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Rules To Build Muscle Mass

Rules To Build Muscle Mass

Clients in Stamford who want to build muscle mass, often come to me with questions about taking steroidal types of supplements. Not only are they illegal, they’re extremely dangerous. There are healthier and better ways to build muscle tissue naturally that aren’t just safe, but also boost your overall health. It all starts with healthy eating and the right type of workout.

A carefully planned diet for building muscle mass is the foundation.

What you eat makes a huge difference in whether you’ll be successful or fail. You need high quality protein in your diet, as well as healthy fat and carbs. If you expect to have the building blocks for muscle, protein is a must. To have the energy to work to your top potential, you need energy and that comes from carbs. Just make sure you eat the carbs earlier in the day, not late at night when they can be stored as fat. Besides its many other functions, healthy fat helps you recover faster from a workout. We’ll work with you to get the best nutritional program for building muscle tissue.

What you do in the gym makes a big difference.

You won’t get great results training seven days a week, for several hours a day. In fact, working that hard is counterproductive. It doesn’t give your body a chance to heal and healing is what builds muscle tissue. Exercise causes micro tears in muscles, then the muscles rebuild even stronger and larger. If you overtrain and don’t give your muscles a rest to heal, it can cause injuries or tear down muscle tissue. Focus on strength training no more than four days a week—three is best—and keep those workouts under 75 minutes at the maximum.

The right types of exercise can be more efficient and help you reach your goal faster.

Whatever you do, don’t focus on cardio. It burns calories from both fat and lean muscle tissue. Strength building exercises, particularly compound exercises like squats, deadlifts or lunges, workout more muscle groups, improving efficiency. Strength training HIIT—high intensity interval training—workouts that alternate in intensity, burn calories and build muscles fast.

  • No matter how hard you workout to get a six-pack, if you have a layer of fat covering them, nobody will know. Strength-building workouts not only build muscle tissue, they burn fat tissue, too.
  • You need to constantly make your workout harder, either by increasing the number of repetitions or increasing the amount of weight you lift. If you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t see the improvement you want.
  • Building muscle requires more calories than you normally eat. If you’re having problems consuming enough calories, consider healthy smoothies with protein powder in it.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Your body needs sleep to heal the micro tears in the muscle and recover from your workout.

Fat Loss Mistakes

Fat Loss Mistakes

Every day there’s a new miracle diet that will help you shed pounds quickly or some new supplement that makes it easier. That’s one of the reasons there’s so many fat loss mistakes that not only can slow down your progress, they even make it harder to lose weight. One of the biggest mistakes I often see is doing too much cardio. Yes, cardio does burn calories, but it also uses both lean muscle mass and fat to secure those calories. That means you’ll lose more muscle mass. The less you have, the slower your metabolic rate, since muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does.

Another fat loss mistake is thinking that all it takes is exercise.

It happens all the time. People spend 45 minutes to an hour working out and then leave and eat more than they otherwise would. Just because you’ve worked out, it doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want to eat and still lose weight. A large order of fries and a large soft drink at a fast food place has more than six hundred calories. An hour workout will burn slightly less, so you’ll be gaining weight, no matter how hard you work. It takes more than exercise, a healthy diet is mandatory.

Cutting out fat and choosing “low-fat” foods may be your downfall.

Watch out for those low fat foods. They’re often worse for you than the full fat variety when it comes to weight loss. Not only do you need healthy fat for younger looking skin, a healthy heart, healthy brain and other health benefits, it also fills you up and keeps you satisfied longer. Studies show that low fat options often leave people hungrier and they tend to eat more. They also are made more palatable by adding extra sugar that can spike your blood sugar levels and increase insulin. That can pack on the pounds.

Not hitting the weights is a big mistake.

If you want to burn calories and boost your metabolism, strength-building exercises are the way to go. When you do strength-building exercises, you’re building muscle mass while you burn calories. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it is to keep weight off in the future. There’s also an afterburn that boosts calorie burning by as much as 11% for up to 38 hours. You’ll lose both inches and weight when you do strength-building workouts.

  • Make sure you eat enough protein. It’s necessary for building muscles. It’s also a thermogenic food with up to one-third of the calories being used for digestion. It also keeps you feeling fuller longer.
  • Making certain you have enough fiber in your diet, especially viscous fiber that absorbs water and creates a gel, will fill you up quicker and keep you fuller longer, while also blocking the absorption of some calories.
  • Setting unrealistic goals can impede your progress by killing your motivation. It can cause you to be frustrated and give up completely.
  • Extremely low calorie—fad—diets can impede your weight loss progress. The body mistakes it for starvation and slows your metabolism to make sure there’s energy for vital organs.

