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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Got The Blues? Work It Out!

Ever have one of those days where you just don't feel like getting out of bed? Feeling kind of blue and down in the dumps and like you'd rather just skip out on life for the day than bother dealing with it?

Well, I'm here to tell you there's a little trick you should know about that works almost every time to beat that feeling of "having the blues".

One of the most mood elevating things you can do for yourself when you're having 'one of those days' is to get up, get out and get a good workout in.

Yup, that's right. Do the exact opposite of what you FEEL like doing and you will almost definitely FEEL BETTER at the end of it.

It's been proven time and time again that working out gets your endorphins racing and increases levels of serotonin in your brain, which in turn elevates your mood.

So get outside (or stay inside if you must, but I personally find that getting fresh air is great for getting a good mood on). Once you're there, START MOVING.

There are so many ways to get exercise that I can even barely begin to list them all here. But here are a few suggestions:

A hard cardio workout might be one of the fastest ways to get the endorphins racing around inside you quickly.

Go for a quick powerwalk, run or a bicycle ride. Rollerblading or cross-country skiing are also great options.

If you can find a beautiful place to do your workout, like a beach, a wooded trail or a snowy mountaintop, that's going to help, too.

Who doesn't feel great at the beach, on a mountain or in the woods? It doesn't even have to be a very long session to get that mood elevating effect. Even twenty minutes should do the trick.

Or try lifting some weights or doing some bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges and pushups if you don't have any traditional strength training equipment at your disposal.

You can even combine the cardio component and the strength training component by doing some supercircuits with things like burpees and mountain climbers that get your heart racing but give your muscles a pump at the same time.

Even swimming can be fun … and gets that body moving and that heart rate up sufficiently. Do a few laps at the pool or down at the beach.

The trick here is to get breathing hard , get your heart rate up, your blood pumping and your body moving. The harder you can get your body, heart and lungs working, the better you are going to feel.

Heck, use your imagination and get childish about it.

Find some fun things to do, preferably with kids or animals. Their energy can be infectious!

Run, jump, play fetch with your dog, chase a frisbee or jump through a sprinkler with your kids.

Go to the playground with them and climb the monkey bars, swing on the swings, go down the slide, push the carousel or just run amok.

It doesn't take long for a downer attitude to turn into a fabulous mood once you get that body moving and those endorphins doing their job.

So don't be a victim to the blues anymore.

Get out there and do battle … and feel BETTER!

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Getting the Most From Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is nothing new on the internet. However, it sure is something that many come and go after. When you are looking to start your own website or blog and add some affiliate marketing links to it, there are some things that you should know. Affiliate marketing is not for everyone. It is not for anyone that is looking to make money fast, nor is it for the impatient. You have to have two things in order to be successful with affiliate marketing, and those two things are patience, and determination. When you put those two together, there is no stopping you or what you can do with your affiliate marketing business.

Affiliate marketing can be done a few ways; it can be done through email, newsletters, websites, or blogs. By using any of these things, you can be successful if you are marketing to the right audience. Finding your readership, and catching them with good content is what it is all about. To do so, you need to know where they go and what they look for. Try starting with message boards to begin with. However, use some patience and don't come off as the newbie know it all. Take some time and peak others interest. Add the link to your website or blog in your signature line at the message board that you are visiting, and most importantly, make sure that the message board is relevant to your market. If you have a website that pertains to a market that has to do with gardening, you will not want to be visiting a message board that is all about pregnancy. It is really quite simple to understand how these two things must be relevant to get results.

So, once you have found a busy message board that will allow you to include your link to your website in the signature of your posts, you are in business. Just start off by posting and chatting, and when someone asks a question that you know all about and answer to, answer it. This will peak their interest and before you know it, they will be clicking on the link in your signature and checking out your site. While doing this can be quite time consuming, it will pay off. Gain the other members trust, and you cannot go wrong.

The next thing that you should know about getting the most from affiliate marketing is that you should be writing articles. Writing articles on the market that you are promoting and then submitting them to article directories or ezines is a great way to get the most from your affiliate links and programs that you are a part of. Be sure that you include a link in the articles that you are submitting that will lead the readers back to your website. Doing so will get your site more traffic, and will pay off in the end. However, you will not want to submit the same articles that you have on your site to these directories. You will want different variations of the articles to be used in the directories. This is because when you submit these articles to the directories, you are going to see that by checking your back links, there are other webmasters using your articles. Which is also great because they will in return give you a back link to your site. However, they are depending on you to have a different article on your site than the one that you are submitting.

Affiliate marketing is something that takes work. You can not just set up your site and let it go. You have to work on it consistently to see a good amount of revenue come from it. However, make sure that you are doing everything that you can to get it seen. Use the best free tools that there are available to you, and pay for the ones that really work. You will find that you can get the most from the resources that are out there and available.

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Get Ripped, How To Get Ripped Fast!

To have a world class fitness body, you must be muscular of course, symmetrical and balanced, and have a well defined six-pack, but most importantly, you have to get ripped and shredded to the bone! If you do not know how to get ripped fast, then we are about to discuss how weight training, proper nutrition and aerobic exercise will assist in getting a ripped, beach worthy body by next summer.

Determine Where You Are Starting Before You Start To Get Ripped

If you do not have the ripped body of your dreams than you are either one of two people:

1. The 'big guy' at the gym who looks huge in clothes but has no muscle definition when the shirt comes off. You are training like a bodybuilder, eating in a caloric surplus, getting stronger and bigger each week but would never win a fitness model show because of your excess body fat.

2. Or, are you the 'skinny guy' who thinks he is ripped because your veins are popping out of your tank top, but have no muscle mass to support your frame. Sure, your veins make you look 'ripped' to the bike club but this false sense of 'big' would only get you laughed off a bodybuilding stage.

To get ripped, you must determine whether you need to start leaning down through a fat loss program or else add muscle mass with a bulking program. You cannot be ripped if you are lacking muscle mass or lacking muscle definition. Don't chase both goals at once. I will address how both categories can learn how to get ripped fast with weight training, nutrition, and cardio.

How To Get Ripped With Weight Training
  • Skinny guys should train less than 45 minutes each workout.
  • Skinny guys should focus on only compound movements and no isolated movements.
  • Skinny guys should focus on getting stronger by 5% every two weeks.
  • Skinny guys should do no more than 1-2 forced reps to avoid wasted energy.
  • Skinny guys should have there body parts split up into a maximum three day program.
  • Bulky guys can train from 1 hour to 1 and ½ hours for the extra caloric expenditure.
  • Bulky guys can incorporate more isolated movements for caloric expenditure.
  • Bulky guys should still maintain their strength which will ensure no muscle loss.
  • Bulky guys can include drop sets and pre-exhaust sets for the extra energy expenditure.
  • Bulky guys can spend more time per muscle group and split their body parts over 5 days.

How To Get Ripped With Nutrition
  • Skinny guys should be eating about 15 x their current body weight in calories for muscle mass.
  • Skinny guys should eat at least 1- 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean muscle mass.
  • Skinny guys should be eating at least 2x as many carbs as proteins.
  • Skinny guys should be getting high quality fats with each meal.
  • Skinny guys should be getting extra calories through workout nutrition drinks.
  • Skinny guys should have their largest meals at breakfast, pre-workout, and post-workout.
  • Skinny guys should be eating large quantities of oatmeal, whole grains, potatoes, and rice.
  • Bulky guys should be eating about 10 x their current body weight, in calories, for fat loss.
  • Bulky guys should eat at least 1 - 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean muscle mass.
  • Bulky guys should eat a 1:1 ratio of proteins to carbs in the day.
  • Bulky guys should only eat healthy fats like flax oil, olive oil, nuts, and avocado's.
  • Bulky guys should only consume liquid carbs during the workout.
  • Bulky guys should consume carbs only in the form of veggies and fruits.

How To Get Ripped With Cardio
  • Skinny guys should only do cardio if there caloric intake is in a 1000 calorie surplus.
  • Skinny guys should keep their cardio workouts as far away as possible from their weights.
  • Skinny guy should keep their cardio workouts less than 20-30 minutes.
  • Skinny guys should do cardio no more than 2 - 4 x a week.
  • Skinny guys should perform cardio on a full stomach.
  • Skinny guys should have a protein-carb workout drink ready after the workout.
  • Skinny guys should avoid long, endurance-style training.
  • Bulky guys should do there cardio immediately after weights.
  • Bulky guys should do a mixture of long, slow cardio and interval cardio.
  • Bulky guys can do cardio up to 7-10 x a week in extreme cases.
  • Bulky guys should do cardio on a empty stomach for quicker fat loss.
  • Bulky guys should sip on a protein drink to avoid muscle loss.

There you have it. Now you know how to get ripped fast, whether you are a skinny or bulky.

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Get Big Muscles In 3 Simple Steps

Do you know what it really takes to build big muscles? Do you think it's as simple as buying a gym membership, training each body once per week, slamming back some protein shakes and trying to eat as much chicken and tuna possible? Viola, you are big enough to enter a bodybuilding contest. Can you imagine it was that easy to build big muscles? Unfortunately, your monthly gym membership, regular weight training workouts and casual eating habits, isn't going to cut it. Here are five simple steps to getting big muscles fast :

Squat and Deadlift

Squatting and Deadlifting are known as two of the Big Three exercises that are responsible for power and mass muscle building. Consider these two animal exercises the kings of the jungle! Without them, you do not have a chance of survival. These two exercises alone, work out about 75% of your entire musculature, including your traps, shoulders, arms, back. Gluts, hams, calves and core muscles.

Not to mention the degree of intensity, squats and dead lifts force your body to release greater volumes of growth hormone, which results in bigger muscles all over your body. This spillover effect results in strength gains in all you other lifts which translates into a more muscular you! Squatting and dead lifting are especially critical for hard gainers because of the hormonal spikes affecting the entire body.

Stick to Compound Exercises

What is going to isolate more muscle fibers? A bench press or cable cross over? A military press or lateral raise? A chin up or bicep curl? A dip or tricep kickback? If you ever hope to get big muscles than compound lifts are not optional, they are mandatory. Stick to squats, leg presses, deadlifts, bench preses, barbell rows, pull ups, chin ups, over head presses, and dips.

If all you do is concentrate on building your puny muscles like arms and calves, then you will end up with exactly what you focus on – puny muscles!

Keep Your Rest Periods Honest

When was the last time you were in the gym and you watched the average guy time his recovery with a stop watch? Stop watches are not just for endurance athletes but should be used by every person who is serious about building big muscles.

Generally, the closer you lift to your one rep max, the longer the rest period and the higher the number of reps, the shorter the rest period. This is a crucial variable, which is often overlooked, yet will determine whether you create the correct training response.

For example, if you are training for maximal strength which requires at least 3-5 minutes rest between sets and you are only taking 2 minutes, you are not giving your nervous system an honest workout. If you are training for muscle size which requires shorter 30-90 second style recoveries but are gazing at the cute girl on the elliptical letting your rest periods carry over these ranges, you are not giving your metabolic system an honest workout.

Lastly, how do you know if you are truly stronger if you do not monitor your rest period? For example, let's say last week you bench pressed 135 pounds for four sets of ten. This week you bench pressed 145 pounds for four sets of ten. Assuming the rest period was identical for both workouts, this is a tremendous improvement and a measurable sign of improvement! However, what if you took an extra minute or two between each set on the recent workout? This means that you did not actually become stronger. You just had a longer rest period!

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Fuel Your Training With Proper Pre-Workout Nutrition

The saying says, "if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail", and the same holds true for each and every one of your workouts.

Every session in the gym should be treated as a battle, and just like any other battle in life you must enter it with proper mental and physical readiness.

This article will deal with the physical side and will teach you exactly how to prime your body before battling the weights with proper pre-workout nutrition.

A carefully planned pre-workout meal will ensure that you always enter the gym at peak strength and will provide your body with the necessary tools to battle the weights as effectively as possible.

The 3 main goals of the pre-workout meal are as follows:

1) Maximize your strength potential.

2)
Provide a steady stream of balanced energy for your mind and muscles throughout the workout.

3)
Minimize muscle breakdown and provide the raw tools for your body to begin the recovery process once the workout is over.

The first thing to make sure of is that you are properly hydrated before beginning your workout. Water plays a vital role in keeping strength and energy levels peaked, so always ensure that you've consumed an adequate amount of water in the few hours before you train.

Around 30-45 minutes prior to entering the gym you should consume your pre-workout meal. The first component of this meal is, you guessed it, protein. This protein will keep your body in an anabolic state throughout your workout and will help to prevent muscle breakdown as you train.

I would recommend that you consume 30-40 grams of high quality protein, ideally coming from a mix of whey protein and casein. This can best be accomplished by mixing 25-30 grams of whey protein in 300-400ml of skim milk.

Whey protein makes for a great pre-workout choice because it is naturally high in BCAA's, which help to prevent muscle catabolism during your workout. Mixing your whey with milk is a good idea because this will slow down the release of the protein and provide your body with a steady stream of amino acids throughout your workout.

Along with your protein shake you should also consume 1-2 portions of low-glycemic carbohydrates. Low glycemic carbohydrates are ideal before the workout because they are broken down and absorbed gradually in the bloodstream, providing your body with a steady stream of energy throughout your workout.

When you consume high glycemic carbohydrates that are rapidly released into your bloodstream, your body will release a surge of insulin in an effort to level out your blood sugar. This will result in a quick rise in insulin levels followed by a sharp fall.

The fall in insulin levels will leave you feeling weak, tired and sluggish. This is the last thing you want in the middle of a high intensity workout, so choose carbohydrates that won't cause this rapid fluctuation in insulin levels.

Pre-workout carbohydrate choices such as oatmeal, apples or brown rice will provide your body with a steady stream of sugars throughout the workout and will keep your energy levels peaked at all times.

This pre-workout meal should be fairly small to allow for easy digestion and to prevent you from feeling sick when you train. You should never workout without having a meal in you first.

So, just to recap:

30-45 minutes before your workout:

1) 25-30 grams of whey protein mixed with 300-400ml of milk
2) 1-2 servings of slow release carbohydrates (i.e. Oatmeal, brown rice, apple)

I also like to throw in a cup or two of coffee before my workouts as I find that this increases my energy and amplifies my focus nicely.

There are also 3 other highly important times throughout the day to pay special attention to the foods and supplements that you consume. to find out what they are, and how to properly approach these periods for the best possible results.

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Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Pregnancy and a Healthy Baby

Being pregnant and being an expected mother can be a wonderful time for both you and the family, but its not without its concerns and its worries. As an expected mother you are warned that there are foods that you shouldn't eat while you are pregnant, and sometimes that information can be a little overwhelming. This article will help you in knowing the types of foods that you should avoid while you are pregnant.

Majority of expected mothers already know that consumption of alcohol, is a big no-no during pregnancy, as there are many consequences, as a result. However, there are some that think just having one every once in a while is okay, but they might be shocked to discover that it too is harmful to the baby. Drinking just even one or two drinks during the beginning stages of the pregnancy, can really affect the development of the baby and be quite harmful to your growing child. The consequence could be quite major, and your baby may end up with fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol is a beverage that is really off limit while you are pregnant.

Coffee and caffeine is also something that is strongly advised not to drink while you are pregnant. All though you might be surprised to that there are some doctors, who only say that you should limit your intake, but not take it out all together. This is something that you should consider yourself and speak to your doctor, if you want to drink coffee and caffeine during the day and only consume one, every once in a while.

Any types of foods that is really highly processed, like deli meats, is something that you should be avoiding. Other foods such as raw eggs, undercooked meat, and anything that is high in mercury, (this is usually found in fish). These types of foods you will find are quite high in fat, and produce to much calories for your pregnancy and should be really avoided. As these may help you put on more pounds than you were expected to put on.

There are other foods as well, that spur on your cravings while you are pregnant, especially foods that have very high carbohydrate levels. However, you should note that going on a low carb diet is also a big no no, while you are pregnant as that can be harmful to the baby as well. Having to much carbohydrates means, that you body can have an insulin reaction, which increases the cravings while you are pregnant. Women who do change their level of carbohydrate intake notice a big improvement in how they look and feel.

There are many different foods that you should have during your pregnancy and food groups that you should be avoiding. This will help you go a long way in having a healthy and happy pregnancy. The Trim Pregnancy Guide, will provide you with the extra information that you need in regards to the food groups that you should be avoiding while you are pregnant.

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Making Back-End & Residual Commissions

Residual income puts money in an affiliate marketer's pocket without any work or effort on their part. It doesn't get any better than that. Sales of back-end products allow you to get paid for work that you do more than once. The idea here is to work smarter…not harder.

So what are back-end products? They are products/services you offer to existing customers, i.e. to people who have already bought a first product (front-end product. lead product) from you.
Most online marketers make much more money selling customers the second, third, fourth etc. product than selling their first product. The reason is that people who've already bought from you once are much more likely to buy again.

Strategies like back-end offers shifts the focus from the short sighted "take the money and run" strategy that is so much in use on the internet today. You've seen these sites all over. The focus is on getting a massive amount of traffic and then selling visitors an over-priced product that doesn't deliver what was promised. They might make money in the short run but they will only sell to each customer once and will have to continue spending a lot of money on advertising to get new suckers to visit their site.

More successful sites focus on building a strong relationship with their customers. Your main goal shouldn't be to just make sure your customers are somewhat satisfied...you want them to be extremely satisfied. If you deliver the goods, your customers will trust you more. If you have their trust, you can sell them anything. When you send your very satisfied customers an email offering another product that they would be interested in, they will flock to your site to buy it because they trust you. Trust is everything.

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Stubboorn Fat: Does it affect you? Part Two

When it comes to the physical make-up of men versus women, many of the differences are obvious. Men, on average, are 10-15% larger than women, weigh 20% more, and are 30% stronger (especially when considering upper body strength). Testosterone is one of the major hormones active in a man's body. Men also produce more HGH (human growth hormone). Testosterone stimulates muscle enlargement and bone growth and also raises the level of red blood cells in a man's blood stream.

What you may not know, however, is that all of these factors combine to make oxygen much more available to a man's cells than a woman's cells. That means a man could be working at 50% of his capacity during physical activity, but a woman would have to be working at 70% of her capacity in order to keep up. It is not as easy for her cells to absorb oxygen.

This is due partly to the fact that women have a smaller percentage of lean tissue (muscle, organs, etc.) and a much higher percentage of body fat. Though this is detrimental in a short sprint, a higher percentage of fat means that women can power their cells longer from their body's reserves without stopping to eat or drink in order to refuel. This may translate into greater endurance. Studies comparing men and women in running, swimming, and speed skating have all shown that the differences in time vs. distance decreased between men and women as the length of the event progressed.

Hundreds of studies have showed some interesting differences between men and women in nearly every area. Looking through the research, you would discover all kinds of facts such as how much more likely women are to wear a seatbelt than men (2 times more likely), to how often they are the sexual initiators in a monogamous relationship (65% of the time).

As interesting as those facts may be, let's concentrate on the differences between men and women that have an effect on women's physical fitness. These differences are primarily found in the functioning of a woman's hormones and the construction and function of her fat cells. These two factors influence everything from the way a woman's metabolism functions; to how likely she is to suffer from stubborn fat and other health related diseases such as osteoporosis.

Though the construction of the male and female fat cell is basically the same, they differ vastly when is comes to size and function. To begin with, a women's fat cell is five times larger than a man's! In addition, not only are women's cells capable of holding more fat, they are genetically programmed to do so. It all comes down to enzymes:

Lipogenic- Fat Storing Enzymes

Lipolytic- Fat Releasing Enzymes

Though these enzymes are present in both men and women, women's bodies have two times the number of Lipogenic (fat storing) enzymes, and only half the number of Lipolytic (fat releasing) enzymes. This is the genetic legacy of women's role as the childbearing and nurturing gender of the species. Nature wanted to ensure that women were carrying around enough fat cells to nurture their growing babies and to breast-feed them once they were born. A baby in-utero requires the mother to burn at least 300 extra calories a day and breast-feeding can require as much as 500 extra calories.

In addition to the normal caloric needs of a baby, our foremothers also held onto extra body fat in case of a drought or famine. This extra fat was stored in the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Therefore, the females who survived famine and drought to pass down their genes were the women whose bodies were adept at storing fat. Skinny thighs in the past were a serious liability, serving only to increase the risk of death when food supplies became scarce. These enzymes tend to be balanced in a healthy person. Too much l of either develops an unbalanced system develops and leads to insulin resistance, leading contributor to stubborn fat.

Other contributors to stubborn fat are estrogenic compounds called xenoestrogens. These chemicals are a byproduct of fertilizers, plastics, soy isoflavones, certain herbs and petroleum products. These compounds in our food and water supply mimic estrogenic functions and aid in binding to estrogenic fat receptors. This produces induced aromatase influence. Aromatase is an enzyme which helps convert androgens (male hormone) to estrogenic compounds.

When this occurs, it enhances the production of estrone, which is the main culprit in stubborn fat gain in both men and women. Look at many children today and you can see that they take on some very feminized features such as breast fat.

To benefit from a program that reduces stubborn fat, you must first recognize that estrogenic compounds are all around us (and in us). To combat this problem, you need to look at the food you consume and the liquids you drink, as there are many culprits that cause stubborn fat gain.

You move in the direction of gaining stubborn fat when you develop bad eating and lifestyle habits, which cause insulin resistance, a toxic overburden on the liver and elevated estrogen. These all contribute to the fat that will not go away. To open these cells, you should start by heading down the food chain. Minimize or eliminate all refined foods, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (preferably organic), and exercise.

In the third and final part, you will learn more about how specifically to get this stubborn fat out of you life forever.

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Fiber, All About Fiber

If you are trying to create a healthy diet for yourself, you cannot overlook the importance that fiber will play. The main benefits you’ll receive from dietary fiber include improvements in the cardiovascular and digestive system along with providing a high degree of satiety.

Unfortunately, in today’s world of overconsumption of processed foods, a high fiber diet is hard to come by. Here are the top facts about fiber you need to know.

Promotion Of A Healthy Digestive System

Fiber’s primary role in the body is going to be to help promote a healthy digestive system. It does this by helping to keep the intestines in proper working order and prevent the accumulation of cholesterol along the lining.

Lowering Your Bad Cholesterol Levels

Another thing high fiber foods will do, is help to decrease the level of LDL cholesterol that’s seen in the blood. They do this by binding with the dietary cholesterol you take in while it’s in the small intestine and then removing it from the body.

Therefore, a high fiber diet can be a very good defense against the heart disease.

Fiber And Weight Loss Women who are consuming high fiber diets on a regular basis generally maintain a much lower weight than those who don’t, simply because they typically consume fewer total calories as a result.

Because it takes fiber a long time to be digested by the body, this means you will stay feeling fuller longer than if you would have done without it.

Since it is your end of the day total calorie intake that determines weight gain or weight loss, this is absolutely essential for weight loss.

Getting Enough Fiber

It’s recommended, when it comes to being sure you are getting enough fiber in your diet, to try and average 14 grams per 1000 calories you eat. Most women will have diets consisting between 1500 and 2000 calories, depending on your body weight and activity levels, so that will translate to 21-28 grams of fiber total.

Increase Your Intake Slowly

Be sure that if you have not been eating much fiber in your diet at all in the past few months, increase your intake slowly.

If you go from eating very little fiber a day to getting a very high dose, you will likely suffer from extreme digestive upset and will not feel well at all.

Try and increase the consumption over the period of a few weeks to ease this process.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is the type that plays the more predominant role in the lowering of bad cholesterol levels and is fully broken down the by the body. Sources to try and aim to consume include oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, and fruits.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand is not digested by the body and rather, helps to slow down gastric emptying, causing that increased satiety effect discussed above. This is what will provide the biggest benefit when it comes to weight control for you.

Good sources of this type of fiber include whole-wheat breads, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, wheat bran, cabbage, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and the skin of apples.

So, be sure you do not overlook the importance of fiber in your diet. If you do get your consumption levels in line, you will most definitely notice a change in how you feel, and more than likely, a change in how you look as well.

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The Female Athlete Triad: Could You Be At Risk?

One major issue that many women who are getting serious about their workouts start to deal with is known as the female athlete triad.

The female athlete triad can affect a wide variety of individuals, from someone training for a rigorous competitive sport to someone who is simply trying to take their physique to a new level. Most commonly it is seen in activities that do place a high amount of focus on the image of the body, such as ballet, gymnastics, figure skating, and women's fitness.

It's important that you learn to recognize exactly what the female athlete triad consists of so that you are not only aware if you are already experiencing it but also, you learn what you can do to protect yourself from further damage taking place.
The Three Main Components
Of The Female Athlete Triad


The female athlete triad, like the name suggests, is composed of three big factors.

1. Amenorrhea

Amenorrhea can be defined as the cessation of the menstrual cycle, after it had previously been somewhat regular, for three or more months in a row.
While some women may just be irregular, the key here is that they are not getting periods at all. It can be slightly difficult to establish if this is your issue if you have always been irregular, but most often even those who are irregular will get at least one menstrual period of a three month cycle.

2. Eating Disorders

The second component of the female athlete triad is the presence of any one of the various eating disorders that are seen. This could be anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, or an unclassified disorder (unhealthy relationship with food). Remember to keep in mind here that one does not need to be fully starving themselves to have an eating disorder.  You could simply be feeling extreme amounts of guilt after even a small detour from your diet and this could classify you as having an eating disorder or unhealthy relationship with food.

3. Osteoporosis

Then, the third factor in this condition is osteoporosis. This factor particularly, is very detrimental to the woman as it could set her up to experience an increased risk of stress fractures or broken bones for the rest of her life.  Many women also start to remove dairy products from their diet as they believe it will cause weight gain and once again, this only further enhances the problem.
Additionally, this factor usually comes about because of the previous two factors.

What Causes The Female Athlete Triad

In terms of what causes this condition to develop, there have been many research studies that have tried to determine just this and unfortunately there isn't once single precipitating factor, but rather, it's a combination of factors that seem to be at play.

First, usually what causes the condition to strike is that the individual is not consuming enough total daily calories.  This seems to be the most important part of the equation; therefore, if you are hoping to avoid the development of these problems, eating enough is your best preventative mechanism. As an easy general guideline, for weight loss, the lowest number of calories you consume should be ten times your body weight.

So for example, a female weighing 130 pounds would require a minimum of 1300 calories each day – and this is for maximum fat loss.

The second thing that needs to be looked at is the woman's overall body composition.  Women need so much fat on their bodies in order to function effectively.  When there is a lack of total body fat, problems occur, particularly with the reproductive system – as seen with the loss of the periods.

Usually these two are interconnected as many times a woman is not taking in enough total calories will obviously have a lower body fat level.
Between the two though, total calories is more important as there are a select few who are able to maintain quite low body fat percentages, yet still avoid the development of this problem. 

Why is this? It's because they are eating enough calories to maintain their weight, their weight is just a lot of lean mass and little fat tissue.

Finally, the third reason that this condition can develop is because of overexercising.  When a woman overdoes it in the gym or on the court/field, she is starting to place an inordinate amount of stress on her system, and both her CNS and reproductive system will respond in a negative way. Rest is very critical in any workout program and should be scheduled in regularly.

So, the three main points to watch out for are a loss of your periods, abnormal or unhealthy eating behaviors, and a workout schedule that allows you very little, if any rest at all.

If you are suffering from any of those, or a combination of them, you may want to speak to a professional (both medical and psychological), as all three are very interrelated, with the development of one often leading to the development of another.

If, on the other hand, you are already experiencing problems, then your first step is to cut back on the amount of exercise you are doing and your second step is to increase the amount of calories you are consuming.  Increase the calories slightly slowly as this might be a scary process for you, aiming for a weekly increase of about 10% of your total current intake each week.  This will also allow the metabolism to keep up with this increased amount of food and prevent you from gaining any weight in the process.

If you complete both of these objectives, you should find that slowly your body fat levels also become more regulated, which fixes the last issue of this disorder.

So, if this sounds like it could be a condition you are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing, be sure to have a good hard look at your training and eating habits. Your health should always be the number one priority, even if some of you would rather place looks as your main objective.

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Fat Loss Q'n'A

Q: How fast can I lose weight while using a truly effective fat loss program? Can I lose 10 pounds in a weekend like some of the diet plans claim?

Answer:
Doctors recommend losing fat at a rate of 1-2 pound per week. At the end of a good 12 week program, you can expect to lose 12 pounds of fat. But since you didn't gain the fat overnight, you also won't lose the fat overnight. Commit to long term goals and enjoy the process of developing proper nutrition and exercise habits.

With one of those "10 pound weight loss juice diets", you might lose some weight, but it won't be fat. And you'll quickly gain it back. Those are just too good to be true.

Q: Do I have to do crunches and sit-ups while on this program?

Answer:
No you don't. Crunches and sit-ups are not the best way to lose fat. To lose fat, you simply need to eat properly, avoid excess calories, and use fat blasting intervals/cardio. In fact, crunches and sit-ups can stress your spine, so I like to use "spine-friendly" core training exercises (the Ab curl, plank, side plank, and bird dog) as an alternative method for training your mid-section. And you can do those all at home without fancy pieces of equipment. All you need is your bodyweight.

Q: But I'm a full-time worker and mom. How do I fit exercise into my day?

Answer:
Try to commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.

If you are a beginner and stressed for time, simply do three 10-minute bouts of exercise per day. Heck, you could even do six 5-minute walks per day. Everyone can fit that in...

If you can devote a full 30 minutes straight to exercise, you can alternate between strength training and cardio training days if you are limited to 30 minutes. However, if you can get an hour of time 3 days per week, perform both cardio and strength training together.

Beginners should start with several 5-minute blocks of exercise each day. After all, everyone can make room for 5 minutes of exercise. Once you move into more serious workouts, you might need to experiment with different exercise times so that you can workout without disrupting your family's events. Fortunately, there is no magic exercise time. As long as you are consistent, you will get results.

Many people have had great success by getting up early and doing the workout before everyone else gets up. Alternatively, you can do it after the kids go to bed or during a break in the day. Schedule your workout like any other important appointment so that you don't neglect the exercise sessions. You'll find that the exercise will give you more energy throughout the rest of the day.

Q: What do I do if I can't get to the gym?

Answer:
You won't even need to go to the gym to lose fat. There are dozens, if not hundreds of bodyweight exercises you can do at home. And the workout potential is exponential if you have a couple of dumbbells at your disposal. There are hundreds of dumbbell exercises you can use to sculpt your body.

Q: Hi, I'm an overweight woman (180 pounds) and I was wondering if I should still eat 1oz of protein per pound?

Answer:
Hi, first, just to clarify its grams per pounds, not ounces. Second, here are the limits from Dr. Chris Mohr found in the TT Nutrition Guidelines...

"Since women have less overall lean body mass than men, they won't require as high an amount of protein each day (0.8g of protein/lb of body weight will suffice). This value is still in line with the recommendations for strength trained athletes. For obese individuals, just as with the calorie estimations, the protein calculations will also be over-estimated.

Therefore, in my opinion, I would put women at a maximum of 150g of protein per day and men at a maximum of 200g of protein per day. Because being obese does put them at risk for diabetes, this would also impact kidney health, so obese individuals don't need the additional urea being filtered through if in fact they do have diabetes."

Q: I'm new to the whole "working out thing". What is Turbulence Training? How would you describe the workouts?

Answer:

Turbulence Training is combination of more effective methods (Strength training and interval training) to help men and women get more effective fat loss results in less workout time.

TT uses supersets and interval training because they are time-saving methods. The workouts also only use the best exercises so that clients don't spend more than 3 hours per week in the gym. 

Get in, get out, get lean,

 


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Fat Loss Q'n'A

Most people don't know that you can save time and your hard-earned pay by working out in the comfort of your own home. With Turbulence Training, you can avoid the hassles of commercial gyms (i.e. pushy sales people, smelly patrons, disgusting locker rooms, crowded parking lots, and out-of-the-way drives) while losing fat and boosting your metabolism with home-gym workouts.

And here are a few other common weight loss questions to help you choose the right approach to fat loss.

Q: I'm suffering through a major fat loss plateau right now. Will this help?

Answer:
Some of the major reasons for fat loss plateaus include:

- Using the same workouts over and over and over again for extendedperiods of time.

- Not including enough high-intensity strength training and
interval training.

- And choosing inefficient isolation, machine-based exercises
instead of standing, multi-muscle exercises.

The Turbulence Training workouts have been designed with variety,intensity, and efficiency in mind so that you get more results in less time.

Your workout programs will change every 4 weeks, and you'll use only exercises that train multiple muscle groups at the same time - thus burning more energy, and fat, with each repetition.

By changing the training intensity of your workouts, as well as
using a variety of repetition ranges for your lifting, and
including interval training, I guarantee that you will leave your
fat loss plateaus in the dust.

Q: I'm 50 years old, and no longer involved in sports. But I stay active with walking, biking and I even lift weights. But I want to lose my love handles. Is this program for me or is too intense?

Answer:
Thanks for your email and question. We've had clients in their 70's use Turbulence Training, not too mention the dozens of men and women in their 50's and 60's that have used the program.

So you certainly are a candidate for Turbulence Training, as long as your doctor has cleared you for exercise of course.

At 50 years young, you've got a long and healthy life in front of
you. But I also know that you don't intend to slow down with age. You've got things to do and people to see, and that's why you are probably like any other age group...and you want to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible. So the three Turbulence Training workouts per week should be perfect for your lifestyle.

I guarantee that every age group, from young to old, will be
challenged and entertained by the variety of bodyweight exercises. In fact, I bet you'll get a real kick out of doing exercises from your youth again.

I look forward to hearing how you like the workouts, and let me
know how many pushups you can do!


Q: Craig, I weigh over 250 pounds. Heck, it's a lot closer to 300 pounds. I haven't really exercised in a while either, but I feel pretty good otherwise. No aches or pains. Can I still do your Turbulence Training program? Will I be able to do interval training?

Answer:
This is a really popular question. The good news is that I've
worked personally with many men that are over the 300 pound mark, and we've successfully incorporated the Turbulence Training principles into their workouts.

You just have to:

- Get clearance from your doctor that you are ready to start an
exercise program
- Start with the introductory and beginner Turbulence Training
phases.

I include beginner level workouts in all of my manuals. There are step-by-step guidelines on how to get started, including a
day-by-day 21-quick start guideline for beginners. It will show you how to turn your unhealthy lifestyle around in just three weeks.

As for the interval training, please remember this: It is all
relative. You don't have to run sprints up a hill in order to call
your workout an interval workout.

You might simply increase your treadmill walking speed from 3.3mph to 3.6mph for 1 minute and then drop it back down. Those are the correct intervals for your relative fitness level. As you improve, you will be able to work harder. But never worry about comparing yourself to others.

Also, Dr. Chris Mohr, Ph.D., has included specific calorie and
protein recommendations for overweight individuals. The TT Fat Loss Nutrition Guidelines will keep you on track for fat loss in 2007.

Q: Has your Turbulence Training program worked for women, or is it just for male fat loss? I want a program that works on my butt, not just my biceps. Help!

Answer:
Don't worry, the Turbulence Training program is not gender
specific. All of the great exercises that are in the program will
work on the muscle groups that both men and women want to focus on.

After all, who doesn't want a firmer butt, flatter abs, and a
better chest?

Best of all, the efficient and effective exercise group that I
mentioned earlier includes squats, lunges, presses, and rows. These exercises are essential for both men and women, and will give you the total package regardless of gender.

And don't forget, the scientifically-proven Turbulence Training workout manual has used by hundreds of women to burn fat and sculpt their body.

Get in, get out, get lean,

 

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Fat Loss Secrets of Fitness Models

Fat loss is easy once you understand how hard it is.

Once you realize that fat loss is hard work, and not just as easy
as eating some celery, drinking really cold water, and slamming
down some "metabolism boosters", that's when you'll really start to get results.

When you accept sticking to your nutrition program will take effort, only then will you start planning and preparing your nutrition to meet your fat loss goals.

Same with exercise. When you understand that harder workouts are more effective, then you'll start to plan your workouts accordingly.

Over the past year I've interviewed over a dozen fitness models
(men and women) for Oxygen and Maximum Fitness magazines, and their secrets to success are as plain as day.

They know it is going to be hard work to get ready for a
photoshoot, but what do they know that you don't know?

First, they've got their nutrition plans down perfectly. And when I say planned out, I don't just mean they have a meal plan torn out of a magazine. Instead, they have their shopping lists prepared.

They have time set aside for cooking, cutting, and chopping. These men and women have more than enough tupperware to store and freeze their food for the week.

Fitness models take their meals with them and aren't so naive as to believe that they will be able to find something "healthy" at work or on the road. They are not willing to sacrifice results for convenience. They have accepted the hard work that comes with eating for fat loss. Have you?

Second, fitness models know what works - not only in the kitchen, but also in the gym. They've recorded their workouts, studied the effects of various exercises, rep ranges, and workout frequencies.

They have accepted that their can be NO guesswork in a fat loss
workout program. That's why fitness models plan their workouts in advance, and write down the results in a training log for analysis.

If you aren't doing that, then you're doing nothing more than
playing a workout "lottery" and hoping you'll come up lucky.

Third, and perhaps most importantly (because its hard to have the first two factors without this one), fitness models surround
themselves with a supportive environment and social support groups.

How many fitness models do you think are married to sedentary, overweight smokers? How many fitness models do you think hang around men and women that start drinking at 4pm every Friday?

Having the right social support group and supportive environment can make or break your fat loss program in less than a minute.

Research shows this. Experience proves this.

All it takes is a bunch of co-workers to surround you at your desk with a box of doughnuts and pressure you into "having just one". The next thing you know its 3 days later and you haven't had a decent meal since.

According to the research on social support for fat loss, there are
at least 2 proven ways to harness the powers of others for your fat loss goals.

First, include a health professional in your social support group.
This could be your doctor, a nutritionist, or a trainer that you
see on a regular basis. But you need to be accountable to someone.

This will work best for those of you that can't find support among your family, friends, or co-workers.

Second, if a member of your social support group also loses weight, you'll have a greater chance of succeeding. So try and get family members, friends, and co-workers directly involved. Get them from cheerleaders to active participants in the fight against fat.

I hope these tips help you out. If you don't have any social
support right now, by all means, send me an email on your progress and at least hold yourself accountable to me.

If you need help planning a workout, please visit:
http://www.turbulencetraining.com/

I promise you Turbulence Training will give you to the fat loss you deserve and desire.

Sincerely,

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Stubboorn Fat: Does it affect you? Part One

Everyone walking on the face of this earth has an abundance of fat cells throughout their bodies. 

In fact, if you're a healthy adult with normal body composition, you have approximately 30 billion fat cells. This is an astronomical number when you think about it. Did you ever wonder why you have so many? Have you ever wondered what those fat cells are for?

The answer is, fat cells are part of our genetic code and they allowed us to use stored energy when food was scarce. This survival mechanism is very much the same today as it was 10,000 years ago. However, today our needs have changed.  There is an abundance of food in modern society today.

When you consume too many calories, your body goes into storage mode for that "rainy day," so to speak, but the "rainy day" does not happen. So your body simply stores those extra calories as fat. When you eat less calories then your body demands your cells release stored fat for energy. Pretty simple equation, however it does not appear that all fat is the same.

The placement of fat deposits on our bodies varies depending on each person's genetic influences, lifestyle choices and nutritional intake.  Men tend to store their body fat around their bellies and chest. Women tend to store it around there hips, buttocks, thighs and back of their arms.  A complete discussion of hormones and fat storage would be beyond the scope of this article, but let it suffice to say that certain hormonal process do determine body fat distribution.

There is one major factor that many people do not realize when they are attempting to lose body fat and this can be a stumbling block in anyone's long term success.  Many people approach fat loss and fitness with great enthusiasm and determination.  With this attitude, they lose body fat and feel great, but even so, they just do not seem to get rid of ALL they fat they want to. They lose fat successfully for a time, but ultimately get stuck just before all of the fat is completely gone.

This is commonly known as a plateau and this plateau phenomenon causes many people who were previously successful to lose their enthusiasm and return to their old ways. When old habits take over again – and this happens to the majority of dieters - the body fat comes back with a vengeance. This is due to programming of the fat cell. Each time you try to lose body fat again, it seems to take longer and require more effort.

So what is the real solution? It's simple – you must understand how fat cells work and how to get past the plateau phenomenon and defeat this last bit of body fat, that we often call stubborn fat.

I have worked with many clients and I would say most of them have a good amount of stubborn body fat. This fat is literally "programmed" to be very difficult to lose. It seems to remain on our bodies no matter what we do, hence the word stubborn fat. Modern diets and weight loss programs almost all seem to work in the beginning, but then they never really address this crucial part of fat loss – the last bit of stubborn fat.

Stubborn fat develops when your hormonal pathways are broken down. Age does play a role in this: Fat deposits increase and become more resistant to fat loss methods as you get older. This you have little control over, but some things that lead to stubborn fat development are under your control. Yo yo dieting is one of them. Losing weight on crash diets and then regaining it – often known as the "rebound effect" – will only increase stubborn fat in the long run. A decrease in exercise and activity level also compounds the stubborn fat problem. This is why people who crash diet on low calories and refuse to exercise and move their bodies, often have the worst stubborn fat problems of all.

Our ancestors really never had to deal with this problem because they moved and engaged in physical labor as a regular part of daily life, whereas technological conveniences and the modern lifestyle have caused many of us to become lazy and inactive.

Stubborn fat is metabolized extremely slowly and is resistant to the hormonal process that takes place while the fat burning process is started up. To burn fat, the adrenal hormones better known as adrenaline and noradrenaline, attach to the fat cell receptors and essentially "open them up" so the fat can be used in the energy pathways. There are two kinds of receptors in your fat cells: one is alpha and the other beta. The beta receptors are much more active and respond to adrenal hormones. To lose body fat, the adrenal hormones switch on and the body begins to use fat as energy. However, in the case of people with stubborn fat, this does not occur, so no body fat is lost.

According to my good friend and colleague Ori Hofmekler, author of the warrior diet, "stubborn fat" has a lower ratio of beta receptors to alpha receptors." Therefore, your body's hormonal "fat dissolver," adrenaline, will not be able to enter the fat cell and open the door. Ori also points out that "to make these matters worse, stubborn fat has more estrogen receptors which cause even more stubborn fat."

If all this sounds bad enough, what makes it even worse is that if you indulge in the typical modern diet and sedentary lifestyle, this often results in reduced insulin sensitivity (read my past article on Insulin Sensitivity for more information). Added on top of everything else, your fat tissue becomes so incredibly resistant to your attempts to lose it, it seems like you will be stuck with it forever.

Diets fail because they only look at the caloric reduction side of the equation. You need to understand the other variables in the equation – exercise and lifestyle. You need to understand the deeper issues you are really dealing with. Getting rid of stubborn fat is not nearly as simple as just slashing calories and dieting. Stubborn fat is the result of a complex interplay of biological and hormonal processes – all of which are affected by how you eat, how you move and the type of lifestyle you lead.

Now that you understand why you have stubborn fat, right down to the hormone and receptor level, the question is "How do you alter your nutrition, exercise and lifestyle to get rid if this resistant body fat?" The answer will be found in part two. Stay tuned.
 

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Stubborn Fat: Does it affect you? Part Three

As you know from reading parts one and two of this series, your hormones can be a liability when it comes to getting rid of stubborn body fat.  For example, the hormone estrogen has a unique relationship with the fat cell.  Fat cells can release signals that enable your body to synthesize estrogen and to regulate the reproductive cycle.  In turn, estrogen has an effect upon fat cells.  An influx of extra estrogen into the body from food sources can cause fat cells to grow and become stubborn.  

A similar situation occurs during pregnancy and in mothers who are breast-feeding, as this causes the fat cells in the body to swell so that they are able to absorb and store more fuel.  The estrogen is telling them that they need to stock up on extra fat, so the fat cells prepare to do so.  This is why a lot of women gain weight when starting birth control pills or when entering menopause when levels of progesterone fall and estrogen becomes the dominant hormone.

Most of the time, women have a more difficult time losing body fat than men. However, men are quickly catching up in this day and age due to the estrogenic foods being consumed in our modern Western society, rife with environmental pollution and refined foods. Ironically, one reason women have a harder time with fat loss than men, is because at any given time, women are more likely to be on a severely restricted diet in order to attain the coveted thinness that's been established as a standard of beauty and attractiveness in our culture.

Unfortunately, severe and prolonged dieting shuts down the metabolism, sending the body into starvation mode.  The fat cells begin sending out even more fat storing enzymes and a significantly smaller amount of fat releasing enzymes.  Because the fat cells are afraid of being starved to death and depleted of their stores, they will hold on to the fat they have to the best of their ability, causing the body to start burning lean muscle mass to get the amount of fuel it needs.

Lean muscle mass, located in the skeletal muscles and the organ systems, is the metabolically active part of the body.  This means that after the diet is over and your body is out of starvation mode, your metabolism will still not be functioning as well as before the diet, because you have lost some of your muscle mass, which was the engine driving your metabolism. 

In addition, the effects of restrictive dieting on your fat storing and releasing enzymes can be permanent.  Though the levels will return to closer to a normal level after the diet, the fat releasing enzymes will almost always be at a little lower level than before the diet and the fat storing enzymes will almost always be at a slightly higher level.  Even worse:  The effects are cumulative.  This means that after each successive bout of dieting, it will be harder and harder for you to lose fat and control your weight for the long term.

It sounds hopeless, but it's not, so don't panic just yet!  This doesn't mean that you're stuck with unwanted fat and excess weight for the rest of your life.  It only means that you don't have to diet anymore.  Even if you "tortured yourself" with deprivation diets that left you hungry, anxious, and unhappy in the past, what we know about hormones, enzymes and fat cells can actually be great news.  You can lose your unwanted fat through good old-fashioned nutrition, calorie-burning and metabolism-stimulating exercise and anti-estrogenic foods. 

What I am suggesting to you is not a magic bullet solution, and if you've been a long term chronic dieter, it might take a lot longer to lose the amount of fat you want to lose. But by putting an end to the quick-results, crash-diet approach and taking the weight loss gradually, you will not only avoid the feelings of deprivation that sabotage many diets, but also, the weight you lose will be three times more likely to stay off. 

To improve your results in losing stubborn fat and to reduce estrogenic effects on your body, there are a few steps you must take to ensure your success.  Your success will be dependent on your understanding of how to detoxify your liver, eat foods that aid reducing estrogen and exercise. 

On this stubborn fat reduction plan, you are going to consume as many anti-estrogenic foods as possible and eliminate as many estrogenic foods as possible. In addition to stimulating greater fat loss, this type of eating will also aid in the detoxification of your liver. Without cleaning out the liver and reducing the chemical build up, your liver becomes overburdened and your fat loss can hit the wall.

There are a few stages in stubborn fat removal, so here we go

First and foremost you must eat unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds and occasional wild salmon. This starts the detoxification of the liver as you eliminate all processed foods, grains, farm fed livestock and chemically altered foods. Try to eat as much organic food as possible.

The base of your anti-stubborn fat plan is to consume an enormous amount of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts, as these vegetables are very anti-estrogenic. Include citrus fruits such as grapefruit, orange and pineapple as they have enzymes in cofactors that help your body against the radical damage and help your liver detoxify.

Supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids from wild caught salmon and flaxseed. You can also take an omega-3 fatty acid supplements such as Carlson's oil available at mercola.com. 

Eating raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and olive oil also improves your body's function. In addition, eating green leafy vegetables, whole oats and barley, legumes (no soy), and spices such as turmeric (cancer fighter), milk thistle (liver detoxer), dandelion root (natural diuretic) and ginger increases loss of stubborn fat by decreasing estrogen in your body     

There are many estrogen inhibitors that can help you decrease body fat quickly. According to Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, consuming these foods will greatly improve your ability to remove stubborn fat and decrease estrogenic effects. Hofmekler says there are additional estrogenic inhibitors such as chrysin (passion flower), Apigene (chamomile), Quercetin (onions, garlic) and all of these cofactors can work together to detoxify your liver and get the stubborn fat off.

To simplify, systemize and organize this information, Hofmekler has developed an anti-estrogen, anti-stubborn fat program into three stages:

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Stage 1 Defense (Eat Anti-Estrogenic Foods) 

Eat Anti-Estrogenic Foods                                    Estrogen inhibitors

Cruciferous vegetables                                         Passion flower

Citrus fruits                                                                          Chamomile flower                       

Omega 3 oils                                                       

Wild catch salmon

Organic Dairy

Stage 2 Defense (additional foods that promote anti-estrogenic hormones).

Raw nuts and seeds

Avocado

Olives and Olive oil

Rice Germ Oil

Wheat Germ Oil

Stage 3 Defense (Foods that as cofactors and promote liver detoxification)

Green Vegetables           

Spices (turmeric, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage)

Fruits (citrus, berries, apples, pineapple

Whole oats and barley

Legumes (NO SOY)

Herbs (dandelion root, ginger, alma berries, milk thistle)

Three week plan:

Outlined below is a very simple three week plan that will produce good initial results in just three weeks. After this initial three week phase, you can then to rotate the stages to get continued and even better. You can also alternate the stages by the day. After the first 3 weeks. To gain more information on to set up a plan on a day to day bases just e mail me at

As this part is out of the scope of this article.

Stage 1 for a week

Detox liver

Stage 2 for a week

High Fat for fuel change over

Stage 3 for a week

Food reintroduction

In addition to eating the proper anti-estrogenic foods to remove stubborn fat, it goes without saying that a very important part of any program is exercise.  Diet alone is not enough. Regular exercise is not only beneficial for fat loss, but also for your overall health. Exercise lowers body fat, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. You need to set some goals and plan to exercise on a continuous basis.

If you attempt to lose weight without exercise, you should expect only temporary success and expect to succumb to the rebound effect.  This simply means that sooner or later, you will eventually gain back the fat and the harder it will be to remove the next time around.

Instead of using the diet-only approach, emphasize the diet and exercise combination and focus on increasing your daily activity level overall (refer to my article titled, "movement sufficiency, not calorie deficiency" for more information on exercising more rather than just eating less, and here are a few quick and practical suggestions:

Walk to the store instead of driving, go for a bike ride, walk upstairs in office buildings rather than using the elevator, and park your car at the end of the parking lot instead of looking for the front row spot.  Take short walk during daily breaks or after you get home.   Mow your lawn with a push mower, vacuum your carpets every other day, tidy up you backyard, basement or garage, iron your clothes, wash your windows, and play with your kids.  These activities are usually not looked at as "exercise" or "workouts," but all the activity adds up at the end of the day and it can work wonders as it accumulates over the long haul.

Naturally, of course, you should also have a more structured and formal exercise program to achieve maximum reductions in body fat. Even mowing your lawn has health benefits and burns some calories, but for really making inroads into those stubborn fat stores, more intense and focused exercise is a must. 

A great type of routine for stubborn fat loss goals is a circuit training program. This style of training not only raises your metabolism, improves your cardiovascular ability, and increases strength, it is also time efficient. Put together a routine that uses large body parts such as legs, chest, back and shoulders into groups and perform all of the exercises nonstop. You can also mix cardio interval training into your circuit workouts or in addition to your circuit workouts to increase the fat burning effect.

Here is an example of an effective and time efficient circuit program that can easily be performed at home with nothing but dumbbells and a swiss ball.

A1 - Swiss ball Squats (ball up against the wall)

A2 - Dumbbell Cleans

A3 - Dumbbell Flys on a Swiss Ball

A4 - Lunge

A5 - Dumbbell 3 Matrix (side laterals, bent laterals, front laterals)

A6 - Dumbbell Row

Do each exercise with perfect form for 6-8 reps and then get on your cardio equipment and go hard for 1-2 minutes. Rest about 90 seconds between before repeating the circuit 2-3 more times, as your schedule and fitness level dictate.

You can easily take one or two ideas out of this series, put them to work and immediately begin to see improvements in stubborn fat reduction. However, the real "secret," if there is one, is putting all the pieces together into a comprehensive healthy lifestyle overall.

The lifestyle below suggestions may seem basic and general, but when combined with what you've learned in this article series, they will have a profound impact on your outcome.

  1. Don't diet – Eat reasonably but do not starve or deprive yourself; avoid yo-yo dieting  
  2. Avoid empty calories and processed refined foods like sodas and sweets
  3. Eat many smaller meals – eat light at every meal to keep blood sugar steady and metabolism stoked
  4. Eat healthy fat-  Eat omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in salmon to promote proper hormone function and balance
  5. Eat a LOT of vegetables, focusing on the cruciferous variety,
  6. Drink lots of water - What can you say other than, "without it, you will die!" Drink a 1⁄2 and ounce for very pound you weigh
  7. Get sufficient quality and quantity of sleep
  8. Keep stress to minimum
  9. Avoid excessive and chronic use of stimulants
  10. Exercise – Just a little increase in daily activities will go a long way towards improving your health; add circuits and intervals to knock off the most stubborn fat.
  11. Have a little fun – find an exercise program you enjoy and do it

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Is This Madonna's New Secret Fitness Weapon?

QUESTION:

I was just reading about the Power Plate in a magazine. Apparently Madonna uses it to strengthen and build her muscles, and there was also a positive article about this in the Daily Telegraph. Apparently these machines cost of £2,600! They say it can do in 10 minutes what you would get from weight training for an hour. It was been developed years ago from technology used by the Russian astronauts to stop muscle wastage when they were in space. Have you heard of this and do you think it could do what it claims to do? Not that I can afford to buy one but I might try a class if there is ever one this offered this way.

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ANSWER

After more than 11 years in the fitness industry, I have seen so many exercise machines pop up out of nowhere, take their place as the hot item in the exercise equipment marketplace, only to fizzle out or even completely disappear in a few years, or in some cases, just a few months.

Many of these fitness machines promise you "maximum fitness with minimum effort and time." Their sales pitches are based on the premise that it's easy to get in shape if only you had the right technology. They tell you that if you're not in shape it's not your fault - you simply didn't know about their hot new "revolutionary" machine. All you have to do is buy it and use it, and you can get as fit as you want and lose all the weight that you want in 10 or 15 minutes.

I'm here to tell you that after the many years of time, effort and research that went into the development of my Firm And Flatten Your Abs system, no where in the pages of my book will ever hear me say that it's quick and easy or it only takes 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week to get a fantastic body. Getting in top condition takes time, effort and discipline. Human beings were made to MOVE - not sit!

If you only knew how much your movement patterns affected your physique and your overall health, you would be astonished. Instead of taking the time to learn how our real genetic programming affects us and how movement works best for us to become fit, we tend to jump on the latest fad thinking it's the breakthrough that will finally get the job done.

In this quest after the "next big thing," we chase after every fitness product, program and supplement on the market - some do have benefits but most that do not - and then you realize you just flushed a few hundred (or a few thousand) more dollars down the toilet.

I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to be trained by internationally recognized exercise kinesiologist Paul Chek and to have received three separate certifications from Paul's organization. In Paul's Nutrition and Lifestyle Internship Course, we learned many different facts about on how food affects your mood, your body type, and your metabolism.

Eating the wrong foods can and does contribute to fat gain. But perhaps even more important, we learned how important exercise and movement patterns are to the results we achieve in our fitness programs. This training has given me the skills and wisdom to allow me to very quickly come to logical (and usually correct) conclusions about the latest fitness equipment craze, even before all the evidence has been laid on the table, which I gladly share with my clients and readers.

The latest rage in fitness equipment is the Power Plate. The power plate is a device which, depending on which model you use, is about the size of an upright scale. This device is being touted by some in the industry as the best fitness invention to ever hit the market. The hype is overwhelming, and also quite convincing when users include celebrities like Madonna, athletes like Shaquille O'Neal and even professional sports teams.

The plate vibrates at 30-90 times per second and the makers promise that you can stand on it for 15 minutes a day, three days a week and lose body fat, tighten muscles, and reduce your waist line. It was originally developed in Russia to help astronauts maintain muscle mass and bone density while in space. In 1999, the modern version of the Power Plate was developed by a Dutch Olympic trainer who then marketed the machine to health and fitness industry.

Dr. William Kramer, the renowned strength and conditioning researcher, said in a recent interview that "There might be something there" as the vibration plate causes more activation due to the body gently being asked to stabilize using what we call the proprioceptive mechanism with the golgi tendons to stimulate more muscle activity. However, Kraemer also said that "The application of right prescription is little unclear" and "it is an emerging area with a lot of people making hypothesis and guesses, so the jury is still out."

I can see some possible application for older people with osteoporosis and arthritis, but the claims that are being made are stretching the truth behind the little data that is available so far.

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I find it somewhat intriguing how this piece of equipment has made it into the mainstream. My guess is "marketing 101" and the never-ending quest for higher cash flow. This machine costs almost $10,000 dollars! Heck, if you want vibration, why not just jump up and down on the floor - that's free! This Power Plate reminds me somewhat of the "Body Blade," Not to get on the bodyblade< i like using is in many application, but I have to wonder how you get "buffed" arms from holding on to a handle and waving it up and down? So how can you get buffed arms by just holding on to a handle that does not move?

Keep in mind, if you use one (very expensive) machine like this, you are only going to get the benefits that this one machine offers. If you were to use a vibration training machine, it should be coupled with other activities and exercises to balance your development and improve your overall health. Relying on only one piece of equipment or one mode of fitness is almost always a big mistake.

I decided to do some of my own research, and while there are a few papers just coming out as Dr. Kramer mentioned, there really is not much solid science yet to back up the claims being made at this point. Some studies are "encouraging", say the researchers, but they are too preliminary and have not been repeated over a long period of time to be definitive. Other studies show no benefits at all.

I spoke with a few fitness experts to get their thoughts the viability of the power plate. Ori Hofmekler, author of the popular fitness book the "The Warrior Diet" says "the PowerPlate has minimal application in the real world. It's just a bunch of hype without solid science backing up the claims."

According to Hofmekler, to achieve the fitness and fat loss claims being made for this device, you have to eliminate poor food choices, decrease estrogen-based food products, and get your butt up and move. Human beings were designed to move. Sitting on a plate "vibrating" goes against every human evolutionary development, not to mention it goes against simple common sense.

I also asked internationally recognized fitness expert Paul Chek, from the Chek Institute in Southern California, about vibration training and he said, "There are some benefits to the power plate, but from what I can see, they are transitory."

Paul even wrote a poem about the PowerPlate and I think you will get a kick out of this:

The power plate, will shake you, Even your bones...

The power plate will do magic, but so will sitting quietly, Alone!

The power plate is a new idea, but taking care of your "Self" isn't, So, do you want a $9,000 vibrator, Or, to your "Self"... ...Can you be True?!

Power plates, counters, beepers, tweeters, horns, Where is the laziness buzzer, That seems to be so lazy... Does your mirror warn?

You can pay to have a high speed jiggle, Or you and KC can, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake your Booty!

You can plug the power plate in and turn it on, but will it keep you slim, if you're always gone,Too many things to "DO"?

There's a great workout, Wrapped all around you, Work out your sore spots, Melt down you fat too, May I suggest some regularity, as a change for you, For even with a new power plate, won't chase after you!

Remember, we need movement to be healthy and our instincts tell us that, but our impatience and emotions sometimes get the best of us and we perk up whenever something new comes out promising us an easier way with less time and effort involved. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to vibration training machines. This is a subject that deserves more study, not only to confirm or refute specific claims being made, but also so we can be sure this type of machine is not damaging in any way, as we already know there are numerous conditions which contraindicate the use of vibration plates.

If I've sounded skeptical, cynical or critical, that's not because I believe this device has no benefits or does not do anything it claims to do, as it does seem to have some benefits in some applications. I am simply saying to you, be discerning when it comes to how far the claims are stretched and don't be swept up in the hype of every new device that comes down the pike with movie star or pro athlete endorsers. Rest assured, there will be another, and another and another!

If you would like to learn more about abdominal exercises, ab workouts, core training, as well as dozens of lifestyle tips and nutrition secrets to help you lose fat and get into top physical shape, then be sure to

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The Best Cardio Intervals for Fat Loss: Part 2

If you don't have variety in your program, you are more than likely to end up at a fat loss plateau soon rather than later. Variety is one of the keys to keeping that fat loss coming.

So not only should you have variety within your training week (i.e. alternate between two different interval training workouts, rather than just doing the same interval workout each time), but you should also change these workouts every 4 weeks.

So you need to change your training program every 4 weeks. To modify your interval training workouts, you can…

  1. switch exercise methods (and even use bodyweight exercises for intervals)
  2. increase or decrease the length of the interval (while decreasing or increasing the intensity, respectively)
  3. increase or decrease the number of intervals per workout
  4. increase or decrease the rest time between intervals

First, let's take a look at the interval methods. Here is my list of preferred ways to do your intervals, ranked in order from best to worst, based on my experiences…

  1. Sprinting outdoors (and hills might be the absolute best)
  2. Strongman movements (Farmer's walks, tire flips, car pushing)
  3. Bodyweight interval circuits
  4. Treadmill running
  5. Stationary cycle (upright preferred)
  6. Stairclimber
  7. Rower
  8. Swimming (only works for competent swimmers)
  9. Elliptical & Crosstrainer machines

Okay, so how long should you do intervals and how the heck do you do bodyweight exercises as interval training?

First, I stand by what I said in Part 1. There does not seem to be a "best" interval training program. But that is good because it allows us to use variety in our approach. (So perhaps the best interval training method is simply the one that changes every 4 weeks.)

Interval recommendations have ranged from 15 seconds (from Muscle Media waaaay back in the late 90's), to 5 minutes (these are known as aerobic intervals). So let's take a look at each interval recommendation and all those in between.

15 seconds
The great thing about 15 second intervals is that you'll be able to work at a very high rate (almost near your maximum power output), as long as you get adequate recovery between work intervals. The downside is that it is very difficult to do 15 second intervals on machines, because it takes a long time to "build up" and "bring down" the machine settings to the correct speed.

If you decide to use these short, high-intensity intervals, you should do so only if you already have an above average level of fitness. Your rest interval should be at least 15 seconds long, and can be as long as 60 seconds. The longer you rest, the harder you will be able to exercise in each interval.

20 seconds on, 10 seconds off
This method is known as the Tabata protocol, after the Japanese scientist that published a study on this routine. It is very demanding (obviously), and while some trainers have suggested this is the best method for interval training, I don't think there is any proof that you will get better results.

Clearly, the pro's with this method (as well as the 15 second intervals) is that you'll get your workout done faster (provided you do the same number of intervals as any other workout). Again, it would be very difficult to perform this type of interval training on a machine, due to the time lag as you increase or decrease the settings. And finally, these too should only be performed by above average fitness levels.

30 seconds
The Turbulence Training workouts tend to use a lot of 30 second intervals. Beginners will rest up to 90 seconds between intervals, while advanced fitness levels will rest 30-60 seconds. The longer (relative) rest allows you to work harder in each successive interval (i.e. you'll almost be able to match your performance in the first interval with each following interval). Short rest intervals (as in the Tabata protocol) will lead to a dramatic drop-off in performance with each interval. You can easily do the 3-second intervals on any machine.

45 seconds
These intervals are proven for fat loss, in addition to being effective for many team sports (such as hockey, soccer, basketball, and rugby). I have used 45 second intervals extensively in both areas of training. Not only will these tax your muscles, they will also tax your will to complete each interval (if done at the right intensity). Use 45-90 seconds of recovery between intervals. Do 3-6 intervals per workout. Your fitness and fat loss will skyrocket.

60 second intervals
Similar to the 45 second intervals in benefits and toughness. Use 60-120 seconds of recovery between each.

120 second intervals
These are now officially aerobic intervals, and can be used for both fat loss and improving aerobic capacity for sports and running. A great way to achieve two fitness goals at once. Exercise for 2 minutes and then recover for 2 minutes. Repeat 6 times. These workouts take longer (obviously), but can have a role in changing your body and improving your performance.

5 minute intervals
Same strategy as with the two minute intervals. This really increases your workout time, so these are only used with serious endurance athletes.

Beginner vs. Advanced
If you are thinking that these intervals all sound "too intense" for you, please don't worry. Interval training is all relative. You don't have to sprint for your life in each type of interval. Instead, just work at a slightly harder than normal pace. By the end of the interval, you should be getting tired, but you shouldn't be gasping for air. Start conservatively and you will get the hang of it.

For example, if you regularly use level 5 on the stationary bike for 30 minutes continuously, you might try doing a 1 minute interval at level 7. Try that for an interval workout and let me know how it goes.

My favorite intervals for fat loss are between 30-60 seconds. These have been the staple intervals in my Turbulence Training workouts since the first workout was designed back in 2001. But again, I think you will get your best fat loss results if you vary your interval training workouts - just like you must vary your strength training workouts.

Intervals are the secret to success,

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Fitness Fads Come And Go, But The Swiss Ball Is Here To Stay

swiss balls What's hot in the world of abdominal and core training today seems to change as fast as the latest clothing styles. New gurus, new infomercials, new machines – today's fitness marketplace is all about "what's new." I often write reviews about the latest, greatest ab and core training gadgets, usually debunking most of them, but this time I'm actually going to do the opposite.

As new products push their way into the fitness scene, some truly legitimate, cost effective devices get pushed out, forgotten, or even worse – dismissed as "fitness fads." Such is the case with the swiss ball (also known as a "exercise ball", "gym ball" or "stability ball")

Why Some Fitness Experts Condemn The Swiss Ball

Swiss balls have been around a long time in physical therapy and rehab settings and when they crossed over into the mainstream fitness world, they were probably hyped a bit too much. It's not that they didn't deserve the attention, its that many fitness "experts" placed the swiss ball up on a pedestal as the end-all be-all of abdominal, core and fitness training, rather than representing the ball for what it really is - a single training tool among many– just like barbells, dumbbells, cables or any other fitness equipment.

As a result, entire training systems were built around the swiss ball (neglecting other forms of training), and people misused and overused the ball. Some trainers used the ball for "exercises" that were nothing more than circus acts. I've seen it all – everything from standing on top of the ball and squatting to bench pressing on the ball with 400 pounds..

As a result of the over-hyping and misuse of the swiss ball, some coaches and trainers have recently spoken up and publicly renounced the ball as a " gimmick." This has caused a flood of emails to pour into my office as consumers and fitness enthusiasts have become more confused than ever.

It's no wonder: Trainer A says, "The ball is the best thing since sliced bread" and trainer B says "the ball is and always was a gimmick." I believe the ball is a very valuable training tool and that the truth is somewhere in the middle, so I'd like to help put things back into proper perspective.

Swiss balls are powerful, portable, inexpensive and versatile training tools

I use swiss balls nearly every day in my own workouts and in workouts for my clients. The versatility of the swiss ball is simply unmatched as proven by the fact that I can use a swiss ball to help a 65 year old sedentary woman overcome muscle weakness and improve balance or use the same ball to help a professional boxer build stamina and add power to his punches. I can also show you how to use the swiss ball to develop "six pack abs" as well as train literally every muscle in your entire body.

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New Research Reveals That The Swiss Ball Can Make
Abdominal Exercise Up To 104% More Effective

swiss ball crunchTo give you a research-proven example of just how effective a swiss ball can be, let's focus on one of the most basic and well-known of all abdominal exercises: The Crunch

As most people know, the crunch is a modified (partial) sit up that involves raising the head, neck and shoulder blades up off the floor. Many personal trainers believe that the crunch is highly overrated and overused. I won't argue, as I agree there's a lot of truth to that. However, the crunch can be greatly improved with one simple change: Do your crunches on a swiss ball.

Electromyography (EMG) studies have demonstrated that the swiss ball crunch (unstable surface) effectively recruits more muscle fibers than the floor crunch (stable surface). This leads to greater strength, stability and muscle development in your core region.

In 2000, a study by Vera-Garcia and colleagues showed a significant increase in muscle activity in the core area while performing a crunch on the swiss ball, as compared to a floor crunch. The swiss ball improved the level of muscular activity as well as the co-recruitment of spinal stabilizers. The researchers said:

"Performing the curl over the gym ball with the feet on the floor doubled activity in the rectus abdominis muscle, and activity in the external oblique muscle increased approximately fourfold."

Although research results have been mixed in the past, the studies showing no increase in abdominal muscle activity using a swiss ball may have been due to the exercise technique used on the ball, including velocity and body placement on the ball. Earlier this year, Dr. Eric Sternlicht and colleagues at UCLA designed a study to test this hypothesis and they measured for differences in muscle activity while using different positions on the ball.

The EMG analysis confirmed their hypothesis and demonstrated that body position on the swiss ball could decrease or increase the amount of muscular activation. When the ball was positioned with the upper back high on the ball (just below scapulae), the muscular activity was less than a floor crunch. But by strategically positioning the ball so it was firmly placed at the lower lumbar region, there was a 66%, 93% and 104% increase in upper abdominal, lower abdominal and external oblique activity, respectively.

More Proof That Form Is Everything And Little Things Make A Big Difference

For years I have preached about proper form on all abdominal and core exercises and I have taught my clients "little tweaks" and "tricks" in technique that look minor, but which can lead to huge improvements in results. This new research is proof. It also reveals how the ball is a versatile tool for exercise progression: The high on back position is easier, while the ball lower on the back is more difficult, accommodating for different strength and fitness levels. Further progression can be added by using resistance (dumbbell or weight plate held on chest or at arms length from chest).

Swiss balls are only one of many training tools, but in my opinion, when used properly, they are one of the best of the bunch. I created an entire core training system that uses the ball for many of the exercises, I put all my clients on swiss balls and I highly recommend that you use the ball as well. Just remember, the swiss ball is only a tool – it's not the "end all be all" of core training and it can't work miracles. It will also not burn fat off your stomach – you need a caloric deficit to achieve body fat reduction.

Use the ball as one part of a balanced training program that includes other tools such as free weights, cables and your own body weight. Forget the potentially dangerous "circus act" swiss ball stunts, use good exercise form, purchase only quality, high-strength exercise balls, use them in a clear area, clean them often, check them for leaks and I promise you will have a fantastic versatile training aid that will last you for years and never go out of style. Fitness fads will always come and go, but the swiss ball is still a winner.

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