What is it with our fascination with abs? Why are we as a nation so fixated on six packs, on shredded cores and defined [...]
We’ve all be there, where for a few months you’re cruising along, working out right, making steady advances and losing weight. We’re finally getting on top of our nutrition plan, we’re gaining more energy and feeling great. And then something goes wrong. An injury, a weekend of fun, a vacation, a family tragedy, we lose our focus, we stop exercising, we enjoy a few tasty snacks, and before you know it two weeks have passed and we’re gaining weight once more and feeling low energy. How do you deal with this? How can you get back on track with your workout?
Your grandma tells you that valerian root will help you both lose weight and improve your luck. Your gym buddy says you should wake up at midnight to chug some caffeine to help boost your metabolism and lose weight. Your roommate tells you to wrap yourself in saran wrap before going for a run in order to lose an extra 5 lbs of weight. We've all received dubious advice in the past, and sometimes it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. But here are 4 new tips to help you lose weight that have come to light as a result of scientific studies. If you want to drop some pounds, here is some solid advice.
In 2004 Beachbody released P90X, Tony Horton's infamously tough and results oriented workout. The workout has gone to receive national acclaim and incredible success, with over 2 million people using it and constant, round the clock media coverage as pro athletes, celebrities, military officers and politicians promote their success with this program. Tony hasn't been resting on his laurels, however; during the last 6 years he's been working at improving his workouts, at designing new and more rigorous training exercises, all of which is culminating in a new workout slated to be released in 2011: P90X MC2 (Muscle Confusion 2).
Everybody's goal when they work out is to get results. Sure, some people hit the gym or put in that INSANITY DVD simply for the joy of it, enjoying the exercise and sweat as its own result, but most of us (c'mon, all of us) are doing it to get results. Lose weight, gain muscle, improve health, stay young, gain flexibility, train for a sport, something, anything. Now, we know you don't get results straight away, nobody really goes to the bathroom mirror the next morning expecting to see a radical change, but all of us relish that deep ache that we get in our muscles after a good workout. That smoldering burn that makes us wince a little as we go about our day, that we wear as a badge of honor. We love that burn, but at what point does that burn become pain? How do we know when to stop? Or should we push forward, into that pain, and perhaps get more results?
So there you are, wearing your fancy workout clothes, hair slicked back into a killer pompadour, ready to press play and get to work. You're about to jump into your latest bout with Shaun T or Tony Horton, about to break a sweat and try to break some personal barriers. Score some new records, do more than you've ever done before. What can you do to help you in this journey toward excellence? Fancy kicks, check. Recovery drink, check. 72" inch flatscreen monitor with 3D capabilities: check. What else could get your blood pumping, stir your heart, push you farther than you've ever gone before? That's right, music.
So why do people quit? The rewards for sticking with your workout routine are immense: you look good, you feel good, your health improves, your energy levels will go up, you'll live longer and be happier. With such an amazing list of benefits, why would anybody ever stop? Especially when most people who start are always so fired up? They want to do the hardest workout, to adopt the most extreme diet plan, and they want to do it now. So why do they stop? Why does almost everybody quit, so that when you check back in a couple of months later they're back on the couch, griping? What are the reasons people quit?
We've all been there. Sunday afternoon at a poolside BBQ, looking good, feeling good, body in the best shape it's ever been, a month or so into your new workout regimen, and suddenly somebody shoves a paper plate loaded with potato salad, grilled sausages oozing fat, a pile of potato chips, whatever. Or maybe it's the day of a big game, and your buddy is serving up six fresh pizzas along with soda. Or you're driving home late, you're exhausted, and you decide to just hit a Drive Through and pick up some junk food to go. Either way, everybody ultimately gets tempted to break their nutrition plan and eat junk. Accept that this will happen to you, accept that you'll be tempted, and then ask the question you'll immediately ask as you look down at that unhealthy food: how bad is one cheat day?
Pumping iron. The term is old school, and refers to the classic exercise of lifting dumbbells and barbells. In a way, lifting heavy pieces of metal is as old school as it gets (barring lifting rocks), and there's a certain amount of revered tradition to it. Which is why these brightly colored resistance bands can strike so many of us as strange; how can you get the same ripped arms by doing curls with a bright green piece of plastic? For that reason, many people are resistant to using resistance bands, and hew to the classic dumbbells. But is this resistance logical? Can resistance bands give you the same quality workout, or an even better one? In today's blog post we're going to analyze their benefits and downfalls, and see if we can answer that question once and for all.
I get this question all the time. "I'm doing everything right," they say. "How come I'm not losing more weight?" Whether it's somebody who has been pounding away at Insanity for a couple of weeks, or who's about to finish their first round of P90X, people will often climb onto that dreaded scale and get disheartened. Expectations run high when people start, and yearning for a total body transformation, they pour their heart and soul into their workouts, only to find themselves betrayed when they haven't dropped the 50lbs they hoped to lose. What's happening here? What went wrong, and why?