Posted on

A New Way To Train Shoulders

In the lead up to my latest comp, I changed up my shoulder training to focus more on posterior (rear) and medial (side) deltoids as opposed to anterior (front).

Why make the change?

Most shoulder training has you starting with compound movements, which mainly focus on the anterior head of deltoids: Any pressing movement (dumbbell presses, military presses etc.), and/or isolation raises with thumbs pointing up (‘thumbs to ceiling’).

So, my shoulder workout used to be: seated dumbbell press, side lateral raises, and reverse pec-deck, hitting all heads of the shoulder.

Recently, however, I changed it up and did a few more isolation exercises focusing on posterior and medial deltoids before doing the compounds.

This is a form of pre-exhaustion training with isolation exercises preceding compound exercises in order to obtain greater adaptations in strength and size. Current research on this principle is very limited, and one study found no greater benefit of performing exercises in this order as opposed to prioritizing compound movements when it comes to full-body training.

My aim, on the other hand, is to stimulate the deltoid heads that often get neglected and I hope the principle gets some more attention soon as I’m thirsty for more research! Anyway, my shoulder training looks a bit like this.

My current shoulder training

EXERCISEREPSSETS
Reverse Pec-Deck/Rear Delt Flies *pyramid sets20/15/12/104
Straight-arm Lateral Raises (‘pinkie to ceiling’)123
Standing Military Press6-84
Upright Rows (wide grip – barbell)8-103
Cable Face-Pulls (rope attachment)10-123

Some things to note

  • Pyramid sets go a bit like this: 20 reps, rest, increase weight, 15 reps, rest, increase weight, 12 reps, rest, increase weight, 10 reps.
  • ‘Pinkie to Ceiling’ : Slightly tilt your wrist so thumbs point to ground and pinkies to ceiling and don’t bend at the elbows too much. Weight here doesn’t have to be very heavy, hold the contraction for 2-3 seconds.
  • Wide-grip Upright Rows: Keep elbows high, aim for 90 degree angle at elbows. Don’t row backwards, but upwards, keep an eye on your elbow position and try to keep it in line with your shoulders. Don’t jerk the weight up. Maintain slow reps.
  • Face-Pulls: I usually attach the rope attachment to the cable row machine for better posture and form during the exercise. Keep elbows high!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this session!

Posted on

Sinead’s Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Need a delicious weekend breakfast that’s loaded with protein and tastes amazing?

Bioflex ambassador Sinead has just the thing!

As a vegan getting enough protein in can often be hard. But she’s found a way to increase the protein in a traditional breakfast smoothie bowl while still maintain the smooth and creamy texture and rich flavour.

Use this as a base and then load it with all of your favourite toppings. We’d include things like shredded coconut, silvered almonds, cacao nibs and fresh berries.

The recipe

  • 1.5 scoops of Bioflex Nutrition BioLife Vegan Protein in Chocolate
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 100g Japanese tofu
  • Sugar free maple syrup
  • Cacao powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Ice
  • Water to reach desired consistency

Place all above ingredients in a food processor, add water and blend until it’s reached your desired consistency and enjoy! Top with additional ingredients.

Posted on

A Run Down On Competing With Boris Zivkovic

The ICN 2018 Hobart Muscle and Model Show has finally concluded, so we had a chat to Bioflex ambassador Boris Zivkovic in relation to the competing process and what others can expect if they’re thinking about stepping on stage soon.

How long did you prep for?

I only decided to compete about 11 weeks out, but I had been doing a cut for another event about five weeks prior to that with three weeks off (at slightly higher than maintenance calories) before the official comp prep.

So in total, there were about 16 weeks of dieting. I was hovering at around 88kg before the cut started, and on show day I weighed in at 74.3kg.

Did you do anything different in the lead up to this comp as opposed to previous comps?

Yes! The dieting and nutrition side was the same as usual with gradual calorie deficits with varieties of foods, nothing was off-limits (apart from trans fats – hydrogenated vegetable oils – deep fried foods).

The main differences were in relation to cardio and peak week:

The Cardio

I introduced cardio into the plan at six weeks out. It was an option to either decrease calories more or implement cardio (a lager deficit was needed to keep losing body fat at this stage).

So, I went with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training – mixture of burpees, sprints, wall sits, sit ups and push-ups – 21 minutes) cardio to begin with (separated from weight training) while the calories were still relatively high, then introduced LISS (Low Intensity Steady State – walk on 15% incline – 40-50 minutes) when the calories dropped further (straight after training).

So, on re-feed days I did HIIT, and on low days I did LISS; this was just a way of energy conservation – I was not able to keep the intensity as high for HIIT on low days, hence dropping it in favour for LISS.

Peak Week

I went with a carb front load (five days out) as opposed to back load (night/day before the show) to make sure I wasn’t bloated on show day. The water intake also stayed the same for the whole week, no water loading or cutting.

This allowed me to actually obtain a good pump for my divisions. In previous comps I played around with water/salt intakes during the peak week, only to look flat on the day that it mattered, and then 10 times better a day or two after the show.

So, the goal was to replicate how I looked/felt regularly at the gym: Four litres of water and regular sodium intake. The only salt manipulation was in my pre-stage meal.

The rest of the day, from breakfast onward, I chose low fibre/high carbohydrate foods, including powdered carbs (same reason as before, keeping the bloats to a minimum while keeping the muscles full with glycogen).

I did the same for my clients too.

Were you happy with what you brought to the stage?

Very much so! I won the Street-wear Model and Bodybuilding Under 75kg divisions, and came second in the Bodybuilding Open/Overall division!

I can always be a bit leaner and bigger though. My main improvements to my physique were chest, arms and shoulders. My legs still need to come up a bit to match the size of my back. So, that’s the goal for next comp: Legs, legs, and some more legs.

