The primary concern women have when it comes to weight training is, “I don’t want to get BIG or BULKY.” I am here to tell you that you WONT! The hormone TESTOSTERONE is responsible for the large increases in muscle mass. That is why you tend to see men drop weight a bit faster then women. The more muscle you build the more body fat you can lose at a faster and more efficient rate. Women’s testosterone levels are a fraction of men’s testosterone levels. Normal testosterone levels in men are 200-1200 ng/dl while 15-70 ng/dl are normal in women. As you can see, men’s testosterone levels are SIGNIFICANTLY higher than women’s. Even if a man is at the LOW end of the men’s normal testosterone range (200 ng/dl), he still has more than twice the amount of testosterone as a woman at the HIGH end of the women’s normal testosterone range (70 ng/dl). If we look at the median or mid-range testosterone levels in men and women, men = 700 and women = 42.5. So on an average, men have 16.47 times more testosterone than women! It is clear that women do not have the hormonal support (testosterone) to gain muscle mass like men. Therefore, the fear of becoming big and bulky and looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger with a ponytail is unwarranted.
Now you may be saying, “I have seen some women bodybuilders who are very muscular and look similar to men in their build.” The real reason they look like that is they are most-likely using exogenous testosterone injections and/or other anabolic steroids. When women use exogenous testosterone/steroids they may show signs of hair growth on the face and chest, increased muscle mass, a redistribution of body fat from a female pattern of storage to a male pattern of storage, deepening of the voice, and other effects. The point of saying this is that unless you are on exogenous testosterone or other anabolic steroids, you will not become big and bulky from lifting weights. This is not to say that you will not gain any muscle, you will, but you will not gain muscle like a man. Instead, you will become toned and shapely.
I hear a lot ” well since I’m a women I need train differently then a man or I will start getting bulky like a mam”. That’s FALSE! Women do not need to train or diet much differently than men. Then why do we always see women in gym performing hours of cardio and lifting the lightest dumbbells in the gym for endless reps?
Studies have shown that men and women do not need to train differently. If you are a woman and want to gain muscle and improve your shape and curves, then you are going to have to lift heavy weights. This means that instead doing endless reps with light weights, as the media often prescribes women to do, you need to lift some heavy weights and really challenge yourself! While performing high rep sets (15-20 reps) does have some benefit, it is not optimal to adding muscle mass. Here is a very vague overview of rep ranges:
· 1-5 reps = Strength
· 6-12 = Hypertrophy
· 12+ = Endurance
That is very superficial overview of rep ranges as there is a lot of crossover of adaptations between rep ranges. For example, many people grow lifting solely in the 1-5 rep range and 12+ rep range. But it gives you an idea of the weight you need to lift to grow; a weight that you can complete for at least 6 reps but not more than 12 reps.
Men and women do not need to train differently to see results, but what about the eating regimen (I like using eating regimen rather then the word diet because ? Should women eat differently than men? Not really. Men’s and women’s metabolisms are very similar except that some women burn a greater ratio of fat to carbs than men. This may be one of the reasons women do well on lower carb diets. The main thing that needs to be adjusted is one’s total caloric intake. Women need fewer calories than men because men have more muscle mass and less fat (relative to total bodyweight) than women. The amount of protein, carbs, and fat will be dictated by the amount of calories one eats.
We have shown that women do not need to train or eating regimen much differently than men. Then why do we always see women in gym performing hours of cardio and lifting the lightest dumbbells in the gym for endless reps? This is most-likely due to not being informed, or even misinformed (by the media), about how women should train. What about diet? One of the most common breakfast meals recommended to women is yogurt and a banana. Now there is nothing wrong with eating a yogurt and banana, but where is the protein and essential fatty acids? If you are a woman trying to gain lean muscle, you will need to eat adequate protein and good fats (essential fatty acids). It is time to stop listening to the media and misinformed individuals and time to become educated and get results. In this article, I will go over some basic eating regimens and training information and then direct you to where YOU can get diet and training help and direction!
Dieting for Women – General Guidelines
Before we get into the recommended eating regimen for women trying to lose fat and gain lean muscle, let’s go over some general guidelines.
The biggest factor in a diet is calories in versus calories out; your total calories will determine if you lose or gain weight. Eating too many calories will lead to fat gain. But if you don’t eat enough calories you will not gain lean muscle. Setting a target calorie intake and counting the amount of calories you eat each day is vital to losing it and gaining lean muscle.
