Entries Tagged 'Cardiovascular Training' ↓
March 14th, 2010 — Cardiovascular Training
I remember those days when I was studying overseas. I walked a lot (often at brisk pace), every day, rain or shine … to my university, clubs, supermarkets, local market, parks, shops, restaurants, etc. At that time, I wasn’t keen to work out at all. Come to think of it, walking as a means of getting to places was my only form of “exercise”. It certainly kept me fit and my weight under control.
Benefits of walking
- strengthens bones
- weight control
- tones up muscles in the lower body
- improves posture
- improves blood circulation to the joints
- reduces inflammation
- improves cardiovascular health
- relieves stress
Walking is convenient
Walking is so ‘flexible’ in terms of:
timing – early in the morning, after sending your kid to school, after work, before or after dinner.
location – park, beach, hill, countryside, neighbourhood.
You can walk whenever and wherever you want.
You don’t need to sign up for a gym or use any equipment. The exception is when the weather is not permissible and you may have to walk on a treadmill.
How to get the most out of walking for weight loss
Walking as a real exercise is not about strolling in the park or window shopping.
If you want to lose weight, you have to walk briskly for 30-60 minutes to increase the fat burning potential.
For the added challenge, try walking up the stairs, a hill slope or at an incline to increase the intensity.
Who should walk
Walking is a low intensity cardio, suitable for people of all fitness levels. For those who are overweight, deconditioned or new to exercising, walking is ideal for weight loss or cardiovascular health. Even if you are in good shape, walking can keep you active on the days when you are not in the gym or working out.
Here’s how I incorporate walking into my fitness training…
On HIIT days, I’d do HIIT for 10-15 mins, followed by walking briskly at an incline for 10-15 mins on a treadmill.
On recovery days, I like to take a 45-min walk at a park, just to keep moving. Personally, I feel refreshed and relaxed after a walk.
Most people are sitting too long, whether at the computer, watching tv or doing nothing. By moving more, you can work out less at the gym. Walking keeps you active and is so simple that there’s no excuse not to do it!
December 24th, 2009 — Ab Exercises, Cardiovascular Training, Muscle Building, Nutrition, Weight Training
(Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Jon Benson)
You may be wasting your time in the gym or at home if you are trying to shape your body or get rid of body fat.
Most people are. That is when it comes to exercise for getting rid of belly fat and getting into better shape.
I was in the gym today (nothing new… ; ) and I saw all 4 of these exercises being performed by various gym members (again… nothing new.)
And they are useless for 99% of the people on the planet.
Here they are…
USELESS EXERCISE 1: Walking Dumbbell Lunges
Okay ladies, this one is for you… although I see guys do this exercise as well.
This is where you take a pair of dumbbells and kneel with one leg, then the other, and so-on, walking around the gym as you go.
The idea behind this exercise is to work the butt, and to some extent the thighs… but it’s a joke. It’s something invented by trainers who should know better.
If you want to build and tone your butt, exercise one leg at a time. Lunges are a great exercise for this, but save your energy. Do them on a Smith Machine or with a barbell. Work one leg at a time, too. Do not alternate legs. This just wears you out aerobically before it has a chance to get to your glutes.
Here’s how I perform lunges: On a Smith Machine, with pretty heavy weights… one leg at a time. I will do 2-3 sets, or do them in my 7 Minute Body-style workout fashion. I will finish one leg (and one butt cheek) before moving to the other leg.
Why? Again, to focus on the muscle more intensely and to avoid turning a leg/butt workout into a cardio session.
Jon Benson covers exactly how to work the butt area for the best results in 7 Minute Body and 7 Minute Muscle, found right here
USELESS EXERCISE 2: The Sit-up
I’m shocked that people still think sit-ups done the old-fashioned way actually work the abs. Even worse, most people have been fooled into believing this actually helps get rid of bellyfat.
Nonsense. Belly fat is burned off when you have a good nutrition plan and through general exercise, not using exercises for the abs. Ab exercises are fine, but guess what?
I never train my abs more than 3-5 minutes. Today my ab workout took 3 minutes and 12 seconds to complete. And my abs are sore!
But without the nutrition plan, forget it… I’d never SEE my abs at all. I’d just have a nice wall of muscle with a bunch of flab covering it up.
