ANSWER: Yes take them on off days as they will still boost your metabolism. They’ve also been shown to curb your appetite especially when you first start your cycle. Be aware that take the longer you take them the less effective they become so a reduction on off days may prolong their effectiveness. Beware if you are using them to allow yourself to eat sloppily, because when you come off them you won’t have developed the discipline to keep at your goal weight.
ANSWER: The medial communities are split over whether this is real or not. For anyone who’s suddenly found their strength and size gains stop for no apparent reason, it’s very real. You just can’t explain why you are so physically and mentally exhausted all of a sudden, even though you’re training to the max. Our adrenal glands influence all of the major physiological processes in our body. If they are not allowed to recover from heavy bouts in the gym, you are using stimuli like fat burners or pre-workout & you are
not dealing with stress at home or work, you will suffer AF & problems with your lifting will follow soon after. Train smart; going heavy or hard every day is not the way to go. Ensure that you have a de-load week every third or fourth week. Cut one set per exercise from that weeks training and keep the previous weeks weights. Use the extra time you have this week to get an hour or so more sleep. The next week you should find you strength gains are far greater and you can keep progressing.
ANSWER: To put on mass while cutting fat is not possible, and you are always going to loose some conditioning when you put on size. That’s why it’s usually advised that you bulk from your leanest point. Dependent on how well you keep to your bulking plan, you can limit the fall out to an increase in body fat of less than 5%.
IF is a calorie restriction technique, and is definitely not a suitable option. How can you increase mass without the building blocks to do so? Calories need to be increased gradually to around 800-1000 calories over your personal maintenance level. Your maintenance level is the amount of calories you usually consume without putting on weight. Dependent on your somotype (genetic body shape) you’ll need to have different ratio of macronutrients (fat, protein vs carb) so seek out a Precision Nutrition Coach or Biosignature Practitioner to work these out for you.
ANSWER: Fish oils need to be consumed in the morning with a purely protein breakfast to shift your body from a catabolic state into an anabolic one (carbs should follow 30 minutes afterwards). Do not take them after a workout as you need nutrients to be absorbed quickly into the muscles, and the fat will simply show down the process. The timing for multivitamins is generally in the morning, but if you are taking specific vitamins such as Zinc, these are best consumed at different times throughout the day.
ANSWER: I’ve trained a lot of big guys and cardio has to be twinned with weight training. I would recommend the walking to help you develop cardiovascular fitness (not running as this will destroy your knees), don’t be fooled by those idiots on Biggest Loser! Use machine weights until your have developed the appropriate coordination and muscular recruitment patterns. Don’t be impatient, as a loss of 1-2lbs per weeks should mean you are losing fat and not lean mass. Generally those who lose weight purely from cardio, do so too quickly end up looking like deflated balloons when they remove their shirt. Add in the weights as well and it’ll shape everything up nicely.
ANSWER: For the guys - shoot for around 10g 45 minutes before your session, and another 10g during. Women - half this should suffice. Anyone on a calorie-restricted diet can benefit from interspersing his or her meals with similar dosages of BCAA’s an additional 3 -4 times per day.
ANSWER: If you’ve just hammered your legs they need to recover - rest is the most underrated tool when it comes to muscle growth. If you’ve trained your legs hard enough, you should struggle to walk, let alone run!
ANSWER: A key benefit of BCAA’s is that it helps prevent muscle loss when away from the gym, so sipping a mixture in your water bottle throughout the day is highly beneficial. In fact I recommend that my clients take daily doses when away on holiday to limit muscle wastage as well.
ANSWER: All your body cares about is if it is getting the right fuel to sustain or accelerate what you are asking it to do.
What you do just before bed depends on whether you’ve hit your macros for the day; if you are short on calories then have the shake or meal. There are two main benefits of a shake; the speed of consumption (there’s nothing to prevent quick uptake of nutrients). and convenience. Other than that, unless you are struggling to consume the quantity of food you need, whole food is always better than a shake.
ANSWER: If one trap is larger than the other this may be a result of its overactivity. I’d recommend seeing a good sports masseuse to calm down the signals it’s receiving when training. This may in itself reduce some of its mass. If the difference is still obvious when performing unilateral shoulder exercises add an extra two sets on the side that’s lacking. This shall add the symmetry you’ve lost.
ANSWER: Half squats or sissy squats as I like to call them will work your VMO (the tear drop quad muscle the most). On their own I think they look stupid but performing a half squat followed by a full squat can nicely shape your legs. Full squats performed correctly will hit both quads and hamstrings hard but most people struggle with the technique and when it gets hard they cheat by folding forward, taking the emphasis off the quads. Front squats are the winners (hamstring to calf depth) as they have been shown to hammer both quads and hammies, plus you can’t cheat without dropping the bar. It’s important to note that if your front squat isn’t 85% of your back squat, then your form on your back squat is falling short.
ANSWER: Crossfit philosophy is to allow you to achieve overall fitness, it’s not a specialized program for weight loss or muscle gain. Weight-loss and muscle gain maybe an outcome of their workouts but not the goal. Crossfit is thrashing yourself without a nutrition plan, and you can’t out-train bad nutrition. Due to the lack of a periodized program, you may end up a little more cut, but definitely not jacked.
ANSWER: Whoa! There is no such thing as a normal macronutrient split, that’s why you don’t see ripped people subscribing to the latest celebrity diet. If you are serious about getting cut, you need to be serious about your diet and invest in a proper bespoke plan. Whether we like it or not, we are all dictated by our genetics. Some of us do better with carbs, others without, high fat, low fat blah, blah, blah. Getting this wrong will have drastic effect on your body shape. Save up.
ANSWER: Groundbreaking. When you weigh your food, you know what’s going into your body and you get immediate feedback based on how you react / look. You can then tweak this if you are unhappy with the result, or if you are changing your phase of training. If you are looking to get sub 10% then you need to be weighting out your food. How do you know what to change if you are not measuring it? Sub 10% the smallest of changes matter. You have to measure.
ANSWER: I’ve never heard of this happening; generally this happens when two different muscles sit on top or overlap each other, as with your quads. The only way to separate out muscles is to see a good sport masseuse. Poor tissue quality and tight fascia can effect muscle size and development. Tissue quality should never be overlooked if you are training a muscle. Make sure you haven’t fallen into the trap of training your abs more than 3 times a week, it’s a fallacy that they don’t need as much time to recover as other muscle groups.
Also, remember for most people, lower abs only show through at your very leanest point, so it all depends if you have dieted down far enough.
Answers by Fitnesss Expert Salman Kassam Pn1 iTS BCT
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