Friday, October 4, 2013

Muscle Maker Grill

I was driving today when a huge blow up balloon of a hulkish looking bodybuilder caught my eye. It was out front of a restaurant called the Muscle Maker Grill, if the big muscled up balloon guy wasn't enticing enough the name of the place surely is; I had to try it out. I was surprised though when I walked in a lot of the menu items are actually lower in calories, and low in carbs; I had originally walked in expecting this place to be more so of a bodybuilder café with huge portions of food like beef burgers, steak, chicken, rice, pastas etc. They did have some of these things but each item had only around 400-600 calories, which is great for most people, very portion controlled, but if you're looking for a dense meal loaded with calories something like Chipotle will better suit you for the same price.

This place is still really good though, I got a burger that had turkey bacon and cheese on it with a side of potato's, it was the thing with the highest amount of calories that I could see on the menu. I also got a chocolate protein shake on the side which was 6 dollars; the most expensive protein shake I've ever had! The food was all really good though, it's all cooked right in front of you, it comes out fast only about a 5 minute wait time! The downside to this place, or at least this location was that it is small inside not a lot of seating, and the parking lot which has also got to be the smallest I have ever seen is a nightmare to navigate through. The parking lot is so bad that it could actually deter me from returning just knowing that I'd have to try and deal with it. Take that away though and I like this place a lot, I'd definitely recommend it! I went to the one on...

195 Walt Whitman Road
Huntington Station, NY 11746
Phone: 631-319-1568

Just look for the giant juice head blow up guy!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Have Fun with Your Workouts!

Sometimes when you're in the gym you just need to take the time to have fun, mess around, and enjoy your workout. I know when I workout I'm always pushing myself 110% always trying to go as hard as I can, and I'll find myself disappointed when I'm not making progress. Things shouldn't always be like that otherwise you could end up getting burned out and bored; don't be afraid to step out of your normal routine and experiment with exercises and equipment that you haven't tried before.
Just the other day I was having a bad workout, I wasn't feeling well and it had me frustrated. I was going to leave the gym when I started to talking to some buddies and messing around on a bosu ball. I ended up doing a whole workout with the bosu ball and had a lot of fun! Don't be afraid to stray from the beaten path.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Breakfast Should Look a Little Something Like This!

A question I get a lot is, "What should I eat for breakfast?" Being that breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of day you definitely need to know what you should be eating... This picture of my breakfast is a pretty good example. As you can see we have a big portion of lean protein (2 whole eggs, 4 egg whites, and shrimp omelet with spinach), then we have two small pieces of sprouted grains toast which is very low on the glycemic index giving you longer sustained energy and feeling of satiety. Next we got a little green drink loaded with veggies made in the NutriBullet, and a cup of your favorite fruit for some immediate energy to break the fast; the fruit can be optional depending on how hard you're dieting trying to lose that little pudge around your belly. Last but not least I have my cup of black coffee, not always, but whenever I'm feeling like I need a little boost of energy. The caffeine from the coffee is going to help spike your metabolism and digest the meal better; also don't forget your water!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex Weight Gainer Protein Review

If you're trying to put on size, in terms of lean mass while minimizing the amount of fat and bloat you gain as well, then Pro Complex Gainer by ON is for you! While the majority of my clients all see me because they're trying to lose weight, I do have a very select few, both men and women looking to add a little size onto their frames. Now the generic rule of thumb if you're trying to lose weight you eat less, and conversely if you are trying to gain weight you eat more; now with either one you have to be careful. Eating too less of an amount of food can halt weight loss, whereas eating too much can make you put on too much excessive fat.

