Are You in an Exercise Rut?
Lots of people have a standard exercise routine, and routine by definition is 'the same old thing.' The human body is smart. It finds ways to make things easier and more efficient. Many tasks, once learned, get shipped from the brain to the brainstem, like walking. Cheating or compensation in the weight room is really just the body's way of avoiding isolation and saying: 'I have a better way of doing that!' With regard to exercise, if you do the same type of cardio or lifting exercises day in and day out, the body will learn it, make it easier, and your exercise time will become less efficient and results limited. I'll wager that 90% of people at a health club start their exercise session by heading straight for the treadmill or elliptical to clock in 20-30 minutes. And, many of your so-called muscle dudes make Monday bench press day, Tuesday shoulder day, Wednesday arms day...and so on. Even if you don't belong to a fitness center, jogging day in and day out has limited results with overuse patterns and injury sure to set in. So, with that said, here are a few tips to...
Make Your Exercise Time More Efficient
Interval Training is Better
It is a fact that humans function more efficiently as interval machines. Our structure and Physiological makeup confirm it and studies prove you burn 8-9 times more calories with a higher metabolic rate following the session. We evolved, (and survived), in the ability to hunt, chase, and kill, then rest, eat, and be productive around camp. Designing a workout of various exercises, (usually falsely separated at weights & cardio), of 30-45 seconds each, followed by 1-2 minutes of rest is the way to go. Elevate heart rate, recover, repeat for 20-45 minutes. Perfect! The idea that 26.2 miles or an Ironman, is a true mark of fitness is preposterous. Overuse at its best.And, if your goal is to shed a few pounds and crank up your metabolism, nothing beats intervals.
Less is More
Who says you have to workout for an hour everyday? You know that responsible eating habits are 90% of the battle so a couple of hard resistance training workouts per week, and incorporating a long walk, a hike, a yoga or pilates class, and/or 20 minutes of sprints once a week are completely adequate. Recovery and regeneration are part of fitness.
Vary the Intensity
Going hand in hand with intervals, changing how much, (perhaps resistance, sets, reps, rest), how hard, (perhaps effort, resistance), and how long, (perhaps duration of set or workout), resistance type, (rubber tubing, Bowflex, water), body position, (standing, seated, lying, on a ball), are all tactics to employ. No one said you have to flop on a bench and do 10 reps with the 15 pound dumbbells every time you do a press.
Forget the Isolation of Body Parts Routine
Isolation is fine once in a while, biceps, triceps, etc, for specific goals, but know that there is truly no such thing as muscle isolation. AND, Isolation is not the way the body is intended to function. When you reach for a cup of water, I'm sure you don't think about shoulder flexion, elbow extension, elbow flexion, and glenohumeral internal rotation. It's all hard wired and happens naturally.
Incorporating more integrated movements, more often, like squats, deadlifts, pullups, pushups, and rowing all involve a multitude of movers and stabilizers and are more beneficial overall.
Try Something Different
The assisted Pullup machine, rowing machine, or rubberized resistance tubes are all examples of neglected, yet beneficial exercise tools.
Eliminate High Risk Low Benefit Exercises
"Just because an exercise has been done for years does not make it safe or effective." -Tom Purvis founder RTS
A short list might include upright rows and tricep dips, but every exercise comes with inherent risks if performed improperly with too much load, with too often a frequency, too fast, or even too great a range. Learning what to do and how to do it to best serve your goals may be best answered by hiring a fitness professional.
Hire a Trainer
Although many times finding a quality personal trainer is like shooting darts in the dark, watching them work, talking to who they work with, and interviewing before paying is a good idea. Worst case, you come out getting a few ideas to pursue on your own.
| INCREASING ENERGY
Everyone knows that lack of sleep, Thanksgiving dinner at your grandmas house, and James Taylor songs make you tired, but what can you do to increase energy or not deplete energy. Red Bull and 5 hour energy you know aren't good for you, so here are a few tips to boost your energy and get 'er done!
Get quality sleep
It is a fact that getting to be early, like not too many hours after the sun goes down, is good for you. The body regenerates all night and important things like hormones are re-manufactured. Preparing for slumber is also important by getting the lights low, shutting the tv off, and note eating late. Read more about sleep HERE
Make sure you have protein and fat for breakfast
The biggest mistake most people do is eating carbs for breakfast. Cereal, bread, and juice are almost entirely sugar and lead to a morning crash. Eating meat, omelets, eggs, or a shake with a quality protein powder, is the way to go.
| Jogging ... not as good as you thought
It's long been considered the gold star of exercise and health, but lately researchers have been analyzing why apparently fit and lean people who use jogging as their primary fitness activity have abnormal blood profiles, get injured often, and in a few cases, have dropped dead. How can that be?
The main reason is that humans function and benefit as interval machines, not as endurance athletes. It's not to say the occasional jog should be avoided, but using distance running as a sole source of fitness, maintaining relatively the same heart rate, actually trains the heart and lungs to become more efficient, but shrinks their capacities. In order to regenerate and become stronger, our systems must be challenged, near maximum capacity, in brief bursts of effort. Enter Interval Training.
Interval Training is Better
- Interval Training is defined as short and brief bursts of exertion and elevation of heart rate followed by brief periods of rest/recovery.
- The heart is a muscle which responds to, gets stronger, and more efficient due to challenge and exertion, not constant tempo/pace of the same repetitive movement.
READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE
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Structure was created out of the need for a convenient, quick, and portable meal that provides optimal nutrition as an integrative part of a healthy, active, and lean lifestyle. After 16 years in the fitness industry and seeing nothing on the market that provides the taste, nutrition, and results a protein powder supplement should, I felt it was time for a better blend. Structure is four complimentary sources combing the best whey protein isolate, egg white, hemp seed, and coconut to provide a full spectrum of nutrients that is superior to any product on the market. It is not a meal replacement but indeed the foundation of a deliciously constructed meal that provides energy and optimal nutrition to build muscle, burn fat, and curb hunger. Set the stage for a strong, lean, and healthy body by adding Structure to your life.
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| Nutrition Fact
|Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that must be obtained through the diet because it cannot be made by the human body. They are critical to incorporate into your eating regiment since they have been proven to prevent many health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, alleriges, neural degeneration: (Neuropathy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's), and cancer. They also play a role in maintining energy balance, improving mood, sharpening memory, and healthy nails, hair, and skin.
Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Cold water fish such as wild salmon, halibut, mackerel, and cod are by far the highest sources of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to be the most effective in reducing cardiovascular disease. Grass-fed beef is another excellent source. Other great sources include hemp and flax seeds, walnuts, sardines, and black current oil.
The current recommendations are to have 7 to 11 grams of omega-3 fatty acids each week.
| See you next month|
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-Bill The Urban Caveman