CORTISOL- Making you fat & angry!

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Cortisol is widely known as the stress hormone and is public health enemy number one. Scientific studies proved many years ago that elevated cortisol levels not only decrease lean muscle growth but increase body fat whilst lowering immune function, interfering with memory and decreases knowledge retention whilst increasing blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease.DEAR STRESS... LET'S BREAK UP!

Higher levels of cortisol have been scientifically linked to lower life expectancy, so obviously this is something we want to actively work on decreasing for overall health, and general well-being. A reduction in cortisol also carries the added bonus of an improved physique accompanied with a much happier mind set and improved mood.

Obviously a level of stress or cortisol is important as it motivates us to achieve and has health benefits, but in this day and age we face numerous pressures and when these are combined with intense training and an increase in stimulants to get the job done, which is usually accompanied with the depressants whether it be alcohol or sleeping medications, we end up with an extremely unhealthy level of cortisol with adrenal fatigue.

A good sign of adrenal fatigue and a high level of cortisol is constant tiredness, mild to severe depression, constantly getting sick, a higher consumption of stimulants and an increase in body fat or fluid retention.

Its not a surprise that the majority of society suffer from adrenal fatigue due to our fast paced lifestyles and higher levels of stress. The good news is that we live in an advanced age of supplement innovation and we have numerous tools that we can utilize to help decrease cortisol and the effects of adrenal fatigue. One of the best ways is to obviously decrease the excessive use of stimulants and to ensure you use a good amino acid supplement during training (a time of physical stress) and throughout the day as required. A testosterone formula is also optimal for men as it helps increase your anabolic state whilst keeping cortisol at bay.

The optimal way to assist the body through adrenal fatigue is to implement the use of adaptogen herbs and specified amino acids to assist the body. Some of the best herbs for this practise are Shizandra, Ashwaghanda, Withania, Ginseng, Tumeric Maca and Rhodiola Rosea amongst numerous others. These help by not only decreasing cortisol but helping the body deal with stress by balancing out energy levels and decreasing the negative effects of stimulants. Carnitine Tartrate is another excellent amino acid that can be used to help to decrease cortisol whilst increasing natural energy levels and as a bonus helps increase luteinizing hormone and thus increase free testosterone while mobilizing fats to be used as the primary fuel source.

Now the question you have been wanting to ask... WHAT CAN I TAKE TO HELP? (Those long list of herbs sounds like some hard effort...)

ASN have been very lucky enough to have locked down a new product from ATP Science- CORT RX, containing a large amount of the above mentioned herbs - WIN!

This product has been designed to assist with controlling your cortisol levels + re-storing your adrenal glands.

Check out out here NOW > 11787398_1640761846168283_1472019383_n

Why Your HORMONES May Be The Only Thing In The Way of Your Results!



I am sure when it comes to the rollercoaster changes to mood and the fluctuations women experience on a regular basis, you won’t get many women that aren’t aware of hormones being the cause. What might surprise them is that this hormonal battle inside their bodies and the common issue of excessive estrogen is also causing other problems such as weight gain and water retention. Excessive estrogen levels caused by stress and poor diet are now a concern for health officials who have linked this with numerous interrelated weight and health issues.




A large part of the female population today suffer from PCOS, which is due to excessive estrogen and can cause numerous health issues including pain, irregular bleeding and make it very hard to conceive a child. This increase in cases is no coincidence but rather evidence of the excessive estrogen levels found within women’s bodies in this generation. Some of this increase may be caused by consumption of estrogens added to food, xenoestrogens from plastic bottles that leach into water and their own increase in estrogen due to working longer shifts causing stress and negatively affecting your mood and well-being.


It’s easy to see how negative estrogen can affect your longevity and livelihood and why it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle when it comes to getting healthy and increasing lean muscle tone. As estrogen increases you will hold more fluid and store more fat in what is commonly referred to as stubborn areas that never seem to budge, the reason is simply because you can’t win a battle with your hormones unless you target them directly. To directly target estrogen to increase health, muscle tone, fat burning and decrease water retention, it is highly recommended to utilize a product that is designed specifically to target this problem and E-Tox the body back to its optimal level of health & performance.



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The BIG SECRET The Fitness Industry Doesn't Want You To Know About Fat Burners




Firstly, what is a Fat Burner?


Majority of fat burners on the supplement market primarily work by increasing your heart rate to burn more energy during exercise and by manipulating your body to use fat more effectively during exercise. A secondary function to fat burner supplements is it gives you a more awake/focus feeling during exercise therefore increasing your performance during training. Without getting too in-depth not all fat burning supplements are the same as some use different ingredients and different dosages of ingredients which is why so many people have conflicting opinions on what works best.


How do Fat Burners actually work?


Let’s look a bit closer into how fat loss in the body works. To achieve a state of where your body is using fat for energy you need to burn more energy (calories, kilojoule) then what you are consuming, this is referred to as an energy deficit and can be tracked from day to day. To achieve a daily energy deficit this will happen through your dietary intake and exercise. Even with the strongest fat burning supplements or drugs if you are not in a calorie deficit fat loss will not occur. If you have ever taken a fat burning supplement and felt that it didn’t work as well as you have wanted then recording your dietary intake through applications such as “My Fitness Pal” is necessary, simply put eating huge volumes or burgers, soft drinks, ice cream and donuts then thinking of taking a fat burner to help with your body not putting on fat will not work.


