"Get Rid of Stubborn Fat Fast!"

Let's just get straight to the point...

Spot fat reduction is not real, and it is therefore an ineffective way to train

What IS spot fat reduction??
It's the idea that if you train a certain set of muscles then the fat around those muscles will be lost in a higher priority than the fat elsewhere on your body. For example: doing sit ups and crunches to lose belly fat, doing tricep exercises to lose upper arm flab, or side bends to lose love-handles, etc. 

As a fitness professional who spends hours upon hours in a gym setting I very often get the question, "what can I do to lose [insert problem area here]?" And the answer always comes back to some version of eat right and exercise! Which is not usually what the person doing the asking wants to hear. Instead they're looking for one or two magical exercises they can do to "target" the fat in their aforementioned problem area. But, in order to lose fat in one place on your body you must lose fat everywhere on your body. Unfortunately we don't get to pick and choose where it comes off. (Wouldn't that be nice, though??) 

I like Nick Nilsson's pool analogy from the following article: fat loss is similar to draining a pool. Let's say we've got a shallow end of 3 feet and a deep end of 7 feet. When draining the pool we can't selectively take water out of just the 7 foot deep end. The water drains from the ENTIRE pool. The ground begins to show in the shallow end first, but as we continue draining, eventually the ground will also show in the deep end. 

Fat loss in our bodies works similarly. I'll give a very crude explanation. Our body needs fuel to support physical exercise. This fuel comes in the form of what's called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). Our bodies make ATP from the nutrients we consume (proteins, carbs, fats). How does it do this? It takes those nutrients and breaks them down into their smaller components -- a process called metabolism -- and then uses those components create the needed ATP. In the instance of triglycerides (aka: fat), which is made up of glycerol and fatty acids, the body must first break the fat molecule down into those glycerol and free fatty acid components and then release them into the blood stream before they can be used to create the necessary energy. 

As mentioned, our body can create ATP from proteins, carbs, and fats, and it can get this energy from anywhere in our body. Just because we're working our abs does NOT mean that the energy we need to do those sit ups is being supplied just by the fatty deposits around our ab muscles. Instead, it's coming from all over, and there is no way to target one single area for fat loss.

Though the concept of spot fat reduction does make sense at a surface level, and it certainly appeals to our more vain desires, that's just not how it actually works. Sorry to burst your bubble. (I'm actually not even done bursting it... there's more bad news...)

As mentioned, energy comes from what we consume whether it's carbs, fats, or proteins. All three of these macronutrients can be (1) used to create the energy needed for exercise, as we've thoroughly established, or (2) stored in the body as either lean mass or fat mass. Most simply: when we are eating our bodies are storing, and when we are exercising our bodies are "burning" (aka: creating energy). But the building blocks for storage and the building blocks for creating energy are all the same -- CARBS, FATS, and PROTEINS.

Okay, okay, I'm sure you get it by now... 
Food is fuel. Yep, move on...

Well, because our bodies are pretty damn smart and pretty damn bent on survival, they prefer to reap energy from our lean muscle mass first, because muscle is metabolically expensive!! In other words, it requires more energy from the body to maintain lean mass versus fatty mass. This means that, as our muscle mass increases, so does our metabolism. (That should sound familiar as a commonly sited benefit of strength training; more muscle = higher metabolism!) Well, our body doesn't WANT to spend that extra energy if it doesn't have to, so it will preferentially burn off its lean mass to avoid the expenditure. 

It gets rid of what it thinks it doesn't need.

This is why strength training is absolutely essential to fitness and weight loss... 

We must make our bodies think that our lean mass is necessary to its survival.

What better way to do this than with regular, progressive weight training?! (Hint: there isn't one.) When you lift weights on a regular basis your body will preserve the muscle it needs to support this activity. And, to build muscle you must progressively overload your training (aka: do MORE every time). This is still my all time favorite article on muscle building. Give it a read if you're interested! 

But, let's get back to the topic at hand: fat loss. 
As we've established, in order to lose fat from one particular spot on your body you must resign to losing it all over your body. (Not such a bad thing!) And how do you accomplish this? 

Diet control + exercise.

You must SPEND more calories than you CONSUME in order to lose weight. And, as discussed, in order to lose fat mass instead of your hard-earned muscle mass, you must incorporate strength training.

