Sunday, May 31, 2009


There is no easy way out of training hard.  I see time and time again young over zealot, impatient, young guys coming into my gym trying to build huge muscles without working for them.  They try all different types of methods in hopes that they will magically grow into a behemoth man.  When they come and ask me for my advice I tell them to be patient, train hard and honestly, eat wholesome foods, sleep, and train within their own genetic limitations.  But my advice passes through them like a sieve.  They ultimately resort to taking prohormones  or steroids to achieve their goal of gaining muscle.  Young minds tend to lack the wisdom to know the importance of health and vitality.  They are willing to destroy themselves for a temporary moment of praise.  It is a shame that people have to have everything right now, and are not willing to work for it.  

During my years of training and competition I have been tempted by others to take steroids and prohormones.  Before I owned my own company I worked for other gyms.  I would come in contact with many guys who would not know how to train but they knew how to do drugs.  They would ask me "Daryl why do you train so hard and aren't huge? If you took some of the stuff we are taking you would be huge."  My response would always be "I am true to myself and I live within in my own genetic limitations, I don't have an inferiority complex that I am fighting against."  I will admit there was one time in my life when I thought about taking steroids.   I was in a natural bodybuilding contest and I looked good but not as big as the other competitors.  The other competitors seemed to have an anabolic look that could only be from taking steroids.  Even though I was ripped and had great symmetry I placed poorly.  After the show I asked some of the guys what they were doing with their training and diet and  they told me "you should take prohormones they are the new cutting edge supplement" 

I investigated prohormones and found that they are precursors to anabolic steroids.  Mark Macgwire used Androstenedione during his homerun record years.  Androstenodione was classified as a supplement in the 1990's.  However, Androstenodione is just one hydrogen atom away from being the anabolic steroid testosterone.  Though Androstenodione is not an anabolic steroid when tested outside of the body.  Once it enters the body it interacts with enzymatic reactions that provide the missing hydrogen atom to realign the molecular chain to transform it into actual testosterone.  This type of reaction is anabolic and causes the same result as if ingesting synthetic anabolic steroids.  Androstenedione was one of the first prohormones to hit the masses.  Now it is considered one of the weaker ones available. There are now over a hundred different concoctions known as prohormones.   Biochemists figured away to change the molecular structure of anabolic hormones outside the body so that they could be sold as a supplement.  Once the prohormone enters the body it blends with the persons own hormone factors to produce an anabolic effect.  Many guys think that this is fair and safe.  We all remember BALCO-- enough said. 

The side effects of taking prohormones are classified the same as taking synthetic anabolic steroids.  Loss of hair, shrinking of testicles, cancers, brain tumors, acne, oily skin, mood changes, psychological disorders are all associated with prohormone and steroid use.  

Guys who take prohormones feel that they are staying natural and are not doing any harm by taking them.  They feel that they are just taking supplements.  Regardless of their ignorance they still don't know how to build muscle the honest way and end up training incorrectly anyway.  Anyone who needs to take something to become something beyond their own genetic potential has a problem.   Needless to say, I never took prohormones and remain completely natural. 

In summary, prohormones are not supplements they are substances engineered to remove one or two hydrogens or other derivatives. Once they interact with body they find the missing components to form into a full blown anabolic steroid.   

You can cheat and take short cuts to get where you are going but you will always pay the price for your stupidity.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meditate Don't Medicate: Meditation The Key To Inner Strength

When you here of someone meditating you might think of a buddhist monk,  a japanese elder, an Arizona dude in a pyramid, or a Yogi with legs crossed index finger and thumb pressed together going ohm.  Though the idea of meditation gets labeled as a "New Age" thing, the practice of meditation has been around for thousands of years.  You can go all the way back to ancient Greece.  Socrates, Aristotle, Plato the most known philosophers of the ancient period all believed in meditation for improving the inner being and soul.    The Bible has many passages designated to meditational practices.  Jesus meditated unto God the Father for forty days and nights.  Meditation is not a weird or mysterious concept.  In fact, we should all practice meditation to help control and improve our own physiological systems and psychological well being.    In today's world we are disassociated with our inner self.  It seems that the majority of folks are fixated to the external world and have lost the inner connection.  When we have high blood pressure we go to the doctor to get medicated. How often do you hear of someone practicing meditation to control their blood pressure-- very seldom.  Anxiety and depression are two problems that effect many Americans.  And two of the biggest drugs prescribed by doctors are anti-anxiety drugs and anti-depressant drugs-- interesting.  Do you ever hear of drug companies telling people to learn how to meditate not to medicate, that would be a big NO!  

