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Archive for April, 2014

High Intensity Interval Training – An Effective Workout Scheme!

April 26th, 2014 No comments

Goran Bogunovich's fitness career started some fifteen years ago and it was love at first workout. Since then he has been learning and testing knowledge on himself. His substantial experience in fitness, strength training, nutrition and supplementation is passed on in posts here at fitwithus.com.

A couple of months ago, I decided to get myself into shape after a period of traditional winter gluttony. After a lengthy consultation with my fellow blogger Cam McAlister, I decided to try out so called "high intensity interval training" (HIIT). Let me say this straight away: a) it really did work and b) there's no such thing as a perfect workout routine - high intensity interval training (HIIT) has its ups and downs. Nonetheless, it did work better than I expected it to.

hiit

 

What is High Intensity Interval Training?

HIIT basically describes any kind of workout that alternates between intense workout explosions and fixed periods of less intense activity. Even a complete rest would do during the intervals, but from my experience I wouldn't recommend fully resting between intense intervals, simply because it's easier to maintain the continuity of motion than having to jump-start yourself every few minutes. Here's an example: An ideal starter workout would be running as fast as you can in a minute, then decreasing your running speed or walk it down for the next two minutes. Reiterate that whole 3-minute interval another four times with a collective time of 15 minutes - and I'm telling you it's a fat bombing workout. On the surface, it might sound too simple and yes, it is effective, but science simply does not tell the whole truth. (That's why I'm encouraging you to continue reading for my personal takes, going by experience.)

The Bright Side

If you  believe time equals money, then high intensity interval training workouts have major advantages over the lengthy and seemingly-interminable sessions of workout routines at the gym. HIIT really helps you maximize the time you save on a daily basis simply by keeping every workout rather short.

HIIT workouts also powerfully boost your metabolism. The wonderful thing about building muscle mass with normal weight training routines is that muscles continue to burn down those fats even during your resting phase. HIIT raises your metabolism to a much higher plateau, along with the revving of your heart rate. Calories burn faster in a much longer time frame, once you conclude your workout for the day.

The Not So Bright Side

HIIT is intense. As a matter of fact, most people are not able to cope with the strain and strenuousness. For that reason, a lot of people actually quit while the others barely make it, determined to walk the tight rope. You shouldn't really worry much about that, though.  Just think of the fact that it's really a no-leisure kind of workout, that it can really be taxing, two of the biggest reasons why it really works so well.

More On the Bright Side

Aside from its efficiency in stabilizing and boosting your metabolism, as well as how it keeps the heart healthy, HIIT will surely reward you with quick results, just as it did for me. Due to the nature of this kind of workout, I was able to notice strong positive results quickly, paired with better stamina, calorie burn, and a raised level of energy. HIIT is a win on so many levels. The momentary tiredness has no comparison to the revitalized feeling it gives you in the long term.

Five (+ One) Ways to Stay Motivated

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

Everyone has their own tricks to stay motivated to keep active, get fit, keep going to the gym, keep running, whatever it is you do to work out. Setting goals and keeping your goals in front of you is a big key, of course. But there are times when you just need something else, some other mental trick to get up off the couch, get in your car and get down to the gym.

I have my own special trick I’ll tack onto the end of this. Let’s take a look at some other great tips from around the web, though.

Stay Hungry 1976 DVD

Strangely incongruous movie poster

Mix Fun with Fitness

“Make it Fun,” says the Mayo Clinic. Great advice: “If you're not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball or softball league.” Something I think about switching over to: “Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes.”

Try different things until you find something you really love doing that keeps you active.

Find a Fitness Community

“Reach out to others for support, “ says gaiam.com. (Well, that’s what fitwithus.com is all about, actually.) They note that in America, some tend to have trouble asking for help, but encouragement from others can be a critical aspect of staying motivated for some people. Create or find your own support group. We’re trying to create one online here that can be part of your network or all you need, to share with others.

Be a cheapskate, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth

The Washingtonian did a post about the difficulties of staying motivated in a cold climate. One of their best points was that once you’ve invested in a gym membership or workout equipment you’d be a fool to throw that money away and not get your money’s worth. I know that the local chain of gyms might get a bad rap for making people commit to one year but I like that as a great motivator.  Think like a cheapskate! Get your money’s worth out of the money you’ve sunk into staying fit. Stay away from the gym and you lose doubly – your waistline grows and wasting money.

