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  †SPEED †STRENGTH †ENDURANCE †POWER †AGILITY These are the 5 pillars of fitness on which every athlete's accomplishments sit. Whether y...


November 2021



These are the 5 pillars of fitness on which every athlete's accomplishments sit. Whether you're a recreational player or an aspiring sports person, here's how to push your boundaries and raise the level of your game.


Pure strength is an asset on the soccer (or hockey) field only if it allows you to activate the muscle you have. Learn to tap the full capacity of your muscles and you'll become a dominant force in any sport.

THE SQUAT is ranked the single most important exercise for sports and the best predictor of total-body strength. Try this the one-repetitionmaximum squat test. Set the safety bars on your squat rack and grab a couple of spotters. Then load the barbell with the heaviest weight you can squat at least six times, but no more than eight. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Gradually decrease number of reps and increase weight. Your goal is to boost your one-rep max to more than 100 pounds. Can't do it? Here's how to push your limits.

PREP YOUR MUSCLES. If you're new to weight training, you'll need to strengthen your connective tissue and improve your muscular endurance before you take on the heavy weights  both to prevent injury and to improve performance.

For example do 5 pushups, 5 crunches, then 5 split jumps (from a lunge position, jump straight up, switch legs in midair, and land back in a lunge). Rest for 30 seconds to a minute, then raise that number to 6. Repeat, steadily increasing the number of reps to 7, 8, 9, etc.

REST YOUR MUSCLES. To grow stronger, you have to train more muscles fibers to fire. Yes, that means heavier weights, but it also means giving your muscles longer breaks to recover fully between sets to perform at their max. Try the 5x5 method. For any exercise, use the heaviest weight that allows you to do five sets of five repetitions. Rest for a full 2 to 2½ minutes between sets.

BENCH THEM. In sports, your leg muscles have to support your body weight in a variety of positions, whether you're lunging to your left or planting on your right. Use the single-leg squat to develop sports-specific lower-body strength. Stand on a bench with your left foot planted firmly and your right foot hanging off, your toes pointing up. Hold your arms straight in front of you and bend your left knee, keeping your torso as upright as possible. Lower your body until your right heel almost touches the floor. Push yourself back to the starting position and repeat as many times as you can. Do four or five sets with each leg, resting 3 minutes after each.


Sports speed isn't just about maximum velocity. It's also about how fast you can accelerate and decelerate  that is, go from standing still to your top speed, and vice versa  think soccer forward. And because every tenth of a second matters, even small improvements can make a major impact on your performance.

THE 50-METRE DASH is one of the best measurements of speed and acceleration. Get hold of partner and a stopwatch. Mark off 50 metres on a track or grass field. Get into a comfortable stance  a four-point sprinter's stance is typical  and instruct your timer to start the clock as soon as you move. The clock stops when any part of your chest crosses the finish line.

Your goal is to do the 50-metre dash in under 6 seconds. Can't do it? Here's how to push your limits.

GET A RUNNING START. Mark a starting line and a finish line 25 metres apart. Begin running about 25 metres behind the starting line and progressively build up speed so you're at top speed as you pass it. Maintain that intensity until you cross the finish line. Rest for 3 minutes, then repeat for a total of two to four sets. This drill reinforces the running mechanics and acceleration you need to switch gears and pick up speed when you're already in motion. Do this workout twice a week, resting at least a day after each session.

SPEED UP. To develop fast starts, try this ball-drop drill. Have a workout partner stand on a hard surface, holding a tennis ball at eye level. Stand about 5 metres away in a three-point stance. When he drops the ball, sprint and catch it before it bounces a second time. Have him move back a metre or two and repeat the drill until you can't get to the ball in time.

WORK YOUR CORE. Abs are critical to speed. Strengthen yours with this situp routine: Lie on your back and rest your heels on a wall so that your legs are straight and at a 45-degree angle to the floor; extend your arms straight above your head. Lift your torso and touch your toes, then rotate to the right and touch both hands to the floor. Now rotate to the left and touch the floor on that side. That's one repetition. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds, rest 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat. Stop when you can't match the reps of your previous set. Perform this workout two or three times a week.


The better your physical condition, the bigger your edge in every sport. The ability to resist fatigue and outlast your rivals ensures you'll outperform them when you need to put in that little extra effort.

THE 300-METRE SHUTTLE RUN is a great measured of sports endurance. Compared with traditional tests of stamina  a 3-K run, for example  it better gauges the type of endurance that's required for most sports.

Set up two cones 25 metres apart. Sprint from one to the other, then back again. That's one repetition. Do six continuous repetitions, for a total of 300 metres, as fast as you can. Then rest for 1 minute and repeat. Your goal is to do the routine in under 90 seconds. Can't to it? Here's how to push your limits.

BUILD ENDURANCE FOR COMPETITION. Run 10 plays of random length for 2 minutes, a 10-metre run to the right, hustle back for a 10-second rest, then a 30-metre zig-zag, and so on. Integrate this drill into your workout once or twice a week, and work up to three 2-minute sets of 20 to 30 plays, resting for 30 seconds after each set.

GO THE DISTANCE. Set a goal  3K in 12 minutes, for example, which is doing 1 K in 4 minutes. Then find the longest distance over which you can maintain that pace it could be 1½K in 6 minutes or 800 metres in 3 minutes. Run the appropriate distance, and then rest for 1½ times the amount of time you spent running. Repeat the process until you can no longer maintain the target pace. After each set, reduce your rest periods by 15 seconds.

BUILD ENDURANCE AT HOME. Strapped for time? Try this bodyweight exercise. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your arms hanging in front of you. Keeping your lower back naturally arched, squat quickly until your fingers touch the floor, then push yourself up to the starting position. Perform as many reps as you can in 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Aim for four sets in 2 minutes, and work your way up to eight sets. 


Build explosive strength and power by training your muscles to activate faster.

THE STANDING LONG JUMP is one of the best measures of total-body power, because it requires dozens of muscles to fire at the same time.

Stand with your toes on a line and your feet shoulder-width apart. Dip your knees, swing your arms forward, and jump as far as you can. Your goal is to land more 5 feet from starting line. Can't do it? Here's how to push your limits.

BOX IT. Boost your leaping ability with box jumps. Place a sturdy, kneehigh box 6 to 12 inches in front of you. Set your feet shoulderwidth apart and jump onto the box. Step back down to the starting position, and repeat for a total of six repetitions. Rest for 3 minutes, then do another set. Perform two or three sets every 4 days.

DO THE DRILL. To improve total-body power, try the reverse scoop toss. Stand holding a medicine ball with your arms, hanging straight in front of you. (Use a ball that's roughly 10 percent of your body weight, or substitute a piece of firewood.) Squat, and then quickly explode up with your legs, swinging your arms up as you heave the ball over your head as far as you can behind you. Do three reps, 2 days a week.

SPRINT SHORT HILLS. Contrary to popular belief, hill sprints don't just improve leg strength. They're a great way to build explosiveness, because you have to drive upward with your whole body. Your sprints should last no more than 10 seconds  it's difficult for your muscles to maintain their maximum power output any longer than that  on hills inclined no more than 10 degrees. (Steep hills slow step time, decreasing power production.) Build up to 10 sprints, resting 20 seconds after each, three times a week.


Agility allows you to change direction at any moment, to stay on your feet when you should have fallen. It requires balance, quick reactions, and body control  all skills that can be systematically improved.

THE T DRILL measures your ability to change direction while you're moving at your top speed: Set up cones or towels in the form of a T: 10 metres for the stem and 5 metres out to each side. Start at the base of the T. Sprint to the top, side-shuffle 5 metres to the left, side-shuffle 10 metres to the right, side-shuffle 5 metres back to the middle, and then backpedal down the stem.

Your goal is to do the whole routine in less than 12 seconds. Can't do it? Here's how push your limits.

PLAY MIRROR, MIRROR. Find a partner and stand facing each other, 15 feet apart. Ask him to run forward, backward, and side-to-side randomly for 15 seconds. Your task: Copy his actions.

Do six sets, resting for 45 seconds after each, every other day. After 2 weeks, add two sets.

DO THE 45°. Go to a badminton court and stand at one end of the service line. With knees bent at 45 degrees, shuffle to other end, touch the corner, and return. Go as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat. You're training to absorb force when you decelerate and stop, and to generate force when you reaccelerate.

IMPROVE YOUR FOOTWORK. Mark off 10 consecutive 2-foot squares with tape. Now, hop as fast as you can through the squares for 10 seconds. Mix it up  one- and two-legged hops, forward, backward, and sideways  each time through. Do 10 sets, resting for 45 seconds after each, several times a week. 

Food labels mentioned on packaged food you buy can be very confusing for an untrained eye, which is why so many don't even bother to rea...


