toning

Of Curried monkeys…

Stardate: 22nd January, 2017

Hey all!

A number of you, having read our previous article (“What’s in your post-workout shake?“), expressed interest in seeing other moderately exotic but doable recipes you could try at home.

So here’s one, from this morning.

img_20170122_081433

The backstory:
Following @jaysmilezz’s workout this morning… I proposed a #smoothie challenge. “Pick a colour”, I told her. “I’ll make something healthy, delicious, and relevant to your goals… In that colour.”

She picked yellow.
Yellow of all things.
I mean… who picks yellow?!
Yellow foods have great anti-inflammatory effects… but they’re generally not what you think about chugging down in a smoothie.

Anyway… challenge accepted.

Our #smoothieoftheday? I call it a Curried Mango Monkey.

Ingredients:

  • Ginger
  • Curry
  • Fresh Mint
  • Coconut milk
  • Whey protein
  • Nutmeg
  • Frozen mango
  • (Optional: Low caloric sweetener of choice, to taste.)
  • (Optional: a pinch of cayenne pepper.)
Now… this was fucking delicious. Perplexingly delicious layers of atypical flavours.
But, ‘healthy’?
Let’s dissect that claim.
Curry:
‘Curry powder’, is actually a blend of several spices. Depending on the region of acquisition, those ingredients can be turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cumin, sweet basil… with sexy additions like fennel seeds, ginger, and cinnamon… each of which has health benefits on to itself.
Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric, which gives it [and curry] that rich yellow/orange colour) has been shown to have CRAZY antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. We’re talking reduced joint pain, reduced plaque build-up in arteries… and SO many other potential applications. And this is just ONE component of curry powder. I hate the word superfood… but, were I one to toss it around, I’d definitely include curry under that umbrella.
Mango:
Mango is LOADED with antioxidants, which may have cancer preventative/fighting effects. Some of these include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat. Its enzymes can positively impact digestive health. Mango may also clear the skin up, as well as positively impact your sex life.

Yes.
Clean, clear skin.
And sex.
Win.

Mint:
Mint is delicious.
The end.
No, but seriously, its amazing flavour aside… mint can positively impact digestion, reduce nausea and headaches, improve mood and perceived energy levels, as well as positively impact alertness. Due to it germicidal and antibacterial properties, it has been shown to improve oral health, as well as skin health. Its enzymes are also being researched for their cancer-fighting potential.
Also… did I mention how fucking delicious it is?
Shit.
(NB: We discussed the health benefits of whey protein, coconut milk, ginger, nutmeg, as well as the neutrality of non-caloric sweeteners in our previous article.)
So… how does the Curried Mango Monkey stack up?
To re-cap:
Low in calories… A moderate amount of fibre… High in protein… Moderate in health-promoting fatty acids… Loaded with potentially amazing, naturally occurring, phytochemicals.

Let me know what you think, in the comment section below. 😉

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

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

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

@serenawalker #girlsWhoLift #metabolicConditioning

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

#bootcamp yuh r******.

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

#bootcamp ..the love connection

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

You get the picture.

Lift heavy shit!

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

#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.
IMG_20151202_070219

– 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!

Why my clients see progress year-round.

Stardate: 20th November – 2015

Hi.

By now you’ve accepted my clients’ perpetual improvements in fitness and body composition as a known fact… you know, like:

  1. The sky being blue.
  2. The ocean being deep
  3. The fact that we will never see our tax returns again

You know… stuff like that.

What you may not know is the how of it.
You know, stuff like:

  • How they manage to beat cravings.
  • How they manage to eat at regular intervals through-out the day like the magazines instruct.
  • How they stick to the same boring thing every single day.
  • How they manage to get their vegetables tasting like something other than predigested grass.

I know, YOU know: “Calories in must be less than Calories out”, blah blah blah.

Your trainer probably beats you over the head with different variations of this mantra every… single… day. Basically everybody understands the physiology of weight loss: most people can grasp the mathematics, the biology. Some trainers delve in to the endocrinological elements. So why are you stuck? Is your trainer robbing you?

Not on purpose, no… at least, I don’t think so.

