August 03, 2014

My Personal Supplementation Regimen & How I Implement It

I get this question all the time, so I figured I would map out my exact supplementation regimen for you all. Obviously I use different products throughout the year, but for the most part, these are my staples. Lets take a look…

BSN ISOBURN: I use this product as my primary powdered protein source. I use a two-scoop serving twice a day, usually in the AM with breakfast and post workout.

Favorite Flavor(s) – Chocolate, Vanilla

More information on ISOBURN here: Bodybuilding.com – ISOBURN

BSN AMINOX: I use these aminos frequently. I do one to two servings both pre workout and during training. I will also use these during any cardio sessions I do in addition to my resistance training.

Favorite Flavor(s) – Watermelon, Grape

More information on AMINOX here: Bodybuilding.com – AMINOX

VITARGO: This is a carbohydrate supplement that I will use post workout. I mix one scoop with my post workout ISOBURN shake. My recommendation is to do two scoops of ISOBURN Vanilla with one scoop Orange VITARGO – the taste is awesome!

Favorite Flavor(s) – Orange, Unflavored

More information on VITARGO here: Bodybuilding.com – VITARGO

BSN N.O.-XPLODE: I love a good pre workout and the new N.O.-XPLODE is the best I have used. I toss one scoop back with some water about 30 minutes prior to training and I always have a good session. The pumps are awesome, the focus is great and the taste is unmatched. There are a ton of pre workouts on the market, but I have always struggled to find one that gives me the energy, pumps and focus without the jittery, cracked out feeling that I hate – This one does the trick!

Favorite Flavor(s) – Fruit Punch, Watermelon

More information on N.O.-XPLODE here: Bodybuilding.com – N.O.-XPLODE

BSN NITRIX 2.0: Pumps aren’t just for fun; they actually serve an important purpose. I take three tabs with breakfast and three tabs pre workout to help increase pumps as well as, improve endurance and cardiovascular performance. Plus, the NITRIX gives me that full, vascular appearance 24/7.

Favorite Flavor(s) – N/A

More information on NITRIX 2.0 here: Bodybuilding.com – NITRIX 2.0

The above supplements are my “staples.” These are products I use day in and day out. Now in addition to these, I also use some others periodically throughout the year and some basics. Here are the additional supplements I use:

- BSN HYPERSHRED (used when prepping for shoots, events or competitions)

- BSN SYNTHA-6 and SYNTHA-6 ISOLATE (used in baking and when cravings something sweet)

- FISH OILS (used daily)

- MULTI-VITAMIN (used daily)

- CLA (used daily)

- VITAMIN C (used daily)

Check out these supplements and find what works best for you. If you have any questions, drop me a line at Ryan@HUGHESFIT.com

- Ryan Hughes

HUGHESFIT.com

IFBB Men’s Physique Pro / New York City VIP Personal Trainer / Online Coach

July 29, 2014

5 Tips To Help You Stay On Track While You Travel

 

One question I get all the time is, “How do you stay lean and in shape with all the travel?” Well, this is actually FAR easier then it sounds! Traveling is a part of life for many people, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your physique to do so. You also don’t have to pack a suitcase worth of meals to remain on track either. Here are some tips to help you out while traveling:

1)   Download the “MyFitnessPal” app (if you don’t already have it) and use it! While you’re at home or eating foods you normally eat, the app may not be needed, but while traveling you may eat “out of the norm,” (which is fine) – just track it. This will allow you to still hit your macros and stay on track, even if you’re eating at the airport or at a restaurant. The most important thing is hitting your numbers for the day, so even if you're eating “not so clean foods,” you should still be able to remain on your plan. If you need help or guidance with diet and macronutrients, check out my packages here: http://bit.ly/1zoEVjq. I have recently reduced ALL of my prices to make my services more affordable for a larger audience. 

2)   Pack a carry on that has FDA approved cooling space. It’s important to bring SOME food with you. You don’t have to go crazy, but having some essentials on hand or even a meal or two can be really beneficial. It’s important to use a carry on bag that has ample storage space for your normal airplane items (laptop, books, etc.), room for dry food, shakes and cooling space for cold food. My personal favorite is the Fitmark Transporter Backpack found here: http://bit.ly/1eWMLsv. This backpack has storage for your laptop, clothing, dry food, shakes etc. and it also has a built in cooler that zips out with FDA approved ice packs. This thing is perfect as a carry on and my personal go-to when I travel.

3)   When eating foods at the airport or on the go, try and find items with nutrition information available. This makes life much easier when trying to input these items into MyFitnessPal. You can still eat out at restaurants or whatever else is available, but not having the actual nutritional information can make things a little more difficult, as you then have to rely on others or an educated guess to track. 

4)   Get your workouts in! This is a no-brainer. When you travel, find a place to get some workouts in. If you’re on vacation and want to relax, cool, no problem take some time off, but if you’re traveling for any other reason try and get some sort of workout in. Today, almost all hotels have some sort of fitness center, so there really is no excuse. I travel all the time and always find a gym or fitness center to get my workouts in. Sometimes I have to get a little creative, but then again, sometimes those are the best workouts!

5)   Finally, the most important of them all, PLAN AHEAD! I am going to assume that most likely you know where you are traveling. If this is the case, you should be able to find out if your room has a refrigerator or microwave. You should be able to find out what restaurants or food options are around the hotel. You should be able to find out if the hotel has a gym or if there are any close by. These are easy things you can find out BEFORE you leave so that there are no excuses when you arrive. Spend 10 minutes planning ahead and you will save a ton of time and almost always stay on track! 

- Ryan Hughes

HUGHESFIT.com

IFBB Men’s Physique Pro / New York City VIP Personal Trainer / Online Coach

July 27, 2014

My Top 5 V-Neck Brands & How To Fill Them Out

Ok, so you want that upper chest development AND you want to show it off once you get it right? No problem, check out this Chest Blast Workout guaranteed to add size to that stubborn upper chest...

“V-Neck 2.0”

Incline Bench Press: 12, 10, 8, 6

Increasing weight with each set.

--triset with---

Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 15, 15, 15, 15,

Increasing weight with each set. This will be difficult, but push through!

--triset with---

Incline Cable Flyes: 20, 20, 20, 20

Light weight, feel the burn!

Dumbbell Pullovers: 15, 12, 10, 8

Increasing weight with each set.

---superset with---

Svend Press: 15, 15, 15, 15

Grab two 10lb plates and rep out some svend press!

Hammer Strength Incline Press: 100 total reps

Use a moderate to heavy weight and do as many sets as it takes to reach 100 total reps.

 

Now that you have a solid chest workout, lets talk about displaying that upper chest of yours shall we? Trust me when I tell you, I have probably tried just about every V-Neck T-Shirt out there. Here is my Top-5 V-Neck Brands ranked from the bottom, up.

#5: Alternative Apparel – The self-proclaimed “Perfect V” t-shirt from Alternative Apparel is a nice fit and fairly inexpensive. Is it the best fitting t-shirt ever made? No. The fit is not really an athletic fit, making the shirt pull in shoulder area. However, for the money, this isn’t a bad V-Neck and definitely worth a look.

Alternative Apparel

#4: Vince – Vince offers a selection of different shirts and V-Necks for men and everything I have purchased from them fits great. However, the price tag on some of their stuff can be a bit steep. If your looking for a more economical option, this may not be for you, but at least give Vince a look.

Vince

#3 American Apparel – Everyone knows American Apparel and they make some very affordable tees and V-Necks. I personally like their Tri-Blend Deep V-Neck T-Shirts the best. These V-Necks fit very well and are only $24, which isn’t too bad for a t-shirt. My only complaint is that they are a little heavy and only come in a select few colors. However, this is a great shirt overall.

American Apparel

#2 John Varvatos – This is one of my favorite all-around brands. I pretty much love any and everything John Varvatos. The shoes are awesome and of course all of the tops are great. I own a bunch of stuff from John Varvatos and haven’t had a single complaint regarding quality or fit. The V-Necks fit great, even with an athletic build and they last forever. The only drawback is of course the price here. John Varvatos is not cheap, but I can assure you that the quality is there and you will not be disappointed.

