P.E.P. for Maximum Muscular Gains

This week features an example of the type of P.E.P. I might create for an athlete looking to pack on a few extra pounds of quality muscle. Remember the amounts etc must be customized to the individual. Meal #5 (post workout meal) is only consumed on training days. On non-training days, increase the amounts of the other five meals by a small amount to make up for the dip in calories.

P.E.P. Guidelines:

Meal # 1 (Breakfast, 15 – 20 minutes after waking up)

Fresh raw apple or pear (with skin)
Fresh Banana
Raisins or other dried fruit (without sulfur)
Whole eggs, any style except fried or raw
Turkey or chicken breast
Round steak or extra lean ground beef, baked or broiled
Fruit Juice (fresh not frozen or from concentrate)
Supplements (fish-oil, creatine, Multi-vitamin)

Meal #2

Fresh Raw Pineapple
Dried apple or apricot (no sulfur)
Whole eggs, any style except fried or raw
Any low fat fish, baked or broiled
Fruit Juice with protein powder mixed in
Supplements(if needed)

Meal #3 (Lunch 1.5 hours after meal #2)

Small green salad; olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing
Banana or other easily digested fruit
Turkey or chicken breast
Any lean red meat baked or broiled
Mineral Water (filtered or clean source bottled water)
Supplements (if needed)

Meal #4 (3.5 hours after meal #3; a pre-workout meal)

Banana or other easily digested fruit
Raisins or other dried fruit (without sulfur)
Small amount of easily digested protein; poultry or fish (whey protein would be acceptable )
Pre-workout stimulants (if desired)

Meal #5 (Post workout meal, complex carbohydrate meal)

Portion of green vegetable
Vegetable or vegetable beef soup (home made is best)
Baked potato, sweet potato or yam is best (whole-grain based pasta is allowed)
Brown rice or corn
Sprouted flourless bread
Vegetable juice (not canned)
Supplements (creatine, fish-oil, glutamine BCAA’s)

Meal #6 (1-2 hours before bed)

Whole eggs, any style except fried or raw
Small amount of cottage cheese or  plain yogurt
Fresh raw apple or pear (with skin)
Round steak or extra lean ground beef, baked or broiled
Fruit juice (not canned)
supplements (if needed)

Sport Specific

The term “sports specific” gets thrown around a lot in the fitness industry these days, but what exactly does it mean? To some it means doing certain exercise that they have deemed are “functional” for their sport. For others it may mean trying to move their bodies in similar planes of motion that they encounter in their sport while at the same time working against some form of resistance. On the surface it may seem to make sense to attempt to train movements in the gym that are similar or appear the same as those performed in your chosen sport. Unfortunately, there really is only one way to replicate the movement patterns associated with a given sport, and that is to play the sport itself.

You see skills are specific and when you add weight to a skill you are actually creating a new skill. This is true whether you add weight to a skill that normally has none, or you increase the weight of the implement used in the skill like swinging a heavier then normal baseball bat in hopes of more bat speed. Any of these subtle (or not so subtle) changes will adversely affect the skill in question. Those well versed in motor learning theory (or perhaps brimming with common sense) will be nodding their heads in agreement with this statement others may be feeling their heads fill with a dogmatic counter argument.

To be helpful, movement patterns need to be specific. Every sport be it boxing, soccer or baseball, has its own specific skill sets with specific movement patterns. To quote Brian Johnston, “There are no degrees of specificity. Either something is specific or it is not. Specific means explicit, particular, or definite not “sort of” or “similar to”.

As an example, taking dance classes (no matter what kind) to enhance your boxing footwork, will not make a difference in how well you box. In this case your time would be much better spent working on boxing specific footwork such as shadow boxing, live sparring etc. Now to some this may seem like a silly example however this is a mistake many coaches and athletes frequently make. The only real benefits to a boxer taking dance lessons would be:

1: He/She may become a better dancer.

2: He/She may notice an improvement in one area (dancing) and feel it must have a positive carry over to another area (boxing).

Another common misconception among some strength and conditioning coaches is that certain strength training tools or movements are somehow superior to others because of the “transfer” or carryover to sporting movements. An example here would be that the triple joint extension that occurs in Olympic weightlifting movements will have a direct and positive impact on any other sport movement that has a triple joint extension component for example jumping or sprinting. If you have been paying attention thus far then hopefully you are starting to see that this is not the case. The skill of lifting a heavy barbell from the ground to overhead is totally unique and specific. It is in no way the same as another, even seemingly similar skill.

Let’s take another example and look at the many tools and gadgets available to improve foot speed. Some coaches will use agility ladders, parachutes and a myriad of other toys in an attempt to improve individual foot speed. Unfortunately what actually occurs for the most part is an improvement in the new and very specific skill with essentially no positive carry over to the sport itself. Ask your self this question, if you are a youth soccer coach with limited time to improve your kids skills, would you rather they spend more time using drills that utilize an actual soccer ball in realistic situations and movements, or spend time learning how to move quickly through a ladder lying on the ground in a sort of high speed game of “Hop-Scotch”? Hopefully you are having a little light bulb moment and starting to realize that playing your sport is the only way to improve your specific sport skill.



