I am a bodybuilder. I cannot even count the number of times that I have walked around in a tank top and people have asked me, “wow, do you do a lot of yoga or something?”
I used to get so offended by this question. I would think to myself, “How in God’s name does anyone think that yoga could have built this hard earned muscle? Stretching doesn’t build muscle!”
Little did I know, yoga is way more than just trying to touch your toes, and I was humbled by discovering this first hand when I decided to give it a try. I thought that a nice little stretch session would be good for my flexibility and recovery after demolishing some weights, but yoga offers a lot more than just that.
I ended up doing two workouts that day. I had no idea that yoga could be such an intensive practice and provide much more for my body than an increase in flexibility. Yoga has made its way into my weekly exercise routine, and it has not only helped my flexibility, but also my muscle building as well.
If you’re new to the gym this spring you’re quickly figuring out that fitness has a language all its own. You have the bootcamp class going for AMRAP while the guy at the squat rack is bragging about his one rep max. As you rest before attempting the next set of dips, another woman asks to “work in” on the assisted dip machine. She asks you, “Is it chest and tri day for you, too?”.
You stare at her thinking, “Are my triceps supposed to have a special day?”.
Workout splits, or how often you work a particular muscle group, can be one of the most confusing parts of a new strength training regimen. With the emphasis on high intensity programs in gyms and online training programs most people are training every muscle, every workout. The idea of a workout dedicated to just upper body or a specific muscle group seems foreign, even outdated, but making sure a muscle has adequate rest and attention is key to creating the physique you really want. Whether you’re new to the weight room or thinking about your first figure competition, there is a split that is right for you! (more…)
You’re in the middle of your workout, everything is going great, and then suddenly something feels off. There’s a twinge of pain, a tingling sensation, or a wave of nausea comes over you. Or maybe you don’t feel anything until later, in the form of soreness or shin splints.
Whatever the symptoms may be, the cause is likely that you’re doing something about your workout wrong. With the help of fitness experts Dempsey Marks, Jessica Smith and Valerie Orsoni, we’ve got a list of the top signs your workout is doing more harm than good, and ways you can fix the problems.
You’re Super Sore the Next Day
A little soreness can be good, but if you’re so sore you can’t move, you need to tone your workout down a bit. According to Shape Magazine, that level of soreness can indicate that you’re well on your way to an overuse injury.
Dempsey Marks, fitness expert, yoga trainer, and founder of DempseyFit.com, suggests decreasing the intensity of your workouts by lifting less weight or doing fewer reps. She also suggests properly refueling your body by eating a post-workout snack, like her Strawberry Banana Crunch Smoothie Bowl, full of carbohydrates and protein.
Are you an Orange is the New Black fan? Then you must know a thing or two about Matt McGorry. He plays the super hunky but adorable prison guard Officer Bennett on Netflix’s hit show. Though we have had the privilege of seeing a bit of McGorry’s body on the show, many of you are probably unaware that he was actually a personal trainer before he got into acting. And according to Buzzfeed, very good at his job.
Not only that, but McGorry wrote for Men’s Fitness and participated as a bodybuilder. Who knew! No wonder Bennett looks too good to be true under that CO uniform.
As told to Men’s Fitness, McGorry got into athletics and training when he won a session of personal training classes in the eighth grade. Once he started to see results after working with his trainer, he became more interested in sculpting his body. In college, McGorry began to power lift, focusing on his personal goals and allowing himself to meet and exceed them. From there, he became a personal trainer, working at Peak Performance NYC for a few years.
One of the highlights of McGorry’s lifting career was winning the record for the New York State Raw Deadlift with a lift of 550 pounds in the 198-pound weight class. (more…)
You’ve lifted, squatted, stretched, and sweat your way to a fitter life and smaller waistline. However, you’ve also built up muscle in your thighs, calves, and butt, which can make slipping into your favorite pair (or any pair) of jeans a bigger challenge than you may expect.
Famous athletes have complained about the lack of jeans options that fit their athletic frames, and they’re certainly not the only ones with that problem. Anyone who has muscular legs probably knows the struggle of finding pants to fit both your legs and waist.
