Stretching

Stretching is such a crucial part of our workouts that most of us completely underutilize and forget to do… HEY, ME TOO! I definitely do not stretch every day, but I try to as much as I can when I can. There are multiple movements one can do in stretching but most people do not realize there are different types of stretching as well. They are known as dynamic and static sustained stretching.

Dynamic stretching is recommended to be performed prior to working out. This involves movements to help warm up your joints, muscles, and get blood flowing to your muscles. Examples would be: leg swings, arm circles, etc.

Static sustained stretching is recommended to be performed after your workouts. These are stretches where you hold that position between 30-60 seconds. This is beneficial to help with flexibility, elongate the muscles, and even help in your recovery process to help you not feel as tight and sore the next day.

When performing static sustained stretching make sure you are not bouncing or pushing yourselves too far into a stretch. This is known as ballistic stretching which you will see a lot of dancers and gymnasts perform.

So, are you stretching every day? Are you properly warming up your muscles to prevent injury? Probably not.

Let’s go out of our way and get start putting this essential and easy implementation into our programs and routines to better ourselves and our bodies!!


Let’s see your stretches today!!!

Weight Training Vs. Steady State Cardio For Fat Loss

Weight Training Vs. Steady State Cardio For Fat Loss

If someone asked you “what burns more calories, lifting weights of cardio”, you would probably, without hesitation, tell them that cardio burns more calories.  Don’t worry, because this is the answer that most people would give as well. 

However, if you look a little closer, this might not be as clear cut as you think.  Both of these training methods burn calories and reduce body fat, but they use different methods and have different effects on your body.  

During The Workout 

When you are actually performing the workout (lifting weight or steady state cardio), how much fat are you really burning?  In this case, steady state cardio may have weight training beat.  You will burn quite a few more calories during a cardio session than a typical weight lifting session (1 body part per day).  What you are NOT told is how long steady state cardio sessions can also break down muscle tissue which reduces your calorie burning ability. * A game changer here would be a FULL BODY weight training session like we have discussed in previous blogs.

Post-Workout

We determined that cardio burns more fat when you’re doing the workout.  After the workout is over; now that’s a different story.  Once you have stepped off the treadmill, the calorie burning has stopped by the time you get home.  

After a session of high-repetition weight training, you will experience a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).  This is your body’s way of using calories to repair damaged muscle tissue.  EPOC can provide your body with 38 more hours of fat burning. 

Keeping It Off

Ever notice that those with the most muscle, lose fat the fastest when they choose and are in general leaner than those with less muscle?  Once you get the weight off, which training method is better at keeping it off?  Here, weight lifting may have its biggest advantage.  Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is how many calories that your body needs to burn just to exist.  

Muscle requires 3 times the amount of calories than fat.  This means all that lean muscle you built from weight training will continue to burn fat every day; even when you don’t exercise.  

Body Composition 

Your body composition can be described as “what you’re made of”.  It takes into account your fat mass (your total amount of body fat) as well as fat-free mass (FFM) (everything in your body that’s not fat).  

Lifting weights and performing steady state cardio will affect your bodyweight and your body composition.  Since strength training not only burns fat, but builds muscle, it can give you the appearance that it’s not helping you lose fat if you only use a scale to measure progress.  

Likewise, steady state cardio will also give you a skewed reading on the scale.  As I mentioned previously, cardio only burns fat and builds little (if any) muscle.  This can make the scale give you a more pleasing number, but you may not have a healthy body composition.  

Measuring your body composition is a much better idea than only using a scale as a guide for fat loss.  Consider that muscle tissue is much denser that fat.  This means that you could lose 5 pounds of fat mass and gain 7 pounds of muscle (FFM) and be 2 pounds heavier on the scale.

Now, you may think that you are gaining fat mass, when in reality, you’re gaining FFM and making positive changes in your body composition.  Having a health professional determine your body composition will help keep you on the right track.  

Weight training and steady state cardio will both help you burn calories and lose fat.  Since lifting weights burns more calories in the long run and cardio burns more calories while exercising, using weight training as the foundation of your plan and cardio as an additional tool may have the biggest effect on fat loss.  

If you need help developing a comprehensive FAT LOSS strategy, never hesitate to reach out to us. We are as always, here to help. 

AIM Radio Ep 008

Maritime Challenge Interview With Captain Kenny

The Maritime Throwdown is an all-out line handling competition that is designed for mariners from all maritime fields.  No matter whether you work on a towboat, shrimp boat, trawler, oyster boat, supply vessel, harbor tug, ice breaker, a tanker or grocery boat, you need to come and join us for the competition, have some fun and win some cash.  

In this podcast, join us to hear all about Captain Kenny Brown the mastermind of the Maritime Throwdown, his background in the maritime industry, vision for the event and how this all came together. 

Kenny breaks down the Maritime Throwdown course for us in detail as he explains his vision of an America’s Ninja Warrior inspired course adapted for maritime skills. We go into every detail of the AIM Challenge, a winner takes all battle of skill, muscle and strategy designed to find the best of the best from all maritime fields.  The AIM Challenge is a winner take all, single part line throwing event featuring 3 rounds of attempts to see who can catch the longest single part line.  Last but not least, Kenny explains the final event of the competition.  The heaving line toss.  Who will come out on top? 

Best of all, listen for full details on all the cash prizes and giveaways.  There is BIG money on the line and even a special announcement of even more cash now on the line. 

For more information, 

Tickets

Maritime Throwdown Email

Facebook Event Page 

 

Email: anchoredinmuscle@gmail.com

Jason’s Instagram: @themusclecaptain

Brandi’s Instagram: @brandibuckner0204

Facebook Fan Page: Anchored In Muscle

Website: anchoredinmuscle.com

YouTube

Podcast: available on Anchored In Muscle website, iTunes, Libsyn & Stitcher

Support: 1stphorm.com/anchoredinmuscle

Why Women Should Lift Weights

Weight Training For Women

Ladies, ladies, ladies, now I know that society, the media and infomercials have lead you to believe that starving yourself and doing lots of cardio is the way to have the ultimate bikini body but that is just NOT TRUE. 

