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“Spring forward” is a mnemonic meant to help us remember that in accordance with Daylight Savings Time, we move the hands on our clocks forward one hour in an instant time change designed to provide one additional hour of daylight. But there is nothing “instant” about gearing up for fat loss to get a beach body. It’s not a process that should be rushed into, for both physical and psychological reasons. Just as it’s not wise to walk into the gym and go right to your heaviest weights without a thorough and proper warm-up featuring several sets of gradually increasing resistance, losing substantial amounts of body fat is a process that should also be eased into for best results.

The Case for Making Haste Slowly

Both mentally and physically, our bodies don’t respond well to sudden, drastic change. It’s better to gradually adjust variables so you have time to acclimate. It’s not a good idea to go from eating whatever you want to a strict type diet in one day. Going from having done no cardio at all for months to hitting it for 45 minutes every day is a brutal punch in the face to your system that typically has negative results, similar to someone who hasn’t squatted in months getting under 405 and expecting to do a good set. If you’ve been gorging on things like fried foods, desserts, pizza, and alcohol, going cold turkey will probably have you craving the bad stuff again soon. Not to mention the fact that sudden and drastic reductions in overall caloric intake force the body into survival mode in which the metabolism is slowed down in the body’s effort to do the one thing it’s designed to do – stay alive! And because cardio involves a certain amount of repetitive stress on your knees, ankles, and feet, it’s smarter to start off with lower intensity, volume, and frequency to rebuild strength and endurance in those areas. Otherwise, you increase your odds of incurring tendinitis, bursitis, stress fractures, and muscle strains (minor muscle tears). What we are going to do to make this transition smooth is the following:

• For several weeks, your calories will still be well above maintenance level, thus facilitating muscle gain.

• The transition phase both psychologically and physically allows you to adjust to the changes with less trauma.

• Because your diet will become stricter over a period of a couple of months, you will begin losing body fat and have a head start once your official “cut” begins.

• Cardiovascular training will be ramped up gradually, giving you a chance to rebuild your stamina and thus be better prepared for a more demanding cardio regimen as summer nears.

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Nutritional Spring Cleaning

First off, don’t feel like a failure because you went off the wagon there for a while. Nearly all of us do once the weather starts getting cold. The gluttony begins for many Americans at Halloween, a holiday marked mainly by the wanton consumption of candy, which provides few nutrients but loads of sugar and fat. We buy enough for a theoretical battalion of trick-or-treaters, yet ultimately wind up eating most of it ourselves when they don’t show up at our door because parents in this era don’t allow their children to leave the house. Then along comes Thanksgiving, where we celebrate and honor the Pilgrims by force-feeding as much turkey, gravy, stuffing, candied yams, and pie as possible before passing out on the couch in a food coma after watching football. This is immediately followed up by the Christmas/holiday season. Even if your workplace has a PC non-denominational holiday theme, you can rest assured there will still be plenty of delicious foods rich in sugar and saturated fat to feast on: trays of cookies, pastries, and doughnuts – for free! There will also be home parties and dinners where food and drinks flow as freely as something out of an afterlife promised to the supremely faithful. If the host is either Italian or Latin, bet on an even greater abundance of decadent dining. The year ends with New Year’s Eve, where we ring in a new year by imbibing as much alcohol as we are able to without vomiting. Though the next day is typically marked by some form of grand resolution where eating better and losing weight often figures prominently, we don’t all act on this noble goal right away. And here we are.

As I said, we are going to progressively ease you into eating cleaner, a little bit more every week. By doing it this way, we can comfortably make these changes without shocking your system or feeling deprived and awake at night with cravings. Here’s how you will do this over eight weeks.

Weeks 8-7

Eliminate starchy/complex carbohydrates from final meal of the day.

Cheat meals should be a maximum of four per week. This means meals where you eat whatever you want, in any amounts you want. Note this is one meal, not an entire day of eating crap.

Reduce the amount of bread and dairy you consumed in the off-season by one-third.

