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Exercise

Training variables: Frequency

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How many times per week can you work each muscle group? Does we need to increase and lower frequency according to our goals? I´ve heard this questions a lot and they both refer to training frequency, here there´s not a right or wrong answer although there are some tips you can use to get better results.

There needs to be a balance between frequency and volume and we also need to follow a good nutrition program that supports the amount of work.

Frequency refers to how many times per week we work each  muscle group, we´re going to divide it into low, medium and high frequency. If we follow a typical or the most common training split in bodybuilding which last 5 days plus one or two days of cardio or rest we have low frequency because we are hitting each muscle group once per week, if we follow a 2 days split or a 3 days split and do it 2 times per week it´s medium frequency because we are working each muscle group twice per week and if we do full-body workouts 3 days a week that´s high frequency.

So the question is what is the best frequency for each fitness goal? and the answer is it depends of some other variable specially volume and intensity and it also depends of the other 4 principles of fitness and the time we´ve been training consistently.

If we are new to working out,  high frequency by doing full-body workouts 3 days per week on none consecutive days is a great option. If we do full-body workouts 3 days a week the volume for each muscle group will be low on each workout The goal here is to develop the habit of working out and we need to do it with activities we like that gives us the best results possible, if we hate doing 3 or 4 day splits then it will be harder to get up and exercise.

If the goal is fat loss and considering that we need to be on a caloric deficit it may be hard to do high volume workouts so moderate frequency is a great option, hitting each muscle 2 times per week gives our body the stimulus needed to keep the level of strength so that we maintain as much muscle as possible. This option is great for someone who has been working out consistently and it´s already a habit. With moderate frequency we can combine rep ranges, we can do one workout with heavy weight/low reps and the second workout with higher reps/lower weight.

If our goal is gain lean muscle mass we have 2 options, the first one is low frequency with high volume and high intensity, since we are working each muscle group once a week we are giving them enough time to recover but if the volume and intensity of each workout are not right it may not be enough stimulus for our muscles to grow. The second option is moderate frequency which causes more hypertrophy and it causes more muscle growth, we may not be able to do a lot of volume but keeping the intensity high is crucial.

There´s one more option for muscle growth which I´ve seen a lot of people using which is high frequency, working each muscle 3 days a week with full-body workouts. I personally don´t like this one but you can try it and if you like it and get results keep doing it. The problem with this one is that in most cases I see people using it to try to gain muscle mass and see results faster but more it´s not always a good thingg. Recovery is crucial for muscle growth and if we are hitting each muscle 3 times a week they may not have enough time to recover.

All variables work together if we have high frequency we need to go lower in volume, with volume high we go lower in frequency, intensity also depends of the amount of volume and frequency and they all need to consider enough time to recover. But to set the right frequency the other 4 elements of fitness also play an important role. If our goal is fat loss we need to make sure that we are giving our body enough nutrients to get through daily activities and the workout while we are on a calorie deficit so that our body uses stored body fat.

If we want to gain muscle we need to give our body enough nutrients to recover, repair and grow and also enough energy to get us through the workouts.

We also need to have good quality sleep every night and rest and keep stress low. Our body recovers while we are resting and sleeping if any of this elements is not on point we won´t see great results.

Let us know in the comment sections how many times are you working each muscle group per week now and it you´ve tried different frequencies which one gives you the best results?

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Training variables: Rep ranges

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If you´ve been training for a while do you vary rep ranges on your workout programs according to your goals or do you stick with the most common?

In fitness we can achieve different goals from fat loss, muscle growth, strength, power and for each of them we need to work on different rep ranges and that´s what we´re going to talk about in this post.

For the last months and years I´ve seen a lot of guys and girls interested in knowing which is the best rep range they need to focus on, as many other things in training there is not a right or wrong answer and I consider all of them to be great options.

If we go to a gym we see most guys and girls working in the most common rep ranges which is 10 to 15 and most of them do the same thing over and over for months which at least for me it gets boring and we hit plateaus. Working on different rep ranges keep our workout challenging which is what we need if we want our body to change.

