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Sculpt Your Body With What You Eat

You have the power to sculpt your body with the foods you eat, as well as the type of exercises you do. Before I address how to sculpt your body with how you eat, let’s talk about how you train.

Sculpt Muscle by How You Train

“The more muscle your workout requires, the more muscle you will gain…”

Training for muscleWhile protein is very important for sculpting a fit body, supplementing without the proper training will not get you the results you want. How you train greatly determines what you store for energy and what you use for energy. With intense movements, your body will likely store more energy as muscle. Your body is smart. The more muscle your workout requires, the more muscle you will gain, or keep.  – And don’t worry ladies, you won’t be a beef-cake bodybuilder, you will just look super fit. It takes a LOT of work to look like a man! 😉

On the contrary, if you are a marathon runner, you are more prone to burn both muscle and fat as energy, and store fat, because muscle is not needed as much for low to moderate intensity workouts. While running a marathon is quite grueling, it doesn’t require a lot of explosive power, it requires endurance. Of matter of fact, a runner’s body considers muscle as unnecessary added weight. However, fat is a good source of energy for long runs, so that is why your body is prone to storing fat. If a runner wants to maintain muscle, they need to pump up their muscles in the gym (and pump up protein) in addition to their running program to encourage their body to keep muscle.

Sculpt Muscle by How You Eat

Eating for MuscleNow that you understand the importance of how you train, let’s dive into your eating. As you’ve heard before, “you are what you eat”. Fat and carbs makes fat bodies. Protein make fit muscular bodies. That is why it is so important to get enough protein if you want to maintain, or add, more muscle mass. Your body is always burning calories from a combination of fats, carbs and protein. If you eat carbs and fats, but are low on protein, your body doesn’t just stop burning protein. It still burns protein, but it burns stored protein (muscle). The same goes for fat stores. If you are short on fat or carbs, your body will burn stored fat to turn it into the fuel it’s missing.

If you are like me, and don’t want your body to burn muscle, then you want to keep a steady stream of protein in your diet so your body can feed off that – and not feed off your precious hard-earned muscle. If you want to GAIN muscle, then you need to give your body more protein than it needs so it stores more protein (muscle).  *Use the protein calculator, below, to learn how much protein you should get a day.

Just the same way our body stores fat and carbs as body fat when you eat too much of it, your body can store excess protein as well. However, you still have to watch overall calories if you don’t want to gain weight, because too many calories is still too many calories – and it can cause you to gain weight, whether it’s coming from muscle or fat. Understand, if you eat more calories than you burn, you WILL gain weight – whether it’s muscle weight or fat weight.

So, the trick to a lean muscular physique is to eat a low-calorie, low-fat, moderate-carb, high-protein diet. This will encourage your body to burn fat stores to reduce body fat, while storing (or maintaining) protein to sculpt muscle. 🙂

Calories IN vs Calories OUT

What’s Your Number?

Click HERE to use GNC’s Protein Calculator to help you decide how much protein should be in your diet.

What's Your Number?

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Walk It Off: 3 Ways To Shed Pounds Walking

 

Walk It Off WorkoutWhat if you don’t have any fitness equipment?
What if there are no gym for miles?
What if you can’t run and are just a beginner?
As long as you have a good pair of tennis shoes, you can have a great workout with a really great walking routine. Let me show you how!

Many people start their fitness routine with a simple walking program. The problem is, since most beginners can’t run, they can get stuck in a boring walking rutt. They don’t really know “how” to walk, and don’t really know what the goal is for each walk except to just get it done. Many walkers are also not getting their heart rate up enough to really make the most of each workout. Today, I’m going to give you a few simple tips to help you walk with a goal in mind – plus, I’m going to give you a workout to try too! Get ready to lace up your shoes and sweat!

RAMP IT UP!

Taking your walking routine up a few notches is simple. Here are 3 important tips to help you burn more calories and tone more muscles.

1. Track your pace. I use RunKeeper to track my pace and keep me always pressing on to improve.

2. Swing those arms. Don’t let you arms dangle loosely by your side! Swing those arms! Tighten that core and rotate that waist! You’ll burn a LOT more calories, and you will tighten your midsection too!

3. Add a high-intensity exercise to your walk. Even if you can’t run a long distance, you can sprint from one mailbox the the next, or do walking lunges to increase muscle tone and increase your heart rate (and calories burned).

Here is an easy interval walking routine to ramp up your walking!

Walk It Off Workout

WORKOUT TIPS:

1. WALK: Your “walk” should be a powerful, fast, aggressive walk. No moseying!
2. LUNGE: Slow your roll. Don’t speed through this. Concentrate on good form. Go as deep as you feel comfortable and get the most goody out of this exercise. You should feel your butt tighten up after the 1st round.
3. SPRINT: Run like a pit bull is chasing you. In this 60 seconds you need to give it ALL you’ve got! Remember, you’ll have 5 minutes to bring your heart rate back down and recover.

MODIFICATIONS: Runners replace WALK with a JOG or RUN. Walkers, if you are recovering faster during your walk, shorten your walk time to 2 or 3 minutes each round and go for more rounds. Have fun and let me know how it goes!!

Get More Workout Routines at DesignerWhey!

