The power of protein

Undoubtedly the most important macro-nutrient whether you want to lose, maintain or gain weight has to be protein. For those who are not active, they are probably consuming a good amount but for those who are involved with a specific training regime they might not be consuming nearly enough protein or in some cases people go overboard and consume way to much.

Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of your muscles and body. Without having enough protein your body will not recover from a workout and there is a good chance your muscle will break downprotein

We all know that protein is really important for building muscle, but it is absolutely crucial for losing weight. The goal of losing weight is trying to keep as much muscle and losing as much fat as possible. Eating a higher protein diet will ensure your body uses other sources as fuel but a bit of muscle loss is inevitable.Protein keeps you full and suppresses your appetite. Fat does this as well, but protein is only 4 calories per gram compared to nine calories a gram.

Protein recommendations vary and there is a lot of difference opinion when it comes to intake. Its noted higher protein is needed for lower calorie diets (preserve muscle) as well for different styles of training. The general idea is shoot for 1g per lean body weight if you engage in regular activity but alot of other sources say .5 per pound of body weight.

Great sources of protein include:

Eggs

Tuna and Fish

Chicken

Lean Beef

Below is a great video explaining why active individuals shouldn’t follow normal protein guidelines and he discusses optimal protein needs (He is a bit pumped up in the video just a warning)

 

 

 

 

 

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CARBS- Why the two of you should be bffl’s

Spring has arrived
       Spring has arrived

Spring has finally arrived! Although I don’t hear much birds chirping or kids playing outside, I’m still excited that we are inching towards summer time!

For our fitness goals/plans, a lot of us have finished “bulking”, and its time to either get leaner or its time to drop some weight. This is crunch time, now or never!

Me no likey carbs!

Me no likey carbs!

Every year I usually hear the same stuff from dedicated gym-goers… “Yeah bro I’m cutting some weight I am basically eating no carbs” or “Im dropping my carbs a bit because I hold way too much water”..For myself I used to do this all the time and yeah its an easy way of dropping water weight not necessarily fat. It will only lead you to be disappointed and frustrated long term.

Without rambling on I want to go over a misunderstood macro nutrient…

CARBOHYDRATES

4 calories a gram, carbs are…Carbohydrate-pump

the main source of fuel for the body 

preferred and easily digested by the body

stored for later usecarbs storage

needed for the brain, kidney’s and other vital organs to function optimally.

Although carbohydrates are not considered essential (you can live without), your overall well-being will suck and I will go over later what it feels like to be on a low carb diet, I personally think its the biggest waste of time/wrong way to lose weight or get lean.

Different types of carbs

To sum it up really, there are

Sugar(Simple carbohydrates)

sugar-cubes-saidaonline3635-fruit-photo

 chocolateComplex carbohydrates (starch)

Starches

Fiber

healthy-for-life1

Why carbs are crucial for getting lean

Most people’s first instinct is to decrease carbohydrate intake when they want to get lean.. They notice more vascular muscles, they feel tighter and for the time being feel great! If you want to gain lean muscle mass, dropping carbohydrates is one of the worst things you can do.

Yes you can decrease your carbs a little bit but if you drop them dramatically, your performance will go down the drain. Your training intensity will be that of a little girl and your going to be tired, thirsty, drained all day long..

If you want to get LEAN, you should keep your carbs the same if not even higher than before and train harder. Take use of the energy and put it to work rather than decrease it and have half ass workouts. Even when you decrease carbs its mostly water weight that you will lose and that cant be sustained for the long term because it you will burn out quick. Here’s a list of symptoms of low carb diets…

http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/low-carb-diet-side-effects.html

To see your requirement for carbohydrates, visit this link. Its very informative as to how many carbs are needed for different types of lifestyles

(http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=156380183)

Lowering carbs/eliminating them is a short term trade-off. It may work for a week but when you feel like laying in bed all day, your skin looks all crappy, your constipated, headaches all the time, than you should maybe consider increasing your carbs.

Carbohydrates for weight loss

For weight loss in general, I’ve mentioned in many blogs before, you need to consume less calories than you are burning. That’s why carb’s will help give you a much needed boost in your workout, having high intensity which will lead to higher calories burnt. Losing weight is not dependent on low fat or low carbs its just total calories burnt.

 

For people who are hesitant on increasing their carb intake, keep it pre, during and post workout. This will ensure your body has a good supply of energy to perform an intense workout. Reducing carbohydrates is pretty much unavoidable when trying to lose weight since protein and fat are essential. If you find though your energy levels are getting too low it could be because of a low carbohydrate intake or because your losing weight too fast. Remember you can be eating 0 carbs but if your still eating more than your burning you will gain weight. Period.

