Funny Fitness Fridays Episode 2: Has your training hit the wall?

This week’s Funny Fitness Friday you’re sure to remember. When I ask if your training has hit the wall, I mean literally has it hit the wall? Sometimes training can become so mundane and boring as there is no new input into your workout routine. You can’t think of any new exercises to do or maybe your personal trainer never brings any new ideas or progressions to the table. Right now he or she is scratching their head going…”huh? What’s a progression?”  Routines the last for months or years are for inmates and your fitness shouldn’t be like doing hard jail time.  So in the words of a good friend of mine, “If you’re in jail…Break Out!! And try not to hit the wall like this guy…

Getting Enough Sleep for Optimal Health?

A child sleeping.

Image via Wikipedia

Sleep is typically the last thing on a person’s mind when they are thinking about their overall health and fitness, but really sleep should be the first thing. Not getting a good night’s sleep can be a huge setback to anyone trying to lose body fat or put on muscle. Lack of sleep is a stress on the body, so when you consider the effects of stress on muscle and fat you may be surprised how much of an impact your sleeping habits may be having on reaching your goals.

As I mentioned in a previous article about stress and fat loss, your body will have a tendency to produce cortisol under stress and this hormone is directly related to fat storage. So how does lack of sleep impact the body? Well first of all when you sleep your body uses this segment of time for the repair process. This is especially important when you are active and your body is undergoing a fair bit of exercise related stress.

A Harvard Health Publication suggests six reasons to not skimp on sleep.  For one, sleep impacts learning and memory functions as well as metabolism and weight loss. Sleep has a direct impact on what’s called memory consolidation and with regards to metabolism sleep deprivation has a direct affect on some hormones that control appetite. Not only that, but sleep deprivation can alter the way your body stores carbohydrates.

Among other things sleep deprivation has an impact on mood, safety, cardiovascular health and the body’s immune function. So sleeping 4 to 6 hours per night can be very destructive not only to your health, but also your goals of losing weight and body fat.

Living an active and healthy lifestyle requires management of various factors in your life. Everything that you do has a direct impact on how your body will react. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together and understanding the relationship between what you input to your body and the output or returns is essential for your overall health and well being.

Does Eating After a Certain Time Hurt Weight Loss? (via BodyByH’)

This question should be answered with, “it depends”…bodybuilders eat before bed. The question is what are they eating before bed and what are their activities, energy requirements and quality of foods consumed during the day? Also when it comes down to purely weight loss… we are not talking about fat or muscle, but weight…it boils down to calories in and calories out. At Active Lifestyle we don’t deal in the realm of weight, but in the realm of body fat, body shape, muscle mass, stability, flexibility, lifestyle and overall health and wellness. The questions we want to know the answer to are…”Are you happy with how your body looks and feels?” and “if not are you committed to taking the steps to change your habits and lifestyle to achieve the change you desire?” Check out this post by an BodyByH about eating timing and feel free to shoot me any questions you may have.

If you have ever tried to lose weight, you’ve heard advice like this before: ‘Don’t eat before going to bed!’ or ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper’… Many people who are trying to lose weight hear these and listen to these “warnings” all the time.  In fact, these two saying are also recommended to people who aren’t trying to lose weight. I will admit, the logic behind this advice sounds reasonable.  I mean i … Read More

via BodyByH’

10 Great Foods to Help You Gain Muscle

Egg yolks.

Image via Wikipedia

It’s not easy to add muscle to your frame. For some men it can be a challenge. For women it’s very difficult and is one reason why women should not be afraid to lift weights. With all that said, let’s get down to the point of it all. You want to put on some muscle, but don’t know where to start. Well first of all, make sure you ask people who have experience with putting on muscle naturally. Obviously there are guys walking around that have taken banned substances and they’ll tell you how easy it is to pack on a little muscle. Wrong! Muscle takes time to grow and needs the proper care and nurture when doing it naturally.

So we have 10 tips to help you pack on more muscle. Read more of this post

Burn More Calories, Lose More Fat

Fitness Model 1

Image by ★ spunkinator via Flickr

So you’re interested in burning losing more body fat? Well we can all agree that your nutritional intake is going to play a major role in your fat loss, but in order to sustain long term fat loss you’ve got to burn the calories and build muscle. The problem is that most people spend very little time being active enough to burn some extra calories during the day. Just 30 minutes a few times a week has been shown to have significant impact, but what you do during that 30 minutes matters big time!

Here’s a few calorie burning stats from Men’s Health with my personal spin. These activities have been assigned a calorie count per hour based on a 180lb male. Here we go…

Of course you could sit at your desk for an hour and burn 147 calories. Now that’s low. Get out of that chair and move around a bit during that hour and increase your calorie expenditure at work.

You could Golf and burn 368 Calories per hour. I’m sure this includes walking from hole to hole. Come on guys, it’s a sport so use those legs.

You’re gonna love this one. Having sex apparently burns 160 Calories per hour. A couple points I have to make here. 1) Sitting at the desk burns 147 calories so I’m assuming this guy is just laying there. 2) How many guys go for an hour straight? If so, I think the caloric output would be a lot higher. Just my opinion.

Strength training would burn about 655 calories per hour. Definitely depends on your strength training session. We’re not talking about a leisurely lift or two with a 5 minute chat and a 10 minute stare at the girls on the treadmill guys!

Running up stairs burns about 1221 calories per hour. Who can run stairs for an hour? Well that’s not the point. If you divide that hour by 4 and get 15 minutes you would burn approximately 300 calories in 15 minutes. That’s a lot. I’m going to question Men’s Health on that one.

Whatever you do, get more active and burn more calories. The more activity the better and the greater the intensity, challenge or muscle groups involved the higher the caloric expense. So get after it and lose that body fat!

3 Meals for More Fat Loss

Assorted Red and Green Apples 2120px

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If fat loss is your goal, then check out these healthy meals guaranteed to help you lose more body fat.

1.Blueberry Cheesecake Breakfast

2. Fresh Tuna Salad

3. Apple Protein Shake

Read more of this post

Runner Training 101: Importance of Ecccentric Hamstring Training for Runners

Leiria1

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According to the conclusions of a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine in 2006,

“Overground running (running a marathon) is associated with eccentric hamstring fatigue. Eccentric hamstring fatigue may be a potential risk factor for knee and soft tissue injuries during running. Eccentric hamstring training should therefore be introduced as an integral part of the training programme of runners.”

But what does eccentric even mean? Well, an eccentric muscle contraction is one in which the muscle is lengthening. Yes, your muscles are still contracting during the lengthening process. This contraction allows for a controlled movement during elongation.

The eccentric strength of any Read more of this post

Female Fitness Model Ava Cowan Discusses Her Training


It’s important to have inspiration for anything that you do. Ava Cowan is a fitness model and fitness champion. Understandably, not everyone wants to be a fitness model. However, it’s important to get key tips from people like this in order to better understand how to reach your goals. Women in particular think that heavy weight training is going to make them big or bulky. The truth of the matter is that a woman can not naturally get big and bulky. Notice the word “naturally”. This means that women who are big and bulky are taking substances to get them to that level.

Another thing that most women don’t understand is that the physique of fitness models during competition is at the pinnacle of Read more of this post

Top 5 Fat Blasting Exercises (with a Thai twist)

Free weights

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Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t have to include weights although it should if you plan to build a strong and shapely body. In order to burn body fat the exercises you choose should be full body and/or include the larger muscle groups. Check out my top five fat blasting exercises for August.

5. Mountain Climbers- be sure to keep the back in a neutral spine position. In the video the spine is not neutral.

4. Squat Jump you want to tone those legs and tighten those gluts as well as add some shape then these are essential.

3. Plyometric Split Squat – be sure the knee does not go forward over the toes and that you land through the center of the front foot.

2. Burpee – Burpees are high intensity and require a full body explosive movement. If you’re looking to melt away some body fat his exercise is a must.

1. Squat & Press – despite the annoying music in the background this would be a squat & press. I decided to incorporate this particular VDO because we’re in Thailand and I just had to put a local twist on this article. It’s not often you see a woman in Thailand lifting like this and it shows that heavy weights are nothing to fear. If you want to lose body fat and tone then it’s a must!

Less Stress, Lose Fat & Maintain Muscle (via Bangkok Personal Trainer)

Are you stressed on a daily basis from your job? From your relationships? Due to financial problems? Everyone deals with stress in a different way, but the chemical response in the body has a direct impact on your overall health, fat loss and ability to lose weight.

Less Stress, Lose Fat & Maintain Muscle At Active Lifestyle, we often talk about stress levels and how they affect your body, health and overall fitness gains or fat loss. Stress is a serious roadblock to most gains both physically and internally. When your body is under stress, it tends to react neurologically in ways that can affect our fat loss or muscle gains, strength gains as well as mood and energy levels. Usually people talk about the release of cortisol during stressful situat … Read More

via Bangkok Personal Trainer

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