Mind and Muscle – What’s the Connection? Will It Dramatically Change Your Body?

This may not be a new concept to you, but there is a theory, a mental-physical theory that you can use your mind to maximize your workout.

The more we humans develop, the more we understand how our body works and what’s important.

One of the powerful forces that many trainers don’t always consider in designing workouts for their clients, is the brain.

The basic idea is that just by thinking about your muscles you’re using in an exercise, you can help these muscles work more efficiently.

The facts seem to support clear links between thoughts, emotions and muscle behavior.

 

 

DISCONNECTED DURING A WORKOUT?

It is very easy to be totally distracted when you’re at the gym.  It’s true for home workouts, as well.

When you’re at the gym, there are all kinds of folks doing all kinds of things to distract you.

There’s the meathead that’s grunting as loud as he can to make sure you know he’s working hard.  There’s the beautiful girl in skin-tight gym-wear that tries her darndest to make sure you look at her.  There’s the fat guy who thinks he’s a stud and coaches everyone around him to let them know how knowledgeable he is.  You get it.

There are numerous thing that could and will distract you from the reason you’re at the gym.

You even create your own distractions.  Just look around and see the number of guys that are on their Smart Phone messaging or Facebooking or whatever!!…….when they’re supposed to be working out.  And then look to see how many guys are chatting with friends, taking a selfie or chatting with one of the trainers or hitting on a girl (or guy).

The gym is a social place, but the social aspect can get in the way of your workout.  There’s one guy at my gym who I’ve never seen lift a weight. He’s always talking to whoever will listen and engage in conversation with him.

 

HOW IT WORKS

Your brain controls your muscles in a somewhat complicated system of response and initiation.  Your mind is a powerful tool that we often don’t take advantage of.    A signal is sent from your brain to the muscle you’re thinking about.  The theory is that if you visualize an exercise and a specific muscle movement as you do it, you can train the brain to send stronger signals, which translates to more muscle engagement.

This has been tested out in studies that, whether you’re actually doing a task or just imagining a task, you’ll see increases in the brain’s signal, which suggests that the neurons (brain signals) are being activated to tense a muscle.

Now, it seems that thinking about flexing a muscle and actually flexing it is two different things, and actually flexing your muscle is going to give you the best results, but thinking about flexing it does have some benefit.

Knowing this doesn’t ‘t mean that you should not consider using this concept in your workout – thinking about your muscles as you exercise them.  You should try it.

 

GETTING CONNECTED

There are numerous benefits from concentrating on the exercises that you’re performing.

Actively focusing on the muscles you’re trying to engage as you move through an exercise can make a big difference in your workouts. It can be the extra force that will take your workouts to the next level.

Take bicep curls for example. “If you don’t feel the bicep brachialis flexing, but you just keep pumping out reps, you might be working your arm muscles and getting decent results, but you can get a much more effective workout if you simply think about your biceps as you’re doing this exercise.  If you’re using a decent technique, you’re going to get a much more effective exercise by concentrating on the muscles you’re working.  Actually thinking about the muscles you’re trying to target is a simple but effective place to start.

BENEFITS

A  major benefit can be seen from implementing the mind-muscle connection in just feeling engaged with your workout.   When people are really focused on what they’re doing, they’re able to more easily focus on that exercise. It’s a matter of the quality of the workout you’re getting.

When you see somebody focused on what they’re doing, you see a tremendous difference in their performance. It’s kind of like a form of meditation. If you focus on the muscles that you’re using, you just become more in tune with what your body is doing,

 

WHAT TO DO

It’s an easy thing to do.  It’s as simple as concentrating on the muscle group that you’re working and “feeling” the muscle as your contracting it.  You can even use visuals if that helps you.

It will require tuning out the rest of the gym (or home) and be in your own little world.

You see some guys with earphones or headsets.  It might work for you to use a set of headphones as a sign that you are serious about your workout and not to be disturbed.  I often do this. I don’t even listen to music, just have the headset on to block out the world around me and signal the gym socialite that I’m not available for conversation.

SUMMARY 

What are the facts?  A mental workout doesn’t top an actual workout, but there are benefits to doing both.

It doesn’t take any extra time or physical effort to simply channel your thoughts, so there’s nothing to lose and only potential strength to gain.

So when you do your next workout, try concentrating on the muscle group you’re working and see, if at the end of the workout, you don’t feel like you got a better workout. Only time will tell if you’re getting stronger or bigger.

Comments on this topic are very welcome and would contribute to the community’s understanding of this subject.

See you at the gym

What Is The Best Cardio For Weight Loss? Get the TRUTH Here

This is what everyone wants to know.

What is the best cardio for weight loss?  What are the exercises I should be doing and what are the ones that are not effective?

Losing body fat and getting into great shape may require at least some cardio activity. The range of aerobic exercises varies greatly – enough to cause confusion for those wanting to lose excess weight to reveal their hard-won muscles.

The question is: What are the best cardio exercises to melt fat?

Is there a perfect way to lose fat through cardiovascular workouts, and if so, what are they?

Cardio activity by its very nature requires fat to be used as a primary fuel source, with carbohydrates and protein being used to a lesser extent. Therefore it is obvious that in order to lose fat,  you will need to do some cardio work.

Here are 4 videos that will discuss the subject and outline some of the best cardio exercises you can do to lose weight.

 

VIDEO 1

We’re gonna start with one of my favorite YouTube guys who will answer the burning question of what exercises are the best to lose weight and give you some tips on what to do, and what not to do.

 

 

VIDEO 2

This next video is for those of you who need to lose more than 10 or 20 pounds. Jeremy knows a lot about this subject because he lost 130 pounds, so listen to what he says.

Jeremy reviews some of the cardio equipment you’ll find in a gym and explains how each can be of benefit to you in your weight loss.

 

 

VIDEO 3

In this video, one of my other favorite trainers on YouTube explains why you may not be losing weight.  Watch to find out the truth.  He does not pull any punches, which is why this is so valuable.