It all starts with our goal, we can use resistance training for all goals just by changing the rep range we use, it´s not the same to train for power than to train for endurance the rep ranges are as follow:

1 -4 for power

5 – 8 for strength

8 – 12 for hypertrophy

15 – < for endurance

With this we know in which rep range to work according to our goal, for muscle gain we can use strength and hypertrophy on the strength rep range we´ll be building dense muscle also called myofibrillar hypertrophy which is the one that last and with hypertrophy rep range also called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy we are able to gain size faster but it doesn´t last, if we take some time off the gym we start losing that size. This two rep ranges are the ones we can focus on more to build an aesthetic physique.

For power and strength rep ranges we need to use compound movements which are the ones where we can lift more weight, for hypertrophy and endurance we can use compound and isolation. The endurance rep range can help us burn fat and sometimes gain some muscle, we can use all types of exercises, compound, isolation and bodyweight.

If our goal is to gain muscle mass then the best option is to focus on building dense muscle mass by focusing on the strength rep range around 5 to 7 reps using compound and bodyweight exercises and add some isolation exercises for weaker muscles using the hypertrophy rep range around 8 to 12 reps.

Getting stronger on the first 3 rep ranges specially around 5 to 12 reps by using a tool called periodization is an awesome strategy that keeps us getting stronger and gaining muscle mass, if we get stronger on the power and strength rep ranges we are able to lift more weight on the hypertrophy rep, gaining muscle is about getting stronger (we also need enough quality food and recovery).

When we work on power and strength the central nervous system gets stressed a lot and it takes more time to recover so we need to consider volume and frequency when training on this 2 rep ranges, with hypertrophy and endurance the central nervous system doesn´t get the same amount of stress.

Weight loss and gaining muscle are the most common goals so strength and hypertrophy are the most used rep ranges but once we achieve our goal taking some time and maintaining it gives us the opportunity to work on the other 2 rep ranges. When we train for power we need to be really conscious and focused on form to avoid injuries, I personally don´t like to work below 5 reps, I mostly go from 5 to 7 and 8 to 12 focusing on building dense muscle with bodyweight and compound movements and sometimes I add some isolation exercises. Sometimes I use the endurance rep range with bodyweight exercises specially when I want to lose fat and I could go for 50 reps in some exercises.

Our ultimate goal is to improve body composition and get a physique that is useful, we don´t want a body that looks incredible but it´s not able to perform, by this I don´t mean that we need to be pro athletes what I mean is that we want a body that looks amazing and that performs great in our daily activities and also in case of an emergency.

All rep ranges have their space on training and they´re all great options for different goals, using all of them using periodization keeps our body guessing and making your workouts fun and challenging. Since working out most be a habit then we need to understand all the variables will be talking about to be able to create or adjust our programs accordingly to be able to build the type of physique that we want but also to keep each workout fun and interesting.

Share with us in the comment section which is your favorite rep range and the one you are working on now.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Exercise variables that help you achieve your goals

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Have you asked yourself if the workout you are following is the best for your goals?

There´s no reason to spend hours at the gym working as hard as we can if the workout we´re following does not goes according to our goal or if it´s just not right which is what happen with most weight loss programs and we end giving up feeling discourage. We need to exercise and work hard, there´s no doubt about it but we need to make sure that our work will give us the result we want, we need to work hard and smart. This is why we need to understand the basics and that include learning about training variables.

In the last posts we´ve been talking about bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises and I´ve mentioned some variables we need to adjust our workouts according to our goals so it´s time to start looking at those variables.

I´ve you´ve been following me for a while you know that I like to keep things simple and there´s no exception, we´re going to start looking at more complex information but I´ll keep it as simple as possible so that you can understand it and use it. Even when it´s a lot of information you´ll see that it´s not that complicated and you don´t need to learn it all in one day, you can come back as much as you want to re-read the posts.

The training variables I´ve been referring are: rep ranges, frequency, volume, periodization, progressive overload, intensity, variation and recovery. I´ll write a post for each variable so that we can go deeper.

Each variable is highly important and we need to consider each when creating any workout program according to our goals. It´s not the same to gain lean muscle than to lose fat or just maintain our weight, the basics for all goals can be the same but you need to adjust each variable which are the ones that are going to make our workouts look different.

All fitness programs use all or some of this variables, the more variables we use the more complex things can get until we understand all of them and get some experience but the most effective our workouts will be.

All resistance workouts are based on this variables, how we manipulate them depends of our goal, we need to consider all of them for each workout program, if we go high frequency, with high volume and not enough recovery we can over train. All of them work together to help us achieve the best results but we need to know how to make them work together.

Have you ever asked yourself why can´t I do the same workout every day? Or why some programs change routines every week while others change them every month? why in some programs we have more rest days than in others? why some programs last 1 month while others last 3 months? The answers to all this questions is that it depend of the goal and from there the fitness trainers who create the programs adjust the variables needed to give you results.

In most cases we won´t see fitness trainers, fitness experts or gurus in the gym talking about all this variables, some of them may use  them without knowing, others may know the basics but none of them will explain the reason why they took one variable and manipulate it a certain way.

With the next posts we´ll be able to know how to adjust each variable, in what rep range we need to work for better results, how much volume and frequency is needed, how to use periodization in a way that is simple  to apply, how to use progressive overload if we´re working at home with limited equipment, how to measure results and much more.

If you are new to training you may be overwhelmed with all the information to come but it may be all you need, if you are more advanced or want to take your training to a higher level you may want to learn about advance techniques and how to use which we´re going to see after we finish training variables.

The whole idea is to give you all the information you need so that you can create your own workout programs and achieve any fitness goal. If you don´t want to design your own workouts you can download the ones we´ve created based on all the information we share but still it´s good for you to know and understand how each of them is design so if you want to make some changes and adjust it you´re free to do it.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

What you need to know about muscle hypertrophy

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In the last training post we talked about muscle fibers and how they play an important role for any fitness goal, today we´re going to talk about how those two types of muscle fibers are related to hypertrophy which is something we need to understand for muscle growth if we want to get the best results.

There are 2 types of hypertrophy which are sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar. The 2 of them are related to the muscle fibers because depending of the rep range we are working is how we target each of them.

In sarcoplasmic hypertrophy the muscle increases in size because more fluid gets into the cell, we target slow twitch muscle fibers which are type 1, working around the 12 to 15 reps per set or more. If we want to get “the pump” this is where you need to focus on, this is also the most common rep range and the one we´ll see a lot more on gyms.

Since we are lifting light weights for high reps, we can use the 3 types of exercises; bodyweight, compound and isolation (I´m writing a post for each).

This type of hypertrophy makes us a slave to the gym, we need to be training to keep the muscle otherwise we lose it. Is easier and faster to gain muscle and to look big with this one but if we take some time off the gym, we lose those gains.

In myofibrillar hypertrophy the muscle cell increases in number, we target fast twitch muscle fibers which are type 2, working around the 5 to 8 reps per set. If we want to build lean dense muscle this is where we need to focus on.

Since we are lifting heavy weights for low reps, we can use bodyweight and compound exercises which are the ones we can lift heavy weight, with isolation we can´t lift heavy because we can get injured.

This type of hypertrophy takes more time to build and to get big but it´s there to last, we can take some time off the gym and it will take longer until we lose that muscle. What we need to consider is that here we are working our central nervous system and it takes more time to recover.

If our goal is only to gain strength we need to work on the 5 to 8 rep range which is type 2 or fast twitch muscle fibers if our goal is to get muscle mass faster we need to work on the 12 to 15 rep range which is type 1 or slow twitch muscle fibers. The best option for muscle growth is to work on both creating a program that focuses some days on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and other days on myofibrillar hypertrophy or creating a program where we can combine both in the same workout.

When we combine both types of hypertrophy we make sure that we build lean dense muscle which takes longer but also last longer and we get “the pump” to look bigger, this also help us design workouts with high volume which is also key for muscle growth, there are many variables that come into play (we´re going to talk about all of them in separated posts for each) and that we need to consider to make sure that we give our muscles the stimulus they need but also enough recovery to grow.

We also need to consider that muscle growth is the results of the right stimulus, recovery and proper nutrition which we´re going to talk about in a separate post.

As I´ve said before, exercise is key to help us lose weight and get lean but we need to understand more complex information like muscle fibers and hypertrophy to be able to build the type of physique we want and get the best results.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account if you find this information useful and if you’d like us to create programs based on all the information, we´re sharing with you.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

What you need to know about muscle fibers

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If we want to build our best physique, there are some things that we need to know related to exercise and muscle fibers is one of them.

Losing weight and getting in shape is one of the most common goals and then building an amazing physique, if you´ve been on this industry for a long time you know that every year new trends come out just like diets, some people prefer to stick with the basics while others love to try every new workout program, routine or technique.

We don´t need to follow trends, we need to understand how our body works and which tools we can use to achieve our goals, muscle fibers are one of the most important stuff we need to know and understand if we want to get the best results with our program.

We have two types of muscle fibers which are type 1 and type 2, knowing how these two types of fiber works and how you can hit them or target them is key to creating workout programs that lead to our goals.

Type 1 muscle fibers or slow twitch muscle fibers are target with light weights , high reps and short rest periods around the 12 to 15 reps and 30 to 60 seconds rest. This fibers are more efficient at using oxygen and they fire slowly and they can go for long periods of time before they fatigue, this fibers are more useful in marathons, swimming long distances or any activity that follows a steady state pace for long periods of time. This are used for steady state cardio.

Type 2 muscle fibers or fast twitch muscle fibers are target with heavy weights, low reps and long rest periods around the 5 to 8 reps and 2 to 5 minutes rest. This type of fibers are able to fire faster generating short burst of power, speed or strength and they fatigue more quickly. This are used for HIIT cardio type of training.

In fitness there are so many different goals and getting in shape is just one of them, improving body composition must be our ultimate goal but we can also gain muscle, improve overall performance, increase strength, increase endurance, etc.

The reason why some people are better in certain sports is because we´re all different and the combination of muscle fibers in each of us have an impact on our performance making us better at some types of activities but practice and our daily habits also play an important part on overall performance.

Knowing the combination of muscle fibers we possess and having a clear goal makes it possible for us to design a workout program that get us the results we´re looking for by considering our genetics and making use of them in the best way possible and not as an excuse.

If you are an professional athlete then it´s best to focus on your sport otherwise for normal people like me is not only about looking great is also about performing great in our daily activities so our goal is to improve body composition and improve overall performance but we don´t need to get to any extreme is about getting in our best shape possible and for this we need to work both types of muscle fibers and this can be done with both types of training, cardio and resistance.

As you can see things can get really complex, whether we use this information or not depending of our goals is important that we understand how our body works at least the basics so that we can design a workout program that works for us. There are so many different programs out there which will give us results for a period of time but creating a personalized program for each of our goals based on our body and what we love will give us better results, it´s not the same to buy programs and depend of those than to have the information we need to create our own.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account if you prefer to design your own fitness programs or if you prefer to just follow a program and not worry about bringing exercise, diets and everything together.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Isolation exercises, when to use them.

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For the last posts we´ve been talking about types of exercises, we talked about bodyweight and compound now let’s talk about isolation exercises so that we can start creating our own programs according to our goals.

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.

If our goal is to lose fat and get lean, we can create a great workout program with just bodyweight and compound movements but if our goal is to gain muscle we can add some isolation exercises to hit weaker muscles.

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

If we feel like a muscle group needs more work, then we can use isolation exercises to give that muscle the extra work it´s missing. We´ll be using a weight we can lift for around 12 to15 reps, we can go a bit heavier and hit the 10 to 12 reps. In both reps ranges we´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 we can stick with some few exercises for 2 or 3 months so that we can see our progress, especially if we are starting our fitness journey. We need to get familiar with the movements using lighter weight before we can add more weight and that process takes time.

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

When our goal is gaining muscle we may be looking to gain muscle mass on one specific muscle so the way to do this is by adding more volume which we can do by combining bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises, we can use bodyweight and compound for heavy weight low reps and we can add 1 or 2 isolation exercises with lower weight and high reps, this way we 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 we won´t be able to lift heavy weight, we use them to add more volume to our workouts especially on weaker muscles, if we let our ego get in the way and we try to lift more weight we can get injured. We need to avoid all types of injuries because they can take us off the gym for a certain period of time.

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

Now that we´ve talk about bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises let us know which one is your favorite by leaving a comment in our Twitter and Facebook account.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Compound exercises, you need them!

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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 we´re working on. Since compound exercises are multi-joint movements, we 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 we keep increasing the weight our performance will improve too.

With compound movements we can lift heavy weight for 5 to 8 reps for hypertrophy to build lean dense muscle, we can go heavier in weight and lower in reps around 1 to 3 reps for strength and power and we can also lift lighter weight for 12 to 15 reps or even more.

Even when we can lift really heavy weight with this type of exercises I don´t recommend going to high to hit low rep ranges between 1 – 4, the lowest I will go is 5 reps, the reason for this is to avoid injuries, when we go to high in weight to hit the 1 to 4 rep range the chances of getting injured are really high, our body makes a huge effort and we need to make sure that our form and everything is right. If our goal is to improve body composition, to get in our best physique possible and sustain it we don´t need to go that heavy in weight and low in reps, working in the 5 to 8 and 9 to 12 rep range is perfectly fine.

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

If our goal is muscle growth we can create a workout program that combines bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises and that uses both types of hypertrophy on separate days and hitting each muscle twice per week, this will give us the best results but we need to be careful how we design the program.

If our goal is fat loss, we can stay with bodyweight and compound exercises and focus on low rep ranges around 6 to 8 and make sure that we maintain our strength so that we maintain muscle mass.

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

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you like to keep things simple and effective and if you prefer short workouts compared to long workouts?

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Bodyweight exercises, a great tool!

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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.

We will talk in future posts about muscle fibers and muscle hypertrophy and you may ask how you can apply those to bodyweight exercises and the answer is simple, we can take any exercise for example pushup and choose the hardest version for example one arm pushups (there are harder versions) and we do 5 reps to work type 2 muscle fibers and myofibryllar hypertrophy then we can choose a simple version like normal pushups and do 15 reps to work type 1 muscle fibers or sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. We can do this with all bodyweight exercises we can even do 100 reps if we want to go a little crazy and have some fun.

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

If we think about what type of training or exercise can get us in amazing shape and help us build an amazing physique it´s bodyweight, when we start we´ll find all exercises so hard to do and some of us feel terrible when we start with the most simple versions but that´s how we all begin, with time we start losing fat (if we´re following a right nutrition program) and we realize that the leaner we are the easier all exercises get. As we lose fat and get in better shape, we weight less so we need to push or carry less weight in the exercises, this is a great motivation to stay lean.

When we´re starting our fitness journey we´re are out of shape and we don´t want to go to the gym and feel embarrassed so what we can do is start in our home with bodyweight exercises as resistance training and jump rope or jogging as cardio training, this helps lose fat and get in shape, with this our self-confidence increases and then we 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.

You can start today doing 10 pushups, 10 squats and 10 crunches. Go ahead start now!.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account what is you favorite bodyweight exercise and why.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Cardio and resistance exercises, they´re different.

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We all know that exercise has many benefits, cardiovascular and resistance exercise are both great to help us get in shape, maintain a great physique and maintain optimal health but in the same way they both have some unique benefits they also have some differences and we need to understand this differences to get the best results.

Many of us think of cardio as the way to get lean, to get in shape and to lose weight we think we need to do it even when those sessions are long and boring. This is not completely true, cardio is not the best way to lose fat and get in shape or stay in shape, it is helpful if we use it the right way but it´s not necessary so if your goal is only to lose fat and look good physically you can skip it but cardiovascular exercise has incredible benefits for our health which we talked about in past posts.

The reason why many people in the industry make us think that cardio is a great tool for fat loss is this, there are research that shows that one hour of cardio compared to one hour of resistance training burns more calories while we are doing it so, thinking about weight loss as calories in and calories out if we want to lose fat  we need to do cardio to burn more calories right?

Not so fast, … with all types of exercise we send signals to our body and our body will respond accordingly to that signal. With cardio we are sending the message to our body to become more efficient at using calories.

If we´ve been spending the last years without doing any exercise, the moment we start working out it will feel like hell, we´ll be so tired and we´ll burn a lot of calories but with time if we continue doing the same exercise, for the same amount of time at the same intensity it´ll become easier and easier and our body will burn less calories every time we do it. If cardio is the only exercise we do, we may start losing muscle and now that our body has adapted to that activity our metabolism slows down. Our body adapts to that activity and becomes more efficient at using calories.

After following a weight loss program based on cardio for a long period of time we´ll need to do more exercise and eat less to sustain our results this is why  it´s almost impossible to maintain the results when we stop the program.

