Thursday, July 29, 2010

Top pre-workout foods

No matter what your doing in the gym you need to make sure you are eating the right foods to maximize your results and performance. Because glucose is the preferred energy source for most activities, I would recommend eating foods that are high in carbs and easy to digest. Complex carbs are best since they take a longer time to digest and therefore will give your body long lasting energy without the crash effect.

Protein is also important in order to help your body deliver amino acids into the muscle tissue. . Working out after breakfast or lunch would be fine as long as either of those meals did not include too much fat. But if your workout falls somewhere between meals and you need a quick energy source before throwing around some weight or hitting the bike then try out one of these below.

1. Trail mix-any kind and any mixture is ok, just make sure it is high quality and not loaded with sugars and preservatives. The dried fruit will provide you with natural sugar and the quick energy surge you will need and the nuts will give prevent your insulin from dropping. Trail mix is a great source of phosphorous which promotes muscle growth and provides energy.

2. Fruit-the best choices are bananas, apples and grapes. Bananas are very digestible and the high levels of potassium will help maintain proper muscular function during your workout

3. Energy bar- There are tons of options out there so just make sure to pick a bar that has low sugars, higher carbs and protein. Powerbar, Gatorade bars, Cliff bars all are good options. Energy bars do not absorb as quick as gels but they are loaded with nutrients.

4. Protein shake with fruit- Some like to drink this post-workout but it is also an option pre-workout

5. Yogurt-The magnesium can give you an energy kick and the protein will aid as well. Go for greek yogurt

6. Oatmeal-Helps you with lasting energy throughout the whole workout and is loaded with Vitamin B which can help convert carbs into energy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why celebrities get in shape and you dont!

Everyone always wants to know how their favorite celeb gained 10 pounds of muscle for their upcoming action flick, or how the bombshell actress lost 20 pounds after she had her baby..blah...blah..blahhhh. It is simple, they did it with HARD FREAKING WORK! They had a goal and went after it and totally dominated. Yes, it is that simple to achieve your goals if you focus and make it a priority like celebrities do. Now, I do realize that they can hire a full time trainer, chef, nutritionist and everything and trust me that does help but it comes down to working hard. There is no secret training formula that J-Lo uses or shocking new diet that Ryan Reynolds used to get lean, its hard work. Next time you want to reach your fitness goals, work hard and put some pressure on yourself to go after it! Take this advice and you can be looking like your favorite celeb.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bigger arms! Gain one inch in one day!

Check out this article from Muscle and Fitness Magazine that an old professor of mine wrote. I have tried this myself and it does work. This is not something you can attempt all the time because of the intensity and workload of the routine however. Read up!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

H4 fat burner # 13- E.R Training 2 ( extreme range training)

I originally posted my first E.R training workout two months ago so you can check out the first one if you want another version of this type training. The benefit of this routine is you get to take advantage of both high rep training and low rep training. High rep training will burn more calories while the low rep training will build some muscle and boosts your metabolism in the long term. For the higher reps you should use a light load and then for the lower reps a heavier load should be used.

Bent over row with barbell ( head resting on a incline bench )- 6 reps
Speed body weight squats ( move fast! )- 15 reps
* Do 4 rounds without resting

Alternating front lunges- 6 reps each leg
Standing lateral dumbbell shoulder raises-15 reps
* Do 4 rounds without resting

Reverse grip lat pulldown ( palms face you )-6 reps
Close grip tricep press-15 reps
* Do 4 rounds without resting

Barbell Deadlift- 6 reps
Jackknives ( Burpees )-10 reps
*Do 3 rounds without resting

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reasons why you cant lose fat

1. You are overestimating how much calories you burn- everyone always assumes they are burning tons of calories every time they grab a weight or step on a treadmill. Your average person does low intensity cardio which burns about 6 calories a minute or 1080 calories if you do about 45 minutes of cardio 4x a week. 1080 calories is equal to a fast food burger, fries and medium drink. This means that one cheat meal will make your cardio for the whole week insignificant. You must do high intensity cardio and resistance training to burn the most possible calories.

2. Your underestimating how much you eat-classic fault is that many people think they don't eat as bad as they do. If you were eating good you wouldn't have an issue with losing fat. The best thing to do is to keep track of your daily eating with a site that lets you do this for free. Remember to be honest with yourself!

3. You starve yourself- So its simple right just don't eat and the fat will melt away, right? WRONG! Starving yourself will slow your metabolism and burn away muscle stripping you of your best two fat
burning machines.

4. You think you eat " healthy"- Things in the store are not what they appear to be. Just because it says low fat doesn't mean it is healthy. Usually brands will decrease the fat and increase the salt or sugar. Pay attention to all the ingredients and don't just buy into the labels on the front. Eating whole foods that are unprocessed is your best bet.

5. Your inconsistent with everything- working out really hard for two days is great but if you follow that will a week off then you will go nowhere. Having 3 days of eating very healthy lunches but then having pizza for dinner on each of those nights does you no good. Your workouts and your diet need to be consistent. If you do not maintain consistency you will never make strides in losing fat and reaching your goals.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Double combo for biceps

Start off by doing incline dumbbell bicep curls. Start with your arms to your sides and your palms facing your thighs. Now alternate arms and twist your palm as you curl the weight up so your palm is facing the ceiling when at the top. Do up to 8 reps but no more. You should use a weight that you could get 10 reps with. After finishing the 8, rest for 30 seconds and pick up the same weights and curl as many reps as you can. This time though curl the weight up at the same time. Now rest for 1 minute and move on to a chin-up bar. From here do as many chin-ups as you can but don't exceed 15. Now rest for 30 seconds and try to pump out a couple more reps. Rest for 1 minute and start back over with the dumbbell incline curls.

Incline dumbbell alternating curls- 8 reps at most

30 sec rest

Incline dumbbell curls with both arms at the same time-to failure

Rest 1 minute

Chin-ups- as many as you can without exceeding 15

30 sec

Chin-ups- to failure

Rest 1 minute and repeat starting at the beginning. Do 1-2 more total rounds.

Fat Loss- Listen up! Weight training trumps cardio

Everyone seems to have this sense that weight training equals heavy bulky muscles and cardio equals weight loss. Most of the time this is how every women thinks and believes it like the bible. Society, magazines, tv and numerous other things have shaped our belief that cardio is king when it comes to fat loss. The two go hand in hand, you want to lose weight then do cardio. Ask someone what they are going to do to lose weight and they will tell you that they need to start doing more cardio. Can all these people be wrong? The answer is YES!

Cardio burns calories and will help you lose weight but it is not the best method. If you are looking to achieve something wouldn't you want to do it with the most efficient and best way possible? Well of course you would, so then why are you doing nothing but cardio. Weight training helps maintain lean muscle which elevates your metabolism allowing you to burn calories at rest. Weight training causes something known as Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC for short. EPOC is essentially a post exericse increase in enegry or fuel consumption, which also can be characterized as an increase in metabolism. Cardio will burn calories while your working out and then that is it. Weight training will burn calories both while working out and multiple hours afterward! Take a look at some of these studies that prove the above points
  • 1999 study compared a resistance training and aerobic training program with a very low-calorie liquid diet and looked at it’s effects on lean muscle and resting metabolism. Both groups lost the same amount of weight but the resistance training group lost significantly more fat and did not lose any lean muscle. Additionally, the resistance training group actually increased metabolism compared to the aerobic group which decreased metabolism.

  • Another study from the same year assigned overweight subjects to three groups: Diet Only, Diet plus aerobics or Diet plus aerobics plus weight training. The Diet-only group lost 14 lbs of fat in 12 weeks but when they added in the aerobic program – that group lost only one more pound than the diet group.However the Weight Training group lost 21 lbs of fat in the same time frame.

  • A 1992 paper compared 40 mins of high intensity aerobic training, a circuit-training routine and a heavy weight-training routine. The heavy weight training and circuit routines both burned more calories post workout than the aerobic routine.

  • Another group of researchers compared the short term EPOC effect of two resistance training modalities: A standard weight training program using 80% of RM (3 x 6, six exercises, two minutes rest between sets) and a circuit based weight training program using 50% RM (3 x 10-12 reps, six exercises – 30s between sets). The total work volume was similar.However the circuit training group had a bigger EPOC effect. Basically – there were more calories burned with the shorter, lighter workout – probably because minute for minute the actual workload (or density) was higher in the circuit group.