Regarding the bread, you should never eat white bread. Opt for whole wheat or whole grain. Ezekiel Bread is very popular with fit people and competitive physique athletes. This brand is sprouted, made from whole grains and legumes, and contains no refined flour or sugar. This is purely an unpaid testimonial, but it also has a lot more flavor than any white bread I’ve ever tried.

Week 6

Cheat meals should be a maximum of three per week. All other variables remain the same.

Weeks 5-3

Eliminate starchy/complex carbohydrates from final two meals of the day.

Bread and dairy consumption should be reduced to half the amount you were eating previously, during the rest of the year before your 8-week fat-loss program began.

Week 2

Cheat meals should be a maximum of two per week.

Reduce your bread and dairy so that it’s roughly a third of how much you consumed during the rest of the year.

Week 1

Cheat meals are still allowed this final week at two for the week.

Eliminate starchy/complex carbohydrates from final three meals of the day. Ideally, two of your meals with carbs should be the meals before and after training.

Bread and dairy should either be fully eliminated or reduced to two servings of each per week. 

Week 0 – Cutting Diet Officially Begins

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Complex carbs should be eaten with no more than three meals per day, though this is an individual matter. Some people can lean out while still taking in ample carbohydrates, while others must consume very low carbs to lose fat. Again, the two meals where your carbohydrates will be utilized best will be your pre- and post-workout meals, so plan accordingly depending on what time of day you train. If you train in the evening, your carb meals will be eaten later in the day as opposed to someone who trains in the morning.

You should not have more than one cheat meal per week, and some who have a tougher time dropping body fat should not have any cheat meals.

All bread and dairy products should be eliminated.

Easing Back Into Cardio

Though you may feign ignorance, you are doubtless aware of the benefits of cardio. Yet even knowing it’s necessary for both maintaining good cardiovascular conditioning, i.e., a strong and healthy lungs and heart, as well as keeping body fat in check, many people drop cardio from their program the minute they decide they have kicked off their off-season. And trust me, I get it. Cardio is something most of us never signed on for. Personally, I started lifting weights at age 13-14 and didn’t begin doing any type of cardio until I had already been competing as a natural bodybuilder for three years. Even then, I did it grudgingly, holding it in contempt as a necessary evil if I wanted to shed the layer of blubber I’d accumulated via force-feeding at least double the amount of calories my body required in the form of 2-pound baked potatoes, bowls of rice large enough to use as helmets, and the sugar-laden mega-calorie weight gainers in vogue at the time. I did what many bodybuilders still do today, which was to take my cardio from zero to 60 overnight. I was able to get away with this shock to the system back then as I was just a whippersnapper in his early to mid-20s. By the time I was on the wrong side of 30, I was alarmed to find how badly I would suck wind if I returned to cardio after more than a month or so away from it. That’s when I realized it would behoove me to keep a certain amount of cardio in my program year-round.

Unless you are one of those rare metabolic freaks who stays lean without any conscious effort, or you have a physical job that keeps you breathing heavy and burning calories, you too should strive to include a bare minimum of three 20-minute sessions per week. But let’s assume you’ve done what so many other lifters do and stopped all cardio as soon as the leaves changed color. Here’s a reasonable schedule to ease you back into a level of cardiovascular fitness so that when it’s time to drop the hammer and enter full cutting mode, you’re more than ready.

Weeks 8-7

3 x 20 minutes, moderate intensity

Perform three sessions of 20 minutes per week, moderate intensity. That means it shouldn’t be so easy you can type clever comments on Instagram posts and stories, but you shouldn’t be gasping for breath like a fish on the dock either. You should have a light sweat by about halfway through. When you do these three sessions, as with any time you’re getting your cardio in, is up to you, your schedule, and your availability. We can all argue the relative benefits of fasted cardio versus doing it after your weights, or even in a fed state on days off from weight training. No studies have ever proven superior fat-burning results, though many people have verified over the past 20 or so years through their own experience that fasted morning cardio does seem to burn more body fat than doing it at other times. This seems particularly true once your body fat is already low. Since we’re not trying to get shredded in this transition phase, don’t fret if you can’t do fasted cardio. You can do it after your weight-training workout, though I would save your post-workout shake with carbs until after the cardio, so you don’t have that shake sloshing around in your belly. You can eat breakfast before heading off to the gym or to your own cardio machine at home; just give your body a good hour or more to digest it first.

I can say that I felt physically better and more energetic performing cardio with a meal in me. Those of you who follow Dr. Layne Norton know that he has effectively debunked the need to do your cardio in a fasted state. So long as you get it done and burn the calories, it really doesn’t matter.

Weeks 6-4

4 x 20 minutes, moderate intensity

We are adding another cardio day now, which takes you to four 20-minute sessions per week. For those of you grumbling about that, try to look on the bright side. In the old days, you had only your Sony Walkman and a cassette to keep you going during cardio, which eventually became a CD and a Sony Discman. MP3 players and iPods were the next evolution. Now, all of you own smartphones with access to almost unlimited text, audio, and video content.

Weeks 3-1

4 x 30 minutes, moderate intensity

For our final three weeks of spring training before it’s time to jump into full-fledged cutting, we’re keeping the frequency at four cardio sessions per week, but the duration bumps up from 20 to 30 minutes. Do the math and this has you hitting a total of two hours of cardio a week. That’s enough to make a real dent and melt away some of that winter hibernation fat you put on. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing the biggest difference in your body fat at this stage.

Weight Training

By now, the more detail-oriented among you might be asking, what about the weight training? What should I change, if anything? You may know from some of my previous articles that I believe in utilizing more intensity techniques such as drop sets, supersets, and giant sets in the off-season rather than in the cutting/prep phase as most people prefer to. This is because anything that ramps up your workload and intensity also takes a higher toll on your recovery ability. It makes sense to work harder and longer with the weights when your body has more resources to apply toward recovery. That’s why you should put those techniques into practice when you are in a surplus of energy and calories rather than a deficit.

Assuming you are doing this, the spring training period should see you gradually scaling back toward more straight sets. If you’re doing drop sets or supersets at every workout for every body part, start limiting them to just two exercises per body part, then one. Try to match the rate you transition back to straight sets with your increasing cardio frequency and your decrease in carb meals per day and cheat meals per week. Think in terms of overall energy expenditure, or energy in (food) versus energy out (weights and cardio).

As you can see, there’s no need to ever drastically jump into or out of fat-burning mode. Work your way into the summer cutting phase gradually with this “Spring Forward” spring training program, and you’ll be in an excellent position to launch your successful shredding regimen.

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Stop Buying Foods You Shouldn’t Eat

Unless you share your living area with junk-food junkies (or children), you’re in full control of what you stock your refrigerator and cupboards with. You can’t eat crap like cookies, muffins, or frozen bean burritos if they aren’t in your home in the first place. Try to do your food shopping on the perimeter of the supermarket where they stock the healthier basics like fruits, vegetables, fresh meat, fish, eggs, and poultry. Stay the hell away from the aisles full of cereal, snacks, soda, and candy. They can be very tempting, especially if you spy some sweet two-for-one deal. You’re better off leaving those aisles alone.

Start Meal Prepping

It’s always easier to eat cleaner when you have clean food already made that you just need to heat up in the toaster oven or microwave. Meal prepping is something a lot of people only start doing after Memorial Day when they panic and realize it’s going to be beach weather in a few weeks. Don’t wait that long! Start taking one day a week, maybe Sunday, to grill, fry, and bake batches of chicken, ground turkey or beef, and fish to freeze so you won’t have to cook the rest of the week. Otherwise, if most of us must choose between cooking fresh, clean food every day if not several times a day or going for fast food, the easier option often wins out even if it means we know we aren’t eating right. We are all busy in 2023, so use your time wisely. Be prepared to eat clean, and it won’t be an excuse not to.

Take a Break From Social Media

I confess I stole this one from four-time Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead. Like me and most of you, he has no love for cardio. One way he makes the time pass by faster for his fasted cardio is to not even check his texts, emails, or messages on social media until he’s on the treadmill or StepMill. If you’re even a remotely busy person, answering those should take up a good chunk of the time you’re huffing away burning calories. Before you know it, you’re done!

The post Get a Beach Body: 8-Week Plan appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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By: Ron Harris
Title: Get a Beach Body: 8-Week Plan
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Published Date: Wed, 24 May 2023 14:38:01 +0000

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Mens Health




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Limitless Bodybuilding

By PJ Braun

Sponsored by Blackstone Labs™

Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Experiment and figure out what’s best for you. Pay attention to your body and if something doesn’t feel right, try something different.

By the time you guys read this article, I will have surpassed 18 months in federal prison and working out in the gym is not just a distant memory, but now getting close to being a reality again as the second half of my sentence winds down. I have so much excitement in my heart and mind to get back to training with real weights and machines instead of bodyweight. Since the first time I touched a weight 30 years ago, I fell in love with working out! If I could work out all day, every day, I would! Sex is awesome too, close second, but I give the edge to the gym! Am I that crazy!?! I love chasing the pump and seeing my progress and I love challenging myself to push harder and more efficiently. I hate myself for getting away from that for a few years before my sentence, but I have learned to not live in the past. Time to make up for lost time. Over the years I have tried literally hundreds and hundreds of different exercises from powerlifting to functional to rehabilitation and I have learned what works best for my body through copious amounts of trial and error. So, I have decided to detail my most important exercises for each body part and why!

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I started out like most kids in the gym obsessed with the barbell bench press. It was an exercise that determined who was the worst ass in the high school gym and I hated not being good at it. When I was in my late teens, I started training under a powerlifting coach named Rob DeLavega in Brookfield, Connecticut at a Powerhouse Gym and he taught me the key fundamentals of the squat, deadlift and of course the bench press. I was not a great bench presser until years after my powerlifting career. My best max was only 455 pounds, but I was pleased when I could work out with 405 pounds for sets of eight and really proud when I did 225 pounds for 50. I was always better with stamina then low reps. The problem with the bench press is that ergonomically it is inferior to many exercises for building the chest because of the angle and stress on the shoulder joint. Most great bench pressers have massive front deltoids but often develop shoulder injuries. I destroyed both shoulders bench pressing and to this day still have lots of pain. So going back in time, if I could do things a little different, I would have spent most my time on the incline barbell press. This exercise really isolates the chest and is safer on the shoulder joint. Of course, you still need strong delts and triceps because like any compound movement, the body must work in synergy, but by keeping your scapula down and back, the stress is just unreal! It’s much harder than the flat version but it will blow your chest up!

Honorable mention: The incline dumbbell press is a close second because it’s so important to incorporate unilateral exercises to work out imbalances, and you can place the dumbbells exactly where you need to really feel the muscle work.


I love the dumbbell press and the Hammer Strength shoulder press. However, you can press all you want but if you really want them to look awesome, you need to do tons of lateral raises. The medial and posterior delts need that extra stimulation or you will be very imbalanced. My favorite is the seated dumbbell lateral raise done slow and strict. I start with the dumbbells under my legs so I can get a farther range of motion, and it’s hard to cheat when you’re seated.

Honorable mention: Reverse pec deck. Most people do this way too heavy and get too much trap involved. Done very light and strict, you can really engage the posterior delts more than anything else to round out the back of the delts!


For many years I focused on the barbell squat. I loved squatting heavy and would often work up to 495 pounds for sets of 10. I squat deep and love the feeling of exploding out of the hole. However, it wasn’t until a great bodybuilder named Ben Pakulski and I did legs together that he talked me into opening my mind about training. In 2006, we did legs for a Muscular Development video at Gold’s Gym Venice. I told him I mostly just do lots of squats, but he got me to start incorporating more variety and splitting the days up. I started experimenting and that’s when I really started growing. What was the key? The hack squat! Nothing overloads your quads the way the hack squat does and it’s much safer on your back!

Honorable mention: Close-stance leg press to 90 degrees. A lot of guys either use too short of a range of motion or too deep of a range of motion where the spine starts to curl off the back support, which is very dangerous. Keep the knees together and come down to 90 degrees and explode up to really overload the quads!


OK guys, you are going to be really surprised by this one. But if you really want thick hamstrings, the key exercise here is a wider-stance squat! Yes, that’s right. When you learn to sit back into your glutes and hams and perform the reps slow and efficient, the hamstrings get a different kind of stimulation. You’re probably thinking, I thought squats were a quad exercise? Squats work the entire lower body and when you open your stance, sit back and push through your heels, you will blast your hamstrings like crazy too. Want to really intensify it? Check out this tip in my honorable mention! Want to get more glute involved? Try the dumbbell plié squat or sumo variation.

Honorable mention: Lying hamstring curls done before you squat, so they are engorged with blood. Either superset or just done as straight sets, this combo really brought out the thickness in my side poses and the lying hamstring curl is essentially like doing a barbell curl for your arms. Explode up and control the negative. Learn to do hip thrusts properly, and the stimulation to the posterior chain will be superior to doing squats alone.


I absolutely love training back, and I had a hard time coming up with my number one here, so I am going to first say that your back needs lots of volume and angles but most importantly, you must row like crazy to grow. I love all variations of row exercises, from barbells to dumbbells to Hammer Strength to cables!! They all have their place, but I am breaking this down for width and thickness. For width, you have to barbell row with an underhand grip. Oh yeah, baby, like the great Dorian Yates in those crazy Blood and Guts workouts that really brought the lower lats thickness out. I have gone up to some sloppy sets of 405 but prefer to be stricter with the weight. For thickness, I switch over to the old-school T-Bar row. Not a machine. It must be done with a 45-pound bar in a corner with a V-Grip handle near the top.

Honorable mention: Pull-ups, which are great for starting the foundation of your back. Wide-grip, close-grip and underhand chins done early in your bodybuilding journey will provide a great deal of strength. Sadly, I can barely hang from a pull-up bar without a great deal of pain in my shoulders now, but that’s from all the old injuries. For all you young guys starting out, form is most important! Don’t swing, and use a complete range of motion.


Later in my career, I got really into cable variations for the triceps to warm up my elbows. If you look at my photos, you see that triceps were one of my best body parts and they grew almost too fast for me and made my biceps look smaller. The exercise I feel did the most for mass is the overhead dumbbell extension, done with both arms at the same time. I would often go up to the heaviest dumbbells in my gym, which was 130, and could do it strict and slow for 15-20 reps.

Honorable mention: The rope pushdown, which is the most versatile exercise for the triceps because you can change the stress of the exercise so easily. I prefer to start literally every triceps workout with rope pushdowns to really warm up my elbows and find that it’s really easy to pump up fast this way!


I see so many people train biceps too heavy and because of that, they don’t maximize the contractions and the full range of motion for the biceps. I was guilty of this early on in my career and it wasn’t until I started doing lots of incline dumbbell curls that my arms really grew. The incline curl when done properly takes the delt out of the exercise and from a full range of motion, the stretch at the bottom makes the muscle really isolate. I love dumbbell exercises, and this is by far my favorite.

Honorable mention: The dumbbell preacher curl. They key on this one is locking your armpit onto the top of the preacher bench and keeping your shoulders pulled back. Another awesome unilateral isolation exercise.

The best of the rest: I have trained calves, abs, and forearms hard and thorough, but my position is slightly different here. These are areas that simply can be ignored if they are genetically superior because of all the stimulation they get. I know so many guys who don’t train abs because they get lots of stimulation from compound exercises and their abs are sick. It’s easy to overtrain the ancillary groups too. Specifically forearms, because your grip is involved in so much! I developed major tendinitis from doing forearm work and don’t isolate them anymore. You want massive forearms? Don’t use straps on back day!

My calves were massive before I even touched a weight. EMG studies show that the donkey calf raise recruits the most muscle fibers, but many gyms don’t have that machine, so you got to make do with what you got. Variety is key for calves and abs, and if I really had to pick a number one ab exercise, it would be the kneeling rope crunch because you can really exaggerate the range of motion and contraction. If you want to really hit your core, you need to involve reverse curvature of the spine, meaning your lower body curls up toward your head instead of the standard crunching down!

So, there you have it. My most important exercises. Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Experiment and figure out what’s best for you. Pay attention to your body and if something doesn’t feel right, try something different. What works best for me may not work best for you and the best part of the bodybuilding journey is learning the keys to success in the gym to unlock your true potential. Just because I have been training 30 years doesn’t mean I have stopped learning. When you stop learning, you stop your growth. That goes for the body, the mind, and the spirit.

Until next time, I love you all. Peace out, bye.

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Instagram @pjbraunfitness

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The post WHICH EXERCISES REIGN SUPREME? appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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By: Team FitRx
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Published Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2023 13:33:45 +0000

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GlycoLog allows carbs to work for you to build muscle, so you can achieve serious lean gains.

The Great Carb Debate. Are you confused about carbs? That’s no surprise. The great carb debate has been going on for years, and carbs have gotten a pretty bad rap. Some people have labeled carbs as evil outcasts that make you fat and say that carbs should be shunned by everyone from celebrities to soccer moms and even high-level athletes – who in fact need them more than anyone else. What’s the solution? GlycoLog from Blackstone Labs™ allows carbs to work for you to build muscle, so you can achieve serious lean gains. GlycoLog puts CARBS back on the MENU!

Serious Lean Gains. There are lots of carbphobics out there, but you don’t have to be one of them. The issue that some people have with eating carbs is that it increases insulin, the body’s storage hormone. Insulin can either shuttle carbs into fat or muscle, depending on your genetics. Most people have poor genetics, which means eating carbs inevitably leads to increased fat. But that doesn’t have to be the case when you incorporate GlycoLog into your supplementation regimen. Using GlycoLog means carbs are back on the menu again, and they’re bringing some serious lean gains with them!

Hack Your Genetic Code

GlycoLog acts as a nutrient partitioner – and directs the carbs you eat into your muscles and not your adipose tissue. GlycoLog has been formulated to hack your genetic code to make insulin work for you, not against you, with these ingredients:

Chromium (300mcg) is an essential mineral that helps regulate blood glucose. Chromium is critical to insulin metabolism and therefore a vital component to nutrient uptake in the body.

Gymnema Sylvestre (1g) enhances insulin function to reduce blood sugar. A comprehensive review of the scientific literature on Gymnema sylvestre notes it also reduces plasma glucose, leptin levels, bodyweight, and even body mass index (BMI).

Bitter Melon (500mg) increases glucose uptake and utilization by skeletal muscles as well as reducing formation of glycogen in the liver. Additional research on bitter melon notes it also suppresses inflammation in adipose tissue (fat).

Super Berberine (300mg) lowers blood glucose levels and encourages glucose absorption by muscle cells. GlycoLog includes the trademarked Super Berberine for its improved bioavailability over standard berberine supplements.

Cinnamon Bark (250mg) increases insulin activity while simultaneously acting as an insulin mimetic to facilitate glucose transport into skeletal muscle tissue. Cinnamon bark reduces blood sugar, cuts body fat, and increases lean mass.

Sodium R-Lipoate (150mg) is a highly bioavailable form of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). ALA is essential to carbohydrate metabolism and also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. It helps lower blood sugar, reduce appetite, and increase energy expenditure.

BioPerine (5mg) can enhance the effectiveness of the blood sugar-lowering compounds in GlycoLog by increasing the time they remain active in the bloodstream.


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Published Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2023 13:13:46 +0000

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Mens Health

When the Weight Stack Isn’t Enough



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The Giant Killer

By Two-Time 212 Olympia Champion Shaun Clarida

Sponsored by MUTANT

Q: I see you use something called a GymPin to add weight to both machines with stacks as well as plate-loading machines like Hammer Strength and Arsenal Strength. Which machines do you need to do that for, all of them? Every post of yours I see it looks like you have every plate a machine can hold!

