Richard James Ahern's Blog

Fitness, Nutrition and Unchained Muscle!

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5 Worrying Signs You Have LOW TESTOSTERONE!!

If you’re a man interested in bodybuilding or fitness, you’ll know the importance of the steroid hormone Testosterone (T). It is essential for male health, fertility, building muscle and losing fat. Think you may have low Testosterone (T)? The only way to know for sure is to go to your doctors and get tested but here are five signs you may have low T:

  1. Lack of Muscle Growth and increased Fat Gain – This is an obvious one! If you’re training hard in the gym and eating right with plenty of protein but not gaining muscle, this could likely be down to you having low T. If you’re also struggling to lose fat, this again can be down to low T. If you have low T, this likely means you have high levels of the female hormone Oestrogen and high levels of the stress hormone Cortisol, both these hormones can cause the body to store fat and make weight loss difficult!
  2. Lack of Energy – If you’re constantly tired and lack energy, this can likely be down to low T. Testosterone gives men a sense of wellbeing, motivation and aggression. Although aggression can of course be a negative emotion and destructive, it can be channelled in many positive ways to achieve your goals. When it comes to weight lifting, a little bit of aggression towards those weights goes a long way and if you don’t feel aggression in the gym, you likely have low Testosterone.
  3. Depression – Men with Low T are very susceptible to depression. Like mentioned earlier, Testosterone gives us a sense of wellbeing and motivation. If you’re feeling down and lethargic, antidepressants might not be the solution and perhaps you should look into getting your hormones tested instead.
  4. Difficulty Sleeping – Testosterone keeps us men healthy and has many functions in the body. If you know anyone who has been put on Testosterone injections, they will probably tell you how they now sleep like a baby. Many guys who take a zinc and magnesium supplement before bed time find it improves their sleep. This is very likely down to the fact that zinc and magnesium are key to helping your body make Testosterone!
  5. Lack of Sex Drive – Testosterone is the male sex hormone. It gives men a sex drive, that’s one of its main purposes! Remember going through puberty and having a raging sex drive as a teenager? Well that’s because your Testosterone was very high! If you have a low sex drive and have trouble getting erections, this is one of the clearest signs you have low T.

Are you showing any signs of Low Testosterone? Well don’t worry, there are many solutions. You can of course go to your doctor and discuss your possible options, this is your best option if you think you have seriously low Testosterone. However, you can increase your Testosterone by making some lifestyle and diet changes. You may simply need to cut down on alcohol, stop smoking or get more sleep at night. You may be deficient in a particular nutrient such as zinc, magnesium or vitamin D, which you can easily supplement with. It’s hard to know exactly what’s going wrong and that’s why it’s best to take a shotgun approach and completely optimise your body for maximum testosterone production! That’s why I designed my Hormonal Manipulation Plan, to optimise your testosterone and other vital hormones through diet, training, lifestyle and supplementation for improved health, muscle gain and fat loss! You can purchase it HERE, but it comes FREE with every full price clothing order from www.UnchainedMuscle.uk !

This blog is brought to you by Unchained Muscle, bringing you hardcore gym clothing so you can work out in style! Visit www.UnchainedMuscle.uk to check out the range!

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3 Reasons Dieting and Cardio is Making You FAT!!

Let’s lay down some truth, dieting and cardio certainly CAN make you lose fat, no doubt. However, done wrong, which is easy to do, it can make you GAIN FAT and WRECK your metabolism. The body has an amazing ability to adapt, it has a need for equilibrium (balance) and will do anything to keep the status quo. To change your body, whether it’s losing fat or gaining muscle we have to almost trick our body into making this drastic change. Here’s 3 ways the body adapts to dieting and cardio and how to counteract it!

  • Eating less slows your metabolism. When you start cutting calories and eating less your body senses this and starts lowering its metabolic rate to conserve energy as it thinks it’s starving. This is a natural survival mechanism. The longer you diet, the slower your metabolism can become and eventually can cause you to put on weight. To stop this, you should never cut your calories below your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and incorporating weekly cheat meals or refeed days will trick your body into keeping its metabolism high and therefore burning plenty of calories.
  • Steady cardio such as jogging will burn calories, obviously. However, done in excess the body adapts and will start slowing its metabolism to conserve energy. You’ll have to do more and more to get the same fat burning effect. This is why you should incorporate weight lifting and high intensity cardio into your routine. High intensity exercise such as weight lifting and HIIT cardio will shock the body, build muscle and ultimately boost your metabolism so you burn fat when you’re resting!
  • Dieting and cardio stresses the body. When the body is under any type of stress it produces a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is your enemy as it makes your body burn muscle for energy and makes your body store fat, particularly around your waist. Supplements such as glutamine, test boosters and vitamin C will help counteract cortisol but the best thing you can do is stop over-stressing your body! Keep your workouts short and intense and don’t starve yourself, it’s that simple!