 

 

VIDEO 4

Here is a good explanation of the relation of cardio and weight loss. Michael talks about the person who does the treadmill at a slow pace for an hour, 6 days a week and wonders why they aren’t losing weight.  Watch and learn!!

In this video, Michael will explain what does work. HIIT.  An acronym you need to know and use.

 

 

 

SUMMARY 

As you have seen, there is pretty much consensus that High Intensity Interval Training is the best way to lose fat and do it effectively. There are different methods and techniques, but almost everyone agrees that the slow, methodical cardio (that you often see at the gym) is NOT going to get you the results that you want.

And as many of us believe, a strength training regimen is essential to any effective fat loss program.  You need a weight training program as the basis for any weight loss program.

Take the advice of these guys and you’ll have success in your weight loss goals.

Please comment below and let us know what you think and share any success or failures you have had.

 

 

 

 

 

Exercises Resistance Bands – Which Exercises Will Buiild Muscle?

Resistance band exercises may seem like the kind of exercises that won’t help you get in shape and gain muscle.  You may think of them for weaklings,.. not men who are interested in building muscle.  THINK AGAIN.

You’re just not doing the RIGHT resistance band exercises.

Resistance bands may not weigh much, but unlike weights, they can create constant tension throughout a movement, recruiting more muscle fibers and accelerating growth. Plus, bands are portable, inexpensive, and you can do hundreds of exercises with them.

You can get a set at your local sporting goods store or here’s a great set you can get on Amazon.

 

TIPS

 Make sure you purchase an ‘athlete’ or professional level set of bands.  You want to be challenged.

Choosing the Right Band: A band’s resistance actually increases at the end of a move, so your band choice will not only depend on your fitness level, but the type of move you are performing.

Choose a band heavy enough to provide some resistance at the beginning of the exercise, but not too heavy so you’ll be able to move in correct form through a full range of motion.

Don’t allow the band to go completely slack between repetitions. Instead, keep some tension applied at all times.

As you get more advanced you can even use multiple bands together, all attached to the same handle. Each band has a different resistances so that you can adjust the level of resistance that is appropriate for your exercise. As you work out consistently, you will find that you will need to use higher and higher levels of resistance

 

SUGGESTED ROUTINE

Always stretch and warm up first, as you would before any exercise routine.

To start with I’d suggest picking 7 of the exercises from the list below and creating a circuit.  Do each exercise three (3) times.  Rest 30 seconds and then go on to the next one and perform three (3) sets of it.  This will get you a muscle workout as well as a mild cardio workout.  Perfect.

Next week, choose seven (7) more and do the same thing.  Variety will help in many ways – your muscles and you from getting bored.

OK, let’s get started:

 

TRICEPS EXTENSION

Secure the band low behind you and hold the handles with your hands behind your head, palms facing each other, elbows bent 90 degrees and upper arm straight up.

Pull the handles up by extending your arms completely and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arms immobile throughout.

 

 

 

 

STATIONARY  LUNGE

Secure the band underneath one foot that is forward and crouch down with your other foot in line, but behind, and hold the handles with your hands on top of your shoulders, palms facing forward.

Push yourself up by extending your legs and allow yourself slowly back down after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

SHOULDER  ROTATION

Secure the band under an elevated foot while lying on your back and hold the handles with your hands above your shoulders, elbows bent at 90 degrees and palms facing forward.

Pull the handles in until your forearms join your upper arms in touching the ground and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arm and the angle in your elbow still throughout.

 

 

 

OVERHEAD SHOULDER  PRESS

Secure the band underneath your feet and grab the handles with your hands over your shoulders, elbows bent and palms facing forward.

Push the handles straight up until your arms are close to being fully extended and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

FORWARD SHOULDER  PRESS

Secure the band underneath your feet and grab the handles with your hands over your shoulders, elbows bent and palms facing forward.

Pull the handles up and forward until your arms are close to being fully extended and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

CHEST PRESS

Secure a band at medium height behind you and grab one handle with your hand near your shoulder, palm facing down.

Pull the handle straight forward until your arm is extended and parallel to the floor and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

CRUNCH

Secure the band low, lie down on your back and hold the handles with your arms extended above your knees, palms facing down.

 

Roll your shoulder blades up from the floor while stretching the bands and slowly lower yourself back down after a short pause.

Keep your arms extended throughout.

 

FRONT DELTOID RAISE – ALTERNATING

Secure the band low in front of you and grab the handles with your hands in front of your thighs, palms facing down.

Pull one handle up at a time until your arm is parallel to the floor and allow it to slowly return while you pull up the other handle.

Keep your arms extended (or close to it) throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

FRONT  DELTOID  RAISE

Secure the band low behind you and grab the handles with your hands on each side of your thighs, palms facing each other.

Pull the handles up until your arms are parallel to the floor and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your arms extended (or close to it) throughout.

 

 

 

 

LATERAL  DELTOID  RAISE

Secure the band underneath your feet and grab the handles with your hands on each side of your thighs, palms facing each other.

Pull the handles out and up until your arms are parallel to the floor and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your arms extended (or close to it) throughout.

 

 

 

 

LEG  EXTENSION 

Lie on your back, one leg extended on the floor and the other in the air and secure the band to your foot that is in the air, knee bent at a 90-degree angle.

Pull the foot handles up by extending your leg and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor and immobile throughout.

 

 

PULLDOWN – ARMS  EXTENDED

Secure the band high, stand up and grab both handles with your hands in front of your head, arms extended and palms facing each other.

Pull the handles down toward each side of your body and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Breathe out while pulling and breathe in while returning to start.

 

 

 

 

TRUNK ROTATION

Secure the band at medium height, stand up and grab both handles with your hands, arms extended out in front of your abdomen.

Rotate your upper body towards your left and slowly return to your starting position before going to the right.

Keep your arms extended out in front of you throughout.

 

 

 

STANDING  ROW  –  ONE ARM

Secure the band low, stand up with your upper body bent forward and grab one handle with your hand, arm extended in front of your knee, palm facing down.

Pull the handle back toward your abdomen and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your back straight and still throughout.

 

 

 

 

BENT OVER FLY

Secure the band beneath your feet, stand up with your body tilted forward and grab both handles, arms extend in front of your knees, palms facing each other.

Pull the handles out and up on each side of your body and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your back and arms straight throughout.

 

 

LYING BACK FLY

Secure the band beneath your foot held in the air and lie on your back. Hold the handles with your hands above your chest, arms extended and palms facing each other.

Pull the handles out to each side of your body and allow them to slowly return after a short pause

Keep your arms straight throughout.

 

 

 

STANDING BACK FLY

Secure the band at medium height, stand up and grab both handles with your hands, arms extended in front of your chest, palms facing each other.

Pull the handles back by moving your arms to each side of your body and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your back and arms straight throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BICEP PREACHER CURL

Secure the band at a medium height in front of you and hold the handles with your hands in front of your abdomen, arms extended.

Pull the handles towards your shoulders by curling your elbows and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arms immobile throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

STANDING BICEP CURL

Secure the band underneath your foot and grab the handles with your hands in front of your thighs, arms extended and palms facing up.

Pull the handles towards your shoulders by curling your elbows and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arms immobile throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

CALF  RAISE

Sit on a chair, place the heel of your foot on top of a small block and secure the band between your toes and that block.

Pull the toe area of your foot up by stretching the band and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your heel solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

CHEST  FLY

Secure a band at medium height on your side and grab one handle with your hand, arm extended out at shoulder height, palm facing forward.

Pull the handle in until it is in front of your chest and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your arm extended (or close to it) throughout.

 

 

 

SEATED ROW

Secure the band low, sit down with your legs extended and grab both handles on top of your knees, arms extended and palms facing each other.

Pull the handles back toward your abdomen and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your back straight and still throughout.

 

 

 

INCLINE  CHEST PRESS

Secure a band at medium height behind you and grab one handle with your hand near your shoulder, palm facing down.

Pull the handle forward and up until your arm is extended and the handle is at the same height as your head and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

DECLINE  CHEST  PRESS

Secure a band at medium height behind you and grab one handle with your hand near your shoulder, palm facing down.

Pull the handle forward and down until your arm is extended and the handle is at the same height as your navel and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

TRICEPS  EXTENSION

Secure the band high in front you and hold the handles with your hands in front of your abdomen, palms facing each other, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.

Pull the handles down by extending your arms completely and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arms immobile throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWISTING  CRUNCH –  KNEELING

Secure the band high, kneel down on the floor and hold one handle with your hand near your shoulder, elbow bent.

Tilt your body forward and rotate it while stretching the band towards your other side’s knee and slowly raise yourself back up after a short pause.

Keep the angle in your elbow constant throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

SQUAT

Secure the band underneath your feet, crouch down and hold the handles with your hands on each side of your shoulders, palms facing forward.

Push yourself up by extending your legs and allow yourself slowly back down after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

As with any exercise routine, resistance bands will increase the strength of your muscles and stimulate growth. What they will also do is hit the full range of motion, working many parts of a lift and muscle often not worked by free weights.

So try a resistance band routine for a month and see how much you can increase your muscle mass.  You’ll be surprised.

Resistance bands probably should not take the place of free-weights or other strength training, but they’re terrific for traveling, when you’re injured or when you need a break from the gym

Comment below with your resistance band experiences and if you think this is a good idea.

Weight Loss and Exercise – Are they Related? Find Out In These 4 Videos

There is a debate going on about the relation of weight loss and exercise.

I’m including four (4) videos with different view points on the relationship of exercise to weight loss.  There definitely is a relationship.  It just may not be what you think.

Let’s get educated.

In this first video, we’ll cover the basics of weight loss and what the important elements are of how to lose weight.  It then talks about the relationship to exercise.

This video covers the factors beyond just the basics of which is easier to do – eat less or exercise more.  There is more to consider than just the basic facts of weight loss.

You’ll be mildly surprised at the conclusion.  It is the conclusion I support.

 

 

Watch this second video from Aaron, a guy who has a rational and well-documented approach to the subject of how weight loss and exercise are related.

His conclusion is a little different from the first video, but they both have the facts straight.  It’s just a matter of interpretation.

 

 

Now, let’s veer a little off topic and talk about how the body burns fat.   This video will help you understand the principles involved and will help support my diet plans that limit carbohydrates.

Watch and comment below if you’ve had any experience with a low carbohydrate meal plan.

 

Back to the exercise and weight loss discussion.

Here’s Aaron again talking more about the benefits of exercise.  This is an elaboration of his other video that supports the diet side of the discussion.  Here he talks about the exercise side of the debate.

This video takes the sensible approach and proposes that we not overdo it, but just do what is recommended, which is not that hard to do.  If you take his advice, you won’t be overwhelmed by thinking that “exercise” is a big deal.  It doesn’t have to be.  It doesn’t necessarily involve going to the gym.

If you take his advice, you won’t be overwhelmed by thinking that “exercise” is a big deal.  It doesn’t have to be.  It doesn’t necessarily involve going to the gym.

 

SUMMARY

The topic of weight loss and exercise is a fascinating topic and can be viewed from many different angles.  One of the main differences is that every body is different and responds to diet and exercise differently.  We all have unique challenges when it comes to losing weight and staying in shape.

With the tips and facts you’ve learned from these videos, comment below as to what you think you might change in your diet or exercise routine.  We all can improve.

See you at the gym.

Stability Ball Exercises – 10 Exercises You Need to Do

This is part of a series dedicated to the guy who doesn’t want to hit the gym, but would rather work out at home. These are done with a stability ball which you can find very inexpensively at your local sporting goods store or on Amazon.

These ten (10) Stability Ball exercises will get you in the best shape of your life,… if you commit to a 3x-a-week workout using these exercises. The 10 exercises that I’ve chosen are not easy and will challenge you.  That’s the point.  You need to be challenged to make progress.

Stability ball exercises are a great way to improve strength, cardio endurance, and balance.  By doing basic exercises like push-ups, squats, and planks, on an unstable surface, like a stability ball, your muscles will be forced to work harder than if you were doing them on a stable surface.

Stability balls are also great for getting back into shape after an injury because they can reduce muscle and spinal strain.  They’re a good way to strengthen your muscles with the soft resistance.

This versatile piece of exercise equipment provides some of the best ways to improve your balance and work up your core strength.

Lets get started.

 

1.) Wall Squat with a Ball

Place your exercise ball between a wall and the curve of your lower back.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

Bend your knees and lower yourself about 5 to 10 inches, keeping your shoulders level and hips square. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then return up the wall to a standing position.

Repeat this 3 to 5 times.  As you get stronger, increase it to 6 to 8 times.

 

 

 

2.) Overhead Squat with a Ball

Grab a stability ball and stand with your legs hip width apart.

Raise the ball over your head, your arms extended and close to your ears.

Now squat down, keeping the weight on your heels and your arms extended.

Hold the squat for one count, then come back up. Keep your arms lifted while you do the exercise.

Repeat this exercise for 3 to 5 times and as you get stronger, increase the number to 6 to 8.

 

 

3.) Plank Pike-Up

Take a stability ball and lie on top of it with your shins on the ball and your palms on the floor under your shoulders.

Now use your abs and legs, rolling the ball to your middle, lifting your hips and keeping your head down between your arms. Your body should be an inverted “V” shape.

Hold here for one count and then roll back to start.

Repeat as many times as you can, working up to 10-12 reps.

 

 

4.) Frog Jump

Stand behind a stability ball on the floor, legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out.

Squat all the way down, bending your knees deeper than 90 degrees, and placing your hands on either side of the ball.

Press your elbows into the sides of your thighs to deepen the stretch.

Pushing off with your legs and glutes, jump as high as you can, pointing your toes and straightening your legs while lifting the ball overhead, …arms extended.

Repeat 5 to 8 times.

5.) Lower-Ab Crunch

Lie on the floor with your arms beside you and calves on a stability ball

Lift your backside up without arching your back,  keeping your abdominals tight.

With your hips still raised, bend your knees and roll the ball toward you with your feet until they’re flat on top of the ball.

Slowly return to the starting position.

Repeat as many times as you can, working your way up to being able to do this 15 times.

 

 

6.) Plank

Assume the top of a push-up position but rest your forearms on a stability ball.

Keep your abs strong and your neck in line with your spine.

Hold the position for 30 seconds and then each time you do this exercise, increase the time you hold the plank by 15 seconds.

 

 

7.) Crunch

Sit on the Stability ball with your feet resting on the floor, about hip-width apart. Keep your back straight and cross your arms on your chest.

Tighten your abdominal muscles.

Lean back until you feel the muscles in your midsection tighten.

Hold for three deep breaths.

Return to the start and repeat 6 to 10 times.

 

 

 

8.) Stability Ball Roll-Out

Kneel in front of a stability ball with your knees hip-width apart, then place your forearms on the ball, hands in loose fists (a).

Keeping your back flat, brace your core and slowly roll the ball away from you by straightening your arms.
Extend out as far as you can without
allowing your hips to drop (b).

Pause, then bend your elbows to roll the ball back to start.

Repeat as many times as you can.  Work up to being able to do this 8 to 10 times

 

 

9.) Stability Ball V-Pass

Lie face up on the floor, holding a stability ball overhead with both hands, your legs together and extended straight on the floor (a).

In one motion, brace your core and lift your arms and legs off the ground, placing the ball between your feet (b)

Squeeze the ball with your legs and lower your arms and legs back to the floor (c)

Repeat as many times as you can, working up to being able to do  this exercise 10-15 times.

 

 

10.) Seated Balance

Sit on a stability ball with your spine straight and abs in.

Place your hands on the ball or behind the head (harder) and lift the right foot off the floor, holding it in the air for 5 or more seconds.

Lower your foot and repeat on the other side.

Repeat for 5 – 10 reps each side.

 

ADVANCED TRAINING

Once you’ve mastered these basic 10 exercises and you want to move on, watch this video that will show you techniques for taking stability ball exercises to the next level.  These may look easy, but wait until you try them.  You’ll see how challenging they are.

SUMMARY

If you were to do these 10 stability ball exercises 3x a week, you’d get in terrific shape.

You need to commit to doing these for at least a month.  Once you’ve completed a month’s worth of doing this routine, you’ll feel better and you’ll start to see some results.  ONCE you’ve seen some progress, you’ll be much more committed to continuing.  Then it snowballs.

Give this routine a try and if you decide to incorporate some weight training into your routine, pick 5 of these stability ball exercises to combine with 5 weight training exercises.  Here are some weight training exercises you could choose from. That would be a good workout.

You’ll be amazed at how good you feel and how you’ll start to see improvements in your body.

The importance of exercising can not be overemphasized.  Just do something!  You’ll be glad you did.

Best Home Workouts – What Are The Essentials you Need to Be Doing (videos)

There are a lot of us who like working out at home.

There are those of us who love the gym.

If you choose to work out at home. There are many positives associated with this choice.

  • It’s convenient.  You don’t have to get in your car and drive to the gym. You’re already at your “gym.”

 

  • It’s cheap. Once you have the basic equipment that you need, there is no cost associated with working out at home.  You can even do many exercises using your bodyweight and thus, you won’t need any equipment.  As you progress with your bodyweight workouts, you may add a few pieces of equipment so you can progress your workouts.