When are you intending to compete again?

University studies are going to take over next semester and next year. The last few third year units are pretty intense and I doubt I’d be able to keep up the training a study at the same time.

This time it was pretty hard to find time to do cardio with two assignments due four days before comp, so there have been a few all-nighters done in the lead up into comp.

I should be graduating at the end of 2019, so I’ll hopefully be making a stage comeback season A 2020.

Why did you compete in the first place?

Well, it’s pretty fun, so there’s that! I started competing in 2011 when the sports (now called fitness) divisions were introduced as I was nowhere near big enough to stand next to body-builders.

So, over the last seven years I grew my way into body-building. Now is the best time to compete, with so many divisions on offer, you can step on stage and represent a certain look that you prefer.

Some folks don’t want to be as big as body-builders and stick to fitness and physique; or don’t like the ‘hard’ look of figure and stick to bikini and sports model divisions.

Then, some people are like me and like being on stage so they enter a division that suits their physique best at that point in time, while they keep growing (or aim to keep growing and progressing through division requirements).

I’m also one of those people who needs a proper goal, with a real deadline, to progress. Other people can pick a goal, give themselves a deadline and keep themselves on track until they achieve it! I used to be one of those, but have become lazy in my old age!

 

Some tips for first timers

If you’ve ever thought about competing, but don’t think you are ready, check the division requirements, or ask someone who’s competed before!

Most people are a lot harder on themselves than they realise, so having a chat to someone who’s been there might help you make up your mind. I’m always happy to chat competing, so if you need anything or have questions about competing, feel free to give me a yell!

We all start somewhere, and you always get better with experience. So, even if you’re not 100% where you want to be before you hit the stage, I still urge you to think about competing! It will make you better in the long run! You’ll have an idea of what it takes: when it comes to dieting, when it comes to training, and especially when it comes to posing!

You can never be too good at posing!

The next ICN Tasmania Comp is on September 16th, so you will still have some time to decide. See you there!

Posted on

Intermediate Bodybuilding Training Program

Kane comes from a family of bodybuilders and began weight training at just 15 years old.

He took home a first place trophy at the Victorian Bodybuilding Championships in 2015 and is competed in the IFBB Victorian Championships and the Arnold Classic both early in 2017.

Here is his current training program.

Kane’s Training Program

If you’re an intermediate bodybuilder you can give it a try too.

  • Training Split: Legs, push and pull day.
  • Training days: Three on, one off and repeat.
  • Training Frequency: High.
  • Training Volume: Medium  to high.
  • Training Principles: Progressive overload.

Why progressive overload?

Progressive overload is the concept of gradually increasing the exercise demand on your body to achieve continued improvement.

The body is amazing and capable of adapting to the physical demands that are placed on it. This is why an exercise becomes easier the more it is done.

For example, someone who has never completed a push up may find doing a single push up very challenging. If they completed a single push up every second day, they would soon find they are able to complete two push ups and so on.

Kane during his off season.

Progressive overload is essential in order to continue becoming fitter, stronger and to improve in your training. Achieving “overload” during exercise can be done by:

  1. Increasing the load i.e. complete the exercise using more resistance/a heavier weight.
  2. Increasing the quantity by adding more repetitions or additional sets.

Ensure that as your workout becomes easier to complete, you up the ante; you will enjoy the progress and benefits!

Training Programming

Check out my legs. push and pull days below. Complete one each day for three days, then have a day off. Use weights which challenge you and start lighter to warm up.

Leg Day

Push Day

Pull Day

Posted on

Sinead’s Vegan Chia Pudding

Do you love chia pudding? Try out this quick and easy dairy free version from Bioflex ambassador Sinead.

Prep it the night before and whip it up in less than two minutes of a morning!

Ingredients

Serves one

Directions

  1. Soak chia seeds over night in 1/2 cup of water
  2. In the morning, mix through protein powder and extra water if needed.
  3. Add powdered peanut butter and coconut yogurt and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Per serve 

Energy (kJ): 1314 | Protein (g): 35 | Fat (g): 12 | Carbohydrates (g): 24 | Sodium (mg): 133

Posted on

Amino Acids and Nitrogen’s Role in Making Gains

The versatility of amino acids in the body is pretty impressive. From facilitating chemical reactions, providing structure to your bones, muscles, skin and hair, to defending against infections and forming certain hormones.

No wonder they were named proteins: ‘of prime importance’.

Does this mean proteins also deserve the top billing in our diets? What are the best sources of high-quality protein? How much protein should you consume in order to build/maintain muscle mass? Let’s dig into the wonderful world of science and nutrition and find out!

What is protein?

Protein is made up of 20 amino acids (9 of which are essential) and is the only macro nutrient that provides nitrogen to our bodies.

What is so important about nitrogen you might ask? It is essential for all the processes mentioned above. Furthermore nitrogen balance is a determinant of whether or not all the necessary ingredients are there for muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Studies show if this level is positive – muscle is able to be built. If it is negative – it’s likely that muscle protein is being degraded.

What happens if you don’t consume enough protein?

Let’s think of muscle as your body’s protein storage heap. Any bodily process that needs an amino acid, and there isn’t a free one circulating around the body, will require for some muscle to be broken down in order for the more important process to take place. So, consuming enough protein for normal body functions is essential, and keeping a positive nitrogen balance – that is consuming more protein than what is generally required – primes your body for building muscle.

What’s the RDI of protein?

Generally, for maintenance and normal workings the body, the recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein per day is only between 0.7 – 1.0g per kilogram of body weight. Athletes require more, depending on intensity and volume of training.

