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Showing posts with label FitnessRX for Men. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FitnessRX for Men. Show all posts

Friday, 23 June 2017


4 outdoor Alternatives To Hitting The Gym

By Chris Thornham

It’s too cold to exercise outside. Or maybe it’s too hot. Or the pollen count is off the charts and your allergies are acting up … or there’s no weight room outside.

You get the point. These are just a few of the reasons you might give for holing up in the gym all week. Maybe it’s even a matter of routine – you’re used to working out in air-conditioned comfort, surrounded by your exercise buddies, TVs, and an endless supply of fresh towels.

I know how tempting it can be to stick to the gym for your workouts; I did it for nearly 10 years. I couldn’t stand the monotony of the treadmill and bikes that went nowhere, so I rarely even strayed from the weight room.

But all that changed when I started participating in triathlons. I took up trail running, cycling, and swimming and was amazed to find myself more engaged. What was once unbearable on a stationary bike became enjoyable. I even started swimming in lakes and oceans.

And while I still enjoy strength training at the gym, there are many great benefits to taking your workout outside. Now that the weather is finally – hopefully – warming, here’s a list of why you should considering taking your workout outdoors.

BENEFIT #1: Outdoor Sports Are Social

It’s not uncommon to greet people you encounter on the trail or strike up a conversation with a total stranger. I’ve made new friends and even found new business prospects while out and about. That sure beats the gym, where everyone has earbuds in the entire time.

BENEFIT #2: Get More Vitamin D

Simply put, your body needs vitamin D for muscular function, immune function, and bone maintenance. In one study, vitamin D was also shown to increase testosterone by up to 20 percent.

BENEFIT #3: It Increases Energy

Studies have also shown that fresh air naturally boosts energy levels in 90 percent of people, and fresh-cut grass and flower scents can make you feel happier and more relaxed.

BENEFIT #4: It’s Always Open

Best of all, the great outdoors never close. Forget about operating hours or packed-to-the-gills gyms that have every machine claimed. With a few lights and reflectors, you can exercise safely outside at any time of day.


If you’re looking to get out of the gym and explore the outdoors, there are several activities you can try at low or no cost that will give you a killer workout.

4 outdoor Alternatives To Hitting The Gym


Ditch spin class and head out on a real bike instead. Most cities have designated bike paths that are accessible and safe. Learn the rules of the road if you decide to bike in traffic. Cycling is not only great for your cardiovascular health, but it will also help tone the muscles in your lower body.

If you want to give cycling a try, there’s no need to buy a $5,000 bike at the outset. Borrow one from a friend or rent one from a bike shop to make sure that cycling is something you enjoy.

4 outdoor Alternatives To Hitting The Gym

Running/Trail Running

Get off the treadmill and pound some real pavement. Hit the streets in your neighborhood or find a local trail.

Running outside is not only a great cardio and lower-body workout, but the variable surface of a trail also makes you use lateral muscles you wouldn’t otherwise. Plus, you’ll likely be motivated to run a little further because you have beautiful scenery to inspire you.

To break out of the boredom of treadmill running, all you need is a good pair of running shoes. That’s about as simple and inexpensive as it gets.

4 outdoor Alternatives To Hitting The Gym


Hiking is a great option for people who want to slow things down a bit. Hiking enhances your cardiovascular health, strengthens the muscles in your lower body, and improves your balance — all while exposing you to some beautiful landscapes.

As an added bonus, you can bring your favorite four-legged friend and give him some great exercise and excitement.


If you’re worried about getting your strength training in, MovNat is a great option. This increasingly popular workout involves using natural human movements to increase health and fitness by lifting logs, throwing rocks, climbing trees, swimming, running, and even crawling outdoors.

Just like working out in a gym, exercising outdoors is all about building a solid workout plan. This ensures that you work out all the different muscle groups and avoid injuries caused by overtraining. If you plan to do anything extreme, it’s good to get checked out by a doctor first.

There are few limitations on outdoor activity. The hardest part is getting started. If you need some extra motivation, join a club. Challenge yourself to bike your way through your first charity ride, complete your first 5K, or hike to a particularly beautiful vantage point.

Once you start accomplishing new goals, improving your health, and meeting new friends, you’ll realize how much you enjoy the change in scenery.

About The Author

Chris Thornham is a co-founder of FLO Cycling, which engineers aerodynamic cycling wheels. The company uses computational fluid dynamics software to develop its wheels and verifies its results in a wind tunnel. Less than three years after launching, the company has sold 10,000 wheels to customers in 51 countries. Chris enjoys learning, triathlon training, skiing, hiking with his dog, and spending time with family.

from FitnessRX for Men

Get the Ultimate V-Taper

Simeon Panda has become one of the most influential fitness professionals in the world, and was recently hailed by Forbes as one of the world’s top 10 influencers of fitness. Simeon typically performs anywhere from eight to 10 sets and six to 20 reps of the following exercises. Adjust according to your fitness level and goals. If you want focus more on your V-taper, in addition to these exercises you should also include pulldowns, wide-grip chin-ups, wide-grip pull-ups and pressing exercises such as dumbbell and military presses.

Get the Ultimate V-Taper With Simeon Panda

Dumbbell Lateral Raises: Begin by grasping a dumbbell and allow it to hang by your hips. With a slight bend to your elbows, raise the dumbbell up and out to the side until it reaches shoulder level. At the top of the movement, the rear of the dumbbell should be slightly higher than the front. Slowly return the weight back to the start position.

Barbell Front Raises: Hold a bar with an overhand grip with elbows slightly bent. Raise barbell upward until your upper arms are slightly above horizontal, then lower and repeat.

Front Plate Raises: Hold a plate in both hands with palms facing each other. Slowly raise the plate until it is slightly above shoulder level. Hold for a second before slowly lowering to the starting position.

Upright Rows: Hold a bar and stand with palms facing the front of the thighs. With a relaxing neck and traps, lift the bar up to the front of your shoulders, with elbows facing out. Lower and repeat.

Get the Ultimate V-Taper With Simeon Panda

Training Split

Simeon trains seven days a week— mostly because he enjoys the training and being in the gym. His workout sessions can be anything from an hour and a half to two hours.

“I’ve been training for legs twice a day for a few years— it was something I really wanted to bring up,” said Simeon. “So I believe that if you want to improve on a body part that you have to give it more time— that’s the only way it’s going to catch up.”

Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: Arms
Saturday: Miscellaneous day— whatever needs improvement
Sunday: Legs

Visit Simeon Panda on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at

from FitnessRX for Men

Thursday, 22 June 2017


4 Ways To Eat For Lean Muscle Gains

For most of us, winter can be the perfect time of year to try to put on some extra muscle mass. Without the need to show off a six-pack for at least a few more months, the colder weather is the perfect time to eat more, train hard and put on more lean muscle than you had last year. Come summer, you’ll be ready to diet down and show off your new, hard-earned gains.

But getting quality lean-muscle gains can be a challenge if you’re not sure how to go about it – you can’t just eat anything! If you’re not careful, you could end up packing on too much fat and not enough lean muscle.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are four tips to help you have a cleaner better, mass-gaining season!

4 Ways To Eat For Lean Muscle Gains

TIP #1: Eat the Right Balance of Macros

When it comes to adding mass, it doesn’t mean you need to eat 24/7. You may just need a macronutrient adjustment. Remember, protein makes muscle, and carbs give us energy to fuel workouts. If you are eating too few protein calories, and far too many carbs, you will put on less muscle, and store those extra carb calories in fat. You are far less likely to eat too much protein and store it as fat. In fact, the intestines absorb about 90% of all protein that gets digested. If your body’s need for protein happens to be lower at time of ingestion, the body will simply slow down digestion until it is needed. Unlike carbs – especially the simple ones, that will spike insulin and either shuttle those carbs to your muscles to be stored as glycogen, or in fat if your glycogen stores are full!

