Category Archives for Get Lean

The Wrong Eating Habits Can Hurt Your Brain, Not Just Your Waistline

A diet high in saturated fats and sugars can affect the parts of the brain that are important to memory. Diet-linked brain changes can also make people more likely to crave unhealthful food.

Read the full article at: www.npr.org

You Can’t Tell When You’re Full

Stop counting calories – here’s further scientific evidence that the effects of a bad diet extend far beyond the number of calories consumed – it actually impairs your memory and makes it difficult to determine when you are full.

Sugar Makes You Store More Fat, And Crave More Sugar

There is already conclusive evidence that a diet high in sugar and refined carbs has an effect on metabolism and hunger.  The result is you crave more sweet food, tend to overeat, and your body stores more fat (particularly deep belly fat) rather than burning it.

This metabolic effect stems from the fact that fructose (the chemical that makes sugar sweet) is metabolized in the liver and converted to deep belly fat.

A Bad Diet Also Changes Your Brain

Now there is new evidence that your diet can also change parts of your brain, making you crave more unhealthy food.

A study from The University of Cambridge revealed cognitive impairment in humans that had been demonstrated previously in rodents an American University study.  The brains of rats who were fed a bad diet underwent changes that impaired their ability to tell when they were full.

A 2015 study in the Journal of Pediatrics found obese children performed more poorly on memory tasks that test that same brain region  compared with kids who weren’t overweight.

The average

So Stop Counting Calories and Chasing Them With Exercise

The average American diet gets 30% of its calories from added sugar and alcohol.  It’s the composition of this diet that leads you into a vicious cycle of hunger and fat storage.

Now scientists are also discovering that a bad diet has longer term effects on your brain that worsen these cravings not just in the short term, but changes your brain for a long-term effect, and turns off your “i’m full” signals.

3 Steps to Change Right Now

  1. Replace your morning donut or sugary boxed cereal with whole grain oats & berries.
  2. Eat a palm-sized portion of protein and a fist-sized portion of veggies with every meal.
  3. Store healthy snacks like almonds and berries in clear baggies or bowls at eye-level.  Move cookies and chips to opaque containers in the way-back.

 

A Brief History of Humankind’s Desperate Attempts to Stay Fit

Having trouble sticking to your exercise routine? Don’t feel bad. Just look at our long drawn-out relationship with exercise gear—from discus to Thighmaster to jBells.

Read the full article at: www.wsj.com

As the author states, “Machines are nothing, motivation is everything”.  But willpower is not a superpower.  Willpower is for people who haven’t made up their minds.  If you’ve already committed to getting fit. then it’s just a matter of sticking to the choices you’ve already made in advance.

In his blog post about mental toughness, Tim Ferriss quotes former Navy Seal Trainer Jocko Willink:

“If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher. Don’t meditate on it.”

He says it’s ok to start small.  If skipping that second martini and dessert is the plan then don’t think about it, just do it.  Even going to bed an hour earlier may take a significant amount of discipline.  So just make the plan & stick to it.

But why is it that so many people abandon their New Year’s resolution to get fit even before Valentine’s Day?

The answer is the monotony, the drudgery , the soul-crushing boredom and lame-ass results.  Gyms and fitness machines have constrained our movements into mechanized, repetitive, linear, core-stabilized, mid-range peripheral isolation moves that quickly cause you to lose motivation and just don’t give you the results you want to see in the mirror.

The author states what most of us are feeling:

“I’m looking for motivation that can beat the instant gratification of a peanut-butter cup. I want something that provides results before I throw in the towel.”

So the simple solution is to push slightly beyond your own limitations every day and the results you will experience will serve as a positive feedback motivation loop that will keep you motivated.  Get off the treadmill and instead of exercising like a machine start moving like  the human body was designed to move.

Repetitive, linear, core-stabilized, mid-range isolation moves will never give you results you want to see in the mirror.  The reason is clear: standard exercise deconstructs natural human movement into “linear, closed chains” resulting in athletes with specifically strengthened tissues sitting next to underdeveloped tissues.  According to Laird Hamilton, “When you sit down on an exercise machine, with your back against a chair, you tend to shut down the rest of your body.”

There are no ‘leg days’, ‘back days’, ‘arm days’, or recovery days, there are only whole-body days. You’ve got a whole body, right? so why not use it? Instead of mechanistically bulking up the same tiny bundle of mid-range isolated muscle fibers every day, why not stimulate the maximum number of fibers over the entire range of temporal-spatial dimensions available to you?  Why not let everything get more defined, stronger and more agile in balance with everything else?

Reject the limits that other people and the ‘exercise’ establishment have placed on you.  Stop exercising and start learning how to move.

 

The 4 Elements of Physical Energy and How to Master Them

“Manage your energy, not your time” says the famous quote from Tony Schwartz. Here’s how to do that, beginning with physical energy.

Read the full article at: blog.bufferapp.com

One Simple Yet Powerful Change

The most simple and powerful change you can make with respect to fitness has nothing to do with food or exercise.

Go to sleep an hour earlier.

Seriously, that’s it.  Here’s Why:

 

  1. Sleep is calorie-free energy,
  2. Adequate sleep regulates hunger
  3. Sleep deprivation slows your metabolism and increases stress hormones, causing you to store more fat

 

A number of studies have demonstrated that sleep regulates leptin, ghrelin, and endocannabinoids, all of which modulate hunger signals.  There is also solid evidence that adequate deep sleep improves athletic performance.  Check out this infographic for a summary of these findings.

Hunger Management

The other powerful change you can make in managing your physical energy has to do with blood glucose levels.  Many articles and books make this sound much more complicated than it needs to be so here’s a simple, practical approach.

Carb Confusion

Carbohydrates are of 3 basic types:

  1. Sweets (anything that tastes sweet)
  2. Starches and refined carbs (bread, pasta, boxed cereal)
  3. Whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice)

 

The first 2 cause your blood glucose and insulin levels to spike, which depletes your energy and makes you hungry sooner.  This cycle leads to overeating every day.  Whole grains, on the other hand, tend to keep your glucose and insulin levels more stable, which controls your hunger better.

 

Food labels can be confusing, so here is a simple test to determine if a food is whole grain – if the carbohydrate-to-fiber ratio is less than 10-to-1.  Don’t worry about the serving size, just divide the grams of carbs in a serving by the grams of fiber – if it’s less than 10, you’re good.

Mouth Feel and Belly Feel

I’ve become so used to the hearty texture of whole grains that refined grains have begun to feel insubstantial.  Try this experiment.  Prepare, side-by-side, a bowl of packaged instant oatmeal and a bowl of steel-cut oats.  Notice as you prepare them how the refined oats are light powdery flakes and the whole grain consists of firm gritty nuggets.

Now taste a spoonful of each.  Pay particular attention to how they each feel in your mouth and in your belly.  If you’re like me, the refined packaged oats will feel like mush in your mouth and pretty insubstantial in your belly.  The Whole grain oats have a gritty nugget-y mouth feel and they give you that feeling of fullness in your belly much sooner than the refined oatmeal.

That firm, gritty texture might feel different at first, but you will soon notice that it keeps your hunger in check all day.  And it’s the best way to start managing your hunger, and begin losing fat for good.

 

The Case Against Sugar Review – an Unsweetened Attack on Diet Myths

Gary Taubes’s latest assault on the ruinous effect of sugar on our lives and the promotion of fat-free diets is detailed and compelling

Read the full article at: www.theguardian.com

Sugar is Not Just Empty Calories

Even more important are its effects on hunger and metabolism.  Sugar causes your insulin levels to spike, which results in a   later sugar “crash” in which the hunger causes you to overeat.   This cycle continues as you satisfy that hunger with more sugar, causing another insulin spike.  Over time, these insulin spikes desensitize your body to insulin, which is a major cause of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Change The Way Your Body Stores Fat

The other important effect of sugar is on your metabolism and fat storage.  It’s not just that the calories in sugar are stored as fat, but rather that a diet high in sugar changes the way your body stores fat overall.  The net effect is that a greater proportion of ALL the calories you eat are stored as fat.

Heart Health

There is also an effect on the type and location of fat that is detrimental to your heart health.  Fructose, which is the chemical that makes sugar taste sweet, is metabolized in the liver, and this process results in the accumulation of visceral, or deep belly fat.  This type of fat is not only unsightly but it also raises your level of LDL, the bad cholesterol, and is a major risk factor for heart disease.

So Gary Taubes continues to fight the good fight, against the food industry who wants you to believe that all calories are equal.  They’re not.  Sugar is what’s making you fat.

 

One Simple Yet Powerful Change

Try this simple experiment on yourself for one week: replace your sweet cereal with whole grains like steel-cut oats with berries and coconut milk.  For a week make fruit the sweetest thing you eat all day.  You will notice 2 things right away.  Your cravings for sweets will disappear and body fat will start melting away effortlessly.