There are a lot of workouts designed for home use.  I’ve picked some of the best ones and included some selected videos for you to watch so you can design a great home workout for yourself.

Many home/bodyweight exercises can be very simple and as you master these, you can progress them with different techniques and adjustments, like adding some weight or trying a different position.

 

This first video is from one of my favorite YouTube trainers.  He is knowledgeable and demonstrates  eight (8) bodyweight exercises that will help you develop a great body with just your body weight.

The only piece of equipment that you will need is a pull-up bar…..something you can get at your local sporting goods store or here on Amazon.

 

The next video is sourced from a great guy who has designed a basic beginner body weight routine. Brian’s video has four (4)-exercises that you do ten (10) times each.

These are designed for the beginner, but these are not necessarily easy exercises.  Just wait until you get to the Burpees.

He covers the basics.  Do this routine and you will see what a good workout it is, even though it’s not a lot of exercises.

 

 

Here is a video with a few different exercises that you can use to vary your home workout routine.

These are exercises designed for a German sports team.  They are good because they have a little different take on some of the traditional bodyweight exercises that you might have seen before. Changing up is always good.

Alex shows how to do each exercise and how to progress each one.  It’s good to incorporate some of these to vary your home exercise routine.

 

 

Now that we’ve covered what exercises you should be doing, let’s watch a video that details some of the mistakes that you are making in your bodyweight exercises.

You can build serious muscle with body weight training, but there are some misconceptions that you need to know to be able to build muscle with bodyweight training.

If your home workouts are primarily cardio oriented, then you’re never going to build muscle.  Those women in the Jazzercise classes are never going to gain ONE pound of muscle.

Jeff spells out the five (5) things you have to stop doing to give yourself a chance to gain muscle from a bodyweight routine.

 

 

SUMMARY

So, now you should have a good idea of what exercises you need to include in a home workout routine.

The secret is to schedule a regular time and a set routine and stick with it.  If you design a routine based on the exercises in these videos, you’ll be well on your way to looking and feeling better.

Let’s go!

 

How To Get Healthy – 10 Tips You Need to Know

This topic is near and dear to me.  I have tried to be healthy much of my life and the older I get the more important it becomes….and the more challenging it is.

What’s your definition of healthy?

Let’s stick to just the physical definition of healthy and leave the mental part to other folks. It’ll be difficult enough to define what being healthy is in terms of your physical being.

 

GET LOTS OF SLEEP

In order to be a very healthy person, you need to consistently get enough sleep.

That means 7-9 hours per night for adults, sometimes a little less depending on your constitution.

Sleep has lots and lots of benefits.  It keeps you awake and alert and you’ll do a better job at work.

Sleep is also the time when most of the body and mind’s healing and detoxifying takes place. It is also when your muscles grow.  If you’ve worked out or exercised, you need sleep or you won’t get the full effects of your hard work.

Don’t overdo it, though. Sleeping too much can be as bad as not sleeping enough. If you miss some sleep one night, you can sleep longer another night to make up for that. But in general, try to stay within the 7-9 hours sleep range.

 

WALK EVERYWHERE YOU CAN /TAKE THE STAIRS

Being physically active isn’t about pounding the pavement or joining a gym—it’s a lifestyle that can be just a part of your everyday life.  If you can add extra steps to your day here and there, they add up. Here are a few ideas of how to easily you can incorporate more activity into your day without going to the gym:

  • Park farther away from your office, the mall entrance, or the grocery store.
  • Ride a bike to work or the local coffee shop.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Walk the dog every day.
  • Take your lunch to the park.
  • Never take an elevator.  (I do this and it’s sometimes challenging)

Little opportunities are everywhere.

 

TEAM UP WITH A FITNESS BUDDY

Find a health or fitness buddy, a friend, colleague or spouse who holds you accountable to agreed workouts and meals.

This is a system used successfully in many weight loss programs. Having someone to be accountable to will build a sense of community. You and your fitness buddy can motivate each other while staying on track to a healthier lifestyle. Sharing your goals with others makes you want to achieve them.

This one tip will help you as much. if not more, than any of the other tips. From my personal experience having a buddy will make a big difference. This will help to motivate yourself and keep you to stay healthy and keep from being boring. Making getting fit and eating healthy a social event hopefully will keep you and your buddy on the path to fitness and health.

 

HAVE A BIG STEAK

You should not stress out so much about cutting calories: Whether you’re packing on the pounds or simply want to maintain your current weight, adding more protein could be your slim-down secret weapon.

Have a steak or a tuna steak or breakfast with eggs and bacon. Have some hard-boiled eggs in your refrigerator as a quick snack.

Research has found that protein keeps you feeling full longer than either carbs or fat, so you can eat less and still be satsified.

A new study supports this idea: Researchers from the University of Sydney estimated that the extra calories eaten by participants in their study eating the lowest protein diets could add up to an extra 2.2 pounds of weight gain a month.

Protein is the building block of muscle, and more calories are required to maintain muscle than to preserve fat, which means muscle helps boost your metabolism.

 

TRY DRIED FRUIT FOR SNACKS

When you’re hungry for a snack, what will you eat?

Have healthy things to munch on at home, at work, and for the road. Fresh fruits, chopped veggies, raw nuts, dried fruits are some of my favorites.

 

Some of the things I keep around are:

  • fresh fruits like strawberries or blackberries
  • baby carrots with Greek yogurt dip
  • Cut up raw veggies like broccoli and cauliflower with healthy Dill dip,
  • raw almonds
  • roasted pumpkin seeds
  • roasted edamame
  • figs – (one of my favorites)
  • dried fruits like pineapple, apple, raisins, mango, etc.

All of these are so delicious, you won’t miss any bad snacks you have previously been eating. If you stick to eating only these for a month or so, you’ll never go back to chips and candy.  You’ll get to the point that bad snacks won’t be appealing to you.

