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I mostly work with athletes and older populations, so introducing various movement patterns and speeds in essential.
Week 1: We bench with 3 second hold at bottom
Week 2: We add bands or chains to increase resistance at top of movement
week 3: Heavy weights & low Reps
Week 4: Lighter weights and High Reps
Not only does mixing up your workout help improve strength gains, it reduces the risk of injury by training the muscles differently. Most people always lift the same … then when they fall or have to lift something heavy… they hurt themselves because they never trained their muscles for the real world.
This article will help you change your routine ASAP
15 Ways To Switch Up Your Routine
- Increase intensity. Intensity builds muscle. I have put this one at the top because I believe it is the most important. A lot of the techniques mentioned in this article increase the intensity of your workout. Drop sets, supersets, negatives and slow reps are all classic examples. Other ways you can increase the intensity of your workout are decreased rest times, circuits, forced reps etc. When you’ve been using the same routine for a while it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, you think you’re training hard but your intensity level has been dropping slowly without you knowing it.
- Switch up your exercises. Each muscle group has a variety of different exercises that can be used to train it. A lot of weight trainers get stuck into the same exercises week in week out. They cut out exercises they “don’t like”. To continue to grow you need to hit your target muscles with a wide array of exercises. You should be switching regularly. Many experienced bodybuilders never do the same workout twice.
- Introduce drop sets. Drop sets are one of those shock techniques that if done correctly can blast you through a tough plateau. Drop sets work by forcing more reps out by dropping weight off gradually, this forces more blood into the target muscle group and causes more muscle tearing, which promotes more growth after the repair of muscle tissue. Drop sets are simple. Do a set until you can’t perform another rep, drop the weight, do another set, drop the weight…and so on. You can do anywhere from 3-6 sets in total. One of the most popular types of drop sets is “down the rack” dumbbell bicep curls where you start off at a normal curl weight and move down the rack, going to failure on each set.
- Switch the days you work each muscle. Changing the order of your workout days can have a big impact on results. In general, you should work your weakest muscle groups at the beginning of the week when you have the most energy. But like everything else in your routine, you’ll benefit from change. One point to remember though when switching, always make sure you give each muscle group enough rest – keeping in mind that the muscle group may be hit as a secondary. For example, you shouldn’t do biceps Monday then back Tuesday – you need your biceps as a secondary muscle in all your back (pulling) exercises. You can also cycle your workout days so that on the first day of your workout week you focus on a different muscle group.
- Compound-isolation same muscle group supersets. One of the most effective ways to promote growth in a stubborn muscle group is to follow a big compound exercise with an isolation movement. One of the best examples would be bench press-flat bench flys. You complete your bench press as usual, but immediately after you hit out a strict set of dumbbell flys. You don’t need big weights on the second set, your focus should be on muscle contraction. This means slow down and squeeze at the top of the movement. Here are some good compound-isolation supersets:
- Weekly rep cycling. Weekly rep cycling works like this. Week 1 – hit out 12 reps per set, week 2 – hit out 10 reps per set, week 3 – hit out 8 reps per set, week 4 – hit out 6 reps per set, week 5 repeat. No one knows exactly how many reps you should be doing for optimum muscle growth. What we do know is, it’s between 6 and 12. So cover all bases by starting at 12 reps and over 4 weeks decrease to 6, increasing the weight as you go. If you’ve got your diet right (which you should have if you want any of the techniques in this article to work) you should find that by week 5 you can lift considerably more than you could in week 1 for 12 reps.
- Change the number of days you train. In muscle building, less is more. If you want to get bigger you don’t workout more. This is one of the most common mistakes of new lifters. You think that dropping back to 3 days from 4 or 5 will mean you build less muscle? You’re wrong. Your body will probably benefit from the extra rest.
- Negatives. Negatives are extremely helpful in building strength, working up to exercises/weight and beating plateaus. Negatives are where you focus on the negative part of a movement by using very heavy weights (more than your 1 rep max) and a very slow movement. Spotters are needed for almost all types if negatives, so if you train alone, don’t bother with these – you’ll do yourself an injury. Good examples of negatives are bench press, barbell preacher curl, close grip bench, pull ups (jumping up and slowly lowering) and leg extension. Tip: Can’t do pullups? Just do as many as you can then finish the set with negatives. You’ll build strength fast. Use a very wide grip to emphasize you lats and not your biceps.
