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Our finned friends offer a wealth of muscle-building might and body-leaning support, both from protein and other nutrients. When it comes to protein, fish skeletal muscle is molecularly similar to mammalian skeletal muscle and offers the same 6-7 g of protein per oz., but is typically leaner. For instance, water-packed tuna derives more than 80 percent of its calories from protein, just one reason it has long been a favorite snack for athletes of all types.

The appeal goes beyond just protein. A 165 g can of tuna contains more than 3 g of leucine, the branched-chain amino acid most responsible for stimulating MPS. Tuna is also one of the best dietary sources of the amino acid arginine, which can support blood flow via nitric oxide production. That same can contains 2.5 g of arginine, as well as healthy blasts of iron, niacin, and vitamin B12. Fish also provides creatine at about the same level as beef, at approximately 1 g per 8 oz. in the case of tuna.

Fish is also the single best source of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. You can get some EPA indirectly from non-meat sources like nuts and seeds, but DHA comes only from seafood. These special fats are unique in many ways, but when it comes to muscle, researchers have reported that when people consumed fish oil supplement providing a little more than 3 grams of EPA and DHA for eight weeks, their MPS was optimized in response to eating.10,11 In addition, omega-3 fats have been reported to help improve aspects of exercise recovery like reducing inflammation and soreness.12 One last exciting area of fish oil application is the ability of omega-3 fats to potentially support optimal testosterone formation.


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For many, the sizzle of grilling beef is the sound of celebration. For athletes and weight trainers, it’s also the sound of protein on the way.

Unlike plant-based protein sources, beef is densely packed with the same types of proteins humans are made of: skeletal muscle proteins like myosin, actin, and troponins, as well as collagen and other connective tissue proteins. Typically animal meat is more than 80 percent protein on a dry-weight basis. Assuming leaner cuts, the protein content of beef rivals fish and poultry at about 6-7 g per oz. depending on the cut. For maximum muscle impact with minimum calories, look for rounds or loins, which are extra-lean meat cuts.

Beef is more than just a piece of charbroiled protein. It is also a major source of micronutrients including vitamin B12 and the minerals phosphorous, iron, and zinc, all of which are crucial in muscle-building and athletic performance. It’s also a key source of carnosine, the dipeptide which releases beta-alanine during digestion; and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a healthy fat that’s been connected in studies to decreased body fat, among other benefits.

Beef is also one of most concentrated food sources of creatine, which it delivers to the tune of 1 g for every 8 oz. of meat. Creatine is a potent anaerobic backup energy reserve in muscle cells, usually applied during the first few seconds of high intensity muscle actions like weight training reps and sprints. It can also help increase mitochondria content in growing muscle cells, providing additional cellular energy for use in recovery and adaptation. In addition, creatine can draw and hold water into cells, which in turn supports additional protein-building.

When it comes to supplements, there are few options for beef protein concentrates or isolates. If you find one, make sure its protein is derived from meat tissue, not collagen. Intact collagen is poorly digested and contributes little to MPS, and hydrolyzed collagen isn’t much better. Go with real beef for real results!

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Don’t Cut Your Fats

Fatty acids must be available in the body to create cholesterol, which is eventually converted to testosterone. If fat intake is too low, there won’t be enough fatty acids available for optimal testosterone production.

This leads to lower testosterone levels, which lead to greater muscle loss during prep. The two combine to lower your metabolic rate.

The body also has a built-in adaptive response to chronically low dietary fat intake. When it senses an extremely low intake of fat, your body naturally tries to hold on to body fat stores, since fats are at a premium. Moderate amounts of fat intake will ensure that calories are low enough for fat loss, but that the body does not perceive starvation.

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Fat Loss

Fat loss should not be rushed. It takes time, and plenty of it. Aim to lose no more than two pounds of fat per week, and preferably closer to a rate of 1-1.5 pounds. This ensures that muscle loss is minimized. Muscle tissue consumes calories all the time. You don’t want to cannibalize this metabolically critical tissue.

Another part of being patient is learning to make minor changes to the diet rather than massive cuts. As soon as you make a change, whether it be cutting carbs or increasing cardio, your body will immediately begin adapting to the change. Every change you make to increase fat loss is a tool in your kit. Do not use all of your tools in the first few weeks.