One thing people don't realize though when it comes to gaining weight, especially for those who are ectomorphs or "hardgainers" like my clients, is not only do you have to train the proper way for adding size, you also have to eat a ton. This is where ON's Pro Complex Gainer comes into play. It makes it easy to get in those crucial extra calories, but it's specially formulated with the right amount of ingredients and macronutrients so that you don't blow up into a chubby, bloated person that you don't recognize in the mirror every morning. With Pro Complex Gainer you'll put on lean mass with minimal fat gain as long as you are dieting the right way, and giving yourself proper rest and recovery time. I just finished my first tub in efforts to help me try and put on clean, lean, mass. I had 2-3 servings a day, each one being around 600 calories, on top of eating loads of food, and getting 8 hours of sleep every night, and training hard for strength and muscular hypertrophy. I put on 10lbs in a month! Not saying that it was solid muscle, I'm not even saying it was solid mass; if I had to guess at least 5lbs of that weight had to be water and food I was holding in my intestines. If 1-2lbs of that weight though could be muscle then that is still an amazing gain for someone in my shoes in just a time span of a month. Not only that I actually had clients telling me I was looking a lot bigger!

I had the chocolate flavor, it tasted great! Not too expensive at my gym at all, the only downside is each tub only has 14 servings or so they say... The scooper in these things is huge it looks like an old school laundry detergent scoop! I feel like mine lasted a lot longer then just 14 servings though so that's good. I usually had a serving after breakfast and before lunch, after a workout, and before bed every night. I'd definitely 100% recommend this product to anyone looking for some extra help in adding clean mass... Take a look at some of the pictures to learn a little more about it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Power of Supplementing with Aminos and The Recovery Benefits You'll Receive!

So you all have read the reviews of mine on various amino drinks, Amino Energy and Aminolast and know that I do like them, but if you were to ever ask me what the exact purpose of each and every amino acid was, and what roll they played in the body I wouldn't be able to tell you... What I would be able to tell you from my own experience though is that without a doubt supplementing with amino acids will help you recovery a lot faster! For about 2-3 months I was taking various amino drinks (the one's I've reviewed on here) before, after, and always during my workouts, but it wasn't until I stopped taking them that I truly realized their benefits and their power.

Sure if someone asked me why I would take them or why they were good I would tell them because they help aid in recovery, to prevent the breaking down of muscle tissue, and in the case of Optimum Nutrition's Amino Energy, for an extra boost due to the caffeine in it. Like I said though I didn't really think much of them other then as a tasty way to flavor my water with possible benefits to help recovery and they are cheap, win win... Well it has been about 6 weeks since I've taken any amino supplements, but it hasn't been until recently that I noticed ever since I stopped taking them that not only has my workout intensity dropped somewhat, but more importantly that I'm getting sore after workouts now. Especially when I train legs heavy, I'll be sore for 3-4 days after.

I never really thought anything of it, or saw the possible correlation between taking aminos and being sore until a couple of days ago I had two different clients tell me that when they don't take their Amino Energy they notice that they get sore for the next couple of days after a workout! Not only that but they also said they feel like they just don't have the same intensity when they're working out either, coincidence? I think not! So because of this I decided to try supping with amino acids again to see if taking them was what was preventing me from getting as sore after my workouts. I bought some Amino Capsules from Optimum Nutrition, the same maker of the great Amino Energy because sometimes I don't want to have to make a drink with the powder; with the caps you can just pop them before and after you workout! I have yet to try them, I'm waiting for my leg day to come up before I start using them again, but without a doubt I definitely think I'm going to find that I'm not as sore afterwards; I'll keep you all posted...

Now for those of you interested more about amino acids and their functions I found a great article by Ben Green, which goes on to explain exactly what they do without being boring and making you want to fall asleep while you're reading... Definitely take a look! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Make it Routine... a Part of Your Life.

The other day I was on Instagram looking at various and famous fitness enthusiasts profiles. One thing that they all had in common was that in their pics or in their captions there was always some motivational quote or jargon; most of them seemed pretty over dramatic and cheesy but there were a few good ones don't get me wrong.  I realized that when it comes to fitness there's so much motivational and inspirational media and marketing out there. I'm not saying it's a bad thing at all, but whatever your goal may be exercising, getting in shape, building muscle, etc. it's like it almost sets up everything to be this huge, dramatic, daunting, journey, where you'll suffer, and want to quit, but you'll have to prevail against all odds if you're going to reach your goals; it reminds me a lot of Lord of The Rings!

Now motivation is good, but don't fool yourself right out the gate, see what you're doing for what it really is! Yes it's going to be tough, yes you're going to put in a lot of work, yes you may want to give up at times, but if you look at it in that way then you have already failed at reaching your goals in my opinion. You shouldn't hate coming to the gym, exercising, dieting, and whatever else your goals entail; it shouldn't be seen as a huge hurdle that you have to get over... All you simply have to do is make it routine. give yourself 1 hour for 5 days where you bust your ass exercising and that's it; there's nothing more to it, it's not a Hollywood drama movie production! Take a little extra time to clean up your diet, and prep your meals, it really isn't hard! Bottom line if you really want it, whatever your goal may be, you're going to be wanting to bust your butt in the gym, wanting to eat the right foods, and not looking for outside motivation from pictures or videos, which makes the task at hand seem so much more dramatic.

Basically my reasoning for writing this entry was because I came across a quote by a guy who went by the name Zyzz, who has since sadly passed away, but he was an inspiration to millions of fitness enthusiasts across the globe... Now you'll notice this isn't your typical "inspirational" or "motivational" quote... There's no corny lines like "fight through the pain when you feel like giving up", or "no pain no gain" and so on. He simply states it for what it is...

"I wouldn't even use the word motivation. I don't need motivation now, as training is a necessity in my life. It's all a part of my lifestyle, and I couldn't imagine any other life than the gym/training/dieting lifestyle, as it is rewarding physically and mentally in ways beyond measure, you would have to experience it yourself."

Now I don't want to contradict myself here, but I guess the point I'm trying to get at is a spade is a spade, call it for what it is. Reaching your goals is only hard if you make it hard, if it's your passion then virtually nothing will get in your way; if it's your passion it will become routine, apart of your life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

FINAFLEX Ignite 2 - Best Pre-Workout Supp I've Tried in a Minute!!

Got a bunch of free samples of this stuff at work the other day and I was eager to try it. Usually I don't like pre-workouts, especially in today's market I think they're just a bunch of crap with a bunch of caffeine to get you cracked out. Finaflex brand products on the other hand I have always wanted to try but I just never had the opportunity to before. Usually the ingredients on all of their supplements sound so crazy and sketchy, but in a good way. It's all stuff that sounds like it's going to be banned any day now, but it's also stuff that's really going to do what the product was made for. Then again for all I know it could all be a load of crap and marketing tactics, but lets talk about the actual product now...

Right off the bat I'll give you some my favorite things about Ignite 2, the first was that you can drink this and start your workout within 5-15 minutes right after, it kicks in so fast, and you will feel it. Most other pre-workouts direct you to drink them 30-45 min before which can suck a lot of the time in my opinion. The second highlight for me was the insane pumps I got from it; I haven't had pumps like this in a long time! The ones where it literally feels like your skin is tearing with each rep, your veins are bulging out, and there's heat radiating from your muscles. It makes you feel dense and very tight, one of the best supplements I've used for getting a great pump and I love it for that; it gets so much blood to the muscles that from training arms I actually have new stretch marks forming on my biceps! The third and final thing I liked about it was that it got me focused and energized, but not cracked out! I can't tell you how many times I've taken a pre-workout supplement and felt like I was going to have a heart attack mid workout, or how many times I've taken one and felt like crap, weak, and shaky. Finaflex got the formula down perfect for this one so that I didn't experience any of that.

Those were the 3 main things I love most about this product; now for the people out there who care about taste, it does taste overly sweet like most other similar supplements out there but it's not a deal breaker. As for the mixability it mixes really easily in a glass or bottle. Also just to compare it to another product for those of you who are curious; I've tried C4 by Cellucor many times and have hated it every single time, so if you feel the same way then you may just love Ignite 2 as well!

Overall I'll give this product a 5/5 because it delivered exactly what it was supposed to do, along with extra goodies like Aminosterone and Crea-Trona which you can see about in the pictures. You definitely have to try this product!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Eating Clean Can Get Boring Sometimes... Spice It Up With SRIRACHA Hot Sauce!!!

So no matter how you prepare it, when you're eating healthy for a steady period of time things can get pretty boring after a while... From time to time I love to use Sriracha, a super spicy and tangy tasting hot sauce that tastes so good on almost anything, especially meats! Also most of the time I don't have the time or patience to prepare finely made dishes of chicken breast and ground turkey, I like to just prepare them and cook them as quickly as possible because I eat so much of them. This another reason why Sriracha is great, it's simple and packs a lot of flavor, with a spicy kick that many of you who don't like spicy foods wouldn't be able to handle.

