Fat Spot Reduction – MYTH

31 01 2011

Spot reduction is simply the idea that if you work a specific muscle group you will decrease the amount of fat in that area. The most common example of this is people focus on abdominal exercises in an effort to lose weight in their stomach area.

The truth is, how and where we lose fat depends on: genetics, hormones and age. If you want to lose fat around the thighs or belly, you have to create a calorie deficit (through exercise and diet), lose body fat and see how your body responds. What you’ll find is that, wherever you store excess fat is that last place you’ll lose it. For women, that’s often the hips, thighs and lower belly and for men it’s often the belly and waist.

Sit-ups, for example, will definitely strengthen your abdominal muscles, but sit-ups alone will not get rid of the layer of fat that is covering the muscles. To lose fat anywhere on your body you need to burn calories by following a program that involves both cardiovascular training and weight training. In doing so, you will decrease fat stores throughout your entire body, including the problem areas

How to Reduce Fat

Adopting a healthy diet is by far the best way to lose excess weight.

It is a Golden Rule that 80% of weight loss comes from diet while only 20% is a result of exercise.



Tone your Body

31 01 2011

What’s ‘Toning’

The word tone simply describes the state of your muscles. When at rest, your muscles are in a constant state of partial contraction in order to be ready for action. The ‘tone’ of your muscles is involuntary, so you can’t change it by lifting weights a certain way.

People take the word ‘tone’ and redefined it to mean how lean we are & how defined our muscles appear. In fact, it’s even a gender specific word. Women go to the gym to ‘tone up’ while men go to the gym to lift weights and build muscle but, the truth is, they are the exact same things. Becoming lean and building muscle requires lifting weights; the difference is in how much you lift.

While you can lift weights to change your body, you’re limited as to what you can really change about your muscles. This is what your muscles can do:

1. Grow larger and/or stronger
2. Shrink smaller and/or get weaker

You can’t make a muscle longer (without surgery) and you can’t etch it into a certain shape or look. If your goal is to see your muscles, your goal isn’t toning, it’s losing body fat. Whether you’re a man or woman, wanting to bulk up or slim down, you’ll do the same kinds of exercises and training methods. The difference lies in the weights, reps and sets you’ll do, as well as how many calories you take in (more if you’re building muscle, less if you’re trying to lose fat).

Whatever your goal or gender, don’t be afraid of heavy weights. It takes a lot of hard work to bulk up–even men can find it difficult, never mind women (who don’t have enough testosterone to get huge muscles).

Toning doesn’t exist but know what strength training will do for you:

  • You’ll build muscle, which helps with fat loss in the long-term. A pound of muscle can burn about 20-30 calories a day. A pound of fat burns about 5 calories a day. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn all day.
  • You’ll strengthen muscles and connective tissue which helps you perform better (whether in daily activities or physical activities) and reduces risk of injury.
  • You’ll preserve muscle mass as you age. We naturally lose muscle over time, unless we lift weights.
  • You’ll build stronger bones.
  • You’ll improve your flexibility, stability and balance.
  • You’ll feel better about yourself.

Getting More Definition

After all you’ve read here, you may be wondering exactly what to do to get more definition in your body. The answer is simple: Lose body fat. To lose body fat you need 3 key elements: Regular cardio exercise, consistent strength training for all your muscle groups and a healthy low-calorie diet.

Muscle Groups & How to train !

28 01 2011

Muscle Groups & How to train !

major muscle groups from frontmajor muscle groups from rear
1. Quadriceps
2. Hamstrings
3. Calves
4. Chest
5. Back
6. Shoulders
7. Triceps
8. Biceps
9. Forearms
10. Trapezius
11. Abs

1. Quadriceps

There are 4 huge muscles that comprise the front of your thigh… that’s why this muscle group is called the ‘QUADS’ or quadriceps.

The Quadriceps are worked through exercises such as Squats, Lunges, Barbell Hack Squats, and any other Squat variations.

We don’t recommend leg extensions or other isolation exercises. You need to be doing some form of Squats unless you can’t do them for some reason.

Here are the exercises for the quadriceps that we recommend: Best Quad Exercises.

2. Hamstrings

The hamstrings are an often overlooked muscle group for some reason… maybe it’s because you can’t see them unless you use a mirror.

The hamstrings are the huge muscle group on the back of your thighs. They are the biceps of the lower body yet many people never work them.

They are used during squats, but you should give them more attention with romanian deadlifts, stiff legged deadlifts, and pull thrus. If you really want to prevent injury and build a nice set of legs… you can’t forget the hamstrings.

Want to see these hamstring exercises in action: Best Hamstring Exercises.

3. Calves

The calves are probably the most ignored of the major muscle groups in the entire body. I’ve seen HUGE bodybuilders walking around with tiny calves and they look absolutely ridiculous.

The calves are a very stubborn muscle group and can be very tough to build if you were born with bad calf genetics. If you were, good news… I’ve revealed all of my calf building secrets here: Bigger Calves.

One of the keys to building calves is to work each major muscle group in the calf area: the gastrocs, the soleus, and the tibialis anterior. The link above explains everything.

Want to see some exercises that work the entire calf region? Here they are: Calf Muscle Exercises.

4. Chest

The chest is one of those ‘show off’ major muscle groups for men and women. Many men spend their entire time at the gym working their chest several times per week. They struggle year after year because all they do is bench press over and over.

The chest is important BUT you should only work it as much as you do the other major muscle groups.

There are many different variations of the bench press that are great exercises. Dips are my personal favorite chest exercise and one that you should be doing most of the time.

Here are the chest exercises we recommend with videos: Best Chest Exercises.

5. Back

The back is a HUGE major muscle group — one of the biggest. There are tons and tons of muscles in your back that need attention. In most of the weight lifting programs I design… I include exercises for back depth and back width.

Weight training exercises like Deadlifts develop thickness in your back while Rows work on both width and thickness. Pull Up and Chin Up variations work on making your back wider.

I hear so many people (including doctors who have no idea) say that deadlifts are dangerous for your back… it’s simply not true. Use proper form and technique and your back will grow strong and powerful. And then aches and pains will never bother you.

I guarantee that deadlifts will do much more good than harm. And the doctor that tells you deadlifts are dangerous is doing more harm than good because he/she is preventing you from doing one of the best exercises in existence.

What happens when you need to pick something up and you injure your back because it’s weak… because you never did deadlifts or learned how to lift things with proper form and technique? That’s right…

Deadlifts are a great exercise and you should include them in your weight lifting program.

Here are some back exercise videos for the weight lifting exercises we recommend: Back Exercises.

6. Shoulders

The shoulders are one of my favorite major muscle groups. You’ve got front deltiods, side deltoids, and rear deltoids that make up the shoulder muscle.

The overhead press is the best overall exercise for the shoulders. It works all 3 heads of the shoulder muscle well when the exercise is done with proper form and technique.

Many people have trouble with shoulder pain so it’s very important to build strong shoulders and learn how to lift with proper form and technique… very important.

Here are the best shoulder exercises.

7. Triceps

The triceps are also an often overlooked muscle group. Many men contact me about getting bigger arms. Women ask me questions about firming up their arms because their starting to get saggy…

Well, the triceps make up about 2/3 of the upper arm yet most people want to work the biceps which only makes up about 1/3 of the upper arm.

My most highly recommended triceps exercises include reverse grip bench press, close grip bench press, and dips. I choose compound exercises over isolation exercises such as pushdowns.

Heavy weight equals better results. Compound exercises allow you to lift heavier weights and that’s why I recommend compound exercises over isolation exercises for every muscle group.

8. Biceps

The biceps… what can I say? Everyone knows where the biceps are located.

The best compound exercise for the biceps is the close grip pull up with palms facing towards your body. Alternate dumbbell curls also allows you to lift heavy weights — probably the most of any type of curl exercise.

The biceps get worked very hard during back exercises like rows, chin ups, and pull ups. So, you don’t have to do a ton of biceps exercises like most people do… it’s a waste of time.

Here are the best bicep exercises in action.

9. Forearms

The forearms get worked during many exercises. Simply holding onto and gripping barbells and dumbbells during exercises help to increase forearm size and strength.

But still, I recommend pinwheel curls, hammer curls, and different types of wrist curls for your forearms. The forearms are a very important muscle group that can limit your strength in other exercises.

Wrist straps can be used to help your grip strength, but I recommend you work on improving grip strength so you don’t need to use wrist straps… but never let your forearms limit you on other exercises. Use straps but work on forearm strength too.

Want to see some of the best forearm exercises?

10. Trapezius

The trapezius or ‘traps’ for short is the huge upper back muscle that makes a triangle shape with the point in the middle of your upper back.

The traps get worked very hard during deadlifts but the best and only exercise you need for the traps is the power shrug. I don’t even include a specific trap exercise in most programs because deadlifts work them so well.

There is ONE trap exercise you should know about. It’s the only one you need to build the traps you want.

11. Abs

The abs are a muscle group that doesn’t need very much specific work at all unless you have a weakness. You only know if you have a weakness in your abs when your body fat % is low enough.

Most people have very nice abs under the layers of body fat. When your body fat is low enough to see your abs, then you’ll see that six pack… But ab exercises are pretty useless for getting a six pack.

Ab exercises do not burn fat around the abs… that’s a myth. So I don’t even bother with adding ab exercises to many of my weight training programs. They are a waste of time.

If you’re using compound weight lifting exercises like squats, deadlifts, overhead press, rows, and pull ups, your core strength will increase. Your abs will be plenty strong.

Eating healthy and being consistent with your cardio workouts will get you a six pack — ab exercises won’t.

What’s your Body Shape? -for Women Only!

14 01 2011

What’s your Body Shape? -for Women Only!


Lymphatic body

Weight gain occurs over the entire body in Lymphatic women, which gives them a ‘cuddly baby doll appearance’.  Weight gain occurs very easily for Lymphatic women, as the metabolic rate is very slow, accompanied by a dysfunctional lymphatic system.  Cellulite is common in this body type with deposits of fat swollen with lymphatic fluid, giving a dimpled appearance on thick puffy limbs.

For Lymphatic women exercise is not the favourite activity.  Guidance by a nutritionist is the best way forward to reduce obesity and cellulite, by replacing it with nourishment and vitality.  Excellent and long-lasting results are then achievable.

Android body

Android body types are characterised by broad shoulders, a large rib cage and strong shapely muscular limbs.  Android body types are somewhat straight up and down with a narrow pelvis and hips that do not curve outwards.  The waistline is not accentuated.

Android women have an anabolic metabolism, which leads to a body building tendency, so strength, both physical and mental, are prominent characteristics.  Many good athletes are Android shaped. Weight gain occurs in the upper part of the body and on the front of the abdomen, so that an apple-shape may develop.

Gynaeoid body

Curvaceous hips with a tapered, small waist are the prominent features for Gynaeoid women.  They have small to medium shoulders and the breasts vary in size.  The hips and thighs curve outwards and weight gain occurs only below the waistline.

Gynaeoid women tend to have a predominance of the female hormone oestrogen, (oestrogen dominance) which targets the uterine region, the hips, thighs and breasts. Excessive oestrogens promote fat deposition around the lower parts of the body as well as cellulite.  If weight loss is attempted by following a very low fat low calorie diet, there is a reduction from the breasts, shoulders and arms etc., but alas not from the thighs and buttocks.

Thyroid body

Thyroid body types are characterised by relatively long limbs with fine, narrow bones.  They often become dancers and models, and can be described as having a ‘race-horse’ or ‘greyhound’ appearance.

Thyroid women consume stimulants in excess.  These include; caffeine, nicotine, diet pills etc.  A high metabolic rate allows them to eat generously with little or no weight gain.  Of all the body types, Thyroid women are least likely to develop cellulite, but if it does occur, it will be on the buttocks and backs of the thighs.

Eat right for your Shape

Lymphatic body

-Cut Down on Fats and Sugars. To reduce your total calorie intake, eat less animal fats & refined sugar products: cookies, butter, sweets etc.

-Stock up on Protein. Your protein will help you to develop muscle during exercise.

-Resist Snacking! Eating between meals is a sure-fire way to put on weight. Avoid temptation by having four or five small meals a day, which include enough protein and carbohydrates (bread, cereal and pasta) to make you feel fuller for longer. Drinking water regularly will also keep you full.

-Eat Plenty of Fruit and Vegetables.  Low in calories, they are rich in fiber, water, minerals and vitamins, which means that you get maximum nutrition and feel fuller for longer without putting on any extra weight.

-Little by Little.  Don’t starve yourself; you will only end up cracking and putting on even more weight. There’s no need to rush, set reasonable objectives.

Android body

-Eat Calmly. There’s nothing worse than eating on the hoof : too much food, swallowed too quickly causes bloating. Sit down at mealtimes and eat slowly and carefully. Take your time to chew each mouthful properly and try not to drink too much at the same time.

-Cook. Ready-made foods are usually loaded with hidden sugars and fats and are over-processed, which is a recipe for disaster when it comes to putting on weight at the abdomen. Cooking can be relaxing and satisfying, so cook your meals from fresh as much as possible.

-Choose Wisely. Tummy enemies are sugars (cut down on cakes, sweets and chocolate) dairy products, (apart from yoghurts), pulses, rich sauces and fizzy drinks. Tummy friends are cooked vegetables, lean meat, fish, wholegrain cereals and fruit.

-Eat Like a King in the Morning and a Pauper in the Evening. Granny was right, a pyramid structure is best for your energy needs: eat a hearty breakfast, a good lunch, a small snack mid-afternoon and a lighter dinner for better digestion and a healthier, slimmer you.

-Good Fibres. A flat stomach is a sign of a healthy digestive system. Make sure you eat enough fibre, it will be more easily digested when lightly cooked, so it’s steamed vegetables and soups all the way!

Gynaeoid body

-Go Easy on the Salt. Sodium makes water retention worse, so cut back on salt both at the table and while in the kitchen. Avoid ready meals, cheese, dried meat and sparkling drinks, as they all contain added salt.

-Eat Plenty of Protein. Protein helps your body replace fat with muscle and aids drainage. Build Protein into every meal, in the form of eggs, poultry, lean meat, fish and low-fat yoghurts and cheese, making sure that you limit the fat you use in cooking, by baking, grilling, steaming or dry-frying when you can.

-Hydrate Yourself. Water is essential for flushing the toxins out of your system. Drink a minimum of 1.5l of water throughout the day, or tea, tisanes, soups and unsweetened drinks. Water is best, however.

-Choose Fruit Over Vegetables. Rich in mineral salts, eating too many vegetables will make water retention worse. Go for fruit, which contains a lot of water, vitamins, fibre and natural sugar. -Limit Your Sugar Intake. There’s nothing like sugar for making you put on weight! Clear your cupboards of sweets, cakes, sweetened yoghurts and other dairy products, and ice cream. Choose carbohydrates for slow-release energy, with bread, pasta, cereal, dried vegetables and potatoes, which will provide your body with energy to burn.

Thyroid body

A diet that is high in carbohydrates, proteins and moderate in fat. Intake of carbohydrates in proportion to protein should be 1:2 ratios.

-Eat more calories than you burn. Add 500 to 1000 calories every day.

-Eat six smaller meals throughout the day with a gap of two hours as it keeps constant supply of fuel to your muscles.

-Increase protein and carbohydrates (grains, granola, nuts, and dried fruits). Eat at least one gram of protein for every pound you weigh.
-Drink plenty of water so that your muscles stay hydrated.

-Avoid fried foods and skipping meals, for convenience or because you are busy.

-Avoid filling up on unhealthy, void calories drinks, junk or fast food. Beware of lots of or empty, hidden calories.

Human Body Types & How to train them

12 01 2011

The Ectomorph is small framed and thin and has narrow shoulders and hips. He may have trouble gaining weight and building muscle. An ectomorph needs to eat much carbohydates to build muscles.

How to train for Ectomorphs:

You should concentrate on gaining weight in the form of good lean muscle tissue (some women that are too thin may also want to put on a little fat to look more feminine). Weight training should be done but not too often or for too long each session. Weight should be fairly heavy and workout pace slower (longer rest periods between sets). Diet should be high in calories (good quality food not junk) and you should eat more then you’re used to and often. Aerobic and other activities (sports, dancing, etc.) should be kept to a minimum, at least until you are happy with your weight and looks.

The Mesomorph is considered to be a normal weight: not fat, not skinny. He packs on muscle easily, can lose weight easily (up to a certain point), and has shoulders that are wider than his hips.

How to train for Mesomorphs:

Strength training can be done more often and for longer sessions then would be good for an Ectomorph, but you must still be carefull not to overdo it. You should train with moderate to heavy weighs and at a moderate pace, not resting too long between sets. You will

find you gain muscle quite easy (some women and even men might not want to get too bulky, but this won’t happen suddenly. When you are happy with your muscle size simply train to maintain it). Stick to a good healthy diet to keep you lean and muscular, and watch for any slow creeping fat gains. Engage in and enjoy aerobic activities, sports, etc. but do not overdo.

The Endomorph is what’s considered pear shaped meaning his hips are wider than his shoulders. He can gain weight easily and is curvy. An endomorph should eat less carbohydrates.

How to train for Endomorphs:

An Endomorph’s biggest concern should be the losing of fat and adopting a lifestyle that keeps it off. Strength training should be done to get a better muscle to fat ratio and therefore improve metabolism. Use moderate weights at a fast training pace (very little rest between sets and exercises). You should lower your calorie intake (but not try to starve yourself) and should eat frequent but small meals. Sugars, sweets and junk food should be eliminated from your diet. Engage daily in some activity like brisk walking, biking, etc., and try to increase the amount of time you spend each week.



