Tyler McPeak

The Importance of Sleep

Even though some say sleep is the cousin of death it is quintessential to optimize our overall health and well being.   Personally, I've dealt with several sleeping issues as I'm sure everyone else has as well.  Everybody is different and everyone's body requires a different amount every night to feel your best each and every day.  It wasn't until

The Importance of Sleep

recently that I got back to a normal sleeping pattern.  The reason for my sleep loss before October 2010 was stress.  Stress is one of the leading factors of sleep loss and it caused me to have insomnia (the difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, or having nonrefreshing sleep for at least 1 month. Symptoms: Difficulty falling asleep on most nights; Feeling tired during the day or falling asleep during the day).  Once I got hired at GYM 5 to open it Monday through Friday my stress was relieved but I had to get up at 5am which led me to having to take naps everyday and feeling groggy.  More side effects of lack of sleep include irritability, grogginess, the inability to make decisions or follow through with cognitive functions. It will cause hallucinations, dozing off during activities and even throughout the day, etc. A continued lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, anxiety, depression, lethargy and fatigue. A chronic, or pathological, sleep disorder will often result in an immune system deficiency. Severe sleep deprivation can ultimately lead to death. These inevitabilities clearly show the importance of sleep. Sleep is our bodies’ way of rejuvenating. It is the period in which we lower the energy levels expelled each day, our muscles and soft tissue are repaired and revitalized, and our mind is able to process memories and things we have learned for the day.  I'm happy that I've gotten back to a normal schedule and I'm listening to my body more to stay away from weight training or cardio when my body needs rest.

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Nutrition Advice From a Natural Professional Bodybuilder

If you have been following my blog for a while now you will often see me speak about my good friend and old training partner Matt Liller.  He is a Scivation sponsored athlete and a Musclemania Natural Pro.  As you can see by these images he obviously knows what he's doing.  The last time we had spoken was over Christmas break in

Universe Weekend 2010 - Earned Pro Card

Roanoke,VA when we got a couple of workouts in.  After training with him and my other good friends Ben Bowles and Chris Edmonds, which are also bodybuilders, I was easily influenced to start training as a bodybuilder again.  For the past couple of days Matt and I have been shooting emails back in forth to get my diet down to a T.  Since I'm preparing for what I feel is the most important shoots of my life (at the Arnold Classic weekend) I want to be in the best condition I've ever been in.  With his guidance I am fully confident that I will be absolutely shredded.  I've never been this meticulous about everything and I'm looking forward to seeing the end result!

Golds Gym Roanoke,VA Dec 27 2010

He is the definition of dedication and discipline.  When I told him that I've been having several cheat meals every weekend his response was that he went for 16 weeks without a cheat.  This is pure motivation and inspiration for me.  Matt will also be at the Arnold working the Scivation booth.  We will also be filming a workout video.  To learn more about Matt make sure to check out his youtube channel and his most recent interview with Simply Shredded

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Health Benefits of Hummus

Hummus is a popular dish that originated in the Middle East. It is a spread, dip, or paste made of chickpeas and tahini that is usually eaten with pita or any other flat bread, often during breakfast. It has a texture and consistency similar with peanut butter. This Middle Eastern favorite is widely used in countries like Syria, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Lebanon. Its popularity is rooted not only from its delicious taste but also from its great nutritional value.

Several ingredients are used in making hummus but the primary ingredients are chickpeas and tahini. Chickpeas, which are more popularly known as garbanzo beans, are high-protein legumes cultivated in the Middle East since thousands of years ago. Tahini, on the other hand, refers to sesame paste. It has a strong flavor, which is why most people only use this ingredient sparingly. Other ingredients of hummus include lemon juice, salt, fresh garlic, paprika, and olive oil. To make this dish, all the ingredients are simply ground down until they form a smooth paste. Seasonings are added to taste.

1. Health Benefits of Chickpeas

The nutritional benefits of hummus can be rooted down from each of its ingredients. For one, chickpeas are very healthy because they do not contain any cholesterol or saturated fats. They are also rich in protein. This makes hummus a favorite among vegetarians. Chickpeas are also known to be effective in preventing build up of cholesterol in the blood vessels. Apart from that, it can maintain correct blood sugar levels.

2. Nutritional Value of Tahini

Tahini, meanwhile, is full of fat and calories. However, the fact that it is used sparingly in most hummus recipes and that it mostly contains unsaturated fat means there is not much to worry about. Like chickpeas, tahini is also high in protein. Apart from that, it is a great source of calcium.

