Richard James Ahern's Blog

Fitness, Nutrition and Unchained Muscle!

Tag: Recipes

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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The ONLY 3 Training Methods for Muscle Growth!!

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When it comes to training for muscle growth, there are 3 methods you can use in the gym, they all involve using some kind of resistance, may this be weights or cable machines. In this post I will cover them and how you can use them to get more gains than ever before!

Micro Tearing the Muscle – This is the most effective way to grow your muscles, this is the principle of hypertrophy training. By lifting relatively heavy weight in a controlled manner using a full range of motion for around 8-12 reps is the best way to cause micro tears in your muscle fibres. So essentially you are purposely damaging the muscle, hence the soreness, so when you leave the gym your body will repair these micro tears and grow back your muscle fibres BIGGER and STRONGER for next time! Focus on stretching and squeezing the muscle with each rep to get the best results!

Lifting Heavy Weight – Strength gains can often be the result of improved nervous system control but very often a stronger muscle is also a bigger muscle. So lifting heavy weight will challenge your muscles and will likely cause them to grow, lifting heavy also elicits an anabolic response inside the body, so you produce more testosterone and growth hormone which will result in overall growth!

Pumping the Muscle – When you train a muscle for long enough your body pumps more blood into that muscle to feed it with oxygen and nutrients, this is known as the pump. Often training in a higher rep range with lighter weight will get the best pump (15-20 reps), you will know when you get a good pump as the muscle will feel tight, look bigger and burn! The reason this makes the muscle grow is quite simple, you are FEEDING it! The blood carrying all the protein you’ve eaten throughout the day is directly taken to that muscle for growth, on top of this, pumping a muscle will release more growth hormones inside the muscle and also stretch the facia of the muscle which will allow for easier future growth!

So there you have it, every time you step into the gym and pick up a weight, think of these 3 principles, if you’re not tearing the muscle fibres, challenging them with heavy weight or pumping the muscle then you’re NOT going to grow!

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How to Add Up to 100 Pounds to Your Bench and Deadlift Instantly!!

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In this blog I’m going to tell you how to add 100 pounds to your bench press and deadlift, this also can apply to other exercises too but I’m focussing on these because they are what most people want to get stronger at. For some it won’t be 100 pounds, it depends on what your current technique and knowledge is like but for most beginners the tips and tricks in this post will add HUGE amounts of weight to your lifts!

General Training Advice – To increase your strength you need to go heavy! The best set to rep range is 5×5, so 5 sets of 5 reps on the relevant exercise, on the last rep you should be really struggling and it should take everything you’ve got to complete that last rep, if it doesn’t then you’re going too light! Warm up first before going to the 5×5 with a lighter weight to make sure you don’t injure yourself. This is the best training method to increase strength.

General Diet Advice – Lifting heavy takes energy, you need to fuel your body. To increase your lifts, you need be eating a caloric surplus, so you are eating more calories than you are burning. I suggest you eat around a 1,000 calories surplus if you’re really serious about gaining strength. Most of these calories should be coming from carbohydrate as carbs are what the body uses for energy but also ensure you’re eating at least 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass for optimal recovery.

Ok, so now the nitty gritting tactics on how to increase your bench press and deadlift:

Deadlift –

  • First of all, always deadlift on a hard solid surface. Don’t deadlift in trainers, either wear proper lifting shoes or go barefoot!
  • Wear a belt, a lifting belt will stabilise your lower back and core and can easily add an extra 20 pounds to your deadlift.
  • Keep your feet aligned about shoulder width apart and ensure your knees and ankles are aligned. Bad technique can really affect your chances of a good lift.
  • Back needs to be flat when lifting with no arch, use an underhand-overhand grip if you struggle with grip strength. Correcting your technique can easily add 50 pounds to your deadlift.
  • Drive with your hips, your hips and legs should start the lift, think of it like a leg press and you’re pushing down on the floor as hard as you can with your legs. The power to start the lift comes from the legs, not the back, this makes a huge difference to how much you can lift.
  • Keep stretching your hamstrings, I have tight hamstrings and it has really affected my deadlift and has led to me getting lower back injuries. However, since I’ve started stretching my hamstrings regularly my deadlift weight has shot up!
  • Try deficit deadlifts, if your weak point is getting the weight of the floor try some deficits for a few weeks then come back to regular deadlifts. Deficits are where you stand on a platform when deadlifting thus making the weight lower on the ground and increasing the range of motion.
  • To increase your deadlift, you need strong legs and back so any other exercise which targets these muscles will help. Squats, Romanian deadlifts, hamstring curls, lunges, bent over rows and pull ups will all help you increase your deadlift.

Bench Press –

  • Make sure your grip is optimal, this makes a massive difference, too narrow will put too much strain on the triceps and too wide will only engage the chest. You want a grip that will engage as many muscles as possible to get the biggest weight up, this is usually slightly wider than shoulder width, but experiment and do what you feel gives you the most power.
  • Put a slight arch in your back when benching, there is nothing wrong with this and all power lifters do this, it will add pounds to your bench press instantly!
  • It’s not just about chest! You need strong shoulders, triceps and even lats for a big bench. Shoulder press, narrow grip bench press, and pull ups will all help your benching power!
  • Train with dumbbells! Dumbbell bench press is more challenging that barbell bench press, so go heavy with the dumbbells and when you come back to the barbell you’ll see a big difference.
  • Keep the bar above your nipples. This is the optimal position that you will get the most power from, it can vary from person to person but keep this in mind as a general rule.

