So you want to be Hard Core?
Weak, tight, or unbalanced core muscles can undermine you in most elements of the world we live in. Let me get this part out of the way, while it’s important to build a strong core, it’s unwise to focus ALL your efforts at developing ripped abs. Over training abdominal muscles while neglecting muscles of the back and hip can set you up for injuries and cut athleticism. So washboard abs is your holy grail? This is as simple as trimming body fat through diet, cardiovascular exercise, and weight training to build strong abdominal muscles with core exercises incorporated into your program.
The body likes movement, it functions better when it has been moving compared to when it has been in one position for long periods. (YES get off your duff) We have all experienced that feeling of getting out of a long car ride, you definitely feel stiff and sluggish until you get moving again. Core training is the missing piece of most exercise programs!
Most of us have had some kind of lower back trouble here and there. Most of these lower back problems result from bearing too much or too sudden weight in the lower back. A strong set of core muscles helps prevent or minimize such damage by providing more an efficient weight-bearing mechanism. Your back muscles and ligaments are not primarily designed to bear weight. A strong core allows for more normal spinal function and lower back issues are reduced.
All Workout Programs at fitastic™ incorporate core exercises in all workout programs. Build a strong core to be Hard Core!
Let Fitastic™ do the work and pick out your core exercises from the FREE Workout builder. Simply choose “Core” under the Muscles options on the left side of the page.
Fitastic Josh (AkA J-Lo)
Baked Pumpkin Oats
A household favorite for sure, bringing a balanced mix of valuable complex carbs and quality protein. The prep and baking is so simple that you can make this a regular staple in your healthy way of eating.
Here’s what you’ll need for this nutritious breakfast (or anytime snack)
2/3 cup- Egg Whites
2/3 cup- 100% Pumpkin
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1 TBSP Cinnamon
2.5-3 tsp of Truvia
Sliced fruit of your choice
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well stirred. Place the mixture in a pam sprayed 8″ x 8″ baking dish and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool and cut into 9 equal squares to enjoy. Super simple!
Macros per serving (1/9); not including any fruit or toppings you choose.
Calories: 58 Protein: 5g Carbohydrate: 8.5g Fat: <1g
Don’t be a dumbbell, practice safe sets!
Collar up or not? We all know the weight collar is the “clamp” that holds the weight plates to a barbell when lifting weights. At any given time some use weight collars and some do not. Personally I practice safe sets and collar up on all my exercises, dead lift, squats, bench press, bent over row, and military shoulder press for example. Without weight collars the weights can slide and/or get spaced out and then you have a heavy and unbalanced weight load to deal with. You know (….) happens and only take’s a moment’s inattention, someone walking past and bumping the bar, an old injury playing up and causing the weight to drop out one side, could be anything really. Honestly if you rack the weight after the particular rep that you feel like you’re starting to struggle you will never have the weight drop on you. It’s not foolish to lift heavy without a spotter however pushing it is foolish attempting to go for that last rep without a spotter. Putting on the collars is not time-consuming! Put them on and remember to practice safe sets!
Fitastic Josh (Aka J-Lo)
Practice safe sets Shirt? – Get it HERE
Here are videos to the exercises mentioned in this article.
Strength of Avocado
Avocado health benefits make a persuasive case for why you should be eating more avocados today. Yeah, they’re loaded with “fat”, but not all fat is bad for your body. Monounsaturated/Omega-9 fat in particular is what constitutes the first health benefit of an avocado. In a typical avocado, most of the calories you receive come from monounsaturated fat. The monounsaturated fat in an avocado is healthy for you. All foods similar to avocados that contain monounsaturated fat lessen your LDL cholesterol, which is harmful to your body. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol has been called “good cholesterol,” and there is evidence that monounsaturated fat actually raises this type of cholesterol.
A typical avocado will contain both insoluble and soluble fiber; that alone makes it very powerful, since not many foods can brag about containing both kinds of fiber. The breakdown in an average avocado is approximately 75 percent insoluble fiber to 25 percent soluble fiber. The benefits of each type of fiber are already well known. Insoluble fiber is great at cleaning out your bowels by way of increasingly efficient bowel movements. Soluble fiber is great for appetite control. It has the effect of making you feel full, because it turns into a gel that sits in your stomach for a while when it comes into contact with water.