The best nutrition plan for abs is The Every Other Day Diet plan, found here
The best exercises to do for the actual ab muscles are hanging leg raises, done slowly, crunches (if you do them right)… and that’s really all you need.
USELESS EXERCISE 3: The Bench Press
I’m going to get a lot of flack from the guys out there who love to bench, but I’m here to tell you that this exercise for bodyshaping is all but worthless.
Why? Because most people are not built right body-wise to bench press on a flat bench with a barbell. I am not, that’s for sure.
Bench presses work if you have short arms, a relatively short torso, and your shoulders are genetically strong.
Protect your shoulders and really work your chest by doing incline dumbbell presses with your palms facing OUT, not in toward your head. This protects the rotator cuff, a part of the shoulder that is often injured using barbell bench presses.
Combine this with a good cable fly or press movement and you’re set. Again, you only need about 7-14 minutes of chest work tops to get the job done.
USELESS EXERCISE 4: Most Cardio Exercises
Yep… saved the best for last.
Here’s a fact: Most cardio (bike, treadmill, glider, whatever) is a waste to time… UNLESS you do it at the right time with the right nutrition plan.
The calories you burn from cardio will be easily negated simply by eating a bagel! Hardly effective for getting rid of bodyfat. Weight training and/or resistance training at home or with your body weight, as covered in 7 Minute Muscle, is your best bet for exercise that burns-off mega-calories and keeps on burning long after the exercise session is over.
Here’s how to use traditional cardio wisely:
1. Do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach;
2. Keep your heart rate down to 75% of your max (220 minus your age x .75 will give you this number, at least approximately);
3. “Burst” for 2-3 minutes in your session up to 85-90% of your max heart rate.
4. OR, do cardio right after weight or resistance training when your heart rate is already elevated and your blood sugar is lower. Your body burns blood sugar first during exercise.
Cardio for most people only needs to be performed 3-4 times a week for 20 minutes. The only time I break this rule is when I want to get my body fat below 10%. Then I will do more, but only using the rules above.
Hope this saves you a ton of time with your workouts.
You can get both books, The Every Other Day Diet plan and 7 Minute Body, for a big-time discount by going here and watching the presentation.
August 8th, 2009 — Cardiovascular Training, Nutrition, Weight Training
Even if you have no intention of becoming a bodybuilder or fitness model, there’s something you can learn from them about being in control of your body composition. How do they literally transform from good to great shape, but never getting “out of shape”?
What if you had the power to stay lean all year round, and then get super lean when summer rolled around, or when you took your vacation to the Caribbean, or when your wedding date was coming up?
Read more about it here:
How Do Bodybuilders And Fitness Models Get So Lean?
May 21st, 2009 — Cardiovascular Training, Weight Training
Time sure flies… for those living in the northern hemisphere, summer is round the corner. Are you ready to bare your midriff or six pack abs?
Here are some tips on how to pick the best workout program for fat loss…
1. The first question to ask is where do you like to exercise? Gym? Home? Outdoors?
At the gym, you have access to a variety of cardio and weight training equipment. Some fitness clubs conduct group exercise classes. If you don’t like working out alone, why not join these classes?
For those who prefer to work out at home, you can do body weight exercises with or without equipment. You may want to consider buying a stability ball, bench and 1-2 sets of dumbbells for home use.
2. There’s no one fat loss program that suits everyone. So, pick one that you think is best for you and follow it through for 6 weeks. If you enjoy it and are getting the desired results, stick with it. Otherwise, try another one. Remember to change your workout every 4-8 weeks to prevent your body from plateauing.
Some of my favourite fat loss workout programs include Mike Geary’s Truth About Abs, Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training, David Grisaffi’s Firm and Flatten Abs and Vince Del Monte’s No Nonsense Muscle Building and Your Six Pack Quest.
3. The advantage of following an exact fat loss program is that you know what to do on which days. The plan is laid out to guide you to your fat loss goals. Saves you from the playing the guessing game or cracking your head on how to design a good workout. Be sure to follow the program consistently.
It’s only by trial and error that I’ve been able to discover workout programs that suit me. Don’t waste time sitting around and pondering if this or that program would help you lose fat or build muscle. Just pick one and try it out for 6 weeks.
February 12th, 2008 — Cardiovascular Training, General, Nutrition, Weight Training
Today I’m posting an excerpt from one of two recent teleseminars featuring fat loss expert, Tom Venuto. Tom had them transcribed and turned into ebooks and MP3 audios that he’s actually giving away for free as part of a 3-day special promotion ending February 14th. Go to Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle for more information on that.
