No Time For Exercise?

It’s interesting, I tend to hear the excuse “I don’t have time to exercise” a lot.   I realize we all have busy schedules, but this excuse doesn’t sit too well with me.  When I really start looking into people’s schedules and asking questions, I really can’t find any reason why someone couldn’t spare an hour, half-hour, or even just 15 minutes of time for their health and well-being.   Instead, some would rather choose to watch TV or surf the internet with their spare time.

I guess it all comes down to making the choice to want better health.  It’s not always easy making this choice, especially after a long day at work or running the kids around to school, sports or whatever else they’re involved in.

I know how hard it is to try and get motivated after a long day at work.  I work 10-hour days, with an hour drive each way, going to and coming back home each way.  This makes up for a 12 hour work day for me, and the long drive in rush hour traffic just wipes me out coming home each day.  I can’t find the energy to work out before I get ready for work at 4:30 am, so the only option I have is to make time when I get home sometime after 6pm.  It normally takes me at least 30 minutes to get in the door, get changed and try to get myself energized enough to start a workout.    I try and start my workout by 7pm and have it done by 8pm so I can cool down, eat dinner, and get ready for bed by 9pm.   Then I start the whole process over again the next day, until I hit the weekend.

It’s not always easy, but it’s a choice I make for myself and my fitness goals.  It takes hard work and dedication, but there’s nothing more gratifying than success with your goals, especially when it comes to your health.

Just remember, all that working out won’t do you much good if you aren’t eating towards your goals either.  Whether you want to loose weight, gain muscle, or whatever your goals are, your eating is the most important part of the equation.  The Ketogenic (keto) diet is my current choice for weight (fat) loss.  Now that I have the food plan in place the exercise has definitely complemented my goal for fat loss.  There are so many different options out there, but for me the keto has been the only plan that has targeting hard-to-loose body fat.

It’s all about making the choice to eat better, then adding exercise to complement what you are doing with your food plan.  Set your goals for both and stick to it.   Make the choice for you and your well-being long term, you’re worth it!

 

 

Great Workout With Core De Force

I’m now a big fan of Beachbody’s Core De Force workout! 

This is an awesome workout plan.  It’s easy to follow…. just pick the workout, hit play and follow along with the instructors.  The workouts are fast paced and challenging, but still easy enough to follow along with. It’s basically just plug-n-play and the workouts aren’t too long, that’s one thing I really like about them.

It’s amazing how sore my body was from kicking, punching and doing other MMA style moves.  That’s the best part of the workout, doing these types of exercises that work muscles we don’t use regularly.

Give this exercise plan a try, it’s an awesome cardio workout and I guarantee you’ll see results.  You can pick up the DVD set HERE, or even better, sign up for BeachBody on demand HERE and get unlimited workouts from every workout plan they have!   What a sweet deal that is!

Are You Using Creatine To Build Muscle?

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If you are focused on building more muscle and increasing strength, are you taking creatine to enhance your effort? If not, you should definitely try it.  I’ve been taking creatine products for years now, cycling the supplement in and out of my weight training workouts.  There is no doubt that the product works for me and has proven itself to be a “must have” supplement for most people interested in weight training and/or athletic performance.

Studies have shown creatine to be effective at increasing lean muscle mass, muscle strength and athletic performance.  It’s also been known to help increase muscular endurance, reduce muscle fatigue and hydrate muscles for a larger and more full appearance.

The problem is, what type of creatine should you use?  If you shop around, there are so many different types of creatine out there; creatine monohydrate, creatine malate, creatine HCL, Kre-Alkalyn, micronized creatine and many other varieties.

I’ve personally tried several different types of creatine and have had mixed results.  Some worked really well and some didn’t seem to do much for me….no strength, no muscle increase, really nothing as far as I could tell.

So, which product should you try?  Obviously everyone is different and products work for some and not for others.

One product I recently found that I’ve had good results from is called CreAde from RSP Nutrition.  This product is a creatine matrix with five forms of micronized creatine all in one serving.   According to the company, the creatine blend ensures maximum absorption and utilization to help increase strength and muscle size.  The CreAde transport matrix enables effective creatine transport without the need for simple sugars or carbohydrates.   This product also does not need to have “loading phase” like recommendations from most other creatine monohydrate products.

I found that the product did not give me any bloating or stomach cramping like some other creatine products out there.  The product does come in flavored varieties, but I purchased the unflavored version because I personally do not recommend using anything with artificial sweeteners.  The flavored varieties are sweetened with Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose.

I really like this product and have seen some good results.  I’ve been experimenting taking it both before and after my workouts.  Right now, I think I’ll just stick to taking it post-workout and see how it goes.  I’ll also cycle it every three to four weeks, then take time off in-between, as I’ve noticed my strength tends to level off after about four weeks of taking creatine.

I also found a great deal on it HERE.   If you are weight training you should definitely try this product, I don’t think you will be disappointed.  Plus it’s made in the USA!

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Body Beast Workout Review

A while back, I started a new workout program from Beachbody called the Body Beast.

