abs

I don’t want to get ‘Too Big’.

Stardate: 26th November, 2016

A young lady walks in to my studio for the first time. She looks shy. Skin-tight leggings,  a form-fitting – bust-accenting top. In any other setting, she would’ve been the most confident person in the room.

Here though – surrounded by sweating, heaving, radiant coils of muscular humanity… she feels out of place.

Immediately, her walls go up: “I just want to tone. I can’t [*inserts list of things she hasn’t tried, and can’t possible fathom wanting to try*]. I don’t want to get ‘too big’.”

I. Don’t. Want. To. Get. Too. Big.

2016-02-23-1456248894-5044102-20140303whatwomenthinkwillhappenliftheavye1360469567159-thumb

This is a common one-liner… an immediate handicap many women apply to their journey in to the world of fitness; colouring their course with “can’t”… failing to realise several things:

  • Female Bodybuilders train for a decade or more to look ‘huge’ (- and, really, ‘huge’ is relative… as many of them are still tens of pounds, and several inches smaller than the average non-exercising female).
  • Getting huge doesn’t happen by accident. It takes voluminous, consistent workouts, a consistent caloric surplus (of specific macronutrients, to boot).
  • It takes good genetics.
  • For many, it takes drugs. Let’s be real.

Getting ‘too big’, is difficult for the average guy. So, honestly, it shouldn’t even be a talking point for the average female… No offense intended.

“I couldn’t train with you. Your clients train too heavy!”

‘Heavy’ is exactly the type of training you *should* do as a female. No… it won’t get you ‘too big’. Big requires moderate-to-heavy training PLUS volume… PLUS all of the other stuff mentioned above.

What heavy training *will* do though, is force adaptation: Stronger bones; Stronger muscles; stronger connective tissue; higher body awareness.

Think about the strongest female athletes. With the exception of some olympic and power lifters, and maybe throwers (who tend to consume calories to surplus),  the stronger athletes are the leanest. Sprinters. Gymnasts. Rock climbing enthusiasts. Crossfitters. Common theme?

Strength.

But, don’t take my word for it.
Check out some of the ladies on my roster:

#bootcamp tonight..

A post shared by Corey Narkissos Springer (@narkside) on

 

@serenawalker Not poolsharking #girlsWhoLift

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@serenawalker #girlsWhoLift #metabolicConditioning

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#bootcamp yuh r******.

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#bootcamp ..the love connection

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You get the picture.

Lift heavy shit!

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

5 Supplements You SHOULD be using, that you’re probably not.

Stardate: 18th April, 2016

Greetings!!

supplements

As many of you would know, I’m not big on supplements. When asked “hey bro. Should I take [*inserts name of popular go-to fad*]”, my reply is always a blunt two-pronged one:

1: “I don’t take that stuff… I eat food. Lots of it.”
2: “Supplements… should supplement your diet. Novel idea. I know.”

The stuff I actually DO use isn’t fancy. It’s functional.

i.e. It’s the stuff nobody really cares about: the stuff that helps your gut et. al. work better. Why should YOU care about ’em though?

Simple: Gut health is everything. The gut impacts the immune system, the brain, our ability to gain muscle and mobilise fat stores, the quality of our sleep and skin. I mean, holy shit, why would you NOT be interested?

Let’s get down to it!

Here are my mainstays, and a couple notable mentions:

  1. ‘Colon Cleanse Powder’

…aka Psyllium Husk Powder. This product is usually sold as a laxative. But, that’s secondary. I don’t believe in the whole ‘colon cleansing’ notion… but I do recognise that most of the population suffers from a too-low fibre intake. Even dieters, who are eating loads of ‘bush’ (lol) often complain of constipation and the like. The average person, for one, severely underestimates the amount of fibre they eat and need… and it doesn’t help that shady companies represent the minuscule amounts of fibre in their products as something monumental. “Oh. Eat my cereal. It’s fiber enriched! 1 gram of fiber per serving (of 20 grams of sugar and other useless shit)!” What the fuck man?!

