Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Does Water Help You Lose Weight - Find Out How

Does the water help you lose weight?
Many of us have heard the popular theory that says you should drink water to lose weight, the belief that drinking water helps suppress your appetite. But can an extra one or two glasses of H2O really do that or even help you shed pounds? It sounds too good to be true.
First, let's have an idea of the role that water plays in our body. Water makes up close to 70% of our body, and our organs contain an even higher percentage of water. The liver, for example, is nearly 95% composed of water.

The experts have answered your question, Does water help you lose weight. Well, water doesn't directly affects weight loss, however, water consumption directly correlates with weight loss. As in: Water does not have any magical property that burns fat, but it definitely can help you with your weight-loss efforts.
Think of a well-tuned mechanism like a clock or a car engine. It cannot run effectively without lubrication, the same analogy can be applied to our human body, water is the ideal lubrication to keep it working properly. So, does drinking water help you lose weight? First, you should understand how water can be used to achieve good health and effective weight loss.
First off, staying hydrated could help you avoid overeating, A lot of people confuse thirst for hunger so they tend to eat rather than drink water. So having a glass of water before a midday snack is not a bad idea if you want to make sure your bites are caused by hunger not hydration.
Also, if your body doesn't get enough water, it sees this as a threat to its survival and holds on to what it has. It is called Water Retention that causes water weight gain and bloating, so by getting a steady external supply of water that water retention in your waist, face and ankles are released because there is no longer a reason for your body to store it.
Of course, drinking water also means you're not drinking anything else, such as sugary, caloric beverages or even potentially diet coke. Caffeine, commonly found in tea, coffee and coke act as diuretics which drives water out of the body and causes even more dehydration. The same goes for alcohol.
Does drinking water help you lose weight, still asking?
Do you remember earlier that your liver is nearly 95% water? The liver breaks down toxins and removes them from your system, it also stores fat-soluble vitamins. And most importantly to answer your question "Does drinking water help you lose weight", it has a huge role in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. The liver is responsible for breaking down fatty acids and transporting them to the blood to be metabolized.
So does drinking water help you lose weight? Water has numerous health benefits and is a great accessory for weight loss, Drinking enough water and staying properly hydrated is part of healthy weight-loss diet.

Source:My Hawwa / Ezine

Monday, 30 March 2015

The 20-Minute TRX Workout

Straight from the Navy SEALs, TRX has been shown to increase strength, balance, flexibility and stability, all in one portable, lightweight package. This 20-minute TRX workout, created by master trainer Garson Grant, will target the core, glutes, chest, hamstrings and back — all with just the TRX straps, your bodyweight, and some good old-fashioned gravity. Each move can be modified to make it more or less challenging — just play around with the angle of the body or the distance to the anchor to reduce or increase tension on the straps. Hang on — you’re in for a serious workout!
Not sure how to perform a move? Scroll down below  for detailed how-tos.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Dr Michael Colgan - Daily Amounts of protein - Part 3



Dr Michael Colgan 4 March 2015
In response to the unexpected hundreds of questions from readers, I have to review where we are in this series. In Part 1, I documented the huge advances in the Proteome Project since 2005, confirming how protein is far and away the most complex nutrient in your diet (1).

You Are a Protein Machine
We know now that food proteins provide the environmental signals to release the DNA codes for over 350,000 different proteins that compose every working unit in your body. All other nutrients, essential fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are simply supports for your protein system (1). There is no controversy regarding this science. It is accepted by all major scientists I know.
Food proteins provide not only the signals to your DNA, but also provide the raw materials to make each of your body proteins, in response to the release of its code. Each body protein code is precise. Different proteins can differ from each other by many thousands of lines of code. Your structure is built of, and you are operated by, these proteins. The quality of the protein you eat, determines the quality of the proteins that compose all the muscles that move you, and all the brain cells that operate your mind (2).

You Are Controlled by Light
I also explained how the manufacture, life, and regular death of all the proteins that compose us, (and all other creatures), developed under the tight control of light. This first occurred when life began on Earth over 400 million years ago. The life of all our proteins is still controlled by light today (3,4). By stimulating an area called the suprachiasmatic nucleus in our brains, the changing light of the revolution of the Earth, imposes a circadian rhythm which controls every aspect of human biology, 24 hours a day, including the birth, and life, and death of all our proteins. To achieve optimum performance, the quality, type, amount, timing, and frequency of your protein nutrition, and its integration with athletic training, have to be in synchrony with this circadian rhythm (3,4). In combination with correct training, protein nutrition provides what we first termed THE ADAPTIVE STIMULUS in 1982. The body responds to the adaptive stimulus each night to repair and remodel the muscles stimulated by exercise that day. To achieve best results, the adaptive stimulus must be provided EVERY DAY. Otherwise, that particular circadian cycle finishes that night with little remodeling of muscle, and that day’s opportunity for growth of muscle and strength is lost forever (3,4).

Most Proteins Now DegradedIn Part 2, I explained how the bulk of proteins in America, from livestock, poultry, (and farmed fish) has been progressively degraded since 1950. Stupid errors in government farming policies - now constantly denied and swept under the Washington carpet - have forced most animals off the land into feedlots and battery farms. Over the last 65 years, they have been fed unnatural diets, and inbred into animal grotesques (5). These degraded animals provide proteins so inferior they have no place in the athlete’s diet. Eat battery chicken for your protein and you will devolve progressively into a battered chicken. You will run with battered chicken legs, and think with a battered chicken brain. Even if you manage to retain sufficient wits to change to a healthy protein diet, it will take several years to undo the damage (5).High BCAA Whey Proteins BestI also showed why the government classification of complete proteins by the PDCAAS system, developed in the 1970s, is obsolete and untenable (6). The PDCASS is retained today only to support agribusiness profits. I documented how modern science shows clearly that incorporation of a food protein into muscles, organs, and brain, depends on its amino acid profile (7-10 ). Proteins with the highest content of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are incorporated into muscle best. Leucine however, is the sole amino acid able to trigger the DNA code system to release the codes for many muscle proteins. Whey proteins have the highest content of leucine, making whey the amino acid profile of choice (7-11 ).

Proteins also differ greatly in their speed of digestion and absorption into muscle. The fastest proteins yield the greatest muscle recovery and growth (7-12). Solid proteins from meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and vegetables are slowly digested and absorbed over 2-4 hours. Almost all protein bars, especially bars high in casein or soy, and all casein and soy drinks, are also slowly digested and absorbed over 2-3 hours. Whey protein concentrate dissolved into a drink is rapidly digested and absorbed, over about 45 minutes, making whey an ideal protein source for athletes (7-13). Whey is also the only commonly available protein that can take advantage of the 90-minute ANABOLIC WINDOW immediately after training. This is the crucial period we first identified in 1992, during which muscle will take up more protein than at any other time (2).

Cold MAP Processing EssentialThe whey, however, has to be from range-fed animals eating their natural diet, and also has to remain undenatured. That is, it must be cold-extracted and minimally processed, using what is termed, modified-atmospheric-protection (MAP) technology. MAP technology excludes light, heat, moisture and air (2).

Range-fed cows, cold-extraction, and MAP processing, are essential to maintain the quality of the whey: to preserve its amino acid profile, sulfur bonds, di-peptides, tri-peptides, and live immunoglobulins. Most commercial whey proteins do not fulfill these conditions.

Unfortunately bogus claims are rampant on ads and labels, owing to the lack of government control of protein, which can be sold freely as a food. Food labelling was initially meant to be an exercise in revelation, to inform the public what they are buying. Over the years, it has become largely an exercise in deception.

If you buy nutritional supplements by comparing labels, you have fallen for this deception. Buy only from companies with a long-term, spotless reputation, companies with a reputation to lose. Remember, you can buy a watch that looks like a Rolex in any airport for $20. But a real Rolex costs at least $4,000. It is the same with protein. The real thing is likely to be expensive, but worth every penny.

Integrity of Protein Must Remain Until You Eat ItThe exclusion of light, heat, moisture, and air has to prevail until you eat the protein. Once opened, all tubs of protein powder immediately begin to oxidize. Just like an opened bottle of wine, once opened, tubs of protein quickly spoil, and lose their ability to build muscle or brain. This basic science is well appreciated by biochemists who have to prevent oxidation, in the laboratory. But about 90% of protein powders now on the market do nothing to prevent oxidation, and are next to useless for athletes.
Oxidized protein is a major reason why results from using many protein powders are generally poor to none. It is also why all athletes on Colgan Institute programs only use shakes made with whey protein powders sold in single-serve, sealed, opaque, foil or plastic packets. If kept cool and dry, these remain good for two years on the shelf.

