Unfortunately, many people are misinformed and are also misled by the many promises of the weight loss industry. Everywhere you look, you see or hear of people promising ìDramatic Weight Lossî with products such as ìThe Fat Trapperî, or ìExercise in a Bottleî.
Then you also have the hundreds of diets out there such as ìThe Zoneî, ìSugar Bustersî or ìThe Atkins Dietî. Iím sure you have heard of many of these yourself. You might have even tried some of them. Unfortunately, these products and diets are not the quick fix, or the miracles they are portrayed as. They are also usually very dangerous.
Below are some common misconceptions among people with regard to exercise and nutrition.
- You need to exercise to burn fat.
The truth is you donít gain body fat because of a lack of exercise. You gain it because your blood sugar levels exceed what you are using. Basically, you are eating too many calories at one time.
- Your metabolism slows down once you hit 30.
WRONG! Actually, hundreds of research studies have shown that the slow down in metabolism is due to a loss of muscle tissue. And the loss of muscle tissue is directly related to a lack of hard physical activity!
- Pasta and bread are fattening.
Anything is fattening! Lettuce can be stored as fat! Any food or drink, which contains calories, can be stored as body fat if it causes your blood sugar levels to exceed what the body needs at that time. Bread and pasta are actually great sources of complex carbohydrate! The key is how much you eat and when you eat it.
- Eating after 7pm will make you fat.
Absolutely false! It all depends on whether or not the body needs that amount of calories at that time. Keep in mind your body is constantly burning calories, 24 hours per day, just the amount varies.
- Strength training will make you bulk up.
Another NO! It seems as if mostly women are concerned with this one. Muscle size is primarily affected by genetics and hormone production; therefore, most women donít have the potential to build very large muscles.
Muscle burns calories, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn which makes easier to burn fat and harder to gain it!
By no means is this a complete list! There are so many I could write a whole book just about them. The key is in education, but not by reading fitness magazines!
Are you sick and tired of picking up that latest body building magazine off the shelve, opening it to the latest program on the current bodybuilding star and discovering that he is using a six day split program that has you in the gym for four hours and day!!
What it won’t tell you is that the guy is a professional and probably doesn’t have to hold down a steady job, pay off a mortgage or raise a couple of kids.
The thing is you don’t have to train like an athlete to put on muscle, all you need to do is follow these action ideas below and you will start making big gains fast without spending all your time in the Gym.
Lets have a look:
1/ Back to Basics – To build muscle you must train short and with intensity, you only have a limited amount of energy per session. Tests reveal that blood sugar levels drop dramatically after 20 minutes, so exercise selection is crucial.
Compound multi-joint movements have to be used as these offer more training stimulus, are more functional and heavier loads can be lifted. Examples of compound movements include squats, bench press, dips, and chin-ups. Performing three to four exercises with high intensity during a session are what is needed.
All the main structures of the body are worked hard during this time, remembering that as you get stronger in your upper body exercises i.e. Dips, Lat Pull downs, you will also add size to your upper arms as well as your shoulders.
Working on these big compound movements has a knock-on effect throughout the whole body; there is no need for specialization techniques or isolation movements.
The thing is, the whole body is worked hard, rest and recuperation is allowed to take place and at the next exercise session we push out a few more reps than before with the same weight, then we have gotten stronger i.e. more muscle.
2/ Perform One Set Per Body Part – Having performed one set of an exercise to total failure then it should be near on impossible to generate the same force and intensity for another set.
If you are able to generate the same force and intensity for this second set then the first set was not worked hard enough.
If you give the first set 100% effort and work it to total failure (You cannot move the bar after the last rep) there is no more requirement for further stimulation.
Therefore you need to do one set per exercise, remembering to complete the training session in 20 – 30 minutes so to have the most stimulus as possible and then move on to the next exercise.
Current research shows that single set training is as beneficial as multiple set training, decreasing the chances of over training and saving energy for other lifts required during the workout.
Because you are doing one set per exercise, you will have to work it hard and to total failure.
3/ Cycle Your Strength Training – The development of muscle and strength is interrelated so the exercise session will have to be designed so that increases in strength are equal to increases in functional muscle.
Cycling intensity through changes in repetitions and poundage’s throughout your training program is an effective way to maintain progression and avoid training plateaus.
4/ Don’t Train To Long – Training itself causes the breakdown of muscle tissue. When a person trains very intensely cortisol is released into the blood stream, which causes the breakdown of muscle tissue.
The amount of cortisol released is highly dependant upon the length of training time.
Therefore to minimize this effect training should be completed in the absolute minimum time required which is no longer than 20 to 30 minutes max.
Your blood sugar levels are also dropping by this time, so do what you have to do in this time and get out of the gym, go home and grow.
5/ Don’t Cheat – Do not cheat on your reps! Every strength-training trainee runs into this problem sooner or later and it will grind your gains to a stand still. There are many ways to increase the intensity of your sets and the weights used in order to maximize results.
Cheating to increase your weights actually takes strain off your muscles and places it on your joints, which is counterproductive.
Now that you are armed with this information, you wont need to spend all of your time in the gym, by all means workout hard while you are in there but when you are finished go home and grow and enjoy life.
Do you want a flat stomach? I don’t know a person who doesn’t!
People spend millions, if not billions of dollars, each year in the quest for a flat stomach. Right now there are about 200 or more ab exercise devices out there. There’s the ab do-it, the ab rock-it, the ab roller, the ab dolly, and so many more. You would think that with all of these amazing new products that most people would be walking around with that nice, lean mid-section they’ve always wanted. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Most, if not all of these products, will do little or nothing to flatten your stomach. And that’s because these exercise contraptions cannot eliminate the layer of fat that lies on top of your abs.
In order to be successful at thinning your waistline you must have a basic under standing of how the ab muscles function and how your body burns fat. The first thing that needs to be understood is the difference between fat and muscle. Fat is excess calories and is primarily stored in layers on top of muscle tissue. Muscle is made up of fibers that contract or shorten to produce movement. Fat cannot turn into muscle and muscle cannot turn into fat! However, you can lose muscle and you can gain fat. That’s what happens to most people.
So if your goal is to thin your waist line and have a nice flat stomach, the first thing you need to do is decrease / eliminate the layers of fat that are on top of your abs. We all have a flat stomach; it’s just some of oarís are covered by excess fat.
The most effective way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short, hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).
- You must do some form of progressive strength training
The primary function of the ab muscle is to flex your torso forward. However, there are also muscles that flex your torso to the side and muscles that rotate your torso. Often times you see people on their ab roller every day doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups.
If you want to effectively strengthen your stomach you need to incorporate the following types of exercises:
ï 1-2 forward flexion exercises (crunch, sit-up, etc.)
ï 1-2 side flexion exercises (side bends, side crunches, etc.)
ï 1-2 rotational exercises (trunk rotations, standing twists, etc.)
The abs, are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most 3 times per week. You also want to make sure you are training them progressively, working them harder each time.
- Use short, hard cardio workouts to increase metabolism
Cardio workouts are important because they CAN, if done correctly, increase your metabolism for 4-24 hours or more! This means you are less likely to store any excess calories as body fat because they are more likely to be used by your elevated metabolism. Plus, you are more likely to burn off some excess body fat.
Below is a sample interval workout that can be done with just about any activity (walking, bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.).
Warm up at easy pace 2-5 minutes ‡ Perform 30 seconds of hard work (almost as hard as possible) ‡ perform 1 minute of moderate work (recovery time-catch breath)‡ Repeat this process 6-10 times ‡ Cool down at an easy pace for 2-5 minutes
- Stable blood sugar is the key
And most importantly, you must stabilize your blood sugar! This is by far the most important factor when it comes to burning away that excess body fat and keeping it off! To effectively stabilize your blood sugar you must feed your body frequently; like every 2-3 hours. The key is to give your body only what it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so, why would you only feed it once or twice a day? Give your body the fuel it needs: vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, whole grains, and lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.).
Many people are too hung up on how much fat is in food, or how healthy of a choice it is. Calories are calories and it doesnít matter where they come from. If thereís extraÖ whereís it going? Yup, you guessed itÖ body fat!
This is not to say that what you eat is not important because it is, it just doesnít have that much of an affect when it comes to fat loss. Try to make healthy choices whenever possible, but donít feel like if you eat a cheeseburger it is guaranteed to be stored as fat.
- Get the help of a professional
Unfortunately, most people donít know enough about the human body, nutrition, or effective exercise to meet their health and fitness goals. Ask yourself this one question, ìAm I happy with my current progress or condition?î If youíre not, you should consider getting the help of a qualified personal fitness professional. Donít depend on the information you get from magazines or from your local gym/ health club. A qualified fitness professional can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, and in less time than you would imagine.
If you are serious about your health and fitness goals, and you are ready for that flat stomach, I recommend you start implementing the 4 strategies listed in this article. These 4 strategies can help you take control of your metabolism and burn off that excess body fat and having you looking and feeling great! If you would like to receive more information on how to lose those love handles please call me at 240-731-3724 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org