Slow things down to speed up results!
Sometimes, in fact very often, what we need to do to jump start our results is to make a change simply for the sake of change. But it is always a good idea to use science to help guide that change.
So here is a really good idea for you, with the science to back it up. Slow down your exercise dramatically. When you lift weights more slowly you send a very strong signal for change when compared to quicker motions. Long-term this results in teaching the body to be effective at moving slowly, but in the short term you can get extra fibers engaged in your exercise, which is usually a good idea.
Use a count to keep track. When the weight is going down and gravity is winning you should use an 8-10 second count, then pause for 1 second, and use a 4 count to return the weight to the starting position. That gives you 13-15 seconds per rep. The constant state of tension can really help get your muscles sore, is very safe and a great plateau breaker. Just remember to use about 80% of the normal weight for your rep range because you will find that you wear out pretty quickly and your muscles will be in fire! Good luck, have fun and remember to leave a comment, post on Facebook, DIGG it and email it to someone that may enjoy it!!!
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Imagine for a moment that you are stranded in a desert (not stranded in ice cream, but the Sahara... get your mind out of the gutter!). You know that you are stuck for a long time with no chance of rescue. You also know that you are 100 miles or more from civilization. Now imagine that all that you have is a back pack full of food and 2 gallons of water for supplies.
Are you going to waste any of that water? You will not waste even a drop! In fact you will likely establish some sort of rationing system for that water. Why? BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO DIE!
Now imagine that you are stranded just as far from civilization, with the same pack of food and water, but you are in a rain forest where you can partially refill your water supply at anytime with rain fall. You will likely not waste water but the emergency surrounding your water no longer exists.
These are the two scenarios that dieting puts your body into. All diets restrict calories in the hopes of burning fat in place of the food that you skipped. Over dieting creates a desert like situation where the body thinks that it/you are in grave danger and it conserves its available stoDres of energy, body fat. Strategic dieting cuts enough calories so that you will still burn fat but does not put your body into Emergency Conservation of fat.
The number one rule in weight loss is that you must write down everything that you eat and drink. This is the ONLY way that you KNOW what is happening with your food. Don't estimate, don't assume, just follow the damn rule! Once you are following this rule it is easy to make adjustments up or down because you will have a formal history to learn from.
In conclusion, make sure that you are eating, make sure that you are tracking what you eat, make sure that you are patient enough to let your body do the processes over time that will give you the body that you want and make sure that you seek help when you get frustrated rather then mess yourself up by making semi-educated guesses that dig you into a whole.
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When it comes to getting results in fitness we should be doing all of the basics like eating right, tracking our food, doing cardio, lifting weights ect. But sometimes you think that you are doing everything right and for some reason are still struggling to get what you want.
Here is one quick trick that there is no excuse not to do, but I catch clients skipping all of the time. USE THE MIRROR.
Have you ever noticed how gyms are filled with mirrors? There is more to all that reflection then just vanity. For some people they have trained themselves not to look in the mirror. To each their own when they are away from the gym. But if you want results then you need to use the mirrors.
The obvious reasons are the reality. If you are using a mirror you will find yourself cheating ALL of the time. It is very difficult for an expert exerciser to 'feel' a cheat, and for a beginner... forget about it. Use the mirror to make sure that you are getting the most out of each set.
Also, if you aren't happy with the way that you look, use the mirror to inspire you. Be strong enough to look in that mirror and get a little bit pissed off, then use that anger to push yourself more and more.
So don't let self loathing sabotage your results. That mirror will really help you get what you need from your gym experience. I promise that if you stick to it, and do all of the tricks that you have read about in this blog, that someday you will look into that mirror and smile because the new you is fantastic!
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This is a guest post by an impassioned gentleman named David Haas
It is no big secret that cancer treatments are exceptionally rough on a person’s body. While not everyone reacts the same way to treatments, common side effects that most people experience are often difficult. These include fatigue, depression, nausea and a myriad of other unwelcome symptoms.
