Exercising Video

Demonstrating Seated Leg Press

Hello everyone. I’m a certified personal trainer. In the video above I’m demonstrating the seated leg press exercise at planet fitness. I’m an up and coming personal trainer just trying to get my name out there. My main goal is to help as many people as I can reach their health and fitness goals.

I specialize in fitness program design, weight loss, muscle tone, strength training, flexibility training. I’m also a distributor for DotFIT supplements and I’m also a certified Group Fitness Personal Trainer Specialist. So if you’re wanting to reach your health and fitness fitness goals please contact me.

You can visit my website www.fitguy46personaltraining.com. Follow me for further information and tips on health and fitness. Make it a great day!!!

Thanks,

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

By Philip “FitGuy46

Weight Loss & Muscle Tone

I’m dedicated to getting results. I specialize in fitness assessments, program design, weight loss, muscle tone, and supplements. So if you are in need of a personal trainer that can get you results and help you reach your health and fitness goals contact me. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Want to Lose Weight? Here’s How Much Water You Should Be Drinking

By Bojana Galic

Updated June 28, 2019

While water won’t burn any extra calories, drinking lots of good old H2O may be beneficial on your weight-loss journey because it can help you better identify when you’re full and provide the hydration you need to power through fat-burning exercise.

Maybe you’ve heard that 3 liters a day is the magic amount when you’re trying to drop pounds. Well, here’s what you need to know when it comes to hydration recommendations, plus tips to help you reach your ideal amount.

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you might be shorting yourself when it comes to your daily water intake.

It may seem like a lot of H2O, but the minimum daily requirement is 3.7 liters (about 15 cups) for men and 2.7 liters (about 11 cups) for women, according to 2004 research by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which is still the standard referenced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, keep in mind that this total should include your intake from water as well as other beverages and food.

Something else to know: How much you personally need will vary based on factors like your activity level, environment and overall health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Activity Level: If you’re an athlete or regularly breaking a sweat in the gym, you need to hydrate even more to cover your fluid loss. For those who exercise more than an hour per day, it’s advised to replenish your minerals and electrolytes with a sports drink or tablet.
  • Environment: If you live in a hot climate, you may also need more water than those living in more temperate or mild areas.
  • Diet: Your eating habits can also affect how much liquid you need to drink. Those who consume more water-rich fruits and vegetables may not need to fill their cup quite as much in order to stay hydrated.

Hit Your Daily Water Goal

Drinking water is an important component of any plan for fat loss because it helps fuel your workouts and flush toxins from your body, according to the Mayo Clinic. When you exercise and sweat, your body naturally loses the fluids it needs to keep you working. This is why hydrating before, during and after workouts is crucial.

Drinking adequate amounts of water during meals can also help you feel full sooner, preventing you from overeating, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

There are several practices you can introduce into your day-to-day to make sure you stay properly hydrated:

  1. Keep a water bottle close at hand and refill as needed throughout the day, keeping a tally as you go.
  2. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, like watermelon and leafy greens, to up your overall water intake.
  3. Pay attention to your thirst, and keep in mind that thirst can sometimes feel like hunger. In fact, according to the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, about 37 percent of people mistake the two. So, when hunger pangs strike, especially when it’s not mealtime, see if a glass of water satisfies before you reach for a snack.

So stay hydrated my friends!!! As always, if you have any questions or need any help contact me. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

6 of the Best Ab Exercises You’re Not Doing (But Totally Should Be)

By Henry Halse

Updated March 3, 2020

Regardless of what type of training you do, repeating the same workouts over and overcan become boring very quickly. Not to mention, your progress will stall. But by varying your workouts, you’re more likely to stick with your regimen over time, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Take your ab workouts, for example. There are a lot of great ab exercises out there, but a lot of them tend to be robotic and monotonous. Like the sit-up: You roll up then lower down, only moving in one (not very functional) direction.

But your ab muscles are incredibly dynamic. And if you’re stuck doing crunches and planks on loop, you’re missing out on the ab-sculpting (and boredom-busting) benefits of these other exercises — some of which you may never have even heard of!

1. Dead Bug

The dead bug exercise — despite its odd name — requires balance, coordination and lots of ab strength. It not only works your rectus abdominis (the six-pack muscle), it also works the obliques and transverse abdominis, according to an April 2015 study published in the Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences.

  1. Lie on the floor on your back with both arms reaching up toward the ceiling. Lift your feet off the ground so your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Slowly and with control, extend your right arm over your head and extend your left leg out straight. Lower your limbs as far as you can while keeping the lower back on the ground.
  3. Exhale as you return to the starting position, then repeat with the left arm and right leg.

