Author: Brad Rowe

Renowned contest prep coach, commercial actor, and world-class personal trainer, it’s fair to say Brad Rowe is beyond the conventional elite-level bodybuilder in the IFBB ranks. With his own Front Rowe athletics brand rapidly growing in popularity, Brad has firmly established himself as one of the most recognisable faces in the fitness industry for his positivity, insane work ethic, and uplifting character.

All Gas No Breaks with Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on January 15, 2020

Ok so we hear the motto “All Gas No Breaks” all the time. Essentially it means you’re grinding away 24/7 to reach all aspirations in life. There are two camps out there. One that supports this theory and ones that think you need both a mental and a physical break at times in order to properly focus and perform optimally.

I have found that for the most part I fall in the first camp. I work 7 days a week, don’t vacation much at all, train 6-7 days a week, always eating strict diet, and do cardio regularly. This is what I enjoy to do and makes me feel like I am always working towards my goals.

Over the years I have tried taking breaks in my training to let my body recover better so I could return and be in a great physical spot to push hard. This works well for so many athletes and they are able to make great progress and stay healthier.

For me, the opposite happens! I take time off or even back down and my body begins to hurt even more. Tendonitis flares up, joints begin to hurt, and I typically end up having some type of injury getting back into the swing of things. Even this past back off phase I just went through where I still trained daily but was training at about 60% output I feel like set me back even further with pain.

One thing I have noticed as well over the years is I get better the more shows I do. I’ve done 5-7 shows a few times within a year and always better at the end of things.

So my approach for now on is to maybe back off intensity for about a week then back in the saddle. My body loves to be pushed and my mind loves to be pushed as well. My bank account also enjoys me being all gas and no breaks when it comes to work. So for now on I’m back to “All Business Rowe” a nickname given to me by one of the trainers at Golds because he said day in and day out I’m always in there working my ass off on my body or my clients and do not let anything else detour me from that.

Brad Rowe
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
Prep Coach
Trainer
Rowe20 20% off at www.projectad.me

Going Nutz For A Better Body

Posted By Brad Rowe on December 16, 2019

With the new year ringing in, one of the number one goals for most is to get in better shape. Gym memberships boom, online coaches and personal trainers thrive, and supplement companies push thermogenic like the ice age is upon us.

People step into gyms and get up early and go for jogs or even try to curl soup cans to kick off some of those saddlebags and beer bellies. But the biggest factor is following and sticking to a solid diet that is slightly below caloric needs.

People get burnt out with crash dieting or get sick of boring bland foods and miss their sweet or savory favorites and fall off the wagon faster than it took to even put the harness on the ponies.

But in comes a savior…. Professor Nutz!!! Peanut Butter is one of America’s favorite treats, but unfortunately peanut butter is loaded with fats. Now if you ask our dumb FDA guidelines they will tell you that peanut butter is a great source of protein…..sure at a 1:3 protein to fat ratio. Same garbage you hear about milk being a great protein source yet has a 1:2 ratio of protein to carbohydrates.

Well the folks at Professor Nutz have solved our creamy dreams by creating a natural peanut butter that has the fats and carbohydrates digestibility corrected by using vegetable based enzymes that encapsulate them so the body can not break them down and convert to usable energy that can be potentially stored as fat. That’s right folks the only thing you get is the protein from the peanuts.

So if your on your new years diet, grab yourself some Professor Nutz and smear it on some celery sticks for am amazing snack, or make a pb&j wrap on a low carb wrap with sugar free jelly, and kick butt at kicking your butt and realizing the weight loss goals you desire without feeling like you are restricting yourself from life’s great creations like peanut butter!

Organ Health – The Real Performance Supplement

Posted By Brad Rowe on November 18, 2019

I get questions non stop by seasoned competitors and newbies alike. What’s the best supplement on the market to help…blah blah blah blah.

My answers usually shock them. First and foremost the best thing you can do for your body for whatever the goals may be is to eat a healthy diet according to those goals. If you’re trying to gain weight, slowly increase quality calories. If you’re trying to burn fat, slowly decrease calories while increasing output. Seems simple enough but it still is something that people cant grasp.

As Americans especially, we always want the quick fix and unfortunately there are no quick fixes. There are things that can slightly increase the rate at which goals are attained but the basics are the basics.

For me, I think the most important thing is to keep the machine running strong and efficiently.

By keeping digestive health optimal we are able to absorb nutrients at a much greater efficiency. Supplements like Ravenous from AD ensure in a healthy strong digestive system.

By keeping the heart and arterial system strong, bloodflow is efficient and able to transport nutrient and much needed oxygen to muscles and organs to ensure that strength and endurance are optimal. Products such as Heart+ help with reducing atherosclerotic buildup which can inhibit the vascular system and reduce blood flow as well as lead to vascular issues.