That’s where Barbell Apparel comes in. They are a new company designing jeans with athletic figures specifically in mind.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably always wondered if there is more of a benefit to lifting before you run, or if the exercises should be performed in the reverse. (Sweat then strength or strength then sweat?) It’s an age old question, but finally, we have an answer.
Well, kind of.
According to a recent study from the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, it turns out that the order doesn’t matter all that much. Fitness experts long ago discovered that the combination of cardiovascular exercises along with resistance increases the effectiveness of both exercises, but the order that works best appears to be based on personal preference more than any physiological differences. (more…)
We expect that taking on a role in an action movie can be grueling, but “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke’s diet for “Terminator: Genesis” sounds just plain awful.
The actress, who will be playing Sarah Conner in the upcoming film, revealed just how harsh her diet was in an interview with InStyle.
“I have not been allowed to eat anything that might taste good at all.” She then listed all the foods she’s been told to avoid, including wheat, sugar, caffeine, and dairy products. She did say she could enjoy a cup of tea, but only one, and without cream and sugar.
As we end the first week of 2013, it seems appropriate to look ahead and forecast what will be the hot fitness and health trends of the upcoming year. It’s always fun to not only look back to archive a year, but seeing which trends will be big and make a mark this year is, too. We’ve rounded up the seven things we think everyone will be chatting about this year and in to 2014!
1. Fitness and Health Smartphone Apps. Last year was another big one for fitness apps. Just this week Consumer Reports noted that MyFitnessPal was at the top of their list for “DIY Dieting.” There are so many useful and effective programs available that, according to Huffington Post, it’s expected that even health professionals will start advocating for and recommending these apps to help keep their patients on track.
2. Crossfit and Women in the Weight Room. The popularity of Crossfit has yet to wane and as a result more women aren’t getting scared out of the weight room. It’s assumed that more women will take up these classes and practices this year. The benefits of heavy lifting are being revealed as social media has proven a great way to show off the results many women are seeing. Nevermind the internal benefits such as bone and heart health. (more…)
When you walk into the gym and step on the treadmill, you probably have one thing in mind: You want to lose some body fat. It may be 5 pounds or it may be 25 pounds; whatever that number may be I’ve got some advice for you: Step off of the treadmill. Listed below are just a few of the many upsides heavy weight lifting has for weight loss and essential health.
Weight Lifting Burns More Fat Than Cardio
While cardio has been found to be essential for good heart health, it can also burn muscle along with fat which is something you don’t want to happen.
This negative effect happens because the more muscle your body has the more fat your body burns. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body naturally burns an extra 35-50 calories per day, just by obtaining muscle! Therefore, a weight lifting session continues to burn calories even after your workout is over with where as cardio stops burning calories the second it’s over with.
“The more lean muscle mass an individual has the more calories burned at rest, therefore resistance training helps to burn fat while developing a lean, toned physique,” said Kalene Smith, certified personal trainer, lifestyle coach and owner of GoTimeTraining.com.
When you look at from in this perspective, one of the last things a woman wanting to lower her body fat should want to do is get rid of the muscle she already has. (more…)
All my life I’ve dreamed of having a flat stomach, but I simply didn’t have the knowledge on how to get it. I wanted to tone up and have a little muscle on me. I knew I wasn’t “fat,” but there was definitely some fat I wanted to lose.
My boyfriend, Kyle, has been lifting weights for years and knows what he’s doing in the kitchen. A little over a year ago, I asked him to help me tone up and get my body on a proper eating regimen. We started immediately, and that’s when I picked up my first dumbbell.
Training for a Bikini Competition
During this time, one of my best friends decided to compete in a bodybuilding show for the bikini division. She asked Kyle to coach her on a diet, since he had competed in the past himself. I watched my friend transform her body into a lean machine. She looked fantastic, and I’ve never been more jealous for a six-pack like hers. That was when I decided I wanted to do a show myself. I needed something that was going to motivate me to lose the weight. (more…)