Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A week of Meal Prep/Macro Friendly Pizza

Another Wednesday is upon us! 

If you're anything like me, you're at the point of the week where dieting seems stupid and pointless and you have a great personality so who cares if you eat 143 pizzas tonight am I right?

Hang in there fam.  I have a couple pieces of advice to fight those cravings and stay focused on your routine.  I wanted to share with you all what a typical shopping list for the week looks like, but first of all, what I've found is that preparation is truly key when it comes to diet.  I (try to) prep all my food for the week on Sundays, but you can honestly prep whenever you have an ample amount of time to do so.  I say ample because while it will take some time, it's way easier if you cook everything at once.  Trying to rearrange meals and carbs and all that when you run out of one thing is a giant unnecessary headache and can mess up all the rest of your meals.  The easiest way to fix this problem is think about the how much chicken, for example, you eat per day, and per week, and try to prepare that amount.  I know...math.  This may seem like common sense, but trust me, the one time you get cocky and think you know, you end up opening the fridge in the morning and you're out of rice :))))))))))))))) Mind you, this is not the end of the world, but when those hard days hit where the last thing you want is another meal of ground turkey and green beans, if you're out of green beans, it's an easy excuse to cheat and get off track.  

All through my prep and off season, my diet stays fairly consistent as far as the staple foods I buy.  My list will include:

1.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2.  Extra Lean ground turkey
3.  Lean ground beef/some sort of lean steak if I'm feeling wild
4.  Bananas/sometimes strawberries or a frozen berry blend for shakes
5.  Steel cut oats (My go to breakfast.  Throw in some protein powder, egg whites, almond butter, and bananas.  Bomb.)
6.  Brown rice/potatoes
7.  Frozen veggies (you can get creative here, choose a vegetable that you enjoy, but make sure you check the macros on the back!  Some brands add flavoring, butter or other sauces that are unnecessary.  I know butter is great but you know what else is great? Unclogged arteries.)
8.  Rice cakes
9.  Protein powder/bars (like we talked about last week, watch the intake of these...a snack and a post workout shake, or adding it to your oatmeal if fine, but not for 3 meals a day everyday.  That'd be gross.)
10.  Unsweetened almond milk 
11.  Egg whites
12. Almond butter

And that's pretty much it! This is a very simple list, but it is your prerogative to get fancy as you want with your meal prep.  Just make sure that you take the time to read the labels!  Pay attention to what you're eating and don't absentmindedly snack on garbage just because it says "gluten free."  

My pizza.  So art very wow
Now that that's all taken care of, I also wanted to share a recipe I found for macro friendly pizza!  I can't take any credit for this recipe, but it was a serious life saver on my preps when I couldn't fathom eating one Tupperware meal. 

Just follow this link to get the recipe:

I topped it with fat free cheese, a low calorie pizza/tomato sauce, reduced fat pepperoni and some ground turkey.  And alllll of the spices. Again those macros.  Or don't.  Pizza is good for the soul.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Legs/Lower Back Workout!

Enjoy this Legs and Lower Back workout! Guaranteed you won't be able to walk the same the next day. 

- Squats: 5 sets (14, 12, 10, 8, 6, increasing weight)

- Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 20

- Leg Press: 5 sets (14, 12, 10, 8, 6, increasing weight)

- Good Mornings SUPERSET with Romanian Deadlifts (4 sets of 10)
       Note: it's very important to keep your back and legs straight and stiff to focus on the 
       lower back and hamstrings/glutes. 

Happy Friday y'all!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Macros and Back Rows (chest/back workout)

Let's talk macros.

People throw this word around a lot.  Tracking macros.  Counting macros.  Balancing macros.  It all can get really confusing and everyone you talk to will have a different opinion about the perfect amount you should be eating.  If you don't know what macros are, I will summarize it in the most basic terms possible:  (disclaimer: not a scientist/doctor/dietician, bare with me people) "macro" comes from the full word macronutrients, which are pretty much the substances your body and metabolism need to grow and function.  Basically, the nutrients that you need in large quantities (hence the macro) to live - proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.  Again, that is a very basic definition.  But that's what bodybuilders, and people who want to lose/gain weight, mostly track.
A typical prep for me: steak, chicken,
potatoes, broccoli, turkey

The tricky part is that everybody is *shocker* different.  So everyone's body responds to different ratios of macros differently, and increasing/decreasing specific macros serves different purposes. Unless you consult a medical professional or dietary specialist, it's hard to know EXACTLY what macro split will work for you.  There's tons and tons of articles online that will sweeeear by high protein, or high carb, or low carb, or high fat (where my keto fans at) but again - every body is different!!! If you are trying a diet or hitting certain macros, and you've given it time to the point where you feel you should be seeing results (not just one week), maybe it's not what's best for your body type.  It takes experimenting and TIME.  Just like building muscle, perfecting your diet is a learning process and involves getting in touch with your body and paying attention to what makes you feel the best.  

