10 Tips to Get Pumped for Pride


So you want to be in super-shape when it comes to strutting your stuff at the biggest event on the Irish gay calendar? Here are Robert O’Connor’s top ten tips to follow over the next month.


1. Be a Lightweight

Heavy compound exercises such as squats, bench presses and deadlifts are the way forward for building full-body muscle size, but when time is of the essence, lighter to moderate weights with higher reps is the quickest way to inflate yourself to looking like a Geordie Shore cast mate for the Pride Parade. Personal trainer Alan Agusta says, “Grab two dumbbells that allow you to do 15 to 20 reps and shoulder press, lateral raise and hammer curl your way to the pump of your life right before you leave the house!” Throw in some push-ups as a finisher and you will be jacked like Jason Statham in no time.


2. Run on Empty

Breakfast is important because it is “breaking the fast” you’ve been in while you were sleeping, but if you’re full of your body’s favourite energy fuel – carbs – you aren’t going to lose a whole lot of fat during your cardio session – you’re just going to lose your breakfast. If your goal is fat-loss and fast, hit the pavement first thing after you wake. Keep the run to 20 minutes or less, you don’t want to eat into that hard-earned muscle. If you’re short on time you can drink your breakfast on the way to work in the form of a protein shake with some blended oats thrown in.


3. Get Hot In The Morning

Kick-start your day with a fiery drink that will wake you up far quicker than your usual espresso. Let me present… Immunity Tea. It’ll kick your metabolism up a notch and the only side effect is you’ll find yourself hotter than usual in bed, which I’ve never heard as a complaint. Add to boiling water: sliced lemons (or limes), a dash of cayenne pepper, a heaped tablespoon of ginger, a dash of oregano and a touch of Manuka honey or maple syrup to sweeten the ordeal. It staves off colds and flus too!


4. Creatine is King

Supplements are secondary to whole foods, that’s a fact, but there is a place for a handful of supplements in your diet if you want to look like an alpha male by the time you hit the clubs on Pride night. Creatine Monohydrate is long proven and accepted as the safest and most effective supplement of choice for aspiring muscle men. According to Bodybuilding.com, the affordable supplement can prevent age-related muscle wasting, enhance recovery from training, increase muscle volumisation, improve bone healing and even enhance brain function. Strength coach Dean Merton advises, “Opt for pure Monohydrate, which is usually cheaper – many new versions on the market are more expensive and full of fillers and unnecessary ingredients”.


5. Pro Fat Before Bed

Most people binge on starchy foods in the evening whilst watching a marathon of their favourite TV shows. Change your approach now and before you know it, not only will you look far less bloated in the morning, but you will sleep better too. Carbs are fuel, and you don’t need an overload of energy to get horizontal for seven or eight hours. The ideal high-protein and fat pre-bedtime combo is cottage cheese with natural peanut butter, but if the cellulite-like substance is too much for you to consider, a casein protein shake (which basically tastes like a less calorific ice-cream) mixed with a tablespoon of coconut oil will do the job almost as well. If you’re feeling like something more solid, salmon is a two-for-one – it has all the good fat and protein you need to wake up looking good enough to be Kelly Brook’s next boyfriend (oh wait…).


6. HIIT it Hard

There are a lot of misconceptions about cardiovascular exercise. Ever notice all those treadmill bunnies you see lined up like hamsters in wheels every night after work? After a few months they usually don’t look any better than when they started – less muscle, more mid-section fat thanks to the elevation of the stress hormone Cortisol, caused by excessive exercise, and a face that’s frowning with disappointment. Steady-state cardio is often a waste of your already scarce time. Instead, jump on a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) program, which involves working for a short period at an anaerobic level (to you that’s ‘going fast’), followed by a period of less-intense recovery (‘going slower’). According to ‘Doctor of Fitness’ Jim Stoppani PhD, it is the ultimate workout for hiking up your metabolism, preserving muscle mass, naturally elevating testosterone, and best of all, saving you time.


7. Perfect Your Posture

Chances are, you’re not actually as fat as you think. Conditions like Lordosis (also known as swayback) lead to excessive curvature of the lower back. When looking at people with this condition from the side they often appear to be sticking out their stomachs and buttocks. Hunching over your computer 9 to 5 and then eating your dinner slumped on your sofa isn’t going to help matters. So if you are nailing your diet and lifting like your life depends on it and you still look six months pregnant, it might be time to talk to a physiotherapist.


8. Don’t Tolerate Intolerance

There are the intolerances that are obvious, like the one you have to your mother-in-law or the manager who makes you break out in hives, and then there are the ones that can go totally unnoticed. 45 percent of people in the UK and Ireland suffer from food intolerance at one point or another, according to Sarah Merson of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. Keep a food diary and make note of when you have energy slumps, when you look like you’ve been inflated with a football pump, or when your craving for sugar is so high that you can’t make it to mid-morning without molesting a muffin from the Starbucks counter. All of the information you gather can help you to assemble a food plan that works for you, not against you.


9. H20 To The Max

According to LiveStrong.com, the human body is two thirds made up of water. Its roles involve removing waste, regulating body temperature and lubricating joints. Dehydration can cause a lack of concentration, false hunger pangs and worst of all, premature aging. It’s hard to make a strict rule on how much you should consume, but each day the body exhales two cups of water as vapour, perspires two cups as sweat, uses two cups for the functioning of the kidneys and intestines – and then there’s water lost through exercise on top of that. Play it safe with at the least 12 cups per day and you’ll hit the mark without drowning your brain.


10. Work Bitch

As that fountain of knowledge, Britney Spears once said, if you want a hot body, you better work bitch. Ain’t no good procrastinating, and spending all your time trawling YouTube watching already stacked cover-models doing deadlift demonstrations. Hit the gym – or wherever you like to sweat – and hit it hard. Treat it like a job and get it done. You don’t have to take the Madonna approach of spending three hours a day strapped to a Pilates machine, you can get in and out in an hour. Consistency is key, whether you have four weeks to pump up, or four months. Keep your eyes on the prize, and soon all eyes will be on you.

© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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