5 No-Cook Recipes To Help You Beat The Heat!

It’s hard get excited about cooking up a storm when it’s hot enough outside to fry an egg on the sidewalk. You just want to reach for an ice pop, but that’s not enough to sustain you. A sandwich or shake? Also pretty lackluster. Better to just veg out and order in, right?

Wrong! With this full day’s worth of easy recipes, you can give the stove the day off and still pump out dishes that will keep you and your muscles well-fed. After all, many fruits and vegetables are in peak season, making this an excellent time to hit up your local farmer’s market or fruit stand.

Embrace the joy of (not) cooking and make at least one day of this summer a breeze!

Breakfast: Cantaloupe Bowls

With this refreshing recipe in your back pocket, there’s no need to settle for boxed cereal when you don’t want to make a hot breakfast. Cottage cheese is a fuss-free way to kick-start your day with high-quality protein. And since they’re made up of almost 90 percent water, edible cantaloupe bowls are a stealthy way to bolster your summer-hydration efforts.

Make it better: Granola adds great crunch, but compare brands and look for those that contain the least amount of sugar per serving.

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Slice a cantaloupe in half, and then slice roughly a half inch off the bottoms so both halves sit flat. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Stir together cottage cheese, honey, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Stuff half of the cottage cheese mixture into each of the cantaloupe halves. Sprinkle on granola and pistachios.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/2 cantaloupe (with fixings)

Recipe yields: 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 439
Protein29 g

Lunch: Chilled Avocado Coconut Soup With Shrimp

A steamy bowl of soup is not something you probably crave when temperatures are soaring. This chilled version will help you keep your cool and load up on the heart-healthy fats found in avocado. Ready to thaw at a moment’s notice, bags of previously cooked frozen shrimp are a quick way to add a healthy dose of muscle-building protein in a flash.

Make it better: Cold soups are best served in cold bowls. So plan ahead and chill your serving bowls in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before you’re ready to spoon up this soup.

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Place coconut milk, water, avocado flesh, basil, lime juice, jalapeno, salt and black pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. If the resulting mixture is too thick, blend in more liquid. Pour the mixture into a container, and chill for at least 2 hours.
  2. To serve, pour the soup in serving bowls and top with shrimp and lime zest.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 recipe

Recipe yields: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 345
Protein26 g

Snack: Zucchini Smoked Fish Rolls

Here’s proof that no-cook snacks can be so much more than just a bowl of yogurt or handful of nuts. Strips of zucchini are a fancy delivery method for ready-to-go smoked fish. Beyond being a top-notch protein provider, smoked swimmers like mackerel are a source of ultra-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These bundles of great nutrition are also an inspired appetizer for summer backyard parties.

Make it better: When a snack attack strikes, you may not have the patience to assemble this recipe. Good news: The rolls can be made up to three days in advance and kept chilled.

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Chop the ends off the zucchini. Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer to peel the zucchini into long, wide, thin strips.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the parsley mixture on one of the zucchini strips, and place two slices of the fish and two slices of the red pepper at one end. Tightly roll up the zucchini strip, and stab a toothpick through the middle to keep the roll together.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/2 recipe

Recipe yields: 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 280
Protein10 g

Dinner: Moroccan Chicken Salad

Rustle up this salad in advance, and you’ll be set up for a few cook-free dinners throughout the week. Supermarket rotisserie chicken lets someone else do all the cooking, while you get to benefit from a bounty of juicy protein.

Unlike other grains such as rice and quinoa that require simmering time on the stove top, couscous needs only to soak in boiling water. Since the goal of the day is to stay away from the stove, use a tea kettle, or just pour the appropriate amount of water into a microwave-safe cup and cook for two minutes, or until water is boiled. Pour it over your couscous, and let it sit covered for at least 5 minutes. For a bigger nutritional bang for your buck, seek out whole-grain couscous.

Make it better: You can score your bird from the megamart, but for optimal flavor and nutrition, take the time to source out your salad vegetables from a local farmers market.

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil using a kettle or microwave. In a large heat-proof bowl, stir boiling water with couscous and salt. Cover and let stand until the water has absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and let cool.
  2. Toss together the couscous, chicken, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, mint, apricot and almonds. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and smoked paprika. Toss the dressing with the salad.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 recipe

Recipe yields: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 534
Protein32 g

Dessert: Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream”

There’s nothing like concluding a steamy summer day with a bowl of frosty ice cream. With frozen bananas for your creamy base and protein-packed Greek yogurt, this near-instant version won’t blow up your physique, but it will deliver plenty of texture and taste!

To freeze bananas for “ice cream” or smoothies, peel the fruit, slice it into chunks, and spread it out on a baking sheet. Place the bananas in the freezer until they’re frozen solid, then transfer them to an airtight bag until you’re ready to use them.

Make it better: To infuse this creamy treat with more antioxidant firepower, select cocoa labeled “natural” or “raw.”

Ingredients

Directions
  1. Place the frozen bananas in a food processor. Process until the bananas are reduced to the size of small pebbles. At first, the bananas will bounce around and make a lot of noise before taking on a smooth consistency.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add yogurt, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend until creamy.
  3. Serve this immediately like soft-serve ice cream, or freeze it for later use. If frozen, the mixture will need to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften up.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/2 recipe

Recipe yields: 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 268
Protein13 g

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Ask The Super Strong Guy: Are Partials The Key For Strength Gains?

Q: I’ve been feeling like my strength gains have plateaued in the last couple of months. Some people are telling me that by doing partial reps I can get more growth. Is that true?

