Best Supplements for Beginners: Fill in the holes in your diet!

Question: Supplements. Do you need them?

Answer: If you are serious about reaching optimum health and achieving the body of your dreams then ABSOLUTELY!

I hate to break it to you but the modern Western diet is crap! Not to sound too harsh…but most of our food supply is severely lacking in the nutrients that are needed to support a healthy, active lifestyle. Often times the choices that we are given have been mostly stripped of all the vital things that make our bodies function at their best.

I could write an entire book about this topic. In fact, there are many good books that go into detail about just how bad things have become. For the purposes of this post I will just focus on the three main supplements that you need in order to create a stronger, leaner, better functioning body. In the future I will also write about other supplements that are more geared towards specific goals such as mass building, cutting fat and improving athletic performance. While all of these supplements are naturally occurring items, you should take a good health inventory before introducing any new product into your body. Ready? Great!

1. Multivitamins: Generally speaking, a multivitamin is a supplement that contains several vitamins and minerals. A good multivitamin will always contain Vitamin C, B Complex, A, E, D & K along with the minerals Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium and Iron. Multivitamins are important for providing people who don’t have the best diet with all of the daily nutritional needs that they are lacking.

Chances are, you are one of these people. You’re probably not getting your recommended daily nutritional requirements. If you are a physically active person (which I hope you are!) then you definitely need to be taking a multivitamin. There are several great “multi’s” on the market today and they are even available upon level of activity. For the average person I suggest a name brand multivitamin like Centrum. It will provide everything that you are lacking in your diet. For a hardcore athlete or weightlifter I suggest the Optimum Nutrition products or Animal Pak by Universal Nutrition. They offer basic supplementation as well as extras to support muscle growth and endurance.

universal animal-pak multivitamin

2. Whey Protein: For all of you out there attempting to build and tone muscle I cannot stress the importance of Whey Protein. Current daily dietary suggestions for anyone who is engaged in weight training are for 1 gram of protein per lb. of bodyweight. This is a minimal suggestion. For those people who are trying to gain muscle, 1.5 grams is more appropriate. For example, on a perfect day a 180 lb. man should eat 6 meals with 30 grams of protein each. This can be a difficult task for a busy person. A great way to quickly get extra protein is to scoop some Whey into your morning oatmeal. Or better yet, take a couple of scoops in a mixer cup and drink it during the day. 5 minutes and you’re done!

I’ve tried many Whey Protein brands and for most of you there will be little difference between brands. However, because I am a serious weightlifter, I prefer to have Whey Protein that also contains Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs). BCAAs are a precursor to protein and work to fuel the body with the raw building blocks that it needs immediately after intense weight training. If you are a looking to gain lots of muscle I suggest you look for a brand that has BCAAs also. Optimum Nutrition makes 100% Gold Standard Whey, which I consider to be the “Rolls Royce” of all protein powders!

Optimum 100% Gold Standard Whey Protein3. Probiotics:  I tossed around many choices for my #3 “must have” supplement like Creatine, Thermogenics (fat-burners) and Natural Caffeine. But all of these are really “extras” for the hard training, highly active athlete. I settled on Probiotics. Probiotics are absolutely necessary for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. The dictionary describes probiotics as naturally occurring live microorganisms that are beneficial to the host (You!). These little guys are miracle workers. Their proven health benefits include: the easing of bowel disorders and lactose intolerance, reduction of inflammation and even the possible reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol.

Common “Probiotic” foods are: yogurt, soy yogurt, Greek Yogurt, dark chocolate and pickles. They are also supplied in supplement form. I prefer to get my probiotics in the form of Greek Yogurt (which also has amazing protein content). But, if I were to use a probiotic supplement I would recommend the Align one-a-day brand. It promotes overall digestive health and is relatively inexpensive.

Align brand probiotics

As you can see, supplements are vital for improving your body’s functionality and taking your game to the next level. However, they should not be used in place of good dietary practices! Once you have gotten your meal content and timing down pretty well then the next step is to see how you can use supplements to fill in the small gaps in your diet. If you are strict with yourself and stick to a well-rounded diet plan then you may find that you have little need for any supplement at all. If your fitness progress has tapered off though, yet you are still working hard then consider adding one or all of the supplements found in this post into your arsenal. That’s it for now…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Supplements are used to fill in the holes of our diet. We should only use them after we have achieved proper meal timing and content!

