Fat Burning Strategies

Posted: 20th February 2013 by E.J. Reeves in diet

Losing weight is relatively easy but burning fat requires a planned approach.  Any fad diet can have you drop 10 or more pounds in a week or two.  This loss of weight is principally water, food, and muscle with little fat.  I have heard from countless people that they can loose from 5 to 10 pounds in a week or less but thereafter it becomes more difficult.  Training months for a photo shoot, I became phenomenally lean  (5% body fat or less) then in 24 hours I lost an additional 2 lbs. in 24 hours by dehydrating myself (you stop drinking water suddenly 24 hours before).  There are many things that can cause temporary weight loss that borders on the unbelievable.  Boxers who need to make their weight class have lost as much as 20 pounds in 24 hours prior to their weigh in.  Diuretics, and saunas ( for water loss), enemas (for evacuating any digested food) even Bulimia is used by professional models, actors and athletes for a quick fix in weight loss.  Loosing fat while sparing or even gaining muscle requires a very intelligent protocol that is based on discipline (what’ that) and some time (not 10 days or less).  Fat loss is possible with discipline and diligence.  If you are still interested in real fat burning, here is my list of effective fat loss.

  1. Morning workouts
    These are performed on an empty stomach, just some water or black coffee.  This is the only method that has got me both muscular and lean.  Many will tell you that timing does not matter, but many studies as well as my personal experience have proven the morning workout efficiency for producing lean bodies.
  2. Strength training
    Most people feel that aerobics  is key to fat loss.  I most heartily disagree!  The effect of strength training to burn fat and most importantly build muscle speeds up our metabolism for 24 hours.  The more muscle we have the more calories we burn in any activity, even sleeping.  Strength training has a very strong calorie burning effect if done with intensity. This means you may have to push yourself a bit and work through some muscle pain discomfort.  Intensity in strength training requires mental focus to push yourself through perceived barriers.  Many would rather read a book and sit on a stationary bicycle mindlessly sailing through their aerobic session.
  3. Hard (heavy and brief strength training sessions
    The focus on strength increases are the one most effective way of building muscle.  The other popular method is a volume method where you lift moderate weights for many reps and sets.  Volume training has its place but when you need to accomplish 2 goals, muscle gain and fat loss, you need to economize all your training efforts.
  4. Interval training
    This form of aerobics is most challenging but, has 2 positive aspects.  First it is by far the most effective fat loss protocol using aerobics and it requires only 12 to 15 minutes.  So there is the catch, you expend all out effort on your choice of aerobic machine (stair climber, elliptical treadmill or bicycle) for 30 to 120 seconds. Your heart rate should reach maximum for your age and immediately following this sprint, you will need twice the length of time to recuperate enough to start another all out effort.  You repeat this as often as you can in 12 to 15 minutes.  This intense workout will continue to burn calories and fat long after the workout is over.
  5. Follow a hard/easy rhythm
    If you have followed my advice on 1 through 5, you will be rising early every morning to strength train and interval train every second day.  Your workouts will be short but very intense.  We do not want you to “over train” so we need to alternate easy days with very intense days.  For fat loss, we must look at working out 5 to 6 days a week.  We can break this down to 3 intense workout and 3 less intense workouts.

Monday – Intense intervals, 15 minutes.

Tuesday – Intense strength training, 30 minutes

Wednesday – less intense intervals

Thursday – less intense strength training

Friday – intense intervals

Saturday – intense strength training

Sunday – lazy walk in the park

6. Eat 5 to 6 very small meals every 2 and 1/2 hours.  A meal can be an apple and protein drink, or half a tuna sandwich.  Equally spaced small meals will super change your metabolism.

7. Drink plenty of water.  This seems too easy to be important but it is.  Water flushes fat out, hydrates our muscles and helps waste elimination.  Generally the more water we drink the better  but not all at one time.  Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere is a good idea if you are serious about fat loss.

These are my 7 top fat burning strategies, starting with the hardest to implement to the most easy  to implement.  Adding some of the above strategies to your routine will burn more fat.  I try to incorporate all seven when really serious about fat loss and they have been very effective.

