Archive | May, 2017

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Time Saver Workout: Fast Four

WORKOUT BY: Leandro Cavalho, Creator of the Beachbody Brazil Butt Lift

For quick and effective workouts, you’re better off focusing on the larger muscle groups like the chest, back, glutes, quads, hamstrings, abs, and shoulders. For this workout, there are a total of 4 moves: Beginners can start with 1 set of each move; intermediate, 2–3 sets; advanced, do 4 or more sets.

EXERCISE 1

Walking Pushup: Bend over at the waist, keeping a flat back, until your hands touch floor. Walk hands out to a pushup position and perform 1 pushup, then walk hands back and return to standing. Each time increase number of pushups done by 1. Beginners, go up to 3–4 reps, intermediate/ advanced, 5–6 reps. After your sixth rep, perform 10 pushups.

EXERCISE 2

Squat: Beginners, do this exercise 12 times holding 12 lb. dumbbells; intermediate, 15 times holding 15 lb. dumbbells; advanced, 20 times holding 20 lb. dumbbells.

EXERCISE 3

Bentover Row: Beginners, use one 8–12 lb. weight in each hand and do 12 reps; intermediate, 15 lb. doing 15 reps; advanced, 20 lb. doing 20 reps.

EXERCISE 4

Inverted Tabletop: Lie faceup with knees above hips, feet flexed and positioned slightly higher than knees, hands behind head. Start with double reps: In 1 count, lift head, neck, and shoulders, bringing knees in toward chest. Then lift shoulder blades and tailbone a little higher for 1 more count. Return to start in 2 counts, bringing your head back down to touch mat. Then do single reps: Perform the move for 1 count up, 1 count down. Then do short reps: “Pulse” at top of move rather than returning back to the start. Beginner: Do 8 double counts, 8 single counts, 8 shortsIntermediate: Do 12 double counts, 12 single counts, 12 shorts Advanced: Do 16 double counts, 16 single counts, 16 shorts.

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Time Saver Workout: Fast Four

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How to Barbell Hip Thrust for Stronger Glutes

Believe it or not, training glutes is the key to lifting heavier, preventing injuries, and improving performance in any sport you play. We know training them might not initially turn as many heads as working beach muscles like the chest or arms, but becoming an ass man can seriously pay off in a handful of ways. To help show you the way to a ripped rump, we talked to a guy who knows glutes to the maximus.

THE MISSING PIECE

Your glutes are working during most lower-body exercises, particularly squat and deadlift variations, but Bret Contreras, Ph.D., a strength coach and researcher, says the conventional lifts weren’t enough to get his butt in gear. “In high school I had no glutes to speak of,” he says. “My legs went right into my back.”

Once he discovered how to train glutes more directly, however, his lifts all improved, and he was finally able to fill out the seat of his pants. “There are different regions of the glutes,” says Contreras. “Different actions and ranges of motion that need to be strengthened. You have to have variety.” Nowadays he’s such an authority he’s known in the fitness industry as “the Glute Guy.”

SEE ALSO: 7 Exercises to Work Your Legs to Exhaustion

Beyond helping your body look better and lift heavier, strong glutes are essential for athletic performance. “Sprinting, jumping, cutting from side to side, swimming, and striking all use the glutes,” says Contreras.

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How to Barbell Hip Thrust for Stronger Glutes

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20-Minute Fat Blaster

No Time For A Full Workout Today?

Squat Jump

Squeeze in this fast and furious fat blaster, designed to work every major muscle while burning mega calories. “Every move here is explosive — you’re working different muscle groups in a variety of directions for optimum conditioning,” explains New York-based trainer Holly Rilinger.

Do each move for 30 seconds, resting as little as possible (up to 10 seconds) between each one. “Because you’re rotating between lower body, upper body, and core moves you’re already getting rest, so you can keep downtime to a minimum,” adds Rilinger.

Ball Slam

Explosive Crunch

Box Jump

Plyo Pushup

Lateral Box Jump

Speed Skater

 

 

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20-Minute Fat Blaster

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Superset leg day workout

The rules: Perform this leg workout twice a week. Keep two to three days between sessions. Once you get used to the moves you can add more weight. 

