Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Year in Review

I am not quite sure where to even begin with this post. If it gets jumbled, I apologize- my brain has too many tabs open right now.

My year started off like any other year, boring, mundane, but I had hope as I was told I would be working the Arnold in late February with my sponsor Isolator Fitness. I also began training for my first show of the year.

In February, I celebrated my 25th birthday and Tom had his 2nd birthday. I traveled down to Columbus on the Thursday before and worked Friday and Saturday. Saturday night, I needed to lift so bad but there was only one gym in Columbus open called Lifetime Fitness. At the end of my workout, I was approached by a beautiful specimen of a human- more like a Greek God, named Josh. We got to talking and went on a dinner date the next day after the Arnold wrapped up. Little did I know, my entire life was about to change.

Josh and I discussed so much about life and business and goals and he mentioned that he hadn't had a job in over two years after pursuing his passion in fitness. Being the competitive woman that I am, I realized that I needed to do something different. In less than 4 weeks, I quit my job at the marketing agency that I  was working at in Toledo, moved to Columbus on faith, and began my journey as a health coach in the fitness industry at the end of March.

I am only gonna list the absolutely fun stuff below, in between all this stuff we started 3 businesses together!

April: Josh competed in his first pro show in Orlando.
April: We went turkey hunting in Kentucky twice and almost daily in Ohio- and I killed my first turkey with a bow!
May: Pittsburgh show where we both competed
May: Super boar hunting in Southern Ohio. Mine was 700 pounds and Josh's pig was almost 1,000
June: My best friend got married!
June: Josh and I went bear hunting in Manitoba, Canada- he got a gorgeous black bear!
July: lots of bow fishing and a trip to North Carolina for business
July: We went down to West Palm Beach for business, little did we know we would leave with some best friends- we love you Kady and Frankie!
August: We moved into our house!
August: Trip to chicago for business
August: Back to West Palm and Orlando
August: ND v Rice game with my family
September: Velvet deer hunt in Kentucky
September: Olympia weekend in Vegas with Isolator Fitness and we got ENGAGED!!!
October: I harvested my first deer with a bow!
October: Josh harvested his deer of a lifetime with a bow
November: Deer hunting in Texas!!!
December: Trip to Utah

Plus a few surgeries, a few broken bones, Tom's first adventures outside, hours of workouts and fitness videos, family events, and hunting trips.

We have had quite a year together and we are starting off 2015 with a bang- our wedding! I could not be more excited to be Mrs. Bowmar!!!

All pictures are on @sarah_bakian and @joshbowmar instagram. Our hunting pics are on @bowmarbowhunting

Here's to 2015!










Thursday, October 30, 2014

How Long Should My Workout Be?

I see all these fitness "celebs" and "insta-trainers" posting about how often they are at the gym and BRAGGING about doing hours of cardio and lifting for 2+ hours. Why?

I have three theories:
1- they want to intimidate the non-lifters into thinking you need to spend hours at the gym and the only way to do that is you spend money and buy their programs
2- they are uneducated and think they have to work out that long to see results. don't get me wrong, you will see results doing this but there are much more time effective ways to workout
3- their coach/trainer is uneducated and has them on this "program"

I am in no way bashing anyone's methods- you do what works for you but just make sure you have all the facts before you start paying rent on an elliptical

What is an ideal weight lifting time? 45 minutes

Males and females: your testosterone levels will peak at 45 minutes (yes ladies, we have test levels too). At the 45 minute mark- you will have reached your maximum growth. Anabolic activity also peaks at this time as does muscle glycogen. Your muscles can only expand and stay expanded for so long before they start to deflate.

This doesn't mean working out for 45 minutes. This INCLUDES all the time spent dilly dallying around the gym, taking swelfies, etc. It's 45 minutes from the time you pick up your first dumbbell. That is why it's so important to have a PLAN when you go into the gym because you are a time crunch if you care about actually getting all the benefits from your weight training session.

After 45 minutes, your body will start releasing less and less testosterone and your body will go into a catabolic state after 60-90 minutes AKA your body needs fuel since you're dicking around and lifting way longer than you should. So- your body will resort to what it needs and it will start to consume your muscle. Not pretty. That's why you probably see people in the gym all the time who never look like they have made progress (could be their diet too but that's none of my business).

What about cardio? In an ideal state, cardio should be done at a separate time than your weight training. Simple as that. If you can't make your health a priority and you need to do in the same split, lift for 30 minutes and do cardio for 25-30 minutes.

As always, make sure you eat within 30 minutes after you lift so you don't go catabolic.

If you need help, rates are below in an earlier post. My email is sarahbakian@gmail.com


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Death by Delts Workout

300 rep workout

100 seated lateral raises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DVTtCGoLqs
50 incline seated front raises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7WRsQDjsEc 
20 arnold presses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj2w851ZHRM 
100 shoulder raises w/ bar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiMZZgHN5NI
30 rear delt flys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5OvdIVV61M

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9-29-14 Glute Workout

Superset 1
5 sets of 10 deadlifts
5 sets of 10 squats- butt touching the ground

Superset 2
3 sets of 10 hip thrusters
3 sets of walking weighted lunges

Superset 3
3 sets of 10 donley kickbacks
3 sets of glute pushdowns on assisted pull up machine


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shoulder Workout

4 sets of 5- overhead dumbbell press
4 sets of 12- lateral raises
4 sets of 10 each arm- dumbbell upright rows, must start at floor each time
3 sets of 10- shoulder bombs
3 sets of 12- mountain climbers

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Protein Pancake Recipe

In a bowl, combine 1 scoop nutrilite vanilla protein powder, 1 egg white, 3 TBSP almond milk, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 TBSP coconut flour.

Cook on sprayed griddle at medium heat. The key to fluffiness is to pour your batter SLOWLY. Flip when bubbles appear.

I topped them with sugar free syrup, dairy free cocoa chips, and sprinkles. I used the brand "enjoy life" for the cocoa chips.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Glorious Glute Workout

Glutes!!!!!

Workout Routine:

20 walking lunges (10 each side) with plate overhead (I used a 35 pound plate)
10 squat jumps
10 thrusts with barbell (I used a 60 pound bar)
Repeat 4 times

3 sets of 15 glute push backs machine- I used 100 lbs

3 sets of 10 (each side) donkey kicks with bands

Life Update

I haven't posted a life update in awhile simply because life has been extremely busy- in the best way possible. As many of you may know (and some may not), I left my job at a digital marketing agency in March to move down to Columbus to pursue a different marketing position that was offered to me. I had a week break in between my old and my new job and it was in that week that I decided my freedom was way too important. I called the new position off in order to completely focus on my nutrition and network marketing companies. It was the most insane leap of faith I have ever taken in my life and I could honestly not be happier I took it.