November 2021

Food labels mentioned on packaged food you buy can be very confusing for an untrained eye, which is why so many don't even bother to read the nutritional information and rely on the claims on the label. Being aware of the ingredients in your food, gives you control over your health

Decoding Nutritional Label for Weight Loss:

Do not believe the claims on the front of the label

(healthy, heart-healthy, low fat) as these are not regulated, hence not verified. For e.g. A "sodium-free" mention on the packet means that the food contains less than 5 mg of sodium. Similarly, "Low fat" means that the food contains less than 3 grams of fat in the amount of food packed.

Read the list of ingredients

The firs ingredient represents 70%+ of the total quantity of the item; if there are more than 5 ingredients, it is an ultra-processed item and you better avoid it; if you cannot pronunce any of the ingredients on the list, do not eat it. Avoid sugar alternatives(i.e., aspartame), butter/fat alternatives (vegetable oils, margarine, palm oil). - if there are synthetic colours and flavours (usually Es) do not eat them.

Also manufacturers love to hide sugar in their foods to increase the pleasure you gain from eating their product. It is a flavor enhacer, preservative, and packs on the pounds! Even so-called healthy foods like yogurt, almond milk, dried fruit, granola, and gluten-free products are loaded with sugars. And manufacturers use different names to better hide sugar on the label.

Check the Serving Size and Energy/Calories per Serving

The lower serving, the higher the number of calories. The serving size on the food package may or may not be how much you eat. If eating more than the serving size, recognize the nutritional information in going to be more than what you see on the label. Vice versa for eating less than the serving size: the nutritional information (calories, fat, etc) will be less.

The percent Daily Value (%DV) on the right-hands side of the food label can be another confusing part of the nutrition label.

It does not reflect what percent of the food is fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, etc. Rather, it is what percent of nutrients this food provides based on total daily intake. For example the 5% DV for fat means this food serving provides 5% of the recommended "goal" of daily fat intake based on a 2,000-calorie diet. If your do not eat 2,000 calories, these DV percentages will be lower or higher."

Avoid unhealthy combinations of high sugar high fat and high sodium.

If unsure, don't eat it. Excess added sugar in the diet, along with other lifestyle factors, can lead to insulin resistance and blood sugar problems. Having insulin resistance can make it harder to lose weight and can result in unwanted weight gain, which is why paying attention to the added sugars and serving sizes on food labels is important.

Choose foods that are low in saturated and extremely low in trans fats, as they can raise your blood cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. On the other hand, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol.

To target weight loss, avoid combinations

Hight in carbohydrates and fat, and target products that have less than 10% of energy from carbohydrates and sugars.

Remember, Fiber is your friend!

Beware of whole-grain imposters. Choose bread, cereals, granola bars, crackers & pasta with at least 2 grams of fiber per serving.

Some Other Names for Sugar on Labels

Cane, syrup, malt, maltodextrin, molasses, honey, caramel, starch, turbinado, fruit juice, natural flavors, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, diastase, diastatic malt, ethyl maltol. 

These hidden sugars called Added Sugars are measured in the Nutrition Facts. But remenbering how many grams OK are in one day and then adding up all the products you are eating can be overhwlming. It is easier to just have one simple rule:

If you avoid eating any product that contains any of the words for sugar in the first 3 ingredients, you will keep your sugarr intake low and your waistline slim.

Obvious things first – it’s not as simple as opting for brown over white bread. Being able to eat bread and avoid getting a doughy midsectio...


November 2021

Obvious things first – it’s not as simple as opting for brown over white bread. Being able to eat bread and avoid getting a doughy midsection depends on your metabolic condition, the type and amount of training you do and whether you’re hitting your ideal calorie and macronutrient targets.

Dos and doughn’ts

Are you overweight or living a sedentary life? If so, bad news. Such people tend to have poor insulin sensitivity, blood sugar control and nutrient partitioning abilities.

That’s a scientific way of saying carbs have a harder time getting into the muscle cells and are likely to be stored as fat. If this is you, a lower-carb diet is better for improving body composition and health, so the traditional daily breaking of bread is less advisable.

Training frequently at high intensity changes everything. If you strength train, cross-train or compete in intermittent sprint sports, you need carbs. They’re the best way to fuel training sessions and recover from them. But if you also want to walk around with a six-pack, you need to consider total calories and food quality too.

To lose fat and get lean, you need to be in a calorie deficit (see box below). And if you train hard and maintain a consistent calorie deficit, you can include bread and other starchy carbs in your diet.

Emphasising good food choices – whole, natural foods instead of highly processed foods – improves the health benefits of your diet, improves nutrient density and reduces hunger, which makes staying in a calorie deficit easier. With that in mind, foods that are less refined such as pota- toes, yams and rice are better primary sources of starchy carbs than bread.

