You can find plenty of fitness gurus on Instagram and Facebook eager to tell you how to get skinny thighs or six-pack abs. However, their impressive photos and celebrity testimonials may be misleading.
How can you distinguish between fitness myths and reliable facts? Start with discovering the truth about these 5 common claims.
Myth #1: You Can Eat Anything You Want As Long As You Exercise
You may be overestimating how many calories you burn at the gym. You will gain weight if you think you have a license to consume endless donuts.
Wiser Eating Tips:
Myth #2: Lifting Weights Will Make You Bulky
You’re unlikely to wind up resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger accidentally. However, lifting weights is a great way to build and retain muscle mass, especially as you age.
Wiser Weightlifting Tips:
Myth #3: You Need to Work Out 7 Days a Week
Excessive exercise can weaken your muscles and organs and leave you feeling burned out. Most adults need at least one recovery day a week.
Wiser Tips for Workouts:
Myth #4: You Can Spot Reduce
You gain weight from head to toe and you lose it the same way. Sit-ups will tone your core, but they won’t remove fat from just your waist.
Wiser Reducing Tips:
Myth #5: Your Bathroom Scale Rules
Your body weight is only one of many ways to measure fitness. Take a broader view.
Want Better Results?
Fitness myths were around long before the internet, but social media can make them seem more credible. When you’re looking for information, check reliable sources or ask a professional with the proper credentials in their field. Then your fitness regimen will be based on facts - not myths - and you'll be more pleased with your results.
You don’t need to starve yourself in order to lose weight! In fact, using these simple techniques, you can easily cut calories every day... without feeling deprived!
1. Identify your daily eating routine. Many days we eat on a schedule – one we aren’t even aware of! Take an inventory of what you eat and when you eat for 5 days. Use a journal or food diary to keep track.
2. Make subtle changes to start. When you’re making a lifestyle change, it can’t be done quickly or all at once. Accept and be aware that you’ll be making this lifestyle change over an extended period of time. One way is to make subtle changes every week. For example, instead of having three eggs for breakfast, have two. Instead of eating full fat bacon, switch over to turkey bacon.
3. Make a list when shopping for groceries. Believe it or not, when we shop without a list, we’re more prone to just grab things off the shelves that look and sound tasty. However, when we shop with a list, our impulse shopping is drastically reduced.
4. Read food labels. Sometimes we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves by reading food labels while in the store. However, every processed food product has its label available online for easy viewing. Better still, simply go to your pantry and read some labels! You’re looking for calorie content, sodium content, and sugar content specifically. Also ensure you’re aware of what constitutes a serving.
5. Eat more fresh foods. Processed foods, by their nature, are far less healthy and contain many more calories than fresh foods. Sometimes it comes down to a choice: do you want to consume 100 calories of your favorite fresh fruit (about 1 large apple, or 200 grams) or do you want to eat one chocolate chip cookie (78 grams)? You can get twice as much food in a fresh fruit.
6. Find alternatives. Let’s say that you know, even though you want to lose weight, you can’t give up pizza. You can still eat it – just change your pizza choice. Rather than having a deep dish, thick crust meat lovers pizza (loaded with calorie-laden carbs, soaring sodium, and lots of fatty oils), change to a thin crust pizza with just cheese or all veggies.
7. Drop the pop. Carbonated sodas and other high sugar drinks are empty calories. Some people choose diet drinks, but the artificial sweeteners in those drinks can cause health issues (headaches, primarily). Just drink water! If you’re a caffeine addict, you can still drink coffee – just not high calorie lattes, iced coffees, or frappes.
8. Limit alcohol intake. While many of us enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, both are high in calories. You don’t need to abstain altogether. Simply drink less.
By making these simple changes every day, you can cut a surprising number of calories. When pairing these activities with a suitable exercise plan, you can easily get your body to a place of health and vitality.
Are you an athlete that wants to perform better or just want to look like an athlete?
Are you frustrated because you don’t feel good about yourself?
These days, you look at the mirror… and don’t like what you see.
You wonder: “What the hell happened to me?”
You’ve lost muscle and gained body fat. Your love handles and gut are getting embarrassing. But it’s not your fault. Something happened along the way. Something called “life.”