EAT THIS: At least 1 to 1.5 g of protein per pound of bodyweight,; 1. 5 to 2 g of carbohydrates per pound; 0.5 g of fat per pound.

4 Ways To Eat For Lean Muscle Gains

TIP #2: Eat Fewer Calories

You might think you need to eat a lot of calories, to pack on muscle but this is not exactly true. Your body type and your activity level should determine your calorie intake. Calorie increases of just 500 calories per day are enough to gain weight. In total your calories should be anywhere between 15 to 20 times your current weight to add mass.

TRY THIS: Start slowly, increasing by 100 to 200 calories a day from your base calorie intake.

4 Ways To Eat For Lean Muscle Gains

TIP #3: Get Most of Your Calories From Natural Whole Foods

Yes, it’s true that you need to eat more calories. But those calories shouldn’t come from food that is low in quality. You are what you eat. Higher-quality foods will give you higher-quality results. Resist the urge to eat junk food to bulk up your calories, and instead eat whole foods closest to their natural state. Choose carb sources such as potatoes, brown rice, whole grains, starchy vegetables and greens. For proteins choose lean cuts of meat, poultry, whole eggs and non-fat dairy and pick healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Eating healthy foods will ensure better digestion, less insulin spiking and better blood glucose management.

TIP #4: Use Cyclic Bulking

One way to add lean mass without putting on excess fat is to use the diet technique of cyclic bulking, where you alternate between high-calorie bulk phases, and low-calorie cutting phases. The traditional approach of cyclic bulking was 2-weeks of bulk, followed by 2-weeks of a cut. This method was thought to lead to fewer gains in fat mass, and more gains in lean mass. Research has shown that those who used bulk/cut techniques not only experienced lean mass gains but also experienced positive changes in anabolic hormones including testosterone, insulin and IGF-1.

Interested in performing a bulk/cut cycle? For bulking take your bodyweight and multiply it by 10 to 12 to give you your base maintenance calories, than add 1200 to 1600 calories depending on your activity level and body type. For the cutting or low calorie phase take your bodyweight times 8 to 10 to give you your calories. You may want to use longer periods of a bulk/cut phase, instead of the short 2-week phase. Just remember, being on either a bulk or cut diet for too long can have repercussions as well, including fluctuations in metabolism and hormones needed for both weight gain or weight loss.


Forbes GB, et al. Hormonal Response to Overfeeding. AJCN. 1989. 494: 608-611.

Jebb, et al. Changes in Macronutrient Balance During Over- and Underfeeding Assessed by 12-Day Continuous Whole-Body Calorimetry. AJCN. 1996. 64: 259-266.

Ten Have GA, Engelen MP, Luiking YC, Deutz NE. Absorption kinetics of amino acids, peptides, and intact proteins. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007. 17 Suppl: S23-36.

from FitnessRX for Men

Ripped to the Core

You don’t build an award-winning six-pack by not making ab training a consistent part of your program, and Logan Franklin’s no different. While some may train abs a few times a week, IFBB pro, fitness model and personal trainer extraordinaire Logan Franklin takes his own unique approach, training abs every other day by adding two exercises at the end of each workout.

“I’ll do two to three sets of each exercise and usually do those exercises to failure— which is around 25 reps,” he says. “I like to do straight sets for slow, controlled reps, making sure I squeeze as hard as I can on each rep and not just go through the motions.”

Ripped to the Core With Logan Franklin


Like most these days, Franklin has eschewed traditional, steady-state cardio and transitioned to a high-intensity interval (HIIT) only approach. Instead of spending 30 to 45 minutes per session, Franklin spends 10 to 15 minutes per session and believes he burns more fat during and more after.

“I’ve completely stopped low-intensity, sustained cardio because of the fact that over time your metabolism will slow down,” he says. “For example, I did StairMaster cardio for eight weeks straight for my last competition and it slowed down my metabolic output. Now I’m doing HIIT cardio to get my heart rate to spike and burn more calories.”

When he’s prepping for a contest, Franklin will do cardio seven days a week. His intervals typically fall between 30 to 45 seconds of high-intensity work followed by 20 to 30 seconds of rest.

Ripped to the Core With Logan Franklin

Franklin’s high-intensity cardio of choice options are deadmill sprints, sled sprints and outdoor sprints.

“For sled sprints, if I had a workout buddy we would set it up to where we would sprint pushing a sled for 20-30 yards, then turn around and sled sprint back to the starting point,” he says. “Then your partner goes and, by the time he comes back, it’s your turn again. That’s when you catch your breath.”

Franklin typically does five to 10 rounds of sled sprints but recommends 3-5 for beginners.

Sets Reps
Twisting Hanging Leg Raises 3-4 15-25 (failure)
Rope Cable Crunches 3-4 25-30 (failure)
Sets Reps
T-Planks 3-4 12
Knee Curl-ups 3-4 25-30 (failure)
Seated Bicycle Twists 3 30

Visit Logan Franklin on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

from FitnessRX for Men

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


Build the Perfect X-Frame

Steve Cook believes that one of the keys to building a classic X-frame physique isn’t just focusing on your strengths— it’s picking out your weak points and making those a priority above everything else. For this IFBB pro Physique champion, that usually means devoting an entire day to those areas, what Cook likes to call “weak point training.”

Build the Perfect X-Frame With Steve Cook

“My weak point training usually involves some type of some deltoid work, especially exercises targeting the medial head, and also abs or calves,” he says. “I’ll train calves up to four days a week and alternate high-rep days (12-20) with lower-rep days (8-10).

“Abs are always high reps for me, around 15 to 20. Besides cable crunches, everything is typically bodyweight exercises. I don’t do a ton of weighted exercises because I don’t really want to overdevelop the muscles in the abdominal region. My goal is to have a tight waist. Some people have strong, powerful abs but that doesn’t necessarily translate to an aesthetic physique.”

Seated Dumbbell Press 4 12-15
Wide-grip Upright Barbell Rows 3-4 10-12
Leaning One-Arm Cable Lateral Raises 3-4 12-15
Bent-Over Cable Lateral Raises 3-4 12-15
Cable Rear Delt Flyes 3-4 12-15
ABS Sets Reps
Windshield Wipers 3 15-20
Oblique Cable Crunch 3 15-20
Oblique Twists 3 25-30
Rope Cable Crunch 3 15-20
CALVES Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Calf Raises 3 8-10
Seated Calf Raises 3 21*
*7 reps toes pointed in, 7 reps toes pointed out, 7 reps neutral stance

While most of Cook’s training is geared toward building muscle and burning body fat, he still tailors his workouts and lifestyle toward maintaining a functional, athletic physique.

Build the Perfect X-Frame With Steve Cook

“I always tell people to stick with the basics— bench, squats, deadlifts, work in some cleans and a few different types of presses,” Cook says. “Do those movements often with a lower rep range— around six to 10— and then mix those in with auxiliary lifts. On those auxiliary lifts, you should really slow down, focusing on the contraction and isolating the muscle you are trying to work.”

Visit Steve Cook on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at stevecookhealth

from FitnessRX for Men

Friday, 16 June 2017


50 Ways to Burn More Fat

The second part of our summer fat-loss tips gives you another 25 ways to burn more calories and get the exercise you need. These tips are particularly useful if you’re in a rut and miss workouts in the gym. Now you can expand your horizons to include other kinds of physical activity. Around you is a veritable smorgasbord of sports, exercises and opportunities for movement. No more excuses— if one idea doesn’t work for you, perhaps 10 or 20 of the others will. Use a little imagination and you can burn more calories almost anywhere.