Daily Amount of ProteinThe next question is how much protein to use every day. Modern science has long since rejected the obsolete, government stipulation of 0.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight per day. Controlled studies show clearly that this level of protein intake leaves even moderate exercisers in chronic deficit (14).

Back in the 1980s, we calculated from basic principles of biology that maximum muscle remodeling in lean athletes would occur at an average intake of top quality protein of 1.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight per day (15). Actual measures of nitrogen retention in lean, fit, young men doing intense exercise, by protein expert Dr Peter Lemon at Kent State U, showed maximum incorporation of protein into muscle of at 1.7 grams per kilogram bodyweight, almost identical to our theoretical calculations (16).

For a lean athlete of 70 kg (154 lbs), in hard training, that is about 130 grams of top quality protein each day. In the Colgan Power Program, it equates to three of our 36-gram shakes of whey protein concentrate, plus two small meals of free-range meats or eggs, wild meats, or wild fish, plus unlimited organic vegetables, seeds, and nuts, each day.

We generally eat little to no grains, milk, cheese, or sugars. Two of the protein shakes are taken immediately after training, as all our athletes train twice per day, six days a week. (Seventh day is light training only.)

More recently, respected sports scientists have done meta-analyses of the best controlled studies. Results indicate that additional remodeling of muscle, plus remodeling of gut, vascular, and mitochondrial proteins, continues to occur over 24 hours after training, with timed protein intakes up to 2.4 grams per kilogram lean mass per day (17-19). There are no reported side-effects from this level of intake, rather, considerable benefits.

This high level of protein is especially suitable for power athletes, such as weightlifters, bodybuilders, powerlifters, football players, and field athletes, whose training is focused on maximum muscle and strength. For an athlete of 70kg (154 lbs), that is about 170 grams of top quality protein per day. In the Colgan Power Program, it equates to four of our 36-gram shakes of whey protein concentrate, plus two small meals of free-range meats, or wild meats, or wild fish, per day. Excepting for potatoes, that are all now degraded in the US, we eat vegetables, nuts and seeds freely.

Eat between 1.8 and 2.4 grams of top quality protein per kilogram lean weight per day. In conjunction with the right timing and frequency of intake, and the right training, it will provide the adaptive stimulus you need to release the enormous genetic power you have latent in your genes.
I will cover the optimum timing and frequency of protein nutrition, and its integration with training, in Part 4.

Thanks a million for the huge response to this series, over 80,000 hits on our pages and blogs in the last week, and for the enormous number of great questions. The only way I can answer readers is to add a little more depth to each short article in the series. I will enjoy revealing the new findings of sports science, that I am confident will help you release your athletic potential. Go for the gold ! It is waiting in your genes.

If you believe you can be a fit for our winning team, go to, drmichaelcolgan.com

1. Wang K, Huang C, Nice E. Recent advances in proteomics: towards the human proteome. Biomed Chromatogr. 2014 Jun;28(6):848-57. doi: 10.1002/bmc.3157. Review.2. Colgan M. Optimum Sports Nutrition. New York: Advanced Research Press, 1993.3. Erren TC, et al. Light, timing of biological rhythms and chronodisruption in man. Naturwissenschaften, 2003;90:485-494.4. Dawson KA. Temporal organization of the brain: Neurocognitive mechanisms and clinical applications. Brain Cogn, 2004;54:75-94.5. Colgan M. Nutrition for Champions. Vancouver: Science Books, 2007.6. Schaafsma, G. The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score. J. Nutr. 2000;130(7): 1865S–1867S. PMID:10867064.7. Tipton, K.D., and Witard, O.C.. Protein requirements and recommendations for athletes: relevance of ivory tower arguments for practical recommendations. Clin. Sports Med. 2007;26(1): 17–36. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2006.11.003. PMID:17241913.8. Tipton, K.D., Ferrando, A.A., Phillips, S.M., Doyle, D., Jr., and Wolfe, R.R.. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am. J. Physiol. 1999a 276(4): E628–E634. PMID:10198297.9. 8.Tipton, K.D., Gurkin, B.E., Matin, S., and Wolfe, R.R.. Nonessential jamino acids are not necessary to stimulate net muscle protein synthesis in healthy volunteers. J. Nutr. Biochem. 1999b; 10(2): 89–95. doi:10.1016/S0955-2863(98)00087-4. PMID:15539275.10. Phillips, S.M., Tang, J.E., and Moore, D.R. The role of milk- and soy-based protein in support of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein accretion in young and elderly persons. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 2009;28(4): 343–354. doi:10.1080/ 07315724.2009.10718096. PMID:20368372.11. Drummond, M.J., and Rasmussen, B.B.. Leucine-enriched nutrients and the regulation of mammalian target of rapamycin signalling and human skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Curr. Opin. Nutr. Metab. Care. 2008;11(3): 222–226. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e3282fa17fb. PMID: 18403916.12. Pennings, B., Boirie, Y., Senden, J.M., Gijsen, A.P., Kuipers, H., and van Loon, L.J. Whey protein stimulates postprandial muscle protein accretion more effectively than do casein and casein hydrolysate in older men. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2011;93(5): 997–1005. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.008102. PMID:21367943.13. West, D.W., Burd, N.A., Coffey, V.G., Baker, S.K., Burke, L.M., Hawley, J.A., et al. Rapid aminoacidemia enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis and anabolic intramuscular signaling responses after resistance exercise. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2011;94(3): 795–803. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.013722. PMID:21795443.14. Tarnopolsky, MA, et al. Evaluation of protein requirements for strength trained athletes. J Appl Physiol; 1992;73:1986-1995.15. Colgan M. The Anti-inflammatory Athlete. Sound Concepts: Indian Fork, UT, 2012.16. Lemon P et al. Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive exercise in novice bodybuilders. J Appl Physiol, 1992;73:767-775.17. Kreider RB, Campbell B. Protein for exercise and recovery. Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Jun;37(2):13-21. doi: 10.3810/psm.2009.06.1705.18. Areta J.L., Burke, L.M., Camera, D.M., West, D.W., Crawshay, S., Moore, D.R., et al. Reduced resting skeletal muscle protein synthesis is rescued by resistance exercise and protein ingestions following short-term energy deficit. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 2014,306(8): E989–E997. doi:10.1152/ajpendo. 00590.2013. PMID:24595305.19. Areta, J.L., Burke, L.M., Ross, M.L., Camera, D.M., West, D.W., Broad, E.M., et al. Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis. J. Physiol. 2013,591(9): 2319–2331. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2012.244897. PMID:234

50 Ways To Get Better....

How to get better at Fitness (in no particular order):

1. Gear up. Get Oly shoes, some inov-8s or nano’s, a speed rope, wrist wraps, and quality workout clothes.

2. Lift heavy weights regularly. Don’t just stay in comfortable 70% zones. Push your limit… which leads perfectly to #3…

3. Use a spotter and FAIL. If you aren’t missing reps, you aren’t training hard enough. Period.


 4. Work mobility A LOT. Before, During, After.

5. Take your training seriously. Always strive to become better.

6. Don’t take your training too seriously. Give yourself a break.

7. Train with others. It’s just better.

8. Show up no matter what. If you aren’t in the mood, here’s what you do. First: Walk to your car and drive to the Box. Second: Figure the rest out later.

9. Fast before you train.  ‘The idea that we “need” to consume calories before, during, or after training, is bullshit hype pushed on us from the bodybuilding and supplement industries.

When you switch your metabolism over to training without food, you will PR more often and feel better in general. And you’ll want to send me a thank you card… you’re welcome.

10. Don’t throw your barbell or other equipment. It’s just douchey.

11. Warm-up A LOT. Make sure you focus your warm-ups and utilize dynamic movements before you train. This will improve your results and prevent injury.

12. Motivate other athletes. To receive, you must give.

13. Practice handstands often. You have to get upside down if you want to improve them.

14. For Females (and guys who don’t have strict pull-ups yet): Have someone spot your ankles as you perform strict pull-ups (push off the spotters hands to assist reps and go for failure). This is the best way to develop the dead hang pull-up that I have found. Get better at Crossfit .

