Muscle Does Not Weigh More Than Fat

June 10th, 2011

I know you hear it all the time, muscle weighs more than fat but that simply isn’t true.  1 lb of fat weighs the same as 1 lb of muscle.  The issue at hand is the density of both materials.  Muscle is more dense than fat and that is what we need to understand here.  Muscle is clearly heavier by volume than fat but as far as weight goes, 1 lb of muscle on the scale is the same as 1 lb of fat on the scale.  Now a 1 lb lump of fat will take up more space, hence, volume, than a five pound lump of muscle.  I hope that makes a bit more sense now.

Picture a person who weighs 130 lbs with 15% body fat, they will look much smaller and leaner than a person at 130 lbs with 30% body fat. They weigh the same but since the fat is big and  lumpy and takes up more volume that person is bigger. Because muscle is more dense than fat the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller and leaner.

This leads to the bottom line.  Get rid of your scale.  Do not weigh yourself obsessively, it won’t tell the whole truth.  It would do better for your self-confidence and for the truth about how you are doing with your workouts if you take measurements (both body fat and with a tape measure).  Next thing you know you’ll be fitting into those jeans you haven’t worn in a while and you wouldn’t have even expected it.

Go ahead and do your measurements now…go here to do your measurements right.

Climb Michi’s Ladder

June 8th, 2011

Michi’s Ladder is not a diet. It’s a simple substitution plan. To lose weight, try swapping the foods you eat for similar foods in tiers 1 and 2. The more you eat in tiers 1 and 2, the more you’ll increase your chances of losing weight.

There are some healthy foods in lower tiers, but they’re either calorie dense or nutrient deficient. To lose weight, you want to maximize the nutrients in every calorie you consume.

Note on frying: Foods should be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, poached, baked, or broiled. Frying automatically drops even the best foods into tier 5.

Click here to download a PDF of Michi’s Ladder.

So tell me again…what’s your excuse?

June 5th, 2011

I had the privilege of again being a part of this years Special Olympics “Wall of Honor” for those athletes participating in the Summer Games in events that consisted of swimming and track/field. As I stood there with other officers looking at and greeting the families of the Special Olympians and the Olympians themselves, some who needed the assistance of walkers or who were in wheelchairs, I saw them smiling and full of happiness that they were participating in an activity that brings them joy and some freedom from their illnesses or disabilities.

All of these athletes try their hardest, some wanting just to finish the race and some going for gold, but I believe that by them realizing they can do something active with the disabilities they have, then that brings them a huge amount of happiness.

So the next time it comes to you doing something active for your health and you hear yourself say, “Oh, I am too tired”. “My legs are sore”. “I don’t have time”, think about how lucky you are to be as healthy as you are and that you do not have to have anyone looking after you all of the time.

I am extremely grateful to be as healthy as I am and be able to do the things that I am capable of doing. So, tell me again what’s your excuse for not getting out and about and living the healthiest and happiest life you have been given to live?

Lean, Mean, Muscle Machine

June 3rd, 2011

Some people don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk or like Arnold Schwarzenegger (pre extra marital affair days), but they want to have good cardio and some definition of muscle tone without the bulk. (Think spin coach and aerobic instructor). There are some who want to look lean, but still have muscle mass, “being cut” by definition. (Think tri-athlete).

So, I am hopefully going to be able to address both body goals.  If you want to be a lean “look I have muscles and no underarm flab” machine, then find something you will enjoy doing again and again. Swimming (not wading in the pool), biking riding at a moderate pace to include hills on a road bike for about 15-20 miles, hiking at a moderate pace at a minimal to steady climb for about 1-2 hours, running at a moderate pace at about 4.5 miles/hour for 3 miles. Work your way up slowly in being able to do the activity for longer intervals and push yourself, not to the point of exhaustion, but to accomplishing the goal you set for yourself that day. Never doubt how well your body can do when you push yourself and know you can do it. If you like a lot of variation then try joining an aerobics class, spin class, kick boxing and my current favorite craze the Insanity program and P90X. With the proper diet and nutrition, your energy level, cardio and lean muscle definition will develop. Also, do the workouts consistently for at least 4-5 days a week. Hey, maybe even 6 days and rest on the 7th day because even Jesus needed a break.

Remember 3 things: Strength training, cardio exercise and eating well (often and have proteins).

For those who want to look lean, yet have those ripped abs and chiseled muscles, I would still recommend doing Insanity and P90X. If working out in your home is not for you, then hit the road running or biking, whichever you prefer. Then it is time to hit the weights. You want to be “cut”, well then don’t do less weight and more reps (like the ones who just want lean muscle). You have to raise the weight and do a minimum of 12-15 reps and 3 sets. If you are striving for the “no neck, barrel chest, tree trunk legs” then go for max weight with minimal reps (probably 4-5 reps) and 3-4 sets.

Once you lean yourself down, you will want to “define” yourself with weight training, but also realize that you will need to make it up in calories if you plan on lifting a lot. It will depend on your weight, but for a guy, a 2,500-3,500 calorie consumption might help in the “bulking” and “cutting” process of muscle building. Still keep in mind to do the cardio portion of your exercise regime.
What you put into your body will result in the effort you put out. Eating like a slug makes you feel like a slug. So remember no matter what healthy body you choose to have, keep it healthy, simple, active and always push it to do better for you.

The Best Part of Waking Up…

May 29th, 2011

The best part of waking up is #1: actually being able to get up (especially at our age more things seem to be cracking and creaking) and #2: getting outside in the early morning hours of the weekend before anyone else does.


The advantage of #1 of course is that it still shows we are alive and able. There are a number of advantages for #2. Those being that I was able to get up and out to run before anyone was able to disrupt my quiet morning with the hustle and bustle of their day. The coolness of the morning definitely helped wake me up  and I was able to have “me time”, which I think everyone should be able to have. It’s better than a therapist and you don’t have to take the little white pill (or whichever medication your doctor has prescribed for you during your depression stage).


Today was the first day I went running since I started the Insanity program (so for about 2 months). Not to brag or anything, but I will so heads up, the five miles was effortless. I couldn’t figure out if all of the cardio through Insanity helped me or just that I had not run for so long, but I felt like Forrest Gump out there (without the leg braces of course).


Speedy, our 11 year old black Labrador Retriever who has the the gray muzzle of an 11 year old and the body of a 4 year old, stuck with me throughout the morning jog and never complained once. What a trooper! Fresh air does wonders for you and it can improve your mental well being and revitalize you. Adding to that, a majority of studies say that exercising outdoors not only increases energy and revitalizes you, but gives to “positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. ”


So, if the best part of waking up is only having that cup of coffee in the morning, consider heading outdoors for a walk, run, bike ride or hike. *Mind, Body and Spirit*


Michelle

Simple Things Mean a Lot

May 28th, 2011

Today was a good day because my Insanity t-shirt came in the mail. This is a big deal for me because to some it is just a “simple thing”, a freakin’ t-shirt, but I had to earn it. Two months of a very tough program. Before and after photos. Measurements of weight lost and inches lost. This was huge for me! A program that I stuck to, without fail, and received a very “simple thing” at the end. Kind of like when you played sports as a kid and when you won, they gave you that little, cheap, plastic trophy and you thought it was the best thing ever.


For those who don’t like the daily grind of a gym, find a program that works for you and that you can stick with. Variety is the spice of life and that is true when it comes to staying in shape and working out. Mix it up because even “simple things mean a lot”.

Flatulence

May 26th, 2011

People don’t only want to look good and feel good, but also smell good as well. That is why tonights blog I choose to discuss flatulence. We all have it, we all do it, no matter how loud or silent we are…it’s a natural way of life. A way to express oneself to put it mildly.


What makes flatulence? Well, it is what we eat for one thing and I am here to help you recognize those foods that are healthy for you, but might make you excuse yourself from the table for a second or “toot”. Apricots, carrots, lemons, bananas, oranges and lets not forget prunes to name a few fruits to be aware of. They have an excellent amount of fiber in them, some more than others, but be aware.


Some healthy carbohydrates that influence flatulence are: beans, peas, soy, sprouts (Brussels), celery, cucumbers, cabbage and cauliflower. (One reason why my momma told me to eat my vegetable and I chose not to.) If you chose to eat pan fried or deep fried foods, your result will be the same as eating any of the healthy items mentioned above, but stick with the healthy and go for tuna instead. Yes, tuna is also a contributing factor to flatulence.


Fruits and vegetables are good for you in more ways than one, but eating smaller amounts should result in less bloating and discomfort. Which brings me to ways to protect yourself from getting bloated. Eat the healthy stuff in moderation, especially if you are starting a “I am gonna get myself into healthy eating diet.” Your body needs to adjust to this sudden change in processing food so shoving in the healthy stuff will not allow your intestines to work properly at breaking down the food. Slow down.


I hope this helped a bit. Stay away from carbonated drinks as well to help prevent this. Drink plenty of water because it is the most healthy and natural resource we have at our disposal.