By keeping the liver strong and functioning properly you are able to detoxify the body, metabolize fats, produce hormones, and many other functions that are needed to keep the engine running strong. This leads to a greater ability to reduce bodyfat, have strong hormone levels, keep toxins from building up in our bodies which would all cause us to run very sluggish.
Liver+ and TUDCA are amazing products to feed the liver with what it needs to regenerate new tissue to run optimally.

So although AD has do many amazing products like Aminotaur to help increase amino acids for recovery, Nitr-OX to increase vasodilation, Stampede Untamed to give us that extra boost. In my opinion the best things we can do are protect and enhance the engine we were born with to function at optimal levels!

Traveling and Bodybuilding

Posted By Brad Rowe on October 17, 2019

One of the biggest questions I get from peers and up and comers is how do you travel with your food and supplements. As we all know the grind never stops and in life we often have to travel for things aside from vacations.

I have perfected the travel and food issues…… I just fast the entire time!!
Ok that is partly true depending on what phase I am in but on a serious note it just takes a little prep time.

First I lay out enough of my health supps for each day that I am traveling and for the day I get back so when I am home it’s not an immediate rush to prep for that or the next day. Pills get laid our and put in little baggies then those get packed in sandwich bags to designate a days worth.

Then all my powders for my peri-workout nutrition all gets put into either snack bags or sandwich bags depending how much powder. So my Aminotaur/Nitr-OX/Stampede Stim/Raging Full for 1 session all go in 1 baggie etc etc. I take 1 bag with a bunch of Fiber+ in it with the scooper so I can add that as needed while traveling. My Grazed goes with my protein powder that I have post train. All these except what’s needed for the travel day goes into a checked bag.

Then onto the tricky part….food! I pre cook everything, make exact meals that I need for the travel day plus a few extra incase of delays with travel and those go in a cooler that i carry onto the plane or keep in my car. The rest gets thrown in bags and vacuum sealed. So I’ll have a few bags with a couple pounds of chicken/fish/beef/veggies/rice/potatoes etc vacuum sealed then I freeze them and pack them all into a large cooler that goes into a checked bag. When I get to destination I take out whatever is needed to defrost.

I also am crazy and fly with all my condiments so I am 100% consistent with everything I do and not at the mercy of what’s around for grocery stores (this is especially beneficial when traveling abroad). Glass gets wrapped in some paper towels and put in big plastic bags so they dont break and leak all over things.

This process is a little bit of leg work but in the long run it makes the actual travel a lot less stressful! Don’t forget to pack your food scale, some cheap Tupperware to put the food in when you get there and your bodyweight scale so you have the consistency of using the same scale which is important if in prep.

Body Image And How It Hinders Progress

Posted By Brad Rowe on September 18, 2019

Are you a perma-bulker or a perma-shredder? For some in the industry it’s all about chasing those gains, others prefer to be lean and mean year round. Both can have severe hindrance to your big picture goals.

The perma-bulker, is always worried about looking big and round year round. While adding some beef is certainly needed, sometimes too much and for too long can slow progress or keep you from reaching true conditioning during show time. As food remains high, and cardio low. The body begins to slow in its ability to partition nutrient properly. Insulin sensitivity typically decreases and digestion can slow which results in unwanted fat and a lot of those calories not going to build the tissue we need.

With all that added weight mobility becomes severely diminished which leads to imbalances and eventually injury. Also a reduction in cardiovascular health and endurance is going to catch up to you and training becomes less intense.

When it comes to dieting for a show, the process then becomes extremely long and a lot of times that new tissue is lost because such drastic changes need to be made to drop all that extra fluff. Plus the guys who always worry about size are so worried about looking flat in the gym that they tend to cheat on diet and never get into the condition they need on stage.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is the guys that stay super lean all year long. I am known to fall into this category myself. Being too lean and consistently doing higher amounts of cardio and eating at a caloric deficit does not allow for an environment to grow as much new tissue to make improvements. Strong body parts may grow a bit but the weaknesses may never develop properly.

Another issue with being in a caloric deficit for so long is reduced metabolism and less wiggle room to take calories lower to get in true contest shape. This typically means an almost starvation diet and tons of cardio to get to lean enough. Also being very dry all the time can lead to a higher rate of torn muscles and tendons.

Just like almost everything in life you need to allow yourself to be uncomfortable to promote change. That may mean adding a little extra bodyfat or not looking overly round 24/7. The goal to achieve the success that is needed to make improvements in your physique and also remain healthy and productive in the process and just like Goldy Lox….you have to find that happy medium!

Brad Rowe: Possiblity Of Life Without The Stage

Posted By Brad Rowe on August 16, 2019

What is your why? Why do you compete? Why do you enjoy not living a “normal” life being able to be social, eat whatever you desire, have drinks with friends?

My why….. it’s a bit complicated but I have always had a drive to be great and to be different. Being “normal” in my mind is a slow miserable death. I could care less about the attention or accolades. It’s an inner drive that always pushed me as an athlete, as a student, and in the business world.

I have spent the last 9 months living to my normal standards a very “normal” life. My version of normal is still as strict as 98% of the worlds population. But I have not tried to make progress in one direction or another. Not having a goal with my body has been better for my marriage and been more social with friends but on a personal level I have been unhappy.

I sit here right now still in limbo on where I want to take things. I could continue on my current path and look great year round and have a much healthier and more balanced life. But also kill off a bit of my inner desires. I actually love the suffering of prep. I think about how very few people are willing to put themselves through the process. I also take pride in the fact that I embrace it and am extremely productive through out the process. A lot of people back off their work load and don’t take care of things in their life. I actually try to load more on my plate.

My why has always been to be as close to superhuman as possible on all levels in life. I could continue down this cushy path and still in everyone’s eyes be the same superhuman and be a better husband or friend. Or I could challenge myself with continuing to compete and balance life the best I can as I have done in the past and fulfill that crazy inner voice in my head that has gotten me to where I am in life.

You Are What You Eat? NO…You Are What You Absorb

Posted By Brad Rowe on July 16, 2019

You know the old adage, you are what you eat. Meaning if you eat shitty processed foods your body is going to look and perform like shit. Feed it clean, healthy food options, and you will feel and perform better.

Well that is part true! The problem especially what seems to be much more frequent now is that even when eating what we deem “clean and healthy” foods, our body is not feeling or performing correctly. A large part of that has to do with an ever growing issue with digestive systems.

As physique athletes we go through phases of having to eat in an extreme caloric surplus to add quality of muscle. But how much of those macro and micro nutrients are we truly getting from all that food. Our body can’t possibly produce enough enzymes to break down massive amounts of proteins and fats in order for them to be absorbed. Then once they get into the intestines where the actual absorption happens, extreme inflammation from over eating, previous poor food choices make the intestinal walls less permeable and reduces absorption.

Taking a digestive aid like Ravenous provide the body with additional digestive enzymes to properly break down the proteins and fats into molecules that the body can absorb and use. Ravenous also has an added benefit of detoxification properties to clear the intestines of build up that can reduce the mucosal walls permeability.

Another great thing to add in is some periods of fasting of 18hrs plus. This does not have to be overly frequent, but periods longer than 16hr allow the digestive system to naturally detox. Clearing out build up in the bile ducts that can reduce its ability to release digestive enzymes, but also gives the intestinal wall an opportunity to heal itself from damage caused by continuous activity and reduce inflammation.

Another major step is narrowing out foods that cause issue to you as an individual. I love lots of vegetables and fibrous foods like oats, and Ezekiel breads etc. But unfortunately for me, my body does not digest them well and they cause an inflammatory response within my GI system which suppresses the ability of the other foods I have eaten at that time to be properly absorbed.

Help your self by helping your gut and improving your bodies ability to actually absorb all that healthy nutritious food so you truly can BECOME WHAT YOU EAT!

Does Strength Matter For Physique Athletes by IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on June 10, 2019

The age old question….what’s your bench bro? I know every single person who has spent more than a month in the gym has fielded this question at one time or another. But how does strength relate to building a physique that wows over judges?

In my younger days as an athlete it was important to have a strong bench, squat, and deadlift. I needed to be able to explode off the line, stiff arm defenders, or drop my shoulders and run over a 250lb linebacker heading full speed into the hole to tackle me. A combination of strength and explosiveness were what kept me on two feet and eventually in the end zone.

But as I began to shift into my physique career, I quickly found out that just moving weight didn’t mean my muscles were going to grow. I was much stronger 10 years ago and 30lbs lighter. But that does not mean that strength didn’t play a part into me getting to the level I am at now. It laid a solid foundation and strengthened tendons to be able to hold heavier loads.

The difference is the approach to the lift and what we consider strong. There are plenty of bodybuilders who were crazy strong (Ronnie Coleman for example) but when you watch a bodybuilder lift heavy it’s a much different type of movement than say a powerlifter or athlete trying to increase performance. Bodybuilders are lifting heavy but with far superior control and focus on connecting with particular muscle groups to elicit hypertrophy and gain some more strength. Where a powerlifter sole purpose is to move the weight from point A to point B and doesn’t care what muscles are being used to achieve this.

By having to focus on muscle contraction its typically harder for physique athletes to move as much weight as their counterparts. But more often than not, they are much more muscularly developed. You also see some very large bodybuilders that use very light weight and high reps to achieve superhuman results. So it begs the question, do you need to train heavy?

