Testimonial: Scotty Added 30 Pounds of Muscle in a Year!

Scotty put on 30 pounds of muscle in a year!

Scotty put on 30 pounds of muscle in a year!

A year ago, Scotty was a pretty typical 20-year-old skinny kid.

Weighing in at 142 pounds and a self-proclaimed video game junkie, Scotty would begin each day with a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, and that would usually hold him over until dinner time. A naturally fast metabolism ensured that Scotty stayed skinny.

And then, one day, he felt a challenge to get into the gym. And once he started, he didn’t want to stop.

“I was just motivated to get in there. Once I started going, I saw results – putting on 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 15,” he said. “I was just stoked to see it happening and excited to go every day. I realized that what I put into it, I got back out of it, and that really appealed to me.”

That same week, he visited us at Nutrishop to get his plan rolling – and we were happy to help! Toby set him up with a basic gainer stack – N’FUZE, PRO7EIN SYNTHESIS, KARBOLYN and BCAA – and a meal plan that drastically increased Scotty’s protein intake. He went from starting out around six eggs a day and thinking there was no way it was possible to recently taking in 18 daily. Of course, he started putting on muscle mass.

“I went from literally eating only Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles and dinner to eating with a solid plan every day,” Scotty said. “I focused on eating good carbs because it’s so hard for me to gain weight, and I still try to eat whatever I can, whenever I can, as long as it’s clean. They really got me going in the right direction.”

Combined with monthly workout plans that vary his sets and reps, Scotty stayed consistent above all else and continued to see gains. When he would hit plateaus, he would come into Nutrishop for advice, and find a way to get past them.

“It’s a great partnership, I think,” he said. “Instead of going in there to buy my supplements and just leave, I can talk with them for as long as I want. They’re so knowledgeable – they’d help me revise my meal plan or offer some other advice that I didn’t even think about to keep me moving forward.”

Scotty didn’t even truly notice his gains until he compared recent photos of himself to ones from a year ago – quite the difference! But the biggest reward for Scotty is in how he feels, not just physically, but in his self-evaluation too.

“I do feel a higher sense of confidence – more than anything it affects me mentally,” he said. “I feel like in the gym, I can apply myself, go all-in 100 percent and achieve my goals, and that’s a powerful feeling. That’s something I can apply that to other aspects of my life.”

Way to go, Scotty!

60 Pounds Down, Many More to Go – Keep up With Jake’s Body Transformation


Note from Nutrishop: Jake Edlund 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 Jake, who is continuing to check in with the Nutrishop CDA store and use Nutrishop products to aid his journey.
Week 9: September 22, 2015
CaptureThis week we are going to be starting a new program that is provided through Bodyspace. The program that I will be starting is Kris Gethin’s 12 Week Daily Trainer. The main goal with it is going to be to cut fat through building as much muscle as possible. For the past year or so I have been in a constant mode of cutting with a fairly strict diet, and to be honest the diet, along with the cut, gets very strenuous on your body. For this program my goal is to eat an even amount of protein and carbs, along with a healthy fat intake. The ratio I am looking at is a 40-40-20, protein carbs fats. I am doing this to build more muscle with a steady fat burn. Along with weights I will be shooting for around an hour and 45 minutes of cardio a week. At the end of the build I plan on going back into a cut for summer. My goal is to have a lean healthy body on graduation day. Let’s get it! Also going to be posting a video of my progress and updates every week on the YouTube channel so look out for that!
Video: Jake’s Meal Preparation

