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TRAINING VIDEOS BY DR. JIM STOPPANI

 

 

 

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TRAINING ARTICLES

Lose Fat To Build More Muscle

A question I get asked a lot from people who need to lose a large amount of body fat but also want to build muscle is whether they should focus first on fat loss or muscle growth. I typically recommend focusing on both. And while my advice stays the same – work on building muscle and losing fat – brand-new research now has me thinking that it may be better to skew slightly more toward fat loss, as that may also help you build more muscle in the long run.

University of Illinois researchers had young adult males consume a high-protein meal, and then they measured the increase in muscle protein synthesis (the anabolic response) following that meal. They broke the subjects into three different groups: (1) healthy-weight individuals (BMI = 18-24); (2) overweight individuals (BMI = 25-29); and (3) obese individuals (BMI > 30). As published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition earlier this month (September 2016), the UI researchers discovered that the healthy-weight men had a much higher boost in muscle protein synthesis than both the overweight and obese guys. In other words, the leaner guys were able to put more protein towards muscle growth.

Jim’s Take-Home Points:
Having more body fat appears to blunt your body’s anabolic response to the protein. This may mean the more fat you have, the less muscle you can build, perhaps due to a cytokine (specific protein) in the body called TNF-alpha. This protein is known to be higher in people with higher amounts of body fat, and TNF-alpha also appears to be involved with inflammation in the body.

Based on the research, it seems that a smart strategy for maximizing muscle growth is to minimize body fat. That’s right – staying lean can help you stay more anabolic, which can help you build more muscle and strength.

So if you can’t decide between my Super Shredded 8 (SS8) and Down And Up Mass programs, you may want to start with the fat-loss plan (SS8) to drop some body fat before trying to maximize muscle mass. As with all of my training programs (regardless of the primary goal), SS8’s training volume, set/rep schemes and HIIT cardio is very conducive to hypertrophy (building muscle), so you certainly don’t have to worry about sacrificing any muscle when following it.

This also supports the strategy of using Shred JYM even while focusing on mass gaining. Remember, the ingredients in Shred JYM don’t inhibit muscle growth; they actually promote it, both directly via ingredients like acetyl-L-carnitine and green tea extract, and indirectly by aiding fat loss (which, based off the of the University of Illinois study, may further promote muscle mass gain.)

So again, you don’t have to choose one exclusively over the other in the mass gain vs. fat-loss dilemma, but if you have a substantial amount of fat to shed, you may want to take the “back door” to muscle-gaining by leaning out first.

Reference:
Anabolic sensitivity of postprandial muscle protein synthesis to the ingestion of a protein-dense food is reduced in overweight and obese young adults. Am J Clin Nutr ajcn130385; First published online September 7, 2016.

 

 

Full-Body Training For Full Fat Loss

It's a "split decision" every muscle-minded guy and girl has to take into consideration: Should I do full-body workouts or split up my training and work only 1-3 muscle groups at a time?

If you've followed my Daily Grind program, you know just how beneficial full-body split training can be for fat loss while simultaneously building muscle mass. And science concurs – a recent study from New Zealand shows just how much more effective full-body split training can be for fat loss, and potentially muscle gains, as compared to a split-training routine.

The researchers had weight-trained New Zealand male rugby union players follow either a full-body training split done three times per week or a three-day training split (where the full body is trained over the course of three workouts). Both workouts were done three times a week for four weeks total, and the same total volume on all exercises was performed each week. The exercises performed were squats, leg curls, leg press, bench press, bent-over rows, lat pulldowns, shoulder press, biceps curls and calf raises.

The researchers reported in a 2016 issue of the journal Biology of Sport that the full-body workouts burned significantly more body fat (subjects had a 6% drop in body fat) than the split-body workouts (subjects only had a 2% drop in body fat) while also increasing testosterone to a greater degree and improving the testosterone-to-cortisol ratios in the subjects. The testosterone-to-cortisol ratio is often used to indicate whether or not the athlete is in an anabolic state. The higher this ratio, the more anabolic the athlete is assumed to be. Being more anabolic following workouts can help to improve muscle recovery and growth.

