Tag Archive | "fitness"

Running tips for women

Running tips for women

Going for a run is probably one of the most popular ways to get your workout on, whether it’s hitting the roads or jumping on a treadmill when the weather’s gross outside. If you sometimes find running a little tedious, why not challenge yourself to go faster or further?

Here are our top tips to smash your run.

To the gym

Weight training could make you a better runner. A Norwegian study found that resistance training three times a week for eight weeks significantly improved running efficiency and endurance in well-trained, long-distance runners.

Uphill battle

Want to conquer the hills? To race uphill, run with a short stride while pushing off the balls of your feet and pumping your arms. Then relax your arms and use a longer stride to go downhill.

Ready, set, splash!

Getting wet could make you a better runner. Swimming increases your upper body strength, making your runs more efficient, while aqua jogging mimics your usual movement sans impact – reducing the risk of injury.

Bright idea

‘Watch your stance when running,’ tips Fitness First trainer Andy Hall. ‘Leaping forward and striding too far will drain your energy fast. Instead, make sure you stand tall and lean slightly forward, so when you feel like you’re going to fall, you step forward just enough to catch yourself. This should be the length of your stride.’

Take five

Listen to your body! If you’re feeling under the weather or if your body is sore and ready for a rest, take a recovery day. Only you know if those aches and pains are from a good run or the sign you need to rest.

Sand storm

Here’s a good excuse to book a beach getaway – running on sand can improve your speed and muscle tone. A study from St Luke’s University Clinic in Belgium found that pounding the sand requires 1.6 times more energy than running on pavements as your body has to work harder to deal with the soft, unstable surface. That adds up to more defined muscles and a swifter run when you get back to solid ground. Neat!

Drink up

Hydration is key for runners, but plain old water is best if you’re only doing short runs. Upgrade to a sports drink if you’re running for longer than an hour to help shuttle glucose to your muscles and combat fatigue.

Continued here – 

Running tips for women

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments (0)

Healthy breakfasts

Healthy breakfasts

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It should be packed with protein – so it keeps your hunger at bay until lunch, full of goodness – so you stay sharp and alert all morning and delicious – well, just because! So step away from the sugar-laden cereals and greasy spoon fry-ups and start your days with tasty, filling and energy-boosting breakfasts.

Chia seed porridge

Oats are great, but why not jazz up your porridge by trying it with chia seed, instead? It does require a little prep the night before, but it’s super simple and the pay-off is huge. Simply soak 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds in milk or water overnight (making sure there is plenty of liquid to cover the seeds, and then some). Give it a little stir. The next morning you’ll have a thick and creamy porridge. Why not add some cinnamon, cocoa powder or berries into the mix, too?

Mushrooms and spinach breakfast pizza

Beat 2 eggs in a bowl, slice a few mushrooms into the mix and pour it into a small frying pan with coconut oil. Flip it so it cooks on both sides then chuck a big handful of spinach on top. Place a lid over the pan to steam the spinach until wilted, then serve with a few slices of avocado.

Grain-free granola

This is a great option for those who love a crunchy granola in the mornings but don’t want the sugary grains that come with the store-bought versions. Make a big batch at once to save time later in the week. Mix up a big bowl of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped mixed nuts, dessicated coconut and dried berries. Stir in some room temperature coconut oil so that all the ingredients are evenly covered, then sprinkle cinnamon.

Want more healthy meal ideas? Subscribe to Women’s Fitness. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1.

See original article here – 

Healthy breakfasts

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

The lazy day workout

The lazy day workout

You love the idea of getting fit. You even have all the kit – hanging in your wardrobe. Hey, it’s OK! Sometimes, working out is just too much like hard work – especially when the weekend rolls around.

But, here’s the thing: working out is super good for you! It’s not just about losing weight or toning up – a heart-pumping sesh is great for your mood and brain too. So if your excuse for every skipped session is ‘I can’t be bothered’, listen up. Working out can be as quick and easy hitting snooze on your alarm. You don’t even have to leave your bedroom to get this workout done – you can do the whole thing in your pyjamas! As long as you’re moving, we don’t care. 

To get the most bang for your fitness buck, it’s wise to choose a resistance workout that also gives you a serious cardio challenge, so you can get fitter and stronger in one go. This workout does just that, targeting muscles in the upper body, lower body and mid-section to encourage blood flow to all areas. It means your body is using energy (and burning cals!) just moving the blood back and forth. Smart, huh.

Kit you’ll need:
Chair, resistance band

How to do it
First, roll out of bed! Then follow this workout, performing one set of each exercise back to back without rest. Once you’ve completed one full circuit, take 30 to 60 seconds’ rest before repeating the whole circuit again. That’s it! If you really want a challenge, repeat the circuit a third time. Hit repeat on this easy workout two to three times a week for best results. Who’s lazy now?

Beginner: 2 x 8 reps each move
Intermediate: 2 x 10 reps each move
Advanced: 3 x 10 reps each move

Incline press-up
Areas trained: Chest, rear upper arms, shoulders, core

Safety tip: Keep your body straight throughout

Technique -Start in plank position on your hands with your feet on a chair.
-Bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor, making sure your hips move with the rest of your body.
-Push back up to the start and repeat.