15. Don’t cherry pick your WOD’s or days. Show up the days that make you want to hide. These are the days you should never skip (weaknesses… HeLLo).

16. Train your weaknesses. Really try to destroy them. This is the only way to become a better athlete in my professional opinion.

17. Utilize your coaches before and after class. They love to talk training, food, and lifestyle. Ask them questions and then shut up and listen. You will learn a LOT.

18. Ask other athletes for tips and tricks. We are all on different paths in this journey and have learned different things along the way. You never know who you can learn from.

19. Buy a jump rope and size it to you. Then never leave it at the gym.

20. Practice double-unders every day

21. Do a few strict pull-ups every day

22. Do a few one-arm push-ups every day

23. Meditate 5 minutes every day. This can improve your entire life (and your fitness).

24. Practice your Olympic weightlifting every day with a dowel and empty barbell. The gains you will make doing this are insane.

25. If there is an exercise you are not good at, do the following: perform 3 sets of 10 as part of your warm-up every day.

26. Work on heavy, light, and moderately weighted squats every week. Doing lots of squats will produce big gains for men and women. Squats are king.

27.  Practice jumping in all modalities. Over, under, on top of, sideways, backwards, long, short, high. Get jumping.

28. Make sure you have a very good rack position. The barbell should be completely supported by your shoulders and not your hands.

29. Train planks often. And I really mean train them. The results from these come 30 seconds after your arms start shaking. You need some mental toughness for these.

30. Learn to bounce out of the bottom of a squat. This can be difficult for those of you that have tight hips and this is why you should practice squats often with a dowel and empty barbell.

31. Do pistols at least once a week (the more the better).

32. Make sure to hit all the major lifts at least once a week. Squat, Deadlift, Press, Bench, Snatch, Clean, Jerk.

33. Have a recovery plan: hot/cold water, massage, foam rolling, nutrition, ice, Epsom salt, etc.

34. Get your family involved. Who cares if you come off annoying at first? They are your family and you don’t want to bury them, do you? If you really love your family, you should give a shit if they are killing themselves with shitty food and bad lifestyle habits. Start working on them NOW.

35. Do shoulder dislocates with a dowel every workout. Don’t force them. Move smoothly.

36. Turn the wrists out at the bottom of the muscle-up. This will ensure you reach full extension of the elbows, lats, and shoulders. become-a-better-athlete

37. Do lots of strict dips and negative holds on the rings.

38. Incorporate strongman work into your program. Sled work and the prowler can do amazing things. Walk with a sled attached to the hips as recommended by Louie Simmons.

39. Practice heavy farmer carries.

40. Throw things. We’ve been throwing spears and javelins for thousands of years.

41. Wake up to 20 push-ups every morning.

42. Do 30 air squats and 20 push-ups after every meal. No really..this is an awesome recommendation from Tim Ferris in The 4-Hour Body and I use it all the time. It’s even more effective after big meals. (The 4-Hour Body)

43. Walk after every meal. This improves digestion, prevents fat gain, and makes you feel less bloated and lethargic.

44. Do travel or home WOD’s if you can’t make it to the gym.

45. Practice L-sits often. Same with frog stands. These basic gymnastic skills are easy and low-stress movements that can help you become fitter.

46. Listen to your coaches! They see what you don’t see and they know training. listen-to-your-coach

47. Work on your lifestyle and nutrition.

48. Take REST days. I know it’s an insane concept, but you CAN’T train every single day. HIIT training is very stressful on the body and requires adequate rest. If you want to live a long life, and give your body time to get stronger, you must let it repair itself through proper rest and recovery.

49.  Take a REST week every couple months. This has done wonders for a lot of my athletes.

50.  The best thing you can do when training is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. You must learn when you can push past your redline and when it’s time to back off. Listen to your body when it tells you to rest. Figure out what your body responds to and what it doesn’t. Self-experimentation allows you to develop a plan that works for your goals and body type.

Source Colin Stuckert /Gym Life

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Dr Michael Colgan - Quality & type of PROTEIN - Part 2




Dr Michael Colgan 24 February 2015

Quality of Protein
In my 1981 book, YOUR PERSONAL VITAMIN PROFILE, I documented why meat proteins are effective only if they come from animals fed their natural diet (1). The book became a best seller and, understandably, members of the meat and poultry industries criticized me as, “a nut living in the past”, and “How does Colgan think that farmers could ever afford to go back to those days?” By then, because of stupid US agricultural policies and subsidies of the 1950s, to expand corn, soybean, sugar beet, and wheat farming, about 80% of all cattle, and almost all poultry, had been forced off the land into feedlots and battery farms. I predicted then it would get a lot worse.

In my 2007 book, NUTRITION FOR CHAMPIONS, I document how it has got a lot worse. Since 1950, feedlot and battery farming has progressively degraded livestock, generation after generation (2). Today, this terrible mistake in farming development in North America breeds animal grotesques for our meat. The protein from these degraded animals bear little relation to that of healthy livestock of the early 20th century (2).

Beef is a good example. Designed by evolution to thrive only as grazers roaming open range, most cattle today are confined to stand shoulder to shoulder in their own feces for all their short and brutal lives. Instead of continuous grazing on grassland, the way in which the gut of cattle evolved to work, they are fed intermittently, with unnatural foods, such as chicken feathers.

Cattle evolved for more than 100 million years, to develop a rumen as their main stomach. A rumen is essentially a fermentation tank for grass. To work properly the rumen has to be kept fermenting by constant grazing and movement. Livestock in feedlots are confined in movement, and intermittently fed unnatural foods that their rumens struggle to digest. They cannot operate as evolution designed them. Hence, the progressive degradation of our beef (and milk) proteins for the last 65 years (3).

Corn too, a completely unnatural food for cattle, was so bad from the get-go, that cunning agribusiness had to resort to the old advertising trick of fooling folk into believing that a sin is a virtue. “All corn fed” was distorted into a virtue to seek, rather than the horror it is to avoid. Whenever we test protein from these animal grotesques, its biological value is less than that of GMO soy (2,3).
Hence also, the whole sick spectacle of growth stimulating drugs and antibiotics. These chemicals, including more than five times all the antibiotics used by humans each year, have to be fed, and injected, and stuffed up the fundaments of our beef, just to keep them healthy enough for a 40-week short and ugly life before sending them to slaughter.

As I have documented in previous articles, this veterinary use of antibiotics is largely responsible for the massive increase in antibiotic resistant infections, such as MRSA, that now plague our hospitals. If you want to achieve your athletic potential, do not allow any of this meat into your nutrition.

Now, thanks to numerous books and articles and constant complaints to government by thousands of scientists, including me, rumens are starting to churn happily again, and “organic grass-fed” and “organic free-range” meats have reappeared in our supermarkets (3,4). They are not as good as wild meats, and still do not provide the protein quality of livestock before 1950. Nevertheless, the meat and milk proteins from organic, range-fed livestock, and meat and eggs from organic, free-range poultry, and wild fish, are the best animal sources of protein athletes can get.

Best Form of Protein
Current government criteria compare proteins by what is called the protein-digestibility-corrected- amino-acid-score (PDCAAS). The reference protein is whole egg, the best protein science knew in the 1980s. Whole egg was arbitrarily given a PDCAAS of 1.0, representing 100% digestibility and absorption. Big mistake.

When research on whey proteins began recording scores of 120-140 % compared with whole egg protein, these scores were disallowed by government, because over 100% did not make sense to regulators (5). Consequently, commonly recommended proteins for athletes from whey, casein, egg-white, and fish, were all arbitrarily labelled the same, “high quality”, and capped by regulation with a PCDAAS of 1.0. Bigger mistake.

As research advances, science is self-correcting. Regulations, however, are never self-correcting, and are seldom corrected, even when obviously wrong. On the contrary, regulations are jealously guarded, usually by old men, appointed long after their due-by date, to guard the past. Happily, real science is concerned with the future.

We know now that muscle protein synthesis is largely regulated by the amino acid profile of the protein, especially its content of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Greatest action occurs to leucine, for muscle protein synthesis, and for adaptation to training (6-9), Whey proteins have the highest content of leucine (10).

And it is also leucine alone that has the ability to “switch on” the DNA codes and the cell signaling machinery governing protein synthesis (11,12). Official “high quality” proteins, rated as exactly the same by government, differ greatly in their amino acid profiles. All leading sports scientists I know are well aware that government classification of proteins uses the obsolete science of the 1980s, not the science of today.

