Tag Archives: Growth hormone

How To Crush 2017

“There is no other road to to genius than voluntary self effort”

– Michael Gerber

I’ve heard it all. The same ol’ story that leaves us with the same ol’ results. All valid mind you, your daughter absolutely needed to get to her music lesson, your wife or husband was actually sick and left you with all the house choirs, that email you’ve been waiting for actually did come in just as you were walking out of the door.

Basically, life happens and will continue to happen. The choice we all have is whether life is happening with us or to us. You may not like to hear that, but it isn’t just coincidence that some of the most powerful and busy people in the world like Barak Obama, Tony Robins and Steve Aoki prioritize exercise into their daily routine.

I believe that their ability to achieve greatness and most importantly sustain it is in large part due to their adherence to health and fitness. So, how do we, the average person find time to make health and fitness a priority in our life? I believe the real question is about energy; what produces it and how we can cultivate it?

First of all, the ego craves the status quo, and if left unchecked will continue to make self limiting, fear based choices that suck the energy right out of us. Until the ego is checked and under control, we will jump from excuse to excuse as to why someone is able to achieve physical, financial and spiritual success but not us. Trapping ourselves right where we are.

It’s the story that we tell ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of that creates the self limited belief system that forms the basis of our decision making. Even when we know we need to change, that we hate our current circumstance and want to be better most of us just won’t make a move because no matter how terrible it is, its what we know, and that’s comfortable. When opportunity presents itself we suddenly catch a bad case of performance paralysis and stand blinking like deer in headlights unable to take a chance.

Change is hard. Trust me I know, but it also happens to be the only constant in life. So, if we’re to succeed at anything we must become pros at spotting when its time to make a move and take action.

We get stuck in our thinking that we can’t be more because that would involve doing more, and who has time for that? How am I supposed to carve out an hour a day for exercise when I barely have time to do all the other things in my life? Fair question, and if you can honestly say you spend zero time on social media, binge watching television or other idle/ low value activities then touché, you got me there. However, we both know thats probably not true.

The American dream has created a culture that idolizes hard work, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and burning the midnight oil. Its not surprising then that few of us want to admit that we spend on average 20-50% of our day on mindless entertainment. Nobody is saying you shouldn’t enjoy a good television episode after a long day. Hell, that’s one of the pleasures of life, but that episode, cheat meal, glass of wine or any other indulgence will be ten times more enjoyable when you’ve taken care of your health and well-being first.

So often I’ve hid from doing what was necessary in order to become the man I knew I could be. I had no other reason than simply believing the story I was telling myself that I couldn’t pile anything else on to my already busy schedule. Only after taking action did I find that in fact choosing to do more was the very thing that expanded my capacity to be more. This is one of life’s paradoxes and this realization only comes after I got out of my own way and drop the self limiting beliefs that plague so many of us. Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but life meets you at action.

Once we commit to being more, huge obstacles suddenly fall seamlessly into place and clear our path to greatness. It seems counter intuitive but structure and commitment is what sets us free. Conversely, avoiding structure and avoiding commitment keeps us trapped in the throws of life unable to break through.

When we prepare our meals in advance we no longer waste our time and energy hungry and scrambling last minute for food. When we create a schedule for ourselves and time block what matters most to us we no longer mindlessly engage in low value activities. This creates the freedom to flourish personally and professionally. Things like exercise become non-negotiable. If you continue to let life happen to you then your inner dialogue will always be correct; you don’t have time, money, energy etc.. Basically, you can not be the person you know you should be because you’re still doing the same things that keep you the person you are.

As Lau Tzu said “When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.”

Spending your day visualizing health, happiness and abundance for all, doesn’t mean shit unless you take that first step. There’s nothing magical about it really. It’s pure logic. Whether you’re an athlete or a couch potato the journey to greatness only varies by scale. There is always the next level, the next step and it’s up to us to not succumb to complacency and fall into the never ending rat-race where the average person spends a lifetime woking 60 hours a week so they can impress coworkers and neighbors with their car, house, wardrobe etc… Even if it means they gain weight rapidly due to lack of sleep, high cortisol levels from stress, too many stimulants and unhealthy foods that just turn into a means of satisfying hunger rather than nourish their body.