 

 

STAND AT WORK

  • Workers who used sit-stand desks were 78% more likely to report a pain-free day than those who used regular workstations, according to a Stanford University back pain study
  • This doesn’t mean standing all day long, the research shows that you should stand for 15 minutes every hour.  So that’s 15 minutes standing and then 45 minutes sitting.

 

  • At their 2013 annual meeting, the American Medical Association adopted a policy recognizing potential risks of prolonged sitting and encouraging employers, employees and others to make available alternatives to sitting, such as sit-stand desks.

 

  • A 2011 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that when workers are equipped with sit-stand workstations, prolonged sitting is reduced and mood states improve.

WORKOUT JUST A LITLLE

REALLY?   You’re not kidding?

If you go to the gym 6 times a week, you’re OVERTRAINING! (you just shouldn’t go that often)

Now I’ve always believed that the more you went to the gym, the better shape you would get in.  NOT TRUE. In fact, you can do more harm than good if you go too often and don’t know what you’re doing or how to work out properly.

On the other hand, if you don’t work out at all, after the age of 50, you’re going to lose muscle every year and pretty soon, it’s going to affect your ability to have an active, vibrant life.

You must do some OLD SCHOOL resistance training to keep from getting old and decrepit. It’s just the way it is…..like it or not.

First, you have to purge yourself of images you have of what a weight workout is. We’re not trying to be bodybuilders.

The truth is resistance training can make you start to feel so good that you’ll get addicted to it.  No Lie.

 

DON’T EAT SUGAR

We all know how sugar affects our weight.

New studies show its impact on the brain — and it’s not good.

As it turns out, sugar is not good for you at all! Besides causing obesity and diabetes, eating a diet with a lot of sugar is linked to a number of abnormal brain functions, including poor memory and cognitive activities. Here’s what you need to know to prevent a sugar overload.

Not all sugars are bad. Our bodies turn most of the food we eat into sugar. Good sugar, or glucose, comes from carbohydrates like bread and pasta. It fuels the cells throughout our bodies, including our brains.

Sugar is addictive. It takes only one bite of sugar to stimulate the brain to release dopamine, a natural chemical in the brain that drives our cravings and motivations.

It’s the same chemical that also causes alcoholics and drug addicts to constantly seek a “high.”

Sugar ages skin. We can’t blame it all on the sun. Too much sugar breaks down the collagen and elastin in our skin, which keeps the cells from repairing themselves.

Sugar numbs our overeating “sensor.” It’s a common knowledge that a high-sugar diet makes us fat. But only recently have researchers figured out that chronic consumption numbs the brain’s system that preventsts overeating.

There’s not much good that eating sugar can do for you. Try to eliminate it from your diet.

 

START A HEALTHY HOBBY

Do something you love.

Play with a pet, go swimming, go for a bike ride, jump on a trampoline, go to the park, make love, play golf! Doing things you love to do will keep you in a good mood, and make you happier.

If you had a bad day at work, get on your bike and take out your anger. Or go for a long walk by yourself or with a friend or spouse.

Not only is this fun, but it lets you be yourself for awhile.

 

PURGE YOUR FRIG OF ALL BAD FOODS

When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to grab whatever’s in your frig, which often isn’t the healthiest thing you should be eating.

The solution is to purge your refrigerator and your pantry of any bad foods. You can do this slowly. You don’t have to throw everything out and go buy only healthy food, but it’s not a bad idea.  (This one tip has saved me thousands of calories over the years)

Instead of keeping the fresh fruits and veggies in the crisper, put them in clear containers at eye-level — those will grab your attention when you open the door. It’s also helpful to do a weekly inventory check. Throw out anything that has crept back into your frig that will sabotage your healthy eating habits.

Make it easier to choose something healthy by having nothing but healthy food in your house.  You’ll be amazed how this will keep you eating healthy more often than in the past.  It also may be a less expensive alternative.

 

BONUS TIP – DRINK LOTS OF WATER

Yes you’ve heard that 1,000 times, but it’s SO TRUE!

It’s essential to your health because you’re mostly water to start with. Water is essential to every function in your body and most Americans are not hydrated to the level they should be.

Drinking 64 oz of water a day (yes that’s a lot) can slow aging, help with your diet by suppressing your appetite, give you more energy and give you vibrant skin.

AND MAKE YOU LOOK YOUNGER

Even drinking as little as 24 oz a day can improve your health and, get this, can increase your metabolic rate so you burn more fat naturally. (soda doesn’t count, and you shouldn’t be drinking soda anyway)

Not to mention, that being hydrated can help you fight disease and even cancer.

Water is so important for so many processes in our body and can make us smarter.

Start by drinking 16 oz. the first day for a week.  Then up it to 32 oz. every day for the next week.  AT 64 oz. per day you will start to notice some good changes in your body, mind and spirit…..not to mention starting to scope out where every restroom is in your daily life.

Now a video with 40 tips of how to be healthy and happy.   These are more than just the physical ways to make your life healthier and happier.  Watch and adopt 3 that appeal to you.

https://youtu.be/Kxwi6rkzD9k

SUMMARY

One of the keys to getting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to not take on all of these tips all at once.

Start small — don’t overdo it. Big changes tend to be harder to sustain.  Be the tortoise, not the hare.

Make one small change by choosing one of these 11 tips, and then try another, then another.

Each step along the way, you’ll get used to it and soon, your new habit will become your new normal. No step needs to be very difficult.

See how many of these you can adopt, and you’ll be amazed how your life will change.

What’s the Best Diet To Lose Weight? Find Out Here (5 videos)

This subject is fraught with traps.

Diet is truly a word we all hate.  No one, I repeat, no one wants to be on a diet.  It’s like a ball and chain, an albatross around your neck, a prison you can’t escape. The word itself brings fear into many a heart. Mine included.

And to boot, there are millions of books, articles, and gurus selling their magical solutions to losing weight. You could spend your entire savings on programs to help you lose weight.  It’s a HUGE business.

