Stability, Core & Resistance
*Exercise Ball Exercises: Seated Crunches, Side Crunches, Back Extensions, Stability Ball Shoulder Press, Stability Ball mountain climbers, Squat & Reach
Swiss / Stability Ball – The greatest benefit of training with a stability or swiss ball is that it helps target your core muscles that are essential for stability and flexibility. Another added bonus is that you can incorporate your stability ball with other equipment at your gym such as dumbbells, barbells and other free-weights to augment your typical workout.
*Kettle Bell Exercises: Dead Lift, Bent Row, Front Squat, Single Sided Ab Cross-over
Kettlebells, for as simple as they are, often look like intimidating pieces of equipment. However, they’re simple to use just like a regular dumbbell and actually make traditional dumbbell exercises more challenging. Since the weight in a kettlebell is not evenly distributed you are forced to engage accessory stabilization muscles to workout harder. Kettle bells can be used to target your arms, shoulders, back, gluts, and core muscles.
*Medicine Ball: JackKnife Crunches w Medicine Ball, Medicine Ball front squats, Russian Twists, Medicine Ball Abdominal-Toss, Wood-Choppers with Medicine Ball.
Like Kettlebells, medicine balls are weighted and can be used for a variety of exercises. They vary in weight depending on your intended use and proficiency. Medicine Balls are often used in tandem with core abdominal exercises to add resistance and increase muscle tone.
Resistance & Strength
*Resistance Band Exercises: Resistance Band Chest Flys (Incline, Flat & Decline), Tricep Extensions, Tricep Kick Backs, Bicep Curls, Reverse Back-Flys, Lat Pull-Throughs, Side Deltoid Raises, Front Deltoid Raises, Shoulder Press, Abductor Side Leg Raises, Squats, Lunges.
Resistance bands are widely used for both general strength and conditioning, as well as, rehabilitation and injury prevention. They are inexpensive and highly portable, making them ideal for exercising at home or within a circuit training routine to help condition your cardiovascular system. Since they are light-weight pieces of exercise equipment they are easy to travel with as well, so no excuses!
*Light Dumbbells: Core exercises with dumbbells braced between your feet or legs. (Hanging Leg or Knee raises), Bicep curls, Tricep extensions, Tricep kick-backs, front rows for your traps, Shoulder press, Shoulder Side and Front Raises, Lying chest flys and chest press.
Dumbbells are a great and versatile piece of equipment, but can be highly immobile and difficult to bring around if you need to be mobile. You can use them individually or together, depending on the exercise and your personal goals and preference. There are adjustable dumbbells available that allow you to manually adjust the weight and change between different exercises and movements. Most commonly however are fixed dumbbells of a specific weight that require you to spend money on additional sets of varied heaviness. A majority of Dumbbell exercises can be done just as easily with resistance bands, as noted above.
*Pads & Foam such as a Yoga Brick or Foam Roller: Exercises typically include stretching movements to elongate muscle fibers and help stretch your muscles. Some stretches are: Calf Stretch, shin stretch, hamstring stretch, gluts stretch, IT band stretch, quad stretch, lats-back-spine stretch.
Foam roller exercises are sometimes referred to as self-myofascial-release (SMR) exercises, because they can be used to relieve deep muscle tension without any assistance. SMR is a form of soft-tissue muscle therapy that helps reduce muscle pain and tension and increase range of motion. It is essentially a way to massage and stretch your while increasing your flexibility to allow for increased muscle fiber development and strength. Foam rollers are often used for injury rehabilitation as well.
*Cardio Machines & Exercise Bikes: Can be use for…you guessed it: Cardiovascular conditioning / endurance and toning.
Since Treadmills, Ellipticals and Exercise Bikes are quite expensive, they are typically the last piece of exercise equipment you’ll invest in, unless advised by a doctor. Even then, they are available for use at most sports and athletic clubs and gyms. Exercise Bikes are the best piece of cardio-equipment for building your leg muscles while engaging in cardio exercise. While you can increase the incline on a treadmill and resistance on an elliptical, you don’t quite get the isolation effect that you do from sitting on a bike. When exercising on any piece of cardio equipment, make sure to vary your routine, just as you would with resistance training. Try alternating between fast sprints and long medium paced intervals to confuse your muscles and increase your calorie burning potential!
High-End Fitness Equipment & Manufacturers:
When looking for high-end or professional fitness equipment, don’t be fooled…pay attention to the details! Machines might look similar but perform completely different! If you’re looking for an elliptical machine note that the Precor brand invented the Elliptical Fitness Cross trainer.
Keep your eyes open for ellipticals with:
*Adjustable incline – changing the degree /motion of your workout and therefore the way you’re targeting your muscles.
*Adjustable resistance – changing the degree of difficulty, increasing resistance allowing for a strength training effect.
*Electronic Features – such as a Heart Rate Monitor option & Calorie Counting function.
*A true ‘Elliptical motion’. Its important to note that the elliptical motion provides the truest simulation to walking and running available without impact force on your lower extremities. When trying a machine note the feel of the motion. Some machines may have a bad spot or ‘kick’ where your heel can come off of the platform. You want to avoid this bounce in your motion.
