DRS Fitness Laws Everyone Should Know And Follow

In an age of technology and virtual training, it’s so easy to forget what made us fit in the first place: healthy food, quality movement, dedication and high intensity discipline. Follow these DRS Fitness Laws to achieve optimal performance throughout your health and fitness routine.

DRS Fitness Laws

Here are DRS Fitness Laws you need to learn, apply and repeat if you really want a badass body:

1. Eating right is 80% of the battle.

With today’s incredible online resources it’s easy to get distracted by all those health and fitness products and fancy weight loss diets out there. But no matter what your fitness goal is, you can’t go wrong with a well balanced diet of fresh food, cooked from scratch. And the fun part is you can eat plenty of it!

2. Start long-term and work back.

Set your main goal for the long term, then cut it down into smaller goals, easy to reach. For example, if you plan to run 5k in 3 months, start by setting a goal for this month, or this week.

3. It is impossible to get ripped “accidentally”.

The super fit and super lean women/men you see on Instagram work their ass off to look that way. It’s not genetics, but dedication responsible for that insane body!

4. You need to make SMART goals.

Here’s what SMART stands for (just to easily remember what a smart goal should look like): Specific,Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Got the idea?

5. It’s worth investing in the right kit.

Once you’ve found a good workout, invest in the right fitness equipment. And this is not just an excuse to shop, it’s “an investment” because the right clothes will wick sweat away, stop chafing and make you feel fly. Most of them are totally wearable outside of the gym too.

6. Time is money, spend it wisely.

Instead of running one hour on the treadmill to burn 600 calories, why not lifting weights for 30 minutes to burn the same amount of calories?! You know, dynamic moves with free weights are the most efficient calorie-burning exercises.

The more intense the workout, the shorter it needs to be.

7. Peripheral heart action is the way forward.

PHA (peripheral heart action) is the ultimate fitness hack. It says that you can boost your metabolism and work your heart harder if you alternate between lower- and upper-body exercises. All there without spending more time in the gym; genius, right?!

8. Cardio first, weights after? No.

Try active rest instead of total rest to save time. Switch the total rest periods between sets with short cardio sessions (1-2 minutes) or full-body moves like pushups, squats, lunges.(try DRS-Circuits)

LAW

9. Make weights work for you.

Work the biggest muscle groups first (back, chest, legs), then work your way down to isolated small muscles like biceps or triceps.

10. When it comes to weights, the more instability the better.

Free weights work your body in a more natural way without injuries. Machines isolate the muscles and neglect the supporting muscles, which can lead to injuries. When it comes to weight lifting, the more unstable the exercise is the better the result is.

Free weights > Cable machines > Fixed machines

11. Step away from the cardio machines!

An outdoor run is just so much better than a treadmill session. The uneven surface will strengthen your legs and the weather conditions will make your body work harder. You can even boost endorphins by 50% just by running outdoors.

12. Recovery is just as important as what you do in the gym.

Do 5 minutes of stretching at the end of every workout session. Don’t work the same muscle group 2 days in a row; rest at least 48 hours until the next workout for the same muscle group.

13. It’s not just about the way you look.

Fitness it’s not just about the way you look, it’s how it makes you feel. You’re strong, stress free, sleep well, have a lot of energy during the entire day and your skin glows; this is the real joy of being healthy, fit and toned!

14. See exercise as a treat, not punishment.

I don’t think there’s a person leaving the gym feeling worse than they did when they arrived at the gym. Yeah, a good workout really is a bless, so why treating it like a punishment?!

Grab your perfect running shoes, strap yourself into a sports bra /supporters with adequate support  and start your fitness journey. You will be amazed what you can achieve living your life by these DRS Fitness Laws.

Source: fiitnessplus.com

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12 Months DRS Challenge For A Healthy Lifestyle

That’s why I propose this 12 Months DRS Challenge where you will make a small choice every start of the month and hold on it the entire month. Every month would be a new challenge and maybe at the end of each month you will adopt a new healthy habit.

People get started on a weight loss journey and what tends to happen is they are so pumped and so ready to go that they jump into it 100% and then they die out quickly and fall back to their older routine. I wanted to talk about that in this article, I wanted to go over clean eating and healthy lifestyle. In my opinion if you slowly bring things into your life and slowly change your lifestyle, you are more likely to stick with it. There are little changes that can make a big difference in weight loss.

People venture out to lose many pounds and then they don’t meet their goals. This is because they’ve made too big goals. Forget about losing 30-40 pounds and focus on losing one pound a week. That’s what you need for healthy weight loss. And then, once you’ve done that, eventually the pounds start to add up. So if you think about it, there are 52 weeks in a year and that’s 52 pounds. Pretty good, right?

12MONTH

12 Months Challenge

There is a 12 Months Challenge Infographic at the end of the article. You can print it and stick it to your fridge or anywhere else to remind you the decision you’ve made. So let’s see what small changes you should adapt each month:

1. January – Eat vegetables with your snack or meal at least three times per day.

2. February – Cut your processed sugar in 1/2 (or out all together). Instead of white sugar use stevia, honey or agave.

3. March – Drink at least 64-oz (2l) of water every single day.

4. April – Get your sweat on most days of the week. Just 20 minutes will count.

5. May – Stop eating foods with hydrogenated oils, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup. Get rid of margarine and use olive oil instead of other oils used to fry food.

6. June – Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. this should be easy.

7. July – Go meatless at least one day per week. And if you really want to challenge yourself, go meatless 3 days per week.

8. August – Meditate or just sit in silence 10 minutes per day. And do this every single day!

9. September – Kick it up a notch! Increase the time and/or intensity of your workouts.

10. October – Eat good fats and get your Omega 3’s with foods like salmon and walnuts.

11. November – Be gratful. Gratitude is good for your health, so practice it daily.

12. December – Meditate or sit in silence 10 minutes every day. Or try one more time a challenge that didn’t worked at the first time.

I encourage you to change your behaviour, to make small changes like the ones in this challenge. At the end, the winner in the game of weight loss is not who loses their weight the quicker, is the person who keeps it off the longest. GET IN GET FIT…STAY HEALTHY..

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Source : fiitnessplus

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EASE IN MUSCLE SORENESS BY DOING THIS!

Today we will discuss a bit about muscle soreness. What it is, how it comes about, the myths and the realities.

Muscle soreness is probably the most debated topic in sports with or without weights. It manifests as a burning sensation, tightening pain and more or less unpleasant as soon as you move them the next morning.

Let’s try to reach the objective here.

febra-musculara

Muscle soreness is, as I said, the feeling of pain that occurs after about 8 hours of forcing your muscles to the limit. Until recently, studies of fitness have claimed that muscle soreness occurs due to an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles during exercise. The latest study has come to refute this.

The main reason for developing muscle soreness according to recent studies is that lactic acid is washed out at a rate of over 90% in the first hour of training. Also regarded as a valid explanation, is the appearance of microcellular muscle tears. This micro-trauma and oxidative stress are caused by free radicals produced during exercise effects on the muscle and connective tissue. Thus, once the nerve receptors have recovered there is a feeling of pain or muscle soreness. It occurs around 8 hours after the exercise, with the pain at its peak somewhere between 1 to 3 days and disappears completely after about 5 to 7 days, depending on rest and exercise intensity.

How do we train with muscle soreness? There are also some controversial theories such as “habit cures habit” that is partially true. In no way should you complete the next workout with immense power, especially when the muscles have been affected by muscle fever. Choose a workout to work other muscle groups, or complete a circuit-type training with less intensity on the affected muscle groups.

Muscle soreness is a gauge of the effectiveness of training. In general, you can use muscle soreness as an indicator of the effectiveness of training, but nothing is set in stone. It is not necessary to reach to the level of muscle soreness in order for an exercise to be effective. This is a genetic predisposition and pain tolerance of each individual. Overall, intense muscle soreness may be an indicative of a physically powerful workout too great for the muscle groups and a lack of muscle soreness may be evidence of a not so effective workout. Slight muscle soreness means a good workout. Again, these rules are not set in stone. Strength, appearance or absence of muscle fever varies from person to person.

How do you prevent muscle soreness or make it go away more rapidly?

The cure for muscle soreness is relatively simple. If you gradually increase the strength and endurance of your muscles and you stretch and warm up properly before the activity you will be engaging in, they will not get as sore and a cooling down session / stretching after training is just as important. Adding a good ratio of carbohydrates and protein, eating correctly and getting a good night’s sleep will help to rebuild those muscles after training.

Taking nutritional supplements and antioxidants in the diet is also a good measure. To speed up the passage of fever, besides a good diet and exercising properly is to have the sore muscles massaged followed by a warm bath in sea salt. Inflammatory pills or other medication is contraindicated except for aspirin.

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Source :fiitnessplus.com

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Are Sit Ups Bad for You? The U.S. Military Seems to Think So…

I read an article recently in the Daily Mail about how the U.S. Army is phasing out sit-ups from the Army Physical Fitness Test as well as in their regular training programs. The Marines and Navy may soon be following suit.

So that got me wondering, what’s the deal? Why are these military institutions giving up on one of the long time staples of their physical fitness routines?

The Army is changing its fitness guidelines because it believes sit-ups can be harmful and that there are better ways to condition and strengthen the core.

The Sit-Up vs. The Crunch

The sit-up has had a long reign as the gold standard in assessing and improving abdominal strength, not to mention in achieving a slimmer waistline and the elusive “six pack.”

Then, we had the crunch, which began to unseat the sit-up as the best abdominal move. We learned that the crunch gives more focused contraction potential to the rectus abdominis muscles, while the sit-up puts too much emphasis on the hip flexor muscles.

The transition from sit-up to crunch was positive, but was it enough? Why move at all when working out the core? Next came the static plank.

The Plank

The plank is the latest in improving not just abdominal, but total core strength. A plank is what we call an isometric exercise which means the muscle contracts without any actual movement of the body or lengthening of the muscle.

An isometric plank is used to strengthen and improve endurance and stability in the abdominal muscles, while also including the obliques, gluteus muscles, and the hamstrings. To some extent you even work the shoulders and arms.

There are some variations on the plank, but the most basic form is in a prone position with hands, forearms, and elbows on the floor, toes on the floor, and hips up and in a neutral position with the rest of the upper body. In other words, your body is straight like a plank.

Planks are typically held for a designated time period, such as 30 or 60 seconds at a time, or in shorter time periods with only a few seconds of rest in between, such as 20 second holds with 5 second rest periods.

Why Are Planks So Great?

The U.S. military is making a switch to planks because they have discovered what a lot of trainers already knew:

Planks beat sit-ups every time, in every way.

Planks have been proven both in the gym as well as in the research laboratory to be the most effective way to:

  • incorporate and activate the abdominal and trunk muscles
  • support proper posture by helping to safeguard an erect spinal position
  • encourage proper alignment of the spine

According to me, planks target the abdominals in the manner in which they are intended to function…isometrically.

“A lot of strength trainers realized that the main function of the abs is to stop, not start motion, and the plank came out of what the abs are asked to do, which is resist the spine from moving, such as when fighting off an opponent, and strengthening the lower back.”

I know what you’re thinking: Planks are SO boring and if you’ve never actually tried them, they might just look too easy to possibly be beneficial. But this exercise only looks deceptively simple.

It may seem counterintuitive to switch from active movement of a muscle group to not moving at all, but planks work and if you try them you will feel it.

Staying still and as stiff as a board while on your elbows and toes is a lot more difficult than it looks

What about Using Sit-Ups and Planks?

Why can’t you include sit-ups and crunches along with planks for a complete workout?

Can’t they co-exist?

The truth is that research is starting to show us that sit-ups are not only less beneficial than the isometric plank; sit-ups can actually be dangerous.

According to Harvard Health Publications, sit-ups can be very hard on the spine and potentially damaging. If you have ever felt lower back pain and strain during a sit-up, you know this already.

A sit-up pushes the curved spine against the floor, and as mentioned earlier, employs the hip flexor muscles. (These are the muscles that run from the thighs to the lumbar spine in the lower back.)

When the hip flexor muscles are too strong or too tight, they can ‘tug’ on the lower spine, which can create low back discomfort.

With a sit-up, and to a lesser extent crunches, the position and movement of the body works against the natural curvature of the spine, and therefore can lead to low back discomfort, pain, and even injury.

One study actually found that 56 percent of all soldiers’ injuries relating to the “old fitness test” administered by the Army, were directly due to sit-ups.