Guidelines indicate that we should be taking in 30 grams of fibre per day. i.e. 10-15 grams per 1000 calories. Most of us struggle to get in TEN grams per 2000-3000 calories. That’s crazy!

That. Is. Crazy.

Enter psyllium. One tablespoon gives you 5 grams of fibre. Personally, I blend 3 tablespoons in to my smoothie… and I’m currently up to 5 tablespoons per day.

Try 3 tablespoons per day, plus a couple servings of broccoli, kidney beans, and/or oatmeal spread over the day, and you’re set! 30 grams easy!

2. Probiotics

One of the things I’ve noticed about adulthood is the prevalence of digestive issues. And, it affects all of us… even the fitness personalities like myself. Stress is a major contributor. It absolutely wrecks the gut.  For one, it affects the balance of ‘good’ bacteria to ‘bad’. As this bacteria influences the immune system, we can generally say ‘Stress affects the immune system!’

If it were only stress though, this section of today’s article would be a lot shorter.

Unfortunately friends, our gut flora gets attacked from multiple other angles. Stress, the overconsumption of sugar and starch, wanton overprescription of antibiotics, the absence of prebiotics (i.e. fibre), Exercise (or its absence). Tonnes of stuff really.

A good probiotic is essential shit!

Pun.

3. Digestive enzymes (especially proteolytic ones like bromelain)

I’ve noticed, particularly in new clients, a lot of younger people are complaining about bloat, indigestion, gas… and generally feeling like their food just sits there. Some of them have that lower tummy pouch going on. But, upon pinching the skin there, one realises that it isn’t usually fat. It is legitimate bloat.

I mentioned the prevalence in younger people, because the above used to be an older person’s ailment: Usually an age-related decline in enzyme production, and quality (i.e. the elasticity of the actual enzyme’s protein – blah, blah, blah, science stuff). Nowadays, we’re living longer… but we seem to be aging faster. At least, our organs seem to be.

Fixing the diet, reducing stress, and adding digestive enzymes helps. Not just from the digesting of food standpoint (- which is pretty fucking major as a standalone). Naw… the addition of dietary enzymes can also reduce systemic inflammation. And, this means, enzymes can potential reduce our risk of diseases we shouldn’t even have been at risk for in the first place.

Anyhoo… That there is a rant for another time.

Back on topic: I like bromelain. I use a lot of it. I’ve used it to recover from injuries, swelling, soft tissue damage, and poor digestion.

If you try only one supplement. Try this.

And… while we’re on the topic of inflammation:

4. Quercetin

Quercetin, is basically a plant pigment…  a flavonoid, with SERIOUS antioxidative power, found in richly coloured fruits.

Being a great antioxidant aside, it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory (which means it can potentially help mitigate inflammation-based diseases such as insulin resistance, heart disease, arthritis etc.). It’s also proven to help with allergies, pain, and boost endurance.

Holy shit right?!

I use 1000mg per day. I don’t know if I’ll live longer. But I sure as hell plan on doing everything I can to improve my quality of life!

*pops another cap*

5. Chromium Polynicotinate.

I’ve written about chromium EXTENSIVELY in the past. For about 2 decades, it’s been a mainstay in my supplement regime. I can’t say enough about it’s benefits. But, I’ll rehash anyway:

It may aide in longevity.

It may improve insulin/carbohydrate sensitivity.

It may improve body composition.

It may [blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, super-cool stuff!]!

Bottom line? Chromium is an awesome addition… especially in a population, like ours, whose diets are so starch heavy! I mean, who DOESN’T want to be leaner, healthier, and better able to process carbohydrates? AND it’s cheap. Who doesn’t like not breaking the bank?!

*pauses for dramatic effect*

That’s it!

Hit the health store!

I’ll see you at bootcamp tomorrow!

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Your name: The Workout

Stardate: 12th March, 2016

Hey all!

So… of late, many of my friends and clients have been inboxing me with a particular workout concept.

It’s called the ‘Your Name’ workout… where, as the title would suggest, the make-up of your name determines your workouts: really, each letter corresponds to an exercise and rep range.