3. Healthy Ingredients in Olive Oil

Another healthy ingredient found in hummus is olive oil. As most people know, olive oil is a healthy fat. It has high monounsaturated fat content but low in saturated fat. This oil can thus help regulate cholesterol and protect the heart from various diseases.

4. Health Benefits of Garlic and Lemon Juice

Garlic and lemon juice, meanwhile, are filled with antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in the body. They also work to improve immune functions and fight of bacteria and viruses.

5. General Health Benefits of Hummus

Hummus as a whole contains plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for improving intelligence and maintaining a healthy heart. On top of it all, this dish also has iron, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, folic acid, and amino acids. Tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine are the amino acids found in hummus that can promote good quality sleep and uplift one’s mood.

Humus is loaded with nutrients that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Include this in your diet by using it as spread on sandwiches and wraps, and as dip for raw vegetables.  Over the weekend I used 1 tbsp and spread it over a chicken breast and it was VERY tasty.  Give it a try but just like any thing else DON'T OVER DO IT.

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Health Benefits of Bananas

Bananas consist mainly of sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and fiber, which makes them ideal for an immediate and slightly prolonged source of energy. Read the many benefits of bananas!

Cardiovascular Protection from Potassium and Fiber

Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.

 In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

Reducing Depression
Bananas contain tryptophan, an aminoacid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood
Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body's hemoglobin function
Constipation and Diarrhea
Due to their content in fiber, they help restore a normal bowel function. In addition, diarrhea usually depletes your body of important electrolytes (of which the most important is potassium, contained in high amounts in bananas). They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract.
Eyesight Protection
Research published in the Archives of Ophthalmology has proven that adults consuming at least 3 servings of fruit per day have a reduced risk (by 36%) of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.
Bananas are high in B vitamins that have been shows to improve nerve function
Stress Relief
Bananas are high in potassium, which helps normalize the hearthbeat and regulate the body's water balance. During periods of high stress, our body's potassium levels tend to be rapidly depleted: eating bananas is a healthy way to rebalance them without using drugs
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No Time for Excuses

Poor preparation equals poor performance. Over the years I've heard the same things over and over.  I don't have enough time to eat healthy.  I don't have enough time to cook.  I was in a rush and I didn't have anything so I had to eat fast food.  All of these excuses (To explain (a fault or an offense) in the hope of being forgiven or understood) will get you NOWHERE in your journey to physique progression.  If you’re willing to put the time into the gym everyday or however much you train, don't you want to see the visual changes in your body?  So this being said, I wanted to give some basic advice on food preparation.  Cook in BULK.  This will eliminate any excuse that you may be telling yourself or others around you.  This will keep the progress coming and will allow you to not have to  think of  what you’re going to eat next which will most likely lead to unhealthy decisions when you don't prepare.  When you already have it planned out  it makes it A LOT easier to stay on track rather than eating one healthy meal  and not knowing what you might have for your next meals.  This is setting yourself up for failure.  Remember making excuses will get you NOWHERE.  My suggestion would be to prepare food for 2-3 days.  The only foods I do not cook in bulk are egg whites and anytime I have fish.  Buy some nice Tupperware and a small cooler.  Most days I will just use zip lock baggies and eat my meal right out of the bag cold.  If you are away from home all day long, make sure to take extra food.  It's better to have a little extra rather then not having enough and ending up starving and making a poor choice. This is where the EXCUSE will set in.  I know this is a monotenous way to eat but when you want something bad enough you will do what it takes.  Food will always be there and every meal of your life doesn't have to be feeding a craving or be tasteful. Discipline, Dedication, and Persistence will guarantee you the body you DREAM of obtaining.


Health Benefits of Protein

What is Protein?

Proteins are the building blocks of any living organism. They are composed of chains of 20 different kinds of amino acids. Proteins constitute life in the form of enzymes, antibodies, hormones, hair, nail, bone, teeth, hemoglobin (blood protein), neurotransmitters, skin or as the basic components of any cell in our body

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  These amino acids are necessary for building muscle and blood. There are 22 amino acids, which are divided into two categories, including essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids. The body can make some of the essential acids on it’s own, but certain amino acids must come from eating foods containing protein.

Essential amino acids:

Essential amino acids are amino acids human body can not synthesize and there fore they have to be supplied in the diet. List of essential amino acids: Valine, threonine, leucine, lysine, isoleucine, methionine, phenyalanine, and tryptophan.

Non-essential amino acids:

Non-essential amino acids can be produced in the body as long as the carbon, hydrogen, oxygen (from fats or carbohydrates) and nitrogen components are supplied in the diet. List of non-essential amino acids: Alanine, cysteine, glycine, serine, histidine, tyrosine, cystine, proline, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and glutamine.