Squat jumps
Areas trained: Bottom, legs

Hot tip: Land straight into another squat for an extra challenge

Technique
-Bend at the knees and hips to lower your bottom back and down as low as possible.
-From this position, jump up as high as you can.
-Land softly with knees bent and repeat.

Tuck jump
Areas trained: legs, stomach

Hot tip: a great way to hit the abs and cardio at the same time

Technique: -Jump up as high as you can and tuck your knees in towards your chest.
-Land softly and repeat.

Knees to feet jump
Areas trained: Legs, bottom, core

Technique
-Start kneeling on the floor with your toes tucked under.
-In one explosive movement, jump up to land on your feet.
-Return to the start and repeat.

Marching plank
Areas trained: Core, stomach, shoulders

Safety tip: Don’t tilt your hips

Technique
-Start in plank position on your hands with your feet on a chair.
-Keeping your body straight, bring one knee towards your chest, then return to the start position and repeat on the opposite leg for the next rep. Continue alternating legs to complete the set.

Burpee
Areas trained: Legs, bottom, core, shoulders

Safety tip: Don’t let your hips drop lower than the rest of your body while in plank position

Technique
-Crouch down, placing your hands on the floor by your feet.
-Jump your feet back into a plank position, them immediately jump them back to the start.
-Jump up as high as you can, then land softly and move straight into another rep.

Modified V-sit
Area trained: Stomach

Technique
-Sitting on the floor with knees bent, lift your feet and extend your legs. At the same time, recline your upper body as far as possible.
-Engage your core to bring your knees and chest together. Repeat.

Marching glute bridge
Areas trained: Bottom, rear thighs, core

Safety tip: Try to relax your shoulders

Technique
-Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs bent, feet flat on the floor close to your bottom.
-Lift your hips up as high as you can.
-Keeping them raised, life one foot off the floor, then lower it back to the start and repeat on the opposite leg. This is one rep.
-Repeat, keeping your hips raised.

Hone at home
Can’t be bothered to leave the house? Here are three pieces of kit that’ll turn your home into your very own gym

1. USA Pro Body Bands These three bands provide various resistances and can be hidden away in a drawer.
£5.99, usapro.co.uk

2. Speed rope Pick one up for a cardio fix that doesn’t require a hefty machine.
£6.50, physicalcompany.co.uk

3. Dumbbell set Add a bit of resistance to your home workouts with this adjustable dumbbell set.
£59.99, gorillasports.co.uk

 

More:

The lazy day workout

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

The lazy day workout

The lazy day workout

You love the idea of getting fit. You even have all the kit – hanging in your wardrobe. Hey, it’s OK! Sometimes, working out is just too much like hard work – especially when the weekend rolls around.

But, here’s the thing: working out is super good for you! It’s not just about losing weight or toning up – a heart-pumping sesh is great for your mood and brain too. So if your excuse for every skipped session is ‘I can’t be bothered’, listen up. Working out can be as quick and easy hitting snooze on your alarm. You don’t even have to leave your bedroom to get this workout done – you can do the whole thing in your pyjamas! As long as you’re moving, we don’t care. 

To get the most bang for your fitness buck, it’s wise to choose a resistance workout that also gives you a serious cardio challenge, so you can get fitter and stronger in one go. This workout does just that, targeting muscles in the upper body, lower body and mid-section to encourage blood flow to all areas. It means your body is using energy (and burning cals!) just moving the blood back and forth. Smart, huh.

Kit you’ll need:
Chair, resistance band

How to do it
First, roll out of bed! Then follow this workout, performing one set of each exercise back to back without rest. Once you’ve completed one full circuit, take 30 to 60 seconds’ rest before repeating the whole circuit again. That’s it! If you really want a challenge, repeat the circuit a third time. Hit repeat on this easy workout two to three times a week for best results. Who’s lazy now?

Beginner: 2 x 8 reps each move
Intermediate: 2 x 10 reps each move
Advanced: 3 x 10 reps each move

Incline press-up
Areas trained: Chest, rear upper arms, shoulders, core

Safety tip: Keep your body straight throughout

Technique -Start in plank position on your hands with your feet on a chair.
-Bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor, making sure your hips move with the rest of your body.
-Push back up to the start and repeat.

Squat jumps
Areas trained: Bottom, legs

Hot tip: Land straight into another squat for an extra challenge

Technique
-Bend at the knees and hips to lower your bottom back and down as low as possible.
-From this position, jump up as high as you can.
-Land softly with knees bent and repeat.

Tuck jump
Areas trained: legs, stomach

Hot tip: a great way to hit the abs and cardio at the same time

Technique: -Jump up as high as you can and tuck your knees in towards your chest.
-Land softly and repeat.

Knees to feet jump
Areas trained: Legs, bottom, core

Technique
-Start kneeling on the floor with your toes tucked under.
-In one explosive movement, jump up to land on your feet.
-Return to the start and repeat.

Marching plank
Areas trained: Core, stomach, shoulders

Safety tip: Don’t tilt your hips

Technique
-Start in plank position on your hands with your feet on a chair.
-Keeping your body straight, bring one knee towards your chest, then return to the start position and repeat on the opposite leg for the next rep. Continue alternating legs to complete the set.