2. Bird Dog

Another exercise with weird name but serious ab-strengthening benefits, the bird dog exercise doesn’t just work your abs; it targets your obliques, glutes, hamstrings and back, according to a November 2013 report in Sports Health.

  1. Start on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. On an exhale, reach your right arm straight out in front of you. At the same time, kick your left leg straight back.
  3. Return your arm and leg to the starting position.
  4. Switch sides, reaching your left arm out in front and kicking your right leg back.

3. The Kettlebell Drag Plank

You already know planks are great for building core strength, stability and balance. But just holding the position for 30 to 60 seconds seems like you’re there forever. Add a cross-body kettlebell drag to target more of your obliques.

  1. Begin in a forearm plank, elbows directly below your shoulders, and toes, hips and head in a straight line. Position your feet wider than hip distance to form a stable base, and keep your hips low.
  2. Place the kettlebell just behind your right hand.
  3. Engaging the glutes, low back and abdominal muscles, reach the left arm across the chest to grab the kettlebell, dragging it on its side by the handle under your body.
  4. Pause when the kettlebell is just behind the left hand, stacked below the shoulder.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Captain’s Chair

If you’ve never incorporated the captain’s chair at your gym into your ab workout, now is the time to start. In 2011 research from ACE, it was named the second most effective exercise for your rectus abdominis and the most effective for your obliques.

  1. Climb up into the chair with your back pressed against the backrest, arms and elbows on the armrests (to support your body weight), hands gripping the handles and legs extended straight down.
  2. From there, pull your knees up toward your chest, engaging your abdominal muscles in the process.
  3. To finish the move, extend your legs back to the starting position and repeat.

5. Dumbbell Pullover Crunch

No captain’s chair? Try this move instead. It’s a combination of a leg raise and crunch to work the upper and lower region of your abs.

  1. Holding a dumbbell against your chest, lie down on a bench. Raise your legs in the air with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Grip the dumbbell with two hands under the weight, instead of the handle. 
  2. Press the dumbbell up toward the ceiling until your elbows are locked out and the dumbbell is over your chest. Reach your arms backward with the dumbbell in your hands until your arms are parallel with the floor. 
  3. While lowering your arms, lower and straighten out your legs until they’re parallel to the ground. 
  4. Raise them back toward the starting position. 
  5. Perform a crunch by rolling your hips back until your butt is off the bench. At the same time, roll your shoulders, head and neck off of the bench.
  6. Lower back to the start and repeat.

6. Side Plank Knee Crunch

This exercise will challenge every muscle on the side of your torso, from your shoulders to your hips. According to a September 2011 study in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, the side plank is also one of the best exercises out there for your gluteus medius on the side of your butt.

  1. Start in a side plank on your right side with your right hand under your right shoulder and your feet stacked on top of each other with your left foot on top. Your left arm should be raised straight up toward the ceiling.
  2. Lift your right foot and bend your right knee to bring it up as your bring your right elbow down to meet it. Use your obliques on your right side to crunch your top elbow and knee toward each other.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Try out these 6 ab exercises and let me know how they work for you. If you have any questions or need any help contact me. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

The Optimal Squat Depth for Glute Gains, Explained

By Bojana Galic

Updated March 4, 2020

Squats are a must-have staple in any leg-day routine. But since they mostly rely on your quads, you may need to tweak how you do them in order to target your glutes more. So how low can (or should) you go?

For maximum booty gains, your squat depth matters, and you may not be squatting low enough. Deep squats are optimal for growing and strengthening your glute muscles. But before you start dropping it low, make sure your form and mobility are on par.

Start Squatting for Lower-Body Strength

Whether you want to strengthen your glutes, quads or hamstrings, squats have you covered. But the benefits don’t stop there. Squats are a fundamental movement pattern that can help you stay injury-free as you perform day-to-day tasks, according to the American Council on Exercise. Just make sure you nail your basic squat before squatting super low.

Body-Weight Squat

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, hands at your sides.
  2. Keeping your core tight and back neutral, shift your weight into your heels and push your hips back behind you.
  3. Keep your chest up as you bend at the knees and lower your hips toward the ground.
  4. Lower until you reach about 90 degrees or slightly below while maintaining a flat back. Keep your knees pressing slightly out to avoid caving in.
  5. Pause for a moment, then press into your heels, push your hips forward and return to standing.

Then Drop It Low for Glute Gains

After a few squat sessions, you’ll realize the deeper you squat, the harder it is to get back up. Although they’re more challenging, deep squats (squatting below 90 degrees) will actually lead to more muscle and strength gain, says Noam Tamir, CSCS, owner and founder of TS Fitness.

