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Leg Extension Tips for Optimal Quad Development

 

You know I’m the largest advocate for just getting active to achieve greater health & fitness results, but there eventually comes a time where just “exercising” isn’t enough. Such as when you’ve been working out for months, or even years and havn’t learned proper form or techinque to optimize the intended result. Too often I see people “miserable” with the effort they’re putting into their fitness routine, and not at all happy with the return on their investment. THIS IS ONLY FORM FOCUS, Not even touching base with intensity improvements.   I want to help people and prevent them from falling off or losing steam in their progress. The Leg Extension will be a great place to start as I’ve literally seen three gym goers before me today have lack luster form, it’s sometimes excruciating to watch. When I have the opportunity I WILL go out of my way to recommend and correct the technique in a conversation as I see it, but I can’t talk to everybody and I don’t have the time to disconnect from my own workout. So with the good fortune of my lovely wife, I was able to give a quick run down of where I see the biggest corrections in this BASIC move.

1. Assure the Pivot Point for the Knee Flexion is ON POINT: There’s a reason why the back pad is adjustable. Simply take 10 seconds and manipulate the seat so your knee lines up with the Joint Pivot Point. So many don’t even know what this is or why it’s there. This allows the appropriate torque on the knee in safe and effective way.

2. Position your Spine in a Nuetral Position: During the range of motion, keep your chest up proud and your shoulds back. This allows for a nuetral spine and optimal flexion of the entire quadriceps. Collapsing the chest, rolling the shoulders forward, or even leaning forward, prevents the mobility in the hip flexors. Just think, how can you create the longest elongation of the muscle and how can you provide the hardest contraction in the ROM. (more…)


BEGINNING A FITNESS ROUTINE: TIP #1

With the weather finally breaking and Summer only two months away, it’s likely that the thoughts of feeling and looking healthier are on our minds.  
Often times just starting an exercise routine, or more realistically sticking to it, can be the challenge in bringing us closer to the fitness aspirations we desire.  
I’m putting together a series of Top Fitness Tips & Recommendations for Beginners in order to create focus and manageable transitions to getting started in the right direction.  Without identifying THIS, we often don’t make it out of the first week or two of a new routine.  
I hope you find value, more importantly take action, in these beginner tips.


Salmon with spicy yogurt sauce

Make some!  This dish supplies a healthy dose of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids courtesy of salmon.  Its vitamin D will help you soak up the yogurt’s abundant supply of calcium.

Serves 2


2 6-oz. salmon fillets with skin (preferably wild)

1⁄4 tsp. coarse salt and black pepper

Nonstick cooking spray

Sauce:

1⁄3 cup low-fat plain yogurt

1⁄2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1⁄2 Tbsp. lime juice

1⁄2 tsp. finely grated orange zest

1⁄2 Tbsp. orange juice

1⁄2 tsp. curry powder

1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1⁄2 Tbsp. honey

1. Preheat broiler. Line rack of broiler pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. 
2. Rinse and pat fish dry. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, then broil 4 inches from heat for seven minutes. 
3. While salmon broils, whisk together all sauce ingredients in a bowl until combined. 
4. Cover salmon loosely with foil and con-tinue broiling 7-9 minutes or until fish is light pink throughout and flakes easily. Serve topped with yogurt sauce.

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 
345 calories, 31 g protein, 10 g carbs, 20 g fat, 0 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 87 mg sodium


We all know “That Guy” providing weight loss advice?

