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Kick Your Body Into 2nd Gear -- In 3 Easy Steps
By: John Sherman

When it comes to life in general, 90% of us feel the need to loose weight or change the way we look in some way.

Once weíve undertaken our fitness quest for weight loss or hypertrophy, usually after the first week or two we find that the energy required to do so is becoming harder and harder to conjure. Usually, these physiological changes leave our bodies craving for the fuel needed to perform these transformations. In this article i'll show you exactly how to get the energy your body requires and how to kick your body into 2nd gear.

What do I need to keep the pace up?

When it comes to gearing our bodies to perform at higher than average energy levels, firstly it takes time. Time requires patience, which is a virtue in itself. It also requires a strong belief in what you're setting out to do.

Here are the 3 things you need to change for optimal energy.

1. Sleep

The first and most important of them all is sleep. It is during our sleeping hours that the body does the vast majority of its repairing. Usually, the first 4 to 5 hours of sleep are spent repairing the bodies neural systems and pathways.

The last 4 hours are spent knitting worked muscles, and replenishing glucose stores for the next days activities, which, remember, are going to be higher than usual.

Based on this first step, if your not getting at least 7 to 8 hours sleep every night, your body is eating into its energy stores and before long, you will find yourself with not enough energy to carry out your program, and once your mental stubbornness wears down, you will loose the will to want to do it in the first place and youíll revert to your previous habits.

The easiest way around this problem is to get regular, high quality sleep. Make it a priority equal to and above going to the gym.

2. Nutrition

The second step to gearing your body towards performance is nutrition. Eating right is vital to maintaining a program, especially for those of you who are participating in weight programs where the end goal is hypertrophy.

Your intake of food should be regular and healthy. Get as much fresh meat and vegetables as you can manage and stay away from processed foods wherever possible.

When writing nutritional plans for clients, I like to suggest a minimum of 5 meals a day. Beginning with breakfast as the largest meal of the day, and tapering down food portions accordingly, all the way to dinner.

Remember that it takes time and patience to get your body used to eating large meals early if it's not something youíve been doing for a while. Eating regular, complete meals will encourage your body not only to grow, but also to shed fat, as fat is only there as an emergency source of energy for your body.

Contrary to what the media will have you believe, the way to loose fat is not by starving yourself, but by feeing yourself healthy meals regularly -- every 2 hours!

By doing this, your body will think that you're living in a time of food aplenty, and holding fat will do nothing but hold you back. If you want to gain weight without putting on pounds of fat in the process, simply eat this way and stay away from processed foods and sweets. Chocolate tastes great, but unfortunately it isn't part of the human bodies evolution, and therefore useless if not harmful in building a healthy lean physique.

3. Program design

Now that you're eating right and sleeping right, the third and final step is to get a program that is not only suited to you and your energy levels, but also in accordance with what your goals are.

So many people who frequent gyms and training halls these days are over trained for what they are physically capable of. To put it simply, you cant sit behind a desk all day every day for 10 years, wake up one day and start working out and running for extended periods of time and expect your body to sustain it.

Iím not saying that you should be shy of hard training by any means -- you cant get anywhere without hard training -- but donít ever OVER train. If youíre waking up in the morning and you can barely move out of bed then youíre not recovering from the previous days training.

Weight programs with the intention of hypertrophy should last from 45 to 60 minutes max. If thatís not long enough then youíre either socializing too much or doing too many exercises. Be specifically scientific about the way you build your programs, from the second you finish stretching, the clock should start ticking. You need designated rest intervals between sets depending on what stage youíre training at -- be it technique, cellular or neural.

Ask questions to whoever builds your programs, and if they canít give an informed answer on rest, duration and time under tension, find someone who can and get them to build a program for you. Youíre playing around with your body and the only person who has to put up with it is you!

If running, cycling, skating, swimming or playing teams sports ensure that you stretch thoroughly before and after you train, then it will help you to be able to get up and do it again tomorrow. All these things should be down in your program, so that nothing is left out or forgotten.

By sleeping right, eating right and approaching your training with the right mindset, you will be able to function in your everyday life while building your body and not feeling that its too muchwork for you.

In todayís society of business, money and power, science and thorough work prevail, even though our bodies are expected to function in a slap and dash way. Approach your training in a scientific way and it too will run like the business you own or work for, and it will look after for many years to come.

About the Author

John Sherman is currently studying and practicing Neuromuscular therapy and metabolic typing at the Institute of Human performance. John is also an avid Martial artist, recently completing his "Uchi Deshi" - 2 years living, training and breathing Koyokoshin Karate. He is also one of the newest AccomplishLife resident authors. For more visit AccomplishLife - Self Help and Personal Development


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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
shocks.

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
speaking.

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

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

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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