However, the side effects are no big deal when compared to dying of cancer that is not treated. There are many different treatments out there for cancer and whether someone is going through chemotherapy to breast cancer or rare and intense mesothelioma treatment, exercise can help fight the negative side-effects.
For those that are suffering cancer and undergoing treatment and those that have overcome cancer and live each day wondering if it will ever make a reappearance; there is something that they can do to help alleviate the symptoms that treatment provides and to decrease their chances of having a second bout of cancer later in life. This miracle treatment is not a drug or even a treatment at all; it is exercise. Doctors and medical professionals have spent years studying the effects of exercise on cancer patients and former cancer patients and the results are astounding.
Experts believe that a mere two and a half hours of exercise per week – or broken down further, 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week or even further, 22 minutes a day 7 days a week – will decrease a woman’s chance of having a recurrence of breast cancer by 40 percent and of prostate cancer by 30 percent. It also helps to relieve symptoms of cancer treatment such as depression, fatigue and nausea.
Additional benefits of exercise combined with cancer recovery include a number of benefits, such as an improved quality of life, a stronger immune system and a better mood. Exercise improves quality of life through making people healthier from the inside out. The immune system is improved in large part from the good hormones that are produced from exercise; they remove the bad hormones produced by stress and anxiety that tear down the immune system and allow it to become stronger to better fight the cancer and accept the treatment methods.
Exercise also produces endorphins that improve mood. People are often in a better mood when they are finished exercising because of the endorphins released in their bodies. Exercising makes everyone healthier in a myriad of ways, from helping the body inside to making it look better on the outside and people that exercise are in a better mood. Knowing that what they’ve just done is going to make them healthier and their bodies look better is enough to make many people feel instantly better. A boost of confidence is a boost of everything; no one is happier than confident person and confidence is something every
cancer patient needs.
This is great information because the latest research shows that it impacts 95% of Americans! Did you know that sleeping dictates how your body chooses to store or burn body fat? There are lots of hormones that are impacted by your sleep, many of which impact your weight. With this post we are going to address only 2, but there are many, many more, so this is just the tip of the iceberg.
These 2 hormones specifically help control your appetite. They are called Leptin and Ghrelin. How they work is that Leptin is produced by fat cells and helps tell your body when you are full. Ghrelin is produced in your intestinal tract tells your body when you are hungry. So what is the connection you ask?
Not sleeping enough drives down Leptin levels. In essence your lack of sleep is telling your body that no matter what you eat and how much you will never really feel full. Secondly you have Ghrelin. When you don't sleep enough Ghrelin levels rise, making you hungrier.
What does all of this mean? Not sleeping encourages you to eat more! And we all know that eating more calories then you burn will make you gain body fat. In fact, studies have shown that lack of sleep can induce overeating by up to 45% extra calories. So if you should be eating 2,000 calories and are sleep deprived that these 2 hormones could be telling you to eat as much as 2,900 calories just to feel full. At that rate you would be gaining over 1 pound of body fat every 4 days! YIKES.
This brings us to the vicious cycles. Overweight people suffer from several weight related sleeping problems. Typical discomfort from the contortion of lying down can be enough to keep you from sound sleep. Then there are dysfunctional sleep issues such as sleep apnea, which can also be weight related and causes severe sleep issues.
To sum it up. Help yourself get healthy by ensuring that you are getting proper sleep! Start the positive cycle of sleeping to boost your metabolism, burn more fat, sleep more comfortable and burn more fat!
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The new year is here and with a new year you may want to consider a new strategy for you health and fitness. Lots and lots of Americans put off addressing their physical health until the craziness of the new year has passed. Guess what, it has passed. Before you know it the sun will warm the sky and you will be thinking about shorts and bathing suits. It happens every year. What is in question is whether you will be excited to see yourself in those cloths or be dreading it and scrambling to get fit, and then taking crazy and stupid action to try and recoup the last 3-4 months of weight loss that you SHOULD have been doing!
