The summer is here. Hot weather, shiny sky, half naked people walking around, lots of sweat at cardio machines and Gold's gym and gallons of water swallowed during a day. You too, right? I've been on my diet for 10 weeks now. It's been very easy, so far. Because I had my wonderful cheat days, Friday afternoons. You cannot even imagine what my stomach has space for... 1 gallon of Peanut Butter Fantasy ice cream, with 2 lbs of cashew nuts, some Thai food and cookies. 8000 to 10000 calories easy. My beautiful Friday afternoons in the sofa are over now. I need to get serious, because it's just 10 weeks left to my bodybuilding contest Ironman Naturally. During this 10 weeks, I've been progressing, but somehow slowly, I was losing about 1 lbs fat a week. Which is ok, but compared to that amount of work I've done at the gym, it's slow. But, who would be surprised if I eat 10000 calories in my cheat afternoons?
So from now I am not having any "unplanned" cheat days (yes, that happened too... shame on me) and cutting down my planned cheat days to maybe 4000 calories, and mostly healthy food, but lots of carbohydrates. Just to "refill" and re-energize. I am not eating that many carbohydrates during the week, and with all the training and cardio that I do (see below), I am pretty much depleted. But still feeling good and energetic.
My Training and Nutrition
My training and eating remains pretty much the same. It's working, so don't change it too much. Again, some small changes... I don't run with Peanut in the morning anymore. Mostly because Peanut has some problems with her knee, not really torn ligaments, but something is going on. So she needs to rest for a month (can you imagine to keep that dog quiet? Especially now, when neighbors in the opposite house got some three cute kitty babies... Peanuts gets wild, running like crazy up and down stairs, chasing these fluffy cats...)
So now, instead of jogging I do 30 minutes stairmaster in the morning. Sometimes, when I don't have a morning client, I put on my rollerblades and cruise by the ocean for 60 minutes. It's pretty relaxing. No people, no heat yet, fresh air and beautiful views. I do my morning thing on empty stomach, with some caffeine and MaHuang. My weight training sessions at noon are the same, fairly short and intense. I do about 17-20 sets. 4 sets of warm-up lunges, and 4 sets of finishing stiff-legged deadlifts. And in between I do the particular muscle group for the day, about 9-12 sets. After the weight session I jump on the stairmaster and do 30 minutes. Another cardio session is in the evening, on the stairmaster, about 50 minutes. Which decreases a bit as the week progresses and I am getting more tired. So on Thursday, I might do 40 minutes. No cardio Friday morning, because I do my legs at noon. No cardio after that session, and of course no cardio at night, because my stomach is full with all the food, and I have to be in the horizontal position in the sofa :-)
The weekend is in the "low carbs and cardio" mode. I start the Saturday with 70 minutes stairmaster. I have so much energy, that I could go on all day. In the afternoon, I do my regular rollerdancing activities. Sunday morning, 60 minutes stairmaster, afternoon rollerdancing. No weight training these days.
My weight training split is still the same like last month: Monday - biceps, triceps, abs. Tuesday - shoulders and some Olympic lifting. Wednesday - back, lower back. Thursday - chest, Olympic lifting. Friday - legs, calves. I started to do more abs, about 4-5 times a week, just short and intense, in the afternoon after my client. I normally don't have time for abs during my regular weight session, because I need to finish on time, go home, shower, eat and go to torture my client.
My diet is pretty much the same. Eating about 2400 calories, spread over 7-9 meals, it depends how early I need to get up. My daily intake of macro nutrients is about 330-370 g of protein, about 120 g of carbohydrates and 60-80 g fat. On the weekends, when I go low carbs, I eat about 40 g of carbs.
As you probably noticed, I always "discover" some yummy dish, that I eat all the time and get tired of it, just to create something new... Last month it was the cottage cheese with flax seed oil and Stevia. What is this month? I am now creating yummy omelets, almost tasting like a waffle. I take 12 egg whites, blend them with little Stevia and cinnamon. Fry it in some olive oil on both sides. When it's done, top it with 2 sv cottage cheese (with a little Stevia). If you like coffee, you can blend a little coffee powder in your cottage cheese, just for the flavor. It's approximately 340 calories, 68 grams of protein, 10 grams carbs, and fat depends on how much olive oil you use.
Another yummy thing: "cookie dough". I take two scoops of whey protein (my favorite is Sportpharma's Just Whey), put in a half table spoon of flax seed oil, and just a tiny bit of water and mix it. The thing gets really sticky and looks like a cookie dough. Sometimes I put it some cinnamon, sometimes a little coffee... it tastes like a cookie dough. Eat it just like that, with a little tea spoon, and lick it and enjoy every drop of it :-)
Do you also have problems with meats and birds and how much calories
and protein and fat they content? Sometimes these packages don't have
so here are the protein and fat values for several types of lean red
poultry and Salmon:
|Type||Quantity||Protein (g.)||Fat (g.)|
|Turkey Breast||4 Oz.||33.9 g.||3.7 g.|
|Chicken breast||4 Oz||35.1 g||5.1 g.|
|Beef, eye of round||4 Oz||33.1 g.||6.5 g.|
|Beef, top round||4 Oz||36.1 g.||6.7 g.|
|Beef, round, full cut||4 Oz||33.1 g.||8.3 g.|
|Beef, top sirloin||4 Oz||34.4 g.||9.1 g.|
|Salmon, Pink||5 Oz||36.0 g.||5.0 g.|
|Salmon, Atlantic||5 Oz||28.8 g.||9.2 g.|
|Salmon, Chinook||5 Oz||29.2 g.||15.2 g.|
Overtraining, does it exist? Yes or No?
I still believe that there’s no ovetraining but rather under-resting. If we sleep enough, and give the body the time to recover, and if we de-stress regularly, then there shouldn’t be any overtraining. But if we don't give the body the sufficient time to recover, then "overtraining" might happen. It occurs when the body is stressed past its ability to recover from workouts. All of us must have felt it at some time or another. The stress at your body at the gym is important - to create the growth, but too much stress without enough rest can lead to the entire body being overtrained. And when you are overtrained, your progress stops. How do we know that "overtraining" is coming?
* we might start feeling sick, colds, flus, runny nose
* we lose interest in training
* we have chronically sore joints and overly sore muscles.
* we lose appetite (hey, this NEVER happens to me :-) )
* feeling nervous and unable to sleep
* drop in strength.
* we lack motivation or even feel a depression
* loss of muscular size and/or a drop in body weight
Listen to your body, and if you feel IT is coming, just take a day or two off from your training. I normally take a day off, and eat more (and more carbs) and just lay around in a sofa and read (or write a newsletter :-) ). The next day I feel perfect again, and ready to go. Other things to do to avoid overtraining:
* Increase your caloric intake (unless you are dieting for the show
or the beach)
* Increase your protein intake, whey protein is great.
* Add L-glutamine to your diet.
* Sleep more, rest more, take short naps.
* Relax, meditate.
* Get massages. (I do 2 hour super-deep-tissue massage every Wednesday, oh, I am crying, screaming, kicking the therapist off the table... but I love it... when it’s done :-) )
* Change the workload in your training program (do some lighter weights, higher reps sessions)
* Eat lots of vitamin C, and of course I suppose you eat multiminerals and multivitamins.
* increase your water intake... Check about the proper hydration in the May newsletter.
* Stay positive, think positive... (“don’t worry, be happy!”)
Does Aerobics Make Us Lose Muscle?
It's a scientifically proven fact that muscle proteins are broken down and used for energy during aerobic exercise. However, we are constantly breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissue anyway. This process is called "protein turnover." The body is constantly alternating back and forth between anabolic (building) and catabolic (breaking down) cycles. That's just a normal part of life. Our goal is simply to tip the scales slightly in favor of increasing the anabolic side and reducing the catabolic side just enough so we stay anabolic and we gain muscle, or at least maintain it.
This fact of human physiology has of ten been taken out of context and used to scare people into not doing cardiovascular exercise for fear of losing muscle. When we fast overnight as we sleep, we lose muscle too, but that doesn't mean we should stop sleeping!
Sure, it's possible for us to lose muscle from doing too much cardio, but it's highly unlikely. Staying away from cardio completely because we think we’ll lose muscle is a huge mistake. Only excessive amounts of cardio would cause us to lose muscle. Extreme amounts of aerobic work, such as the type of training done by competitive endurance athletes, could be considered overtraining. Overtraining tips the scale towards the catabolic side. The slight, wiry physiques of any distance runner or triathlete are a proof of that. It's difficult to generalize and pinpoint how much cardio is too much, but a safe maximum guideline would be 45 -60 minutes of cardio a day, 6 to 7 days a week. Within these limits, we shouldn't worry about losing any muscle - as long as the proper nutritional support is provided. Beyond 60 minutes a day, we hit a point of diminishing returns and the chance of injury, over-training and/or muscle loss may increase. Trainer John Parillo has always been an advocate of lots of aerobics, even for his bodybuilder clients who are trying to gain muscle mass.
"Aerobics can enhance your recovery from weight training by promoting blood flow and oxygen transport to your muscles," says Parillo. "Aerobics forces oxygen through your body, increasing the number and size of your blood vessels. Blood vessels are the 'supply routes' that transport oxygen and nutrients to body tissues, including muscles, and carry waste products away for muscular growth, repair and recovery. The expansion of this circulatory network is called 'cardiovascular density.'"
