Why you should only have ONE drink or less per day per week

This article is about the benefits of not consuming alcohol on six of out seven days in the week.

Or never drinking. Here’s why.

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You should have one drink or less so that you can make progress towards your fitness no matter what your age.

If you are making zero progress on your fitness goals the FIRST thing you should do is cut booze.

Does drinking alcohol have benefits?

Research indicates moderate consumption of alcohol may improve cardiovascular health.

  1. That doesn’t necessarily mean it burns fat.
  2. Moderate consumption means 1 serving of wine at a time.
  3. Cardiovascular health can be improved more effectively through other nutritional intervention (such as pomegranate, mangosteen, goji, or sea buckthorn fruit juices)

If you’re having trouble burning fat and if you’re drinking more than two drinks at a time in any consumption session, then that is the first thing you should drop in order to reach your goals.

IS alcohol holding you back from elite fitness?

Your body weight is related to your entire history of eating including what your mom fed you. It is also related to genetics, but really we can only control our habits if we are diligent and caring of our bodies. It’s not that you can change your genes, it’s that you can optimize your genes.

Seriously, keeping that DNA healthy is Anti-Aging 101 folks.

Step 1. Consume nutrient rich foods.

Step 2. Reduce toxins.

Step 3. Do an INTENSE workout.

Step 4. Recover and repeat with progression.

Check out this infographic:

benefitsofnotdrinking.png

Feeling better is a pretty cool part of fitness.

A very fit person on most occasion will be between 8-18% body-fat.

For guys, 10% body-fat or less is usually the threshold for a truly aesthetic midsection.

For gals… 12-16% is a great goal to aim for — because it is reserved for only the dedicated.

Alternative to Alcohol!?

I’m not saying don’t go out and enjoy some alcohol. We all respond differently to environments and I have known some people who can go to a bar and not even drink alcohol. Personally, I would feel very attracted to a cold beverage in a HOT environment and you know what I mean.

Drinks that have low alcohol or no alcohol:

  • Kombucha – comes in many flavours, probiotic, gut health, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory.
  • Ginger beer – (I would only drink if it contained actual ginger as opposed to just ginger flavoring) anti-inflammatory, possible gut health benefits which also contributes to inflammatory regulation.
  • Maybe just avoid high risk situations – that means not spending time in the alcohol aisle, and to save your alcohol consumption for slow enjoyment, not binge drinking.

Find your reason and have your moment. If you can’t do that, at least you read this.

If you feel amazing with your life and you drink lots of alcohol — then by all means enjoy yourself. I’m not here to tell you what to do with your body, just to share this viewpoint that there are means available in which we can all work towards genuine wellness.

It’s not like I’m on this journey because it ever came easy to me. The struggle is real and for myself it’s personal. I’m not so much the guru as I am the one on the path next to you. Hopefully, it’s me… carrying the heavier load.

Stay tuned.

 

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How to get Stronger at Orangetheory Fitness: 3 insider tips

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Is your goal to get stronger at Orangetheory Fitness?

Even if it’s not, you might still learn something about strength training. My experiences coaching at OTF have given me great opportunities to promote strength training among general Seattle population. To gain strength, we must progressively adapt against stimulus.

A unique "Endurance" workout

A unique “Endurance” workout still an opportunity for strength

Over a year of coaching and taking classes at Orangetheory have allowed me to bring you these tips:

1. Go HEAVY

People think that because the 25’s are the heaviest on the individual rack that they are heavy. In a few cases, the 25’s could be considered heavy such as a lateral raises. However, for full body exercises such as goblet or sumo squats, people neglect the proper dumbbells for training. This makes no sense because when you are performing an exercise that utilizes leverage from nearly the entire body (such as a squat), then you should be striving for more. Always. Always striving for more.

Nearly all healthy men women would be able to barbell squat the weight of their body on their backs with proper training. Intermediate strength athletes can squat nearly double their weight. Elite strength athletes can squat 3x or more of their own bodyweight. Have some perspective.

PRO TIP: If the exercise is DB Sumo Squats for 8 reps and your previous best was 40lbs, then you should begin the set with a 50 lb dumbbell and get as many reps as possible. Rest if needed, then continue getting reps on the exercise till you achieve the total amount.

Sumo Squat

Sumo Squat

–> Do the same thing in a future workout and I’ll bet you get more than four reps at the beginning, thus gaining strength.

The above described technique would be called, “rest-pause,” and it is yet another pathway to gains.

Begin the first set with the greatest intensity. 

2. Go to failure… sometimes.

What is going to failure? Going to failure means that you do as many reps as you can and then trying for another rep and failing on the last rep (or even ending squeezing some partial reps out at the end). I want to outline some benefits and some reservations about going to failure.

If the exercise is safe for you, then decide to actually take it to the limit. Maybe the workout calls for 8 reps, but you choose a weight that you could squeeze 12 out of… then you need to hit all 12 or go heavier asap.

I’ve said it many times also: you can get stronger without going heavier. Going heavier is just the most popular way.

Either way, you’ve GOT to push it!!! Going to failure is a highly successful training technique reserved for those with perseverance, pain tolerance, and people who value recovery from intense stimulus.

Get in the habit of trying to lift heavier things

Get in the habit of trying to lift heavier things

Pros of going to Failure: You will break down the muscle tissue allowing your body to recover and get stronger. Motor neurons and neural pathways are enhanced, metabolism is increased (both during recovery and resting due to increased muscle tone), and going to failure may release beneficial body re-composition hormones.

