How long have you been in the weight game? Let's take a trip down memory lane with IFBB Pro and veteran Animal athlete Evan Centopani who's been involved in the bodybuilding industry for 25 years. You know what his first product was? Find out in his latest article.
While maintaining good mental health has always been important for our overall wellbeing, it's more relevant now than ever due to current events derailing many of our normal routines. There are many strategies that we can employ to help ourselves keep our heads "screwed on straight." Evan Centopani, one of Animal's most grounded and logical athletes, highlights some ways we can make sure our brains and thought processes are operating optimally.
Preparation is fundamental to anyone hoping to attain their physique related goals. The word “prep” has become so overused that it’s actually easy to forget that it is short for preparation. Take food prep and contest prep, for example. We set aside time to prepare food in advance. Why? Efficiency is part of it, but it’s mainly so that we can repeat day after day of proper eating with no missed or imperfect meals. The entire concept of contest preparation is based on having what you need come the day of the show: a dialed in, competitive physique. Ultimately, preparation is about having what you need when you need it.
Most of us were contemplating our strategies for 2020 not too long ago. Whether you were thinking about your next competition or how you were going to add ten pounds of muscle or finally get your ass in shape or improve your squat, you had plans this year. I don’t think that any of our plans included being quarantined on account of a highly contagious and potentially lethal virus sweeping the globe. But, hey, shit happens. And shit has most certainly happened. Aside from the immediate health threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, many of us have to deal with new difficult circumstances such as businesses shutting down, massive layoffs, food and product scarcity, and social distancing. So what does all of this mean for the average bodybuilder/powerlifter/fitness enthusiast like you and me? It means that we’ve all had to make some adjustments in the name of keeping things moving.
There is often a great deal of confusion surrounding how to approach the process of getting in shape. Whether you’re starting preparations for a contest or want to get yourself in shape, the most challenging part is simply getting started. An evolving approach is best. Just as you wouldn’t go from being single to completely changing your life by moving in with someone you don’t know, I think it’s foolish to make grandiose plans to commit to a diet that is a huge departure from what you currently follow. What if that diet is just not right for you? To go from a diet that you have been following for a significant period of time, regardless of how good or bad it may seem, to one that is radically different is usually a mistake.
Hand two motivated individuals the same hammer and neither will create the same thing. But how do you find that motivation to build? Whether we understand it or not, are aware of it or not, discontent often lies at the heart of change. For me, feelings of inadequacy coupled with an irrepressible need for self-improvement got me motivated pretty early in life. A bench and barbell set that could serve as a heavy-duty clothing rack and dust collection unit for one guy, allowed me to transform myself both physically and mentally. This is for the one who helped me get started. Thanks, Dad.
Getting started in any endeavor is oftentimes the hardest part. This certainly holds true in bodybuilding. New bodybuilders are almost always more confused than they are confident. Even with the overabundance of information available on various websites and on social media, most beginners will walk away with more questions than answers, especially regarding nutrition.
Circumstances aren't always perfect. As a bodybuilder, you have to make do with what you've got and roll with the punches. Evan shows you how to do an entire arm workout in only 15 minutes—don't let life stand in your way of getting it done.
You can train with maximum intensity or you can train with high frequency, but you can’t do both. For years, trainees have landed on either side of the debate with some being disciples of the high intensity school and the rest being advocates of increased training frequency.
Anyone who knows me knows I care about nutrition and what I put into my body...a lot. As a bodybuilder, you have to make certain choices to achieve an elite level. At times, it seems like success and health are antithetical. Maybe that's a part of the reason why nutrition is so important to me. When it comes to nutrition, I'm always looking to eliminate the nonsense and get right to the good stuff. Over the years I’ve learned that you simply cannot improve on unadulterated, fresh, whole food. As far as perfect nutrition is concerned, technology has failed to surpass Mother Nature.
The idea behind Animal Meal is pretty simple. Animal and I created Animal Meal to be a highly digestible meal replacement powder with just a few natural, high quality ingredients. Animal Meal contains macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) sourced from the following seven basic foods: beef, egg, peas, sweet potatoes, oats, cassava root (yuca), and olive oil. Animal Meal also provides a close approximation of what I deem as the ideal ratio of those macronutrients – 1:1:1. Working closely with Animal, I just wanted in create a meal replacement powder that could serve as a meal “replacement” for me and anyone interested in proper nutrition. I truly hope I’ve succeeded.
Who would benefit from taking Animal Meal? Anyone looking for a balanced, extremely easy to digest, and high-quality source of macronutrients can benefit from the regular use of Animal Meal. You don’t have to be an elite athlete or bodybuilder like me to benefit from Animal Meal use either.