HIIT AND PLYOMETRICS WORKOUT

My new workout passion is definitely bodyweighted HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and Plyometrics. It’s amazing how empowered and weak you can feel at the same time, all during the same workout. I’ve been changing up my gym routine a lot lately and do exercises like scorpion plyo push-ups, knee tuck jumps, loads of jump squats and lunges, full body exercises incorporating cardio, and I’ve really seen a difference in my muscle structure. What’s so good about them is that you can take it anywhere. There are always benches outside, or rocks to jump on, stairs, playgrounds, etc. But they’re definitely not easy exercises to do when the goal is to burn as much fat as possible, which means the intensity is through the roof! And you know what? I absolutely LOVE it. Yeah, I feel weak when my body is screaming for me to stop pushing it, but once you do that little bit extra, that you didn’t think you would be able to do, the endorphins and adrenaline shoots up and I want to go again. Which is good, coz after all I’m doing hardcore circuit training. Haha!

If you don’t know much about plyometrics and HIIT, here are some videos you can check out to get an idea of circuits you can do for yourself:

UFC Plyometrics workout

HIIT and Plyometrics outside the gym

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HEALTHY BANANA ICE CREAM

This recipe is just amazing! Healthy, delicious and only consisting of 2 ingredients. Is this possible you ask? Of course it is. And you will love it. I got the recipe from Rachel Ray show and this is how you do it.

Slice ripe bananas and freeze them. (Calculate about one banana per person, depending on how greedy they are… hehe.) Take the frozen bananas and put them in a blender or food processor, pour some milk into the container (depending on how many bananas, I used about 50-100ml semi-skimmed milk for 2 bananas). Whizz/mix/blend it until the bananas have been disolved into the mixture (about 1 min) and there you go… your own soft Whippy style ice-cream.
DEEEE-LISH!

HORMONES & NUTRIENTS: ZINC

I’m sure you haven’t been able to surpass all the hallabalooza about the issues on hormones and why it damages our health. How the food industry pump our poor cows, chickens and pigs full of hormones and antibiotic just to make extra profit. This later finds its way to our plates, or glass of milk, and into our bodies to disrupt the fine mechanism we already have inside of us. Due to changes in farming methods and the sad state of our soil, even our whole foods is not nearly as nutritious as it once was. Beside making sure that we eat proper food (as we say: if it had a mother or came from the ground, it’s ok.), we can also make sure to eat foods that help our bodies to stay balanced, although it gets rocked by our environment. And whenever you can, go organic.

I do believe in supplementation, especially if you’re on a diet and working out as much as I do, but I also believe you should do your best to help your body cope with all the outside toxicity that finds itself into our cells. My first nutrient I like to keep tabs on is:

ZINC
Zinc is one of the most important minerals used by the body for various functions such as maintaining a sense of smell, keeping a healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes, and creating DNA. Zinc also helps the cells in your body communicate by functioning as a neurotransmitter. A deficiency in zinc can lead to stunted growth in children, depression, impotence, hair loss, eye and skin lesions, impaired appetite, and lower immunity defense. Zinc levels tend to be lower in older people, anorexics, alcoholics, people on diets, children with ADHD and diabetics. Zinc levels are related to leptin, the hormone that helps us feel satisfied. Studies also suggest that restoring deficiencies of zinc, helps people increase lean body mass while maintaining or losing weight.

Recommended daily dose is 15 mg. You can find high levels of zinc in oysters, lobsters, crab, wheat germ, liver, dark meats, cocoa powder, baked beans, peanuts, pumpkin and squash seeds.

TUNA MEATBALLS

What a revelation! I have discovered tuna meatballs. Sooo delish! Here’s my recipe:

Mix all these ingredients together to make about 7 tuna meatballs: Canned tuna in water (make sure to squeeze out all the water prior), 2 egg whites, 50gr/0.5dl milk, wheat bran to bind it together. Spice it up with chopped fresh red chilli, 1/2 chopped medium yellow onion, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, then ground black pepper, paprika and garlic powder or fresh garlic to taste.

Fry it in rapeseed oil until brown. Serve on a bed of fresh spinach and some salsa. Yummy!

Minus the oil, each meatball is about 30 kcal each. Wow!

Enjoy!

10 FITNESS MYTHS

Fitness Myth 1:
No Pain, No Gain
Exercise does not need to hurt to be good for you. In fact, if it does hurt you’re probably doing something wrong. Some soreness is common for a first time exerciser, but if that continues, you are pushing way too hard. Delayed onset muscle soreness, in which pain occurs up to 48 hours after exercise, results from inflammation and microscopic tears in the elastic tissues that surround muscle fibers. To give muscles time to adapt, don’t do much too soon, or you will risk injury.