There are some simple steps that you should take to make sure that this is a great year when it comes to your health and fitness. Follow these steps and you will be glad that you did. Ignore them and you will... frankly nothing will change and you will spend another year lamenting what could be! If you have read this blog before then you know that this is not going to pull punches! You have been warned.
- Get off your ass! We all know that a week, a month, heck even years can slip passed in the blink of an eye. Don't let this happen to you again.
- Set short term and long term goals. It can be small goals set-up like a plan. Like goal 1, get a gym membership or join a boot camp, goal 2, go shopping and fill your pantry with healthy foods. Make sure that the small goals lead to the big goal. This will get you in the habit of accomplishing what you set your mind to.
- Take action. Do it now, today, this moment. Pick up the phone and call a gym. Call a trainer. Call your friend who also wants to lose weight. Do something to get this ball rolling.
- Have some fortitude. There is never an easy time to make life changing decision. Change is difficult and you are going to want to quit over and over. Stick to it! Know that health and fitness is a journey and not a destination, so there is no end where you get to stop!
- Get help. If you have failed at this before then don't fall for the same trap again. There are TONS of great support systems (no, your spouse does not count!) to make this process more manageable. Get that support and you will be astonished at the difference that it makes.
- Get professional. If you aren't qualified to do this process now then get qualified. It can be through experience with a professional or formal education, but just winging it, again, will get you the same crummy results and make you want to quit!
- Open up your check book. Memberships aren't free, home equipment isn't free, Trainers aren't free and nutritionists aren't free. SO WHAT??? Either is your cable, your phone, your car. Be willing to invest in yourself!
- Don't quite. (step 4 repeated) You are going to have challenges and set-backs, guaranteed! That is life. This is the one bet that you should always double-down on rather then fold. Lots of you will skip steps like5, 6 and 7 and try to do it on your own. When that fails DON'T QUIT, just go back to step 3 and start over. This is my job, trust me.
When it comes to weight loss the concepts is pretty simple. Eat fewer calories than you burn and your body will have to find a short term solution, hopefully to burn fat. There are all sorts of things that we can do to improve the process like exercise, build some muscle, eat the right kinds of foods, meal frequency and so on. But all of these things take energy and focus, but it is NOT rocket science. So I asked myself what do I and other successful trainers do that is so damn valuable?
Of course we bring all of the science, tricks and experience into to help speed up the process and hopefully make it more fun, but it is really something else that we do.
Drum roll please!
"NO!" Yep, that is it. We tell you NO! Over and over we tell you NO.
"No, you cannot eat that... No, you cannot skip this exercise... No, you cannot make-up for this tomorrow. No, No, No"
Ultimately, the best advice that you can get from anyone when it comes to losing weight is NO! There is not a negotiation, there is no wiggle room, that answer is simply "NO". We are your conscious on steroids.
It is not that everyone does not have a desire to lose weight. In fact lots of people get so fed up that they just do it on there own. But for those out there that are strong some days and then other days not so strong and try to justify, negotiate or otherwise deviate from the plan, then this is for you:
"NO, NO, NO!"
When it comes to choosing a gym there are always several things to consider. Luckily there is an organization called IHRSA that tracks all sorts of gym and fitness related stats to help you decide what is going in with the fitness in our country and abroad. IHRSA is kind enough to track everything fitness and tell us what makes the world go 'round, at least our world.So what criteria does IHRSA say should you use to choose your gym? The answers may surprise you...
- Location - The single most important aspect of choosing your gym should be ensuring that it is close enough to either your home or your work for you to be able to use it easily. Regardless of features, classes and other offerings if you don't use it then they are useless.
- Location - I know that this is listed twice because it is twice as important as anything else...
- Amenities - If you have to have a kids club, if you love classes, if you are required by a doctor to do low impact water aerobics, then this is what we in the biz call a condition. This means that if your gym does not offer you what you need then it had better far exceed your needs, otherwise you just won't use it.