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

50 Go-To Exercises for Your Gym Routine

livewell360 core bag

It’s easy to walk into a gym like ours and completely be overwhelmed with equipment. To be honest, it would even intimidate me if I was seeing it for the first time. As a result, many members don’t venture out much. They just use what they know – no matter how little that is. So, it’s time to start working out with more purpose, so you can get the best results possible.

In Tuesday’s blog, “How to Set an Effective Workout Schedule” I talk about varies ways to break up body parts so you can design a workout based on your schedule. Well, as promised, today I will be giving you a hit list of exercises you can use in your routine.

First, in this list, I categorize exercises by body part, with the largest muscle groups first. When you are lifting weights, you don’t want to work your small muscle groups before you work your large muscle groups – because your small muscles will be too tired to lift the heavier weight required to work the larger ones. Large muscle groups include chest, back and legs. Small muscle groups typically refer to all your arm muscles.

muscle anatomy

Next, you’ll notice that in each group, I first list one exercise that doesn’t require equipment (if possible). I also list alternative machines or tools to help you find what works with what you have access to. Now realize, there are SOOOO many more, but these 50+ exercises are the most common – and good for starting a beginner to even advanced routine.

If you are doing a full-body workout, you may only choose 2-3 exercises per body part, and only do 2-3 sets of each (depending on your time). If you are working out several times a week, and breaking up body parts more, you may do all the exercises in each specific body group for that day for 3-5 sets to add intensity, and extend the length of your workout.

gymbossLastly, rest time is super important. You can take a very basic workout and majorly boost intensity if you reduce your rest time. We use the GymBoss Interval Timers (set at 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off) at our club so our members are being pushed to work hard and rest little.

So that brings me to reps. You can do 12-15 reps for upper body and 15-20 reps for lower body OR you can use the interval timer to go as hard and fast as possible and not even worry about counting. Just remember, if you could do a few more reps, you likely need to up your weight.

Top 50 Exercises:

OK, so here you go! Here are 50 different exercises mentioned below with some tips to help you design your workout schedule. (PS: It’s actually more than 50 exercises, but TOP 50 sounded better than Top 51. Ha!)

CHEST:
Push Ups
Barbell or dumbbell Bench Press (flat bench)
Incline Dumbbell or Machine Chest Press
Dumbbell Fly (Pec Dec Machine or Cable Crossovers)
Do at least 1 pree & 1 fly

BACK: 
Pull Ups or Assisted Pull Ups
Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs (preferably with wide bar)
Seated Row Machine
Bent Over Row (dumbbells or barbell)
Do at least 1 wide grip & 1 close grip.

LEGS: 
Squats (Air Squat or Barbell Squat, hits all muscles)
Leg Press Machine (hits all muscles)
Walking Lunges (dumbbells, quads and glutes)
Leg Extension Machine (hits quads)
Leg Curl Machine (prone/lying, seated and/or standing, hamstrings)
Straight Leg Deadlifts (Dumbbells or Barbells, for hamstrings)
Weighted Calf Raises (or Calf Raise Machine)
Do at least 1 exercise per body part (quads, hams, glutes)

SHOULDERS:
Handstand Push Up or Pike Press
Military Press with Barbell or Shoulder Press Machine
Arnold Presses or Shoulder press with dumbbells
Upright Rows
Lateral Raises
Rear Delt Raise (or Reverse Fly or Reverse Pec Dec Machine)
Do at least 1 press, 1 raise (front or lateral) and the rear raise.

TRICEPS:
Dips (or Bench Dips)
Tricep Pullovers (with dumbbell or curl bar)
Tricep Press (on cable with bar, V handle or rope)
Tricep Kickbacks
Do at least 2 exercises.

BICEPS:
(Equipment needed)
Straight Bar Curl
Preacher Curl or Bicep Curl Macine
Dumbbell Curl
Concentration Curls
Do at least 2 exercises.

ABS:
Traditional Sit Ups
Crunches
Weighted Crunches
Bicycle Crunches 
Leg Raises  or Hanging Knee Raise (advanced) for lower abs
Oblique Crunch (sides/obliques)
Choose 2-3 exercises. 

LOW BACK & CORE:
Plank
Side Plank
Back Extension  or Ham/Glute Developer Machine
(PS – I don’t like the way this exercises is demonstrated, but it can give you an idea)
Choose at least one.

Remember to read: How to Set an Effective Workout Schedule” for help on scheduling your workout schedule for the week. 

Have fun, train with confidence & #getafterit!

Toning Shoes Should Tone Down Their Claims

Over the last few years a new trend of tennis shoes, claiming to tone the legs and glutes, have popped up in every shoe store. Although I believe they have their place, the shoes are misused and misunderstood.

Although each brand of toning shoe may be shaped differently, their message is similar and, in my opinion, their claims are extreme. Do they have their place? I believe so, but people need to know how to use them properly.

Toning shoes are not for every activity. The idea behind toning shoes is they are much more unstable, forcing you to use your leg muscles to stabilize your body. The action is not extreme, but can strengthen stabilization muscles in the legs and improve balance over time.

Will this type of strengthening reshape your legs? Not in my opinion.
Wearing the shoes may slightly increase muscle tone, but Read the rest of this entry

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