Controlling Your Body Fat

Controlling Your Body Fat


▪️As modern research progresses, there seems to be more data backed by the “Set Point theory” which suggest that a biological system may be responsible for metabolic changes. ⁣


▪️The research is not absolute on the matter and specific mechanisms remain unclear, but this may produce some “food for thought” to those who believe that the set point doesn’t exist. Some say that it should be preferably called “Settling point” and that it’s more involved with environmental factors rather than physiological ones. ⁣

▪️Others advocate that the two (set and settling points) can coexist and should not  be mutually exclusive, which is more likely the case.⁣


▪️I digress..⁣..

▪️Have you ever noticed your body trying to fight back when your goal is to lose body fat? As you continuously lose weight, you feel more lethargic, hungrier than normal and, before you know it, you’re back to the weight that you started with. ⁣⁣


▪️On the other side of the spectrum, when you start bulking (and do so for a while) suddenly eating all the calories becomes more difficult, hunger decreases and.. you actually start losing weight.⁣⁣


▪️How does this happen? ⁣⁣


▪️When we start losing fat, our appetite increases, and that is largely due to a hormone called leptin, which is produced by the fat cells. ⁣

▪️In other words, more triglycerides within the cell creates more Leptin, which will increase metabolic rate and decrease hunger.⁣⁣

▪️However, less triglycerides within the fat cells will lead to less Leptin, which decreases metabolic rate and increases hunger.⁣⁣⁣


▪️Based on out genetics, we tend to maintain a certain body weight and body fat, and if we start to fluctuate, then our appetite, behavior, and energy expenditure tends to adjust accordingly.⁣⁣

Reference: ⁣

Effort Exertion

Why effort exertion MATTERS for muscle growth

▪️Effort is a key factor for hypertrophy, and if you try to get away with no-effort based workouts, well… then you’re hindering the efficacy of your training program.⁣

▪️But don’t get me wrong, there are cases in which exerting high levels of effort is unnecessary. For example, beginners who are just starting out with resistance training and learning the movement can get away with putting less effort into their workouts as they gain substantial strength through improvements in coordination.

▪️But past this phase, you need to push yourself progressively, if you want to get results. The reason why effort exertion is essential for muscle growth, is because the perceived level of effort establishes the level of motor unit recruitment to be assessed. ⁣

▪️The more of the effort perceived, the higher the level of motor units recruited to perform the task, which creates a greater force to be produced.⁣

▪️When the goal is muscle growth, we need to optimize the level of motor unit recruitment. This way we are able to get access to the fibers controlled by the high-threshold motor units. These are the largest fibers and the ones which grow by lifting weights.⁣

▪️Having slow bar speeds (close or to failure) with high-effort reps will increase the amount of hypertrophy we can create during each set. So if your goal is to build muscle, start putting some more effort into your sets so you can get the best results possible.

How Often Should You Train To Failure

How Often Should You Train To Failure? 

⁣▪️The strategy of training for task failure (the point of an exercise at which we’re unable to complete another rep with that given weight) is volume phase that is directly correlated to hypertrophy. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t experience muscle growth if you don’t train to failure.

▪️As a matter of fact, the amount of volume load (reps x sets x weight) that we accumulate weekly can indicate how often we should go to failure to maximize hypertrophy.⁣

▪️Less weekly volume -> workout to task failure more often. (Even if you start to have fatigue, you still have a lot of time to recover)⁣

▪️More weekly volume -> workout to task failure less often. (By not pushing to failure often, you don’t create excessive fatigue)⁣

▪️To some capacity, the amount of training to failure that we do is inversely proportional to the amount of weekly volume and frequency we choose to work out with. This is why lower training volumes can be seen as “more efficient” ways to train.

▪️But remember a “more efficient” program is not necessarily the best program, for everyone. 

▪️Some people may dislike or not know what training to failure means. Also they may want to pick a “softer” approach which can still build muscle by increasing training frequency or total volume.

▪️Some people find no meaning in training at submaximal effort level, and may prefer a lower frequency/volume with very hard training levels. 

▪️It’s all subjective towards the individual’s preference, and many variables do dictate the variability of these recommendations. However, this model can be seen as a great starting point to understand how intricate variables such as effort, volume and frequency are and play together when creating a training program.