I started meditation around twenty years ago to help  overcome some anxiety issues that I had developed during that time of my life.   My friends would resort to alcohol to bury their reality.  I realized that at a young age you never can escape from conflict we must learn and process everything we go through or else we continue to repeat the issues again and again until resolution occurs.   I knew that alcohol is just a way to escape and numb the situation. So, I never resorted to drugs or alcohol to run from my conflicts.   

When growing up I would have anxiety attacks.  My breathing would become fast and shallow.  I would get dizzy and lightheaded.  The lack of oxygen to my brain would cause me to get hyper and hysterical.   Sometimes I would suffer an anxiety attack when I would take tests in school.  The thought of failing the test would send complete anxiety through my body.  I never received help from my anxiety.  Doctors wanted to give me drugs but I refused.  Then I went to one of my professors and he taught me how to breath correctly.  I figured breathing was a common thing and that I was breathing correctly-- I was wrong.  He analyzed my breathing patterns and noticed that I was a thoracic breather.  I didn't get a complete exchange of oxygen deep into the diaphragm.  When I would start to develop anxiety the blood vessels vascoconstricted reducing oxygen uptake. This forced a shallow breathing pattern.  When I started breathing deeply I noticed that I was much more focused and more oxygen was able to get to my brain to recall the information.  

Breathing techniques is what meditation is all about.  There is nothing new age about it.  Meditation is having the ability of controlling your own physiological processes.  As I continued to learn more about meditation I started making A's in all my classes through college.  And all I did was learned how to control my breathing.  

Now I use meditation throughout the day as a way to energize my body and brain.  If you ever see me working out you will notice that I have my eyes closed most of the time.  I do this as a way of meditating.  I can see the muscles better when I have my eyes closed and can concentrate deeper into the pain without distractions.  It takes a little practice to master but once you get the hang of it you can achieve deeper relaxation, manage anxiety and depression, train harder, and enter the higher levels of consciousness with the use of meditation.   So, sit back make yourself comfortable, close your eyes and practice taking deep breaths.  Put your hands on your umbilicus (belly button) breath deep forcing the air down deep into the lungs to cause the lowest part of your diaphragm to fill up with air. Your hands will raise on your body if you breath deep enough.  Now exhale through pursed lips getting all the air out.  Take about 15-20 breaths and you will slowly drift into a relaxed state.  Give it a try you will be amazed at how relaxed you can get.  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Daryl's Calorie Theory

A client of mine came in today and told me that he went to the doctor for an exam. He was having a sudden gain in weight over the past few weeks. His doctor told him that his metabolism will not change and that he needs to match his energy in with energyout. In other words he needs to match calories with his metabolism. I did a resting metabolic rate on him a few months back and found out what his exact resting metabolic rate was. I then prescribed a nutrition plan to match his metabolism. However, he went off the plan and was manipulating his own intake. The doctor was correct about the energy concept, however, I disagree with the idea of just getting calories in the body to match the metabolic rate. This can be a little confusing.

The energy needed to increase the temperature of a gram of water by 1 °C is known as a calorie. A calorie is only a measurement of heat. However, food companies have capitalized on the term "calorie" to lure people into purchasing foods. Doctors are telling people to eat calories yet they fail to mention to the patient to eat nutrients. I wonder if doctors know what a calorie is?

