Some people are enthusiastic when it comes to attaining goals when losing weight and have an adequate amount of time and money to join a gym and exercise every single day. On the contrary, some people don't want to take an expensive gym membership and don't have sufficient time or find gym too boring. According to most health professionals, one needs to follow recommended diet and regular exercise.
Of course, this combination has a proven track record of helping in losing weight and maintaining the same for a prolonged time.
Though moderate intensity exercise is beneficial for improving and maintaining your health, over fifty studies have revealed that exercise may not be the ultimate way to lose weight. Exercise can help you maintain a svelte physique and develop fat-burning muscle, but there're other ways that you can apply to shrink your waistline. In a nutshell, you don't necessarily need to join an expensive gym to maintain your daily exercise regimen.
10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight by Not Going to the Gym
According to several studies, dietary changes can have a significant effect on weight loss compared to regular physical activity. Furthermore, there're lots of other ways to exercise and lead an active lifestyle that doesn't involve hitting the gym. However, if you want to have a toned body, here're ten easy non-gym techniques that'll help you shed those extra pounds.
Step 1. Commit to a lifestyle change
To lose extra pounds, you need to have a proper calorie deficit program in place; this means you'll have to consume less amount of calories and burn more of that. Lifestyle changes can significantly help you to attain that.
Developing healthier habits can help you to reach your overall goal of weight loss. Many people fail to lose weight by following the latest trends such as diet drinks because they can provide you with an adequate amount of nutrition but fail to get you moving, change your mindset or make you accountable.
Here's a list of some key things that would help you to change your lifestyle and thus lose weight.
Try to have seven to nine hours sleep every night because inadequate sleep increases your hunger and cravings the next day
Maintain good sleep hygiene such as turning off all electronic devices and lights
Keep track of your daily food and beverage intake
Maintain proper nutrition and diet
Increase your daily activity levels
Set healthier habits and mindset
Sometimes, weight loss becomes an uphill task, particularly when you've been trying to lose weight for a prolonged amount of time. Getting support from family members or friends is a good idea to stay motivated.
Step 2. Focus on your diet
In today's hectic lifestyle, many people don't have sufficient time to give a thought about their body's requirements and fill it with processed, unhealthy foods such as chips, burgers, etc. and that's one of the main reasons they fail to succeed in their weight loss endeavor.
Regardless of the fact that you've joined a gym or not, consuming clean and staying away from junk food, is a definite way to lose extra weight. You need to make sure that your intake of carbs is paired with protein or fat. This combo will help you avert your blood sugar as well as insulin levels from increasing and then back down to aid you feel fuller, thus cut calories effortlessly. So, it's advisable that you should concentrate on eating less but healthy instead of suffering yourself on a skipped workout.
Here're what an ideal diet plan should include.
Keep your intake of high-calorie at a moderate level
Eat five to six small meals instead of three big meals
Try to consume most calories before the noon
Eat whole fruits than fruit juice
Go high on vegetables
Eat only when you feel hungry
Stay away from white foods such as sugar, white rice, white bread, etc.
Consume grilled or boiled foods
Concentrate on eating lean protein and fresh fruits
Cycling comes with a multitude of benefits. Apart from making blood circulation better, improving cardiovascular health, muscle toning, this simple form of medium physical training helps to burn calories – 400 to 1000 per hour, based on the rider weight and intensity.
Here are some additional health benefits that you would get from cycling.
You'll have quality sleep
It lowers the signs of aging and makes you look younger
Boost your bowels
Sparkle your brain power
You'll be able to beat illness
You'll burn more fat
Make you happy by releasing feel-good endorphins
Lower cancer and heart disease risk
Help you to control diabetes
Reduce depression and stress
Apart from all these benefits, cycling empowers you to keep the environment pollution free to a great extent as it lowers the emission of the greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur oxides.
Step 4. Turn up the music
While you can find some motivational and upbeat music always playing in today's gym to boost the members' motivation, you can still reap the benefits of music when you're performing physical activities somewhere else. Make your workout sessions an occasion for wearing the iPod or MP3 player and listening to some favorite tunes.
Music is a great motivator, and it becomes even more enjoyable when you can perform to the beats. Many athletes across the globe listen to their favorite music while training because music leaves a positive effect on the limbic system of our brain. Millions of people from the realm of fitness world use music as a great driving force. Simply re-stocking your playlist can trigger a pleasant boost in your workout intensity.
Music can also modify your mood meaning even if you're feeling tired, playing a particular song can dramatically change your mood and raise your exercise intensity almost instantly while making you distraction-free and extremely focused.
According to research conducted by Brunel University School of Sport and Education, listening to music while exercising can enhance your endurance up to 15 percent. Furthermore, motivational music can help you finish the final four reps of a challenging set. If music isn't your cup of tea, you can always try simple instrumental or sounds of the Mother Nature instead.
Step 5. Go to sleep before 10 PM
Sleeping plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health, but it becomes even more critical when it comes to weight loss. According to studies, insufficient sleep affects the body's hunger hormones thus enhancing your hunger and cravings the next day.
Less sleep is synonymous with high levels of stress hormone cortisol that increases your appetite. A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that sleep-deprived people usually eat approximately 300 more calories each day. So, if you're not sleeping enough, sleeping poorly, or having problems going to sleep, you must address the underlying problem.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep aids to optimize the levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, both of which play a significant role in controlling your metabolism and hunger levels. It may sound daunting to miss out on your favorite serial late at night but that one hour of extra sleep can pay you off, especially when your goal is to lose weight. Here're some tips that you can follow to have an adequate amount of good night's sleep each day.
Try to have seven to nine hours of sleep every night, this is a common recommendation and should provide sufficient amount of rest for most of the adults.
Exercise good sleep hygiene such as stop using stimulating devices like TV, tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc. – approximately thirty minutes before trying to fall asleep.
Step 6. Drink lots of water
Did you know we often fail to differentiate between hunger and thirst and end up eating when what we needed was just a glass of water? Yes, that's true. 60% of the time, people respond to their thirst by eating (and not drinking water) as they get confused and think of that as hunger.
Drink a glassful of water and wait for 15-20 minutes to see if the hunger subsides. If it does, you would have done yourself a great favor by avoiding unnecessary snacking. Drinking adequate water (about 2 liters a day) will keep you feeling fuller.
You may even drink a glass of water before your meals to ensure you eat less, which would let you beat the flab. Drinking lots of water would keep you hydrated, encourage improved digestion, let you have clearer skin and make your body metabolize fat better.
However, don't drink aerated drinks and sugar-laden beverages to quench your thirst as they do more harm than good. Opt for plain water instead to enjoy the benefits.
Step 7. Skip elevators, use stairs instead
Taking the stairs, especially for going up, will give you a low impact workout that offers optimal benefits in minimum time. Remember – stairs are almost everywhere though they are rarely used as a means of staying in good shape.
Why use the stairs? There's a perfectly good escalator I can use?! Duh!
Rather than cycling or jogging at a moderate pace an incline, stair climbing can help to shed the flab due to the vertical component in it. Since it makes your body work against the gravitational force, it's a bit more challenging and lets you burn more calories than you would when cycling or jogging for the same period.
Since stairs give you a free workout where you don't need to buy costly equipment or pay for steep gym membership fee, you can include this form of exercise in your daily routine. Apart from helping you in losing weight, climbing stairs can even help your knees and joints. So, skip elevators the next time you see the stairs and take the latter instead to keep your body moving as part of your daily physical workout.
Step 8. Learn to manage stress
Stress has become an inevitable part of modern lifestyle, and you can't run away from it. So, the next best thing is to manage it well. When you are stressed, you often end up eating wrong, unhealthy foods, which add to your weight. You even have problems with sleep and may encounter other health ailments, all of which would eventually make you sick. So, find ways to cope with and manage stress effectively.
Exercising daily, practicing meditation and deep breathing techniques, tai-chi and Pilates are some ways that many have put their trust to beat the blues. You too can take your pick from these to manage stress. Additionally, lean back on your social support system (family, friends, etc.) to discuss matters that can trigger stress to find solutions or coping mechanisms.
Being proactive in this way would help you to steer clear of stress which would have otherwise buckled you down. Plan your day before starting work or your household chores to tackle each element of your agenda on time and efficiently as being unorganized too can create a lot of stress in your life.
Step 9. Skip TV
Being a couch potato would do you no good. Of course, you can watch your favorite TV show or the news but spending a majority of your waking hours perched in front of the TV would only add to your weight.
Keep moving to stay in shape. Do the household chores, rustle up a quick meal, enjoy a few laps in the local swimming pool, go out to shop for the groceries, or simply play out in the open with your friends.
Take a walk in the park, or go cycling in the neighborhood – do whatever you feel like to stay active rather than sitting idle all day long in front of your TV and eating loads of unhealthy snacks.
In case you find skipping TV an uphill task (which most of you may!), at least make an effort to limit the perils. For instance, you could do a few squats or pushups every time a food-related ad is aired, or do a couple of jumping jacks during the TV commercials to challenge yourself.
Step 10. Have Fun and Don't Give Up
Fitness isn't just about gyms and treadmills. You can stay fit by planning your regular activities to give you some necessary workouts without the need of having to go to the gym.
From taking the stairs instead of the elevators and walking down to your grocery shop, to find a fitness buddy who can give you company during those morning runs or evening laps in the pool, it's all about striking a balance between what you love and what your body needs to stay fit.
Rather than being boring, your typical exercise session should be fun and exciting. Despite the sweat session, you should be eager to get back to the routine the next day – that's what true fitness and real motivation are all about! There would be days when you may feel like running away or simply stopping, don't give into the temptation. Keep saying to yourself you are doing this for your good and stick to the plan.
Continue having fun while giving your body the necessary workout and you will soon find that the consistent effort gets paid well in the form of a fit and active body that's radiating a healthy glow.
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Emma Johnson works as a content editor for Best Brands HQ. She likes to blog about Fitness and Camping. In her free time, she loves to cycle, swim and trek a lot.
Do you find positive lifestyle changes difficult to maintain?
Odd question, I know.
But if you give me a few minutes of your time, I'd like to share a few personal stories with you and why I'm excited to finally provide my clients – my Tribe – with something I've been working on with my wife, Christie, for the past year and a half.
Change is difficult, especially when it goes against our present conditioning – our M.O. if you will.
