Archive for exercise Q&A, strength training

Q&A: Why Am I Getting Bulky?!!!

by Meaghan posted June 28, 2010

Most of us working in the fitness industry have been asked this question before. Although we might know how hard it is for women to put on muscle mass (at least naturally), our female clients always seem to fear they’ll somehow wind up looking like this:

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Gourmet Nutrition V2.0

by Meaghan posted

Dr. John Berardi and the creators of Precision Nutrition recently gave their e-book a major upgrade and released an informative yet simple softcover cookbook called Gourmet Nutrition V2.0: The Cookbook For The Fit Food Lover.

Berardi’s book truly bridges the gap between nutrition science and its practical application. But don’t worry if you already have the original: This version has over 100 NEW delicious and healthy recipes for main dishes, sides, shakes and snacks, complete with photos and nutrition information for each one. Even better, Dr. Berardi incorporates the PN classification system as well: The recipes are classified as either “post-workout” or “anytime.” He also includes a meal template so you know how much to eat on non-exercise days, as well as when to eat what for a morning, afternoon or evening workout.

Gourmet Nutrition V2.0 comes with a grocery list to stock your kitchen, simple tips and substitutions, and instructions for cooking and food storage. Whether you want to be leaner or simply make healthy taste good, this book is your best bet.

Swimming burns 4x more calories than running

by Meaghan posted

Ever wonder how Michael Phelps can eat pancakes, pasta and McDonald’s and still stay lean?

The title is true: A person expends about four times more calories swimming a given distance than running the same distance due to the increased energy cost of maintaining buoyancy and overcoming drag forces in the water. As if you needed another reason to cool off!

Aside from being a better option for expending calories, swimming also provides a greater challenge to your aerobic system and is easier on your joints than running. And in hot and humid weather, it’s a lot safer too. This summer, be like Mike and take your workout to the pool.

The ANTI-Bootcamp is Back and 5 Reasons You Should Come

by Meaghan posted June 24, 2010

Below is a great post from Gabe that we ran a couple months ago, discussing what to look for in an outdoor group fitness class. Good news: Our ANTI-Bootcamp is back in action this summer and we cover them all!

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by Meaghan posted June 21, 2010

Somewhere amidst the mix of lofty marketing and misinformation, Gatorade got a bad rap. The current belief seems to be that it is “high in sugar,” and you don’t need it unless you’re working out for over an hour. The fact that the once popular drink brand has often sponsored soccer in the past yet didn’t join the “ranks” of CocaCola and Budweiser as sponsors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup certainly hasn’t helped…

And it’s a shame, really. Unlike many other sports drinks (and sodas and beers…), Gatorade has a lot of science behind its products.

The tagline is true: Gatorade drinks not only contain the perfect balance of electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to replenish what’s lost in your sweat (which matters much more than the length of your workout, especially during this hot and humid first week of summer), but the optimal amount of carbohydrate to rehydrate your body. You see, you need the sugar in Gatorade to enhance sodium (aka, SALT – you know, like the character played by Angelina Jolie in the movie…) and fluid absorption in the small intestine, as well as to replenish lost energy. Similarly, you need the precise amount contained in the drink: Any more and you slow gastric emptying so that less overall energy, electrolytes and fluid are absorbed.

To help get the word out on the street and the drink back on the playing field, Gatorade has built a new social media center in its Chicago headquarters. Check it out:

Would You Eat Shit Soup?

by Meaghan posted

Hybrid exercise isn’t really a new phenomenon, but lately there seems to be an abundance of these trends popping up everywhere you look – and most of them are just ridiculous. Exhibit A:  

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You Shouldn’t Wipe Your Sweat

by Meaghan posted June 20, 2010

Summer is officially here and many of us are already enjoying outdoor workouts. But did you know that wiping your sweat could hinder your performance?

Well that certainly explains a lot… But I guess it’s just one more reason not to follow the lead of Tiger Woods.

While sweating is your body’s natural cooling mechanism, it’s actually the evaporation of sweat off your skin that cools you down. Much like exercising in humid weather, not allowing your sweat to evaporate leads to overheating. Your body simply responds by sweating more and the end result is usually dehydration.

So DON’T wipe sweat from your body.  

DO, however, wipe your sweat off the machines at the gym. If you don’t, well, that’s gross and we don’t like you.

The Protein Paradox, Part 2

by Meaghan posted June 17, 2010

If you missed the first part of this series, you can check it out here.

Today, we’ll get to the nitty gritty details about how much protein athletes should actually be eating.



THEORY #5: More is better, “just in case.”


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The Protein Paradox, Part 1

by Meaghan posted June 14, 2010

After all the hoopla last week over protein shakes, I wanted to discuss a great article published not too long ago in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism entitled, “A Critical Examination of Dietary Protein Requirements, Benefits, and Excesses in Athletes.”

In short, the paper examines the arguments for and against increased protein intakes for athletes and sums up the research behind the current recommendations.

The truth is, even with all the existing research on protein and exercise, our knowledge of the subject is actually quite limited – which explains why all of you are so confused! In fact, I think the only one definitive thing I took away from the article is that the human body is incredibly adaptive.

That said, here is a TWO-PART series reviewing the commonly cited theories surrounding protein, and what we think might be the answers:

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You Can’t Burn Fat Without Carbs!

by Meaghan posted

Ever heard the phrase, fat burns in a carbohydrate flame?

It’s true. To be as least scientific as I can, carbohydrate metabolism provides a compound called oxaloacetate, which must combine with Acetyl Coenzyme A in the Krebs cycle to fully break down fat. Therefore, restricting carbs will not result in greater fat loss. If anything, it will inhibit fat metabolism and likely make your body burn muscle – NOT GOOD! So eat your carbs.

And here’s another tip: Stop trying to burn fat and focus on burning CALORIES. The more total calories you burn through exercise, the more fat you’ll pull from your fat stores during rest and recovery…provided you don’t undo your efforts at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.