April: 2 kentucky turkey hunting trips, ohio turkey hunting, josh's pro show debut in orlando, and prepping for my first show at the beginning of may
May: josh and i both competed in Pittsburgh (I took 4th out of 39 women), bow fishing trips, a hog hunt in southern ohio, and purchased a boat and a truck
June: my best friend got married, 8 day bear hunting trip in canada, and my family came to visit
July: bow fishing trip for the fourth of july, 3 day trip to north carolina for a business event, and in two days we will be leaving for west palm beach for another business meeting

All of these events have been molded around us building up our network marketing business on top of our nutrition business and coaching services.

sorry the update is so short- we are drowning in work and its been a workout to manage everything- not a bad problem to have!!

go the extra mile- it's never crowded

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Glute Workout 7-14-14

Glute Workout!

20 Walking Lunges Holding Plate Overhead (I used a 35 lb plate)
10 Hip Thrusters on Bench with Straight Bar (I used a 60 lb bar)
Repeat 5 times

10 Donkey Kicks Both Legs On Pulley Machine (I used 15 lbs)
10 Bulgarian Split Squats Holding Plate Overhead (10 each leg, I used a 25lb plate)
Repeat 3 times

20 Glute Pushdowns on Assisted Pull Up Machine (I used 115 lbs)
20 Walking Lunges Holding Plate Overhead (I used a 35 lb plate)
Repeat 3 times


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tuna Noodle Casserole- Healthified

So Josh has been subtly hinting that he really wanted tuna noodle casserole for dinner this weekend so I surprised him and made it tonight. Taking health into consideration, here is my version of tuna noodle casserole.

Side note, when i typed this up, it defaulted to tuna poodle casserole- there are no poodles in this casserole.

Ingredients:
6 oz yolk free noodles
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion
3 TBSP whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cup fat free broth (you can use chicken, we used veggie)
1 cup almond milk
10 oz mushrooms
2 cups peas
10 oz canned tuna
4 oz sharp cheddar
2 TBSP parmesan cheese


Cook the noodles per the directions on the bag that you purchase- use 6-10 oz. We used 10. Josh is a pro body builder. You do the math

While that is boiling, in a skillet, melt the butter and the onion together for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add in a pinch of salt and flour. Stir for 3 minutes. Add broth. Once boiling, add milk. Once that boils, add peas and mushrooms. Simmer on medium, mixing occasionally until it thickens (less than 10 minutes). Add drained tuna and simmer another minute.

Turn off heat. Add sharp cheddar. Stir until melted. Add noodles and mix until everything is coated.

Spray a 9x12 pan and pour casserole. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chocolate Cookie Dough Protein Donuts

Ingredients:
1 scoop Nutrilite Chocolate Protein Powder:
1/4 cup almond flour
2 egg whites
splash of water

mix together

in a sprayed donut pan, pour batter- yields 5

bake at 350 for 14 minutes

top with youfreshnaturals cookie dough coconut spread





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rest Days. They Suck. But They Are Necessary.

Rest Days. The other R word. To bodybuilders, it's a terrible day. But it's necessary. What, how, when, where, and why?

What: A rest day is literally a day in which you don't weight train or do cardio. It's a day in which you let your body recover.
How: Sit down. Don't think about the gym. One day of rest won't make you small just like one day of working out won't make you Arnold
When: Once a week typically
Where: Your couch
Why:
1. Prevents injury- yes you push yourself to the hardest of cores when you're at the gym. Sometimes you may hurt yourself and not even realize it. It's vital to take rest days to make sure you aren't worsening an injury.
2. Your muscles need to rest- when you workout, you are ripping muscle fibers. If you don't take adequate rest, you won't give your body enough time to repair the torn fibers and make you jacked as hell
3. It won't hurt your body- it takes 2 weeks of literally being a lard-ass and not doing anything to see a loss in strength- so don't think you will lose everything in a 24 hour rest period
4. Too much exercise can make you not sleep well- you put your body in a constant state of restlessness. So good. So take a day off and sleep
5. Mental stability- taking a day off will re-light the fire that burns deep within your loins to lift heavy ass weight and set it back down.

So, take a damn day off. Let your muscles repair themselves. Take a mental break. Sit on the coach. Yes, you will think about the gym all day long but remember that your muscles NEED the break


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Frosted Vanilla Protein Cookies

Ingredients:
1 scoop vanilla nutritlite protein powder
1 TBSP coconut flour
1 tsp butter extract
1/2 cup almond milk

mix together- batter should be thick

bake on parchment covered cookie sheet for 9 minutes at 350

Topping:
1/2 scoop vanilla nutrilite protein powder
enough water to make a paste


Enjoy!!



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Recent Client Testimonials

Pictures are worth a thousand words- more client testimonials will be posted at the end of May's Challenge but I recently have had a ton of client success and wanted to compile and share with you all!

One Week:


One Week:


One Week:


Two Weeks:


6 Days:


6 Days:


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Post Show Mental Stability

So you just had a show. And you were lean as hell. And now you want to eat. Who doesn't. Some simple tricks to not completely reversing all your hard work post show:
1- ENJOY yourself post show, yes. Make sure your meal is PLANNED and you don't have a ton of goodies at the hotel or in your suitcase- just allow yourself a meal
2- before you indulge, take a carb blocker. The carb blocker is also amazing for treat meals- see an earlier post about that
3- take a diuretic before you indulge too, even if you weren't during peak week. you pulled water at some point and if you drown your organs, you will regret it
4- now that you have those pills in your body, DRINK water before you indulge, it will really help you to not explode
5- be smart about what you're eating and begin the cycle of reverse dieting

For me, we had sushi and I FINALLY got to give in to my biggest craving ever, the nutrilite 1 carb cinnamon roll bar. May not seem like a treat to most but to me it was all I was thinking about during the last few weeks of prep.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Cucumber Doritos

Mind. Blown. Yup, this happened. Set your oven to 350 and slice a cucumber super thin. Layer on a foil covered cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle on 0 calorie nacho cheese popcorn salt (the kind I used is pictured below- we found it in Kentucky). The one side is nacho cheese and the other side is garlic. Bake for 15 min and enjoy! Doritors are J's fave and since we are deep into prep, I made these for him over the weekend for a sanity check 



Friday, April 25, 2014

Reasons You Aren't Succeeding. Spoiler Alert- It's Not Your Coach's Fault

I have been getting EXTREMELY annoyed lately with the constant "I'm not seeing the results I want" emails followed with "I'm not committed to my plan 100% but I'm trying".

That's bullshit. Sorry but this blog post won't have anything sugar coated in it because honestly, you would probably eat that too.