Health Benefits of Protein

There are many health benefits of protein. Eating enough protein is essential to maintain a healthy body. If the body sustains an injury, such as a cut, protein helps with tissue repair. Along with carbohydrates, protein provides energy for the body which helps keep us from becoming fatigued. Another  benefit of protein is helping the body fight off illness and disease and keeping the immune system functioning properly.  Protein also helps build skin, hair, nails and cartilage. Because the body does not store protein, it’s important to eat healthy protein everyday.

My suggestion for anyone is to take a minimum of 1 gram per bodypound.  I personally take in 1.5-2 grams per bodypound every day. I suggest eating lean sources such as white fish,egg whites,chicken breast,turkey,occasional steak,occasional salmon, and nuts. Also protein shakes are a great substitute to make sure you are getting enough daily.


Chemically Enhanced vs. Natural

1/22/11 Nashville,TN

As you might have read in my previous article, Say No to JUICE, I explained my issue with not ever thinking I was big enough.  So I wanted to put these digitals out there to show everyone the difference in my physique when I was chemically enhanced and now that I’m natural (with no photoshop).

winter 2008 Roanoke,VA

The digitals of when I was on steroids were taken near the end of my 8 week cycle. Ever since I had gotten into modeling in the summer of 2007 my initial goal and dream was to work with Muscle & Fitness magazine.  In my head I figured I could obtain this goal once I was chemically enhanced.  Little did I know that playing the size game is not the road to take.  As you can see by the pictures I was still carrying quite a bit of body fat.  I was relying on the drugs to do the fat burning instead of focusing on giving nutrition 100 percent and cardio 100 percent.

1/22/11 Nashville,TN

My manager at the time, Adam Silver of Silver Models, sent these to Muscle & Fitness and their response was that I needed to be tighter and leaner.  This made me so frustrated because I couldn’t see myself and to me I thought I was good to go. But now looking back at these and seeing my condition I understand why I never worked with them.  Through my short journey in the modeling industry it has been such a roller coaster of emotions and battles.

Winter 2008 Roanoke,VA

Now that I’ve obtained a physique naturally and healthy and I feel like myself again, I’m setting out to do everything that I had ORIGINALLY intended to do when I first got into this industry.  That is living a HEALTH & FITNESS lifestyle and to being an INSPIRATION to others and helping those wanting to achieve a healthy and fit physique reach their goals.


Make sure when you get a chance to check out my latest interview,  I discuss my favorite music,tv shows, my opinion on cardio, also the importance of pre and post workout nutrition as well as my favorite cheat foods :)



Gym Etiquette the Basics…

  1. Smell normal - nobody wants to workout beside someone that smells like they have not showered in a few days.
  2. Wear clean clothes and shoes -  clean clothes goes hand in hand with odor.  Don't come in the gym wearing shoes that are tracking dirt all over the place.
  3. Re-Rack Weights - Don't be lazy put up what you used.
  4. Clean Equipment - After your done especially on cardio wipe down your machine.  On weight benches and machines etc put a towel down.
  5. Talking - If your going to talk make it quick and during rest period in between sets. Otherwise your holding up the piece of equipment.  I personally do not like to talk at all during my workouts.  I'm their for a purpose and I don't want to lose my focus.
  6. Leave your ego at the door! if you can't lift it correctly don't lift it at all!

Feel free to add any others that I did not list in the comments.


Health benefits of a White Potato

I believe one of the biggest misconceptions of white potatoes are that they  will make you fat and are unhealthy.  It is not the potato that will do this to you it's how you eat them.  Whether your using sour cream, cheese, bacon, and other condiments this is what makes eating a baked potato unhealthy.  So next time you go to eat a potato make sure you do not fry it. Don't load it up with unnecessary calories.  Suggestions to add flavor would be use a little ketchup or fat free ranch along with a couple sprays of  I can't believe it's not Butter.

Potatoes are nutrient-dense, meaning you receive many nutrients for the amount of calories they have. The fiber is half soluble, half insoluble, so it helps to keep you regular and helps to lower cholesterol. And slowing down digestion helps to keep you full longer. Phytochemicals in potatoes include flavanoids and a recently identified compound called kukoamine that appears to help lower blood pressure.

With the exception of vitamin A, white potatoes have just about every nutrient. Did you know potatoes are full of vitamin C? However, since we do not eat potatoes raw, most of the vitamin C is lost due to the heat of cooking. In addition, one baked potato offers about 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B6, which is good news for your heart. They are also very high in potassium, beating other potassium-rich foods. They are a good source of iron and copper, too. In fact, a potato a day is good for your heart, promoting normal blood-pressure levels.