Entries Tagged 'Weight Training' ↓
March 31st, 2010 — Nutrition, Weight Training
(This is a guest post by Jon Benson, author of Every Other Day Diet, 7 Minute Muscle and Fit Over 40)
You know what?
I like “weird.”
I’ve always been a bit on the fringe side of the fence if you know what I mean.
A bit of a rebel.
So were guys like Einstein, Mozart, and Picasso. Not that I’m putting myself into their category of genius by any stretch… but I love their approach to life.
BE BOLD… OR GO HOME.
Makes sense to me. This life is too darn short for anything less than being bold.
That means taking some risks here and there. That means taking action while the others are content to sit on the couch being the same person they were yesterday.
And the day before…
And the month before…
And the year before.
Do you want to live your years like that? Or do you want to dive into life? Be the greatest “you” possible?
Then be a bit of a rebel.
Here’s 3 “rebel tips” for fat loss I think you’ll enjoy…
REBEL TIP 1
Flip The Food Pyramid Upside-down
The USDA’s Food Pyramid is an utter joke. It’s origins stink up the joint, let me tell you.
First, the grain industry was in a pinch when the Food Pyramid was created. And wouldn’t you know it… the grain industry increased their “contributions” (read: bribes) to certain politicians to get placement atop the pyramid… or in this case at the very bottom. The “foundation” if you will.
Just think about this for a moment:
The USDA wants you to eat *gasp* MORE starch than vegetables? More bread than fruits, lean meats, and hormone-producing fats?
Are they NUTS??
Yes… they are nuts. (Which, by the way, are no where near the foundation… nuts, that is.)
You’d be better off flipping the sucker upside-down.
That would look like this:
40% of your cals from healthy fats, 30% of your cals from protein, 30% of your cals from carbs.
Roughly, that is.
Sounds… rebellious, right? Well it is.
Too bad I have the science (and the abs) to back it up.
If you want a system laid out for you, then go here:
REBEL TIP 2
Cardio Is Not Smart-ee-o
At least the way the so-called “experts” want you to do it.
Look: This isn’t rocket science. Just walk into any gym…take a look at the folks who only do cardio work for 45-60 minutes every day.
Do they look any different from year to year?
Let me save you some time: NO. They do not.
Cardio (unless you are into endurance sports) is a waste of energy done this way. First, it increases your carbohydrate cravings. For most people that’s not a good thing. Why? Because cardio at this pace burns mostly SUGAR, not bodyfat.
What do you want to burn?
Exactly. Body fat.
Finally, cardio is no where near as efficient as resistance training at dissolving bodyfat… and certainly not even CLOSE to resistance training when it comes to shaping lean muscle and getting the look all these cardio bunnies are after.
Now, I ‘do’ have a rebel cardio trick… and it takes 9-15 minutes 2-3 times a week to perform.
That’s it. And you get ALL the benefits heart-wise of long-session cardio.
Combine that with some brisk walking and my overall fitness plan and presto: No more body fat.
Here’s what is cool: I put my new in-home version of this resistance-based workout online for a few days at a major discount… but it’s only for people who pick up this:
Every Other Day Diet
This is completely illustrated with photos too… and you do not need anything but resistance bands and perhaps some cheap dumbbells to do this in-home. Or you can use the gym-based workouts (included with videos.)
Train like this just 3-5 days a week and you can kiss long, boring cardio goodbye.
REBEL TIP 3
Do Not Overwork Your Abs
Here’s a mistake I see most people make in the gym: They do endless sets of crunches, leg raises, and *gasp again* sit-ups… all geared toward seeing those toned abs they want.
Waste of time.
In fact, it’s worse than that… it can literally shut down your recovery ability. You’ll slow your progress in the gym (or at home)… and your fat-burning too.
And you may give up your plan entirely because of it.
Here’s the brutal truth: Ab ‘muscles’ are easy to build. It only takes about 3 minutes 2-3 times a week… that’s it.
( Note: I included my “3 Minute Abs” in the fitness book I just told you about… it’s only for those who get Every Other Day Diet though… )
The muscles are not what make your stomach flatter… it’s the nutrition plan folks.
You’re just building muscle underneath layers of body fat… not good.