One thing to note here is that training tends to swing you towards negative nitrogen balance. So, the more intense your training, the more protein you need for recovery or ‘to swing you back into positive nitrogen balance’.

The big question: How much protein do you need for muscle growth?

The current evidence suggests a minimum of 1.6g per kilogram per day and the upper intake of 2.2g.

What’s the difference and which number should you aim for? If you’re just starting to train and increase your protein intake, 1.6g will easily suffice. In this case anything above your regular intake will result in MPS! More seasoned lifters would fall closer to the upper level intake.

Personally, I’d recommend the higher intake just in case – the countless studies done on high protein diets and their supposed links to liver and kidney dysfunction have all come back as negative: high protein diets do not result in organ dysfunction! So, you are safe to consume more than 2.2g per kilogram of body weight per day, however anything over that number has not shown to be more effective and result in higher MPS.

How much protein can you absorb from a meal?

One question that I constantly get asked is ‘how much protein can you absorb from a meal?’

Simple answer: all or most of it depending on the meal, unless you have issues with your gastrointestinal tract (GIT).

Dietary protein gets degraded into peptides and then into amino acids along the GIT (mainly stomach and small intestine) with the aid of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, and therefore gets absorbed only as small peptides and single aminos via specific carriers (depending on the amino acid).

I think that question comes from the misconception that only about 25g of protein “is used for muscle, so any more is just waste”.

So, let’s reword the question to help us get to the heart of the matter and what we really want to know: “How much protein do you need to consume in a meal for maximum MPS?”

Some of the amino acids will go to synthesizing your nails, hair, hormones, enzymes, and even glucose (blood sugar – a carbohydrate) if you’re on an extremely low carb diet (the process is called Gluconeogenesis). So, we need to ensure there are enough essential amino acids to go around for all those processes and for positive nitrogen balance during the pre-prandial state (fancy way of saying during a fast or between meals).

A brand new study on just this question was published earlier in the year (I urge you to read the full study), and suggests splitting your protein across a minimum of four meals for maximum MPS – that is 0.55g per kilogram of body weight per meal if we’re aiming for the 2.2g figure discussed earlier.

Here’s an example of how I would set my day up based on what we’ve discussed so far:

  • For an 80kg person: 80 * 2.2 = 176 (round up for nice whole numbers = 180g per day)
  • Substitute 30g for post-workout shake and BCAA/EAA during training: 180 – 30 = 150
  • 150 split into 4 meals = 37.5g per meal; and since I barely ever get the exact amounts in my meals, I prefer to work within a range: 35 – 40g per meal.
  • Choose your protein sources and ensure they’re high-quality.

What’re the best quality sources of protein?

To conclude, let’s look at what some high-quality proteins are. They’re complete proteins, that is they have all the essential amino acids.

All animal products are complete proteins: chicken, beef, pork, eggs, dairy, whey, casein etc. However, only some plants are sources of complete proteins: quinoa, buckwheat, chia, soy and hemp seed.

Most plants lack one or two EAAs so eating two of them together makes a complete protein. For example: rice is low in lysine and high in methionine, while beans (and chickpeas and lentils) are low in methionine and high in lysine.

Also, ever wondered why all the highest quality vegan protein powders are a combination of pea and rice proteins? Straight pea or rice protein powder needs to be fortified with the missing amino in order to be a high-quality source. If you’re looking for a great source of this, check out Bioflex Nutrition’s BioLife.

Notes:

Information relating to MPS is in regards to positive calorie balance, all EAAs and essential nutrients (fats and carbs included).

In other words, while you do need to be in positive nitrogen balance to build muscle, you also need to be eating enough calories and other macros, with the majority of your protein coming from high-quality sources coupled with training. You can eat all the protein you want, without exercise to stimulate MPS you’ll just be excreting the excess nitrogen.

Posted on

Sinead’s ICN Comp Prep Stack

Season A has already started and in Tasmania we are only a few weeks out from the ICompete Natural Tasmania Show in Hobart.

Everyone competing is probably starting to feel it now. The workouts are getting a bit harder and the itch to just get up on stage is getting stronger.

Below are the supplements I use during comp prep. About a week or two before competing I cut out all supplements (except dairy free protein).

My favourite Bioflex Nutrition supps for comp prep

BioLife Protein

This one is a supplement I always use! In prep it’s particularly handy because it’s an easy on-the-go meal.

Protein as a macro-nutrient increases satiety, reduces the breakdown of muscle and promotes muscle repair. All of these are very complimentary to a successful comp prep!

BioLife also helps me hit my protein target without going over on fat or carbs.

Being vegan, my protein sources typically have either a moderate to high carb or fat content. This can make trying to stick to lower calories and specific macro targets challenging when using wholefood sources of protein.

It’s soy and gluten free with no artificial colours or sweeteners. I know how my body reacts to it and I’m not over-doing the soy.

I tend to get a bit ‘tofu-ed’ out during prep! It cures my sweet cravings! My go-to desert is Chocolate BioLife protein powder and mixed berries!

Day Shred

I use this only when I’m prepping.

It has caffeine to help me kick start my day and a few natural ingredients that – when combined with everything else – can help increase metabolism and decrease hunger levels.

Night Shred

Once again, I only use this during prep.

It contains amino acids, which promote recovery whilst sleeping. As a vegan it can be hard to get certain amino acids from food sources.

BioCharge

This is another product I use all year around.

When I’m tired it gives me the energy to go to the gym and smash out a workout!

It’s super handy during prep when you’re doing two sessions a day and you need all the energy you can get!

Alcar Pro

This is 100% Acetyl L Carnitine. It contains everything you need and nothing you don’t!

Alcar Pro helps use stored fat for energy so it’s super helpful when prepping and trying to maintain as much muscle as possible. It helps when you want those abs to show!