  • A paper from 1994 showed that resistance training resulted in a higher post workout metabolic increase than aerobic exercise.

  • A study published in 2005 compared a treadmill workout and circuit weight training at the same intensity and found a higher increase in calories burned post workout with the circuit group. In other words – despite working at the exact same effort level – a circuit training model burned more calories overall than treadmill exercise.

  • A 1997 study looked at two groups over 8 weeks – a strength training group and an aerobic training group (both workouts were designed to burn the exact same amount of calories Both groups followed the same diet and lost the same total amount of weight – 19.8lbs However the strength training group lost significantly more fat and maintained more muscle than the aerobic group.

  • A 2003 review from Norway noted that “Little is known about the mechanisms underlying EPOC after resistance exercise.”"The relationships between the intensity and duration of resistance exercise and the magnitude and duration of EPOC have not been determined, but a more prolonged and substantial EPOC has been found after hard versus moderate resistance exercise” – basically there is a longer, bigger post-workout elevation with heavier training

So don't go and completely drop your cardio work, just make sure you make weight training a big part of your program for the best results. Check out some of my H4 fat burner workouts which are routines that use weight training in a high pace manor.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monster Mindset-sticking to your routine without excuses!

Mindset is so important when talking about working out. Matter of fact mindset is important in every aspect of daily life. When you set out to accomplish something you must have the right mindset to achieve it else you fail. Every time you walk into that gym bring that mindset and don't let outside factors such as your personal life, job or family put a stranglehold on your mindset for that period of time in the gym. Either bring it, or go home! Below are some ways to help you stay on track.

1. Have a reason- Don't just workout to workout, have a reason for why you show up and why you bust your butt for 60 minutes. Give yourself a real reason why you workout and paint that vivid picture in your mind on what you expect to get out of this. When the training gets tough and you want to quit, having that mindset of why your fighting for that last rep will really help.

2. Mark down your workout time on your calender- Your workout time is YOU time. This is an important time for yourself so make sure you specifically make a note everyday for when you will be working out. If you put it down on paper you will treat it of importance just like you would a meeting or work related event.

3. Have goals- Short term and long term are nice to have. Simple goals like show up and leave the gym without quiting is a nice start. Then focus on small things like an increase in weight, or 2 more minutes on the bike, or a faster sprint. Hitting your goals will keep you excited and striving forward.

4. Tell the masses- Let friends and family and co-workers know what you are doing. I know some people like to keep things private, but if everyone knows what your trying to achieve they can help you stay on track and keep you accountable.

5. Workout with a partner- This creates accountability. You can push and motivate one another and be there for support.

6. Build momentum- This is huge in my opinion. Don't sit around and talk about what your going to do, get up and take action! Once you get the ball rolling and start working out on a regular basis you start to build momentum and then look out! Momentum is a wonderful thing and once you get it you will be amazed and how it changes your workouts and your mindset.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bigger triceps with this routine

1)Barbell close grip half and quarter presses- 1 set of 5 reps each

rest 60 seconds and repeat 5 more times

** Lie on a flat bench with a spotter right behind you. Take the weight off the rack and let the bar go half way to the bottom, stop and go all the way up. This equals one rep, do this for 5 reps. As soon as you do 5 reps, let the weight go just a quarter of the way down from the top and back up again. Do 5 reps.

2)Seated overhead rope extensions- 1 set of 6 reps

rest 60-90 seconds and repeat 3-4 more times

**Place an upright bench with a back facing away from a cable pulley machine. Put the rope attachment at the bottom of the machine. Count for 6 seconds on the way up with the rope, pause for 2 seconds at the top while extending the rope fully. Finish by lowering the rope for 6 seconds.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Time under tension training for the pecs

A great method to get your muscles to grow is to keep tension on it. Try this routine to shake up your typically workout. Use the basic dumbbell chest press. Make sure you have a spot because this can get dangerous. Use a 5 second count as you press the weight up. Take a quick pause at the top and then use a 5 second count on the way down. Once at the bottom hold it for a 2 second pause. This would be just one rep. Trust me, the hardest part is the way up.

Dumbell chest press- 1 set of 6 reps

rest 90 seconds, do 2-3 more sets