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Wold you be shocked?

Toning, tightening, lengthening, shaping, cinching, leaning, sculpting, chiseling etc. = marketing words. For the most part when you hear them, they ALL mean gaining muscle and losing fat. All of them. (in other cases, they are just lies, lol). We also prefer the term “lean muscle” to plain old “muscle”, but the term lean isn’t necessary. That’s a marketing thing too. (add “sexy” and bam! People love “sexy” lean muscle).

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Get it. :)

Get it. :)

I often get asked about supplements: which ones to use, how often to use them, what they do and how to incorporate them to maximize results. There’s a lot of rubbish out there, and beginners are often confused as to what they should be taking. Far too often, they take too much, take the wrong kind and listen to advice that’s not designed for the every day exerciser.

Unless you’re a bodybuilder or competitive athlete with a tailored/supervised plan, 99% of supplements out there won’t do much but put a dent in your wallet.

Before you even consider supplementation, you need to have the diet & exercise part DOWN. It is not a quick fix, not a way to lose weight faster & not a way to build muscle: diet & exercise is 99.9% of the job. Taking supplements is ONLY something to consider if you’re training hard and already eating incredibly well. It’s not a replacement for food & exercise. Period.

If you ARE part of the group of people who train incredibly hard and are looking for a way to boost PERFORMANCE, supplements may be something you want to consider. But like foods, some can be incredibly processed, full of chemicals, full of sugars and have harmful effects on the body.

Supplements I use

(note: I train hard and don’t take these everyday. Diet comes first, and these are items I use to supplement what’s missing OR for an energy boost).

  • A multivitamin. Plain, simple, one a day. Covers my bases. Unless I have a deficiency in one area (as indicated by a BLOOD test), I get my vitamins mostly from food. I was anemic for a little while and was prescribed iron, which I took for a few days while boosting the iron in my diet as well. If I’m sick, extra vitamin C tablets may be on the menu, but other than that, I’m good with what I can get from my food.
  • Protein powder. I try to include lots of protein in my diet, but it’s not always possible to get everything I need. I keep hemp & whey powders in the house, and add them to pancakes, smoothies, muffins etc. Read the labels and include the calories in your intake: some can be sneaky & full of sugar.
  • Caffeine. Love me a cup-a-joe pre-workout. Unlike Natalie, I stay away from energy drinks (unless I’ve made my own). I’ve reduced my intake, and really only drink it before a tough workout.

Natalie Jill is an expert on ALL things fitness, and this post can help you decide what’s right for YOU. Remember, if you can get it through food, try that FIRST.

Excerpt:

Supplements have their place but not when it comes to quick fixes. Supplements in addition to a healthy diet and exercise program will ENHANCE your efforts. But do not miss the message. Supplements without the work will not work- If they DO, it is short term or unhealthy PERIOD.

Before I will advise anyone on supplements and vitamins my statement will first be: EXERCISE HARDER and CLEAN UP YOUR DIET. Once that is in place (and only after that is in place) there are a few things that I take and believe can enhance efforts:

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Cardi-Ohhhhh!  Belly Ups (via Nike Trainer Patrick Goudeau)

This is a high intensity exercise drill that will target your whole body while shooting your heart rate through the roof. Add 3-5 rounds to your next workout to boost your overall burn!

How to do it

  • In an athletic position (knees bent), pump your arms and feet fast. Count to 5.
  • At 5, drop down to a pushup. Lower your hands to the floor and pop your feet back. Lower your body down and up quickly, then hop your feet back towards your hands, and return to starting position. Repeat. 

Aim to do 5-10 repetitions of the drill, 3-5 times during your workout (set a timer and throw in a set every 5-10 minutes). If your heart rate is high, and you’re having trouble speaking by the end of the drill, you’re doing it right.

Kill it!

Did you try this week’s 1000 rep challenge? It’s tough, but do-able on your own or with friends! Unleash The Beast here.

Whew, talk about a long jump!

Watch J.J. Jegede as he jumps over THREE MINIS in an EPIC long jump. Honestly, no other word but EPIC could describe this. The slow-mo is awesome!

As a short person, my admiration for his long limbs is probably higher than most. All legs baby!

Do not attempt this at home: J.J. is in training for the 2012 Olympics and has been training vigorously to meet his goal. Clearly, he’s stepping out of the box with this kind of stunt. Awesome. :)

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/09/watch-olympic-hopeful-jj-jegede-jumps-over-three-mini-coopers.html#ixzz1ZSKARkpS

More about my training with Christine Dwyer this weekend! (in the 2 weeks since the training, I’ve been hitting my turbo hard and WOW. Hello body!)

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