Is Going Grain Free Better For Your Health?

Is Going Grain Free Better For Your Health?

You may not realize how much controversy there is about going grain free. People on one side of the issue say it’s a healthier lifestyle to exclude grain, while others keep grain in their diet. Even clients in Sterling, VA will vary on what they do, unless they have gluten intolerance, then grain free is the right choice for them. Grains are tough to digest. Consider the outer coat of the seeds. It’s tough and meant to pass through the intestines of animals, while protecting the seed. That’s why it’s only useful when ground.

If you choose to include grain, choose whole grains over processed grains.

Processing takes out the nutrients, especially in white bleached flour. It changes it to a simpler sugar rather than a complex carb. There’s more fiber in whole grains and that means it’s heart healthy and helps lower blood pressure and prevent bloat. Some grains contain gluten, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s healthy by the label gluten-free. Everything that doesn’t have gluten isn’t necessarily healthy. For instance, potatoes are gluten-free, but potato chips aren’t healthy. Gluten is one of the hardest proteins to break down in our system and hybridization of crops have increased the amount in grains, making it even harder to digest.

Grains can give you more than tummy trouble.

Seeds, which basically what grain is, spread through a variety of ways. One of those is through the excrement of animals. The animals eat the seeds, they don’t digest and they’re carried a distance inside the animal until the animal eliminates them. They don’t digest for a number of reasons. One is the hard shell on some seeds, another is the enzyme inhibitor they contain. Seeds and grains have this inhibitor so the plant doesn’t grow until the time is right. Unfortunately, it also can block your own enzymes for digestion when you eat grains.

Watch out for phytic acid.

Grains and seeds contain phytic acid that can block the absorption of nutrients in the small intestines. It doesn’t block all absorption, just iron, calcium and zinc. While some seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, contain an abundance of the nutrition, so blocking some isn’t a problem, grains don’t, especially processed ones that have many of the nutrients removed. Celiac disease and leaky gut as well as milder digestive problems can be caused by eating grain.

  • You don’t have to give up grain entirely to avoid these problems. For instance, there are breads made from sprouted grain that have more nutrition and less phytic acids.
  • The enzyme inhibitors in grain also can cause difficulty digesting protein and a protein deficiency. Those enzyme inhibitors are tannins. Some studies show they can contribute to mental illness, besides digestive upset.
  • Going grain free is part of a Paleo diet. It’s based on the fact that growing and eating grain wasn’t part of early man’s existence, making grain more difficult to digest.
  • According to one study, not only was going grain free good for people with Celiac Disease, it also reduced inflammation, adiposity and insulin resistance. Eating grain actually added to weight gain and going grain free aided weight loss.

Exercise Helps Your Sex Drive

Exercise Helps Your Sex Drive

You should already know about the health benefits of working out and how it helps you look your best, but did you know that exercise helps your sex drive? It’s easy to understand, since it makes you healthier and being sick, tired or too weak to participate definitely isn’t an aphrodisiac, quite the opposite. It’s also one reason I suggest couples start a healthy living program together. Of course, sharing the common bond of working out and focusing on healthy eating together also makes their potential to achieve success greater than if one started it without his or her partner.

A lot of sex takes place in the mind.

Working out can give you a good body, but it also affects the mind. It boosts the hormones that make you feel great and at ease, such as endorphins. Those endorphins exercise release stimulate the production of sex hormones. Exercise also burns off the hormones created by stress, which is a big boost for anyone in the bedroom. Exercise clears your mind and gives you more focus, which is important for sex. You’ll be more responsive when you workout regularly and especially the evening after working out.

You’ll have a more powerful libido when you workout.

Exercise that builds muscle tissue stimulates the body to create human growth hormone—HGH. That hormone is responsible for creating testosterone in men. The boost in testosterone increases sexual desire and gives men quite a boost in their libido. For women, it makes their body more sensitive to touch and receptive. When both partners workout, it can make sex an amazing experience that’s satisfying for both people.

You’ll be in shape for a better performance in the bedroom.

Building your endurance, strength and flexibility can be a plus in the bedroom. Whether it’s having the energy to hold an awkward position for a while, the endurance to continue or the flexibility to maneuver into positions easily, exercise helps. You’ll enjoy it more without getting tired and be able to add variety with the improved flexibility.

