet effects on tendons and muscle tears – Make sure you get a good amount of omega 3, 6 & 9 in. This has been shown to help keep joint and tendons healthy.

 

LEARN FROM MY INJURY: The bicep has two muscles – upper and lower. Four months ago I’ve torn my left arms lower bicep muscle. I thought it was just a small tear and went to the physio instead of the doctor. Not a good move. Today my doctor told me that he thinks my bottom muscle has been completely torn off and that he cannot attach it because it must be attached very soon after the tear occurred. So my left bicep will only function with one muscle and theoretically be 50% weaker.  NEW UPDATE 7 Feb 2013 – Just went for proper scans of the bicep and it showed that the lower bicep muscle is intact, slightly deformed due to the tear but intact. The problem is rather the tendon of the bicep which is partly torn as a result of lifting too heavy while the bicep tear was not healed properly…so nothing that some injections + anti-inflamatories + wise training won’t remedy…praise God!

 

Be wise…train wise…and grow!

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Before and after training – what to eat?

The period before training and for the first two hours after training is critical to stimulate, protect and feed the muscles for ideal growth.

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Now, I can already hear many women (and guys) crying out and say but I am only walking, jogging, cycling or doing cardio, I don’t need to eat for growth!

My answer is (and I mean this in the nicest possible way): you are only fooling yourself!

No matter what sport or exercise you do, be it jogging or be it weight lifting, one of your main goals is to look better. How do you think that is going to happen…just by loosing fat?

I am going to disappoint you here and say that the chances are very good if you only lose the fat and not grow and tighten up the muscles you might even look worse after you have lost the fat than before.

If you want to look better in the mirror that flabby small muscles need to grow and tighten up. Toning means growing no matter who tells you otherwise.

Those muscles underneath that fat has been unused for a loooong time and any muscle not being used get smaller and smaller every year and lose form. That “small” muscle is NOT going to look good when the round fat layer is gone. For many people the fat layer actually give an aesthetically pleasing roundness to the body that make it look much better with the fat than without it.

So, anyone telling me that they only want to lose fat not built muscles, I just smile because they do not know what they are talking about.

Not matter what exercise you do, you need to build up the muscles and feed them correctly to respond best. You want to train as little as possible and feed the muscles perfectly to respond the best they can.

Feeding the muscles and body for exercise is nearly exactly the same irrespect if you’re a bodybuilder or jogger.

I do admit, for those pushing the limits there will be slight changes to accommodate their specific sport requirements. But for 90% of us average people there will be almost no difference.

 

I have done my personal research for the past 8 years and had many trials and errors and devised my pre and post workout eating requirement to be very effective. This same basic structure can be used by men and women alike, especially initially. As time progress and you educate yourself, you can make small alterations to suite you better. BUT ALWAYS small steps, one change at a time and VERIFY that it works before you move on the next change.

 

PRE-WORKOUT

You need to prepare your body for the training. 30 to 45 minutes before training you take the following:

  • BCAA‘s 8g (Branched Chain Amino Acids – take the pill form, they taste very bad in powder form.)
  • Pre workout shake: containing caffeine. You can also take caffeine pills. I am using Shotgun by VPX. But there are MANY other brands and all contain roughly the same basic pre workout muscle feeding mix.

The BCAA’s is the most critical part of the pre workout feeding. It is a specific group of Amino Acids that protects the muscles from being broken down while training for energy. The last thing you want to do while training is loosing the muscle. Protect it!

The pre-workout shake gives you and energy boost and also a muscle volumizing effect. Many cardio only trainers may prefer to skip the pre-workout shake but for cross-trainers, swimmers, gymnasts or anyone doing any form of resistance training, this becomes increasingly important to give you energy to do your routine.

 

During training water is of critical important. Carry your water bottle with you throughout and sip often. I easily drink up to 2L during a 50 minute training session and do not visit the toilet once because I sweat it all out.

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IMMEDIATELY after training:

This is a critical time to feed the muscles as soon as possible.

