Posts Tagged ‘fat loss’

Weight training in a fitness center

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The following plan is one I concocted for a friend of mine who recently underwent a shoulder cartilage injury (Torn labrum). This is just a sample of what I am capable of now. (Haha, tooting my own horn, I know). But this plan also suits any individual, particularly older individuals and athletes, whose shoulers are of particular concern and desires a full body plan sans heavy shoulder work (As the shoulder joint-ball and socket- possesses such a high range of motion that injury is more likely compared to other joint types such as the knee or wrist). Here it is and any commentary is surely welcome. Thanks for reading!

Sample Plan

Alejandro Lopez, CSCS

1. Needs Analysis:

  • No Sport/General Fitness
  • Recovery from torn labrum (heavy shoulder movement counter indicated until further notice)
  • Rebound after deconditioning

2. Exercise Selection

  • Chest –Cable fly, Light dumbbell fly, Pec Dec, Decline Dumbbell Press & Floor Press (If indicated).

*Stay away from barbell exercises as range of motion is limited and may cause further injury.

*Focus on full range of motion and slow-controlled movement

*Never jerk weight up quickly nor drop weight down quickly

*Do not extend arm behind body, in other words stop weight a few inches above chest

  • Back– Light dumbbell single arm row, Machine cable row (wide grip and narrow grip to hit rhomboid, lats, and entire shoulder girdle), Medium grip lat pulldown (cable)
  • Legs– If squats are off limits for you (which I recommend until you heal and recover strength) focus on these exercises: Leg Press, Hack Squat (the machine where you stand diagonally and you squat to push pads on your shoulders up), Alternating Leg Lunge, and isolation exercises like leg curl for hamstrings and leg extension for quads.

*This is where you should go hard since nothing is off-limits as far as injury is concerned

  • ShouldersDo not perform isolation of shoulders
  • ArmsDo not perform any arm exercises over the head. Focus on alternating
    • Dumbbell curls through full range of motion (ROM) and isolation curls for biceps
    • Tricep pressdown [reverse (supinated, palms facing up) and normal grip (pronated-palms facing down) and Lying tricep dumbbell extension for triceps

3. Exercise Order

  • Always perform big, compound movements before isolation, but remember to keep your shoulder in mind, if big compound movements are causing pain, stop and move on to isolation.
  • Perform bigger muscle group exercises like legs before smaller muscle groups like chest or back.
  • Example: When performing chest exercises, Perform Dumbbell Decline or Floor Presses before Fly exercises
    • The compound workouts elicit greater release of hormones: testosterone, IGF-1, Growth Hormone, etc.

      4. Rep/Load Scheme

  • Typically, perform 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps for each exercise. I would usually recommend going lower reps for higher poundage like 6-12 reps at 67-85% your 1 Rep Max) but you need to rebound from your injury and improve you muscular endurance since you have been out of the game for a while lol.
  1. Frequency
  • I recommend engaging in a full body workout three times per week for the following reasons:

    i.      You should not overload a muscle group too much after a period of detraining and injury, so working it slightly three times a week allows for muscle gain at a slow, steady, sore-free pace.                                                     

  ii.      The more muscle groups you stress at a given workout, the more hormones will be released to promote hypertrophy (muscle gain) and strength gains.

  1. Rest Periods
  • The less you rest between sets the more Growth Hormone is released and the greater calories burned; therefore, until further notice, I recommend utilizing a 30 sec-1 min. rest in between every set and 2-3 min rest between each workout.

   7.  Sample Workout

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Legs:  Leg Press3 sets of 15 repsRest 2 min b/w sets Rest or HIIT cardio 1-2 min high intensity spinning or running and 1-2 min of rest and continue-cycle for 15-20 min  Legs: Hack Squat3 sets of 12 repsRest 2 min b/w sets Rest or HIIT cardio 1-2 min high intensity spinning or running and 1-2 min of rest and continue-cycle for 15-20 min  Legs: Alternating Leg Lunge3 sets of 20 repsRest 1 min b/w sets Rest or HIIT cardio 1-2 min high intensity spinning or running and 1-2 min or rest and continue-cycle for 15-20 min  Full Rest,NoWorkOut
Back: One arm dumbbell row4 sets of 12 repsRest 1 min b/w sets   Back:Lat pulldown superset with cable row3 sets of 10 repsRest 2 min b/w sets   Back: One arm dumbbell row2 sets of 20 repsRest 1 min b/w reps    
Chest: Floor Press4 sets of 12 repsRest 1 min between sets(regular dumbbell chest press but on floor not bench)   Chest: Cable Fly superset with Cable Press3 sets of 10 repsRest 2 min b/w sets   Chest : Light Dumbbell Fly on incline bench2 sets of 20 repsRest 1 min b/w sets    
Biceps: Alternating Bicep curl3 sets of 12 repsRest 30 sec b/w sets   Biceps:Concentration Curl2 sets of 20 repsRest 30 sec b/w reps    Biceps: close grip cable curl3 sets of 10 repsRest 30 sec b/w sets    
Triceps: Tricep Pressdown3 sets of 12 repsRest 30 sec b/w sets   Triceps: Reverse- grip Tricep Pressdown2 sets of 20 repsRest 30 sec b/w reps   Triceps: Touching dumbbell floor press(floor press but make dumbbells touch whole time)3 sets of ten repsRest 30 sec b/w reps    


Go Green! No, I am not advocating being carbon- neutral, I am requesting, nay, urging that you give green tea extract a whirl if you want to lose an extra pound or two of unsightly fat. Though drinking the actual tea has its many benefits, you would have to consume dozens of cups a day to reach the fat burning dosage you could easily find in a few pills a day. Just make sure that when choosing the perfect pill,they contain a proven amount of EGCG, a polyphenol that is the prime mover of those stubborn fat cells in your body.

Also, caffeine and EGCG work very well synergistically to combat fat throughout the day, so take both throughout the day with meals for a killer combo.

Note: It is vital that you take the appropriate dosage of each for your given bodyweight, no more and no less, to achieve the perfect combination of safety and results.

The New and the Old

Posted: September 5, 2012 in Health
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The fitness world is ever-changing. Theories are born, die, and are reborn into another skin. What was cutting edge dogma a year ago may be old news today. What was once a  detriment to health is now a beacon of long life and fitness. The reason I am writing this is to bring up a point I wished I had learned a long whole ago.

The point is this. What you are informed of today be it by a fledgling personal trainer or a seasoned, fitness veteran may be completely false but upheld by longstanding beliefs that are just as misleading and incorrect. I mention this never to discourage but to inform and there is a lesson.

My lesson to you should you choose to listen is to question everything that you are told, do in depth research into the science and rationale behind the many theories, and if the theory stands up to your rigorous tests; test it thoroughly on yourself. Try different approaches and always, always seek to improve. Because in the end, the hope to improve and better ourselves is one of the few things we will always hold on to. This rings true not only for  health and fitness but also in everything that we do.

So kick your training and diet in gear and always seek to try new things. because when you find your niche, your OWN method of being and doing; you will look and feel better than you have ever felt or imagined in your life. God speed!

Eat your eggs! On top of being versatile and delicious, the egg is packed with a great protein profile meaning it has a fantastic assortment and abundance of amino acids to feed your starved, morning muscles. But what you may not know is that most of the egg’s valuable nutrients are located in the yolk, so eat the whole darn thing and never look back. Happy Egging!

P.S. Just don’t go crazy on them, they do contain a moderate amount of saturated fat (Not always the bad guy). Two or three in the morning is just fine.

Instead of steady-state, regular ol’ cardio try HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. It is basically a cycle session composed of a sprint for about thirty seconds to a minute followed by 30 seconds of very low intensity cardio for a total of 10-20min. This can be accomplished by running, cycling, or any other  form of cardiovascular exercise. Studies have shown that, as a whole, HIIT burns more calories and tends to build muscle faster than normal cardio. So HIIT it up!


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Ya Snooze, Ya win! Sleep is your best friend for any occasion, be it fat loss, muscle-gain, or sports training, So get your rest in every night, at least 7 hours, and, if you can, separate resistance training sessions by a day. Also, if you have been on a steady exercise plan for over two months it may be time to take a week off and let those hard-working muscles take a breather. You will likely come back harder and stronger and your muscles will be glad you did.

Change is good! Vary your fitness and diet routine regularly. Nothing is worse for progress than stagnation so always improve and never stall. Increase weight, change repetition and set range, try HIIT cardio (look it up!), and vary your dieting patterns (carb, protein, and fat intake and timing). See what works best and do it!

