Tag Archives: training

Fitness Trends for 2015

I always love when the Fitness Trend reports come out. If you are a fitness professional or involved in the industry, you can actually contribute to these by signing up with the ACSM. Regardless of the population reading this post, what you must understand is that just because the order of the TREND (trends can vary in length from short, to intermediate, to long term) does not mean that it is best for YOU or YOUR goals. These trends may be something to consider trying to add in to proven long term, sustainable methods. It is also always great to try new things and to add to your repertoire regardless of your background, goals and so forth to keep you motivated and seeing progress.

Since I have learned, which is an extremely unfortunate statistic, that most prefer not to read, check out the infographic below to see the predicted fitness trends for 2015.

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The Not-So-Sexy Side of Sexy Results

Stop lying to yourself if you keep saying, “Pfft I don’t train to look good that’s for narcissistic shallow people. I train for performance. I train movements not muscles”, and on it goes. You lie and we all do sometimes. GET OVER IT! WE ALL WANT TO LOOK SEXY. When did that become a bad thing anyways?

Sexy is subjective and goes hella far beyond the exterior physical crap but don’t deny yourself that you do want to look a certain way or you will never get the results you actually do want. Looking, feeling and “being good” is ideal absolutely, but the first step in recognizing what your true heart desires most will help you to stop wasting precious time, money and energy on things not serving you.

It is an unfortunate truth that first impressions, ahem, how you look, will get you farther faster (faster being the key word because I promise you that part does not sustain anything!) so instead of poo-pooing things that might not be trendy right now, embrace what truly needs to be done to get the results you want. You want to feel better, look better, have more and better sex, feel energized, succeed faster in getting your foot in the door? I thought so.download (1)

The not-so-sexy side of sexy results means that a. you need to train with your real goal in mind or the one that best serves your entire life, b. you need to train with intensity, c. oh yes you need to body build (see below as to why this is deemed the not-so-sexy side).

Did I freak you out there ladies thinking that you are going to get manly and huge (ha! good luck with that!) and guys did I make you think you will get immobile with a distended belly and more veins on your forearms than on your ummm you know 😉 No that is not what body building is. What you are thinking of is the sport of UNNATURAL bodybuilding and that, at least to me and many like me, is not so sexy. Do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong with what you like as that person or as the likee of that person, it is just not for me physically just as I am not for everyone either lol.

By the way ladies, for over a decade I have been trying to put on and more importantly hold onto muscle (I did a lot of activity and feeding for refuel and recovery sufficiently is tough with that) and believe me it is not as easy as you believe it to be. Read that again…I actually try to gain size in certain areas so you who doesn’t want size, don’t worry about it!

So you want the sexy side now right? Well that is going to mean a few things. You will need to drop your endless cardio, bootcamp training and huff-puff, sweat it all out, ouch my joints hurt type of workouts and you will need to eat. There is a place for those types of workouts and temporarily “not eating”  aka the kids call it intermittent fasting these days :p but right now no.

If you have been slaving away for months doing those types of things and you are only softer and more miserable, let it go, change your mindset to gaining vs losing and tax your muscles other than your heart muscle. Lifting weights in the 6-12 rep range is a great range to play in while also gaining some strength. Rest a little between sets.  Oh and p.s. most of those people you see who only do those types of activities did not build themselves that way. Truestory that there is more to those stories.

Focus on the rep range above, compound movements like deadlifts, squats, rows and presses until your muscles burn, eat a lot of food with protein being a big factor and some level of rest is required. Women tend to be able to take and get better results with more volume (closer to the higher end of the rep range) and men with more intensity less volume although this varies on body types, genetics etc.

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Every body is different but those are some pretty solid guidelines to go with for results. Is this post a sexy post? No, but sometimes truth is not so sexy and fancy “add ons” and crazy ish is not what will get you sexy sustainable results. You still need to train hard no matter what you do, but choose wisely on what you do and keep the add-ons as add-ons.

Ass to Grass Squats, Hybrid Half Squats and You

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In terms of many things, on a grand scheme level, there are not necessarily any rights or wrongs, just different approaches. This is within reason of course, but for the most part it stands to be pretty legit. I have decided to use the squat as a way to highlight this today. My goal is to help you consider if what’s hot right now is what works for YOU and your goals in the safest, most effective, time-efficient manner.