In addition to amino acid composition, proteins also differ greatly in their rates of digestion and absorption. How rapidly a protein increases muscle amino acids, especially levels of leucine, regulates the extent of muscle remodeling that night.

Meat and fish proteins, and all solid forms of protein, including most protein bars, are slowly absorbed, Protein dissolved in a drink is better. Nevertheless, common drinks of egg, casein, soy, and mixed vegetable proteins, are all more slowly absorbed than whey protein drinks (13,14).

As an athlete, you need the fastest possible protein to take advantage of what I christened, “the anabolic window”, in 1993 (4). This is the period of about 90 minutes immediately after exercise, during which muscle amino acids are in greatest flux. Muscle can uptake more protein during the anabolic window than at any other time.

To trigger the greatest muscle protein synthesis, all athletes on our program take a 36-gram whey protein shake immediately after each training period. They take the shakes early in the anabolic window, to allow at least 45 minutes for amino acid absorption into muscle.

Most other proteins are too slow, taking two hours or more for absorption. Athletes do best who take 25-40 grams of undenatured, cold extracted, whey protein concentrate, together with its co-factor vitamins and minerals immediately after training. It’s the most rapidly digested and absorbed protein drink that we know (2,4,15,16). Our winning team of athletes from various disciplines, make it the basis of their protein nutrition.

In Part 3 of this series I will cover timing, frequency and amount of protein for optimum sports nutrition.

For the best of sports nutrition and training, join our winning team at drmichaelcolgan.com

1. Colgan M. Your Personal Vitamin Profile. New York: William Morrow, 1981.
2. Colgan M. The Anti-Inflammatory Athlete. Indian Fork UT: Sound Concepts 2012.
3. Colgan M. Nutrition for Champions. Vancouver: Science Books, 2007.
4. Colgan M. Optimum Sports Nutrition. New York: Advanced Research Press, 1993.
5. Schaafsma, G. The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score. J. Nutr. 2000;130(7): 1865S–1867S. PMID:10867064.
6. Tipton, K.D., and Witard, O.C.. Protein requirements and recommendations for athletes: relevance of ivory tower arguments for practical recommendations. Clin. Sports Med. 2007;26(1): 17–36. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2006.11.003. PMID:17241913.
7. Tipton, K.D., Ferrando, A.A., Phillips, S.M., Doyle, D., Jr., and Wolfe, R.R.. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am. J. Physiol. 1999a 276(4): E628–E634. PMID:10198297.
8. Tipton, K.D., Gurkin, B.E., Matin, S., and Wolfe, R.R.. Nonessential jamino acids are not necessary to stimulate net muscle protein synthesis in healthy volunteers. J. Nutr. Biochem. 1999b; 10(2): 89–95. doi:10.1016/S0955-2863(98)00087-4. PMID:15539275.
9. Phillips, S.M., Tang, J.E., and Moore, D.R. The role of milk- and soy-based protein in support of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein accretion in young and elderly persons. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 2009;28(4): 343–354. doi:10.1080/ 07315724.2009.10718096. PMID:20368372.
10. Tang, J.E., Moore, D.R., Kujbida, G.W., Tarnopolsky, M.A., and Phillips, S.M. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J. Appl. Physiol. 2009;107(3): 987–992. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00076.2009. PMID:19589961.
11. Drummond, M.J., and Rasmussen, B.B.. Leucine-enriched nutrients and the regulation of mammalian target of rapamycin signalling and human skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Curr. Opin. Nutr. Metab. Care. 2008;11(3): 222–226. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e3282fa17fb. PMID: 18403916.
12. Phillips, S.M., and van Loon, L.J. Dietary protein for athletes: From requirements to optimum adaptation. J. Sports Sci. 2011;29(Suppl. 1): S29–S38. doi:10. 1080/02640414.2011.619204. PMID:22150425.
13. Pennings, B., Boirie, Y., Senden, J.M., Gijsen, A.P., Kuipers, H., and van Loon, L.J. Whey protein stimulates postprandial muscle protein accretion more effectively than do casein and casein hydrolysate in older men. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2011;93(5): 997–1005. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.008102. PMID:21367943.
14. Pennings, B., Groen, B., de Lange, A., Gijsen, A.P., Zorenc, A.H., Senden, J.M., and van Loon, L.J. Amino acid absorption and subsequent muscle protein accretion following graded intakes of whey protein in elderly men. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 2012;302(8): E992–E999. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00517. 2011. PMID:22338070.
15. Breen, L., Philp, A., Witard, O.C., Jackman, S.R., Selby, A., Smith, K., et al. The influence of carbohydrate-protein co-ingestion following endurance exercise on myofibrillar and mitochondrial protein synthesis. J. Physiol. 2011;589(16): 4011–4025. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2011.211888. PMID:21746787.
16. West, D.W., Burd, N.A., Coffey, V.G., Baker, S.K., Burke, L.M., Hawley, J.A., et al. Rapid aminoacidemia enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis and anabolic intramuscular signaling responses after resistance exercise. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2011;94(3): 795–803. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.013722. PMID:21795443.

Friday, 27 March 2015

People are AWESOME ..

Dr Michael Colgan - When You Eat Protein What Does It Do - Guide For Athletes Part 1

Dr Michael Colgan 24 February 2015

According to popular belief, protein is simple. You need just a good dollop of any complete protein every day to provide all the proteins necessary for optimum muscle growth. After all, locker rooms are awash with burger and bacon wrappers, and Mickey D is an official supplier to the Olympics. They must know their stuff, right. Wrong ! If you swallow this hogwash or the food behind it, don’t bother to read any further. You’ll be fine. But you will never achieve your athletic potential.

The recent science of protein is a complex story. I will attempt to tell it in a few simple words. After 20 years of cooperative research by thousands of scientists worldwide, the human DNA was finally decoded in 2003. By then, however, the same scientists realized that DNA is not the key to life. DNA is simply a code book for making proteins, locked up forever in your chromosomes. It does nothing by itself. Each one of your millions of different DNA codes is released only in response to a precise signal from your environment. In unraveling these signals, biological science is up to its neck in the vast mysteries of protein (1).

Begun in 2005, the Proteome Project has confirmed that every working unit in the human body is a protein. We know now that you are made of about 350,000 different proteins. And all of them are made from the proteins you eat (1).They form your complete structure. Your foundations and pillars, beams and rafters, floors and ceilings, the engines of your organs, muscles, and brain, are all made of proteins.

Our body proteins are far more complex than we ever imagined. The enzymes that operate every movement you make are all proteins. The longest known protein, for example, is an enzyme called titin. The DNA code for titin is 33,000 nucleotides long. It controls the last bit of contraction of muscles. So titin is crucial for athletes.

For titin to work properly, each of its 33,000 nucleotides has to be exactly right, and in exactly the right place in the code. Whether your body makes titin correctly depends on the raw materials you provide. Those materials are the proteins you eat. First, they have to provide the right environmental stimulus to trigger DNA to release the titin code. Then, they provide all the materials the body can use to make the titian.

Athletes of 150-200 pounds, in top shape, have a bit over a pound of titin in their bodies. Do not believe all the obsolete commercial blather about animal proteins being complete, and providing everything required to make it, and all your other bodily proteins. I will state the science plainly. I have documented it many times before (2,3). Most proteins in North America today are too inferior in quality to support top athletic performance.

The vast bulk of so-called “complete proteins” in North America, that is, feedlot beef, battery poultry and eggs, farmed fish, and GMO soy beans, have been progressively degraded. They no longer contain ideal amino acid ratios, nor ideal amounts of dipeptides and tripeptides (pairs and triplets of amino acids linked by sulfur bonds) for the body to make titin, or thousands of other proteins involved in building muscle, strength, and power.

Worse, anyone who gets their proteins from processed meats, chilidogs, burgers, bacon, sausages, ham, spam, or meat from a can, has been conditioned to be dumb, dumb, dumber about their nutrition. Eat chilidogs for protein and you will run with chilidog legs, and think with a chilidog brain. Eat even one chilidog and the inferior protein is built into your muscles and brain for the next six months.

Quality of dietary protein is THE big problem for every one of the 350,000 proteins your body has to make. All other essential nutrients you eat, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, simply oil the gears, seal the pistons, and provide the body’s fuel to support its protein structure and function (2,3). Contrary to obsolete beliefs that protein is simple, these recent discoveries make it far and away the most complex nutrient in your diet.