*Dependent upper body motion. Various machines will include upper body levers to add an upper body workout element. This can also help with stability and balance while cross training.
Treadmills are the most popular piece of fitness training equipment. Star Trac is a pioneer in new technologies for treadmill training such as integrated video screens with personalized digital trainers to take you through a cardio workout.
*Look for a 60 inch deck for runners with a wide stride.
*Nicer treadmills have a top speed of 12 mph and 12% maximum incline. They often have stronger motors with a longer lifespan than cheap models.
*Look for a prominent gauge luster with buttons you can read while engaging in exercise.
Finding the time to exercise while balancing a busy work schedule and personal life can often be both emotionally and physically draining. However, when your health is concerned, it’s important to prioritize and make time for a regular and consistent workout schedule. Figuring out how to workout, what kind of exercise is best and how much is enough can be a daunting and difficult task, especially if you’re not a fitness professional. For this reason at Lucas James Personal Training we’ve taken the guess-work out of creating a workout routine that best fits your daily routine, that you can do on the go and with minimal to no equipment. Here’s some of the best workouts and exercise routines for maintaining a healthy body and mind while still leaving time for family, friends, work and leisure.
-Lunges With your shoulders back, chest forward and back straight, step one leg forward into a lunge position. Make sure you’re on the ball of your back foot with your front foot flat on the ground in front of you. Drop your back knee straight down making sure the knee of your front leg does not come pass your the ankle. Pretend as if there is a wall directly in front of your torso making sure not to ‘lunge’ forward. The movement is a lunge straight down. After 15-20 reps on one leg, alternate sides. Remember to breath! Inhale on the downward movement and exhale on the way up.
-Squats With your back straight, shoulders back and chest forwards, step your feet out sideways – shoulder distance apart with a slight bend in your knees. ‘Sqaut’ straight down, maintaining a straight back, and sit into the squat as if you are about to rest on a small stool. As you squat downwards, raise both arms out in front of you for stability and to maintain proper posture. Remember to breath! Inhale on the downward movement and exhale on the way up.
-Push-ups Lying face down towards the floor, place your hands shoulder distance apart at chest level and feet making sure your body is perfectly inline. Keeping your back straight and hips level with your legs and torso press downwards towards the ground until your arms are bent at a ninety-degree angel. Push upwards back to your starting position. Remember to breath! Inhale on the downward movement and exhale on the way up.
-Vertical Jumps Starting in the ‘Squat’ position as described above, jump upwards, exploding off your feet using your quads and squeezing your gluts to propel you upwards. Jump as high as possible. Make sure to keep the intensity high, to increase your cardio-vascular endurance.
-Sit-ups / Crunches Lying in the prone position, bring your feet towards your gluts and plant them flat on the ground in front of you so that your legs are bent slightly. Resting with your hands crossed in front of your chest – crunch upwards, engaging your abs. Make sure to bring your shoulders and upper-back up off of the ground to ensure you are using your core muscles. Remember to breath! Exhale on the way up.
-Burpies This is a cardio-plyometric exercise comprised of two exercises mentioned above (push-ups and vertical leaps). Start by standing straight, drop down and kick out your feet into a push-up position, do one repetition, kick your feet inwards to your chest and stand up quickly, moving directly into a vertical leap, and explode upwards. This is one repetition. Repeat for a minute straight to get ample resistance and cardio training.
-High-knees End strong with one-minute of jogging in place, making sure to bring your knees up tight to your chest. Remember to get into a good rhythm and breath normally throughout the duration of the exercise. Make sure to time yourself!
- Workplace Workouts
Clearly you’ll reap more health and fitness benefits by exercising on your daily commute to work. If you ride the bus or take other public transit, try getting off a few stops earlier than usual and walk, jog or run the rest of the way. If you’re one of those people who just lives ‘too far’ and drives a car to work, try parking at a near by business or far away from your building in the parking lot and walk the rest of the way to your office. Keeping this in mind, always take the stairs no matter where you are rather than an elevator!
Stand more than you sit!
Your body burns more calories standing than it does sitting. If you’re on the phone in your office stand while talking. Even better, try pacing while you talk or even try static lunges in the same spot, alternating legs, while in your office.
Take a fitness break
There are many simple exercises you can perform at work without any fitness equipment at all. Some simple examples are:
-Wall-sits: 30 Seconds to 1 min or More! (Glutes & Legs)
-Desk Incline Push-Ups: As many as you can do at a time! (Chest & Arms)
-High-Knees: 30 seconds- 1 min So you don’t get too sweaty! (Cardio)
-Sit-Ups or Crunches: Until you feel the burn! (Core)
Try keeping simple fitness equipment at work.
If you need equipment to keep you motivated, try bringing an inexpensive resistance bands, small hand weights or a stability ball to work. Try doing bicep curls, tricep extensions and other exercises throughout the day. You can even trade in your office chair for a stability ball! Not only will you have an arsenal of fitness tools to keep you in shape during those short coffee breaks, but you’ll improve your balance and core strength by sitting on a swiss-ball behind your desk. You’ll be engaging in passive exercise and no-one will be the wiser. You can even use your swiss ball for wall squats, plie squats or throughout the day and power up before meetings!
