Tag Archive | "bodybuilding"

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Fitness 360: Samantha Ann Leete, Leete’s Fitness Feats

 

One of the many things that make Samantha Ann Leete such an inspirational athlete is her realistic, balanced approach to health and fitness. She has a full-time job, coaches cheerleading, participates in bikini competitions, and makes appearances at fitness expos. She’s a busy girl! Sometimes, fitness has to come second on her priority list—and that’s OK. Samantha has learned how to balance her life and her schedule.

Samantha has also become an expert at maintaining a positive attitude despite having a hectic life. She loves fitness, enjoys her workouts, and feels healthy and happy about her diet. It is this positivity—along with a fantastic body— that earned her first place at the 2013 BodySpace Spokesmodel Contest. She’d be the first person to tell you that fitness doesn’t just belong to an elite group of people, it belongs to everybody. As she says, “If I can do it, anyone can!”

If you have a busy life and are looking for ways to implement a healthier lifestyle into your schedule, check out Samantha’s plan. You’ll learn how to make workouts, healthy nutrition, and supplementation work for your hectic day.

Samantha Ann Leete Fitness 360
Watch The Video – 13:58

Samantha Leete's Training Program

Samantha Leete’s Training Program

Samantha likes to work out with various training techniques so her regimen never gets boring. Get the details of her fun, bikini-body program right here!

Samantha Leete's Nutrition Program

Samantha Leete’s Nutrition Program

Just because your food is healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste bland! Samantha knows how to get the best taste and nutrition out of her meals. Check out her nutrition philosophy.

Samantha Leete's Supplement Program

Samantha Leete’s Supplement Program

Learn how basic supplementation helped Samantha transform her body and turned her from being a supp skeptic into a protein shaker!

Athlete For Life

Samantha was an active kid. If she wasn’t running around the track or playing soccer or volleyball, you could find her with the dance team or cheerleading squad. She continued her active lifestyle at Weber State University, where she danced and cheered for two years. But, like many ex-college athletes, Samantha didn’t maintain her activity level. “Once I stopped cheering at college, I noticed my body was changing,” she says. “I wasn’t as healthy as I [once] was and I went through a period that was unhealthy and unhappy.”

In order to turn her life around, Samantha had to find new athletic goals for herself. “I met some girls at Weber who were training for a bikini competition. That’s where I was introduced to the world of bodybuilding.”

Samantha knew her life and body were not going in positive directions, so she plucked up some courage and signed up for a bikini competition. “I needed something I could do on my own. Something that would keep me fit for a life, not just for a short period of time,” she says.

“‘I fell in love with training, making healthier choices, the entire lifestyle.'”

Although she had played sports, Samantha hadn’t spent much time in the gym. “I had never lifted weights before,” she explains. Like any good student, Samantha did some research and found Bodybuilding.com. After that, she was hooked. “I fell in love with training, making healthier choices, the entire lifestyle,” she says.

“Through the obstacles that I’ve overcome, I learned a valuable lesson. When things got tough in my life, I thought I was being responsible and unselfish by not taking the time for physical fitness. Now I know better.” Her choices to stay fit have had positive impacts on every other aspect of her life. Samantha has more energy, is happier, feels more accomplished, and is mentally stronger.

Success Doesn’t Come Easy

Although she’s been successful in her fit life, Samantha has had to make a lot of sacrifices and live with a hectic schedule. “I’ve had to work around multiple full-time jobs, the IRS, coaching, cheerleading at multiple places, working swing, working days, going to school, and all the other things we all deal with on a daily basis.”

Samantha’s dedication to commit to fitness, no matter what, is an inspirational feat. “Sometimes I have to do my cardio at lunch. So I’ll run up and down the stairs in my building or run around outside.”

“Samantha’s dedication to commit to fitness, no matter what, is an inspirational feat.”

As much as she loves fitness, Samantha knows how to balance. “I’d be lying if I told you fitness [always] comes first in my life,” she says. “We all have those ‘life happens’ moments when other obligations take priority over the gym. I want to help people realize that just because they can’t go 100 percent all day every day, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try!”

Samantha knows full well that life can get in the way. “I’ve never been able to plan out my month and stick to it. I’ve had to shift workouts, get them in at odd times, and sometimes improvise meals and workouts depending on where I am and what I’m doing.”

