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Using Progenex Properly, Act 1

Clients and customers consistently ask me about the best protocol for adding Progenex Recovery, More Muscle and Build to their lives. Last weekend at the Ice Bowl event, a version of this conversation took place several times hourly.  I consider Recovery, More Muscle and Build to be important for my athletic endeavors, for all my fitness goals, and know they're important to everyone involved in CrossFit. 

Following is a texted series of responses I wrote a couple of days ago, with a CrossFitter, asking specifically how to best use these Progenex products.


"Good questions. Here we go: protein powder is merely portable protein and amino acids. Same as chicken or fish or beef, but absorbs more quickly and certainly is easier to pack and carry and consume quickly. In addition, in the immediate post-workout period, still in the gym, whey protein and easy-to-digest carbs are essential. This is the first priority use of protein powder. Use a couple scoops of Recovery, and one or two scoops of Build, before you leave the gym. Likely you'll be hungry for a meal 60-90 minutes later. It's fine to include rice or potatoes in that meal, also. And don't be afraid to have some starchy carbs in your small meal pre-workout.

If you use protein powder pre-workout, have a Lara or Rx or Best Bar Ever Bar or a piece of fruit with it, pre-workout. I know you often don't get out of bed until you HAVE to drag yourself to CFGB, so this is a great time for More Muscle and fruit or something like a Lara Bar. No nuts pre-workout, please!

More Muscle is wonderful for the shakes I make for meals. I prepared two of them an hour ago (one blender full is two meals). Half a can of coconut milk, some flaxseed meal, 8-10 almonds, four heaping scoops More Muscle, a half dozen frozen strawberries, a bunch of kale. Blend the hell out of it. Wham, two meals! Portable and quick.

Build is wonderful pre-workout, too, if you are getting up late, didn't eat well the night before (didn't have vegetables in your dinner), and need some energy. I've had one scoop of Build combined with More Muscle, for pre-workout breakfast in a pinch, and it's great."
Sounds convenient and useful, doesn't it? It is!
#Progenex, @northcentral_progenex




WWE Headed for Arnold Sports Festival - First Time Appearance

I've been attending and working the Arnold Classic since the beginning (more years than I want to recount). From humble beginnings as a small bodybuilding contest in a downtown theater, to today's extravaganza encompassing much of Columbus, Ohio, involving tens of thousands of athletes and attendees, finally, finally, pro wrestling is making an appearance!

Over the years powerlifting, CrossFit, Olympic lifting, and every other strength sport known to mankind have taken their rightful place at the Arnold Sports Festival. This March, for the 2015 event, the WWE will have a big presence. I'm looking forward to seeing these athletes and performers in the crazy mix known as the Arnold Classic.

The WWE Experience takes place on Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8. There will be live matches, featuring some of the best up-and-coming talent from WWE and NXT. Meet the Superstars and Divas of WWE’s next generation during autograph signings with Finn Bálor, Hideo Itami, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze, Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Alexa Bliss and more, plus don't miss your chance to get up close and personal with WWE Legends during Q&A Sessions.

See what it takes to become a WWE Superstar and watch a live tryout. Will any of these recruits become the next breakout Superstar? Better yet, will you? If you’re serious about a future in sports entertainment, stop by the WWE recruiting booth and tell us. Really try-outs! How much fun is that going to be? I'm pumped!  #WWE, #arnoldclassic, #arnoldsportsfestival



Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Show Looms Large


Dexter Jackson has announced he’s preparing for his record 5th Arnold Classic bodybuilding title. He’ll be onstage at the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival, March 5-8. Providing stiff competition in the field of 14 men are Toney Freeman, Evan Centopani, Branch Warren and Brandon Curry.

I vividly remember seeing Dexter Jackson appearing in vendor booths at last year’s Arnold Classic Expo, and thinking he appeared ready to step on stage and compete, if need be. Competition should be tough. Branch Warren wants to prove he can come back from injury, and everyone knows he’ll be shredded. Centopani and Curry are up-and-coming professionals, improving every year. If they step on stage in their best shape, the contest will be close.

