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Exercise

The benefits of yoga

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Have you ever done yoga? Do you hate, like it or love it?

There are those who love yoga and those who hate it. It´s amazing how though and challenging it can get and we cannot deny that it will give us an amazing workout.

Yoga is not my preferred type of exercise but I can´t deny that it has amazing benefits, I´ve practiced it for some months and I realized that the slow paced workouts and holding a pose for a number of seconds is not what I love to do in terms of exercise, it is though and challenging the part I liked about it was improving balance and how I need to be concentrated on what I do to maintain the pose, even when I love and prefer to lift weights and cardio I take one day a week to do yoga.

It´s true that yoga helps you improve flexibility, mobility and posture and it´s also an amazing exercise option for improving balance and reducing mental health problems.

The mind-body connections when you are doing any pose needs to be at point, you need to be really focused and center on what you are doing otherwise you´ll lose balance and fall off the pose you also need to get strong so that you can sustain your body weight in any pose and hold it.

Yoga workouts include meditation and breathing techniques that go hand in hand with the pose you are working on, all this combined encourage relaxation which is incredibly helpful to reduce stress it also helps to reduce depression, anxiety and improve mental health, the way yoga combines breathing, meditation and poses by creating harmony is what your bodies need to relax, calm down and stay in the present moment.

Yoga is not the same as stretching or calisthenics, even when you can use some of the exercises or poses from yoga as stretch exercises what gives yoga its plus is the breathing techniques, you can be stretching but if you don´t know how to breathe through the poses you´ll only be stretching, with yoga you learn to breathe and meditate, you are focused on your body, how your mind, body and soul connect is amazing you get in touch with yourself in a very deep level.

Yoga is a great way to get lean for people who doesn´t want to lift weights and do intense or long sessions of cardio and it´s also low impact, it is perfect for people who love a physical activity that is more calming but that increases strength so that they can looked lean and toned without getting bulky. This is why it´s so popular among girls and women.

I don´t know about any other type of exercise that combines physical activity with breathing techniques and meditation as a way to calm the mind and body, to relax us and lower stress while exercising. One way to improve anxiety and depression is to focus on yourself and to stay in the present moment not letting your mind wandering in the future or the past, yoga does this amazingly apart from breathing techniques and meditation during the workouts we need to be fully focus and present to maintain balance and hold the poses when we harmonize your body, mind, breathing, emotions is when we can start healing ourselves.

With all this blood pressure lowers, it keep all systems of our body like nervous system, immune system healthy, the hormones on our body are in balance, etc. so love it or hate it, it has amazing benefits not only to get in shape but for overall health. When your body is in synergy meaning when everything is connected and working in harmony that´s when you get the most benefits and the best results, not only how you look but also how you feel.

Yoga is one of those tools we all need to try al least once to see if you like it or not, it can be a great complement to any exercise program. Give it a try and let us know what you think about it by leaving a comment on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Why sitting is a disease

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How much time do you spend sitting?

It doesn´t matter if it´s on the couch, in the car, at the office in front of a computer. How much time do you spend sitting each day?

One of the biggest problems we´re facing nowadays is the obesity epidemic, being obese or overweight or having some weight to lose leads to many other health problems and there are 2 culprits for this. Unhealthy diets and a sedentary lifestyle.

There are so many diets and so many different weight loss programs but obesity and overweight keep increasing. What frustrates me is that the industries keep making everything harder to keep you eating all the junk food and keeping you lazy while they keep making millions.

It´s actually really simple to lose weight, keep it off, improve your health and maintain optimal health and a healthy weight that considers body composition, it all comes down to eating the right foods, in the right amount at the right time and being more active throughout the day.

And I need to say that if you go to the gym or have some time of your day schedule to train, or work out it´s not enough.

The problem is sitting for too long, when you sit for too long the hormones, genes and systems in your body stop working properly, especially your metabolism and blood glucose. It´s obvious that the more time you spend sitting the less calories you´ll burn. So, if you are more sedentary because you spend too much time sitting and if you eat the wrong foods, at wrong time in the wrong amount then your body won´t work properly. This lead to metabolic disorders and it´s the cause of many health problems we´re seeing now that start with obesity, overweight, diabetes but it can get worse with problems like heart disease, dementia and cancer. Sitting for too long also leads to organ damage, spine damage, muscle loss, leg disorders, bad posture, short life span.

Many people think that by working out, going to the gym and doing some exercise there that´s all they need to stay in shape and maintain optimal health, this is wrong. Even when going to the gym and lifting weights has so many benefits that play a key role on optimal health and longevity and you´ll also look great and feel great that´s only one part. Going to the gym and lifting weights or doing some resistance training for one hour is great but it leaves you with 23 hours left and what you do on those 23 hours is also important.

Technology has done things easier, we want instant gratification, we want to be lean and healthy without any sacrifice but sadly this is not possible, we´re not designed to be sedentary, to spend long hours sitting and it´s causing a lot of damage to our body but, there are different options to increase physical activity but it all starts with you, being aware of how much you spend sitting and deciding to change that.

If you sit for longer than 60 minutes stand up and do some physical activity for a couple of minutes, you can walk, do some stretching, go up or down stairs. Also find ways to increase physical activity any chance you have by parking as far as possible from the entrance when you go shopping to the mall or groceries, from the entrance of your office or school, use the stairs instead or elevator, if you´re going a place nearby walk or use the bike.

Remember that your workouts are one part of this big puzzle of fitness but it doesn´t replace physical activity. And also remember that the longer you´re sitting the more damage you do to your metabolism and all other genes, hormones and systems of your body.

Tracking daily steps is a great tool to make sure that you´re active throughout the day. While some people argue the benefits of getting 10,000 steps all at once or dividing them into small walks throughout the day in my opinion it´s harder for all of us to schedule some time to get those 10,000 steps all at once and from what I´ve research and found and what I´m sharing on this post you don´t need to get 10,000 steps all at once, it´s better to spread them throughout the day. You don´t need to get obsessed by hitting 10,000 steps daily, use them as a guide, some days you may have more work to do and you may only get 8,000 steps, other days you may get more steps, the whole goal is to get more physical activity. So don´t get obsessed with getting 10,000 steps every single day, just make sure to get as close as possible and always keep in mind that the goal is to be more active and avoid sitting for long periods of time.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

How to start increasing physical activity

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What you we do every single day is what we become, that daily routine creates our life. If we spend most of the time sitting then it will lead to all kind of negative results.

We all know that exercise is key for optimal health and weight loss, but we can not think about exercise just a something we need to do every day for a short period of time, we need to think about it as being more active throughout the day, finding ways to add more physical activity, the best way to do this is by walking, adding small, short walks is a great way to increase activity.

Most of us spend most time sitting in front of a computer on the couch, in the car and we have the bad habit of leaving the car as close as possible to the entrance wherever we go, if it´s at the mall. On the past years we´ve become very lazy, we don´t want to suffer, we want things fast and with the least work and effort possible from our part. This is a huge problem; this has caused so many health issues and we need to reverse that by increasing physical activity.

Here are 3 steps you can follow to increase physical activity throughout the day:

1.- Go for a walk every morning.- Every morning before having breakfast or before going to school or work go for a 10 to 15 minute walk.

2.- Go for a walk after dinner.- Every night right after dinner go for a walk, the moment you get up from the table go for a 10 to 15 minute walk before doing something else.

3.- Walk for a couple of minutes every 2 hours.- If you have a sedentary job try to get up and walk for 5 minutes every 2 hours, or walk 2 or 3 minutes every hour.

These steps may seem so simple but none of us do them, we are so busy that we don´t have time, so we rather stay in front of the computer checking social media or the news.

If you do want to improve your life you do have time to increase physical activity, instead of looking at your phone every 10 minutes focus on the work you actually need to finish for one hour straight and then take a rest by walking. Checking social media, your phone or the news every hour don´t give you any positive outcome but, if you stop checking your phone, social media and the news and you focus on what you need to get done you´ll be more productive then you take a rest mentally by walking and then you concentrate on the next activity.

Increasing physical activity improves your health and your entire life, it´s not only about losing weight, it´s about keeping it off while maintaining optimal health and you´ll get all the benefits that lead to having a better day, increasing performance and on the long run you live a better life.

We all have time we can use to go for small walks, if you can´t get out and go for a walk you can stand up and stretch, sitting leads to many health problems and stretching has so many benefits, just by standing up and stretch for a couple of minutes improves posture and gives your mind a rest from what you´re doing.