So there you go, here’s a load of tips and tricks to increase your bench press and deadlift instantly as well as general training and diet advice to gain overall strength!

Video on this to come soon so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube!

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Why You Should Take STEROIDS!!

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Ah WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!!….. before you leave an angry comment on my blog calling me an idiot, hear me out, I am not advocating the use of steroids or any performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), nor do I recommend them to anyone at all. This post is aimed at individuals who have been misled by the fitness industry and I’m here to give you a reality check!

One of the most damaging things in the fitness industry are guys who use steroids and PEDs but claim they don’t and claim natural, more commonly known as the ‘fake nattys’!  They sport insane musculature with single digit body fat percentages but claim they are all natural. If you look at what real natural bodybuilders look like that are drug tested you can begin to see what the natural limit is, the human body has its limits, its biologically impossible to look like a top pro bodybuilder naturally, we simply don’t possess enough natural testosterone and growth hormone.

So next time you see a guy that looks pretty much like a pro bodybuilder but claims all natural, it’s fairly safe to say they are lying. The problem with this is it gives guys false hope and sets them up for failure. When guys think they can look like that naturally and bust their ass in the gym and the kitchen day in and day out but achieve nowhere near what they expect to achieve, that can be devastating! They will often end up quitting because these ‘fake nattys’ have mislead them to what is actually possible.

So the point of this blog post is this: if you want to look like a pro bodybuilder that steps on to the Olympia stage then I’m afraid to say you better get on the juice, that’s the unfortunate truth but I think it’s better for me to tell it to you straight rather than mislead you like many of the fitness guys on the internet.

However, you can achieve a great physique naturally and I do not in any way want anyone to go on steroids, you don’t know your natural limit until you push yourself, you never know you might be surprised at what you can achieve!

The human body has its limits, nature didn’t intend us to be 300 pound ripped mass monsters so don’t be misled, that’s the moral of this story!

To boost your testosterone naturally check out 9 Testosterone Boosting Foods You Are NOT Eating and check out our Chocolate Anabolic Cubes recipe with all research proven ingredients!

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9 Testosterone Boosting Foods You Are NOT Eating!!

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Testosterone is a steroid hormone that our bodies naturally produce, testosterone causes muscle growth, strength gain, fat loss and a general sense of well-being in men! So here are the 9 testosterone boosting foods you are NOT eating! You can watch this blog in video format HERE if you wish!

EGGS! I wrote an article on the power of eggs and you can view it HERE, but eggs are one of the most anabolic foods you can eat! They are high in a range of fats and cholesterol which is essential for testosterone production. On top of this they are high in vitamin D and magnesium which have both been shown to increase testosterone!

CHIA SEEDS! Chia seeds are the most anabolic seeds you have probably not heard about! They are rich in all the omegas and also very rich in zinc and magnesium. You have probably heard of ZMA, which is a zinc and magnesium supplement used to increase testosterone, but forget it because you can get all your zinc and magnesium from chia seeds!

BROCCOLI! Broccoli is a classic testosterone boosting food, it does this by suppressing the female hormone oestrogen therefor increasing our testosterone. Broccoli contains a compound called DIM which lowers oestrogen in men!

BRAZIL NUTS! All nuts are generally good for testosterone production as they are all rich in healthy fats but brazil nuts have high levels of selenium which is great for testosterone production!

PUMPKIN SEEDS! Like chia seeds pumpkin seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and magnesium, so are fantastic to boost your testosterone levels! A handful a day is all you need to benefit from these anabolic seeds!

ONIONS! Research done on rats showed that onion juice increased their serum testosterone levels by a whopping 300%! Although rats of course are not humans they do have a very similar reproductive system to us and many bodybuilders have been known to love onions to get them shredded, so add onions to as many of your meals as possible!

POMEGRANATE! Research done on humans shows that pomegranates increase testosterone levels, on top of that they are very nutritious and tasty!

COCONUT OIL! Saturated fat is the most important type of fat for testosterone production. Coconut oil is a saturated fat with many health benefits including its ability to raise metabolism so no wonder why its every bodybuilders favourite oil!

BLUEBERRIES! Blueberries are highly nutritious with high levels of vitamin C and B6. What makes blueberries so great for testosterone production is that they contain a chemical in their skins called Calcium-D-Glucarate which lowers oestrogen in the body therefor increases your testosterone!

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For a complete guide on optimising your anabolic hormones check out my Hormonal Manipulation programme, research proven to take your fitness to the next level by optimising your hormones!

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The 3 Ingredients That Make a Pro Bodybuilder!!