There are many variations of it. And, I’ve been avoiding each one LIKE THE PLAGUE! (Lol)

Today, I decided to stop being a punk. I stepped in headfirst. Here’s the version i tried:

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I’ll be honest… Even after I spelled out my full name, middle name inclusive, it was a bit too easy. So, I tweaked it.

Here’s how it went!

“Your Full Name” Circuit:

1st round:
  • Frog burpees: 20 reps
  • 20 crunches
  • 20 reverse lunges
  • 60 second plank
  • 60 second wall sit
  • 12 plyometric lunges
Comments: The frog burpees were extra work I added in there to make the first round of movement a bit harder. A moderate warm-up. Not bad! Everything’s feeling pretty darn good. I’m not feeling those two leg-dominant workouts I did yesterday at all!

2nd round:

  • Full Burpee (with push-up): 10 reps
  • Weighted arm circles: 10 lb kettlebells x 20 reps
  • 15 push-ups
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 60 second plank
  • 25 push-ups
Comments: So… I added weight to the arm circles, and added full burpees on the top end. Jesus Christ. My lungs! Am I supposed to be winded? Maybe I’m supposed to rest between exercises, instead of switching between them immediately, like a madman.
Maybe…
Hell, there’s only one round left.
“Maybe” be damned! I’ve got this!

3rd round:
  • Plyometric squats: 10 reps
  • 30 bicycle crunches
  • 30 tricep dips
  • 1 minute full plank
  • 1 minute forearm plank
  • 10 push-ups
  • 20 ass-to-calves squats x 135 lbs
  • 60 second wall sit
  • 60 second plank

Comments: Ok. Maybe I was a bit ambitious here. I feel like DEATH warmed over. To the challenge, I added plyometric squats, triple the number of dips, and also tossed on a 135 lb barbell for the squats. In my head, I was thinking ‘this won’t be so bad. I squat WAY more than this. Everything else will be pretty straight-forward’.

Clearly, I have no idea what ‘easy’ or ‘straight-forward’ actually mean however.
Did I mention lying on the floor curled up so tight, that I started to fade in to the carpet?
Holy crap!!!
Now… by this time, I’d completed my workout allotment. I’d knocked off my entire name, PLUS extra stuff. A rational-thinking person would have said ‘excellent. I’m proud of me. Time to leave here, to get that smoothie I’ve earned.’
But, like I said: I’m pretty silly.

Enter – the 4th round:

  • 8 ass-to-calves barbell squats with 185 lbs
  • 8 Bodyweight plyometric squats
  • 8 full burpee with push-up
  • 16 quadruped hip extensions (ie 8 reps per side)
and… for Extra credit:
Barbell standing overhead press: 3 sets: 115 lbs x 10 reps each.

My face at the end:
20160312_085018

 

My thoughts?
Let’s see:

The ‘your name’ workout can be a pretty solid fat-loss/conditioning workout… for both the beginner and intermediate trainee. Well… for the beginner moreso. For the intermediate and up, I’d suggest tweaking it in ways similar to what I did. i.e. Throw in at least one serious strength movement during each round (aside from the warm-up sets).

Additionally, the temptation here would be to half-ass it through the movements.

Don’t.

I know, I know: “It’s hard. I want to get through it as quickly as possible.” – #BlaBlabla

Just don’t.
Injury, with routines like these, is *very* common… particularly when fatigue sets in, as it invariably will. Focus on the quality of movement. Focus on being VERY explosive and landing safely/gently on each rep.

Cover those bases, and you’re on your way!

(Did I mention how fried I was? Holy Crap! and I still have a bootcamp to teach this evening!!!)

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

The Right Fat-loss Diet for you

“Hey! I just saw your client [*inserts name*]. Their progress has been seriously impressive! What diet did you put them on?!”

Stardate: 9th December – 2015

Hey all.

I get questions like that one at least once each day. I try to answer politely each time, though (if we’re to be honest) the answer… the true answer… is unavoidably one that will ruffle feathers.

That answer? “What I did with him/her isn’t relevant to you… at all.”

Invariably, the person asking will assume that I’m being an asshole. But, let me extrapolate: Any sensible diet works… and there are tons of them out there.

