Posts Tagged ‘fitness for women’
Many people are aware that squats can give you great glutes, wonderful toned legs, and an overall more beautiful physique. What most people don’t know is that squatting with inappropriate form can compromise your knees and back, making you prone to injuries. In my famous “Hundreds Workout,” squats are one of the main components. However, I would also like to share with people that they are not only important, but that it’s important to use proper form and technique. In addition, did you know that proper form can also help you get more toned abs? Read on…
There are five rules for the movement before, during and in completion of a proper squat.
- The proper squat is done while pressing through the heels (“toes up” is a good rule of thumb for beginners to associate the feeling of pressing all their weight through the heels).
- “Core Tight” before you start, after you start, all through the movement, and when you complete the set movement and are replacing the weight on the bar. Tightening the core is the foundation for this movement’s safety, because it reinforces all the mechanics in the body, as the core itself is the foundation (or it should be, anyhow, but most people don’t use their core, which is why they have back problems).
- “Chest up/Shoulders back” as you move! The proper squat starts with the core tight, torso tall, chest up, and shoulders back for proper form PRIOR TO BEGINNING THE MOVEMENT, and continuously through the movement.
- Make sure that your knees are not bent and leaned forward so much that your knees are NOT extended beyond parallel to your toes. A 90-degree angle, a right angle in other words, should be your target for your leg movement, dropping your butt back as you drop into the squat, with a goal of keeping your chest as high as possible.
- Inhale through your nose as you drop down into the squat and exhale through your mouth as you “explode up” out of the lowest point (the seated position) of the squat, returning to the standing up tall position.
The best way to begin learning proper form on most standing leg exercises is on the smith machine, which is a weight training machine that imitates a squat rack and a barbell, with the support that is needed to keep us from falling or putting undue stress on the joints. Remember to keep the core tight, chest up, shoulders back, as this combination supports the back. The smith machine is a very effective way to learn proper form of squats for beginners. Once you have learned the proper squat technique, it’s best to start off with very light weight (or even no weight at all), as you move forward by performing your own proper squat on the squat bar, free-weight style. It’s always great to have an experienced trainer or workout partner with you when you perform these exercises, so that they can be available to check your form, and support through spotting if necessary.
I have always struggled with keeping my legs and glutes firm, so I hope this article will help anyone out there with the same issues. Great tips are also available at siouxcountry.com for these and other great exercises. Be on the lookout- Workout videos will be returning to nitasworld.com! Meantime, you will see that I’ve linked this article to two other sites that share exercise videos for men & women. Be aware that there is always support available through chat threads online. You are never alone on the journey of fitness.
Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
Looking to get fit? Looking to live leaner and look better? Looking to get more energy? How many of you believe that you have to cut out bread in order to look better? Guess what. Your health can still benefit from bread, even in today’s society of junk food, processed food, and fast food. Well, which really works for you when it comes to bread? There are three choices you are left to when trying to live a fitness lifestyle, which DOES require that you watch the types of foods you consume. Which of the following sounds best? These are your bread consumption alternatives:
- Eat a full-fledged no-bread diet for the rest of your life
- Eat “bad” bread and get unhealthy from it
- Or finally, make better choices in bread so you can KEEP BREAD as a part of your food regimen, and still chow down on a sandwich now and then.
I elect choice number 3! I’m not really a big bread eater, to be honest, but the realities are that anyone likes a piece of toast or a sandwich from time to time, if not every day. Most parents who send their kids to school use sandwiches as the staple part of their children’s lunches. I make colorful salads with free-range/organic-fed chicken along with fruits and veggies for my children, but sometimes, they like to have a wild-caught tuna sandwich or a good old fashioned PB&J (with organic natural PB & J, of course).
Whether it’s a lean meat, tuna, or vegan sandwich, the type of bread will constitute the “healthy” in that “nutritious sandwich,” so there are a list of important factors to consider when selecting breads for your healthy living choices. There are basically four types of breads. Those four breads will impact all the considerable factors you want to know about if you want to keep bread in your daily diet. The health factors to consider when you are eating anything really, especially bread, are:
- glycemic index (how the carbohydrates in the food impact your blood sugar levels- especially important for diabetics)
- fat content (especially consider the amount of saturated fats, as this can affect weight, heart condition, cholesterol)
- toxic or artificial ingredients (look out for toxic additives, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives)
- vitamin and nutrient content
- fiber content
- caloric content (important consideration for those trying to lose weight- but this is the LEAST of your concerns)
Here are the four breads you have to choose from at all times, and these notes will help you consider what is genuinely going to be best for you, considering the factors above:
Enriched Flour (Wheat or otherwise) Wheat Bread- A processed flour which is so processed that it has been horribly stripped of it’s most nourishing nutrients and vitamins, thus requiring an “enriching” process whereby nutrients and vitamins have been added back in. This bread is generally very unhealthy, because you never know what chemicals were used in the processing of those grains. Such processes include the use of bleach in an effort to strip, clean, and break down the grains into flour, not different than making white bread. High glycemic, toxic, chemically enhanced, and usually contains corn syrup to enhance taste and may contain hydrogenated oils.