Jim's Take-Home Points:
This study confirms what my Daily Grind program has already shown via thousands of subjects completing the program: that a full-body split is highly effective for fat loss and may even be more effective over time for fat loss than a typical split program. This is likely due to the fact that with full-body training, you activate more muscle fibers throughout the body. This leads to greater activation of genes that create proteins, which will enable more fat to be burned away for fuel.

Training every major muscle group more frequently will also lead to greater activation of genes that may lead to greater muscle growth. In the New Zealand study, the group using the full-body training split saw a slightly greater increase in lean muscle-mass gain as compared to the split-training group. Although this wasn't statistically significant, it's worth noting. This also could be due to the higher testosterone and lower cortisol levels (higher testosterone-to-cortisol ratio) that the full-body group experienced. This would suggest that the subjects were in a more anabolic state.

Also worth noting is that the strength gains were similar between the two groups regardless of the training split. However, when they split the groups up further into a "stronger" group (individuals who could squat more than two times their body weight) and a "weaker" group (those who could not squat two times body weight), they noticed that those in the stronger group who had experienced higher testosterone levels with full-body training experienced greater gains in strength. This might suggest that an experienced lifter with several years under his or her belt may benefit from switching to a full-body training program (such as Daily Grind) from time to time – not only for better fat loss, but better strength and muscle-mass gains.

Another great full-body workout to consider is my 7 Station Shred. Or, if you have a set of JYM Bands and are traveling or stuck at home, try my On the Road Band Workout.

Reference:

Crewther, B. T., et al. The effects of two equal-volume training protocols upon strength, body composition and salivary hormones in male rugby union players. Biol. Sport 33: 111-116, 2016.

 

9 Keys to a Transformation

Alisa Tetrault made one of the most impressive physical transformations the JYM Army has ever seen. Her fitness journey started in the Spring of 2015 and was an ongoing process that recently culminated with her being named the female winner of the 2015 Holiday Shred Challenge on JimStoppani.com.

What stands out the most to me about Alisa’s progress is how she’s continued to build on her success. When we first featured her with a JYM Army Profile last fall, she talked about the results she’d experienced over a six-month period. She was doing amazing up to that point, and then you know what happened next? She took it to the next level!

Look at the above before and after comparison photos – absolutely insane results!

I was happy to personally meet Alisa, a stay at home (and train at home!) mom from Ohio, this February when we flew the Holiday Shred Challenge winners to Los Angeles to hang out and train with the JYM team. I know Alisa followed several of my training programs and meal plans over the course of her transformation, and I’m proud to say my advice helped her reach her goals. But her results tell me that there was more to it than simply what can be seen on paper or a computer screen in terms of exercises, sets, reps, meals and macros.

I wanted Alisa to share with others some of her personal “keys” to her transformation, so I asked her to write this article. Because there’s only so much I can do to help someone transform his or her body (and life). At the end of the day, you have to do the work and you have to make the change. Below are some of the ways in which Alisa made the change for herself. I hope you all can learn just as much from Alisa as you’ve learned from me!

–Jim Stoppani, PhD

MY 9 KEYS TO SUCCESS
By Alisa Faye Tetrault

It goes without saying, the programs designed by Jim Stoppani were my saving grace when searching for my perfect fitness fit. Just like many people reading this, I was a beginner. I was uneducated, misinformed, and tired of following plan after plan and falling off the wagon. I was searching for an answer and I didn’t even know my question – I was clueless. If I had to describe my journey in three words, perseverance, patience and modification would probably do the trick.

How did I overcome the odds, persevere through the weight plateaus, retain my positive patience, and modify the difficult programs to suit me? Here, I'll explain the nine keys that were essential to my successful journey from an uninformed fitness newbie to an informed fitness addict:

#1 Progress Tracking
I have one photo from the beginning of my journey. That’s it. I have one dim, blurry, front-facing photo in which I am fully clothed. If I could go back, I would put on a swimsuit and capture myself from every angle. I didn’t realize how important those photos would end up being to me later down the road.