 

14 Modern Fitness Myths Busted

Fact-checking trusted training maxims.

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

If you only correct 2 misconceptions about your fitness this year, these 2 will give you the biggest impact by far:

 

  • Fat doesn’t make you fat
  • Visualize your workouts

 

It’s the sugar in your diet that’s making you fat.  Did you know that the average American could reduce calorie intake by 30 percent merely by eliminating the nutritionally empty calories of added sugar and alcohol.

These calories are not only nutritionally empty, they also don’t satisfy, so they make you hungry sooner and lead to binge eating.  Even worse, they’re metabolized in the liver and converted to deep belly fat.  Guess what does suppress hunger?  You got it – it’s fat.  Not the kind in chips and bagged snacks that makes you eat more, but the healthy kind, in almonds, avocados, olives, and coconut.

This doesn’t mean you can’t eat anything sweet, just try limiting your sweets to fruits, and add some nuts and coconut to the mix.  If you’re used to donuts and candy bars there will be an adjustment period but your sweet taste receptors will adapt and you will soon gain the same satisfaction from fruits.  Berries are the best because they have the lowest concentration of fructose and the highest levels of protein, fiber, and phytonutrients.

So try it for a week – make fruit the sweetest thing you eat all day.  A clever psychological hack to increase your chances of success is to position a clear bowl of fresh fruit at eye level in your fridge so it’s the first thing you see when you open the door.

The other busted fitness myth that you can put to work for you today is that visualization improves performance for all levels of athletes.  If there is something you want to achieve, like a handstand, take a minute to visualize yourself floating up into a perfect handstand every day.  As you pursue your goal the visualization technique will help you simply because you are seeing the result as possible.  The biggest obstacle to achieving any fitness goals is just getting started, and visualization is a way of tricking your subconscious into thinking you’re already on the way before you even start.  Your subconscious wants to believe what you tell it, so tell it you’re an athlete and guess what?  You are.

 

7 Simple Rules for Getting Lean in 2017

Seven easy rules for keeping your fitness New Year’s resolution in 2017.

Read the full article at: www.esquire.com

If I were to choose one of these rules for the new year it would be #5 – earning your carbs – but I would add that the preparation and timing of those carbs is absolutely critical to reaching your goal – torching body fat and building lean muscle.

The first thing I do every morning is eat a bowl of steel cut oats made with coconut milk and topped with toasted coconut and frozen berries.  This is delicious and along with a strong cup of coffee gives me incentive to jump out of bed every morning.  It also gives me an energy burst that fuels one of my high-intensity interval workout of jump yoga which I’ve pre-programmed using an app called Seconds.

The difference between a breakfast like this and cereal in a box is huge, and it takes only about a minute more of prep-time.  Making this a habit, even for 17 days, will make a noticeable difference in your energy level and appetite all day.  In his awesome post about how to become a morning person, John Zeratsky’s 3 crucial elements are light, coffee, and something to do.  So make that something to do the preparation of a delicious cup of coffee and your whole grain breakfast with berries and coconut.

What’s the difference between cereal in a box and a whole grain breakfast of steel cut oats with berries and coconut?

  • Whole grains still have the germ, the endosperm and the bran which is stripped out of most refined grains – this is where all the phytonutrients and fiber are.  Fiber slows digestion so you fill up faster and stay satisfied longer.
  • The fact that fiber fills you up and that berries have the lowest fructose content and highest protein and fiber content of any fruit, means that you start re-sensitizing your tastebuds to sugar, which is something you lose without realizing it when you eat sugary cereals.
  • Sugar in boxed cereals makes you hungry sooner and it is converted to deep belly fat in the liver.  When you eat whole grains you stay satisfied longer.

So you reduce hunger and sugar cravings for the rest of the day while giving yourself a sustained feeling of satiety that will manage hunger and prevent overeating and impulse eating.

Sleep and alcohol are probably a close tie for second place for the biggest impact you can make right away.  If you’re not getting enough sleep, following a pre-bedtime ritual of disconnecting from electronic devices (listen to an audiobook or read a paper book), dimming the lights. making your bedroom cool and dark, even turning down the bed will help promote the production of melatonin – a sleep hormone.  Many studies focus on the restorative deep slow wave sleep as recovery for the body and REM sleep for the brain.  But adequate sleep also regulates ghrelin, leptin, and endocannabinoids, all of which modulate appetite and lead to overeating in the sleep deprived.

There are also studies linking improved quality of sleep to enhanced athletic performance.

Finally, just stop drinking alcohol.  Here are 5 great reasons why:

  • It increases deep belly fat
  • it has no nutritional value
  • it makes you eat stupid
  • it slows fat metabolism
  • it inhibits deep sleep

So you really only need 3 simple tweaks to start getting lean in 2017:

  • Get to sleep earlier
  • Start the morning with whole grains & berries
  • Cut down on alcohol or, even better, eliminate it completely.

 

3 Ridiculously Easy Tricks To Lose Weight On Autopilot in 2017

Forget Counting Calories.  Give Up Deprivation Diets.  Sell Your Scale on eBay.

Listen up - you can apply new scientific findings to start losing weight in 2017 without even thinking about it.

The average American has gained 30 pounds over the past 20 years.  That might sound like a lot but when you do the math, it actually comes down to less than 10 calories a day, which is like 2 peanut M&Ms.

Seriously, 2 Peanut M&Ms!

What that means is that simply maintaining your weight - that is not gaining weight - should be ridiculously easy.  But what about weighing less at the end of 2017 than you do now?

​According to Brian Wansink Ph.D., Author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, In one year's time you will gain or lose approximately one pound for every 10 calories you add or eliminate every day.

Simple Math

The math is pretty simple: cut out one can of Coke (140 calories) per day, lose 14 pounds.  Forego a candy bar (270 calories) a day, lose 27 pounds.  Give up a 420-calorie donut a day, lose 42 pounds.  All by January 1st, 2018

  • 1 can of Coke per day - lose 14 pounds
  • 1 candy bar per day - lose 27 pounds
  • 1 donut per day - lose 42 pounds

​There's an Easier Way

Now I know what you're thinking: you don't want to give up that donut, that Snicker's bar, or that can of Coke.  Well there is a much easier way to cut out that same number of calories and not feel the least bit deprived.

​Do This On New Year's Day

This is powerful stuff: scientific studies show that a few simple tricks and tiny tweaks to re-engineer your environment will actually have a significant impact on what you eat AND how much you eat.  You can implement all of these changes in 5 minutes or less.  The result will actually be weight loss on autopilot for the whole year.

​Step 1 - What You See is What You Eat 

​Are you ready for this?  You are 3 times more likely to eat the first thing you see than the 5th thing you see.  So your first trick to start losing weight is just moving a few things around.

Why is it that everybody hides their fruits and vegetables in those little drawers at the bottom of the fridge where they get wet and rotten?  That little quirk is causing you to gain weight because fresh produce is the last thing you'll see when you open the refrigerator.

Store fruit in clear bowls and at eye level

Store fruit in clear bowls and at eye level

Even worse, you have to work harder to get to those fruits & veggies because you have to open those little drawers and for some reason they're the kind of drawers that always seem to jam and never open smoothly.

So here's the fix: move all of your fresh produce to eye level.  In fact, reserve the eye-level shelf and the container in the door for fruits and veggies only.  Get some ​zip-bags, stackable tupperware containers and an attractive bowl to display all the delicious fruit you buy rather than hiding it away to rot in drawers that you can't see and are hard to open.

Now apply the same logic to your cupboard - healthy snacks and foods like nuts and tuna right up front at eye level.  Cookies, cakes, and candy go high, low, and way back - easy, right?​

​Step 2 - Bag It Up

​Here's another weird scientific finding: how much you eat is determined by the size of the container you're eating from.  This was confirmed with more than 47 products by Dr. Wansink's lab.  These studies included people eating twice as many M&Ms from a 1 pound bag versus a half-pound bag.  In fact, we use more of all kinds of products when they come in bigger packages, including dog food and shampoo.

You eat twice as many M&Ms from a big bag versus a small one

You eat twice as many M&Ms from a big bag versus a small one

Th​e reason is that we look for external cues to tell us how much to eat instead of simply relying on  our own feelings of hunger and fullness.  The studies show that there is a 20% "error-bar" extending in both directions, which means that you will eat an average of 20% more or less depending on the size of the container.

Remembering our math we learned in the introduction above, for a single 250 calorie snack a day, that 20% margin can add up to 25 pounds over the course of a year.  Would you rather weigh 25 pounds more or less a year from now?