Cons of going to Failure: Will probably be really sore (but some people love this). Main concern is that if you do it frequently, you could burn out the central nervous system and lead to diminishing returns over time. Aka over-training.

If you want to go to failure, communicate that to your coach. I would be right there with you making sure you were safe and encouraging you.

3. Live by the Treadmill Inclines (Sprints are best)

Running incline is the best option for gaining strength at Orangetheory. I swear by it, I almost always run at a higher incline than 1 per cent.

People who use 1% incline and running 7.5 mph for pushes and never faster will deceive themselves into thinking that’s enough. While the heart rate may elevate, the rest of the body will adapt to the stimulus and less likely the fat is to burn off. You need to go faster OR use higher inclines.

I know that some coaches at OTF will encourage you to commit to being a walker, runner, or jogger but for people who want to gain strength that’s not the best idea.

We often talk about workouts with regard to Power, Strength, and Endurance — this is based on the energy systems of the body.

Power: 1-20 seconds

Strength: 1-60 seconds (power/strength overlap)

Endurance: 60 seconds or more, or when using light weights

Sample treadmill workout

If the coach calls for… you could choose to…

3 minute push: Powerwalking 12% incline, 4.5 mph.

1 minute base: Powerwalking 8% incline, 3.5+ mph

1 minute push: 4% incline sprint

1 minute base: Powerwalking 4% incline, 3.0+ mph

30 second all-out: 7% incline sprint

In any future workout, you could hit the same sprint speed, just at 1% higher than last time. You can even make progressions with .5% incline or even .1 mph would count as a progression. There are TOO MANY VARIATIONS that there is NO REASON to always perform sprints at the same parameters everytime. You will plateau.

Sprints and spinach

Sprints and spinach

Running 2% at 13mph is different than running 1% at 13mph. Not a lot different, but different enough to have inherent value with regard to training stimulus and getting stronger. If you’ve run 12 mph before, then why not try 11.7 mph at a 2% higher incline than last time?

In other words, experiment with as many combinations of inclines and sprint speeds as possible! Then go back to a previous best and challenge it for better.

Pro Tip: Most effective treadmill parameters for strength feature incline greater than 1%!

Be a part of this

I hope these tips help. Be a part of this. Post, comment, share, email me. I want to build this around you.

We didn’t even talk about nutrition in this post, while that continues to play an ever important role in gaining strength, tone, everything fitness you want.

 

 

3 Benefits of Glute dominant exercisee

This brief article is about reasons to drive your hips

Hip drive. Hip extension. Glute work. Here are the benefits:

1. Mind the muscle

You can promote neural connections between the brain and the important postural glute muscles. Prevent and manage neural disease or degeneration. Properly move the spine through the hip range of motion.

2. Helps against knee pain

A lot of people have had incidence of pain in the knees at some point in their lives and that doesn’t feel good. So we train the hips through a pain-free range of motion and the knees benefit from the stabilization and strengthening of the surrounding muscles of the legs.

TRX hip raise  w/ squeeze at top

TRX hip raise w/ squeeze at top (TRX on Amazon)

3. Feels good, body image 

If a person thinks they have a nice backside, they might feel really good about themselves.  I would exercise it and train it and then recover it. Make it perform better in the fitness workout so that you can recover it and do something more.

Exercise selections for group workout options: GLUTE training emphasis

This is a list of exercise ideas:

  • Some squat variations
  • Lying on your back 
    • Feet Suspended hip hinging (TRX / STRAPS) 3×8
    • AB dolly glute bridge / bosu glute bridge / feet on ground hip thrust 3×12 (if not 7/10 intensity or higher, then add more weight)
  • Hip hinge, deadlift patterns:
  • More lunges 
  • On hand, bodyweight
    • Donkey kick, leg raises, glute raises (bench/bosu)

Choose some specific exercise or exercises to focus on getting better in 30 days and you will also get a good glute workout

Making progression the resistance is important. First, select then exercise you want to focus on, then practice it at least twice a week and at most four times per week.

MODNAYMOTIVATION

EXAMPLE MODIFICATIONS

1. The Lunge Day

Start with your favorite lunge and go heavy/hard for no more than eight reps. Then move on to  a slightly less challenging weight and add 2-4 reps higher.Select different lunge variations and train various directions of motion whether onto a bench or not.

The most important thing is that you do something heavier or more challenging on the first round when you are the most fresh.

2. Squat and hip bridge combo

Start heavy/hard and then progress to higher rep schemes as you move on to different squat variations.

Start with heavy power bench squat with hips sitting as far back into it as possible while controlling the tempo. Add some weighted jump squats and then iso squat holds in several different lowered positions.

After the squats, perform exercises lying on your back to give your spine muscles some time to rest while you continue the focus of your glutes. Bridges, single leg raises could be feet onto a bench, trx, or any apparatus.

3. Deadlifts and core training combination

Any deadlift variation will strengthen the core and glutes. Then add some ab dolly pikes, TRX knee tucks, mountain climbers w/ leg raise combo etc. Also you can continue training your hip/glute bridging as it works the glutes without stressing the spine. Glute bridging/hip thrusts/hip raises definitely helps the cause.

Rest and recover after the workouts

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!