The Rowing Machine: King of Cardio Equipment
It is of the utmost importance to any exercise-oriented individual that an adequate amount of cardiovascular exercise is completed regularly. Whether you are a bodybuilder with 22″ arms or simply a lean yoga enthusiast, the rule applies across all levels. Without a properly trained heart and lungs, your body misses out on a whole slew of health benefits and a decreased risk of heart problems; not to mention creating a disproportionate distribution of vitality within your body. Sure, your biceps have veins thicker than a garden hose, but what about what’s on the inside?
A dedicated gym goer may look at his/her six pack and scoff, “Cardio? My aerobic-free training has me leaner than ever and sweating it up on the Stairmaster for an hour isn’t my idea of a worthwhile workout.” OK, valid point, but a high performance vehicle is for nothing if the goods under the hood are garbage. Moreover, if you pack on muscle yet refrain to train your cardiovascular system, your physicality will resemble a hulking Toyota Tundra with the dinky engine of a Honda Civic. Struggling.
So, why rowing; better yet, why the rowing machine? Well, considering rivers that weave through your neighborhood with adequate boat houses are scarce, the rowing machine is the best substitute to mimic the movement and reap the rewards of such activity. Better yet, you never have to worry about bad weather, and even better than that, a great cardio workout can be accomplished in a fraction of the time that one may be looking at when getting on board an elliptical or treadmill.
The majority of people are under the assumption that rowing is an upper body intensive movement. Although there is some truth to that statement, the driving force in a successful rowing motion is derived from the lower body, where the body’s powerful leg muscles are able to sustain prolonged exertions that only they can deliver.
Need more reasons to try the rowing machine? How about the fact that the word impact can’t even be found in the same sentence as rowing machine, unless the word ‘low’ is front of it. Unlike running, which places unnecessary stress and trauma on the knees and ankles, rowing favors a far more fluid, floating sense of power and work. As your body moves back and forth over the rolling seat, your joints praise you as they are gently coerced into the flexion and extension of various limbs.
Still need more reasons? One of the greatest aspects of the rowing machine is that it is a cardio exercise that trains your whole musculature; not just your lower body, as many machines do. When stepping away on the Stairstepper, one can feel the sole distribution of strain compiling itself on your legs, while the upper body remains slack and in complete boredom. The rowing machine ties the two sides together, with the legs generating the massive power and force for each stroke and transferring it up the body, giving your abs, arms, shoulders, and of course, back, an awesomely toning workout.
If you have located and affirmed the presence of a rowing machine at your local health club, here is a great way to get introduced to the motion:
- Adjust the foot stretchers: Each machine is equipped with a platform to strap your feet into, both in socks or with shoes, and it needs to be adjusted so that the strap rests atop where the balls of your feet are, and also so that your bending motion isn’t inhibited by the strap.
- Set the fly wheel resistance: 10 is heavy, 1 is light – to put it simply. Personally, I like to warm up in the higher digits (7-10), and then commit to my workouts between 4 and 5, as most university programs suggest.
- Set the clock: The rowing machine has a great computer for tracking your workouts, but for now, simply hit ‘Just Row’, or begin pulling on the handle and the clock will start on its own.
Of course, it isn’t so easy to master the rowing stroke on your first few tries, so keep in mind these pointers:
- Always begin each stroke with lower leg perpendicular to the ground and your seat as far up as can be achieved. At this point, your should be fully outstretched and grasping the handle.
- Legs first! When driving, press off with your glutes, quads, and calves and drive your legs down to full extension.
- Back second! once the legs are down, lean back with a straight back and begin to transfer the speed of the fly wheel to your upper body.
- Arms in third! Once you have achieved a slight posterior lean with your straight back, pull the handle into your nipple line with by retracting your scapulae and flexing your arms.
- The ‘finish’, or end of the stroke goes exactly in reverse order: Arms back out, back over, then slowly move back up the slide with the legs, ready for another stroke.
20 strokes arms only
20 strokes arms and back only
20 strokes half leg extension
40 strokes full leg extension (full strokes)
Sample workout: 1 x 3000M, 1 x 2000M, 1 x 1000M, 1 X 500M, 1:00 rest in between each.
As you may notice this is a descending pyramid type of workout and it is great because mentally, the workload becomes easier and easier as you pass through each interval.
Select workout, then select Interval Variable, then enter the first distance, followed by the three others; then the rest.
The first 3000M should be done at 60-80% of your VO2 max, with that intensity increasing until the last 500M goes by at an all-out effort.
That’s it for now, I hope you can look into incorporating the rowing machine into your next workout and join the thousands who swear by rowing as the King of cardio.