For both power and endurance athletes, the quality, type, amount, and timing of protein nutrition, and its integration with training, determine performance. These processes determine recovery of damaged muscle fibers, growth of new muscle cells, production of energy-producing muscle mitochondria, development of muscle capillaries that deliver oxygen and nutrients, and manufacture of the thousands of enzymes that govern muscle contraction.

Unless you optimize all these processes, you will never properly activate your DNA, nor build the protein structure required to achieve your athletic potential. Just like your cell phone, you do not have to know how protein works. But, if you want to be a successful athlete, you sure as hell better know where to get top quality protein, and how to use it. Here, in a nutshell, is the latest science.

You Are Controlled by Light
For 400 million years the creatures from which we sprang, evolved to the tune of light. We have the same circadian system today built into our brain. Many folk associate the circadian rhythm merely with sleep/wake cycles. On the contrary, we know now that it controls every aspect of our biology lifelong (4-6). By sensing light, it programs thousands of bodily functions to the 24-hour revolution of the Earth. It also programs when, how often, and how much protein we should eat.

To be in synchrony with the circadian system, optimum training stresses the body just enough each day, and provides just the right protein nutrition, to yield what is called the ADAPTIVE STIMULUS. This stimulus is used that night by the sleep recovery system, to repair and remodel muscle proteins, mitochondria, blood vessels, and enzymes.

To effect recovery from an optimum Adaptive Stimulus, and to reset the circadian cycle each day, the recovery system requires a minimum of 7.5 hours sleep each night. Most athletes, especially college athletes, do not get it.

Performance is devastated by reduced sleep (7). Peak power in cycling is significantly reduced (8). Knee extension strength bombs in trained athletes (9). Strength in leg press, bench press, and dead lift is much reduced (10). Endurance performance also bombs, as does sprinting speed (11,12). You have to get your sleep right first to reset the circadian system each night. Only then can you get your protein and training to work.

Here is a recent example. Researchers at Stanford U led by Dr Cheri Mah recently tested the Cardinals basketball team. The players recorded average sleep of only 6.5 hours per night. The men volunteered to increase their sleep to 8.5 hours per night for seven weeks. No other changes were made to their nutrition or training. They were tested before and after the seven weeks on the 282-foot sprint drill, free throws, and three-point shooting.

Results were tremendous. By the end of the extra-sleep period, players had improved their sprint drill by 0.7 seconds. Every single player on the team was quicker than before the study began. They improved their free throws by 11.4 percent and their three-point shooting by 13.7 percent. These are massive improvements in seven weeks. Simply increasing their sleep provided the right amount of recovery time for the circadian rhythm to respond fully to the Adaptive Stimulus provided by their nutrition and training.

But sleep alone is insufficient. EACH DAY you also have to provide an Adaptive Stimulus from a combination of training, and correct protein nutrition, at the right amounts, right times of day, and right frequency. Without an Adaptive Stimulus, remodeling and growth of the muscular system do not occur that night, and the opportunity for adaptation is lost.

The lost day cannot be made up by doubling training tomorrow. All the make-up strategies, such as doubling training next day or adding a bit to training for a few days to make up the loss, inevitably over-stress the system. Then the sleep recovery and growth system that night cannot complete the job. So the next day’s training is begun with an already inflamed and damaged system, and must be cut back to avoid further damage.

Of course, some adaptation occurs with almost any training and almost any protein, even chilidogs and intermittent training, say for an hour, 3 days a week. These gains in muscle and performance have misled many trainers and athletes to believe that what they are doing is optimum. We have had several thousands of these athletes switch to our program through the Colgan Institute, and it is not unusual for them to make gains in performance in one year that are 400% better than they achieved the year before.

Here is how we do it.

In Part 2 of this series I will cover the type, frequency, and timing of protein nutrition and its integration with training to produce optimum performance. To join our winning team go to www.drmichaelcolgan.com

1. Wang K, Huang C, Nice E. Recent advances in proteomics: towards the human proteome.Biomed Chromatogr. 2014 Jun;28(6):848-57. doi: 10.1002/bmc.3157. Review.
2. Colgan M. Optimum Sports Nutrition. New York: Advanced Research Press, 1993.
3. Colgan M. The Anti-inflammatory Athlete. Sound Concepts, Grand Fork UT, 2012.
4. Pierpaoli W, et al, (eds). The Aging Clock. New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1994.
5. Erren TC, et al. Light, timing of biological rhythms and chronodisruption in man. Naturwissenschaften, 2003;90:485-494.
6. Dawson KA. Temporal organization of the brain: Neurocognitive mechanisms and clinical applications. Brain Cogn, 2004;54:75-94.
7. Dattilo M, et al. Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. Med Hypotheses. 2011;77(2):220–2.
8. Souissi N, Sesboue B, Gauthier A, et al. Effects of one night’s sleep deprivation on anaerobic performance the following day. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003;89(3–4):359–66.
9. 20. Bulbulian R, Heaney JH, Leake CN, et al. The effect of sleep deprivation and exercise load on isokinetic leg strength and endurance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 1996;73:273–7.
10. Blumert PA, et al. The acute effects of twenty-four hours of sleep loss on the performance of national caliber male collegiate weightlifters. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(4):1146–54.
11. Oliver SJ, Costa RJ, Laing SJ, et al. One night of sleep deprivation decreases treadmill endurance performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;107(2):155–61.
12. Skein M, Duffield R, Edge J, et al. Intermittent-sprint performance and muscle glycogen after 30 h of sleep deprivation. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43(7):1301–11.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Deep Tissue Massage Importance

A body massage that thoroughly invigorates and revitalises - the deep tissue massage is a massage therapy that re-aligns layers of muscles and deep tissues to release muscle tension and chronic knots by breaking them down. Using deep finger pressure and slow but firm strokes, a deep tissue massage is especially helpful to relieve aches and pains in areas such neck, upper back, lower back, calf muscle and shoulders.

During the body massage, you must tell the therapist what's your comfort range the pressure points. This massage penetrates the deeper muscles and connective tissues.It has been used to relieve the strain from muscles in chronic stress and usage. Deep tissue massage may release contractures (fibrous healing) in a muscle area with previous injury.

• Reduces chronic pain - This massage has been often found to be more effective that conventional medicines when it comes to curing chronic pains. It works effectively your sore points by increasing blood circulation in the body. It also loosens tight muscle clusters and relieves you from the pain and discomfort of sore muscles.

 • Relief from stress - A relaxing body massage by trained therapists at a renowned spa is a great way to do away with stress and associated headaches, sore shoulders and tight muscles. Soak in the benefits of the rejuvenating body massage and welcome a better lifestyle.
• Rehabilitating injured muscles - A thorough deep tissue massage by a trained therapist at a beauty salon and spa induces movement of toxins from injured muscles and subsequently, stretches twisted muscle mass. A relaxing deep tissue massage is a natural way to heal sports injuries.

• Breaks scar tissues - Regular sessions of this massage can break up and over time, erase scar tissues. Massage therapy improves lymphatic circulation and drainage to enhance flexibility of the affected area.
This massage has had beneficial focus on other physical ailments like:
• Repetitive strain injury like carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Sciatica
• Tennis elbow
• Fibromyalgia
• Piriformis syndrome
For good results post a relaxing body massage at a beauty salon and spa, it's crucial to indulge in after care.
• Soak your body in a warm bath with Epsom salt. This is another great way of getting rid of toxins.
• If there's soreness of muscles, you can apply an ice pack for relief.
• Drinking plenty of water and fluids will help flush out unnecessary toxins from your body and rehydrate muscles.
• Light exercises prevents muscle aches and pain post a deep tissue massage therapy.
Pamper yourself with de-stressing deep tissue massage and feel the difference.