Doesn't have to be pretty as long as it tastes good!
I use it the most on my eggs, bison patties, ground beef patties, ground turkey, and chicken breast, but there's a whole bunch of other options it can go with; a lot of people like to mix it in with their ketchup which also helps tamper down the heat. It's truly a life saver when it comes to eating chicken breast, which after a while can be so annoying bland to eat, almost like it's a chore; throw Sriracha on it and that's all over. Just be sure to have some water close by because things can get hot really fast!

To compare it to other hot sauces like Tabasco for example it's a lot different. It tastes different, and it's a lot thicker in texture than tabasco; also a lot tangier as well. I like Tabasco on some things, but I like Sriricha better. I'll put it to you like this... I don't always use hot sauce, but when I do I prefer Sriracha! Hands up if you got that one!

So just as a final warning Sriracha can be pretty hot, especially for those of you not used to spicy things, but it tastes delicious and is almost addicting I swear; so if you're daring enough give it a try! Plus you know what they say spicy foods can aide in speeding up the metabolism.

Gaspari Nutrition: AMINOLAST Review

I originally bought AMINOLAST, Recovery & Endurance BCAA Superfuel because I wanted a tasty amino drink to sip on without all the caffeine. Some of you may have read my review on Optimum Nutrition's Amino Energy, which I love, but the only thing is it has caffeine in it. So sometimes when I'd workout at night and have that to drink I wouldn't be able to sleep. For whatever reason it may be sometime you just don't want caffeine and that's where Aminolast comes in!

It is your typical Amino drink that you can have before, during, and after your workouts as well as in between meals. Each serving has 10g of amino acids, electrolytes to aide further in recovery, and 1g of AMINOJECTtm, which is supposed to help diminish the negative effects of Ammonia buildup which slow you down while working out.

It does taste very sweet, even though there is no sugar in it, so I mix in a big (1 liter) bottle of water. It doesn't break down or mix very easily 100%, you do have to have to shake the crap out of the bottle to break it down fully. I have tried stirring it in a glass and it tends to clump a little on the top of the glass, not that big of deal though. As for the price it's a little pricey just for it being just an amino drink, I got it for 34 dollars. Each canister has 30 servings, so you're paying a little over a dollar for each serving.

I got the strawberry kiwi flavor, and again it was pretty tasty and refreshing especially if mixed with cold water. Again though a very popular trend these days is using artificial sweeteners and even though this stuff has no sugar it does taste very sweet. Which makes me worried about all of the fake sugar I'm getting in everyday and any possible side effects....

If you're already taking amino's, or bcaa's, I'd definitely recommend that you give Aminolast a try!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Working Out While You're Sick, Is It a Good Idea?

There's been a lot of different viewpoints on this topic for as long as I could remember. I know people that like to go the gym and workout when they're sick because they say they sweat out all the toxins and sickness pretty much, and they swear by it that it works! I on the other hand have tried working out before a couple of times when I was sick and it did nothing for me but make the problem worse as well as prolong it too.

Now there's a whole spectrum of different things a person could be "sick" with, some more severe than others, but they can range from a cold, to viral infection, bacterial infection, etc. and even a bad case of allergies can have a person feeling pretty crappy. Bottom line though in my opinion if you feel sick I urge you to stay home and rest, see your doctor find out what it is and see if he can't help you out. Even if you're feeling okay and strong enough to hit the gym I admire the dedication but you're only doing more harm than good and putting other gym goers at risk for catching whatever you have too; not cool! I know the feeling of wanting to workout so bad, especially when you've been making good progress, you don't want to stop, you don't want all your hard work to go to waste... I promise you though it won't! The sooner you go to the doctor, the more you rest, the faster you'll get better and be able to get back into the gym without loosing too much if any of your progress at all. Just because you're taking a break from the gym though doesn't mean your diet should too, keep eating the way you normally were, healthy, lean meats, healthy fats, slow burning carbs, a lot of veggies, throw in additional fruit, and plenty of water; and get lots of sleep 8-10 hours...