50 Ways to Burn More Fat part 2

 At Home and at Work

  1. Be more active at home: Home can be a place where you vegetate, or it can be a fitness paradise. There are literally hundreds of ways to be more active: throw away the remote, walk up the stairs several times a day, mow the lawn by hand, clip the hedges, get rid of the spiders on the ceiling and move the furniture around.
  2. Be more active at work: Work out at work— build your abdominal muscles by tightening them isometrically, take the stairs instead of the elevator, sign up for an exercise class at lunch and park several blocks from work and walk the extra distance. Get up from your chair and stretch at least once every hour.
  3. Calisthenics: These are resistive exercises using your bodyweight as resistance. They are excellent for a person who wants to develop muscle strength but is unwilling to join a gym or devote too much time to the activity. Examples include push-ups, chair dips, crunches and jumping jacks.
  4. Gardening: Trimming the hedges, planting bushes and mowing the lawn are not Olympic sports, but they do burn calories and get you outside.
  5. Housework: While some people only see a vacuum cleaner, active men see a lunge machine. Use a little creativity and you can turn simple household chores into a weight and aerobics workout. Try wearing a weighted vest while you sweep or mop the floor. Don’t walk up the stairs— run. Jog in place as you wash the dishes. Stretch while putting them away.
  6. Active shopping: Go on a window-shopping hike. Walk through the mall and check out every single shop. If you live in a small town, check out each store twice. If you live near the Mall of America, cover the stores in four days.
  7. Clean the rain gutters: Climbing ladders and reaching for the rain gutter is great for your legs, and gives you a big stretch.
  8. Paint the walls: Painting is not fun and is physically exhausting. That’s what makes it such good exercise. You’ve wanted to change the colors in your kitchen and living room, so why not do it now while the weather is nice?
  9. Trim the hedges— by hand: Go to the hardware store and purchase hand hedge trimmers. This garden chore builds pec and shoulder muscles. You will also build leg and core muscles stabilizing your body while cutting the hedge.
  10. Sweep the walkway: Try interval sweeping: pick a 10-yard strip of cement and sweep as fast and as hard as you can. Also, try lunge sweeping: do a lunge every time you sweep the broom— first your left leg, then your right.

 Out and About

  1. Enter a charity walk-a-thon: Many charities make money by getting people to sign up sponsors in walk-a-thons, fun runs and other feats of physical fitness. These events help your favorite charity, and make you look better on the outside and feel better on the inside.
  2. Explore a new city on foot: If your schedule and budget permits, fly to New York, Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans, London or Paris and walk the city.
  3. Do errands by bike or on foot: You are not chained to your car. Buy a grocery cart and walk to the store, or get a bike and go grocery shopping. You will be limited in what you can bring home, so you won’t buy as much food and you will increase your fitness at the same time.
  4. Take the dog for a walk: Overweight people often own overweight dogs. Do your dog and yourself a favor and go for a walk together.
  5. Hit softballs at the batting cage: The batting cage is a great way to get ready for softball season. Hit balls until you can’t hit any more.
  6. Hit a bucket of balls at the golf course: Many people think golf is a wimpy sport. Hit a couple of hundred balls at the driving range and see how you feel the next day. This is a great way to improve your game and catch some sun.

In the Gym

  1. Train with weights: Weight training burns almost the same number of calories as aerobics, and it also builds muscle and increases your metabolism so you look more ripped and lean.
  2. Treadmill: The treadmill is one of the best machines in the gym for burning calories and increasing aerobic capacity. Exercising on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym can be a lot better than training outside on a hot, muggy day.
  3. Stationary bike: The bike builds endurance capacity and overloads your leg muscles, which will make you look strong and powerful. You can purchase excellent bikes at sporting goods stores or online at reasonable prices.
  4. Elliptical trainer: These machines and trainers like the Cybex Arc allow you to reach high heart rates while maintaining low impact on your knees, hips and spine.
  5. Cross-country ski machine: Ski machines let you work upper and lower body muscles at the same time. It will prepare you for outdoor cross-country skiing next winter.
  6. Supine bike: Many people like the supine bike because the seat is more comfortable than a conventional upright bike. It gives the illusion of exercising while lying down.
  7. Rowing machine: Rowing machines build aerobic capacity and the large muscles of the upper and lower body. Many machines are equipped with computers that allow you to compete against rowers from around the world.
  8. Plyometrics: These are bounce exercises that increase speed and power for sports like volleyball, soccer and basketball. Plyometrics are fun, and develop fitness you can use in your daily life.
  9. Include HIIT in your program: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) cuts body fat and builds fitness and conditioning quickly. HIIT involves repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise lasting 10 seconds to four minutes, followed by rest. Short intervals are effective— provided you work at near-maximum effort.
  10. Find a training partner: Working out with a friend will help you stick with the program. Find someone to train with and you will keep each other motivated, push each other and you’ll both have a spotter.

 Get Going— It’s Summer!

See how easy it is to find an activity suited to your interests and fitness level? Most guys could come up with an additional 50 ways to burn calories. Use your imagination, find something you like and get moving. If whatever is at the top of your list is not available, try something else. The ball is in your court, so run after it!

Further Reading

Fahey, TD, P Insel and W Roth. Fit and Well. New York: McGraw Hill, 2004.

Fahey, TD. Basic Weight Training for Men and Women. New York: McGraw Hill, 2004.


from FitnessRX for Men

Thursday, 15 June 2017


Training for a Winning Physique

Three-time Men’s Physique Mr. Olympia winner Jeremy Buendia trains hard, as should be obvious with one look at him, but he doesn’t worry about training super heavy as he once did. “Now it’s much more about using perfect form, really engaging the target muscle and getting the absolute best mind-muscle connection I can,” he explains. “The goal any time I train is to get the best pump possible in that muscle group, and you’re never going to do that just slinging heavy weights around.”

He also keeps his rest periods between sets fairly short, and is a big fan of supersets and “quad sets,” doing four sets back to back. Jeremy also employs “sevens,” a technique in which seven sets of an exercise are done in rapid succession, resting just 30 seconds between. “The pump is critical to muscle growth, even more so than simply lifting heavy resistance.”

Training for a Winning Physique With Jeremy Buendia

Training Split

Day 1:  Chest and abs
Day 2:  Back, rear delts and abs
Day 3:  Legs
Day 4:  Shoulders
Day 5:  Arms
Day 6:  Rest, repeat

Back Workout

Wide Reverse-grip Lat Pulldowns 4 x 8-15
Seated Cable Row, underhand grip 4 x 8-15
Dumbbell Bent Row 4 x 15*

Superset with
Dumbbell Deadlifts 4 x 15
Close Reverse-grip Lat Pulldowns 4 x 8-15
Straight-arm Pullovers With Rope 7 x 15**
Hyperextensions  4 x 25

*Jeremy does not go heavy on these two movements, using no more than a pair of 40- or 50-pound dumbbells. Instead, he performs the reps slowly and with control, focusing on contracting his lower lats and spinal erectors.

**These seven sets are done in Hany Rambod’s FST-7 style, with only 30 seconds rest between. The aim is to finish off the target muscle with an extreme pump.

Training for a Winning Physique With Jeremy Buendia

Chest Workout

Incline Dumbbell Press

Warm up: 2 x 12-15
Sets: 4 x 8-15

Cable Chest Press 4 x 8-15
Quad set:* (done three times)
Standing Cable Press 1 x 10
Cable Crossovers 1 x 10
Standing Cable Press 1 x 10
Cable Crossovers 1 x 10
Incline Dumbbell Flyes 3 x 12

Superset with
Incline Dumbbell Close Press** 3 x 12
Smith Machine Incline Press 7 x 10-12
(FST-7 style)

*Jeremy alternates cable presses with cable crossovers/flyes twice for 10 reps, meaning he does 40 reps total. This “quad set” is repeated three times.

**On this variation of incline dumbbell presses, Jeremy keeps the dumbbells together throughout the entire movement to focus on his upper, inner pecs.

