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Barbell Pullovers

Barbell Pullovers
By The Doctor

In the days of yore (which is anything before the late fifties in
the bodybuilding world) doing heavy barbell pullovers was a rite of
passage into bodybuilding manhood. In fact, I read a quote from the
great George Turner that made me chuckle on reading it. He said that
if you were not able to use 250 pounds on the pullover then you were
nothing. Many lifters years ago said that this exercise would be all
that one needed to get a complete upper body workout. Although I do
not see people use this lift often, I must say that 250 pounds would
be rather heavy. Nevertheless, this exercise is on the verge of
becoming extinct. I tried it to see if it was worth bringing back to
the forefront of resistance-training exercises.

A Little Bit about the Pullover

As mentioned previously, this exercise is considered by many to be
the best upper body exercise.

Some people lie across a bench sideways and others lie on the bench
in a regular fashion and perform them. Usually the trainees will
have their preference of dumbbells or barbells. The variables of
body positioning and equipment to use is up to personal preference.

One advantage that is clear is that it removes the weak link of
back work - the biceps - and allows for more direct lat work. The
pullover is also great for those who are into pre-exhaustion
methods or those who want something to use immediately after
high-repetition squats.

What muscles does this exercise work?

Not only do pullovers work the latissimus dorsi but it also targets
the posterior deltoid, the long head of the triceps, rhomboids,
pectoralis major rather well. In addition, it works the following
muscles in a less direct manner: the anterior deltoid, triceps
brachii and wrist flexors.

I do know a few people who have used this exercise and stated that
their triceps were thouroughly worked on completion. What confused
them was that this was not their intended purpose.

How to do it...

Simply lay your back perpendicularly across a bench and grab a
barbell from behind you and bring it to your chest. Then proceed
to extend your arms to where the barbell is above your chest and
your arms are straightened. You have the option of bending your
elbows from there. Lower the barbell or dumbbell behind and past
your head so as your upper arms are parallel or slightly below
parallel to your torso.

Bring the bar back to your chest and repeat the motion until
muscular failure.

I have used this exercise recently and I must say that it is an
excellent addition to my back work when used as my main
latissimus dorsi exercise. I have not used it for pre-exhaustion
yet, but I plan to use it in combination with chins when I do.

This will remove the biceps as the weak link as my back has always
been my least-responsive muscle. It is an upper body exercise so
I would recommend a repetition range from 6 to 10. As with every
other exercise, if you respond better to other repetition ranges,
then by all means use them.

Food Separation Theory

Food Separation Theory
by Kristi Lees

By eating the right types of food in the most appropriate combinations,
or rather by separating your foods from each other correctly, you can
greatly enhance your digestion, your health, your life. The great
thing about food separation is that it can be applied to any nutrition
plan you choose to follow whether it is: high protein, low fat,
vegetarian, gluten free or any other of the vast array of nutrition
plans being promoted today.

As nature has it, there are three main food groups: carbohydrates, fats
and proteins. In their natural, unadulterated state carbohydrate based
foods are low in both protein and fat. Protein based foods on the other
hand have certain amounts of fat present and contain little to no
carbohydrates. If we can observe this law in the kitchen we can save
ourselves a lot of digestive discomfort and retain more energy to make
it through the many trials and tribulations of everyday life.

According to America's #1 online nutritionist, Don Lemmon, the body
only knows how to process foods as they come in nature. By simply
following this natural pattern and allowing the body to recgonise
which type of food it is eating (carb low fat or protein with fat)
miracles can happen. "When you force someone to do something against
their will, they might do as told but they do not like it. Ask them
to do it often enough and they will quit on you," says Don. The same
thing can be said for the digestive system, if it is forced day after
day to exceed its limits, sooner or later something is bound to
give in.

The body is designed to have balance, not confusion. If you allow it
to do things most efficiently (with the help of food separation)
everything comes out better. So to clarify, low/no fat carbohydrate
meals or moderate fat protein meals are what we are striving for to
create the most effective balance and the most efficient digestion.

The fundamental rule here is that simple meals are easier for the
body to digest. Too much elaborate food not only causes digestive
disturbance, it also encourages even the strictest eater to
overindulge. Consequences of such episodes can result in: bloating,
gas (or both) caused by food fermentation in the gut, lethargy due to
the increased amount of energy being directed to the digestive
process, decreased nutrient assimilation as well as release of toxic
by products into the blood stream. All things best avoided if we are
striving for an optimally running body, a stable weight and
enhanced health.

Here is an analogy that Don shared with me, "If you went to work
spending your days cleaning up messes instead of having an efficient
and regular schedule, you fall behind and cannot possibly get
everything done. You become stressed and issues build up as things
are never taken care of because you assume someone else will handle
them; issues that if you let go too long only get worse because it
was your job, not anyone elses, to tackle." By separating the food
groups accordingly you can help assist the digestive schedule by
making it more effective and allowing it to work so efficiently that
it will no longer need the help of other organs or extra energy to do
its job. When the digestive process is impaired, other organs are
often called in to help clean up the mess, (particularly the liver)
placing greater stress on all of the body's systems.

Food separation assists in the upkeep and function of not only the
digestive system but of the whole body, "The body works best when all
the fuels are supplied and the motor is kept clean," adds Don. This
way of eating is a great way of keeping the motor clean.

Some people seem to be less affected by poor food combination choices
than others due to a stronger digestive system. But just because you
may not feel the immediate effects as some people do, it is important
not to take your digestive system for granted. It does a lot of work
so the least we can do is make its job as easy as possible.

"The first thing a person notices besides looking differently in the
mirror after a day or two (yes, that fast) is that they aren't belching
or tooting as often" remarks Don. "Food doesn't seem to sit in the
belly all day long like it used to." These are all signs of enhanced
digestion and enhanced digestion will inevitably lead to greater
health.

