Keep It Simple: Classic Tools for Smart Training

These tools are classics – timeless gems in the ever-changing, overcomplicated world of strength and fitness.

In this day and age of accessibility for everything from strength training and nutrition, to mobility and recovery, I find myself wondering where the simplicity has gone. If you are reading this you are most likely a fan of strength training in some form, or on a quest to increase your knowledge base as a coach or enthusiast of the iron game. But have you answered the simplicity question yet?


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Black Coffee for Bodybuilders Support Gains

Around 60 percent of Americans live for a daily cup of Joe. It’s a popular mood and energy-booster, especially among working adults. But it has a lot of benefits beyond that.

Studies have proven that coffee – the natural one, not the processed one with harmful additives – can help reduce your risk of chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, liver disease and even certain types of cancers.

Even athletes have discovered its benefits when it comes to maximizing muscle gains. In particular, black coffee for bodybuilders has shown positive effects. But we’ll get to that.

Let’s start with the benefits of coffee in general. Here’s an interesting infographic made by Tantika Tivorat on Prevention:

This Is Your Body On Coffee (Infographic)

For more details, you may want to check this article by Kris Gunnars on Authority Nutrition:

13 Proven Health Benefits of Coffee (No. 1 is My Favorite)

Coffee is actually very healthy. It is loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that can improve your health. The studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases. Read more…

Now let’s focus on the positive effects of coffee when it comes to weight loss and muscle-building. Black coffee is actually the choice of many athletes and bodybuilders – an 8-ounce cup of pure black coffee (no added sugar or creamer!) contains only 2 calories and no fat.

Read more about its bodybuilding benefits in this article on Flex Online:

Black Coffee for Bodybuilders

For years FLEX has recommended that bodybuilders drink plenty of black coffee every day. And we’re happy (and a bit surprised) to welcome the U.S. government aboard now that a dietary panel made a similar recommendation earlier this year: Every healthy adult should drink three to five cups of black coffee per day for optimal health. That’s particularly good news for bodybuilders who are trying to cut body fat while staying energized for intense workouts. Here are five ways black coffee helps support your bodybuilding gains. Read more…

To wrap this up, black coffee for bodybuilders is good as it increases strength, boosts energy, promotes better recovery, burns unwanted fats, and basically, maximizes gains.

Coffee is good for anyone to reduce inflammation that causes chronic illnesses. It also eases stress and depression, even boosts your brain health and memory. There’s really no reason to not have another cup of Joe – a lot of studies say so!

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These Foods Account for More Than 60 Percent of Calories

Processed foods, as the name says, are those that underwent certain processes that change their natural state, including additions of salt, sugar, fat, artificial colouring and other harmful ingredients that wreak havoc on your health. Food manufacturers do this for convenience or safety reasons.

Common examples are breakfast cereals, cheese, ready meals, soft drinks, candies and junk foods like potato chips and more. These foods account for more than 60 percent of calories in the American diet. Read on in this article by fitness editor Christa Sgobba on Men’s Health:

Unbelievable But True: These Foods Account for More Than 60% of Calories in Americans’ Diets

Your shopping cart is probably filled with crap: Most of the food we purchase is heavily processed, new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found. Read more…

True, it’s hard to avoid these foods because they’re delicious! But remember that their deliciousness comes from food additives that cause unwanted weight gain and chronic diseases. It’s better to take these off your grocery list.

Don’t risk it – there are studies that have reported that even exercise cannot help you shred off the chemicals in your body. Personal trainer Laurel Leicht compiled six proven reasons on Huffington Post:

6 Reasons Why You Can’t Out-Exercise An Unhealthy Diet

Sure, you could eat whatever you wanted in high school and stay thin as a rail. But unfortunately you’re not 17 anymore, and even if you work out ’round the clock, you can’t transform your body if you constantly give in to cravings, high-fat foods and sweet treats. The truth is, flat abs are made in the kitchen, and no amount of cardio and crunches can sculpt a sleek physique if you maintain an unhealthy diet. Read more…

Now if you miss the taste of certain unhealthy foods, here are a few alternatives, which are whole and raw, on Slice of Health:


Sometimes, the real challenge lies in finding a way to eat healthy. When there is an immediate need to satiate hunger, there is a common tendency to indulge in what is available – which is most often junk food. The most important way to go about this is to indulge in food that is healthy, and a good substitute for junk food – especially because indulgence in junk food can go a long way to disparage your health and system. Eating and snacking healthy is vital for one’s longevity – and healthy longevity. Here are some useful foods you can indulge in to ensure that you substitute your junk intake: Read more…

In conclusion, you need to avoid heavily processed ones as these foods account for more than 60 percent of calories in most diets, so better just make a move and encourage everyone to take them off their diets. These cause cancers, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and more!

It’s also important to check the nutrition labels because some products will trick you with their “natural” labels when they are not really natural.

You can’t always excuse yourself to eat unhealthy meals just because you’ll “eat clean” the next day. It doesn’t work that way. You have to be consistent with your diet in order to totally clean yourself. Cheat meals once in a while are okay, but not regularly. You’ll be surprised on how your taste buds won’t even like your old favourites!

