#31: Insight into Amateur Physique Competing with James Anagnostopolous

July 16, 2018
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a Physique Competitor - whether it be pure curiosity or a personal interest? How people get into it, what the training looks like, the food, the posing, and generally how these guys run their life to looking the way they do?
 
If so, then this raw, honest and incredibly insightful interview with James Anagnostopolous is well worth a listen. James is an amateur Physique competitor. 
 
James is a normal guy holding down a career in the Corporate IT Software industry in New York, who just so happens to have a hidden surprising side to his personality and life. Being a life-long runner and lover of hard gruelling physical activities and competitions, James decided to throw himself into he deep-end and put himself into the foreign world of Physique Competing a couple years ago. 
 
With three NPC Physique competitions under his belt from a standing start, he’s learnt a great deal on what it takes to build your very best body and compete against other highly focussed athletes. Most importantly, he’s been on this journey whilst still being a dad, husband and successful corporate professional. It’s encouraging to hear that physique competing is accessible and open to all, if you’re willing to put in the work.
 
This is what we discuss through this engaging interview:
 
1️⃣ - Who is James. Interests, Family, Passions, Work…
2️⃣ - Life previously as a serial Marathon runner and Triathlete
3️⃣ - Why did James decide to get into Physique competing? How did his wife respond?
4️⃣ - What does Training, Nutrition, Supplementation and Rest look like?
5️⃣ - Discussing the painful and fatiguing 2-week pre-competition period called ‘Peaking’
6️⃣ - Embarrassing Posing and Bronzing stories pre-show
7️⃣ - Experiences, nerves and lessons learnt from the three competitions, and being back stage with ‘the circus'
8️⃣ - What about the Bodybuilding space? Is it full of narcissism and orthorexia? Can you have a healthy relationship with the sport and have it be a force for good?
 
INFO ON JAMES ANAGNOSTOPOLOUS:
 
USEFUL LINKS FROM PODCAST:
 
AUDIO QUALITY:James’ audio quality for a minute or so throughout the whole interview gets a little crackly. The joys of internet calling! Hopefully it’s not too distracting.
 
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#30: World Cup Soccer Banter & Can You Train EVERYDAY & Get Stronger/Bigger?

July 10, 2018
GO ON ENGLAND!!!! At the time of this recording, The England national team just progressed to the quarter finals of the World Cup 2018 Soccer tournament. By the time you read this - I’ll be excited to watch the semi finals or will be licking my wounds…
 
Naturally, we spend some time talking about the World Cup - but it’s not the typical lads chat about specific players, tactics and pub banter. As fitness professionals, we detour - covering our perspective on the coaching, the team vibe, some of the BS in football, reminiscing about our childhood years playing football (Steve was rubbish!), and covering both the physique and performance of the average world class footballer.
 
We then hit what ends up being a provocative question, that has Bryn and Steve go at it from differing points of view and beliefs - “Is it possible to beneficially train the same muscle group everyday and get bigger and stronger?”
 
For context, there are individuals in the fitness domain that have tried the 90 Day Squat Challenge and reported strength and muscle gains. Then you have world-class CrossFitters who train multiple times a day and are some of the fittest people on the planet. How are they making training EVERYDAY work for them?
 
It’s an energised debate with lots of knowledge offered, whilst confessing to not fully knowing the answer to the question. For that reason, Bryn is up for trying a 90 Day Bench Challenge in the few weeks, and we can take theatrical discussion to actual facts! Here are some fo the areas we touch on:
 
Are We Able to Strength Train Everyday and Make Positive Progress?
1️⃣ Training for competition, performance, physical improvements or overall wellbeing - you have to choose
2️⃣ Frequency is important - 2 bench days are better than 1 a week. 3 is better than 2. However…
3️⃣ The importance of Progressive Overload - Volume = Sets x Rep x Weight
4️⃣ The importance of Rest & Recovery, General Adaptation Syndrome and Super Compensation - 
5️⃣ What the overtraining impact can be OUTSIDE of muscle development
6️⃣ Can you train and super compensation daily, if you keep the dose low enough to speed up recovery? What is the right dose to thread this needle?
7️⃣ Train for you Personality Type - Our long-term growth m
inded at all costs, or are you more motivated to feel good in the moment
 
REFERENCED SHOW LINKS & RESOURCES:
 
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#29: Weight Training Programming Principles & Bryn’s 44h Fast Experience!

