Build up your deltoids using bands and time under tension.

Building better and bigger shoulders doesn’t always require a gym and heavy weights. Try this resistance-band workout that work your front middle and rear deltoid muscles from James Grage that you can perform at home with minimal equipment.


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For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions taken from last week’s post on the power of pairing low-carb with fasting. First, do I have any advice for a woman who’s struggling to see results eating one meal a day? Second, how does low-carb interact with the different types of glucose tests you can take? And third, what are my thoughts on carb limits when fasting? Is lower always better? Is there a carb threshold after which fasting stops working so well?

Let’s go:

I have been dappling in low carb for nearly year and in the last 2-3 months I have been playing around with OMAD. My question is, I eat ’till I’m full ,which is about 12-18 grams of carbs, never over 100g protein and around 100g fat, sitting at 1000-1400 calories—but I’m not losing weight. Over 3 months I’ve lost about 6kg and I have about 30kg to lose. Do I keep going? I’m enjoying it but I get frustrated about the lack of weight loss (I’ve lost a dress size).

The majority of women don’t do well on one meal a day. Consider the average office worker struggling to lose weight. They do coffee for breakfast and maybe have a salad with no meat (and few calories) for lunch, struggle mightily not to eat five stale donuts at 3p.m. in the break room, only to cave at night and eat a sack of potato chips and take out while streaming some show.

My point is not that these people would do better if only they ate a solid meal for dinner rather than chips and snacks and Netflix. Nor is it that this problem only afflicts women and never men. Plenty of men do it, too, and have bad results. But it shows more quickly in women, who by nature of their reproductive physiology are simply more vulnerable to nutritional insults than men—on average. I explain the reasons this happens in this post on fasting for women. Long story short, because reproduction is far more costly and demanding on a woman’s body than a man’s (conception, pregnancy, nursing); woman are more finely attuned to caloric restriction and fasting. My point is that fasting for most of the day, every day, doesn’t work well for most women—it becomes a constant stressor, driving unhealthy cravings to which you eventually succumb.

It sounds like OMAD might not be working for you. Just one dress size (which is a better barometer than weight) in 3 months? Yeah, it might be time to try something else.

Was low carb with more frequent meals working?

I’ve seen a lot of men burn out on OMAD, too. Throw in some sleep disturbances, a heavy training schedule, work-related stress, cooking for the family, bills, and whatever other stressors modern life throws our way, and OMAD can be counterproductive.

For one thing, your calorie intake is way too low. One thousand calories is way too low; 1400 calories is really pushing it. Perpetually starving yourself for 22 hours a day and then trying to cram a big meal in that doesn’t even provide enough calories or nutrients just doesn’t work for most people. I can imagine your leptin is low, your caloric expenditure dampened, your thyroid function inhibited.

Here’s what you might try.

Do OMAD with 1000-1400 calories once a week. Twice max. Eat normal—two to three meals—the rest of the days. This way you pulse your fasting and OMAD’ing. You eat normal amounts of calories for five days a week and then drop them down low twice a week, giving your body a message of relative abundance punctuated with short bouts of scarcity.

I think that’ll work better for you. Write back with your results.

If you are low carb and need to do a glucose blood test and an A1C test: What is the best fasting times then? Just the night before or for 24 hours?

If you fast longer, shouldn’t the glucose reading be lower?

It really depends on what kind of test you take.

If you’re doing a fasting blood glucose test, fasting will probably lower it.

If you’re doing a postprandial blood glucose test, fasting will probably raise it. You’re asking your body to suddenly go from burning fat to processing 75 grams of pure glucose. The fat-based metabolism triggers transient insulin resistance, which inhibits your ability to process the glucose efficiently. Your postprandial reading will thus be higher than is “real.”

If you’re doing an HbA1c test, fasting won’t affect it. HbA1c is the “average” blood sugar over three months or so; a single meal will have no impact.

I totally agree with the science of this relationship. Mark, at what intake level of carbs are you considering this relationship no longer synergistic? Anything over 100 grams or should the carb intake be kept lower to have the greatest fat-burning / weight-loss effect?