So many of the choices we live each day are made without our mindful presence. We just are. We just do. But if you are frustrated with a life of ‘just's' then read on.
Making lifelong shifts, changing habits and living a mindful lifestyle is a challenge, but not as difficult as one may feel if given the right tools and framework – but I'm getting ahead of myself.
I bet if you think long and hard about it, you can remember coming to a number of crossroads in your life. Those moments when you have been presented with a choice and could have gone left or right, knowing that if you went LEFT you would be moving closer to who you were wanting to be in life, however, in the moment, you chose RIGHT. Then you spent months lamenting, thinking about, and regretting your choice from that fateful day at the crossroads. You knew the best path to walk, yet you chose the opposite.
Why do we continuously repeat this pattern in our lives?
You aren't alone in your frustration. I know exactly how you feel.
I remember when I was a preteen and battling morbid obesity. I came to what I felt was a cross-road over and over again, yet to only discover it was more of a round-about which seemed to never stop.
I traveled round-and-round-and-round, trying to lose the weight, having some success here and there, but inevitably always gaining it back and often more than I had lost in the first place… it took 5 years of continuous attempts to get healthy until I finally made my choice to get healthy stick. I had a personal breakthrough which shifted my view of myself and current choices, and I never looked back. Living a lifestyle of health became my norm… but it didn't stay that way forever. Fast forward 15 years and I found myself at another crossroads.
Fast forward 15 years and I found myself at another crossroads.
In my early 30's, I found that one of my favorite pastimes was to numb myself at the end of a stressful day with a half bottle of wine (sometimes more). I knew it wasn't aligned with who I was or how I was wanting to live my life, but I continuously chose to uncork the bottle and drink myself into a cloudy consciousness.
Last week I alluded to an emotional article I've been working on. This is my story of how I chose my life over a bottle. It wasn't because I had to, but because I wanted to. Not an easy decision, but the hard ones rarely are. I've spoken about this openly on a few podcast interviews and speeches, as well hinted at it in my book – but this is how the day played out back in January 2010. #AddictionFreeLife – full article published at: http://daim.co/LifeFreeOfAddiction
It wasn't until after a number of failed attempts to change, I found myself at what I felt was my final set of crossroads and that the next decision would be my last. It was in that moment that I ultimately saw my choice as the only choice – I chose my life over that of a bottle.
Interesting when we are presented with some extreme reality that we finally choose the path we should have chosen in the first place, isn't it?
And yes, things tend to happen in 3's don't they?
Most recently about 2 years ago, my wife Christie and I, set in motion a decision to live our lives a little differently.
I was working 70 to 80 hours a week, over-stressed, under-rested, and disconnected from my closest relationships including those of my family. As a father of 2 growing girls and a dedicated husband, I realized that who I wanted to be and the life I was living at the time we're both heading in different directions. I made one of the scariest decisions in my life to that point and chose to change my situation, leaving a career of 17 years behind.
I opted to pursue a down-sized, minimalist lifestyle so I could spend more time with family and chase a number of passions and goals I had created for myself, one of which included writing and publishing my book, The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto.
Hoorah! Look what I found at Barnes and Noble?! #WLFMRoadtrip
Life presents us all with many choices, but how do we trust our judgment to chose the right path?
As a coach, I tend to find I often answer a question with another question… so let me ask you this…
What path feels right to you? (And why do you think that you feel that way?)
You are probably wondering why am I sharing these stories with you. They aren't exactly something you normally hear from a health, fitness, and lifestyle coach.
I share these stories for a reason.
You see, I could have kept eating the junk food I loved, could have kept playing video games instead of going for a bike ride. I could have chosen to keep drinking a 1/2 bottle a day, neglecting my responsibilities and lying to myself that I was happy with my current state of being. I could have kept working at my career and living a comfortable life, accepting that my passions and visions were an unattainable goal and just kept doing what I was doing.
Those would have been the EASIEST choices to make. But they didn't feel right to me anymore. And I chose to do something about it.
Sustained lifestyle changes are difficult.
For many of us, life is on auto pilot. There exists a lot of patterns, habits and daily rituals that occur over and over in our lives. These seemingly innocent choices compound and can contribute to taking us further away from health. Further away from fitness. Further away from our personal goals, ambitions, and what was once our purpose in life.
It's been my biggest struggle as a coach – both personally and professionally.
I've dealt with 1000's of clients over my 20+ years in the health and fitness industries. I've seen too many self-sabotaging patterns recur for my clients, and I'M DONE WITH IT!
And that brings us to WHY Christie and I set out to create a single program to deal with all the pieces we struggle with, offering a plan to rewrite our personal user manuals and ultimately become the architects of our own lives.
It's a lifestyle program, not some ‘eat this, don't eat that', ‘do this, don't do that' or ‘think this, don't think that' kind of program. If that's what you want, we can't provide it, but if you are open to truly diving in and learning about what we've created, and want to see if it's a fit for you, and you a fit for us as your coaches, then I invite you to apply.
What is the Whole Life Manifesto Coaching and Mentorship Program?
The Whole Life Manifesto Coaching Program is a lifestyle transformation from the inside-out. It involves whole-life fitness that blends mindset, personal development along with nutrition, fitness, and accountability coaching.