100,000 years ago if you were lucky enough to be born bigger, curvy,  stronger or well endowed you had a good chance of procreating and passing along your genes to the next generation. It was survival of the fittest in it’s most raw form. Now a days things are a little different. Its no longer simply physical prowess that determines your future lineage, its mental. And the part that is physical only applies to our overall state of health and well-being with the slight chance that we’ll ever need to use our physicality in a survival situation. So, if its all about health then why bother achieving the upper echelons of performance? Because of the simple truth that it’s always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have.

There’s arguably no bigger turn off than a macho douchebag picking fights with smaller guys and therefor nothing more satisfying than that smaller guy surprising everyone with his strength and ability to defend himself. Just as with keeping our minds engaged with books, blogs and seminars so too should we adopt a general physical preparedness program to our routine that keep us ready for life’s unknowns.

Now get out there and crush it.


3 Guaranteed Tips to Lose 10 Pounds In a Month

1. Don’t eat a single carb after 4pm.

A 2016 study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine titled “Enhanced Endurance Performance by Periodization of Carbohydrate Intake: “Sleep Low” Strategy.” Found that athletes actually increased their performance  by stopping their carbohydrate consumption after 4pm and “sleeping low”.

They did this by splitting 20 athletes into two groups. Both groups ate the same amount of carbohydrates and trained the same way. The only difference is one group consumed their carbohydrates earlier in the day, while the other group consumed them evenly throughout the day. At the end of 3 weeks the group that consumed all their carbs before 4pm and “slept low” saw a significant increase in maximal and sub maximal performance, and a decrease in total fat mass, but not a decrease in lean muscle mass.

To me, this study says everything I need to know about carb cycling. By going carb free for 16 hours from 4pm to 8am, it allows the body to release GH and mobilized fat storage. Both of which are inhibited when blood-glucose levels are high.                                                             Even if no other dietary adjustment is made, simply ending carb consumption earlier in the day could have a significant impact on your health and appearance.

2.  Eat Fewer Carbs On Non-Training Days

Body builders have know this trick for a while. To stay lean yet not lose any muscle, carb cycling is the optimal solution. Science is now backing it up saying not only is it an effective way to look great, but has quantifiable health and performance benefits as well. Carbs should be looked at as a tool to increase performance and recovery. Not the size of our mid section. Lets clarify what I mean by that and how you can effectively harness the power of carbohydrates without accumulating any unwanted body fat.

Think of the amount of energy stored in your muscles, know as glycogen, as a bucket of water. When we train hard and exert energy the levels in the bucket drop. When we rest and consume carbohydrates the levels fill up again. So the idea of cycling your carbohydrate intake really boils down to only consuming them during periods of high exertion.

For example, today is a training day for me, so I’ll eat an extra 40 grams of carbs a couple hours before my workout, and another 40 grams immediately after. This only refills my bucket so to speak without spilling over into fat storage. If on a non-training day I roughly consume around 100 grams of carbs, on training days I will consume 180 grams. 40 before the workout and 40 after.

3. High Intensity Interval Training Is Superior to Endurance.

– Intensity Over Duration.

In a 2008 training study by Burgomaster et al at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, subjects were divided into two groups of 5 men and 5 women per group.                                                               For 6 weeks one group performed 4-6 repeats of 30 second all out sprints on a stationary bike followed by 4.5 minutes of rest 3 times per week. The other group performed 40-60 minutes of cycling at 65% of their V02 Max 5 days per week.

At the end of the study both groups experienced similar metabolic adaptations responsible for effective breakdown of carbohydrates and fats along with an improved V02 Max, but the striking difference between these two groups is the amount of time actually spent training. The 40-60 minute endurance group spent approximately 4.5 hours per week cycling in order to see the same results the sprinting group achieved with only 1.5 hours per week of cycling.

Using the same model you could replace cycling with any movement and achieve greater metabolic adaptations than with endurance training alone. In addition to improved cardiovascular health, HIIT enables you build muscle and improve athleticism.

If you don’t see results please email me for a full refund 😉

Justin Schollard

Machines Vs. Free Weights

l-1Machines are built with the “average” person in mind and although offer some interesting options for movement diversity, if used exclusively will stunt your development as an athlete. A one size fits all approach will never deliver maximum results and you will never know your true strength levels because the blocks of weight you stick a pin into do not accurately reflect that of its free weight counter part. To me, there’s just something artificial about exercise machines. I recently mentioned to a friend of mine how one day I would love to have a squat rack in my house and his reply was “That would take up so much space. Why don’t you just put a boflex in a room or something?” I would imaging the feeling I have towards putting a boflex in my house is much like what a drummer feels when a friend suggests they just play on a drum machine instead of a full kit. Yeah, its compact, you technically can play it and its arguably better than noting, but the reason so few true drummers can live with this over a real studio drum kit can be summed up on a bumper sticker; “drum machines have no soul”. Well, neither do exercise machines in my opinion, but since its not as catchy I’ll just go with the drummer analogy.