The bulk of the synergy lies in the ease with which you can maintain the fast. Low-carb/fat-based metabolisms simply make it easier to slip into and remain in the fat-based metabolism of the fasting state. If you can easily fast, easily slip back into ketosis and maintain the fast while eating an otherwise moderate or high-carb diet, have at it. That isn’t as common as the opposite, drawing on my experience talking to hundreds of people about this.

However, some people get the best weight-loss effect by combining intermittent fasting, heavy weight training, and periodic/timed carb feeds. The trick is to time your carbs around your workouts, and eat no more than you’ve actually expended through glycogen depletion. That means you’re still in a fat-based metabolism because the carbs you do eat are going toward glycogen repletion rather than being burned for energy, so they never actually inhibit the burning of body fat.

If you’re doing CrossFit WODs that hit every muscle and leave you panting on the ground (or the equivalent), you could probably get away with 100-200 grams right after without any issues. It really depends, of course. More muscle, larger glycogen sinks. Some people just slip right back into ketosis more easily. Others have a life history that may inhibit this. But that 100-ish carbs after a “hard” training session that you feel should be a good target for most people.

You should keep fat low and protein high in these carb-heavy meals. What you want is to refill that glycogen and hit the protein hard.

That’s it for today, folks. Take care. Be sure to ask any followups or additional questions down below. Thanks for reading!


The post Dear Mark: OMAD for Women, Low-Carb Glucose Testing, and Carb Limit When Fasting appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Like fathers, like sons. Joseph Baena, son of legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, recently uploaded a photo of himself alongside Sergio Oliva Jr., son of the Oak’s former adversary and three-time Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva Sr

The latter is preparing to make his bodybuilding return at the Arnold Classic in March in Columbus, OH. 


The Next Generation! Wishing my brother the best of luck as he trains for @arnoldsports !

A post shared by Joseph Baena (@projoe2) on


Any bodybuilding fan worth their BCAAs knows the stories of Arnold vs. Sergio Sr.—“The Myth” was the only man to defeat Schwarzenegger in a Mr. Olympia contest, with that win coming in 1969. Arnold would go on to defeat Oliva in 1970 and win five more successive titles. He capped it off with an eventual seventh in 1980. 

In 1971, Oliva was controversially disqualified from competing in the Olympia and was only allowed to guest pose. The next year, he came in second behind Arnold. 

Schwarzenegger, in his 1977 autobiography Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder, wrote of the his first encounter with Oliva in 1969: “Then for the first time, I saw Sergio Oliva in person. I understood why they called him ‘the Myth.’ It was as jarring as if I’d walked into a wall. He destroyed me. He was so huge, he was so fantastic, there was no way I could even think of beating him. I admitted my defeat and felt some of my pump go away. I tried.”

Despite being such heated rivals on the stage, the two had mutual respect for each other, and now their sons are carrying on that tradition. 

In his own Instagram post, Oliva Jr. said he and Baena are not trying to be who their fathers were. “We don’t have to be who they were, just who we are meant to be.” He also complimented Baena’s physique, calling it “a huge head start” to where he was at that age. 


For years, Baena has teased competing in the Classic Physique division. But seeing this picture makes us wonder if we might ever see him climb up to the Open division and treat fans to another Schwarzenegger vs. Oliva showdown. 


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Per Bernal / M+F Magazine

Steve Cook is terrible at keeping secrets. He shares just about every aspect of his life with his 2.5 million Instagram followers. His boulder-shoulder workouts. Challenges and Q&As with his girlfriend, fellow fitfluencer Morgan Rose Moroney. What he eats in a day. His globe-trotting adventures. His adorable French bulldog, Hobbes (who himself boasts 38K IG followers). Which is why Cook was so relieved when, last September, he was finally able to reveal his biggest secret—that he was the new trainer of USA Network’s The Biggest Loser reboot. “I felt really weird not sharing things [for weeks],” he told his 1.26 million YouTube subscribers. “I had to be in total silence.” 