Top 7 annoying gym habits

When you step in the gym, you see people from all walks of life. Most of the time you just do your thing without a problem but there’s always that ONE person or group that just annoys you. Some don’t even notice while others like myself observe whats going on and we just think to ourselves, “What the hell are they thinking” or “That persons just plain stupid”.

Listen, I’m not judgmental.. I respect the fact people come to exercise and try to better themselves but sometimes arrogance and plain stupidity are just too much to handle. Below are my top 7 highly disliked gym mistakes that I’ve come across in my “gym” life-time.

1.) Drowning the fishies

What are you trying to do steal all the water? When your actually dieing from thirst, the last thing you want to do is sit and watch someone just guzzling water. I don’t mind if you fill up your water bottle or just have a drink or two but don’t sit there and make love to the water fountain. Now I know the subtitle says for over a minute but sometimes people are there for way more than that. Its pretty convenient if you bring a water bottle or have a gulp or two but when you drink and just stare at the fountain its just annoying. Think of the fish.

2.) You throw your weights

Nothing makes a man more masculine than throwing his weights. Its actually more manlier if you throw them as hard and far as you possibly can…. Sarcasm... The funny thing too is that it’s not even the biggest guy in the gym who throws the weights…its always the 140 pound dude who has a hard time getting a mustache. What you should be doing is gently putting the weights down nicely, no matter how heavy they are… like your putting a baby to sleep in it’s crib. Show some self-control and lower the weights down appropriately.

3.) Modelling in front of the mirror

Definitely the biggest annoyance of all time. Nothing spells arrogance like flexing in the mirror and observing the gym to see if anyone woman are noticing. I hope he is not reading but there’s a dude at our gym who likes to take his shirt off all the time. This is just outrageous! I can’t read people’s minds but I am sure they don’t like it when their always flexing in the mirror as if they got signed to a fitness magazine or if Calvin Klein called and wants you to be an underwear model. Go home and admire yourself in your own mirror, don’t scar the lives of others.

4.)The Screamer

Its a Monday Night and your doing arms. You pick up the 10 pound dumbbells and as you struggle to complete your last rep you just let out this gigantic scream! ARGHHHHHHHHH… The screamer is usual annoys just about everyone and I can see why. Usually they try be like a Grizzly bear and let out big roars and screams to let people know their “working hard”. Learn how to breathe properly and just stop being annoying. No one cares that your a beast, your hurting their ear drums.

5.) Marking your territory

You want to do the bench press. Everythings going well and your work out is really intense and as you walk over to the bench press.. BAM! A huge pile of sweat on the headrest. Not only is this disgusting its just plain wrong. Like a dog, the person is usually marking their territory but what they need to learn is proper gym etiquette and clean up after themselves

6.) Mr.Holleywood talking on his cell-phone

There is always that one girl or guy that’s on their cellphone the whole time their at the gym. They sit on the cardio machine or in the yoga room and just talk and tak and you get it… Rather than working out your jaw, put down the phone and do something. You can talk all you want when you get home, 1 hour out of the whole day won’t hurt you if the GF calls or if your buddies are trying to plan out the night. No one cares about your conversations so dont yell and try and let everyone know what your doing.

7.) Hogging the weights

Kinda like a dog marking it’s territory, this person usually just keeps the weights the entire time as if their afraid of letting go. This person probably had a hard time sharing as a young child and I guess it’s just never gotten better. Learn to share the weights, let others work in so that both of you can hog the weights.

 

 

Aside

6 Mental benefits of exercise

When I was younger, exercise for me was all about having a good body. Of course I would feel and look better but I was much more focused on getting bigger biceps than I was about feeling happy and stress-free. I disregarded feeling happy/confident because I was obsessed with getting bigger and stronger.

As you grow older you start to care less about small insignificant things like big biceps and you start to steer your attention towards the benefits exercise brings. Like the common phrase says, “Take time to smell the roses”, enjoy the “now” you will be a lot happier.

Boosting your “HAPPY” Chemicals

ENDORPHINS- Being just as effective as anti-depressants, its the overall feeling good/euphoria you get when you finish a workout. I’m sure most of us after finishing a workout feel on top of the world and we tend to think less and do more afterwards. Most doctors tend to recommend daily exercise and the main reason is that it can boost your overall mood.

Self Esteem/Self Confidence

Improving your self will make you have more self-worth. Not always, but exercise and working out can help with ones physical image which in turn will help them have a better “mental image” of themselves. There is a fine line between self-confidence and cockiness. If you already have low self-esteem/confidence than working out and exercising is great. But you definitely don’t want to be cocky or arrogant cause know one wants any of that. Being depressed isn’t fun, although depression can be in the family, you can still manage how you feel about yourself. For people who are inactive, expect to lose weight pretty fast (water weight) when you start to workout but remember to be consistent because its going to come right back on.

