Sleeping Away Fat Loss
Frequent exercise and a healthy eating habits are key elements in any weight/fat loss programs. However, making sure that you get enough SLEEP (7 to 8 hours) is often overlooked. Research shows that sleep plays an important role in weight management. People who sleep enough have lower BMI indexes than people who don’t. The data also suggests that sleep deprivation can cause weight gain, worse yet unwanted fat gains. Let’s take a look at some of the contributing factors that link sleep with weight/fat loss:
Sleep affects the levels of several hormones in your body. Two hormones that play an important role in stimulating and suppressing your appetite are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is produced by your body’s fat cells and is responsible for suppressing hunger. Ghrelin is released by your stomach, and stimulates your appetite. Lack of sleep lowers the levels of leptin in your blood and heightens the levels of ghrelin, which results in an increase of appetite. The reverse is also true that getting enough sleep decreases hunger and will therefore help you lose weight.
During sleep, your pituitary gland secretes more growth hormones than during your waking hours. Growth hormones stimulate cell regeneration, reproduction and growth. These hormones are also known to aid you in building muscle. This is why higher levels of growth hormones means a heightened metabolism. With a higher metabolism, you burn energy much faster which leads to easier weight/fat loss.
Getting eight hours of sleep at night helps you lower the cortisol levels in your blood, while lack of sleep raises (more…)
Slow Process to Sustainable Results
It’s one thing to have a healthy goal, like weight loss, for New Year’s. It’s another to set yourself up with unrealistic time lines, such as losing 10 lbs by the end of the week. New Year resolutions can be the motivation you need to start the year out strong, but they can also give you unwarranted pressure to reach your goal ASAP.
Whether your normal routine has disappeared in lieu of Holiday celebrations and sweets, or if you’ve vowed that this is the year you’ll become a gym rat or gym doll, remember to pace the transition and take it slow; just don’t quit once you’ve started. No matter what your beginning starting point is, taking it to the next level should involve a ramping up and not an all-out-7-day-4-hour-per-day routine blitzing on the body. Let’s be honest, you’ve tried that barrage before in the past; how’d that work out for you? This only leads to discouraging aches, pains, and unsustainable time allocations to fit this amount of long term activity into your schedule. Not to mention injuries that may sideline you even when you want to keep going.
Want some strategies to help you start out slow and implement your routine gradually? You’ll find all the recommendations here at feelfitastic.com throughout the entire month of January. We’ve got tips on how to ramp up your workout once you’ve mastered your current one, how to restart exercise after an injury or sickness, and how to jump back on the fitness bandwagon after your exercise routine has taken a hiatus.
In addition follow us on Facebook @feelfitastic and on Instagram @teamfitastic for much more health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.
Positive Mindset; Positive Results
It’s been reported that how happy we are is derived from 10% circumstance, 20% genetic, and 70% attitude. I think that’s also true as to how successful we are in achieving our fitness goals.
Think about it; you make it a goal that instead of going home and lounging on the couch, you’re going to go to the gym for a 1 hour session. That’s just what it is. It’s neither good, nor bad, until you assign an emotion to it. An attitude to it. You can either have a positive mindset about this healthy exchange, or a negative one. I’d venture to say that if you intend on actually going through with your said goal, you’d better try and make it a positive experience.
On the same token, you make another goal of changing out your fast food dinner or happy hour for a healthy nutritious meal prepared at home, say baked salmon, sweet potato and steamed broccoli. If you want to increase your rate of success at eating healthier, it’s extremely important to assign a positive mindset with this swap.
All your doing is making a switch. You’re not adding anything. You’re switching out happy hour with your productive Power Hour.
Instead of saying, “Ugh, I have to go to the gym. It’s going to be hard and it’s going to suck,” say “I get to go to gym. I’m healthy. I’m not injured, and I have the chance to better my health and get a well deserved dose of endorphins!”
Instead of saying, “I have to eating this gross salmon,” think “I have the chance and the ability to (more…)
Banging BIG 3
When you hear a strength training or bodybuilding enthusiast refer to the “Big Three”, there’s a great chance they’re talking about the three power lifts: Barbell Squat, Barbell Deadlift, and Barbell Bench Press. All three are fantastic exercises that use a vast number of muscle groups simultaneously, and all three are responsible for adding muscle and strength to a trainee’s frame.
In the opinion of some, they’re much more than that – they’re required for anyone serious about strength training, regardless of height, weight, limb proportion, genetics, and injury history. If you’re not doing them, some “trainers” will insist that you’re not really training. Heck, some online warriors are so extreme in their big three zealotry that they suggest that time spent on any additional movements is time wasted. To that I say what a load of malarkey. Unless you’re a competitive powerlifter they aren’t absolutely necessarily for ideal muscle and strength development, but they are extremely effective when executed correctly. There are a load of additional movements that can be implemented into your training that will complement and keep up with the power of the BIG 3.
