Jul 2015
How much rest is best?

When it come to working out, knowing just how much time to let your body recover between workout sessions is paramount.


For skinny guys and girls who are looking to pack on rock solid muscle mass getting your nutrition plans and exercise routines worked out is hugely important…but what’s also probably as important is knowing exactly how often you should be training and how much rest you are getting between workouts.


Many folks fall into the trap of either overtraining or undertraining since they haven’t placed enough of a priority on workout scheduling…and so end up either pushing their muscles too much or not pushing them enough.


Here we’re going to take a look at how much rest you should be looking to get between your workouts and why ignoring this advice can cause you serious problems in the long run.


How Rest Time Can Affect Your Muscle Building Results


Rest time can have a large impact on your ability to gain muscle mass, since it is only while we rest that our bodies are able to repair our muscles aiding future growth.


Spending every day down the gym, while it may seem like a good idea (the whole “more is better” notion), will actually prevent your muscles from ever fully being able to recover and for you to reach your potential.


Not to mention the fact that your workout performance will be poorer and so you won’t be lifting as heavy as you should, and also that you are more liable to suffer injuries due to insufficient rest between workouts…


Continue reading at musclebuildingtrainingtips.com!

Jul 2015
Use that bodyweight!

For the times you don’t have access to a gym, don’t want to pay that membership fee – or are even looking to bust through a strength training plateau.


Maybe you need to skip your usual gym workout and work out at home instead, or maybe you’re traveling for weeks or months and won’t have much gym or outdoor fitness park access while you’re away.


As you can see, whether you’re used to using much equipment in your workouts or not, there will always be times when you’ll want to be able to do without.


And though you can definitely get a really good workout in using no equipment at all, one of the main reasons I tend to use equipment (especially when I’m at home in my normal routine), is that it helps to mix up my workouts and keep them interesting. It’s fun for me to think of different ways to incorporate some of my favorite pieces of equipment such as plyo boxes, medicine balls, pull up bars, and dip bars or parallel bars into my workouts, and always keeps them challenging.


But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get in a good workout when you don’t have equipment available. A few simple substitutions and a bit of creativity guarantees that you can always get an awesome workout in, no matter what you have available. No excuses!


Continue to 12 Minute Athlete for their 15 Awesome Bodyweight Substitutions For Equipment-Based Exercises:

Jul 2015
Jun 2015

Inactivity = Strength Losses!

Did you know after just two weeks of inactivity younger athletes will lose up to a third of their muscular strength in their legs? And it doesn’t get much happier for the older crowd, either!


New research reveals that it only takes two weeks of not using their legs for young people to lose a third of their muscular strength, leaving them on par with a person who is 40-50 years their senior. The Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen conducted the research.


Time and again, we are told that we need to stay physically active and exercise daily. But how quickly do we actually lose our muscular strength and muscle mass if we go from being averagely active to being highly inactive? For example when we are injured, fall ill or simply take a very relaxing holiday. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have examined what happens to the muscles in younger and older men after a period of high inactivity, by way of so-called immobilization with a leg pad.


Both older and younger people lose muscular strength


“Our experiments reveal that inactivity affects the muscular strength in young and older men equally. Having had one leg immobilized for two weeks, young people lose up to a third of their muscular strength, while older people lose approx. one fourth. A young man who is immobilized for two weeks loses muscular strength in his leg equivalent to aging by 40 or 50 years,” says Andreas Vigelsoe, PhD at the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.


Young people lose twice as much muscle mass


With age, our total muscle mass diminishes, which is why young men have approx. one kilogram more muscle mass in each leg than older men. Both groups lose muscle mass when immobilized for two weeks — young men lose 485 grams on average, while older men lose approx. 250 grams. The participants’ physical fitness was also reduced while their one leg was immobilized in a pad.


“The more muscle mass you have, the more you’ll lose. Which means that if you’re fit and become injured, you’ll most likely lose more muscle mass than someone who is unfit, over the same period of time. But even though older people lose less muscle mass and their level of fitness is reduced slightly less than in young people, the loss of muscle mass is presumably more critical for older people, because it is likely to have a greater impact on their general health and quality of life,” says Martin Gram, researcher at the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences, explains.


Cycling is not enough


After two weeks of immobilization, the participants bicycle-trained 3-4 times a week for six weeks.


“Unfortunately, bicycle-training is not enough for the participants to regain their original muscular strength. Cycling is, however, sufficient to help people regain lost muscle mass and reach their former fitness level. If you want to regain your muscular strength following a period of inactivity; you need to include weight training,” Andreas Vigelsoe states.


“It’s interesting that inactivity causes such rapid loss of muscle mass, in fact it’ll take you three times the amount of time you were inactive to regain the muscle mass that you’ve lost. This may be caused by the fact that when we’re inactive, it’s 24 hours a day,” Martin Gram concludes.



Jun 2015
Don't let your gym get lonely this summer.

Sure, you may take a vacation this summer – or  two – just don’t forsake the gym in between and here’s some good reasons why to keep on going (the air-conditioning isn’t one of them)


As spring fades and summer begins, many people head outdoors, where they spend time swimming, playing sports, hiking, or going for long walks on the beach. Whether it’s on vacation or weekend getaways with the kids, people are generally much more active during the summer months, which is good for both the heart and spirit.


While all of this cardio has its health benefits, it doesn’t replace the many benefits of strength training. During the summer months, gyms are vacated while people head outdoors for exercise, but it’s just as important as ever to lift and tone during the warm months as it is the cold. Here are five reasons you should make the gym a part of your daily routine even through the warm months:


Muscle Burns Fat, Even While Resting

While cardio burns calories, a body’s metabolism has a large role in how food is converted to energy. Those who are larger or have a higher degree of muscle mass burn calories even when they’re at rest. As a person ages, metabolism naturally slows down, leading to gradual weight gain. Muscle is a great way to counterbalance the body’s natural slowdown and the earlier a person starts, the easier it will be to maintain that muscle over time.


Important note: long duration cardio does not increase metabolism; in fact, it can even lower it!


Building Muscle Staves Off Bone Loss

As a person grows older, bone loss is inevitable, especially for women after menopause.[ii] This can lead bones to break more easily, feelings of fatigue and weakness, and reduced tolerance to physical activity. Weight-bearing exercises strengthens bones, helping minimize natural bone loss and reducing the risk of injury. When a person lifts weights, it also builds strength and balance, which can help prevent falls.


Muscle Toning Improves Balance

Balance has benefits beyond preventing injury. It comes into play no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s carrying groceries or climbing a set of stairs. Through strength training, you can more easily accomplish these tasks even as you get older. Muscle toning also improves endurance during athletic activities, which will help you during those games of beach volleyball.


Prevent Diseases

Strength training has been shown to provide a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A Tufts University study even found that participants in a strength training program were able to see a marked reduction in arthritis pain. In fact, the study found that the end result was better than that received from medications. Strength training can also improve a person’s mental health, reducing depression and improving sleep quality.


You’ll Look Great in a Bathing Suit

As important as all of the other benefits are, one of the biggest benefits to continue strength training in the summer is also the most superficial. You work hard all winter and spring to look great, so why slack off during the summer months? As the weather heats up, you’ll likely be wearing shorts, short-sleeved and sleeveless tops, and bathing suits. Continued time at the gym means your muscles will stay toned so that you can look great as you reveal more of your body than you have all year. You’ll impress friends and family at gatherings with your washboard abs and toned thighs and, as much as we don’t like to admit it, it’s something we’ve all thought about.




Gyms tend to empty out at the time of year when it’s most important to continue a workout regime. By maintaining your regular fitness schedule, you’ll be able to continue to meet your fitness goals while remaining in top shape for all of the exciting summer activities you’ll be invited to enjoy!



Jun 2015
Battle Ropin'

Also known as heavy ropes, this workout is likened to “running with the upper body” and while not a new workout method, is trending in gyms across the US for good reason.


Long used as a training tool for football players, mixed martial artists (MMA), and other athletes, battle ropes can provide a high-intensity, whole-body workout that gets your muscles moving in new ways.


Unlike the relatively static movement of lifting and lowering a barbell, using battle ropes is a dynamic, ever-changing form of movement that has the added benefit of showing you whether you’re doing the movements correctly.


The ropes can be whipped, slammed, or dragged, but among the most popular are undulating movements that cause the ropes to move in waves. A typical battle rope workout class might have teams of people competing to keep the waves going, or the ropes might be used as part of high-intensity circuit training.


Benefits of Battle Rope Training


Battle ropes are often thought of as a tool for your upper body, which they are. However, their benefits don’t end there. Battle rope workouts work the muscles in your abs, back, and glutes, and you can incorporate movements, such as jumps, lunges, and squats, that work your legs, too.



Research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research even found that a 10-minute bout of rope training resulted in high heart rates and energy expenditure that would increase cardiorespiratory fitness.


Battle Ropes 101: What You Need to Know


Battle ropes are a simple workout tool that virtually anyone can use, so don’t be intimidated if you’re just starting out. The ropes come in various lengths and widths, which will impact the intensity of your workout.


The longer and thicker the rope, the more force you’ll need to use to make the waves. The slack allowed in the rope will also determine intensity. The closer you move to the anchor point, the more resistance you’ll be creating.


Three popular ways to use the ropes follow, but don’t stop at these. Part of the allure of battle ropes is that they allow you to move in many directions. The more movements you incorporate (such as side to side, up and down, or in circles), the more you’ll work different muscles and increase your shoulder mobility and range of motion.


  • Waves: An alternating pattern with the primary direction of force toward the anchor.
  • Slam: An aggressive movement with the primary direction of force down toward the ground.
  • Whip: A symmetrical pattern with the primary direction of force toward the anchor.


There are two handgrips you can choose when working with battle ropes, either overhand (handshake) or underhand (microphone). The specific exercise and results desired will dictate which is best.


Battle Ropes Can Be a Form of High-Intensity Interval Training


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be one of the best forms of exercise in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency. In fact, the evidence shows that by focusing on endurance-type exercises, such as jogging on a treadmill, you actually forgo many of the most profound benefits of exercise.


HIIT provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone.” Perhaps best of all, HIIT requires only minutes, compared to hours, each week.


An HIIT workout using battle ropes might involve 30 seconds of the “double-whip” and “alternating whip” movements performed as intensely as you can followed by 60 seconds of recovery. The set would be repeated eight to 10 times and done two or three times a week.


When men and women engaged in this HIIT program for four weeks, they increased their VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in while exercising and is used as a measure of cardiovascular health. It was noted that battle ropes HIIT shows potential to improve both aerobic and anaerobic parameters in just four weeks time.


Both the double wave and the alternating wave are beginner movements, so this is a simple and effective HIIT workout to start with if you’re new to battle ropes. Greatist posted two clear descriptions of how to perform each:


  • Double Wave: “To start, stand facing the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp one end of the rope in each hand so that your palms face each other. Bend knees slightly, brace your core, and move both arms up and down rapidly, creating waves in the rope.”
  • Alternating Wave: “Stand facing the anchor point with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Grab one end of the rope in each hand so that your palms face in. Raise one arm to shoulder level and then quickly lower back to start, raising the other arm to shoulder level as you do so. Continue alternating as rapidly as possible without losing form.”



Jun 2015
Who's your bestie?

While some people prefer to work out alone, studies show that having a partner to keep you accountable and motivate you will do wonders – as long as it’s the right person.


Searching for a workout buddy resembles searching for the very best pal. A person requires someone who are easy to deal and easy to work. This workout buddy can be a business partner, someone from work, a good buddy or someone who you’re intimate with. Obviously, it goes to say that this partner in exercising must be likewise thinking about shaping up, right?


When you look for a workout buddy, it is very important to know ahead that the person or persons in mind should have comparable health and wellness values. When somebody makes a wonderful companion, it doesn’t constantly follow that the individual will be a great company during exercises. Indeed, that person has to have all the potential to make the collaboration in workout effective. Hence, it is necessary to know the key qualities of a fabulous workout buddy. Below are what you must look for:


1. A dedicated person. Dedication is essential concerns with exercise. She must show exact same objective in exercise and have to know what the value of collaboration is. She must invest a genuine relationship and need to stay committed.


2. Somebody who likes challenges. Exercises can become dull– or they can become challenging physically and emotionally. However a workout buddy who takes these positively can be the beneficial partner you require. Such individual will be “game” to all form of workouts, whether it is tough as men’s workout if she enjoys challenges. As soon as a person has an obstacle enthusiast partner, they can find out new things, and they can broaden their horizon.


3. A daring spirit. With working out and setting forth to have a healthy life, one must like to try new things. A creative workout buddy adds fun and color in the exercises. Something that a person must examine when looking for a partner is the lover in trying brand-new things. When an individual and her partner try various things their exercise will certainly become more enticing and more amazing.


4. Reliability matters. The person who you share the dedication of fitness must be trustworthy. An energetic workout buddy must not make excuses why she cannot have an exercise with her partner unless there is a legitimate reason. When a person searches for a workout buddy, ensure that an individual can depend upon her.


5. Determination to share the obligation. A terrific exercise buddy must be serious about partnership’s goal. Instead of simply being accountable for himself or herself, that individual should also feel that sense of duty or responsibility for exactly what you must obtain. More so, that individual must know your roles as buddies.


6. Knows safety comes first. Discover a workout partner who appreciates your health, safety and health, not just during workout regimens but all else that includes being fit. This means understanding each of your limitations and knowing the best ways to manage emergency situations. As you would understand, not all forms, avenues and settings for workouts must be tried because they can cause injury. So make sure your partner understands about all these to keep each other away from injuries.


These are some of the attributes that need to be check when trying to find a workout buddy. Keep in mind that it is necessary to have a workout buddy so that a person will enjoy each time that she spent in a gym. Having a workout buddy offers motivation to strive hard to have a sexy body and become healthy in every way. An excellent workout buddy, shares bright concepts and pointers on how to end up being healthy.



Jun 2015

So hungry!

Seems like a catch 22 – the more you workout, the hungrier you get! Click here for some nutritionist tips on how to manage those elevated hunger pangs.


If you’re exercising to lose weight, but insane hunger makes you eat more, the pounds may pile on instead of melt away. Talk about frustrating! To get a handle on your increased hunger, we’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists — Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition.


“It’s important to have the internal dialogue conversation with yourself that, unless you’re training for something intense, you will be eating the same thing on days you work out versus days you don’t,” say Willow and Stephanie. This sets a mental precedent to avoid situations where you overeat and tell yourself that it’s OK because you worked out that day or that you’ll work it off later.


You can also control hunger by eating the right foods in order to feel more satisfied. They suggest filling your plate with foods that pack in a lot of volume for fewer calories. Think fruits, veggies, protein, and complex carbs like whole grains and legumes. Limit refined carbs like bread, cereal, crackers, and chips, since those are easy to mindlessly snack on and overeat. When it comes to protein, make sure you’re taking in at least 20 grams for breakfast, 30 grams for lunch and dinner, and five to 10 when snacking. Fiber is also essential since it adds bulk to your meals. Aim for six to eight grams per meal and at least three grams per snack to get your daily 25 to 30 grams. And don’t forget fats! Nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado are also important since they can add to that full feeling, but use them sparingly since they’re especially high in calories per ounce. Including good-for-you foods like these will likely lead to eating less and feeling more satisfied overall.


If you’re the kind of person who wants to eat all day long, eating smaller meals more often throughout the day can also prevent you from feeling starved. Stephanie and Willow’s clients have also had success using hot tea as a way to have something to sip between meals and snacks that keeps them hydrated with some flavor to offer a certain level of satisfaction.

Another great tactic is to time workouts so they happen right before meals. That way you can sit down and enjoy an entire plate of food without feeling guilty. Just be sure to eat a littlepre-workout snack 30 to 60 minutes or so before your workout to avoid arriving at your post-workout meal completely famished, which will likely make you want to inhale two plates of food. Eat your meal slowly and drink it with water to fill you up. And remember to listen to your body’s “I’m full” signals, so you stop once you’re satisfied, not stuffed, even if that means leaving some food on your plate — just save it for your next meal!