Supplements like Multivitamins, Whey Protein and Probiotics are used to fill in the holes in our diet. We should only use them after we have achieved proper meal timing and content!

Show Santa Who’s Boss!: 5 Fitness Gifts for 2012

Holiday season is upon us and with just about 1 month until Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about stocking stuffers. We all have that person in our life that’s been talking about making fitness changes in the New Year. How about doing them a huge favor and helping them get started!

This week, I’m going to show you 5 great gift ideas that you can give to your favorite person. Alternatively, you can use these ideas as hints to “Santa” so that you’ll be ready to start 2013 with a bang!

The Dragon’s Favorite Fitness Gifts for 2012:

   1. Fitness Tracking Package: This gift is actually a combination of the three most   important items used to track fitness goals. They consist of a quality scale (I prefer EatSmart or Epica brands because of their great precision), a cloth measuring tape to measure circumference and a set of calipers to measure body fat percentage. All three items can be purchased for around $60.00.

   2. High Quality Blender: This gift is actually on my own Christmas list. I’ve been through more blenders than you can believe. When I began my journey to fitness, I realized the importance of making shakes. After several cheap blenders, I’ve finally had it with the cracked canisters, burned out motors and blades that become dull. Save your fitness chaser the time and headache by providing them with a functional, durable blender. A sturdy blender like the KitchenAid brand 5-Speed model can be obtained for around $100.00.

   3. DVD Fitness Training Program: The popularity of at home fitness programs is at an all time high. The average working person finds it hard to fit gym workouts into their schedule. They also jump into the New Year eager to join a gym only to regret the monthly commitment when money gets tight. A way to solve both problems is to get them started with any great DVD Fitness Training Program. I, of course, recommend any of the Team Beachbody programs (found here) like P90X or Insanity. While it is true that I am a Team Beachbody Coach, I must say that this company really does have the most comprehensive and most effective programs on the market. Just do a quick search and you will see that thousands of people have gotten serious results from the programs.

   4. Workout Clothes: Have a gym rat that wears the same thing every time that they go to the gym? How about a runner whose sneakers are falling apart before your eyes? Or maybe even someone that just throws their workout gear into a plastic bag when they head out for work in the morning? There are tons of options here. Everybody needs an extra set of sweats, shorts & t-shirts or a gym bag where they can store their items. Additionally, your gym guy or girl might need new workout gloves, an armband for their iPod or a lock for the gym locker. Mix and match a few items and use them as stocking stuffers.

   5. Subscription to Fitness Magazines: Nothing says extra motivation like getting a monthly reminder of what you want to look and feel like. Magazines like: Muscle & Fitness, Women’s Health / Men’s Health, Runner’s World or Yoga Journal can all be purchased for anywhere between $20 and $40 for a yearly subscription. The wealth of information far outweighs what you’ll pay for this great gift.

As you can see, it doesn’t have to cost tons of money to give a great fitness gift. Any of these items, along with your encouragement, will go a long way to motivate your loved one to get out and get moving. A few honorable mentions are: Gift certificates to all of the great healing places out there like your local Spa, Massage Therapist or Acupuncturist or purchasing a few hours from a personal trainer. This way, you are not only offering health and wellness but you are also supporting local business!

Now that you’ve gotten some ideas make sure you order early so that you’ll have them in time for the holidays. Enjoy giving your gifts as much as you enjoy getting them and remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Show Santa Who’s Boss and give the gift of fitness this year!

Stand up for yourself! : The Importance of Proper Posture (w/ guest Lindsey Miles)

This week’s very special “Pre-Thanksgiving” post returns us to one of the basic yet very important aspects of fitness. Today we will take a look at Posture. This post is brought to you by my very special guest, Lindsey Miles of Miles of Healing in Ellicott City, MD*. Lindsey is a former Occupational Therapist who now practices very unique forms of healing that deal with using postural alignment to help people become well. Before she teaches us a little more about what postural alignment is she will remind us of the importance of proper posture.



“Posture functions as an on-off switch that activates emotions;…it allows you to optimize your health without the need for increasingly common major-medical intervention driven by experts, many of whom operate on the sincere but erroneous assumption that the body is fragile, makeshift and prone to break down.”

