After spending a lot of time working with females, most of whom train for one thing or another and looking at many many hormone panels it has really blown me away just how little the average female seems to know about their hormones. Especially as they relate to the menstrual cycle. This article will be a bit of an insight as to what is going on inside a healthy females body, why, and how to manipulate your diet and exercise to make use of the hormonal see saw. I would love this to become common knowledge instead of anytime the term “period” is used we try to block our ears.
It is important to remember there is no “normal” cycle. So long as it’s regular that is the main thing. Some women have a cycle that last 26 days, some 30, some 31 etc etc with the average cycle being thought of as 28 days. I will focus my numbers based on this.
It makes perfect sense to everyone that getting up off the couch and flooding your body with freshly oxygenated blood is GOOD for you… But did you know the benefits of training outdoors are not just physical?
For some people, the thought of setting an alarm even earlier than they already do, to get outdoors and do some exercise outside before work is HORRID! But don’t be so quick to fob off good the ol’ outdoor morning cardio…Apart from obvious health benefits, there are some incredible mental benefits too!
As the weather gets colder and daylight is shorter we can be more prone to catching the flu! Just because we aren’t “shredding for stereo” or parading around in a bikini doesn’t mean we should neglect our health!
Here are a few easy ways I personally use to prevent catching a cold and keeping healthy in the winter months.
Focus on the core and compound routines – strength training- leg workout
When it comes to strength training, building muscle mass, and losing body fat mass, there are a number of stories out there, and every person you ask has an opinion. Is high protein low fat the best diet, should you be lifting such heavy mass, should you include cardio training (and so forth), are some of the many questions out there. But, when it comes to developing muscle mass, you want to focus on the core, and include complex exercises in to your strength training routine, in order to see the best possible results.
Core training - Your core consists of dozens of muscles; these muscles are responsible for things from holding you upright as you stand, to protecting your internal vital organs; for this reason, they have to be strong. The stronger your core, the stronger your entire body. Some great exercises you can include in core training include: - Planks (frontal and oblique). - Ball crunches, side crunches, oblique crunches, reverse crunches. - Push ups and pull ups. These are some of the hundreds (or more) exercises to include in your strength training regime, when it comes to developing the core. The stronger your core, the slimmer your frame, and the more development you are going to notice, when it comes to lifting.
Compound exercises - Another aspect to consider when developing your strength training, is to work with your own body weight, in the form of compound exercises. Some of the most common exercises include: push ups and pull ups, dips, lunges, full body squats, and similar exercises where you are basically using your own body weight for building muscle. Not only that, these exercises allow you to focus on more than one muscle group at a time, meaning you can do less (time), and still see optimal results when you are trying to develop muscle mass. If you would like to build more muscle, you can include dumbbells, barbells, ankle weights, or weight plates, to make these exercises more challenging as well.
Include cardio - Cardiovascular training should also be a part of your strength training regime. Since you are not trying to lose weight (for the most part), but want to put on muscle mass, you want to focus on slower speeds, and adding the highest resistance levels possible when you are doing cardio training. Also, short spurts (interval training), at higher intensity, followed by low intensity drills, are a great option for cardio. Depending on your personal goals, the amount of time you are on the bike or treadmill will vary, but 15 to 30 minutes is usually more than enough when you are focusing on building muscle mass.
There is no right or wrong way to go about strength training, since there are so many opinions and diversified opinions (from any professional you ask). But, these are a few basics to consider as you are setting up your own personal strength training, when you want to see optimal results, in a shorter period of time once you begin that training regime.
I wrote an article years ago entitled “Can eating cheeseburgers make my shoulder hurt?” where I discussed a theory of being “allergic” to certain foods which would cause inflammation and therefore pain in my right shoulder. I based my hypothesis on the fact that a) I have chronic shoulder pain and b) this pain was far less when I ate clean foods. Years have passed, kilos have come and gone and thousands of hours of research on many topics have led me to being a much more educated physical culturist. So let’s revisit!
So you’ve just finished dieting down for a bikini competition. You’ve worked with a coach with little to no knowledge about nutrition and he’s driven you into the ground with 500 calories per day and 3 hours of cardio to get you “in shape”. You starve your ass off then gorge yourself after your show, put on 10-15 kilograms of fluid and fat. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “metabolic damage” so that’s your new buzz word as to why you’re a tubby.
Does the above sound familiar to anyone? With Fit-X and FILEX just passing and shows being done and kilos stripped off and piled back on, if I see one more woman (or man) facebook post something along the lines with “woe is me I have metabolic damage” I am going to flip.
To each achieve the results we all individually desire it’s common to think and also assume we must spend 6 or even 7 days a week in the gym to reach such goals. Some people train more than once a day! The surprising fact is that some of the most famous physiques on earth have been built on only 4 hours of training each week. We are going to look at some of the different theories behind training, and by training I must point out I will be specifically referring to weight training. I am going to look at the benefits of incorporating rest days into your training routine and what the associated benefits may be from doing so.
I’m a big advocate of organic eating. In this instance we will leave meats to the side and discuss fruits and vegies. Not because it’s more nutritious. The jury is still out on that point. Considering it’s grown in the same nutrient deficient soils just as conventionally grown foods are then it’s no surprise to me that there is evidence that nutrient values are not all that different. [1, 2, 3]
However the main and most important reason to choose organic over conventionally grown foods is what is DELIBERATELY left out – Pesticides and fertilizers.
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