It also can improve mood and cognitive function, which helps keep the hangry-ness and comp prep brain at bay.

If you need any help with any Bioflex Nutrition supplements, comment below. Best of luck with the rest of your prep!

Posted on

How To Win Your Next ICN Competition

Thanks to ICN judge and natural bodybuilding champion, Bridget Freeman for providing us with this blog.

Need some help in setting yourself up for success this season? Read on.

Bridget has obtained her INBA/PNBA Pro Card and also judges ICN competitions. Below she offers some great tips on how to improve your look and aura on stage.

She has based these constructive tips off observations she has made during her time judging, which she believes competitors often overlook.

Bridget’s 7 winning tips

1. Make sure you enter the right division for your body

There are plenty of examples of people who could have won or placed top three if they had been in the correct division, but as it was they were unplaced.

There are many, many opportunities for you to receive advice on which division would suit you best, whether it be at posing clinics, comparing yourself to the example photos provided by the federation you are competing in, or contacting a well known person in the organization and sending them your photo and asking for their advice.

You could also use these options when you are trying to decide if you are lean enough leading in to comp day.

2. Be a perfectionist with your choice of bikini or suit

There are plenty of different cuts and colours to choose from.

Don’t just pick a colour because you like it, pick one that will stand out on stage and that complements your colouring.

Personally I don’t really like red or dark pink on stage as they tend to blend into your tan too much.  Have a look at lots of different line ups and see which colours stand out the most and suit girls with the same colouring as you.

I also don’t particularly like asymmetrical bikini bottoms, where one side is different to the other – A lot of what you are judged on is symmetry and this can look a bit unbalanced.

Black doesn’t stand out much either for girls, although it is fine for guys.  Girls, think about the cut of the bottoms at the back as well – some can be too straight across, a dip down at the back is best.

Different federations have different rules about how skimpy the backs can be; be sure to check the rules of your federation before ordering and also think about which amount of ‘cheek’ coverage suits your physique best.

Accessories also matter – Let them enhance, not overpower your physique.

3. Make sure your tan is dark enough

In most divisions, particularly Figure and Bodybuilding, it is very hard to have a tan that is too dark!

A deep, dark tan is a must to show off all your hard earned muscle and one that is too light detracts from your overall appearance and can cost you placings.

If you aren’t sure whether or not your tan is dark enough, it probably isn’t dark enough!

Seek feedback from supporters in the audience, check out the divisions before yours and see how the lights are effecting the tans and compare yours to others in your division.

If you are in multiple divisions, you could pop another coat on backstage before your next showing if required.

On a side note for guys – Faces also need to have smooth and even tan application. I have seen a few faces that have been very patchy or had obvious hand prints. Also don’t forget your ears.

4. Practice posing

You can never practice posing too much.

I know you are probably told it over and over again and became sick of hearing it, but you must practice your posing consistently and from a long time out, no matter how tired you are, how good you think you are or how much you hate it.

The art of presenting yourself in the best light takes time, effort, practice and more practice.

Different federations have different required poses and T-walks so be sure you are practicing the correct poses and walks for the federation you will be competing in.

You need to find the best way to pose to highlight your strong points and minimize your weak points, personalize it, don’t just copy someone else.

Your posing needs to look smooth and confident, not stressed or strained, hands should be relaxed, not claws, you need to work on your mind/muscle connection so you can bring out every one of your muscles as much as possible, and you need to look relaxed and happy the whole time, whilst constantly flexing, even in the ‘relaxed’ pose.

Don’t forget how important your transitions between poses are, and your walk as well!  Posing training is hard work, and apart from giving you confidence on stage it can also enhance your muscle separation and density, so if you are struggling to find the time to practice then think of it as part of your training, just as important as every other exercise you do in the gym.

There are a lot of people at comps who shake very noticeably on stage and of course some of this is nerves but a lot of it is from not having practiced holding poses long enough and therefore the muscles fatiguing.

5. Don’t forget to smile

What a difference smiling made to people’s overall presentation!

You need to practice smiling when you practice your posing. It most likely won’t just happen on stage without you thinking about it, it needs to be worked on!  And don’t look down.

6. Be confident, not arrogant

Yes in the pose down put your personality out there and seek the front and centre position. Even go head to head with a rival if that is your style, but in line ups and comparison posing have some respect for your fellow competitors and don’t pose in front of them, knock them or try and put them off.

Especially girls in bikini and fitness model where there is a line at the back waiting while an individual competitor does their T-walk. Every one of you will have your special moment to shine and show off all your hard work, so show respect and don’t constantly be seeking to distract the judges from the person on the T-walk by excessive movement and attention seeking.

When it is your turn, take your time, don’t rush – This is your time to shine.

7. Don’t be a diva backstage

Although this doesn’t actually apply to the stage, don’t be a diva backstage either.

Everyone working backstage is a volunteer and is giving up their precious time to help you.  And your fellow athletes are just that, fellow athletes deserving of respect and consideration.

You could well make friends for life backstage and it can certainly be one of the most fun and memorable parts of competing to share in the experience with like-minded people.

So relax as much as you can, take a positive friendly attitude with you, grab heaps of photos and enjoy the ride as much as possible!

Best of luck!

I hope these tips help out at future competitions!

No matter whether you place or not, or where you place, competing can be a truly amazing experience and all you need to be is your best and remember that you have accomplished something that very few people can.

Posted on

7 Tips For Starting Out At The Gym

Do you want to get fit and healthy but are too intimidated to get going at the gym?

We have some tips on how you can beat this gym anxiety and start smashing your goals!

We understand most people’s fears when starting out on their fitness journey come down to a lack of understanding of equipment, exercises and the feeling of being judged as a newbie. But remember everyone is a newbie at some stage and we’ve all been through gym phobia before.

What is gym phobia?

It wasn’t until recently that we discovered this fear is a real and documented occurrence.

In a research paper by Curves Australia they found 46% of Australians experience anxiety while working out around others. Of this group one third said this is what has stopped them from joining a gym.

So we’re here to tell you that while gym phobia is real, it’s also quite common and can be overcome. You’re not alone.

Here are our top tips for beating gym anxiety and smashing your fitness goals.

Gym phobia is real and can be beaten!

1. Go with a friend

Like many things, going to the gym is more fun with a friend. It can also be less intimidating when there are two of you exploring a new gym and trialing new equipment.

Head along with a friend who is at a similar fitness level to you and you can encourage each other along the way.

2. Pick a gym that suits your needs

There are so many different gyms to choose from these days. We’re talking 24/7, power-lifting, cross fit, boxing, group fitness training, female only and many more.

Choose one which best suits your needs and vibe. It’s always best to pick one which isn’t too far from home and has the equipment and classes you’d enjoy doing.

3. Train outside of peak hours

If you want to avoid training in front of other people, try to hit the gym before or after peak times. Question the staff and personal trainers about the quietest times of day. That way you’ll feel more comfortable testing out the equipment and building up confidence.

Don’t be afraid to trial new equipment at the gym with the help of a PT.

4. Workout in public parks first

If you’re not quite up to exercising around people in a confined space, try working out in public parks and spacious areas first. Mix up your regular routine by going for a jog or bush walk.

Even try doing a circuit at home with body weight exercises. This will help you to build up your confidence in exercising and have you along at a gym in no time.

5. Hire a PT

Personal trainers are an excellent tool to use if you’re new to a gym. They know exactly what the equipment is for and can set you up with a great program. PT’s also have the right knowledge to be able to put your goals on paper and help you start working towards them.

6. Don’t be intimidated by others

Most people at the gym are far too absorbed in their own training to look and judge others. While you may feel as though you stand out as the newbie to the gym, most likely others won’t notice and will keep going with their own workout.

7. Remember everyone starts somewhere

Remember everyone starts in the same place. No one was born at the gym. Don’t worry about others and just be proud of yourself for starting out at the gym and working on your fitness.

The first day can be daunting, but be consistent and it’ll only get better from there!

Posted on

Carrie’s Australian Spartan Training

I love training. I love the smack talk and banter beforehand. I love the feeling of working hard and the awesome feeling when you’re done. But more than that I love winning.

I don’t know if I love winning or I just hate losing… Either way I have been this way for as long as I can remember.

Board games, traffic lights, treadmills, everything and anything can be won. I will try to win it, or rage quit if I don’t. All spells fun times right?

My motivation for competing in Australian Spartan

 

Carrie strength training in preparation for Australian Spartan.

When my training has a focus (aka winning something) I am at my very best. Every rep, every lift, every km counts and I know it. This is where Australian Spartan comes in.

What an amazing and completely unknown test!

How do I even start to prepare for something like this? YouTube that’s how. Let the Spartan YouTube marathons begin.

And what do I see mud running, hanging, mud climbing, more running, water, barbed wire, more mud and more hanging. Should be easy enough… Right?

Except, I have never run a Spartan Race. In fact, I’ve never run further than 5km in my life and never completed an obstacle course.

Holy moly! What have I done to myself?

My current training

Carrie trying to improve her grip strength.

So it begins. Running, more running, weight vests, swimming, hijacking playgrounds and hanging after running. I’ve now done everything. Even a night time obstacle course and a sneaky 10km fun run.

Because I have a whole 24 hours in every day, I add in evening sessions with specific weight training around grip strength. This is basically hanging from stuff with weight a vest on… After running.

My training week starts to resemble a cross between a zombie apocalypse and the movie 300, although far less abs and fortunately far less blood.

The next few weeks have flown by in a training blur. I have started to notice my grip strength improving… But running is still not the best.

My family are becoming increasingly wary of any park visits as they quickly turn into impromptu Spartan arenas complete with podium finishes and celebrations… (mostly from me).

Fingers crossed my training is on the right track and my family don’t kick me out before the show even starts for my lack of humility and over celebrating.

Silent prayers for us all if we don’t win!

You can watch Carrie Mill compete in Australian Spartan every Sunday night at 7pm on Channel 7.

Posted on

Meet Australian Spartan Competitor Carrie Mill

We’re stoked to introduce you to our latest Bioflex Nutrition ambassador – Carrie Mill.

Carrie has always been a lover of health and fitness, but has just taken her fitness journey to a whole new level!

Carrie takes on Channel Seven’s Australian Spartan

That’s right! Carrie is one of this year’s Australian Spartan competitors! This brand new strength and agility show airs for the first time at 7pm this Sunday the 25th of February on Channel Seven and you’ll find Carrie right up in the action!

This challenging show hosts a series of heats and semi-finals which will see ten grand finalists battle it out in an extended Spartan course where only two teams will succeed. After that the final two race simultaneously in the grand final, with the winning team scoring $150,000.

Carrie’s part of Team VP Vanguard from Queensland. She’s joined forces with gym owners Phil and Stacey to battle it out against the other 35 teams!

Hosted by Edwina Bartholomew and Hamish McLachlan, Australian Spartan tackles an epic obstacle course of both wet and dry areas. Featuring a 90kg tyre swing and a 14 metre long obstacle course filled pool, this high skill course is sure to challenge even the fittest of teams.

More about Carrie

Carrie is a 37 year old, full time primary school teacher and mother of two by day and an Australian Spartan by night.

She’s always been an active person, playing state level basketball for 18 years and still coaching kid’s basketball teams now.

