Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Beat the New Year's Resolution Syndrome

As the New Year is quickly approaching, I know that you're eager to make the changes to change your body. I also know that you want to, yet again, make the New Year's Resolutions that hopefully will stick, for 3 weeks, 3 months or perhaps at least 6 months!?

Is something wrong about the New Year's Resolutions you made last year?

Did you make your Resolutions with right attitudes and healthy mindsets?

Were your Resolutions guided by healthy lifestyle and behavior changes?

Did you follow through your Resolutions with a master game plan and course of actions?

Did you adjust and fine-tune your mini goals as you moved along?

Did you find your inner motivation and and external support to keep you on track?

Did you find ways to overcome the challenges or derail quickly as soon as you saw the roadblocks?

Why did your Resolutions fail?

Here are my top 10 tips to beat the New Year's Resolution Syndrome.

Visit my website and my blog often and sign up for my monthly newsletter to keep you motivated, informed and supported all year around.

Investment in youself. Sign up with a wellness coach/trainer for at least 12 weeks and better yet commit to 6 months. Health and fitness is a lifelong commitment. Twelve weeks aren't going to make miracles, but are the "minimum" period of time to get into regular exercise routine, healthy lifestyle and eating habits.

Even just a few sessions with a trainer could be worth the investment to get you in the right direction. For those people who like DIY, I also offer on-line personal training and program design. I'll design a training program for you including two to four workout routines for you to rotate on a weekly basis.

Make multiple resolutions that reinforce each other. When you make a healthy resolution, you'll start to re-think about falling back to those not-so-good habits.

Make multi-week, multi-month and multi-year resolutions. Why makes "annual" resolutions that you can only follow for a month? Have a big picutre. Break it down into smaller, realistic, achievable mini goals. You'll feel better when you accomplish the mini goals. It gives you more confidence and momentum to stay on track towards your bigger goals.

If you're still smoking or eating junk foods regularly, why do all the cardio and strength training? It just doens't make sense. You won't transform to your dream body even if you train 7 days while staying on the unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating habits.

Know what you want. Do you really know what you want? I doubt. Many people want to lose 10, 20, 50 pounds. These are not the right healthy goals. And most people won't get it!

"Know what you want" is the #1 step to build your dream body. Why 10, 20 or 50 pounds, instead of 5 pounds? Where are these extra pounds distributed? Are these fat, muscle or water weight? What type of body shape do you want to be in? You're not so sure, right!?

Dream big but start small. Your old-and-never-worked resolution could be like "I resolve to start exercising 5 to 7 times a week, 30 to 60 minutes each time." If you haven't exercised regularly for the last 3 months, this resolution is bound to fail and you're doomed!

Start with small baby steps. You could start with a combination of walking, aerobic exercise, strength training, and other physical activities for 2 to 3 times for a total accumulation of 2 hours of exercise a week. The key is to be able to get into a regular exercise habit. Gradually increase the duration, variety, intensity and frequency. This is one of the reasons why a coach/trainer can be a really good source of professional guidance and accountability.

Food is your friend, not your foe. Make a good friend with your foods. Every year, or in fact evey day, you'll see new diet books on the market. You lose money but not your weight. Food is the source of energy to fuel your body so that you can function and perform.

In an earlier article, I touched the topic about stress eating, emotional eating, overeating, mindless eating and fat gain. Eating healthy foods is the choice you can make. Replace the poor choices with healthy ones.

Pick two of your weak areas and consciously replace them with healthy choices and stay on them for a month. Similar to exercise, too much too soon is going to backfire. When you can stick to the two healthy choices for a month, then you start to include more healthy choices.

Plan your exercise and plan your meals around it. If you don't plan, then you plan to fail. This is one of the reasons why many people skip exercise and make poor food choices.

One easy way is to book your appointments with your coach/trainer in advance. Then you'll prepare for your day and anticipate the training session. Pencil in your own workouts as if it's a date with yourself and it's the time for yourself. Prepare the meals and healthy snacks to support your training and fuel your body.

It's a good idea to prepare the meals for several servings at a time. Keep healthy snacks and water at home, in your office and in the car. So when you're hungry, strapped for time or on the go, whatever you reach is all good. It's tough to deny the high-sugar high-fat comfort foods in the vending machine or the drive-thru. You willpower doesn't count!

Get a good night sleep. Go to bed a half hour earlier. I know many people are eating late, snacking, drinking alcohols, watching TV shows in the evening to unwind their stress from the day. These poor habits disturbance your sleeping quality. They drain your energy and sabotage your resolutions if you want to lose weight and look good.

If you have followed the first three tips, you shouldn't be here. Your body releases growth hormones while you're sleeping that help you build muscle. Deprivation of sleep also makes you crave for sugary and high fat foods and make you wan to eat more to feel satisfied.

Schedule your downtime. This may be counter intuitive. Aren't we supposed to work out more and longer to lose weight? Yes and no.

Training is like a double-edged sword. Proper, consistent, progressive overloading with balanced nutrition and quality rest and sleep will make you strong, healthy and fit. Overtraining can break you and make you sick, injured with diminishing results. Please re-visit my earlier article on overtraining.

There is a fineline between overloading and overtraining. This is yet another good reason to hire a personal trainer to help you design a customized workout plan and change up your training routine.

It's also a good practice to periodize your training program into microcycle (daily/weekly), mesocycle (2 to 4 months) and macrocycle (6 months, seasonally or annually). The training cycle could coincide with a special event or function. So, you really need to plan the whole picture and break it down into mid-range, near-range and immediate actions.

Watch your enviroment. When you want to lose weight and stay fit and healthy, you need to watch out who you're associated with. You are the product of five of your closest friends.

In my earlier article on the power of friends, I cited a research finding that obesity is epidemic and contagious. Some people call it "sympathetic weight gain" with your friends. On the other hand, thinness could be contagious too. See who has the upper hand over the other.

So stay close to your fit and healthy friends. But don't break up with your overweight freinds as yet. Just be aware and stay conscious in your environments.

Stay away from sources that drain your energy and damage your health. Make friends with like-minded people who are positive, fit, healthy, high-energy and high-performance.

My Last Two Cents

Your New Year's Resolutions should be simple but challenging enough for you to follow through. Pick one or two things in each of the lifestyle, exercise and nutrition areas to work on and improve at a time. When you achieve them, add more gradually. Doing too much too soon is the #1 reason why almost all resolutions fail in the first month.

Remember, your health is wealth and it's invaluable. When you're healthy, you can create more wealth and enjoy your life. I wish all your resolutions and goals achieved by the year end or sooner.

Copyright 2007 by C. Carey Yang.
All rights reserved.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eat Less Now To Pig Out Later?

A guest article contribution from Tom Venuto, CSCS, fat loss expert and author of the #1 best-selling e-Book, Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle.

Suppose you’re on a diet and you have a banquet or a holiday party coming up. You’re expecting a big meal to be served for dinner, and there will be open bar with lots and lots of “party snacks.” You’re not sure if there will be any healthy food there, but you are sure that you’re going to be in a festive, partying mood! What should you do? Should you cut back on your food earlier in the day to make room for the big feast?