If you have hired someone to help you through your fitness, or any goals for that matter, you should probably listen to them since what you've been doing clearly hasn't yielded the results you want.

Here are some reasons you probably aren't succeeding:

1- you're not pushing yourself at the gym
2- you're not committed to your diet
3- you're having a ton of cheat meals a week
4- you're not following your meal plan to a T
5- you're not sleeping enough
6- you're not drinking enough water
7- you're drinking something other than water or unsweetened green tea
8- you're eating fruit- young grasshoppers, that will be the next blog post so keep your panties on
9- you're playing the pity party game for yourself
10- you're making excuses i.e.: i travel for work, i'm a mom, etc (news flash, i'm writing this blog post in the car while J drives through the mountains of kentucky while we are turkey hunting. so no, you don't have an excuse to not put in the work).
11- you're not measuring your food. a TBSP of peanut butter is really fucking small and pathetic when you actually measure it
12- you're adding things to your plan that aren't on your plan, i.e.: adding a little sour cream to your fish or adding a few handful of nuts here and there to snack on
14- you're not lifting heavy enough. you should be lifting heavy enough to finish your reps but STRUGGLE to finish the last 20%
15- you're lifting with improper form
16- you're not committed to your diet
17- you're not meal prepping
18- you're not committed to your diet- yes i've typed that three times. hoping to smack some people in the face
19- you're not taking your supplements
20- you're taking generic shitty supplements and not following the supplement plan your coach provided because you wanted to be cheap. guess what- your body isn't something to be careless about. pay the extra money



$150 to the first troll to comment on my Instagram page to tell me i missed a #13

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Started From The Bottom

So lately I have been receiving a ton of emails asking how I got started in this industry. While extremely flattered, I can't help but wonder why me- is it because of my followers on Instagram or because of my hilarious wit on my blog- I would like to think the latter.

My professional education is in marketing. My undergrad and marketing (both from Ball State), were in marketing. Yes, I graduated with my MBA at the age of 22. Yes, I received my undergrad in 3 years. Yes, I worked my ass off during college. Guess what- they all laughed while I worked. Now I laugh while they work (just kidding, kind of, not really).

So, my MBA was in marketing. Now what the hell do I do???!?!? Ahh job! Well good thing for me, I network really well and I received a job at a digital marketing agency the day after I graduated with my MBA. Picture perfect- right. It was. I worked there for 2 1/2 years. During this time as an account manager, I worked on some very large digital marketing projects for clients such as Menards, HGTV, Owens Corning, etc (when I say big projects, I mean apps that cost over $1,000,000).

During my big-girl-cubicle job, I learned a lot about the digital space and what it takes to market a brand and yourself in the social world. During this time, I began to build my own name and my own brand via instagram. I simply started posting things that had value (i.e: recipes, workouts, etc). And then I started competing and was submerged in the world of bodybuilding. Fast forward through 6 shows in one year and voila- we are in September 2014.

I really wanted to make sure that I came out of my show season in the healthiest way possible so I started researching fitness nutrition certifications. I then became certified through ISSA in fitness nutrition. This opened up a world of opportunity for me to begin to help people in their fitness journey. And then came the sponsors. I was PROACTIVE in reaching out to companies who I wanted to partner with to promote products. I WROTE LETTERS to these companies that I believed in. I WORKED for the sponsorships that I received.

Off season. Bulking. Woof. I put on 20 pounds in the off season between end of September through beginning of February. I overcame by binge/starve routine I was putting myself through. I was sponsored by amazing companies. And most importantly, I was helping hundreds of clients.

I then was offered the opportunity to work at The Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH at the end of February- stoked? Stoked doesn't even begin to f***ing describe how excited I was. Three days of promoting my first sponsor, Isolator Fitness, and being surrounded by those who shared my dreams and passion- yes please.

Saturday night of the Arnold, all I wanted to do was lift some weights. That's all. There was literally one gym open late enough for me to workout at in Columbus- Lifetime. Headphones in, world off- or so I thought. Mid-glute thrusting workout, I hear a voice "hey, did you compete at the Arnold", ughhhh go away guy- I'm just trying to workout. And then I saw him. And it changed. An instant worlds-colliding-WTF moment happened. We talked about everything, just standing there at the gym sipping BCAAs and talking about dreams and goals.

Fast forward about 14 hours and I'm back working the Arnold booth. And he shows up. And fast forward two weeks. I was offered a marketing position in Columbus that I had been wanting for forever. I quit my job in Toledo, moved to Columbus, and realized I couldn't sit at a desk the rest of my life. I refuse. So,  I turned the offer down. And today is my official start of my third week being self-employed. It has taught me how driven and determined my business mind fully is. Oh and that boy? We are dating. And it's something so much more than boyfriend/girlfriend. We are a team and we both get to build this empire together.

Just remember- there is no shortcut to any place worth going. So work hard and put in your time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things That Annoy me on Instagram

Ok, so how is this for a rant session.

There are so many things that have been annoying me on Instagram lately so I thought I would share them all with you.

1- what is up with all of the "meal prep" people out there. are you even certified? y'all realize it's ILLEGAL to sell meal/prep plans without being certified right?
2- all of these supplement companies that are popping up out of nowhere. i'm just glad i'm affiliated with companies that actually have science behind their products...
3- trolls. seriously- if you don't have anything nice to say, just stop following me. it gets really annoying when i see posts asking how big my penis is. it's bigger than yours, clearly.
4- when people post pictures of food and tell their viewers they have to buy their Ebook. are you out of your damn mind. RUDE
5- every picture that isn't a cat really pisses me off
6- your ass picture. ladies, if you only have 200k + followers because every other post is of you in your thong, you may want to re-evaluate. no one takes you seriously. seriously.
7- more trolls
8- "broscience"
9- when people  don't read the captions i type
10- when people don't watch the videos i post



Life Update

I have been posting a lot of recipes lately without posting a life update. I haven't had the mental capacity to process or fathom the path in which my life has taken me in the past 6-7 weeks. In the past month and a half, I quit my job, moved to Columbus, was offered a new job, turned down said new job, and embarked on a whole new career path: building my own fitness brand and meal plan consultations. It's my passion and life is too short to be hired to build someone else's dream when you could be building your own.

For the past ten days, I have been my own boss. I have made my own schedule. And I have made more money in the past ten days working for myself than I was making in 6 weeks at my desk job. I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, and still have the discipline to work harder than I ever have in my life.

Is this path something everyone can do? Yes. If you truly believe in yourself and the passion in your heart. Does it take a lot of work? Hell yea it takes a lot of work. It's the same way I got my MBA in 11 months and my undergrad in 3 years. I was working when everyone else was playing. And look what I get to do now, play while everyone else is working. My MBA and undergrad in marketing allowed me to learn HOW to promote myself, my brand, and my companies. My fitness nutrition certification has allowed to market and build my consultation company into something I never would have imagined.