About two weeks later and 10 pounds down, I excitedly took my first set of forward and rear facing photos in a mirror (don’t forget to turn sideways, I wish I had some of these too!). Little did I know, those photos would become my foundation for fighting off my own negativity for months to come. Anytime I felt like I wasn’t progressing, I’d snap a new set of photos and make a side-by-side to compare. This method would quickly remind me of how much my hard work was paying off.

Also, be sure take your measurements and know that those are a better indication of your progress than a number on the scale. Use those numbers and also the progress photos you take along the way to gage your progress. It's extremely hard to ditch the scale with the misconceptions about weight and it’s correlation to fitness in our society. Remember that muscle is much more dense than fat. If you're new to a lifting regimen, you're likely gaining weight in the form of muscle. That’s what makes the scale unreliable. It can be discouraging to see that number when you're making good movement toward your goals otherwise.

#2 Setting Realistic Goals
It's important to know the difference between short-term and long-term goals. Set one general long-term goal. This should be something that you’d like to accomplish one day, your ultimate scenario. Now, forget it. Don't think about it. Don't even make it a part of your mission. I think it’s discouraging and makes a fitness journey seem hopeless.

Instead, try making a list of say, five things. Set smaller goals that you can easily reach in a one-month time frame. Focus on those goals and use the happiness you feel from accomplishing them to fuel your momentum into your next set of short-term goals. This method of thinking helped make my journey move along much faster on a mental level. It also helped me stay persistent and focused. Instead of thinking, “I’m only 1/20th of the way to my ultimate goal,” I thought, “Wow, I just accomplished one of my goals! I’m ready to get the next one under my belt too!” Then, 20 small goals later, you’ll be close to your ultimate goal and wondering how time flew by so quickly.

#3 Understanding the Difference Between Diet and Lifestyle Change
I’m sure you’re not reading this because you want to lose 20 pounds then, fall off the wagon and gain back 30 pounds. I’m sure you’re not reading this because you never want to consume another carbohydrate or enjoy another home-cooked meal. That’s the difference in dieting and lifestyle changing. I cannot stress this enough. Make sure that your mind is in the right place and that you have a realistic approach, otherwise you'll fail.

This is why I really fell in love with Dr. Stoppani’s nutritional logic. It’s impossible to go without your favorite things for the rest of your life. At least for me, it was unimaginable. I love food. Completely eliminating everything I love wasn’t a logical solution for me. The solution I needed was a crash-course in moderation. Don’t beat yourself up for being human. There has to be balance when you’re making a big commitment to change your life.

#4 Easing into Nutrition
I was new. I knew very little. The word macronutrients meant absolutely nothing to me. I tried sorting through the information. It was like grabbing the most advanced math book I could find and trying to decipher it. It just wasn’t happening. I was desperate. I did the only thing I could think to do: I cleaned up my diet. Day by day, I eliminated things until I felt I could go no further without learning more. It was a slow process, but I was trying. Take it slow and put forth your best effort and you'll see results.

From there, I got a notebook and I went through Dieting 101. I went back and forth. I skimmed. I studied. I wrote and wrote and scribbled until, finally, it started to make sense. Then, I read my notes over and over until it made more sense. The best way I can explain how learning nutrition felt to me would be to say it reminds me of learning a foreign language. The more I practiced, the more it began flowing through my mind fluently. Things I couldn’t grasp before started falling into place.

#5 Tweaking and Modifying Workouts as Needed
At times, the training programs I was following would be too intense or difficult for me. I made many modifications along the way to make sure I'd be able to complete my daily workout. One of the modifications that I specifically remember having to do quite frequently was adjusting the cardioacceleration period between sets. I would go as long as I possibly could, and then use the remainder of the time to recover.

Another modification I frequently made was the type of cardioacceleration I would perform. Sometimes, I would be so exhausted at the end of a workout that I could barely walk, let alone do step-ups or sprints. Instead, I would do small motions just to stay moving. Things like walking in place, tiny bunny hops or slow butt kicks were my go-to exercises for these times.