Head to Columbus, Ohio for the gigantic Arnold Sports Festival March 5-8. The legendary Arnold Classic bodybuilding contest is one of many strength-oriented events featuring world-class athletes available to attendees., #ArnoldClassic, #DexterJackson, 



Facts of (My) Life

Yes, Kale and Spinach release more nutrients when they are heated or cooked. I consume plenty of stir-fried kale in my vegetable mixes. But, I continue to add raw kale and spinach to my daily blenderized meal shakes, and I eat spinach salads. To me, this is similar to taking vitamins; inexpensive health insurance.

The more I use Progenex Build, the more useful and effective I find it to be. A couple of weeks ago, visiting CrossFit 989, I deadlifted for an entire hour, a satisfying heavy workout. My BlenderBottle had a scoop of Build and some BCAA in it throughout the entire session; I had another scoop in my Recovery shake afterwards. For the entire session with the barbell I felt strong and energized; no dropping off of energy. Consistent strength throughout a long workout is pretty damn important, at any age, but very much so for myself. I'm hearing raves from others in my home gym, CrossFit Green Bay, about how Build is positively impacting their strength and weightlifting.

There are no rules about how many consecutive days training is effective. Pay attention to your body, energy levels, sleep quality and duration, and how you feel. The longer you workout, the better you'll be able to determine whether that fourth or fifth day in a rule is a good idea. Basically, if you're questioning whether you should head to the gym or not, perhaps you shouldn't if the issue is in doubt. Take a rest day, eat well, sleep as much as possible.

Stop being afraid of potatoes. Sweet potatoes aren't magical; other potatoes are fine carbohydrates and starch to surround your workouts with. Eat potatoes and rice before and after your gym sessions. 

Bananas are not magical, either. Why so many people trying to lose bodyfat chow down on bananas (and yogurt) baffles me. Stop!

An apple with peanut or almond butter smeared on it does not constitue a meal. It barely qualifes as a snack. 

Stop eating fruit alone as a snack. As Susan Powter used to say, "stop the madness!"

Go ahead and consume logical carbs on your off-days. Why do people think their body doesn't need them on those occasions? Of course it does! Rest day is for rebuilding and recovery. Just because you don't go to the gym for 24 hours doesn't mean your body stops trying to build muscle, increase aerobic capacity or burn a bit of bodyfat. Give it the chance...

Drink more water.

Crossfitters: add barbell rows, bench presses and pause squats to your weekly weight workouts. Why not be strong at everything?

Add a bit of BCAA powder to your water bottles throughout the day and evening. Not a lot is needed, but a constant flow in your system is helpful. I don't care what brand you buy; just avoid those with sugar added. Currently I'm using and enjoying Muscle Pharm's product.




What Am I Doing?

As always, in one form or another, at both the gym I work at and the CrossFit facility I workout in (CrossFit Green Bay), people are always asking me what I eat, what supplements I use, what's in my shakes, etc. Here's a snapshot of this week:

Some of my breakfasts, when I'm headed to the gym early, are Best Bars Ever. Yup, a protein bar. Oh, plus lots of good strong Peet's coffee! Read what i think about these bars if you have questions, or do some research. They are wonderful tasting, a treat to eat, and as healthy as a protein bar has ever been.

My meal shakes haven't changed appreciably. I continue to rely on these shakes inbetween "regular" meals, breakfasts and busy times at the gym. 

I'm a died-in-the-wool Progenex consumer; have been for years. I use virtually every Progenex product. More Muscle is the backbone of my shakes. Recovery and Build (until Build, for years I used and loved Vitargo), constitute my immediate post-workout shakes. Their Omega+ is part of my day (as is other brand's fish oil). I wear and workout in their clothing (the Wisconsin winter finds me living in a Progenex hoodie). Cocoon is an important part of my night-time ritual. 

But other companies have great products too. I'm a longtime Gaspari Nutrition customer (we'll see what happens to their line, if anything, since their recent bankruptcy and sale), NOW vitamins and minerals always have a place in my home, different companies produce BCAA powders I use, and the Species Nutrition line has been comfortable around here for years. 

Find companies' products you trust and enjoy; don't be afraid to experiment. I'm always checking out new things. You should too!

@Progenex, @RealSpecies, @TeamGaspari, @RichGaspari, @NowFoods, @Vitargo, @Official_Metrx, @MusclePharm