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

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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.

Get HUGE With the Right GAINER7 Plan

If you’re looking into putting on the size and muscle that a solid plan and supplementation with Vitasport’s GAINER7 can offer, you’ll soon find that there is a lot of work to do in order to add enough weight without putting on fat.

Why not get the most out of GAINER7 while you’re at it? There are several stacking options that can maximize its benefits and promote muscle growth. The road to bulking is notoriously difficult and requires discipline, but smart supplementation can boost the effects you’ll see and feel.

A few supplements to consider adding into your GAINER7 regimen, and why:

Creatine: One of the most researched, tried-and-true supplements out there, there are now newer forms of it that are even more effective than the old monohydrate. Creatine is renowned for its numerous benefits, including lean muscle mass increase, significant strength gains, advances in muscle cell energy (ATP) and even improved muscular endurance. Very few mass-building programs don’t include at least a gainer and a creatine supplement; these two starting points are some of the best available.

NUTRISHOP Recommendation: CellShock N’Fuze KreAlkalyn. A buffered version of creatine, you get nearly 100 percent of the product without it getting converted to useless (or even toxic) creatinine in the body.

L-Glutamine: Muscle recovery is among the most important aspects of the bulking phase you’ll encounter, mostly because you’re going to want to up the intensity of your workouts. When you do that, you’re increasing the damage you do, only in hopes of bringing them back stronger. Glutamine is an amino acid that serves multiple purposes in the body, but the main ones you care about are its ability to repair muscle fiber and improve immune function. Remember, you gain while you rest, not while you lift.

NUTRISHOP Recommendation: Katalyst Glutacor. It’s a mega-dose of the amino acid supplement, including patented GlycoCarn, which increases muscle recovery time by helping to eliminate metabolic waste. Glutacor is designed to restore muscles and reduce muscle fatigue, so you can get right back to your workouts and mass gain.

There are several other outstanding products that will help an athlete looking to gain lean weight besides just these, so be sure to stop in by NUTRISHOP and find out which ones can help you most.

Pack on Muscle with GAINER7!

It seems like in the nutrition and exercise industries, one buzz phrase that has the longest shelf life and most popularity is “fat loss.” And NUTRISHOP is the first to promote it, where it’s needed most.

However, there is a surprisingly large amount of people who are worried about just the opposite — being too small. Tall skinny guys, or even people looking to just add on muscle for any reason (speeding up the metabolism, becoming stronger, etc) will always have trouble putting on good weight without too much fat.

The simple answer might seem easy: Eat more calories. But it’s tougher than that. Hard-gainers can’t simply turn to eating 5,000 calories a day and get it all out of food without sacrificing nutritional “profile.” Too many calories in a diet like that are bound to come from saturated fats, simple sugars and other empty calories. And from a practical standpoint, few have the time to eat that much whole food in a day.

Look, half the equation is actually correct — you do need to take in more calories to gain weight, plain and simple. But by maintaining the proper types of calories you eat, particularly with slow-digesting carbs and a good supply of protein, you can control just what your body looks like even as you add weight to it. And that’s the goal, right?

We’ve seen with Vitasport’s Pro7ein Synthesis how proper supplementation with protein powder can turn around any diet plan. GAINER7, also made by Vitasport, is a protein blend with the same outstanding protein properties of Pro7ein Synthesis, but with nearly double the protein per serving and a 2-1 carb-protein ratio that studies have shown to be critical when it comes to post-workout replenishment.

GAINER7 is one of the cleanest gainer products available, offering more than 700 calories per serving without weighing you down the bad way — with fat and sugar. The carb blend in GAINER7 is primarily derived from whole wheat, maltodextrin and dextrose, for a staggered release of blood sugar and anabolic insulin, without the vicious spike and crash you’d get from cheaper, faster-burning sugars.

And, like Pro7ein Synthesis, GAINER7 contains Aminogen, which naturally boosts the nitrogen in the system to help keep you anabolic. With the amino acids protein provide to help you build muscle and recover, the 54-gram serving of protein is an ideal ratio for anybody looking to put on size; the different absorption rates of the seven protein types ensures that the maximum amount of protein will reach your recovering muscles without being wasted.

GAINER7 is among NUTRISHOP’s best supplements from Vitasport and a great example of the success an effective gainer can bring — without those super-sweet fillers and additives you might get in “other” gainers. Be sure to ask any certified NUTRISHOP employee about GAINER7 if you’re interested in packing on muscle without the unnecessary fat that can come with it.

Taking Advantage of Elevated Hormone Levels

It’s not surprising to hear an athlete’s nutrition shop like NUTRISHOP discuss the benefits of supplements, but we will be the first to acknowledge that products alone will not get you results.

