The world is big — fill it with love . . . and big muscles.
JustinFitness is a fitness-centered blog, with active posts regarding various fitness-related musings, healthy recipes and meals to add to your busy lives and the occassional progress picture and update from your’s truly so you can follow along on my mission.
You’ll get a taste of the following by following this blog:
An enthusiastic approach to health and wellness
A growing knowledge on such fields
Constant contact; I love responding to comments and concerns.
An average, common 19-year-old boy on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle — and, ideally, inspire a few others to do the same.
You can expect the following by following this blog:
Constant questions. Question everything — question your workouts, your nutrition, question yourself and question me. Question!
An enthusiastic approach to health and wellness but an admittance that not everything represented on this blog is necessarily “true.” I am not a licensed professional; this is how I live my life, but might not be an ideal method to apply to your own.
Foremost, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts lately — but I have (relatively) good news. I’ve decided to team up with my twin brother, Connor, to bring more frequent fitness-related blog posts to all of my (now our) fans! 🙂
If you’ve found yourself enjoying this blog, expect very similar content – just more of it! My brother is also a competitive bodybuilder, with knowledge in areas I’m new to. Together, we provide an awesome deal. We hope to see you there!
Amino Energy is a anytime-use supplement produced by Optimum Nutrition, delivering “essential amino acid delivery,” “muscle recovery,” and even “energy and focus.” This jack-of-all-trades can be used pre-, intra-, or post-workout, depending on its intended purpose. Amino Energy contains an equivalent of 100mg of caffeine per two scoops (the recommended amount of Amino Energy for “mild” results). To put this in perspective, an average cup of coffee has about 95mg of caffeine. This caffeine is derived from natural sources of Green Tea Extract and Green Coffee Extract.
I’m a few weeks into my Summer vacation and have been busying myself with friends, food, the gym (and then some more gym) and part-time work. It’s been a pretty exhausting few weeks, but enjoyable all the same!
Hi Fitness fans – Justin here. I write this from my desktop, bored on a lonely summer night. My stomach growls: my all-too-familiar enemy, temptation. If Summer has taught me anything in these short couple of weeks of heat, time, freedom (and possibly more time), it’s that temptation comes knocking – from everywhere. It’s at the grocery store, mocking you at eye level. It’s at the movie theaters, screaming from behind the glass counters, to appeal to your weakness.
But you’re a health-monster. You’re a fitness-fiend. A health-hoarder? We can stop. You get the point – you’re strong!
I’d like to thank Unmasking Super Foods, The Truth and Hype about Acai, Quinoa, Chia, Blueberries and More written by Jennifer Sygo for the following information.
Like the Acai Berry, the Goji Berries hit the American market after its introduction on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007, with Dr. Oz’s all-knowing proclamation that this berry is “the most potent antioxidant fruit that we know.” And like wildfire, gullable consumers stripped these red-orange berries from the shelves, before doing their homework on the actual nutritional content.
Grown in southeastern Asia and Europe, the Goji Berry is often imported from the Himalayas to make it onto American shelves. Originally used in Chinese medicine, the berry was thought to improve diabetes management and support a healthy immune system while providing increased energy and vitality. The berry can be eaten raw but is usually dried and stored in various trail mixes or cereals — bags of which can run up to $40. This is no cheap berry, mind you.
Finding accurate, reliable information on the Goji Berry is no easy task. The berry is not listed on either the Canadian Nutrient File OR the USDA National Nutrient Database — all nutritional information is based off of manufacturer claims. Reliable? Let’s go with no. A big, juicy no.
If we take a look at “Navitas Naturals,” a Goji Berry manufacturer, we find claims that the berry contains 18 amino acids, free radical fighting antioxidants, caratenoids, vitamin A, C, E and more than 20 trace minerals within its red-orange berryness. One ounce of Goji Berries also provides 100 calories of energy, 0g of fat (and yet provides essential fatty acids?), 21g carbohydrates, 3g fiber and 4g of protein. They also claim that ounce-per-ounce, the Goji Berry contains more vitamin C than does an orange. The Berry also contains 140% of daily vitamin A needed.This all sounds relatively good, doesn’t it? It’s not that easy — and news flash: it never is.
The Berry contains 75 more calories than does a carrot, and contains only 2/3 of the vitamin A content. And while ounce-per-ounce, the Berry might have a higher concentration of vitamin C, if we look at this in actual application: you’d have to eat 5 ounces of Goji Berries to to get the same percentage of vitamin C as you would with a single orange. That’s about 500 calories of energy, for approximately $7.00.
The only double-blind, placebo-controlled studies performed on the Goji Berry… are conveniently performed by Goji Berry Manufacturers. How reliable! One such company, GoChi, has faced lawsuits for “misrepresentation and deception in the marketing and sale” of their products. Again – how reliable!
One study claimed that the Goji berry provided effects such as enhanced energy levels, concentration, mood, etc. The problem with this is that the entire study produced subjective results. There were absolutely no objective conclusions. A second study, again by a Goji Berry manufacturer, demonstrated that a glass of Goji juice every morning for two weeks increased levels of antioxidant markers when compared to a placebo group. Again, however, there were no comparative results to other more common fruits and/or any conclusive material on the actual effects of such antioxidant levels. It’s all speculation and theory.
