Archive for the ‘strengthtraining’ Category

Today’s post is about what it takes to build an impressive physique that will make you double take three times.

I thought it would be best to have a conversation with a guy who not only has an impressive physique, but has won a competition, my good friend and former colleague, Walter Fune.

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1. You were a pretty well known athlete growing up.  How has that helped you in your transition to becoming a physique competitor?
It was after high school I realized how much sports can really help you in life. Doing something you love and putting all your hard work into it and then becoming successful in it is rewarding. And you can use that same mindset and apply it to other things in life to accomplish almost anything. I ran track in high school and competed at the states championship as early as my freshmen year. What helped make the transition from track to competing in Men’s Physique a lot smoother are the individual events. Run your own race as they say. It’s just you and the track. Only difference now is, “It’s you and the stage”. And the thing with bodybuilding that some people don’t get is that they focus on other people they are competing against instead of themselves. Do that and I promise you, you will fail. It’s all about improving yourself each time you get on that stage.
2. What was it like prepping for your first show?
The first show I did was back in 2013. And just like everything else when you do things for the first time, you get nervous. It was suppose to be a bucket list thing. Place top three and check it off my list. I didn’t know how I would place compared to the competition. I went through some tough times during that stretch leading up to the show. I decided I was gonna move to Oahu (from Maui) to kind of start off fresh somewhere else. What better way to start off my transition with a show. I had asked some advice from people who have competed. I didn’t really focus too much on the diet being that I was already lean. I just remember eating a lot of healthy foods like kale, sweet potato, chicken breast without much thought about the carb intake. To sum it up, I guestimated my macros ‚ÄĒ I didn’t weigh out my foods. I ended up placing 4th in my height class. I didn’t feel too bad though because I was surprised I looked pretty good and even made top five. I pay attention to detail, and I thought my shoulders and chest looked the best out of all of the competitors. Following the competition, it just fueled me to do it again knowing how close I was to placing top three. What became a check off the bucket list became an addiction to improving all my weaknesses.
3. Amazing. Let’s talk about training and nutrition. Now that you’ve got more experience under your belt, how does your diet and training look like when your prepping for a show?
After my first show, I tried carb-cycling and that has done wonders for me compared to slowly lowering carbs. It was the leanest I’ve ever been! I did those 5x/week with a moderate and high carb days in between to refuel. Training doesn’t change much. Sticking to the plan that’s laid out and remaining consistent is paramount. It was always about retaining as much muscle as possible while leaning out.
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4. Cardio is always a hot topic with regards to getting lean. How much cardio do you do?
I don’t really do much cardio. In the off-season, I place a premium on strength training. When it’s time to lean out I do cardio 4-5 times a week. That said, If I start early I do steady-state cardio for about 30-40min. Couple of those days are fasted cardio. I often implement high intensity intervals 2-3x/week because I’ve found it’s the best way to lean out, while minimizing muscle loss. One thing you have to remember is that the faster you lean out, you sacrifice more muscle tissue. That is why I’m a huge proponent of the slow process because you give your body some time to adjust.
5. Would you recommend your approach to other people?
 What works for me might not work for others, so I highly advise others to experiment with what works best for them.  It also helps to have a knowledgeable trainer or coach who can guide you. Success is never achieved alone.
6. We were still colleagues back at 24 Hour Fitness when you won your first competition back in 2014, so I have to ask. How did you balance being a full-time personal trainer and win overall in the Stingrey?

I would have to say prepping for that show was the most difficult out of the three I did. The most pertinent issue was obviously time management. It was a challenging task for me to stay focused while still programming my clients’ training.¬† There were days where I just didn’t want to do anything. I would lay there in bed after a long busy day at work and contemplate getting up or just sleeping in. But I would always pep-talk myself.¬†I made a checklist of things I needed to do on a daily basis ‚ÄĒ meal and supplement timing around training clients as well as when to fit in the workout. I’m goal-oriented so that’s what really helped me in the long run.