Superset 1: Squat with wide stance x20 + Stable lunges x15 per leg (4 rounds)

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Do 20 squats with wide stance. Make sure your weight is on your heels and your knees are pointing the same way as your toes.

After your 20 squats, do 15 stable lunges with your right leg starting in front. Then switch sides.  Make sure your knee dosn’t come over your toes and keep your weight in the middle. Do not lean forward. Switch starting leg on next set.

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After your first round of squats and lunges, rest for one minute. Repeat four times.

Words/workout: Janni Hussi (@jannihussi)

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Superset leg day workout

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8 move booty workout

Start movement holding a kettlebell at chest level with both hands. Be sure to keep elbows tucked at sides. As you begin, take one leg back into a reverse lunge position in a 45-degree angle while maintaining an upright squat position. The key to this movement is an upright position and slowly crossing your leg in a reverse lunge while dropping the knee in a straight line down. Be sure to cross slowly to maintain your balance throughout the movement.

3 sets x 12 reps (30 seconds’ rest)

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Start movement holding a kettlebell with both hands at waist level. When you are ready, engage core, lift kettlebell above your head, and squat parallel to the floor. The key to this movement is engaging the stomach and locking the arms overhead and exhaling as you power up through the squat. Perform with toes slightly pointed out, shoulder-width apart. Keep the arms fully extended above your head until you have completed all the reps for that set.

3 Sets x 10 reps (30 seconds’ rest)

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3 sets x 12 reps (30 seconds’ rest)

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Start movement with dumbbells at waist level. Maintain a good posture with a slight bend in the knees and slowly lower the weight to the front of your calves, and return to the top of your thighs. The key to this movement is a flat back and slow and steady lowering of the weights.

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8 move booty workout

 

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The 30-Minute Full-Body Workout

WHAT

A full-body workout that has you doing one exercise per body part for time (five minutes) instead of for a particular number of sets and reps—it may remind you of doing rest-pauses. You’ll simply do as many reps as you can in five minutes, resting when you need to. This will save you time in the gym.

WHEN

You’re afraid that doing straight sets will cause you to cut your workout short, but still want to build muscle.

WHY

Some people just aren’t able to do 15 straight sets in a half-hour, probably because they’re accustomed to resting too long. This “choose-your-adventure” method requires you to train each body part in five-minute increments so you never lose track of time. For safety reasons, all the exercises are done on machines—you’ll probably fatigue quickly and will be working off of limited rest, and machines tend to be safer.

HOW

For each exercise, select a weight that will cause you to fail at 10 reps. Do 10 reps right off the bat, then rest until you feel ready to go again. Do as many reps as you can, then rest again. Do this for five minutes, which means you’ll have to keep a close eye on the clock or your watch.

THE 30-MINUTE FULL-BODY ROUTINE

Muscle Group          ExerciseTime
ChestChest Press Machine5 min.
LegsLeg Press5 min.
ShouldersLateral Raise Machine5 min.
BackLat Pulldown or Seated Row5 min.
TricepsCable Pushdown5 min.
BicepsMachine Preacher Curl5 min.

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The 30-Minute Full-Body Workout

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‘How I regained my health after bikini competitions’

After getting in the best shape of my life, I didn’t know what to do next…

After four months of strict dieting, twice-a-day gym sessions six days a week, endless chicken breasts and egg whites, layers of fake tan and learning how to walk in six-inch heels; competition day arrives. All of the sacrifices and exhausting workouts lead to those 60 seconds on stage. I had shed 12kg and got my body fat down to 11 per cent. The day comes and goes. Now what?

‘I found myself feeling really low’

For me, that question lingered for a long time. I placed fourth and third in my competitions, bringing home two glorious trophies which still manage to pick me up if I am feeling sorry for myself. The highs of show day leave you feeling somewhat useless once it is all over. Every day for the past 16 weeks has been dedicated to reaching one goal, and during that time nothing else outside of the competition bubble has seemed important. Yeah, I know… it seems like a selfish sport.

After the photo shoots, congratulations and celebratory cheat meals (plural indeed), I found myself feeling really low. I struggled to get back into my normal eating habits, lacked enthusiasm and lost focus. On top of that, months of strict dieting and a gruelling exercise regime left my hormone levels awry.

