Lose fat for this summer

Read this and take notes if you want to lose fat for summer.

2015 is steamrolling forward and not letting up. February is here and it’s time to get down to business when it comes to being beach ready. The summer months are closing in and right now is the time to lose fat and get in the best shape of your life.

Here is the lowdown on dropping the fat you don’t want on your body. Whether it’s your stomach, thighs, hips, or arms, follow this plan and start now and you will have an awesome chance of losing serious weight by the time the fourth of July swings around.

Being mindful of your nutrition and exercise is the most important key to your success and here’s why. When you are stuck in a rut and not losing weight and not training hard, it’s probable that you’re mindset is not in line with the desire for losing weight. When we go grocery shopping, the steps of success are being built. Often, we listen to marketing campaigns that drive us away from our end result. We believe greek yogurt is better than eggs or we grab 100 calorie snack packs because the packages say it’s good for you. Next time you go shopping, pick up a 100 calorie cookie snack pack that promises it’s good for you and ask yourself “Is this going to help me burn fat?”

The obvious answer will come to you right away.

Step one in the journey to healthy and fit in 2015 is to be mindful of the process and not let yourself get into a unconscious blur. You don’t want to get caught up in that blur because it can crush your results. Being mindful of your schedule, the proper foods to buy, cook, and eat, the workout program you’re on, and hydration and sleep will bring you the best results.

So now, here are some immediate things you can do that will help you drop bodyfat, help you feel better, and get you out of the rut you might be stuck in:

– Drink more water.

If you drink one glass of water today, drink two tomorrow and then add another the next day. Work your way up to around seven or eight bottles of water a day and you will be fully hydrated, which helps your body burn more fat. A lack of hydration can mess with your energy levels, performance in the gym, and functions of the body’s hormones and digestive system.

– Eat these foods:

Lean Meats. Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Buffalo, Pork, Venison, and Fish

Vegetables: Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Cauliflower, Peppers, Carrots, Onions, Squash, Zucchini, Cucumbers and more. Make the produce section the place where you spend most of your time at the grocery store. Most stores have prepackaged salads that are great to grab a few handfuls from and take with you to work.

Nuts and Seeds. Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Hemp Seeds, more.

Fruit. Apples, Bananas, Lemons, Limes, Berries of all kinds, and more.

Also eggs should be in your diet.

Cook with coconut oil, olive oil, or real butter.

Eating rices and potatoes are fine. Keep them to one meal a day and it’s best if it’s after a workout. Carbs don’t make you fat. Eating too much food and not moving enough does.

A lunch or dinner plate should look like this:

One Serving of a lean meat

Two Servings of Vegetables

One Serving of Nuts or Seeds or Nut/Seed Butter

One Servings of a carb source like Rice or Potato (preferably once a day after a workout)

For breakfast, I usually eat 4 to 6 eggs or I just grab a Whey or Hemp Protein shake and a banana or apple if I’m in a rush.

The key to success with nutrition is to eat healthy and whole foods. You should absolutely avoid foods that have a lot of processed material in them. Foods like microwave popcorn won’t help you see fat loss. Foods that you find in the snack and cereal aisle like weight watcher cookies or 100 calorie pretzels won’t help you see fat loss. The more real, quality, foods that you eat, the better your results will be.

Once your nutrition and hydration are in order, it’s time to talk about exercise.

– Exercise at the level of your current fitness.

Many people are afraid of exercise. It burns the muscles, the lungs, gets the heart pumping and uses our energy. Sometimes we just don’t have any energy left after dealing with the kids, the jobs, the dog, and more, but exercise doesn’t need to scare you.

For beginners, there is no reason why you won’t lose a lot of fat by simply walking for a few minutes everyday. Walking is the most underrated exercise there is for people it benefits most. Walking doesn’t burn as many calories as running or burpees, but for people who have a hard time breathing during heavy exercise or have a lot of weight to lose, walking is simply the best thing you can do. But, you also have to make it more challenging every time. That might mean walk faster, go further, or walk longer.

There is a large number of people I’ve encountered who have no time to exercise. They’re schedules are packed with work, kids, sports, school, and many other important life events. But that doesn’t have to stop you from working out. Sure, it’s hard to just get started at home, especially when you don’t have the accountability of a coach like those at Activate Fitness, but you can always find ten minutes for an at-home workout.

Here is a sample at home workout you can perform right now that will shed fat in 10 or 15 minutes.

10 Bodyweight Squats
10 Push Ups
10 Sit Ups
20 Jumping Jacks

Repeat that circuit for 10,15,20 minutes or more.

For those of you who have time to make it to the gym and are able to perform workouts effectively, you want to make sure you train three to four times a week. Progression in strength, endurance, and mobility is important. As you train you should be working on getting stronger and feeling like you can get through an intense workout better. Simply showing up for a workout and going through the motions will not help you produce the change you’re after.

This brings me to my secret weapon when it comes to losing fat fast.

A notebook.

Several years ago I was 60 pounds overweight and struggling to drop fat. I was working out four times a week and trying to eat the healthiest I could at the time. The problem was, I was not losing weight. I was stuck and it pissed me off. Then one day, I heard someone talking about how record keeping, writing your daily foods and exercise, in a notebook is one of the most powerful things we can when trying to lose weight.

