Archive | November, 2017

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

Vital Stats

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

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

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

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

Samantha Leete's Training Program

Samantha Leete’s Training Program

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

Samantha Leete's Nutrition Program

Samantha Leete’s Nutrition Program

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

Samantha Leete's Supplement Program

Samantha Leete’s Supplement Program

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

Athlete For Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

Success Doesn’t Come Easy

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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High intensity interval training (HIIT) workout

High intensity interval training (HIIT) workout Incorporate high intensity interval training into your workouts to increase fat loss and maximise your results.

Exercise scientist Johann Ruys shares his favourite HIIT workout:

3 x 1km runs with 2-minute rest in between each (work-to-rest ratio = 2:1)

2-minute rest4 x 500m runs with 2-minute rest between each (work-to-rest ratio = 1:1)

2-minute rest4 x 150m runs with 1-minute rest in between each (work-to-rest ratio = 1:2)

6 x 30m sprints with 10-second rest between each (finisher)Join the movement on Instagram and hashtag #myWHF so we can see what you’re up to!

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High intensity interval training (HIIT) workout

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Triceps overhead extension with rope

The Move:
Triceps overhead Extension with Rope

Why: Keeping your body in proper standing alignment with core stabilisation and isolation of the overhead tricep extension is an excellent total body exercise with focus on the tricep muscles.

How: Attach a rope to a high pulley. After selecting an appropriate weight, grab rope with both hands and face away from the cable. With a slight bend in hips, lean forward slightly and engage core. Position your hands behind your head with elbows pointing straight up. Your elbows should start out flexed. This is your starting position.

To perform movement, extend through the elbow while keeping the upper arm in same position. Push your arms forward.

Squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement and slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.

Nail it: Keeping elbows in close to head while performing the movement will help with the isolation of the tricep extension. Keep your core engaged with shoulders down and back away from neck.

 

Workout by: Brooke Stacey

Photography: James Patrick

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Triceps overhead extension with rope

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How to Perfect the Overhead Squat

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

HOW TO DO IT

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

FORM CHECK

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

This article:

How to Perfect the Overhead Squat

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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.

Exercise 1

woman lifting weights

Dumbbell Row—As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Stand with your feet slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart and bend forward at the hips, keeping your back parallel to the floor and head up. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders. Pull the weights up and back toward your hips, concentrating on pulling with your back muscles, until your elbows are slightly above the level of your back. Pause, then lower the weights. Repeat for reps.

Active rest: Jump on a treadmill or walk in place for 10 seconds.

Exercise 2

Overhead shoulder press—As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart, head straight, and your eyes focused forward. Grasp a pair of dumbbells using an overhand (palms down) grip and raise them to just above shoulder height. This is your starting position. Keeping your shoulders back, press your arms up overhead. Pause for a moment at the top, then return to start. Repeat for reps.

Active rest: Jump on a treadmill or walk in place for 10 seconds.

Repeat sequence for a total of four minutes.

 *Warm up for five minutes on the treadmill beforehand.

ROUND 2

Works: Triceps, chest, core, shoulders*

Exercise 1

Reebok Introduces First-Ever World Burpee Day

Pike walk—As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Stand with your feet together, arms at your side. Bend at the hips and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Walk your hands forward until you are in a plank position. Keeping your hands firmly planted in place, walk your feet up until they’re as close to your hands as possible. Repeat.

Active rest: Jump on a treadmill or walk in place for 10 seconds.

Exercise 2

Dip—As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Place your hands on the edge of a bench with your thumbs facing each other, and extend your legs in front of you, resting your feet on floor in front of you. Bend your elbows and lower your butt, stopping when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Extend your elbows to come up. Repeat for reps.

Tip: To increase the intensity, use a bench or chair to elevate your feet. You can also place a weight on top your thighs.

Active Rest: Jump on a treadmill or walk in place for 10 seconds.

Repeat sequence for a total of fout minutes.

*Cool down for five minutes on the treadmill afterward.

Although eight minutes may not seem like a lot, you’ll certainly feel the burn. This form of training can be used for virtually any and every exercise. Apply this training protocol to your regular workouts every once in a while to shake things up and break through dreaded plateaus.

View this article: 8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

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7 Exercises That You Need To Fix Right Now

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

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

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

Exercise 1

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

Team Cellucor‘s Jen Jewell explains why.

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

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

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

Squat

Exercise 2

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

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

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

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Exercise 3

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

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

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

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

Exercise 4

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

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

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

Exercise 5

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise 6

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

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

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

Bench Press

Exercise 7

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

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

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

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

Quite Simply, The Most Efficient Cardio You Can Do

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

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

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

6 Secrets Of The Super-Fit

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

 

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7 Exercises That You Need To Fix Right Now

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Health and fitness talk with Elise Carver

On the road so far

I studied to be a master trainer through the Australian Institute of Fitness about nine years ago and worked part time at a gym in South Yarra with some fantastic mentors who showed me the value of quality training. Shortly after, I began to fall in love with surfing. When I decided to make the shift to Torquay, I was already on my way to changing my body shape to suit surfing and so the Surf Style Training method was born and developed organically. I soon realised the mainstream way of training wasn’t for me and I have now run a successful business out of my own studio for three years.

On body type

Your natural body shape is what you make it. I’ve been through so many variations of my ‘natural’ body shape in my lifetime – I just happen to love the one I have now. When I was a gymnast I was a young, skinny springy ball of energy. When I started rock climbing, I began to develop a very strong upper body, which explains my shoulder definition. There was dancing, which helped to develop my strong core and then, as I got older, I got stuck right into gym and stacked on a solid five to six kilos of muscle – this was probably my least favourite body shape. When I got into surfing, I turned my bulk into lean, pliable muscle fit for surfing and have never looked back.

On body love

I really like my core and posture! It’s the one thing that stays strong despite the fact that I have scoliosis. It’s switched on all the time – it’s like doing an ab workout while you breathe.

I’m trying to improve my body all the time! You can always be stronger, fitter, faster, more flexible or agile. I just work on a little bit every week. I also have injuries that I have to manage, such as my torn meniscus in my knee and my lumbar scoliosis.

On genetics 

I have my Dad’s ability to build strong muscles, but my relatively petite frame is courtesy of my mother. That said, my mother is overweight and my dad fluctuates depending on what he is eating or how much he is working. Genetics gives you the blank canvas you have to work with but you decide what the painting looks like.

On training

The best way to train your body and get results is to challenge it with something new as often as possible. I do three to four sessions a week and every workout I do is different. On a good week, I also surf three to five times, jump on a bike or the cross trainer three times, walk my dog on the beach every morning and stretch every day. 

On nutrition

I have chronic gastritis, so my stomach is very touchy, but it’s like a blessing because I now eat to support my digestive system. I avoid dairy, gluten, refined sugars, caffeine, legumes and meat after 3pm. It seems like a tough meal plan at first but it actually opened up a whole new way of being for me. I’m trialling the meal plan with my clients at the moment, and I’m hoping to release the plan and a recipe book soon. 

On body image

Everyone is hard on themselves at one time or another. You need to understand the difference between wanting to be better and beating yourself up. If we didn’t expect more from ourselves then we would all be slobs, so use that motivation to get off your ass! But if you’re beating yourself up, that’s just pointless.

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Health and fitness talk with Elise Carver

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The Truth About Weight Loss

There’s more to weight loss than losing weight

The start of every health kick can be a glorious time, with your motivation at its highest and the fitness gains at their easiest to come by. Your muscles might be aching, and your diet could be missing a few unhealthy favourites, but the weight will be dropping off like nobody’s business.

At some point, however, you might find that whatever efforts you make in the gym or the kitchen do not result in any further losses when you step on the scales. Your weight plateaus, or perhaps even nudges slightly upwards. Obviously, this can be the ultimate motivation killer if your main goal is weight loss, but a simple scales reading can be misleading when it comes to your general health.

More important than how much you weigh is your body composition – namely how much of your body is made up of fat, muscle, bones, water, assorted organs, and so on. Some of these you can’t do much about – it doesn’t matter how much you try, you’re unlikely to shave any weight off your liver without resorting to some extremely risky behaviour. It’s still good to know what’s going on with all your insides, but the key two areas of body composition you can affect are your body fat and muscle mass.

Reducing body fat is often the main goal of people’s plans when they embark on a new exercise regime and/or diet, and any early weight loss is a result of achieving that goal. However, when weight loss plateaus it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve stopped lowering your body fat percentage. It could simply mean that you’re increasing your muscle mass at the same time. No net weight loss, but a far healthier body composition.

An extreme example often used to illustrate the deficiencies of simply relying on weight as a guide to health is comparing the Body Mass Index (which is based on height and weight, with no accounting for body composition) of a professional rugby player with an obese person. Both might end up with a matching BMI score, but the muscle-bound rugby hulk is clearly in better shape in terms of their overall health.

Even if you never reach the rippling physique of a Jonah Lomu in his prime, you might also suffer from misapprehensions about your health and the effectiveness of your gym work if you only use overall weight as a guide to your progress.

The issue is that muscle is not heavier than fat, but it is denser. This means it takes up less space to weigh the same amount as fat, so your body shape might be changing for the better even if your total weight is the same after weeks of working out.

Body composition is also important when it comes to the type of fat you have. Visceral fat, which accumulates around your organs in the mid-section, is the most dangerous kind, in that a large quantity of it is linked with an increased risk of all kinds of problems including heart disease, several cancers and type 2 diabetes. A relatively slim physique with a pot belly is therefore nothing to boast about, you need to shift that midsection bulk rather than just focussing on your overall weight.

The good news is that visceral fat is the first stuff you’ll shift when you start exercising. Even if you can’t see the fat itself, you can monitor your progress by measuring your waistline regularly. Keeping tabs on your waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) is good practice all round if you’re on a fitness drive, as it has been found to be a better indicator of obesity-related health risks than simple weight or BMI measurements. To see if your ratio is unhealthily high simply grab a piece of string, use it to measure your height then fold it in half. If it doesn’t fit around your waist, then your ratio is in bad shape, and it’s time to start slimming.

There are also plenty of more precise ways to get a handle on your body composition, from the humble pair of callipers to smart scales. With callipers you pinch the skin and measure the fold in at least three locations on your body. Then plug those numbers into an online calculator to get an idea of your body fat. The number itself might not be incredibly accurate, but consistently measuring in the same way with callipers over time will allow you to track changes in your body composition.

For their part, smart scales such as the Withings Body Cardio will provide the most in-depth and accurate look at your insides you can get outside of a hospital, telling you your body fat, muscle mass, water percentage and bone mass, along with your actual weight. In terms of practical information about how your efforts to improve your fitness are going, it’s a huge step up from standard scales.

Source:

The Truth About Weight Loss

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emilyskyeprofile

How to eat like a female fitness model

For 30-year-old fitness model, Emily Skye, it used to be about getting skinny and slaving away on the cardio machines. It then became all about nourishing her body to becoming strong, working out and becoming healthy.

Her food philosophy

Don’t diet – instead just make clean eating part of your lifestyle. Learn as much as you can about healthy food and find foods that you really enjoy eating so that your diet changes are easier to stick to. Keep it interesting by experimenting.

The ‘before’ diet

I didn’t eat anywhere near as much food as I should have and my choices were either super rigid – with lots of bland, steamed food or I made unhealthy choices such as junk food, takeaway and deep-fried food.

The turning point

For years I struggled with depression and insecurities that stemmed in part from my school years where I was teased and criticised for having “big eyes”, being skinny, quiet, athletic or different. Six years ago I decided I was tired of never feeling good about myself. So I set out to become more happy, healthy and fit through lifestyle changes. Within about 12 weeks of lifting weights and eating super clean (lots of vegetables and more protein), I had lost body fat and built more muscle. Over the next year, I continued to fine-tune my diet and started doing less cardio and more working out with weights. I soon felt amazing and far happier with how I looked.

The health benefits of eating cleaner

Once my diet became cleaner, I not only lost body fat and built more muscle but within days of starting to eat healthier, I had less fluid retention and less general body inflammation. I felt more positive about myself and started to appreciate everything I am rather than focussing on what I am not. My new lifestyle helped me overcome depression and insecurities, my mind became clearer, I became strong and fit and I had more energy.

The diet now

I don’t eat sugar (except for a little natural sugar in fruits and vegetables). I barely eat any starchy carbs but I have more meat and a wider range of fresh vegetables and salads. I avoid gluten and wheat and I’ve cut right down on dairy products (except for natural yogurt and cottage cheese as they’re lower in lactose, which I’m sensitive to). I avoid processed foods, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. I drink a lot of pure water and I don’t drink alcohol (except for special occasions – I only drink a few times a year).

It’s okay to have what you love

I love the taste of coffee – one of my favourite activities is to enjoy a coffee at a café. I drink one to two cups a day. If you’re constantly depriving yourself of foods you love, you’re more likely to give up a healthy eating plan. Instead I’m all for moderation. That means I have treats when I feel like it and I never make a food ‘off limits’ as doing this can lead to cravings. If I really want something, I enjoy it without regrets. I love healthier treats, though, as they don’t upset my tummy. I often make a chia seed pudding with berries and coconut cream or coconut yoghurt… something to look forward to is fun and helps you stay motivated to eat well.

The mind-food connection

Once you eat more clean, your cravings for unhealthy foods tend to subside. Now that I’ve experienced how good it feels on a healthy diet, I’ve noticed how unwell I feel after eating foods like milk chocolate, ice cream, pizza, burgers and fries. I get extremely bloated, my tummy gets upset and I feel lethargic. Understanding this connection makes it so much easier to realise it’s not worth eating those unhealthy foods.

Find out which diet plan works for you and read more about changing up your eating habits for a better, healthier you.

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Posted in Fitness Models, Weight loss0 Comments

holly-barker-7-day-workout-plan

Holly Barker’s 7 day workout program

I am active seven days a week. I am currently lifting five days a week and performing some type of cardio seven days a week.

Monday – Hamstrings

  • Stiff-leg deadlift, German volume set 20 warm-up with bar, 10 sets of 10
  • Lying hamstring curl, 4 sets of 12 to 15
  • Sumo squats w/ Olympic bar, 4 sets of 12 to 15
  • Single-leg deadlift w/dumbbell, 4 sets of 12 to 15 (each leg)

Tuesday – Posterior Upper Body

  • Pre-exhaust wide grip pull-up, 3 sets of 8
  • Seated row, 4 sets of 15
  • Bent-over Olympic bar row x 20 (warm up with bar, weight up to 6 rep max, 4 reps at 6 rep max)
  • One-arm dumbbell row, 4 sets of 10 (each side)

Wednesday – Quads/Glutes

  • Lying glute bridge at Smith machine, German volume set, 10 sets of 10
  • Kick-backs, 4 sets of 10
  • Squats, 3 sets to failure
  • Front squat, 4 sets of 10
  • Plyo box step-ups (hold dumbbell in one hand and step up to the alternate side), 3 sets of 20 (each leg)
  • Seated leg extension, 2 sets of 5 quick, 5 resisted, 5 quick + 2 strip set

Thursday – Anterior Upper Body

  • Dumbbell hammer curl, 4 sets of 10
  • Cable lateral raise, 4 sets of 10
  • Ropes, 4 x 30 seconds
  • Straight bar cable bicep curl, 4 sets of 12
  • Seated press, 4 sets of 8
  • Javelin press, 3 sets to failure

Friday – Total Body Fitness Challenge (free iPhone app)
This finishes the week with a cardio blast. It is a free app and it populates exercises with demonstrations and how-to photos, and times you while you perform each move. The hard level challenges you with 10 exercises, starting with 100 down to 10 with a 10-minute finisher and the easy option challenges you to 50 repetitions of an exercise, moving down to 10 with a five-minute finisher. It ensures that I have a stimulated, intense session without having to think of what I should do or what comes next.

Monday through Sunday – Cardio
Walk the dog, hike, run, bike or whatever I feel like!

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Posted in Exercises, Fitness Models, Training Methods0 Comments


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