“The lower you go, the more strength you can gain,” says Tamir. “It does require more stability, mobility and skill, so there is an increased chance for injury.” To stay injury-free, follow Tamir’s tips below.

Deep Squat

  1. Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointing out slightly. 
  2. Bracing your core, push your hips back behind you and shift your weight into your heels.
  3. Keeping a flat back, bend at the knees and lower your hips toward the ground. 
  4. With your chest up, lower until your glutes hover a few inches above the ground. 
  5. Push your knees out and keep your back flat. 
  6. Press into your heels and, keeping a neutral spine, return to standing. 

Tip

Only squat as low as you can go while maintaining good form, Tamir says. If you begin to feel any pain, you should limit your range of motion and stop your squats a little higher.

If you don’t quite have the range of motion required for a deep squat, even getting to 90 degrees (or just slightly below) will still boost muscle gain, Tamir says. This depth isn’t quite as affective as the deep squat, but it requires less stability, mobility and skill to perform, meaning there’s a lower risk of injury.

If you can’t squat to 90 degrees, though, you’re probably not gaining much strength or size in your glutes (or the other muscles in your lower body), Tamir says. In that case, you’ll want to focus on building your mobility and improving your form (see below for some mobility moves).

Now Improve Your Deep Squat

To stay injury-free, your form is top priority as you play with different squat depths. Keep your spine neutral at all times and avoid rounding your back, Tamir says. If you’re unable to keep a neutral spine, lower the weight you’re lifting or work on your ankle and hip mobility to get into proper position.

Avoid bouncing at the bottom of your squat, no matter how low you go. This little cheat may help you stand up more easily, but it also puts stress on your joints, especially the knees. Bouncing also takes the work away from your muscles, limiting your strength gain. Instead, keep the entire motion controlled.

Knees caving in is another common mistake Tamir sees with deep squats. This can happen if your glutes are weak or if your feet pronate (roll inward). Imagine you’re corkscrewing your feet into the floor, he says. This will help lift the arches and activate your glutes.

Deep Prayer Squat

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. 
  2. Push your hips back and lower into a squat, bending at your knees. 
  3. Tuck your pelvis and squat as low to the ground as possible, keeping your feet rooted into the ground.
  4. Bring your hands to prayer position in front of your chest and press your elbows into your inner thighs to open up the hips. 
  5. Hold here for 20 to 30 seconds before returning to standing. 

Child’s Pose With Thoracic Spine Rotation

  1. Kneel on the ground on your hands and knees.
  2. Sit your hips back toward your heels and, with your feet tucked, rest your butt on your heels.
  3. Stretch your arms out in front of your body along the floor.
  4. Bring your right hand behind your head, bending at the elbow.
  5. Holding the rest of your body still, raise your elbow up toward the ceiling, rotating slightly.
  6. Pause for a moment, then lower your elbow back down to head height.
  7. Perform this movement several times, then repeat on the other side.

So for maximal booty gains work on squatting deeper. Follow these tips for a nice development of the booty. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Want to Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle? Here’s How to Get Lean

By Nick Tumminello

Updated March 4, 2020

Looking to get lean and show off your hard work? To make those muscles pop, you need a lower body fat percentage while preserving that hard-earned muscle mass.

But here’s the hard part: Muscle is high-maintenance and requires a specific type of diet, training and recovery plan to preserve, especially if you’re looking to lose body fat at the same time. That means you need to cut your calories slowly, spend some extra time in the weight room and make sleep a high priority.

Cut Your Calories… Slowly

In order to drop excess body fat, you need a caloric deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories than you burns each day, according to the Mayo Clinic. While you can cut as many as 500 to 1,000 calories a day to lose weight safely, you need to ease into your deficit in order to keep as much muscle mass as possible.

After testing two different weight-loss regimens, researchers of an April 2011 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolismfound that athletes on a slower weight-loss plan lost more fat and actually gained muscle mass during the trial.

On the other hand, those who followed a faster weight-loss regimen did lose fat but gained no muscle mass. Researchers concluded that a weight loss of 0.7 percent per week was optimal for those looking to lose fat but keep (or gain) muscle.

A 2014 review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutritioncame to a similar conclusion. A weight-loss rate between 0.5 to 1 percent body weight each week helped athletes keep the most muscle while maximizing fat loss.

The amount of protein you eat also affect your muscle maintenance. Each day, eating between 2.3 to 3.1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is ideal, according to the above-mentioned review. For a 150-pound adult, that means consuming between 156 and 210 grams of protein each day.