-Did I mention that they, basically, ALL work?-
So, it doesn’t matter whether it’s:

  • Low-carb with high fat and moderate protein
  • Intermittent fasting and its myriad of variations
  • Low-fat, moderate-to-high carb, and high protein
  • Paleo
  • IIFYM (If it fits your macros)
  • 80:20
  • The Military Diet
  • The It’s-Income-Tax-Season-So-I’m-Broke Diet

It truly does *not* matter.
What matters then? I’ll tell you:

  1. Picking a style of dieting (based on how its precepts fit your personality, lifestyle, and needs – Logically, if your life requires that you work for 12 straight hours without a meal, a diet plan that requires 6 small feedings will fail you).
  2. Adjusting your caloric intake to your needs and goals ( – here’s a handy little guide to calculating your caloric needs).
  3. Sticking to your plan.

It’s that simple.

No.

Really.

youre-welcome

Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

p.s. Let’s talk about the right diet for you in the comments below.

p.p.s – A rundown of eating correctly for your goals et. al.

#DirtyDecember At-Home Fitness Challenge: Day 2

Stardate: 2nd December – 2015

Alright!
As many would know, for years I’ve hosted free (monthly) online fitness challenges. True to form, I’m hosting one for Christmas… to help negate the weight-gain inherent to the season.
What many don’t realise, is that I actually participate in these challenges as well. I do so, whilst maintaining my usual workouts… as a form of support. And, yes… I struggle. Some days, I struggle BAD! Today was one such day.
Here goes!

Prologue: ‎
Missed the 1st day of my challenge… so I needed to combine days 1 and 2’s workouts (plus my normal gym workout) to make up.
I was NOT looking forward to it at all.


My goals for today, not counting my usual workout:

  • Planks: 5 minute total
  • Burpees: 100 reps
  • Push-ups: 100 reps
  • Jumping jacks: 100 reps
*sighs*

Arrived at the gym 8 minutes early… figuring that’d give me a decent headstart. My training partner came 15 minutes late… giving me more of a headstart than i’d anticipated. I’m still unsure as to whether I should thank him, or tell him off.

– Jumping jacks: 100 reps
JESUS CHRIST! MY LUNGS! I’d forgotten how much these burn. This is not a good sign.
– Push-ups: 100 reps
Contrary to popular belief, I suck at push-ups. I regretted every rep… unashamedly.
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– burpee (without push-up): 100 reps
I walked past the treadmill, and swore I observed a woman watching hardcore black pornographer. Either i’m in the wrong place, or burpees have left me delusional.

Either way…

BURPEES!

I swear I must be the only person in existence that likes this exercise. My legs are wobbly. My eyes are blurry. My lungs feel like i’ve been holding my breath underwater… under burning water… with mortar shells whizzing past me… whilst carrying full tactical gear.

But… HOLY SHIT, do I ever love it.

Today, I experimented with several variations: those with forward jumps, backward broad jumps, overhead clapping, lateral hops, behind-the-back clapping. I’m not sure if this was self love or abuse… but it happened.

Dear Lord, did it ever happen!

– Machine standing calf raise: 5 sets – 300 lbs x 15 reps each
I like to train calves when i’m fresh, so I can dedicate a tonne of energy to developing large ones. Today though, no such luck. Everything from burpees onward has been a struggle. 🙂
– Lying leg curls:
3 sets: 10 plates x 15 reps each
My hamstrings are on fire. There must be a law against this. I’d call the police myself, but I’m too pretty for prison.
Barbell squat: ass to calves, with a deliverate pause at the bottom – ‎3 sets: 225 lbs x 3 reps each
Decided to cut back on the poundage today. I *may* be a bit light-headed 🙂
– Plank.
Managed to knock off a 2-minute set, and three one-minute sets. My shoulders were DONE at this point.
Mind you: My legs are fine… But i’m horribly nauseous by now.
Job well-done methinks.
I mean… look at this face!
IMG_20151202_074205
’til tomorrow.

Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

p.s. Here’s a link to the Full Fitness Challenge: https://www.facebook.com/events/1524360047879653/

Give it a go!