The 3 Best Exercises

Posted: 19th October 2012 by E.J. Reeves in fat loss, muscle building
Tags: ,

There can be many candidates for “best” exercise if we added qualifiers like,
Best for:

  1. Muscle building
  2. Aerobic fitness
  3. Flexibility
  4. Heart health
  5. Weight Loss
  6. Stress relief
  7. Functional Strength

To make the list of the top 3 exercises that everyone should benefit from would not only include some of the above qualifiers but more.  Here they are, the top 3, for athletes and couch potatoes:

  1. Walking
  2. Sprinting (Intervals)
  3. Pull-ups

Walking is about the lowest impact activity of any weight loss program.  It is better than swimming or bicycling for weight loss.  As a matter of fact it has benefits for the seven qualifiers we have mentioned previously.  It is a simple activity that lends itself to a social atmosphere with friends, family or spouse.  So flexible and anyone can do it, young or old.  As a stress reliever I find it has no equal, particularly in a country or suburban setting with plenty of trees, grass and interesting landscapes.  The benefits of regular walks for a couch potato are obvious but what of the well trained person.  Does walking 2 or 3 times a week hold any benefits to their already fit bodies.  The answer lies in what many high level trainers like to call “active rest”.  Rigorous  exercise can lead to over training and injuries.  Adding rest days to a highly trained individual may detract from their performance and recuperation.  It seems our bodies recuperate or heal better if we keep active with less intense training like walking.  So if you feel stressed, overworked, sore or just off your game go for a 20 to 40 minute walk.  The benefits will add up so quickly you may find yourself incorporating walks at lunch time or with your spouse after supper or even getting up early for a walk.

Sprinting is as intense an activity that anyone can muster.  After even a 50 yard dash, most will be puffing to catch their breath for several minutes.  After two or three sprints, most will be ready for the shower.  If walking is pleasant and refreshing, sprinting is challenging and exhilarating.  Many people incorporate sprinting into a interval type workout.  They would sprint or at least run for several seconds then walk for several minutes until they have caught their breath then sprint again.  They would repeat this several times for an intense workout.  Usually interval training is short in duration, even with rest periods between sprints the workout usually is over in 10 to 15 minutes.  As you see, I have not included running as one of the best exercises though there are millions worldwide that run miles everyday.  My view is that for the time and exertion running would take up too much of both.  Conversely walking takes little exertion and sprints take up little time so the combination of the two can be applied weekly.

Body weight exercises like pull-ups work the most upper body muscles of any strength movements.  Even the mighty bench press which is a favorite of many can not compare  to the pull-up for upper body muscle recruitment.  Muscle is needed for optimum fitness.  I have performed well over 1000 pull-ups every year for the past 12 years.  These have included every grip from extra wide to very narrow, some with a weighted vest and some with latex help bands but never one bench press.  To say the pull-up is the one best exercise for upper body muscle development would be an understatement.

There are many skinny fat  people that think they are fit.  What I mean by “skinny fat” is the person that is reasonably slim but has little muscle and appears soft.  Even though the weight scale tells them they are not overweight, they carry too much fat.  This needs to be replaced with hard muscle.

These three exercises are the “best” and should be added to your training.  If you presently are not exercising regularly you have time to incorporate all three into your week as follows:

Sunday – 20 to 40 minutes of walking

Monday – 4 to 5 sprints for interval training 15 minutes

Tuesday – 30 to 70 pull-ups with various grips

Wednesday – 20 to 40 minutes of walking

Thursday – 4 to 5 sprints for interval training 15 minutes

Friday = 30 to 70 pull-ups with various grips

Saturday – off day

Follow this routine for 12 weeks and you should loose over 10 pounds of body fat and gain at least 4 pounds of muscle.  This is an average for an untrained male between 30 and 60 .  I have used the above 3 “best” exercises in some combination for the past 12 years.  As you can see from my photos these 3  “best” have worked for me.  Try one or all three and see what they can do for you.

P.S.:  If you cannot take my word for the 3 best just search “walking for fitness”, “interval training for heart health”, “pull-ups for muscle gain”.

Most search engines will show you dozens of articles singing the praise of the 3 best exercises.

High Blood Pressure & Strength Training

Posted: 13th October 2012 by E.J. Reeves in high blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure should you strength train? The easy answer is no. The standard or safe answer but it may not be correct for most people.

As we age, heart risks including higher blood pressure become a greater likelihood. So the typical solution would be diet, aerobic exercise and possibly medication. To further complicate issues as we age or as we continue to neglect our bodies over decades, we loose muscle mass. This loss of muscle causes a slowing of our metabolism with additional weight gaining possibilities. We are attacked on two fronts, muscle loss on one hand and heart risks on the other hand.

