How Do You Split Your Workouts?

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Working out doesn’t have to be tricky or complicated, but that’s not saying it can’t be! So, today, I wanted to make a post with a slightly different style. Today’s post is a question. I’m going out on a limb here hoping for a response but here is my question: How do you split your workouts? Also, what is your reasoning behind this?

This applies to all of you, even those of you who mostly stick to cardio or yoga. Do you have days where you work out at a harder intensity? Do you have arm days?

I’ll go first. I typically work legs on Sundays, I do chest and back on Mondays, and arms on Tuesdays. I repeat this on Wednesday through Friday, and take Saturdays off. So it’s like this:

Sunday: Legs

Monday: Chest and Back

Tuesday: Arms(bicep, tricep, forearms)

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: Chest and Back

Friday: Arms again

Saturday: Rest

I throw cardio in at the end of all of my workouts, so I don’t really cycle my cardio in any way. There was my plan, thanks for reading! What do you do?

Make Sure You Do Some Cardio

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To all of you serious weight lifters and dieters out there, it may be a great idea to add in some cardio! Just remember that cardio is important.

Cardio is just as important as the weight lifting and the dieting.  Maybe you are wanting to be strong to the point that you started weight lifting, but endurance built from cardio will help you increase repetitions and sets during your workouts.  For the dieters, cardio is important because:  If you fail at your diet on any particular day, you can simply amp up the cardio and burn off those extra calories.

Take a look at any distance runner and conditioned athlete.  Just take a look at any of them.  They had to do a lot of cardio to get to where they’re at.  They had do a lot of conditioning and it may have taken a lot of running or swimming.

Also, as far as the running or swimming goes, you can choose to do whatever cardiovascular exercise you want.  I would just recommend that you do cardio three to five times a week.  It can be running, or swimming, or even walking.  There are a lot of different cardiovascular exercises.

Remember, the cardio is good for your overall cardiovascular health.  This means that in the ‘long run’ it’s good for your entire health.  By doing cardio, your blood flow will be better which in turn is better for your major organs.  It will help you lose weight, and you’ll be a well-balanced athlete.

Thanks for reading and please subscribe!

Three Reasons You Do Not Need To Quit Drinking

It’s the digital age and there has never been an easier time to get informative articles about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use.  There’s also a lot of misinformation though, and some of you may not need to give up your afternoon sip of wine or your daily beer.  Some of you social drinkers may not need to quit drinking, as it may just be a few every weekend.

Let’s allow the facts and information about abusing alcohol speak for themselves, but in this article we are going to go over three reasons why you DO NOT need to give up your vice, I mean pass time(haha!), of alcohol consumption.

  • Studies Show That Moderate Drinking Actually Reduces Mortality Rates.

According to a collection of studies gathered by The University of Harvard, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol was actually shown to decrease mortality rates.  Here is a quote from the website I linked above:

“More than 100 prospective studies show an inverse association between moderate drinking and risk of heart attack, ischemic (clot-caused) stroke, peripheral vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, and death from all cardiovascular causes. (1) The effect is fairly consistent, corresponding to a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in risk.”

It’s also worth mentioning that those who drank a substantial amount of alcohol were actually at an increased risk of mortality. What needs to be noted here is that alcohol, if consumed in moderation, has a few notable health benefits.

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  • Alcohol Can Reduce Stress Levels

According to this article on CNN, there are many ways alcohol is unhelpful when coping with a stressful day or situation.  However, the article was also admitting that it does have a calming effect and many of you reading this know from experience.  The key thing to remember is, again, moderation. Dependency is when alcohol seems to become a problem and causes more stress to you and your body than what it actually relieves.

This Is Probably Too Many

  • History Shows It Isn’t Going Anywhere, And Maybe There’s A Good Reason For That

It’s known that prohibition in the early 1900’s did not work, and it only led to people “bootlegging” which is actually the inspiration for Nascar.  Thank you, alcohol, for inspiring Nascar and fast left turns!  I’m sure the biggest reason it wasn’t successful is because people were dependent on it and craved liquor, and it was also considered a remedy for a lot of different illnesses at that point in time with the limited knowledge we had of medicines.

Also, just for fun, I wanted to add this quote I found on a well-sourced Ask Men article:

“Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” – Benjamin Franklin

There you go!  See, if Benjamin Franklin loved it then you should also.  I’m kidding, but along with my other two points I’d like to once again stress that alcohol is fine for most people as long as it is drank in moderation.

The key word here = Moderation.

Ben Franklin Enjoying A Mug!

Have a great day and thanks for reading.  Please subscribe to my wordpress or twitter, or submit your email!

Helpful Daily Reminders

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As a guy in his early 20s, it’s important that I consistently ‘check myself before I wreck myself.’ By that I, more or less, mean that I’m young and I don’t have everything figured out or the wisdom associated with getting older. I can still live a good life though, and seem very mature for my age. To do that, I try and remind myself three things daily.

