This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Info of Cross Training

In order to maintain the effectiveness of your workouts over the long term, you have to employ a concept known as cross training. Although there is no hard and fast definition of cross training, the basic idea is that you continually change your exercise program to work both your muscular and your cardiovascular systems in a variety of ways, forcing your body to adapt to a new stimulus. Remember that the whole idea behind exercise is to make your body do things that it is not used to doing. In response to that effort, your body naturally adapts in order to meet the changing energy demands of the activities that you engage in. This process happens with your muscles, as well as with your heart, lungs, and circulatory system – collectively known as the cardiovascular system. To ensure you get the most out of your cross training efforts, you should make changes to the activities that challenge your muscles as well as your cardiovascular system.

Challenging Your Muscles

When you are putting together the muscular training part of your exercise program, remember that the primary mission of the activities is to challenge your muscles and connective tissues – tendons and ligaments – beyond their normal boundaries. For example, if you were to pick up a suitcase that only weighed 5 pounds, it would probably not be very difficult for you. However, if that same suitcase had 50 pounds worth of items inside, it would be significantly more difficult to pick up and carry. In response to that increased demand, your body would recruit additional muscle fibers to assist with the work, and in some cases would even recruit a different type of muscle fiber. Although we won’t get into the details about the different types of muscle fibers in the human body, you do want to take away the fact that the number and type of muscle fibers recruited for any given task is proportionate directly to the difficulty of the task.

Let’s apply this concept to weight training – or resistance training, as it is often called. If you were going to do a basic bicep curl with 5 pounds, your body would engage a certain number and type of muscle fibers. Doing exactly the same exercise with a more challenging weight would cause your body to need additional resources in order to handle the increased demand. However, is that only true of picking up a heavier weight? What would happen if you used the same weight, but did a higher number of repetitions? The same basic concept applies – your body will recruit additional resources in order to accomplish the task. What can be determined from that fact is that in order to change the stimulus on your body, two easy ways to do so are are to increase the weight and/or increase the number of repetitions.

However, there are other ways to challenge a particular muscle group in addition to simply adding weight or repetitions. What about changing the position of your body when you do the exercise? Using the same example as above – the bicep curl – most people do the basic version of that exercise standing up, with their arms extended, elbows at the side, and palms facing forward. What if you were to do the same exact movement, only this time, you turn your palms to face the center of your body throughout the entire exercise? Do you see how that would change the stimulus? You would still be engaging the biceps of your upper arm, but you would also engage the muscles of your forearms in a different way, just because of the position of your palms.

Further, what if you were to change the speed at which you did the exercise? Most resistance exercises should be done as a basic count of 2 seconds during the initial phase (also known as the concentric phase), and then a count of 3 to 4 seconds during the second phase of the movement (known as the eccentric phase). What if you were to reverse that process? Count to 4 during phase one, and only count to 2 during phase two. Do you think your body would need to react differently to handle the different stress? Of course!

There are many, many different kinds of exercises for the biceps. If you normally do bicep curls, hammer curls, and cable curls, what would happen if you started using 2 or 3 of the bicep curl machines instead? Your body would have to adapt to the new stimulus! By sitting down in a bicep curl machine, you are no longer using your leg, back, and abdominal muscles to stabilize yourself like you were when you were standing up doing a bicep curl. However, by locking your body into a certain position on the machine, you are isolating the biceps, allowing you to focus more on the contraction of the bicep muscles during the movement. Does that mean that the machines are better than the dumbbells? No. It also does not mean that the dumbbells are better than the machines – it just depends on what your goal is. What you need to take away from this section is not that one exercise is better than another – just that they are different, and that is cross training.

To summarize, here are but a few of the ways that you can cross train your muscles:

* Heavier Weights

* Higher Number of Repetitions

* Change the Position of Your Body

* Modify the Speed of the Exercise

* Use Machines as well as Free Weights

Challenging Your Cardiovascular System

Just like the muscular system, your body will find ways to adapt to the cardiovascular training that you do, and before long you will stop seeing a high degree of results. Let’s try to use some of the same concepts that we applied to resistance training, and see if they also apply to cardiovascular training!

