Jun 2014 06

The following is a great article written by Tami Bellon @ http://breakingmuscle.com/
The Female Guide to Getting Lean

So many times women ask me, “How can I lose this?” while they’re pinching whatever area they want gone. While no one is exactly the same, there are a few general tips that I can throw out there for you that do the trick whether you’re leaning up for aesthetic or performance reason.

Calorie Intake

If you weigh 200lbs and are only eating 1,200 calories, you are not eating enough. That doesn’t mean break out the donuts, that means increase your protein consumption – to start.A general guide for calorie intake is your bodyweight times ten to twelve. Example: 200lbs x 10 = 2000 cal.

bodyfat, female athlete, bodybuilding, getting lean, cutting weightYou may be thinking this is a lot of food, but it is not. Women have been taught that starving themselves will make them lose weight. In reality, we don’t just want to be smaller do we? Don’t we want to be leaner, too? I’m not saying bodybuilding lean, but enough to see a little definition in your arms and/or abs. Most women would answer me with a very loud, “Yes!”

Calorie intake is just one component of many that go into this machine we call our body. The body is much smarter than the average person. You may trick it once or twice, but it will learn how to overcome what you are trying to do to it. The body will combat under eating by hording everything you feed it. Then you jump on a piece of cardio equipment and pedal your little heart out for extensive amounts of time, and still – nothing. Why is that? Keep reading!

Drop the Carbs Down

You don’t have to completely eliminate them; doing so would only set you up for failure. Do you even know how many you get in a day? Do you have a food log? Are you logging on a site like Fitday.com or MyFitnessPal.com? Do you know what foods are considered high in carbohydrates?

The foods to reduce in this category would be sugar, which includes candy, cakes, pies, etc. But it also includes fruit. I hear so many people say how healthy they eat and then proceed to tell me they load up on fruit. Fruit is mostly sugar. Natural sugar is still sugar, and it still makes you fat if you eat too much of it. Okay, so we have sugar clarified. More foods that are sugary: pasta, potatoes, some other veggies – research those. Don’t forget rice and bread are sugary, too.

bodyfat, female athlete, bodybuilding, getting lean, cutting weight
Another misconception is that brown rice and pasta and whole grain breads don’t do the same thing as their regular white counterparts. Truth is – they do.They just have a little more fiber and digest more slowly, so you don’t get quite the same insulin spike, but they are still a carb and they can still cause fat gain if you overeat them.

So what we have learned is to drop carbs down. In general, I start people out at 25-30% carbohydrates in their diet and assess from there. How are you going to do that if you don’t know how many sugars and carbohydrates are in what you’re eating? Start logging your food on one of the sites I mentioned above. Take responsibility for what goes in your mouth.

Increase Your Protein and Don’t Fear Fat

Beef, chicken, turkey, fish, etc. There are studies out now that are proving our governments “lean meat only” consumption isn’t necessary.

For example:

  • CLA is a substance that accumulates in the fat of grass-fed ruminant animals-fats like butter and tallow-that has anti-cancer effects.
  • Industry apologists have now done an about-face and are campaigning against thetrans in favor of the liquid oils – while using this opportunity of heightened public interest to continue demonizing the fats we should all be using, the natural saturated animal fats in animal foods and tropical oils.

Increased protein helps maintain the lean mass (muscle) you already have. You want to keep this, as it increases your metabolism. Adding a little more lean mass is usually a good thing. As a general starting point, I think 40% of daily food intake should be protein. I have seen great results with this.

Resistance Training

Ladies, listen very closely: you will not bulk up from resistance training. If you start getting bigger, it is most likely because you are also eating more. You may put on a little lean mass, but it should not cause you to outgrow your pants. In fact, if you clearly know what foods are acceptable, watching your nutrition, and doing resistance training, you should be getting smaller and leaner.

Just because you workout doesn’t mean it’s time to go get a pizza because you “just worked off the calories.” It’s simple, if you have a high body fat percentage, you are eating too much, unless there are medical reasons surrounding your weight in which case you should be even more attentive to your food intake.

Resistance training has some proven benefits:

  • Improved muscle strength and tone
  • Weight management
  • Prevention and control of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis
  • Pain management
  • Improved mobility and balance
  • Improved posture
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Increased bone density and strength
  • Reduced body fat
  • Boosted metabolism
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Enhanced performance of everyday tasks

A Little Cardio Goes a Long Way

bodyfat, female athlete, bodybuilding, getting lean, cutting weight
Women today go way overboard with cardio. I have a simple explanation for what this does to your body. It is well known to those of us in the industry that excessive cardio (meaning more than 45 minutes steady state or 30 minutes of high intensity interval training) is too much for the average person. After this amount of time, your body will start to become catabolic, which means it starts to eat muscle for fuel instead of food recently eaten and fat stores. All those ladies you see on the cardio equipment day after day, who always look the same, are actually eating up their muscle.

Do you realize what this means? They are lowering their metabolism because now they have less lean mass. Basically, if you would give them a body composition test, they would be fatter.

Becoming catabolic also happens when we don’t eat enough. Starving yourself will only make you carry more fat. When you can’t stand starving yourself anymore and go back to “normal” eating, don’t expect a positive result. All the scam diets that tell you to drink nothing but shakes or eat only five hundred calories a day, they make you catabolic and set you up for failure. Don’t be lazy. Take control of your body.

All of it comes back to being balanced and approaching your health and fitness from a variety of angles. While these guidelines are general, they work and they are a great place to start whether your goals are athletic or aesthetic. Cardio, strength, and nutrition are all important and all build upon each other. Focusing too much on any one aspect while leaving others at the wayside won’t have you be the best athlete you can be.

Check out the full article with comments http://breakingmuscle.com/womens-fitness/the-female-guide-to-getting-lean

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Jun 2014 03

The following is a great article written by Becca Jenkins @ http://breakingmuscle.com/
Your Mental State vs. Your Success

Exercise is a healthy thing. But sometimes our approach to exercise is not. Our mental state when we walk into the gym, dojo, or studio can do more damage than junk food ever could. We train too hard, we don’t listen to our coaches, and we compare ourselves to impossible goals.

This week’s editor’s picks look at our mental approach to training and where it can go wrong. But each article also offers solutions you can apply to your training – and your life – starting today.

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Check out the whole page with article and great links! http://breakingmuscle.com/editors-picks/your-mental-state-vs-your-success

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Jun 2014 02

The following is from a great article written by Traver Boehm @ http://breakingmuscle.com/
Three ways to Heal a Stiff, Sore, or Injured Neck

In the case of a cervical strain/sprain, there are a number of things that can be done to facilitate healing. As a licensed acupuncturist I have been trained in numerous treatments and protocols to help this condition, but I wanted to pick techniques that wouldn’t require any special knowledge or training to do. These three therapeutic techniques are intended to be used after the acute-phase of the injury, which is the first four days after the incident.

Remember that after a neck strain/sprain, the muscles in the neck will often become tight, guarding the affected area and limiting motion and mobility.Anything that can be done to safely alleviate muscle tension, improve range of motion, and promote blood circulation to the affected area, is going to help the healing process.

A. Manual Cervical Traction

cervical spine, cervical injury, neck injury, bjj injuryApplying gentle traction to the neck can often ease and elongate tight muscles, allowing pinched nerves or compressed blood vessels to be released.Tight muscles will constrict and compress everything around them. The idea behind using traction is to create more space and alleviate pressure by improving the blood supply to the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the affected area.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to:

  1. Lie down on your back and place a folded (lengthwise) hand towel under the occiput of your head. This is the rear part of your skull that rounds out away from your neck.
  2. Have a friend gently pull the towel straight towards them. Try to get them to hold the position for at least 3 minutes.
  3. Repeat the exercise 2-3 times per-day or until you feel some relief. I have seen excellent results in my own clinic with as little as a few minutes a day.

B. Hydrotherapy

Soaking in Epsom Salt can be very helpful for the release of muscle aches and pain. It is informative to remember the actual name of Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulfate. Among magnesium’s many functions is it will reduce the rate of calcium binding after a muscle contracts as it competes for the same binding sites as calcium, which contracts a muscle. Something as simple as an Epsom Salt bath can be of great benefit in relaxing a tight muscle.

It is easily done by

  1. Adding 2 cups of Epsom Salt to a warm bath full of water.
  2. Soak your neck in the bath for 15 – 20 minutes, allowing the Magnesium to be absorbed through your skin.

C. Acupressure Point for Stiff Neck

Luo Zhen is the name of an acupuncture/acupressure point used specifically for a stiff neck. The point is found on the back of the hand in between the two bones in the depression just past the knuckles of the pointer and middle finger.

How to use Luo Zhen to treat a stiff neck:

  1. Massage the point on the opposite side of the body from the neck pain. If the right side of your neck hurts, massage the point on your left hand. You will need to massage this point by pressing into it with the tip of your finger, and make sure to use enough pressure to feel slight tenderness at the point.
  2. Maintain that pressure while making very small circles with your pressing finger.
  3. At the same time as you are stimulating the acupressure point, exercise the neck by rotating your head side to side. You should slowly begin to notice a slight increase in your range of motion while experiencing a decrease in pain.

cervical spine, cervical injury, neck injury, bjj injury, luo zhenOnce, I treated an elderly woman with severe neck pain and limited range of motion from sleeping in a bad position. I tried using the acupuncture point Luo Zhen for several minutes while she exercised her neck. To my surprise, there was no result or improvement at all. Rather than give up, I decided to try again. This time I worked on the point for more than ten minutes and then rechecked. She had a very slight increase in her range of motion. After forty minutes of treatment we had the full mobility of her neck restored and no pain.

I’m not telling this story to say that everyone is going to have these types of miraculous results with this or any of the other techniques. What I want to point out is sometimes it will take some patience and the ability to acknowledge even a small amount of progress in order to fully restore one’s health. Had I just given up after my first attempt, the treatment may not of had any benefit at all.

Check out the full article @ http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/3-simple-ways-to-heal-a-stiff-sore-or-injured-neck

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May 2014 30

Ignoring the effect of gravity in creating resistance during all movements, free weights (dumbbells) keep the resistance on the muscle constant throughout the joint’s range of motion (ROM), while weight machines use variable resistance, with the resistance changing throughout the ROM. Machines have geometrically shaped cams that change the torque required of the muscles by changing the lever arm of the resistance force (external weight) or the applied muscular force. Thus, machines place more stress on the muscles at the angles at which muscles can produce greater force. Since there are points in a joint’s ROM where the muscle is stronger and points where it is weaker, and the amount of weight you can lift is limited by their weakest point, free weights serve only as a strong enough training stimulus for the weak joint positions. With machines, the load changes to provide optimal resistance throughout the entire ROM.

On the other hand, movements using free weights occur in a three-dimensional plane, while most weight machines allow movement only in a single plane. With machines, the movement is guided, so only the major muscles required to perform the movement are used. With free weights, the added task of balancing the weights in the three-dimensional plane recruits other functional muscles that machines do not recruit.

Anyone new to weightlifting should probably begin with machines to train the major muscles, and then use free weights to train more specific movements.

For a great gym experience, we recommend coming to a Boot Camp and having a great workout while making new friends who will support your desire to change!

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May 2014 29

Target heart rate—the heart rate range used to determine the desired intensity of an activity—will differ depending on the goal of the workout. You can calculate target heart rate using a percentage of your heart rate maximum (HRmax), which can be predicted by subtracting your age from 220, or by measuring your heart rate while you perform a maximum exercise test. You can also calculate target heart rate using the Karvonen method, which takes into account your resting heart rate (RHR). Subtract your RHR from your age-predicted HRmax before multiplying the outcome by the desired percentage. Then add the RHR back onto that value. The difference between HRmax and RHR is called heart rate reserve (HRR).

Since RHR will decrease as cardiovascular fitness improves and HRmax can decrease with age, periodically recalculate target heart rate as your become more fit (or more sedentary) and get older. Age-predicted HRmax may be off by more than 10 to 15 beats per minute, since all people of the same age do not have the same HRmax. Therefore, it is much more accurate to directly determine HRmax with a maximum exercise test. Use HRmax, but don’t forget to consider subjective factors, such as how the client feels.

When the workout goal is to increase aerobic endurance, target heart rate should be 65 to 80 percent of HRmax (about 55%-70% of HRR). During interval training, which focuses on increasing cardiovascular performance, target heart rate should be greater than 80 percent of HRmax (70% of HRR).

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