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Ask The Master Motivator: How Can I Motivate My Significant Other To Work Out? Rowing machine workout CrossFit: try it now! CrossFit: try it now! Interval training Interval training Interval training Interval training Interval training Interval training
 

Ask The Master Motivator: How Can I Motivate My Significant Other To Work Out?

Vital StatsName: James GrageBodySpace: JamesGrageHeight: 5-foot-10Weight: 175 lbsOccupation: Co-Founder and Vice President of BPI Sports Q "How Can I Motivate My Significant Other To Work Out?" Just like bills and household chores, fitness can mark a tipping point for relationships. It’s a challenge that might be more common than you think: one person wants to get in shape, and the other isn’t as motivated. It’s a two-fold problem and a recipe for insecurity and jealousy.Your partner might be threatened by your newfound passion and wonder why you’re doing it or who you’re doing it for. You might feel like he or she is unintentionally sabotaging your fitness goals. If you’re steadfast with your goals and start to achieve some success, it can become frustrating when you don’t see your partner making the same effort. You feel like you are trying to improve yourself, look better, and live healthier, and your partner’s lack of passion might upset you.So what do you do if you can’t get your spouse onboard with your new fitness goals and lifestyle? Try some of these tactics to help motivate your partner to make healthier decisions so you can live your lives together as one happy, fit family. 1 DON’T PUT YOUR PARTNER ON THE DEFENSIVE If you want your significant other to be receptive to what you’re sharing, don’t make him or her feel ashamed about current lifestyle choices. That’s only going to spark resentment. You don’t want to bully your loved one into making a change, which often results in a negative outcome down the road. Always keep your eye on the prize, which is having a healthy and happy relationship."If you want your significant other to be receptive to what you're sharing, don't make him or her feel ashamed about current lifestyle choices." 2 EXPLAIN WHY YOU’RE MAKING A CHANGE If your spouse is reacting negatively to your new fit lifestyle, it might be because your loved one simply doesn’t understand why you’re doing it. The solution? Communicate. Have a caring, understanding conversation where you explain the importance of your goals. Explain that you’re doing it both for physical health and for a healthier self image. Let your significant other know that you want to be the best person you can be, and that you want to train often and eat smart so that you can be around longer. Your relationship deserves that.Get your partner involved by asking for help. Some people are more motivated by doing things for others than they are for themselves. In some cases, the desire to help you will be a strong enough motivator for your partner to get active, as well. 3 HELP FIND A MEANINGFUL GOAL Just because you’re focused on achieving your goals doesn’t mean your significant other is equally as amped. Don’t assume your partner is working from your timeline. Instead of expecting him or her to feed off your energy, help your partner create inner motivation by pinning down a goal that has personal meaning. This meaning is going to propel your loved one forward and stay on-track during hard times. It has to create that spark. If your loved one is still having trouble finding a sense of purpose, help him or her set a time-sensitive goal—whether that be looking great in a bikini for an upcoming trip or shaving 20 seconds off a mile time for an upcoming race. This creates a sense of urgency, which might just be the push that’s needed. 4 CREATE A FRAME OF REFERENCE Sometimes we don’t realize how much we’ve slid off course until someone mentions it. One of the most valuable things about a relationship is having someone who cares enough to be your mirror and be honest with you. The important thing is being honest in a non-judgmental and loving way. If your spouse knows you’re doing it out of love, and not just being hurtful, it’ll be easier for him or her to hear the truth.Find a subtle way to bring your partner’s current health issues to light. An old photo or video is a great way for your better half to see how far his or her fitness has fallen. Another helpful reference point is getting your bodyweight and body fat tested together. While it’s a great way to see where you are for your age, it’s also a great tool for setting goals and measuring progress. 5 MAKE IT FUN Remember that not everyone shares the same interests. Explore different exercise-related activities until your spouse finds one that he or she enjoys. Cater to your partner’s personality type. Someone who’s self-conscious might shy away from group classes, while someone who loves heights might take well to bouldering. Remember that you can’t transform fitness habits overnight. First, you have to build a foundation."Explore different exercise-related activities until your spouse finds one that he or she enjoys." 6 MAKE IT A “TOGETHER THING” It’s easy for your partner to feel like he or she has taken a backseat to your new fitness goals. That can lead to resentment. Instead of letting fitness tear you apart, allow it to bring you together. While you don’t have to spend every moment lifting together, take the opportunity to spend some time training side-by-side. Try hitting the stepmill at the same time, or joining each other on a nightly walk or post-dinner run. Having a common interest and common goal can bring a relationship even closer together. 7 HELP CREATE MOMENTUM Getting started is always the hardest part. Find a way to give your partner a supportive initial push without being too forceful. Help your loved one test out fun things while encouraging him or her to dismantle the excuse word “can’t.” If your partner used to like to ride mountain bikes, drop into a bike shop on a Saturday. If you’re with a guy or gal who likes MMA, get a punching bag or sign up for classes at a martial arts studio. If your partner is brand new to fitness, take him or her to the gym for the first time. All of these things are easy to do, but they’re also easily left on the backburner. Help make sure they become action, not inaction. 8 SET THE RIGHT REWARDS Remember to reward yourself when reaching milestones. The act of treating yourself is bigger than a new pair of jeans or concert tickets. Treating yourself creates a positive association with your goals, recharges your batteries, and makes you eager to achieve your next major triumph. Help your significant other create small “stepping stone” goals and a complementary reward system that reflects something your partner really wants to do."Help your significant other create small 'stepping stone' goals and a complementary reward system that reflects something your partner really wants to do." 9 LEAD BY EXAMPLE Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. Just like having your spouse’s support makes it easier for you to stay on track, the same is true the other way around. Stay strong for both of you. If your partner sees you get lax with your training or cheat on your meals, it just makes it easier for him or her to fall off the wagon. In the beginning, you’re going to have to be strong enough for the both of you. 10 ALIGN VALUES If all other efforts fail, take the direct approach and have a serious conversation with your partner about health. Remember that, even though this is a more direct tactic, you want to approach it with love and understanding. If you go in guns blazing, it simply won’t work. You’re just going to make your partner put up defenses. Make the conversation about values, principles, and beliefs. If you’re working hard at getting in shape and being healthy, then chances are you value your health, respect your body, and believe it’s a reflection of who you are as a person. When the personal values in a relationship aren’t in alignment, it’s bound to cause conflict. Take the time to talk things out and come to a mutual understanding. Who knows, maybe next time you’ll be headed to the gym together, hand in hand.About The AuthorContributing WriterVIEW AUTHOR PAGECheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

Rowing machine workout

Rowing machine workout

Hands up if you find the rowing machine a little daunting? We don’t blame you. On a treadmill, you run. On an exercise bike, you cycle. Perfect rowing technique, however, can seem far less straightforward, which means many people are steering clear of this effective piece of gym kit – and missing out on its big-time benefits. But, master the moves for this machine and you can expect weight loss, better fitness and increased upper and lower-body strength – all without the harsh impact that some cardio exercise can have on joints. ‘Indoor rowing is a complete form of exercise,’ explains Olympic rowing coach and Concept2 fitness expert Terry O’Neill (concept2.co.uk). ‘Rowing is a combination of cardiovascular and strength conditioning, making it a great addition to any fitness regime or training programme – for people of all ages with a wide variety of goals.’ Whether you’re a beginner or an Olympian, there’s a way to make rowing a key player in your workouts.Full-body workoutOne of the main reasons that people opt for a workout on the rower to get their cardio fix is because – unlike the treadmill, stepper and stationary bike – it offers plenty of added value. Using correct technique harnesses the power of both the upper and lower body, so your bum, thighs and calves will get a real push as well as your arms and shoulders. Rowing also requires solid activation from your core and back to maintain good form (particularly in the upper back) with each and every stroke, which means that a good session on the rower can hit almost every muscle, offering total-body conditioning. Plus, the cardiovascular movement of rowing gives your heart and lungs a great workout, too. ‘Indoor rowing is great for toning up, as it involves more muscle groups over a wide range of movement, with little pressure on the joints,’ says Terry. ‘No matter why you choose to row, the rowing machine will offer just the right level of resistance for your goals, as well as an infinite variety of workouts.’Fuss-free intensityIf you think rowing is just for steady-state fitness, think again – the machine is great for both endurance and interval training. ‘Because the rowing machine activates a large muscle mass, it helps you achieve better cardio results in less time,’ Terry explains. ‘It can also provide excellent anaerobic workouts complementary to explosive power sport training. Plus, indoor rowing is a great endurance exercise that really helps to boost both your heart and lung functions.’If you’ve ever tried high-intensity interval sprints on the treadmill, you’ll know how annoying it is having to repeatedly press buttons while you’re trying to run to adjust the speed of the belt. One of the great things about the rowing machine is that – although the resistance can be tricky to adjust once you’ve got going – you can control the speed simply by increasing or decreasing your own work rate. So, while some people enjoy longer, steady-state sessions on the rower, those looking for a heart-pumping interval sessioncan get on with focusing on their technique, instead of pushing buttons.Of course, the crucial element here is technique – the better your form, the more efficient your workout. Use the steps below to perfect your stroke and practise rowing at a comfortable pace until you’re ready to up your speed. The rowing masterclassUse these simple step-by-step instructions to get to grips with perfect rowing technique. Remember to avoid letting your shoulders round or your lower back arch beyond its neutral position. Ready, set, row!• Keeping your legs straight, lean back slightly with the handle close to your body and your forearms parallel to the floor.• Extend your arms fully, rocking your body forward slightly and keeping your arms extended.• Slide your lower body forward from the hips until your knees are above your feet, keeping your arms extended.• Push down on your feet to drive your body back, straightening your legs and leaning your body back slightly as you do so.• Pull the handle back past your knees towards your body to return to the starting position. Repeat.

CrossFit: try it now!

Can an all-encompassing, time-saving, virtually free workout that can be done anywhere and at any time really exist? By our estimations CrossFit pretty much ticks all these boxes.   CrossFit was born in 2000, when American fitness expert Greg Glassman applied his work with police cadets to everyday fitness training. He realised the best way to get results was to combine elements of weight training with long and short periods of high-intensity aerobic efforts. There are now more than 3,400 dedicated CrossFit boxes (name given to these gyms) worldwide.What is CrossFit?Essentially, CrossFit is an intense strength and conditioning programme with cardio circuits thrown in. Reebok CrossFit trainer, Steve Bradshaw-Haydock believes CrossFit is the only workout you need because it covers cardio, combat, survival, resistance, plyometrics, bodyweight, and endurance exercises. One minute you’ll be doing heavy weight exercises and next you’ll be sprinting for 400m.Why should you do it?CrossFit has the ability to make you fitter and stronger, as well as boosting your endurance, stamina and speed. The high intensity of each exercise engages your fast twitch muscle fibres, increasing your muscle power and performance. Most CrossFitters do three consecutive days then have a rest day.Regardless of your fitness level, the CrossFit programme can be scaled to your ability. Motivation is one of the key elements of CrossFit. If you finish the WOD before the person next to you, you’re encouraged to rally round them as a team to motivate them through the workout. Plus, you’re encouraged to track your progress by noting down how long it takes to do a WOD or how many reps of an exercise you manage in the specific time, which is a great motivator.Get started…There are currently more than 70 CrossFit boxes across the UK. To find your nearest, visit map.crossfit.com. You can try the workout by logging on to crossfit.com where you’ll find every WOD for the past ten years.Try one - or all - of these CrossFit circuitsTime yourself doing the circuits and monitor your progress. Maintain correct form at all times- don’t let the intensity ruin your form.20 burpees15 reps/12 reps/ 9 reps of: Squats, Press-ups, Sit-upsFinish with another 20 burpeesRun 1 mile, Row 2K, Run 1 mileRun 800m50 back extensions50 sit-upsRepeat 3 times21 reps/ 15 reps/ 9 reps of: Plank walkouts, Press-ups, Sit-ups, SquatsDo 250m row between each roundFor more fitness tips subscribe to Health & Fitness magazine. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1!

CrossFit: try it now!

CrossFit: try it now!

Can an all-encompassing, time-saving, virtually free workout that can be done anywhere and at any time really exist? By our estimations CrossFit pretty much ticks all these boxes.   CrossFit was born in 2000, when American fitness expert Greg Glassman applied his work with police cadets to everyday fitness training. He realised the best way to get results was to combine elements of weight training with long and short periods of high-intensity aerobic efforts. There are now more than 3,400 dedicated CrossFit boxes (name given to these gyms) worldwide.What is CrossFit?Essentially, CrossFit is an intense strength and conditioning programme with cardio circuits thrown in. Reebok CrossFit trainer, Steve Bradshaw-Haydock believes CrossFit is the only workout you need because it covers cardio, combat, survival, resistance, plyometrics, bodyweight, and endurance exercises. One minute you’ll be doing heavy weight exercises and next you’ll be sprinting for 400m.Why should you do it?CrossFit has the ability to make you fitter and stronger, as well as boosting your endurance, stamina and speed. The high intensity of each exercise engages your fast twitch muscle fibres, increasing your muscle power and performance. Most CrossFitters do three consecutive days then have a rest day.Regardless of your fitness level, the CrossFit programme can be scaled to your ability. Motivation is one of the key elements of CrossFit. If you finish the WOD before the person next to you, you’re encouraged to rally round them as a team to motivate them through the workout. Plus, you’re encouraged to track your progress by noting down how long it takes to do a WOD or how many reps of an exercise you manage in the specific time, which is a great motivator.Get started…There are currently more than 70 CrossFit boxes across the UK. To find your nearest, visit map.crossfit.com. You can try the workout by logging on to crossfit.com where you’ll find every WOD for the past ten years.Try one - or all - of these CrossFit circuitsTime yourself doing the circuits and monitor your progress. Maintain correct form at all times- don’t let the intensity ruin your form.20 burpees15 reps/12 reps/ 9 reps of: Squats, Press-ups, Sit-upsFinish with another 20 burpeesRun 1 mile, Row 2K, Run 1 mileRun 800m50 back extensions50 sit-upsRepeat 3 times21 reps/ 15 reps/ 9 reps of: Plank walkouts, Press-ups, Sit-ups, SquatsDo 250m row between each roundFor more fitness tips subscribe to Health & Fitness magazine. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1!

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Interval training

Interval training

You've heard about the endless benefits of interval training, and they can be achieved almost anywhere, any time. But if pounding away on a treadmill in order to get your high-intensity interval fix just doesn't appeal, then why not take yourself to a high-energy, enthusiastic class? Hiitgirl is an all-female class that lasts only half an hour, but is enough to get your sweat pouring, heart pumping and muscle fibres firing.What is it? Hiitgirl is a haven for women who like to work hard, tough it out and get the benefits of exercise without leaving glamour at the door. At its core is ‘high-intensity interval training’ (hence ‘hiit’girl), but the exact format varies from class to class to keep participants interested and their bodies guessing.What are the benefits? High-intensity interval training raises your heart rate, improving cardio fitness. The high reps enhance muscular endurance and the nonstop work does wonders for weight loss.Our class was divided into ‘muscle moves’ (strength) and ‘meta moves’ (metabolism). For the first half, we performed moves like jumping squats, press-ups and lunges for 40 seconds at a time – going hell for leather – with 20 seconds’ rest between each set.The second half adopted a Tabata-style format for 10 minutes (20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, repeat), performing moves like mountain climbers, crunches and burpees. An Ugi ball added a further challenge to the moves that test resistance and stability.The class only lasts 30 minutes but you’re encouraged to work hard throughout. At the end – when we were dripping with sweat and burning – we performed seated and standing sprints on a Schwinn Airdyne, which is like a stationary bike mixed with a cross-trainer. Our upper and lower bodies were forced to work together for an all-over workout.How hard is it? The super-short bursts of intense, hard work make the time fly by, while the swanky setting and community focus distract you from the sweaty graft! Intense but not intimidating, Hiitgirl is suitable for beginners and the advanced alike.Where is it? London and Harrogate. Visit hiitgirl.com.How much is it? From £72 for four anytime sessions or £99 per month for unlimited classes (off-peak).Do It Yourself The studio setting of Hiitgirl is part of what makes the experience unique – the attention to detail with glam décor creates a great vibe. However, if you’re not near Harrogate or London, there is a ‘Fit in 5’ challenge on the website hiitgirl.com. The videos guide you through a speedy, yet effective, workout wherever you are.

Ellsworth woman finds fitness in the face of cancer

18 April 2014

Sno Barry is the kind of woman who gets stuff done. She’s an accountant who just finished up a busy tax season, a wife and mom of two active kids (son Darby and daughter Kristy), and as of this week she’s lost 50 pounds. Since discovering a love of fitness last year, she’s run a half-marathon and is about to compete in this weekend’s Spirit of America bodybuilding show in Carver, Mass., in the women’s physique division.Sno Barry with son Darby and daughter KristyAnd in a few weeks, she’ll undergo her first chemo treatment for stage IV follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a diagnosis made in 2012. Sno, 37, of Ellsworth, says she’s facing the battle in the best shape of her life.I invited her to share her story with everyone, as I think you’ll find it inspirational. She’s a pretty cool lady with an important message: what are you waiting for? Go chase those dreams!In January 2012, I noticed a blister-like lump on the back of my ear that my husband said looked as if I’d burned it with a curling iron, and, a few weeks later, another lump sprouted on my neck, under the skin, that looked completely different. I wasn’t too concerned about either at the time, and as work was getting busy, I decided to make a mental note and mention it to my doctor when I went for my annual physical after tax season and I had more time to think about it.When I went to the doctor in May, she noticed that the lymph nodes in my neck were enlarged and thought that maybe I had been fighting off some kind of infection.  She put me on antibiotics and wasn’t sure what the lump on my ear was, so she decided to be cautious referred me to a dermatologist.  I was feeling a little fatigued at the time, but so are most women who work full-time while raising two active kids, so I really wasn’t concerned.After a few weeks on the antibiotics I returned to the doctor for a follow up.  The lymph nodes in my neck were still enlarged and that began a process of lab tests, x-rays, scans and appointments with specialists. After several visits with an ear, nose and throat specialist and no indication of what might be causing my lymph nodes to be enlarged, I was scheduled to have one of the lymph nodes in my neck removed for biopsy. The surgery was scheduled for September, coincidentally the day before my first appointment with the dermatologist.I remember waiting to go into surgery, with my husband David and my parents by my side. The doctor seemed so confident that we were just ruling out any serious issues. The surgery went fine and then the next day I headed to the dermatologist to have them look at the lump on my ear.  The dermatologist decided to remove the lump and have that biopsied.  In a perfect world it would have been nice to have the lump on my ear removed at the same time as the lymph node in my neck but nobody really thought the two were connected.September 17, 2012 is the day I had my follow-up appointment with the surgeon – I’ll always remember that date as it changed my life. I went to the appointment alone because I was sure that he would just tell me that my neck was healing fine and that would be that.  Instead, I learned that I had a follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The emotions immediately took over and tears streamed down my face as fear set in.  The doctor told me he would refer me to an oncologist.I have no idea how I made it back to work that day – I should have just gone home but instead I went back to my office and cried as I started wondering how I would share this news with my family.  The next day I received a call from the dermatologist.  He asked if I had received the results from the biopsy of my lymph node.  I told him that I had, and that is when he confirmed that the lump he had removed was also lymphoma.The good news is that follicular lymphoma is slow-growing. However, I did not know this initially!  It was several weeks before I had my first appointment with an oncologist.  I was thinking the worst because I had no information — I did my best to avoid reading about the disease on the internet as I knew that would probably make me even more worried. My initial meeting with the oncologist was terrifying.  That is when I learned that treatment for follicular lymphoma was effective but that it was not a cure.  The medical oncologist explained that the life expectancy was 7 to 10 years but also said that it was unusual for someone my age to be diagnosed as this was a type of cancer that generally presents itself in patients over 70. I was only 36 at the time, so why me?  I left feeling somewhat hopeful, I was young and relatively healthy, may be that would increase my odds of survival.Over the course of the next few months I had various other tests and scans done so that my cancer could be staged. It was determined that I had stage IV cancer as the lymph nodes above and below my diaphragm were involved and it had spread to my bone marrow.At this point, I was getting conflicting information regarding treatment options and decided that it was best to get a second opinion.  I am so glad that I did.  The oncologist that I met with next was very positive about the future of treatment options and immediately gave me hope based on the research that is currently being done.  She was optimistic that there would someday be a cure.  That was the optimism that I needed to start fighting.  I was ready to start treatment and rid my body of the cancer.Unfortunately, there were several treatment options and I needed to decide what route to take.  I could start chemotherapy or I could opt for a treatment called “watch and wait.”  There were low toxicity chemotherapy options as well as more aggressive chemotherapy options. “Watch-and-wait” is just that, watchfully waiting for tumor burden to become more symptomatic.  Although I had enlarged lymph nodes in several regions of my body they were not threatening major organs and other than being fatigued I had no other side effects.  The oncologist at Dana Farber was recommending “watch-and-wait.”  She explained that studies had not shown any increase in overall survival for patients who began more aggressive treatment initially versus those that opted for “watch and wait.”I initially thought that there was no way I could opt for a treatment option that would not rid my body of cancer as fast as possible.  Was I really going to decide to “do nothing” and just continue to go about each day letting the cancer take over my body?  I did a lot of research and in the end decided that it came down to quality of life.  I was feeling pretty good, maybe I needed to slow down a bit, but to me that was better than starting chemotherapy  and experiencing symptoms that were not predictable and could negatively impact my quality of life.  My family was supported that decision and so that was the road I headed down.  I would be lying if I didn’t say it was hard! I am very much a woman of action and to think I wasn’t doing anything to make myself healthy again or fight the cancer was difficult.Sno wearing her Team in Training gearI thought that signing up to run the Inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington DC was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to myself and my children that I was strong enough to fight the cancer, improve my quality of life, and raise funds for a cure for cancer.  I had come in contact with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) after being diagnosed and had found them to be incredibly helpful and supportive.  They provided me with the opportunity to learn more about my cancer and treatment options which helped me cope with the diagnosis. Their mission is to cure leukemia and lymphoma and improve quality of life for patients and families while funding lifesaving blood cancer research.  One of their largest fundraisers is Team in Training (TNT).  TNT is basically an opportunity to train for an endurance event while raising money to benefit cancer research.  So, there I was, all signed up to run a half marathon and had no idea where to start.  I had never run any distance before and I was somewhat overweight.That is when I decided I needed to join a gym and I needed to work with a personal trainer to keep myself accountable.  So I decided to make the call to Bangor Brewer Athletic Club.  My goal was to run the half marathon at the end of April so I needed to start getting in shape fast. I started working out with owner and trainer Sean Soucy three days a week and would walk/jog on the treadmill two days a week.  I was shocked at how quickly my body responded to the weight training I was doing with Sean.I recall that my doctor told me every year during my annual physical that I needed to get more exercise and eat a healthier diet, but I never anticipated feeling a surge of energy from doing so.  I actually felt like I had more energy on the days that I was working out so I started going to the gym before work every day.  On the days I wasn’t working with Sean I would be doing intervals of walking and jogging on the treadmill.  I was actually enjoying it!  I was working out in the mornings and it was my time to focus on “me” and clear my head for the day ahead.When it came time to do the half marathon at the end of April, I had lost over 30lbs and over 25 inches.  Looking back, I wish I had done a before picture as the changes in my body were impressive.  I could now see muscle that I had never been able to see before and I was motivated by the increased weights I was able to lift week to week.I am pretty sure that most people thought that once the race was over I would be done frequenting the gym.  Heck, initially I thought I would be too!  Just before heading out to the race, I had a follow up appointment with my oncologist.  I was relieved and excited to learn that my blood counts were excellent and to hear from the oncologist that the changes I had made in diet and exercise likely impacted those results.Sno practicing her physique posing routineSeeing the difference that strength training had made in my life in only four short months left me wanting to continue.  I couldn’t help but think that if I was strong and healthy that maybe my body would start destroying some of the cancer cells.  Maybe that was too optimistic but I did believe that continuing to train would ensure that I was in the best possible health when it came time to start chemotherapy.  I was now a firm believer that exercise could help fight fatigue and also build immunity.  It seemed like the perfect treatment.Over the course of my first year at the gym, I saw several men and women training for a bodybuilding competition.  It was inspirational to see how dedicated and determined they were.  I honestly never thought I would want to compete nor did I ever think I could compete.  Watching Sean prepping for competition was intriguing, the changes week to week were striking.  I didn’t really understand what competition was like so I decided in September 2013 to go see my first natural bodybuilding show and of course cheer on Team BBAC.If I was being honest, I left the show thinking, never in a million years would you see me wearing a bikini in public let alone one of those hide-no-flaws competition suits on stage!  Whenever Sean would ask me if I had thought about training for a show, I just dismissed it.  The more I thought about it and learned about the process the more intrigued I became.  The thought of competing was certainly percolating in my head; it was something I thought I would do at some point down the road.At the end of October, I went back to the oncologist and learned that my tumors were continuing to grow and that I would need to start treatment in the next six months.   I wasn’t expecting this news as I had continued to work out and was eating a clean diet.  I was making steady gains at the gym and I felt invincible.  This was the moment I decided there was no more delaying.  Competing was something I wanted to do, so why put it off?   I wanted to do a show before I had to start chemotherapy so when the opportunity came to do a show in April I was all in!  It hasn’t been an easy journey but it has been fun and rewarding.  I feel honored to be sharing this experience with a dedicated and supportive group of BBAC teammates and friends.Shortly after being diagnosed I had come across the following saying which seems very fitting for both my everyday struggles as well as my journey to the stage:Since being diagnosed in September 2012, my outlook on life has changed in a positive way.  I have a renewed sense of confidence and greater appreciation for my own endurance and strength.   I am a different person both physically and mentally and for that I am grateful.  It certainly has reminded me that we all need to learn to live each day to the fullest.Share this:

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3 Rules For Effective Sandbag Training

