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Leading, not following

qtq80-EDBxrdI wasn’t born to follow and I’m not sure if I was born to lead, but what I’m certain of is that I was born to fight my way through life and win.

–Unknown

When most young men begin to lift weights are any type of physical fitness, the focus is on chest and arms. Today, for the ladies it is gluteus, legs and abdominals. Taking into consideration genetics the ability for these muscles to develop may be fast or quick depending on the diet, exercises and intensity. I knew when I began to lift weights, and still to this day a part of my physical fitness is to find balance. The legs, core and heart is just as important as the chest and arms. Also, I can point to a 4 to 7 year span where life took over and I did not workout at all. My life was un-balanced and I carried a lot of stress. Today, my life has balance, my workouts have balance – my life is in balance. You must find a way to keep your life, health and wellness in balance.


Changes to your lifestyle

10 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting

Simple changes to your lifestyle can help you lose weight and keep it off.

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By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature

 Sure, you can lose weight quickly. There are plenty of fad diets that work to shed pounds rapidly — while leaving you feeling hungry and deprived. But what good is losing only to regain it? To keep pounds off permanently, it’s best to lose weight slowly. And many experts say you can do that without going on a “diet.” Instead, the key is making simple tweaks to your lifestyle.

One pound of fat — is equal to 3,500 calories.  By shaving 500 calories a day through dietary and exercise modifications, you can lose about a pound a week. If you only need to maintain your current weight, shaving 100 calories a day is enough to avoid the extra 1-2 pounds most adults gain each year.

Adopt one or more of these simple, painless strategies to help lose weight without going on a “diet”:

  1. Eat Breakfast Every Day.One habit that’s common to many people who have lost weight and kept it off is eating breakfast every day. “Many people think skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories, but they usually end up eating more throughout the day, says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author ofThe Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids.  “Studies show people who eat breakfast have lower BMIs than breakfast-skippers and perform better, whether at school or in the boardroom.” Try a bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with fruit and low-fat dairy for a quick and nutritious start to your day.
  2. Close the Kitchen at Night.Establish a time when you will stop eating so you won’t give in to the late-night munchies or mindless snacking while watching television. “Have a cup of tea, suck on a piece of hard candy or enjoy a small bowl of light ice cream or frozen yogurt if you want something sweet after dinner, but then brush your teeth so you will be less likely to eat or drink anything else,” suggests Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, WebMD’s “Recipe Doctor” and the author of Comfort Food Makeovers.
  3. Choose Liquid Calories Wisely.Sweetened drinks pile on the calories, but don’t reduce hunger like solid foods do.  Satisfy your thirst with water, sparkling water with citrus, skim or low-fat milk, or small portions of 100% fruit juice. Try a glass of nutritious and low-calorie vegetable juice to hold you over if you get hungry between meals. Be careful of alcohol calories, which add up quickly.  If you tend to drink a glass or two of wine or a cocktail on most days, limiting alcohol to the weekends can be a huge calorie saver.
  4. Eat More Produce. Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetables crowds out other foods that are higher in fat and calories. Move the meat off the center of your plate and pile on the vegetables. Or try starting lunch or dinner with a vegetable salad or bowl of broth-based soup, suggests Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan. The U.S. government’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines suggest that adults get 7-13 cups of produce daily. Ward says that’s not really so difficult: “Stock your kitchen with plenty of fruits and vegetables and at every meal and snack, include a few servings,” she says. “Your diet will be enriched with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and if you fill up on super-nutritious produce, you won’t be reaching for the cookie jar.”
  5. Go for the Grain. By substituting whole grains for refined grains like white bread, cakes, cookies, and pretzels, you add much-needed fiber and will fill up faster so you’re more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Choose whole-wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, bran flakes, popcorn, and whole-rye crackers.
  6. Control Your Environments. Another simple strategy to help cut calories is to control your environment — everything from stocking your kitchen with lots of healthy options to choosing the right restaurants. That means avoiding the temptation by staying away from all-you-can-eat restaurants.  And when it comes to parties, “eat a healthy snack before so you won’t be starving, and be selective when you fill your plate at the buffet,” suggests Ward.  Before going back for more food, wait at least 15 minutes and have a big glass of water.
  7. Trim Portions.If you did nothing else but reduce your portions by 10%-20%, you would lose weight. Most of the portions served both in restaurants and at home are bigger than you need.  Pull out the measuring cups to get a handle on your usual portion sizes, and work on paring them down.  Get instant portion control by using small bowls, plates, and cups, says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating. You won’t feel deprived because the food will look plentiful on dainty dishware.
  8. Add More Steps.Get yourself a pedometer and gradually add more steps until you reach 10,000 per day. Throughout the day, do whatever you can to be more active — pace while you talk on the phone, take the dog out for an extra walk, and march in place during television commercials.  Having a pedometer serves as a constant motivator and reminder.
  9. Have Protein at Every Meal and Snack. Adding a source of lean or low-fat protein to each meal and snack will help keep you feeling full longer so you’re less likely to overeat. Try low-fat yogurt, small portion of nuts, peanut butter, eggs, beans, or lean meats. Experts also recommend eating small, frequent meals and snacks (every 3-4 hours), to keep your blood sugar levels steady and to avoid overindulging.
  10. Switch to Lighter Alternatives.Whenever you can, use the low-fat versions of salad dressings, mayonnaise, dairy products, and other products.  “You can trim calories effortlessly if you use low-fat and lighter products, and if the product is mixed in with other ingredients, no one will ever notice,” says Magee. More smart substitutions: Use salsa or hummus as a dip; spread sandwiches with mustard instead of mayo; eat plain roasted sweet potatoes instead of loaded white potatoes; use skim milk instead of cream in your coffee; hold the cheese on sandwiches; and use a little vinaigrette on your salad instead of piling on the creamy dressing.

(http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/10-ways-to-lose-weight-without-dieting)


Mediocrity or Excellence?

Mediocrity

noun me·di·oc·ri·ty \ˌmē-dē-ˈä-krə-tē\

: the quality of something that is not very good : the quality or state of being mediocre

: a person who does not have the special ability to do something well

Excellence

The opposite of mediocrity is  excellence:

noun ex·cel·lence \ˈek-s(ə-)lən(t)s\

: extremely high quality

The choice is yours.

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A plan that works

Shoulders                                                                                                     (Chest and Back superset)

  • Front Press 4 x 10
  • Upright Rows 4 x 10
  • Side laterals 4 x 12
  • Arnold press 4 x 10

 

Back                                                                                                                 (Shoulders and Abs superset)

  • Wide grip pull downs 4×10
  • Close grip pull downs 4x 10
  • Dumbbell Rows   4 x 10

 

Chest

  • Flat bench Press 5 sets increasing weight
  • Dumbbell Press 5 sets increasing weight
  • Dips 4 x10 ( add weight belt variety)
  • Machine press 4 x 10

 

Arms

  • Curling bar Curls / Tricep Press down 4 x 10
  • Preacher Curls / pushups on rack 4 x 10
  • Reverse preacher curls /pushups on rack 4 x10
  • Dumbbell curls / Overhead French press 4 x 10

 

Legs

  • Power Tec Squats 5 sets increasing weight
  • Machine press increasing weight
  • Leg Extension increasing weight
  • Calf press machine press

 

Abs

  • Ab Coaster 100 reps
  • Ab Wheel 4 x 10
  • Knee lifts on Rack to failure
  • Knee raises on flat bench to failure

 

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Aerobic ( Rowing 1000 meters, 1 mile on treadmill, 4 miles on Spin Bike and 1 time around on bike in the neighborhood is approx. 3-4 miles)


HIT and HIIT

Being old-school when I think of HIIT or HIT training I think of Mike and Ray Mentzer and heavy duty training instead of interval training. There is a difference and some similarities between the two, but both HIIT and HIT training can be beneficial to those seeking health, fitness and improved conditioning. Mike Mentzer’s

Heavy Duty HIT is more for the bodybuilder type than HIIT training. But, HIIT and HIT included in your training compliments each other.

HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Training: Battle of the Aerobic Titans

by Micah Zuhl, MS and Len Kravitz, PhD on Jan 26, 2012

A look at the science of high-intensity interval training.

The fitness industry is seeing a surge of interest in high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a burst-and-recover cycle that can offer a viable alternative to continuous aerobic exercise.