Week 9: September 15, 2015
Jake 9-15This week is going to be a big week. As classes get harder the intensity of the workouts are going to increase. With the increased work load there is going to be more stress on my body so I am going to focus this week on mitigating stress through tackling one day at a time. I plan on getting all of my workouts and meals in the best that I can. One big topic that I am going to be focusing on this week is sustainability. I am going to make things work the best that I can with what I have. When you are on a fitness journey with strict goals and a strict regimen, it is hard to always get everything right every time. You cannot let the little failures of missing a meal or a workout get to you, and lead to one big failure. You have to work through the journey one day at a time and make it all work out. This is true with fitness as much as it is true with life. The real transformation of a fitness journey not only happens with the body but also with the mind. It forms a sense of mental vigor, with an increasing sense of vitality to achieve goals, and ultimately form you into an amazing human.
Week 7: September 8, 2015
In my last video, The Ultimate Disclaimer, I told you all what I have been up to for the past couple weeks and the struggles I have been having. Go check out the video for more details! This week will be focused on building back some of my lost strength along with promoting an increased metabolism. I’m going to pull out of the last two weeks of funk and sickness and have some sort of a kickstart for my fitness again. I’ve found that this happens to me once in awhile but the best thing to do is just pick up and keep going and re develop a sense of symmetry and oneness in your life. When you have a goal and are working towards it at a steady rate, all of the smaller parts of your life start to fall into place.
Week 6: September 5, 2015
Jake checks in on his weekly video log with an update on his results.

Week 5: August 31, 2015
This week I plan on getting back on track with the full fitness regimen. The past two weeks of being sick have left me feeling weak and unhealthy. I plan on getting everything back together by getting my meal timing and prep down to a science. After 10 days of not getting in the gym I can finally get back to it this week. This sickness has really knocked me back but when it comes to fitness persistence is key and staying committed to the end goal is what matters.

Week 4: August 24, 2015
Today is the first day of fall semester and I’m ready to kick it into high gear! I have classes along with my lifting schedule, diet and work. Retrospectively, the last month has been amazing! I have been making small, consistent gains in my lifting and fat loss with help from Nutrishop. I am down to around 24.5 percent body fat and feeling good. My losses have slowed but consistency and determination are key! I have been dealing with being sick for the last week or so and have been maintaining as well as possible. My goals for the week are to figure out the best times to get my lifts in and to manage my new hectic lifestyle while doing school. Time management is going to be key in doing this and I am ready to rise to the challenge! New video should be up on Friday of this week along with uploads to my Instagram! Go big or go home!
Week 3: Jake followed his diet well, but some distractions slowed his gym progress mentally.

Week 3: Jake followed his diet well, but some distractions slowed his gym progress mentally.

Week 3: August 17, 2015

This week has been one of slow progression and consistent effort. Weeks like this keep me reminded of what the ultimate goal is with my weight loss, and that dedication and consistency are the keys to success in losing weight overall. I have been eating all the meals that I need to this week; that being said, my macros seem to fall a little short every day. Other than that, the goals that I set for myself last week have stuck and I have been progressing and keeping up the consistency.
My work in the gym, however, has been a tough mental game this week. Normally I have the unique ability to turn my brain off and just power through workouts without directly thinking about all the negative thoughts that can be involved with the workout. However, this week it seemed to be the direct opposite and some negative thoughts found their way into my head when I was in my workouts. This was somewhat impacting on my workout but I did not let it ruin my entire workout. This is a new week and a fresh start and it’s time to kick it up another notch! This week’s goals are going to start with setting strength marks and spending the next two weeks after to try to break through and build those marks higher. As always, go big or go home!
Video: Jake’s Daily Supplements
Check out the NUTRISHOP products Jake prefers to take as he moves toward his goals:

Week 2: August 10, 2015
CaptureThis week has been a very hectic week when it comes to fitness. I have been in the transition process of moving back to college and have been going through constant transition. The diet has been off this week due to the constant transition. I have been trying to track my calorie intake the best I can, but can honestly say that I have not been hitting my macros this week.
When it comes to getting in the gym I have been getting in the gym every other day and been doing high volume and short rest times to get my heart rate up and burn fat. As far as supplementation goes, I have been cutting back – I have been using creatine, Vasocor preworkout, and glutamine. I follow that up with a daily regimen of fish oil, daily multivitamin, and HYPERCOR.
This is the last week and what’s been happening. Main goals for next week are eat all my meals, eat all my macros, and do one thing daily to improve my overall health. Go big or go home.
Introduction: August 5, 2015
jake1My name is Jake and I am native to the Northwest. Currently I weigh 270lbs and have the current fitness goal of cutting that weight down to around the 225- to 235-pound range
by October 1st. While doing this cut I want to make sure that it is comprised completely of fat and that I am not losing any of the lean muscle mass that I have built. I want to
ensure that I keep my strength up and continue to progress in becoming stronger and having more and more endurance with my strength training. This comprises my current
fitness goal sheet.
image2I got started with fitness when I was around 17-18 years old. When I started I was extremely overweight and felt little to no self-confidence. I decided that it was time to do something
about it one day when I looked down at the big number of 338.6lbs on the scale staring back at me. I got a gym membership and began doing cardio and a light lifting regimen. This persisted
for around 6 months or so until I lost motivation and “fell off the wagon”. I went through a period of off-and-on workouts and dieting for the next two years. Right after my 20th birthday is when the
biggest change in my life really happened. This is when the life journey of sustainable fitness started for me. I began to go to the gym regularly and began to diet with a fierce intensity. I went from
330 pounds down to 300 within the first month and a half of this schedule that I had set for myself and have not stopped since. Mind you, it has not been an easy journey, with many high and low periods.
image3The lightest that I have ever been is 256.4 pounds, but due to some complications and worldwide travel that number has gone back up to 270. Regardless, this has been my self taught, journey with sustainable
weight loss so far.
The main motivation that got me into fitness was purely health. I wanted to be fit and happy and not have to worry about diseases that could have been caused by my size. As I progressed
in fitness, my goals began to shift to building muscle and being bigger in a better way. When people ask me what motivates me I tell them, “If I am going to be a big dude, it should be in the
good way,” so for this reason I have continued to cut weight and build more muscle while chasing my goals. For future motivation I have focused on becoming more and more fit and envision
the physique of greatness that I see under my residual fat when I look in the mirror.
Nutrishop has been a huge help in me attaining my goals of sustainable weight loss and physical fitness overall. I have become more knowledgeable from the tips from the staff in the shop along
with being provided a valuable resource for supplementation to my diet. Diet is 80 percent of weight loss, and with the help of the staff at the shop I have developed a sustainable diet for me to
cut a large portion of fat off of my body, with continued support and easy access to information on changes or challenges that might occur. Nutrishop in CDA Idaho is one of the best stores out
there that will personally help you reach any fitness goal that you are aiming to achieve, and have the knowledge and power to help make it happen.
Check out Jake’s intro video here:

 