Visit Jeremy Buendia on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at jeremybuendiafitness

from FitnessRX for Men

50 Ways to Burn More Fat

Are you the king of rationalization when it comes to explaining why you can’t exercise? Does this sound like you? I missed my run because it rained; I didn’t make the gym this morning because I got a late start.

Many people miss workouts because they’re in a rut. They use even a small break in their normal routine as an excuse to skip exercise. They have trouble adapting and improvising to changing conditions. If you are one of these people, it’s time to expand your horizons to include other kinds of physical activity. Around you is a veritable smorgasbord of sports, exercises and opportunities for movement.

Summer and beach season is here, but you still have time to burn off those last few pounds if you are carrying some excess baggage. You lose weight when you metabolize more calories than you take in. Starving is not the answer to a thinner you because you could end up looking like you’ve had Lyme disease or mononucleosis. Rather, exercise and you will look ripped, fit and more muscular.

This two-part article will fill you in on 50 ways to burn more calories and get the exercise you need. No more excuses— if one idea doesn’t work for you, perhaps 10 or 20 of the others will. Use a little imagination and you can burn more calories almost anywhere.

Outdoor Exercises

  1. Walking: This is the mother of all exercises. Most people can walk safely. Walk for one hour a day if this is your main form of exercise. Pick up the pace if you want faster results.
  2. Running: Running will burn at least twice a many calories as walking. Build up gradually, because running can cause joint and muscle pain if you do too much.
  3. Cycling: This is a wonderful way to exercise, particularly during the late spring and early summer. Ride in a safe place and wear a helmet. Buy a good-quality bike that serves your needs.
  4. Swimming: This activity is not as good as running or cycling for losing weight, but it does build muscle and it makes you feel good.
  5. In-line skating: This type of exercise burns plenty of calories. Wear a helmet and pads to avoid road rash.
  6. Skateboarding: This is a good alternative activity when you can’t jump out of airplanes, bungee jump, hang glide or snowboard.
  7. Rowing: This activity used to be the purview of wealthy preppies at Harvard, Oxford and Yale. Now, ordinary men can punt down the Thames or even the East River.
  8. Wild sex: Long, passionate, wild sex is a great fat-burning and cardio workout that has many other fringe benefits. Remember to practice safe sex.
  9. Horseback riding: Riding with an English saddle builds leg muscles better than almost any activity. Riding is a fun skill, but don’t use it as your primary means of exercise.
  10. Hiking: Even large cities, such as LA, Chicago and New York, have hiking trails that let you get some exercise in a tranquil setting. Look online for local hiking trails that can make your outings varied and interesting.
  11. Backpacking: If you like the great outdoors, backpacking is a great fat burner. Load your pack with a sleeping bag and food and take off for a few days in the nearest wilderness area. A few days in the backcountry will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and thinner. With backpacking, anything you eat you have to carry, so there’s an incentive to travel light and eat less.

50 Ways to Burn More Fat part 1

Sports and Games

  1. Basketball: Shooting hoops is a great way to get a workout and cut fat. Leagues are springing up around the country.
  2. Tennis: It’s tennis time— the sun is out and the wind has died down. Tennis builds aerobics capacity and muscle and is an excellent way to get in better shape, whether you play in a league, hit forehands and backhands with a friend, or volley against a backboard.
  3. Volleyball: Play this sport in a gym or on grass or sand. Sand volleyball gets you out in the sun and is a terrific leg burner.
  4. Golf: You don’t have to play like Tiger Woods to enjoy a round of golf at the local course. Take a few lessons from a golf pro and you will soon enjoy sunny days on the links. Walk the course and you will burn more than 500 calories.
  5. Soccer: Leagues are available for men of all ages. Running up and down the field dribbling a soccer ball is good for fitness and soccer skills.
  6. Softball: Almost every town and city in America has men’s and mixed-gender softball leagues. You don’t have to be a pro; opportunities exist for beginners and older adults, as well as more skilled and serious players.
  7. Waterskiing: All you need is a boat, some sunshine and a few friends. This is an expensive sport, but even rich folk need several people to observe and ride in the boat, so getting an invitation to go waterskiing isn’t that difficult.
  8. Windsurfing: This is one of the fastest growing summer sports in the United States. A basic board and sail is relatively inexpensive. Combine wind and flat water, and you can learn this exciting sport in a hurry.
  9. Badminton: Contrary to popular belief, badminton is a fast, rigorous sport that requires quickness, skill and agility. Purchase a badminton set at any sporting goods store or online. Better yet, find a badminton league through your local recreation department or university.
  10. Ultimate Frisbee: This new-age game is a cross between soccer, rugby and football. It’s played on a football field and involves teams defending and scoring goals with a Frisbee. Teams are usually mix-gendered.
  11. Bowling: Give bowling a try if you haven’t played lately. Gone are the days of dingy bowling alleys filled with smoke. Bowling is fun and takes a lot of skill. You won’t burn many calories, but it’s better than staying home and watching television or checking your Facebook posts.
  12. Surfing: The Beach Boys and the old beach movies of the 1960s first popularized this sport. Technology has made surfing more accessible to the average man, just as it has golf, tennis and skiing. Nowadays, you don’t even need an ocean; artificial wave parks have sprung up across the country. Go to your nearest surf shop and rent a board first to see if you like the sport.
  13. Dancing: Why not have some fun and get a terrific workout at the same time? Dancing lets you get as much or as little exercise as you want. This is a great activity for mixing exercise with your social life.

from FitnessRX for Men

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


High Intensity for Executive Power

“This isn’t just a hobby for me. It’s a way of life,” says James Grage, co-founder and vice president of BPI Sports. When you helped start one of the biggest and most successful supplement companies on the planet, it makes total sense to have one of the tools of the trade— a place to work out— on sight.

“I arrive at the office at 8:00 a.m. and hit the gym for 45 minutes of cardio,” he says, also noting that said gym is located inside his company’s home base.

“We walk the walk here,” the Grage explains. “We do have a culture at BPI, and the people here train at our gym and bring in their food with them from home.”

High Intensity for Executive Power With James Grage, the CEO of Fitness

After the cardio, showering and eating his first of his six or seven meals, the 5’10”, 175-pound Grage meets with different departments (graphics, social media, marketing, video editing, etc.). “It’s a great office environment,” he says with a proud grin. “The people here are go-getters and have a passion for what they do.

By 2:00 p.m., Grage finds himself back in the gym for workout number two of the day. “I have to balance my time,” he says. “I don’t expect to get it all in and be undisturbed. Business comes first.”

A 40-minute, high-intensity weight-training session keeps Grage in great shape and he goes immediately into a cardio-based movement (such as jumping rope) once a set is completed. “If you let yourself get still, it ruins your momentum,” he says. “This also helps me burn even more calories.”

But once his workout is completed, it’s back to the grind for Grage and his “teammates.” (“I never use the word, ‘employee,’” he says.)

“I like to call it ‘controlled mayhem,’” Grage quips. “It’s endless on the marketing side and we are always looking into the trade shows such as the Olympia and Arnold Classic expos.”

High Intensity for Executive Power With James Grage, the CEO of Fitness

Training Schedule

Monday: Cardio, chest, abs
Tuesday: Cardio, back, traps
Wednesday: Cardio, legs
Thursday: Cardio, abs, shoulders, calves
Friday: Cardio, biceps, triceps
Saturday and Sunday: Varies between a 20-mile road bike ride and a 4-mile walk

  • The exercises and amount of sets depends on Grage’s energy level that particular day. “I freestyle it,” he says.
  • Instead of resting in between sets, Grage keeps it at a high-intensity level and will jump rope.
  • Grage trains with lighter weights than he used earlier in his life, but still gets the same result by utilizing the mind-muscle connection and squeezing each rep.
  • His rep range is usually 15 for the first set, and then he adds weight for 12 reps and again adds weight for 10. “My definition of 10 reps may be different than someone else’s,” he adds. “I may do eight and then push out two more passed my comfort level.”