For more information on Don Lemmon's Program go to
http://www.jamnfitness.com/get-the-know-how.html

The Skinny on Fat

The Skinny on Fat

After years of being told to limit fat in your diet, now there's news that fat — as long as it's the healthy kind — is part of good nutrition.

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Medically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD
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Finally, there’s the news we've all been waiting for when it comes to the right diet: Eat more fat. But how can that possibly be true — or healthy? The recent recommendations to focus more on fat in the diet for better nutrition don’t apply to all fats. Only the “good” fats are recommended to boost health.

Fat in the Diet: What Is Healthy Fat?

Fats are now divided up as either good or bad. "We speak about fats differently now than we used to," says Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, LD, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Ky. "They all used to be clumped together, and now we separate them out. We steer clear of the saturated and the trans fats, which are unhealthy, and lean toward the other ones."

The recommendations about ensuring adequate daily fat intake only pertain to the healthy fats. Experts, in other words, are not advocating eating more fried foods or desserts. "The unsaturated fats are the kind that are better for us," says Meyerowitz. Unsaturated fats, both the mono- and poly-unsaturated kinds, include fats like the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

Fat in the Diet: The Link Between Fats and Weight

Despite what's been previously preached, fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet. Without it, Americans tend to put on more weight. During the 1960s, before the low-fat diet craze, people got about 45 percent of their daily calories from fat. Back then, only about 13 percent of Americans were obese.

Today, with about 34 percent of the U.S. population defined as obese, only about 33 percent of our daily calories come from fat. Why the discrepancy? One possible reason is that people are exchanging fats for even more unhealthy alternatives, like calorie-rich, sugar-laden carbohydrates.

There's actually no proof that restricting fats in the diet improves weight loss or reduces heart disease risk. A major study by the Women's Health Initiative found no health benefit in women who followed a low-fat diet over those who didn't restrict their fats. And a Nurses' Health Study found no improvement in heart health or weight loss, probably because they were cutting out the protective good fats as well as bad fats.

The current recommendation is between three and nine servings of fats each day; most of these should come from good fats, with very little saturated fat and ideally no trans fat.

Fat in the Diet: Why Good Fats Are Good for the Body

Good fats are important for the body in a variety of ways, improved heart health among them, says Meyerowitz. And they're such an important part of a healthy diet because your body doesn't make essential fatty acids, some of the most important fats. To get what your body needs for good heart and brain health, you have to eat them. Change the way that you cook, says Meyerowitz, and use healthy vegetable oils. Snack on nuts, add avocados to salads and sandwiches, and dress up dishes with olives.

Fat in the Diet: Finding Good Fats

Foods with the good fats that can help boost your health include:

  • Fish and other seafood, especially salmon and other fatty fish
  • Walnuts, pecans, and almonds
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Vegetable oils like canola, olive, soybean, corn, sunflower, and safflower
  • Sesame, pumpkin, and other seeds

Fat in the Diet: The Bottom Line on Fats

While some fats should be limited (saturated) or avoided altogether (trans fats), don't think of fat as a dirty word, and don't deprive yourself of foods that are both healthy and delicious. Feed your body the good fats that it craves — your heart and brain need fat to function

The 13 Most Powerful Superfoods

Why Are They So Super?

Ask five nutritionists to rate the 13 most powerful foods and you'll get five different lists, but many of the selections will overlap. Why? Because every food provides something different: Some are a rich source of protein or fiber but void of many vitamins and minerals, while others contain disease-fighting phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, but no protein. The trick, claim experts, is to get a variety of the best foods. The following 13 power foods are a good place to start.

Avocados

Sure, they're high in fat, but avocados contain healthful monounsaturated fat, which has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. "Avocados aid in blood and tissue regeneration, stabilize blood sugar, and are excellent for heart disorders," says Ed Bauman, Ph.D., director of Bauman College. They're loaded with fiber (11 to 17 grams per fruit) and are a good source of lutein, an antioxidant linked to eye and skin health.

Apples

"An apple a day really does keep the doctor away," says Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. Apples are loaded with the powerful antioxidants quercetin and catechin, which protect cells from damage - that means a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially if you eat the skin. Research shows that the apple peel contains five times more polyphenols than the flesh. Apples and their skins pack a lot of fiber too (about twice that of other common fruits, including peaches, grapes, and grapefruit), which may help fight the battle of the bulge.

Blueberries

Antiaging superstars, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, which have been shown to improve vision and brain function. Studies show that eating blueberries slows impairments in motor coordination and memory that accompany aging. These little berries also reduce inflammation, which is inextricably linked with virtually every chronic disease from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, to diabetes and heart disease. Other studies show that blueberries have much greater anticancer activity than other fruits.

Cabbage

In the vegetable world, the Brassica genus reigns supreme, and the cabbage is the most impressive of the lot. Brassica vegetables (including broccoli, bok choy) contain compounds called indoles, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer dramatically. "Eating cabbage more than once a week cut men's colon cancer odds by 66 percent," says Bauman. "Cabbage also stimulates the immune system, kills bacteria and viruses, and is a good blood purifier." If you go for the red variety, you'll also get a healthy dose of anthocyanins (the same pigment molecules that make blueberries blue), another powerful antioxidant with an anticancer punch.

Fish and Fish Oil

Eating fish helps cut the risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. The fatty varieties may also help alleviate depression. The American Heart Association recommends that adults eat at least two fish meals per week, especially wild salmon, herring, and sardines, because those varieties provide the most heart-healthy omega 3s. Avoid mercury-containing varieties like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and albacore tuna, says Roberta Anding, M.S., R.D., national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. (Chunk light tuna is okay.)

