You’ll Never Look Like This… And That’s Okay.

male bodybuilder (6)This weekend, I was totally honored (and flustered) to film a video with seven elite, professional bodybuilders and fitness models. And I’m super excited to share the video with you in a few weeks.

There are guys with great bodies and there are guys with great bodies. And these guys had great bodies.

Even my dad noticed. After checking out my Instagram pictures, he called me and said, “Wow, they have muscles on muscles. Even their ears have muscles!” I think he was a little bit into it.

At any rate, I loved chatting with the guys and asking them about their fitness and nutrition routines.

One of the buffer individuals noted that he goes to the gym three times a day. Once in the morning for cardio and abs. Then around noon to lift. And then again at night for cardio.

I also went out to dinner with two of the guys, and was astounded by their appetite. They both ordered three meals. Three!

Suffice to say, being a fitness model or bodybuilder isn’t just a lifestyle. It’s a full time job.

In fact, it would be nearly impossible to have a 9 – 5 job and still look the way these guys look. And yet, these are the guys that we see in the pages of fitness and health magazines – and, more notably, these are the guys that we measure ourselves against.

And, lest we forget, there’s also a darker side to bodybuilding involving things like steroids, Human Growth Hormone, diuretics and even injectable oils that add volume to muscles.

On one hand, I think it’s great to be inspired by the hard work, dedication and physique of fitness models and athletes.

On the other hand, it’s also important to be realistic – and kind –  with ourselves. Despite what fitness marketers may want us to believe, these bodies weren’t built with just 10 minutes a day and three easy payments of $29.95.

It reminds me of a question that I often get asked, and that I’ve answered on this blog. Guys want the perfect six eight pack. I often respond with another question: How important is it to you? Perhaps you could look like a fitness model or bodybuilder. But do you want it badly enough to dedicate your entire life to it? For most of us (and myself included), the answer is no.

I love working out. I love fitness. I love health and nutrition. All of those things are a big part of my life. But I also love being able to make YouTube videos, spend time with family and friends and honor other aspects of my life. I also like cake. And maybe you do, too.

Let’s all challenge ourselves to be healthy… in every sense of the word. But part of that means having healthy goals, healthy expectations and a healthy relationship with our body. And it means being inspired by bodybuilders and fitness models without being destroyed or discouraged by the images we see of them.

5 Nutriton Mistakes “Healthy” People Make.

a-shirtless-friday-5A healthy diet can improve the quality of your life. And it can help you achieve your fitness goals. But with so much marketing hype and misinformation, making smarter decisions isn’t always easy – even for people who consider themselves healthy.

In fact, here are a few nutrition mistakes that “healthy” people commonly make.

  1. You salads are covered in shit. There’s no doubt that a salad full of lettuce and vegetables is a great start. Unfortunately, many of us cover all the goodness in things like cheese, creamy dressings and bacon bits. Make a salad that tastes like salad – and not a 1,500 calorie gut bomb.
  2. You’re juicing. Fruit juices have become increasingly popular; in Los Angeles, there’s a cold pressed juice stand on almost every corner. And while eating fruits is a smart decision, most fruit juicing processes remove the fiber that helps give fruit its nutritional punch. You’re left with a sugary beverage that is marginally healthier than soda. If you want a healthier and cheaper choice, opt for water, water and more water.
  3. You fall for misleading labels. Marketers are geniuses when it comes to misleading consumers. Words like detox, low-fat, fat-free, reduced-fat, low calorie, low carb, all natural, organic and gluten free all seem to convey a nutritional benefit. Unfortunately, they don’t. These are misleading buzz words; instead, determine whether or not a food is healthy by reading the nutrition label and ingredients.
  4. You eat energy bars and consume sports drinks. Except for grueling physical activity like an intense workout or hike, there’s really no place for energy bars or sports drinks. The former is often a glorified candy bar with just as much sugar and the later is a mixture of water and sugar. Only consume these products to power through intense physical activity.
  5. You avoid all carbs. Obviously, simple carbohydrates like those found in candy, energy bars, sugary drinks and refined grain products like white bread aren’t a smart choice in most situations. But, carbohydrates aren’t entirely bad. In fact, complex carbohydrates like those found in quinoa, whole grains and beans are absolutely part of a healthy diet – and something that your body needs to function properly and power through a workout. Workouts are powered by carbohydrates, not by protein; don’t get it twisted.

What are some other nutrition mistakes that healthy people make? Share them in the comments below!

P.S. If you want a clear, simple and science-based approach to eating smarter, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter and get started TODAY!

Ready To Take Your Ab Workout To The Next Level?

wr01qe6b80o1_500Are you happy with your abs? Great, keep doing what you’re doing.

Not happy with your abs? Let’s talk.

And let’s assume you already know the basics. You understand that everyone has abs, and that showcasing your abdominal muscles is really all about reducing body fat through an effective workout program and proper nutrition. And let’s assume that you’ve put these foundational principles into practice – and have seen some results.

But what if you want more? What if you want carved, cobblestone abs that really pop?

In this instance, it’s about more than just reducing body fat to make your abdominal muscles visible. It’s about actually building up those muscles and increasing their size. The secret to building those ab muscles isn’t really a secret at all. It’s the same strategy that we use to build our biceps, pecs or glutes.

In short, you need to incorporate resistance. And, over time you need to progressively increase the amount of resistance so that your muscles build back stronger and bigger than before. After all, your body won’t build muscle unless more muscle is needed to get the job done.

Incorporating resistance with abdominal workouts takes some creativity. In this instance, using cables can be extremely effective. You can also simply hold a weight plate over your head while performing crunches or situps. Over time, increase the weight of the plate or the resistance on the cables. Keep doing this until you achieve your desired results.

Remember, you have have the biggest, baddest abs in the world – but if you have even a small layer of fat over your belly, they won’t be visible. You’ll need to keep your body fat down to really achieve the desired effect.

Sound like a lot of work? It is. While having a strong, powerful core provides many important benefits, carving out a magazine-quality six pack isn’t necessary – or realistic – for most of us.

P.S. If you want some guidance for improving your core, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program and get started today!

Am I Gaining Fat Or Muscle?

Dear Davey,

I’ve recently started strength training at the gym and eating more calories because I’m trying to build muscle. Over the last two months I’ve gained 12 pounds. How do I know if it’s muscle or just fat?

From,
Shaun

muscle-mirror-selfie-manHey Shaun,

Congratulations on starting with a strength training program and kudos for sticking with it.

When it comes to exercise, evaluating results against our goals is crucial. Beyond helping us stay motivated, tracking progress lets us know what works – and what doesn’t work. By evaluating results, we can make changes toward a more efficient workout.

In your case, building muscle is the goal. Gaining weight, as you’ve noted, is an incomplete metric to measure against your goal. Excess weight can be indicative of added fat, increased water retention, muscle mass or any combination thereof. This is why it’s important to think beyond the scale.

Though there are fancy body composition tests that you can take and equations that can be utilized, there is a very simple trick for measuring muscle gains versus fat gains. Get a tape measure. Using a tape measure, record the circumference of your biceps, neck, chest, forearms, etc. Every few weeks, mark down your new measurements.

As a general rule, larger muscles and an unchanged waistline means that you’re gaining mostly muscle. If your muscles and waistline are both increasing, it means you’re adding both muscle and fat. And if you’re just noticing an increase around your waistline, then it’s mostly fat.

Taking a picture of yourself under the same lighting conditions (i.e., same time of day) every few weeks can also be helpful in observing changes. You can also notice how your clothes fit differently over time. Or, if you have the resources, take a monthly body composition test and crunch the numbers.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you want a guaranteed strategy for adding lean bulk, download Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle!

How To Prevent Swampass At The Gym.

1000x1000What is swampass? I’m so glad you asked. :-/

According to Urban Dictionary, swampass or swamp ass is the condition wherein your butt crack becomes extremely sweaty and sometimes smelly – causing your underwear and clothing to stick. In cases of extreme swamp ass, the sweat soaks all the way through your clothing and becomes visible to passersby.

Because so many of us get hot and sweaty at the gym, the risk for swamp ass is high. And for a lot of people, it becomes a source of embarrassment:

Dear Davey,

I’m new to the gym but have been going regularly for a few weeks. My workout is challenging and I sweat a ton during the exercises. By the time I’m finished with the workout, the seat of my shorts is soaked all the way through. It’s extremely embarrassing and I feel like everyone is laughing at me.

As I wrote before, sweating is actually a good thing. It helps cool your body and even can clear your skin.

The amount you sweat is controlled by genetics, diet, medications and even hormone levels. As such, diet is the only variable within your control; a diet free from processed foods (which contain high levels of salt) seems to help. For some folks, staying away from hot or spicy foods also seems to reduce sweat.

Of course, when it comes to your derriere specifically, you can try out moisture-wicking fabrics to keep things cooler (like my DirtyFit brand underwear) or even applying some powder before exercise.

And it’s also worth noting that sweat doesn’t smell. According to experts, sweat only smells when it comes in contact with certain bacteria. In other words, proactive hygiene will help keep things fresh.

Personally, as someone who sweats A LOT, my advice is to embrace your swamp ass rather than trying to eliminate it. Generally speaking, embracing your body’s natural processes is a more effective use of energy and effort than resisting them. Instead, focus on what really matters: Your workout, your goals and your results.

After all, you’re only sweating because you’re working hard… so wear that swamp ass as a badge of honor.

P.S. Speaking of sweat, try my Bootcamp Workout for a heart-pounding, muscle-pumping workout that will help create a lean, strong build!

The Weakest Guy At The Gym.

Dear Davey,

I recently joined a gym and I’m completed embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I’m the weakest guy at the gym. Everyone is strong and fit, and I’m just a twiggy skinny guy that can’t lift much weight at all. I’ve been skipping the gym because it’s just to embarrassing. What’s your advice?

From,
Christopher

Bodybuilder Dan Decker Working Out In The GymHey Christopher,

I’m so glad that you emailed me because I have a few thoughts.

First and foremost, being the weakest guy at the gym is actually a blessing – not a curse. Being surrounded by people that are stronger and fitter means that you’re in a position to learn from their success. Don’t use the fit people around you to tear yourself down; use them to lift yourself up.

This is especially true for group fitness classes. I love being surrounded by strong, athletic class participants; beyond being inspired, it’s an indication that the class is effective. If I want to look and perform like these individuals, then I need to incorporate aspects of what they’re doing into my routine. Through this process, I can elevate myself to their level.

Befriend some of the people at your gym. Ask about their routines. Have them show you a few exercises. At the very least, observe some of the exercises that they’re performing and, if you feel safe, try them out for yourself. It’s a great way to discover what works for you.

And remember that even the bulkiest bodybuilder or the fastest athlete started somewhere. No one is born with bulging arms or a defined pecs; these transformations happen as the result of hard work performed consistently. None of these individuals will judge you for getting started; in fact, they’ve all been in the very same spot that you’re now in.

There’s one thing that’s certain. If you continue skipping the gym, you won’t reach your goals. If, on the other hand, you change the way that you approach your situation, you can accomplish great things.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you want to add lean bulk, download Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle. It’s a step-by-step guide to achieving the results you want!

My Boyfriend Is Making Me Fat.

Dear Davey,

My entire life, I was always very lean. Until I met my boyfriend. In just 2 years, I’ve gained more than 30 pounds with no end in sight. I’m officially overweight. What do I do?

From,
Keith

b7b225c4dddf23bc08eb45f6b5381930Hey Keith,

While we might joke that relationships make us “fat and happy,” there may be some truth to the age-old adage. According to one poll, 62% of respondents report gaining 14 pounds or more after starting a relationship. And a frequently referenced study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that having an obese spouse makes you 37% more likely to become obese yourself.

And it makes sense. When we’re in a relationship and off the market, we might become less concerned with our appearance. For some people, this might be an excuse to slack off on exercise or indulge in unhealthy foods. Maybe we make more time for our partner, and less time for ourselves. Or maybe our partner is an enabler, and we adopt his or her unhealthy eating habits. Instead of the usual salad, we opt for the pizza.

But let’s be clear: Unless there’s a feeding tube down your throat or you’re being held prisoner, no one can make you fat without your permission. All of us, regardless of relationship status, must take responsibility for what goes into our mouths and the exercise we get. We must take responsibility for our health.

The reality is, being off the market isn’t an excuse to skip exercise. Beyond looking a certain way, exercise is a necessary component to a healthy and productive life. And while it’s great to make time for the people we love, we have more to give others when we prioritize ourselves. If your partner orders a pizza, you can still choose something healthier. It’s not an excuse.

As a human being with free will, don’t use your partner as an excuse; take responsibility for your choices and subsequent weight gain. Understand that through smarter food choices and through increased movement, you can reverse the trend – and perhaps even inspire change in your partner’s lifestyle.

Your boyfriend didn’t make you fat. You made yourself overweight. But by utilizing that same power of choice, you can also make yourself healthier and fit.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you need help getting started, I’d recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout. With a series of at-home workout programs, you can lose weight and build muscle.

The Gay Bottom Diet.

cuddlingAlong with unicorns and leprechauns, the so-called “bottom diet” is always elusive.

I’ve been writing this blog for several years. And one of the most popular food-related questions that I get asked is about this very issue. In varying forms, the question goes something like this: What foods can I eat to ensure that I’ll be a clean bottom?

Seeing as this is a nutrition and fitness blog, I haven’t felt the need to address the issue. That is, until this morning when I came across an email from a young man in Vancouver:

I’m 21 and I pride myself as being a good bottom. That means being a clean bottom. Before I bottom, I generally avoid eating solid foods for 24-hours but was wondering if there are certain foods that I should eat more of or less of to be a better bottom?

I understand that sex doesn’t come with a manual. And that you can’t ask your mom or dad for bottoming advice. For a lot of us, gay intercourse is learned through trial and error. Lots of errors.

But in my experience there are a few things that I’ve come to learn. And here they are:

  1. No man is worth your health. Your body needs food, and starving yourself is depriving your body of the nutrients that it needs. It sacrifices your health and puts your fitness goals at risk. First and foremost, you need to treat your body with love and respect.
  2. Butt sex is shitty. The primary function of your anus and rectum is to expel feces. It’s great that we’re able to enlist the anus for a secondary, more pleasurable purpose – but know that poop can come with the territory. Your partner needs to understand this too, and thus have reasonable expectations.
  3. Being a good sex partner – top, bottom or otherwise – is about communication, respect, patience, consideration, understanding and fun. All of these things are far, far more important factors in having good sex.
  4. Using words like clean or dirty aren’t helpful. These words are loaded with shame, and they’re not conducive to a healthy and productive relationship with our bodies, with our partners or with sex in general.

Having said all of that, is there really a healthy, sustainable diet that can result in cleaner anal intercourse?

In browsing forums and discussion boards around bottoming, many commentators encourage eating more fiber. Bottoming aside, we know that 95% of Americans don’t get enough fiber – so this could be a worthwhile consideration. However, fiber comes in two forms.

Soluble fiber adds bulk to stools and is a great way for treating diarrhea. Soluble fiber also helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar, and is found in oats, beans, potatoes, apples, mangos, berries, peaches and so on.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is not digestible. It softens stools and makes diarrhea worse. It is found in the skins of fruit, the skins of beans, whole wheat, cereal products, brown rice, seeds, broccoli, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce and so on.

In other words, the type of fiber may greatly influence results. And having distinguished between the two fiber types, it’s also important to remember that foods like whole wheat, brown price, seeds and broccoli are all healthy, nourishing choices – and that they shouldn’t be avoided in your diet for the sake of sex.

At the end of the day, we are all very unique and we all process and digest foods in different ways. It’s unlikely that there’s really any magical solution to the so-called Bottom Diet. And maybe that’s a good thing. Sure, pre-intercourse preparation is important. But let’s keep our focus on what really matters: Ourselves, our partners and the connection we make.

And let’s remember that sometimes, shit happens.

P.S. If you have a fitness or nutrition question for Davey, send it to davey@daveywaveyfitness.com.

P.P.S. For an awesome at-home core workout, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program and get started today.

 

Does Pasta Make You Fat?

hunkeatingpastaThere’s a quote that I love from a famous Italian-French film star in the 1960s named Sofia Loren. Famous for her talent and good looks alike, Loren once commented on her appearance by saying:

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.

