Stop training for multiple hours to burn your calories. As we always discuss, it’s about how our boyd burns calories for the additional 24-48 hours after exercise that makes the difference. Keep your training sessions to less than an hour, and preferably around 45 minutes. Testosterone and growth hormone peak around 30 minutes of intense exercise and are the primary hormones for building muscle and losing fat.
The theory of somatotypes, which suggests there are three general builds that a person can possess, has always been debated due to its lack of scientific and physiological proof. However, I feel it still serves as a tool to be used for understanding your genetics in relation to how you should eat and exercise in order to achieve your fat and weight loss goals.
As I mentioned in one of my previous articles, not everyone can train nor eat the same in order to achieve their goals, and it is extremely important to recognize this to determine the most effective method to get the most optimal results. It should also be noted that depending on your genetics and body type, some physiques may not be realistic for you, which I also mentioned in my latest article http://wp.me/p49Iw6-a1 .
So, what are the body types, and how can I use them to decide which training style will benefit me the most?
- Very thin and long body. Normally has a high basal metabolic rate (BMR) and does not have trouble losing weight.
- Tends to struggle in gaining muscle mass and making strength gains.
What You Should Do.
- Females: Use a combination of resistance training methods using moderate-heavy weights (75-95% Max or 3-10 repetitions) supersetting upper and lower body exercises.
- Males: Use slightly heavier loads (normally 80% + or 8 repetitions or less) supersetting antagonist muscle groups (chest and back) as well as upper and lower supersets.
- Muscular build. Has a normal BMR but must watch eating habits more strictly than ectomorphs.
- Has little trouble putting on muscle and almost seems to gain muscle mass by simply watching other people workout.
What You Should Do.
- Females: Avoid use of high repetition resistance training (10 reps or higher). This will not make you “toned” but only add to the process of you gaining muscle mass. Focus instead on a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic exercise such as full body heavy weighted circuits, metabolic circuits, and interval cardio training with shorter rest periods than males.
- Males: Similar guidelines as females. More emphasis on utilizing resisted circuit training with heavy loads, explosive/plyometric training, interval training, and limited rest periods.
- Larger frame than most people with high susceptibility to gaining fat around the abdomen for men, and hips and thighs for women.
- More focus should be put toward creating better nutritional habits as they will gain weight the easiest. The saying “you can’t outwork a bad diet” pertains to this group more so than the others.
What You Should Do.
- Although any activity for this population is beneficial, more focus should be placed on metabolic circuits and interval training than on strict resistance training.
Which One Are You?
Sometimes its hard to tell which body type we possess because we’ve been stuck in this body for quite some time and see ourselves every day. A good frame of reference is to pull up old pictures from childhood and early adulthood. This can generally help identify which build you more closely resemble. If you were always skinny growing up and in our earlier adult years and now you’re heavy, then you’ve just gotten lazy over the years and need to get your butt in gear! Use this information as a guide to understand which exercise protocols are best for helping you lose weight and/or decrease body fat for a leaner physique.
Every day I walk into a gym I shake my head. I’m never surprised about what I’m witnessing, just severely disappointed. I thought this would be a great opportunity to let out some frustration, so this post will be dedicated to a few of the most popular exercises that certain people do that have little to no affect. Keep in mind, I’m talking about those strictly interested in losing weight and body fat and getting into great shape. So, what exercises should you avoid doing at all costs?
1. Hip Adductor/Abductor Machine
- Not only is this an isolation exercise that burns a limited amount of calories during and after your workout, these same muscle tend to be overactive in most people and should only be worked through movement based exercises, where they are worked just as well anyway.
Do Instead: Full Range of Motion Squats(all variations), Lunges and Step-ups (all directions), Dead Lifts (all variations)
2. Upright Row/Front Raises
- Upright rows tend to place a large amount of stress on the supportive structures of the shoulder girdle, while medial rows do close to nothing. Not to mention most of these exercises are done with poor posture and movement patterns that only exacerbate deep structural deficiencies.
Do Instead: Full Range of Motion Bench press/Push-ups (all variations), Overhead pressing (all variations except behind the head)
*If you MUST do upright rows, do them laying down. This puts your body in a less comparable position and corrects malalignment in your posture.
3. Knee Extension Machine
- Knee extension exercises are often done with too much weight at the wrong tempo, and places excessive force on the patella (knee cap). If your goal is weight loss and fat reduction, you’re simply wasting your time. You’ll get more bang for your buck by doing compound exercises such as squats and lunges.
4. Ab Exercises with your torso locked in place
- I love rotational exercises for the obliques, but never lock your upper body down in order to rotate the lower body to do so. Doing this creates mobility in the lumbar spine (where we don’t want it) and decreases mobility in the thoracic spine and shoulders (where everyone absolutely needs it)
Do Instead: Standing oblique rotations with band or cable, side laying V-ups, side plank thread the needles
Although certain isometric exercises have their place, if you are as busy as any of my clients, your time could be better spent! If your goal is fat loss and weight loss, stick to compound lifts and supersets that train the entire body.
If you’re one of those people that is continuously rotating the shoulder after every set of push-ups, bench presses, or overhead press variation, then there’s a good chance, for a lack of a better phrase, your shoulders are pretty jacked up! And not in a good way. Part of the reason is most people don’t work the antagonist (opposite) muscle group for the above movements; rhomboids, trapezius (mainly lower), posterior deltoid, seratus posterior, and lattissimus dorsi. These muscles are activated by doing exercises such as rows, pull-downs, and extension exercises.
Now, although these exercises could help with the muscular imbalance you’ve created, chances are you’re doing them improperly. I’ve seldom met a person who performs these exercises correctly unless they were an advanced trainee or were involved in the health and fitness field, and even most of them do it wrong! For the majority of the population, when doing any type of pulling exercises, it is important to start with the scapula, or shoulder blades, slightly protracted (pushed forward) and then retract (pull) the scapula, gliding them against the posterior ribcage. This will better activate the antagonist muscles mentioned above. In this movement they would be labeled the agonist muscle group.
1. Shoulders down and back
- some people may have difficulty with this, but just the cue will help you activate the correct muscle groups to perform the motion
2. Elbows even with the back,
- elbows jetting passed the posterior ribs is a sign of hyperextension of the humerus in the glenohumeral joint. This is just making the problem worse!
3. Ribs down
- not allowing the ribs to flare up during the lift is essential in making sure the movement is being performed with the muscles surrounding the scapula, and not cheating it with the muscles of the lower back
Below are pictures representing the correct vs incorrect posture for the two most common pulling variations
1. Horizontal Row (Incorrect)
- Notice the forward head, upward rotating scapula (high shoulders), and elbows jetting out the back? Kind of looks like the posture I already see in most people. This will not make the problem any better.
1A. Horizontal Row (Correct)
- Shoulder blades retracted, elbows even with the back, ribs down.
2. Supinated Pull-Down (Incorrect)
- Notice the forward head, upward rotating scapula (high shoulders), and elbows in front of the body
2A. Supinated Pull-Down (Correct)
- Shoulders down and back (think into the hips), elbows even with the ribs, head back/chin tucked, and ribs down
If you have trouble activating those shoulder blades properly, drop the weight, and pull better! Your shoulders, lower back, and posture will thank you for it!
Try these next time you’re in the gym to sculpt and tone those glutes!
A huge debate regarding squatting is whether to practice full range of motion squats (squatting below parallel at the knees) versus partial squats (squatting to 90 degrees at the knee joint). HERE’S SOME INFO YOU MAY NOT KNOW!
1. Deep squatting is better for performance such as sprinting and jumping.
2. Deep squatting burns more calories and leads to a better body composition than partial squats
3. Deep squatting increases cross-sectional area of muscle more than partial squats.
BUT WHAT ABOUT MY KNEES AND BACK?
1. There is more force on the knee at the bottom of partial squats than there is at full squats.
2. Full range of motion is better for strengthening the hips, quads, hamstrings, and core muscles to protect your knees and back.
3. Partial squats have shown to be poor practices as they have a negative effect on the discs of the back and structures of the knee, as well as shortening the muscles for their desired range of motion.
4. There is NO SCIENTIFIC evidence to suggest that deep squatting is bad for the meniscus or other structures of the knee, or that knees going over the toes puts excessive force on the knee.
5. You put the same amount of force on the knee going down a flight of stairs, and your knee passes way over your toes when doing so!
6. The leading causes of meniscal injuries include; being overweight, inflexible tissues surrounding the knee, weak tissues surrounding the hip and knee, and being a female because of wider hip width.—Deep squatting will help with all of these issues! Partial squats won’t!
10 RULES FOR RESISTANCE TRAINING:
1. Use primarily compound exercises: exercises such as squats, deadlifts, pull-downs, bench press etc.
2. Train with heavy weights to burn fat: the greater the load, the greater metabolic stress on the body.
3. Train from the inside out: A) The larger muscle groups are closer to the center of gravity (belly). Train those large muscle groups first in your workout and move outward. Weakness in the core means weakness in the extremities. Strengthen your core with basic body weight exercises before moving to weight assisted exercises.
4. Pull 2x as much as you push: Self explanatory. Train the posterior chain to get stronger, burn more calories, and stay healthy!
5. Use a variety of methods: Vary the reps, sets, exercises, and rest period as often as possible for continual growth and safeguard yourself from plateaus.
6. Use FULL RANGE OF MOTION: Take the muscle through its full range of motion with good form. It burns more calories, increases strength, and protects you from injury.
7. Have a goal and Know how to reach that goal: Don’t workout blindly! Know what you want to achieve and find out how to get there. You wouldn’t drive to a foreign state without a destination and a map would you?
8. Track your work AND your rest: Record your workload (weight, reps, etc) to continue to improve, as well as track your rest periods. Certain rep ranges require a certain amount of rest. Not adhering to it will decrease performance and benefits of those exercises.
9. Do it 3-5x per week: If you only have 3-5 hours per week, it should primarily be spent doing VARIOUS types of resistance training that can cover all of your needs.
10. Change it up!: Find a program, stick to it, get the results, and then move on! Doing the same old thing will get you the same old results!