Healthy fats, like olive oil and avocado should make up between 15 to 30 percent of your daily calories, according to that same review. Then, the remainder of your daily calories can come from carbohydrates.

Focus on Strength Training and HIIT

If you want to lose fat and keep your muscle, you’ll need to combine your nutritional efforts with consistent resistance training, according to a January 2018 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. After a small group of people were assigned to either follow a diet, resistance program or both, researchers found that those who followed both programs experienced the best results.

The type of exercise you do makes a difference, too. Strength training helps your body retain more muscle mass than cardio while you’re in a calorie deficit, according to an October 2017 study published in Obesity.

For the best results, base your workout regimen around strength training and consider including compound movements (ones that involve more than one joint) like the chest press and deadlifts to target several muscles at once.

While a majority of your weekly workouts should take place in the weight room, cardio is still important for your heart health. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is great for burning calories quickly and may also help you maintain muscle while you’re losing fat, according to a June 2012 study published in the Journal of Obesity.

HIIT involves alternating between short intervals of high-intensity work and rest or active recovery, spiking your heart rate and revving your metabolism.

Prioritize Quality Sleep

Your recovery regimen is just as important as your exercise and diet, especially if you want to keep as much muscle mass as possible. Even one hour lost sleep can cause your body to lose less fat when on a calorie deficit, according to a February 2018 study published in Sleep.

While you sleep, your body produces human growth hormone, which stimulates muscle growth, according to the National Sleep Foundation. During this time, your body also increases blood flow to the muscles, which helps repair damaged tissues post-workout.

Sleep demands vary from person to person, but you should try and get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night on a consistent basis.

Prioritize Quality Sleep

Your recovery regimen is just as important as your exercise and diet, especially if you want to keep as much muscle mass as possible. Even one hour lost sleep can cause your body to lose less fat when on a calorie deficit, according to a February 2018 study published in Sleep.

While you sleep, your body produces human growth hormone, which stimulates muscle growth, according to the National Sleep Foundation. During this time, your body also increases blood flow to the muscles, which helps repair damaged tissues post-workout.

Sleep demands vary from person to person, but you should try and get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night on a consistent basis.

Here’s an article to help you with fat loss without losing muscle. If you need any further help, don’t hesitate to contact me. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Build Your Best Butt With This 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout

By Jaime Osnato

September 29, 2019

Odds are you use dumbbells for your upper-body workouts, but they’re also super handy for lower-body moves, too. Sure, doing squats and lunges with your body weight is an easy and effective way to target your glutes, but adding dumbbells into the mix challenges your body in new ways and ramps up the intensity.

The result? You’ll get stronger over time and build leaner, meaner glutes (hello, booty gains!). Ready to whip that butt into shape? Here’s a quick dumbbell workout that’ll set your cheeks on fire.

Try This 20-Minute Dumbbell Butt Workout

This booty-building workout — designed by Geoff Tripp, CSCS, certified personal trainer and head of fitness at Trainiac —is guaranteed to sculpt your buns whether you’re a beginner or an advanced exerciser.

Start with a set of medium-weight dumbbells and increase the weight as you grow stronger.

Warm-Up

Do: Three to five minutes of dynamic stretchesto loosen up your legs and hips.

The Workout

Do: Each of the following exercises for 10 reps per side (as indicated). Repeat the circuit two times total, resting 30 seconds in between each move and 60 seconds in between rounds.

  • Single-leg glute bridge
  • Front squat to press
  • Sumo stance deadlift
  • Split squat
  • Single-leg Romanian deadlift
  • Lateral lunge
  • Single-leg hip thruster

Move 1: Dumbbell Single-Leg Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees.
  2. Place one dumbbell over the hip bone of your right leg. Lift the left leg off the ground.
  3. Drive through your heel to lift your hips up into a glute bridge and squeeze your glutes at the top.
  4. Slowly lower your hips to the ground.
  5. Continue for 10 reps and repeat on opposite leg.

Move 2: Front Squat to Press

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them on the tops of your shoulders with your palms facing in.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and sit back into a squat position.
  3. Push through your heels and drive out of your squat into a standing position as you press the weights overhead.
  4. Lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders.

Move 3: Dumbbell Sumo Stance Deadlift

  1. Stand with your feet several feet apart and toes turned out slightly. Hold a dumbbell (your heaviest) in each hand between your legs.
  2. Hinge forward at your hips and slightly bend your knees to lower the weight toward the floor.
  3. Keep your back flat and drive through your feet to lift the weight.
  4. Stand up tall and extend your hips as you squeeze your glutes.

Move 4: Dumbbell Split Squat

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step one leg back (about two feet) into a lunge position. 
  2. Place equal pressure on both feet and slowly lower, bending until your back knee and front knee are at 90 degrees. 
  3. Drive through the ball of your back foot and the heel of your front foot to stand.
  4. Continue for 10 reps and repeat on opposite leg.

Move 5: Dumbbell Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

  1. Stand with your feet together, holding a light to medium weight in each hand at your sides.
  2. Shift your weight onto one leg while keeping a slight bend in your knee.
  3. Keep your back flat and dumbbells close to your body as you hinge forward on your working leg.
  4. Raise your other leg behind you and keep it straight.
  5. Lower the weights toward the ground, maintaining a flat back.
  6. Once your body is parallel with the floor, drive through your working leg using your glute and hamstring to stand back up.
  7. Continue for 10 reps and repeat on opposite leg.

Move 6: Dumbbell Lateral Lunge

  1. Stand with your feet together, holding a weight in each hand at your sides.
  2. Take a large step to one side. Bend your knee and push your hips back as you lower into a side lunge. Make sure both feet point straight ahead.
  3. Drive off your bent leg and return to the starting position.
  4. Continue for 10 reps, then repeat on opposite leg.

Move 7: Dumbbell Single Leg Hip Thruster

  1. Sit on the ground with your back to a bench. Place one heavy dumbbell in your lap and hold it in place.
  2. Keep your gaze on your knees and pick your hips up off the ground, so your upper back is resting on the bench (you may need to walk your feet forward slightly). 
  3. Lift one leg and shift your weight onto your working leg.
  4. Slowly lower your hips to the ground, then drive through your heel, using your glutes to lift yourself up.
  5. Continue for 10 reps, then repeat on opposite leg.

Cooldown

Do: Five to 10 minutes of walking and static stretches, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Try this best butt exercises and let me know how it works for you. Contact me if you have any questions. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

9 Weight-Lifting Myths It’s Time to Stop Believing

By Jaime Osnato

Updated January 24, 2020

Do you avoid the weight rack for fear of getting too bulky? Skip strength training because you think cardio is the best way to drop pounds? If you answered yes to either question, you’re probably acting on faulty assumptions.

Whether your aim is look better in the buff, develop strength or increase overall endurance, working out with weights can help you reach your goals. Not to mention lifting builds stronger bones and protects you from injury as you age. So, don’t let rumors hold you back from reaping all the amazing health benefits of pumping iron.

Here, fitness experts break down the nine most common weight-lifting myths to help you separate fact from fiction and take your fitness game to the next level.

Myth 1: Lifting Heavy Will Make You Bulky

Worried that lifting heavy will make you look like the Hulk? A lot of women avoid grabbing the heavier set of dumbbells for fear of becoming too muscular. But even though “men and women build muscle similarly with training, men have greater base levels of muscle mass,” says K. Aleisha Fetters, CSCS, fitness writer, trainer and coach.

That means if a man and a woman both boost their lean muscle mass by 10 percent, the increase will always appear greater on the man since he started with a larger amount.

What’s more, building muscle is a slow process that requires strategy. “You don’t get bulky by accident,” Fetters says. “It’s important to realize how much time and effort it takes to really build discernible size. Looking like a bodybuilder takes years of dedicated work with exercise and nutrition plans that are specific to that goal.”

Myth 2: If You Don’t Feel Sore After Lifting, It’s Not Working

Many lifters judge whether they’ve had a good workout based on how sore they feel. “Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the muscle ache you feel following intense exercise,” says IPE Natural Pro 3x Champion, Master World Champion and ISSA certified personal trainer, Michael Wittig. It’s your body’s inflammatory response to microscopic tears in the muscle fibers.

But how much you hurt post-workout isn’t always indicative of a successful sweat session. “DOMS doesn’t necessarily signal that a workout is somehow more effective or beneficial,” Fetters says. “Rather, DOMS tends to occur most often when performing new movements and/or eccentric exercises.”

DOMS happens when your muscles are subjected to a new kind of stress. But in time, your muscles will eventually adapt, and the soreness frequency and intensity will decrease. In fact, if you lift to the point where your body always aches, you may be undermining your progress.

“If you’re sore all the time, you probably aren’t doing something right,” says Morit Summers, CPT, creator of Brooklyn-based training studio Form Fitness. “You might be changing things up too often, not sleeping enough or not eating properly.”