July 3, 2018
As you would have seen, earlier this month in June, the JUN-18 #HyperWorkouts released - an 8 week intermediate lifter training block as part of Steve’s personal annual phased training programme. You can find details of this Training Block below.
 
You can train wrong and ineffective in MANY many ways. But when it comes to doing it right, it’s pretty straight forward. Training guidance at a generic level should be free as it’s nothing novel, and that is what we intend do here at AdapNation - take the cost out of generic guidance.
 
So, this Episode has Bryn and Steve walk through the underlying design principles for Resistance Training Programming. These are the foundations you need to know to have a safe, effective and progressive workout plan. You’ll get a ton of value from this discussion, and will have a well-rounded understanding of programme design for the beginner/intermediate lifter. 
 
We talk about understanding your goals, the rep range spectrum, how to warm up, getting in some mobility and priming work, sequencing your strength and hypertrophy work, sequencing whole body vs isolation exercises, cardio-based finishers and the importance of rest, recovery and nutrition.
 
But first, Bryn has just come off his 44h fast! Let’s find out how he feels and what it was like. We get into he health and wellness benefits and how to consider using a fast as part of an overall fat loss strategy. 
 
REFERENCED SHOW LINKS & RESOURCES:

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#28- Life Meaning, Having Purpose, Lessons From Religion, Work-Life Choices, Making Marriages Work, Morning Social Media, Value of Napping & Much More

June 26, 2018

WOW, this conversation took a sharp left and didn’t return! But in a really good way.

We had other plans for todays Episode, But… it… got... interesting!! 

 

It would have been wrong to not this conversation unfold in the random direction it took. So, here’s a mash up of topics as we get super reflective on life following Bryn’s return from his 3-week Honeymoon.

Here’s how the conversation went down:

 

Starts by Steve’s mentioning his bulking plateau, feeling good but getting reflective…

1️⃣- Having meaning for life and a purpose to drive intent to our actions and goals

2️⃣- Getting numb from successes. Needed a stronger and stronger stimulus

3️⃣- Bible & Faith - Gods punishment was to make us self-conscious. The good and bad of faith - life rules, lessons, dogmatism 

4️⃣- Does Steve have a scale intent behind his mission, or can making a small difference to just a few be enough?

5️⃣- Wedding reflections - The transition from Boy to Man. Realisation of selfishness. Mitigating the 7 year itch. Being brutally honest

6️⃣- Honeymoon reflections - Can we have the tribal care and community of a third-world country and yet met our business and financial goals?

7️⃣- Steve’ massive pendulum swing from hyper-career focussed to family and passion first. Is it creating an internal conflict? Feeling less significant?

8️⃣- You can’t have true balance - some things need to sacrificed so you can build momentum in areas you care about. Then reprioritise.

9️⃣- Steve’s positive experience with Binaural Midday Napping and how he is now getting two mornings.

🔟- Controlling the Social Media life hijack by abstaining from Social until 10am. Steve reading a book instead first thing in the morning… 

 

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#27: Women’s Obstacles to Getting into Strength Training, Michelle’s PT from Hell/Heaven & Our Gym Fashion Addiction

June 19, 2018

Strength training is exploding as more and more people realise the fitness, longevity, health, fat burning and body composition benefits. We can thank CrossFit, Functional Training and Instagram for this popularity in the Barbell.

Whilst the fitness and training niche is bigger than ever, it’s still small comparatively. And for many women, the idea of Strength Training is met with enormous resistance. Even though the benefits are getting better understood, there’s an inertia to move from class-based ‘aerobic’ workouts to heavy compound lifting.

Episode Topic —> Why is this? And what needs to be done to educate, enable and motivate Women to give Strength Training a go?

Michelle and Steve discuss this big question, from a woman’s perspective. Michelle answers:

   1- Rewind - What would have motivated and made you comfortable to get into strength training?

   2- How would you or a stranger sell the concept of Strength Training to friends who only do classes?

   3- What was you assumption of PT’s before you knew any?

   4- Who would be your PT from Hell?

   5- What qualities, attributes and skills would make up your ideal Personal Trainer?

 But first, we kicked off our chat by talking about our fashion mistakes and addiction - from my Compression Tights and new Weightlifting Shoes to Michelle’s out of control Trainer Game.

 

Links:

 - Ep#23: Is Scratch Cooking on the Decline & Michelle’s Healthy Tasty Cooking Tips - https://goo.gl/VME7KE 

 - Healthy Cooking Made Quick & Easy, With Everyday Foods | Michelle Katasi - https://adapnation.io/2018/05/25/healthy-cooking-made-quick-easy-with-everyday-foods-michelle-katasi/ 

https://adapnation.io/2018/03/11/monthly-cycle-affects-workouts-diet/

- Your Monthly Cycle – How It Affects Your Workouts & Diet - https://adapnation.io/2018/03/11/monthly-cycle-affects-workouts-diet/ 

If you like this and other AdapNation episodes, please don't forget to subscribe to the channel, as well as leaving a 5 star review and letting friends and family know of this Podcast on Social Media.

 

If you like this and other AdapNation episodes, please don't forget to subscribe to the channel, as well as leaving a 5 star review and letting friends and family know of this Podcast on Social Media.

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#26: Identifying When You’re Exhausted From Training Or Life & Collecting Random Crap

June 12, 2018

Do you feel fatigued with bouts of low energy? A bit beaten up from the grind of work, training and life pressures? On top of this, perhaps you are struggling with getting restful sleeps, your memory and learning seems impaired with foggy thoughts, you’re feeling older with a sense of accelerated ageing, and skin issues such as psoriasis are flaring up. And maybe, motivation and drive has taken a dive and is second to anxiety. If so, this episode is worth a listen.

 

We kick things off by having a chat about the weird and wonderful world of us humans collection stuff. Why do we do it?! We chat about the craze for young girls called LOL Dolls and reflect on all the weird and pointless collections we’ve had throughout the years. All the wasted money! Haha 

 

Episode Topic —> Stress - Identifying & dealing with a build up of body fatigue and exhaustion, caused by over training, work and being in beast mode all of the time.  

We Discuss: 

   - Steve’s recent experiences of attempting to restore his bodies resources after years of pushing too hard  

   - Unwillingness to take time out from the gym for fear of losing gains or potential growth, and how this is counter productive to increased performance

   - Bombshell moment - starting to feel beaten up, chronically muscle tension and mood issues. Are flu symptoms a sign from your body?

   - Key principles of Steve - General Adaptation Syndrome, Exhaustion, Chronic Background Stress & Supercompensation

   - Personal lessons learned, the science and some Top Tips for working through Fatigue

   - Referencing the 3-part article called ‘Chronic Exercise & Life Fatigue - Are you GAS’d out?’ on the AdapNation.io website, where it goes into much more specific details and tools

 

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#25: Bryn Struggling With Bulking & Should You Use Supersets?

June 5, 2018

If you are either struggling to put on size and bulk (Ectomorph/Hard Gainer) or you are curious about the use of Supersets in your workouts, this will be a useful Episode to listen into. 

 

#1 - Bryn Struggling with Bulking & Getting In Enough Calories:

For those following AdapNation since the beginning of the year (2018) you would have heard and read Bryn’s desire to pack on lean muscle mass this year and have an athletic toned muscular frame (see Body Journal Goals). You would also know that Bryn is incredibly active and is a classic Ectomorph - someone who will easier lose weight than gain it. So, in todays catch up Steve asks how things are going:

   - Distracted from body goals due to Wedding Planning and 2 long stag dos! Can’t knock that.

   - Has found the training style that is most enjoying for his neurotype - CrossFit and dynamic performance-based workouts

   - Still cares about his Physique Goals of putting on another 15lbs+ of lean mass, but now has a bias towards performance improvement too

   - The biggest struggle for Bryn is not having the appetite or time to prepare and consume the amount of calories needed to be in a consistent surplus given his job, NEAT and training

   - How can we change Bryn’s thinking about Carbs and Fats and his Identity regarding food to move towards his daily calorie goals?

 

#2 - Should You be Supersetting Your Exercises?

   - What is Supper-setting Exercises?

   - What are the benefits and main reasons why Super-setting is often programmed in?

   - Does it help create bigger and stronger muscled versus doing exercises separately?

   - What are the Downsides to be aware of?

   - When is it not a good idea to Superset?

 

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#24: Narcissistic Hell at Bodypower Expo & Is IIFYM Diet Worth Trying?

May 29, 2018

Have you heard of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) on social media and the like over the last year or so? If not, where have you been?! ;) If you want to know more and whether it’s worth trying, this episode is for you. 

In this Episode, we cover:

#1 - Steve’s experience at the UK Bodypower Expo 2018 -

   - Huge 100K attended 3-day event

   - A few great voices and leaders, with some useful education tracks

   - But - NARCISSISTIC & Ego Hell! From the visitors!

   - Athletes, Macro and Micro Influencers

   - Which brands and types of companies were there?

   - How does Steve feel about his Body Goals & fit within an industry and group of people that caused an allergic reaction?

   - In a similar vein, check out 2018 W19 of 52 – Steve’s Body & Mind Progress Journal 

#2 - IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)

   - What is IIFYM and the key principles?

   - How do you do it?

   - Does it work in losing weight?

   - Can you build muscle with this approach?

   - Does it promote a health and sustainable long-term change?

   - Is there an Optimised way to run IIFYM?

If you like this and other AdapNation episodes, please don't forget to subscribe to the channel, as well as leaving a 5 star review and letting friends and family know of this Podcast. 

 

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#23: Is Scratch Cooking on the Decline & Michelle’s Healthy Tasty Cooking Tips

May 22, 2018

If you are after some inspiration, guidance and practical tips on how to select, prepare and create super tasty food that helps you thrive, then this is absolutely the episode to listen into.

 

Steve is joined by his wife Michelle, who is both an incredible cook of tasty nutritious food, but also a relatable everyday person who is busy caring for her family, keeping herself fit, dealing with the unlimited day-to-day tasks of life, and also trying to enjoy herself in the process. She is also the ‘chef mastermind’ behind all the 80+ (and growing) Tasty Meal Ideas on AdapNation’s Food Diary

 

In this Episode, we discuss:

 

#1 - Are we losing our skills as a society to prepare and flavour food from scratch?

#2 - What are some of the trends, habits and shifts across the last three decades that are contributing to this slow decline in Kitchen IQ?

#3 - The food inspiration that you can check out at https://adapnation.io/category/micro-blogs/food-diary/

#4 - Michelle’s Approach to Cooking - Rules, Equipment, Staple Ingredients, Superfoods, Inflammatory Food Substitutes, Pro Cooking Tips and Seasoning Ideas.

 

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#22: Struggling with Productivity, Creating the Perfect Day, Social Media Addiction, Retiring Early & the Rise of A1/Robots

May 15, 2018

Question: are you super productive, incredibly passionate and without addiction… 100% of the time? 

We’re not, and neither are most people we know. So why is we settle for a 5/10 day when we could have a 10/10 day?

These are the overarching themes of this Episode - Being More Productive, Fuelling your Passion & attempting to control our Social Media Addiction.

 

For the first 20 or so minutes, Bryn and I chat about the FIRE aspiration (Financial Independent Retire Early), doing work that you are passionate about and the knock on effect to your non-work life, and the  cannibalising effect of AI and Robotics are having to categories of work.

 

We then discuss:

#1 - Steve’s Pursuit for the Perfect Day and Week -

   - Only getting 5/10 days - am I lazy? Can I not work for myself?

   - Got a busy mind, distracted constantly, bad time management, decision fatigue

   - Am I allowing too much flexibility?

   - the need for automation, structure, accountability and removing the thoughts/decisions

   - Designing a detailed Gold Standard Template for the Perfect Day & Week

 

#2 - The taboo subject of Social Media Addiction

   - Social Media can be so distracting - less productivity & creativity. Lack of concentrate on difficult tasks. Less presence with our friends and family

   - Do we realise just how long we are on or are distracted by Social Media and Apps every day?

   - What does this mean for kids growing up today where SM is so integral to modern life? Are we staring at a major society addiction?

   - What tips, strategies and ideas can be used to be in control of this distraction, versus being OWNED by Social Media?

   - Is there a future where it will be socially frowned upon to consume Social Media in public places?

   

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AUDIO: The AdpNation Audio is improving. THanks for your patience. THis episode has a couple of minor glitches. Next episode will be SMOOTH! :)

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