There is certainly no shortage of women at your local fitness facility.  Actually, they tend to be in the majority when it comes to cardio equipment and fitness classes.  The same can be said for women and healthy eating.  Women are 50% more likely than men to eat their daily amount of veggies. 

In our last transphormation challenge we sent out the request for every person to find a photo online of someone they wanted to look like. As the responses came in I was not surprised to see what I knew to be true.  EVERY photo I received was of a person that clearly used weight training as the foundation of their overall plan.  Hours of cardio and starving yourself only breaks your body down.  By breaking down your own muscle tissue you are destroying your FAT burning ability. It’s time you heard the truth.  Resistance training (weight training) is the real NO BULLSHIT way to the body you want.  Anchor yourself in muscle. It is MUSCLE that will get you lean and KEEP you lean. 

So, if you are clearly living the fitness lifestyle, then why is there still this fear of going over to the free-weight area and grabbing a set of dumbbells?  Women who are not training with weights are missing out on some major benefits. 

You Won’t Look Like Man

While this isn’t exactly a benefit, it’s something that needs to be said right up front.  Many personal trainers will hear a common concern when first working with a female client, “I don’t want to get too muscular and look like a man.” 

You will not look like a man because you lift weights!  There are two huge reasons why training with weights will not make you look like a man.

  1. Testosterone– This is the muscle-building hormone that is abundantly found in men. There is significantly less of this hormone in women and will keep you from looking like a man.  Now getting it into your body artificially (aka illegally) that’s a whole different story. 
  2. Time– The amount of time that you would have to dedicate to even begin to resemble a male’s physique would be insane. The very few women that you do see who look like men have essentially devoted their lives to achieving this. 

Now that we have that issue cleared up, let’s go over the overwhelming reasons why you should be training with weights. 

Torch Fat

Hopefully, we all know that there is no such thing as “target fat loss”.  However, studies suggest that strength training may be a better way to lose abdominal fat than cardio. 

This has to do with that fact that when going for a 60-minute run, you’re burning fat, but also losing muscle. While weight training, you are almost entirely burning body fat. 

Burn Calories

Weight training is a physically demanding activity, so you will clearly burn calories when you’re in the gym training.  You will also continue to burn calories long after your training session has ended. 

Your body will keep burning calories for up to 39 hours post-workout to recover and repair damaged muscle tissue.  Adding weights to interval training will also greatly increase your calorie burning ability. 

Look Lean And Healthy

We already touched on this earlier, but lifting weights will not make women big, bulky, and masculine.  It will make you lean, defined, and healthy.  Lifting weights is one of the best ways for women to get tone looking muscle definition

Women who lift weights can expect to see some major postural improvements.  This will radiate a confident and sexy look to others around you.  Better posture will also improve your breathing, reduce stress, and boost energy levels.

Lifting weight is not an activity that’s exclusive to men.  Training with weights will help you look, and feel, great.  If you are ready to once and for all take control and BUILD the body you want, if you need help, we are always here. Reach out, lets get started on the BRAND NEW YOU! 

 

Captain Nasty your muscle Captain

 

Contact, follow, stay in touch:

Support: 1stphorm.com/anchoredinmuscle

 

My Transphormation Challenge Journey Part 1

I joined the 1st Phorm My Transphormation Challenge on July 1, 2017.  As promised, I am documenting my journey for everyone to read.  I have never done anything like this.  From August 2016 to April 2017, I gained 20 lbs because of a random blood clot that formed on my spine.  I couldn’t workout because it was pushing my spinal cord out of place.  To make a long story short, I was released to workout 100% in April.

The process of entering the challenge was sort of traumatic for me and by far one of the hardest things I have EVER done.  Of course, I had to take pictures of my “not so fit self” holding the “Day 1” card.  I got that done with the help of my daughter Curstann.  I did a little bit of crying looking at the pictures and while I was uploading them.  Next came the dreaded YouTube video.  I was a mess.  You have to tell your “story” which I did and cried through some of it too.  Needless to say, it is now on the internet for the world to see.  Ugh!  I did it though and survived.  The last thing was writing an essay also telling my “story”.  Completed that too.  I think it took me quite a few hours to accomplish mainly because I had to click submit and my finger didn’t seem to want to do that.  I eventually closed my eyes and did it.

After the entry process, you receive daily emails for 5 days, I think, featuring Will Grumke and Sal Frisella.  They basically welcome you to the program and give you helpful information about nutrition, supplements, workouts and what to expect.  You also learn about posting on social media and using hashtags so they can keep up with you.  For example: #mytransphormationstartstoday, #myfitnessjourney, #1stPhorm, etc…

I had actually started their nutrition plan 3 days before I entered the challenge so I knew what to expect.  One thing I realized when I switched over to their meal plan was even though I was weighing my food out, I STILL WASN’T EATING ENOUGH!  I actually struggled with the amount of food they require you to consume.

One thing I’m not following are the workouts they provide you.  I am still training with Jason.  They want you to do full body workouts and we weren’t doing that during the first two weeks but have now switched over to full body workouts.  I could’ve chosen anyone but I stuck with Jason, not just because he’s my husband, but because he really knows what he’s doing, I admire him and because we are a team.  He pushes me when I think I can’t go any further and I like to mentally compete with him when we are lifting.