▪️We often hear people state that you only need a single exercise to develop a given muscle group. With the basic comprehension of anatomy and biomechanics, this could make sense. However, nothing within the range of anatomy or biomechanics is that simple.

▪️As it shows in the chart, in order to maximize tricep  development, both compound and isolation exercises are required. Since all three heads of the triceps have unique mechanical advantages at specific shoulder/elbow angles, a variety of exercises is necessary to optimize development.

▪️ Essentially every muscle group will follow this structure, so it’s important to  use a variety of exercises when you’re attempting to build and grow muscle.


Are BCAAS Useless?


▪️BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are compounds that form chains (polypeptides) in order to create proteins in the body. As we all know, protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. 

▪️However, supplementing with BCAA’s are useless once you examine what’s in the supplement vs what you’re already consuming. After you eat a meal that has protein in it, your body will shift into an anabolic state where it rebuilds the muscle broken down after a workout, given the meal contained all 9 essential amino acids. 

▪️So putting more BCAA’s into your body won’t really do anything. Besides, only taking in 3 of the 9 amino acids is not optimal either.

▪️Save your money on something that works like getting your aminos from real food or a meal program.

Protein Synthesis And Blood Flow

Protein Synthesis And Blood Flow 

▪️Anybody that goes to the gym regularly, knows about  the very tight feeling in your muscles during and after a good pump. The key factor to this tight feeling is an increase in muscle blood flow.

▪️The blood flow in your muscle ensures the delivery of oxygen, nutrients,and muscle growth. Blood flow is also responsible for the removal of waste products, such as CO2. Accordingly, a food degree of blood flow is essential for normal muscle tissue functioning.

▪️The question of the day is; how important is the increase in blood flow for the muscles to grow?

▪️Protein synthesis is the process of cells making protein which leads to building muscle.

▪️Scientists did an experiment where they gave participants a pharmaceutical agent.  After taking this pharmaceutical, their blood flow increased which led to an increased protein synthesis. 

▪️However, when they added a pharmaceutical agent that prevents the increase in blood flow, it also prevented the increase in muscle protein synthesis.

▪️This concludes that increasing blood flow increases protein synthesis. But preventing blood flow can prevent muscle protein synthesis. 

▪️Researchers are currently looking for new ways to increase capillarization and blood flow, such as different types of exercise, heating and cooling, blood flow restriction, and massage therapy techniques. 


Muscle Memory

-Muscle Memory

▪️No training leads to no stimulus, and as a result, we can experience muscle loss. ⁣

▪️Is it hard to regain lost muscle ? ⁣

▪️Studies show that, “Muscle Memory” is real, and as many of us have likely experienced, it’s far easier to rebuild lost muscle, than it is to gain it for the first time. ⁣

▪️Nonetheless, our muscle fibers appear to have an “epigenetic memory” which defines the changes that the cell’s DNA undergoes, including information regarding its previous size. ⁣

▪️Although we experience muscle loss pretty fast after a period of detraining, we don’t actually lose the number of myonuclei. This makes it much easier to rebuild lost muscle once we’re back to working out. ⁣

▪️Furthermore, motor unit recruitment seems to decrease slowly in comparison to muscle size. ⁣

▪️This signifies that once we’re back to working out, we’ll be able to still recruit a decent amount of muscle fibers, and still use high amounts of force, in contrast to when we previously started training, which will allow muscle regrowth to arise at a much faster rate.


Overhead Press

✔️Overhead Press

▪️If you wan’t to grow bigger and stronger shoulders, the Overhead Press is a great compound exercise to take you there!

▪️It’s one of the best exercises for progressively overload your deltoids to improve size and strength in your shoulders.

▪️You can do the exercise with either dumbbells or barbell, seated or standing.

▪️When you perform it standing, you’re recruiting your Pectoralis (chest), Deltoids (shoulders), Triceps (arms), and Trapezius (upper back). But to stay balanced and upright, your Lower Back, Obliques, Serratus Anterior, Transverse Abdominal and Spinal Stabilizers are engaged.

▪️Also, keep your Glutes and Abs engaged to press the weight up with stability.