Fitness Myth 2:
Excessive Sweating While Exercising Means You’re Not Fit
In fact, it’s just the opposite. Sweating during exercise is a sign of an efficient cooler. An athlete who has adapted to keep the body core cool during exercise will shunt blood to the skin’s surface more quickly and release heat from the body. At the same time, the sweat glands increase their output and thus cool the body during sweat evaporation. While fit people produce more sweat than sedentary folks, they lose less sodium, because more of it is reabsorbed by the body. The result is a more efficient cooler.

Fitness Myth 3:
If You Stop Exercising, Your Muscles Will Turn to Fat
Fat and muscles are two different tissue types. One can not convert to the other. The truth is that muscles atrophy when not used. Therefore, if you continue to eat as you always have, but stop exercising, you will see an increase in body fat and a loss of muscle mass. Of course, the real question is why are you stopping exercise in the first place?

Fitness Myth 4:
You Can Increase Fat Burning By Exercising Longer at a Lower Intensity
It really isn’t important what percentage of energy during exercise comes from fat or carbohydrate. What matters at the end of the day is how many total calories were expended. The higher the exercise intensity, the more calories are burned per minute. Many new exercisers, however, are encouraged to exercise at a lower intensity because high-intensity exercise is difficult to sustain, and safer.

Fitness Myth 5:
If You Exercise, You Can Eat Anything
If you try to make up for poor nutrition by exercising, you are going to be disappointed. While eating poorly and not exercising is far worse for your health that eating poorly and exercising, you will get the most out of your workouts if you fuel them with high quality foods.

Fitness Myth 6:
If You Don’t Work Out Hard and Often, Exercise Is A Waste Of Time
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Research shows that even moderate exercise, such as walking and gardening a few times a week, can have tremendous benefits. One study found that gardening for as little as an hour a week reduced the risk of heart disease.

Fitness Myth 7:
Exercise Can Fix All Your Health Problems
While consistent exercise can make a huge difference in quality and quantity of life, it can’t fix everything. Individuals with other health issues and diseases still need to follow a physician’s advice when it comes to disease management protocols. And although exercise alone can not guarantee your health, or cure you of illness, regular physical activity has been shown to help everything from arthritis and heart disease to asthma and diabetes.

Fitness Myth 8:
Weight Training Will Bulk You Up
Many women use this excuse to avoid weight training. What they don’t realize it that weight training is often the easiest and quickest way for women to lose body fat and increase muscle definition.

Fitness Myth 9:
To Build Muscle Requires Massive Amounts of Protein
There is no scientific evidence supporting the popular belief that athletes require massive amounts of protein. According to Dr. Suzanne Nelson Steen, head of the University of Washington Huskies Sports Nutrition Program, strength athletes require just slightly more protein than other individuals and still need adequate carbohydrate to replenish muscle glycogen. She points out that all high intensity, powerful muscle contractions (such as weight lifting) are fueled with carbohydrate. “Neither fat nor protein can be oxidized rapidly enough to meet the demands of high-intensity exercise. Adequate dietary carbohydrate must be consumed on a daily basis to restore glycogen levels.” To build more muscles, you simply have to follow a good weight training program and eat a well balanced diet consistently.

Fitness Myth 10:
The More Exercise The Better
Of course you can get too much exercise. Many top athletes give in to this myth, and many pay the price with injury, illness and depression. When it comes to exercise, you need an appropriate balance of training and rest in order to perform optimally.

Taken from About:Sportsmedicine.

JACKIE’S 10 TIPS FOR GETTING IN SHAPE

1. It’s not how long, it’s how strong. Incorporate 20 minutes of high intensity cardio each day. Walk fast on a treadmill for 2 minutes at a 15 incline then sprint for 2 minutes on flat ramp. Cool down for 1 minute and repeat this cycle 3 more times until you reach your 20 minute goal.

2. Women, make sure to include weight training at least 3-4 days a week. If you add 3-5 pounds of muscle to your body, you will burn 250-500 extra calories per day which equals 3-5 pounds of fat loss per week.

3. Visualize the muscles you are working on – this is called the mind muscle connection and it will actually increase tone.

4. Your body hits a plateau with cardio and resistance training in one month so change your weight, reps and exercises accordingly.

5. The fastest way to get the body you want is through my power circuit training. Combine 3 upper body exercises and 3 lower body exercises together to make one big set. Do not rest in between and alternate quickly from upper to lower for maximum fat burn.

6. The only muscle groups that really burn fat are the primary muscles like the chest, back, quads, glute and hamstrings. Focus hard on those!