Jun 2015
Get don't wrecked by text-neck!

While phone technology can help us with our fitness routine, track our steps, or even pump us up during our workout – there is a now prevalent health-negative to look out for.


The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.


That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. The study will appear next month inSurgical Technology International. Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.


“It is an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common,” Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post. “Just look around you, everyone has their heads down.”


Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said.


“The problem is really profound in young people,” he said. “With this excessive stress in the neck, we might start seeing young people needing spine care. I would really like to see parents showing more guidance.”


Medical experts have been warning people for years. Some say for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.


Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association‘s Private Practice Section, told CNN last year the effect is similar to bending a finger all the way back and holding it there for about an hour.


“As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed,” he said. It can also cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks and, over time, it can even remove the neck’s natural curve. It’s a risk for some 58 percent of American adults who own smartphones.

Michelle Collie, a doctor who heads Performance Physical Therapy in Rhode Island, told CNN last year she started seeing patients with mobile technology-induced head, neck and back pain some six or seven years ago.

Poor posture can cause other problems as well. Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent. It has also been linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.

“While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over,” according to the research.


Speaking to TODAY, Hansraj gave smartphone users tips to avoid pain:


  • Look down at your device with your eyes. No need to bend your neck.
  • Exercise: Move your head from left to right several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward. Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to strengthen “the muscles of good posture,” Hansraj said.


“I love technology. I’m not bashing technology in any way,” Hansraj told The Post. “My message is: Just be cognizant of where your head is in space. Continue to enjoy your smartphones and continue to enjoy this technology — just make sure your head is up.”



Jun 2015
Get your run on!

Summer’s here, and it’s a great time to get out there and start up a run routine! Even if you’re an active person, there are few key points to keep in mind as you strap on those tenni’s for the 1st time.


it’s always great time to start running. It’s great exercise and can be a huge stress reliever. However, if you don’t start off right, your runs might be the opposite. The best way to start running, even for highly active people, is to start with a run/walk program. Starting off in this manner is highly beneficial because it allows you to exercise for longer than if you were to go out and only run (which helps increase your cardiovascular stamina). It also builds up your cardio without injury or discouragement, and allows your body, especially your joints, to acclimate.


As you begin your running program, use these tips to help you enjoy running — and make you want to stick with it:


Measure each run in minutes, not miles. The goal is to run/walk for at least 30 minutes, eventually building up to 30 minutes of continuous running. It might seem contrary to walk every three to seven minutes, but the goal is minutes, not miles. Determining your run/walk intervals isn’t an exact science, so you’ll need to experiment and figure out what works for you. If you’re off the couch, start slowly — an injury will only hamper your progress. Your run/walk intervals might be 1/3 (one minute running and three minutes walking). If you’re highly active, you might want to try five repeats of 5/2, or four repeats of 7/2 intervals. Start and finish each workout with a few minutes of fast walking.


Commit to a schedule. Commit to running three times a week. Don’t run two days in a row. Do at least two days of cross-training per week — cardio and strength/flexibility, and take one day off per week. Active recovery — think foam rolling and easy stretching — is OK.


Measure pace by effort. During your run intervals, you should be able to talk in a conversational tone. If you start to feel like you’re losing control of your breathing, slow down. Your walk intervals should be fast walking to keep your heart rate up.


Use technology to your advantage. We recommend buying a Gymboss because it alerts you via a beep or vibration when the interval is up. You can set it for up to 99 intervals and clip it to your shorts or pants. No need to monitor time or remember numbers. Use Map My Fitness to track your route.


Listen to your body. Monitor how your body feels throughout the run, and adjust the run minutes accordingly. If you start too fast or do too much, you’re more likely to injure yourself. You’ll feel sore when you first begin; that soreness should dissipate after a week or two. If pain continues, stop and see a doctor. After you’ve completed two weeks of run/walk intervals, start adding one to two minutes to your run intervals.