facebook_pixel

Articles Tagged: body composition

Balance is Crucial: Bulking and Cutting

Do you ever feel like you’re on a “perma-bulk” or always seem to be in a cutting phase?

Most of us are genetically predisposed to either carrying more body fat than we’d prefer, or less muscle mass than we’d like. Only the lucky few are naturally inclined towards those lean bodies packed with muscle.

While there’s a greater proportion  of the lucky individuals in the world of competition compared to the general population, plenty of competitors still land on either side of the spectrum.

As such, we tend to gravitate towards the eating/training style that matches our natural struggle–those of us who struggle to lose weight are always eating at a calorie deficit and doing a lot of cardio, while the “hardgainers” among us pack away calories day after day and spend a lot of time pumping iron. Continue Reading Balance is Crucial: Bulking and Cutting »

Putting on the Brakes: Why Your Prep Needs a Reverse Diet!

Competitors–have you ever felt like you’re on a permanent prep diet? Do you have trouble remembering the last time you consciously increased your calories for an extended period of time, outside of a post-show binge?

Do you also feel like your energy levels, strength and stamina have decreased while your stress levels have increased over time?

Is getting lean and staying there becoming more and more difficult, requiring you to drop calories further and further and/or increase cardio more and more each time you cut?

Bikini athletes in particular tend to suffer this scenario due to the fact that high levels of muscle are not as emphasized of a requirement as other divisions of fitness competition, and thus many women never go into a “bulking” stage that is foundational to programs for bodybuilding, physique and figure divisions. Continue Reading Putting on the Brakes: Why Your Prep Needs a Reverse Diet! »

The Three Pillars of Body Transformation Success

When it comes to getting into amazing shape, there are three crucial factors that come into play.

Missing any of these three results in failure to achieve your goal 99 times out of 100.

And yet, take a look at nearly any effort you or anyone you know has made in the past to get into shape, and chances are that you were missing at least one of these important components.

The three factors are: fitness, nutrition and accountability. Let’s take a look at each individually, and what makes them so important. Continue Reading The Three Pillars of Body Transformation Success »

Featured #TGTNFamily Athlete: Patty Hart

Patty is a busy mom who made a commitment to herself when she came to us to get in the best shape of her life. Like most people who set an ambitious fitness goal, at first she would at times question her ability to reach her goal, but with the help of the team here at TGTN, she gradually proved to herself what a strong, capable woman she is and that she can accomplish any goal she puts her mind to.

Patty is an amazing addition to the fitness family here and we are so proud of her dedication to herself and the amazing transformation she has seen. Not just on the outside, but the inside too, particularly with her ability to hold herself accountable to her nutrition and her belief in herself! Continue Reading Featured #TGTNFamily Athlete: Patty Hart »

Does Weight Training Make Women Bulky? Learn the Truth Now

If you’ve read any women’s fitness magazines or browsed any fitness websites, you’ve undoubtedly seen the following claims:

“Women shouldn’t lift weights over 3 lbs.”

“You want to lift light weights to lengthen and tone your muscles; heavy weights will make your muscles bulky.”

And so on. So it’s no wonder that one of the biggest fears most women have when they start a fitness regimen, is that they’re going to gain too much bulk and end up looking like a professional bodybuilder if they spend too much time in the weight room.

Thus, many of them stick to cardio and low-impact fitness programs like pilates and yoga. The idea being that such exercise will prevent a bulky physique, while simultaneously carving out muscle definition and getting rid of body fat.

But women who are looking to make changes to their bodies–namely fat loss and toning–find that they’re unable to get the results they want with low-impact exercise alone. Continue Reading Does Weight Training Make Women Bulky? Learn the Truth Now »

Troubleshooting Weight Gain

A couple of years back I wrote an article series on troubleshooting weight loss that was quite popular with my clients who were struggling with identifying the reason they’re weight loss efforts had stalled.

I have been meaning to write a companion article for some time now on the other side of the coin–weight gain, for my hardgainer athletes who find themselves in plateaus on the other end of the spectrum: where they feel like they should be gaining weight but are either maintaining weight, or even losing weight.

I unfortunately got distracted by other obligations but now I am getting this article out there once and for all.

When I talked about the issues with weight loss plateaus, they mainly centered around unwittingly eliminating the calorie deficit that weight loss requires through one or more factors.

These same factors are typically responsible for stalls in weight gain for those looking to put on size, so it behooves us to review them, but from the perspective of someone desiring to add mass rather than reduce it. Continue Reading Troubleshooting Weight Gain »

Instagram Workouts from Bikini Competitors are a Waste of Your Time

How many times have you browsed Instagram, Facebook, Women’s Health Magazine, or another website and seen the latest “bikini competitor leg/arm/shoulder/butt workout?”

Images of hard, lean bodies jump out at you from the screen—seemingly-impossible levels of muscle definition on perfectly proportioned bodies with just the right amount of sweat and goosebumps… before you know it you have goosebumps of your own just thinking about what it would be like to have that body for yourself.

At the beach… all eyes on you, super confident in that bikini. Walking into the gym… girls whispering to each other about how you must be a competitor, and coming up to ask you for exercise advice. Fitting into all the tiny little dresses that you want to wear to the club and having them fit your body like a glove. Heck, having ANY outfit you wear fitting perfectly.

Even reading this right now, I am willing to bet the hair is standing up on the back of your neck slightly—and that’s exactly the response that fitness marketers use to lure you in, because if you think a product is going to provide you with that body (and the lifestyle that you imagine comes with it), you’re going to buy the product at whatever asking price, no questions asked! Continue Reading Instagram Workouts from Bikini Competitors are a Waste of Your Time »

Two Critical Factors to Natural Muscle Gain That You’re Currently Ignoring

“I work out hard all the time and I just don’t grow!” Sound familiar? How about, “No matter how much I eat, I can’t gain weight!” or, “My bench has been stuck at __ lbs forever and I just can’t get stronger!”—any of those sound like something you’ve heard recently, or perhaps even said yourself?

Every day, thousands of hopeful hardgainers travel to their local gyms, diligently work through the latest muscle magazine or bodybuilding.com workout program, and summarily fail to achieve any of the incredible results promised by these programs despite their best and continued effort.

While some maintain a headstrong attitude in the face of continued failure for years, most eventually burn out and give up. And who can blame them? Nothing is less motivating than working excruciatingly hard at something, only to see literally nothing for your hard work.

The reason I am so familiar with this feeling is because I went through the same thing myself as a young adult. Throughout high school and early college, I was a scrawny, muscleless weakling and was treated as such by everyone around me.

Continue Reading Two Critical Factors to Natural Muscle Gain That You’re Currently Ignoring »

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 »

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 »