Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Fat Burning Workout Routines

Everyone has her own workout routine, and while we approve of the "workout," the "routine" has us worried. Familiarity might be comfortable, but it's not effective — certainly not when it comes to a sweat session. Doing the same thing over and over lulls your muscles into an I-can-do-this tedium and lessens your calorie burn.

The good news: You don't need to ditch your current workout to see more weight loss success results. You just need to learn how to rev it up. Follow these tips from some of the top trainers around the country for an ultra-efficient workout that zaps more calories and burns more fat.

3-2-1 Workout

Start with 10 minutes of cardio (on any machine). Warm up for two minutes, then work at a pace that keeps you at 75% of your max heart rate (find it by subtracting your age from 220) for seven minutes. Spend the last minute working at a lighter pace.

Now do a circuit of three exercises for 20 reps each. For instance, do squats followed by bench presses and shoulder presses. Then rest 30 seconds. Repeat twice more.

Do interval cardio. For example, warm up for one minute on a treadmill and then sprint for 30-45 seconds, followed by a 45- to 60-second lighter pace. Repeat four to five times and then cool down with a minute of walking.

Do 20 reps of three different exercises, such as incline dumbbell flyes, followed by split squats, and then overhead triceps extensions. Rest 30 seconds.

Repeat the interval cardio.

Finish with four to five core exercises done for about 30 reps each. Rest 30-60 seconds and repeat for two more circuits. Swiss-ball crunches, full situps, or bicycle situps are all fine.

Monday, 29 August 2011

The Biggest Loser Workout

The Biggest Loser was a simple idea for a reality television program. The overweighted peoples were grouped together and foreced them to live together and made them lose weight. Now here is the biggest loser workout to let anyone who wants to lose weight and feel they are part of a hit show. The workouts are a great way to get started.

Plyometric exercise involves quick, powerful movements that improve nervous system function and therefore increase sport performance. Athletes use plyometrics all the time to get better at their sport — basketball and volleyball players practice things like box jumps in order to improve their vertical jump, for example. For sports like baseball, tennis and golf, or even track events like shot put and javelin, competitors use upper-body plyometric moves like throws and explosive push-ups to bring up their game. It's been shown that plyometric exercise can help athletes improve their performance in their sport, but it's definitely not designed as a tool for weight loss.

There are six routines of workouts to choose from. You can mix and match from the following:

Warm up your body 5 minutes. These are basic stretching moves to get you ready to go.
Low Intensity Cardio:
This is done for 5 minutes. And the workout include some jumping jacks, some kicking and punching, and a lot of core strengthening exercises for the beginner.
High-Intensity Cardio:
The workout is of 20 minutes duration and include a more aggressive cardio routine designed for people who have been working out for at least a month. The moves are quick, and there's a lot more jumping. It's constant motion combined with boxing and kicking moves.
Strength and Sculpt:
This is done for 20 minutes. Use hand weights and a mat or towel to go through a circuit training routine designed to build muscle and sculpt.
Boot Camp:
It's a 20 minutes workout. A combination of cardio and sculpting that can be done with or without hand weights. This is for people who need a quick workout, and do not have time for both a cardio and sculpting routine.
Cool Down:
This is done for 20 minutes. It is a yoga style stretching to get you back to normal after an intense workout.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

20-Rep Squats : Super Squats

The main reason squats are so good is because they target a large number of muscles all at one time. This is called a compound exercise and it is very effective at burning fat and toning muscles. When you do a squat you will be working your:

glutes (butt)
calf muscles

Chances are that a lot of you have heard of the 20-rep squat program at some point along the line. It is an old-school approach to putting on size that was common a few decades ago when men were men and drugs were unavailable. You do one set of 20 reps of the squat, plus a few other exercises.

Every successive training session you add 5-10 lbs to your squat weight. It has been touted as one of the most effective programs ever designed for adding muscular size and strength in a short period of time, and with good reason; it works!