If you do everything right you should be able to get right back into the gym and into the groove of things right where you left off; you may even come to find that you're stronger from the break you took! For others it may take a couple of days to a week or two to get back into the groove depending on how sick you were, but after that you too will find that you have become a little stronger; just remember the body needs rest and breaks every now and then, listen to it! If you're going crazy though not doing anything, I'd say its okay to take a little walk outdoors to get some fresh air, but that's about it!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Are You Really Getting Energy from "ENERGY" Drinks?

It's no surprise energy drinks are popular today, you see them everywhere, at school, at work, almost everyone is drinking them for that quick pick me up feeling. What's popular with many energy drinks today
Where are you getting
Your Fuel?
though is that if you look at the nutrition facts there's very few to zero calories in them; so let me ask you this, how are you physically getting energy from something with no calories??? You're not! All these zero calorie energy drinks are doing is acting as stimulants, so why aren't they called stimulant drinks I don't know; but lets just say that if you were stranded on an island with nothing but sugar-free, low carb Monster Energy Drink, you aren't going to live long without some real food.

Food is what gives the body real energy, real energy in the form of calories! A lot of my clients have at least 1 energy drink a day to keep them going they say. I believe that before you start relying on energy drinks take a minute to look at a couple of things like your diet and sleeping patterns. Are you eating enough? Many people, especially ones looking to lose weight don't realize that under eating is very real and can cause your bodies metabolism to slow down which halts weight loss and makes you feel tired and lethargic; which is why many of these people turn to so called energy drinks when should be eating a healthy meal or shake instead. Eating 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day (shakes can be considered a snack or meal) can help combat this problem by giving your body a constant influx of real energy which will get your metabolism and energy levels back up!

Now another thing to make sure your getting enough of is sleep, at least 8 hours worth of good-quality uninterrupted sleep... Lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation can lead to a whole list of problems like weight gain, obesity, and diabetes just to name a few. So with just those two things alone in check, your diet and your sleep, you should see a drastic rise in energy levels and stop relying on energy drinks so much. Now don't get me wrong there are plenty of good energy drinks out there, with just the right amount of calories, protein, and of course caffeine to give you a little boost. I like Met-RX RTD 51 Cappuccino flavor with 200mg of caffeine in it!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Labrada Nutrition: Lean Body Gold Protein Energy Bar

These just came out at my gym the other day and we've been running a buy one get one free promo on them since. So I of course hopped on the opportunity and bought a bunch because when you're in a hurry sometimes, it's hard to come by good calories that you can consume rather quickly and easily; and this is where the energy bar comes in! There are all kinds of bars out there, all different, all targeted toward different audiences with different goals. Generally I try to stay away from energy bars and protein bars alike just because they usually pair a bunch of fat and carbs, but sometimes it's better to put fuel in the tank than run on empty and right now since I'm trying to put on size I don't have to worry too much about calories or macronutrients.
Now for the bars, we have three flavors, s'mores, pb&j, and caramel peanut which is by far the best one in my opinion. The caramel peanut one has 360 calories, 14g of fat 6 of which are sat. fat, 33g of carbs, and 25g of protein. Now depending on how serious you're dieting it's actually not that bad when you need a quick light meal or snack and you don't have a whole lot of time or options around. The carb content is a little high especially if you're on a lower carb diet, but at the same time you're getting a lot of calories with this bar. Even though it's a good bar, and I like Labrada Nutrition, don't let the name fool you; you aren't going to be getting a lean body eating these bars unless you're putting in some serious work at the gym and prepping your other meals. For the average person/gym goer these bars aren't a bad choice to use for a light meal replacement or a big snack in my opinion; just as long as you don't go overboard, no more than one a day.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cutting Back on Your Sleep? Then expect to Gain Weight!