The SOLUTION is to NOT go on a diet.  The SOLUTION is to develop an eating plan that you enjoy and that is sustainable over the rest of your life.  Sounds like a BIG challenge, but it’s really not.

To start this discussion of what will work to have you lose weight, I’m going to rely on a few trainer friends of mine who are experts and can shed some light on the topic.

 

Here’s one of my favorite YouTube trainers laying out the basics of the best diet to lose weight. Mario spells out the general principles of losing weight and doesn’t spell out an exact diet.  Watch this first. It’ll set the stage for the rest of the discussion in this article.

Watch this first. It’ll set the stage for the rest of the discussion in the rest of the article and videos.

 

 

I can’t help it.  I love this next guy. Aaron tells it like it is and doesn’t pull any punches.   Watch this video to get his take on 5 tips to lose weight.

If you do what he says, you’ll lose weight.

I agree with some of his tips and some I’m not as convinced about some others.  I have done all of these at one time or another.

Watch.  It’s a good education.

(There’s a little bit too much commercial selling in here, so don’t let it turn you off to Aaron and his advice.)

 

This next video is recorded by a strange dude who has some good tips.  They are not your normal tips, and some are really good.  The point is to burn calories by doing fun things.I walked everywhere when I lived in LA, and as a result, it was easy to keep my weight in check.

He’s a big promoter of walking. I walked everywhere when I lived in Atlanta and LA, and as a result, it was easy to keep my weight in check.

Excuse his language, but watch the video and you’ll get some good ideas…….very useful.

 

Here is one of my favorite online trainers and a video that demonstrates the real way to lose weight.  Jeff starts by showing some of the most intense exercises and how many calories each of them burn, and then talks about the REAL way to lose 5 lbs of Fat.

 

 

Another video from Jeff, who in this video dispels 4 myths about weight loss and exercise.  A couple of these I have subscribed to in the past.  I’m learning every day.

Myths and bad advice are hard to kill.

Jeff knows his stuff, has direct experience with everything he talks about, so watch and take his advice seriously.  He’ll help you lose weight.

 

SUMMARY

There you have it – 5 videos that will help you lose weight.

Some of the advice in the videos is common sense, some is from direct experience and some is unexpected.  All is good and worth considering as part of any weight loss program.

I’d like to hear your reaction, experiences with weight loss.  We can all help each other when it comes to complicated topics.  What works for one person may be just the thing you’re looking in your goal of weight loss.

 

What is the Fastest Way to Lose Weight? Get 11 Secrets Here

The topic of weight loss is loaded with misconceptions and myths.

We’re going to explore those here.

We’ll try and shed some light on the subject of weight loss and at the end of this exploration, I hope you’ll leave with some better information about how to lose weight sensibly and efficiently…..even faster.

When you put the term “fastest” in front of “weight loss,” you change the topic a bit.  I have done articles on weight loss and one of the best is here.  But when you talk about discovering the fastest way to lose weight then that changes how we approach the elements of a weight loss program.

We’ve explored this topic before, and it’s complicated, so we’re writing about it again.

 

The first topic to consider is what elements do we have to deal with when trying to lose weight fast.  The first topic that comes to mind is exercise.

IS EXERCISE THE ANSWER?

Let’s start our journey as to the best diet to lose weight by debunking the idea that you can exercise your way to weight loss.  Watch this very informative video.

Okay, now we’ve seen that exercise is not the magic bullet that’s going to give us fast weight loss. So what is?

Now, we’re left with diet and miscellaneous elements.

 

IS IT WHAT I EAT!

I’m gonna detail some of the things you can do with what you eat that will help you lose weight fast. All of these don’t work for everyone, but you’ll find a few that will work for you.

 

1.) Don’t Weigh Yourself  – This is one that is counterintuitive, but you can’t depend on a scale to tell you if you’re successful or not at losing weight.  The best measurement of how you’re doing is your MIRROR.  You want to know how you LOOK, not how much you weigh.

When you start this journey, shed your clothes and take a photo of yourself.  This is your starting point.  Every 2 to 3 weeks, you’re going to do the same thing.  This is what matters – how you look.  Your scale is useless.  Throw it away. It doesn’t tell you how your jeans fit or what your waist size is.

If you’re losing weight and working out at the same time, you may lose fat and gain muscle.  Your scale only knows how much you weigh, not how you look in the mirror.

 

2. Work out – I know we just said that it’s not the nirvana for fast weight loss, but it is definitely a piece of the pie that will help you gain muscle and thus rev up your metabolism.  Muscle burns calories all day and all night long.

The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. You just can’t rely completely on working out to lose weight, but it sure is part of the solution.

 

3. Hire a Personal Trainer – This is a shameless commercial plug for my fellow trainers and myself, but hiring a personal trainer may be just what you need if you’re serious about losing weight.

If you’re not that motivated, don’t know how to get started with a routine and a diet, or simply want to learn how to maximize your gym time, consider hiring a personal trainer.

They can help devise a fitness program to reach your goals while helping you with dietary concerns.  They’re not dieticians but can give you pointers and direction.

A certified personal trainer can be a great way to kick-start your healthy lifestyle or help get you over a weight loss plateau. Scheduling one with a few friends can even keep costs reasonable.  Besides, it’s fun to have friends who can motivate you and make working out fun.

 

4.) Take it Easy At First – One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people make is to start off as though losing weight was a 100 yd dash.  It’s not.  It’s a marathon.

The best advice I ever got, when trying to lose 20 lbs 20 years ago, was to make one healthy habit change/ commitment every week.

They’ll add up and after 26 weeks (half a year) you’ll be incredibly healthy, and you won’t have noticed that you’ve made lots of changes to get you in shape.

Drastic changes don’t stick!

 

5.) Make Changes Every Other Week – You can’t do the same workout week after week, month after month, year after year.

In the same vein, you can’t eat the same boiled chicken and broccoli every night.