Within 30 days of writing down everything I ate and what I did during my workouts, I lost over 20 pounds. Within 60 days, well over 30 pounds. Over half of the entire weight I lost from when I was my fattest came within two months of writing things down. Sounds like something you should do huh?

Here’s an example of an entry in a notebook.

2/2/2015
5 am workout
Trap Bar Deadlifts with 225 pounds 5 sets of 5
Push Ups 5 sets of 20
1 Arm DB Rows 4 sets of 20 with 60 pound dumbbell
Bodyweight Walking Lunges 4 sets of 100 feet
Plank 4 sets for 1 minute

Finished workout with 5 minutes of Jump Rope

6:30am- Breakfast
4 eggs
1 Banana

9:30am- Snack
1 Scoop of Whey Protein
2 ounces of Almonds

1pm- Lunch

6 Ounces of Chicken Breast
2 Handfuls of Spinach/Mixed Green Salad
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 Ounces of Mixed Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds

4pm- Snack

1 Red Apple
2 carrots sliced
1 TBSP of natural peanut butter

6pm- Dinner

6 Ounces of Pork Chops
2 Handfuls of Spinach/Mixed Green Salad
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Cup of White Rice
2 Ounces of Mixed Nuts on Salad

8pm- Dessert

1 Cup of Mixed, Sliced Strawberries and Blueberries
1 TBSP of Heavy Whipped Cream

That is a perfect notebook entry for when you’re trying to lose weight. It shows you exactly what you did, when you did it, and it keeps it recorded so you can always go back and look or show your coach if you have one. Doing this takes roughly a few minutes each day and if it seems like a hassle to you, most likely you don’t want to lose fat, you’re just pretending.

Now that we have your hydration, your nutrition, your exercise and movement, and the secret weapon (a notebook), the last thing to do is talk about:

– Sleep

How long do you sleep each day? 4, 5, 8 hours?

“The best I can do” is usually the answer and for awhile, it’s okay. You can’t change it right away but it should be worked on. If you sleep less than 7 or 8 hours a night, working on getting more will help you lose more fat in 2015. If possible, like on weekends, find time to nap. Even if it’s 30 minutes. Napping is a great way to relax the body and help yourself catch up on needed rest. Sleep has a big effect on performance and mindfulness, work on it.

I am confident that if you follow these simple guidelines you will burn more fat than ever before. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed though. If one thing is harder than the others, don’t make it as big of a deal until you have the ability to focus and make it happen.

Some people have no time to cook. While eating out isn’t the best thing to do, you can find alternatives to menu items that are somewhat in-line with the foods I listed. Don’t just give up and blow your diet.

Workouts are hard to do and finish. Start where you are. If a 10 minute walk fatigues you, that is progress and not something that should get you down. It’s a small success that will lead to big results. If you can’t make it to the gym, do the circuit above for a few minutes and be happy that you had the ability to do it in the first place. Sometimes you have to find the inner strength to make the workouts happen as well. If the baby naps and that time is the only peaceful quiet time you have all day, it’s probably a good bet that you should train during that time. It will make you feel better.

The key to your success in 2015 when it comes to losing fat is your mindset. Say it’s hard or not worth it and you’ll be stuck exactly where you stand. Accept the resistance of exercise, the difficulty of scheduling, shopping and cooking, and you will find that you have the time and ability to get in the best shape of your life. Drop the excuses. There are none. The only reason you have for not getting results is the fact that you don’t want to try. All it takes is a little effort and you will change your life.

The Cutting Primer

The Cutting Primer

Let’s get a few things straight…
1. All of the insights I’m about to provide are not person-specific. What that means is that it is a general guideline, not a bible.
2. I truly do believe that bodybuilding is 80% diet. You can lift your ass off daily, and still look horrible if you aren’t eating right.
3. You are what you eat. It’s just that simple.

The BASICS-
1.Postworkout Nutrition-
I’m a firm believer that PWO nutrition is hands down the most important aspect of dieting. It is within the 15 minutes after a workout that your body is in dire need of nutrients. It is a completely anabolic state, and what you take in can be optimized to ensure maximum results. A general rule of thumb is 40-60 grams whey protein, and double the amount of whey in carbohydrates (50% dextrose/50% maltodextrin).

2. Carbs- You are damn right, carbs. In a strict cutting diet the majority of your carbs should come in the form of PWO nutrition, and the remainder in breakfast. Fibrous veggies are a staple, but keep in mind that they don’t count towards intake, as they have negligible impacts on blood sugar levels. (Exceptions: Carrots, Peas) All high glycemic carbs outside of PWO should be avoided. The best sources of low GI carbs can be found in oatmeal and brown rice, as well as yams.

3. Protein- You need tons. 1.5-2.0 grams per pound of lean bodyweight is a good general rule of thumb. You should take in a good portion of your protein in the source of real meals, avoid intaking too many shakes, as real food comes to a better benefit. The list foods with high protein bioavailability is extensive, and I will only cover a few, (Egg whites, Lean steak, Chicken breast, the list goes on forever….).

4. Fats- Guess what? You need fat to lose fat. We are talking about the granddaddy of fats, the EFA (Essential Fatty Acid). Good sources of fat are ( Flax Oil, Nuts, Salmon, Olive Oil).

5. The separation of Carbs and Fats- This is a hotly debated issue, but again, in my opinion, an important aspect nonetheless. Remember that it is often when you eat items and with what you eat them that is more important than what you are eating. A mouthful, I know, but stay with me. Remember that when you take in certain carbs, you can spike your insulin levels. If you are taking in fats when your insulin has been spiked, you are allowing the basic laws of physiology to act out, and you allow for a higher propensity for fat storage. Separation is key. The sample diet will give a good example of how to separate them.

6. Supplements-

Glutamine: Helps prevent catabolism when cutting. Best used in dosages of 10grams daily, 5 grams before cardio, 5 grams at another interval, but not after workout as it fights for absorption with the glutamine peptides in whey.
ALA/R-ALA: Gets my supplement of the day award. R-ALA is effective in lowering the spike of insulin when certain carbs are consumed. I could give you a dissertation on the stereoentisomeric properties of the R, but all you need to know is that it has been found to shuttle carbohydrates away from adipose and into myocytes. Translation: Away from fat cells, into muscle cells. It’s a supplement, however, not a miracle worker. It’s not a crutch, and won’t do anything about fat intake. ALA and R-ALA can also aid in the expedition of the ketogenic state. Remember that if you buy R-ALA that you supplement it with Biotin. Glucorell-R is prepackaged with it. If you can afford it, go for it. As far as dosage, with the R, you are looking at 1-2 pills of Glucorell R for each 30-40grams of carb intake.
Protein and Carb Shakes: I’m not going to cover protein, because even if you can’t afford it, you should sell a kidney to get some. Carb drinks are rather convenient, and companies offer pre mixed dosages, (CarboHit, Glycoload, UltraFuel). Dextrose and Maltodextrin can be bought from most supplement stores or online.

7. Cheating- Cheating is essential. Why? Remember, the body runs on homeostasis, it likes to keep balance. After eating so well after a week, your body begins to adjust, and fat loss over time will not be as rapid. The other extremely important aspect is mental sanity. So many diets crash and fail because people don’t give themselves a chance to breath. Remember, cheating is not an opportunity for you to pillage the entire mall food court. Shoot for a cheat meal, not an all out binge. A fast food value meal can be 2,000 calories. Eat that 3 times on one day, and you’ve consumed 6,000 calories. And that’s not good in any case.

8. Cardio- Cardio and cutting usually go hand in hand. I won’t go into specifics about length, other than cardio shouldn’t be excessive. 45 minutes to one hour daily should be sufficient, and should be performed on an empty stomach.

Sample Diet:
Note: This is a sample diet for a 200 pound gentleman who is wishing to cut. We can assume his BF to be around 15%. This diet will NOT work for you if those criteria don’t apply to you; however it is easy to customize the below diet to take in account your own statistics. It is the principles that are applicable.. I am not going to post the total amount of calories, only the carb, protein and fat macros for the whole day.

Meal 1:
Lean Protein, 1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal 2:
Protein shake/Lean Protein (2 tbsp flax

Meal 3:
Veggies, Lean Protein

Workout

Meal 4:
PWO Nutrition

Meal 5:
Veggies, Lean Protein, 1/2 cup rice or oatmeal.

Meal 6:
Shake with Flax

That turns into approximately 300 grams protein, 130 grams Carbs, and 50 grams of fat.

*Reminder: This is a PRIMER. It’s not mean to be comprehensive.

Here comes the fun part: Question and Answer….

Q: What about dairy?
A: If you don’t mind a soft look, fat free cottage cheese is an excellent caseinate source, but as for milks- way too much processed sugar. NO.

Q: Should I do a keto diet?
A: Unless you are morbidly obese, or would like to drag your wilted muscles behind you, stay away from keto. Again, that’s my opinion. You can see my previous posts for my anti-keto ranting.

Q: What about cycling carb intake?
A: Obviously on non workout days you will be without a shake, so you will be auto-cycling. It works well that way.

Q: Is sodium an issue?
A: Outside of the bloating issue, or if you have high cholesterol, no.

Q. How do I make my meals not taste like cardboard?
A. Be creative. Mix in some sugar free jam or splenda in your oats, some hot sauce or soy sauce on your meats, or pick up some sugar free ketchup.

Q. I don’t like old fashioned oats. Can I eat the pre mixed oats with fruit?
A. No. Be a man. Those mixes have ridiculous amounts of sugar.

Q. What about fruit?
A: Fruit replenishes glycogen stores in the liver, and in my opinion, is not to be a staple of a strict cutting diet, with a few exceptions.

Q: Can I eat steak while cutting?
A: Definitely. Make sure it’s a leaner cut.

“Obsessed is a the word that lazy people use for dedicated.”

8 Tips For Beginners Wanting To Lose Weight

8 Tips For Beginners Wanting To Lose Weight




EVERYONE who wants to get leaner should read this article. Sometimes we veterans forget what we once knew or we don’t practice what we now know. If you’re a beginner, this will be an introduction. If you’re experienced, let this be a reminder.


1. JUST GET STARTED – TAKE DECISIVE ACTION!

There are so many opinions about how to lose body fat that many people end up completely confused and they don’t do ANYTHING!
They’ve read about 27 ways to diet, 34 ways to do cardio, 101 ways to lift weights and 79 supplements to take. But they still don’t have a clue how to start.
You stuff your brain with so much information it feels like it’s going to explode, but then you never do anything about it. You’re like a deer stuck in headlights. Sound familiar?
I call this the “paralysis by analysis” syndrome.

The most important thing you can do is take action. Just begin the journey and figure it out as you go. Better still; get a coach or trainer right from the start.
Actually, losing fat is not that complicated. You don’t need a PhD in exercise physiology to figure out that any exercise is better than no exercise. You don’t have to be a genius in nutritional biochemistry to figure out that an apple is better than a pop tart. Getting lean is simple: Exercise. Eat healthier foods. Eat smaller portions. Isn’t this stuff just common sense? Didn’t your mother tell you this?

So what’s stopping you? What makes you freeze up?

If you’re like most people, FEAR is stopping you. You’re so afraid of doing something wrong, you choose to do nothing rather than make a mistake or look foolish.
What you must understand is that people who accomplish much and people who accomplish little BOTH have fears. The difference between the two is that the latter feels the fear and lets it immobilize them. The former feels the fear and does it anyway.

Begin the process. You can always fine-tune your program as you go. Naturally, it’s better to aim and then fire, but its better to fire and then adjust your aim later than not to fire at all. You can’t win a battle by hiding in the trenches.

2. WALKING IS A GREAT WAY TO START A CARDIO PROGRAM

Ok, so you’ve decided to forge ahead in spite of your fear and start working out. Congratulations. Now what? How do you choose between Stairmaster, Tae Bo, Lifecycle, Yoga, Kickboxing, Elliptical machine, jogging, swimming, etc.?
Any exercise is better than no exercise so stop over-analyzing: just pick something and start. Just do it.

If you can’t make up your mind, then here’s the simplest, easiest, most guaranteed way for any beginner to successfully start a fat loss program:

Walk!

Here’s why:

It requires no equipment

It requires no knowledge of exercise technique

It can be done by almost everyone, regardless of experience

It can be done almost anywhere

It’s safe

For all these reasons, walking is the perfect way to begin. However, the better your condition becomes, the more you’ll need to advance to higher levels of exercise intensity to reach higher levels of fitness.

I’m not saying you should abandon walking, but if you decide to keep walking, a casual stroll will no longer do. For an experienced exerciser, I would consider walking a method of locomotion more than a serious workout.

There’s a big difference between walking for health vs walking for fat loss. Even a 10 or 15-minute casual walk has health benefits. But if you want to turn walking into an effective, fat-melting workout, you’ll need to push yourself for 30 minutes or more several days per week. Walking briskly uphill (or on an inclined treadmill) is an excellent fat-burning workout for anyone.

3. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN MINUTIA – FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS

Read any book about success and it will tell you “pay attention to detail.” Sounds like good advice – unless you haven’t mastered the fundamentals yet. In that case, it’s the worst advice you could follow.

Every day people ask me questions like these:
“Should I use a fast acting protein powder like whey or would casein be better? What if I mix both and also add a little bit of Soy? If I use all of them, what ratio of the three would be ideal and when should I take them?”
“I want to do the ephedrine-caffeine stack and it says to take 20 mg of ephedrine with 200 milligrams of caffeine. The ephedrine comes in 25 milligram tablets, so should I chip a little bit off the tablet to get the right ratio?”

Do you see the problem here?

These are legitimate questions, but they’re completely moot if you’re eating doughnuts and sitting on the couch all day long. Fix your diet and get your butt moving first, then worry about the little things.

Emerson said, “The height of the pinnacle is determined by the breadth of the base.” The heights you reach will depend entirely on how broad a foundation you build. Great coaches such as Vince Lombardi and John Wooden credited most of their success to drilling their players on fundamentals.

Forget about ALL the minutia until you have the fundamentals down cold!

Forget about supplement dosages

Forget about macronutrient cycling

Forget about tempo manipulation

Forget about glycemic indexes

Forget about the latest Bulgarian or Russian periodization program

Master the fundamentals first!

The fundamentals of fat loss include: (1) Do your cardio, (2) Lift weights, (3) Burn more calories than you consume (4) Eat 5-6 small, frequent meals and never skip meals, (5) Keep your fat intake low, but include small amounts of good fats, (6) Eat natural foods; avoid processed & refined foods, (7) eat more complex carbs, fruits & vegetables, (8) eat lean proteins with each meal, (9) Think positive: visualize yourself as you would like to be.

If you’re not doing all these things, and you’re looking for the perfect supplement stack or the optimum periodization plan, I’m afraid you’re barking up the wrong tree.
I don’t want you to think that details don’t matter – they do. The “Law of Accumulation” states that every success is a matter of hundreds or even thousands of tiny efforts that often go unnoticed or unappreciated. Everything counts. Everything either helps or hurts. Nothing is neutral.

The problem is when you get bogged down in minutia before you’ve even learned the basics. Minor details produce minor results. Major fundamentals produce major results.

Don’t major in minor things. Lay your foundation first, then move on to the finer points. And remember, as Jim Rohn says, always be suspicious of someone who says they’ve found a new fundamental.

4. KNOW YOUR CALORIES

The most important dietary factor in fat loss is not how many grams of carbohydrate, protein or fat you eat, the most important factor for fat loss is calories. Eat more than you burn each day and you will store fat. Eat less than you burn each day and you will lose fat.It’s just that simple.

Where the calories come from is important too, but unless you understand the calorie concept, nothing else matters.

I’m appalled at how many people claim to sincerely want to lose body fat who admit they haven’t a clue how many calories they eat.
Get serious! If you don’t have the faintest idea how much you’re eating, how can you expect to make any progress?

Did it ever occur to you that your ONLY problem might be overeating!
Do you realize that too much of anything gets stored as fat?

That’s right – even if you’re eating nothing but “natural and healthy” foods, if you eat too many of them, you’re still going to get fat.

Portion control, my friend, portion control!
On the other hand, maybe you’re under-eating and slowing down your metabolism. There’s a fine line.

5. NEVER, EVER QUIT! MAKE FITNESS A LIFESTYLE!

Do you know what is the biggest mistake made by beginners?
They quit!

Remember in the January issue, where I mentioned how attendance in our gym shoots up for about 6-8 weeks around New Year’s? Well, it’s back to normal now because all the quitters dropped out already.
What’s especially sad is that most people quit right when they’re on the verge of making substantial progress.

Remember: You’re never a failure as long as you’re working on the progressive realization of a worthy goal. But the second you quit, then it’s official – you’re a failure.
Quitting should not even be an option because…

FITNESS IS A LIFESTYLE!

Don’t let these four words slip by you just because it’s an oft-repeated cliché. This is an important mindset! You have to stop thinking of getting in shape for a New Year’s resolution, vacation or wedding (or a contest, you bodybuilders). You must start thinking about getting healthy and in shape FOR LIFE.

When you’re just starting out, firmly resolve that quitting is not even an option. Don’t approach this endeavor with an “I’ll try” attitude. If you accept quitting as a possibility, you might as well not even start; just grab that remote control, a bag of chips and get back on the couch where you were before.
Also, understand that results may come slowly in the beginning if you’re not the genetically-gifted type. This process requires great patience and persistence for most people.

Most beginners never allow themselves the time it takes to get any momentum going. They expect too much too soon, get discouraged and quit.
It takes a big push to get started. It’s like getting a rocket off the ground – it uses most of its fuel just launching off the pad, but once it’s in the air and the inertia has been overcome, it can keep going with very little energy expenditure. Don’t quit just because it’s difficult to “launch!”

6. GET A PERSONAL TRAINER, COACH, OR MENTOR

Life is too just too short to learn everything there is to know on your own. Don’t waste time climbing the ladder only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall! Learn from the experts. Get a trainer, personal coach, or mentor to help you start right – right from the start.


7. JOIN A GYM IF YOU CAN, BUT A SET OF DUMBBELLS ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO GET YOU STARTED

. In a well-equipped gym, the possibilities are endless, the atmosphere is motivational and people are there to help you.

More often than not, however, beginners start at home. That being the case, I admit that you don’t need a gym to get started. You also don’t need any of that garbage advertised on late night TV. The only piece of equipment you need has existed for over 100 years – that’s right, the humble DUMBBELL!

Remember – don’t overcomplicate this – think basics, basics, basics (and dumbbells are as basic as it gets.)

Dumbbells are the single most versatile piece of equipment in existence. You can perform hundreds, even thousands of exercises with dumbbells.

Ladies, a set of 3 to 20 pounds will be more than sufficient. Guys, a set from 10 to 40 pounds should do the trick (for now). I’ve also heard wonderful things about Powerblock dumbbells for space-saving, although I don’t have first hand experience to cite.
If you also get yourself a bench and clear out a little corner in your favorite room, then you’re ready to roll!

Here it is – The beginner’s all-dumbbell routine:

1. Dumbbell bench press (chest)

2. Dumbbell side lateral raise (shoulders)

3. One arm dumbbell row (upper back)

4. Dumbbell extension behind head (triceps)

5. Dumbbell Bicep curl (biceps)

6. Dumbbell Lunges (thighs)

7. Dumbbell One leg calf raise (calves)

8. Dumbbell leg curl (hamstrings)

9. Crunches (abs)

There you have it. Simple and effective. At home or in a gym.

If you’re just starting, do this routine for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps per exercise, except calves and abs which you can go up to 20 reps. Rest 1 minute between sets. You’ll train your whole body in each workout, 2 -3 three days per week, non-consecutive days.

After 3 – 6 months, you’ll probably need to add exercises and move up to a split routine. (So I guess I have to do another article, called 8 tips for intermediates: How to keep going).