When doing 20-rep squats, your entire day needs to be consumed by it. What does this mean? For me is means getting mentally prepared for what I am going to face. The 20-rep squat is a scary thing. You can't just go to the gym, load the bar, and go. You need to get there mentally or you are going to fail. All day long I think about squatting.

Yes, 20 reps of squatting, completed by guts and guts alone, will seem like an eternity. After you finish that 20th rep, you will want to die. Strossen recommends following this up by laying back flat on a bench-press bench, and doing 20 light dumbbell pullovers - the key is light. They are meant to stretch the ribcage, but just as important, they are an excellent cooldown after your squat-a-thon.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Cardio Alternative : Beach Running

Running on the beach can not only be a peaceful, beautiful running experience, but it can also help make you a stronger runner. Running in the sand, especially dry sand, is tougher than running on pavement, so you'll definitely work harder on the beach. But being able to jump in the water after you're finished will make it worth your effort.

That soft, granular surface offers excellent resistance, so it's not only an inexpensive way to keep up with your workouts, but walking or running on sand burns about 30 percent more calories than you would on a harder surface such as asphalt.

Start on wet sand. If you're new to beach running, start out on wet, firm sand -- it's much easier to run on than the soft, dry sand. You can slowly add 2 or 3-minute intervals on the softer sand, with longer recoveries on the wet sand. As you get used to the dry sand, you can start running on it for longer stretches.
Stick to flat ground. Avoid running along a beach that's sloped because it can lead to injuries in your knees and ankles.

For other important tips read more.

Don't expect to run at your usual pace. Hitting the sand is much more challenging than pounding pavement or a treadmill, so you'll need to slow down your speed until you build up strength and endurance.

Protect yourself from UV rays. Running on the beach offers no protection from the sun, so lube up on a broad-spectrum sunscreen, or you may prefer to wear a lightweight long-sleeve shirt if you're especially prone to sunburns. A hat will shade your face and neck, and sunglasses will protect your eyes from the glare of the sun's reflection on the water.

Finish barefoot: Post-run, take off your shoes and cool down by walking barefoot on the beach for a few minutes to strengthen your feet and ankles. Sand is a great exfoliator, too, so it’s like you’re getting a natural pedicure.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Workouts to Increase Stamina

Stamina is a measure of the capability to sustain prolonged stressful effort. Gauging your stamina provides valuable insight to your overall physical constitution and power to endure disease, fatigue, and illness.

Because stamina decreases as we age, it is absolutely imperative to work hard and constantly stretch our bandwidth of endurance.

You’re probably wondering if you’ll ever get to a point where you’ll have enough stamina to get through even your easiest workout. Believe it or not, there are exercises that can help increase your stamina and discussed below are just a few that you can do everyday.

If you have access to a stationary bicycle or even a “real” fitness bike, then put it to more use by increasing your mileage, not the intensity. To build stamina you want to ride for distance first, and then for intensity.

Interval training involves short bursts of high intensity activity followed by short cool down periods of low intensity training. For example, a minute of high-knees would be followed by 30 seconds of step touch. Or running 8 mph for three minutes would be followed by a minute of jogging 4 mph, for a short time period. Quick bursts of energy followed by short breaks to catch your breath are a great way to improve your stamina.

You can then alter this schedule to fit your own individual needs and preferences. Also, if you are training solely for the purpose of a long endurance event, you might wish to replace one of the sprint sessions for another long duration session since this is more event specific.

Furthermore, you will have to judge your own recovery abilities and make sure you are not starting to see your performance suffer from day to day because you are trying to do too much.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Get Ripped Abs at Home

Building a six pack is all about lower your body fat – enough to show your abdomen muscles. While it sounds easy on paper – it’s not.

Getting washboard abs is every man – and woman’s dream – but only a small fraction of the guys who hit the gym ever achieve it. Think how many guys you know with a real six pack? Think of how many people you know who go to the gym. Exactly, few ever get one.