What I’ve just described is commonly known as "banking calories," which is analogous to saving calories like money because you're going to consume more later, and it’s a very common practice among dieters. If you’re really serious about your diet and fitness goals however, then the answer is no, you should NOT “bank calories! Here's why and here's what you should do instead:

First of all, if you're being really honest with yourself, you have to agree that there's almost always something healthy to eat at any gathering. You know those tables you see at holiday parties that are covered with yards of chips, dips, pretzels, cookies, salami, candies, cheese, punch, liquor, and a seemingly endless assortment of other goodies? Well, did you also notice that there's usually a tray full of carrot sticks, cauliflower, celery, fruit, turkey breast and other healthy snacks too?

No matter where you are, you always have options, so make the best choice you can based on whatever your options are. If nothing else, you can choose to eat a small portion of "party foods" rather than a huge portion, thereby obeying the law of calorie balance.

If you skip meals or eat less earlier in the day to bank calories for a big feast at night, you are thinking only in terms of calories, but you’re depriving yourself of the valuable nutrition you need all day long in terms of protein (amino acids), carbohydrates, essential fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that come from healthy food, as well as the small frequent meals required to stoke the furnace of your metabolism.

Not only that, but eating less early in the day in anticipation for overeating later is more likely to increase your appetite, causing you to binge or eat much more than you thought you would at night when the banquet does arrive.

Eating healthy food earlier in the day is likely to fill you up and you'll be less likely to overeat in the evening. High fiber foods, healthy fats and especially lean protein, tend to suppress your appetite the most.

I don’t like the concept of "banking calories." Your body just doesn't work that way - it tends to seek equilibrium by adjusting your appetite to the point where you consume the same total amount of calories in the end anyway.

Even if it worked the way you wanted it to, why would you eat less (starve) in an attempt to burn more fat, then overeat (binge) and put the fat right back on? Why allow yourself to put on fat in the first place?

A starving and bingeing pattern will almost certainly cause more damage than an occasional oversize meal. Some dieticians might even say that this kind of behavior borders on disordered eating.

A better approach is to stay on your regular menu of healthy foods and small meals through the entire day - business as usual - and then go ahead and treat yourself to a "cheat meal," but sure to keep your portions small.

It should be a big relief to know that on special occasions, whether it's a party, restaurant meal, banquet or holiday dinner, you can eat whatever you want with little or no ill effect on body composition, as long as you respect the law of calorie balance. However, you CANNOT starve and binge and expect not to reap negative consequences.

To burn fat and be healthy, you don't have to be a "party pooper" or completely deny yourself of foods you enjoy, but you do need to have the discipline to stick with your regular meal plan most of the time and control your portion sizes all of the time.

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle.” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Experience the #1 Antioxidant Power to Fortify, Replenish and Rejuvenate Your Body

Why Antioxidant?

By now, you should have known that the oxidative stress generates superoxide free radicals in your body. Millions of these dangerous superoxide free radicals are currently damaging your health causing all sorts of illness, disease, fatigue and pre-mature aging problems.

Read my last post in case you miss this critical health issue >>

It's becoming well known in health, nutrition and medicine community that it's possible to protect or reclaim your nutritional health, possibly reverse disease and prevent illness, by eating antioxidant-rich nutrients or supplements to absorb and neutralize the superoxide free radicals.

What's the Most Powerful Antioxidant?

No other functional drink delivers more Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) neutralizing capacity than NingXia Red™.

NingXia Red™ is a naturally delicious, nutrient-infused wolfberry drink that will energize, fortify, and replenish your body.

Rich in wide-spectrum antioxidant activity, NingXia Red has the highest levels of naturally occurring, age-defying S-ORAC (Super-Oxide Radical Absorbance Capacity) activity to help support immune function, cardiovascular health, and nourish the eyes.

S-ORAC testing meaures a product's abilitly to detroy the most dangerous and prevalent free radicals - Superoxides.

Why NingXia Red™?

An independent lab test data tells the whole story ...

Here is a S-ORAC comparison chart of NingXia Red™ with several other popular drinks.

What Does It Mean?

NingXia Red's S-ORAC activity rated at 363 is well off the chart and far exceeding other brands by a wide margin. In order to get the same benefit as drinking just 1oz of NingXia Red, you would have to drink:

> One and a half bottles of Via Viente™ or
> Eight bottles of Xango™ or
> Nine bottles of Noni™ or
> A whole truckload of Himalayan Goji™ !!!

These popular "functional drinks" don't compare to NingXia Red's activity. This third-party S-ORAC comparison is one of many ORAC comparisons that prove NingXia Red is in a class of its own.

What's in NingXia Red™?

NingXia Red starts with the finest organic, whole NingXia wolfberries grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Only NingXia wolfberries carry legendary reputation, scientific validation, and delicious taste.

NingXia Red is made by Young Living's "Nutrient Guard" preparation to protect complete wolfberry benefits and activity.

It's then blended with clinically and historically proven super fruits (e.g., blueberry, pomegrante, red raspberry, dark grapes, apricots).

Finally NingXia Red is fortified with lemon and orange therapeutic-grade essential oils rich in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene to promote healthy liver function.

  • Ningxia Wolfberry puree (50%) - the world's highest antioxidant food, rich in immune-stimulating polysaccharides, ellagic acid, cerebrosides, pyrroles, and other unique phytochemicals.
  • Blueberry juice - rich in proanthocyanidins. Tufts University studies show that it protects blood cells against free radical oxidation and slows brain aging. University of Mainz studies shows that it protects cell DNA.
  • Pomegranate juice - 3 times the antioxidant activity of green tea or red wine, reduces oxidized cholesterol by 40%.
  • Raspberry juice - high levels of ellagic acid (cancer fighter)
  • Apricot juice - revered for longevity support, contains beta carotene and vitamin C.
  • Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils - Lemon (citrus limon) and Orange (citrus sinensis) both high in d-limonene which combats cell mutation.
  • Nutrition Values (one serving = 1 oz)
    Calories: 19 per serving
    Total Carbohydrate: 4 grams per serving
    Dietary Fiber: 0.2 grams per serving
    Sugars: 3.4 grams per serving
    Sodium: 15 mg per serving
    Protein: 0.65 grams per serving
    Vitamin C: 180 mg per serving

What's Good in NingXia Red™?

Essential nutrients in NingXia Red help support normal cardiovascular function, normal eye health, normal cell growth and healthy live function.

The all-natural, powerful, nutrient-rich ingredients in NingXia Red help you provide:

  • Dynamic energy and stamina without harmful stimulants (e.g., caffeine, refined sugar, ephedra)
  • Key glyconutrients that fuel vital energy systems
  • Unique protein-polysaccharides that help sustain proper immune function
  • Highest levels of naturally occurring, age defying S-ORAC and ORAC activity
  • Great taste with no sugary "junk-juices" (e.g., apple, white grape, pear)
  • An amazingly low glycemic index of only 10.6 that does not spike blood sugar levels. (The glycemic index of table sugar is 83.)

Extensive medical research confirms that the wide-ranging and impactful benefits of NingXia Red's powerful nutrients. These nutrients support healthy liver function, increase immune activity, promote cellular health, encourage healthy eyesight, support healthy cholesterol levels and improve cellular energy production.

"When one understands that there are only a few basic mechanisms underlying all diseases, then it is extremely simple to see why NingXia Red is so effective for practically all ... organ systems." - Hugo Rodier, M.D., Adjunct Nutrition Professor, University of Utah

The wolfberry also has a high concentration of the branched chain amino acidL-leucine, that we can only obtain from our diet. Inside the body, L-leucine is converterd into a powerful compound called HMB (betahydroxy beta-methylbutyrate). To date, four human clinical studies have been completed, including a double-blind study at the American College of Sports Medicine in Minnesota. Test subjects who used only 3 grams of HMB a day gained up to 300% more lean muscle mass and experienced 295% gain in strength.

Experience the Power of NingXia Red™ NOW >>
Product # 3003, 3023, 3043

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Get Rid of Damaging Superoxide Free Radicals

"What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You" by Dr. Ray D. Strand

When Dr. Ray Strand found himself in a losing battle, unable to successfully treat his wife who had suffered chronically with pain and fatigue, he agreed to try the regimen of nutritional supplements that a neighbor suggested.

Much to his surprise, his wife's condition began to improve almost immediately. That amazing turn of events led him to dedicate himself to researching alternative therapies in medicine, particularly in the arena of nutritional supplements.

Dr. Strand's illumination of the body's silent enemy, oxidative stress, will astound you. The oxidative stress generates superoxide free radicals in your body that cause all sorts of illness, disease, health and aging problems.
  • Elevated levels of superoxide are linked to nearly every major killer and chronic disease.
  • Superoxide is the body’s most aggressive source of destructive oxidation and inflammation, which destroy vital cells.
  • Superoxide levels dramatically increase with age.

His research will equip you to protect or reclaim your nutritional health, possibly reversing disease and preventing illness by eating antioxidant-rich nutrients or supplements to absorb and neutralize the superoxide free radicals.

>> Learn more about the most potent #1 S-ORAC (Superoxide Radical Absorbance Capacity) rated nutrient for anti-aging and disease-fighting (# 3003, 3023, 3043)>>

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Peppermint Oil for Curbing Appetite and Losing Weight

Peppermint in History

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) belongs to the Labiatae (mint) botanical family. It's one of the oldest and the most high-regarded herbs for healing and remedy. The essential oil of peppermint has been used in medical treatments for anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, soothing digestion and pain relieving.

Peppermint Studies in Modern Days

Peppermint oil and fragrant influence has been studied scientifically in recent years. Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati found that inhaling peppermint oil increased the mental alertness, focus and accuracy by 28%.

Peppermint Oil to Improve Athletic Performance

Dr. Bryan Raudenbush and his research group of Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia found that peppermint oil and vapor can enhance overall athletic performance:
  • Decrease in Fatigue by 25 %
  • Decrease in Perceived Temporal Workload by 22 %
  • Increase in Vigor by 13 %
  • Decrease in Perceived Frustration by 13 %
  • Decrease in Perceived Effort by 12 %
  • Increase in Perceived Performance by 9 %
  • Decrease in Perceived Physical Workload by 8 %
  • Increase in Strength by 6 %
  • Increase in Number of Push-Ups by 6 %
  • Increase in Speed (400 Meter Run 1.5 Seconds Faster)
Ref: JOURNAL OF SPORT & EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY, 2001, vol. 23, pp. 156-160.

Wow, that's really powerful, isn't it?

You can inhale peppermint oil before and during workout to help boost your mood and reduce fatigue. You can also diffuse the peppermint oil for improving energy and mental clarity.

But what can peppermint oil do for the non-athletic average folks or overweight population?

A recent research study by Dr. Bryan Raudenbush and his colleagues at the Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia confirmed a known effect of peppermint oil on reducing hunger level and curbing appetite.

Their study evaluated hunger levels during peppermint inhalation vs. non-inhalation, in addition to actual food consumption and dietary evaluation (e.g., fat intake, caloric intake, vitamin and mineral intake, etc.) over a period of two weeks.

Results indicate participants who were exposed to peppermint consumed nearly 3000 fewer total calories from saturated fat, total fat, and sugar each week. That's about 23% less calories based on 1800 calories/day diet for 7 days. Participants also rated their hunger level significantly lower during peppermint inhalation.
"Research partipicants who were exposed to peppermint oil regularly ate nearly 3000 fewer calories each week. That's about 23% less calories a week!"

Whether simply inhaled or eaten, peppermint increases activity in the area of the brain responsible for alertness, according to researchers. Inhalation of peppermint oil helps trigger a sense of fullness after meals, enhance your sense of taste and smell, and improve concentration and mental activity.

This is a good news in that peppermint can be used as a natural aid to help people curb appetite, decrease hunger cravings, and eat fewer calories. As a result, the use of peppermint may help in weight loss and better overall health.

But not all peppermint oils are created equal. Only the true organic peppermint grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides offers the most active nutrient levels. The therapeutic-grade essesntial oil of peppermint has to be extracted by steam distillation under strictly controlled conditions and handling.

>> Learn about true, pure therapeutic-grade essential oil of peppermint and start enjoying its health and fitness benefits (product # 3614) >>

Before you decide to try peppermint oil in your weight loss program, you need to get the basics covered first: healthy lifestyle changes, regular weight training and cardio exercise routine, and balanced diet and macronutrition.

As I pointed out in my earlier post, there is a place for vitamins and nutritional supplements. They are meant to "supplement" your macronutrition or certain deficiencies, instead of becoming your major meals.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

>>> Sign up for FREE 'Jump-Start Your Body!' Workout and Nutrition Program to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Refresh and Recharge Yourself for a Stress-less Holiday Season

Thanksgiving was over, but shopping and getting ready for the holidays just got started in full swing. It could be very overwhelming, stressful and draining your energy.

I know many people start to skip workout. The commercial gym that I go to regularly was quite empty on "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving) morning. It was less than 1/10 of the usual traffic. But the parking lots in the malls was full and the stores were packed.

Staying stress-free in this holiday season in the #1 topic on the web and magazines. You may not have time to take the whole day off for yourself to relax. How about 2 hours? Can you spare an hour or 30 minutes? I'm sure you have many 5-minute breaks throughout the day.

Empowerment Life Coach, Work-Life Balance guru and Stress Management expert Hueina Su of Beyond Horizon Coaching has provided a list of mini energy break ideas for you to take. It doesn't matter whether you have 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 30 minutes or 2 hours. She has so many ideas for you to take a mini break to recharge and refresh yourself for a stress-less holiday season.

Read the full list of mini energy break ideas >>

Coach Hueina is hosting a FREE Teleclass "Joyful & Stress-less Holidays" on December 7th. Click the following to sign up for the FREE Teleclass and receive your BONUS gift.

Yes, please sign me up for the FREE Teleclass "Joyful & Stress-less Holidays" and send me the BONUS gift >>

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stress, Mindless Eating and Fat Gain

Stress and More Stress

When we're stressed out, we tend to craze for sweet and greasy foods to make us feel good. Many people pig out on high-carb, high-fat, high-calorie but low-nutrient-value foods.

Eat, Eat and Eat More

By the time you realize it, you mindlessly shovel two bags of chips plus a jar of salsa, or munch a double cheeseburger along with a large order of fries and a supersized soda, or perhaps gobble six packs of beer with all the high-fat, high-calorie finger foods while watching TV all night. Enjoying a few drinks at night to unwind your stressful day could turn into an overeating disaster.

You Can't Stop Eating?!

You just cannot seem to stop eating 'til you really feel full and stuffed. That's very likely 1000+ calories of "feeling good" junk food. You rationalize that, "since I feel better now, I'll go to gym to work out tomorrow." You know that probably won't happen since your life spins around again with the same stress cycle. No wonder you've gained all the fat, particularly around the belly. That's why it's called "beer belly."

Does this stress eating sound familiar to you?

Does your stress sabotage your diet and make you fat?

Does the cold weather and winter blues make you feel depressed and feel like eating more?

You know your weakness in food. You know you have to stop it but simply cannot help it.

Tips for Taming Your Stress, Emotional and Impulsive Eating

I have the following tips to share with you as to how to use food to fuel your body, replenish your energy and soothe your stress while enjoying the food and eating mindfully to manage your weight.

  1. Recognize your stress triggers and signals. Your body releases a stress hormone cortisol that triggers the release of two neurotransmitters. These two brain chemicals make you increasingly crave for sugary and fatty foods.
  2. Take your time, sit down for at least three meals to eat mindfully. Enjoy the healthy, nutritious foods. Savor the tastes. You'll feel fuller and more satisfied than eating mindlessly. You'll eat fewer calories. Some natural herbs or their essential oils such as pepperment may help curb appetite and eat less.
  3. Keep healthy snacks in your home, office and car. When you're hungry and ready for snacks, you have all the healthy snacks in your reach. You won't run to the vending machine or drive through fast food joints to pick up the sugary, high-fat foods.
  4. Watch out for the few drinks, particularly during and after dinner, and in special occasions. The calories do add up. Don't "drink" your calories. Try to replace the sugary drinks with tea. Keep the alcohol to a glass of wine with dinner. Alcohol disturbs sleep pattern, which makes sleep-deprived you even more stressful.
  5. Eat a balanced diet by eating high-fiber, low-sugar breakfast and a good balance of complex carb, lean protein, healthy essential fats for other meals. Your blood sugar will be more stable throughout the day, leaving you less stressful and less likely to overeat mindlessly.
  6. Some nutrients are helpful in soothing stress such as B vitamins, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium.
  7. Eat antioxidant-rich nutrients or supplements to help absorb or neutralize superoxide free radicals generated from oxidative stress. The superoxide free radicals were proven to be causes of many diseases, health problems and aging.
  8. Learn and practice self-care and stress management techniques. Seek alternative or preventive methods beyond the traditional fix-it approach.

Copyright 2007 by C. Carey Yang.
All rights reserved.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Triple Your Back Muscles

I'll introduce you another triple-set circuit workout routine to work your back muscles. It's one of my training principles to work muscles in balance for strength, posture and injury prevention.
I'm sure you see a lot of more people (particularly men) in the gym working on their chest and shoulder muscles well more than their back muscles in terms of training frequency and volume. Do you see more people doing chest press or pullup?

On the other hand, there are also a lot more people having back problems due to relatively weak, less developed back muscles and poor posture. How many people you know are having back pain of all sorts and seeking pain management?

It's health-wise to include workouts that strengthen your back muscles (latissimus dorsi, teres major, rhomboid, trapezius) from different angles.

From physiological and aesthetic perspectives, working your lat increases the width of your back and gives the visually appealing "V" tapered upper body shape. Thickening your back muscles gives off the power sign of strength.

It's time to build a big wide muscular back.

Triple Back Muscle Attack
A. Seated Lat Front Pulldown x 8-12 reps
B. Standing Lat Pulldown (45 degrees) x 8-12 reps
C. Standing Straight-Arm Pulldown x 10-15 reps

Again, review the superset and triset training principles as to how to set up effective and efficient workout.

How to do it
Go to the lat pulldown station in the gym. You can also attach a resistance tubing around a secured point about 2 or 3 feet above your head level while standing.

Perform your standard seated lat front pulldown by pulling the bar straight downward towards your mid chest (sternum). Remember to squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the bar all the way down to your mid chest. Contract your lat muscles. Avoid using momentum to swing or pull down the bar. Do 8 to 12 reps.

Then stand up and step back about two feet. You can probably use the same weight. Now do similar pulldown by pulling the bar down towards your mid chest. Due to the change in the angle of pull, it's now about 45 degrees. Do 8 to 12 reps.

Reduce the weight or resistance by half. In the same standing position, do straight-arm pulldown. Pull the bar downward like an arc motion pivoting from your shoulders towards your thighs and feel the muscle contraction on the back. Maintain your neutral spine position and stabilize your body. Do 10 to 15 reps.

The reason to reduce the weight is that you're close to temporary muscular fatigue on the your forearms and back from the first two exercises. You typically wouldn't be able to pull the same amount of weight as standard lat pulldown without using momentum. It's a great training practice to adjust (reduce) weight so that you're able to perform the exercise properly with smooth, controlled movement and put the target muscle under tension.

This tri-set back workout routine will give your old way of back training a new spin. It gives you new stimulus to your back muscles. Who don't want a "V" tapered body shape?

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dealing with Hamstring Pain

Ouch! I pulled my hamstrings.

You know how painful it is when you pull your hamstrings. It could be from straight-ahead running or sprinting, particularly when you tried to accelerate and made longer stride than usual. You could also hurt your hamstrings when you kicked straight without flexing your knee and snapping back. Single-leg exercises such as lunges could be the culprit as well.

Where and what are hamstrings?

The hamstrings are located on the back of your upper leg (thigh) and made of three muscles: biceps femoris, semi tendinosus and semi membranosus. They work together to extend the hips (e.g., deadlift) and flex the knees (e.g., leg curl). When you're running, the hamstrings perform both actions.

See a picture of the hamstrings here >>

What to do first when you hurt your hamstrings?

When you feel strain on the hamstrings, you would feel pain and should look for swelling and discoloration. For the first 48 to 72 hours, ice the area for 10 to 20 minutes for every 2 to 4 hours to reduce the pain and swelling. If your hamstrings look like a big bruise, see your doctor immediately for possible torn muscle.

Read the guideline for ice therapry >>

How to rehab your post-injured hamstrings

If the pain subsides after 48 hours, stretch your hamstrings slowly and start with small range of motion. You can warm up the injured hamstrings with a heat pad to promote circulation before stretching. Instead of doing traditional static stretching (e.g., sit-and-reach), you will do dynamic stretching by gently move muscles through their natural range of motion.