There are people who come into our lives that awaken different beasts within us. I was ready to take this leap of faith but needed someone to help me off the ledge. I found that person to help me. And what's even more incredible is that now that we are a team, we are literally building an empire. Changing the fitness and health industry daily. Learning more day by day as to how our bodies work, the foods and nutrients that we need, and different training techniques. Be unstoppable.

On top of my own companies and brand, I am also working with extremefitness.com and writing for them as well as working with the online coaching segment of Team VIP. We are also working on more sponsorships and partnerships (look at SOON for those details) and we are also in R&D with two new fitness related products with a company down in Miami (one food related product and one tracking related product). On top of ALL of that, we have shows coming up! We are both 2 1/2 weeks out from Pittsburgh, doing two a days, and prepping meal like it's our job- well technically it is.

Another passion of mine that I have recently been introduced to is archery. Turkey season starts on Monday and before I post this on Instagram, yes, I will be hunting birds. Please understand that I am a pescatarian- yes. I do NOT eat land animals because I do not believe in the hormones, steroids, and meat packing industry that goes into processing farm animals for human consumption. That being said, there is something extremely primitive about hunting meat yourself. Please understand, I am the biggest animal lover in the world but if animal populations aren't regulated (i.e. turkeys, deer, etc), diseases will spread and over population will occur. If you choose to unfollow me or not like me because of this then I understand- but please be considerate of my point as well.

Oh yea, and look out for updated meals, diets, cardio, lifting, and supplement plans! And look out for my new logo too!!

Go the extra mile. It's never crowded.






Saturday, April 5, 2014

Alcohol is Spelled Poison

Alcohol. Beer. Liquor. Liquid Courage.

It's literally all poison to our bodies. Don't believe me? Keep reading.

Your body treats alcohol like a poison because that's what it is. It's something that it doesn't want inside of you. To fight it off and to sober up, your body releases an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase.

This enzyme will snatch a hydrogen atom off the alcohol molecules in whatever $1.50 car bomb you just slammed with your friends and will render in into a non-intoxicating acetaldehyde. Great right? Except more often than not, you're slamming shots and drinking quicker than your body can produce this powerful enzyme.

So what happens to all the alcohol that your body actually absorbs? Well for starters, it will inhibit your brain cells. Not like you have much concern for your brain if you are drinking copious amounts but here's the scoop: alcohol affects the way your neurons get their firing triggers from glutamate. Alcohol interferes with the glutamate receptors in your dome piece and hurts their ability to send off the normal "fire" messages. This impacts every single action across your brain: muscles, speech, coordination, judgement, classiness, and so on

So why can you never remember being such a dumbass when you drink? The way your brain makes memories is so complex that even Bill Nye struggles with it, and he's a science guy. Memories are, however, linked to NMDA. Alcohol interferes with this receptor. So good luck remembering dancing on the bar with the lampshade on your head.

Why do you throw up when you've had too much alcohol? HELLO?!?!?! Has your body ever rejected avocado and tuna? Unless you're allergic, smartasses, the answer is no. Why do you get hangovers? Because your body was literally up all night trying to repel and correct the poison that you put in it.

I have been sober since February 2012 and don't plan on ever drinking again. I just tell people I'm allergic since very few people can wrap their heads around the fact that I don't want to poison my body.




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Protein Cookie Sandwiches


Protein cookie sandwiches

In a blender, blend:
1/8 cup oats until it's a flour. 

Add 1 TBSP coconut flour, 1/2 TSBP coconut oil, 1 muscle egg vanilla egg white (3 TBSP), 3 TBSP almond milk, and 1 scoop cellucor vanilla protein powder. On a sprayed cookie sheet, plop six dough balls on the sheet. Bake for 9 at 350. While that's baking, mix 1/2 scoop cellucor cor-fetti protein powder with enough water to make a paste and use this as your filling. Macros for the whole recipe (yields 3): 358 calories, 11 fat, 11 net carbs, 44 grams of protein. 



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bakian's FAQs

So I get asked A LOT, and I mean, A LOT for "tips" on how to lose weight.

Simple- eat less than what you burn. There are obviously more components to this but when you boil it down to the SCIENCE behind losing weight, nom less than you sweat.

Here are some frequently asked questions and my sarcastic answers. Take this with a grain of salt

What is the best way to lose fat?
Burn more calories than you eat. Simple. Calorie quality is a factor though, as well are macros. Portion control and macros are the two MOST IMPORTANT aspects of a meal plan that will work for YOU.

Won't lifting make me bulky?
Um, are you on testosterone women? No? Ok, then stop being stupid. You will never get bulky from lifting weights especially when 95% of you are lifting with shitty form and you're lifting the pink dumbbells. You have to TRY to get bulky, and by TRY I mean eat a ton and lift heavy ass weight. So don't be afraid.

How do I get a flat stomach?
Take your right hand and your left hand and clasp them together. Now hit yourself in the forehead. You can't spot reduce fat. So in order to "get a flat stomach", whatever that means, you need to reduce your overall body fat percentage. This is achieved through diet (macros and portions), cardio, weight lifting, and supplements.

Should I do cardio or weight lifting first?
Neither. You should do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach and then lift at night. But if you MUST do them both in the same split, lift first. You're stronger.

Are supplements necessary?
Ya.

How much water should I drink?
All the water. 1-2 gallons a day.

Is pop really that bad for me?
Does a bear shit in the woods?

How heavy should I lift?
As heavy as you can with proper form. The concept of growing your muscles is ripping your current muscle fibers and then they grow back bigger. So if you are lifting pink dumbbells and doing cosmo workouts, chances are, that won't cut it. Don't be afraid to lift heavy. Take your muscles to the point of exhaustion.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Carbs vs Net Carbs

One of the most discussed topics in the fitness industry is the concept of carbs vs net carbs and what should be counted.

The way you compute your net carbs is by subtracting the total grams of fiber from the total grams of carbs.

So, why would you only count these?

Fiber plays a VERY important role in your health but it has no nutritional value, zero calories, and does not affect your blood sugar like other carbs. Fiber travels through your digestive system undigested.

Vegetables are EXTREMELY high in fiber so the net carb count is obviously low.

Foods like baked goods and desserts barely have any fiber but a very high carb count. This can lead to diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, and obesity.

It's a very simple concept with simple science behind it. Leave your thoughts!!



Monday, March 24, 2014

Protein Icecream

The BEST and most AMAZING post-workout treat EVER

Before you go lift heavy things and set them down, make this protein treat.

In a blender, combine 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup almond milk, and  1 scoop cellucor vanilla protein powder. Blend.

Store in a bowl in the freezer while you get JACKED

Once you're done with your lifting sesh, enjoy your treat. Microwave for 20 ish seconds and then smash


4 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 TBSP coconut flour
1 egg white
1 scoop cellucor vanilla protein powder
3 TBSP almond milk

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cook pancakes on medium heat. Yields 4.

Top with sugar free syrup or agave nectar

Macros: 216 calories, 2f/14c/32p


Fasted Cardio Benefits

Fasted cardio is just that- cardio on an empty stomach post-intermittent fasting. Most people (myself included) will do fasted cardio in the morning as soon as you wake up. I personally take my fat burners, fall back to sleep for 30 minutes, and then wake up and go to the gym to do 20 - 30 minutes of fasted HIIT cardio

Benefits:
1- wakes you up!!!!! fasted cardio is the BEST "coffee" for mental acuity and concentration later throughout the day by releasing mood-enhancing endorphins. it will also flush out your lymptatic system which ensures a flow of energy
2- post-fast, the glycogen stores are depleted and the body is forced to burn fat as energy
3- food (especially dirty carbs), causes a sudden release of insulin that interferes with the mobilization of body fat. SO the less insulin present (AKA when you wake up) during the workout means more fat will be burned as energy
4- your metabolism stays elevated hours after your workout is over
5- greatly improves insulin sensitivity

Monday, March 17, 2014

Green with Envy

St. Patricks Day Treats!!!

Protein Shamrock Shake

In a blender, mix 1/2 cup almond, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1/2 cups, and 1 tsp duncan hines mint chocolate frosting creation powder. Blend and enjoy!


Thin Mint Protein Donuts

In a blender, combine 1/2 cup oats, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1/2 cup almond milk, and 1 tsp duncan hines mint chocolate frosting creation powder. Blend together.

Pour into a sprayed donut mold, bake for 15 at 350. Top with 1 tbsp sweetspreads mint chocolate coco-nut butter




St. Patty's Day Protein Donuts


In a blender, combine 1/2 cup oats, 1 scoop cor-fetti protein powder, 1/2 cup almond milk, and 1 drop green dye. Blend together. 

Pour into a sprayed donut mold, bake for 15 at 350.

Topping is 1/4 scoop cor-fetti protein powder and enough almond milk to make a paste.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Make Your Body More Alkaline

So, we all know that the best tasting food is the most fattening, most artery clogging, sweetest and/or saltiest.  Yes you need a weekly treat meal but what about the other 96% of the time? Eat as wholesome as you can. It seems simple but what do these ratchet foods truly do to our body?

I guarantee that unless Tony Robbins is ready this- every single person reading this (myself included) has an acid/alkaline imbalance. Over acidity in the body can weaken all body systems and is VERY common today. If you are too acidic, your body will literally become an internal environment conducive to disease. Additionally, the following can occur in an acidic body: weight gain, obesity, immune deficiency, premature aging, brittle bones, joint pain, low energy, chronic fatigue, slow digestion, and diabetes.

Even if you are taking a lot of vitamins, your body may not be absorbing the minerals due to high acid levels.

There are a million and a half green powders, the best in my opinion is: http://www.thenaturalonline.com/greens-plus-advanced-multi-raw-superfood-formerly-the-original-greens-superfood-9-4-oz-powder.html

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Protein Recipe Contest Rules!

Purchase any of the following Cellucor protein flavors from http://cellucor.com/products/21-whey and use my code "sarah" for 20% off
Cookies and Cream
Cinnamon Swirl
Strawberry Milkshake
Whipped Vanilla
Molten Chocolate
Cor-fetti (cake batter)
Peanut Butter Marshmallow

Post AS MANY protein creations as you want by March 11! Hashtag #sarahbakian. Recipes can include (but are obviously not limited to): protein donuts, pancakes, muffins, breads, oatmeal, waffles, etc. Get creative!!

I will determine the top 3 winners on March 12
First place- 1 month customized macro meal plan, 1 month of cardio workouts, and 1 month of lifting workouts with videos of me doing each exercise
Second place- 1 month customized macro meal plan and your choice of cardio or lifting plans
Third place-1 month customized macro meal plan

Rules:
Must use my code "sarah" when purchasing from http://cellucor.com/products/21-whey
Must hashtag your picture or else I won't see it
Must be an original recipe
Must include recipe, ingredients, and directions


Sunday, February 23, 2014

What Not To Do At The Gym

Feel free to add to this list in the comments, this is my own personal working post of all the annoying things that happen at the gym:

1- people doing things other than squatting in the squat rack
2- what people don't rerack their weights
3- people talking to me mid-set
4- people talking to me while i'm doing cardio
5- people talking to me
6- people trying to sell me herbalife
7- someone correcting my form
8- the "look at me" grunt
9- using 10 different dumbbells at the same time when people are waiting
10- sweaty people who don't wipe off the bench
11- that guy who raps
12- that girl who doesn't wear a shirt
13- that guy who brings chocolate milk
14- the couple who won't stop holding hands
15- the old creepy guys
16- the young creepy guys
17- that thirsty girl who hasn't lifted a damn weight- go away
18- that guy who needs a size bigger shirt
19- the short shorts guys
20- that guy who does 14 sets on one machine




Saturday, February 22, 2014

Daily Life

So a lot of people, I'm sure, have a stigma that "fitties" on instagram only workout/get paid to workout/only talk and think about working out/etc.

While some "famous fitties" on instagram don't have jobs- not quite sure how that works out- sugar daddy i suppose- majority of people who you see online actually have lives outside of the gym. so, here's a glimpse into mine:

6am- fasted cardio
7am- meal 1
8:30 - 5:00- work mode- I work at a digital marketing agency (basically every aspect of marketing that a traditional agency doesn't do. we build websites, apps, film videos, digital marketing campaigns, SEO, social media, etc). Meals 2-5 consumed at work
5:30 - 7pm- LIFT HEAVY THINGS
7pm- post workout meal
730pm- tan like twice a week
8pm- meal 6
8:30 - 9:30pm- answer client emails and play with my cat
10pm- bed


weekends are obviously a little different but they still consist of two-a-days, volunteering several hours at the humane society, more time to play with my cat, and a lot of recipe creations/experimenting!!

so there you have it- glamorous huh- just a normal girl trying to make a statement in this crazy world


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hit a Plateau? No You Didn't- You Aren't Working Hard Enough

Yes, the first few pounds of any weight loss program are the easiest to fall off. But honestly, if you think you have "hit a plateau", chances are, you aren't dedicating 150% to yourself or your plan.


First- assess your situation.