The action step here is simple​: put your snacks in smaller packages.  Get some small zip-close baggies.  Buy the ones with the actual slider-zipper, not the zip-strip, because the sliders are much easier to open and close and they will keep your food fresher.

if this seems like a lot of work, just get started with the worst offenders - chips, cookies and candy.  Take them out of their original packages and divide them up into 5 to 7 smaller baggies.  Remember the idea here isn't to measure precisely but rather to simply start eating snacks out of smaller containers.  You will magically eat 20% less on average every time you pick up a bag of snacks.  And those bags will be harder to pick up since they'll be low down, high up, or way back.

​Step 3 - Clarity vs. Opacity

Cover plates and bowls of cakes and cookies with aluminum foil

Cover plates and bowls of cakes and cookies with aluminum foil

This final step takes step 1 above to the next level.  Start making use of the different opacity of containers and kitchen wraps as an external cue of what to eat.

You can see through plastic wrap, so use it to cover bowls of healthy leftovers, tuna, salads, fruits and vegetables.   Cover plates of cake and other leftover desserts or sweets with aluminum foil.

​In fact, store healthy protein like leftover salmon or tuna and fresh produce in glass bowls or clear containers so you always see them first.

​Remember those baggies of cookies, chips, and candy you portioned out earlier?  Wrap them in aluminum foil too, or put them into an opaque container in the back of your cupboard, making them harder to see and to reach.

​When you're done you should open your refrigerator to see a nice clear glass bowl full of healthy fruit, surrounded by  clear tupperware containers of vegetables and healthy leftovers.  The desserts will be exiled to low shelves and the way back.

​What Are You Waiting For?

Imagine losing 25 pound by New Year's Day 2018 without dieting, counting calories, or even thinking about what you eat.  Take these 3 ridiculously easy steps right now, before New Year's Day, and put the latest science of eating to work for you to lose weight on autopilot through all of 2017.

Life-Changing Scientific Fitness Findings of 2016

Two numbers are particularly emblematic of what science had to tell us abut fitness this year: 42 percent and $2,500.

Read the full article at: www.nytimes.com

Dude, these are nothing short of life-changing scientific fitness findings that were only discovered THIS YEAR!  So, seriously, listen up.

This first one is my favorite – you can actually feed your brain with exercise.  We’re not talking metaphorically here.  The study showed that exercise was like pizza for the brain – you heard me right, pizza!

Students were allowed to eat as much of their favorite pizza as they wanted after intense mental activity and when they exercised first they actually ate less.

The mechanism has to do with blood glucose and lactate levels but the bottom line is that there is actually a difference between brain hunger and muscle hunger and you can suppress brain hunger by working out.

The other astonishing findings were that exercise produces hormones that can change fat cells from the lazy kind (white fat) to the kind that burns calories (brown fat).  Exercise also produces proteins that cause brain cells to produce new neurons.  And not just any neurons, but neurons with a kind of “superpower” – the ability to multitask.  These neurons are able to enhance completely unrelated cognitive skills.

Finally, studies this year showed that your risk of premature death is increased by 42 percent if you are out of shape, which is almost as bad as smoking.  Any exercise, even walking, will also save you an average of $2,500 annually on medical costs.

If there were a pill that made you lean, smart, extended your life, and saved you money, would you take it?  There is, it’s called exercise.  So what are you waiting for?

The Case for Cheating on Your Diet

Some athletes swear by a once-a-week indulgence. Are they right?

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

Mathematical arguments just don’t cut it – it’s not about calories in minus calories out.

The real advantage of cheating on your diet is much more psychological than physiological.  This makes sense because hunger is more of a mood than a physiological process subject to chemical and mathematical analysis.

There are 3 huge benefits of giving yourself a cheat day, cheat meal or even just a cheat dessert:

  • You enjoy it more
  • You miss it less
  • You Learn hunger management

Every time you turn down junk food snacks and drive-thru meals in favor of healthier options, remind yourself of your cheat day and how you can plan and choose your favorite indulgences for that day.  Those mediocre alternatives which are only tempting because they happen to be convenient or quick, will start seeming less gratifying when you compare them to the future pleasure of planning to eat as much as you want of your favorite foods.

You will notice motivational rewards to sticking to your diet that perhaps you weren’t expecting, like a feeling of control, mastery of your appetite and purpose in reaching your goals.  As you feel yourself getting lighter, more agile, and more mobile, that powerful motivational feedback will reinforce your willpower, allowing you to stick to your diet and miss those indulgent foods less.  You will start realizing identity-based goals, like being the kind of person who when tempted by a donut, eats an apple, or one who exercises every morning on first awakening.  Once you start feeling these motivational forces kick in, they will be a powerful substitute for the short-term reward of junk food.

When you condense your indulgences to a single day or meal, you will quickly get a powerful lesson in hunger management.  Your first impulse might be to stuff your face, but after a while you will get much more selective not only about the foods you indulge in on your cheat day but also the manner in which you consume them.  You will find it far more enjoyable to eat until your are no longer hungry rather than eating until you are full.  This lesson in hunger management will then benefit you on your non-cheat days as well.

Building a cheat day or meal into your diet is the best way to learn that successful dieting is not about starvation or calorie counting but rather hunger management.  Planning your indulgences will make you much more mindful of your cravings and how to manage them.  The new habits you establish on your diet will be much more likely to stick with you for the long term.

The fast-twitch deep core muscle fibers you’re missing

Can you do this?

Going from a kneeling to a squatting position in the air with no hands requires an explosive fast-twitch deep core contraction - muscle fibers that most workouts miss

Going from a kneeling to a squatting position in the air with no hands requires an explosive fast-twitch deep core contraction - muscle fibers that most workouts miss

If you're working out at a gym or with a trainer, you are most likely doing a low variety repetition of routine linear, mid-range movements that were designed to bulk-up a specific bundle of muscle fibers while stabilizing the rest of your body - and it's boring, right?

Deconstructing movement

When you think core exercises, you think repetitive, boring, crunches, right?  Well stop wasting your time and look in the mirror - are your crunches giving you the results you want?  I didn't think so.

The reason is that conventional models of fitness training deconstruct human movement into tiny one-dimensional slices, reducing the breathtaking complexity and broad range of movement our bodies are capable of to a narrow type of 'exercise' that can be mechanized and marketed. This not only makes exercise boring, repetitive, and counterproductive to results, it also discourages you from finding and pushing your own limits and forces you to accept the limitations others place on you.

Take a look around... and in the mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?  Would you be happy with the results of the average person pumping away endless reps on the machines at the gym?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?

If the answer is NO - it's probably because no one ever taught you how to push your own limits, and how to laser-focus every second of every workout on results.​

The massive amount of muscle fiber you're missing

Look at the huge volume of muscle fiber in the deep core - you're not activating these fast-twitch fibers at all

Look at the huge volume of muscle fiber in the deep core - if you're doing standard core crunches you're not activating these fast-twitch fibers at all

If  you can't snap your thighs to your chest fast enough to get your feet under your torso, then you're neglecting the deep core fast-twitch fibers

If you can't snap your thighs to your chest fast enough to get your feet under your torso, then you're neglecting the deep core fast-twitch fibers

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Why does it matter?  one word - metabolism

Most people shy away from multi-dimensional, curvilinear movement challenges in the thin zone at the edge of their capabilities.  Don't be one of those people!

THE game-changer is dynamic holistic movement patterns that constantly present new physical, technical, and cerebral challenges with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and micro-adaptations.

Burning fat while you sleep

Your core workouts focus only on the surface fibers - but that's a small percentage of the muscle fiber in your core.  There's a much greater volume of muscle in the deep core.  This is important because muscle is the machine that burns fat.  The more muscle fiber you activate and stimulate with different alignments, loads, and movement patterns, the more fat you burn both during your workout and even during the time you're not working out - this is known as NEAT - non exercise activity thermogenesis.

Most core workouts focus only on the thin layer of surface muscle and shut down the deep core - but the deep core is where all the fat-burning action is

Most core workouts focus on the thin layer of surface muscle and shut down the deep core - but the deep core is where all the fat-burning action is

Where the money is

If you want results you've got to go where the money is - focus all your effort and every second of your workout time on optimizing the fat-burn.  In this case all the fat-burning action is in the deep core.

So you get a double bonus for stimulating the maximum number of muscle fibers during your workout - you actually burn more calories after your workout and for the rest of the day, every day - even while you sleep!

Don't back away in fear from your limits

No one has taught you this move because they assume it's beyond your capabilities.  Conventional fitness training teaches you to back away in fear from your limits and never push into that thin zone at the edge of your capabilities.  So the reason you're not seeing the results you love in the mirror and in selfies is that you've accepted the limitations others have placed on you.