Sprouted Grain Bread- Grains that are soaked in water until they have sprouted and can then maintain their vitamins, nutrient, and nutritional property (protein) value. The sprouted grains are crushed and used to make bread. Higher and more natural source of nutrition, fiber, and protein. Sprouted grain breads are much lower on the glycemic index than all other breads, thus making this a very healthy bread for diabetics, weight-loss candidates, and those looking for a healthy alternative for their delightful sandwiches without the fat storage that results from eating most breads on a daily basis.
Whole Grain Bread- Also a decent alternative to enriched or white breads, whole grain breads are delicious, tend to be more natural, and can be appreciated for their lack of processing. Although they are higher on the glycemic index, they tend to be more whole and natural, excluding junk ingredients like corn syrup and hydrogenated oils- the worst contents outside of the bleach used to break down processed grains. You can get these breads with high fiber and high protein content, if you are really on the lookout, and it is cheaper than sprouted grain bread, but not as cheap at the lame alternatives like enriched or white.
White Bread- Do I really need to go into why this is the WORST POSSIBLE BREAD TO CONSUME- EVER! It’s white because it’s bleached! Gross! The grains that comprise these breads are so processed and stripped and, again, bleached, that they are not even grains by the time they go into your body. They are loaded with corn syrups, sugars, hydrogenation, and more garbage. Just read the ingredients, and look up the processes for yourself. They are simply a taste-bud stimulating chemical, void of any nutritional value whatsoever.
My favorite of all breads is the famous Ezekiel Bread. I love this stuff! Low GI (Glycemic Index), high in protein, high in nutrition, dense and grainy texture, with easy to digest and assimilate proteins, vitamins, nutrients, and naturally occurring amino acids. Another new one I’ve found is Dave’s Killer Bread. USDA Organic Dave’s Bread is delicious, my kids absolutely love it, and we can count on integrity and protein and low glycemic index. These three things are especially important for my household because my son has no pancreas, and is consequently diabetic. Protein and GI are important for diabetics. I myself, like to stay looking and feeling fit, and staying lean and energetic, so these breads in limited amounts (maybe once or twice a week) work best for me also. Finally, I also am itching to try this new Paleo Bread. This stuff is all natural, low glycemic, high protein, and they even have a low-carb version!
So, keep your bread. Eat toast! Eat sandwiches! Enjoy your grains in a healthy way. Let me know your results here at nitasworld.
Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL!
-Nita Lee Marquez
I have been in the fitness industry since 1998, and in that time, I have taken baby steps at some points, and leaped strides in others. Knowing that I grew up with weight struggles and many addictive behaviors, many people have asked me what has been most difficult for me to change in living more fit over the years. To that, I always say that the food has been the biggest challenge to overcome, but overcome it, I have! If I can change from a processed and fast food lifestyle to living fit with my three beautiful children, I know anyone is capable of it.
There are steps, not always big steps, that can create big change. Here are some great tips for a quick change in both your physical appearance as well as your energy levels:
1) Drink at least a gallon of water daily
You don’t have to drink it all at once! Just carry around a liter bottle and drink & refill it 4 times, and that will be an easier way to manage your intake.
Start with 1-2 liters daily, and gradually increase from there. Trust me, you will crave more, the more you drink, if you drink water in these amounts consistently.
The more water you drink, the more you will pee, most definitely, but you will flush out toxic build-up, thereby increasing your energy levels!
2) Pull the high-sodium foods
Traditionally known amongst fitness experts and nutritionists, we say that one “cheat” day per week makes sense. You won’t cause much damage that one day, and eventually, you may not even want as much “junk” on your cheat day as you have starting out.
High sodium foods include:
- canned foods (unless noted as “no salt added” – even the “low-sodium” soups and canned foods still have a lot of sodium if you’re someone who is trying to manage their weight or blood pressure).
- processed foods, like frozen tv dinners, burritos, pizzas, even Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and Nutri-System have TONS of sodium in their meal packets and frozen meals.
- packaged foods, like anything out of a bag or a box, tends to have a higher than desired sodium content.
- jarred foods, like pickles, salsas or anything else that is out of the jar, ready-to-eat
- condiments & sauces, like ketchup, bbq sauces, dressings, even mayonnaise has a lot of sodium most of the time!
- dairy, like milk, yogurt, some ice creams, butter, fake butter
I’m certainly not saying that you should completely cut these foods out of your diet, but if you are trying to manage weight or blood pressure, most often some of the excess weight can be dropped by pulling sodium and drinking more water. This is due to the fact that the first 8-20 pounds of weightloss on everyone tends to be water weight, and if you can just cut back on these foods that cause the water-retention, while drinking more water, you can usually lose that water weight quickly. The less junk you eat with sodium, the less water you’ll hold, and the less water you hold, the less lethargic you will feel.
These foods are simply something that you can, in baby steps, begin to cut back on and eventually eliminate, and the water is simply a rule of thumb that you can work up to, from the suggested 1-2 liters daily. The health tips can remedy blood pressure issues, weight management challenges, energy levels, skincare issues, and bloated stomachs. Try it, and feel free to post to this blog or email me at nitasworld.com.
That’s my tip for today! Remember to Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
It’s easy to stay active and fit when the weather’s warm. If you’re like many people, you probably spent much of the last few months swimming, biking, running, hiking, playing in the yard with your children, or savoring a nightly walk. But while warm weather may stick around for a bit longer, autumn has begun, and winter’s colder temperatures and shorter days are on the horizon. This is the time to think about how to maintain your exercise motivation beyond into the colder months.
The Harvard University School of Public Health states that exercise helps keep us physically healthy and even helps you cope with stress and bad moods. This is extra important in the fall and winter, when many people suffer from colds, flus and even seasonal depression. However, cold weather, early nightfall, and changes in your schedule can be barriers to keeping up your exercise routine. But these things don’t have to get in your way. Here are some tips for sticking to a fitness regimen as the seasons change:
* Move your workout indoors. An investment in some home gym equipment, such as treadmills and ellipticals, can make the difference between sticking to your exercise routine and skipping it altogether. Home equipment makes exercise convenient and weather-proof.
* Hit the ice. If you like to exercise outside, ice skating is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise even when it’s cold and snowy outside.
* Try snowshoes. Once a solid snowfall has arrived, snowshoeing is an ideal way to enjoy the outdoors and get a great workout to boot. It’s simple, fairly inexpensive and gives your heart, lungs, glutes and legs an incredible workout. If you don’t own them, you can rent snowshoes at many park districts and outdoor-sports shops.
* Enjoy the ski slopes or trails. Skiing–especially cross-country skiing–is a full-body workout. Many towns maintain local trails or hills for skiers to enjoy the snow and get fit at the same time. You can often rent skis if you don’t own them.
* Consider winter running or walking. You don’t have to give up your beloved outdoor walking or running once winter comes. Plenty of runners and walkers do so all year long. Just be sure to dress for the weather, avoid icy areas and make yourself visible with reflective clothing and clip-on lights if you run or walk after dark.
Do you need some extra motivation? These strategies can help you get and stay motivated when your mood is flagging:
* Change your time. In the winter, it may be too dark for your liking to run or walk outside in the evening. Try switching to early morning or lunch hour workouts instead.
* Find a workout buddy. A friend can provide social interaction, motivation and encouragement. In addition, if you’re nervous about exercising outside in waning light, a workout buddy provides added security.
Resolve to stay fit and active, even as autumn brings cooler temperatures and winter arrives on its heels. You’ll be healthier and happier.
Jim Rollince is a member of the creating writing department of Gym Source
He enjoys writing about Fitness, Nutrition, and many other related topics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s been a lot of talk about something called The Ultimate Body Applicator, also known as a body wrap. Made by It Works Global. You may have seen the ads for them. They might go something like this, “Firm, tighten, and tone in as little as 45 minutes!” “Lose weight immediately!” “Get your sexy back!”
I’ve done a lot of research on them and I’ve tried and tested them and I’m hoping to answer a lot of questions that people have, such as: Do they really work? How do they work? Is it a scam? Will I really loose inches in only 45 minutes? How long does the weight stay off? Is it just water weight? How many inches will I lose? How often do I need to wrap?
I’m going to start by saying that in my experience the wrap does in fact work and is not a scam. I’m a mother of three and I’m very active and healthy, and I try to live and lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s taken me almost 2 years to get back to my pre baby weight. I was very disappointed when I noticed the more weight I lost the looser my skin got. It started to sag and would hang over my tighter jeans. I was extremely uncomfortable with it to the point that I was thinking of getting a tummy tuck and cutting off what was left. My cousin had a good experience with a wrap, and I was so excited to try one. My first wrap I only lost .5 inches, but I saw tightening and toning immediately. That was it for me. I was sold. I am so glad to have found the Ultimate Body Applicator. It kept me from having to spend a fortune, and having to get cut open by a doctor. I have lost a total of 5 inches, which may not seem like much, but it sure has been a confidence booster for me. I feel much better about myself, and am not self-conscience anymore. I feel beautiful!
The average inch loss is 1-3 inches per wrap. Some women lose more, some lose less. Everybody is different. I’ve seen as much as 7 inches lost with just one wrap.
It is NOT water weight you’re actually encouraged to drink as much water during the wrap as you can, as well as for the next 72 hours. The applicator should not be compared to or confused with a diuretic. You don’t want to sweat while the wrap is on as this could clog your pours.
How does the wrap work? The body applicator is worn for a minimum of 45 minutes, (I’d suggest 1 to 2 hours), and it actually continues to process or detox for 72 hours after it is removed. You can put the applicator on any part of your body to spot reduce and see immediate lasting results. It’s a very strong detox, so it’s not recommended to do more than one area at the same time. The body applicator is infused with an all-natural botanical formula that causes the pores in the skin to open and allow the product to penetrate the skin and into the deeper layers getting right to the fat cells where it forces toxins out. Those toxins are then picked up by the blood stream and filtered through the kidneys and essentially are eliminated through your urine. This product is perfect for shrinking fat cells. It also works as an anti-inflammatory and helps with overall skin appearance, to give your skin a youthful look. Everybody’s skin processes differently. Some medications store in your cells for a long time and it may take longer to process. This is a healthy cleanse for your body. You are actually feeding your body something healthy!
How long do the inches stay off? It’s like any diet. If you lose a bunch of weight and then go back to your old ways you’ll what? Gain it all back, right? Same with this, except your results will last 2-6 months. So.. Drink a little more water, a little less pop, add some fruits and veggies to your diet, and try to eat three meals a day with small snacks in between. As long as you’re trying to be healthier the inches will stay off indefinitely.
