Monday, January 29, 2018

Pet Peeves in the Gym

I wrote a previous article on Proper Gym Etiquette and all the dos and don'ts when you are in a public fitness center, but I still get aggravated when I go into the gym and encounter issues like:

- Throwing the gym towels all over the equipment and floor and leaving them lay there
- Not removing plates from the equipment when they are done
- Not returning a piece of equipment where they picked it up from
- Moving equipment from one room to another and not returning it when they are done
- Leaving dumbbells lay all over the gym instead of putting them back in the racks
- Leaving weight plates lay all over the gym instead of re-racking them
- Leaving the tread mills in a less than normal configuration
- Grabbing a piece of equipment directly in front of you without asking if you are using it
- Not wiping down the equipment after use
- Playing load music without using headphones or ear buds
- Cursing (enough said)
- Banging equipment or dropping weights (except for deadlifts or clean lifts)

What are your pet peeves when you go to the gym?  Do you have any?  Go ahead and list them here and maybe, just maybe we can strike a cord with some of the rest of the gym rats like us, so they will respect others and the property they are using.

I love to go to the gym and if I'm not working or enjoying home time, I'm in the gym.  I'm addicted to working out.  I have a full gym in my basement but still go to the public gym so I can lift "heavy."  What is your story?  I'd like to hear from you and your experiences.


Monday, January 1, 2018

About Me!

My name is Bob Livingston and I am the owner of and manager of TEAM JAQT.
I am 66 yr old and started avidly bodybuilding in 2012 as I was going through my second divorce.  It was not new to me as I lifted when I was 29 yr old but had to quit due to personal life experiences.
Anyway, I am back, lift three times a week and am now addicted to the gym and weight room.  I will get depressed if I don't get to the gym for my "me" time and stress relief.  I totally changed my diet and eat chicken, fish, some beef, fruits, vegies, etc. etc.  No pizza, no donuts, very little soda, very little beer; literally no junk except for dark chocolate (which is actually good for you as an antioxidant).  I am a gym rat and love it.  I would like to compete in the Senior division some day.
I lift following Joe Weider's principles of a full body workout every time I enter the gym, no split days.  I am totally beat when I leave the gym but I recover quickly for the next workout.  I am a natural bodybuilder, take protein and a preworkout.  That's it.
I am now lifting 290 for my farmer carry, pushing over 700 on the leg sled, 105 dumbbells for shrugs just to name a few.  I also enjoy the Svend Press and Reverse flat bench which I just started incorporating into my workout recently.
I workout at a military base so I see a lot of military people in the gym whenever I go but there is always room.  I just happen to be retired from the US Air Force after 33 years so that's how I get to workout in the base gym.
I buy supplements and a lot of them so I decided in Jan 2017 to quit going to GNC and spending those high prices and buy on-line from a wholesaler and offer the same thing to my family, friends and comrades in arms.
Come on by and join TEAM JAQT and grab some supplements while you are here.  We are adding new products to the site every day.  If you have a favorite and don't see it, let me know and I'll try to get it for you.  Pass up those big box stores you have to drive to or those big box websites with all the pop-ups and banner ads.  We'll ship directly to you for a single shipping charge no matter how much you order.
Hope you enjoyed my story, I left out a lot so as not to bore you!  I would love to hear about your fitness routine and how you got into it.  Please comment and tell me your story and I hope to see YOU in the gym!  TEAM JAQT

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Natural Bodybuilding

I wanted to do a post about natural bodybuilding versus enhanced.  As I began to research I found so much information that it is almost confusing as to what they both really are, how they are defined and where the lines are drawn.  From what I can tell, it depends on who you are talking to?

I feel like I am a "natural" bodybuilder because all I take on a regular basis with my weight training is protein, liquid or powder, preworkout and amino acids to enhance my workouts.  Does this meet the definition of "natural" bodybuilder?

Most research refers to natural bodybuilding as "the practice of body modification without the use of banned substances."  The practice is the same as far as using workout or fitness centers, gyms, home gyms or outside facilities.  Natural bodybuilders try to reach high levels of physical fitness without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.  Okay so let's say that those PE drugs are obviously steroids and humane growth hormones (HGH) to name the main ones.  Not only do these drugs allow for an unfair advantage in sports, but they can also cause major, life-threatening side-effects such as prominent breasts, baldness or infertility in men and a deep voice, increased body hair and baldness in women.

Worse than that, both men and women can experience severe acne, liver abnormalities or tumors, aggressive behavior, depression, drug dependence, inhibited growth, dehydration,  muscle cramps. exhaustion, dizziness, heart and blood pressure issues and possibly death.

As "natural" bodybuilders, we steer clear of steroids and PEDs based on this research and results and a deep concern for our overall long-term good health.

Natural bodybuilders perform workouts that include multiple muscle groups along with a cardio routine.  Muscles are broke down during workouts and rebuilt afterwards to make them stronger.  Natural bodybuilders tend to be totally and completely physically fit.  Natural bodybuilders have a strict and regimented diet.