17 April 2014

Vital StatsName: Jon-Erik Kawamoto, CSCS, CEPOwner: Personal Trainer & Fitness WriterWebsite: JKConditioning.comSandbag training is quickly becoming a favorite training style among pro athletes, fighters, first responders, soldiers, and everyone else who needs to be able to access strength in unpredictable settings and postures. If you want muscle control and athleticism that won't quit, along with a midsection every bit as strong as it looks, this might be just what you're looking for.But unlike, say, barbells, sandbags have different rules when it comes to ideal loading, programming, and progression. Here are three principles you need to keep in mind to help you get the most out of sandbag training, plus we provide some movements and a workout to help you get to know the benefits of the bag! 1 Progressive overload is aboutmore than just load In order to continually stimulate positive adaptations with training, we all know we need to apply the principle of progressive overload. Basically, this principle states that if you don't provide a new training stimulus to your body, it will cease to adapt and remain idle with its progress.What's the most common method of enacting this principle? Throw more weight on the bar, of course! However, just because the word "load" is in the word "overload" doesn't mean this is the only method to progress an exercise. I would add that it's not the only variable you need to change if you're looking to become a capable athlete or build a well-rounded physique. You can also change variables such as the implement used, the complexity of the exercise, or take the movement into a different plane of motion.Planes of motionSagittalFront-to-back motionsSquats Deadlifts Bench Press Sit-Ups Curls Running Lunges FrontalSide-to-Side MovementsOverhead Presses Lateral Raises Lateral Squats Jumping Jacks TransverseRotational MovementsDumbbell Flye Russian Twists Golf Swing A sandbag with multiple handles, like the Ultimate Sandbag, achieves all of those changes, and it will teach you quickly that load isn't everything. Depending on the exercise and loading position of the sandbag, you can easily amplify the difficulty of an exercise while using the same or perhaps far less weight.Let's take the lunge as an example. A reverse lunge is performed in the sagittal plane, but also requires frontal plane stability (think balance side-to-side). This exercise can be loaded in several ways to increase the difficulty. The simplest is to hold a weight in the front-loaded position. In this stance, you still have to maintain frontal plane stability, but you also have to brace to not lean forward.A sandbag with multiple handles will teach you quickly that load isn't everything.Now, take an exercise unique to sandbag training: the weighted rotational lunge. The loads used in the front-loaded reverse lunge and the rotation lunge can both be equal, but the effects are drastically different. To take the rotation lunge up a notch, increase the speed of execution so the bag swings from one side to the other.If you're looking for core and hip strength that will transfer over to any physical challenge, you couldn't do much better than this!Jon-Erik Kawamoto Watch The Video - 0:13Jon-Erik Kawamoto Watch The Video - 0:26 2 Perform the most complex exercise first It's common to perform squats, deadlifts, and the barbell bench press first in a workout. Why? Well, they're multi-joint exercises and they typically use the most load. If you're training with a sandbag, however, you focus on far more than just load, so which exercises should come first? The answer is the most complex exercise.Say you're an athlete who needs to improve your power production and hip and core stability. Sandbag training is a great way to address all three with movement patterns that are almost impossible with traditional implements like dumbbells and barbells.I might prescribe something like a rotational sandbag-clean-to-crossover-lunge combination. Here, you have to create force with an internally rotated hip while cleaning the sandbag upward. Once the bag is received in the front-racked position, you would perform a crossover lunge. This lunge variation places a unique stretch on the outside hip and also challenges hip and core stability.Jon-Erik Kawamoto Watch The Video - 1:11It looks challenging because it is! But you'd better believe it's also effective, if you're up to it. Good luck being up to it if you're already sapped from a half-hour of other training! An exercise this demanding needs to be tackled first. 3 Progress movements by making them less stable "So how do we take advantage of instability while keeping the base stable? Easy: change the loading pattern or the stability of the implement itself, as with sandbag training."During the 1990s and early 2000s, unstable surface training—think wobble boards and BOSU balls—took the leap from the physical therapist's office to the gym. This type of training has been shown to be valuable post-rehab, but when it was applied to healthy individuals, it wasn't nearly as effective—unless, of course, the end goal was to be the butt of countless jokes from weightlifters.What went wrong? Behm et al summed up the limitations in an oft-cited 2010 study1 when they wrote, "Since the addition of unstable bases to resistance exercises can decrease force, power, velocity, and range of motion, they are not recommended as the primary training mode for athletic conditioning." They recommended "ground-based" weighted exercises instead, while nevertheless acknowledging that "core and limb muscle activation are reported to be higher under unstable conditions than under stable conditions."So how do we take advantage of instability while keeping the base stable? Easy: change the loading pattern or the stability of the implement itself, as with sandbag training. An example of changing the loading pattern is changing from a bilateral loading pattern (e.g. front-loaded position), to unilateral loading pattern, like I recommended in my single-arm training article. With a sandbag, this could take the form of lunges with the sandbag resting on your shoulder.Jon-Erik Kawamoto Watch The Video - 0:17The stability of the implement can also be adjusted to create a less-stable exercise. You could foolishly leave a few barbell plates rattling unsecured on your Olympic bar, or you could try training with a sandbag that's only partially filled. Still too stable? You could even fill a sandbag with smaller bags of water rather than sand. In either case, since the contents shift inside the bag during the exercise, you will continually have to react to maintain balance and the correct body position.This form of instability training increases the difficult of the exercise and can keep you progressing to more and more advanced challenges for months or years. Trust me, the following complex is a different animal with a sandbag, a partially filled sandbag, and a water-filled sandbag.Jon-Erik Kawamoto Watch The Video - 1:14Perform all movements without resting. Rest 60 seconds, and then perform another round. Perform 5 rounds total.Lateral Deadlift to Clean: 3 reps Rotational Lunge to Clean: 3 reps (opposite side) Rotational Lunge to Clean 3 reps (deadlift side) Cossack Squat: 3 reps (opposite side) ReferencesBehm, D.G., Drinkwater, E.J., Willardson, J.M., & Cowley, P.M. (2010). Canadian society for exercise physiology position stand: The use of instability to train the core in athletic and nonathletic conditioning. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 35, 109-112. Recommended For YouSingle-Arm Training: The Ab Solution You've Never Thought Of Why suffer through another boring, painful ab routine? Work your core by making it stabilize unbalanced loads. That's what it's there to do!Find Your Strength: Strongman Training In Your Average Gym Strongman competitors are the stuff of legend, but you don't have to move to Iceland or Poland to become one. Here's your guide to building strongman-caliber strength in any gym.Do More With Less: The 3 Home Gym Essentials A stacked gym with every fitness tool known to man looks cool, but how much of it are you really going to use? Keep these three fundamentals at home, and rest easy knowing you can get strong no matter what!About The AuthorJon-Erik Kawamoto, CSCS, CEPVIEW AUTHOR PAGEJon has coached and helped numerous clients reach and surpass their fitness goals, including high-level athletes, emergency personnel and more.View All Articles By This Author

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Body Transformation: Feeling Young, Ripped, And Unstoppable At 55!

17 April 2014

Name: Joe PiechocinskiEmail: joe.piechocinski@yahoo.comBodySpace: joepiechocinskiWhy I decided to transformI've basically tried to stay in shape all my life, but some back-to-back life events really derailed my efforts. In 2008, I lost my mom, and in 2009, I lost my dad. From there, it was just an avalanche of potato chips and ice cream at night. After the damage was done, I weighed around 270 pounds and sported a 44-inch waist. I looked like a walking ball of cholesterol.My moment of clarity occurred one day when I got out of the shower and looked at myself in the mirror. Gosh, I wasn't happy with what I was looking at. I decided right then and there to whip myself back into shape. You know what they say about getting older and it getting harder to stay in shape. I say bullcrap to that, since I (and many of my fellow transformers here) are a testament to the fact that hard work and dedication at any age reaps huge rewards.Since I had been in shape at one point in my life, I still possessed some knowledge of what I could do to work this weight off. I knew what I had to do: Fixed weights, cardio, and cleaner food. Not only did I have to change myself on the outside, I had to change myself on the inside. This transformation would be inside and out.Before After AGE 52 / HEIGHT 6'2" / BODY FAT 26%AGE 55 / HEIGHT 6'2" / BODY FAT 10%Post To FitboardThrough sheer willpower and determination, I returned to the gym in March 12th of 2010. My personal story had a really positive effect on the people around me. I have become a good example to the younger guys in the gym, showing them that hard work does pay off. Some of the younger blokes would tell me that they hoped to look like me when they get older. Such a compliment! It only made me feel more motivated and pushed me towards my goals.Now I feel I am in the best shape of my life at 55 years old. I meet and know a lot of people my age. I feel particularly proud of my body when a lot of them talk about what they used to do but cannot anymore. Well, no disrespect to these people, but I am proud to say that I can still do these things.I do ballroom dancing with my wife…but you won't see me on Dancing With The Stars anytime soon.How I accomplished my goalsI knew I had the muscle memory of working out from before so getting back into the groove again was easier for me. I started with low repetitions, light weight to build muscle fibers back up and to strengthen tendons. I had to exercise more caution to avoid injury, and it took a while; I had to be patient.Over time, I increased the intensity and the variety of exercises. I even implemented a "pyramid" style of training, during which you increase your intensity until you reach a peak and then decrease it again. (1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, for example.)"At age 55, I'm living proof that age is not a factor, that anything is possible."I had a modest grasp of eating healthy—you know, the basics: avoid sugar and eat your vegetables. I read more on healthy foods and asked a lot of questions at the gym. I gradually swapped unhealthy food out for a "clean" food and really increased my water intake. Every month, I replaced a "bad" food that I used to eat with a clean food. Within twelve months, I basically ate only unprocessed and whole foods.Some days I just didn't feel like working out. I never beat myself up over it, but instead I cut down my cardio and workout sets. Getting even a little bit of work and sweat in makes me glad that I put in the effort to go to the gym.To me, working out is the easy part; eating clean is hard even though it's the major factor in improving myself. A lot of people could work out for years but never change their body composition. That's because they don't get the food part of the health equation right. Eat clean; it's worth it.At age 55, I'm living proof that age is not a factor, that anything is possible.Apply Here To Be A TransformationOf The Week! Bodybuilding.com honors people across all transformation categories for their hard work and dedication. Learn how our featured transformers overcame obstacles and hit their goals!Supplements that helped me through the journey Protein Green Tea Extract Fish Oil Pre-workout Drink BCAAs Creatine Glutamine Protein Shake Protein Shake Diet plan that guided my transformation Protein Shake 1 serving Wheat Roll 1 Peanut Butter 2 tbsp Hard-boiled Eggs 2 Alternative Option:8 Egg Whites Oatmeal 1 packet Banana 1 Alternate Option:Apple Pre-workout Drink 1 serving Post-workout Protein Shake 1 serving Spinach Salad Spinach 1 handful Carrots Sliced Onions Cherry Tomatoes Hot Peppers Mushrooms 1% Cottage Cheese 4 oz Lean Meat (Chicken, Fish, Sirloin, etc.) 4 oz Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, various kind of Nuts, Salsa and Chips 4 oz Protein Shake 1 serving Training regimen that kept me on trackI employ "pyramid" style sets and do at least four sets per exercise, including a warm-up for each body part. My philosophy is to change things up and making things more challenging by shortening rest periods or slowing down my movements. Keep things simple by focusing on form, breathing, and squeezing. Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip4 sets of 12 reps Dumbbell Bench Press4 sets of 12 reps Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip4 sets of 12 reps Cable Chest Press4 sets of 12 reps Seated Calf Raise4 sets of 15 reps Cardio25 minutes Seated Dumbbell Press4 sets of 12 reps Incline Shoulder Presses4 sets of 12 reps Lying One-Arm Lateral Raise4 sets of 12 reps Reverse Flyes4 sets of 12 reps Dumbbell Shrug4 sets of 12 reps Decline Crunch4 sets of 30 reps Medicine Ball Twist4 sets of 20 reps Scissor Kick4 sets of 20 reps Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press4 sets of 12 reps Triceps Pushdown4 sets of 12 reps Tricep Dumbbell Kickback4 sets of 12 reps Dips - Triceps Version4 sets of 12 reps EZ-Bar Curl4 sets of 12 reps Two-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl4 sets of 12 reps Overhead Cable Curl4 sets of 12 reps Hammer Curls4 sets of 12 reps Cardio25 minutes Warm up and stretch before training legs. Barbell Squat4 sets of 12 reps Leg Press4 sets of 12 reps Seated Leg Curl4 sets of 12 reps Reverse Hyperextension4 sets of 12 reps Bodyweight Walking Lunge4 sets of 12 reps Standing Barbell Calf Raise4 sets of 12 reps (slow) Barbell Deadlift4 sets of 12 reps Seated Cable Rows4 sets of 12 reps Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown4 sets of 12 reps Pullups4 sets of 12 reps Underhand Cable Pulldowns4 sets of 12 reps Decline Crunch2 sets of 25 reps (regular); 1 set of 25 reps (with twist finish) Ab Crunch Machine4 sets of 20 reps Cardio25 minutes What aspect challenged me the most"Stay away from negative people. They only make you stray from your goals."My age definitely made things challenging at times, but I learned to let fitness become part of my daily routine. I make sure it's part of my schedule for the day.Sticking to a proper diet that promotes a leaner body and positive gains was the toughest for me. It's a process of figuring out timing and knowing your own body: what can it process well and how much can it process? Because my metabolism isn't what it used to be, I watch my carbohydrates at night since I'm less active.I find supplements help me when I train hard. I also try to eat a little more protein to keep my muscle mass. As they say, everybody is different so what works for me may not work for you.My future fitness plansI've been very happy with my results thus far and the way I feel so I plan on continuing this fitness path as a healthy lifestyle. I still have physique goals to attain.Some day I'd also like to use my experience and knowledge to help others by becoming a certified personal trainer. As far as other lofty goals, you might even one day see me in a Subway commercial (only kidding).Suggestions for aspiring transformersStay away from negative people. They only make you stray from your goals.I believe the highly coveted "fountain of youth" can be found in the gym. People seem to forget that exercise and eating right don't only transform your outward appearance, but they transform you internally by improving your blood pressure and cholesterol and protecting you from scary diseases.I don't know about you or the next guy, but I am after longevity, feeling good, and getting a sweat on.How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goalsI love their articles and information on new supplements. The articles are a real source of inspiration. Keep up the good work!Joe's Top 5 Gym Tracks"Backstreets" by Bruce Springsteen "Tougher Than The Rest" by Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen "Bobby Jean" by Bruce Springsteen "Better Days" by Bruce Springsteen Recommended For YouBody Transformation: Celena Carter Cut A Path To Victory! Celena was stuck in neutral until she hired a coach who organized her fitness future. Now she competes against the NPC's best at age 40. See how you can too!Body Transformation: Paul Thorpe Defeated Sickness With Fitness! Paul overcame heart attack and blood clot scares with a dedicated fitness plan. See how this 49-year-old bulked up and stays healthy and leveled on the bodybuilding stage!Body Transformation: Thom Zwawa Fought Diabetes With Fitness! Thom lost 105 pounds and lassoed type 2 diabetes with a relentless dose of training and nutrition. Get the powerful plans he used to inject life into his body!About The AuthorOver 40 Transformation Of The WeekVIEW AUTHOR PAGEHave you made a dramatic change either by gaining muscle of by losing all the weight you have been hoping for?View All Articles By This Author

