Tuesday, March 04, 2008
OK, No gym today...it's 58 degrees at 9:00 am here in Jersey! I couldn't let that go by without being outdoors and getting my exercise in...went for a run/walk this morning. It was so great to get out in the fresh air. I feel so good sitting here right now. I must say that once again changing my workout delivered big results. I didn't feel as if I had really had an intense workout yesterday as the weight I lifted was a little lighter than usual, but the idea behind the step program must be correct. I can really feel those shoulder/chest/tricep muscles today!
Well, I must say I have a very big concern this morning. My son, the college football player, injured himself yesterday lifting weights. I'm expecting to hear from him today about the severity. He injured his shoulder doing shoulder press. I'm really praying it's just a sprain or such, and that it won't interfere with his off-season lifting. Expectations are very high for him this year(senior). His coach expects big things from him as a captain, and has been telling recruits that he's their expected representative for the Aztec Bowl (for seniors in New Mexico- in December)...so I know he's been pushing himself extra hard getting stronger than he's ever been. I just hope this doesn't slow him down...
They say good things happen to good people, but have you considered that maybe good things happen to those who actively work for them? Life is not a series of random coincidences. Your lot in life is determined directly by the amount of effort you are willing to put towards the goals you want to achieve. Many times a healthy level of assertiveness can go a long way in showing people what you're made of. Don't be afraid to let your inner hero outshine your more logical and reserved self. The return could be huge!
Monday, March 03, 2008
Do you follow what your heart craves?
As odd as it sounds, sometimes our logical minds can hold us back. Have you ever wanted to attempt a new career, run a marathon, or start your own business? Our brains might scream at us that it is safer to do what has been tried and true in the past, but don't let the fear of the unknown stop you! We all spend a lot of time worrying and little time examining the calling of our own hearts. What are you passionate about? Is there a way that you can honor these feelings in a responsible way? Trying new things can be terrifying, but following our passions can make us feel alive and become some of our most memorable moments in life. The thrill of love, the depths of grief, and the joys of a new career...all would be impossible without passion.
Passion gives us a reason to get up everyday, to live life beyond what our expectations may be. Passion makes your heart beat, and grow with every thump.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Organize your training to rally maximize the benefits of using dumbbells, barbells, and machines. There is order in which you can use each type of equipment to improve your results. It's called "Three-Step Teaining" and it can help you gain more strength and develop better physique in three simple steps. The whole idea of the Three-Step training centers on the stabilizer muscles. Rather than specifically training the stabilizers, however this system minimizes stabilizer fatigue so you can maximize your major muscle strength and development.
In general, stabilizer muscles (such as the rotator cuffs) lie deep under your major muscle groups (in this case, the delts); the former are typically smaller and weaker than the latter. Yet stabilizer muscles play a critical role in securing the joints during various exercises that major bodyparts perform. When you reach failure on an exercise, it's often due to stabilizer fatigue and not true fatigue of the majory muscle group. When the stabilizers are tired, the brain limits nervous system input to the major muscles to prevent injury from occurring. Free-weight and cable exercises requrie more stabilizer muscle involvement than mcahine exercises. And within the realm of free weights, dumbbell exercises require more stabilizer help than barbell moves. That's because with dumbbells, each arm is allowed to move in all directions at the shoulder joint, wheeas with barbell exercises the arms can move in fewer directions because both hands are fixed on the bar. Among cable exercises, one-arm moves (such as the one-arm seated row) call on more stabilizers than two-arm cable exercises (such as the wide-grip seated row.) Finally, machines(which include Smith machine and selectorized weight machines) require very little stabilizer involvement, since they follow a predetermined path that doesn't permit deviation.
Thus the order of involvement of the stabilizer muscles from most to least goes 1) dumbbels and one-arm cable exercises 2)dumbbells and two-arm cable exercises 3)machines. By performing exercises that require more stabilizer involvement earlier in your workout and exercises that require less stabilizer involvemnt later, you can more effectively train your major muscle groups. This leads to superior gains in strength and development in a shorter amount of time.
With the Three-Step Training program each step of your workout progresses to a different type of training, each with less impact on the stabilizers. This allows you to optimally train the major muscle groups without the stabilizers limiting your intensity later in the session.
Step 1 is a dumbbell or one-arm cable exercise; because these moves require more stabilizer help, do them when your stabilizers are strongest.
STep 2 is a barbell or two-arm cable exercise, which require less stabilizer involvement than the Step 1 movement.
Step 3 is a machine exercise, which involves hardly any stabilizer muscles and basically targets the major muscle.
For legs the dumbbell or unilateral cable exercises just don't apply. The key to Step 1 is allowing each limb to work independently. For legs, simply choose a single-leg exercise for Step 1. This has the same effect as using dumbbells for upper-body muscle groups - involvement of more stabilizer muscles.
In Step 2 for legs, choose a two-leg freeweight exercise. Thsi has the same effect as barbell or two-arm cable moves for upper body - it involves less stabilizer muscles than Step 1 moves but more than Step 3.
Finally, Step 3 use machine squatting type exercises (leg press, or hack squat) as well as leg-extension and leg-curl machines. Yes, legs involve more exercises because you're training two muscle groups - quads and hamstrings.
Stepping Stones: Mondays=chest shoulders Tuesday=back and abs Thursday=thighs and calves Friday=arms and abs(For abs and calves use a standard program-the three steps aren't overly beneficial to these two bodyparts.)
Flat-bench Dumbbell Press 3x10 25lbs
Incline Barbell Press 3x10 55lbs
Pec-Deck Flye 3x15 60lbs
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press 3x10 20lbs
Barbell Upright Row 3x10 35lbs
Machine Shoulder Press 3x15 45lbs
One-ARm Reverse-Grip Cable Tricep Pressdown 2x10 25lbs
Lying Triceps Extension EZ curl bar 2x10 30lbs
Machine Triceps Extension 2x15 45lbs
I wrote up the program for this week using a three day lift, next week I'm going to the 4 day lift.
A married couple in their early 60s was celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant.
Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table saying,
'For being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish.'
'Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband' said the wife.
The fairy waved her magic wand and - poof! - two tickets for the Queen Mary II appeared in her hands.
The husband thought for a moment:
'Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I'm sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me.
The wife, and the fairy, were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish.
So the fairy waved her magic wand and - poof! - the husband became 92 years old.
The moral of this story:
Men who are ungrateful bastards should remember fairies are female.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Today is a beautiful sunny day and moderately gold (low 50's) so I'm inspired to get a nice walk in today. I'm feeling more refreshed and like myself again.
I've been reading a lot of posts on the site and talking to different members, and it occurs to me that what we all lacked in our past efforts is the true ability to accept change as a part of our lives forever. I think that "forever" scares us and causes doubt to enter out subconsciouseness. I know for me, one little bad habit that shows itself, can be a cause of panic. Like, "oh no, I'm eating late night snacks again, that's what caused me to get to 299 lbs"...but I know that there is no way in the world that I will allow myself to go back. This time I understand that eating healthy foods, is not only good for me, but they taste good too. I can enjoy food for it's nutritional value, just as much as for the taste/sensations/feelings that it used to evoke in me. I enjoy a night out to dinner for the time I spend with my husband/family/friends instead of for the overeating or drinking. I also know that exercise is more than just sweating and straining. It's connecting with yourself, and feeling strong, long after you've done those bench presses. Seeing muscles develop in your once flabby body makes you feel strong and capable of anything. I never felt those things before, nor viewed the process in this way. I always thought of it as a temporary fix and though I would think I was "changing" my ways, I never truly accepted those changes as permenant. Most importantly, I never enjoyed them, and now I do!
Saturday, March 01, 2008
So, today I really seemed to have hit the wall. After rebounding yesterday for a really energetic day, today I just sat and read all day. No TV, (I walked my son's dog 3 times and gave her a bath-dogsitting again)no music, just peace and quiet. Not sure why I'm feeling so beat, though it could be my body's way of staving of the illness that continues to be passed around among my family members(my oldest daughter now appears to have the flu), but it could also be the hard training I've done for the past 2 months. I'll see how I feel tomorrow morning, I may do the spinning class or I might just walk/run outside, it's supposed to be fairly nice here in Jersey.
Intersting article today: Will letting fruits and veggies sit in the fridge or on the counter affect their nutritional value?
You may have heard this one before: The longer you store fruits and vegetables, the more nutrition they lose. That's false, say Belgian reseravhers who found that stroing certain fruit and vegetables either at room temperature or in the fridge did not result in a loss of antioxidant content. According th the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study, antioxidant capacity of produce remains stable over time up until the point you may classify them as a science experiment. What produce ar storage stars? Black grapes contained the highest antioxidant levels, followed by bananas, cherries, green grapes, lemons, strawberries and plums. Red and yellow peppers topped the ranking for the vegetables and were followed closely by spinach, broccoli and garlic.
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