You’ve got to have some variety in your workouts and your meals. For an article that might give you some ideas for different exercises to try, go to this page, and for some ideas to change your diet, go to this page.

 

 

6.) Trust Your Body – This is something a lot of people don’t do.

They don’t “listen” to their bodies.  If your body is telling you it’s too tired to work out.  DON’T!!

Mix it up.  Instead of going to the gym, go for a swim, play tennis, play a round of golf or go for a long walk with your spouse.  Try something different.

A mix of activities will keep you interested and keep you motivated.  Doing different workouts and exercises is not only more fun but keeps your body growing.  Your body easily adjusts to almost anything you can throw at it, so you MUST keep changing your workouts to continue to keep going forward.

If your body is telling you it needs an Italian meal with garlic bread, don’t deny yourself once a week. A cheat meal is a necessary part of sticking to a diet and having a healthy lifestyle.  Mentally, you need it.  Just don’t make every meal a cheat meal.  🙂

 

7.) Do What You LIke/Eat What You Like – This is related to #6 above.  Don’t do exercises that you don’t like.  You won’t do them for very long and thus sabotage your program.

Don’t eat food you hate.  It may be healthy, but if you hate it, you won’t eat it for very long.

This is a life time commitment, so you MUST find the exercises and workouts that you like and you MUST eat foods that you like and will continue to eat.

For a long time, I would use the stand-up back row machine.  I hated it and finally discovered that there was a myriad of exercises just as good and ones that I liked to do.

STOP doing exercises you hate.

For years, I would force myself to eat broccoli.  I really don’t like it and so I’ve found many other dark green fibrous vegetables that are just as good for me……Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Spinach, etc.  Don’t eat what you hate because you think it’s healthy.

Don’t eat what you hate because you think it’s healthy.

 

8.) Stop Eating Sugar and Carbs–  These are the foods that stimulate secretion of insulin the most. If you didn’t know already, insulin is the main fat storage hormone in the body.  It’s not just the calories.  It’s what it does to your body.

When your insulin level goes down, fat has an easier time getting fat out of the fat stores, and the body starts burning fats instead of carbs.

Another benefit of lowering insulin is that your kidneys shed excess sodium and water out of your body, which reduces bloat and unnecessary water weight.

It is not uncommon to lose up to 10 pounds in the first week of eating this way, both body fat and water weight.

 

9.) Eat Lots Of Protein – The importance of eating a lot of protein is good for you, especially if you work out or exercise regularly.

Eating protein has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day.  This will help immensely in your weight loss goals.

High protein diets can also reduce obsessive cravings for certain foods, reduce your late-night snacking, and make you feel full so that you automatically eat fewer calories per day… just by adding protein to your diet.

It’s a must element in your weight loss program.  I know I eat much fewer calories because of the amount of protein that I eat.

When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients.

 

10.) Drink LOTS of Water – I know you’ve heard this a HUNDRED times, but there’s a reason you’ve heard it over and over again.  It will help you lose weight and it will make you healthier overall.

And if you drink a big glass of water before every meal, it’ll help curb your appetite, you’ll eat less, and this will help with your weight loss goals.

 

 

11.) Don’t Eat Anything Processed –  If it comes in a can or a package, it’s probably not something that is good for you. Processed food has high levels of sugar and preservatives, neither of which you should be ingesting into your body.

 

SUMMARY

So there you have it, …an overview of what it takes to lose weight “fast,” which we’ve kinda debunked.  It’s not possible in the amount of time that you’d like to think….like weeks.

Now, you can make definite strides in losing weight in a month or two, but it’s not an overnight feat. You’ve gotta be motivated and strict to lose weight fast.

I’d appreciate your comments below.   This website works best when people share their experiences.

 

Why Lift Heavy? 4 Videos That Reveal The Truth.

Looking to get stronger? A new study, just released suggests the amount of weight you lift makes all the difference in your body and look.

There were two groups in the test.  One group lifted 30% of their 1-rep maximum and the other group lifted 80% of their 1-rep maximum.

They found that both groups saw similar growth in muscle size—but the heavier weight group saw a larger increase in their muscle strength. In fact, the guys that did heavier lifting increased their 1-rep maximum strength by about 15 pounds more than those who lifted lighter.

The results also showed that lifting heavy may actually help you better activate the cells that transmit electrical signals to your muscles and the muscle fibers those cells supply nerves to.

 

The following four (4) videos are perspectives from four different professional trainers with similar opinions, but different outlooks and approaches.

They’ll make the point I’ve made all along.  It’s best to lift heavy………and light.   🙂

 

Here’s one of my favorite trainers giving you five reasons why you need to lift heavy.

 

Here’s Jeff’s counter argument for doing both heavy and light training.  He believes you have to do both. He believes that you NEED to do both.  He explains why.

He’s a smart guy and details all the reasons for both training techniques.  I rely on him for advice in many areas of fitness and strength training.

 

 

I’m a big fan of Vince Del Monte.  Here he spells out his take on the light vs. heavy weight training.  I trust his opinion and have gone through his workout program and found it very valuable.  He’s a trusted source of information.

 

 

Here’s another well-respected trainer, Mike Chang, describing his personal experience with light and heavy lifting and how he discovered that doing both works best for him.

 

SUMMARY

So, were those videos helpful?

They were for me. I’ve heard that debate about heavy vs. light for so many years.  I’d read one article that espouses only lifting heavy.  Then, I’d read an article saying you’ll never gain any muscle size by lifting only heavy.

I’d read one article that would espouse only lifting heavy.  Then, I’d read an article saying you’ll never gain any muscle size by lifting only heavy…..only strength.

Now, I know that I need both.  I think Mike Chang gave a clear, down-to-earth explanation based on his real-life experience.

It would be cool if you’d post your personal experience in the comments below. I’d love to know the real-life experiences of some of our readers/watchers.

Post your comments and I’ll reply.

Thanks and see you at the gym.