The Campus Elite is dedicated to providing the tools for marrying a successful, enjoyable college experience with an active and fit lifestyle. We strive to provide students with the resources necessary to overcome the very difficult challenge of finding balance during some of the most critical years of ones life. Balancing your education, your health, and maintaining a healthy level of motivation for both of these things can be an extremely difficult thing to do, especially without the proper knowledge or information. We're here to change that.
Campus Elite will be covering the needs and struggles of balancing these items front to back; we will provide our readers with insight regarding workouts, diets, supplements, motivation, and much, much more. We also welcome existing students to share their stories, their knowledge, and their experiences with each other as well, by featuring existing students as both writers and role models. Our goal is to equip the modern day college student with whatever they need to achieve health, success, and their goals, and that's exactly what we will do.
The Home of all things Workout
Welcome to the home of all things workout related at The Campus Elite. In this section, you will find all the tools you need as a college student to make the most out of your workouts and time spent in the gym.
The Mental Aspect of Being Elite
Motivation is that drive, dedication and an unrelenting vision and pursuit for excellence that gives this puzzle a direction. The good news? It's free. The bad? You gotta find it...but we're here to help.
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The Home of All Things Nutrition
In this section you will find all the tools you need for nutritional success; whether it is eating on a budget, structuring a diet plan for muscle gain and fat loss or setting up the perfect meal plan with your dining points.
Vitamins. Protein. Preworkout.
In this section you will find all the tools you need as a college student to make the best choices for your physique goals when it comes to utilizing and purchasing supplements.
I played soccer all my life and trained to play professionally. When I got injured my junior year in High School, I realized that I would not be able to perform at the level I wanted to anymore so I brought my competitive spirit to the weight room. I knew right from the start that if I wanted to dedicate my time into training, I wanted to do it right. My motto has always been to either do things right or to not do them at all. So, I took an entire summer to educate myself on everything about training and nutrition and applied them to my training. Soon I was competing at a Bodybuilding competition, and I’ve never looked back. What motivates me is my drive and general passion for extreme activities. I was always amazed seeing guys attempting to climb K2, astronauts spending months going to a foreign planet, guys going through the Navy Seals training and the works. Preparing for Bodybuilding competitions is not for everyone, the sheer physical willpower and mental fortitude you need to have to excel in this sport is unparalleled, you have to be willing to do and risk everything to be able to stand on that stage for 10 minutes. There are no days off, and it’s the only sport that is 24/7. People complain that Bodybuilding will never be a mainstream sports, if it would be mainstream, I’d probably not be interested in it anyways. While the rest of the world might be interested in looking like a GQ model, I say, bring on the freak show.
If it wasn’t for Bodybuilding my life would have been completely different, it introduced order, efficiency and instilled in me an understanding of what hard work really is. In Bodybuilding, you can’t really half-ass anything; you carry the results of your hard work with you everywhere you go and there aren’t really any teammates or coaches you can blame or praise for your success. It’s just you to blame and you to answer to. It’s a heavy burden to carry, one that not only requires some well-developed deltoids and trapezius muscles to carry but is a necessary part of growing up and turning a boy into a man. Excelling in this sport requires the following:
Understanding and applying principles that work for YOU and not anyone else
Understanding that success is a choice, not a manifestation of chance.
Coming to terms with your weaknesses
Accepting that most people will never understand you. As I always say, the day you decide to be a bodybuilder is the day you realize who are your real friends and who aren’t, because it is the day you decided to stop being mediocre; and being comfortable; a thought most will never understand.
In college, I applied all these skills into my studying. I set concrete goals during my freshmen orientation and I knew that I was the only who would decide whether I would achieve these goals or not. Just like when I train for my competition, I left no stone unturned. I knocked on my professor’s door without any shame days on days when I did not get a concept in class, I studied every single lecture and reading to the point it became second nature and did not set any unrealistic expectations as to how long it would take for me to study for an exam. If I knew it took me 50 hours, then I spent 60, just to be sure. All other factors that come with the college life didn’t seem as appealing to me, because I knew I was working on something far greater and bigger than any semblance of immediate gratification could provide. When I graduated for years later, and I exceeded all the goals I set my freshmen year, I was glad I thought that way.
If it wasn’t for Bodybuilding, I might have still left much more to chance as I perhaps did in the past( My teacher was mean, I just had a bad year, it was just a hard class, it’s fine, at least I enjoyed my social life, it’s not all about studying). Realizing how powerful we are in determining our present and our future can be burdening or even relieving at the same time. You are your maker.
Everything is possible if you want to make it work. During my four years of college, I barely ever missed a meal nor a scheduled workout and was extremely dedicated to my academics. At the same time, I also served on the executive board of four different student organizations and founded three of them, one of them being the Bodybuilding and Fitness Club. I commuted from the south shore to B.U. every day and it all worked out fine. It takes proper planning, the right people behind you and simply a willingness to make it work. There were many days I had to plan the amount of time I spent in the shower to how much time I would spend eating each meal and cooking to perfection. I think the biggest mistake people make is to think that when they have midterms/finals etc. they need to quit working out or eating right. For me, the more things I have to do in a day, the more efficient I get. To answer the question, I balanced it by finding a way as to how I could make it work, and by planning my day meticulously. In addition, when I felt like certain people or activities were getting in my way, I had to remove myself from them. When you set high goals for yourself and want to achieve them, everything around you needs to be in place to make those goals your reality; from your friends to gym you choose to the electives you choose. Nothing will ever go perfect, but by preventing things that are in your control from getting in your way, you are already a step ahead.
