3 Exercises to Build a Better 6 Pack

3 Exercises to Build a Better 6 Pack

It’s that time of year again, where the days are getting longer and people start talking about getting in shape for summer. One of the most obvious and coveted features of a lean body is 6-pack abs. To get a 6-pack, you have to be disciplined both at the gym and in the kitchen. There are no shortcuts to building and revealing a great set of abs, but there is a lot more to it than just cutting out carbs and doing a million crunches a day. Today we’re going to take a look at 3 exercises that can help you build your abs for a great looking midsection this summer. Before we get started, let’s discuss nutrition. To go into every detail about the way your body may react to certain types of foods and how to pursue the healthiest diet for your body type, we’d have to write hundreds of blog posts covering every possible topic. When it comes to getting lean with relative ease, however, the guidelines are pretty simple. In order for abdominal muscles to show up and look like the superheroes of Hollywood, you must have very low body fat. We know for a fact that calories in vs. calories out is what affects body fat. Contrary to popular opinion, the types of food you eat have nothing to do with weight loss or gain. It’s all about making sure you use up a higher number of calories than you take in. That does not mean, however, that you should just get all your calories from candy and call it a day. It is...

Advantages of Bulking and Cutting

Something you’ll hear every year at about this time is “Summer is coming up, time for me to start cutting”. Many people swear by the bulk up for winter and cut back the extra fat for the summer strategy in order to maximize their results. Today we’re going to look at what is involved in a bulking/cutting strategy and find out if it’s the plan for you! In a bulking and cutting plan, the goal is to shred any extra fat you may have so as to increase muscle tone for the summer months. The reason for this is usually that the summer temperatures allow people to more easily show off all the work they’ve been doing at the gym and in the kitchen. After summer is over, however, it’s time to bulk up. That means eating more calories and upping the carb intake so as to maximize muscle growth. Bulking vs. Cutting Workout Routine Regardless of whether it’s bulking season or cutting season, your workout routine will mostly stay the same. You’ll want to spend 3-5 days a week either at a commercial gym or your own in-home gym burning as many calories as possible and exhausting your muscles so they can grow stronger. The one difference is that during cutting season you will want to increase the time you spend on cardio workouts. High-intensity workouts that get your heart rate up tend to burn fat faster than other workouts so these are perfect for your cutting routine. Bulking vs. Cutting Diet The biggest difference in bulking vs. cutting is your diet. If you’re cutting, you will want...
Is Eating Healthy Really That Important?

Is Eating Healthy Really That Important?

Whether you’re brand new to the concept of working out and you just got your first gym membership, or you’ve been working out regularly for years and even have your own in-home gym, you have most likely heard that the most important thing you can do to see improvement is to eat right. But is that accurate? Why can’t you just workout longer, faster, and harder in order to get better results? In today’s blog post we will talk about why eating healthy is so important for your results in the gym. Eating right gives you more endurance in the gym When it comes to your body and the way your nutrition effects it, think of it the way you would a car. Your car needs to have gas to move. If you run out of gas you can still roll backward or push it forwards, but it won’t operate the way it’s designed to unless there is fuel in the tank. Similarly, our bodies are designed to use food as fuel for our daily activities. The type of food matters too. If you put diesel fuel in an engine designed for unleaded you will ruin your engine, and while our bodies are able to adapt to what we put in them, eating empty calories like processed sugars or fried foods high in trans-fat or saturated fat will bog down your system and keep you from operating as efficiently as you could be. If you want to run, lift, or do cross-fit at peak performance, you need to fuel your body with the right types of foods. Make sure...
4 Unhealthy Foods Pretending They’re Healthy

4 Unhealthy Foods Pretending They’re Healthy

Our society is becoming more focused on healthy habits every day. Our favorite restaurants and top food brands are attempting to keep up with the needs of nutrition conscious consumers by adapting their menus and creating “healthier” options for people to choose from. While there are definitely some great options out there, many of the foods that we believe to be healthy for us are actually just junk food in disguise. Here is a quick list of some food options that might sound healthy but really aren’t. Sports Drinks Sports drinks have snuck into our diet and they pretend to be good for us. While it is true that they can help us recover from physical exercise and give us a little boost, they are also loaded with sugar. One 20oz bottle of Gatorade contains 35 grams of sugar! According to the Food and Drug Administration we should only be consuming 75 grams of sugar per day. So the average sports drink is on average 47% of our daily sugar allowance. That number is even higher for individuals planning to cut weight. Fruit Smoothies Another victim of added sugars are fruit smoothies. If made from scratch at home and you’re being conscious about the types of fruit you use, smoothies can be an extremely healthy way to go. Unfortunately, like much of the pre-made or processed food in our culture, the smoothies you get at restaurants can contain upwards of 900 calories. Many smoothie shops add sugar or syrups to their recipe to appeal to individuals who have developed a palette for sweets and can be surprisingly unhealthy for...

3 Healthy Lunch Ideas

If you think a healthy lunch can only be found at the salad bar, then it’s time to spice things up. Healthy foods come in more varieties than which type of fat-free vinaigrette you’re adding to your salad. It’s time to explore the options beyond kale, spinach and romaine. Treat yourself to some tasty lunches that are completely different from your norm, but just as healthy. Here are our 3 favorite healthy lunches:   #3.  Curried Chicken Pita With Cranberries and Pear 2 whole-wheat pitas 4 oz. cooked chicken breast, diced 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt 1/4 cup dried cranberries 1 medium pear, diced 2 teaspoons honey mustard 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 squeeze lemon juice #2. Stuffed Sweet Potato 2 sweet potatoes 2 oz. feta cheese 2 oz. black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped 1 oz. oil packed sundried tomatoes; thinly sliced 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoons oregano (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped) 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste #1. Avocado Egg Salad 1 avocado; halved, pitted, and peeled 6 hardboiled eggs; peeled and halved 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup minced onion 2 Tablespoon chopped chives (optional) Go for More Don’t stop with these 3 recipes. Use them as inspiration for for more tasty lunches. Try topping your sweet potato with spinach and goat cheese next week. Or, make avocado salad with chicken instead of eggs. The possibilities are endless. Stick to healthy ingredients, and you’re sure to come up with something spectacular for your taste buds and your body. For even more noticeable results in your body,...

The 4 Best-Kept Secrets About Superfoods

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve probably heard of superfoods. Blueberries, sweet potatoes, nuts, beans, and kale top the list of foods that are — well — super for you! If you’ve jumped on the superfood bandwagon without so much as a glance back, we’re here to let you in on some of secrets that may slightly alter your course. Secret #1: Scientists don’t say “superfoods.” Did you know that the word superfood is not a scientific term? Marketers actually coined the word and now use it as a selling point for various foods. The main reason scientists haven’t latched onto the “superfood” terminology is because of how they go about testing foods, nutrients and their effects. When scientists conduct these types of experiments, they are not necessarily testing the nutrients at the same volume those nutrients appear in a particular food. In fact, they’re testing them at a much higher volume. Therefore, it may not be accurate to make statements like, “Because carrots contain vitamin A, eating carrots daily will help you see better,” the scientific study may have been testing particular compounds present in carrots at much higher levels than you would ever receive just by eating them. Do your research and find out how much of a particular food you’d need to eat in order to experience the claimed benefits. Then decide if that quantity is a realistic amount. Secret #2: Not all superfoods are super for you. Before you spend your entire grocery budget on every item labeled “superfood”, do a little digging to figure out if that food has the kinds of benefits you’re looking for. If you’re trying to lose weight, peanuts may not be...