As a general rule, “full range of motion for full development” is a reliable guideline for building above-average strength and a respectable physique. No matter if you aspire to become a world-class powerlifter, win Mr. Olympia, or just be the biggest, strongest version of yourself, you should stick to full ROM most of the time.

But, if your goal is to truly maximize your strength, there’s definitely a time and a place in your training for partials—but it’s a secondary place.

How Partials Work

The technique of doing partial reps is based on what is known as the “accentuation principle,” which states that you get the most gain by training in the range of motion where the highest amounts of force production are possible. It all comes down to this: by lifting through only a portion of a movement path, you’re able to lift more weight—sometimes a hell of a lot more—than you could on a full range of motion, one-repetition max.

However, there’s a psychological benefit to doing partials, as well as the physiological one. As anyone who has been under a truly heavy barbell knows, both aspects are crucial.

How partials work

Psychologically, you can also use partials to help you be more confident when you handle heavy weights. That 250-pound bench press? It’ll feel much more approachable if you’ve already done board presses with 100 pounds more than that in training. Think about the psychological edge you’ll have if you attempt a 375-pound squat after having done a half squat with 500 pounds. All of a sudden, 375 is no longer quite so scary.  

Physiologically, your body benefits from a little familiarity as well. Our bodies have a kind of built-in regulator, called the Golgi tendon organ, that is meant to protect our muscles from excessive loads. The GTO is a proprioceptive sensory organ that senses changes in muscle tension, then inhibits force production when too much tension is sensed. Normally, this is a good thing. But, if you’re after serious strength development, the GTO can definitely get in the way.

In my experience, extreme, heavy partials, done consistently and over time, can desensitize the GTO. By making heavy partials a regular part of your workout, you can train your body to overcome this built-in regulator so you can lift more weight. But, this only works if you do them right—and they are harder to do right than you might think.

The Problem With Partials

Much like isometrics, partials offer the most transference into the range of motion where they’re trained. That limits their usefulness to a certain degree. But what’s far more damaging is the way most people perform partials: They alter their technique so much that they turn it into an entirely different lift, not just a different ROM, than the one they’re trying to strengthen.

Problems with partials

Let’s say you consistently miss deadlifts three inches above your knees—the spot at which your legs are usually fully extended and your back is somewhat rounded. The standard solution would be to train partial deadlifts in the power rack. So how would you set up those partials? Most likely, you’d start at the exact spot where you miss, then do a quarter squat to the deadlift lockout position, all the while making sure you keep your back perfectly flat.

Sorry, that’s not a deadlift lockout. Training this position might send your ego to the penthouse—but your deadlift could still be in the outhouse. Instead of eliminating the sticking point, you’ve changed the lift into a completely different movement with complete leverages. In effect, you’ve trained a range of motion you never actually encounter.

The Right Way to Partial

The work you do with partials will help you get past sticking points if, and only if, you do the partial lift using the same mechanics as the full lift. That’s why it can be a good idea to do your partials right after you complete the main movement, so that the movement pattern is still fresh. If you’re doing deadlifts and your technique is good, do partial deadlifts right after you finish your full range of motion deadlifts.

In the case of the deadlift, though, if you have any doubt about your partial technique—and most people should—you’d be better off improving your deadlift set-up. Most likely the error that led to the sticking point started at the bottom of the lift, and only manifested itself at that point three inches above the knee.

If this is the case, you’d benefit more by strengthening the potentially weak muscle groups by adding band or chain resistance to your deadlifts. These techniques will enable you to work through a full ROM, but will overload your muscles at the specific point in the ROM where you need more strength to help you past the sticking point. Think of them as a modified partial.

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Take A Knee And Pray For Gains With The Tebow Curl

What do Tim Tebow and Steve Weatherford have in common? Both, of course, are former NFL players now chasing down different career paths: Tebow in baseball, and Weatherford in fitness, including numerous articles, workouts, and the 9-Week True Muscle Trainer with Bodybuilding.com.

But the similarities don’t end there. Both men are also fond of “Tebowing”—aka taking a knee and striking a prayer pose, no matter what everyone around them is doing. Weatherford recently showed off the concentration curl variation he calls “Tebow curls” on his fitness-focused Instagram account Weatherfordfit.

Steve recommends supersetting these with a heavier biceps exercise—his go-to is heavy AF alternating dumbbell cheat curls—for 4 sets of 10 slow, controlled reps.

“1 second squeeze at the top, and do NOT go to full extension, stop 2 inches short of full extension to maintain tension on the bicep and recruit the Type 1 muscle fibers,” he writes.

Given how serious this former kicker has become about arm training since his retirement, we recommend following his advice.

If you want to give your entire upper body a Steve-style makeover, try his Rapid Fire Workout—heck, you could even do Tebow curls in the place of the concentration curls in that workout. Or leap into our immensely popular (and free) program True Muscle: 9 Weeks to Elite Fitness, where Steve and top strength coach Nick Tumminello give you everything you need to add muscle and athleticism head to toe.

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Samantha Leete's Sculpted Arm Workout!

Bodybuilding.com athlete Samantha Leete has something to admit: “My training right now is kind of kooky,” she says. “I just switched over to a two-a-day program in which I train for strength in the morning and follow that up with a growth-focused hypertrophy session in the afternoon.”

For this fitness model, who has always considered herself an “8-reps-or-higher kind of girl,” the morning sessions have taken some getting used to. “This is the first time I’ve done true strength training, where you work in a super-low rep range and lift heavy enough to only push out 3-5 reps max,” she says. “I was curious how this kind of training would shape my body differently, so I thought, why not test the waters and give it a try?”