I wanted to share this excerpt from the seminar with you in particular (I got permission from Tom to reprint this). I think you’ll find it fascinating because it explains the real reasons why people hit fat loss plateaus. It happens especially when you get down to that “last 10 lbs” or when you drop a lot of weight, and you hit the “good” body fat category, but you’re an “overachiever” and you still want to get even leaner… all the way to “ripped”, or at least lean enough to see your abs.
Breaking through plateaus is a challenge, but there IS something you can do about them… read on and see what Tom says about it.
EXCERPT FROM THE “SUPER LEAN” SEMINAR
QUESTION: “Our first question says, “Tom, I know you often say that to get to the point to be able to see your abs, you need to get to single-digit body fat. What if I hit a plateau at about 12% body fat? What do I need to do to break the plateau and get my fat% down to single digits? Should I do more cardio, more weight-training, manipulate my diet somehow?”
ANSWER: “You could do any of the above. You could manipulate your calories, change type of cardio, add cardio duration or frequency. You could increase cardio intensity. You could change your weight-training. You shouldn’t limit yourself.
One of the problems I see with quite a few programs is that they’re too dogmatic. If you hit a plateau, the person with the most flexibility in their approach is the person who’s going to be most likely to get through that plateau.
The first thing though is to understand what a plateau really is. This is important, because if you were losing weight, but now you’re not, there’s only one thing that that could mean; you were in a calorie deficit but you’re no longer in a calorie deficit.
You may be wondering why that happens.
There are four primary reasons you hit a plateau:
The first reason you hit a plateau is because your metabolism decreases. While this does not completely stop fat loss, it does slow down fat loss. If you’ve been cutting calories, especially if you cut them severely, your body adapts by decreasing the metabolic rate. That’s sometimes known as the “starvation response” or “Adaptive thermogenesis.”
The second reason is that you need fewer calories after you lose weight. Calorie needs are directly tied into your body weight. One problem is that after people lose a lot of weight, they tend to keep eating the same way they were eating when they were heavier.
So they’re feeding a smaller person the way they were when they were a bigger person, but when you’re a smaller person, you don’t need as many calories, even at rest (your basal metabolic rate is lower).
A third reason is that when you move that smaller body, you’re not burning as many calories. If you strap on a weighted vest or heavy backpack and go out and hike up a hill, you can tell, obviously, that if you’re lugging around extra weight, you’re burning more calories. So now can you see why, after you lose weight, you burn fewer calories?
The fourth reason is that most people either cheat on their diets or they forget to record part of their food intake. This one requires a little bit of honesty with yourself. Even if you don’t do it intentionally and you don’t “cheat” per se, unconsciously, we’re all terrible at estimating how much food we eat.
Some studies have even showed underreporting calorie intake as much as 50%. In other words, you say, “I’m only eating 1,200 calories a day, but i’m stuck at a plateau!” but you’re really eating 1,800 calories a day which doesn’t give you much of a deficit.
All of these reasons for plateaus get amplified in the later stages of a diet, because biologically speaking, your body is doing everything it possibly can to get you to go off your diet and to get weight to stabilize.
After a long period of dieting and after a large weight loss, your body cranks up the appetite, stimulates cravings and tries to trick you into eating more.
The leaner you get, the longer you’ve been dieting and the more aggressively you cut calories, the more your body tends to defend its weight, and hold on to remaining body fat.
So it’s really common to hit that plateau when you’re dieted down and leaner. Usually it’s nowhere near as difficult for the overweight person to start losing weight as it is for the lean person to get even more lean. The last 10 lbs is usually a lot harder than the first 10.
If you think about it, it’s pretty unnatural from a biological perspective to walk around with really low single-digit body fat. It’s not beneficial from a survival-of-the-species point of view to have low body fat. So this metabolic adaptation becomes more pronounced the leaner you get.
You’re also at a higher risk of losing muscle, because extra muscle is not econmical when there’s a calorie shortage. Having extra muscle is like having an engine that’s bigger than you need – It’s like a gas guzzler.
The ultimate answer to why you plateau, why that last 10 pounds is so hard to lose and why it’s hard to break into those single digits is that you were in a calorie deficit but for all of the reasons mentioned above, you’re no longer in deficit.
The way to break the plateau then is to:
(1) re-stimulate metabolism and re-set fat-burning and starvation hormones, and
(2) re-establish the deficit.
(3) KEEP AFTER IT!
The question was, “How do I do that? More cardio, more weight training, manipulate my diet?”
You could do all of the above. Eating less or exercising more can both increase a deficit. But one thing you might want to do first, is give yourself a little break. Take your calories up to maintenance level, maybe for a week.
The idea there is not to try to accelerate fat loss, because what you’re actually doing is removing your calorie deficit for a short period of time. What you’re trying to do is facilitate the fat loss when you jump back into it.
It gives your body a physiological break from the stress of dieting; it resets some of those starvation hormones and stimulates your metabolism so when you go back to the calorie deficit, your body responds again.
You also get mental break from the diet as well, which makes it easier to stick with the program when you go back to it.
You could also use a calorie cycling approach, to help prevent yourself from hitting another plateau, and we already covered calorie and carb cycling in the last call.
I also recommend, because so many people underestimate how much they eat, don’t take any chances. Count your calories, or at least become really aware of the portion sizes and maybe even consider keeping a journal.
You’ve probably been told many times by a lot of different “experts” that you don’t have to count calories. But when you’re in a plateau, I’d recommend that you stop guessing and really get serious about what you’re taking in.
Then what you need to do is reestablish that calorie deficit using every tool at your disposal.
Use nutrition by pulling back your portion sizes. Or use cardio. And by increased cardio, I mean increasing energy expenditure. You could increase your frequency. You could increase your duration.
But increasing energy expenditure is not necessarily doing longer workouts, just burning more calories. You could also take the same amount of time that you’re spending right now and increase your intensity.
The whole idea is just burn more calories and stimulate metabolism, which gives you your deficit back again or you can pull back your food intake and give yourself a deficit again from the food side.
There’s more than one way to do it and I don’t think that you should lock yourself in. Use all of the variables and remember that there are TWO sides to the energy balance equation, not one.”
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt, and mostly, I hope you put the information to good use!
This was just one short excerpt from almost two hours of audio in Tom’s new “Super Lean” seminar. Tom is giving away the entire seminar for free with the purchase of his ebook Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, but only until February 13th.”
You can get more information on Tom’s Burn The Fat program AND his new “Super Lean” seminar at:
Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle
November 21st, 2007 — Cardiovascular Training, Interval Training
Recently, I was in Tampa, Florida, at a seminar. Between sessions, a physician from Georgia stopped me in the hall and said, “Hey Craig, you were right about those crosstrainer machines. I’ve had your program for a few months now and I’m getting better results with the bodyweight circuits.”
It’s always great to meet clients, and I was curious to find out how he heard of me. Turns out, he found me through Google, landing on an article I wrote about “how elliptical machines (crosstrainers) suck for fat loss”.
That’s right, I think those machines are almost a complete waste of time.
“I was using one of those machines for a long time and was wondering why I wasn’t getting any results,” the physician continued, “I’m so glad I found your program and now I’m using the bodyweight circuits from the Dumbell-Bodyweight Fusion Workout”, he added.
I told him how I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I’ve never personally known anyone to get great results with one of those crosstrainer machines. Now I’ve watched really lean people use them, but they didn’t get lean with those machines.
I know some people will be angry with what I have to say because they like exercising on the crosstrainer, but the truth is that they just don’t work as well as harder forms of interval training.
And hey, any time you are traveling or want a break from regular interval training workouts, you can use one of the 4 bodyweight circuits from the TT DB-BW Fusion Fat Loss program that you get as a bonus when you order the Turbulence Training fat burning workout routine.
Click here to get Turbulence Training
“I used to think you needed to spend hours in the gym everyday in order to see results. With the help of CB and TURBULENCE TRAINING, I have reduced my workouts from 2 hours per day, everyday, to 50 minutes every other day. All the while I have trimmed over 60 lbs. of body fat off my now lean and muscular body. Thanks CB!!!”
“Craig’s workouts were fun and challenging – I didn’t dread going to the gym and I wasn’t overly sore after our sessions. Much like my trainer in LA, Craig’s workouts were always different: the exercises, the supersets, the weights…the combination of elements always varied and, therefore, I never got bored or felt like I was in a workout rut. And my co-stars couldn’t believe how great my arms looked, thanks to Craig helping me do my first chin-up. Thanks Craig!”
Rachel Nichols, Actress, Model
Click here to get the Turbulence Training program and bonuses.
About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit Turbulence Training website.
October 31st, 2007 — Cardiovascular Training, Interval Training
The #1 reason for not working out is a lack of time.
If you get up at 5:30am to drive an hour to work, only to get home at 6pm and then have to launch right into carting the kids around, who can blame you for not working out? Not when it takes 45 minutes to do cardio, and another 30-45 minutes for isolation bodybuilding workouts.
If that’s the way you have to exercise to lose fat, then practically no normal person is going to be able to pull that off.
But when you look at the science, you’ll see that you can get more results in less time. You just have to increase the intensity of the workout, but at the same time, you can cut your workout time in half (or more!).
I am convinced that an effective fat loss workout can be done in 45 minutes or less, and that long, slow, excruciatingly boring cardio is not necessary for you to get the body you want. Please, read on…
In last week’s newsletter, I spoke about the 3 biggest training mistakes as well as my top 3 training tips to help you get more results in less time. Here I go into detail on the superiority of interval training when compared to traditional aerobic exercise:
Q: What is the role of interval training vs. steady state aerobics in a fat loss program?
Interval training is more important than cardio. First of all, it gets more results in less time. And with “lack of time” being the number one reason most people do not participate in a training program at all, clearly intervals are the winner here.
Now let’s just assume that lack of time is not a problem. Well, interval training is still more effective because it applies more “turbulence” to the muscle. Or in scientific terms, interval training results in a greater metabolic stress on the muscle.
And that causes more calories to be burned in the important 23.5 hours per day when you are not exercising.
From there, the muscle must work to recover, repair, and replenish the energy that was used in the training. It is much more metabolic work for the muscle to recover from interval training (and strength training) than it is to recover from aerobic training.
Therefore, in the post-exercise period, interval training results in more calories burned.
In fact, I just read a new study from Australia that shows interval training is superior to slow cardio for fat loss.
The researchers, Trapp & Boutcher put WOMEN through a 15 week study where one group was a control, one group did intervals (20 minutes of alternating sprints and recovery), and one group did 40 minutes of slow cardio.
The interval group lost 2.5kg of fat in 15 weeks on average (with one subject losing 7.7kg of fat), while the slow cardio group lost only 0.4kg of fat over 15 weeks on average.
The results speak for themselves.
So don’t get hung up on how many calories are burned during a training session with aerobic training. That is not nearly as important as how many total calories your body burns over the course of the day – and you will burn more with interval training.
And for those that subscribe to the fat burning zone as being important, again, you aren’t looking at the big picture (the 24-hour calorie burning period). Instead, those that believe in the importance of the fat-burning zone have a myopic view of how the body works.
The same message applies to those people that live and die by the cardio on an empty stomach method. You’re “nickel and dime-ing” the fat loss process, when really it’s a much bigger budget to balance.
Look at the big picture. Get your nutrition in order, then focus your workouts on brief, intense strength and interval training workouts that increase your metabolism for the next 24 hours.
About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all over the Internet, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit Turbulence Training website
October 28th, 2007 — Cardiovascular Training, Interval Training, Weight Training
Are you frustrated by a lack of results?
Are you spending too much time in the gym?
It drives me crazy to hear about people working really hard but getting no results.
But I see people in the gym everyday that are doing the same workout and getting nowhere.
You can see the look of frustration and the dread of even doing the workout in their eyes.
I hope this doesn’t describe you and your fat loss situation. If it does, let’s take a look at some of the best fat loss tips and workout solutions to get you back on the fat loss track.
1. CB’s Top 3 Training Tips for Fat Loss
i) Train with intensity. Yes it takes a lot of effort to do 45 minutes of cardio, but that is low-intensity exercise (since you can do it for 45 minutes straight). Instead, you have to increase the intensity of your efforts.
That means the following…
ii) Don’t rely on slow, steady, long workouts of cardio. Use intervals instead.
iii) Don’t use high reps for fat loss. Use low reps instead.
You want to increase the intensity of your training to put “metabolic turbulence” on your muscles.
So you need to use moderately heavy weights or advanced bodyweight exercises and interval training to apply this metabolic disturbance and elicit a significant increase in post-exercise energy expenditure.