Heavier Weights

How can you make yourself heavier? Most people are trying to make themselves LIGHTER when they exercise! However, if you are able to find a safe way to increase the total amount of weight that your body is moving during cardiovascular training, don’t you think that the activity would be more difficult, and force your body to adapt? Sure it would!

A common method that people use to do this is one that you should NOT do, and that is strap on wrist weights or ankle weights, or to carry dumbbells while you are doing cardio. Although this does increase the total amount of weight being moved by your body, it also puts a stress on your joints that is not natural, and therefore, not a good idea. However, alternatives that DO work include putting on an adjustable weighted vest, or even just strapping on a backpack with some weights or books in it! The idea is to keep the additional weight as close to your body as possible, away from easily damaged joints.

Salsa Dancing

Salsa’s popularity began to percolate beyond the borders of the Latin neighborhoods in the early Seventies, spreading into New York’s ballrooms and dance halls. Although somewhat formulized when practiced by those who favor profession competitions, salsa dancing in its most traditional form is typically spontaneous and extremely energetic. Dance movements alternate between the very slow and the furious, an embodiment of its lively musical style.

From a strictly athletic point of view, a night of dancing is a superb workout. It merges aerobic and anaerobic training, working your stamina and leg strength. Any kind of dancing is a great way to build the perfect body shape. The continual movements build up aerobic stamina while steadily burning calories over the course of the evening. This helps to strengthen and tone your legs at the same time you lose weight. But salsa excels at this.

Experts say that dancing salsa can burn up to 10 calories a minute, without the negative side effects of high impact exercises such as running. You can learn salsa dancing in the privacy of your home or in a studio, with or without a partner and it’s a fitness program that can easily be integrated into your social life. By using salsa dancing to get fit, you will not only look great, but you’ll have no excuse not to get out more and improve your social life.

The sudden bursts of frenzied dancing in Salsa also can help to improve the anaerobic fitness essential to sports like sprinting, swimming and basketball. Equally important to the aerobic paybacks are the improvements in flexibility and dexterity, a commonly overlooked facet of fitness. Elasticity from dancing will help your swiftness, power and co-ordination by growing your overall range of motion.

Kettlebells

The kettlebell trains the body to work as a complete unit and as a result creates true ‘functional’ strength and endurance. Kettlebell training is a great way to lose weight, tone up those soft areas of the body, and stay in shape. Kettlebells come in many shapes and sizes but that wasn’t always the way.

When kettlebells re-emerged from hiding in 2001 popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline the only weights available were 16kg, 24kg and 32kg.

These were the traditional sizes used in Russia and the weight is measured in ‘poods’ 1 pood was 16kg, 1.5 poods 24kg & 2 poods 32kg.

In Russia, their way of thinking was that if you are a boy use 16kgs, a man who demands strength and endurance a 24kg.

The 32kg was used by very big men and circus performers. Now 17 years later we have the luxury of choosing from a 2kg kettlebell up to 90kg bells that are used in CrossFit and Strongman comps for farmers walks.

So let’s get to it what size do you use?

Women should start with an 8kg and men a 16kg. Why so light you said in your mind, well that is so you can learn the correct technique for the basic exercises and so you don’t get hurt and end up hating kettlebells.

The shape of a kettlebell is very different to a perfectly shaped dumbbell so a lighter weight feels a lot heavier.

You will very quickly advance to the next size weight, women the 12kg and men the 24kg.

Realistically these would be the only weights you will ever need, but we are not going to stop there. When you are proficient with one kettlebell it is time to go back to the first weights we used and use two kettlebells!

Double kettlebell exercises are much harder than single bell exercises and really take your kettlebell skills to the next level.

The plan:

  • Women 12kg, Men 16kg – Learn how to correctly clean, swing and press them
  • Next, Women 16kg, Men 24kg – Practice the previous exercises if your technique starts to fail drop back to the start weight
  • Finally, try double cleans, swings and presses with the lighter kettlebells

 

Gain An Avalanche Of Energy

If you really want to create energy, enthusiasm, and positive forward momentum in your life then start to move your body and breathe deeply each day with focus and you will begin to discover that which I am talking about.

All the systems in your body use energy. Pretty much everyone knows this and it often leads people to miss the boat entirely when it comes to getting themselves motivated, fit, and full of zest for life.

