Eat For the Body You Want

*Pops collar of lab coat and stands in front of classroom dry erase board*

You head to the gym six times a week, make sure you do cardio, weight training and drink more water than you thought was possible but still, no results;  nothing’s changing. Before you throw in the towel, have you ever thought that your pre- and post-workout meal options might be sabotaging your success?

What you eat before your workout is a crucial part of fueling and maximizing workout performance. What you eat thereafter is crucial for optimizing the recovery process (which basically begins as soon as your workout ends) and ensuring that your body has everything it needs to recover, adapt and improve in the way you want.

Sure; there’s a ton of research that says that JUST getting your pre-workout nutrition is the key, or  JUST getting post-workout nutrition right is the only way, but the truth is, you need to be spot-on about BOTH meals to see real results.

Pre-Gaming;  Purpose of your Pre-Workout Meal

Pre-workout meals choices are affectionately referred to as “energy phase” and it’s pretty easy to see why; your pre-workout meal single handedly supplies your body with everything it will need to ensure optimal performance during your workout. And, in the cases where a during-workout meal is being used (either in place of the pre-workout meal or in conjunction with it), its purpose is exactly the same. Provided you ate the way you should have for the day, that banana you grabbed on the way to the gym is responsible for enhancing your workout performance and creating readily available blood sugar which increases and sustains your energy. 

Incorporating Pre-Workshop Meals; How do I make this work?

To allow for digestion, have your pre-workout meal  1-2 hours before you begin your workout.

* Removes lab coat to reveal apron*

Carbohydrates and fats are important sources of energy during exercise so you want complex carbs and a small portion of good fats to help you fuel smart.

Pre-workshop, try:

  • 1 tablespoon of Peanut butter, banana on a slice of toast
  • Oatmeal
  • Trail mix
  • Chicken breast with a baked potato

pre workout

Power Down Properly: Post Workout Meals

Congrats! You just made it through a workout powered by #BODYBYZEUS meal ideas. You’re tired aren’t you? You would try to fight me but  you see,  the way your legs are set up after that routine… the best you can do is cast me menacing glances. I know, friends, I know. Drag yourself to the fridge and let’s talk post-workout fueling.

Here’s the thing; you don’t change your body at the gym. What you do at the gym is the catalyst that forces your body to change, over time when you’re NOT working out.  In many ways, your recovery defines your success just as much as your reps do. So your post-workout meal also plays a huge role.  That meal supplies your body with everything it will need to repair, replenish, recover and adapt to the training stimulus that you just provided during your workout.

A good recovery meal supports muscle recovery and growth, refuels (now depleted) energy stores, recreates blood level stasis and helps to promote weight loss (or gain—depending on what you eat and your goal).

Your post-workout meal should consist of protein, to rebuild and repair, and carbohydrates to replace energy stores. Fellas should set a goal of consuming 30-45 grams for the ladies,  20-25 grams is ideal. Make sure to have both simple and complex carbohydrates to minimize protein breakdown and re-fill carbohydrates stored in muscle.

Fine Young Cannibals

Quiet as it’s kept—your body is a stubborn, one-track minded miracle. It is singularly focused on finding and consuming what it needs to survive at optimal levels. So, don’t worry; it WILL have a post-workshop meal, whether you offer it one or not. You can offer it something like what I suggested above, or you can let it eat, well…you.  In its attempt to survive, hungry, depleted bodies cannibalize themselves by eat away at existing muscle mass which, if you are hoping to see physical change of any sort, is exactly the opposite of what you want.

Here are some awesome post-workout treats to try:

 *Do I have to put this apron back on? Ugh. Fine*

  • Vegan protein shake (oh hey, Naturade, hey )
  • Chocolate milk
  • Tuna fish with slice of bread
  • Fruits; blueberries, strawberries, or even a banana ( I suggest having this with a shake along side of it)

Now, as your results start to come in, leave comments and share your progress!  And, if they ask how you got so fly, Tell em’ Zeus taught you.

YOUR NEXT REP: Follow me on Twitter and IG  and feel free to share and comment.  All workout (and thought) partners are welcome!

Field of Dreams

*Scene: Brooklyn classroom in the 1990s *

Teacher: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Marck: I want to be a doctor!

Steve: I want to be a police officer!

Irv: I want to be a multimillion dollar football or basketball player, have a sneaker dealwith Nike, and own three homes on the West Coast.

Teacher: Marck, Steve; great goals! Irv…ummmmm, okay.