Most common and known exercise for getting abs are crunches and sit-ups. In reality these exercises are less effective and hard to do as well.

That can be a crucial part and most of the people may face it while trying for abs. But eventually they don’t know that getting six pack abs or burn stomach fat is all about getting lower down to over all body fat percentage.

To get ripped abs, you need to change your diet. The best plans I have used so far are all low carb plans. And recent studies bear this out.

Eating low carb has now been around for decades, far too long to call it a fad. And the studies are piling up, showing it helps to reduce fat, improve blood lipids, and keep off fat over the long run.

So to get a six pack, you have to cut the carbs, especially if you want to build muscle and get totally ripped.

What You Need To Know

Diet is the most important factor for getting ripped abs.
Exercise balls and weight-lifting will help you define your abs.
Every man has uniquely shaped abs.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Exercises for your Chest - Decline Pushups

Push-Ups are the classic exercise. If I could do only one routine that would keep my chest, shoulders and arms in shape (and even help tone my stomach) it would be push-ups. Anyone can do them no matter strength or skill level. What is more, no special equipment needed. Is it any wonder that push-ups are an integral part of every prison workout...or any workout for that matter?

I have chosen to highlight a "decline" variation of the push-up because having the feet elevated targets my upper pectorals. In my opinion most of us already have "something" at the bottom of our breast area so strengthening the top of the chest muscles helps to lift the breast area and better defines the chest. Again, just my opinion. Try regular and decline and see which works best for you.

How to Do It

Place hands on floor (wider than shoulders) and prop feet on a step, platform or (if you're advanced) an exercise ball. Slowly bend arms and lower body until elbows are at 90 degree angles. Straighten arms and push up without locking elbows. Keep abs tight throughout the movement! Repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 12-16 repetitions, with a 20-30 second rest between sets.

This exercise works the chest, arms, abs, back and shoulders.

Range of motion will be compromised if grip is too wide. Higher elevations will not involve sternal head of pectoralis major. Lower elevations will target sternal head of pectoralis major but still involve clavicular head of pectoralis major as a synergist.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

How to Make Your Breasts Look Bigger

Many women who hit the gym have a secret goal they don’t normally tell you. Alot of women want to know the type of exercises required to add a little bit of mass and strength to their chest, in hopes of preventing gravity from taking it’s course on their errr.. chest. :P

A weak back and tight chest muscles can result in poor posture in women. An improved posture, however would create the illusion of a firmer and errr.. bigger chest. But whatever the reason, it is quite easy to exercise the chest to achieve this.

Try to do the following exercise everyday to increase your breast size naturally and to firm them up:

a. The Push-ups:

This will help keep your chest muscles firm and toned. To do this, put your hands and knees on the floor with your back flat. Align your hands with your bust. Bend your arms and lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor. Then push yourself back up to the starting position. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then bend your arms again bringing your torso down a few inches to the floor. Repeat this ten times. On the second week, perform two full sets of ten repetitions. And on the third week thereafter, do three full sets every other day.

b. Modified Push-ups

This is akin to the push-ups mentioned earlier. The only difference is that instead of the hands and knees on the floor, the lower arms, the elbows and toes are placed against the floor. The torso is raised up but your lower arms and elbows and toes are kept on the floor.

c. The back extension

Back extensions strengthen your upper and lower back muscles, thus improving posture. To do this, after each set of push-ups, lie facedown on the floor, lift one arm and the opposing leg a few inches straight in the air simultaneously, and hold on for a count of ten. Do the move twice on each side.

d. Bench Press:

This is the best exercise for shaping and firming your bust line because aside from shaping and firming the bust line, it also sculpts the shoulders and tightens the triceps. To perform this exercise, lie flat on a bench, with one foot on each side of the bench touching the floor. Firmly press your head, shoulders, back and butt on the bench while sticking up your chest. Keep the dumbbells about 18-20 inches apart and parallel to the floor with your palms facing upwards. Slowly push the dumbbells straight up, away from your chest. Fully extend your arms but don't lock your elbows when arms are fully extended. The dumbbells should now be approximately a few feet above your chest. Pause slightly at the top of the movement then slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position. Inhale and hold your breath as you lower the dumbbells. When they reach the chest, begin to move the weight upward again. Exhale as you pass the point of greatest resistance. Repeat this 8 to 12 times to complete one set. You can perform about 1 to 3 sets at a session and about 3 sessions per week with a day's rest between sessions.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Best 'Pump' Workout

Research shows that to get a maximum pump, you must devote your full attention to each major muscle group by training one muscle group entirely in one workout.

This will guarantee the "mind muscle connection," which will help you dedicate your full attention to the muscle group being trained - resulting in the ability to achieve a better pump. Therefore, each major body part gets its own workout.

Lactic acid also plays a key role in getting a maximum pump. Lactic acid is a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism without the assistance of oxygen.

The thing I like about pump workouts, as I like to call them, is that they create the opportunity for variety in training, they are therapeutic, and they prevent overtraining and injury. As I said, the key to building big muscle is lifting heavy, however, as we all know, too much heavy lifting can bring about injury or overtraining. This is the perfect time to cycle your heavy days with pump workouts.

Pump workouts typically involve rep ranges from 8-20 or more reps, short rest periods, and multiple sets for the same muscle group or opposing muscle groups. They can also include advanced training techniques such as:

Drop sets
Peak contractions
Forced reps

Most bodybuilders and even most exercise physiologists would agree that workouts that produce maximum pump can provide up to 20-25% of the increase in muscle size. This comes from sarcoplasmic and mitochondrial hypertrophy and increased capillarization. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy looks good and is beneficial to bodybuilders, but you do tend to lose it more quickly with de-training.

The pump has virtually nothing to do with increased myofibrillar hypertrophy – the actual fiber growth that’s responsible for 75-80% of the increase in muscle size. That type of fiber growth comes only from heavy training, which produces much less, if any pump.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Side Crunch Ab Workout

Strengthening the core is important for basic health to keep you injury free. Strong abs help stabilize the spine and keep you from injuring your back. Strong abs are important in virtually every sport, from golfing to running. Just ask anyone in martial arts how important the core (abs) is in generating a powerful punch! OK, not only are strong abs important in sports and for basic health but lets face it - 6-pack abs look fantastic!

There are many variations of the side crunch exercise. This exercise works the oblique muscles. The lateral flexors of the spine (quadratus lumborum) are also involved in this exercise. The obliques are commonly referred to as the "love handles." They are used to assist with rotation of the torso. They are also instrumental during abdominal contractions.

Start by lying sideways on a workout mat. Your knees should be together and slightly bent. Place your bottom hand on your oblique muscle. The top hand should go comfortably behind your head. Next, contract your oblique muscle by crunching the abs sideways. Exhale as you do so, then return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.

A deceptively difficult move, the side crunch tests your balance while it teases your oblique muscles. (It worked my hips in a way I've not felt in a while, too.)

Monday, 8 August 2011

How to Get Big Forearms

Forearm development amongst competitors may not appear to be in decline, but like the rest of the physique, it is. The truth is, without the drugs, most competitors are clueless about how to build the forearms. The large, plastic looking lower arms displayed by today's pro's have nothing to do with hard work and intelligent training.

Competitors from years past often possessed forearms that were much more impressive than the current crop, and it came from lots of old fashioned training (no straps!). Concentrate on the tips in this article to build real muscle, and just as importantly, strength.

Now, while almost every weights exercise that you perform at the gym will to some extent help you to get bigger and stronger forearms, the following 4 that I’m going to show you will supercharge your muscle gains.

Tip: Make sure you perform these how to get big forearm exercises at the END of your workouts, not at the beginning…they are tough and you’ll feel “the burn” – so they are best performed at the end where they won’t compromise your grip strength on the rest of the exercises in your weight training routine.

Reverse Curl:

Take the barbell and hold it down at your thighs, gripping it a shoulder’s length or perhaps an inch or two narrower. Make sure that you have a reverse grip, which means that your palms are facing away from you, not toward you. Keeping your elbows locked into your sides, slowly lift the bar toward your torso.

You should stop when your forearms are completely contracted, which means that your hands should be across from your shoulders. Slowly let the weight bring your arms back to the starting position – down at your legs – while you squeeze your forearm muscles during the negative motion. Try 8-10 reps for three sets.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Maximum Heart Rate During Exercise

Heart rate is the number of heart beats per minute; the times per minute that the heart contracts. Maximum Heart Rate (Max HR) is the highest number of times your heart can contract in one minute. Max HR is the most useful tool to be used in determining training intensities, because it can be individually measured or predicted.

The most accurate way of determining your individual maximum heart rate is to have it clinically tested (usually by treadmill stress testing) by a cardiologist or exercise physiologist. You can also measure it in field conditions supervised by an experienced coach. If you are over the age of 35, overweight, have been sedentary for several years, or have a history of heart disease in your family, clinical testing is recommended.

It has long been accepted as an approximation, that your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) starts out at 220 beats per minute and falls by one beat each year. Therefore, you can calculate your Maximum Heart Rate by deducting your age from 220. So a good estimate of Maximum Heart Rate for a 40 year old is 180 (220-40 (age)) and for a 20 year old is 200 (200-20).

However, the relationship is not perfectly linear and as we age, especially if we maintain a high level of fitness, our Maximum Heart Rate falls by less than one beat each year. A closer approximation is to accept the one year one beat rule until you reach 30. After 30 it is only .5 a beat per year. This may be summarized by the following formula.

Maximum Heart Rate equals:

(Age 30 or below)

220 - age

(Age above 30)

190 - (age-30)/2

For example, at age 50 the Maximum Heart Rate equals: 190-(50-30)/2=180 bpm

Monday, 1 August 2011

Running Stairs Workout

There is no doubt that there are cross-over benefits from running stadiums. In line with the the specificity of training principle, you are using muscle groups in a running-specific motion. It is not like swimming, cycling or even walking/hiking. It is indeed a running motion. It also isolates muscle action similar to running hills. For runners in the great mountains of Florida (In case you’re wondering, that’s sarcasm – their biggest hill is a highway overpass.) it can substitute for hill training. If stadiums are combined with other strength oriented drills and exercises it becomes a powerful base training workout.

First of all stairs are everywhere you look so there is no reason to say you can’t find some and besides that running stairs is “free” and I know we all love that word. Besides being free running stairs will definitely get your heart rate going and help you achieve that lean, toned and sexy body.

It will also of course help to firm up your bum. Now what female doesn’t want to firm up her butt? Another benefit is the running stairs is a quick way to get a workout done in less than 20 minutes and not to mention it will also work your abs.

First up, you’ll need to find a flight of approximately 30 stairs - perhaps there is a track with stadium seating nearby or even an apartment block or car park with a series of flights of stairs. Improvise and find something that you think could work.

1.) Once you have found your set of stairs or steps you need to begin your warm up. Walk up the stairs all the way to the top and back down again - continue this for 3-5 minutes or until you feel hot and are puffing slightly.

2.) As you finish your warm up return to the bottom of the stairs and then sprint up them with 100% effort.

3.) Once you reach the top, walk down to the bottom - this is the recovery phase.

4.) After reaching the bottom of the stairs, turn around and sprint up them again.

5.) Keep repeating this sequence. Depending on your fitness level you could complete anywhere between 3 and 15 sets - work until you feel like your have worked enough - your legs should feel rubbery and you should be breathing heavily.


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