I think every Fitness Friday is going to include a nutrition article, since nutrition is just about everything when it comes to changing body composition. You can't out train a bad diet.
The best ab exercises? Think Big Lifts- Bracing with your core on big lifts like squats and deadlifts do more for your core muscles than a million crunches. Core was meant to stabilize and thats exactly what it'll do during your big lifts.
Eat Smart, Get your Vitamins- Make sure you are getting all your vitamins and minerals. Any deficiency in any of them could hinder muscle gains or fat loss.
If you're wondering how I find these articles, most of them are posted by other people that I follow, either on facebook or twitter. Some I just happen to come across. I don't always find what i read informative, but when i do, i pass it on.
Knowledge is power
Get Primal!! Get Crawling!!
Bear Crawls 50 ft
Bodyweight Rows, Prisoner Squats 10
Dog Crawls 50 ft
Rows, Squats 15
Crab Walks 50 ft
Rows, Squats 20
Spiderman/Tiger Crawls 50 ft
Rows, Squats 15
Ape Crawls 50 ft
Rows Squats 10
Repeat as many times as you want. 3-4 is a good place to start.
Finish it off with a 3 round mini circuit of 15 reps per exercise for a little "cardio" Finish as fast as you can.
Mountain Jumpers (15 each leg, total of 30)
Ice skaters (15 each leg, total of 30)
Just some tips to help you on your journey towards better health.
1. There is no one diet that is the best or will work the best for everyone.
Everyone is different and their body chemistry is different. Use your own body as your guide and let your results tell you whether or not you’re doing what’s best for you. Always pay attention to what your body tells you, NOT what somebody else is doing.
2. The best way to measure your fat loss is by using a mirror!
The scale is just a number. Seriously if the scale is your #1 concern, move to the moon, the effects of gravity are different. How you look and feel is always more important than numbers. Body measurements and taking pictures are also a good way to track progress, but if you look good then you look good and it doesn’t matter what the scale says.
3. Omega 3’s are your friend.
Salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts and fish oil are a good part of your daily meal plans. The difference with and without them is incredible!
4. You can't out exercise bad nutrition.
Your workouts are 20-30% of the fat loss equation and nutrition is 70-80%. If you’re exercising regularly and not seeing fat loss results, you must make an adjustment to your nutrition.
5. Cheat days or an off day here and there are a good addition to the fat loss equation.
Take one day out of the week and eat whatever you like without going overboard. Not only will it give you a metabolism boost but it is a great mental break. The mental break is probably more important that the physical break this will give you as you don't go crazy on restricting yourself. But remember, don't go overboard.
6. Stop eating processed crap. Stick with the basics.
Fill your day with natural proteins, fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and healthy fats.
7. Fat loss is not only about what you eat and how you train but also about the thoughts you have each day.
Positive thoughts breed positive behavior and positive results. The same is true for negative thoughts and attitudes. Ive always said this. Stay positive, no matter what. You reap what you sow.
8. Working out is not just about the exercises you do at the gym.
Get outside and exercise. Its cold now, but there are lots of things to do. Snowboarding, ice skating. Find something you enjoy and get out there and do it.
9. Find some sort of social support system. A friend or a group of friends with a common goal will almost always succeed.
Telling someone, or going on the health journey with someone holds you accountable to them. Accountability is key. Exercising with a friend is even better as you have someone that will push you more than you would push yourself. I see this when I train people together in pairs or groups. There starts to be a mini competition.
Enjoy these tips. Hopefully you will use at least some of them.
The fitness industry sucks. I see way too much stupidity and lies working in a gym. It seems to me that the "big box gyms" don't care about you. These gyms are out for one thing, and one thing only.
The fitness industry is a billion dollar business because of it.
There's only one problem when you make the investment in your own health, gyms aren't there to assist you in your journey. They could care less. Even when you walk in to a gym, the tour is just a walk through the gym, show off some of the fancy machines, never fully going into detail, just vague enough that maybe you'll sign up and see what its all about. Tours could be so much more specific to what the prospect wants. Oh you want to strength train, here's our weight section. Interested in personal training, here's some of our trainers at work. Then there is the problem of not even knowing certain types of equipment. Trust me, Ive heard tons of it, and some times not even related to what the equipment is used for. For instance, the TRX is a band used for stretching, which sure it can be used for stretching, but its not a band and its a bodyweight strength training. SO when sales staff doesn't even know the equipment, it makes it hard to sell.
They don't care about your health, they don't care whether you reach your goals or not. They probably don't even know what you are looking to accomplish.
Gyms aren't too concerned whether or not you know what to do while you're there.
Gyms are actually counting on you buying your membership and then never showing up again.
The sales people are just that, sales people. They will say anything to get that sale, as they have #'s to hit every day. Usually these people work on commission so its important to get people in the door, signed up, and then out the door. They'll make promises to members that only serve what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. To them you're just a number, there's no personal, emotional connection. Its faceless most of the time.
Once you're signed up, that's it. Off you go into the "gym world" without any sort of guidance. It's like a kid in a candy store. "Here are all these toys and machines, go at it, but don't come back to us."
That's one of the main problems, there is no guidance once you step foot in the gym, unless you are willing to take up personal training. However, that may or may not be a wise choice. You have no idea what you're getting when you hire a trainer. You could be getting some 18 year old kid who has no idea what he's doing, or getting someone with a masters degree in exercise science. Who knows(insert PT regulation rant).
I cant tell you how many times Ive seen members of a gym doing all sorts of crazy things, crazy exercises, terrible form, dangerous movements, poor movements. Box jumps because it looks cool, only to realize, one you don't know how to jump, and two you don't know how to land. So it ends up looking terrible and cringe worthy.