Plus, “if you feel super sore, you’re more apt to skip that day’s workout, or, if you do work out, to dial back on your intensity,” Fetters says. Moral of the story? “You’ll get more benefits from exercising regularly with less DOMS than by destroying yourself in every workout.”

Myth 3: Lifting Burns Fewer Calories Than Cardio

Anyone who’s ever done Bulgarian split squats holding a challenging weight has felt their heart hammer against their chest. Like cardio-based workouts, lifting can elevate your heart rate and torch calories. But what type of exercise burns more — traditional cardio like running or weight training?

“In the end, it’s the intensity of the workout and the time performing it that are going to make the biggest determinations of how many calories you will burn, both during your workout and afterward as your body recovers,” Fetters says. In other words, it depends. Some cardio sessions may burn more calories than some lifting routines and vice versa.

That said, lifting does have a small edge on cardio when it comes to post-workout calorie burning, Fetters says. That’s because, unlike cardio, strength-based workouts increase your lean muscle mass, which burns calories even when your body is at rest.

Plus, resistance training with heavy loads can boost your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, according to the American Council On Exercise (ACE). This simply means that your metabolism continues to rev even after you’ve left the gym.

Want to really optimize your calorie burn? Structure your resistance workouts in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) format, and you can incinerate a tremendous number of calories in a short period of time, says Wittig, who adds even training this way for 10 minutes can be extremely effective.

Myth 4: Light Weights With High Reps Is the Best Way to Tone

Cranking out a bunch of reps with light weight is one way to “tone,” but it’s not the only — or even the top — strategy to achieve results. “What most people refer to as muscle ‘toning’ is just muscle building, generally while also losing fat,” Fetters says.

While you can develop muscle with any rep scheme by training to fatigue (meaning you can’t perform another rep), it might take a whole lot of reps (and time) to max out your muscles — and stimulate muscle growth — with a 3-pound dumbbell.

That’s why light weights and high reps are generally best for enhancing your muscular endurance, Fetters says. Conversely, doing fewer reps (say, 3 to 6) with a heavier load is more likely to lead to gains in muscular strength, per ACE.

That said, lifting moderate weight for 15 to 20 reps, when combined with short rest periods, can cause a calorie-burning aerobic effect, which can help you simultaneously burn fat and increase your lean muscle mass, Wittig says.

Myth 5: You’ll See Instant Results

Think you’ll bench press for a week, and poof! you’ll have perfect pecs? Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. “You don’t expect kids to grow a foot overnight or your hair to grow 6 inches in a day, so why would you expect your muscle and fat cells to alter instantly?” Fetters says.

“There is no magic pill for instant results,” Summers says. “There’s only hard work and effort. No matter what your fitness goal is, it will take time, and if you are willing to trust the process and enjoy it, the results will come.”

So, how long will it take to see some progress? Building muscle — and losing body fat — in a healthy way is not a quick process, Wittig says, adding that it takes even longer depending on your gender and age. If your objective is to drop a pants size, aim to lose no more than two pounds a week.

And, according to Wittig, slow and steady is the key. If you try to speed up the process by under-eating or following a crash diet, you’re only sabotaging your goals. Indeed, drastically restricting your food intake may actually impede your metabolism and result in muscle loss.

Myth 6: You Need A Gym to Lift

No gym membership? No problem. “You don’t need a fully equipped gym to get some serious fitness results,” Wittig says. “A lot of progress can be made at home, or anywhere, using just body weight.”

“And just because an exercise is performed at home doesn’t mean it’s easy,” Fetters says. Not convinced simple body-weight moves can kick your butt? Attempt some handstand push-ups or pistol squats. Enough said.

Even if you want to build a small home gym, you don’t need fancy, expensive equipment. All you need to develop muscle and strength are some simple, affordable tools like adjustable weights and resistance bands, Fetters says.

Myth 7: Lifting Weights Will Stunt Your Growth

Read our lips: Lifting weights will not halt your growth or make you short and stumpy. All in all, “the length of our bones, and ultimately our height, is based on genetics. So, if you are shorter than you would like to be, the blame goes to your parents,” Wittig says.

In fact, weight-lifting may actually produce the opposite effect — though minimal — on your stature. “Sometimes when you start lifting, your posture improves, which can make you look taller,” Summers says.

What’s more, “building strength in the muscles that support your spine can help prevent you from developing a forward hunch and standing shorter as you age,” says Fetters, adding that “improving spinal health through lifting helps keep the discs intact — and deliver nutrients to them — which could make a slight difference in height in one’s later years.”