- Hours - For many people a facility has hours that easily meet our needs, but if you are one of those people that works out at odd hours then this is certainly important. For example, if you are waiting at the door every morning for the facility to open then it might not be the right choice for you because if that front desk person is a few minutes late it could screw you out of a workout.
- Price - Sadly, this is the main factor that most people use to choose their gym but should not be such a factor. This is important and if all factors are equal then by all means save yourself a few bucks, but be cautious about what you give up to save yourself $.30 per day...
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If you have had the weird weather like we have had here then summer officially started today! Summer is great because you get to wear shorts everyday without concern of rain or cold, flip flops are standard and you get to show off that body the you HOPEFULLY have been creating for the last 6 months!
The hourglass shape is what best defines what we see as fit. So how do you best build the hourglass shape?
The first key is to shrink your waistline. No this is not achieved by doing crunches. That is more than old school, it is flat out wrong and not effective! You need to burn off that ab fat and that is by burning as many calories as possible while restricting calorie intake. So keep your diet in check this summer and work the crap out of your legs. You read that correctly, work your legs.
Legs are BY FAR the biggest muscles in the body, so logically they burn the most calories while they workout but also while at rest. The best adage that I have heard about this is "strong legs equal small waist".
Next, build some shoulders. An hourglass is the shape of something going from wide to thin. If you add just some shape and posture to your shoulders then you will enhance the illusion and improve your overall look.
Finally, remember the afterburn. When you exercise you will burn some calories after you are done while you recover from that workout. The harder that you work the longer the afterburn effect (usually). Cardio generally lasts up to 90 minutes while weight training can last up to 48 hours. So get your butt into the weight room every other day so that your body becomes a calorie burning machine at all hours of the day.
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Turning fat into energy is a process, not just a simple supply and demand issue. Your body is built to ensure your health and well being so when you have asked it to turn fat into energy the body has many security alarms that you trigger. If you want to burn lots of fat and not have negative consequences then you need to be a thief in the night and make sure that you have avoided all of your body's security measures!
Trigger 1, Metabolism: When you starve yourself enough to burn fat your body will want to know if it needs to protect you from starving to death. Eating many small meals, taking vitamins and minerals and drinking plenty of water tells your body that there is plenty of food around and can help protect your metabolism.
Trigger 2, Organs: Your liver is the organ that does the majority of your fat metabolism so ensuring that it is fed with Lipotropics (fat loss nutrients) is essential for it to operate effectively. Also, when you stored that fat you also stored toxins with it in the same fat cells. When you burn that fat those toxins are released into your system and your kidneys have to filter them out. If you are dehydrated your kidneys will not function properly and those toxins can make you ill.
Trigger 3, Hunger: Hunger is satiated by several different mechanisms. You can stretch your stomach and feel full, you can get all of the nutrients that you need to feel full and you can eat high fat foods to feel full. If you never feel full then you won't stick to your nutrition plan. Each low cal foods like veggies to fill up, drink tons of water to stretch your stomach and eat often so you never get sooo hungry that you are out of control. Also, eat veggies 30 minutes before you meals to help control your portion sizes. Finally, taking vitamins can tell your system that you are NOT lacking nutrients which helps your body stay in your minds control.
Do you really think that your body wants a whole bag of chips? Or a whole carton of icecream? Or that midnight meal that you never tell your spouse about? NO, it doesn't. What it wants is something that you didn't give it during the day and you set off all of the body's alarm systems and to protect itself not only is it slowing down your metabolism it has put your hunger mechanism into overdrive. You would need far more self control then most people have to stay strong. When I do that I can't sleep until I fill up! I will lay there in bed and toss and turn until I feed myself!!!!!
All diets are the same in the sense that they restrict calories. The reason that some diets seem to work better for people than you is that completely by accident they are fulfilling these needs for their system with that particular diet plan. If you plan ahead and use these simple Trigger Avoidance ideas you can find your next diet to be far more successful and put yourself in the drivers seat. No more out of control eating, no more cheating and no more