  • Exercise boosts circulation. That can help prevent serious conditions that affect your sex life by causing erectile dysfunction like diabetes and vascular disease. Cardio also boost circulation to help prevent erectile dysfunction.
  • Not only does regular exercise help your sex life, your sex life can provide exercise. Sex is a healthy way to build endurance, strength and flexibility and it is far more enjoyable than riding a stationary bike.
  • You’ll feel sexier when you workout and get fit and your partner will notice that. How you feel about yourself is subtly picked up by other people without them realizing it.
  • When you eat healthier and workout with your spouse, you’re creating a bond that will help you live longer and healthier together.

Throw Away Your Excuses

Throw Away Your Excuses

You might think you have a lot of time to get your body ready for summer, but you don’t and it’s the perfect time to start. It’s time to throw away your excuses and put healthy food on your plates, while you boost your energy at the gym. A healthy diet and regular exercise doesn’t have to be hard to achieve. It all starts by taking the first step.

Start by looking at your diet.

Seriously look at it. In fact, keeping a food journal will help. You’ll be able to see exactly what you’re eating. Is it junk? Are there any unhealthy foods? Are you getting all the nutrition you require? How you answer those questions determines what you need to do. If you’re not eating a host of healthy food with an occasional poor choice, it’s time to start an overhaul of your diet. You can start today by taking two small steps, quit refined sugar and stop processed foods. Increase whole foods in your diet.

How do you feel?

Do you feel worn out and tired all the time? Are you frequently ill? Maybe it’s something you’re doing or not doing. A healthy diet and regular exercise are important to your overall health and energy level. You might say that you’re too tired to bother with healthy eating or exercise, but that’s just why you should do both. You’ll feel great once you start, so don’t let an excuse get in your way.

Do you have batwings that flap in the wind or a huge spare tire?

While it’s not the most attractive description, both can erode your self esteem and change a great look to dowdy. Looking perfect isn’t the goal. Nobody can achieve that. It’s the flaws that make us unique. However, looking your best is what you need to strive to achieve and you can do that with a program of regular exercise and a healthy diet. Don’t let an excuse stop you.

  • Getting old isn’t an excuse for being out of shape. While it’s tougher to get back into shape the older you get, it’s more important that you do. It keeps you mobile and independent longer.
  • Too little time isn’t an excuse either. You can schedule time or carve out three ten minute sessions throughout the day to get into shape. You’ll have more energy and get more done in the long run.
  • Don’t let how you look now be a deterrent. Nobody cares what you look like at the gym. They’re more worried about getting their workout right.
  • Don’t let lack of money stop you. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive with good planning and buying vegetables in season. Exercise is free if you do it at home and walking actually saves you money on gas.

Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

Abs are made in the kitchen. That’s what I tell clients in Fairfax and Sterling who want that sculpted 6-pack. You can do sit-ups galore and leg-lifts until your face turns blue, but it won’t make any difference. Nobody will see all the work you’ve put into building muscle if you have a layer of fat covering your abs. That’s why what you eat is so important and the reason I say that abs are created in the kitchen.

Eat foods that build muscle tissue and help you lose fat.

Eating food that promotes muscle mass, while lowering the amount of empty calories and foods that pack on the fat is the goal. Choose a diet that is high in quality protein. It has a higher thermogenic effect. That means more calories are required to digest it. You also need fiber, complex carbs and healthy fat.

Change your workout.

To build great abs, add more core exercises to your workout. If they aren’t part of your present workout, change your workout to include them. Core exercises are complex exercises that not only work more muscle groups, burn more calories. Crunches will work the abs, but you need the strong foundation that comes from core training, too. When you do core exercises, like rollouts, mountain climbers and planks, you’ll get the same benefits you get with crunches, while working other muscles in the process.

Eat healthy, lose weight and tone those abs.

Building a six pack all starts in the kitchen and moves on to the gym. A healthy diet is the top priority for building a six pack. Make sure you include foods with healthy fat like nuts and avocados. Lean meat, lentils, chicken and cheese are good sources of protein and a must for your diet. Add food like blueberries, grapefruit and apples to your diet. Not only do they provide valuable nutrients, they also boost your metabolism, prevent new fat or help burn fat to give you that ripped, shredded appearance.

  • While getting the six pack look starts in the kitchen, doing the right type of exercises helps. Don’t turn to running to burn off fat. Running burns both fat and lean muscle tissue for fuel. Strength building exercise are better.
  • Herbs and spices can help you shed those extra pounds. For instance, cinnamon lowers the insulin response that leads to fat storage.
  • The amount of protein you need is based on your body weight. For every pound you weight, eat approximately one to one and a half grams of protein each day.
  • Cut back or eliminate refined foods, sugar and carbs entirely. Not only will you lose weight faster, refined grains can cause fat to accumulate on the abdomen.