So, according to Parillo, aerobics can actually enhance recovery from weight training and increase muscular growth by developing the circulatory pathways that provide nourishment to the muscles. Cardiovascular training is important for good health, for fat burning, and for muscle-building. Losing muscle has more to do with inadequate diet than with excessive aerobics. If you suspect you are losing muscle there are four likely causes:
1. You are not eating enough protein. Protein is the only nutrient that can be used to build muscle. To stay on the anabolic side you must eat five to six protein containing meals every day. Each meal should be spaced out approximately three hours apart. Research has proven that if you are physically active, you need a minimum of .8 grams to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Bodybuilders may need even more.
2. Your carbohydrates are too low. Low carb diets are often used for fat loss, but it is a mistake to cut your carbs too drastically. Carbohydrates are protein-sparing, so even if you are eating large amounts of protein, you can still lose muscle if your carbs are too low.
3. You are not eating enough calories to support muscle growth. This is actually the most probable cause of muscle loss. When your calories are too low, your body goes into "starvation mode." Your metabolism slows down and your body actually burns muscle tissue to conserve energy. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, requiring a great deal of caloric energy just to maintain it. That's why your body will shed muscle if it thinks you are starving.
4. You are not training with weights. It is a common misconception that if you want to lose weight, you should start with cardio only and add the weights later - another big mistake! The weight training helps keep you from losing muscle while you are dieting.
We are much more likely to lose muscle from not eating enough than we are from doing too much cardio. All too often, people are afraid to eat a lot and do a lot of cardio at the same time. It doesn't seem to make sense. Logically, it appears that the two would cancel each other out, but the opposite is true. Many people believe they must "starve" the fat by drastically lowering calories. Unfortunately, this approach can cause us to lose muscle along with the fat. The only way to maintain our lean mass while losing fat is to feed the muscles with plenty of protein and nutritious calories while at the same time, burning the fat off with lots of cardio.
So, the answer is: unless you're talking about some kind of ultra-endurance regimen, AEROBICS WILL NOT CAUSE MUSCLE LOSS. In fact, aerobics supports the pathways that help you build muscle!
How Much Cardio For The Optimal Fat Loss???
In some of the bodybuilding magazine was an article that said all that all we need to lose fat is three days a week on a cardio machine for twenty minutes. It said that low intensity, long duration cardio workouts are not the best way to lose fat and that a high intensity twenty-minute workout is more efficient. Is this really true?
The life would be wonderful, if spending only twenty minutes a day, three days a week would get us in a great shape, wouldn’t it? And all people around would be lean and tight. Normally, when things sound too good to be true, they usually are. If your goal is better health and a decent level of cardiovascular fitness, then three days of cardio a week for 20 minutes is all you need. However, if your goal is to lose a lot of body fat as quickly as possible, then you're probably going to need a lot more than 20 minutes. Unless you're one of those genetically blessed few with a fast metabolism who loses fat easily. It's true that moderate to high intensity cardio such as interval training is more effective than low intensity cardio: The higher the intensity, the more calories you burn. The problem is that you can only burn so many calories in 20 minutes. The more calories you burn in a one-week period, the more fat you'll lose. If you do a high intensity interval workout 3 times a week for 20 minutes on a Stairmaster or bike at a high intensity, you might burn about 400 calories. That's a lot of calories for a twenty-minute workout. But it only adds up to 1200 total calories burned in one week. If you doubled your time to 40 minutes and you did six days per week at a moderate intensity, you would burn about 600 calories per workout. Do that 6 times per week and that's a total of 3600 calories in a week - three times as much as the high intensity interval workout! Combine the cardio with a 500 calorie per day deficit and that's another 3500 calories for a total deficit of 7100 calories per week. There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat, so that's two pounds of fat you'd lose in one week!
So, the final word is: if you just want to maintain your current level of body fat and stay healthy, do about 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity 3 - 4 times per week. If your goal is maximum fat loss, then do about 30-60 minutes 5-7 days per week. Once you reach your desired percentage of body fat, then you could drop down to just 3 - 4 days a week for 20 minutes to maintain your low body fat level. Low intensity cardio is not the best way to lose fat. You should always keep your intensity moderate to high, provided that you can maintain it for the desired duration. If you reach 45-60 minutes 6 times per week and you're still not losing fat, then the problem is definitely your diet, not your workout program.
Having Sugar Cravings???