Most of our clients have a specific lifestyle goal — release a few pounds, increase lean muscle, greater focus, confidence, more restful sleep, reduce life's stresses, healthier skin, and better sex – we have learned from working with 1000's of clients over the past 20 years, that small and sustainable changes work best to attain long-term results.
The other thing we’ve grown to understand is that often a lack of health and happiness is not due to ones’ knowledge, but typically a result of a stressful life and a lack of prioritizing an investment in one's self.
Is this program for you?
For this reason, we developed The Whole Life Manifesto, online coaching system. A group coaching program for men, women, and couples, which enables you to implement sustainable changes in your nutrition, fitness, mindset and overall lifestyle, with the daily support of like-minded individuals and a qualified team.
To achieve the life goals you want and deserve, you must be open to guidance, and be willing to make a lifestyle change. In our program, you're not alone and we are committed to your results.
In the words of one of our clients:
Dai and Christie have taught me that although life is busy there is always enough time in a day to dedicate to ME! I deserve it! On the other hand, they’ve also taught me not to beat myself up if there is a day here and there that I cannot do ‘my plan’. It's life! I can honestly say I love the person I am becoming more and more every day thanks to Dai and Christie! – Carmen
Because we are so committed to you achieving your goals and want our program to be the last “diet, fitness and lifestyle program” that you ever invest your money into, we require a minimum 3-month commitment, although most of our clients choose to extend.
Through the Whole Life Manifesto Coaching Program, you will receive:
A Complimentary Transformation Call before starting to make sure it’s the right program for you
Nutrition Coaching based on your goals and the behaviors required to move you forward in reaching and sustaining a high-level of functional health
Personalized Fitness Plan incorporating support for any relevant areas of functional fitness
Shopping lists, checklists, cheat sheets, action lists, educational modules, and more
Workout & Nutrition App to track and report your customized workouts and provide direct accountability check-ins with your coach. (smartphone required to access)
Two 1-on-1 Calls within the first month to get you successfully started and orientated
Access to weekly Group Coaching Calls.
Access to Course Resources, Videos and Recipes via your own login to a unique members site
Access to a Private Group for daily questions and support
Accountability through our unique Accountability System to make sure no one gets left behind
Priority booking on all Live Events
Advice on Testing and Supplements
Tools to Improve Physical, Emotional and Spiritual health
Access to book a 1-on-1 call at any time to deal with any challenges
This life transforming program is facilitated by lifestyle and performance coaches, Dai and Christie Manuel. With over 16 years’ experience in working as a couple, parenting, coaching, and relationship/lifestyle mentorship – our motto is simple, ‘lead by showing, not telling’. Through Dai’s award-winning blog DaiManuel.com, and the 28-Day Whole Life Fitness Manifesto movement, we’re honored to have helped 1000’s of people transform their physical and emotional health.
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I thought I was fit and healthy when I started but now I feel better inside and out. I've changed the way I see exercise, what and how I eat, how much sleep I get and how I manage my day which impacts on my relationship with my kids, my family, my colleagues and everyone I meet in my day. I couldn't have changed so quickly if it had not been for Dai, Christie and the WLFM. They are really so passionate about what they do and it comes across so naturally and easily. It is a daily lifestyle, not a flash diet. It does work in with hectic lifestyles, unlike other fitness plans and it takes into account the whole person, not just the fitness. – Sharon
There are several impressive things about Dai's coaching style: The ability he has to engage an entire room of athletes. Dai is good at fostering a supportive learning environment through demonstration & knowledge that is both encouraging and engaging. A wealth of knowledge that invited me to have more of a holistic outlook in regards to health and well-being. Most importantly is inclusion. Dai always fosters community. If the saying goes “it takes a community to raise a child”, then Dai is able to do this through his style of coaching. – Todd
Before joining WLFM I had a gym membership but hated going to the gym. I'd go randomly, struggled to establish a routine, and would eventually just stop going altogether. Then a few months later I'd try again and repeat the same cycle. Before joining, I never had any true strength. I didn't know what it meant to lift with my legs and I couldn't flex my biceps because I didn't have any. I'd avoid physical challenges, and get other people to do any heavy lifting for me. Before joining, my snow pants didn't fit, and they haven't for 5 years. It's a big deal to me because I love to ski and every time I would ski I was reminded of my decline in fitness and strength. I finally decided to take exercising seriously and made myself follow the workouts for 12-weeks. At the end of 12 weeks, I have a daily exercise routine I love, a supportive coach, and community, excitement about exercise and health, and I feel strong, stable, and comfortable in my body. Oh, and my snow pants fit! I'm thankful to you Dai for creating the WLFM, and for supporting his tribe members. I am forever grateful and excited about this way of life. – Sarah
Family is one of our pillars… Where one goes, we all go.
We only work with people who are 100% committed and know that change is the only option. If this scares you, then it’s probably exactly what you need.
We invite you to apply to be part of the program and to schedule your complimentary transformation call for more information. Simply fill out the form below and we'll be speaking with you soon.
On Sunday, June 18 Prostate Cancer Foundation BC will be hosting its annual Raymond James Father’s Day Walk/Run in support of individuals and families diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Photo courtesy of Prostate Cancer Foundation BC
What is the Raymond James Father's Day Walk/Run Charity?
The Raymond James Father’s Day Walk/Run is a charity event held in several communities across British Columbia. The Run/Walk offers an opportunity to honor the prostate cancer survivors in your life and promote awareness of the third leading cause of cancer death in Canadian men.
Funds raised from the Metro Vancouver, Chilliwack, Kamloops and Kelowna Raymond James Father’s Day Walk/Run are used towards research, support groups, survivor programs and awareness of prostate cancer through Prostate Cancer Foundation BC.
Join us on Father’s Day, bring your dad or just come out to help support all the men you know. This event is a powerful way to raise awareness and funds in the fight against prostate cancer – from helping people facing the disease in your community to ensuring prostate cancer is a thing of the past for future generations. If you can’t run from it…run for it!
Illustration by Jon Izen in “Finger Up The Bum: A Guide to My Prostate Cancer.”
Michael Izen, one of Prostate Cancer Foundation BC’s biggest champions was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer at the age of 45. In 2016, Michael shared his journey with millions through his book, “Finger Up The Bum: A Guide to My Prostate Cancer.” The book was illustrated by his brother Jon Izen (local Artist and Director) and father J. Roy (Sneeze) Izen (retired Architect), and published by his wife, Gina Woolsey (Author), through Leola Productions. This family project raised over $25,000 in crowdfunding, which allowed over 250 friends and family members to share in making this book.
In his book, Michael explores some of the myths and worries that go along with a diagnosis. He understands the fears men face and uses fabulous cartoons he to cut to the chase with humor and emotion. Now at 50, Michael's time is unfortunately limited. During what time he has left, he hopes to help others and encourage those that can to continue to raise funds and spread awareness. Michael’s health is permitting him to do two talks only in June.
He will be doing a reading and book signing and Finger Up The Bum books will be available to purchase. Both talks will also have local support groups on hand to answer any questions and provide information. Partial proceeds from the sale of books will be donated to Prostate Cancer Foundation BC. For more information visit fingerupthebumbook.com
Prostate Cancer Facts & Resources
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect men, impacting one in eight men over the course of their lifetime.
Prostate Cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in Canadian men (behind lung cancer).
Prostate Cancer afflicts men 45 years of age and older, with the incidence increasing with age.
Men with a family history of Prostate Cancer are at increased risk so these examinations and tests should begin at age 40.
Prostate Cancer has no known causes or prevention.
Detection and treatment in its earliest stages (while it is still small and confined to the prostate) provides the best chance for a complete cure.
It is estimated 25,500 Canadian men will be diagnosed this year, often without symptoms in its earliest, most treatable stage. In BC 3,400 will be diagnosed and 530 will die in an average year.
Support groups are available for men who currently have, or have already recovered from prostate cancer. They provide a forum for personal discussion in an informal setting.
Prostate Cancer Foundation BC funds critical programs related to awareness and public education, advocacy, support of those affected, and research into the prevention, detection, treatment and cure of prostate cancer. The Foundation has over 20 support groups all over BC. We have been leading the way in funding young researchers, educating the public and providing resources for men and their families.
Prostate Cancer Foundation BC is a volunteer-based organization that represents BC’s prostate cancer patients, their families and their communities. The Foundation was established in 1998 by a group of prostate cancer survivors who saw the need to raise monies in order to fund and support research into the causes, detection, prevention and the treatment of prostate cancer.
The Foundation is a registered charity led by a volunteer Board of Directors, and an Executive Director, and is supported by its many volunteers. For more information visit www.prostatecancerbc.ca
Author: Leah Lariviere
Leah Lariviere is the Executive Director of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of BC. She can be reached by email at [email protected]
You've probably heard of the term “push-pull” at some point in your fitness life. Perhaps it was at the gym by that guy with the huge chest and back. Or maybe you're wondering more what it is, and not how to use it.
Although there are different ways to use this workout technique, I recommend these two: 1) You can do the push-pull during one workout with opposing muscle groups or 2) You create a weekly workout routine with “push days” and “pull days”. Either way is highly effective for growing muscle tissue and helps you recover properly.
What does this look like? Let me explain and give you some examples.
1. Push-pull workouts with opposing muscle groups
The push-pull workout technique is certainly not new. Be that as it may, its age by no means hinders its effectiveness. Even though this type of workout may sound like super-setting, it's quite different. At least when you look at the main purpose of execution for each training technique. With super-sets, you're training opposing muscle groups with almost no rest in between sets. With push-pull workouts, your rest periods are the same as a normal workout (e.g. 30-90 seconds).
Don't think this type of training is counterproductive because it has longer rest periods. Having this pause allows for – you guessed it – better intensity. Muscles that are more rested allow you to train that specific muscle with a greater degree of intensity, with respect to form. As well, versatility (i.e using opposing muscles) is always encouraged in exercise. This type of workout increases the effect of “muscle confusion”. Your muscles will be stimulated to a greater degree to promote more growth. This “confusion” is extremely important because your body will try to meet homeostasis (or training plateau) in almost any way that it can, even with exercise.
So, let me give you an example of just what I'm talking about. Look at this push-pull workout for the upper arms:
Skull crushers – 4 sets 12 reps
Barbell curls – 4 sets 12 reps
Cable tricep extensions – 4 sets 12 reps
Dumbbell hammer curls – 4 sets 12 reps
Now to turn this workout into a “push-pull” one, you would do your first set of skull crushers for the triceps, rest about 45 seconds then do a set of barbell curls, and rest for about 45 seconds. Repeat the cycle until you've reached your desired limit of sets, which in this case is 4. Working out in this way will create less build up of lactic acid in the muscles. This, in turn, will allow you to lift larger loads and squeeze out more repetitions as you begin each new set.
The Chest/Back routine is the most popular type of push-pull workout out there and for good reason. There's just something about it that makes it so simple to do. Whether it's because we naturally label these two opposing muscles as the “dominating” push-pull group – due either to their anatomical positions or convenience of thought – we seem to automatically put the two together. For example, when we think of the word “push”, we often think of pushing a door closed or doing a push-up. Less commonly thought of is the push-pull of a cable rope (tricep extensions which work the opposing muscles of the bicep and the tricep) or some other uncommon pushing movement.
Check out this Chest/Back push-pull workout:
Lat pull down machine – 4 sets 12 reps
Incline dumbbell press – 4 sets 12 reps
Smith machine row – 4 sets 12 reps
Dumbbell flys – 4 sets 12 reps
Dumbbell pullovers – 4 sets 12 reps
Push ups – 2-4 sets all to failure (burnout)
Like with the bicep/tricep workout above, you would start with the first exercise (lat pull down machine), rest about 60-90 seconds, do your second exercise (incline dumbbell press), and then repeat until you've reached your desired set limit.
Also, the dumbbell pullover exercise is incredible for both the chest and the back. If you've never done this exercise before, you can count on being extremely sore for the following few days. And more than likely you'll be sore in an area where you've probably never been sore before. This area, or muscle, is called the serratus anterior and it lies just beneath the axilla (or armpit).
2: Push-pull workout routine for the week
Now, with this variation of the push-pull workout, it's designed for having “push days” and “pull days”. This is an awesome way to mix things up and allow your muscles to rest more efficiently. For example, as you can probably imagine, to get the most out of this type of training, the biceps would compliment the back for one “pull day” workout and the triceps would compliment the chest for one “push day” workout.
You may be wondering where the legs fit into this equation. Don't worry. I'll cover that shortly.
Here is an example push-pull workout routine for a given week:
Sunday – Rest
Monday – Chest, triceps, calves
Tuesday – Shoulders, traps
Wednesday – Thighs, abs
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Back, biceps, calves
Saturday – Rest
For more frequency, try this routine:
Sunday – Rest
Monday – Chest, triceps, shoulders
Tuesday – Back, biceps, abs
Wednesday – Thighs, calves
Thursday – Chest, triceps, shoulders
Friday – Back, biceps, abs
Saturday – Thighs, calves
This type of training routine is highly effective because it allows you to combine “like” muscle groups which move similarly. As well, it will better allow your muscles to rest by using other muscle groups not fatigued by your previous day's workout.
But what about legs?…
Don't worry. I didn't forget about leg training, even though most people probably wouldn't mind that. The most effective push-pull leg workout is one that truly encompasses all major muscle groups in the legs. This will include doing leg extensions grouped with hamstring curls. Likewise, you also take advantage of the abductor/adductor machine to hit the outer thigh/glutes and inner thigh muscles. And finally, you perform calf raises grouped with reverse calf raises to hit the tibialis anterior muscle. The workout would look like this:
Leg extensions – 4 sets 12 reps
Hamstring curls – 4 sets 12 reps
Abductor machine – 4 sets 12 reps
Adductor machine – 4 sets 12 reps
Calf raises – 4 sets 12 reps
Reverse calf raises – 4 sets 12 reps
As with the previous push-pull workouts, you would combine two training movements, one after the other. So, as before mentioned you would go down the list of exercises, grouping by twos until you reached the desired number of sets per exercise.
Final thoughts on push-pull workouts…
As you can see, push-pull workouts are extremely effective and versatile. It allows you to group “like” muscles, which makes it easier for you to plan your weekly routine. And if you've done the same workout for several months, I urge you to try some push-pull workouts to prevent the dreaded training plateau. I'm sure that you'll be surprised at the progress you'll make!
Author Bio: Thomas Hlubin
When I was little I was as skinny as a rake, but at the ripe old age of 18, I started lifting weights seriously. I trained and competed as a natural bodybuilder in the SNBF and NANBF organizations, placing 4th in the novice men middleweight division at the 2012 Atlanta SNBF Championships. A year later, I competed and placed 2nd in the collegiate men division at the 2013 NANBF Natural Southern States Classic in St. Louis, Missouri. That solidified my goal to help others achieve greater levels of fitness. Today, I'm an avid blogger focused on creating content to help people improve their physical and mental health. For more of my work, check out my website Disorders.net to get information on how to improve your mental health.
We all know fitting in time to exercise is difficult, especially with a busy lifestyle – working all day and then coming home to your family, studying for school, etc… it can be hard to make time for the exercise, but this is where I can help.
I have the perfect workouts that you can do while having your downtime watching your favorite TV shows and movies. They don’t take long and doing them during commercial breaks is a great way to keep yourself motivated and your heart rate high enough to be burning a lot of calories; a nice high-intensity workout.
But before we dive into the workouts we need to assess your goals.