Change Your Life, Not Just Your Weight

Change Your Life, Not Just Your Weight

I’m not overstating that at our gym in Fairfax, VA, the ultimate goal is to change your life, not just your weight. We aren’t here to give you a diet, but to help you make lifestyle changes, which include eating healthier. Changing your weight is a short term goal. It may or may not be permanent. However, when you learn to eat healthier, it helps you keep weight off permanently. Unlike a diet that always ends, either in success or failure, eating healthier is a lifelong habit.

It’s life’s habits that make a difference.

You can lose weight by eating fewer calories, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be healthier when you’ve finished the diet. It’s one reason we focus so hard on eating healthy. Not only do you get the benefit of shedding extra pounds, you also have a healthy diet that provides all the nutrients your body needs. A healthy diet helps keep you healthier and lowers the risk of serious conditions.

Working out isn’t just for losing weight.

There are huge benefits to exercise that last a lifetime. It keeps you younger looking and feeling, while maintaining overall good health. Exercise can help protect you from a number of serious conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Osteoporosis is also kept at bay by weight bearing exercise. You’ll stay mentally sharper longer, since studies show that working out not only can help protect you from Alzheimer’s and dementia, it also boosts cognitive power.

When you change your weight, you’ll change your attitude toward yourself.

No matter how out of shape you are or overweight you are, you should always love and respect yourself. To do otherwise is counterproductive. However, that’s not always the reaction of people who have fitness problems. Once they get into shape, they realize how wrong they were and how they deserve to give their body the best care and love.

  • You’ll walk taller and have more confidence when you workout. Exercise improves your posture so you’ll look more confident and the more you wear the look, the more confident you become.
  • Getting adequate sleep is extremely important and an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Adequate sleep is more than just heart healthy, it also helps prevent weight gain.
  • Water will become far more popular when you start living the healthy lifestyle. You’ll realize that sugary drinks, like soda not only add empty calories, they can increase your waistline with unhealthy visceral fat, even diet sodas.
  • Most of all, living a healthy lifestyle will help keep depression at bay. Exercise is part of the reason, but a good social life and smiling more is also part of it.

Try Our 21-Day Test Drive

Try Our 21-Day Test Drive

What can you do in just three short weeks. You could read a few books, learn how to cook a few gourmet dishes or you could be on the path to a healthier life. Of course, that’s only if you take advantage of our 21-day fitness test drive. We offer this because we know that people are often skeptical. They’ve tried to get into shape before and were disappointed. It seemed like an endless road that was too hard to travel. That’s why we’ve kept it at 21 days.

What can you do in 21 days?

You’ll see and feel an amazing difference in your body, your energy and your strength. You’ll work hard and have to commit, but it’s so worth it when you see the results you get. It’s more than just a workout, it’s nutritional training, too. It’s a chance to start eating healthier, which can help you lose those extra pounds. It’s not a diet, but making smarter choices when it comes to food.

Why such a short commitment?

It just makes sense, especially if you’re new to fitness and aren’t sure where to start. It’s short enough to keep you focused, yet long enough to see amazing results. If you’ve never worked out previously, you’ll learn to do all the exercises correctly. That’s extremely important, since doing an exercise incorrectly can cause injury or simply not provide as much benefit. You’ll have enough time to learn a wealth of exercises and how to track your progress and increase the effort when necessary.

What do you have to lose except weight?

You could start the new year right and become the person you’ve always known was there. Whether you want to get that buff, sculpted look or just drop a few pounds, the 21-day test drive will help you get a good start. It could be the year that you finally follow through on your New Year’s resolution. Consider this an invitation to have a healthier happier year.

  • Getting a good start on your fitness program can help you stick with the program. Not only do you have the services of a personal trainer and a team to help you, you have a program designed specifically for your needs.
  • When you start a program of healthy eating and exercise, you’re doing more than just sculpting your body and shedding pounds, you’re improving your overall health. You’ll also blow off the stress of the day when you workout.
  • We get many people that come with friends. They decide to switch out their after work drinks or boy’s night’s out and focus on fitness for a few weeks. We find that many enjoy it so much, they decide to continue.
  • There’s no better time than today to start getting fitter, healthier and enjoying life more. When you workout regularly, you’ll have the energy to do all the fun things, even after a full day of work.