7. You put on muscle in a heart beat. In addition to being a freak of nature when it comes to pure aesthetics, you competed in a powerlifting meet.  What are your lifts in the Big 3?

Out of the three, the Deadlift is my strongest lift and the only one I’ve competed in (with a record under my name). I pulled 425lbs at 147lbs that broke previous record of 419lbs. My strongest lift for bench was 275lbs. For squats, I’ve done 315lbs for 10 reps and maxed out at 365lbs at my peak.
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 8. Beast! Any plans competing in nationals?
Yes. There are several national shows coming up during the summer. I plan on doing the one in Las Vegas in July. However, my coach wants me to do a California state show before that one to see how I do against stronger competition on the mainland first. I know for sure I need to get bigger since everything is bigger on the mainland. But I’ve also heard that this year they’re going to decrease the emphasis on size and more on symmetry and aesthetics. That gives me hope to one day earn my IFBB pro card.
 9. Thank you for your time, Walter. Last question though, where can people follow you?
Thank you for the opportunity Dre! You can find me on Facebook, Walter Fune, and on instagram @iwalle64.

“We’re almost going home!”

“Psst! We’re going home!”

“Just a few more days!”

That’s what Lauri Ann keeps reminding me as I wake up every morning. All I can¬†think about was just how awesome Star Wars was. Suffice it to say, I am pretty excited that I get to be home with my family for the holidays. It’s tough being away when you’re trying to climb the proverbial ladder of success, so to speak.

The predicament I always seem to¬†have when I’m back home though, is trying to stay on track with my¬†nutrition. ¬†Call me bias, but I think Saipan makes the best food (Hawaii would be second on my list), so it’s pretty obvious as to why I have such a difficult time staying on track. ¬†The food is just too damn good!

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Saipan

With 2015 coming to a close, the vast majority are¬†getting ready to hop on the “get fit”¬†wagon in hopes of becoming a better version of themselves. They’re all probably going to start “eating clean” and cut back on carbohydrate rich foods such as rice and bread, in an attempt to start strong on their new year’s resolution.

Let me make this clear: Carbohydrates are not inherently fattening. *Gasp*

What?!

You heard me… carbs are not fattening.

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Much like fat back in the early 90’s (when I was still in diapers), carbs are being demonized for the cause of weight gain. People who are looking to get lean are quick to dismiss certain foods that are high in carbs. ¬†While it has been shown that a reduction in carbohydrates are extremely beneficial for fat loss (topic for another day), it’s not the real cause of why we’re failing miserably to get the body we want.

Get Your Protein, You Must

In reality, many of us don’t get enough protein in our diet. ¬†Funny thing, before I started to meticulously track my clients macronutrient intake, they weren’t getting enough protein either. Earlier this month, I came across an article online¬†on protein intake and why we necessarily don’t need that much. ¬†Interestingly enough, the author stated that we only need 40-60g of protein. All I could do was scratch my head at such misleading information ‚ÄĒ don’t believe everything you read, folks.

Without a doubt, the most important macronutrient for fat loss and improving body composition is, protein. People don’t realize that it does such a good job at increasing your metabolism and limiting hunger. It’s damn near impossible to find a fit person¬†who doesn’t consume¬†a moderate to high protein diet. If you’re adamant on living a sedentary lifestyle then yes, a minimal intake will suffice. ¬†However, that minimalistic approach just won’t do,¬†when your goal is to get lean.

Strength training is catabolic (breakdown), so when you’re strength training on a consistent basis, you’re increasing the rate of muscle-protein breakdown, with the goal of building more muscle, so eating minimal amounts of protein isn’t going to give your body enough supply to rebuild itself. ¬†Hit the gym and get your protein; supply and demand.

How Much?