Roll with it

So if you do decide to have bread on occasion, which is best? It depends. Assuming you’re in calorie deficit, training hard and eating it alongside protein, the glycaemic load matters less than it would for sedentary people. So your choice of dough doesn’t need to be significantly influenced by that.

The main consideration is tolerance. Some grains can affect digestion and mineral absorption. Find out what you can and can’t tolerate by trial and error. Perhaps due to the fermentation process, sourdough seems to be the least problematic. That doesn’t mean you can gorge daily on sourdough-base pizzas, but as a cheat meal, you could do a lot worse.

Carbohydrates have a bad rap when it comes to muscle-building and fat loss. But although they spike insulin levels which can result in your ...


November 2021

Carbohydrates have a bad rap when it comes to muscle-building and fat loss. But although they spike insulin levels which can result in your body storing more energy as fat, rather than using fat for energy, manipulating your carb intake is one of the most effective ways to get leaner. You just need to be lean enough in the first place to deserve those carbs.


It depends on the type, source and, in some cases, the time you consume them, based on your ultimate training aims.


Carbs are digested and processed at different rates depending on their structure. In basic terms, the simpler the source – such as sugar – the faster it’s digested, with the result being a more rapid rise in blood glucose levels. This in turn prompts your pancreas to release the hormone insulin, which carries glucose – an energy source – into your body’s cells where it can be used.


Carbs are defined by the number of sugar molecules they contain. Complex carbs have three or more sugar molecules. This means they take longer for your body to break down and therefore help to maintain a steady blood glucose level. Simple carbs, on the other hand, elevate blood glucose quickly. Excessive consumption of these can cause short-term problems such as excessive eating and weight gain, as well as serious health issues in the long term.


The glycaemic index (GI) tells us how quickly each type of carb causes blood glucose levels to rise. Foods are rated one to 100, with 100 causing the fastest rise and the more complex carbs below 60. But this index is only really relevant if the carbs are consumed alone, because eating protein, fats and fibre at the same time will change a carb’s GI value. So basing a diet on the GI alone is not advisable.


Not if you eat the right types in the right quantities. Problems arise when too many simple sugars are consumed too regularly. Processed sugars provide a lot of calories but few other nutrients and can block the body’s absorption of other essential nutrients.


It’s easy to eat a lot of simple carbs very quickly and therefore consume too many calories. In addition, eating too many simple carbs results in too much insulin being released regularly into your system. This affects your insulin resistance and is a precursor of type 2 diabetes, when you have constantly elevated levels of glucose in your blood. Over time, glucose builds up in your organs and nerve endings, which can have serious health implications.


For elite athletes and those with intense training schedules, carbs have a big role to play, but for the average person wanting to lose weight, consuming the right amount of quality protein, fats, essential nutrients and fluids is far more important. The body can metabolise proteins and fats into glucose in the absence of carbs, if necessary.


Vegetables provide the best bang for your buck. Packed with dense nutrients and fibre, they cause a very stable and manageable rise in blood sugar. If you’re training intensively, complex carbs such as rice and potatoes can also help energy levels. Treat wheat with caution – many people have problems digesting it efficiently.

If losing body fat is your main aim, what you do in the kitchen is as important to your chances of success as what you do in the gym. The go...


November 2021

If losing body fat is your main aim, what you do in the kitchen is as important to your chances of success as what you do in the gym. The good news is that eating for fat loss isn’t complicated, as long as you are disciplined and stick to a number of key rules. Each meal plan has been built around these considerations, so following them exactly will result in reduced body fat and increased muscle mass. Here are the seven fundamental rules behind the plans.


Vegetables should be the foundation of your diet and every time you sit down to eat half your plate should be covered in a variety of veg, which contains crucial fibre and lots of other healthy elements. Vegetables do contain carbs, but far less than bread, pasta or potatoes – you’d have to eat half a kilo of asparagus to get the same amount of carbs as in a single wholemeal pitta bread.


Protein is one of the most important components of this nutrition plan. When you eat a high-protein diet, you’re generally less hungry, so you eat less and lose weight as a result. It’s difficult to eat too much protein but not to get too little, so stick to the serving suggestions in the plans.


Fat does not make you fat. In fact, you need to consume good-quality fats if you want to burn body fat because this macronutrient has a role in energy expenditure, vitamin storage and making the hormone testosterone, which also increases muscle mass. There’s no need to avoid the fats in red meat, avocado and nuts, but you shouldn’t eat hydrogenated and trans fats – those found in cakes, biscuits and other processed foods – because these will derail your fat-loss mission. Plus they’re really bad for you.


Think of breakfast like any other meal: you need a blend of protein, fats and veg. It may seem strange to eat steak and broccoli first thing, but such a breakfast will start the supply of quality nutrients to your muscles and get your metabolism firing to burn body fat.


Still locked into the oldschool ‘calories in, calories out’ rule for fat loss? Here’s a quick question: which will make you fatter, 2,000 calories from ice cream or 2,000 calories from chicken and veg? Be honest – you know the answer to this already. The intake of the correct macronutrients is ultimately more significant than mere calorie counting. That said, you can’t just scoff thousands of calories’ worth of healthy food – 5,000 calories from steak is still a lot of calories. The aim is to hit the correct macronutrient numbers to build muscle and burn fat without eating any extra unnecessary calories. So stick to the portion sizes in the meal plans.


Free range animals have a more varied diet and obtain a lot more exercise, which allows the development of more muscle, which in turn means they contain more zinc, vitamins B, A and K, amino acids, iron, selenium, phosphorus and zinc. Farmraised salmon have also been found to contain up to eight times the level of carcinogens as the wild sort, thanks to cramped conditions and poorquality feed, while grass-fed beef tends to have much more conjugated linoleic acid and omega 3s than the kind fed on grain and beef tallow. In fact, free range meat and fish is so nutritionally dissimilar to cage-reared that it’s basically different food.


Aim to eat only food that grows out of the ground or that once had a face. Alternatively, think like a hunter-gatherer. Ask yourself if a given food would have existed 5,000 years ago. If not, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Avoid things containing preservatives that you can’t spell or ingredients you wouldn’t keep in the kitchen. And eat things that will rot eventually, so that you know they’re fresh.

Your body wants you to be fat. Not obese or overweight, but not so lean that your six-pack is on show either. It isn’t that it’s incredibly ...


November 2021

Your body wants you to be fat. Not obese or overweight, but not so lean that your six-pack is on show either. It isn’t that it’s incredibly modest, but from an evolutionary perspective excess body fat is what kept your ancestors alive. When food was scarce their fat stores gave them the energy to survive and, more importantly, breed.

But just because your body wants to maintain a decent level of body fat to ensure your survival should times turn tough, it doesn’t mean you can’t significantly reduce the amount you carry by following the right training and nutrition plan.


However, if you thought the best way to burn away your excess body fat was to go for regular long-distance runs at a steady pace, it’s time to think again.

For years people have mistakenly believed steadystate cardio endurance exercise is the most effective method to lose weight. In fact, regularly performing such long, slow sessions – whether of running, rowing, cycling or swimming – isn’t the right way to get thinner. This is especially true if such training is complemented by a nutrition plan based around carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes and bread.


In some cases too much cardio training can actually lead to an increase in body fat because running for hours on end places a great deal of stress on your body. An increase in the stress hormone cortisol instructs your body to store more of the energy you consume as fat and also has a nasty side effect of breaking down muscle tissue.

Long, slow sessions do not keep your body into the mythical ‘fat-burning zone’, where body fat is prioritised over other energy stores to fuel your efforts (see the box, below). Still need convincing? Just look at amateur marathon runners. The majority don’t have rippling muscles, lean waists or six-packs.


The best method of torching body fat is to combine weight training with high intensity cardio sessions, during which you run, row or cycle at intense levels for short periods.

Both these methods have a similar effect on your body. They cause a spike in testosterone – the male sex hormone responsible for a host of functions ranging from increased libido to higher muscle and lower body-fat levels. Levels of human growth hormone are also heightened after weighttraining workouts, which instructs your body to burn fat and build new muscle tissue.

Weight training and high-intensity cardio also significantly work your cardiovascular system. Increasing the rate at which your heart and lungs have to work to pump blood, oxygen and other nutrients around your body has a positive effect on reducing body-fat levels.


During intense periods of exercise your lungs can’t take in enough oxygen to provide your body with what it needs. This has the effect of creating an ‘oxygen debt’ within your body.

Just like any debt, this deficit needs to be repaid. Your body does this by increasing the amount of oxygen it to provide your body with what it needs. This has the effect of creating an ‘oxygen debt’ within your body. Just like any debt, this deficit needs to be repaid. Your body does this by increasing the amount of oxygen it which you burn calories (for a more detailed explanation of how EPOC works to burn fat, see the box, right).

Another benefit of any form of high-intensity exercise is that it causes lactic acid to accumulate in your muscle cells. While this build-up is responsible for the unpleasant feelings of ‘muscle burn’, elevated levels of this compound – which is a by-product of glucose metabolism – are thought to lead to an increase in the release of fat-torching growth hormones in the hours following your workout.


Why working out at a steady pace won’t get you the results you want. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, more commonly referred to as EPOC, is the process by which your body increases the amount of oxygen it consumes to repay the oxygen deficit accumulated during a period of intense exercise. This is vital for increased fat loss because it has the effect of increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the speed at which your body burns calories while at rest. The higher your RMR, the more calories you burn over the course of a day.


The harder you push yourself during training, the greater the oxygen debt you accumulate and the longer it will take your body to return to its pre-training levels. During this period you burn a greater number of calories than normal and are more likely – if you stick to the nutrition plan – to start using your stores of body fat as fuel.


But while lifting weights is one of the best ways to burn fat, simply picking up a heavy bar once and then walking away isn’t the right approach to take. Yes, doing so will eventually make you stronger, but it will have very little effect on your body-fat levels.

You need to lift weights in a specific way to elicit the desired fat-burning response. For this programme that means you need to approach your three weekly weight training sessions in the same manner as you do the cardio session. That means working hard for a set period and then taking a short rest before lifting again.

Never giving your body quite enough time to recover is critical to whether your efforts to burn fat will be successful or not. This technique, which really pushes you out of your comfort zone, is known as ‘accumulated fatigue’ and results in the maximum number of muscle fibres being broken down. It’s also responsible for elevating lactic acids in your muscles and forcing your heart and lungs to work really hard. These factors combine to increase lean muscle mass and reduce fat stores to give you a better body.

That’s why the workouts should be based around two giant sets of four moves. Taking very little rest between each individual exercise keeps your heart rate high and does the maximum amount of damage to your muscles, so it’s vital you stick rigidly to the rest periods detailed in each workout table. The longer you rest between the exercises, the less effective the workout will be and the less likely you are to get the incredible results you want.


Even if you do everything right in the gym and perform the workouts perfectly, you’ll still fall short of making positive changes to the way you look if you don’t stick to this programme’s eating plan. It may be an old fitness cliché, but like all clichés it’s based on more than a little truth: you can’t out-train a bad diet.

There's no easy answer to this question - and how easily you lose weight and keep it off - depends on a variety of factors. Some(how muc...


November 2021

There's no easy answer to this question - and how easily you lose weight and keep it off - depends on a variety of factors. Some(how much you eat or exercise) are within you control others (genetics, body type) aren't.


You genetic makeup (the physical traits that get passed down to you form your parents) plays a big part in determining your size and weight. Fatter people tend to have very efficient metabolism, they requiere less fuel to run than thin people, and store excess fuel in the form of fat.

As powerful as they are, genes only determine a tendency towards higher or lower metabolic efficiency; they do not by themselves determine what actual body metabolism will be.


Have you ever heard someone say a person is "big boned"? It's a way of saying the person has a large frame, or skeleton. Big bones usually weight more than small bones. That's why it's possible for two person with the same height, but different wights, to both be the right weight.

Each type has its own advantages and characteristics.

-Ectomorphs are typically tall and thin, and don't gain fat or muscle as easily as others. They make good distance runners and ballet dancers.

-Mesomorphs are generally shorter and stockier and gain muscle mass (and weight) more easily. They are good at power sports like soccer, softball and sprinting.

-Endomorphs carry more body fat - their metabolisms actually slow down when they try to lose weight. They excel at distance swimming, field events and widht lifting.

Set-point theory:

According to this theory, each person has a predetermined level of body fat. How the body controls its fat stores is unknown, but the regulatory mechaninsm, sometimes called the adipostat, is probably located in the hypothalamus.

The adipostat monitors body fat stores, possibly through the actins of leptin on its hypothalamic receptor, and works to maintain the prescribed level oft fat, or set point, buy adjusting appetite, physical activity, and RMR to conserve or expend energy. Thus, actions perceived to be voluntary, such as eating and physical activity, may be subtly controlled by the set-point mechanism.


For every ten years beyond our early to mid-twenties our metabolism slows about 10%. While a reduction in metabolism is observable as we age, such a reduction may be more due to a sedentary lifestyle than to mere aging.

Muscle tissue is metabolically active compared to fat, and thus our metabolic level at any moment is in large part due to the state of our muscle mass. Inactivity accelerates loss of muscle tissue over time which decreases metabolism, making it all but certain that weight will be gained.

Activity, on the oter hand, reduces muscle loss, or even increases muscle mass, with the effect of increasing metabolism and making it easier to lose weight.


A person's food related habits and cultural expectations are also important determinants of their weight, influencing the types and amounts of foods consumed, families who push members to eat, or who keep high fat snacks and deserts handy are at greater risk for weight problems than are families that promote sensible portion sizes and save treats for special occasions. The speed at which people learn to eat nad the consciousness with which they do are important too.

People who eat quickly tend to eat more than people who eat slowly as it takes a few minutes for you stomach to tell your bain it is full. Fast eaters sometines finish their plates bebore getting the stomach's fullness message.

In theory, if you ut 500 calories a day form your diet, you'll lose a pound in a week. In real life, it's not that simple. For example, a woman weighing 125 pounds at age 20, and starts the pattern of overeating by just 25 calories a day will consume 9,125 excess calories over the course of a year and so will gain 2 1/2 pounds (a pound of body fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories) and weigh 175 pounds by the time she is 40.

Activity Level:

Where a person's genetics are more or less set at conception, the amount of energy a person expends in physical activity is under voluntary control. People can choose to be more active, and becoming more active will help people to lose weight. Exercise builds lean muscle mass and burns up fat reserves. Muscles are very metabolically active. Adding muscle mass through strength training raises metabolism (the rate at which the body burns calories) which makes it easier to lose weight.

A significant loss of muscle mass, on the other hand, which is what happens when people are sedentary, reduces resting metabolic rate and makes it harder to lose weight. Adding muscle mass helps people to look firmer and slimmer because muscle takes up less space than fat. Careful strength training reduces the risk of accidental injury, improves bone density, helps with digestion and assists in lowering blodd pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels (all predictors of disease when elevated).

Behavioral and Psychological Issues:

Several psychological factors affect weight. The message to eat often comes from external cues rather than hunger-noon means it's time for lunch, for example. Food and emotions are closely linked; many people use food for comfort or to release tension. The amount of exercise a person engages in is also shaped by habit and attitudes toward physical activity.

Some studies suggest that lean people may expend more energy than obese people in ordinary activities, as well as during formal exercise. For example, lean people may walk around (rather than sit) while on the phone, or they may take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator.

Hormonal (endocrine) Abnormalities:

An under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) is often a layperson's explanation for obesity, but even wehn present, hypothyroidism is rarely a primary cause. Other conditions that may affect weight include polycystic ovary disease, tumors of the pituitary or adrenal glands, and insufficient production of sex hormones, and insulin-producing tumors of the pancreas.

Although they are uncommon, these disorders need to be ruled out by a thorough medical evaluation befor determining the best course of action to achieve weight loss.


About 50 common medications can cause weight gain, but they don't all have the same effect on all people. Some of the most common types of drugs that can add unwanted pounds include steroids, hormones, and certain drugs used to treat diabetes, seizures, high blood pressure, depression, heartburn and psychological disorders. But it isn't always the drug's fault. For instance, if a drug eases your depression or relieves your heartburn, you may feel better and eat more.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if any of the drugs you take might be affecting your weight. Whatever you do, never stop taking a prescribed medication without your doctor's approval.

Remember, how much you weight is a balance between the calories you eat and the calories you use. If you eat more calories than you body needs to use, you will gain too much weight. If you spend you free time wwatching TV, your body won't use as many calories as it would if you played basketball, skated or wen for a walk.

If your are in balance, your weight will saty right for you as your grow. But if you eat more and exercise less, you may become overweight. On other hand, if you eat less and exercise more, you may lose weight.
There is no perfect weight for anyone, but there is a healthy range of weights for everyone. Being at a healthy weight really pay off. It will decrease your risk for high blood pressure, raised blood cholesterol levels and diabetes, all risk factors for developing heart disease or stroke.

Listening to good music is one of those age-old tricks that really works. In fact it goes all the way back to the early rowers and slaves on...


November 2021

Listening to good music is one of those age-old tricks that really works. In fact it goes all the way back to the early rowers and slaves onboard ancient ships. In those days drummers would beat a rhythm to not only inspire the crew but to establish a pace.

Today studies have shown that “synchronization” with the music (the process of feeling in time) helps you push past mental barriers and endure fatigue.

Collated studies by the University of Wisconsin demonstrated that selecting suitable music lowered perceived exertion in participants during intense cycling, running or other cardio by significant amounts.

This is especially true if you have a habit of constantly glancing at the timer during your cardio or circuit training workouts. Of course, this only serves to make each session seem longer. By creating a playlist that is the same length as your workout, you can remove the clock watching and focus more on your task. In fact, once you stop thinking about how much time you have left, it will seem to fly right by.

This is especially true if you choose songs, which you seriously enjoy. You might even find yourself working out longer just to hear your favorite tune one more time. The intensity of your efforts might also increase as your mind is distracted away from the challenge of each movement.

Do not let your playlist get stale, regularly create new lists or swap with a friend to mix things up. Be sure to seek out a variety of tempos to reduce the boredom inducing predictability that workouts are prone to create. Arrange your songs so that they build up to the quickest tempos and gradually slow for your cool-down session. End your playlist with a soothing song to relax your body and mind. This will also help end your session on a positive note, making you more likely to look forward to your next workout.

In addition to its motivational benefits, new research suggests that listening to music while exercising might boost your mental acuity. If you do not have time to organize, your own playlists there are many great workout sets available. Use your favorite search engine to locate them. Alternatively, you could always just tune your radio to your favorite station.

Listening to music while you exercise is great, but it is still important to put safety first. If you listen to music while you run outside then be sure to keep the volume low enough that you can still hear traffic and any other potential dangers as they approach. A lower volume will also protect your ears from irreversible damage.

Top Tip:

Listening to depressing slow songs is shown to be far less stimulating for activity than up-tempo music, no matter how good the song.

Try to stick to 120-140 BPM (Beats per minute) tunes. Around this tempo you will find a regular upbeat rhythm proven to be more effective and if you are lucky you may find a beat that perfectly matches your exercise or running pattern.

Through routine exerise, your body gradually builds strength and endurane. However, if you keep your workouts TOO routine, those benefits be...


November 2021

Through routine exerise, your body gradually builds strength and endurane. However, if you keep your workouts TOO routine, those benefits begin to stagnate. Therefore, it is essential to periodically change your workouts so that your body will continue to reap the most benefits form your efforts.

Why is change crucial?

If you follow the same exact exercise routine day in and day out, your body becomes accustomed to this routine. As the body adjusts to the same workout everyday, it is normal for the body to adapt on a cardiovascular, respiratory, and cellular level. Over a period of timem following this same old routine causes the rest of the body to adapt as well. Ad a result, any further physical improvements become limited, and your training becomes boring.

But, wait! There's still hope! By incorporating even slight changes into your exercise regimen, your are able to kick-start the body once again to move towards those gains you've been striving for!

What kind of changes should you make?

Even the smallest change in your routine can make a difference. Below are a few suggestions: Change the time of day at which you exercise. If you prefer one type of exercise, such as running, change the exercise, itself, in some way. For instance, increase the intensity level or the length of the workout. Try a new type of exercise. Introducing a new exercise into your training will ultimately work the body in a new way. Different muscle groups may be called upon to perform, thus, challenging your body to some degree. Alternate among a variety of exercise routines. You may mix up your routine each day, or you may alternate between one routine one day and another routine the next day. This keeps your body on its toes, so to speak...and, it helps prevent exercise boredom. Periodically change the location of your workouts. Even a simple change of scenery can keep exercise more exciting. Such a change also has the potential to boost your energy level and improve your training.

Life can be tedious. We often find ourselves in a rut, doing the same things day after day after day. For more exciting life and better fitness, change your workout routinges from time-to-time. Your body and mind will thank you!

Most of the people are in a hurry to build their physique. They do not want to wait for a longer period of time in order to see results. Tha...


November 2021

Most of the people are in a hurry to build their physique. They do not want to wait for a longer period of time in order to see results. That is why; they often try to figure out whether working out more is the solution to this problem. While most of the professionals as wll as trainers recommend you to work out just once a day, many of the people think that by working out twice a day, you will be able to build your physique at a faster pace. This is not actually true.

1. Current fitness levels:

You need to understand that working out twice a day is not suitable for each every individual. In case, your current fitness level is not up to the mark, you are more prone to injury when you're working out twice a day. Moreover, in such a case you will get more tired while working out twice a day. This is one of the main reasons why you should avoid working out twice a day is such a case.

2. Type of workout:

You need to understand that if you're just following the cardio workout, once a dday might not be enough. In such a case, you can go for workouts twice a day. However, if you are opting for any high-intensity workout, it is not a good idea to work out twice a day. That is why the decision on whether you can work out twice a dday or not will also be dependent on the type of workout which you are following as well.

3. Number of days on which you are working out throughout the week:

You need to also keep in mind that if you're working out literally each and every day throughout the week, there is no need to workout twice. It will only put more strain on your body. When there is more strain on your body, it will be very difficult for you to avoid injuries as well. You have to keep this factor in mind and thereafter only decide whetheer you want to work out once a day or twice a day.

Thus, when you're looking to make this decision, it is important for you to take these 3 factors into account, you will be able to understand whther working out twice a day is suitable for you or not.