Get Fishy with it! Try hard to consume your fish oil every day for overall health, fitness, and even weight loss! Make sure that the soft-gels you purchase contain a hefty amount of EPA/DHA as these are the omega-3 fatty acids that produce the benefit.


It is important when engaging in resistance training to truly feel and control the weight in its negative or eccentric portion (when weight is relaxed or coming down) because this is where the micro tears that cause muscle to grow actually occur. So remember to take your time and never let the weight just fall!

Today I would like to bring you a review for a supplement that I have been using just about every day for about two months now with pretty great results. The supplement is known as Xtend by Scivation and, no, it is not a sexual enhancement medication. It is a sugarless, branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) concoction meant to be consumed during your workout, also known as an intra-workout supplement. The value of this product lies in its ability to deliver those miniscule building-blocks of protein(amino acids) quickly to your muscles to create a positive nitrogen balance (meaning that you are anabolic vs. catabolic) Because the proteins have been broken down even further than good ol’ whey protein, the amino acids are shuttled to tired and working muscles even faster. It is great tasting and sparse on caloric content so it is perfect for during your workout to constantly feed those muscles and keep you jumping and pumping. Additionally, you get a nice assortment of electrolytes and citrulline malate to further enhance your power output.  Here’s what’s in the powder:

*For more information on what each individual ingredient powers visit:

**I have provided the link so the actual manufacturer can supply you with all the info you need on each of the individual ingredients.  Knowing what you put in your body is vital and you should always do your research before you consume anything fitness supplement related. I am also in no way, shape, or form affiliated with Scivation and all images, logos, product names used on this web site are trademarks of the owners.

The blend of BCAA’s in the product is optimal and scientifically verified so you know what you are getting is not under-dosed or over-hyped. Scivation provides everything you need to know right on the label and, most importantly, does not utilize a “proprietary blend” that many other companies implement. You know exactly what you are taking-in, no more no less.

But that’s enough build-up (and I highly recommend you view the company site), time for the nitty and the gritty. As I mentioned, I began using the product about  two months ago to fairly positive results. The taste is great and the mixibility is top-notch so getting it into your system is hardly an effort, but actually quite enjoyable. The flavors range from a slightly tart watermelon to an invigoratingly sour lemon-lime and should tantalize even the most discerning taste buds. So now that we have the most practical out of the way let’s move on to the most vital–benefit to you.

As with most nutritional supplements of the kind, a build-up period usually needs to pass before any real noticeable benefit can be noted and expounded upon. This supplement is no different. After the first couple of weeks of use during my workouts primarily which ranged from 3-4 times per week, I began to notice that I could last longer while in the gym. I took notice when I didn’t have the supplement on hand one day and was forced to lift unaided. I tired far quicker this time and was forced to cut the workout short. It is no miracle supplement (as none are) but the fact that I could workout longer in itself proves the quality of the powder, at least for me.

Another benefit that is by far of the most import to my current goal of cutting, or shedding the fat pounds,  is the supplement’s uncanny ability to help maintain the muscle I have worked so hard for while costing me a meager 5 or so calories per scoop. So basically, we have a tool here that allows men and women to primarily lose fat while on a reduced calorie diet, by sparing our calorie-burning muscle and only costing us a few, measly calories. This is accomplished when the amino-acids flood the bloodstream and either enter tired muscles for early recovery or are used by the body for energy instead of having to eat up our current muscle. It truly is a god-send for those of us with a bit of  flabby, baggage under the skin.

Another possible use for the supplement is to sip on the mixture throughout one’s day as an anti-catabolic agent (meaning it keeps your body from burning muscle). This is especially beneficial for those on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Xtend has helped me maintain more of my muscle during this cut than any other before. By utilizing the product intra-workout and throughout the day on my non-workout days when I would cut carbs significantly, I have never been more satisfied with my progress and have been able to shed mainly fat.

Let me be clear though, and I am sure this statement is a rehash you have heard a thousand times for good measure. This product should not replace solid whole foods and will never replace a healthy diet plan and good fitness habits. It is just another weapon in your Fit Arsenal to maximize the hard work you put in.

The value, what you get versus what you pay, is fair and the effects are fantastic. This is by no means a supplement you “need” but one that you should endeavor to use if you seek the best. Post any questions you may have concerning Xtend or any supplement. Thanks for reading!

***note: there is a debate as to how many calories each serving contains, some state around five; others think even less or none at all. Either way, in my opinion, the amount is so minute that you shouldn’t worry.