Cancer, Endurance, Exercise, General fitness, Hair loss, Neck, Uncategorized, Workout programs
Tags: cardio, cycling, Endurance, heart healthy, lean, weight loss
High Protein Diets Beat Carbs for Weight Loss
Not all calories are created equal when it comes to weight loss.
Researchers have found that not all calories are created equal and that the types of calories you eat, particularly after losing weight, can have a profound effect on how efficiently your body burns calories and keeps off unwanted pounds.
The ideal diet that promotes a fast metabolism — that is, your body’s ability to quickly burn off calories — as well as promotes long-term health in terms of disease-free organs appears to be (surprise!) fresh vegetables and whole grains or any foods that reduce the surge of blood sugar after a meal.
Foods which are low glycemic seem to promote the best chances for weight loss and overall good health.
The glycemic index is the rate at which blood sugar spikes after a meal.
High glycemic foods cause a blood sugar surge and abrupt decline resulting in fatigue and hunger, where as food which measure low on the glycemic index produce a low steady supply of energy to the body and a less rapid decline thus no surge of hunger.
Unprocessed, whole foods offer the best results.
Clean and lean proteins such as nuts, beans, legumes, fish and egg whites can promote weight loss and provide the body with energy and satiety for long periods of time.
Want muscle? STOP the quessing game
People who engage in very repetitive tasks such as long distance running, labor or swimming show very little or no improvement in the size and strength of their muscles. Long distance events are by nature very low in intensity.
Compare a marathon runner to a 100 meter sprinter. Marathon runners who train for very long periods at a very low intensity are emaciated looking having less than normal muscle mass and carry on average 14 ? 16% body fat. Sprinters, on the other hand, who train for short periods at a high level of intensity are very muscular and have half the body fat levels than marathoners. If cardio is the key to getting lean, as many people presume, why do marathoners have a higher body fat than sprinters? The reason is, a specific stimulus is required for a specific outcome.
The specific stimulus needed to stimulate muscle and strength is high intensity training. This is a universal training principle that affects everyone without exception. This is due to the fact that we are anatomically and physiologically the same. If this were not true doctors could not perform surgery and prescribe medicine. Consequently, the stimulus needed to induce biochemical changes that build muscle and strength in humans is the same.
Intensity, when referring to training, is the percentage of physical exertion that one is capable of. Training with one hundred percent intensity is the best way, the only way, to stimulate muscular size and strength in the shortest amount of time. How does one gauge the intensity of their workouts? By taking your working sets to positive or concentric failure.
Taking a set to the point of failure, where you cannot possibly perform another rep despite your maximum effort is one of, and perhaps the most important of several factors in your success. There are many who disagree and advocate high volume training with 60%, 72%, 95%, or whatever percentage of intensity they decide is the best. Some even claim training all out, with one hundred percent intensity is not only unnecessary, but detrimental. Over the years I’ve seen so called strength coach specialists, and personal trainers with 15 letters after their last names, concoct the most ridiculous routines, using almost every percentage, that have yet to show any effectiveness in real world application.
The main problem with these bogus routines is that there are only two accurate measures of intensity. Zero, when you are at rest; and 100%, when you?re training to the point of failure. How do you measure anything less than 100% intensity? If I can do 10 repetitions to complete failure with 100 pounds on the leg extension machine, where do I go for 80% intensity? Do I perform 10 reps with 80 pounds? Or do I use 100 pounds and only perform 8 reps? Is 80% the optimum percentage, or is it 65%? There is no evidence that suggests, let alone proves, anything less than 100% effort is equally or more effective. Are you starting to see the ridiculousness and inaccuracy of such training prescriptions?
Intensity cannot be measured accurately with reps or weight. While performing a set, intensity increases exponentially with each successive rep. Performing the first 5 reps on the leg extension is not equivalent in intensity to performing the last 5 reps. Hence, 5 reps is not the equivalent of 50% intensity.
The only way to train that is completely accurate is with all out intensity to failure. This will give you a concrete view of how you?re performing. If you train with 100% intensity during every workout and you do not progress, you know you are not recovering. There will never be a question whether you are providing a strong enough stimulus for progress. However, if you follow the percentage of intensity or the percentage of max rep principles, how will you know you are training intensely enough to stimulate muscular size and strength? If you plateau, are you training too hard or too long? Do you lower the percentage or raise it? Do you need more rest, or do you need to train at a higher intensity? There is no need for this guessing game.
Your goal is to bring about the largest, most rapid outcome for your individual genetic potential. In order for this to occur, the body requires 100% intensity every working set of every exercise. This is the only truly accurate way to gauge the efficacy of your training program. Nothing less than 100% will do. The body needs a reason to adapt. Give it!
Abs, Arms, Back, Bodybuilding, Chest, Exercise, General training, Legs, Neck, Power lifting, Running, Specific workouts, Weight Loss, Weight training, Workout programs, Xternal Fitness, Xternal Furci
Tags: Building muscle, Building strength, Cardio programs, free weight lifting programs, High intensity training, high intensity training HIT training, high intensity weight training, HIT trtaining, HIT vs. high volume training, Is cardio neccessary, losing weight, tips for adding muscle, tips for gaining strength and muscle, training programs, Weight Lifting advice, weight loss, Weight training, weight training programs, weight training routines, Weight training vs. Cardio, weight training workouts
Racquetball for Weight Loss
Any type of exercise is good exercise, but some forms of exercise are better for greater weight loss than others. Group sports, and other types of exercise that work the body from head to toe, burn hundreds of calories per hour and they also challenge all muscle groups. Not only can this help you lose more weight, it can also help you keep it off. Just a few uber effective forms of exercise are swimming, cardio boot camp, running, basketball, and racquetball.
Racquetball is similar to handball. The game is played on a four walled court with a short-handled racket and a larger ball. The game is usually played by two players, but four players is also common. The amount of calories burned during an hour long game varies by weight and whether or not the game is casual or competitive. To give you an idea of just how many calories you can burn, a person that weighs 125 pounds can burn around 400 calories during a casual game or 568 calories during a competitive game. A 170-pound person can burn 541 calories during a casual game or 773 during a competitive game.
Racquetball can help you lose weight if you make smart food choices and commit to playing at least three times a week. Once you lose the weight, if you want to keep it off, stick to a sensible diet and try play on most days of the week.
So where are the Racquetball Courts?
If you’re looking for a place to play racquetball, look no further than your local health club, tennis club, community center or park district. If you’re looking for the cheapest place to play, try a community center or park district where public courts are typically no more than $10 an hour.
Endurance, Exercise, General fitness, Weight Loss, Workout programs
Tags: find racquetball clubs, how to find racquetball courts, lose weight, play racquetball, racquetball, racquetball for weight loss, weight loss
Benefits of Health Food Stores
First Lady Michelle Obama launched a worldwide campaign to fight obesity. The White House launched a campaign that focuses on prevention and the weight loss industry is worth more than $61 billion. One would think that with all of the campaigns and billions of dollars poured into weight-loss products and plans, America would be well on it’s way to becoming the healthiest nation in the world. Not so. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite recent reports stating that the obesity rate for Americans has leveled off, nearly 34 percent of adults are obese, more than double the percentage 30 years ago. The share of obese children tripled during that time, to 17 percent.
So why is it so difficult for Americans to lose weight or stay healthy? Could it be the large number of food deserts across the nation? Or maybe the lack of grocery stores isn’t fully to blame. Maybe it’s the type of grocery stores that contribute to the problem. Maybe health food stores like Whole Foods, Mothers Market, and Wild Oats can help solve America’s obesity epidemic, or at the very least, help America develop better eating habits. Sure, traditional grocery stores do carry some healthy foods, but they also carry some of the unhealthiest foods you can find. Unless you’re committed to being healthy, it’s just too easy to choose Cocoa Puffs and whole chocolate milk over Kashi and rice milk. Health food stores don’t give you the option to choose one over the other. The only choice is “healthy!”
Health food stores rarely carry household names such as General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Wonder. You’re more likely to find health food brands such as Kashi, Muir Glen, Nature’s Path, Eden Organic, and Stonyfield Organic. Health food stores stock their shelves with foods that contain few to no chemicals, no additives, and no preservatives. Also, foods are mainly organic. Even the non-organic foods are made with healthy ingredients and without harmful chemicals. Meats, poultry, and dairy are usually organic, and the seafood is fresh and wild caught. If farmed, seafood is always antibiotic and hormone free, and raised in an environmentally conscious setting.
Health food store products can do more than just curb obesity. They can help those that are already healthy stay healthy, and they can help individual’s that may be an average weight, get healthy. Health foods stores are also the best places to shop if you have food allergies (peanuts, milk, gluten), if you are on special diet due to a medical condition (diabetes, heart disease, digestive conditions) , or if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist, or follow a macrobiotic diet.
How to Locate Health Food Stores
If you live in a major city, chances you have a number of health food stores to choose from. Even some smaller cities have a local health food store. In some areas, finding a health food store may be a bit more challenging. Fortunately, several directories can help you search for health food stores by state. One of the best is GreenPeople.org. You can search for health foods stores by zip code or city, state, and country. The site lists thousands of health food stores. A search in Illinois alone returned more than 100 results.