A: I use it on almost every machine that has a weight stack that you use a pin to adjust the weight for, because most of the stacks were designed to accommodate a certain level of strength that very few people go beyond anyway. A lot of times a weight stack will only go up to something like 200 pounds and the GymPin lets me add 25 or 45 more pounds to that. I do also use it for plate-loading machines like the Hammer Strength Incline Press for chest so I can add a sixth plate to each side since there’s only enough room for five 45s. It also comes in handy on certain leg press machines when the posts don’t allow me to put enough plates on to really challenge me. On most models I can push 13 or 14 plates a side if I’m going as heavy as possible. I’ve seen people do crazy things like using bungee cords or duct tape to secure extra 45s. The GymPin is a much safer and more convenient tool to add extra resistance. I feel it my duty to mention that no one should be adding weight to anything if you are sacrificing form, range of motion, or mind-muscle connection just to say you used x amount of weight. But if you are genuinely maxed-out with what a machine holds or allows for, use my code GK20 for GymPin at!

The Heat Is On!

Q: Your new home state of Texas went through a record-setting heat wave less than two months after you moved there. How did you handle all those days in a row that were well over 100 degrees outside?

A: Honestly, I love it. I’ve always been a fan of the heat. I love Florida and Texas weather. What isn’t so fun is that summer is also the rainy season in Texas. The storms here are just ridiculous. They are so loud I thought the windows were going to shatter! I wake up and it’s 70 or 80 degrees. It gets up to 100 or more by noon. I prefer the heat. You know I stay covered up almost all the time when I train. So don’t feel bad for me, I’m fine even at over 100 degrees!

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Olympia Prep: Bigger and Better

Q: You are starting your prep for the Olympia, where you will defend your 212 title and hopefully earn your third win. Where are you at with your physique this year as compared to your starting point in 2022? I believe you hit an all-time high for your off-season bodyweight and strength.

A: I did get up to 215 pounds, which is crazy. I never thought I would be that heavy in this off-season with having a new baby and moving across country. I had assumed my training would have suffered a bit here and there with all that going on. But I have been able to get my training, meals, and cardio in every day without fail. I’d always heard “everything is bigger in Texas,” and now I believe it! I remember sending Matt Jansen my check-in when I hit 215, and I was surprised. That’s a lot for me. I will come in a little bigger at this Olympia than ever before, but the most important thing for me is conditioning. Nothing else matters if the condition isn’t top-notch. That’s why I never focus on my bodyweight. I’m more concerned with trying to improve certain areas like my chest and hamstrings. As I get stronger on those movements and add new lean muscle tissue, the weight does creep up. It’s been a great off-season and I also feel I’m going to grow into the show. I’m one of those guys who gets stronger in prep, so sometimes I have to be mindful and stay safe, so I don’t get injured. But I’m going to keep pushing hard, stay strong, and hold as much size going into the show as possible. Despite being 40 and already being as strong as I am, I still find I’m able to make strength gains.

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How Being a Dad Changed Me

Q: Has being a dad changed your outlook on life at all yet? Most men say they feel like an entirely different chapter of their life has begun.

A: I feel like an adult now! I actually had this conversation with Branch Warren recently at Destination Dallas. I thought I was motivated and had purpose before, but becoming a father was like turning a switch. From now on, everything I do moving forward isn’t for me anymore. It’s for my daughter. Now she’s the reason I’m determined to improve and win my third Olympia title. She gives me a whole new fuel and drive to be the best I can be.

Home Gym, Texas Style

Q: Do you have any equipment at home?

A: My new home in Texas has a four-car garage, and I set aside two of the bays to be my “home gym.” In the past in New Jersey, I always had to drive to the gym for my morning cardio. It wasn’t a long drive, but I always thought I would save time by having cardio equipment at home. Now I can do that as well as abs, calves, and adductors. At home I have a Matrix Stairmaster, a Hammer Strength leg raise, an old-school Hoist seated calf raise, an Icarian calf press, an Atlantis ab crunch, a Nautilus ab machine, and Magnum abductor and adductor machines. I also got a new Nautilus hip/glute drive machine. This saves me a lot of morning trips to the gym, and of course I still do all my heavy training there.

Instagram @shaunclarida

YouTube: Shaun Clarida

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Shaun’s MUTANT® Stack



BCAA 9.7







For more information, visit

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The post When the Weight Stack Isn’t Enough appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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By: Team FitRx
Title: When the Weight Stack Isn’t Enough
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Published Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2023 12:58:27 +0000

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