SAILOR64   19,655
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The Theory behind Muscle Confusion

Thursday, January 10, 2013

As a journalist, I do a great deal of research into subjects before I write about them and I try to gear my writing to my audience. When I do research on health or fitness topics I look at the quality of the source material I base my research on and the SCIENCE behind the source material. I don't use just one source either. I try to use as many as possible.

Before we go any further let me clear one thing up: I do not endorse any particular fitness program, series, video or routine. Nor do I recommend any specific exercise program. I am not a doctor, licensed fitness expert or a guru. I'm just a guy who has done a lot of research into the area of fitness and exercise both academically and physically.

First let's get rid of the myths...

1. Muscle confusion is a specific scientific term. It's NOT. It's a marketing term used by the fitness industry to sell exercise programs and videos. I use the term "muscle confusion" in its most generic sense because it is a phrase people can easily understand.

2. Muscle confusion is "junk" science. This is usually said by people who have a different program to sell based on some other fitness "theory." Again, I am not selling anything, I'm just borrowing a phrase.

Here's what I mean by Muscle Confusion: "Grouping muscles in different activities so as to promote development and reduce the plateau effect."

We have been doing this for years, just calling it different things. Does anyone remember "Cross-training?" Muscle confusion goes beyond cross-training into whole body training and fitness. It applies several different fitness disciplines that are not necessarily sport specific. It goes beyond combining weights and cardio workouts. Muscle confusion uses a combination of strength training, cardio workouts, stretching, yoga, dance, martial arts training, calestenics, fitness drills, and much more.

I do several of these during my 2-week routine.
1. I split my strength training into three sessions a week concentrating of different muscle groups during each workout.
2. I do cardio everyday but change my form of exercise from day to day using stationary bike, elliptical machines, treadmill, swimming, and stair climbers.
3. I also stretch every day after my warm up but before my real workout begins. I spend 15-20 minutes stretching and often combine it with a yoga or dance class like Zumba or an Insanity type workout.
4. I do fitness drills on the days when I lift weights. It helps with coordination, development of fast-twitch muscles, balance, and they are fun. The nice thing about them is they only take about 10 minutes.

If you would like to learn more about my theories on Muscle Confusion stay tuned. More is coming.

Until next time, GET WET, Get Fit and JUICE to you!

Jonny Mac

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANER2014 1/13/2013 10:19AM

    I've wondered about muscle confusion. Thanks for explaining. emoticon

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GORIANA 1/11/2013 11:26AM

    This is good to know. Thanks.

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TAYLOR19881 1/10/2013 12:32PM

  I am going to start using this technique in the gym! Thanks so much! :)

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How to Swim Faster - Part II

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

I was at the pool today and while I was swimming I was thinking about my Blog entry for today. I couldn't get yesterday's subject out of my mind. I was in the pool with 12-14 other people, both men and women, most of whom were much older than I. I swim in a lane by myself because I swim so much faster than everyone else.

After my workout, a man in the lane next to me asked, "What's your hurry, son?" I guess he called me "son" because he was 20+years older than me. I responded "No hurry, that's just how fast I swim." He just shook his head and went back to his set.

When I came out of the lockerroom a young woman about 25 asked me what my secret was. I responded "My secret?" She said "Yes, how do you swim so fast?" I told her I practice swimming fast. She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. So I explained.

I practice swimming fast every day. At the end of my workout I swim sprints. I swim 25's "all out" as fast as I can with 10 seconds rest between each lap. Or I swim 50's as fast as possible, kicking as hard as I can for the last 10 minutes of my workout. I ended with her, "I practice swimming fast just like a sprinter in track practices running fast."

It isn't always about how far you swim, or how long you spend swimming. Sometimes it's just about HOW you swim. Practice swimming fast without sacrificing technique.

GET WET and JUICE to you all.

Jonny Mac

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GORIANA 1/11/2013 11:29AM

    I agree with H.

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HEATHHILL 1/10/2013 8:51AM

    Keep up the amazing blog posts! They are really helping to inspire me (she says somewhat selfishly)! emoticon

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How to Swim Faster

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Lately several Sparkpeople have asked me "How do I swim faster?" or "What can I do to swim faster?" Every time someone asks me a question like this I'm reminded of a question I asked my brother once.

You see, my brother is an excellent golfer. At 48 he is still a 1 or 2 handicap, and as anyone who knows golf will tell you, that's great for an amature golfer. So my brother and I were playing golf one day and I asked him if he could give me some tips to lower my score. He responded by asking me "How often do you play?' I said that I play once every six weeks or so. He told me to become a good golfer I need to play every week and practice 3-4 times a week at the range. But first, I need to take some lessons.

Made sense to me. And that's the first question I ask swimmers who want to swim faster, "How often do you swim?" I've been swimming for more than 40 years and teaching swimming for more than 30 years. I have taught and coached at several levels of swimming and during that time 2 simple truths have come to light. In order to swim faster you must improve your stroke or improve your endurance.
Both require PRACTICE.

If you are only swimming once or twice a week, if will be very difficult to swim faster for long distances. Swimming endurance is different from running endurance or biking endurance because a swimmer uses the relatively small muscles of the arms and back to move the body through water. Runners, bikers and other athletes use the large muscles of the legs to move through air. That's why competitive swimmers practice 5-6 days per week sometimes twice a day.

Now I'm not suggesting you need to spend 40 hours a week in the pool to increase your speed. However, like my golf game, you need to get in the pool 4-5 days per week for an hour and practice if you want to swim faster.