Even when you do need to schedule one hour 4 or 5 days a week for a resistance exercise routine you still need to stay as active as possible throughout the day, resistance exercise helps you build and maintain muscle and it´s also important for maintaining strength and optima health while staying active throughout the day helps you burn calories so that you can sustain your weight loss results and also maintain optimal health.

If you´re struggling to find ways to increase physical activity let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter, we´ll be glad to help you.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

How to start exercising when you´re struggling with your weight

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If you have weight to lose, if you are overweight or obese I´m sure you´ve tried to lose weight before and I´m sure you´ve hear the most common advice: you just need to eat less and move more and I understand how hard it is to follow that advice. If it was that simple then you won´t be looking for strategies that do work.

In my opinion it is rude and disrespectful to even mention that advice, you do know that you need to eat less and you do know that you need to exercise, but I understand how hard it is to get up and exercise when your knees hurt, when your back hurts, all your body hurts, you feel tired and you can´t stand up for too long.

I´ve mentioned before that sustainable weight loss is not as easy as eat less – move more, that advice is just one piece of the puzzle, you also need to consider your metabolism and hormones, the reason why you feel tired and you can´t stop eating is because your body is not working properly so you need to fix that first so this means that you need to start your weight loss journey by changing you eating habits first, this will help you feel better so that you have more energy to exercise.

After following a healthy diet for a couple of weeks you can start exercising, at this point you may have lost some weight and you feel better, I´m not saying that you´ll feel amazing just after a couple of weeks of eating healthy but you´ll start feeling a little better and with more energy so that you can start getting up and do some physical activity.

The goal of increasing physical activity throughout the day and start exercising is to improve your health and to burn calories which will help you lose weight and you need to make this a daily habit so that you maintain optimal health and can maintain and even improve your weight loss results but, since you´ve been sedentary for years then you need to start small and build from that, even when you need to start small you do need to challenge yourself, here are 3 steps you can take today to start exercising:

1.- Go for a walk every morning.- Every morning before having breakfast go for a 10 minute walk. Starting your day with some physical activity gets you in the right mood to accomplish more things and keeps you on the right track.

2.- Go for a walk after dinner.- Every day right after dinner go for another 10 minute walk. The moment you stand up from the table go for a walk, do not sit on the couch or do any other thing, get up and walk.

3.- Do 10 squats and 10 push ups.- At any time during the day do 10 squats and 10 push ups, you do not need to do the normal versions, find easier versions of the exercises you can do, you can use a chair for the squats to help you so that you don´t go too low, place a chair behind you, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-with apart, slowly bend your knees and sit on the chair and stand up. For push ups you can use a wall, stand in front of a wall (facing the wall), place your hands at the level of your shoulders and slowly bend your elbows and lean your body towards the wall, then push back.

This 3 exercises are the best way to start exercising, there are 2 important points to consider, first you need to challenge yourself it does take effort and hard work to lose weight and keep it off so every time you need to make it more challenging, just make sure that you are challenging yourself enough to make your body change without injuring yourself. And second you need to do it every day, the only way to lose weight and keep it off is by developing healthy habits, this includes being consistent with your exercise. You can´t do your exercises one day and skip them 5 days, this won´t lead to results, it´s better to do 20 or 30 minutes of exercise every day than 4 hours on a single day and rest 5 days.

These 3 steps are the starting point, follow them for a couple of weeks and let us know how you feel by living a comment on Twitter. On future posts we´ll be sharing with you what you need to do once you´ve lost some weight and you can increase the activity. Remember that our goal is to help you develop the habit of daily exercise so if you have any doubt or question let us know, we´ll glad to help you.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Why walking is great

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When it comes to exercise most people on the industry make everything harder than it actually is, you may have seen this. If you´ve tried to lose weight you may have found different exercise routines with so many different exercises, long and boring sessions of cardio or intense intervals and you end up hating exercise. One of the secrets to lose weight, keep it off, maintain optimal health and live an long and healthy life is walking.

We can´t deny the fact that nowadays we´re a lot more sedentary than a few years ago, we spend too much time sitting, we´ve become lazy and as we reduce the amount of physical activity we increased the amount of unhealthy foods we eat and with this health problems like obesity, overweight and chronic diseases increased too.

When it comes to cardio people think about it as the best tool for weight loss and they think about steady state cardio which we´ve talked about it in another post (click here to read about it) where you do a certain activity for long periods of time, some people like to go to a park nearby and jog or cycle for 45 to 60 minutes. Others prefer to go to the gym and use a cardio machine for those 45 to 60 minutes.

For most of us it´s hard to schedule 45 to 60 minutes of cardio every day plus some days of resistance exercise, you need to realize that daily physical activity is key so you need to make cardio a daily habit. The good point about this is that you don´t need to go to a gym and use a machine and you don´t need to go to a park nearby, you don´t need to schedule 45 or 60 minutes for a long cardio session.

Walking is one of the best types of exercise you can do every single day to lose weight, maintain your results and maintain optimal health, here are so many reasons and benefits for walking every day:

  • Improves your heart health
  • Improves overall health
  • Improves your lungs
  • Burns calories
  • Improves your mood
  • Reduce stress
  • It´s sustainable
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • It´s convenient
  • It´s low impact

A 10 to 15 minute walk after a meal helps lower blood glucose as a 45 minute walk. For most of us is really hard to get 45 minutes and go for a long walk, and it´s impossible to stick to those 45 minute walks all at once for long periods of time, is really hard to make those long walks a habit, but we can take a 15 minute walk first thing in the morning and after dinner. It´s easier for most of us to get 30 minutes of physical activity just by walking first thing in the morning and after dinner. Since they are short we see them as small challenges we can really accomplish. 10 to 15 minute walks are easier to do and convenient, this set you in the right mindset and it doesn´t matter where you´re at you can get them done.

Being active throughout the day is one of the ways to improve overall health and maintain a healthy weight, sitting for too long leads to health problems and also gain weight so by taking 2 or 3 walks throughout the day or finding ways to stand up is helpful. If you work a 9 to 5 office job and you can get up every couple hours and walk for 2 or 3 minutes it will have a huge positive impact.

Start today taking 2 walks a day, you can start after dinner and get everything ready for tomorrow, there´s no reason to overcomplicate things when you got everything you need to change your life for the better, just follow the simple steps and tips we share with you on this site. If you have any doubts, questions or there´s something you want to know let us know by leaving it down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

How to develop the habit of daily exercise

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Yeap, you read that right. You need to develop the habit of daily exercise if you do want to lose weight once and for all. There´s no other way to lose weight, keep it off and maintain optimal health.

Even when following a healthy diet, getting enough high quality sleep and keeping stress low will do wonders to help you maintain an healthy weight and optimal health in general, exercise also plays an important role on making it all possible.

As I´ve mentioned in other posts, your weight loss journey is not only a period of time you´re focused on losing weight, during that same period of time you are developing the habits you need to keep that weight off. This is why you start small and build from there.

The way to develop the habit of daily exercise is by replacing unhealthy or bad habits with good ones. Most of us are sedentary, we spend so much time sitting whether it´s on the car driving from home to the office and back or sitting in front of a computer or screen working or on the couch watching tv. This sedentary lifestyle is one of the reasons why so many of us are struggling with our weight.

One of the best ways to develop the habit of daily exercise is by doing some physical activity first thing in the morning. When you do some exercise in the morning you set your day to be more positive and productive, we talked before about how exercise improves your mood so after exercising you feel a sense of accomplishment plus you get all the endorphins that trigger that positive and good mood setting you for a great day.

If you´re struggling with your weight and you´ve been following an unhealthy diet for years and you´ve been sedentary your first goal is to increase physical activity throughout the day, there are 2 simple steps to make this possible:

1.- Every morning go for a 10 to 15 minute walk before breakfast. When you wake up try to take a walk as soon as possible, the more time it takes you to get that walk done the harder it will be for you, the first days and weeks it will be hard because you´re not use to it, and you want to stay on bed so you need to get up as fast as you can and go for that walk. Then when you´re done you can have breakfast or start your day.

2.- Every day right after having dinner go for another 10 to 15 minute walk. Do not spend too much time sitting at the table after you´re done eating, instead get up, do the dishes and go for a walk.

This 2 steps may seem so simple but taking action is the hardest part. You don´t want to follow intense workout programs your first goal is to get some physical activity, to start moving and then with time you start increasing effort and time. You don´t need to suffer and make the exercise routines so intense that you feel like dying, in fact this can be dangerous and harmful for your health and body leading to injuries and health problems so you need to start slow and build up.