While your total caloric intake is the most important diet factor, the ratio of protein to carbs to fat can dictate whether the weight you gain/lose is muscle or fat. A diet that contains 80% of calories from carbs, 10% from protein, and 10% from fat will produce different results than a diet containing 40% of calories from carbs, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat.
You should drink plenty of water every day. Try to drink at least eight glasses (or 64 oz.) of water per day. If you wanna know your daily consumption of water then multiply your body weight x .60. This should be your daily water consumption. The benefits drinking water provides are optimal hydration as well as a feeling of “fullness” without added calories as well as keep your cells saturated, which can helps you maintain muscle for a longer period of time. Sometimes people will mistake thirst for hunger. Because of this, staying hydrated can also prevent overeating. (See Barron’s a nutrition packet)
Choose fresh, wholesome foods over pre-packaged, processed foods. Packaged foods are loaded with preservatives, especially sodium and saturated fats, and often have high amounts of sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup. You will be amazed at how fast you can lose fat just by packing meals from home rather than purchasing fast food or packaged foods. You also will save a lot of money!
Insulin is the “storage” hormone. When it is secreted fat burning is blunted. By controlling insulin secretion by choosing low GI carbs you can decrease fat gain/increase fat loss. Stable blood sugar levels also improve energy levels and ones mood. All of our diets as based around insulin control, leading to leaner muscle gains with little to no fat gain. (See Barron’s a nutrition packet)
In order to gain lean muscle you need to eat enough protein to sustain the creation of new muscle proteins. You may not be used to eating the amount of protein our prescribed diet recommends, but once you get into the groove you should not have any problems and will enjoy how full and satisfied you feel. (See Barron’s a nutrition packet)
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) are vital to the proper functioning on your body. Dietary fats got a bad rap due to the diet fads of the 80’s and 90’s, which promoted eating as little fat as possible, but in reality EFAs are needed by the body and are part of a healthy diet. Eating fats does not equate to getting fat. In fact, most EFAs help support the fat burning process and maintaining a lean body. Do not be scared to eat good fats. EFAs are not the enemy.
Women do not need to diet much differently than men. One metabolic difference between men and women is women burn a greater ratio of fat to carbs than men, which is the reason why women tend to do very well on a low carb diet. Due to this fact we recommend women follow a lower-carb (not no carb) diet to lose fat and gain toned, lean muscle. (See Barron’s a nutrition packet)
We met with Barron Jackson at his X-Train facility on West Anderson Lane yesterday, and he immediately had us all laughing. Barron started out at A&M Corpus Christi studying to become a radiologist, discovered partying, and then accidentally discovered his love of training when he came back to Austin that summer and moved back in with his parents. Needing a hobby at home, Barron started running, and ran right into the YMCA on Town Lake to ask for a job one day. He laughs, recalling, “When I first started–I hope no one from there sees this–when they first asked me to teach they were like, ‘Are you certified?’ And I was like, ‘Sure…’” Barron did become a certified trainer shortly after, having fallen in love with the satisfaction of helping others get in better shape.
When Barron opened his own fitness facility in 2009, “People started telling me I taught a very unique class, and I think the reason why is my attention to detail… that’s something that we do at X-Train that you don’t find at too many other places. And I’m not trying to knock any other place, all these other boot camp facilities and gyms are great in their own way, and I think X-Train is great in its own way: we keep it open for everybody, and we don’t try to make it a competition, it’s for anybody who wants to learn how to work harder.”
Barron is excited to share the Choose Healthier App with his clients. “I think Choose Healthier can really help people figure out what they want, what they like, and what’s out there… to have something at your disposal to be able to look up the best places to eat, fitness facilities in your area, and someone people can call and talk to for help with nutrition, I haven’t seen anything like that. Besides myself…” he laughs, “But seriously. I think that’s why we fit well together. It’s detail… other apps aren’t nearly as detailed, nearly as diverse. I find that y’all are open to a lot of different kinds of fitness… a lot of different types of resources… Austin being one of the fitness capitals of the world, it’s really cool that this is being built from the ground up, right here in Austin, and I’m excited to be apart of it.”