Garlic

Research shows that garlic lowers total cholesterol and triglyceride (blood fat) levels, helping prevent clogged arteries. "Two to three cloves a day cut the odds of subsequent heart attacks in half for heart disease patients," says Bauman. "Garlic also tops the National Cancer Institute's list of potential cancer-preventive foods." Whole baked garlic helps detoxify the body of heavy metals like mercury (from fish) and cadmium. Garlic also acts as an antibacterial and antiviral, boosting resistance to stress-induced colds and infections. Can't stand garlic breath? Chew on a sprig of parsley.

Mushrooms

Used for centuries in Eastern medicine, mushrooms have powerful effects on the immune system – especially the maitake, shiitake, and reishi varieties. "Mushrooms such as maitake help prevent and treat cancer, viral diseases, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure," says Bauman. In fact, mushrooms are used as an adjunctive cancer treatment throughout Asia because of their ability to counteract the toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiation while simultaneously shrinking tumors. What's more, Japanese researchers have found that regularly eating shiitake mushrooms lowers blood cholesterol levels up to 45 percent.

Almonds

Almonds are loaded with fiber and monounsaturated fat, both of which have been shown to lower cholesterol. According to the Food and Drug Administration, eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts, including almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. And even though almonds are relatively high in fat and calories, studies show that eating almonds can actually help with weight loss (their protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats provide the feeling of fullness, preventing overeating).

Eggs

The best protein source on the planet, eggs consistently outrank milk, beef, whey, and soy in the quality of protein they provide. In addition to containing all nine essential amino acids, eggs are loaded with nutrients. "And for God's sake, eat the yolks," says Bowden. People avoid the yolks because they fear cholesterol, but egg yolks contain choline, which helps protect heart and brain function and prevents cholesterol and fat from accumulating in the liver.

Flaxseeds

Loaded with alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps reduce inflammation, flaxseed has been used for centuries for medicinal and health reasons. Gandhi himself proclaimed, "Wherever flaxseed becomes a regular food item among the people, there will be better health." Bauman adds, "The seed itself has terrific nutritional value, very usable protein, tremendous fatty acids, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc." Additionally, they're a great source of fiber.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates have up to three times the antioxidants of red wine and green tea – and the juice has been shown to reduce artery-clogging plaque, which in turn prevents heart disease and stroke. Research shows that long-term consumption of pomegranate juice may also help slow aging and protect against cancer.

Red Wine

A small amount of any kind of alcohol each day does your heart good by increasing HDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of blood clots. "Red wine also contains powerful antioxidants, resveratrol and saponins, which may provide additional cardiovascular benefits," says Anding. Resist a refill, however: More than one drink daily has been linked to high blood pressure.

Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, bitter is better – at least in terms of health. The benefits of chocolate come from flavonols and antioxidants (the same disease-fighting chemicals found in cranberries, apples, strawberries, and red wine). The caveat: Only real cacao contains flavonols, so look for chocolate that boasts a high percentage of cacao (60 percent or more). Dark chocolate also has fewer calories than other varieties, and when eaten in moderation, it lowers unhealthy LDL cholesterol and prevents plaque from building up in your arteries.

Understanding the Different Types of Headaches

Understanding the Different Types of Headaches

Not all headaches share the same symptoms. Learn about the different types of headache and headache symptoms and who is more likely to experience each type.

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Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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Most people get headaches now and then, some people more than others. Then there are those who get migraines, which are much more than “just” headaches. Migraineurs — those who get frequent migraine headaches — know their migraine symptoms all too well.

Head pain can be frightening because people often think that it could be the sign of something serious. “A person with headaches should always discuss this issue with their physician,” says Steven P. Herzog, MD, an attending neurologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. "In turn, their physician can make a correct diagnosis of the type of headaches the patient is suffering with and whether or not they should see a headache specialist.”

What Is a Headache?

It sounds like an obvious question, but different types of headaches affect people in a variety of ways, and they generally have different headache symptoms.
  • Tension-type headaches affect almost everyone at some point. Those that happen occasionally are just that: occasional headaches. Some people, however, have tension-type headaches just about every day, and these are considered to be chronic. Headache symptoms for tension-type headaches usually include pressure or muscle tension on both sides of the head or back of the neck; the pain is usually constant, not sharp or throbbing. Many people describe them as like having a band squeezed around their head.
  • Hormone headaches are menstrual headaches that may start before your period is due or while you’re menstruating. Migraines are often associated with menstruation, and symptoms include sharp, throbbing pain on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and even touch.
  • Cluster headaches affect men more often than women. They are extremely intense, very severe headaches that last between 30 and 45 minutes; you can have several in one day. They usually come on with no warning, catching people by surprise. The pain is piercing and usually located on one side of the head, often around the eye. People also report teary eyes on the affected side and sinus congestion. The headaches will recur over a period of time, almost always on the same side, and are followed by a headache-free period of varying length.
  • Migraines are often put in a class by themselves because of the intensity of the pain and the overall effect they have on the body. For some people, migraine symptoms include auras, which are symptoms that occur before the pain hits. The auras can be visual (seeing lines or spots) or they can cause motor or verbal disturbances. “It’s estimated that 50 million people in the United States have migraine,” says Dr. Herzog. However, most do not have migraine with aura.

     

    Migraine pain, usually throbbing and piercing, is generally one-sided, but can affect both sides. People often report sensitivity to light and loud noises as well as nausea during migraine attacks.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Call your doctor if the quality or type of headache symptoms change, or if you feel that you are having migraines, which may need prescription-strength treatment. Other reasons to contact your doctor include:
  • Any changes in the type of headache you usually get.
  • Headaches that don’t go away or that get worse as each day passes.
  • Headaches that occur with physical activity (including sex).
  • Headaches that happen after injury or illness.
  • Headache accompanied by a fever, stiff neck, signs of a stroke (such as difficulty speaking, numbness, weakness), seizures, or changes in your vision.
  • Worsening of your headache if you have to strain, as when having a bowel movement, sneezing, or coughing.
  • New headaches if you’re over 50.

Headaches are miserable, but you don’t have to suffer alone. Share your story in a discussion group or a blog. You might learn a remedy or two that you haven’t tried before.

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamins

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamins

Following all the latest news on vitamins could be a full-time job. Actually, what the average consumer needs to know about vitamins is surprisingly straightforward.

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Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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New studies and claims about vitamins are published daily, and many seem to contradict each other. What does an average consumer really need to know about vitamins?

“The fairly simple answer is, not much,” says Paul Thomas, EdD, RD, scientific consultant with the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Almost everyone can benefit from taking a supplement with calcium because most people don’t get as much as they need through their diets — 1,000 mg a day for adults, increasing to 1,200 mg after age 50. Thomas notes that some vitamins become especially important at certain times in a person’s life. Pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should be certain to get enough folate, or folic acid, a B-complex vitamin — 600 units a day, rather than 400. And as you age, you should probably take a daily supplement to get additional B12, he suggests.

“You don’t have to become an expert or learn all the intricacies of all the vitamins — because you can't,” adds Dr. Thomas. There’s simply too much information to try to remember.

What you need to do is eat a healthy diet, selecting recommended foods based on the USDA guidelines. Because few of us consistently eat a well-balanced diet, Thomas says taking an over-the-counter multivitamin, even a store brand, is a good idea. “It’s sort of like an insurance policy that covers all your bases,” he explains.

Vitamins and Healthy Living: Not as Easy as A, B, C, and D

Maintaining a balance of the vitamins we need is important yet tricky. While vitamins work together in the body to ensure our health — the most obvious being the way vitamin D aids in absorbing calcium — the interaction between vitamin supplements and prescribed medications can cause health problems. For example, calcium can interact with some pharmaceuticals, limiting the body’s ability to absorb the prescribed medication. So whenever your doctor gives you a new prescription or changes one, it’s important to discuss all of the vitamin and mineral supplements you’re taking to avoid any potential problems.

Vitamins and Healthy Living: Is Taking More Better?

For people who have a healthy diet, taking a multivitamin according to package directions won’t trigger a vitamin overdose. But Thomas warns, “You run into trouble if you take vitamins and supplements where the dose is very large.”

Some people take large amounts of supplements — hundreds or thousands of times more than the recommended amount — to treat or prevent illnesses or diseases, in effect treating vitamin supplements like drugs. “That’s different from taking them to get the recommended amount,” Thomas cautions.

Using supplements as therapy should be done only with a doctor’s guidance, as side effects and complications can and do occur. As an example, Thomas points to niacin, or B3, which in very high doses can harm the liver. However, in many cases niacin is a good drug for reducing statin levels, he adds.

Even some very familiar advice isn’t yet proven medical theory, Thomas notes: “When you look at the use of large doses of vitamin C (to combat colds), the evidence to date is kind of murky.”

To evaluate any supplement as a medical treatment, consider the body of evidence supporting any health claims and seek information from a pharmacist, dietitian, or your family doctor. “The folks who sell supplements probably aren’t the best sources of information,” Thomas says.

Curb Your Cravings

Curb Your Cravings

Discover the best ways to stop intense food cravings before they start

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It's 3 p.m. That dreaded time of day when your energy plummets and your stomach starts growling. You know you should reach for the apple tucked away in your desk, but somewhere there's a Snickers bar calling your name. You head to the vending machine again — just like every other day this week.

While food cravings can be brought on by a host of factors, including hormones, psychological motivation, and even boredom, according to Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D., author of The F-Factor Diet and a diregular guest expert on FOX News, they are most often the result of low blood glucose levels. "Consuming a combination of lean protein and fiber at every meal, as well as eating at regular intervals, will help stabilize blood glucose levels and curb your cravings." Read on for more ways to keep cravings in check.

Eat a balanced breakfast: It has been well established that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. "Consuming breakfast is key for jump-starting your metabolism," says Zuckerbrot. But it's what you eat that matters most. Avoid sugary cereals and refined carbohydrates (like white flour) — they'll leave you feeling unsatisfied, with the result that you'll be more likely to overeat later on. Some good options are an egg white omelet with vegetables and low-fat cheese, and peanut butter on whole-grain toast with bananas.

Choose healthy snacks: Forget sticking to three meals a day, especially if you often get hungry between meals. "Going a long time without eating can decrease your metabolism and the effectiveness of your body at digesting whatever you eventually eat," says Zuckerbrot. "Plus, snacking throughout the day can actually help reduce food cravings." Be sure to choose foods high in protein and fiber — they'll keep you satisfied longer and will prevent drops in blood sugar.

Reach for these snacks the next time you feel a craving coming on:

  • 1 cup of low-fat yogurt, or 1 cup of cottage cheese, mixed with 1/2 cup of high-fiber cereal
  • 1 serving of dried fruit mixed with 1/4 cup of nuts — try a combination of peanuts, pecans, almonds, and pistachios
  • 1 piece of mozzarella string cheese and an apple
  • 1 serving of high-fiber crackers with 1 ounce of cheese

Don't be afraid to indulge: Got an uncontrollable craving for something specific? Go on and treat yourself! Trying to ignore an intense food craving can actually make you more likely to binge. In a recent study of 134 nondieting men and women, researchers at the University of Hertfordshire School of Psychology in Hatfield, England, asked participants to either suppress all thoughts of chocolate or talk about their cravings. Women who tried not to think about chocolate went on to eat 50 percent more than those who spoke freely.

