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Train for the Look You Want
By: Scott White

So the Olympics are almost upon us. While you have the chance, compare the differences between a marathon (long distance) runnerís body and a sprinterís body. What do you notice? The long-distance runner is skinny, frail, kind of bony, thin and almost sickly looking. On the other hand, the sprinter has well developed muscles, and looks strong, fit, healthy.

Of the two, which one would you rather look like?

Well, this is what should determine how you develop your own training program. If you want to look like the sprinter ó and about 98 percent of people desire a sprinterís body type ó why do you spend all that time doing cardio on a treadmill while you watch CNN? In order to look and feel like a sprinter, you must train like one.

Remember, start out slowly. Youíre probably not a sprinter now, and if you went out and followed their regimen, tomorrow youíd be insanely sore and probably give up exercising altogether.

Letís consider, for a moment, these creatures (sprinters). They only move rapidly for about 10 to 60 seconds at most, during a single sprint. Well, that isnít very much time, if you compare it to long-distance runners, who run for three to four hours, without stopping.

So if long-distance runners are active for much longer periods of time, why do sprinters have more attractive bodies?

The reason is this: sprinters maximally contract their muscles, which requires a lot more work from their bodies than a slow, staggered, constant run. Not to mention that with the short maximal energy bursts, testosterone and growth hormones are released in greater amounts. These hormones are anabolic in nature, which means bodybuilding ó they build your body up. On the other hand, running for long durations releases cortisol, a catabolic hormone, meaning it breaks the body down. This effect is associated with muscle wasting, and over time, it is extremely bad for the body. It also is the reason for the ultra-skinny, no-muscle look of a long distance runner, versus that of anaerobic athlete like a weightlifter.

If you think about our anthropological history, we were designed to move rapidly, so we could catch our food back in the caveman days. We werenít built to run our food to death by having the animal get so tired that it just fell down and collapsed because it was exhausted from our chasing it. Well, that same design serves us today. We may not have to track, catch, and kill our food anymore, but our bodies are still meant to MOVE.

So if you want to look like a sprinter, with a lean, athletic physique, you must train like one. Limiting the aerobic exercise and incorporating an anaerobic weight-training program will cause you to look better and burn fat much more quickly. Anaerobic weight training will elicit more results, both in terms of gaining muscle and melting fat, than any other method of training.

Scott White is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist located in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information about nutrition and fitness or for info about a consultation, call or e-mail Scott today. 480-628-1607 or

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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