Monthly Archives: March 2014

You cant spot reduce

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I am asked this question on a daily basis, multiple times even. I know other fitblr/healthblr/weightloss blogs get the same question time and time again. I think its time someone clears this up for everyone, once and for all. 🙂

I am sure you’ve read or heard about those magical exercises that promise to “blast belly fat” and rid you of your muffin tops and bat wings…and it couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you do these types of exercises (crunches, for example). You are only targeting the abdominal muscles. They are effective exercises of course, but don’t expect a 6-pack by morning. Your abdominal muscles are under the layer of fat. Doing these exercises do not “turn your fat into muscle”. This applies to any strength training exercise (curling weights, hip abduction, sit-ups, lunges and so on).
You can’t pick where your excess fat goes, so why would you be able to choose where you burn your fat? It applies both ways. It is all determined by genetics.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean hold off on all strength training exercises until you’re at lower weight. Strength training is still beneficial and can aid in reducing your overall body fat percentage (along with proper diet and exercise!).

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

You can reduce your overall body fat. First, you must create a calorie deficit.

Creating a calorie deficit is done by subtracting 500 calories from your daily required calorie intake and when done continually it results in fat loss.

**To figure out what your requirements are – use this calculator and plug in your info, subtract 500 to lose weight, add 500 to gain weight, do nothing to maintain current weight**

For best results I would suggest a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.

Cardio and stregnth training together provide optimal results in my opinion, though it isn’t something for everyone. Find something that you enjoy and works for you. Many people seem to think the only effective cardio is running. This is untrue as well. You can do cycling, swimming, kickboxing, jumproping, dancing, etc. 🙂

WHY DOES A CALORIE DEFICIT WORK?

It is said there approximately 3500 calories in a single pound of fat. When you subtract those 500 calories, your body has to find other sources (fat) to get that energy. (500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories.) So, weightloss should be around 1 lb a week. This is considered to be healthy weightloss and maintainable. You may or may not lose fat every single week, sometimes it will be more and other times it will be less. This is a slow process, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes.  Remember: not all calories are created equal. 200 calories of strawberries is not the same as 200 calories of chocolate cake. So eat healthy, wholesome foods! 😉 Also keep in mind less calories does not mean more weightloss. Read why low-cal diets do not work, are detrimental to your health and difficult to maintain here.

Exercise-Lingo explained

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If you are a newbie to exercise it can be hard to understand all these words which are thrown around like superset, drop sets, HIIT etc

Below are some of the exercise-lingo used explained!!! I usually do supersets which are 2 exercises done right after one another – with no rest as that really maximizes the burn!! And is good for when you dont really have alot of time.

Also circuit training – which is when you perform a bunch of exercises (between 5-10 or more) and you do ex. 10reps of each exercise and rest for a minute or so between the sets – though you do 10+reps of each exercise and then rest. This is a great way to get your pulse going and you do both cardio and strength training. Its very time efficient!

And then my favourite – HIIT. High intensity interval trainign which i usally do on the treadmill. I vary the intervals, usually its tabata intervals (though for 15 minutes, not 8 which is what a tabata interval is) which is 20sec sprint, 10 sec rest. Sometimes i do sprint 1 minute, rest 20 sec. Or 30/30. Or mix between sprinting, jogging and resting/walking. All depends on how i feel.

But interval training is very time efficient and a great way to burn calories and also improve speed and stamina!! 🙂

Breakfast time!

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I started my morning with a 5km with my dog – drank BCAA, lemon water and coffee before i went. (If anyone wants i can write about why BCAA is good, and should be used?)

When i come home i had my breakfast: Quark mixed with cottage cheese and funlight, blueberries, mix of seeds and nuts. & 2 ‘mug pancakes’ (Basically you make pancake mix, put it into a mug, into the microwave, then when its cooled down you slice it into ‘thick pancakes’. This for me is perfect because i dont have the time to stand and fry pancakes and they never turn out good, so with this… i still get pancakes 🙂 haha)

 

Now im letting my food digest before its time for  a biceps and triceps workout with my sister. (Hopefully i can get some photos taken while i workout!)

 

8 ways to push through a tough workout

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8 Ways to Push Through a Workout

  1. Count backwards. If you have to do 20 reps, it can’t seem like forever as you count up from 1 to 20. Mentally watching the numbers creep up can be daunting. Try counting down. Maybe there’s a reason why NASA follows this rule. 3, 2, 1, blast off!
  2. Pep talk yourself. Talk out loud if you have to. I’ve done this plenty of times and no one ever really looks over at me. “You’ve got this! One more set. Come on. Get it!” Don’t forget to include a fist pump. That always works.
  3. Bargain with yourself. If you’re struggling, tell yourself that you can drop the weight on the next set if you get through all reps on this one with perfect form. Most times when I do this, I’m so proud that I did it that I don’t drop the weight. Or yesterday I told myself I could drop to 15 lbs the next set and then found out that all the 15 lb weights were in use. Dammit!
  4. Count slowwwwwly.  If you’re doing an exercise for time, set a timer and count really slowly to yourself. Before you know it the timer will buzz even though you didn’t count all the way.
  5. Plan a reward. There are plenty of workouts that I do solely for the nonfat latte at the end. Pick a healthy reward!  It gives you something to look forward to. Don’t plan a chocolate cake reward for every workout though!
  6. Keep busy. I get bored running on a treadmill. Instead of getting on and running for 30 minutes, I give myself something to do. Every 60 seconds, I adjust either the incline or the speed. Up or down, it doesn’t matter. It gives me something to do every minute and makes the time pass faster.
  7. Cheer for yourself. This one kinda goes with the pep talking idea above, but it’s slightly more awkward. There are times that I’ve actually ‘booyah-ed” myself in the gym and jumped into an invisible chest bump. Interestingly enough, usually someone nearby joins in with a “Good job.” Give it a try.
  8. Visualize the outcome. On a killer leg day, imagine how awesome your backside is going to look. Working shoulders or arms, imagine how you’ll look in a tank top. Flex in the mirror and check out your calves. It works!

 Find the rest of the article here

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Breakfast before gym

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To start my day i had a delicious bowl of egg white oatmeal with blueberries, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese and appelsauce! And now im planning to go to the gym for a leg workout!! Full of energy from yesterdays rest day & the cupcakes which i ate at a friends party yesterday 😉

 

Workout and luncj

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This morning as i mentioend i went to Bodypump!! Was super excited and had lots of energy – despite the snow and storm that was happening!!
And this energy resulted in a great workout… my usual weights felt light, so it was just to add more!! :)Always exciting when you can do that!! 

Came home and ate the leftover from the tacos my sister and I ate yesterday. & 2 crisp bread & 2 eggs 🙂
Quorn tacos, red rice, salad, veggies, sweet corn & cottage cheese!

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Hope you all have a great day 🙂

What did YOU eat for lunch today? 🙂 (No skipping lunch or any meals today… that wont  help you!!)

How to squat properly

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healthylivingforyou:

How to Squat With Proper Technique

If you are working out in the gym and could only do one exercise it would be the squat. Why? Because no other exercise challenges the human body to operate as singe unit like the squat. The squat has long been heralded as the “King of Exercises” – and quite rightly so. Whether you’re doing it with weight on your back or all bodyweight, proper form is key. I found this article on squat form, and I thought it was written well, even if it is more towards squatting with a bar.

Benefits of SquattingOne of the biggest misconceptions about the squat is that it is a leg exercise.The squat is in fact a full body exercise. Every muscle in your body is challenged when you squat. The legs and hips push the weight up, the abs and lower back back tense to stabilise your back, and the arms are used to pin the bar onto the back (or help with balance in the case of bodyweight squats).

  • Squats Build Muscle – Squats build muscle throughout your entire body faster than any other exercise. Squatting is a compound exercises that stresses your entire body as a complete unit. The stress put on your body by squats triggers a hormonal release of testosterone in your body. This elevated testosterone aids in producing muscle at a faster rate.
  • Squats improve your athleticism – If you want become a better athlete no other exercise will improve your overall athleticism like the squat. Squatting helps you build explosive strength that carries over to most competitive sports.
  • Squats reduces injuries – Contrary to popular belief, squats do not cause injury (when performed correctly). Performing squats with proper form actually reduces the chance of injuring oneself. Why? Because squatting improves and maintains hip flexibility. Additionally, squats improve the stability of your knees, when using proper squat form (below parallel).

Why you need proper Squat FormQuite frankly, most people have no idea how use squat with correct form. In fact, I would estimate that 9/10 people I see squatting in commercial gyms today are doing so with extremely poor from.

This is a problem for 3 reasons.

  1. It is dangerous – While squatting with proper form is completely safe, squatting with poor form is extremely dangerous. Incorrect squat technique put a lot of stain on the lower back and knees and can quickly lead to serious injury.
  2. You are seriously compromising the benefits of squatting – When you don’t squat with proper form it completely defeats the purpose of squatting in the first place. Increased muscle, elevated testosterone, improved vertical leap – forget about it.
  3. You look like a complete idiot – To someone who knows how to squat properly there is nothing more pathetic than someone loading the bar up with a ton of weight than not squatting with proper form. Learn how to control your ego and do it right.

How to SquatThe Squat Setup

  • Approach the rack with the bar at approximately mid-chest height.
  • Move under the bar and place it on your back. Hold the bar in place with your hands.
  • Stand with and even stance. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with your feet facing out at a 30 degree angle.
  • Lift the bar out of the rack and take ONLY one step back. Take a big breath. Tense your entire body. Squat.

Squatting Down

  • Start from the hips – Bend at your hips and sit back into the squat. Imagine you are sitting down on a seat. The hips joint should always bend before your knees.
  • Check your knees – Keep your knees out. Your knee joints should be pointing in the same direction as your feet all the way down. If your knee buckle in it normally means that the weight is too heavy.
  • Keep your weight back – Keep your weight distributed towards your heel.
  • Go all the way down – You should always aim to squat to at least parallel. Meaning, your hip joint needs to be at least parallel with your knee joint. This is incredibly difficult to judge yourself, even with the aid of a mirror. Ask someone else to assess your depth either in the gym or by video taping.
  • Think about squatting up – On the way down think about squatting up. This will help to prepare your brain and make the upward movement easier.

Squatting Up

  • Bounce off the bottom – At the bottom position of the squat your hip muscles should be tight – storing energy. Use this energy to help you bounce out of the bottom of the squat. Ensure that you are bouncing off the hips – not the knees.
  • Focus on your glutes – When powering up out of the squat concentrate on squeezing your glutes together.
  • Drive your hips up – Most of the power for the squat comes from the hips. Drive the hips in an upward motion.

Racking the bar

  • Step forward. Ensure that your bar is over the pins before lowering the weight.

My lunch/dinner

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On Tumblr and Instagram i have been asked if i could take more pictures/show how my lunches and dinners look. Usually i just throw everything on a plate… but i have gotten better at taking photos of my snacks, so in time i might start getting better with lunches and dinners 🙂 haha

Though i usually eat lunch at school and there i wont take pictures. And my dinners are usually chicken/fish with beans/quinoa/sweet potatoe and vegetables and sometimes a homemade sauce or cottage cheese. Nothing special!

Though for you to get some sort of inspiration or an idea of how my dinners/lunches look and the portions i eat… here are some pictures over the past while: (Somedays i eat dessert – a bar or some quark with musli afterwards!)