If you're new to the macro world and have no idea where to start, don't fret.  Nobody knows what they're doing when they start.  Pinky swear.  Figuring out what worked for me and my body took time, and ended up being way different than what I thought.  That being said, if you're just starting out I have a couple pieces of advice.  From a real person, not a dietician.

1.  You don't have to go 0-60 overnight.  If you are drastically changing your diet, make a plan, but give yourself grace.  In my experience, people that say "I'm not eating any bad food ever again!!!!" end up giving up their diet in like, a week.  Have a donut every once in a while.  It won't kill you.

2.  Start with making smarter choices.  If you're used to having a burger and fries every day for lunch, aim for something not deep fried or covered in ketchup.  Not every meal has to be grilled chicken and rice and broccoli.

3.  Speaking of chicken and can make chicken and broccoli not suck.  For me, it's all about seasonings.  And garlic.  Lots of garlic.  Eating clean does not have to be bland!  And it'll save you from getting tired of the the same food everyday.  Trick those taste buds.

4.  Try to balance all your meals.  If you don't want to go crazy with the macro tracking at first, try to at least have a good source of protein, carbs, and a little fat with every meal.  For example, if you're going to have cereal for breakfast, have some eggs with it.  If you eat a muffin for breakfast every morning and feel like dirt by lunch even if you're not hungry, most likely you're body is just missing a proper energy source.  Muffins are mostly carbohydrates (sugar, in this case).  Get some protein in there!!

5.  Protein powder can be a godsend in the sense that eating enough protein during the day can be rough.  Nobody likes chicken that much.  However, don't become dependent on it.  If you have the opportunity to eat real, whole food, do it.  But protein shakes are good before or after a workout, or for an additional protein source.  

Easy peasy, right?  Right.  Not rocket science.  You just gotta get started.

And now, a chest and back workout!  An interesting split I hadn't tried until recently, but I've actually been lovin' it.  

Flat bar bench press
Incline bar bench press
Bent over barbell rows
Single dumbbell rows
Cable flies

You can mix up how many sets/reps/and whether you increase or decrease in weight as you go.  Usually I do 4 or 5 sets or each exercise and add weight as I go along, and do as many reps as I can at that weight, starting at 12 for the lightest weight.  

Thanks for reading, fam!  Start your week off strong!!  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

4 Reasons Bodybuilding is my "Why"

So many of my favorite motivational speakers talk about finding your "why."  Basically, discovering the reason that you wake up every morning, what makes you passionate, brings you joy, and justifies your existence on this planet.  Once you find it, you cling to those dreams or goals and you tenaciously pursue them because that's all you want to do.  (sidenote: if you haven't listened to Les Brown or Eric Thomas speak, you're missing out) 

Hearing this message really resonated with me, because finding bodybuilding was finding my "why."  While in prep, my life was pretty much consumed by the process.  It was grueling and tiresome, but I began to realize that I really couldn't picture it any other way.  I woke up every morning and went to bed every night always planning my next move, picturing myself at the top, hungry for more.  And I stayed hungry.  Really hungry.  No seriously most of the time I went to bed hungry because rice cakes can only go so far.  But mentally hungry too.  I wanted it all and I never want to stop until I get it.

I decided to write on this topic because I feel like a lot of people feel this pressure to compete once they start working out or dieting.  Like I mentioned in my last post, competing in shows has become immensely more popular, and while that's not a bad thing at all, I think there's this stigma starting to form that if competing is the next step in your fitness "career."  People.  No.  Let me make this clear.  Your fitness journey does not depend on whether you shave your body and fake smile and pose for a bunch of strangers!!!!! Your fitness journey does not depend on whether you post every work out on social media or not!!!! I know people at my gym that are stronger than I might ever be, and they've never competed once in their lives.  Does that make them inferior to me?  Superior to me?  Any of the "eriors?" Absolutely.  Frickin.  Not.  

If bodybuilding isn't your why, or even something that interests you, and you just like working out and eating a balanced diet for YOU, I encourage you to keep it that way.  Don't let something like doing shows ruin that outlet or push you to a place you don't think your mental health or physical health is meant for.  

