Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Which is better? Lighter weights or heavier weights?

It’s good to mix it up every now and again to stimulate muscle confusion. In this confused state, the muscles feel challenged and as a result, are forced to change and adapt to step up to the challenges, therefore, they become more responsive in producing results for fat-burn, strengthening, and developing lean muscle definition.

But as a general guideline: you can’t exactly burn a ton of calories during the process of lifting light weights in steady sets, but going heavier does melt more calories, especially when you work at an uncomfortable intensity that will produce the “after-burn” effect. Using heavy dumbbells triggers more fat-burning hormones, which fire up your metabolism for hours after the workout (creating the “after-burn” effect).

Aim for 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps at a weight that makes the last 2 reps tough to complete — tough enough you almost have to hold back from letting out a little growl. ;)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Do you know what "core" muscles really are?

Most people think of the core as a nice six-pack, or strong, toned abs, but the truth is that the abdominal muscles are only a small part of the "core muscles". The major muscles of the core is actually the entire torso area of the body -- this includes the abdomen, mid and lower back, and peripherally, includes the hips, shoulders and neck.

The strength, speed and ease of your day-to-day bodily movements, or any other physical activities, especially in sports, is vastly determined by the strength of your core. To build a strong core you need to exercise a variety of muscles from your hips to your shoulders. 

I'm going to quickly show you here, one of numerous ways to challenge your core muscles (with and without the stability ball) -- including progression from beginner, intermediate, to advance. Try it!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Are you breathing to survive or to thrive?

Did you know that something as simple as the way you breathe can determine the quality of your overall well-being? Basically, we can narrow it down to 2 types of breathing: 

1.) You're breathing on autopilot (which is the majority of the population), just enough for the body to survive. Or...

2.) ...you're breathing deliberately and deeply (diaphragmatically) to not only survive, but to truly allow the body to thrive, easing discomfort or pain, promoting repair and recovery, relieving stress, and even supercharging your workouts. 

So watch yourself, are you breathing shallow all day long? Or are you mindfully making time to take deep diaphragmatic breaths -- the kind of breath that when you inhale, expand your belly (NOT your chest)? 

Which one are you? Is it time to re-train the way you inhale (taking in life force, oxygen), and exhale (releasing toxicity, carbon dioxide)?

There's no shortage of this kind of information online if you dare to search. You'll find countless techniques and methods to help you reset healthy breathing patterns and change the quality of your overall well-being. Experience less headaches, less stress, less aches in the body, basically, less discomfort of sorts; and increase your energy to stay vital and vibrant.

Spend a small moment over the weekend looking into what I'm sharing here. You'd be surprised how this little piece of information can drastically change the quality of your life.

Now go, breathe your way to more vitality!