Visit James Grage on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at bpisports


from FitnessRX for Men

5 Things You Aren’t Doing To Build More Muscle

You’re frustrated. It’s been months now and the pictures don’t lie – your muscle gains have come to a halt and you’ve hit a brick wall. Nothing seems to be working anymore.

We’ve all been there at some point. The journey of a dedicated gym rat is a long one and at times our patience is pushed to the limit. Building muscle takes time and dedication – but it also takes smart, hard work.

Pushing through a plateau takes some out-of-the-box thinking at times. Looking for some answers? Here are 5 things you aren’t doing to build muscle

MISTAKE #1: Not Training Body Parts Frequently Enough

Training a body part once per week is slowly losing popularity. More and more studies are showing that training muscle groups more frequently is superior to the old once-every-seven days split. One of the main factors supporting this theory is protein synthesis.

Following a training session, protein synthesis for the body part trained remains elevated for 48 hours before returning to normal levels. This means that if you wait seven days to train that muscle group again, you’re basically missing out on five days of creating an anabolic (muscle-building) signal for that muscle group.

5 Things You Aren't Doing To Build More Muscle

MISTAKE #2:   Always Training To Failure

Intensity is a word that gets thrown around all over the place today. Hashtags like #killedmyworkout and #beastmode flood our social media platforms. The only problem with pushing ourselves to failure 24/7/365 is that we will tax the heck out of our Central Nervous System (CNS). When our CNS isn’t properly firing due to being overworked, our muscles don’t engage properly and our gains will be put on hold.

The solution? Stop most sets 1-2 reps shy of failure. I suggest using failure sparingly as a tool to boost intensity. Try it for yourself and I guarantee you’ll feel much stronger and more energized.

MISTAKE #3:   Not Tracking Your Food Intake

We love to dial in our nutrition when it comes to losing fat, but most of us neglect our diet strategy when we are building muscle. We tend to just eat and eat and eat. Unfortunately, there are two things that happen when we do this. Either we don’t eat enough and our progress goes nowhere, or we overeat by a lot and we pack on a ton of fat (and very little muscle). I suggest at least learning portion sizes and a ballpark estimate of what your intake needs to look like to build muscle. A small caloric surplus is a good place to start before making adjustments.

5 Things You Aren't Doing To Build More Muscle

MISTAKE #4: Not Switching Up Your Training Style

I see a ton of young guys in the gym doing the typical 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps like most bodybuilders preach to their fans. Here’s the problem: those bodybuilders have built a TON of muscle already and are just fine-tuning the details. It’s important to keep building strength (low reps) as well as working on intensity (higher reps). It’s important to keep the 8-12 rep range with moderate to heavy weight a part of your training as well, but don’t neglect the other rep ranges. Building strength is a crucial piece to the muscle-gaining puzzle. Higher reps help build muscle too! Keep them in your training.

MISTAKE #5: Eating Too Much Protein

For years people have been eating way too much protein every day. The body can only process and utilize about .7g per lb. of bodyweight per day. This number could be slightly higher for advanced trainers, but it’s nowhere near the old school 1.5g to 2g per pound of bodyweight that used to be popular.

So how does this help?  Well it gives you more room for carbohydrates and fats in your diet which both play a huge role in building muscle. A well-known trainer in California named Sal DiStefano recently advised lifters to cycle not just your carbs and fat, but your protein as well. Try lowering your protein significantly a few times per month and watch how anabolic your body becomes when you go back to normal protein consumption. This keeps the body sensitized to protein and primed to utilize it effectively.

Remember- building muscle is a long-term affair. Gains tend to come in bunches before slowing down. Don’t get discouraged.  Stick to what works and try out new things!  Give your body what it needs and keep training hard – and smart!


from FitnessRX for Men

Tuesday, 13 June 2017


Extreme Training Ignites Your Metabolism

These days, it seems like everyone and their brother has something to say about fitness and getting in shape. There is no shortage of self-proclaimed know-it-alls on the Internet, but sadly, many of them are closer to having a dad bod than a six-pack. Only a handful of truly knowledgeable and authoritative fitness gurus have endured the test of time, and have legions of satisfied clients and followers to prove it. Many of the industry’s top gurus have contributed to FitnessRx for Men, and today we are beginning a weeklong series in which they share their best training advice— just in time to get in shape for summer.

Cory Gregory is a dietary and nutrition industry leader and top training expert, and was recently named to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fitness advisory board. These five workouts from Cory will pay back huge dividends if you bring your A-game. “These workouts are basic, but not for the weak,” he says. Let Cory guide you through five days of extreme training.

Extreme Training Ignites Your Metabolism With Cory Gregory

Day 1

Row: 250 for time
Squat: 135 for 15 reps
Complete 10 sets
100 ab wheels to finish

“Starting this workout out with the row will increase your heart rate quickly, and since getting ripped is the name of the game with these workouts, that’s what we want. After rowing, your upper body will be super tapped, so it’s time to hit the lower body with a heavy squat set.

“Using the ab wheel has been the foundation for building my six-pack and with these workouts calling for 50 or 100 reps, you’re going to get tested real quick. Keep your form strong, as you absolutely have to be on your game for this movement, no matter how tired you feel.”

Day 2

Walking lunges with medicine ball overhead: 400-800 meters or 15-30 minutes straight, followed by 10 x10 stiff-leg deadlifts at 50 percent of maximum weight.

“For stiff-legged deadlifts, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp a barbell and let it hang in front of your body. Keeping your knees straight, slowly bend forward at the waist and lower the barbell until you feel an intense stretch in your hamstrings. Then, reverse direction, contracting your glutes as you rise upward to the starting position.

“For walking lunges, step forward with your left leg and try to touch the ground with your right knee. Make sure to keep your left knee behind the ankle. Then, repeat with the other leg. I used somewhere between a 20-pound and 30-pound medicine ball— you may want to start lighter at first— and I held it over my head doing walking lunges.”

Extreme Training Ignites Your Metabolism With Cory Gregory

Day 3

Sled drags backward: 800 meters
Bodyweight circuit:
Max pull-ups, wide
Max dips
Max push-ups
2-minute rest
Complete 5 sets

“The raw bodyweight circuit is meant to get you strong and ripped, and is not for the weak. We’re basically doing push-ups, pull-ups and dips nonstop. If you’re just trying to get strong overall and get your connective tissues better for heavy workloads, this workout will do that. If you’re trying to take your conditioning to another level and don’t want to worry about using much equipment, this also does that.”

Day 4 – Jump Rope Shredz

10-second speed rope
10-second rest
10 minutes in duration

Bench press: 12 reps, heavy
1 rope climb up: 12-15 feet
1-minute rest
Complete 6-8 sets

Day 5 – Straight Conditioning

Jump rope: 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off for 10 minutes
Sled drags: 400 meters
Walking lunges: 400 meters
Perform 2 sets
50 ab wheels

“You burn the most fat in the first six seconds of an exertion, which is why this workout starts out with HIIT-style jump roping. The 15-second rest is barely enough to catch your breath, meaning you’ll be sweating like crazy.”

Visit Cory Gregory on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at

from FitnessRX for Men

5 Reasons Your Diet Is Killing Your Fat-Loss Goals

Losing weight is hard. It takes dedication, time and consistency. With so much information out there coming from magazines, videos and marketing fads, we can easily get lost on what are efficient ways of losing that unwanted bodyfat. With that in mind, here are five common dieting mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them.

5 Reasons Your Diet Is Killing Your Fat-Loss Goals


Most people who decide to jump on a diet have usually a specific time frame they want to stick with in order to reach their goals. The reality is, we all want things done now – and we usually want them to be effortless. The good thing about that is that it definitely gets many off the couch and into the gym. The bad however, is that likely won’t stay on that diet in the long run. And most “diets” lead to a yo-yo form of losing and gaining weight that usually leaves you worse off than where you were when you started.

