3 Top Tips For Healthy Meals

When we are young, the concept of healthy meals is very black and white. Vegetables are good and fast food is bad. Cleaning your plate is good and being wasteful is bad. As we grow up, no one bothers to tell us that, in reality, individual foods are neither good nor bad- only too much food is bad. In fact, the idea that we need to clean our plates has gotten us into big trouble.

As it turns out, nutrition isn't black and white at all. On a physiological level, it can be extremely complicated. Sometimes we do all the right things and still can't seem to manage our weight, our energy, or our health. Of course, if we could only live on the Biggest Loser Ranch we wouldn't have any of the obstacles that make eating healthy meals so complicated and impractical in the real world.

If only there were a few simple rules that made eating healthy simple?!

The good news is, there are three simple tips that can make healthy meals more of a no brainer. After all, we don't all have the time or money to study nutrition, to visit a certified nutritionist, or to order all our meals packaged and ready-to-eat.

If you assess your diet regarding the three guidelines below, you will be doing a better job than most towards getting the nutrients and energy your body needs. (And by "diet" I don't mean that four letter word that signifies perpetual deprivation but simply, what you consume daily.)

The Three Tips are to
1) keep your meals colorful
2) keep your meals small and frequent, and
3) keep your meals fresh.

As we explore these criteria in a little more depth, it will highlight some reasons you should incorporate them into your lifestyle.

1) Keep Your Healthy Meals Colorful

Our body needs six different nutrients to function optimally during the day. These include carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Most of us don't have time or sufficient interest to make getting our daily allowance of amino acids and essential vitamins a scientific venture. So how can you make sure you are getting what you need? Answer: by keeping your meals colorful. It is that simple.

Picture a plate containing fish and chips beside a smoked salmon salad with a whole grain roll. One of these plates is monochromatic and the other has reds, greens, browns and whatever else your imagination used to dress it up. The more colorful plate has half the calories, more than twice the nutritional benefit, and will provide more lasting energy. Meanwhile, the monochromatic plate is also more likely to make you feel sluggish and desperately thirsty as a result of excessive sodium levels. The point is, picking healthy meals is a choice you are free to make.

While carbohydrates ( like bread, potatoes, rice, and starchy vegetables) and protein ( like meat, beans, and dairy) should be components of every meal, the more fruits and vegetables you add, the healthier and more colorful your meal will be. Even adding peas and carrots to the fish and chips plate would significantly increase the nutritional value of this dish. Presentation is not just for cooking shows- it is for your health, too.

People who eat mindfully (or in other words, don't have a weight problem) enjoy food with all of their senses. Practice making your meals and snacks colorful by incorporating a variety of food groups. This way they will be a feast for your senses, your belly, and your body.

2) Keep Your Healthy Meals Smaller and More Frequent

A healthy eating schedule is going to vary from person to person. Three square meals a day is sometimes the only thing someone has time to prepare and enjoy. However, food is fuel. If you are hungry, eat. If you are not hungry, don't. For many people, enjoying 4-6 smaller meals everyday actually helps them function more efficiently.

Deprivation is not beneficial for your body or mind. You have to eat to lose. However, most of us are used to mindlessly eating portion sizes that are larger than what we really need. You want to be satisfied but not stuffed.

More frequent, smaller meals keep your metabolism revved and make it less likely that you will store food as fat instead of burning it for fuel. It also keeps your energy levels and blood sugar levels steady which decreases the likelihood of overeating at your next meal or suffering crashes in energy that cause you to crave lousy, processed foods and sweets.

Anyone who has ever grocery shopped on an empty stomach knows that creating healthy meals is easier if you don't let yourself get overly hungry. By making sure you have a healthy breakfast and healthy snacks available for the day ahead, you will be significantly less likely to feel the need to stuff your face and you will find it easier to manage your weight. Overall, focusing on eating to keep your energy up and your hunger under control will help you be a pleasant, healthy person.

3) Keep Your Foods Fresh

Eating healthy meals doesn't mean buying packaged foods that say they are healthy on the outside of the box. Healthy meals should include fresh foods. If everything you eat is unwrapped, microwaved, delivered, or frozen, you need a serious diet overhaul. What your body craves is nutrients, not preservatives and added chemicals. Processed foods are more calorically dense and harder for your body to breakdown so they are more likely to be stored as fat than natural food.

If the ingredients list on a packaged food item is a bunch of words you don't recognize or have never seen before, don't buy it. Instead, build a skill for life and learn to cook the meal from raw ingredients. Ingredients that aren't in your granny's pantry, don't habitually belong in yours. In other words," if it doesn't grow, let it go". While it may seem like a convenient time saver now to buy the ready made stuff, preparing your own healthy meals will help you live longer, easily making up for the time it takes to prepare meals in the long run.

It takes conscious effort to incorporate these rules into your daily routine, but they will quickly become habitual with practice. Your efforts start in the grocery store where you can focus on choosing fresh foods and ingredients that will allow for plenty of nutritious choices for healthy meals and snacks in the days ahead. Then all you have to do is focus on including a variety of food groups to ensure you always add at least a splash of color. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the more the merrier as far as your body is concerned.

Making color a priority, eating smaller meals as frequently as your hunger dictates, and seeking out fresh foods will pay off. In fact, assessing your healthy meals along these three guidelines might just help you save your health and your money. The more you fill your body with quality nutrients, the less you will crave U.F.O's (unidentified food objects). After all, having access to and eating healthy meals is a luxury, not a punishment.

healthy eating meals

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6839731

New Healthy Eating Guidelines

Best Weight Loss Diet - What is the Best Weight Loss Diet For Me?

What exactly is the best weight loss diet for you? Is there even such a thing at all? The answer to that question is an emphatic YES, and you will know the answer to that question and how to answer many more by following the simply step-by-step process below.

Step 1 - Know Your Current Diet

Everyone is on a diet of some sort. If you decide to eat cheeseburgers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it could be said that you are on a cheeseburger diet. Probably not the most healthy choice but I hope you get the point I am trying to make. You may not have paid any special attention to the foods you are currently putting into your body, so it is now time to become aware. Take some time out of your day to reflect upon your past and current dietary habits.

For example, how frequently do you eat? Do you eat three big meals per day or many smaller meals? Do the foods you eat contain more carbohydrates, fats or proteins? Try to come up with the best model for your current diet, Monday-Sunday. If you are trying to lose weight it is likely that you are not currently eating a healthy or balanced diet at all. You are probably eating way too much of one type of nutrient, and not enough of another. Most people tend to lean towards one kind of nutrient, and eat foods that contain that nutrient in greater quantities. You may not even be aware of this personal preference!

Spend some time (a week will be more than enough) to record what you are currently eating, and when you eat it. Please do not skip this step. Yes, it will take some commitment on your part to do this, and you will have to be brutally honest with yourself, but it is so important that you understand your current dietary habits before you can begin to understand what might be the best weight loss diet for you.

Once you have meticulously recorded this information for at least a week, it is time for the next step.

Step 2 - Understand What You Want

The very fact that you are here reading this article shows that you have some sort of idea what you wish to accomplish. You obviously want to lose weight and to do that, you are looking for the best weight loss diet to accomplish your personal goals. The point of this step is to come to terms with what it is you really want. You need to get specific in this step. This may seem like a really easy step to accomplish, but do it anyway.

So many people who start to work this step realize that they don't have a firm grasp on what they want or even why they want it. Just wanting to lose weight is not enough of a goal. You need to decide how much to lose, how fast you want to do it, and then you need to find out the healthiest way to accomplish your chosen goals.

For example, hopefully one of your goals is to keep the weight off forever once you do lose it. If this is a goal of yours write it down and make note of it. You need to know these things to design the best weight loss diet for you.

Once you have written out your personal weight loss goals, and have a record of your current dietary habits, you will be armed with the information and knowledge you need to start building the best weight loss diet that will be completely personal to you and what you want. You will know where you have been and what possible dietary habits could be contributing to your current weight issues, and you will know what you want to achieve, and why.

Once you have all of this information you are ready to take it all into step 3.

Step 3 - Talk To A Professional

The best weight loss diet for you will be a diet that focuses on your personal weight loss goals, the kinds of foods you like and dislike, and will take into account all factors surrounding your current dietary choices and your current state of health. For instance, the best weight loss diet for a diabetic is going to be a bit different from the diet of someone who wants to run 5 miles per day. The best thing you can do for yourself at this point, is to seriously discuss these things with your doctor. Your doctor can help you decide the best weight loss diet for you, while taking into account all important factors to maintain your health.

Since you have recorded your current dietary habits down, as well as your personal weight loss goals, you will have a great amount of information to share with your doctor. Your doctor is the perfect person to help you come to sound and reasonable conclusions about your current diet and what you can do to change it and meet your personal goals. You will feel better not having to go this alone, and you will be able to avoid all of the pseudo-science and diet garbage that poses as sound advice today.


I hope it is obvious by now that the best weight loss diet for you, is the one you personally design. Although all of the best weight loss diets will involve some form of calorie control, you still need to come to terms with what kind of control you will need to use in your personal diet. Your optimal or "maintenance weight" will not be the same as someone else. The most effective way to do this is to follow the three steps above. Do things right the first time and you will enjoy your new body for years to come.

best weight loss diet

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2167728

45 Min HIIT Cardiovascular and Abs Workout - Insane At Home Fat Burner - Interval Cardio Training and Core

Aerobic Endurance Training - For Triathlons and Triathletes

aerobic endurance training

Aerobic base training

Triathlons are aerobic endurance events and may last for hours. Training consists of extended periods of swim, bike and run to teach the body the priority big 'S' (stamina). Learning about the aerobic energy system and how to train it is very important.

Aerobic versus anaerobic

Steady-paced exercise that lasts several minutes or many hours, using oxygen to convert fats and carbohydrates into movement, is aerobic, i.e. with oxygen. Conversely, very fast efforts, e.g. 100-metre sprint races, can be achieved with no breathing, and are pure anaerobic efforts, i.e. without oxygen. If you go at the highest sustainable pace for one or several minutes, you will be using both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. This produces a burning sensation and extremely heavy breathing.

'Base' or 'endurance' sessions are done at a 'guilt producingly easy' pace, so the muscles, blood, heart and lungs become more efficient at using fats. They may get harder as muscles fatigue, but they are fun and provide time to chill while thinking about good technique. These sessions should make up at least 80 per cent of your weekly training time.

Heart rate monitors

A heart rate monitor (HRM) can be used to assess your effort in bike and run sessions. There are three simple exercises that you can do:
1) During bike or run sessions when you are nose breathing (see below), check what heart rate you see just before you have to revert to mouth breathing. This gives 75-80 per cent of maximum heart rate, or the upper limit of aerobic training.

2) When you are racing or giving a sustained fast effort, see what heart rate you can maintain. When your breathing becomes erratic and the burning sensation in your muscles is overpowering, you have just gone past your anaerobic threshold. This will be around 80-85 per cent of maximum heart rate, or your short distance racing pace.

3) This exercise is optional, as it requires you to push yourself to the limit. It's best done on a bike indoors where few accidents can happen. Gradually increase your speed by 1 mph every 2 minutes until you are flat out, then try to sprint for 30 seconds. A helper should see your HR (heart rate) peak in this sprint effort. This is your maximum heart rate, or the peak value if you failed to push yourself to exhaustion. Running max HR will be around 5-10 beats higher.

Top Tip 

Nose breathing is a way to invoke good breathing mechanics and ensure that your pace is a true aerobic effort. Pushing hard and nose breathing don't go together well.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3678376

3 Tips to Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness

Get motivated to ramp up your cardio routine.

how to improve cardiovascular fitness

It is common practice for many people to enter the gym, and grudgingly get on a treadmill or cross trainer for their cardio work. Let's face it, cardio work can be a drag at times. Finding ways to to get more enthused about the process can inspire you to excel during this part of your exercise routine, and also make the time appear to pass more quickly.

So how can you make your time on the treadmill (or any piece of cardio equipment for that matter) more exciting? Listening to an MP3 or watching the TV monitor seems to be the standby for most, but if you're looking for something a littlle more motivational consider giving these 3 tips a try to put the bounce back into your cardio routine step.

Tip 1: Try HIIT Training:

The principle here essentially would be jogging for two minutes, sprinting for one, or jogging for one minute, sprinting for 30 seconds, and so on, you can alter the formula to suit your needs and ability. You do not need to do more than 20 minutes as the emphasis here is to get your heart rate up and down in a speedy fashion, which is great for fat burning.

* This method can be translated onto any piece of cardio equipment.

Tip 2: Set A Goal:

Don’t let your mind wander away when using cardio equipment, as this can take away from the intensity of your efforts. Every piece of cardio equipment will give you a reading of the distance you have covered. So why not set a goal of trying to beat the distance you may have covered the previous session in the same allotted period of time.

Eg: 5 miles/ 8km – covered in 30 minutes on the treadmill. So during the next session try to cover a larger distance.

Tip 3: Get Your Heart Racing:

Most cardio machines will have a heart rate sensor which is activated when you place your hands upon them. Ensure you are working within your target heart rate and pushing yourself by placing your hands on these sensors. Make sure your heart rate does not drop below your maximum heart rate.

To calculate your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) use the following formulas.

  • Male athletes - MHR = 202 - (0.55 x age)
  • Female athletes - MHR = 216 - (1.09 x age)

Give these tips a go and continue and alternate between each one to make things interesting and exciting.

Source: http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-tips/3-tips-improve-your-cardio-work

Insanity Workout Program

The Insanity Workout Routine


Like Zumba and P90X workout, the Insanity workout has taken over the world of weight loss programs by storm, but is it right for you?

Before you decide to buy the program off the shelves, you need to first consider a few fundamental questions. Strength wise, are you are able to execute standard exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups comfortably? Cardio wise, can you run a mile comfortably? These, if you like, can be considered pre-requirements to meet the demands that the workout requires.

That said, the Insanity workout most definitely is the one program you'd want to be on, if you are looking for effective and time efficient ways to help with weight loss and lean muscle gain. It is not a bodybuilding program.

Your Fuel to Completing the Program

Fair warning, the Insanity workout is not your average workout for your weight loss program. Weight lost programs like this one is simply not for the faint-hearted or the mentally unprepared.

Commitment is your fuel to completing the program. A commitment is you saying to yourself that you have decided to take on the challenge and there is no turning back. Staying on track with the Insanity workout schedule is nothing less than a mental resolution to staying on track in the exercise and meal plans, for a period of 60 days. No excuses.

Commitment is your cornerstone to emerging victorious in the program. With commitment, you will naturally put in the effort. With effort, you will reap the rewards of weight loss and lean muscle gain.

What is the Insanity Workout Routine like?

The Insanity workout plans out exercises for six days of the week. In other words, you get to rest only on one day. That way, you will most definitely feel the compounding effects of working out day after day, which is the aim of the program. Each exercise workout lasts for about forty to sixty minutes. In the later part of the Insanity workout routines, there may be days when you will need to workout twice in a day. This is where even the mentally strong will be tested. The real incentive in the Insanity workout is that there is a team of folks doing the same program alongside you. Like you, they too will be sweating it out, and the rings of encouragements from Shaun T will only push you to give it your best shot.

The Insanity workout is a complete, all-round, type of weight loss program. Not only does it have an exercise plan, it also details out the diet plans you should follow. Specifically, the magic formula of the carbohydrates-protein-fat ratio is so key to getting you to the shape of your life. In any case, these elements are also necessary components for your daily needs, it is just a matter of understanding how you can tweak the proportion of their intake in your daily life to make so much difference in your life.

At the end of it all, the pay-offs for finishing off the 60-day challenge is incalculable. More than just a transformation of your outer physical body, you will see an inner transformation of the mind.

Take up the Insanity workout challenge today. Only if you dare.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7672372

Insanity: The Rise of the Supercharged Home Workout for Beachbody

insanity workout beachbody

Insanity came by airmail, bound like a prized first edition. The first time I tried it, it didn't seem too bad. A little sore in the thighs maybe, a little weak in the hip flexors, but nothing insurmountable. The second week, too, stayed within the limits of my psychological health. Then at the end of the third week, there was a pure cardio workout that culminated in what were called level two drills: four regular pushups, four tricep pushups, eight high jumps. I was on my fifth set when I realized that I had forgotten to inhale. Or exhale. My sweat was pooling on the floor, sliding in rivulets down the tip of my nose.

Afterward, I spread it all out, these instruments of my torture: 10 DVDs , a calendar, a pin-up poster, alluringly illustrated, and a diet booklet espousing the benefits of salmon and kale. Together they comprised the 60-day Insanity fitness regimen, of which I was currently on day 22. Billed as the hardest workout ever put on DVD, Insanity purportedly used max-interval training (an inversion of the usual short anaerobic exercises followed by less intense recovery periods) to get fast, durable results. These exercises included burpies, mummy kicks, and Spiderman push-ups, served up by a cast of leggy fitness instructors whose very muscled-but-not-too-muscled-ness spat in the face of Just the Way You Are. And why not? The premise of Insanity, after all, was that soon I'd be leaving my old body behind, and with it, my old mindset, my old bad habits. No discipline? The program could fix that. Romantic troubles? Insanity would make my boyfriend rue the day he ever looked at another girl.

But first -- and this is a cardinal rule -- first, drink your protein.


Insanity is the brainchild of Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, co-founders of BeachBody LLC, an outfit that, despite its hammy name, had in the 15 years since its establishment seen meteoric success. Their first breakthrough came in 2003 with the launch of P90x, a ninety-day fitness program developed with workout guru Tony Horton. It combined resistance training and muscle confusion exercises and sold a million copies in its first season. Four years later, they looked to expand their line with an even more intense workout, one that could deliver the same results in just sixty days. It seemed they had a winner in high-intensity home fitness.

They also had impeccable timing. The 2000s were a complicated moment for first world health. Advances in genomics and computing had opened new vistas on diseases like cancer and HIV. Yet certain fundamental health issues were, if anything, getting worse. The obesity rate soared; the pharmo-medical-industrial complex that catered to its accompanying problems ballooned accordingly. By 2011, Americans were spending $1.2 billion a year on liposuction, $6 billion on yoga studios, $24 billion on gym memberships. They ran a collective two trillion steps on the treadmill. Yet even as the industry grew, it also split into two groups distinguished not only by their marketing, but by their ethos.

The first group consisted of what I call the easy sells -- cookie diets, tone-as-you-walk shoes, vibrating machines that claimed to shake your fat off -- products sold at corner stalls in strip malls and in banner ads squashed between the bad variety shows and soft-core porn that characterize certain stretches of the internet. They were most often ineffective, but people bought them on the off chance that they weren't.

Hard sells, contrastingly, embraced the workout. They demanded the workout. They not only acknowledged how many glazed fritters the customer was going to have to give up, they made it a veritable mantra. Dig Deeper. Push Harder. Get Fit or Get Out. The hard sell was perhaps best embodied by NBC's The Biggest Loser, a sixty-minute prime time blitzkrieg of sweat, tears, and drill-sergeant-esque instructors. Contestants came on at 300 pounds, left at 150; weighed in at 250, weighed out at 120. Meanwhile, its host, Jillian Michaels, parlayed the show's success into a media empire as sprawling as Martha Stewart's.

The genius of the hard sell, of course, was that it wasn't a sell at all. As Beachbody executive Laura Ross put it, "We were just trying to be honest. If you wanted to get results, you would have to work your ass off." And therein lay the savvy of it: in an era of quick fixes, Insanity made logical sense. It asked for sixty days, every day. It asked you to sweat like it's monsoon season. And in return it promised a body as tight as rubber and as hard as sin.


To distinguish Insanity from P90x, Beachbody picked to star in its videos a relative unknown named Shaun Thompson. He had been teaching classes at the local Equinox in Santa Monica when he met Ross, who invited him to submit demo videos for another Beachbody program called Hip Hop Abs. They ended up being so good that he was signed not only for that series, but also for Insanity.

"It was obvious from the get-go that Shaun was extremely talented," Ross said. "Sometimes in fitness videos because of space constraints we end up doing movements that seem super contrived, super restrictive. But Shaun used to run track, he used to dance, and you can really see that in his posture, how he holds himself. He brought a natural athleticism to the exercises."

Insanity was nearly a year in development. In a way that would have been inconceivable to the likes of Jane Fonda, the modern fitness video is a meticulously choreographed beast, the product of concept meetings, design docs, A/B testing. Thompson spent hours working through single movements at the gym. Versions were edited, then re-edited. His last name became the snappy, monosyllabic T. The final version was tested on a focus group of 60, whose physical transformations were then sliced into a twenty-minute infomercial that would form the lion's share of Insanity's publicity plan.

"From the beginning, we knew that Insanity would be marketed primarily on television," Ross said. "We just had no clue that it would be so successful. And so every year, we've reshot the video. We send out a call, people mail in their before and after photos, their testimonials, and we feature those right alongside the professional stuff."

The result was a surprisingly seductive grassroots production -- people who started out looking like you and I, gradually doing things that you and I couldn't do with two more legs and a sledgehammer. In one segment, a forty-year-old mother of three whipped out a set of pull-ups, nary a love handle in sight. In another, Daikeler himself appeared shirtless, mugging for the camera. "Why didn't I have this body in high school?" he asked breezily. "Do you know how much more fun it would have been?"

The emphasis in the infomercials, as on the BeachBody.com forums, and in the myriad YouTube testimonials posted by ecstatic users, is partly on the results but mostly on the process. Finishing the program seems to inspire unique pride and satisfaction. You conquer Insanity. Can you ever really say that about StairMaster?


As for my own experience with the program, well, so far it's left me in awe of what a body can accomplish when faced with a HD screen and a buff man screaming, "Jack it off!" I've always been naturally thin, but I've never been strong. Insanity changed that. A couple weeks ago I went rock climbing with friends, and for the first time I felt that I was in control of my movements. I could trust my arms and legs to go where I wanted them to go.

Of course, the price for strength is consistency. You'll find hundreds of accounts about Insanity online that all begin with "I never missed a day," and it's true: the program works best when you do the workouts on schedule. It also works best when you follow their diet plan, when you drink their recovery formula, when you sacrifice your first born to the God of Good Abs. What's less publicized is how effective it can be even when you slip up a little. Sometimes I'll miss a workout and that's okay. I'll gorge myself on my roommate's chocolate chip cookies just to rub it in and tomorrow pick up where I left off.

Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/insanity-the-rise-of-the-supercharged-home-workout/275907/?single_page=true

5 Circuit Fitness Training moves that will get you RIPPED in just MINUTES

Total Body Circuit Training Routine

Squat Jumps
1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, trunk flexed forward slightly with back straight in a neutral position.
2. Arms should be in the ready position with elbows flexed at approximately 90.
3. Lower body where thighs are parallel to ground. Explode vertically and drive arms up.
5. Land on both feet and repeat.
6. Prior to takeoff extend the ankles to their maximum range (full plantar flexion) to ensure proper mechanics.

1. Start in a standing position and bend your knees and place your hands on the ground.
2. Extend your legs back into a push up position. Bring your knees back in towards chest and stand back up.
3. This should be a continuous motion and be fluid.

There are various types of skipping and they make excellent circuit training exercises - two feet off the ground, alternate feet, hop on one leg for 5 then swap and so on.

Dumbbell Squat and Swings
1. Start position: Holding a dumbbell in each hand start in squatted position with dumbbells between legs.
2. Start movement by standing up and keeping arms straight rotate shoulders and trunk towards the left.
3. Return to the starting position and repeat to the other side.
4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Tuck Jumps
Standing on the spot, jump up with both and tuck both knees in towards your chest.

Squat Thrusts
In a push-up position bring both knees in towards your chest and then explode out again so they are fully extended. Repeat in a smooth, rhythmical fashion.

Similar to squat thrusts only alternate your feet. In the push-up position with legs extended bring one knee into your chest, then quickly switch to bring the other knee into your chest. The action should be a smooth running motion as your arms stay fixed.

High Knees
Running on the spot pick your knees up to waist height and pump your arms.

Fast Feet on Box
Use a sturdy box or aerobic step. Step on and off quickly making sure both feet come into contact with the box. Every 20 or 30 step-ups change your feet so the opposite leg leads.

Jumping Jacks
Start with your legs side by side and your arms by your side. In one motion jump and spread your legs out to the side while your arms raise out and up over your head. Land in this position and then return to the starting position and repeat.

Alternating Split Squat
1. Stand with feet hip width apart. Take left leg and step back approximately 2 feet standing on the ball of back foot.
2. Feet should be positioned at a staggered stance with head and back erect and straight in a neutral position. Place hands on waist.
3. Lower body by bending at right hip and knee until thigh is parallel to floor then immediately explode vertically.
4. Switch feet in the air so that the back foot lands forward and vice versa.
5. Prior to takeoff extend the ankles to their maximum range (full plantar flexion) ensure proper mechanics.

Squat to Presses
Holding a relatively light dumbbell in each hand by your side, squat down until your knees are bent just above 90 degrees. As you extend your legs push the dumbbells overhead and extend your arms fully. Lower the weights as you squat down again.

Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides. Keeping your feet together jump forward a foot or so. Jump back to the starting position. Jump to your left, back to the start, then the right and then behind you. Repeat this sequence by keeping ground contact time minimal and feet together.

Cardio Equipment
If you're lucky enough to own any cardiovascular equipment (treadmill, cross trainer, rowing machine) they make good circuit training exercises. Of course if you perform your routine at the gym you have an even greater range of choice.

Source: http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/circuit-training-exercises.html

20 Minute Circuit Workout - Circuit Weight Training

Lose Fat, Build Muscles With Circuit Training

When the weather turns cold, I receive many emails discussing running in the cold weather, or alternative exercises you can do in the weight room that will also have a cardiovascular effect. Circuit training is one of the best ways to make a resistance and strength training workout that is also challenging for your heart and lungs.

This workout is a 20-minute workout that will take you to your maximum physical effort as well as your maximum heart rate. The object of this workout is not to rest in between exercises. You will see that one minute of a particular exercise will burn out the targeted muscle group as well as increase your heart rate to a fat and sugar burning zone. Try the 20 minute workout below - if it is not challenging enough for you try it again, totaling only 40 minutes of your time in the weight room.

20 Minutes Circuit Workout

(*choose light weights for max reps)
  1. Bench press* or pushups - max in 1:00
  1. Squats - max in 1:00
  1. Pullups or pulldowns - 1:00
  1. Bike or jog - 3:00
  1. Military press* - 1:00
  1. Lunges - 1:00 each leg
  1. Bicep curls - 1:00
  1. Bike or jog - 3:00
  1. Tricep extensions.- 1:00
  1. Leg ext - 1:00 (requires leg machines - or repeat squats with weights)
  1. Leg curls - 1:00 (requires leg machines - or repeat lunges with weights)
  1. Situps - 2:00
  1. Crunches - 2:00
  1. Stretch

There is an unlimited number of ways to organize a circuit workout. The above workout is organized with upper body, lower body and cardiovascular exercises. By simply doing the above upper body and lower body exercises in such a way, you will be able to rest your upper body muscles while you workout your lower body muscles, but you will never rest your heart. This is how you make the circuit workout challenging to your cardiovascular system as well as your major muscle groups. Studies have shown that mixing a resistance training regimen with a cardiovascular element will increase your metabolism, therefore burning fat and building muscle. The result is a decrease in body fat percentage.

So, if you are looking to lose inches and body fat, workouts like this coupled with 4-5 smaller meals and 3-4 quarts of water everyday will help you achieve your goal. The best thing about this diet program is that you do not need a single dietary supplement - just good old fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and other lean meats. The key is to burn more calories than you take in and this workout will help you with that - promise.

circuit weight training

Source: http://www.military.com/military-fitness/workouts/circuit-training

The Lose Weight Fast Diet - Easy Diet Tips

If you want to lose weight quickly for a special event or a weekend beach break then our quick weight loss diet can help you lose up to 5lb and drop at least an inch around your waist in as little as four days!

We've based this plan on what the A-listers do and it couldn't be easier. Just follow our simple rules and easy recipe plans to lose weight quickly and efficiently.

The simple rules 

Eat unlimited fruit and vegetables and absolutely no starchy carbohydrates

Within four days you’ll look noticeably slimmer around your middle and if you check the scales, you can expect to have dropped a pound or two.

Why does this happen? 

Carbs are stored in water in your body. Strip them from your diet and your body uses those stored carbs for fuel. That doesn't just burn them off, it also releases the fluid around them – fluid that adds extra inches to your middle, hips and thighs.

On top of this, when you take carbs out of your diet, you tend to replace them with protein – and protein is the ultimate fat-stripping food. After eating a protein-based meal your metabolism revs up by 25%. New research reveals that levels of a fat-burning hormone called FGF21 soar, maximising the calories you lose. The two combined will help you lose weight quickly.

Source: http://www.womanandhome.com/diet-and-health/291481/the-lose-weight-fast-diet

Healthy Diet Plans - 6 Easy Steps To Succeed At Weight Loss

Best Diet Tips Ever - 22 Ways to Stay on Track

Tip No. 1: Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.

Before you tear into that bag of potato chips, drink a glass of water first. People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, so you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really all you needed. If plain water doesn't cut it, try drinking flavored sparkling water or brewing a cup of fruit-infused herbal tea.

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Tip No. 2: Be choosy about nighttime snacks.

Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax. Snacking in front of the TV is one of the easiest ways to throw your diet off course. Either close down the kitchen after a certain hour, or allow yourself a low-calorie snack, like a 100-calorie pack of cookies or a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream.

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Tip No. 3: Enjoy your favorite foods.

Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag. You can still enjoy your favorite foods - the key is moderation.

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Tip No. 4: Eat several mini-meals during the day.

If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you'll lose weight. But when you're hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be a challenge. "Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight," says obesity researcher Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD. She recommends dividing your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying most of them earlier in

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Tip No. 5: Eat protein at every meal.

Protein is the ultimate fill-me-up food -- it's more satisfying than carbs or fats and keeps you feeling full for longer. It also helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning. So be sure to incorporate healthy proteins like seafood, lean meat, egg whites, yogurt, cheese, soy, nuts, or beans into your meals and snacks.

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Tip No. 6: Spice it up.

Add spices or chilies to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied. "Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying, so you won’t eat as much," says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Malena Perdomo, RD. When you need something sweet, suck on a red-hot fireball candy. It's sweet, spicy, and low in calories.

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Tip No. 7: Stock your kitchen with healthy, convenient foods.

Having ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes on hand sets you up for success. You'll be less likely to hit the drive-through or order a pizza if you can throw together a healthy meal in five or 10 minutes. Here are some essentials to keep on hand: frozen vegetables, whole-grain pasta, reduced-fat cheese, canned tomatoes, canned beans, pre-cooked grilled chicken breast, whole grain tortillas or pitas.

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Tip No. 8: Order children's portions at restaurants.

Ordering a child-size entree is a great way to cut calories and keep your portions reasonable. This has become such a popular trend that most servers won't bat an eye when you order off the kids' menu. Another trick is to use smaller plates. This helps the portions look like more, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach likely will be, too.

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Tip No. 9: Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables.

Simply by eating less pasta or bread and more veggies, you could lose a dress or pants size in a year. "You can save from 100-200 calories if you reduce the portion of starch on your plate and increase the amount of vegetables," says Cynthia Sass, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

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Tip No. 10: Always eat breakfast.

It seems like an easy diet win: Skip breakfast and you'll lose weight. Yet many studies show the opposite can be true. Not eating breakfast can make you hungry later, leading to too much nibbling and binge eating at lunch and dinner. To lose weight -- and keep it off -- always make time for a healthy morning meal, like high-fiber cereal, low-fat milk, and fruit.

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Tip No. 11: Include fiber in your diet.

Fiber aids digestion, prevents constipation, and lowers cholesterol -- and can help with weight loss. Most Americans get only half the fiber they need. To reap fiber's benefits, most women should get about 25 grams daily, while men need about 38 grams -- or 14 grams per 1,000 calories. Good fiber sources include oatmeal, beans, whole grain foods, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

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Tip No. 12: Clean the cupboards of fattening foods.

If you have chips in the pantry and ice cream in the freezer, you're making weight loss harder than it has to be. Reduce temptation by purging the cupboards of fattening foods. Want an occasional treat? Make sure you have to leave the house to get it -- preferably by walking.

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Tip No. 13: Lose weight slowly.

If you're losing weight but not as fast as you'd like, don't get discouraged. Dropping pounds takes time, just like gaining them did. Experts suggest setting a realistic weight loss goal of about one to two pounds a week. If you set your expectations too high, you may give up when you don’t lose weight fast enough. Remember, you start seeing health benefits when you've lost just 5%-10% of your body weight.

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Tip No. 14: Weigh yourself once a week.

People who weigh themselves regularly tend to have more weight loss success. But most experts suggest weighing yourself only once a week, so you're not derailed by daily fluctuations. When you weigh yourself, follow these tips: Weigh yourself at the same time of day, on the same day of the week, on the same scale, and in the same clothes.

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Tip No. 15: Get enough sleep.

When you're sleep deprived, your body overproduces the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin but under-produces the hormone leptin, which tells you when you're full. Getting enough sleep may make you feel rested and full and keep you from doing unnecessary snacking.

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Tip No. 16: Understand portion sizes.

We're so used to super-sizing when we eat out that it's easy to carry that mind-set home. To right-size your diet, use a kitchen scale and measuring cups to measure your meals for a week or two. Use smaller plates and glasses to downsize your portions. Split restaurant servings in half -- making two meals out of one big one. Portion out snack servings instead of eating them directly from the container.

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Tip No. 17: Eat more fruits and vegetables.

The best "diet" is one where you get to eat more food, not less. If you eat more fruits and vegetables, you shouldn't feel as hungry because these nutrient-rich foods are also high in fiber and water, which can give you a feeling of fullness. Snacking can be a good thing as long as you choose smart snacks.

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Tip No. 18: Limit alcohol to weekends.

Alcohol contains empty calories: a five-ounce glass of wine has 125, a bottle of beer about 153. Because our bodies don't use those calories well, they usually get converted directly into fat. If you enjoy an occasional drink, consider a compromise. Enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverage on weekends only, with just one drink for women per day, two for men.

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Tip No. 19: Chew sugarless gum.

The next time you want to grab a fattening snack, reach for some sugar-free gum instead. Chewing some types of gum gives you fresh breath and can also help manage hunger, control snack cravings, and aid in weight loss. (Keep in mind, however, that excess sorbitol, a sugar alcohol sometimes used in low calorie gums, can have an laxative effect in some people.) Although gum might make you eat less, it doesn't mean you can stop eating right. A good diet and exercise are still important.

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Tip No. 20: Keep a food diary.

A simple pen and paper can dramatically boost your weight loss. Studies show the act of writing down what you eat and drink tends to make you more aware of what, when, and how much you're consuming -- leading you to ultimately take in fewer calories. One study found that people who kept a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much as those who only kept a diary one day a week or less.

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Tip No. 21: Celebrate success (but not with food).

You lost five pounds this month and walked every other day? Time to celebrate! Rewarding weight loss success really can encourage more success, so revel in your achievements. Buy a CD, take in a movie, and set a prize for the next milestone. Just don't celebrate with a sundae or deep dish pizza

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Tip No. 22: Get help from family and friends.

Getting support can help you reach your weight loss goals. So tell family and friends about your efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle. Maybe they'll join you in exercising, eating right, and losing weight. When you feel like giving up, they'll help you, keep you honest, and cheer you on -- making the whole experience a lot easier.

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Source: http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-best-diet-tips-ever

4 Moves for Ripped Lower Abs

Transform your lower abs with this ascending six-pack circuit.

For most guys, starting from the bottom and working upward is a great strategy when training abs, because your lower abs tend to be more stubborn than the upper portion in terms of strength and definition. The idea, then, is to develop a routine that works every muscle group in your abs in tandem in order to provide the balance you need.

The collection of movements below accomplishes this quite nicely, starting with two movements that target your lower abs, followed by some oblique work, and a core-stabilization finisher. And since it’s impossible to train one portion of the rectus abdominis—your six-pack muscles—apart from another, your upper abs will get plenty of work, too, in this routine.

The Lower Ab Workout

Hanging Leg Raise12-15
Land Mine10 per side
Weighted Crunch15
Swiss Ball Plank30-sec hold

Hanging Leg Raise

lower ab workout

Initiate each rep slowly to de-emphasize the hip flexors and keep tension on the abs. At the top, crunch your pelvis upward and hold for a second.

Land Mine

lower ab workout

Place one end of a barbell in a corner, with weight on the other end. Holding the weighted end, wave the barbell from side to side in an inverted U-shape.

Weighted Crunch

lower ab workout

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, holding a plate over your face. Bend at the waist and crunch up, hold for a second, then lower your torso until your shoulder blades touch the floor.

Swiss Ball Plank

Rest your elbows on a Swiss ball and get into plank position. Focus on keeping your entire body in a straight line from head to toe.

10 Min Abs Workout -- At Home Abdominal and Oblique Exercises

The Best Abs Workout: Get Six Pack Abs in Weeks

Lose belly fat: Use this abs workout to get strong core muscles and sexy, flat abs in no time

Tou've been obsessing over your abs for almost two decades. That ends now. Because we laid out one of the best ab workouts for women to kick those elusive buggers out of hiding. Finally.

Why's our plan so damn effective? Because it hits your entire core—not just your ab muscles but the muscles that support the spine—from all angles with a variety of moves that challenge your stability, balance, and rotational strength.

As for results: Do the moves two to three nonconsecutive days a week and you'll notice a flat-out hot difference in just 30 days.

MOVE 1 Stability Ball Pelvic Tilt Crunch

best ab workout

REPS: 12 - 15
REST: 30 seconds

Grab a 5- to 10-pound medicine ball. Lie faceup on a stability ball with back and head pressed into the ball, your feet together on the floor, and the medicine ball positioned against your chest (A). Brace your abs and crunch up until your shoulders are off the ball. Then reach the ball toward the ceiling (B). That's 1 rep.

Works chest, abs, hips, and glutes

MOVE 2 Walk the Plank and Rotate

best ab workout
REPS: 8 - 10
REST: 30 seconds

Get in plank position with your hands on a 12- to 18-inch step (A). With your weight on your left arm, rotate your body while raising your right arm toward the ceiling (B). Return to plank position and step your right arm down to the right of the bench, then your left arm down to the left of the bench. Step back up, leading with your left arm. That's 1 rep.

Works entire core, shoulders, chest, back, and hips

MOVE 3 Arm Pull Over Straight-Leg Crunch

best ab workout

REPS: 15
REST: 30 seconds

Grab a pair of 10- to 12-pound dumbbells and lie on your back with your arms behind you. Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle (A). Bring your arms up over your chest and lift your shoulders off the mat while raising your legs until they're perpendicular to the floor (B). Return to start (don't let your legs touch the floor). That's 1 rep.

Works upper back, abs, and hips

MOVE 4 The Matrix

best ab workout
REPS: 15
REST: 30 seconds

Grab a 5- to 10-pound medicine ball and kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Lengthen your spine and press the ball against your abs (A). Slowly lean back as far as possible, keeping your knees planted (B). Hold the reclined position for 3 seconds, then use your core to slowly come up to the starting position. That's 1 rep.

Works abs, back, glutes, and quads

MOVE 5 Nose-to-Knee Crunch

best ab workout
REPS: 12 - 15
REST: 30 seconds

Get in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball (A). Draw your right knee toward your chest (B). Hold for 1 second, then return to plank position. That's 1 rep.

Works entire core, shoulders, chest, hips, and glutes

best ab workout

MOVE 6 Prone Oblique Roll

REPS: 12 - 15
REST: 30 seconds

Get in plank position with your shins about hip-width apart on a stability ball and your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor (A). Keeping your feet on the ball, draw your right knee toward your right shoulder (the left just comes along for the ride) (B). Return to center.

Works shoulders, chest, obliques, back, and glutes

MOVE 7 Back Extension Rear Leg Raise

REPS: 15
REST: 30 seconds

Rest your hips and stomach on a stability ball. Straighten your legs and position your toes hip-width apart on the floor. Extend your arms in line with your shoulders (A). Lift your right leg about 6 inches off of the floor while reaching your arms as far out as possible (B). That's 1 rep.

Works lower back and glutes

Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/get-rock-solid-abs

Insanity Workout Result: Is the Pain Worth It?

I’ve completed my 60-day Insanity workout review and took a couple of weeks to reflect on the, well, insanity I’ve put my body through over the last two months. Are the time, pain, expense and effort worth it to have a rock-hard body and improve your overall fitness?

Yes, absolutely, if this workout style appeals to you.

As I alluded to in previous posts during my Insanity journey, I’m a competitive person by nature. I’ve been an athlete for most of my life, and although I’ve been away for sports for about seven years, that competitive spirit is still within me. The sports drills and general intensity in the Insanity workout were certainly reminiscent of my training days, but since all workouts were done at home, I could focus on performing the moves and pushing myself without fear of embarrassment.

The Insanity DVD series will probably not appeal to those who prefer more low-key, passive forms of exercise, or those who don’t like the intensity of sports. I’ve noted as much several times. But for the right personality fit, there’s no better way to get in shape, see results and build a strong foundation of fitness.

Final Results and Recommendations

As of my last day on the Insanity workout, I’d lost 7 pounds and decreased my chest, waist and hip measurements by 2 inches each. A week after finishing Insanity (and starting a new round, with a day off between workouts), I’d lost another 4 pounds. Two weeks after finishing Insanity, I am stabilizing at a 12-to-14-pound total weight loss. My obliques are cut, and my overall physique is noticeably slimmed down. I’ve been told that my weight loss looks more like 20 pounds.

I do have a few words of warning for those who might want to embark on the Insanity workout. I’ll be following these on my new round.

  • Commit to doing the workout as scheduled, without fail. Earlier this summer, I was forced to take about a week off with just one week to go; the difficulties I encountered upon restarting the workouts showed my conditioning losses and challenged my spirit.
  • Do your workouts with a buddy (together or apart). My Insanity cycle inspired a friend who already owned the DVDs to start up a new cycle. We bonded over the challenging DVD of the day and kept each other accountable.
  • Catalog your journey with the public. Share your workouts with your blog readers, Twitter followers or Facebook friends. Having this column as an accountability tool made sure I kept on task, as I knew I had to report on how my week went.
  • Follow the diet that comes with the plan. I didn’t do this until the end. It’s tempting to eat whatever you want after working so hard — I didn’t gain weight when I did so, which seemed to reinforce the behavior — but shortly after eating a clean, healthy diet, you’ll start to crave fish, or chicken or homemade guacamole after workouts. (And you’ll see faster results!)
Source: http://calorielab.com/news/2011/10/23/insanity-workout-review/

Insanity 20 min Workout Video

Insanity Workout Schedule – Free Insanity Workout Schedule PDF

Insanity Workout PDF

If you’re looking for great Insanity workout results, then having the Insanity workout schedule is a must. From this post, I’m giving you access to a ready, printable version of the Insanity workout schedule so that you can track your progress and tick off the days as you go through the Insanity program.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll find great satisfaction in posting up the Insanity workout calendar on the wall near where you work out, or somewhere that you can’t help seeing every day. It provides great motivation for you as you can literally see how far you’ve come and it pushes you on to complete the full schedule. Having an Insanity workout schedule PDF also allows you to print it out all over again if you decide to start the Insanity program from scratch after your first round!

The calendar is nicely laid out, and has handy check boxes so you can keep a visual reminder of how far you’ve come in the Insanity workout schedule. The rewards are great if you can motivate yourself to keep going, and this Insanity workout PDF is one piece of the puzzle to get you there.

Overview of The 60-Day Insanity Workout Schedule

The Insanity workout was created by Shaun T, and it is one of the most intense workouts out there. On top of that, it is very simple in its design – you don’t actually need any fancy equipment. You may have heard of P90X, and many people compare the Insanity workout to P90X. In my personal opinion, there is just less fuss with Insanity. It’s more straightforward, and I can vouch that it brings real results. That said, they’re both pretty good workouts.

Source: http://honestworkoutreviews.net/insanity-workout-schedule-pdf

7 Ways to Boost Your Endurance and Stamina

endurance exercises

“When people think of endurance and stamina, all they tend to focus on are cardio activities like running or cycling,” says Will Torres, a New York-based personal trainer and founder of the personal training studio, Willspace. “But that’s only a small part of the equation—you also need to improve your strength.” For example, Torres explains that by building your leg muscles, you’ll be able to propel yourself further in every step you take while running. “The added muscle also helps absorb the impact that would otherwise put stress on your joints,” he says. So here, Torres gives you seven sneak tactics (ones you’re probably not trying) to boost your endurance and stamina.

1. Combine strength days with cardio days.

It’s a simple equation: the more muscle you can get working, the more it will challenge your heart and your cardiovascular system. Instead of building cardio-only workouts (the pitfall that’ll prevent you from building endurance) make sure to weave strength days into your training. “Most people reserve one day for strength and another day for cardio. Try combining the two instead,” says Torres. “Use a bench press, immediately followed by pull-ups, then run a mile as fast as you can… and repeat.” Another good example: Jump rope for a minute, followed by squats, an overhead press, and finally sit ups. Repeat.

2. Reduce your amount of rest.

Men typically give themselves between 30 and 90 seconds of recovery time in between sets, but if your goal is greater endurance, be prepared to sacrifice break time. “By the end of your sets, your muscles should be burning—you should be breathing heavily and sweating,” says Torres. “Only take a break if you physically can not continue.” Torres suggests selecting a series of movements like 10 pull-ups, 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups. Do three rounds of the series back to back, taking as minimal a break as possible.

3. Do fast-paced, high-intensity lifting.

“When you use weights at an extremely rapid pace, it will not only improve your strength, but also carry over to improve your endurance activity,” says Torres. “It’s one of the best ways to ignite your metabolism. When people do an excessive amount of endurance-only training, they actually slow down their metabolism because it starts to eat away at your muscle tissue.”

4. Choose compound movements over isolation.

Compound moves that require using more than one joint—like squats, step-ups, push-ups and pull-ups—will improve your endurance more so than exercises in isolation. “Isolated exercises like bicep curls and leg lifts aren’t going to stimulate you enough to increase your stamina,” he says.

5. Remember: Routine is the enemy.

Switching up your workout is essential to building endurance and stamina. According to Torres, the human body gets used to a workout after two weeks. So if you’re always running, start doing Muay Thai instead. Or if you’re an avid cyclist, change it up by running stairs. “You need to move the muscles in a different way so that you don’t develop overuse. Plus, it becomes more motivating,” he says. “It’s important to keep the mind guessing.”

6. Go for hybrid exercises.

A squat with an added overhead press (a “thruster”), jumping pull-ups, and lunges with bicep curls are all great hybrids: exercises that take two separate movements and combine them. “The more muscles you can get working in a movement, the more it will stimulate your heart muscles, which in turn improves your stamina.”

7. Add explosive movements to your workout.

Explosive movements that take a lot of energy challenge your strength, endurance and stamina simultaneously. Once you become more explosive, you’ll notice that you’ll actually start moving faster. Torres says: try adding things like burpees, box jumps, jumping knee tucks and power push-ups to your workout routine.

Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/7-ways-to-boost-your-endurance-and-stamina

Fat Burning Cardio Workout - Cardio Workout at Home

What's the Best Way to Build Endurance?

endurance workout

From cycling, to running, to soccer, to swimming, aerobic exercise requires endurance so athletes can keep on truckin’ without losing steam. But it may not be as easy as running longer, swimming farther, or cycling a century. Here, we lay out some traditional ways to boost stamina along with sneakier ways to keep going stronger, longer.

Push it Real Good—The Need-to-Know
Endurance allows people to work out at a certain intensity or for an extended amount of time (hello, marathon!). There are a number of factors that combine to create an athlete's "endurance profile," and two of the most important are VO2 max and lactate threshold.

VO2 max, or the maximum rate at which an athlete's body can consume oxygen during exercise, is the most popular measurement of aerboic capacity (although it’s unclear if it’s necessarily the most accurate). Although endurance ability is mostly a matter of genetics, maximal oxygen uptake can be improved with targeted training. High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts have been shown to to do the trick, increasing athletes' VO2 max.

Another piece of the endurance puzzle is the athlete's lactate threshold, or the level of exertion at which lactate accumulates in the muscles. Luckily, it's possible for virtually any athlete to improve both of these measures. To improve lactate threshold—and therefore the ability to workout harder for longer periods of time—Greatist Expert Noam Tamir says tempo runs may do the trick. Endurance athletes often have a higher proportion of slow-twitch muscle fibers, which power steady-state activities like running by using oxygen efficiently to generate more energy. Running long can train slow-twitch muscles to fuel such workouts more efficiently and to fight fatigue more effectively. A continuous practice of long-distance running can also help convert fast-twitch muscles to slow-twitch muscles, which will enhance endurance.

Surefire Stamina—Your Action Plan

Try these tips to help bump up endurance a notch. With some smart training and nutrition guidance, that Ironman may totally be within reach!

  • Rest up. To go long and hard, athletes need fresh muscles, says Greatist Expert John Mandrola: “Go hard on hard days; go easy on easy days; and never string hard days together without adequate rest.” Feeling fresh can help anyone go the distance.
  • Eat right. When it comes to exercise nutrition, carbs are key, since the body uses glycogen for fuel when the goin’ gets tough. Once glycogen runs out, the body turns to energy from other sources, and begins to burn fat. For extended cardio sessions, consume 30-60 grams of carbs every hour, depending on body weight. Studies have also found a mix of carbs and protein can enhance endurance performance and reduce muscle damage—win!. That said, keep in mind that the best mix of carbohydrates, fat and protein varies considerably amongst athletes, says Mandrola. Experiment, experiment, and experiment some more to find the right combination for you.
  • HIIT it up. It might sound crazy, but often less really is more. High intensity interval training—aka quick bouts of intense exercise—can help improve endurance in conjunction with traditional training. Need some ideas on how to mix it up? Run some stairs or try a track workout for some speed. Just remember to get plenty of recovery after these workouts—they’re intense!
  • Add some strength. When it comes to endurance training, variation is important. Resistance training can strengthen our bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles—helping improve overall fitness and helping with that final sprint to the finish. Mix up aerobic exercise with kettlebells, dumbbell, and bodyweight exercises to help improve stamina.
  • Turn on the tunes. Could it be as easy as pumping up the volume? Listening to music has been shown to boost endurance performance while walking, so it doesn’t hurt to work out with some tunes. The mind-body connection is especially strong among endurance athletes, and any pick-me-up can help when the going gets tough.
  • Work on what’s weak. People often find their fitness niche and stick to it. Instead, Mandrola advises people to mix it up in order to build endurance: Marathoners should work on speed, and flat-landers should stomp those hills. Getting to that personal best means working on what’s most challenging.
  • Drink beet juice! Yup, it’s science. One study found nitrate-rich beets may help increase stamina up to 16 percent by reducing oxygen intake in athletes (It remains unclear if other nitrate-rich foods produce similar effects). So consider drinking some beet juice along with that bowl of pasta the night before race day. You never know. Just remember that beet juice can be high in sugar, so use in moderation.
  •  Train smart. The gradual adaption principle—that is, slowly and steadily increasing mileage and speed—is a great way to build endurance. There are ways to do this safely to avoid injury, from running on soft surfaces, to getting enough sleep and drinking tons of water.
Source: http://greatist.com/fitness/whats-best-way-build-endurance

Ten Quick Tips To Gain Lean Muscle


One of the most overlooked factors in bodybuilding is consuming enough protein but not eating enough calories per day. You've always heard that your body needs protein to grow and this is true. However, adequate protein does not always entail growth. You need to consume adequate calories also.

The truth is, if you don't consume enough calories, then you're not growing. A good rule of thumb is to take your bodyweight and multiply this by 10 or 12 depending on how in shape you are. Then add on 1000-1500 calories per day.

I once read that Jay Cutler got big by eating small meals every hour and half. Although he was eating smaller meals, his total caloric intake was above his daily caloric expenditure putting his body in an anabolic state.


Carbohydrates are needed to fuel exercise. The storage form of carbohydrates is glycogen. The idea here is to super saturate glycogen levels so that the body never has to dip into protein for energy production.

The higher the level of carbs in the body, the more likely you are going to remain in an anabolic environment. Carbs also play a role in the release of insulin. As you know, insulin is the body's most potent anabolic hormone.

It promotes gluconeogenesis, protein synthesis, and the formation of adipocytes. In short, the release of insulin is required to promote an anabolic environment and carbs help by releasing insulin.


Let's face it, muscle is protein and protein is composed of amino acids. You can't build big muscles without an adequate supply of protein. Think of building muscle as building a castle with lego blocks. If you don't have the pieces to start with then you cannot build the castle.

Eating enough protein should be a no-brainer but for those who don't know, one should consume anywhere between one to two grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So a bodybuilder who weighed 200 lbs would need about 200 grams of protein per day.

The best way to do this is to break the supply of protein into smaller servings throughout the day for better absorption and assimilation. In short, eat your protein and eat good kinds such as beef, chicken, fish, whey, and egg whites.


Since you're now eating 4000 calories per day, your next best bet would be to eat 6 meals a day. Although this may seem like a lot, it really isn't. Do the math. If you divide 4000 calories into 6 smaller meals a day, then each meal will consist of approximately 660 calories.

Trust me when I say that 660 calories isn't a lot. Although it takes a lot of discipline, eating smaller and more frequent meals will pay off in the end. Another reason to eat smaller meals is for the release of insulin. When you consume food, your blood glucose levels will rise.

To counteract this, your body will release insulin to lower blood glucose levels to help keep the body in a state of homeostasis. As you now know, insulin is the body's most anabolic hormone. The more, the better. So basically, you want as much insulin secretion by the pancreas as possible. After all, you want to be big, right?


One mistake wannabe lifters make is to not eat enough good fats. When I first began lifting and eating seriously, I would try my best to steer away from fats. Little did I know that fats were actually important in growth. One good thing to know about good fats is that there is a direct relationship between fat and testosterone levels.

A perfect example of this is when bodybuilders diet down for a show, so to speak. They are limiting their caloric and fat intake to achieve that stage condition. However, when they are on this restrictive diet, it is impossible for them to grow.


The best thing to consume before a workout is a meal consisting of slow burning carbs such as pasta and rice. The reason is that slow burning carbs take longer to convert into glucose thus keeping blood sugar levels relatively consistent.

This keeps your body from having an energy crashing allowing you to train longer and harder. Be sure to combine this meal with a healthy serving of good protein as well to maximize gains.


The meal right after you train should be high in fast burning carbs and protein. The ideal candidate for this would be a protein shake coupled with some form of sugar. Personally, I prefer Gatorade mixed with creatine and strawberry Ny-Tro Pro 40. When you train, you put your body in a catabolic state.

You destroy it so that it can build itself back bigger and stronger. However, if you don't supply the raw building blocks, then how can your body efficiently repair itself?

For the average person, a 40 g protein shake and 75 g of carbs is plenty. Just make sure you don't waste any time and slam the drinks down as soon as you finish training. Leave the chatting for after you consume those drinks.


One of the most overlooked factors in exercise is adequate water consumption. This should be a no-brainer since water comprises up to 70% of the body and if you're dehydrated, your muscle size suffers as well. I believe that one pound of muscle can hold up to three pounds of water. Now if you add it all up, that's a lot of size.


If you can afford to use supplements, then by all means do so. Why? Because they work! However, I would stuck with the basics such as protein powders, creatine, glutamine, joint formulas, and multi-vitamins. The bottom line concerning these supplements is that they work provided that you work.


The number one overlooked factor in building a better body is rest. If you don't rest, then how can your muscles grow? Our bodies need the stimulus to grow such as intense training. Once this happens, our bodies are essentially "broken down."

Afterwards, it needs the proper nutrients and recovery time to grow bigger and stronger so that it can be broken down again. So if you're not resting any, then I would suggest you set aside a day or two of rest each week. And remember, rest days are rest days. Nothing more, nothing less.

Celebrity trainer Alex Isaly reveals the keys to building a lean, muscular body - Muscle and Fitness Training

5 Simple Strategies for Bigger Muscles

muscle training workouts

Strength training today suffers from the Starbucks effect. Just as it's increasingly difficult to fight off the sprinkles and foam when you order a cup of joe, it's hard to call yourself a modern muscle maker when you do a weight-lifting move without a few added kinks.

"It's great fun to watch guys trying to do squats while standing on stability balls," says former Olympic weight-lifting coach Harvey Newton, C.S.C.S. "But the truth is, if they just did the basics better, they'd produce the results they want without involving all the bells and whistles."

Now hold on, Harvey. Those big balls do a lot of good. On the other hand, all these half-caf mocha-latte workouts are starting to get on our nerves. Sometimes you just want to bust a move and make more muscle.

So we asked exercise experts to help us pinpoint ways to make the classic moves we all do—squats, rows, bench presses, and crunches—work better. Follow their advice and see fast results . . . without the sprinkles.

1. Tap When You Squat

Experts agree: The squat is one of the best muscle builders in a man's portfolio because of the number of muscles the exercise engages. Experts also agree that most lifters perform it incorrectly. Namely, they don't squat down far enough, nor do they place the emphasis on their glutes by anchoring with their heels. This means the glutes are never fully engaged.

New York City–based trainer David Kirsch, C.S.C.S., author of The Ultimate New York Body Plan, offers this solution: Stand in front of a weight bench. Squat down until your butt touches the bench, then immediately press through your heels back to the starting position. Using the bench forces you to squat all the way down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, so the exercise will yield better results.

2. Give 'Em a Squeeze

As you prepare to lift, contract the muscles you're working and keep them that way throughout the entire move. "You won't be able to lift quite as much weight, but your muscles will be doing more work overall, so they'll grow," says Sam Iannetta, C.P.T., owner of Functional Fitness and Wellness Centers in Boulder, Colorado. "For instance, on the bench press, imagine you're trying to bring your hands toward each other but don't move them at all, so your pecs are squeezed together. You won't believe the pump."

3. Bring the Situp Back from the Dead

"Men spend entirely too much time doing crunches, which involve only a 30-degree range of motion—way too small for significant muscle building," says Patrick Hagerman, Ed.D., C.S.C.S., a professor at the University of Tulsa. "If you want to build your abdominals, do a full situp. Your abs spend more time working dynamically under tension, so they'll grow bigger and stronger. Full situps also strengthen the hip flexors, which can get pretty weak if all you do is crunches." (To improve your crunches, add a Swiss ball.)

To do situps right, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent about 90 degrees, hands clasped lightly behind your head, and elbows out to the sides. Tuck in your chin, contract your abdominals, and roll all the way up until your chest nearly touches your knees. Then slowly roll back down.

4. Lose the Bench

By working while standing, you involve more muscles and burn more calories, says Douglas Lentz, C.S.C.S., director of fitness for Summit Health, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. "Except for a few sessions devoted to increasing mass, our athletes do almost everything standing," he says. "It engages your core, so your total strength increases."

A classic example is the bent-over dumbbell row. Most men lean over and brace themselves on a bench, then perform the exercise with one arm. Instead, assume a wide, stable stance and bend from the hips, keeping your back flat—and don't use a bench. Perform your rows from that position. You'll work your core for stability and do a bit more mid-section work. You won't be able to lift quite as much weight, but your entire body will benefit from the move.

5. Whittle While You Wait

Instead of sitting around working your mandible between sets, exercise another body part. "Supersetting helps you use your time better," says Lentz. And, if you do it properly, it builds more muscle. For the best results, alternate lower- and upper-body moves, such as a leg press followed by a lat pulldown. That way, each muscle group has time to recover between sets. Alternating upper- and lower-body exercises also keeps your heart rate revved up and stimulates your circulatory system, so you deliver more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your working muscles and burn more calories.

Don't like blending upper- and lower-body workouts? Do ab work between sets. You'll be less likely to blow it off than if you save it for the end.

Source: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/5-simple-strategies-bigger-muscles