So STOP “googling” how to get into shape And start taking action.
Start boosting motivation and build muscle while burning body fat the smart way. You’ll regain the body you want in the time you have.
I’m Steve Preston and I know where you’re coming from because I’m a lot like you. As a former competitive athlete, it was tough to get older and lose muscle while I gained fat. But as a Strength and Performance Coach I learned exactly how to burn fat and get my athleticism back. I did it, and so can you -- with my help.
But you have to approach your fat-loss and muscle-building differently than you did when you were younger.
Let’s get down to it. Here are 10 ways to lose fat and build muscle in 30 days, complete with mistakes to avoid and what to do instead.
Mistake #1 #1: Thinking You’re Still 18
When you were young it was so much easier to stay lean and add muscle. But don’t be that guy who still tries to train like he did “back in the day.” If you try to lose fat and build muscle the same way you did when you were young, you’ll get mediocre results and leave yourself open for injuries.
What To Do This Instead:
Live in the present. Accept that you are older and wiser. Use your wisdom to train smarter. Focus on exercises that are geared towards developing muscle without putting too much stress on the low back, knees and shoulders. Select exercises that don’t hurt your body but l still get you the results you want. Expert advice from a qualified coach will help.
Mistake #2: Wasting Time With Long Cardio Sessions
Hour-long cardio workouts will not help you lose fat. Long cardio sessions will actually slow down the fat-burning and leaning out you’re looking for. Besides, who has time for long workouts that suck?
What To Do Instead:
Do High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T) Cardio. Unlike long walks on the treadmill or bike, H.I.I.T. cardio takes no more than 20 minutes. H.I.I.T also works better to spike your metabolism and burn more body fat after your workout… up to 36 hours! You can use e a stationary bike, a rower or just sprint. Warm up slowly for 5 minutes, then alternate periods of fast and slow for 30 seconds each 10 times. Finally, go slowly for 5 more minutes and cool down.
Mistake #3: Doing Cardio Before Strength Training
Making this mistake will slow down both your fat loss and muscle building. Your body gets confused when you set up your workouts this way and wants to hold on to more fa It’s like putting the cart before the horse. Don’t do it.
What To Do Instead:
Always begin your workout with strength training. Layering muscle is your priority here. Remember, if you add lean muscle than your body will burn more fat because fat is metabolized inside the muscle cells. After your strength training workout is complete, do your H.I.I.T cardio. Or do cardio and strength on alternate days. The choice is yours.
Mistake #4: Relying On Long Workouts.
When you were younger you probably had a lot more time on your hands. You also had more ability to recover from working out. Younger guys are less susceptible to overtraining. That’s why you shouldn’t plan to spend two hours at the gym every day like you might have back in your athletic years.
What To Do Instead:
Keep your workouts brief. If you do your strength training and follow that with H.I.I.T cardio you should still be in and out of the gym in 40 minutes. If you do just a strength training workout or just a H.I.I.T. cardio session than your max time should be 20 minutes. You’ll stimulate the muscles, spike your metabolism, then let you recover and enjoy your life.
Mistake #5: Slacking
There, I said it. Hey, you’re a former athlete. You are a competitive type by nature. When you workout for fat loss and muscle gaining,you can’t give it 50% effort. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or the advanced level of training you need to give it 100% when you workout. When you workout you are in competition with yourself. So man up and get it done.
What To Do Instead:
Make sure you are using a fat loss/muscle-building system that is right for you. If you’re new to working out or haven’t done one in years start at the beginning and work up to more advanced systems. If you train on a program that fits your needs you can then give it 100% effort.
Mistake #6: Going Crazy With Food
Food can make you go nuts. If you are eating nothing but chicken and rice and broccoli you’ll eventually hate the process and eat junk again. And if you can’t resist the urge to drink beer and eat pizza all the time you’re also screwed.
What To Do Instead:
Live By The 80/20 rule. If you can follow your meal plan 80% of the time along and stick to a good training program, you can stay in great shape all year round.