  • Your muscle requires two things urgently: quick absorption fat-less protein and quick energy.
  • The ONLY protein you should consider is whey (preferably whey isolate). It is clean and is absorbed very quickly by your system to feed the muscles. (Some people use also BCAA’s 8g after training instead of the whey protein although you will find most people use the whey.)
  • No protein contain fat, no matter how small will suffice. No casein type protein will suffice because the get absorbed too slow by your body. I use one scoop of 50g in 500ml of water. For those who do cardio only, I would suggest not more than 25g in 500ml water. I do intense weight training.
  • The best quick energy source is something like a banana (or maybe apple – but apple bloat me). A banana’s energy is released very quickly to replenish your muscle energy to normal levels.
  • The whey protein and banana covers nearly everything your body needs for directly after training.
  • I prefer to also use a combination of strong vitamins and anti-oxidants after training. (I use: alpha lipoic acid, Saw Palmetto, Potent Multi-Vitamin, Co-Enzyme Q10, Potent slow release vit C and Ecklonia Cava Extract.)

During training your body is put under strain and your muscles underwent exercise induced damage which needs to be repaired. vitamins and anti-oxidants create the environment for your body to effectively repair these “damaged” muscles, tendons, etc…

I’ve done it for years and had great success by following this routine of pre and post workout feeding.

 

Another important point: You should consume another small meal within the next 2 hours after training containing whey protein and small fruit/veggies. These 2 hours is golden growth period for your muscles and is probably the most important two hours of the day for growth.

This is especially important for people who take part in resistance training type of sports. It is of less important for cardio orientated sports.

 

Point of Note: Recent research are pointing to the possibility that taking anti-oxidants before or after training might actually slow down the fat burning environment resulting from training. This is all due to IL-6 which increase in the post exercise window where it enhances insulin action and fat burning. Taking the anti-oxindants (especially Vit C and E) stop the releasing of IL-6 and thus slowing down the post exercise fat-loss environment.

My take on IL-6 and anti-oxidants? Well I am not in a position to dispute research but I am not yet convinced and will wait for further developments before I drop my post exercise antioxidants. I’ve used potent post exercise antioxidants for years and had great results in health and fat-loss. The other side of the coin is that if I did not took my post exercise anti-oxidants I might have even greater fat-loss success. Choose for yourself but watch this space, I will definitely report more on this in future again, meanwhile I will continue using my anti-oxidants after training…it just seem to make sense.

 

Wish you all MUCH success and happy training!

Gert Louw

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What! Get off my butt and train?


What! Get off my butt and train?

It is the beginning of a new year…into the 3rd week already and many people are already failing on grand new years resolutions made.

I boldly make this statement: “There is no bigger gift you can give yourself than by making a serious lifestyle change.”

But I have to give up watching tv, sitting on the couch and eat my favorite crisps, drinking with the guys, partying, eating my favorite pudding everyday…and I am waaay to fat and old to start with such stuff…that is only for the youngsters, in any case I don’t really want to look muscly!

Let’s take a tour…

This is me when I “followed” the typical above lifestyle.

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Now this is me after making a serious lifestyle change. (granted a few years later…)

 

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I am 48 now…and I look and feel the best in my whole life…and also very healthy.

If I did not make this change…imagine how bad I would have look now…

 

My goal with this post is to help some of you realize your dream of a total new you are very close and very much possible.

 

First, let’s get down to the basics.

 

What benefits does such a lifestyle change have (to name just a few):

1)       Better self image.

2)       Better self control

3)       Learning to eat healthy.

4)       Lower cholesterol

5)       Significant lower blood pressure.

6)       Sharper brain function.

7)       More energy.

8)       Stronger bone structure.

9)       Healthier heart, kidneys and liver – longer lifespan.

10)    Younger looking skin.

11)    Better sexual ability

12)    People start noticing and envy you.

13)    Dramatic decreased change of getting diabetes or similar conditions.

14)    New lust for life.

…alas for the bald heads…the hair does not grow back no matter how big a lifestyle change you make. Some things are just inevitable. Accept it, it makes life easier.

 

What do I have to give up:

1)       Smoking!

2)       Regular drinking (The odd – one or two glasses a wine per week is fine).

3)       Late nights

4)       Fast Food

5)       About 90 minutes per day (be that early morning, over lunch or evening)

 

What is it gonna cost me:

1)       Basic exercise clothing.