I do very little direct ab training. When I do it’s usually 3-5 minutes tops 2 days a week. And my abs are… well… good. : )
I rely on resistance training and my special “favorite foods diet plan” to get and stay lean.
More about it all here.
So be a rebel.
Thumb your nose at the establishment and step out on your own.
Trust me: You’ll be a leader in every sense of the word if you do.
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?
July 6th, 2009 — News & Current Events, Weight Training
[ Editor's Note: Fitness author Jon Benson shared this content with me and gave me permission to share it with you. ]
Lies and more lies.
I’m sad to see the media jumping on the dangerous bandwagon they have chosen to hitch their star to.
And the star that is suffering the most is not Michael Jackson:
Let me explain.
When a celebrity passes away the world takes notice.
And the world of the media often grabs ahold of whatever they can to keep the buzz alive.
Early this week they grabbed something they shouldn’t have…
… and I responded.
I created what I feel is my best video yet to tell you all about it.
Go watch this –
Michael Jackson Lies <— click here to watch the video
The media pulled in some “expert” to suggest that Michael Jackson’s untimely death may have been due to…
“Working out too much at middle-age.”
Watch my video and see the other lies as well…
… plus the truth.
Not from me… from the scientific community and from real facts.
Here’s a hint:
Working out “more” intense, but “shorter” can save you from a heart attack when you’re over 40.
And no matter your age it can take the stubborn body fat off.
Go see the truth:
Michael Jackson Lies <— click here to watch the video
Oh, by the way…
4th of July 4-Day Half-Off-Special
I hope you’re enjoying your 4th of July weekend as well!
Now, here’s something else to enjoy:
Four 4 days only, starting today, you can get “7 Minute Muscle” at half-off.
You can only get it by watching the video mentioned above.
Because I want you to see exactly why this style of fitness training is superior…
… and how it can help you save more than just time.
It can help save your life.
Here is the video. Just click-on the half-price-link in the video description underneath the video, or to the right.
That will give you the half-price-discount … and it ends Tuesday.
Here you go –
7 Minute Muscle <— click here for 4th of July 4-Day Half-Off-Special
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.
November 21st, 2008 — Weight Training
In The Truth About Six Pack Abs, Mike Geary explains the metabolic effect of full body
training. Weight training exercises can be broken down into either compound lifts or isolation lifts.
Compound lifts (or multi-joint exercises) work several muscle groups at once.
Isolation lifts (single joint exercises) usually focus on one particular muscle group.
As compound lifts work several large muscle groups at once, they burn more calories and stimulate greater release of fat burning and muscle building hormones. Some examples of multi-joint exercises include squats, deadlifts, presses, lunges, etc.
There are 24 multi-joint exercises in The Truth About Six Pack Abs that Mike explains
clearly how to do and with pictures.
On page 35 of The Truth About Six Pack Abs, Mike says:
“The reason they (multi-joint exercises) bring out your abs better is due to creating metabolic changes in your entire body that assist in reducing your body fat so you can better see the abs you have.”
He’s right… after doing any one of the 24 multi-joint exercises, my heart rate goes up, breathing is heavy and I break out in sweat! I focus the majority of my weight training workout on multi-joint free weight exercises like those recommended in The Truth About Six Pack Abs. Less time is spent on single joint exercises like bicep curl and tricep extension. I’m definitely a lot stronger and leaner now after switching to multi-joint exercises.
April 5th, 2008 — Back Pain, Weight Training
by Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS and Steve Hefferon, CMT
It’s one thing for someone who sits at a computer all day and never exercises to have back pain, but for a bodybuilder, someone who
spends hours and hours each week pouring everything they’ve got into building muscle, it should be criminal!
The reason we say this is because, if you are going to spend so much time, money, and energy trying to build the “perfect body”, you have
to make sure that you not only look good, but also feel good…
We’ve identified what we call “Bodybuilding Sins” that lead to back pain, sciatic pain, and other injuries… read em and take action now
if you are serious about bodybuilding and are fed up with your back pain.
Because there is so much information to share with you, we’ve broken it down into a series of 5 articles, each covering a different
component of how back pain affects bodybuilders.
Here’s a breakdown of the articles to look for:
1. Article #1 – Choosing The WRONG Exercises (below)
2. Article #2 – Training Variations for Pain Relief and Maximum Results
3. Article #3 – Targeted Stretching
4. Article #4 – Targeted Exercises
5. Article #5 – Rest, Recovery, and Injury Prevention
Article #1 – Choosing the WRONG Exercises
Get ready, this is gonna hurt! The exercises most bodybuilders focus on the most, are the ones that cause the most problems…
hopefully, you’re different.
But before we share with you what those exercise are, let’s talk real quickly about what bodybuilding is…
The goal of bodybuilding isn’t to get as big as you can, or at least to us it isn’t and shouldn’t be, but to build a balanced body that is as strong as possible in every way. For example, while being freakishly big may get people’s attention, it serves you no purpose at all…
while on the other hand, what if you were not only big, but also extremely strong and powerful, lightning fast, flexible, and agile enough to kick ass if needed?
So many bodybuilders build massive amounts of muscle yet are so unbelievably weak and inflexible… for example, we know a guy who can bench press over 350 lbs but can’t do a measly 50 push-ups!
The point is, the exercises you choose and how you perform them not only determine how big, strong, and flexible you are, but also affect how your body functions and whether or not you suffer from aches, pains, and injuries like back pain and sciatic pain.
Ok, here they are… the exercises that create the most problems and are most likely to lead to back pain:
1. Bench Press
2. Leg Extension
So, any of your favorites on this list?
While there are others, these are the two that cause the most damage.
There are several reasons why these exercises made our list of the “worst bodybuilding exercises”. First, both of them target areas that already tend to get worked a lot in everyday life and often times are overdeveloped…
and by focusing so much on these exercises you end up creating muscle imbalances, or worsening existing muscle imbalances, which pull your bones and joints out of their normal position…
and this leads to uneven pressure and wear and tear on your muscle, ligaments, tendons, bones, and joints and will sooner or later lead a break down or injury.
For example, chronic overuse of the bench press, coupled with little or no exercises targeting the upper back, leads to an overdevelopment of the chest and a lack of strength and development in the upper back…
This all too common combination leads to what we call “Turtle Back”. You know what we’re talking about, when the shoulders are pulled so far forward, lats are as wide as barn, and from behind, their back looks like a giant sea turtle shell!
This “Turtle Back” posture can create neck, upper back, and shoulder pain and injuries faster than you can pop an Advil!
Plus, how many times during your day are you forced to lie on your back and push up a bar loaded with weights? There are so many better exercises for chest development that not only stimulate more muscle, but also build more usable strength.
Now let’s talk about the fabulous thigh builder, the leg extension…
Not only does it place an unbelievable amount of strain on the knee joint, but it also will quickly overdevelop the quads, which are already getting far more work than their counterpart, the hamstrings.
An imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings, which is also extremely common in bodybuilders, is a key contributor to back pain. This imbalance is easily identifiable by what people often call “Bubble Butt” or “Ghetto Booty”.
So hopefully you can see how important it is to choose your exercises wisely. We strongly recommend you cut out these exercises, or at least cut back on using them and add in targeted exercises for the opposing muscle groups and targeted stretches for those tight, overdeveloped muscles.
The key to eliminating back pain, or any other ache, pain or injury for that matter, is to bring your body closer to balance…
What good is muscle if you can’t use it? How many more workouts are you going to miss because of back, neck, or shoulder pain?
How much bigger and stronger could you be if back pain and other injuries weren’t ruining your training?
Just imagine how bad things will be 10, 20, or 30 years from now if you don’t make changes to your training now… but don’t take our word for it, ask some of the older bodybuilders who are paying the price now… you can spot them easily at the gym because they limp around trying to find something they CAN do.
Click here for Part II of this article:
“Training Variations for Pain Relief and Maximum Results”
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
December 2nd, 2007 — Fat Loss For Mothers or Busy Women, Weight Training
Would you like to “jump start” your metabolism and lose your ‘mommy belly’ once and for all? If so, the following seven tips are exactly what you need to improve your workouts and ignite your metabolism. Try some or all of these tips, but beware, the result may be a number of admiring second glances and the need to pull your ‘skinny jeans’ out of the closet.
1. The majority of your workouts should be composed of free-weight, bodyweight or cable exercises.
Compared to machines, free-weight, bodyweight and cable movements often require more skill, create muscular balance, and have a greater metabolic cost. For example, it is more difficult to balance the weights, and to coordinate muscles when performing free-weight exercises. Although this may sound like a disadvantage, it is actually a benefit. By balancing and stabilizing free-weights or cables you are working more muscles through a greater range of motion resulting in more muscles developed and more calories burned.
2. Use exercises that work more than one muscle at a time.
When focusing on fat loss, you can’t worry about “shaping” exercises, instead you should use exercises that’ll get you the biggest bang for your buck and work as many muscles as possible. Isolation exercises can be used at the end of a workout to work on a specific target area, but they just serve to supplement your core movements.
Virtually every savvy fitness professional is privy to the fact that compound exercises recruit the most muscle groups for any given body part.
If you seek lean, toned muscles and the increase in metabolism that comes with them, you must choose exercises that work as many different muscles as possible. One of the main reasons why squats are superior to leg extensions for improving your body is that they also work your butt, hamstrings and inner thighs in addition to toning your quadriceps while leg extensions focus on just the front of your thigh and don’t really offer any other benefit. That same rationale hold true for arm exercises too. That’s why dumbell presses and dips will are more valuable for your arms than triceps kickbacks and pushdowns.
A good rule of thumb is to use movements that will allow you to use the most weight. These will have a systemic effect on your body that’ll help maintain or increase your lean muscle, and in turn ignite your metabolism.
3. Pair exercises.
Pair your exercises together so that you alternate between upper-body exercises and lower-body exercises or between exercises that target opposing muscle groups (e.g. chest and back).
This type of approach will keep your workouts short and efficient by eliminating much of the downtime that comes between sets of a single exercise since you are working on one movement while resting from another. This approach can also yield huge benefits in your mission to burn fat. Since you’ll constantly be moving and keeping your heart rate elevated, you’ll be burning far more calories than you would during a typical workout.
4. Keep your reps between 8 and 12.
Through research, it has been determined that the best range for building lean muscle is roughly between 8-12 reps. Since the main focus of your resistance training efforts is to gain lean body mass and stimulate your metabolism, this rep range fills the bill perfectly. “High reps for tone and fat loss” is one of the biggest (and most unproductive) training myths! Somehow the aerobics, yoga and Pilates’ community have convinced us that when we perform bodyweight exercises or light resistance training for high reps, our muscles magically take on a beautiful shape without growing or bulging. On the other hand, if you challenge yourself with moderately heavy weights, your body will take on a bulky, unflattering appearance. If you believe this, you probably still believe in the Tooth Fairy!
5. Rest only 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
When you keep the rest periods under one minute, it’s easier to stay focused on the task at hand and keeps your heart rate elevated. In addition, it forces your muscles to recover more quickly between sets, along with keeping your nervous system revved up.
If your first movement in an upper/lower body pair is squats, you might want to rest 60 seconds before attempting your second movement. However, if your first exercise is a fairly “easy” exercise, like lat pull downs, you might only wish to wait 30 seconds before doing the second part of the pair.
6. Perform total body workouts.
You must drop the notion that muscle groups work independently of one another. Muscles work together and should be trained that way. Besides, not only does this approach mean less time in the gym, but by working the whole body three times per week, you’ll be maximizing the fat burning effect of your program.
7. Cardio is not the cure-all for fat loss.
Cardiovascular exercise aids in the creation of a caloric deficit, but the caloric expenditure during cardio is temporary. Strength training addresses the core of the problem by permanently increasing the rate at which the body burns calories by adding muscle. The best programs will include both strength training and cardiovascular training, but the core or the programs effectiveness is resistance training.
Take these strategies and incorporate them into your workout routine. Not only will you save a lot of time, but you’ll also soon see a leaner and more toned body. Not to mention a few more turned heads and the re-emergence of your skinny jeans.
About the Author
Holly Rigsby is a nationally recognized women’s fitness coach, certified personal trainer (CPT) and the author of the internationally popular e-book – Fit Yummy Mummy – Burn Your Baby Fat & Get Your Body Back.
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