Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

A couple of great fitness blogs

Two of my favourite fitness blogs are http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/ and https://www.foundmyfitness.com/

Ben is an ex-bodybuilder & an ironman style multi athlete. Rhonda Patrick is a nerdy scientist into fitness.

Both of them invest the focus of time & energy into their blogs as the cornerstone of business operations so they are up to date with podcasts, articles etc.

Rhonda has a big pile of videos and some awesome info. Ben does more podcasts. Now if these two got together & released an info product it would be dynamite.

A Fitness Myth Exposed – Running ?

I never used to be a big runner – still am not. I know its great for losing fat and developing cardio, but its bad for your knee’s and hips.

Anyway some years back I was in the army reserve my time on 1.5 miles was around 10:30 or 11 minutes – which isn’t fantastic.

In the years since I have done some running but more long slow distance of several kilometers. I have however done much time on the rowing machine – 3 or 4 times per week for many years.

So my cardio has been good as a consequence of this. Now I have decided to take a crack at the army again and and have taken up the training to pass their running test. I first tried the test and failed miserably at 12:47.

After weeks and months of fin swimming, running etc I now have the time down to around 9 minutes and expect to soon have it below that.

But you know what – stick me on the rowing machine and I have not improved at all.

So whats going on ? Has the improvement in running time corresponded with improved VO2 max and cardiac output or is it just a result of better leg endurance.

Well I can tell you that after some of my training sessions in the evening when resting my pulse rate has been remarkably lower that it was formerly so that is clear evidence of improved cardiovascular output.

But most of my cardio training still is not running – its fin swimming.

I just do the runs to test myself – Its the fin swimming that is doing the bulk of the conditioning.

Fin swimming is great because it taxes and conditions the lower legs, thighs, hamstrings and is great for heart and lungs. Plus its zero impact.

1.5 mile run update

My average time on the 1.5 mile run is now 9 minutes 30 seconds. That’s pretty darn good. No sign of the calf problems I was having either.

So how at 40 yrs and 100 kg did I take my time to 9.5 from 12.45 ? Well I recommend HIIT and hypoxic training. I like to do my HIIT on the rowing machine. 15 – 20 minutes max and use that as my pre-workout warmup. Basically the more you put into it the more you get out of it. I also do it instinctively or intuitively rather than timing everything exactly.

As for Hypoxic training it definitely is a very effective method for increasing VO2max and lung capacity but it has to be done in the correct way. For example research studies have shown high altitude training to be ineffective at improving sea level performance.

But I did not say I recommend “High Altitude” training.

What I recommend is short duration hypoxic training at low altitude. So the hypoxia only lasts 20-60 seconds. Its done in intervals and not even necessarily under exercise conditions. You can train your lungs and circulatory system in this way even by simply breathing into a plastic bag for short infrequent intervals. Just be careful not to overdo it and induce dizziness or faintness.

You want to stop just before it quite gets to that. This method is also known as carotid masking as it increases the diameter of the carotid artery to the brain.

This kind of training is familiar to free divers and such, you will find its good to relax your muscles while doing the carotid masking.

Hypoxic sprints can also be performed while swimming both surface and under water.

This brings me to my final recommendation which is the Navy Seals training program by stew smith – this is an incredibly tough training program. I will be following it for the next couple of months and have done it in the past too. After that I intent to try stew’s maximum fitness program which I have not done before – that’s a 52 week cross training program.

Heres’s the link to stew’s site: http://www.stewsmith.com/catalog.htm

Cardio-vascular Workout Routine

There are many aspects to health and fitness, including diet, exercise, lifestyle and attitude of mind. In this article I cover one of the most important facets – the cardio-vascular workout. I include tips and advice on safely building up a useful regime of the most popular exercises.

To accomplish a good cardio-vascular workout all you really need is a good pair of running shoes. Most cardio-vascular exercise needs little or no third party apparatus to help you accomplish your routine. Running, dancing, walking can all be done with no equipment (well, if dancing, then maybe some music would help). Other forms of cardio are step, circuit training, bike riding, swimming, aerobics and more…

With most exercise you should always remember to warm up first and cool down afterwards. This means gently stretching and moving your muscles to start off with. Suddenly moving into full exercise without building up first will cause problems such as stiffness and cramps. Ease yourself into it. Then after exercise, the cool down is basically gently moving the muscles and joints to stretch and relax, as your body returns to its normal pace.

Running:
Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. The technology put into these shoes nowadays is highly researched and designed to reduce shock to the feet, ankles, legs and back. So don’t skimp on these – you get what you pay for.

Before you start your run, be sure to warm up first. Start with a brisk walk ensuring you move your arms vigorously gradually breaking into a slow jog. It is better to run at a speed to which you can still converse. If you find yourself losing breath, slow your pace down until you’ve recovered. If you are a novice runner try running and walking, until you can hold your run for 15 minutes.

Now increase the length and time of your run by a couple of minutes every other time you hit the road or treadmill, until you can run for 30 minutes without stopping. Try to increase your run time by 10% each week, remember not to over do it and don’t forget to warm down at the end of each by slowing down gradually. When your run is complete stretch your legs for 30 seconds per muscle, hamstring, calf and thigh.

Cycling:
Cycling is one of the best ways to get a good cardio-vascular workout.

First of all, if you are riding on the roads safety is paramount, always use the appropriate safety equipment when road riding. You can stay fit by riding a bike to work, most people work within a five mile radius of there place of work, which is a perfect distance for a bike ride.

Exercise bikes can be used in a variety of ways, general riding for specified length of time, this is like going for a bike ride with out the dangers of road riding and the weather. Warm up riding you can use an exercise bike for warming up the legs before a leg workout. Also exercise bike classes, these classes are taken by an instructor, who will put you through various levels of pace, quite like a circuit training exercise with a bike.

You may find it surprising to find that riding a bike five miles 3 times per week will improve your heart rate, your posture, skin and weight control. Some even say that riding and running are great ways of relieving stress.

Swimming:
One of the best ways to firm up and trim your body down. Due to the resistance the water has on the body swimming involves all the major muscle groups this allows the body to burn up to 20% more calories than swimming through air. Swimming a few lengths per day will keep you fit and give you an excellent workout. Swimming also has less impact on the joints than say, running.

If you wish to take your swim a little further try picking up the pace of your swim, you can work up to a great aerobic exercise and give your body an excellent workout.

Start off by swimming 1-2 lengths at a time resting between sets if necessary, after you have swam ten lengths call it a day. The next day repeat the process until you can swim five lengths without a break. Progress to ten lengths in by adding an extra length each time you return.

You can put together your own cardio raining routing in the gym, if you have a problem with this then the staff on hand will write one for you and show you how to achieve your goal. Try to make your cardio last between an hour and an hour and a half. A good start point for cardio is always a run.

This cardio workout will work for a person of medium fitness, however adjust the times and pace according to your fitness levels.

1. Run at a light pace for 20 minutes, start off at a walking pace and gradually move to a run, this helps you get warmed up and the blood pumping.

2. Rowing machine- set the rowing machine for a countdown time of 15 minutes or keep a check on your watch or the clock. Start off with a slow rowing motion to get the pace up, maintain this steady pace throughout the full 13 minutes and use the 2 minutes to slow the pace down.

3. Move immediately on to exercise bike take a stead paced ride for 12 minutes with a sprint finish for the remaining 3 minutes.

4. After the exercise bike move directly on to the step climber for a period of 15 minutes climbing on a light level to get the legs going. Try to move at a swift pace for the full 15 minutes as this is the last of the leg work you will be doing.

5. When you have completed the step climber, move onto the abs bench for some crunches. 4 sets of crunches to failure is your target for this exercise. Try twisting your body and touching your left knee with your right elbow and vice versa.

6. The last exercise in this quick cardio workout is the leg raise apparatus. Bring your knees up to your chest for 3-4 sets for as many reps as possible (failure)

After the completion of this cardio workout, remember to do a full warm down by stretching the muscles. The full workout should take you around 1 hour 20 minutes.

Melting Off some Abdominal Fat

The High Intensity Interval training definitely works. I have found that its not too difficult to break into. If you are a newbie you may find it a bit too much.

I definitely see some improvements in my physique and feel a whole lot fitter from a cardio vascular perspective. I will continue to train in this manner from now on. Its great !!!

Im having a day off today though – dont want to burn out. Cheers.

High Intensity Interval Training

I am still planning on my marathon run. But over the last few weeks I have been doing HIIT training. This involves 30 seconds of super intense activity followed by 30 seconds of moderate activity – you continue this without rest for 15 minutes.

The beauty is you can do it with any form of exercise. My first HIIT workout I used the rowing machine for 15 minutes then the grinder for another 15. So it was 30 minutes in total then I did some abdominal work and some stretches.

Because HIIT workouts are so short you can still do your regular weights too – which I am.

High Intensity Interval Training has beed proven in scientific studies to be highly effective in combating stubborn abdominal fat. It is also more effective than traditional long slow aerobics at burning fat and speeding up the metabolism.

Bicep Curl Anatomy 101

I’m working on a big bunch of videos – starting with bicep training.

Heres a quick intro to the biceps anatomy for exercises like the barbell curl. Sorry I cut off at the end but like I said I’m making a bunch of vids on various exercises.

OK after making that previous video I realized I should have mentioned pronation. This is a way to isolate between the two biceps heads.

Where to get your supplements super cheap

Hey man I just made a youtube vid explaining where I get my cheap supplements from.

Check it out…

Persistence is Key to Success

How many of you folks have heard of Clarence Bass. This old guy is 70 and has been pumping iron since he was about 15 years old. Clarence has written several best sellers on bodybuilding and on getting ripped in particular. Here’s a link to Clarence’s website http://cbass.com/.

Now despite the fact that I respect this guy and I want to be fit like him when I am 70 I still haven’t read his darn books. Well I better get some copies real soon and give you guys a review.

There are a number of articles and FAQ’s plus some excellent products on his website.

I really do need to work on my midsection now I am 39 and have allways been aware that 40 is a turning point as at this age you have to put more into the aerobics to protect your future health.

The belly fat is another issue at middle age. Its crucial to lose it and thats why I need clarence’s books. To motivate me to burn my abdominal fat away forever.

Clarence Bass at 60

Dave Draper – Champion Bodybuilder – IFBB Universe, Mr. America

Hall of Fame pro bodybuilding legend poses. Vintage contest posing footage. See golden age muscle icon, writer and actor flex his muscular physique. This classic…

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