Workout Video

We filmed a workout video in phoenix late last year.  The cool thing is that we used a green screen studio so we could change the location to any place in the world.  Originally we thought we would use a beach local. As we debated we thought our Christmas trip to Hawaii would be ideal to snap a picture and switch the video to the great white sandy tropical beaches on the big Island.  But when we got home we did some volunteer work at the inner city and realized that obesity was really running rampant in inner cities. So we thought about why not switch it to a city and try to motivate some inner youths to get healthy.

Statistics

35% of Adults

37% African-American women

33% Mexican-American Women

26% Wealthy Americans

32% Poor Americans

What we learned was that people living in the most poverty-dense counties have the highest rates.  This was based on an analysis of the poorest counties across the country. At first thought we didn’t understand.  If people are poor then they probably don’t have as much money to spend on food.  Further study shows that inner cities have less healthy options and are limited to more fast food high calorie chooses.

Solutions

While this blog is based on exercise we probably need to add a section on diet and nutrition.  While exercise and an active life style is key to being healthy, eating a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables is the first step. Not doing so not only results in being over weight but also hyper-tension and diabetes. One of the biggest contributors is sugary drinks and not consuming enough water. So if you want to start your journey to lose weight and become healthy please start with consuming 8 glasses of water a day.  This means don’t add sugar or flavors to the water just drink clean pure water.

Watch this video of Dr. Josh Axe talking about how much water you should drink per day.

Six-Pack Abs in Thirty Days

beach

Longing to show off six-pack abs at the beach? Well, the good news is that getting picture-perfect abs is just one month or thirty days away. All you have to do this follow this training program.

This training program works muscles from all over your body, but it gives priority to your abs, which are the first muscle group you’ll work for each session. To maximize the effect of these tried-and-tested exercises, you’ll boost intensity through various techniques. For instance, you can hold a peak contraction and perform a slow lowering portion of a rep. This will encourage the highest amount of muscularity.

The program requires you to train six days per week. Do cardio in the morning for five consecutive days; specifically, do thirty minutes of stead-state cardio before breakfast. Take your pick from walking, cycling on a stationary bike, using a stair climber, or even swimming. Just make sure you maintain the intensity at your target heart rate.

Lift in the afternoons or evenings. If you can’t perform lifting exercises in the afternoon or evening, move your lifting session to the morning and do your cardio exercises later in the day. What’s important is that you keep the two workout sessions several hours apart. Of course, you’ll have to follow a clean, healthy diet, too, so you can keep all your muscle during the month-long workout. You may even end up gaining some muscle.

This program is similar to what a professional bodybuilder would follow in the last weeks before a contest.

Days 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

A.M.: Cardio

P.M.: Abs, chest, shoulders, triceps

  • Cable Crunch – 3 sets to failure, 60-second rest
  • Machine Bench Press – 4 sets, 10 reps, 2-minute rest
    • Flex hard at the top of each rep for 1 second.
  • Incline Dumbbell Press – 4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 8 reps, 2-minute rest
    • Flex hard at the top of each rep for 1 second.
  • Barbell Incline Bench Press – Medium Grip – 4 sets, 6 reps, 2-minute rest
  • Weighted Bench Dip – 3 sets to failure, 60-second rest
  • Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise – 4 sets, 15 reps, 90-second rest
  • Standing Low-Pulley Deltoid Raise – 3 sets, 12 reps (each side), 90-second rest
    • Put a D-handle on the low pulley of a cable station, holding it with your far hand and making sure the cable at the bottom has some tension. Raise your arm 90 degrees.
  • Smith Machine Overhead Shoulder Press – 4 sets, 8 reps, 90-second rest
    • Flex hard at the top of each rep for 1 second.