Many might also tell you that to do any type of squat that doesn’t break parallel is a waste, a joke. No, no that is not true. In fact, these can actually help you progress, depending on what your goals are. The important thing to know though, is that they are not the ONLY way you should be squatting or the only thing you should be doing. On either end of the spectrum of ATG or half squats, vary things over time for ultimate progress.

The trend of ass-to-the-grass squats quickly came and to be honest seems to already be fizzling out, or at least balancing out. The case for this is probably because most people are not equipped for that and have either gotten injured or not made progress as quickly as they would with other methods. That doesn’t mean that type of squat is wrong, it just means that for some it may not be right 😉

Yes, it is cool and impressive to be able to do that under high loads if your greater trochanter is a certain size and sits a certain way in your joint socket, your pelvic tilt is perfectly managed, tendon/ligament strength or recoil ability, Q-angle, ankle and hip mobility, flexibilty yet stability in the right areas, proper reciprocal inhibition, sufficient core strength…are you getting the picture here? It is “cool” but is it the best way to reach your goals in the safest, most efficient manner or are there far too many things that are getting in the way of you just getting a better butt, building metabolism boosting muscle, and pretty much being healthier and adding to your already jacked up levels of awesome?

If you want to have the goal to be able to squat A-T-G, wicked cool! By no means is there anything wrong with that, BUTT (<—- see what I did there lol) if you just want to make progress in terms of disease prevention, health, performance, aesthetics or otherwise, you do not NEED to do these to make great strides and in fact, incorporating some half squats aka hybrid deadlift/squat/goodmornings into your program might just be what you need to literally leap and power forward in your goals.

If you are looking for ways to mix up your training to develop more power and shape and you have beaten the regular squats into the ground but cannot safely go ATG, try the hybrid half squats between reps or your normal squats. For example, if you are doing 5 sets of 6-8 reps try this:

-First 2 reps are regular, slow and controlled, followed by 3 powerfully exerted half squats, followed by the remainder as regular slow and controlled reps.

The moral of the story is, kids don’t do drugs, friends don’t let friends wear puffy paint sweaters, and don’t try to fit square pegs into round holes. Seriously though, What I am trying to say here is that there are many ways to reach your goals. Try not to look at things so black or white and that you must do xyz or you will never get there. We are all different and just because a particular exercise or whatever else is not working for you, it does not mean there is anything wrong with you or that things are hopeless. Just keep plugging away to find your fit.

-To perform this hybrid half squat, if you are performing a high bar squat, lower the bar so it rests across your upper back. Create tension throughout your entire body,especially your butt and upper back and bracing your abs. With a slight bend in your knees, shoot your hips back so you are angled at about 45 degrees. On the way up, power your hips up and forward while being sure to catch a quarter in your butt cheeks at the top but not hyperextending your lower back. Basically, it is somewhat of a deadlift but with the bar on your back.

Also, if you would like to learn more about the benefits of “partial movements” or want to just check on if I am BS’ing you 😉 read more here: http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2014/11000/The_Efficacy_of_Incorporating_Partial_Squats_in.2.aspx

Melisscious’ Delicious Discography number 45: Work it out… #music #MOVEment

Ok so this post is going to be a quickie with just your playlist because I am a bit busy but I still luv ya…So here is your October workout playlist peeps! 😀

1. Disclosure – F for you

2. Hardwell – Three Triangles

3. Junior Jack – Es Samba

4. Lumidee VS Fatman Scoop – Dance

5. R3hab & Nervo – Ready for the weekend

6. Nyemiah Supreme feat Timbaland – Thorough Bitch

7. Melanie Martinez (Chocolate Puma remix) – Dollhouse

8. AK9 – Some Shit Title No one Cares About

9. Cranksters – Call My Name

10. Cooldown Jam…Birdy – Not About Angels

Melisscious Delicious Discography #44 maybe !??

Hello and welcome back to my monthly playlist and “fitness can I get a witness” post. I aim to deliver you with some hellish workouts to add some yeah to your day and the tune-age to help you bust a nut…wait, I mean…no that IS what I mean (I kid I kid and btw that is Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and feel free to Google him lol)

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Don’t worry, I will still be interspersing my easier to comprehend posts on health, fitness and everything in between, but this Melisscious’ Delicious Discography will allow for my inner teeny-bopper (lol who says that:P) to come through….wooh, and she gets hangry (hungry and angry) if she is not kept nourished.

Alright so let’s get started with the playlist and be sure to check the time saving, no excuses, unleash your awesome workout below 🙂

1. (Warm it up to…) Drake –  0 to100

2. Shihad – Think You’re So Free

3. Royal Blood – Figure It Out

4. Bif Naked – Love Myself Today

and your cool down jam to roll out and stretch out to…

5. Outkast – The Whole World

My apologies that it the playlists have been cut in half but it takes far too much time to always be doing 10. Warmup with some jump rope and mobility/movement patters. This workout is something you can add to make you stronger and faster and leaner. Little to no rest between supersets. Repeat this sequence 3-5 times depending on your fitness level.

1a. Deadlifts 4-6 reps

1b. Concept 2 Rows Power Pulls for 40 seconds

Rest 30-60 seconds

2a. Reverse Lunge to Punch Press 8-10 each side

2b. Inchworm to Diverbomber Pushups for 40 seconds

Rest 30-60 seconds

3a. Hip Bridge Alternating DB Presses 6-8 reps

3b. 180 Point Pivots for 40 seconds

Rest 30-60 seconds

4a. Bent-Over Row to Stand 10-12 reps

4b. Tight Body DB Uppercuts for 40 seconds

Free Music and MOVEment

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I am spending most of my day today working from home and am currently updating my playlist. Home work is great because my breaks can consist of whatever the eff I want such as random outbursts of loud music and flailing myself around the room. Yeah I know right, good times 😉 I just got back in after doing some running around and was chatting it up with this super cool guy.

Why am I telling you this? I tell you this because our conversation consisted of discussing music and movement of all kinds. Ok the majority of the movement we pigeonholed on was in regards to lifting but REAL movement like martial arts/combat sports and dancing came up too. FYI those are four of my favorite things with the 5th being something I plead the 5th on (yup it is totally what you are thinking of womp wommmmp).

Oh geez sorry I still have yet to get to the point of this random post and the title’s correlation to the randomness ramblings at hand. I just wasted your time to lead up to this little gifty-gift for you…this dude hooked me up with a free way to get tunes for when you are doing MOVEment (bowel or orchestral not presumptively included lol). I apologize to the artists out there, I really do and this is not meant to be a form of disrespect for your craft but I like to share things that make me happy to help others be happy too. I have also learned from one Will-I-am that that is not how you make your moolah anyhoo 😉

To get some tunes use this site http://www.youtube-mp3.org/ . You find the jam on youtube, copy the link and paste it in the box. You than convert it, download the mp3 and copy it to your Ipod, android or other device. Magical ain’t it 😉

I can survive without music sure, but I cannot thrive nor truly LIVE without it. Still just doing what I can in terms of my loves (MRI comes soon and will give me some answers. This damn ankle and foot thing is yet to be determined than watch out lol) If you are like me and feel the same way, try this out and get your swerve on my beautiful freaks geeks and weirdos ;D Woooooh to you!

Rooftop Fitness Party in Downtown Toronto

This morning brought out an exciting array of fellow fitness instructors, yogis, studio/gym owners and fitness enthusiasts to a party atop the Big Carrot . This fun filled, health promoting event was for the media launch of Tryfit.ca . Before I continue I would like to thank Jake for having me out. It was an exceptional way to start my day. I had to leave early to teach a class but the time I was there was awesome.

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Aside from the banging beats from the DJ, the snacks and spa water quenching my thirst for some awe-inspiring oh yeah-ness, every one there was so friendly. It is always great to see a community of like-minded positive people in one place.

The day was gorgeous (aka sunny and hot wooooh) and the rooftop venue made the mini-workout sessions that were a part of the event much more enjoyable. The ability to network and to share stories was also a highlight. While there was fun to be had, it was all very professional and well organized by all.