Alllllll that being said, I love competing.  Bodybuilding has become a huge part of my life, and the physical and mental gains I have made since I started the process have blown me away.  I really don't want to make it sound like the bodybuilding world will ruin your life or you shouldn't take a risk or anything like that.  My point is simply this:  You can have goals and a healthy lifestyle and have a six pack without ever competing.  Your fitness journey is YOURS, and it is valid no matter what.
Top row taken in December 2015.  Bottom row taken right before
my first show.
Now, to get to the actual topic, I wanted to share some reasons why bodybuilding changed me for the better.  Last post I shared some realities/tips about the bodybuilding world, but I didn't really mention the reasons I love it, so I thought I'd share some positivity about the industry too.

1.  The community that you can build around you is incredible.  Being surrounded by people with the same track mind as you is really amazing.  Everyone focused on their goals, and getting better, and aiming higher - there's really nothing like it.  It seems ironic, because bodybuilding gets a rep as being superficial, but some of the most genuine people I've ever met have come from this sport.

2.  The confidence you gain is indescribable, and not just in the way you think.  Yes, you get abs and people will compliment you and you'll be flattered (while you're secretly staring at the food they're holding in their hand), but to be able to conquer this extremely demanding physical experience will make you MENTALLY unstoppable too.  Trust me friends, if you can go 12 weeks without eating burritos and donuts, you can do anything.

3.  The knowledge you can about food and health and your body will last you a lifetime.  It's definitely a crash course in nutrition, but it will change the way you look at food and can instill that healthy mindset for the rest of your days.  

4.  You get pushed waaaaay out of your comfort zone.  Way out.  Like an auditorium of people seeing you basically naked.  And you might discover something new that you love.  If you would have told me two years ago that I'd be doing a "routine" oiled up onstage, I would have laughed in your face.  But after my first show, I realized that the posing routines was one of my favorite parts!  Again, being able to conquer those fears and challenge yourself in ways that you probably aren't right now is reason enough. Setting goals and keeping yourself on a routine and a track is the best way to achieve them, and again, those habits can carry over into your work/school/whatever else in your every day life as well.

And there you have it folks.  The main reasons I willingly eat out of Tupperware every day and wake up at 5 am to get on the stairmaster.  I found my why.  But my hope for Easton Fit and this site is to appeal not only to the bodybuilding fanatics, but that every single person out there can take away something they didn't know or hadn't thought of before.

Thanks so much for reading, and I'll talk to y'all soon!  Stay hungry!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

So You Wanna Be a Bodybuilder...

All photos by Shaun Malinao

Bodybuilding.  When someone mentions the word "bodybuilding," what comes to mind?  Giant men chugging raw eggs, spending hours staring at themselves in the mirror and posing on a stage wearing teeny tiny speedos?  It's true, bodybuilding does involve a lot of egg whites and a whole lotta staring at yourself in the mirror, but the bodybuilding world has very recently exploded and transformed into something not only Arnold Schwarzenegger can do.  The fitness industry has completely blown up, with more and more people joining the "fitfam" and consequently deciding to compete in bodybuilding shows.  As I mentioned in my last post, bodybuilding is very new to me too; while I've been working out and meal prepping for years now, I've only been seriously training and in show prep for about a year.  Though a year is a drop in the well when you look at the grand scheme of things, I dove head first into the bodybuilding and discovered a world I really had no idea existed.  Bodybuilding has really adapted into its own culture.

Let the record show that I never played sports growing up.  I was a band kid.  Not very athletic.  I liked sports, but never really competed in anything seriously.  After I started taking working out seriously six years ago, I soon discovered it was something I loved.  Because even if you've never thrown a football in your whole life, or run a marathon, or hit a baseball, you can pick up heavy things and put them back down again.  And you can go back the next day and do the same thing, over and over, and watch your body transform.  And no matter how young or old you are, bodybuilding is the same - you are literally building up your body.  Shaping.  Sculpting.  You are in control.  And the playing field is as level as it gets.  While some people may be more genetically inclined to gaining muscle or getting lean, I truly believe that you can make your body look the way you want it.  No matter what.  Even if it seems impossible.  If you have the drive and are willing to invest the time necessary, you can do it.

All that being said, I feel like competing is a great way to keep you motivated and focused because you have a specific goal and deadline in mind.

