Saturday, March 08, 2014
First of all, lets face it: Putting everything else aside, life is EASIER when you’re strong. Carrying groceries? One trip. Children to carry? No problem. Car stuck in the snow? Push it out with ease.
Plus, whether you’re 100 lbs overweight or just need to lose the last 15, strength training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle.
Lifting has been shown to halt and even reverse sarcopenia – the reduction of skeletal muscle that occurs as we get older - which helps us stay independent (and out of a nursing home) and live longer.
But in addition to making life easier, strength training has a lot of great benefits right now. Here are just a few:
Look Good Naked: Strength training helps you lose weight (and body fat) in a few different ways. First, it helps you retain the muscle you have while eating a calorie deficit and losing weight.
Second, strength training has a much greater level of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption than aerobic exercise. What does this mean? When you finish a workout, your body needs to do a lot of work to replenish itself in order to bring itself back to a normal state (the way it was before you worked out). This takes a lot of energy, and some studies have shown that it can boost your metabolism for up to 38 hours after you finish your workout.
Not only that, but strength training can help increase your metabolism by speeding up your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This is because it takes your body more calories to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. Estimates are that for every 1 lb of muscle you gain, your RMR goes up 30-50 calories!
Makes You Healthier: If you’re looking for a workout in which you get the biggest bang for your buck, strength training is it. Strength training increases bone density, builds a stronger heart, reduces your resting blood pressure, improves blood flow, halts muscle loss, helps control blood sugar, improves cholesterol levels, and improves your balance and coordination (turning you from this, to this).
You’ll Feel Better: Not only will you find yourself with more energy and confidence, less stress and anxiety, and a better overall mood, but you’ll actually begin to think better (resistance training has been proven to help increase cognitive function). And while training too close to bedtime can be a bad idea, exercising earlier in the day has been proven to help prevent sleep apnea and insomnia. I even improved my posture – when I started lifting, I was 5’4”. Now I’m 5’5.5”.
Prevents disease and degenerative conditions: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women; Strength training helps correct issues relating to cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and inactivity – all factors for heart disease. Cardiologists are even starting to recommend strength training for people who have suffered a heart attack as little as three weeks after the attack. Who knows, maybe one day your cardiologist will tell you to do some “cardio” and he’ll be referring to strength training!
Strength training has also been proven to help manage and improve the quality of life for people with Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Down Syndrome, Lymphedema, fibromyalgia, who have recently had a stroke, have had a spinal cord injury, cancer survivors and clinical depression.
In addition to ALL of the above, strength training is fun! Whether you are looking for the most effective 20-30 minute workout (to stay fit and look great naked), or are looking for a competitive sport that you can really get into, strength training can help you meet your goals. It’s easy and fun to see progress as you strength train, almost like leveling up. And if you’re looking to improve in other areas (a sport, traditional cardio, or an activity like rock climbing), strength training is an easy choice!
Ok, ok. Enough already. Is there anyone who SHOULDN’T strength train?
Honestly, I did a lot of research on this one, because I wanted to find a single group of people who should not strength train. I even found studies on how strength training can be beneficial for paraplegics. Not to mention it can be safe for children, adolescents, and pregnant women. Obviously, you should take a break from strength training if you’re injured, and always check with your doctor before you start any sort of strength training program, but it’s natural for us, as humans, to move around and carry things.
I’m fat. I need to lose weight first.
Great! Start with strength training :) When you’re overweight, my guess is that you want to be preserving the muscle you have while losing the majority of your weight through fat. With strength training, your overall weight loss may seem slower, but you will lose inches faster. Strength training increases your metabolism; as long as you’re still eating in a deficit, you’ll lose weight.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Squats, Squats, Squats!!!
Now squats have been widely regarded amongst women as being the ultimate exercise to build a great bum & lower body from. However where MANY girls have been saying that squats DON'T work for them (and having witnessed some girls squatting bad), I think they may find that it is infact themselves not allowing the squats to work for them.
This brief post simply explains the theory behind squats and the physiology behind the body’s respond it.
Squats are one of the crucial and most dominant exercises for muscle mass and muscle growth in your lower body.