Currently I am using the following supplements:

  • Level 1 (meal replacement): I don’t use this much because I am getting all of my meals in.
  • M Factor Goddess (multivitamin)
  • Full Mega (fish oil)
  • T-21
  • Dandelion Root
  • Liquid Vitamin D-3
  • Post Workout Stack
  • GDA
  • C-21

I am doing good so far even though I had a week where I fell off my workouts but I am back on track and fully committed to this.  Jason can see changes in my body even though I can’t.  One thing we did was to record me working out so I could see what my muscles look like.  It also helps me to visualize my muscles when I squeeze during lifts.  He believes I have more definition in my shoulders and chest than before my back issue.  I have to keep in mind that my “problem area” (torso) will be the last to go and I need to stop focusing on that.

Keep working everyone!  It won’t happen overnight but with dedication and hard work, we will get there.

 

 

 

 

Brandi

Full Body Weight Training Split

 

Captain’s Blog

 

Burn More Fat With Full-Body Weight Training

No matter whether you are a boat hand, rig worker, plant worker or the wife at home managing the house, the kids and possibly even a job of your own, TIME is your most precious commodity.  You want to look good, be strong and be healthy.  Lets just be honest, you want to either bring your sexy back, build a hot body, feel like a million bucks, combat a health condition or be the example for your kids to follow and look up to.  That said, you don’t have the time, money nor desire to live in the gym 7 days per week like a fit pro or physique athlete.  Lets talk about how you can build muscle, burn fat, have that amazing body and still have time for a LIFE.   

Unless you’re a competitive bodybuilder, you may want to steer away from the single body part splits (chest and triceps on day 1, back and biceps on day 2, etc.).  This type of training split may be good for mass gains, but it can be incredibly time-consuming to do it right.  

Now, if your training goal is burning calories and getting shredded, then you need to start performing full-body splits.  If you want to burn more fat with full-bodyweight training, there are a few things you need to know. 

 

Exercises Used

You will primarily rely on the use of compound lifts such as the bench press, squat, deadlift, overhead press, and row.  When you get stronger on your main compound exercises, you’ll indirectly stimulate smaller muscle groups as well.  

Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bands and even your own body weight can be incorporated into a full-body workout.  Don’t think that just because you don’t have access to all the equipment imaginable, you can’t perform a killer workout.  Simple compound movements is all you need.  

  

Training Frequency

When we’re talking about training frequency, we’re simply referring to how many workout sessions performed during the week.  Compared to other splits, particularly the body part split, full-body training will have a very high training frequency.  

Full-body training should be performed 3 times per week and be sure to allow 48 hours between sessions.  This will give your muscles enough time to recover for the next workout.  Your training split may look something like this: 

  • Monday–  Full-body training
  • Tuesday–  30 mins moderate cardio
  • Wednesday–  Full-body training
  • Thursday–  30 mins moderate cardio
  • Friday–  Full-body training
  • Saturday–  Rest
  • Sunday–  Rest

 

Rep Scheme

Full-body training can use any rep scheme to accommodate any fitness goal.  However, if you want to burn more fat, then you will be training around the 15 rep range.  Don’t think that 15 reps means that it’s time to go light.  

Keep the weight heavy enough to reach failure at the last set.  If you just completed a set of squats for 15 reps and you could have completed about 5 more, then it’s time to go heavier.  

The reason that you’re training at this high of a volume is simple—glycogen.  Training at such a high rep range will drain your muscles of stored carbs, or glycogen.  Your body tries to combat this unwanted glycogen depletion by increasing its glycogen stores.  

Why is this important?  The extra glycogen pulls in intracellular water, which is very anabolic. This phenomenon elicits protein synthesis and causes the cell to stretch.   When the muscles cells begin to stretch, it signals cellular growth and can even cause the release of growth factors.  

 

Calorie Burning

Just as we went over in the introduction, full-body workouts will get you shredded because you’ll burn more calories than other training methods.  When you’re training large muscle groups with compound lifts, your body uses a lot of energy to coordinate the movement and provide oxygen to the working muscles.  

The concept is simple; you will work more muscle groups which will cause greater calorie expenditure—period.  

Full-body training is just what you need to burn calories and lose some fat.  If you are already performing a full-body weight training split, then keep it up!  If you’re on the fence about it, hopefully, this will be enough for you to take the next step. 

If you need help with your training, nutrition,  supplementation or maybe you want to take it to even the NEXT LEVEL, never hesitate to reach out. We are committed to bringing you all things fat loss, muscle building and wellness without the FEES. 

 

Captain Nasty your muscle Captain,

Contact, follow, stay in touch:

 

 

 

 

Why I Joined 1st Phorm’s My Transphormation Starts Today

I have decided to chronicle my journey with 1st Phorm’s My Transphormation Challenge.  July 1st was my start date.  I know I started at a crazy time because of the holiday weekend but if I didn’t do it then, I wasn’t going to do it all.  So far, I don’t regret it.  I had actually started using their meal plan 3 days before I signed up.  It was also a surprise to everyone.  No one knew I was doing it.  Joining was pretty terrifying to me because I knew I would be putting myself out there.  WAY OUT THERE.  Participating in the challenge was strictly because I needed to get myself back under control and to also show our Facebook group that it can be done.  When I say “get myself back under control”, I mean emotionally and physically.  This is the heaviest I have ever been.  This is also the lowest I’ve ever been. 

Backstory time.  I have been an athlete since the 4th grade when I started playing softball and was also in the drill team in high school.  Actually, softball was the only sport I was ever really good at.  I played 1st base.  What do you think of when you think of a 1st baseman?  You think of tall, lean and flexible.  Guess what.  That was me.  I am 5’8″, definitely not lean anymore nor as flexible as I used to be.  Now, I LOVE my family with all my heart BUT sometimes words can have an effect on a young person.  Because I had that description of myself, I was always told I should be a model.  Hell, at one point my nickname was “Legs”.  So, what did my young and not so wise ass do?  I looked up to the supermodels of the time.  Yep, women like Elle McPhearson, Cindy Crawford, Christi Brinkley and Heidi Klum.  What did I eventually fall into?  You guessed it.  Eating disorders.  Mainly binge eating during my high school years.  Of course, later on, I graduated to bulimia and anorexia.  I don’t talk about it because it’s just not something I wish to discuss or open up a lot about.  Moving on.