My Story

I am in the second half of my life (over 50) with a history of heart problems in my family.  My father died of a heart attack as did all four of his brothers before him.  My mother died of a stroke.  I was diagnosed with mild hypertension (high blood pressure) in my mid twenties.  Monitoring my blood pressure for the past 30 years has been my habit.  What I have notice is that in the last 5 years, my blood pressure has be inching upward.  What do I do to counteract this trend?  Unwilling to admit I was doing something wrong stymied my analysis of my problem.  It was not until I viewed what I was doing as good but needed to be better did solutions arise.

Change the Strength Training Protocol

By adding an extended rest period (90 seconds) between some sets, I was able to lower my blood pressure for about an hour after exercise.  Slowing the pace was not the only change I made.

Here is a list:

1.  Warm-up and cool down.

2. Deep breathing during exercise, no holding your breath.

3. Vary the rep range from 6 to 12 reps.

4. Never train to total muscular failure.

5. Always have controlled moves, no jerking.

6. Add a walk or light aerobics midway during a strength routine to aid in muscles recovery. (As well as 3 separate aerobic workouts per week)

7. Monitor Blood Pressure immediately after strength workout and for next hour to see what effect a level of perceived exertion has on lowering Blood Pressure.

I have been encouraged by Dr. Wayne Westcott’s article  on “Strength Training and Blood Pressure, 4 Studies”.  Dr. Wayne maintains “that sensible strength training is both safe during exercise execution and beneficial for resting blood pressure.

Every year we get older, the necessity of exercise becomes critical in maintaining youthful vigor.  Life brings challenges but solutions are always there if we look for them.  Take care of yourself and keep working out wisely, I know I will.
Note:  Always consult with your Doctor before any vigorous training program.  This is especially important if you have even mild hypertension.

References:

  1. Researchers discovered resistance training’s positive effect on blood pressure and artery health is similar to performing aerobic exercises. “EMAX HEALTH”

The Mental Edge

Posted: 2nd October 2012 by E.J. Reeves in motivation

When building a better body, many talk about the mind muscle connection when working out. Engaging the mind for focus and concentration elevates your workout to maximum effectiveness. In 12BX the strict form, muscle flexing and stretching forces the mind to connect to your muscles throughout the workout.

The complete mental advantage begins before the workout! There are two more phases that the mind can be crucial in developing your physique to its best potential. First in this mental combo is imagining your ideal body. My ideal body would be as ripped as Bruce Lee, with the full muscle development of the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott and the pleasing symmetry of Hollywood’s first muscular star Steve Reeves.

Having this mental image in my imagination convinced me that indeed that was possible for me. More than just possible but probable. My mind told me this was my best body. Today I have some definition, some fullness of muscular development as well as symmetry. Was it by accident that my muscular development followed my vision of the ideal body? No accident because the body follows where the mind has been. Now between the imagination and the workout is the mental rehearsal.

Every night as I drift off to sleep, my mind reviews what is on the agenda for the following day. Since a morning workout is on the list, my mind walks through the workout. Will it be a hard or light workout, push up or pull ups, adding reps or sets. This mental rehearsal prepared me to accomplish the next workout! So in essence the bodily results stem from the mind!

The “mental edge” is the following; first imagine your ideal body. This could be a person you admire or several people who’s physical development you admire. Next plan, rehears, walk through your workout the day prior and preferably in the evening. Once you begin your workout connect to every muscle and sinew with all the concentration you can muster.

If you can dream it, you can achieve it

If you can dream it, you can achieve it! Credit: Bent Objects

To help you with your mental edge get a picture of two of a body you admire and post it in your workout area. Next get a workout log to help you plan and rehearse your workouts and lastly a mirror or a workout video to work out in front of. Success in building your ideal body is a forgone conclusion with ”The Mental Edge”.

Quadruple your Number of Pull-ups in 30 Days

Posted: 20th September 2012 by E.J. Reeves in pull ups

Most people can only do one or two pull-ups (shoulders wide, palms away) and maybe a few more chin-ups (close grip, palms facing you).  To increase your pull-ups from 2 to 8 or from 4 to 16 is quite a feat but very doable.  This is what you will need, one pull-up bar at your home or apartment with some paper and pen.  First you will test yourself to see how many perfect form shoulder width pull-ups you can do.  If you cannot do any pull-ups try close grip chin-ups.  Once you have established your number of repetitions you are ready to begin your 30 day journey.  Let’s say you can only perform 2 good form pull-ups.  Here is your next week’s daily routine.  Every 4 hours you perform 1 set of pull-ups as described in the chart below. (4 times a day with at least 4 hours between each set of pull-ups.)
Notice you start your program at your manageable 1 set maximum repetitions of pull-ups.  Whatever this number is (our e.g. is 2 reps) you perform ½ of your lst day sets at your maximum and half at one less than your maximum.  Everyday you add one more rep to one of the four sets.  That means for the week you will have added 5 total reps to your daily total by week’s end.

