Our Transformation Challenge Women’s Winner: Lori Perry

IMG_0702Our women’s winner of our 6-Week New Year’s Challenge is Lori Perry! Lori lost 15 pounds of fat and gained 5.2 pounds of muscle, making a tremendous 6-week turnaround!

“It’s night and day. I sleep so well. I’ve had so much energy and I feel like myself again,” said Lori, who went from a vicious cycle of working 11-hour days – mostly out of her car – and eating fast food to becoming our challenge champion. “I’m a bubbly, energetic person and I really think I was borderline depressed because of the diet I was on. I had no energy. Making these fixes to your diet changes your outlook – everything goes in a positive direction and it feels awesome.”

In December, Lori was at what she called “rock-bottom” – she was eating too much junk food, and her long work days had her feeling too exhausted to exercise. One day, she and her daughter saw our flier for our challenge, and her daughter encouraged her to join. That was the beginning of Lori’s transformation. She came in, met with DJ, and got the meal plan, supplements (BCAAs, protein and a thermogenic fat burner) and advice to guide her along her path.

“DJ was so helpful, and so excited about the challenge – I felt like it was contagious!” Lori said. “I really got motivated to do it and I really looked forward to seeing my progress every week. I never liked the scale; now I love it.”

In the beginning, Lori’s progress was a bit slower – but she realized that her weight gain was actually a good thing, because she was putting on muscle, and also made the adjustment to a stimulant-free fat burner since she did her exercise in the afternoons. Her sleep improved vastly, and so did her results. Those fixes, paired with the support of her Nutrishop friends at the shop, had her on her way.

Lori had always gotten a decent amount of activity in, but nothing that she would consider real exercise. Once she started treated food as fuel, she found she had the energy to work in cardio and resistance training. Getting back to basics was a big step for Lori: more vegetables, better protein sources and a lot less junk food.

“They’re so motivating. They’re genuinely excited for everyone in there,” Lori said. “They’re so supportive. They never made me feel like any question was silly. They really helped me get back on schedule in my own life.”

 

Now that Lori’s established a routine, she can’t believe she did anything else before. She’s found that her meal prepping for the week makes things even easier than the drive-thru – and that’s not to mention it’s a whole lot healthier. Now she’s trying to get friends to join her so they can experience the same results.

“If I can do it, you can do it. It’s not rocket science,” she said. “You just need a little help getting started sometimes. I got mine from Nutrishop, and it’s been amazing.”

 

Home Workouts for Muscle Gain & Fat Loss

Convenience can be critical for busy people who are still trying to reach their fitness goals. Home workouts are becoming more and more popular for those who want to get stronger and leaner but who don’t have the time to make it to the gym on a consistent basis.

File Feb 01, 11 16 04 PMBecause of that, many will turn to workouts that may not be enough to simulate the tried-and-true gym – you can’t beat a commercial gym for available machines, weight availability or variety. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer from boring, ineffective workouts – as long as you’re not thinking 3 sets of 10 push-ups and some sit-ups before bedtime are going to cut it, you can get the job done at home.

With time at a premium, these workouts are designed to simulate a cardio effect and challenge your muscular endurance and explosiveness. Maintain as fast of a pace as possible while still maintaining proper form, and keep all rest periods to no longer than 60 seconds.

Click this link to download a .pdf version of the workouts.

You can repeat any of these workouts 3-5 times a week, with one day of rest at most between workouts. Mix and match – you can repeat one 3-5 times, or try them all. It is best if you have access to dumbbells, a pull-up bar and an exercise ball. Stairs will also be useful.

For best results, track your progress and challenge yourself to meet higher rep numbers for timed sets or sets to failure.

Workout 1

5 Giant Sets (move from one exercise to the next for a set, with no rest in between. After the giant set is over, rest 60 seconds)

You don't need a full rack to do a home workout - just the pull-up bar will work. At-home door frame bars are a popular option.

You don’t need a full rack to do a home workout – just the pull-up bar will work. At-home door frame bars are a popular option.

-15 plyometric push-ups, 15 squat jumps, reverse-grip chin-ups to failure, 20 seconds wall sit, 30 crunches, 30 seconds of planks.

Workout 2

-3 sets of 20, dumbbell push-ups/row combo – with your palms facing each other, grasp dumbbells and use them as your anchors while performing a push-up. After the push-up, perform a one-armed row with each arm. That is one rep.

-3 supersets: 20 squats/15 forward lunges per leg. Perform the squats first, then do the alternating lunges. That’s one superset.

-3 supersets: Plank for 45 seconds/Side plank, 15 seconds per side/15 crunches

A suspension trainer is a great way to combine multiple exercises for at-home workouts.

A suspension trainer is a great way to combine multiple exercises for at-home workouts.

