How Your Body Uses Energy As You Continue to Train

When you first start working out, your body will go through a number of changes. These changes are designed to provide you with more energy and your ability to recruit that energy as and when you need it, is one of the biggest factors in determining how fit you are and how well you’re able to train. It’s also what controls the amount of fat you’re able to lose in any given amount of time!

Let’s see how this works and what you can do to improve it… body

The ATP-CP System

Essentially, the body finds its energy using three separate systems and it goes through these three systems in order.

When you first start exercising, you will begin using what is known as the ‘ATP-CP’ system. This stands for adenosine triphosphate creatine phosphate system. Catchy!

Adenosine triphosphate is the most fundamental form of energy known to biology. This is what glucose must be broken down into in order to be used by the body and a fair amount of it exists inside your muscles at all times. As soon as you start exercising, you utilize that ATP and this provides up to a couple of seconds of power. CP – creatine phosphate – allows us to recycle ATP and is also stored in the muscles ready to use.

The ATP-CP system is the most energy efficient and provides us with energy without making us gasp or feel unwell.

The Glycogen Lactic Acid System

The glycogen lactic acid system works by using glycogen stored in the muscles. This is the second most energy efficient source but has the unwanted side effect of producing lactate and other metabolites as a by-product. Lactate makes us feel unwell if we keep pushing ourselves and correlates with other metabolites that can make the muscle feel like it’s burning.

We can usually use this system of energy for a couple of minutes before the lactate becomes too much or the burn becomes too much. It is possible to improve your tolerance to this however, with training.

The Aerobic System

Finally, we switch to the aerobic system. This is the energy system most of us are most familiar with and it works by utilizing oxygen in the blood in order to burn fat stores for energy. This is why it makes us start breathing more heavily and increases our heart rate.

The aerobic system is the least energy efficient and it takes time for the energy to be delivered. Thus we are forced to slow down once we reach this state. However, it is also the type of energy system that we are able to sustain the longest. In fact, we can continue with this kind of exercise indefinitely or until we collapse from a complete lack of body fat!

HIIT

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is so effective because it involves switching from the first two types of energy (anaerobic energy) to the last kind. This enables you to deplete both your glycogen and your fat stores and thus does both more effectively.

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How to Manage Stressful Situations

Stress is a common feeling that every human being experiences. As we all know from experience, stress can impact your life negatively and it should, therefore, be dealt with properly. Stress may be unavoidable but how it is handled is our choice. Managing stressful situations is all about taking charge of your thoughts, lifestyle, emotions, and the way you handle problems.

When faced with a stressful situation at work or in your personal life, it is very common to worry, panic and be fearful which can result in poor performance and inaction. To avoid this, here are a few tips that can help you manage stress.stressful

Determine the Sources of Stress in your Life

Identifying the sources of stress should be the first step before you know how you will deal with them. It can be easy to identify the major stressful situations like moving from home, changing jobs, or losing a loved one, but identifying the day to day stress can prove to be hard. In order to recognize your true source of stress you should look into your attitude, habits, and excuses.

Take Care of Yourself

You will be able to handle stress better if you are in good physical and mental shape. Looking after yourself by having fun, building time for relaxation, exercising, eating healthily, and attaining a balance between your personal and work life is important.

Be a Positive Thinker

Positive thinking makes one feel confident and in control. You should envision a positive outcome to a stressful situation and focus on your successes rather than your failures. Focusing on obstacles that you have overcome also helps you feel in control.

Connect with Others

Social engagement is the most efficient and quickest way to reduce stress and to avoid overreacting to both external and internal events that you recognize as threatening. Expressing what you are feeling or going through to a person that you know will understand you can be very helpful. You should, therefore, reach out to friends and family more and connect with them regularly in person.

Accept Things You Cannot Change

Some sources of stress in our lives are unavoidable and can’t be changed. The best way to cope with such stress is to accept things the way they are. Acceptance may prove to be difficult but in the long run, it is a better way than trying to fix a situation that you can’t change.

Practice Forgiveness

Accepting that we all live in an imperfect world where people make mistakes is a good way of perceiving things. Let go of resentments and anger by forgiving and moving on with your life.

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Top Hacks for Weight Loss

Looking to lose weight fast? Then unfortunately there is no substitute for simple exercise and healthy eating. While this is true though, it’s also true that you can make life a little easier for yourself with a few smart tricks to speed up the process and help you lose weight more efficiently.