The mistake (s)he’s making is pretty common among physiology buffs: Ignoring the psychology of fat-loss – the school of thought that, whilst acknowledging that we are ‘the same’, realises that we are each very different.

Take my ever-evolving client Charlene for example. How do we beat her cravings? We don’t. We use them. Her dietary pitfalls? Fries. She said to me once: “I could eat fries all day, in every way. I don’t even need meat.” No meat? Baffling. I know.

She could do without snacking otherwise, and often missed meals. So, logically, the magazine-directed six-meals-per-day template would NEVER have worked for her. Instead, I built her diet around intermittent fasting (as she was already fasting unconsciously), chicken, a small portion of fries per day, and a copious amount of broccoli.

Here’s how it went:

  • Upon waking, til evening – water, tea, coffee (unsweetened) – keep busy. Bored people snack on garbage.
  • 5/6 pm. Intense workout. NO Cardio.
  • Post-workout: 3 cups broccoli, 1/2 of a baked or barbecued/grilled chicken, 1 small portion of fries… in that order.

NB: Nutrition facts for the above?

  • Medium fries – 340 calories (16gr fat, 44gr carbs, 4 gr protein)
  • 1/2 of a baked chicken – 623 calories ( 26.9 gr fat, 91.6 gr protein)
  • 3 cups broccoli – 162 calories (1.8gr fat, 33.6 gr carb, 11.4 gr protein)
  • Total count: 1125 kcals (45 gr fat, 78 gr carbs, 106 gr protein)

Immediately, her body began to change. Did I mention NO cardio… No cravings… No cheating… and no guilt? Sometimes work commitments meant dining out. She handled it better with intermittent fasting, and the removal of food-demonisation, than she ever had… in her life. THAT, my friends, is the psychology of weight-loss.

Truly, I could write a couple hundred articles on the couple hundred ways I’ve had to manipulate this knowledge base to bring a person to the place of emotional comfort necessary to achieve and maintain weight-loss.

Now… realise: I am not, for one moment, suggesting that anyone else out there try to apply my approach to Charlene’s consultation. To suggest that, would sidestep the entire premise of this article… which is: Figure out your needs, as well as your short-comings… manipulate them.

If your trainer isn’t flexible enough to facilitate this…

Youre-sacked-

…it’s time you find a new one.

Do yourself that favour.

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

http://www.GetNarked.net

Bootyful Buns and tight, lean thighs in 8 weeks!

Bootyful Buns and tight, lean thighs in 8 weeks!
-or your money back!

by Corey Springer

NarkSide: November 7
th 2009

Hello all.

Over the months I’ve received a lot of your questions regarding building the perfect pair of buns. You know the type I’m referring to: The stop-and-stare-and-forget-to-breathe-as-she-passes-by type of butt. Well… your wait is over! Your journey towards a perfect butt starts today!

Just about anybody can benefit from stronger, sexier buns. From the functional perspective, strong buns can prevent back pain… an affliction which 75% of society suffers from.

In this article, I’m going to lay out one of my MOST effective booty-shaping work-outs from start to finish. All you’ve got to do is follow it to the letter… 3 times per week, for 8 weeks. That’s it.

A tip: Take a day of rest in between each work-out. You’ll need it.

Exercise 1: The glute bridge

Beginning:

End:

You guys may remember this exercise, as I introduced it a previous article: “Narkissos resurrects the dead(-lift)”. In this article however, we’ll be using this exercise as our primary warm-up. By directly targeting the glutes, via this exercise, we ensure that they’ll be firing correctly during our work-out.

Target: 2 sets of 15-20 repetitions.

Rest between sets:
30 seconds

Tips and tricks: Pause for two seconds at the point of peak contraction… and then release slowly, lowering yourself back to the start position. Upon reaching the starting position, don’t pause… immediately return to the end position for a peak hold.

I’ve got to warn you… This. Will. BURN!

Your hamstrings should be slightly taxed as well if you’ve done this correctly.


Exercise 2: The plie squat

Beginning:

End:

Ah… the plie squat. We’ll be using this exercise as our secondary warm-up.

This exercise? This exercise is an inner-thigh KILLER!

Say good-bye to THAT problem area!


Target:
2 sets of 20 repetitions.