What to expect

By Jim Bryan

New clients will go through a break in period of a few workouts depending on their present state of conditioning. The exception will be for in-shape and hard training Athletes. They should be ready and can’t waste time due to their schedule. The question usually pops up “Do I train Males and females differently?” The answer is NO. I train individuals differently dependent upon their goals. Men and Women both have HUMAN skeletal muscles. They both respond to resistance training in the same fashion, but rarely do females end up with huge muscles. It is a genetic thing as well as a hormonal thing. It is very hard for many men to end up with large muscles, and for the most part women do not have the natural hormonal output to allow the growth of big muscles. EVERYONE will be better off with a removal of fat and a LEAN MUSCLE addition. Women will look Toned and in shape with the addition of lean muscle. All workouts are of a progressive nature, they have to be in order to make the changes you’ll want. By progressive I mean we will always try to add weight when possible and/or repetitions. The intensity of the workout grows as you proceed. Again this is dependent upon Clients goals.

Adolescent Training:

I don’t usually take anyone under the age of thirteen. Training young people, even young athletes, is a very serious situation. They can benefit from Strength Training as well as adults but much care must be taken when training them. In order to avoid harming young skeletal formation, limit lifts should not be done. Teens can train very hard but the repetitions should be kept above 15 and limit weights (1 to 3 rep sets) should not be used. Even for adults I usually recommend Higher reps for safety. Don’t think you can’t get strong using higher reps (15-25) because you can! I use the latest research and apply common sense. My goal is Strength plus Conditioning, and is based on over forty years of experience. If someone chooses to become an Olympic Lifter or Power Lifter, and is willing to accept the danger, then that is their choice. I have many years experience on the lifting platform but I don’t actively pursue lifting students. I train clients for overall strength and fitness. This can be used for any sport or athletic event as well as every day living.

Feet must be covered during training. No Sandals, flip flops, or open toed shoes. Athletic shoes best: Tennis, walking, or running shoes.

Remember: The training I use consists of Time efficient Strength, Conditioning, and Fitness. I do not use Gimmicks-Fads-unsafe Supplements or just plain old BS found in most gyms.

Clients will receive one free workout for anyone they send to me that qualifies and signs up for training.

TAKU’s NOTE: I want to take a moment to thank my friend Jim Bryan for being so generous in sharing his excellent articles with us here at Hybrid Fitness. 

“Functional Training”

By Jim Bryan 10-12-11


Recently our area has been overtaken with the “Functional Training Craze.” CrossFit, Boot Camp Training, and Training with implements other than traditional weight training (free weights, and machines) can be a good thing but does come with a higher rate of injury due to the nature of this training. None of it is new and none of it is more “Scientific” than traditional Training. Basic Traditional Weight Training actually has more science backing it since it has been going on for years. The fact that you strengthen and condition your muscles makes you more functional than you were and no amount of flipping tires,  using kettle Bells, or beating tires with a sledge makes you more “Functional.” How you choose to train is up to you. Most methods work but some are safer than others. Being involved in “Jack of all trades, & master of none training” comes with a risk/reward disclaimer…..or should.


The statement that free weights make you more “Functional” than using machines is another buzzword/falsehood. Let’s face the facts: Trainers have to come up with something that sets them apart or makes them appear to be more informed/ scientific/ in the know. Truth is, its just smokescreen packaging. You can get a good workout using anything mentioned thus far. The smart thing would be to use the safer alternatives, with an occasional look at different methods.


The newer gyms are popular because of the group training but usually offer less equipment (chin up bars, tires, chains, TRX or rings, Sledge Hammers, and a few weight sets, being the staple) These gyms are easy to set up but do require a higher Certification fee for the instructor/trainer. Face it, they are money makers for the “Owners of the Brand.” These gyms can come and go quickly but in fairness I have seen some really good ones, and I do this type of training myself at times.  I was doing it years before it became a “Brand.” Having been involved in training for over 50 years I have seen many things come and go and come back again.

If you like that kind of training, go for it. It can be fun. It’s not better, just different. In order to be successful you have to enjoy what ever training you decide to do and be consistent with it. Bottom line:  Your training shouldn’t hurt you, and you should look forward to it, not be intimidated by it. Don’t fall for the hype. “A fool and his money are soon to part.”

It looks like fun and can be. Remember the “Aerobics Craze” of a few years ago? Remember how they had to come up with “Low Impact Aerobics?” Well folks, this newer version called “Functional Training” is high impact. Know that before you get involved and make the informed decisions to keep it safe for you.


I think I’ll start a new Fitness Trend. It’s going to consist of Mowing, raking, clipping, chopping, pulling, hauling, and digging. I’ll call it “Yard Fit.” I can get my yard done and make money too! Stay informed about training , and don’t fall for gimmicks.


 TAKU’ Note: Thanks to Jim Bryan for this weeks awesome article.