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Best High Volume Back Exercises

I know you’ve been itching to achieve a V-taper – there’s more reason why you need to work your back. Toning it is essential not only for improving your body’s physical appearance, but also for keeping it stronger than ever. It also improves your posture, enhances your flexibility, and prevents injuries and soreness that you may get when doing different sets of exercises.

Simple twists, turns, rotates, and bends will improve your back, but it’s better to spice up your workouts every now and then. Here are some of the best high volume back exercises, suggested by UKBFF bodybuilder and personal trainer David Lyszczek on My Protein:

Top 5 Muscle Building Back Exercises

Even though the idea of a “perfect” physique definitely differs between most gym goers, very few will deny the impressiveness of a decent v-taper. A thick, wide and flaring back will give you that comic book-like body shape; but to get to this stage it’s going to take some hard work and grind. Simply resting your elbows on imaginary lats, following the “fake it until you make it principle” simply won’t cut it. Don’t leave building your back muscles to a chance, pick up the five movements listed below and say farewell to being able to scratch your back ever again. Read more..

We all know that it’s almost impossible to tone and strengthen your back without the use of any equipment. But an article written by Alex Orlov shares a 5-minute workout, which surprisingly makes it possible, on Huffington Post:

The 5-Minute Back Workout You Can Do Without Weights

Bathing suit season may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to slack on working your back. Even though you can’t see your posterior when you look in the mirror, you rely on this pillar of strength each and every day. Read more…

Lastly, powerlifter and bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn recommends a very badass workout on Muscle and Fitness:


Last month you got a taste of the power bodybuilding world with my chest workout. Now, it’s time to smash your back with the same kind of weight and volume. The basic principles of the two workouts are identical—start with a main lift where you go as heavy as possible for your working sets, taking as much time as you need between sets to fully recover. Read more…

If you feel like you’re always suffering from pain, I suggest you focus and exercise your back. And since it is the foundation of almost every full-body workout, doing these high volume back exercises will help you do your other workouts easily.

You can’t get stuck on your ab work forever. Remember, your body also needs to improve its power, not just its overall aesthetics. Start with short reps and low-intensity exercises, then gradually increase them as your fitness level increases.

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Pure Bar Healthy Halloween Snacks

It’s the time of the year when kids (well, even adults) surrender to their sweet cravings. Well, who can blame anyone? Chocolates and candies are just addicting!

But did you know what’s hidden behind their deliciousness? Refined sugar. It causes sugar spikes, leaving you sluggish and irritated. It can also mess up with your metabolism, cause a decline in brain function, and increase your risk of illnesses later in life. Now that’s the real horror of Halloween.

Good news, though – you can still enjoy the party with these delicious, guilt-free recipes to try that will make it possible to eat clean while having fun, all thanks to Pure Bar healthy Halloween snacks!

Fun Healthy Halloween Options

You’re never too old for a Halloween treat. But instead of snacking on processed foods with lots of artificial sweetener and harmful additives, why not try these pure bar healthy Halloween snacks? They’re all treats and no tricks!

However, if the kids have gone beyond their processed candy limit, you may want to cut their sugar consumption. A recent study has shown that that could improve their health in just 10 days! They’ll have a reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, among other chronic illnesses.

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The Use of Snake Venom to Stem Bleeding

Medical professionals recommend blood thinners for people with heart disease, or those suffering from poor circulation. These blood thinners prevent the formation or reduce clots in your veins, therefore lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke. People with atrial fibrillation or abnormal heart rhythm, heart valve surgery, or congenital heart defects may use them too.

However, a new report says that the use of snake venom to stem bleeding may show positive effects. Very surprising, right? We’ve always thought snakes are the enemy! Read more in this report by Josh L Davis on IFL Science:

New Medical Material Uses Snake Venom To Stem Bleeding

When patients on blood thinning drugs, such as heparin, need to undergo surgery, there is a risk that they might hemorrhage and uncontrollably bleed. Acting as an anti-coagulant, the drug prevents the formation of clots by blocking a particular protein found in the blood, though this can cause problems when under the knife. But now researchers have possibly developed a way round this, using a nanofiber hydrogel infused with snake venom. Read more…

Blood thinners can be used orally or intravenously. And unfortunately, they may cause harmful side effects to your body. Common reactions include allergies, heavy period, nosebleed, dizziness, muscle soreness and more.

Could the use of snake venom to stem bleeding replace blood thinners? We’ll have to wait until the Food and Drug Administration approves it.

Image Credit: New Medical Material Uses Snake Venom To Stem Bleeding – IFL Science

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Zoodles: A Delicious, Gluten-Free Pasta Alternative

Are you craving your family’s famous Italian dishes? Try spiralized vegetable noodles as a replacement.

When I first decided to embark on a food-as-medicine lifestyle, I gave up gluten. The results were so drastically positive I could not deny it was my poison. But when you’re 100 percent Italian and live in Philadelphia, not preparing and eating the Sunday homemade pasta is almost impossible.


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