I was looking for something to post to inspire people who fail at their fitness goals. I know I do. I ran across this article by LeanGains that made sense to me. A secret the author uses to stay in shape at all times of the year is a little concept he call “checkpoints”. A checkpoint is a pre-determined day during which u note all of your relevant stats: body weight and strength in four key movements. For each checkpoint, try to beat the results of the previous checkpoint.
Each year u should have six checkpoints interspersed by eight weeks. Place them on holidays; placing checkpoints on days of festivities is like having a carrot in front of yourself. For example, the author’s last checkpoint was on Christmas Eve, his next checkpoint is on my birthday (22nd Feb) and his next checkpoint is on his mother’s birthday in late April. Next checkpoint after that is on Midsummer’s Eve in late June. Each checkpoint is celebrated by plenty of cheesecake, red wine and/or other indecent behavior.
If your goal is to slowly improve your body composition, this is a great way to measure long term progress. Another big advantage of a checkpoint is the competitive spirit it brings. If you constantly compete against yourself and know you’ll have to answer for your sins every so often, checkpoints bring all the motivation you need.
If more folks would use checkpoints, we wouldn’t see legions of people suddenly ramping up cardio and going on crash diets shortly after New Year’s Eve. Checkpoints is part of the reason to never need to make any New Year’s resolutions related to diet and training.
Try to better your stats for every checkpoint. Weight is taken first thing in the morning three days consecutively prior to the checkpoint and divided by three. This will give a more representative number than a single reading, since it lessens the chance of the number being skewed due to water retention or dehydration. After that, my latest and best sets of bench presses, squats, deadlifts and weighted chins are recorded and compared against the results of the last checkpoint.
Some progress is then quantified in relative strength. The quality of the weight gained, or lost, can be measured by how much your lifts increased (or in the case of weight loss, how well you managed to maintain or gain strength).
An extra 10 lbs added to your bench isn’t impressive if you also gained 10 lbs of body weight. That’s a 1:1 ratio of weight to strength, which is strongly indicative of fat gain. However, assume you added 10 lbs to your bench, but only 3 lbs of body weight. That’s a 1:3.3 ratio of weight to strength, which is quite good. Odds are most of those 3 lbs came in the form of muscle and not fat.
Tall and long-armed individuals will excel in pulling movements while suffering in pressing movements. For them, modest weight increases usually result in a lot more weight on the bar on movements such as the deadlift. Conversely, they will always see lower gains in pressing movements and usually have to gain a substantial amount of weight to get their bench moving. The reverse conditions apply to short and barrel-chested individuals, which excel in pressing movements but suffer in pulling movements.
Another confounding factor is training experience. It’s easier to get your bench press from 200 lbs to 250 lbs without gaining a ton of weight, but harder to take it from 250 lbs to 300 lbs.
For the intermediate lifter, a category I think the majority of my readers would fall into, strive for the following weight to strength gain ratios:
Bench Press and Weighted Chins* - 1:3
Squat - 1:4
Deadlift - 1:5
* Example, weighted chins:
Body weight (180 lbs) + 25 lbs x 6 = 205 x 6 to body weight (185) + 35 lbs = 220 x 6 is a 1:3 ratio. 5 lbs weight gained, 15 lbs strength gained.
* Prefer to use bench presses, squats, deadlifts and weighted chins for my checkpoint-lifts. If your strength has increased in these four key movements, it’s very likely that you’ve gained strength in assistance movements as well. That’s why I don’t care to record my best set of curls, triceps extensions or close-grip chins. Keep your mind set on a few key movements and the rest will follow.
* With strength, muscle follows. Anyone that tries to tell you differently is a fool. For the intermediate and advanced lifter, where strength gains via neural programming or technique improvements are moot issues, modest weight gains followed by substantial strength gains is the best indicator of lean mass gain.
* Your checkpoint-lifts should be performed first in your workout, or under similar conditions. For example, always do weighted chins after deadlifts, and deadlifts are always done first. Even if your training routine may change in between checkpoints, you should not alter the sequence of checkpoint-lifts in a way that may skew results.
* You may use other lifts as checkpoint-lifts if you for some reason cannot do the aforementioned lifts. Instead of bench presses, weighted dips or dumbbell presses. Instead of squats, front squats or leg presses. Power cleans, romanian or stiff-legged deadlifts can be used as alternatives to deadlift movements. Weighted chins can be substituted for weighted pullups or lat pulldowns.
* How do you measure strength gains if reps are lower or higher compared to the lifts recorded at your last checkpoint? If you increased your 6RM bench press from 200 lbs x 6 to a 4RM of 220 lbs x 4, that doesn’t mean you increased it the lift by 20 lbs. For a quick and easy way to figure out how much your 1RM strength increased, use this 1RM-calculator.
* 8 weeks for each checkpoint is a good time frame to judge progress in the intermediate and advanced lifter. For the beginner, 4 weeks can be used due to the rapid progress often seen in new lifters. Very advanced lifters may consider 12 weeks between checkpoints, since progress is very slow. However, having checkpoints interspersed by too many weeks may be detrimental, since it increases the likelihood of slacking off on your diet and training. 8 weeks is just right for “keeping the eyes on the prize” so to speak.
2day & everyday, think only of the best, work only 4 the best, & expect only the best! Forget past mistakes & press on 2 future success!
A little about me…
I have been certified for 6 years now (coming up o my seventh year)
through the American College of sports medicine. I had my own (small,but successfull enough for me) business for a year. I also have attended 3 seminars that men’s health has had in NYC the past three years in a row. I will also compete in Men’s health Urban-atholon this year in Chicago. When I tell you that health and wellness is a part of my life and my dreams,I MEAN IT!
This Cassie song #KNOCKS!! http://www.singersroom.com/music/Cassie/Make-You-A-Believer/3545
Strengthen your legs !! <—————- Click on the word “Legs” to be directed to the video. Its an awesome video on the leg exercise of the day
I went on Oprah.com and found this! Pretty cool and simple ways to extend your life.6 Easy Ways to Extend Your Life in One Minute or Less
Photo: Dan Saelinger
Get Up Every Hour
A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology discovered that people who sat for four or more hours a day outside work had a 50 percent greater risk of dying from any cause than those who sat less than two hours a day. I recommend taking a minute-long walk at least once an hour. Every step counts toward the 10,000 you should be taking every day.
Eat an Egg
This nutritional powerhouse does a body good: One egg provides 13 percent of your daily protein requirement and only 4 percent of the average recommended daily calorie count. Plus, it contains a hefty dose of lutein, an antioxidant that protects your eyes from macular degeneration and UV damage. An egg a day may even help prevent Alzheimer’s: The yolk is a significant source of choline, a nutrient that reduces inflammation in the brain.
Research shows that the trace mineral helps maintain proper blood sugar levels by increasing cells’ sensitivity to insulin, steeling your body against type II diabetes. Swallow 200 micrograms a day of chromium polynicotinate.
Don’t Forget to Floss
When left to their own devices, the bacteria hiding between your teeth will infect your gums and enter your bloodstream, where they can cause inflammation in your arteries and contribute to plaque buildup on blood vessel walls. Recent studies have linked gum disease to other problems, too, ranging from respiratory infections to neurodegeneration.
Check Your Pulse
Before you get out of bed in the morning, press your index and middle fingers against the inside of your wrist below your thumb and count the beats for 30 seconds. Then double that number. A 2010 study found that compared with a normal resting rate of 60 beats per minute, a rate of 90 or above triples a woman’s risk of dying from heart disease. If your heart rate is high, consider adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.
Stress damages every organ in your body. For quick relief, press your thumbs against the sides of your nose just below your browbone; then walk your index and middle fingers across your brows and finish by lightly rubbing your temples. Massage prompts a drop in cortisol and adrenaline and a surge in feel-good endorphins.
For those new to weight training or, someone who just wants to bulk up a little for a sport, bulking up means more than just putting on excess weight. You want to strive for quality weight and bulk. Getting bigger and stronger involves three key areas. Your exercise selection, your diet and, the amount of sleep and rest you get.
Exercise selection can be confusing for some of us who are not experienced with weight training. Getting caught up with what someone else is doing in the gym or, following the latest exercises that was observed in a recent muscle magazine may not be what you need to get where you want to go. Using what is called compound exercises like the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift are just three of a handful of multi-joint exercises that are used to build bulk and size. Keeping your exercises reps between 6-10 is considered the correct amount. if you are using enough weight that will stimulate muscle growth, than 6-10 repetitions will be all you can obtain before muscle failure sets in.
There are of course other bulk building exercises out there however, keeping your routine simple and to the point with these three exercises will produce results. Just take a look at what the football players in both the National Football League and, the College ranks do to build their size and bulk and you will see a heavy dose of bench presses, squats, and deadlifting. Every strength coach in the world use these exercises to promote and build quality muscle which in turn builds quality bulk.
Your diet while working on bulking up is as important as your exercise routine. Some would even argue that it is more important. You should be consuming a high dose of quality protein through whole food like chicken and fish and replacement protein shakes thrown in as well. You should be consuming between 1.5 to 2.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Protein of course builds muscle and helps with hormone regulation. Consuming carbohydrates is needed as well to fuel the muscles. Eating good clean carbohydrates consisting of vegetables and other items such as brown rice are required to balance your nutritional needs. Building quality bulk through proper nutrition is a science in itself.
The most important aspect of your bulking phase will be the amount of rest you get away from the gym. Rest is vitally important. It is common knowledge in the weight training world that muscles do not grow in the gym, they grow out of the gym during your rest days and while you sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep will be important for growth and repair of the body. It is recommended that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night during the bulking phase. These numbers may vary depending on the individual however, anything short of 7 hours in my opinion can stall your progress.
There you have it. A simplified version of how guys can start to bulk up. As simple as it sounds if you are missing one item listed above, it will no doubt slow your progress altogether. Of course a touch of determination to get bigger and stronger will also go a long way in achieving your goal.
Someone recently posed an interesting question to me,” How do u tighten LOOSE SKIN?” I knew it had to be some form of toning but I needed to find out more.
When most people lose weight,they are EXCITED about their new body. BUT even though they have put in work,there is still more work to get done. It may be disconcerting but you have fat that just won’t go away. It takes work to eviscerate all of the excess skin that you have built up.
Let’s get rid of those “Oprah flaps” and get ready to show some SKIN! I thought it only appropriate to have Rihanna’s “SKIN” up to motivate you. Yes,I know what the song means and if u lose them flaps,so will u.
4. Use a loofah or body scrub that REALLY works……..When you use a body scrub or loofah at least twice a day, you will be helping to tighten up that lose skin that is caused by weight loss.
5.Scrub 5 times a week…………When you scrub away that surface, you will be causing that skin underneath to generate faster.
6.Drink alot of water…………There is a lot of studies showing that you should drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Why? In order to keep that moisture in your skin. Apart from this, the water is also going to flush those toxins out of your system. It will give your skin that healthy feel and look.
7. Lift weights………..A great way to get rid of that excess skin would be to lift weight. When you are losing weight, lifting weights is important.
8. Exercise as much as possible……………You would think this goes with number seven, but when we talk about exercise, we are talking about sit ups, push-ups, running and anything else you can think of. When you are exercising, you will be building those muscles up. This will plump up your skin from the inside and give it that tighter appearance. When you exercise, you will be making sure you will not gain all the weight back that you just tried so hard to lose.
9. Massage your skin…………You may not believe this, but massaging the skin helps to build that elasticity back up. You should use mustard oil in order to get the best results. That daily massage will also help your muscles develop. In mustard oil, you will find that there are many medicinal properties in it that will help you to have healthy and glowing skin.
10. Do stomach crunches…………I really wanted to point out to you just how important those stomach crunches are in order to tighten that skin. If you are not used to doing stomach crunches, then start with one and then increase it by one each day you go along. This is not only a fast method to tone that skin, but it is a fast method to lose weight.