This blog is brought to you by Unchained Muscle, bringing you hardcore gym clothing so you can work out in style! Visit www.unchainedmuscle.uk to check out the range!

For training and diet plans CLICK HERE!

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The Absolute FASTEST Way to Gain MUSCLE!!

Let’s talk about building muscle, everyone wants to know the fastest way they can have big arms, wide shoulders and bulging pecs, so I’m going to tell you how! Remember though this is the fastest way to build muscle but not necessarily the best way, there are a few drawbacks.

Let’s start with diet, as this is the most important thing you need to focus on to grow. To gain muscle the fastest way possible, forget about having abs, to build muscle fast you’ll going to have to come to terms with the fact that you’ll gain some fat. You need to be in a surplus of calories for your body to put on new muscle tissue, aim for at least 1,000 calories over maintenance to gain the most. Protein needs to be high, around 1-2g per lb of lean body mass but carbs need to be higher! Carbs will give your body the energy to grow, for the quickest weight gain at least 60% of your calories should be coming from carbohydrate sources such as oats, rice, pasta and potato. Don’t neglect fats though as they are key for your boy to produce lots of testosterone, focus on getting a good range of all the different types of fat including saturated. Three meals a day won’t cut it, aims for 5-7 meals a day, including a post-workout protein and carbohydrate shake. Of course, following all this advice will also make you gain fat, but that’s the sacrifice you make if you want to pack on muscle size in the fastest way possible! Eat big to get big!

Training wise it’s simple, think COMPOUND! Compound exercises are where more than one muscle is being worked at a time and where more than one joint is moving such as squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, pull ups, dips and lunges! Compound exercises make you grow, they stress the body far more than isolation exercises leading to a massive surge in anabolic hormones that will make you big! Curls are a great exercise, but believe me, deadlifts and squats will get you bigger arms! Focus on stretching and squeezing the muscle with each rep to cause the most hypertrophy and aim for 8-12 reps per set. Going heavy on compound exercises will help but going lower than 6 reps per set will only help you gain strength rather than size. Form is key, bring each muscle through a full range of motion, if you cheat on your reps, you are only cheating on your muscle gains!

Lastly, remember to rest, take a few rest days per week and get plenty of sleep. Muscles don’t grow in the gym, they grow when you’re resting!

This blog is brought to you by Unchained Muscle, bringing you hardcore gym clothing so you can work out in style! Visit www.unchainedmuscle.uk to check out the range!

For training and diet plans CLICK HERE!

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www.richardjamesahern.com

5 Fat Burning Supplements That WORK from Experience!

If you haven’t been following me on Instagram (you should be!), I have been dieting hard and losing fat to get shredded and ripped! I have been trying lots of different fat burning supplements so I can see if they work or not, so here’s my list from experience of the ones that WORK and are worth taking alongside a good diet and exercise regime! This is not medical advice, I do NOT recommend any of the following supplements, this is MY OPINION only and is for entertainment purposes only.

 

  • Caffeine! A classic stimulant and one of the best fat burners. Caffeine raises your heartrate, boosts metabolism and stimulates adrenaline production. All of which help with the breakdown of fat and help you burn more calories whilst resting. Don’t underestimate caffeine, it’s a powerful stimulant and you should always take care and never take too much. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, fat burners, pre workout formulas and can be also be bought on its own in powder or pill form. I’m a big fan of coffee and drink loads when I’m dieting and losing fat, check out my blog post on coffee HERE!

 

  • Green tea/green coffee! Both of these are a great source of natural caffeine and will boost your metabolism making you burn more calories! They are also powerful antioxidants. When dieting your body produces a lot of free radicals which can damage your cells, antioxidants help your body ‘mop up’ free radicals and prevent what is known as oxidative damage! I have used both to burn fat and keep my energy levels up!

 

  • Yohimbine HCL! This is a controversial stimulant, in some countries it is illegal but in others you can get it over the counter as a supplement. Like caffeine it boosts your metabolism and makes your body release more adrenaline whilst also suppressing appetite. What is particularly interesting about Yohimbine is that it is an alpha blocker. Our stubborn fat has a lot of alpha receptors which make it hard to lose, Yohimbine blocks these and helps your body release its stubborn fat to be burned. Taking it whilst doing fasted cardio is the most effective and is what I have done to burn my stubborn fat!

 

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine! This is a very bio available form of the amino acid carnitine. Carnitine carries fatty acids to the mitochondria of the cells to be burnt for energy. So quite literally carnitine is an essential component of the fat burning process. It’s naturally found in the body and food but supplementing with it has been shown to enhance fat loss and I have found it’s worked well for me!

 

  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine! A bio available form of the amino acid tyrosine. Although not a stimulant itself, it does have a stimulatory effect by helping the body make adrenaline. Adrenaline mobilises fat stores and burns them for energy so massively helps with fat loss! Tyrosine is a pre-cursor to adrenaline and your body needs it to make adrenaline. I use N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine in my pre-workout and I find it improves my energy, mood and fat loss!

 

From my experience, all of these fat burners work well alongside a good diet and exercise regime, most of them are stimulatory based as I find these work the best. A lot of non-stimulatory fat burners in my opinion are a waste of money. In particular, I have tried CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and Raspberry Ketones and have found little improved fat loss from them. Each to his own though, remember everyone reacts differently to different things!

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How WATER Can Get You Ripped!

When it comes to fitness and bodybuilding everyone thinks about their training, their protein needs and their supplements. What they tend to neglect is how much water they are drinking.

Water plays a huge role in how we build muscle, lose fat, perform in the gym and how our bodies look! After all everyone knows most our body is made of water so it’s importance cannot be overexaggerated!

The metabolic functions of our cells all take place in a water based environment therefor staying hydrated can massively help with fat loss and a better hydrated muscle will be stronger, recover faster and ultimately grow better!

Staying hydrated will also help prevent injury, a dehydrated muscle is much more likely to be strained or torn when trained!

What a lot of people don’t know is how water intake can drastically change how your body looks on a DAILY basis! When there is a lack of water, our bodies go into ‘drought’ mode and start storing water as there is a shortage. Some of this water will be stored under our skin which will hide your muscle definition and six pack. You may suddenly think you have gained fat but in fact its water that’s making you look soft and bloated!

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will signal our bodies that there is plenty of water coming so there is no need to store it and hence our bodies will flush the water from under our skin and we will look more ripped and toned than ever before!

For most active people, I recommend drinking around 3-4 litres of water per day, if you live in a hot country or exercise excessively you may need to drink more!

Stay hydrated, look your best and be healthy!

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BlackMP Supplements and a Gift to my followers!!

If you haven’t already heard, I am proud to announce that I am now sponsored by BlackMP supplements! I have been using their flagship product the BlackMP Living Concentrate and Living Powder for a few weeks now so I want to write about what I’ve noticed since starting it and then offer you guys an incredible discount if you wish to try it too!

BlackMP concentrate and powder is the healthy alternative beverage, infused with soil based probiotics, Fulvic and Humic Acid, 77+ Trace Minerals, electrolytes and a PH of 10, so will alkalise the body! No calories, No Sugar, Nothing artificial, GMO, Gluten and Dairy Free and suitable for vegans! I have never come across a product quite like it myself with so many benefits packed into one supplement!

What I love about it most is it’s suitable for EVERYBODY, whether you’re into general fitness, hardcore bodybuilding, strength training, fat loss, nutrition or just general health it will benefit you greatly!

I take it every morning when I wake up and as soon as I drink it I feel energised and ready to go, I don’t even need my usual morning coffee! It’s improved my performance in the gym but also my metal clarity has improved and my concentration, which allows me to work harder for longer! The probiotics will greatly help you digest your food, particularly protein and better protein breakdown means more amino acids will be available for muscle growth, this will lead to improved strength and even improved fat loss!

My partner has been using the concentrate as well as myself. She’s suffered with stomach issues for a while now with many trips to doctors but nothing really working. Since using BlackMP she’s noticed a HUGE improvement and feels so much better. A lot of health issues arise from stomach problems but BlackMP gives your gut the fuel to function properly and at its best!

I could write so much more about the benefits of this unique product but I don’t want my blogs to be too long! So, I strongly encourage any of you to try this product and reap the many benefits, so all my followers get a very special and MASSIVE 50% discount off BlackMP supplements (excluding bottles) using my unique code RJ50 at checkout!

Visit www.blackmp.tech to check them out and get yours! Remember use coupon code RJ50 for 50% off!

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Why Coffee is AMAZING at Burning Fat!!

I love coffee, I love coffee so much! A lot of us love coffee, it tastes good, it wakes us up, gives us energy, gives us focus and lifts our mood! What a lot of people don’t know is that coffee helps us lose fat when we are on a diet!

This is assuming you don’t have any sugar or syrups in your coffee that will cause an insulin spike. When dieting it’s best to have your coffee black, no milk, no sugar and therefor no calories. I love my coffee black, I wouldn’t have it any other way, I know a lot of people don’t but if you want to burn fat fast then you need to consider having your coffee black.

So why is it amazing at burning fat? Well first, as you may have noticed coffee supresses your appetite, you don’t feel hungry once you’ve had a coffee, this is obviously great when dieting as it kills your cravings for food!

Coffee contains caffeine which is found in many fat burners, this is simply because caffeine gives us energy and boosts our metabolism! The caffeine in coffee will boost your metabolism so you will burn more calories while resting and therefor burn more fat! The caffeine in coffee stimulates a hormone called adrenaline, adrenaline makes our body mobilise its fat stores ready to be burned if energy is needed, so again helping you burn fat!

I often find when dieting that I have less energy and less focus than usual, which is understandable since I’m eating less but this doesn’t help when I’ve got lots of work to do and lots to get done! I find that coffee focuses my mind and gives me that boost I need to get stuff done even when I’m on a strict diet!

Like I said, I love coffee, and so should you!

For the ULTIMATE guide on how to optimise your hormones so you can build muscle and lose fat effortlessly, check out my Hormonal Manipulation programme!

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Cortisol: Why it’s Killing Your Gains!!

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I love talking about hormones when it comes to building muscle and losing fat because I think they play a very important role in how your body looks! In this post, I’m talking about the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is a stress hormone; our bodies produce it when we are under stress. This could be a stressful job, lack of sleep or working out for too long!

The problem is cortisol is your worst enemy when it comes to building muscle and losing fat because quite simply it turns your muscle into fat! More accurately it burns your muscle for energy turning it into glucose which can then stimulate an insulin response and potentially store that glucose as fat. Cortisol seems to have a strong effect on making us store fat specifically around our mid-sections, so it will hinder your goal of having a six pack too! Cortisol has also been linked to low testosterone levels and high oestrogen levels in men, leading to a whole host of problems.

So, by now I’m sure I’ve made you really hate this hormone and you’re now wondering how you can reduce it and keep it to minimum. Well first, think about it logically, it’s a stress hormone, so avoid stress! So, minimise stress, get plenty of sleep and don’t work out for longer than around 1 hour are the best ways to keep cortisol at bay.

Additionally, if you’re on a diet, don’t cut your calories and carbohydrates too much as this puts the body under a great deal of stress! Never lower calories lower than your BMR when trying to lose fat. Foods and supplements can also help you reduce cortisol levels, vitamin c and glutamine have been shown to reduce cortisol levels! Since cortisol is linked to testosterone levels in men, anything that can increase your testosterone will reduce your cortisol as well!

So guys, the take home message of this post is stay chilled out and don’t stress, it won’t get you anywhere and will just cost you muscle and gain you fat!

For the ULTIMATE guide on how to optimise your hormones so you can build muscle and lose fat effortlessly, check out my Hormonal Manipulation programme!

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3 Tips To Change Your Body Using Your MIND!!

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I did a similar video on this subject a few days ago, and you can watch it HERE! Whether you want to gain muscle, lose fat or both we all know we need to train hard and eat accordingly to our goals, that’s simple! To truly transform your body though you must have the correct mindset! I believe there are three key mental attributes you need to have if you want to change your body for the better!

Consistency! You must be consistent in your training and eating! There is no point if you train hard one week then take the next week off, it’s no good to eat well one day and then eat bad the next. You must be consistent to make a change!

Dedication! You must be dedicated to your goal and be in it for the long haul. Enjoy the journey and don’t just focus on the destination. You must truly want it and want it bad if you’re going to change your body because it will take hours in the gym and kitchen to make a change. Don’t even bother starting if you’re not dedicated!

Patience! You will not change your body overnight, it takes time and a lot of it! If you expect fast and easy results you are in for a big disappointment! Don’t expect daily changes, keep grinding away and you will get the results you want but it does take time!

No matter what some people say, there is no miracle workout, diet plan or supplement, it really does take consistent hard work with dedication and patience!

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The Key to a MASSIVE Chest!!

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Part of my key series, today you will learn how to get a massive chest! A well-built chest is what most guys dream of and is the reason why they step into the gym, after all who doesn’t love chest day?! Here are the keys to building your chest:

Forget the barbell and say hello to the dumbbells! I recently posted about this on my Facebook page, dumbbells train the chest far more effectively than a barbell. So, make sure you are doing your dumbbell bench press! With dumbbells, you get a full contraction of each pectoral muscle and each side works independently and will help balance out your chest if one side is bigger. Dumbbells also are far more challenging as they recruit more stabilising muscles giving you much harder workout!

Try dips! Dips are an old-school chest exercise that can do wonders for your chest if done properly. The key is to lean forward so your chest is doing the work rather than the triceps, you will know when it’s working because you will feel it deep in the pecs!

Don’t go too heavy! Guys love to go heavy on the bench press whether it’s with the barbell or some dumbbells they love to show off on chest day. Heavy chest training certainly has its place but you won’t get much growth if you’re doing 1 or 2 reps with a heavy weight with poor form. Remember the optimal rep range for growth is 8-12 reps, keep this in mind!

There are 3 keys that can make all the difference to whether your chest grows or not, so next time it’s chest day, leave your ego at the door and train smartly to get that chest you deserve!

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