WORKOUT: Squat for Strength

Few lifts are as gratifying to watch grow as is the squat. When executed with good form, the barbell squat is an iconic exercise that belongs in almost everybody’s workout regimen.

Building up squat strength can take time, because it is a “skill” lift – by nature of being a compound lift, many moving parts demand practice and control. Once you have developed a clean, well-formed squat, however, you can start building big all-body strength. Below are a few key squat pointers, followed by a workout you can execute twice a week to start increasing the load you can hoist on this classic lift.

Squat Keys

1. Plant the heels. Many amateur squatters experience knee problems from squats, not because the movement is inherently unsafe, but because of this common form mistake. When you shift your weight to the balls of your feet instead of your heels, you immediately put more stress on the knees and allow them to track forward over your toes. When you first unrack the weight, try a brief moment of popping up onto your toes (as if you were doing a calf raise), then lower yourself and dig in with your heels. Your choice of shoe matters for squats too – either go barefoot, or use a hard, flat sole.

2. Chest up; head neutral. Focus on a point on the wall at standing eye level in front of you, and keep your chest elevated with your shoulder blades pulled back together. This position ensures that your shoulders won’t round forward during the squat, which again can bring the weight forward, creating a dangerous position for your lower back and knees.

3. Refer to your joints. Meaning: Your ankles, hips and knees should all be indicators of your form. At the bottom of the squat, your hip joint should be parallel to your knees; the bar and your shoulders should be over your ankles. Get a spotter or use the timed camera on your phone to check your form and make any adjustments you notice.

The Workout

Walking Lunges: 2×20 per leg. Lunge forward with your right leg, hands on your hips and torso erect, and land on your right heel. Your back knee should drop low but not hit the floor; before it does, begin the next step quickly.

Squat: 10 (warm-up set), 10, 5×3, 3×3, 1×3

This pattern will get you stronger. By working up to a heavier load gradually, you spend more time under heavy weight while still getting the requisite reps for muscle growth. If you have a squat belt and/or knee wraps, consider using them on your sets of 3 and 1.

Foam Roller/Hamstring Stretches: 5 minutes. Do a variety of leg stretches to increase blood flow and help reduce soreness. Focus on the calves, hamstrings and quads (note – foam rollers on the quads may be uncomfortable).

Suspension or Swiss ball hamstring curls: 3×12. Lying on your back with your feet in suspension cables or heels on a Swiss ball, keep your arms flat at your sides and lift your hips off the ground. Now, curl the ball toward your butt using your hamstrings, and roll it back out until your legs are fully extended again. That’s one rep.

Nutrishop Clean & Lean 30-Day Women’s Challenge

With a focus on detox, lean muscle and stretching, this month-long plan is designed to have you feeling lean, healthy and refreshed.

  • With four days a week of weight training (two lower-body, two upper-body) and a recharge day focused on stretching, core strength & mobility, the overall goal is to stoke the body’s fat-burning furnace with supersets and compound movements.

  • Keep rest periods to no longer than 60 seconds between sets; if a superset is listed, take no rest between exercises within the superset, and rest only after the superset is complete.

  • If you are unfamiliar with a listed exercise, view a video demonstration: nutrishopcda.com/2015/11/clean-lean

Cardio: After your resistance workouts, perform 15 minutes of High-Intensity Interval Training on an elliptical or bike. Do at least 3 cardio sessions a week, but doing all 5 days or more will yield faster results. Use the 45-15 method: Do 45 seconds at a normal pace, not too fast, followed by 15 seconds of all-out effort (100-percent speed). Then ramp it back down and repeat for a total of 15 intervals.

Rest & Intensity: Focus on keeping the heart rate high for fat loss with supersets and trisets that recruit multiple muscle groups. Reps will be between 15-20, but no more – if you can perform 30 reps in any set, you need to go heavier until 20 reps is difficult to achieve.

The 30-Day Clean & Lean Challenge is a personal challenge for each individual and there are no suggested or guaranteed results. The information above is not intended as a substitute for individual, professional advice or medical advice in diagnosing, treating or curing a health issue or disease. Please consult your doctor, health care provider, or other health care professional including a certified nutritionist before beginning a new diet, exercise or supplement regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

CLICK HERE to print out an easy PDF of the workout to take with you to the gym!

 For those working out at home or with limited access to equipment, consider going with our Home Workouts. Click here to see them and download a PDF.

DAY 1 & 4, LOWER BODY

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Quads/Glutes: Deep Barbell Squats x 15-20. If you cannot perform 15 reps with only the bar, do body-weight squats.

    • Hamstrings/Lower Back: Stiff-Legged Deadlifts x 15-20. If you cannot perform 15 reps with only a bar, use dumbbells.

  2. 4 Supersets

    • Quads: Seated Leg Press x 15. If machine is taken, perform 15 alternating dumbbell forward lunges, per leg.

    • Hamstrings: Lying Leg Curls x 15. If machine is taken, perform 15 lying medicine ball or Swiss ball hamstring curls.