Week 1

Monday
8 a.m.  –    2
12 noon –  1
4 p.m.    –   2
8 p.m.    –   1
Daily Total = 6 pull-ups

Tuesday
8 a.m.   –  2
12 noon –  2
4 p.m.   –  1
8 p.m.   –  2
Daily Total = 7 pull-ups

Wednesday
8 a.m.  –    2
12 noon –  2
4 p.m.    –  2
8 p.m.   –   2
Daily Total = 8 pull-ups

Thursday
8 a.m.  –     3
12 noon  –   2
4 p.m.   –    2
8 p.m.   –    2
Daily Total = 9 pull-ups

Friday
8 a.m.  –      3
12 noon –     2
4 p.m.   –     3
8 p.m.   –     2
Daily Total = 10 pull-ups

Saturday
8 a.m. –         3
12 noon –     3
4 p.m.  –       3
8 p.m.  –       2
Daily Total =    11 pull-ups

On Sunday you try your best maximum reps of pull-ups.  Try to do this in the middle of the day at a time you feel fresh.  This re-testing will be the only pull-ups you will do for the day.  It is not unusual for people with small repetition numbers to be able to double their previous week’s best 1 set maximum.  With our example of starting at 2 reps, we would not be surprised at a 4 rep total on Sunday, day seven of our program.  The body seems to respond extraordinarily to this repeated low volume workout.  The reason for this is two fold.  First the daily pull-up workload is extremely light allowing easy recuperation and thus increased endurance.  Secondly the mind and muscles learn how to more effectively perform the pull-up function.  Like the professional baseball player who has a tremendous bat swing, with home run capacity, from teaching his muscles the appropriate swing.  Pull-up power can only be built with pull-ups (lots of pull-ups).
Starting week 2 is the same format as week 1.  You perform ½ of your re-tested sets (our e.g. is 4 reps) at your maximum and half at one less than your maximum.  Everyday you add one more rep to one of your sets for the day. This week we will not do 4 sets but rather 3 sets per day.

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Monday Monday Monday
4 5 7
3 4
3
Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday
4 5 7
3 5
Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday
4 6 7
4 5
4
Thursday Thursday Thursday
5 6 7
4 5
4
Friday Friday Friday
5 6 7
4 6
5
Saturday Saturday Saturday
5 6 7
5 6
5

Overview of program:
Week one has 4 workouts per day
Week two has 3 workouts per day
Week three has 2 workouts per day
Week four has 1 workout per day
Each week you begin by testing yourself for maximum pull-ups you can perform for one set.  One less pull-up than your maximum is your starting point each week.  Everyday you add one pull-up to one set of the daily workload.  Each week you drop one set per day from your workload. On week four you are performing one maximum set of pull-ups per day.  At the end of week four, retest yourself every second day for three days of testing during week five for your new absolute best one set maximum repetitions of pull-ups.
The best score for military testing is 20 perfect pull-ups in their fitness testing.  Entrance testing for Navy Seals sees scores well beyond that number.  My best maximum pull-ups is recorded on Easyeffort YouTube for 30 pull-ups.  Try this program and tell me how it works for you.  Impress yourself and your friends with pull-ups!

The Best Routines for Building Muscle

Posted: 15th August 2012 by E.J. Reeves in Uncategorized

There are no shortages of claims made by the “experts” on the best routine.  To clarify we can put every routine or training philosophy into two camps at the opposite extremes.  All the training programs produced in the last forty years can be place in one of the two extremes or somewhere in the middle of the two.

High Intensity Workouts allowed EJ to do a 100lb pull up

High Intensity Workouts allowed EJ to do a 100lb pull up

The first is called “High Intensity Training” or H.I.T for short.  It has also been called by names like Heavy Duty Training, Power Training and the like.  The main feature of this type of training is short bursts of all out effort in lifting very heavy weights for a few reps (3-6) per set with a protracted rest (2-3 minutes) between sets.  The focus is building strength at all costs.  Each repetition of weight moved should take monumental effort with the last rep of the set resulting in complete muscular exhaustion.  The reasoning is simple according to H.I.T. advocates, the stronger you are the more muscle you will build.  This is a scientifically sound assumption with many awesome athletic bodies being produced by High Intensity Training over the last 4 decades.  To maintain the high level of intensity for every workout, H.I.T. trainees may use stimulates like caffeine or adrenaline producing techniques like visualizing extreme mental images that evoke a strong emotion response like anger or fear.  As effective as H.I.T. is in building strength and muscle it has one critical flaw, it is very draining on your system. Since this is the case most “natural” athletes will cycle H.I.T. training once to three times per year at 4 weeks or less per cycle.

Please note:  Every effective training system has strengths and weaknesses that you must understand!

The second training philosophy that in essence is opposite of H.I.T. training is volume training.  At this other end of the training spectrum the focus is on the volume of work performed.  Typically moderate weight is moved for repetitions of 8 to 20 with minimal rest between sets (1/2 minute to 1 minute).
This is a controlled pace where your energy is metered out consistently through the entire work out to log as many reps and sets as possible.  This is a more customary approach that is the most popular form of bodybuilding.  People of all stripes work out to obtain a muscle pump from their work out in volume training.  Volume training reasons that the more reps and sets performed in any workout equals more work performed.  More work generates more results which in this case equals more muscle built.

If H.I.T. is like a 100 yard dash then volume training is like the marathon.  There in lies the weakness of volume training, the duration of the work out.  As you progress with volume training, the tendency for the work outs is to get longer.  This is common with the so called gym rats that seem to live in the gym.  Since volume training is effective at one volume then more is better is the logical conclusion.  This of course is flawed thinking when the work outs approach one hour and more.  Keeping your work outs to under an hour and closer to 45 minutes will allow you to maintain volume training progression for several months without over training.

I typically volume train for about 12 weeks then inject 4 weeks of H.I.T. training.  Below I will show how H.I.T. and volume training can be applied to pull ups with examples from my personal work out log.

Pull ups with High Intensity Training:

42”    wide pull ups
with 60 lbs 5 reps
with 30 lbs 5 reps
with bodyweight 5 reps
35”    wide pull ups
with 60 lbs 6 reps
with 30 lbs 6 reps
with bodyweight 5 reps
28”     wide pull ups
with 60 lbs 6 reps
with 30 lbs 5 reps
with bodyweight 6 reps

5 or 6 reps per set x 9 sets = 49 Total reps
2 – 3 minute rest per set

Please note:  this H.I.T. work out occurs only once or twice a year for 4 weeks or less.

Pull ups with Volume Training:

42″ Wide Pull ups 8 8
35″ Wide Pull ups 8 8
28″ Wide Pull ups 8 8
21″ Wide Pull ups 8 8
15″ Wide Pull ups 8 8
7″ Wide Pull ups 8 8

8 reps per set x 12 sets = 98 total reps

1 minute rest per set

Above work outs can be performed twice a week or every 3 days.

This volume work out is a more typical work out that I follow through out the year.

My $400,000 Body

Posted: 16th May 2012 by E.J. Reeves in lifestyle, motivation, pullup bar
Tags: , , ,

It is said confession heals the soul. I have told just a couple of people what I am about now to share with you publicly.

EJ in the shop designing a prototype

EJ in the shop designing a prototype

What drives you at 50 years of age to exercise? A lot of people ask how I became so dedicated to fitness?  What started you on path of inventing, making and selling your very own brand of home home exercise equipment?

In my late forties life was very good. Then it became better still! Still married to the wife of my youth with two adult boys. Only a few years to retirement and everything I own paid for! It sounds like a dream come true, but it gets even better. I decided to handle my own investments. Ninety thousand dollars in investments blossomed into $220,000 in under a year. Playing the stock market in a bull market with plenty of analysis was making me great amounts of money. A further $60,000.00 was earmarked in a cash account for my oldest son to attend Chiropractic College.

And then it happened! My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The doctors said he’d only live the rest of the year. My mother followed 14 months later having a cardiac event. During this period I came to be more aggressive at my investments. Going to the bank, I borrowed $120,000 for further investments. Yes, even my son’s college fund of $60,000 was committed to boom or bust stocks.

You’ll be able to guess what happened! Gone, all of it in months, four hundred thousand dollars! I became penniless. Even the house belonged to the bank. Through tear stuffed eyes I broke the news to my wife, “It is gone, all of it, everything, however i won’t rest until I make it all back and more”. That commitment to my wife meant I had to think and work my way out of this mess.

First on the plan was my physical health! I needed to live long enough and have enough vigor to make good on my promise. High blood pressure

EJs first Easychin design was a success!

EJs first Easychin design was a success!

levels, excess bodyweight, difficulty sleeping were all caused by my financial carelessness.

Resistance exercising along with aerobics started to clear my thoughts. I needed more than a skipping rope and some plastic weights.

I included an unconventional pullup bar and some parallel bar dips into my daily routine. As my body developed so did my pullup bar and dip bar models. The Innovation Center at the University of Waterloo issued me a certificate of approval for my design following a 27 aspect critical analysis. As a result, my EasyChin pullup bar and EasyDip doorway bar were born.  The initial success in the marketplace caused  my self confidence to return.
When things seemed like they were going to stall I read Bill Phillips book, Body for Life.™ “Change your mind, change your body, change your life” is exactly what I needed. A much better body had become the corner stone of my brand new life. Physically, I had been improving month after month. For 2 consecutive years I began the 12-week Body for Life™ Challenge and quit after some sizable progress.

EJ & Marlene having fun shooting a fitness video

EJ & Marlene having some fun shooting a fitness video

Be the greatest you can be was my new mind-set. I mailed in my photos and completed the 12 week challenge only after my third attempt.

Imagine and achieve! At 50 years of age with less than 6% body-fat and I model my own fitness equipment.

What I promised through tear filled eyes years ago has not come about. No, I haven’t made $400,000 but what I do have today is a $400,000 body. That’s the amount that started me upon my journey into a better life for my spouse, my loved ones and me. Oftentimes now when I need some encouragement to workout or to eat right, that sum of money comes to mind.

Now you know; my body is really a $400,000 body!

Strength, endurance and muscle size are separate goals that many pursue as if they can be obtained simultaneously and automatically with any resistance program. Well they can NOT be! To develop significantly with any of the above three would require specific and focused resistance programs to achieve results.

ENDURANCE EXAMPLE :

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHUI6e80jYg]

Training workout for endurance
15-20 reps per set @ 180 or more total reps per work out

STRENGTH EXAMPLE :

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi9p-mDwtaI]

Training workout for strength
3-5 reps per set @ 70 total reps per work out

MUSCLE SIZE EXAMPLE :

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn9NmF1vEww]

Training workout for muscle size
8 reps per set @ 100 total reps per workout

I use the 12BX protocol for muscle size. This can be varied and is varied by me to focus on strength or endurance as well. You can work for your triple crown of fitness by varying your workouts for endurance, then strength and also muscle size.This three prong attack on fitness keeps your goals clear for every variety of workout. Can I encourage you to set at least one fitness goal from any category; endurance, strength or muscle size.

Train with purpose!

Training Variety or Death By Boredom

Posted: 23rd April 2012 by E.J. Reeves in Uncategorized

Nothing kills a workout program like boredom! We all need a change every so often to keep motivated. A different workout protocol not only keeps things interesting but actually helps our bodies push through barriers or plateaus. The well known “General Adaptation Syndrome “identifies three different phases our bodies go through in response to training.

  1. “Alarm Stage“ Characterized by a drop in performance of the body due to stiffness and sore muscles.
  2. “Resistance Stage“ The body responds by getting stronger.
  3. “Exhaustion Stage“ There is no longer any improvement in performance from training.

Please note that after a month or so following the SAME workout your body falls into the 3rd phase and no longer adapts by improving. At this point a change is needed to see continued performance improvements.

Here is a list of a few possible variations to your favorite routines that will keep you in the second stage of adaptation were your body becomes stronger and keeps you out of the 3rd phase of boredom and exhaustion.

# 1 – Intensity:

All out effort in every workout is a sure way to exhaust your body. Introduce a “light” workout once a week. At an 85% effort level your body will still be stimulated for growth but will recoup and adapt faster from previous high intensity workouts. Your workouts should vary from all out effort (high intensity) to a bit less than 100% effort. If after your workout you feel strong and still able to do more you have had a “light” workout. If on the other hand you feel you could not possibly have done any more you have had a “hard” workout.