It’s no easy task to live fit, but Samantha just keeps going. “It would be awesome if we could all be full-time athletes and never miss a workout, but that’s just not a reality.” With her status as a BodySpace Spokesmodel, she’ll certainly have a bigger platform to should those great words of advice.

More to Share

What do you like most about being a BodySpace Spokesmodel? Why?

I love being able to share my perspective. I spent almost two years thinking about making a “lifestyle” change but not acting on it because I was scared. I love sharing my experiences with others and then watching them incorporate my advice and successfully make changes.

I want women to be the best version of themselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses. What makes us unique is what makes us beautiful!

I also love being able to share supplements! When I first started focusing on living a healthier lifestyle, I knew nothing about supplements. I didn’t even think they worked. Once I started trying different kinds, different brands, and different flavors, I quickly learned what works and what’s crap. I love recommending products and explaining how they can help people achieve their goals.

What would you tell a person who wants to look like you? What’s the first piece of advice you’d give her?

My first piece of advice would be to not want to look like me. Society has trained us to compare ourselves to others. Usually, it just leaves us feeling inadequate and sad. I want women to be the best version of themselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses. What makes us unique is what makes us beautiful!

If you are trying to build your best self, the first thing you must do is choose a goal. Once you’ve chosen a goal, structure a plan for that goal around your schedule and the tools you have available to you. The best plan is one you can tackle and stick to for a long time. Super quick transformations are impressive, but they’re usually difficult to maintain. Slow and steady wins the race!

 

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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!

FITTER FASTER

Sara’s once all-consuming fitness program left her running ragged and almost killed her enthusiasm for exercise. Learn how she revamped her routine and found a healthy medium.

HARD CORPS MUSCLE

Carl Roberts won our 2012 Military Transformation Challenge, and now he is a personal trainer, helping to propel his clients forward with their fitness.

About The Author

Cassie Smith is a writer/editor for Bodybuilding.com and former professor & college athlete. Find out more about her right here.

Posted in Exercises, Fitness Models, Nutrition, Training Methods, Weight lossComments (0)

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How to Perfect the Overhead Squat

Mastering the motion of the overhead squat translates to a stronger back squat. To maintain a neutral spine when squatting with your hands overhead, you’ll recruit all the muscles in your back. Along with more upper-body muscle activation, you’ll become more fluid in your form and prep yourself to squat deeper when it’s time to step under the bar for squats.

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Extend your arms overhead with the backs of your hands in the cradles.
  2. Pull your arms back and lower your hips down and back to descend into a squat.
  3. Drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes, keeping your arms extended. Explode back to the starting position.

FORM CHECK

Keep your arms straight and in line with your ears, and avoid shrugging your shoulders throughout the movement.

This article:

How to Perfect the Overhead Squat

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight TrainingComments Off on How to Perfect the Overhead Squat

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7 Exercises That You Need To Fix Right Now

We are creatures of habit. We each default to our favorite exercises, those bread and butter lifts from programs we love for as long as they keep bringing results. Familiarity just feels right. It wraps you in a secure blanket of warmth, growth, and gains. Unfortunately, that familiarity begets false confidence in your exercise technique, which could cost you even further gains.

“But, Rock Lock, I’ve improved 10 pounds over the last year!” you cry. That’s sweet. But imagine the results you could net with precise exercise form and practice. Unless you or a training buddy have an acute awareness of form, it’s possible that you may have been missing key form points. Remember that poor form calls out compensatory mechanisms while still building strength, albeit inefficiently.

Don’t fret, young Padawan. Here’s how to fix these seven key movements that you previously thought you owned.

Exercise 1

Squats have helped Mr. Olympias, World’s Strongest Men, and other athletes launch from so-so athletes to epic gladiators. There’s no reason not to reap the benefits of the almighty squat, right? But after weeks of nearly crushing yourself under the bar, your results can still end up lackluster.

Team Cellucor‘s Jen Jewell explains why.

“I see a lot of ‘newbies’ just lower their butt down really quick with their knees wobbling all over the place—over the toes or collapsing inward. I’ve even seen this with bodyweight squats! So, when I instruct new clients or am giving pointers, I tell a client to push her butt back as though she’s going to sit down in a chair. This usually helps her get into better position and keep from hobbling forward so much.