Source : By Ritesh Mastipuram / Ezine  

Five Reasons Why Energy Drinks Are the Worst Focus and Energy Supplements

The energy drink business is booming. This extremely lucrative industry features catchy names, colorful cans, extreme advertisements and a variety of bold flavors. Quickly replacing coffee as the go-to drink of choice for teenagers, college students and young adults, these drinks promise hours of improved focus and enhanced energy. However, they provide those effects by using extremely high doses of caffeine and filling them with sugar - both of which can have very negative ramifications to your health. Plus, caffeine and sugar have both been proven to work for a limited period of time, before wearing off and causing crashes and fatigue, which is contrary to the reason you consumed the drink in the first place! Here are five reasons why energy drinks are the worst focus and energy supplement:

Too Much Caffeine
According to research done by the Mayo Clinic, the average human adult should only ingest a maximum of 300-400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Cola beverages have about 40 mg of caffeine per can, and your typical cup of coffee has about 90-150 mg of caffeine. Your average energy drink, however, has over 150 mg of caffeine PER CAN, with some having as much as 240 milligrams of caffeine in a 16 ounce can! Consuming two cans of energy drinks is roughly the equivalent of drinking 5-7 cups of coffee, which exceeds the recommended daily limit of 400 mg of caffeine.

So Sugary
Another reason why energy drinks are bad for focus and energy is because of all the added sugar included to hide the bitter taste of the caffeine. The World Health Organization recommends that adults should only have 25-40 grams of sugar per day maximum, and those sugar grams should be absorbed from natural sources like fruit. An average energy drink has 150-250 of calories from sugar. Research shows that 1 gram of sugar is roughly 4 calories, which means that a typical energy drink can has almost your entire daily maximum sugar intake. That's equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar!

Don't Even Work
The Department of Exercise Science at Creighton University decided to test the claims of the popular energy drink Red Bull, seeing how it worked to enhance athletic performance. This randomized, double-blind, crossover study of seventeen college-aged men yielded results that suggested there was no improvement or enhancement of their athletic performance. A second double-blind, randomized crossover study by the Utah State University also determined that caffeine-based drinks did NOT enhance the performance of 20 NCAA football players who participated in the experiment.

Sleep Slips Away
Studies have shown that regular energy drink consumption can disrupt sleep patterns and cause insomnia. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research analyzed the connection between their use and sleep problems among service members. They found that the 44% of deployed service members who regularly drank at least one energy drink per day were more likely to sleep less than 4 hours per night, as well as be more likely to experience stress, fatigue and depression. The service members felt they needed to compensate for this fatigue by increasing consumption, which caused a vicious cycle of caffeine abuse because of the harsh effects of caffeine withdrawal.

They're Health Supplements, NOT Beverages
Energy drinks are not even beverages as we think of them. They are technically defined as dietary supplements, like vitamins, instead of an actual drink, allowing for less regulation on the industry. They were originally intended to be used as a health supplement, with regimented use similar to other focus and energy supplements and vitamins. However, marketing and advertising companies quickly realized the potential to market to teenager and young adult males who were steering away from traditional soda beverages. They are intended to provide an increase in focus and energy, not be a refreshing beverage to quench thirst.

Energy drinks are an extremely unsustainable way to improve focus and energy, and are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. They have lots of calories that negate the benefits of exercise, contain extremely high doses of caffeine that can cause health problems, and as research has shown, really don't even work as intended. Many students, athletes and service members have switched to using cognitive supplements to increase their focus and energy. Cognitive supplements are traditional dietary supplements, either in pill or capsule form, that combine natural herbs and vitamins to achieve very powerful improvements in focus, energy and mental performance, without using caffeine or sugar. These energy drink replacements are quickly catching on with mainstream consumers because they provide the positive effects with no calories, negative side effects, or caffeine withdrawal symptoms. If you a focus and energy product consumer, you may want to consider substituting your beverage for a natural cognitive supplement.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Curve the Body With Kettlebells Fitness Equipment

Free weights, like the kettlebells, are becoming more and more popular with both beginners and professionals. Kettlebells can provide a serious cardio workout minus the boredom. According to research, people lose the will to workout mainly because things get boring quickly. If this is your problem, skip the hamster wheel and try kettlebell routines.

 You can curve the body with kettlebells fitness equipment no matter what stage of the workout process you are in. Kettlebells can be used even if you are just starting out. What's more, even if you have advanced your fitness level, kettlebells are still going to be effective. They are perfect for strength training, too.

Are you thinking a kettlebell is just like a dumbbell or barbell? Then you are wrong. Although it is also categorized under the free weights division, a kettlebell is different mainly because of its composition. Its distinct round shape and off-centred weight makes it very effective at working the targeted stabilizer muscles. Isolation exercises done with barbells and dumbbells are not able to work the stabilizing muscles the same way.

Think of the kettlebell as an all-in-one fitness tool. It is not merely for conventional body building. The kettlebell is able to put those curves in your bod as it focuses on functional training of the whole system. Focus is on the movements-not just the muscles.

To ensure that you are buying high quality kettlebells, buy only from legitimate sports or gym shops. If you unsure of how to use a kettlebell, there are sports shops that actually offer home service-which means they can give you advice on what products to use based on your needs as well as the space you have in your house. Kettlebells are quite small and are portable, so it won't take up space in small apartments and homes.

If you already know what you want but don't have time to go to a shop, don't worry. Select gym and sports shops offer online shopping. In fact, there are even some shops that allow you to order via SMS or email. Choose those with flexible payment options. They should offer credit card, bank transfer, or COD.

One of the important things to remember when buying a sports equipment is to check if there is a warranty. If the shop doesn't offer warranty, best to buy from another place. You should also ask about delivery options. If you would rather not pay the delivery fee, find a gym shop that allows self-collection on your kettlebells. It'll be a good way to start your workout.

Source : Chen M / Ezine

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

10 Popular Fitness Terms Defined

Every subculture has its own terminology for describing its way of life. The health and fitness subculture is no different. A few years ago, complaining about the HIIT in your WOD at your local box would have only made sense to extreme fitness enthusiasts. Thanks to the explosive popularity of CrossFit and other high-intensity training programs, we now know that HIIT refers to high-intensity interval training and WOD is an acronym for the unique Workout of the Day offered at CrossFit training facilities (commonly called a ‘box’). 
Whether you’re new to the fitness scene or have been working out in health clubs for years, you’ve probably heard certain terms thrown around, maybe even used a few yourself without really knowing exactly what they mean. Here are 10 commonly used fitness terms along with a brief explanation of the science behind each one.
When it comes to exercise, burning is often used to refer to the feeling of when muscles experience an accumulation of metabolic waste, which creates fatigue. Acidosis is a change in blood acidity—specifically, elevated levels of lactic acid and hydrogen ions—that is often the result of moderate- to high-intensity exercise. A burning sensation in a muscle is an indication of acidosis. It’s also a sign that it is time for a recovery period to allow the body to remove metabolic waste from the working muscles and replenish the nutrients required to continue performing muscle contractions. 
Cardio is short for cardiorespiratory or cardiovascular exercise and refers to exercise that elevates the heart rate to pump oxygen and nutrient-carrying blood to the working muscles. Most often used for exercise performed on equipment like treadmills, elliptical runners or stationary bikes, it is important to know that ANY exercise that elevates the heart rate can provide cardiorespiratory benefits. Circuit training with free-weights or performing an AMRAP (as many rounds of a particular circuit as possible in a given amount of time) can be considered cardiorespiratory exercise. 
Core Training  
This has become one of the most popular and overused fitness terms of the past several years. It seems as if almost any fitness class, workout program or equipment will provide “core training” benefits. The “core” most often refers to the muscles that make up the mid-section of the body, including the ever-elusive six-pack. However, it is much more effective to think of the body’s core as the center of gravity and not an actual group of muscles. When we look at how the body functions during upright movement patterns such as walking, lifting an object off of the ground or moving an object from one place to another, we have to consider the fact that any muscle that attaches to the spine, rib cage or pelvis influences movement around the body’s center of gravity. 
High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
.. This term makes the list because it is often used to refer to exercise performed at maximal intensity. However, it’s important to remember that intensity can be subjective—what may be low intensity for some may be high intensity for others.
For individuals with a history of being sedentary or who have been dealing with chronic medical conditions that limit their ability to exercise, simply walking continuously for a few minutes at a time could be considered “high intensity.” 
Metabolic Conditioning 
Similar to HIIT, metabolic conditioning is often used to refer to high-intensity exercise performed to the point of being out of breath or experiencing muscle soreness. Here is why this overused term ought to be retired from the lexicon: Metabolism is the chemical process by which a biological organism produces energy for muscular contraction. That means that any exercise requiring a muscle contraction (which in itself requires energy) is a form of metabolic conditioning. Standing from your chair after reading this post requires your metabolism to fuel your muscles. Therefore, it is more appropriate to describe the level of effort required to perform the planned activity, such as low-intensity, moderate-intensity, high-intensity or maximal intensity. 
This term is commonly used to describe a general mode of exercise such as yoga or Pilates, because they are traditionally performed with bodyweight (with the exception of Pilates programs involving equipment such as a reformer or barrel) and require concentration to execute challenging movement sequences. However, any purposeful movement, whether it’s a biceps curl or downward facing dog, requires conscious effort. Therefore, almost any physical activity that involves learning and executing movement patterns, no matter how basic, requires cognitive focus and should technically be classified as mind-body.   
Muscle Confusion 
A popular consumer-oriented fitness program claims to be based on the science of “muscle confusion.” This is simply a marketing term created to describe the physiological effect of periodization, which is a method of organizing exercise programs based on alternating periods of intensity. The concept of periodization was developed by Soviet Union sport scientists who recognized that periods of high-intensity exercise (high stress) should be followed by a period of low-intensity exercise (low stress) to let the body to fully recover from the workouts and allow the time for the physiological adaptations to occur. 
Many programs or fitness classes refer to using plyos, which is short for plyometrics. Looking at the etiology of the word, ‘plyo’ (from pleio) is a pre-fix for “more” and metric refers to length; therefore, plyometric means “more length.” This describes the physiological affect of the involved muscles during jump training (the most common application for the lower body) or explosive movements such as medicine ball throws (often used for upper-body plyometric training).  
Plyometric training was developed by Soviet sport scientists who originally referred to it as “shock training” because of the high forces experienced by the involved tissue. That’s why it’s important to perform only a few repetitions at a time to achieve the highest level of force output possible. Any program requiring participants to perform more than five or six rapid movements (i.e., jumps or explosive lifts) in a row can significantly increase the risk of injury by placing too much force on the involved tissue. 
A number of exercise programs and classes are called Tabata, which is an actual person. Twenty years ago, Dr. Izumi Tabata, an exercise scientist from Japan, and his colleagues conducted research on ways to improve aerobic capacity using short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise. They found that exercising at 170% of aerobic capacity on cycle ergometers for a work interval of 20 seconds followed by a brief recovery interval of only 10 seconds, repeated to exhaustion, was extremely effective at boosting aerobic capacity. Since publishing the study in 1997, Dr. Tabata’s name has been used to refer to a protocol of high-intensity interval training featuring 20-second work intervals followed by 10-second recovery intervals for eight cycles (a total of four minutes).  
If you ask most people what their general fitness goals, the answer often is to “tone up and get in shape.” We have come to accept the term “tone” to mean muscular definition, or the appearance of a well-defined muscle. The term is actually short for tonus, which is the technical term used to describe a state of contraction in a normally functioning muscle. Using a muscle repeatedly during a strength training exercise will leave that muscle in a state of semi-contraction, creating the defined appearance we have come to expect as the result of exercise
Source : By Pete McCall, MS