Workout 3

Perform two 7-minute interval circuits, in the order listed. Alternate between 30 seconds of nonstop action and 30 seconds of rest. Perform as many reps as possible in the 30-second period, where applicable. It is highly recommended that you use a stopwatch or train with a partner to keep your times honest.

Circuit 1: Jumping jacks/Wall sits/Squats/Push-ups/Crunches/Overhead Dumbbell Press/Planks

Circuit 2: High-knee sprint in place/Wall sits/Step-Ups (2 steps at a time)/Pull-Ups/Crunches/Squats/Side Planks (:15 per side)

Options to make exercises more challenging, if necessary:

-On lunges, hold dumbbells at your sides or overhead, palms facing each other

-On squats, hold dumbbells or kettlebells at shoulder-level, in front-squat position

-On side planks, use your off-hand to hold a dumbbell or kettlebell perpendicular to the floor

-On crunches, hold a kettlebell behind your head

-If you’re serious about moving to a full-time home workout schedule, consider investing in a suspension training system, like TRX (shown). You use your body weight as the resistance and can create much more intense workouts.

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.

The NUTRISHOP Hard-Gainer Trainer

Those of us who are naturally more thin and lean and have trouble adding and maintaining weight of any kind are called “hard gainers,” and we’ve got the workout and supplement plan for you!

The goal every time you hit the gym should be hypertrophy — the increase in muscle volume. To achieve this on a lean frame, you won’t be able to simply use a generic workout plan. Like all lanky guys experience when we clothes shop, you need something a bit more custom-fitted, tailored to you. Forget three sets of 10. We need to reach deep muscle fibers, building the slow-twitch ones larger and the fast-twitch ones stronger. To do that, we’ve set up this workout plan that will not only add size, strength and endurance of strength, but will provide just enough of a calorie burn to ensure that you’re not storing up fat.

Follow this plan for 4-6 weeks, and DO NOT cheat yourself — make every workout, do every set and get every rep. Anything less than full effort is a failure! It is a four-day split, with three rest days, ample time to get both physical and mental rest before you’re back in the gym, so there are no “burnout” excuses here.

Download and print out the .PDF version of this workout for easy gym use!

The supplement plan that works best for hard gainers is one that addresses the need for a calorie surplus, muscle recovery and rebuilding and even hormonal issues that aren’t as uncommon as you might think.

Absolutely, if you’re a hard gainer trying to build muscle fast, we recommend:

  • GAINER7, MASS COMPLEX, KARBOLYN or MASS FUZION — all effective at delivering quality calories in a hurry post-workout.

  • BCAA SPORT. Around the clock, your body needs amino acids to prevent catabolism, where the body feeds on muscle storage for energy.

  • N’FUZE  — Abundantly researched and shown to increase muscle volume and strength, there is no reason to pick a low-quality version of creatine anymore — it’s mostly a very affordable supplement. Kre-Alkalyn is a buffered form of creatine that ensures nearly 100 percent of this product goes to the muscles and doesn’t get converted into useless creatinin.

  • ANITEST, ARABOL, AUGMENT, 1-XD and HGH-191 are outstanding options to get your body back to growing, the natural way. Hard gainers are hard-wired to simply not produce much muscle mass. This can be changed with more natural testosterone production. As many lean guys can attest, during puberty there was one massive growth spike where we got taller and filled out (at least as much as we were going to). Natural testosterone, which caused that spike, decreases dramatically as men get older, leading to increases in body fat and decreases in muscle  mass.

  • Pre-workout products like N’SANE, NOX-P3, ANX-P3, STANCE and THERMOVEX deliver more energy, both of mind and body, for the most high-quality workouts you can get. Plus, the increased blood flow means your other supplements are working more efficiently.

THE TRAINING PLAN

MONDAY (Chest and Back)

5 Supersets: Wide-grip pull-ups (failure)/barbell bench press (x12). Clear the bar with your chin and lower yourself all the way down; likewise, on bench, pull the bar down to your chest and, without bouncing it, drive it back up. Perfect form is the biggest key.

5 Supersets: T-bar rows (x12)/dumbbell incline press (x12).

5 Supersets: Seated cable rows (x12)/dumbbell flys (x12).

TUESDAY (Legs and Abs)

5 Supersets: Wide-stance squats (x12)/narrow-stance leg press (x12). On the leg press, keeping your feet close together, toes pointed straight forward, will target the upper leg’s outer sweep more, while a wider squat with the toes pointed slightly outward allows for a deeper, more engaging movement.

5 Supersets: Romanian deadlifts (x12)/wall sits (x15 seconds).

5 Supersets: Hamstring curls (x12)/seated calf raises (x20).

3 Supersets: Hanging leg raises (x8)/decline crunches (x10)/planks (x30 seconds).

WEDNESDAY (Arms)

5 Trisets: EZ Bar Curls (x6)/French triceps press (x12)/Reverse-grip curls (x6)

3 Supersets: Weighted dips (to failure)/preacher curl machine (x25)

3 Trisets: Hammer curls (x10 per arm)/V-bar cable pushdowns (x20)/incline dumbbell curls (x10 per arm)

THURSDAY (Shoulders and Abs)

4 Supersets: Arnold Presses (x12)/Upright rows (x12)

Standing overhead press: 4×12

5 Supersets: Lateral raises (x15)/front raises (x15)

3 Trisets: Hanging leg raises (x10)/decline crunches (x12)/planks (x30 seconds)

 

The NUTRISHOP Lean Gains Plan for Men

When we hear people set fitness goals, we usually here one or the other of these: to gain muscle mass, or to lose fat.

We’re asking — why not both? While it is more difficult to achieve both goals at the same time, it is possible, and it’s not as hard as some may think. Building lean, strong muscle mass while losing body fat is the holy grail of fitness goals outside of athletic performance, and it requires a dedicated adherence to a smart diet plan and goal-focused training plan.

That’s why we’ve put together this week-long workout you can repeat up to six weeks straight: The NUTRISHOP Lean Gains Plan for men.

For a .PDF version of this file you can print out and take to the gym with you, click here!

With five days a week of weight training (three lower-body, two upper-body), followed by a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, the focus will be on short-but-effective workouts that limit rest periods. Keep them to no longer than 60 seconds between sets; if a superset is listed, you take no rest between exercises within the superset and rest only after the superset is complete. Each day has varying levels of intensity, with Days 2 and 3 sure to be your most grueling workouts.

After every workout, perform 15 minutes of HIIT, using a 45-15 method — that is, go 45 seconds at 70-75 percent effort, followed by 15 seconds of all-out effort. Then ramp it back down and repeat.

We’ve included recommended supplements to take as well, and the timing of them, to maximize your results.

Pre-Workout Supplementation:

45 minutes before workout – 4 ARABOL, 3 N’FUZE, 3 N’RAGE

10-15 minutes before workout: Pre-Workout (NO-XP3, HEMOVEX, N’SANE, VASOCOR, STANCE, ERRATIC, BLUEPRINT)

Intra-Workout Supplementation:

1/2 to 1 scoop of KARBOLYN XR3, 1 SCOOP BCAA

Post-Workout Supplementation:

1.5 scoops PRO7/FORZAPRO, 3 N’FUZE, 3 N’RAGE

1.5 Hours After Workout:

Post-Workout Meal – lean protein, small slow-burning carb (half a sweet potato or 1/4 C of oatmeal, for example), small piece of fruit

DAY 1 LOWER BODYopener-squat-supercharged-ss

Squats: 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 (increase weight)
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: 14, 12, 10, 8 (increase weight)
Power Cleans: 6, 6, 4, 4, 3
Jump Squats: 4 sets to failure

15 mins HIIT

DAY 2 UPPER BODY

3 Supersets: 12 DB Bench Press/12 Bent-Over DB Rows. Use the exact same dumbbells for both movements, never setting them down.

3 Supersets: 12 Incline BB Bench Press/12 Wide-Grip Pull-Ups. If you can’t do 12 pull-ups, either use an assisted pull-up machine or (if you can’t do even 6-8) go to failure.

3 Supersets: 10 Plyometric Push-Ups/12 Medicine Ball Slams. If you don’t have access to medicine balls (or the gym doesn’t like you slamming them into the ground), you can sub in Wide-Grip Standing Cable Pushdowns.

3 Supersets: 10 DB Flys/10 Inverted Rows. Perform your inverted rows on a Smith machine by lowering the bar, then simply pull yourself up, belly up and body parallel to the ground.

15 mins HIIT

DAY 3 LOWER BODY/CORE

5 Supersets: 5 deadlifts (heavy)/12 narrow-stance squats (light)

4 Supersets: 5 Bent Kettlebell Presses/Plank for 45 seconds (30 if you cannot do 45)

5 Supersets: 3 Power Clean-to-Front Squat/3 per leg – Alternating Box Step-Ups, holding a plate overhead

3×12: Hanging Leg Raises

4×5 per arm: Cable Chop

4×5 per arm: Cable Lift

15 mins HIIT

DAY 4 – REST DAY (HIIT OPTIONAL)

DAY 5 UPPER BODY

3 Supersets: Alternating One-Arm DB Bench Press (8 per arm)/Alternating One-Arm DB Rows (8 per arm) — on the bench press, hold two dumbbells, with the off-hand stabilizing one just above your chest, not resting on it, while the other works.

3 Tri-Sets: 8 DB Standing Press/8 Flat-Bar Triceps Cable Pushdowns/8 Reverse-Grip Pull-Ups

15 mins HIIT

DAY 6 LOWER BODY

4 Supersets: 5 Squats/12 Leg Extensions (heavy on squats, light on extensions)

4 Supersets: 5 Deadlifts/12 Hamstring Curls (heavy on DLs, light on curls)

3 Supersets: 8 Alternating Forward Lunges (per leg)/8 Seated Calf Raises

15 mins HIIT

DAY 7 – REST DAY

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: Short on Time? Hit These Three Lifts

The standing press is a great one to incorporate, whether you're in a rush or trying to hone upper-body strength.

The standing press is a great one to incorporate, whether you’re in a rush or trying to hone upper-body strength.

You need to work out, but you don’t have time for a comprehensive, all-encompassing session full of time-consuming, single-joint movements to complement your other lifts, or you can’t do a dedicated muscle group day. Not a problem. You can always do three staple lifts without missing a beat.

DEADLIFTS: There’s hardly a more functional, muscle-engaging exercise than the deadlift; some even rank it above the squat — consider your every-day life, and how often you might bend over to pick something up, compared to getting under it and putting it on your back. Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, back and more — the deadlift will make you work hard and is one of the best time investments you can make in the gym.

You can get the most benefit from the deadlift by treating it as a training-for-function exercise, which means you’re going to go heavy. 5×5 is a great classic set-rep scheme that gets you enough reps while challenging enough for each one to make it worth your while.

PULL-UPS: Pull your body through space until your chin is above the bar. It could hardly sound easier, and yet, pull-ups still remain one of the most basic and best back and arm exercises you can perform. Targeting the lats, traps, rhomboids, biceps and delts, the pull-up is a true, natural test of your strength. When you’re crunched for time, you can hardly do better than banging out a few sets of these.

Because they’re difficult, and because everyone’s weight and strength levels aren’t always in accordance, it can be a bit too tough to try to pull of 3 or 4 sets of 10-12. Definitely shoot for that, but if your arms give out before your back does, find an assisted pull-up machine that helps displace some of your body weight. As a last resort, you can use the pull-down machine.

STANDING PRESS: Take weight. Lift it above your head. Hold it there like a trophy. On top of just looking cool, the standing press is a staple of upper-body strength and utility. Engaging the shoulders, back, upper chest and core, the standing press can allow for big gains in short order when done properly.

Any number of sets and reps totaling 24-30 reps is ideal, but keep the weight safe. You should be able to start with the bar on the floor, or in a hang clean position. A personal favorite set-rep scheme that allows for the heavier end is 4×6 or 3×8, but you could lighten it up and go 3×10-12 as well. If you really want to test your endurance, shoot for 4-10 (and go significantly lighter).

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: Push-Pull Method

Training antagonistic (opposing) muscles groups has been touted for years as one of the more efficient, effective ways to work out. It provides great blood flow and “pump” to the target muscle groups, enhancing growth and recovery. One of the more unrecognized benefits is that it can be used to train functionally in an extremely effective manner.

To some degree, many antagonistic muscle groups work almost in unison, with one flexing or working while the other stretches or relaxes. Consider a bicep curl: As you lift the weight, the biceps get tight, obviously, and at the same time, the triceps get a break; switch up this movement, to, say, a triceps pushdown, and the biceps become elongated and nearly taken out of the equation, only returning to flexion at the very top of the triceps movement.

back, chest, push, pull, workout, exercise, trainingTo apply this to a big-muscle group, consider a push-pull workout, which targets the chest, shoulders and back functionally when done properly. Supersets are a great way to get through these workouts, as multiple muscle groups can mean prolonged exercise sessions. The chest, triceps, shoulders and core all benefit from pushing movements; pulling movements strengthen the biceps, core, back and parts of the shoulder as well.

3 Supersets: 12 DB Bench Press/12 Bent-Over DB Rows. If you’re feeling like you really want to move, you can use the exact same dumbbells for both movements, never setting them down.

3 Supersets: 12 Incline BB Bench Press/12 Wide-Grip Pull-Ups. If you can’t do 12 pull-ups, either use an assisted pull-up machine (if you can’t do even 6-8) or go to failure.

3 Supersets: 10 Plyometric Push-Ups/12 Medicine Ball Slams. If you don’t have access to medicine balls (or the gym doesn’t like you slamming them into the ground), you can sub in Wide-Grip Standing Cable Pushdowns.

3 Supersets: 10 DB Flys/10 Inverted Rows. Perform your inverted rows on a Smith machine by lowering the bar, then simply pull yourself up, belly up and body parallel to the ground.