“Additionally, I encourage clients to ‘push the booty way back—as if you’re trying to knock someone out with that thing—lower, go back up, and repeat.’ Even though that might be an exaggeration of breaking at the hip, it helps clients picture it and will typically do the trick!

“I typically see people barely start to lower, call it a rep, and bounce back up. That’s not low enough! That’s not even a proper squat! To benefit from squats, you have go to at least parallel, which is the position at which your hip joint and knee joint are aligned parallel to the ground. This ensures quad burn, but also fires up the hamstrings and glutes as well.”

Squat

Exercise 2

I cringe every time I see someone fling heavy dumbbells as high as they can using their back, and then allow momentum to not only carry the weight up but send it back down with zero control. This makes back and rotator cuff injuries almost inevitable if someone continues on this self-destructive path. Thankfully, that won’t be you!

First of all, when you hold the dumbbells, they should rest at your sides instead of in front of you. This way you will be less inclined to harness a back-initiated swing to begin the exercise. Visualize generating force from only your delts as you lift the weights out to your sides with a slight bend in the elbow. Locking out the elbows places strain on the tendons in that area and can make them susceptible to injury.

To avoid unnecessary shoulder strain, stop the movement when your arms become parallel to the floor. At that point, turn the weights so your pinkies point toward the ceiling and pause for one second before slowly lowering the weight to the starting position in a controlled manner. Use a challenging weight you can control throughout the exercise to ensure you don’t cheat.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Exercise 3

The triceps rope pushdown should primarily activate your triceps and core, but this exercise is blundered and haunted by our old enemy, the lower back-generated swing monster. Time and time again, I watch people use momentum to press down heavy weights. This only hurts your elbows and yields no benefit for those muscles in the back of your arms. Again, slow, controlled movement reigns supreme here.

Take the rope and step away from the cable stack. The extra distance increases tension on the triceps more than standing next to the pulley. Keep your shoulders squared and back, chest out, and glue your elbows to your sides. By keeping your elbows tucked in, you emphasize triceps contraction rather than elbow destruction.

As you press the weight down, focusing on working the triceps muscles, spread the ends of the rope apart, and squeeze the hell out of your triceps. That squeeze and tension stimulates growth in the target area.

Afterward, let the weight slowly come back up. Right before you feel as if your elbows are about to be yanked out of place, stop, and then do another rep. This constant tension will make your triceps scream bloody murder by the end of your set.

Exercise 4

A king of the exercise world, deadlifts could well be the most basic movement—in theory. You pick up the weight, hold it, and put it down. What could go wrong? Everything. There are oh-so many instances where a deadlift can go wrong and make lifters vulnerable to injury.

“Deadlifts are often a mess all the way through,” Jewell says. “I often see people with their shoulders rolled forward and hunched over as they lower the weight. Then they lose control over their body as a whole. Having your shoulders back, lats tight, core activated, and chest up will help eliminate this hunchback stature that I see all too often in the gym!

“I see another problem with neck alignment. At the beginning of the pull, you might be tempted to look down at the weight. This puts your neck out of neutral spinal alignment, which makes you more prone to hunching your shoulders and keeps you from engaging your core. Keep your neck aligned with the rest of your spine at the start and finish of your pull.”

Exercise 5

“Although dumbbell curls are a great exercise, problems rear their ugly heads when they are performed improperly.”

You want perfectly rounded biceps like IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Craig Capurso? He’s going to let you in on the “secret” to winning the arms race.

“Although dumbbell curls are a great exercise, problems rear their ugly heads when they are performed improperly,” Capurso says. “Many people will either pick up a light weight that can be lifted a million times or a weight that’s simply too heavy. Either of these prevents people from ever performing a worthy rep. Many people start the exercise with a shoulder swing followed by a fading elbow. This movement pattern doesn’t actually involve the biceps. It basically makes the exercise one big cheat.

“The goal is to achieve a well-controlled movement that isn’t aided by the aforementioned body swing. You should feel a deep burning sensation in your biceps and a noticeable pump or swell. You should also be able to perform the recommended reps in your program. After four sets of this type of training, you’ll feel fatigued, making it difficult to even bend your arms. That’s good because you are doing it correctly and have picked proper weights.”