If you have been doing the same things over and over for years, it will be hard to immediately change habits. The key? Start with small, sustainable changes. This will eventually completely change the habit(s)or decrease the amount you do it substantially. Making slower, gradual changes rather than completely overhauling what you are doing will help you make healthier lifestyle changes that will burn the fat and keep it off.


Organic, natural, gluten-free, farm raised, sugar free, fat free…I ’m sure you have heard these words before. Let me start with the usual sentence I heard from several people daily – “But I eat all organic meats and tons of fruits daily, why can’t I lose weight?”

Food – whether it’s organic, natural or fat free – still contains calories, and substituting your foods with these healthier options won’t always make a difference in the caloric count. It will no doubt be better for you and your body, but you are still consuming calories. If you are trying to lose weight, the main concept is to lower your calorie consumption or expend more calories daily than you are taking in. The mistake is when people start dieting and making healthier food choices without truly knowing the macronutrients of the food they are consuming.

Let’s take fruit for example. It’s (usually) great for you, as they contain high amounts of natural vitamins and minerals. But the sugar content of fruit(s) can be relatively high. So don’t go rushing to your local fruit juice smoothie store because they are promoting it as a healthy drink when it is likely loaded with sugars that will add up to your caloric intake. Don’t make the mistake of overeating healthy foods just because they are healthy – count your and macronutrients and your portion sizes.


You’ve heard of people trying to lose weight and skipping breakfast, right? It’s very common for people to think starting your day in fasting mode will burn more calories. But it’s actually the exact opposite. Numerous studies show a direct correlation between eating breakfast and consuming fewer calories throughout the day. This begins with the fact that if you skip breakfast you’ll most likely be hungry at lunch and want to eat more – for lunch and again later in the day. Additionally, if you are trying to sustain energy levels, gain muscle and train during that lunch time, you won’t have the optimal energy to lift as much as much, or burn potential bodyfat and weight. Skipping breakfast isn’t correlated with gaining fat and being a direct mistake while dieting, but the goal of dieting is to lose weight and body-fat, not lean muscle. By skipping a potential meal that will affect your training capabilities is then a direct factor to potentially gaining more fat. After all, like mentioned above, there’s two ways to losing fat while dieting; consuming less calories than you expend in a day or being physically active enough to burn more calories than you are consuming. And, in my opinion, exercise is still the best way to lose weight and keep lean muscle mass.


Healthy fats, of course – but you need to know the difference. Trans fat and saturated fats are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for hearth disease. On the other hand, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for you as they lower your cholesterol and reduce heart disease. Additionally, fats are needed for healthy hormone production. The problem is when people hear this and assume that they should be consuming as many healthy fats as in order to burn more fat. This is true – to an extent. But, like anything in life, moderation is key. Fatty foods are high in calories – 9 calories per gram versus 4 for carbs and protein . And when you combine several of them into one day’s meals – almonds, fatty fish, oils and seeds – those calorie-dense foods add up pretty fast.


Today chemists can create flavors that mimic almost anything. But chemists are not Mother Nature. For that reason today we have tons of products on our supermarkets and stores that advertise fat free, sugar free and light – which are usually high-selling items for those trying to lose weight while still trying to stick with their favorite beverages or snacks. The problem? The chemicals used to mimic the real flavors can actually trigger us to want more sweets later. Beyond the gastrointestinal problems that these foods may cause, there are other problems The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.1

1. Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas.

2. Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar- sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are significantly sweeter than regular sugar.

So, be careful with these lower calories or 0 calorie products as they might be eventually adding back more weight than you originally started with.

1. Guy Fagherazzi, Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes,, 2013

from FitnessRX for Men

Monday, 12 June 2017


4 Ways to Beat Treadmill Boredom

By Rick Morris

Treadmill training comes very close to being the perfect method for indoor exercise. It’s convenient, efficient, effective and versatile. It can be adapted to nearly any exercise goal and can meet the needs of almost every athlete. Despite all those benefits, there is one major disadvantage when exercising on the treadmill — boredom. The treadmill is a valuable training tool and can be a very enjoyable way to exercise, but how a person perceives exercise does have an effect on both the mental and physical aspects of his workouts.

A study conducted by researchers at the Duke University Medical Center tested runners during a treadmill run, a workout on an indoor track and a session on an outdoor route. The treadmill runners reported the highest rating of perceived exertion (a measure of how hard the workout felt) and also recorded the slowest performance times. While treadmill training failed this test, it is not something that cannot be overcome. With just a few adjustments to your environment and your training habits, you can stay motivated and beat the boredom.

4 Ways to Beat Treadmill Boredom

1 Keep A Pleasant Environment

Where you exercise can have a huge influence on how long you work out, the intensity of your workout and how much you enjoy your exercise routine. If your workout area is a place you enjoy, you will naturally have an easier time sticking with your training run. If you have your own treadmill, try to place it in a position in which you have a view from a window. You may not be moving, but something outside is. You can see changing weather conditions, animals, children, cars— anything to engage your mind even a little bit. If you are using a treadmill in a gym, there will probably be a window nearby. At the very least, you will have other members of your club and other machines nearby to keep your attention.

If you have a home gym, make your environment as pleasant as possible. Keep it clean and clutter-free. Paint it a color that you like. Install a water cooler for easy access to cold water. Do anything you can to make your workout area a place that you enjoy.

2 Enjoy Some Guilt-Free Movie/TV Time

Almost all experienced treadmill runners do one of two things. They either watch their iPad or iPod, or listen to music while they run. Your treadmill workout is actually a very good time to enjoy some guilt-free television. When else can you watch shows or movies and not feel like you should be doing something more productive? Some walkers read while they exercise, but reading while running is generally not a good idea for two reasons:

• It is very difficult to read while you are running. There is simply too much movement to make out the words clearly.

• It is important to focus on your form, mechanics, stride, breathing, etc. You can watch a show and listen to music without having to concentrate on them. Reading requires concentration that should be reserved for your training run.

3 Challenge Yourself With The Display Monitor

Almost all motorized treadmills will display your total calories burned, total miles, current speed and total time. Some will also give you calories per hour, average speed, current pace, average pace and heart rate data. Using the abundance of data that is available can be both entertaining and motivating. You can scan through the data and see your progress in the workout. You could also set goals for average pace, calories burned, distance or time. For most runners, the use of the console feedback functions is a motivational tool, but for some, watching the miles and minutes tick by on the console only adds to the tedium and makes the workout seem longer. Setting some personal goals to meet – and exceed – can go a long way in making the workout seem faster.

4 Change Things Up

Perhaps the greatest advantage to treadmill training is the vast, nearly unlimited number of possible workouts you can do. Take advantage of this. Doing the same workouts day after day will get very tedious. It is not only boring, but your body will “learn” those workouts and you will not increase your fitness as quickly as you could be. Mixing up your workouts will improve your fitness and keep you motivated. You can do any combination of long runs, short runs, fast runs, slow runs, hilly runs and flat runs. For a real change of pace try something out of the ordinary. Here are some unique and fun workouts you can do that will stimulate both your mind and your body.


The Commercial Cruncher

Sure, no one really watches commercials anymore – you just fast forward the DVR through them all right? Here’s another option – why not put them to use? Plan a workout during one of your favorite 30- or 60-minute shows. During this workout you will run or walk at an easy pace for the duration of the program. Whenever a commercial break comes on, increase the treadmill speed to a pace that feels hard, but not maximal. Keep going at that hard pace until the commercial break is over and your program resumes. At the end of the show, you will have completed a great interval training workout and burned a lot of calories. To add some additional variety to this workout, try increasing the elevation of the treadmill during the commercial breaks rather than the speed.