I believe that a person just getting into the sport of bodybuilding should first focus on form and connection with muscle groups, then once that connection is made, transition into training heavier and heavier each week. Progressive overload is a great way to help build dense tissue and more importantly strong connective tissue that will be able to support the amount of muscle mass one desires. But form and muscle connection must always be emphasized.

Once a great foundation of dense muscle is built, than other methods of training like higher rep work can be implemented to increase volume and shape of the muscle and more importantly give the joints and tendons a little break as well.

Going back and forth every few months between phases of progressive overload and higher rep training as we get older I believe helps to continuously build and maintain a strong but developed physique. So next time someone asks “What’s your bench” just say “Enough to continually progress and not get burnt out!

Guide to a Successful Off-Season with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on May 14, 2019

We all want to grow like weeds and achieve something supernatural in a short period of time. But many make mistakes when trying to make progress.

More is not always more, and less is not always more. There is a balance that must be had in order to achieve results, and one of the biggest factors is TIME. We all want things yesterday so we do what we think is needed to get there as fast as possible.

This leads me to one of the first pitfalls of a successful off season. You have the athletes that know you need a caloric surplus to fuel the body to push hard in the gym and to repair that broken down muscle tissue into larger fibers. But this has been taken to extremes by some with such a surplus of calories and lack of that gains snatching cardio that the athlete just packs on excessive fat and slows the body down. Whether it’s an excess of clean or dirty food, those calories still get converted to fat. When the body is handling such an excess of food (especially shit food that people love to pound in the off season) digestion and absorption become compromised, insulin sensitivity becomes compromised, and we become fat building, not muscle building machines.

Then you have the athletes on the opposite spectrum (I am guilty as charged at times) who are not taking in enough calories and doing too much cardio in order to keep out InstaGram worthy physiques. The body needs fuel and it needs to be able to recover. So constantly eating in a maintenance or for some a caloric restriction and doing hours of cardio a week will not result in great progress no matter how much hormones you throw at the body.

There has to be a happy medium of eating above maintenance and keeping in some cardio to keep the body in a productive state. Again too fat is not productive from so many metabolic and health levels nor is too lean. Eat slightly above maintenance and keep some moderate cardio in to improve metabolism and digestion and slowly add food as needed. Cardio should never be cut out as it has too many benefits but keep it to 4-5 20-30 min sessions and don’t be afraid to toss in some HIIT cardio as well.

Products like Ravenous and Matador come in really great for the off season as controlling digestion and your ability to absorb nutrients (the biggest key here) with Ravenous, and controlling blood sugar levels to reduce stress on your own pancreas and shuttle those much needed carbs to storage to use for repairing and pushing through your intense training as opposed to being converted into fat and making you look like the Michelin Man!

Thinking Outside The Box When It Comes To Nutrition with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on April 14, 2019

As bodybuilders (all male or female categories fall into this) we get so consumed by….well consuming so much food. For the most part the food is high protein and high carbs because that’s the only way to make growth correct?

We need to have protein so our body can break it down into the amino acids needed to rebuild the tissue we are breaking down during the training process in hope it creates larger muscle fibers. We need those carbs so that our body can break it down into glucose in order to provide the energy needed in order to train and to power those rebuilding processes.

Over time an excess of proteins and carbs can do a number on our bodies. The pancreas gets stressed as it tries to produce insulin to keep up with the constant flood of carbs. Our bodyweight begins to jump a bit and we also retain more water which can cause increased blood volume which puts more stress on the heart and the kidneys due to increased blood pressure. This leads to potential for a diabetic state (body can no longer control blood glucose levels properly) and potential for heart and kidney problems. Too much protein has been theorized to be very acidic for the body which effects a great deal of chemical processes our body must perform and also can put stress on the digestive system if things are not passing properly. I don’t buy into the stress that excess protein has on kidneys due to particles entering the blood stream, I think that is an extreme case.

So we have all been engrained that we need to eat 6-8 meals a day in an extreme caloric surplus in order to build quality tissue. I have been experimenting on myself for going on 8 months of the anti-bodybuilders diet and I have not seen any decline in my physique at all.

I have dabbled with fasting and keto between my prep and off season phases for the last couple of years to reduce those stresses I mentioned above on my body. But since my bicep injury I have been full time eating unconventionally.

I have been fasting for 16-18 hours a day at least 5 days a week. I am talking TRUE fasting. Nothing but water and black coffee. No gum, no aminos, nothing during that fasted window that the body can think is a nutritional substrate (even stevia can be seen as sugar by some people and this throws them out of the fast). Fasting has many benefits as promoting autophagy, detoxing the body, and has metabolic benefits.

On top of this I have been doing a TRUE ketogenic diet. I am getting 75-80% of my caloric intake from fats, 15-20% from protein, and trace carbs from veggies and things like nuts, nut butters, and avocado. I have also been on a 4 week experiment using the Carnivore diet where I am eating NOTHING but meat and animal based products. No veggies, no fibers, just meats, eggs, whey isolate, and some….well maybe a bit too many pork rinds because I love the crunch.

So far during this experiment I stepped on stage in Romania doing the fasting portion with a more traditional bodybuilding diet of protein and carbs and looked probably the best of my career. Then since this December I have been nothing but the keto and Carnivore and my body has maintained 240lbs and lean and my digestive issues are almost non existent especially while on Carnivore.

Life is a little wild on my end right now so I am not sure when I will hit the stage next, but I am going to continue this self experimentation and work on building tissue and doing contest prep while utilizing the fasting, keto, and Carnivore diet to show people that it can be accomplished and I know I will feel better. Don’t just follow trends, think outside the box and be a trend setter.

Brad Rowe
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
Prep Coach
Trainer
Rowe20 20% off at www.projectad.me

IFBB PRO Brad Rowe Has The AD Gene

Posted By Brad Rowe on March 30, 2019

Learn the incredible background and mind set behind the inspirational IFBB PRO Brad Rowe, and exactly WHY he has the AD Gene….!

Do you have the AD Gene?

https://farm.projectAD.me

www.ProjectAD.me

Be part of it and #JoinTheHerd

How AD is Unique In The Saturated Supplement Market

Posted By Brad Rowe on March 14, 2019

Walking into a supplement store or browsing online to find products can be an extremely overwhelming endeavor. Flashy labeling or mimicked prescription look to packaging draws our eyes to whatever demographic we are in. But it’s what is inside that makes all the difference.

Truth be told a good amount of the products on the market are garbage. Under-dosed, low quality ingredients, or just flat out lying on labelling. The supplement world is a bit of the Wild West with very little oversight. Some of the biggest brands have been popped over the years for these such issues. So you can only imagine what some of these start ups are doing.

Another dirty little secret is a lot of your favorite IG stars supplement line are just under labelling agreements with other bigger companies. There are very few that don’t do private labelling deals which essentially means majority of those products are EXACTLY THE SAME!

So what makes AD special? It’s a commitment to making top quality products. Instead of dumping money into flashy big booths and giving away free product at the drop of a dime, they invest in quality manufacturing and sourcing and continued research to create even better products. It’s a brand that as an athlete on the highest level I put all my faith in. I also put faith into the products with my clients. They realize the difference when they switch over and are willing to pay a few more bucks to ensure they are getting that quality.

The focus of the company is on athlete HEALTH and performance. Health is the driving factor. Look across the product board to see majority of the products boost general health.

  • Ravenous a digestive enzyme that also helps detoxify the body. It’s not just what you can eat, it’s what you can ABSORB.
  • Matador our glucose disposal agent, as athletes we are over carbed typically and put severe strain on our pancreas putting us into pre diabetic state. Matador helps reduce blood sugar levels which takes stress of the need for excessive insulin release, plus helps reduce blood glucose being converted into fat.
  • Liver + and Heart + are excellent formulas to support healthy heart, arterial, blood pressure, liver, and kidney functions.
  • Grazed our super antioxidant greens and reds product is packed with essential micronutrients and ingredients to reduce the oxidative stress we put on our bodies.
  • Fiber + a multi source fiber product with probiotics to keep bowl movements regular and improve intestinal health.

Let’s not forget the out of the park performance products like Shredabull Untamed and Stampede Untamed who most that try can’t fathom how it is even legal because they are so effective!

So top to bottom the AD line is is essential for almost everyone on any level and doesn’t make crazy claims that you will add 20lbs of muscle in 1 bottle! Having a brand I trust and can put my name behind is paramount to me. As they old saying goes “All I have in this world is my word and my balls, and I ain’t breaking either of them for anyone!”

How I enjoy holidays & vacations – IFBB Pro Brad Rowe on life outside the gym

Posted By Brad Rowe on February 14, 2019

Let’s face it…..as American’s we are an EXTREMELY food driven culture. We associate holidays, family gatherings, and vacations with food. Unfortunately it’s not healthy foods either. Fat and carb rich pies, pastas, cookies, and all assorted dishes that taste amazing and give us instant gratification. But these choices can wreak havoc on our bodies!

That instant gratification is quickly followed by bloat, sluggishness, lack of motivation to do anything, and even worse…..a greater desire to eat more enticing foods!

How can we enjoy life, but still stay on track with physique and more importantly YOUR HEALTH!!