My favorite bragging rights to avocado is the vitamin and nutrition content contained. You can find B, K, and E vitamins along with a notable amount of potassium (almost double the amount of the infamous banana). B vitamins help your body’s (more…)
The dreaded plateau!
One of the most frustrating things about living a Fitastic™ life style is when you encounter a fat loss/weight loss plateau. Living a Fitastic™ lifestyle you must understand that there is no excuse for not getting in shape, you either want to change or you don’t! So when you get to a point that fat loss slows or stops, it’s easy to go into panic mode and get down on yourself. Slashing calories below a healthy sustainable amount is very common but very dangerous and short lived. For those who decide to do that, they are going to have a miserable time mentally and physically as their body tries to adjust to less calories. This is something you definitely want to avoid at all costs.
Want to overcome that plateau? I can give you the information but YOU must do the work! Lets be honest we all have room to tighten up the diet. This may mean cutting out the extra carbohydrates or looking at the amount of protein taken in versus what your body needs. You want to avoid cutting too many calories because this may and usually does cause your metabolism to slow down and go into ‘starvation’ type mode. Once this happens, it’s more difficult to fire the metabolism up again.
Next we can pull apart your workouts. You must increase the intensity of your workouts. Time to lift heavier weights, keep your body guessing and change up your workouts. Add on an extra set to each exercise or add a failure set to your muscle group. Take less time between sets and increase your heart rate. Truthfully there are many ways to increase workout intensity. The important thing is not to just “go through the motions” but make sure each workout counts and be sure that each workout is better than the last. Move forward or move out of the way!
OK, cardio is a necessary evil of the fitness lifestyle so time to start stepping up your cardio intensity. This may simply mean just going harder for the same amount of time or (more…)
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New workout gear is in for the summer season! V-necks, tank tops, and racerback tank tops I guarantee you will want them all! Remember to stay “sick N Thick” and always “Practice Safe Sets”
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Heat VS Ice
When you’re faced with a sports related injury, half of your friends will be adamant that ice is the only way to treat it. The other half will tell you that heat is the way to go. So, which of them are you supposed to listen to?
While every injury and body is different, there are some general guidelines that should help you make the right call. Generally, for acute injuries within the first 48-72 hours, ice is recommended. Ice can help with swelling in these situations. It’s important to limit swelling when possible, because in addition to limiting mobility it can cause a lot of pain and general discomfort. Ice also tends to constrict blood vessels thus decreasing swelling. Ice can serve a secondary but also important function: It soothes acute pain. Cold temperatures cause numbness in living tissue. Strategic application of ice can ease your pain when it’s at its worst. General recommendations would be not to apply ice directly to the skin for no more than ten minutes at a time without taking a break.
Heat is typically more helpful for issues that have occurred over time. In other words, it’s more likely to be helpful for chronic, reoccurring injuries, and tightness if it is not related to swelling. Heat tends to dilate the muscles, increasing blood flow. This is why you generally don’t want to use heat if there’s swelling. Common sense says not to increase blood flow to an area that’s already overloaded with blood.
Heat is more useful in instances of stiffness (again, when not related to swelling) when mobility and/or range of motion is somewhat limited. Naturally, too much heat is another good way to damage your skin (ever heard of something called burning?), so similar to ice, it’s best to cycle the application of heat on and off, though you can generally go for periods up to 20 minutes up to half an hour (think jacuzzi). If your skin becomes red, inflamed, or painful, stop and use a lower temperature for a shorter amount of time.
Know how and when to treat your “injury” with Ice and Heat
Masse Gewinne für William
Masse Gewinne für William
Yes, that is German you are reading. Why am I writing the title to this week’s blog in German? Because I am currently doing a German Volume Training program. Yeah, you see what I did there?
In a nutshell:
“The German Volume Training program works by targeting a group of motor units, exposing them to an extensive volume of repeated efforts, specifically 10 sets of a single exercise. The body adapts to this extraordinary stress by hypertrophying the targeted fibers.” – Chalries Poliquin
I am doing this program because I have a plateau, a wall, a stand still if you will, in my training program. I needed something to shock my body back into training mode to see better gains of muscle and higher loss of fat.