- The Best Cardio Exercise Routine (Interval Training)
The majority of fitness journals and university research studies suggest working smarter not harder. This means exercise efficiently not for ridiculous amounts of time. When cardiovascular exercise is concerned this is especially true. Instead of going for a few short sprints or jogging for 20 miles, switch things up. By changing your resistance (incline) and speed throughout your cardio exercise you force your body to alternate between burning carbohydrates and fat for energy. Not only will this boost your metabolism, but increase the toning effect for your lower extremities! Also, you’ll spend less time on cardio, but reap the same benefit of long jogs! A simple twenty-one minute example of a cardio interval is:
Work Set: Increase speed and raise incline, resistance and/or ramps. You should be working harder and find it difficult to talk.
Rest Set: Back to Baseline
Work Set: Increase speed and raise incline, resistance and/or ramps.
Rest Set: Back to Baseline
Work Set: Increase speed and raise incline, resistance and/or ramps.
Cool down at a slow, easy pace
- The Most Efficient Workout (Full-Body Circuit Training)
If you can’t decided between cardio training and weight-lifting, do both! Circuit training is an easy way to workout a variety of muscle groups and is a simple way to get a quick total body workout by combining multiple forms of exercise. Circuit training helps to train for both cardiovascular endurance, promoting weight-loss and enhances resistance-training routines by elevating your heart rate throughout resistance exercise to help augment your muscle building potential and increase strength all at once. Circuit training forces our bodies to adapt to multiple forms of exercise and physical stress. A circuit workout is typically comprised of multiple exercises, training both your lower and upper body muscle groups through a series of repetition or time-based intervals with little to no rest in between each set. Each training circuit is normally repeated 3-4 times.
Here’s how to create an effective circuit training workout:
Guidelines from: http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/circuittraining.html
When it comes to exercise, Scottsdale, Arizona based celebrity personal trainer Lucas James and nutrition expert Jason Apfel suggest working out smarter not harder. In terms of maximizing the benefits of physical activity, both believe efficiency is key. Resistance training and aerobic exercise are beneficial for and essential to helping reduce body weight and improving one’s overall health. Combining weight training, plyometrics and cardio within one routine as a circuit, is an excellent way to improve strength, endurance and flexibility, while helping to shed those extra pounds the quickest.
Circuit training provides a quick and effective total body workout by combining multiple forms of fitness one. It helps to train our body’s cardiovascular endurance, while enhancing into muscle performance and increasing strength at the same time.
Since our bodies adapt to physical activity, as well as in response to our diet, it is important to constantly change our workouts to confuse our muscles. With circuit training, the body must adapt to multiple types of exercise and physical stress. A workout circuit is comprised of multiple exercises, each based on a specific set of repetitions or time-based intervals leaving little to no rest in between each different activity. Each round of exercises is repeated 3-4 times, resulting in the same impact of resistance training in normal workouts, but at a higher intensity. An ‘active rest period’ can be simulated within each circuit by incorporating exercises that focus on isolating opposing muscle groups. With this approach to fitness clients can work towards varied health goals simultaneously in less time than with traditional workout programs. This is accomplished by keeping an elevated heart rate throughout the workout because of the way the intervals, exercises, and rest periods are laid out. Circuit training ultimately increases the number of calories burned per minute.
One recent study in the Brazilian Archives of Cardiology suggests that resistance exercise combined with aerobics helps to decrease the risk of metabolic disorders, reduce cholesterol levels and aid in weight loss. Other American studies note that circuit training can help burn 30 percent more calories than tradition exercise.
Aside from the health benefits, circuit training is great to break up the exercise to the next, your mind doesn’t have time to wander or get bored. More so, a circuit e monotony of lifting weights. By constantly moving from one that combines both cardio and strength exercises will help to sculpt muscle physique and tone your body.
A simple circuit workout can be done at home with little or no equipment at all. Try integrating squats, lunges, push-ups and crunches a minute of quick sprints, high-knees and mountain climbers in between each exercise.
If free weights, resistance bands or even a jump rope are available, you can incorporate simple resistance and cardio exercise that will aid in quicker weight-loss and strength building.
Try A simple Routine:
Squat Jump 10-15 repetitions
Standard Push-ups 8-12 repetitions
Calf Raises on a step-up or raised ledge 15-25 repetitions
Jumping Jacks 1 min.
Planks or Toe Touch Abdominal Crunches
When looking for a fitness trainer or personal trainer, it’s important to find a credentialed Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) who knows their business. While the criteria for different certifying agencies may vary slightly, you want a trainer with a diverse background in physical fitness and exercise planning. Even with a nationally accredited personal trainer certification many new trainers are inexperienced or lack a background in physiology, kinesiology or nutrition. The best trainers have not only worked within the fitness, health and wellness fields previously, but have prior knowledge to health from an academic institution.