– Let’s Lighten Up by Pete Egoscue with Roger Gittines.

Posture affects our entire body’s process. When the body is in alignment we can live a life without limitations, free from pain. For the athletic person, a body in alignment means increased strength from the body’s muscles that were intended to perform the specific task. It means no compensation with muscles that were never intended to perform a job we are asking of it. When we are compensating we are more prone to injury. For example, repeat injury on a specific body area does not improve unless we take the compensation off. If we are told we have bad knees and no cartilage how can we fix that? Surgery, pain pills, braces, ace wraps……after all the years of wear and tear is the only way, right? WRONG! How about we realign the body so the constant pressure is no longer on the knees and then the tissues are able to regenerate, eliminating pain and allowing you to complete the activity you enjoy without surgery, without pain medications, without hospitals.

It makes sense to me that if you hurt, you fix what is making you hurt. This treatment (postural alignment) works for all injuries, all pain, and is not invasive. It does not matter your fitness level, from athlete to couch potato, it gets you up, gets you moving, and changes your body’s appearance. Our philosophy at Miles of Healing is simple: Straighten then Strengthen. We straighten using poses, exercise, and movements to get the correct muscles working and moving, getting your body back to working the way it was intended. Any old injury, cast or altering of your body can alter your body’s alignment.


I’d like to thank Lindsey and her husband, Roger for their contributions to this week’s post. The work that they are doing is really interesting and beneficial to people from all walks of life. Correct posture is indeed important and if you live close to their facility, I suggest you stop by. Their website can be found here:

 Miles of Healing

Now, before you run off to chow down on that Thanksgiving feast, I’d like to leave you with a brief homework assignment that you can do and even share with your family and friends:

The Dragon’s Proper Posture Test:

  1. Find a wall.
  2. Stand with your back against it.
  3. Position yourself so that the following four points make contact with the wall:
  • Your Heels
  • Your Buttocks
  • Your upper back (rear shoulders)
  • The back of your head

4. You’re Done!

Common thought about proper posture suggests that you should stand “tall” as if you were making four points of contact with a wall. So now that you’ve tested yourself against the wall, remember that feeling and walk around with your new proper posture. It may feel strange at first but in no time you will feel much better and appear upright and strong!

Have a great time this week with family and friends and until next time, remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Proper posture can reduce pain throughout the body and help you with all of your daily activities.

* Miles of Healing Company Description:

Miles of Healing was started in August 2012. Lindsey had been an Occupational Therapist for 10 years and Roger a successful business entrepreneur. They both felt the necessity to educated and bring wellness to the area, adding their own modalities with Postural Alignment certified by Egoscue University and Bioresonance full body scans and therapy. They live in Ellicott City with their 4 children and their South African Mastiff named Holly. They are an active family that enjoy the outdoors, Bon fires, camping, hiking and spending time together as a family.

Monster Mass Building Part IV (The Finale): Wicked Wheels!

Well, here we are folks! This post marks the conclusion to The Dragon’s Monster Mass Building Training Series.  This final hardcore weightlifters’ segment is brought to you by the letter “W”. As in WICKED WHEELS. Today I will give you two workouts designed to turn those scrawny toothpicks you call legs into powerful pistons!

If you’ve been to any beach or gym you’ve noticed “That Guy”. “That Guy” is the one with a huge upper body and almost no muscle in his lower half. Sometimes he looks as if he’s going to tilt over due to the disproportions. Don’t be “That Guy”. How can you avoid this? Let’s find out after this brief message from Anatomy Professor Dragon:

The Legs

For our purposes, the legs can most easily be divided into three parts: Hamstrings, Quadriceps (Quads), and Calves. Since they function to carry the body around they are probably the most vital muscles for daily life (besides the HEART). They are also the easiest to injure because they require HEAVY weight to properly develop them. With that said, I urge complete caution when training the legs. I can’t stress this enough. Be Smart. Be Safe. Especially with Deadlifts and Squats.

