Thursday, May 26, 2011

High Intensity Training and Muscle Confusion: The Premise of RHF

With the popularity of high intensity training (HIT) and high intensity interval training (HITT), the term "muscle confusion" is getting a lot of play in the media. And while many people credit it as the reason HIT and HIIT is effective, few people understand what it means, much less how it works.
Let's examine what intensity is and why muscle confusion is so effective and popular…

Defining Intensity

The word "intensity" has been given many meanings in the context of exercise. For example, some experts say the true definition of intensity is load intensity or the total amount of weight you lift, or the amount of weight you can lift relative to your one repetition maximum. Other experts claim that effort intensity or the amount of perceived momentary muscular effort you can exert during a set/round is the optimum measure of intensity. Intensity can also be defined as anabolic intensity or the amount of muscle building hormones released as a result of a workout. Another way to look at it is relative intensity or the amount of physical stress imposed on the body. Sports psychologists often use the term mental intensity; focus, concentration and mental toughness. There is another definition of intensity which few people ever consider, yet it is equally important, and may be more important than any other form of intensity; density training or "density intensity" (wow, nice rhyme!) is the amount of muscular work you can perform in a specified period of time.

Peaking: Muscle Synergy...

The whole idea of muscle synergy is based on creating a fitness peak to maximize performance benefits. These phases take a while to master. As you are working on this mastery, confusion reigns, and your performance may be mediocre at times. But when you put it all together, and the various bits that have been confusing your body all come together, the result is a period of peak fitness and synergy.

One of the concepts that seems the hardest to convey to people is how (or why) to peak. Most "everyday" people never consider themselves athletes because they lack performance-oriented goals; they just want to look good and/or feel better. But it is important to understand that all training protocols adhere to athletic principles inherently (especially HIT and HIIT); athletic training always builds around a peak period when you need your body to perform at its best. This idea works for every person who works the program; it works for anyone serious about their training. Keep in mind that "high intensity" can vary from person to person. In other words, what is intense for one person might be easy for another person. You should still lean towards HIT and HIIT for optimal results.
Periodization: Training in progressive and regressive cycles...

The entire theory of muscle confusion is based on something called periodization, which is basically training in targeted cycles that keep your body from getting too used to your schedule. The goal of periodizational training is to minimize performance plateaus and keep your improvements happening for a specific amount of time. All periodized programs are structured with a progression and regression of training blocks designed around a peak.

This is why
most of RHF members get their best results during the latter phases of our programs; most can begin to see real results in as little as 21 days. Keep in mind it takes about 66 days on average to create a new habit research shows.

Adapt, master, transition...

The training blocks (weeks) are laid out with a general plan. Your body begins each block faced with something new. This forces you to adapt to it. The stress of this process leads to accelerated improvements. When your body is used to the new regimen, it has a short period where it makes even greater improvements, which is called a growth or mastery phase. Finally, you get so used to the training that your results begin to plateau, at which time it is best to transition into something else.

Timing is everything...

It is important to be aware of when your body should transition (you never always want to be in a state of confusion). This can be difficult, but with experience, you will get better at it. This is where a trainer can help you immensely. Intensity can be varied and customized for clients who are out of shape or have a structure that is less rigid because the adaptation period takes longer. Conversely, the fitter you are, the quicker your body reacts to training and the quicker it adapts. Most science shows that a 3-week-on, 1-week-off cycle of training (regression) is about as short as you can go to maximize the adaptive and growth phases. 

We use this philosophy in RHF Burn30 Bootcamp (go hard for 3 weeks, tone it down 1 week). This philosophy is a little flexible however. We do recommend that you work out to your own schedule to keep this practical (with work and family). Ultimately, what is important is that you halt the growth phase before a plateau occurs and that you see the full cycle through to its end.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are You Exercising Enough? Intensity Beats Extensity...

If your exercise program consists of the recommended 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, you may be in for some startling news. A “weight loss” study from the University of Pittsburgh found that subjects who exercised for 30 minutes, five days a week, released weight initially, but after two years, they actually started to regain three to five percent of their body weight. The subjects who exercised for an hour a day, five days a week, however, managed to maintain a loss of 10 percent or more. Please read on. There are a few reasons why this probably happened in the study including diet and program design.

But, hold on a minute…I know what you are thinking. RHF Burn30 Bootcamp runs on a 30 minute model. The reason I am telling you about this study is because a standard schedule (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) may only be enough exercise to receive health benefits. When it comes to controlling your weight you may want to consider 2, 30 minute high intensity sessions (split routine). This is why I created the Burn30 Bootcamp Unlimited Plan!

The RHF philosophy regarding weight maintenance has always been a simple matter of calories "in" versus calories "out" -- give or take some subtleties on how you get there. The one problem with this discovery is that as Americans keep eating more, it means we will need to exercise even more just to MAINTAIN our weight, let alone release any unwanted pounds or inches. As of right now, we consume, on average, an extra 523 calories a day over what people typically consumed 28 years ago.

Since we are taking in more calories, we need to exercise more to burn those calories off. It is simple math. In fact, to compensate for those 523 extra calories daily, you need to walk an extra 35 to 50 miles a week -- just to maintain your weight at its current level. At a peppy 20-minute per mile pace, that adds up to about an extra two hours of breaking a sweat every single day, seven days a week! And again, that is just to maintain weight!

The current exercise recommendations put forth by the majority of health organizations tout 30-minutes a day as the magic health-inducing, weight-reducing formula. Perhaps 30 minutes would suffice if you are already at your ideal weight and you consume the right amount of calories for your lifestyle -- but again, statistics indicate that most of us eat way more than we need to. If you are already overweight, you absolutely need cut out those extra calories and exercise more than 30 minutes a daily (try a split routine; 2, 30 minute sessions at Burn30 Bootcamp) in order to release those unwanted pounds and inches. 

And if you continue to overeat, you need to exercise for hours on end to avoid getting any fatter. Remember, you can never "out-exercise" a bad nutrition plan! The bottom line is that releasing weight (becoming fit) requires eating optimally for your program and exercising with the correct time, type, frequency, and intensity!

Intensity beats extensity...creating a metabolic after-burn.

Most people (about 90% if I had to guess) are simply unable to commit to an EXTRA 2 hours of exercise each day. It is impractical in today’s world. High intensity training (HIT) at
Burn30 Bootcamp creates a metabolic after-burn that can last up to 48 hours post-workout! HIT keeps the body burning calories! It is never just about how many calories you burn say in one session, but more importantly it may be how you can maximize a calorie burn, say over a week, a month, or even a year. Get the picture? The typical calorie burn in 30 minutes at Burn30 Bootcamp ranges from 350-550 in 30 minutes with an after-burn lasting 1-2 days post-workout. With this in mind, it may begin to make much more sense that fitness is a long-term plan and perspective. Fitness is a lifestyle. You have got to work really hard to change your metabolism. Your metabolism runs like a furnace. You have to keep the furnace going by moving. Intensity is the catalyst. Nutrition supports the process.

Hey, if nothing else, try shrinking your plate size.

The average plate size has increased two inches over the last few years -- from an average diameter of 10 inches a dinner plate to 12 inches. I understand, two inches may sound like a little bit, but it increases the surface area of your plate from 78 to 113 inches. That is almost a 50 percent increase. That allows you to put 50 percent more food on your plate...and 50 percent more calories. Can you say supersize me? No wonder you may need to exercise more than 30 minutes a day!

Another way to help battle weight gain is to squeeze in more calorie-burning activities throughout the day.

Consider these suggestions:

Start up some outdoor hobbies such as gardening or nature walks.
Plan weekly activities such as hiking, biking, or sport activities.

Park farther away from your destination. Use the stairs (over elevators) when time allows.
Play a motion game with your kids or a motion fitness game.

For more info on RHF please contact us!

Got 30 minutes?

Internally Polluted: Is your body a temple or amusement park?

Chemical Overload May Be Messing With Your Metabolism...

If you are having major issues when trying to release unhealthy flab, there may be a hidden reason why nothing seems to work...

If you are experiencing cravings for sugary, salty foods (comfort foods) especially late at night, this might be a sign that your body has become toxic. It is EASY to become toxic in today’s world. Most of the foods you find at grocery stores and restaurants are full of pesticides, artificial ingredients, and even hormones that DESTROY your metabolism. Add to this the pollutants in the air and certain products you may use every day for hygiene and it is no wonder we are internally polluted. The results of this include brain fog, accelerated metabolic aging (biological aging), bloating, and most disturbing it can make releasing fat almost impossible.

You see,
toxins are stored in your adipose tissues; your body does this to protect you from a lot of negative effects. So even when you run a calorie deficit; your body wisely does not shrink these fat cells (thus releasing these toxins). It makes sense and the science backs it up. No wonder getting a great body is so hard to accomplish!

How to Safely Release Toxins...

My favorite way to detox is to sweat, drink lots of pure water and use the Isagenix® product line.

If you are in a toxic environment, you should be doing this frequently. It also helps to eat organic when possible, and limit processed foods. But even then, it is really hard to hide from these toxins that are everywhere.

Sometimes, you simply need to accelerate the body’s natural ability to cleanse.