I always used to eat at Chipotle. The best thing you can do is ask them to prepare the rice for you without putting any butter on it( they can make that happen) and then order your vegetables and double meat that chicken. I’d probably stay away from the cheese. You can eat pretty well here, and it’s located close to the FitRec making it the ideal Post-Workout location. West Dining Hall also has some good options-Oatmeal, deli and salad bar and they usually prepare eggs and have a chicken dish. Can’t go wrong there.
I have traditionally used the 5-day workout split routine. There’s no real scientific reason as to why I chose it other than it allows me to be in the gym more days of the week and I can focus on one body part instead of trying to squeeze 2-3 body parts in a day. Thus, I feel it can help with greater recovery. However, I think training body parts more frequently has its merits to induce further growth, so the past two years I have been training all my body parts(except for my quads) 2x a week, but lowered the overall volume per workout. This has worked very well for me as well. Since I suffered a knee injury this summer, I decided to take a step further and train DC style which helped me put the most mass on in the shortest time(25 lbs in 6 weeks) When coming back from a lay off( in my case almost 12 weeks), full body routines have always helped me bounce back faster. Here is what I did pre-injury.
Day 1: Chest/Delt/ Tris
Incline Press[ 2 working sets]
Flat Flyes/Dips[3 working sets]
Shoulder Press [ 2 Working sets]
Skull Crushers/Pushdowns[ 2 working sets
Day 2: Quads/Hams
Hack Squats/Leg Press
Day 3: Back/Biceps
Barbell Row/Seated Row
*I take all my working sets to absolute failure. These don’t include my warm-up sets
** The slash indicates that I alternate that movement every other week.
The best training program is 1) One where you make continual progress[ either by weights/reps/tempo] 2) One that you can really follow 3) One that you enjoy . As I previously mentioned, a major tenet in Bodybuilding is finding what works for you. Don’t get caught up what your training partner is doing or what the guy with 10,000 subscribers on YouTube is telling you; learn and apply and see what works for you.
I see so many people saying they are going to do training program X, then stick to it for 10 days and decide to switch back to what they were doing before to then doing program Y. You can’t make any progress if you keep switching every 5 days. Figure out a workout schedule that works and give it at least 6-7 months. Have patience. The great Frank Zane once said it takes about 7 years of consistent training o forge a decent physique. Enjoy the process, Bodybuilding is not a sprint. Nowadays everything is about getting things fast and quick. If you apply that to Bodybuilding you are just going to burn out fast. Your body can only physiologically grow at a certain rate, now matter how much food, training or supplementation you throw at it.
At the same time, I recommend that if you are starting out and don’t have a feel for the weights yet, you keep a log to track some of your movements. It’s important to note when you are making progress and when you keep doing the same things over again and your body is barely changing. When I started training I realized that 99% of the people of my gym looked the same year after year. What’s the point in coming to the gym if you aren’t improving? If that happens it means you need to change your approach and think outside the box. Never be comfortable. You already sleep 6 hours a day, spend the other 18 hours being productive. Bodybuilding is about self-improvement and continuously “building” not about self-“staying the same”.
Lastly, I would also recommend working on fostering a strong mind-muscle connection, this is a neural connection that you create with the weights, allowing you to contract the specific muscle that you are working. Our bodies aren’t designed to “isolate” a specific muscle group. When it is introduced to tension it will use anything possible for repel that force, it does not care whether you are trying to induce hypertrophy in your pec minor or not. By continuing to practice contracting and focusing on the muscle you are trying to work you will start to grow. This is why you see so many strong benchers in the gym but very few guys with massive pecs but overdeveloped shoulders and rotator cuff tears.
I keep it simple: I eat 6 times a day and vary my protein sources from Whey Protein, Egg Whites, Tuna, Chicken and Salmon. I eat three carb sources: Rice(usually brown), oatmeal and Eziekiel Brad. Only fats I have come from almonds, Natural Peanut Butter and Olive Oil. These, alongside spinach and salads are the only things I eat. During the off season, my goal is to grow as much as possible. Of course, as I said before, the body can only accrue so much muscle tissue at a given time. There is a point where you will just start storing fat. The way I measure that is from looking in the mirror and gauging my strength. If I am gaining weight but not able to lift heavier nor look any better in my mandatory poses, then I know I am probably gaining fat so I scale back. Protein is the most important macronutrient and I weigh all my servings so I know that I am getting the right amount, and I eat every three hours without fail. When I diet for a competition, it usually is every two hours.