Samantha’s morning strength workouts are based on compound movements—things like snatches, power cleans, pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, and push presses. “I alternate between upper and lower body depending on the day, and I pick 3-4 moves and build up to a very heavy weight,” she says. “I can’t get more than 3-4 reps most times, and sometimes I push until I reach my 2-rep max. I take longer breaks between my sets to fully recover, then go at it again.”

While she uses her mornings to try something new, Samantha still lifts to sculpt her muscles in the afternoon. “I stick to a 10-15 rep range and focus on areas I want to bring up—mainly my legs, back, shoulders, and arms,” she says.

Leete still lifts heavy, and adjusts as needed. “If I find myself surpassing that 15-rep mark, I take things up a notch and use a heavier weight,” she adds. This, paired with short, sweet rest periods of no more than 30 seconds, makes her workouts cardiovascular and saves her from endless treadmill plodding.

“These workouts also give me a great pump,” Leete says. “I especially love this arm workout, which is crazy effective for sculpting your bis and tris.”

Seated Concentration Curl

Samantha’s Weekly
Training Split

AM (Strength)
  • Monday: Upper Body
  • Tuesday: Lower Body
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Upper Body
  • Friday: Lower Body
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday:Off
PM (Hypertrophy)
  • Monday: Shoulders
  • Tuesday: Legs
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Back
  • Friday: Arms
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday:Off

Build Amazing Arms

Whether you’re looking to train for strength or hypertrophy, this is the perfect arm workout. It’s great to do when the gym is super busy and all the machines and cables are occupied. All you need is a set of dumbbells, a small cambered barbell, and a flat bench. With those tools, you’re good to go.

“I recommend warming up for about five minutes with your choice of cardio,” Samantha says. “It’s good to get your blood moving, shake off the day, and settle into the idea of training. I usually opt for a jog on the treadmill. Once you’re warm, set up your little corner and begin.”

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Samantha Leete’s Sculpted Arm Workout
Rest 30 seconds between all exercises. Rest for 60 seconds between supersets.

Superset

E-Leete Tip
Standing Dumbbell Curl

The first move in Leete’s workout is a pretty standard one: a standing dumbbell curl. The twist? “I tweak the reps a little to help produce a crazy pump,” Samantha says. “One single set consists of 12 reps done simultaneously with both arms, then 6 alternating reps per arm immediately afterwards. I rest 30 seconds, and then hit it again for a total of 4 sets. I keep my pace even and controlled and really focus on the squeeze at the top of the movement. This helps me to recruit more muscle fibers, forces them to work as hard as they can, and gets as much blood into the muscle as possible.”

Standing Dumbbell Curl

E-Leete Tip
Seated Concentration Curl

With my next move, you’ll single things out with a seated concentration curl. “I again focus on getting a pump, but in a different way: I do a one-second curl to the top followed by a four-second negative to lower to the starting position,” Samantha says. “With negatives, you can use a slightly heavier weight than normal. Keep that in mind when crushing 4 sets of these.”

E-Leete Tip
Skullcrusher

Next, give your biceps a chance to recover by hitting your triceps. You’ll use the same negative technique with skullcrushers and a cambered barbell. “I start at the top with my arms extended, then lower the barbell slowly toward my forehead for four counts,” Samantha says. “Then I extend up quickly for one count, continuing that pattern for 10-15 reps. It’s important here not to choose too heavy of a weight. Unless you have a spotter, you don’t want to fail with a barbell hovering over your forehead! Pick a weight you know you can get at least 10 reps with and adjust from there.”

Skullcrusher

E-Leete Tip
Bent-over Double-arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Bent-over double-arm dumbbell triceps extensions are next. “As with my very first move, I do a set of 12 reps with both hands together, then 6 single reps on each arm to force a pump and exhaust my triceps completely,” Samantha explains. “With extensions, remember that your elbows need to stay high the whole time; don’t let your arms slide down as the reps get tougher!”

Bent-over Single-arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

E-Leete Tip
Super Dropset: Seated Dumbbell Curls and Seated Triceps Overhead Extensions

“I like to finish my arm workout with a dropset superset of one biceps and one triceps move as a burnout,” Leete says. “The more I can exhaust these muscles, the more they will need to rebuild themselves, and the better chance I have of shaping them the way I want.”

So how does a dropset superset work? “I do one dropset of a seated biceps dumbbell curl, then one dropset of a seated triceps overhead extension,” Samantha says. “Then I rest for 60 seconds, and repeat for a total of 3 sets. For each dropset, I shoot for 10-12 reps per drop, decreasing my weight by 2-5 pounds each time.”

That kind of volume gives you great bang for your buck and will leave you feeling the workout. “At the end of this dropset, I’m lucky if I can pick up a pencil to write in my workout log!”

Seated Dumbbell Curls and Seated Triceps Overhead Extensions

Finishing Notes

“Do this workout once a week for 4 -6 weeks and shoot me a picture of your great guns on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!” says Leete. “I can’t wait to see your results!”

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Hellraiser Training: Solo Overview

Series | Training | Nutrition | Supplementation | Hell Session I | Hell Session II | Injury Prevention | Hell Session III | Hell Session IV | Solo Sessions | Week in hell

If you’ve already tried Hellraiser Training, you know that it’s a sprint through hell for you and one lucky lifting partner. I know some of you lone wolves have been stuck by the gates, unable to enter hell because you don’t have an HRT buddy. Well, today’s your lucky day. Welcome to HRT for solo lifters.

HRT Solo Sessions
Watch The Video – 7:15

Hellraiser Training, using what are called “hellcentrics,” has become one of the most popular bodybuilding partner training programs in the world. Why? Because it works like the devil.

