date: 2013-01-30 time: 19:15:34
I get a lot of questions about how to get a 6 pack or how to get the “V-lines” on the lower abs.
The thing that is important to realize, is that the SHAPE of your abs is determined by genetics. You can of course improve them through strength training, but you cannot change their general shape. Until your body fat is low enough to where you can see them, you won’t really know what you’re workin’ with! You can unveil those abs by getting rid of the overlying fat on top… since it’s impossible to spot-reduce fat, you have to lower your OVERALL body fat percentage.
Get rid of stubborn fat by:
 Eat clean in a caloric deficit
 Cut out simple carbs, junk food, sodas, condiments and sugary/processed foods
 Control blood sugar by eating small meals every few hours
 Consume lean protein at each meal
 Incorporate some HIIT (high intensive interval training) a few times a week
 Drink plenty of water
Jag får många frågor om hur man får ett 6-pack eller hur man får "V-linjer" längst ner på magen.
Det som är viktigt att inse är att formen på din magrutor bestäms helt beroende på dina arvsanlag. Du kan naturligtvis förbättra dem genom styrketräning, men du kan inte ändra deras form. Du vet heller inte vad du har att jobba med innan din kroppsfettsnivå är tillräckligt låg! Du får fram magrutorna genom att bli av med det överflödiga fettet och eftersom det är omöjligt att bestämma varifrån fettet förbränns så måste du sänka det totala procentet kroppsfett du har.
Bli av med det envisa fettet genom att:
 Äta rent med ett underskott av kalorier
 Plocka bort snabba kolhydrater, skräpmat, läsk, såser och livsmedel som innehåller socker/är bearbetade från ditt intag
 Håll blodsockernivån under kontroll genom att äta små måltider med ett par timmars mellanrum
 Få i dig magert protein vid varje måltid
 Träna HIIT (högintensiv intervallträning) några gånger i veckan
 Drick mängder med vatten

    Body,     Exercise,     Nutrition, 3 comments

Most effective exercises for belly fat

   date: 2013-01-13 time: 14:45:00
Belly fat is not only unsightly but it is also the most dangerous form of fat. Too much belly fat increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a host of other health problems. The most effective way to minimize your belly fat is not to perform countless numbers of crunches but rather to combine a healthy diet with cardiovascular and strength-training exercises.
Most Effective Exercises for Belly Fat
Cardio exercise is the most effective means of losing excess fat, including the accumulation of fat around your belly. It is not possible to target belly fat only, belly fat responds well to a regular exercise routine. In fact, you may notice that your belly is the first area to shrink once you begin an exercise program. It requires a substantial amount of calories to perform sustained cardiovascular activity. In order to burn the most amount of fat, it is best to engage in activities that require several large muscles to perform such as running, rowing and swimming. Performing any of these activities at a moderate to vigorous intensity, a 150-pound person can burn an average of 10.6 calories per minute. If you were to perform the American Heart Association's recommendation of at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise, you could burn 318 calories per session. Performed five days a week, that's 1,590 calories. In a little over two weeks, that would result in 1 pound of pure fat loss, some of which would ultimately be from your belly.
Kettlebell exercises are an effective means of shedding fat and building metabolically active muscle. Kettlebell snatches can be performed in a continuous interval session for a sure fire method of torching excess fat. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently performed a study in which participants performed an interval workout of 15 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest for a total of 20 minutes. Researchers found that the participants burned at least 20.2 calories per minute for a total of 404 calories. Regularly performing this exercise would definitely help to burn belly fat as well as strengthen your glutes, quadriceps and core muscles. To perform the kettlebell snatch begin by bending at the hips and knees to squat down to the starting position. Firmly grasp the kettlebell, flatten your back and look straight ahead. Simultaneously, pull the kettlebell toward your body, as if you were starting a lawn mower, and explode with your hips, driving them upward and forward. As the kettlebell reaches slightly above shoulder height, punch upward to fully extend your arm to complete the snatch. In the final position, you should be standing in an upright position with an erect torso, straight legs, and your arm extended straight above your head. After each 15 second work interval, switch to the other arm.
The barbell thruster, a combination of a front squat and an overhead press, is an intense and powerful exercise. A thruster workout will tax your cardiovascular system while simultaneously increasing your total body strength and core stability, thereby increasing muscle mass. Performing a thruster interval workout will have similar effects as those observed during a kettlebell workout. The muscle mass gained during the workout will burn extra calories even when you are at rest, resulting in a greater caloric deficit, and thus, fat loss. To preform a barbell thruster, begin with your legs shoulder-width apart and a loaded barbell resting across the front of your shoulders as you secure it in place with an overhand grip. Keeping the barbell in place, slightly arch your back, stabilize your core, and bend at the hips and knees to lower into a squat. As soon as you reach the bottom of the squat, explode upwards with your legs while, at the same time, pushing the barbell upwards with your arms. If you coordinate the movement accurately, you should be able to use some of the momentum from your legs to assist in thrusting the barbell upwards. At the end of the movement your legs should be straight, torso erect and arms fully extended overhead. You can make thrusters into a workout of their own similar to the kettlebell intervals, or you can perform them in addition to your cardio exercise. If this is the case, perform three sets of eight to 12 repetitions using a challenging weight.

    Exercise, 3 comments

How to Maximize Those Butt-Toning Squats!

   date: 2013-01-01 time: 21:28:33
If strong, sculpted legs are what you're after, you've got to become one with the squat. The basic exercise targets glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core, so incorporating it into your strength-training workouts is definitely worth your while. Here are some ways to get more bang for your butt - er, I mean buck - when doing squats.
When doing a squat, make sure to shift your weight back onto your heels and lower the body as if you're about to sit in a chair. This proper form helps to put even more focus on the glutes and hamstrings and takes pressure off the knees. It also offers a stable surface that enables you to get low to the ground, which is what makes the move so effective.
Target lower body muscles differently by changing the position of your feet. Squat with your big toes together, feet out wide, and try one heel or both heels lifted, or even one leg lifted. Step on a Bosu ball and squat on a wobbly surface to work your core, and try twisting variations for even more of a challenge. Check out this list of different squat variations.
Squats focus on the legs and butt, but you can make it a total-body move by working your upper body at the same time. Grab a set of dumbbells or a resistance band and while squatting, do front raises, biceps curls, overhead presses, lateral arm raises, and overhead triceps extensions.
While squatting, take steps forward or backward as if you're walking, or take steps out to the side. Make it even harder by tying a resistance band around your ankles for even more of a burn.
Work your heart and leg muscles by adding a jump between reps. Get into your squat position. Bend the knees and lower down and, as you're coming up, press off the balls of your feet into an exploding jump, then land in squat position and repeat. This is also a great move for challenging your core and balancing abilities.
Traditionally you move the torso up and down as you do your squats, but if you lower down and hold the position for 15 or more seconds, you'll really feel the burn. While lowered, you can also pulse up and down ever so slightly for 15 seconds before coming all the way up.

    Exercise, 0 comments

Can you hit it too hard? 10 signs & symptoms of overtraining

   date: 2012-12-31 time: 16:04:00
FOR ALL FIT FREAKS! Are you taking enough time OFF?
Recovery is just as important as what you do IN the gym. But no matter how much we ‘know’ this, many people consistently spend hours and hours in the gym because it “feels” right. It’s psychological. A dependence. Fitness CAN be addictive, but it’s important that we learn how to overcome these psychological barriers to live happier, healthier and injury free lives. Outside of the gym.
Recovery is THE reason we get fitter and stronger. It’s during this time that your muscles rebuild stronger, where your body puts your workout to use and where you’ll reap the benefits. I like to think of it as making bread. You can knead the dough as much as you like, but unless you STOP and let it rise, your bread is gonna SUCK. The kneading is important, but the “rising” on it’s own is what makes the bread awesome. Rest is your ‘rising’ time.
While SOME activity is better than NONE, TOO MUCH activity can be worse than none at all. Heart problems, insomnia, illness, weight gain, injury, depression: all symptoms and consequences of hitting it too hard and too often at the gym. 
SIGNS OF OVERTRAINING (and/or fitness addiction):
      A decrease in performance. If you’re training hard and you notice that you just aren’t able to do what you know you CAN DO (having to reduce your weights, not being able to finish a set, needing to take more breaks etc), it might be a sign that your muscles have not gotten enough recovery time. 
      Problems sleeping, decrease in overall energy, mood swings etc. Workouts generally should BOOST your energy and mood. If the days seem ‘harder’ it might be a sign you need to take a step back. Depression can be a symptom of overtraining as well.
      Feeling that unless your workout is 2 hours long, it doesn’t count. The truth is, there is ONLY so much you can push your body. After a certain amount of time, it releases chemicals and begins processes to minimize damage… NOT to help you get stronger, fitter or better. 2 hours a day in the gym is too much. Psychologically, this is a barrier a lot of people get stuck behind. Often, beginners are encouraged to workout for long periods of time, but at a VERY LOW intensity. The higher the intensity, the shorter your workout can be. Work to limit your workouts to an hour or less, take less breaks, and boost your intensity instead.
      You blow off friends, family, work, responsibilities etc. in order to workout. Fitness is supposed to ENHANCE our lives… not BE our lives. What’s the good in having a body that does more if you’re not using it to do the things you love? If you’re constantly avoiding the things you need to do in order to fit in your workouts, try to plan a bit better and work on time management. Priorities please!
      You push through pain and illness in order to sweat. Your #1 responsibility is to TAKE CARE of your body. And that includes giving it time to heal. Consistently not taking that time can have negative consequences on your body and may be a sign you need to approach things differently. 
      You’re gaining or maintaining body fat… when you ‘should’ be losing. While it’s normal to have to tweak your routine to keep results coming, if you start holding on to more body fat, it could be a sign your body has gone into survival mode. Usually there’s a decrease in muscle as well (it’s what your body is using for fuel instead of fat). Our bodies need fat to survive, and if it feels like you’re tapping into the supply to hard or too fast, it will give the “order” to use muscle instead to save it’s fat stores. When our bodies feel “safe” they readily give up fat as energy: they know you’re taking care of things. If you’re pushing hard, eating clean and getting nowhere, a break may be in order. 
      You’re HIITING, lifting, pushing beyond or sprinting each and every day. It’s good to have the occasional blow out at the gym, but training this intensely every single day gives your body no time to HEAL (and no time doesn't give you the results you’re looking for). It may feel better to your ego, but unless you’re Wolverine, you should alternate intense workouts with moderate ones, and take rest days when possible. Being fit enough to run 10 miles a day doesn’t mean you SHOULD. 
      You’re constantly sore/in pain. Some people are never sore. Others are sore more often (like ME). But there’s a difference between the kind of sore you can manage, and the kind of sore that makes it impossible to put on your shirt and walk up stairs. Being THAT sore EVERYDAY? Not good. Scale back and take a few recovery days. 
      You’re always SICK. More than usual. Taking a few extra days/weeks off can help your body heal more than just your muscles. 
      Heart palpitations or increased heart rate AT REST. Generally, the more fit you are, the lower your resting heart rate: your heart doesn’t have to work as hard because it’s more efficient and strong. But if it starts having to work harder, i.e. beat more, or if it’s beats become irregular, it may be a sign you need to cut back. And maybe see a doctor.
Your body WILL give out: energy is not infinite. Make sure you’re taking steps to prevent overtraining and/or address fitness addiction before it gets out of hand… or before your body puts a stop to it for you. Engaging your body in EASIER activities on your “rest days” can help overtrainers deal with not being in the gym. If you find it hard to stay away from the gym, try taking 30-60 minutes to do something “easy” instead. 
  • Walking
  • Hikes (easy)
  • Easy yoga
  • Extended stretching (30-45 minutes of stretches)
  • Cycling
  • Frisbee
  • Sex
  • Massages
  • Hanging with friends
  • Crafts
  • Shopping

    Exercise, 0 comments

Motivate yourself for a winter run

   date: 2012-12-29 time: 18:58:20
  • Warm up your clothes: Pop your sports bra, shirts, pants, and even your socks in the dryer for a couple minutes. Slipping on warm gear is sure to get rid of that chill you have when looking out your window into the cold.
  • Warm up yourself: Take a quick shower allowing the hot water to envelope your skin, being careful not to get your hair wet. It'll warm your body and get your muscles ready to move.
  • Warm up inside: Once you're dressed properly for a cold-weather workout, do your warm-up inside rather than outside. Run up and down the stairs, do jumping jacks or a round of push-ups, or whatever you need to do to get your heart rate up without getting sweaty. You'll feel warm and loosened up when you step out the door, and you can start running right away to stay warm. Here are warm-up ideas that can be done indoors (even in a small apartment space!).
  • Blast a tune that speaks to you: Whether it's Beyoncé, Adele, or Pitbull that lights a fire inside you, use your favorite upbeat song to get you psyched for a run. You can dance and scream lyrics as you slip on your sports bra and sneaks. This is a great technique when you're really not feeling a run because it can instantly flip a switch and help you head out the door fast. Continue the musical motivation by listening to a newly crafted running mix.
  • Go for a change of scenery: Running the same neighborhood loop every week? No wonder you're not excited to run. Mix up your running route every few workouts for some inspiration.
  • Schedule a date with a fitness buddy: Having trouble motivating yourself? Then use a friend to help. If you make a date to meet outside for a run, you can't make excuses and back down.
  • Shop for new gear: Whether you go big and buy a new merino wool shirt or just splurge on a new pair of warm running socks, the idea of slipping on new gear is sure to inspire you to get outside. New gear will not only give you the kick in the pants you need, but it'll also make your runs more comfortable, which will help motivate tomorrow's workout. 

    Exercise, 0 comments

Or, wait…is it 30% exercise and 70% diet?

   date: 2012-12-15 time: 14:25:44

We hear it all the time - 20% exercise, 80% diet. Or, wait…is it 30% exercise and 70% diet? Aren’t abs made in the kitchen, but you won’t get definition without some heavy liftin’? It’s not that these sayings are untrue so much as they’re misleading. No worries, I’m here to clear this up for you.

There is no mathematical way to break down whether exercise or diet is more important for your goals. If you want to run a marathon, changing your diet isn’t going to help you with endurance. Exercise, specifically running, will. This goes the same for any goal - gaining muscle isn’t achieved by just increasing protein consumption, it’s gained by exercise. Sure, the two go hand in hand, but is it really as simple as an 80/20 or 70/30 ratio?

So what are these numbers trying to tell us? If you’re falling short on your goals - fitness or weight loss - you need to look at your diet. If you don’t appropriately fuel your body you’re not going to get anything out of it. Additionally, if you’re trying to lose weight, falling into the “exercise your pizza away” trap will lead to a vicious cycle. Exercise should never be a compensatory tool for any meal you just ate.

The truth of the matter is that diet is very important, and much easier to tailor than exercise for weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you must create a caloric deficit (you can read about this here). Creating a calorific deficit by switching out high calorie foods with low nutrient density for low calorie foods with high nutrient density (see: trading pizza for chicken breast) is much easier and takes all of 1 minute. If you wanted to burn those calories off, you’re committing yourself to miles of running or hours at the gym. It’s easier to rein in your diet and make small changes here and there than to spend surplus time at the gym to “make up” for a bad diet.

Additionally, people tend to underestimate what they eat and overestimate what they burn. The science behind burning calories is not exact. The science behind the caloric content of your food an estimate. Watching your portions is easier, and more effective, then plugging away on the treadmill for 4 hours every morning.

Diet is important because your body requires fuel to function. It also takes less time to swap out high calorie for low calorie than exercising “off” excess calories.

Exercise is important because without challenging your body, you’ll never see results. Lifting weights, running, swimming, etc. is how you increase muscle mass, strength, endurance or cardiovascular healthy. Diet alone cannot do that.

It’s not x% vs. x% - it’s a good balance between fueling your body and making it work hard.

    Exercise,     Nutrition, 0 comments

The Health Benefits of Yoga

   date: 2012-12-08 time: 23:59:00
The potential health benefits of yoga are numerous and may include:
  • Stress reduction. With its quiet, precise movements, yoga draws your focus away from your busy, chaotic day and toward calm as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration.
  • Increased fitness. As you learn and refine new poses, you may enjoy improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. And this means you're less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
  • Management of chronic health conditions. Yoga might help with a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, by helping with sleep problems, fatigue and mood. Yoga also can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Weight loss. If you're overweight or have binge-eating disorder, yoga may help you make the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to gain control of your eating and drop those extra pounds.
While you shouldn't expect yoga to cure you or offer 100 percent relief, it can help some health conditions when combined with standard treatment. And if you already enjoy good health, yoga can be an enjoyable supplement to your regular fitness routine.

    Exercise, 0 comments

1-10 Exercise Effort Scale

   date: 2012-12-07 time: 14:00:00
Which is better for your workout, moderate or maximum effort?
How important is your level of effort? If you are trying too hard, it can be too much strain on your body. On the other hand, if you're not working at all, you won't get enough health benefits from the activity. The exercise effort scale and instructions below will help you find the optimal effort level for your workouts, based on your fitness level.
How to use the scale
Pay attention to how you feel during the workout. How fatigued are your muscles? How heavy is your breathing?
Give your effort a 1-10 rating for each exercise in your workout. When you finish an exercise, let your breathing return to normal before starting the next exercise. This will give you enough energy to continue. See the effort level descriptions.
If your effort is 5/10
You can feel your muscles working, but you finished the exercise with plenty of energy left. You could have done many more repetitions of the exercise. This is a good warm up effort level.
By the end of the exercise, you can feel your muscles fatiguing somewhat. Your breathing has also picked up, but you finished the exercise well before reaching your maximum effort. This is a safe strength training effort level for beginners who have no known joint or muscular problems.
By the end of the exercise, your muscles are fatiguing significantly, but you could have done 1-2 more reps of the exercise if you used a maximum effort. If you are new to exercise, workout consistently for several weeks before exercising at this effort level.
You have to focus intensively to complete the exercise with correct form. When you finish, you are not able to do any more reps of the exercise.
During a maximum effort exercise, your movement will be much slower on the last repetition. Your muscles may 'fail' (stop working) and keep you from finishing the move.
To exercise at 9/10 or higher, it is best to have experience with exercise and also be free of joint and muscle problems. *Get clearance from your doctor before trying a high intensity workout.* Maximum effort workouts can give you great results, but they are also have the highest risk of injury. Do a max effort workout with a partner who is ready to assist you if needed. Also, to avoid overuse injury, no more than 1 max effort strength workout per week is needed, though you might have separate workouts for different muscle groups. 
Give your effort a 1-10 rating about every 5 minutes of the activity.
If your effort is 3/10 or less
You aren’t sweating, you did not feel your heart rate pick up, and you could sing during this activity. You need to work harder (at least 4/10) to get a health benefit from the activity.
You can talk, but you couldn’t sing while you are exercising. You may have broken a sweat.
Your breathing and pulse have noticeably picked up. The workout is not as casual--you have to concentrate more on the activity to maintain this vigorous effort level. If you are new to exercise, workout consistently for several weeks before exercising at this effort level.
You are breathing heavily and you can’t say more than a few words without taking a breath.
You are gasping for air by the end of the exercise, and you need several minutes rest before you could start again.
For cardio efforts of 8/10 or higher, it is best to have some experience with exercise and also be free of joint and muscle problems. *Get clearance from your doctor first.*

    Exercise, 0 comments

My tips on fitting exercise into your busy schedule

   date: 2012-11-24 time: 09:15:37
Schedule it - Mark it on your calendar or planner and treat it as an important meeting, not to be missed!
Wake up earlier - For a lot of people, waking up earlier than normal is a horrible inconvenience...but it's also a great way to get a workout in before your day has even oficially begun!
Keep your workout gear close-by - By keeping a set of workout clothes in your car at all times, you give yourself NO excuse not to hit the gym after school or work. Just swing by the gym on your way home.
No gym? No problem! - BodyRockTV on Youtube has AWESOME, intense, at-home workouts that you can do for $0 and minimal time! There are also a massive amount of workout DVDs available online.
Avoid the elevator - You can burn extra calories by skipping modern conveniences. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park far away, not in front of the store, skip the car and take your bike etc.
Take breaks - Get up from your desk, stretch and go for a quick walk to the coffee machine or the water fountain. Sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy, so give yourself a break.
Use time wisely - While you're waiting for the shower to heat up or your ride to arrive, do jumping jacks, pushups, squats, burpees.. anything you feel like to get your body moving. At least it's SOMETHING.
Squeeze it in - Even if you don't have one giant block of time, you can squeeze in 10 minutes here and there of something like Yoga, Pilates or Tabata style workouts.
On the phone? Walk! - Don't sit if you spend a lot of time on the phone. When given the opportunity, walk and talk.
If exercise and health is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse. You've only got one body, take care of it!

    Exercise, 0 comments

How to squat with proper technique

   date: 2012-11-17 time: 14:18:00
If you are working out in the gym and could only do one exercise it would be the squat. Why? Because no other exercise challenges the human body to operate as a single unit like the squat. The squat has long been heralded as the “King of Exercises” – and quite rightly so. Whether you’re doing it with weight on your back or all bodyweight, proper form is key. I found this article on squat form, and I thought it was written well, even if it is more towards squatting with a bar.
Benefits of squatting
One of the biggest misconceptions about the squat is that it is a leg exercise. The squat is in fact a full body exercise. Every muscle in your body is challenged when you squat. The legs and hips push the weight up, the abs and lower back back tense to stabilise your back, and the arms are used to pin the bar onto the back (or help with balance in the case of bodyweight squats).
  • Squats Build Muscle – Squats build muscle throughout your entire body faster than any other exercise. Squatting is a compound exercise that stresses your entire body as a complete unit. The stress put on your body by squats triggers a hormonal release of testosterone in your body. This elevated testosterone aids in producing muscle at a faster rate.
  • Squats improve your athleticism – If you want to become a better athlete no other exercise will improve your overall athleticism like the squat. Squatting helps you build explosive strength that carries over to most competitive sports.
  • Squats reduces injuries – Contrary to popular belief, squats do not cause injury (when performed correctly). Performing squats with proper form actually reduces the chance of injuring oneself. Why? Because squatting improves and maintains hip flexibility. Additionally, squats improve the stability of your knees, when using proper squat form.
Why you need proper squat form
Quite frankly, most people have no idea how use squat with correct form. In fact, I would estimate that 9/10 people I see squatting today are doing so with extremely poor from. This is a problem for 3 reasons:
  1. It is dangerous – While squatting with proper form is completely safe, squatting with poor form is extremely dangerous. Incorrect squat technique put a lot of stain on the lower back and knees and can quickly lead to serious injury.
  2. You are seriously compromising the benefits of squatting - When you don’t squat with proper form it completely defeats the purpose of squatting in the first place. Increased muscle, elevated testosterone, improved vertical leap – forget about it.
  3. You look like a complete idiot - To someone who knows how to squat properly there is nothing more pathetic than someone loading the bar up with a ton of weight than not squatting with proper form. Learn how to control your ego and do it right.
How to squat
The squat setup
  • Approach the rack with the bar at approximately mid-chest height.
  • Move under the bar and place it on your back. Hold the bar in place with your hands.
  • Stand with and even stance. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with your feet facing out at a 30 degree angle.
  • Lift the bar out of the rack and take ONLY one step back. Take a big breath. Tense your entire body. Squat.
Squatting down
  • Start from the hips – Bend at your hips and sit back into the squat. Imagine you are sitting down on a seat. The hips joint should always bend before your knees.
  • Check your knees – Keep your knees out. Your knee joints should be pointing in the same direction as your feet all the way down. If your knee buckle in it normally means that the weight is too heavy.
  • Keep your weight back – Keep your weight distributed towards your heel.
  • Go all the way down – You should always aim to squat to at least parallel. Meaning, your hip joint needs to be at least parallel with your knee joint. This is incredibly difficult to judge yourself, even with the aid of a mirror. Ask someone else to assess your depth either in the gym or by video taping.
  • Think about squatting up - On the way down think about squatting up. This will help to prepare your brain and make the upward movement easier.
Squatting up
  • Bounce off the bottom – At the bottom position of the squat your hip muscles should be tight – storing energy. Use this energy to help you bounce out of the bottom of the squat. Ensure that you are bouncing off the hips – not the knees.
  • Focus on your glutes – When powering up out of the squat concentrate on squeezing your glutes together.
  • Drive your hips up – Most of the power for the squat comes from the hips. Drive the hips in an upward motion.
Racking the bar
  • Step forward. Ensure that your bar is over the pins before lowering the weight.

    Exercise, 0 comments

Get Your Best Legs

   date: 2012-11-14 time: 19:41:02
First know that you can't reduce fat in just one place. Your body takes a little bit of fat from everywhere, more or less in some places due to your genetics. Doing a ton of leg exercises isn't necessarily going to make all that fat disappear, at least not by itself. We do these exercises to shape and tone the muscles so your legs have a great shape. If you aren't eating healthy and doing cardio those sexy muscles are going to be hidden no matter how many squats you do. Gaining muscle helps, it increases the metabolism thus burning more calories, but you have to work the rest of your body and have a clean diet too.
Try doing one video or pick five exercises and do 3 sets of 8-12 reps (or until you feel the burn) about 3-4 days a week. Do cardio 3-5 days a week too, it can be running, biking, swimming, Zumba, kickboxing, whatever gets your heart pounding and sweat dripping. You can combine strength workouts and cardio into the same day if you want. Make sure to eat protein after your workouts, it helps build muscle!
These are, in my opinion, the best thigh and leg exercises and videos. I’ve included links to instructions for most of the exercises and a variety that you can do at home or at the gym. If you workout at home try to get some 8-10 lbs dumbbells, or get a backpack/duffel bag and fill it with heavy books to challenge yourself.
If you have access to a gym try these machines and equipment:
If you don't have access to a gym try these exercises at home:
These are my favorite leg videos:

