Posted in Workouts

Todays Back Workout

 

back

 

Overall today was a great day at the gym for back. Had a great stretch and warmup before my actual workout began. After a quick stretch and spending 5 minutes on a stationary bike, i started my workout.

Deadlift

5 total sets. Reps dropping while weight increases. Starting with 15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps. Then i threw on 185 lbs and performed 20 slow reps to get my blood pumping and ensure hypertrophy.

Lat Pull-down (Neutral Grip)

4 sets of moderate to heavy weight with reps ranging from 15, 12, 10, 8. Be sure to isolate your scapula at the top as you begin to pull down in order to properly perform the movement. Scapula rotation is crucial here and will provide more strength and stability overall.

Close-Grip Seated Cable Rows

This workout is one of my favorites. Try performing this movement slowly and aim for squeezing your scapulas together as if you are trying to pinch and hold a pencil vertically in between your shoulder blades. Do not cheat yourself here, do not lean forward or backward at any point during this workout. Perform 4 sets with reps ranging from 12, 10, 8, 8.

Dumbell Shrugs

With this particular workout I tend to go heavy, but as long as you feel blood flowing to your traps then you are doing a sufficient amount of work to stress the muscle. Perform slow movements while squeezing at the top of your shrug. Here i like to bend my arms slightly since it puts more stress on my traps as well as provides more isolation for the given muscle. Here i perform 4 sets with high reps ranging from 25, 20, 15, 15.

Reverse Close Grip Lat Pull-down

Perform this exercise the same way that you would perform the typical lat pulldown workout listed earlier in this post. Only in this workout, focus on your bicep as well. This particular variation of a lat pull-down targets your bicep muscle and is responsible for adding mass to your guns. 4 sets with reps ranging from 12, 10, 10, 8. Squeeze your biceps at the bottom of this movement.

Conclusion

I realize that this may seem like a heavy workload, but consider how big of a muscle group that your back actually is. Back is one of my favorite muscle groups to work out at the gym, especially since it ultimately helps you reach that triangular shape that bodybuilders desire. Any questions regarding workouts or diet plans, email me at nateferreira1992@gmail.com

Posted in Get Lean

Lose Weight Effectively Without Changing Your Diet

 

 

dolgen

My Plan

In the world of fitness the number one problem people come across when it comes to losing weight is having a proper diet. Dieting is a hard thing to do, that I understand completely. Fortunately, for people lacking the will to stick by a diet plan, there is hope for you. The key lies within “Intermittent Fasting”. Usually when people hear/read the term “fasting”, they think of starving themselves. But this is not the case. I have heard about intermittent fasting years ago but never tried it until a few weeks before writing this post. My current program that i am following consists of having a 16 hour window where you fast and only drink water. Currently, I start fasting from 11pm until 3 pm the next day. This means that my eating window is constricted to 8 hours a day. In the 23 days that i have been intermittent fasting, I already lost 10 lbs. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the weight i lost was water weight, but i definitely notice a difference as far as my body fat percentage is concerned. Aside from fasting, i have been drinking a gallon of water a day in order to keep my water retention levels as low as possible and to keep my fat loss at its peak. The best part is, I only intermittent fast 4 days a week since I am trying to preserve as much of my muscle and strength as possible. Just remember, try reaching your macronutrient intake goals even though your eating window is severely limited. I like to eat every 1.5-2 hours during said window while consuming 40-50 grams of protein in each meal with a minimal fat intake as well as a restricted carbohydrate intake.

How Does Intermittent Fasting work?

This aspect of weight-loss is simple. Going 16 hours a day without eating keeps your body in fat-burning mode, while also increasing growth hormone levels in our bodies. Fasting for 16 hours also keeps our insulin levels low, thus keeping our bodies in desperation mode where it is still focused on burning fat in order to provide ourselves with a sufficient amount of energy to function. My number one rule is to stay hydrated, and if you do so, this plan will be much easier than it sounds. I also like to take BCAA’s and glutamine in the morning in order to help preserve muscle mass. I plan on intermittent fasting for another month or so or until i am satisfied with my weight-loss before beach season is officially here. I encourage people reading this post to try this fasting plan. I feel healthier overall and leaner than I can ever remember. Comment below if you are willing to try this challenge so i can follow along and see how your journey in intermittent fasting unfolds.