I personally enjoy and employ all three into my training regimen. The conventional Barbell Squat is my single favorite exercise as I refer to it as the “king” (granted I am by no means the “strongest” squatter, though I’m always assuring my form is on cue along with all my other movements). The Barbell Deadlift is a deep driver to strong development in the overall function of the body and the Barbell Bench Press goes without saying as it’s the quintessential maximizer to the upper body. All three lifts are fantastic and virtually engage every major muscle group of your frame. Because these big basic compound exercises involve so many muscle groups, you can handle a lot of weight typically. With that the Big 3 lifts test your body in all aspects of strength- mental, durability, and overall raw power.
As previously mentioned, I always include these Big 3 exercises in my own training frequently and certainly most often include these movements in the Fitastic online training programs for the users to reap great benefits from. Here’s the thing, if you don’t care for heavy squatting, deadlifting, and pressing, most would say you’re screwed. When I hear someone not caring for these lifts, I look at the root to WHY they don’t appreciate these game changers. More often than not it’s caused by not really understanding HOW these lifts are executed and actually seeing results from them in due time. Great news! I’ll personally teach you and develop your skills of proper implementation through constant coaching within my programming.
Barbell Squat- Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Hips, Glutes, Spinal erectors, and Lower back
Barbell Deadlift- Heavily works the entire back, Hips, Glutes, Hamstrings, and Forearm Grip
Barbell Bench Press- Pectoralis, Deltoids, and Tricep
Optimize Strength Gains and Avoid Over Training- PERIOD!
We stay committed in the gym, we use proper form, we know the layout of the gym like the back of our hand and know what works for our body, right?!… so why do we hit a wall and stop seeing results?! Simple, we stop shocking and forcing our body to adapt. In addition to gaining valuable training “experience” over the years, our body grows wiser and it becomes more challenging, even uncompromising at times, to force it to anything more. When you are relentless in pushing and pulling in the gym with no concrete strategy other than “Beast Mode”, you get injured or beat up. Very few things devour deserving progress faster than “middle ground” training. That is, always training with the same reps, set structure and with the same intensity. If you continue workout after workout in the default mode of 10 to 12 repetitions with NO fluctuation to variables, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but development and results are simply wading around in No-Gain’s land.
We could all argue until the end of time about what is the best theory to use when designing a workout. I feel, that for most, a periodized workout is the best for optimizing strength and avoiding any over training. Periodization is the gradual cycling of linear or staggered intervals to specificity, intensity, load (weight) and volume of training to achieve peak levels of strength and physical performance. Variable cycles should shift gradually from high volume and low intensity to (more…)
The Top 5 Benefits of Strength Training
The Top 5 Benefits of Strength Training
Your goal, your age, your gender; it doesn’t matter when it comes to the benefits of strength training. Regardless of goal, age and gender everyone needs to do some form of strength training. Your goal, age and gender will play a role in what style of strength training you should look into. Not everyone needs to be under a heavy bar in the squat rack. Not everyone needs to grab the lightest weight possible and crank out hundreds of reps. The programming is different for each. The benefits however are the same for all. Here are Fitastic’s Top 5 benefits of strength training.
#1 Overall Health
Consistent and proper strength training will
- Increases HDL – High Density Lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein (bad cholesterol).
- Reduce the risk of diabetes and insulin needs.
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Lower high blood pressure.
- Lower risk of breast cancer – reducing high estrogen levels linked to the disease.
- Decreases or minimizes risk of osteoporosis by building bone mass.
- Reduces symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
#2 Body Composition (Body Fat)
Strength training has a boosting effect on your metabolism. When your metabolism is boosted your body will burn more calories at rest (1lb of lean muscle burns 3500 calories). With your metabolism boosted your body will start to build lean muscle tissue which causes body fat reduction. You may not see much in terms of pounds lost but you will see decreases in your body fat measurements (tummy, hips and thighs)
When you are properly building your strength your body will naturally become stronger. Therefore making daily activity less taxing then it once was. You will find yourself able to walk up flights of stairs without running out of breathe. Be able to grab a box off a high self or off the ground with ease and less risk of injury. Carrying heavy objects will also not be as difficult as it once may have been. This is more commonly called (more…)
I’m all about the Diabetes, No Exercise.
I’m all about the Diabetes, No Exercise.
If you have turned on the radio in the past few weeks you have more than likely heard a little ditty called “All about the Bass”by Megan Trainor. In this song she sings about how it’s ok to be a “big girl with some booty booty”and that if you are into “skinny bitches”then move along. Megan Trainor (I trust the irony of her last name is not lost on you) is part of this new “positive body image”movement for overweight people. Now nothing is wrong with having a positive body image but you can’t claim that line when you sing this phrase
“Cause of every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”
“I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that”
Three things here
1) You can’t tell one of group they are perfect from the bottom to the top and call another group skinny bitches
2) Megan darling, have you been to an IFBB Pro Bikini show? Booty never left. (Can I get an amen from the Bikini girls)
3) Why is it that only big girls can now have a positive self-image? Why can’t all women have a positive self-image? What about the skinny girls, the fit girls, the tall, the short, the curvy why can’t all girls or women have a positive self-image?
