Archive | October, 2015

Why Cardio Is Bad For You

If you fallen for the hype and propaganda marketing campaign from fitness clubs, cardio equipment manufacturers, shoe companies, bike companies, and health magazines that say all you need to do to lose weight is engage in long, drawn out cardio exercise. Run, bike, or use the latest gadget X amount of time a week for so many minutes per day and you’ll be fit, happy and sexy in no time at all, right?

Wrong!

This is why cardio is bad for you. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, increases the heart rate, and does help you lose weight. But like any repetitive exercise your body adapts and you plateau, your weight loss stops, you don’t sweat as much, you don’t burn off as many calories as when you first started and to top it off you begin to lose lean muscle mass.

So running 5 miles a day or spending an hour long workout on that latest gadget can be detrimental to your fitness goals. Those long drawn out cardio exercises actually do more harm than good, but the advertisers want you to believe those sexy models with the hard bodies wearing that new brand of shoes, pouring sweat with a smile on their face will convey cardio is good for all your troubles.

You want to exercise to get in shape, to get healthy not gain weight or slow down your fitness goals to a dead stop. The cardio plateau comes from traditional types of cardiovascular exercise such as running, biking, jazzercise, and tread climbers.

Interval cardio is a much better exercise routine, not only does it prevent cardio plateau it helps you continue to burn calories long after your workout is over on top of burning twice as many calories as traditional cardio. An interval is just as the name implies, at intervals during your cardio routine, pick up the pace with short burst of intensity, your maximum capacity from 20 seconds to a minute. During long distances runs break out into sprints, on the tread climber pick up the intensity for a minute, then back down. Applied with resistance training you’ll develop lean sexy muscles and maintain them.

Now for the key to cardio intervals, 2 times a week is the maximum. Cardio alone isn’t the end all cure all. You need resistance training to balance out the cardio otherwise your body will become stressed from the constant cardio, and a stressed body produces stress hormones, – hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which make it impossible to burn fat.

So yes too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

Tradition cardio is bad for you; it can prevent weight loss, and can lead to muscle loss. Interval cardio is better for you; it prevents cardio plateau, keeps your body burning calories and can be inserted into any existing cardio program. Intervals will put that smile on your face during a workout, because you now know the secret, but feel free to tell everyone you know.

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Muscle Building Diet – Nutrition Guidelines In Order To Gain Muscle Mass

In order to maximize your weight gains in the gym, you need to maintain a strict muscle building diet. In fact, even if you lift a ton at the gym, it will amount to nothing if you don’t eat right.

So what does a muscle building diet contain?

Here are some basic guidelines:

1. The key to muscle building nutrition is that you need to create a calorie surplus in order to gain muscle mass. The biggest mistake people make is to try to lose weight and build muscle tissue at the same time. It doesn’t work that way. Muscle tissue weighs a lot and requires calories in order to build. So the 1st thing you need to remember is that you basically need to eat a lot.

2. Muscle Building diets are basically made up of 3 macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fats. Here are the basic ratios of each macronutrients:

  • Protein – 30%-60%
  • Carbs – 30-60%
  • Fat – 20-30%

The exact proportion of the 3 macronutrients differ for each person and depend on your present goals. For instance, if you’re looking to build muscle and cut fat at the same time, you should aim for less fat in your diet. If you aim to gain the most weight fast, go for a higher dose of protein and carbs.

Good sources for each of the 3 food groups are:

Protein – fish, chicken, turkey, and egg whites

Carbs – Whole flour paste, whole wheat bread, wild rice, cereals.

Fats – Olive oil, coconut oil, flax seeds, nuts, almonds, and seeds

3. Breaking your meals down – The 3rd basic guideline of a great muscle building diet is to break down your meals into smaller ones. If you want to bulk up, you can’t settle for 3 meals each day, no matter how big they are. In fact, eating too large meals is bad because our body can only handle a certain amount of food at the same time. A much better course to take is to break your daily calorie intake into 6 small meals. In this way, your body will be able to utilize the nutrients you put into it in a much better way, and you will also feel much more energetic.

There’s a lot more to creating the perfect muscle building diet. However, these 3 guidelines are a good place to start.

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Home Training – Cardio Workout Tips

Whether preparing for an upcoming show, or just trying to keep body fat low, cardiovascular training is an important part of all bodybuilders’ routines. When trying to add mass, cardio should be done at a minimum, but for health reasons it should never be completely deleted. Cardio strengthens the cardiovascular and respiratory system, and gives you a stronger heart and lungs.

It’s often hard to get to the gym four or five times per week to train with weights. It’s even harder to make the trip 5 times a week for cardio, especially if you (wisely) decide to do cardio training in the morning to burn the most body fat, performed on an empty stomach upon waking. For these situations, a home cardio solution is a great idea. But which works best? Let’s examine the options.

Walking or running

This it the easiest option – put on shoes, open the door, and go for it. Cost is free, and it can be done anytime. However, drawbacks do exist. Weather can prevent you from running – it’s very hard to spend 45 minutes in the elements when it’s ten below zero, or a sweltering 90 degrees. Also if you live in a bad neighborhood, utilizing a predictable walking schedule might make you a target.

Exercise bike

This is a favorite of many due to the low-impact nature of the movement, as well as the fact you can very easily watch television while training. Time does pass quickly on a stationary bike. One drawback is the low intensity nature of the machine. It cannot deliver the same kind of full body workout as other machines.

Elliptical

Elliptical machines are very popular in gyms, but less popular for homes due to their size (big), weight (heavy) and cost ($500 and up for a quality machine). They are very effective for full body workouts.

Rowing machine

This very effective piece of equipment suffers from the same fate as the elliptical. It is highly effective for cardiovascular purposes, but also large and expensive. If you have the space and can afford it, a rower is a terrific investment.

Stationary stepper

This small piece of equipment is available for under $50, and it is used by a surprising number of athletes. It’s the size of a shoebox and provides no upper body balance, but it is easily stored and used, and provides full ability to walk or run using very little space.

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How Do You Add Intensity to Your Muscle and Fitness Workouts?

Are you not sure if you are doing your muscle and fitness training the right way? A common difficulty that a muscle builder experience is if each muscle has been trained optimally as it was meant to be during a certain exercise. It’s only by achieving this that you can gain muscle mass maximally.

So, what is the solution? The solution is simple; increase your exercise intensity. This way your training will always be challenging and the motivation this will cause will ensure progress over time and the likelihood of regression will be reduced.

Now, what do we mean in tangible terms when we tell you to intensify your workout? Below we have outlined 8 proven methods of intensifying your muscle training exercises. Use them one by one or combine them in any thinkable way:

1. Change or Modify the Workout

The method will train all muscle fibers and thus ensure maximum muscle gain. This can be accomplished by modifying a certain exercise by changing angel, perform slower or faster etc., or simply add a new exercise to your workout session.

2. Reduce Intervals of Rest

When you reduce the rest intervals between the reps of one exercise or between each exercise the workout intensity will automatically increase.

3. Resistance Increase

If you push your muscle beyond its previous point of failure by increasing the weight lifted, the intensity will increase. Your goal should be to increase the weight when you reach six to eight reps without failure.

4. Employ Forced Repetitions

Forced reps mean doing one or more final repetitions after the point of failure has occurred.

Don’t attempt to do this without the assistance of an experienced helper.

5. Pre-Exhaustion Training

If an exercise involves more than one muscle, the weakest muscle will make it impossible to work the primary muscle to failure. A good way to come around this problem is to exercise only the primary muscle first and then immediately move to another workout that trains the set of muscles to failure.

6. Use Isometric Contradictions

With isometric contractions we simply mean to hold the weight still at the point of failure. This way a static contraction is stimulated in the muscle.