Good luck, GET WET and JUICE to you all.

Jonny Mac

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEATHHILL 1/9/2013 8:46AM

    That was GREAT information!!! Thank you for sharing it.

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Happy New Year Everyone

Monday, January 07, 2013

Happy New Year Everyone.

Whew! What a turbulent 2 months I have had. We had a severe family illness, 2 dear friends have departed this world for the next, and it seems like all I've done the past 10 weeks is eat. But this is a new year and I have rededicated myself to a happier healthier me.

I really have no excuses. In fact, if I would have worked out more I probably would have felt better about all of the challenges I've had to face recently and I would have been stronger for it. But I let the negativity of my situation creep in and derail me. I used it as an excuse to over eat, over indulge, over everything. I let my negative mental state control me, not the other way around.

Now I am back in control. I am in control of my mind and my body. I have cleared the junk out of my head and my refrigerator, and believe me cleaning out my fridge was the hard part. LOL I have set a goal of 50,000 sparkpoints for the year. Yes, you read right. 50,000 points!

I figure 1,000 points = 1 pound of fat and I have 57 pounds to lose. I have adopted the mind set that losing weight is fun. Think of all of the endorphines rushing through your body. Concentrate on how good you're going to feel when you are 5, 10, 20, 50 pounds lighter. Clear out the clutter and release the inner more positive you that's been locked away for so long.

I recently found a picture of myself from when I was 17 years old or so. I had a 26-inch waist and weighted 135 pounds soaking wet. Which was my condition most of the time because I was on the varsity swim team at school. But aside from how good I looked and how well my clothes fit, I remembered how good I felt. I was healthy, happy, athletic, could work all day and not get tired. It was a great time in my life. I want to recapture some of that. So I took a pair of old cargo shorts with a 33" waist and tacked them to the wall in my gym as a reminder and a motivator. I also took that photo and put it on the front of the fridge and another on the pantry door to remind me "healthy feels better than any of the food in the fridge or pantry tastes. And I made another choice...

I am turning back the clock. I'm going back to those days. I'm going to structure my day like I was in school.
6:00 - 7:30 Swimteam practice.
7:30 - 8:00 Get ready for work/have breakfast
8:00 - 9:00 1st period: Composition - Daily Blog
9:00 - 10:00 2nd period: Reading - Research
10:00 - 11:00 3rd period: Gym class: get out and move around for 50 minutes (Treadmill/Elliptical)
11:00 -12:00 4th period: English - Research
12:00 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 1:00 Study Hall- Spark people Blog
1:00 - 2:00 5th period: Writing - Draft editorial
2:00 - 3:00 6th period: Social Science - Correspondence/Phone calls, etc...
3:00 - 4:00 7th period: Math - Daily Accounting
4:00 - 5:30 Lift weights
5:30 - 6:00 Free time
6:00 - 7:00 Prep dinner
7:00 - 7:30 Dinner
7:30 - 8:00 Clean-up Dishes
8:00 - Homework: Sparkpeople updates to gain points.

It's not as structured as it sounds. But if I don't schedule the time to exercise, I won't do it. If it's part of my daily routine it all gets done. I don't have all of the time wasters, the starting and stopping and starting again. If I eliminate the distractions I get more done, I feel more productive, I alleviate unnecessary pressure and stress caused by thoughts of failure, and I feel better about myself and my day. I have my mind in the right place for success.

Join me. Share your goals and ideas. I would love to read them.

Until next time, Stay Wet and JUICE to you all.

Jonny Mac

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOUNDLOVER1 1/7/2013 1:34PM

    Great plans! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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The tale of the TAPE, how to really measure Success!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Hey Everyone,

I received an email the other day from a follower who asked, "If the scale isn't your friend and you don't weigh yourself, how do you know if what your doing is working?"

I thought this was a great question. As I have said in my posts in "The Guys Lounge," "40-Somethings with 50 or more pounds to lose," "Team Florida" and others, I measure my success with a tape measure. No, really. I use a tape measure because I don't really care how much I weigh as long as I'm getting smaller than I am today and more healthy too.

Not only do I use my measurements as a gauge for success, but I also look at my blood pressure, cholesterol levels (both HDL and LDL), and body fat measurement. I do these on a monthly basis and don't dwell on it in between measurements. For me it's about the workouts and my overall fitness.

I know that as I become more physically fit, my body will naturally lose body fat, my blood pressure will come down, my resting heart rate will come down, my waist and other body parts will get smaller, and my endurance will improve.

So, lose the scale and pick up the tape measure along with a blood pressure cuff to measure your success. You can also lose those body fat calipers (they are so inaccurate it's not worth the effort).

Give it a try and see if you don't feel better about yourself.

JUICE to you all!

Jonny Mac

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GORIANA 10/16/2012 1:13PM


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MARIAJESTRADA 10/9/2012 9:19PM

    Hear hear! I stopped measuring my success based on the scale when I plateaued for three weeks and started getting demoralized. I don't even use a measuring tape, but I try to increase my fitness goals every week. (Yesterday, I did 30 sit-ups. Yay!) My body fat is still too high, so I am hoping to lose a certain percentage by February, but really, I'm done playing the numbers game. emoticon

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MELLIE1030 10/9/2012 8:45PM

    I rely on my clothes.

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TRYINGTOLOSE64 10/9/2012 8:43PM

    I prefer not to use a tape measure but go more by how my clothes are fitting.

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