    Exercise, 0 comments

Introduction to the different types of yoga

   date: 2012-11-12 time: 17:36:21
Bikram Yoga - Get ready to sweat. You will be practicing in a 40 C (105 F) heat and in 40% humidity. Though Bikram only has 26 poses and there's a lot of alignment work so it is a good fit for beginners.
Hatha Yoga - This class is also likely to be focused on slow and gentle movements so it's a great type of yoga to wind down at night with.
Vinyasa Yoga - You'll definitely be moving, flowing from one pose to the next. It is the most popular style of yoga in America.
Kundalini Yoga - Refers to the energy of the Root Chakra, which surrounds the area around your lower spine. Expect lots of work in your core area, these classes are known to be intense.
Ashtanga Yoga - Commonly called Power Yoga. Ashtanga is definitely physically demanding. It is probably best suited for an ex-athlete or someone who is looking to push their body.
Iyengar Yoga - Expect lots of props with this style of yoga such as blocks, harnesses, straps and even cushions. There's also a lot of focus on alignment so Iyengar can be great for physical therapy.
Anusara Yoga - Expect many heart opening poses like backbends and more talking by the instructor. It is epitomized by the Celebration of the Heart.
Restorative Yoga - If you're looking to wind down after a long day of work and quiet your mind, Restorative yoga might be the answer to the relaxation.
Juvamukti Yoga - Is a mix of vinyasa flow sequencing infused with chanting and a vegetarian twist.

    Exercise, 0 comments

15 ways to find 15 minutes for exercise every day

   date: 2012-11-04 time: 21:33:43
1. Log Off Facebook
We now spend a whopping 7 hours a month on Facebook, according to Neilsen. Let’s do the math: Seven hours a month works out to 105 minutes each week or, hmmm, exactly 15 minutes every single day. You don’t have to banish Facebook from your life entirely, but limit it to two short sessions a day, like once in the morning over coffee and later in the evening. Then log out and stay off.

2. Say "No!"
Women usually have a very hard time with this one. But I think you'll really like it once you try it. Next time someone (not your big boss) asks you to do something you really don't want or need to do, say, "I'm sorry. No. I just can't", and feel the freedom - and all that free time - wash over you.

3. Plan Your Day
We all have certain times of the day when we are most focused and productive. Schedule your biggest task for that time (for many people it's in the morning, say 9:00 a.m.). You'll get it done more quickly and efficiently than if you wait to tackle it during a natural low point, like mid-afternoon.

4. Do One Thing at a Time
We pride ourselves on being supreme multitaskers, but trying to do too many things at once means getting nothing done. Sit down with your to-do list. Pick an item, and do it and only it. You'll be shocked by how quickly each task gets done when you give it your full attention.

5. Record Your Shows
A typical hour-long TV-show contains just 40 to 42 minutes of real content - the rest is commercials. Watch two shows and that's almost 40 minutes you could have spent doing something else. It's well worth investing in a digital TV-recorder so you can watch just what you want when you want, and free up time to pursue more healthful activities, like 15-minute workouts.

6. Don't Be a Neatnik
Is it really all that important that your apartment is spotless? Stop wasting precious time folding your sheets just because, and polishing picture frames and aim for an adequate level of cleanliness instead.

7. Be Decisive!
You can easily waste hours choosing what color to paint your walls or which brand of sneakers to buy (it's called analysis paralysis). At some point, you need to stop waffling and move forward. Set a time limit, say 45 minutes, for comparison shopping, weighing pros and cons, etc., then make a decision and go forth.

8. Buy Time
Pay for services that suck up tons of time. Before you pooh-pooh the idea of hiring a laundry or cleaning service, sit down and do a little math. If you've been known to blow a few hundred bucks on shoes and bags you don't really need while you slave away all your spare time scrubbing the tub, it's time to reconsider your expenditures. By hiring a cleaning service to do the heavy-duty stuff twice a month and looking into premade meal plans, you'll buy yourself hours every week.

9. Ink It On Your Calendar
Amazing how you find time for everything on your calendar, right? That's because it's there in black and white, demanding your attention (and time). Block out your workouts as you would work appointments and you won't miss them.

10. Set a Timer
Certain activities are black holes for time. All the little things you plan to do for just a few minutes - surfing the web, playing games on your phone - can suck away hours if you're not careful. Keep a kitchen timer nearby. When you start a task, set it for 15 minutes. Then stop when the bell rings.

11. Touch It Once
When a paper comes across your desk or an e-mail hits your inbox, deal with it right away. Piled up paper and messages not only create distracting clutter, you also waste time revisiting each issue again (and again) or, worse, losing something important.