Greater Hormonal Response 

The beauty of free weights is the fact that you, the athlete have to wield them into place and then perform the necessary action. Theres something raw and primal about this. Stepping into a cold steel squat rack and mounting the barbell atop your shoulders elicited a fight or flight instinct that exercise machines with their padded seats and safely handles simply do not. An April 2014 study conducted by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested this theory by taking 10 healthy men with experience in weight training and put them through a free weight work out and a machine workout to see which elicited a greater hormonal response. For the machine workout they chose the leg press and had each male perform 6 sets of 10 reps at 80% of their one rep max. A few days later they had the same group of men perform 6 sets of 10 reps at 80% of their one rep max with full depth barbell back squats (a tough workout mind you). During the time of both workouts the researchers placed a catheter on their arm to sample hormonal levels in the blood as it was happening. The results; 25% more testosterone present when performing squats over leg press. Not surprising really to anyone who’s ever put themselves through a squats workout like this. More surprising was the increase in growth hormone, up 200% on average during the squat workout over the leg press. When checked 30 minutes later the men still had 100% more growth hormone then they did from the leg press workout. These are remarkable findings that prove the power and efficiency of free weight compound lifts. This doesn’t necessarily mean the leg press is “bad”, but since most of us only have a 60 minute window 3-5 times per week to train effectiveness is of the utmost importance. As creatures of comfort it is in our nature to search out for the path of least resistance. However, when physical prowess is our objective comfort will only make cowards of us. At least in the world of exercise and fitness we need to get our feathers ruffled from time to time. The body is an amazingly perceptive machine and though it may seem inconsequential the safety locks, padded grips and smooth gliding pulleys puts the mind at ease and the body in a state of comfort and control which translates to an inhibited hormonal response. As this study proves, maximum physical adaptation comes to those willing to abandon the comforts of exercise machines and step into a squat rack prepared for a un-pleasurable experience.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Sprint Your Way to Maximum Benefits.

Hey Folks! Just wanted to share this great article from Experiencelife.com. A fantastic magazine. Probably one of the best I’ve come across. I figured this would make a great WORKOUT OF THE WEEK too. Hope you enjoy!

Speed Workouts X 3

A trio of efficient sprint workouts to help you build serious fitness, fast.

Speed x 3
Low-Impact OptionsBy  / 

Sprinting is literally the speediest way to get in better shape. “There is no more athletic or metabolically intensive activity a person could do than to sprint,” says Mike Young, PhD, CSCS, an elite USA Track & Field Level 3 coach and director of sports performance at Athletic Lab in Cary, N.C. “It burns fat, builds lean muscle and naturally increases human growth hormone.”

Present in our bodies throughout our lifetimes, our levels of human growth hormone (HGH) typically decline as we age. The hormone is important not only in helping us maintain a more youthful appearance, but also in improving bone density and immune system function. And these are just a few of the reasons that sprinting does your whole system good.

Postsprint, your system continues to burn fat at an increased rate for up to 48 hours. “Jogging is like lighting a small match. It’ll burn some fuel while it’s lit. Sprinting, on the other hand, is like setting a bonfire that will continue to burn all night long,” says Young.

In addition to burning more fat, sprinting helps develop stronger, leaner hips and legs. Sprinting will also improve your running economy, translating to improved distance work, Young explains: “When endurance athletes do a little sprinting, it increases their ability to run efficiently and they utilize less oxygen when training aerobically.”

Sprints don’t necessarily have to involve running, though. Bicyclists, swimmers and others also benefit from sprint work, because practicing any high-intensity movement grooves new patterns into your neuromuscular system.

The more you sprint, the better your body gets at figuring out which muscles to switch on and off, and when. As your body adapts, your nervous system gets more efficient at recruiting the right muscles and contracting them faster. Net result: improved power output, intermuscular coordination and efficiency in virtually any activity.