You must understand that if a person has a resting metabolic rate of 1500 calories (energy burned off by active tissue) and if you just match the 1500 calories with foods that are not nutrient dense (vitamins, protein, low glycemic carbs, good fats etc.) then it does no good. Feeding numbers for numbers is non-sense. It is how many nutrients that you take and how well you digest the food that counts. I don't care about caloric intake. I think it is important to measure the resting metabolic rate because it shows how much activity is being produced by living tissue. This is a valuable measurement. However, personally I do not measure how many calories I take in because if I eat the required amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, carbs, fats, water that my body needs for tissue regeneration that is all I need to worry about. I do 6 small nutrient dense feedings a day. I have abundant energy, my muscles feel full and pumped during recovery so I know I am not in acute catabolism (breakdown and malnurioushed state). If you are in tune with your body you will know how much your body needs. Just trying to get in calories (numbers) is not accurate. I will argue with anyone about this! I don't care if they are a doctor or the FDA. If I were to follow the calorie idea based on my resting metabolic rate I would have to consume 7500 calories a day to match my energy output. Now this is ridiculous. I have figured out how much of the vital nutrients I need in a day to supply the working tissue the tools necessary for cell growth. Calorie counting is bogus, we should be counting nutrients. Do you know how much vitamin B you need per day? Do you know how much protein you need per day? Do you know how much potassium you need per day? Do you know how much low glycemic carbohydrates you need per day? etc, etc. Doctors don't tell you the exact amount of nutrients your body needs and design you an accurate meal plan to follow. They just tell you to match your energy in with energy out. So, you leave the office perplexed and wondering what the heck to eat. You have a bowl of Ben and Jerry's, a Big Mac and French Fries and say to yourself "good for me I just got 1500 of my 1500 calories in." These foods are of no value and you are now malnourished, but good for you are following doctors orders-- atta boy!
I am amazed at how uneducated people are about nutrition. Here is just a brief look at the essential properties of protein.
I feel that we should count the number of protein grams we take in per day rather than just counting calories. The reason for this is because the body is a living entity that is built by proteins. Pro-tien = most important.
Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein. The sequence of amino acids determines each protein’s unique 3-dimensional structure and its specific function.
Proteins can be described according to their large range of functions in the body, listed in alphabetical order:
Examples of protein functions
Antibodies bind to specific foreign particles, such as viruses and bacteria, to help protect the body.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG)
Enzymes carry out almost all of the thousands of chemical reactions that take place in cells. They also assist with the formation of new molecules by reading the genetic information stored in DNA. Phenylalanine hydroxylase
Messenger proteins, such as some types of hormones, transmit signals to coordinate biological processes between different cells, tissues, and organs.
Growth hormone
Structural component
These proteins provide structure and support for cells. On a larger scale, they also allow the body to move.
These proteins bind and carry atoms and small molecules within cells and throughout the body.
When you don't take in enough protein you compromise the vital physiological network of cellular regeneration.
Protein is the most important nutrient. All the other nutrients work synergistically to support the properties and function of protein to keep the body living.
If you eat JUST calories for the sake of matching numbers and do not know how many nutrients you are supposed to take in per day to help support the properties and function of protein, you are not going to see the results you want to see. Weight gain, illness, disease, catabolism are symptoms of poor dietary control. Adjust your nutrient intake and you will see the changes you want. REMEMBER THIS MY FRIEND-- It isn't how much food you eat, it is how many nutrients you digest.
If you are having trouble with your nutrition and want to get help please email me at : I will answer your questions. If you would like to have your resting metabolic rate tested. Please visit the Fitness Nut House or call 207-985-7727 for an appointment.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed
tags: metabolic rate, nutrition, bodybuilding, weight training, protein, fat loss, exercise, fitness, sports conditioning,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Purpose of The Human Being

I am sitting in my living room at 4:00 a.m., no television set on, nothing but silence and darkness. I am sitting here because my stupid dog is all nervous about something and is whining excessively.  So, I am here trying to calm him down.  As I sit here I think of the purpose of the human being.  Everyday most of us wake up and expect to be alive.  We take for granted that our heart will still be working. We tend to our business of daily life day in and day out without much thought about who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. Our main concern is to stay busy, eat, sleep and worry about how we look. Escaping into an unconscious society avoiding the real reality of our existence tends to be the theme these days.  I would have to say that 80-90 percent of America lives within a fear based operating system.  Just turn on the television and you will see what I mean.  The idea of having a faith belief system is dying out.  Many people have become believers in what they can only see right in front of them.  The idea of having a faith beyond the physical realm of existence is becoming just a story book tale.  The media has now become the new "God" and people are in fear of it.  The media controls the way we look, eat, sleep. The media dictates to us how we should act, behave and what we should believe in.  If you go against the media then you will be persecuted for your beliefs.  It seems that no one wants to take inventory of themselves and take the responsibility of delving into the greater levels of consciousness.   Many people are content with being just one or two generations above primitive man.  As a society we are not progressing we are actually regressing as a species.   We are not excelling into greater intellectual prowess, we are still fixated to the physiological needs of our existence.  How we look, how much can we bench, how fat my ass looks, how fake my boobs are, how pretty my face is, how much food we can eat, how much beer we can drink, how much sex can we have, how much money can we make, seems to be the interest.  People are not concerned about learning and staying disciplined to the real purpose of the human existence.  We just want to follow everyone else in a herd mentality-- unconscious and physically oriented.  