Carrie describes herself as honest, funny and a bad loser.

She tends to eat very healthily most of the time, but has a weakness for wood-fired pizza and lollies.

Carrie also uses supplements to aid in her recovery from intense training sessions and loves our BioFurnace for Women in Chocolate and BCAA Pro in Lemonade.

Carrie (middle) with Team VP Vanguard from Queensland.

Q & A with Carrie before Australian Spartan

We had a chat to Carrie recently about her upcoming stint in Australian Spartan. To say she’s excited for the show to begin would be an understatement.

Have you always had a passion for health and fitness?

I have always been insanely competitive, I love winning and competing in anything. My fitness and training level has always been driven by this. I love looking and feeling strong and healthy!

You’re a teacher and mother of two, how do you find time to fit in your training?

To fit it all in I start my days at 4:00am! Making my day start that little bit earlier gives me the extra time I need to train. Don’t look at training as a chore! I use my gym time for “me time” playing my favourite music and zoning out, not answering any questions, not looking after anyone. It’s just me kicking some ass!

What’s your current workout schedule like leading up to Australian Spartan?

My training leading into Australian Spartan really has gone to the next level. I am training twice a day, six days a week. A mix of cardio, HIIT training, weights, long distance running and also a little bit of gymnastics and calisthenics type training.

Have you changed up your diet leading up to Australian Spartan?

My food varies based on my training for that day or the next day. I eat a high protein, low fat diet with an amazing breakfast! I love what I eat because it’s easy to prepare and delicious!

Carrie with her favourite Bioflex supps.

We wish Carrie the best of luck in Australian Spartan. Look out for her when it first airs this Sunday at 7pm on Channel Seven.

To follow Carrie’s journey in the show, check out her Instagram.

Posted on

Why Women Should Lift

Strength training among women is becoming increasingly popular.

Many women are now realizing that aerobics and running shouldn’t be the basis of their fitness routine and won’t get them as lean and toned as weights training will.

However, many women still assume lifting weights will cause them to become bulky.

I’m here to tell you that I and many other women at the gym are already lifting weights. So how many of these bulky women do you actually see at your gym?

When you sit down and think about your fitness goals, strength training is not only going to help you achieve them but will get you there a lot quicker than cardio based training and yoga.

Don’t get me wrong, these have their place in fitness and I believe we all need to work on our flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. The perfect training program would encompass all aspects of fitness utilizing strength training, yoga, mobility and cardio.

So let’s put the fears aside and tackle the weights room, with my top six reasons in mind.

1. It burns fat

Weight training burns calories both during and after exercise. This is called Excess Post-Exercises Oxygen Consumption EPOC. When your body consumes more oxygen it burns more calories and increases metabolic rate. Oxygen consumption governs metabolism.

This is in contrast to steady state cardio, where once you stop, you stop burning calories.

2. It sculpts your body

The toned looking physique only comes from having muscle. The bigger butt, toned arms and toned thighs all come from lifting weights and engaging those muscles of you body.

Just doing cardio will allow you to lose both fat and muscle. The muscle is what creates shape and tone. And sadly, if you don’t use it you lose it.

Ever broken an ankle and had your leg in a plaster cast for eight weeks. When it is taken off, often your calf is half the size. This is the result of you not contracting muscle fibres.

3. It increases metabolic rate

Some studies show long term resistance training may result in an increase in 24 hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation. These levels may be enough to assist in maintaining energy balance and preventing weight gain.

An increase in Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) means your body works more efficiently and you can lose fat while consuming a higher amount of calories. This makes dieting much easier. You can lose body fat and still eat lots of food! And yes, weight training allows you to do this.

4. It encourages deeper sleep

Sleep is where the recovery and muscle growth occurs.

Exercise can help to encourage better sleep quality. Research has found that moderate intensity exercise can improve the quality of sleep and reduce the amount of times the body wakes during the night.

5. It enhances emotional well-being

Weight and strength training can have a positive impact on the emotional well-being of women. It has been found that challenging and overcoming strength goals in the gym can set us up for success and the strength to deal with many of life challenges.

One research paper has looked at the effects of strength training on emotional well-being and self image of women. It found those who trained with weights had a much higher score in terms of well-being as well as reduced skin fold thickness and and increase in muscle strength.

6. It helps manage stress

Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. When you exercise you release endorphins, which helps us to switch off from the outside world and feel good.

But exercise can still put added stress on the body, so if you are already managing high stress and high cortisol levels your exercise selection may need to be adapted.

High intensity training sessions which rely on adrenaline and cortisol will only add more stress to the body. High cortisol will quickly erode muscle so strength training with lower reps and longer rest is optimal.

Have you recently taken up strength training? Tell us how it’s going in the comments below!

Posted on

Prevent DOMS And Increase Gains With BCAAs

If you train regularly, you may have heard of BCAAs and their recovery properties.

While most people tend to take a post workout shake, many people neglect intra workout supplements which can be very useful in delaying DOMS and building muscle.

What are BCAAs?

BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids. They are made up of three essential amino acids – Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These amino acids help to promote protein synthesis in the body and therefore help with muscle growth and recovery.

BCAAs are found in all foods or supplements containing protein. However, many people – particularly vegetarians and vegans – don’t get enough of them from food. Therefore supplementing with BCAAs during exercise can be very beneficial.

Supplementing with BCAAs intra workout can improve muscle growth and recovery.

Here’s why you should take BCAAs

Many studies have looked into the benefits of supplementing with BCAAs during training.

When taken at this time, they can help to build muscle and prevent muscular fatigue during strenuous workouts.

Research has also proven they can also help prevent DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. A past study found that consuming BCAAs while training squats dramatically decreased DOMS in the following days.

How do BCAAs work?