I love what Tryfit.ca is doing. There are so many great spots in Toronto and so many different styles, modalities and venues that it is a shame NOT to experience as many of them as you can. The fact that they are also helping to grow and promote good people trying to make a difference, makes me love this concept even more. By offering what they are, they are not only helping to grow the smaller businesses in the community, but they are also helping others to find their fit when it comes to fitness.

Thank you for what you do!

 

P.S. I am totally for hire for teaching classes, events, consulting, event coverage, writing…;) athletictraynor@gmail.com

Artichoke Water Chokes Out Coconut Water?

It is really no surprise that with the overwhelming success of coconut water over the past few years, someone would want to take it on with a new hot ticket. This hot new ticket seems to be artichoke water.

Artichokes are well known for their good gut health prebiotic inulin content, their antioxidant and immune promoting caffeic and chlorogenic acid (1), as well as their ability to help reduce the damaging effects of oxidation of the “bad” low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (2).  Well we know how artichokes themselves can benefit us but water about artichoke water and will this new product hold its weight in a battle up again coconut water?

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Coconut Water:

  • Closest fluid to our very own blood plasma. This means our bodies “welcome” it better than  other sources for properly balanced rehydration.
  • Has fewer calories, sugar, sodium and more potassium than most sports drinks.
  • There is some evidence showing it can help reduce oxidative stress while also being a good source of phytohormones which may help to protect and strengthen cells (3,4).
  • Excellent source of enzymes, electrolytes, good source of B vitamins

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Artichoke Water:

  • Protective effects on the liver (5,6)
  • Good source of electrolytes and B vitamins
  • Rich in phytonutrients like quercetin and cynarin
  • Promotes good gut health, blood sugar and possible aid in reducing inflammation(7)

Neither of these drinks are miracle cures for anything but both do offer their own kick ass benefits. Drinking straight up water for the majority of your hydration and health needs should be your first priority but if you are just someone looking to improve their health with the occasional alternative beverage, both are great choices. If you are an athlete or consistently train for over an hour, you will want to add some sodium to these beverages to facilitate the best rehydration. Salt is our friend sweaty people :).  I think the artichoke water has a way to go in knocking out coconut water as the competition in your health arsenal but really, I feel they don’t need to as they can be complimentary.

P.S NOPE I am not pushing a product or otherwise just giving you some deets on some new product hitting the market 🙂 Watch the sugar content in BOTH and be mindful of how and why you are consuming EITHER beverage. If you want a different taste sensation or other health promoting benefits, try the new kid on the block (no not Donnie, Joey, Danny, Jordan or Jonathan 😮 ) th7MKIM4WC

References:

  1. Perez-Garcia, F., Tomas, A., & Canigueral, S. Activity of artichoke leaf extract on reactive oxygen species in human leukocytes. Free Radical Research, 33, 661-665. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from http://informahealthcare.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10715760000301171
  2. Brown, J. E., & Rice-Evans, C. A. Luteolin-rich artichoke extract protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation in vitro. Free Radical Research, 29, 247-255. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from http://informahealthcare.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10715769800300281
  3. Manna, K.; Khan, A.; Kr. Das, D.; Bandhu Kesh, S.; Das, U.; Ghosh, S.; Sharma Dey, R.; Das Saha, K.; Chakraborty, A.; Chattopadhyay, S.; Dey, S.; Chattopadhyay, D. Protective effect of coconut water concentrate and its active component shikimic acid against hydroperoxide mediated oxidative stress through suppression of NF-κB and activation of Nrf2 pathway. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2014.
  4. Ma, Z., Ge, L., Lee, A. S., Yong, J. W. H., Tan, S. N., & Ong, E. S. (2008). Simultaneous analysis of different classes of phytohormones in coconut (< i> Cocos nucifera</i> L.) water using high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry after solid-phase extraction. Analytica chimica acta, 610(2), 274-281.
  5. Gebhardt, R. (1995). Protective antioxidant activity of extracts of artichokes in hepatic cells. Medizinische Welt, 46(7), 393-395.
  6. Kim, M., & Shin, H. K. (1998). The water-soluble extract of chicory influences serum and liver lipid concentrations, cecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations and fecal lipid excretion in rats. The Journal of nutrition, 128(10), 1731-1736.
  7. Rumessen, J. J., Bodé, S., Hamberg, O., & Gudmand-Høyer, E. (1990). Fructans of Jerusalem artichokes: intestinal transport, absorption, fermentation, and influence on blood glucose, insulin, and C-peptide responses in healthy subjects. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 52(4), 675-681.

 

Mind Muscle Connection

It is a given that in order to reshape your body and change your body composition, you must put on some lean muscle. This can mean different amounts to different people but having a good foundation of muscle will help with adding shape, the repartitioning of nutrients for fat loss, energy and health, as well as preventing injury, making you stronger, and helping “tighten up” your body.images

There are many different styles of resistance training out there. None of them are flat out wrong per se, but very often there is a major factor missing that will hold you back regardless of the method. This factor is the mind to muscle connection, the ability to actually create tension in the muscles.

Truly concentrating on creating tension aka putting stress on the muscles you are working, be it in lifting weights or with calisthenics, you will facilitate greater strength, movement ability and a better level of body composition due to the awesome muscle you can build with focus. This mind to muscle connection prevents you from just going through the motions and putting all of the stress on your nervous system or joints

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From learning how to properly brace, to being able to put actual tension on your muscles instead of using momentum, it takes a lot of practice, focus and intention. This particular practice is so often ignored but is one of the most important for preventing injuries as well as for developing a body that is healthy, lean, athletic, agile and functional. You must also realize the importance of being in that moment and focusing on your goal instead of just checking out the hotties in the gym 😉

Our minds are our most powerful weapons when it comes to our bodies. They must work together to be optimal. To simply focus on dieting, cardio, circuits and throwing weights, is shortchanging yourself from being your best. The ability to focus and work with intent should first be the goal as it will make the more superficial things like losing fat, building a booty, become that much simpler. Control your mind and you can control your body.

 

Melisscious’ Delicious Discography 25 – Don’t Be So BOOring

HA! I think I am so clever lol Did you get what I did there with the title of my post..BOOring…because it is October and wooooooh Halloween happens this month womp womp wommmmp :p OMG I love Halloween! I really enjoy the beauty of fall too. There is nothing like being out in nature and surrounded by the array of multi coloured trees to spark a serious zen-like moment and appreciation for Mother Earth in all her glory. I just finished up the Tough Mudder Toronto and Captain Laura (lol she rocks 🙂 ) was telling me about the trail runs she does. I have never really been a runner but I think I might be becoming one to some extent I mean. Just adding in some distance vs sprint and hills and stairs all of the time for more of the ahhhhh-ness of being out in nature sure felt good to me. I would bike out in trails and such but never ran and Laura hit it right on when she said how close the Earth she feels when she does her trail runs…converted 🙂 Okay enough about me and yes I will get a post up about some of my training and my experience for The Tough Mudder in the next little while but between shoots, articles, training, classes, clients and life in general, holy balls I need more hours! All good though 🙂 Alrighty, you can find your October training playlist below as well as a fitness tip, no, this time a healthy recipe for Halloween, at the bottom. Enjoy and keep kicking ass!

1. Britney Spears (yeah that’s right lol but you gotta if you wanna…) – Work Bitch

2. Trivium – Strife

3. Limp Bizkit feat Lil Wayne – Ready to Go

4. Hatebreed – Put it to the Torch

5. Five Finger Death Punch – The Pride 😉

6. Metallica – Battery

7. Pantera – Mouth For War (excelllllent)

8. Marilyn Manson – This Is The New Shit (ha ha woooh)

9. Michael Jackson – Ghosts

Your cooldown jamerooni

10. Brian “Head” Welch – Cry

It IS pumpkin season and pumpkin/pumpkin seeds are so good for you…like a lot good for you lol so here is a pumpkin-halloweeny kind of recipe for you bats and ghouls out there (oh yeah I did just write that ahaha) that is high in protein and not ridonc on the carbs

1/2 cup pumpkin smooshed

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 stevia packet

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/4 cup egg whites

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract

 

Combine all ingredients.

Put in muffin tins sprayed with nonstick spray and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Once cooled you can add a dollop of real whipped cream to make it that much better just don’t go haywire as we all know what happened with that movie and your goals can go the same route :p <—-lame x 500 😀