#2 – Volume:

Try increasing your volume of work to build additional endurance for your body. To do this you will need to adjust down the difficulty of your resistance exercises or the speed of your aerobic activity to do more. As much as 50% more total repetitions for resistance work and 50% more time or distance for aerobic work. These will be lighter and longer workouts at a controlled pace to build more endurance.

#3 – Strength or Speed:

Stronger and faster is every athlete’s goal. To do this we must do the opposite of the previous focus on increased volume and additional endurance capacity. To lift heavier or run faster you must reduce the volume (or distance) of your workout. Sprints will build speed whether on the tread mill or track. The most demanding movements like wide grip pull ups (with added weight if needed) in the 3 to 5 rep range will stimulate strength increases.

The lesson here is to vary your workouts. Change your focus every month to keep yourself motivated and improving.

I believe that I have developed an ideal, muscle building, body-weight, resistance training protocol (12BX Fitness Formula DVDs) Even though this is the best muscle building system for me, I still vary the workout focus from muscle building, to endurance, to strength and then back again to muscle building.

You may have your own ideal workout protocol or favorite routine. This is fine as long as you vary it every month or so to keep your body improving. Do not fall into a no progress rut!

Think Young, Be Young!

Posted: 12th April 2012 by E.J. Reeves in aging, motivation

One of the most neglected exercises when looking to get fit is mental outlook. Many people think they are old way before their time. They have self defeating thoughts about themselves, particularly their bodies. Here is a list of negative thoughts we need to eradicate from our mental outlook.

Fat Body in his 40s

Fat Body in his 40s


#1 “I am too old for exercise” (nursing home residents have used resistance training to dramatically improve mobility)

#2 “I am too tired “(exercise builds energy – do what you can at the time)

#3 “I have always been fat “(losing fat is the single most impressive thing you can do for your body)

#4 “I cannot do much due to my injuries” (I have sold upper body building equipment to paraplegics -work around your injuries.)

#5 “People in the gym will laugh at me (determination and commitment are always admired at any level)

#6 “I do not have the time” (cut out watching 1 TV program or exercise during commercials, that is 16 minutes an hour)

#7 “I will never look good, I am too far gone” (not likely, check out my before and after photos)

Fit Body in his 50s

Fit Body in his 50s

If we are what we eat, then we become the image of our consistent thoughts. We become the sum of our excuses or our positive affirmations. A positive mental outlook on what we can and desire to become is as effective as the physical work out. The body follows were the mind has been. If you can imagine yourself slim, you will lose weight. A constant mental image of yourself will signal your subconscious, which will result in behavior that is consistent with that image. Our mental outlook should be more than an aesthetically pleasing body but of a vital, active person. We need to value health and energy as we formulate who we are. Your mental attitude is based on what you believe to be true. Here are some fitness facts.

EXERCISE RESULTS IN:

Better brain function, giving you mental clarity and increased productivity.

Less stress, due to the positive distraction it gives as well as elevating your mood.

More energy, because your body adapts to regular workouts with improved strength and stamina.

A longer life by avoiding potentially deadly diseases like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

More time for ourselves. Less time spent at the doctor’s, pharmacy, testing, therapy, hospital etc.equals more time at the golf course or any leisure activity we enjoy.

Eating more without gaining weight.You burn more calories with activity as well as at a higher rate with a lean, muscularly dense body.

Enjoy more sex! Fit heart and lung function coupled with decreased abdominal fat raises the libido as well as the performance of our sex organs.

If we truly are convinced of these facts we will add all types of activity into our lives, giving us the vitality associated with youth. Life is activity; as long as I am alive I will move every part of my being to its capacity and beyond.

Every day is either a gift of life or a harbinger of death. I have adopted a motto from my reading that simply states “I resolve to live, until I die.”This way there is no confusing the two, life or death. Take hold of life enthusiastically and don’t park yourself in death’s waiting room of sloven inactivity.

Taking action is the foundation of belief, action reinforces our beliefs and our beliefs motivate us to action. Ask yourself what you believe about yourself, your body, your life. Are your negative thoughts subverting your attempts at vitality and fitness? Is your lack of action causing you to be despondent about your lack of fitness? Every day we make numerous decisions, as well as many conclusions on what we believe about ourselves. Today try to find several physical activities to engage in. Today decide to believe the best, most positive things you can achieve for your body.

“Think Young, Be Young” is the title of this article but more to the point is “Think Activity; Reap Vitality”