The Takeaway(for trainers)

So what is the takeaway message for you as a trainer? What exercises should you be doing for your core and recommending to your clients? Is the answer as straightforward as totally eliminating sit-ups and crunches in favor of planks? Are sit-ups always bad?

what

  • Benefits of sit-ups:

Sit-ups target your abdominal muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis, but also involve and incorporate some of the connecting stabilizer muscles, such as the hip flexors, thereby providing a more comprehensive and integrative movement.

  • Drawbacks of sit-ups:

Sit-ups impose extremely large compression forces on the discs and vertebrae of the spine, especially in the lower back. The U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has set the action limit for low back compression at 3300 N and repetitive loading above this level is linked with higher injury rates in workers. Compression readings that surpass this limit are imposed on the spine with each sit up repetition.

  • Benefits of crunches:

Crunches involve six primary core muscles of the abdomen as well as muscles in the leg.  Crunches can be modified for individual ability levels. They can also be intensified by using resistance, like with a medicine ball, in order to increase the contraction and strength potential.  Crunches do not require as great a range of motion as sit-ups, so they limit the involvement of the hip flexors, as well as the compression on the spine.

  • Drawbacks of crunches:

Crunches target the abdominal muscles but do not adequately address the other core muscles, such as the obliques and particularly the muscles in the lower back (lumbar erectors).  Crunches still place some stress and compression on the spinal column, particularly if attempting to ‘flatten’ the low back throughout the movement.  Crunches have also been known to create strain and stress on the neck or cervical spine if the head is not kept in a neutral position throughout the movement.

  • Benefits of planks:

Planks involve a more complete and comprehensive balance of the muscles of the abdominals, obliques, spinal erectors, and to some extent muscles in the glutes, shoulder, chest and arms. Planks use an isometric contraction to target the core musculature, and muscle activation has been shown to be almost twice as active as in a standard sit-up. Planks, if done correctly, are safe and put no unnecessary strain or compression on the spine.  Variations of the plank movement can be performed to increase or decrease difficulty and target different muscles.

  • Drawbacks of Planks:

Joint limitations in the elbows, shoulders, or feet can potentially negatively affect your ability to correctly perform the exercise.  If you are very weak in the core musculature, you might find it difficult to maintain proper positioning in the movement for more than a few seconds, and therefore limited progress can be seen in the early stages of performing the exercise

With all the information presented to you, what is the final answer?  

In my opinion, there is still a place in the world of health, fitness, and wellness for the crunch. I think that there are enough benefits to the movement if done properly to justify it still being included as part of a comprehensive training program.

With all the evidence from research, I also give the plank a big gold star for being the most effective, most efficient, and most importantly, the safest core strengthening and stabilizing exercise in the industry today.

So if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to ditch the sit-up. Stick with planks and crunches for the best all-around core fitness and strength.

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Source: fiitnessplus.com

 

 

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This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Exercising

Getting in shape is hard work, so who wouldn’t want some down time? But don’t quit moving just yet, because letting all your hard work go down the drain is not your goal. When you stop exercising, your body goes through many physical changes that can be unhealthy for you.

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THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU STOP EXERCISING

A body at rest tends to stay at rest while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Although this is a tenet of physics and momentum, it happens to be true for physical activity as well.

Those who make a healthy habit of exercise reap the rewards of feeling better so they tend to keep up the work. Once you slack off and stop exercising, your body experiences several changes for the worse.

FITNESS LEVEL CHANGES WHEN YOU STOP EXERCISING

For an athlete, the effects of not exercising are more profound than they would be for a recreational exerciser. Stopping a fitness regimen for a regular person might show health decreases over a month or two but an athlete will experience these negative health changes almost immediately.

WHAT HAPPENS TO HEART HEALTH WHEN YOU STOP EXERCISING

Your blood pressure is higher on the days that you don’t workout compared to the days that you do. If you go even longer without exercise, after a month of not exercising your blood pressure will return to where it was prior to starting any fitness routine.

It can take you longer to get back into your routine once you start due to the need to start slowly. When you go from a period where you have stopped exercising to beginning again, you increase your risk of cardiac events, such as heart attack. The Centers for Disease Control recommends starting a fitness program slowly after a period of inactivity to reduce this risk rather than going into an intense cardio workout.