To mix things up and really focus on your mind-muscle connection, try hammer curls. “This is when you stand in a neutral position, with your hands at your sides and the palms facing in toward your body,” Craig says. “Notice where your elbow rests in reference to your body and actively think about maintaining this position throughout the exercise. Really think about contracting the muscle groups involved as you bring up the weight. If you feel the heat in your shoulder, elbow, or any other muscle group that shouldn’t be firing, restart the process or perhaps lower the weight.”

Exercise 6

The bench press is an excellent indicator of upper body strength. When performed correctly, it is a money exercise that builds strength, muscle size, and athletic function. Haphazard execution of the bench press can increase the risk of shoulder or pec injuries, but that can usually be rectified by going with lower weight or just doing the damn exercise the right way!

In preparing to pump out your first rep, make sure your shoulder blades are squeezed together. This will protect your shoulders and bring your chest higher so the bar doesn’t travel as far. Next, plant your feet firmly on the floor and get yourself in a stable position. Otherwise you increase the chance of getting hurt. Keep everything tight, including your shoulders and butt.

As you perform the lift, lower the bar to your nipple line and keep it there for a one-second pause. Think about pushing your chest away from the bar rather than pushing the bar away from your chest. Remember to drive your feet into the floor for force production, keeping your butt on the bench, and arching your back to transfer force to the bar. Once you press the weight up, focus on squeezing your pecs as if you were trying to crush a walnut sitting between them.

Bench Press

Exercise 7

Crunches are a perennial favorite and also one of the most poorly performed exercises in the gym. Even if you think you’re a crunch king, you might be doing them wrong and actually jeopardizing your neck health.

The first step to being a crunch master: Don’t cross your arms on your chest or clasp your hands together behind your head. Instead, lightly place your hands on the temples of your noggin and focus on keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders. Don’t bend your neck; the idea isn’t to bang your head against your crotch, but to dig your lower back into the floor and lift your shoulders about 3-4 inches off the floor.

Squeeze your abdominals and forcefully let out a big breath. Slowly drop yourself back to the floor and repeat. Now do 10 reps and let me know the difference this makes. Don’t worry, you can catch your breath—I can wait.

Do you see other poorly performed exercises at your own gym? Sound off in the comments below! Let us know if you have any favorite tips or techniques. Share with the community to help improve everyone’s form—and results!

Quite Simply, The Most Efficient Cardio You Can Do

Slow, boring, steady-state cardio doesn’t cut it! Transform your workout and take cardio sessions from the track to the pool with this customizable program!

How To Master Olympic Lifts You Think You Can’t Do

The snatch and the clean and jerk are difficult movements-but highly effective. So before you load a barbell and try one of them, give these progression lifts a go.

6 Secrets Of The Super-Fit

Want to know how cover models build such perfect bodies? Here are secret weapons they use to set themselves apart!

 

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7 Exercises That You Need To Fix Right Now

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5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

You probably associate calorie burning with training, but you burn calories 24/7, even while you sleep. Granted, the gym is your most intense burst of calorie expenditure, but we’re talking one hour of training versus 23 hours of non-training. You can benefit from a much smarter approach to burning more during the other 96 percent of your day.

The calories burned outside the gym matter just as much for health benefits and long-term weight maintenance as the calories burned within the gym walls. Even frequent exercisers are often quite sedentary when not training. Additionally, studies show that people grossly overestimate the amount of calories burned from their workout.

We live on a 24-hour clock. Each hour affords you an opportunity to burn fat; that gives you all the more reason to incorporate small bouts of activity and, of course, the following five calorie-burning strategies into your daily routine!

1 Swap Your Morning Bowl Of Oatmeal For An Omelette

When you swap your bowl of oatmeal for a 3-egg omelette with vegetables (spinach and bell peppers, anyone?), you do your taste buds a favor. You also affect the way your body metabolizes the food constituents. Thanks to a little something called the thermic effect of food, the different macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) each require varying amounts of energy expenditure from the body to metabolize.

The metabolic pathway for protein digestion is rather complex, and as a result, the body spends slightly more calories metabolizing, say, a bolus of chicken than a chunk of sweet potato. In this case, the protein from eggs has a higher thermic effect—which could boost your calorie burn by an additional 40-50 calories.

So the next time you wake up in the morning, hankering for some grub, pass on the oats and say yes to a heaping pile of eggs and vegetables. With improved satiety levels, this small change to your breakfast could even make waves in your dietary choices throughout the day.