- Slow (controlled) reps. Slow reps are all about control and contraction. Using a lighter weight, with a slower movement, for the same number of reps. You should be using a 3-1-3 count. Meaning count “1 one thousand” 3 times on the way down, pause for “1 one thousand” and count “1 one thousand” on the way up. Using slow reps you do the same number of reps as you usually do but your muscles are under strain for a much longer time.
- Alternating & keep under strain (AKA partial reps). Like slow reps, alternate reps work the muscle group harder by keeping it under strain for a longer period of time. What you do is, take an exercise and modify it by not completing a full rep. For example, alternating dumbbell curls. Instead of letting your left arm hang while your right arm curls you do not complete the full rep, keeping your left arm slightly bent and under strain. This does not let the blood escape from the muscle (keeps “the pump”) and makes it work extremely hard to hold the weight. After the set, your muscle has been under strain for twice the time as regular alternating curls. You can use this technique with loads of exercises like dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell bench, dumbbell tricep extensions and kickbacks.
- Change the order of your exercises. If someone asked me how they should order their exercises I would tell them big compounds first, followed by isolations. But like everything else in your routine, your body quickly adapts. Switch up your exercises…do dips first on your chest day, extensions before squats etc.
- Pre-fatiguing (or pre-exhausting) your muscles. Pre-fatiguing (AKA pre-exhausting) is another one of those plateau busting techniques that has been around for ages. Using this technique you pre-fatigue the muscle group you want to hit with an isolation exercise and then immediately hit it with a big compound exercise. Here’s some good examples:
- Forced reps. Forced reps are simple, do as many strict reps as you can without any assistance, then use a spotter to help you force another 2 or more reps out. You can use forced reps to get an extra 2 reps out (for example you hit out 12 on your regular 10 set) or you can up the weight by about 15% and use your spotter to help you force out your regular 10 reps.
- Pyramid sets. As the name suggests, pyramid sets start from a low weight and work up to a heavy weight and/or then back down. After completing a proper warm up, the first set in your pyramid will be with a weight that you can push out 12 reps with good form. Your next set will be 8-10 reps, then 6-8, then 4. Then you can always work your way back to 12 reps. Technique is important here, no cheating. You want to do slow and controlled reps on ALL sets.
- Take the week off. Rest is the most abused aspect of weight training. Bodybuilding is not like marathon running, less is more. Sometimes you’ll find that taking a week off from training is the best thing for you. Our bodies (and minds) need regular rest breaks from intense resistance training. Our training routines put stress on the entire body, not just the muscles. How do you know when to take a break? You’ll know it, your body will tell you. But as a rough guide, every 8-12 weeks.
So there you have it, time to get back into the gym and put some of these techniques into practice! If you need any more help or advice on muscle building and fitness head over to our muscle building forum and ask one of our experienced trainers or call me directly at 908-803-8019.
Just for a minute consider something…
Consider who you want to be on June 1st.
If you were at the very top of your health and well-being, what would you feel like? What would your family members and friends say about you? How much energy would you have?
So fast-forward and paint yourself a picture: What do you look like on June 8th?
That’s what the Whole Life Challenge will do for you when you join my team and make a commitment to replace a few bad habits with good habits. You can learn more about it here.
Once you’ve checked it out, you can join my team here: http://www.whole.lc/wlc1904/t/k2-fitness-performance/join
For six weeks, starting on April 13th and ending on June 1st, we’ll work on all the areas of our well-being—like nutrition, mobility, and exercise, for starters.
The Whole Life Challenge is basically a game that challenges us to “try on” a whole life of health and fitness for six weeks. As a team, we can win points and lose points (hopefully we’ll win more than we lose). And the prize is … Well, it’s who you are on June 1st.
I hope you’ll watch the videos and join my team. In fact, I WANT you on my team!
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbicemIo-Sk
To join my team: K2 Fitness & Performance
Our Team’s name: K2 Fitness & Performance
Dieting without exercise will always slow down your metabolism
The following are some basic rules that help most of live and healthier life.
1) Eat protein with every meal. Everyone has their opinion on how much, but as close to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight divided equally amongst your daily meals. So if you weigh 150 lbs, you should eat 25 grams of protein with each meal. 25 x 6 = 150. Protein will control your insulin levels, which effects fat storage and energy.