  3. 3 Supersets

    • 20 consecutive Jump Squats, as fast as you can – if possible, use stopwatch and track how long each set takes to complete.

    • 15 reverse lunges, per leg.

  4. 3 Supersets

    • Calves: 20 seated weighted calf raises, toes in

    • Calves: 20 seated weighted calf raises, toes out

DAY 2 & 5, UPPER BODY

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Chest: Machine Bench Press x 15-20. If no machine is available, perform 15-20 push-ups (do modified push-ups – knees on ground – if you cannot do 15 push-ups).

    • Back: Seated Cable Row x 15. If no machine is available, perform bent-over dumbbell rows.

  2. 4 Supersets

    • Chest: Incline Bench Machine x 15. If no machine is available, perform 15-20 incline dumbbell presses.

    • Back: Lat Pulldowns x 15-20. Alternately, you can use the assisted pull-up machine or, if working out with a partner, have them “spot” you on regular pull-ups.

  3. 3 Supersets

    • Chest: Alternating 1-Arm Bench Press x 15 per arm. You can use the Cybex machine or dumbbells if no machine is available.

    • Back: 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows x 15 per arm.

  4. 4 Tri-Sets

    • Shoulders: Smith Machine seated military press x 15

    • Triceps: Cable Pushdowns x 20

    • Biceps: Cable Curls x 15

DAY 3 CORE & STRETCH (OPTIONAL)

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Foam roller hamstring stretches x 15 per leg

    • Foam roller calf stretches x 15 per leg

  2. 4 Tri-Sets

    • Planks x 30-60 seconds

    • Brettzel stretches x 10 seconds per side

    • Foam roller thoracic spine release x 10

  3. 4 Supersets

    • Lying leg raises – both legs x 10 seconds, 1 inch off ground

    • Lying leg raises – alternate one leg up, other leg 1 inch off ground, x 10 seconds each

Exercise Video Guide – Clean & Lean Challenge

If you are looking for a specific lift from the Clean & Lean Challenge, it is best to find (Ctrl+F) the name of the exercise.

Barbell Squats

Front Squat

Deadlift Variations

Single-Legged Deadlift

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

Seated Leg Press

Lying Leg Curls

Jump Squats

Reverse Lunges

Seated Calf Raises

Machine Bench Press vs. Free Weight Bench Press

Push-Ups

Bench Press

Plyometric Push-Ups

Close-Grip Bench Press

Seated Cable Row

Lat Pulldowns

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Rear Delt Flys

One-Arm Kettlebell Press

Smith Machine Military Press

Lateral Dumbbell Raises/Flys

Cable Pushdowns

Brettzel Stretch

Foam Roller – Thoracic Spine

Hanging Rows

Nutrishop Clean & Lean 30-Day Men’s Challenge

A 3-day split of weight training and a recharge day focused on stretching, core strength & mobility, the goal is to stoke the body’s fat-burning furnace with supersets and compound movements.

Keep rest periods to no longer than 60 seconds between sets; if a superset is listed, take no rest between exercises within the superset, and rest only after the superset is complete.
If you are unfamiliar with a listed exercise, view a video demonstration: nutrishopcda.com/2015/11/clean-lean

Cardio: After your resistance workouts, perform 15 minutes of High-Intensity Interval Training on an elliptical or bike. Do at least 3 cardio sessions a week, but doing all 5 days or more will yield faster results. Use the 45-15 method: Do 45 seconds at a normal pace, not too fast, followed by 15 seconds of all-out effort (100-percent speed). Then ramp it back down and repeat for a total of 15 intervals.

Rest & Intensity: Focus on keeping the heart rate high for fat loss with supersets and trisets that recruit multiple muscle groups. Reps will be between 15-20, but no more – if you can perform 30 reps in any set, you need to go heavier until 20 reps is difficult to achieve. Before each workout, perform a 5-10 minute warm-up (jump rope for 3 mins, 10 push-ups, 60 seconds of jumping jacks).

The 30-Day Clean & Lean Challenge is a personal challenge for each individual and there are no suggested or guaranteed results. The information above is not intended as a substitute for individual, professional advice or medical advice in diagnosing, treating or curing a health issue or disease. Please consult your doctor, health care provider, or other health care professional including a certified nutritionist before beginning a new diet, exercise or supplement regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

CLICK HERE to print out an easy PDF of the workout to take with you to the gym!

For those working out at home or with limited access to equipment, consider going with our Home Workouts. Click here to see them and download a PDF.

DAY 1 – UPPER-BODY PUSH

  1. 3 Trisets

    • Chest: Flat Barbell Bench x 15

    • Shoulders: Lateral Dumbbell Flys x 20

    • Triceps: Cable V-bar Pushdowns x 20

  2. 3 Trisets

    • Chest: Incline Dumbbell Flys x 20

    • Shoulders: Rear Delt Flys x 15

    • Triceps: Close-Grip Bench Press x 20

  3. 3 Trisets

    • Chest: Plyometric push-ups x 15 or to failure (clap your hands during ascent if you can)

    • Shoulders: Single-arm Kettlebell Press x 15 each (use dumbbells if no kettlebell is available)

    • Triceps: Diamond push-ups x 15 or to failure

DAY 2 – LOWER BODY

  1. 3 Trisets

    • Compound Lift: Barbell Front Squat x 15 (check your weight – this will be challenging to go heavy)

    • Hamstrings: Lying Leg Curls x 15 (do medicine ball hamstring curls if machine unavailable)

    • Quads: Seated Leg Press x 15

  2. 3 Trisets

    • Compound Lift: Standard Deadlift x 15 (again, watch your weight – should be light enough to allow proper form for each rep)

    • Quads: In-place alternating forward lunges x 15 per leg

    • Hamstrings: One-legged dumbbell Romanian deadlift x 15 per leg

  3. 3 Trisets

    • Calves: 50 body-weight standing calf raises on a step or stair

    • Calves: 25 seated calf raises (heavy, toes in)

    • Calves: 25 seated calf raises (heavy, toes out)

DAY 3 – UPPER-BODY PULL

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Back: Lat Pulldowns x 15-20 (wide-grip pull-ups or assisted wide-grip pull-ups are optional if machine is unavailable)

    • Biceps: Preacher Curls x 15 full range of motion reps, then 5 partial reps (top portion of curl only)

  2. 4 Supersets

    • Back: Seated Cable Rows x 15-20 (perform bent-over barbell rows if machine is unavailable)

    • Biceps: Incline Dumbbell Curls x 15 per arm

  3. 4 Supersets

    • Back: Hanging Rows x 15 (use Smith machine with bar locked in)

    • Biceps: Cable Curl 21s – 7 full curl reps, 7 bottom portion only, 7 top portion only

DAY 4 – CORE/STRETCHING

  1. 4 Supersets

    • Foam roller hamstring stretches x 15 per leg

    • Foam roller calf stretches x 15 per leg

  2. 4 Tri-Sets

    • Planks x 30-60 seconds

    • Brettzel stretches x 10 seconds per side

    • Foam roller thoracic spine release x 10

  3. 4 Supersets

    • Lying leg raises – both legs x 10 seconds, 1 inch off ground

    • Lying leg raises – alternate one leg up, other leg 1 inch off ground, x 10 seconds each

DAY 5 – REST DAY

The Back to Basics Workout Plan

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With all the new technology, science and theories on fitness, getting in shape can become more complicated than it has to be. Sure, there is always room for an exercise that can provide a new challenge, and when you introduce a new movement to your workout routine, you can definitely see results.

But there will always be something to be said for a simple, basic approach to weight lifting: Pick up something heavy and move it! For function and aesthetics, few things will yield more all-around noticeable results than going heavy with basic compound movements. To that end, we’ve created the NUTRISHOP Back to Basics Plan – a 1-month program you can use to break up your routine and introduce some low-complexity training, or that you can repeat for up to 12 weeks as you gain strength and muscle.

You won’t need much for this plan when it comes to equipment: A barbell, a rack, a bench, a jump rope and some weight plates is the majority of your equipment. The idea is to simplify your workouts, using a 4-day split to provide the rest you need while creating sensible muscle group pairings. You will get stronger and likely see a noticeable difference in muscle gain should you pair this plan with a sound, lean diet.

The approach you’ll use will be somewhat mixed, but the concept will be similar throughout: You want to warm up using the exercise you’re working with, and work up to your one-rep max (1RM). Challenging yourself with a progressive load will ensure you get stronger and some early mid-to-high-range sets will promote hypertrophy.

DAY 1

Legs & Core

Back Squats: 10 (warm-up – go light), 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Go deep enough that your knees are parallel with your hips – don’t cheat yourself.

 

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts/Standard Deadlift: 10 (warm-up), 10, 8, 5/3, 3, 1, 1. – Perform the first 4 sets using the stiff-legged variation, then perform a standard deadlift using heavier weight for the final 4.

Power Clean: 10 (warm-up), 6, 6, 3, 3, 1.

Planks: 3 sets of 45 seconds, followed by 1 set to failure. Focus on drawing your navel into your spine and keeping your glutes clenched hard.

Side Planks: 2 sets per side at 20 seconds each. Hold your upper arm perpendicular to your torso, with your hand pointing toward the ceiling.

DAY 2

Push & Pull

Barbell Bench Press: 10 (warm-up – go light), 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Grab the bar just outside of shoulder width with a wrapped-thumb grip. Don’t bounce the weight off your chest – and, if possible get a spotter for your final three sets.

Bent-Over Barbell Rows: 10 (warm-up – go light), 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Be sure to keep your back flat and shoulders drawn back, pulling the bar toward your belly and not your chest.

Incline Barbell Bench Press: 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Take note to keep your elbows in toward your torso, forming a 45-degree angle at the armpit – this will protect your anterior deltoids through the lift. Concentrate on the contraction – mentally, think of pulling the bar apart and putting it back together at the top of the lift.

Pull-Ups: 4 sets to failure. Use as wide of a grip as possible that will still allow the range of motion to clear the bar with your chin – for most people, this will be just outside shoulder-width. Control your descent and lower yourself completely, drawing your shoulder blades together through the movement.

Push-Ups: 4 sets to failure with weight plate on back. Concentrate on keeping your body board-stiff from neck to ankle, and use the chest, back and triceps to control your movements.

Hanging Rows: 4 sets to failure.

DAY 3

Rest Day

DAY 4

Legs & Core 2

File Nov 13, 7 05 24 AM

Front Squat

Front Squats: 10 (warm-up – go light), 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1. Keep your elbows up and forward and your upper arms parallel to the floor – this will help protect your back. Also concentrate on keeping your knees tracking out toward your pinkie toes – avoid letting them “dip” inward.

Deadlifts: 10 (Stiff-legged), 5, 5, 3, 3, 1 (standard).

Walking Lunges: 4 sets x 100 feet. You will need some space to work – if you can find a 20-foot hallway and can traverse it 5 times total, that’s fine. Alternate your lead foot, keeping your upper body upright and your hands on your hips (to avoid resting them on bent knees).

Planks: 3 sets of 45 seconds, followed by 1 set to failure.

DAY 5

Push & Pull 2

Pull-Ups: 4 sets to failure.

Seated Military Dumbbell Press: 8, 8, 6, 6, 4.

Incline Barbell Bench Press: 10, 5, 5, 3, 3, 1.

One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 4×8 (per arm).

Diamond Push-Ups: 20, 15, 10, 5. If you cannot perform the prescribed reps, go to failure (diamond push-ups are much more difficult, especially for novices.)

Reverse-Grip Chin-Ups: 4x failure. With a close, reversed grip (palms facing your body), lower yourself to full elbow extension slowly on the descent. Contract your shoulder blades before lifting yourself, concentrating on using your back to begin momentum and your biceps as assistance.

Follow Jon on His Fat-Loss Journey

Jon Evans, 30

A recent picture of Jon, now down to 220 pounds.

A recent picture of Jon, now down to 220 pounds.

Note from Nutrishop: Jonathan Evans has gone through an amazing weight loss journey, with a little help from us and a lot of motivation and discipline. We were so interested by his success that we decided to keep following up with him as he continues his transformation. This is the first of a series of blogs by Jon, who is continuing to check in with the Nutrishop CDA store and use Nutrishop products to aid his journey.

2015 in Review
Well, 2015 was pretty good. I got the itch to lose some weight and did way better than I could’ve ever imagined. I’ve met some amazing people who shared many kind words to help push me along the way. My goal was that in 2016, I will hit the teens in body fat percentage.6ed0cce9-8d7d-4b15-9374-d9e0f0a7e5f7
It hasn’t started out quite like I would have liked – I came home to a broken water filter and 5 feet of water in my basement, which was super awesome, but Toby heard about the bad luck and threw in a little something special my last trip into Nutrishop. With all this crud happening I’ve been stressed out to no end – diet has kind of taken a back seat and lifting is not as often or as hard since I have so many other things on my plate. It’s early enough in the year that this little hiccup won’t hurt too much with my ultimate goal.
12400800_10205243909928661_1194661395641853444_nI had a good friend ask if I wanted to do a challenge group with the insanity max 30 dvd and I didn’t hesitate. I thought this will be the piece of the puzzle that will get me closer to the BMI I am after. I will get my BMI checked the day I start the challenge and I also get to lift with Josh from Nutrishop that same day, so as you can imagine I’ll want to find a corner and cry myself to sleep! Even with all the bad crap going on I’m keeping positive that I will hit the goal and go past expectations like I did last year. Usually when I go to Nutrishop I will get myself something and maybe a thing or two for another guy, I FINALLY got the wife her first jug of protein, the feeling I got is like watching your child take its first steps! Here’s to a 2016 to remember. Good luck to all whose New Year’s resolution is to better themselves, one day at a time.

It started with just wanting to better myself. I was SICK AND TIRED of being fat, so I wanted to lose about 30 pounds. It never crossed my mind that I would be down this much weight AND have so many family, friends and people I’ve never even met or talked to before say how inspiring or motivational I’ve been throughout my journey or how I’ve given them that little extra kick to try and better themselves. It’s truly amazing the kind words I’ve heard from everyone on how good I look because, like I’ve said before, I see myself every day in the mirror and don’t see the insane change that has happened to my body.

There are days where I’m like, “Damn, you lookin’ good!” –  but also days where I’m like, “What am I even doing? Nothing has changed.” In the last few months I have gone from a size 38 waist down to a size 34! I don’t even think I was that small in middle school. It feels good when you grab a size 36 and they’re too big. I am still doing the Lean Gains Plan, and boy is it working. Still getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. to do my workouts and following the same diet plan; the only change was my mindset, knowing I am so close to my main goal that I pushed harder in the gym, adding on more weight, increasing the resistance on the elliptical and just going all out.