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint Trainer Day 53

17 April 2014

Previous | Main | NextOver the last eight weeks, you've done 15 chest and back workouts, and taken only 7 rest days. No matter if you've been splitting them into two-a-days or taking your medicine all at once, by now, you have a very good idea of the level of intensity that Arnold utilized just to keep moving forward. He waged a constant battle between perceived exhaustion and actual physical exhaustion, and he knew every trick in the book to defeat the former. It can seem like a religious experience in the heat of the moment, but Arnold knew how to keep emotions from getting as heavy as the weights. Here's how he responded in an interview with the men's magazine "Oui" in 1977, when asked if Gold's Gym was like working out "in a temple:""Yes and no. There's often a point where you say, 'It's getting too intense here.' Your partner might be a little scared of the next set because you've been pushing him too hard, so you'll crack a joke and go over to somebody else and bullshit a little. Then you talk him into it. The best example I can think of was one day when Franco Columbu walked into the gym, went down into a squat with 500 pounds on his shoulders and couldn't come back up. Someone had to lift the weight off. I reminded Franco that four people from New York were watching the great Franco Columbu, the world's strongest bodybuilder, crashing down under a mere 500 pounds.'Franco,' I told him, 'this is very embarrassing. There are a lot of people here watching and they think that the muscle magazines are all bullshitting.'"He looked around and started breathing heavily, so I pushed it further. I bet him $20 in front of everybody that he couldn't do another repetition and then offered an additional $50 if he could go on and do eight reps. 'Bullshit!' he screamed. 'I did it a few weeks ago and I can do it again.' Out of the door he went, took a few deep breaths and came back to do 10 repetitions with the same weight-not 8 but 10."Do you think his body changed? No; his body was the same, his power was the same, but he was motivated. He ripped the weight out and just started going up and down as if there were no end, as if he were going to do 50 repetitions."Harness the intensity and make today's workout count. Incline Barbell Bench Press10 sets of 4 reps Flat Barbell Bench Press5 sets of 6 reps Superset Dumbbell Flyes5 sets of 12 reps Cable Crossover5 sets of 12 reps Wide-Grip Chin-Up50 Total RepsUse weight if needed. Superset Bent-Over Barbell Rows8 sets of 8 reps Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows8 sets of 8 reps Hanging Leg Raise5 sets of 25 reps Previous | Main | NextAbout The AuthorContributing WriterVIEW AUTHOR PAGECheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

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Defending the First Amendment since 1911 | The independent student newspaper of Texas State University

17 April 2014

Women who are interested in fitness should stay open-minded to weight training as a way of exercise.There are many misconceptions about women lifting weights. A lot of women think they will become too bulky or too muscular or that if they ever stop lifting, all of the muscle gained will automatically turn to fat. Some think it is too harmful to joints, dangerous or just not beneficial to their health. Women under the impression that these rumors are true turn to yoga and heavy cardio workouts in order to stay healthy and fit. However, this type of exercise alone will not yield the results some women seek.  Cardio and yoga are not sufficient means of exercise for those who want to reach optimum fitness levels. Cardio, while it does burn some calories, does not get rid of as much excess fat as weight training. A January Bodybuilding.com article stated the more muscle mass gained through lifting, the higher the calorie expenditure will be. Essentially, gains made through lifting increase more and more over time, whereas the amount of calories burned while doing cardio will stay the same.Lifting weights ensures more effective fat loss and continues to burn calories after the workout is completed. A February Women’s Health Magazine article discusses a study that shows lifting weights burns 40 percent more fat than cardio done alone. Additionally, cardio will burn muscle away in addition to fat, making it difficult to obtain muscle shape. In comparison, lifting weights builds, maintains and tones muscles while melting fat. It is a win-win situation.  Aside from physical fitness, lifting weights improves health overall. A study in the same Women’s Health Magazine article found that four months of weight training increased bone density and blood flow, both of which are factors in bone growth, by 19 percent. Women’s Health Magazine stated lifting decreases blood pressure, which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease along with reducing the risk of stroke by 40 percent and heart attack by 15 percent. On top of all of these health benefits, weight training increases energy levels, boosts metabolisms, lowers stress levels and will help provide a good night’s sleep.Women who think lifting is not beneficial to their health should reconsider. It can be intimidating to venture to the “manly” side of the gym with free-weights and squat bars, but it is hugely advantageous to women’s mental, physical fitness and overall happiness.