If you're thinking about competing and don't know where to start, I wanna share five simple tips I wish someone had told me when I was getting started.

#1  Look at your schedule.  Are you in school?  Working part time?  Full time?  Bodybuilding is extremely time consuming.  It's more than just going to the gym every day; you have to consider the time it takes to go to the gym (sometimes twice a day), prepare your meals, get enough sleep, etc.  This was a big one for me....I was already going to the gym every day, so I didn't think the time commitment would be that much more. LOL. So much LOL.  If you don't the time to commit to it, I'd say wait for a more opportune season.  Patience is hard, but if you can't fully focus on your prep, it can be extremely frustrating and ultimately not lead to the best results.

#2  Your relationships are going to be tested.  Not everyone understands bodybuilding.  Not everyone understands nutrition.  Hell, not everyone understands why men are willing to get spray tans and shave their entire bodies.  A lot of people won't understand the intense routine and why you're doing what you're doing, and some bridges will be burned.  Bodybuilding is a selfish sport in some ways.  It sucks, but it's a reality that you have to be willing to face.

#3  Bodybuilding is frickin expensive.  Whether or not you choose to hire a personal trainer or coach, there's still all the food you have to buy, competition entry fees, spray tans, your suit for the show, supplements, hotel expenses if you have to travel; it all adds up FAST.  So be sure that you can plan out how you can pay for everything and still make rent, because I'm pretty sure homeless people can't bodybuild.

#4 While this may seem obvious, I think it's worthwhile to say that bodybuilding leaves you extremely vulnerable.  You're literally asking a group of judges to compare your body against others.  You really have to be honest with yourself and think about if you can handle that.  Your mental health has to be a priority.

#5  Read, read, read.  Learn as much as you can about the industry and muscle groups and your own body and nutrition.  People can get it shape following a meal plan or a diet, but I promise if you can learn why you're doing what you're doing and be aware of what seems like its working or not working, life will be so much easier.  There's always something to learn, so stay humble!!!

The list could go on and on and on, but these were just the five that came to mind as most important.  I will expand on some of these topics more in the next posts, and I'm excited to share my personal experiences.  Hope this was helpful, or at least made you think just a little bit.  Happy Tuesday Fam!

Monday, January 9, 2017


Welcome to the very first post on the official website of Easton Fit!

So, what is Easton Fit?
Easton Fit is a movement. A place, a community created to inspire people to create goals for themselves and achieve those goals. I started lifting weights about 4 years ago. What started as a hobby eventually became something that I was truly passionate about. Regardless of how much I loved it or the community I became apart of, I really never thought it would be anything more than something I did to look good and not feel as guilty when I ate entire pizzas. Fast forward to March of 2016: I decided to compete in my very first Bodybuilding show with the International Natural Bodybuilding Association. After about 10 months of the most intense training (physically and mentally) I've ever put myself through, I competed in the INBA US Warriors show on September 3rd. I ended up winning 1st place in my class, the award for Best Poser, and Best in Show overall. The experience was unlike anything I've ever been through in my entire life. It truly changed the way I thought about the fitness industry and my own outlook on achieving goals in general. The switch was simple, yet remarkably profound: If you want to make a change in your self, you have the power to make it happen. Simple, and as complicated, as that.

In today's day and age of social media saturated with #bodygoals and a million trend diets and secrets and scientists claiming something is healthy one day and cancerous the next, I think it's really, really easy for people to get discouraged and think that getting in shape or living a healthy lifestyle is some sort of black magic or eating only kale salads. Even the bodybuilding world is riddled with performance enhancing drugs. But going through this process as a natural athlete has shown me that honestly, it's not. Frickin. Rocket. Science. There IS science behind it. It is work. It takes effort. It takes thought, and planning, and you can't eat pizza every day BUT YOU CAN DO IT. It won't be a 28 day program, it won't be a 7 day teatox, but it is much, much simpler than you think. And that's what I want Easton Fit to be. I want to create a social media platform that doesn't just post ripped people in bathing suits holding ten pound weights as "fitspo." I want to use it as a place where everyday people who have never worked out a day in their lives can come to my page and learn something. Because as fun as it is to stalk hot models on Instagram, education is what sticks. Real motivation and simple tips that are actually possible to apply in your every day life. Because you are worth it.

So, here it is.  A little look into the life of a body builder; the good, the bad, and the hungry.  I hope this site can help you no matter where you are in your fitness journey.  Big things are coming.  Let's do this thing.

Welcome to the Easton Fit family.

-Andrew Easton