Michelle

Ah the day is almost over…time to lie back and relax

May 25th, 2011

Well, after a very mentally stressful day at work, which actually if you think about it, wears you out more than physically doing anything…I came home and was ready to get my Insanity on. I had to work out the days “oh my gosh I almost wanted to just squeeze my eyes closed really tight, click my heels three times and wish I was in Neverland” activity by sweating it all out. Just 20 minutes of the Insanity: Fast and Furious then I finished just in time to do P90X Cardio X with Jo-Anne. We were busy Downward dogging, upward dogging, Kempo punching, front-side-back kicking, jab-cross-hook-upper cut punching, etc…it was a good way to finish the day and even better way to finish the night by the wonderful chicken boob and Cajun sweet potatoes fries. All courtesy of Jo.


Now that I am comfortably full, not “roll off the dining room chair then onto the couch ah forget it, go to bed full”, but content enough to get ready for tomorrow and look forward to the very long weekend. Woo hoo. I learned that to get through days of stress, if I physically take care of myself and laugh it off to care for my mental well being, then I will be okay. Just remember, “You can’t fix crazy. You can just tip toe around it because the meds aren’t working.”


I have found that if you exhibit a good attitude towards people, situations and not let things bother you…that those around you who are being pissy, will just stop yapping because no one is paying attention to their drama  and they will have no one to talk to but themselves, because that is the only person listening to them anyway.


This blog was not so much about physical awareness per se, but mental well being because without it, you will give up on yourself to do better and will just be and feel blah…


Good night.

Dedication, Commitment, Longevity

May 24th, 2011

Today was one of those busy days, where you wake up and leave for work at 6:00 am and don’t get home until 7:30 pm. Too tired for working out..oh so true. So I didn’t, but knowing I was going to have a long day, I made sure that I did not eat junk and did not overwhelm my body with stuff that would wear me down and have me wanting to flop into bed the instant I got home. I am not going to lie though, I did have a tall Starbucks regular coffee at about 4:00 pm. I really only had it just for the taste because I think the caffeine for me is purely psychological.


Being dedicated to working out is a good thing, but if you can’t get to it on a daily basis or when you don’t have the time to, don’t stress about it. Make sure to have that commitment to tackle your exercise regimen either the next day or as soon as possible. Life is busy and will always be, but commit to working out at least 4-5 days a week for at least an hour a day.


The more you move those 2000 body parts and the better you eat will have a lasting effect on your life and get you through THOSE days that seem to last forever and you just want to rest it out.

 

A Little Video From Me

May 24th, 2011
So I thought I’d make a little video for everyone to watch.  We will try keep the videos coming and change the up the topics every so often to make them more exciting.  This one is just an intro to me and my background.  Hope you enjoy.

Before & After

May 23rd, 2011

So, as much as I really do not want to post half naked photos of myself for the world to see I suppose I will do it.  The only reason I am doing it is because I actually surprised myself by seeing that there was actually quite a difference made by doing Insanity for 60 days.  I bet if I stuck to the nutrition program that it came with I would have done much better.

My Fit Test results today were better than the last time as were Michelle’s.  I will have to do another post with Day 1 vs. Day 60 results because they are quite amazing.  As much as you don’t think you improved just seeing the numbers down on paper show you actually improved a lot.  Those darn Power Jumps just kill me though, holy cow.  Wow.  Oh, and seriously, Michelle video taped me doing a Push Up Jack, wow, not pretty.

Ok, enough is enough.  I’ll get the photos now and put them up for all to see.  Be nice or I won’t put anymore photos up.  Or, maybe I’ll substitute Michelle’s body for mine next time.

 

Last Official Day of Insanity (60 days)

May 23rd, 2011

Hello,


Today was our official last day of the 60 day program Insanity. We will continue to do this program along now with P90X (hybrid). I must say that it was very refreshing to complete something that was very challenging, yet healthy to do in such a short time each day (except for Sunday. That was our assigned day of rest).


I think that we improved our cardio tremendously and lost a couple of inches here and there. Here is just one of the “tests” we had to do during the Fit Test. Each segment was a minute long and there were (8) different exercises. This is called Power jumps. The concept is to jump as high as you can, using your core and landing softly and safely. Doing as many repetitions as you can within a minute. This was our last Fitness Test. We had to do a total of (6) throughout the course of 2 months. Each month trying to improve our repetitions from the last test. I am proud to say that we both improved and kicked a$$ this last test. Yeah us.