My Epiphany

Have I ever told you about my very first paid personal training client? I swear somewhere in the past 80 blogs I must have but it’s worth telling again.

It was my first day at the corporate big box gym, I figured I’d be learning the ins and outs, the paperwork, where all the knickknacks go, who all the staff were and other basic stuff that happens the first day of any job. My boss (coolest guy ever!!), Dennis, who was always quick on his feet with decisions had a client thrown at him that needed a personal trainer ASAP as the one scheduled had to bail. He asked if I would fill in.

Cool! My first client! My first $40 (well, $18 ‘cuz you know the big box gyms rip the trainers off by stealing half or more). “One thing though, he doesn’t speak English. He’s a young dude on vacation from Mexico and just wants a good workout.”

Um, what?!?! No English?

“Yea, he seems pretty smart, he’ll pick it up if you show stuff to him.”

It’s my first day on the job, I can’t say no. But damn, at least take me on a date first before you try to get all the goodies.

That first session was fantastic, was a lot of fun and well, when you don’t have your smarty pants words to back you up, you quickly realize that most of what we’re doing is monkey see, monkey do; a trainer’s job is simply to learn/choose the best monkey exercises for the client’s goals.

6 years later, my girlfriend’s family, all of whom I enjoy training, has an exchange student in from Beijing, China. Pops thought it would be a great experience (and relationship builder) for the student, an avid high school basketball player, to jump in and workout with him. Now, the student speaks okay English, enough to understand what we’re saying and articulate what he feels and clearly animates when something is the right intensity.

We went through the workout I had planned for Pops but along the way I had to stop myself and ask, in the eyes of this boy’s parents (if not himself)…why are we using this exercise? Why are we doing it this way, in this rep scheme and why would I choose this one over say, the bodyweight version or the cable version? Why are we working the chest press pattern when the client’s goals are mainly fat loss and overall fitness?

For a long time I’ve really been questioning the value of the bench press. Unless you’re a dude who’s 5’3″ with T-Rex arms who may actually get his swole-on from such an exercise it’s dawned on me that the bench press blows goats. And not just because I’m not great at it with my orangutan arms (I’ve actually just started getting my groove with it after 10 years of trying various techniques), but anatomy wise it makes no sense to work the chest with fixed shoulder blades glued to a bench. They’re designed to move/glide freely over the rib cage as you flex and extend the arms out in a horizontal pushing pattern. Dual Cable Chest Press is hands down twice the chest builder that bench press ever hoped to be, and at FAR less shoulder injury risk.

So why?  Why are we holding onto exercises that are cool, fun, really frickin hard to do, make our clients curse us, whatever…

I’m not one to throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to learning new training styles or exercises or systems, instead I prefer to experiment on myself with the intention of amalgamating the positives into what currently works for me and my clients. Over time I dump what doesn’t work, or is better accomplished with X exercise or rep scheme instead.

But there’s something in my gut that says we’re wrong with how we’re training our clients. I feel it every time I hear Nick Tumminello go off on a rant about the ugly of the industry, or Scott Abel when he tells us about the charlatans of the internet age of coaching or Dave Parise when he pretty much says anything.

There’s only one way to solve this: meet with my mentors, these coaches, ask them what are the most important lessons they’ve learned in their careers (just like a newer person to the industry just asked me), and delve more into the science and anatomy as to why I choose the exercises I do. Mentorship will be the only way for this to work, so when you coaches get an email from me asking for it, I hope you’ll understand the background of the request.

I have this “talent” for watching my clients and seeing that something just doesn’t look natural to them. I formulate the right question to figure out what they’re thinking, feeling, or focusing on that leads me to the clue as to why it doesn’t look right. Every notice how the Clean exercise when performed perfectly looks so damn, well…clean. If you don’t get what I mean watch the first 90 seconds of this video where Reza Zadeh makes 500lbs+ look like a joke in the Olympic Clean & Jerk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7nL8Bg5LDQ

Most often it’s a cue, a visual or a description of intention that really allows the client to turn the movement into something that matters and more importantly, works. And if it still doesn’t, then either it’s not the right time for this exercise progression or quite simply the exercise isn’t great for this specific client.