After high school, I continued to struggle with my old habits.  I began to gain weight.  The only way I knew how to get the pounds off was by reverting back to my old ways.  The lowest my weight has ever been as an adult is 95 lbs.  I achieved that by not eating at all.  My mom figured out what was going on and we worked on getting my weight back up.  I gained way more back than I originally lost.  Needless to say, it was an endless cycle until Jason came along but the emotional scars from it will always be there and I will always fight those demons.  Mind you, when I met Jason, I was still playing softball.  It was slow-pitch but at least it was softball.  I think about 4 years ago, I decided to have my knee looked at because it had been hurting for so long.  We’re talking years.  Turns out, I had been playing on a micro-fracture.  The plan was to have it fixed, heal and play ball again.  That’s not what happened.

After surgery, I was on the couch with my knee in the “bending machine”.  I have no idea what it’s really called.  Jason turned on The Olympia.  I had never watched it before and Jason was really excited for me to see it for the first time.  I had always had negative views on a lot of muscle.  I always thought you were supposed to be skinny (model skinny).  When I first saw the bikini competitors, I didn’t like that division because it reminded me of a beauty pageant.  I have tons of respect for them but it just wasn’t my thing.  Next was figure and I got into that pretty good.  Nicole Wilkins won and she looked amazing.  Then came physique and I was hooked.  As soon as DLB stepped on stage I picked her to win.  Guess what.  She did and I have been following her ever since.  I told Jason I wanted to start lifting as soon as I could.  I stopped playing softball not because I wanted to only lift but because my knee was never the same.  I learned the right way to get weight off and wanted muscle for the first time ever.  I asked so many questions when we were in the gym, we decided I should just take a course.  I did and I am now a personal trainer.

Flash forward to a very rough and traumatic year.  2016 was wonderful because it seemed like everything was falling into place with my training.  It was also one of the worst years of my life because we found out my mom never had thyroid cancer (she had her thyroid removed the year before because of that diagnosis).  She was misdiagnosed.  It was actually lung cancer and had spread to her brain and bones.  It was crazy because I couldn’t wrap my brain around her having lung cancer because she had never smoked.  We were made to feel like we could get at least 5 – 7 years with her according to her doctor.  That wasn’t going to happen and I never saw it coming.

Mom wanted me to help her gain weight and workout to build up her strength because we knew she needed it for the treatments.  I wasn’t ever able to help her fully do that.  I believe the diagnosis was official in March 2016.  In May we found out it had spread.  I was the cheerleader.  I believed we could beat it.  At the end of July I was bringing her back and forth to Houston almost everyday for her radiation treatments.  Once that was done, in August she was able to start the chemo pills to target the gene that mutated.  My mom passed away on September 9, 2016.  I never saw it coming.

During August, there was a power outage in our town and we had to stay at a motel that night.  We had our back workout the night before that happened.  The next day I was feeling sore but it was normal.  The next morning when I woke up at the hotel, I could barely move my back hurt so bad.  The way it was radiating around to my abs made me think I had maybe pulled an oblique muscle.  I stopped working out for about a month to give myself time to heal.  Once that month was up, I got to workout for maybe a week and the pain came back.  During the middle of September, I went to the chiropractor.  She wanted me to have an MRI and of course being the badass that I am, I refused.  I cannot even begin to describe the pain I was in.  I went back to see my chiropractor in November and finally agreed to the MRI.  The MRI showed an anomaly in my spine.  She said blood clot.  I said oh shit.

Further testing showed that it was indeed a blood clot.  The neurosurgeon I went to informed me that it had to go.  Surgery was scheduled for December 9, 2016.  I was also told that if I felt any kind of tingling or numbness in my legs, I was to haul ass to the hospital.  The fear of being paralyzed was way too real.  Mind you, the MRI with contrast showed my spinal cord looking like a highway overpass.  My spinal cord was being pushed out of place.  I got a reprieve from surgery just a few minutes before I was about to be wheeled into the operating room because the doctor wanted another MRI to check on the blood clot.  It had gotten smaller so surgery was cancelled. 

My next MRI at the end of February showed the blood clot was gone but I was still having back pain.  I still wasn’t able to lift.  I had some nerve damage and needed nerve blocks with antibiotics in the injections to help the nerves heal.  I had 3 rounds.  I was finally released to workout the beginning of April.  Of course I was scared to death the blood clot would come back because there was no reason for it to be there in the first place.  It’s supposed to be a high impact trauma but nothing like that had ever happened to me.  I’m actually supposed to have another MRI to check on things in September.

During all that time, I gained 20 lbs.  How did I manage to do that even though I’m a personal trainer?  What I didn’t realize was I was depressed.  OBVIOUSLY.  I think I was in denial about everything that had happened.  PAY ATTENTION HERE.  I WAS ONLY EATING 1 OR 2 MEALS PER DAY.  That’s a big no-no.  I didn’t even realize I had gained 20 lbs. because it happened SUPER SLOWLY.

On to the next phase that made me realize I needed to get my life back under control.  Jason got us VIP tickets to 1st Phorm’s Summer Smash.  I would dining with the big dogs.  A cocktail dress was needed and I didn’t know that until 1 week before our flight to St Louis.  A lot of things happened during that week that made me take a long hard look in the mirror at myself.  I had to leave the VIP dinner, not because someone did anything wrong (NO ONE DID ANYTHING WRONG) but because back in August 2016, I was almost to my goals.  I saw all the beautiful women and SAW WHAT I ALMOST WAS AND WHAT I WOULD’VE BEEN PHYSICALLY.  I have never officially had a panic or anxiety attack and I’m pretty sure I was on the verge of one.  I will never forgive myself for leaving and that was the start of this journey.  I knew I had to get myself back in check.  I haven’t felt that way in a VERY LONG TIME.  I was angry with myself, disappointed and ashamed but most of all, my self hate returned and that is unacceptable.  I thought I had beaten all of those things and those emotions slapped me in the face all at once. 

So here I am doing something about it.  I never want to feel that way again.  I will fight to be back to where I was and to improve myself after that.  That is the main reason why I joined the Transphormation Challenge.  I am also doing it to show that things happen to the best of us all.  Even personal trainers.  By showing others that I can do it and fight for it, I hope it will encourage them to do the same.

 

Brandi

 

Type 2 Diabetes

Getting Type 2 Under Control!

Are you living with Type 2 Diabetes like so many of my maritime brothers, sisters and their families?  I too live with Type 2 Diabetes as my own mother has Type 2 Diabetes.  Fighting Type 2 Diabetes is one of my passions.  In fact, it was and is a driving force behind what lead me to begin my journey to offer FREE HELP to all that will listen and take on the fight to combat their Type 2 Diabetes. 

Are You Stuck With It?

So, think you’re just stuck with it?  Is it getting worse year by year?  Your doctor keeps increasing your meds to keep it under control while you experience more and more side effects?  Insulin?  You continue to gain weight and the health concerns continue to mount?   Yes, yes, and yes again I would bet.  No more!  I am here to help you turn it around, greatly improve your health and take control of your Type 2 Diabetes.  

Let’s get 1 thing straight RIGHT NOW.  Carbs are NOT the devil, sugar in and of itself is NOT the boogie man.  Now I’m certain that you have been told that they are but rest assured, they are not.  You are NOT doomed to a life of eating cardboard or foods you hate.  On the other side of that, I will not be giving you any get out of jail free cards. You are a type 2 Diabetic.  Accept that now and the responsibility that goes along with it.  You know that you have to, at minimum, watch what you eat and get your ass moving with some good ole hard work and exercise. Do not simply give in and turn your life over to taking an ever-increasing number of medications, dosage or the side effects that go with them, which require even more meds to address.

How Did You Get Into This Mess Anyway?

So, let’s break all of this down in the simplest most easy ways to understand.  Yes of course it’s a fairly complicated issue but we can focus in on the KEY FACTORS and simplify.  Let’s face it, over time you have over consumed sugar and carbohydrates.  Not only have you over consumed sugar and carbohydrates, you have done so while leading a sedentary life style.  You have bombarded your body with an extreme amount of glucose made from sugar and carbs over and over again.  Over the course of your life this caused an emergency situation within your body each time. 

Your body has been working overtime to protect you all along and that system is now broken.  Your body wants, it needs, a “situation normal.”  This is called homeostasis (all systems go, functioning normal, your body’s comfort zone).  Your body is constantly at work to keep all of your internal functions NORMAL.  This is a survival instinct.  It’s JOB.  Situation NORMAL inside your body, when it comes to blood glucose levels, is 110.  Anything above or below will generate an automatic response within your body to get back to situation normal (110 on your blood glucose meter).  Now, small rises and dips in your blood glucose levels are no problem for your body.  It’s designed to handle that as a normal function of eating and processing energy from the food you eat.  It’s only when you redline your body’s system for processing and storing sugars and carbs consistently over many years, spiking blood glucose levels to dangerous highs, that it begins to fail.  When it begins to fail, it can no longer shuttle excess glucose out of your blood stream properly causing a backup and chronic high levels of glucose to remain in your blood stream.  This situation is known as Type 2 Diabetes.  If this isn’t bad enough, Type 2 Diabetes and its residual effects such as weight gain and obesity often lead to equally worse and compounding conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. 

So, What’s The NO BS Real World Problem?

Here is the deal, insulin is a key hormone in the body that we ALL have.  Insulin has many very important jobs but the one we want to discuss most is its role of carrying glucose out of the bloodstream and into storage.  We said earlier that any time blood glucose levels get over 110, your body will want to correct that and get back to normal. Insulin to the rescue.  Its job is to carry that excess glucose out of the blood stream and off to 1of 3 other storage sites for energy: your liver, your muscles cells and (ding, ding, ding) BODY FAT.  The core of the problem is with insulin’s interaction with the cells of the liver, muscles and fat.  Each cell has thousands of receptor sites which insulin normally hooks up to and acts as a KEY to unlock the cell and open the passage way for the transport of glucose into the cell for storage.  Over time, the connection and interaction between the receptor site and Insulin has gotten worn down, for the lack of a better description.  Imagine an old lock on a heavily used door that has become worn out and the key just doesn’t unlock it any more.  It’s virtually the same.  Insulin is the key and the receptor site can no longer recognize or accept it.  Your body’s insulin can no longer carry glucose through the receptor site, into the cell and out of the blood stream.  You are now INSULIN RESISTANT and a Type 2 Diabetic.

The Insulin Resistance Shit Storm!

Now you are in deep shit!  Your body is in a state of emergency inside.  You have excess glucose in the blood stream.  What is getting out of the blood stream is predominately going to fat cells which are the least insulin resistant as they are the place of excess energy (FAT STORAGE), chronic high insulin levels as your body pumps out more and more in an attempt to correct its blood glucose level problem and you now have less energy getting to the cells of the liver and muscle tissue creating a situation of low energy resulting in cravings and hunger… OMG what a nightmarish carnival ride of DOOM! 

It doesn’t end there, no not at all!  Now you will likely be dealing with 1 or more of diabetes best friends like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and neuropathy to name a few.  Face it, internally you are a shit show and the outside always reflects the inside!  I know that is harsh but I say that out of love, tough love it may be but know this, it’s real.  I say that to get your attention because I want to help!  You CAN turn it around. You are CAPABLE.  It is POSSIBLE. 

Fixing The Problem!

As crazy as this may sound, I can’t say that you will be cured by following the recommendations below because that is against the LAW!  By LAW only a DRUG can be a CURE!  That said, listen up! 

CARBS

I venture to say that the things you need to avoid should be somewhat OBVIOUS.  You should LIMIT or AVOID sugar, sugary drinks (sodas), cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, processed foods (anything made into something) i.e. chips are NOT potatoes.  These are comfort and snack foods which provide way too much raw energy for your body to handle all at once, are digested fast and leave you hungry and tired from the crash after.  Avoid or limit foods that break down very fast into liquid form (if it melts in your mouth avoid or limit it) these are known as SIMPLE SUGARS or SIMPLE CARBS.  The PROBLEM is the rate at which they break down and are taken up into the blood stream.  They break down so fast that it causes a flood of excess sugar in the blood stream causing all of what we discussed above.  It causes a huge spike in your blood glucose and in response to the emergency situation, your body releases a flood of INSULIN and the cycle begins.

Stick to foods as close to their natural state as possible (whole foods).  Choose plant based complexed carb foods such as oats, rice, potatoes, beans, lentils and veggies to name a few.  These whole food carb sources break down and digest much slower creating a more controlled and steady flow of sugar (glucose) into the blood stream.  Keeping blood sugar levels in check keeps INSULIN in check.  REMEMBER insulin is a storage hormone.  It STORES ENERGY (FAT).  Chronic high levels of insulin will wreck any potential FAT LOSS.  Your body is designed to manage a steady controlled level of incoming glucose for energy. 

Protein is KING!

I could go on and on about the importance and benefits of protein but let’s talk about the importance in regard to helping with your TYPE 2.  Protein slows down the digestion rate of CARBS and keeps you full.  Having the proper portion of protein every 3 to 4 hours boosts metabolism and builds muscle which are both critical to FAT LOSS!  INCLUDE the proper portion of protein with EVERY meal or snack.

Fats

Keep your fat intake to under 20% of your totally daily calorie intake.  Avoid trans fats as much as possible.  Remember, when you have high insulin levels your body is in a STATE of STORAGE.  The fat that is ingested from foods are more easily stored as fat tissue than even than excess sugar. 

Training

While cardio is a great tool, weight training is the way!  Your body must burn energy (glucose) stored inside the muscle to contract as you lift weights or perform any other form of resistance training.  By doing so, you are making room for glucose storage and giving your body the ability to get excess sugar out of the blood stream, lowering your blood glucose levels and in turn, insulin levels.  Using intense weight training can create micro trauma tearing which requires repair, which burns even more calories, builds new muscle tissue and serves to restore the sensitivity to insulin at the rector sites allowing insulin to carry glucose into the muscle cell, again lowering blood glucose levels. 

For type 2 Diabetics, I recommend a full body weight training routine at a minimum of 3 days per week with 30 minutes of moderate cardio 3 days per week and 1 full day off to start with.  Full body workouts serve to burn off the maximum amount of energy in each workout and 24 hours per day by building muscle. 

Sleep

Your body needs recovery.  Getting the proper amount of sleep will serve to reduce stress, inflammation, facilitate muscle repair and reduce insulin resistance.  The generally accepted recommendation for sleep is 6 to 8 hours per day.  That said, many of us will never achieve that mark even if we wanted to.  We are all individuals.  I recommend getting what you have found to be just right for you, CONSISTENTLY.  For me, that sweet spot seems to be 5 hours of good sleep per day.  Any more, I wake up feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck.  Any less, I’m fatigued, tired and slow. 

 Hydration

Just like with protein, I could go on forever about the benefits of drinking the right amount of water but you already know you need it.  You may not WANT it but you NEED it.  I get asked all the time about FAT LOSS supplements.  What do I recommend using?  Yes, I Rep 1st Phorm and they do have amazing products but NOTHING beats WATER.  Water is life!  It flushes out waste by-products and inflammation, transports water soluble vitamins and boosts metabolism.  Water makes everything work inside.  It is the world’s best, all natural, DIURETIC.  Make sure to get in 1 gallon of water per day!

You can turn this situation around. It will be a LIFE change.  It will take hard work and dedication but you CAN do it.  Get out there and put this information to use.  I’m always here for you.  If you have questions or need help, reach out.  Email me at anchoredinmuscle@gmail.com.

***Disclaimer***
Information in this blog is my OPINION based on years of training, research and study and is NOT intended to replace or discredit the recommendations of your medical doctor. ALWAYS consult your personal doctor before beginning any diet or workout program. 

 

Look Good or Be “Fit”

Look Good or Be “Fit”

This is the question!  Do you want to “look good” or “be fit”?  Does Joe public or Susie soccer mom want to be fit or look good?  Are they the same?  Why does it matter?

I’m here to tell you NO.  They are NOT the same!  That said, yes you can achieve a good level of fitness and wellness while training and eating to look good.  We are bombarded daily with ads, commercials and social media posts with all sorts of trendy workouts, fancy diets and fat loss supplements but which ones do what?  Of course, they will all claim that you can lose weight, build muscle and have the “toned” hot body that you have always dreamed of having.  There is some layer of truth in there (IF), that’s IF you know when and how to apply them all and for how long.  Have you ever seen any of these programs tell you that it isn’t a be all end all program, that it will need to be progressively adjusted along the way and that it alone will not get you to your goal?  Did they even ask you what your goal was?  More than likely you are banking on looking like the model associated with the ad, commercial or social media post BUT did they use this method to look the way they do?  Likely NOT!  So, if you want to look like them or somewhere close, shouldn’t you train and eat the way that they do?  HHMMM, what is the common-sense answer to that?  YEA!  Face this FACT now.  Not all but the vast majority of them did NOT use whatever program or product they are modeling for as the MAIN method that produced the body they are showing you.

So, you want to be “FIT”?

I think I already know the answer to the question but I have to ask because what I see these days more than anything else are people who REALLY want to look good but they are training to be “FIT”.  I’m not at all saying that being fit is a bad thing, hell, it’s great and we should all work to be more “fit”, more “healthy”.  Now, I know this is a topic that can be debated to death but I’m going to try and inject some common-sense and some facts that cannot be debated.  What is it to be fit?  This is a term of measurement.  How well can you perform a task or how healthy you are and has very little to do with whether you look good or not.  I could point you to any number of people who could literally kick my ass at wind sprints, who could run longer distances than me, do more pushups than me or do more burpees than me.  The list goes on but what do they look like?  Do they look the way they want to look?  I work with people every day that could likely kick my ass at all of this but look nothing like what they tell me they want to look like.  I would likely vomit if I tried to go do a respectable cross fit workout.  Thinking of H.I.I.T. training (today) sparks thoughts of needing an oxygen tank to carry with me, yet this is what I see people doing or thinking they need to do.

Every day I talk to people who are doing 3 times as much work as me and eating far less than me yet they are not achieving their goals.  Men want to have big chests, shoulders, biceps that stretch the sleeves of their shirts and washboard abs.  Women dream of a flat stomach, toned legs, a tight firm ass and sexy shoulders yet the way they train and eat is setting them up to be the opposite.  All of the above “wants” require muscle development, that is, muscle building not muscle break down.  I see and hear of the Fitbit numbers, the hours on the treadmill or elliptical, countless hill sprints, miles jogged, wall ball reps, H.I.I.T sessions, sit ups, burpees, battle rope sessions, miles swam, Tabata sessions and of course how long, how fast and how many calories were burned.  Have you seen and heard these things?  Maybe you know someone who goes to the gym religiously and maybe they initially make some progress but that stalls quickly and they never seem to change after that?  Maybe they begin to get smaller but they don’t look toned, they just look smaller and looser?  Again, I say these people could probably kick my ass at these tasks but do they look like they want?  By all accounts, they have improved their cardio vascular “fitness” and endurance but have they achieved their goal?  I say NO.

Train to look good! 

If you want to look good, build yourself up!  All of the activities that I discussed above have a place but they do far more to break you down than build you up.  They each have value.  That said, they are all just TOOLS.  Like a king of hearts, really important but just a card to play not a winning hand.  Strength training is a FULL HOUSE, the tool box, the bull dozer, the horse power behind an amazing body!  If you want your body to be “toned” (which is not even a real thing, it’s a description), to look muscular, tight, firm, strong and vibrant, train it to look that way.  Learn the ways of resistance training.  Resistance training can be more than just weights.  It can be, in the beginning, body weight, milk jugs, bands, dumbbells, barbells, machines or sand bags.  Hell, the list could go on forever.  Almost anything can provide resistance.  It’s all in how its applied.

You want your body to adapt.  You have to push it beyond its current capability in order for it to adapt, to NEED to adapt.   After all, MUSCLE is costly for your body in energy.  In order to get your body to adapt in this way, you must create a need, a survival NEED.  You can’t simply use light weights or your own body weight in some cardio like routine with the same weight to go faster or longer.  You must always be working towards pushing your body to be STRONGER and more EXPLOSIVE.  Work to build muscle which BURNS CALORIES 24 hours per day.  The resistance used must always be progressively increased over time in amount and duration, consistently challenging your body to not only maintain the muscle you have but to grow more calorie burning muscle tissue, increasing your metabolic rate even at rest, 24 hours per day.

Muscle is expensive!

Let me see if I can sum this all up in a common-sense way.  MUSCLE BURNS CALORIES.  That cannot be debated.  Take that statement and apply it to all the cardio based, fancy routines I mentioned above.  Now, if muscle itself burns calories even at rest, what about when you are doing all those wind sprints, hill climbs, miles ran on the treadmill etc.?  Muscle is costly and it weighs more than FAT.  When you perform all of these cardio like activities, which do not REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT STRENGTH, for extended periods of time, reps, miles etc., your body’s job is to become more efficient at doing those tasks, right?  It carries around all that muscle that is expensive in calories / fuel during all these activities yet isn’t needed for strength to perform the activities.  What is it going to do to be more efficient?  Your body can and will burn up muscle to reduce its own energy need in order to perform those cardio based tasks easier and more efficiently making you, yes more “FIT”, yes smaller but not strong; not the way you may be truly seeking to look and setting you up for fat regain in the long run because now you have far less muscle and less calorie burning ability.

What’s the solution?

Base the foundation of your training in resistance training.  Resistance training should make up at least 80% of your training.  Your resistance training should be PROGRESSIVE, meaning each workout should be approached with a mindset of getting a couple more reps on a particular move with the same weight as the last workout or more resistance / weight has been added than the last workout.  If you can do 12 reps for 2 consecutive sets with a given amount of resistance, you need more resistance / weight.  Your body will only adapt to the stress that it’s given.  Once it adapts from a strength perspective, it will begin to further adapt from an efficiency perspective in the absence of even greater stress via resistance.