Of course the bodies systems use energy.

But guess what?

They CREATE IT as well!

People routinely forget this and it can lead to gross under training or simply performing the incorrect routines for that which they are after.

If you will allow me to get a little scientific for a moment, oxygen in the air has a very positive charge (imagine the positive pole of a magnet). Your bodily tissues and water therein act like the negative pole of a magnet.

Now, for those of you who are scientific you will know what this means!

Wherever you have a positive and negative pole there is the potential for ENERGY to be created!

So if you wish to feel more energised through exercise go against the grain a little and use your breath and body each day to access this energy and buoyant life force within you.

Speed Training With Intensity

I remember the first time that I ever bounded for speed. I was a wee sophomore in high school when a graduate from our school – who was playing college football – came back to work out at one of our track practices.

Joe – his real name – came back with some great new drills – including bounding down the football field.

What is bounding? Think of it as exaggerated running. When you bound, you push off hard and fast from the ground with each step. Think of leaping like a gazelle or an antelope. You want to try to float in the air as long as you can before the next foot contact. Then, actively drive your foot into the ground to power your next glide. You want your feet on the ground for as little time as possible. Drive with your arms for full power. This is excellent for explosiveness and to increase your stride length – both key factors in running fast.

You should include different types of bounding for greatest results in your speed training. Try these variations to crank up your speed workouts:

o Regular bounding – drive your knees up to 90 degrees and your elbows back

o Straight leg bounding

o Single leg bounding – remember to do both right and left footed

o Single leg pattern bounding – Right Right Left Left Right Right Left Left Right…

o Combination bounding – straight leg bound for 20 meters then regular bounding for 20 meters

o Bound/Run – bound for 20 meters then sprint for 20 meters

o Double leg bounding – moving forward

o Double leg bounding – moving backward

o Power skips – drive your knee up to 90 degrees to try for maximum height.

o Bound up stairs or bleachers

Bounding should be done for done for 10 to 40 meters or a certain number of foot contacts. Start slowly and build up to the longer distances and number of contacts. Be sure to rest and recover fully between reps. This is not endurance work. Keep your workouts short and intense. Your goal should be to include between 4 and 8 sets in your speed workouts.

Bounding is highly intense exercise. Make sure that you are on a good, forgiving surface and that you don’t bound too often, 2 – 3 times per week is plenty. Also, do not bound on consecutive days, your nervous system will be fried from bounding and will take time to recover, probably even more time than the muscles themselves.

Recovery Spin

I started away from the house and left the sub division and onto the bike path. As I made my way down I climbed landscaping boulders and rolled over small snow hills that are left over from winter… oh wait, it’s still winter! Anyway, I was having a great time on the bike, as recovery days should be. I made my way over the bridge that crosses a section of the lake I live by and proceeded to leave the bike path for pedestrians walking their dogs and themselves. Occasionally I would hit a nice rock garden that the fat bike would completely absorb.

Up ahead I notice a significant snow hill at the end of a parking lot, it was in the shade so I figured I would give it a go, and it ended up being awesome! I made it up two snow peaks and back down to the parking lot. As I approached the other end of the parking lot I noticed another snow pile, this time out in the open and in the sun, I inspected the back side to make sure there was not a big drop off. I still had a funny feeling about it but proceeded to gain speed on my second approach, this was steeper and I was going to need a little more speed to get over the top. Not doing the math, warmer temps, snow pile in the sun equals soft snow, I ended up sinking in near the top and going over the handlebars! I am sure a few people in their cars passing by got a great laugh!

I continued on to Lake Michigan and then on the way back home I found a new two track that was recently made and had some cool wooden planks in place to get over a marshy section. This was a great new experience, not sure I want to try and cross the railroad bridge over the river…

