In a society where we are constantly on the run, living in the fast lane causes us to make poor eating choices. This presents enormous challenges to our health, and ability to regulate our weight. One may assume that having the right balance between the amount of calories expended, versus the amount consumed, plays a role in how much we gain. Though this is true, there are other factors that contribute to weight gain.
In my 27-year career as a trainer and contest prep coach I have never come across anyone that wasn’t interested in making significant improvements to their midsection. For some, that simply means losing belly fat and achieving a flatter tummy. For others, greater core strength is the primary goal.
Calorie for calorie, cardio has a slight advantage. You'll burn 8 to 10 calories a minute hoisting weights, compared with 10 to 12 calories a minute running or cycling. Lifting weights gives you a metabolic spike for an hour after a workout because your body is trying hard to help your muscles recover. That means you'll fry an additional 25 percent of the calories you just scorched during your strength session. For every 3 pounds of muscle you build, you'll burn an extra 120 calories a day, because muscle takes more energy to sustain, that's about 10 pounds of fat without even changing your diet! Whoa!
Let me ask you a question? When you head to the gym each day do you do so without a clue as to what body part and/or exercises you are going to do, or do you make sure you have a solid game plan in mind? If the former is true, then I suggest you quickly make a change! “Have a plan, or plan to fail.” In fact, I usually put together each workout in my head the night before I am to do it, which allows me to embed it deep into my subconscious while I sleep. In turn both my mind and body are quite prepared for the impending battle that will take place in the gym the following day.
For those of us who love to lift weights, cardio training is often an excruciatingly boring endeavor. Whether it be HIIT, steady state, or anything in between, when it is time to jump on the treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical the majority of us iron warriors cringe in disgust. But isn’t it this very type of mundane cardio that allows us to most efficiently burn off body fat and reveal the details of our hard earned muscles underneath? Not necessarily!
Building muscle requires an increase in calories. To gain weight you must eat more calories than you burn each day. But if you go overboard and eat too much, you’ll kick-start the fat-storing process. So the key is to eat just enough to facilitate the muscle gaining process but not so much that you’ll add fat along with it. One way to do this is by controlling portion sizes when eating. For most meals (not including postworkout), aim to get 40-60 grams of protein and 40-80 grams of carbs, depending on your size; bigger guys weighing more than, around, 225 pounds will shoot for the higher end. Dietary fat should be as low as possible, except for healthy fats (from nuts, olive oil, fatty fish), which can amount to 5-10 grams per meal.
Amino acids are the buzz in the health and fitness industry, and many people take them for various benefits. There are so many different options available with some being “essential” and some described as “branched chain.” What part do they play in the body and what benefits do they provide?
The Mind in Muscular Development
In my opinion, no dialogue on training would be complete without discussing the mind’s role in the equation! It would be a true disservice to the readers of Industry Insider not to include what may be the most important element in your pursuit of reaching the outer limits of your genetic potential.
If you're like me, than you go into each workout knowing that you're going to get a solid session according to your program and you're going to crush it, and you're going to be smart about it. So, with that said, the occasional "beast mode" throw down is not only a physical test, but a mental one as well.
In every issue of every bodybuilding/fitness publications there are dozens and dozens of pages dedicated to sets, reps, exercises, routines, and intensity techniques…and rightfully so! After all, if getting bigger, stronger and leaner is your game, then you better be on point when you enter the gym.
However, no dialogue on training would be complete without discussing the mind’s role in the equation! It would be a true disservice to my readers not to include what may be the most important element in your pursuit of reaching the outer limits of your genetic potential.
We all deal with bumps in the road and sometimes those bumps tend to put a stop to certain things in our lives, and for most of us it’s FITNESS!! To most, working out may not be the most important thing when it comes to prioritizing that to-do list. Sometimes it can be an injury that allows us to stop working out. Regardless the reason, I wanted to share with you a few pointers on how to return to fitness from a hiatus. Let’s check them out!!!
Perhaps the ebb and flow of life has thrown you off your fitness routine, and you are ready to return to the gym. It might be that you are post-partum, or had to nurse an injury or illness. Or it could be that you have been moving at such a frenetic pace in your life that you got sidetracked from your “every damned day” gym schedule, and need to get back into the groove. Whatever the reason is for putting consistent gym visits on the back burner, the good news is that you can re-establish a consistent fitness regimen. In order to ensure the greatest success with your efforts, here are some suggestions which will motivate you and keep you on track.
Is your fitness journey stuck in a rut? Have your results plateaued? Then now is the time to Unleash the Beast.
All of us have been endowed with a sense of fight or flight. It is a part of our being that is designed to keep us safe and prevents our race from extinction. Our inner core waits for a signal from us to activate that beast that lurks inside… just itching to be unleashed. This natural fighting instinct can propel us to be in the best shape of our lives…and these supplements can support you in your quest.
Time to Get Growing Again!
There is little doubt that the first year or two of training are the most fun, and for the majority of us gym rats, the most productive. However, as you begin to make the transition from beginning lifter to the more seasoned bodybuilder things often don’t work like they used to. Despite your best efforts in the gym, pushing yourself to the limit on all of your favorite exercises, nothing seems to be happening anymore.
I hear and see this all too often, and the person almost sounds accomplished when saying, "Fasted Cardio Done!" Most don't know what they've just done internally and are just following the advice of either some "coach" or something they read or were told. So what is fasted cardio?