The Benefits Of Jumping Rope

The Benefits Of Jumping Rope

If you’ve ever been in one of our classes in Fairfax and Sterling, VA, you know that many different types of equipment can help you get into shape. In fact, something as simple as a child’s jump rope can boost your overall fitness. There are a great many benefits of jumping rope, so adding it to your workout program can be a big benefit. Best of all, if you have children, you can do this exercise with them to get them more involved with fitness. Just like hula hoops, shooting hoops and playing tag can provide a workout, jumping rope does too.

Want to shed those extra pounds?

If you’ve ever jumped rope for a few minutes and aren’t in shape, you know what a workout it can be. Even for fit people, jumping rope is tough, which is one reason boxers use it in their training. It’s a big calorie burner, even if you’re not going at top speed. Even a relatively moderate rate will have you burning up to 16 calories every minute. If you’re having trouble fitting a workout into your schedule, carry a jump rope with you and do three ten minute sessions for a total calorie burn of up to 480 calories.

It boosts your health and your brain power.

When you exercise, both your body and your mind benefit from it. However, things, like jumping rope or dancing give the two a bigger boost. It demands both be at peak performance to do the task right. Anything that involves rhythm, strategy or coordination affect your thinking power more than just plain exercise does. It’s also a great way to clear the mind, since you’ll focusing more on jumping rope than the problems of the day.

Back to that rope jumping boxer again, this time because of the agility rope jumping offers.

Boxers not only have to have good cardio, they need to be quick and maneuverable. Muhammad Ali was known for his great agility in the ring and one of the reasons his face was so “pretty.” It trains both your body and your mind when you’re jumping on the balls of your feet and helps the brain make adjustments to keep you from falling. It makes you quicker, more coordinated and improves your balance.

  • Jump ropes are relatively inexpensive and don’t take up much space to store. They’re the perfect addition to an at home gym or the start of one.
  • You’ll never get bored with jumping rope if you do it with a twist. Try learning tricks and adding them to your jump rope workouts.
  • If you want to maintain or even build bone density, consider jumping rope. Since both feet land when you’re in downward position, it has less impact on each foot, making it easier on the joints than running.
  • If you travel, you can take your gym with you. A jump rope, resistance bands and a plan may be all you need for a full workout.

Are Kettlebells A Cardio Workout

Are Kettlebells A Cardio Workout

I like to look at all types of workouts and different equipment. One that has always intrigued me are the use of kettlebells. Not only are kettlebells quite simple, they provide great strength training, a good flexibility workout, while also providing an exceptional cardio workout. Kettlebells provide a unique benefit because of their shape. They’re off center with a continual change in the center of gravity and force you to work your muscles more like they’d work in day-to-day activities. They’ve been around for a long time in the Russia, but have achieved popularity more recently in America.

Kettlebells provide a great cardio workout.

You’ll be swinging the kettlebell overhead using muscles that you use to help when you breathe. That means they can help you breathe when they’re in that position. The muscles specifically used for breathing will have to do more work and improve for better cardio-vascular fitness. Because of the imbalance of the kettlebell, it also does more for functional fitness. While you might think you’re in shape unless you’ve carried an unwieldy package with no handles or an awkward bundle of items while running to the car on a rainy day or to catch a train, you won’t understand just how much help it can be. Life’s grueling tasks aren’t often replicated in the gym, but kettlebell workouts prove different.

Kettlebell workouts are good for flexibility, while improving endurance and strength.

You don’t have to look any further for exercises and equipment to help improve your flexibility—range of motion. Kettlebells do that during a typical workout. You’re swinging the kettlebell and it not only adds to joint strength and flexibility in the upper body, it can also stretch your hamstrings. Simple kettlebell exercises can put your shoulders through a huge range of motion. For improving range of motion, starting with a lighter weight kettlebell is best to ensure you have the right form. It’s not the weight that improves flexibility, but the off-center nature of the kettlebell.

If a total body workout isn’t enough, consider how the kettlebell workout can burn loads of calories.

Just like strength training with weights is great for burning calories and building muscle density that also boosts your metabolism, working out with a kettlebell does the same. Because it is off-center, it also works the core muscles, to add to the workout and calorie burning benefits. It’s a whole-body complex exercise, so it stimulates the creation of HGH—human growth hormone.

  • Kettlebell workouts are fun. It may not seem like you’re working as hard, but you’ll get loads of benefits even with lighter weight kettlebells.
  • A workout with a kettlebell is safe for people of all ages and fitness level. You do have to make sure you have proper form and don’t smack yourself with the kettlebell while doing the workout.
  • Since your body is constantly adjusting to a changing center of gravity, working with a kettlebell can improve your balance.
  • A kettlebell workout builds more than muscles, it builds strength. It was created expressly for that.