Myth 8: Lifting Weights Will Make You Lose/Gain Weight

You can lift to lose or gain weight: It all depends on what your goal is and how many calories you’re eating, Summers says.

“To shed pounds, presumably body fat and not muscle, a person would need to consume fewer calories than exerted,” says Wittig. Weight training while eating in a calorie deficit can help you retain lean muscle mass, which will aid the fat-burning process and slightly increase your basal metabolic rate.

Conversely, if your aim is to add mass and build lean muscle (i.e., to gain weight), you would need to combine a progressive lifting program with a high protein, moderate- to high-carb calorie surplus, Wittig says.

But what if you want to lose fat and develop lean muscle at the same time? That’s achievable too, Fetters says. “If you maintain only a very slight caloric deficit while increasing protein when following a lifting plan, it’s possible to lose weight from fat while gaining weight from muscle.”

Myth 9: Lifting Weights Burns Belly Fat

Hate to break it to you, but you can’t spot reduce, i.e., target fat loss in a specific area of your body. Sadly, 1,000 crunches or side bends a day won’t get you any closer to blasting belly fat.

That’s because doing an exercise aimed at your abs won’t do you much good when it comes to increasing your overall fitness level, strength and energy expenditure, per ACE. And, these three factors, not small muscle fatigue, is what determines how well your body can burn fat.

“Body fat is best reduced by the combination of eating in a clean calorie deficit, resistance training, which builds lean muscle, and in turn, helps the body burn fat more efficiently, and cardio, which burns additional calories and improves general heart health,” Wittig says.

“That said, research shows that minute per minute, strength training can be more effective at reducing abdominal/visceral fat compared to cardio,” Fetters says. Again, that’s likely due to weight-lifting’s superior ability to build lean, fat-burning muscle mass, which boosts your basal metabolic rate and overall metabolic health.

So, even though you can’t lift to lose belly fat specifically, weight training certainly plays a powerful part when it comes to winning the battle of the bulge.

There’s way too many myths out there. That’s why so many people give up after following myths because they aren’t seeing any results. So if you’re struggling with weight loss or muscle gain contact me. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

The Best Pre-Workout Foods and Snacks to Eat, According to Dietitians

By Kim Conte

Updated November 27, 2019

Whether you like to exercise first thing in the morning or prefer to hit the gym later in the day, your energy levels and performance depend a lot on what you eat before your workout.

Consider these eating tips to choose the optimal pre-workout foods and snacks to get the most out of your training session.

Include Carbs and Protein in Your Pre-Workout Meal

Carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats all provide the fuel needed for energy, but carbs, in particular, are the body’s preferred fuel source for almost every type of exercise, Kristen Arnold, RDN, CSSD, a sports dietitian and cycling coach based in Fort Collins, Colorado, tells LIVESTRONG.com.

In fact, without carbs, the body must rely on stored calories in the form of fat and glycogen (aka, carbs stored in muscles and the liver, providing energy). If these stored calories are depleted and no carbs are available from food, your performance may decline.

That’s why Arnold recommends eating a meal rich in complex carbohydrates and lean protein three hours before a workout. Complex carbs are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in long, complex chains and contain vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Per the National Institute of Health, these include:

  • Fruits
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Peas
  • Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes
  • Sprouted bread

Protein is not the body’s chief supplier of energy, but it does contribute to satiety and is important for muscle recovery and growth. Angie Asche, RD, CSSD, a sports dietitian and owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition, LLC., tells LIVESTRONG.com. She recommends eating a pre-workout meal with at least 20 grams of protein along with 60 to 80 grams of carbohydrates.

Lean protein is made up of amino acids and sources include:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lean, grass-fed beef
  • Fish
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Eggs

Then, 30 to 45 minutes prior your workout, Arnold suggests eating a snack rich in simple carbs — carbs that break down quickly — such as fruits, starchy vegetables and dairy. “When adequately fueled with carbohydrates, the body will perform to its fullest potential, burn more calories and contribute to steady energy throughout the rest of the day,” Arnold says.

What About Fat?

Healthy fats also play a role in performance by helping your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and provide fuel for endurance exercise, such as running and long-distance biking, according to the Colorado State University Extension.

Sources of healthy fats include:

  • Nuts 
  • Nut butter
  • Seeds
  • Avocadoes

Just be sure to keep fat to a minimum the closer you get to a workout since it takes the longest to digest. “Too much fat immediately before a workout could lead to GI distress such as bloating, gas and stomach cramping,” Asche says. The same thing goes for fiber, too — no one wants to get a pesky side stitch minutes into a hard training session.