Anyone looking to gain muscle tissue should take their eating seriously and understand they need to meet a certain caloric threshold before the body will even consider accruing muscle tissue. Remember, you are asking your body to form entirely new tissue on your body, something that is expensive to the body and will only take place when the body has the luxury to do so. From a nutrition standpoint, this means having enough calories available for basic bodily functions(RMR), passive expenditure during the day(studying, walking to class and your training(cardio and weights) and your recovery from that training( to get you back to normal) AND ONLY THEN will the body use any additional calories for muscle growth. Here’s where most people go wrong- they eat to less, and when they do eat it’s usually not the type of food they should be eating at the times they should be eating them. Eating properly, just like any aspect of training is uncomfortable and unusual to the body, that’s the price you have to pay.
A typical Off-season Diet when I am planning for a competition is the following for me( note: this varies, but calories stay the same)
10 eggwhites( or 1 carton liquid eggwhites), 3 whole eggs + 1 cup oats
8 oz chicken breast 1 cup rice + veggies
8 oz chicken breast 1 cup rice + veggies
2 scoops whey + 2 slices Eziekiel bread
2 cans of tuna + 1 cup rice
2 Scoops Whey+ 1 cup rice
8 oz salmon + salad
50 grams Casein + 1 tbls olive oil or 3 whole eggs and 1 carton liquid egg whites
Supplements should supplement what you don’t get into your diet. If I had to list three supplements it would be a Whole Food based Multivitamin, a liquid-based Norwegian Fish Oil and L-Leucine/EEA product. Creatine Monohydrate has been studied extensively too and has yielded positive effects on sports performance. (I recommend researching everything you take via sources such as www.examine.com)
Also watch out and read the labels as to how much you are “really” getting from your supplement. Fish Oil is a great example, most of the fish oil bottles at your grocery store will say “1500 mg Fish Oil”, but if you look on the back, there’s only a total of 360 mg of Omega-3’s in there’ meaning the other 1140 mgs are just fillers which you are putting in your body and paying your hard earned cash for. Sure, these bottles might be cheaper than batch tested Norwegian liquid fish oil, but if you are only getting half the amount, most of which you body can’t use, it’s a total waste. In the supplement world, you get what you pay for.
Lastly people usually ask me about pre-workouts or Test boosters but they have yet to cover all their micro/macro nutrient bases. I believe our body’s are created to survive and not to build and hold excessive and expensive muscle tissue. . The body sees it as a “luxury”, and only if everything from the cellular level is functioning optimally will the body hold it worthwhile to consider building muscle. Bottom line: Cover your basics first before you get too fancy with your supplements; your wallet will thank you.
To sum it all up
Research all your supplements and understand they only help you with what you “already have”; if you buy fancy paint and lighting but don’t have any walls and a roof in your house, then you are just wasting your money.
Make sure you aren’t getting only a “proprietary blend’ and know the dosage of each ingredient in your supplement
Get the basics first- A Multivitamin and basic health supplements are often times more beneficial at allowing you to perform optimally then other nicely labeled supplements.
Choose and follow a fitness plan that you can actually follow consistently. If there are a days during the week that you know you will be busy or you might be tempted to skip the gym because of a long day or because you have a full day of classes next day, choose another day to train. A strong physique is not forged by working out just because you have to , it’s by having a string of great workouts on a consistent basis.
Staying on your diet isn’t as hard and expensive as people think. Start with 3 meals you’d have anyways, and have 3 shakes in between. If you do that for a year, you will make gains. You can bring a shaker cup to class with powder in it and just go to the nearest water fountain and drink it in 1 minute. If you add some oats in it, you have a full bodybuilding meal. In addition, look into things such as cottage cheese, canned tuna, sardines, canned chicken and whole eggs. Sure it’s not as fancy as something you’d get from Whole Foods, but it does the job. 2 cans of tuna give your roughly 40 grams of protein, a tub of cottage cheese gives you close to 60 grams of protein and 6 whole eggs give you close to 40 grams of protein. In addition, these are all portable items, and bar the eggs can be stored without a fridge and don’t need to be cooked, making them dorm friendly foods.
Surround yourself with positive people who share your goals- this goes with anything in life. If you have training partners who are likely to skip the gym and spend more time on their cellphones and talking while in the gym, it’s not going to help you. As I said earlier, when you want to achieve something great, you need to make sure that you have all aspects of your life helping you achieve that goal, that counts for best friends, business partners as much as training partners. If you can, find someone who is either willing to learn and/or someone who is knowledgeable and shares the same intensity as you do. I have trained with guys who are 130 lbs who animals in the gym. I appreciate that type of training partner way more than a 200+ lbs beast who does not display any semblance of intensity.
At the end of the day, it’s all about how bad you want it. Just like Campus Elite, there’s plenty of resources that will equip you with the tools to help you fulfill your physical potential. However, if you don’t have a strong desire and drive to succeed, things will never work out: You will always have too much homework tonight, feel always too tired to train, or still be sore from last week’s workout, only to convince yourself that tomorrow/Monday will be the day. One thing I have learned is that people who are truly motivated, want to start not today, tomorrow or next Monday, but yesterday.
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