Read on and we’ll take a look at some of the best hacks out there for more rapidly melting away fat…weight

Cut Out Sugary Drinks

Did you know that a soda drink like 7Up has as much sugar in it as multiple Cream Eggs? Too often we forget about what we drink but actually, this is often responsible for a lot of additional calories.

Just as important as this are creamy coffees like cappuccinos which are also very calorific and of course alcoholic beverages like beer.

Switch to water and you’ll instantly burn a lot more calories!

And the Rest

There are other sources of calories that are very often overlooked. These include things like butter on your bread and sugar in your tea.

Make sure that all calories are accounted for!

Eat More Slowly

Eating more slowly can help you to feel fuller and digest your food better meaning you get greater vitamin and mineral absorption.

If you struggle with this, make a conscious effort to chew a certain number of times on each mouthful.

Drink More Water

Drinking more water will accelerate your metabolism and once more help you to digest your food better and break it down more.

Exercise First Thing in the Morning

While you sleep, you are not able to eat. This means that you are essentially fasting and when you wake up, you will have very low blood sugar and a high amount of fat-burning hormones like adrenaline.

If you exercise during this time, then your body will have no choice but to burn fat. Studies show that as a result, fasted cardio helps you to burn more fat and more calories than regular exercise. Try going for a run first thing in the morning.

Eat Carbs After Exercise

Another reason that fasted cardio works well is that it lends itself perfectly to carb backloading.

This is a system where you consume carbohydrates only after intensive exercise. By doing this, you are able to ensure that the calories you consume are used to replenish depleted stores of glycogen in your cells – rather than being stored as fat.

Double up on these strategies by running early in the morning before breakfast and then eating something with complex carbs when you finish.

Take Cold Showers

A cold shower will not only burn calories directly (as the body uses energy to try and heat itself back up) but will also increase the release of adrenaline and not to mention testosterone.

Sleep More

One of the times we burn the most fat is when we sleep, so make sure you are getting enough and that the quality is high too.

Walk

Finally, note that one of the very best ways to burn fat is to walk more. Look for ways to fit more walking into your routine and you’ll burn fat without tiring yourself out!

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How to Design a MetCon Circuit for Maximum Weight Loss and Muscle Building

If you take a look on YouTube for a workout, you’ll find that they often come in the form of ‘ten-minute whole body routines’ and the like. These are designed as a circuit and they usually incorporate a range of exercises such as squats, clapping press ups, bicep curls and tuck jumps.

In theory, this type of workout can be highly beneficial for both building muscle and burning fat. That’s because it comes very close to mimicking a HIIT workout – encouraging short bursts of high intensity, followed by short resting periods. At the same time, the lack of rest increases the intensity and potentially allows for some real muscle damage and metabolic stress in a short amount of time. circuit

But not all of these workouts are made equal and some of them simply don’t work all that well. Be careful when finding workouts online!

Read on and we’ll see how to design a workout that does work, that uses these principles.

How to Burn Fat With a Circuit

Workouts that are designed to use high intensity intervals combined with resistance training and calisthenics are called ‘metcon’. This stands for ‘metabolic conditioning’ and should in theory improve your metabolism.

If you want to create a workout that falls into this category though, then you need to make sure that you are actually fulfilling the criteria of ‘metabolic conditioning’. This means that you need to be reaching 90-100% of your maximum heartrate during your exercise. You’re not going to do that with lunges and sit-ups, so make sure you include something like tuck jumps, like clapping press ups or like high knees.

The other thing to keep in mind though, is that you can’t maintain 90-100% MHR for more than a minute in most cases. Thus it’s important to provide breaks in your workout routine, so that some stations can be considered ‘active recovery’. An example might be to follow something like clapping press ups with something like plank.

More Tips

Another tip is to make sure that your circuit targets as many muscle groups as possible. The more different muscle you involve in your routines, the more you will stimulate the body to produce growth hormone and testosterone, which will lead to more muscle growth, even while you’re sleeping.

Another thing to do is to try and alternate the order that you hit each muscle group in so that you are switching from upper body to legs. This means that the body will have to direct blood from your arms down to your legs and back again – getting your heart to work harder and ultimately burning more calories as a result.