Now this is a topic I have been posting about on my Face Book page for some time. There is this growing movement that claims it’s ok to be overweight and out of shape. That regardless of your size you are beautiful unless of course you are a skinny girl, oh I’m sorry “skinny bitch” or if you are a male with massive amounts of muscle, oh I’m sorry “steroid freak”. Ah I gotta remember to get these insults right.
So basically we now have a group claiming victim status while being the bully. It must be nice to have your cake and eat it too! (Pun fully intended)
These groups keep claiming that they are not going to be some, as Megan puts it “stick figure silicone Barbie doll”, but what they do not seem to understand is that NO ONE IS SAYING THAT!!! These people live in this la la land where they think “society” wants them to all have huge boobs, be size 0 and only run around in bikinis. The only society I can think of that wants that is the (more…)
Science of Fat Loss- Unit 4
You’ve experienced the previously blogged Science of Fat Loss benefits to Strength Training, Eating Habits, H.I.I.T., and now the 4th and final component to sustainable Fat Loss that will lead the healthier life that you deserve…
SLEEP- The strategic implementation of Strength Training, Diet and H.I.I.T principles to accelerate “Fat Loss”, have been proven to improve healthier lifestyle behaviors over the last 20 years in my committed experience. I would be providing the COMPLETE method of sustainable Fat Loss an injustice if the importance of proper and adequate rest wasn’t at the forefront of the processs. Besides, Who doesn’t feel amazing and energized after a complete uninterrupted night of sound sleep? Sleep and rest have its obvious extrinsic benefits, but it’s a lack of result oriented awareness of hormonal and chemical messages that sleep provides.
If anyone were to ask me what is the single most important thing they should be doing right now to lose fat immediately, short of changing what’s on the end of their fork, I would emphatically respond with a focus on their SLEEP! This will literally get them in the direction of change overnight. Even one poor night of sleep you will make you (more…)
SUPERSET for SUPER SUCCESS
Looking for more oomph and intensity in your workouts!? Step it up and Superset your routine!
Supersetting is a more advanced way to stay active or workout involving doing two exercises, one after the other, with no rest in between. The exercises can be for the same muscle group, different muscle groups or even putting together different activities – e.g., a strength exercise followed by a cardio exercise.
The idea is to do one exercise and, instead of resting and doing another set, doing a different exercise and alternating those exercises for your desired number of sets and repetitions.
THE BENEFITS OF SUPERSETS
It’s a fantastic idea to add supersets as often as you deem necessary in order to avoid plateaus in your training regimen, as they offer a great way to completely alter how your body responds to the demand of physical activity. Supersets will assist you in:
Saving time- Going from one exercise to another without rest will make your workouts shorter and more efficient.
Increasing intensity- If you choose supersets that work the same muscle, but with different exercises, you’ll add intensity to your workout and recruit your muscle fibers just a bit differently, so it feels like you’re getting a whole new set of exercises.
Overloading your muscles- By working the same muscle with one exercise right after another, you can overload your muscles without using heavy weights. This is great if you don’t have a spotter or don’t want to lift very heavy weights.
Making things interesting- If you’ve been doing straight sets forever, supersetting can make weight training more interesting, challenging and fun.
Easily setting up a workout- All you do is pick at least (more…)
Science of Fat Loss- 3rd Unit
I’ve knocked out the first two real and proven components of sustainable fat loss in recent blogs: Strength Training and Sound Nutrition. I’m proud to bring these simple applications to the surface along with the final two pieces in accomplishing all fat and weight loss goals. This blog will focus on a serious fat burner, it’s time to H.I.I.T. it!
It was once believed that “steady state” cardio was superior for fat loss because relatively more fat was being used by the body as fuel at lower exercise intensities than at higher intensities. The “Fat Burning Zone” shown on most cardio equipment as only 60%-65% of max heart rate is really a myth and is NOT optimal for burning fat. Yes, you burn more fat relative to glycogen when going for a walk, but what we care about is total fat burn. At higher intensities, you are burning far more fat, even though the fat/glycogen ratio is lower.
A primary reason for high importance to High Intensity Interval Training lies within its ability to keep you burning fat long after you leave the gym. Your body isn’t able to bring in enough oxygen during periods of hard work. Therefore, you accumulate a “debt” of oxygen that must be repaid post-workout in order to get back to Normal. The result is that your metabolism is revved for hours after you leave the gym. Experienced trainers refer to this phenomenon as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. The greatest way to use this strategy to your advantage is to make short, intense exercise bouts of activity a regular piece of your workout regimen. Implement H.I.I.T. directly within or at the end of your workouts, no matter if you are doing a total body or a resistance concentrated body part. Truth is that you may only burn (more…)
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