Keep a Fitness Card or Log

This is a commitment.  This is another way you can use our site. Keeping an online log is a great way to stay motivated but even if you just keep one for yourself you’ve got that extra motivation to not miss a workout and to push yourself higher.

Put Yourself Out There

Anything you can do to draw attention to the fact that you work out puts it always in the back of your mind and it can become part of your identity.  If you sit at the front in your cycle class, there’s no slacking off for you.  Force yourself to be your best.

If you lose weight and tell people that you’re working out they’ll ask you about it next time they see you. “Still working out?” What are you going to say to that?

Blog about it, tweet about it, make sure you let others know that that’s who you are. You might even motivate others.

There are other ways to stay motivated. Let me know what you think in the comments.

My Secret: Lie to Yourself

There is at least one workout a week that I do not want to get in the car for. “I have work to do…. There’s a game on...” we all know excuses that boil down to “I just don’t feel like it.” My secret? I tell myself a lie: “This time I’ll take it easy.” Okay, I reply. Once I get in the car and head to the gym there’s no turning back of course. Sometimes I even follow through so next time when I tell myself this lie, I will believe myself. Of course, often I end up giving myself a good workout and sometimes I get into it and push myself more than I ever have.

Try it next time you really should go to the gym but you just don’t feel motivated. “I’ll go but I’ll take it easy.” It works every time for me.

Fat to Ripped: Effective Fat Loss Tips!

April 22nd, 2014 No comments

It seems like everywhere you look these days, almost every website promises to reveal to you the next big secret to getting ripped fast. While some are legitimate, many are just trying to scam you out of your money. When you are trying to lose fat and develop seemingly elusive muscle, it is easy to get caught up in the flashy ads and marketing promises. From the professionally written sales copies to flashy videos and celebrity testimonials, it is difficult to figure out what really works and what does not.

What then can you do? Here are five simple tips to transform your fat into muscle on your own.

Reduce Your Intake of Low Quality Calories

It is true that your diet is responsible for about 90% of your fat burning results. In order to turn your fat into muscle, you need to take in less calories than you burn, and the best way to do this is to cut your intake of low quality calories such as refined sugar, flour and especially bad fats. By operating on a calorie deficit, your body will begin to use the stored fat reserves as a source of energy and you will begin to see your body fat melt away.

lose-weight

Do Cardio

Doing cardio at a slow to medium pace is probably one of the best ways to burn fat. To burn more calories, engage in some cardio exercises for a half to one hour daily. Cardio will help you burn lots of calories which will force your body to use the fat stored in the body for energy. Whatever sport or activity that you do at a high intensity can be great cardio: running, basketball, tennis, bicycling or even house work like lawn mowing.

Get Enough High Quality Protein

Building muscle requires a diet high in quality protein. Protein is essential for building lean muscle and burning body fat. Of all the macronutrients, i.e. carbs, fats and proteins, lean protein has the highest thermogenic effect on the body. Protein from most vegetable sources do not contain all the necessary amino acids, and building muscle requires all the essential amino acids. Meat, fish, dairy, eggs and other animal products are some of the foods containing protein that you should ensure that you get enough of in your diet.

Weight training

This is the most effective, natural, safe and efficient way to lose fat and gain muscle. Bodybuilding is only possible if you push your muscle further than what they are accustomed to. Lift weight that you find challenging enough that you cannot complete more than 10- 15 reps of at a time. Only by overloading your muscles will they respond by getting bigger and stronger. Use free weights, machines and body weights for pull ups, push-ups and sit ups.

Tighten your abdominals with targeted exercise

Try as much as you can to tighten your abdominal muscles by engaging in exercises like sit ups, abdominal crunches, bicycle crunches, side bends and trunk twists. These exercises strengthen the muscle underneath the fat. Do these exercises 3-4 times a week and you will definitely experience good results.