The class Barron’s most excited to promote through Choose Healthier is his Muscle Fusion class. “That class really encompasses what X-Train is all about. That class is simply group personal training at it’s finest. If you’re really thinking about getting a personal trainer, you come to this class and get more than that… you’re going to be surrounded by a great group of people.” Barron also offers a FREE Saturday morning class at 9:00 for all levels, meant to help you kick off your weekend right, have fun, and sweat, a lot.
Barron measures his success by the feedback he gets from his clients. “One thing I hear back is that they’ve found something they weren’t able to find within themselves before… There are people who were way overweight and had never worked out before enjoying it and hanging out with people who are athletes. I have baseball players, professional basketball players, I have track athletes in here, and then you have somebody who’s never worked out before doing that same class, having a great time.”
All X-Train classes will be listed on Choose Healthier. Sign up to be notified as soon as the app becomes available!
Tony is a friend of mine from Corpus Christi. He wasn’t a runner back when I knew him and I took him out to go run with me, 2 years later he sent me his story aired on the local news station – how awesome is this!
Hey everyone so today I wanna discuss a bit about Insulin. Most of this is data was found by Peter Attia. I will try and simplify what I believe you all should know and learn?You may be asking well why this. Well just read further. Tell me that these statistics dont bother you.
- 34% of Americans are obese and two thirds are overweight. This represents more than a 200% increase from 1970.
- Over 8% of Americans are diabetic, and if you include those undiagnosed, an additional 26% of Americans are pre-diabetic. This represents more than a 400% increase from 1970.
- Every 7 seconds someone in the world dies from a diabetic complication (this is not a typo).
Diabetes is also the leading cause of stroke, blindness, kidney failure requiring transplantation, all amputations combined, and many other medical problems.
- According to McKinsey & Company, reducing the U.S. obesity rate to 15% (that of 1970) would save approximately $150 billion per year in Medicare spending alone, and close to $500 billion per year in overall U.S. healthcare spending.
- A recent study in Obesity estimates that by 2030, 50% of Americans will be obese and 79% will be overweight.
Now just because this doesn’t pertain or represent you, you can hopefully learn something and help change another family or friends life for the better.
Insulin – Insulin is a hormone secreted from the pancreas. The cells of the pancreas that secrete insulin are called “beta cells.” Insulin is what we call an “anabolic” hormone, meaning it’s a hormone that helps “build” things (e.g., helps get amino acids into muscle cells, gets glucose into cells). It plays a primary role in how our bodies handle carbohydrates, fats, and proteins – though most people primarily associate insulin only with its role in carbohydrate metabolism.
There is no shortage of stuff to read (e.g., entire textbooks) on insulin, so I won’t even attempt to reproduce it. Let me try to give you the most important info:
Insulin facilitates the delivery of glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
Insulin also up-regulates (i.e., makes more of) an enzyme on the surface of fat cells, called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL, when on fat cells, brings fatty acids into the fat cell to store them at triglycerides. In other words, insulin promotes the storage of fat in fat cells. Similarly, insulin down-regulates (i.e., reduces) LPL on muscle cells. This reduces the ability of muscles to access fatty acids for oxidation (i.e., the prevents muscle cells from burning fat). Very important:
Insulin also promotes the storage of glucose in the liver and muscle as glycogen, provided there is “room” to store them. Both the liver and muscle have a finite, and relatively small, storage capacity for glycogen.
If you remember nothing else, remember this: insulin plays the central role in fat metabolism. When insulin levels are elevated, the body goes into “storage” mode – not just of carbohydrates but also fat. In other words, elevated levels of insulin turn off the ability of the body to burn fat. This is why people are insulin resistant are typically overweight. Insulin resistance (SEE ABOVE CHART) almost always leads to a tonic state of hyperinsulinemia (high insulin), and hence, always storing fat, rather than breaking it down.
If you ever forget this point, just look at the figure below:
High insulin – store fat/don’t break it down
Low insulin – break down fat/don’t store it
Insulin resistance – As the term implies, insulin resistance (IR), involves the tissues of the body (especially muscle cells and fat cells) becoming resistant to the effect of insulin, thereby requiring greater and greater amounts of insulin to achieve the same outcome – namely regulation of glucose in the blood. There is no shortage of discussion and debate about both the cause and mechanism of IR. I enjoy discussing both of these concepts ad nauseam, however, I’ll refrain from doing so here.
Remember this: when you are insulin resistant, you need more insulin to do the same “job.” This is bad for at least two reasons:
Chronically elevated levels of insulin – in and of itself – leads to a non-favorable metabolic state of fat storage over fat oxidation (i.e., storing fat instead of burning it).
In many people, IR leads to diabetes, as the pancreas eventually fails to “keep up” with the demand for insulin. So while insulin levels remain high, blood glucose also remains high. This is called type II diabetes.
If this still goes over your head a bit, which is totally normal, then you can email at email@example.com Remeberthat you control your own destiny. If there is a will then there can be a way. HOW BAD DO YOU WANNA CHANGE????
At least once a day someone asks me about sugars and why they’re so bad and harmful to your health. So, here’s a brief discussion on why. I’m a victim of sugars just like the many of you, but what separates me from some of you is when I consume my sugars. Timing is very important in eating, especially with sugars. Forbes Magazine recently published an article about how many sugars Americans are actually consuming each year from 2010 till 2012. These numbers are just staggering.
The average American consumes 3 pounds of sugar each week and 3,550 pounds of sugar in a lifetime. In 1822, the average American consumed 1 can of soda every 5 days (that’s about 45grams of sugar, the amount found in one 12oz soda); in 2012 the average American consumed 17 cans of soda in 5 days (765grams of sugar).
The American Heart Association recommends that we shouldn’t have more than 9.5 teaspoons per day of sugars. The average adult consumes 22 teaspoons per day. What do you think the average child consumes in sugar a day?? Brace yourself for this – 32 teaspoons a day! To understand the magnitude of this amount, go home and put 32 teaspoons in a glass. Parents need to hold themselves accountable for their child’s sugar consumption.
Did you know that one 12oz soda contains just as much sugar as 2 pop tarts and a Twinkie combined?? The average American consumes over 53 gallons of soft drinks a year. The added sugar we consume accounts for roughly 500 calories a day. So, you wonder why at times why you can’t drop that unwanted body fat?
Refined sugars are sugars that undergo a process known as sugar refining. During this process, the raw sugars are refined, or enhanced. The sucrose is extracted while other unwanted materials are discarded. Although refined sugars are believed by many to be the basic table sugar that we may add to coffee or tea, there are actually a number of different types.
Refined sugars have been linked to many health issues such as Obesity, Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, Hypoglycemia, Depression, Headaches, Fatigue, Nervous Tension, Aching Limbs, Diabetes, Acne, Skin Irritation, Stiffening of Arteries and Violent Behavior.
How Much Sugar Should We Consume?
American Heart Association (AHA) recommends how much sugar per day we should consume, the recommended daily sugar intake, which is healthy and not harmful for the body for men and women. How much sugar per day should we consume?
• Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Men: 36 grams or 9 teaspoons
• Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Women: 20 grams or 5 teaspoons
• Recommended Daily Sugar Intake for Children: 12 grams or 3 teaspoons
What Sugary Foods To Stay Away From
The worst foods to eat when watching your sugar intake are:
• White bread (includes any bread with white flour in it)
• Pasta, unless whole grain
• White rice
• White flour, and products made with it such as cake, cookies, crackers, pretzels, doughnuts, bagels, and muffins
• Potatoes and potato chips
• Corn and corn chips
• Sugar and products with added sugar, e.g. canned fruits in syrup
• Jams and jellies containing added sugars
• Ripe bananas (green OK)
• Salad dressings and sauces with added sugar, such as Teriyaki sauce
• Fruit drinks containing added sugar
• Sugar-sweetened soft drinks
• Sugar-cured meats (e.g. ham is often cured with salt and sugar)
What Sugary Foods Are Okay?
Acceptable food for a low sugar diet:
• All other vegetables and fruits (see low-carb fruit and vegetable lists)
• Whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal
• Whole grain flour
• Products made with 100% whole grain flour (note that “wheat flour” is NOT whole grain – it has to say WHOLE grain), as long as they have no added sugars
• Sweet potatoes
• Lean meats (remove skin from poultry, trim lean cuts of beef, pork, and lamb) Nothing sugar-cured. (Low saturated fat meat list)
• Fish and seafood (not breaded)
• Nuts and nut butters
• Flax Seeds
• Olive, Macadamia and canola oils
• Low fat milk and other dairy products such as unsweetened almond milk, soy or rice milk
A Few Ways To Minimize Your Daily Sugar Intake
1) Don’t try and do a complete 180o turn and quit cold turkey. Doing this could set you up a disaster. For example, if you are normally a soda drinker and you drink let’s say 3 sodas a day, don’t go from 3 sodas to zero sodas a day all of a sudden; your body will crave that sugar and it will be a hard battle to defeat. Start by going from 3 sodas to drinking 2 sodas a day. Do this for about a week, then move down to one soda a week. Eventually, you will get to a point to where you will not crave a soda. This applies to other sweets such as candy bars, pastries etc..
2) Start consuming more water. Try and drink between 60%-70% of your total lean body weight each day in ounces. If you don’t know how to get this number, you can use your regular body weight and drink between 55%-60% of that weight in ounces.
3) Cut down on processed and packaged foods. Salad dressings, spaghetti sauces, soups and even pizza crusts contain sugar. If you make your own soup, you will unlikely be adding a cup of sugar to the stew pot; however, this is exactly what manufacturers do. Try to purchase groceries with the least amount of ingredients as possible.
4) Indulge your sweet tooth naturally. Fruits, honey, maple syrup and molasses all contain natural sugars. Although these foods are no health superstars, they are a better option when the sweet tooth strikes and you are craving some sugary action. An apple will give you a sweet burst of flavor along with beneficial vitamins and fiber.
5) Watch your breakfast. Deep-fried dough topped with icing and candy sprinkles isn’t anywhere near healthy, but doughnuts are a tried-and-true American breakfast favorite. Just say no. Other items commonly consumed as breakfast include giant muffins (muffins = cake), frappuccinos and smoothies – these are basically milkshakes. Starting your morning off with a sugar overload like this will offset your energy and unbalance your system for the rest of the day.
6) Recognize the “sugar aliases”. Sugar isn’t just white death in a package called “sugar”. It has other guises more cunning. Some of the aliases are digested more slowly than sugar but do your research before assuming any are worth keeping in your diet because they’re all still sugar. When checking the food labels of your pantry, look for these sugar aliases:
• brown sugar
• fructose and crystalline fructose; high-fructose corn syrup
• invert sugar
• rice/corn/maple/malt/golden/palm syrup
• corn sweetener
• raw sugar.
7) Lessen the sugar intake by skipping any product that contains sugar (or one of the above aliases) in the first three ingredients. Absolutely avoid products that list sugar more than once in the ingredients list. Be wary of anything claiming to be a “natural” or “organic” substitute for sugar; such sweeteners still contain calories and don’t bring nutrients to your diet that is needed. If a product claims to be “reduced-sugar”, remind yourself, “So what, it still contains sugar”, and avoid it. Even half of the sugar that was once added is still too much and the items that are substituted won’t be healthy for you either.
When Is The Best Time To Consume Sugars?
Before and After Exercise is the best time to consume sugars, but not the only time. Whether you’re engaging in aerobic or anaerobic activity, foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain pasta, rice, bread, fruits, and vegetables are the best sources of energy and they all contain sugars. During anaerobic exercise, or short-term, high-intensity activities such as weight-lifting or intensive sit-up and pushup workouts, carbohydrates in the form of glycogen (a complex sugar) are the primary fuel source for your muscles. Such repetitive, vigorous activity can use up most of the carbs stored in your muscles. Now, just because I say you can eat sugars, I don’t mean all sugars. Do realize if you eat simple sugars like candy bars before a workout, you are risking a drop in blood sugar levels which can cause dizziness during your workout. If that is your only available source of food, try and eat it closer to your workout (20-30 minutes before) along with a source of protein.
As you can see from the information above, there are many harmful effects from over-indulging in sugars. We, as a society, need to be more aware of what we put into our bodies, as well as what we are feeding our children.
If you find this information useful, please see our other blog posts!
Stay strong, positive, and healthy.
So I know many of you have heard me talking on and on about the importance of water. I only say this because water is very important in not only losing weight but in gaining lean muscle mass. Many of you dont even know they actually are dehydrated. If you want to maximize your strength and muscle gains, body fat loss, etc.., then you have to be more conscientious of your water intake. As much as 70% of your entire body is made of water, roughly 20% of your bone roughly 80% of your blood, and about 75% of your muscle. When you get the proper amount of water into your body , you will notice strength and energy gains , as well as the ability to gain muscle will increase significantly!
Studies have shown that even a slight decrease in your hydration level may affect your overall health and well being. Even with the dehydration level of around 3% will decrease your performance, energy, and ability to gain muscle mass.
As someone trying to gain lean muscle mass, you want to make sure that you are as strong as possible while in the gym. This is because a big part of gaining muscle has to do with progressive overload. This basically means, that at least every two weeks, you increase the weight that you are using for almost every exercise than you do, even if it is only by 5 pounds. If you are even only slightly dehydrated, then this will hamper your ability to perform what the maximum amount of force that you can. Even just a little bit of dehydration can decrease performance more than 15%. Also, besides just make you weaker in the gym, you might also feel tired and fatigued. So, it is easy to understand that being hydrated when you workout should be one of your top priorities. It is recommended to drink at least a couple of cups of water an hour to an hour and ½ before you workout, then you should also drink some type of fluid during your workout.
Being hydrated does more than just increase your strength at the gym; it also helps protect you from injury. Water helps lubricated joints, and if you are dehydrated and enjoy this will not be properly lubricated and you might have a better chance to get injured. That should be one of your primary concerns as if you get injured during a workout you won’t be able to work out that particular body part for while until it is fully healed (or at least you shouldn’t).
Finally, lifting is just a stimulus to tell your body that you need to gain more muscle mass; proper nutrition is the key to actually putting that muscle on your body from the foods that you are eating. One important aspect of nutrition is glycogen replenishment. This basically means eating carbs after your workout so that your body can turn the carbs into glucose and push them into your glycogen storages. What this does is make you stronger for the next time that you work out. During your workout her body takes that glucose and turns it into ATP and creatine phosphate. However, with every 1 g of carbohydrate that you consume, your body must store 3 to 4 g of water with it before can get put into your glycogen storages. Therefore, if you’re not drinking enough water while you are consuming a lot of carbs, you might again be hampering your string gains.
So what exactly are the requirements of water for a person? Well, if you weight train at a high intensity for 3 to 4 days per week, and you can use this simple formula: your body weight times 0.6 = the amount of water that you should take in per day in oz. For example, the 180 pound person times 0.6 equals 108 ounces of water per day.
Hopefully by now you see the importance of keeping hydrated so you can make the best strength gains, protect yourself from injury, and replenish your glycogen adequately. Make sure a drink plenty of water every day to support your overall well being and health!
Those who practice yoga regularly know that dumbbells aren’t the only way to sculpt and tone the body. Yoga itself tones your body as you use your body weight to move from posture to posture, and in certain poses, you’re lifting every pound of it! Yoga postures use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. Additionally, while these postures strengthen the body, they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension. For foolproof firming, focus on muscle-building postures, like Warrior III, plank, Crescent Lunge, and arm balances like Crow pose.
As you become more advanced in your yoga practice you learned how to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body. This translates to becoming more energetic during sports, feeling more refreshed after sports, and preventing respiratory distress. If you are attracted to a more vigorous yoga practice, you will receive and even greater cardiovascular benefit by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance, and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of motion and reducing aches and pains. Many people don’t stretch correctly or put enough emphasis on stretching prior to or post workout. With practice, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity and improving body alignment resulting in better posture the relief of back, neck, joint, and muscle problems. Understanding your body better and understanding the correct way to stretch and lengthen results in better form in sports and increased potential for muscular output during sports.
While the physical benefits of yoga for an athlete are huge, nothing compares to the mental benefit of yoga. Many people use yoga as a workout but the work doesn’t end during savasana (the final resting pose). Yoga was created as a way to get the body ready for long, seated meditations. Even if you aren’t meditating and chanting for hours it’s still important to take the last two or more minutes of class to lie on your back and breathe. The purpose of savasana is to clear your mind and promote serenity by silencing the endless and seemingly unmanageable mental chatter that invades our daily experience.
So why is this important? Unrestrained by fear, free from negative thought patterns, and laser focused, an athlete will have power over his or her thoughts when compared to his or her competitors. The athlete that practices focus, mental control, and relaxation has the incredible power to focus entirely on the task at hand and remain thoroughly rooted in the present moment without the invasion of unhelpful thought patterns creating. This results in the best performance every time the athlete performs
The Perfect Summer 6-Pack
It’s about that time to go out and show off that body you have been working so hard for but before you do let’s make sure you are looking your best.