Diabetes, Diets, Foods products, Heart disease, Nutrition, Weight Loss
Tags: diet, find health food stores, health food store, health food stores, how to find health food stores, Obesity, weight loss
What are the Benefits of Lying in a Sauna?
Saunas are everywhere—at health clubs, spas, in hotel rooms, in apartment communities, rehabilitation centers, sports complexes, swimming pools, and in private homes. The reason saunas are so popular is simple. Lying in a sauna is a great way to relax and unwind, but did you know that saunas are not only good for mental health, but they may also be good for physical health too? Some may disagree, while others offer a convincing argument for using saunas for detoxification, weight loss, cellulite reduction, pain relief, the treatment of respiratory problems, and to help clear skin problems. So how does relaxing in a sauna accomplish all of this? According to Fuller Fitness:
During a 10-20 minute sauna session, your heart rate increases by 50-75%. This provides the same metabolic result as physical exercise. The increased cardiac load is the equivalent to a brisk walk. There is a nominal effect on blood pressure because the heat also causes blood vessels in skin to expand to accommodate increased blood flow.
Blood vessels become more flexible and there is increased circulation to the extremities. During a sauna, blood flow to the skin increases to as high as 50-70% of cardiac output (compared to the standard 5-10%). This brings nutrients to subcutaneous and surface tissue resulting in glowing healthy skin.
Steambaths and saunas induce sweating to provide a comprehensive cleansing of the skin and sweat glands. Skin is the largest organ in the body. Thirty percent of body wastes are passed through the skin. Profuse sweating enhances the detoxifying capacity of the skin by opening pores and flushing impurities from the body.
When taking a sauna, skin temperature rises to 40°C (104°F) and internal body temperature rises to about 38°C (100.4°F). Exposure to the high heat creates an artificial fever state. Fever is part of the body’s natural healing process. Fever stimulates the immune system resulting in increased production of disease fighting white blood cells, antibodies and interferon (an anti viral protein with cancer fighting capability).
Spas and other such therapeutic facilities utilize saunas and steambaths in conjunction with massage to loosen fatty tissue and assist in the battle against cellulite.
The cleansing effect of profuse perspiration helps provide healthy skin and a clear complexion.
Before using a sauna, there are a number of precautions to follow. Harvard Men’s Health Watch offers the following advice:
·Avoid alcohol and medications that may impair sweating and produce overheating before and after your sauna.
·Stay in no more than 15–20 minutes.
·Cool down gradually afterward.
·Drink two to four glasses of cool water after each sauna.
·Don’t take a sauna when you are ill, and if you feel unwell during your sauna, head for the door.
Many people can tolerate the intense heat in a sauna, while others cannot. If you have high blood pressure or a cardiovascular condition, check with your doctor to make sure it’s ok to use a sauna.
Time to get out of the cave and head into the garden!
The evolution of the male’s diet has led us to a small selection of
testosterone approved vegetarian recipes.
We found a list of easy vegetarian food for even the most manly of appetites!
Follow the link for easy healthy recipes.
John Deere Sandwich
Smoking Barrel Burritos
Diets, Food preparation, Obesity, Testosterone, Uncategorized, Weight Loss
Tags: easy meal recipes, easy recipes, health, healthy diet, healthy food, male's diet, man's diet, vegetarian, vegetarian diet, weight loss
Are Quick Weight Loss Programs Safe?
Most quick weight loss programs last a few days up to a maximum of two weeks. In either case, the duration of most quick weight loss diets is not long enough to do any permanent damage. If you remain on the diet longer than two weeks, however, you may develop nutritional deficiencies. Most quick weight loss programs are not balanced, so they can never satisfy all of your nutritional needs.
Quick weight loss programs focus on one or two types of foods and eliminate the rest. According to the American Heart Association, no one type of food has all the nutrients you need for good health. Take the cabbage soup diet for instance. Although the diet also includes fruit and other vegetables, it eliminates protein on most days. One day even calls for eating only bananas and skimmed milk.
Cabbage is packed with vitamin K and C, as well as dietary fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acids. You can get plenty of nutrients from cabbage but it lacks vitamin E, protein, carbs, and calories—all things the body needs for optimal functioning. You will lose large amounts of weight on the cabbage soup diet if you can last 2 weeks, but continue beyond the 2-week period and you will also lose energy and muscle, and your body will be missing out on the other vital vitamins and nutrients it needs to survive.