2) Eat every 3 – 4 hours. Cutting calories can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which can increase belly fat storage. Calorie restriction leads to metabolic adaptations which are responsible for 99% of weight-loss plateaus. Eating the right foods on a timely basis will keep your body burning.
3) Eat within an hour after you exercise. Eating a combined protein and carbohydrate meal with 90 minutes after exercise nearly doubles the insulin response, which results in more stored glycogen. This translates to better recovery and more energy.
4) Drink water. Drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.)
The following 2 are not rules, But great ideas to implement.
5) No carbs 1 or 2 days a week. Carb cycling is a trick bodybuilder’s use to keep their bodies guessing.
6) Cheat Day is HUGE. Eat whatever you want 1 Day a week. This is important because it has been proven to help people stick to a healthier eating routine. Plus deprivation sucks!!! Your diet isn’t what you eat sometimes, it is what you choose to eat to help you thrive.
Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Beach Body, etc all proclaim ONE SIMPLE TRUTH! Whole foods are what you should be eating!
So what are whole foods? We live in a society that eats so much processed and manufactured food that I think there’s some genuine confusion about what qualifies as a whole food. Whole foods are food in its natural state; You’re getting it intact, with all of the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food.
Basically, it’s the healthy whole food, rather than the bits that remain after refinement and processing. Eating healthy whole foods has all sorts of benefits. Their nutrients may help to keep your immune system strong and protect you from disease including
- cardiovascular disease
- many types of cancer
- type 2 diabetes
They also contain phytochemicals, the general name for natural compounds in plants. They help in different ways. Some are antioxidants, which protect cells against damage. Examples of antioxidant phytochemicals are flavonoids, carotenoids, and lycopene. Usually, the term whole foods is confined to vegetables, fruits, and grains. But any dietitian will agree that eating a skinless chicken breast is preferable to eating processed chicken nuggets.
The Synergy of Healthy Whole Foods
One of the biggest advantages of eating whole foods is that you’re getting the natural synergy of all of these nutrients together. We know that when they’re eaten in food, they have all sorts of health benefits. There’s another thing. We simply don’t know all of the nutrients in a food that make it healthy. Nutrition science is always discovering new components of foods, things that we didn’t know are there. Many of them are not even available in supplement form.
Avoiding Additives in Food
The nutrients lost during refinement are not the only disadvantage of eating processed foods. What’s added can also be a problem. A lot of health conscious people are wary of the preservatives and chemicals that are added to processed and manufactured foods. These foods are loaded with salt, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. With all of the extra fat and sugar in processed foods, the calories can quickly add up and lead to weight gain. But eating more healthy whole foods may actually help you lose weight. The natural fiber in many vegetables, fruits, and grains may fill you up without adding many calories.
The Cost of Whole Foods
There’s another bonus to eating healthy whole foods. Although the name may now be synonymous with that fancy grocery store, whole foods are much cheaper than processed foods. They’re also available everywhere. A bag of healthy brown rice is going to be cheaper than a fancy prepackaged rice mix. The other key to a healthy diet is variety. Don’t get caught up in nutritional details and just eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Not only is it simple, but it’s the best way to be sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
You’ve just finished an intense training session. Do you know what—and when—you need to eat in order to maximize your results? Than focus, learn and listen!
Yes, things have changed a bit over the past decade. As the population grows fatter, more research has shown that eating as soon as possible pays off HUGE dividends. (I know you NJ people know about dividends).
First, a quick run-down of the science behind eating for recovery, then a word about fluids, and finally, we get into the timing of your post workout eating, the types of foods that work the best, and some of the guiding principles to keep in mind. Let’s go!
WHAT’S THE POINT OF EATING AFTER EXERCISE?
It’s all about two things: recovery and storage. You need to recover the losses you undertook during the exercise, and your body is simply better at storing that recovery fuel right after your workout. Sure, you can eat later—but the benefits won’t be as good.
Your muscles need carbohydrate and fluid to replace glycogen and water losses during the exercise. The muscles store more glycogen immediately after exercise than they do later.” The quicker your muscles recover, the sooner they will be ready to “perform’ for your again.
You want to stick to carbs and protein. Why, exactly? Becuase protein provides the amino acids necessary to rebuild muscle tissue that is damaged during intense, prolonged exercise. It can also increase the absorption of water from the intestines and improve muscle hydration. The amino acids in protein can also stimulate the immune system, making you more resistant to colds and other infections.
While you might find some advice that suggests carbs will serve you fine on their own, most studies find that athletes who refueled with carbohydrate and protein had 100 percent greater muscle glycogen stores than those who only ate carbohydrate. Insulin was also highest in those who consumed a carbohydrate and protein drink.” The magic ratio seems to be 4:1—for every four grams of carbs, you should have one gram of protein.
IMPORTANT POINT. Eating post-workout is most important for those who workout nearly every day—and hopefully that’s you. To make gains, whether it be strength, lean muscle, speed, flexibility, etc, you need your muscle to recover ASAP.
But if you only exercise 2 -3 times per week, you don’t need to worry as much about post-exercise foods because your body will have enough time between workouts to recover. You should probably focus on healthier proteins and veggies, so you don’t put on extra fat.
THE RE-HYDRATION ESSENTIALS.
Let’s keep it simple. Re-Hydration is always your #1 priority, especially if you’ve gone for a run and haven’t had access to any water during it.
For you OCD-ers, Science says weigh yourself pre- and post-workout, and use the difference to replace fluid losses. For example, drink 16 fl oz of water for every 1 lb lost. .
WHEN TO EAT.
Do we need to eat right away? You might say no, not exactly—you probably want to get some fluids into you, towel off, get changed, take a quick shower—whatever your normal post-workout routine is.
However, those first 15 minutes are crucial! The enzymes that help the body resynthesize muscle glycogen are really most active in that first 15 minutes. The longer we wait to eat something, the longer it takes to recover.
If you can’t get to some proper food within those first 15 minutes, make sure you get something in your stomach within an hour, maximum, post-workout. You won’t get much increased storage at all if you wait longer than that.
WHAT TO EAT—WITH REAL SUGGESTIONS.
Ah, and now the crucial question, where we move away from talk of abstract carbohydrates and protein, and into actual suggestions for the kind of things you should scarf down post-workout.
The simple solution may be a post workout drink. 3:1 combo of carbohydrate and protein is perfect and shakes are easier to digest than real foods and make it easier to get the right ratio. If you can’t make one at home, most of the 24 hour convenience stores carry them.
Columbia University comes at us with some real food suggestions: “eat a few slices of turkey on a wheat bagel, or have a large glass of protein fortified milk. The most important nutritional strategy post workout, though, is fluid replacement. Drink water, juice, or carbohydrate rich sports drinks to replace what you sweat out.” All good advice, although be careful of sports drinks that function more as sugar-delivery systems than workout tools.
Make sure you don’t use your post-workout eating as a chance to load up on too much sugar, or things you might not eat if you hadn’t worked out. And avoid fats for the same reason you avoided them before you exercised: they’re too hard for your stomach to digest after all that work.
Also, avoid falling into the trap of becoming reliant on sports food supplements, believing this to be the only and/or best way to meet your recovery goals. This often results in our athletes “doubling up” with their recovery, consuming a sports food supplement that meets certain recovery goals, e.g. liquid meal supplement, then following this up soon afterwards with a meal that would help them meet the same recovery goal, e.g. bowl of cereal with fresh fruit.
Unless constrained by poor availability or lack of time, we are best advised to favor real food/fluid options that allow ussto meet recovery and other dietary goals simultaneously. This is especially important for athletes on a low energy budget. Top advice.
THE FINAL BITS OF ADVICE.
Eating after exercise takes some time to get used to. Remember that if you’re working out just 2-3 times a week, it’s not as critically important to concentrate on your post-workout recovery. But if you’re working out nearly every day—it’s essential. If you are trying to gain muscle-it’s more than essential.
And don’t think of your post-workout food as a proper meal: the portion sizes should never get that big. Keep it small -a fist-sized quantity. Low-fat chocolate milk works very well. The goal is not a post-exercise meal. It’s really a post-exercise appetizer to help the body recover as quickly as it can.” That’s a strange-but-perfect way to think about it: a post-exercise appetizer.
Keep these general principles in mind, eat clean and healthy above all, and you’ll be recovering from K2’s workouts in no time. Well, maybe not in no time…
Calories In = Calories Out.
Yes this is a myth!! At least for most of you…..AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE AN ATHLETE!
We are always told by our doctors and dieticians that calories in = calories out. Yes this is a simple way to tell an overweight person to put down the Twinkies and go for a walk, but it can also be a recipe for disaster.
When our clients would follow everything we said based on this theory and nothing would happen, and even sometimes their weight went up, us trainers thought they were cheating with either their food intake or cardio program. This probably made them feel even worse than they already did and on top of that we were just as frustrated as they were. As trainers all we really want to do is to help our clients reach their goals.
Being a Certified Nutritionist I now know this theory is not sound and should be thrown way when it comes to losing weight. By now everyone seems to know not all food is created equal when we compare 2000 calories a day of Pepsi and donuts vs. 2000 calories a day of meat and vegetables. Most of us trying to lose weight understand that one pound equals 3,500 calories, but is it as simple as consuming 500 fewer calories a day to lose one pound of weight per week? I beg to differ.
When trying to lose weight and creating a healthy body it’s much more than calories in vs calories out. When I take clients on for weight loss, I approach it in way that educates on creating a healthy body, not just about weight loss. Weight loss should be a byproduct of having a healthy body and feeding it the right fuel.
Here’s a few questions you need to ask yourself for becoming healthy.
- How is stress level?
- How do you sleep?
- Are you eating enough protein? Water?
- Are you eating specifically for your Metabolic Type?
- What’s your exercise routine? Are you exercising too much?
The truth is food can be a medicine or it can be a poison. Sometimes food that you think are a healthy good source of protein, but can be creating inflammation in your body, causing stress and releasing cortisol, which promotes weight gain.
So, make sure you do your research and choose foods that make you feel great and give you tons of energy.
Type II muscle development
Type II (Fast twitch) muscle fiber is the golden currency for successful athletes. Greater type II muscle makes athletes more explosive, and faster. Type II muscle fibers are part of high threshold motor units and only react to high output activities, so curls with the 25 lbs dumbbells are not going to cut it. Olympic lifts are high power movements and recruit type II muscle for activation, the more explosive movement is used the more preferentially these units will be recruited. There are movements that replicate the power output of Olympic lifts, but don’t hit on all the other great parts of Olympic lifts.
The Olympic lifts are a great display of coordination and motor skill for all athletes. There is a precise control of the body that is necessary to complete these lifts. While this coordination is not identical to that required by any other sport nothing else in the weightroom is an identical match to sporting events either. This coordination does center around the hips and legs, similar to many other sporting events.
Improved power characteristics
The completion of the Olympic lifts includes full extension of the hips and knees in an explosive manner. This improvement has great carryover to hip and knee extension power in other areas of athletics. Athletes that are trained extensively in the Olympic lifts show improved rates of force development which greatly improves their power creating ability.
Improved force absorption
Often overlooked, receiving the bar overhead or at the chest requires the athlete to absorb force. This is the piece of the puzzle that can really make the Olympic lifts something that keeps athletes healthier. Most displays of power in the field of play must have a corresponding need to absorb force upon landing, Olympic lifts above other displays of power in the gym can provide this.
There are some athletes with whom I do not use the Olympic lifts. Those athletes that have a history of back pain or back injuries would be first among them. For younger athletes (12-14) I teach the Olympic lifts only as a skill, something to be improved upon by repetition not by weight used. For other athletes that are able, the Olympic lifts can serve a great role
Boost Your Metabolism all Day!!
When you want to create a lean, firm body, the best way to accomplish it is with an effective workout program and a healthy eating plan. But that’s not the end of the story . . . . Because no matter how much you’re putting into your exercise sessions, practicing a range of healthy habits the rest of the time can give your metabolism an even bigger kick.
So here’s a full day’s worth of metabolism boosters. Any one of them may have a relatively minor effect, but when put together, they’re bound to help your body burn fat more efficiently. Add these tips to your weight loss arsenal, and you’ll get the results you want as quickly as possible.
- Get some sun. A little outdoor time in the morning can help you slim down in three ways. First, bright light helps regulate your body clock, so you’ll be more energetic during the day and sleep better at night. Second, during the winter months, sunshine helps ward off SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a condition that can lead to uncontrolled food cravings. And third, sunlight on your skin increases your levels of vitamin D, which are associated with a higher metabolism and a lower risk of obesity. (While sunscreen cuts down on your natural vitamin D production, experts warn that you shouldn’t spend much time outside without it. You can also get more D by taking multivitamins, drinking fortified milk, and eating fatty fish.)
- Eat a good breakfast. Research has shown that a filling breakfast that includes both lean protein and complex carbohydrates helps you burn fat all day (and keeps you satisfied longer, too). In a study presented to the Endocrine Society, dieters who ate hearty breakfasts stuck to their food plans and ended up losing more weight than those who didn’t, despite the fact that their daily caloric intake was actually slightly higher.
- And add some grapefruit. There’s a reason grapefruit diets have never gone out of fashion. In a recent study in the journal Diabetes, mice on a high-fat diet that were given naringenin—a flavonoid chemical that gives grapefruit its slightly bitter taste—didn’t gain weight, while others on the same diet did. And a study conducted at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found that half a grapefruit before each meal helped obese people drop more than 3 pounds over 12 weeks. (Consult your doctor if you’re taking any medications—large amounts of grapefruit can change the way they’re metabolized by your body.)
- Have a hot beverage. As you’ve surely heard by now, regular consumption of green or oolong tea can raise your metabolism by as much as 5 percent. But plain old java gives your fat-burning ability a boost too. Green coffee beans have been found to boost your metabolism through the combination of caffeine and something called chlorogenic acid. While roasting lowers the amount of this chemical, according to the Coffee Science Information Centre, a light roast retains more than a dark roast.
Whatever you drink, don’t overdo it, and keep the additives to a minimum—the calories in cream and sugar, or a coffeehouse latte, can far outweigh any fat-burning benefits.
- Take the stairs. Your daily workout will do more than anything else to burn fat and build lean muscle. But that doesn’t mean you should be a slug the rest of the time. A highly publicized British study found that kids who were very active during physical education classes were that much less active throughout the day, which suggests that you may need to make a conscious effort to move your body when you’re not working out, including taking such simple steps as walking everywhere you can and using stairs rather than elevators. Even relatively brief periods of exercise will help keep your metabolism revving at a higher level.
- Snack on nuts. All nuts (including peanuts, which aren’t technically nuts, but whatever) are fairly high in calories, but they’re also full of nutrients, especially protein and healthful fats. In a study at Purdue University, when people added 500 calories of peanuts to their daily diets, they ate less during meals and increased their resting metabolic rates by 11 percent. You don’t need to eat so many, though. Just an ounce at a time will go a long way toward boosting your metabolism and keeping you satisfied.
- Shop in the outer aisles of the grocery store. Most supermarkets are laid out in similar ways: produce, meats, fish, dairy products, and other fresh, whole foods are along the outside edges, while processed, boxed, and canned foods are in the inner aisles. Shop on the perimeter first, and you’ll end up with nutritious ingredients that will fuel your muscles while keeping you full—and because they’re higher in fiber and protein and lower in starch, you can eat more of them and still lose weight.
- Take time to relax. Stress can take a toll on your metabolism. When scientists at Georgetown University fed two groups of mice a high-fat, high-sugar diet, the ones under stress gained more than twice as much weight as the low-stress group. If your job (or any other part of your life) leaves you feeling like a mouse in a cage, try to find ways of cutting down on stress. At some point during the day, take a break for meditation, yoga, or just sitting in a peaceful place and thinking about something pleasant.
- Watch your eating. If you’re like most people, your activity level slows down at night, and so does your metabolism. And yet there’s also a tendency to eat a lot at this time, either by having a big dinner or snacking in front of the TV, or both. If you’re overeating due to stress or boredom, the evening is a good time to concentrate on healthful dietary habits.
- Hold the hooch. Your body loves alcohol—so much so, in fact, that it’ll burn its byproducts as fuel before anything else. That means that while you’re processing alcohol, you’re not burning fat. Of course, alcoholic beverages also have calories, virtually none of which are good for anything other than helping you gain weight.
- Turn off your screens. At least 2 hours before bedtime, dim the lights, put away your computer, and turn off your video games. Bright lights, including those from computer screens, can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, an antioxidant hormone that builds up in the evening and helps you sleep. Research has shown that higher levels of melatonin are associated with lower levels of body fat.
- Catch your z’s. While you’re asleep, your body is hard at work producing hormones responsible for weight loss, muscle gain, and glucose metabolism. Studies have found that consistently getting less than the optimal 8 or so hours per night leads to a lower metabolism and a higher body mass. If you find yourself getting sleepy during the day, going to bed just an hour earlier could make a significant difference in your waistline.
A.M. is the best time to exercise?
By Kevin Haag, Fitness Consultant
When is the best time to exercise? Whenever you can make time to exercise is the best time. For some people, it’s nearly impossible to find the time to exercise at all, and for others there’s no way they can break a sweat until the evening. But if a.m. exercise may be an option, I’ve got five reasons why working out in the morning is best.
It’s a fact that burning 500 calories at6 a.m.is no different from burning the same amount at6 p.m.So what difference does it make what time you choose to do your workout?
For you night owls out there, working out in the evening may be the best thing for you, but for the majority of people looking to get in shape, the morning looks a lot brighter for making true gains in your fitness and weight loss goals.
Why? Well, for these sensible reasons:
As the day goes on you get busier and busier and your schedule can easily change, leaving you no time for exercise. How many times has that happened to you? Probably more often that not.
Get your workout out of the way by doing it first thing in the morning and you can be flexible to any changes that may pop up during your day. This way, you’ll have no excuses for not exercising, because you’ve already done it before your day got hectic. This means you’re more likely to exercise every day, helping you to be consistent with your workouts for lasting results.
Start your day out right and you’ll reap the benefits all day long. Morning exercise will rev up your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories all throughout the day.
Ever notice that after you work out for awhile you actually feel like you have more energy than when you were taking it easy?
That’s because your metabolism kicks in and feeds your body a consistent stream of energy all day long. You would be burning more calories while reading this if you had only worked out this morning.
Your body craves routine! Waking up at the same time every day to get your workout in helps your body to regulate many different functions for optimal performance all day long. It’s known as your circadian clock, and everyone has one.
This “clock” is really the routine that your body is set to. It takes time and practice to change this internal clock, so don’t expect to be waking up cheery at first if you’re trying to wake up earlier to exercise.
As you get up earlier on a consistent basis, your body will adapt and you’ll find that it’s not as difficult to wake up at5:30 a.m.as you thought it would be. In fact, you’ll probably end up waking up at the same time every morning without an alarm clock.
Research has also shown that your body is better able to prepare for the day ahead when your sleeping routine is consistent.
Have an important meeting with the boss today? A big, scary test at school today? Exercising in the morning gets the blood flowing to your brain, circulating precious nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to your various organs. More oxygen to your brain gives you a mental boost, helping you to stay focused all day long.
Don’t let morning fog stop you from getting that promotion, or getting an A on that test. Get up, get moving and get what you want out of your day
You Will Look Great and Feel AWESOME!
Your body will thank you, and so will your mirror. Exercise is not only healthy for your heart; it’s also great for an ego-boost. With consistent exercise you will shed unwanted pounds that have plagued you for years, giving you a new outlook on life.
And what better way to start your day than knowing you’re doing your body good?
What’s Your Fitness Style?
Some people find it easy to set the alarm clock for4:30 a.m.and jump out of bed for a five-mile run, while others hit the snooze button so many times that the chance of a morning workout becomes obsolete. There are specific aspects of your personality that determine what kind of exerciser you are, so if you’ve found yourself in a fitness rut it’s time to put your unique interests back into the equation.
Kevin Haag is a Fitness Trainer and Consultant with the K2Performance Team, and is the founder of Summit Fitness Adventure Boot Camps. You can reach Kevin at 908-803-8019 or http://www.LiveK2.com
I was informed that along with one of my holiday greeting cards was a letter about this individual’s family experience over the past year. I was told that “You have to read this letter; It is so obnoxious and brags about the children the whole letter.”
Since “Those People” who write and talk about how great their kids are drive me nuts, I almost trashed the letter away before reading it. I am so glad that I did not!
This letter made me laugh out loud the entire time. Rather than brag about the children, this letter poked fun at the way kids’ act, the way they think they run the world and…you get the picture.
My point is: How did this person miss the satire????
I am not a shrink, but I KNOW that the happiest, most fulfilled, most balanced people complain the least. They see things different. They are more open-minded. This is a Fact based on hundred of interviews and case studies over the years. These people handle every situation, whether tragic and insignificant, better than others.
I personally believe that the person who viewed this letter as obnoxious is insecure or sad, and wasn’t able to see the happiness and humor this letter was meant to provide.
I cannot tell everyone how to be happier and live a better life, but I can tell you it begins with change. And most change cannot happen alone. Please always work on being happier. Happiness is contagious!!
Take Charge of Your Metabolism
“Love the one your with” That would be you! You have to live with yourself 24/7/365. Wouldn’t it be nice if you loved everything about yourself?
If you are reading this, you have the ability to control almost everything about your life. What you spend your days doing, who you hang out with, what you eat, what you do for activities. The greatest thing about being you is you hold the key to happiness! So if you complain once today, then you need to take a long look in the mirror.
Ok…Let me focus on 1 thing we all have control over – Our metabolism.
Do you ever wonder how your friend can eat whatever he/she wants and not gain a pound, while you seem to gain weight by simply looking at food? The answer is in your metabolism—the way your body burns up all the calories from food.
Some people have a fast metabolism which helps keep weight off, and others have a slow metabolism, putting on weight very quickly. The good news is metabolic rate can be altered, and even sped up.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the rate at which your body’s internal engine operates as it performs its bodily functions. The largest component of your metabolism, approximately 70%, is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is how many calories you burn just sitting around. In other words, it is the energy used by your body to perform basic functions, such as breathing, keeping the heart beating and maintaining body temperature. As you age, your BMR decreases. Basal metabolic rates differ from person to person due to:
Genetics: A slow metabolism (you burn calories more slowly) or fast metabolism (you burn calories faster) can be inherited.
Amount of lean muscle: Muscle burns calories faster than fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest.
Sex differences: Males generally have a 10 to 15% faster BMR than females because the male body has a larger percentage of lean muscle tissue.
Age: Younger people have faster metabolisms due to increased activity of cells.
Other components of your metabolism include physical activity, which accounts for about 20% of calories burned, and dietary thermogenesis, which is the number of calories required for digesting and processing the food you eat. This accounts for the remaining 10% of energy needs.
How Does This Affect My Weight?
Simply put, your metabolism affects weight management because it determines how many calories you need per day. If you have a high BMR (fast metabolism) it takes a lot of calories for your body to function; eating calorie-laden foods may not pack on the pounds for you. On the other hand, if you have a low BMR (slow metabolism), your body needs fewer calories to function. Unfortunately, for your sluggish metabolism, eating calorie-laden foods will result in weight gain.
How Can I Jump-Start my Body’s Metabolic Engine?
Follow these tips to naturally boost your metabolism:
Eat Breakfast. Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, especially for you weight loss seekers. Research shows that those who eat breakfast lose more weight than those who skip breakfast. Your metabolism slows down while you sleep and it doesn’t speed back up until you eat again. If you don’t eat until lunchtime, your body won’t burn as many calories as it could during the morning period. Kick start your day with a balanced breakfast such as omega-3 eggs and toast or a protein shake.
Eat smaller meals throughout the day. Eating five or six smaller meals rather than three large meals helps to keep your metabolism revved up! It also helps to fill you up over the course of the day, making a binge session less likely.
Don’t starve yourself. Fasting, cutting calories and skipping meals will all help put weight ON not OFF. Your body needs a certain number of calories to function. If you don’t meet this need, your body will switch into survival mode, slow down the metabolism and promote the storage of energy (calories) in the form of fat to protect itself from starvation. Be sure get the proper number of calories for an optimal metabolism.
Exercise. Both cardiovascular exercise and weight training help to improve metabolic rate and keep weight off. Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, running, biking, swimming and aerobics, allows your body to burn a lot of calories at one time. Weight training will increase muscle mass, which burns more calories than body fat. Weight training also puts the metabolism into overdrive, so your burn calories for up to two hours after the workout.
Drink Green Tea. Research shows that green tea appears to increase metabolic rate and speed up fat oxidation. Compounds in green tea, catechin polyphenols, appear to speed up the rate at which calories are burned and therefore increase overall energy expenditure leading to weight loss!
Drink water. Not drinking enough water can slow down your metabolism. Be sure to drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day. Add a lemon slice to water for a tangy, fresh taste.
Take Supplements. If you use make-up to look better, supplements can probably do a lot more for your appearance. Even ugly pants look better on a nice pair of legs. The Supplement market is 50 Billion because they do work! Visit www.khaag.getprograde.com
Eat hormonally balanced meals. Eating in hormonal balance includes:
- Energy-dense carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits that contain fiber to help regulate your metabolism by having less impact on insulin levels.
- High quality protein, such as fish, poultry, lean meats, soy, tofu and lowfat dairy products to help build metabolism-boosting muscle mass.
- Essential fats for good health such as olive oil, avocado and nuts.
Ask for Help.
You can contact me, Kevin Haag, with any questions you have. I spend my days researching and practicing this stuff, so I can bombard you with enough emails to make you not want to eat.