I know many of you have a bit of trouble getting those last few inches off to get that rock, solid 6-pack but don’t worry because I have a few tips to add that may help you become even more confident when you take that shirt off.
Do realize doing 1000 crunches or a 10 min plank won’t get you that definition in your abdominal area unless you trim away the fat first, so your first step into creating that perfect 6-pack will be learning how to incorporate the proper eating habits. Below are a few steps that will help lift your confidence to an all new high. Concentrate your 5-7 meals-per-day average to the following items, spreading it out every 2-4 hours (including snacks).
- Lean Proteins / Pure Proteins (The caloric content of these protein packed foods are fairly low for their serving size and are great for all levels of physical fitness. If you are trying to shed that unwanted body fat you should get most of your protein from sources that are 70% or higher in calories from protein. For those of us who are trying to build muscle, we can eat really as much of these proteins as we want, provided that we consume plenty of calories from other sources which will be stated below. )
*Whey Protein, Egg Whites, Turkey Breast, Tuna, Red Snapper, Ground Turkey, Chicken Breast are all lean/pure proteins.
- Fibrous Green Vegetables (Are great fillers and are loaded with many phytochemicals that can help are body produce enzymes and other mechanisms to help your body get rid of free radicals and help your body breakdown your food more efficiently.)
*Mixed Greens, Green Beans, Spinach and Broccoli, etc…
- Complex Carbohydrates (These are your starch compliments to your eating regimen and a must needed part to complete the puzzle.)
*Sweet Potatoes, Quinoa, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, etc…
- Omega Fats (These fats are a kind of polyunsaturated fat. They have been classified as “essential fatty acids” because the body is unable to manufacture them on its own and play a critical role with your fitness and health goals by replacing the bad fats you have eliminated. I personally like Macadamia Oil because of its high Omega value and low toxicity levels. Minimize Olive Oil for cooking. It’s great for adding it on top of salads or mixing with salad dressings. If you do cook with Olive Oils then make sure you don’t cook food over 284 degress.
*Avocados, Olives, Almonds, Pecans, etc…
- Limit sugars, fruits, juices, breads and pastas which I always suggest to save for a cheat day or cheat meal per week depending on how strict you are with your eating regimen or depending on training level. (higher intensity training, circuit training, tabbata does require faster/higher energy reserve so having a bit more sugar is o.k but check with your trainer beforehand.)
- Eat every 2-3 hours to increase metabolic rate (BMR) and keep the muscles working but most importantly happy. Don’t skip meals or your body will go to safe mode and start slowing down causing your body to hold on to its calories a lot longer and will cause your body to slow the metabolism down, defeating your goals.
If you can follow this for the next 6 weeks you will notice a huge difference around your mid-section but you should first go get a body fat assessment to see where you are now and compare once the 6 weeks are up. You will be so confident with the new rock hard abs you worked so hard for. Show off that stomach and don’t worry about keeping your shirt on anymore. If you need a body fat assessment you can come by X-Train Fitness Facility and get an analysis for $25 or $50 for analysis and one-on-one nutritional consultation. Either way good luck and stay focused!
- Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is easily burned for energy.
- An avocado has more than twice as much potassium as a banana.
- Can help reduce “bad” low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood and raise the levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
- Has about 60% more Potassium
- Has 975mg in 1 Avocado
- 20xs as less sugar then 1 Banana
- Have a low G.I. (Glycemic Index meaning how much does this food raise insulin levels)
- You don’t need to eat bananas
for the potassium! (Although it is present in bananas, potassium is the predominant nutrient among most all fruits and vegetables.)
- Bananas are high in sugar,
so they should not be eaten if you have blood sugar problems.
- Don’t eat bananas on an empty stomach; combining them with a bit of protein will help to normalize the insulin response caused by the sugar in the banana.
- Bananas have a pretty high G.I. (Glycemic Index meaning how much does this food raise insulin levels)
- Green-tipped bananas are better for your health than over-ripe bananas.
On a side note: Because bananas are so popular, rainforests are often destroyed to make way for banana plantations.
So if you are an individual looking to enhance your recovery while controlling your insulin levels then eating 1/5 of an avocado a day will be your best bet. Don’t get twisted now. I’m not saying bananas are a horrible fruit that you must through away but do realize that if you are using fruits like a banana to supplement your potassium intake then there is/are healthier options. remember work smarter not harder!