12. Pick Up the Phone
Texting and emailing can be great timesavers, but sometimes it takes 15 messages to accomplish what you could do in a 40-second phone call. As soon as it starts getting complicated, pick up the phone.

13. Put Things in Their Place
I used to waste precious time looking for my keys. At any given time they could have been anywhere - pockets, drawers, purses, or my personal favorite, hanging from the door lock. Place your things on a certain place every time you put it away. Try this trick with anything you lose regularly. It works.

14. Set Out Your Stuff
Setting out your exercise clothes at night makes it far more likely that you will get up and get moving for a morning workout, instead of hitting snooze (or worse, skipping the whole affair entirely) because it's too daunting to get up and start rummaging around for your workout gear.

15. Get Up 15 Minutes Earlier
Vow to work out at 5 a.m. every day and you'll never do it. But even the most nocturnal of night owls can roll out of the sack a mere 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Even if you don't use that extra time for your workout, you'll get to the office earlier than usual, so you'll be more likely to take that 15 minutes for yourself later in the day.

    Exercise, 2 comments

My tips for "getting abs"

   date: 2012-10-30 time: 16:43:35
  • Eat clean (NO JUNK FOOD, choose wholesome, natural sources)
  • Do cardio (HIIT is great for fat loss)
  • Lift weights (Revs metabolism, and increases calorie burn over an extended period of time)
  • Drink water (Your body needs water to perform basic functions like mobilize fat stores and build muscle)
  • Get enough sleep (If you don't sleep enough, cortisol levels are raised, which promotes fat storage around the abdomen)
  • Avoid stress (Same cortisol problem)
  • Eat healthy fats (Fats like avocado, olive oil, natural peanut butter and almonds help you LOSE fat)
  • Eat lean proteins (It helps keep you satiated longer and has the highest thermogenic effect of any other macronutrient)

    Exercise,     Nutrition, 1 comments


   date: 2012-10-22 time: 16:35:10
IF YOU WANT ABS...do front squats!
1. Great quad workout:
The front squat is an excellent movement to get bigger, stronger quads - probably the best exercise there is. Because you're position is more upright, it emphasizes the quads more.
2. Stronger core:
Because you're holding the weight in front of your body, and you must remain upright your entire core gets a great workout trying to stabilize the weight and keep you upright. If you find you're leaning forward a lot when you back squat, you'll quickly get stronger and fix this problem if you switch to front squats for a while.
3. Improves your technique:
Because the bar is placed in front of you, on your shoulders, the front squat is a lot like other exercises and strengthens the "base" of those lifts/presses. Power Cleans, Overhead Presses, Overhead Squats, etc. all share the same "starting" position as the front squat. Getting stronger and more comfortable with Front Squats will help you in those exercises too.
4. More natural spine position:
You're more upright with the front squat. Your spine is in a more neutral "straight" position. This combined with the fact you're lifting less weight is healthier for your spine in the long run.
5. Much better for your lower back:
Most people have lower back problems and back squats aggravate these conditions. But because your upper body is mostly upright (instead of leaning forward like in a back squat) there's less force on your lower back.

    Exercise, 0 comments

How much exercise do you REALLY need?

   date: 2012-10-22 time: 16:21:21
To increase cardiovacular fitness levels?
20 minutes, 2-5 times a week.
To lose weight?
20-30 minutes, 3 times a week.
To tone up?
2 sets of 15 reps, 2 times a week.
To maintain fitness/weight?
20-40 minutes, 3 times a week.

To increase flexibility?
5-10 minutes, every day.

    Exercise, 0 comments

Running post UPDATED

   date: 2012-10-10 time: 20:26:25
Updated my post dedicated to running. Click on the pic below to magically appear on that post! 

    Exercise, 1 comments

HOW TO: Squeeze exercise into your schedule

   date: 2012-10-03 time: 23:13:02
Thinking you don't have time is not an option. You MUST make time to move your body. How? First, what's your average day really like? Track your hour-by-hour schedule to see where you can squeeze in some time for exercise, and separate the mandatory things (meaning you have to do them) from the optional activites.
In your twenty-four-hour day:
 How much time do you spend sleeping? (Hopefully at least 8-9 hours a day): _____ (for me; only 5 hours, oups)
 How much time do you spend at school or doing homework? (Probably 8-10 hours a day): _____ (for me; aprox. 8-9 hours)
 How much time do you spend eating, showering, and getting dressed? (Maybe 1-3 hours a day): _____ (for me; 2-3 hours)
 How much time do you spend at an after-school job or doing community service?: _____ (for me; none)
 Total the mandatory hours: _____ (for me; that's 15-17 hours)
 Subtract this number from 24: 24 - _____ = _____ (for me; 7-9 hours)
Well lookie-here. There seems to be some time left over, right? For nearly all of us, the time spent on mandatory activities adds up to somewhere between sixteen and twenty-two hours. That leaves two hours or more for squeezing in some exercise. And that's not counting weekends, holidays and summers!
If your day includes two or three hours of computer fun, telephone talk, and TV watching, then rethink how busy you are and make the time to take care of yourself. If getting healthy matters to you, which it should, you may have to face some hard facts and cut back on the lounging to get in some lunging! 