Use cardio as a tool to spark metabolism in short durations.  Low to moderate intensity cardio in short durations (30 to 60 mins.) is fueled mostly by fat stores.  Going beyond 30 to 60 minutes can begin to cause muscle break down.  H.I.I.T. style cardio, which is very intense, should be used in even shorter durations (under 20 mins). Contrary to popular beliefs, these intense cardio activities are fueled by glucose stored in the muscle, NOT FAT.  The benefit of H.I.I.T. cardio is an increase in your metabolic rate AFTER completion, NOT during.  Doing too much high intensity cardio can break down muscle tissue, there again 2 steps forward and 1 step back when comes to achieving your goals.

Training For Fat Loss

Training To Maximize Your Fat Loss

We’re going to discuss how to utilize your training and your body’s own processes to maximize your fat loss.  Here is a representation of a cross section of your muscle to utilize and explain this; how we’re going to train to maximize your fat loss.

Now, when I talk about sugar (glucose) that’s coming from carbohydrates, you have limited storage for energy (glucose) in three different areas and basically an unlimited storage as fat.  Your body can store sugar in the blood.  Of course, your body will work to keep your blood glucose level at 110.  You can also store a limited amount of sugar in your liver and your muscle tissue.  Every muscle in your body is truly like a sponge.  It can store sugar, which comes from your carbohydrates, turned into glucose and stored in the muscle as glycogen. 

Twitch Fibers?!?

You have two main types of muscle fibers.  Your slow twitch muscle fibers are small in size.  Slow twitch fibers have limited potential for growth and strength.  They’re more like your endurance muscles.  We also have fast twitch muscle fibers which are larger in size.  Fast Twitch muscle fibers have the greatest potential for growth and strength.  This is where explosive strength and power is generated from within your body.  Each muscle is made up of a varying ratio of these two different fiber types which is determined by your own individual genetics. 

Now, I’ve drawn out a representation here (see white board picture above) with green being our fast twitch, blue being our slow twitch and I’ve tried to represent the size of each just as an example.  I’ve also drawn out a representation of what different levels of intensity or load might look like.  For example, if you were doing an aerobic or cardio based workout like Tabata or a beginner CrossFit, maybe Insanity, etc. with body weight alone.  Yes, you are using a lot of energy but you are not challenging the maximum number of muscle fibers possible.  Your body only fires enough muscle fibers required to make each movement which is determined by the LOAD.  If you are simply bending your arm upward as you would in a dumbbell curl, only enough fibers will be fired to raise your arm.  Lifting your arm will only activate a small number of your “slow twitch” fibers compared to the amount of slow and fast twitch fibers that will be activated to do a dumbbell curl with a 50-lb. dumbbell.  Maximizing the total number and type of muscle fibers fired during your workouts will have a direct impact on your GOAL. 

In order to maximize the potential within each muscle, use 75% or higher of the load potential for that muscle.  This is where you’re going to get the maximum amount of energy from sugar (glucose) burned and remember, your muscle fibers store sugar.  So, the larger the muscle group, the more muscle fibers activated within that muscle, the more sugar you’re burning, therefore, the more calories you’re burning during that workout.  You’re always going to hear me say, “You want to keep your intensity high, Anchor yourself in Muscle!”

The Spider Web Effect – Micro Trauma Tears

Now, the greater number of muscle fibers you use and the higher intensity, you will create micro trauma tears within the muscle.  I like to use the spider web effect of a windshield shattering to try to imagine what it’s like when you create these micro trauma tears.  Your body has to repair this minor damage.  This is a survival mechanism; your body will naturally try to adapt to your intense training by repairing its muscle tissue and building new tissue.  It needs to be bigger / stronger / faster to be better prepared for your next training session.  Your body does the majority of your cell regeneration (repair) at night while you’re at rest (sleeping).  The preferred energy source of your body for muscle repair are FAT STORES.  Isn’t that the goal?  Burning fat? 

So, that’s how we’re really going to multiply the effects of our training.  If we use the maximum amount of fibers during our training, we use more of a full body workout.  You’re burning the maximum amount of sugar, the maximum number of calories.  If you take your intensity as close as you can to the maximum capacity of that muscle, create those micro trauma tears, then at night while you sleep, you’re getting your body recovered.  Your body predominantly uses fat stores to make those repairs. So, not only are we using up the maximum amount stored energy (calories) in the muscle we have, we are now creating the need for muscle repair (muscle building) which our body uses FAT STORES directly to perform.  We are building new muscle that requires energy (calories) to maintain raising our metabolic rate 24 hours per day, turning you into a FAT BURNING machine.

The Greater The Resistance = The Greater Activation

The difference between a 20 lb., 30 lb., 40 lb. and 50 lb. dumbbell, the heavier you go, the more resistance you have.  No matter the type of resistance, whether it be body weight, a resistance band, a dumbbell or a machine, the greater resistance, the greater activation you will get.  The greater number of muscle fibers that will be fired equals a greater amount of sugar (calories) that you burn in that workout.  Now, you can maximize that by using full body or compound movements within a full body workout. Squats, Leg Press, Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Cable Pull Downs, Pull Ups, Bent Over Barbell Rows, Cable Rows and Dead Lifts are all great examples of large compound movements that require the involvement of the greatest amount of muscle groups for each movement.  Building your workouts around these large compound movements will definitely take your results to the next level over using small isolation movements like dumbbell curls and dumbbell flies. 

I recommend most people, “general public”, start with at least three days per week of full body training based around the compound movements discussed above.  The more muscle groups that you train in any session with high intensity and heavy loads the more calories are burned during that workout session.  Of course, along the way, yes you will need to progress as you make progress and your body adapts to your weight training.  The next progression would be towards an upper body / lower body split which then allows more focus to be put on each on different days respectively.  Beyond that is where you get into a push / pull / legs split and on to the more traditional “BRO SPLITS”.

If you have any questions about anything on this board, do not hesitate to shoot me an email at anchoredinmuscle@gmail.com.