Three things can happen with a wrap. One – You’ll see measurable results. The Ultimate Body Applicator is successful for the majority of users the very first time it’s used. Second – Nothing may happen. Although most begin to see improvements and inch loss after the first application some may take 3-4 applications to achieve optimal results. Those who are on medications and/or who have toxic systems (not regular) may fit in this category. Third – You may gain inches. If this is the case DO NOT be alarmed! This is actually a good thing! The Applicator will cause the toxins in the body to get stirred up, which will initially cause the body to bloat and produce an apparent gain in inches. Drinking a large amount of water within the next couple of days following the use of the Applicator will allow the body to flush the toxins and many have then seen a significant inch loss as a result!
Inch loss is not the only benefit from the Applicator. It also defines, tightens, tones and firms the skin, and visibly enhances the body’s contours. It also diminishes the appearance of cellulite and skin slackening. Improves the elasticity, moisturizes and vitalizes the skin, leaving it smooth and flexible with a youthful and fresh appearance.
With the Ultimate Body Applicator results are progressive. With each treatment you will be more pleased with your results. Every 72 hours, or at least once a week application is recommended for continuous, progressive results and for ongoing maintenance. The more consistent and diligent you are in applying the Applicator the better the results!
Additional products are available to help you get the best results from the applicator. Other products may also help by increasing metabolic activity, suppressing appetite, reducing fat and carbohydrate intake, to become more regular, and increase energy.
I hope that I’ve answered any questions you may have, but most of all I hope that I’ve done the Ultimate Body Applicator the justice that it deserves because it truly is a wonderful product.
If you’d like more information about The Ultimate Body Applicator or any of the other amazing products you’re welcome to contact me. I’m also looking for distributors in other areas to help spread the word.
like my business and see that “my it works” for you!
Lentils are great because they have no sodium, high protein, no fat, and moderate carbs (low-glycemic) with high fiber content. I like them because being a pescatarian [someone who eats only fish for protein- although I enjoy my egg whites and whey shakes, too] They are definitely a great protein source for vegans, and really, lentils are great for anyone who is trying to be healthier and stronger. I recommend them as part of a high protein diet, as well as part of a diet that requires more fiber.
“Simple, fast and healthy meals are my only alternative.”
The best part about them is that they require little to no work for preparation. “3-minutes or less in prep time” is my rule, because as a single mother to three children who are all busy with their own careers and school and training, I simply don’t have time for anything more than this, whether I’m cooking for them or for myself. Simple, fast and healthy meals are my only alternative.
As far as the taste of lentils, they can vary based on the spices used, of course. My personal preference is the Indian combined with Mexican spices. I am posting that style of lentils in this recipe today. They taste so good, even my children like them! And the texture is so smooth, that you can even mash them into a paste and spread them like hummus. They are absolutely delicious! See me son here to get his feedback on them! In the meantime, feel free to post comments and join my facebook page or join our group at AmericasHottestFitMoms.com to interact with the rest of the Fit Moms in the group and maybe talk about lentils and other fitness recipes and the fitness lifestyle. In the mean time, enjoy the lentils and BE PHENOMENAL!
Makes 2 servings:
1 cup lentils
1.5 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
in desired amounts:
red pepper (cayenne, or dried red chili peppers- whichever you prefer)
himalayan salt (mild amounts for those who are sodium-sensitive)
4 corn tortillas (i prefer yellow due to the rich flavor and also higher nutrient content)
1. pour all ingredients, minus the corn tortillas, into a soup pan.
2. boil at medium heat (i usually boil it all for about 30 minutes).
3. turn off heat, stir, and cool until water is nearly dissolved.
4. as you wish, you may also add a little fresh squeezed lemon juice
5. spread onto your corn tortillas and munch away!
I just don’t have the will power is a commonly heard phrase in fitness. Whether it’s a client, a fitness newbie, or someone who just explains why they refuse to even try getting fit.
Long ago, when we finished writing our book, FIT FOR COMBAT, my fitness co-author JD and I started cataloging what makes fitness, figure and bodybuilding competitors different from everyone else. Will power was at the top of the list. Will Power leads to self-discipline. When you want something badly enough, you will for it. In fitness, it’s no different. When you have the will for something, you CREATE the discipline to get what you want. If you want to be leaner, if you want to get into better shape, if you want to compete, or if you just want to be more active and feel more fit, will power is the doorway that leads you into manifestation of that goal.
It makes sense that self-discipline and will power would play a role in being able to stick to the diet and training program required to get into competition shape. We initially thought it would be the real difference between those who succeed in mastering their bodies and everyone else. As we studied what self-discipline really is, we realized that we had fallen into a common trap that social scientists call fundamental attribution error.
Every person has a reservoir of will power to draw on, like a will power battery, but the amount in that reservoir is not fixed at a set level. Research, by Professor Roy Baumeister at Florida State University, shows that our will power battery can be depleted by repeated acts of self control and decision making. Newer research by professors at the University of Chicago shows that our reservoir of will power is affected by whether we think there is a set amount of it or that it is unlimited.
The classic experiment by Baumeister, which has been replicated in hundreds of variations, asked student test subjects to eat radishes while being tempted with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Baumeister then asked the students to solve an impossible puzzle. The students did not know the puzzle was impossible to solve.
The real purpose of the experiment was to see how long the students who had to overcome the temptation of the cookies would work at solving the puzzle when compared to students who sat down, ate some cookies and then worked on the puzzle and a control group who just worked on the puzzle with no cookies or radishes involved. The results show that the students who had to overcome the cookie temptation gave up on the puzzle quickly. Their battery of will power and resolve was depleted by fighting the temptation to eat the cookies. The students who had to overcome the cookie temptation, used up their reservoir of will power, their reservoir of resolve, and gave up on the puzzle in less than half the time of the other two groups and made far fewer attempts to solve the puzzle. Baumister calls this effect ego depletion. The experiment shows that when we use will power for one thing, overcoming the temptation of a cookie, it drains a little of that energy from the battery making it harder to exercise the will in totally unrelated things like trying to solve a puzzle.
Baumeister showed the energy depletion of decision making in an experiment where students, prior to working on the impossible puzzle, were either forced to make a decision about a task or were assigned a task. The students who had to make the decision gave up on the puzzle faster and made fewer attempts to solve than the students who just carried out an assignment.
So, in fitness, we note that a general 9-5 lifestyle tends to lead to the attitude that “I just don’t have time” or “By the time I get home at night, I don’t want to eat a chicken breast and salad. I just want a quick snack, a TV and a bed.”
In our fitness data research, JD and I found that most people have a lot of power. However, most people’s will power is just all used up with the demands of their jobs, running a household and raising two young girls. Every act of will power, every decision, drains the battery a little bit more, but the battery is not fixed, it is rechargeable and we can have more will power if we want it, just by thinking we have it.
The point being that, Yes, You Do have the Will Power! You are just in need of a budget of your will power! It’s about management of your energy resources, and not about your lack of energy. For fitness, you do have the energy, yet, you have been lacking knowledge. Gaining more fitness knowledge, working out to gain awareness of your body, and learning to listen to your body’s language in terms of what to feed it to stimulate energy is the only real way to go. You can stop blaming your will power for your fitness disasters or your state of health and wellness. The key I have found as a mother, is that fit moms have just learned how to start managing the will power better.
When JD and I first thought will power was the difference between the physique competitors and everyone else, we were making a fundamental attribution error, an error that is endemic among humans. Fundamental attribution error is when we use a psychological or personality based explanation for a behavior instead of the situational explanation. We were too focused on the personality trait of will power and thought that the competitors must have larger reservoirs of mental energy—a bigger battery. When we went back and studied Baumeister in depth, we found a better, situational, explanation for the seemingly large reservoirs of will power of the competitors.
Fitness, figure and bodybuilding competitors are cooler toters, especially when preparing for a contest. Their meals are planned and timed and they carry them around with them. They know what they are going to eat and when they are going to eat it. It is all scheduled and becomes a routine. When something becomes a routine it no longer involves a decision. When it is no longer a decision, it does not require any mental energy.
The physique competitors did not have a larger battery of will power than everyone else, they just used less will power by making many decisions about eating a routine. It was easier for them to stick to the diet because the decisions that take mental energy were removed. The situation, the eating plan to get into contest shape, makes them just appear to have more will power.
When we started looking at the lives of successful physique competitors they nearly all had a structured daily or weekly routine. The diet and training demands precision, the only way to be that precise is with a pre-determined structure. Once the structure and routine is set, there were fewer decisions to be made leaving more in battery to handle temptations as the cropped up.
Most fit moms have figured out the secret. Women tend to be better planners, but that’s not limited to women only, just happens to be a general statistic. What I see in fitness and in the general population of fitness enthusiasts is that fitness minded individuals plan what they’ll eat and make it a routine. With those decisions removed, people are then expending less will power and found that they had more energy. Most of these fitness people and fit moms have ready-made forms of protein around their house, in their car and at their office. JD and I found that common possessions among the successful fitness enthusiasts included powdered whey protein, shaker bottles, water gallons, tuna packs, and pre-cooked skinless/boneless chicken, among the most common possessions. Even if routine is disrupted, there is always an automatic back-up that did not require a decision, like an apple and a can of tuna or a ready to drink protein shake. And of course, every one of them owns some kind of fat-loss grill for their chicken and fish
Removing will-power draining decisions is one way women figure competitors maintain their diet, another is the actual nutritional content of the diet.
A lot of people never even try to get into their best shape because they think they don’t have the will power to do it. They make the fundamental attribution error and think the competitors have more will power than they do. As the research shows, if you don’t think you have very much will power, then you will not have much will power.
The only true act of will power was taking the time up front to set the schedule and routine. After repeating the routine it becomes automatic. Women figure competitors don’t have a larger reservoir of will power than everyone else, they just expend less of it by having a structured routine and fuel their brain with ketones from fat.
Hollywood’s Anti-Aging Secret: The Natural Way to Fat Loss, Youth, and Fitness Longevity for Everyone
Two years ago Dr. Patricia Wexler let one of Hollywood’s fat loss and anti-aging secrets out of the bag–Growth Hormone. “Actresses use it to slim abdominal fat and increase muscle tone and libido,” Wexler said.
Actresses with insider connections to discreet doctors may inject their way to a youthful, fit and sexy body, but you can boost your own growth hormone naturally without any side effects by exercising smarter, Fit Moms and friends!