Ready to go? Turn the page for three sprint workouts designed by Young, who’s worked with sprinters Dallas Robinson and Dennis Boone, high jumper Joe Kindred, and baseball player Andres Torres. Two are best performed on a track or a field where you can measure off distances easily, and the third requires a long set of stairs. You can sprint one to three times a week, but build your speed and frequency gradually. If you’re just getting into shape, start by performing the warm-up on its own for a couple of weeks.

Dynamic Warm-Up

Before getting started, spend 10 minutes doing this dynamic warm-up, which will not only increase your core body temperature, but will also prepare you for the ballistic nature of sprinting.

100-meter skip

100-Meter Skip
Push off the ground and lift your knee, one leg at a time, just like you did as a kid on the playground.

600-meter jog

600-Meter Jog
Jog at a slow pace — you’ll have plenty of time to kick up the speed later.

50-meter alternating gallop

50-Meter Alternating Gallop
Like a kid riding a stick horse, lead with one foot for two galloping steps, then lead with the other, alternating sides for the duration.

50-meter pickup run

50-Meter Pickup Run
Run for three steps, then reach down and touch the ground, as if trying to pick something up. Repeat.

50-meter skip lunge
50-Meter Skip Lunge
Skip with your left leg, and then land and lunge with the right. Alternate sides.

50-meter shuffle step

50-Meter Shuffle Step
Without allowing your feet to touch or cross, shuffle 25 meters to the left and then 25 meters to the right.

50-meter backward jog

50-Meter Backward Jog
Simply jog backward (making sure you have a clear path behind you).

80-meter high-knee jog

80-Meter High-Knee Jog
Jog for 40 meters, lifting your knees as high as you can. Rest a moment, then repeat the movement for another 40 meters.

Workout No. 1: Walk-Balk Sprints

For those new to sprinting, this interval workout is a good place to start.

If you’re running on an outdoor track, remember that each straightaway is 100 meters long. If you’re on an indoor track, find out how many meters it is.

Walk-back sprints

1. Sprint 100 meters.

2. Walk back to where you started, and get ready to run again.

3. To kick your sprint speed up a notch, take a longer rest between sets — about a minute after you catch your breath.

4. Work your way up to 10 sprints (and in the meantime, stop when you feel you can’t take any more).

Workout No. 2: There-And-Backs

Mark out 10-, 20-, 30- and 40-meter intervals at your track with cones or pieces of tape. Exact distances aren’t important: A large step is approximately 1 meter, so simply take 10 large steps and mark the interval. Repeat this for the 20-, 30- and 40-meter intervals.


1. Start by sprinting out to the 10-meter mark, and then turn around and sprint back to the start.

2. Next, continue on to the 20-meter mark and back.

3. Then, sprint out to the 30-meter mark and back.

4. Finally, sprint to the 40-meter mark and back.

5. Rest for three minutes before repeating. Work your way up to four sets.

Workout No. 3: Stair Repeats

Walk up 20 to 25 steps of stairs (stadium steps, indoor and outdoor staircases all work fine), and set a marker at the top so you’ll know your turnaround point.

Stair repeats

1. Run up 20 to 25 stairs as quickly as you
safely can.

2. Walk back down the steps slowly for

3. Repeat. Work your way up to 12 sets.


Yael Grauer is a freelance writer and the managing editor of Performance Menu: Journal of Health and Athletic Excellence.

Sprinting is a high-impact activity, which can be jarring to the body. Injuries, joint problems or pregnancy might prompt you to seek out gentler alternatives that don’t involve a “flight phase” (that split second when both feet leave the ground, followed by a hard landing). You can also experiment with other ways to reduce impact:

  • Change the surface. If running on a track is too tough on your knees, find a park, grass field or patch of dirt. A softer surface will lower the impact a notch. Or, try running up a hill and walking back down.
  • Change the activity. Instead of running sprints, try sprinting while biking or swimming. (Note: You’ll want to increase the distances accordingly, especially with biking.) Although this won’t necessarily improve your running speed, the hormonal response will be very similar — the increase in testosterone and human growth hormone comes in response to all higher-intensity activity, not just sprinting.
  • Take the stairs. Walking or running up a flight of stairs will raise your heart rate fast without jarring your body, because there is no flight phase, and because you’ll be stepping onto an elevated platform, which is easier on the knees. Running down stairs can be a shock to the joints, however, so as with running hills, make sure to walk back to the bottom.
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