Zuckerbrot agrees: "Indulging in a small portion of the food you're craving — whether it's something salty, crunchy, or sweet — can prevent you from overeating later on." Keep the portion small and you'll feel satisfied without having blown your diet. Don't think you can restrict yourself to just one cookie? Try a 100-calorie snack pack instead.

Secrets to Running a 5K Race

Secrets to Running a 5K Race

Plan for running a successful 5K by starting with these training and preparation tips.

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Medically reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH
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Whether you take up running because it could be a stress reliever, you're trying to lose weight, or it's just something you've always wanted to do, there are a few important things to remember before you get started. Working toward a specific goal will help you pace yourself and avoid injury. One popular and realistic goal is training to run a 5K race.

Training to Run a 5K

The initial step in preparing to run your first 5K is coming up with a gradual training program to build up strength and stamina. Of course, you should never start a fitness program without first checking with your doctor. Before hitting the pavement, visit your doctor for a full checkup to make sure there are no health problems that could affect your ability to begin a running program.

  • Walk first. If you haven't exercised much before, start out your training with an eight-day walking program. For the first four days of training, walk for 20 minutes; then increase the workout to 30 minutes for the last four days of your walking training.
  • Start slowly. If you have already been exercising, you'll want to devote about four workouts per week to a mix of running and walking.
  • Run a little, walk a little. Don't push yourself too much too early, since that may only lead to injury and burnout. Start out by running for two minutes, then walking for four minutes, for 30 minutes total.
  • Keep it up. Move at the pace in which your body feels most comfortable; keep up that routine until it becomes too easy. Then you can increase the intensity.
  • Fire it up. When ready, move minutes from walking time to running time. Run for three minutes and walk for three, run for four minutes and walk for two, and so on until you can run 30 minutes comfortably without taking a break.

Running a 5K: What to Wear

To stay comfortable and injury-free, choose running clothes and shoes wisely. The wrong shoes can make running hard on your knees, legs, and ankles, and wearing too much or too little clothing can make it uncomfortable if you're overly warm or too cold. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Head to a running shoe store, and ask a consultant to help you pick the best shoes for your feet and your stride. Look for shoes that are well cushioned, offer good stability, and are designed for running. Make sure there is a little bit of extra room (about an inch or so) left between the end of your toes and the tip of the shoe. Always shop for running shoes later in the day, when your feet are swollen a bit and are larger.
  • When it comes to clothes, always dress for warmer weather, and dress in layers. In cold weather, make sure that your skin is covered while you run, but don't pile on heavy clothing, which can cause you to sweat too much.
  • Make sure that the layer closest to your skin is made of a material that draws sweat away from the skin — polypropylene or thermal materials work well. The next layer should help insulate you and keep you warm, so cotton clothing works well. The outermost layer should help protect you against wind and rain.

Running a 5K: Getting Support

To make training for a 5K a little more fun, and help you stay motivated, consider running with a friend. There are also local running clubs and organizations that you might find useful for planning group runs. Check online for information on local groups and seek out a salesperson at running stores for more advice on running clubs and on finding a running buddy.

Once your doctor has checked you out and given the go-ahead, lace up your shoes, hit the track, and sign up for that 5K. Give yourself enough time for proper training and preparation, and then just enjoy your run.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Total Ab Training

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Total Ab Training

Arnold explains how to carve and polish the midsection.

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The majority of bodybuilders are obsessed with developing the showy muscles, such as the arms, pecs and shoulders. Almost certainly they spend most of their training time developing the major muscle groups: lats, pecs, quads, hamstrings, delts, traps, biceps, triceps and calves. The abdominals are usually done almost as an afterthought. A few sets of crunches, reverse crunches – or situps are performed at the end of a workout, but without much energy or enthusiasm. Rarely are the abs trained with the volume of the sets or intensity that other muscle groups receive. This is a common mistake and the reason most bodybuilders’ abs are not in great shape.

The truth is, if you want great abs you have to work hard to get them. Nothing comes easily in bodybuilding, but what satisfaction you feel when you finally see a great six-pack!

Whether you are a competitive bodybuilder or just someone who wants to look good, sharply defined fat-free abdominals are an absolute must for optimal appearance. The entire abdominal region, which includes the rectus abdominus, the intercostals and the obliques, should be exercised regularly. Nothing improves the shape of your body and the overall appearance faster than reducing the size of your waistline, flattening your stomach and developing your abdominals. Muscle mass is important, but without good shape and definition muscle mass means nothing. Who impresses people most at the beach, a big guy with 20-inch arms and a 55- inch chest but also a big pot belly and fat hips and glutes, or a smaller man with 17-inch arms, a 45-inch chest but a tiny wasp waist, rippling abs, and a super defined muscular body? As a big guy myself I’d like to able to say the big man, but that isn’t true. The guy with the good abs and the defined body is the one who gets all the attention.

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Arnold0109

People associate a small, tight, flat stomach and hard abdominals with athleticism and physical well being. When someone asks you how big your muscles are, what do you do? You flex your biceps. But when someone asks you if you’re in shape, what do you do? If you truly are in shape you show your abs. If you are not in shape, and have a fat stomach, you mumble something about being late for an appointment and get away as fast as you can.

Unfortunately, the training methods and diet that best developed mass are often the complete opposite of what are needed for shape and definition, and vice versa.

A limited number of exercises per body part, heavy weights, low reps and long resting periods between sets are best for mass, while a greater variety of exercises per body part, more moderate weights, higher reps and shorter rest periods between sets – i.e. quality training - are best for shape and definition. A diet high in protein, carbohydrates and fats, with lots of calories, will help you gain mass and bodyweight. A specialized diet high in protein, low in carbohydrates and moderately low in fats and calories will help you lose body fat and increase definition. So what’s a bodybuilder to do? What is the solution to this quandary? I recommend that you devote the fall, winter and early spring to mass training, and rest of the spring and the summer to definition training. That way every year you will be adding more and more muscle mass to your physique while improving shape and definition too.

Having a small, tight, muscular waist is the key to possessing a quality physique.

No other single muscle group makes your body look so impressive. A great set of abs changes your whole appearance. Suddenly your shoulders and lats look wider, your pecks and delts look bigger, and your V-taper improves. Your legs and upper body looks bigger and more impressive when you reduce the size of your waist and develop rock-hard abs. Well sculptured, highly defined, jewel-like abdominals not only give the entire physique a more polished and finished appearance but are essential if you hope to ever do well in a bodybuilding competition - but they are also a barometer of your physical condition. They indicate how low or high your bodyfat levels are. They let you, and other people, know instantly if you are in shape. When your abs are well defined and fat free, the rest of your physique is in muscular condition too. If your abs are covered with a layer of fat, however, it is a sure bet that you are not in good condition and are smooth everywhere. You cannot have fantastic washboards abdominals if you are not in shape. arnold_schwarzenegger_trainingI believe in doing some abdominal exercises every training day – or at least 6 times a week. When I was really in a hurry to get my midsection in shape, I worked abs twice a day.

This double training blitzed away fat and produced razor sharp abdominals quickly.

Some people claim they don’t have time to train abs twice a day, but a few sets after you wake up in the morning and a few sets before bed should be possible for anyone. If you truly are strapped for time, try doing a couple of ab exercises at the beginning of your routine each day and then finish with a few sets at the end of a workout. My approach to ab training has always been to work them hard and fast. Most top bodybuilders rest only for a few seconds between sets, or take no rest at all, by doing their ab exercises in supersets, trisets or giant sets. This method causes an intense burn in the abs and helps to burn off fat while developing the abdominals and the intercostals at the same time. Nonstop workouts create an aerobic effect for overall bodyfat reduction too.

Favourite Ab Exercises

Roman Chair Situps

This exercise strongly works the upper abdominals. Over his career Zabo Koszewski must have done millions of them, and he probably won more Best Abs awards more than anybody. I often began my ab workouts with 10 minutes of nonstop Roman-chair situps. They not only worked my abs, but also served as a good warmup for my entire body. Don’t forget that your entire body is under tension when you do Roman chairs, so they almost work like iso-tension posing. To do Roman-chair situps, sit on the Roman-chair bench and hook your feet under the supports. Cross your arms over your chest and fold them in front of you. Keeping your stomach sucked in, lower yourself to approximately a 70-degree angle. Do not lower until your torso is parallel to the floor because you’ll take the stress off the abs and put it on the hip flexors and lower back. You want to maintain an arch in the lower back, and not let it round. The 70 degree position lets you maintain constant tension on the abs.

Inhale as you lower your body back and exhale as you come up to the finish position.

Pause at the top to tense and squeeze your abs, then lower under muscular tension to begin another rep. Concentrate deeply on crunching your abs to increase contraction. To make the exercise more intense, try placing the block under the front of the bench to create more of an incline. Although I listed my sets and reps as 4 X 25 to 50, in truth I normally did Roman chairs for time. I’d go nonstop for ten minutes and do as many as I could. Once I had completed the Roman chairs, I would do sets and reps of many other exercises. To put more tension on the intercostals and the sides of the waist, you can do what I called three-way Roman-chair situps. Do three minutes of regular reps, moving the body straight up and down. Then do three minutes of reps in which you twist your torso to work one side of the waist, followed by three minutes of twisting to the other side. Finish with a couple more minutes of regular reps. By the time you complete this exercises, your entire waistline and intercostals should be burning.

DSC040591Hanging Knee Raises

These work the lower abs strongly if they are done correctly. Hang from the chinning bar, bend your knees and raise them as high as possible. Tense your abs hard and pause for a count of two. Lower your legs slowly to take advantage of negative resistance, and repeat. Exhale when raising your legs and inhale when lowering them. If you find your grip slipping, use straps.

Lying Leg Raisesflatlegraise2

These are good for lower abs. Keeping a little bend in the knees at all times will reduce strain on your lower back. You can do these raises on a flat bench, on a decline ab board (definitely the most intense version), or on the floor. When doing them on the floor, never let your feet touch down, as this momentary relaxation prevents continuous tension on the abs. Do the middle three-fifths of the exercise, not quite reaching a 90-degree perpendicular-to-the-floor position at the top, but not allowing your feet to touch at the bottom. Remember to keep your stomach sucked in as you do the exercise, and concentrate on keeping constant tension on the abs. A good variation of these exercises is lying reverse crunches, or lying knee-ins. As you lie on the bench, you bend your knees and bring them up to your chest. Tense your abs hard to contract the muscles and then lower slowly back to the starting position. Do not take tension off the abs by either straightening your legs or touching the ground.

jorge_broomstick_twistBroomstick Twists

Side to side twists may been done either seated or standing. They work the intercostals and help to trim the obliques. Hold a broomstick on the back of your shoulders. Inhale as much as possible to suck in your abs. Twist rapidly from side to side. Do not let your head twist back and forth as you turn your torso. Keep it steady. Look straight ahead. Also keep your hips and pelvis steady. Try to turn only your midsection. A good mental image to help you do this exercise properly is to imagine your lower body encased in concrete and your head locked in a vise. Now the only part that can move is the midsection.

A word of warning about twists:

Avoid this exercise with heavy barbell, for you risk developing the obliques, thus thickening your waist and reducing your V-taper. You could also injure your lower back if you twist with a heavy weight because of the torque involved. You want to twist with light weight. Do it rapidly and for high reps to bring a burn in the targeted muscles.

Hyperextensionshyperextension01

Great for developing spinal erectors, hyperextensions will also strengthen your lower back. Position your body face down on the hyperextension bench. Lower your upper body all the way down and then come up to just a little above horizontal. Pause to tense and squeeze the lower back muscles and then lower again. If you rise too high, you risk overextending your lower back and causing injury to the discs that make up the spinal column.

Some of you might be thinking, ‘Hey, hyperextensions are not abdominal exercises – they’re for the lower back. What are they doing in an ab routine?’

Well what do you think the back of your waist is? It’s your lower back! You need lower – back exercises to help remove fat from that area as much as you need situps, crunches or leg raises to help burn fat from the front of the body. Hyperextensions strengthen the lower back and create synergistic balance between the two muscle groups. You do not want to ignore the lower back and have it become your weak link.

More Tips

Never train your abs with heavy weights, because you’ll get a thick, chunky midsection that distracts from your V-taper and ruins symmetry. Do high reps with no weight at all, or very light weights at most. Exercises for the lower abdominals can sometimes be done with extra weight, as you are unlikely to get ab thickness in this area. Ectomorphs are the only bodybuilders who might occasionally benefit from some ab thickness, but even they shouldn’t overdo it. Endomorphs should never train their waists with weights – they are already thick enough in the waist and hips. Mesomorphs should decide whether the extra thickness in the abs that comes from using weights is a positive or negative factor for their physique.

Abs And Your Diet

You can’t get fantastic abs through training alone. A good high- protein low-carbohydrate diet is a necessity if you hope to develop fat free abs. Reduce your intake of sweets, starches and fatty junk foods. Keep your protein levels high. Eat 30 to 50 grams of lean protein every three hours. If you reduce your caloric intake by 500-calories a day below maintenance level (the number of calories necessary to maintain your current bodyweight) and physically burning another 500 calories a day at the gym, you can lose upto two pounds of body fat a week.

Faster Results?

If you really want to speed up fat loss to the max, follow a high protein and very low-carb diet. When you’re losing fat, a high-protein diet helps you to maintain as much muscle size as possible, and assist in the fat burning process too. Do not eliminate all fat from your diet. A small amount of natural fat (from egg yolks, red meat and vegetable oils) helps the body to burn more fat. You need fat to burn bodyfat.To lose all stored bodyfat, you must eliminate almost all carbohydrates and starches from your diet. When striving for maximum definition, restrict carbs to one salad a day. If you eat lot of carbs, your body will use them for energy instead of stored bodyfat, so results will come more slowly than you expect.

What About Cardio?

Aerobics are a great benefit for fat burning. Running, jogging and swimming are fantastic. Stair climbers, rowing machines, stationary bikes and treadmills also provide effective aerobic exercise. Your choice of aerobic activity is not as important as the fact that you just do it. Daily sessions of 20-30 minutes will speed up your metabolism, and make your abs show much sooner than just doing ab exercises and dieting. Running and swimming also make you more athletic and prevent your body from becoming stiff and prone to injury.

I have personally found running to be a very valuable training asset.

I highly recommend it for faster progress in training down to a hard, muscular body condition. The health benefits of doing aerobic exercises are a good enough reason to do it. Your heart, lungs and immune system benefit, and your energy level, endurance and stamina markedly improve. You can train with less fatigue and faster pace because you recuperate more quickly.

Conclusion

When your abs are in the great-to-fantastic category, all eyes will be on you whether you are onstage, at a contest, at the beach in a swimsuit, or in the gym wearing a cutoff T-shirt or tank top. Moreover, you will have the satisfaction of knowing the rest of your body is in fantastic condition too. What a great feeling knowing you are in peak condition! It makes all the pain and hard work worthwhile.

Author: Arnold Schwarzenegger

6 Steps To A Summer 6 Pack

6 Steps To A Summer 6 Pack

The winter months are almost upon us and it is time to shed the winter coat and show off that summer six pack like a diva parading her new poodle. Unfortunately, following countless of hour’s spent on abdominal excises you find that you are still holding enough insulation to live through another winter with Alaskan penguins. If you are not a slouch when it comes to aerobic exercise and a Spartan warrior in terms of abdominal obliterating, I can guarantee that your diet is spelt out by a dyslexic once interpreted.

#1 Differentiate Healthy Eating & Healthy “Fat Loss” Eating.

A common misconception amongst dieters is distinguishing the difference between healthy eating and healthy “fat loss” eating. Agreed, many antioxidant fruits and free radical fighting vegetables are beneficial to the human body but in most case their calorific values spill over the restrictions that should be in place for a fat burning environment. Calorie dense carbohydrate vegetables such as yams and potatoes should be restricted to the earlier portion of the day so you have adequate time to burn off the energy that is stored in these foods. For obvious reasons if these calories aren’t utilized through physical movement you can bet your bottom dollar that the insulation covering those asphyxiated abs will get even thicker than Joe Weider’s wallet.

#2 Keep Clear Of Anything That Ends With “ose”.

“An apple a day keeps the dentist/doctor away” are words that have been echoed for years by health conscious parents trying to educate children that fruit is good for our bodies.