Pre-Workout Snack Combinations

Both Arnold and Asche recommend eating a pre-workout snack containing plenty of carbohydrates and protein and small amounts of fat about 30 to 60 minutes before working out to have a quick source of fuel to the bloodstream.

Some of their favorite pre-workout snack combos include:

  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread with peanut or almond butter, sliced banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • A half-cup Greek yogurt with a quarter-cup granola and a large handful of fresh berries
  • 1 energy bar that contains whole-food carbohydrate sources (like oats and dates) such as GoMacroor LäraBar

Stay Hydrated

Because dehydration can lead to fatigue and a loss of coordination, pre-workout hydration is as equally important as pre-workout nutrition.

“I recommend drinking 20 ounces of water during meals,” Arnold says. “The electrolytes in the food help to hydrate the body’s cells and the fluid helps to digest the food.” Before your workout, drink 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes prior to workout; then, while exercising, aim to drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes, according to the American Council on Exercise.

So be sure to get your pre-workout meal/ snack in for energy to crush your workout, and always remember to stay hydrated! If you have any questions or need any tips, don’t hesitate to contact me. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

5-Minute Glute Activation Routine to Always Do Before a Butt Workout

By Jaime Osnato Updated January 26, 2020

If you’re not seeing booty gains in the gym, your muscles may not be activating at their full potential during your workouts. Before you begin busting out squats, start with some glute-activation exercises.

These moves help “switch on” on the muscles in your bum and “improve the conversation between your brain, nerves and muscular contractions,” says Holly Perkins, CSCS, author of Lift To Get Lean and creator of The GLUTES Project ACTIVATE.

“In order to get the benefits from any exercise, your muscles must be firing,” says Perkins, explaining, “The only real way to do that is to perform certain movement patterns that thoroughly activate the muscle group.”

Why Glute Activation Is So Important

Waking up your butt and leg muscles pre-workout is especially essential since so many people spend most of the day sitting — at desks, on couches or in the car — which can make our glutes groggy, lazy and weak. After being inactive for hours on end, you can’t expect your muscles to spring into action; your body needs time to prepare for strenuous strength exercises.

“Doing a pre-workout activation series helps make every rep of your strength-training routine effective, even during the first set,” Perkins says. “Alternatively, if you begin your workout ‘cold’ (without activating), your first set becomes your warm-up, and, in essence, a waste.”

Not only will you reap the maximal benefits during strength training, but “activation exercises also improve your mobility and body alignment, reducing the risk of injury,” Perkins says.

Try This 5-Minute Glute-Activation Routine

Ready to get your backside burning? This 5-minute glute-activation routine features three of Perkins’ favorites moves from her ACTIVATE series. Perform this sequence immediately prior to lower-body strength and conditioning workouts or as a stand-alone mini workout when you’re pressed for time.

Set a timer for five minutes (or more if your body needs it) and repeat these three moves in sequence until time’s up.

Move 1: Banded Lateral Walk

  1. Begin with a resistance band around your legs, placing it just above your knees.
  2. Start with your feet separated in order to keep tension on the band and maintain a long, tall spine by bracing your abs.
  3. Bend your knees in a quarter squat and keep your feet parallel to each other.
  4. Leading with your left heel, step to the side, stretching the band. Be sure to step with your whole leg without extending your lower leg below the knee.
  5. Remain in a partial squat as you step, then follow with your right foot, returning to the start position while keeping tension on the band.

Reps: 15 in each direction

Move 2: Hip Thrust

  1. Sit on the floor with your shoulder blades pressed into a bench (even a sturdy couch or chair will do).
  2. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and turn your toes out slightly.
  3. Brace your core, drive into your heels and press your hips up. Rotate your pelvis under (posterior tilt) and squeeze your glutes, ending with your hips locked in a fully opened position. Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Press your knees outward, then pause at the top for a few seconds before lowering back down to the starting position.

Reps: 15 to 20

Tip

For an added challenge, loop a resistance band just above your knees.

Move 3: Single-Leg Reach

  1. Stand with both feet together, a long tall spine and your core braced.
  2. Keep a slight bend in your left knee and focus your eyes on a spot in front of you. (This is called “spotting” and helps maintain balance.)
  3. Lift your right foot off the ground and settle into your balance for a few seconds. Using the strength of your left leg, bend forward from the hip allowing your right leg to extend backward.
  4. Reach your right hand forward and lightly touch a stable object (optional).
  5. Drive into your left heel, activating the left side of your glutes, and return to the standing position.

Reps: 15 on each side

So try this routine to get that perfect butt you’ve been looking for. If you need help or anymore tip contact me. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”