8. WEIGHT TRAINING IS NOT OPTIONAL – IT’S MANDATORY!

It’s is a common misconception that you should start with aerobic workouts and lose the fat first before adding weight training.
Unfortunately, the best you can hope for from diet and aerobics alone is to become a “skinny fat person.” You may lose weight, but you’ll have a poor muscle to fat ratio and a “soft” appearance.

Obviously, weight training is the key to developing strength and muscle. What few people realize is that weight training also increases fat loss, although it occurs indirectly.

Weight training is anaerobic and burns carbohydrates (sugar).Cardio is aerobic and therefore burns fat. So it seems logical to focus on aerobic training for fat loss.
However, something interesting happens “beneath the surface” when you lift weights. Weight training increases your lean body mass – aerobic training does not.
Low calorie dieting and aerobic training without weight lifting can make you lose lean body mass. If you lose lean body mass, your metabolism slows down, and this makes it harder to lose fat.

If you increase your lean body mass, you increase your metabolic rate and this makes it easier to lose fat. With a faster metabolism, you’ll burn more fat all day long – even while you’re sleeping!

If you have limited time, and your main priority is fat loss, then do a very brief weight training program and spend the majority of your time concentrating on cardio. But never neglect the weights completely – always do both, and if possible, devote equal attention to each.





Remember , 80% of your goals come from your diet. 10% from your training.

cropped-lhxc_250-fw.png

7 Day Rice Diet Plan – Lose Pounds Quickly? Or Drive Yourself Insane With Hunger?

7 Day Rice Diet Plan

Boiled white rice

Boiled white rice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a diet plan that someone I know used and they thought it was great. When they laid it out for me I pretty much wrote it off as a “crash” diet where you basically starve yourself . I’m sure you will lose the weight because there are hardly any calories consumed. But after the week is up how are you going to feel? Starved? Most likely.

Here is the 7 day rice diet plan which they say will help you to lose pounds quickly.

According to what I was told this diet should be used for a minimum of 3 days and maximum of 2 weeks. Beginning from day 3 you will lose 1.5 pounds a day.

In this diet it is recommended to use unclean brown rice for all dishes.

Day 1:

Breakfast: an apple, rice (80 g of dry grains) mixed with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Green herbal tea without sugar.

Lunch: vegetable soup, vegetable 150 g of salad made of different vegetables except tomatoes , 80 g of boiled rice mixed with one teaspoon of vegetable or olive oil.

Dinner: vegetable broth, 80 g of boiled rice with 2 big carrots.

Day 2:

Breakfast: an orange, 80 g of boiled rice mixed with one teaspoon of low-fat sour cream .

Lunch: vegetable broth with boiled vegetables and 80 g of rice.

Dinner: repeat lunch of day 2.

Day 3:

Breakfast: a pear and 80 g of boiled rice.

Lunch: vegetable broth, salad made of cucumbers mixed with one teaspoon of vegetable oil, 80 g of rice with mushrooms fried on olive oil.

Dinner: vegetable broth, 80 g of boiled rice with white cabbage.

Day 4:

Breakfast: fruit salad with 2 tablespoons of rice flakes, 80 g of rice mixed with low-fat milk or cream.

Lunch: vegetable broth, 80 g of boiled rice with radish and carrots.

Dinner: vegetable broth, 80 g of rice mixed with 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds.

Day 5:

Breakfast: 80 g of boiled rice with grapes.

Lunch: vegetable soup, 150 g of vegetable salad made of different vegetables except tomatoes , 80 g of boiled rice mixed with one teaspoon of vegetable or olive oil.

Dinner: vegetable broth, 80 g of boiled rice with 2 oranges.

Day 6:

Breakfast: 80 g of rice with 2 dates, 4 walnuts and 1 pear.

Lunch: a vegetable broth, salad made of cucumbers mixed with one teaspoon of vegetable oil, 80 g of rice with mushrooms fried on olive oil.

Dinner: a vegetable broth, 80 g of boiled rice with 1-2 apples, a cup of tea with one teaspoon of honey.

Day 7:

Breakfast: 80 g of boiled rice with an apple and a pear,1 glass of fat-free organic yogurt, a cup of tea without sugar.

Lunch: vegetable broth, a portion of green salad, 80 g of boiled rice with 1 tomato and green string beans.

Dinner: vegetable broth, 80 g of boiled rice with 2 big carrots.

The dinner should be no later than 7 p.m. and it is also recommended to drink a big glass of water before each meal. Try not to consume any liquids during 1.5 – 2 hours after each meal.

 

That’s it. What do you think? Like I said, it’s just a crash diet to me. I don’t like deprivation of food personally. I would be afraid of loosing too much muscle But If you wanna lose weight quickly this could really work.

What I’ve learned

I started exercising a long time ago and over the years I learned a lot of diffrent stuff. Some stuff I still use and other stuff I have discarded. As you get older things in your life change and your needs change. This is a list of what I learned when first starting out and other things that I learned later on. If you are a beginner that is awesome , read the list and take what you can from it but remember always do your own research and speak to doctors,trainers,nutritionists and pick up as much as you can. The process should be fun! Enjoy it! But learn.

1-How often should I work out as a beginner?
How many times a week?

There is really no golden rule about it, your body will get used to training  at a physical
level very quickly. But there is however one golden rule of rest. It is usually advocated
to rest a muscle or muscle group for 48 hours before you train it again.
However, you should work out the first 2-3 weeks at a lower intensity. This also applies to those who
have been away from training for a long time. Many people make the mistake of coming back to the gym
after 1-2 weeks of illness and go at it as hard as before. The result is extreme soreness that could leave you feeling wiped out.

The body is amazing and it is adaptive, it doesn’t take long  to get used to the physical activity.

2-How do I avoid the “gorilla” look?

They say that the “Gorilla” look is where the shoulder is rotated forward. It comes from  overdeveloped chest muscles in 
relation to the back of the shoulders and back. They also say many people forget or neglect to train their shoulders and back
muscles and it leads to the chest muscles pulling the shoulders forward and the “gorilla”-look arises.

I call bullshit on this one though. Just my opinion folks. I think this gorilla look comes directly from bad posture. Nothing more nothing less. Most people have horrible posture. I am always catching myself slouching, even when standing. When I do catch myself I stand up straight and push my shoulders back. Not only does this eliminate the gorilla look but actually makes you stand taller.

But It is important to train the entire body proportionally. The human eye can
appreciate the symmetry, our brains perceive symmetrical things
beautifully. Whether it’s a painting, a couch or the human body.

3-What is  ROM (range of motion)?

Range of motion is the distance a joint will move from flexion to extension . For the best way to train try completing each rep using a full range

of motion. This way you are training for full functionality. But as you advance and become more comfortable using the weights you can try to isolate the

ROM  by working the top half or the bottom half of the rep.

4-When I bench press I feel it in my shoulders a lot. Is there any way I can fix my technique so I can isolate my chest?

I am sure that if you route around on the internet you will find all sorts of “proper technique” posts about ways of doing

the bench press in a way to “isolate” your pecs. But the reality is that those techniques generally are BS and only work

when lifting light weight. Along with the squat, dead lift and overhead press the bench press is one of the “Big 4” of lifts

and it is a compound movement. Since the bench is a compound movement you can not isolate just the pecs. In this context

compound movement means , more than one muscle group. Besides, how much time do you want to spend working out?

Whats better than hitting more than one muscle at a time…..I call that practical and economical!

5-Do you need supplements?

The simple answer is no. There is no need to use them if you have your diet “dialed in”. But they do simplify things especially if you’re at work or in school. 
Having a good diet is key and it’s a science, especially if you want to lose weight and have to  go on a
calorie deficit. Because then you have even less room to get all parts of a varied diet.
But are they necessary for building mass? No. But eating  frequently is.

There are substances that are  NOT going to provide themselves within the diet.
At least not in sufficient quantities to achieve any added desired effect.
One of them is Creatine, which in studies shows to contribute to increased muscle growth although it never has done anything for me.

6-Can I exercise if I have a cold?

You can, but you shouldn’t. When the body is sick it needs all the nutrients it can get to 
fight the disease. Let it  concentrate on that, instead of having to maintain your muscles.

7-I am very muscular and my left
chest muscle is bigger  
than my right.
What can I do to fix it?

This happened to me when I was younger. My girlfriend at the time noticed it. She started laughing and pointing at me. I looked in the mirror and I was shocked.

Sometimes we prefer to use a particular body part when doing any physical activity
in everyday life. This can lead to one muscle being more developed than the other. To counteract this, you should do a lot of dumbbell work instead of barbells.
This helps the muscles to even out over time.

8-Why should I combine different muscle groups
in a workout? Many people will do  
chest / triceps or back / bicep.
Why should I do this?

When you bench press you are hitting you pecs,triceps and shoulders. 
You train your triceps  whether you like it or not.
Therefore, it is better to put these muscle groups together to avoid training
the same muscle group two days in a row.

When you advance further and you are ready to step it up a little you can try something else. Instead of doing chest and triceps you can do chest and biceps

9- I am Exercising regularly, but see no results.
What am I doing wrong?

There could be many reasons why gains fail to materialize. 
But the two most common are  poor diet or poor training or both.
Diet is 80% of your gains and you must ensure that your body gets the nutrients needed for
it to rebuild muscle. Revise your eating habits. Write down what you eat and make sure you meet certain criteria.
Are you hitting the calorie level you want?
Do you get enough protein?

An Other common reason is how you manage your training. Heavy weights, in the 8-12 rep range is good
for building muscle and increase hypertrophy. Less reps are better for exercising power and building strength.
If you are looking to increase muscle volume, you should be hitting  8-12 reps more regularly. But you should cycle in a lower

rep range of 4-6 reps to work with a heavier weight and build your strength up. Follow workout programs that rotate your rep range

throughout your training.

10-My grip strength is really bad, I lose grip
before I had time to finish an exercise
.
Should I buy pull straps?

No, pull straps should be avoided as much as possible, you begin to use them and
end up having to use them all the time. Grip strength will comes afterwards.
Just go hard until your grip gives out and be patient.

At an advanced level they are ok to use.

Wrist straps allow lifting heavier without hav...

11-How long should a workout be?

Try to keep it around an hour. After 45 min. you can start to reach a higher cortisol level and begin muscle breakdown.

Wrap it up at around an hour and put some food in your gullet pronto!

 

12-I have always been really skinny, can I get huge?

Anyone can put on muscle, but how long it takes depends on the body type. 
You have always been slim so you probably belong in the category of an ectomorph, the body type that
takes the longest time to build muscle. It’s hard,  you can not do
anything to change your genetic conditions. The muscles will come , it just takes longer.

13-What to eat to put on the most muscle?

Besides running a caloric surplus, you need a lot of protein. 
Between 1.5 to 2 grams per pound of body weight tends to be the standard measure.

14-Can anything be done to reduce workout soreness?


You can use a foam roller, get massages, soak in a hot bath or decrease intensity but really the only thing that makes soreness subside  is time. Just keep training, stay consistent.

15-Can you weight train even though you are 50 +?

Absolutely! Training is even more important as we get older in order to slow muscle breakdown and remain strong and limber. But making sure you have a really good diet with high nutrition is essential.

16-Can you lose fat  and build muscle
at the same time?

Absolutely!

17-Is it okay to do both strength training and cardio?

Yes it is quite okay.  But try out different routines and see what really works best for you.

For example I have found that with certain routines I really don’t need to do cardio because my weight training keeps my

heart rate high throughout the routine.

 

 

I will probably update this list over time so check back every once in a while if you want.

cropped-lh-4-0.png

 

The daily smackdown

Every once in a while, we all need to be slapped around a little bit. You know, when we are kidding ourselves into believing something that we really want to believe, but it just ain’t true. That’s when we need a good friend to grab us by the shoulder, pull us aside, look us in the eye and say “Hey buddy, here’s the deal” and lay it out for us. Well today I am going to be that good friend, Jillian Michaels style.

If you want to lose weight, and for just about everyone reading this blog, this means you, and if that weight is substantial, and substantial is anything more than five pounds, then listen up because I am talking to you.
Don’t believe any thing you see on Regis and Kelly or whatever else you watch that tells you by making a few minor changes, switching from Coke to Diet Coke, using Splenda instead of sugar in your coffee, etc., you will lose weight and achieve the body of your dreams. It’s not.
Have you ever read about how to save money? They give you tips like stop going to Starbucks and make your own coffee, don’t buy a newspaper but read it online instead, etc. Is anyone getting rich like this? No, I don’t think so. The one or two good articles you read written by a real financial advisor who lives in the real world will tell you this: Don’t give up your little things, like Starbucks and the newspaper. Instead focus on the big things, like making changes to your auto insurance policy, starting up your 401K and maximizing it, drive a less expensive car and stop eating out at expensive restaurants and cook at home. Those big changes make a difference, but going to instant coffee ain’t gonna cut it.
Well weight loss and fitness is the same thing. Don’t kid yourself that switching to Splenda or Equal is going to do anything to your waistline. In fact, in my opinion it is more likely to give you some kind of trouble down the road, like most sugar substitutes, and you’d be better off with a little sugar. At least sugar is natural. Anyway, I digress. The point is you need to take “massive action” to lose weight. You are trying to save your life here. You are trying to lose 20, 30 even 50 pounds. That is not happening with small changes. “Start taking the stairs instead of using the elevator.” Not gonna do it. Is it a good idea? Yes, of course. But it’s not going to make a dent in your weight loss, that’s for sure.
What is massive action? Make the decision to do something dramatic. Commit to a plan of action. Join a gym (and pay for the year up front). Hire a trainer (and not just once a week), sign up for aerobics or spinning classes and go EVERYDAY. Call a nutritionist  and learn how to eat because I know that you “Don’t really eat that bad”, but guess what? You do! You do eat bad. You may not eat fast food for every meal, but if you need to lose 20 or more pounds, you are eating very, very wrong and you need to learn what to do and start doing it pronto. Every day, week or month you wait to do something dramatic, you will gain another 2, 5 or 10 pounds and have that much more trouble getting started.
Don’t say “I’m going to try to workout this week.” Too weak and not committed. Say “I am going to exercise everyday this week.” Be definite and even more specific. “I am going to go straight to the gym from work every day this week. I am going to do 30 minutes of cardio everyday, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I am going to do weights.” That is more like it. And better than that would be that you are going to see your trainer M, W and F or you better know exactly what you are going to do on those days or you will just putz around like most people at the gym and you will feel good that you went, but you will know deep down inside that you probably didn’t do what it is going to take for you to lose the weight. If this is the case, you will only last about 3 weeks and then you will bail, deciding that “This doesn’t work” and you will give up.
It doesn’t work if you don’t do it right. Just showing up won’t do it. Just hitting a tennis ball back and forth won’t make you a good tennis player. If anything, it might make you worse as you learn bad habits that a coach will someday have to correct. Same thing with exercise. Learn now to do it right, what exercises are best, how hard you have to push yourself, etc.
I think you get the point. New Year’s resolutioners are here and just looking for another one to join the crew of the failed, well-intentioned and misinformed. Be one of the few who really does want to make a change, recognize that your habits have gotten you in this predicament, identify that you need to make changes, take massive action and get going towards being the you that you want to be. Because you can do it. You just need to want it.