Before you start exercising you need to think about what your goals are, why you want to meet these goals and how you're going to do it. I’m not going to lie; it takes work, you can’t just work out for a couple of days and expect to see a massive difference quickly. You’re going to need to work at it, so you need to find your motivation. Assessing your goals and the reason behind them should give you that motivation.
So, what do you want to work out for? What is your aim? Are you just wanting to burn off some extra calories and lose a few pounds? Do you want to build some lean muscle or do you want to build overall strength? These are the things you will need to know before starting. Believe it or not, it makes a huge difference in your workouts.
If you're wanting to burn calories and lose weight you will need to move a lot quicker and more explosively without stopping until the commercials have finished.
If you want to build muscle you need to concentrate on doing a certain number of repetitions, keeping tension on your muscles, so you might get through 2-3 exercises per commercial break with 8 to 15 reps.
Workouts and Exercises that You Can Do at Home During TV Commercials
The first commercial break will be a kind of stretch and warm up to loosen you and your muscles up. This is important to prevent injuring yourself. You'll have 3 warm up moves.
First move: Squats
Make sure your feet are about shoulder width apart (or a little wider) until you're comfortable. Bend both knees, shifting your hips back as though you’re trying to sit on a very small chair behind you while drawing your shoulder blades back and down. Use your glutes (bum muscles) to return you to standing position, make sure to stretch at the bottom, and squeeze at the top.
Second move: Push-Ups
Lie face down on the floor, placing your hands shoulder-width apart, place your feet together. Using the balls of your feet and your hands, put yourself into a plank position, keeping your back straight. Lower yourself down, touch the floor with your nose and push yourself back up, for 8 reps. If this move is too intense for you, you can do these from your knees instead.
Third move: High Knees
Start by standing straight with your arms by your side, feet hip-width apart and jump from one foot to the other like you're running on the spot. Bring your knees as high as possible (hip height or use your hands and focus on touching your knee to your hands). Touch the floor with only the balls of your feet. Do this for 30 seconds.
For your main workout, I would suggest creating a little circuit you can do during commercials, with each exercise 30 seconds each, something like this:
Start with your feet hip-width apart and your arms down by your side, lower into a squat position with your hands flat on the floor in front of you. Step both legs back at the same time so you’re in a push up position, then step both legs back into the chest so you are back in the squatting position. Jump up as hard as you can with your arms raised in the air trying to touch the ceiling.
Body weight squat or a Squat Jump:
These are very similar to the squats described above, but with a small explosive jump at the end. Make sure your feet are about shoulder width apart (or a little wider) until you're comfortable. Bend both knees shifting your hips back as though you’re trying to sit on a very small chair behind you while drawing your shoulder blades back and down. Use your glutes (bum muscles) to return you to standing position, squeeze those muscles at the top. 30 seconds. (make sure to use some speed to get your heart rate up)
Begin in a normal push up position but move your feet hip-width apart and forward. Raise your hips so your body is almost in an upside down V, lower the front of your body until your chin nearly touches the floor. Then lower your hips as you raise your head and shoulders toward the ceiling. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position. 30 seconds.
Lunge forward with your right thigh parallel to the floor, swinging your arms for balance and momentum. Jump up and switch legs, landing into a lunge with your left foot forward, then repeat. Keep switching legs for 30 seconds.
Like a push up but instead of being on your hands you rest your body weight on your forearms, keeping your abdominals tight and back straight, hold for 30 seconds.
Use these workouts in a circuit for each commercial, each week add 10 seconds onto your circuit.
John is an advocate of being the most optimized version of yourself. After being in the fitness industry for many years, John decided to create a blog called Drunk With Style to share his personal knowledge that he has gathered over the years.
If you would have told me I'd be traveling half-way across the globe to do my first 1/2 marathon, I would tell you that's as likely as electing a billionaire, reality TV show host as the next President of the United States!
Hmmm… Well, guess what? I did it.
What am I doing?
It wasn't like I woke up one morning and said today's the day I commit to my first marathon… or was it?
When #VibeIsrael reached out to tell me about a unique #VibeFitness tour they were planning, I was intrigued. Myself along with 4 other online fitness personalities were invited to visit the beautiful country of Israel to experience their vibrant health, fitness, and active lifestyle culture. This sounded so great I must have missed the part about running the Jerusalem Marathon. (This makes sense as I believe my wife has always said that selective hearing is one of my finer qualities she loves about me…)
I had about 5 months to prepare. And you know what I did instead? I did anything but run. I'm not alone in this of course.
Every year around this time many people wake up on January 1st and say, “I'm going to run my first 1/2 marathon this year!”. This commitment to self may have been induced or influenced by the libations of the evening before, but morning comes extra early on the 1st as you find yourself stoked from bed with a chirping cell phone. The alert reads: “Start training for half marathon”
You chuckle at yourself, hit snooze and try to get back to sleep. You think to yourself, “Hey, how hard can running 21 kilometers be?” (The short answer, you resolve to refer to it as 13.1 miles moving forward as it doesn't sound as intimidating)
When did I start training for my first 1/2 marathon? Not soon enough!
The months, weeks, and days ticked by. I chose to continue doing what I do – CrossFit and functional fitness workouts with sporadic sprint training sessions. I was doing anything but logging mileage to prepare.
March eventually rolled around and I woke up the morning of the Jerusalem Marathon, immediately breaking into a cold sweat. ‘What the heck am I doing?', was my mantra of the hour. ‘Maybe, just maybe, I should have trained for this?'
Of course, it was too late for this type of thinking now. In a few hours, I'd be running my first 1/2 marathon through the streets of Jerusalem! I'm…
While it was a great experience, which I lived to blog about, the aftermath on my body was not worth it. I deserved everything my body threw at me for the coming weeks. What was I thinking? (or not?) Between blistering, bleeding Achilles and heels, a missing toenail, hamstrings tighter than compression gear on a 215 lbs Moose, and a general overarching feeling of #iGotMyButtHandedToMe…
It was one heck of an experience and I'm glad I did it. Seriously. Here's how I was feeling as I walked the last 600m to the finish:
Listen as a coach and someone with over 20 years of fitness industry experience, I knew better…
Even though I'm alive and kicking it now, I have to try to impart some of my practical wisdom on those who would follow in my foolish footsteps… listen up, here's…
5 Things You Should Never Do Before Running Your First Marathon
1) DON’T run with a brand new pair of shoes
The time for fancy gait analysis and specialty running shoe research has come and gone. Running a half marathon with a brand spanking new pair of kicks is not recommended. Shoes need time to bend and mold to your feet, they need to be worn in so that they are comfy and supportive. Rather run in your normal training shoes, as they have had time to break in than rushing to the store the day before. And here’s a hint, bring some band-aids along with you for when nasty cuts or blisters start to form.
By the half-way point my heels were bleeding, my nice new Skora minimalist shoes were anything but their original neon yellow. I wore sandals for the next 2 weeks and had to do 2 of my CrossFit Open workouts in lifters, which only slowed the healing process. So take it from me, break in your shoes before logging 20+ kms! (I knew this, but of course the excitement of the new shoes and bright colors overrode my logic…)
2) DON’T have a finish time
You have one goal for the marathon: finish.
Don’t let the hare's sprinting past fool you, young tortoise, keep it slow and steady and cast your ego aside for the day. Don’t compare yourself to other racers, run your own race. Believe me, it was tough being passed by everyone. In fact, the Kenyan's passed me twice – and they were running the full marathon while I was running the half. Figure that one out!
Take a close look… can you tell which one of these people looks the most tired? Yup, that would me in the back. (From L to R: Paula, Adva, Adam, Amanda and Rachele – and I'm in the back centre)
Stop if you need to, step to the side and walk if you have to. Don’t beat yourself up for stopping by the refresher stations, your body will thank you. BTW – I stopped for a lot of selfies – made me look like I was taking it all in and documenting my experience, but truth be told, I needed the rests.
And always know that when you finish, there’s an ice-cold drink waiting for you.
3) DON’T neglect your muscles
There’s no doubt that at the end of the race you will be sore – all over. I know this from personal experience!
No ice baths? No rollers? How about a dip in the Dead Sea — salt bath is great!
So before and after the race, do not neglect your muscles. Drink electrolytes, use a roller, go for a massage (or massage yourself) and do your stretches and mobility drills before and after the race. Properly taking care of your muscles by loosening them up can actually boost tissue repair, increase mobility and decrease soreness.
4. DON’T try to change your eating plans, it’s too late for that!
You’ve heard all the carbo-load hype and now that you’re running a half marathon, you think it’s time to test out this theory. The thing is, it takes time to lead up to eating boxes of pasta. Don’t cook a full Italian meal the night before if your body is not used to it. Eat food and drink beverages that you are accustomed to before your run.
If you do have a few days to spare, rather eat lean protein like chicken or fish and add carbohydrates in small amounts like veggies, fruits, rice, pasta, breads, or legumes. And if you do want to “carbo-load” – because all the cool kids are doing it – eat your largest meal 2 nights before the race and not the night before.
Why? Well, your nerves the night before the race may halt the digestion process. This can leave you feeling pretty bloated and uncomfortable on the morning of the race. And don’t forget to carry some nutrition with you! But only those that you have used before.
One more nutrition tip: Do not chug gallons of water, as this will dilute your electrolytes causing muscle weakness or cramping.
Here's a link to an interview I did with the Dad Spotlight Podcast… talking about my first 1/2 marathon experience.
Eat your pre-race breakfast 2 to 3 hours before the race start and keep sipping water up to 30 minutes before. This may mean waking up a little earlier, but you will thank yourself later. No one wants to spend 15 minutes sitting on the toilet during a race. Better to get it all out before, although – when we have to go, we have to go, right?
Keeping with the potty tips, don’t munch products with too much fiber leading up to the race, because fiber helps the digestive process. And while you’re up early, you might as well get to the race early to keep your mind occupied so that the nerves aren’t too frantic.
I came, I saw, I ran and I got the medal to prove it
So what have I learned from this experience?
So while there are about a bazillion articles out there on how to train for your first half-marathon, I’m here to tell you what NOT to do before, during and after your first one.
Listen up, if you are like me, then heed the advice and take it all in… I really wish I did! If there's one thing I most appreciate about this experience is the great friends I made along the way. If you are going to run your first marathon, believe me, Jerusalem is worth the trip. Amazing people, great food, and a beautiful countryside…
And one last thing…
Never forget, a community of supporters, like-minded people on a similar journey is all we need to take the experience from scary to fun! Now go and crush it!