7. Partial Repetitions

At the point of failure you are not capable to do the full range of movement in a certain workout. A technique that can still work your muscles beyond the point of failure is partial repetitions, which only uses a segment of the lift. This technique – especially used by advanced bodybuilders – prevents you from over training because you don’t have to add extra routines to increase intensity.

8. Superset Training

Superset training means performing two workouts for the same muscle group and without a rest between the workouts.When you have to utilize different muscle fibers greater growth in your muscle mass will be stimulated.

Implement these techniques in your muscle and fitness exercise regimen and you will feel more and more confident and end up doing the right things to maximize the growth of your muscles.

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Cardio Workout Plans – HIIT Vs LSD

Interval training (also called HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training) is a very popular cardio workout plan right now. It’s pretty much the polar opposite of LSD – Long Slow Distance.

HIIT is short and ultra intense – like sprinting would be. LSD, on the other hand, is much longer and done much slower – like jogging might be.

Scientific studies have shown that intervals are much more effective than LSD. It gives you many of the same benefits that LSD does, in just a short amount of time. And it gives you many other benefits that LSD doesn’t.

Basically, LSD is just aerobic training, meaning that it’s an activity that the body produces energy to perform with oxygen. Or in other words, you’re not breathing that hard. Interval training, on the other hand, is anaerobic training, meaning it’s an activity that the body produces energy to perform without oxygen. Or in other words, you are breathing hard.

LSD training increases your aerobic capabilities. Makes sense. Intervals, however, increase anaerobic capabilities (which again, makes sense) *and* aerobic capabilities. You’re getting two for the price of one.

HIIT has also shown very beneficial to losing fat, as at the end of a workout, your metabolism stays “jacked up” for a number of hours afterward.

But there is a major problem with HIIT though – it has to be super, super hard. If you’re not putting the proper intensity (which is 100%, balls-to-the-wall, you’re gonna have an arm chopped off if you don’t work hard enough kinda intense) into this cardio workout plan, then you’re going to get less than mediocre results.

This is because volume and intensity are inversely proportional in cardio workout plans. You can go long and slow, or short and hard. But you can’t go long and hard. Nobody ever sprinted a marathon…

But say you do your interval training at a low intensity. Now you’re slow and short – worst of both worlds.

So, how can you make sure that you’re not wasting your time, and still take advantage of the benefits of interval training?

Easy – just pick out intense activities, and perform them at a medium volume. This could include playing various sports, or better yet, heavy circuit-style weight training.

It will be a version of interval training, in that it’ll be shorter bursts of highly intense activity. However, since the cardio activity won’t be at 100% intensity, you just do a little more volume to make up for it.

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Workout Routines – How to Put Together a Great Workout Routine

1) Do not be afraid of the weights. Is a fact that resistance exercise with weights and machines strengthens and tones your muscles, which makes you burn more fat and energy sitting still without doing anything, will help to combat excess weight permanently and automatically, and gives your body a more healthy and attractive appearance.

Whether you’re a man who don’t want to look like “Arnold” or a woman who “wants to make a lot”, do not worry, even if you perform these exercises, professional bodybuilders require an immense effort and dedication to looking how they look, so it is very unlikely that you will start to resemble one doing a moderate amount of weight exercises.

2) Calculate your pre-exercise snack. Eating food or snacks high in protein and complex carbohydrates, moderate in 1 hour before cardiovascular exercise or weight training. Exercising will help you in a more lasting and intense than it usually would. However, it looks that this snack consumption exactly 1 hour to 1 ½ hours before exercise, will lose its effectiveness in burning the fat.

3) Use a variety, If you do the same things every time you go to the gym, your body will start to adapt and eventually stop burning calories and fat like before. Remember constantly, to change the order, frequency, and duration of the full range of cardiovascular or weight training you perform, so that your body never knows what they will go on and you burn more fat and have a faster weight loss.

4) Do the cardio last. Make strength training and weights before doing cardio. Why? It takes your body about 20 minutes to exhaust the reserves of glycogen (the primary source of energy) and start using the fat. So, if you hit the treadmill for 30 minutes, actually, burning the fat activates until the last 10 minutes.