However, no matter how well you adhere to these training tips, you will not succeed without getting serious about your nutrition. Of course, that’s why I had Dr. Chris Mohr design the Turbulence Training Fat Loss Nutrition Guide to go along with my workout.
With the right training intensity and nutrition, you will “get your hormones in order”. Eating poorly can decrease testosterone (in males) and increase insulin in both men and women. This will cause fat storage. At the same time, too much cardio and stress can increase cortisol.
If you have high cortisol levels, increased insulin, and lower than normal testosterone, you are in big trouble when it comes to having a good body.
You need to improve your hormone levels to stimulate fat loss. In fact, I think that even Pilates & Yoga can help you lose fat when combined with good nutrition – because these exercise techniques may be able to reduce stress and could bring those hormone levels back to normal.
But for the fastest, guaranteed methods of fat loss, my weapon of choice is the more intense interval training and resistance training in the Turbulence Training program.
Bottom line: While cardio is focused on breaking down the body, strength training, yoga, and Pilates all focus on building the body. Stick with body-builders.
2. The 3 Biggest Fat Loss Workout Mistakes
i) Using only long slow cardio.
There is definitely mixed research support for long, slow cardio. Most studies will show you two things:
a) Doing only aerobic training (without proper nutrition) will get you only a small amount of weight loss – even over very long periods of time.
b) Proper nutrition plus cardio will help you lose weight, but you will also lose lean body mass – and you won’t end up with the body you want (or deserve).
Plus, long, slow cardio just takes too much time up from your schedule. Stick to interval training instead. You will get better results in half the time.
ii) The second mistake is sticking with the same program too long.
In most gyms, everyday is Groundhog Day (just like the movie).
You’ll see the same men and women doing the exact workout that they did 2 days. I see men and women using the exact same weight circuit as they did literally the day before, using the same weight, the same crappy form, and showing the same lack of interest.
These people are much better off doing fewer workouts following a structured plan of increased intensity. Don’t trade quality for quantity.
iii) The 3rd mistake…Doing high rep-low weight isolation exercises.
Exercises such as triceps kickbacks, concentration curls, side raises, and ab crunches are almost a complete waste of time.
The men and women that use isolation exercises will not make any improvements. Unfortunately, this is the approach taken by a lot of people in the gym.
Next time, we’ll review the superiority of interval training and the best ways to weight train for fat loss.
About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit Turbulence Training website
August 22nd, 2007 — Cardiovascular Training, Nutrition, Weight Training
By Jayson Hunter RD, CSCS
1. Eat 4-6 small meals day a day instead of the usual 2-3 large meals. Eating frequently will help regulate and boost your metabolism to burn more calories.
2. Consume whole foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar such as lean protein (lean beef, chicken, fish, and whey protein), fruits & vegetables (oranges, apples, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, carrots, nuts (almonds, cashews, & walnuts), and whole grains.
3. Eat low-glycemic carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole-wheat products and oatmeal instead of refined processed carbohydrates which usually come in a box or a bag.
4. Recommend consuming 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Since the average diet contains only 14 grams we could all use more fiber. Fiber will help satisfy hunger pangs as well as control insulin and blood sugar levels which tend to promote fat storage when they are elevated.
5. Eat some type of lean protein at each meal. Protein helps to satisfy hunger and provide the necessary building blocks to maintain lean body mass while losing body fat.
6. Consume adequate amounts of healthy fat foods such as olive oil, walnuts, almonds, Omega-3 fortified eggs or other Omega-3 products. Healthy fats are great antioxidants as well as help with brain function and many other essentials processes that take place in the body on a daily basis. Essential Fatty acids also help prevent certain diseases.
7. Recommend eating 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day to meet your micronutrient needs. Vegetables also contain a good amount of fiber and help to control appetites and curb hunger.
8. Consume Green Tea or Water instead of calorie filled drinks such as soft drinks. Green Tea has many health benefits and should be drinking 1ml of non-caffeinated fluid for every calorie that you consume. This works out between (8-12) 8oz glasses of Green Tea or Water a day.
9. Balance your fat intake for the day. 1/3 should come from saturated fats, 1/3 from monounsaturated fats, and 1/3 from polyunsaturated fats.
