SHAKE IT UP BABY – Revamped Shake Recipe

Back in September of last year I posted a shake recipe. Since then I have added to my concoction and wanted to share it here on Shape180. I have to give it up to Costco for providing these ingredients in bulk for a fair price, thank-you!!

Ingredients:

  • 140g Irresistibles Berry Cherry Fusion – Mixed Fruit
  • 122g Kirkland Frozen Mixed Vegetables – Normandy Style
  • 1c Spinach
  • 12 Plain Natural Almonds
  • A few shakes of Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Plain, Dry Quaker OatsShake
  • 1tbl Chia Seeds
  • 1 scoop Muscle Pharm Combat Powder – Cookies and Cream

Nutritional Info:

  • Calories: 563
  • Carbs: 61g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Protein: 40g

You may notice that this is just a jacked up version of my previous recipe. I use this as a meal replacement -breakfast or lunch- and it keeps me full until my next meal. It offers a great source of each macronutrient, and you get the benefit of consuming a couple serving of vegetables without even tasting them. Give it a try 🙂

Annoying Gym Goers

I can give credit where credit is due. It’s great to see people at the gym instead of sitting around being lazy all day. However, there’s actually a few people I wish would just stay at home. Here is my list of people that drive me crazy at the gym.

8. Terrible Trainersbad-trainer-WH

As a trainer I can spot a terrible trainer from across the gym floor. There used to be a trainer at the gym I work out at who was a prime example. He would stand – too close – to his clients as they performed every move incorrectly, nod his head, and tell them to keep going as he constantly checked his cell phone. Not to mention he would hit on any young cute girl that walked past him. I wanted to punch him in the face, but luckily he got fired before I could.

This isn’t to say that all trainers are bad. There are plenty of amazing trainers who truly want to help others succeed. If you ever decide to hire a Personal Trainer, shop around first, and make sure you don’t end up with some idiot who’s over charging you to do ineffective and/or incorrect exercises.

7. Talkersplease shut up

It blows my mind how many people converse more than they lift. The coffee shop is for chatting people, not the weight room floor.

The talkers don’t seem to understand or respect gym etiquette. They will interrupt your set to talk about nothing at all or totally mess up your rest period because they just don’t shut up. I understand you can make friends at the gym, but when I’m going for my PR deadlift or catching my breath between sets, I really do not want to talk to you.

On the same note, please don’t strike up a conversation in the change room while you’re completely naked. I admire how comfortable you are in your own skin, but jeezzusss, wait until after.

6. Flexing in the Mirrors More Than Lifting-ers

justin-bieber-flexing-instagram

It seems to be the younger guys that do this most; they’ll pace the floor and flex in the mirror more times than I can count. Having to walk around you to get my equipment as you aimlessly wonder around isn’t really my favourite thing. It’s also a little distracting catching you constantly flexing in the mirror behind me as I complete my set. Did you come here to train, or practice your posing? I’m pretty sure the latter can be done at home.

5. Rack BlockersBlocker

1-arm rows are one of my favourite exercises and I think everyone should do them, just NOT in front of the dumbbell rack. Blocking any equipment as you do an exercise is just plain rude, and if I so happen to accidentally drop a dumbbell on your foot one day, it’s going to be your fault.

4. Unnecessary Gruntersgrunter

Overall, this one hasn’t been much of an issue for me. I myself curse under my breath every now and again or let out some unattractive noises as I complete a heavy set. The people I’m attacking here are those that do it excessively or unnecessarily. A man where I train grunts loudly after every, single, rep. It doesn’t matter is he’s curling 15’s or pressing 80’s, he is loud, excessive, and sooo f****** annoying. If you’re doing it for attention, you got it, but not in a good way.

3. Nipple Shirt Wearers

nipple shirt

These guys are usually jacked and decide to show it off by wearing spaghetti strapped tank tops that expose everything but their lower abdominal’s. They seem to think they are a gym god and just beg to be looked at. Everything from the way they walk to the way they stand just reeks of arrogance. Hey, you might be in amazing shape, good looking, and possibly have a great personality to boot; but I’ll never know for sure because I have already labelled you as a douche bag.

2. The Cable Cross-overers

cross over

There is one big pulley system at the gym where I train. It sits in the middle of the floor and you either have to go through it, or around it to get to the other side of the gym. During peak hours, few things tick my clock more than that guy hogging 2 out of the 3 pulley systems to perform cable cross-overs. First off, I have to duck under the cables if other routes are blocked, second, you’re taking up too much damn space, and third, someone else is probably waiting to use ONE of those pulleys. Save this exercise for when traffic is low and opt for other variations when its busy. Thanks.

1. Non-unrackers

messy-gym-with-weights-everywhere1

Do you have any idea how many times I get all pumped up to do some squats just to spend the first 10 minutes of my training session unracking 4 plates a side on the squat rack? LIKE REALLY?! Mr. Macho can apparently (half) squat 400 pounds but can’t seem to put the plates away afterwards. This makes me so angry because these people consciously make the decision to not put their equipment away and leave their mess for the next person to clean up. I’m wasting energy moving your plates, and the first thing we learn in kindergarten is to put your toys away before taking another. If you’re contributing to the mess you are a straight up jerk.

My Pre-workout Supplements

A good pre-workout supplement can take your training to a whole-notha-leehhvall! The right sup can boost your strength, endurance, focus, and give those muscles a nice pump; who doesn’t want that?

Before I get into sharing my pre-workout stack I feel it necessary to share a short story regarding my past experience with some name brand pre’s.

A few years ago I started using pre-workouts for the reasons I stated in the first paragraph. I Dumbbellfound a reputable name brand and began taking it as directed. I felt like superwomen in the gym! I was moving faster, pushing harder, and training longer than I ever have. This high lasted a while; until it all came down to bite me in the ass.

I eventually became dependent on these pre-workouts and couldn’t imagine training without them. Sadly it got to a point where my sleep suffered – probably from the high level of stimulants most name brands possess. It wouldn’t matter if I took it at 5am or 5pm; I could no longer get a solid full nights rest. This snow balled in the sense I was still taking it to combat my fatigue from not sleeping; resulting in over-training, under-recovering, and no gain in muscle mass what’s so ever.

So please be cautious when supplementing with pre-workouts. To be honest, anything with a picture of a skeleton, or the word “explode” makes me nervous, as do some of the price tags.

Personally, my favourite pre-workout stack is one I can put together on my own. I purchase the ingredients in bulk and then toss them together about 20 minutes before I lift. If I had tons of money, I’d likely add to my stack, but here are -in my opinion- the necessities:

  1. BCAAS

“Branched chain amino acids or BCAA are the smallest sub particle of protein and are a chemical chain of the amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.. They are often referred to as the building blocks of protein. This particular blend of BCAA supplement is a 2:1:1 ratio of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, valine. Amino Acids are essential in the body and are produced naturally. When the body undergoes physical stress, BCAAs can be used as an alternate fuel beta-alanine-1lbsource to fuel protein synthesis and delay fatigue. They play a special role by being metabolized quickly and directly in the muscle where you need it most, not in the liver. By allowing the body to stay in a positive nitrogen balance and continue protein synthesis, BCAAs are best known for keeping the body in an anabolic state (muscle building). When taken around times of training, BCAA powder can be essential to keeping protein synthesis going and the body in a fuelled state.”

  1. Beta-Alanine

“Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid used to promote muscular endurance and improve exercise performance by being able to train longer and harder. By promoting high levels of intramuscular carnosine, it can delay the build-up of lactate burning in the muscles. It has also been known to increase maximal power output when training.”