My dog, Xena, knows all about the importance of getting enough rest!
Caught an interesting little tidbit in this months issue of Men's Health... Basically all it said was that in a study where people only got 5 hours of sleep each night in a 1-week period, gained ~2lbs of bodyweight. Now whether that was fat, or just the body holding onto water the study didn't say, personally I don't think the body can put on that much fat in such a little amount of time. Keep on practicing bad sleeping habits though, and the fat will surely creep up on you! This is why sleep, rest, and recovery, are such a critical part in the renovation of your body no matter what your fitness
goal(s) is, losing fat, gaining muscle, becoming healthier, getting in shape and so on... On average the recommended amount of sleep you should get each night is 8 hours; if you're trying to lose weight you'll find that getting the right amount of good quality sleep will actually help you to burn more fat! So do whatever you have to do in order to get your straight 8!

Monday, July 22, 2013

LÄRABAR®: The Super Clean Snack Bar

Larabar's have been around for a while, and when I say "clean" I mean there is minimal ingredients in them. Generally the more ingredients something has in it, tends to make it more and more unhealthy; especially when you start seeing weird names and chemicals in them. The Cherry Pie flavor Larabar, my favorite one, has only 3 ingredients! Dates, almonds, and unsweetened cherries, and that's it; pretty crazy when you compare it to other foods especially other snack and energy bars where they all have 20+ ingredients in them!

Now if you're super picky with food and you don't like tasting new things then they might take a little getting used too, but I personally don't think they're bad at all; especially because they're not bad for you at all. The only thing you really have to look out for in them is just the sugar and carb content because well they're primarily consisted of fruit! They make for a perfect post-workout snack because they have the fast digesting sugar which comes from fruit, the only thing I'd recommend if you're eating them post-workout is to drink a scoop or two of whey protein with it because they're lower on the protein side of things. As for the flavors I've tried most of them, and I like the cherry pie ones the most by far, so try them out!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

ZERO Water: 100% Contaminate Free Drinking Water

If you're one of those people who always drink bottled water because you worry about all of the "bad" stuff that comes with drinking water from the tap, you'd be suprised to find that even your precious bottled water isn't as squeaky clean as you'd think! If you really want the cleanest water money can buy, then you need to get a Zero Water filter! Zero Water is similar to other water purification  systems you may have seen like Brita for example, but it's the only one that can boast having a TDS reading of 000, hence the name zero water. What's is TDS? Here's an explanation from,, which you
can also visit to get more information on the subject

"Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are the total amount of mobile charged ions, including minerals, salts or metals dissolved in a given volume of water, expressed in units of mg per unit volume of water (mg/L), also referred to as parts per million (ppm). TDS is directly related to the purity of water and the quality of water purification systems and affects everything that consumes, lives in, or uses water, whether organic or inorganic, whether for better or for worse."

I did a quick little test just to use as a reference to show you guys the comparisons between tap water, bottled water, and Zero Water and their contaminants... It comes with it's own TDS tester which is simple to use, all you do is turn it on, wait for the display to read "000" and plunge it into a cup of water, that's it! I'm not sure if it's just placebo, but when I drink Zero Water it feels lighter almost, like I'm drinking air; it's very fresh and crisp tasting. All you have to do is load tap water into the top portion of the filter and wait! It can take a little while so every few glasses of water or so you gotta be filling it up with more water, not that big of deal though! Try it!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

ALLMAX Nutrition: Isoflex Chiller Whey Protein Isolate Review

The other day at work I was able to get my hands on a couple of samples of this stuff and was pretty eager to try it. I've never really heard of ALLMAX Nutrition, but they're a pretty good company from what I hear. I can't really say anything as for the quality of the supplement, it could be grade A quality; but as for the taste and consistency it was pretty bad. I had a couple of samples of the Citrus Peach Sensation, which reminded me of something along the lines of putrid fruit. Rather than use a shaker cup I tried stirring it in a glass of water with a spoon which could be why it came out so clumpy and inconsistent; which is odd because whey isolate generally mixes very well. I also figured that it would be clear looking like Isopure, instead it was a sherbet colored orange. I don't know how it would come out if you used a shaker cup or blender, but in all honesty I don't even think this product is worth a try. If you're looking for a good whey isolate, get it from a good brand like Optimum Nutrition, where you know you're getting the best quality protein at an affordable price and it tastes good! That or even just regular Isoflex is better than the Chiller version.

You can see that this stuff did not mix well at all
and what got stuck to the glass was stuck on there like glue