10. If you want to start building habits then you need to follow a plan. Habits are formed by repetitively following a prescribed plan. Therefore map out your meals every day and follow them. If you follow your plan everyday for 2-3 weeks you will form habits that become part of your daily routine and you won’t even notice it. How do you think bad habits are formed? By repetitively doing something over and over again.
11. Include what I call “Superfoods” into your meal plan on a daily basis. These include but not entirely lean meat, salmon, low fat plain yogurt, tomatoes, spinach, mixed berries, whole oats, mixed nuts, olive oil, flax seeds(or flax meal), green tea, and various beans. These are just some of the “Superfoods” who should be incorporating into your daily meal plans.
12. Keep total fat intake under 30% for the day. This can be accomplished by not adding too many extra fats such as butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, etc. This doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate these items, but do not eat them as a regular food item every day.
13. EXERCISE!! You can lose weight by just following a nutrition plan on its own but very few succeed at it and it takes much longer than when you eat properly as well as exercise. I am not talking about just getting on a treadmill for 30 minutes every other day. Though you can lose weight this way it is not the most efficient use of your time nor maximizing the ability to burn calories. The most effective way to lose fat is by strength training or some type of interval training utilizing strength training and cardiovascular exercises. A properly designed program can burn more overall calories in 20 minutes than 20 minutes on a treadmill. Also, the X factor in all this is that you will burn more calories per minute hours after you finished strength training because of the EPOC effect. Static exercise on a treadmill doesn’t produce this X factor.
14. Record what you eat and drink. You will be amazed at what you consume and not even realize you did it until you right it down and reflect back on the day. Keeping a food log is critical to your success because if modifications need to be made you need something to be able to evaluate and analyze. If changes aren’t happening like you had hoped the answer can usually be found in the food and or exercise journal.
15. Follow the 90% rule. If you can follow your plan 90% of the time then that is enough to have success with weight loss. If you find yourself breaking the rules more than 90% of the time then the chance of being successful with weight loss is not as likely. Your chances of failing increase significantly. Lose the all or nothing attitude and just take one day at a time. Reflect on your day before you go to bed at night and instead of getting down on yourself because you weren’t perfect just set goals to accomplish next day that would eliminate those errors.
About the Author:
Jayson Hunter, RD, CSCS, is a registered dietitian and fitness professional with more than 10 years of experience. He has worked with 1000’s of individuals in achieving their ideal body and has been published in numerous magazines. He is also co-creator of Meal Plans 101 nutrition software. For more information on how you can utilize Jayson’s expertise go to www.mealplans101.com
August 19th, 2007 — Cardiovascular Training, Nutrition, Weight Training
Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD
How many of you have heard from your clients or friends, “I am a hard gainer and no matter how much I eat, I can’t gain weight”? Maybe that is how you feel yourself. Or I’m sure many of you want to lose fat and maybe build a little muscle too. Even if your weight training goals are just to remain healthy and maintain your current physique, there are certain “rules” you should follow. Therefore, I thought I would compile a list of what I’ll call the “Ten Commandments of Training.”
1. Eat a balanced diet. Some of you may think I am a bit biased since I’m a dietitian; however, training is at best half the battle. If your goal is to pack on slabs of muscle, you can lift until the gym staff has to scrape you off the floor with the trash, but without refueling those muscles, your efforts are futile. It is actually after training, when you allow your muscles to rest, that they will grow. The best way to refuel and recover your muscles is by eating a sufficient amount of calories, high quality carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Similarly, if fat loss is your goal, it will be next to impossible to be successful if you change nothing about your eating habits and only increase your exercise. Not monitoring your food intake while training hard is like riding a bicycle with one flat tire; sure, you may get to your destination, but there will be ton of wasted effort.
2. Keep a food log. This may be a barrier for many of you, but how do you plan to monitor your changes without writing them down and seeing what can be altered? This journal does not have to be detailed; record the portion sizes and foods you eat and beverages you drink, the calories, carbohydrate, protein and fats each contain. This will allow you to see what foods or food groups you may be missing or limited in, what foods you can eliminate or reduce if your goal is to lose weight, or just closely monitor your intake if you are trying to gain muscle and limit fat gain.
3. Keep a training log. Similar to the above recommendation, you can’t effectively track your progress if you don’t know what you’re doing. You may learn from recording and watching your physique that a particular exercise or series of exercise is effective and maybe some that is not. Similarly, it will help you track your progress to ensure you are on track.