By taking this two 15 minute walks you´ll be getting 30 minutes of total physical activity every day, it´s easier to stick to this type of exercise since most of us have some free time after waking up and right after dinner and we use that time to read the news or check social media so you change those minutes for something that will have a greater positive impact on your life. Trust you won´t lose anything important during that time, you only need 10 minutes to get up to date on news and social media every day.

You need to make those 30 minute a routine first so focus on those for a couple of weeks, then you need to find another 30 to 45 minutes 4 to 5 days a week for resistance exercise.

You don´t need to spend hours every day in the gym to get an amazing physique, you just need to exercise the right way with the right amount of effort and intensity. Remember that consistency and discipline are more important.

Follow to 2 steps I mentioned here for a couple of weeks and let us know how you feel by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Best exercise for weight loss

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Weight loss is a long and hard journey, you feel tired all the time and your body hurts. Your knees hurt, your back hurts, you can´t stay standing up for more than a couple minutes at a time, you spend most of the time sitting on a couch or lying in bed. I can´t deny the fact that the first weeks are going to be tough but if you give this exercises a try and stick to them you will start feeling better every day.

Even when some types of exercise are better than others for weight loss the best exercise if the one you like and enjoy doing and the reason is this. To be able to lose weight and keep it off you need to develop healthy habits and one of those habits is exercise, you need to do some type of physical activity every day, so discipline and consistency is key and the only way to do it is by doing something you enjoy otherwise you´ll see it as something you are forced to do and at some point you will give up.

I mentioned in past posts that cardio is not the best option for weight loss, too much cardio can lead to muscle loss if you´re not doing resistance training and even when doing resistance training both types of exercises send different signals or messages to your body.

Getting stronger by doing bodyweight and compound exercises and increasing physical activity throughout the day like walking are the best tools to lose weight and maintain your results. Now knowing this information, you need to find out what you like and enjoy doing.

What I recommend is doing bodyweight exercises like push ups, squats, pull ups, leg raises, dips there are many reasons why this exercises are great and one of them is that you need a lot of strength to get to the most difficult variations of each and you need to lose weight to make it easier for you, also take a 10 to 15 minute walk first thing in the morning before breakfast and another 10 to 15 minute walk right after dinner, make those walks moderate intensity, make then challenging. The only way to see your body changing is by putting it through something it´s never been before, you need the right stimuli and with body weight exercises you´re giving the right stimuli to the muscles to get stronger and by walking you are burning some calories which combine with a healthy diet and eating less you´ll lose weight.

Doing one arm push ups or one arm chin ups or pistol squats look amazing, if you want to impress a guy or a girl this is the way to do it… well at least one way. You won´t see a lot of people doing harder versions of bodyweight exercises.

There´s a huge advantage to this workout, first it´s simple and you can do it almost everywhere, you don´t need expensive gym equipment or machines you may only need a pull up bar and a good pair of sneaker and a pair of sweat pants. You can do this at home until you feel more confident and want to do something else like going to a gym or practice any sport.

Another huge advantage is that if you do this consistently which is the most important point which means you need to exercise every day and you eat a little less of healthy foods then you´ll see results and the results you´ll see will amaze you so you´ll stay motivated and stick to the program until you develop the healthy habits you need.

It´s easier to stick to any program when you enjoy the exercise or physical activity so is you don´t like bodyweight exercise but you like yoga or pilates go ahead, give those a try and see what you like more, if you like jump rope then try it too, the key is to find something you like and that you do it consistently. You need to think about your weight loss journey as a journey to develop healthy habits that will lead to sustainable weight loss and maintaining optimal health.

If you´ve tried a weight loss program let us know what type of exercise where you doing, if you like it or not and what were your results.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of isolation exercises

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For the last posts we´ve been talking about types of exercises, we talked about bodyweight and compound now lets talk about isolation exercises which are helpful for some muscles.

Isolation exercises are single-joint movements and they work one muscle at a time so we can´t lift heavy weight with these exercises. They may not be the best option to gain strength, but they have their space on some workouts.

When you go to the gym you´ll see most girls ang guys doing a lot of different exercises and using different machines, most of those exercises are isolation exercises. If you start exercising and you get assigned a trainer she or he will also make you do different exercises with small dumbbells or bands, most of those exercises are isolation. If you´re starting your fitness journey and your goal is to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight considering muscle mass and body fat and maintain optimal health then you don´t need a lot of this isolation exercises in fact most of them can be a waste of time for you, but you still need to know why people in the industry use them and why they are important for some girls or guys, especially for bodybuilders and those who compete.

If your goal is to lose fat and get lean, you can create a great exercise program with just bodyweight and compound exercises but if your goal is to gain muscle you can add some isolation exercises to hit weaker muscles and increase the amount of work for the muscles.

While for compound movements you can lift heavy weight and work on myofibrillar hypertrophy, strength and power, with isolation movements you can´t lift heavy.

If you feel like a muscle group needs more work, then you can use isolation exercises to give that muscle the extra work it´s missing. You´ll be using a weight we can lift for around 12 to15 reps, you can go a bit heavier and hit the 10 to 12 reps. In both reps ranges you´ll be working on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range (if you want to learn more about types of hypertrophy click here).

There are so many isolation exercises and variations for every muscle group that it can get overwhelming, to keep it simple you can stick with some few exercises for 2 or 3 months so that you can see your progress, especially if you are starting your fitness journey. You need to get familiar with the movements using lighter weight before you can add more weight and that process takes time.

When you focus on bodyweight and compound movements, you may feel like some muscles are weaker or lagging and want to work them more, for this you use isolation exercises to hit those muscle specifically. 1 or 2 exercises for those weaker muscles is all you need, there´s no reason to do a lot more, if you feel like we still need more you can use some of the variables and advance techniques you´ll be talking about on future post like rest pause, failure training, drop sets, etc.

When your goal is gaining muscle you may be looking to gain muscle mass on one specific muscle so the way to do this is by adding more volume which you can do by combining bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises, you can use bodyweight and compound for heavy weight low reps and you can add 1 or 2 isolation exercises with lower weight and high reps, this way you can hit that muscle with both types of hypertrophy and add more volume.

One point that needs to be really clear is that isolation exercises isolate muscles so they work one muscle at a time this means that you won´t be able to lift heavy weight, you use them to add more volume to your workouts especially on weaker muscles, if you let your ego get in the way and you try to lift more weight you can get injured. You need to avoid all types of injuries because they can take us off the gym for a certain period of time.

You exercise at home or in the gym to build your best physique possible, one that looks great and that is useful so you don´t care about what others around you are doing, you focus on your progress on being better than the last time you did it.

All exercises we can find in books, magazines, internet, etc they all belong to one of the 3 types we´ve seen in the last posts which are bodyweight, compound and isolation but we can find so many different exercises that can be overwhelming if we try to do them all. As I´ve said before we can keep things simple by focusing on what works, we can stick to a few exercises for each muscle group and develop a great physique.

I know this is a lot of information and most of them may not be useful for you but understanding why they are so popular on gyms is important. I mentioned before that weight loss and fitness can get very complex but I´ll try to keep everything as simple as possible, for what I remember this is one of the most complex information I´ll be sharing with you so don´t get overwhelmed by it or stressed out.

On future posts we´ll be sharing easy tips and steps you can follow to lose weight so stay tuned.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of compound exercises

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Every time I pass through a gym I see people doing so many different exercises for each muscle group which for me only makes the workouts more complicated, if you are one of those guys or girls who do a bunch of exercises for each muscle group but, you´re doing them for a reason, and you understand why then that´s great but, many people don´t understand why they´re doing certain things a certain way, they just follow some workout they found on the internet or the one that some  friend recommended them.

In the last posts we talked about bodyweight exercises now let’s talk about compound movements which along with bodyweight exercises are really helpful to get an amazing physique and improve overall fitness and strength.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles at the same time which gives us the opportunity to lift more weight. The more weight we can lift, the stronger we get, and we gain more muscle (considering that our food program is right). This type of exercises have a lot of benefits including lowering the risk of injuries (considering that we don´t let our ego get in the way), we can do more in less time but it doesn´t mean that it´s going to be easy and we keep things simple.

Performing compound movements with free weights (barbells or dumbbells) is the best option even when we can´t lift the same amount of weight compared to gym machines or other equipment.

