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Study finds: Strength and hypertrophy adaptations between low- vs. high-load resistance training

Schoenfeld, BJ, Grgic, J, Ogborn, D, and Krieger, J, have reviewed the current body of literature and a meta-analysis to compare changes in strength and hypertrophy between low- vs. high-load resistance training protocols. A total of 21 studies were ultimately included for analysis that met the following criteria:

  1. an experimental trial involving both low-load training [≤60% 1 repetition maximum (1RM)] and high-load training (>60% 1RM);
  2. with all sets of the training protocols being performed to momentary muscular failure;
  3. at least one method of estimating changes in muscle mass or dynamic, isometric, or isokinetic strength was used;
  4. the training protocol lasted for a minimum of 6 weeks;
  5. the study involved participants with no known medical conditions or injuries impairing training capacity.

Gains in 1RM strength were significantly greater in favor of high-load vs. low-load training, whereas no significant differences were found for isometric strength between conditions.

Changes in measures of muscle hypertrophy were similar between conditions.
The findings indicate that maximal strength benefits are obtained from the use of heavy loads while muscle hypertrophy can be equally achieved across a spectrum of loading ranges.

You can find the full article (PDF) here.

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Weider´s training principles: The progressive overload principle

Joe Weider (November 29, 1919 – March 23, 2013) was a Canadian bodybuilder and entrepreneur who co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) alongside his brother Ben. He was also the creator of the Mr. Olympia, the Ms. Olympia and the Masters Olympia bodybuilding contests.
Joe Weider
Joe’s most indelible addition to the science and sport of bodybuilding is the Weider Principles: over 30 theories and techniques that forever changed the means by which someone could build a strong, muscular body.

The progressive overload principle

To increase any aspect of physical fitness (muscle mass, strength, stamina, etc.), your muscles need to be continually put under increased stress.
Today, I want to focus on muscle mass, to keep it simple for beginners. To achieve more muscle mass, the number of sets is key.
In the early years of bodybuilding, most experts believed that to increase muscle mass, we should only complete one set of each exercise per workout. If the whole body is to complete twelve exercises, this would mean twelve sets per workout.
Weider saw it differently. He was the first to recommend working out using several sets of one exercise (3-5 sets per exercise) to exhaust each muscle group and to stimulate maximum muscle growth.
Start with three sets of each exercise and continue increasing the number of sets until you make five. This strategy will also help you increase your muscle strength gradually without obsessing with the weight you lift. It´s no magic, it´s the progressive overload principle: once your muscles are used to perform three sets, you have to push them to do four sets and then five.
When you are able to do five series with the same weight with which it was hard to do three series the first week, it is time to add more weight.
I know that most bodybuilders speak wonders and encourage you to lift heavy, and so do I, but in due time. The word “heavy” means “difficult to lift or move” and this is a different weight to each person. Whatever is difficult to lift today for you, it will be easier to lift next month.
First, progress from 3 to 5 sets. Then progress to heavier weights.
The progressive overload principle is the core of all physical training and forms a solid basis for successful training.
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Fitness Advice #1 Start Now

Yesterday you said tomorrow

As the New Year approaches, many of you may be writing your New Year´s Resolutions yet. Chances that “get in shape” appears on your list are high. And that´s ok, but let me tell you: about 80% of you will fail. I don´t want to discourage you, but it is what it is.
So, the first and best advice I can give you is this: Start today!
You feel motivated right now and you think this motivation will keep growing and growing, leading you to start exercising soon. Well, it may happen, but my experience (and January´s abandon rate) tells me you have more possibilities to win the lotto.
Motivation sucks because it´s never there when you need it. The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, apply the 5-seconds rule. In this video, Mel Robbins explains how we all sabotage ourselves, and how we can stop doing it.
Do not wait until New Year, do not wait until next week, do not wait until tomorrow. Whether it is winning a race, losing weight, gaining flexibility, looking good in a bathing suit, or living a long life, start small and work your way up to a better and better you. Please, don´t fool yourself waiting for the perfect moment to start chasing your dreams. There is no perfect moment to start anything other than right now!
Do not wait one more second: go to the gym and get that membership, or buy that pair of dumbbells you need to train at home or the pair of running shoes you need… It doesn´t matter what your specific goal is, today is the right moment for you to start chasing it. No excuses, no overthinking… Just do it.
The toughest part is yet to be: keep going. Rome wasn´t built in a day. A warm day does not make summer. And let me tell you that after your first day working out, you´ll feel proud. But also soreness, tired, and many days from this first day you won´t feel like training. Those who workout on a regular basis know I´m telling the truth. We all feel like that one day (or week) or another! Remember the 5 seconds rule, kick your excuses out of your head and do what you have to do, keep going. A regular (serious) training plan is usually set for 6-8 weeks. On this journey you´ll have good and bad days, great and terrible days, they´re all part of the process.
At this point, you already know that online training is a “thing”. We´ll work together using Evernote, the best app in the market to set goals, track progress, and get things done. That´s what fitness is about, right? Set goals, get things done, and progress towards your dreamed body.
I would love to help you achieve your fitness goals, whatever they are: lose weight, gain muscle, overcome a plateau, running a 5k or a marathon… You name it, I´m an old dog with years of experience and tons of tricks in my sleeve to get you where you want to be. Feel free to check my services, and if you think you need a custom training and meal plan, and I could help you, sign up. The first week is free if you create your Evernote account using my referral link. This way you make sure I´m the right trainer for you without worrying about the money.

“Example, whether it be good or bad, has a powerful influence”. George Washington

Following Washington´s advice, I want to invite you to join my own fitness journey. Yes, it starts today! Just click the “add to calendar” button in the sidebar and you´ll get my daily workout straight on your calendar.

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Then, you can reschedule as best fits your own schedule. Easy, right?

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I have not trained for a long time and these workouts will be suitable for all those who want to start lifting and getting fit. We will progress together, week by week. As an incentive, there will be special offers, gifts, and surprises for those who join. All this will appear only in the notes, in due time. Of course, I am at your disposal to answer any questions and help you get the most out of these workouts.

Just one last thing: Happy Sweating!!

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60 healthy salmon recipes

Salmon are considered “anadromous” which means they live in both fresh and salt water. They are born in freshwater where they spend a few months to a few years (depending on the species) before moving out to the ocean. When it’s time to spawn, they head back to freshwater.

Salmon appearance varies greatly from species to species. Species like chum salmon are silvery-blue in color while some have black spots on their sides, like the Atlantic salmon. Still others, like the cherry salmon, have bright red stripes. Most of these species maintain one color when living in fresh water, then change color when they are in salt water.

Salmon is a popular food. Classified as an oily fish, salmon is considered to be healthy due to the fish’s high protein, high omega-3 fatty acids, and high vitamin D.

Fresh or canned, have salmon any night of the week with these easy recipes:

30 healthy salmon recipes

30 healthy canned salmon recipes

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Updating old post – Lower leg muscles

In the world of fitness, there are some topics that change little over time. Anatomy, for example. I started this blog talking about anatomy and it was time to update these post. New pics and info on every muscle, like symptoms and activities that can cause pain.

Whether you are an athlete or if you are going to start exercising, knowing your body will only bring you benefits, so I recommend these readings. On Mondays of the coming weeks, I will share an update on a body area.

Let´s start with the lower leg muscles.

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30 healthy squid recipes

Squid is eaten worldwide. Depending on where squid is hunted and prepared the types of meals that can be made by them can vary significantly. They may be steamed or fried and eaten alone or mixed into a salad.

These are some interesting nutritional facts:

  1. Squids contain sufficient copper that fulfills the 90% of the body’s requirement. Copper, being a trace mineral, is essential for absorbing, storing and metabolizing iron and stimulating the formation of red blood cells.
  2. Individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are often found to have low selenium levels in their blood. Since squids have an abundance of this mineral, it helps in relieving symptoms of arthritis and controlling damage caused by free radicals.
  3. Squids contain large amounts of phosphorus, similar to fish and shrimps. This mineral is necessary for stimulating calcium and building the bones and teeth.
  4. Squids help in stabilizing sugar levels in the blood due to an increased supply of vitamin B3 to the body.

Check these 30 healthy recipes, you´ll find new ideas to prepare squid.

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30 healthy turkey recipes

Meat is a valuable source of protein and other nutrients. But when it comes to a healthy diet, it’s important to choose the right kind of meat and eat the correct portion size. Turkey is a relatively inexpensive source of protein, with more protein per gram than both chicken and beef, while remaining lower in fat and cholesterol than other meats. It also delivers vitamins and minerals.

Here are some key points about turkey meat:

  • Eighty-five grams of roasted turkey breast contains around 125.
  • In contrast, 85 grams of roasted dark turkey meat contains around 147 calories.
  • The dark meat of turkey typically contains more vitamins and minerals.
  • Turkey breast meat contains fewer calories and fat than most other cuts of meat.
  • Turkey contains vitamins B-6 and B-12, niacin, choline, selenium, and zinc.
  • Processed turkey meat can have a high sodium content.
  • Pasture-raised turkeys typically have higher omega-3 content than factory-farmed turkeys.

In this public notebook, you´ll find some of my favorite turkey recipes.

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30 healthy chicken recipes

Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world. There is significant variation in cooking methods amongst cultures. Historically common methods include roasting, baking, and frying. They are also often grilled for salads or tacos.

Whether you’re trying to build muscle or lose fat, chicken is included in your diet. I know by experience that eating chicken over and over again, cooked the same way, may be boring to death.

I´ve selected 30 of the most delicious chicken recipes from my notes (recipes are not my own). A different way to cook your chicken, each day of the month. A 30-recipes post would be hard to read so, you have all the recipes in this public notebook.

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I like to add checkboxes to the ingredients. I go to the kitchen with my list and I check I have everything I need. If not, that goes to the grocery list. At cooking time, all checkboxes are marked so, I unmark them as I´m using the ingredients. Once it´s done, the check boxes are ready for the next time.

Whether you’re an Evernote user or not, you can join the public notebook. But, for a better experience, create your free account, here.

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Foam Roller: Calves Relief

You´ll hear/read foam roller is a self-myofascial technique. Ok, self-myofascial release is the term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. By applying pressure to specific points muscles return to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic and ready to perform.

Some of the basic, most obvious benefits are better movement and increased range of motion. These benefits can decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time after a workout.

We should start foam rolling our calves. From the shoes we wear to the way we sit in a chair, our calves are suffering most of the time.

I would like to introduce a new style of videos, please click play and be amazed how the letters fall from the sky, haha! No, seriously, I would appreciate your feedback.

Read the main instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam Rolling

This month we´re going to learn how to foam rolling. I love my foam roller so much, I´m even worried! Maybe I skip a training session or miss a yoga session, but I always find ten minutes to catch up with my blue friend (you´ll see it´s blue).

As each exercise has its own instructions, but there are main guidelines and usual mistakes common to all of them, I think it´s easier to read separately. Once you know the “rules”, it gets boring read them over and over again, right? Anyway, if you need a reminder or thinking on new followers, I´ll add a link to this post for everyone´s safety.

  1. WARNING! Most important: Do NOT use the foam roller on your lower back. Never. You may get injured. And that´s the opposite you want. Rolling your lower back will cause your spinal muscles to contract to protect your spine. To release your lower back, we roll the muscles that connect to it, glutes, hip flexors, and so on.
  2. Time: Ideally, you should spend 20 seconds or so on each tender spot while managing how much pressure you apply. When using a foam roller you should apply enough pressure so that you feel some tension released, either with constant pressure or by making small movements back and forth. A mild amount of discomfort is expected but you shouldn’t be in pain.
  3. Pressure: Apply enough pressure so that you feel some tension released, either with constant pressure or by making small movements back and forth. A mild amount of discomfort is expected but you shouldn’t be in pain. On painful or inflamed areas, it’s often best to roll just a few inches away first and then use large, sweeping motions to cover the entire area.
  4. Speed: Do not roll too quickly; slow and concentrated movements. If you roll too fast, your muscles won’t have time to adapt and you’re not going to get relief.
  5. Bad posture: If you use an improper form or bad posture while doing this, it could exacerbate existing postural deviations and cause injury. This is why we give specific instructions on each exercise!

Are you ready to foam rolling?

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Resistance Band Triceps Extension

We can work our triceps at home, using the resistance band.

Anchor the band at the top of the door and stand facing it. Your feet hip-width apart. Grab the handles and brace your abs to stabilize your spine. Keep your torso aligned and pull your shoulder blades back and down.

Exhale and contract your triceps, straighten your elbows and pressing the handle down toward the floor. Continue pressing until your elbows are straight but not locked.

Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat.

Are you ready for a challenge?

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Join us!!! Add to your calendar for free and get fit from home!

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Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

An easy exercise for your triceps is the kickback.

Hold a dumbbell in the right hand. Stand in a split-stance position with the left leg forward. Keep your weight distributed through the heels of both feet. Brace your abdominal and core muscles to stabilize the spine. Slowly lean forward, shifting most of your upper extremity body weight into the left side. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Your head should be aligned with your spine. Maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.

Bend your right elbow bringing your upper arm parallel to, and close to, your torso. Your forearm should hang perpendicular to the floor.

Exhale and slowly straighten your elbow. Your upper arm should remain stationary next to your torso. Do not allow the upper arm to rise during the movement. Do not allow the low back to sag or your torso to rotate.

Inhale and slowly bend your elbow, returning to starting position.

Repeat and change sides.

Do you want to gain muscle or lose fat?

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Join us!!! Add to your calendar for free and get fit from home!