Manage/Reduce anxiety

One would think getting your heart rate up would just cause more anxiety but that’s far from the truth. One would also think having a warm bath or reading a book would be better for anxiety. Exercise and scientifically HIIT (High intensity interval training) have been shown to reduce anxiety dramatically. Not that you have to exhaust yourself to be less anxious but people with insomnia and sleeping disorders can benefit a lot from exercise, although I don’t recommend it right before you go to sleep.

More productivity

“A study by Jim McKenna from the University of Bristol showed that after exercising, participants returned to work more tolerant of themselves and more forgiving of their colleagues. Their work performance was also consistently higher, as shown by better time management and improved mental sharpness”- Leanne Beattie

As mention in the quote above, exercise helps you become better in your daily life and at work as well. The traits mentioned above would help you become not only a better worker but a great leader. Personally, it is pretty hard to do homework without moving around or doing some sort of exercise. Not only does my day go slower if I don’t exercise, but I feel tired and useless.

Be a leader/Inspire others

People tend to look to others as a source of inspiration. Personally, I had a friend who was into working out and I wanted to have a body like him. He gave me the motivation to workout consistently and eventually I turned to be his source of motivation. Having a workout buddy or someone who you can go to the gym with is great to not only turn their life around but to help yourself, you feel better when you help others.

Improved Sex Life

For men we probably just think yeah increased testosterone leads to better sex life but there is much more too this than increased T levels. Sex can be VERY mental and sometimes the anxiety that builds up before can cause one to totally withdraw from it which is very unhealthy. The more you exercise, the healthier your arteries for woman the arteries between your legs and men more blood flow to the penis.

“University of Texas at Austin researchers had 35 women come in on two separate occasions to watch a brief travel film followed by an erotic video; before one session, the women cycled for 20 minutes. Using a device that measures blood flow to the vagina the researchers found that women were 169% more aroused while watching the X-rated film a,after a sweat session”– Emily Chau. For men, it makes us more reliable, meaning 30% less likely to have erectile dysfunction. Lastly, everyone wants to look good naked and exercise will definitely do that.

Run your way to victory – Your CARDIO encyclopedia

7 Cardiovascular Training Mistakes

I don’t know about you guys but the weather today totally motivated me to start running again. Yeah I’ve been working out pretty consistently but I totally avoided my cardio training and my lungs feel weak as hell.Spring always creates a switch in my mind that its time to lose some weight and after lifting my shirt up, I concur. 

Cardio training for overall health

Whether you want to lose body fat so you can fit into that bikini or you want to show off your abs to the ladies, It all starts and ends with cardio. But what most people don’t know is that cardio is far more important than weight loss. Cardio not only strengthens your muscles but it helps:

Boost Metabolism

By performing cardio it will help lower blood pressure, help with circulation, and the best part of all, it helps your body burn more calories at rest. What most people don’t know is that when you perform a cardio session, the machine will say you burnt X amount of calories. What you probably dont know is that when you go home, your body is still burning calories. The unfortunate part of all this is that you would want to perform intense cardio (depletes glycogen=stored energy=fat) not your standard 1 mph on the stationary bike.

Helps your body for more strenuous exercise 

When you first start working out or if you take a long break your body will get crushed if you just start lifting weights again. The smart thing to do is slowly build yourself back up but by doing cardio (again more intense cardio) your body is preparing itself for more strenous types of exercise. This will help strengthen tendons and MOST importantly, your conditioning. There’s more on this below.

Helps strengthen your lungs

Your lungs act like a train station. Its sends oxygen throughout your body which helps circulation, warming your body up for exercise. By popular belief strengthening your lungs wont EXPAND your lungs or increase the size of them. It will only help them become more efficient sending oxygen throughout your body. The main benefit from all this is that your everyday life will benefit. Believe me. Not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Most important benefit of all- YOUR HEART

The grand daddy of them all. The most important muscle in our body which most people dont even know is a muscle. Your heart. Cardio training has a direct impact on your heart and your heart health. 

We all know if your inactive you feel sluggish,tired and unmotivated. This could be because you might be depressed or just tired from no sleep but if your hearts weak your body will let you know. Without cardio and exercise for that matter, your heart works in overdrive. It pumps harder, your heart rates alot higher, you will notice your blood pressure is a lot higher too. If you perform cardio your heart will work less and your reduce the chance of heart attack which I know many of us don’t care about but start now so you don’t worry so much when your fifty. 

Cardio for weight loss

Perhaps the easiest way to lose weight rather than restrict your calorie intake is to perform cardio. This can be done daily without the chance of over training or over-doing it. Again, if you want to lose weight you need to eat less than your body is burning. Most people who aren’t too active meaning they don’t exercise but walk around all day or move burn roughly anywhere from 2000 calories to 2500 calories. This really depends on weight, height, muscle mass, age and sex. If you perform thirty minutes of intense cardio or an hour of moderate cardio, it is a sure shot you will lose some weight, especially retained water which happens alot to woman or when you over do it on the carbohydrates. With any training program, whether you want to gain muscle or lose weight, you should really consider cardio training. Its funny when you see a really fit girl or guy trying to climb a flight of stairs and all you hear is huffing and puffing. I hope this is not a contradiction to the post, but if you really want to lose weight and alot quicker than cardio is a balanced training program! Weights wont make you look bulky.. Muscle requires energy and the more muscle you have the more calories you burn naturally. And trust me, you wont look bulky unless you put on 10+ pounds of muscle which is going to take you a long time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BIG LIE- Cardio machines suck at telling you calories burnt 

This has been noted in the fitness industry for years. Machines are a big and i mean big rough estimate of how much your actually burning. Even with your weight and height entered, it doesn’t account for the amount of muscle that your body has which is a big part of determining how many calories you burn. A guy for instance with 160 pounds of LEAN muscle (minus body fat) vs someone whose 160 pounds but only 120 pounds of muscle will be an enormous difference. Than when you go home and think you can eat whatever you want, its a recipe for disaster. Many studies say cardio machines are off anywhere from 10-35%! So say you “burnt” 600 calories. You really only burnt anywhere from 390-540 calories. That’s very frustrating. Your best bet is to always decrease what the treadmill says by around 100-200 calories. There is no exact way of figuring calories burnt unless the machine is state of the art.

 

So go enjoy your cardio.. There many ways of cardio training. Go for a walk, run, do the stairs, walk your baby, do chores around the house, speed walk, move around the office. If you really want to get into shape, do HIIT (High intesity interval training) 

 

 

The most important muscle of all- Willpower/Self-Control

Before you start anything…

Whether it be our typical “diet” for dropping a few pounds, our lack of motivation to be active, our “sweet-tooth”, why we cant eat healthy…  It all starts with the power of will.

“Genius is patience”- Isac Newton

I wrote this blog because its the underlining factor for success and it’s been proven from many physiologists like Roy Baumiester who wrote the book “Willpower” and because living a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be because your friends are doing it or because you want to be better than anyone else. I see people all the time saying they are starting their “diet” and its so difficult and working out is way to hard, its just negative after negative thoughts. Negative=bad=bad results. Second reason would be because I know alot of people use the spring time to actually start kicking their plans into action, I guess the new years resolution failed once again….

And Id like to point out the obvious that Willpower and self-control are used all the time throughout your every day life. Whether its with your friends, family, relationships, alcohol you name it. Willpower though can be strengthened just like any muscle, it takes practice and practice and more practice. We tend to give ourselves too many ultimatums or say we will do it tomorrow. Step out of your comfort zone, and you will benefit from it. Trust me. The more time you spend thinking is just going to make you more and more anxious from starting.

Again… Why diets fail

“How did I let this happen?” Oprah Winfrey

Someone who is dirty rich and is seen as one of the most influential people on the planet struggled with her weight for years because she followed a diet. Her weight fluctuated a lot and was following liquid diets, ate extremely boring and healthy foods, she couldn’t do it.

Think of willpower like a meter bar. You wake up its full and throughout the day, stress from work, people, your own thoughts lower the meter. And by the end of the day, your just tanked and the gym is the last think on your mind. Quick science nerd talk, glucose(sugar) is used by your brain, without it, our will power diminishes. Hence why low carb diets are awful and eventually you will binge eat and bam, the weights right where it was if not even more than before.

Self-control is will power’s little brother. And if you want to succeed long term you need self-control. You can indulge in your favorite meal, or your moms cooking or fast food restaurants. You just need self-control so that it doesn’t become long term.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Although many find eating healthy to be harder than living a healthy lifestyle, I think the whole fit lifestyle is a lot harder. I personally try and eat as healthy as possible but the moment I feel like something “bad”, I go ahead and do it.

#1 rule for living a healthy lifestyle.. Being/attempting/trying to have a positive attitude. The moment you feel negative tell you head to shut up and push away any self doubt. Not trying to make this sound like a self-help book but it works for me to always stay positive no matter the situation.