Finally, try to avoid adding any complex multi-joint exercises that are prone to injury at a point in the routine where you’re likely to be tired. If you’re going to perform dead-lifts, then make sure that you do so at the start of the workout before you are exhausted. Doing dead-lifts tired is a quick way to snap your back!

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The Body of a Fighter

When we say ‘body of a fighter’, we are not really referring to boxers. Boxers tend to have a higher body fat percentage and more rounded look. Rather, we are talking about martial artists who tend to look highly honed and lean. These are fast and powerful fighters that look healthy and mean.

They also tend to have certain features that are more dominant than others. As well as low body fat, they tend to have large triceps, pecs like armor plating and ripped mid-sections.fighter

How to Develop Speed and Power

The most important principle to keep in mind when looking to transform the body is ‘SAID’. This stands for ‘Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands’.

In other words, the challenges you face the body with will trigger changes that make it better able to cope with those same challenges in future.

Thus, one of the best ways to get a fighters’ body is to hit a punch bag. This is a great way to develop hand-eye coordination, to build muscle in the shoulders, pecs, abs and triceps and to burn fat through ‘concurrent training’ (cardio with added resistance).

To get started, find some combinations and throw these repeatedly until you are too tired to continue. Remember to use your hips and legs to drive the punches forward.

Combine this with lifting heavy weights using compound movements. This will train the entire body in unison while demanding maximum muscle fiber recruitment and coordination from the body.

Diet

On top of the correct training, it is also crucial for a fighter to eat the right diet. This should be a diet that is high in protein to support muscle synthesis, as well as complex carbohydrates and fats to provide a steady supply of energy for training.

As is always the case, simple carbohydrates such as cake and chocolate should be left out – as these provide no benefit for the body while encouraging weight gain!

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How to Burn Fat Without Losing Muscle

A lot of bodybuilders still rely on going through bulking and cutting cycles in order to get the incredible muscle physiques that they display on stage.

This makes sense because it is the quickest and most efficient way to add muscle. Adding muscle means being in a calorie surplus. The more calories you consume, the more anabolic your body will be – the more testosterone will be washing around your body and the less likely you will be to burn muscle for fuel. But of course, eating extra calories makes it even harder not to gain any fat – and especially when you’re getting them from sugar ‘weight gainer’ products and the like. muscle

Fortunately, this isn’t a problem for bodybuilders. They simply follow this period up with a period of dieting hard, which causes their body to burn the fat away from the muscle. A tiny bit of muscle is lost but mainly, it’s fat that will disappear. Hence the ‘bulk and cut’.

But you’re not a bodybuilder (probably). You probably don’t want to spend half the year looking overweight. So how can you use cardio to stay lean and add muscle at the same time?

The Problem With Cardio

The reason that most bodybuilders will stay away from intensive cardio when they’re bulking is that it puts the body once again in a catabolic state. When you run using steady state cardio, your body will supply energy by turning to your blood sugar and your fat stores.

Unfortunately, this means your blood sugar drops. And when your blood sugar drops, your body responds by releasing ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Ghrelin release is always followed by cortisol (the stress hormone) and cortisol is followed by myostatin – a molecule that signals the breakdown of muscle. The more myostatin, the more muscle you lose.

Add to the fact that your body will get 15% of its energy from protein and you have a scenario that is not good for building muscle.

The Answer

There are a few solutions.

One such option is to walk. Walking will allow you to burn energy at a much slower rate and avoid completely depleting your energy stores. This means you never get to the point where you have very low blood sugar and you never start cannibalizing that hard-won muscle.

Another option is to use HIIT. This is High Intensity Interval Training, which means alternating between spurts of sprinting and periods of jogging. The good thing about this is that the sprinting portion doesn’t burn blood sugar or muscle and instead relies on energy stored as glycogen. You’ll spend less time in a catabolic state and lose less muscle as a result – and so many bodybuilders will use HIIT ‘finishers’ following a workout.

Finally, you can also use nutrition to protect yourself and reduce your chances of losing muscle. The best way to do this is by consuming BCAAs – branch chained amino acids. These have been shown to have a very positive effect in reducing muscle breakdown during exercise.

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The Benefits of Eating Six Small Meals Each Day

Starving yourself is not a healthy way to restrict how many calories you consume. Research now shows that eating 6 smaller meals a day can help you achieve your summer weight loss goals, as opposed to the traditional thinking that 3 complete meals a day is best. You can seriously put your health at risk if you limit your calorie consumption too drastically.

More and more people are victims of a “roller coaster diet” while trying to lose weight. Diet plans that restrict your calories decrease your body’s metabolism, and as a result your body will experience starvation. When this occurs, your body doesn’t use a lot of calories, and that leads to extreme hunger.eating

To increase your body’s metabolic rate, you should eat 5 or 6 smaller meals each day. Your metabolism will increase, and thus burn more calories all day long. You can further increase your metabolism by eating foods high in protein during your 6 meals.

Eating regularly will boost your metabolism due to the thermic effect of food.

You need a lot of calories to digest and absorb food, creating the thermic effect.

Different foods have different percentages of thermic effect, ranging from 3 to 30 percent. High protein foods have a 30 percent thermic effect. Some examples are turkey, salmon, and tuna. By simply digesting, 30 percent of the calories in these foods are burned. 20 percent of the calories found in fibrous and complex carbohydrates are burned during digestion. Some examples of these foods are corn, broccoli, green beans, and spinach. Foods with a very low thermic effect include refined carbohydrates and fats. This is the reason why dietary fat is stored so easily.

Your level of hunger will diminish while your energy level rises when you eat 5-6 smaller meals each day. You will also be able to maintain balanced blood sugar levels, which will help prevent hunger.

You can develop muscle to increase your metabolism. By eating regularly, you can maintain insulin levels which produce amino acids into your muscle’s cells, thus promoting muscle growth. Eating every 3 hours will yield a steady output of insulin. This is good for muscle growth and storing glycogen. As a result of eating healthy foods regularly, your summer weight loss goals will be easier to accomplish, and your body will be able to process vitamins and minerals more effectively.

The trick is to make sure you have a constant eating schedule. It might be difficult at first, but planning your meals will be well worth it. To prevent cravings and hunger, it’s good habit to feed your body foods that are rich in nutrients. A summer weight loss plan including a diet of healthy fats, vegetables, fruit, and lean protein is the best way to go. Eating such a diet with 5-6 meals each day can accelerate your muscle growth. It can increase your energy level, increase your metabolism, and you’ll burn half of the calories by eating regularly, and store very little fat.

Combine your diet with strength training and cardiovascular exercise to make it even more effective! Using these three methods, you’ll be on the fast track to burning fat and accomplishing your summer weight loss goals.

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How to Get Six Pack Abs

Most guys say that they want to lose their belly fat and would like to get a flat stomach. While this is an understandable aim however, it is also a rather unambitious one. Because surely what most guys would really like is to have a ripped set of six pack abs!

A six pack is one of the best indicators of overall health and fitness. It’s a look that the opposite sex finds highly attractive and that is most often sported by Hollywood actors, cover models and top actors.abs

It also happens to be functionally very useful and able to improve your performance in just about every movement and sport.

So how do you go about getting the look?

Diet

The first thing of course is to diet. That means you need to try to maintain a rough caloric deficit, as well as concentrating on precisely how and when you are eating your food in order to try and ensure that you don’t encourage your body to store any more fat than necessary.

Doing this will allow you to lower your body fat percentage and this is important because it is what will allow you to get your abs to show through your stomach.

Often you will hear that you will have visible abs as long as your body fat is sub 10%.

This is true, as at this low level of fat, even underdeveloped abs will protrude and be visible. However, if you combine exercise as well (see the next section), then you won’t need to get your percentage that low.

Someone like Chris Evans (Captain America) is a great example of how good your abs can look at around 12-15%.

Exercise

With that in mind then, you also need to focus on training your abs to increase their strength and make them thicker and thus more visible. To see how this can look, try contracting your abs right now.

You’ll find they instantly become more visible, which shows just what a difference the size of these muscles makes.

Your abs are actually made up from multiple muscle groups, but the part that creates the six-pack look is called the rectus abdominis. This is the sheet of muscle on the front of the stomach that is used in order to prevent the body from bending backwards and to help us lean forward.

To train this area then, you need to perform exercise that involve bending forward such as sit ups and crunches. What’s important is to make sure you feel the rectus abdominis doing the work and that you are folding at the stomach.

In other words, do not allow yourself to bend at the hips, in which case you won’t really be working the abs at all.

Another tip is to train the transverse abdominis too. This is the band of muscle that wraps around the core and that holds the stomach in while supporting the back.

This is what will help to keep your stomach flat, while the rectus abdominis gives it the detail.

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How HIIT Challenges the Body and Improves Fat Loss

If you’ve read just about any fitness blog, magazine or website in recent years, then you’ll likely have come across HIIT. HIIT: high intensity interval training. Sprinting at maximum heart rate for a short period of time and then switching to a slower form of exercise for a couple of minutes to recover before starting the whole cycle again.

This type of training is all the rage because it is known to burn more calories in less time when compared with steady state cardio. And it’s great for our VO2 max, mitochondrial function and more.hiit

But why? How does it work? What makes it so special?

What Happens When You Push it Hard

When you engage in HIIT, you start out by pushing hard and going at or near to your maximum heart rate. This is what makes all the difference, as now you are depleting your body of all of its readily available energy in order to drive those fast twitch muscle fibers. This is anaerobic training and it relies on ATP stored in the muscles, as well as glycogen.

After this, you then switch to your regular exercise at around 70% of your maximum heart rate. This is a steady pace that you can maintain, that burns fat using the aerobic system and that allows you to recover and reduce the lactate and other metabolites that build up in your blood during intensive exercise.

Welcome to After Burn

Steady state cardio is normally something you can maintain for a long time before you start to tire out and this is why a lot of people will exercise by running at a steady pace for 40-60 minutes.

If you do this after having done high intensity training however, you will be running at a point when you have very little available energy in your muscles and in your blood. All the glycogen has been used up and thus you have to rely even more on fat in order to keep going. Your body becomes more efficient at burning fat and you see greater benefits from the short amount of training that comes after.

But this isn’t even the best bit. What’s so good about HIIT is that this after burn effect continues for hours after you finish training. You’re now going about your usual activities with less glycogen, which means you’ll burn more fat even to do regular things like picking up a fork, or walking across the room!

Athletic Benefits

HIIT is also great for numerous other reasons. For starters, the explosive nature of the training means that you’re involving your fast twitch muscle fibers. This means that you’ll release more anabolic hormones like growth hormone and like testosterone, leading to more growth. And because you’re not completely relying on your blood sugar, you’re not going to go into as catabolic a state and risk burning fat.

Another benefit of HIIT is that it improves your energy efficiency. Because you’re pushing your cells to make energy more quickly, they become better at doing just that – improving your health, fitness and athletic performance across the board!

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The Importance of Good Eating Habits and How to Inculcate Them

Eating right is the key to healthy living and good eating habits go a long way in improving our health and nourishing the body. A fit and active lifestyle demand right nutrition for the body to function. A good eating habit reduces our daily burden as it becomes a part of our routine and no extra efforts are needed to follow the habit.

The first step to developing good eating habits is to make sure that all meals are in sync with your body needs. An athletic lifestyle needs extra nutrition to support the muscles while a sedentary lifestyle can function with less calorie intake.eating

There are many ways to develop good eating habits which give the body adequate nutrition and energy. One way is to balance the meals in terms of nutrients. A good diet must include 45% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 35% fats. All these nutrients are necessary for the body and the lack of any one of them can harm the body in the long run.

The next way to develop good eating habits is to maintain a food diary. Recording our meals gives us an insight about how and what we are eating every day. It helps to reduce calories from the diet easily by cutting down on processed sugars and artificial foods.

Another easy way to make sure that the body gets complete nutrition is to include more greens in your diet. Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals and keep you full for longer. This reduces your cravings for sugar and fatty foods. One more approach towards healthy eating is to set a limit for yourself. Setting a calorie intake limit as per your body weight keeps us in control and reminds us of our goals. Choosing a smaller plate for eating your meals is proven to reduce the food intake drastically.

The last and the most important step towards good eating is to hydrate your body. Make it a habit of drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day. Set a reminder on your phone at intervals to remind you about water intake. Water aids in digestion and improves metabolism.

So these are the 5 ways to develop good eating habits for your body and health. Eating right and exercising regularly increase the immunity and endurance of the body. They also help to maintain your overall health and reduce the chances of many lifestyle-related diseases like stress and cardiac problems.

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