Now I know many girls want a bigger lower body so common sense tells you to lift heavy, HOWEVER half squats/only going down a little bit SOLELY works on the front of your legs alone, so make the weight lighter so you demonstrate PROPER form #AssToGrass. Once you master the correct form THEN can you increase the weight which when done properly will increase muscle breakdown and promote muscle recovery (helping it to grow back stronger and BIGGER).
By going down LOW, low as in getting your bum as close to the ground as possible, you will start seeing the REAL benefits of the renowned squats. During a DEEP squatting position, ALL muscles in the lower body are activated. As you squat LOW & DEEP the physiology of the body knows that it has to generate A LOT of energy downwards (towards the bottom half of your body where the demand for energy is high). Where your legs may not have the necessary strength to bring yourself up from a squat, the ONLY other place your body can get energy from is from the rest of your body. In saying this, your body strains/fights to drive blood from the upper body towards the lower part of your body (during effective squats your breathing rate increases>>>the blood carries this newly inhaled oxygen towards the body half of your body>>>oxygen is then utilised by the muscles in demand during a squat).
When you are in such a low position the ONLY way is up, so ALL the muscles in your lower body (ESPECIALLY YOUR GLUTES) have no choice but to work together in order to bring yourself up to a standing upright position. With there being a sudden influx of blood (remember the blood is carrying newly inhaled fresh oxygen), this is almost perfect conditions for your lower body as the blood (oxygen) will allow your muscles to work 10times harder* in order to help your body back up to a standing upright position…which is why you strangely find yourself out of breath very easily when doing squats.
*The muscles which will work 10times as hard during this process are your calves(if returning to an upright position on your tip toes), back of your legs (hamstrings), front of your legs (quads), the most sort after muscle (the bum) and you naturally help strengthen your core by engaging/bracing your abs throughout a squat...hence why squats tend* to work all muscles in your lower body.
Ladies understand that squats are just ONE part of the family of leg exercises which aids to generate size and growth. The female body is articulate in the sense that aswell squats, exercises such as deadlifts and lunges also help generate muscle size. There are MANY varieties of squats/deadlifts and lunges which will help curb your enthusiasm and commitment to exercise (as you wont be bored doing the same exercises over and over again). Your other exercises such as donkey kicks, kick backs etc are so more for toning, tightening and conditioning as with these exercises you cant go as heavy (remember heavier weights initiates more muscles breakdown which promotes more muscle growth)
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of cardio equipment for your home, take a look around. If there’s a set of stairs nearby, you already have everything you need to get in shape. Not only are stairs ready-made for a killer cardio workout, but individual steps can be used for everything from lunges and step-ups to upper-body strength moves like pushups and dips. Plus, it’s incredibly efficient. It only takes 30 minutes of stair climbing per week to reap cardiovascular benefits, according to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.
What about its calorie-burning ability? You can burn more than 500 calories with 30 minutes of stair running, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (for a 150-lb woman). Even walking up stairs for a half hour burns 286 calories. That's approximately equivalent to walking at 3.5 mph for two hours!
"Given how exhausting running a stairwell is, a blended circuit works best," says Fabio Comana, MA, MS, NASM, director of continuing education for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Try this total-body strength and cardio workout that mixes stair running and walking with resistance exercises
Equipment and Instructions
To perform the routine, you’ll need medium-resistance exercise tubing (a resistance band will work) and a stairwell. After the brief warm-up, do each of the following exercises in a circuit (performing one immediately after another), taking minimal to no rest between each set. After the entire circuit has been completed, recover for 1 minute before repeating. Do the entire circuit 3 times total.
Use rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to gauge your effort—imagine a scale from zero to 10, zero being no effort at all (sitting in a chair) and 10 being the hardest you can possible work.
Walk up and down the stairs for 3 to 5 minutes at an effort level between 3 and 4.
Sprint up the stairs (8 to 9 RPE) and walk down. Continue repeating this pattern until 30 seconds is up.
Stand at the base of the stairs and place your hands on the third step up (step should be at chest level) in a pushup position. Keep your back straight as you lower yourself towards the stairs and push back up. Perform 12-15 reps.
Anchor the exercise tubing by running it behind or around the stairway banister. Grasp the handles in each hand and step back far enough to feel resistance on the tubing. Pull the handles towards you in a row as you squeeze your shoulder blades down and together. Pause and return to starting position. Perform 12-15 reps.