    Exercise, 2 comments


   date: 2012-10-01 time: 22:43:00
So I've been getting a lot of questions regarding running. I really wish I had time to answer all of your personal questions, but I just don't. Lucky for you, this is a WHOLE ENTIRE POST dedicated to that subject! This post will also be updated frequently as new tips show up. I'll remind you about it and link to this post so don't you worry! 
One of the things about running is that you're ALWAYS pushing yourself to your limits, and sometimes past them. I suggest mixing up your running workouts in order to build endurance, speed and strength. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Run hill repeats. Find a steep-ass hill and run up it...over and over again. It doesn't really matter how fast you go, as long as you KEEP GOING. It's important to push yourself, because part of running is learning how to put up with tired legs and sore muscles!
2. Fartlek training. Basically during your run, jog for 5 minutes, then sprint for 15 seconds. After you sprint, go right back into jogging. Repeat this until you reach 30 minutes.
3. Strides. These can be done before/after your run. Mark out 100 meters or so and sprint it. Jog back to where you started, and do it again until you reach 4 to 5 times (this helps with speed at the beginning of races).
4. Strength training. You'll need to build up those muscles in your legs! I suggest this POP Pilates video for calves and thighs.
5. CORE. The fastest runners have insanely strong core muscles. This means you not only need to build muscle in your legs, but also your core, or "abs". Check out Gain Fitness to find workouts to target this area.
6. Arms. Strong arms also benefit runners. Start doing push-ups and use the Gain Fitness website to find upper body workouts!
I'm just going to list a few things I think are important for every beginning runner to keep in mind. 
 The most important thing, I think, is to start off slowly. Don't expect that you're going to be running 5 minute miles (1½ km), or 32 kilometer (20 miles) long runs, right away. If you do too much too soon, you're going to get hurt and then you won't be doing any running. Ease into it. I think a good rule of thumb is to increase intensity by 10% each week. A lot of beginners like the Couch to 5K program.
 Don't be afraid to walk! Sometimes walking in the middle of a run to break it up when it gets too hard can help you extend the length of your run, thus keeping your heart rate elevated for a longer period of time, giving you the cardiovascular benefits longer.
 Go to a running store and get someone who knows to help you find a running shoe that's right for you. Everyone's feet are different and as such different running shoes work best for different feet (high arches, low arches, etc.). It might be a tad pricey, but it could also prevent future injuries and treating those can be costlier.
 Weight training is not just for bodybuilders and football players! It helps prevent injury, and improves your speed and stamina. Don't be afraid of resistance training, just make sure you do it right.
 Nike+ and RunKeeper are great apps that allows you to keep a running log of your runs, map out distances and elevations and save those routes for future use. Keeping track of what you've done can be a good motivator for the future. Setting short and long term goals can really help you stick with something and down the road you can look back with pride to see how far you've come!
 I think a big obstacle to people just starting out is actually making running a habit. If you skip a few days, that can turn into a week or two, then a month, and you're back at square one. So...schedule a run like you would schedule a doctor's appointment or a meeting or a class. I know everyone has busy schedules and often it's easy to say "I'll just run tomorrow", and by doing that it keeps getting pushed back. Set some time aside beforehand, and on a regular basis, and make that "running time". If you stick to a routine, it'll become a habit.
 It also can help to find someone to run with. If you know you're going to be running with a friend, it may help motivate you to push, or go in the first place.
 Get enough rest! Just like with any exercise, you're body needs time to recover, so make sure you get enough sleep, especially on days you run. It'll help with soreness and recovery time, so you can be ready for your next run!
 Get enough food! I know some people start running to lose weight and it can definitely help with that. But running on a severely restricted diet is dangerous. There's 8 gazillion different nutrition plans and each of them can work for some people and not for others. Whatever diet you're on (if you are), make sure to get enough carbs, they're the primary fuel for runs and not poison as some diet plans may have you believe. Just remember that if you've just started running, you're burning more calories than you have been normally, therefore you need to eat more calories.
 Keep the weather in mind. Remember that when you start running your body is going to warm up, so dress a little lighter than what would be comfortable to walk around in, and once you start running you will warm up to a more comfortable temperature. Also cotton can get soaked in sweat and become uncomfortable, and even cold in the winter, so it may be worth investing in some moisture-whicking material that all major brands sell nowadays.
 Hydrate or die! Make sure, especially as you get into longer and longer distances and times, and in hotter weather, to keep yourself hydrated. If you start feeling light headed on a run, chances are you're NOT hydrated enough.
 Just do it baby.

    Exercise, 0 comments

Get motivated

   date: 2012-10-01 time: 21:44:00
Make them easy to reach and keep each goal realistic. If you're losing weight, try to space out each goal evenly. Reward yourself with a small gift once you reach a goal.
Are you staying indoors to exercise? Find tons of plans online that are room-friendly. Are you cutting out fats and sugars? How many calories are you going to consume? How many days are you working out a week? Ask yourself these questions and gather everything you'll need. Stay prepared!
Make lists of what you need to do each day and keep track of what you've eaten (if you aren't eating raw or clean foods only). Log your exercises in notebooks. Get creative! Make a vision board where you'll see it constantly, like on your door or closet. Post pictures, quotes, countdowns and anything else that will keep you motivated.

    Exercise, 0 comments

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