John Varvatos

#1 James Perse – My favorite V-Necks (and probably favorite Men’s Tops overall) goes to James Perse. These V-Necks are ridiculous. The fit, feel and quality are unmatched. The sizing can be a little weird, but once you find your size you don’t have to worry about it again, as everything is consistent. As a side note, women will respect your taste in t-shirts if you decide to go the James Perse route, which of course is an added bonus. Yes, they are pricey, but I can promise you they are worth every penny.

James Perse

There you have it – you can thank me later. Just remember who hooked you up when your boys are mirin’ your V-Neck game.

- Ryan Hughes

HUGHESFIT.com

IFBB Men’s Physique Pro / New York City VIP Personal Trainer / Online Coach

July 15, 2014

5 Shocking Training Mistakes Killing Your Gains!

We all want to make the ever-illusive “gains,” right? Well, the more clients I work with and the more fitness enthusiasts I come in contact with at events, expos, etc. – the more I realize these simple, yet devastating gain-killing mistakes people make every day! Take a look and make sure your not doing the same!

1)   Extensive Steady-State Cardio – This one is probably the most common. People immediately relate fat loss to hours of steady-state cardio, which is odd considering steady-state cardio actually does very little for fat loss over time and just about nothing for your metabolic rate. Is it OK to do steady-state or LISS cardio? Sure, but don’t go overboard.  Instead, incorporate more HIIT based cardio with varying exercise intervals to increase your metabolic rate and accelerate fat loss! Need some examples? Check out my latest program Blast & Burn: BOOTCAMP - it's packed with tons of them. 

2)   Not Prioritizing Compound Movements – It’s leg day and your performing endless sets of extensions and hamstring curls. Maybe it’s chest day and your cranking out countless reps on the pec deck. These movements are great, but if your doing them in place of exercises like Back Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, etc. then you are selling your workouts and your physique short. Build your workouts around these compound lifts to maximize your potential.

3)   Thinking You Are “Overtraining” – I hear this literally everyday! “Ryan, your workouts contain a lot of volume, do you think this might be overtraining?” The term “overtraining” is shit. There I said it. In the golden days of bodybuilding guys like Arnold or one of my personal favorites, Tom Platz, would spend hour after hour in the gym. These guys weren’t texting or on instagram either – they were flat out busting their ass for hours on end. The fact is, 99.9% of gym-goers don’t even come close to maximum effort or training intensity. My suggestion, focus on exerting absolute MAX effort in every training session you perform instead of stressing about some bullshit bodybuilding myth. Besides, I am willing to bet the guy who told you, you were overtraining in the first place, isn’t exactly “jacked.” Here I demonstrate MAX effort in a training session ==> http://bbcom.me/1nu4yMd.

4)   Stopping Before Failure – This rivals the steady-state cardio for the most common mistake. My entire Blast Training System is built around the idea that maximum effort and training to complete failure is absolutely crucial. A rep range is simply a guide, not a limitation. For example, if you’re on your final set of Incline Dumbbell Press and you want 6 heavy reps and you get to 6 and have more, why are you stopping? Those reps that take every ounce of energy and effort to achieve are the reps that make an actual difference in your physique.

5)   Too Much Rest – This one gets worse and worse as we become more attached to our devices. Your time between sets should be minimal, period. Unless you’re a power lifter, there is simply no need to rest longer then 60-120 seconds from set to set. You want to hit an all-out max set here and there, fine, but resting 3-5 minutes between sets, especially when they aren’t even your heaviest sets, is crazy! What are you waiting for? Your muscles don’t train themselves, so get back to work! 

- Ryan Hughes

HUGHESFIT.com

IFBB Men’s Physique Pro / New York City VIP Personal Trainer / Online Coach

July 12, 2014

The Sooner You Know This Late Night Eating Habit That Could Ruin Your Physique The Better!

You have probably heard a mix of everything regarding late night eating habits, right? I mean really, one person says, “No carbs after 6pm!” and the next says, “Eat right before you go to bed to maximize gains!”

Well, you want the truth? 

There is no late night eating habit that can ruin your physique - It doesn’t matter! That’s right, eating carbs right before jumping into bed is completely fine. However, you could also not eat carbs before hitting the sack and you would also survive!

So, now your probably wondering, “OK, well then what should I do?”

First things first, nutrient timing is largely irrelevant. Yes, pre and post workout meals are important, as you want to fuel your body prior to entering the gym to maximize your workout and you also want to fuel your body post workout to recover. However, aside from those two scenarios, your nutrient timing isn’t all that important.

What is important is your macronutrient breakdown and meeting those daily requirements. What’s a macronutrient? Macronutrients are the elements by which our calories are made up of. These are better known as Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats. These three macronutrients make up our total caloric consumption for the day and tracking your intake of these macronutrients is key to improving your physique. 

I would recommend using My Fitness Pal to set your caloric and macronutrients goals for the day. From there, you can use the website or app to input your food consumption throughout the day. The app tracks your macronutrients for you, so you always know both, how much you’ve consumed and how much you have left to consume.

At the end of the day, expending more calories than you intake will cause you to lose weight and doing the opposite will cause weight gain. However, taking things one step further and not just tracking calories, but tracking macronutrient totals will provide you with better overall results.

Lastly, the foods you consume are NOT as important as the macronutrients that make up these foods. In other words, a carb is a carb, a fat is a fat and protein is protein – regardless the source. The only time this would not apply is if you have a predisposed health condition that is affected by consuming certain foods. So with that being said, you can essentially eat what you want, when you want, as long as you stick to your individual macronutrient totals each day! This allows for a much more sustainable diet, as you can alter food choices and actually enjoy your nutritional regimen.

If you need help calculating your specific caloric total and macronutrient breakdown for your body type and fitness goals, I can help. I have reduced ALL of my online training and coaching packages to reach a larger audience and help everyone, regardless of income level, reach their fitness goals! Check out all of my packages on My Website.

Stop conforming to bullshit dieting myths and start get results while actually enjoying your diet!

- Ryan Hughes

HUGHESFIT.com

IFBB Men’s Physique Pro / New York City VIP Personal Trainer / Online Coach

June 20, 2014

My Story

Today, Ryan Hughes is one of the most recognizable names in fitness. His accomplishments include being an IFBB Men’s Physique Competitor, BSN Spokes Model, International Fitness Cover Model and New York City’s Top VIP/Celebrity Trainer. In addition Ryan owns or holds equity in 5 companies, created one of the industry’s hottest training systems (the Blast Training System) and has built a network including some of the most powerful people in New York City, but the road to get there wasn’t always smooth….

 

“So, where do I begin….I am from West Chester, PA, a relatively small town just outside of Philadelphia. My first time weight training was freshman year at Henderson High School. I was 6’0” roughly 140lbs and wore 4-5 layers to school per day to give me some size (seriously). From there, I continued to workout, learn and gain size. When I graduated high school, working out was a part of my daily routine. I spent hours on end researching, learning and training. I weighed around 190lbs when exiting high school and had a whole new set of goals for myself entering college.

 

I stayed local for college and went to West Chester University, mainly because they had a good business program and they were “affordable” in relation to the much larger state schools. At the end of my freshman year, I competed in my first Body Building competition with the OCB organization at age 19. I took 1st in the Novice division and 3rd in the Men’s Open Lightweight division, weighing in at around 175lbs on stage. The competition was in Pittsburgh, so it was about a five-hour drive. I still, to this day, vividly remember that drive home. The drive through central PA, which for those of you who don’t live in PA, isn’t all that exciting. I spent the entire drive just thinking….it’s the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in college, what am I doing? What do I want to do?

 

When I got home from that trip, the next chapter of my life began. At that point in my life, I loved two things; fitness and business (entrepreneurship). I was currently working at GNC at the time, but decided to begin personal training. I had a ton of knowledge regarding training, nutrition, supplementation, etc. from all the research I had done for the past 3 years, so it seemed like the natural progression. I bounced around for a few years and never really found exactly what I had envisioned when I set out to be a trainer.

 

In my Senior Year at West Chester University I had an opportunity to take an internship at SAP, a business software company. The internship was completely unrelated to fitness or even what I envisioned myself doing in the business world, but it was paid and was the “smart” move career wise, so I took it. I spent my senior year working with computers, software, etc. in the laptop center at SAP. I still continued to train, diet, etc. and live the fitness lifestyle, but something was definitely lacking in my life. I graduated in 2010 and was offered a full time position at SAP with my own cubicle, work station, etc. It was a solid job and coming out of college were wasn’t many solid jobs to be found, I decided to take it.