Training and diet are always going to be the top dogs when it comes to reaching fitness goals, and they always should tie in to the supplements you’re taking — in other words, you want to both maximize the effects of what you are spending your hard-earned money on, while also taking full advantage of it.

To that end, there are certainly dietary and training tips to be mindful of when choosing the AGF-X stack in order to boost the body’s natural growth hormone production levels for strength, muscle mass and power. You’re presumably interested in 1-XD and 1-XPM because you want to grow — you need to also train and eat to accommodate that goal.

As your natural hormone production is elevated, with both the testosterone boost from 1-XD and the increased promotion of GH achieved with better deep sleep cycles from 1-XPM, the body should undergo subtle physical changes — namely, increased strength, fat loss and muscle gain. If you’ve added Augment or Arabol to this stack, you’ve obviously gone the route of adding muscle mass, too. It’s an optimal time to take advantage of those changes, both with your activity in the gym and in the kitchen.

Ramp up the intensity with your workouts, preferably with more weight. We’d recommend a 3-to-4-week period of really focusing on power lifts, heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts, and minimal single-joint training. Research suggests multi-muscle activation, even at lower rep ranges, is much more beneficial to explosive power than mid- or  high-range reps at lighter weight. And since you’ve got the supplements to help promote strength and muscle mass, it seems to make sense that bolstering your training in the same direction would help more than, say, investing in a mass-building product while zooming along on the treadmill and then hitting some light “toning” work.

Likewise, heavy lifting pairs well with heavy eating (calm down; this doesn’t mean alfredo sauce and melted cheese). A high-protein, high-calorie diet is made to order here — intense exercise forces the metabolism to speed up, and with heavy training, the effects last long after the workout, thus increasing the rate of protein synthesis. That, in turn, directly affects how quickly and completely the muscles are repaired and rebuilt after your intense, heavy workouts have broken down the fibers. The body’s muscles do not know the difference between rep ranges, weight, etc. — but they do respond to high tension, whether it’s achieved through heavier weight or through fatigue achieved from higher reps. That response, at least in the rebuilding and recovery stages, is to better equip it for that same stimulus of tension, but it cannot do so without plentiful and proper nutrition.

That means a high-protein diet, with plenty of quality calories from other food sources, too — healthy fats, plentiful vegetables and sensible, slow-burning carbohydrates should all be part of a muscle-building, strength-gaining meal plan. If you aren’t sure what that looks like, remember: NUTRISHOP always does meal plans for FREE for all customers.

It’s one thing to pick up the products and hope to see results, but it’s wisest to put in the right kind of work in the weight room and with one’s diet, too.

How Detoxifying Helps With Muscle Gain and Fat Loss

The many benefits of detoxifying the system — colon, gall bladder, liver, kidneys — are seen throughout the body, in almost every important function it does. A more effective digestive and endocrine system helps the entire operation run much more smoothly. But we know our clients have goals. One of them is muscle gain, and it’s not an uncommon question: Can a detox help?

The short answer is yes. But we’ll explain how.

As your kidneys and liver work to filter out toxins, they also are performing a ton of other jobs — these organs are some of the most versatile, hard-working ones you have! The liver is believed to have as many as 500 separate functions, from hormone production and breakdown to nutrient metabolism. But two of the most important things it does, at least to a person who wants to build muscle, are synthesizing amino acids and metabolizing proteins, two essential steps for muscle growth and recovery.

It might help to think of your liver as an employee, even, who is really good at just about everything he does — but he has a lot on his plate. In fact, when it comes to one job, he’s almost TOO good. That job is waste filtration, and he’s the best. What happens when the liver is overwhelmed with bacteria, waste and toxins is that it cannot perform the rest of its jobs as efficiently. This goes for fat digestion, blood sugar regulation and, yes, protein synthesis. So not only do toxins and waste harm your muscle-building goals, but they slow your fat-burning processes, too.