The top ten most well known nationally accredited certifying agencies for personal training, accepted by most national gyms such as LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Golds Gym & Equinox are ACSM the American College Of Sports Medicine, NASM the National Academy Of Sports Medicine, NSCA the National Strength And Conditioning Association, NCSF the National Council On Strength And Fitness, NFPT the National Federation Of Personal Trainers, ACE the American Council On Exercise, CI the Cooper Institute, NESTA the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association, IFPA The International Fitness Professionals Association and ISSA the International Sports Science Association.
Each of these certified fitness-training agencies are NCCA-accredited programs (National Commission for Certifying Agencies) aside from the ISSA. This national commission only accredits programs that meet or exceed its standards for personal training and physical fitness training curriculum. While there are various other accreditation organizations, in terms of personal training, the most valuable certifications are NCCA recognized.
Each of the nationally accredited CPT programs mentioned above vary slightly in terms of curriculum, program format i.e. emphasis on nutrition, exercise planning, kinesiology etc, recertification requirements, program materials & cost, but all share specific similarities. For example, any worth-while agency will include education concerning client health-fitness assessment, exercise technique, fitness program design, nutrition, client relations & administration, as well as a CPT professional scope of practice and responsibilities.
As mentioned previously, it’s also important to have a personal trainer with an academic background in the health-science fields such as biology, physiology, kinesiology or nutrition. This is due to the fact that anyone can study to become a personal trainer through one of the accredited programs, but at the same time might lack the background to thoroughly understand the underlying scientific principles of health, exercise, metabolism and diet. In fact, individuals who have a diverse medical or science background often have a better understanding of the effects of proper exercise than a CPT.
Another option for personal training certification is receiving a personal training degree, diploma or certificate from a trade school or college program that is accredited by the government instead of the NCCA.
Becoming a certified personal trainer can often be costly, with the exam alone costing anywhere from $50 to $279. More so, if you choose to buy all of the test preparation materials, take a workshop and purchase textbooks, the cost can total upwards of $800, with even more costs for re-certification.
Here’s the breakdown for our top four picks personal trainer certifications:
*Both NCCA & non-NCCA accredited
National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
A NASM personal trainer certification is NCAA-accredited and accepted by most employers and gyms. The exam alone costs $549, but is included in all of the study packages. NASM preparation packages rang from $599 to $799. The requirement for recertification is every 2 years and costs $700.
American Council on Exercise (ACE)
ACE is also an NCAA-accredited personal trainer certification that is highly recognized within the personal training and sports club industry. The current cost of the PT exam is $219. In addition to the cost of the exam, ACE study materials range from $150 to $580. Unique from other agencies, ACE also offers an online study program in addition to their study materials. The requirement for recertification is every 2 years for $400.
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
NSCA is another highly respected NCAA-accredited personal trainer certification. Different from other agencies, NSCA is known for their preparation for special-needs populations. For this reason, their exam is known to be one of the more difficult certifications processes. NSCA exam fees range from $235 to $400 depending on membership type. The requirement for recertification is every 3 years for $500.
International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
The ISSA is one of the only non-NCAA-accredited personal trainer certification that we’ve discussed, which is also reasonably well recognized within the fitness and sports clubs industry. ISSA certification is ideal for first time trainers seeking part-time or free-lance employment. The program fee is $595, and the course and exam are 100 percent available online. Recertification is required every 2 years for $600.
For many people, increasing lean muscle mass can be just as difficult a task as loosing weight. When exercise is concerned, proper training style, technique, and form are all crucial components for maximizing muscle growth, body toning and overall results. Scottsdale, Arizona based celebrity personal trainer Lucas James and nutrition expert and trainer Jason Apfel have created a customized ‘Lean Muscle Mass Fitness Program’ for both men and women looking to increase lean body mass, expand their athletic abilities and augment their physical edge. We’ve decided to share our insight here with you so you can safely and effectively start on the path towards reaching your peak performance.
Nutritionally speaking, gaining lean muscle mass takes work, aside from getting into the gym. When trying to increase muscle, protein is king. It’s important not to eat the wrong type of calories or foods when fueling your body for lean muscle growth. Make sure to eat foods that will give you energy in the gym as well. This means complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs give our bodies the fuel they need in the gym, while protein helps reduce muscle breakdown and promote muscle growth after exercise. You should have one gram of carbohydrate for each half gram of protein eaten an hour before a workout. This combination not only gives you the energy to lift, it also helps repair muscle damage and fully enhances the recovery process following the exercise. It is ‘essential’ to consume essential amino acids –the building blocks of protein- found in animal products like dairy, meat, eggs, and fish protein. These versions are much more beneficial for building lean muscle mass than their vegetable-protein counterparts. Remember, since everyone is different, it is important to receive proper nutrition counseling so that you don’t over eat, including protein which can cause detrimental effects on metabolism and body function if not taken in the proper amounts at the right time.