  1. I Don’t Know Everything. It’s Best To Not Be Very Presumptuous. I’ve made the error, several times, of being a ‘know-it-all.’ The funny thing is that everything is 20/20 in hindsight and when I look back at my life a year ago or two weeks ago, I notice that I could have done things a lot better. I always look back at conversations I had with people I knew and it seems like l completely didn’t listen to them or show them the respect that they deserve.
  2. The World Really Is Kind Of Like A Mirror. Again, I notice that things are 20/20 in hindsight and it always seems like when I look back, that a lot of the problems I have with other people are at least 50% my own fault. There were times where I thought people didn’t like me or I had a weak conversation with someone, and at the time I thought that their side wasn’t justified. However, every time I look back I often think I could have handled my situations more maturely or been more confident in myself.
  3. Fake It Until You Make It. I know I was just talking about being presumptuous but I feel that this has got to be true. I learned this from a mentor of mine, and he told me that for whatever I want in life I will have to ‘fake it till I make it.’ According to him, if you want to actually be happy then you need to strive to always have a smile on your face. If you want to be successful then dress the part. If you want to be confident in yourself then start faking it until it becomes natural.

Those three points seem to be the best strategies for getting through life at the moment, and they seem to be a kind of “life-hack” for me as I know I’m young and I haven’t gotten everything figured out yet.

Thanks for reading and please subscribe!

Nice and Slow, That’s The Best Way To Do It!

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When you’re lifting weights there is one thing that is really important. That is going through your lift slowly to keep tension on all the muscles involved in that specific lift.

I shared a post not too long ago from a great up and coming blog and the post was titled Time Under Tension Lifts. In this post, by WordPress user LifeIsFit, the point was driven quite clearly that by not locking out you are essentially putting more stress on the muscles.

We all know that more stress on the muscles and less stress on the joints is a good thing, which leads me to add a new point today.

As much as time under tension lifting is already beneficial, it’s also beneficial to lift slow due to the fact that you are putting extra stress on the muscles. This also helps you learn what muscles your lift is targeting, and will help you achieve that “mind-body connection”.

The more you know about how a certain lift is affecting your body, and the more you know your body, you will see better results. Therefore, get to squatting or bench pressing and rep it out NICE and sloooow.

I hope that this post was informative. Have a great day and please subscribe.

New Study Provides Compelling Evidence for the Healing Power of Exercise

This was a very interesting article! Seems there is a lot more to the mind-body connection than just endorphins being released.

The Cycle of Peace

While scientists, psychologists and health care professionals have long known about the connection between exercise and well-being, a new study published in the September 25th edition of Cell has uncovered the mechanisms that may underlie this link. This study showed that having strong, toned muscles can make people more resistant to stress and help filter a depression-causing toxin away from the brain.

When we exercise hard, our muscles produce a compound known as PGC-1α1, which is known to have positive effects on the body, such as stimulating the production of blood vessels. In this study, researchers genetically altered the amount PGC-1α1 in the skeletal systems of lab mice, and then exposed them to ‘unpredictable stressors.’ The mice who had heightened PGC-1α1 appeared to be ‘immune’ to the stressors and showed fewer signs of depression than those who had lowered amounts of PGC-1α1.

The study also shows that the PGC-1α1…

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Eat Healthy Now, Don’t Pay For Being Unhealthy

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Here is a fact:  With a rare few exceptions, once you get so unhealthy you have a disease you will have to eat healthier.

Some people are born with diseases and sickness, and these people probably have to eat healthy and take medication too.

Personally, I have Crohn’s Disease. I was sick in the hospital about a year ago when I started thinking, “I wonder what life would be like if I got a colostomy bag and decided to undergo surgery.” For some, this is their only option. For me, it was one of my options and the easy way out.

At that point in time, I was filled with dread and felt hopeless but it is that thought that made me climb out of despair and take control of my life. I began researching colostomy bags and learned something interesting. If you have a colostomy bag, not only is your life very different and probably embarrassing, but you have to eat healthier! If you don’t eat healthy, your bag can get clogged up in the tubes and cause inflammation and infection.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to go through all that embarrassment and daily cleaning of some dumb bag I am going to go ahead and eliminate my bad habits before it gets to that point. I decided that in the hospital, and I climbed out of this despair I had as I realized that getting healthy now is my only option.

It was my best option. I have started this endeavor for myself and I am proud to say I went from a severe case of Crohn’s with all kinds of medication to only one medication.

Now, I have something to say to you. If you are at risk of becoming diabetic or if you have unhealthy habits, change them now. Do it NOW. Don’t wait and pay for your unhealthy decisions later, like a lot of people may do. Take control of your life and be transformed as your physical, mental, and emotional health all see tremendous improvements.

Thanks for reading. I hope that you apply the principle of “changing now” to your life. I hope you see improvements. I hope you at least give it all you’ve got and that you don’t give up.

