Feature Friday: Zach Deal

Zach Deal 1

First name: Zach
Last name: Deal
City: Miami Beach
State: Florida
Age: 23
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 245
Profession: International Online Trainer/Private Trainer

Follow Him:
Twitter: @zachdeal90
Instagram: @zachdeal
Website: http://zachdeal.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/zachdealtv
Youtube: http://youtube.com/zachdealtv

Are you signed to any agencies? If so what agencies?
Currently signed with MAD Talent Agency.

When did you start working out?:
I began my fitness journey with Martial Arts at age 5. I have a black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu as well as Taekwondo. I’ve competed in both, and competed on an Olympic level with Taekwondo. Around the age of 20 I developed a passion for weight training and more bodybuilding oriented workouts. I lost touch with my Martial Arts training for sometime. It’s a completely different world. Martial arts focuses more on metabolic, fast pace, high intensity workouts, as opposed to bodybuilding focusing on keeping the body anabolic.

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How many days a week do you work out?:
5, sometimes 6. All depending on how my split looks for that week.

How long is your average workout?:
It depends. It takes me a lot longer to train a primary muscle group. My leg workout could last me 2 – 2 and a half hours, as opposed to my arm workout lasting 45 minutes.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Shoulder day is by far my favorite.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
I wouldn’t say, I have a least favorite, but there are certain days when I REALLY don’t want to train legs or back. Can be a pain in the ass.

Do you compete in competitions? If so, when did you start competing?:
I don’t. No desire to compete.

Zach Deal 3

Do you have a coach or trainer to help you maintain your physique?:
I don’t. I have before, and I highly recommend it. I have a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science with special studies in the human muscular structure, so I’ve done my own research, and I’m very familiar with formulating diet regimen’s for all shapes and sizes, and any particular fitness goal. That being said, even with my background in nutrition and myology, it was VERY helpful to have someone there to make sure I was reliable to.

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I always have new fitness goals. Anyone that looks in the mirror should have new fitness goals. Your body will never be perfect, and there’s always fine tuning you can do to your physique. I also enjoy surpassing my physical boundaries when it comes to weight barriers as well. Being 6’5 requires a lot of extra practice when it comes to movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench. I’m always trying to break my own personal records… (as well as all my friends lol)

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
There are a few that stand out in my mind when thinking of note worthy physiques. Greg Plitt was someone that inspired me during the beginning stages of my weight training. Always super shredded, and motivating in his videos. My good friend Bradley Martyn has an INSANE physique in terms of size, low body fat %, and symmetry, along with being one of the strongest weightlifters I’ve ever trained with. A few others would be: Phil Heath(obviously), Mike O’Hearn, Calum Von Moger, Lou Ferigno in his prime, and Frank McGrath for his ridiculous vascularity.

Zach Deal 4

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
I take your staple supplements like, CLA, L-Carnitine, BCAA’s, protein powder, etc… but all of these supplements are simply going to be useless if your nutrition is not 100%

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
High carb, high fat, high protein. My body reacts very well to high calories at all times. A low carb day for me is typically 500g of carbs. This method does not work for everyone. A lot of my clients react better to a Ketogenic diet (Moderate protein, low carb, high fat) and some clients that that actually lose weight with higher carbs.


What is your favorite cheat meal?:
Damn… Hard to choose just one, but I would have to say buffalo wings.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
I especially like what most people refer to as the ‘big 3’. Squat, bench, deadlift. If performed correctly, these 3 exercises can be some of most effective exercises you can utilize.

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Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
CONSISTENCY. You can get involved with all the mumbo-jumbo BS that people spew online about overtraining, or IIFYM/Flexible dieting, and spend all your time trying to determine who to side with; or you can find a suitable program that’s worked for others, get in the kitchen, make your meals, and then get to the gym, and train your ass off. Along the way, ask questions, do your research, and stay consistent.

How do you go about online personal training?:
All of my clients go through a detailed evaluation process that involves a thorough assessment of body composition, fitness goals, and dietary restrictions. Once they divulge all of this information to me, I will begin formulating a diet/training program personalized to meet their personal fitness needs.

How can people contact you if they are interested in Online personal training?:
Contact via email (zachdeal@ymail.com) or my website zachdeal.com

Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Zach Deal? Would you or someone you know liked to be featured? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

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Feature Friday: Cassandra Fiorella aka ‘PetiteFi’

PetiteFi1

First name: Cassandra aka ‘PetiteFi’

Last name: Fiorella

City: Denver

State: Colorado

Age: 26

Height: 5’4”

Weight: I rarely get on a scale and have not been on one in a decent while, but I would guess around 130 – 135lbs

Profession: General Trouble Maker/Blogger/Health Enthusiast/Crossfitter/Trainer

Follow Her:
Twitter: @OhHeyItsFi
Instagram: PetiteFi
Blog/Website URL: One is coming soon!