The popular reality competition series—which awarded $250K to the contestant who lost the highest percentage of weight—ran for 17 seasons on NBC. Cook was still in high school when it originally premiered in 2004.

“I remember watching it and just being taken aback by how intense the trainers were, especially Jillian [Michaels], and how much weight people were able to lose in a relatively short time,” Cook recalls. “I kept thinking, ‘This is crazy; I would never yell and scream like that to my clients.’ But at the same time, there were some amazing results.” 

Now the sneaker is on the other foot, and the 6’1″, 215-pound Cook is taking a holistic approach to motivating his Blue Team. The teams, with Erica Lugo as the Red Team coach, also have access to nutritionists, on-site docs, and therapists to round out their transformations.

“I always say, ‘It’s not just what you’re eating, but what’s eating you,’ ” Cook says. “He’s like the big brother I never wanted,” jokes Lugo, proving the competitive nature between Red and Blue didn’t get lost in translation for the reboot. OG trainer Bob Harper is back, this time as host, and he gave Cook some sage advice going into the season. “He said, ‘These are your babies; you are their go-to person, and they’re going to do whatever you tell them to do.’ And that’s a great responsibility, you know, that I don’t take lightly.”

Whereas Lugo used her own dramatic weight loss to connect with her team (she lost 160 pounds), Cook relied on his own upbringing and struggle with food to connect with his.

“I remember working at a restaurant and being in the back, stuffing my face full of ice cream because I didn’t want anyone to see me. I thought that I needed to look perfect. And I think that people can relate to that.”

Cook grew up in Boise, ID, the middle of seven kids. His dad was a high school coach who had the key to the weight room. Cook discovered his passion for weightlifting early on. By the sixth grade, he was benching 225. “My dad always said you either have that electricity that runs through you when you grab a dumbbell, or you don’t.” 

Cook loved the feeling of getting stronger—of course, it didn’t hurt that he was also getting more looks. “Girls would come up and ask, ‘Can I touch your pecs?’ ” he says. “It was really the first time I was like, ‘Oh, you get noticed for it.’ ”

Cook played football from the age of 7 through college, and while his team was pretty good in high school, “I learned how to lose in college,” he says. A fractured ankle derailed any shot of pursuing a career on the gridiron. Cook was one semester shy of gradu­ating. He got married, but his wife cheated


Here Cook was, a 23-year-old divorcé, back home with his parents and working as a waiter at Texas Roadhouse. It was a wake-up. “I needed something to focus on,” he says, and that’s when he started competing in natural-bodybuilding competitions. Then came the opportunity that would change his life—and career. Muscle & Fitness was staging its first-ever Male Model Search during Olympia Weekend in 2010, where the winner had a shot at landing a future cover. 

The surprising physique he wanted to aspire to? That of pro bodybuilder Steve Reeves, who crossed over into Hollywood as a sword-and-sandal star—most notably, in 1958’s Hercules. Cook would wake up at 6 a.m. every day, come home at 11 p.m., and then train for the competition and work toward finishing his biology/psychology degree. “I had no social life,” he says. “But I had a sense of purpose.” 

The M&F Male Model Search was essentially a testing ground for men’s physique, Cook says. “It was the first time you had 250 guys onstage, wearing boardshorts. There was no bodybuilding poses. The NPC and the IFBB Pro League were gauging how popular it would be, and when they saw the turnout, they’re like, ‘Oh, we do need to create a new division.’ And that’s what came about.” 

Cook was chosen as the champ. “It was like a flood of emotions. All the hard work, the sacrifices. 

I felt validation.” The victory opened up doors of opportunity. “A few months later, I won the spokesmodel search, signed up with Optimum Nutrition, traveled the world, and my fitness career at that point in time just exploded.” Cook became an IFBB Pro League competitor the following year and competed in the newly created men’s physique division at the Mr. Olympia in 2013 and 2014. Around this time, he also landed a cover with Muscle & Fitness in 2013. 