BCAAs have excellent muscle building properties. They have an anabolic effect on protein metabolism by increasing protein synthesis and decreasing protein degradation.

The muscle building properties of BCAAs come largely from the inclusion of Leucine. Leucine has been found to increase muscle growth as it induces muscle protein synthesis.

During intense cardio, BCAAs in the body decline, which causes Leucine levels and glycogen stores to decrease. This brings on fatigue. Therefore by consuming BCAAs intra workout, protein degradation is decreased and both mental and physical performance is enhanced.

An added bonus for people who don’t consume much protein is that BCAA supplementation can assist in promoting muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over an extended period of time.

Research has found that men given 14g of BCAAs daily for eight weeks along with a weightlifting plan, lost more fat (2.2% body fat) and gained more lean muscle (4.2kg) than those given 28g of whey protein (2.1kg lean mass and 1.2% body fat) or 28g of carbohydrates (1.4kg lean mass and 0.6% body fat).

BCAAs can decrease DOMS post training.

How to supplement with BCAAs

As BCAAs help prevent fatigue and encourage muscle recovery, they are best taken intra workout.

Or if you find it hard to consume enough protein in your diet, they can be sipped on intermittently throughout the day.

Bioflex BCAA Supplements

BCAA Pro

We believe that BCAAs are an essential item in any gym goers supplement routine.

Our recently reformed BCAA Pro is the perfect intra workout supplement. A standard serve contains a scientifically verified dose of BCAAs as well as electrolytes to aid in hydration during strenuous activity.

Our BCAA Pro also incorporates a high dose of Citrulline Malate. This has been proven to help reduce muscle soreness and aid in training performance and endurance.

BCAA Capsules

Supplementing with BCAA Capsules is an easy and convenient way to get in BCAAs during training.

Our BCAA Capsules contain Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine, at 2:1:1 ratio, which is backed up by science as being the best formulation.

For further information

If you have any more questions about our BCAA Pro or BCAA Capsules, comment them below or find us on social media.

Posted on

My Off Season Bioflex Supplements

Get the most out of your nutrition and training regime by incorporating these supplements into your current diet.

These are the top six supplements I take during my off season. I use them all for different purposes and all of them work together to ensure I’m in peak physical form for growth and recovery.

This supplement regime is primary aimed at people seeking to build muscle and/or increase performance.

Kane during his off season.

1. Hydroflex Protein 

This is a rapidly absorbed hydrolyzed whey protein. I use this post workout and before bed to boost protein intake and increase muscular recovery.

2. RecoverX

Made from 100% free form amino acids, this rapidly absorbed supplement can help with faster recovery. I use this intra workout to keep my body from going into a catabolic state whilst training at a high intensity.

3. Creaflex

Creatine Monohydrate has been proven to aid in increased strength and muscle volume. I use this intra workout to keep muscle ATP production topped up and aid in muscle cell hydration while working out.

 

4. BioCharge Pre Workout

This blend of amino acids and caffeine has been formulated for increased energy and endurance. I use this before workouts when I need a little extra mental focus and endurance.

5. Jointz Capsules

Combining Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM, these capsules aid those who train hard and are susceptible to injury. I use these daily to keep my joints healthy while undertaking heavy weight training.

6. Protein Pancakes

These easy to make pancakes not only taste great, but also contain 40g of protein per serve. I eat these as a nice alternative to my usual breakfast, mostly on the weekends. Who doesn’t love pancakes?

To find out more about Kane check out his ambassador profile here.

Posted on

Welcome ICN

Australia has a new natural bodybuilding federation – iCompete Natural

The birth of ICN is the latest of many changes to federations in the 25 years that natural bodybuilding shows have been running in Australia.

The launch became official on the 23rd of January with all eight state presidents and twenty promoters claiming the name is “the perfect affirmation every drug-free athlete wants to proudly stand behind and represent.”

ICN already have over 50 Australian and international natural bodybuilding events running this years throughout Seasons A and B.

The new federation has branched into the international market with 15 countries already committing to promote and run their natural bodybuilding competitions under the ICN banner this year.

ICN hopes to see their brand and the success of natural body building become a worldwide phenomena and encourage more people to get involved.

They will be experimenting with further tech developments due to a $1 million investment which will see their social media and website spread over 22 languages and become the largest social fitness site in the world.

With 13,000 members in 41 countries already, ICN hopes these changes will see that number grow dramatically.

New pro cards

With a new federation, comes new pro cards – the ICN iPro Cards.

This year’s iCompete Natural Pro/Am show will be held at the Melbourne Fitness Show in October. The competition will be open to all amateurs who have qualified prior and all pros.

This is a large, history-making event for Australian natural bodybuilding and will offer a huge combined prize pool of $100,000.

What will ICN bring to Australian natural bodybuilding?

Firstly, it’s big and it’s international.

Introducing the inaugural World Amateur Natural Titles (WANT) run by ICN in cooperation with its worldwide affiliates.

This June amateur ICN members will have the chance to compete in an international show held at a world class retreat in Phuket, Thailand over three days.

They’re also running a new professional title show alongside the WANT in Phuket called the Southern Universe iPro Championships.

ICN see this as a great chance for the whole ICN family to holiday and compete together.

They hope these two brand new, prestigious events will make for some great experiences from both competitors and organisers.

Where is natural bodybuilding in Australia headed?

The future of Australian natural bodybuilding is looking bright, with ICN aiming to make it bigger and more prestigious than ever before.

If you want to see more iCompete events and the iPro rules for competing head to the ICN website.

Posted on

BioLife has had a makeover!

You won’t believe it! BioLife has had a transformation, and it’s better than ever. Our popular vegan protein has been reformulated to be dramatically smoother, creamier and tastier.