If you start with weight training exercise, your body open and glycogen reserves are exhausted and cardiovascular exercise immediately begin using its fat stores for use.

5) Breathe through your nose. The inhale and exhale through your nose during exercise rather than through your mouth will help to stabilize your heart rate and increase your endurance. The result will be that you can exercise longer and burn more fat and calories. Do not worry if you don’t get used to this at first, with a little practice in a few weeks you will make it natural.

6) Watch your way Keeping a bad position (hunched or upright) while exercising on a stationary bike (or similar exercises) limits the amount of oxygen your body can use, and slows down the process of burning the fat. If you can not continue doing the exercise with good posture, then lower a bit the pace of this and start practicing good posture.

7) Do cardio for more than 30 minutes. It is proved that the most efficient way to burn fat is by doing cardiovascular exercise of moderate intensity and long duration, translating to perform an exercise like the treadmill or stationary bike at moderate intensity for 30- 60 minutes.

Now, if you do not have enough time in your day to perform this amount of cardio, then you can use high-intensity cardio for 15 to 30 minutes, which while not the most efficient way to burn fat will help you increase your stamina and endurance.

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Cardio First Or Weights First?

It depends on your goal. If the goal is fat loss then I suggest you perform your cardio last.

Here’s why. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is your body’s energy currency or “pocket change”. The money in your pocket is readily available for you to spend whenever you need it. However, once you run out of money you’ll need to replenish it for some other source. It’s the same with the energy systems in the body. Whenever you move, your body uses ATP first. Depending on the duration and intensify of the exercise will determine the source as to where the body will replenish it’s ATP or “pocket change.” This has a lot to do with the amount of oxygen required to perform the exercise and how much glucose or glycogen is stored in your muscles and liver. If the exercise is short and intense, lasting under 30 seconds, the body will replenish it’s “pocket change” from the ATP-CP system. If the exercise lasts from 30 seconds up to about 2 minutes, the Glycolytic system will kick in. The glycolytic system is the burning of glycogen or stored glucose (sugar) from your muscles. Oxygen is not required for both the ATP-CP or Glycolytic systems to work

Weightlifting is considered an anaerobic exercise (oxygen is not required). A normal weight-lifting set usually lasts less than 60 seconds, which means you’ll predominately rely on the ATP-CP or Glycolytic system to replenish your ATP. Remember, you have only so much readily available ATP or change in your pocket. Cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, cycling, swimming or rowing will rely on the Aerobic-oxidative system because the duration of these activities is longer, therefore, less intense. These types of exercise are continuous and last longer than two minutes, usually lasting 20-30 minutes or more at a time. This aerobic-oxidative system relies primarily on fat to replenish the ATP used.

When you start a fire you’ll always light the kindling before the log. Your body is smart. Think of glycogen or muscle sugar as “kindling” and fat as a “log.” Weightlifting will burn the kindling first because it’s too intense or brief to burn the log. By lifting weights first which burns the “kindling”(sugar) and then performing cardio last, you will be able to burn more of the “log”(fat), which will result in a greater loss of that unwanted fat. In contrast, studies show that performing cardio exercise first before lifting weights, will result in a reduction of quality of the workout and reduction of strength for the muscles.

So if you want to get rid of your “log” perform your cardio last. If you’re an endurance athlete then perform your cardio on one day and your strength training on another. Hopefully, this will help achieve more quality from your workout.

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Muscle Building – The Truth Behind the Science

Many people do not understand the correct science behind building muscle. So many struggle to achieve results they would like. There are a few proper “techniques” that you can apply to your muscle building agenda that could change your results incredibly.

1) Compound movements

– They stimulate the most total muscle fiber at one time.

This means that you can work a wide range of muscles by performing only a small number of exercises. For example, the bench press is an awesome compound movement for the chest, but it also stimulates the shoulders and triceps at the same time.

-Also they increase anabolic hormone production.