2 Move Throughout the Work Day

Look around your office. Chances are you see your co-workers hunched over, eyes glued to the monitor, scarfing down their lunch at their desk. While this habit is common, it shouldn’t be typical. Take back your precious lunchtime and repurpose it for the good of calorie-burning!

I’m not asking you to do anything drastic like run a couple miles (although you very well could), but your lunch time could be better served as “you” time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office. Forty-five minutes of light walking will take off 200-300 calories. What’s more, you’ll feel more focused and refreshed by the time you return to your desk.

“Lunch time could be better served as ‘you’ time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office.”

Maybe you want to dedicate lunch hour to, you know, eating lunch. There’s no rule that your walk must occur during lunch time. So grab your co-workers at any time and push for a quick stroll around the office building. Any excuse to get up and move, such as walking to speak to a co-worker, getting a glass of water from the break room, or going to use the photocopier, will also prove beneficial to your long-term health and help increase the total daily calories burned. Think of it this way: If you burn 20-25 calories for merely five minutes of movement, you can accumulate up to a net calorie burn of 160-200 calories over an 8-hour work day.

3 Stand While You Work

“Sitting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as standing does.”

Modern society has created an entire culture that revolves around sitting: sitting at your desk eight hours per day, sitting in the car for your commute, sitting at home on the couch, sitting at the dinner table, sitting in the Jacuzzi &mdashyou get the picture.

Sitting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as standing does. Then there’s the research on too much sitting. It shows a negative correlation with weakened gluteal (butt) muscles, which have been linked to poor hip function and chronic low-back pain. According to a study published by the “American College of Sports Medicine,” this extended sitting may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality from various health-degrading causes.

The next time you talk on the phone or pore over stacks of paper at your desk, do it while standing rather than sitting on your rump. This simple change allows you to be more vivacious on the phone and more fidgety in general, thus allowing you to burn up to an additional 300 calories over the course of a day.

4 Take the Stairs

The prospect of climbing several flights of stairs can be daunting, but it’s a great way to burn more calories. If you’re fortunate enough to work in a multi-story building, climbing stairs should be a simple and effective addition to your daily routine. If not, always opt to take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever you can.

You’ll burn anywhere between 4 and 7 calories per flight of stairs you take, depending on their length and your body weight. You can even make it more difficult by getting lower, pretending to do step-ups, and come up slowly to make sure your glutes are firing.

5 Drink More Green Tea

The health benefits of green tea are well documented. In addition to kicking your metabolism awake, green tea contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that can bolster the fight against cellular damage. Some cellular damage is necessary, of course, but rampant cell destruction is a bad thing and, in the worst cases, may even promote to cancer growth.

“Consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body.”

Rather than downing another cup of coffee or an energy drink, go for the green tea bags. You’ll probably have fewer people to fend off in the break room. The green tea will still provide a modest dose of caffeine for those morning pick-me-ups; the caffeine content of green tea rivals that of a 6 oz. cup of coffee, and gives a nice metabolic boost.

A study published in the “American Society for Clinical Nutrition” shows that consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body. What this means for you is more efficient fat burning and a higher metabolism for the rest of the day. All you have to do is raise that cup to your lips!

As you can see, it’s possible to raise your non-workout calorie burning without dramatically disrupting your daily habits. Noticeable change can come from small, yet consistent changes. All these little tweaks to your daily routine and diet will pile on quickly to ignite a sizeable calorie inferno and advance the achievement of your weight-loss goals.

REFERENCES

  1. Chantre, P. et al. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 70, no. 6.
  2. Church, T.S. et al. (2009). Sitting Time And Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, And Cancer. American College Of Sports Medicine. Vol. 41, No. 5. Pp. 998-1005.

 

About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

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5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

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chest-press-with-resistance-band

Chest press with resistance band

How to

1. Attach the centre of the band to a stationary object and hold one end in each hand

2. Stand with your back to the attachment, elbows bent and shoulders abducted to 90 degrees (upper arm level with shoulder) so that your hands are next to your chest.

3. Push forwards and straighten your arms out in front of you.

4. Slowly return to the starting position.


Why use resistance bands?

They are super affordable and the ideal fitness multi-tasker. Just choose the right band based on your weight – it’s all written on either the packaging, online or ask in store. As you get stronger you’ll need to lower the assistance to account for your new strength.

For example, a robust general tension band combined with a heavy band offers roughly the same amount of resistance as a power band, but the combination gives you three different levels of assistance (one with the heavy band, one with robust, and one with both bands). Colours denote the different band strengths and vary between brands.

Source

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The 12-Week Bikini Competition Diet

If you’ve always wanted to hit the stage in a bikini or figure competition, this is your time. Our comprehensive plan includes the Workout Plan, this nutrition plan, and motivational tips to help you get a winning physique in just 12 weeks. Give it a try—even if you’re not ready for the spotlight, you’re guaranteed to get into the very best shape of your life.

THE DIET PLAN

How it works: This nutrition program is designed to help you drop fat without losing muscle. In each phase, you’ll have three daily meals and three snacks. After every four weeks, you’ll reduce the number of calories in your diet, without sacrificing protein. In the week before the show, you’ll vary the amount of carbs, sodium, and fluids to help your muscles get that ultra-cut, superlean look just in time for your moment in the spotlight.

PHASE 1: WEEKS 1-4

Follow the meal plan outlined here, which also includes a Food Swaps guide below. In addition, try to consume at least one gallon (16 cups) of water a day. And a limited amount of sodium helps regulate body fluids, so don’t be afraid to use low-calorie condiments like mustard and hot sauce.

BREAKFAST

  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup (uncooked) instant oatmeal
  • 10 almonds

Totals: 240 calories, 20g protein, 22g carbs, 8g fat

MID-MORNING SNACK

  • 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 3 oz sweet potato, boiled or baked, without skin
  • ½ oz English walnuts, shelled

Totals: 258 calories, 26g protein, 17g carbs, 11g fat

LUNCH

  • 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • ½ cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli, boiled or steamed

Totals: 263 calories, 29g protein, 34g carbs, 3g fat

MIDDAY SNACK

  • 1 scoop whey protein isolate
  • ½ large (8″) banana
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter

Totals: 271 calories, 29g protein, 19g carbs, 9g fat

DINNER

  • 5 oz cod
  • 1 white corn tortilla
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini, boiled

Salad with dinner

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 10 almonds, crushed
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Totals: 328 calories, 32g protein, 32g carbs, 9g fat

EVENING SMOOTHIE

  • 1½ scoops whey protein isolate

Totals: 158 calories, 38g protein, 0g carbs, 1g fat

Daily Totals: 1,518 calories, 174g protein, 124g carbs, 40g fat

PHASE 2: WEEKS 5-8

In this phase, you’ll trim calories slightly to help drop body fat, although protein intake will stay steady to make sure your metabolism remains high and you’re not losing muscle tissue along with the fat. Feel free to keep referring to the Food Swaps list on page one. And keep up your fluid intake, drinking at least one gallon of water per day.

BREAKFAST

  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 oz 99% fat-free ground turkey breast
  • ⅓ cup (uncooked) instant oatmeal

Totals: 214 calories, 29g protein, 19g carbs, 3g fat

MID-MORNING SNACK

  • 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • ⅓ cup long-grain brown rice

Totals: 172 calories, 25g protein, 15g carbs, 2g fat

LUNCH

  • 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 cup black-eyed peas, boiled
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli, steamed

Totals: 355 calories, 40g protein, 47g carbs, 3g fat

MIDDAY SNACK

  • 4 oz 99% fat-free ground turkey breast
  • 2 white corn tortillas
  • 1 oz avocado

Totals: 257 calories, 31g protein, 20g carbs, 6g fat

DINNER

  • 4 oz cod
  • 1½ oz avocado

Salad

  • ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • ¼ cup tomato
  • ¼ cup onion

Totals: 290 calories, 23g protein, 17g carbs, 14g fat

EVENING SMOOTHIE

  • 1 scoop whey protein isolate
  • 1 tbsp organic flaxseeds

Totals: 160 calories, 27g protein, 3g carbs, 5g fat

DAILY TOTALS:

1,448 calories, 175g protein, 121g carbs, 33g fat

Source:

The 12-Week Bikini Competition Diet

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Image Kettlebell-Swing_0.jpg

The Leg-Day Circuit to End Your Workout Right

DIRECTIONS:

You’ll work for 40 seconds per exercise (20 seconds each leg for the power lunges) with a 10-second transition between movements. Complete four to five rounds.

THE LEG-DAY FINISHER

EXERCISE 1

KETTLEBELL SWINGYou’ll need: KettlebellsHow to

Kettlebell Swing thumbnail
4sets
40 sec.reps
10 sec.rest

EXERCISE 2

LATERAL RESISTANCE BAND SHUFFLEHow to

4sets
40 sec.reps
10 sec.rest

EXERCISE 3

POWER LUNGE

4sets
40 sec.reps
10 sec.

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The Leg-Day Circuit to End Your Workout Right

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Back to the Basics for Greater Size and Strength Gains

People lift for a variety of reasons whether it’s to increase mass, strength, power or some other factor. And the way they go about achieving these desired outcomes is the source of debate across internet forums. Everything from ideal training splits, sets, reps, and even rest intervals are sources of debate. Despite these differences in details, one underlying principle unites these lifters, an understanding that programming matters. Poorly designed programming can leave you in a suboptimal state, which will impact your ability to reach your goals, or worse leave you susceptible to injury.

One concept that lifters should take into account when assessing their program is that they’re addressing the following fundamental movement patterns:

Hinge
Squat
Push
Pull
Lunge
Carry

While you don’t have to incorporate each movement pattern into all of your workouts, it would be wise to assess whether you’re performing a sufficient amount of each movement at some point over the course of your training program. Failure to address each movement pattern can lead to muscle imbalances and a higher susceptibility to injury down the line. In addition to that, because the muscles operate as groups, if you have a weakness somewhere in your “chain”, your overall strength goals will suffer.


WATCH: WORKOUTS YOU’VE NEVER TRIED>>

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Lifters may overlook one of the fundamental movement patterns for a variety of reasons. Often times lifters choose to abandon an entire movement because they experience discomfort performing a specific exercise. Exercises make up movement patterns, but they’re not the stand alone movement pattern. If a certain exercise gives you trouble for whatever reason rather than abandoning exercises from that movement find ways to incorporate other user friendly exercises from that movement pattern.

Another common reason is tunnel vision on improving a specific lift when designing a program. While specificity and overload are necessities for training progress, you don’t want to totally neglect the other movements.

SEE ALSO: 6 Tricks to Improve Your Posture

Lastly, some lifters do make an effort to address each of these movements in their programs but it might not be in a balanced fashion. We have a tendency to gravitate towards movements we excel at rather than ones we have more difficulty with. In addition to this, we have to consider what movements/postures we utilize throughout the course of our day not just in a gym. This is why it’s common for many trainers as an example to recommend 2:1 pull to push ratios to provide some balance from slouching in front of a computer for 8 hours. Some ways you could go about evaluating your program is comparing strength ratios across movements, total reps performed of each movement or an honest assessment of movement quality for each movement.

landmine front squat

Here are some strategies to ensure you address any of the fundamental movement patterns that you might be underutilizing in your program.

Hinge
Squat
Push
Pull
Lunge
Carry

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Back to the Basics for Greater Size and Strength Gains

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Back to the Basics for Greater Size and Strength Gains

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High Intensity Power Training Workouts for Fat Loss, Strength and Fitness

For most guys, when they think of conditioning for fat loss, it means either nausea-inducing sprints or churning away on a treadmill for hours like a hamster. Fortunately there’s an alternative style of training that’s as time-efficient as sprints and doesn’t require you to stray away from the weights.

Furthermore, because this style of training actually places an emphasis on high-volume technical exercises, you’ll be able to get more skillful repetitions for different lifts that many guys struggle with.

What this means for you is that this program will help you get stronger at technical lifts while also improving your body composition. How do you go about achieving this goal?  With High Intensity Power Training.

SEE ALSO: 7 Reasons You Need HIIT

Researchers wanted to examine what effects Crossfit-style High Intensity Power Training had on body composition and aerobic fitness. They had a 43-person group consisting of healthy men and women participate in a 10-week High Intensity Power Training program. The program consisted of various lifts preformed as quickly as possible, combined with skill work for select gymnastic exercises and Olympic lifts.

The study results showed that both genders were able to improve their aerobic fitness as evidenced by improvements in their VO2 max numbers. In addition to this, both genders were also able to reduce their body fat percentages to the tune of 3.3% less body fat in the female participants and 4.0% less body fat in the male participants.

These two High Intensity Power Training workouts combine the beneficial aspects of the study so you can improve body composition, aerobic fitness and enhance skills that’ll transfer over to bigger PRs.