How long have you been at a "plateau"? DO NOT rush to fix something that isn't broken. Even if it's been a few days or a 2 weeks since you last saw movement on the scale- do not fret. Weight loss is NOT linear or predictable.

Are you truly and honestly following your program? Oh, you don't have a program- get one. You do have a program- get real with yourself before you consider yourself at a plateau. Are you grazing between meals? Are you measuring your food? Are you training as hard as you could be? You need to recommit yourself to your plan and your goals if you even think for a second that you aren't giving it 150%.

Do you need rest? Sometimes, rest is what a body needs to move forward. If you are constantly putting your body in a state of stress, this elevates cortisol levels and inhibits fat loss.

How long has it been since a treat meal? Recommended is one treat meal a week. NOT recommended is a treat meal everyday.

IF, and only IF, you are at 150% dedication and haven't seen a change in a few weeks- you may need a change. Consult with your trainer, coach, or get a consultation from me.


Monday, February 17, 2014

"Clean Eating" is a Scam

Oh my gosh what did she just say?!?!?!?!?

That's right- clean eating is a SCAM.

Let's break it down:

"Clean Eating" aka healthy, clean, safe, wholesome. The definition of clean eating is eating food in its most natural state- ok that's all fine and dandy but there is no mention to portion sizes, macros, etc.

Wait for it, wait for it: ANY FOOD THAT HAS CALORIES CAN TECHNICALLY BE BAD FOR YOU- IF CONSUMED IN EXCESS.

SO- eating 10,000 calories of broccoli is "clean" and if you aren't burning more than 10,000 calories a day- unless you're Michael Phelps- you're not. So, 10,000 calories of your precious broccoli will make you gain weight. No thanks.

Clean has literally has NO objective definition nor scientific support. It has also been proven to lead to eating disorders. Avoiding specific food or food groups is one of the defining characteristics of orthorexia nervosa aka binging and starving. It is literally MADE UP.

Your body does not have an indicator that states that all of your salmon will go to your muscles while sorbet during your treat meal will go to your fat because that's an "unclean" food. Literally NONSENSE.

Personally, when I went through my "clean eating" phase, I was CONSTANTLY thinking about the foods that I told myself I wasn't allowed to have. Starving for a week, binging for a few hours, starving for a week, so on and so forth.

Several points to remember:
Food doesn't make you gain fat- people over-eating food makes them overweight
Eating some of your calories from less nutrient dense sources IS NOT going to give you a nutrient deficiency

I am not trying to get any to drink the IIFYM koolaid. I do not believe in eating whatever you want as long as you hit your carbs, proteins, and fats- you still need to hit your fiber. You really need to watch the glycemic index and you will never see me post "pretty froyo carbs" at the end of the day because 1-i'm on prep and 2- i don't feel that the people promoting this type of IIFYM really even understand what they are doing (which is probably why you never see them explain why they eat ice cream and poptarts at 10pm).

In short: portion, macros, and live happily ever after.





Monday, February 10, 2014

Fitness Competing 101

A lot of people have asked me what steps they need to take to start competing. Below are the steps that i personally would take:

1- make sure you are 150% dedicated to competing. this sport is expensive so if you aren't going to be dedicated damn near 200%, don't waste your time.

2- research. decide which organization you want to compete in. i compete in the NPC but there are a handful of other organizations such as WBFF, CBBF, NGA. Muscle Mania, IFPA, OCB, NANBF, REAL, FAME, INBF, UNBA, INBA, and NPA

here is a link with them all: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/rules-and-regulations.htm

3- once you know what organization you want to compete in, find a coach that is certified and experienced in that organization. while an NPC coach will help you in WBFF, it would be most beneficial to have a WBFF coach work with you if that's the organization you're going to compete in (ie a softball coach won't be able to give 100% to a wrestler)

4- once you have found a coach, work with them on determining your show date and which division you should be competing in

5- train and eat to your plan for the duration of your prep

6- prep throughout for your show: shoes, hair, tanning, suit, jewelry, organization registration, show registration, etc

7- be PREPARED for your friends and family to not understand why you are doing what you are doing and/or try to get you off track. a lot of friends will make you feel like s**t for not going out and partying with them or eating nasty food- be true to yourself and your goals

8- compete

9- compete again and learn for your first show. and then compete again.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cheat Meals 101

Ok, a lot of competitors and "fit fam" members post about their epic cheat meals/days that they have during contest prep.

1- I don't like to think of it as a cheat meal, cheating means you're doing something bad. And cheat DAYS can turn into some horrible habits. However, if you handle TREAT meals properly, they can be the most beneficial thing since sliced bread!

So, a treat meal- what is it? It's just that, a treat meal that isn't on your regular meal plan. It can be pizza, donuts, chocolate covered fruit, whatever you want it to be! The idea is to keep it a MEAL (ie no more than 500 calories as a rule of thumb).

Typically, I have my cheat meal on Friday or Saturday. With my birthday coming up, I am using one treat meal for dinner with my dad when he comes into town and the next week will be lunch with my mom- planning is vital for your treat meals too so that you aren't giving in to cravings!

So now you know what a treat meal (donuts), how often you should have them (once a week), and how many calories you should have (less than 500). Now, why are treat meals important?

Two main reasons:

1- physchological stress- we ALL know that when you are on a diet, some days, certain foods just sound amazing and you feel like you would stop at nothing to eat a piece of pie or cake or whatever. Treat meals aid in this, they give you a light at the end of the tunnel, more over, that damn donut that you eat for your treat meal will be the most delicious pastry you've ever had in your life.

2- metabolism. the goal with a treat meal is to stimulate leptin (a hormone that plays a central role in the regulation of energy homeostatis). When you are in a calorie deficit, leptin is inhibited and its level decrease (noooooooooooooooooooo). This results in low thyroid stimulation. When one is in a calorie deficit for a long time, leptin levels fall chronically and our metabolism becomes slower (hence, why we can't all be stage lean all year round). Unfortunately, leptin reduction is the normal physiological response to calorie restriction and the treat meal tricks our reactive leption signals so that we can continue to lose fat effectively.

Post treat-meal, you will feel good with lots and lots of energy, you will have more muscle definition and volume and more vasculatiry.

So there you have it! Train hard, treat harder.


3 Ingredient Protein Donuts

3 Ingredient Protein Donuts

Set your oven to 350.

In a blender, blend 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 scoop protein powder, and 1/2 cup raw oats.

Pour into sprayed donut mold and bake for 8 minutes.

Top with 1 tsp agave nectar or honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Macros for the whole recipe (yields 4): 320 calories, 5 grams of ofat, 35 net carbs, 30 grams of protein.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Offseason: 2013/2014 In The Books





My offseason/improvement/bulking/puffy/bloated season is coming to end on February 1. I have learned a lot of things and gained more than just weight (which I am embracing to it's fullest) during the past 5 months.