The Run Across America

How about a nice cross-country run? You could run from California to Maine or maybe Washington to Florida. No…I’m not nuts. You don’t need to take six months off from work and you won’t have to brave the roads or the elements. You can do it from the comfort of your home treadmill. All you need are maps and some stickpins. You can start small by running to the next town or the next neighborhood. Just pick a destination on your map, figure out the distance and start running. Keep track of your mileage during each workout and place a stickpin on the map to keep track of where you are. This is a fun and engaging activity that can keep you motivated and excited about your daily workout. You can set short daily goals of running from one neighborhood to another and long-term goals of moving from state to state or across the country.

The Vacation Incentive

This is an extension of The Run Across America. To add some interest and some additional motivation, find a spot that you would like to vacation in. Place a big pin or flag to mark that spot on your map. Start in your hometown and start running. Move another stickpin along your route to keep track of your mileage. When you reach your vacation destination, reward yourself with an actual vacation at your goal destination. With the vacation incentive you will be looking forward to each workout as you progress toward your goal vacation.

About the Author: Rick Morris is the author of Treadmill Training for Runners

Rick A. LaCaille, Kevin S. Masters and Edward M. Heath. Effects of cognitive strategy and exercise setting on running performance, perceived exertion, affect and satisfaction. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Volume 5, Issue 4, October 2004, Pages 461-476.

from FitnessRX for Men

Sunday, 11 June 2017


Rest and Recovery

By George L. Redmon, Ph.D., N.D.

When you consider the statement above by one of bodybuilding’s most accomplished participants, it implies that to reach your full growth potential, you need to also be doing something that is just as important— if not more important— than working out. In fact, according to Lee Labrada, “Recuperation is the factor with the biggest, most significant potential to help one reach the next level of muscular size and strength.”

Conversely, what the scientific literature tells us now is that if you don’t get adequate rest coupled with enough sleep, your body doesn’t fully recover from daily workouts. This aspect of non-adaptation, due to the micro-muscle damage and resulting inflammation followed by inadequate healing time, leads to what researchers refer to as being in a ‘perpetual under-recuperative state.’

To stimulate, build and repair muscle, you need to take a much more proactive approach toward recuperation. For example, after a workout, the body’s ability to bounce back from the inflammatory stress response can take up to 72 hours. That’s three days. In response to the time it takes to heal and readjust, this could take up to six weeks, depending on the extent of an injury.

It is the state of constant under-recovering from your workouts and/or injury that will limit your ability to build muscle and invariably lead to the development of other catabolic (muscle-wasting) factors. Additionally, without a well-planned recovery program, you will not only comprise your growth potential— you could also be compromising your overall health by overtaxing your system and perpetuating uncontrolled oxidative stress.

So instead of your driving force being no pain, no gain— let it be no rest, no gain!

Rest and Recovery

Sleep Growth and Repair

There are two different stages of sleep, each having unique characteristics. The first stage of sleep is known as non-REM sleep, also referred to as ‘deep’ and or ‘slow-wave’ sleep. During this sleep cycle, the entire body is relaxed, cerebral cortex activity is diminished as well as the heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate. During this sleep period, the body’s use of energy also decreases by about 20 percent.

The second phase of sleep is call REM or ‘rapid eye-movement, sleep, due to the fact that the eyelids tend to quiver. In this stage of sleep, breathing may become rapid and irregular. The heart rate and blood pressure sometimes rise during this stage of sleep. Studies indicate that the brain is very active during this time and that at this stage of sleep, dreaming occurs. More stimulation and generally interruptions (noise, etc.) are needed to awake someone from REM sleep.

Nature At Work: Do Not Disturb

As you are undoubtedly aware, it is the REM stage of sleep that your body relies on heavily to do most of its internal repair work. This is why it is very important to get your full 8 hours of sleep consistently. As you sleep, your body goes through a defined period of growth and repair (anabolism) during the early stages of sleep. Afterward, the body shifts into a period of muscle protein breakdown (catabolism). This part of the equation you want to disrupt, while enhancing the anabolic stage. As you can see, biologically, poor sleep management can sidetrack and/or derail much of your hard physical work.

from FitnessRX for Men

Saturday, 10 June 2017


FitnessRx Better Sex Diet

By Thomas Fahey, EdD and Steve Blechman

A healthy, well-rounded diet containing a variety of foods boosts sexual performance best. Follow the recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture released in April, 2005.

FitnessRx Better Sex Diet

Calories: Calories count. You’ll gain weight if you take in more calories than you burn (metabolize) through exercise and metabolism. You may also get an individualized diet plan and personal food pyramid by going on the government’s new food pyramid website: The site will give you diet recommendations based on your gender, age and physical activity level. The new pyramid makes specific recommendations for intake of grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans as well as exercise recommendations for promoting health and promoting and sustaining weight loss. These dietary recommendations are excellent for peak sexual health.

You can get a general estimate of the calories you need every day by using the following simple equation:

Caloric Intake for weight maintenance= [Weight (lbs) x 10] + [weight (lbs) x 3 (if inactive), x 5 (if moderately active), or x 10 (if extremely active)]

FitnessRx Better Sex Diet

Grains: try to emphasize whole grain foods, such as whole grain cereals, breads, rice and pasta.

Vegetables: eat a variety of vegetables, emphasizing dark green vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach and kale. Other important vegetables include cabbage, sweet potatoes, peas and beans such as garbanzo beans, cannelloni beans, pinto beans, kidney beans and lentils.

Fruits: eat a variety of fresh fruits. Don’t over-consume fruits juices.

Dairy products: choose fat-free dairy products, such as skim milk and nonfat yogurt.

Meat and beans: choose low-fat or lean meats, poultry and fish. These foods are essential for maintaining normal testosterone levels. Bake, broil, or grill meats and avoid frying. Vary the protein sources in your diet. Include fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

Fats: get most of your fats from fish, nuts and virgin olive oils. Limit your intake of butter, stick margarine, shortening and lard. Minimize your intake of saturated and trans fats.

Carbohydrates: emphasize low-glycemic, complex carbohydrates and choose foods and beverages low in added sugars. High-sugar foods are rich in calories, but provide few nutrients

from FitnessRX for Men

Friday, 9 June 2017


So You Want To Compete?

In the final moments before you step out from backstage and into the lights it dawns on you that you are finally here. All the years of weight training, the months of dieting and cardio, the days of planning your posing, color and who to thank are all done. Now there is nothing left to do but step out under the hot stage lights and hit the poses you have worked so hard to perfect. These are the final moments before you will share the brotherhood with the rare breed of competitive bodybuilders. Often times the journey to the competitive stage is paved with questions of why you are doing it. Many people you call friends and family will question your desire to get to levels of body fat that they can’t comprehend. Not only do you have to battle the diet, cardio and weights on a daily basis, you will also have to deal with a staggering amount of resistance.

So how do you take the steps from becoming a member of a gym to a member of the elite club of physique athletes? Here’s how to get started. So You Want To Compete?


Pictures in magazines, videos on YouTube and stories from friends can’t describe what a physique contest is. To truly know if competing on stage is for you, attending a show is mandatory. The motivation will serve you well during your impending journey. When you see the difference that a few pounds or even ounces of fat can have on a physique it will drive home the work ahead.

While in attendance also be sure to notice the nuances of a show. Why are those board shorts so bright? Why is everyone orange? Why do some people look so lean while others appear pedestrian? Physique contests are a strange environment when first discovered. This small group of people all has an obsession and these contests are the outlet for that madness. If competing on stage is an adventure you intend to take then these people will become your family. No other place will you find people who share your drive, motivation and passion for attaining the physique that only you can see in your mind. After attending a contest you will know if competing is for you, if so then it’s time to take the next step.


How do you take your physique from gym patron to stage ready? Many people have preconceived notions about competing that stem from rumors, magazines and the bros in the gyms who like to talk the talk but have never actually done the walk. Separating fact from fiction can be difficult.

Do you need to eat fish and broccoli seven times a day and do two ours of cardio? How about not drinking water for two days before a contest? Sure, there is plenty of information out there available for free. But there is really one way to avoid all of this uncertainty and that is through research and finding a coach. Entering your first contest without a coach is absolutely possible, but there are far more positives to having a coach. When researching a coach make sure you speak to a past client and don’t be afraid to work with someone because they are based on the internet. With technology allowing for instant emails, text, video chatting and more the nearest option may not be the best. A coach will be your one stop location for all answers and insecurities.

You will be working with someone who has guided many athletes to the stage and is familiar with the fragile psyche of a competitive athlete. In most cases the coach will also be a competitor as well. Working with a seasoned competition coach is like taking a Master’s Class in Physique Competition. All of the information and strategies you learn over the course of your preparation are lessons you will take with you forever. Don’t hire someone who can’t explain the process or reasoning behind what they are doing. The answer to a question should never be “because everyone does it”. If you do decide to go into the contest with no coach by using the tools available to you, more power to you. Either way you will have a plan and be ready to being the journey to the bodybuilding stage. So when does that journey begin?

In part two of this article the discussion will shift into choosing a contest and deciding when to begin the preparation diet.

from FitnessRX for Men

Thursday, 8 June 2017


The Glycemic Edge: Keeping Off the Pounds

By Jose Antonio Ph.D.

There are some silly diets out there. Heck, some aren’t even diets per se; they’re ways of eating that are conducive to getting fat and jacking up serum triglycerides. If you don’t believe me, give the USDA Food Guide Pyramid a shot. Or whatever they call it these days; mypyramid. Either way, you can flip that frickin’ triangle any way you want and it’s still a moronic piece of dietary advice that has spread faster than a bad cold in a pre-K day care center.

The Glycemic Edge: Keeping Off the Pounds

So Antonio, what’s wrong with it? You mean, besides the obsession with processed carbohydrates (i.e., breads, grains, cereals, pasta, etc.)? I mean, who cares about the rest of it when the foundation of the pyramid is akin to building a skyscraper with chopsticks. If you really want to eat well, lose body fat, promote speedy recovery post-exercise, the key to all of this is not eating all those grains and cereals. The key is protein and low-glycemic-index carbohydrates.

According to sports nutritionist Abbie Smith, MS, CISSN, of the University of Oklahoma, “Protein is clearly the most important macronutrient for active individuals. It promotes recovery post-exercise and for those who are bodybuilding, consuming protein, especially the essential amino acids, has been shown to have a potent anabolic effect.”

Certainly, carbohydrates are important. But you have to pick the right carbs. A bagel is not a good choice. Sweet potatoes are a good choice. Cereal is not a good choice. However, oatmeal (not the instant stuff) is a good choice. In fact, if you can stick to a high-protein diet, coupled with eating low-glycemic index foods— then, by golly, you’ll be on your way to a trimmer waist, a healthier heart, and more money in the bank.

OK, maybe not the last one, but you get my drift.

The Glycemic Edge: Keeping Off the Pounds


As they say on the hit TV show “CSI,” let’s follow the data. In the latest New England Journal of Medicine, scientists looked at various combinations of protein consumption, plus low- versus high-glycemic index carbohydrates. Overweight adults were given a (800-kcal) low-calorie diet; they were assigned to one of five diets over a 26-week or half-year period: a low-protein and low-glycemic-index diet, a low-protein and high-glycemic-index diet, a high-protein and low-glycemic-index diet, a high-protein and high-glycemic-index diet, or a control diet.

What did they discover? The average initial weight loss with the low-calorie diet was 24.2 pounds. In those who completed the study, only the low-protein/high-glycemic-index diet was associated with subsequent significant weight regain (3.7 pounds); that makes sense. One of the worst ways of eating is by following a high-GI-carb/lower-protein diet. Mmmm… sounds like the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

The weight regain was 2.05 pounds less in the groups assigned to a high-protein diet than in those assigned to a low-protein diet, and 2.10 pounds less in the groups assigned to a low-glycemic-index diet than in those assigned to a high-glycemic-index diet. Also, the groups didn’t differ significantly with regard to side effects.1

What’s the moral of this story? Two things: if you’re cutting calories, eat relatively more protein. Also, when choosing carbs, go for the low-GI types. Those include vegetables of all kinds, low-GI fruits, and pretty much most unprocessed carbs (except white potatoes). Another study confirmed this. Overweight women (18-65 years) were randomized to either a standard diet that was intended to be low in fat and relatively high in carbohydrates, or to a relatively high-protein (up to 30 percent of energy), relatively high-fiber (>35 grams per day; HPHF [High-Protein/High-Fiber]) diet for 10 weeks.

Those on the HPHF diet lost 2.86 pounds more bodyweight, 2.20 pounds more total fat and 1.54 pounds more truncal fat than those on the standard diet. And on the health front, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were also significantly lower after the HPHF diet.2 Bottom line: eat more protein and fiber (which of course is found in low-GI carbs). Not only is it safe, it’ll slim you down.

The Glycemic Edge: Keeping Off the Pounds

Another study took 83 diabetic, overweight adults and gave them either a standard carbohydrate (CON; carbohydrate:protein:fat 53:19:26) or high-protein (HP; 43:33:22) diet, with or without supervised resistance training [RT] (three days/week) for 16 weeks. They discovered that the lower-calorie, HP diet combined with RT achieved greater weight loss and more favorable changes in body composition than exercise plus the standard (high-carb) diet.3 The secret? More protein and a lower glycemic load.

To top it off, what happens if you have achieved a stable bodyweight and decide to just jack up your protein intake? Scientists tested this out in which they gave protein supplements (protein group) versus a carb-fat supplement (same total kcals) to test subjects over a three-month trial period. Subjects were weight stable and did not change their physical activity. They found that subjects had greater fat-burning or oxidation as their protein intake went up.4 Eating protein is one of the keys to losing body fat and maintaining permanent weight loss. In fact, studies on teenagers show that a high-protein/low-carb diet is a safe and effective option for medically-supervised weight loss in severely obese adolescents.5 And get this, if you have a fat dog, a diet high in protein and fiber helps fat Fido remain trim and slim. Science proves it.6

According to noted sports nutritionist, Tim Ziegenfuss, Ph.D., “Whey protein is an excellent source of amino acids, the building blocks needed for lean body mass gain. Moreover, whey is great in that it blunts my appetite so that I don’t get food cravings; and the carbohydrate of choice should be the unprocessed low-glycemic-index variety.”

The secret to physique and performance success is what? Never skimp on protein, and reach for the low-glycemic-index carbohydrates.

1.                     Larsen TM, Dalskov SM, van Baak M et al. Diets with high- or low-protein content and glycemic index for weight-loss maintenance. N Engl J Med, 363: 2102-13, 2010.

2.                     Morenga LT, Williams S, Brown R, Mann J. Effect of a relatively high-protein, high-fiber diet on body composition and metabolic risk factors in overweight women. Eur J Clin Nutr, 64: 1323-31, 2010.

3.                     Wycherley TP, Noakes M, Clifton PM, Cleanthous X, Keogh JB, Brinkworth GD. A high-protein diet with resistance exercise training improves weight loss and body composition in overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 33: 969-76, 2010.

4.                     Soenen S, Plasqui G, Smeets AJ, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Protein intake induced an increase in exercise stimulated fat oxidation during stable body weight. Physiol Behav, 101: 770-4, 2010.

5.                     Krebs NF, Gao D, Gralla J, Collins JS, Johnson SL. Efficacy and safety of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for weight loss in severely obese adolescents. J Pediatr, 157: 252-8, 2010.

6.                     German AJ, Holden SL, Bissot T, Morris PJ, Biourge V. A high-protein high-fibre diet improves weight loss in obese dogs. Vet J, 183: 294-7, 2010.

from FitnessRX for Men