  1. Hamstrings: The Hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles that are located on the upper backside of the leg. They work together to extend the hip (i.e. standing up), contract the leg (i.e. pulling the heel to the butt), help rotate the knee and propel you forward. Together they can be considered to be ½ of the thigh.
  2. Quadriceps: Quadriceps, or simply “Quads” are on the upper front and side of the leg. They are the largest muscle group of the body and consist of four heads. In actuality, the quads are a muscle group not just one muscle. They work together to extend the leg at the knee. Both the hamstrings and the quadriceps work together in unison in every physical activity, i.e. running, jumping, kicking and squatting.
  3. Calves: What we commonly call “calves” are really a group of muscles that make up the bottom half of the leg. There are many muscles that make up the calves with very long, funny sounding names including Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Tibialis and Digitorum. Let’s just stick with calves for this post. The calves help extend, contract and rotate the foot. They are also vital for propulsion, running, jumping and pivoting. Wanna jump higher, run faster and get some well deserved attention on the beach? Train your calves.
  4. Other Important Muscles: I won’t spend time describing the many other muscle groups that are worked while training the legs but you’ll also feel the burn in your Glutes (Butt) and lower back. Ok. Let’s train…

The main muscles involved in leg training are:
Calves (including the Gastrocnemius, Soleus and Tibialis)

The Dragon’s Wicked Wheels Leg Workout:

Before I give you the training program that will surely have you walking funny for days after, I will say again…BE CAREFUL and TAKE YOUR TIME. These are powerful exercises and can injure you permanently if not done properly.

Workout #1:

  • Smith Machine Squats: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 Reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Squats: 3 Sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Leg Curl: 4 Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Seated Single Leg, Leg Extension: 4 Sets x 10 reps


  • Smith Machine Standing Calf Raises (with plank or step): 5 sets in the following order – 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 reps
  • Inverted Calf Raises (Leg Press Machine): 6 (3 each) Sets x 10 reps. Alternate between 3 sets of pointing your toes inward for 10 reps. Then follow on the next set by bringing your heels together to make a “V”
  • Seated Single Leg, Toe Press Machine: 3 Sets x 10 reps

Workout #2:

  • Deadlifts: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 10 – 12 reps
  • Leg Press: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Lunges: 3 Sets x 10 reps.


  • Inverted Calf Raises (Leg Press Machine): 4 Sets x 15 – 20 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise Machine: 3 Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Seated Single Leg, Toe Press Machine:  6 sets x 10 reps

Now that we’ve come to the end of this series I’d like to remind you all about some basics to help you out in your training:

  1. Do every rep strictly and properly. Bad form leads to bad results.
  2. For anything in the 7 – 10 rep range, aim to lift 80% of your 1 rep max. This will really tear into those muscle fibers and stimulate growth.
  3. Eat Eat Eat! 1 to 1.5 G of protein is absolutely necessary to pack on lean muscle. Eat most of your carbs around workout time and make sure you get a good shake in right after you lift. Monsters don’t nibble. They devour!

Follow these guidelines closely and victory will be yours! As always, if you need more extensive help with your diet I will build a customized one for you for only 1 training hour. PayPal Accepted! Contact me here to get started…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Killer calves come from hard work and dedication. Some prime exercises for developing them include Toe Presses and all varieties of Calf Raises. Use different rep ranges and try to hit them 2 times per week!

Monster Mass Building Part III: Beastly Back & Biceps!

The Dragon’s Monster Mass Building Training Series continues this week with what may be the most intense workout yet. Today, we focus on the back and the biceps. That’s right. Consider this week’s post to be a “twofer”! This is easily one of my favorite workouts because of the insane pump that I get after doing it. Minutes after you finish you will probably curse me. Weeks after, you will thank me. Let’s get started.

The Back

Besides all of the great health benefits of having a strong back, an added bonus is the much admired “V” shape you will have. Combined with a trim waist, a barn door back will make you look like you have wings. It is a real head turner. Back workouts are typically divided into upper and lower, with most of the focus being placed on the upper back. Let’s take a look at the muscles that encompass the back:

  1. Trapezius: This large diamond shaped muscle is mostly trained with the shoulders and has been already covered here in part II.
  2. Latissimus Dorsi: Translated as “broadest muscle of the back”, the Latissimus Dorsi (AKA “lats”) are the key to having a wide wingspan. They run parallel to and outside of the Trapezius muscle. They are large and mostly flat and are responsible for extending the arms outward and upward. The most effective exercises for these muscles are pull-ups, lat pull-downs and bent over rows.
  3. Teres Major & Teres Minor: This is an “unofficial” third part to the upper back.  These “synergists” (AKA helpers) are responsible for rotating and helping the lats to move the arms outward from the body.