Natural bodybuilders also have their own display competitions which seem to be multiplying as of late and which are run by the WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) responsible for drug testing all competitors and keeping the sport clean, safe and drug free.

So there you have some idea of what Natural Bodybuilding is all about.  If you need more, continue to research this highly controversial subject on the web and decide for yourself.

We would like to solicit all your comments and thoughts on this subject.  Just comment back here.

As always, enjoy your workout, be safe and we'll see YOU in the gym!  Visit TEAMJAQT at for all your workout supplement needs.  #TEAMJAQT  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Avoiding Overtraining

Be careful of OVERTRAINING!  You’ve seen them and mostly likely talked to them or read about them.  The huge guys or gals in the gym that spend countless hours, six days a week, maybe even more than one workout a day in the gym, right?  And they are cut and shredded, the way you want to be.  Be careful.  These are professionals, most likely on a muscle enhancer like steroids, etc.  They train to display and many times don’t work.  Don’t mimic these people.

If you try to keep up with a professional bodybuilder, you will fall into the OVERTRAINING trap and pay the price!  What price; little to no gains in size or strength and possibly even muscle loss or illness.

What are the signs of overtraining?  You may reach a plateau or a drop in your performance.  Your heart rate may be elevated most of the time, during or after your training.  You may experience more muscle soreness than you have been.  You are considering or actually skipping workouts and have lost desire to go to the gym.  You seem to be more tired overall and lack full concentration.  You could be experiencing a lack of appetite or having trouble with your sleep schedule.  You may be losing weight unintentionally.  Any combination of these can be a clue that you may be in the overtraining zone.

What is an ideal training ritual?  Here are a few suggestions from

- Don’t train more than four days a week.  You need to recovery to build.  I personally like the three days a week routine.

- Don’t train more than 2 days in a row.  If you are ramping up the intensity in your workouts, you need 1-2 days off in between.
- Weight training sessions should last somewhere between 60 to 75 minutes.  This is the time where you pretty much depleted your body of its resources and moving on can only delay your anabolic state.
- Free weight compound exercises will build more muscle than using machines which isolate one particular muscle.  If you have limited time, use free weight compound moves.
- Try 6 – 12 reps. Lower reps are for strength building and high reps are for endurance.  If you want to build muscle, stay in the middle.
- Always, always use correct form, concentrate, focus and squeeze at the peak!
- Refrain from drinking alcohol.
- Allow for ample rest time to recover.
- Change up your routine; vary the exercises, set and rep cycles.
- Stay mentally focused and keep emotions in check.

So, keep an eye on the symptoms and don’t fall into the OVERTRAINING trap.  Plan out your workouts and we’ll see YOU in the gym. (home of TEAM JAQT)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What Kind of Sets Are Your Favorite?

What are the different kinds of sets when weight training?  We’ve all heard terms "thrown" around in the gym like, superset, pyramid set, etc. etc., right? But what does that all mean?  Let’s take a minute to clarify here for those that don’t know what sets there are and what their definition is to help the beginning bodybuilder.

Straight sets – performing a straight set is simply lifting the same weight with the same amount of reps per set for any one exercise.   For example, lifting 40 lbs for 12 reps for 3 sets on 1 exercise and then maybe 30 lbs for 10 reps for 3 sets on a different exercise.  The weight and reps stay the same through all 3 sets.

Pyramid sets – for pyramid sets, you increase the weight while decreasing the reps for each set.  For example, lifting 50 lbs for 12 reps, then 60 lbs for 10 reps and finally 70 lbs for 8 reps.  This will give you a chance to “warm-up” as you increase the weight.

Super sets – when two exercises are paired together, you are performing a super set.  There is no rest period between the first and second exercise, only between the paired reps, after the second exercise is completed.  There are 3 types of supersets; agonist, antagonist and upper/lower body supersets.  For agonist, you pair exercises from the same muscle group, for antagonist, you pair exercises from opposite muscle groups and for upper/lower body, you simply pair an upper body exercise with a lower body exercise.  Supersets are more intense but allow for less time spent in the gym.

Tri-sets and Giant sets – basically, if you combine three exercises together, you are obviously performing a tri-set and if you group four or more exercises together, you are performing a giant set.  Both of these will "intensify' your workout.

Drop/Strip sets – one of my personal favorites, although I use several different set patterns as I like the variety.  Drop sets are used to increase muscle mass and endurance.  Simply, you perform an exercise with a weight heavy enough to go almost to failure on the last rep.  You then decrease the weight in order to continue on through the set.  I find this very effective on the cable machine if I start heavy like with biceps or triceps and reduce one plate after each set of reps.  Maybe start at 120 lbs for 10 reps, then 110 lbs for 10 reps, then 100 lbs for 10 reps all the way done to 40 lbs for 10 reps.  Want your triceps to feel like rocks!  Try this and get "pumped!"