A large part of how we introduce these toxins comes from food chemicals, airborne waste and bacterial imbalances in the gut. Nutritionist Byron Richards explained how these can contribute to fat gain even further (original research credits included):

The scientific theory of how these chemicals cause weight gain8 and difficulty losing weight has now been established.  They bind to gene signaling within white adipose tissue and induce new fat cells to form9 while simultaneously increasing inflammation10. Oftentimes, the newly formed fat cells are themselves damaged by the toxins11 so that they cannot metabolically perform12, which includes an inability to make leptin normally13. These damaged fat cells can fill up with excess fat14 and toxins, but are not able to efficiently carry out normal functions of fat cells, leading directly to increased risk for type 2 diabetes15 via the suppression of the important fat cell hormone16 known as adiponectin 17. Several human studies confirm that PCBs increase diabetes risk.18 These chemicals pose a serious problem to the thyroid gland19 and the efficient utilization of thyroid hormone throughout your body.  Furthermore, they can cause either hypothyroidism20 or hyperthyroidism. Trying to get the fat and toxins out of these damaged fat cells is no small challenge in terms of successful weight loss, yet it is vital to restore normal metabolism. (Source)

If you want to give your liver some help in doing its hundreds of jobs, strongly consider a natural detox and cleanse. A great place to start is with NUTRISHOP’s Detox Stack. It works to help flush toxins and waste within the organs, making the system more efficient so you can start making more gains!

Turn Holiday Eating into Muscle Mass

With the right meal plan and proper exercise routine, a man can turn calories into muscle mass quickly. A prolonged spike in calories, with high-volume or heavy training, is called a bulking phase. And then there’s what happens during the holidays — EVERYONE is on a bulking phase!

However, with the right hormonal response and same dedication to training, all the calories you’re cramming down your jolly face CAN be converted to muscle. You want to get bigger and stronger? Take advantage of the holiday spike in caloric intake and make it a true anabolic season. Your meal plan is already set: As long as you are getting tons of protein, keep shoveling in the food (and if you’re not, come see us — we’ve got plenty of protein lying around). Stay consistent with your intense weight training. And invest in this supplement stack (or ask for a NUTRISHOP gift card — they are available for ANY price) for the best gains possible.

Type Product
Protein Blend Protein 7
Pro 5
Multi-Vitamin Natures Fuel
Human Growth Hormone HGH 191
HGH Up
Testosterone Anitest
Testanon
Ergotest
Arachidonic Acid Arabol
ZMA Anabolix PM
NOW ZMA

Other anabolic formulas include 1-XD, 1-XPM and BETABOL. Drop in to NUTRISHOP to find out what the best stack is for you and how you can turn that holiday weight gain into muscle mass!

The Gift-Giver’s Guide for Fitness Goals: Muscle Gain

There is no more valuable possession than health, and personal fitness is a big part of it. So why  not make a Christmas gift out of it? Showing someone you care for their health, happiness and longevity is a great place to start when it comes to picking out a special present.

NUTRISHOP wants to help you share the gift of health and is ready to help you pick out the perfect gift! Everyone’s goals are a little different, but chances are that we’ve got something for everybody. This list will focus on muscle gain — even for the beloved skinny guy or girl in your life — and give you a great shopping list to choose from. Or, if you are trying to get in shape yourself, jot some of these down and direct your own Santa Claus to NUTRISHOP!

  • Protein: Plain and simple, the body needs protein to build muscle. A lot of hard work and intense training are responsible for hard-gainers putting on muscle mass, but it’s all for naught without this crucial recovery and rebuilding macronutrient. Options to choose from: PRO7, PRO5, HYDROPRO.
  • BCAAs: The building blocks of proteins, branched-chain amino acids are a must for people who want to keep the muscle they’ve earned instead of having it burn away. People with fast metabolisms struggle to gain weight because the body is so efficient at turning what it sees as “extra muscle” into energy; BCAAs provide a buffer zone, allowing your muscle to stay intact while helping to build more. Options to choose from: BCAA Sport, EAA-X, Instantized BCAABCAA GT-AKG by VITASPORT.
  • Gainers: For those who want to add muscle in a hurry, gainer shakes are high-calorie formulas loaded with tons of recovery and growth ingredients to help shuttle nutrients to the muscles for the fastest results possible. With high-carbohydrate blends and quality proteins included, NUTRISHOP has several quality gainers to consider. Options to choose from: MASS FUZIONGainer 7, Mass Complex.
  • Creatine: Your beloved skinny gift-receiver will be all-too-thankful for this naturally derived compound with tons of research behind it. Creatine has years of studies showing that it increases muscle size, strength and endurance, a perfect addition to any hard-gainer’s supplement stack. The best NUTRISHOP creatine to pick up is the one we’ll list here, a krealkalyn formula that doesn’t break down or waste product the way regular creatine monohydrate does. Best option to choose from: N’FUZE
  • Glutamine: Again, recovery is of utmost importance for muscle gaining, and so is a strong immune system — after all, it’s hard to work out when you’re sick. Glutamine is another highly researched, highly praised product that speeds up and enhances muscle and immune recovery. It’s great for anybody, but especially good for hard-gainers. Best option to choose from: Glutacor.

There are tons of other supplements to choose from, so come in to NUTRISHOP and let us help you build the perfect Christmas present!