The original program requires a training partner. Some of you have asked, “Bro, what if I don’t have one?” Well, for those of you who don’t have a lifting partner—or don’t want one—I’ve developed a highly effective solo version of Hellraiser Training.

Unlike Hellraiser using hellcentrics, you don’t need a minimum of two years of training experience. Nor do you need a dedicated spotter. You can start with HRT solo right now.

Alone in Hell

Solo HRT is a combination of regular reps and five-count negatives. You start every exercise with eight regular reps, followed immediately by six long negatives. On the six negative reps, you’ll lower the weight for roughly five seconds. Count to five out loud to get a feel for how long this takes.

If you’re doing barbell bench press and you’re on the negative portion of the lift, you’re going to slowly lower the weight at a five-count pace before pushing the weight back up. No, you won’t have the added resistance a training partner provides. However, gravity provides plenty of resistance on the negative portion of all lifts.

HRT Solo Exercise Breakdown

2 sets of 8 + 6 reps on all exercises:
4 total working sets for smaller body parts
6 total working sets for larger body parts

Example Exercises

Seated Military Press
8 reps (60-80% 1RM) – Focus on the positive
6 reps (60-80% 1RM) – 5-count negative

Barbell Curl
8 reps (60-80% 1RM) – Focus on the positive
6 reps (60-80% 1RM) – 5-count negative

Bench Press
8 reps (60-80% 1RM) – Focus on the positive
6 reps (60-80% 1RM) – 5-count negative

I developed HRT Solo so you could train by yourself, but don’t half-ass it. Constantly push yourself through the entire program.

Hellraiser Training, using what are called hellcentrics, has become one of the most popular bodybuilding partner training programs in the world

Hellraiser Training, using what are called “hellcentrics,” has become one of the most popular bodybuilding partner training programs in the world

If you are unsure of yourself on the bench press, use a Smith machine or another machine until you get a little bit more acclimated. If you use a flat bench, use one with safety racks. If you get in trouble, you can still rack the weight.

In Solo HRT, you don’t have a partner to save your ass, so pick your weights carefully. Choose one you already know you can comfortably lift for eight reps without failing. For each working set, it’s more important to finish the set than it is to fail.

Solo Session 1


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Solo Session 2


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Solo Session 3

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Solo Session 4

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Series | Training | Nutrition | Supplementation | Hell Session I | Hell Session II | Injury Prevention | Hell Session III | Hell Session IV | Solo Sessions | Week in hell

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HRT: Animal Hellraiser Trainer – Hell Workout 1, Shoulders & Arms

Series | Training | Nutrition | Supplementation | Hell Session I | Hell Session II | Injury Prevention | Hell Session III | Hell Session IV | Solo Sessions | Week in hell

In Hell Session I we’re going to hit biceps, shoulders and forearms. With me is IFBB Pro Mike Van Wyck. He’s going to demonstrate all of the lifts. I’ll be his training partner and spotter.

HRT Hell Session I
Watch The Video – 12:27

Before we destroy shoulders, we’re going to do some warmup sets of seated front presses. Mike’s going to start out with the bar only and do 10 reps to push the blood to the muscles. We’ll do three warm-up sets. Each will be a little bit heavier than the prior set.

Warmups make sure we’re prepping the muscles and pushing enough blood in there to get them ready for the Hellcentrics (the spotter applying pressure to make the lift more challenging).

  • The shoulders take a lot of punishment in bodybuilding. It’s important to hit the anterior, posterior and middle deltoids in our training to develop shoulders that make a statement on stage. That statement? “I’m here to kick your @ss!”
  • Anyway, shoulders are recruited in so many movements needed to sculpt a complete physique. Shoulder training also provides the opportunity to hit the hard-to-reach clavicular head of the pectoralis.
  • Everyone’s physique is unique in many ways. When performing these exercises, be sure to find the comfortable range of motion that best suits you.
  • In HRT we do three different exercises for complete shoulder development, with a fourth exercise added later in the week (You’ll see why this makes sense a little later.)

1

Seated Front Press

Seated Front Press

Seated Front Press

Works the anterior and middle deltoids as well as hitting the clavicular head of the pectoralis. This movement also hits the traps and even digs into the supraspinatus.


2

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

For the middle deltoid primarily. However, the anterior and posterior deltoids have to step up and guide the movement with accuracy and direction. This movement also activates the supraspinatus deep in the shoulder.


3

Barbell Front Raise

Barbell Front Raise

Barbell Front Raise

Hits the anterior deltoid primarily, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major and the short head of the biceps brachii, which warms up the biceps for their turn to be tortured.

Stretches

Now, it’s time to move into biceps, but before we do remember to get your stretches in between body parts. To get your full list of stretches, check out the recovery episode.

  • We’re going to focus on four parts when it comes to our biceps: the long and short heads known as the biceps brachii, the brachialis beneath the biceps and the brachioradialis.
  • The two movements are designed to not only maximize overall size and shape of the bicep, but also to incorporate the all important brachioradialis, which creates a nice symmetrical transition between the upper arm and forearm.

4

Barbell Curl

Barbell Curl

Barbell Curl

Works both the long and short heads as well as the brachialis, which lies beneath the long and short head. This movement also warms up the brachioradialis, which we will work harder in the next movement.

It’s important to keep your grip on the bar at a medium, comfortable position – not too narrow and not too wide. This grip keeps more equal pressure on both heads of the bicep.


5

Reverse Barbell Curl

Reverse Barbell Curl

Reverse Barbell Curl

Engages the brachioradialis primarily and also hits the biceps brachii, the brachialis and additional forearm muscles including the extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor digitorum, extensor giti minimi and extensor carpi ulnaris.

This movement will help warm up the forearms for what’s to follow.


6

Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl

Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl

Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl

The next logical movement, since the extensors are warmed up and ready to rock. When performed properly, reverse wrist curls work the majority if not all the forearm extensors.

These muscles tend to be easy to injure, so we will want to go a little easier on the forced negatives for these. Just a small amount of pressure does the trick.


7

Barbell Wrist Curl

Barbell Wrist Curl

Barbell Wrist Curl

This will finish our forearm work and leave them incredibly pumped. These hit the flexor carpi radialis, pulmaris longus, flexor carpi ulnaris, flexors difitorum superficialis and profundus.

Hell Session I


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Series | Training | Nutrition | Supplementation | Hell Session I | Hell Session II | Injury Prevention | Hell Session III | Hell Session IV | Solo Sessions | Week in hell

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4 Tasty Protein-Packed Treat Recipes!

Waffles, pies, and cookies, oh my! Break out your mixing bowls, preheat the oven, and prepare your spatulas to take on these high-protein treats from bodybuilder Bob Kupniewski, known as Cellucor’s “Chef Bob.”

He’ll help you make the most of your protein-packed meals with recipes that prove protein powder can be more than two scoops of sediment at the bottom of a shaker bottle.

Red Velvet Waffles and Cream
Cheese Frosting

Waffles are good with syrup, but frosting really takes the cake. Cover each nook and cranny of this protein-based, red-velvet-flavored creation with the wonderful texture of cream cheese and devour a good-for-you meal that only tastes like a cheat.

A stack of these to kick-start your day? Yes, please.

Ingredients
Topping/Filling
Directions
  1. Preheat waffle iron to a medium heat.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients: pancake mix, whey, baking powder, Splenda, pudding mix, and salt. Mix.
  3. Add the egg, egg white, almond milk, and yogurt.
  4. Mix with a hand blender or whisk until you achieve a batter-like consistency.
  5. Apply cooking spray to waffle iron, and pour in the batter. Cook for two minutes.
  6. Repeat the process until all the waffles are made.
  7. Microwave cream cheese for 20-25 seconds or until it starts to melt. Apply as glaze on top of the waffles.
  8. Add syrup if desired. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 waffle
Amount per serving
Calories 620
Total Fat 11g
Total Carbs 70g
Protein 50g

Red Velvet Waffles and Cream Cheese Frosting PDF (28.4 KB)

Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Protein? Win. Pie? Win. Protein pie? Win-win! Blend the light airiness of mousse with the classic flavor combination of cinnamon and pumpkin.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl: Cellucor whey, pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and Splenda.
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl: Greek yogurt, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and pumpkin.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir together to form a very thick mousse for your pie crust.
  4. Pour the mousse into the pie crust. Break up a graham cracker for extra decoration and added crunch in your mini pie.
  5. Store in fridge to thicken the mousse. Devour!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 pie (not including extra graham cracker)
Amount per serving
Calories 335
Total Fat 7g
Total Carbs 38g
Protein 30g

Note: Graham cracker would add an extra 75 calories (1.5 g fat, 14 g carbs, 0.5 g protein).

Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Mousse Pie PDF (39.1 KB)

Cellucor Peanut Butter Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie

You don’t need a roaring campfire to get down with the goodness of marshmallows. Keep warm inside while nestling up to their fluffy goodness with this protein pie recipe. Fair warning: The added combination of peanut butter and pumpkin will be enough to make your taste buds go wild.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: whey, pudding mix, Splenda, cinnamon, baking powder, and sea salt.
  3. Add in wet ingredients: egg, egg whites, Greek yogurt, almond milk, vanilla, and canned pumpkin.
  4. Spray an 8-inch springform or Pyrex pan with cooking spray. Transfer mixture into pan.
  5. Cook in oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes and then at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes.
  6. Insert a toothpick. When it comes out clean, the pie is ready.
  7. Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Set in fridge to settle for at least 3-4 hours. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 pie
Amount per serving
Calories 590
Total Fat 10g
Total Carbs 55g
Protein 70g

Cellucor PB Marshmallow COR-Performance Whey PDF (50.6 KB)

Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl Snickerdoodle Cookies

Just the word “snickerdoodle” brings up memories of rich, cinnamon-sugar cookies baked until they’re crispy around the edges yet still soft in the middle. Turn this old classic into a macro-friendly option that won’t ruin your diet—and might even help boost your gains.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Grind 1/2 cup oatmeal into a fine powder. Pour the powder into a mixing bowl and add the dry ingredients: pudding mix, PB lean, Cellucor whey, baking powder, Splenda, cinnamon, and pancake mix.
  2. Add egg and Greek yogurt. Slowly pour in water to soften the mixture. A dash of water should be enough to form a batter. Keep mixing until the batter is thick.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with cooking spray.
  4. Spoon the batter onto the sheet, leaving an inch between each dollop.
  5. These bake quickly, so check them after 7-8 minutes in the oven. The bottom should be a slightly golden-brown color and the top should be fluffy.
  6. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 675
Total Fat 11g
Total Carbs 86g
Protein 56g

Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl Snickerdoodle Cookies PDF (40.1 KB)

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20 Best Healthy Protein Pancake Recipes

It’s time to take back breakfast with our 20 best healthy protein pancake recipes! Support your fitness goals and your taste buds with this epic protein pancake collection.

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Noah Siegel's 5 Life Lessons From The Iron

Yes, lifting weights has transformed my body. I’m stronger, leaner, and more jacked now than I have ever been. However, the most important aspects of my fitness transformation are not the physical changes, but the mental fortitude and focus I’ve gained and the life lessons I’ve learned along the way.

As I look back, I realize my iron education taught me things I use in everyday life. I may have started in the gym as a 19-year-old kid trying to get strong and impress the ladies, but the relationship between me and the weights turned into something much more meaningful. Pushing, pulling, and squatting what’s probably now millions of pounds has provided me with skills that extend far beyond the gym.

Here’s what training has taught me about life:

Failure isn’t failure

If you’ve never missed a lift or reached complete muscle failure, you haven’t been pushing yourself hard enough. In order to become stronger, you must progressively overload your muscles to the point where they literally can’t do more.

In the gym, you should be purposefully trying to fail. These failures are actually steps in the right direction. Eventually, that huge deadlift PR will be yours. Eventually, you’ll have the biceps peak you’ve always wanted. But you won’t achieve these goals unless you’re constantly pushing yourself to failure.

“You won’t achieve these goals unless you’re constantly pushing yourself to failure.”

Although it might be difficult to do, try to view your failures outside the gym as attempts to build your best life. Maybe you don’t have to go through life feeling terrible every time you fail. Pushing yourself to be the best student, co-worker, parent, friend, or spouse will undoubtedly lead to some disappointments, but you can always pick the dumbbell—or whatever your implement may be—back up and try again.

The iron never lies

As Henry Rollins once wrote, “The Iron never lies to you.” It doesn’t care if you’re tired, fat, hungry, or just stupid. A barbell loaded with 250 pounds is always going to be 250 pounds, no matter how you feel. Try to blame the iron for not getting your reps, and it’ll just stare back at you. Your bad attitude won’t change the fact that the bar still weighs 250 pounds.

Don’t look to blame your inability to perform on something or someone else. Of course there are times when outside factors affect the outcome of events, but you need to ask yourself whether you’ve done everything in your power to succeed.

Lifting weights is simple: You focus all your energy on moving an implement from point A to point B. Taking this approach to other aspects of your life will help you simplify difficult tasks. There are no choices and no excuses, only focus and will.

“If you want results, you need to constantly strive for new heights.”

Do more than just show up

To be successful in life and in training, you have to do more than just show up. Don’t be that guy who simply goes through the motions. You’ve seen him in the gym; he comes in, does his curls and bench press, and then hops on a treadmill for 20 minutes. He lifts the same weights, works at the same pace, and does the same exercises over and over again. He may have been doing this for years, but his body never changes. Like everything else, he’s getting what he puts into it.

If you show up every day and do a half-assed job, you will get half-assed results. If you want results, you need to constantly strive for new heights and progressively overload. Stop doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.

Focus is a learned skill

It’s easy to tell yourself to focus, but learning how to block out the world and use tunnel vision to see the task ahead of you takes some practice. Do it first in the gym. Go over what you are about to do and see the positive result in your head before you attempt anything. When you are in the moment, there should be nothing else on your mind.

In my mind, attempting a heavy squat is the ultimate lesson in channeling your entire being into making something happen. If you attempt a max-effort squat without any previous mental preparation, you’ll get crushed.

Through the years, I’ve learned how to take this intense focus and use it to accomplish other tasks in my life. You can do the same. Once you get the hang of it in the gym, apply it to other areas of your life. If you want something badly enough, shut out all the distractions around you and do it!

“Through the years, I’ve learned how to take this intense focus and use it to accomplish other tasks in my life.”

You are capable of greatness

The most important lesson the gym has taught me is that through hard work, I can do things I never imagined possible. I changed my life because I wanted to achieve something and wouldn’t let anything get in my way.

You don’t have to be the biggest or the strongest guy in the world to learn these lessons or their practicality in life. There’s a reason many athletes are successful outside of sports. They learn to face their challenges head-on and battle through them.

Through our triumphs at the gym, we learn we can be triumphant in life.

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Your Expert Guide To CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine

When creatine first came out, it only had a little bit of research behind it. Plenty of my colleagues said, reasonably, that they weren’t going to accept it until there was more research. But guys like me, who were both in the gym and the lab, realized right away that it was extremely effective. Over the years the research has piled up, and now both camps can agree: no doubt about it, creatine is safe and effective.

CarnoSyn beta-alanine is on the track creatine was a few years ago. I’ve been talking about it for years, and now the research is piling up to show just how effective this amino acid is for muscle strength, muscle power, endurance, muscle growth, and possibly even fat loss. It’s one of the hottest supplements on the market, and it’s also one that consistently lives up to expectations.

Jim Stoppani Expert Guide CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine
Watch The Video – 2:20

Beta-alanine, I can say with plenty of experience, is great. And CarnoSyn is without a doubt the best beta-alanine you can use. Here’s what you need to know in order to get the most out of this proven performance-boosting supplement.

What is it?

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced naturally in the liver. You also get it in your diet from meat sources, such as beef and poultry. In the body, beta-alanine, whether from the liver or ingested from food or supplemental CarnoSyn, is taken up by the muscle fibers and combines with the amino acid histidine to form the dipeptide (a two amino acid protein) carnosine. Carnosine provides nearly all the benefits associated with CarnoSyn beta-alanine.

Beta-alanine is produced naturally in the liver, but can also be found in meat sources, such as beef and poultry.

What does it do?

CarnoSyn beta-alanine combines with the amino acid histidine in muscle cells to form carnosine. Having higher levels of carnosine increases performance by increasing the muscle’s buffering capacity of hydrogen (H+) ions. These are produced when lactic acid levels rise during intense exercise, such as weight training.