Mistake #7: Skipping Workouts
A missed workout can never be made up. Your workout is “your” time You need it and deserve it. Your body is like a high-performance sports car. Fueling it properly and maintaining it (with your workouts) is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
What To Do Instead:
Set Your Schedule. Commit to three non-consecutive days per week where you get 40 minutes to workout. This is time you have now scheduled with yourself. This is time set in stone. After the first month with the results of fat loss and more muscle you will begin to get addicted to the results. This in turn, keeps you motivated and prevents you from allowing yourself to miss workouts.
Mistake #8: Believing Fitness Myths
A lot of guys think that the best way for them to lose fat and build muscle is to use lighter weights and high repetitions on exercises. This is a big mistake. Your body won’t give you very good results with your fat loss, muscle gaining or strength.
What To Do Instead:
The magic number is 8. Performing 8 repetitions on an exercise with weight that allows you to complete the reps yet challenges you is the sweet-spot for losing fat and building muscle… especially as you get older. Eight reps allows you to layer muscle, build strength and is most effective for helping you lose more fat.
Mistake #9: Doing The Same Workout All The Time
Many guys who do the same exercises and workouts every every single month at the gym. It doesn’t work.
What To Do Instead:
Keep your body guessing by changing your workout program every month. If you do the same old, same old...you’ll get the same old mediocre results. Changing things up will ensure continuous progress. After that your body needs change. This simple tip will allow you to make progress constantly.
Mistake #10: Trying To Do It All Yourself
Is doing your own taxes and mowing your own lawn the best use of your time? Not for me. I believe in hiring the best person for the job.
Let’s Do This!
Stop making mistakes and start doing things right.
You’ll lose weight, add muscle, and feel like an athlete again.
Imagine feeling 10 years younger.
Imagine taking your shirt of on the beach again.
Imagine taking control.
It can be done. It has been done. And you can do it, too.
Take the first step by applying for one of my customized coaching programs. We’ll jump on a call to see if you’d be a good fit for the program.
What are you waiting for?
If you’re a parent, coach or trainer of young athletes, please keep reading... I’m concerned. Seriously...
There are so many misconceptions about how to improve the speed and quickness of young athletes.
In fact, most parents, coaches and trainers who are working with young athletes are making some big mistakes. Hopefully this article will clear some things up for you.
Let’s start with the most-pressing issue...
1. Young Athletes Should NEVER Be Trained Like Adults Ok, first things first...
Young athletes are not miniature adults and should never be trained like adults. Yet so many parents, coaches and trainers make the mistake of training young athletes like older, more mature athletes. Worse yet, they try to copy the training program of a professional athlete for young athletes.
Consider that young athletes are going through a transitional period regarding growth and maturity.
If you want your young athletes to get faster for sports you need to focus on training that is age and growth/development appropriate.
Your speed training programs should focus on developing speed and coordination at the same time.
2. Speed Training for Young Athletes Should Be Set Up As a Long-Term Approach
Don’t get caught up in quick solutions for speed training and young athletes. Instead, think about a long-term approach that allows them to be active, healthy, fit, strong and injury-free for life.
One of the worst things coaches and trainers do with young athletes is try to train them on some professional athlete’s 6 week offseason program etc.
Quick solutions aren’t the answer for young athletes. A progressive training approach that will help them get better and better, year after year is best.
They will still make progress in short periods of time, but as the parent, coach or trainer, we need to envision a long-term approach for our young athletes, instead of quick-fixes.
3. Strengthen the Posterior Chain Strength To Increase Speed In Young Athletes It’s really that simple...
If you want to get any athlete faster, you need to concentrate on the muscles of the posterior chain - glutes, hamstrings, calves and low back. This is really important when training young athletes.
I like to describe training the posterior chain in a young athlete as a rear-wheel drive muscle car. The power from that muscle car comes from the rear wheels. That’s what provides the speed off the light. The power coming from the rear wheels is what makes it so powerful when accelerating.
The same thing goes for athletes. Make the rear, or in this case the posterior chain muscles, and you have more speed.
4. Increase “Relative” Strength To Increase Speed
One of the best ways to dramatically increase the speed of young athletes is to increase relative strength. Relative strength refers to your strength compared to body mass.
The more strength you have compared to body mass, the faster you become.
Simply stated, you want to get your young athletes stronger without adding much body weight to improve speed and quickness.
