Thursday, January 31, 2013

Percy Cerutty - Quote

"You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone."   - Percy Cerutty

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jumping Rope - For Athletes and Non-Athletes Alike

Jumping rope is not just for children and boxers.   Jumping rope not only is great cardio (really gets the heart pumping) but it also enhances coordination, quickness, and endurance.   It is challenging and will take time and practice.   I recently jumped rope at a cross fit gym.  It had been many, many years since I jumped rope.   It is true --- what an incredible intense cardio session (also works those leg muscles).      

Try timed session rounds.  If you are just starting, try 20-second rounds.   Rest in between and do 6 rounds.  As you progress, increase the time.  Before you know it, your rounds will be minutes instead of seconds.  

Jumping rope is an inexpensive, portable and highly effective way to get in a good workout.    Give it a try !

Stay tuned………..

Monday, January 28, 2013

The 20 Most Sugar-Packed Foods in America

For today’s post, I simply want to pass along the following link.   MIND blowing.

Stay tuned.........

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Carl Lewis - Quote

"If you don't have confidence, you'll always find a way not to win."   - Carl Lewis

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gym Etiquette

It is early in the year and gyms are still filled with “resolutioners."    It is a time that I most want to scream at people, “ETIQUETTE” folks!!!   
A gentle reminder of a few simple common courtesy items:

  • Wipe down your equipment when done.  
  • Put up your weights when done.  Unload the weights off the plate machines.
  • Share machines by allowing others to work in.  
  • Keep socializing for outside the gym.   Nothing breaks your concentration more than buddies having social hour right next to you while you are trying to focus and get a good workout.   
  • Step outside if you are going to chat on your cell phone. 
  • Wear deodorant.   We all sweat at the gym but we need to be sure we are not offending.  
It is the basics of common courtesy.  Something that seems to stop at the door of most gyms. 
Stay tuned………..

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pigged Out - SO Exercise Immediately and Make it Legs

One of the best times to put in an intense workout is when you fell off the wagon and pigged out.   You should take advantage of the thermogenesis that results from eating.    It is called diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT).   It is the increase in energy expenditure (burning calories) needed to process the food ingested.   Since your thermogenesis is up (metabolism), you can hit the exercising and rev up that metabolism even more.    Burn off more of that “pig out meal” right away with the double punch of DIT and exercise induced thermogenesis.    

To take that a step further, do an intense leg workout.    Legs are the largest muscle group and require the most energy (more calories are burned).   However, remember that intensity is a factor.    Go for the most taxing move that requires the most intensity -- squats with a free barbell.

So when you have had a good cheat meal...  Do not just go and sit on the couch.     Take advantage of the “refueling” your body just received and work out those legs with intensity.  

Stay tuned……….

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Beverly Sills - Quote

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."     - Beverly Sills

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Balancing Opposite Muscles

Let us discuss opposing muscle balances -- which is not to be confused with a previous subject I posted on which is the potential for muscle imbalances on the right and left side of the body.  

Our bodies are designed for opposing muscles to work together.  That is, biceps with triceps, chest with back, quads with hamstrings, abs with lower back, and hip adductors together with hip abductors.    We need opposing groups to be in “balance” for flexibility, strength, posture and to prevent injuries. 

So what is the message here?  Be sure you work your chest as hard as you do your back, your abs as intensely as you do your lower back, just to give two examples.  If any muscle group is lagging, be sure to give it extra attention until you obtain that balance.

Stay tuned………….

Monday, January 14, 2013

Smart Snack - Jerky

When people think of Jerky they often think of a snack that is unhealthy, full of fat and full of preservatives.  Jerky is not to be confused with beef sticks.    Jerky is high in protein and very low in carbohydrates so it does not spike your insulin.   The protein to fat ratio is around 10 to 1 if not better.   Also chewing on jerky can feed your body with many amino acids and has that “mouth feel” we all need to feel satisfied.  You MUST watch what brands you purchase however.  Many are loaded with sodium and MSG.   There are brands that are more “natural” and have much less sodium.   My favorite is Perky Jerky, a turkey version.   Incredibly delicious and very healthy.  They also give back to charities. 

Try jerky as your snack!

Stay tuned…….

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ken Doherty - Quote

"The five S's of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit."   - Ken Doherty

Chris Evert - Quote

"You've got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference. "
- Chris Evert

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wrist Straps & Wrist Wraps - When to Use

One topic I have been asked to cover is about the value and purpose of wrist straps and wrist wraps.   Yes, these are indeed very different.

Using wrist wraps (which go all the way around the wrist and attach to themselves with velcro) is to me a no-brainer.  These are used during press movements to help stabilize and support your wrists.  I use these every time I bench press moderate to heavy.

Wrist straps are used to help you hold the weight.  You loop one end around your wrists, and wrap the other end around the barbell or dumbbells.  So if your grip fails or is not strong you are attaching the weight to your wrists.   There is more debate about when and how to use them.  Personally, I believe they are overused.   I have seen lifters use them for chip ups, pull-ups, rows, deadlifts, pull downs, etc.     When used this way, they take away from the balance of your muscles.  Giving your grip a "cheat" by using straps limits the development of your forearms and arms.  Yes, it might help isolate the back muscles but takes away from the compound move and the stimulating effect of greater muscle growth.     The only time I use wrist straps is for very heavy dumbbell rows, simply to assist in the heavy awkward grip.     If you are going to use them, I suggest that you limit when you use them and only use them on your very heavy sets.    It is ALWAYS best to go with your own grip.

Stay tuned………..

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Georges St-Pierre - Quote

 “The danger is not to set your goal too high and fail to reach it. It’s to set your goal too low and reach it.”
—UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre