This week we'll be discussing this fascinating area. Whether you're looking to do a little fine-tuning or shed a load of 'extra material', we'll detail precisely how to do that. Joining us is Online Fitness Coach Vic Magary, Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine and You. Should be a great one - see you there.
Thanks again to everyone who watched and took part in the discussion Gymchat 202 - Intermittent Fasting (with Josh Hewett) - much appreciated. If you haven't seen it yet (or simply want to go over a particular point again), here's the entire video. Look forward to hearing your comments.
This week we'll be talking about the fascinating world of Intermittent Fasting. What it is, why it's worth considering and how it all works. Helping us tackle this fascinating area is Personal Trainer and Strongman Josh Hewett and Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine. Should be a great one - see you there.
Research shows that cinnamon is an excellent way to lower blood glucose levels after consuming sugary or carb-dense foods. The suggested dose for cinnamon is 1-6 grams, taken with a carb-heavy meal. I followed this recommendation and saw fantastic results: Over three weeks, I consumed several high-glycemic foods with no major changes to my body composition.
Cinnamon should be an integral part of your program if you're serious about fat loss, and Full Spectrum Cinnamon Extract from Planetary Formulas is an excellent way to reduce blood sugar levels so you burn fat and get lean fast!
Read the full review at Renaissance Fitness Inc..
Thanks again to everyone who watched and took part in the discussion Gymchat 201 - Hormonal Optimisation (with Josh Hewett) - much appreciated. If you haven't seen it yet (or simply want to go over a particular point again), here's the entire video. Look forward to hearing your comments.
This week we'll be discussing just one part of the puzzle - hormone optimisation. The various ways to measure and adjust your hormone production, in order to achieve better body composition. Helping us tackle this fascinating area is Personal Trainer and Strongman Josh Hewett, alongside Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine. Should be a great one - see you there.
NB : If this is the first time you're joining us for one of the Video Gymchats, welcome. There are three basic ways to watch this (depending on whether you want to join us on the Hangout and ask a question or two, or just sit back and take it all in) - full details here. However you like to do it, we've got you covered.
Green tea has a noble history dating back 4,000 years, and has been consumed to help everything from healing wounds to promoting digestion. In the 20th Century, scientists discovered green tea contains a bunch of useful compounds, including EGCG and L-Theanine, which boost metabolism and improve mental focus.
It would make sense then, you would think, to concentrate this tea and turn it into a pill, allowing for easier consumption and higher concentrations. But this idea usually fails, and the Green Tea Fat Burner from Applied Nutrition is no exception.
Had Applied Nutrition simply extracted green tea and placed it into a tiny pill, I probably would have had no issues; but they added a "Vitality Boost" to their Fat Burner formula, and this is where everything falls apart for me.
I seem to be sensitive to yerba mate, a natural herbal stimulant found in this "Vitality Boost," and was plagued with migraines and unshakable jitteriness whenever I took the pills. I've had similar experiences in the past with yerba mate, and was hoping the amount found in this formula would be small enough to go unnoticed in my body. I was wrong, and my constant nausea made it challenging to take the pills regularly.
Nausea is an excellent appetite suppressant, but I'd rather spend extra time in the gym or change my diet plan.
MuscleTech Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite is potent!
This is some professional-grade stuff here, even by my standards, and I consume a lot of stimulants!
MuscleTech's combination of ingredients suppresses appetite, boosts focus, and increases energy.
This stuff works incredibly well. So the question becomes, does it burn fat?
While on the pills for two weeks I always had a warm, fuzzy feeling in my body, like I was floating on a cloud. The sensation was manageable, and I can only hope it was the pills doing their job.
Here are my very unscientific before and after photos. What do you think?
You have to be careful with this stuff. These are some serious drugs. The combination of caffeine, coleus extract, green coffee extract, L-theanine, cocoa extract, and yohimbe made my teeth chatter if I wasn't careful.
I recommend starting with one pill in the morning instead of your usual coffee. Don't take this stuff if you're already jacked on caffeine because that's a recipe for disaster and you will overdose on stimulants.
In recent weeks, I've become fascinated by meat. I love meat, and firmly believe it can make a huge difference in the gym and in life.
If you're a vegetarian, I salute you. I tried eating a plant-based diet once and just couldn't do it. I felt lethargic and my workouts suffered. I am most definitely a carnivore, and always feel best when I consume at least 3 lbs of high-quality red meat per week.
Not all red meats are created equal, and it's very important to eat the highest-quality meat you can find. If you can find wild grass-fed meat, that would be ideal.
But what if you can't find a high-quality meat? What if all you have access to is garbage?
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid found in grass-fed animal products like meat and dairy. It differs slightly from other omega-6 fats in that it is very effective in preventing tumor and cancer growth.
This means it's healthy for you.
There is some research out there to suggest CLA may help increase testosterone levels and reduce body fat, but the results are mixed. The reason CLA works is still unknown, and a solid long-term research study on humans has yet to be done.
For now, it seems the fatter you are the greater the benefits of CLA. So if you're a fat-ass, I highly recommend you stop eating crap and start taking CLA, fish oil, and probiotics as part of your training program.
Keep in mind that the research has all been conducted with grass-fed meats. This means the effectiveness of synthetic CLA is still up for debate.
More on the 'how' in a minute. First, a little history.
Circuit Training was first developed by R.E. Morgan and G.T. Anderson at the University of Leeds in 1953. The idea was simple :
A circuit consists of 9 to 12 stations (circuits consisting of fewer stations are often used now), with each station representing one exercise. At each station an exercise is performed, with a specific resistance and for a specific number of reps.