Muscles do not grow merely by being directly stimulated with weights. Muscle growth also occurs as your body kicks up its production of anabolic muscle-building hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone. The best way to increase the production of these hormones is through the use of intense, compound exercises.

2) Do not Overtrain

Ultimately it is, but the most important thing to realize in relation to all of this is that the muscles can only grow bigger and stronger if they are provided with sufficient recovery time in between workouts. Without the proper recovery time, the muscle growth process simply cannot take place.

3) Improper Meal Frequency

Most people are stuck on the traditional approach of “3 square meals a day” consumed roughly every 5-6 hours. For the best muscle-building and fat burning results, you should literally take the OPPOSITE approach. Instead of consuming 2-3 big meals every 5-6 hours… you should be consuming 5-6 small meals every 2-3 hours.

– Eating frequently keeps your body in an anabolic state.

– Your fat burning metabolism will stay raised

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Best Cardio Workouts For Weight Loss – Lose Weight Through the Best Cardio Workouts

Cardio is one of those things, nobody is ever sure if they are doing the right cardio or going for the right amount of time. Here are a few tips to set you on the right track for good.

First, let me tell you what is not the right cardio.

Anything that you find boring! If you hate running then don’t go running, find something else to do. If you are really that against doing certain type of exercise, don’t do it. You will just end up hating it and will probably stop your fat loss efforts all together.

If for example you hate running, you may want to just go for one run a week, put on some of your favorite music on head phones and go for a quick dash. Running can be a very effective way to lose weight.

Here ais one of my all time favorites:

Martial arts or boxing

These are massive fat burners. If you look at any pro boxer or martial artist you will see unbelievable definition in their bodies. This is no coincidence, boxing and martial arts are a couple of sports that will find tune your body to unseen heights. Especially if you have a teacher that drives you to perform like a machine, you will get fantastic results. Even if you just string up a boxing bag in your garage, after a short while you will start noticing big changes in your physique if you start using it often!

Do you want to learn more fat burning secrets?

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Top 10 Workout Tips to Get Ripped

1) The top workouts to get ripped are those to which the body has not got used to yet. Our bodies get used to the routines and workouts that we perform most often. Actually, the more advanced our workouts are, the faster the body gets used to this particular workout. This is exactly why you should vary your training routine in order to achieve the best results. The best thing to do, then, is to use the ‘cycles,’ varying the routines, the number of reps for the sets performed and to vary the rest periods as much as possible. All of these will help you accomplish the best results when it comes to both the strength and build the muscles.

2) Keep the workout time short – thinking that spending three or four hours at the gym working on your muscles will produce the best results is false and it differs from what happens in reality. Some studies suggest that more than 45 minutes of workout decreases levels of testosterone but increases the levels of cortisol. In short, testosterone is responsible for muscle building in our bodies and burning of the fat cells while cortisol’s actions are the opposite: it burns the muscle and keeps the fat in our bodies. That’s why the situation in which the levels of testosterone are low and the levels of cortisol are elevated creates the opposite effect of what we originally intended for our bodies.

3) Use many reps and increase intensity – the fight over the Internet as to what type of training is the best has been going on for quite a few years now. In reality, the best results are achieved by combining two types of training: high number of reps and high intensity. The first one, the large number of reps will cause the body to increase its limit of endurance and thus will increase the number of muscle cells and the high intensity with lowered number of reps will let the body get the necessary rest, which in turn, will allow the muscles to gain necessary strength and mass increase.

4) Vary the rest time between the reps. Believe it or not but varying the time between the reps is another way to postpone the body’s adaptation to exercise routine. If you used to take 2-3 minutes breaks between the sets but now you limit this time to just one minute, you will soon notice the increased muscle mass even though you strength seems to have deteriorated. Well planned changes in the number or reps as well as the rest time between the reps will lead you to get the best results in you overall plan of gaining muscles and increasing your strength.

