All posts by Darius Savage

Darius Savage, is a currently somewhere in a secret laboratory double majoring, in web design and business, while working on many side projects, such as this blog, Savage is also a certified personal trainer. Darius's philosophy is to "Teach and grow, we have many passions in this life, and we just need to be able to learn and grow, from the things that make us passionate."

The best way to put on weight

The main thing we focus on, in the fitness community is losing weight, most of my clients goals are to lose weight. The reason is obviously due to the fact that we have an obesity epidemic.

Now the caveat is there are a few people who consider themselves underweight. For example before I started lifting weights, I was 110 lbs, compared to being 175 lbs. So one thing that I am a strong advocate of is implementing resistance training into you current regimen. Building lean muscle mass, will give you the illusion of “weighing more”. But this article will focus on the diet side of things because that’s important as well.

The diet

The best way to put on weight is to change your diet. Most of us know that at the most basic level consuming more calories will put on weight. The downside is if you do it wrong you’ll just end up fat. Usually we turn to high fat foods, or sugary foods, because they are high in calories. This is the wrong method to turn to.

What you want to do instead

Shoot for tracking and monitoring your caloric intake, you want to shoot for putting an emphasis on eating good quality food. I give all my clients meal plans to follow based off of their current diets and foods they like, that way its easier to achieve your goals.

The app I have my clients use is called myfitnesspal. Once you set up the app, I have my clients set their metrics up to 40% protein 40% carbs 20% fats. I discuss this throughout in my fitness books, and meal plans.

The best way to put on weight

Protein can never be turned into fat, carbs provide our bodies with energy, and fats can provide energy. Our goal is to add lean tissue to our bodies not fat.

One reason we don’t gain weight is because we don”t track what we eat. I guarantee if you monitor your habits for a month you’ll be able to monitor and track your results. You can’t make changes if you don’t track your progress.

Increasing your calories will allow you to put on weight efficiently. Making sure we are eating quality foods will help ward off fat, and put on lean muscle.

Muscle is density, and doesn’t weight more than fat, the fact that muscle is dense, gives you the illusion of weighing more. For girls, it will only add curves, and weight in a positive way. For Guys it will add on size and mass. Women don’t produce enough testosterone to bulk up like a guy. And guys don’t produce enough estrogen, to look like a girl.

So essentially this is a simple outline to follow to add on size. If you would like me to go in depth more  shoot me a message, or comment below.

Top supplements for increasing testosterone

I often get asked what are the top supplements for increasing testosterone?

What we need to understand about increasing testosterone, is that there are a lot of scams and snake oil on the market. The supplements I am going to mention are keys to troubleshooting any low testosterone levels, you may have.

Think of these supplements, as inexpensive tools, you can add to your toolbox.

What about testosterone boosters?

Fuck ’em, most of them on the market are going to have the same ingredients as these supplements. Testosterone boosters, can come in handy if you’re too lazy to take individual supplements, but they may not provide you optimal dosages of each supplement.

What do I recommend you take to increase testosterone?

Zinc
Magnesium
Vitamin D3

These supplements are going to bring up your test levels to their optimal levels.

Supplemental supplements that may increase testosterone:
Tribulus
Fenugreek

Zinc and Magnesium

You will see these two on multiple lists I have regarding supplements? Why because we lose them through sweat, and the foods we eat lack these minerals.

dosages
Zinc-25mgs
Magnesium-200-400mgs

Additionally Zinc and Magnesium should not be taken together, they should be taken at different times of the day, to maximize their absorption rates.

Vitamin D3

You will see this vitamin on multiple lists I write as well. Vitamin D3 as with zinc and magnesium provide our bodies with a number of different benefits.

For example if we are self diagnosing ourselves, you may be deficient in these vitamins and minerals, and that may simply be inhibiting your ability to produce adequate testosterone levels. Or it may simply be inhibiting your energy levels.

What vitamin d3 does in terms of increasing testosterone, vitamin d3 simply plays a role ensuring our bodies are manufacturing hormones properly,

Bed time stack

Zma
Vitamin d3
Creatine

Taking this stack before bed can be an ideal way to incorporate these supplements, and help facilitate higher test levels.

Summary

Supplements can take up to a year to show signs, of a positive effect on the body, depending on the individual. If you have true concerns about increasing testosterone levels, please consult your doctor. If you have any further questions comment below.

Stop doing fad Diets | Do this instead

Fad Diets don’t work
I don’t believe in doing something because it’s trending. This is not limited to diets but all things in life. Fad diets, can potentially, cause you to lose some weight, but it’s only a short term weight loss. On top of that most people only stick with a fad diet long enough to lose water weight. After that they are back to their old habits. They gain back their weight and potentially more weight.

Set small goals instead.
Every week or every two weeks, hell even every month set a goal to accomplish. This way you can slowly change your eating regimen, for the better.

The following things should be implemented in you eating regimen, in order to put yourself on a progressive continuum.

Plan your week out
Save money on the amount of food you consume, by planning out a grocery list. This way you know exactly what to get and you cut down on the amount of money you waste on crap you don’t need.

Meal prep
Do it yourself or find a reliable meal prep company in your area, this will insure, you don’t waste money on unhealthy restaurant food.

Reduce sugars
Limiting the amount of sugars, will cut the amount of fat you store from unnecessary sugars.
You can use the app fooducate to determine whats the best and worst foods to consume.

Water intake
Staying properly hydrated is going to do wonders for you. In addition to making sure you’re hydrated its an important component to making sure you stay healthy over all. In addition to cutting down on sugars. Water consumption will cut down on the amount of juice and pop you drink. You can also water down your juice or pop, if you’re a hardcore pop and juice drinker, this will allow you to slowly taper off them.

Summary
These are just some small things you can do to ensure you limit that amount of time you spend doing fad diets. Inherently most fad diets, utilize these principles with other concepts in their diets. So its safe to say most fad diets will tell you to up your water intake and cut sugars.

If you have any topics you want to see covered comment below.

The number one reason your arms are small

This article is going to be short simple and sweet. As a kid I wanted arms the size of superman’s, I’m not saying that I have achieved that, but my arm’s are definitely one of my best features. So day in and day out, the number one question most guys ask me is :

“How do I get my biceps big?”

 This way of thinking, is why your arms are small.

The bicep is only one small portion of your are, the tricep is the answer. Most guys come in day in and day out and curl, their life away, and neglect the back of their arms. But building your triceps will increase your biceps size and appearance. Its still imperative to train both.

There’s your answer.

I give my triceps twice the work because they are a bigger muscle group, and are involved in all pressing movements. I work my biceps because they become a stabilizer in pressing movements, and a few other movements.

Inherently, both muscle groups can grow from, being involved in  most movement as a secondary muscle group. But for me I still feel the need to hit them directly, because they are my best feature.

I do believe a majority of the gym hates, training legs, and the other majority hates direct arm work, but in terms of your ideal physique, you must train accordingly.

 

 

4 reasons your physique is weak

This post is going to be short and sweet. And is dedicated to the gym bros, and people who fancy themselves as trainers.  Lately I’ve been receiving negative feedback, in terms of the credibility of trainers. Also the unspoken, rivalry of  the average gym bro, who thinks he knows  it all, and the trainers who think they know it all. I have 10 certifications through NASM and ISSA  and I still don’t know it all.

However.

Some trainer, and regular people believe  think they are on the same level as me, but will never have a physique like mines. But you can obtain some of the knowledge I possess.  So if you’re making these mistakes, I am giving away some major keys. This is not intending to de-motivate people but just shine light on  the mistakes their making.

Copying others

People often approach me with some killer workout, they got off Instagram or Facebook. With no context as to what exactly its doing, or how it relates to their goals.  They don’t know  what the exercise is doing, or  if its even beneficial.

This becomes annoying because , following your  favorite, body builder and doing exactly what they are doing at that point and time will not, yield the same physique as them.

They goal is to motivate, and sell whatever they  offer.  Just because you follow them around, living off of their every word, does not mean you will get in shape, and look like them.

Borrowing the workouts you see  me doing with my clients,  or the workouts I do when I am working out ,  will not yield the same results either.

It’s better to try to figure out what works best for you,  or sit down with a qualified professional and get a legit game plan.

No sort of plan

This goes hand and hand with copying other peoples workouts.

Some people just come in and repeat the same exercises day in and day out.

Ego lifting

I see a lot of people moving big weight improperly , and  it makes no sense.  Without proper form,  and the appropriate weight, you’re basically wasting your time in the gym.

I also see on the same token people lifting super easy weight, chasing the perfect contraction, which is again a waste. Once you have a  decent mind muscle connection, it is time to increase the weight accordingly.

Steroids

This one, is  important to note, because there are a ton of people,  who take gear.  Only to have their lifts comparable to mines. Meaning  I can go deadlift , bench , squat the same weight and often more than guys, who are bigger than me.

I didn’t  and have never had to take steroids,  and have nothing against people who do.  But its not a lack of steroids that makes you weak. Its a lack of proper programming that makes you weak. Its a lack of understanding when it comes to exercise science, that makes you weak.

Especially those, guys who come in and bench and curl every day, that is a clear indication that you’ll be weak forever, and prone to injury forever.

Summary

Stop comparing yourself to others.

Stop  letting your ego  crowd, your judgement.

Stop thinking drugs are the answer, when you lack the proper knowledge to obtain a decent physique.

Stop  copying others, and stop  thinking you have to compete with trainers.

You’re favorite athletes, have trainers and coaches, multiple people around them , building them up.  I seek knowledge from anyone with  proper credentials, I don’t guess. And I don’t let  fitness celebrities, dictate, my workouts, and what I want to achieve. I operate with my own goals in mind at all times.

Is steady state cardio worth it?

Is steady state cardio worth it?

Steady state cardio has its benefits, it can promote greater fat loss, how ever it is time consuming. Outside of cardio, programming is key to having an efficient weight loss, or cutting regimen.

What about H.I.I.T?

Hi intensity cardio,    when done properly and in line, with your goals and exercise program. When can  effectively cut the amount of time spent doing cardio in half. However there is some potential to possibly burn muscle as well.

So is high intensity cardio, better than steady state cardio?

Steady  State cardio promotes  greater fat loss, and greater aerobic efficiency. Hi intensity cardio promotes a higher metabolism,  and keeps you burning fat throughout the rest of the day. If done properly you can keep your metabolism high, for hours even days after the workout.

My final Answer?

A solid program will have a blend of both depending on the length of the program you’re  following. Both steady state cardio, and hi intensity cardio  have their  benefits.  My training however is more geared  towards hi intensity cardio. For me and a majority of my clients,  hi intensity cardio, is the go to form of cardio.

Top 3 Supplements you to see results

This post will touch on my top 3 supplements you should be taking and why.

Plus two bonus Items and honorable mentions

 

The quality of ingredients makes a huge difference in how your body absorbs nutrients.

Cheap supplements are made from cheap ingredients. A good way to think of things, would be to use a car analogy. There is some things a street mechanic, can fix with no problem, and certain things only a skilled licensed can fix.Our bodies can get some nutrients, from cheap products, but it’s not optimal.

Pharmaceutical/Performance grade ingredients

We need to fuel ourselves properly, outside of the RDA and Daily allowances. Most supplements on the market are accounting for the lost antioxidants, and lost minerals that play a huge role in our recovery. This creates a problem, with how we feel while in the gym and even the subsequent days following a workout. The better we recover the better the results.

NO, your not getting what you need from food.

Unless you’re eating 100% organic foods grown in the right regions, that have the proper nutrients in the soil you’re not getting what you need from food alone. The same foods, grown on the same farms, year in and year out have left the soil depleted, therefore lacking the nutrients we need. GMO products only further the lack of nutrients in our foods.

 

Multi Performance  Complex

Life Time Fitness Multi Performance Complex

This is better than your one a day multi, which may be under dosed in ingredients. The things that stand out in this product are as follows.

  • Green tea phytosome to  support energy and fat  metabolism.
  • Curcumin phytosome to  promote healthy inflammation  response.
  • Relora® to support relaxation,  rest and recovery from  exercise and everyday stress.
  •  Helps enhance your exercise, recovery and immune system
  •  AM formula for daytime energy, PM formula for nighttime   recovery

 

BCAA/Post Workout

Life Time Fitness BCAA/Post Workout - Kiwi Strawberry - 36 serving

Scientifically proven to make you stronger and fitter. Amino acids aren’t just for body builders and elite athletes. They’re also great for anyone who wants to build lean muscle mass, get stronger and have more energy. And people who want to lose weight or recover from workouts faster.

If any or all of the benefits above sound good to you, you should consider taking Life Time Amino Complex, a dietary supplement that helps promote:

  • Lean muscle mass and strength
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Enhanced energy and metabolism
  • Mitochondrial biogenesis
  • Increased exercise capacity and recovery

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Life Time Fitness Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

The finest fish oil you can find. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week. That’s because fish are a great source of essential Omega-3 fatty acids that help support heart, brain, nerve and eye health.

But what if you don’t like fish? Then Life Time Omega-3 Fish Oil is just what the heart doctor ordered. Each gelcap provides you with 600 mg of ultra-purified EPA and DHA Omega-3s. You won’t find any heavy metals or toxins here. Plus, they’re flavored with real peppermint oil. Take one gelcap a day and you’re good to go.

Honorable mentions:

Protein

Life Time Fitness Grass Fed Whey Protein (Strawberry Creme)

Not all whey proteins are created equal. What sets Life Time Grass Fed Whey Protein apart is that it comes from cows that graze on the rich, green pastures of New Zealand. These cows are never injected with milk-producing hormones. And their diet is free of bad stuff like chemical additives and antibiotics.

Its an honorable mention, because protein, consumption should go without saying.

Scosche Heart Rate monitor

Scosche Rhythm Plus Heart Rate Monitor

The RHYTHM+ heart rate monitor comfortably wraps around your forearm. Using optical sensors, it sees and measures your blood flow and body movement to accurately monitor your heart rate, calories burned, distance, speed, pace and more.

Honorable mention, because it’s something I use on all my clients, and in group classes. After every workout you know exactly what you accomplished, in terms of fat burned, and calories burned.

 

Detoxes : The number one fitness scam, what should you do instead

**Note** 

Nothing free is going to aid you in your weight loss in the same manner as these products. Now I will name as many ingredients as I can so that you can compare them to other products on the market.

But one thing I wanna clear up is most of the time when you go to people for free advice, they end up selling you something. I don’t have time to waste nor do I wanna waste your time, I want you to make an informed decision. Use science not emotion to finally reach your goals. **

It’s that time of year. You’ve made it your goal to lose weight, but either you’re afraid of going to the gym or you’ve been going to the gym but need to incorporate that extra boost.

You’ve been hearing a lot about detoxes an cleanses. With it being the new year and all you figure why not give it a go.

You get suckered in to a Herbalife or vi life scam pack, and now you’re out 200$. Initially you lost some weight, and then gained it all back. You don’t know what happened, so you google around and get free advice from the fitness gurus on Facebook.

Because if it’s nothing better than getting free advice from an unqualified fitness professional. The only thing that can beat it is wearing a waist trainer sold to you buy that unqualified fitness professional.

Now this person wants you to mix cayenne pepper lemon juice and syrup together, in order to lose weight. Yet again you’ve  been scammed, brought a product that does nothing for you.

Now initially when doing these scam diets you’re required to eat a lot of callorically low foods. Think fruits and veggies and all the crap you normally don’t eat, that’s good for you. Or you are deprived of food all together, which in turn either option will make you lose weight.

But is your goal to lose weight or fat?

The weight lost you see comes from glycogen stores being depleted. On top of that you’re dehydrated as well so go ahead and add in the fact that you lost water weight too. But that’s not what you’re looking to target unless you’re a fitness model looking to lean out before a photo shoot.

Because your goal is fat loss not weight loss this is the wrong path to take. Fitness models temporarily eat this way or “detox” in order to look leaner. But they understand that once they properly hydrate themselves the water weight and glycogen will flood their bodies once again and they’ll be back where they’ve started.

Know the difference.

For them they understand the difference between weight and fat loss. Most detoxes claim to remove toxins and heavy metals from our body. On top of that they claim to help you lose fat as well.

If that was true why is it that this type of diet fails the great majority?

None of these products tell you exactly what toxins are being removed and there is no follow through. Meaning you don’t know what to do after the detox is over.

The only bigger scam would be waist trainers.

What I recommend is number one bullet proofing your gut.

gut-fix-group-rt-clip-1140x

Gut.fix consistents of a digestive enzyme complex, probiotic complex and glutamine. On top of that you get a list of the right foods to eat year round.

What the digestive enzyme does:

Works inthe stomach, makes sure we’re breaking down and absorbing nutrients appropriately.

What the probiotic does:

Works in are small and large intestines makin sure we have the right bacteria to break down what passes through.