Start with simple side-stepping, backward walking, crossover stepping, exaggerated-length (giant) steps. When you're comforable with these exercises, you can gradually begin to lengthen your step, increase the speed at which you perform the steps, and add some stepups and squats. If the pain persists after 72 hours, see your doctor or physical therapist.

When you're recovering from hamstring injury, try to figure out why you're hurt in the first place and find proper rehab exercises to strengthen the weakness, balance muscle strength or stretch the tightness to prevent reoccurring.

For example, tight hip flexors tend to inhibit your glutes from extending your hips. It forces the hamstrings to work harder to extend the hips. This sets you up for a hamstring overload injury when you sprint, step up, squat or lunge. You can change up your training routine by including Romanian deadlift, hyperextension, good morning, and high stepup. These exercises strengthen the hip-extension action of the hamstrings.

Hamstring Injury Treatment and Stretching >>

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

High-Fat Diet Increases Risk of Heart Disease

Isn't it obvious? Do we need a research to tell us?

But not so. A few years ago, the low-carb, high-protein and high-fat Atkins Diet was in a full-blown fad.

People would get on any diet that promises them quick weight-loss in a month. They don't care about the long term adherence and health risks.

I've seen people eating double cheeseburger without the bread on supersized diet coke, 5 to 6 meals a day! What gives?

According to a recent research study at the University of Maryland, the high-fat Atkins Diet increased the study subjects' LDL cholesterol (the bad one) level and brought on symptoms of artery hardening - early signs of strokes or heart attacks.

The research also compared with two other diets, South Beach and Ornish, which both showed improvement in cholesterol and little change on artery condition.

The South Beach program allows a wide variety of foods and keeps fat at about 30 percent of total calories. The Ornish plan encourages a vegetarian-type diet, with 10 percent of calories from fat.

Regardless of the diet you're on, make sure it's a regiment that is healthy for you and you can stay on in the long run.

USDA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publish a food and nutrition guideline called The Food Pyramid. In the MyPyramid Plan, you can adjust the daily choices from each food group to meet your calorie needs. Visit www.MyPyramid.for details.

>>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Obesity Increases Risk of Cancer

If you're obese with excess body fat and still haven't taken actions (regular exercises and physical activities, proper and balanced nutrition, weight management), take note now!

According to a new research report release by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the Britain-based World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), your risk of cancer is increased with obesity. Obesity is now linked to six types of cancer, five more than its last report, 10 years ago.

The report, an analysis by scientists from around the world of more than 7,000 studies, offers 10 recommendations to help prevent cancer. They include staying lean, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, limiting your intake of red meat and alcohol, and avoiding processed meats.

Factors such as birth weight, childbearing, breast-feeding, and adult height and weight also influence cancer risk.

So what types of cancer are linked to obesity? The analysis of the studies found a definite link between excess fat and cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, colon and rectum, endometrium, kidney as well as breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

This report really reinforces the connection between being overweight or obese and the increased risk of many, if not all, cancers.

The basic recommendations from the panel are:
  1. Body Fatness: Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight.
  2. Physical Activity: Be physically active part of everyday life.
  3. Foods and Drinks That Promote Weight Gain: Limit consumption of energy-dense foods and avoid sugary drinks.
  4. Plant Foods: Eat mostly foods of plant origin.
  5. Animal Foods: Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat.
  6. Alcoholic Drinks: Limit alcoholic drinks.
  7. Preservation, Processing, Preparation: Limit consumption of salt and avoid mouldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes).
  8. Dietary Supplements: Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.

To read the full report, visit the American Institute for Cancer Research. This 500+ page report is packed with research report, summary and recommendations.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Losing Weight without Losing Money - Separating Diet Facts from Scams and False Claims

Heard of these flashy headlines before?

"Lose weight without diet or exercise!"

"Lose weight no matter how much you eat of your favorite foods!"

"Lose weight permanently! Never diet again!"

"Block the absorption of fat, carbs, or calories!"

"Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!"

"Everybody will lose weight!"

"Lose weight with our miracle diet patch or cream!"

Sounds too good to be true? They probably are.

Luckily, our big government helps protect small consumers by separating facts from scams and false claims.

Doctors, dieticians and other fitness experts agree that the best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and increase your exercise and physical activity. The ACSM recommends to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds a week.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends close evaluation with skepticism before you spend money on products that promise fast and easy weight loss results.

Visit the FTC's website at for detailed explanations about the above false claims.

There are many cases filed by FTC against companies and individuals that sell and market diet pills, supplements and ads. To file a complaint, visit or call toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Investigate the claims, check for any consumer complaints before opening your wallets.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Super Tri-Set Leg Blaster

In an earlier article, I introduced a upper-body strength circuit training routine. In the following, I provide another strength circuit workout based on a tri-set training on lower body.

If you reach your training plateau or run out of training ideas, this super lower-body workout will help you "blast" your legs.

Super Leg Blaster Workout RoutineA. Barbell Squat x 12-15 reps
B. Dumbbell Deadlift x 12-15 reps
C. Bodyweight Lunge x 20 reps (10 each side)

This tri-set circuit training target your all the major muscles on your legs - quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. So you can name it as a lower-body-specific or leg-specific circuit training routine.

There are many ways or variations to set up this workout. Before I get to the details, I want you to review the superset and tri-set training principles that I covered in the past as to how to set up effective and efficient workout.

In addition, learn how to change up your weight training routine in my earlier article. Given the same three exercises, you would have many routines by varying the exercise order, load (weight), reps and rest intervals.

How to do it
Bring a pair of dumbbells that you can normally do 15-rep set by the squat rack or Smith-machine. Perform any squat exercise or its variations for 12 to 15 reps. Immediately take dumbbells to do deadlift or its variations (Romania, Sumo, Stiff-legged) for 12 to 15 reps. Set aside the dumbbells, do bodyweight lunge or its variations (dynamic, stationary, step forward or backward).

Do these three exercises back to back without rest until you finish the lunges. Rest for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Then repeat again for a total of 3 to 5 sets. By this time, your legs should be pretty much blasted and burnt out. Remember to stretch the leg muscles afterwards.

You can do all three exercises with dumbbells. But you'll need to use different pairs of dumbbells (different weights) due to strength difference and accumulated training effect for the three exercises and target muscle groups. Then you'll end up spending more time taking the weights, re-racking the weights than doing the actual workout.

The repetitions in this workout are a little on the high side. It's designed this way so as to "blast" your leg muscles in a mixed strength and endurance circuit.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Top 10 Training Myths Debunked

There are so many training myths circulating around the gym, even among the trainers. It's difficult to believe who is right or wrong.

Here is the list of top ten training myths. Go through them and see what you think.

MYTH#1: Lactic acid causes muscle fatigue.

MYTH#2: It’s safer to lift weights slowly.

MYTH#3: Light weights and high reps tone muscles.

MYTH#4: Machines are safer than free weights.

MYTH#5: You need to “shock” your
muscles to make gains.

MYTH#6: You must train to failure for the best results.

MYTH#7: You have to get a “pump” to gain muscle.

MYTH#8: Your muscles need high-volume training to grow their biggest.

MYTH#9: You should never let your knees go past your toes on squats and lunges.

MYTH#10: You should wear a lifting belt whenever you go heavy.

Figure out your own anwsers yet?

Check here to see if they are myths or facts.

With the collective wisdom of top trainers, you have a seal of approval and confidence to believe in their answers. They explained how each myth started and it's a myth or truth. It helps you clear up your doubts once and for all.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Training ADD

Do you have Training ADD?
Training Attention Deficit Disorder.

You say that you want to build muscle, lose fat, chisel your six pack abs, look lean and ripped, etc.

Do you always start Monday workout with the "show muscles" - chest and biceps - and forget about all other areas for the rest of the week?

Do you change every routine in every workout without a plan or program? or do you just follow what the "big guys" do in the gym?

Are you frustrated that you have tried everything and still cannot see the results? Are you sure that you have tried everything? Do you follow and stick to a training program until you complete it?

I got a email from my fitness professional friend Vince DelMonte about his take on training ADD. Vince is a personal trainer and director of a university fitness center. He has transformed himself from a 149-lb skinny runner to a 190-lb muscular man and became a national champion fitness model.

His story was amazing and inspiring. Vince has developed a no-nonsense muscle building guide for hardgainers based on his own experience and training thousands of clients. When he talks, I have to listen too.

Before you find out if you have symptoms of training ADD and learn how to fix them, check out Vince's skinny guy's secrets to muscle building.

Learn more about Vince Delmonte's No-Nonsense Muscle Building - Skinny Guy Secrets to Insane Muscle Gain >>

by Vince DelMonte - Hardgainer and Skinny Guy's muscle building expert

Signs and Symptoms of Training ADD

  • When you start a program without finishing it.

  • Ditching programs after not seeing results in 1 week.

  • Buying every program on the net with nothing to show.

  • Spending more time reading about fitness than training.

  • First one in line to buy the newest program on the market.

  • You participate in more then 3 chat rooms at the same time.

  • You have a subscription to every bodybuilding magazine.

  • Distracted by 'big guys' in the gym training.

  • Can't finish a workout without talking "shop" to someone.

  • Program hopping is more fun than finishing ONE program.

  • Consequences

  • Lack of result

  • Lost of time and money

  • Inability to "follow through"

  • Letting your "inner child' control you

  • Lost of trust in expert advice

  • Bad habit of quitting* Never learning about your body

  • Pointing the blame on the "program" or author of program

  • Not taking responsibility for your decisions

  • How to fix it

  • DECIDE to be successful before you start. Rarely does a program "not work." It is the trainee that does not work the program

  • Be truly COMMITTED to your goals. This means you are prepared to take a"Whatever it takes" attitude.

  • TRUST the program. If you trust the program then you will put a greater amount of effort and focusinto it.

  • Set a CONSEQUENCE. Recently I made a bet with a client. If he did not gain 20 pounds in 2 months then he was going to buy me a $400 iPod. The stake was great enough for this unemployed 18 year old to achieve his goal!

  • Take the FIRST MONTH very seriously. The greatest failure rate occurs in the first 30 days. If you are seeing results then your drop off rate is less likely.

  • Appreciate the LEARNING PROCESS. Training is not just a science, it's an art. Some of the best physiques have been built on intuition and knowing how their bodies respond to different programs. If you learn one or two new pieces of information about your body during a 12 week program then celebrate that and take the information into your next program.

  • >>> Sign up for REE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    What Can We Learn about Fad Diet Trend from Stock Market

    What does stock market have anything to do with fad diet trend?

    Well, a lot.

    We can learn from the publicly traded companies who manufacture and/or supply fitness products, diet pills, nutritional supplements, weight management and services.

    In general, a company's stock price is a (leading) "speculated" indicator of the company's business sales, profit and growth potential. If the business is great and growing, the stock price typically goes up. How fast the stock price going up also shows how "hot" the company is in the business or industry sector. On the other hand, when business is going south, so is the stock share price. It could get very very ugly!

    A recent example is NutriSystem Inc. (NTRI) that offers a weight loss program based on portion-controlled, lower Glycemic Index prepared meals. The program has no membership fees and provides free online and telephone counseling.

    As of late Wednesday October 3, 2007, the company reduced its third-quarter revenue and earnings forecast. The stock dived hard. By mid-day trading on Thursday October 4, the company lost nearly one-third of its value. Check current NTRI stock quote here.

    The company cited a decline in business from new customers and considerable competition from new over-the-counter diet drug Alli. Analysts noted that there were a number of reasons for the dropoff.

    Check the company's 5-year stock/volume chart in the following.

    The stock soared about 10 times in the year of 2005 alone from $4 to about $40 a share. It's traded as high as mid 70s in the last two years but hasn't gained much ground. Today it pummeled to about $33 a share at this writing, the level traded about two years ago. Will it come back? Only time will tell.

    The company has spent a lot of money doing TV informercials - "Another two weeks of NutriSystem meals free" - with testimonials from former NFL football star and many customers. Its business hyper-growth coincided with the end of the last high-protein, high-fat, low-carb fad diet. Frustrated weight-loss consumers have to find the next dieting method to fill the void. The pre-packaged meal plan foots the bill.

    The pre-prepared-meal-program business model works for a few years. Now the company has hard time getting the first-time customers to sign up and stay on the program. Does it mean this meal-program dieting craze gone? Are people getting sick and tired of the sales pitch? Probably. We'll know better in a few quarters to see if their business is picking up again or dying down.

    It's difficult to stay on this type of meal program for long. The foods may taste great. But personally, I cannot take the pre-packaged meals, every meal, for a week. It may work for anxious habitual dieters who want to try anything, everything.

    The concept of portion control, balanced nutrition and total calorie control is sound in a weight management program. Ultimately, you have to learn how to choose healthy foods by yourself either preparing at home or dining out. Othewise, it takes away the fun, variety, freedom of healthy good choices and preparation. Then you don't know what to eat, how much to eat and how often to eat when you're off the program. That's why many people gain back the weight they've dieted so hard to lose. These are the same people who are "dieting" all the time, jumping from a new diet method to the next.

    Healthy food choice and nutrition should be an integrated part of a healthy, high-performance lifestyle. A combination of healthy lifestyle changes, balanced nutrition and regular exericses (both strength and cardiovacular training) is a proven strategy for weight loss and successful long-term weight management.

    There is no magic pill or quick fix.

    It takes discipline, commitment and accountability.

    Fat-loss is that simple, but not easy.

    Click here to learn the proven fat loss strategies from the top expert.

    Disclaimers: The author is a fitness professional and does not own NTRI shares nor have any vested interested in NTRI. This post is for information purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell the security.

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    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Why Excess Belly Fat is More Deadly Than You Think

    In my last post, I commented on a recent research study finding that most overweight and obese people have misconception about their actual weights.

    These overweight or obese participants in the study underestimated their actual weights. They "thought" or "perceived" their weights were about right or average although in fact they're overweight or obese by BMI measurement.

    Granted, BMI (Body Mass Index) is not the true best indicator of weight status and body composition. It's still the most straightforward measurement. Body fat measurement and distribution along with lean muscle mass would be the better method.

    In my personal experience, most overweight or obese people acknowledge that they gain some weight and need to do something about it. They are self-conscious about their overweight bodies. But they are simply too comfortable with their weights, partly because over 65% U.S. population is overweight or obese. The U.S. obesity epidemic continutes to grow. When you see so many (two out of three) out-of-shape people everyday and everywhere, you're used to it - big! The used-to-be "overweight" now becomes "normal" or "average."

    Perhaps you feel OK to be overweight since it's accepted in your circle of friends - all of them are like me or even bigger.

    So what's the big deal that I just have "a little" belly fat?! I feel OK, better than my friends with "big" pot belly or beer gut. You can comfort youself by thinking that I still have my six pack abs underneath that thick layer of abdominal fat. They're just covered.

    Well, "a little" can grow slightly bigger, and then bigger and bigger if you don't take care of yourself. Fat isn't accumulated in one day or a month. You don't just go out to binge for one night, and boom, you gain 10 pounds of weight (fat) overnight. All big starts from small over a period of time.

    Out of excess body fat in different body areas, belly fat is the most dangerous and is more deadly than you think. There are many health risks associated with excess belly fat. For most men, the risk factors for heart disease and other diseases increase with a waist size over 40 inches (102 centimeters).

    In the following article, Mike Geary, the founder of, explained why excess belly fat is more deadly than you think and how you can minimize your health risks. Mike is the six-pack-abs guru, a certified nutrition specialist and personal trainer.

    By Mike Geary, Truth About Abs:

    Did you know that the vast majority of people in this day and age have excess abdominal fat?The first thing that most people think of is that their extra abdominal fat is simply ugly, is covering up their abs from being visible, and makes them self conscious about showing off their body.

    However, what most people don't realize is that excess abdominal fat in particular, is not only ugly, but is also a dangerous risk factor to your health. Scientific research has clearly demonstrated that although it is unhealthy in general to have excess body fat throughout your body, it is also particularly dangerous to have excess abdominal fat.

    There are two types of fat that you have in your abdominal area. The first type that covers up your abs from being visible is called subcutaneous fat and lies directly beneath the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles.

    The second type of fat that you have in your abdominal area is called visceral fat, and that lies deeper in the abdomen beneath your muscle and surrounding your organs. Visceral fat also plays a role in giving certain men that "beer belly" appearance where their abdomen protrudes excessively but at the same time, also feels sort of hard if you push on it.

    Both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat in the abdominal area are serious health risk factors, but science has shown that having excessive visceral fat is even more dangerous than subcutaneous fat. Both of them greatly increase the risk your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

    Part of the reason visceral fat is particularly dangerous is that it apparently releases more inflammatory molecules into your body on a consistent basis.

    If you care about the quality of your life and your loved ones, reducing your abdominal fat should be one of your TOP priorities! There's just no way around it. Besides, a side-effect of finally getting rid of all of that excessive ugly abdominal fat is that your stomach will flatten out, and if you lose enough stomach fat, you will be able to visibly see those sexy six pack abs that everyone wants.

    So what gets rid of extra abdominal fat? Is there actually a REAL solution beyond all of the gimmicks and hype that you see in ads and on commercials for "miracle" fat loss products?

    The first thing you must understand is that there is absolutely NO quick fix solution.

    There are no pills or supplements of any sort that will help you lose your abdominal fat faster. Also, none of the gimmicky ab rockers, rollers, or ab belts will help get rid of abdominal fat either. You can't spot reduce your stomach fat by using any of these worthless contraptions. It simply doesn't work that way.

    The ONLY solution to consistently lose your abdominal fat and keep it off for good is to combine a sound nutritious diet full of unprocessed natural foods with a properly designed strategic exercise program that stimulates the necessary hormonal and metabolic response within your body. Both your food intake as well as your training program are important if you are to get this right.

    I've actually even seen a particular study that divided thousands of participants into a diet-only group and an exercise/diet group. While both groups in this study made good progress, the diet-only group lost significantly LESS abdominal fat than the diet & exercise combined group.

    Now the important thing to realize is that just any old exercise program will not necessarily do the trick. The majority of people that attempt getting into a good exercise routine are NOT working out effectively enough to really stimulate the loss of stubborn abdominal fat. I see this everyday at the gym. Most people will do your typical boring ineffective cardio routines, throw in a little outdated body-part style weight training, and pump away with some crunches and side bends, and think that they are doing something useful for reducing their abdominal fat. Then they become frustrated after weeks or months of no results and wonder where they went wrong.

    Well, the good news is that I've spent over a decade researching this topic, analyzing the science, and applying it "in the trenches" with myself as well as thousands of my clients from all over the world to see what works to really stimulate abdominal fat loss. The entire solution... all of the nutritional strategies, as well as training sequences, exercise combinations, and more have all been compiled in my Truth About Six Pack Abs Program.

    Keep in mind that the point of this whole program is NOT abdominal exercises (that is only a very small portion of it). The main point of this program is showing you the absolute most effective strategies for losing your stubborn abdominal fat, so you can get rid of that dangerous health risk, as well as get a flatter more defined midsection. If you follow the guidelines, you WILL lose your belly fat that has been plaguing you for years. This is not guesswork... it is a proven system that works time and time again for all of my clients on every corner of the globe that actually apply the information I teach. If you apply it, the results will come. It's really that simple.

    The only reason most people fail in their fitness goals is that they have good intentions at first to adopt a new lifestyle, yet after a few weeks or months, they abandon their good intentions and slip right back into their old bad habits that gave them the excess body fat in the first place. I want to help you succeed in finally getting rid of that extra abdominal fat that is not only UGLY, but also DANGEROUS. Don't waste another day allowing that nasty abdominal fat to kill your confidence as well as contribute to your risk for MAJOR diseases.

    Get the solution to rid yourself for life of this belly fat problem at Truth About Abs.

    >>> Sign up for FREE monthly e-Newsletter to receive insider training tips, workout routines and check out your FREE bonus e-books to help you build muscles, lose fat and uncover your six pack abs.

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Do You Really Weigh What You Actually Weigh?

    Look at yourself in the full-length mirror.

    You think your weight is OK? Perhaps just a little pot belly, expanded waistline, love handles, a few extra pounds --- but, hey, better than the next door Big Joe's beer gut.

    What does the weight scale reading tell you?

    Are you in the healthy weight range?

    Are you aware of the health risks associated with overweight and obesity, particularly excessive belly fat?

    Are you comfortable with your current weight?

    According to a research study authored by Bennett and Wolin, most overweight and obese people underestimate their "perceived" bodyweight compared to their "real" bodyweight.

    Although there are differences among races and genders, overweight and obese people "think" that they weigh less than they really are. In fact, they weight more than their "perceived" bodyweight.

    This weight "misconception" becomes accepted in these overweight or obese people due to sociocultural influences among many possible reasons.

    The study group sent out a standard perceived weight question to participlants, "Do you consider yourself now to be overweight, underweight, or about the right weight?" All participants are overweight or obese. They are divided into groups by gender (Men or Women) by race/ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic or Other).

    There is a great debate in the health community on classification of weight status by Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is still the single most straightfoward and conveneint measurement for research purposes. A complimentary body fat and girth measurements would give an more accurate body composition and fat distribution.

    Do you know your BMI? Find out here >>

    A well muscled person could be wrongly classified as overweight (BMI greater than 25) with just 8% body fat. BMI alone has its limitations, but a relatively reliable tool for tracking overweight and obesity rates. If you're lean and fit, don't worry too much about your BMI number.

    Read more about BMI and body fat >>

    The study utilized standard thresholds to classify individuals as normal/underweight (BMI less than 25), overweight (BMI larger than or equal to 25, but less than 30) or obese (BMI larger than or equal to 30)

    Here are their findings:

  • Across racial/ethnic categories, men were more likely to misperceive their weight status than women.
  • Comparing racial/ethnic categories, for both men and women, Blacks were most likely and White were least likely to misperceive their weight status.
  • For both men and women across racial/ethnic categories, the weight staus misconception was higher among overweight than obese participants.

  • The U.S. adult population is estimated over 65% overweight or obese. U.S. obesity rates are still rising every year with no sign of slowing down. So today when you say or think that you're about "average", you are actually at least slightly overweight.

    When we're surrounded by more and more overweight or obese people around us, our brain slowly perceives and accepts the overweight body image as the norm. It could become culturally and socially acceptable of higher bodyweight and heavier body shapes. It's a problem when people fail to realize the health risks associated with overweight or obesity.

    Learn how to fight obesity here >>

    You can argue that you do have muscles here and there. In fact, you're likely to have excess body fat here and there as well unless you've been seriously weight-training or bodybuilding. That's why body fat measurement along with BMI and lean muscle mass would give a more accurate body composition.

    Don't underestimate the power of your friends, particularly the five of your closest friends, in your weight loss program. The acceptance or intolerance of unhealthy habits in your circle of friends could break or win your weight loss battle. Hire a fitness coach. Pick your own fitness mastermind support group. Surround yourself with health-conscious and fitness-minded people.

    The secret to weight loss is no secret at all. It's not weight training, cardio exercise, or eating healthy. They are all important essential elements to your weight loss success. The fundamental key is your performance lifestyle.

    Correcting mispeceptions of weight status may be necessary to actively and successfully engage overweight and obese individuals. As with what Bennett commented, "We think that mispercention can be very useful when it comes to protecting people against overly stringent body image ideals and eating disorders."

    The study findings suggest that information and concern about obesity epidemic in the U.S. hasn't had enough impact on overweight people's recognition of their excess pounds.

    More education is needed to raise the awareness of overweight and obesity and importance of losing excess bodyweight or fat. It's more than just for healthy body image, but lowering health risks and social cost.

    Bennett, G.G., Wolin, K.Y., "Satisfied or unaware? Racial differences in perceived weight status," IJBNPA, 3:40, 2006.

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    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Triple Power, Strength & Endurance Circuit Training

    Circuit training is one of the most versatile weight training systems. I have elaborated this popular fitness training method in my earlier article. Many effective and efficient circuit training routines are provided.

    You can essentially design a circuit training routine with all sorts of exercise combinations: total-body, upper body, lower body, core, muscle-specific, opposing muscle groups, superset, etc.

    For the beginners, start with bodyweight circuit workout. As you get better conditioned, progress to add external resistance or weight as a tool. You can use resistance band, strength machines, dumbells, barbells, kettlebells, sandbags, etc.

    I've designed the following triple circuit training routine that incorporate power, strength, quickness in a "timed" endurance total-body workout.

    It's an excellent physical and "mental" conditioning workout, particularly for athletes/fighters who are engaged in both explosive movements and endurance conditioning such as mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Believe me when I double-quote the "mental" word. After a few reps or into the second or third exercise/set, you'll start to break sweat and breathe hard. You'll know or perhaps don't know how to tough out the circuit. You gotta be physcially and mentally strong to get through the workout.

    Remember the Spartan 300 warrior training. These actors didn't go through the typical bodybuilding-type weight training. They did a similar strength and cardio circuit training routine that combine power, strength, quickness and endurance in a series of exercises.

    If you have tried my earlier power circuit training routine based on modified Olympic Weightlifting, this triple circuit training is a perfect complimentary workout.

    Triple Attack Circuit:A. Jumping Pullup x 1 minute or 12-20 reps
    B. Dumbbell Thruster x 1 minute or 12-15 reps
    C. Burpee x 1 minute or 12-15 reps

    Do all three exercises back to back with no rest. Rest only after you finish the burpees for 90 seconds to two minutes. Then repeat for a total of 3 to 5 circuit sets. I also include the suggested repetitions for each exercise. That's the approximate number of reps you should try to achieve depending on your fitness level.

    How to set up
    Bring a pair of dumbbells for your normal do 10-rep set for your shoulder presses by the pullup bar area. Reduce the weight by 20 to 30 percent because you won't be able to press as heavy in this workout.

    Jumping Pullup
    I know it's tough to do pullups for the whole minute or 12 reps for most people. The trick here is do just one pullup at a time, i.e., one-rep set.

    So jump half-way up to grab to pullup bar, then finish the pullup by completely pulling youself upward and squeezing your lat muscles hard at the top position. Lower your body and down.
    Repeat for one minute for as many as you can do.

    Dumbbell Thruster
    As soon as you finish the pullup in one minute, pick up the pair of dumbbells and start the thruster exercise.

    Thruster is a combination of front squat and shoulder push/press in a smooth continuous action. It's the best total-body and core strength conditioning workout. You can do thruster with barbells, dumbbells or kettlebells.

    Watch a demo video for "dumbbell thruster" >>

    When you finish the unbelievably gruelling dumbbell thruster and cannot quite catch your breath, leave the dumbbells aside and get down onto the floor in pushup position.

    Quickly hop and pull legs in toward your body to the knee-down position. Jump explosively upward with both feet (squat jump) and land back onto the floor. Knee down or squat down as you put your hands down on the floor in front of you. Then quickly kick your legs straight back and land on the floor to a plank/pushup position. That's one rep.

    Watch a demo video for "burpees" >>

    Do as many and as fast as you can for one minute. This is a bodyweight killer exercise that strengthen your whole body and core. There are other variations for different levels of difficulty. You can do "tuck jump" with your knees drawn in towards your body when you jump upward. In the double-leg kickback to plank/pushup position, you can do it like "sprawl" in grappling, submission or MMA to counter a take-down.

    As always, start the training program slowly when you deal with new exercises. Record the repetitions and weight in each training session. Adjust your rest intervals to complete the circuit. Add the level of difficulty or intensity gradually.

    That's a three-minute round. Do as many rounds as you can. There's no shortcut to success in the ring - only hardcore workout and top conditioning to be the best MMA fighter.

    Enjoy the sweat!

    Copyright 2007 by C. Carey Yang and Beyond Fitness Solutions, LLC.
    All rights reserved.

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