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Today I was watching the Mr Olympia show, the ultimate showcase of the top bodybuilders in the world. I found myself in awe of their physiques, it’s truly amazing how they can achieve such size with such conditioning and it has to be respected how insanely amazing they look. Most people are probably wondering how pro bodybuilders look this freaky, so here are the 3 reasons they look inhuman and why most people could never achieve anywhere near this sort of physique:

IT’S THEIR JOB! They get paid to look this way, they are paid by supplement companies and they get paid to win shows. So their lives are geared towards training, eating and growing. They don’t miss workouts and they don’t miss meals, they are dedicated to the absolute maximum. Every calorie and every macronutrient is calculated and the amount of food and protein they eat is unimaginable to the everyday person, most people are not capable of that sort of discipline!

GENETICS! The top bodybuilders you see on stage are guys that are naturally inclined to be muscular, they are naturally gifted with wide shoulders and narrow waists and the ability to put on huge amounts of muscle relatively easy. Just like the top professionals of all sports they have a natural talent for bodybuilding and that’s why not everyone who steps into the gym or takes steroids can look anywhere near how they look!

DRUGS! Ok, so this comes last because it does NOT play as important role as the other two despite what some people say. Drugs alone do not make a champion physique, you could pump a guy full of steroids but if he didn’t work hard he really wouldn’t look very good. However, drugs are a part of pro bodybuilding and it’s just not naturally possible to look like these guys, the human body just can’t build that much muscle by itself on natural testosterone. Steroids just scratch the surface with pro bodybuilding, human growth hormone, insulin and diuretics are all used in addition to steroids in order to create such freaky physiques. Every top bodybuilder does it though, (unless it’s a drug tested/natural show) so it’s an even playing field and it’s just the nature of the game!

Be sure to check out my latest video: 5 Reasons YOU Are Still SMALL!

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5 Reasons YOU Are Still SMALL!!

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When I first started lifting I really didn’t know much about it so I didn’t get the results I wanted until I learnt what mistakes I was making! It took some time for me to get it right but eventually I was gaining the huge amounts of muscle that I had been dreaming about! So in this blog I’m going to tell you the 5 mistakes that I made and what most people make when starting out in the gym and trying to build muscle. I’m also going to do a video on this soon so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE! So here are the 5 reasons YOU are still SMALL:

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1 . NOT EATING ENOUGH! This is by far the top reason why beginners don’t gain muscle. They think they are eating enough but they really are not. You need to EAT BIG to GET BIG! Work out how many calories you burn per day and eat MORE than that, aim for around 500-1,000 calories above this or even more if you have a particularly fast metabolism. Remember also to aim for 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass and 2-3g of carbohydrate per lb of lean body mass for optimal size gain!

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2 . NOT DOING COMPOUND EXERCISES! I’ve said this countless times in many articles, compound exercises are what get you big. These are exercise where more than 1 muscle is being worked such as the deadlift, squat, presses, rows, pull ups, lunges and dips. Compound exercises make the body release far more testosterone and growth hormone than isolation exercises and that’s what will get you big!

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3 . NOT TRAINING LEGS! I did a blog about this a week ago, check it out here, but not training legs is a big mistake. The legs are the largest muscles in the body so when you train them your body is put under more stress so releases more anabolic hormones! Training legs makes your whole body grow, so DON’T skip leg day!

supplement-powder4 . THINKING SUPPLEMENTS ARE LIFE! So many beginners ask “what protein do you take?” like it’s the most important thing, well it’s not, NOT AT ALL. Think food, training and rest before you think supplements, supplements make about a 10% difference, that is all!

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5 . TRAINING FOR TOO LONG! Many newbies think that more is better, this is VERY WRONG! Once you pass the 1-hour mark during your workout the hormone cortisol starts increasing, this hormone makes your body BURN MUSCLE for energy, so it’s very bad. Keep workouts short but INTENSE and don’t train for too long, remember muscle doesn’t grow in the gym, it grows when you are resting!

So if you are new to lifting and want to get big, REMEMBER THESE, burn them into your mind and never forget them and you will soon be massive! Video to come on this soon on my YouTube channel.

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Making Bodybuilding Food Great Again!!

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Bodybuilding food is often considered very boring and bland, the classic plain chicken and rice always comes to mind alongside the famous can of tuna you often see bodybuilders eating!

It doesn’t have to be like this though! You can get your protein, carbs, fats and calories in a tastier way! That’s why myself and my partner Emily Merrick who is a nutritionist have decided to make bodybuilding food great again!

We are going to be making recipes that are quick, easy, tasty, healthy and nutritious for bodybuilders and fitness addicts. Some will focus on gaining muscle and bulking, others will focus of fat loss and diet and some will focus on just health and wellbeing!

All the recipes will be published on my website www.richardjamesahern.com for FREE and also on my Pinterest and our Instagram! We will provide all the details you need to make these recipes for yourself at home and they won’t be expensive either as we don’t use a load of unnecessary ingredients!img_4256img_4238

So far we have released our Egg Fried Rice recipe and our Beef Madras Pasties recipe which are both great for muscle growth and bulking as they are loaded with protein and carbohydrate so great meals to have post workout after that hard training session to kick start muscle growth and recovery with an incredible kick of flavour!

Check them out HERE!

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