Body Fat

11 01 2011


A certain amount of body fat is vital for the body to function normally and healthy. In fact striving for a body fat percentage that is too low can be hazardous for your overall health.

Measuring your body fat percentage calculates your total body fat and it is  split into 2 categories.

Storage Fat – This consists mainly of fat deposited just under the skin or subcutaneous fat. Storage fat for men and women is fairly similar. For the average man 12% of bodyweight is storage fat and for the average woman 15% of bodyweight is storage fat.

Essential Body Fat – For the body to function normally and healthily a certain amount of body fat is required. This is called essential fat. For women the average amount of essential fat is 12% of bodyweight and for men it is 3%. Trying to achieve a body fat percentage that is so low it affects your essential fat stores is NOT a good idea. Even some storage fat is required for good health to protect internal organs in the chest and abdomen.

Aim to stay within the range for age and gender and rest assured you are taking one of the most positive steps to life-long health you can.

Calculate your Body Fat:

Body Fat Formula For Women
Factor 1 (Total body weight x 0.732) + 8.987
Factor 2 Wrist measurement (at fullest point) / 3.140
Factor 3 Waist measurement (at naval) x 0.157
Factor 4 Hip measurement (at fullest point) x 0.249
Factor 5 Forearm measurement (at fullest point) x 0.434
Lean Body Mass Factor 1 + Factor 2 – Factor 3 – Factor 4 + Factor 5
Body Fat Weight Total bodyweight – Lean Body Mass
Body Fat Percentage (Body Fat Weight x 100) / total bodyweight

Body Fat Formula For Men

Factor 1 (Total body weight x 1.082) + 94.42
Factor 2 Waist measurement x 4.15
Lean Body Mass Factor 1 – Factor 2
Body Fat Weight Total bodyweight – Lean Body Mass
Body Fat Percentage (Body Fat Weight x 100) / total bodyweight

The formula above will not calculate your exact body fat percentage. The most accurate way is underwater weighing, but this formula should give you a consistent measurement you can use as a guideline so you can determine if you’re losing body fat and/or muscle.

Body Fat for Athletes :

High Intensity Interval Training

7 01 2011

HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training is the greatest way to burn fat by doing LESS cardio! HIIT is a VERY effective training technique used to decrease body fat, increase speed, increase VO2 Max and best of all: It requires 20 minutes of your time to work out! It is a miracle way to burn fat, faster than other types of training and it conditions your cardio rhythm in a shorter amount of time.

How does It work?

When you complete a cardiovascular session at an similar intensity for the duration of a workout your body enters a ‘steady state’. This is a state at which your body has adapted itself to the speed you are going and conserves energy. When you complete HIIT you do not allow your body to enter this state and thus allow yourself to burn more total calories in less time. Also, HIIT training is performed at a high intensity which raises your heart rate faster and raises your metabolism longer after the workout.

To burn more far, why shouldn’t I run at a slow steady pace for a long time?

Running for a while at a lower heart rate (60%) primarily uses fat as energy. If you train at 85% of your max heart rate you will burn more total calories and in the end: burn MORE fat.

How effective is it for direct fat loss?

The Laval University study,  states that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio helps subjects lose/burn nine times more fat than those who trained the traditional way (UPDATE: Many other articles dispute the validity of this research. We have provided many more research articles to support the effectiveness of HIIT on fat loss). It makes you wonder why anyone told you to train at a slow pace for a long period of time!

HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training Workout

1. Pick any type of cardiovascular method (running, swimming, recumbent bike, treadmill, elliptical machine, etc).
2. Determine your Maximum Heart Rate or MHR should be during a hiit workout session.
3. Wear a heart rate monitor (optional).
4 . Make sure you take some time to warm up to get your body temperature raised before you begin.
5 . Now begin your cardiovascular training at 75% MHR intensity for 30 seconds and then bring your intensity down to a slow dull pace for 90 seconds.
6. Repeat step 5 but bring your intensity up each time. Complete a total of 3-7 intervals in total. You’ll be surprised with the results. Also see our HIIT training workout

Can a beginner do HIIT?

Yes, a beginner can start HIIT but change the intensity to a lower level.

For everyone?

This type of training is extremely intense and should be cleared by your doctor before you begin.

Make sure that you have a protein and a carbohydrate drink after this type of training to keep your nitrogen balance ‘positive’ and to help with recovery.

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