Human Growth Hormone is naturally secreted by the pituitary gland to regenerate cells, strengthen bones and make the immune system stronger. Its biggest effect, the ones the movie stars are after, is fat burning, which leads to a lean, fit, sculpted and beautiful physique, of course. Growth Hormone turns your body into a fat burning machine. Most women produce less than 10 nano grams of GH per milliliter of blood. A nano gram is one-billionth of gram, which means a little GH goes a long way.
The natural way for all you Fit Moms and Friends to boost your natural GH levels, and get the same effects as the starlets, is to ditch the pink dumbells and treadmill for sprints and real weights. Yes, weight training can lead to fat loss, Fit Moms, without leading you to a “bulky” physique (which is a common misconception that Fit Moms and most of our female friends have yodeled for years!). Weight training is the key to fat loss, anti-aging, and even well-maintained weight loss! Fit Moms and Friends, read more to learn the key to unlocking that potential in your body through weight training and sprints!
The results of an experiment on the effects of sprinting on women published in Oxford University’s journal Acta Physiologica found “Women elicited a greater response of serum GH to sprint exercise” than men. They always say men are the stronger gender physically, but it seems that in this trend, nature is possibly trying to bring ladies into a balance in this sense. Even the body’s nature is to bring balance between the sexes! The swedish scientists who conducted the experiment concluded, “this may contribute to explaining the earlier observed muscle hypertrophy in women in response to sprint training.” If you want toned, shapely legs, Fit Moms and Friends, well, even the doctors and scientists are suggesting that you run sprints. If you don’t run, then look at our other fat burning articles on interval training, which will yield similar results.
Yes, this is Empowerment for Everyone- Mother nature has in some ways leveled the playing field. We Fit Moms can get stronger with this work as we continue to do it, without gaining the muscle that a man will. Women cannot get big, bulky muscles from natural GH, but they get larger percentage increase from GH boosting exercises than men and a few extra nanograms will deliver a flat stomache and tight butt fast.
The quickest way to boost GH is to run sprints (as I stated earlier, check the fat burning category of articles at http://nitasworld.com/blogs for further articles on interval training, which will deliver similar results). The research shows that they key to effective sprints are the intensity, the speed you run, not how many you do or how far you sprint. When I use the word “effective” I am relating the “effective” results of sprinting or interval training to how well this exercise style will burn fat, helping the body look and feel sculpted and lean and beautiful, which is what every woman is striving for when we do any workout. Am I right, Fit Moms? I mean, seriously, which one of us wouldn’t kill (or sprint) to have Selma Hayek’s killer calves, and that Fit Mama’s fit and sexy thighs?
Do you think that it’s inconvenient to do sprints? Well, it takes less time than cardio to burn the calories you can burn in just a few minutes of sprinting, so time is not an issue, Fit Moms. And all you skeptic friends and fit moms are sure to realize that location is easier with sprints than going to the corner store. You already take your kids to half the places you can sprint, fit moms, and all the pet owners take their “kids” (pets) to the other places. None of this is rocket science. Not one of these places is an inconvenience Fit Moms and Friends, because you already go there!
Fat burning Sprints can be done anywhere: An empty parking lot, a low-traffic residential street, the play ground on the weekends at our kid’s school, the park while the kids play, or the sports field or running track at your teenager’s high school at night or on weekends. If you haven’t sprinted recently, don’t jump in head first running as hard as you can the first day, start by doing strides at a pace faster than a jog for four repetitions of 50 to 100 yards. Gradually increase the speed you sprint until you can do four of them all at all out racing speed. When you can do four at full speed, add an extra sprint every week. To make sure your intensity stays high, use a stop watch to time your sprint workout and push yourself to get them done in less time.
By running sprints three times a week and adding some negatives to your weight training, you can boost your natural Growth Hormone levels, burn more body-fat than you do with cardio, and save more time while you preserve your joints and bones, since sprinting is better for your bones and joints than jogging.
Here is a clip of my business partner and co-author JD Johannes running sprints:
As good as sprints are, the scientific research shows the super GH booster is lifting heavy weights.
An experiment conducted at the University of Virginia found, “For each incremental increase in exercise intensity, the fractional stimulation of GH secretion is greater in women than in men.”
That means the heavier weights you lift, the more GH your body produces. The biggest boost in natural GH came when women used weights that were heavier than they could actually lift. When you use a weight that is heavier than you can lift up with good form, but that you can control on the way down, your GH levels skyrocket. These types of lifts are called negatives and
an experiement published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that heavy negatives boost natural GH more than anything else. Pull ups, curls, squats, lunges and other types of weight training are really effective for this type of effect, and all these exercises will help you get a sculpted, toned, beautiful physique.
And Dr. Patricia Wexler does not approve:
“Human Growth Hormone is unsafe. I know dermatologists and actresses who use it to slim abdominal fat and increase muscle tone and libido. But it can accelerate also a hidden cancer to grow. It can cause funny bone spurs to grow and enlargement of the heart … just to name a few of the many reasons why I consider it unsafe.”
Women get more out of sprints than men. More GH, etc. “Women elicited a greater response of serum GH and insulin to sprint exercise. This may contribute to explaining the earlier observed muscle hypertrophy in women in response to sprint training.”
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
“The findings suggest that the acute metabolic and GH responses in the 90/70% condition were more favourable compared with the 70/70% condition, and a significant correlation between the optimal ECC load and 1RM per BM-ratio was observed.”
Heavy eccentric load produces best hormonal response…heavy negatives
University of Virginia, Journal of Applied Physiology
“For each incremental increase in exercise intensity, the fractional stimulation of GH secretion is greater in women than in men.”
After the birth of my daughter, with the proper nutrition and a consistent weight training/cardio routine, I sucessfully lost 75 pounds (40 from pregnancy, plus an additional 35 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight) and 20% body fat. I am not only a fit mom, but I am also aspiring to become a licensed nutritionist, and I’m even helping transform my family’s fitness habits. We are a fit family!
I am in the best shape of my life at 37 years old. I’ve proven to myself that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have had children, or if you don’t have model perfect genes. With hard work and clean eating you can absolutely attain the physique you have always dreamed of and bring your health and quality of life to a whole new level!
This journey hasn’t been easy for me with a baby and husband to take care of, a household to keep in order, and running my own skin care business. It has been difficult at times to keep a consistent workout schedule, as well as spending countless hours in the kitchen, planning and cooking meals for my family.
Our health is very important to me and, above all, I want to set a good example for my daughter. My fitness transformation has been a wonderful experience even with all the challenges, and I offer many thanks to the support from my husband for that. My husband is also an amazing father! He has always been there when mommy needed to squeeze in a workout, or stay late for clients at work. On top of all of this, he has gotten into the fitness lifestyle with me. He himself has also benefited from a cleaned up diet full of veggies, lean protein and complex carbs, losing 25 pounds in 5 months!
My incredible fitness trainer, Jamo Nezzar of Jamcore Training, has been the core of my fit physique success. He is a constant source of workout inspiration, exercise and nutrition guidance, fitness knowledge and overall fitness motivation. He has helped me in so many ways to become more powerful, not just in fitness, but also in other areas of my life. Through getting more fit, I gained more power in my life in all aspects. I have discovered a strength in myself that I never knew existed, and I attribute that to the habits and determination that I retained throughout my fitness journey. Because of the advancement I found in my fitness lifestyle, I feel strong and confident, and I look forward to each and every workout with my trainer as well as my solo workouts.
I want to continue the fitness lifestyle forever! Thank you Jamo, for changing my life in such a positive way. You are more than a fitness coach. I am thankful for your impact on my lifestyle choices for being more fit, setting goals, and learning to develop the habits and determination to reach them.
On December 3, 2011, I reached my ultimate fitness goal, competing in my first NPC Bikini competition! It was an unbelievable experience, sharing the stage with some incredibly fit women.
My goals for 2012 are to continue to condition my physique and possible do another show in May. I would also love to earn a degree in nutrition and to help others change their body and their health through better food choices. Cooking and collecting recipes has become a hobby of mine! I love transforming unhealthy, fat-laden recipes into clean, delicious meals that fuel your energy and keep your metabolism running at it’s peak. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless! Here I will share quick & easy recipes to support a fit lifestyle, as well as training (based on my own experience) and motivational tips. Thanks
Please join me and Nita Marquez in the Fitness Empowerment Movement on the following links on Facebook:
Bodybuilders don’t run, and nor do obese people. But I’m not a bodybuilder, or an obese person. I’m a fitness chick, a fit mom, and a fitness personality. My goals are obviously different from a bodybuilder’s goals, and definitely, I have a different lifestyle choice than a person whose main goals involve constant fulfillment of my taste-bud compulsions.
At this stage in my life, my goal is always to become truly fit and achieve prime longevity. As one point in my career as a fitness competitor, I was running a lot and lifting weights with an extremely high carb, high protein diet, and only then I was starting to resemble a bodybuilder. People who didn’t know better thought I was one.
But you know what kind of fit physique athletes have a lot of muscle, and are really lean, with Olympic level stamina and power? Women’s Fitness competitors.
They run. They run a lot. They do weekly sprints, middle-distance, plyometrics anything that will get their heart to the bursting point.
And if these women can carry body-toned muscle around, while running and with the power and stamina to do our fitness routines—well they are worth at least probing into the minds of. Where I learned about my own fitness interval training from was from my ex-husband, who was basically my trainer before I met my trainer of 13 years, Tim Sparkes, at Die Hard Gym in Arizona. My ex-husband was a former track and football star in high school and college.
What I learned from my ex-husband is that I was doing my running all wrong. First of all, I jogged, and I did so very lazily. I loathed the cardio work, so I dragged myself through it. It didn’t matter that I was a fit mom, a fit chick, or a fitness athlete in training. I was thinking about my cardio conditioning the wrong way, as most of us do for the first few years of our fitness quests.
Just about every fitness center has some serious runners as members. These “fitness” people log 20 to 40 miles a week and are in great cardio vascular condition—but most of them look remarkably average. They do not have much muscle and many of them are skinny fat. Sure they have strong hearts, but some of them store more body fat and subcutaneous water than the person who is walking into a gym for the first time. These runners are not in poor health, but their shape is generally not of the optimal fitness aesthetic grade considering the fitness workload they are undergoing. I believe in running, I do. I also like working out smarter, and distance running for fitness is definitely the harder path, if you’re trying to look better and even feel better.