Conclusion

Supplement your efforts with TestoFuel

It is not easy to build lean muscles and burn fat at the same time. TestoFuel, a testosterone booster, can help you to achieve this. Together with hard training, healthy eating and enough rest you can achieve that ripped, muscular and rock hard muscle-look you’ve always wanted. TestoFuel is a unique blend of high quality ingredients including pure oyster extract, Fenugreek and Vitamin D which helps to boost your testosterone levels so that you can build more muscle.

 

What is the Paleo Diet?

April 14th, 2014 No comments

The Paleo diet (the Paleolithic diet) can simply be explained as a special dietary lifestyle that focuses only on eating natural food (fish, meat, poultry, fruits, and vegetables). This natural food, however, must be only partially processed, or not processed at all.

Although the Paleo diet’s dietary menu is quite old, the Paleo diet itself is the most recent diet to hit the world of fitness. The Paleo diet reached its worldwide popularity thanks to Paleo diet related books like The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain, The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, and The Paleo Solution by Rob Wolf. These books made the Paleo diet widely known and practiced.

The Paleo diet’s basic principles are quite simple. Paleolithic Diet Theory presents a fully integrated, holistic, comprehensive dietary theory combining the best features of all other dietary theories, eliminating the worst features and simplifying it all.

Studies have shown that our bodies are optimized to consume quite different food from what we are now eating. Our bodies are best suited for our ancient ancestors' menus - natural food that can be eaten raw. Although the Paleo diet has many different, yet creative names, it's basically a low-carb, high-protein, and high-fiber diet. This is one very few diets that allow you to eat properly without cutting calories. Also, because this is a high-fiber diet, meals guarantee the feeling of fullness, which means that you won't be experiencing hunger pangs.

paleo

 What you can eat on the Paleo Diet

Aside from meat, fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables, the Paleo diet also includes eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils (like olive and coconut). The Paleo diet forbids grains, dairy, salt, legumes, potatoes, refined sugars, and refined vegetable oils. It's carnivore-friendly, but it is the cut on the grains and dairy that makes it difficult to follow for so many people. Have in mind that giving up on dairy products can cause health issues, as the human body is left without an important natural source of calcium. To avoid these issues, food supplements should be considered, especially Calcium and Vitamin D. Considering the fact that nuts, although rich in essential fatty acids and proteins, are real calorie bombs. You should get familiar with their nutritional facts prior to including them in your dietary plan. Check out a comprehensive infographic on nuts that should help you in doing so.

Because the Paleo diet comes with some serious renunciations, Loren Cordain says cheating is allowed, especially in the beginning. Cordain says beginners are allowed to eat whatever they want three meals a week, referring to these meals as "open meals."

Although the Paleo diet emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables -- and is therefore suitable for vegetarians and vegans -- Cordain says that it is practically impossible to follow a Paleo diet without eating fish, meat, seafood, and eggs.

Unlike our ancient ancestors, we have to buy most of our food (unless we are growing certain food for ourselves), and that is a flaw of the Paleo diet - high meat and fish prices. If we manage to put this "little" fact aside, the variety of recipes that follow Paleo diets is really huge, so the one thing you will never have to worry about is what meal you'll be preparing that day.

FOODS TO EAT

FOODS TO AVOID

Lean meat

Processed Foods and Sugars

Fruit

Dairy

Vegetables

Grains

Nuts and Seeds

Starches

Sea Food

Legumes

Good Fats

Alcohol

 

Healthier than Most Diets

Whatever else is said about the Paleo diet, it is your ticket to a healthier lifestyle. You'll be eating only food that your body is optimized for, and at the same time you'll be avoiding lots of food your body is not ideally suited for, all of that without feeling hungry all the time. It’s worth noting that there are no proven health benefits (like weight loss benefits, or cardiovascular benefits). If your goals are losing excess weight, and/or weight maintenance, exercise is a must. Have in mind that our ancient ancestors were always on the move, hunting and gathering their food. Their Paleolithic diet wasn't the only factor that made them fit, agile, and muscular.

As for the Paleo diet itself, it is something you can do on your own, thanks to a large number of articles, recipes and many other resources available worldwide.

About the author:
Goran Bogunovich's fitness career started some fifteen years ago. Since then he has been learning and testing knowledge on himself. His experience in fitness, strength training, nutrition and supplementation will benefit the fitwithus.com community.