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Women and weight training: a heavy duty

17 April 2014

Taken from -  Women and weight training: a heavy duty [Translate]

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint Trainer Day 52

16 April 2014

Previous | Main | NextWhen Arnold started lifting, he admired Reg Park specifically because he was big and rugged. "All my friends were more impressed by Steve Reeves, but I didn't like him," he recalls in "The Education of a Bodybuilder." "Reg Park had more of a rough look, a powerful look, while Steve Reeves seemed elegant, smooth, polished. I knew in my mind that I wasn't geared for elegance. I wanted to be massive."How ironic, then, that what ultimately allowed Arnold to ultimately triumph and stay on top, however, was his shapeliness rather than his size. Frank Zane sometimes gets cited today as the king of aesthetics, but in his day, nobody had lines like Arnold."Frank Zane sometimes gets cited today as the king of aesthetics, but in his day, nobody had lines like Arnold.""There are a number of bodybuilders around who are as big, and a couple who are bigger," wrote Charles Gaines of Arnold in "Pumping Iron" in 1974. "More than that, is the perfect balance of everything—biceps to calves, shoulders to waist, thighs to chest, and the detail and clarity of every part. Another thing is the naturalness and grace of his body. Most of the very other big builders, like Lou Ferrigno, who has the greatest size ever but no polish yet, look as if they have been built up with a trowel: the muscles look stuffed and worried into place. But each of Arnold's body parts, though huge, is subtly refined—as graceful-looking as the hind leg of a thoroughbred racehorse."Over the last eight weeks, you've been building mass, but Arnold's plan was about more than that. It was about building muscles as symmetrical as they are strong—what the classic bodybuilders referred to as "finish." When you're done with this program in three days, you'll have to decide whether to build more, or cut down to reveal that finish. But for now, just focus on finishing strong through your final three-day cycle. Technique: Max EffortPick one exercise and see what you can do for a 1-rep max. To get there, work up to the weight with the following rep pyramid, taking ample rest between each set: 20, 15, 10, 8, 5, 3, 1, 1, 1-rep max. Back SquatsUse the max effort method Stiff-Legged Deadlifts6 sets of 6 reps Barbell Lunges4 sets of 4 reps Superset Leg Extensions5 sets of 20 reps Lying Leg Curls5 sets of 20 reps Standing Calf Raises10 sets of 10 reps Kneeling Cable Crunches4 sets of 25 reps Previous | Main | NextAbout The AuthorContributing WriterVIEW AUTHOR PAGECheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

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BodySpace Member Of The Month: Singer, Scientist And Shredded

16 April 2014

Vital StatsName: Kristina Olson(a.k.a. Kristina Allison of Kristina and The Dolls)Age: 31Weight: 114 lbsContest Weight: 112.8 lbsHeight: 5'4"Occupation: Undergraduate ResearcherEducation: UC San Diego B.S. Earth Science (completion Fall 2014) Athletic Background: Junior Olympic Softball, Advanced Certified Scuba DiverKristina Olson has tread a long and interesting path to come to where she is today. She's a scientist in training with her nose in earth science textbooks at UC San Diego. She's also an aspiring bikini model. For a time, she sang lead for a rock band, but also stood in as the singing voice of Barbie. Seriously!You can call her a dreamer, but this month's featured BodySpace Member has her eyes wide open to the possibilities of life. She's going to do what she wants, taking care of her body and her planet along the way. She uses BodySpace for support and sharing, to access a unique community of people singing in the fitness chorus. QWhat led you to the decision that you needed to get in shape? Being a full-time student at the University of California San Diego, I found myself sedentary for long periods of time with no outlet. I've always been an active person, and I could feel the stress and lack of exercise taking its toll on my body. I've never had an affinity for junk food or sweets, so I knew something wasn't right when I started craving things like soda, Slim Jims, and Funyuns late at night.You are studying earth science, but you've also worked with music and now fitness. What do you want to be when you grow up? Can you have it all?Straight out of high school, I went to work in the music business. Over the course of about 10 years, among other things, I was the lead singer and founder of Kristina and The Dolls. I wrote songs for major motion pictures and was the singing voice for Barbie. I decided to leave the entertainment industry and pursue another dream of mine. While working in the music business, I always wanted to go back to school to get my degree in earth science. I read an article in "The Economist" about geothermal energy and I was hooked. I never thought I'd go from singing for Barbie, to taking hardcore earth science classes like isotope geochemistry.When I started training weights, I decided to reach out to one of my friends who used to write for "Oxygen" magazine. She was always supportive and I knew she'd be able to provide some good insight. Every time I get a wild idea, I think I must be crazy, but then I do it anyway.Truthfully, I never want to grow up. I'm a child and dreamer at heart. I love to laugh, take calculated risks, and try new things. I tend to catch a lot of flak for some of the choices I've made in my life. It's those choices to chase down dreams and make them reality that make me who I am. Life's too short to be unhappy and pursue things you aren't passionate about. You can't have it all, but you can do what you love, be great at it, and find balance. Then if you decide you want to try something else, do it!How did you discover BodySpace?My husband introduced me to Bodybuilding.com, and that's when I started to look at different BodySpace pages for inspiration. I would find people who had physiques that I admired so that I'd have a "goal" physique in mind and something to strive for. I still love to look at different photos and admire bodies of work. I'm always striving to be better, and BodySpace helps me connect with people who are like-minded."Nothing in life has ever come easily for me. Anything I've accomplished has been from hard work and determination."What would it mean to you to win your IFBB pro card? How close are you?It would mean a great deal for me to win my IFBB Pro card. Nothing in life has ever come easily for me. Anything I've accomplished has been from hard work and determination. Some people can just show up for a show and take the overall, but that's not the story with me. It's just like the entertainment industry, and also similar to any other sport. When I played softball, I was not the most naturally gifted, but I had enough talent and drive to surpass many of my peers and play competitively.In the entertainment industry, you can be the most naturally talented person, and you can also work extremely hard, but luck plays a huge part in what separates the people who are able to make a living at it from the artists who barely get by. I'm hoping that with my hard work, drive, determination, and a little luck, that I'll be able to win my IFBB pro card.I haven't had the opportunity to compete on the national stage yet because of personal reasons, but this year I plan on competing in as many national shows as I can. You never know until you try. My dad always says that success is when opportunity meets preparedness with a sprinkle of luck.How has BodySpace helped you reach your goals?The motivation and inspiration from other BodySpace users is really helpful. They're so supportive. I recently had final exams at UCSD and was taking four difficult classes—geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, structural geology, and a grad class on marine geology—and I really had no time to go to the gym. Iwas absolutely stressed to the max.I posted a fit status about my guilt for not being able to make it to the gym much because of finals. Many users left supportive comments like "Handle your school stuff. The gym will be there when you're done," or "You're making the right choice." It really helped me feel better. Outside of family and close friends, the extra support is great to have!We see a gigantic influx of people each January, and an exodus by March. Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about quitting?Don't quit! If you need to shorten your workouts, then do it. As long as you're consistent and continue to show up, you'll be fine. During my finals, I did have a chance to go to the gym for one session. I was on an extreme time crunch, but I felt good about getting in a short workout, however brief it may have been. I find that when I start eating bad it's hard to get back on it. It's the same thing with the gym. The more you don't go, the less you want to go.I think that some people may also stop going because they're not seeing the results they want and become disenchanted with the process. You have to be patient with yourself. It takes a great deal of time to transform your body, even more so if you're not sticking to a healthy diet. I say "diet" loosely because I consider my food intake to be in line with a nutrition plan versus a diet.What is your favorite feature on BodySpace?This isn't necessarily a BodySpace feature, but I love the BodySpace app. I use it all the time. It's convenient. I use it when I do cardio at the gym. I can update my fit status and scroll down and check out what other people are posting.I also like the tracking feature for weight, strength training exercises, and measurements. I recently updated all my measurements. I wish that I started sooner because my legs have grown so much since last June. It would have been nice to see those gains in inches. It helps to turn something that's qualitative—the changes you see in your body—into something quantitative—numbers. I was sad to see that I dropped weight recently because I've worked so hard to gain weight.What is your favorite muscle group to train, and can you give us a sample workout?I don't have a favorite muscle group to train. I go through periods of liking to train one muscle group better than the others. For a while it was shoulders, then triceps, and just recently I've been into training biceps. There were times last year when I was competing that I didn't train my biceps much because that's not a muscle group they care about in the bikini division. In December during the winter break, I started hitting them hard again."There were times that I didn't train my biceps much because that's not a muscle group they care about in the bikini division. In December during the winter break, I started hitting them hard again."I also train legs 3-4 times per week. It was my weakest body part. I know a lot of women tend to focus on their legs, though, so I'm providing a back and biceps workout. The judges for the bikini division may not care much about upper body definition, but it's important to have upper body strength and a balanced physique.Superset Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Down1 warm-up set, 4 working sets of 12-15 reps Wide-Grip Cable Curl4 heavy sets of 6-8 reps Superset Underhand Cable Pull-Down4 sets of 12-15 reps Cable Hammer Curl4 sets of 8-12 reps Superset Straight-Arm Pull-Down4 sets of 12-15 reps Reverse EZ-Bar Curls4 sets of 8-12 reps Wrist Curl Over A Bench4 sets of 12-15 reps Incline Treadmill30 minutes When you hear 'Fitness Model' what do you think of?I automatically think of Jamie Eason. When I first started training hard, I used her LiveFit trainer on Bodybuilding.com. She has such an amazing physique and is so inspirational. I hope I get to meet her someday.Kristina Olson Watch The Video - 0:15What training mistakes did you make when you first started?Sometimes I would go to train a couple of hours after my last meal. For me this is a huge mistake. I would get hungry and lightheaded during my lifts. Some people would say that's from not breathing properly. I am an experienced athlete and have no problem breathing. I'm sure my husband, teammates, coaches from Zero Gravity Fitness, and the regulars at the gym can attest to that. I distinctly remember training chest and feeling so weak and lethargic.Luckily my husband had some carbohydrates that I could have. I instantly felt better. Also, for me, I started training legs in ways I wasn't used to. I remember hurting my knee doing lunges. After that, I took a break from lunges or similar exercises that were painful. Now, I always wear compression sleeves around my knees for extra support. I should have known better from all my previous experience with sports injuries.Are you bothered by some of the stereotypes of bodybuilders?I think there are certain stereotypes that bother me about bodybuilders. I know that people say "Don't let what other people think bother you;" it's only irritating if I stop to think about it. It's not something I dwell on or put energy into. Stereotypes in general are frustrating because they don't take the uniqueness of individuals into account, and that is unfortunate. To offset these, I think people can just continue being who they are and continue to prove the assumptions and judgments wrong. I've faced similar judgments throughout my life.I'm a down-to-Earth person so I don't want the following statements to come off wrong, but they are real:"Judgments aren't going to stop me from doing what I love or being around people I care about.""She's pretty; she must be stuck up." "She's pretty; she must be dumb." "She's a bikini competitor; she must not be very strong." "She has tattoos; she must be trashy and dumb." "She's a girl; she can't play the guitar or write rock music." "She's got crazy colored hair with half her head shaved; she must be a weirdo." I've overcome all of these judgments, and in retrospect it's absurd to think that people can be so closed-minded and try to pack large sums of unique individuals into a little box with a bow on it. Judgments aren't going to stop me from doing what I love or being around people I care about. Mostly people just fear what they don't understand, and that's just the way it is.What are your favorite supplements?I love BSN's products. Cellmass and AMINOx are great for recovery. I always take a pre-workout because it helps get me pumped for the gym. I like watermelon flavored NO-Xplode by BSN. Syntha-6 protein is one of the best tasting proteins on the market and is good to supplement your diet with. I always take a women's multivitamin, vitamin C, flaxseed oil, green tea extract, L-carnitine, and a digestive enzyme.If you had five minutes to talk, and the whole world would listen, what would you say?It's unrelated to fitness, but I would express the importance of taking care of our planet. I'm not a crazy environmentalist, but our planet is the only one we have. It's important for us to be good stewards. It's easy to forget about the big picture as we go through our lives day to day, but earth is our home and many resources we have are finite and have been produced over geologic time —millions to billions of years.We spend time learning about so many other things, it amazes me that people aren't more curious about the processes that make our planet what it is and allow us to thrive. If we all just do a little every day to help recycle and be more economically conscientious, it will have a huge impact. I realize that the issues we face as a race with respect to our planet are global and cannot be solved by one person or one country, but we have to start somewhere. Try to always make educated decisions, and don't be afraid to ask questions!What type of music do you listen to in the gym?It varies. Sometimes I listen to rock music; sometimes I listen to 80s music; other times I listen to more pop and hip-hop. It just depends on how I feel.Kristina's Top 5 Gym Tracks"Latch" by Disclosure "Chillin" by Wale "Paper Planes" (DFA Remix) by M.I.A. "It's about time" by Young the Giant "Sittin' Sideways" by Paul Wall Contest History4th place 2013 NPC Southern California Championships Bikini C class 3rd place 2013 NPC Los Angeles Championships Bikini C class 1st place 2013 NPC Pacific USA's Bikini C class 1st place 2013 NPC Border States Classic Bikini C class 1st place 2013 NPC Irongames Bodybuilding championships Bikini C class Recommended For YouBODYSPACE MEMBER OF THE MONTH: JORDAN METCALFE BodySpace gave Jordan a safe haven to study, share, and progress among like-minded people. He's made the most of it!BODYSPACE MEMBER OF THE MONTH: ALLISON MOYER Allison takes an open-minded approach to fitness and nutrition in order achieve a figure that can thrive in any athletic setting.BODYSPACE MEMBER OF THE MONTH: ZARAH PACHECO BodySpace made some serious changes in the past month. If you haven't been there lately, check out the re-design, and if you need inspiration, just ask Zarah!

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Eat Like A Beast: Brandan Fokken's Bulking Meal Plan

16 April 2014

Vital StatsName: Brandan FokkenAge: 34From: Sioux Falls, SDSponsors: Team Bodybuilding.com; Beast Sports AthleteWhen I began my fitness career, I didn't know anything about muscle-building nutrition other than the standard "eat lots and lift heavy" rule. So that's what I did. All through my 20s, the only macro I ever worried about was protein. I never counted anything and ate what I wanted when I wanted it. I never felt guilty.My goal was to be a bodybuilder. As a fan of the sport, I would watch my favorite athletes get insanely shredded for shows and then shortly after go back to eating massive amounts of food so they could come back the next year even bigger. I figured they had to be doing something right, so that's how I approached my own nutrition. I cut way down for my shows, but the second the season was over, I would start eating whatever I wanted again. This type of plan was actually difficult because I would get so big I'd struggle to cut back down in time for my next show.By chance, I injured one of my quads the day after a bodybuilding show. I had another show only two weeks away, but my leg was swollen, I couldn't flex it, and it hurt to work out. That's when my trainer suggested I try a new division called men's physique. At first I was hesitant and thought people would make fun of me, a heavyweight bodybuilder, for entering a contest. Eventually, though, I agreed.I had a blast at the show and placed second to my friend and now IFBB physique pro Trevor Larsen. I loved the class and decided from there that I would switch divisions and train to compete. This switch changed my entire nutritional approach.I switched divisions and started training for physique. This switch changed my entire nutritional approach.Enter "Aesthetics"As the physique division progressed, it got more and more popular. I started to hear the word "aesthetics" more often and guys started to stay lean year round for photo shoots and fitness expo appearances. To be competitive and make a name in the industry, I had to learn how to hold my shape much longer than a month. Some guys were doing more than seven shows each year!For some athletes, staying lean all year works. For others, it's a little harder. I fall into the second category. After a long season, I can definitely see how constant dieting affects my body. I'll appear to have lost mass and fullness and my body won't respond quite as well as it normally does to my diet. So I take an offseason. It can last anywhere from 4-8 months.During my offseason, I don't just jump right into eating more calories. I gradually increase until I get up to the 3,800-4,200 mark, which is plenty. I gain slowly, I have better workouts, my mental state does great with this method, and I have plenty of energy throughout my prep. I don't go crazy eating whatever I want, though. I try to be smart about how I bulk so I can be back in stage shape within 30-60 days.Even after I get to my max calories, I still do a cheat meal once per week. My cheat meals are pretty light, though. They usually consist of three quest bars, one or more cups of oats, 4-6 tablespoons of peanut butter, and maybe some ice cream. If there's a social event or a weekend date night, I may have a burger and fries, but that's rare.During my bulking process, my workouts are great. I tend to lift a lot heavier and really push myself for optimal growth. That's the purpose of having an offseason.When I start to schedule shoots and shows that I need to be in shape for, I slowly start pulling back a bit on calories until I hit my maintenance levels. That's my starting point for a contest or photo-shoot prep diet.Keep the emphasis on frequent protein, quality calories, and ample carbohydrates.Beast Bulking PlanThis is my last bulking plan. It may not work perfectly for you, so feel free to eat more, less, or even substitute foods, but keep the emphasis on frequent protein, quality calories, and ample carbohydrates. Try it out, and good luck with your gains! Egg Whites9 whites Lean Beef3 ounces Oatmeal1 cup, measure uncooked Berries1 cup Chicken8 ounces White Rice1 1/2 cup Broccoli1 cup Lean Turkey8 ounces Sweet Potato10 ounces Asparagus1 cup Beast Sports Nutrition 100% Beast Whey1 scoop Banana1 banana P28 Bagel1 bagel Almond Butter1 tablespoon Sirloin8 ounces Sweet Potato8 ounces Green Beans1 cup Almonds1/4 cup Egg Whites8 whites Almond Butter1 tablespoon Recommended For YouFeast Like A Beast: 8 Must-Try Healthy Whey Protein Snacks Everyone gets tired of shakes once in a while. When it happens, eat your whey with these fitness-pro-approved snack recipes!Fitness 360: Brandan Fokken, Room To Grow Brandan Fokken doesn't just practice being fit for a few months out of the year. He's dedicated his entire life to fitness and is now reaping enormous benefits. Read his inspiring story!A Fitness Love Story: Brandan Fokken And Amber Orton Competitors in this industry spend a lot of time together. Sometimes, love blossoms backstage. This is the story of Brandan Fokken and Amber Orton.About The AuthorContributing WriterVIEW AUTHOR PAGECheck out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.View All Articles By This Author

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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: ''Gym'' Stands For Get Yourself Moving

