Tag Archive | "nutrition"

marathon

Half marathon training

You’re feeling fit, strong and healthy. So what now? If you’ve started coasting from one session to the next now that you’ve made all that initial progress, it’s time to take your workout to the next level.

Not only does your body need a routine shake-up once it’s adapted to exercise, your motivation needs a boost, too. There’s always room to improve, whether you’re a runner, a weights girl or just looking to lose a few pounds – you just need to know how. Try training for a half marathon to break through your barriers and take your results higher.

Become a film star

OK, it might feel strange to watch a video of yourself working out, but it’s a great way to check your running technique. Sometimes a movement might feel right when it’s not quite perfect, which means that you’ve made a habit of performing it incorrectly. So, video footage allows you to see if you need to be more upright when running or need to work on your gait.

Eat for exercise

Keeping your weight in check is simple: avoid refined and processed foods, sugars and trans fats and fill up on vegetables, good fats and protein. But if you hone in on your healthy eating just a little more, you could see a huge pay-off when training for a half marathon. What you eat and when you eat it can have a dramatic effect on your results. Take carbs, for example – most people think they’re best consumed before exercise to act as a fuel, but they’re actually most useful after a tough session when the glycogen stores in your muscles are depleted and in need of replenishment. Plus, we’re more sensitive to insulin after exercise, so the effect carbs usually have on blood sugar will be less significant and less likely to be stored as fat. Win-win!

Know thyself

Get familiar with your genetic body type for a tailor-made workout. Are you a mesomorph (naturally low body fat and able to gain lean muscle mass easily); an ectomorph (naturally long, lean and slender and struggle to gain fat or muscle mass); or an endomorph (able to gain both fat and muscle mass easily)? Knowing yourself will help decipher the best way to eat and exercise for the results you want when you’re training for a half marathon.

Train to compete

What drives elite athletes to get up at the crack of dawn to begin a long day of training? You can bet it’s their gold-medal goal. Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional to have a competition goal – sign up for a half marathon to ramp your motivation up a gear.

Alter your aims

Struggling to blast the last five pounds through running? Want to shave seconds off your PB? Whatever goal you’ve been working on for last six weeks, change it up if your results are slowing. Focusing on something fresh, like a half marathon, can subconsciously change your approach to training, which might be enough of a tweak to get the effects you’re after.

Keep a diary

Studies have shown that keeping a food diary is crucial for successful weight loss. It encourages mindful eating, progress tracking and ensures you can’t get away with lying to yourself about your eating habits. Well, the same goes for exercise. No more skipping sessions, lacklustre efforts in the gym or excuses for giving your workout a miss. Jot down what you did and when, as well as how you felt before and after the sessions to discover what works best for you.

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Half marathon training

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10 online and app-based training programs

Whether you do best with a real-life trainer to keep you accountable, learn best from demos or written instructions or prioritise tracking tools, here are 10 pocket gyms to suit those who don’t have access to a gym.

1. trainingonline.com

HIT: Devised by a qualified trainer, the customised programs on this free site answer goals such as weight loss, strength conditioning and general fitness. The fitness library contains more than 200 exercises complete with video demonstrations, iPod-ready instructions and printer-friendly versions perfect for lunchtime sessions. The site’s user guide makes it a doddle to use the extensive functions.
MISS: If you tend to be derailed or struggle to stay motivated, consider a real-life trainer as the lack of personal ongoing support puts the onus on users.

COST: Free

2. fitness.com

HIT: More an online toolkit brimming with health and fitness tools than a program per se, fitness.com is ideal for returning exercisers or those who have some experience in training. Built around a thriving community of highly active, supportive users, it has a sorority vibe. You can rest assured you’re not the only one asking the questions you do or struggling with an issue.
MISS: If you need practical advice or lack foundation fitness knowledge, consider a website that offers prescriptive plans.
COST: Free

3. workoutsforyou.com

HIT: With a whopping 5,000 exercises able to be matched to users’ expertise, equipment, interests and goals, workout offers two payment packages with perks such as a personal trainer, ongoing customisation and regularly updated workouts.

MISS: Expensive compared to other featured websites – but still far cheaper than most gyms.
COST: Made Just For You – 4 months/$99; Self-directed – 4 months/$59

4. fitera.com

HIT: The re branded version of Fast Track to Weight Loss is expressly geared to toning and fat loss with a focus on efficiency. Perks include workout videos from fitness experts and live weekly chats with trainers. The personalised fitness plans are flexible, allowing for modifications to suit respective needs. However, it also provides sufficient structure to stop you from wimping out or falling into bad habits. Sign up for one of the regular challenges hosted by the website to keep you inspired and responsible for achieving your targets. And if you need that extra push, FITera also offers a paid coaching program that is virtually unrivalled in the online fitness community. The benefit of a global online community is hard to beat.

MISS: If you are looking for an advanced strength routine for sports/strength training, FITera’s focus on fat loss and toning may prove limiting.
COST: Free or add ACE Coaching and Accountability – 1 month/$97

5. abc-of-fitness.com

HIT: Based on a mission to democratise healthy living, this website seeks to make health and fitness resources ultra-accessible. For newcomers, information on fitness equipment is ideal for setting up a low-key home (or car boot) gym. BYO organisation and discipline. ABC can be a successful motivator.
MISS: The ant-size micro text and confusing navigation. If you need to be told what to do or easily lose motivation, the onus on pro activity and self-motivation might fall flat.
COST: Free

6. gymamerica.com

HIT: Ideal for those looking to strengthen or add muscle, this results-oriented site hangs its hat on detailed weights advice. This ‘just the facts’ approach is ideal if you’re a go-getter who’s always on the move and needs basic information in an easy-to-understand format. There’s also a focus on nutrition here, with a dietary plan designed just for you based on personal stats and a 40,000+ food database to pull from.
MISS: GymAmerica substitutes software for a real trainer and while it’s state-of-the-art, it lacks peripheral attributes such as empathy and genuine encouragement.
COST: $38.97/3 months

7. freetrainers.com

HIT: With the word ‘free’ listed upfront, Free Trainers is proud of its complimentary fitness service that has helped provide plans for nearly two million users. All plans are fully customisable, which means you’re always satisfied, if not a little less motivated at times. The community element is a big reason why fans keep coming back to Free Trainers, with the site format replicating a social media network that allows users to search for fellow members by name and email. The detailed questionnaire on sign-up gauges your current fitness level, preferences and goals, and is even smart enough to incorporate particulars such as injury rehab.

MISS: Naturally the non-existent price tag means a lack of human interaction from a qualified PT; however, website staff and fellow users are happy and available to offer general support if you’re able to wait for a response.
COST: Free

8. dailyburn.com

HIT: DailyBurn’s fitness library offers over 100 workouts with a focus on cardio, health and weight training to suit multiple goals. These workouts are each state-of-the-art and ideal for someone who needs to constantly change it up to avoid losing interest. While taking into account your ideal body type, time for exercise and skill level, the website targets programs that suit you. There’s also a great range of tracking tools for keeping up with your progress, plus an incredible food database of over 67,000 items. And if you don’t like it, there are no problems thanks to the free 30-day trial!
MISS: On the surface there’s very little info about what the site offers, which doesn’t do its features justice. The free trial allows you to see this in action, however, with a generous 30 days for you to get a true sense of what’s on offer.
COST: $32.50/3 months

9. itrain.com

HIT: A website purely dedicated to MP3-matched workouts to take to work or on vay-cay, it comprises exercises sorted by interests and goals, so one day you can focus on weight loss and dance and the next, flexibility. If your ideal workout involves hitting the park with your headphones and hill sprinting like nobody’s watching, you’ll enjoy this.

MISS: If you frequently purchase one-off downloads, it can get pricey. Consider a yearly subscription with unlimited downloads.
COST: Average $10 per download, or 1 year/$119.88 unlimited downloads

10. changingshape.com

HIT: With 24-hour personalised support from your own trained PT based on a bespoke plan, this platform lets you substitute other exercises to progress your training and avert plateaus. The emphasis is on sustainable long-term results. There’s a foolproof nutrition plan with customised shopping list, meal plan, swap suggestions and even a guide to healthy fast food options. You can also have your plan tailored to food allergies. A bank of calculators and thriving community make this a great all-rounder.

MISS: Direct debiter beware: you will be billed even if you don’t use the site, yet some people will use the potential money pit as motivation. Testimonials vouch for the sites’ appeal.
COST: 12 weeks/$29.95 or 12 months/$59.95

In need of some inspiration? Check out some of our favourite Instagrams to follow now.

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10 online and app-based training programs

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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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Flat tummy exercises for women

Want to rock a flat stomach but sick of your usual abs routine? Hula hooping is a fun way to tone the whole body while focusing on the abdominal and core muscles and cinching in that waist. It’s quick, easy and can be done anywhere from the park to your own home. So take yourself back to the days of the playground, de-stress and tone up that tum.

How to do it

Perform each exercise for the required amount of time for your level, doing as many reps with good form as possible. Repeat the workout two or three times a week to upbeat music for the best results.

Kit you’ll need

Adult hula hoop

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Flat tummy exercises for women

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5 Reasons Your Kettlebell Swing Sucks

Few exercises build muscle and develop power and strength in the posterior chain—mainly composed of your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back—like the kettlebell swing. But make any of the following mistakes, and the move will be downright useless, or, worse yet, you’ll end up injured. Refer to our list of five kettlebell swing errors and give yourself a form check.

SWING SNAFUS

  1. You squat the weight up. Think of the swing as a deadlift, in which you drive with your hips. When you bend your knees the quads take over, and this eliminates the main benefits of the swing. However, there is a carryover to the squat, as a proper swing loosens up your hips.
  2. Your setup is wrong. Don’t pick up the bell and start swinging. There’s a lot of benefit to generating force from a dead stop, and picking the weight up before swinging will reduce some of that force. To set up, begin with the bell a foot in front of you, grab it, and then throw your arms back as if you were hiking a football.
  3. You’re not going heavy enough. Using a bell that’s too light usually results in an overhead swing. This engages the wrong muscles, is a waste of energy, and is a telltale sign that you should be using a heavier bell. If you want to lift something overhead, snatch or press the weight instead.
  4. You bend your arms. Keeping your arms tucked in at your sides as you swing eliminates tension from your body and will result in a “soft” swing—meaning it’s not done with enough force. Your arms should be fully extended at the top of your swing with the bell reaching eye-level.
  5. You’re too weak. If you can’t hold a plank (which tests your core) or do a kettlebell deadlift (which tests your ability to hinge) with proper technique, then please do not attempt the swing. There are inefficiencies in your body that do not allow you to safely swing the bell. Instead, focus on perfecting those two exercises first.

Tip: If you’re not swinging a bell that’s heavy enough, you risk engaging the wrong muscles.

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5 Reasons Your Kettlebell Swing Sucks

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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

Posted in Bodybuilding, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on 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

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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.

1109-woman-plank

8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

The key to rocking shoulder-baring sweaters and blouses this season is pairing them with a strong, toned upper body.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to speed hours in the gym to achieve an eye-catching upper body.

What you need is a challenging workout—one that cranks up the intensity on your muscles and eliminates every last ounce of flab. Enter Tabata training, also known as the four-minute fat-burning workout.

There’s a reason this type of high-intensity interval training is the go-to when you want to shed pounds and tone up fast—it works.

 GETTING STARTED

A Tabata workout (not including warm up and cool down) involves performing 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active recovery. You repeat this cycle eight times, for a total of four minutes of very short, intense bursts of exercise.

In this particular workout, you’ll complete two Tabatas, for a total of eight minutes of high-intensity intervals.

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8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

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Sweat. Believe. Roar. workout with Sinead Disaya

Your animalistic side with this high-intensity workout based on functional movement patterns, courtesy of trainer Sinead Disaya. 

Warning: requires a willingness to laugh at yourself as you crawl, sway and hop your way to a lean physique. 

Get it done

Set your timer for three minutes. Exercises are completed back-to-back as a superset, for 30 seconds each. No rest – just do the best you can in the three minutes. Rest for one to two minutes between each superset, depending on your fitness level. 

This workout combines functional movement patterns (moving the body in all directions) with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) designed to shred fat and improve mobility. Functional movement training is suitable no matter what your profession or fitness level – whether you’re an office worker who is sitting down the majority of the day, an athlete or rehabilitating post-injury. The purpose is to move your body in ways you normally wouldn’t help build strength and loosen up your joints. This can help reduce lower back pain, stiffness and poor posture. Focus on the intensity of your workouts – you only get out what you put in!

My Sweat. Believe. Roar. programs contain a balance of functional movement and traditional training methods to build lean muscle and overall strength. For my full guides visit sineaddisaya.com.

Photography: Christopher Cameron Photography

Super Set 1: 3 mins total 

Rainbow Lunges (30 secs x 3)

sinead-rainbowlunges.jpg

Rainbow Lunges focus on building muscle throughout your lower body as well as engaging your core. Start in the lunge position and keep your chest up. Brace your core and pivot your feet. Use your arms to created an arch above your body and finish again in your lunge position facing the opposite direction.

Palm Trees (30 secs x 3)

sinead-palmtrees.jpg

Palm Trees are a fantastic exercise for your obliques and developing the strong ‘V’ line throughout your core. Start with your feet together, holding the weight overhead with both hands, and a soft knee bend. Drive your hips laterally almost making the letter ‘C’. Brace your core each time you change direction. Try to avoid moving your arms, as they will naturally tilt as your drive your hips to the side. 

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Sweat. Believe. Roar. workout with Sinead Disaya

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Fitness Models, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight lossComments Off on Sweat. Believe. Roar. workout with Sinead Disaya

Paige Hathaway

3 days 17 hours ago

All these ropes yet I still can't tie you down.... #amiright 🤚🏼😂 #cricketcricket #illbehereallnight #bts

Paige Hathaway

1 week 2 days ago

Roses are red, Pizza sauce is too.
I just ordered a large and none of its for you... 😬

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