Ask Davey

Every week, Davey Wavey answers fan questions about fitness, nutrition or general health. If you have a question, send it to Davey at davey@daveywaveyfitness.com

Whey Protein BEFORE Working Out Burns Fat?

Dear Davey,

A friend of mine mentioned that eating protein before you workout is a smart idea because it burns more fat. Is there really any truth to this?

From,
Sean

Bryce Thompson by Rick Day 16Hey Sean,

Your friend is likely referring to an often-cited Michigan State University study that was published in 2009.

When we talk about protein, it’s often about the role it plays in muscle growth – and the emphasis is often on post-workout protein consumption. For example, we know that consuming whey protein after a heavy strength training workout can help improve results.

But for the aforementioned study, researchers examined the role of pre-workout protein consumption on something called resting energy expenditure (REE). REE is the amount of energy, usually expressed in food calories, required for a 24-hour period by the body during resting conditions. For many of us, this measure is especially important because it can account for 60% – 75% of your total energy expenditure. If you increase REE, you burn more total calories – and, in theory, store fewer calories as fat.

In Michigan State’s study, experienced lifters were given either a whey protein supplement or carbohydrate supplement 20 minutes before working out. After 24 and 48 hours, REE was measured and compared to the baseline. While both supplements increased REE 24 and 48 hours after the strength training session, the whey protein supplement resulted in a much higher REE at the 24-hour mark compared to either the carbohydrate supplement or the baseline.

Keep in mind, increasing REE isn’t the same as burning fat. To make a very long story short, weight loss is achieved when you consume fewer calories than you burn. REE increases calories out, but that’s only one side of the equation. And weight loss isn’t the same as fat loss. What we call weight loss is really a combination of fat and muscle loss; to minimize muscle loss, continue with a challenging strength training program.

In other words, it’s a bit more complicated than your friend implied. But there is truth to his statement. If you want to incorporate the findings of this study, consume whey protein before working out. Keep in mind, post-workout whey protein and carbohydrates are also recommended for maximized results.

Love,
Davey

P.S. For everything you need to know about losing weight, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program and get started today!

Can I Turn My Man Boobs Into Pec Muscles?

Dear Davey,

I’m overweight and I definitely have a case of the man boobs. Is there any way that I can turn my man boobs into pec muscles?

From,
Rob

perfect pecsHey Rob,

I get a lot of questions about man boobs, often called moobs. Urban Dictionary defines moobs as “a combination of the words ‘man’ and ‘boobs.’ This is what happens when fat gathers in a male’s chest area, and gives him the appearance of having breasts. Floppy, Jell-O like protrusions.”

Moobs or not, it’s important to know that fat can’t turn into muscle. Conversely, muscle also can’t turn into fat – despite the myth claiming otherwise. As such, strictly speaking from a technical standpoint, you can’t “turn” fatty moobs into muscular pecs.

Instead, you can first shed excess fat from your body. This will help flatten your chest. Then, you can add muscle to your body – and, in particular, to your chest. This two-step approach will build up your pectoral muscles and result in a strong, muscular chest.

When it comes to losing weight, there’s really no secret. Weight loss is achieved through a calorie deficit of moving more and eating smarter; decrease the calories going in and increase the calories going out. Keep in mind, fat loss is a total body experience. Though you want to lose your moobs, fat will come off your entire body including face, neck, stomach, butt and so on. It may take a considerable amount of fat loss to fully reduce your moobs.

Once a flat chest is achieved, it’s time to shift gears. Instead of focusing on fat loss, switch to a workout centered around hypertrophy – which refers to implementing a workout strategy designed to build muscle. Unlike fat loss, you can build muscle on specific areas. In this case, we’ll focus on your pecs.

Here’s the chest workout that I use:

  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the flat bench press
  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the incline bench press
  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the decline bench press
  • 4 sets of 8 reps of dumbbell pec flies alternating with 4 sets of 10 one-leg push-ups
  • 4 sets of 8 reps of pec fly machine

Once or twice per week, I complete this chest day workout.

Because you’re looking to increase the size of your muscles, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to progress to heavier and heavier levels of resistance on the bench press, dumbbell pec flies and pec fly machine. You’ll also need to give your body the fuel it needs by eating smarter.

While there’s no magic fix for moobs, the above formula is a real and lasting solution based on science. And, in addition to transforming your body, this solution will result in improved health, increased energy and better quality of life.

Love,
Davey

P.S. For more help increasing muscle size, download Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

Is A Six Pack Worth It?

Hi Davey,

I’ve tried to get a six pack but it hasn’t worked and I can’t imagine putting more time into it than I already have. I honestly have to ask, is having a six pack really worth it? Why torture yourself over something superficial when there’s so many other more meaningful things worth doing in life?

From,
Audrey

caio-cesar-0402Hey Audrey,

Well, I think your email and question will strike a chord with many, many people. Indeed, for a lot of people, the energy and effort required to carve out a chiseled six pack might not be worth it. It’s a question all of us must ask ourselves and answer honestly.

But consider this.

I grew up overweight. Being a fat kid isn’t easy. The name calling and teasing was relentless – and it took a toll. By middle school, I starved myself and became dangerously thin. The ups and downs slowly leveled out in my teenage years; I slowly began the process of healing my relationship with my body. It’s still an ongoing journey, but I’ve learned so much from the experience and have come to realize my own strength.

It reminds me of a quote that I once came across: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” And it’s a quote that’s very much applicable to the pursuit of a six pack.

Getting a six pack is a huge challenge. It requires changing the way you eat. It requires spending time engaged in exercise. In many ways, it can be a change in lifestyle for most people. And while the achievement of that goal is innately superficial, the process by which it is accomplished is full of very real and important lessons.

Moreover, I’ve never found it to be torture. Fueling your body with delicious and nourishing foods isn’t torture. Honoring your body with movement through exercise isn’t torture. Going to bed at night and sleeping well isn’t a torture. All of these things, in my opinion, are gifts. Sure, they all require energy and effort. But they also dramatically improve the way you look and feel.

There’s something to be said for dreaming it, wishing it and then doing it. Yes, getting a six pack is difficult. But life’s not about limiting your challenges. It’s about challenging your limits.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If six pack abs are one of your fitness goals, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program – with a different 12-minute ab workout for each day of the week!

 

Can I Get Results Working Out At Home?

Dear Davey,

I can’t afford a gym membership so working out at home is my only option. Is it really worth it? Can I get results with a body weight exercise program?

From,
Dan

tumblr_md8smsfz661qgsxq9o1_500Hey Dan,

The short answer is that yes, you can get amazing results from working out at home with body weight exercises. For those who are unfamiliar, body weight exercises don’t involve equipment or weights; instead, you use your own body weight as resistance. A really simple example of this is a push-up.

There are a few things to note.

If you’re brand-spanking-new to exercise, you’ve probably got the most to gain from an at home workout. When you transition from little or no activity to a well-planned body weight exercise routine, you’ll certainly transform the way you look and feel.

It also depends on your goals. If you want the physique of a professional body builder or an Olympic athlete, you’ll need a gym membership – not to mention, lots of time, effort, trainers, energy and dedication. Getting larger and larger muscles requires progressing to heavier and heavier amounts of resistance. As you can imagine, with body weight exercises, you’ll reach the natural limit of your own body weight. There’s a distant but inevitable plateau which may exist before or after your goals.

Keep in mind, you can get pretty creative with your home workout. There are plenty of ways to switch things up and make them more challenging. With our aforementioned example of push-ups, you can do incline push-ups, decline push-ups, one-leg push ups, push-ups with a clap in between, climbing push-ups and so on. In other words, there’s a lot you can do – and a lot of results you can enjoy – before you hit that distant body weight training plateau. And if and when you do reach that plateau, you can always decide if a gym membership makes sense at that time.

Convenient, free and not requiring any equipment, body weight exercises and at home workouts certainly have their advantages. Having said all of that, the best strength training routine is one that you’ll actually follow. And if that’s an at home workout, embrace it!

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you want to try an amazing, heart-pounding body weight exercise workout that you can do at home, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout.

Does Cardio Build Muscle?

Hey Davey,

I run a lot and I’m sure it’s great exercise for my legs. Does going out for a run mean that I can skip strength training my legs?

From,
Jim

254_fitness_tip_flashHey Jim,

The short answer is no.

Both cardio and strength training are important components of a well-rounded workout, but each provide unique benefits.

Strength training exercises like squats, deadlifts and dumbbell lunges help build a bigger and stronger lower body. By overloading your muscles with increasingly heavy resistance, your muscles will grow in size and strength.

In other words, a good round simply isn’t going to give you the same muscle building benefits as an effective strength training program.

That doesn’t mean cardio isn’t important. Though cardio might not be the most effective way to get that bubble butt, it gives you the endurance that you need to get through a challenging workout. If you’re too winded to get a few more repetitions, you’re selling yourself short. Moreover, regular cardiovascular exercise is important for overall health.

When it comes to creating a well-rounded exercise program, it’s important to include both cardio and strength training for the best results.

Love,
Davey