It is suggested that athletes or highly active individuals should make it a priority to get in anywhere from 0.68 – 1¬†gram per pound of bodyweight. ¬†If you weigh 160 pounds, your daily protein intake should range from 108 grams to 160¬†grams. ¬†Now just to make things clear, this is purely dependent¬†on your goals and activity level. If you are training to build muscle and/or preserve what you have while losing fat, then you should absolutely make it a priority to consume a high amount. With most of my clients, I’ve found a gram per pound to be just right. The only time I’ll increase their protein intake above that mark is if I reduce their daily calories.

Obviously, the take home message here is to eat protein in every meal and combine nutrient-dense vegetables with sources of protein and fats such as meats, eggs, seafood, and dairy for sustainable fat loss and improvements in body composition.

And as always, don’t forget to continually get stronger in the gym.

 

If you’ve found this article to be informative, please share and/or comment below.

I’ve been seeing quite a few trainers do a lot of¬†questionable things recently and it has me wondering, “What the hell are you doing?!” Considering I’ve only been a strength coach for two years, I’ve progressed fairly quickly in terms of gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to make an impact. ¬†Much of that can be attributed to¬†having great mentors, and I was very fortunate to have worked with like-minded individuals when I started at 24 Hour Fitness.

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24 Hour Fitness – Bishop St. Honolulu, HI

While other coaches and trainers may not have had the same opportunities, that doesn’t negate the fact that they should take the time to continually improve as a fitness professional ‚ÄĒ or as I like to put it, sharpening the sword. ¬†I cringe every time I see a coach or trainer¬†putting their clients through ridiculous workouts. ¬†I’m not one to criticize, but you’re doing a disservice to your clients ¬†if all you’re trying to do is impress them. ¬†Educating them should be the number one priority, period. Below are two¬†stupid things coaches do.

1. Plyometric Conditioning

 

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Movements that require a high amount of force production should be taken lightly when it comes to conditioning work. Treating box jumps as a means for improving endurance is asinine. I’ve said this time and time again, the purpose of plyometric work is to learn how to generate force ‚ÄĒ but more so, how to absorb it. ¬†Taking your clients and having them¬†repetitively do rebounding box jumps in a circuit fashion defeats the purpose. Training should yield some positive results. I can stand right in front of you and tell you to give me 20 burpees and 20 box jumps for three rounds, but the only thing you will have gotten in return is a “workout.”

The goal of implementing conditioning work is to elevate your heart rate, and improve both muscular and cardiovascular endurance.¬†There are types of movements that don’t require a lot of coordination and those are the ones you can have your clients grind through. ¬†Incorporating¬†prowler/plate pushes, medicine ball stomps, battle ropes and kettlebell variations are much better choices than the former.

2. Lack of Assessment and Individualization

 

It amazes me how many coaches and trainers don’t even bother to thoroughly assess their clients. ¬†Joint congruency and structural integrity should be prioritized before anything else. ¬†Moreover, assessing allows you to individualize your strength program for each client. ¬†It gives you insight as to what movements are applicable to them. For instance, incorporating a boat load of mobility work with someone who is already hypermobile to begin with is counter-productive. ¬†Conversely, some may need to spend an ample amount of time doing mobility work in order to perform at a high level.

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What I’m trying to convey is that completely disregarding an individual’s limitations and restrictions at the expense of burning calories is irresponsible and is the very reason why our profession¬†still gets a bad rap.¬†Every aspect of the training program should differ from one individual to the next¬†‚ÄĒ this is critical as a coach. ¬†You have to respect each and every individual’s¬†anatomy and anthropometry.¬†Training programs should not be the same across the board. ¬†Take the time to evaluate your clients.

Takeaway

 

As coaches, it’s our moral obligation to motivate and push our clients so that they can perform at their best and yield the results. Granted, there are much more stupid things coaches do, but I’ve narrowed it down to the ones I see most.

And please, for the love of God, stop with the kipping pull ups and burpee box jumps.

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