#6 Improvising on the Fly
I train in my yard with minimum equipment. I've only been to a gym one time during my fitness journey. There were many exercises (sometimes over half of a workout) that I didn’t have the equipment to properly perform. Don’t be a victim of circumstance. Look up alternatives that target the same muscle(s) in a similar way and roll with it. Maybe your results won’t be as good, but I can promise you one thing: Your improvised version will yield a better result than doing nothing at all!

For instance, my husband purchased a pulley system and we attached it to the top of our squat rack. I use it for all of my pulling exercises like lat pulldowns, straight-arm pull-downs, etc. We don't have an attachment for our pulley, so I put a shovel through the handles to perform these exercises. A little creativeness can go a long way!

#7 Writing it All Down
When starting my fitness journey, I made a habit of physically writing everything down – what I ate, how much I lifted, how long my rest periods were, what type of cardioacceleration I did, etc. I'm thankful that I invested my time into this habit because now I can look back through old journals and see exactly how I've improved in numerous ways. My diet, my strength and my cardiovascular conditioning data are all at the flip of a page. It’s fun and interesting to look back and see exactly how far you’ve come in more ways than just aesthetics.

#8 Making a Motivation Board
Something that really helped me as I progressed further into my journey was making a "motivation board." I bought a magnetic dry-erase board and hung it next to my refrigerator. Here, I would write my daily meal plans and my short-term goals. I used magnets to hang my beginning progress photos to remind me where I came from. I also wrote a motivational quote on it to remind me of why I was on my journey. With this method, my goals and plans were staring me in the face every time I walked in the kitchen. Nutrition was my hardest dirty corner to clean, so this really helped keep me accountable and on track in the kitchen.

#9 Finding My Own Answers
I'm an independent person. I don’t like help unless I have no other option. I found that by taking the initiative to try to find my own answers, I was retaining extra information. By being too prideful to accept fast answers, I found myself up to my head in articles for hours at a time. Although sometimes it took me hours to find the answer I was seeking, all of the outside information eventually started looping together. The extra knowledge I was gaining helped me understand other topics.

Take advantage of what rewards you’ll get from investing a little of your own time. If all else fails, there’s always someone to ask. That’s something I love about this brand.

This journey isn’t easy for anyone. It wasn’t for me and it won’t be for you. However, it’s possible for everyone. What will ultimately set you apart and push you ahead is your mindset. I'm just a normal girl who was tired of breaking a sweat to walk to the mailbox. Who was sick of avoiding mirrors. Who wanted to instill in her children that anything is possible. One small hope can create a dream that can become a reality and change your world. It just takes the right mindset.

 

 

Cardioacceleration Band Workout

I’m a big fan of elastic-resistance training (which is why I created my JYM Strength Bands) and an even bigger proponent of cardioacceleration, so why not combine the two?

The following workout is a bands-only routine (plus some bodyweight moves) that’s great for when you don’t have access to other equipment or if you just want to switch things up. It also serves as an effective alternative to cardio, targeting all the major muscle groups in the body and incorporating such training techniques as supersets, giant sets and cadioacceleration to keep intensity high and your heart pumping. The result is a brutal workout that builds power, strength, aerobic conditioning and muscle mass while torching body fat.

The workout is broken down into five different exercise groups, each focusing on particular upper-body muscles – chest and back in the first two groups, shoulders in the third, biceps and triceps in the fourth and abs in the fifth group – while incorporating legs and full-body movements as the cardioacceleration component. Complete all sets of each group before moving onto the next group.

The intention of this workout is constant movement, so keep rest to a bare minimum – not just within specific supersets, giant sets and cardioacceleration periods, but also between body-part groups. Quite frankly, this workout will kick your glutes, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the fat-burning benefits and the cardiovascular adaptations when it’s over.

CARDIOACCELERATION BAND WORKOUT
Group 1: Chest, Back + Legs

Group 2: Chest, Back + Full Body

Group 3: Shoulders + Legs

Group 4: Biceps, Triceps + Full Body

Group 5: Abs + Calves

 

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