How I went from a pencil neck to a Lunk
We are bombarded with commercials talking about a no Lunk Zone. Lunks are what Planet Fitness has characterized as what body builders are. They are trying to reinforce the image that muscles equate to mindless idiots. They wish to create a gym where no one is really in shape but rather are happy with their level of don’t try hard complacency. This is a place where people can eat their pizza, and sip their sodas while they work out. This is a so called fitness company where people aren’t fit. This is what Planet Fitness imagines as a good thing, creating an atmosphere where people don’t push themselves to the next level. People need to raise the bar as far as their fitness levels, not put the bar on the floor, and aspire towards nothing.
Years ago when I first started going to the gym yes I was intimidated by the big guys lifting the big weights. Though I was intimidated I knew that if I worked HARD that one day I too would be a big guy lifting big weights. Back then I was 27 years old, Six foot one inch, 170 pounds and flabby- skinny probably 20 per cent body fat. I am still 6ft. 1 in. but I weigh 205 pounds with an eight per cent body fat and I look muscular and ripped. I am sixty years old and I can; bench press the 95 Lb. dumbbells for 8 reps, Deadlift 315Lbs for 10 reps or 405 lbs. for a single, I power squat over 800 Lbs. on a machine and do dumbbell Kroc rows with a 135 lb. dumbbell, I also do Lat pulls for reps with the full rack. This all would not have happened or had been possible if I didn’t try and push myself day after day. That is the body building credo push-push-push, don’t give up, make yourself bigger stronger and better.
Our society is inundated with health issues caused by our lack of strenuous activity and bad dietary practices. Taking some tips from the bodybuilding life style surely could do a lot of us some good. Proper sleep, good nutrition and hard work in the gym never hurt anybody. Don’t let media hype put you into the no judgment zone. The only one that truly can judge us, is ourselves. Don’t let yourself down, aspire to be better and work towards that goal.
Eating Good Fats to be Healthy
This country has been bombarded with inaccurate media hype on the evils of fat in our diet. We have been repeatedly told of the guilt free supposedly healthy choices of; fat free cookies, baked potato chips, fat free ice cream and other low fat goodies that are actually loaded with sugar and calories. Food manufacturers commonly use sugar as a flavor enhancer instead of fat. Many Americans consume up to 130 pounds of added dietary sugar a year. The trading of healthy fat for sugar only increases levels of blood triglycerides and increases the body’s secretion of insulin, risking the onset of diabetes. Trans fat, or partially hydrogenated fat should be avoided for they increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat that generally comes from animal sources tends to raise total and LDL cholesterol. Saturated fats raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Fat is one of the three macronutrients along with protein and carbohydrates that provide our body with energy sources. Fat is essential to your body for proper functioning. Some vitamins, for instance, must have fat to dissolve in to nourish your body. People need to make good choices in what types of fat to eat. Fat is not always the enemy of your waistline, or your arteries. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats actually lower cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease. Omega 3s found in certain fatty fish lower blood pressure and help protect against irregular heartbeats. Eating fats in conjunction with carbohydrates change the glycemic index of the foods eaten. High fibrous carbohydrates from vegetables are a good choice for they are assimilated slowly releasing little insulin. Nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, flax seeds, avocados, salmon, tuna, peanut butter and sunflower oil are all great choices for dietary fat sources. Remember even cholesterol is not always bad; your body makes sex hormones from cholesterol.
Eating dietary fat helps our body burn fats as a fuel. Stored carbohydrates(glycogen)is always burned first before the body releases fat stores to be burned as fuel (fatty acid oxidation). The key to loosing fat, is eating fat and cutting down on carbohydrates.
Analyze what truly is in what you eat before you eat it. Think twice before you grab that bag of fat free cookies. Grab a bag of almonds instead of fabricated garbage food, your body will thank you.
When too much exercise is more then enough.
Athletes of all kinds are constantly striving to better their body’s performance, or its appearance. The never ending battle with our bodies in the quest for personal bests puts us at high risk of over-reaching too long and eventually overtraining.
Overtraining is a term you hear quite often nowadays. The concept that if working out a little is good, then working out a lot must be better is a gross misnomer. Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercising exceeds their recovery ability. Excessive in this context means either there are too many stresses in term of; number, duration, and, or, intensity. These stresses are too much for the individual’s body to adapt to in a given period of time.
The concept of adaptation is tricky; if one exercises at too low of a level adaptation does not occur, too much the body starts shutting down systems to conserve energy, in the effort to save its’ very self. Reproductive hormones are prone to system shut down. Species do not reproduce in a threatening environment. Women when overtraining are prone to aberrations in their menstruation cycle. These aberrations cause low levels circulating estrogens, mimicking menopause. The resulting lowered estrogen levels place these women in a higher risk category for clinical osteoporosis in later life.
Men have a male counterpart to female amenorrhea. Males that over train, experience a lowering of testicular activity, from the blunting of pituitary function. Suppression of the pituitary results in a lowered production of luteinizing hormone. The reduction of luteinizing hormone forces the lowering of serum testosterone. There is a causal relationship between lowered testosterone and the decrease in libido, sperm count, and reproductive ability.
The effects of over training are not limited to sex hormone levels alone. The following are symptoms of over training:
- General soreness increasing form training session to training session.
- Sudden or gradual increase in resting heart rate.
- Lowered general physical resistance, as evidenced by continuous colds or headaches.
When experiencing the symptoms of overtraining the course of action is rest and laying off strenuous physical activity for a few days to a week.
Train the body- Nudge the body- Don’t beat the body.