Monday, 23 March 2015

Body Composition: Which Numbers Matter?

Over the years, my perspective on numbers and their value has changed with respect to health and the body. Before I knew much about exercise science or even heard of the words “body composition,” the only thing I knew about was weight. And that word was “scary.” Like many females, I avoided the scale at all costs. I went by the feel of my clothes, and I didn’t want to know any numbers (not that this is bad, trusting your clothes, but the intense fear of a number isn’t great). It was like a warning alarm would sound off if I stepped on to the scale. 
I don’t know where this fear came from or why I let it dictate my perception of my health and myself. As time went on, and I pursued education in health and exercise science, I began to learn how these numbers related to body composition. I also realized that weight is pretty much as useful as my mom having an iPhone. (She has a Galaxy and giving her my phone is like handing her a foreign object she has no idea what to do with it.) My point is this: Weight is just gravitational pull on the body, mass times gravity. What does this number really tell you about your body? As it turns out, not much. You have to know the make up of the weight for it to be helpful. 
Unfortunately, accurately measuring body composition is difficult and expensive. Although there are numerous, extensive definitions of body composition, it is basically the amount of fat mass vs. lean mass. Body composition is typically reported in a percentage of fat mass. Therefore, just stepping on a scale to attain a weight will not shed any insight into how much weight is lean body mass and how much weight is fat mass. Methods that provide fairly accurate body-composition analysis include the Dual X-ray Energy Absorptiometry (DEXA), Bod Pod and hydrostatic weighing. Typically, these machines are located at exercise science laboratories and hospitals and are fairly expensive. 
Fortunately, there are economically friendly tools for measuring body composition, such as skin folds and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Skin-fold calipers measure body fat by pinching visceral fat at specific anatomic locations, and those numbers are used in a formula to estimate total body-fat percentage. Unfortunately, it can be challenge to measure at the exact anatomical site, which can make the measurement less accurate. A downside to this is accuracy on selecting the position of the site. To help improve the validity of the measurements, three measurements are taken at each site and averaged to obtain a more accurate number. 
Bioelectrical impedance sends an electrical current through the body to determine body composition. Because lean mass contains more water, it takes the electrical current less time to travel through the body and assess composition. BIA is typically assessed through hand-held devices or scales. The accuracy of this measurement can be compromised by the individual’s hydration level, with dehydration causing an overestimation of body composition, and overhydration having the reverse effect. 
Unfortunately, not many of these measurements are conducted in clinical settings, so weight and body mass index (BMI) tend to be the default measurements. BMI is a measure of mass divided by height squared. This number can provide insight into a person’s general well-being in regards to weight; however, it still does not offer a true representation of a person’s body composition. 
Waist-to-hip ratio is another common measurement and is an efficient and effective tool for assessing health. Waist-to-hip ratio measures the circumference of the waist at the smallest point and compares it to the circumference of the hips at the widest point. The higher ratio indicates greater adipose tissue exists around the abdominal region, which can signal a greater risk for metabolic syndrome and associated illnesses. 
If you have access to finding out your true body composition by hydrostatic weighing, a DEXA or BodPod—go for it. If not, some of the other methods discussed earlier will work, but they may offer a less accurate picture of your true body composition. However, if you experience improvements in these numbers over time, you can feel confident that you are making progress in improving your health.  
Finally, guard against becoming obsessed with your weight. This number does not define you, nor does it say a whole lot about your health or your body composition.

Source : By Kelley Vargo / Ace

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells: which is better?

In the last several years, internet message boards relating to fitness and exercise have filled up with hype about kettlebells: old-fashioned pieces of weight lifting equipment that resemble cannonballs with handles.
Marketers and kettlebell aficionados alike make claims about the versatility, effectiveness, and utility of kettlebells and kettlebell workouts. Often, they go so far as to decry other familiar pieces of exercise equipment like barbells, dumbbells, and exercise machines. But are kettlebells really the wave of the future, or is this hype nothing more than marketing buzz intended to separate gullible fitness fanatics from their hard-earned money?

 Infact, dumbbells are safer and more efficient for virtually every exercise that marketers try to associate with their expensive kettlebells. Dumbbells are time tested and proven, and have been used successfully by countless athletes and fitness buffs. Kettlebells, on the other hand, are a recent development (despite misleading marketing hype designed to convince you that they are "secret" age-old workout tools that are only now being introduced to the mass market). You won't find a single professional athlete who regularly used kettlebells during his formative years.
While it's true that kettlebells can be used as a tool to achieve a decent, full-body workout that focuses on muscular endurance, these benefits are not exclusive to kettlebells. It's perfectly acceptable to use dumbbells for this sort of workout, and athletes have been doing so for ages.
The facts are plain: dumbbells are cheaper, safer, and more efficient than kettlebells. Dumbbells have comfortable handles which don't promote the formation of blisters the way kettlebell handles do. Dumbbells are either adjustable, or available in a wide range of weights, which is necessary for any piece of weight training equipment used in modern workouts which feature progressive overload. And, dumbbells work just as well for the exercises -- like swings, snatches, or jerks -- that kettlebell marketers would have you believe are exclusive to kettlebells.

So before you waste money on overpriced and underperforming kettlebells, take another look at adjustable dumbbells.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Fit Body Fit Mind

Working out is not only beneficial for your body but you can also boost your brain power by exercising. Most of us know that exercise makes us feel full of vitality; we can go from feeling sluggish to sparky, regardless of the workout. You could swim a few lengths at your local health club  swimming pool or take a run through the park. But how can exercise boost your brain power, you may wonder?