“Ummmmm…” , the idea that I can make enough money to benefit generations of Hyppolites by playing a child’s game and by extension, position myself to inspire kids worldwide for years to come, has led me to the conclusion that, yeah, it actually is ‘okay.’

I get it, I get; 1.7 percent of college football players actually make it to the NFL. 1.6 percent of college basketball players actually make it to the NBA. The chances are super slim, but that doesn’t mean that children shouldn’t be allowed to dream as big and bold as they like; that’s kind of the point of childhood.


Why is aspiring to be better than Lebron James or Tom Brady discouraged? Far worse than dreaming big is suffocating from apathy, don’t you think?  There are tons people just wandering aimlessly, not living but rather, subsisting until they don’t have to anymore. That probably sounds kind of nihilistic but the point is that dreams are hope, dreams are life, dreams are the future and frankly, having a dream to follow is worth not believing in a safety net.  About a week ago (I’m sure you read that in your best Bobby Shmurda voice), I sat in the park and watched a kid who couldn’t have been any more than 13 years old walk up to the basketball court. He had on Nike KD gear,  a basketball in hand and he warmed up by shooting around for a bit—nothing out of the ordinary. Except, after watching him methodically sink nine consecutive shots, it hit me: This kid is really about his business and if he wants to go pro, we (society) should support and nourish instead of diminishing that dream.

basketball kid 1

What we want does not always coincide with what society deems as normal. Interestingly, people forget that it’s the dreamers, ‘crazy ones’ and the iconoclasts that end up impacting society most deeply.   People think that kids with potential and drive should aspire to more than running fast and hitting and catching things but that’s because most people also think that sports are the ultimate shortcut to success for not-so-bright people.


Because obviously systematically moving 300-pound men out of my way without hurting myself (or them, frankly)  is blind luck every time and NOT the combination of skilled hand-eye coordination and split second decisions about weight, speed and physics.


But I digress. Parents usually think the  “real world” requires extensive years of classroom education listening to teachers who sound like Ms.Donovan.

However, this discussion wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the inherent racist and classist overtones in people’s disregard for certain sports. Ask yourself: would my teacher have scoffed at my aspirations if I’d said I wanted to dominate tennis, golf, or even swimming? Probably not. But then again, the average kid from “the hood” didn’t grow up with the resources to play such sports. Parents aren’t paying for special training coaches, country clubs, let alone gym memberships. Not  because they didn’t want to, but rather because they could not. Instead,  we  grew up happily playing sports that required a couple friends, little to no equipment and some form of ball which we would pool money together to get (ask Benny from The Sandlot). So does the fact that the sports we grew up playing–which tend to require brute force, “just” being able to run fast, and hit a ball–make them less intelligent or valuable? Think what you will, but in all my years of watching teen movies, the kid labeled ‘dumb jock’  usually got his varsity jacket for playing football, basketball or baseball but the golfers, tennis players and swimmers managed to escape scorn.

At the end of the day, adults mean well. They want children to be safe, happy,  functioning members of society. They want kids to make an impact and for that impact to be as positive and far-reaching as it can be. So…would you believe me if I told you that if we define impact by its breadth, then technically Lebron is more impactful that the President?

Well, you should. When it comes to impacting culture, although being a doctor, lawyer, or the President is an amazing profession, the ability an athlete has to inspire and influence is unmatched. Before you start yelling at me, hold your fire; I come bearing a bit of data.  I compared the number of views on Lebron’s “Announcement to South Beach” to Obama’s “2010 State of the Union Address” videos on YouTube and you know what I found? More people were interested in Lebron’s next move than President Obama’s updates on the nation.

  I’ll just let that info sit for a bit. *sips on protein shake*



Who knew a kid from Akron Ohio would get more attention playing basketball than the leader of the free world?  For that to make sense, you have to ask yourself, “How much could the majority really relate to Obama?” Yes, he’s a black man who has struggled, if not for any other reason than how people perceived his obvious brilliance within the context of his black male body. Be that as it may, his plight is not the same as the average young man in urban America. While I understand the sleepless nights and countless hours of studying that go into becoming a sucess political figure, these games we play, watch and love claim more praise for their role in society than any President could.  Interestingly enough, ‘How to Become an Athlete’  is not taught in the curriculum in your local high schools, but it plays a significant role in how generations of kids are raised. Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, and Tom Brady may all have full spreads in Sports Illustrated magazine, but they also deserve to be in our history books. After all, that is the only place valued information is found…right?

*Carries football into class, puts homework on the teacher’s desk and takes a seat in the front row*

YOUR NEXT REP: Follow me on Twitter and IG  and feel free to share and comment.  All workout (and thought) partners are welcome!