16 April 2014

Vital StatsName: Gina OstarlyEmail: GinaOstarly@gmai...Location: Florida/VirginiaAge: 46Height: 5'4"Weight: 124 lbsYears Bodybuilding: 16 QHow did your fitnessjourney begin? The desire for a better body started where it must: in my mind. I was a young mom with three kids and didn't want to be a chubby wife wearing "mom jeans." I thought to myself that I wanted to instead feel and look as good as possible for as long as possible. Fast-forward years later, what started as a goal fully bloomed into a lifestyle. I no longer work out merely to look good; at the risk of sounding cliché, I work out to feel good. Plus, the lifestyle really is its own reward.What workout regimen delivered the best results?There is no best workout regimen, if you ask me. I just do something for five days a week. I am an 80s chick at heart. One of my favorite things to do is go in-line skating—pretty old-school, I know—but I love what it does for my lower body, and it never gets boring. I don't mind the looks either!I encourage others to not always think of exercise as gym time, but as activity time: Just move is what I say!GYM = (G)et (Y)ourself (M)oving"I no longer work out merely to look good; at the risk of sounding cliché, I work out to feel good." Warm-Up10 minutes (stretch, light cardio, etc.) Wall Squats with Dumbbells3 sets of 15 reps Superset Walking Dumbbell Lunges3 sets of 20 reps Dumbbell Split Squat3 sets of 10 reps each side Superset Dumbbell Step-Ups3 sets of 10 reps each side Stiff-Legged Deadlifts3 sets of 10 reps Leg Extensions3 pyramid sets of 15, 12, 10 reps Warm-Up10 minutes (stretch, light cardio, etc.) Lying Dumbbell Pull-Over3 sets of 15 reps Superset Standing Lateral Dumbbell Raises3 sets of 15 reps Push-Upsas many reps as possible in 30 seconds Lat Pull-Down3 sets of 15 reps Superset Standing Single-Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press3 sets of 10 reps Alternating Hand Push-Ups With Medicine Ballas many reps as possible in 30 seconds One-Arm Dumbbell Row3 sets of 10 reps Superset Standing Alternating Dumbbell Front Raises3 sets of 10 reps Nose-in-the-Hole Push-Ups(shown with a wide hand placement)as many reps as possible in 30 seconds Jump Rope10 minutes Crunches On Stability Ball4 sets of 25 reps Circuit: 2 rounds Triceps Straight Bar Push-Down1 triple drop set of 10 reps Triceps Plank Extensions1 set of 10 reps Jump Rope10 minutes Superset Dumbbell Curls2 triple drop sets of 10 reps Reverse Close-Grip Pull-Up2 sets of 10 reps Circuit: 2 rounds Single-Arm Cable Push-Down1 set of 10 reps each side Bench Dips1 set of 15 reps Jump Rope10 minutes Standing Barbell Curls2 sets of 21s 21s Technique: 7 reps of top half of ROM, 7 reps of bottom half ROM, and 7 reps full ROM Jump Rope10 minutes Circuit 6 rounds Stairmaster3 minutes Jump Rope2 minutes Box Jumps10 reps Single-Leg Deadlifts3 sets of 20 reps each side Lunge Jumps3 sets of 10 reps each leg Leg Press2 sets of 10 reps, 1 triple drop set of 10 reps Amateurs Of The Week Bodybuilding.com honors amateurs across all categories for their hard work, dedication, and great physiques. Learn how our featured amateurs built their bodies and hit their goals!What nutrition plan fueled your body?There are certain habits that work, and always will. Reducing sugar, for example, helps most people in a hurry. When we think of eating "clean," most people actually eat "pretty clean." I use an 80-20 balance, meaning that I eat healthy 80 percent of the time. And the other 20? A girl needs to have a little fun!Specific food types, sizes and portions? I'm not one of those people who goes around measuring and weighing everything I can. To me, that takes you down that dreaded diet road. I've never known anyone who can stick with a diet for long. In the end, it takes consistency and common sense to eat in a healthy manner. Have the choice between a grilled chicken sandwich or one that's breaded and fried? You know what to do. The question is: Do you actually do it?What does work for me is eating six small meals a day and alternating high and low carb days. I know you've heard it before, but it keeps my metabolism, energy levels, and mental mood all positive. Eat small portions of good stuff every few hours. That's a plan I can stick with easily.On a typical high carb day, I eat the following: Omelet3/4 cup egg whites, 1 whole egg Oats1/4 cup (dry) Turkey Muffins2 muffins Broccoli1 cup Brown Rice1/2 cup Protein Shake1 serving with 1/4 cup oats Mixed Greens1 1/2 cup Cucumber1/3 cucumber Bell Pepper1/4 pepper Tomato1/2 tomato Sprouts1 handful Tuna3.5 ounce can Sesame Seeds1 tablespoon Olive Oil1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar and Fresh Lemon Juice1 dash Turkey Muffins2 muffins Asparagus1 cup Almonds10 almonds Sweet Potato4 ounces Protein Shake1 serving with 1 tablespoon all natural almond butter What supplement schedule gave you the greatest gains?Creatine has by far been the best thing to help me recover from workouts and get muscle gains. Other than that, I must have my morning coffee! Creatine5 grams Whey Protein Whey Protein How did your passion for fitness emerge?My interest was immediate, but my passion developed when I started training others. I truly love being part of a person's transformation process. They often start off with a frown (because I work them hard), but after a few weeks of sweat and soreness, something happens. There's a glint in their eyes because they want to be at the gym. They're excited to check the scales once a week and see their weight improve. They notice that their clothes fit better. They get to buy new clothes. They get to buy new shoes! Yeah, I know that shoe size has nothing to do with it, but a gal deserves new shoes with her new clothes and body...right?What drives you toget better?Not sure that I do get "better," but I sure get different. Recently I've gone through many of my old photos. My body has changed almost as often as my hair color. When I first got serious about lifting, my goal set was to add muscle to my frame. Then when I started doing bodybuilding shows, that goal morphed into becoming more cut and proportioned. Now it's more about how I feel and doing what I love. I don't look at my body and think, "Wow, that area needs work; I better get after it." I come to the gym excited to try new things and have fun. Lately, I have been practicing walking on my hands! Don't care if it makes me look better or not... it's just fun!What aspects about the sport fascinate you?When I did more shows, it was fascinating for me to see how the body could be manipulated for appearance. Look at a competitor on stage day and then again two weeks later: The difference is astounding. And the weight can change by up to 20 pounds! Cut carbs, cut fat, load carbs, load fat, cut sodium, load sodium, deplete water - it's really like a science experiment. Seeing how each body responds so differently is even more intriguing!Now my fascination is about what lasts far beyond the stage lights and ever-smaller show suits. Keeping a healthy body lets me play with my grandchild without tiring. It lets me travel to see my three wonderful kids. It keeps me going when the day is too long and the demands are too many. I've learned over the past couple of years that even though we might desire to "do it on our own" that we're actually doing it through the support of others and our religious beliefs. Lots of people talk about going for a walk as part of a healthy lifestyle? My walk with faith is the most important I'll ever take and the only one that lasts forever.What or who motivated you?Maybe the most life-changing conversation of my life happened as my grandmother's life ended. She told me to get out there and live life to the fullest, to not miss a thing. Her words changed my life. So I would ask anyone reading this to remember that it's okay to love the gym, but realize that the gym will never love you back.Where did you go for inspiration?I found inspiration in my religious faith. I also find inspiration in rollerblading by the beach, looking up at the moon, or watching tiny spring flowers that signal the coming of summer. It's hard not to be inspired. To me, inspiration starts with having a grateful heart.Sometimes I don't want to work out, but I have found that mental battle cannot be won. The best way for me to handle it is to just go anyway. After working out, I tend to feel better. I always believe that feelings follow actions, not the other way around.What are your future fitness plans?The more years I spend doing this, the less I realize it's possible to really plan. Life changes fast and hard. My only plans are to pray a lot, continue working out, and help others reach their goals."Bodybuilding is not for sissies. It isn't even for tough guys. It's for tremendously dedicated people who are willing to sacrifice a lot to reach a goal."Where will bodybuilding take you?As I already mentioned, life changes so fast. I honestly have no idea, but I know it's going to be exciting and fulfilling. It's already taken me through some of the best and worst years of my life. And I am better for having been a part of it.What is your most important fitness tip?Eating right is more important than working out. If you work out like a beast and eat like a pig, it won't do you much good. Start with a base of healthy eating and then—whatever your choice of exercise—it will count.If you are looking to be a bodybuilder, just realize your life will change. You will lift six days a week. You will watch everything that goes into your mouth. You might spend more on supplements than your electricity bill. You will be sore and tired many days, but have to push through it at the gym. Bodybuilding is not for sissies. It isn't even for tough guys. It's for tremendously dedicated people who are willing to sacrifice a lot to reach a goal. How bad do you want it?Who is your favorite bodybuilder/fitness athlete?In my opinion, Laura Combs was a groundbreaking female athlete. She had amazing biceps back when the public wasn't sure whether a woman should have biceps or not. Despite naysayers, she followed her dreams and didn't let the drama drag her down. We could all look to her as a role model who paved her own path.Among the more modern fitness stars, how can you not love Jamie Eason? The girl has a passion for others. She loves her husband, her new baby, her supporters, and her friends. And after all those, she loves fitness. That's an impressive order of priorities.How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?Without exaggeration, BodySpace helped me reach my goals by being a valuable resource for any question I might have had. Within that community is such a depth of experience and sense of camaraderie that, if you have an issue, someone there has already worked through it and written an article about it. Try it yourself. Type something in the search box and see. It's hard to get lost in the sometimes confusing world of fitness when you use BodySpace as a resource. It's just the truth.The other thing I love about Bodybuilding.com's site is that there are countless articles and examples of different ways to train. Some people like to lift heavy. Others like cardio. Still others are more into yoga and flexibility. If you ever get bored, simply search around the site to find something fresh and motivating.Gina's Top 5 Gym Tracks"Colourless Colour" by La Roux "Bloodstream" by Stateless "Too Close" by Alex Clare "You My Everything" by Ellie Goulding "Take Me With You" by Serge Devant Competition History1999 NPC National Championship 2003 NPC Junior Championship 2003 NPC Junior Championship 2003 NPC USA Championship 2003 NPC National Championship 2004 NPC Junior National Championship 2005 NCP Junior USA Championship 2006 Shannon Dey Classic 2007 NPC Junior National Championship 2008 Flex Arnold Classic Model Search 2009 NPC National Championship 2011 Fitness Universe Weekend Miami 2011 Top 10 Fitness Universe Las Vegas 2012 Fitness Universe Weekend Miami Photography CreditsEva Simon Photography Recommended For YouOver 40 Amateur Of The Week: Dean Is In Pursuit of Perfection Dean Colfax has been bodybuilding for over a decade. At age 50, he still plans to compete and continue his pursuit of perfection.Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Jodi Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down Jodi combines two fitness philosophies, CrossFit and bodybuilding, to help prime her body for the stage. How does she do it?Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Cynthia Beat Depression With A Set Of Abs Cynthia bounced out of a bad point in her life with the help of bodybuilding and she hasn't looked back since.About The AuthorOver 40 Amateur Bodybuilder Of The WeekVIEW AUTHOR PAGEOur Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week has the extraordinary qualities to endure the pain and discipline of bodybuilding. Enter here and win!View All Articles By This Author

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