HIIT, which pairs quick bouts of high-energy exercise with low-effort rest intervals, is not exactly a new idea. As early as 1912, the Finnish Olympic long-distance runner Hannes Kolehmainen was using interval training in his workouts (Billat 2001). As our knowledge of HIIT has increased, exercise scientists have demonstrated that HIIT can

  • boost the performance of competitive athletes;
  • improve the health of recreational exercisers; and
  • provide the benefits of continuous-endurance training with fewer workouts.

The standard way to improve cardiovascular fitness is to increase the volume of exercise—for example, with longer runs or bike rides, or more time on an aerobic machine. HIIT is intriguing because, according to current research, it can yield a broad range of physiological gains, often in less time than high-volume continuous exercise (Daussin et al. 2008).

With that in mind, this article will discuss the body’s cardiovascular, skeletal-muscle and metabolic adaptations to HIIT and compare them with the body’s responses to continuous endurance exercise. (Continuous aerobic training is defined as exercising—running, cycling, swimming, etc.—for more than 20 minutes at a steady intensity.) Also included here are research-based examples of HIIT and continuous endurance training.

Cardiovascular Physiology 101: Basic Reponses and Adaptations of Aerobic Training

Before we can compare HIIT and continuous endurance training, it’s important to review how the body’s cardiovascular system adapts to an aerobic workout. During aerobic exercise, heart performance is based on heart rate, stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped per beat) and heart contractility (the forcefulness of each heart contraction). These variables increase blood flow and oxygen supply to meet the demands of exercising muscles.

The contraction of the skeletal muscle also boosts the flow of venous blood returning to the heart, which increases ventricle blood filling (called the preload). This elevated preload contributes to the heart’s enhanced stroke volume during exercise, and this in turn is a major determinant of aerobic performance (Joyner & Coyle 2008).

Progressive increases in endurance training trigger adaptations in the heart muscle structure: heart muscle thickens, and the left ventricle expands, improving heart function during exercise. Consistent endurance exercise—such as 30–60 minutes of continuous running or cycling 3–7 days a week—causes a long list of cardiovascular adaptations and responses (see Figure 1).

HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Exercise: HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Exercise: Cardiovascular Adaptations

Recent research shows that the cardiovascular adaptations that occur with HIIT are similar, and in some cases superior, to those that occur with continuous endurance training (Helgerud et al. 2007; Wisløff, Ellingsen & Kemi 2009). Helgerud et al. showed that 4 repetitions of 4-minute runs at 90%–95% of heart rate maximum (HRmax) followed by 3 minutes of active recovery at 70% HRmax performed 3 days per week for 8 weeks resulted in a 10% greater improvement in stroke volume than did long, slow distance training 3 days per week for 8 weeks (total oxygen consumption was similar in both protocols).

Another study (Slørdahl et al. 2004) demonstrated that high-intensity aerobic training at 90%–95% of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) increased left-ventricle heart mass by 12% and cardiac contractility by 13%—improvements comparable to those observed with continuous aerobic exercise.

VO2max is considered the body’s upper limit for consuming, distributing and using oxygen for energy production. Commonly called maximal aerobic capacity, VO2max is a good predictor of exercise performance. Improving cardiovascular function increases the body’s VO2max. Some research suggests that HIIT is better than endurance training for improving VO2max.

Daussin et al. (2008) measured VO2max responses among men and women who participated in an 8-week HIIT program and a continuous cardiovascular training program. VO2max increases were higher in the HIIT program (15%) than they were in the continuous training program (9%).

Improving cardiovascular function and increasing VO2max are major goals of patients with cardiovascular disease, which is why some cardiac rehabilitation centers are beginning to include interval training for heart disease patients (Bartels, Bourne & Dwyer 2010). Although traditional low-intensity exercise produces similar gains, improvements from interval training happen in a shorter time, with fewer sessions.

HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Exercise: HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Exercise: Skeletal-Muscle Adaptations

An increase in the size and number of mitochondria (the “energy factory” of a cell) is becoming a hallmark adaptation with HIIT (Gibala 2009). The increase in mitochondria density, as scientists call it, has been thought for many years to occur only from chronic endurance training.

During aerobic exercise, mitochondria use oxygen to manufacture high levels of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecule of the cell) through the breakdown of carbohydrates and fat. As mitochondrial density increases, more energy becomes available to working muscles, producing greater force for a longer duration (allowing an athlete to run longer at a higher intensity, for example).