Posted in Supplements

Benefits of Taking Probiotics

 

probiotics

 

Probiotics are one of the most important supplements you can take to improve your health. I understand that it is hard to hear that consuming healthy bacteria is good for your overall well-being, but hear me out for a second. Bacteria is everywhere, and yes some can be bad, but there are bacterial cultures that can help us perform a plethora of bodily functions. For example, our digestive tract is loaded with cultures of bacteria that help us more than we even know. Some of their main functions are listed below.

Digestion:

Taking probiotics can help us digest food and absorb nutrients necessary for our bodies to function properly. In todays day and age, antibiotics is a common source of medicine used to fight off infection and certain illnesses. Although this is meant to only help us get back to perfect health, it also destroys our own beneficial bacteria that resides in our body. There are only so many ways that we can replenish our bacteria, whether that is eating yogurt, pickles, or even saurkraut. But personally, I recommend taking a supplement, especially for all of you dieters out there since there are no extra calories in probiotic capsules.

Immune System:

Beneficial bacteria have a positive effect on your gut’s immune system and your overall immune system as well. The bacteria play a crucial role in the development and functioning of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract. They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens to help fight off foreign bodies and harmful bacteria.

Preventing Allergies:

This is fitting considering the time of year that I decided to write this post, especially since my allergies are currently keeping me as uncomfortable as possible. Probiotics aid in fighting allergies by helping your body distinguish the difference between harmful pathogens and non-harmful antigens. For all of you who didnt know, allergies are caused by your bodies own immune system where they treat foreign antigens (such as pollen) like harmful pathogens.

Keeping Bad Bacteria in Check:

Beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria both inhabit our bodies and are roughly in the same space, but fortunately there are a great deal more of our beneficial bacteria. Yet if our levels are low, then that allows the harmful bacteria to thrive and throw off the healthy ratio that our bodies try to maintain. This causes several issues such as the weakening of the immune system, digestive issues, heart burn, etc. Therefore, it is important to minimize the effects that bad bacteria can have on our bodies.

Conclusion

As I stated earlier, probiotics are one of the best supplements you can take in order to maintain your health. I always had digestive issues where I would get bloated after eating and consistently get heartburn after eating greasy foods. But after taking probiotics, I noticed a decline in my digestive issues and an increase in my overall health. I rarely get sick (aside from my allergies) and I feel better as a whole. I never have the need to lay down for a few minutes after eating a huge meal or eating something unhealthy. And just knowing that it aids my immune system in performing at an optimal level is enough for me to keep this as a staple supplement. Below is a link to the probiotic supplement that I personally take from the amazon website. Give it a try and tell me what you guys think.

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Posted in Nutrition, Supplements

Difference in Protein Powders

As you may know, there are many different kinds of protein powders, all of which are unique in their own way. We are going to go over some of these powders, explain why its unique, and when it may be ideal to take it.

1.) Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate is the most common source of protein you will find in tubs of protein. This particular source of protein is not very high in quality, but is recommended for beginners who want to add protein to their diets. Whey protein concentrate is also a cheap option, once again providing a perfect supplement for anyone wanting to increase their protein intake.

2.) Whey Protein Isolates

Whey isolates are one of my favorite sources of protein seeing how I always have it in stock in my own personal arsenal of supplements. Whey isolates are unique due to its quick absorption. Isolates should be taken first thing in the morning in order to get a fast-digesting source of protein in order to feed your muscles and prevent catabolism. They can also be taken post workout due to its quick-digesting properties. I take my whey isolate to the gym with me where i drink it as soon as i am done with my routine in order to maximize growth/recovery rate.

3.) Hydrolysate Protein

Hydrolyzed protein is the highest quality source of protein since it is second to none when it comes to absorption. They possess highly absorbable peptides which are used in muscle growth and recovery. Hydrolyzed protein is also considered to have the highest absorption rate of any protein powder on the market. Once again since it is a quick digesting source of protein, it would be ideal to consume the supplement in the morning and right after a workout.

4.) Casein Protein

Casein is completely different than hydrolyzed protein and whey isolates in that it is a slow digesting protein, usually taking several hours at a time to be completely absorbed and utilized. Casein is a great meal replacement since it keeps you full longer than any of the other proteins listed here. The reason for its appetite suppressing capabilities lies in the fact that it takes your body several hours to breakdown casein protein. The best time to take this supplement is right before bed in order to prevent catabolism for as long as possible and keep a steady source of protein in your system while you sleep.

5.) Soy Protein

Although soy is not a widely recommended source of protein for bodybuilders, it is definitely a reliable source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. In my opinion, soy protein is a great source of protein since it also contains high amounts of glutamine, arginine, and BCAA’s. All of which help with growth and recovery.

 

Below are links to amazons website where I provide a good product from each respected source of protein above.

Isolate

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Casein

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Hydrolyzed

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Soy protein

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Posted in Workouts

Shoulder Workout

Good news and some bad news. The good is that my shoulder/bi workout went much better than expected considering i felt a little lazy before heading to the gym. The bad news is that i am pretty sure i injured my rotator cuff on military press/upright rows. Im going to take a week or two off from shoulders while stretching said shoulder until the tightness/pain goes away. I have gone to physical therapy for the same shoulder before but i am hoping that this time it is just a strain rather than a tear. But anyways, this is what my shoulder workout looks like.

Shoulders

Military press: 5 sets total. Reps ranging from 15, 12, 10, 10 with my last set acting as an overload set where i dropped the weight and performed 30 reps.

Lateral Raises: Weight is not much of a factor here. I currently finish out using 30 lb dumbbells. Focus more on the contraction here rather than the weight being pushed. Here i did 5 sets ranging from 20, 15, 12, 10 with my last set being an overload set once again where i performed as many reps as i could with a 15 lb dumbbell.

Front Barbell Raise: Here i performed 4 sets with reps ranging from 15, 12, 10, 10. Focus mainly on the contraction while performing slow movements. When coming down, try and resist the weight as much as possible.

Upright rows: Here i like to use a barbell. With this workout i performed 4 sets with reps ranging from 15, 12, 10, 8. Be careful here since any rotation of the shoulders at the top of this movement can hurt your rotator cuff (i learned my lesson).

Bent over rear delt raise: One of my favorite workouts overall considering the definition and size in my rear delt. Once again weight is not important here. The most important part here is to develop a respectable mind to muscle connection. Feel the contraction while performing slow movements. 4 Sets ranging from 20, 15, 12, 10.

 

Try this shoulder routine and i guarantee you will see the gains you are looking for.

Posted in Supplements

Importance of Creatine Monohydrate

 

 

creatine

Creatine Monohydrate is one of the most important supplements on the market for bodybuilders, or even your average gym-goers. Creatine mono is also the most studied supplement on the market, but for some reason there is this taboo behind it. I hate when people come into my store and ask questions regarding this product. They always say things like: “Doesn’t it just add water-weight?” “won’t you lose everything once you stop taking it?” Hearing the same questions over and over becomes frustrating, so i want to clarify the importance of one of my favorite supplements out there.

Creatine is found naturally in our bodies, this is something that people fail to realize. Creatine is not some synthetic powder that a team of scientists put together to sell a product. Creatine is natural, 90% of our natural creatine is found in our muscles. Therefore, it only makes sense to consume creatine as a supplement to aid you in reaching your goals. Creatine monohydrate is vital for short bursts of energy by fueling your muscles with ATP. ATP acts as the energy component for muscle contractions. Therefore, when you supplement with creatine, your body will produce more ATP and therefore increase your endurance and your strength overall.

Creatine does draw water into your muscles. Clients and customers of mine seem to think that this is a bad thing, another common misconception regarding this supplement. Our bodies are made up of 60% water, so adding more water to your muscles and adding volume to your cells is a bad thing? I think not. Creatine increases your potential for lean muscle mass and growth.

My personal favorite brand of creatine monohydrate comes from optimum nutrition. I prefer micronized creatine since it is easier for digestion and is less harsh on your stomach. Below is a link to the product. For any questions regarding dosage, loading phase, or creatine overall, leave a comment or email me at nateferreira1992@gmail.com

 

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Posted in Supplements

Scivation: Extend BCAA’s Review

extend bcaa's

 

In my opinion, BCAA’s are one of the few supplements that gym-goers should be taking. It increases protein synthesis and allows for better recovery and muscle development. My review of Xtend BCAA’s by Scivation is a great one. This is one of the best products that I have taken. First, it has isoleucine, valine, and leucine which are the main BCAA’s that break down directly in the muscle. But what i like most about this product is that it contains glutamine. Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body and is highly recommended for increased recovery. While taking this, i noticed slight lean muscle development and my aesthetics increased.This product also contains electrolytes which are mainly for fluid balance. Just a simple added benefit that makes this product stand out far above the rest. The mango flavored product is amazing. I am very picky with flavors, but the mango BCAA’s is by far the best tasting supplement i have ever had. It contains 30 servings and lasted me 30 days since i used it once a day.

Grade: 5 out of 5

 

Below is a link to amazon at a very cheap price for this quality

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