Days 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

A.M: Cardio

P.M.: Rest

Days 3, 10, 17, 24

A.M.: Cardio

P.M.: Abs, back, traps

  • Jackknife Sit-Up – 3 sets to failure, 2-minute rest
  • Decline Reverse Crunch – 3 sets to failure, 2-minute rest
  • Smith Machine Bent Over Row – 4 sets, 10 reps, 2-minute rest
  • Pull-ups – 4 sets to failure, 2-minute rest
  • Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover – 3 sets, 12 reps, 2-minute rest
  • Barbell Shrug – 4 sets, 12 reps, 2-minute rest
    • Hold the top of the rep for 3 seconds.
  • Hyperextensions (Back Extensions) – 3 sets to failure, 2-minute rest
    • Hold a moderately heavy dumbbell at chest level.

Days 4, 11, 18, 25

A.M.: Cardio

P.M.: Rest

Days 5, 12, 19, 26

A.M.: Cardio

P.M.: Abs, arms

  • Decline Crunch – 3 sets to failure, 60-second rest
  • Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise – 3 sets to failure, 60-second rest
  • Triceps Pushdown – Rope Attachment – 4 sets, 20, 15, 12, 9 reps, 60-second rest
    • Flex your triceps hard in the contracted position.
  • Bench Dips – 4 sets to failure, 60-second rest
  • Decline-EZ Bar Triceps Extension – 4 sets, 10 reps, 60-second rest
  • Barbell Curl – 5 sets, 8 reps, 60-second rest
  • Preacher Curl – 4 sets, 8 reps, 60-second rest
    • Take 3 seconds to lower the bar on each rep.
  • Hammer Curls – 3 sets, 10 reps, 60-second rest

Days 6, 13, 20, 27

A.M. or P.M.: Abs or legs

  • Cable Crunch – 3 sets to failure, 30-second rest
    • Hold the contraction for 2 seconds at the end of each rep.
  • Hanging Leg Raise – 3 sets to failure, 30-second rest
  • Standing Calf Raises – 8 sets, 8 reps, 30-second rest
  • Seated Calf Raise – 3 sets, 10 reps, 60-second rest
  • Lying Leg Curls – 3 sets, 12, 9, 6 reps, 90-second rest
    • Flex your legs at the top of each rep.
  • Leg Press – Work up in weight, sets of 12 reps (until you can no longer complete 12 reps), 90-second rest
  • Hack Squat – 3 sets, 15 reps, 90-second rest
    • Go as low as possible, but come up only 3/4 of the way on every rep. Place your feet inside shoulder width.
  • Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift – 3 sets, 15 reps, 90-second rest

Days 7, 14, 21, 28

Rest.

The 4 Best Ways to Make Your Lower Abs Show

6pak

A beach-ready body isn’t really complete without six-pack abs. If you aren’t ready to rock those new surf shorts yet, you’re probably having trouble with one abdominal area in particular: your lower abs.

Fitness experts say that this is completely understandable as this area below the bellybutton can really give you trouble in terms of muscle definition and getting rid of fat around the area. And, unfortunately, six-pack abs just don’t look as good without that defined abdominal V-line on the hips.

To get your lower abs to show, you need more than just cardiovascular exercise. According to fitness experts, you’ll need a different approach altogether for these stubborn muscles.

  1. Lower your calorie intake by 500 calories.

The sad truth is that your midsection will always be covered by a layer of fat, no matter how many core workouts you do. You’ll never get your lower abs to make an appearance if you’re carrying too much body fat around your abdominal area. You need to get lean if you really want that V-line to become visible and defined.

One of the best ways to get rid of abdominal fat is to create a calorie deficit, meaning you have to eat fewer calories than you burn. Use a food journal or an app to track how many calories you consume each day. Once you figure out your average daily caloric intake, cut down your intake by 500 calories daily. Health experts say that this should be enough to encourage fat loss, melting the fat right off your belly, among other areas. Measure your body fat every two weeks to make sure you’re losing fat at the rate you like.