Ever finish a huge, gut-busting meal and think, "If I'm so full, why am I longingly looking at that cherry pie?" You valiantly try to concentrate on something else, but the pie-lust doesn't go away. You HAVE to have pie. You MUST eat pie. And, hey, you'll find room in your food-stretched stomach somewhere.... Wishing away a sugar craving is like "not thinking about a pink elephant”, the more you refuse to think about it, the stronger the thought becomes. It's especially hard to stop cravings while you're on a strict diet. Ever feel "denied" of your favorite foods and end up craving sugar and fat? That's your body saying you aren't getting the calories and fat you need to stay healthy.
Food cravings usually involve the need to stimulate your dominant gland. When your body is stressed, or if you aren't getting the nutrients you need, your body craves foods that it knows will provide the greatest stimulation and the zippiest energy lift. For instance, adrenals know about the lure of salty peanuts and gooey chocolate when they're feeling tired. However, if you give in to your food cravings over and over, you'll exhaust your dominant gland and put undue stress on your system. That can mean weight gain, feeling unbalanced and fatigue—everything you want to avoid!
The answer? When sweet cravings are driving you nuts, check your
and increase your dense protein. The adrenal glands are designed to
energy for the body. Unfortunately, because of the amount of stress
exposed to, most of us suffer from some degree of adrenal exhaustion.
you give your adrenals the dense protein they need (like chicken,
and fish,) your sweet cravings will disappear.
Are you training right for your body type?
Arnold Swarzeneger has mentioned many times in many magazine articles the subject of different body types and different approach to training, as well as resistance as cardio. You are probably familiar with different body types, ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. But did you know that all types need a little bit different stimulations for the best result? The little problem is here anyway: we are not "clean" types, but rather mixed of two or three types. One type is often a dominant one. In the following quiz, you can check what type you might be and what type of weight training and cardio vascular training is good for you. Remember, this is just a suggestion, you still need to find out what works best for you and your life style.
1) My bone structure is:
Give yourself a 1 point for each A answer, 2 points for each B answer and 3 points for each C answer. Add them up and divide by 12, to find out the average. Look below at the number you now have. If you come up with a fraction, for example 1.5, then you are somewhere in between those two body types. And recommendations would be a middle approach.
You tend towards being an Ectomorph, 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.
You tend towards being a Mesomorph and have a naturally fit body but to maintain it or improve it you should exercise and diet correctly for your type. Strength training can be done more often and for longer sessions then would be good for an Ectomorph, but you must still be careful 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.
You tend towards being an Endomorph, your 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.
Keep That Smile!
Now I am going to sound like your momma :-) The summer is here, the body is beautifully golden tanned and your smile is sparkingly white... Or isn’t it? To have gleaming teeth requires will power, discipline, and daily care. And the combination of a balanced diet and proper oral hygiene can help preserve a beautiful smile:
* Limit sugary and starchy foods. Sugar contained in these foods produces acids that attach to plaque, the sticky film that forms on your teeth, breaks down tooth enamel, and produces holes or cavities. Toothpastes with added fluoride are known to help prevent cavities, but it's up to you to monitor your diet.
* Reduce snack attacks. With all kinds of goodies in the refrigerator, will power is key to avoiding between-meal snacks. If you must snack, eat fresh fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products. Also, avoid hard candy and mints that stay in your mouth long after you've ingested them. And, be sure to drink plenty of water after treats to dilute the acid attack.
* Brush daily. Brush your teeth for three minutes at least twice a day, and always at bedtime. During sleep, your mouth produces less saliva; therefore, bacterial acids are diluted less at night. Although it may be embarrassing to brush your teeth after an office party, your teeth will be better for it.
* Floss every day. A toothbrush cannot clean the sides of the teeth, so after that cake or candy, use floss or a toothpick. Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and change it every three to four months or even earlier if it is frayed.
* Visit your dentist regularly. Twice-a-year visits to your
for professional cleanings will reduce damaging tartar buildup on your
teeth. Your dentist can identify small problems early before they
into cavities and gum disease.
1. Getting married is very much like going to a restaurant with friends. You order what you want, then when you see what the other person has, you wish you had ordered that.
2. At the cocktail party, one woman said to another, "Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?" The other replied, "Yes I am, I married the wrong man."
3. After a quarrel, a husband said to his wife, "You know, I was a fool when I married you." She replied, "Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn't notice."
4. A lady inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: "Husband wanted." Next day she received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine."
5. A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?" And the father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."
6. Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
7. If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.
8. First guy (proudly): "My wife's an angel!" Second guy: "You're lucky, mine's still alive."
9. How do you scare a man? Sneak up behind him and start throwing rice.
10. What makes men chase women they have no intention of marrying?
same urge that makes dogs chase cars they have no intention of driving.
Thank you, Mr. Geert Wever from Netherland, for doing some great work on my pictures. Peanut is happy too! Mr. Geert Wever offers his help to any bodybuilding lady who is interested. Please, contact Geert at firstname.lastname@example.org
(that's Mr. Wever in the picture!)
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