For best results, perform each repetition in the workout as explosively as possible, with little rest in between exercises. Each workout will be performed circuit-style, consisting of a total of 3 sets for each exercise, with 3-5 minutes rest in between circuits.

The weight used should be challenging but not too heavy where you can’t complete a circuit. If you don’t have experience with Olympic lifts, you can substitute the barbell lifts with moderately heavy dumbbell or kettlebell variations. Take at least one day off between workouts.

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High Intensity Power Training Workouts for Fat Loss, Strength and Fitness

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Think you’re fit? Scientists just figured out how to become even fitter.

WE ALL TRY to do what we can to stay as fit as possible—hit the gym four or five times a week, pick up a yoga class or two, visit a CrossFit box occasionally to amp up the endurance training—but we can always do more to hone our physique and diet to get to the next level of fitness.

Now, a team of researchers is starting to hone in on a comprehensive strategy to get there. And while the individual components are probably familiar to regular Men’s Fitness readers, this program represents a solid all-around plan to build your fittest self yet.

It’s called PRISE—short for Protein-pacing, Resistance exercise, Interval sprints, Stretching, and Endurance exercise—and in a study, the researchers at Skidmore College found that the program not only boosted the fitness of already physically fit people, but also improved their total body fat mass and abdominal fat, lean body mass, metabolic and heart health.

The researchers tested the regimen on people ages 30–65 who had been doing cardio and resistance training for a minimum of four days a week at no less than 45 minutes each time for the last three years—fairly experienced gym rats, in other words. In the 12-week study, subjects consumed modest amounts of protein throughout the day (called protein pacing), and then performing the fitness routines four times a week. The only experimental difference? One group took a bit more protein (1g vs 2g per kg of body weight per day) and added antioxidant-rich supplements to their diet.

After 12 weeks, all subjects showed improvement in fitness, including healthier blood vessels, more upper body strength and endurance, and better core strength—but the group that took the antioxidants exhibited the most improvement.

“Whether your goal is to improve fitness or heart health, the quality of your diet and a multi-dimensional exercise training regimen [like PRISE] can make all the difference,” said Paul Arciero, D.P.E., study author and exercise scientist at Skidmore. “It’s not about simply eating less calories and doing more exercise. It’s about eating the right foods at the right time and incorporating a combination of exercises that most effectively promotes health and fitness.”

To get started on a similar plan, mix and match these great workouts:

5 rowing workouts to get your ripped

10 metabolic moves to supercharge weight loss

The muscle-building, fat-burning workout plan to build your perfect body

Link:

Think you’re fit? Scientists just figured out how to become even fitter.

Posted in Bodybuilding, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Sports nutrition, Training Methods, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Think you’re fit? Scientists just figured out how to become even fitter.

Paige Hathaway

Paige Hathaway

2 days 13 minutes ago

Limits are imaginary ✨🤟🏼🌎
Never in a million years did I think that I would travel to Dubai, get to meet and share smiles with hundreds of people at the fitness expo or ride camels and four wheelers in the desert!! Geeesh, What is life.. 😍

...At the end of the day, I think to myself that my life may not always be perfect, but it’s completely what I make of it. 👉🏼 It’s not exactly what I see but how I look at things. It’s not necessarily about what I do, but how I do it. So everyday I make my life count and I make it memorable and I do the things my dreams inspire to be.

Paige Hathaway

3 days 1 hour ago

It’s ok to be scared.. being scared is normal but letting that feeling overpower your life and control you will ruin it. Most people are paralyzed by their fears. They become so afraid to take a step out of their comfort zone that they stay complacent. They fear failure, they fear rejection, they fear fear... But having courage against your fears doesn’t mean you don’t get scared... having courage against your fears just means you didn’t let fear stop you. Refuse to reform your life because you’re scared of the unknown or getting outside of your normal.

DECLARE TO HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE! Use your energy not to worry but to believe. Great people do things before they are fully prepared. They do things before they know that they can even do it. Doing things you are afraid of, going beyond your comfort zone, taking risks that scare the hell out of you... THAT is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good.. who freaking cares....?!
You tired something and the comfort zone that you left will still be the comfort zone that you left if you shall ever choose to return. ✨🐫🌏 #ididntgetthisfarfromfear #igotthisfarfromhavingcourage

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