In terms of your training regimen, start by lifting heavier weights. People often get carried away with performing the same exercises, lifting the same weight, at the same intensity level every time they get to the gym. The “same” effort will only produce the “same” results. Performing any one exercise for a prolonged period of time is a waste. Not only do your muscles get use to the exercise, but your muscle building capabilities plateau as well. Your body eventually will make all the changes it’s going to make in response to those exercises. To break this pattern and build more muscle mass lift progressively heavier weight with each set. Repeat 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps max so that your muscles are fatigued on the last rep! With each set increase your weight and decrease the number of reps for each consecutive set.
When lifting be careful not to over exert yourself, as injuries usually occur during mass-building programs. Thoroughly warm up with at least 15 minutes of light cardio exercise and stretching and always have a spotter when using free weights, especially on your max-reps. Try creating a power circuit to give your muscles a rest in between sets and employ supersets. For example, if you are working back and shoulders alternate shoulder press with pull-ups so that you engage opposing muscle groups. Make sure you have a proper exercise split so that you don’t over work specific muscle groups. Your muscles need time to recover, otherwise you continually break-down the muscles you’re trying to build up.
Stay motivated, stay dedicated and eat your spinach!
In terms of preventative health measures, here are a few tips from celebrity personal trainer Lucas James and nutrition expert Jason Apfel that may help augment your lifestyle and current quality of life!
For a start, if you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces blood flow by causing thickening and loss of elasticity in our arteries. Aside from the obvious health detriments of smoking, it can actually reduce ones penis size by up to one centimeter in the long term.
Second, if you’re inactive, exercise. Incorporating regular physical activity can help increase flood flow, but also help with weight loss. Being overweight can cause, or worsen, erectile dysfunction. Exercise can help with the underlying problems that play a part in promoting erectile dysfunction by. Aside form the physical benefits, exercise will help reduce stress and mitigate the emotional ties associated with E.D.
Third, eat healthy foods that promote better blood flow. Some specific foods to avoid are foods high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and cause problems with circulation. Also stay away from foods that contain trans-fats, which clog arteries and cause heart disease. These cardiovascular generally translate to insufficient or diminished blood flow, which contribute to erectile dysfunction. Foods that are high in cholesterol also cause clogged arteries and heart disease, similar to trans-fats. As discussed previously, cardiovascular disease can lead to insufficient flood flow, a primary cause of erectile dysfunction. Watch out for foods that are high in sugar. A diet high in sugar can lead to weight gain, obesity and diabetes. Weight gain puts pressure on the heart and vital organs making it more difficult to function properly and ultimately increases one’s blood pressure. The added physiological stress due to diet can significantly decrease blood flow to the penis.
Some specific foods that can help reduce the severity of E.D. are fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges and watermelon which help to both reduce body fat and overall weight. The Lycopene from tomatoes also helps to relax blood vessels and increase flow. Dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale are a good source of zinc, which has been proven to improve blood flow to the major organs, as well as the penis.
Pistachio nuts are relatively high in the non-essential amino acid arginine, which helps to maintain elasticity in arteries. It also is believed to enhance blood flow by boosting endogenous nitric oxide levels, a compound that relaxes blood vessels. One recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research: The Journal of Sexual Medicine showed improvements in men for erectile function, sexual intercourse satisfaction, orgasmic function, overall satisfaction and sexual desire in men who ate a diet high in pistachios. It also reported increased blood flow to the penis by 22 percent, as measured by ultrasound.
Eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids is essential to controlling heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and more. Since heart disease and hypertension are leading causes of sexual dysfunction, foods high in Omega-3 such as fish, flaxseed, walnuts, and eggs can help mitigate these factors in a preventative manner.
Scottsdale, Arizona based celebrity personal trainer Lucas James and nutrition expert and trainer Jason Apfel share their secrets for avoiding unhealthy snacks and maintaining your body weight. Check out these pointers for simplifying your eating habits to keep you on track towards meeting your health and fitness goals!
Throw out any high-calorie, high-fat foods that will arouse your hunger and tempt you to overeat or cheat on your nutrition plan: processed foods, chips, crackers, cookies, pastries, ice cream, candy bars, sweets etc.
-Keep snacks out of sight.
Pack them away from your work-space and out of sight. If sweets are kept in a jar as a ‘decorative’ piece, try wrapping them in gift paper to send the right message: they are ‘rewards’. If you tend to keep snacks on hand, stick them in tough-to-reach, hard-to-see spots in the cupboard, fridge or freezer. One recent Cornell University study found that women ate more than twice as many Hershey Kisses when they kept them in clear containers on their desks, versus in opaque containers on their desks or even fewer when kept six feet away.
- Avoid “empty calories”.
These include sugar-containing sodas, sweets, ice cream, alcohol, fruit drinks and processed snacks. “Empty calories” have the same caloric impact on your body, but lack many beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber etc.
- Keep healthy snacks close at hand.
Fill your kitchen with lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, good fats, and low-fat dairy products. Some examples of each food type are: Tuna or Chicken Breast, Cherries or Nectarines, Oatmeal or Brand-flakes, Rice & Beans, Almonds, Fish-oil from salmon for healthy Omega-3’s and Greek Yogurt or Skim Swiss Cheese.
- Plate your main course in the kitchen.
Keep your entrée and side dishes in the kitchen instead of resting on platters at the table. Keeping them off the table makes you rethink second helpings and allows you to enjoy conversation without temptation. Feel free to keep plain veggies, salad, or the fruit at the table during dinner or for dessert.
If you like lots of food on your plate, fill up with fiber! Try eating a large salad and a super serving of veggie fixings like broccoli, snap peas, cabbage, kale, spinach and other low calorie vegetables.
- Snack on berries.
Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and raspberries tend to be slightly lower in sugar in comparison to other fruits. The anti-oxidants they contain help to strengthen the immune system while their fiber helps control cholesterol levels. They are also low calorie and low-fat snacks!
-Don’t skip meals.
Missing out on foods that provide the necessary energy our bodies need throughout the day can leave you extremely ‘hangry’ (hungry-angry). Not only will this cause spikes in blood sugar levels when you do eat, but your body will try and hold onto the fat and carbohydrate stores it has to adapt to the ‘starvation’ state your body thinks it’s in.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently.
Aim for five to six meals/snacks per day. Try spacing out your meals every three hours. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner count for three meals, so find the time to incorporate three healthy snacks such as low fat cottage cheese with berries or a hand full of almonds. Finding foods that are healthy snacks will help curve your hunger later on!
- Use smaller plates and tall, skinny glasses.
Numerous studies have shown that platting influences eating habits and portion size. Larger plates leave more room for larger portions. Large plates also promote people to fill their plates, increasing their calorie intake. If you use smaller plates, you tend to feel you are getting more and therefore will eat less.
- Drink Alcohol after your meals, not before.
If you enjoy a glass of wine or beer with your meal, have it at the end. Alcohol tends to increase hunger and decrease inhibitions.
Building Testosterone with Food
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is found in both men and women. In males, it is the primary anabolic steroid sex hormone that is highly responsible for the proper growth and development of muscle mass and bones, aside from influencing mood and energy levels. If you are looking to increase natural testosterone production, some foods can help. While testosterone can only be produced by the body, certain foods have nutrients that will affect how much the body produces.
People often try to synthetically boost their testosterone levels through the use of supplements for its pro-body building, but these often come with detrimental side effects. If you are looking to increase your natural production of testosterone, try eating specific foods that are high in protein and key components that can boost natural testosterone synthesis.
Cholesterol is a vital component for our bodies, especially when hormone synthesis is concerned. Even though our body makes endogenous cholesterol on its own, cholesterol is usually considered as bad, due to its tendency to cause plaque buildup and arterial heart disease. It is however in a sense, the chemical back-bone of testosterone. Two foods that are high in cholesterol are eggs and red meat. Watch out for the high levels of saturated fat found in both eggs and red meats.
While both fat and cholesterol can both be harmful to our health in large amounts, they can help to increase natural testosterone levels. This includes unhealthy saturated fats and the healthier monounsaturated fats. Some foods that contain healthier fats are olives, seeds, nuts and avocados.
Estrogen is a female-dominant hormone that is also found in small amounts in males. When levels of this hormone elevate, testosterone production goes down. Dietary indoles may help reduce the release of estrogen and promote a growth in testosterone levels. Most cruciferous vegetables are high in indoles, such as brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
Zinc is a mineral involved in proper red blood cell formation, blood clotting, tissue repair and bone health. But it has also been found to increase sperm production and boost testosterone. Zinc can be found in high amounts in beef, pork, turkey, chicken liver, oysters pumpkin and other seeds and nuts such as almonds.
Salmon is one of the best foods to increase testosterone because it is a good source of both zinc and vitamin A. It also has omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces globulin in the body. Globulin is an enzyme that binds to testosterone, rendering it useless.
If you want to add some vegetables to your testosterone building diet, consider spinach. It has one of the highest levels of vitamin A among leafy green vegetables.
Tomatoes are an easy food to add to any meal. They are high in vitamin A, which is another nutrient that increases testosterone production.
Supplement: Tribulous (natural supplements for testosterone)
Fat Burning Foods
It’s no secret that weight-loss can be a painstakingly tedious process. While loosing those extra pounds may be hard, keeping them off is harder. Long-term weight loss must be accompanied by adequate physical activity and safe exercise, but proper nutrition and diet can help jump-start your metabolism and augment your body’s fat burning potential. Here are a few tips from celebrity personal trainer Lucas James and nutrition expert Jason Apfel for fat burning foods that will helop you eat for a leaner body.
Current research suggests that Green Tea may help to lower cholesterol and decreases the risk of diabetes and stroke. As an added bonus, the low levels of caffeine in tea help to boost metabolism and burn fat. The leading theories suggest that Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), found in green tea, serves as a potent antioxidant with therapeutic properties for many disorders, possibly including even cancer. It’s thought that EGCG causes the brain and nervous system to run more quicker, helping to burn more calories.
A recent study by the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Suggests that low-fat calcium may help reduce body fat. The study shows that three to four daily servings of low-fat diary products can help augment our body’s fat-burning machinery. Milk contains high levels of calcium, which acts as a metabolic signal to reduce body fat storage. Milk is also a rich source of the ‘good’ complex carbohydrates, which help to keep insulin levels lower after eating a meal.
Similar to Green Tea, Coffee contains caffeine, which helps increase your heart rate and in turn your metabolism, helping to burn more calories. It important to use skim milk as a creamer and use little sugar or none.
Fiber helps to reduce the rate of absorption of fat to our blood stream, leaving us less bloated and cleaner internally. It is one of the few functional foods approved by the FDA to help lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of colon and G.I. cancers, and aid weight loss. Here are a few high fiber foods:
Berries are one of the best foods for fat burning, as they’re an excellent source of fiber. Aside from its digestive benefits, fiber in berries helps us stay satiated longer and aids the metabolism of dietary fat in our meals.
Oranges have one of the highest fiber contents of all fruits. Recent research suggests that higher fiber diets are associated with decreased adipose (fat) tissue. Oranges are also packed with healthy minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin C.
Whole grain cereals are a terrific source of both complex carbohydrates and fiber, helping to keep our energy levels up while maintaining a blood sugar and insulin levels after a meal. When insulin levels spike due to a meal high in sugar or simple carbohydrates our bodies revert to a fat storing mode. Eating foods that reduce spikes in blood sugar can help our bodies avoid excess fat storage. Oats are a great example of a cereal that is rich in fiber. Since oatmeal is slowly it doesn’t cause a big spike in insulin the way simple carbs do.
Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, which helps boost metabolism. The more lean muscle our bodies have, the more efficiently we can burn fat. Turkey breast can be used just like chicken, so try turkey burgers, stir-fry, or skewers!
Chicken similar to turkey, is full of metabolism-boosting protein. Researchers have found that men who increased their protein intake and reduced their carbohydrates increased the number of calories they burned each day by up to five percent.
Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which can alter the levels of a satiety hormone found in fat called leptin. Lower leptin levels are associated with a higher metabolism. Aside from the cardiovascular benefits, the good fats in salmon will help reduce the bad fats in our blood stream.
Tuna can also help reduce the level of leptin the bodies. Lower leptin levels have been associated with faster metabolisms that burn fat more efficiently.
Pork is an excellent source of protein. The more protein you consume, the harder your body has to work to digest it, helping to burn calories in the process. It’s important however to keep your cuts of pork lean.
Jalapenos and Habaneros contain capsaicin, the chemical responsible for the fiery heat and spice they contain. Aside from their kick, the capsaicin within can help to speed up our heart rate and boost metabolism. A recent Canadian study found that men who consumed coffee and red pepper burned almost 1,000 more calories a day than the control group.
There are various causes and reasons for hair loss in men, ranging from genetics and auto-immune disease to stress and poor nutrition. Aside from the medical causes and physical symptoms, male hair loss can often affect one’s social agenda, professional appearance and quality of life.
Male pattern baldness or MPB, is the androgenetic form of alopecia which accounts for more than ninety-five percent of male hair loss in men. About one quarter of men experience MPB by the age of 21. Statistics project that by age 35, approximately sixty-six percent of American men will experience noticeable hair loss and a staggering eighty-five percent of men older than 50 will have significantly thinning hair.
What are the primary medical causes of male pattern baldness? Baldness can emerge due to hormonal changes, scalp irritation or hair follicle damage and slowed or shortened follicular growth. Primary, hair loss revolves around hair follicular growth cycles. Our hair goes through cycles of growth and rest periods, each varying by individual. At the end of the resting phase, hair strands fall out and new ones begin to grow in their place. Once a hair is shed, the growth stage begins again. While gradual thinning is a normal part of normal aging, when the rate of shedding exceeds the rate of hair re-growth rapid hair loss or balding will occur.
To promote thicker hair growth and a healthier scalp avoid greasy foods and incorporate more of the following into your diet:
Vitamins | Minerals:
Many men who suffer from hair loss are found to have zinc deficiencies. Zinc plays a key role in many of the body’s functions, from cell reproduction to hormonal balance, and all these functions affect hair growth. Perhaps most importantly, zinc manages the glands that attach to your hair follicles. When you’re low on zinc, these follicles become weak, causing strands to break off or fall out. To combat this problem, eat zinc-heavy foods such as red meats, poultry, mussels, shrimp, nuts, and oysters. Excessive amounts of zinc can eventually lead to hair loss, so it’s best to stick to a zinc-heavy diet rather than eat these foods and take a zinc supplement.
The B vitamins are the most important for healthy hair, especially B7 as Biotin. Biotin functions to activate certain enzymes that aid in metabolism of carbon dioxide as well as protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
B5 or ‘Pantothenic Acid’ gives hair flexibility, strength and shine and can help prevent hair loss and graying. B6 helps prevent scalp damage and dandruff. Both are primarily found in meats but are also present in cereals, egg yolk and liver. Vitamin B12, found in fish, eggs, chicken and milk can help prevent hair loss.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega 3’s from fish and fish oil sources, may help prevent dry scalp and dull hair color.
Vitamina A & C
Both vitamins help with the production of sebum, a natural oily secretion that acts as a natural hair conditioner.
Iron is important for your blood and likewise healthy blood flow to promote hair follicle growth. Anemia has been linked to hair-loss in both men and women. However, it is important to rely on a healthy diet for your main source of iron as opposed to a vitamin or supplement to prevent dangerous health affects. Since our bodies cannot process high amounts of dietary / elemental iron, they are susceptible to Iron toxicity.
Foods | Diet
Fish, Eggs And Legumes (Beans)
Since hair is primarily made of protein it makes sense to eat a protein-rich diet if you’re trying to maintain healthy hair. While protein is excellent for lean muscle growth, animal proteins that are high in fat can result in increased testosterone levels, which has been linked to hair loss. Try sticking to leaner proteins such as fish, tofu, soy beans, chicken, low-fat cheese, eggs, almonds, beans, and Greek yogurt.
Iron plays a key role in the development and maturation of red blood cells that carry oxygen to your body’s organs and tissues. When iron levels are low or anemia occurs your blood is less efficient at circulating oxygenated blood to the scalp to stimulate and promote hair growth. Iron’s in more than meat! Try eating dried fruits like raisins, craisins or cherries packed with iron. More so, incorporate eggs and dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale and whole-grain cereals for other high-iron options. Try eating fruits such as oranges, strawberries and lemons that are high in Vitamin C to help Iron absorption.
Bean sprouts are high in silica, which our bodies use to help more efficiently absorb vitamins and minerals. Silica can be found in bean sprouts and the skin of cucumbers, red and green peppers, and potatoes. Focus on eating raw, as opposed to cooked, to ensure reaping the maximum nutritional value.
While some people may look similar in terms of their build, everyone has a slightly different body type, physique and form. Celebrity trainer Lucas James and expert nutritionist Jason Apfel help you determine where you fall in terms of your build. While there are numerous different classifications and ‘hybrid’ body types, the three main categories for body type are mesomorph, ectomorph, or endomorph. Each class has different physical characteristics and unique attributes, and should similarly have an exercise routine tailored to each individual build.
Lean muscular builds are a hallmark of the mesomorph or meso body type. Mesomorphs excel in increasing muscle size quickly and easily. The well-developed, rectangular shapes of mesomorphs are representative of their thick bones and muscles. Unfortunately with large muscles often comes reduced flexibility. Typical mesomorphs exhibit well-defined chest and shoulders that are broader than their waistline. With mesomorphs, the abdomen is usually well defined, with hips of about the same width as the shoulders. In terms of lower body musculature, the gluts, thighs, and calves are typically well-toned and defined. Along with their muscular and athletic build, mesomorphs are full of energy and tend to be athletically aggressive. Although mesomorphs tend distribute and store fat evenly across their bodies, they can become overweight just as with any other body type, when sedentary and on a high-fat or high-calorie diet. Mesomorphs excel in physical activities requiring great strength, short bursts of energy, and power. When you think “mesomorph,” think of Mike Tyson and Demi Moore.
The second main body is the ectomorph or ‘ecto’. These individuals tend to be thin and lean. Ectomorphs tend to be tall, slender individuals who have trouble gaining weight. A good example of an ecto is a professional swimmer or fashion model. The ectomorph is relatively linear in shape with a delicate build, narrow hips and pelvis, and long arms and legs. As an ectomorph, your skeletal form and musculature are clearly evident. Ectomorphs tend to have less fat and muscle mass than individuals with other body types. Most people are not true ecto or meso morphas but rather a blend of features from more than one body type. While characteristically lean, ectomorphs should be concerned with maintaining a strong stature due to their smaller bone formation and weaker joints. Due to these differences, balancing the right physical activities is key. Ectos excel at cardiovascular and endurance training. You’ll find the best balance in your workouts from combining both aerobic, cardio and resistance training. Some celebrity ectomorphs are Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz.
The third main body build is the endomorph body type. Endomorphs tend to be shorter, stalkier and curvy. The soft, flowing curves of an endo are similar to that of an hourglass in more ways than one. Comparatively, endomorphs tend to store their body fat in the lower regions of the body, predominantly the lower abdomen, hips, and thighs, rather than being evenly distributed throughout the body. Most endomorphs share a blend of features from both of the other body types as well.
An endomorph typically has a high fat storage capacity and tends to gain weight the easiest. While everyone’s body is susceptible to becoming obese, endomorphs have an increased incidence in comparison. The majority of fat stored by endos is either centered in the mid section of the body or hip and buttocks regions. Structurally speaking, endomorphs tend to have small to medium bones, shorter limbs in relation to trunk size, and less-defined musculature. Male endomorphs tend to have a different fat distribution pattern from a female endomorph. While females typically store fat in their gluts, legs, and hips, most males store fat in their abdomen. Numerous research studies have shown that increased abdominal fat and larger waist size is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers. Celebrity endomorphs are Roaseanne Barr and John Goodman.