Plant-based proteins are naturally grittier than whey based proteins which can make it hard to achieve that creamy milkshake consistency of a protein shake.

But we didn’t give up the fight and we’ve produced a vegan protein that is seriously good.

BioLife is a blend of organic rice and pea proteins that gives you 24g of protein per serve and an impressive spread of amino acids, making it perfect for muscle recovery and growth.

But wait! The good news doesn’t end there, we’ve also added delectable Salted Caramel to BioLife line-up. Plus, the original chocolate and vanilla flavours have been improved too!

If you are keen to try our newly reformulated BioLife, samples are available! Request yours today.

Even though it’s an ideal choice for vegans, it’s also very good for those who are sensitive to dairy and experience digestive discomfort.

Whether you have or haven’t tried BioLife or a vegan protein before, we highly recommend that you give it a go… we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

BioLife is the ideal whey alternative, no need to compromise nutrition or taste when choosing a vegan protein. BioLife is all you need.

Ask your local stockist if they already do or would considering carrying BioLife so you can stock up today.

Posted on

Drum roll please… Bioflex Ambassadors Announced!

After an extensive search and so many fantastic applicants, we had to make the all-important decision of who would join Team Bioflex in 2017.

It was a tough choice, so tough in fact that we couldn’t pick just five but we decided to choose six.

Congratulations to the following athletes, our new Bioflex Nutrition Ambassadors!

  • Kane Douglas-Sonnett
  • Marijana Stojic
  • Zane Grosdanis
  • Ella Martyn
  • Mollie Gray
  • Matt Beer

We are thrilled to have you all on board and look forward to an exciting year working with you.

Also, a big thank you goes out to all those who entered our Ambassador Search and weren’t successful this time around. Although we couldn’t take you on this time, don’t give up! We will be on the lookout for more Bioflex Nutrition Ambassadors later in 2017.

Stay tuned in the new year for new blog posts from our ambassadors themselves!

Posted on

BioFurnace now in Salted Caramel

It was a smash hit when we released Salted Caramel in our Proflex protein, and early indications are that it’s going to be even more popular in BioFurnace.

Salted Caramel BioFurnace is a delicious caramel flavoured protein, with just enough salty taste to give it some pop.  Request your free sample today, or head to the BioFurnace, BioFurnace for Women or BioFurnace Trial Pack page to find an online stockist!

Posted on

Bioflex Stacks available from Planet Max

The clever guys and girls at Planet Max have done it again and bundled together in three unique stacks which are all created for different goals:

Bioflex---Ripped-Stack---500x500pxRipped Stack

Containing 1.5kg of BioFurnace, Ripped Capsules and Alcar Pro Capsules, their Ripped Stack is perfect for bodybuilders looking to shred down for competition.

These three products have a combined RRP of $179, but they’re on sale now at Planet Max for just 129.95


Bioflex---Bulker-Stack---500x500pxBulker Stack

With 1.5kg of BioBulker, a tub of Alpha Capsules and our powerful BioCharge NX2 the Bulker Stack is designed squarely for experienced lifters looking to gain weight and muscle.

Bought separately you can expect to pay an RRP of $161, but from Planet Max at the moment, they’re available for just $119.95.


Bioflex---Treat-Stack---500x500pxProtein Treat Sampler Pack

It’s fair to say we’ve saved the best til last… both in taste and value.  As part of this pack you’ll receive a sachet of BioCake, Pancakes, BioOats and two packs of Some Like It Hot!

With the Protein Treat Sampler Pack you can save big and try a variety of Bioflex’s great dessert/snack range for only $10. Bargain!!

 

 

Head to Planetmax’s online store to grab all the deals.

Posted on

Bioflex Nutrition products now available in Anytime Fitness Gyms

A recent deal has been struck between Bioflex and Anytime, which will see Bioflex products in over 400 Anytime Fitness Gyms Australia-wide.  We’re extremely excited that this opens up Bioflex Nutrition’s quality products to a much wider audience.

If your local Anytime Fitness Gym isn’t stocking Bioflex and you’d like them to, your best bet is to have a chat to the manager.  If you’d like to drop us a line and let us know your local gym, we can chase it up from our end too.

Happy days!

Posted on

BioOats are your delicious way to start the day

Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and now getting a highly nutritious, healthy breakfast which is packed with protein is even easier.

Introducing Bioflex Nutrition’s BioOats – perfect for breakfast, when travelling or as a convenient, high protein snack.

Each sachet of BioOats has an equal split of protein and carbs per serve (22 grams) by combining whey and casein with oats.  This gives you a great meal which has extra fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Skip the take away food shop and grabs some BioOats today.  Available now from all stockists for $2 per serve.

Posted on

BioCake is now on sale!

Each sachet makes a delicious cake in a mug which is packed with 20 grams of protein!

When you’re in the middle of week long blocks of training, all those protein shakes can start to look a little bland. Spice things up with a Bioflex BioCake, our tasty premixed cake in a mug!

Bioflex Nutrition’s BioCake is a combination of whey, milk and egg proteins, blended with almonds, coconut, oats and cacao which boost vitamins, minerals and healthy carbs.

They’re available now from all Bioflex Nutrition Stockists for just $1.85 a serve.  Choose from two great flavours – Cherry Choc and Creamy Banana.

Posted on

A new flavour for Proflex

Everyone loves a new flavour, right?

Well today you’ve got an extra choice when you’re buying your favourite protein blend — SALTED CARAMEL!

It’s a yummy caramel which has just a hint of saltiness to take the edge of the sweetness.

Perfect when used with water, but when combined with milk it turns into an indulgent milkshake.  Yum!!

Proflex Salted Caramel was released to stockists today, so will be available from them within the week. Enjoy!