It worked: I hit the mark. It has been seven years in the making and it was not easy. The last 3 pounds were the hardest to lose. But I did it. Now I won’t weigh myself every morning but maybe every weekend. It’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders knowing I lost 100 pounds – 100 pounds is a ridiculous amount of weight to come off my body. I am going to keep pushing to get down to my lowest weight in high school, which was 209 my sophomore year in wrestling. My other new goal is to be in the teens with my body fat percentage. I was at 20 percent the last time I checked, so I’m pretty close.

I again am truly thankful for everyone that has reached out and asked how I did it or asked if I could help them somehow, and to all who have posted on my Facebook with the kind words and putting a smile on this former fat kid’s face. When asked, I tell myself that apparently I must be doing something right if I’m being asked to help, and I’m more than happy to help any way I can. Huge shoutout to NUTRISHOP for making this all possible. Without these guys I’m still struggling on what to do and how. They’ve made it pretty damn easy to follow the diet plan and supplements to achieve my goal and more, so thank you. And lastly, I know a lot of people that are losing weight and just flat-out kicking butt, just a special shout out to you guys – you keep me motivated so keep at it. I keep saying it’s the year of fitness. No more New Year’s resolutions that last 3 months – it’s a lifetime change.

HOLIDAY UPDATE

a09bc4b5-c123-4423-a148-b8ac9a4aeea5I have gotten a few guys, one that is ALMOST as big of a NUTRISHOP fanatic as I am, and another guy who we are trying to convert, over to lifting with me in the morning, which has been awesome. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and we all push each other to go one more rep or put on more weight. It’s a good feeling since we all want that same ultimate goal to be stronger and look and feel damn good.

My current stack in the morning has changed a couple times just because I’m trying to give my adrenal glands a rest from the caffeine. So my current stack is first thing in the morning is 6 N’JECT, which is at about 5:15 a.m. 15 minutes before my workout I do a scoop of NO XP3 with scoop of VASOCOR and scoop of BCAA. Also 3 N’FUZE, 2 Restart and 3 joint pills and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. While working out I mix in 4 scoops of BCAAs in a gallon jug of water and drink throughout the day. I was previously taking a half scoop of THERMOVEX with my pre workout but will only take the half scoop in the afternoon mixed with a scoop of BCAAs. I got on the Restart to help calm down my adrenal gland so I’m not tired all day and have noticed a difference on how I feel after the third day of being on the pills.

My workout routine has been just whatever I feel like doing that day, usually a day of chest and back, day of shoulders bi’s and tri’s, legs and abs and a cardio day, then the last day will be an all out circuit type training where I just do two to three rounds of all the machines, or substitute in some free weights. Diet is the same, except for Thanksgiving – I splurged that day with one side of the family and splurged again for the wife’s side of the family. I was pretty worried that I was gonna gain a bunch of fat but I took the BMI test Thursday the 2nd and I am lower than I’ve ever been. I set a goal of being at about 11% body fat which is going to be rough, but so has been losing 100 lbs. I’ve hit 213 a couple times but I am staying consistent around 215 which is fine – also if I can hit 11% body fat and be 220 I’d be just fine with that. I’ve had lots of words of encouragement, lots of questions on what others should be doing and I love it. I’ve said it a million times but I am always open to questions about what to eat or what supplements should be taken.

Yes I am still a beginner in the supplement and diet field but I have seen results that some people dream of and if it worked for me it should work for others too. Thanks to everyone for the compliments, Josh and Toby at NUTRISHOP for helping me every step of the way, and of course my wife who has put up with my supplement and shaker cup addiction.

POST-100-LB. LOSS UPDATE

I’m still holding below 215 and have just started to wing it at the gym- meaning if I feel like squats I’ll do legs and so on. I still have people come up and ask if I’ve lost weight, and just like the first time someone noticed, I get that feeling that everything I went through to get to this point was worth it. I have a buddy that I turned into a Nutrishop fanatic like myself and he keeps my butt on track. He keeps me updated on how much weight he’s lost and we just keep each other going harder in the gym.

I’ve also been recently asked by a good friend from high school if I could help him lose weight too – I am more excited to help him reach his goals than I was at working towards mine. I couldn’t turn it down; this whole journey has motivated or inspired more people than I could’ve ever imagined so to be asked to help someone on the same path is great – I’m all in. I got him started on the Thermovex stack. It’s nothing crazy but something to get him started. I will keep everyone updated on the journey and more updates on the diet. The last time I got the BMI checked I had lost 3 lbs of fat and gained a pound of muscle. I can totally live with that.

unnamedN’JECT UPDATE

I recently purchased the new supplement N’JECT for muscle pump and vascularity. I am a believer – I broke out the ol’ P90X DVDs and did biceps and triceps workouts, and thought my arms were going to explode – the pump lasted for quite awhile. It says to take 4, but talking with Josh he says if you’re bigger (like I am), then take 6.