Every exercise worth a damn seems to follow the same pattern. It works with the body, not the body forcing itself to perform some inventive, cool, hardcore fitness toy based movement for the sake of.

So am I going to swear off the bench press? Well, not just yet, but something in me says in the future I probably will.

When mentoring other trainers coming up and discussing exercise program templates I always say to write them out and then spend double the time it took to write it in trying to tear it apart, poking holes in your theory as to why you chose that exercise over another, why that combo, did you think of this or that, or how the client is going to walk out the door (posturally or energetically speaking).

My epiphany is quite simply that I need to do this on a grander scale. Perhaps you do as well?

Parking Lot Lunges SUCK – Part 2/2

It’s done. Complete. Finito. It sucked but, dare I say, wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be when I started this adventure.

My 135lb barbell x 194meter parking lot walking lunge adventure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4smdMT7ocqI

I went to the chiropractor a couple of days after the event to ensure I wasn’t too whacked out (which I was). When he asked what I’d done since I saw him the day before the lunges, I promptly responded “I put a 135 barbell on my back and lunged two football fields.”

His look was priceless. It was a mix between concerned, scared, disbelief and finally the simple “you’re an idiot” look I’d expect.

“Why?!?!” he proclaimed.

The funny thing was I didn’t have an answer.

For fun I guess. Something to do. A challenge. Mental instability. I don’t know…

Why does anyone run a marathon? To be healthy? For fame or wealth?  There’s debate out there as to whether humans were really “built” to run for long distances like that. But when someone tells you they’ve run a marathon, there’s a level of respect there. Perhaps that’s why I did the lunges.

Try and tell me something harder than that.

Well, a 55-year-old client of mine did just complete the Canadian Ironman last weekend in under 15 hours (congrats Linda!!). THAT is hard. THAT is dedication. I couldn’t do it. Nor would I want to. She couldn’t do what I just did with those lunges. Nor would she want to. So it’s all semantics as to why.

The Human Guinea Pig

Look, I treat my personal training career as that: a job. As with any job there is training, continued education and experimentation that must be done to become an expert in my field. For example:

I’ve been doing this program the past 12 weeks while working on this parking lot lunge challenge. It’s by far my favored programming method. But for the sake of learning and experimentation I will soon be doing the 10,000 x 24kg Kettlebell Swings in 10 days (1000 swings a day). Why? The promise of body recomposition is my main driving factor but the learning experience is a very close second.

Following that I plan on doing the Velocity Diet which I did 3 years ago with ridiculous results (I’m talking 10lbs of fat loss in 14 days; and I gained muscle at the end of the 28 day program). Why would anyone in their right mind “eat” nothing but protein shakes for 28 days straight (well, you do get 1 healthy, solid meal a week)? Simple, the results. Secondary, however is challenge. There’s something to be gained in restraint and strict dieting for short periods of time.

Following that, after seeing the results attained by a comrade at our gym following Jim Stoppani’s 12 week Sortcut to Size program, I am excited to give that a whirl. I’m sure you’re wondering why a trainer would use a program I’ve not designed for myself and instead use something so easily accessible to everyone. The truth is I have great respect for other coaches who know what the hell they’re talking about and have the clout to back it up. This is exactly that type of program. My one rule about following other coaches programs is that you should always follow it 100% if possible. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from following other coaches recommendations. I find a way to bring that knowledge back into the programs I design for my clients.

Then I’m going to go back and do a program I did 4 years ago where I saw insane results: Christian Thibaudeau’s Mechanical Drop Sets. I swore I’d come back to it one year soon. It’s 12 weeks of very high volume training but should be a great blend in coming off the previous Jim Stoppani program. So why go back to a program I’ve done before? Where’s the learning experience in that? I was my biggest then (about 195lbs; whereas I’m 180 now) and I want to see how I’d feel at that weight again.

Me at 195lbs during CT’s Mechanical Drop Set program 4 years ago.

I’m a lot stronger now then I was back then. So I’m curious what will happen after a combined 24 weeks of bodybuilding style training.

And in the New Year, I begin training for the Vancouver marathon to be run in May (with my then 50- year-old client who will make this her 50th marathon run).

So, what may seem like training ADHD, there is a purpose. {Deep Breath In}…The 10,000 swing challenge I’m treating like a mental reset to the difficulty I’m going to surely face doing the Velocity Diet which will help reset my food cravings and improve my insulin sensitivity as well as act as a good training deload before I slide into Stoppani’s Shortcut to Size program where I plan to eat a shit tonne of healthy foods to gain size but coming off the V-Diet this will also help negate any fat gains with the increase in training volume. Then just as I’m seeing the total benefits of that 12 week bodybuilding style program I shall move into a program I’m more familiar with, a coach’s style I prefer and again will eat and eat and eat, at that point not caring (around the end of year) if I pack on some fluff, for in the New Year when I start training for a marathon where I’m surely going to drop the fluff and hopefully maintain most of the muscle size for when I run I tend to get pretty lean.

So I have a plan. Albeit a very turn left, go right, jump up and down, 3 lefts, two rights, and a sprint sorta plan. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from training myself and others this year. With this 8 months of training plans I’m sure to learn a great deal more.

Why You Shouldn’t EVER Do As I Do

The biggest reason, especially if you’re a young dude, it’s my opinion the main reason most guys in a gym don’t look or feel the way they want is because of programming ADHD. You’re not sticking with one mode (growth, strength, cutting, whatever) long enough to really see it through 100% before properly switching modes (which I’ll blog about soon). If you haven’t had 1-2 years under your belt of training under one style exclusively, STOP CHANGING PROGRAMS SO DAMN MUCH! For me that was the 18 months I trained Max-OT style.

Also, when a mentor of mine, Dave Parise boldly stated that walking lunges were one of the worst things a person could do for knee health, well I sharply paid attention. If you don’t know who Dave is, you should.  Problem was I was in the middle of the 135lbs parking lot lunge challenge and I had no intentions of giving it up. What I have done is drop the exercise (dumbbell, bodyweight or barbell) from my programming for my clients; not that I used it a lot to begin with but for safety reasons you’ll never see it again. I’m hopeful he will attack this issue with depth as he complete this series of videos for the industry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7h-stdQgrA but until then, if you’re not convinced that walking lunges can ruin knees I suggest you ask the man for his reasoning; get the knowledge from the horse’s mouth per se.

I was starting to feel tweaky knee pain around the 95lb mark of this challenge. It concerned me as I had 40lbs to throw on the bar still. My band-aid solution was to ensure I was doing copious amount of unilateral leg training like the exercises found in Nick Tumminello’s latest DVD:

The knee pain was kept at bay and seemed to subside the more unilateral (single) leg training I did on top of my prescribed squats and deadlift training.

But, then the sheer weight of the bar on your back for anywhere between 8-12 minutes (135lbs took me 9:30) without the ability to adjust it became the real problem. Your traps BURN, your ability to breath properly becomes difficult, the cramping in your mid and low back is brutal. Let alone how 100lbs+ on your back while lunging can easily have your hips/spine push out of alignment. My chiropractors really kept me solid this past while.

When I did the 135lbs, sure my legs were shaking, they felt weak, they were burning with lactic acid. But that wasn’t the hard part. The balance, the shoulder girdle/rib cage pressure (despite using the Manta Ray barbell attachment which is a must for this!) and inability to breathe deeply, the burning sensation in my low back, the threat of a knee tweak happening at any given moment was the real challenge.

Of course, the real reason I survived was because of my awesome Performance U t-shirt! Thanks Nick!

But it’s done, and I promised I’m never doing that crap again. Cross it off the list. Just take it from me, the value of the exercise is not there.

Was I Sore After? Destroyed? Hospitalized?

Was I broken after? No, it was my buddy’s birthday so in the spirit of that he decided it was about time he hit his goal of back squatting 405. Our good buddy Cailin jumped in on that and hit a PR of 365 for himself. Then the three of us decided chasing a conventional deadlift PR was a good idea. Cailin hit a 410 PR. I hit a 390 PR. And just to top it all off, because ya know, enough old fomula Neurocore will do that to you…

…it made all the more sense to tack on the 300 workout after all that madness. See that in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko2Kc0TyeXc

At the end of this test-fest I proclaimed to Chris and Cailin: “Thankfully, Chris’ birthday comes only once one a year!” Was fun though!