The only study on weight loss using the Goji Berry as a dietary supplement was performed on 29 subjects. After a two week period, it was shown that those drinking Goji Juice slimmed their waist, on average, 5cm due to post-prandial energy expenditure. The study was done with such a short time frame and subject pool, however, that conclusive material is hard to formulate.
Author Jennifer Sygo gives a perfect summary of the Goji Berry, saying it’s “nice to have” but not something you “need to have.” The Goji Berry is an excellent source of vitamin A, is exotic — but the hype of the Goji Berry can be chalked up, once again, mainly to mainstream internet fanaticism after faulty claims have been made about it from famous platforms.
*I’d like to thank Unmasking Super Foods, The Truth and Hype about Acai, Quinoa, Chia, Blueberries and More written by Jennifer Sygo for the following information.
The mysterious case of the Acai Berry (like many other “magic fruits” of its kind) hit American shelves full force after appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show as having age-defying voodoo embedded within its purple skin. The case of the mysterious Acai Berry is chalked up much less to magic-age-defying-voodoo and more or less internet fanaticism over what is otherwise an average berry: a berry that, with the right image and claims, has made certain people filthy rich, while stripping money from victims of fraud and inaccuracy. Let’s take a look.
I’ve officially finished my first year at the University of California: Santa Barbara, and that means one thing — I’m home for the next two and a half months in Sonoma County! I’m both excited and a little upset. I’ll have much more time to update the blog with various nutrition-musings, but I already miss beautiful Santa Barbara!
My brother and I just hit the gym for the first time in a long time, since I decided to head home for the weekend. As his first effort to initiate a fitness-related YouTube video, he scratched up this little piece of me squatting! Ignore the poor video quality — it’s our first one. We all start somewhere.
With that said, let’s start with squats: a fundamental, absolutely necessarily compound lift to round out any workout regime. Squats have quickly become a huge barrier to amateur lifters, because of their difficulty and painful experience. But no pain, no gain! The unfortunate truth about lifting weights is that the more painful it gets, the more productive you’re becoming. Learning to befriend this discomfort is an incredibly necessary challenge with bodybuilding; something I’m definitely still trying to conquer myself.
Squats primarily target your hip and leg regions. With proper form and technique, you’ll get a massive workload out of your quadriceps, hamstring and hip-related joints and ligaments. Additionally, a tight and contracted core will engage your abdominal muscles. Because of the squat’s wide range of movement, it’s very accident prone. Caution with squatting is definitely advised; be sure to have proper workout partners for emergency spots and/or utilize a squat racks safety pins. The potential dangers of damaging your back while squatting is much too high. Put in extra attention to your warm up; keep a confident, reliable set of weight and make extra certain to have some sort of spotter or safety pin when pushing your limits. Many squat-related injuries become potentially very serious — it’s not worth rushing into them. With all that said, beginners should start out light. The traditional squatting area would be done in a squat rack, with an olympic lifting bar of 45lbs. Test this out! If it’s too heavy, throw on some regular, lighter barbells and squat that way. Alternatively, hold a dumbbell or medicine ball and squat with those. Squatting is all about progression. There’s no rush into the olympic-sized barbell and squat rack. Take it at your own pace.
Let’s move on to proper form. Proper form is essential to any and all workout-related experiences. Potential injuries from lifting weight (especially when done heavy) can be incredibly high, so taking precaution is absolutely necessary. I’ve always found the best way to tackle uncomfortable, new workout experiences is to bring along a more experienced friend to help walk you through it! Turning to the internet and any online videos and demonstrations always does the trick as well. It can never be stressed enough how important it is to demonstrate proper and safe technique. These are essential elements to working out.
Let’s take a look at the back! The back should always be your go-to for making sure your form is correct. The spine’s integral contribution to your musculo-skeletal frame makes it one of the most dangerous parts of your body while working out. The spine should be kept aligned at all times during your workout, with shoulders pinched back and a puffed out chest. Keeping a small dip in your lower back is fine, but the spine should always, always always be kept in alignment. The second your back begins to curve over, bail on your weight. Straining the spine in an awkward and uncomfortable fashion with weight is potentially very dangerous. Avoid this at all costs! Next, feet placement. Bodybuilders can tend to extend their stance extremely wide to target some of the inner portions of the leg muscles. Personally, I keep my squat stance simple — feet slightly wider than shoulder width, with a 45 degree angle point with my feet. While you descend with your squat, remember to keep your spine in alignment, your head pointed straight and to keep your legs strong. Keep your knees stable and prevent buckling under the weight! Your descend shouldn’t be straight down; instead, pretend like you are sitting. Keep your weight planted in your heels and be absolutely sure to keep your spine and legs strong. Squats should be done until your thighs are parallel with the ground. This will get the most out of your squat.
With all this said, give squats a go! They’re a daunting movement, but with proper training and practice, they’ll become integral additions to your weekly workout regime. You’ll see mass increase in your legs, buttocks and calves. I recommend squats to any lifting regime.
Let me know how your squats are improving (or getting worse… and we can work on that)! Remember to take it slow: safety is key!