With resistance training the signal we are giving to our body is to get stronger, when we are doing resistance training we are giving a stimulus to the muscles and that stimulus let our body know that it needs those muscles so it needs to get stronger and grow to be able to make it through the next workout. This increases our metabolism because our muscles need more energy. If we want to get in great shape and sustain it without too much effort this is the way to go, focus on resistance training and we cannot forget all the benefits that is has for our health too.

We´ll be talking about improving body composition in different posts which means to lose fat and gain or maintain lean muscle mass, the way to do this is by making resistance training the base of our workout programs and we add some cardio according to our goals.

The best option for any workout program is to fit both resistance and cardio training, the way we design our program will vary according to our goals, there are different tools, types or techniques we can choose for each but what I recommend is to focus on resistance training for muscle growth (we don´t need to get big if we don´t want to) and add cardio to helps us achieve our goals a little faster so that we get the health benefits of both of them.

It´s not necessary to do both types of training the same day, we can create a workout program where we do resistance training some days and other days cardio or if you love working out like I do you can do both the same day every day if the program is designed correctly.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account which is your preferred type of exercise, are you more of a cardiovascular activity kind of guy or girl or do you prefer resistance training?

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of resistance exercises

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Do you lift weight or are you afraid that you will gain too much muscle and get big?

Many of us are afraid of lifting weights and doing resistance training because we will get big, especially girls, fortunately this is wrong we won´t get big (unless that´s your goal which we will talk about how to do it in other post) but we will look lean, and toned. We think too much about this that we forget all the benefits for overall health that resistance training has to offer.

We know that resistance training gives the stimulus our muscles need to grow and get stronger, if we want to build an amazing physique resistance training is key there´s no other way to achieve a physique that looks lean, toned and strong without giving our body and muscles the stimulus they need.

There are different variables and training techniques we can use to get the type of physique we want (we´re going to see more in depth in other posts) so we need to have a clear goal so that we can design the best workout program.

As we get older we start losing muscle mass so we need to make sure that we build lean muscle and maintain it to avoid this loss as we age, it also increases bones mineral density which keeps our bones strong and improves physical performance on daily activities, it increases metabolism, improves body composition, helps us prevent injuries and chronic pains and as we see our body changing and getting leaner it bust confidence, increases self-esteem and helps lower anxiety and depression, it also slows and even reverse aging factors.

As we get older we are more susceptible to accidents and injuries so resistance training is a way to make sure that we not only look strong but that we´re actually strong, as cardiovascular exercise has many amazing benefits beyond fat loss and weight management which includes our brain and heart, resistance training also has a lot of amazing benefits that go beyond looking lean which include strong bones.

Resistance training can get really complex if we talk about all the training variables and advance techniques (we´re going to talk about them on separate posts) we can use to make our workouts fit our goals but if our goal is only to get in shape, sustain it and for health reasons we can keep our programs really simple what we need to consider is that both cardio and resistance have great benefits for health so if we can find ways to use them both not necessarily the same day that´s the way to go.

We don´t need to go to a gym if we don´t want, we can get a really good workout with bodyweight exercises and if we want to add more volume, we can add compound exercises. Going to a gym when we´re out of shape or starting in fitness is very overwhelming, we don´t feel good and don´t have the confidence so we can start at home with minimal equipment.

Making our programs based on resistance training is the best option, if we over do it with cardio we can lose muscle and that´s not what we want so we need to create the resistance part of our program based on our goals first, then we add cardio to help us achieve our goals faster and also to get those benefits.

If our goal is health and living a better life then keeping things simple with just a few exercises done correctly with the right amount of intensity and effort is all we need, we can get a great work in 45 minutes for resistance workouts and 15 minutes a day for cardio workouts or we can do them both and have an amazing workout in 60 minutes by doing 15 to 20 minutes of cardio and 40 to 45 minutes of resistance training. If you love working out like I do you can work out every day just making sure that you have enough rest and recovery which we´re going to talk about in future posts.

If you are new to exercise you can start doing 10 squats, 10 pushups, 10 dips and 10 crunches; you can start today with these 4 exercises and with time increase the reps. You can also do simple versions of each exercise like knee pushups, there are no excuses we can all start exercising today.

Let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter and Facebook when was the last time you did a pushup, squat or any other exercise and how many are you able to do today.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam