Supplement stack: Fat Burner Pro-sculpt

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I have found a product that I really like and it’s called Pro-sculpt.
Pro-sculpt is classified as a ‘fat burner’ and it is from GNC.
You can watch my video review of my fat burner stack or I will give you the key points here in this post.

Pro-sculpt is great because it contains 3 of the supplements I took in my last show prep.
It is a powder mix and you only need a tiny scoop as a serving size.  I start my day with my
vitamins and a scoop of Pro-sculpt.

What it does.
Pro-sculpt has a non stimulant fat burner. It does not make me feel jiggy. It has 200mg of caffeine which is just enough to
make me feel good and have great focus. It has green tea and white willow bark which are fat burners.

It also contains BCAA: In our studio we take Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) during our workout. BCAAs help with muscle recovery and it helps you to not be so sore.  Pro-sculpt has the amino L-Glutamine which is very important for muscle recovery. It also is an immune system boost.

Pro-sculpt also contains CLA: Conjugated Linoleic Acid is an essential fatty acid that not only reduces body fat from the mid- section region,  but also increases muscle strength and exercise endurance.  The recommendation for CLA is that you drink 100 oz of water each day to flush out the toxins. Just a heads up! CLA makes you pee a lot!  Did I just say that?  I’ll bet I get an AMEN here.

Pro-sculpt also contains Beta Alanine which is an amino acid that gets your muscles prepared to train.
It also has L-Carnatine for even more energy and fat burning. Whoo-hoo.

This product is a supplement /fat burner stack. It is not classified as my pre-workout. I use Cellucore’s C4  exactly 30 minutes prior to lifting for amazing results. I will do another blog post on pre-workout.

Because you must cycle off Pro-sculpt after 60 days, I had to use these products as a replacement for 30 days.
We cycle our supplements because, like exercise, your body somewhat adapts and it stops being as effective.  I typically do not mind switching up because this is when I find products that really work for me.

My switch up:
Fat burner: GNC Epiq Shred capsules: 1 per day.  I used this fat burner for two cycles during my first show prep. I had amazing results. I love it. It does not make me feel jiggy at all. Since I cannot take Roxy like many of the other competitors do, I felt really happy that I got such a good result with a non-stimulant product.

Ab-cuts:  AbCuts is CLA.  The AbCut company has several different versions of this product but I bought the basic mid-section formula at Wal-Mart for 17.99.  The down side is that you must take 2-3 capsules with each meal.  That made it tedious.  If you shop online or at GNC for Abcuts, be prepared to pay over 50 dollars for it.  It works.  You can also buy straight CLA from GNC.  CLA is typically not sold at Walgreens or drugstores.

Glutamine:  I purchased a container of Glutamine from Amazon. It was a very basic, generic brand. You don’t need fancy here.

I take other variations of BA and Carnatine as well but frankly, it sure is nice having everything in one product.

This product got 4 out of 5 stars on the GNC website. It retails for 49.99 for non-members and 34.99 for members. I try to get my products on a BOGO so I have two months worth ready to go.  It comes in Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch. Both flavors are fine.

Worth noting:  Glutamine is in many products that are marketed for muscle recovery.  It is a bit powdery and hard to mix.  The same goes for Pro-sculpt. I use my Ninja Blender but if you have some good arm strength you can get it done with your blender bottle.

My recommendation is Pro-sculpt over the other 3 product stack. I am not loving my results as much with this interim replacement stack. It just doesn’t wow me. I’m preparing to begin another two month round of PS as I begin my show prep.  I will have to pull all my supplements close to the show so this will be perfect.

Not every supplement is right for everyone. One of the reps at GNC told me he thought this product was not good. I say different strokes for different folks.  This one in my book is a winner.

Christmas update : Preparing to prep

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My son gifted me this old-school hex bar for Christmas.  I love it!

Merry Christmas!
Yesterday was our family Christmas day. We had an amazing day together.
I hope your holiday is amazing!!

UPDATE:
This is a little prep update. I’m feeling pretty much like it’s two steps forward and 1 step back.
In the last several weeks, I’ve found some things have not been working.
I’m going to refer to this as a very good learning experience.

My stack:
 I made changes to my stack at the advice of my contacts at both SS2 and GNC.
I feel both of these men know their products but the disconnect is, they don’t know me.
This project is about ME figuring out what is the best stack for me.

Creatine/BA

I removed Alpha-Cre HD because I felt it was causing me quite a bit of bloat.
Alpha-Cre is a product that contains a mix of Creatine and Beta-Alanine (BA)
Pros of ALPHACre-HD
1. I felt great.
2. Noticeable strength gains
3.Noticeable increase in cardio fuction  during durations of 30-50 second blasts.  (Arch stairs, blown away)

Cons of ALPHACre-HD
1.Puffy.
Note: Creatine can cause you to hold water in the muscle. I understand that is part of it’s general function. Each rep tells me though that their product won’t bloat.

Switched to
Epiq Strength. 
I switched because this product was supposed to cause no bloating. It was to go straight into the muscle as opposed to being passed through or pooling around the kidneys causing belly fat.  There is less creatine in this product than is in Cellucore’s C4 pre-workout.
I felt like a wet noodle.  I got no BA tingle and noticed no vascularity, no creatine pump.
I’m sure all the super lifters will tell me that  I am probably misunderstanding the ins-and outs of creatine as there is so much research out there. I am still learning!

I saw great results with Krey-alkaline in my last prep. I still feel like the monohydrate  (Alpha-Cre) worked best of all.
Both products are about the same price: $45.

I’m sure I could rock some old school cheap pharm creatine and BA. Maybe next off season, we’ll test that out!

First Phorm Ignition.
Added that for one month. Pulled that back out.
I was taking less than half a scoop of Ignition pre and post workout.  It is straight up sugar. It tasted AWESOME! Whoo hoo. It’s straight up sugar! I felt great, but…apparently, even that amount of sugar is too much for me. I lost definition in my abs. I probably needed to adjust my calories and carbs elsewhere, but it was just a bust.  Here’s why I think it wasn’t right. I train at my studio for 3-5 hours
and am much better and leaner with ‘slow-carbs’.  I leaned out on lots of sweet potatoes.  Quickie sugar products like Ignition might be awesome for someone like The Rock. Apparently, despite the research on Ignition, it is not for me.

Pro-sculpt:  I was on GNC’s prosculpt for 2 months.  I love that product.
I switched out to my regular CLA caps and Epiq Shred fat burner. I used Shred last prep season with great results.
This time, I’m not totally sure. I have had terrific results on Prosculpt.
My GNC contact tells me that it’s crap. I needed to switch up anyway after using it for 2 months.  I really miss it.
I’m almost done with my month off so I will most likely start
back on it again until I have to pull my supplements. One man’s crappy product is a winner for me. My clients had great results with it too.  Go-figure.

Sleep:
What’s that? I am exhausted and fall asleep sometimes at 7pm.   I have a hard time staying asleep. My brain will not shut off. I take my ZMA before bed and have added  GNC Beyond RAW® RE-FEED – super anabolic night time recovery protein (casein). It has ingredients to help you stay asleep. So far I like it. I think if I had a solid 8 of uninterrupted sleep, I’d feel much better.  Sleep is always my challenge in this process.

De-load
 I have been training hard for the last 3 months.  The problems I am having now, may not wholly be supplement based. I really started to feel like I was over training. My gains slowed down and my energy was really low.  I did a de-load week 2 weeks ago and came back to lift heavy last week.  Still felt pretty weak.  pffft.

This last week of the year is a great time for me to listen to my body. I’ve added more pilates back into my workouts. I did some re-feeds as well.
I feel so much better.  I am still hitting the gym but taking my lifts down quite a bit.  I have 30 days before I start my actual 12 week prep. It’s a great time to reflect on  what I’ve learned in the past 3 months, and set goals going forward.

Merry Christmas!

Stop colds and flu in their tracks

Sambucol keeps colds at bay.
Sambucol keeps colds at bay.

Colds and flu season is here. I own a fitness center and that’s a breeding ground for germs. I spent many of my years with an ongoing cold. Bleh. Now, I’m not a doctor but this protocol has kept me healthy for many years. I do everything I can to ward off illness and I understand that if I do get sick.. sadly, it was simply meant to be.


Smart ways to ward off colds and flu:

jp
1. Eat well.

I do not eat fast food. When our family ate fast food, we were sick constantly. I had a cold for a full year. Once I dropped all fast food, I stopped getting sick! I, personally do not eat sugar treats when I’m sick. I feel sugar weakens my immune system. I notice it immediately if I eat too much. That may not be the same for everyone but I am very in tune to my system.

I focus on nutrition so I stay well! I work very hard to have solid nutrient dense foods each day. In fact.. I mostly eat food with  an A rating from “my net diary ” tracker/scanner. Just because I am IIFYM I had a goal to really stay healthy. Not everyone feels the same and off season is not as strict. I stayed healthy!  I know my body!

The proper micronutrients; Solid nutrition! I have always taken greens and believe in proper supplementation to assist my immune system!  I love the Juice plus Trio!

From JP website;

With widespread flu outbreaks across the United States, immune system support is increasingly crucial to maintain your health throughout flu season, which peaks in mid-February and can last through April. While exercise and sleep are essential to flu prevention, it is also important to have a healthy and consistent diet rich in nutrients from fruits and vegetables.

Juice Plus+ utilizes nutrients from 17 different fruits, vegetables, and grains to help boost immune systems and reduce common cold symptoms. Regular consumption of Juice Plus+ capsules or chewables provides the body with a mixture of nutrients that support key immune system functions and strengthen the body against the cold and flu viruses. This has been proven through a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, which supports Juice Plus+ as a tried and true addition to your daily regimen and overall immune system support.

Pharmacist and Author Jim Morelli is also one of many advocates of Juice Plus+ as a dependable and effective aid to immune system support. Morelli has become a highly successful broadcast television personality armed with a substantial knowledge in the realm of physical wellness. In a recent broadcast segment, see the video below, Morelli provided advice to prevent cold and flu infection during the busiest flu season of the year. Morelli emphasized, “increase your fruit and vegetable intake, that really is the key to overall optimal health and an easy way to do that is with Juice Plus+.  You can order or learn more here!!

 

Variety: Sports nutrition 101 asks that we eat at least 35 different foods per week. In past cookie cutter preps, my foods were limited to the same 8 bro foods. My only veg for weeks was spinach. I had many problems from too much of one thing! I am mindful to use different veggies to balance my diet!

Fats: In my 2014 prep, I had about 10g fat per day for the whole 16 weeks..I was on a bro cookie cutter plan . During that prep, I got a terrible respritory infection and on the tail end of that, because of my weakened immune system, I got two eye diseases. I lost 35% vision in one eye. My doctor did my blood work and demanded I stop prep and get my HDL’s into a normal range.  I spent months trying to rehab my immune system from that prep. I was on massive doses of medication for over 6 months. Recovery was slow. My vision returned with solid nutrition and time.

I refuse to sacrifice my health for bikini competition. My fats come from super foods like Cocoa nibs, flax, chia, yolks . At my lowest for prep I was at 18% in my last week. I felt great. We need fats in our diet!

2.Elderberry
I was told by a nutrition guru that Israeli pilots use Sambucol to stop colds and flu. Pilots are grounded until they are well, usually two days. The Elderberry encapsulates the virus and ushers it out of your body. That was a good enough explanation for me. I did a little research and found the NaturalPedia’s page on Elderbery

From “the naturalpedia” “Commonly used to fight the flu, hay fever, colds, and coughs, a compound found in elderberry flowers and berries prevents viruses from invading the respiratory system. An article in Pediatric News in 1997 praised elderberry for its flu-fighting abilities. So, if you’re feeling slightly ill or if you have a full-blown cold, drink three cups of elderberry tea per day for a couple of days. The tea, especially good if mixed with yarrow or peppermint, should have you feeling better. Or take two 500-milligram capsules per day for up to four days.”
– Brenda Adderly, The Complete Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Everything You Need to Make Informed Choices for Optimum Health (Get the book.)

Protocol
When I begin to feel the first inklings of a cold, I start my protocol of sugar free Sambucol syrup. I take one tablespoon every 4 hours and I’m usually over it by the third dose. I have a stash of Sambucol chewables all over the place. Just in case.

As part of my protocol I also use Airborne chewables. Four chewables have 1,000 mg of Vitamin C. It’s also high in Antioxidants (Vitamin A, C & E) and an excellent Source of Zinc & Selenium. Add to that 350 mg of Herbal Blend including Echinacea & Ginger. Woot.

Now.. Airborne just came out with the chewable gummies. 3 gummies have 9 grams of sugar. That is 2 teaspoons of sugar! You can take them up to 4 times a day.That’s a lot of extra sugar so be mindful for your meal plan. The regular chewables have less sugar.

Apple Cider Vinegar
I also like to take 1 Tablespoon of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV is a heavy hitter in all kinds of holistic remedies. We use it for sore throats too. If you want fascinating reading, hit Pinterest for Apple Cider Vinegar remedies! ❤

Recommendations:
As soon as you begin to feel a cold coming on begin with
Sambucol (per the label)
Airborne (per the label)
1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

Repeat every 4 hours, until you feel better.

THIS!  THIEVES OIL
abby

Legend tells of French grave robbers who fashioned this oil to protect them from
illness while they robbed.. graves!!   There are so many uses for thieves oil to purify the air and keep your family well.
1. I gargle with a few drops of this each day. It gets into your sinus and membranes.
2. Put a few drops on the bottoms of your feet! Or your kids, or your hubs.. keep your household healthy!!
3. Diffuse it into the air!!
 Google this!! Seriously.. It cannot hurt!! Right!!

I order from my bestie  Www.mydoterra.com/AbbySchafers
And there are so many other essential oils you can benefit from. Check it out.
There are also ON Guard products for your home.
If you shop elsewhere..don’t get a random thieves oil because some are not made to injest.

I put a drop in the dish water and also use it to clean my counters.  It smells like cloves and oranges.

Where to find these items:

Sambucol syrup is available on Amazon.com but Wal-mart and Walgreens have the chewable ones.
Chewable Airborne is found at Target, Walgreens. The grocery stores tend to have the ones you put in water.
Costco has giant bottles of Airborne at great prices.
Braggs ACV is available at most grocery stores with the vinegars and salad dressings.

Hydrate
Skip the soda, go straight water or water with lemon. Orange juice is a super comfort food, but it’s very high in sugar! Hydrate your body with lots of water.

Final thoughts!!! Listen to your body

If you are feeling ill, listen to your body! If your body wants rest, you must comply! If you still feel well enough to train, please stay out of the gym. A great option is pilates. Pilates practice helps make the immune system stronger. For more on this fascinating story, check out how Joe Pilates system saved his clients from an epidemic! We can all benefit from pilates!

I always up my pilates when I’m feeling under the weather.

Many people swear by ‘sweating it out’ and I don’t holistically disagree, however, be a good neighbor and do it at home. Your fellow gym mates will appreciate it!!