I took 4 on leg day since Josh said don’t go too crazy with this stuff on leg day, since my legs would hurt all day long. I also ran out of my Joint Therapeutics and have been out for a couple of days and can already tell. My elbows are starting to hurt more often since I have arthritis really bad in my right elbow – it’s so popular it’s hard to keep it on the shelf. Good luck to all this week as I will see how my lower carb diet does!

MOTIVATION UPDATE

Today I had an older lady, who is very nice and very quiet, while I was taking her payment, say, “Jon, can I say something?”

So instantly I was skeptical and was wondering what in the world was gonna come out of her mouth, but still I said of course. She said, “Jon, you’ve lost weight! You look fantastic.”

I probably had the biggest smile on my face  and told her that I have lost weight – a lot of weight.

It’s the little things, like a stranger saying something so nice, to let you know that the early morning gym sessions, the diet, the money on supplements, are all working. I look at myself in the mirror every morning and I can tell I’ve lost weight. But for others who don’t see you on a regular basis, it’s shocking to see the results. I have lots of people shoot me a message on Facebook saying they need motivation cause they’ve lost that drive or they tell me that they love reading about my blogs, which I was surprised cause I wasn’t sure anyone was reading them, or tell me about their own weight loss journey.

unnamedI love hearing about others’ success just as much as I love my own success. I have changed my diet plan up a bit. I’m not eating as many carbs for each meal and I have a 2-hour window Saturday evening to go crazy and eat whatever. Since I am eating lower carbs, by Saturday my body will be starving for carbs and will be eaten up. I am trying to constantly keep my body thermogenic. I had my body fat percentage checked last Friday and I was at 22%. When I went in 6 days later I was talking with Josh about the new diet and he had me check it again and I was already down to 20.9%. The Lean Gains Plan is doing better than I expected. I have gotten a couple of new supplements for the collection. I have a powdered multi vitamin which is called Nature’s Fuel, which is better absorbed than a pill form. I am trying out the new N’Ject, which helps with vascularity and gives you massive pumps, and I am also taking carnitine tartrate which helps with fat loss and keeps your muscles from going catabolic. All the other supplements are still being used as always!

LEAN GAINS PLAN

On day 4 of the Lean Gains workout routine and it’s a killer. I’ve already noticed change with strength and the HIIT is working great. I’ve been asked by a couple of people what supplements I’m on just for weight loss. Thermovex daytime and night – one of the guys that I got started on it says he has so much more energy and the night time works great. My wife is also getting the itch to work out – she says, “I can’t be having my husband looking good and me looking like a hot mess!”

It’s addicting working out and feeling good. This has been the longest stretch I have consistently worked out – both the Lean Gains and the Hard Gainer’s routines are awesome and when you get done with the day’s routine you know it’s working!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW WORKOUT PLAN

The new workout routine for the next 6 weeks will be the Hard Gainer Trainer from the NUTRISHOP website, but since I only have Monday through Friday to lift since I work Saturday and there are no gyms open early enough for me to lift, I will not take the rest day in between. As much as I look forward to the new challenge I know the first week will suck – new lifts I haven’t done since high school, so new muscle groups will be tested. The outcome will be a better, stronger me, and leaner also. I will be taking the same supplements and doing the same diet, but I am experimenting with my protein powder by making protein pancakes and things like that. It gets boring eating the same thing over and over so a little change is good. I am hoping to get the body fat tested on my next day off so I can compare it after the 6 weeks are up. It’s going to be hard yet exciting and I’m ready to take it head on.

MOTIVATION

A lot of people ask me how I started, or what drove me to start. Well, I started this weight loss journey because I was tired of being tired, no energy, sick all the time – I was just done feeling like that. When you don’t feel great you’re not great to be around, in a bad mood not wanting to do anything, and to me that isn’t fair to my wife and daughters. I wanted better for them and for myself.

The very first thing I did was take note of what I was eating. I counted calories for the most part. I just got an app on my phone scanned it and it kept a journal of what I ate and how many calories I should be eating to reach a certain weight. I did this and went from the 315 I was at down to 290. Nothing big but it was improvement. I followed that and then started to work out at home with some home workout DVDs, but only did this for over a month and just lost the drive and wasn’t seeing results fast enough. I wanted to achieve too many things instead of focusing on one goal and sticking with it.

After about 2 or so years I finally said I’m done – I need to change and focus on one goal, LOSE WEIGHT! I buckled down and kept my kids in the back of my mind, saying, “This is for them.” I watched my food intake much closer than before and then came NUTRISHOP and spoke with Josh and that is truly in my mind where the real transformation began. I got on the supplements I have been asking for from the “other guys” and started working out and completely stopped drinking soda and drank more water. The rest is in the pictures.

The best place to start is diet, because you can make time to eat healthier. You don’t need to go to the gym. I started with the diet well before I went to the gym. Next is make goals – small ones. I set my first goal too high and when I didn’t achieve it I stressed out, which is not helpful when losing weight. Small obtainable goals and deadlines is a good start. When that is figured out then hit the gym. My goals from the first day I stepped into NUTRISHOP was lose weight and get bigger. I have been trying so hard to lose the 100 pounds that I stress out, but I tell myself, “Dude, you’ve lost 95 pounds with hard work and a clean mind.” That keeps me pushing harder to do better in the gym that I did the day before. Small victories in the short term end up with awesome results in the end. Keep pushing and don’t settle.

DIET UPDATE

Diet for the week consists of breakfast, lunch and dinner like usual, but between those three are small meals or my protein shakes and an apple or something small. I don’t want my body getting too hungry and then have whatever I do eat ending up getting stored as fat. I keep it very simple because I am so busy I want to be able to make my meals fast yet still taste good.

Each meal I want to consist of 35 grams of protein and 35 grams of carbs with no more than 8 to 10 grams of fat. Breakfast consists of 1 cup of egg white seasoned with salt and pepper and 2 cups of hash browns seasoned with salt and pepper. I eat that right after my workout and usually have it with a protein shake. My small meals are usually a protein shake and an apple or a Quest bar, nothing fancy, but I have started eating Greek yogurt to try and satisfy my sweet tooth. My lunch is usually a salad with 5 oz of chicken with light dressing or the 5 ozs of chicken with a cup of jasmine rice and an apple or veggies.

I buy the microwaveable jasmine rice so I can heat it up at work and just mix it with my chicken and since my chicken is already seasoned it’s ready to eat. Dinner is usually whatever the wife cooks, usually tri-tip steak or chicken. She knows that I am on my diet so she tries to cook so the whole family can eat together. My biggest problem is I have a sweet tooth, especially coming into fall with pumpkin pies or pumpkin doughnuts – it’s hard to resist! Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of those doughnuts! But to keep my sanity I will stray away from the diet, not all the time but maybe once or twice a month. Which is why I am trying the flavored Greek yogurt so I won’t have such a craving. Honestly, getting up early in the morning is easy compared to the diet. The gym just takes a toll physically but the diet is physical and mental. If you don’t eat enough your body doesn’t get what it needs; but eat too much and your time at the gym has been wasted. It’s tough!

UPDATE: OCT. 7, 2015

Jon Evans before/after unnamedThis week I am pushing for the 100 pounds down mark. The wife says I need to not worry about what the scale says and listen to how my body feels. She’s probably right – I may never hit the mark, not for lack of trying but because of my workout routine. I am still losing fat but also packing on muscle. I’ve had to go shopping because my clothes no longer fit me.

I used to wear XXL and am now down to just a large in some clothes. I feel better, with more energy throughout the day, so something is working. My workout routine for this week is the NUTRISHOP HARD GAINER Trainer and this will be my last week because I no longer feel sore the next day. Not because I didn’t lift hard – trust me, since I first started this routine I have added 10 to 30 lbs on each workout – but because my body is getting used to it so it’s time to change it up. My plan is to get my body fat percentage checked and see where I stand. I will TRY not to look so closely at the scale but rather focus on losing more body fat and staying more consistent on the diet. If I hit the 100-pound mark I will let everyone know. With time comes results but it’s been the longest and hardest few pounds to lose. I’m definitely not giving up but pushing harder and it will come, eventually.

MEAL PREP

Meal prep is something I just started doing more routinely. Before I would just eat granola bars throughout the day because I had no time to eat anything else. I am now making my breakfast the night before, which is usually a cup to 2 cups of hash browns, which I eat after my workout with my protein shake – instead of eating two big meals, which was usually breakfast and dinner. I wasn’t giving my body what it wanted…. FOOD.

My meals usually consist of 30 or more grams of protein and 35 grams of carbs and I try to have no more than 8 grams of fat for each meal. I still eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, but not like I used to. I was eating a big enough breakfast to try and hold me over til lunch, which was 6 or more hours away and same with lunch and dinner. Now I eat my breakfast like earlier described, but 3 hours later I have a protein shake with an apple and then three hours after that I have lunch and so forth. I actually eat more now than I used to but it’s a lot more portion control and smarter choices. My workout routine is the NUTRISHOP Hard Gainer routine, which I will be doing for almost 8 weeks, then I will change it up. I want to keep the body guessing so I don’t hit any plateaus.

I am suppose to only be lifting Monday through Thursday but I want to hit the 100 lbs lost mark so bad that I am running for just 30 minutes on Fridays, just for the extra push. When I first came to NUTRISHOP my only source of motivation was “lose weight, look better and have the energy to play with my kids,” but after the first blog I didn’t think in a million years that my weight loss journey that I would help motivate so many other people. Friends from high school to people I have never met. All the kind words, the encouragement to keep going and to learn that I help others is enough motivation to not give up and keep pushing on. I look at it as a new challenge, because now I’m not only doing it for me and my family, but now I am doing it for others – to show them it can be done, that it’s not easy by any means but it’s worth the effort. I have had a couple people ask for advice and I am more than happy to share what has worked and what hasn’t worked for me. It’s hard to do it alone and I will help anyone that is looking to better themselves. I am truly grateful to NUTRISHOP and Toby for the opportunity to share my story and my steps towards a better me, and to Josh for pushing me to be better and leading me towards greatness.

Without these guys I am just a regular guy, but now I am a regular guy with a story and the chance to help others.

SUPPLEMENTS

unnamedI am up at 5 every morning I work out. First thing I do is mix half a scoop of THERMOVEX, a full scoop of VASOCOR, and a full scoop of BCAA. That is all the pre-workout powders. While I drink that, I take JOINT THERAPEUTICS, 1-XD and N’FUZE.

Now for my intra-workout, I take a half scoop of the XR-3 and another scoop of BCAA. Post-workout I take a heaping scoop of the FORZA PRO protein powder mixed with water if I have to work that day, or I mix it with some almond milk. Since I work out early in the morning I drink my protein powder with my breakfast that I make the night before.

JOINT THERAPEUTICS is great for me, since I have arthritis in both my elbows. I would always lift hard for a couple months and my right elbow would keep me from lifting. Since being on this supplement, I have not had any problems with my elbows and I no longer wear my elbow sleeves – I swear by this stuff.

The BCAA keeps my muscles from cramping up and being sore, on top of keeping me anabolic during my workouts. The 1-XD helps me with all the estrogen I have in my house since I am overrun by it – my wife and 3 daughters! Seriously though, it helps my body produce more testosterone and burn fat. The N’FUZE is a creatine which helps with muscle pump and blood flow. VASOCOR promotes blood flow and helps with muscle endurance, and I can go harder for longer workous. THERMOVEX really curbs my cravings and gives me energy throughout the day. I used to drink energy drinks all the time, but I have not had one for a while because I don’t need it.  I do take another half scoop of the THERMOVEX with the full scoop of BCAA around lunch time.

Probably my favorite of them all is the THERMOVEX PM. I take a scoop around bedtime and it has me sawing logs in no time – it’s also a great weight-loss powder. When I have a day I don’t work out, I just cut out the VASOCOR but take the others like it’s a workout day. I am still VERY new to the supplement world which is why I rely on what Josh from NUTRISHOP to help!

INTRODUCTION:

I remember back close to 7 years ago weighing myself at 240 and saying I’ll never let myself get over 250.

I weighed myself again a month later and I was 250.

Again I told myself I would never get over 260. A month or two later weighed 260.

I topped off at 315 five years ago. My breaking point was trying to tie my work boots and having to take a breather from tying half my boot. I had no energy to play with my 2-year-old daughter, was always in a bad mood, and I just flat out wasn’t happy. I finally had enough.

I started counting calories and got down to about 280 and was stuck there forever. I finally was driving by Nutrishop and wanted to see what they had to offer. I had always gotten my supplements from GNC but was never happy, since I was given the same thing but no results. I spoke with Josh and he pretty much got this ball rolling with his expertise on the results I was looking for and the supplements I needed to see results.

Since the end of December, I weighed 280. With help from Josh I am now down to 218. Almost 100 lbs, all while my wife was pregnant with our third girl. I set little goals of 10 to 15 pounds and kept smashing them quickly. My whole thought process was that I wanted to get down to 220 by the time the fair rolled around, because I was going to eat like you should at the fair! I set goals four times and got down to 220 before fair time. Nine months – I lost 60lbs. Without the help from the guys at Nutrishop, I wouldn’t even be close to what I am today. My pre-workout is right where it needs to be, my meal planning is great, at times. But overall I’m happy. I can now see people and not be ashamed of how big I am. Friends and family see me and tell me how good I look, or good friends tell me if I lose any more weight I will become a twig. It’s words like that that keep a guy pushing harder and harder every time in the gym. Even though I may not see results I know they’re there by the compliments.

 

Jon at 315, before he began his fitness journey.

Jon at 315, before he began his fitness journey.

WORKOUT FRIDAY: Upper-Body Push

Avoid the swarms at the gym who all flock to the bench press station on Mondays because it’s “Chest Day” – you’re smarter than that. You have “upper-body push” day, and it’s today.

Focusing on the movement, rather than the muscle groups, helps do two things – it helps you develop functional strength, and it also gives you a chance to hone in on the supporting cast of pushing movements: Your triceps, deltoids and core.

This workout is designed to build strength and endurance of strength by combining several rep ranges. Remember to adjust the weight accordingly for each set – your last two reps should be difficult, but not at the failure point. You want to be able to feel safe executing this one alone.

Upper-Body Push

Bench Press: 10-rep warmup, 5×5

4 Trisets: 10 Weighted Push-Ups (use a weight plate or vest), :30 planks, modified diamond push-ups to failure

3 Supersets: Incline DB Bench Press x 8, Standing DB Overhead Press x 10

2 Trisets: Plyometric Push-Ups x 5, Isometric push-up position hold :15, triceps rope pushdown x 12

2 Supersets: Lateral DB Flys x 15; Rear Delt Flys (machine or DB) x 15