7. You have to eat within an hour of working out to make sure you’re not eating into the muscle for energy. Make sure that you combine proteins and carbs like a blended protein shake with fruit and peanut butter or a piece of fruit with a low-fat string cheese.

8. Don’t just set a weight goal, set a physical goal too like running a 3k or training for a charity marathon. Human beings are competitive and you will spark that inner competition by trying to reach a difficult physical goal.

9. A little thing like changing your music playlist every week can go a long way. The more your mind is stimulated during your workouts, the better your results will be.

10. Instead of focusing on being fat, you’ve got to focus on being fit. If you think healthy, it eventually becomes reality to you. I always push my clients to focus on how strong they’re getting, how well they’re sleeping, and how happy they’re feeling by exercising.

Take from Amazon Exclusive: Read Jackie Warner’s Ten Tips for Getting in Shape, from Her Book This Is Why You’re Fat.

THOSE LAST 10 POUNDS AND LEPTIN

Why do those last few pounds of fat seem next to impossible to shed? You’ve been painstakingly following a weight reduction program for the past few months. You look and feel better than you can ever remember, but one thing is wrong – that last bit of fat is clinging to you for dear life.

Almost anyone who has tried to lose excess body fat can relate to this problem. Why do those last few pounds seem next to impossible to shed? The secret may lie within a little-known hormone called leptin.
A hormone produced by our fat cells, leptin plays numerous roles in our biochemistry. One of these is to regulate bodyweight by sending satiation (fullness) signals to the brain. Another is to increase our overall energy expenditure – our body’s ability to burn fat.

When we lose body fat, leptin levels decline along with the excess fat. When we gain fat, leptin levels rise.
In fact, leptin does its job so well that one human study presented in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that moderately overweight healthy women following a low-calorie diet over a three-month period actually increased their appetite two-fold. The subjects who experienced the greatest decline in leptin levels also experienced the greatest increase in their desire to eat.

Leptin also has the ability to lower our metabolic rate by negatively affecting the conversion of thyroid hormones when we skip meals or severely restrict our calories. The end result is we find it next to impossible to lose any more fat.

A human study presented in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism proved that the thyroid-lowering effects brought on by declining leptin levels – through weight loss and dieting – could actually be reversed by administration of “replacement” doses of leptin. But before you go asking your family doctor for an injection of leptin, let me explain how you can naturally stimulate its production.

Don’t be deceived by the “fad diet promise” of losing tons of weight in minimal time. Severe caloric deprivation will send leptin plummeting. Instead, teach yourself to eat smaller meals five or six times a day. Whatever you do, don’t skip meals because that only leads to lower levels of leptin and negative changes in your thyroid hormones.

Another little trick is to supplement with the mineral zinc (10 to 30 milligrams, depending on individual needs). Zinc has been shown in studies to raise leptin levels. In fact, a study published in the journal Life Science showed that zinc was able to increase leptin production by a whopping 142 percent.

So try a little zinc and say ta-ta to those last 10 pounds.

Written by Brad King for Alive.com .

BEYOND RIPPED: ENTER THE SHREDDED ZONE THIS SUMMER

Photo: SimplyShredded.com

“Life, they say, is full of contradictions, so why shouldn’t that also apply to working out? You train regularly with both weights and cardio and carefully watch what you eat, which together are supposed to produce a ripped, muscular physique.

There’s the catch: supposed to. But what if you do practically everything you can truly giving 110% to your training and nutrition efforts and you’re still a little soft around the middle? Are you forever doomed to wearing tank tops on warm summer days so friends can see your big guns without knowing there’s an inch to pinch?

This being SimplyShredded.com, we’re not going to recommend an expensive liposuction operation. (Unless, of course, your beloved and rich Uncle Fred left you with several hundred thousand dollars, in which case you can skip this article and call your plastic surgeon.) Rather, we’ve complied a series of tips, tweaks and techniques for you to add to what you’re already doing during the course of a day. Instead of asking you to drop your workouts and follow some one-size-fits-all program, we’ve come up with a list of ways you can increase your caloric deficit each day.

All of the tips presented here use one or more of three bodyfat-fighting strategies: reducing the amount of food you eat (the calories you take in), increasing the amount of exercise you perform (the calories you burn) and boosting your metabolic rate (the number of calories your body requires for body weight maintenance).

Added together, these tips and strategies could theoretically help you synergistically burn up to 3,650 calories a day, but most individuals will want to pick and choose items that allow them to burn up to 1,500 calories* a day without requiring a significant change to diet or training regimen. You can still perform the same weight-training exercises and routines just add our training and nutrition tips to the mix.”

(To read the full article and the shredded tips, go to: SimplyShredded.com )