  1. AAKG

“AAKG is a salt derivative of the amino acid arginine and alpha ketoglutaric acid. It is used as an exercise supplement to cause an increase in nitric oxide production in the body. This increased nitric oxide production causes the body to vasodilate blood vessels (increasing their internal diameter to increase blood flow) giving users the muscle pump effect and causing more oxygen and more nutrients to the target muscle. AAKG is an advanced form of arginine and is approximately 2 times the potency. Therefore if one was to take 6g of arginine, it would only require approximately 3g of AAKG to achieve the same effect. AAKG has been shown in new and ongoing research to increase anabolic activity and increase levels of growth hormone, IGF-1, and insulin, glutamine and other amino acid metabolites.”

  1. Creatine Monohydrate

“Creatine Monohydrate or Creapure Creatine Monohydrate is a natural substance found mainly in the skeletal muscle cells of the human body. Made up of three amino acids l-methionine, l-arginine, and l-glycine it is produced in the liver and to a small degree in the kidneys. It is used in the body to provide energy to all the cells in the body especially the muscle cells by increasing the amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) available. This ATP that is created is used to fuel flexingall muscle contractions in the body via the Phosphocreatine Synthesis cycle. Although creatine monohydrate is not an essential nutrient, it is very necessary to intense training and physical strength. Creatine is used widely by athletes and resistance trainers to increase strength, power, endurance and explosive strength. Creatine is naturally occurring in foods such as beef but supplementing with exogenous creatine monohydrate is a much easier and more efficient way to increase creatine stores to induce more muscle growth and much more intense training. Creatine is among the most popular and effective supplements available and is very important to anyone looking to improve physical performance.”

  1. Caffeine Caps*

“Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that acts as a stimulant in the body. Caffeine is found mostly in different types of seeds, leaves, and fruits. Caffeine in humans acts as a central nervous system stimulant which may prevent and/or ward off drowsiness and restore and keep you alert. Caffeine accomplishes this by causing the release of dopamine which is a chemical in the brain that keeps us alert, improves problem solving and pleasure.” (Canadianprotein.com)

I took each description off of the site I order these supplements from. It saves me a lot of money in the long run and I can’t help but feel like a scientist as I mix them together prior to my workouts. These supplements are pretty tasteless, but I often add a squirt of a flavoured water inhancer to get it down easier. If you decide to order from here, please use my link:

http://canadianprotein.refr.cc/KRT7T64

* The reason I put an asterisks beside caffeine is because I no longer include this in my stack. I’ve realized the high amounts of caffeine alone, or in other pre-workouts aren’t good for me. I am a very energetic person as it is and sometimes have issues with anxiety. This has decreased dramatically since I have stopped taking them. Also, I drink a lot of green and black tea so I’m sure I get enough caffeine as it is.

1. Canadianprotein.com,. ‘Canadian Protein: Canada’s Supplements Superstore’. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.

Healthy and Delicious Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Ingredients (I didn't have cucumber on hand, but definitely add it if you can!)
Ingredients (I didn’t have cucumber on hand, but definitely add it if you can!)

1 box of noodles – 375 grams

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 can of chickpeas – drain and rinse

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

¾ Bell pepper (I like to use ¼ of 3 different colours)

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

½ small-medium red onion

Lemon juice from ½ a lemon

6 green onions

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

A bunch of spinach

1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes

½ of a medium sized cucumber

A pinch of salt and pepper

In a large pot bring lightly salted water to a boil and add the box of noodles. Cook noodles on a medium heat for approximately 10-15 minutes or until noodles are tender. While waiting for the noodles to cook, chop up your vegetables. Check and stir the noodles frequently. Still not ready? Make the dressing. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix it all up until it is well blended. Are the noodles done? Drain it! Add a little bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking, and set aside to it let cool.

Once the noodles have had some time to cool off, it’s time to add it all together. Mix in the chick peas, vegetables, and then while stirring it all together slowly pour in the dressing. All that is left now is to add the sesame seeds and parsley flakes. Continue to stir until the ingredients are well blended. Voila! Pack it up and toss it in the fridge.

This will make enough for a week’s worth of lunches or dinners, or to bring to a gathering of some sort. Feel free to tweak the recipe any way you like. I use whatever vegetables I have on hand and my measurements are never perfect. I am not a professional chef, but I think this is damn good. Oh, and if you don’t eat meat, this is a great vegetarian/vegan meal that offers complete protein through the combination of grains, legumes, and seeds. Enjoy 🙂

Ready to eat!
Ready to eat!

Why Hire a Personal Trainer?

1) Coming to the gym and exercising is a new experience for you.

If you are new to the weight room, all of the machines and equipment may seem a little overwhelming at first. A personal trainer can put your mind at ease and ensure you get a good understanding of equipment set up, and proper execution.

2) You’re bored and need some new moves

If you are an experienced exerciser, you’ve probably never considered hiring a personal trainer. However, a trainer can add some variety to your workouts and offer new ideas to challenge your body and mind. A trainer can help you overcome a plateau, and even if you just do a few sessions, or meet every few weeks, you will find it beneficial to have new exercises and equipment to master!

3) You need accountability and motivation.

Not only are you investing in a great program, your also investing time. Trainers are great motivators, and a regular appointment can get your ass in gear and keep your workouts consistent. A trainer also provides some accountability, even if you don’t have a session, your trainer will be asking if you did your planned workouts. Knowing this may make you think twice about skipping out!

4) Program design – Specific, individualized programs designed just for you.

Everyone is different, what works for one person may not work for another. A personal trainer will develop an effective program for you based on your current level of fitness and personal goals.

5) You have a specific injury, illness, or condition.

If you have specific issues like arthritis, heart disease, shoulder impingement, etc., working with an experienced trainer (who works with your doctor) can design a program to help heal injuries and avoid any further problems. It’s also a great idea to work with a trainer if you are pregnant and want a safe, effective workout.

6) Sports specific training.

Many amateur and professional athletes hire personal trainers during the off season to prepare them for the in season competition. Perhaps you want to move quicker on the ice, or improve your golf swing; a trainer can design a program to improve athletic performance.

7) Safety and supervision.

Personal attention while training is the primary function of a personal trainer. Need a spotter? How about feedback on your form? It’s a personal trainer’s job to observe, assist, and correct if necessary.

8) A trainer is an excellent resource.

Besides providing education in the field of anatomy and physiology, a good trainer usually has a network of other specialists in the area of nutrition, massage, etc. A trainer may be able to help you with your other non-exercise health needs.

9) Its less expensive than you think.

Let’s face it, most things worthwhile cost money. Different gyms will have different prices when it comes to personal training. You can usually expect to pay 40-100$ per hour depending on the location and the trainer. However, you’ll receive an individualized program, motivation, supervision, education, resources, and much more. Perhaps you can cut expenses in other areas of your life (i.e. Dining out, buying coffee or pop everyday); investing in your health is investing in your future. Plus, think of all the doctor trips and prescriptions you won’t need by living an active and healthy lifestyle!

10) Ego boost!

It’s a fact-feeling good makes you look good and vice versa. While helping you achieve your goals, a trainer will provide positive feedback on your performance and may help raise your confidence to take on new challenges.

Before You Commit

Before you commit your time and money towards training with a trainer, make sure it will be worth your while. Whoever you choose should be certified from a reputable organization and have experience training clients such as yourself. Feel free to ask as many questions as you’d like to ensure you’ll receive the best bang for your buck. Also, a personal trainer should practice what they preach; they don’t have to be fitness models, but if they aren’t fit how will they motivate you?

Committing to training regularly with a personal trainer could be the best decision you’ve ever made, but please keep in mind that a trainer can only care as much as you do. If you constantly cancel, or half-ass your workouts, don’t point the finger at your trainer (as long as they have been doing all they can to help). Also, nutrition plays a HUGE role in weight loss/gain, and overall health. If you struggle in this area, your trainer may be able to help, or refer you to someone who can.