Posts Tagged ‘health and fitness’

Speed Training and Dynamic Warm-ups Revealed.

What the heck is a snack anyways? How many calories is it outside today?.

So you wanna transform your physique, huh!?.

Micronutrients…Make a Mega Difference!!.

The Vacuum Pose (as an exercise)- The single greatest, most complete abdominal movement ever!! Why on earth isn’t everybody at the gym doing these on a regular basis?? That’s a question I have yet to find an answer to…other then people simply not being aware of this phenomenal “core” exercise! The term “core” is completely misused in my opinion. Misused as far as trendy fitness terminology goes, and further butchered by it’s misuse in the gym as purely a sales gimmick. Yes, I said gimmick, I’ll never understand why a “personal trainer” finds it necessary to take clients who can barely balance themselves with both feet on solid ground and give’m some weights to hold and have them get on giant bouncy ball or even a bosu ball and expect it to benefit the person that should matter, the client!? I challenge someone to find me a legit study proving there is more “core” activation when using a physio-ball then there is when throwing a couple plates on a bar, put it on your back, plant feet fimly on the ground, then squat up and down 10-15x’s! If that doesn’t engage the core muscles, you’re lying to yourself, Period! Anyhow, that’s a whole other topic in itself, unfortunately I’m sure I’ve already offended those devote functional/core trainers…and trainees! I simply believe in what works, and at the end of the day what works for you and I may not work for somebody else! Don’t be afraid to question things, if you’re ever told “this is what you HAVE to do” or “the ONLY way to do x,y, or z is…” you’ve been lied to! I have a little saying I tell clients, as well as remind myself regularly “never say never, never say always!” This saying applies to training and training philosophies, so try them all, figure out what’s best for your body. I’m not saying that doing vacuums is the ONLY way to train ab’s but I am confident when I state…Vacuums are the BEST movement for targeting the entire scope of abdominal musculature!
The true core of the torso is a paper thin cylindrical muscle, called the transverse abdominis (TVA). Everyone seems to be familiar with the rectus abdominis muscles AKA the “six-pack,” yet have limited, if any awareness of the TVA or it’s benefits; maintaining spinal alinement, greater control of the midsection, preventing distention, engaging the TVA actives the six-pack muscles by default, reduction in the circumference of the waist (creating a greater illusion of contrast in ones shoulder to waist ratio), the list could continue on for pages if I were to really delve into the ancillary benefits of the Vacuum Pose! The most important thing besides actually giving them a test run for yourself, is to known how to properly perform the movement. Here’s the cool thing about vacuums…they’re simple and can be done almost anywhere. Ideally, lay on your back, feet flat on the floor which requires a bend at the knees, arms by your sides…I recommend a few deep breathes to focus on opening the ribcage to give the organs space for better circulation. Now, to begin the exercise simple pull the belly button to the spine and hold…continue breathing, visualize a corset being pulled tighter n tighter…I’ve had people tell me they do them for a minute or more…I do not believe them! When these are performed correctly, if a person can hold the pose for over 30-45sec the movement isn’t being done correctly…I say this bc after that amount of time if the muscles aren’t cramping or locking up, the full “vacuuming” effect is not being maximized! Like anything it takes practice to get better at it, not to mention results. If anyone questions the validity of The Vacuum Pose….please Google or YouTube (however you go about doesn’t matter lol) Frank Zane!!! Enuff said!

    One of my early mentors in bodybuilding used a phrase to explain ones relationship w/ the scale.  “The scale doesn’t lie, but it sure don’t tell the truth!”  How is that possible!??  Allow me to start by tackling the age old question- “What’s the difference between losing weight and losing fat?”  The common belief is that if you simply reduce your caloric intake you will lose weight and change your body composition.  This approach becomes flawed very quickly!

“Action is the fundamental key to all success.” -Pablo Picasso

    When the body experiences a continual decrease in caloric intake, it will lose both fat and muscle.  As a result, the numbers on the scale will drop twice as quickly.  However, muscle comprises a machinery necessary to burn fat.  If you lose this fat burning machinery, your body will not be able to maintain the weight loss (less muscle = fewer calories burned).
When attempting to lose “weight” the primary goal is the retention or increase of the present lean muscle tissue, which will enable you to burn more fat and eat more food.  Typically, when designing a weight loss program often times people initially state that they won’t be able to consume the amount of food recommended.  However, it generally does not take long for most clients to become accustomed to, and enjoy the quantity of food.  Additionally, the elevation in caloric intake becomes necessary in order to increase lean muscle mass.  As previously stated…by increasing your lean muscle tissue this will increase ones ability to burn fat!

“Believe in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!  Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” -Norman Vincent Peale

Bottom Line…
Accomplishing muscle hypertrophy and/or body fat reduction requires continual manipulation of food consumed (potential energy measured in calories) and food used (work measured in calories).  When these two factors are equal (energy balance), there is no change in body mass.  This is also the state the body constantly strives to maintain.  In other words, every time the human body experiences an energy imbalance (mandatory for body mass change) it’s job is to bring the energy back into balance.  The body accomplishes this by adapting to the exercise and/or energy input (diet) and ultimately reaches a plateau.  At this point, an adjustment must be made in the energy output (exercise) and/or energy input (diet), if progress is desired.  The bodies obligatory response to energy imbalance creates the need for continual manipulation of food and work in order to achieve continuous progress.
The key to favorably altering body composition is to direct the body to use it’s stored fat to supply the extra calories needed to sustain or build muscle, therefore, simultaneously reducing the fat stores.  This is building or sustaining muscle at the expense of body fat.  This is the art and science (the fun stuff) of favorably altering body composition until you reach your goal.