For most Americans, the word pasta is a synonym for fattening. But is there any truth to this notion – or are we missing the point all together?

The popular theory goes something like this: Pasta is really just carbohydrates. When we eat carbohydrates, they turn into sugar and get stored as fat.

The reality is a bit different. When we consume more calories than we burn, those excess calories are stored as fat. You can get fat from eating too many calories of any food, be it pasta or even spinach. Carbohydrates and protein both contain 4 calories per gram, compared to 7 calories per gram of alcohol and 9 calories per gram of fat. Relatively speaking, pasta isn’t particularly calorie dense.

We also know that pasta is a staple of the Italian diet. According to the National Pasta Association, the average Italian eats 51 pounds of pasta per year. North Americans, on the other hand, eat an average of 15 pounds annually. And yet, the obesity rate in Italy is just 10% compared to 32% in the United States. Obviously, there are other variables to consider – but one can’t but wonder if our pastaphobia is misguided.

A lot of it comes down to serving sizes. It’s worth noting that a serving of pasta is just 2 ounces. Depending on the pasta shape and configuration, that’s about 1/2 cooked cup of pasta. For Americans that are accustomed to consuming mountains of pasta, this might not seem like much. But remember that you can add pasta to a base of cooked vegetables, beans or even chicken. It’s helpful to think of pasta as an ingredient – and not the meal itself.

Americans also tend to load pasta with unhealthy, calorie-dense sauces. Instead, opt for a tomato-based sauce without added sugars. You’ll immediately and dramatically reduce your caloric intake.

And as I’ve mentioned before, carbohydrates get a bad rap of which they’re undeserving. Carbohydrates help ensure proper bodily function and improved results at the gym. Low carb diets are often associated with low energy levels, fatigue, weakness, headache and/or bowel issues. Rather than avoiding carbs altogether, one can eliminate the blood sugar spike associated with simple carbohydrates by favoring whole wheat pasta over traditional pasta.

At the end of the day, blaming pasta for our burgeoning waistlines misses the point; portion size and preparation methods are a more important consideration.

P.S. Losing weight is about more than counting calories and moving more. It’s also about transforming the relationship that you have with your body. For the last program that you’ll ever need, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Why I Don’t Take A Pre-Workout Supplement!

Dear Davey,

I’ve seen a lot about pre-workout supplements and my nutrition store was giving out free samples. I wanted to hear what you think of them? Are they too good to be true?

From,
Dan

marc-fitt-2Especially if you’re feeling overworked or lacking energy, it may be tempting to reach for a pre-workout supplement. Many supplement stores will have countless options promising to give your workout the edge you need.

The first thing to remember is that pre-workout supplements are not regulated by the FDA. In some ways, these supplements are still the wild west – and the long-term impacts have yet to be evaluated. In other words, proceed with caution.

There are a few ingredients that you’ll typically find in pre-workout supplements:

  • Carbohydrate sources. We know that carbs give you energy, and that they’re an important part of any pre-workout meal. Having energy to power through your workout will help enhance your results. Of course, you need not get carbohydrates from a pre-workout supplement; a banana will do the trick.
  • Caffeine. The stimulating effects of caffeine are well documented – and some exercisers believe that caffeine gives their workout an edge. While moderate caffeine consumption isn’t necessarily dangerous, keep in mind consuming caffeine before an afternoon or evening workout may impede your sleep.
  • Creatine. Generally considered to be safe, creatine has been shown to increase muscle mass and add bulk. For some people, creatine has been associated with bloating and extra water weight. Regardless, anyone interested in creatine or its benefits can experiment with the supplement independently of a pre-work.
  • L-arginine. Helping to dilate your blood vessels, this amino acid can improve blood flow during exercise. Unfortunately, it’s not necessarily healthy; some studies suggest that it increases oxidation stress and markers of aging.

As you can see, pre-workout supplements are an unregulated mixed bag of ingredients. For me, the risk isn’t worth the reward and I prefer a more holistic approach. If you eat a smart, balanced diet, there is little or no need for supplementation. And if you’re tired before exercise, listen to your body’s wisdom and change what’s causing your fatigue – rather than popping a pill or mixing a powder to treat the symptoms.

That’s my two cents.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you want to transform the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.