This bears true for the most part but the fructose found in fruits is an insulin spiking ingredients which bear the similar consequences of eating table sugar – you can get fat. Sucrose (table sugar), Lactose (sugar found in milk) and fructose (sugar found in fruit) are all adversary’s that should be eradicated from the fat loss battle field to be victorious of soldier worthy six packs. All foods contaminated with these sugars are shuttled into the blood stream at such a rate that they excessively spill over into the fat stores waiting to be burnt if by its master. If you are such an individual that already has enough fat deposits to mask your hard earned muscle, then why add more ammunition against your cause.

#3 Eat Heartily Whilst Accumulating Less Calories.

A pizza and coke can add up to the whole daily requirement of calories in one sitting, now if you tried to splurge on the equal amount of calories by eating chicken and salad you may feel as sick as a bulimic sufferer after consuming a double Big Mac meal, therefore with these kind of healthy food options you can eat heartedly my friends. Every time the body is stressed with the burden of digesting food the core temperature raises mimicking a thermogenic effect. Much like a kettle element heating up, this requires energy or in our case – calories. In essence, every time we eat we are burning fat so it makes sense for us to eat small, low calorie foods at frequent intervals to provide an environment where the body can burn fat much more efficiently.

Less Calories In + More Calories Burned = Fat Loss

#4 Eat Right For Your Type.

Various foods can affect the body differently for various blood types so I recommend eating right for you type. Some foods can prove as beneficial, neutral or high on the avoid list so I would suggest purchasing the book “eat right for you type” and incorporate some of the beneficial and neutral foods whilst eradicating the “avoid” nutrients. I have trained many clients that are almost in contest condition for a bodybuilding show only they are covered in thin layer of fat and/or water and as soon as I exchanged chicken for fish – e.g. b blood type, the striations that were there all along started to reveal themselves. Try this for several weeks and you may be surprised on your positive mental and physical transformation.

#5 Eat Fat To Lose Fat.

The speed in which the body digests food can result in an insulin spike and an overload of calories to be transported into fat. The correct fats have a role that can prove very beneficial to the dieter if consumed in the right amount at the right time and for this purpose I recommend Flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil taken with carbohydrates can slow down the digestion of these calories entering the blood stream thus minimizing the risk of fat inducing insulin spikes. One teaspoon is recommended for an individual that is under 20% body fat whilst ½ spoon is advised for people who are over this amount. This can be added to meals as a dressing or can be added to your favorite protein shakes. When purchasing Flaxseed oil, be sure to choose one that requires refrigeration and is packaged in a dark bottle to prevent light damage.

#6 Glycemic Index.

The Glycemic Index is the chart that measures the rate a calorie is released into the body. This should also be adhered to in order to minimize the possibility of an unwanted insulin spike. Carbohydrates are the nutrients that should be chosen carefully from the List below in order to fully benefit from the foods that can assist you with your weight loss potential.

Desirable Foods

Breads:
Coarse European -Style, Whole Grain wheat or Rye Pita Bread, Cracked or Sprouted Whole wheat

Cereals:
Compact noodle-like high bran cereals (All-Bran, Fiber One) Coarse Oatmeal, Porridge, Coarse Whole Grain (Kashi) Cereal mixed with Psyllium (Fiberwise)

Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Pasta (all types) Barley, Bulgur, Buckwheat (kasha) Couscous, Kidney Beans dry, (Lentils, Black-eyed peas, Chick-peas Kidney beans, Lima beans, Peas, Sweet Potato, Yam (soybeans lowest) Most Vegetables.

Milk Products:
Skim, 1%, cottage cheese, (lowfat or regular), Buttermilk, Low-fat plain yogurt, Low-fat fruited yogurt, Low-fat frozen yogurt ( artificial sweetener)

Meats:
Shellfish, “white” fish (cod, flounder, trout, tuna in water), Chicken, turkey, Cornish hen, venison (white meat no skin), Egg substitutes (cholesterol free) cottage cheese

Moderately Desirable

Breads:
100% Stone Ground whole Wheat, Pumpernickel, 100% whole grain Rye Crisp Cracker

Cereals:
Grape-nut cereal, medium-fine grain oatmeal, (5-minute variety)

Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Rice, Boiled Potato, Corn Navy beans, Kidney beans (canned), Baked beans. Beets.

Milk Products:
2% milk, cheese, Regular plain yogurt

Fruit:
Banana, Kiwi, Mango, papaya, orange juice.

Meats:
Higher fat fish, (salmon, herring, lean cuts of Beef, Pork, Veal. Low-fat imitation luncheon meat, low-fat. cheese, Eggs.

Less Desirable Foods

Breads:
White bread, most commercial whole wheat breads, English muffins, bagel, French bread, most commercial matzoh

Cereals:
Corn flakes, puffed rice, puffed wheat, flaked cereals, instant “Quick” or pre-cooked cereals. Oatbran, rolled oats. Shredded wheat, Muesli.

Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Instant rice, Brown rice, instant precooked grains, Baked potato, micro-waved potato, instant potato, Winter squash (acorn, butternut), carrots, parsnips.

Milk Products:
Whole milk, ice milk, ice cream, Yogurt sweetened with sugar, Low-fat frozen desserts with sugar added, Low-fat and regular frozen yogurt with sugar added. Tofu ice cream.

Fruit:
Pineapple, raisins, watermelon, fruit juices sweetened with sugar.

Meats:
Most cuts of beef, pork, lamb, hot dogs (including “low-fat’ versions) cheese, luncheon meats, peanut

Conclusion

If you combine the six step ingredients that I have listed above and providing that the correct exercise program is in place, there is no reason that you can’t concoct a fat free physical appearance this summer worthy to show off your efforts and discipline. Remember, the world is full of excuses, you just need to exchange them all for the only ones advised in bodybuilding.com. Good luck!
Author: Kris Gethin

Website: www.kagedmuscle.com

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