Learn this cool move in 2 steps - an explosive upward thrust of your body  weight combined with a powerful snap of your hip, folding your thighs to your chest

Learn this cool move in 2 steps - an explosive upward thrust of your body weight combined with a powerful snap of your hip, folding your thighs to your chest

Bored with core crunches?  That ends today

Stop wasting your first 13 reps on boring, repetitive, closed-chain, linear isolation moves that are too easy, and not even feeling the burn until rep 14 or 15.  Why not start making every second of every workout count where it matters - well-defined abdominal muscle lines you can see in the mirror and in selfies?

Stabilization is killing your results - let's fix it

Here's the problem: you strap yourself into a chair with handles, armrests, pedals and leg rests, or you rest your back tailbone, and legs on the ground, stabilizing and shutting down as much of your body as possible.  Stabilization is killing your results.  Do you see those sharp, cut, defined abdominal lines in the mirror and in selfies?  I'm guessing the answer is NO - let's fix that.

Suspending your body weight

See the crunch lines in the image below?  The reason you see those muscle definition lines is that in this maneuver the entire bodyweight is suspended in the air by an intense activation of all the core muscles, deep and superficial.  There is absolutely no external stabilization to rely upon.

No chair, straps, armrests, handles, leg rests or pedals.  No anchoring body parts like your feet, tailbone, back or shoulders.  How long you can suspend your body weight in the air depends entirely on your core muscles, so they have to stay activated and engaged - which in turn fires up your metabolism.

You know you are laser-focused on results when you see visible crunch line with every move

You know you are laser-focused on results when you see visible crunch lines with every move

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"Biomechanical Lean Muscle Hacks - Step-by-Step"

The dynamic snap maneuver

This is a mid-air move, a dynamic snap of your thighs, powerfully activating your deep core hip flexors.  Since this move must be executed with the entire core activated isometrically to suspend the body in mid-air, it is one of the more powerful moves you can execute to define your lower abdomnal muscles.

Learning to push your own limits

The most astonishing gains are made within the thin zone at the edge of our capabilities, when we are challenged not only physically, but also technically and mentally.

I incorporate at least one challenge move that is beyond the threshold of my abilities into my interval training every day. That forces me to acknowledge and confront my limits and make an effort to push beyond them every day. It is also a powerful way to focus the mind.

How high can you propel your upper body in the air?  How quickly can you snap your hips?  

Start seeing the only results that really matter - the ones you love to see in the mirror

The movements involved activate the entire range of muscle fibers in multiple dimensions, linear and curvilinear, over their entire length, so the results in muscle definition will be quick and dramatic compared to the standard crunches and squats you're wasting your time and energy with now.​

Looking Great Naked isn't Magic ... It's Science

These moves are designed to maintain an intense isometric contraction of the entire core while you are in the air, so you will always feel the burn, and all of your time and effort will be laser-focused on results - those sharp, cut, abdominal lines you want to see in the mirror.  Once you feel that intense burn with every millimeter you progress and you start seeing the results in the mirror, standard crunches will start seeming like the boring, useless waste of time that they are.

Face it - if you can't dance naked in front of a mirror and love what you see from every angle then your workouts are a waste of time.  Stop wasting time and energy and start seeing results - learn how to make every move and every second of every workout count.

Cool Muscle Tricks To Wow Gym Hotties

Guys, if you're not getting hit on by hotties at the gym, in yoga class, at the beach, at crossfit, In the Tough Mudder electro-shock mud pit, or wherever you work out, you're doing something wrong.

Real News Flash

There's been a lot of talk about fake news lately, so here's some real news for ​you:

Single Women Work Out to Attract Guys​

Whether they are working on making their bodies more attractive, or they see the gym as a social environment preferable to a bar or club, the psychology is the same - meeting guys is on their minds.  

What that means is that if you're not meeting hotties at the gym, you're doing it wrong, and if you can impress fit chicks during your workout, you're basically pulling off the ultimate feat of multitasking: building lean muscle while meeting hot women - at the same time.

But how exactly do you do that?

Well, instead of wasting your time endlessly slogging away on a treadmill or making faces like you're taking a crap while trying to bench press one more weight plate, then dragging your grunting, grimacing, panting, sweaty red face over to some ridiculously hot chick and starting an awkward conversation, why not learn to smoothly pull off some impressive feats of strength that will get you shredded, strong, confident, and noticed by that hottie, without saying a word.

NAIL THIS MOVE - IN 5 RIDICULOUSLY EASY STEPS

One Arm Scorpion in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1

Step 1 trains your core and upper body to balance your weight on your forearms.  You will build strength as you execute this move but mostly this is a matter of training the muscles to contract together in unison to support your body weight on the platform of your 2 forearms.

As you lift each foot into the air, hanging the heel further and further over the top towards the wall will shift more of your weight onto your forearms until you feel comfortable supporting your body weight.

Step 1 - Learn to place your weight on your forearms by transitioning from downward dog to dolphin then lifting one foot at a time into the air

Step 1 - Learn to place your weight on your forearms by transitioning from downward dog to dolphin then lifting one foot at a time into the air

Step 2

Transferring your weight onto your forearms in the fully inverted position is done in a stepwise fashion using your head on the ground and your feet on the wall as stabilizers.  Press your forearms into the ground as hard as you can - there should be minimal to no pressure on your head or neck.

This move will get a lot easier as you banana-shape your back and grab the wall with your feet to help support your weight.  When you can press your forearms into the ground hard enough that your head lifts off the ground, you are ready for the next step.

Step 2 - In the fully inverted position you will learn to balance on head and forearms using the wall for stability and support

Step 2 - In the fully inverted position you will learn to balance on head and forearms using the wall for stability and support

Step 3

Step 3 - Once you have the strength and balance to support your upper body on your forearms, your head will just float into the air as you lift it towards the wall and banana-shape your back

Step 3 - Once you have the strength and balance to support your upper body on your forearms, your head will just float into the air as you lift it towards the wall and banana-shape your back

Step 4

Step 4 is the money move - it's what gives you that smooth, cool look of effortlessly floating up into the air.  The key is using all of the stabilization points and balance tricks you've already learned to train your muscles to handle the twist of your upper body as you rise up onto your forearm and hand.

This move will get a lot easier as you banana-shape your back and grab the wall with your feet to help support your weight.  When you can press your forearm and hand into the ground hard enough that your head lifts off the ground, you are ready to progress to a soft surface in open air, without the wall for support - YOU GOT THIS!

Step 4 is the money move - it gives you that "extraordinary feats of strength" look as you effortlessly float up into the air. It's pretty simple to pull off if you just train your muscles to handle the twist of your upper body as your balance on one forearm and one hand

Step 4 is the money move - it gives you that "extraordinary feats of strength" look as you effortlessly float up into the air. It's pretty simple to pull off if you just train your muscles to handle the twist of your upper body as your balance on one forearm and one hand

Step 5

Step 5 - You are ready to transition to a soft surface in the open air without the wall for support.  Begin with the head and forearm balance and follow the same steps you did at the wall

Step 5 - You are ready to transition to a soft surface in the open air without the wall for support. Begin with the head and forearm balance and follow the same steps you did at the wall

Take a look around... and in the mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?  Would you be happy with the results of the average person pumping away endless reps on the machines at the gym?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?

Got Swagger?  Give gym hotties a reason to notice you

Stop wasting your time and energy doing the same soul-crushingly boring exercises, rep after rep, as everyone else.  Start doing something extraordinary and you will start to look extraordinary.  Why not give the hottest girl at the gym a reason to notice you?

COOL MUSCLE TRICKS TO WOW GYM HOTTIES IN 5 EASY STEPS

3 Scientific reasons why pushing your limits will make you happy

Do you dread exercise?  Judging by the sheer number of Americans who sign up for a gym membership on New Years Day and abandon it by Valentines Day, you’re far from alone.

I used to hate exercise – I was constantly coming up with creative new ways to distract myself from the soul-crushing boredom of those infernal machines.  All that repetitive motion, the sweaty gym, all that laundry.  It was the last thing I wanted to do in the morning.

Now I love exercise – I can’t wait to get out of bed, eat my whole grain oats with berries and coconut, and get outside and start moving.

The transformation was simple – I figured out that the conventional fitness programs I had been taught were placing the limitations of others on my body and I was passively accepting them.  One day I took a good look around and realized that if I continued doing what everyone else was doing, if I continued living by the limitations they set for me, then I would get the same results as they did.

Think about it.  Is the average member of your gym lean, toned, defined, agile, and strong?  Do they move the way you want to move, look the way you want to look?  I’m guessing the answer is no.  The question is – If they spend all that time working out at the gym, why not?

Hate exercise because it's repetitive, boring, saps your motivation and it doesn't give you the results you want?

Hate exercise because it’s repetitive, boring, saps your motivation and it doesn’t give you the results you want?

If you are working out at a gym or with a trainer, you are most likely doing a low variety repetition of routine linear, mid-range movements that were designed to bulk-up a specific bundle of muscle fibers while stabilizing the rest of your body.  You sit in a chair and work one muscle while the rest of your body literally shuts down.  By bulking up specific muscle fibers in a small range of motion you are literally deforming and weakening your body for movement – what it was designed to do.  The result is specifically strengthened tissues next to weak underdeveloped ones, leading to deformity and unhealthy loads, reducing overall strength, agility and mobility.

That conventional model of fitness training deconstructs human movement into tiny one-dimensional slices. It reduces the broad range of human movement to a narrow type of ‘exercise’ that can be mechanized and marketed.  So stop exercising like a machine and start moving like a human.

You don’t have to accept the limitations other people place on your movement.  You were given a whole body so why not use it every day?  THE game-changer is new, holistic movement patterns that constantly challenge your body and mind with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and adaptations.  This type of challenge is, after all, how our bodies evolved into the incredibly finely-tuned wonders of movement that they are.

Most people shy away from curvilinear, multi-dimensional, movement challenges in the liminal zone at the edge of their capabilities. Don’t be one of those people!  The reason is usually fear, of failure or injury.

If you learn how to properly and safely push into that zone every day, the constant adaptation and micro-variation required will keep your mind and body in a continuous state of being challenged. This will not only motivate you but it will also keep you young. Imagine the confidence of being able to do a little bit more every tomorrow than you could do yesterday. When you reach that point, chronological age becomes inconsequential.

Flow

A study in the journal Neuroscience demonstrates that intense exercise promotes the production of neurotransmitters that prevent depression.  What’s even more astonishing is thata recent Harvard study reveals that stray thoughts and wandering minds are directly related to unhappiness. The study discovered that those with constantly wandering minds were less likely to be happy than those able to focus on the tasks at hand.

Exercise has been shown to increase levels of happy neurotransmitters, both in the short and long term

Exercise has been shown to increase levels of happy neurotransmitters, both in the short and long term

This study seems to confirm what Buddhists, sages, and saints have long taught–that an unruly mind creates unhappiness and dysfunction, and that the keys to happiness lie in mastering the mind, and not in changing external factors in our lives.

The most startling part of the discovery is that unhappiness doesn’t just come from the mind wandering to unpleasant things. The study shows that people with minds that wander to neutral or even pleasant thoughts are still less happy than if the mind did not wander at all.

During the study, people were asked to focus on a given activity. It was found that even if the activity was some boring chore, they were happier if their minds were fully there, focused in the moment. The conclusion is that when the mind wanders repeatedly (and for many of us it wanders all day, every day), it drastically reduces our overall happiness and well-being.

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, one of the world’s leading researchers in positive psychology, refers to this state of mind as “flow.”

Csíkszentmihályi describes flow as being totally absorbed or immersed in the activity in which you’re engaged. It doesn’t matter what the particular task is–what matters is that you are fully present when you’re doing it.

Csíkszentmihályi, often called the grandfather of positive psychology, found that our happiest moments are when we are in the state of flow. In this state, we are highly alert. We are totally focused with one-pointed attention. This focus–this mindfulness of being in the moment–is when true happiness spontaneously arises.

When you are mindful of your activity, you’re not preoccupied with regrets or worries; you’re not planning or wanting for anything. You’re not lending power to thinking processes and so they do not dominate your awareness.

Flow allows you to truly and deeply live your life as it unfolds in the here and now. Perhaps this is why the latest research continues to confirm that mindfulness increases happiness–to be mindful is to truly experience life and make the most out of every moment.

If you’re constantly looking for ways to distract yourself – TV, social media, podcasts, audiobooks, music – while you’re working out, then your mind is not present in the moment and focused on the task at hand.  The way to achieve this state of flow is simple – nothing focuses the mind quicker than pushing into that thin zone at the limits of your ability.

The magic happens right at the powerful motivational "sweet-spot" at the limits of our abilities.

The magic happens right at the powerful motivational “sweet-spot” at the limits of our abilities.

A challenging workout requires a continuous mix of technical, physical and cerebral difficulty.  Powering through endless reps of linear isolation moves is mindless and useless – it may bulk up specific muscles but it will never give you the definition, agility, and strength you want – and it’s guaranteed to bore you and kill your motivation.

Gym and machine workouts deconstruct human movement into tiny slivers of the 4-dimensional time-space continuum – only the tiniest linear slices that can be mechanized and marketed and endlessly repeated.  Stop working out like a machine and force yourself to laser-focus on new moves that challenge your mind and muscles every day and you will achieve a state of flow in your workouts that will actually alter the neurotransmitters in your brain and make you happier.  You will also be amazed at the definition, strength, and agility you can achieve.

Motivation

A challenging workout requires a continuous mix of technical, physical and cerebral difficulty.  Powering through endless reps of linear isolation moves is mindless and useless – it may bulk up specific muscles but it will never give you the definition, agility, and strength you want – and it’s guaranteed to bore you and kill your motivation.

Human beings love challenges, but only if they are within the optimal zone of difficulty. Tasks that are significantly below your current abilities are boring. Tasks that are significantly beyond your current abilities are discouraging. But tasks that are right on the border of success and failure are incredibly motivating to our human brains. We want nothing more than to master a skill just beyond our current horizon.

Psychological studies show that the most powerful motivational "sweet-spot" occurs right at the limits of our abilities. In other words, challenging yourself with moves that are sometimes attainable but sometimes just outside your limits is the best way to stay motivated.

Psychological studies show that the most powerful motivational “sweet-spot” occurs right at the limits of our abilities. In other words, challenging yourself with moves that are sometimes attainable but sometimes just outside your limits is the best way to stay motivated.

We can call this phenomenon The Goldilocks Rule. The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.

Having one challenge that is just outside your comfort zone in your daily workout is one of the keys to maintaining long-term motivation. If you find yourself feeling unmotivated, it is often because your mind has drifted into an area of boredom or been forced into an area of great difficulty. You need to find a way to pull your tasks back to the border of your abilities where you feel challenged, but capable.

The key is finding that thin zone at the limits of your abilities.

Psychological studies show that the most powerful motivational “sweet-spot” occurs right at the limits of our abilities.  In other words, challenging yourself with moves that are sometimes attainable but sometimes just outside your limits is the best way to stay motivated.

According to James Clear, “Human beings love challenges, but only if they are within the optimal zone of difficulty. Tasks that are significantly below your current abilities are boring. Tasks that are significantly beyond your current abilities are discouraging. But tasks that are right on the border of success and failure are incredibly motivating to our human brains. We want nothing more than to master a skill just beyond our current horizon.”

In his book Living With a SEAL, Jesse Itzler tells the story of how Navy SEAL David Goggins shocked him out of a fitness rut by challenging him to do 100 pull-ups, which he did, a few at a time.  Goggins’ “40% Rule” states that when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done. And he had a motto: If it doesn’t suck we don’t do it.

Results

Face it – you don’t love the results you see in the mirror.  Maybe you don’t even like them, and maybe you’re not seeing results at all.  It’s no wonder, repetition is a results-killer for several reasons.

The first reason is time.  You’re wasting a massive amount of time and energy on repetitions that aren’t contributing to your results.  Think about it.  If you do 15 reps and you only feel the burn on the last 3 then you’re wasting 80% of your effort.  If you rest for a minute between sets then that number goes up to about 95% – of your workout wasted.

Neuroscience and metabolism also play a role in the diminishing effects of repetitive exercise.  A well-documented phenomenon known as metabolic adaptation essentially slows down your metabolism as you lose weight, so the same amount of exercise burn fewer calories.

To make matters even worse, a study from Columbia University found that your muscles start using genes that make them more efficient, so they burn 20 to 30 percent fewer calories for the same exercise.

So the loss of intensity due to boredom and exhaustion is compounded by the fact that you need to continuously refresh your workout to push the intensity of muscle stimulation to higher levels to achieve results.  Think about how many people you see running every day who are so unmotivated that they’re literally just falling forward, shuffling their feet in front of them just in time to catch their body weight.  That kind of low intensity effort is a certain results-killer.

There are several different types of exhaustion and the ones that you are targeting with repetition are muscle and joint fatigue.  Muscle fatigue results from repeated micro-trauma on a particular group of muscle fibers, depletion of glycogen, and the buildup of lactic acid in the muscle tissue.  Joint fatigue is simply the repetitive pounding of one-dimensional linear motion.

The truth is that if you allocated your energy more efficiently, to multi-dimensional movement combining different muscle fibers and contraction types, you would have abundant energy reserves available to sustain intensity for much longer intervals.