The best explanation for this phenomena may be controversial, but the facts are right in front of us. Cardiovascular exercise DOES NOT WORK to lose body fat long term, period!!
Why is this? Let’s take a hypothetical individual: Female, 30 years old, 145 pounds, sedentary. She decides she wants to be fit and “get toned” (keep in mind, everyone has a different idea of this word, so it’s subjective). So she takes up running on the treadmill for an hour a day 5 days/week. Nothing else in her life changes, her diet and lifestyle remain the same. In the first week she loses 5 pounds. If she maintained her consistency 5 days a week, would she lose 250 pounds this year? Of course not, and why is this?
Firstly cardiovascular activity is very efficient at chewing up muscle tissue, the steps are as follows:
1. Conversion from fast twitch muscle fiber to slow twitch muscle fiber, by
acquiring mitochondria and relinquishing contractile protein. Smaller fiber, less
2. Excessive Cortisol released in response to the damage to the fiber as a result of the exercise. Cortisol acts as a natural analgesic, but severely hampers protein synthesis and muscle repair. It also damages the immune system, and ultimately will contribute to all of our deaths – so I’m not sure why anyone would do anything that would accelerate this process.
3. It has been shown that high volume cardiovascular exercise can completely deplete satellite cells in muscle fiber, which means no new fiber can grow or existing fiber be repaired, and as we age, we have a natural propensity to lose muscle as well as bone density. Muscle helps our metabolism and enhances bone density.
4. Growth Hormone levels decline with high volume cardiovascular exercise, which also hampers the repair process. Low growth hormone also accelerates aging.
5. To sum it up, you can’t train all day, and you can’t stop eating, but you can always build a bit more muscle, so quit the cardio and concentrate on the weight lifting.
Secondly, after all these details about how cardio fitness training eats up muscle, you must know that the first week of ANY fitness program, and likely the first month even, you will lose weight with rapid results. That’s water weight dropping off because you are actually getting off of your butt. That’s not the “weight” you are losing, it’s the water. You are not really getting more fit, but your body is filtering out a bit so that it can set a better foundation for you to start getting fit.
Your weight-loss will look more like 8-12 pounds monthly if you’re doing it right and if you expect it to stay off. If you’re an athlete or you’re training for an athletic event, your body requires more training than average, and more extreme dieting than average, but that’s not average for a person who is just trying to lose weight and just starting to get fit.
That was a very strong argument for not doing cardio. But I need to be able to keep up with kids, work, training clients, caring for my household, and still having stamina in the gym. Cardio conditioning is a must for me. Plus, I need strength and power.
The solution was to train like a professional female fitness athlete—specifically, one that always wins the fitness routine portion of the contest. And what does the fitness athlete woman do? Sprints.
For women who run, but they want a great physique:
With high-intensity interval training you “sprint” on any cardio exercise for short bursts that go for less than two minutes, and then you slow to moderate, and sometimes even low-intensity pace for a short burst. You want to go high intensity to kick your heart rate way up, and then you drop the intensity to less your body rest, while not giving your heart rate enough time to drop out beneath a fat-burning zone. If you do this for short bursts of time, you don’t give your heart rate a chance to drop severely, and therein, you are able to keep your body burning fat, burning calories, and staying hard at work, even though you won’t feel like you’re working hard while your body recovers during your lower-paced durations.
Like cardio, this too can strengthen your heart, and keep you from feeling sluggish. On the other hand, in comparison to cardio, interval training burns fat for longer periods of time. You will burn fat for up to 13 hours post-workout with intervals, whereas with cardio at a constant moderate rate will only burn fat efficiently for up to 2 hours post workout. So, why would you spend more time and burn less fat, much less want to gamble the possibility of kicking out cortisol? This is why many fitness professionals who know what they are doing will not recommend long dull high, low or medium-intensity periods of cardio.
The best way to gain cardio conditioning and maintain muscle is to do what all fat-burning physique athletes does—sprints.
As sprinting becomes the core of your cardio conditioning program and distance running becomes the ‘functional’ training, so you do it for form, awareness, and monitoring. It’s a means for measurement when needed, but it’s not necessary for the actual progress.
When I started doing sprints in the morning for my cardio, my strength gains in the gym accelerated a little bit and I started to get leaner without really trying, and my husband noticed an extreme difference in how my body was responsive to my diet and weight training. My lines and cuts in my muscles showed up and they never had before I started sprinting. My workouts were more exhilarating and I could produce more within them because my fitness level and stamina was increased through sprinting.
Now I was able to get more in my fitness routines, I could run with my daughter in her stroller for better bursts so I wasn’t gasping for air. I was stronger than I would ever need to be on the fitness stage or in the gym. I had burst speed and explosiveness and I had the stamina and endurance to keep up with any of the guys at the gym.
So, I am not advising the novice to average fitness person to sprint, but I am encouraging those of you who run– just try this for 6 weeks and see how rapidly and extremely your fitness levels, your energy, your stamina, and your physique changes. See how lean you get and watch a sculpted physique appear that you never knew you had.
As for the fitness enthusiast who is new to the world of fitness and fit physique training, try intervals, we have more blogs on the Fat Burning Workouts categories to your left here in the blog at nitasworld.com. Check it out. Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are worth the work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
America’s Hottest Fit Mom ™
Fitness Empowerment Author
Miss National Fitness
Proud Mother of Three