When did you start working out?:

I grew up an active child – playing sports, climbing trees, biking, running, jumping around. “Fitness” in the sense of movement and life- has been a part of my world since day 1. However, my journey into fitness in the traditional sense of the word began around the time I turned 21. It was at that time, after a long stint of years spent partying, that I realized it was time to change my direction and head down a new path in life.

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How many days a week do you work out?:

This is very much season and schedule dependent, but I prefer to hit the gym 5 to 6 days a week. I’d say I average 4 a week throughout the year although even on the days I don’t make it into the gym, I still remain relatively active either through biking (my main mode of transportation) or hiking, running, walking. This is simply a way of life for me, not some necessary evil or chore I feel I must do.

How long is your average workout?:

Crossfit WOD classes are scheduled for an hour at a time however the actual workouts themselves average around 12 to 20 minutes. The rest of the hour is spent warming up, going over technique and mobilizing/stretching. Some days I perform additional “accessory” work generally in the form of technique work focused around particular weaknesses of mine. I also try to spend at least 15 minutes a day mobilizing as flexibly is a major factor that generally gets overlooked. On top of this, I generally average around 10 miles a day on my bike (in the warmer months) simply in transport from one place to another.

Favorite muscles to exercise:

All of them! I don’t “spot” train (no “leg days” or “back days” for me). My lower body is much stronger than my upper body – as is the case for most women – so anything lower body centric is preferable to me but I am working hard to balance them out as much as possible.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:

None. This is not about muscle groupings for me. This is about functionality. Anything involving heavy overhead (presses/snatches) is difficult for me and causes me the most anguish, but I enjoy practicing those movements because I want to improve.

PetiteFi3

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:

I absolutely have goals and will continue to do so with every one I achieve. By the end of 2013 I would like to be able to Squat 300lbs, Deadlift 300+, Bench press 150lbs, Snatch my body weight, Clean & Jerk my body weight (or more), perform 10 strict handstand push ups, and knock out double unders like its my job.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:

To be perfectly honest, all the people I see and meet on a regular basis who are pushing themselves in the gym are inspiration to me. Whether it is the girl taking her first steps into the weight room, the novice nailing a heavy lift they’ve attempted time and time again, or the single mom somehow finding time in her day to take a walk around the park. Knowing that they all are striving to better themselves fuels my drive to better myself and help others do so in the process. All accomplishments, large or small, deserve to be recognized and celebrated. If you are dedicated, working hard and staying positive all the while, you have my utmost respect regardless of your fitness level.

What supplements do you take or recommend?:

Supplementation is a gray area in my world. I believe that some supplementation, mostly in the form of vitamins and minerals, can be used to round out a healthy, real food based diet, but totally relying on pills & powders is absolutely unnecessary and potentially dangerous. I personally try to get all my nutritional needs from whole foods but do take a high concentrated fish oil as well as a D3 supplement daily. I occasionally make use of protein powders either when I am in a pinch for time after the gym or in between meals in order to meet my daily protein requirements, but try to not rely on them too much. I’d much rather eat a steak than drink a chocolate flavored beverage.

PetiteFi4

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:

I eat Real Food! Foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. I eat very little, if anything, processed – even making my own condiments and non-dairy milks. High quality (aka grass-fed, pasture raised) animal products from a variety of sources (including organs and bone marrow) make up a large portion of my diet as well as seafood and eggs. I eat a wide variety of vegetables including an abundance of dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes and squash for my carbohydrates. I also eat A LOT of fat – coconut oil, olive oil, real butter, ghee, bacon fat, avocado as well as some nuts and seeds. I consume a minimal amount of fruit as I try to keep my sugar intake, even sugar from natural sources, on the low end and I do not drink any alcohol or sugar based beverages but do drink coffee and kombucha tea regularly. I also incorporate fermented foods such as sauerkraut regularly for their probiotic benefit as well as drink home made bone broth to support healthy gut flora!

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:

Constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity. I truly believe in Crossfit because I have seen what it has done for hundreds of people’s lives – including my own! The premise of specializing in not specializing is very appealing to me as it has developed me into a well-rounded athlete capable of a wide variety of tasks and set the stage for my functionality for years to come. That being said, if I had to pick one exercise that I believe is the most affective in overall strength and health development it would be the squat. Loaded and unloaded. You want to be able to stand up off the toilet without assistance for the rest of your life, don’t you?