The back consists of:
1. Latissimus Dorsi
2. Trapezius
3. Teres Major / Teres Minor

The Dragon’s Bicep Workout immediately follows the Back Workout. During your back workout your biceps will be getting a warm-up for the work that is to come. They will become a bit “pre-fatigued” by the pull-ups and close grip lat pull-downs. By the time you end the Bicep Workout you will definitely feel a deep full burn. Now let’s learn a bit about them:

  1. Biceps: Biceps are rated the number one muscle that people associate with strength. They are the epitome of “manliness”. When you ask someone to “make a muscle” what do they do? They show off their arms. The key to obtaining bowling balls for biceps is to hit them from multiple angles and focus on a wide variety of rep ranges. Let’s get right into it after this brief introduction to the Biceps muscle. The Biceps Brachii or simply, “Biceps” is a two headed muscle that stretches from the shoulder to the elbow on the front side of the arm. It’s primary function is to bring the lower arm toward the body (flexing). Take a look….

The Bicep Brachii (or simply “Bicep”) Muscle consists of 2 heads. A variety of exercises need to be performed to effectively train both heads.

Now, let’s leave the classroom and go to the gym so we can do today’s workout.

The Dragon’s Beastly Back & Biceps Workout:

Workout #1:

  • Pull-Ups: 3 Sets x 10 – 12 reps
  • Seated “Lat” Pull-downs: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Close-grip / underhand “Lat” Pull-downs: 3 Sets x 10 reps
  • Bent over Barbell Rows: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Bent over 1 arm Dumbbell Rows: 4 Sets x 10 reps


  • Standing EZ-Bar Curls: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Concentration Curls: 3 Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Hammer Curls: 3 Sets x 10 reps
  • Chin-Ups: 2 Sets until failure

Workout #2:

  • Pull-Ups: 1 Set x 10 reps
  • Seated Cable Pull: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • T-Bar Rows: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets 5 – 7 reps
  • Lying Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 Sets x 10 reps
  • Bent Over Reverse Flys: 4 Sets x 10 reps


  • Seated EZ-Bar Curls: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 4 Working Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Standing Dumbbell Curls: 3 Sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Negative Rep Curls:  3 sets x 5 – 7 “negative” reps*
  • Chin-Ups: 3 sets 8 – 10 reps

*Negative Repetitions: Start at the contracted part of the rep (the end). Slowly lower your arm to the beginning position. Count very slowly as you lower your arm! Try to make it to a count of 50 for each rep.

Because this workout is lengthier and more intense than the previous ones it is important that you eat well so that you will have substantial fuel for both parts. Eat no more than an hour and a half and make sure you get plenty of complex carbohydrates. As always, be strict about your repetitions. Correct form far outweighs the amount of weight that you lift. No more time to waste. Go train hard and remember…

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

The Dragon’s Monster Mass Building Training Series III: Beastly Back & Bicep Workout

Mind over Matter: The Importance of Meditation!

This week’s “bonus” post is about a very important but rarely discussed aspect of fitness: Meditation.

Meditation is a technique of training the mind to be quiet and focused. It can be used to reduce stress, add a greater depth of concentration and to even help with memory and problem solving skills. In various religious cultures meditation is a spiritual practice and is held as devotional training. In other cultures, such as the sports community, meditation has recently become yet another skill to be employed in enhancing performance. The bottom line is that in this very hectic day and age people from all walks of life have reported benefit from it. We should all seek to use mindfulness as a way to create a better existence for ourselves.

I have been trained in several advanced forms of meditation and can personally attest to its power. It has assisted me in my professional career as a fitness trainer and acupuncturist. More importantly, it has helped me cope with all of the curve balls that life throws at me. I will share with you a very basic meditative technique that you can do in 15 minutes. Regular practice will lead to phenomenal results. I guarantee it!