  1. Regulate your intake of carbohydrates.

In addition to reducing your calorie intake, limiting your carbohydrate consumption will help you get rid of belly fat, too. You can still eat starchy carbs like rice and potatoes, but make sure you eat these foods only on days when you do heavy, complex exercises. This will ensure that your body is using all that energy only for muscle growth and recovery and will help you avoid the unnecessary accumulation of fat.

Completely removing carbohydrates from your diet won’t work to your advantage, as starchy carbs are great foods for when you’re trying to make your body leaner. Carbohydrates give you the fuel you need for building up muscle, getting rid of fat, and working on your abdominal muscles. Without these foods, you won’t be able to do those intense, abs-targeting workouts at the gym.

  1. Do the right core exercises.

You’ll still need to do direct exercises for your abs if you want to get definition for your lower abs. However, not all core exercises target your lower abs; some exercises focus on the oblique muscles while other workouts target the top part of the abs.

To make sure your lower abs get the workout they need, try out the following exercises:

  • Reverse crunch x 10
  • Deadbug (lie on your back with your arms and knees above your body, extend your right arm and left leg simultaneously while exhaling, switch sides and repeat) x 10
  • Hanging alternating leg raises x 6 each
  • TRX prone pikes (get into pushup position with your feet in the TRX straps and tuck your pelvis, keep your knees straight as you pull your hips as high as you can, dropping your head between your arms) x 10

Make sure to take 30 seconds of rest between exercises and repeat for 2 to 3 sets.

  1. Boost your testosterone levels with heavy, compound exercises.

Studies indicate that low testosterone levels may be associated with a disproportionate amount of fat around the lower abdomen. So boosting your testosterone levels may help make your lower abs leaner and more defined. Bicep curls and calf raises won’t help you much here; what you need are heavy, total-body lifts that encourage massive amounts of muscle growth and promote a significant hormonal response. Heavy strength exercises also help you lose fat at a faster rate, which will make it easier for your lower abs to show.

Make sure your workout features plenty of heavy squats, lunges, deadlifts, barbell presses (bench or military), and heavy rows. Do 4 to 8 repetitions for 3 to 5 sets and go as heavy as you can while maintaining proper form.

How to Achieve a Flat Stomach

flat

Everybody wants to have a flat stomach, but are you ready to work hard for it? And, unfortunately, even if you work hard, there are some other factors that may prevent you from having a completely fat-free stomach. According to health experts, gender, genetics, and age are also major contributing factors that determine your ability to achieve a flat stomach or a six-pack abs.

Lifestyle

Your lifestyle greatly influences your ability to stay in shape and maintain a flat stomach. Of course, if you have an active lifestyle, you have a better chance of getting a flat stomach, gender, genetics, and age notwithstanding. If your lifestyle is more sedentary, you are more prone to weight gain and the accumulation of fat around your belly. Fitness experts recommend doing cardiovascular exercise and weight training every day to get rid of the fat around your abdominal area and add definition to your abs.

Diet

All your exercise for a flat stomach would be useless if you don’t follow a healthy diet. According to nutritionists and health experts, people who want six-pack abs will want to eat only lean proteins and very small amounts of fat, regulate salt intake, and stick to a healthy diet religiously. Fiber-rich foods such as beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help prevent bloating and keep your digestive system in perfect working condition. Regular consumption of water and monitoring your daily caloric intake will also help you achieve and maintain that flat stomach.

Age

Age is another factor that influences your ability to achieve a flat stomach. Unfortunately, it is true that a flat belly gets more difficult to maintain as you grow older. Health experts say that the human metabolism slows down by about 3% with each decade. This is why you may find yourself gaining weight over many years, even with no major changes to your lifestyle or diet. For women and men in their mid-40s or 50s, this slow weight gain often shows as added weight around the abdominal area.