 Neuroscientists have discovered that even an easy running workout can boost the growth of thousands of new brain cells, which in turn improves memory recall. A crucial element for learning new skills and retaining the information learned. This is because exercise boosts circulation, increasing the supply of oxygen to muscles and to the brain.
There isn't evidence to suggest that one particular exercise activity is better than another for boosting brain power, however the more you can get your heart and lungs pumping the better for the development of brain cells. Even a twenty minute run on the treadmill at your local gym will provide significant benefits. Also dancing is another great way to get the cardiovascular system working towards improving your brain power.

Exercise not only can increase memory recall, there is also evidence to suggest involving yourself with team sports can lead to reducing the effect of depression and also warding off the onset of dementia. This is attributed to the natural affects of exercise on the brain and also the social aspect of team sports. If this type of exercise can be taken outdoors, then the benefits improve even more. As being at one with nature has been proven to create a better mood and also lower blood pressure.
It's far too basic to say you will become a brain box by doing exercise but it can be also be used to prevent or prolong the absence of illness which can impact on mental function. Not only for the benefits of brain but working out can relieve stress, diabetes and other cardio problems.
You can incorporate exercise into your daily life, through activities such as yoga, where you not only use your body you also use your brain for remembering the asanas. Any form of exercise which involves mental function will be of benefit; dancing and learning routines, martial arts and even memorising various aspects of your surroundings when you go out for a run or a bike ride. Noticing the changes of the seasons or if someone has changed the front of their home, this all aids to improving brain power.

By avoiding exercise is not only detrimental to your health it can affect your mental wellbeing too, so there should be no excuse for not getting to the gym, fitness club or even a brisk walk up and down the road will be good for you, a fit body equals a fit mind.

Source Billy Briar / Go 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Importance of Fluid Replacement During Exercise...

Your body is so efficient at many processes, but needs water to do most of them. One of the greatest ways we lose fluid from our bodies is through sweat. Our bodies try to cool themselves by dissipating heat during exercise in warm or hot weather in the form of sweat. This causes changes in the amount of water and electrolytes a person has and can affect athletic performance and health.


To maintain optimal fluid balance, you need to replenish the fluid losses. The rate of fluid loss during exercise is affected by duration, intensity, temperature, wind, humidity and how much or types of clothing you are wearing. Between different sports the difference in losses can be significant, as well as the differences between people with varying fitness levels. Due to this fact, there are not specific guidelines for fluid replacement.

As your muscles become more active, metabolic heat is transferred from the muscles to the blood and then to the body's core. This causes physiological adjustments that transfer heat from the core to the skin to be released and cool the body. When the weather is colder, or less humid, the amount of sweat your body loses is small in comparison to when there is a higher heat stress. If sweat is not able to evaporate from the body and drips, your body is signaling that a higher sweat rate is needed to achieve the necessary evaporative cooling. Increased air motion (wind) can assist the evaporation and minimize the amount of sweat being dripped.

When you live in a higher temperature area your body acclimatizes to the weather and you are able to achieve higher and more sustained sweating. If the area is humid, causing wet skin, or if your body is dehydrated, your sweating rate is curbed. How much electrolyte loss occurs is dependent on the concentration of electrolytes in the sweat and how much fluid your body is expelling. If you are dehydrated, your body can cause the concentration of sodium and chloride loss to increase, but your body is not better able to reabsorb these electrolytes. As you acclimate to temperatures, your body is better able to reabsorb chloride and sodium, and generally reduces the sodium concentrations in sweat.

If you are an athlete training or heavily exercising, you may want to monitor your body's weight changes during exercise to calculate how much fluid you are losing. From there, you can determine how much fluid you need to replenish your body. Weigh yourself naked early in the morning and after urination to determine your baseline, and then after a specific time of exercise. Subtract your body weight after your workout from your pre-workout weight, and subtract any urinary loss. If you drank beverages during your workout, this also needs to be added in.

Physiologic stress increases when you are dehydrated. You measure physiologic stress by core temperature, heart rate and perceived exertion. The more water you lose, the more physiologic strain is experienced by your body. This impairs both mental and aerobic performance. Your aerobic performance decreases when you're dehydrated because of the increase in your cardiovascular strain, core temperature, need for glycogen, and changes in your metabolic functions. This affects your ability to concentrate, do skilled tasks or strategically plan. You become at risk of heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke, skeletal muscle cramps, or in some long endurance events, hyponatremia.

Fluid Replacement

Prior to exercise, hydrate so that you start physical activities with normal hydration and electrolyte levels. Normal hydration is achieved when there has been adequate time since last exercise session and enough beverages consumed. Consuming liquids hours before you start exercising ensures that your urine output and body functions have returned to normal.

During exercise, monitor how you feel. If you are exercising at a high intensity for long periods of time, monitor weight changes. Consuming drinks that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates can be beneficial for some activities, dependent on the intensity and duration. Sodium in these beverages works to stimulate your thirst, carbohydrates for energy and general electrolyte replenishment.

After exercise, make sure to replace fluid and electrolyte losses by consuming regular meals and beverages over the next 24 hours. If you plan to exercise again sooner than that and feel significantly dehydrated, more focus will be needed to achieve rehydration. Drink 1.5 liters of fluid for every kilogram lost or 24 ounces for each pound. This rate of 150% of sweat losses is required because of the additional urine output that will occur from increased intake.

Some people find it hard to drink enough water to meet their needs. Beverages that are flavored, cooled and containing sodium may enhance the voluntary intake. Another trick is to fill up liter bottles (like soda pop bottles) with your daily fluid needs every morning and put them in your refrigerator, so you can visually see how much you need to consume and easily track. Dehydration can have serious side effects, so always work hard to make sure you are consuming enough fluids. 

Source : Emily Delacy 

Does Exercise Beat Stress?

Exercise not only shapes our bodies, it also shapes our minds. With the ability to calm, elevate mood and counter anxiety and depression, exercise is a valuable tool for combating stress. But how does it work?

Chemical Reactions

One of the most well-known ways that exercise provides mental benefit is through chemical reactions brought about in the brain. During exercise, the body's stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, are reduced, while endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, are stimulated. Endorphins have also been associated with providing a sense of euphoria, but according to the review article, "The Antidepressive Effects of Exercise," published in Sports Medicine, it is unclear if the endorphins are directly responsible for these feelings or if they simply block pain while allowing the pleasure chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, to be more apparent.

8stretch.jpgBrain Reconstruction and Resilience

Currently, the National Institutes of Mental Health are studying the effects of exercise on mice and results suggest that regular physical activity can actually reshape the brain circuitry involved with emotional processing while protecting against stress. Other studies, published in The Journal of Neuroscience and Behavioral Neuroscience, have found that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), involved in protecting and producing neurons, was higher in active mice than in those who were sedentary. Additionally, the active mice developed new neurons that appeared to be more resilient; when faced with stress, they displayed more controlled reactions than the inactive mice.

Total Body Communication

The American Psychological Association describes the benefits of exercise as total body communication, "Biologically, exercise seems to give the body a chance to practice dealing with stress. It forces the body's physiological systems -- all of which are involved in the stress response -- to communicate much more closely than usual...And all of these are controlled by the central and sympathetic nervous systems, which also must communicate with each other. This workout of the body's communication system may be the true value of exercise..." By regularly activating these communication pathways, the better the body becomes at handling stress. The less often this happens, the less efficient the body is with coping.

Improved Overall Well Being

By performing regular physical activity, the body typically becomes healthier and stronger which can reduce stress associated with other health issues that may be worsened, or brought on, by inactivity. Lost work and lost wages, doctor's visits, and expensive medications can lead to worry, insomnia, and irritability. According to Harvard University Health Publications, during the stress response, mind and body can amplify each other's distress signals, creating a vicious cycle.

Although they can work against each other, the mind and body are also capable of working together to provide tremendous benefits. Regular exercise provides improved health, better sleep, and more energy. This can lead to improved self-confidence and a sense of command over body and life, which can help an individual feel more equipped and confident when faced with stress.

Whether it's a needed escape, meditation or playtime, exercise can provide a way to get away from it all, either in solitude or with friends or family. Harvard University Health Publications state, "...when your body is busy, your mind will be distracted from the worries of daily life and will be free to think creatively."

Source Many Seay/ Fit Day