If fat loss stalls and you cannot cut calories any lower and already do hours of cardio per day, you’re stuck. For personal tailored diet plans, feel free to contact me at Krunch Gym on or 01992 764433.

Neale Cranwell


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Don’t avoid fats

Most notable of the effects of healthy fats is reducing inflammation, increasing heart health, and lowering blood cholesterol. The fats you should be looking for are poly and mono-unsaturated fats, they are never solid at room temperature (ex: butter vs. olive oil). An easy way to up your dietary fats is to buy some peanut butter and eat your chicken breasts/turkey sandwich with oil and vinegar for flavour.

Supplementing with Omega 3 or eating fish at least twice a week is highly recommended as well. Omega 3 fatty acids help to keep blood pressure in check (bodybuilders put there blood pressure through the roof every time they’re in the gym), decrease triglyceride levels (blood fats), which can aid in the decrease of atherosclerotic plaque (reducing plaque that causes blood clots) and reducing your chances of heart disease in general. As well as aiding in reducing inflammation; this is good for your immune system and joints.


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Muscle Growth

Muscle growth happens in spurts. No matter how much we might want it to be, it isn’t a non-stop process that just goes on forever without interruption. If you’re stubborn and try to force your body to grow nonstop, it will fight back with all the negative training symptoms of plateaus, over-training, burnout, and injuries.

You may already have experienced some of these things firsthand when it comes to training, or at least you know people who have. Well, it applies to nutrition, too. You can’t force-feed your muscles into growth simply by overloading them with more and more calories. Trying to force-feed your body will only work for a limited period of time and will ultimately result in poor health, bad habits, excessive fat, and a ruined physique.


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Help for the hardgainer

Your nutrition: Do not include to include high-volume, low-calorie foods in your diet. They won’t help you reach your target calorie intake. Don’t stuff your stomach with mountains of low-cal carrots; instead, focus on eating calorie-dense foods. To add lean muscle mass, most hardgainers require at least 20 calories per pound of bodyweight. If you’re eating all those calories in high volumes of veggies, fruits, egg whites and cooked oatmeal, you’re going to struggle. This isn’t to say these foods aren’t healthy choices, they’re just not ideal for the hardgainer. Choose calorie-dense picks like pureed vegetables, dried fruit, whole eggs, raw oatmeal and steak.

Sleep:  If you aren’t sleeping enough each night, it’s going to dramatically impact your progress. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep; get nine if you can. Hitting the gym before you’re recovered will just further break down your body – not what you want. Rest, recover, sleep and grow!

Add calories to your drink: In addition to your pre- and post-workout protein shakes, make an effort to drink AT LEAST one more shake per day. Include as many calorie-dense ingredients in this shake as possible: natural nut butters, ground flaxseed, coconut oil, ground or raw oats, milk powder, frozen fruit, Greek yogurt and/or cottage cheese. If you have a really hard time hitting your calorie totals, pick up a weight gainer.

Weight training: Focus on movements like shoulder press, bench press, and incline press. These lifts will target large muscle groups along with the smaller arm muscles. For a hardgainer, less volume is usually better. Set heavy weight goals and leave out the extra fluff. Focus on the compound moves for maximum mass.

Cardio:  When done correctly, there is a place for cardio in a hardgainer’s program. Plus you never want to ignore your most important muscle: your heart. Big muscles don’t stay big long in a coffin. You want to put on size and stay healthy. For optimal results, keep cardio to low or moderate intensity for 20-to-30 minutes. Two or three cardio sessions per week will keep your heart healthy, improve nutrient delivery to muscle cells and may even boost your recovery time.

Lift big, lift heavy: Since your primary focus needs to be on lifting heavy, keep your rep range low, like 6-to-10. Because you’re cutting isolation movements anyway, you won’t need to spend 10-to-15 reps on your triceps.

Rest between sets:  Because you’re lifting such heavy weight, extend your rest periods to regain maximum strength. If you’re used to 30 seconds of rest, I’ve got news for you – longer rest means more strength per set, which leads to weight, more reps at that weight, better total growth. Try for two-to-three minutes between sets. If you force yourself perform another set before you’re recovered, you won’t see optimal progress. Allow the body the time it needs to recover.