My suggestion for burning calories efficiently while also incorporating strength training would be HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. This allows you to elevate your heart rate to varying levels for an efficient calorie burn. It allows you to use weighted exercises to build muscle and get stronger. And it only takes 30-45 minutes when done correctly. AND, you don't have to run!! HIIT really hits all the nails on the head when it comes to burning calories and gaining strength, which is really what fat loss comes down to. 

Or, you can separate your more cardiovascular exercise from your strength training entirely. This would be like running/biking/swimming/etc. some days while lifting weights on others. This method allows for a little more variety and exploration with the activities you do, but the calorie burn is a little less efficient than HIIT. (Just think about how long you'd have to run for in order to burn 400-500 calories. With HIIT you can do that in 30 minutes or less.)

If you've made it to this point in the blog, good for you and thank you for reading! I hope you'll take this information to heart and use it to more effectively reach your goals. Otherwise you'll keep doing hundreds and hundreds of crunches, get no closer to that 6 pack, find yourself feeling frustrated, and probably throw in the towel. Well, maybe not this EXACT scenario, but you get my point. Targeted exercises are not the answer for fat loss

The Takeaways:

In order to lose fat in one place you must lose it everywhere.

This is accomplished by (1) controlling your diet, and (2) exercise!

Your exercise regimen should allow you to both burn calories AND build muscle in order to most efficiently lose fat (and keep it off!). 

Heart Rate Training

What do all these colors and numbers and percentages mean?!?

Lots of gyms are implementing the tool of heart rate training these days. The two most prominent ones in my mind are Orange Theory and the gym I work for, 9Round Kickboxing. It really is a valuable thing to know and understand while you're working out so that you can get the most effective workout possible. But, like, how the heck does it work..?

Heart rate monitors measure your actual heart rate, your calories burned, and your percentage of your maximum heart rate throughout your workout. These zones vary from device to device -- some have 4, some have 5, some are blue, some are yellow, etc. -- but the idea of increasing levels of intensity is the same. As you approach the higher end of the zones you are working closer and closer to your hearts maximum potential.

The zones are ordered by the percentage of your VO2max, which is your heart's maximum capacity to pump blood out and supply oxygen to the body/muscles. Obviously, there is a cap. At some point your heart can't pump anymore any faster. And, as you can imagine working too closely to this cap too often can be really tough on your body -- and your heart, specifically.

Using a device to track your heart rate in real time allows you to adjust the intensity level of your workout to avoid working too hard for too long and, of course, to work hard *enough* to reap the benefits. It gives you a tangible number to work with (rather than just guessing), and of course having your calories counted is a great motivator.

The image above gives a good, brief explanation of each zone, and I really like the analogy of a car... Imagine driving a car at 100+ miles an hour all the time. (Aka: running it very near it's maximum. Think of this like being 90% of the car's VO2max.) Yes, the car CAN do it, but it puts a lot of undue stress and wear and tear on the engine. It's certainly not in the best interest of the longevity of the vehicle.

Well, your body is much the same. Yes, it CAN perform at maximum capacity all the time if you force it to, but it's making a lot of sacrifices to do so. Your body is adaptive, and it's sole goal is survival. So it will find ways to survive like using alternate fuel sources, forcing you to stop by shutting down and causing you to pass out, etc.

It's quite counterintuitive, actually, to work in the 90%-100% for most or all of your workout. (This is not to say you should never touch this zone. But you should do so carefully, intentionally, and incrementally.) To avoid injury, overtraining, nausea, fainting, illness, and burning off all the muscle you're working so hard to build, you'll want to limit the amount of time spent in that top zone. 

Generally you'll want your workout to look like this, based on the attached image above:

WARM UP in the blue to green zones for 5-10 min. (50-70%)
WORKOUT dominantly in the yellow and purple zones. (70-90%)
OCCASIONALLY hit that red zone for ~10-30 seconds at a time. (90-100%)
COOL DOWN to recover back to the green, then the blue, then the "grey" zone which is not pictured. (70->60->50% and below.)

Let's use one of my workouts to illustrate this:

The heart rate monitor I used is called Pulse and is made by 9Round Kickboxing. It uses a scheme of 5 zones, which are as follows:

GREY: < 60%
BLUE: 61-70%
GREEN: 71-80%
YELLOW: 81-90%
RED: 91-100%

The workout itself that I did was 30 minutes long, and you'll see that my total workout time on this feedback graph was 37 minutes. This time includes a few minutes prior to and after the workout where I was either getting ready to start or letting my heart rate recover back to resting. Let's examine it!

A snapshot of one of my own workouts using heart rate training technology. 

Getting started...

There are 3m19s spent in the grey zone. This is a non-working zone. Aka: you are either just starting your workout or it's over. 

There are 2m13s spent in the blue zoneThis is the warm-up/cool-down zone. Aka: your blood is pumping, but your either ramping up for your workout or coming down from it. 

These two zones don't provide a huge amount of benefit cardiovascularly or for muscle strength/endurance, and you won't burn many calories in them. They are simply phases you must pass through in order to get to the working zones.

Now we're talkin'...

There are 14m02s spent in the green zone, the first of the working zones. This zone entails a moderate level of exertion. You're breathing, you're sweating, but you're not overworking. Your body uses oxygen to create energy in this intensity range (aerobic exercise) and is benefiting cardiovascularly. This is a great zone to workout in for endurance, hearth strength and health, and to burn some calories. 

There are 17m21s spent in the yellow zone, or what I call "the SWEET SPOT." This is zone where you're benefiting the most! You're breathing heavy. You're starting to drip sweat. You're feeling challenged. You may have to stop and take a quick break. Your body is still using oxygen to produce energy here (at least for the lower portion of this zone), and working at this intensity level can improve strength, endurance, and cardiovascular capacity. Since you're working a bit harder now than in the green you are burning more calories, and as a result, you're burning off more fat here than in the green zone!

Lastly, there are 22s spent in the red zoneThis is the highest intensity range. You are beginning to struggle for breath. Your muscles are feeling extremely fatigued. Speed, coordination, and agility are beginning to decline (aka: form is getting sloppy). These effects are exaggerated as you climb closer and closer to the top of this zone. Your body is now beginning to acquire its energy anaerobically, which means it is no longer using oxygen. It needs a quicker pathway for energy, because you are burning it off so quickly. In this zone you will be burning more calories than in the green or yellow, but if you spend too long here your body will begin to source its energy from protein... Read: your body will begin using your muscle to fuel itself, which is no bueno. We work so hard for our lean muscle mass. We don't want to be burning it off!! 

Now, with all that being said, there are benefits to spending small bursts in this zone. It can greatly improve sports performance, power, reactivity, and, honestly, mental grit. When used appropriately it can also increase hearth strength by pushing it to its max capacity briefly and then quickly allowing it to recover. 

As mentioned multiple times, you do not want to spend too much time in this top zone! 

The snapshot of my workout above is extremely ideal when it comes to heart rate training. I've got an adequate amount of time warming up and cooling down in the grey and blue zones. I spent the majority of my working time in the green and yellow zones pushing myself appropriately. And I spent the least amount of time in the red zone -- and that 22 seconds was definitely achieved by  separate short bursts -- in order to improve my overall performance and power as an athlete. 

The Takeaway

Heart rate training can shed light on exactly how hard you're working while you exercise. If you feel like you aren't seeing results maybe you're not working hard enough, or maybe you're working TOO hard. But until you actually see the numbers it's hard to tell what adjustments you need to make.

The biggest benefit of wearing a visible monitor during your training is being able to control your heart rate in real time. You hit the red? Let yourself recover! You've been in the green for 5 minutes now? Push a little harder! You're yellow? Keep doing what you're doing! And so on and so forth.

Wearing a monitor has honestly revolutionized my workouts, so I strongly suggest wearing one! But, it's useless without understanding how it works for you, so please let me know if you have any questions about the info provided here! I'm happy to help. :)

Plyometric; 3 Phases & Proper Landing

Plyometric (plyo) exercise is great for training power, and speed, and increasing strength as a result. Plyo exercises involve some kind of jump or otherwise explosive movement, which requires and improves the ability to recruit as many muscle fibers as possible in as little time as possible. And the more muscle fiber activation we get in a single instant the higher we jump, the more we lift, the stronger our movement becomes.

All plyo exercises have three unique phases:
1. ECCENTRIC PHASE, aka: loading phase
2. AMORTIZATION PHASE, aka: transition phase
3. CONCENTRIC PHASE, aka: unloading phase

Let's use a squat jump as an example to explain each phase... 

To begin a squat jump the first thing I have to do is LOAD my muscles, and I do this by squatting down PRIOR to actually jumping up. This creates and temporarily stores potential energy in the muscles that are about to be used for the jump. To visualize this, imagine stretching out a rubberband. You can just *feel* all the stored energy about to explode when you let go...

Next comes the amortization phase which occurs right at the bottom of the loading phase and right before the jump. It's a very brief moment of pause that can be seen at the bottom-most point of my loading phase. It's so brief that it's almost imperceptible to the eye. :O
This quick pause comes from the electromechanical delay in which the muscles transition from overcoming force (aka: storing potential energy in the loading phase) to producing force in the intended direction...

Then next comes THE JUMP! This is the unloading phase in which the elastic energy stored in the loading phase and redirected in the amortization phase is RELEASED. To visualize this phase imagine letting go of that rubberband you stretched out earlier. This phase is explosive, and the more you train with plyometrics the more explosive it will become.

Plyo exercises are intended to be performed quickly, so immediately after the jump I'd go back into the eccentric phase of my next rep and continue. Upon the final rep, I'll still want to sink into that eccentric phase, but this time the purpose is to absorb the landing. There is a right and wrong way to land a jumping exercise, and I see examples of the improper landing in the gym all the time.

It would include:
- Landing loudly
- Stopping short of a full range of motion
- A generally 'jerky' appearance to the motion
- High impact on the lower body joints

So what's the correct way to land??

Absorb your landing by continuing to move even after your feet have planted. (This is that continuation into the eccentric phase even once you've finished your set.) When performing plyometric you exercise high speed and explosiveness in the actual jump, but you must also practice controlling that speed and slowing down after the jump. This is done by continuing your movement to absorb the impact of the landing.

When doing so you wind up:
- Landing quietly, sometimes silently!
- Continuing through a full range of motion
- Creating a much more fluid visual appearance to the motion
- Relieving much of the impact on the lower body joints

Nighttime Tips for a Better Morning

Not much of a morning person? 
Do you find yourself feeling like you got hit by a semi truck when you wake up? Desperately scrambling to get yourself some caffeine? If you aren't busy hitting snooze, that is. Always forgetting something? And inevitably ending up being rushed out the door without feeling completely ready? 


It might mean you're not a very good night-person either...
You might be surprised how much can be cured by a good night's rest. Maybe all you need to feel more refreshed in the mornings are better night-time habits.

Here are some tips:

1. Avoid exciting your body's systems by eating, exercising, showering, or staring at a screen right before going to bed. All of these habits "awaken" us in ways that may make it hard to fall asleep once we hit the pillow.
--- INSTEAD? Make sure to eat dinner a couple hours before going to bed, so you're satiated, but you're digestive system has calmed. Get your exercise in well before going to sleep, if possible, so your muscular and nervous systems are more relaxed for bed time. Shower in the morning to avoid exciting your nervous and neural systems. Try reading for 30-60 minutes before going to bed instead of watching TV.  
All of these habits will help physically and mentally prepare you for sleep.

2. Avoid doing any kind of activity in your bed other than sleeping (aside from the obvious -- I'm not your mom!). This can create a damaging mental association between your bed and things that AREN'T sleep making it harder to actually fall asleep when the time comes. 
--- INSTEAD? Find a separate place for reading, watching TV, drawing, studying, computer work, etc. Somewhere you can sit upright with proper posture, preferably! 

3. Try to get a solid 7-9 hours each night. Sleeping too much or too little can heavily effect energy levels throughout the day, so it's important to know how much sleep you need to function optimally and to try and get that amount as often as possible. I've learned through trial and error that my optimal sleep time is 7.5 hours. 
--- HAVE TROUBLE GETTING TO BED? Try tips #1 and #2 first to see if there's any improvement, and then try aiming for your optimal amount of sleep. Rome wasn't built in a day. 

4. Avoid a rushed, sloppy, haphazard morning. This can potentially negatively effect your mental state and provide for a somewhat crappy rest of your morning/day. 
This one has some tips within tips... 