EFFECTS ON YOUR BLOOD WHEN YOU STOP EXERCISING

VO2 Max, or your maximum capacity to carry oxygen in your blood, is one of the most immediate changes that doctors can measure in the body when you stop exercising. Your breathing rate increases as you exercise, increasing your VO2 Max. Without the increase in respiration, your ability to oxygenate your blood decreases.

“There are studies indicating a decline of 7 to 10% of VO2 after 12 days of sudden inactivity, 14 to 15% after 50 days, and 16 to 18% after 80 days,Maximal values for cardiac output, stroke volume [the amount of blood pumped out of the heart during each contraction] and ability of mitochondria to extract oxygen each decline along the same lines while the heart rate increases.

Your blood sugar or glucose also increases when you stop exercising. Without muscles working to use up the excess sugar in your blood, that glucose stays in the blood. As a result, staying sedentary increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

EFFECTS ON MUSCLES AND JOINTS WHEN YOU STOP EXERCISING

When you exercise your muscles, tiny tears make them grow bigger and stronger as they heal. Without exercise, your muscles begin to atrophy, causing you to lose muscle mass and strength. Regular exercise gives you benefits of flexibility and coordination as well as strength.

When you stop exercising, you lose mitochondria which are the cells within your muscles that convert that oxygen into energy. In a British study, 2 weeks of immobilization decreased muscle mitochondrial content as much as 6 weeks of endurance training increased it.

Without that fat burning function of your muscles, your metabolism slows down. This can lead to weight gain or even just a change in body fat percentage. In findings published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, a 5-week exercise break boosted collegiate swimmers’ fat mass by 12 percent.

EFFECTS ON YOUR BRAIN WHEN YOU STOP EXERCISING

Your brain releases endorphins when you exercise, so quitting exercise means no more pleasure sensations from the runner’s high. The positive mood regulating effects of exercise will disappear once you stop exercising.

According to the CDC, “Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can give you these mental health benefits. Some scientific evidence has also shown that even lower levels of physical activity can be beneficial.”

Regular exercise also helps memory function on the brain. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrated that exercise in older adults increased the size of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that helps with memory. Stopping exercise for as little as a week results in fewer brain cells growing in this area of the brain.

 Avoid the negative health and fitness consequences of retraining your body by sticking with your workout. If you do need a break from exercise, try to still get a brisk walk in at least once per week to maintain some of the health benefits of exercise.
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How Much Should I Eat Per Day To Gain Muscle Mass?

In order to gain muscle mass, you should take in about 15 calories per each pound of your body weight. If you have 180 pounds, you should eat about 2700 calories per day to gain muscle mass.
Of course, if you’re doing exercises daily and you’re burning about 500 calories through your fitness routine, you will add 500 calories to your daily calorie intake. So in this case, a 180-pound man should eat about 3200 calories per day to gain muscle mass.
But if you want to gain muscle mass, you can’t just eat any kind of foods until you get those 2700 calories and then stop eating. You need to know what kind of foods are good for your body and for your muscle gain goal. You need to know how many carbs, proteins and fats you should eat in a day to get those 2700 calories in and to gain muscle mass.
GAIN

How To Gain Muscle Mass

Here is how you can calculate your carbs, protein and fats intake for a day, if you want to gain muscle mass:
  • 2 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, you should have about 360 grams of carbs in your daily food intake.
  • Between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you weigh 200 pounds, you should have about 180 – 270 grams of protein in your daily food intake.
  • 0.4 grams of fat per pound of body weight. If you weigh 180 pounds, you should have about 72 grams of fat in your daily food intake.
So if you note your body weight with W, here is the math behind gaining muscle mass (all number are for one day only):
  • CALORIES = W x 15 grams
  • FAT = W x 0.4 grams
  • PROTEIN = W x 1.5 grams
  • CARBOHYDRATES = W x 2 grams
Now that you know how many calories you should eat in a day to gain muscle mass, all you have to do is to find a perfect workout for you and add some physical activity in your daily schedule. This will increase your daily calorie intake with 100-500 calories, depending on the intensity of the workout you’re performing.
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Source: fiitnessplus.com
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