He parlayed that into a successful online coaching business. But a decade after M&F changed his life, something was still missing. The Biggest Loser filled that void. “I kind of got away from this one-on-one connection,” he says. “But when you’re helping people where this is literally life-or-death to lose weight, it really gave me kind of a renewed sense of purpose. It’s not about how we look, but how healthy we are mentally, physically, and emotionally.”

You’ll have to tune in to The Biggest Loser on USA Network to see whether Cook or Lugo coach the eventual winner, but he does promise cool new team challenges, heartfelt stories, and amazing transformations. And Cook himself was transformed by the experience. “I’ve also learned to love myself the same,” he says. “Health is not a destination but a state of mind.” 

“On The Biggest Loser, I got more into functional and body-weight workouts that test active muscular endurance and your cardiovascular system, too.” Cook says to only do one of these workouts at once. If you’re more advanced, you can try all three. 


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If you think your leg day was brutal, try doing what “Mad Scientist” Chris Duffin accomplished over the weekend. 

The online strength coach and powerlifter managed to squat 1,000 pounds—i.e. the weight of some adult horses—not once, but twice. As of about two weeks ago, according to his Instagram, he weighed around 280 pounds, meaning he squatted 3.5-times his bodyweight.


So… my fist time squatting 1000lbs and I hit it for a double… that’s gotta be a first. In the next 8 weeks I need to get my depth deeper than shown here, and get the reps higher. Definitely have my work cut out for me. This was after 971×2, 928×2 and drop set at 948lbs. – I plan to squat 1000×3 this coming March at the IHRSA show in San Diego. This will be the conclusion of my Grand Goals campaign when combined with my nearly 3 reps at a 1000lbs deadlift a few years ago. It will be done just a few weeks shy of my 43rd birthday and also be my final “feat of strength”. This is a culmination of over 30 years of training and working with some of the best minds in the world on rehab/prehab, recovery and training modalities. I couldn’t even attempt this without the knowledge and support of the Kabuki Strength Team who are directly responsible for managing my training, recovery, and much more. Wish me luck and I hope you’ll follow along as I train to squat 1000lbs for a triple. ➖ FREE AUDIO Download of my life changing book below! ➖ CO-Founder @KabukiStrengthLab VISION: A Better World Through Strength ▪️strength equipment ▪️research-based education ▪️world-class strength coaching ▪️doing good in the world @kabuki_virtualcoaching ➖ CO-Founder @BearFootAthletics ▪️ Optimizing the human to ground interface 👣 ➖ CO-Founder @BuildFastFormula ▪️Nutrition and training BEFORE supplementation ▪️ Research-backed formulas & effective dosages ▪️ full-disclosure labels & no-BS claims ▪️ manufactured in NSF-certified facilities. ➖ #kabukistrength #chrisduffin #kabukistrengthlab #powerlifting #strengthandconditioning #strengthcoach #americanmanufacturing #strong #squat #strengthtraining #weightroom #barbell #bearfoot #barefoot #buildfastformula #vasoblitz #supplements #supplementsthatwork #pump #gymlife #gymmotivation #strongman #bodybuilding #crossfit #powerlifting

A post shared by Chris Duffin (@mad_scientist_duffin) on


Duffin, co-owner and head coach of Elite Performance Center in Portland, is no stranger to monster lifts—he holds the world record for most weight lifted in one minute at 17,010 pounds (42 reps of 405 pounds). And in 2018, he squatted 800 solid-ass pounds every day for a month to raise money for the Special Olympics. Our legs are hurting just thinking about that. 

He’s previously accomplished a 1,000-pound deadlift for three reps, which is insane considering he weighs less than 300 pounds. Those lifts are usually reserved for strongmen weighing well over 400. 

Duffin’s not done yet. He plans to squat 1,000 pounds again, this time for three reps, at The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s annual convention in March. This, he says, will be his last “feat of strength,” but we don’t think anyone will blame him for hanging up the weightlifting belt after that considering he’s turning 43 shortly after. 

The planned lift will not only drop jaws, but raise money for a good cause. Duffin’s been using his online presence to raise money for the Homebuilders Foundation of Metro PD, which seeks to build homes for the homeless of Portland.



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