Tag Archives: weight lifting

What is The 21 Day Fix? Does it really work?

The 21 Day fix is a workout routine combined with a portion control system that have been optimized and made super simple for anyone to follow. For starters, the workouts are 7 days per week for 3 weeks and only 30 minutes long. The daily workouts include: upper/lower body, cardio, yoga and Pilates. Workouts are broken down into 60 second intervals. You can do ANYTHING for 60 seconds. And of course there is a modifier. If you find you are having a hard time, just modify. It gets easier, promise. And now for the good stuff, the portion control system. Autumn Calabrese designed a color coded container system. Each container is a different color and size. The color is specific to the type of food like veggies for green or proteins for red. And the size is perfect for exactly one portion of that food. If you are allowed one protein, you fill the red container and that is your portion, easy peasy. Below is a list of approved foods for each colored container and there is even an ap available for your phone called "The  21 Day Fix Tracker" that I absolutely suggest yo download for 99 cents. It spells out what can go in each container as well. When on the Fix, your allotted containers depends on your weight and varies from 1,200 - 2,300 calories. Once you know exactly what your calorie intake will be, you can distribute your containers throughout the day and design a meal plan as you choose. I strongly suggest you shoot for 5-6 meals. And be proactive, don't just start checking off the containers as you eat them. Sit down and make a meal plan. This may take a little time up front but will actually save you money. I have cut my grocery bill in half, yes in HALF following the fix. I don't over buy anything and my portions are so much smaller. Here is an example meal plan to give you an idea of what a typical day can look like.   The next big thing you have to do is put the food on a plate. DO NOT eat right out of the container. Yes they are cute and convenient but the whole point of the portion control system is to train yourself what a normal portion looks like. So use the containers to measure and then arrange the food on a plate. This really helps train your brain so that when you are in a situation where you do not have your containers or are not on the fix, you have a good idea of how much food you should put on your plate. So follow this rule, MEASURE AND POUR. put on plate Want to take the fix to the next level, add Shakeology. Shakeology is your daily dose of dense nutrition and the healthiest meal of the day. And best of all it only accounts for one red container. That's right, just ONE!!!!!! Unlesss you add milk then it adds a yellow. Shakeology comes in 6 flavors and is loaded with everything you are missing. So make the commitment to yourself and give it a shot. With the Empty Bag policy, you have nothing to lose. Lastly, reap the rewards of all your hard work. These are true 21 day results from The 21 Day Fix. What more can be said, the Fix works. And it works because it masters and simplifies the hardest part of any diet program, THE DIET. The fix is not like other programs that severely restrict calories or have you eating only hot sauce and lemon juice or whatever all those other CRAZY diet fads are. You are eating real food and often. You are not hungry and you get in a killer workout that does not kill you. If you are looking for a starter program, this is it. I personally use it and strongly endorse it because it works.

Sore Muscles – To Rest or Not to Rest? What to Eat?

So I have been working out intensely for the past year and I still experience muscle soreness!  Just this last week I had a nice little reunion with Chalean Extreme and man were my hamstrings hurting!  I ave been doing Brazil Butt Lift and T25 for a few months and there are lots of squats and lunges but it just goes to show that when you switch up your workouts you still work your muscles in a different way!  So instead of taking a rest day and using that as an excuse not to workout.  I chose a workout that targeted a different part of my body! I did some research about working out and muscle soreness since so many of my customers experience it when they start my challenge groups.  I figured it would be well worth sharing with all of you as well!  Who isn't sore from working out at one point or another!  It's best to know how to handle this discomfort. sore muscles
It's common for beginners to experience muscle soreness that lasts for a week or two, just as seasoned exercisers will be sore after a tough work out. Yes, you should keep working out even though you are sore, but there is more to it than that. The only way to avoid muscle soreness is to not workout at all!  And that is certainly not going to get you that body you envision in your mind! Muscle soreness has two primary causes. The first soreness you experience happens during your workout ("the burn") and should subside within a couple of hours. This is caused by lactic acid production. When you are training and your muscles are not getting enough oxygen (anaerobic glycolysis), lactic acid builds up. You can break down lactic acid by continuing to move and by doing light aerobic exercise (such as walking) after your workout. This is why cool-downs are so important, especially for beginners. The longer you cool down, the faster that lactic acid will leave the muscles (typically within an hour). The type of muscle soreness you are experiencing, up to a day or two (and sometimes even three) after your workout is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). DOMS is caused by microscopic tears inside the muscles, resulting from weight-training or fully exhausting the muscles during cardio. This is normal. Again, beginners will be more sore and usually for longer, but if you really worked as hard as you should have during a weight-lifting session, you should be somewhat sore for the next day or two. Doms This is where rest comes in. You absolutely must rest the muscles you worked for 1-2 days after a workout. Take at least one day off between strength training sessions, and if you are still very sore, take 2 days off. (This means from lifting, not from all exercise such as cardio). If you don't let your muscles recover and repair, they will continue to break down and you will actually get weaker. To help prevent soreness in the future, and alleviate some of it now, be sure to:  1. Always warm-up for 5-10 minutes and cool-down for at least 5 minutes. 2. Stretch after a warm-up, during your workout, and after you are done. Only stretch when your muscles are already warm from some kind of light activity. 3. Stay active. The more your muscles move, the faster they will recover from exercise and soreness. If you choose to rest completely instead of "actively recovering" with light exercise, you'll probably be sore longer.
Foam Roller
One technique I've used with some success to reduce my own muscle soreness is to use a foam roller regularly as a part of my cool down. This has been particularly helpful for me after I start a new type of exercise or a new weight training routine. Plus it just feels amazing to stretch out your muscles.  The key is to find the sore spot and lay on it.  So use the foam roller find the hot spot and just sink into it slowly moving back and forth almost giving yourself a massage!  Feel the knots and tension melt away! There are also some great post workout drinks and foods that you can consume to help reduce the post muscle soreness and help your body to recovery faster. The most important meal you eat is the one that you have directly after your workout.  for about an hour after your workout, there's a window of opportunity when your muscles are literally starving for nutrients. We call this the golden hour. And the meal you eat at this time is the most important for building muscle and replenishing energy sources. The first thing your body needs is a nice fresh supply of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are used by your body for making muscles, hormones, neurotransmitters, bones and all sorts of other important things. Exercise depletes critical amino acids such as glutamine, valine, isoleucine and leucine–and the way you replenish your body's supply is with protein. That means meat, chicken, eggs, fish or whey protein powder. The second thing you need is some carbohydrates. Exercise draws upon your body's stores of glycogen, which is the storage form of sugar. Glycogen waits in the liver and the muscles for a signal that sugar is needed: "Hey, she's exercising, let's give her some fuel!" Your body can hold about 1,800 calories of sugar as glycogen, which is plenty to fuel any workout short of a marathon, but athletes do best when their glycogen stores are full, so unless you are on a carb-restricted diet, some slow-burning carbs after working out is a good idea. (Hint: The best carbs are oatmeal, brown rice, grains like quinoa or amaranth, and all vegetables and fruits). Your muscles need protein for repair and growth, and your body needs some carbs to replenish its glycogen stores. Truth be told, after a hard workout your body is like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors: It's crying "Feed me!" and it won't take no for an answer. Remember, right before exercise you have to consider the time it takes to digest food, so you need to go light. But post-workout is the ideal time to have a full meal. So what's the best meal, or combination of foods, to have post-workout?  Shakeology is a great post workout meal.  It has a perfect combination of protein and carbs along with all the essential amino acids and nutrients your body needs to recovery from the workout you just did.  At least you don't have to stand there in the kitchen wondering if what you are eating is the right option.  Instead whip up a shake and go!  It honestly is refreshing and delicious! Results and Recovery Drink -
P90X® Results and Recovery Formula® tastes so great, you won't believe how good it is for you! When recovering from intense workouts, Results and Recovery Formula will provide you with the vital nutrients you need to bounce back from your workout. And the delicious, smooth orange flavor makes it the perfect post-workout reward.

Benefits:

  • Dextrose-based formula for optimum glycogen replenishment*
  • A high Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) blend to provide the critical building blocks for rapid muscle resynthesis*
  • Vitamins, including antioxidants, to help reduce muscle soreness and assist in repair and growth*
Chicken and Mixed Vegetables Four ounces of skinless, boneless chicken breast contains almost 35 grams of high-quality protein as well as small amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron; 255 mg of phosphorus; 287 mg of heart-healthy potassium; and 75 percent of the recommended dietary intake for niacin, a Bvitamin that's important in energy metabolism. One large (6-ounce) chicken breast is even more loaded: It contains more potassium than there is in a medium banana, plus a whopping 53 grams of protein. The fat in boneless, skinless chicken is mostly monounsaturated. Only 1.1 grams of the 4 grams of fat in 4 ounces of chicken is saturated fat. The vegetables provide carbs and fiber. If you like, you can have half of a sweet potato with the meal and a spoonful of olive oil and/or almonds on the vegetables. Breakfast Anytime: Egg Omelet with Avocado Eggs are just about the best source of protein on the planet. Mix with as many vegetables as you like for a perfect meal. Hint: I also stir-fry a sliced apple into the mix. Serve with avocado for a nice dose of fiber and monounsaturated fat. At the Gym: Whey Protein Shake I consider whey protein powder the best protein powder available. You can mix whey powder with frozen berries (my favorite) and water, or with almost any combination of ingredients; I've thrown in a spoonful or two of peanut butter, oatmeal or sliced apple, or made it plain with water. All work. The whey provides the protein; the berries provide the carbs. (You can of course make the shake with milk or soymilk, but watch out for the calories. I don't recommend making shakes with juice.) The Three S's: Salmon, Spinach and Sweet Potato Here's the ideal balanced meal. Wild salmon for protein and omega-3s, spinach for the cornucopia of vitamins and minerals (including the superstar of eye nutrition, lutein), and a sweet potato for slow-burning carbohydrates. It's an almost perfect meal. You can add a little flaxseed oil (or olive oil or butter) to the sweet potato or even sprinkle it with almonds, but watch your portion size: While these additions are all brimming with health, they're also high-calorie items. Bodybuilder's Delight: Tuna, Brown Rice and Vegetables You can't go to a "hard core" gym without seeing a bodybuilder eating this old classic from a Tupperware container. A single can of light tuna canned in water and drained provides an astonishing 42 grams of high-quality protein for under 200 calories. That same can has more than 100 percent of the daily value for niacin, 29 percent of the daily value for vitamin B6 and 82 percent of the daily value for vitamin B12. And tuna is a superb source of the vitally important cancer-protective trace mineral selenium. Add some brown rice for fiber and carbs, load up with the vegetables and you're good to go. You can't go wrong with any of those five, or variations thereof. They'll load up your body with the energy needed to refuel and the protein needed to rebuild and repair muscle. Couple them with hard, intense and frequent workouts, and you'll be on the way to the body of your dreams. Remember no pain no gain!!!!

The Evolution of the Beer Belly

Alright guys, lets address the elephant in the room..... THE BEER BELLY!!!! caveman3 The honest truth is that the "beer belly" is not an inevitable phase of evolution. In fact, the male physiology has not changed at all. You guys still create the same amount of testosterone as your caveman ancestors. Unlike women, you guys have much higher levels of testosterone but for good reason. Here is the primary definition of testosterone: Testosterone is the primary male hormone produced in the testicles responsible for the development of the male sexual characteristics (e.g. growth of facial and pubic hair, deepening of the voice, increase in muscle mass and strength, and a growth in height). Small amounts of testosterone are also produced in women by the ovaries and adrenal glands The primary description is pretty obvious, it helps develop your twig and berries so you can procreate, wonderful. But it is the secondary purpose of testosterone that leaves us women a little jealous of your abundance of Testosterone. So here it is: This hormone also helps to maintain sex drive, sperm production, muscle mass and bone mass.  It is the ability to increase muscle rabidly that helps men lose weight so much faster than women. We can work out just as hard but at the end of the day, you are genetically blessed in that area. This genetic boost was necessary in the days of the caveman because men needed to be strong and fit enough to maintain the endurance necessary to hunt and evade predators. Without testosterone, caveman would have been more capable of picking fruit and gathering eggs which was the job of the female. Hence the phrase "hunters and gathers". The surge of testosterone in men starts at puberty and is designed to stay with him for a minimum of 20 years. With that in mind, why doesn't every man have 6-pack abs and run a 6 minute mile. The answer is that today's men are lazy in comparison to the caveman. Present day men don't hunt huge animals and carry them home, they go to the grocery store. They no longer get the daily activity of the caveman which included hours of cardiovascular and resistance work from heavy lifting. Today's man has replaced a portion of the water once consumed with sugar/alcohol filled beverages. And to top it off, society has replaced once nutrient rich fruits and vegetables with processed wheat flour containing little to no nutrients, but they make sure to add lots of sugar to make it taste good........ CRAP! primal-blueprint The reasons are obvious, lack of exercise and a crappy diet are the root cause of the "beer belly". But what most men do not realize is that the increased belly fat actually lowers your testosterone. Yep, it gets better. Excess body fat makes a man look more curvaceous than cut and, if he's really unlucky, gives him a lovely pair of man-breasts to admire in the mirror. But that's not all. Body fat contains aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogens, the main sex hormones in women. Having extra estrogens floating around your system triggers your body to slow its production of testosterone. And the less testosterone you make, the more belly fat you accumulate and the more estrogens you spew. It's a vicious, emasculating circle—and not a sorority you want to party with. In fact, though a beer belly might seem to some like a dramatic (if unattractive) declaration of manliness, a study of 1,822 men by the New England Research Institutes (NERI) confirmed that a man's waist circumference is the single strongest predictor of low testosterone levels. It's even more accurate than age or overall health. Researchers have also targeted midriff weight as the strongest predictor of a condition called symptomatic androgen deficiency, or AD. It's marked by low libido, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, depressed mood, lethargy, and diminished physical performance. So I think you can see the importance of testosterone and how by not utilizing your testosterone, you lose it! Don't expect it to stay with you and keep you ripped if the most resistance training you get is 12 Oz curls. Sorry guys. Doesn't work that way. Here's what you need to do: Heavy lifting, less running Vigorous resistance exercise triggers a big burst of testosterone. Stick to weightlifting movements that hit multiple muscle groups, limit your rest between sets, and keep cardio to a minimum. This approach stimulates your body's production of growth hormone, which helps you build more muscle faster. It also uses up glycogen reserves rapidly, so your body burns more fat for energy. (Goodbye, man-breasts!) The same principles apply to women, we are already genetically wired to have way less testosterone than men so don't allow lack of exercise or crappy diet to further decrease your testosterone. Visit my website to see how my husband lost his own beer belly and we both lost 40 lbs.