In a 6-week training study, Burgomaster et al. (2008) showed similar increases in levels of oxidative enzymes (proteins in mitochondria that accelerate biological reactions to liberate ATP) among subjects who performed a HIIT program consisting of four to six 30-second maximal cycling sprints (followed by 4.5-minute recovery bouts) 3 days per week and subjects who completed 40–60 minutes of steady cycling at 65% VO2max 5 days per week. An increase in mitochondrial oxidative enzymes leads to more effective fat and carbohydrate breakdown for fuel.

Related work by MacDougall et al. (1998) demonstrated higher levels of the oxidative enzymes citrate synthase (36%), malate dehydrogenase (29%) and succinate dehydrogenase (65%) in the skeletal muscle of healthy male undergraduate students engaging in 7 weeks of HIIT cycling sprints. Three days per week, subjects performed four to ten 30-second maximal cycling sprints followed by 4-minute recovery intervals. The higher levels of mitochondrial enzymes seen among the subjects led to improved skeletal-muscle metabolic function.

There has been a spike of current research explaining the complex molecular pathways that lead to increased mitochondrial density. HIIT can cause physiological changes that mirror the results of traditional endurance training, but the HIIT changes are accomplished through different message-signaling pathways (see Figure 2).

In this model, calcium–calmodulin kinase (CaMK) and adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK) are signaling pathways that activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-g coactivator-1α (PGC-1α). PGC-1α is like a “master switch” that is believed to be involved in promoting the development of the skeletal-muscle functions shown in the figure. High-volume training appears more likely to operate through the CaMK pathway, whereas high intensity appears more likely to signal via the AMPK pathway.

HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Exercise: Metabolic Adaptations

Increasing mitochondrial density can be considered a skeletal-muscle and metabolic adaptation. One focal point of interest for metabolic adaptations is the metabolism of fat for fuel during exercise. Because of the nature of high-intensity exercise, its effectiveness for burning fat has been closely examined. Perry et al. (2008) showed that fat oxidation, or fat burning, was significantly higher and carbohydrate oxidation (burning) significantly lower after 6 weeks of interval training.

Similarly, but in as little as 2 weeks, Talanian et al. (2007) showed a significant shift in fatty acid oxidation with HIIT. Horowitz and Klein (2000) reported that an increase in fatty acid oxidation was a noteworthy adaptation observed with continuous endurance exercise.

Another metabolic benefit of HIIT is excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). After an exercise session, oxygen consumption (and thus caloric expenditure) remains elevated as the working muscle cells restore physiological and metabolic factors in the cell to pre-exercise levels. This translates into higher and longer calorie burning after exercise has stopped.

In their review article, LaForgia, Withers and Gore (2006) noted that exercise-intensity studies indicate higher EPOC values with HIIT training than with continuous aerobic training.

Final Verdict: And the Winner of the Battle of the Aerobic Titans is . . .

The major goals of most endurance exercise programs are to improve cardiovascular, metabolic and skeletal-muscle function in the body. For years, continuous aerobic exercise has been the chosen method for achieving these goals. However, research shows that HIIT leads to similar and, in some cases, better improvements in less time for some physiological markers. Incorporating HIIT (with appropriate intensity and frequency) into your clients’ cardiovascular training gives them a time-efficient way to reach their goals.

And since both HIIT and continuous aerobic exercise programs improve all of these meaningful physiological and metabolic functions of the human body, incorporating a balance of both programs in clients’ training is clearly the “win-win” approach for successful cardiovascular exercise improvement and performance. Go HIIT and go endurance!

 

 


Fear is a wasted emotion

 

Never be afraid of what is. Being incomplete is what you should be afraid of.- Glenn D. Andrews, M.B.A., C.P.T.

 

 


The Journey

When there are no expectations, there are no disappointment.

-Glenn D. Andrews, G.A.M.-


Do not fall for the traps

Intensity and mental toughness

  1. pl. in·ten·si·ties

  2. Exceptionally great concentration, power, or force.

Different percentages are given for how much of getting in shape is diet and how much is the exercise. The struggle to get in shape is often said to be won at the dinner table, however there is a lot to be said for training. In working with different fitness athletes and sports one group has shown me you can “out-fitness” diet. But, those same athletes could have healthier diets and it would be difficult to measure the performance benefits from a competition standpoint. From my observation and experience the one characteristic that has been shown to get results is the level of intensity or mental toughness. The question then becomes can you teach intensity or mental toughness?


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