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Posts tagged “Fitness

Low Calorie Diets The Way To Go?

I’ve been reading/hearing more and more about people wanting to lose weight by eating less. And when I mean less, I mean less than 1000 calories/day. Let’s examine this and if low-calorie intake is effective.

First, every person has a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) that tells you how many calories you need in a day for your body just to function. These calories go to your organs so they can do their daily tasks. I have never seen a BMR lower than 1000. In my profession, we do many health screenings and check people’s Body Mass Index (BMI) with instruments that can break down how much of your body is fat, water based weight, and bone mass; all components on your weight. The instruments will then calculate how many calories your body needs to do the essential tasks (BMR). Even in the heaviest person I ever encountered in these screenings, his BMR was 1500. Even with his weight, he still needed 1500 calories per day just so his brain, liver, heart, kidneys, GI tract, etc. could do their jobs.

The question then arises, “If I take in less than my BMR, my body will have to use it’s stored energy to make up the difference, right?” Yes and no. Your body will use it’s stored energy, but when you take in less than what your BMR calls for, you are in a fasting state. (Read my post about what happens to your body when you exercise in a fasting state: Exercise Before Breakfast: Beneficial?) Your body doesn’t just use fat as energy. It uses sugars (glucose/glycogen) and proteins (amino acids) stored elsewhere in your body, specifically your muscles. Big deal… Well it is, since your muscles are the best at burning fat. Most organs cannot use fat as energy until it’s broken down into another form, which takes longer to produce it into useful energy. But the glycogen and amino acids are used fairly quickly, so they will get used first.

 

Ok enough with the science, what does this all mean? When you eat less that what your BMR calls for, your body will eat away at the things it needs most to lose the fat (adipose tissue). You will see results on the scale, but then when you get down to that target weight, and start eating more calories again, you’ll gain it right back. Sounds like yo-yo effect to me.

 

There is a solution!! Eating the correct amount of calories, from healthy, nutrient rich sources, for your goals (because you may have to eat MORE to reach your goals) and burning them off through exercise. Only then will your muscles adapt, and continue to burn fat efficiently so you can see the results you want, fat loss. No magic pill, diet drink, or magic potion from the 1950s will do it. You must eat healthier and do the work.


One More

I want to tell you a secret tip I use to accomplish my goals. Whenever I am exercising, I always repeat this phrase in my head: “One More.” It really comes in handy when you are bent over with your hands on your knees, ready to give up and move to the next thing. Do “One More” rep, “One More” jump, “One More” time to reach your goals.

I have noticed through my work as an athletic trainer, and reflecting on my own endeavors in fitness, that when we get tired, we stop WAY before we should, because we THINK we are done. We believe we cannot continue, that we have tapped out our energy for a certain exercise, when in all actuality, if we pause for just 4-5 seconds, we can gather ourselves and get “One More” rep in.

It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you get this mindset. Personally, my strength gains jumped very quickly. I began to increase the resistance to make it more difficult because “One More” was taking me in to rep numbers that were too high, meaning the resistance wasn’t hard enough anymore. What I could only do 5-6 times, I was now able to do 8-10 times. I found a mantra that worked with what I set out to do.

The beauty is you can apply “One More” to anything; fitness, business, relationships… Example: When you are at work doing that mundane task that is essential to your job/business and it continues to wear on you, you sit back and gather yourself, then say “One More,” and write that next line of code, convert that file, clean the next treatment table (yes, I dislike cleaning up after athletes finish a treatment on my tables).

So I want to challenge you to do “One More” thing in your day to help you move toward your goals. It is only “One More” thing, not asking you to move a mountain, just take “One More” step to getting what you want. Do it enough, and “One More” means you’ll have to push toward your next goal, because you just achieved something. Do that extra rep, talk to one more client, make one more impression on one more person. You’ll be surprised where you end up.


Do You Know Where You Are Going?

I was recently in a bookstore and came across a memoir of Yogi Berra. I figured I’d thumb through it and find his zany quotes that I had forgotten about. It turns out, each chapter was a quote of his, so I read down the table of contents and came across the last chapter, and this quote was there:

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might not get there.”
Yogi Berra

Now, as silly as that sounds, it makes a ton of sense. I began to place it in context of my fitness and business. If I don’t know where I’m going, I might not get there. Here’s what I came up with:

Fitness: Do I know where I want to go? Did I set a goal? If you want to have a successful outcome in your fitness, you must know where you want to end up, right? So I began thinking about what I am doing for myself. I am still doing P90X and having much success with it. My goal hasn’t been met completely, but the path I’m on is taking me there. This path I’m on is taking me to my destination. I chose the path of P90X to achieve my fitness destination. So yes I KNOW where I am going.

Business: I applied the quote to my business as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach also. Where do I want to go? What do I want to accomplish? The all important question: How do I get there? I want to achieve so much with my business, but what is going to take me there? Well the amazing thing is, I have help! Team Beachbody gives me so many resources to be successful, all I have to do is cater them to my needs. I follow the Game Plan, by letting people know about this business, and show them they can be successful too. Plus I have an awesome resource in my Team. Team Genesis is one of the most successful teams with Beachbody, and they have helped me through so much already, along with my mentor Kevin Kane. I am still traveling on this path to my destination, but again, I KNOW where I am going.

What I ask is this: Do you know where you are going? You can apply this to every aspect of your life: family, finances, fitness, work, etc. Look for the path that will lead you to where you want to go, and you will get there, every time.

J


Go from Regular 2 Ripped!!

Welcome!

Thank you for your interest in our workout group! Our goal is to create a group that will help keep each other both accountable and motivated to Keep Pushing Play over the next 90 days using the proven system of P90X! Whether it’s your first round or your fifth, we welcome all who are wanting to go from Regular 2 Ripped!

Regular 2 Ripped has had successful groups already this year. In fact that is where I got started with my P90X workout. Thanks to that group, I Kept Pushing Play and got results. I lost 30 pounds, 3 inches off my waist, dropped my body fat percentage 5%, added 1″ to each arm, and 2″ around my chest. Some others have had similar success with our Regular 2 Ripped group from March and April.

We are beginning our 90 day Regular 2 Ripped transformation in August, and that means ANY day in August, not just August 1st. We know that schedules are different for everybody, so if you start on Aug. 2nd, Aug. 12, or Aug. 31st, you can be part of the group. We are running on all cylinders already! Come along for the ride with us!!

So here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Get P90X!
We’re so sure you’ll love this program, we’re giving you our 90-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, simply call Customer Service to return P90X within 90 days for a refund of the purchase price, less shipping and handling. But keep the Ab Ripper X routine and the 3-Phase Nutrition Plan as our gift just for trying P90X.

Order here and get TWO FREE WORKOUTS from Tony Horton’s P90X ONE on ONE series!

  • Fountain of Youth – Tony’s favorite yoga moves in less time. Perfect for when you don’t have the time to complete Yoga X.
  • Mammoth UML – Tony’s ultimate Upper-Middle-Lower workout. Great for when you’re on the road.

If you already have it, go to Step 2. If this is your first time to go through P90X, you can get it here.

Step 2: Sign up for your FREE membership at TeamBeachbody.com and fill out your profile..
This is one tremendous resource to helping you get results. It’s not just our group, but a whole online community there to help you achieve your goals. Then there are the nutrition guides, tips from Beachbody Trainers like Tony Horton, and the chance to win money and prizes just for working out. You can also sign up for a Team Beachbody Club Member and get 10% discount on your P90X and all other products. Both memberships are eligible to win money and prizes by working out in the WOWY Gym on Beachbody.com, but the Club membership allows you to use an invaluable resource in the daily meal planner that you can specify to your needs. After you sign up…

Step 3: Get involved with the message board thread.
The thread is where we will post info to help you achieve your goals and ask you to post daily after your workouts to stay accountable, not only to yourself but with the rest of the group. You will find that there are so many others going through it with you, experiencing the same things that you are, and you will be amazed at how much that keeps you wanting to Keep Pushing Play everyday!

That’s it! No more necessary! But if you have questions, please feel free to email me at kineticcoach@beachbody.com

If you want to be in the Regular 2 Ripped group and also save 25% on your P90X order, click here before you go through the steps above to learn about becoming an Independent Team Beachbody Coach!


How to Add Muscle to Your Frame

We all know that getting fit has different definitions for different people. I, myself, wanted to slim down the fat surrounding my midsection while also bulking up muscle, and defining that muscle, in my upper body, because frankly, I wanted to look better with my shirt off. In this post, I will tell you some steps to take to get some mass in your arms, shoulders, chest and back.

There are two essential things that have to get done in order to build muscle mass. One is working the muscle groups that you desire to improve hard enough that they have to change the way they work in order for you to move the resistance (i.e. weights, bands). Now, they will function the same way, but the muscles themselves will have to make more cells (hyperplasia), or change their size (hypertrophy) to accommodate the demands being put on them. Hyperplasia is not a common way to gain strength, but in ill-used muscles, it has happened. The most common strength gains and mass building is through hypertrophy. So, what you must do is work your groups with weights that are hard enough that you can repeat the motion, but you can only do it 6,8,10 times, so your muscles will increase in size. If you are able to do more than 10, then you are working more of an endurance angle with your muscles vs size, and you will become lean and defined.

How to work them? I find it best to work your upper body 2 different days concentrating on 2 different motions. You always want to work the groups that compliment each other on the same day vs groups that work against each other. With that in mind, one day working out your chest, triceps and shoulders, and the other biceps and back. One day is pushing the resistance away from you, while the other pulls it towards you. There are many exercises out there that work each muscle group, and many that work multiple groups. Just remember to combine the exercises that work those groupings above on the right days. For example, I would do a routine that would first isolate the triceps, then the shoulder, then the chest. The reason is the triceps is isolated more freely than the shoulder and chest, which will inadvertently work other muscles by the nature of the exercise. I would even go in that order. Start with a triceps exercise, then shoulder, then chest, back to triceps, then shoulder, etc. Same goes with the biceps and back day. Work the biceps and then the back. There are so many exercises that isolate elbow flexion, but it is very hard to isolate a back exercise to just work one of your back muscles. So you are getting a lot of work on your Bis and Tris, but don’t leave out the variations like hammer curls, reverse curls, or different angles like front and lateral raises, upright rows and bent rows, and regular bench, incline and decline bench.

Now part two, which is probably the most important, of the essential things that must be done for muscle growth is, NUTRITION! If you do not eat properly, you are just moving around and not gaining anything from it. First thing you must do if figure out how many calories per day are necessary for your goals. I made the mistake of just thinking a 2000-2200 cal/day diet would get me there, even if I ate the right things. WRONG! I had to increase to almost 3000-3500 cal/day. With the increase in activity, your body will burn more calories, LONGER, and use up body stores more and they will need to be replenished. Once you have that figured out, then you’ll need to know…

WHAT TO EAT! If you are looking to gain mass, you are going to need lots and lots and lots of PROTEIN. There are various ways of obtaining it, but the best is through LEAN cuts of fish, skinless chicken, beans, and to some extent red meat. The fish has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which will in turn burn the fat off, but there is hardly any fat in fish. Most fat in chicken is in the skin, and beans are naturally high in protein. The red meat gets tricky, because you have to know what part it is coming from, and most red meat purchased in the US is coming from animals raised specifically to be eaten, and they aren’t always the healthiest or leanest cuts of meat. Be more speculative of red meat in your diet. Eating these, along with decreasing your dairy and carbohydrate intake, and increasing your veggies daily, will help with the protein synthesis that is necessary to build muscle.

You will also want to use some protein supplements with your workouts. Whey protein has been found to be more easily absorbed than any other type of protein out there, which is why it is advertised so much as a workout drink. I have always used EAS Myoplex powder that I mix with water right after my workouts are done, but there are many many others out there. You have a 30-60 minute window for this whey protein to get into your system and help with the muscle rebuilding process. That will also decrease any soreness that comes with the workout.

Good luck to you and I hope this helps you achieve your goals.


My Take on “The Truth About P90X”

For those who haven’t seen, Men’s Health Magazine Fitness Editor Trevor Thieme wrote in a blog back on May 21st his views of P90X. (Update: His blog post has since been taken down by the editor.) In it he states that it is another fitness fad-type workout that has managed to stick around much longer than other home-based workout systems, and “it’s likely not the total-body fitness solution that most people are looking for.”

Trevor calls on a strength coach to help back up his claim that P90X isn’t introducing anything new, and that can actually hinder muscle growth. The strength coach and Trevor are both Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists or C.S.C.S. And if you are serious about being in the bodybuilding business or work with others who want to get fit, a C.S.C.S certification is a good thing to have. I, myself have looked into it with my background of being a Certified Athletic Trainer, but I found that I already received most of the training necessary, and have similar knowledge, but I didn’t want to pay MORE money, and spend MORE time getting continuing education for something I didn’t need. I only bring this up because while he has a very good background knowledge to base his claims on, I also have a similar basis of knowledge, and my opinion is completely different.

It seems to me, and the comments on the blog confirm it, that Trevor has never done the P90X workout. Yes, it is a little different from your typical free weight workout, and it does influence a lot of fat loss. I agree with their comments there. What I disagree with is that they state that muscle growth does not happen while using P90X. I just finished my first round with it, and while I did not get the results you see on the infomercials, I lost weight, lost inches from fat loss (like Trevor’s blog states), but I gained inches in my upper arms and chest. How did I do that? MUSCLE GROWTH.

In the blog, they say that confusing the muscles to prevent the plateau effect actually hinders growth. These C.S.C.S. folks say doing the same routine to make your body adapt to it is what gets the results and growth. They are right to a point. If you work the same exercise the same way, over time your body will adapt to it and it will become easier due to the environmental stimulus you put it under. But for them to say that P90X is counter-productive is just ridiculous. If you look at the exercises done in P90X, you see that the same muscles are worked by 5-6 different exercises throughout a 3 week span, and what muscles depends on the workout. Then, these same muscles are doing 5-6 other exercises for another 3 weeks. THEN, for the next 4 weeks, you combine the 5-6 from the first 3 weeks with the 5-6 from the second 3 weeks!

While P90X calls it confusion, I call it “muscle growth.” I didn’t gain inches on my chest and arms by doing bench press and preacher curls. By doing some exercises for an amount of time and then working the same muscles using a different exercise but same motion, I was doing what the Strength Coaches in the blog were saying to do, work the muscles by giving them “multiple exposures to the same stimulus.” Sure, it isn’t the same EXACT stimulus, but a pull-up is a pull-up as far as your lats are concerned, a push-up is a push-up as far as your pecs go. Why? Because in both cases, the muscle is performing the same motion. Variations of the pull ups and push ups are actually what cause the help in growth. Trevor even says that in his post, “Variation is key to any good training program….”

Yes, I know, they also said “…as long as it’s not too frequent.” Well, I don’t think once every three weeks is very frequent. In fact, that is what I loved about it. I was struggling with some exercises, and then, BOOM I had to change to a routine that isolated certain muscle groups so you weren’t working competing groups at the same time. And what happened when Phase 3 came around when you go back to the first set of exercises? I could do more because they were easier. My muscles went through the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy during the second phase that caused a change in growth and strength.

So, while no results are even typical with any workout, I find that “The Truth about P90X” didn’t get all the facts in. Yes, there was accuracy in that post, however, I found that this is just one more blogger who doesn’t think that P90X does as much as they advertise.

You want to find out for yourself? Take the P90X challenge!