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Nutrition for HIIT!

High Intensity Interval Training is an effective, highly popular form of cardio and fat-burning exercise where you push yourself to the max for short bursts and then recover before repeating. Super effective for super fast results!

It is basically the opposite of steady-pace cardio like long distance running or cycling. You perform intervals of high intensity sprints or bursts of all-out energy where you give 100% maximum effort, and then you take it all the way down to a slow, calm “active recovery” interval and repeat.

tuck_Jump

Try the 10in30 “12 Minute HIIT”!
(click on pic)

This has been proven to be a highly effective form of cardio that will help build muscle and burn fat at a much faster rate than its steady-pace alternative. However, like its name implies, it is high intensity so you can actually end up losing muscle mass if you don’t have proper nutrition. NOOOOOOOOOOO! This is bad for both men and women.

Therefore, don’t just do your HIIT workout and call it a day! Even if you do see results without proper nutrition, your results can plateau faster, you can get tired and over worked, and your results will be far better if you fill your body with the nutrients it needs at the right time surrounding your workout.

To ensure that you are not depleting your hard earned muscle, here are some tips on what you should consume to get the most out of your HIIT:

espresso

1. Caffeine
Half hour before you workout, have a cup of coffee or other source of around 100 mg of caffeine. A typical cup of coffee contains 100mg. Or you can have a Red Bull (80 mg), or do like I do; green tea fat burning pills with a whopping 150 mg of caffeine. It takes 20 minutes for your body to absorb most nutrients so at .5 hr you should be up and ready to start your work out.

If you can’t have caffeine for medical reasons, then a simple carb like a fruit juice or sports drink like Gatorade (with sugar, not the splenda version) will help energize you, sans caffeine.

 

xtend, bcaa, bcaa's

2. BCAA’s
Branched Chain Amino Acids are important for muscle recovery and to prevent your muscle from being used as energy. You worked hard to build the muscle you have, so don’t let it get eaten up by your body when it’s desperate for energy. This is called a “catabolic” state. Bad.

Start drinking a serving of BCAA’s around 15 minutes before you start working out and continue drinking throughout your workout. I highly recommend Xtend as it also contains electrolytes which will ensure you don’t get dehydrated and start cramping up. And it has glutamine and vitamin b6 too!

 

torrent

3. Protein and simple carbs
These must be consumed immediately upon finishing your HIIT workout.

Drinking your protein is far better than eating some meat or other solid since time is of the essence after a tough workout and liquids get absorbed by your body much faster than solids.

You can have a whey protein shake but you’ll still need some simple carbs since most whey protein powders don’t come with carbs (they use splenda or other non caloric sweeteners). Having some white bread product with your protein shake will suffice, or you can drink a cup (8 oz) grape juice right before your protein shake. Simple carbs such as sugars help deliver the protein and other nutrients to your muscles by raising your insulin levels.

Some say that it’s not necessary to consume protein after a workout and give examples like prisoners with restricted diets and no access to supplements that still manage to get buffed. Your body might be able to adapt and do the best it can with what its given, but I would rather do the most I can for my body while I can control it.

chocolate milk, proteinMy all-time favorite supplement is Universal Nutrition’s Torrent, post workout shake. It has everything you need; protein, simple carbs, amino acids and even creatine. If you can buy this, go for it. The convenience alone will be worth it let alone the awesome taste!

If you’d rather keep your supplements expenses low, a really cheap and tasty treat that has been proven to work is your very common chocolate milk. It has protein and simple carbs through the sugars it provides for the chocolate. Consume an 8 ounce serving of it and you’ll get 8g protein and 26g simple carbs.

So that’s pretty much the basics of what you should consume before, during and after your high intensity workout. The only other supplement that will ensure your body is functioning at its best and you recover quickly is a multi-vitamin. It doesn’t revolve around your workout but you should take one every morning or per dosage on the bottle.

The multi-vitamin along with the 3 supplements listed above will allow your body to perform at its maximum and get the full benefit of your workouts! Let me know if you begin taking these supplements and how you feel after a few weeks, ok?

CHEERS!

My run, and an old lady with a stop sign.

During my run today, a sweet old lady crossing guard noticed that I was rubbing my upper leg muscles right above the knee because I started to cramp up.

I was cramping up because I had just finished a big Back and Chest workout, so apparently my blood was needed elsewhere. Plus, in the morning I had done my 12 minute HIIT that includes 2 sets of squat jumps and 2 sets of high jumps. That was at 7 a.m. around 15 minutes after waking up.

The night before, I had finished my leg workout around 9 p.m. which included 4 sets of squats and 2 sets of Lunge/Step ups. So, you see? My quads had plenty of reasons to cramp up!

Anyway, when I first passed her, I had thanked her with a smile and a one-hand-up salute in a high-five style but not actually asking for a slapping of the palms. She seemed to appreciate my appreciation.

On the way back, as I was crossing the street I jokingly exclaimed, “I’m done!” That’s when I was rubbing my legs and apparently making a face that said the opposite of, “I fucking love how I feel!”

My appearance must have prompted her to lean toward me and say in a compassionate tone, “I was a toe dancer. I know how you feel.”

I smiled and stopped right there. Right in the middle of the street since I felt the safety and security of my white-haired, florescent-vest-wearing guardian holding a stop sign above her head.

She went on to ask, “Do you have anything to put on it?”

“There’s a foam roller at the gym,” I assured.

Squinting as if trying to figure out the exact type of idiot I was, she stared at me for three seconds before clarifying, “No, I mean something you can rub on, like Ben Gay.”

“Oh!” I said through a grin, “Yeah, I have something at home,” and I started to walk away slowly as she kept talking about her toe dancing days when she was a total hottie I presume since I couldn’t clearly hear her anymore. I smiled, waved, and she waved back, still holding that stop sign above her head alerting drivers not to fucking kill me.

After some more rubbing and a bit of kneeding, I continued my 3.1 mile run back to the gym. I did not use any Ben Gay, thank you very much.

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5 reasons why quitters quit. (working out)

How many times have you seen friends start some kind of fitness routine, either as a New Year’s resolution or during other times, only to stop doing it within a few weeks—if that. Why do you think this happens?? Have you been a victim of this yourself?

There can be many reasons for conking out early, but here are what I consider the top 5 reasons:

 

1. Too Hard – Many people have jumped on the P90x train—and a powerful, fast-moving train it is! You will definitely get results, IF you can stand it. That’s right, P90x is tough. I’ve known a lot of people that have started it, but only 1 that completed it. Why would that be? It takes a real strong mind to keep doing it, that hard, day after day.

Pushing yourself to the extreme continuously can lead to burn out in most people. This is especially true if you have other pressing issues in your life like kids, a stressful job with long hours, family problems, etc.

Are you ready to lift heavy? Ease up, Sheera.

Be honest about what level of fitness you are, and what you can handle—at this time.That’s right, what you can handle now is totally different from what you will be able to handle next month if you stick with a program.

While you should push yourself to have an awesome workout, recognize that rest is just as important. Maybe start with rest days in between workout days, regardless if you’re training different body parts.

Also, you might want to limit the sets or total workout time for the first few weeks going to failure only once a week. Just make sure you’re enjoying it and leaving some energy for tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that…

2. Logistics – having to travel 20 miles to a gym at 5 in the morning is just setting yourself up to fail. You pretty much know you aren’t going to be able to keep this up for very long, so you sort-of have a pre-written excuse. Don’t do that to yourself! If someone set you up to fail, knowing what they were doing, and you totally fell for it, you’d be pissed at them, right?

Well you’re supposed to love yourself, damnit! So treat yourself better than that.

Be sure you get 8 hrs sleep so you can workout hard.

Find a nearby gym or set up a home gym (you can even workout with minimal equipment like a Jungle Gym or a Stretch Band) and if you’re going to do a class or Boot Camp, make sure it’s not at an ungodly hour like 5am. If it is, then make sure it’s 5 minutes away from your home, not 30 minutes.

3. Lack of Commitment – Did you steal P90x from the internet instead of buying it, or decide to run around the neighborhood in your old shoes instead of getting good, new shoes that will protect you from injury? It’s the mentality that you haven’t invested anything that let’s you quit easily. You’re not taking this new lifestyle seriously.

If you joined a gym, or hired a personal trainer, or even bought a good pair of new sneakers, you’re more likely to feel guilty about quitting. And I know the statistics about the percentages of people who stop going to gyms, but those people were bound to quit—whether it be at a gym or at home. It was most likely due to one of the reasons mentioned here. Commit, baby!

4. Short Term Mentality – Getting in shape for a special event like a reunion or pool party? This can be motivational and it can be the necessary fire under your butt, but keep reminding yourself that it will not end once the event is over. Keep telling yourself that this is not a short-term fix, but a lifestyle change.

From NOW ON, you will exercise regularly and you will keep your diet in check. The event is simply your first “show”. There will be many more.  In fact, plan what you are going to do next month, and the month after that, such as 10in30 for month one, fat-cutting with a specific goal for month 2, etc. Which leads to:<

5. Lack of Specific Goals – Saying that you’re going to “get in shape” is almost meaningless. Weigh yourself, check how much fat you have, and make a goal to get down (or up) to a specific weight and fat percentage by a realistic date.

You can also give yourself a weightlifting goal like I did—Squat 50% more by my birthday, and break it up into small, weekly goals. Know what you are trying to achieve, and check your progress weekly ’til you get to that goal, and you will get to that goal!

Instead of killing yourself and burning out early, or having one fantastic week followed by 2 sorry-ass weeks, keep it consistent and enjoyable.

Because CONSISTENCY is far better than sporadic great workouts that will fizzle out soon. You can also do what I do and change things up with new equipment (which leads to new workouts) and changing your general goals every 1-2 months.

PEACE AND DRINK UP, MATES!

– BUM

LOVE YOURSELF, DAMNIT! (Chest Day + Abs)

Today, Monday, January 3 was Chest Day. I am doing the 10 in 30 plan again with slight modifications as necessary. Hey, I know what I’m doing, ok?? Anyway, it was a great workout and I am definitely seeing major improvement in the mirror! Even when my core is relaxed, I can see a good deal of abs, and my shoulder/rear delts are looking awesome from doing the Rotator Cuff exercises. Not to mention my Lats. They really stick out from my waist. Yes I look at myself a lot. That gym mirror is good to me. But that’s the only way to judge how you’re doing, right? Plus—don’t you love yourself? You should. Seriously. You are your best friend. So LOVE YOURSELF, DAMNIT! You’ll get more respect from others, anyway, if you really love yourself.

My workout:
Incline Press on Bench
Straight Bench Press
Crossovers (high to face level for upper pec development)
Incline DB Flies (only 20#, 12 reps)
Incline DB Press
Bent Over Rev Flies (standing, sitting)
Side Rotators
Top Rotators

ABS:
Hanging leg raises
Leg Raises on Vertical Leg Raise Bench, knee raises

The reason I said this was “modified” is because I am working on lowering my fat percentage as well. I am doing ab work after most workouts on top of doing HIIT in the morning on an empty stomach. Remember, I already did the 10 in 30 and gained 10 lbs, then I did only circuits for a while with lots of cardio, so I went down on fat a little. Unfortunately, I also lost some muscle from that plus getting sick with the flu, so that’s why I’m back in the 10 in 30 plan. The morning HIIT cardio is really paying off as far as leaning me the hell out. I also plan on running (HIIT of course) after my workout for 2 days of the week on top of the morning HIIT.

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DECEMBER 14 Merry Christmas!

sprinter

The holidays are here, and this is the time when we eat like piglets and generally let go of our routines. There are always sweets in the office, hot coco, candies, etc. Well, it’s OK to eat some of that stuff, but remember that if you don’t work it off, it’ll STAY IN YOU and turn into fat. Like I’ve said before, you don’t want to appear like the prude that won’t have a little festive food, so have a bite or two but remember that tonight, you’ll have to account for it during your cardio.

If you’re in the 10 in 30 gaining phase and you do happen to eat badly that day, make that an exception to the “virtually no cardio” rule, and RUN using HIIT for that day. This is only to burn off the fat you ate today, so you’ll most likely not be losing weight. To make sure you aren’t burning valuable muscle, run AFTER you do weights, for at least 20 minutes. And, remember that HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training, is better for burning straight fat and keeping muscle than consistent-pace running. In fact, HIIT builds muscle, especially when doing your sprints uphill.

If you’re unfamiliar with HIIT, just look at competitive sprinters; see how buff they are, especially in the legs? Now look at long distance, consistent pace runners like marathoners. See how scrawny, yet fat they look? That’s because their method of running does the opposite of what you want. They are burning muscle which accounts for their low mass and skinny look, yet keeping a high amount of fat, which accounts for their flabby look. WORST OF BOTH WORLDS!
sprinter

Check out my previous blog posts to see what I do when running downhill after the uphill sprints. You don’t want to sprint downhill because it can be dangerous, plus since there is no uphill resistance, you’re cheating yourself. Not to mention, running downhill can mess up your knees and ankles. SO, I have done a rather silly looking style of “running” that prevents me from landing on my heels and instead works out the calves by landing on the balls of my feet. I basically keep my legs pretty straight, and kick them straight up in front of me, landing on the balls of the feet and propelling me up again. Kind-of like a German march on silly pills. And, I lean backward, toward the top of the hill slightly to engage the abs, and then I rotate my torso in sync with my legs. Don’t worry, I don’t do this at the gym. I’ve done it at night, after my workout, on a pretty lonely street by my house, and I usually wait ’til no cars are coming. Yes, it looks that silly. : ) BUT IT WORKS, BIOTCH! And, you feel your calves being worked. This works even better if you’ve done some calf raises right before.

BTW, I prefer to RUN instead of other cardio methods, although I do vary it all the time with the Stepmill or Spin bike. Running has been proven to burn the most fat and when running uphill, you actually work the abs. (info taken from FitnessRX magazine. Highly recommended)

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