When it comes to getting fit, Anything is better than nothing… Building Habits.

Have a think about every time you might have had the urge to get fitter. Maybe you saw something on the TV and thought, yes! I will get up tomorrow, find a fitness plan and go get fit!! Only to end up 2 days later with zero enthusiasm and that wonderful buzz you had days earlier very far away. Well for a great number of people that aren’t used to fitness or working out this is very often the case due to over judging- 1: their own want to actually do exercise and- 2: From over loading the amount of exercise that they are doing right at the start of a fitness plan😑

The joy of realising that you want to get fitter and achieve a healthier lifestyle is often the actual killer of the new dream too because we take on too much at the very beginning!

Like most new scenarios we venture into, at the start we jump in with both feet only to soon enough become overwhelmed with all the new information and struggle to keep the excited edge that had initiated the process in the first place. The same happens with fitness, the initial buzz is amazing but the more information we receive on the subject the more we dilute what we practice and lose site of the actual reason for starting.

Creating a healthy lifestyle for now and our future selves needs to be seen as a marathon and definitely not a sprint.

Firstly, let’s try flipping how we initially go about our desire to be fitter and healthier.

Rather than jumping in with two feet, let’s just dip a toe in the beginning and do 1 workout a week for 4 weeks for just 20 minutes, that’s all but make sure that this workout is DONE! Pick a day and a time that you can stick to and start from there. The workout or cardio can be anything you like , your favourite exercises or ones you find easier to do are perfect because there will be absolutely no reason for you to talk yourself out of it.

MONTH 1- BUILDING HABIT

1 X 20 minutes favourite exercises a week

Length 4 weeks- Total workouts= 4

Allow a total of 30 minutes for a warm up before and a warm down after🤗

Although this might not seem much, the focus is on the completion of the session rather than the volume (amount) . With a very small amount of pressure on the volume you can add a manageable amount of fitness to any lifestyle or time restrained schedule.

The ultimate aim to this first step is to build a dedicated bond with the process. By taking away the usual factors that creep into keeping up with a heavy scheduled fitness program ( too busy/too tired/had enough/not enough time) you can have a good feeling about working out knowing exactly when you are going to be doing it, with no stress will make it something you will look forward to! (Maybe, that’s not guaranteed 😊)

Basic exercises
Here are some basic exercises to get you started 😊

Before doing any physical fitness make sure you are capable and in good health. Never work out or take on fitness programs when ill or feeling unwell. Always warm up before and warm down after.

Hydrate,Hydrate,Hydrate! Water is the best, so don’t forget it, before, during and after your workout!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and how you do on your fitness journey so leave us a comment, or if you want give us a follow for new posts straight to your inbox!

Delicious and Quick Savory Chicken

SAVORY CHICKEN RECIPE

Quick and Delicious 😋

On the last-minute rush? This tangy yet delicious chicken recipe will come together within less than half an hour. Check out the method here.

Course: Main dish

Prep Time: 0 hours 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 0 hours 40 minutes 

Total: 00 hours 50 minutes

Servings: 4

Allergens: Low-calorie

For beginner, intermediate, and professional cooks

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 tbsps. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsps. ketchup
  • 4 skinless and boneless halved chicken breast 
  • 2 tbsps. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsps. white sugar

METHOD

Step 1:

Onions

Heat some oil then sauté the onions until golden brown

Step 2:

Preparing the chicken

Next, add the chicken in then fry until they’re golden brown.

Step 3:

Serving

Get the soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, lemon juice, and pepper, mix them up, then pour over the chicken.

Let it simmer for 25 to 35 minutes.

Accompany with:

Best served with whole pasta, or steamed rice

Suited For:

A regular daily routine and a high intensity work out

Nutritional Information

Calories-256

Carbs-16.5g

Protein-29g

Fat-8.5g

Fiber-0.8g

Healthy and Tasty!

Try this diet technique for gradual,safe weight loss.

It takes work to make it happen
Consistency is Key!

Reverse Dieting – How To Keep Your Metabolism Fast

When the quest at hand is achieving a normal body composition (normal ratios of fat and muscle), dieting in order to lose the excess fat is inevitable.

However, a frequent occurrence after a period of weight loss, is the weight gain rebound.

This is often known as “Yo-Yo dieting” and it basically leads to gaining all the weight back in twice as less time as it took to lose it.

In this article, we’re going to give you valuable insight on how to keep the weight off after a diet, with one simple method – Reverse dieting!

Now let’s get to it.
Why Does The Rebound Happen?

Though you may associate weight loss with better looks and feeling better in your own skin, a diet really means starvation for the body.

The more weight you lose, the more you’re priming your fat-storing mechanisms, because the body perceives the deficit of energy as a period of starvation, as we just said.

Since the body gets less calories from food than it is used to, metabolic adaptations start happening.

In simple terms, this means that the body slows down the metabolism and what was once a caloric deficit becomes your maintenance calories.

The more time you spend on a diet, the more you have to decrease food.

So, How Can You Counter This?

If you want to preserve your metabolic rate, there are a couple of things you can do, one during the diet and one in the period after the diet.

Those two things are:

Diet breaks
Reverse dieting

Diet Breaks

Though it may sound quite misleading, diet breaks are periods during your diet, when you bump up your calories back to baseline, maintenance level.

This helps your body keep the metabolic rate up and thus, prevents the risk of excessive caloric decrease.

Now of course, a diet break doesn’t really mean you can ditch the diet and totally go crazy on your food consumption.

Again, a diet break is simply a period where you consume slightly more food, in amounts that won’t lead to drastic changes in weight.

Diet breaks are best implemented every couple of weeks, for a couple of weeks.

For instance, if you’ve been consistently losing weight for 2-3 weeks, you can afford to have a 2-3 week diet break, during which you’ll consume at maintenance and train with a slightly higher intensity.

Though this will make the total time dieting longer, it will minimize the risk of a weight gain rebound.

Reverse Dieting

After your diet is over and you reach your desired shape, you can’t just ditch everything altogether.

You have to understand that keeping the weight off is a matter of sticking to the same habits that helped you lose it in the first place.

While dieting implies a gradual decrease in your caloric intake overtime, reverse dieting is, well, the exact opposite!

After your diet is over, it is time to gradually bump up your calories and training intensity.

This will help you increase your food intake, WITHOUT risking a weight gain rebound.

The goal of a reverse diet is to help you increase your food consumption, without drastic changes in weight.

To do so, follow these simple steps:

Each week, increase your calories by 50-80 (Stacks up to ~400 extra calories in 5 weeks)
Workout to workout, increase your working weight, sets and repetitions
Stay consistent

Just like your dieting phase, during the reverse dieting phase you have to still monitor your weight and if there are sudden changes, adjustments should follow. (i.e if you’re losing more and more weight, you should bump up food intake and vice versa – if you’re gaining too much weight, food intake should be decreased)

Conclusion

In many cases, reckless dieting leads to unwanted weight gain rebounds, that make all your hard work worthless.

To avoid this, you have to make sure that your deficit is not overly aggressive (up to 500 calories per day), while also including dieting breaks every 2-3 weeks of being in a caloric deficit.

After your diet is over, you should gradually increase your caloric intake and training output, while monitoring your weight and adjusting the diet as needed.

Ultimately, sustainable weight loss is a slow, gradual process which is supported with proper habitual changes, sustained even after the diet is over.

Our thoughts-

We know Weight loss and dieting can be a long , hard and mentally frustrating journey, but in general as long as you keep physically active and engage in a regular series of Resistance trading and cardio based exercise while eating a healthy and balanced selection of food groups that keep you in a small deficit there is no reason why you should not gradually start to see a difference in weight and body shape. The main factor in this process is time, it is all too easy to get disheartened by slow progress and go back to old bad habits but if you can be determined enough to stick to the basics then you will reap the rewards of a long term healthier lifestyle and will have enough behind you to make this your new normal. And remember to have at least 1 cheat day a week, not a total blow out day but just enough to look forward to, to keep you on the right path.

Have a great week and here’s to a healthier YOU!

We would love to hear from you about your journey to fitness, so please leave us a comment about your tips and techniques that helped you!

Barbells and Dumbbells. What to use and why.

A picture of weights
What do you prefer?

Barbells VS Dumbbells – Which One’s Better?

In the modern-day world, training your body usually happens in the gym, where you have a variety of dumbbell, barbell and machine exercises.

In the context of free weight however, there has been one question floating around – What’s better, barbells or dumbbells?

If you’ve asked yourself this, keep reading because in this article we’ll underline the differences and benefits of both barbells and dumbbells, to help you create your perfect workout plan.

The Specifics
One of the main rules of weight training is to use a variety of equipment, angles and types of grip.

The reason why this is important, is because even a slight change in the grip or angle of a given exercise, changes the specifics of that same exercise.

What this means is that a different type of equipment or a different angle/grip will shift the tension towards different muscles/zones of the worked muscle group.

For instance, the flat bench press will mainly engage your mid and lower chest, while also engaging the triceps and shoulders.

However, an incline bench press will put more tension on the upper portion of the chest, along with increased tension for the shoulders.

From this information, we can conclude that both barbells and dumbbells have their application and there really isn’t a “better” one.

The point is to use each type of equipment for its designated purposes, in accordance with what your goal is.



The Benefits Of Barbells

Barbells are without a doubt one of the most effective ways to stimulate the musculature, whether we’re talking about muscle growth or training during the fat loss phase.


Here’s why:

Barbells allow you to lift heavier weights

Because there is generally a fixed point between the working limbs, barbells allow you to lift heavier weights in general.

This is also perhaps because of the fact that barbell exercises are more stabilized by nature, thus allowing your body to activate more of your fast-twitch muscle fibers.

You can check this for yourself – If you’re barbell bench pressing 80 kg for reps, odds are that you won’t be able to dumbbell press 40 kg on each hand as easily.

Easier Realization Of Training Principles

When it comes to muscular development, there is one very important principle to consider.

That is namely progressive overload, which implies that you should, overtime, progressively increase the demand upon the musculature (i.e increasing weight, reps, sets, etc.)

Because barbells allow you to lift heavier weights with more stability, increasing your workload is an easy task with barbells, as opposed to dumbbells

Both of these benefits allow for greater working volume overall, which means that barbells are especially good during periods of gaining muscle mass.

The Benefits Of Dumbbells

Though barbells have a load of benefits when it comes to muscular development, that doesn’t mean dumbbells should be totally excluded.

Here are the main benefits of dumbbells:

Bringing up weaker muscle groups

Because dumbbells inevitably make you use each side of your body separately, they can be one of your best picks when you’re trying to bring up your weaker side.

The individual load on each side simply doesn’t allow your stronger side to overtake the movement, thus creating sufficient stimulation on the side that creates asymmetry.

Muscle Unit Activation

One of the most crucial factors when it comes to lifting heavy weights, is the muscle unit (muscle fiber) activation.

With barbells, movements are generally fixed in a shorter range of motion, while dumbbells allow for greater movement of the arms.

This therefore grants increased muscle activation, even on fundamental exercises like the bench press.

Main Points to take from this-

In the context of better overall development, there isn’t really a winner in the fight between barbells vs. dumbbells…

Both have their benefits, which is why you should rather rely on a mix of the two, in your workout regimen.

Use barbells when you want to heavily target progressive overload and lift the heaviest weight possible.

Use dumbbells when you want to bring up your weaker side and work more on joint stability, rather than maximum strength.

Tell us your favorite barbell/dumbbell exercises in the comment section below!

We hope that you have enjoyed this content, whether you stumbled across it looking for fitness answers or you have enjoyed our site before. Either way, we would love to hear your thoughts on things that you would like to read and see on our site so that we can improve your experience and offer content that excites and informs all of our readers. We are working on new ways to leave your views on our site and are going to increase the ease in which you can do it, until then, feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments section. Till next time…

Perfect warm up before Working Out.

A woman warming up

How To Warm Up Before A Workout.

Have you ever gotten deep into an intense workout, only to experience a sharp pain in a certain joint or tendon?

Well, if that sounds familiar, odds are that you have not warmed up well and have thus increased your risk of injury.

In this article, we’re going to give you insight on how to properly prime your body for a workout, in order to maximize your output and minimize the chance of injury.

What Happens When We Train?

When you are working out, what you’re doing is activating certain muscles and systems in the body that make it possible to provide energy and force for the movement/exercise you’re doing.

In the case of weight training, you’re activating your muscle fibers and your central nervous system, along with the cardiovascular system and energy pathways that grant sustained energy for muscular contraction.

From that point of view, the goals of a warm up are the following:

Activating the muscle fibers
Activating the central nervous system
Gradually increasing heart rate
Gradually increasing respiratory rate

Stretching Before A Workout.

Many people consider stretching to be one of the most important elements of your warm-up routine.

However, the truth is that stretching can actually be COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to your workout, due to the fact that it RELAXES the muscles.

That is to say that if you just stretch before a workout, you won’t really improve your strength output.

What You SHOULD Do Instead.
Now, of course, we are not telling you to ditch stretching altogether, but instead, try to also FLEX the muscles after stretching.

This is what we refer to as dynamic stretching, which involves both parts of the muscles’ range of motion – The stretch and the contraction.

The combination of these two phases, will allow you to prime the muscles for work, by activating the muscle fibers and stimulating the central nervous system.

On top of that, once you get into the exercises, you can start off with up to 3-4 warm-up sets, where you gradually increase the working weight.
Try This Warm-Up Routine

With the goals of priming your entire body for an intense workout, there are a couple of logical steps to take.

Do some cardio.

To warm up the body, get the blood flowing and increase your heart and respiratory rates, low-intensity cardio is one of your best bets before a workout.

Do up to 5-10 minutes of slow-paced cardio, such as jogging, rope jumping or cycling.

Remember though, don’t overdo cardio before a workout, because that can rob you of energy for your heavier lifts.

Do Dynamic Stretching.

As we already mentioned, dynamic stretching is one of the best practices to include in your warm-up.

Make sure to get each joint through its entire range of motion, by activating and then stretching the muscle groups attached to that joint.

For instance, if you’re training your chest, open your arms out to stretch the chest, and then push them towards the midline of the body to contract even the deepest fibers of your chest muscles.

This will grant sufficient activation for you to move into the warm-up sets of your first exercise.

Do Warm-Up Sets.
After you’re done with your general warm up that consists of cardio and dynamic stretching, it is time to get into the actual exercises.

For the first couple of sets, start off with a light weight (i.e an empty barbell) and with each set, gradually increase the weight, until you reach your working weight.

Though light, try and do those warm-up sets more explosively, as that will further activate your nervous system and muscle fibers, thus granting better output for the working sets.

For instance, if you can bench press 70 kg for 10 repetitions, do the following pyramid:

Set 1 – Empty bar, 15 reps
Set 2 – 30 kg bar, 15 reps
Set 3 – 50 kg bar, 10 reps

After the third set, you can bump the weight up and start your working sets, where the goal is to be near failure at the last repetition.

Conclusion.

If you cold-start a car and instantly start running it into the redline, odds are that something will eventually break, faster than it would if you waited a couple of minutes for the car to warm up.

The same goes for the body – If you’re planning to go through an intense training bout, you are better off gradually priming all the systems and tissues involved in this training activity.

The best way to do so, is to create a warm-up routine that consists of cardio, along with stretching and flexing of the musculature, after which, you can gradually move into your heavier exercises.

THIS is how you prime the body for peak performance, without risking the chance of injury.

What is YOUR favorite warm-up routine? Let us know in the comments below!



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