Rest between sets:
30 seconds

Tips and tricks: Pause for two seconds at the point of max stretch… and then slowly return to start position. Upon reaching the starting position, don’t pause… immediately return to the deep squat position for a peak hold.

Searing pain.

Loads of it!

Exercise 3: The dumbbell front squat

Beginning:

End:

With our warm-ups completed, now we get to the REAL meat of the session. This may be an unfamiliar move for many of you, but this brute here is one of my all-time favourites. Why do I prefer this movement to the standard barbell squat? Well because the weight is held in front of you, your center of gravity shifts… imbuing the exercise with a frontal-thigh-specific focus.

The short story? This exercise addresses the entire frontal thigh, including the area just above the knee… which is a problem area for a number of women. Flabby thighs be gone!!!

Target: 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Rest between sets:
30-60 seconds

Exercise 4: The leg-press – Feet positioned high on platform.

Beginning
:

End:

Everybody’s seen the standard leg-press. This variation however, specifically targets the butt and hamstrings ( – the rear of the thigh – ). How does it do that? Well, it’s like the exercise which precedes it… but in reverse: By placing the feet high on the platform, the center of gravity is shifted rearwards… thus the exercise becomes posterior-specific.

Target: 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

Rest between sets:
30-60 seconds

Tips and tricks: Due to the position of your feet, you’ll need to push through your heels. To ensure that your heels remained grounded, a trick I use with clients is to have them curl their toes towards their instep. This ensures that the heel remains in contact with the platform through out.


Exercise 5: The Bulgarian Split-Squat

Beginning:

End:

Wicked… I know!

Because of that, I’m not going to tweak this movement at all. It’s brutal enough as is!

Target: 2 sets of 10 repetitions (each leg) per set.

Rest between sets:
15 seconds (i.e. enough time to switch legs)

Exercise 6: Good-Mornings

Beginning:

End:

Target: 2 sets of 15 repetitions

Rest between sets:
30-60 seconds.

Execution: Begin this lift by resting a barbell across your shoulders. Pinch the shoulder blades together slightly to assist in keeping the bar in place. My preferred stance for this lift is about shoulder-width stance. Exhale… and slowly bend forward at the hips ( – all the while inhaling -) until your torso is just about parallel to the floor. At this point, your lungs should be full of air… thus supporting core stability. Slowly return to the fully upright position, all the while clenching your butt muscles.


Exercise 7: Dumbbell Stiff-leg Deadlifts


Beginning
:

Midpoint:

End:

Target: 2 sets of 15 repetitions

Rest between sets:
30-60 seconds.

Execution: Again, my preferred stance for this lift is approximately shoulder-width. Grab two dumbbells using a neutral grip (i.e. palms facing body). With a very slight end in the knees, slowly bend forward at the hips… lowering the dumbbells until you feel an intense stretch in your hamstrings and/or butt ( – whichever comes first -). Slowly return to the fully upright position, all the while clenching your butt muscles.


Exercise 8: Unilateral hip extension static hold

Peak Contraction:

Most of you are accustomed to seeing women in the gym executing this exercise for endless repetitions… never really achieving much of anything. I’m not going to let you waste your time here… so we’re going to do something atypical. We’re going to do just 2 repetitions of this exercise on each leg. That’s right… just two! There’s a catch though. I want you to hold the peak contraction until your legs shake uncontrollably. Deal? Let’s get cracking then!

Target: 2 sets of 2 repetitions (on each leg)

Rest between sets:
30-60 seconds.

Tips and Tricks: Each repetition should be held for 20-30 seconds. Try to breathe normally through-out. Do NOT get tempted to hold your breath.


Exercise 9: Kneeling Lateral Hip Abduction

Beginning:


End
:

Target: 2 sets of 20 repetitions (each leg) per set.

Rest between sets:
15 seconds (i.e. enough time to switch legs)

Exercise 10: Standing Hip Abduction

Beginning:


End
:

Target: 2 sets of 20 repetitions (each leg) per set.

Rest between sets:
15 seconds (i.e. enough time to switch legs)

And that’s a wrap!

Remember… three times per week ( – every other day -) for 8 weeks.

You can do it!

Regards,

Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of:
“The
NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Apollo Fitness Barbados
NarkSide Apparel