What the glutamine does:

Fights cortisol which causes us to gain weight and recover poorly from workouts. Gives out immune system a boost and brain as well.

Tying them all together.

After effectively making sure we are eatin better and absorbing nutrients efficiently. You can gauge your weight loss and from there upgrade to the d.tox

dtoxbox

What is the D.tox?

Not a traditional detox, this is a lot more comprehensive, and backed by a company, that has been around for years. Not only that but if you’ve ever been to the lifetime training facilities then, you know it takes credentials to work there. These gyms are far from the run of the mill pop up shops, with unqualified trainers giving out advice. So it makes sense to invest in products, from companies that have high standards.

 

What the D.tox includes

Vegan protein and fiber mend, you also get recipes, a grocery list and a few other resources to aid you.

Both the gut.fix and d.tox aid you in getting your diet on track which will help you lose weight and see changes a lot faster than blindly following trends.

I want you guys to stop going things haphazardly. You’ll find when you buckle down and invest in yourself you’ll see greater changes. Changes that last, and when you have solid meals and a program to follow you’ll never have to detox again. Because you will have effectively  reprogrammed your diet and added in the right supplements.

To purchase them or for more info click the links below, or the pictures above.

Gut.fix

https://goo.gl/MeoRJn

D.tox

https://goo.gl/PAs9sg

 

 

What is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is:

  • An easier way of dieting
  • Helpful for those who can’t eat 5-6 times a day.
  • Beneficial for men, may not be as beneficial for women

How it works:

Men fast for 16 hours, women for 14, the goal is for most to lose weight and increase lean muscle mass. Basically you have an 8-10 hours to eat. During this time you’re making sure that you hit your macros, especially protein.  The time you spent not eating, you can have black coffee, water, supplements and bcaa’s.  The benefits, of fasting, are healthier brain, and heart, and of course weight loss.

My experience:

I accidentally fasted years ago, when I first started working .Simply because I had to balance work and school, there was a small window of time for me to eat. As a result, I maintained lean muscle mass, where as my friends, especially those who were in better shape than me didn’t. After high school if you haven’t  graduated already, you’ll see the greatest changes in body composition. Not only in yourself but friends as well. A lot of people get fat, or lose their physiques they had in high school. For me I was skinny in high school, even though I did train here and there, and always worked out. I didn’t get serious about training and nutrition until afterwards. But the caveat was, the schedule I had, I would literally be at work than school. This affected the times I had to eat, which resulted i me stuffing my face in my free time.

For me intermittent fasting, kept my body fat low, and when I took training serious and focused on my macros, I saw great results. For a few of my friends who knew what intermittent  fasting, was saw similar benefits. Now where the paradigms shift, were my friends who exercised saw better results than those who didn’t.

I don’t necessarily advocate intermittent  fasting, but if you have a weird schedule, than this may work for you. If there is a demand for it I will definitely expand on this post with some more in depth ones in the near future.

The Savage Build : Top 10 healthy Snacks

The following is a list of staples in the fitness community

Dark Chocolate

Lower in sugar, than milk chocolate, high in antioxidants.

Packaged tuna

A lot of companies sell packed tunas, that come in different flavors. The packets, are 9/10 good enough to be eaten alone, or you could buy 1 minute microwavable rice,  to add in with it.

 

String Cheese

An easy go to, high in protein. This is cheap staple that you need to have stocked in your fridge.

Rtd’s

Isopure, and optimum nutrition,  both make shakes in ready to drink form. This comes in handy especially when you’re on the go and don’t have time to make a shake.

Jerky

Brands like Krave, are good to keep in the glove compartment, of the car. jerky is something you can snack on throughout the day.

Greek yogurt

I often eat greek yogurt in the morning, a serving size has just as much protein, as a protein shake. I usually add in blueberries, or some kind of fruit.

Protein bars

Quest bars, are a cliche  in the fitness community. A long with lenny and larry’s protein cookies, these options can be used an dessert with your lunch. Or as something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Melons

Watermelon, honey due, and  cantaloupes are nutrient dense, and calorically low.

Berries

Blueberries and strawberries, contain lots of antioxidants, and vitamins, to help fight off colds, and keep the immune system strong. Outside of that they are both calorically low, and low in sugar.

Nuts

Shoot for the unsalted versions, of nuts. They are nutrient dense,  however they are high in calories and fats, so only consume in moderation.