Fight Holiday Fat — Starting Now

Did you know the average American gains 7 pounds of fat between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? Let NUTRISHOP show you how to start NOW to prevent and even lose fat this holiday season!
Over the next three weeks, we’ll break down the supplements, training and diet tips that can help you avoid joining that dubious statistic and carve out the body you want while everyone else is packing on the pounds.
We’ll be updating this running blog with a new entry regularly, so be sure to bookmark it and save it as an easy fat-loss guide this holiday season!
SUPPLEMENTS
The best fat-loss supplements that NUTRISHOP provides will aid your fight even as sugar-and-fat-loaded foods surround you. Yes, some self-control will make the biggest difference, but if you do find yourself “socially indulging,” stock up on products that contain CLA, green coffee bean and L-Carnitine. You can find those in the form of KETOLEAN 7, LIPOCOR, THERMOVEX and METABOLIC SPIKE. All of those except THERMOVEX are stimulant-free, and any person can take these regardless of stimulant sensitivites — come in and find out how and when to take these.
KETOLEAN 7: Found in the EVOLVE Metabolic Triad System, KETOLEAN 7’s star ingredient is CLA. Conjugated linoleic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in meat and certain dairy sources. CLA is a clinically studied weight loss aid that assists the body in effectively burning more calories. In a 2007 meta-analysis, CLA demonstrated significant support for healthy body composition, resulting in a reduction in total body fat and an increase in lean body mass. In addition to its fat loss properties, CLA’s health benefits include being an anti-catabolic agent, an antioxidant and has also been shown to support immune function.
LIPOCOR: LIPOCOR is a comprehensive formula of essential fatty acids based on natural oils from fish (for EPA and DHA) and flaxseed oil (for ALA and LA), mainly. We’ve come to understand that healthy fats in your diet are outstanding for your overall health and have a major impact on fat-loss capabilities.Where LIPOCOR differs from other essential fatty acid products is that it also promotes muscle toning — the byproduct of this very well could be a decrease in body fat, since more muscle on the body’s frame means a faster metabolism. The faster the body’s metabolism works, the quicker it burns through carbs — and then it can start to focus on torching those final five pounds. LIPOCOR’s muscular support formula comes from lipids that occur in meat and dairy products naturally.LIPOCOR also supports muscle recovery with L-Carnitine, which has been shown in a 2002 study to have a “significant antioxidant effect,” along with its more commonly known benefit of being a catalyst for fatty acid oxidation — meaning it helps your body turn to fatty acids for energy faster. LIPOCOR also functions as an appetite suppressant, making it easier to create the needed calorie deficit for fat-burning.THERMOVEX: THERMOVEX was designed to activate the fat burning mechanisms in your body while stimulating the biochemistry that burns stored body fat. This is accomplished by combining a high dosage of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) with LCLT (L-Carnitine L-Tartrate) in order to help increase the metabolic rate at which the body can burn calories and carry stored energy from fat cells into the mitochondria of the muscle cells for fuel. By providing just the right amount of CNSS (central nervous system stimulation), THERMOVEX targets fat loss and improved muscle definition via multiple metabolic pathways. THERMOVEX is also fortified with a blend of effective and natural Chinese and ayurvedic herbal extracts. This is designed to help provide further thermogenic activity and muscle support to insure the body has the proper furnace to burn those extra calories all day long while eliminating free radicals with powerful proven antioxidant extracts. Also included is a blend of powerful appetite suppressing extracts of Hoodia and products currently available rely on tricky marketing ploys rather than solid scientific formulas. Designed to deliver professional strength results, THERMOVEX is the next generation of metabolic artillery when used in conjunction with proper nutrition and a regular exercise program.Additionally, there is a nighttime fat-burning version of this product, THERMOVEX PM!This product is a great-tasting, stimulant-free nighttime metabolic support formula that is specifically designed to optimize your resting metabolic rate, which increases stored body fat utilization. In addition, Thermovex PM is designed to improve sleep patterns and preserve lean muscle.Thermovex PM also contains fiber to manage weight control, a powdered formula that’s quicker to take effect than pill products and two great flavors — Green Apple and Watermelon!METABOLIC SPIKE:  One active ingredient of note is the METABOLIC SPIKE Proprietary Complex, a blend of ingredients including L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, Choline Bitartrate and raspberry ketones.A 2011 Dutch study suggests that L-Carnitine L-Tartrate can be used to increase muscle and impact muscle metabolism. Research has indicated that LCLT reduces fat mass — the actual size of the fat cells in your body — and increases muscle mass and reduces fatigue. Choline bitartrate is a compound that can help improve the transfer of fats and proteins to the liver, for more efficient metabolism, and the virtues of raspberry ketones have been gaining popularity, too.

The main benefit of raspberry ketones, a supplement that, no surprise, comes from red raspberries, is that it helps release norepinephrine in the body, which in turn raises the body’s temperature slightly. It might not sound like much, but a slightly higher body temperature is what’s responsible for the “thermogenic” effect: Fat cells shrink, and adipose tissue  decreases, with a warmer temperature.

Raspberry ketones are also believed to release adiponectin, a hormone that can help decrease glycogen levels, meaning less sugar in the bloodstream and, naturally, less available blood glucose that can be saved as fat.

TRAINING

clap-push-upAn ideal training plan for those who want to lose fat but still maintain their muscle mass during the stressful holiday periods would be one that focuses on efficiency and caloric burn, without overdoing it. To that end, a “fat loss blast” workout is recommended, focusing on torching one muscle group/functional group per workout, then following up with high-intensity interval training. The workouts will be listed the rest of the week!