5) Top workouts to get ripped often use the workouts where you predominantly rely on free weights and dumbbells and where your body moves freely. If you base your workout routines mainly on the machines – do not expect any extraordinary results. Your body is designed to move in all three dimensions so if your limit your workout routines to the machines, the number of muscles remain unutilized, since the majority of work gets done by the machine instead. That’s why, as the end result, we often achieve unsatisfactory results when it comes to muscle gain. However, if you workout plan includes the free weights and dumbbells, your body will be forced to use all the muscles, ligaments and tendons in order to preserve the balance and control over the weight.

6) Use only as much cardio workout as you have to – regular aerobic exercises are good but if you want to focus on increasing your muscle mass, you should limit your cardio workout to about 3-4 times a week and each session should run approximately 20-30 minutes. You can use the bicycle (either stationary or regular outdoor one), running, swimming etc. and you should try to keep your heart rate at the 130-150 level. Increasing the time and intensity of the aerobic exercise will often decrease your ability to increase the muscle mass because the body will naturally try to protect itself by making sure it’s getting enough energy and thus using up the energy stored which will otherwise be used to build the muscles.

7) Focus on a good form and muscle building – despite the fact that it seems obvious many people ignore this advice! Remember, this is a body building concept and each set, each repetition, each routine should be perfect, so that your muscles and not your ligaments and tendons perform all the work. Never sacrifice good form only to lift bigger weights! It is not going to bring the desired results! The main point remains to build muscle and muscle mass. Moving weight from point A to point be is just not enough. You have to have a proper form, you have to work your muscles and then and only then you will build your muscles. Even if you cannot lift the weight you want or initially intended to, your final outcome will be that you achieve your planned goal and the satisfaction will come not from the number you pressed but the muscles you have built.

8) Your body type is a predetermined factor when it comes to the frequency of your workout routines. Seldom anyone touches on this subject in articles devoted to the muscle building training. If you want to achieve great results you have to adjust the frequency of your workouts to the type of body you have. For example a man with a naturally low metabolism rate can exercise 5-6 days a week while a slim person with a naturally high metabolism might achieve better results working out only 3-4 times a week. Individual predisposition, genes and natural abilities should always be taken into account while implementing an exercise program.

9) Even though it might seem trivial and of no importance the plan of training you create is of outmost importance since that is something that you will either follow or you will give up very quickly. It is one of the ‘secrets’ that is often omitted and neglected in developing long-term plan but which is crucial at achieving a success. Even though some of the training routines look fantastic on paper and promise revolutionary results, if you have other family obligations that you have to meet or a work schedule that would not allow for a proposed training routine – you have to change or adjust your plan(s) accordingly. If you know you can devote 3-4 times a week to your workouts, plan exactly that number of days in a gym and do not try to go there 5-6 times a week because most likely either your work, family or training will suffer. Should you try doing it nevertheless, would cause frustration and less than desired or satisfactory results. Make sure, than, that the program you chose for yourself will be the one you could follow because that’s the key to a long term success.

10) Put your sessions and progress in the notebook. Notes of your workouts and the progress you’re achieving are fantastic tools that are going to help you get to your goals. Making notes is not only a great tool to help you develop a systematic plan and gain motivation but can also provide you with an insight on where you are now as opposed to where you were in the past – meaning what progress you have made. It can also help you understand what helped you get where you are and which exercises worked for you the best. In addition, were you for any reason to lose all of that for whatever reason, the written record would help you follow your notes to get back to the results that you have achieved in the past. In the present it helps you see the progress you’re making, to help you determine if you are on track, if you are losing the fat you desired so much to lose, if you are gaining muscles, getting leaner, more ripped. It can also help you verify and modify your program when necessary. When you make notes and see that all of the sudden you start losing strength, for example, you come back to your notes and see that in the last few days you started to cut down on two of your routine meals each day; now you know where the problem is.

Summary

Top workouts to get ripped are definitely not a secret but a well-defined plan of action and implementing all 10 of the ‘secrets’ of getting ripped body and gaining muscle will help you get sooner to your dream body and be an envy of your friends.

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