Isagenix® works by...
  1. Assisting in the elimination of toxins from the body
  2. Improving liver functioning
  3. Stimulating bile production and the breakdown of dietary fat
  4. Increasing energy and stamina thereby improving digestion and metabolism
  5. Reducing fatigue, listlessness, pain, and headaches caused by toxin build up
 This is what is called a full spectrum approach of extraction, instead of standardized extraction which uses dangerous chemicals.

Did you know???

 Isagenix® is so much more than a means to release weight!
·         Your decision to incorporate nutritional cleansing into your lifestyle will improve your overall health!
·         Did you know that our comprehensive system helps you to increase muscle mass, decrease your fat percentage, and clear your body of impurities? You are flooding your body with super food nutrition, too!
·         Isagenix  boosts both your energy level and your immune defense!

For more info on the Isagenix® product line please schedule a meeting with me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What Fitness Challenge Competitors Want You to Know...

8 strategies that will help you to get to your fitness goals and maintain them…

You will get a huge boost in confidence when you “release weight and inches. Everyone has some dream or fantasy that they have always wanted to achieve. For most, weight is a big issue and has a lot to do with their self confidence. When you “release weight” (if you “lose it” you will look for it, I promise you that) then comes a surge in your self esteem! You will fit into those old jeans (hopefully you threw out anything from the 70’s and 80’s), and you will see a change in your physical appearance. With that…comes the self esteem, new life adventures, and you feeling comfortable in your own skin because you feel good about yourself and how you look. Fitness is a feeling!

“Releasing weight” will never solve every problem. Tackling physical challenges is generally easier than resolving emotional ones, like stepping off the corporate fast track or confronting a straying spouse (shame on you Arnold Schwarzenegger, way to “terminate” your marriage, terminator). You need to ask yourself why being fit is important to you. Is your objective to be healthier, or are you hoping it will lead to something else-say a loving companion, a bigger paycheck, or more attention from your spouse? Better health & fitness (wellness) has to be the main goal or you will be sorely disappointed in the long run-and that can kill your motivation, making it much harder to stick to your fitness program.

3. Never expect everyone to be happy for you.
While many of your friends and acquaintances will support your efforts to get fit (and slim down), other will feel resentful. Some may even try to sabotage you (unintentional). The tension that arises from others is about the disappearance of shared experiences. It takes time for everyone to adjust. If you have a boyfriend or spouse, try to include him/her in the transition. Sign up for a 5K together or ask for help preparing meals. Create community by creating communication. If they are less than enthusiastic about your transformation, explain why reaching this goal is important to you. Explain that you will feel more confident and energetic (and even have a higher sex drive) because of your commitment to fitness. If food has come between you and another, find common ground (mutually beneficial solutions). Rather than sharing a meal, for example, meet her/him for a movie or a spa treatment. Mix it up!

4. You have to change your eating habits.
We all know that one person who can eat almost anything they want and never gain a pound. Of course genes-which help determine (partially) how many calories we burn when we are at rest, partly explain the difference. Studies show that most normal weight people and slim people listen to their bodies, which help them naturally compensate for the extra calories they consume. Releasing weight causes shifts in your appetite regulating hormones, so signals don’t kick in as soon as they normally do. It can take up to 6 months or more for your hormone levels to adapt to the new number on the scale. A general rule of thumb is 15 calories per pound of body weight each day to make the number on the scale stick. So, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will require 2250 calories daily; drop down to 120 and you will need just 1800 calories (get with a trainer for a personal caloric analysis).

5. Veggies will be your “go to food.
At first glance, they seem the very definition of diet food, but raw or steamed vegetables stave off hunger pangs while keeping calories down thanks to a high volume of water and fiber. Typically, people who have a small, low calorie salad before their entrée eat 7% fewer calories during the meal; those who begin with a larger low calorie salad take in 12% fewer calories! If you want to maintain an ideal body weight, pile the veggies on half your plate!

You may need a refresher course. Unfortunately, many people struggle to recover from even the smallest slipups, including gains of as little as 2 to 5 pounds. That’s why it is important to react immediately to lapses using the tools that helped you achieve fitness success in the first place.

The routine is the anti-routine. Studies have shown that being highly motivated to exercise is associated with long term success. Changing things up will also works new muscles and help you burn calories more efficiently. Muscle confusion is the way to go when it comes to burning calories efficiently and effectively. Muscles have memory and they will become accustom to the same workout over and over. That means you will have work harder for the same results. Seek out workout programs that engage in muscle confusion like RHF Studio Boot Camp. Keep your routines fresh.

You may still think you are fat. Each of us has a picture in our head of what we look like, and it takes a while to update your mindset. How can you begin to see yourself as others see you? Start by surrounding yourself with people who encourage you to shine. As others compliment you on your new look, an updated self image will come into focus and that will renew your motivation to stay on track, it will also help you embrace the inevitable ups and downs along the way.