This is where functional strength training becomes valuable for training young athletes. They get stronger in the right places and won’t add any unnecessary body weight. Not
to be confused with barbells and bodybuilding-type training, functional training is geared towards developing athletes.
Young athletes can get stronger. Much of this is due to learning how to use their body. By having your young athletes perform functional strength training exercises along with
appropriate speed training drills, you will increase their relative strength... and be a faster athlete.
5. One Leg Exercises are Essential for Speed Development
Young athletes need to master the basic strength exercises. This will come in time, when it’s appropriate for their growth and development as well as experience.
One of the most important things a young athlete should master are the one-leg exercises.
One leg exercises will help build strength in the lower half while building up the small stabilizing muscles in the hips.
One leg exercises often don’t require anything more than bodyweight for resistance. This keeps the load off of the spine and allows young athletes to increase strength in the lower body with minimal risk of stress on the joints.
6. Train For Speed AND Train For Injury-Prevention
You can be as fast as lightning but if you’re injured you won’t be much good for your team.
A big mistake many parents, coaches and trainers make with young athletes is trying to get get them stronger for speed... yet forgetting about including training techniques for injury prevention.
One simple technique to help reduce non-impact injuries in young athletes is to include lateral movements in their training.
Exercises that require an athlete to move side to side require the use of the Gluteus Medius muscles. This helps build explosive speed and power while reducing groin injuries.
Lateral exercises should be included in all phases of training in young athletes.
7. Functional Strength Training
One of the worst things you can do for long-term success in youth athletes is get them lifting heavy weights in the weight room before they are ready for it. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Youth athletes are in a unique period in their lives in regards to growth and development. Their body’s aren’t meant to endure lots of spinal compression due to heavy barbell lifting.
- Heavy barbell training can be beneficial to a point, when and only when a youth athlete is ready for it in terms of their maturity and relative strength.
This is where functional training comes into play. It’s basically using training methods that make sense. The exercises focus on more than one body part at a time. This helps in developing the essential muscles such as the core and posterior chain area as well as the stabilizers in the hips and scapula areas. The result is faster, stronger athletes who stay on the field more because they don’t get hurt as often.
8. Give Them What They Need If You Want More Speed
Increasing speed and quickness in young athletes requires a systematic, logical approach You have to have a program that covers the essentials:
- Dynamic warmup
- mobility and soft tissue work
- speed training drills
- functional strength training
- drills (to reinforce your objective and lets them have fun) - games
This is the approach we use when training youth athletes to increase speed, quickness and overall athleticism. This approach helps them progress in their speed and strength with a long term approach that will minimize injuries.
9. Make It Fun
You will never succeed in getting youth athletes to increase their speed and athleticism with a boring training program.
Kids want to have fun. This is where you need to be careful about training them like youth athletes or trying to train them like an adult or older athlete.
The best way to have youth athletes learn a skill is to involve that skill in some sort of game. Games are the connection between the coach or teacher and the youth athlete.
Games are also a great way to finish a speed training session. The youth athletes always look forward to the “reward” of a game. Its work and play mixed together and the result is faster, more athletic youth athletes. This is because games (when chosen correctly) will have athletes moving in different planes of motion... just as they will in competition.
10. Fuel Your Athletes Before and After Training Sessions
Here is some good advice. If you’re trying to build faster, quicker youth athletes you should pretend they are a high- perfmanance sports car.
If you had a Ferrari you know that you have a machine with potential to go very very fast. However, if you put really bad gasoline and oil into it, your performance will suffer. Imagine if you put sand into the gas tank instead of gas. How much performance would you get then?
It’s the same thing with young athletes. You need to have proper nutrition to fuel the workouts and recover from them. By doing this, your youth athletes will get faster, quicker and stronger.
The key to building faster, quicker youth athletes is to have a training system and nutrition system that work synergistically so that your youth athletes continue to make progress in performance over time.
I hope these 10 tips have helped you discover how to help your youth athletes become faster and quicker.
Drinking beer like a viking, sleeping on random couches, staying up until 4 in the morning—there are a lot of habits you’re probably happy to leave to your 20-year-old self.
But the magic of being able to eat pizza, burgers and chips and still lose weight and have abs? Those are sweet memories indeed. Once you’re over 40, trying to lose that unsightly fat and get rid of your gut seems like a daunting task.