The Dragon’s Meditation For Beginners:

  1. Sit upright in a chair with both feet firmly placed on the ground. Place your hands on your lap.
  2. Relax your shoulders and your back, easing all of the tension in your body.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Engage in 5 breaths of “Belly Breathing”. If you’re not sure how to do it you can find the directions here.
  5. Count backwards from 300. Use each breath as 1 measure. Visualize the numbers as you count. Focus on “seeing” the numbers. Choose your favorite color and shape. Don’t work too hard at getting a perfect color or shape. Just be mindful of your count.
  6. Try to maintain your count and erase all other thoughts from your mind. If you find your thoughts drifting to other things  (like what’s for dinner or which bill is due today, etc.) gently bring your attention back to the numbers.
  7. As you reach zero, slowly open your eyes and take 5 more “belly breaths”.
  8. Continue with your day.

Once you’ve successfully been able to count backwards from 300 without your thoughts drifting, increase your time to 500. Meditation can be done just about anywhere at anytime. After some practice you can even employ this technique with your eyes open and in the midst of other activities. You’ll find that you will have a greater sense of clarity and less anxiety. You may even find some additional hidden benefits commonly associated with the more “mystical” side of meditation…

At Dragon Gate Fitness, internal fitness is just as important as external fitness. For that reason I highly recommend meditation. Now go find a nice quiet space and try it out. Sky’s the limit!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Meditation is a technique of quieting and focusing the mind. Its benefits include increased concentration, improved memory and decreased stress!

Monster Mass Building Part II: Shoulders of Steel

This week we continue The Dragon’s Mega Mass Building Training Series with a post dedicated to the shoulders.The shoulder complex doesn’t just include the Deltoid muscles but the Trapezius muscles as well. They come together to give your frame a wide, strong and dominant look. Let’s take a quick look at what these muscles do:

  1. Deltoids: The Deltoids are divided into 3 parts (or heads) that essentially handle all the lifting and rotating of your arms. What’s important for you to know is that these 3 heads are divided into Anterior (front), Lateral (side) and Posterior (rear) fibers. It’s important to train all three heads equally to have nice round capped shoulders.
  2. Trapezius: The Trapezius is a large diamond shaped muscle that attaches to your mid back, fans out to the back of your shoulders and collarbone and extends all the way to the back of your head. The “Traps”, as they are called, give the impression of a thick neck and tall shoulders. They help with neck rotation, back and forth motion and raising of the shoulders (shrugging). *If you want great examples of extremely well defined (borderline scary) traps, Google actor Tom Hardy and MMA / WWE Athlete Brock Lesnar.

The “Shoulder Complex” consist of Deltoids and Trapezius Muscles

Some fortunate individuals were born with big broad boulders for deltoids and perfectly symmetrical diamonds for “Traps”. These guys have to do very little work to maintain them. The rest of us, however, have to adopt a complex training routine in order to get our shoulders to stand out.

Now, let’s get to work:

The Dragon’s Shoulders of Steel Training Program

Workout #1:

  • Shoulder Press / Military Press: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5-7 reps.“Superset” with Lateral Dumbbell Raises: 4 Sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 4 Sets x 10-12 reps
  • Upright Rows (with curl-bar):  1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps.3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Dumbbell Shrugs: 4 Sets x 15 reps

Workout #2:

  • “Arnold” Dumbbell Presses: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5-7 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Raises:        1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 10 reps
  • Reverse Cable Flys:              1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Shrugs:                 1 Warm-up Set x10 reps.  3 Working Sets x 5-7 reps
  • Machine Shoulder Press:     1 “Failure” set: Do as many as possible until failure!

As with your chest workout, you should aim to work out your shoulders every 5 days. You must work them hard at least once per week in order to make them grow. Warm-up sets get your muscles loose and prepared for the heavy workload. Don’t skip them! Each “Working” Set should be at least 5 – 7 reps, at about 80% of your 1 rep maximum. Make each repetition strict. Squeeze those muscles and go slow. If you are able to lift 7-10 reps during each set then it’s time to add on more weight. Be sure to push yourself by resting no more than 2 minutes between sets. Finally, remember, the only way you will get big is to eat big! That means lots of lean protein and proper complex carbohydrates. Need help? Go here and send me a message.

Now get to it!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Actor Tom Hardy has very well defined Trapezius and Deltoid Muscles. Great exercises to develop your shoulders and neck include Military Press, Shrugs, and Dumbbell Raises!

Monster Mass Building Part I: Creating a Colossal Chest!

