Saturday, December 9, 2017

Staying Fit and Strong as You Age

I'm a nationally ranked powerlifter and last week I had my 59th birthday.  I can honestly say that I'm stronger now than I was in my 20s.  People often ask me how my strength keeps improving as the years add up?  The answer to this question is having a right mental attitude about aging, doing regular strength training exercise, and eating properly.  Let me explain each of these items below.

The Right Mental Attitude
There is a difference between aging and getting old.  Everyone is going to age, but not everyone has to get old.  Getting old is more of an attitude than anything else.  You are as old or as young as you think you are, and this has nothing to do with number of years.  I've seen people in their 40s complain of getting old, and I've seen people in their 70s and 80s who look and act like they were in their 30s. While recently working out, getting ready for a national powerlifting competition someone approached me and said "just wait till you turn 40, you won't be able to lift like that anymore", to which I replied "age is just a number my friend, I've got you by 18 years".

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sacopenia, aka Muscle Loss Can Begin In Your 30s

Sacopenia is the progressive loss of muscle mass, function, quality, and strength related to the aging process.  When the word aging comes mind most people think of 65 plus, however you can start to lose muscle mass in your 30s.  As a matter of fact, between the ages of 30 to 60, the average adult will gain 1 lb of weight and lose 1/2 lb of muscle yearly.  That's a gain of 30 lbs of fat and a loss of 15 lbs of muscle over a 30 year period.

How does this happen?  Beginning in their mid-30s most people start to lead a more sedentary lifestyle.  They have careers, get married, have children, and lead less physically active lives, and as a consequence they begin to lose muscle mass.  Your body is designed for physical activity, and the old saying "use it or lose it" is true when it comes to your body, especially your muscle mass.  Click here to see the entire post.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What Does Your Body Weight Really Tell You About Your Health

Your dietary habits significantly affect your body weight, body composition, and physical health. Recent studies show that over 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese predisposing them to various diseases and degenerative problems.  But what does overweight really mean?  By public health standards being overweight is weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height as determined by your Body Mass Index or BMI.  Categories for BMI fall into the following:

Underweight =  less than 18.5  
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

It is generally assumed that people in the overweight and obese BMI categories are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and a host of other degenerative problems. But, does BMI give the best indication of the health risk associated with your body weight?  I think body composition is a much better indicator for associating body weight with health risks because it takes into account both muscle weight and fat weight. Please click here to see the entire post

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Low-Fat Diet Fraud

For decades, the mantra for healthy eating has been “eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.” Touted as a way to lose weight and prevent heart disease and other chronic conditions, millions of people have followed this advice. Seeing a tremendous marketing opportunity, food companies re-engineered thousands of foods to be low-fat or fat-free. The low-fat approach to eating may have made a difference for the occasional individual, but as a nation, it has nether helped us control our weight nor become healthier. In the 1960s, fats and oils supplied Americans with about 45 percent of their calories. About 13 percent of the population was obese and less than one percent had type 2 diabetes. Today, Americans take in less fat, getting about 33 percent of calories from fats and oils; yet 34 percent of the population is obese, and eight percent has diabetes (mostly type 2). (Source: Harvard School of Public Health).

Research has shown that the total amount of fat in your diet isn’t linked with weight or disease. What actually matters is the type of fat in your diet. Trans fats and saturated fats increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do just the opposite. But then you ask, “what about cholesterol in food?” The answer is, for most people the mix of fats in their diets influences cholesterol in their bloodstreams far more than cholesterol in food. Click here to read the entire post.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Maintaining a Steady Blood Sugar Level is Important in Your Effort to Lose Weight

Maintaining a steady blood sugar level is not only important for your health, it's also a critical component in your effort to lose weight. While your body breaks down all digestible carbohydrates into blood sugar, some are converted into blood sugar faster than others. Thus, some carbohydrates cause a spike in your blood sugar level causing you to feel hungry faster and to crave more sugary foods. Other carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar more slowly, leveling out your blood sugar and resulting in less hunger and food cravings.

For this reason, the Glycemic Index (GI) was developed to classify how quickly
your body converts carbohydrates into blood sugar as opposed to pure glucose. Glucose has a GI of 100, and all other carbohydrate-based foods are ranked against it. Foods with a score of 70 or more are considered to as have a high GI, while those with a score of 55 or less are considered low. Please click here to see entire post...

Friday, September 22, 2017

Over 40 Beginner's Strength Training Program

Whether you are 40 or 90 it’s never too late to begin strength training program  People in their nineties can still build muscle and become stronger.  My oldest client started working out at age 90.  Here is a perfect strength training program to start building muscle and getting stronger.

In this strength training program, you will work all the major muscle in your body.  This routine is designed for you to do every third day.  For example do this program Monday, Thursday, and Sunday etc…  Spacing out this routine is important to give your body a chance to recuperate between workout sessions.  Strength training tears down muscle fibers, so your body needs the proper recovery time to rebuild those fibers stronger.

You should do each exercise for two sets of 10 repetitions with at least one minute but no more that two minutes between each set.  For each exercise select a resistance with which the last three repetitions are difficult to complete.  Do this routine for two months.  Click here to see the entire post

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Two of My Favorite Exercises for Strengthening and Developing Your Chest

No other muscle is as prominent in a youthful and fit appearance as a strong and developed chest.  What most people consider as the chest is composed of two muscles, the pectoralis major, and the pectoralis minor.  Below is a brief description of these muscles and their primary purpose.

The pectoralis major is a large, substantial, fan-shaped muscle that makes up the majority of the chest muscle mass. It originates at your clavicle, ribs, and sternum, and inserts into the upper portion of your humerus (upper arm bone from elbow to shoulder.)  The pectoralis major helps flex the shoulder joint, and moves your arm toward and across your chest. This is the muscle that gives the chest that strong and fit appearance in a front and side profile.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle that is found underneath the pectoralis major. It attaches at the 3rd, 4th and 5th rib, and it reaches to the scapula (shoulder blade.).  It is not a very large muscle but is gives the pectoralis major more prominence when it is developed and strong. Its job is to help pull the shoulder forward and down.

When exercising the chest I like to use a heavy movement to develop the pectoralis major followed by a lighter shaping exercise to target the pectoralis minor.  Thus, combining an exercise to build mass with a movement to shape and define the chest.  Below is a video of two of my favorite exercises to accomplish this task. Click here to see video