4. Vary your routine. To be ultimately successful in the gym, you need to vary your workouts. In fact, there is no other aspect of your life that is stagnant—why should the gym be any different? However, this probably describes many of you: Monday is chest day, in which you start with 3 sets of 10 reps on flat bench, followed by 3 sets of 10 on incline press, and maybe 3 sets of 10 for dumbbell fly’s. You then move to triceps, where you do pushdowns and maybe lying tricep extension. The rest of the week follows suit. You always pair back and biceps together, legs are granted their own day, and shoulders fit somewhere in the mix. Mix it up-do a different body part(s) on Monday’s, do dips instead of flat bench, pushups on a stability ball, 4 sets of 5, whatever. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
5. Rest!!! When was the last time you took some time off from training? Go ahead, get out of the weight room for a week. I’ll rarely tell you to be a couch potato, but here’s your opportunity. OK, fine, don’t undo what you’ve worked so hard at by sitting with the remote in hand and a bag of chips at your side for a week straight, but being active doesn’t mean you must live in the weight room. Remember, growth happens during recovery, not when you’re in the gym. If you hit the weights day in a day out, you are never giving your body a chance to recover. A week off now and then is great for the body and I bet you’ll come back stronger.
6. Stretch. I bet there are a lot of you out there who do not stretch at all or if you do, stretch the muscle you’re going to work for about 5 seconds. Stretching helps muscles recover, increases muscle elasticity and decreases the chance of injury. Make sure you leave plenty of time to stretch after your workout, do a number of stretches for the body parts you just worked, and hold each stretch for about 20 to 30 seconds. I’m not asking you to mimic Gumbi, just do some basic stretches. Heck, try a yoga class for a change of pace.
7. Lift heavy weights. If I had a nickel for every time I heard “I don’t want to lift too heavy because I will get bulky,” I would be giving Trump a run for his money. Yes, I’m picking on the women here because they are usually the group who is afraid of looking like Hercules. But flapping your arms with 1 lb dumbbells like you are trying to take off will do nothing more than bore you to tears while you claim that weight lifting is useless. Challenge the muscle and lift heavier weights within your comfort zone.
8. Use proper form. I know I was guilty of this the first day I stepped into my high school weight room. I was trying with all my might to bench press 135 lbs since I saw someone else using that weight. Any ounce of “coolness” I had as a gawky freshman left my body faster than the weight falling straight to my chest. I would have rather been injured than suffer through the embarrassment of an upperclassmen “rescuing” me from underneath the bar between his laughing in the corner. I looked like I was having a seizure as a squirmed and twisted to get that weight up. Save yourself from the embarrassment and more importantly a potential injury. If you can’t lift the weight in a controlled manner, it is too much weight. Take it from me; it is not pretty when you let the weight “control” you.
9. Cross train. Weight training is a great form of exercise, but you will ultimately be much better off health wise if you try different activities (both aerobic and anaerobic in nature). Hit your local high school and run some bleachers, ask a friend or spouse to play tennis, swim, do some sprints at the local track, pull together a group of friends for some flag football, mountain bike, etc. The list can go on forever, but cross-training will not only make you stronger, it will help your body recovery by hitting it with varied movements, and will also decrease your chance of injury.
10. Drink like a fish. My college days are over; I’m talking about non-alcoholic beverages. Keep in mind that if you are thirsty, mild dehydration has already set in. This may not sound very important, but even mild dehydration will be a decrement to your performance. It’s not only important to carry a water bottle with you to the gym, but you should be consuming fluids regularly all day. Shoot for 8 cups of water for every 1000 calories you consume (that is ½ gallon for every 1000 calories). Of course this is most important during the summer months when the mercury is nearing triple digits, but should not be negated during the colder months too.
Keep these “rules” in mind to help keep you healthy, strong, and injury free.
About the Author:
Dr. Chris Mohr RD, PhD is a health nutrition consultant to a number of media outlets and corporations including Discovery Health Channel, Clif Bar, Waterfront Media, and Fit Fuel. He has authored and co-authored several textbooks and textbook chapters, including consulting with LL Cool J on “LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout” (Rodale Press, 2006). He is also co-creator of Meal Plans 101 nutrition software. For more information on how you can utilize Chris’s expertise go to www.mealplans101.com