Fitness Tips

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Eating Right

It is very important to remember that when you are working out, in order to achieve the results you are looking for you have to eat properly. Your diet should vary depending on your goals or expectations from the gym. If you want to put on some muscle, obviously you have to feed your muscles with a diet that is high in protein. You also need a good balance of carbs to prodive you with much needed energy. If size is your goal, it is ok to take in a little bit of fat, because you can always trim down later when you get to be satisfied with your size. If however, you are looking to cut down on some weight, It is a good idea to cut down the amount of fat you eat. In both cases, it is better to eat 4 or 5 smaller meals as opposed to 2 or 3 really large ones, as your body has less food to digest at one time, and you are using up your food more effectivly.
As just mentioned, the best way to eat is to eat 4 to 5 small meals a day instead of 2 or 3 really big ones. It is important to keep the body supplied with the nutrients it needs every couple of hours. For example, instead of eating at 8am, 12 noon, and 5pm, try eating at 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, and 8pm. If you cut down on the size of the meals you are eating, and make sure that in each helping you are getting your requirments for protein, carbs, and the nutrients you need, then you will find yourself with more energy, giving you the ability to workout harder, which will help you achieve maximum results more quickly.
Obviously, your diet will differ depending on your goals at the gym. A person who is trying to lose weight will not eat the same as someone who is trying to put on weight. In my next post, I will go into more detail about what a good basic diet plan should look like for both of these types of people.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Stability Training II

My previous post was about the importance of stability training. Here, I will let you in on some great exercises to strengthen up your core. I will make an ordered list of some of the easiest most common exercises with a stability ball twist.
1. Bench press - Start with light free weights, sitting on the ball. Roll forward so that the ball slides to your back, and your feet are supporting your balance. You are now in the same position as you would be when doing regular bench press, only instead of a bench, you have a ball. Push the weights up, while exhaling, then inhale when you lower them down to your chest. With this, if you go a little slower, it will focus more strain on your stability muscles, and increase results.
2. Biceps curl - This one is very straight forward. Simply sit on the ball, with free weights in hands, and perform your regular biceps curls. It is important not to use a weight that is too heavy. Make sure you concentrate on form, because that is much more important than how much weight you do. Remember, train your body, not your ego.
3. Shoulder press - This is done in the same position as the biceps curl exercise. Simply sit on the ball, keeping your back straight, and slowly lift the weights over your head, and back down. On your way down, you should stop with your arms at a 90 degree angle, then push the weights up again.
4. Crunches - This is done in the same position as the bench press. Keep your torso flat, and concentrate on creating strain on your midsection. At the top of your crunch, flex your abs, then inhale on the way back down. For increased difficulty, instead of putting your feet on the ground, put them against a wall, and work your way up to balancing yourself with only 1 foot on the wall.
These are just a few exercise you can do with the stability ball. It is a great tool to increase your overall level of fitness.
In my next blog, I will explain some great workouts you can do using a simple elastic band.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Stability Training

There may be no better way to get a total body workout than stability training. While specifically targeting certian parts of your body, such as legs, using stability training also focuses on the body's stabilizer muscles. Stabilizer muscles are what give you the "toned" look, and are often neglected when using machines alone. This post will discuss the importance of including some part of stability training into your workout, and my next post will show you some very effective exercises to help with cutting excess fat and helping your overall tone.
When you use such devices as stability balls, or half balls, not only do you have to fight the weights, but you also have to keep your balance, which can prove to be very diffucult. Be sure to start of with very light weight, or no weight at all when first starting these exercises. You will notice an immediate difference in how you feel after your workout, as muscles you didn't know existed will be sore. It is very important to switch up your workouts, and this may be just the change you need!

How to get great Abs

Many people get frustrated at the fact that they are doing crunch after endless crunch and are not seeing great results. Why is this you might ask?
Getting great abs is about more than just exercise. Proper diet and cardiovascular exercise are very essential. Your abs will become more visable as the amount of fat on your body decreases. They type of training you do, therefore also has a big impact on your midsection. Stability training and polaties will really help to build muscle and tone out your core. I will get more indepth into this in later posts. For now, concentrate on keeping active, eating better and getting lots of fluids, especially water.