So for me, I just truly enjoy eating healthy these days. But don’t get me wrong…..I LOVE ME SOME GOOD EATS. I grew up in a family that had Saturday bean lunch at my grandmothers and Sunday dinner at my aunts. It was cakes, pies, everything you could imagine to pig out on. I survived off “shit” food growing up. Always on the go with friends riding our bikes and eating Wendy’s, Burger King, subs, and pizza at least twice a day.

I am a huge fan of fasting for many health purposes but it can be extreme for some. So just eat clean through out the day in a bit of a caloric deficit. Protein and veggies and keep your carbs and fats low, or do a true fast. Get in some activity through out the day even if it’s a walk or playing with your dog/kids/or significant others. On vacation, walking around and exploring places, walk on the beach, or just get in a full body circuit workout in your room or hotel gym.

Then have 1 meal at night. Enjoy but don’t binge to a point that you feel nauseous. Have a bite of everything you need, but create the willpower to walk away content but not stuffed. I also highly suggest that you do this as your last meal of the night. As mentioned before, once you have something delicious, it’s hard to go back to clean eating. You are more likely to make poor choices.

We all need to enjoy life a bit and it can be achievable by just making some smarter choices to allow for a little freedom. I always come back from vacations in just as good shape as I do before I leave and I am not dedicating hours in the gym and stressing about not being able to eat what I want. I just set myself up to be successful and FEEL good. I honestly wouldn’t even enjoy a trip of doing nothing but eating crap and drinking.

How To Effectively Train On A Low Carb Diet with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on January 10, 2019

As a physique athlete we often have to go through different periods through out the year to yield the results needed. We go through phases of caloric surplus “off season” to grow, caloric deficit “prep” to lean out, and if your smart enough you will also do a detox phase and give your body periods of breaks in both digestion and training.

One major issue most have and a big reason why they can never really get in great shape is that they get frustrated with the “pumps”, energy, and strength loss in the gym. They believe that this is a sure shot sign that they are “going catabolic bro” (losing precious muscle tissue).

One way I like to avoid this is through structuring food to support training. On low carb diets, those ever important carbs which are our bodies quickest used sources of energy are at a minimum. So that is why one feels lethargic and flat through out the day. Say you are only allotted 100g of carbs through out the day. For me, I want that energy when its needed the most. So I will have majority of my carbs if not all of them pre and post train. If I am only at 100g total for the day, I would do 60g carbs pre train then the other 40g post train. This gives me the energy needed to power through my training and also to aid in recovery on the back end.

To me the 3 most important times in order to have the most calories are :

1 – pre train
2 – post train
3 – meal 1

All other meals can be divided up evenly with the remaining macros you have. I am also not one of those people that think carbs before bed are bad. So if you are on the higher end and can have carbs in all meals, I personally have found no difference in eating carbs at night as opposed to none as long and insulin sensitivity is good.

Other things that really help during times of dieting are saving your stimulants for prep. When you are in the off season and in a caloric surplus energy should not be an issue unless sleep is not adequate then you need to figure something out to fix that. But taking breaks through out the year and saving stimulants like Stampede or Shredabull Untamed make their effects even better when needed and also helps support your adrenal health. A pump product like Nitr-Ox and plenty of sodium before training will also ensure you get the pumps you may miss on the lower caloric intake.

Recovering from Injury … The Mental Battle | with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on December 10, 2018

Many people spend their whole lives in fear of injury. This fear is natural as part of our self preservation instincts. But some let the fear consume them and can’t live out their lives to the fullest. When injuries do occur, it plays into our deepest fears and can drive us into an extremely negative state.

We worry about the basics like being able to provide for ourselves or family due to injury. Some also worry that the quality of life will be reduced long term, or even ruin their ability to perform their hobbies and interests or even worse, their careers as in professional sports or other physical jobs.

The Mental Stress State & Physical Recovery State

This negative thinking is the worst thing you can do to ensure a full and swift recovery. Not only do we ball up and become depressed or angry and put strain on external relationships. But we force our body into a continuous stressed state. This enhances our sympathetic nervous systems response into prolonged action. This causes increases in cortisol levels and changes in other hormonal systems. It does not allow our body to fully expend nutrients and resources into healing. But even worse it disrupts our entire body. A prolonged stressed state effects digestion, metabolism, anabolic state, neurotransmitter response, and further drives us into a deeper negative mental state. As you can see you are now dealing with far more than just the injury at this point and are really doing damage to all the systems of your body!

Staying positive can be very difficult especially if it’s the first time dealing with major injury, or reoccurring injuries that continually set you back. So the first step is to control the mind and the body will follow. You must cultivate positive thoughts through out the day from the moment you wake until you go to bed. Think about all the great things and people you have in your life, think about past accomplishments, think about future plans, try meditation and breathing techniques.

From a physical standpoint….remain active! If you have injured your right arm, you can still do activities with your legs and your left arm. Not only will being active increase blood flow which delivers nutrients and other healing factors to the injury, but you release endorphins that help perpetuate a positive outlook.

Accomplish small tasks through out the day. Create a checklist of things you may have been putting off for sometime. Start knocking off easy things. This again creates a feeling of accomplishment and well being which helps you feel like the injury is not that debilitating. Put a little more focus on those that love you. Again this will help perpetuate a positive feeling knowing you are building greater bonds with those that are closest to you instead of pushing them away like we would in a negative/depressed mindset.

Conclusion

So much of our bodies responses are controlled by our thoughts. All the proper nutrition, supplementation, therapy, and other medical modalities do not nearly do as much for recovery than keeping a positive outlook on our situation. Always move in a forward direction no matter how small the steps are because they still add up and bring us closer to what we want in life. 

Secrets to the Perfect Contest Prep by Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on October 10, 2018

IFBB Pro Brad Rowe outlines the key factors that contribute to a successful contest prep and how to be in your best condition on stage.

 

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The Importance of the Off-Season

 

One of the biggest overlooked factors in a successful prep, is a successful offseason!

 

As a prep coach, I absolutely hate having to take on a client with less than 10 weeks to go. It takes time to get to learn an athletes body. But more importantly, you have no idea what the athlete was truly doing in the months leading into it.

 

There is a fine balance with a productive offseason. You want to utilize that time to build tissue. In order to do so, you must be in a caloric surplus.

 

I myself have always teetered on the edge of being too lean/not eating enough to be productive. Not only do you inhibit putting on tissue, but you are already at a lower caloric intake and probably doing a decent amount of cardio which makes it hard to pull more calories and add more cardio without chewing up that hard-earned tissue and stressing the body to a point that metabolism becomes shunted do to stress response.

 

Now, on the other hand, the “eat whatever you want and do no cardio” approach is not beneficial at all either. Not only is it a huge hit on health to carry excessive body fat and un-needed weight.

 

But you are now at such a high bodyfat that you have to really cut calories and push cardio that you are more likely to chew up hard-earned tissue and suppress metabolism.

 

Not only that but you are typically going to kill insulin sensitivity which inhibits your bodies ability to shuttle blood glucose, making fat loss harder and risk of diabetes and heart disease higher.

 

Conclusion

 

So as you can see, truly a successful prep has a lot to do with how successful your offseason is and how rested you are!

 

Being run down going into prep (not getting enough sleep, overtraining) are also detrimental to a successful prep.

Flexibility and Mobility for Bodybuilding By Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on October 10, 2018

IFBB Pro Brad Rowe discusses why overlooking mobility and flexibility work can lead to bodybuilders and powerlifters long-term downfall and health complications.

 

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Bodybuilders and powerlifters live in a single planar world. Everything we do in order to grow tissue or gain strength is all done in a single plane that creates the greatest force on the particular muscle we are trying to target.

 

By doing so we are neglecting so many stabilization and accessory muscles that keep joints moving properly and reduce imbalances.

 

I personally like to do some functional training for short phases throughout the year, and should put even more effort into these things as I do.

 

Things that create a diverse range of motion help secure knee, shoulder, hip joints and reduce the risk of injury. These type of movements also aid in strengthening tendon which bodybuilders and powerlifter often suffer from ruptures.

 

Flexibility Work for Bodybuilders & Athletes

 

Flexibility is just as important.  

 

Again similar to functional training, the idea is to keep muscle and tendons elongated and supple.

 

When we continuously train in a single planar motion and do not stretch, tissue becomes shortened and hardened due to built up adhesions/scar tissue. So stretching helps lengthen muscle which allows for a greater contraction, transport of nutrients throughout the whole muscle and leads to less injury and greater output.

 

Active recovery is extremely important to hold off the dreaded sidelines recovery from injury!

 

Conclusion

 

Mobility and flexibility work is paramount to overall health and performance for athletes and integrating it into your routine is essential for long-term success and consistency.

Overcoming Bad Genetics with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on October 8, 2018

IFBB Pro Brad Rowe discusses his top techniques and strategies to overcome bad genetics, in order to maximise your potential when it comes to building your physique or stepping on stage.

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As someone who does not have the greatest genetics for bodybuilding (I am narrow through the clavicle and wide at the hips which does not give me a great taper, and I do not have the roundest of muscle bellies) I just simply know I must be perfect pretty much on everything. I must work harder than other athletes and be more consistent with my dieting, training, and rehab/prehab.

You must be able to be objective and realistic as well and understand where improvements need to be made to overcome structural issues or lagging body parts.

You also must be able to understand that progress may not come as fast as others and be able to keep a positive mindset.

I approach shows with the mindset of purely beating my previous self. It may be an improvement in conditioning, shape, stomach control.

I don’t try to compete with others, but I do know that if I am my best or better version of myself there are guys that I can potentially beat. But also realize there are others who I can never touch.

Conclusion

Knowing your limitations is a pragmatic way to approach building muscle, but as always, consistency and discipline are the two key factors that determine overall success.

Brad Rowe
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
Prep Coach
Trainer

Peak Week Secrets with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on September 3, 2018

IFBB Pro & Internationally renowned competitor/actor Brad Rowe reveals his best techniques for entering the stage contest ready.

1) Best advice for peak week?

  • As with EVERYTHING in life KISS (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID)!
  • Use the same foods you used and that digested well all prep!
  • Don’t do drastic depletion and drastic carb up; small changes in gradients of carbs/water/sodium will have best results.
  • Do not cut water or taper water days out!
  • Do not cut sodium completely!
  • Try not to stress and stay off your feet as much as possible!
  • Train the way you built it. Don’t randomly do super high reps the last week if you trained in the 8-12 range all year. Just reduce volume a bit and stop just shy of failure those last few days.

2) What stage out should you start your prep?

  • This is a varying response depending on body types. Some people get in shape very easy, others take a very long time. So have an understanding of how easy or hard you get in shape and plan accordingly. I know I can personally get in shape in 6wks BUT it may not produce the best look. 10-12 weeks allows less drastic cuts for me and a harder look. Some may take 20 weeks!
  • Don’t let things get out of hand in the off season by packing on loads of fat but also dont be doing hours of cardio and starving in the off season because there is no place to pull from or add to in order to get in shape. Need a happy place of getting caloric intake up to build metabolism and keeping body fat levels within reason.

3) What key strategies do you use to give you/clients an edge on the competition?

  • First and foremost, don’t even think about the competition! Who cares what someone looks like during prep or off season? The only thing that matters is how you look on show day. Once you begin just competing against yourself, your journey becomes much more enjoyable and successful!
  • Train like everyone is watching you always! When you feel tired when doing cardio, training, posing whatever….just act like there is a video camera on you at all times and push as hard as you can.
  • It’s not a size game! Stop worrying about weight!
  • You gotta get flat so your not FAT on stage. Again, so many guys and girls are so worried about how full they look or not having skin bursting pumps during prep. You have to feel a little flat and mushy a lot during prep to cut away the fat and etch in detail.
  • Understand sometimes less is more! You can’t train 7 days a week full intensity and do a ton of cardio and expect the body to recover and make progress. Have set days off and stick to them.
  • “Embrace The Suck!” Learn to enjoy the hunger and pain and realize your doing what most people in the world can’t handle.

Conclusion

Drawing on over a decade of experience and a reputation for being a high-volume competitor, Brad’s advice can help even those strapped for time looking to compete on short notice invaluable.

Muscle Growth Q & A Hacking with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

Posted By Brad Rowe on July 27, 2018

growth hacking with IFBB Pro Brad Rowe

In this new series of Q & A’s, we tap into the knowledge base of some of the most respected and knowledgeable heads in the industry, starting with Project AD IFBB Pro bodybuilder Brad Rowe.

1) Is it best to vary rep ranges when training solely for hypertrophy/muscle gain, or is there a sweet spot bodybuilders should generally stick to?

I think things need to vary a bit. I like to go through periods of 6-8 reps, 10-12 reps, and 15-18. It’s good to give a particular rep range a good 3-4wks before switching up.

I would not go below 6 reps or over 20 range for hypertrophy. The biggest factor regardless of the range is the intensity brought to the set. You need to cause muscle fiber damage to grow.

2) What is the optimal training frequency for muscle growth?

If nutrition, sleep, and all other factors are in check than every 4 days is something that can be maintained. Every 5 days is a little on the safer side to allow for recovery. One could get away with a pump session in that period. Like I hit arms and chest a couple of times a week in the morning – nothing close to failure. Maybe 6 sets lighter weight in the 15-18 rep range stopping short from failure. I do this just to keep blood flow in those weak points.

3) Training twice per day: are there any circumstances where you would advise this for muscle growth if somebody has the time?

Personally, I could not do double training. I put way too much effort and intensity into my training to be able to do it twice a day. I could maybe see splitting up biceps and triceps in same day or shoulders and hamstrings. But chest, back, quads certainly need a separate day with how I train and how I expect my athletes to train.

Brad earned his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science from Marist College and then going on to further his education at Drexel University where he earned his Masters in Biomedical Science as well. Brad has a number of online clients, that he coaches for competitions and/or helps them reach their fitness goals. He also trains clients one-on-one at Gold Gym Venice.

 

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