2)       Gym bag, towel, etc…

3)       Gym membership (I am on Discovery Vitality so it cost me R80 ($8) per month.

 

Now, look again at those 2 pictures. This is real and there are MANY other cases where people made similar changes, maybe even better!

Your biggest hurdle you will face is to break out of your comfort zone. You have trained yourself very well to be entrenched in that zone and that zone is mighty nice…but that is what is gonna be your biggest thing to overcome.

First week is fine…but then the mind and body start realizing it is not in its comfort zone anymore and the cravings start to get back into that comfort zone again.

 

You will have to decide if you are going to be a slave to this mind controlling mechanism your whole life or not. You have the power to overcome…believe me u have. But no-one is going to grab it on your behalf – YOU MUST!

 

Be the BEST you can be…rise above the rest…make yourself proud in yourself…make yourself someone u like inside and out when you look in that mirror. Make your wife and kids proud of you.

 

How can I stick to this new mindset?

1)       First you must focus your mind and entrench the new you in your mind. Visualize yourself and where you want to be. Visualize yourself training and eating right. Get yourself determined…no-one and nothing must be able to sway that determination.

2)       Take small steps!!! Climbing a ladder step by step and you will get to the top, leap and you will most probably fall very hard! So control that eagerness with wisdom.

 

How do I take these small manageable steps?

That must be done on three levels: training, diet and addressing your spirituality.

 

Training: You cannot start training from the first day like a guy who has been doing it regularly for the past 5 years. For example: You cannot use my program at my level and think it is going to work for you. It is a far to great a leap, you will burn and fall and loose that determination.

You will have to break such a plan down into very small manageable portions. If you are very unfit you must spend something like 10 min at gym for 4 days (2 days on one day off and 2 days on again) in the first week. Week two you make it 15 minutes. Week three 20 minutes.

The 3rd week is usually a week that the body start realizing something is going on, so for the 4th week keep it at 20 minutes for 4 days per week. Then the 5th week up it to 25 minutes, and so on until you reach a 50 minute workout. Be in touch with your body…if you feel the pace is to quick keep the time pinned down for 2 weeks at a time instead of increasing it.

Just make sure you get a overall body workout during each session: legs, upper body (arms, shoulders, back, abs) as well as a little cardio (treadmill, etc…) When you reached the 50 minute mark, start doing some good homework as to the type of programs (mine might be a good starting point) out there and how to start splitting the days up between the different muscle groups. Then you can start moving to the next level. By then your body and mind would have broken the comfort zone mold and you are well on your way.

 

Diet is and always will be your most important part of any lifestyle change. You cannot get muscle to grow if you do not feed them correctly.

With a diet you can make bigger leaps that the small steps required for training. However, rather take a step by step approach to get to your desired eating plan. A too big change might just through the whole body off balance and give you serious headaches, constipation, low energy, etc…

Introduce weekly a change in the diet to get to your target diet within a maximum of 2 month period.

When you reached that target diet, you can start focusing on the finer detail, like supplements, etc…

This is a lifestyle change so this will be how you will eat from now on…you can still cheat, but ONCE a week.

 

Spirituality – Make this the opportunity to become a better person inside and out. It is well know that I am a follower of Christ. You have to choose your own path. But get your life sorted in the face of God. Get Him part of everything you do. Cut out the wrong things from your life. It is one hell (excuse the pun!) of a feeling when you can look in that mirror and you like the person you see…inside and out.

I do believe this should be a critical part in your transformation process. I’ve been there and changing this aspect makes it soooo much easier!

 

What! You say you don’t want too look too “muscly”! Really?

Look at my after pic and truly tell me you think I look worse than my before picture. Here I am quite direct…I believe a man was created to be a muscled creature…leave the nice flowing shapes to the women. We are supposed to be strong, muscled creatures to lead and protect our families. Feel free to differ from me…

 

I am but one of MANY other guys who made such a transformation. I did it by a choice I made and I followed a certain process to get to the goal. I am still on my way, but never ever do I want to turn back again. Life is too precious to WASTE!

 

Here is a short video I did on some key aspects of growing muscle fast:

 

 

Contact me anytime if you need some encouragement or pointers –

ScoobyMuscle (Gert Louw)

 

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