All about Kettlebell Tempo Training

Before we dive too deep into an explanation of how to set the most effective tempo for strength gains, it’s important to get an understanding of how tempo is measured in these cases. There are various tempos, so it’s important to know what the numbers really mean. In the case of 1010, the first number defines the amount of time spent in the eccentric phase, or the “relaxing” phase of the exercise. The 0 indicates the amount of time spent pausing after the relaxation phase. The third digit signifies the length of time spent in the concentric phase, or the phase in which the muscle being exercised is flexed. The final digit signifies the amount of time spent pausing after the concentric phase. To help visualize this, in a pushup, the eccentric phase is bending your arms and lowering yourself toward the ground, and the concentric phase is pushing yourself back up. So, at a 1010 tempo, one second is spent going down, then one second is spent going up, with no pauses before or after either of these motions. For a 4010 tempo, 4 seconds are spent bending the arms and going down toward the ground, and one is spent pushing up. For exercises that demand explosiveness and fast flexing, the tempo may include an “X” instead of a number. This is commonly seen in the Olympics where X0X0 tempo lifts are commonly performed; explosive eccentric and concentric phases, with no pauses before or after either. For hypertrophy exercises and attempts at mass gain, the most effective and commonly used tempo is 40X0.

When taking tempo into consideration, changes can be made to the amount of time your muscles are spending under tension. Time Under Tension, or TUT, is a measure of how long a muscle, or group of muscles, is under the weight of the load. When it comes to strength training and maximizing muscle mass, more TUT is necessary. For strength training with kettlebells, 40-70 seconds of TUT is the optimal time period, anything shorter than this would result in lesser hypertrophic gains. Basic math can be done to see the difference in Time Under Tension between tempo and non-tempo training. Taking a look at the real-world variance in the different tempos that are used is a good way to paint a picture for why it’s so important to include tempo training into your kettlebell workouts for strength gains. For a typical 1010 kettlebell overhead press for example, a single rep will take approximately one second to push and one second to relax, making the total length of the rep 2 seconds. Over the course of about 12 reps per set, this equates to 24 seconds of TUT. However, if you are adhering to tempo training, the length of a single rep will change. If switching to a 40X0 tempo kettlebell press, the flex will be immediate and there will be no pause at the apex before dropping the weight back down and relaxing for 4 seconds. When the kettlebell returns to the resting position, there is no pause and it is immediately lifted for the next rep. The total time for this rep is about 5 seconds, with a total of 60 seconds of TUT for a set of 12 reps. When taking tempo into account, the same weight, reps and sets can be used to achieve better strength training results. This is why tempo training is so important for real mass and strength gains. If you’re only taking into account reps and sets and disregarding the time taken to complete each of these, you will be missing out on making large strength and mass gains in your kettlebell workout.

When your goals are to increase strength and mass, many people often increase the weight of the kettlebell that they are using and make adjustments to sets and reps to maximize muscle gains. Although this is an effective way to increase strength, it’s important to note that tempo can also be altered to get the most out of each rep. Although it may take more concentration, tempo training is one of the most effective ways to successfully reach your strength training goals with kettlebells.

If You Cannot Exercise

Prioritize Your Exercise

By prioritize, I don’t mean set up a workout schedule of what comes when. While that CAN be an important part of any physically active lifestyle, at this point, I’m just trying to get you off the couch and out the door.

So, at this moment, I’m talking about making exercising a regular part of your daily routine. It should be as much a part of your life as brushing your teeth or getting dressed. With that in mind, I want you to get much the same feeling when you skip your workout as you would if you walked outside without your pants on.

This means that working out, exercising, should have a high priority (see?) in your daily activities. We often tend to try to fit exercise in little niches and nooks around out other activities. It’s better to give physical activity a front row seat, and work a lot of the other “stuff” into your life, around your fitness routine.

Make It Pleasure, Not Punishment

No one has decreed that “exercise” has to be pushing weights around in a gym, or riding a bicycle until your lungs give out.

First lesson?

Start off low and build up slow. Unless you are already in great shape and regularly tasking your body, there is going to a “train up” period. Also, what you see in the mirror, or on the bathroom scale, does not even begin to tell you what’s going on inside your body.

It’s not all about muscles and fat. There are glands and hormones, and even the brain, involved in physical fitness. You cannot see what’s happening inside, and, it’s important to realize that if you try to do too much too fast, you can actually do more harm than good.

Second lesson?

You are more likely to do what you enjoy than what somebody says you HAVE to do. There are not only many different forms of exercise and fitness workouts and regimens, but, many activities that some people would not consider “exercise” at all.

For example, bicycle riding, swimming, gardening, hiking, and yoga to name just a few.

The fact is that few of us simply “cannot ” exercise. Most of us just don’t want to. We see it as work, as effort now without immediate reward.

Well, the rewards are there, not just in the health benefits of exercise, but in the many physical, psychological, and emotional ways in which regular physical activity, defined as exercise or not, can impact our lives in a positive manner.

Bottom line is that, if you can wiggle your fingers, tap your toes, swing your head from side to side, you can put some activity into your life. If you are fortunate enough to have full use of your limbs, then you cannot honestly say, that you “cannot” exercise… you’ve just found excuses not to exercise.

Burn Body Fat

Based on the name, you’re probably assuming that a Booty Band is only meant for booty exercises… Well, although, it is somewhat true, it’s also, not the entire story… You see, when you work out your booty utilizing a Booty Band, you’ll also, be working out other parts of your body and you’ll be burning body fat in the speed of light. You’ll also, be strengthening different parts of your body, as the resistance offered will allow for this to occur, without any additional efforts from your end.

This is no gimmick. If you use a Booty Band on a regular basis for at least 5 to 10 minutes, you will notice a significant change in your figure in just 30 days. Not only will you notice that different parts of your body are looking more firm and toned, but you’ll also, see that there’s been some significant weight loss.

Sure, as mentioned before, the name may be misleading, but we are here to tell you, that “yes” it will make your booty look nicer than ever before, but we also, want to tell you about the other ways that this will support you while trying to burn fat off your body.

For starters, when you use it, you’ll also, be working out your legs extensively in a fashion that keeps your knees aligned as well as your core for best results. Moreover, you’ll also, be working out your arms, as many of the recommended exercises involve the movement of your arms and you can even add some light weights to optimize toning and / or firming.

One of the primary exercises recommended to burn fat fast is their lower body sculpting circuit workout. This will start off with the Level 1 Booty Band and some of the exercises for Level 1 individuals. Then, it will proceed to more advanced workouts utilizing the Level 3 Booty Band.

Level 3 Booty Band workouts are a bit more intense, as it is a more advanced level. However, typically these exercises don’t take too long and the fat burning results are truly incredible.

You will need a Booty Band and a mat, as these exercises will mainly be done on the floor.

You’ll begin with a warm up involving Dynamic Movements and then it will proceed with a number of different movements / exercises, which will increase your heart rate and power up that body fat burning mode, which we all have…

Some of the exercises you should do along with a Booty Band:

  • Step-ups
  • Iron Legs Squats
  • Curtsey Lunges
  • High Knees
  • Slow Mountain Climbers
  • In/Out Jax
  • Leg Lifts
  • Bridge Hops
  • Push-ups
  • Plank Jax
  • Tricep Dips
  • Alt Side Planks
  • Alternating Plank Balance

All these are typically done in sets of 10 or 15 times each…

The most astonishing thing about this is that you’ll basically working out all of your body, including your abdomen. This is great in strengthening your core, keeping your body aligned, so that you won’t injure parts of your body while working out and last but certainly not least – you will burn body fat fast and look and feel better than ever before!

Bodybuilding Training

1. MORE THAN JUST LOOKS: Realize exercise is more than just having a great
physique. It is about strengthening the mind and heart and soul.

2. KEEP THE BIG PICTURE IN MIND: You will have good days and bad days. Keep a
one day at a time attitude.

3. BE SOLD OUT! No matter if you are a competitive bodybuilder or just one who
does it for a hobby, be sold out for life to exercise.

4. LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. This one will be hard for most of you to do.
But to be a champion, you have to get rid of your ego. Your mind is your biggest
competitor. In order to improve on your health you need to not be self-serving.

5. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: If you think you know everything, forget, stop right
now. You never will know everything. Continue to learn all the time. Most
importantly, share your knowledge.

6. HAVE FUN: Most people in bodybuilding are wound way too tight. Loosen up a
little.

7. ASK FOR HELP: If you do not know something, ask someone who does.

8. MORE IS NOT BETTER: Put time limits on your workouts.

9. HAVE VARIETY: Never be afraid to change your exercise routine around.

10. HAVE SYNERGY: Incorporate all areas of fitness. Low body fat levels are more
important than the size of your biceps.