I know because I’ve been there.
It seems like only yesterday that I was in high School and college, working out regularly in the weight room. I had 6-pack abs too and didn’t need to do crunches or sit-ups either. I was ripped year round.
Oh, and I could eat anything I wanted. I’d make weight-gainer shakes, eat burgers, pizza, fast food and junk… and I was still lean and muscular.
Fast forward to age 40.
Oh boy did things change. It seemed like my metabolism slowed to a halt.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey follow-up study found that among adults 25 to 44 years old, men gained about 3.4 percent of their body weight each 10-year interval; women gained 5.2 percent per 10 years.
You see, when your body is losing muscle due to age your metabolism slows down because muscle cells are where fat is burned. It’s as if you’re taking the fat-burning fire and dousing it with water.
Use these five tip to lose fat and get your metabolism in check after age.40.
1. Cut Way Back On Alcohol
Alcohol is the simplest sugar of all. A gram of sugar from alcohol contains about 7 calories. That’s almost twice as much per gram of sugar found in foods. When you were younger your body could metabolize these alcohol sugars along with the rest of the junk you ate.
But now, it will struggle to do anything more than let it increase the size of your gut. Alcohol does a number on your internal organs as well. Chronic alcohol consumption can destroy your liver. It can also screw with your hormone levels. Let’s face it: when you get older the last thing you want is to decrease your hormone levels more than they do naturally.
2. Cut Back On Meat
Did you know that one in three men over 40 will die from heart disease? It’s true. When you were younger your biggest risk for early death was an unfortunate accident. As you get into your 40’s and up the risk is now cardiovascular disease. As a guy who loves a good steak or burger, I know how hard it is to cut back on meat. But replacing meat with healthier plant-based fats can help lower your cholesterol and put less strain on your cardiovascular system. Some good healthy fats are olive oil, avocados, nuts, eggs and fatty fish such as salmon.
3. Up Your Protein
Sadly, we all lose a pound of muscle each year after age 30. That adds up as the years roll on. What to do about it?
Start by making sure you’re eating quality, lean proteins (again, not too heavy on the meats.( You don’t have to consume the large amounts you did when you were doing heavy lifting back in the day, but don’t skimp on it either. You also need to consider that protein isn’t stored in the body like fats and carbohydrates.
That means you should strive to have smaller, more frequent protein servings each day. Also, by consuming more protein you’re apt to consume less carbohydrates. Carbs in abundance give you a belly bloat. Not exactly what you’re looking for here. Think about trying to get 25-30 grams of protein in a meal.
4. Up the Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are essential part of your diet thanks he fiber, vitamins, minerals as well as their antioxidant properties. .
It seems odd that for so long people have heard about the USRDA and never know what it is or to follow it. The USRDA refers to the United States Recommended Daily Allowances of foods and micronutrients. The government has invested millions into these findings and recommendations.
Many people don’t realize that their perfect meal plan lies in the USRDA. For example, the USRDA for fruits and vegetables are 5-9 servings per day. Personally, I like 3 fruits and 4 veggies each day. Since time is always an issue, I’ll often add fruit and veggies (think spinach and broccoli) to shakes.
SIDE NOTE: If you’re gagging reading about spinach and broccoli in a shake, you really can’t tasted them:).
5. Resist Processed Carbs
All of those tasty bagels, pastries and donuts at office work meetings are not your friends. These carbohydrates are processed and any nutritional value has been stripped from them.
Your body will hold on to the excess sugar and throw your blood-sugar levels out of whack, causing you to overeat foods that don’t have any solid nutrition. Even worse, your metabolism slows and the carbs are even harder to work off.
Opt for carbs from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains including whole-wheat bread and quinoa and whole oats, which will ensure your blood sugar remains stable and you can keep cravings in check.
You can still get your flat stomach and 6-pack abs in your 40’s and older. You simply have to change your approach. Trying to eat and train like you did when you were younger isn’t the answer. Now you’re older and wiser. Use your maturity, common sense and wisdom to help you rediscover your inner athlete.
Steve Preston, Strength Coach, Husband and Doggie Daddy.