April 17th, 2015 · No Comments · Supplements
In the world that we live in today with it’s fast food, video games and technology that brings quick results with little work, it’s no wonder we have issues with weight control. In addition, many of us have such hectic lives where we are running to work and taking our kids to school or their extracurricular activities grabbing food on the run. Many of us are tired after all that and just don’t have the energy for exercise. We find ourselves slowly but surely gaining weight. At the same time, skinny models are glorified as the image everyone wants.
Out of frustration or maybe just plain laziness on some people’s part (who don’t really want to work at exercise), many are turning to diet pills as a quick and easy way of losing weight.
Many of these diet pills can be obtained over the counter, thereby giving consumers the false impression that they’re perfectly safe. This is not true. In the 1990′s there were a total of over a hundred ingredients, normally found in over the counter diet pills, that were actually banned. Some of the ingredients were found to be outright dangerous to people.
Guar Gum is a product that was used in several brands of diet pills. The claim was that this ingredient would swell once in the body to help promote a feeling of fullness. It was later found that this Guar Gum actually caused blockages in the stomach and throats in some individuals.
Another ingredient called PPA was pulled from the market by the FDA because they were concerned with it’s connection to strokes.
Typically diet pills do not offer long term effects. While they may help one to lose weight in the short term, the individual hasn’t changed their bad eating and exercise habits so once the pills are stopped the weight will be regained. Additionally many people do not realize that diet pills usually have a poor interaction with prescription drugs. If one is taking prescription medication, it’s very important to speak with your doctor before attempting to try any diet pills.
Another ingredient in diet pills was found to cause some potentially dangerous problems for users. This is Fen/phen. This ingredient, which has been touted as the miracle diet drug of choice among the current generation, was found to be connected to heart problems.
The best thing anyone can do when looking to lose weight is to work on changing their exercise and eating habits. Exercise more, even if you are super busy and just too tired at the end of the day, as little as twenty minutes of walking will get your metabolism moving, and give you more energy too. Change your eating habits. Avoid fast foods and all the sugary drinks that bombard us each day and replace them with healthy fruits, vegetables and juices.
You’ll find that with just a few changes in your normal every day habits will make a huge difference over time. Difference that is long lasting as opposed to the quick lose and gain that diet pills usually cause.
April 17th, 2015 · No Comments · Bodyweight Workout
It is no secret that exercise is something that should be a part of everyone’s lifestyle. The reasons or motives to exercise may be different for each person. Some want to lose weight and burn fat. Some want to build muscle. Some want to improve health and performance. But regardless of the reason for exercising, everyone wants the “best” exercise program.
This is where the problems start. What is the “best” workout? And the fact is, there is not one workout program that is right for every person and every goal. So, instead of trying to find the absolute, ultimate best workout… use the workout that is best for you and your goals.
In my opinion, the use of bodyweight calisthenics and dumbbells is the best way to exercise for just about any goal. So, regardless of what workout program you decide is right for you, they should include bodyweight and dumbbell exercises. Here’s why…
Exercise Is About Movement
Unfortunately, when people think about exercise, they think about muscles. “This exercise works this muscle”. This way of thinking originated and was made popular by bodybuilders an is now mainstream. The problem is, the majority of exercisers are not bodybuilders!
The truth is, exercise is about movement. It is about being able to move your body around in an efficient manner. It is also about being able to move around other objects, of a variety of weights. That is why bodyweight calisthenics and dumbbells are great for training the body to move either with or without weighted resistance.
Bodyweight Calisthenics Are Perfect For Training Unweighted Movements
Many people have been trained to think that exercise is weight lifting and cardio. Use weight lifting to improve strength and build muscle. Everything else falls in the vague category of “cardio” and improves heart and lung function. This is the wrong way to think about it.
Just think of all the challenges of work, sport and life that require the ability to move your own body around. The real world is full of challenges that don’t fit into the weight training/cardio format. So, use bodyweight calisthenics to train the body to move the way it was meant to move… without added resistance.
Dumbbells Are Perfect For Training Weighted Movements
The other type of challenges you’ll face in sport, work and life requires the movement of a weighted object. And more often than not, this movement will be done with both limbs in unison, one at a time or in an alternating fashion. So, train yourself for these real world challenges by using dumbbells as your weighted resistance.
The furthest away from real world training you can get is using gym machines. Being strapped into these machines train muscles, not movements and make only small improvements to real world abilities. You do want to perform great outside the gym don’t you?
As you can see, the combination of bodyweight calisthenics and dumbbells is perfect for training the body to move both in weighted and unweighted situations. Not only will this improve performance for real world challenges, but it builds great looking bodies as well. To better prepare you for the challenges of bodyweight and dumbbell workouts, your body will shed that ugly fat, build athletic muscle and improve cardiorespiratory endurance. So, if you’re looking for the “best” workout, look no further than bodyweight calisthenics and dumbbell workouts.
April 16th, 2015 · No Comments · HIIT, Home Workout
An overlooked concept that has been making the rounds again, HITT might just be the answer to your hunt for a new and different six pack workout. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and involves doing specific periods of high intensity, high cardio training coupled with lower levels of training. This system is different from your run-of-the-mill interval training in that the periods high intensity are higher and the periods of rest are shorter than in regular interval training. It is entirely possible to complete an entire workout in about 10 minutes using HIIT.
Background of High Intensity Interval Training: Fartlek
No…it’s not an impolite word. It simply means ‘speed play’ in Swedish. The first early examples of High Intensity Interval Training were developed in the mid 1930′s by a running coach named Gosta Holmr. He was tired of seeing his cross country teams get beat all of the time, so he developed fartlek as a way to increase their speed and endurance. The beauty of his system is that over the decades it has proven to be highly adaptable to all types of sports, and it is similar to the quick bursts of activity that occur in many sports. A version of it is also currently used in Quantico Va. to train officer candidates for the Marine Corps.
The Science behind High Intensity Interval Training
As noted by S. Boucher (University of New South Whales, School of Medical Sciences) there have been numerous medical studies that seem to indicate that true HIIT training can result not only in a high degree of fat loss, but also improvements in aerobic and anaerobic fitness, and a significant decrease in insulin resistance, which is terrific news for anyone with diabetes. The effects on people with diabetes and people that are severely obese have shown promise in assisting them to normalize blood glucose levels and lose weight in an effective manner.
Why HIIT It
One of the many advantages of HIIT is that is takes a very short amount of time to complete a workout. Completing a HIIT workout in about 10 minutes or less is expected and reasonable, considering the level of physical activity. True HIIT training involves working to as close to 100% of your capacity as possible. If, for example you decide to use a treadmill or stationary bike, you would run as fast as possible for 10 seconds, and then lower your intensity to a mid level jog for 20 seconds. You would repeat this cycle for 4-6 sets for the entire workout.
Intensity is the key to this. It will cause extreme discomfort to be at this level of training-Most people use what’s called the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion. This scale is a self measure tool that works on how you feel while doing the exercise. It generally goes from 1-10, with 1 being the lowest level of exertion and 10 being “I feel like I’m dying” level. The hard core, high intensity level training sends your muscles into an anaerobic state requiring your entire body to work to complete the workout. This leads to additional fat burn that extends to periods long after the initial workout.
When Not to HIIT It
This high level high intensity can also be one of the drawbacks to doing a HIIT workout. If you have any underlying medical conditions, this workout should only be attempted if you’ve checked with and gotten the okay from your healthcare provider. Anyone with cardiac problems should probably not attempt it at all. This workout will place a great amount of stress on your cardio-vascular system. Your heartbeat will go as high as 170 during the intense phase and will not drop by much until after the session is complete. You will have difficulty breathing as well, even if you are in reasonably good shape.
How to HIIT It
For the standard HIIT workout you should warm up for about 3 minutes at about a level 2 or 3 intensity. You’ll be at a pace that you could maintain long term. Along with the walking warm-up you will want to do some light stretching for your legs to prevent hurting yourself.
For the actual exercise phase, you will increase the treadmill to as fast as you can go-an all out run. This will jolt your body’s flight or fight response and will result in the increases in heartbeat and breathing mentioned earlier. After 10 seconds of all out running, slow to a moderate-fast walk or slow jog for 20 seconds. Repeat these steps-fast then slow 6-8 times. You will find that it will get increasingly more difficult to complete each set as you go. This is the way it’s supposed to be. You may find that completing even a few of these is too intense-do as many as you can. Try to work up to a total of 8 sets of this for the entire workout.
After you have achieved this HIIT level, you can work on increasing the amount of time spent in the all out run phase. Gradually increase your run phase to 15 seconds, with a 45 second ‘rest’ in between. Note that the recovery time is double the workout time. This is important as you increase or decrease times on your own. True HIIT training has a 1:2 ratio of effort to rest.
HIIT should not be done more than every other day- you will not receive greater benefits by doing more, and in fact you open yourself up to overtraining and injuries if you don’t allow your body to rest in between HIIT days.
Some people will decide at this point to go on to do more training-this is a good time to add in some resistance or weight exercises for your six pack workout to your routine as your body is primed for maximum workout results.
There are many different programs out there that offer all sorts of complicated routines for doing HIIT. There are even a few people selling specific and very expensive machines for these types of workouts. While each might have their advantages, I believe that the simple approach is the best. At it’s stripped down best, HIIT is all about maximizing your workout in an efficient manner to get good results. You can do this workout with a treadmill, a stationary bike, a regular bike, or a stopwatch and your own two feet.
April 16th, 2015 · No Comments · Home Workout
At home dumbbell workouts are better for reaching your fitness, fat loss and physique building goals than gym machines. It is hard to believe that these hand held weight training tools can replace a room full of expensive equipment. But it is true, which is welcome news to some exercisers.
In tough economic times, the gym membership is one of the first things to go. Many gym members calculate the cost of each gym visit and realize it is just not worth it and that the money can be best used elsewhere. But what are they to do? Should they give up their dreams of a fit, lean, athletically muscular body along with their gym card?
Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, ex gym goers should look at this as an opportunity, not a drawback. Now they are free to take responsibility for their fitness, fat loss and physique and explore highly effective training methods they may have previously overlooked… like at home dumbbell workouts.
Exercise Is About Movement
Walk in to any commercial gym and… listen. Just listen to other exercisers to see what they are saying. Inevitably, you will overhear talk of what MUSCLES a certain exercise works. You’ll hear a trainer explain to a new client that this gym machine “works the glutes” or “hits the lats”. And you’ll hear enthusiastic gym rats talk about “pumping up their pecs” or “blasting their bi’s”. It is clear… they are concerned with specific muscles the exercise works.
But focusing on muscles is the wrong focus. Exercise is about movement, not muscles. You performance improves because of your ability to better MOVE either your own bodyweight around, or a weighted object. And ironically, training to move better strengthens the muscles needed for the movement and makes them grow… resulting in the athletic, lean, muscular body most exercises strive for.
Dumbbells are better for training weighted movement than gym machines. Therefore, they are better for creating the physical changes that lead to higher performance and a more attractive appearance. Let’s look at gym machines first…
Gym Machines Restrict Your Movement
Strapping yourself into a machine and working against resistance in a predetermined movement pattern is a lousy way to train. Even if you can get the machine set right for your body type and size, the movement is completely foreign to any movement you’d find in the real world. This makes if less effective!
Oh, but I forgot. You are training muscles, not movements, right? If that is your only concern, sit down, put on a seat belt and push and pull in these foreign ways. But if you want to improve the way you perform (and look) OUTSIDE the gym, you need to train movements. And that’s where dumbbells come in.
Dumbbells Train Your Body Like It Moves
Dumbbells are an extremely versatile training tool. You can use them together, one limb at a time or in an alternating fashion. This means they closely mimic movements you’ll find in real world activities, sports and work. This means more physical improvements you can see, feel and USE!
Now, just don’t think that by switching to dumbbells you are free from the “muscle vs movement” problem. Most dumbbell workout are designed by bodybuilders who are ONLY concerned with muscles. And they use the versatility of the dumbbells to “isolate” specific muscle groups. This is not the way to get the most from your dumbbell training!
A well constructed dumbbell routine uses a wide range of exercises to train every movement imaginable. And it does it in a way that most closely relates to movements you’ll find in the real world. Using a full body workout that uses dumbbells in unison, one at a time and alternating is one of the best ways to improve fitness, burn fat and build an athletic body. If those are the reasons you use gym machines, it’s time to quit the gym and get yourself some dumbbells. If you are considering quiting the gym to save some money, this could be a blessing in disguise. Take this opportunity to break out of the “training muscles” mindset, and start using dumbbells to train movements. I think you’ll be happy with the performance, health and appearance RESULTS you get. At home dumbbell workouts will become your new best friend.
April 16th, 2015 · No Comments · Bodyweight Workout
There is some debate among fitness professionals about the best way to burn fat. Some say long, slow, aerobic exercise is best. Some say high intensity interval training is the way to go. But bodyweight calisthenics? Until now, nobody considers the fat burning power of high intensity bodyweight workouts.
Let’s look a three ways you can use bodyweight routines to burn more fat than your regular workout. If you have tried long, slow cardio you probably didn’t get the results you wanted. And for some, the more effective interval training is too intense for their fitness level. But bodyweight calisthenics are a great choice for the beginner and advanced exerciser.
Do Morning Calisthenics To Boost Metabolism
First of all, metabolism refers to the chemical reactions of breaking down food into energy. And when you are sleeping your metabolism slows down. After all, you are not eating anything or exercising during your sleep (or at least you shouldn’t be).
So to kickstart your metabolism you should exercise. And the most accessible and useful forms of exercise in the morning is bodyweight calisthenics. So, when you wake up, a couple of quick circuits of bodyweight exercises and calisthenics gets your metabolism rolling and sets the pace for the rest of the day.
Important: the other thing you want to do to get your metabolism rolling is to eat breakfast.
Use Bodyweight Interval Training Instead Of Boring Cardio
Traditionally, many people turn to boring aerobic exercise to burn fat. If you’ve ever jogged on a treadmill or use an exercise bike for 20-30 minutes you know what I mean. Even though interval training is commonly held to be better at burning fat, many people still think aerobic cardio best.
But what if you combined your boring cardio with bodyweight intervals? Not only would your break up the monotony of the cardio workout, but you would burn more fat as well!
Here is what I mean. Suppose you are going to ride the exercise bike for 20 minutes. Every 5 minutes jump off the bike and do a quick circuit without rest of a lower body, upper body and core bodyweight exercise. Then get back on the bike and repeat for the full 20 minutes.
What this does is break up the breathing patterns and effort levels of your workout, making it harder. Harder work means more calories burned.
I would also contend that using your full body for your cardio actually builds a better, more muscular body. Plus, it is just more fun!
First of all, Juggernaut? Yea, a Juggernaut refers to an unstoppable crushing force. And that is what you will become when you do these type of workouts. Plus, you’ll burn a ton of fat.
Much like the Bodyweight Interval described above, you are going to COMBINE resistance training with cardio training. But instead of just doing this for the “cardio” portion of the workout, you are going to do this for the ENTIRE workout.
Think of doing circuits of different bodyweight exercises alternated with traditional cardio. You end up doing strength exercises when under cardiorespiratory stress, and cardio exercises when under muscular stress. This make one tough workout. And also, the tougher the workout the more fat is burned.
If burning fat is a concern of yours, I think you can see bodyweight calisthenics are a great tool. Unfortunately, most people overlook bodyweight exercises as a fat burning tool, and end up never reaching their goals. I hope this article has shown you some quick ways to incorporate bodyweight calisthenics into your workout and reach your fat loss goals.