Work at each station takes 30-60 seconds, after which, the trainee moves directly to the next station on the circuit (with no break) and begins the exercise. An aerobics station requiring 15-180 seconds of work is placed between the main exercise stations.
This original formula has changed little over the years, and has benefited from occasional refinements rather than a complete redesign. For example, it is now common to see people performing circuits with fewer than 9 stations, and circuits where all exercises are themed (such as boxing in boxercise).
A decade later, a system called Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) was developed by Dr Arthur Steinhaus, and popularised by bodybuilder Bob Gajda. Although it's often confused with circuit training, the goals are somewhat different.
In PHA, trainees seek to keep the blood flowing strongly through the body, throughout the entire workout. The smaller muscles around the heart are worked on first, followed by the larger muscles around the body's periphery.
Although the basic structure of a PHA workout is similar to that used in Circuit Training, there is a key difference in approach. In PHA, exercises are selected that will enable the trainer to pump blood to the extreme ends of the body, aiding overall circulation and seeking to reduce a build-up of lactic acid.
As an example, here is a 'typical' PHA workout. Note that the exercises alternate between focusing on upper and lower body muscle groups, with different areas being worked each time.
These exercises would collectively comprise one cycle, with 5-6 cycles generally being performed. The resistance of each exercise is increased for each new cycle.
Each exercise is performed for 10-12 repetitions, with the trainee moving directly onto the next exercise at the culmination.
Join us for Gymchat 170 - Intermittent Fasting.
This week we're taking a look at this fascinating approach. Where do you start, and why would you want to? What are the benefits, and is it for everyone, or only those trying to shed some excess bodyfat?
It's safe to say that there's a lot to consider.
Even though this is more a strength orientated website, most athletes still do some form of cardio and, lets face it, most of us want to look good. So fat loss is a topic worth covering.
For ages, people have gotten up at ungodly hours and performed cardio on an empty stomach since the body then has no other choice but to burn fat. It sounds great, but is it true? Aside from the fact, that I do not think cardio is necessary to get lean (there, I said it), lets have a closer look at cardio in a fastened state.
In short, no. For the long answer read on.
That statement should have gotten everyone's attention. But what does flexible dieting mean?
OK, the donut part was more of a hook to get you to read the following. As we all now, dieters are failing by the millions, due to a number of reasons , the biggest one being a lack of willpower.
Some of them are so motivated that they don't stray from their diet for weeks, counting every calorie, eating at the perfect time and then....they implode. Due to stress or worries they fall off the wagon completely and stay off it.
This is where flexible dieting comes in; you need to allow yourself to live. If you are on a mild caloric deficit (400 calories per day or less), schedule a cheat meal once a week, so you can go to dinner with friends without worrying. I would give myself a 4-hour window for this and eat a side of fries or a dessert to your liking.
Athletes who run a more severe deficit and have a competent coach need to have a 2-3 day re-feed every week, combined with a heavy weight training session.
This will allow them to stop the muscle loss and revive their metabolism in order to continue to lose body fat. What does that mean?
When you diet for an extended period of time, such as more than 14 days, bad things start happening in your body: HGH and testosterone drop, cortisol goes up and leptin drops. This goes especially if excessive amounts of cardio are being performed. The results: you get hungrier, more irritable and start losing muscle. Fat loss, on the other hand, comes to a screeching halt. Not a good situation for a bodybuilder or strength athlete. Flexible dieting or smart cheating reverses that.
During a diet, it is critical to consume foods that will curb your hunger for an extended period of time.
Here are my most effective diet foods:
It all started last year when my best friend, Tara and I were looking for a way to really motivate us to lose weight and feel great in our bikinis. We had always tried to create games and challenges against each other, but nothing ever really stuck (we have the worst discipline), so we came up with a genius idea that we knew we'd never back down on... what was this genius idea you ask? It's pretty simple actually.
In February 2010, we created a Facebook event (we called it Bikini Challenge 2010) and invited several of our friends who we knew wanted to lose weight as well. The challenge didn't consist of much. Participants had until June 21st (the first day of Summer) to get fit, lose weight, etc. Then at midnight on D-Day (June 21st) each participant had to post a full length shot of them in their bikini and use it as their default pic on their Facebook profile for 24 hours. We also had the participants post the shots on the wall of our fan page. Anyone who didn't post the bikini pic by 12:15 would have to pay $100 which would go into a pot and be split up evenly between all the participants who did post their pic. Since no one wanted to pay the $100 and no one wanted to post a "fat" bikini pic, the motivation was, well, pretty intense!
Overall it was a great discussion. Next week we're chatting with The Rotater's Chris Melton (twitter.com/chrismelton) on shoulder injuries and rehabilitation. If you've ever experienced shoulder pain, make sure you don't miss this one.
That 'hip toner' machine reminds me of a huge misperception out there in the world of fitness that a lot of people have about "Spot Reducing".
First of all, let me tell you flat out: SPOT REDUCING IS A MYTH! If you have extra fat on your hips, doing a million reps on that 'hip toner' machine will NEVER reduce the fat on your hips. If you have excess flab on your abs, you can do a TRILLION crunches, sit-ups and leg lifts but it will never reduce the fat on your abdominal area. What it WILL do is build up the muscle under the fat in those areas. Therefore, you are actually working towards making an area you are trying to reduce BIGGER!! This is completely counterintuitive to your goal of reduction.