 

At this point, I was 22 years old. I had just graduated college and was still living at my parent’s house. I got up at 5:45am Monday-Friday to be at work at 7:00am. Every morning, I would walk in, grab some coffee and say hello to the other few people that started early, sit down at my desk, turn on my laptop and handle any hardware or software issues on my floor. At that hour it was annoyingly quite. The only sound I heard was the buzzing of the overhead lighting and the faint clicking of someone printing on the other side of the floor.  I remember sitting there the first day and asking myself, what now? I graduated college, I got a job, I get a paycheck, now what? For the past 16 years I was in school, this moment seemed so distant and now its reality.

 

I had a mini breakdown at that point in my life. On one hand, I was grateful to have a job and a degree, but on the other hand, I wanted more. I wasn’t ready to be at this point yet. So, I once again turned to fitness. I had kept up with my workouts, nutrition, all of that, but somewhere I lost that drive to improve. Working out was part of my routine, but I wanted it to be part of my life. I decided that I was going to do another body building competition. I picked a date roughly eight months away and went to work. I brought every meal with me to work and went right from work to the gym. I began to feel like I was “doing something” again. I took a lot of heat at work, as you could imagine there weren’t too many “tech guy bodybuilders.” I don’t even know how the hell I became a “tech guy bodybuilder,” but I was going to be the best.

 

I continued to grow and at around 12-15 weeks out it was time to cut down. This was a bitch. I got up every day at 4:00am to hit my fasted cardio, went to work from 7-4pm, and then went from work to the gym to train. I did this for the entire prep, never slipping up, never quitting, and never slowing down. I ended up placing 3rd in the Men’s Open Heavyweight division, weighing in at 203lbs on stage. I was outsized for sure, but loved every minute of competing. This was an important day in my life and this was the day I mentally made the move to pursue fitness as a career. The next week I went up to New York City to meet with Adam Silver at Silver Model Management. I spent the next 4-6 months going up to New York City as often as possible to meet with photographers, shoot and build my book. For the most part, everyone in my life thought I was crazy. I was still working at SAP, so basically all of my free time was spent in the gym or traveling and shooting.

 

Finally, after spending thousands of dollars on travel, shoots, and competitions, I was at a crossroads. This was my moment. At this point in my life, I had put together a portfolio and booked a few small jobs that paid a few hundred bucks and I had just competed in my first Men’s Physique show, which at the time was a brand new category. I did one of the very first local shows and placed well enough to qualify for Nationals. On the other hand I still had my job at SAP. To be successful in either one of these, I had to pursue one full time. There was my passion and dream of being a fitness professional and there was my quality, safe job with a paycheck and room to grow. I remembered the last thing my grandfather said to me before he passed away and that was “no matter what you choose to do in life, I know that you will be alright.” At the time he said that to me, I didn’t know what to make of it, however it always sorta stuck with me.

 

Two weeks later I moved to New York City. I found an apartment in Queens, a few miles outside of the city for $1,500/month and took it. I had $3,000 in my bank account, had never lived away from home and no clue what the hell I was doing. In addition, I was actually had planned to compete the same week of my move (excellent timing I know). I left my apartment in shambles to head down to South Carolina and compete in the 2011 Junior USA’s, the first National Men’s Physique show. I placed 1st in the Tall Class and took home one of the first two IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Cards! My fitness career was finally going somewhere or at least I thought so!

 

When I got home, I figured my life was about to change, I mean I was one of the first two Men’s Physique Pros! Unfortunately, no one came knocking on my door in Queens. No random paychecks floated down from the heavens. Instead, I sat on a mound of boxes and debated my next move. I decided I would travel into the city every day. I figured, if I am going to make something happen, its going to be there and not in Queens, so I mind as well put myself in the right position to be successful. I literally didn’t know a single soul in New York City, other then my girl friend that moved with me and my agent. At the time, I was doing some demos for Gaspari Nutrition and would book an odd job or two per month and was making roughly $1,000/month. If you do the math, I had about two months before I would be broke, so I started personal training again. I figured this would probably be one of the hardest cities to break into the training world, but if I were able to, it would probably yield the largest return. I was right.

 

Every day I came in and introduced myself to someone. It could have been the guy who owns the restaurant next to the gym, the guy who owns the supplement shop down the street, etc. I made sure to put myself in front of any and everyone from day one. I shook as many hands as I could and told anyone that would listen my story and finally after about 3 months of living here, I had my first client. I priced my sessions higher then all the other trainers because I was willing to go above and beyond for every client. I structured their diet, supplement regimens, made house calls, answered texts at 10pm at night, I ensured their success, period. After a few more months, I had built a small book of 3-4 clients, but they were successful people who loved the fact that I catered to every need and got them results at all costs.

 

While I was building my clientele in the city, I was also building my online presence using the knowledge I had gained working with software and computers over the past 2 years. The job at SAP actually prepared me for my next step, which was my online business. I remember thinking how crazy it was the way life works out sometimes. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, I felt there was definitely someone guiding me. As I picked up traction in the training world, I also began to book some magazine work and small paid jobs. I was making progress and no matter how little, I kept telling myself that if I continue to bust my ass, something will hit; something will take off!

 

At the end of year one, my lease renewal came, I signed and continued on. I hadn’t saved a dime, was living paycheck to paycheck, but surprisingly I didn’t care. I felt like I was doing something and while small, it was something. New York City was my office and the gym was my cubicle. I promised myself I wouldn’t give up until I was broke or dead, so up I climbed.

 

Around the time I signed my second year lease, I parted ways from Gaspari Nutrition. This gave me more time to focus on my business and seek my true fit for a supplementation sponsorship. I knew I needed to stand out and bring something to the table to be sponsored. The stars aligned and the Blast Training System was born. I actually began writing my workouts down after training just to keep track of what I was doing. After a few months of doing this, I had compiled quite the collection and decided to put them into a book, which others could benefit from.

 

I launched the eBook with immediate success. People loved the workouts! I was receiving hundreds of emails from men, women, everyone saying how much they loved the challenge. From there I decided to continue to share my workouts and it really helped me pick up some traction on social media. With the help of my agent, Adam Silver, I was able to leverage this into a contract with BSN Supplements! Two months later, I shot my first cover for Fitness Rx and my first TV Spot for ABC’s 20/20. The eBook, supplement sponsorship, cover shoot and 20/20 spot all happened within a 4-6 month period and I felt like finally after 2+ years of pursing this full time I was actually making real strides.

 

2013 rolled around and I had just launched my second eBook, Blast for Mass. My cover was about to hit shelves and my training business was beginning to really pick up steam. I continued to head into the city every day, still meeting as many people as possible. I also began going out at night and putting myself in the same locations as the types of clientele I wanted to train. I can honestly say; the most crucial factor of my success has been networking. I hit every popular restaurant, bar, nightclub, etc. I would sometimes go with clients, who would then introduce me to their friends and so on. Every single opportunity I had to go somewhere, meet someone or do something, I took it. I went to cocktail hours, charity events, weddings, parties, corporate events, seminars, you name it, I went.

 

Earlier this year, a few weeks before my lease was up for the second year at my apartment in Queens, I was out at one of these events at a rooftop bar in the city. I remember looking around at the skyline and seeing all the lights from peoples apartments 30, 40, 50 floors up and just imagining what it would be like to actually live in Manhattan and not take the train 45 minutes to and from four times a day. I thought to myself, imagine how many more opportunities I would have putting myself in the heart of New York City. My lease was up in May of this year and I decided to take the jump. I have risked just about everything nearly every day for the past two years, so what’s another risk, right? I ended up moving to center city Manhattan, 43 floors up! I am now in my third year since I made the decision to pursue my fitness career full time. The first year was probably one of the most mentally challenging years of my life, but without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am nowhere near satisfied. I am nowhere near done. However, after three years I am that much closer to my dream and no matter how mentally, physically or emotionally challenging my career and life can be, I wake up every day to do what I love….and that is truly priceless.

 

- Ryan Hughes

IFBB Men’s Physique Pro / New York City VIP Personal Trainer