My greatest passion in life is to study the human experience.  There are two parts of the human experience, the physical and the non-physical (spiritual I guess you could say).   

The Physical Realm is the most obvious and easiest to understand.  I believe that the human body has been designed into a tangible being for the purpose of collecting as much data as possible. We interpret information by touch, taste, hearing, seeing.   From the moment we are born our brain (the hard drive of the computer) gathers information.   Throughout life we are always learning more and more.   Through the aging process the brain can withstand a great amount of information.  Why do we need all of this information?  That is something I don't know.  But I believe that the human experience is a purpose that must be respected.   

As a collective whole we are stuck in conscious stagnation.  We are not forging into greater levels of consciousness as a whole.  Society is "dumbed down" through the use of media control. Television could have been a great tool for creating more awareness and positivity.  Instead it is used as a way to keep people dumb.  We are only as smart as what is being presenting on television.  The physical realm is all about what we see, taste, feel, smell.  We gather information and then interpret it  into something we can understand.   The physical realm is a temporary process. Just think what life would be if we were all operating in a complete conscious operating system.  The world would be much different. It is what we learn and store into our human consciousness that we take into the non-physical realm.  Those that remain unconscious never wake up to the true reality of our existence.  

The non-physical realm is based solely on faith and ones own belief system.  For many folks the belief of life beyond the grave is non-existent.  I, however, believe that our purpose on Earth is a temporary stopping ground. To learn as much information as possible is the purpose and to become a greater entity than we realize. There is something about the concept of love and positivity.  These are beliefs that people posses that makes them bond to feelings of hope, security and everlasting togetherness.  The more negative and cynical our consciousness becomes the uglier the world becomes.  Follow the media and you will begin to see what is truly being projected into heads-- negativity, atheistic beliefs, hatred, greed, fear.  These are beliefs that are poisoning the purity Earth.  The non-physical realm is deeper than we will ever know.   To understand the life beyond our physical existence one must  strive to achieve total consciousness.  Total consciousness is a never ending quest that can only be achieved by those that believe in the  greater purpose of mankind.  

The purpose of the human being is to learn as much as possible and to continue to  progress into greater levels of consciousness  preparing for the next stage universal life.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Outdoor Conditioning Class versus Conventional Training

There has been a lot of hype about training classes performed outdoors as opposed to exercising in a gym setting.  I would like to make the record straight.  It all comes down to what you want to get out of your training program that counts. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of exercising outdoors and indoors.  

Outdoor Training

*  Camaraderie with other people .
*  Feel apart of a team
*  Warrior Attitude
*  Fresh Air 
*  Working out with  structures and apparatus in parks or beaches 
*  Intense workout, challenging all components of fitness
*  Fun, new, exciting, different
*  Former Athletes Can compete with themselves and others.  

*  Weather (extreme cold and extreme heat, rain) 
*  Greater risk for injury
*  Overtraining
*  Limited equipment usage
*  Class size too big to get proper instruction from the instructor

Indoor Training

*  Temperature regulation 
*  Variety or equipment
*  Controlled setting
*  Safe environment
*  Fun, exciting, challenging all components of fitness


*  Not able to accommodate large groups
*  Monotonous without  proper instruction
*  Intimidating 

There are advantages and disadvantages of exercising in and outdoors.  However, if you are truly into changing the symmetry of your physique and want to see well defined separation of the muscles you will not achieve this from doing boot camp style fitness classes.  Conventional weight training is the best way to develop great symmetry, strength and defined separation of each muscle.   Outdoor classes are good for increasing endorphins, developing non-specific strength, improving the cardiovascular system, fat burning.  No matter what type of exercise program you decide to choose it all comes down to what you want to get out of it.  If exercising in 20 below zero weather or torrential rain  floats your boat knock yourself out.  However, keep in mind that just because your ego can withstand the adverse training protocols you won't see any change in your appearance if you don't eat correctly.  Training is a metabolic booster and nutrition is the key for changing the body.  There is no physiological advantage to exercising outdoors over exercising indoors it all comes down to your own self preference.