That lactic acid breaks down into hydrogen ions. When there are a lot of hydrogen ions in the muscle, it increases the acidity of the muscle. When the acidity increases, your ability to contract the muscle decreases. The muscle loses the ability to contract with a force, and it loses endurance. So by buffering these hydrogen ions, carnosine keeps your muscles contracting stronger for longer.

Beta-alanine also has some benefits that are separate from those of carnosine. Because of its structure, beta-alanine is now being recognized in the lab as a neurotransmitter, which means that it increases nerve firing in the central nervous system. This is one reason why many people experience a boost in alertness and energy from beta-alanine that is weaker than but similar to caffeine.

This is just one reason why it’s a good idea to take beta-alanine before workouts and why it is found in numerous pre-workout products. It’s also the reason why beta-alanine often causes that prickling sensation or “pins and needles” feeling in the skin—known as paresthesia. This feeling is completely normal and harmless, and increases with higher doses of beta-alanine.

What are the physique and performance applications?

The main reason we take beta-alanine is to buffer hydrogen ions, allowing you to maintain muscle strength and power during a workout. This doesn’t mean you can take beta-alanine, walk into the gym, and increase your bench press by 20 pounds, though.

Let’s take a typical chest workout as an example. Say you start with the bench press, move to the incline press, then do the dumbbell press, flyes, and cable crossovers, maybe 3-4 sets of each exercise. As you start the workout with the bench press, you’re not fatigued yet. You’ve got a lot of energy, and you feel strong. As you keep going, your chest muscles, shoulders, and triceps get fatigued. If you came back and did your bench press at the end of your workout, you’d notice that your strength is significantly lower than where you were at the start.

That’s muscle fatigue. You need to recover several hours, if not days, to get back to where you were at the beginning of that workout, as far as strength and endurance go. Beta-alanine helps you minimize that strength loss as you go along in your workout. So it’s not the kind of endurance where, say, a runner will really benefit from it on a long run. It’s more like strength endurance, if you will.

One of the studies that showed this was performed on boxers. Researchers had boxers simulate 3-minute rounds, and at the end of each round, they had them do a punching power test with a force transducer which measured the force of the punch. They found that when the boxers took beta-alanine they maintained significantly better punching power in the later rounds. That’s similar to the strength and power you want to maintain during your workout.

Maintaining better strength later on in a workout can be crucial to not only your strength gains, but your muscle growth. It could also help with fat loss, because you’re able to do more work. This would help you not only burn more calories during the workout, but also after the workout.

How Should I Take It?

There’s a lot of confusion about dosing when it comes to beta-alanine—both when and how much is required. It’s all over the place, depending on who you listen to and what research you look at. Some people say that the “minimum dose” is 3.2 g, and others say it is 4 g. When it comes to CarnoSyn, the branded form of beta-alanine, the minimum dose is 1.6 g.

However, this comes with a caveat. It takes longer than a single day’s dose to reach muscle saturation levels of beta-alanine. This is the same with creatine: It goes to the muscle, but you don’t start seeing much in the way of effects until your muscles are saturated with creatine. Research has shown it’s similarly important to keep those beta-alanine levels topped off, if you will.

So if you take 1.6 g of beta-alanine, you still get the same effects as if you took 3.2 grams or 4 grams, but it might take you a bit longer before you start seeing those results. This is why I recommend taking two doses of 1.5-2 g per day, one before you work out, and the other post-workout.

Since the uptake of nutrients, such as amino acids like beta-alanine, improves around workouts, I recommend taking the first dose 30-60 minutes before training. Research shows that blood levels of beta-alanine peak within 30 minutes of supplementing with it, and it completely leaves the circulation within 3 hours of consuming. So it makes sense to get a 2-3 g dose of beta-alanine 30-45 minutes before workouts and then immediately after.

“Get a 2-3 g dose of beta-alanine 30-45 minutes before workouts and then immediately after.”

Why not take it all at once? If you take a 4 g dose of beta-alanine, you’re almost definitely going to get that tingling feeling. Some people like that feeling; others don’t when it becomes excessive. It’s harmless, but in this case, it’s also avoidable.

There have also been a number of studies which show the effectiveness of split daily doses of beta-alanine. In most cases, they concluded that any two times of day work. So why do I say pre- and post-workout is best? A major reason is convenience. Are you honestly going to stop when you’re in the middle of your day, at work or at school, and say, “Oh, I need a dose of beta-alanine?” No. When during the day will you stop to focus on supplementation? Maybe when you wake up first thing in the morning, but more likely, it’s pre- and post-workout.

I often get asked if it’s necessary to take beta-alanine on a rest day. If you’re doing one of my programs like Shortcut to Shred, where you work out six days per week, taking that one day off is fine. It won’t affect your muscle saturation levels. If you’re doing a program like Shortcut to Size, where you only work out four days per week, I would recommend taking a dose or two on at least one and maybe two of your rest days.

How should I stack it?

“CarnoSyn beta-alanine is almost a standard ingredient in pre-workout mixes these days, and with good reason.”

CarnoSyn beta-alanine is almost a standard ingredient in pre-workout mixes these days, and with good reason. The slight mental boost it can impart goes well with caffeine and other amino acids like tyrosine and huperzine to increase clarity and focus.

Beta-alanine also works well with creatine. One study found that when a group took beta-alanine along with creatine for 12 weeks, it gained significantly more muscle than a group taking just creatine. So it seems to enhance creatine’s muscle-building effects, if you will.

In the same study, the subjects in the beta-alanine and creatine group also lost body fat while gaining muscle without changing their diet or workout program. The creatine-only group lost no body fat. So in my book, taking it with creatine is a no-brainer.

Are there any side effects?

Aside from the paresthesia, there are no significant side effects of taking CarnoSyn beta-alanine. That said, I can’t tell you how many people have emailed me saying, “Oh my god, I took beta-alanine, and something’s wrong with my lips and my ears.” They don’t like it. If you feel the same way or suspect you might, I would definitely recommend spacing out your doses.

What’s the bottom line?

I can’t tell you how many athletes have told me that CarnoSyn beta-alanine was a game-changer for them. If you train hard and want to get the most out of your time in the gym, I highly recommend it for your stack.

When looking for products which include beta-alanine, be sure to look for the CarnoSyn brand on the label. CarnoSyn is the only beta-alanine with more than 20 published scientific studies, supported claims, proven performance, and patent protection around the world. It’s the most trusted brand when it comes to quality, purity, and effectiveness.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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9 Killer Ways To Gain Muscle Naturally!

Today I want to share with you some quality advice on how to gain weight. Now I caution you that this is for the really skinny guy looking to really gain weight because they barely have any meat on their bones. I know what it is like when you feel like you eat all the time and have nothing to show for it. I have been there. I also understand the feelings that you feel when people start to resent you because you can eat whatever you want and not ever gain a pound. They don’t realize that to skinny guys, this is a curse more than it is a blessing at times.

However I also despise people saying that they have ‘tried everything but nothing works’. This is the biggest lie that you need to stop telling yourself. You may have tried a couple of things but trust me, you just haven’t tried the right things yet. Here are 9 tips that will help you to start to gain weight in no time at all. These are tips I have personally used and I guarantee they will work for you.

Here are my top 9 Tips to Gain Weight:

Tip 1. Train Under An Hour

You should be keeping whichever program you are doing to no more than 1 hour of duration. Be sure that you are focusing on keeping the intensity high rather than making the workout drag on. Plus, there’s no research that says marathon training sessions are better for muscle growth. Focus on keeping your rest periods under a minute and limit the small talk with other gym members.

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You should be keeping whichever program you are doing to no more than 1 hour of duration.

Tip 2. Make Eating A Habit

Listen, I know in the beginning of this post I was sympathetic to your problem, but I am also here to say, Suck It Up. I can tell you that to gain weight, you need to focus on making your meals a habit rather than an afterthought. Your body is pre-programmed with your genetic disposition. And in your case, you have a very fast metabolism that digests and burns calories quickly. Focus on having 5-6 calorie-dense meals a day spaced 2-3 hours apart so that your body is constantly being provided with something to metabolize and build muscle.

Tip 3. Stop Relying On Supplements

I have been in your shoes, and I can’t count how many times I have fallen prey to the supplement industry. You have to understand, a supplement is exactly as the name implies…A SUPPLEMENT. It is not going to make or break your gains in the gym. The only supplements I recommend are protein powder and perhaps some Gatorade after workouts.

Tip 4. Take It Easy

As naturally skinny guys, you have to stop moving around so much. It’s just a part of who you are, but you might fidget or move around a lot in the day. Learn to relax a bit more and try to limit activity outside of the gym as much as possible when outside of the gym so that your energy is put forth to good use.

Tip 5. Understand Caloric Surplus

This is another thing I am very tired of hearing. ‘No matter what I do or what I eat, I can’t gain weight’. I have heard this countless times and I am here to tell you that you are dead wrong. That’s OK, because I actually said the same thing until I realized the truth. Most people think they are eating a lot and you just may be. But no matter what you are eating, if you are not gaining, you are not eating enough. Most times, you should re-evaluate your diet as well and focus on more calorie dense foods. But you need to eat more if you are not gaining.

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Also, when changing your body composition, you will need to ‘force’ things a little bit. Your body doesn’t want to change and it doesn’t care to gain weight. You need to ‘coax’ it along and yes at times it may be a little uncomfortable.

Tip 6. Focus On Progression

As mentioned above, your workouts should really be under an hour if even that. But the main take home principle is to make sure you are progressing at a workout. It’s so simply yet so many people screw it up. They put in more volume and more until their workouts are at about 2 hours.

Now some things to work for a while and you may see some results. But if you want to gain weight, you’re better off focusing on progressing in either the number of reps or an increase in weight lifted within your main program. Just like overeating, this too will be tough and require you to push yourself to the limits.

Tip 7. Change Rep Range Every 3-4 Weeks

Unless you are making great gains and progressing like nobody’s business, I would suggest changing the rep range every 4-6 weeks to avoid plateaus. Changing the rep range will make your body adapt to the new stresscausing you to gain weight in the form of muscle.

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Changing the rep range will make your body adapt to the new stress.

Tip 8. Hit The Buffet

Remember, this is for the extreme skinny guy…But I want you to start hitting a buffet once a week. Try and position this eating frenzy after a hard workout so that the majority of calories get shuttled into the muscles which will really help you pack on those pounds and gain weight in the right places. Don’t go too overboard, but this will train your body to ‘accept’ more food and it will increase your appetite in the days to come. Take advantage of this strategy.

Tip 9. Consider A Mass Gainer

I know I bashed the supplement industry, but the truth is, if you really cannot eat any more whole foods (which is the better option) you could consider a mass gainer. A mass gainer is basically calories in the form of a shake. So instead of having rice, veggies and chicken, you could replace with a shake.

These are another option for between meals. But make sure you have three meals of real food and no more than three of these gainer shakes. Better yet, make your own shakes with fruits and protein powder. Much better option. OK, so start putting these tips into action and you should be sure to start go gain weight in no time at all.

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