Ask 10 people for weight/fat loss advice, and you’ll get 10 different answers.  Work out constantly, set long-term goals, set short-term goals, etc…  But unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that nutrition is the catalyst for accelerating optimal fat loss, amongst other significant components.  Most of us have been following certain rules, or lack thereof, for how to shed pounds our entire lives.  But when the opportunity arises, folks just can’t help themselves in asking the local gym goer or Joe Diddy on the street, what is their recommendation to losing the unwanted lbs; as if there’s a magical unicorn they will glide them far away to a  tropical island to avoid any exertion toward the process; hoping and praying for a different answer.  Ultimately, we know what we need to do, we just don’t do what we know.  Is it difficult?  It can be.  Is it possible with small strategic habits that accrue over time?  Absolutely!  Just how much of what we have been told about weight loss is actually accurate?   Have you ever met the I exercise every day, so I can eat whatever I want” person?  Would be nice, right?  Unfortunately, that may work for a small portion of genetic freaks out there, but that’s not how it works if you’re trying to lose weight, more specifically, lose fat.  Even though you burn calories and minimize fat cells when you exercise, it’s often not as much as you think or what the fancy bright colored cardio equipment display tells you.

deardietLet’s move on to the All calories are equal, so it doesn’t matter what I eat guy.  Is it realistic to say that 150 calories from a can of pop is the same as 150 calories from chicken?  A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy.  However, the kind of calories the body gets will affect how efficiently people burn their body’s energy, which is a key factor for losing weight/fat and keeping it off.  It’s not that calories don’t matter, but the quality of the calories going in can drastically affect the number of calories going out.  Not to mention, how your body absorbs and assimilates these nutrients.

Finally the (more…)


Press yourself into WIDER Horizons

Ah, the Bench Press… the most common exercise for working and building development of the chest.  For both Men and Women alike, a tighter more developed chest is often desired.  However after so many weeks, months, and years of training, we often hit that proverbial wall and stop gaining results in the pectoral region.  How do we avoid stalemate in creating a masterful chest?

Fitastic Wide Grip PressVARIETY, VARIETY, VARIETY

Never lose sight of all the variety, angles and degrees this muscle can be targeted; heavy weight, light weight, incline, decline, but let’s not forget how WIDE and expansive our variations can be.

Adding a Wide Grip to your Press can provide a jolt back on the fast track to stimulating this highly sought after showcased muscle.  Not to mention the intensity it brings from your Delt and Tricep tie-ins as well.

WHAT and WHY TARGETED:

PECTORALIS MAJOR-  Targeting the pectoralis major muscle, the wide grip press is an intensive exercise primarily to the lateral or outer chest fibers.  This popularly large muscle is the prime mover of arm (more…)


BMR Power- The Never Ending Burn

Burning Calories while you sleep

Burning Calories while you sleep

We breathe every second of every day.  Our hearts perpetually pump blood, our bodies maintain constant body temperature, and many other involuntary functions are performed 24 hours a day.  These functions require calories to be expended, producing the energy our bodies need to survive.  Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the minimum amount of calories necessary to survive in your most restful state.  Put another way, the BMR is the minimum amount of calories needed for a person to remain asleep all day.  It accounts for 60-75% of total calories on a daily basis.  Every individual’s BMR is different because no two people have exactly the same genetic blueprint, are the same age, height or weight, have the same daily activity level, have the same body composition, or are the same gender.   These personal factors assist in determining your individual BMR, and therefore help determine the amount of calories required to lose, maintain, or even gain weight.

Restrictive eating doesn't work

Restrictive eating doesn’t work

Some determinants lower your basal metabolic rate while others raise it.  Unfortunately we lose muscle mass as we age, which lowers our BMR because muscle demands more calories than fat to maintain itself.  This is why resistance training is important to maintaining a healthy weight as we age.  Also, fasting and “extreme” diets that require drastic caloric reductions lower your BMR because your body is likely to go into a state of starvation and cannibalize itself when it doesn’t receive the necessary calories from the food you consume.  That’s right, your body will resource its own muscle tissue to get to the calories it needs to perform its required functions.  A gradual reduction of calories (or better yet, greater quality) and an increase in exercise long term is the most effective and proven method to properly lose weight and keep it off.

Start by knowing your current BMR to understand (more…)


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:

Sleeping Away FatLeptin and Ghrelin

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.

Growth Hormone

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.

Cortisol

Getting eight hours of sleep at night helps you lower the cortisol levels in your blood, while lack of sleep raises (more…)