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Proven, Effective Fitness and Nutrition Advice Without All of the Hype and Pseudo-Science

This website is about one thing... giving people access to the proper fitness and nutrition habits that lead to living a fit and healthy lifestyle. You'll find articles on dieting myths, proper training techniques, developing a successful mindset, custom workouts, and even video how-tos and tips from yours truly and other experts in the industry.

If you're frustrated with the lack of progress you've been making towards your fitness goals, whether it's because of a lack of direction or a lack of motivation, then look around this site, come back often and apply the fitness and nutrition concepts you discover in your own efforts.

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 5

Intro by Coach B: Finishing our 5-part our bulking recipe series (see part 1 here, part 2 herepart 3 here and part 4 here), this week’s installment includes 3 all-new recipes for your mass-gaining pleasure. Enjoy and be sure to share this recipe series with anyone else you know who needs to put on size and needs to learn how to eat appropriately for their goals.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

Coach Tracy here, I hope these recipes have helped increase your repertoire, and most importantly, helped you start putting on some size!

Here are the key points that I wanted you to learn as we took you through this article series:

  1. For maximum performance and an optimal lean mass gain to body fat mass gain ratio, meals must have more than just lots of calories; they must have optimal macros, which for the typical hardgainer is going to be high carbohydrate, moderately-high protein, and moderately-high fat.
  2. Choosing low volume foods with higher carbohydrate content like white rice, potatoes, and white pasta will help prevent that extremely full feeling compared with eating very volumous, fiber-rich carbs. Remember, 2 cups of hash browns have almost the same amount of carbs as 9 cups of green beans!
  3. Choosing full fat dairy products like whole milk, ice cream, cheeses, sour cream and heavy cream gives you a big boost to calories without having to drench things in oil.
  4. Creating flavorful sauces that are high in calories and take up a good portion of the meal’s calories will make you feel less full. For example, Alfredo sauce uses milk, cream, butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese and can pack a caloric wallop.
  5. Eating a “bro-diet” of chicken, sweet potato and broccoli every 2 hours, six times a day is not ideal for lean mass gain (or anything, other than pushing you to jump off a cliff in nutritional boredom and misery).
  6. Having fun and be patient are key to long-term success!

Here are the last three recipes of the series, bringing you a total of 15 mass-gain recipes. All very different, very delicious, and very easy to pack away. Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 5 »

Snacking: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

For many people, snacks are more of a staple part of their diet, often, than eating regular meals themselves. Nearly every single one of us has adapted snacking as a part of our daily routine, at least at some point.

Snacking is particularly popular amongst Americans, since we have the luxury of constant access to food—especially snacks—via grocery stores, gas stations, vending machines, fast food restaurants, etc. Many think they’re harmless and forget to account for them in their daily calorie intake, but that quickly adds up.

Some say that snacking might be a good way to control binges, especially if trying to lose weight, but that might not necessarily work in your favor. This issue becomes relevant once you try to lose weight and it just seems like you can’t—could it possibly be your snacking that’s halting your progress? Continue Reading Snacking: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 4

Intro by Coach B: Continuing our bulking recipe series from last week (see part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here), this week’s installment includes 3 all-new recipes for your mass-gaining pleasure.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

Coach Tracy here again! I must say, despite being hard-gainers, you are some pretty lucky guys. This is now a total of 12 recipes for you, and still one more part on the way! 12 recipes and a whole lot more gains. I don’t think there’s a single hard-gainer blog out there with recipes that taste as good as these. Lots of them are either generic or pretty gross. I wouldn’t want to eat a pound of potatoes and beef stew meat OR cottage cheese mixed with fruity yogurt. Yuck.

I also say you’re lucky because I’m not a hard gainer and I can’t make this fantastic food fit my measly macros. Maybe if Coach B allows it, I’ll bulk hard during the winter and give these a try. 😉

Remember gents, eating a pound of chicken and broccoli every two hours is not going to get you the HUGE results you’re looking for. I imagine after your fourth hour, you will be sick of food anyway if you tried to eat that way. These recipes are packed with flavor AND low volume which will make you wish you doubled the recipe.

Here’s a tip for you guys, especially if you’re the type that works all day and uses the “I don’t have time to cook” excuse: pick ONE day out of the week, do your shopping, and just make a bunch of food for the week. A lot of the recipes can be made in bulk and will taste even better the next day or two. The only exception would be the shake recipes, previous pizza fries, and these “tatchos” here.

Alright guys, no more time for games. Only GAINZ. Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 4 »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 3

Intro by Coach B: Continuing our bulking recipe series from last week (see part 1 here and part 2 here), this week’s installment includes 3 all-new recipes for your mass-gaining pleasure.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

What’s up all… Coach Tracy here! How has being a passenger on the “gain train” been treating you so far? Here we are, already on part 3 of our bulking recipes series, and luckily for you, I’ve created three new amazing recipes that are easy to make—and even more importantly—easy to eat!

Remember, these recipes are designed to fuel you for growth without making you explode out of your pants if you know what I mean. Why sit down and eat almost 9 cups of green beans when you can have just 2 cups of hash browns for the same amount of carbs and calories? If you’re a hardgainer, you have a fast metabolism, which is a blessing, so let’s use that to our advantage.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me! OK, enough talk! Pick your fork back up and let the gainz begin. Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 3 »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 2

Intro by Coach B: Continuing our bulking recipe series from last week (see part 1 here), this week’s installment includes 3 all-new recipes for your mass-gaining pleasure.

Remember, if you want to get big, all the weight lifting in the world won’t amount to anything if you’re not in a calorie surplus. Many guys spend so much effort trying to find that magical combination of exercises, sets, reps and/or weekly routine splits, while completely ignoring their calorie intake and falling short of a surplus each day (or at least, many times per week).

They then scratch their head wondering why they can’t grow. But if you think about it logically, it makes sense. Without excess calories, your body has nothing to make new tissue with. It can’t spontaneously appear from the ether… muscle gain (like fat loss) is a byproduct of energy balance and without the energy balance in your favor, you’re on the road to no gainz, baby.

So grab your fork, do a few jaw stretches and get ready to put away some serious calories.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5
Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 2 »

Do I Have to Eat a Low Fat Diet?

“I want to lose weight. Do I need to eat a low fat diet?”

This is a common question amongst folks who are looking to get to a healthy weight range.  On this note, I want to start this article off by mentioning that the message here is primarily geared towards the general population, not advanced athletes. Nutritional needs differ for special populations and what helps the average person get healthy can be quite different from what helps the athlete get into peak condition and to perform at the best of his/her ability.

The low-fat diet is one of many approaches taken over the past several decades to ending America’s ever growing obesity and cardiovascular disease epidemics. Because of the strong push by dietitians to lower dietary fat intake to allegedly lower the risk of arterial clogging, high blood pressure, diabetes and of course, to lower body weight, people have become almost afraid of fat and actively avoid foods that contain it–particularly saturated fat, which is demonized by the health industry.

Today, there are aisles and aisles with low fat or fat free products in the supermarkets which only reassure us that all fat is evil and we mustn’t eat it. The thought goes: low fat products are healthy, and higher fat products aren’t. Seems pretty clear cut, right? Continue Reading Do I Have to Eat a Low Fat Diet? »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 1

Intro by Coach B: Small guys gotta eat big to get big. One of the biggest hurdles hard-gainer guys face when it comes to gaining and retaining mass is simply eating enough without feeling like they’re going to explode like the Michelin tire man sitting on a pin.

Luckily for you guys, recipe-maker-extraordinaire and resident coach Tracy has drummed up a series of high calorie recipes that taste awesome, are easy to hork down and have macros designed for maximum performance and accumulation of lean mass—in other words, high carbohydrate, moderately-high protein and moderately-high fat.

Also, these recipes pack a nutritional wallop so they’re exponentially better than eating a bunch of crap like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s or another form of fast food that tends to make up the majority of the hard-gainer’s diet.

Without further ado, here’s the first three recipes. We will update the blog with many more recipes in future weeks so you guys have a large variety to choose from and can still be confident that you will get the calories in each day that you need.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 1 »

Dangerous Curves Ahead: How to Build a Better Butt

It seems like lately, it is all about the bum–it has taken over the internet, literally. This booty-licious trend is one that I actually like. I mean, what female wants a flat, flabby behind? None that I know of! Sure, some abs and biceps will look nice and probably fill out your clothes well–but ladies, you need some curves. The backside is where it’s at… am I right?

Having a great behind isn’t only something to be achieved by professional fitness competitors or models anymore. Every woman on the planet wants one. It is an essential part of our female physique, so it’s important for us not to ignore it. I am pretty sure that most of the time when you check your Instagram feed, you see women who embrace their curves, especially if they’ve worked hard for them.

I am constantly flooded with questions from females asking, “Lucy, how can I get a nice butt?” Well, there is definitely more to it than just genetics, and believe me that when I say that for my own rear, I have put a ton of work into it! This didn’t just happen overnight… and I wasn’t simply blessed with good genetics–I had to bust my ass for my results (no pun intended). Continue Reading Dangerous Curves Ahead: How to Build a Better Butt »

Is Coffee Good or Bad for Me?

There is a lot of debate surrounding coffee and caffeine consumption in relation to weight loss. There clearly is no single answer as to whether it is good or bad for you, since there is plenty evidence for as well as against the claims that coffee is good/bad for one’s health.

Coffee has been around for a long time, so it’s become a big part of our daily routine. Not only do we consume it for its rich, aromatic taste, but many times it is consumed for purposes such as a simple pick-me up or for a pre-workout boost.

Drinking coffee has become even more popular as big companies such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have developed full menus of various flavors and recipes so that even those of us who don’t enjoy traditional coffee can still get our fix. We are constantly offered new coffee drinks from them, but what we often seem to overlook is that those coffee “drinks” can offer much more than what we are actually asking for, and I am not talking about getting more of what you want for your dollar here. Continue Reading Is Coffee Good or Bad for Me? »

3 Reasons Why Having Good Glutes is Important

We all know the saying, “They ain’t never wrote a song about a small ass.” Having a good backside is something that others notice and appreciate (and that appreciation seems to be trending more and more in recent years), but most people don’t realize the full extent of the benefits there are to having one.

While most people assume that a nice butt is due to genetics, the great news is that through intelligent training, anyone can attain a nicer rear end, no matter what their starting point. In our last article, we touched on some of the most ineffective glute exercises (that for some reason are also the most popular), and in our next article, we’re going to discuss what we consider to be the best exercises for the butt based on real results we have gotten with our athletes.

Here at Training Ground TransformationNATION in our FitCAMP and StrengthCAMP programs (and of course, our seasonal GluteCAMP speciality program), we focus a large amount of attention on coaching athletes on how to properly use their glutes in most of the movements that they do to help them develop the best booty possible that will give them all of the benefits I am about to share with you. Continue Reading 3 Reasons Why Having Good Glutes is Important »