1- Hands down, the most important thing I learned this off season was to GIVE UP the notion of being stage lean all year round. Oh yea, a shredded stomach is neat but it's not realistic. Your body will more than likely shut down before you spend an entire calendar year stage lean. So the BEST advice i can give someone coming off a competition season is to have a plan in place for off season, get in the right mindset, and buy a bigger pair of pants.

2- This brings me to my next point, I learned that my legs need a size 4 and my waist needs a size 0 and can someone for the love of god please invent jeggings with these measurements. Thank you. So, I have been a size 0 my whole entire life outside of wearing Limited Too pants. A size 0. For a long time, especially in college, that number defined me and my reason for living. Stupid- right? Yea, it is stupid. I was a silly cardio bunny going to the gym to watch the college boys curl and to flip my hair around. Now?? Now you ask??? Now i am ok with buying a size 2- which i did for the first time in my life in December and i nearly had a panic attach but I DID IT. yes, i am very fortunate, genetically. i also work my ass off to so don't sit there and tell me i would be fit if i just played candy crush all day- FALSE. i am thin by DNA, i am fit by determination. anyways, rant over, my waist luckily stayed the same pant size this whole time but the legs grewwwwww!!!!

3- I am a strong person. Mentally strong- yes but I am talking physically strong- let me put it into perspective.  September 14 was my last show last year. At that time, i was STRUGGLING, STRUGGLING i say, to do a set of 30 walking lunges with a 40 lb straight bar on my back. Now- I can do 100lbs for 30. I have increased my weights and reps on every single lift and have been incredible size gains.

4- food food food. I have learned this offseason that I have incredible self control when it comes to good. I ate to hit my macros and that was about 90/10. 90% of the time was healthy food. the other 10% was off season food- yes I ate at least one donut every single day post workout. Will this work for everyone? Nope. (PS- for post-workout carb information- reference my post a few weeks ago titled: Eat A Poptart).

5- never in my wildest dreams would i ever have imagined to be sponsored by 3 amazing companies in my first year of competing- House of Pain, Isolator Fitness, and USPlabs. Talk about an incredible off season to sign with Isolator and USPlabs at the tail end of 2013. There is no luck involved- it's called a partnership and you must WORK to make yourself stand out from the crowd. A thousand people compete so set yourself apart in some way.

6- lastly, i learned this off season that people want to see you do well but they never want to see you do better than them. unfortunately, i learned this the hard way when i lost my training partner/best friend from last year due to jealousy. many things were said about me, to me, and behind my back from someone who i truly trusted. it was a blessing in disguise because now my life is extremely toxic free and so much more positive. circle got smaller- vision got clearer.

So in conclusion, I will be starting this season toxic free and at 135 lbs with 20.8% body fat. My first show is May 10 in columbus, oh and I can NOT wait.

woof.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Food Lifestyles

An increasingly high amount of people have been asking me about IIFYM (if it fits your macros). So i decided to dive into all of the popular "diets" right now and give an unbiased summary of them all, with a little bit of science and a lot of sarcasm. Side note, i hate the word "diet" so I am referring to this post as food lifestyles. Take it or leave it.

Paleo
Let's eat like the cavemen- it really worked out for them, since ya know, there are so many cavemen left. Idiots. Paloe is moronic, Unless you are literally hunting and gathering all the food yourself (which, let's be honest, none of you are), you aren't paleo. Stop trying to make paleo happen- it will never happen! My favorite is when people post on Instagram- my paleo lunch!!!- and there's pictures of dairy, grains, etc. And when was the last time your grocery store had a special on woolly mammoth meat?


Keto
AKA Atkins on steroids- no pun intended. The human body needs at least, on average, 130 grams of carbs per day to ya know- live and function and perform brain activities. Keto calls for less than 30 grams of carbs per day. Low card, in the short term (and by short term I mean like 3 days), can be beneficial. Extremely low carb lifestyles, in the long run, can cause really moody people, increase in heart disease, weakened bones, and not to mention- guess what happens when you start to eat the carbs that you've been depriving your body of for months? Yup- just watch all that weight pile itself back on plus some!


IIFYM
Eating to hit your macros. What does this mean? Eating to hit your calories, carbs, proteins, fats, and fibers that you need to hit your own personal goals based on a number of different factors (height, sex, weight, current activity level, etc). What instagram followers think it means- eating super healthy until 8pm when all the IIFYMers post their "pretty fro yo" pictures with candy, cookies, skinny cow treats, blah blah blah. Cut the bullshit- that's not what it's about. This food lifestyle is based on numbers which is why i like it and why i follow it- it's amazing what the body can you do when you stick to a meal plan that is tailed to you, have one 500 calorie treat meal A WEEK, and look hot AF. And there's some science nonsense behind it AKA what my entire fitness nutrition certification talked about AKA a 200 page book AKA ask me if you have questions.

Clean
"Clean" eating. What the hell is that Mr. Clean???!?!? No, despite the name, it's not food that's been covered in bleach hahahaha. Ok, so clean eating is a great concept- eat all healthy foods and you'll be healthy weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. False. If you eat an excess of cucumbers or strawberries or grapes or what the fuck, you will still gain weight because it's in excess. Who cares if it a clean or dirty food if you ate too much damn food. Having a surplus of 2,000 calories of celery or a surplus of 2,000 calories of pizza will cause a weight gain either way. So just because you "eat clean", doesn't mean you will meet your goals (wether that be to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain).

Vegetarian/Vegan
I was a dairy-free vegetarian for almost a year and have been a pescatarian for almost 2. For those of you who can't search "what is a pescatarian"- i only eat fish as an animal protein source. I admire and respect anyone who gives up meat or animal byproducts- it's HARD, very very hard. Getting enough protein to live, let alone lift weights, is a very difficult task especially when you go out to eat. Me, personally, i don't care what you eat- but don't shove your meat in my face (that's what she said). Is it hard to get enough protein with this lifestyle? Yes. Is it impossible? No- just takes a little more planning.


IDGAF
I eat what I want. Ok, next topic.


Intermittent Fasting
Don't eat for 14 hours. Then eat. Then don't eat for 14 hours. The eat. Intermittent fasting is BOOMING right now, and I'm not sure why. Me, personally, if i don't eat for 2 hours i turn into robin williams coaching that football team in the snickers commercial (if you live under a rock, here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DxlOWVVQWE). Your body needs a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food to stay healthy. When one fasts, dizziness, dehydration, gallstones, and cold intolerance all come into play. No thanks.

