What I’m Reading Wednesday: Intermittent Fasting (IF), Weight Loss Exercises, and Diet Mistakes

There is a ton of confusing miss-leading stupid information online about nutrition. Let’s try to sort some things out. And as always, if you have an specific (or vague) questions… feel free to reach out to me at any time.

One of the current trends is Intermittent Fasting (IF). There are several ways to use IF:

  • Skipping meals,
  • Only eating during a 8 or 12 hour window,
  • Fasting for an entire day etc.

There are some promising benefits (although nothing scientifically conclusive in humans), but if your goal is weight loss… a calorie deficit is still king.  Can IF help? Sure… as long as you eat less calories during the day because you’re limited by time. But if you eat more than you need, you’ll still put on weight.

You can’t out-work a bad diet.
No.
Really.
Exercise should be about getting stronger, faster, and more capable… not to negate last night’s cheesecake. And it’s really not worth all that extra effort.
The Best Way to Lose 5 LBS of Body Fat (AND FASTEST!)– Jeff Cavaliere with Athleanx.com
Are you making these simple diet mistakes
– Doing too much cardio?
– Not prepping your meals?
– Not tracking your calories or dropping them too quickly?

What I’m Reading Wednesday: Sleep, Sugar, and Scales #FALSE

Sugar is the devil #FALSE
Sugar isn’t the devil.  It’s in many foods, processed and unprocessed, and does have a biological purpose.  It also makes stuff taste really yummy.  Which could cause us to eat more of it.  Now eating too much food, that’s where things start getting hot.  Sugar could be fueling the flames of unhealthy eating habits, but it’s not lighting the spark.
The surprising truth about sugar– Brian St. Pierre and Krista Scott-Dixon from PrecisionNutrition.com
The scale is the best way to measure progress #FALSE
Scales can be a helpful tool in measuring progress, but it gives an incomplete picture.  Your weight can fluctuate for many reasons… throughout the week, day, and even hour.  Keep it in your tool box, but also keep track of your energy level, mood, and the way your clothes fit.
You can catch up on sleep on the weekends #FALSE
Yea, no… this doesn’t actually work. Your body can’t tell the difference between a weekday and weekend. It’s not about the total sum at the end of the week. It just knows about natural rhythms. If you lose sleep, you’ll pay for it.  Obviously this will happen on occasion (for good and bad reasons), but it’s best to avoid making a habit of it. Especially if you think that you’ll be able to make up for it later.
Tip: Do You Have Social Jet Lag? – Tessa Gurley on T-nation.com

What I’m Reading Wednesday: Fix Sour Power Moves

Adding power moves into your exercise routine is a great way to get strong, burn more calories and increase athleticism.  And feel like you have super powers.
First step, make your warm up freaking awesome.  These means adding in explosive movements to wake up the CNS (central nervous system). Eric Brown does a great job of explaining what moves to do to warm up for specific compound exercises.  Check it out:
How to Increase Your PRs with Explosive Warm Ups – Eric Brown on Bodybuliding.com
Want to torch calories, sprint faster, or get a better butt?  Try Kettlebell swings.  This high reward exercise also comes with it’s risks.  Check out this two important fixes:
Tip: The Exercise Most People Screw Up– Tony Gentilcore with T-nation.com
Loaded jump squats (generally with a bar on your back) is challenging move that can produce great results.  Or completely jack up your back and spine.  Check out this modification:
Tip: A Better Way to Jump Squat- Jake Tuura with T-nation.com

What I’m Reading Wednesday: Sun’s Out, Guns Out

It seems like it went from mild winter weather to summer temps over night on the East coast.  Which can only mean one thing, sun’s out… guns out.  Let’s see what you’ve got!
Arm, Exercise, Fist, Flex, Health, Human, Muscle, Power
Credit: Pixabay
Want those boulder shoulders?  Build sculpted delts using heavy and light weights:
How to Get Bigger Shoulders (LIGHT WEIGHTS!)– Jeff Cavaliere on AthleanX.com
Tired of boring bicep curls?  Kick it up a knock using this banded tip:
Your BEST Biceps Contraction Ever (PERIOD!!)– Jeff Cavaliere on AthleanX.com
And in case that doesn’t do the trick, here are 48 more versions of the bicep curl to help create that peak when you flex on Fridays:
48 Different Ways To Do A Bicep Curl – Brad Borland on MuscleandStrength.com
Tricep Dips can be a great way to add muscle to the back & bottom of you arm. Or really mess up your shoulders. Check out this quick video on how switching your hand position could make all the difference:
Stop Doing Bench Dips Like This – Jeff Cavaliere on AthleanX.com

What I’m Reading Wednesday: #Fail

Sometimes, it’s just as important to know what NOT to do.

To avoid missing gainz, but more importantly… not hurting yourself, check out this 23 common gym mistakes:
23 Greatest Exercise Fails (HORRIBLE!)– Jeff Cavaliere with AthleanX.com

Biggest fitness lies as told by some of the top players in the industry. They cover effort, muscle growth, diet, stretching and “experts”. Check them out:
Cable ab crunches are great way to size to you 6-pack muscles… if you do them correctly. Otherwise, it’s a great way to jack up your back. Check out the difference:
Tip: Rope Crunches: You’re Doing Them Wrong– John Romano with T-nation.com

What I’m Reading Wednesday: Weight of the World on Your Shoulders?

Fresh from the beautiful state of Florida, this week’s articles are inspired by the Savage race series.  A Savage race is a foot race on trails with mandatory obstacle completion (meaning no burpees or other alternatives) emphasizing upper body strength and body control.  There is chance for big prize money, but only if you can pass each challenge… that’s a lot of weight on your shoulders.

 

These are two phenomenal warm up drills my clients love for their shoulders:

  • Front to back overhead band stretch
  • Weighted shoulder circles

Tip: Prepare Your Shoulders for Heavy Lifting -Christian Thibaudeau on T-nation.com

 

Now that your shoulders are prepped… it’s time for bigger, stronger, and more powerful delts.  Check out advice from top fitness industry professionals:

  • Giant sets
  • Super set
  • Variety (of angles and exercises)
  • Actually engage the shoulders
  • Eccentric
  • Leg-less

And more…

The 12 Best Ways to Build Shoulders -Tnation.com

 

But don’t neglect stability and mobility!  The best way to recovery from an injury is to not get one at all.  Understand how your shoulders work:

Shoulder Mobility Balancing Act (CAREFUL!!) – Jeff Cavaiere with Athleanx.com

 

BONUS:

Excellent grip strength and wrist mobility will also assist in shoulder health and size.  Check out this comprehensive article:

Get A Grip: How to Improve Your Hand Strength And Wrist Mobility– Jim Bathurst with Nerdfitness.com

What I’m Reading Wednesday: Cut Out Excuses

It’s time for a little 90’s throw back and Cut – It – Out

full house cut it out

Credit Giphy

And by “It”, I mean pointless excuses.

Here in Central New York, we’re getting hit by one of the few blizzards we’ve seen all winter.  It’s beautiful out and I can’t wait to play in the snow shovel.  Needless to say, I’m avoiding this chore by doing pretty much anything else that’s semi-productive.  I’m making excuses.  And they’re not going to get the job done.  So I’ll just be a hermit until it all melts share my recent readings on how to cut out excuses and then go out there and get it done.

 

Can’t make it to the gym?  Closed for snow/holidays/zombie apolocapse? That’s fine, you can workout at home with this 4 efficient and effective exercises:

  1. L- Sit
  2. Push Ups
  3. Lunges
  4. Squats

4 Bodyweight Exercises for Strength and Size -Douglas Perry with Breakingmuscle.com

 

Maybe starting isn’t the problem?  You’re excited and motivated with potential and hope for the future.  But then come the obstacles… which cause the headaches… followed closely by excuses.  So how do you stay persistent?

  1. Choosing the right motives
  2. Having the right mindset (also see article below)
  3. Attributing your failure to the right causes
  4. Being realistic about failure and success
  5. Surround yourself with those who have done it

The Ultimate Guide to Staying Persistent When You Feel Like Giving Up– The team at AsianEfficiency.com (guest blogger from Brainyowls.com)

Also, know what you’re getting into.  Most likely, if it’s something worth doing, it will take time, effort, and some amount of discomfort.  If you understand all this before you begin any undertaking, you’ll be less distracted when something goes wrong.

Tip to Win, Expect Pain– Chris Shugart with Tnation.com

 

Finally, it’s easy to give into excuses when we feel burnt out in life.  Get rid of the unnecessary stresses/distractions in your daily life and find more time and will power to take care of the things you were avoiding :

  1. Using electronics in bed
  2. Getting sucked into the internet/memes/youtube
  3. Checking your phone when you’re with someone
  4. Phone notifications
  5. Say “Yes” when you really mean to say “No” ***This is one I struggle with!
  6. Wasting brain space on toxic people
  7. Multitasking (few are actually good at it)
  8. Gossiping
  9. Holding back until you know you can succeed
  10. Comparing yourself to others

10 Bad Habits You Must Eliminate from Your Daily Routine – Dr. Travis Bradberry with the Huffington Post