Sports nutritionist and dietician Helen Phadnis explains, ‘Inadequate energy intake affects not just menstruation but also bone health, cardiovascular health, metabolic rate and immunity’. The stress hormone cortisol ‘causes the release of glucose into the blood stream and insulin resistance’. In the long term, continuously raised cortisol levels can ‘directly contribute to weight gain, increasing hunger and cravings for high fat food’. To say I could relate to this is an understatement. Pizza, anyone?

‘Constant overeating’

Feeling low and hormonal led to binge-eating, an emotional comfort. Takeaways followed by Krispy Kremes and late night cereal, constant overeating… we’ve all been there. Jennifer Low, dietitian and health writer, describes binge-eating as ‘a maladaptive coping mechanism that can really harm a person’s health – both physically and mentally. The person will have learned to not recognise negative feelings, they may binge as a way to cope with the feelings’.

After a week of indulging I gave up on trying to weigh my food and instead started to just eat sensibly, allowing myself a treat if I felt like it. The problem is I had no idea how many calories I was consuming, and as predicted, gave in to my sweet tooth whenever it called. Over the summer I partied, like any normal 22-year-old should if they want to (which always leads to the local kebab shop), and continued not to track my food.

‘My gut was irritated and I was extremely bloated’

The consequences? Five months post-show I felt awful about myself and was unable to find balance. I would eat well, binge, and then do extra cardio workouts to make up for it. More importantly, I was having gut health issues. I suffer from ulcerative colitis, a chronic irritable bowel disease, and after spending the summer consuming food that I wasn’t used to, such as dairy and alcohol, my condition flared up. My gut was irritated, I was extremely bloated and I had terrible fatigue (a common symptom of UC). A specialist put me on an eight-week steroid course to calm my symptoms – I was taking up to eight tablets per day.

Being an aspiring nutritionist, I wanted to use food as medicine where possible, too. I saw it as a push to get my eating habits back to normal, stop binging and feel healthy again. At the same time, I started an Access to Science course to study nutrition and also landed a magazine internship, which gave me a new motivation and focus.

‘Reverse dieting ensures your metabolism can adapt steadily’

The right thing to do straight after competing would have been to reverse diet. Jennifer Low explains that ‘calorie-restricted diets might reduce your basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy you expend)’. This in turn slows your metabolism, ‘so it is then a lot easier to gain body fat once you resume normal eating’. I had been on calories as low as 1100 for four months, so you can see why my body had a shock. Reverse dieting ensures that your calories increase gradually week by week, your metabolism can adapt steadily and that you can make some lean gains.

To get back on track I began a ‘gut restoration’ plan eliminating irritants like gluten, dairy, soy, eggs and alcohol; which commonly cause my ulcerative colitis flare-ups to worsen. My plan consists of five meals spread out over the day and includes sweet potato, chicken, white fish, green veg, white rice and gluten-free oats. Little and often is the key. I lift heavy weights four to five times a week and do four 10-minute HIIT sessions a week.

12 weeks after starting my new plan I felt better than ever. I reached a maintainable weight and built muscle, my digestion and gut health improved and I am now back in love with training. I don’t obsess over the scales but I have gone from 62kg to 57kg and can see my results through weekly progress pictures. I weigh my food to ensure I hit my macro goals every day and stay in control of what I am consuming. On the other hand, if a friend wants to go out for dinner, I will happily say yes without stressing that it won’t fit into my eating plan.

‘I haven’t binged for months’

That is the difference between prepping for a competition and prepping to feel healthy. I know that weighing my food and being on a plan can’t last forever, just as my competition couldn’t, but I am able to maintain it for now and it has given me a positive approach to food. I haven’t binged for months, my calories are high and I don’t schedule in huge cheat meals to go wild. I simply stay on plan, but if a social event comes up or I fancy something different, I’ll go with it.

A study published by Dr. Sherry of Dalhousie University, The Perfectionism Model of Binge Eating, states that ‘individuals with a high degree of perfectionism are often setting themselves up for a host of physical, emotional and mental problems– particularly related to binge eating’. Competing is all about bringing the perfect package to stage and you can become obsessed with achieving this image.

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‘How I regained my health after bikini competitions’

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Emily Skye Talks Fitness and Body Image

In the fitness industry, popularity in the form of “likes” and followers on social media often lends credibility to undeserving blockheads. Thankfully, there are also people like Emily Skye who use their fame for more than personal gain. The 32-year-old Australian model and fitness expert is honest and transparent with the 13 million people who follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube: Imperfection is human. Skye demonstrates this by unabashedly pulling back the curtain. Yes, she’ll post sexy bikini pics in which her waist is tiny and her midsection is ripped, but she’ll also post photos of her cellulite and weight gain during training lulls, too. It’s all done to spread a message: Perfection is impossible to achieve, but happiness and appreciating your body isn’t.

 M&F: What got you into fitness?

ES: I was 25 years old, and I’d had enough of living a life of not being satisfied and not being the best that I can be. I was unhappy and suffered from depression, anxiety, and pretty bad body-image issues. I started implementing changes in all different areas of my life by eating healthier foods, exercising, and surrounding myself with supportive people. Over time I just became happier and happier. I loved the life that I was living, and I wanted to share that with the rest of the world with the hope it would have a positive impact on other people. I made it my mission and here I am today, several years later, still going at it.

Do you feel a certain level of responsibility with having 13 million social media followers across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter?

It’s pretty surreal to have that amount of followers listen to me and support me. It’s amazing. I feel blessed to be in this position, and I like to use it to inspire, motivate, and educate.

How does one curate such a massive following?

You have to make a deliberate effort to post valuable content that people can learn from every single day. I think that’s something a lot of people don’t realize. They think, “Oh, they’re so lucky,” and that it happened overnight. It’s not an overnight thing.

You also post what some might consider unflattering photos of yourself. Why?

I like taking pretty photos, but I also like to show my cellulite and stretch marks and when I gain a little fat. That’s important. Posting perfect photos in the right lighting from the right angle in the right pose—young girls see that and believe that [type of] perfection exists. When they realize that it’s unattainable, they get upset and compare themselves with these Instagram models.

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Emily Skye Talks Fitness and Body Image

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7 Best Barbell Exercises for a Strong Core

1 of 8 Attack Your Core While it’s true that “abs are built in the kitchen,” like with any muscle, abs are built in the gym, too.

You still have to blast them with intense exercises to create the stimulus for growth and definition.

Yet the common ab exercises guys use to target their core—planks, situps, stability ball crunches, etc.—leave much to be desired.

By using a barbell, however, you’ll be able to easily add resistance to each core exercise and intensify your training for more hypertrophy

Original article:

7 Best Barbell Exercises for a Strong Core

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4 reasons you’re not shedding those last few kilos

Less filling and easy to over-consume. Smoothies and juices may seem like healthy options, but can be packed with sugar and kilojoules. Cut back on sweetened beverages. Think carefully about long-term alcohol habits and drink less.

2. Portion size

Eat slowly and use smaller plates.
3. Mindless eating

We live in a culture of plenty, and food is easily available. Keep snacks out of sight to avoid temptation and overeating.

4. Inadequate protein

Inadequate fibre and/or protein can lead to overeating. Both these nutrients are filling and should be included at every meal. Protein is important also for maintenance of muscle mass.

So how can we stay on track?

Think about your core values and what you want out of life. What brings you happiness? Perhaps you rank health as a high priority and want to feel good and have more energy? Now look at small steps you can take to live in line with these values.

Find something that suits you. Hate the gym? Then don’t force yourself to go. Instead find something you enjoy (maybe yoga, bushwalking, pole dancing or underwater hockey is more your style?). If you indulge in fitness pursuits that you value and enjoy, you will be happier and more motivated.

Be open to change. Just because running half marathons worked for you five years ago, doesn’t mean that running is still the best option for you now. Listen to the needs of your body and switch to a new fitness routine if necessary.

Have realistic expectations. If you weigh under 100 kg then it’s not safe or realistic to try losing more than 0.5 kg per week. If you weigh between 100 to 150kg, then one kg per week is achievable, and if over 150 kg, then two kg per week is considered healthy.

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4 reasons you’re not shedding those last few kilos

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