This week’s post begins the first of The Dragon’s “Monster Mass Building” Training Series. For the next four weeks I will provide a workout program designed to add tons of lean muscle onto your frame. There will be one program per body part consisting of 2 different workouts that you will do for 6 weeks each. If you’ve been feeling like you’re stuck with your workouts and you want to get bigger and stronger, be sure to follow each program consistently for all 12 weeks.

My very first program is geared toward developing your Chest. Ah, the chest. Besides your arms, nothing oozes masculinity like a well-defined voluminous chest. It’s a universal symbol of strength and what separates the men from the boys!

The human chest is composed of the two Pectoral muscles:

  1. Pectoralis Major: This is the “upper”  portion of the chest and covers most of it’s surface area. It attaches at the sternum (the breast bone) and the clavicle (collar bone) and stretches from the center of your body to your shoulder.
  2. Pectoralis Minor: This is the “lower” portion of the chest and covers approximately the lower 1/3 of the surface area. It also attaches at the sternum and the upper ribs and also stretches to your shoulder.

The two muscles of the chest:
Pectoralis Major
Pectoralis Minor

Each of these muscles can be worked together with traditional exercises like the bench press and push-ups. But to get a well defined, full chest you will need to attack it from all angles. Let’s find out how to make this happen…

The Dragon’s Shirt Destroying Chest Program:

Workout #1:

  • Bench Press:  1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Flat Dumbbell Flys: 4 sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 3 sets x 10 reps

Workout #2:

  • Incline Bench Press:  1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Decline Bench Press: 1 Warm-up Set x 10 reps. 3 Working Sets x 5 – 7 reps
  • Flat Dumbbell Press: 4 Sets x 8 – 10 reps
  • Dips: 3 Sets x 10 reps

You should aim to work your chest every 5 days. If that’s not possible you must train it at least once per week! The Warm-up set listed above is designed to get your muscles loose and prepared for the heavy workload. Each “Working” Set should be  5 -7 reps, at about 80% of your 1 rep maximum. If you are able to lift 7 reps during each set then it’s time to add on more weight. Be sure to push yourself by resting no more than 2 minutes between sets. Finally, be sure your diet reflects your new lifting habits. Remember, in order to get big, you gotta eat big!

Follow this program and chisel out the chest of A Greek God!

Dream Fit. Live Fit.

“Better Body. Better Sex.” : How exercise improves your libido!

As winter approaches so do all of those warm nights with your special someone. But for many people, intimate “fun” seems more like work. As we all get older and busier with work, family, etc. we have the tendency to neglect our bodies. This poor state of fitness, combined with the decreased libido that comes with age, negatively impacts the quality of those special intimate moments.

Wanna know the #1 thing that you can do to ramp up your sex drive?

 Exercise, exercise, exercise!

Beyond any magic pill or potion, exercise has been proven to be the greatest way to turbocharge your sexual appetite and help keep things exciting.

There have been numerous studies on the impact of exercise and sexual health. The results are always the same. Regular exercise DRASTICALLY improves libido. It increases sex drive, improves the quality and duration of sex and thus leads to decreased stress and a happier life. There is a ton of information to support this research but I’ve chosen a few of the more interesting facts to share with you.

Did you know…?

  • Women who perform consistent cardio exercise (30 min per day / 3 days per week) report significantly greater psychological and physiological (body) arousal than women who do no exercise at all.
  • Only one month after men who had sedentary lifestyles began to exercise at moderate to high intensity (45-60 min per day / 3 days a week), they reported dramatic enhancement to their sex lives. This included increased frequency of intimate activity, better endurance, and an overall greater sense of pleasure.
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) has been proven to contribute to sexual dysfunction in men and women. Erectile dysfunction (men), increased pain and discomfort due to decreased blood flow (women) and lowered sex drive (both) are all common side effects of Hypertension. Regular exercise and proper diet are 2 ways to lower High Blood Pressure
  • Lower body fat (specifically around the midsection) increases the amount of blood that flows to the pelvis. This makes for easier stimulation of sex organs.
  • Stretching and Yoga are known for improving the quality of intimacy. The reason lies in the reduction of stress, increased flexibility and pliability in muscles and the opening up of blood vessels, allowing for greater flow throughout the body. This is the reason that Yoga is sometimes referred to as the greatest exercise to increase libido in Women!