I will be doing this program for 3 full weeks (GVT can only be done once a year due to the demand it puts on the body). Then I follow Phase two. Phase two lasts 3 weeks. For the 10 sets of 6 rep exercises, you use a weight that would normally allow you to perform 12 reps per set. That will allow the body to recover and adapt to the results of GVT. It does not end there, there is still Phase three that begins after this 3-week block, you can return to the German Volume Training method by doing the following 10 sets of 6 reps routine. In the exercises that are prescribed for 10 sets, use a load you would normally be able to do 12 repetitions with. The goal in this phase is to do 10 sets of 6 with that load.
So basically I am on this program to kick start the gains for the next 9 weeks. Well, 8 weeks to go as this blog goes to print. As I write this blog I have completed 2 days thus far. Chest/Back and Legs/Abs. We’ll let me be the first to say OH MY QUAD!!! My legs are still pumped 24 hours later. My chest is sorer then it has been in months. God it feels damn good! I feel like I am back to my old shelf – the self that would need to crawl up the stairs after a leg day with Coach Steve.
As far as nutrition goes, here is my current Calorie and Macro breakdown for you.
Calories Fat Carb Protein
For an added bonus here is the full list of exercises that I am doing:
Day 1: Chest/Back
Incline DB Chest 10×10
Lat Pull Down 10×10
Incline DB Fly 3×10-12
1 Arm DB Row 3×10-12
Day 2: Legs/Abs (more…)
Transformation of the Month Jan Wilson Part 2
Transformation of the Month Jan Wilson
I hope you all enjoyed part one of my Mom’s amazing story. In part two, however, we are going to take a closer look into what exactly Jan did to achieve her goals, and how she is continuing to reach new ones.
Even after her diagnosis Jan did not join a gym. A gym was just not her cup of tea and she knew it would only set her up for failure. So instead she put all of her focus on her meal planning and nutrition. In the initial first weeks, it was difficult for Jan to go from having coffee for breakfast, nothing for lunch and a big carb filled dinner at night, to eating 3 high protein, low carb meals a day. Jan often commented how interesting it was that she was a diabetic because of over eating, yet she was having trouble forcing herself to eat. Ah, the lesson of eating the right foods is never a fun one for any of us.
Jan found it best to stay consistent with what she ate and did not try to get too creative with her foods. She stuck to the basics, and that is what worked for her. So many times we find ourselves thinking that to lose fat or change our bodies we need to do something crazy, when simply focusing on the fundamentals is just as, if not more, effective. Jan’s biggest focus was on how many carbohydrates were in each of her meals and what her portions were. Here dietitian gave her specific directions on how big her portions of carbohydrates, proteins and fats should be – which of course Jan followed to the letter.
Like most of us who read labels, Jan found herself at odds with what was being passed off as “healthy foods”. A great example of her indignation is a story Jan told Coach Steve and I. When she went to the grocery store, a woman from Skinny Cow was handing out snack packs which contain only 100 calories in a few small bites. Jan, being smarter than the average consumer, looked right at the nutrition label. She saw that (more…)
In the Kitchen with Wild Will- Sweet Potato Fries
In the Kitchen with Wild Will
Sweet Potato Fries
Look let’s just start this off with some honest talk. If you don’t love French Fries we can’t be friends. We all love them, look you know you do. Stop pretending but at least now you can eat them without guilt.
I’m sure we all have seen many Sweet Potato Fries recipes out there before. Usually they involved soaking them in olive oil and baking them which doesn’t give the any kind of crunch. Usually it’s just a soggy mess and what the heck is the point of that? Or you have seen them in the frozen section of your grocery store. Have you read the ingredients? It’s basically frozen fast food fries. No thank you, I’m all trying to be all shredded over here. Like you I was just about to give up until….until I thought well wait why not just recreate the deep fry process? EUREKA!! At that point Wild Will’s Sweet Potato Fries were born.
Here we go but first a disclaimer. Yes you can use other potatoes for this recipe; however sweet potatoes are the ideal given their nutrient density. However subbing in red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes won’t destroy you.
This recipe is made with two large sweet potatoes
2 Large Peeled sweet potatoes
1 TBSP Salt
1 TBSP Pepper
1 TBSP Paprika
1 TBSP Season All Salt (optional)
For those of you who like a little more spice or kick to your food feel free to (more…)
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