For women, this weight gain can be somewhat worsened by the fact that perimenopause causes the accumulation of additional abdominal fat cells, like in adolescence and in childbearing years. Men, on the other hand, show the weight gain in the form of a pot belly or a hard belly, which is made of deep abdominal fat.

Genetics

Genetics affect your ability to get and maintain a flat stomach, too. Genetic predispositions to certain body shapes, for instance, may make it difficult for you to get rid of fat around your abdominal area. Scientists have discovered that the Plexin D1 gene can determine whether you accumulate more fat around your belly (apple-shaped body) or around your hips and thighs (pear-shaped body). A person with an apple-shaped body will have to work harder to remove fat from his or her abdomen.

Certain populations are also predisposed to carry more fat in their bodies. Eskimos, for instance, usually have more body fat due to centuries of acclimation to cold climates. Sometimes, a distinct body shape is evident in entire families, going back several generations.

Gender

There are many differences between the male and female body, and this is particularly obvious in the abdominal area. Women tend to have more fat cells in their abdominal area for the protection of reproductive organs and the fetus during pregnancy. In preparation for pregnancy, females also usually produce more fat cells in the abdominal area during adolescence and childbearing years. As a result, many women have a softly rounded lower belly even if they’re lean or physically fit.

With regular exercise and proper nutrition, men may be able to maintain a flat stomach much more easily as they don’t produce extra fat cells.

Getting completely flat, fat-free stomach may seem like an impossible goal, but it is possible through hard work, dedication, and maybe some good genes.

How To Determine How Many Calories To Eat

Calories is the unit used in measuring the amount of heat energy gained or lost by a body. It also commonly used in quantifying the amount of fat gained or burned in people. By association, increase in the amount of calories burned by the body means that more weight is lost.

However, abruptly cutting off calorie intake by the body does not guarantee the loss of weight in a person. It is not also a recommended means of maintaining the ideal weight of a person who desires to lose weight. It may prove to be effective for some but in most cases, people just end up being hungrier and they eventually revert back to their old eating habits.

In order to lose more weight, there are some guidelines that people can try out for themselves.

  1. INCREASED PROTEIN CONSUMPTION DECREASES FOOD CRAVINGS AND PROMOTES CALORIE-BURN

Increasing protein consumption is the most effective way of burning more calories and losing more weight. Protein molecules have been shown to aid in the promotion of metabolic processes and reduction in appetite for food.

A lot of energy is also needed to metabolize protein so a high protein diet means that more calories will be burned in the body. Moreover, studies show association between increased protein intake and decreased calorie-rich food consumption in people.

  1. DENOUNCE SOFT DRINKS

Liquid sugar calories which include sodas, fruit juices, and chocolate milk should also be avoided because these drinks contain a lot of sugar. The type of calories that these beverages have are perceived differently by the brain as compared to solid calories.

Research shows that drinks that have high sugar content is related with increased risk of obesity.

Sugar alone, on the other hand, can have harmful effects on metabolism and is also associated with the development of a number of diseases.

  1. INCREASED WATER INTAKE CAN HELP IN WEIGHT LOSS

Increased water intake helps in burning more calories in the body. Also, drinking water before meals help in the reduction of appetite for food.

In addition to water, coffee and tea which contain caffeine are also effective in promoting metabolism in the body.

  1. START EXERCISING

Long-term calorie restriction can lead to reduction in metabolic rates as wells as muscle mass. Thus, it is suggested that muscle should be exercised to prevent further decrease in metabolic rate that is associated with calorie-restriction.

Aside from gym exercises, there are also workouts that can be done at home like push up, squats, sit-ups and many more. Cardio exercises like walking or jogging can also be helpful in maximizing the effects of such exercises.

  1. REDUCE CARBOHYDRATE CONSUMPTION

Less carbohydrate intake promotes loss of appetite. There are also studies that provide evidence regarding the relationship of weight loss with low-calorie diet. In addition, low-calorie diets have positive effects on people afflicted with diabetes and other types of metabolic diseases.