PetiteFi5

How much cardio do you do? (Per day or per week):

The only “cardio” I perform in the traditional sense regularly is riding my bicycle, as it is my main mode of transportation. I average around 100 miles a week in the spring and summer time here and probably spend more time on that thing than off. Otherwise, I am training my cardiovascular system every time I train thanks to my workouts being performed at high intensity

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:

Find a style of fitness that you find fun! If you hate to run it is very unlikely that you will stick to running a few times a week. Try different types of classes, workout alone or with friends, experiment with active activities in order to find something that best suits you. There is no ONE “right” way – don’t let anyone allow you to feel that there is. Regardless of how you choose to train, STAY consistent! That is ultimately the key to success in anything in life. Hard work & dedication.

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:

Remember that your life is yours and yours alone. You can shape it into any direction you choose – make it what you want.

Do you find ‘PetiteFi’ inspiring? Do you have any other questions for her? Do you think you have what it takes to be featured on my blog? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com.

Feature Friday: Eric Turner

Eric 1
First name: Eric
Last name: Turner
City: Houston
State: Texas (Originally from Herriman, UT)
Age: 32
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 208
Profession: Personal Trainer

Follow Him:
Twitter: @erictastic
Instagram: erictastic

When did you start working out?:
When I was 21.

Eric 2

How many days a week do you work out?:
I do weights 5 days a week and I do cardio 6 days a week.

How long is your average workout?:
Usually 90 min

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs. lol

Eric 3

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I’m constantly trying to better myself and my symmetry, and I’m currently competing for my IFBB Pro Card.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
Jaco De Bruyn

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
I think people misunderstand what supplements are for. They are intended to supplement any areas that your diet is lacking. I tend to only take supplements when I’m dieting down so that I still get the nutients that I’m lacking.

Eric 4

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
It’s constantly changing, so that I won’t plateau. It generally consists of around 45-50% of kilocalories from carbs, 30-35% of kcal from proteins, and 15-20% of kcal from fats.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
You can’t have a good physique if you focus too much on one thing. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to me working out. I have lately been obsessed with lateral raise drop sets though.

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Keep with it. Consistency is the magic ingredient!

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
I get a lot of questions from people who have all sorts of strange ideas of things they’ve heard… I think the biggest misnomer that people have is that low carb is always the way to go. If you’re looking to build muscle, you can’t pack on muscle without eating carbs, and cutting them out actually makes gaining muscle pretty difficult.

Feature Friday: Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas 1

First name: Dylan
Last name: Thomas
City: Toronto
Province: Ontario
Age: 22
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 210lbs (throughout the year) 195lbs (competition weight)
Profession: Trainer/Online Training Coach

Follow Him:
Twitter: @DylanThomasfit
Instagram: Dylanthomas_fitness_toronto

When did you start working out?:
When I was 16.

How many days a week do you work out?:
While prepping for competition, I’m training 5 days a week with weights and on my off days from weights I will do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Throughout the year, if I’m not doing a show, I typically train 4-5 days a week.

How long is your average workout?:
About 45 minutes.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs (I’ve always admired people with great leg development. It’s a sign of true fitness.)

Dylan Thomas 2

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
I dont have one. I enjoy training my entire body.

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I would like to earn my Pro card this year.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
Arnold, Steve Reeves, Bob Paris, Frank Zane, and before I was into bodybuilding I was inspired by a rugby player, Gavin Henson. I greatly admired his strength and physique, as well as skill, and it inspired me to go to the weight room for the first time.


What supplements do you take or recommend?:
Whey protein, creatine, multi, fish oils.

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
It changes from day to day, but at the moment I’m carb cycling so every 3rd or 4th day I’ll have a re-feed day. My Typical day is 230g carbs/275g protein/80g fat and every 3rd day my day would be 470g carbs/250g protein/75g fat.

What does your diet consist of during a Bulking Phase?:
During a bulking phase I am not nearly as strict with my eating habits. I’ll eat over 5-600 grams of carbs a day and about 275-300 grams of protein with 70-80 grams of fat. These types of numbers allow me really to eat whatever I’d like whenever I’d like.

Dylan Thomas3

What does your diet consist of during a Cutting Phase?:
During a cutting phase, I’ll begin weighing my food out and counting everything I eat against my allotted macronutrients breakdown for the day so I do not over eat.

You say you load on carbs every few days… What foods do you eat during these times to load on good carbs?:
My go to carb sources are in no particular order as I don’t view one being better than another: basmati rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, Ezekiel cereal, Ezekiel bread, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas, as well as my green veggies favorites being asparagus, broccoli & green beans. The important thing is usually to count all the carbs in everything you eat. For instance, you’re eating oatmeal and it is a “carb” source, but you still need to count the protein and fat in the oatmeal otherwise you’ll likely go over what you should be eating for the day without even realizing it!

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
Higher volume on lower body (15+ reps) and between 10-12reps on upper body. At the moment I’ll incorporate a lot of supersets and dropsets though as a means to increase the intensity of my workouts while getting ready to compete (April 27th).

How much cardio do you do? (Per day or per week):
Two times a week I do 20 minutes of high intensity interval training (all out sprints). I also like to walk for about 30 minutes each day on weight training days just to burn a little more calories.

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Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Stay consistent and diet over everything else will determine your success in achieving your dream body.

How do people get ahold of you for your online training?:
If people our interested in my online training services they can reach me at dylanthomasfitness@hotmail.com.

Do you have any other things you would like to say? (Comments, Suggestions, etc)?:
“mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body”

Did you like this Feature Friday Inspiration? Do you want to know more about Dylan Thomas? Do you think you have what it takes to be my next Feature Friday Inspiration? Email me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com

Are you new to the Gym?

Alec Varcas Bicep

I was recently asked to do a post for people who may just be starting out the gym or who may be considering adding exercise into their daily routine. Most people have the same feeling when they join a gym… “What do I do?” You don’t know what exercises to do, you are scared people will judge you, and you don’t even know what your body can handle doing. This post will hopefully ease some of those worries you may be having and give you some tips on how to get a good start at the gym.

First of all, realize that people are not judging you. I personally am proud of you for wanting to make this change in your life! Getting the motivation to go to the gym is the first big step towards achieving a healthy lifestyle. We all started somewhere and we all know exactly what it feels like when you take your first few steps into the gym. We all are in the gym for the same reason, to improve ourselves! I have nothing but respect for everyone who takes time out to make exercise an important aspect of theirs lives.

Now, what do you do at the gym? You walk in and see a ton of different types of people, hundreds of machines and weights, and you honestly don’t know if you should just walk in with your chin held high, run and hide in the locker room, or just turn around and never come back. My suggestion is to first, put your stuff down in the locker room and then ask one if the gym employees to give you a tour of the gym. That is why they are there… to help you! Take a quick look around and learn about the different areas and exercise equipment the gym has to offer! ASK QUESTIONS! If you do not understand something, ask the employee while he/she is guiding you around. The more you understand and grasp now, the better!

I burned 921 calories in an hour...

I burned 921 calories in an hour…

Once the tour is over, it is now time to try out some of the equipment. I personally would suggest starting with an easy stretch in an open area somewhere, and then I would try using one of the cardio machines. Most gyms have treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, etc. and they are all pretty easy to use and understand. These are great to start with not only to get your body warm, but after using one of these machines for a while, I promise you that it will calm you down. You will feel less nervous about exploring the gym and trying out some new machines!

Ok, cardio is over; now it is time to do some muscle training. If you are really not familiar with weightlifting at all, try some of the machines the gym has to offer. If the gym is kept well, all of the weightlifting machines should have directions on how to perform the exercise and it also shows you which muscles the machines target. Start with the machine on a low weight and see if the motion is comfortable. If you believe you understand how the exercise is done, adjust the weight to a more proper resistance and try doing 3-5 sets of an exercise at the machine. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the staff at the gym, or even some other people working out. I have never come across a horribly rude person in a gym that is not willing to help.

Try out a few different machines, and when you feel like you your muscles are pretty tired and you worked them pretty well, it is time to call it a day… you will probably be sore tomorrow :-). Congratulations! You survived your first gym trip!

Now as you are recovering from this gym shock you just put your body through, you should now start researching different exercises you can do at the gym. You have see what machines and weights your gym has to offer so look up some different exercises you can do to target the areas of your body you most want to fix. There are thousands, if not millions of websites and videos offered online. I have been working out for a few years now and I still find workouts from blogs and videos that I would like to try. The more research you do, the more options you will have at the gym!

Now if you are really looking to make some fast progress and would like to do your absolute best at the gym, I HIGHLY recommend getting a personal trainer. A personal trainer can make a plan for you that directly reflects the goals you are trying to achieve. A good personal trainer will be able to keep changing up your routine in order to confuse your muscles and get good results quickly. A great personal trainer will also be able to give you diet and nutrition tips to practice outside of the gym to boost your results even more. Yes, a personal trainer can be expensive, but a few sessions with a great personal trainer can help you get into a proper routine to improve your health and quality of life in the long run. On a good note, if you are not sure about a personal trainer, some gyms actually give a free session with a trainer for signing up, and many personal trainers may work with you for a little time to see if you like their suggestions before you make any commitment to them. Try out a trainer! If you figure out that a trainer is not for you and you are more comfortable on your own, then at least you tried and now you know how you prefer working out!

I hope these tips will help you feel a little more comfortable about joining the gym! Don’t be afraid because there is nothing to be afraid of! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com