So there you have it, experiment, use several or all types, switch out; remember you have to keep your muscles confused in order to build.  Never do the same set of exercises in the same order for every workout.  Hope this was helpful.

From everyone at TEAM JAQT, see YOU in the gym!
And as a reminder, be sure to purchase your workout supplements today;  click here! 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Eating habits that will help in fat loss!

Did you know that a study from Cornell University found that just switching to a smaller plate for your meals can help you consume less food?  Try something in the 8 to 9 inch range. 

Stay away from sugar-laden drinks.  That is why drinking water is paramount for an athlete. Also many supplements, like a pre-workout, needs to be hydrated (with H2O) in order to experience the full strength and effect of the product.  Check out the calories on these sugar drinks.  Sugar proved to spike insulin in the body, thus inhibiting the body from using fat as fuel.

Take time to chew slowly and completely. You will be able to determine more preciously when you are full than if you are just rapidly “shoveling” it in and then feel bloated from overeating.

Put away all distractions when eating a meal.  If you are texting, web browsing, watching TV or even reading, the feeling of being satisfied will be reduced and can lead to overeating.  Focus on your meal just as you focus on that next set! 

Drink more water. Drinking water can actually boost your metabolism as much as 30% over a period of 1 ½ hr.  Drinking water before meals proved that you will most likely eat fewer calories. All of this adds up to burning more calories.

Drink green tea.  Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine but is also loaded with catechins, powerful antioxidants.   Catechins are believed to work synergistically with the caffeine to enhance fat burning. 

Try cooking with coconut oil.  Cooking with coconut oil is very healthy because of the high level of special fats called triglycerides, which are metabolized different than other fats.  These fats are shown to boost metabolism by 120 calories per day and helps to reduce your appetite so that you eat approx. 256 fewer calories per day.

Go on a low carb diet.  You can lose on average 2 – 3 times more than following a standard weight loss diet.

Keep healthy snacks around for when you get hungry.  A few snacks would be whole fruits, nuts, carrots, yogurt or even a hard-boiled egg or two.

If you brush your teeth after dinner, you may be less likely to be tempted by a late night snack.

Try to get good sleep.   Poor sleep has been shown to be one of the strongest risk factors for obesity, 89% increased risk in children and 55% in adults.

Eat more protein.  Protein is the single most important nutrient when it comes to losing weight.  Eating a high protein diet can boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day.  Adding protein is one of the easiest and most effective and delicious ways to lose weight.  If you just cannot consume enough protein through food, adding a protein supplement works well.  You can find quite a selection by clicking here!

There you have it.  Plan your meals and snacks and lose weight.  See YOU in the gym!              TEAM JAQT

Monday, June 26, 2017

NUTRITION:   Dark Chocolate and Bodybuilding?  Yes!

Is chocolate a healthy food to be considered when deciding what foods to eat when you are weight training or just participating in a fitness program?  Yes, dark chocolate will be your "choice."  In fact, dark chocolate is loaded with essential nutrients that can have a positive effect on your health.  It is an antioxidant and helps to lower the risk of heart disease with compounds such as polyphenols, flavanols and catechins. But, stay away from milk chocolate as the added milk and sugar is not what you want to stay lean and "not" gain excess fat. 

Also, look for more of the organic dark chocolate in the range of 70% or greater cacao.  I, personally, like a 70% because any greater percentage to me starts to get bitter.  But try, say, an 80%, you may like it.  Experiment but be sure to stick with dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate contains fiber as well as healthy amounts of iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.  There are calories, of course, but in these darker chocolates, sugar is minimal.  The fat is mostly saturated and monounsaturated with a small amount of polyunsaturates.

Another study has found that dark chocolate may be great for your skin.  The flavanols can actually protect against sun-induced damage and improve blood flow to the skin and help to increase skin density and hydration.

The benefits are numerous for adding dark chocolate to your diet and more are being discovered every day.  For example, dark chocolate helps to lower your blood pressure, big deterrent against strokes and heart attacks, as we mentioned earlier. The fat in chocolate is actually in the form of oleic acid, typically found in olive oil, which is found to have antioxidant properties.

What about improving the function of the brain?  Yes again!  One study showed that consuming high flavanol cocoa improved blood flow to the brain thus improving cognition and verbal fluency in elderly people.  It also contains simulants like caffeine and theobromine.

Dark chocolate (70% >) helps to prevent diabetes and obesity by inhibiting blood sugar issues and to improve mood because of the chemical serotonin which is a natural anti-depressant.

Remember, to get minimum 70% cacao.  There are brands that offer 80% up to 90%.  These are known as semi-sweet.  Remember, the more bitter the better.  Just know that if you love chocolate, knowing the health benefits can get you past the bitter!

Eat more dark chocolate!  TEAM JAQT  See YOU in the gym!
And don't forget to order your favorite workout supplements today by clicking here!