--- AVOID HITTING SNOOZE (more than once!). I heavily empathize with the plight of the snooze button... As a habitual snoozer myself I definitely battle with the desire to sleep just a little longer and the rational knowledge that it'd be easier to wake up with my first alarm rather than 5 snoozes later. And I do find that my best mornings are the ones when I bite the bullet and get up with my first alarm. That extra little taste of sleep really just wreaks havoc on my morning. So how can you avoid hitting snooze until the last possible second? 
>> Aim for your optimal amount of sleep. (Over time your body might naturally wake up even before your alarm!)
>> Sit up, or stand up, or otherwise move physically when the alarm goes off. This small step will do a lot to encourage waking up. 
>> Set at least two alarms with LESS than the amount of snooze time between them. For example, I'll set an alarm for 6:15a and then one for 6:20a, because my phone snoozes for 10 minutes at a time. This way if I snooze my 6:15a alarm, my 6:20a alarm goes off BEFORE the snooze from 6:15a. Even just knowing that this will happen usually results in me deciding to wake up rather than waiting for another alarm.
>> Give yourself something to look forward to in the morning. For me, it's coffee. As such, the alarm goes off, and I hate everything for a minute, but then the first thing I do is start making my coffee, and everything is better. It gives me a positive reason for waking up. 

--- GET 'READY TO GO' THE NIGHT BEFORE. Now, I don't mean get fully dressed and ready to go right before laying down for bed. But there is a lot you can do the night before that makes a morning routine run more seamlessly. For example, if you pack a lunch you can go ahead and pack it the night before, so you can just grab it on the way out. If you fill up water bottles or other drinks, the same is true. If picking out your outfit takes a while, you can get that out of the way the night before, and so on.

--- GIVE YOURSELF SOME WIGGLE ROOM. Feeling rushed out the door is one of my least favorite parts of the morning. I always feel like I'm forgetting something, or I'm just not mentally ready for the day yet. One of the best things I did for myself to combat this was allowing for some wiggle room in my time frame in the mornings. This allows me a few minutes, sometimes just 2 or 3, to sit, relax, drink my coffee, and GET ready. All I have to do to make this possible is prep things the night before, set my alarm at a time that allows just a couple minutes to myself, and then actually wake up at that first alarm. If I do all of those two things mornings are a breeze. 

--- ESTABLISH A ROUTINE. This is easily the most important tip. We are creatures of habit. We thrive on routine. This gives us structure and even further motivation for climbing out of bed. If you can't list out in detail the exact steps of your morning routine, you might consider creating one for yourself.
Mine? Start coffee. Let dog out. Get dressed. Put on make up. Let dog in, give her a treat. Give guinea pigs some veggies. Pour coffee. Make my own food. Eat that food (this is my few minutes to myself). Grab lunch for work. Head out.

--- STICK TO THAT ROUTINE. This may seem like it goes without saying, but I don't just mean on the days when you HAVE to be awake at a certain time. I mean on the weekends, or holidays, or days off. Sticking as close as possible to that morning routine even when you don't have to (with some leeway of course) will make it even easier on those mornings when you do have to. 

Now, I definitely realize these things are all much easier said than done; especially the habits that actually happen in the morning. So, maybe start with the night time behaviors first. But, after YEARS of struggling to wake up on time and have positive, productive mornings, I've found a lot of success in following these tips. I went from snoozing for literally an entire hour and then having to run out the door completely unprepared for the day to waking up to my first or second alarm almost every morning and having that hour to get myself ready to go instead. It has been a glorious change of pace, and it's really made a huge difference in my life. 

I'll never be a morning person, but I can definitely work on being a better night time person in the hopes of continually improving my mornings. 

Pre/Post Workout Nutrition

I originally came here with the intention of writing a blog about how to time your pre and post workout meals, what to eat, the ratio of carbs:protein, etc. But as I got deeper into my research I realized that's not what this blog was going to be about... 

The peer-reviewed studies refute the existence of a post-workout anabolic window as well as the usefulness of nutrient timing (1, 2, 3) while articles more of the "pop-fitness" type still suggest that nutrient timing makes a significant difference in your training results (4, 5). It's interesting that the scientific method and it's resulting literature can so clearly show mixed and limited results supporting the efficacy of pre/post workout nutrition and yet if you just google "pre/post workout nutrition" you'll be flooded with articles and blogs about how carb/protein intake timed directly, delicately, and unforgivingly around your workouts is the only way to see results.

...I may be exaggerating just a bit there, but many of these pop-fitness sources really try to shove nutrient timing down your throat as the end all be all for fitness related nutrition. In fact, I did the google search mentioned above and on the first page 8/10 of the results included articles that stressed the timing of pre and/or post workout meals. Here they are:

"The name of the game is speed."

"Essential to achieve results."

"Timing is everything."

"Time is of the essence."

"As soon as possible"

"Immediately after"

"1-2 hours before, 1-2 hours after"

"Smartly timed snacks"

The other two of the resulting articles are actually linked in the sources below. They both take a more neutral stance explaining that timing may not be the most important aspect of fitness-related nutrition but still providing guidelines for what/when to eat before and after a workout. (4, 5) 

My 'research' was limited to sources of the pop-fitness nature until just before writing this blog, which is probably why I was so sure I'd be writing about the how, the what, and the why of nutrient timing. But then I read the two meta-analyses and the experiment linked below spearheaded by two huge names in the fitness nutrition and research industry, Brad Schoenfeld and Alan Aragon, and realized that much of the hype regarding protein and carb intake surrounding a workout (and especially the protein intake after a workout -- that "anabolic window of opportunity [1]) is just that; hype. 

I think the easiest way to divulge the information I gathered would be in bullet-point fashion. So, below you'll find the main ideas, the limitations of the studies, and the takeaway from my research. You'll also find all the sources I used linked at the very bottom of the blog, so you can investigate further to draw your own conclusions. 


1. Evidence for the benefits of pre/post workout nutrient timing is limited and conflicting at best. Limitations are discussed below. (2, 3)
2. But, based on the evidence we do have, it certainly couldn't hurt to implement pre/post workout nutrient regimens and may even be catalytic to hypertrophy. (3)
3. However, as compared to total nutrient intake, protein timing "would at best appear to be a minor consideration." (3) 
4. The so-called anabolic "window of opportunity" does not exist. (1, 2, 3)
5. Carbs and protein are the nutrients you'll want to focus on for your meals before and after working out. (4, 5)
6. It may be redundant to focus heavily on BOTH the pre and post workout meal. If the pre workout meal is sufficient the post workout meal becomes much less important and vice versa. (3, 5)


- THE SAMPLE: Many of the studies are performed on untrained subjects. (1, 2, 3) This means we have no way of knowing, yet, whether or not results would differ on a group of seasoned lifters or athletes. This becomes especially important when considering that the RDA for protein intake differs pretty significantly for the untrained versus the trained population. (3) 
- THE LENGTH: The studies occur over relatively short periods of time; weeks, usually. Hypertrophic adaptations are not quickly occurring phenomenons, so it may be useful to have a longer-lasting study in accordance with the time frame of hypertrophy or strength gain. (1)
- THE MEASUREMENT: It is suggested multiple times that the measurement tools had limitations that may have prevented wholly accurate results. (1, 2) 
- THE METHOD: Most studies implemented pre AND post workout regimens, which makes it impossible to discern whether the effects are due to the pre, the post, or both the pre and post workout intakes. (1)
- THE DOSAGE: Many of the studies use relatively low protein dosages. This may not be comparable to real life implementation and therefore the results cannot be applied to real life situations. (1)


Honestly? Pre/post workout nutrition, as the literature currently shows, isn't all that and a bag of chips. If your calorie intake as well as your carb/fat/protein intake is appropriate and correct every day then it may be worth your efforts to try timing your carbs and protein more directly around your workouts while leaving fats for earlier and later meals. The evidence is mixed, and while it doesn't show frequent and significant positive implications of nutrient timing on hypertrophy or strength there are a few studies that support the efficacy of pre/post workout nutrient timing. (2, 5)

However, if the rest of your nutrition is not on point, you'd be better off focusing first on honing in those calorie/carb/fat/protein intake numbers. The evidence DOES suggest multiple times that total nutrient intake is more important the timing of those nutrients. (1, 2, 3, 5)


(1) Aragon, Alan Albert, and Brad Jon Schoenfeld. “Nutrient Timing Revisited: Is There a Post-Exercise Anabolic Window?” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 10 (2013): 5. PMC. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

(2) Schoenfeld, Brad Jon et al. “Pre- versus Post-Exercise Protein Intake Has Similar Effects on Muscular Adaptations.” Ed. Justin Keogh. PeerJ 5 (2017): e2825. PMC. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

(3) Schoenfeld, Brad Jon, Alan Albert Aragon, and James W Krieger. “The Effect of Protein Timing on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 10 (2013): 53. PMC. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

(4) Curcio, Peter. "Pass The Protein Shake: Digging Into Pre- And Post- Workout Nutrition." www.breakingmuscle.com (2012).

(5) "Pre & Post Workout Meal - What To Eat Before And After Working Out." www.acaloriecounter.com

Lastly, For a full guide on pre-workout supplementation check out this comprehensive article from Cellucor: https://cellucor.com/blogs/nutrition/pre-workout-101