This was an intense workout program with what I consider a cardio/weight lifting base platform.  In other words, the program has a lot of weight lifting moves (love it), but delivers each exercise with a general fast-paced circuit feel.  With the workouts, you move quickly through each exercise with little rest in-between, completing super sets, giant sets, progressive sets and combo sets.  At times, I find myself struggling to switch, add, or remove weights in time for the next move.  This program tends to really pace you through most of the exercises, keeping your heart rate up and cardiovascular system cranked up.

Depending on what your goals are, this may be a great workout plan for you.  Even if you are not interested in building more muscle, this plan will definitely strengthen you up and add more definition to your body.  The majority of the moves are basic enough for a beginner, but In my opinion this plan is better suited for someone that has been training for awhile and has a good base knowledge of body part-specific moves and weight training in general.

So far, here are some of the things I like about the program:

  1.  As I mentioned, the program has a lot of specific weight training moves, so it’s great for building strength and muscle mass.

  2.  The food plan is laid out in an easy to understand format.  I really liked that!  After years of training, I fully understand now that eating right according to your goals, with the appropriate amount of calories and macronutrients, is crucial for success.

  3.  Pop in a disk and follow along, it’s really that simple.  If you can get past some of the silly things the instructor (Sagi Kalev) says, like “your’re going to get huge” or “you’ll need to buy a bigger shirt” you can just move along through the program.  Sometimes It just makes me laugh….I personally think he’s pretty funny, but some people might think some of the things he says is really dumb.  I even mock his little sayings around the house after my workouts and the kids get a laugh out of it.  I guess you will have to get the plan to understand what I’m taking about!

  4.  The exercises really punish each body part that you workout.  This is a love/hate thing for me, but if you want results, this is what you need to do.  It’s really not about lifting heavy weights, it’s about using proper form and moving up in the weight range for each move.  If you do this, you will get stronger and add muscle (providing you are eating right).

I’ve been working out regularly for years. Although I am older now and my goals and priorities for my body have changed a lot, I believe this workout plan is best suited for someone who has been training at an intermediate level, just to take advantage of some of the more difficult moves.  I don’t want to discourage beginners from this plan either.  If you feel pretty comfortable with your body and are prepared for a good challenge, then give it a try, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Here are some things I learned through with this program. First off, I unfortunately miscalculated my caloric intact and didn’t realize this until over half-way into the program.  I’m really disappointed in myself for this because I miscalculated about 500 calories in my daily food intake.  I believe this was a costly mistake and limited my progress.  In the plan, Sagi has a specific calculation that needs to be done according to your goal with the program. For some reason, I didn’t calculate the last part of the equation that accounted for the caloric intake to maintain your weight.

I actually did maintain my weight throughout the program, but through the first two stages of the program you advance from the “Build” stage to the “Bulk” stage.  During both of these stages you should be able to start putting on some weight, which in theory should mostly be muscle added.  My weight did go up almost 5 pounds at it’s peak, so I can assume my food intake was fairly close.  My body fat also moved upward a little too, but it wasn’t drastic.  I seemed to hold a + or – .5% so far to this point.  Now that I am in the last stage, I should be losing more body fat because you drastically cut the carbohydrates out, in comparison to the first two stages.

One thing to remember about this plan is that the workout schedule is on a 6 day on, one day off rotation.  Honestly, this has been hard for me to maintain.  This has also probably inhibited my progress, as I have been consistently only maintaining 4 to 5 days of training each week.  Also, I started this program in late November and hit all the Holiday’s along the way, so that really messed me up too.  Between eating outside of the plan and taking in alcohol occasionally, I set myself back.

 

Click on the picture below to purchase the Body Beast program:

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Circuits for Fast and Effective Fat Loss

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Are you lacking the time to exercise?  Are you short on money and can’t afford a gym membership? Do you lack workout equipment?

Then bodyweight circuits are the answer to all your exercise excuses!

When using body weight circuits, you are getting in a total body cardio workout. All you need to do is pick 2-3 lower body exercises and 2-3 upper body exercises that you do using only your body weight. Alternate the upper and lower body exercises, doing 10-15 repetitions per exercise, with no rest until you have completed all the exercises one time through. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the circuit up to 6 times. There you have a perfect fat burning circuit in less than 25 minutes!

Not only do body weight circuits burn fat, but they help to boost your metabolism. By using  bodyweight training, you are incorporating both interval and strength training all in one workout and your body will not only burn calories while you are doing your circuits, but long after you are done!

Bodyweight exercises also help build muscle, which helps not only to increase your metabolism, but also makes you look sexy.

Beginners can start out with this bodyweight circuit, going through each exercise, resting at the end and then repeating 4-6 sets

  • Wall Ball Squat – 15 reps
  • Kneeling pushups – 10 reps
  • Hip Extension – 15 reps
  • Plank on Hands – 20 seconds
  • Bird Dog – 5 reps per side hold for count of 5 seconds

Intermediates can start out with this circuit, going through each exercise, resting at the end and then repeating 4-6 sets.

  • T-Squat – 15 reps
  • Forward Lunges – 12 reps each leg
  • Decline Pushup – 15 reps
  • Mt Climber – 15 reps
  • Close grip Pushups – 15 reps
  • Side plank – 30 seconds each side

You can use the bodyweight circuits in place of your interval training or added to your regular training. Add 1 or 2 cardio based exercises, such as jumping jacks or burpees and start blasting that fat!