The supplement industry has become one of the fastest evolving industries in the world, especially when it comes to fat burning supplements. We are lucky to be in a generation where supplement manufacturers have advanced technologically in leaps and bounds, producing some highly effective formulas and some innovative weight loss formulas.




If you want to take advantage of the leaps and bounds in fat loss technology, your best option is to always talk to an expert in person and find out exactly what is the best fat loss product or products for you. What suits you best will depend on your goal, as well as your personal tolerance of stimulants like caffeine. There are so many brands and products you want to avoid, it is best to ask the professionals when it come down to what goes in your body.


Which Fat Burner is right for me?


Not doing the hard sell by any means, but your local ASN Store is one of best places to receive bias free advice on what fat burner will be the best for you given your goals.


Remember, Fat Burners work by increasing the bodies’ metabolic rate and therefore increasing the amount of calories burnt daily, with or without training. Obviously training is paramount to your fat loss goals, but Fat Burners are shown to give you that extra help to achieve your desired results.


What do Ingredients do Fat Burners include?


The ingredients Fat Burners contain will very to their intended user, and thus, some fat burners include ingredients specific to a person’s body type or goal - for example some fat burners will focus on controlling estrogen to ensure fat and water retention is decreased. Water retention is a common issue for most women and explains why the yo-yo up and down in weight throughout the day, weeks and month.


Other Fat Burners may include ingredients to increase mood, energy and optimise insulin to ensure we aren’t storing excess fat and that we are pulsing with energy when dieting and training which will help you function day to day and increase productivity.




When combined with a healthy diet and training, fat burners are the perfect supplement to ensure you are optimising your utilisation of fuel and increasing your mood and energy levels to cope with the reduced calories and increased energy expenditure which are the product of any dieting and training regimen.





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Comp Prep & Reverse Dieting - What You Need To Know To Avoid A Post Comp Blowout


Bodybuilding Contest Preparation


There are many different methods out there that coaches like to use to get their athletes in tiptop condition whether that be bikini, sports model, fitness, figure or bodybuilding for a fitness show. As the sport grows and gains popularity, the competition gets more and more fierce and athletes are looking for that edge!!!


When it comes to prepping for a show, firstly you need to be organised and consistent. This refers to training, nutrition, rest and mindset.







Planning out your food and following a structured plan is vital to your success and bringing a competitive physique to stage. Understanding how much protein, carbs and fat you should be consuming, meal timing and total calories for the day should all be calculated and measured to the gram.




Consistent training to build muscle and progressive overload (either increasing the weight or reps of an exercise week to week). To burn fat and build a lean muscular physique you need to lift heavy weight!! There’s no easy way around it, that’s the truth and 100% intensity needs to be put into every training session you complete. Follow a structured training program that works off your one rep max lifts, so you know what weight and the amount of reps you need to complete each set to hit your goal. This keeps you motivated and on track to increase strength frequently.




When your body rests, it recuperates and repairs. Rest is always undervalued and is crucial to amplify recovery and lean muscle tissue growth. Aim for 6-8 hours of deep sleep every night and you’ll feel refreshed and keep hitting heavier lifts every training session.


Mind set


You need a positive mindset if you’re wanting to compete in a bodybuilding/fitness show. It’s an extremely mental challenge trying to change your body, and requires extensive willpower and desire to succeed. If this sport was easy then everyone would be walking around with a 6 pack and bulging muscles, but this just isn’t the case. 



Reverse Dieting


Coming out of comp can be challenging if you’ve crashed dieted. You’ve run very low calories and still want to maintain a lean physique. You need to find a happy medium where you gradually introduce more food into your food plan and keep measuring your body fat to see how your progressing. It’s very hard to maintain our body fat % at comp day, so it’s always expected to put on a few kg’s after. If you don’t reverse diet you can completely send your hormones off track and stack on the weight fast!


Aim to increase your food anywhere from 200-300 calories a day for the first week, then just keep re assessing how your body is responding and if your not putting on much fat, keep bumping the calories up. It goes by the name reverse dieting, just reverse exactly what you did coming into comp when lowering your calories except this time you’ll be introducing more calories.


In summary, be consistent with your training and nutrition, measure your food and understand your total day's calories and breakdown of the macronutrients get your body fat tested fortnightly to ensure that you’re on track with your goals and go into it with a positive mind frame. Actually seeing your body change week to week and enjoying the whole process (not just the day of the comp) is what bodybuilding and fitness should be about. Sharing the journey with your close friends and competitors and making lifelong friends whilst still maintaining balance is the key.



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The 6 Common Mistakes Hiding Your 6 Pack



We've put together a quick list of the 6 biggest and most common mistakes many men make when striving for the 6 pack of their dreams.


Understanding the Fat Loss Process:


Before we get into the list though, let's quickly brush up on what is involved in the process of getting a 6 pack. To achieve a defined midsection, you must reduce the amount of fat that covers and hides your abdominal muscles sitting beneath.

Yes, it's true, we actually all already have a 6 pack to begin with... most of them are just being hidden by too much excess fat in the abdominal region.

Therefore getting the 6 pack you desire means then you need to drop your body’s fat mass, which is largely a product of what you are putting into your body everyday. This brings it back to that good old saying “abs are made in the kitchen” - meaning your diet will play a MASSIVE role on getting that 6 pack you desire.


The 6 Mistakes Hiding Your 6 Pack:


1)     Dehydration


To start off the list we are not drinking enough water throughout the day. Exercising, working in air conditioning and or working outdoors will dehydrate you which can lead to two negative outcomes, the first outcome to dehydration is poor recovery, water is greatly needed for absorption of vitamins, minerals and electrolyte replacement. The next issue with being dehydrated is the human body cannot tell the difference between being hungry and needing water therefore being dehydrated could potentially lead to overeating leading to putting fat on.


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2)      Training Abs


Doing crunches and sit ups are great for strengthening your abdominal muscles but won’t help much with giving you a more visible 6 pack if your diet isn’t right.  In saying this wasting your time doing too much ab work when you could be doing other exercises is highly suggested. A good abdominal training program is doing sit ups on a swiss ball 3 times a week with sets of 5 and reps of 20, this is suffice for stressing your abs to become stronger. A good point to bring up with abdominal training is that you CAN NOT exercise a muscle group and cause fat to be lost in that area. This common misconception is called “spot reduction”. How your body loses fat is going to be genetically based but you can control the rate it will lose fat.


3) Cardio Time and Type Of Cardio


Walking/jogging on the treadmill or footpath in the early hours of the morning before breakfast seems to very accepted as the best time and type of cardio to achieve fat loss & seeing your 6 pack.  What if you can’t do this time due to other commitments, can’t do this type of cardio due to restricted time or injuries, or purely don’t like this type of cardio?


Simply put there is no opportunistic time to perform cardio. So, for all you blokes out there who start work in the early hours of the day, don’t stress!  You don’t have to wake up at 3am to achieve your 6 pack goal. If you perform 1 hour of cardio before breakfast, after a workout or before bed, you’ll still see the same fat loss results from all 3 times mentioned above.


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The next question in this mini topic is “what type of cardio is best”?  This really depends on the individual’s preference.  For the author of this article, swapping between either LISS (low intensity steady state) or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) works great for preventing boredom or worse not doing cardio at all. So for all you blokes using the excuse you haven’t got time for cardio isn’t good enough. A great HIIT session is doing sprints on the treadmill, try doing 30 seconds of sprinting on a speed you are ok with followed by 90 seconds of fast pace walk cycled through 8 times will really get that heart rate pumping and get you that one step closer to 6 pack abs.


4) Lack of Sleep


This sounds a lot easier said, than done, but if you aren’t getting sufficient amount of sleep then you’re ruining your chances of getting a 6 pack. When dieting for fat loss, your body can produce a hormone called “cortisol “which will slow your fat loss results down, make you lose muscle mass and even make you moody. In conjunction with dieting for fat loss, and having lack of sleep, your cortisol levels can go through the roof, making all that hard work with your dieting and training wasted. Not to mention, how many of us are likely to break our diets when we are stressed and mentally tired? That BBQ chicken pizza and 12 donuts with 1 litre of ice cream looks good when we are super tired am I right gents? How much sleep should you get a night? Try for at least 6 hours a night optimally 7.5 hours a night is best for mental and physical recovery, anymore isn’t exactly necessary but is nice.


5) Stopping Your Creatine Supplementation


A lot of people have a misconception that supplementing with creatine monohydrate will make them hold fat, or make them hold water, giving them some sort of puffy look. Creatine will not give you this puffy look or hold onto fat, simply put creatine does draw water, but makes you draw water intramuscularly, so if anything will give your muscles a more pronounced look. So why take creatine when trying to get ripped abs for building and maintaining your strength? An individual who is stronger will see faster fat loss results, which has been widely concluded through many scientific studies.


6) Lifting Light Weights


When starting a gym program, getting back into the gym, or swapping your goals of bulking to cutting, so many men will drop the weight they are lifting for higher reps. For example if they can bench press 100kgs for 8 reps they’ll go to 80kgs for 12 reps. Dropping the heaviness in your weights will more than likely lead to muscular atrophy (muscle loss), ever heard of the term “if you don’t use it you’ll lose it? “ If your muscles have been developing on a certain stress level, then backing off that stress level will cause your body to think this amount of muscle mass isn’t necessary anymore for your environment to survive.


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Why does maintaining strength, not lifting too light of weights and keep your muscle mass matter your wondering? Muscle requires energy to exist, so having more muscle on your frame will contribute greatly to your body burning more energy through your metabolism, meaning faster fat loss results and more visible 6 pack.


So there we go guys, take all these points into consideration coming into summer. Some of these topics mentioned may not be applicable to you, and some might be a real eye opener as to why you aren’t seeing your 6 pack or the boys popping out of winter hibernation.



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