Now for the fun part. Here are a few specific things you can do make the bedroom sizzle:

  1. Improve your diet.  A better diet leaves you feeling less sluggish and more energized for intimacy.
  2. Do Cardiovascular Exercise. As previously mentioned, Cardio increases your oxygen and helps improve stamina. It also gives you more energy and will increase your libido.
  3. Train with weights. Both men and women who train with weights often report more aggression and sexual desire. This is due to the increased testosterone and epinephrine. A spike in these hormones in men and women make for potent aphrodisiacs.
  4. Take a Yoga class. After reading this post, Google: “Upward Facing Dog”, “Camel” and “Butterfly” positions. In fact, do it now. I’ll wait…These three are said to be among the greatest positions for promoting a better sex life. I’ve discussed the reasons why above. Now it’s on you to start practicing!
  5. Have Sex. Sex is not only a natural, wonderful way to explore intimacy but it is great exercise in itself. For every 5 minutes of sex you can expect to burn between 5-10 calories! That’s 60 – 120 calories in an hour

As a recap, we’ve learned that multiple health studies have shown that regular exercise can drastically improve our love lives. We can keep things spicy in the bedroom by engaging in regular exercise and taking care of our bodies. Whether it’s cardio, weight training, Yoga or all of the above, you should get moving and stay moving. That special somebody in your life will be very appreciative!

I’ve laid out excellent ways to get started on your fitness journey in my other posts. If you need a personalized plan to put you on the right track, contact me here for more info: Dragon Gate Fitness Contact Info!

There’s not much more to see here, folks. Here’s wishing you exciting, hot and safe times…
Dream Fit. Live Fit.

Keep things on fire in the Bedroom by staying on top of your fitness. Cardio Exercise, Weight Training and Yoga are all great ways to improve your sexual health!

The Greatest Sports Drink of All!

Question: Which “sports” drink promotes fat loss AND also promotes muscle growth?

Answer: Water. Drink plenty of it!

This week’s “Bonus” post comes from the “Fit Tips” newsletter that I offer to all new clients. I decided to post it this week because, as with the previous post, it is a fundamental aspect of fitness. In fact, besides proper nutrition, water is the most important aspect of fitness. People way more knowledgeable about the details of human anatomy and physiology can explain exactly how water does all the miraculous things that it does better than I can. However, what’s important is that you know that you should be drinking plenty of water each day. I’m going to tell you exactly how much and also give you a few basic facts about water consumption. I’ll leave you with some very easy things that you can do to make sure you meet your daily water intake needs.

Question: How much water should I drink each day?

Answer: Ten (10) 8 oz. glasses is about 2/3 of a gallon. This is JUST enough for the average person! The more active you become, the more water you need to consume. Aim for 1 gallon per day.

Here’s some trivia to help you understand why:

  • Water makes up about 60-75% of the human body
  • Dehydration can occur with a minimal loss of water (only about 2-3%)
  • Water is a great appetite suppressant and will help burn fat
  • Water is great for detoxing the body of harsh chemicals
  • Water helps keep the skin tight and smooth
  • The more overweight you are, the more water you need. For every 25 lbs. you are overweight, you need 1 additional glass!

Now, here are some things you can do to make sure you get enough water.

1. Buy a water bottle! Simple enough. There are tons of BPA Free options out there. This way, you can carry your water with you and sip throughout the day.

2. When you’re at work, never pass by the water cooler without getting some water. It’s important to drink at least a small amount of water even when you’re not thirsty.

3. For every cup of coffee or alcohol you consume, you should be drinking 1 cup of water. (Easier said than done…I know. Give it a shot, anyway!)

4. Want some chips or something sweet? Drink a glass of water first. Then see if you still want it.

5. Mix up your water intake: Spring Water, Club Soda, Seltzer Water and Herbal Tea all count towards your daily totals.

Water serves you in so many ways. It aids in digestion, helps fuel your workouts, helps burn fat, and promotes muscle growth. As soon as you consistently up your intake you will notice a change in how you feel and subtle changes in how you look.

So now that you’ve read this GET UP AND DRINK SOME WATER!

 Dream Fit. Live Fit.

One way to drink more water is to buy a water bottle and keep it with you! There are tons of great BPA Free Options.