▪️Make sure you have enough shoulder mobility to perform this exercise correctly, otherwise you might compensate by overarching and hurt your back and shoulders.

▪️A good solution is to add Wall Angels to your routine and foam roll your lats before Overhead Pressing.

Sign up for the Muscle Hackers Club:

Cardio Before Or After Workout?

Cardio Before Or After Weight Training?

▪️Have you ever done a weightlifting session after a long period of cardio? It’s more exhausting than anything that you can think of. When I step up to the weight rack after 90 minutes of basketball, my energy and strength stores are depleted. Every time I play ball before lifting, I have the worst workout sessions. 

▪️On the flip side, if I play ball after my workout sessions, I feel fresh and energized. I’ve learned that lifting before cardio is much better for fat loss and workout energy efficiency. It takes tons of energy to move heavy weights; don’t zap it all by running on the treadmill beforehand. 

▪️To attain  “shreddedness,” your body has to use your stored fat as fuel for exercise. In order to accomplish this, you have to burn off your glycogen stores first. When you workout, you typically use glycogen as fuel. By doing weight-training first, you can burn most of your glycogen stores. Knocking out your cardio after you demolish the weights will burn more fat!

▪️After a training session, your body continues to burn additional calories up to 48 hours. This is callef excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. EPOC occurs because your body needs energy to rebuild  your muscles after you’ve taxed them. It occurs at an extreme rate after intense weight-training than after low-intensity, steady-state cardiovascular training; that’s why it’s important to put as much energy into your workout sessions. If you do steady-state cardio before you workout, you won’t have the endurance to work as hard as you can. A less productive lifting session can impact EPOC. Less calorie burn for you. 

▪️A University of Tokyo Study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that doing cardio after lifting burned more fat during the first 15 minutes of the cardio session than doing cardio before working out . Don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Spend one day hitting weights before your cardio and another running before you hit the weights.

▪️You’ll be able to tell which strategy works the best.


5 Ways To Build Muscle

▪️Patience is overvalued; especially within the weight room and particularly when it involves those focused on a specific outcome: 

▪️Sure it takes time to build muscles, but if you’re trying to build muscle and aren’t seeing obvious size increases from month to month, it’s a sign that your approach is off.

▪️And a workout may be a terrible thing to waste. Plus, if you’re seeing progress, there’s no reason you can’t see more.

▪️How do you rev up your results? Here are 5 ways.

1. Increase Your Training Volume

▪️Training volume—your number of reps multiplied by your number of sets—is a primary determiner of hypertrophy (aka the way to grow muscle). And to extend volume, you’ll really need to lower the weight than you would expect.

2. Focus On The Eccentric Phase

▪️When weight training, you’ve got a concentric (hard) and eccentric (easy) phase.  For example , as you lower into a squat, you’re performing an eccentric movement. Once you return to standing, that’s concentric. And, according to research published within the ecu Journal of Applied Physiology, eccentric work is much better at activating muscle growth. 

3. Decrease Rest Intervals

▪️When lifting for hypertrophy, rest periods of 30 to 90 seconds encourage a fast release in muscle-building hormones (including testosterone and human growth hormone) while also ensuring that you truly fatigue your muscles.

4. To Grow Your Muscle, Eat More Protein

▪️Weight training breaks down your muscles. Protein rebuilds them. The more intense your workouts, the more important it is to consume protein to solidify recovery.

5. Focus On Being In A Calorie Surplus 

▪️This can be hard to get used to , especially for those who are used to counting calories within the hopes to burn fat. But to most efficiently  build muscle mass quickly (that means weight gained, not lost), you have to consume more calories than you burn every day.

▪️That’s because, when your body senses that you are in a calorie deficit which means that you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning each day—it lowers your body’s ability to create new muscle. After all, if your body thinks food is on low supply, getting swole isn’t going to be its main priority.

▪️Consume roughly between 250 to 500 extra calories per day to make sure that any weight gained is from muscle. A 2014 Pennington Biomedical research facility concluded from a study of people that ate a high-calorie diet rich in protein stored about 45 percent of these calories as muscle, while people following a low-protein diet with an equivalent number of calories stored 95 percent of these calories as fat.