Friday, August 27, 2010

A Lean Machine?

A common misconception people have is "Running will make me Lean".

This myth stems from when we see runners, they are in-fact very, very lean.
However, its not because they run that makes then lean.
They make themselves lean, to be a better runner. 

Lean does not equal Thin. 
Being lean means you have a very low Body Fat Ratio. 

Thin just means a smaller dress size and lighter on the scale.  
This is an average range of having a "Good" body fat ratio, give or take a % here and there.
  • Guys -  6-13%
  • Girls - 12-20%

Running is great cardio, it builds a stronger heart, and increases basal metabolic rate.
Not to say Running won't help you lose weight, it will, but to be really lean, you need focus on diet and nutrition.

Reduce fats, oils and sugar (not all, you still need fat and sugar to give you energy). Amp up the Protein and Iron

But make sure your body has plenty of Iron, Protein and enough Carbs and Fats to build a stronger body and to sustain the run.
Of times, people just cut calories, to lose weight, which doesn't necessarily lead to a better body.


Common Scenario 1: A person will give up a steak dinner and replace it with a salad.

While a day or 2 a week of drastically lowering your caloric consumption is great for weight loss, you need to remember your body is now Lacking Iron and Protein, 2 sources of building muscle.

So what happens to your body when you start working out and your muscles have 0 fuel? (what happens when you drive a car without Gas?)

  • Your muscles Break Down and can't repair themselves leading to your body to have more and more and MORE FLAB!!! The muscle actually starts Eating away at itself, causing you to lose what little muscle mass you originally had. That is why you see really skinny people at a Size 0, but they have 28% Body fat ratio.
  • BALDING - your body will start drawing Iron away form your Hair, leading your hair to Fall Out! That's not a pretty picture ladies and gents. Flab and balding.. gasp!

Common Scenario 2: (this is my challenge) When we run, our bodies are burning A LOT of fuel.... so what do we do after the run? REPLENISH like crazy! What's the purpose of working out if you can't enjoy that extra slice of cheesecake right?! Well, we (especially I) love replenishing it a little too much.. Even if we burn off 1000 calories we end up eating 900 calories... So we're really not burning as much as we "think" we are.

  • A good way to curb from over gorging yourself - Drink a protein shake or eat a protein bar after your run. You will feel Famished after a 4 hour run, having some food in you before you eat will stop you from eating that 2nd or 3rd serving of food.

Common Scenario 3: Its not Just about the Run.

Runners can't only 'just' run, they need to build the rest of their body as well. Don't forgo lean resistance/strength training, cross training, and core strengthening. Throw in some Yoga once or twice a week to keep your joints fluid. Strength training is what builds your muslces and keeps them from turning into more flab.

More muscles = more calorires burned.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A short period of gluttony can have a lasting effect

This article was too good not to share.

scares me to think of "pigging" out.

A short period of gluttony can have a lasting effect,0,1808680.story

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Heart has taken another lover..


I was eating lunch by myself at the Hot Topic cafe patio around March or April 09. I was still new, only being at the company for a few months and everyone I knew was busy that day. A co worker, Steve, whom I had brief interaction with at that time, approached me and sat with me at the patio. I was at the time training for my first 1/2 Marathon (OC 1/2 in May 09) and he had noticed me running with some friends after work. 

We instantly became engrossed in a conversation about fitness and working out, at the time I really wanted to participate in the OC Tri -
But ONE little problem - I didn't know how to swim at all.
But as fate had it, Steve was a Swim instructor! He wanted to do a Tri also, and so training began. 

It took me a 2-3 months to learn how to swim. I met with Steve about 3-4 times a week each morning and sometimes after work too. I spent 2 weeks just kicking on a kick board, then another 2 weeks, combining the arms, (with the kick board), then combining it all together. At first, I was only able to swim half the length of the 25 meter pool. Finally another 2+ weeks went by, and I was able to go the whole length without stopping. (I hate to admit, but I drank a lot of pool water - and YES I know how disgusting that is)

My swimming was still really weak, I could barely swim 10 laps without stopping and by that time and the race (1500 meter swim ~ 60 laps), was approaching. Steve participated in the race and did fantastic. 

And that's how the madness all began.

Steve just finished his first 1/2 Ironman July 2010 and there's been no turning back. 

My first Sprint tri is approaching in less than 4 weeks and I'm really Excited and Freaked out. Everyone says you get addicted, and it is very true.. As scary as it is, its very invigorating.

1/2 mile Swim •11 mile cycle •3 mile run

Steve's 1/2 Ironman (1.2 mi. swim • 56 mi. bike • 13.1 mi. run). If your trying to read the clock read it backwards - it say 43 mins.  Can you believe he's in his early 40's.
Oops.. I dont think Steve would like me sharing that info. heheh :-D 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crunches SUCK!

They don't call it "Hard Core" if they weren't referring to having some rock hard abs.. Again, "Running" isn't 100% based on your legs.

Often runners (including myself) are SO focused on the run, we seriously forget about everything else. If you're pressed for time, Its OK to shorten your run by 10-15mins and incorporate these workouts.

Having a Strong CORE is vital to being a Strong runner.

Even if you're Not a runner, these are still GREAT Core exercises anyone can do

Why these are some my Favorite Core exercises?

  1. Because Crunches SUCK
  2. You don't have to do 100 Crunches and get a WAY better workout
  3. Super Easy, Anyone, and I mean anyone (with arms and legs), can do these 
  4. No excuses - No,  "I have lower back pain" No, "I have neck pain", etc etc.. these exercises can actually Correct those problems

Read the entire article here on its a really great article.

  1. Plank Lift 
    What It Hits: transversus abdominis and lower back

    Begin facedown on the floor, propped up on your forearms, with knees and feet together. With your elbows under your shoulders, lift your torso, legs, and hips in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 10 seconds. Raise your right leg a few inches, keeping the rest of the body still. Lower and repeat with your left leg. 

    Keep It Honest: Pull in your belly and don't let your hips sag. 

    Make It Harder: Extend the time of the exercise. Each time you lift your leg, hold it for 15 to 20 seconds.
    -Add the BOSU ball : rest either your arms or feet on the rounded part of the ball to intensify the move.

  2. Side Plank  (Wanna get rid of that Muffin top and love handles? - This move is AWESOME)
    Your abs will be screaming the next day.. and it will seriously hurt to laugh and sneeze, haha!

    What It Hits: obliques, transversus abdominis, lower back, hips, and glutes

    Lie on your right side, supporting your upper body on your right forearm, with your left arm at your left side. Lift your hips and, keeping your body weight supported on the forearm and the side of the right foot, extend your left arm above your shoulder. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

    Keep It Honest: Keep your hips up; don't let them sag.

    Make It Harder: Support your upper body with your right hand, instead of your forearm.
    -lift up the non supporting arm straight up to the ceiling, or lift up the non supporting leg up, and if you're really intense, "Thread the needle" - With your non supporting arm, reach under your opposite side, and imagine pulling a rope/thread up to the sky
    -Add the BOSU ball : rest either your arms or feet on the rounded part of the ball to intensify the move.
  3. Metronome 

    What It Hits: obliques

    Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and raised over your hips, with your ankles parallel to the ground, your feet lifted, and your arms extended outward. Rotate your legs to the left side, bringing your knees as close to the floor as possible without touching.
    Return to the center, then move your knees to the right side. Do 10 to 12 reps on each side.

    Keep It Honest: Make sure not to swing your hips or use momentum; start the movement from your core and continue to move slowly from side to side.

    Make It Harder: Keep your legs straight.
    -if you have a partner, have then toss your legs to the ground while you use the resistance to keep your legs from touching the ground. 

  4. Superman (this is GREAT if you have lower back pain)

    What It Hits: transversus abdominis (deep abs) and erector spinae (lower back)

    Start facedown on the floor, with your arms and legs extended out front. Raise your head, your left arm, and right leg about five inches off the floor. Hold for three counts, then lower. Repeat with your right arm and left leg. Do up to 10 reps on each side.

    Keep It Honest: Don't raise your shoulders too much.

    Make It Harder: Lift both arms and legs at the same time.
    -Add the BOSU ball. Lay with your belly on the rounded part of the ball and do this move
  5. Bridge 

    What It Hits: glutes and hamstrings

    Lie faceup on the floor, with your knees bent 90 degrees, your feet on the floor. Lift your hips and back off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for five to 10 seconds. Lower to the floor and repeat 10 to 12 times.

    Keep It Honest: Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, and don't let your spine sag.

    Make It Harder: Straighten one leg once your hips are lifted.
Mix it up!! 

Here are a few more really Great and REALLY EASY moves!!

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Got Balls? - Part 2

    In addition to relieving aches and pains, these are 3 balls that I love training with. You can make it as easy and pain free as you like, or as intense as you like. The possibilities are endless of what you can do with these. But I'll go into more detail in future posts.

    Bosu Balance Trainer Home Version1: Bosu Ball - My current favorite "toy". Stands for "BOth Sides Up" or the more PC term, "BOth Sides Utilized". Great for building core strength, balance and overall body strength. Anything you can do standing or sitting on the ground you can do standing on a BOSU (crunches, twists, push ups)
    A nice trick just stand on the BOSU while you watch tv to tone your abs and legs.

    TKO Anti Burst Fitness Ball Set 75cm2: Balance / Yoga Ball   Pretty common, so I wont go into much detail. But another trick sit on this, and try to balance with one leg while you watch tv.Your abs wont know what hit them.

    Valeo MB10 10-Pound Medicine Ball3: Medicine Balls. I like to toss these up in the air and catch them. Its great for toning your arms and back muscles. Toss them up, to the side, against a wall or to a partner. Hold them while you do lunges or Russian Twists/Crunches. Add these moves on the BOSU for a more intense workout.