This is probably in part a psychological trick that rewards you for exhausting a particular joint and muscle group quickly, giving you the false impression that you’re achieving results, when really you’re just beating up your joints and reaching a state of muscle fatigue as quickly as possible with repetitive linear motion.

 

A Day in Food on the Ketone Diet

How endurance athlete Patrick Sweeney puts away nearly 3,000 calories a day on the ketone diet

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

Also check out Tim Ferriss’ podcast on the ketogenic diet.

I can always see new individual rippling muscle fibers when I go on a ketogenic diet even for a few days – so I know I’m burning fat quickly.

But there are several problems that I quickly encounter.

 

  1. Carb cravings
  2. Boredom
  3. Low energy
  4. The weight comes back with a vengeance

 

These problems are common to all food restriction diets, and they highlight the controversy over why low carb diets work:

Does the body actually burn more fat stores or do people eat less because of “sensory specific satiety”?

 

Food restriction diets in general allow you to eat a limited variety of foods in unlimited amounts.  Studies show that we get bored of the same food and habitually eat less of it.  When variety is re-introduced we eat more. Dr. Barbara Rolls, a nutrition researcher at Penn State, showed in a study that if people are offered an assortment of 3 flavors of yogurt they will consume 23% more than if only offered 1 flavor.

 

This is the same reason the Atkins Diet was so successful at first – it was only meat and veggies – BOOOOORING.  But then all the low carb cakes and cookies came out and everyone on the diet started eating more because of the variety, so they started gaining weight.

 

There is good evidence that low carb diets work better than calorie-restriction (starvation) or low fat diets, but in order to sustain the weight loss you need a way to beat the carb cravings and the boredom.  It turns out that there is a simple solution to both of these problems that also takes care of the low energy problem and helps keep the weight off as well.

 

The 20-to-1 ratio

Try applying a simple formula to every nutrition label, the 20-to-1 ratio.  Just divide the number of calories by the number of carbs on the label.  Serving size doesn’t matter since it’s a ratio.

The idea is that your entire diet overall should have a calorie-to-carb ratio of greater than 20:1.  So if you eat 2000 calories in a day you would have no more than 100 grams of carbs.

This simple solution works because it adjusts the macronutrient (protein, carb, fat) components of your diet to include the foods that fill you up and prevent hunger.  They also allow you to feel satiated for a longer time between meals and snacks.  Finally, since sugar and refined carbs are metabolized by the liver to become deep belly fat, limiting intake of these will help you lose body fat overall.

 

Start the morning with whole grains

The other trick that makes this all work is eating the majority of your carbs, as whole grains, when you first wake up in the morning.  This keeps my energy level high enough to do a solid hour of intense interval training and yoga, and have energy all day, without the carb cravings

 

Define And Sculpt Your lower Abs With One Cool Kick

How you're shutting down your body

If you're working out at a gym or with a trainer, you are most likely doing a low variety repetition of routine linear, mid-range movements that were designed to bulk-up a specific bundle of muscle fibers while stabilizing the rest of your body. You strap yourself in a chair like you're on an airplane and work one muscle while the rest of your body literally shuts down. The result is specifically strengthened tissues next to weak underdeveloped ones, leading to deformity and unhealthy loads, reducing overall strength, agility and mobility.

Deconstructing movement

That conventional model of fitness training deconstructs human movement into tiny one-dimensional slices, reducing the breathtaking complexity and broad range of movement our bodies are capable of to a narrow type of 'exercise' that can be mechanized and marketed. So stop exercising like a machine and start moving like a human.

Take a look around... and in the mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?  Would you be happy with the results of the average person pumping away endless reps on the machines at the gym?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?

THE game-changer that's missing in your workouts

The switch kick combines an intense fast-twitch lower ab contraction in the air with a powerful glute-hamstring jump and kick

The switch kick combines an intense fast-twitch lower ab contraction in the air with a powerful glute-hamstring jump and kick

This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps

Download the FREE PDF Cheatsheet Now

Why has nobody taught you the switch kick?

Most people shy away from multi-dimensional, curvilinear movement challenges in the thin zone at the edge of their capabilities.  Don't be one of those people!

THE game-changer is dynamic holistic movement patterns that constantly present new physical, technical, and cerebral challenges with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and micro-adaptations.

Backing away in fear from your limits

No one has taught you this move because they assume it's beyond your capabilities.  Conventional fitness training teaches you to back away in fear from your limits and never push into that thin zone at the edge of your capabilities.  So the reason you're not seeing the results you love in the mirror and in selfies is that you've accepted the limitations others have placed on you.

If you want results, stop doing that

That ends today.  Stop wasting your first 13 reps on boring, repetitive, closed-chain, linear isolation moves that are too easy, and not even feeling the burn until rep 14 or 15.  Why not start making every second of every workout count where it matters - well-defined abdominal muscle lines you can see in the mirror and in selfies?

Start with a knee crunch

The knee crunch has to be powerful enough to lift you off the ground.  It's an explosive upward move that generates momentum of your entire body weight in synchrony with the propulsion off the ground of the opposite glutes and hamstrings.

The lower abs and hip flexors work in opposition to gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction on the same side.​

The knee crunch is a powerful lower abdominal and hip flexor concentric contraction against the opposition of gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction

The knee crunch is a powerful lower abdominal and hip flexor concentric contraction against the opposition of gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction

Stabilization is killing your results - let's fix it

Here's the problem: you strap yourself into a chair with handles, armrests, pedals and leg rests, stabilizing and shutting down as much of your body as possible.  Stabilization is killing your results.  Do you see those sharp, cut, defined abdominal lines in the mirror and in selfies?  I'm guessing the answer is NO - let's fix that.

Suspending your body weight

See the blue lines in the images below?  The reason you see those muscle definition lines is that in the switch maneuver the entire bodyweight is suspended in the air by an intense activation of all the core muscles, deep and superficial.  There is absolutely no external stabilization to rely upon.

No chair, straps, armrests, handles, leg rests or pedals.  No anchoring body parts like your feet, tailbone, back or shoulders.  How long you can suspend your body weight in the air depends entirely on your core muscles, so they have to stay activated and engaged as you perform the switch maneuver.

Ab muscle lines pop because of intense core contraction required to suspend the bodyweight in the air while switching legs with a synchronized concentric-eccentric lower ab contraction

Ab muscle lines pop because of intense isometric core contraction required to suspend the bodyweight in the air while switching legs with a synchronized concentric-eccentric lower ab contraction

The switch is where the magic happens - you have to keep your entire bodyweight suspended in the air while you combine a concentric contraction of the lower abs on one side with a controlled eccentric contraction on the other

The switch is where the money is - you have to keep your entire bodyweight suspended in the air while you synchronize a concentric contraction of the lower abs on one side with a controlled eccentric contraction on the other

The dynamic switch maneuver

This is a mid-air move consisting of synchronized eccentric (lengthening) contraction of the lower abs on one side with concentric (crunch) action on the other side.  Since this move must be executed with the entire core activated isometrically to suspend the body in mid-air, it is one of the most powerful moves you can execute to define your lower abdomnals.

The snap-kick

The leg coming off the ground first swaps positions with the higher knee in the air, then the rising leg executes a high snap-kick while the body is still airborne.  Since this motion works against both gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction, it gives you definition of the lower abdominals and the glutes.

Ab muscle lines pop because of intense core contraction required to suspend the bodyweight in the air while switching legs with a synchronized concentric-eccentric lower ab contraction

The snap-kick intensifies the lower abdominal contraction which is now working against gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction

Learning to push your own limits

The most astonishing gains are made within the thin zone at the edge of our capabilities, when we are challenged not only physically, but also technically and mentally.

I incorporate at least one challenge move that is beyond the threshold of my abilities into my interval training every day. That forces me to acknowledge and confront my limits and make an effort to push beyond them every day. It is also a powerful way to focus the mind.

How high can you propel your knee?  What about your kicking foot?  Since the knee crunch leads the foot kick, the upward momentum of the knee will give you more vertical, and allow you to kick higher.  So practice crunching your knee tight to your chest first, then work on the switch, then the powerful snap kick.  Each one of these moves can propel you higher.

Pick a spot in the sky - I use the top of a plam tree in the distance or a cloud.  Then try to aim the toes of your kicking foot above it.

The biomechanics of intensity - lower abdominal activation

The blue lines are the ones you want to see in the mirror and selfies.  The way to get there is to push the vertical of your kicks higher and higher

The blue lines are the ones you want to see in the mirror and selfies. The way to get there is to push the vertical of your kicks higher and higher

This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps

Download the FREE PDF Cheatsheet Now

Bruce Lee could kick a tiny lightbulb out of a chandelier without even rattling the chandelier.  He's my inspiration when I'm working on my switch kicks.  If you've never tried a move like this you will be astonished at how quickly you will gain strength, agility, and stamina.  You will also start seeing results in your abdominal muscle definition that will convince you to never waste time with standard crunches and machine exercises again.

Start seeing the only results that really matter - the ones you love to see in the mirror

The movements involved activate the entire range of muscle fibers in multiple dimensions, linear and curvilinear, over their entire length, so the results in muscle definition will be quick and dramatic compared to the standard crunches and squats you're wasting your time and energy with now.​

Bruce Lee could kick a tiny lightbulb out of a chandelier - think about that when you're working on your switch kicks

Bruce Lee could kick a tiny lightbulb out of a chandelier - think about that when you're working on your switch kicks

Looking Great Naked isn't Magic ... It's Science

These moves are designed to maintain an intense isometric contraction of the entire core while you are in the air, so you will always feel the burn, and all of your time and effort will be laser-focused on results - those sharp, cut, abdominal lines you want to see in the mirror.  Once you feel that intense burn with every millimeter you progress and you start seeing the results in the mirror, standard crunches will start seeming like the boring, useless waste of time that they are.

Face it - if you can't dance naked in front of a mirror and love what you see from every angle then your workouts are a waste of time.  Stop wasting time and energy and start seeing results - learn how to make every move and every second of every workout count.

10 Most Impossible Calisthenics Exercises Bodyweight Training Arena

The top 10 Most impossible callisthenics exercises ever. Check out get inspired and start training now with no equipment, no money just your bodywieght

Read the full article at: bodyweighttrainingarena.com

Take the breathtaking complexity of human movement, deconstruct and reduce it to what can be mechanized and marketed, and what you get is “exercise” that makes you weak and flabby.

 

Look around.  Does the average member of your gym look lean, sculpted, agile, strong, toned, and defined?  Why not?

 

Haven’t you ever wondered why you can workout every day just like your doctor and your trainer recommend but never see the results you want in the mirror?  They all tell you that you’re in good health, great shape, making progress, bla bla bla… but you still don’t love, or even like, the body you’re living in.

 

Face it.  If you can’t dance naked in front of a mirror and love what you see from every angle then your workouts are a waste of time.  I know.  I joined all the expensive gyms, hired the best trainers, bought all the workout gear and strapped on every high-tech gadget and I still hated the body I saw in the mirror.  It wasn’t until I stopped “exercising” and started moving that I actually started to see results.

 

I incorporate at least one challenge move that is beyond the threshold of my abilities into my interval training every day.  That forces me to acknowledge and confront my limits and make an effort to push beyond them every day.  It is also a powerful way to focus the mind.  After all, the biggest gains are made within the thin zone at the edge of our capabilities, when we are challenged not only physically, but also technically and mentally.

 

Some of the moves depicted in this post are insanely difficult, yet I have already taught myself to do some variations, like the one-handed superman plank, finger plank, and a modified “Bruce Lee” pickup (which is similar to the Nakayama planche in the video).  When I do them not only do I feel the burn right away (THE key component and sign that you are challenging your muscles at a new level beyond your limitations), but since I am starting from zero, I am also able to notice even the tiniest hints of progress.

 

When even a few new muscle fibers are activated and they kick into gear to, say, lift my legs even a single millimeter more in the “Bruce Lee” pickup than yesterday, or smooth out and slow down the controlled “swing-thru” from handstand to staff pickup, I get a dopamine rush in my brain from the feeling that my body is getting stronger and more agile as it pushes through limits that seemed impossible only yesterday.

 

It literally boggles the mind – yesterday’s impossible limits become tomorrow’s active rest phases.  Really.  If you follow this pattern of training you will find that the challenge moves you introduced just a few weeks or months ago have now become almost mindless rest phases.

 

This is an astonishing phenomenon that has a remarkable effect on motivation that can never be replicated by some repetitive, linear, closed chain “cardio” machine, or core-stabilizing mid-range isolation weight-lifting machine, both of which limit you to an incredibly narrow range of movement complexity.  Would you rather do one more rep on the shoulder press machine or master the negative handstand pushup?

 

That feeling, of getting stronger and more agile, is literally age-defying.  I mean, in what sense am I getting older if I can perform feats of extraordinary strength, stamina, and agility that I couldn’t do a week, a month, a year, or even several decades ago?  Imagine what I will be able to do a year from now!

 

How the Tour de France Diet Has Changed Over the Decades

How has eating changed at the world’s biggest bike race? We made it our mission to find out.

Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com

When it started in 1903, the Tour de France was more of a race that you survived than one that you won.  This study of the evolution of the Tour de France diet is a great way to understand the role of complex carbs and macronutrient ratios not only for endurance but for also for your everyday workouts.

There are 2 different reasons you feel the burn of muscle fatigue: depletion of glycogen stores and the buildup of lactic acid.

The idea that complex carbs, which are metabolized slowly, can replace muscle glycogen wasn’t really well understood and put into widespread practice until the 1980s.  In the early days of the tour, riders’ diets included lots of wine and red meat because of the idea that it was a source of energy.  The great Italian rider Fausto Coppi who dominated bicycle endurance events throughout the 1940s and won the 1949 and 1952 Tour, was one of the first to use this formula to his advantage.

While other riders ate veal for breakfast, smoked cigarettes to open their lungs, and drank “Binda Zabaione” (20 beaten egg yolks and some sugar), Coppi ate a breakfast of whole grains and snacked on tarts, sandwiches, and fruit throughout the race.  We now know that he was gradually replacing his muscle glycogen stores throughout the race.

So take a lesson from the ultimate endurance athletes who figured it all out before the era of high-tech supplements.  Wake up with a whole grain breakfast and some fruit – that’s not only your energy source for your workout but also a way to replace glycogen stores and prevent muscle fatigue.  That extra energy and the prevention of glycogen depletion will help you push through your limits.

 

How to Stay a Badass for Life – GMB Fitness

Here are 3 strategies to help you overcome the challenges of getting older, so you can be a badass for life.

Read the full article at: gmb.io

If there were a pill that made you younger every day, would you take it?

I do a new jump-yoga interval training workout every morning at Lake Worth beach.  The most common question people ask me is – how old are you?

The subtext is clear – they simply can’t believe some of the moves I can do at age 53.  I can hardly believe it – I’m talking about moves like eagle handstand and lotus scorpion.

The more challenging moves that I can now execute with ease and style are things that I couldn’t imagine my body doing 10, 20, or even 30 years ago.  What’s up with that?

The graphs in this article show that a regular exerciser at age 80 can have the strength, flexibility, and motor control of a non-exerciser at age 20.

It’s clear that a lifelong habit of daily exercise is literally the fountain of youth.  If you are becoming stronger, more flexible, and more fit every day, in what sense are you actually aging?

You can even take this powerful principle one step further.

If you are working out at a gym or with a trainer, you are most likely doing a low variety repetition of routine linear, mid-range movements that were designed to bulk-up a specific bundle of muscle fibers while stabilizing the rest of your body.  You sit in a chair and work one muscle while the rest of your body literally shuts down.  The result is specifically strengthened tissues next to weak underdeveloped ones, leading to deformity and unhealthy loads, reducing overall strength, agility and mobility.

That conventional model of fitness training deconstructs human movement into tiny one-dimensional slices. It reduces the broad range of human movement to a narrow type of ‘exercise’ that can be mechanized and marketed.  So stop exercising like a machine and start moving like a human.

You don’t have to accept the limitations other people place on your movement.  You were given a whole body so why not use it every day?  THE game-changer is new, holistic movement patterns that constantly challenge your body and mind with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and adaptations.  This type of challenge is, after all, how our bodies evolved into the incredibly finely-tuned wonders of movement that they are.

Most people shy away from curvilinear, multi-dimensional, movement challenges in the liminal zone at the edge of their capabilities. Don’t be one of those people!  The reason is usually fear, of failure or injury.

If you learn how to properly and safely push into that zone every day, the constant adaptation and micro-variation required will keep your mind and body in a continuous state of being challenged. This will not only motivate you but it will also keep you young. Imagine the confidence of being able to do a little bit more every tomorrow than you could do yesterday. When you reach that point, chronological age becomes inconsequential.

 

 

 

 

 

This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps

I thought moves like this were impossible

Not long ago, I thought a move like this was impossible.  I'm not talking difficult like learning to speak Chinese.  I mean physically impossible like traveling faster than the speed of light.  I just thought that my body was not capable of moving like that through space.  I was wrong.

Deconstructing movement, step-by-step

One day I realized that if I do the same exercises as everyone else then I'm going to look like everyone else at the gym and that wasn't what I wanted.  So I decided apply my brain and my knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics to figure out how to teach myself to do some super-cool moves.  I was amazed at what I was able to accomplish simply by developing a step-by-step system.