Quick weight loss diets like the cabbage soup diet are not designed to be a permanent weight loss solution. The cabbage soup diet is used to prepare overweight heart patients for surgery. During the seven days before surgery, patients typically lose 10-17 pounds. Keep in mind that most of the weight loss during the initial stages of any diet is usually only water weight.
Other quick weight loss diets or extreme low-calorie diets are used to help ease symptoms from certain conditions or jump start weight loss for overweight or obese patients. These programs are carefully monitored by physicians. This means patients are usually given prescription grade supplements to make up for vitamin and nutrient loss.
Scarsdale Diet fans might point to this diet and say that it’s balanced because it includes foods from all major food groups, but there’s only one problem–weight loss occurs at a average of 1-1.25 pounds per day, so this is also a quick weight loss diet. The rapid weight loss occurs as a result of severe calorie restriction. The diet averages around 800-1,000 calories per day. Because each individual’s calorie needs are different (even a 2-3 year old child requires 1,000+ calories per day for good health), 800-1,000 calories per day isn’t sufficient for the average adult. Remember, healthy weight loss occurs at a rate of 1-2 pounds per week, and calorie needs are based on age, height, weight, build, activity level, and any medical conditions.
The good news about quick weight loss programs is, they definitely work short-term. So if you plan to take a trip to a tropical island and you want to be bikini ready, or you want to slim down for a college reunion, or you’re getting married and want to look slim and trim in your wedding gown, a quick weight loss program might a temporary solution. If you need or want to lose weight, but you also want to keep it off permanently, a quick weight loss program just won’t work. Unfortunately, as soon as the diet ends, the weight will return.
What to Look for in a Weight Loss Program
For a weight loss program to be successful long term, it must be customized to fit the individual. According to renowned personal trainer Angelo Sorrenti, who charges around $10,000 for a personalized diet, supplemental recommendations, and 30 training sessions, “There’s no such thing as a diet for everyone.” This may be the reason why 90 percent of the people that go on diets regain the weight, plus a few pounds, shortly after the program is over.
Sorrenti’s success is based on simple science. He states, “Your metabolism is different than mine; your needs are different. There are diets that can be good for 10 people but can harm 10 million people.” And it makes sense. Not just the metabolism part, but also because people have allergies, ailments, and other issues that dictate what they can and cannot eat. So a diet that calls for a boiled egg, grapefruit, and coffee for breakfast could be harmful for an individual with egg allergy and/or interstitial cystitis.
For this reason, Sorrenti, and other successful weight-loss experts, will not recommend a diet and exercise program until they have thoroughly analyzed your blood work, medical history, and current physical condition. Sorrenti states that once a client has been analyzed, he can then create an all-encompassing diet and exercise plan calibrated for the individual’s needs.
So when searching for a weight loss program, consider taking a personal, not a packaged, approach. Contact several trainers, weight-loss experts, and weight loss centers and interview them. The goal is to find a program that is made just for you in order to avoid a devastating failure shortly after the program is over.
To recap, make sure the weight loss center or expert:
·Requires a physical exam
·Evaluates your blood work and physical condition
·Asks about ailments or allergies
·Evaluates your metabolism
·Will work with you one on one to create a safe and effective weight loss program
Successful weight loss programs always include exercise. You may start out with light exercise while your body adjusts, then the exercise regimen will gradually increase as your weight and energy levels increase. A weight loss program that claims to help you lose weight without exercise is a program that should be avoided if you are interested in permanent weight loss.
If you want to seek out Mr. Sorrenti, we wish you all the luck, but if you have trouble signing with the most sought after trainer in New York City, don’t worry. There are literally thousands of trainers and weight loss centers and experts around the world. It really doesn’t matter how popular they are. If they take a custom approach to individual weight-loss and former clients have walked away (and stayed away) with good results, it’s worth giving it a try.
Diets, Exercise, Nutrition, Obesity, Weight Loss
Tags: diet, dieting, exercise program, lose weight, weight loss, weight loss program, weight loss programs
Losing Those Last Five Pounds!
We’ve all struggled with it!
Diet, execise, weight loss, plateau and frustration!
Those last five pounds are so hard to lose but for good reason.
Read the full article in SELF online for the reasons and some encouragemant to keep you going until you reach your goals!
The closer you are to your goal weight, the slower the weight tends to come off. Although this is frustrating, think of it as coming in for a soft landing.
If you’re losing weight very quickly, chances are good that the pounds will come right back on the minute you stop dieting.
By losing those last few pounds gradually, you’re actually making a gradual transition into your maintenance phase.
If it takes you six months to lose that last three pounds, you’ve got a much better chance of stabilizing at your goal weight–because you’ll have six more months of controlled eating habits under your belt.