Now I move on to the 100 yard (football field) Power Wheel croc walk challenge! Should only take me a couple of weeks to complete that. See this badass get it done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75mP4iGSwjk

Parking Lot Lunges SUCK – Part 1/2

I like to torture my friends. I think maybe in a past life y’all did me wrong and my karma is being able to cause you muscular pain and suffering via various exercises that no one in their right mind would ever sign up for.

I have one rule: I won’t give you any form of torture I wouldn’t put myself through. Now, I’m not talking about my clients, of course I program for their abilities appropriately and progress them whenever able. But my training partners, y’all are fair game and I keep telling you that when I suggest something stupid, like building up to 500 push ups at the end of an upper body workout (took 6 weeks to build to that and took me 39 minutes to complete it) or a bet with a friend to do the 10,000 kettlebell swings in 10 day challenge…someone is supposed to say no.

Just like I sorta leave the responsibility on my client’s shoulders to tell me no when I tell y’all I’m buying a new piece of exercise equipment that is not going to be “fun”, like the Power Wheel:

But noooo, not a single soul stopped me

Y’all just wait till I get THIS, THIS or THIS! Haha

So, let’s talk parking lot barbell walking lunges for a moment. First off, they suck, never do them. Just saying.

Had my squat-a-tron buddy roll through for a leg workout one day and he made me look like a school girl on squats like he always does so come the end of the workout it was game-on for me so I suggested we wrap it up with 45lb barbell parking lot lunges. The only caveat is my parking lot at the gym is 194 meters long (~2 football fields). When I finished I wondered to myself why that felt “easy” and muttered something about how ridiculous it would be to be able to do that with a plate a side on the barbell (135lbs).

And that’s how it started.

During the summer of 2011 I set out to reach this mentally unstable goal of the 194m x 135lb barbell parking lot lunges. I had completed up to 105lbs and the day prior to attempting 115lbs I was in a car accident which rendered the goal null and void.

When the weather came around this year, I got the spark back to achieve this goal. It’s been about 15 weeks now (I started at a broomstick, went to 30lb bar, 45lb bar, then added 10 pounds every 7-10 days) and last Sunday I hit 125lbs which for some strange reason I did faster than any weight lighter than it. Basically took me ~8 mins, 30 seconds.

Don’t believe me, just watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDkcw2FPiKQ

Now, I’m not delusional, last week was some hard shit and it really destroyed me for a few days. But this Saturday I will clean that 135lbs onto my back and will attempt to complete this goal.

I promise you one thing, when it’s done, I am never, EVER going to do this again.

It’s been a long journey, I’ve learned a great deal from it and I’ll share that all in Part 2.

If I’m alive come Sunday.

The Caffeine-Free Brain Candy Experiment

The people surrounding me this past month are no doubt wondering why I’ve been so “off” but the truth is I’ve just never been so on.

If you’re here from the ADD-nation  and need an abbreviated review I suggest you skip this next part and get right to the review. Those that know me know I don’t do anything short-winded.

Moments of clarity in life have always come to me at times of inconvenience, like midst shower, washing dishes, bedding a woman or the random sleepless 2 a.m.

When the time for action comes, life has a funny way of throwing work or family commitments of priority in front of me. By the time this magical YOU time arrives, well, I’m just too fucking exhausted to do anything about it. It’s a terrible cycle.

Boohoo you say, just put me first for once, just take a day off, just go on a vacation…sure, says the person who doesn’t realize I run my own business (Read: one man army!)  in a single income relationship (my gal is in nursing school).

We success driven introverts have one secret weapon y’all extroverts will never: we understand ourselves better than you ever will. I may be the dude who’d give you the shirt off his back or give you my last dollar if you needed it more than I, but don’t catch me wrong for I do plan, I do plot, I do visualize and see every aspect of my life forming as I dream it to be.  The pace may be slower than I hope but hey, 12 years ago I was homeless, penniless and sleeping in a tent in Stanley Park. Today I own and operate a successful business with plenty of opportunity and I have a beautiful gal I plan to share my life and build a family with. I can’t complain.

But let’s talk about the pace of life, goals and successes. Last summer I stuck my head in the sand for just 60 days during which I built my own website, started a blog and a YouTube channel. Those 60 days of hard work, focus and exclusivity to only the task at hand has increased my business by roughly 60% over the year prior.

Going online was one of the best things I could have done for my career. In a year I’ve seen over 3000 views on my website, I’m approaching 40,000 views on my blog, and within a few days I’ll see 100,000 total views  across the 275+ videos I’ve uploaded. I’ve been spotlighted by other respected coaches in the industry, been featured a couple of times in a local newspaper and done a decent job of developing relationships with other health practitioners (chiro, physio) to further the services for my clients. I’ve even been honored by 2 people who reached out from the US to come up and train with me. I couldn’t have guessed a year ago that I’d be here, doing this.

I’m not listing this out to sound like an egomaniac but I am proud.

What truly intrigues me is how all of this became possible because of 60 days’ worth of serious focus, dedication and hard work.

Why can’t every 60 days be like this? What’s holding me back? Am I just lazy? Undedicated? Do I not want it enough? Do I not feel deserving of the rewards of such work?

Where’s the disconnect?

In my 33 years on this planet I’ve come to realize recently that I’ve gone through cycles of prepping myself mentally and setting up life circumstances with work, family and relationships to allow short periods of time (1-3 months) where I put me first, where the value of my time is more valuable than yours. And near every success in my life has come because of the actions taken in those time frames.

So where am I going with this and how the hell does it relate to a nootropic supplement?

First, go read my Brain Candy series here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. It’ll take you a whole of 10 minutes.

I was able to barter and procure a 1 month supply of the caffeine-free version of Brain Candy (which was recently released to the public in the past week or so). I finished the one month about three days. The novel above is going to help you understand the sheer awesomeness of this supplement and I’m going to give you some tips on how best to use it, should the promise of its results excite you. I’ll compare it against the caffeinated version and lastly I’m also going to issue some strong warnings.

Biotest Brain Candy, Caffeine-Free Review

The difference between the caffeinated (original) and caffeine-free Brain Candy products: The obvious and only label defined difference is the 300mg of caffeine in the original version vs. none in the free version. All other ingredients are the same and in the same dosages.

In my opinion this completely changes the game on how this product is best used, utilized and the “feeling” you’re going to see while on it.

If you are sensitive to caffeine, meaning it turns you into a chatty little bitch who can’t help but vibrate and froth at the mouth when the peak of crack-town smacks you upside the head (like me), then I highly suggest you shy away from the original (caffeinated) version. You’re (I’m) simply best to moderate and spread our preferred caffeine dosages/sources throughout the day. If you ignore me here, as I’ve strongly warned in Part 2 of my first experiment, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for adrenal fatigue.

If you could drink a pot of coffee and then go right to sleep, well, the original version would probably do you best as there was quite a boost that was had from the caffeine and it does enhance the feeling of the product. It gives you ridiculous get-up-and-go! My body just can’t handle running at 120% of norm for days on end like that, whereas my brain can.

I would also highly recommend that before choosing which version to use, you assess the reasons for which you’ll be using it. Do you need some pep and the ability to focus intently on a task at hand? Maybe Fridays are your department’s meetings and you have to present in depth material to your team? Well after the 4 previous stressful days at work, come Friday you’re just a wreck. Brain Candy, original (caffeinated) version to the rescue. Wake, slam it, get your bang on! The world shall be your whipping boy today.

If you’re a student who has a 15 page literature review ahead of you, well, being tweaked out on that much caffeine is really going to hurt your ability to sit still and focused that long. The caffeine free version will have you in full on genius mode in no time. Ever felt your keyboard get super-hot while your hands cramp from the sheer speed at which you’re typing? It’s an interesting experience.

Taste

I was direly hoping the caffeine free version of Brain Candy would not be 1980’s orange Popsicle flavor as the original version is. I was praying it would be the same great flavor as Biotest’s Alpha-GPC product. While it’s not absolutely terrible, both versions are the same fake orange flavor, are very sweet and leave a lot to be desired. They’re not disgusting but starting your day off with BANG: FAKE ORANGE is not the best thing in the world. Biotest has never been the company to care too much about flavoring systems (save for their Metabolic Drive proteins) so I highly doubt we’ll ever see some designer flavors come about with Brain Candy. But one could beg for a pineapple, green apple or grapefruit flavor, no??

Stomach Upset

I mentioned in Part 2 of the first experiment that this product did cause some stomach upset the first few days I was taking it. I’ve given a few bottles away of the caffeinated and caffeine free for friends to try and half of them tell me the same thing. Being the only one I know who’s used the product for months at a time, I can say that for me, that stomach upset pretty much goes away after the first couple days. I’m sure it could be completely negated by slamming your Brain Candy with breakfast but I’m sure the product works better if you do what it says and slam it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Down-Regulation

Have you ever tried a supplement and for the first two weeks it’s the best thing you’ve ever tried but 3 weeks later it’s doing nothing for you? I can name half a dozen pre-workout products that fit in that category. Down-regulation or the body getting “used to” a supplement where you stop feeling the positive benefits is always a big concern in performance enhancing (in this case, brain power) supplements. I’ve done two experiments on this product, 4 week of the original version, a 2 week wash out, then 2 more weeks of the original, then a 1 month wash out, then 30 days of caffeine free…it’s all the same: when you’re on, YOU’RE ON! When you’re not drinking the elixir, within a few days your super powers disappear. It’s brutal when words were coming out of your noggin so fast you couldn’t even process your own genius and then all of a sudden you’re stumbling for the words to something you mastered years ago. I hate feeling dumb.  There is ZERO down regulation or getting used to in either version. I will again proclaim the caffeine free version tops the original as the latter really caused me some serious adrenal fatigue with the caffeine overkill (300mg per shot). The coming off (I’m doing a 2 week wash out of the caffeine free version now) of Brain Candy this time has been much smoother but I really miss the peak of brain performance when “on.”

How long do you feel the effects and can I make them even better?

The short answer on how long you’ll feel the positive benefits is: all day. From 15 minutes after you slammed the bottle till the time you sleep, there is no off button. With the original (caffeinated) version the caffeine wore off about 5 hours after dosing and the transition to the continuing brain performance benefits was FAR LESS because a body kick and a brain boost are two very different things! With the caffeine free version it’s just genius mode all day, the product doesn’t quit until you’ve decided it’s bed time.

Another unique way I’ve seen others on T-Nation suggest usage is to use the system come-down and save a few dollars by being on Brain Candy for 3 days followed by two days off, repeating in this cycle over and over. They claim it leaves them feeling mostly the same. While I can see this working for someone on a budget, right now I’m 3 days off Brain Candy and there is quite a difference. My super powers are diminishing quickly back to my normal. I can afford and understand the sheer value of this supplement so I see no reason to micro cycle it like this.

What happens when you take more than the suggested dosage? Oh man. I realize and many have commented that when I speak of Brain Candy I sound like a drug addict. Hell, I even use druggie terms. I’ve never touched any illegal drugs ever in my life but I do realize I sound like an addict (as I’ve known many). So, you know, for sake of this experiment (riiiiiiight) I sacrificed myself and have tried (with original and caffeine free version) consuming 2 bottles in a day. The only thing it does is ensure stomach upset and a thinner wallet. Taking more than the one bottle first thing in the morning does absolutely nothing for brain power, physical performance or energy levels. Nothing. So don’t bother trying, I’ve failed it for you.

The Effects on Sleep

Last experiment, in Part 2, I showed you a unique perspective on how the original (caffeinated) version of Brain Candy was affecting my sleep. I’ve mentioned my Zeo to Zen experiment here and will have the next installment coming soon. For sake of comparison of the caffeine free version vs. original here’s what happened with my sleeping patterns while on the caffeine free Brain Candy (the time frame of supplement use was pretty much the whole month of July):

Total Sleep:

Tanked! By over an hour. I’ll explain more later.

Deep Sleep (the sleep that truly recovers your physical body):

Higher than it’s ever been! Even despite the lack of total sleep. So what got lost?

REM Sleep (the type that organizes your brain; think defrag of your hard drive):

Scary tanked! 15 minutes lower than any month’s total this year (1:20 vs. February’s low of 1:35)

Note: The amount of times I woke and how long I was awake during the month wasn’t affected.

So what does this all mean and why did this happen?

Quite simply: with the caffeine free version my natural introvert plotted a monster coup d’état. I was able to process so much of my day (think increased computer CPU speed) while awake and have room in my brain power (think computer RAM increases) that come the end of my day I would sit in my living room and plan, plot, organize and create action for the next day. I discovered more about the patterns of my life, the reasons for all my successes, the reasons for all my failures and developed a calm about it all that would freak most extroverts out!

I see everything and it further calms me. Direction becomes extremely clear when you have this vantage point on your life.

So who wants to or even can sleep when you’re that motivated to change?

I’m not arguing the body needs sleep, I’m just warning you, the first month (or two) you use a product like Brain Candy (especially the caffeine free version) you may find yourself trading sleeping time to plot the next few years of your life. I’m already doing the smart thing and getting back to improving my total sleep.

Warnings and Suggestions of Brain Candy Usage

To caffeinate or not to caffeinate, that is the question!

If you need to tackle this day, the people in your day, or the physical task that’s not the norm, I highly suggest you opt for the original (caffeinated) version. From groggy to genius monster alpha male in about 15 minutes.  For the introvert, mildly social anxious person (especially one that doesn’t drink to create inhibition) trust me, the original version is magic here! Liquid courage and confidence.

If you’re a brain person, not a body person (meaning living in your brain is what drives your body vs. the energy of your body is what drives your brain) then the caffeine free version is for you on the regular. Crank me up 10 I.Q. points and trust me, I’m getting shit done! Students, you have no idea how easy those grades are going to creep up and how much time you’re going to save yourself in studying by utilizing this product (even if just for tests and study cramming; I get you on the poor student thing).

To negate the adrenal fatigue: now that both versions are available for purchase one could be savvy and simply mix one bottle of the original (caffeinated) version and one bottle of the caffeine free version in a cup and then pour it back into the two bottles, effectively cutting the caffeine down to 150mg, which is a MUCH more manageable dosage. Running a bottle of the original Brain Candy on days where you need body energy and on days you simply need a calm mental focus you could slam a bottle of caffeine free Brain Candy instead. By finally releasing the two versions, Biotest has given us a supplement we can highly tweak out and experiment with to see how it can work in various situations, personality types and stimulant sensitivities.

Warnings:

I’ve already covered my warnings of the original version in Part 2 and Part 3. Read them there.

These warnings are for the caffeine free version:

Everyone wants change. Everyone wants a better financial position, a better relationship with their spouse, a better relationship (or possible control) with their children, a better sense of self, less stress, more calm, a boost in ability to process your day without frustration, an increased ability to handle all the stupid or awkward interpersonal situations that can arise. We all want it, we all want more.

Hear me on this: ARE YOU IN A PLACE IN YOUR LIFE TO TRULY PUT A MAGNIFYING GLASS ON THIS LIFE? Are you ready to see yourself for the lazy bastard you really can be? Are you ready to conquer your procrastinations? Are you ready to rid yourself of all the toxic people in your life? Are you ready to lessen the stress you’ve been running on these past years (or decades)? Because it all equals the same thing: reflection and realization of what must change, what must go, what must be worked on and built by YOU.

This is what the caffeine free version of Brain Candy has done for me. The boost in nootropic-driven brain power works exactly like Biotest advertises on T-Nation. As I have no financial ties to Biotest, I’m simply a fan of their products; I’ve just given you the goods on how this product works FOR ME. Take it how you want. It’s going to cost you about $90 to figure out what a month of Brain Candy will or will not do for you. If you feel my experiences can help you decide if this product is for you and your challenges ahead, just leave me a comment below; I do my best to answer them all.

So what’s next for me?  I just smile at that question. For the answer is “a lot.” But after this first month of caffeine free Brain Candy which has enlightened me, my next phase shall be to map action. Let’s see how it turns out!