Burpee
Areas trained: Legs, bottom, core, shoulders

Safety tip: Don’t let your hips drop lower than the rest of your body while in plank position

Technique
-Crouch down, placing your hands on the floor by your feet.
-Jump your feet back into a plank position, them immediately jump them back to the start.
-Jump up as high as you can, then land softly and move straight into another rep.

Modified V-sit
Area trained: Stomach

Technique
-Sitting on the floor with knees bent, lift your feet and extend your legs. At the same time, recline your upper body as far as possible.
-Engage your core to bring your knees and chest together. Repeat.

Marching glute bridge
Areas trained: Bottom, rear thighs, core

Safety tip: Try to relax your shoulders

Technique
-Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs bent, feet flat on the floor close to your bottom.
-Lift your hips up as high as you can.
-Keeping them raised, life one foot off the floor, then lower it back to the start and repeat on the opposite leg. This is one rep.
-Repeat, keeping your hips raised.

Hone at home
Can’t be bothered to leave the house? Here are three pieces of kit that’ll turn your home into your very own gym

1. USA Pro Body Bands These three bands provide various resistances and can be hidden away in a drawer.
£5.99, usapro.co.uk

2. Speed rope Pick one up for a cardio fix that doesn’t require a hefty machine.
£6.50, physicalcompany.co.uk

3. Dumbbell set Add a bit of resistance to your home workouts with this adjustable dumbbell set.
£59.99, gorillasports.co.uk

 

Continue reading: 

The lazy day workout

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

Expert Panel: Everything You Need To Know About Nutrition!

What will you eat today? You have a world of choices, and a world of people ready to tell you why you’ve chosen wrong. It can be overwhelming, especially because sometimes it seems like your very life—or at least the life your six-pack, hard-earned muscle mass, or other aesthetic goal—is at stake. So where do you start? Start here!

In the second of our expert panel roundtable discussions, we invited Dr. Jacob Wilson and Dr. Robert Wildman to discuss the fundamentals of goal-based nutrition and how the scientific landscape is rapidly changing. They break down some of the rules that should guide trainees with a range of goals, from losing large quantities of fat, to chiseling off a couple percentage points. Then they discuss three increasingly popular dietary protocols—ketogenic diets, “if it fits your macros,” and intermittent fasting—from the perspective of fat-loss and muscle preservation.

The best way to learn from these experts is to watch the entire video. Then, if you’d like to refer back to specific sections, use the bookmark links below. Don’t see your question answered here? Shout it out in the comments below so they can address it in the future!

Ask the Expert Panel

Expert Panel Nutrition and Diet Table of Contents

Who are Jacob Wilson and Rob Wildman? – 0:40
What should I consider when looking at diets? – 2:25
  • Losing fat and building muscle at the same time: Is it possible?
  • Do I have to lose muscle when I diet?
  • Macronutrients and changing body composition
  • The two things you need to build muscle and burn fat


What is the optimal protein intake for losing fat? – 6:05
  • Three meals a day vs. six meals a day
  • The anabolic effect of protein
  • The per-meal protein “threshold”
  • The thermic effect of protein
  • Other ways protein helps burn calories
How should I decide how many calories to eat? – 9:00
  • The one-week method to determining “maintenance calories”
  • How to perform a “self-inventory”
  • Mifflin-St. Jeor vs. Cunningham
  • Where to start your caloric deficit
  • Your starting body composition and fat-loss

Calculate Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure!

Mifflin St. Jeor equation

Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161

* Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55

Total Calories Including Exercise

* Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation

Why is it harder to lose fat the leaner you get? – 12:14
  • Your body’s preferred fuel sources and how they can change
  • Why leaner people need to be careful with caloric deficits
  • Two supplements that appear to spare muscle tissue when dieting
  • How to alter your macros and protein intake when calories go down
How can I burn fat and build muscle at the same time? – 17:40
  • The importance of cellular signaling and how to take advantage of it
  • Cardio duration, intensity, and fat-loss
  • How studies have achieved simultaneous fat-loss and muscle development

Work harder. Recover quicker. Achieve your goals faster.*

Go Now!

How should I optimize my resistance training for fat-loss and muscle gain? – 20:45
  • Training frequency: The old way vs. the Norwegian way
  • How to balance intensity and frequency
  • The muscle protein synthesis “window” and training experience level
  • Heavy lifting vs. hypertrophy training
  • The importance of listening to your body for training—particularly when dieting
Ketogenic diets: What are the benefits and drawbacks? – 25:05
  • How most people get it wrong
  • The importance of fats, and the perfect keto macros
  • Carb-adapted vs. fat-adapted or “keto-adapted”
  • How long it takes to get “fat-adapted”
  • Why very high-protein ketogenic dieting may not work
  • Ketones and hunger level
  • New research on ketogenesis and health markers
  • Ketogenic diets and type 2 diabetes
  • Why there isn’t just one diet for everyone
  • New research in carbs and training volume
  • The problem with weekly cyclic keto diets, and a possible solution


“If it fits your macros” (IIFYM): What are the benefits and drawbacks? – 41:20
  • What are IIFYM and “flexible dieting?”
  • “What is sustainable?” vs. “what is optimal?”
  • What potentially gets lost in IIFYM
  • The importance of healthy choices
  • Why your history and “personal inventory” are crucial
Intermittent fasting (IF): What are the benefits and drawbacks? – 47:30
  • The many faces of IF
  • The importance of muscle and its impact on IF diets
  • The limitations of existing IF studies
  • Obese vs. non-obese populations and IF
  • “Modified” IF protocols for lean athletes

Offering a variety of sports nutrition supplements designed to meet and exceed your fitness goals.