Fats: Healthy fats are the hardgainer’s best friend because they’re calorie dense and loaded with muscle-building benefits. Don’t sacrifice your carbohydrate consumption for fats; both need to be included in your hardgainer diet plan.

Carbs: Load up on carbs after a workout! After training, your body is in prime muscle-building and repair mode, so give your body the nutrients it needs to replenish glycogen and spur recovery. Post-workout, you should choose simple carbs like dextrose, maltodextrin, waxy maize orVitargo. If you normally skip carbs post-workout, this should be your first tweak. The results you experience will be almost immediate – fuller muscles, faster recovery, and increased strength.

Keep going: Building muscle takes time, hardgainer or otherwise. It takes patience, consistency and hard work. You play the iron game for life. If you’re stuck in the mud after a few months of training, eat more, lift heavier and eat more. Don’t give up. Increase your calorie intake, increase your training intensity and increase your gains.

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Why do I succeed?

I succeed because I am willing to do the things you are not.

I will fight against the odds.

I will sacrifice.

I am not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt.

I feel those emotions—drink them in and then swallow them away to the blackness of hell.

I am motivated by accomplishment, not pride.

Pride consumes the weak—kills their heart from within.

If I fall, I will get up. If I am beaten, I will return.

I will never stop getting better. I will never give up, ever.

That is why I succeed


Everyone measures their level of success differently. To some, having the house of their dreams is their definition of success, or having a powerful job that takes the to the far corners of the earth. To me, success is measured by my level of happiness, which is determined by my willingness and ability to meet the goals I set for myself.  Being happy, and successful, is having good relationships, great friends, an unconventional family and the ability to look in the mirror everyday and say, “you’re a good person!”

Whether it’s accomplishing a physical goal like the Ironman, teaching a yoga class for the first time or starting this website, each one started with the first step  because of my willingness to overcome the fear and the definition of success I had laid out before me.



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Nutrition Tip For Muscle Building

Eat at least 6 quality small meals per day. Eating more meals per day increases the body’s metabolism, gives you a constant flow of energy and reduces the likelihood of your body storing your food as fat. You need to shift away from the “3 meals a day” mentality – those days are over. You should only feed your body with what it requires, not how much can fit in your stomach.

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Omega 3 & Omega 6

Both the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids belong to a group of polyunsaturated fats called ‘essential’ because they are necessary to life and to health yet we cannot make them in the body – they must be obtained from diet. They cannot be inter-converted and both must be present in the diet in a proper balance for good health.

Their differences lie in their chemical structure and their roles in the body.

As polyunsaturated fatty acids, both the omega-6 and the omega-3 families have more than one double bond in the carbon chain. All fatty acids in the omega-6 family contain their first double bond between the 6th and 7th carbon atoms (counted from the methyl (CH3) terminal carbon atom and the omega-3 family of fatty acids have their first double bond between the 3rd and 4th carbon atom.

Both families of fatty acids are vital components of membranes and are used by the body in the production of eicosanoids, a vast range of highly bioactive substances (prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and lipoxins) but the activity of these metabolites varies. For example, the eicosanoids derived from omega-6 are in general more active (or reactive) than those produced from omega-3 and omega-6 is aggregatory whereas oega-6 is pro-aggregatory.

Basically, the omega-3s have anti-inflammatory benefits and help prevent heart disease, whereas omega-6s lower blood cholesterol and support the skin.

Like all fats, EFAs provide energy. Their calorific value is similar to other fats and oils but, unlike saturated fats, they have important health roles. In fact, as their name suggest, they are essential and must be consumed regularly as the body has limited storage for them.

Both of the important EFA families – omega-6 and omega-3 – are components of nerve cells and cellular membranes. They are converted by the body into eicosanoids, leukotrienes and prostaglandins – all of which are needed on a second-by-second basis by most tissue activities in the body.

Sources of Omega 3 Fats:

Cold water fish, tuna, cod liver, halibut, herring, mackerel, trout, salmon, sardines.

Sources of Omega 6 fats:

Sunflower seeds, seed oils, corn, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, meat, dairy products.

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