Or my biggest pet peeve, people doing kettlebell swings like they are just doing front shoulder raises with a lumbar hyper-extension. Drives me freakin nuts. No one takes the time to properly learn, they just go out and do. You know what ends up happening? Either people get hurt, in which case they stop going to the gym, or they get bored, in which case they stop going to the gym.
Which brings me to the lack of education that gyms present their members. It would be super easy to hold seminars, or educational classes so members could learn something. Bring in a nutritionist, or have one of the trainers hold a class on the benefits of anything related to exercise. Interval training, foam rolling, stretching, etc. There limits to what you can teach your members is endless. Why have them get all their info from Shape magazine, teach them! An educated member is a good member, and if they learn from you, chances are they will tell other people.
Then there are all the classes that gyms offer. Spin, zumba, yoga, etc. Then there are the "strength" classes where people(95% women) lift 5-8lb weights thinking they are getting stronger. Sure maybe you will initially due to a neurological adaptation, but eventually you need to lift things heavier than your pocketbook. So these classes tote benefits that you may not even see because you don't test your body enough.
Then there are the constant "fusion" classes, where they mix anything that could remotely go together, or even things that don't go together. Like spinning, and doing curls with a weight at the same time. Mix anything together, call it a fusion and market it like hell. Boom!! Instant attraction. Guarantee that the first few classes are stacked, then they fall off till you create the next awesome fusion.
Or better yet, create a "hula hoop" class or a trampoline class and market the hell out of it. Sure everyone wants to hula hoop or jump up and down on a trampoline. But who knows why you're doing it. Its just something new and fun. Not that I'm saying having fun in the gym is a bad thing, but it needs to also serve a purpose.
Gym time should equal fun time, but also be goal oriented. It shouldn't be a chore, or something you "have" to do. It should be something you want to do and look forward to doing.
Are you as tired as I am of this type of gym culture?
I know I am.
You should be a person, not just another number in the computer. You should matter.
"Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up, but you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength, and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse."
I always loved this song. This was one of the last few songs I had on when I was gearing up for a race. Probably a few minutes before I knew I would be hitting the blocks, Id crank this song and be pumped up and ready to rock. Now it has become a part of my daily workout playlist. Usually towards the end of my warm-up and leading into my biggest lifts of the day.
Do you give up when you're weak or tired? Or do you push through and never quit?
Workout for the weekend
Cardio-Squat-Row-Pushup-Crawl Ladder Workout
60 second Jump Rope/Sprint/shuffle
10 TRX/Inverted Row
60 second Cardio
8 Squats, Row, Pushup
60 second Cardio
6 Squat, Row, Pushup
60 second Cardio
4 Squat, Row, Pushup
60 second Cardio
2 Squat, Row, Pushup
Dragons/Spidermans/Cougar Crawls(these come with many names)
As my clients say: Done Done!!
If you're feeling up to it, climb back up the ladder, or even change up the #'s for a harder or easier workout.
Trying to get the flat stomach? Starts with doing a lot more than crunches. First of all, it starts in the kitchen. Seeing your abs, or getting that "6 pack" starts with a low body fat percentage. Quit dreaming of having that flat stomach if you're not willing to change your diet. It is not gonna happen.
What do I always say? You cant out train a bad diet.
1) Odds are crunches aren't working for you now, and didn't in the past, so why would they work in the future? It's time to give them up for good. You know the old saying about insanity? It's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Time to change it up!
2) Crunches are most dangerous when they are most effective. When you are overweight, there can be a lot of resistance on the abs when you do crunches - and technically that is good...HOWEVER, because your ab and low back muscles are weak, that's when you use bad form and end up with a pain-in-the-neck or low back pain from crunches. So even though crunches can work your abs as a beginner, they end up causing more harm than good.
3) On the other hand, crunches get LESS effective as you get leaner and fitter, because there is less resistance on the muscle and you're now too strong to get anything out of crunches.
Here's a dramatic demonstration of what I mean. Take your left arm and extend it out to your side. Now clench your fist and do 20 biceps curls. Did that really work your biceps? And will that make your arms lean? Of course not, so why would the same high-rep method of crunches work for your abs?
4) Men's Health magazine made a big deal about a research study proving you would need to do 22,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of belly fat. Twenty thousand!
Even a "crunch fanatic" would need a few days to do 20,000 crunches. Better off going with planks, side planks and even adding in a ball or a TRX to intensify the exercise.
5) If you look at Olympic sprinters or MMA fighters I bet they don't do any crunches. They rely on rotational exercises and extensions(supermans). Along with stability exercises. I was a high level sprinter, and I don't remember doing a lot if any crunches along the way.
6) Back to Olympic sprinters, most of what they do is interval training. Intense sprints done over and over again. As a 110 hurdler, 200m, 400m sprinter my workouts varied throughout the year. Some workouts tested my stamina (doing 400,500,600m intervals), some workouts tested speed or acceleration(100,150,200). I probably hated every second of these workouts, but my times were great so who was I to complain. I was in the sickest shape when I was sprinting every day, or doing plyos. Man, I miss my days of track from my college years.
7) Want a better way to make your "abs" strong? Do exercises with offset weight. What I mean is, do lunges with weight in one hand, or farmers walks, squats, deadlifts. Do it with a heavy enough weight and your abs will be working a lot. Or better yet, find trainers that know how to use ViPR's and they can manipulate the ViPR in ways that will make your "abs" work overtime.
8) Lastly, crunches don't make your abs "pop." Do a plank or a side plank and watch your abs pop out.
Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn't formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them. Lee Haney
The goal of a workout shouldn't be to make you sore or make you exhausted. It should be to build you up, make you better, stronger, healthier. Don't look at exercise as punishment. Look at it as something to enrich your life. Stimulate your body, your mind and you will be better for it.