5 Ways to Fuel Fat Loss

Nicki Jackson

So many choices, so many mixed reviews. What is the right way to succeed at shedding fat?

There isn’t just one way for everyone, there is only what is BEST for YOU.  It is difficult to find the proper balance of nutrition and exercise, but there are many tips and rules that are, in my opinion, universal at successful burning unwanted fat. Here are 5 solid tips to say goodbye to stubborn unwanted fat for good.

  1. Eat LESS, MORE often: Studies have proven, and I am also living proof that eating every 2.5-3.5 hours keeps your machine’s metabolism fired up all day. This strategy also helps eliminate wild cravings, balances your blood sugar levels, keeping your energy levels more consistent.
  2. Choose Quality Foods: Choosing quality food types, as well as timing certain foods are also important. EXAMPLE: A post workout meal, should always recharge glycogen stores with carbohydrates and protein. Eliminate any added fats in a post workout meal. Choose lean protein source, quality sources of carbohydrates, and healthy natural fats such as oils, nuts, and avocado.
  3. Hydrate: Our body is made up of about 60-70% water. In order to run as efficiently as possible the body needs to be restored with continuous quality fluids. Water helps allow proper nutrient delivery, acts as a natural appetite suppressant, filling the belly. Water also helps with kidneys function, to pass unwanted waste and toxins through the system more efficiently. When the body begins to shed fat it’s hormonal signals are alerted to hold fat stores, and when you begin to lean down the body begins to cool down, your hands and or body often get cold. Drinking adequate amounts of water will help counter this effect.
  4. Food Choices: Choose PROTEIN: If lean and tight is what you’re after, then be sure you eat a sizable amount of quality protein to build the muscle you desire. Your muscles are made up of 20-30% protein the rest is water. Supplements can play a vital role in your fat loss plan. The body takes a pretty good beating from the busy, stressful lifestyle, plus training. It really does need extra nutrient support, because the majority of diets, even when exceptionally healthy, will not fully supply what the body needs. Protein powders are a strategic way to include necessary protein in a short amount of time. Here is a fantastic cutting stack from Prolab.

PROLAB Ultimate Stripped Stack

  1. Eliminate The Junk: If you want a lean and fit physique, you must cut the junk. Say goodbye to junk food most of the time. Not never, just much less. Supply your body with quality micronutrients (fruits and veggies) and use them as your options instead of cheap refined sugars.

Too many refined sugars can cause a hormonal disruption and potentially increase the level of fat storage as well as decrease your body’s ability to shut off certain hormonal signals that tell the body when it is hungry and when it is full. Slowly removing as many “unnecessary” carbs from your normal meals will greatly assist in unwanted calories, and desired fat loss!

Nicki Jackson | www.facebook.com/jaxpersonaltraining

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HIIT: Build, Burn or Maintain?

Nicki Box JumpHIIT (high intensity interval training) is a cardiovascular training strategy that alternates short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense, or total rest recovery periods. Workouts vary anywhere from 4–30 minutes in duration.

Who benefits from HIIT?

HIIT workouts can be extremely advantageous to your goals when used during the right training cycles, however when it comes down to it, one size does NOT fit all. Specifically, HIIT training may not be best for specific demographics that struggle with certain injuries or ailments, as well as those that suffer from extreme anxiety.  In contrast to HIIT, cardio done at a steady rate keeps coritsol ( a hormone made by the adrenal glands) levels in the system from spiking.

Benefits of HIIT: Build, Burn or Maintain?

Numerous studies published in journals of health and strength have shown HIIT:

  • Leads to increased lasting fat burning and muscle preservation
  • Stimulates production of HGH post workout, which improves glucose metabolism and overall athletic condition
  • Increases size and quantity of mitochondria (energy factories of cells)

While many of the benefits of HIIT are similar to traditional aerobic training, HIIT trumps the effectiveness of the benefits. An increase in mitochondrial oxidative enzymes leads to more effective fat and carbohydrate breakdown for fuel. This means your body will burn more fat post workout. 

Will HIIT build muscle mass? No. However, studies show you won’t lose muscle as quickly during cardio workouts. This style of cardio-based training could very well benefit your program if you are looking to build size and ward off excess fat.

Benefits of HIIT training

Studies show clearly improved cardiovascular, metabolic and skeletal-muscle function in the body during and post HIIT when building mass. A balanced nutritional and training program is essential to build muscle mass and keep off excess fat.  You need to create a well-rounded program design that incorporates a diverse training regime.HIIT style training is fantastic, I love it and have been a strong proponent of it myself, but I recommend incorporating endurance style aerobic training as well, for both mental and physical health.

The more you change things up, the more you stay out of your comfort zone, the greater results you will find.

-Nicki Jackson | www.nickijax.com

Nicki Jackson

4 Signs You Need to Take Your Workout to the Next Level

Thanh-LeEach and every one of us usually start off a regular workout program to add some muscle or lose weight. When we start, we are excited and our motivation is high. For the first couple months you feel good about yourself and you see results. Slowly but surely the enthusiasm begins to fade. Here are four signs that you need to change your workout routine to get you back on the right track.

1: Your workout is boring

You’ve started dreading the gym and no longer feel the adrenaline rush, the burn or the excitement. It’s easy to get bored when you stick to the same routine for an extended period of time. If that’s the case, try something different.Gym

  • Change up the days you do activities
  • Try NEW activities like swimming, biking, etc.
  • Change up the scenery and go workout outside
  • Go to a class at the gym that you’ve never been to before

Keep your workouts fun, interesting and new so you come back for more. I recommend changing your routine every couple of week so you don’t get into the same rut.

2: You’re stuck at a plateau

The results, the gains or the weight loss have stopped. You don’t feel any additional strength and you can’t achieve results like you used to. People tend to hit plateaus when they constantly do the same thing over and over again. When you repeat workouts, your body gets adapted to that specific stimulation so it will no longer respond and give you results. You have to keep your muscles and body thinking. A few ways to do this are by:

  • Incorporating HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • Changing your workout splits
  • Changing your rep ranges and sets

You don’t have to change it all at once, but incorporate something new each week or two and your body will keep guessing.

3: You’re ALWAYS sore, tired and in pain

Workouts should make you feel energized, and yes they will make you sore, but not every day. Doing the same routine repeatedly causes you to overuse your body and injure yourself. Being in the gym for hours at a Thanh Le Workouttime doing the same things over and over leads to overtraining.  If you are in pain, your body is telling you something. A few ways to prevent overtraining is by:

  • Changing your split
  • Resting for a day or two to aid recovery
  • Change the movements or the weight you use

 

4: Working out seems like a chore and you no longer feel motivated or are having fun 

Exercise should be a fun activity that makes you feel good. It should be something you want to do, not a chore that you HAVE to do. If you are hitting the gym to just going through the motions, then you need to take some steps to make you want to go and to challenge yourself. There are plenty of things you can do to re-motivate yourself and make it fun again.

  • Find a workout partner or personal trainer that will push and motivate you
  • Join a group workout class or go to a boot-camp
  • Increase the intensity of your workouts to challenge yourself

If you want to catch yourself before you fall into a rut, be on the lookout for the signs. The longer you let yourself get into a rut, the harder it will be to get out of it. Don’t continue to dig yourself deeper into the hole.

Exercise is meant to be fun and at the same time make you feel good about yourself.

 

Maintaining Workout Intensity Throughout the Year

I keep my workout intensity high all year round by varying my training program every week.

I describe my workout as organized chaos, because my muscles never know what is in store for them every week.

I use different training dynamics to keep my muscles guessing to prevent adaptation. Super sets, drop sets, pyramids, giant sets and iso-tension are some of the different training dynamics I use in my training program.

I don’t follow a set training routine. I only have muscle groups combinations, push and pull combo is my style. For example, I’ll combine back and shoulders together, and choose four different exercises for each muscle group. I do 4 sets for each exercise, I don’t count my reps but rather I keep going until failure. I never sacrifice form for reps.

My goal is to build as much muscle as possible. I am an athlete; I do not strive to be a weightlifter that throws weights around without any result.

Moji Oluwa PROLAB Pro Athlete

Moji Oluwa PROLAB Pro Athlete

How do you maintain your workout intensity throughout the year? Leave a reply below.

 

 

 

WATER The Most Important Nutrient -By Moji Oluwa

moji

Water is your body’s most important nutrient, is involved in every bodily function, and makes up 70- 75% of your total body weight. Water helps you to maintain body temperature, metabolize body fat, aids in digestion, lubricates and cushions organs, transports nutrients, and flushes toxins from your body.

Everyone should drink at least 64 ounces per day, and if you exercise or are overweight, even more. Your blood is approximately 90% water and is responsible for transporting nutrients and energy to muscles and for taking waste from tissues.

If you are not getting enough water, your body will react by pulling it from other places, including your blood. This causes the closing of some smaller vessels (capillaries), making your blood thicker, more susceptible to clotting, and harder to pump through your system. This can have serious implications in hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Recent studies have also linked the lack of water to headaches, arthritis, and heartburn.

Have you have ever gotten up in the morning feeling bloated, or tried on a ring or shoe that fit yesterday but is too tight to wear today? Chances are your body is trying to tell you something. If you have a problem with water retention, excess salt may be the cause. Your body will tolerate a certain amount of sodium, however, the more salt you consume, the more fluid you need to dilute it. To overcome this problem, always drink plenty of water.

What if I told you that being dehydrated promotes the increase of body fat? Water contributes to energy storage along with glycogen. Without water, extra amounts of glucose remain in the bloodstream until reaching the liver, the extra glucose is stored as fat. Your body takes water from inside cells in an effort to compensate for a dehydrated state, including fat cells. Less water in your fat cells means less mobilization of fat for energy.

One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into energy. The kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins, wastes, ingested water, and salts out of the bloodstream. If you are dehydrated, the kidneys cannot function properly, and the liver must work overtime to compensate. As a result, it metabolizes less fat. So remember, if you are trying to decrease the amount of fat on your body, drink plenty of water.

Luckily, water is a great natural appetite suppressant. There are three ways we get water into our bodies. We get it from the foods we eat, the fluids we drink, and as a by-product of metabolism. It is always better to drink pure water instead of soda, tea, or coffee. These products actually increase your need for fluids because most contain caffeine, which is a diuretic. Diuretics force out stored water along with certain essential nutrients.

Unbelievable, although unhealthy, the practice of dehydration is sometimes used in sports. Athletes may dehydrate in order to “make weight”, competitive bodybuilders may dehydrate before a contest in order to look leaner and more muscular. This is a dangerous habit, as athletes and exercisers need more water than less active people. Reducing water in the body as little as 5% can result in as much as a 20-30% drop in your physical performance, 10% reduction can make you sick, and 20% can mean death. With water pollution on the rise, it is best to drink filtered or bottled water whenever possible.

Getting Creative To Get Fit! – Charles Turner

Charles
During my 4 year enlistment in the Marine Corps, whether out in the field or serving oversees, there were many times that I was limited on resources and time to workout. Simply put, I had to get creative, and make the most of my time to stay in shape. For example, I remember one time while serving in Kuwait; we made a barbell with a metal pole and ammo cans (filled with desert sand), so we could do curls. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t take much to get yourself into great shape, just a little bit of effort and creativity on your part. The great thing about this particular workout is that no equipment is required and you can do it anywhere. I used this workout many times during my four year enlistment, and use it still to this day when plain old cardio becomes boring and stale.

Charles Turners Marine Corps Workout
1. Bend and Thrust (Burpees) 10-20 reps
How to Perform: Begin in the standing position 1).Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.2) Extend your feet back in one quick motion to assume front plank.3) Return to the squat position in one quick motion. 4) Jump straight in the air as high as possible.
2. Pushups 10-20 reps
-Those who struggle with pushups may want to do a modified version. Simply use your knees instead of your toes to support lower body.
-Those looking for something a little different than a standard pushup may want to try an Explosive Pushup.
How to perform: Lower your body to the ground as you would a normal pushup, as you come up push quickly with enough force and raise your hands several centimeters off the ground, with the body completely suspended on feet for a moment.
3 .Side Straddle Hops (Jumping Jacks) 10-20 reps (Done in a
4 count cadence)
How to perform: Stand with your feet and arms at your side. Jump up while spreading arms and legs at the same time. Lift your arms to your ears and open your feet a little wider than shoulder width (Done in fast fluid movement). Clap or touch hands over head. As you return from jumping up return your hands done to the side and at the same time bring your feet back together

4. Flutter Kicks 10-20reps (Done in a 4 count cadence)
How to Perform: Lie flat on your back with your arms to your side. Lift your heels six inches off the floor. Keep legs fully extended with slight bent in your knees. Now, quickly move your legs up and down, alternating in small, rapid and scissor-like motions – as one leg goes up, the other comes down. Use your arms to stabilize you, but keep your lower back flat against the ground the best you can. Keep you abdominals contracted throughout the movement.

5. Mountain Climbers 10 -20reps (Done in 4 count cadence)
How to perform: Bend down and place yourself in a basic push up position with your arms in line with your chest and legs extended outward. Rest on the balls of your feet while bringing one leg (example right leg) to your chest and back to its original position. Keep the right leg tucked between the forward and back movement of the left leg. Check to be sure your bent legs and hands carry the weight of your body and that you hold your head up during the back and forth leg movements
Execution of Workout
Do exercises in order without resting
Complete circuit. Rest 1-2 minutes.( Advance trainees may benefit from taking less rest)
Repeat cycle 3 to 5 times
Tips
-Start slow.Once you notice your conditioning improving, start adding additional reps and circuits to the workout.
-Pace yourself.
– Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day
For those looking to take it to the next level. Go on a 3 mile at the end of the workout.

Training Split- By Moji Oluwa

Moji

 

I realized I was not spending enough time on each muscle group. So I switched to the following training split about three years ago.This split has help maximize my training and it has given me the ultimate result I am looking for.

Here is an example of my split:

Day 1……….Back & Shoulders

Day 2………Hamstrings & Calves

Day 3……..Chest & Traps

Day 4……..Quads

Day 5……..Biceps & Triceps

I take two days off and keep the same split but I change my exercises, loads, types, and variations every week. My training philosophy is simple; I don’t sacrifice weight for form. I make sure my muscles are moving the load.

As an ex-Olympic weightlifter I lifted almost four times my body weight, This type of training is called compound training, At the time I weighed only 130 pounds, extremely strong but no muscle mass. Now as a bodybuilder I train for mass and not strength, I want to isolate every muscle with strict form as much as I can. For me, it does not matter how much weight I lift. I recognize which muscles are heavy and which muscles are light movers. This determines the load I impose on every muscle. I make sure that the muscle I am training is the only one working. There is no swinging or jerking of my body. I use my core and secondary muscle to keep the isolation to the maximum. This type of training over the years has helped me with the success I have in the sport of bodybuilding.

Nutrition plays a key role with this type of training. Eating at the right time with the right kinds of food and taking the proper supplements. As a PROLAB sponsored athlete, I take the following supplements that have helped
me:

N-Large²™
Glutamine
Creatine Monohydrate
Beta Alanine Extreme®
BCAA Plus
Pure Whey