What I Learned From Seniors At The Gym

There’s a lot of old guys at the gym and I honestly respect the hell out of them for still making the effort to come up to the gym and have their personal fitness as their hobby. Furthermore, they all actually seem to know what they’re doing. I personally believe in respecting my elders, as I was raised by my great-grandparents, and I feel that this has helped me learn a lot. Mainly so, because I will ask them questions and listen to their answers.

A lot of these older guys at the gym lived healthy lifestyles and I learned a lot about them and fitness that I did not know before. Here is what I learned:

  1. I am far from knowing it all. How humbling it is to talk to someone who has spent their whole life working out! You think you’re doing a great job by being consistent for four months and studying as much as you can, but these guys have a lifetime of knowledge and training under their belt.
  2. Everyone deserves respect until they prove they don’t, and everyone should be heard out. If I didn’t have this respect for people I wouldn’t learn a thing. Would I ever see the need to read books, articles, and would I ever ask questions? Probably not.
  3. I learned about their specific journeys and lives. I talked to these guys and they had a lot to share. A couple of them used to be personal trainers and it was great to hear their perspective on weight lifting and what they had learned about training and exercise.
  4. I learned of some useful exercises and techniques. Sure, I knew about lunges and the smith machine. However, before talking to a guy at the gym who was 55 and still had stronger legs than me, I wasn’t incorporating these into my workouts. Now, I do lunges and despite some of the bad rep towards the smith machine, I do use it to correct some of my squat form. The things I have learned from him have made me a lot stronger in my squat and I’m thankful I listened to an old man’s advice.

The things people will tell you should always be taken with a grain of salt, as not everyone is the best coach or has the best advice. However, having respectful and being open minded can do wonders for your relationships with other people and your own personal development.

To conclude this post, I have a challenge for you. The challenge is this: Find someone at the gym that you admire and you think knows a lot about weight lifting or whatever your fitness endeavor may be, and also find someone who you think may not know a whole lot about that. Strike up a conversation with both of those people at some point. Have an open mind and be respectful, and see what you get from the experience. 

If anything, you may at least make a new friend.

“You Can’t Outtrain A Bad Diet”

“You can’t out train a bad diet,” is such a popular statement in the bodybuilding, exercising, and nutritional world. 

While diet is extremely important, I feel that with everything a balanced approach is the best way to see results.

Your area of focus – is it diet? Or cardio? Or weight training? For the best results, I wholeheartedly recommend that you apply all three to your life. 

Pretend it’s a triangle: you’ve got 3 legs and one leg is cardio, the other is weight-training, and the final leg is diet. They should be equal to each other and focused on with the same passion and enthusiasm.

I said my points on the general aspect of a balanced life and now it’s time to focus on diet for this post, as that is the purpose of this message today.

Diet! While part of the statement is true, “You can’t out train a bad diet,” the fact of the matter is that you simply need to be burning more calories than you are eating if you are losing weight and eating more if you are trying to gain weight.

Diving into all of the different variables to take into consideration of a good diet and exercise plan isn’t something I will do today, but at a later time.

As for today, I want you to know that it is very easy to not exactly count your calories but to just be mindful of how much you’re putting into your body. It will be important that you cut out sugary drinks and empty calories, as you continue to fill those calories with whole foods. 

Thanks for reading. If you want more dieting information, I will begin posting new nutritional content every Wednesday. My future posts will consistently get a little in depth as I go on with this series.

Good Exercises For Arm Day

It’s arm day for me. A lot of people love working their arms and chest so much they don’t usually work anything else. I personally like to work all my different muscle groups throughout the week, but if you love doing arms here’s a routine for you.

  1. Preacher curls – Do 3 sets of preacher curls with a 25 lb barbell and whatever additional weight you want. Do repititions of 8, 6, 4 on strength days and 12, 10, 8 for hypertrophy.
  2. Overhead barbell tricep extension – this is really useful to superset with your preacher curls. Do the same sets and reps as you curl.
  3. Hammer curls – you do these by sitting down and holding the Dumbbells to your sides. Keep the Dumbbells parallel to your sides and curl without twisting your wrist. Do the same reps as above workouts or mix it up to how you see fit.
  4. Tricep extension – put your knee on the bench and lean over to where your hand is on the bench also. With one hand grasping a dumbbell extend your arm until fully extended. If you are doing this right, you should feel it in your tricep. Do both arms and do the same sets and reps as the hammer curls, so this is basically another superset.
  5. Cable work – Adjust the cables to do both bicep curls and tricep curls. Adjust your position and the cable to work different parts of the tricep and bicep. Do at least 3 sets for bicep and tricep. If you work different parts of the bicep and tricep you may be able to get 9 sets of each.

If you need more information on how to do some of the exercises I can only recommend you look on YouTube at the moment. I will be uploading videos sometime soon though, so I will be able to give you training tutorials and information. Thanks for reading. Have a great arm day!