Go Now!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Original article:

Expert Panel: Everything You Need To Know About Nutrition!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Nutrition, Sports nutritionComments (0)

Healthy breakfasts

Healthy breakfasts

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It should be packed with protein – so it keeps your hunger at bay until lunch, full of goodness – so you stay sharp and alert all morning and delicious – well, just because! So step away from the sugar-laden cereals and greasy spoon fry-ups and start your days with tasty, filling and energy-boosting breakfasts.

Chia seed porridge

Oats are great, but why not jazz up your porridge by trying it with chia seed, instead? It does require a little prep the night before, but it’s super simple and the pay-off is huge. Simply soak 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds in milk or water overnight (making sure there is plenty of liquid to cover the seeds, and then some). Give it a little stir. The next morning you’ll have a thick and creamy porridge. Why not add some cinnamon, cocoa powder or berries into the mix, too?

Mushrooms and spinach breakfast pizza

Beat 2 eggs in a bowl, slice a few mushrooms into the mix and pour it into a small frying pan with coconut oil. Flip it so it cooks on both sides then chuck a big handful of spinach on top. Place a lid over the pan to steam the spinach until wilted, then serve with a few slices of avocado.

Grain-free granola

This is a great option for those who love a crunchy granola in the mornings but don’t want the sugary grains that come with the store-bought versions. Make a big batch at once to save time later in the week. Mix up a big bowl of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped mixed nuts, dessicated coconut and dried berries. Stir in some room temperature coconut oil so that all the ingredients are evenly covered, then sprinkle cinnamon.

Want more healthy meal ideas? Subscribe to Women’s Fitness. We’ll give you 3 issues for £1.

Continued: 

Healthy breakfasts

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

5 Weight-Loss Sins Everyone Makes (And How To Fix Them!)

So, you want to lose some weight. Maybe you’ve squeezed every caloric morsel out of a recent bulk and are ready to switch gears, or perhaps you’re just eager to drop some extra or unwanted pounds. You might even have a set number of pounds in mind, which is a great place to start!

When you begin losing weight—fat, not muscle!—through a combination of eating lower calories, exercising, and modifying your lifestyle, things usually start well enough. Excited about the journey ahead, you’ve got energy for days and are racking up personal achievements like you’ve hit the jackpot at life’s slot machine.

A couple of weeks in, however, one of these things usually happens:

  • The scale stops moving and you become unmotivated.
  • You do too much and you get burnt out.
  • You cut too many calories at once and eventually give the middle finger to your diet.

Weight loss doesn’t have to be this way! Quite simply, those are merely the common side effects of dieting too hard with no regard for long-term sustainability. Get out your notebook, save your weight-loss journey, and identify which of these common mistakes you should avoid!

Mistake 1

Never is there a more appropriate instance in which the “less is more” rule of thumb applies than when dieting. From a straight calories-in, calories-out perspective, it’s very easy to be misled into thinking you must “do more” to lose weight. In this context, doing more could mean more sets, more training sessions, more workout days, more exercise selections—the list could go on forever.

In reality, training too much while in a caloric deficit is like getting a salary reduction when you can barely pay your bills. You’re going to be in trouble quickly!

When you do even more and ramp up the frequency, volume, intensity, or duration of your workouts, you compound the number of stressors your body has to shoulder.

When you’re training for weight loss, it is assumed that you are already in a caloric deficit, meaning that your body is already stressed out from inadequate calories for optimal function. When such a stressor is placed upon your body, your ability to recover between workouts and manage the stresses of daily life is compromised.

When you do even more and ramp up the frequency, volume, intensity, or duration of your workouts, you compound the number of stressors your body has to shoulder. The odds of burning out and feeling utterly miserable begin to multiply exponentially. This matters because a bad burnout is how people fall completely off the wagon and regain all of their weight.

The fix

Do the minimal amount of work, or the “minimum effective dose,” necessary to get the job done. In my book, you should lift roughly three times per week for 45-60 minutes per session. This may not seem like much, but the entire purpose of training during a fat-loss phase is to remind your muscles why they exist—and why they should stick around!—with short, intense workouts. The remainder of your time should be focused on rest and recovery, which is already somewhat compromised by a caloric deficit.

Mistake 2

Targeting very specific body parts has been a long-time practice in bodybuilding circles. It makes sense to show some love to underdeveloped body parts, but there’s just one problem: When you’re eating at a deficit, you don’t have extra calories for building muscle—no extra fuel to build a bigger fire, so to speak.

Performing isolation exercises only taps into limited resources in an already taxed body. The reality is that, without a calorie surplus, you can do curls, skullcrushers, and cable crunches for days, but any measurable muscular gains in those specific areas are pretty much nil. Complete beginners or someone who is returning from a long training hiatus will be exceptions to this rule.

When cutting fat, focus on training the whole body for maintaining your current levels of strength and size.

The fix

Focus almost entirely on total-body movements that hit nearly every muscle group, including pulls, pushes, and squats.

Some examples:

Aim for 8-12 total sets of compound movements per session in the 6-12 rep range per set. Keep the isolation stuff for your muscle-building cycles. When cutting fat, focus on training the whole body for maintaining your current levels of strength and size.

Mistake 3

Cardio often gets a bad rap, but mostly because people do too much of it. These people focus far too much on the “calories out” within the law of thermodynamics, which states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed.

Given that law, your fat-loss choices are: consume fewer calories or expend more of them. The gut response is to simply expend more calories while eating less; ergo, that would make the greatest “calories out,” right?

This seems sound, but let’s not forget what we talked about in the first point: stressors. We need to minimize them as much as possible to prevent burnout. Doing more cardio and activity in general causes a greater stress response.

The fix

Instead of upping your cardio, focus on your diet, which will require some planning and quite a bit of thought. If you have plans to step onto the stage in the near future and are already strikingly lean, cardio might be useful in this case to get rid of stubborn body fat and mobilize free fatty acids. This doesn’t apply to most folks, however, so extra cardio isn’t a requirement for the most effective fat loss.

Instead, preserve your recovery, your energy, your peace of mind, and your sanity. Plan well, eat well, and rest up.

Mistake 4

Let’s face it: Cutting sucks. You have to closely watch your food intake, and you’ll probably be hungry a lot of the time. But the results of a good cut? Priceless. What is a good cut? One that eliminates fat and spares muscle, of course!

Given the amount of time and effort you put into building mass, treat the muscle you have earned thus far as extremely sacred. During a cutting phase, you should strive to preserve your hard-earned muscle at all costs, so don’t drop your calories too low or cardio your way through it, as many folks do.

Simply get the protein, fats, and carbs necessary to power your training.

The fix

Aim for a slight caloric deficit of 10-20 percent below your maintenance calorie level when starting your cut. There’s often no need to get fancy with things like carb backloading, ketogenesis, or protein-sparing modified fasts. Simply get the protein, fats, and carbs necessary to power your training.

Keep in mind that weight on the scale seldom reflects exactly what is happening to your body composition, so don’t obsess over getting a lower and lower number. Use the scale in conjunction with other measures—body fat, the mirror, your lifts, and more—to track your true progress. Patience, patience, patience!

Mistake 5

It makes sense to eat “clean” foods while trying to lose fat; not for any magical fat-loss properties of whole foods, but mainly because they are both nutritionally dense and satiating. Certainly, you will feel fuller eating the same amount of carbs from potatoes than you would from Skittles. (Sorry, Marshawn Lynch.)

However, these benefits can all backfire if your diet is far too restrictive, especially if you’re cutting over an extended period of time, like a few months.

The fix

World-renowned nutritionist Alan Aragon is famous for this excellent advice when it comes to nutrition composition on a cut: “You should aim to make your diet 80 percent whole foods you enjoy, 10 percent whole foods you don’t enjoy but you know are healthy for you, and 10 percent ‘pure junky goodness.'”

How you choose to integrate that “junky goodness” into your diet is your call. Whether it’s fitting 2-3 cookies into your macros after dinner each night or a nice pint with the buddies on a Saturday night, use your 10 percent wisely to minimize cravings and maintain dieting sanity.

Remember that heavy food restriction is a sign of an unhealthy relationship with food and can lead to uncontrollable binging episodes, which can really set back your progress and drain your morale.

Cut the Fat

Armed with this simple advice, you should now be ready to embark on—and successfully complete—your weight-loss journey! Have questions or tips of your own? Let me know in the comments below!


Continue reading here: 

5 Weight-Loss Sins Everyone Makes (And How To Fix Them!)

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

5 Weight-Loss Sins Everyone Makes (And How To Fix Them!)

So, you want to lose some weight. Maybe you’ve squeezed every caloric morsel out of a recent bulk and are ready to switch gears, or perhaps you’re just eager to drop some extra or unwanted pounds. You might even have a set number of pounds in mind, which is a great place to start!

When you begin losing weight—fat, not muscle!—through a combination of eating lower calories, exercising, and modifying your lifestyle, things usually start well enough. Excited about the journey ahead, you’ve got energy for days and are racking up personal achievements like you’ve hit the jackpot at life’s slot machine.

A couple of weeks in, however, one of these things usually happens:

  • The scale stops moving and you become unmotivated.
  • You do too much and you get burnt out.
  • You cut too many calories at once and eventually give the middle finger to your diet.

Weight loss doesn’t have to be this way! Quite simply, those are merely the common side effects of dieting too hard with no regard for long-term sustainability. Get out your notebook, save your weight-loss journey, and identify which of these common mistakes you should avoid!

Mistake 1

Never is there a more appropriate instance in which the “less is more” rule of thumb applies than when dieting. From a straight calories-in, calories-out perspective, it’s very easy to be misled into thinking you must “do more” to lose weight. In this context, doing more could mean more sets, more training sessions, more workout days, more exercise selections—the list could go on forever.

In reality, training too much while in a caloric deficit is like getting a salary reduction when you can barely pay your bills. You’re going to be in trouble quickly!

When you do even more and ramp up the frequency, volume, intensity, or duration of your workouts, you compound the number of stressors your body has to shoulder.

When you’re training for weight loss, it is assumed that you are already in a caloric deficit, meaning that your body is already stressed out from inadequate calories for optimal function. When such a stressor is placed upon your body, your ability to recover between workouts and manage the stresses of daily life is compromised.

When you do even more and ramp up the frequency, volume, intensity, or duration of your workouts, you compound the number of stressors your body has to shoulder. The odds of burning out and feeling utterly miserable begin to multiply exponentially. This matters because a bad burnout is how people fall completely off the wagon and regain all of their weight.

The fix

Do the minimal amount of work, or the “minimum effective dose,” necessary to get the job done. In my book, you should lift roughly three times per week for 45-60 minutes per session. This may not seem like much, but the entire purpose of training during a fat-loss phase is to remind your muscles why they exist—and why they should stick around!—with short, intense workouts. The remainder of your time should be focused on rest and recovery, which is already somewhat compromised by a caloric deficit.

Mistake 2

Targeting very specific body parts has been a long-time practice in bodybuilding circles. It makes sense to show some love to underdeveloped body parts, but there’s just one problem: When you’re eating at a deficit, you don’t have extra calories for building muscle—no extra fuel to build a bigger fire, so to speak.

Performing isolation exercises only taps into limited resources in an already taxed body. The reality is that, without a calorie surplus, you can do curls, skullcrushers, and cable crunches for days, but any measurable muscular gains in those specific areas are pretty much nil. Complete beginners or someone who is returning from a long training hiatus will be exceptions to this rule.

When cutting fat, focus on training the whole body for maintaining your current levels of strength and size.

The fix

Focus almost entirely on total-body movements that hit nearly every muscle group, including pulls, pushes, and squats.

Some examples:

Aim for 8-12 total sets of compound movements per session in the 6-12 rep range per set. Keep the isolation stuff for your muscle-building cycles. When cutting fat, focus on training the whole body for maintaining your current levels of strength and size.

Mistake 3

Cardio often gets a bad rap, but mostly because people do too much of it. These people focus far too much on the “calories out” within the law of thermodynamics, which states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed.

Given that law, your fat-loss choices are: consume fewer calories or expend more of them. The gut response is to simply expend more calories while eating less; ergo, that would make the greatest “calories out,” right?

This seems sound, but let’s not forget what we talked about in the first point: stressors. We need to minimize them as much as possible to prevent burnout. Doing more cardio and activity in general causes a greater stress response.

The fix

Instead of upping your cardio, focus on your diet, which will require some planning and quite a bit of thought. If you have plans to step onto the stage in the near future and are already strikingly lean, cardio might be useful in this case to get rid of stubborn body fat and mobilize free fatty acids. This doesn’t apply to most folks, however, so extra cardio isn’t a requirement for the most effective fat loss.

Instead, preserve your recovery, your energy, your peace of mind, and your sanity. Plan well, eat well, and rest up.

Mistake 4

Let’s face it: Cutting sucks. You have to closely watch your food intake, and you’ll probably be hungry a lot of the time. But the results of a good cut? Priceless. What is a good cut? One that eliminates fat and spares muscle, of course!

Given the amount of time and effort you put into building mass, treat the muscle you have earned thus far as extremely sacred. During a cutting phase, you should strive to preserve your hard-earned muscle at all costs, so don’t drop your calories too low or cardio your way through it, as many folks do.

Simply get the protein, fats, and carbs necessary to power your training.

The fix

Aim for a slight caloric deficit of 10-20 percent below your maintenance calorie level when starting your cut. There’s often no need to get fancy with things like carb backloading, ketogenesis, or protein-sparing modified fasts. Simply get the protein, fats, and carbs necessary to power your training.

Keep in mind that weight on the scale seldom reflects exactly what is happening to your body composition, so don’t obsess over getting a lower and lower number. Use the scale in conjunction with other measures—body fat, the mirror, your lifts, and more—to track your true progress. Patience, patience, patience!

Mistake 5

It makes sense to eat “clean” foods while trying to lose fat; not for any magical fat-loss properties of whole foods, but mainly because they are both nutritionally dense and satiating. Certainly, you will feel fuller eating the same amount of carbs from potatoes than you would from Skittles. (Sorry, Marshawn Lynch.)

However, these benefits can all backfire if your diet is far too restrictive, especially if you’re cutting over an extended period of time, like a few months.

The fix

World-renowned nutritionist Alan Aragon is famous for this excellent advice when it comes to nutrition composition on a cut: “You should aim to make your diet 80 percent whole foods you enjoy, 10 percent whole foods you don’t enjoy but you know are healthy for you, and 10 percent ‘pure junky goodness.'”

How you choose to integrate that “junky goodness” into your diet is your call. Whether it’s fitting 2-3 cookies into your macros after dinner each night or a nice pint with the buddies on a Saturday night, use your 10 percent wisely to minimize cravings and maintain dieting sanity.

Remember that heavy food restriction is a sign of an unhealthy relationship with food and can lead to uncontrollable binging episodes, which can really set back your progress and drain your morale.

Cut the Fat

Armed with this simple advice, you should now be ready to embark on—and successfully complete—your weight-loss journey! Have questions or tips of your own? Let me know in the comments below!


View original article:

5 Weight-Loss Sins Everyone Makes (And How To Fix Them!)

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

5 Weight-Loss Sins Everyone Makes (And How To Fix Them!)

So, you want to lose some weight. Maybe you’ve squeezed every caloric morsel out of a recent bulk and are ready to switch gears, or perhaps you’re just eager to drop some extra or unwanted pounds. You might even have a set number of pounds in mind, which is a great place to start!

When you begin losing weight—fat, not muscle!—through a combination of eating lower calories, exercising, and modifying your lifestyle, things usually start well enough. Excited about the journey ahead, you’ve got energy for days and are racking up personal achievements like you’ve hit the jackpot at life’s slot machine.

A couple of weeks in, however, one of these things usually happens:

  • The scale stops moving and you become unmotivated.
  • You do too much and you get burnt out.
  • You cut too many calories at once and eventually give the middle finger to your diet.

Weight loss doesn’t have to be this way! Quite simply, those are merely the common side effects of dieting too hard with no regard for long-term sustainability. Get out your notebook, save your weight-loss journey, and identify which of these common mistakes you should avoid!

Mistake 1

Never is there a more appropriate instance in which the “less is more” rule of thumb applies than when dieting. From a straight calories-in, calories-out perspective, it’s very easy to be misled into thinking you must “do more” to lose weight. In this context, doing more could mean more sets, more training sessions, more workout days, more exercise selections—the list could go on forever.

In reality, training too much while in a caloric deficit is like getting a salary reduction when you can barely pay your bills. You’re going to be in trouble quickly!

When you do even more and ramp up the frequency, volume, intensity, or duration of your workouts, you compound the number of stressors your body has to shoulder.

When you’re training for weight loss, it is assumed that you are already in a caloric deficit, meaning that your body is already stressed out from inadequate calories for optimal function. When such a stressor is placed upon your body, your ability to recover between workouts and manage the stresses of daily life is compromised.

When you do even more and ramp up the frequency, volume, intensity, or duration of your workouts, you compound the number of stressors your body has to shoulder. The odds of burning out and feeling utterly miserable begin to multiply exponentially. This matters because a bad burnout is how people fall completely off the wagon and regain all of their weight.

The fix

Do the minimal amount of work, or the “minimum effective dose,” necessary to get the job done. In my book, you should lift roughly three times per week for 45-60 minutes per session. This may not seem like much, but the entire purpose of training during a fat-loss phase is to remind your muscles why they exist—and why they should stick around!—with short, intense workouts. The remainder of your time should be focused on rest and recovery, which is already somewhat compromised by a caloric deficit.

Mistake 2

Targeting very specific body parts has been a long-time practice in bodybuilding circles. It makes sense to show some love to underdeveloped body parts, but there’s just one problem: When you’re eating at a deficit, you don’t have extra calories for building muscle—no extra fuel to build a bigger fire, so to speak.

Performing isolation exercises only taps into limited resources in an already taxed body. The reality is that, without a calorie surplus, you can do curls, skullcrushers, and cable crunches for days, but any measurable muscular gains in those specific areas are pretty much nil. Complete beginners or someone who is returning from a long training hiatus will be exceptions to this rule.

When cutting fat, focus on training the whole body for maintaining your current levels of strength and size.

The fix

Focus almost entirely on total-body movements that hit nearly every muscle group, including pulls, pushes, and squats.

Some examples:

Aim for 8-12 total sets of compound movements per session in the 6-12 rep range per set. Keep the isolation stuff for your muscle-building cycles. When cutting fat, focus on training the whole body for maintaining your current levels of strength and size.

Mistake 3

Cardio often gets a bad rap, but mostly because people do too much of it. These people focus far too much on the “calories out” within the law of thermodynamics, which states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed.

Given that law, your fat-loss choices are: consume fewer calories or expend more of them. The gut response is to simply expend more calories while eating less; ergo, that would make the greatest “calories out,” right?

This seems sound, but let’s not forget what we talked about in the first point: stressors. We need to minimize them as much as possible to prevent burnout. Doing more cardio and activity in general causes a greater stress response.

The fix

Instead of upping your cardio, focus on your diet, which will require some planning and quite a bit of thought. If you have plans to step onto the stage in the near future and are already strikingly lean, cardio might be useful in this case to get rid of stubborn body fat and mobilize free fatty acids. This doesn’t apply to most folks, however, so extra cardio isn’t a requirement for the most effective fat loss.

Instead, preserve your recovery, your energy, your peace of mind, and your sanity. Plan well, eat well, and rest up.

Mistake 4

Let’s face it: Cutting sucks. You have to closely watch your food intake, and you’ll probably be hungry a lot of the time. But the results of a good cut? Priceless. What is a good cut? One that eliminates fat and spares muscle, of course!

Given the amount of time and effort you put into building mass, treat the muscle you have earned thus far as extremely sacred. During a cutting phase, you should strive to preserve your hard-earned muscle at all costs, so don’t drop your calories too low or cardio your way through it, as many folks do.

Simply get the protein, fats, and carbs necessary to power your training.

The fix

Aim for a slight caloric deficit of 10-20 percent below your maintenance calorie level when starting your cut. There’s often no need to get fancy with things like carb backloading, ketogenesis, or protein-sparing modified fasts. Simply get the protein, fats, and carbs necessary to power your training.

Keep in mind that weight on the scale seldom reflects exactly what is happening to your body composition, so don’t obsess over getting a lower and lower number. Use the scale in conjunction with other measures—body fat, the mirror, your lifts, and more—to track your true progress. Patience, patience, patience!

Mistake 5

It makes sense to eat “clean” foods while trying to lose fat; not for any magical fat-loss properties of whole foods, but mainly because they are both nutritionally dense and satiating. Certainly, you will feel fuller eating the same amount of carbs from potatoes than you would from Skittles. (Sorry, Marshawn Lynch.)

However, these benefits can all backfire if your diet is far too restrictive, especially if you’re cutting over an extended period of time, like a few months.

The fix

World-renowned nutritionist Alan Aragon is famous for this excellent advice when it comes to nutrition composition on a cut: “You should aim to make your diet 80 percent whole foods you enjoy, 10 percent whole foods you don’t enjoy but you know are healthy for you, and 10 percent ‘pure junky goodness.'”

How you choose to integrate that “junky goodness” into your diet is your call. Whether it’s fitting 2-3 cookies into your macros after dinner each night or a nice pint with the buddies on a Saturday night, use your 10 percent wisely to minimize cravings and maintain dieting sanity.

Remember that heavy food restriction is a sign of an unhealthy relationship with food and can lead to uncontrollable binging episodes, which can really set back your progress and drain your morale.

Cut the Fat

Armed with this simple advice, you should now be ready to embark on—and successfully complete—your weight-loss journey! Have questions or tips of your own? Let me know in the comments below!


Continue reading:  

5 Weight-Loss Sins Everyone Makes (And How To Fix Them!)

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

Motivation masterclass!

Motivation masterclass!

1. Go online
OK, so sacking off the gym membership to save money is a great option for your finances, but how can you spruce up your at-home workouts? Lots of great fitness brands are now taking their classes online, with everything from yoga to ballet barre just a click away. Some of our favourites are Fitness Blender, Barrecore and YogaGlo. Log on to find a world of fitness at your fingertips.

2. Have a party
Surely there’s no better way to make fitness fun than to take your workouts to the disco, right? And with party workouts cropping up across the country, you’d be mad not to try it. We particularly like the look of Ravercise and Fitness Freak raves! 

3. Get ’appy
If you’re lacking that bit of oomph to get started, downloading a new fitness app can be a great way to help you set and achieve goals. ‘Apps can help motivate you with shout-outs from friends via social media or help distract you from the monotony or pain of a workout,’ says personal trainer Mollie Millington (ptmollie.com). Our favourite? The Nike Training Club app.

4. Be a good sport
Learning something new is a great way to distract you from the panting and puffing of a workout. ‘You will be challenging your body in new ways, so should see and feel a difference in no time,’ says Mollie. ‘It is also a great way to build confidence in new skills and meet new people.’ Plus, while weight loss is a great goal, doing well in a new sport or having a laugh while you work out can be a better way to inspire you to exercise than waiting for the pounds to drop off. 

5. Spin some tunes
According to findings presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, listening to your fave music can improve your performance and boost your enjoyment of sport and exercise. So, why not spend a lazy Saturday morning compiling a fun workout playlist!

6. Join the gang
Training with other people is a great way to up the fun factor. ‘Small group settings give you more attention and value for your money,’ says Mollie. ‘You can probably have sessions more tailored to your interests, abilities and goals, too. And if you can arrange sessions with friends, that’s even better as you can commiserate and celebrate together.’ Book a group sesh now!

7. Take on a challenge
A good goal is a sure-fire way to reignite your passion for training. Set yourself a goal that is tough, but not so hard that you’ll work yourself into the ground to get there – a mucky obstacle race is a great option! 

8. Go old school 
Take a trip down memory lane and have a giggle at the same time with old-school workouts like hula hooping, rollerblading or trampolining. No-one can deny the heady enjoyment of attempting to swing giant plastic hoops around your body!

9. Train somewhere new
Take yourself away from it all and treat yourself to a week of fitness to give your regime a boost.  ‘One of my clients just returned from a bootcamp and is lifting weights at home now,’ says Mollie. ‘The intensity of a bootcamp or fitness holiday might be the kick-start your body needs.’ Check out our Swiss fitness adventure, on page 24, for some inspiration.

10. Get competitive
Being competitive gets a bit of a bad rap, but it can be one of the best ways to motivate yourself. Find a way to add a competitive edge to your workouts, whether it’s wearing a fitness band and comparing your ‘steps’ or throwing in a press-up competition with your gym buddies.   

Link to article – 

Motivation masterclass!

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Health Issues, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments (0)

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