Stand in the center of the tubing, holding one handle in each hand. Bend your elbows (keeping them in contact with your body) as you bring the handles up towards your shoulders. Slowly return to starting position. Perform 12-15 reps.
Sit on the second step and place your hands on the step behind you, palms facing away from you. Keep your feet flat on the landing, knees at a 45-degree angle, and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the step. Push back up, pressing your shoulders down away from your ears during the entire movement.
Walk up and down the stairs for 3 minutes at a 6 to 7 RPE.
Bodyweight Squats with Overhead Reach
Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat, driving your elbows back behind your torso as you lower. Press back up to standing and you extend your arms overhead. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can in 60 seconds.
Bodyweight Squats with Alternating Arm Reach
Do the same bodyweight squats you did in the previous move, but instead of raising both arms overhead, reach one arm at a time, alternating arms on every rep. Continue for 60 seconds.
Step your right foot forward on top of the first step and lower into a lunge, allowing your left knee to bend at a right angle behind you. As you lower, reach with both arms up over your right shoulder. Press through your right heel and use your glutes to return to standing. Repeat, this time stepping forward with your left foot and raising both arms over your left shoulder. Continue alternating legs until 60 seconds is up.
Rest and Recovery
Recover by walking around on level ground for 60 seconds. Repeat the entire cycle 2 more time, 3 times total, and then cool down by walking up and down stairs at a 3 to 4 RPE.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Working out is hard, but you do it anyway because it teaches you how to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
You do it because:
You want to grow.
You want to get disciplined.
You want to get better.
You want to do the impossible.
So you do it.
Staying the same is an option. It’s the easy choice. But it’s not going to change anything. Eventually, you have to look yourself in the mirror and decide if you want it or not. And, if you don’t, all the motivation in the world won’t do jack.
You have one life to do everything you’ll ever do. Don’t fill it with excuses
Make It A Priority
The only difference between option 1 and option 2 are your priorities. That’s the only difference.
Don’t blame it on something else. Instead of feeling bad about it. Own it.
If eating cheesecake is more important to you than being healthy, living a long life and being there for your kids, that’s fine, but own that decision.
Instead of saying “I don’t wanna” or “it’s hard”, say “It is not a priority.”
Then, go look yourself in the mirror and say that to yourself. It puts things in a whole different perspective than empty-whining about where you’re not where you want to be.
Whenever someone asks me if I can help them to lose weight, I ask them, “How Bad Do You Want It?” If the answer isn’t “REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD” with a hint of desperation in their voice so much so that they’re a little out of breath, 9 times out of 10, they probably won’t succeed.
Realize You Have a Choice
You always have a choice.
Even if you don’t “feel” like it, you can still go do it anyways. You don’t have to be a slave to your feelings or motivations. You get to choose.
Motivation is fleeting. If you decide your actions are dependent on being 100% motivated 100% of the time, you probably won’t accomplish that much.
Everyone has an excuse. Only some people decide to believe them. You choose whatever story you want tell yourself. But always remember you get to choose.
Set Impossible Challenges
You might not be “motivated” because your goals aren’t something you think is worth pursuing.
In that case: Stop thinking so small. Create bigger challenges.
Due to my experience I had to get off my rear and workout...I had to GET myself together:
I get up early even when I am vacation this week going to the gym for 2 hours.
instead of walking on treadmill, I started to jog, run, and walking combined.
Using weights more often.
Do squat drop! ( Yes I sweat a lot)
Drink plenty of water.
Had 2 smoothies per day! Protein and veggies!
Eat eat clean food, yes I cooked everyday!
Looked for different recipes to make different ways of quinoa and black beans.
Less meats I feel much better.
Do I get on the scale weekly? No.... I could tell my clothing are bigger on me. My coat used to be tight on me, but not anymore!! Have to used safety pin! My pants I roll them up from my waistline!
I HAD TO DISCIPLINE AND MOTIVATE MYSELF BY DO SOME THING THAT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. THINGS GET EASIER!!
NO SHORTSCUTS!! NO DIET PILLS, NO MIRACLE PILLS OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL...NONE OF THEM WORKED. WASTING MONEY! USE MONEY ON ORAGNIC FOODS THAT WILL NOURISHED YOUR BODY...BELIEVE IT OR NOT YOU WILL LOOSE SOME WEIGHT...
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