11. Take up Yoga…………The best asana for you to do in order to tone up and achieve the perfect skin is called Bhujang Asana. Lay down flat on your stomach and raise your face up off of the ground as much as you can.
12.Apply Preparation H…………..Many individuals who are looking to tone up their skin actually apply preparation-H to their skin as it will help to tighten it up. It contains lanolin in it, which will penetrate the skin.
14. Use creams with collagen in them………….Applying collagen cream to your stomach area three times a day will help out. You should give the collagen moisture enough time to soak into your skin.
15. Don’t eat foods or products that have Fructose Corn Syrup in them………….you can lay flay on your back and lift your legs half way into the air. Hold them there for a couple of seconds, then lower them and repeat. There is always surgery, but that is risky and I believe you should try other methods before you lie under a knife.
13.Tighten your stomach muscles throughout the day………….As you are driving in your car, standing in lines, watching television, playing video games and sitting at your desk, you could help tighten up your skin. You can do this by pulling your stomach muscles in and holding them for a couple of minutes.
2. Use a Moisturizer……Moisturizer will add up to seventy percent of moisturizer to your skin. When you are losing weight, it is great to use a moisturizer as it will help to maintain that elasticity as your body is shrinking. Cover your body in heavy moisturizer each night before you go to bed.
3.Use a moisturizer on your body each night……..When you apply the moisturizer to your body at night, you may want to wear long sleeves and long pajamas in order to make sure it does not rub off on your sheets. This will also help to hold that moisture in as you sleep at night.
“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”
1. Use Compound lifts
—-Utilizing multi-joint movements such as bench presses, pull-ups, rows, shoulder presses, squats and leg presses in your routines will ensure you are hitting more than one muscle with maximum weight. This will help you become a BEAST in the gym.
2. Rest one to two minutes between sets
—-This will allow you to maximize not only your time but also the pump by keeping your muscles filled with blood and properly warm during the workout.
3. Use a weight YOU can handle!!
—- Be sure you are using a weight you have control of. Do not load the bar with so much weight that your training partner is helping on the first rep.
4. USE PROPER FORM!! I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH!!
—-Make sure to use good form for each lift not only for safety but for function of your training. If you just throw the weights around you will not target the specific muscle.
5. Rep Range
—-This is the range typically used if muscle mass is what you are after, but strength will come also. Use a rep range between 6 and 12.
6. Try low reps occasionally
—-Every now and then try a rep range of 4 to 6 or maybe even throw some singles, doubles and triples in there to mix things up. But remember to use good form.
7. Try high reps occasionally
—-High reps can sometimes kick-start a lagging body part. Maybe try a high rep set or two at the end of a series of sets. Go as high as 20, 30, or even 50!
8. Train more frequently
—- For about four weeks or so train each body part twice per week instead of the usual once. You may need to reduce the volume a little but the change will be welcomed.
9. Train less frequently
—-The same holds true for those training each body part twice per week. Cut back to once per week every now and then and double up on your volume.
10. Try doing drop sets for stubborn body parts
—-Sometimes all you need is a kick in a certain area’s butt to get things going again. Use this technique on the last one or two sets of a movement. Perform a set as you would normally do it, then strip some weight off and continue with your reps and you can strip the weight several times before the muscle is toast!
11. Use Antagonistic supersets
—- This is the old technique Arnold used quite often. Superset chest with back, triceps with biceps, and quadriceps with hamstrings. For example; perform a set of bench presses and then without rest move over to pull-ups for a set. Alternate like this until you have completed all of your sets. You will not only save time but you will have a skin-tearing pump!
12. Once a month,do an all negative workout
—- Reap the benefit of this intense technique by utilizing safe, but effective negative training. Have your partner help you up with a weight you cannot normally do for many reps then lower the weight slowly to resist the negative motion. Make sure to use a spotter, but if none is available use unilateral movements such as one-arm preacher curls, one-legged leg press and machine shoulder presses.
13. Rest/Pause for the big lifts
—-This technique is great for the “big lifts” such as bench presses (all angles), leg presses, shoulder presses, and arm curls. Load a bar with a little more weight than you can handle for your normal rep range. Perform a set of 2 to 4 reps then rack the weight for 5 to 15 seconds. Perform 2 to 4 more reps and rack it again. Once more and you are done. One or two series like this is all you need for a particular movement. A smith machine can be your best friend at times like this.
14. Use forced reps sparingly
—- It is fine to use forced reps on the last couple of reps of your last set, but try not to attempt them on every single set for countless reps. Lift a weight you can handle with good form then after you have met failure have your partner help a little with one or two more reps.
15. Blast through weak spots with compound supersets
—- A compound superset is when two sets are done back to back with different movements but for the same body part. This is a brutal way to “wake up” more muscle fibers to get it to react.
16. Use theses intensity techniques sparingly
—-The last thing you want to do is run into the overtraining state. Use them once per week and one at a time.
17. Hydrate yourself! Drink plenty of water while you train
—-Drink plenty of water while you train. We lose an enormous amount of fluid during training and it must be replaced if building a better physique is our goal.
18. Set a time limit
—- Some days you may feel like you drag in the gym. Try to get your whole workout in say an hour. This will prevent you from too much lag time and more productivity while training.
—-If you find yourself using every technique in the book, scale back and do straight sets of compound lifts keeping it simple for a few weeks
20. Take off
—- Sometimes what everyone needs is a little well-deserved rest away from the gym to help recharge our “batteries.” After a few days away you will be ready to get back at it with a brand new attitude and muscle pump!
My grandfather always says,”You ARE what you eat”. This holds true in most aspects of our lives.Everyone wants to look their best. I don’t care what they say. So I took to the researching and found 9 foods that push out the toxins and leave your skin SHINING BRIGHT! So take out the cash,credit cards,or EBT and get to the grocery store!
This crunchy snack is loaded with vitamin A, which helps balance the pH of your skin’s surface, making it just acidic enough to fight off harmful bacteria. Plus National Cancer Institute researchers found that people with the highest intakes of carotenoids—pigments that occur naturally in carrots—were six times less likely to develop skin cancer than those with the lower intakes.
The high-antioxidant content of blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries yield countless healthy-skin benefits. Also, artichokes, beans, prunes, and pecans are packed with the stuff as well.
3. Salmon, Walnuts, and Flax Seed
The common healthy-skin ingredients in these foods are essential fatty acids, which not only block harmful irritants, but also act as the passageway for nutrients coming in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell. The stronger that barrier is, the better your skin cells hold moisture.
4. Healthy Oils
Good-quality oils—those labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin—keep skin lubricated and looking and feeling healthier. But remember even healthy fat is high in calories, so limit yourself to two tablespoons a day.
5. Whole-wheat bread, Muffins, and Cereals; Turkey, Tuna, and Brazil Nuts
It may seem like a random grocery list, but all of these foods are rich in the mineral selenium, which plays a key role in the health of skin cells. In fact, studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.
6. Low-Fat Dairy Products
Vitamin A is one of the most important components of skin health, and low-fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt are a great place to get it.
7. Green Tea
The skin-health assets in this drink are matchless. It has anti-inflammatory properties, protects the cell membrane, and may even reduce the risk of some cancers. An added bonus: Sipping on this super drink can also boost metabolism.
8. Sunflower Seeds
These tiny seeds pack the most natural vitamin E of any food around. And no antioxidant is better at slowing down the aging of skin cells to keep you looking younger longer.
Good hydration is key to healthy looking skin, and there’s nothing better than pure, clean water to quench your body’s thirst—except maybe mineral-rich hard water from the tap.
#FACT Did u know the epidermis is 20 square long??? But keeping it in showroom shape is no easy task. You could be battling breakouts, sun damage, dryness, irritation, unwanted hair, or all of the above.
The good news: You’ll grow nearly 1,000 new layers of skin throughout your lifetime, so you’ve got plenty of chances to make sure it’s smooth and glowing. In future posts,Ill show you different ways to keep it looking fresh and beautiful!