Wednesday, May 08, 2013
8 Running Apps to Help You Train for Your Next Race (2 of 2)
5. Run Half Marathon
Best for: Intermediate runners who want a structured training plan
Cool features: This training program takes runners who feel comfortable running three miles a few times a week to completing a half marathon in just 13 weeks. The app features a built-in calendar to schedule your training runs, saves your stats (distance, pace, elevation, and calories burned), and checks off each completed workout on the calendar—how's that for a feeling of satisfaction? The developers also created 5K and 10K training plans in case you're not quite ready to take on 13.1.
6. Bit Timer
Best for: Advanced runners or anyone who wants to lose body fat, boost speed, or improve overall fitness
Cool features: Most runners (or gym goers) are familiar with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and its proven power to help increase speed and endurance. But rather than blindly poking at the treadmill console or constantly checking your watch, download this super-helpful app to stay focused on your footwork. Bit Timer, which promises to be the "World's Simplest Interval Timer Ever," has a clean and simple interface, making it easy to plug in your desired number of work periods, rest periods, and repetitions.
7. Best for: Cross-training
Cool features: To get in tip-top shape for your race, you can't rely on cardio alone. The Full Fitness app puts a comprehensive exercise library, most with accompanying videos, at your fingertips. You can choose from 30 workout routines designed by top fitness professionals and tailored to specific goal, whether it's losing weight, defining your legs, or improving overall fitness. It's like having a personal trainer in your pocket!
8. MyPlate by LiveStrong
Best for: Runners who want to shape up their diet
Cool features: Getting fit for a race involves more than just running—eating the right foods to fuel your body is just as important! With the MyPlate app from LiveStrong.com, you can track your intake of protein, carbs, fats, and more to make sure your nutrition is on-par with your training goals. With a comprehensive database of more than 1.3 million foods and restaurant items, you can easily keep track each morsel that goes into your mouth. It also features a community of members who can inspire you to stick to your goals.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
8 Running Apps to Help You Train for Your Next Race
1. Couch to 5K
Best for: Beginning runners
Cool features: This app from Active.com will make finishing 3.1 miles a breeze after you complete the nine-week training plan, running just three days a week. You'll pick from one of five different "virtual coaches" to guide you through each workout, plus the app tracks your distance, pace, and routes, and it even shares your progress on Facebook (if you so desire).
Best for: Runners who like a little friendly competition
Cool features: Hold yourself accountable for every mile with Proof, which lets users "compete" with Facebook friends or contacts in your smartphone to achieve fitness goals—or anything, really. Anyone can post a status that they just finished an 18-miler, but this app requires "proof" of completion—i.e. a photo or video. To keep things interesting, the app has a real-time leader board where users make bets, offer words of encouragement, or talk smack to fuel the competition.
Best for: Runners who prefer outdoor training
Cool features: With a database of more than 1.7 million user-contributed routes, filtered by distance and time, the WalkJogRun app takes the monotony out of race training. Choose a "training diary" from the app's pre-set plans or create your own for any distance goal. It's a bit pricier than many running apps, but the incredibly accurate GPS tracking system eliminates any chance for surprises on race day (Are you really running an eight-minute mile?).
4. Upbeat Workouts for Runners
Best for: Any runner in need of musical motivation
Cool features: We've all been there: You're logging miles like a pro with up-tempo tunes to help you keep the pace, when all of a sudden that 90s ballad comes on and totally ruins your stride. The Upbeat Workouts for Runners app uses beats per minute, BPM, to match your cadence with songs from your music library. So your run will never be interrupted by Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" again!
Saturday, May 04, 2013
When you take your whey protein can make all the difference
Contrary to what Consumer Reports would have you believe, supplementing with protein is not only safe but it’s extremely beneficial looking to build muscle and burn fat. Today, we will examine the importance of whey protein. This fast-digesting, muscle-building staple is vital to your efforts in the gym, but you have to observe dose and timing to get all its benefits.
Preworkout, the standard whey protein recommendation is roughly 20 grams, in most cases one scoop of powder mixed in water. This minimal dose helps to preserve muscle during your workout and help you get a jump start on the recovery process afterward. This dose should be taken a few minutes before your first set, but no earlier than 30 minutes preworkout.
Immediately after your workout, but no longer than 60 minutes after, you should take 40 grams of whey. More experienced trainers can take up to 60 grams, but 40 is plenty to maximize protein synthesis at a time when your muscles are craving the amino acids within the whey. And, the more efficient your body is at building muscle, the more efficient it becomes at burning calories, hence whey’s underplayed reputation as a fat-burner. If you miss this muscle-building window, the whey is less effective at rebuilding broken down fibers and is more likely to just fall into the league of ordinary calories.
Friday, May 03, 2013
If you want to be able to increase your metabolism at any time of the day, month or year, no matter where you may happen to be, you must know at least 3 variations of the pushup. Why? Because a pushup involves your facial muscles, neck, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, core, pelvic musculature and legs. I suggest that you start with the standard-grip pushup, the narrow-grip pushup and the fist pushup. If you do not have the strength to complete a pushup in the normal position, then complete a knees-down version. Switch between the standard grip and narrow grip to incorporate different
muscle groups in the chest, shoulders and arms. Use the fist pushup when your wrists are tired or when you don’t want to get your fingers too familiar with a germ-ridden surface. Here’s a good starting point: three times a day complete the maxi-mum number of pushups that you can perform. Throw this habit into your next vacation or long day at work and you’ll be guaranteed a burst in your metabolic rate.
Have a great weekend SPARKERS!!!!
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Boost strength instantly by training one limb at a time
While the benefits of using dumbbells are many, there is one that stands out for those looking to get stronger. Research shows that one-limb (unilateral) training allows you to recruit more total muscle fibers, making you approximately 20% stronger on each rep.
For example, if you were able to curl a 50-pound barbell for 10 reps, you could reasonably expect to curl 30-pound dumbbells (or 60 pounds total) for as many reps. As a bonus, if you should fail before that 10th rep, you can use a free hand to spot yourself through a few forced reps.
Unilateral training is also safer, since there is no risk of getting pinned beneath a barbell. Using dumbbells allows you to recruit more total muscle fibers in order to stabilize your body through each rep, which makes for better gains in overall body composition in the long run.
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