My approach to training is old school, sticking with a few basic exercises with high weight and low reps and adjusting some variables according to the goal you´re working on. Since compound exercises are multi-joint movements, you can lift more weight, so they are the perfect option to lift more weight in a low rep range.

Compound movements also require balance and coordination so as you keep increasing the weight your performance will improve too.

When you are using compound movements it is simple and effective but it doesn´t mean it´s easy. And since you´re working with low reps and high weight things get harder meaning maximum muscle recruitment and high nervous-system activation this is the right stimuli for muscle growth and strength. Here you need to consider recovery, which is as important as your workouts, the central nervous system needs more time to recover so you can´t train the same muscle group 2 days continuously.

If your goal is fat loss, you can stay with bodyweight and compound exercises and focus on low rep ranges around 8 to 10 and make sure that you maintain strength so that you maintain muscle mass.

You don´t need to do a lot of different exercises for each muscle group, keep what works and eliminate what doesn´t work. If you focus on key movements, you can build a great physique that is useful, there´s no reason to look great if you can´t perform great. Your goal is to improve body composition and build a physique you are proud of and that is useful for daily activities at your home or your job.

If you´re starting your weight loss journey and you have a lot of weight to lose you can start with bodyweight exercises only as I mentioned on the last post (click here to read that post), once you´ve lost some weight and you feel comfortable you can buy some dumbbells and a bench to start with compound exercises if you still don´t feel comfortable going to a gym. Exercises like squats, bench press and dumbbell or barbell rows are great options. Focus on maintaining good posture and avoid injuries. We´ll talk about all this on future posts so make sure you don´t lose any post.

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Pam

Exercise

Benefits of bodyweight exercises

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For someone who is starting their fitness journey or for someone who has many years training, bodyweight exercises are always a staple.

One day I found out some videos on YouTube about calisthenics and all the guys looked amazing, lean and in really good shape, I finished watching the video and I stood up and tried to do some pushups, for my surprise I couldn´t do any… not even one. I felt so weak and angry and realized how could that happened if some years ago I could do 50 pushups?

I practiced Karate for about 11 years since I was 5 and I was able to do 50 pushups, squats, dips and bodyweight rows. Remembering this got me really angry, I wanted to be able to do that same amount of reps on each exercise and increase weight with weighted vest to go low rep.

Bodyweight exercises are one of the best exercises to get in amazing shape for many different reasons, there are variables for each exercise for any fitness level from the simple versions for beginners to more advance versions and we can do them anywhere.

Bodyweight exercises have so many benefits and they can reduce injuries when exercising, with any bodyweight exercise you are moving your body through space and it requires more strength and balance, but since they are compound movements or multi-joint exercises you are working several muscles at the same time and the range of motion is more natural which reduce stress on the joints and avoid injuries.

If you think about what type of exercise can get you in amazing shape and help you build an amazing physique it´s bodyweight, when you start you´ll find all exercises so hard to do and you may feel terrible, you may feel so weak and like failure but don´t give up, we never give up! When you start you know it will be hard and challenging even the most simple versions but that´s how we all begin, with time you start losing fat (if you´re following a right diet program) and you realize that as you lose weight and get stronger the easier all exercises get. As you lose fat and get in better shape, you weigh less so you need to push or carry less weight in the exercises, this is a great motivation to stay lean.

When you´re starting your fitness journey you´re are out of shape and you don´t want to go to the gym because you feel embarrassed so what you can do is start in your home with bodyweight exercises as resistance training and a couple of 10 to 15 minute walks every day for cardio, this helps lose fat and get in shape, with this our self-confidence increases and then you can go to the gym to add more exercises like compound movements and isolation.

We all need to be able to do bodyweight exercises and yoga which both take a lot of skills like strength and balance, when we can control our body and our mind we are able to achieve amazing things in life, it´s amazing the physique we can build just by working on getting stronger and progressing through all different variations of each exercise and we add some yoga poses we learn new skills that will also help us in our day to day.

We know that starting a weight loss journey is hard, you need to start doing physical activity at some point, usually 3 or 4 weeks after changing your diet so with exercise you need to start with small challenges, you do need to challenge yourself in order for it to change but this does not mean that you need to suffer or put yourself at risk of injuries. You can start by doing 10 pushups using a wall instead of the floor, and 10 squats using a chair to help you. Try this for a couple of weeks and let us know how you feel by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam