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7 Tips for Serious Muscle Building

7 Tips for Serious Muscle Building

Beachbody Muscle Building

What is the best way to build muscles? If you have been wanting to see progress but have been mostly disappointed, then there’s must be something that you need to do right this time. Whatever your fitness goals may be – get bigger, stronger, or more powerful, muscle building has to be done efficiently. Typically, this takes more than just spending time lifting weights. There are must-do resistance training strategies to include in your overall muscle-building program.

1. Introduce variance into your program

Because you desire visible muscle growth right away, you may initially think that lifting heavy weights is the only way to go. Explosive exercises such as sprints and heavy weight-lifting can indeed give you the most, in terms of growth potential, as it targets Type II muscle fibers. Studies suggest, however, that your Type I muscle fibers do have growth potential as well. Better known as the slow twitch, Type I fibers are those often utilized during endurance activities and are not to be ignored. Thus, it would be great to work them out once a week or every 2 weeks via high repetitions and low weight. For instance, you can do 15 reps (or more) with 3-4 sets per exercise. You can also choose among the Beachbody programs that adopts this kind of variation such as the 22-Minute Hard Corps, Master’s Hammer and Chisel, P90X, 21-Day fix, or the Body Beast.

2. Achieve that balance in your lift

You have to mind the way you lift weights and be able to lift responsibly. Yes, your muscles do need to be challenged to activate growth, but there is a smart way of triggering the same. Sometimes, you may tend to shift to heavier weights too quickly that you also increase the chances of injury. However, doing it too slowly can result to a growth plateau or you, shortchanging your growth potential. The key then is to strike that balance by paying close attention to the efforts that you exert. Once you are able to lift in perfect form and you feel that the last few reps seem similar to the first ones you did, then you know that it is time to shift to a heavier weight.

3. Gorge on more protein

Protein is essential to muscle growth, repair, and recovery. Amino acids, or the protein building blocks, are what’s needed to build muscle tissue. You have to eat more protein to make all these happen as you lift weights. For a protein-rich meal, the optimal amount is 20 grams of protein as an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study has shown that the body only uses up 20 grams of protein to build muscles in one sitting.

For the whole day, about 80 grams – equivalent to 4 meals with 20-grams of protein contained in each meal – is just right for an average individual. To compute the amount of optimal protein that’s suited for you and your fitness goals, it is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine that the ideal consumption range should be between 0.5-0.9 grams per pound of your body weight per day. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume about 75-135 grams of protein in one day.

In this case, you can split the 80-gram allowance for protein each day by having 3 meals with 20-gram protein content and a post-workout drink which contains the last 20 grams of protein you need, like the Beachbody Performance Recover that provides you with that exact amount per serving conveniently. Meanwhile, if you are the ambitious type and want to build more muscles than that, much like those who are into Beachbody’s Body Beast program, then aim higher and go for the highest grams in the 75-135 range, then add 1-2 additional 20-gram protein snacks to your day. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and go beyond the 135-gram cap. The more you exercise though, the more protein your body will need to consume for muscle building and maintenance.

4. Cover multi-joint exercises

Florida State University Interim Director, Dr. Michael Ormsbee, from the Institute of Sports Science & Medicine, recommends that while all kinds of moves can help build muscles, spending some time doing multi-joint exercises provides for a strong base. When you load your workouts with multi-joint or compound exercises like bench press, squat, pull-up, and lunge, you are tapping the most efficient way in resistance training to build lean mass. Science purports that compound moves trigger the highest increase in testosterone levels which plays a major role as the hormone responsible for muscle building.

5.Sleep some more

When you sleep for less than 7 hours each night, you build up a sleep debt that eventually halts muscle growth or protein synthesis. A study conducted by Brazilian researchers show that sleeping for less than 7 hours on a regular basis increases protein degradation equivalent to muscle degradation. As such, it is best to get 7 hours every night or even sleep some more so that you can activate that muscle growth that you desire. Besides, adequate sleep also gives you other equally-important benefits as the human growth hormone levels are at its peak when you are sound asleep.

6. Minimize cardio exercises

Calories are needed to build muscle and when you burn most of your calories doing cardio exercises, such as biking or running, then your body might have nothing much left for muscle building. To build muscles more quickly, minimize your cardio or use it only for short warm-ups of up to 2 to 5 minutes, and then spend your calories more on the weight training.

7. Give it time to recover

Recovery is crucial in muscle-building because it is actually when muscles grow and not during your workouts. Recovery includes eating healthy with more protein and taking time to rest instead of over training. Over training your muscles at very high intensities too frequently may hurt, cause injury, and put your efforts to waste. On the other hand, rest and recovery days that you spend in between at 1-2 days per week, allows your muscles to recover fully and grow. To maximize your rest days and downtime, you can do light cross training such as cycling, hiking, or yoga. Patience, focus, consistency, and recovery are what you need to achieve your desired results.

Understanding the 21 Day Fix Containers

Understanding the 21 Day Fix Containers

21  Day Fix Containers

21 Day Fix Containers

Portion control is a critical aspect of any successful nutritional or diet program. However, figuring it out can be tricky without the right tools to guide you along the way. The 21 Day Fix containers provide you with a color-coded solution to help make portion control a breeze and allow you to focus on your fitness goals. This means, no more calorie counting for you because if it fits on the containers and it is on your list of approved foods, then you can go ahead and simply enjoy it.

The Whys

So why is it worth giving a shot? The 21 Day Fix Container is a system that works in a very practical manner. It understands how counting calories is extremely important to you but can be likewise a daunting task. And so with this container system, you do not have to tediously count calories because you would only need to count containers. Its evidently easier keeping track of 3 enticingly green containers compared to counting calories.

Moreover, it ensures that you get all the nutrients you need for the day by eating a little portion from each of the container. You might find, as you begin the program, that you will tend to feel full even when you haven’t finished all of the containers yet. Well, this is because nutritious food has got a lot more in it than junk food food so it has also has more volume. So the key is to be able to eat a little portion from each container from your favorite to your least-liked.

The best part about the 21 Day Fix Containers is that it doesn’t take away the fun out of eating by making you feel aware of what you eat and empower you to practice moderation. By the end of the 21 day program, knowing how many and enjoying your vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and lean proteins will be second nature to you as you go through your wellness regimen each day. To make it even more exciting, Autumn Calabrese, 21 Day Fix creator, has put together a FIXATE cookbook for enticing meal plans you can try.

The What 

The 21 Day Fix Containers are all about color and nutrition. Six colors correspond to 6 types of food. Green means vegetable container which can include raw or cooked, and chopped or sliced veggies. This goes for vegetables like kale, lettuce, pepper, squash, onions, and mushrooms. For a voluminous and scrumptious salad, squeeze in as much lettuce as you can in there!

Purple is the container for your fruits. Berries, grapes, or cherries are great as they fit as is, but you can cut larger ones like watermelon, apples, or peaches. Red is the designated container for your protein-rich foods such as shellfish, tofu, eggs, yogurt, and chicken breast. Let the food list guide you for other protein sources. Yellow is the color for caloric carbs and starches. Foods like whole-grain pasta, sweet potato, beans, and rice fit in here. In case there are foods in the list that don’t fit like tortillas and waffles, the guide will specify the portions that you can consume.

Blue is the container for healthy fats that includes hummus, cheese, nuts, and mashed avocados, to name a few. For dressings and seeds, they are to be placed in the orange container. The dressings are those recommended in your 21 Day Fix program together with calorie-dense foods such as coconut, olives, and seeds.

To make measuring easier, a teaspoon measurement is included as well and to be used for butters and oils, like in the case of peanut butter and olive oil.

The How

Here’s the most exciting part – learning how to use those colorful containers! First step is to go to Page 4 of your 21 Day Fix guide and check the calorie count that you will need each day. After that, go to page 19 and see the 21 chart to determine the number of containers for each color you should be consuming for the day based on your calorie range. Looking at the macro-nutrient percentages, it is evident that the plan is about 30% fat, 30% protein, and 40% carbohydrates.

To make it more fun, you can mix and match the foods in one container as long as they belong to the same category. So if you prefer not to have all spinach in one green container, then you can mix it up and fill one half with some carrots in there. You may enjoy your favorite food straight from the containers especially when you need to be outside or simply empty the contents into a bowl whenever you’re at home or however you want to enjoy them.

How Long are the Hammer and Chisel Workouts?

How Long are the Hammer and Chisel Workouts?

hammer and chisel workout calendar download

Are you thinking about tackling the new Master’s Hammer and Chisel workout program? Are you wondering how long the Hammer and Chisel workouts are? Looking for the Hammer and Chisel Workout Calendar? Well you have come to the right place. If you need the calendar just click on the image above and you can download the Hammer and Chisel calendar in pdf format.  First off let me say, I really love these workouts but I will save my review for another post so I get get you the info you are looking for now which is the length of the Hammer and Chisel workouts.

All of the Hammer and Chisel workouts range between 25 and 45 minutes with the exception of 10 Minute Ab Chisel and 10 Minute Ab Hammer but these workouts are not done alone, they are always done in conjunction with another workout. If you ordered your package from a Beachbody coach (like myself) then you also received a FREE bonus workout, The Master’s Cardio which is just over 17 minutes long. If you ordered the Deluxe package then you also received 4 additional workouts and 2 of them are add on workouts as well. 15 Minute Leg Hammer and 15 Minute Glute Chisel. Hammer and Chisel is a 60 day program and you can check out the calendar above to see what your schedule will look like. Also, just because this is a 60 day program this does not mean that you are in for 60 days and done. Many people of gone on to do multiple rounds of Hammer and Chisel to improve on their results even more.

autumn and sagi-hammer and chiselBelow you will see the length of all of the Hammer and Chisel workouts.

Safety Video 3:17
Chisel Balance 41:05
ISO Strength Chisel 36:39
Chisel Endurance 36:55
Chisel Cardio 39:00
Chisel Agility 38:29
Total Body Chisel 36:04
Hammer Plyometrics 26:29
ISO Speed Hammer 24:11
Total Body Hammer 43:48
Max Hammer Strength 36:53
Hammer Power 39:10
Hammer Conditioning 30:42
10 Min Ab Chisel 10:56
10 Min Ab Hammer 12:29
The Master’s Cardio 17:38
Hammer Build Up 32:59
Power Chisel 30:16
15 Min Leg Hammer 18:41
15 Min Glute Chisel 17:53

As you can see the longest workout is Total Body Hammer which is 43:48 minutes long so even those with the busiest of schedules will be able to fit these amazing workouts in. Your average workout time will be about 35 minutes and Hammer and Chisel is a 6 days on and 1 rest day. Don’t let the length of the workouts fool you, they are tough, each and every one of them. If you have not workouts in awhile I would not suggest starting with Hammer and Chisel for your “Ali like” return to the ring. Yes, there is a modifier but these workouts are tough and there is a better option if you are just getting started.

Hammer and Chisel Time Commitment

Now that you know how long the Hammer and Chisel workouts are will you be taking the plunge? Are you ready to commit, on average 35 minutes a day, for the next 60 days, for a more fit, healthier you? I hope you say  YES and I promise you will not be disappointed. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Ready to get started?

Click here to order Hammer and Chisel now!

Breaking news: You can now “try” Hammer and Chisel FREE for 30 day with our Beachbody On Demand. You will also have access to other workouts like P90X, Insanity, TurboFire, Brazil Butt Lift, T25, 21 Day Fix Extreme, P90X One on One’s and many others. (great value)

Energy and Endurance pre-workout formulaBeachbody Energy and Endurance Pre-Workout formula review.  So here at Team Beachbody we recently had a new product release, a pre-workout formula call Energy and Endurance pre-workout formula.  It definitely peaked my interest so I ordered it and decided to give it a try so I could review it.  First off, let me say that my favorite thing about the  Energy and Endurance pre-workout formula is that in contains no artificial flavors, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial preservatives and no high-risk or untested ingredients.

How much Energy and Endurance  formula did I take?

The recommended serving size is 1 to 2 scoops. 2 scoops for an intense workout and 1 scoop for a moderate work out.  I was doing P90X2 Base + Back so I decided to go for the 2 scoops. It is recommended that if you are sensitive to caffeine that you start with1 scoop and to avoid sleeplessness you should not take Energy and Endurance within 4 hours of your bedtime. (Definitely follow this rule.)

When to take Energy and Endurance Formula

You should take your Energy and Endurance pre-workout formula 15-30 minutes before your workout and you should drink it on training days only. I took mine an hour before my workout and I still felt the effects and I think I am still feeling it 2 hours after my workout.

How Will I Feel after I take Energy and Endurance Pre-workout Formula?

I can’t tell you how you will feel because there are so many variables but I can tell you how I personally felt and what my background is with pre-workout drinks.  First off let me say this.  I have never taken a pre-workout drink before.  I might drink coffee 1 day a week and I might have 1 pop/soda every two weeks or so.  I guess it is safe to say that I really don’t  get much caffeine so this is something to keep in mind.  If you drink coffee every day then you might have a different feeling than me.

OK, I know the directions say to drink the Energy and Endurance formula 15-30 minutes before your workout but I got caught up in an hour long phone call right after I drank it.  I mixed 2 scoops with about 5-6 ounces of water and I could start to feel  the effects after about 20 minutes.  When I finally started my workouts I was wired.  I was ready to bust out P90X2 like it was nobodies business. I had more energy, more endurance and I was really ready to “Bring It’ in the classic sense of the word. 🙂  Definitely got in a great workout with more reps and I really concentrated on my form. (I was focused.)

Is Energy and Endurance Pre-workout Formula for Me?

Everyone has those days where they need a little pick me up on the days they workout.  Well, Energy and Endurance will give you that “pick me up”. (At least it did for me.)

What does Energy and Endurance Pre-workout formula Taste Like?

Energy and Endurance formula has a lemon-lime taste.  I definitely liked it better with less water.

How do I buy Energy and Endurance Pre-workout Formula?

That’ the easy part, you can order it right here and it should be on your doorstep in about 5-7 days. Also remember, when you order on Home Direct you will get FREE SHIPPING!!

Order Energy and Endurance Pre-workout Formula Now!!

Be sure to leave us a comment below after you have tried Energy and Endurance pre-workout formula and let us know what you think.

Insanity Workout Day 5: Pure Cardio

Insanity Pure CardioDay 5 with Shaun T and Insanity is Pure Cardio and let me tell it should be called “You are never going to make it through this workout alive”.  (just kidding) This is probably the hardest cardio workout I have ever done.  Looking for a break during the workout?  So was I, there are no breaks.  If you can make it through this one then you are in really good shape. I had to stop a couple times.   Just imagine that you are completely worn out and at the end of your workout and now you have to do push up jacks.  Geez!  Those are hard enough when your not worn out. I love the challenge though and you will to.  Once again my legs were abused during this workout. I can’t imagine not being in decent shape prior to starting Insanity.  I don’t think I would be able to make it up the stairs very well. (lol)

I have also been eating really good these past 5 days.  I want to stress the importance of following the Insanity Nutrition Plan. If you keep eating a Big Mac every day you are not going to get your best results.  When I say nutrition plan people often here the word diet.  This is no diet by any means.  You eat 5 times a day but you are just making better choices now.  You are giving your body what it needs to fuel it.  So stick with the Nutrition plan and stick to your workouts and you will see some awesome results.

5 Ways to Burn a Ton of Calories Outdoors

Nik and Taylor

Nik and Taylor

We all know that it is so much nicer when you can get your workout in outdoors instead of being in the basement or at the gym.  It is a great change of pace and it’s nice to feel the sun on your face and take in the fresh air. So here are 5 ways to enjoy the outdoors and burn a ton of calories in the process.

1. Go Hiking in the Woods- Hopefully you live near a state park or metro park where you can go do some hiking.  This burns about 400 calories an hour.  The uneven terrain and the up and down inclines of the land will force you to use more muscle fibers that will engage your core a lot more.  It’s a great change from just walking down the sidewalk and you get to take in the scenery.

2. Go Outside and Wash Your Own Car- Turn on the radio and get washing.  This will burn about 250 calories an hour.  Beats waiting in a long line at the car wash.  Plus you know the job will be done right and you don’t have to worry about your antenna being torn off.

3. Go for a Bike Ride- Biking will strengthen your lungs and your legs at the same time.  Biking is also a great alternative to running or walking, as it is low impact.  Biking burns about 270 calories and hour.  Be safe and be sure to wear your helmet.

4. Cut your Own Grass and Do Your Own Gardening- This is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and relax.  You could burn up to 360 calories an hour just by doing your own yard work.

5. Play Soccer with your Kids- Get a soccer ball and some cones from the local athletic store and set them up in the backyard.  With all that running and flat out sprinting at time you could burn up to 470 calories an hour while putting smile on you kids face.

Be sure to apply the sunscreen before you venture out so you don’t get sunburn.  Enjoy the summer because before you know it winter will be at our doorstep once again. (If you live in the Midwest) Calorie burning examples are based on a 145-pound woman, if you weigh more you will burn more calories.

Want to get extreme and burn up to 100 calories per work out? Check out Shaun T Insanity.

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