Gluten Free Diet
99% of people didn't know what gluten was until roughly 2 years. The 1% had celiacs disease so, ya know, they actually aren't on a diet- they are on a "i am allergic to fluten as a medical issue and not an oxygen magazine fad" lifestyle. The G-word, glutten. What is it? Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain- thanks wikipedia! If you aren't allergic to gluten- why the fuck are you buying foods that are gluten free? They are twice as expensive and hard to find. Oh, you're just following a fad? Gotcha.




Protein Coffee Cake

Protein Coffee Cake 

Combine the following dry ingredients: 
1 scoop cinnamon graham cracker protein power (or use vanilla protein powder and add 1 tsp of cinnamon)
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1/8 cup almond meal

Add the following wet ingredients: 
1 egg white
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

Mix together

Bake at 350 in a small sprayed bread tin. Set the timer for 10 minutes. 

While this is baking, combine 1 TBSP oats, 1 TBSP cinnamon, 1 TBSP almond meal, and 2 TBSP maple syrup in a bowl. 

Once the 10 minutes has passed, top the semi-baked mixture with the topping. 

Bake for an additional 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine ¼ scoop vanilla protein powder and enough almond milk to make a paste. Enjoy! Macros: 400 calories, 9 grams of fat, 20 net carbs, 40 grams of protein.



Friday, January 24, 2014

The Infamous Muscle Pump

You work out. You lift heavy things and you put them down. But, do you achieve THE PUMP?!?!?!

As our fearless leader Arnold once said, "the best activities for your health are pumping and humping".

So we all take about the pump and we all say we have it when we work out, but what is it? And what does it do?

To demonstrate, I took my thigh measurements last night before my leg workout. That's the picture on the left. 2 hours later, I took my thigh measurement again- that's the picture on the right. Almost a 2 inch difference. No, you freaks, I didn't gain 2 inches of permanent leg size in 2 hours. It's from blood flow. Lots and lots of blood flow that says bye bye to other places in my body and goes right to the body part that you are isolating.









Science time.

A good pump is something all bodybuilders should aim for- it signals effectiveness of training and muscle growth. Proper weight training is the stimulus for an effective pump. Inability to achieve a pump also means the conditions necessary for muscle growth are not in place. The pump = barometer of future growth.

Working muscles need blood to supply them with oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products (mainly lactic acid and carbon dioxide). When a muscle is properly trained, blood flow is diverted from many other bodily processes to supply this muscle with what it needs to perform at its max.

Over time, the pump will also create a greater number of capillaries, which will, in turn, provide the muscles with more nutrients and oxygen and allow for larger pumps and more growth in the long term.

Woof.

So.... if you are working out shoulders and triceps on the same day- to be most effective- you should not go back and forth with shoulder and tricep exercises. The blood will be beep bopping all over the place, which results in an ineffective pump and overall ineffective muscle growth.

Supplementation

Adding in supplements (such as a preworkout with nitric oxide) will aid in the overall pump and added blood to the muscles.

Adequate weight + proper form + supplementation = great pump.

Double woof.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Podcast

Last week, I was lucky enough to do a podcast interview with Aesthetics on Fire.

Here is the direct link: http://www.aestheticsonfire.com/#!22-sarah-bakian/cl9v

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Supplement Guide


















Supplement Guide 101

This is my personal take on the most important supplements, what they do, why you need them, when to take them, how much to take, etc. 

BCAAs
Branched Chain Amino Acids are a combination of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. All three of these essential amino acids have a branched-chain molecular structure (remember, we all learned about this stuff in chemistry and thought we would never need it again). The combination of these three aminos is especially important because they muscle metabolizes them, not the liver- nom nom nom. 

BCAAs can be used to build new protein or used as energy. Muscles are super high branched chain amino acids so adding in a BCAA supplement can help build muscle, aids in recovery, and reduces the risk of overtraining.

BCAAs are great throughout the day if you want your muscles to nom on aminos all day long and especially beneficial while you are lifting. Powder BCAAs are extremely delicious but they also come in pill form too. 

Pre Workout
A pre workout supplement is basically a stimulant formulated to give you energy to power you through your workouts. The energy usually comes from caffeine and other herbal compounds. Many pre workouts are formulated to help your mental focus as well as boost your energy. Many are nitric oxide boosters (reference the arginine post later in this blog) and that helps improve circulation and the muscular pumps you will get during your workout. Summary- it's freaking bad ass and makes your muscles fill with blood and get super big and strong.

This one is easy, take one scoop 30 minutes before your workout. And then love life. 


L-Glutamine
So this guy can be found in food and whey protein but to harness it's amazing powers, it needs to be free form (cue free fallin background music). L-Glutamine is very important in protein metabolism and can reduce the amount of muscle deterioration that occurs when other tissue in your body needs glutamine- damn selfish tissues (kidding but not really).

It's important to re-stock your body full of glutamine and the best way to do that is either taking pure glutamine either in pill or powder form. It's best on an empty stomach, as mentioned above, it's absorbed best when it's the only thing in your tummy. 

L-Arginine
This amino acid, like L-Glutamine, is a semi-essential amino acid. They are both building blocks of protein and L-Arginine is also known as a precursor of the gas nitric oxide (which is partially what preworkout is for). Arginine's is very popular due to its nitric oxide producing ability, its ability to scavenge free radicals, as well as its ability to signal muscle cells, release growth hormone, remove bad cholesterol, helps regulate salt levels, and enhance fat metabolism. 

Bodybuilders love arginine for the fact that it regulates salt levels and is well known for muscle growth due to its ability to participate in protein synthesis.

Again, pill or powder- follow the directions on the type that you purchase.

Multi Vitamin
If you, as human, want to perform at your peak, start taking a damn multi vitamin. It can even be the Flinstones chewy gummy ones- it's better than what you are currently taking- nothing. Multi vitamins are vital as they contain a ton of stuff you need like minerals and vitamins. Majority, like 99% of us, are deficient in something- therefore, supplementing with a multi guarantees that there is always a presence of vitamins and minerals in your body. 

Protein Powder
Protein is, without a doubt, the best supplement for building muscle. 60-70% of your body protein is in your muscle. You can NOT build muscle without protein- protein literally builds muscles. There are many different types of protein, but out of the top five (whey, casein, soy, egg, and milk), whey protein ranks supreme. Whey protein is very high in BCAA's (mentioned above) and contains an almost perfect combination of muscle-building amino acids (nothing is 100% perfect). On average, it takes the body 2 hours to digest compared to casein, which can take up to 7 hours. 

The amount of protein you should be consuming per day is dependent on your macros (mentioned above). Some athletes may get enough protein on their own without supplementing, but for many, whey protein shakes are the way to go. They are best absorbed within 1 hour post workout with a simple carb.