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Calories In - Calories Burned - Weight Lost: Means Nothing

The Calorie Is Broken. Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley of Gastropod break down the truth about how calories are measured, how calorie counts in food are determined (lots of guessing, turns out), and why your FitBit and your food logs and your endless boogie on the treadmill isn't making a difference for you.

Eat plenty of real food. Add even more vegetables. Workout. Sleep. Repeat.



Watch the Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Show from Anywhere

Can’t make it to Columbus for the Arnold Classic? No worries, you can still watch the contest live.

Digital Muscle will provide a free webcast over the March 4-5 weekend of the Arnold Classic Men’s Bodybuilding Championship. From the comfort of your couch, or anywhere you have Wi-Fi, watch many of the greatest professional bodybuilders of today compete for the richest purse in the sport. 

Kai Greene, twice winner of the Arnold and tremendously popular with fans, is making his return to the competitive stage. Fans anticipate a terrific contest, and now thanks to this webcast, you’ll be able to judge for yourself. The knowledgeable Bob Chicherillo is said to be assuming co-hosting duties on the broadcast, assuring passion and personality for the viewer’s entertainment. He knows bodybuilding.

In addition to the Men’s Bodybuilding event, Digital Muscle is also streaming the Bikini, Figure, Physique and Fitness International events. All of this is sponsored by Nutrition Active Sport, helping make this webcast available to everyone.

Try to make it to Columbus for the amazing, you-won’t-believe-your-eyes Arnold Sports Festival. But if you can’t, get to and watch the show!


Don't Starve Your Workouts!

I'm constantly self-experimenting and learning, both in the gym and the kitchen. My personal training clients provide answers (and questions), everyone I workout with (CrossFit and other gyms) does too, but most of all I learn from changing up protocols for myself.

The last few months I've been jacking up my pre-and-intra workout supplements. I've trransitioned from years of working out on basically an empty stomach with merely coffee and some pre-workout powder, to utilizing more easily-digestible supplements. In my experience, I'm stronger and maintain energy and muscular endurance far better than I used to, when my Blender Bottle always contains nutrients.

If I'm in the gym, I've protein and amino acids and creatine and a bit of carbs all swirling in my Blender Bottle

Lately I've taken it up a notch, remembering that the hours surrounding a workout isn't the time to diet. As I'm driving to the gym I'm nearly always sipping coffee. My Blender Bottle, already prepared, contains a scoop of creatine (virtually doesn't matter the brand), BCAA (I use several brands), pre-workout Force (Progenex, containing a bit more creatine and BCAA), one scoop of Recovery and sometimes a half scoop of Build. Over the course of an hour I'll add water to the shaker, but no product.

If my workout stretches into two hours, like it did yesterday at CrossFit, I'm prepared. I added another serving of Force (no jitters or heart palpitations, don't worry), another scoop of Recovery and a full scoop of Build. Hammered through the second hour with good energy and muscular strength. Even got a pump! 

Leaving the gym, within 15-20 minutes of the workouts ending I was sipping another shake, containing more creatine, two scoops of Build, two scoops of Recovery, and a small scoop of BCAA powder.

Why skimp on nutrition at this critical time? It makes no sense. Your workout represents two or three hours of your day. Maximize your results, give your body the fuel it deserves and craves. You'll recover and respond with a bit more lean tissue, a little more fitness, and because of the addition of quality nutrients at the right time, less body fat! Win win all around.


What Do We Really Know About Nutrition?

I've kept food logs, and have asked hundreds of personal training clients to do the same. So often nutritional and food studies are used to provide ammo for one viewpoint or another. But are they valid? I think going forward my rule will be go to bed without feeling full, and wake up hungry.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, at the top of his game in his late 30s, has said he wants to play professional football until he's 45 years old. Legendary for his careful eating habits, an interview with his personal chef is a peek behind the nutritional curtain of this reclusive athlete. Brady is receiving plenty of attention for not eating nightshade family foods. Many people seem to think this is weird; I prefer to think of him (and his chef, Allen Campbell) smart.

Anyone else noticed the cauliflower shortage, or how freakin' much it costs when it shows up in your grocery store? Could all the hipsters and foodies really be behind the shortage, 'cause they're making rice from cauliflower?

"There are so many people who honestly believe there are baby carrot farmers out there who grow these baby carrots that pop out of the ground and are perfectly convenient and smooth" - David Just, professor of behavioral economics at Cornell. I've openly wondered what the hell all those little, uniform "carrots" really are. As a lifelong gardener, I was skeptical.

Is the Paleo diet truly the best course for athletes? Nobody knows if there even is a universal answer. I have learned that for myself, in the CrossFit gym two or three times weekly, smart, healthy carbs are necessary.

I still think coffee is the premier pre-workout drink. Of course, this comes from the guy who also has a pre-workout concoction, and more coffee post-workout! But are those "energy" drinks really going to rot you and kill your liver? Probably not.


Sleep Better with Nutrex Hibern8

As years pile up, my sleep patterns have become messed-up and inconsistent. Sometimes I wake up feeling more tired than when I hit the pillows.

I've explored Adrenal Gland Fatigue, and possibly that's a factor, but mostly I think it's being 61 years old, working out hard five or six days weekly, and living a busy life. My diet is pretty damn good (athlete Paleo + red wine), but I find myself staying up late reading when sometimes I should be sleeping. I wake up often, seem to be dreaming quite a bit, and find myself awake in bed while tired.

Melatonin helps, it's an herbal sleep aid I've used on and off for decades, but falling asleep usually isn't my issue. It's remaining asleep after that 3:15 a.m. wake-up. 

Poking through a box of supplement samples left over from the Arnold Classic Expo, yesterday, I came across a packet of Nutrex Hibern8. They advertise this is a "powerful sleep formula, nighttime ind and muscle recovery." Hmmm, sounded like somethiing I should try! Last night I was contentedly tired after a long day, and popped the three Hibern8 capsules (after two glasses of wine) before bed.

I feel great today, and enjoyed a strong workout. When I woke up I experienced no grogginess, and felt good. I think I dreamed a great deal last night but have no vivid memories of them. 

The ingredient of greatest interest to me is the 1000 mg of GABA in Hibern8.  I think this is where I found the deep sleep. Hibern8 also contains tryptophan and melatonin. Perhaps tonight I'll combine a cup of hot Progenex Cocoon with Hibern8 and see what happens.  Oh, damn, I can't, I only had the single packet and I took all three Hibern8 capsules last night!

I'll be ordering Nutrex Hibern8, adding it to my rest and recovery arsenal.