DAY 1: Push and HIIT

5-6 Giant Sets: Explosive Plyometric “Clapping” Push-Ups to Failure/12 Alternating DB Standing Presses (per arm)/Triceps Dips to Failure/12 Incline DB Flys

Follow with 15 minutes of HIIT, with a 45-15 split — that is, 45 minutes of a brisk run, followed by 15 seconds of an all-out sprint intensity.

 DAY 2: Pull and HIIT

5-6 Giant Sets: Pull-Ups to Failure/12 Alternating One-Arm DB Rows (per arm)/Close, Reverse-Grip Chin-Ups to Failure/12 Standing Barbell Curls

Follow with 15 minutes of HIIT, with a 45-15 split — that is, 45 minutes of a brisk run, followed by 15 seconds of an all-out sprint intensity.

DAY 3: Legs and HIIT

4-5 Giant Sets: 8 Squats/12 Stiff-Legged Deadlifts/12 Alternating Forward Lunges (per leg)/Squat Jumps to failure

Follow with 15 minutes of HIIT, with a 45-15 split — that is, 45 minutes of a brisk run, followed by 15 seconds of an all-out sprint intensity.

DAY 4: Shoulders/Arms and HIIT

4-5 Giant Sets: 12 Standing Overhead Press/12 Incline DB Curls (per arm)/12 Overhead DB Triceps Extensions/Dips to Failure

Follow with 15 minutes of HIIT, with a 45-15 split — that is, 45 minutes of a brisk run, followed by 15 seconds of an all-out sprint intensity.

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 Complete Hard-Gainer Plan

For some of us who are taller, longer-torsoed and leaner, building and maintaining muscle is a constant process, throughout the year, one that doesn’t have a “cutting phase.”

Because we know not everybody is looking to simply lose weight, we have the Complete Hard-Gainer’s Plan — a comprehensive plan of attack for adding muscle size with the proper gym, diet and supplement strategies.

We’ve included a sample diet and supplement plans here for easy reference, with an updated workout guide to follow for the next four weeks. Again, you’ll go four days on and three off, leaving ample time to recover.

EATING FOR HARD-GAINERS

If you’re reading this, it more than likely applies to you: Hard-gainers are classified as “longer” body types, with typically fast metabolisms, lean frames, smaller joints (narrow wrists and ankles) and narrow waists. Usually, hard-gainers are longer-limbed and taller than our stockier gym friends. That’s OK — many find the “lifeguard” body type to be the most desirable. If you fall into this category, where you find that you simply can’t eat enough to ever get fat or, sadly, gain the muscle fast enough, you’re a hard-gainer.

The bottom line for you if you want to add muscle is this: YOU MUST EAT. Many hard-gainers make the common mistake of under-eating because they don’t want to gain body fat, a reasonable concern. However, take into consideration that you are skinny for a reason! You’re blessed with a fast metabolism and the amount of calories will almost never be an issue as long as the quality of calories is premium. If you’re serious about adding muscle, your workouts will be so intense and you’ll gain enough muscle that you won’t gain significant levels of fat, and that just leaves you with the task of using food for building material. Muscle just doesn’t come from thin air — new tissue needs to come from a source. It’s food, in the form of quality proteins, fats and carbs.

Three meals a day ain’t gonna cut it anymore. It’s time to eat with a purpose and a plan. And here is that plan:

BREAKFAST (within 30 minutes of waking):

5-6 whole eggs, spinach, tomato, piece of fruit (grapefruit, orange, banana, apple, peach, etc.), 1 c milk, 1 c instant oatmeal with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter.

SNACK (2 1/2 hours after breakfast)

Protein shake in milk, peanut butter/banana/honey sandwich on whole wheat bread

LUNCH (3 hours after first snack)

Tuna* or chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread, sliced apples with peanut butter, greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

SNACK (2 1/2 hours after lunch)

Two string cheeses, handful of almonds, banana.

DINNER (3 hours after second snack)

1 serving meat (lean beef — filet mignon, loin steak, etc. — salmon, tilapia, shrimp, ahi*, etc.), 1 leafy/green vegetable (broccoli, spinach), 1/2 C brown rice or whole wheat pasta OR a sweet potato/yam. Avoid white potatoes.

BEDTIME SNACK

1/2 C cottage cheese, 1 slice whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

*Because of potentially high mercury levels in fish, do not eat tuna more than 3-4 times per week.

There obviously is some wiggle room for variety, which is the way you want it, but the important thing is to notice the approximate ratios of proteins, carbs and healthy fats with each meal and emulate it as closely as possible.

TRAINING FOR HARD GAINERS

Next, it’s time to come up with a plan to put all that fuel to use. 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. This is all about soaring rep ranges and mental toughness — trisets and light weight will be your path to gaining!

MONDAY (Chest and Back)

Four trisets, 12 reps each: DB Bench Press/Incline DB Press/DB Flys.

Four trisets, 12 reps each: BB Bench Press, Cable Crossovers (alternating top arm), Incline DB Flys.

Four trisets, 12-15 reps each (aim for 15, but get at least 12): Various grip pull-ups (overhand, underhand, neutral, overhand)/DB Pullovers/Seated Cable Rows.

Four trisets, 12-15 reps each: Standing wide-bar cable Pulldowns/Bent-Over Rows/Lat Pulldowns.

Be sure to stretch the pecs and lats before and after!

TUESDAY (LEGS AND CORE)

Three trisets, 12-15 reps each: Barbell Squats/Front Squats/Leg Extensions

Three trisets, 12-15 reps each: Romanian Deadlifts/Hamstring Curls/Directional Lunges (forward, backward, lateral for sets 1, 2 and 3, respectively. For the lateral set, do 16 total – 8 left, 8 right).

Two supersets (very light!): 4 power cleans/4 split squats (per leg)

Planks: 4×30 seconds.

Cable wood chop and raise: 4×5 each.

Stretch!

WEDNESDAY (ARMS)

6 Supersets: Cambered barbell curls x 8/Overhead Single Heavy DB Press x 8

1 Superset: Incline Seated Dumbbell Curls x 12 each/Cable Pushdown with V Extension x 30 (perfect form)

3 Supersets: Hanging Dips x 15/30 Preacher Curl Machine/15 bench dips

THURSDAY (SHOULDERS AND ABS)

5 Supersets: Overhead Press x 12/Machine Upright Rows x 12

5 Supersets: Lateral Raises x 12/Front Raises x 12

Planks: 3x 45 seconds

Side Planks: 3 x 30 seconds per side

SUPPLEMENTS FOR HARD GAINERS

If you’re a hard gainer, we can assume a few things about you: 1) You need a lot of calories, 2) your existing muscle mass is difficult to maintain and 3) your body naturally isn’t inclined to grow much more. None of these are complete roadblocks; rather, they’re just small speed bumps you can get over with some help. Now, we can address the first issue with the diet plan we’ve put in place, but really, you’ll need more. 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:

  • High-quality gainer shake. GAINER7, MASS COMPLEX or MASS FUZION are all effective at delivering quality calories in a hurry post-workout.
  • BCAAs. Around the clock, your body needs amino acids to prevent catabolism, where the body feeds on muscle storage for energy. Go with BCAA SPORT or IBCAA by Katalyst.
  • Creatine. Abundantly researched and shown to increase muscle volume and strength, there is no reason to pick a low-quality version 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. N’FUZE and KRE-ALKALYN COMPLEX by VitaSport are great options.
  • Pro-testosterone products. Hard gainers are, well, 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. We simply can’t afford that! ANITEST, ARABOL, AUGMENT, 1-XD and HGH-191 are outstanding options to get your body back to growing, the natural way.
  • Pre-workout products. A supplement that increases your body’s nitric oxide production is a supplement that will flat-out increase your workout quality, and the stronger you feel and the more endurance you have, the better your results will be. Imagine how much benefit you’d get from just two last reps at the end of a set, or from using a heavier weight. Pre-workout products like N’SANE, NOX-P3, ANX-P3, 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. Remember, to gain muscle as a skinny guy you’ll need to be working with heavy weights, and doing a lot of reps. Focus and energy are absolute MUSTS. New preworkouts include: ERRATIC, BLUEPRINT, KARBOLYN, each of which has its own unique benefits. For hard-gainers, we especially recommend KARBOLYN, either as a pre- or post-workout product.KARBOLYN features a high-performance carbohydrate unlike any other carbohydrate sources because it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream like a simple sugar but without the typical spike or crash caused when your muscles run out of fuel. In fact, Karbolyn®, a “homopolysaccharide” (relatively complex carbohydrate), is suggested to be absorbed 18.21% faster than pure Dextrose (a simple carbohydrate). Yet it still promotes the sustained energy of complex carbohydrates. Karbolyn® is 100% Sugar and Gluten-Free, mixes instantly with NO clumping or gelling and is designed with a “Sustained-Release” Mechanism for over 2 hours of stimulant-free energy support! Unlike most unprocessed starches available in supplements today which are not optimized for rapid glycogen loading and nutrient absorption, Karbolyn® uses a proprietary, multi-stage, enzymatic milling process to reach optimal molecular size. This yields a bio-engineered carbohydrate for rapid gastric emptying so it’s easier to digest and rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.

OTHER TIPS FOR HARD GAINERS

  • Stay hydrated. Shoot for at least a gallon of clean, cold water a day.With the increased calorie intake and supplements, your liver and kidneys will thank you for keeping the system hydrated. On top of this all, it helps digestion, helps keep the body’s tissues healthy and ensures a flushed system that won’t bloat the body.
  • ALWAYS have snacks on hand. If you’re stuck in an office, running errands, or going on a trip, be prepared. Don’t let a lack of nearby food sidetrack your mission. Bring along jerky, string cheeses, fruit, trail mix, a shaker cup and Ziploc full of PRO7, whatever — just have food handy. You HAVE to eat. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll miss healthy meals — it’s nearly as bad as missing a workout.
  • Pre-cook. Most guys who need to eat a lot suffer the pitfall of being unprepared, especially if they live busy lives. Well, most of us have a least one day a week off — use that day to prepare for all seven. Cook up a week’s worth of chicken breasts and put it all in tupperware for salads, to mix in with pasta or beans, or even just to eat alone as a snack. Do the same with broccoli or squash, or even sweet potatoes and pasta. My fridge looks like I’m storing rations in preparation for a natural disaster — in a way, that’s exactly what I’m doing!
  • ALWAYS eat a complete breakfast. You are most susceptible to muscle-wasting at the only time you can’t do anything about caloric intake — while you sleep. Do not let it continue when you wake up! Even if it means waking up 30 minutes early to account for the time to make breakfast, you have to eat this meal.

Damage Control: The Supplements to Minimize Holiday Cheating

You like getting results when it comes to your fitness, but naturally, you also like eating holiday food that does everything in its power to unravel all the hard work you’ve done. You’re not alone — this is a common problem around the holidays. How can people possibly stick to some goals they set up way back in January when the dessert table is calling in December?

You might be surprised, actually. You can still gain muscle mass and keep working toward a better body, even as you cheat on your diet. You just need to be properly equipped.

GAINING MUSCLE

N’FUZE and AUGMENT: These two supplements’ ability to shuttle carbs into the muscle cell make them great to use during weight training if your goal is weight gain. Specifically, the thioctic acid (alpha lipoic acid), d-pinnitol, 4-hydroxyisoleucine and vanadyl in N’FUZE act as insulin mimickers — that is, they boost the speed of nutrient transportation directly into the cell. If you are going to cheat on your diet, at least pick a time: When you do it post-workout with a dose of N’FUZE, you are maximizing even your cheat meals.

As far as the AUGMENT goes, it helps shuttle long-chain fatty acids into the cell because of the l-carnitine tartrate it contains. Ursolic acid plays a role with oxidation and glycogen uptake, further improving the rate at which those nutrients can be moved from your bloodstream to the muscle cells.

The bottom line: By taking AUGMENT and N’FUZE and planning your cheat meals around your workouts, when your body can actually use the sugars for good.

LOSING WEIGHT

LIPOCORTHERMOVEXKETOLEAN7: What your body does with fatty acids and carbohydrates once they’re consumed makes all the difference between gaining body fat and avoiding the storage of more. Two big-time ingredients in all of the aforementioned products are CLA and l-carnitine tartrate, two ingredients discussed at length before in many NUTRISHOP articles. Let’s recap:

CLA works by inhibiting lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that shuttles fat from the bloodstream to fat cells for storage. Remember, fat cells never go away — they fill and empty, like a water balloon, and when new fat is consumed the blood-to-cell route is how it is stored as body fat. CLA inhibits the enzyme that causes that reaction, meaning a lower likelihood of body fat storage. The great thing about all three products listed above is that they stack, so you can take all three to maximize their efficacy.

A 2011 Dutch study suggests that L-Carnitine L-Tartrate can be used to increase muscle and impact muscle metabolism. Research has indicated that LCLT reduces fat mass — the actual size of the fat cells in your body — and increases muscle mass and reduces fatigue. So, the fact that all three supplements listed here contain LCLT is not a coincidence!

The holidays don’t have to mean “bulking time,” whether you’re a gym rat or consider yourself to be just moderately active. You can fight against the food with fat-burning supplements, holding you over until you get to your New Year’s resolutions instead of falling off the wagon at the end of the year like everyone else.

THE “DR. OZ RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY WEIGHT LOSS STACK”

Not everything said on TV is true, sure. But that doesn’t mean we should discount it all, either. This is the exact thought when it comes to considering garcinia cambogia, green coffee bean extract and raspberry ketones, all approved and recommended on-air by Dr. Oz. As a catch-all term for these, you could call them anti-inflammatory supplements, but in addition to that are other benefits.

They combine to prevent body fat storage and mitigate the effects you might otherwise take from cheating on your diet —  raspberry ketones help raise the body’s temperature by releasing norepinephrine and also limits the amount of available blood sugar by signaling the release of adiponectin. What this does is 1) create a warmer internal temperature that encourages fat melting and 2) limits the available blood sugar that is most easily converted to fat stores. The overall result is an environment that discourages body fat storage — which very much so comes in handy when holiday drinks and desserts are in abundance.

So, how to get some raspberry ketones? You could eat handfuls of raspberries…but that kind of defeats the purpose. Instead, check out DIOXILEAN 5, which has the ketones, garcinia cambogia and green coffee bean extract mentioned above, a great blend of ingredients that will help you stay lean and fierce throughout the holidays, even while your diet may not be at its best.

What’s in a Gram?

Our theme this week: Not all calories are created equal. To show exactly what that means, consider this breakdown on what a gram of each macronutrient brings to the table, calorie-wise.

Protein = 4 calories

Carbohydrate = 4 calories

Alcohol = 7 calories

Fat = 9 calories

When talking calories, it’s important to always remember what exactly it is – it’s a unit of energy. Consuming calories is consuming energy, meant to be used, and if it’s not used, it’s stored. So, with that in mind, how can you use that information to affect your everyday eating habits? First off, let’s start with protein — it is by far the efficient macronutrient here, because of what it provides at such a low caloric cost. If you’re eating to gain muscle, you should be around 1 gram per pound of your own body weight.  So if you’re a 180-pound man, that’s about 180 grams of protein a day. That is 720 calories, just in protein — obviously, then, that standard 2,0o0-calorie diet isn’t for muscle-builders.

This should signify how important it is to keep alcohol consumption within reason. Your body will use carbs and fats, as long as you aren’t overindulging on them — carbs are fast, quickly used energy and fats help keep you feeling full (though, at 9 calories per gram, you can see that this is a lot of excess energy to be consuming). Alcohol, on the other hand, is ahefty  price (7 calories per gram) to pay for something that actually inhibits your metabolism’s ability to process calories in the first place. Alcohol weight is MUCH different from the weight you’ll gain by adding healthy fats and proteins to your diet!