Take a look around... and in the mirror

Look around.  Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned?  Would you be happy with the results of the average person pumping away endless reps on the machines at the gym?  Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?  If not, try something new.

THE game-changer that's missing in your workouts

THE game-changer is dynamic holistic movement patterns that constantly present new physical, technical, and cerebral challenges with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and micro-adaptations.

Flip Dog step 1 - from downward dog on all 4s, shift your weight to one hip and shoulder before lifting the arm then the foot skyward

Flip Dog step 1 - from downward dog on all 4s, shift your weight to one hip and shoulder before lifting the arm and then the foot skyward

Why has nobody taught you flip dog?

They assume you can't do it.  Just like I did.  But you can do it.  Plus a lot more.  You just need a system.  Most people shy away from multi-dimensional, curvilinear movement challenges in the thin zone at the edge of their capabilities.  Don't be one of those people!

This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps

Download the FREE PDF Cheatsheet Now

If you want results, stop doing this

Stop wasting your first 13 reps on boring, repetitive, closed-chain, linear isolation moves that are too easy, and not even feeling the burn until rep 14 or 15.  Why not start making every second of every workout count where it matters - well-defined muscle lines you can see in the mirror and in selfies?

Step 2

In step 2 the hand moves skyward first, followed by the foot.  Both hand and foot trace a curvilinear path to land under the main body mass (near the spine and tailbone) to support the body weight in the air.

While the arm and leg are tracing circular arcs in the air, there is a coordinated pivot around the hip and shoulder supporting the body weight.

Flip Dog step 2 - pivot on the ground shoulder and hip while the sky hand and foot trace a curvilinear path towards the tailbone

Flip Dog step 2 - pivot on the ground shoulder and hip while the sky hand and foot trace a curvilinear path towards the tailbone

Stabilization is killing your results - let's fix it

Here's the problem: when you go to the gym you strap yourself into a chair with handles, armrests, pedals and leg rests, stabilizing and shutting down as much of your body as possible.  Stabilization is killing your results.  Do you see those sharp, cut, defined abdominal lines in the mirror and in selfies?  I'm guessing the answer is NO - let's fix that.

Steps 3 and 4 - Hip Twist and Shoulder Flip

Flip Dog step 3 - the timing of the hip twist as the foot lands redistributes the lower body weight onto both hips in hyperextension

Flip Dog step 3 - the timing of the hip twist as the foot lands redistributes the lower body weight onto both hips in hyperextension

Step 4 is where the muscle definition money is.  The core contracts to support much of the body weight in the air while the back arches and the ground shoulder flips into hyperextension as the sky hand lands simultaneously

Step 4 is where the muscle definition money is. The core contracts to support much of the body weight in the air while the back arches and the ground shoulder flips into hyperextension as the sky hand lands simultaneously

Step 5 - The Landing

The final step is an arching of the back and hyperextension of both hips and shoulders

The final step is an arching of the spine and hyperextension of both hips and shoulders

Learning to push your own limits

The most astonishing gains are made within the thin zone at the edge of our capabilities, when we are challenged not only physically, but also technically and mentally.

I incorporate at least one challenge move that is beyond the threshold of my abilities into my interval training every day. That forces me to acknowledge and confront my limits and make an effort to push beyond them every day. It is also a powerful way to focus the mind.

This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps

Download the FREE PDF Cheatsheet Now

The biomechanics of intensity - abdominal muscle activation

Maintaining an isometric contraction of the core while your body weight curves through the air is the key to highlighting your abdominal muscle definition

Maintaining an isometric contraction of the core while your body weight curves through the air is the key to highlighting your abdominal muscle definition

Bruce Lee could kick a tiny lightbulb out of a chandelier without even rattling the chandelier.  He's my inspiration.  If you've never tried a move like this you will be astonished at how quickly you will gain strength, agility, and stamina.  You will also start seeing results in your abdominal muscle definition that will convince you to never waste time with standard crunches and machine exercises again.

Start seeing the only results that really matter - the ones you love to see in the mirror

The movements involved activate the entire range of muscle fibers in multiple dimensions, linear and curvilinear, over their entire length, so the results in muscle definition will be quick and dramatic compared to the standard crunches and squats you're wasting your time and energy with now.​

Looking Great Naked isn't Magic ... It's Science

These moves are designed to maintain an intense isometric contraction of the entire core while you are in the air, so you will always feel the burn, and all of your time and effort will be laser-focused on results - those sharp, cut, abdominal lines you want to see in the mirror.  Once you feel that intense burn with every millimeter you progress and you start seeing the results in the mirror, standard crunches will start seeming like the boring, useless waste of time that they are.

Face it - if you can't dance naked in front of a mirror and love what you see from every angle then your workouts are a waste of time.  Stop wasting time and energy and start seeing results - learn how to make every move and every second of every workout count.

19 Powerful Bodyweight Exercises for Strength and Speed

Improve your power and agility and add intensity to any workout with these moves.

Read the full article at: greatist.com

A challenging workout requires a continuous mix of technical, physical and cerebral difficulty.  Powering through endless reps of linear isolation moves is mindless and useless – it may bulk up specific muscles but it will never give you the definition, agility, and strength you want – and it’s guaranteed to bore you and kill your motivation.

Gym and machine workouts deconstruct human movement into tiny slivers of the 4-dimensional time-space continuum – only the tiniest linear slices that can be mechanized and marketed and endlessly repeated.  Stop working out like a machine and start moving like a human and you will be amazed at the definition, strength, and agility you can achieve.

Plyometric moves are intense and they can be daunting if you’ve never done them before.  But the benefits are quick and astonishingly superior to what you can achieve with the typical mindless repetitive, linear, mid-range, slow concentric-eccentric isolation moves of typical gym exercises.

The best way to start is to mix brief, intense bursts of fast-twitch plyo moves with active isometric rest intervals.

This combination of multi-contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric), multi-dimensional (linear, curvilinear, twisting, rotatory), temporally varied (fast-twitch, slow-twitch) movements into each workout will markedly accentuate muscle fiber definition while minimizing exhaustion as you quickly shift from one movement to the next before you feel the burn of the explosive move – so your recovery is built into an active rest phase.  It will also keep your mind active and constantly challenged to adapt to and work with strange new alignments and demands,

There are no ‘leg days’, ‘back days’, ‘arm days’, or recovery days, there are only whole-body days. You’ve got a whole body, right? so why not use it? Instead of mechanistically bulking up the same tiny bundle of mid-range isolated muscle fibers every day, why not stimulate the maximum number of fibers over the entire range of temporal-spatial dimensions available to you?  Why not let everything get more defined, stronger and more agile in balance with everything else?

Reject the limits that other people and the ‘exercise’ establishment have placed on you.  Stop exercising and start learning how to move.

Move Like a Human: Why You Shouldn’t Exercise – Parkour Generations

Movement is more than the sum of its parts. Reduce your patterns to linear, closed chains and guess what – that’s all you’ll ever be able to handle.

Read the full article at: parkourgenerations.com

Stop exercising and start moving.

 

You’re exercising like a machine – and it’s not giving you the results you want.

 

If you’re doing exercises on gym machines taught to you by trainers, you’re accepting the limitations that others are placing on your potential fitness.

 

Repetitive, linear, core-stabilized, mid-range isolation moves will never give you results you want to see in the mirror.  The reason is clear: standard exercise deconstructs natural human movement into what this author calls “linear, closed chains” resulting in athletes with specifically strengthened tissues sitting next to underdeveloped tissues.

 

According to Laird Hamilton, “When you sit down on an exercise machine, with your back against a chair, you tend to shut down the rest of your body.”

 

Think about it – you go to the gym and strap yourself into a chair complete with armrests, leg rests, and handles – are you working out or watching a movie?  Stabilizing your body in this way and then building disproportionate strength in one set of muscle fibers while all the others become progressively weaker in a relative sense is diminishing your ability to move the way your body evolved to move.

 

Exercise is not movement, at least the exercises taught in the modern gym aren’t.  They are small, highly mechanized snapshots of moments – only the tiniest slices of the 4-dimensional time-space continuum in which we move – the slices that can be easily built into machines and marketed to gyms and health clubs.  They limit your understanding of movement and reduce your potential to that very narrow slice.

 

You will never gain agility from a leg-press machine, but try just one of these squats.  You will never see the kind of shoulder definition from a overhead press machine that you can get from this one move.  These are examples of holistic movements that combine different types of muscle contraction (concentric, eccentric, isometric) with multi-dimensional (seeping curvilinear arcs and twists) movement.  Use the outdoor environment and find movement challenges that are “quirky, technically challenging, and require the body to think”.  Train outdoors on structures that weren’t designed for that purpose and the resulting micro-variations will build the kind of strength, agility, and muscle definition you will never find at the gym.

 

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