Back To The Source Of Human Strength (Part 1)

source

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

When I’m in gym, people tell me why they started to train. There are several reasons, lose weight, gain muscles or to be in shape for a special event. There is a golden rule to have result in strength training, it’s eat clean and lift heavy.

Everybody says it, eat clean and lift heavy but what does that means ? I think it’s time to go back to the source.

Why

why

The life is easier when we’re stronger, did you notice it ? By exemple, to carry bags from supermarket, to carry a piece of furniture, to run to be in time, etc. Everything is easier.

Strength training is extremely efficient to build muscle and burn fat. Whether to lose 6kg (15lbs) or 45kg (100lbs), it’s the same thing.

Strength training help to build muscle and lose fat but it also help to stop or even reverse sarcopenia (it’s skeletal muscle reduction with aging). Train our skeletal muscle allow us to be independant (therefore avoid nursing homes) and live longer.

The profits list isn’t finished yet.

A nice athletic body

Strength training help you keep your muscles while you’re in calories deficience and losing weight.

Strength training allows you to have a better oxygen consumption than aerobic exercices. After training your body needs to make a lot of efforts to recover and return to the normal state so the state you had before the training. Scientific studies have shown that your metabolism‘s level increase for 38 hours after your training.

Strength training increase your metabolism, increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) because your body needs more calories to keep your muscls than to keep your fat. It’s estimated that for each 4.45kg (1lbs) of muscle, your RMR increase of 30-35 calories.

Improve your health

Strength training help you to improve your balance and coordination, improve cholesterol’s rate, help to control blood sugar, stop muscle loss, improve blood flow, reduces your resting blood pressure, build a stronger heart and increase bone density.

Feel better

It’s clear with strength training you have more self-confidence, your have more energy, a better mood, less anxiety and less stress . It also improves the quality of your thoughts, a scientific study has shown that this increases the cognitive function .

It’s not advisable to do a strength training 1 hour before sleeping. On the other hand to train early in the day helps to prevent sleep apnea  and insomnia.

Prevents diseases and degenerative diseases

You notices that many men and women die because of cardiac disease. Stength training helps to solve problems that are factors of heart disease such as inactivity, diabets, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Cardiologists begin to advise strength training to people who have heart attack.

Strength training helps to manage and improve the lifestyle of people with clinical depression , cancer survivors , have had a spinal cord injury ,who have recently had a stroke , fibromyalgia , Lymphedema , Down Syndrome , Parkinson’s Disease , Osteoporosis  and Arthritis.

It’s fun

Strenght training helps to reach your goals whether an effective training of 20 minutes to have a good naked body or to do a sports competition. It’s fun to see our progress because it’s like increase level in a video game. If you want to be better in a sport like badminton or rock climbing, strength training is a good choice.

People who shouldn’t train

The only people I’ve found who shouldn’t train are people who have an injury and it’s a break that doesn’t last long. We’re human being and it’s natural to carry things and move. Strength training is recommended for pregnant women , children and teenagers  and even paraplegics .

Obviously, it recommanded to see his/her doctor before beginning a strength training program to adjust the training program.

Basic objections

objection

But I’m too old, it’s not reasonable

When people between 30 and 60 years old tell me that they’re too old, I laugh because it’s a lie. It’s like say : « I don’t have time » and later I see a messsage on Facebook like : « Yestersay, Game of the thrones was epic ! ». Scientific studies have shown that people between 70 and 90 years old had impressive results in 10 weeks .

Other scientific studies have shown that this helps to avoid dementia  and to delay Alzheimer’s .

People who think they’re too old to train are exactly people who should train.

But I just want to be better for a sport and I want to stay fit

Strength training improve your muscle’s endurance, scientific studies have shown it. Resistance exercices help to increases overall muscles endurance , fix nervous system problems and increase activation of motor units within your muscles.

I don’t want to bulk too much

It’s a great strength training’s myth, it’s not in 1 year than you’ll have the bodybuilder’s body no matter wheteher you’re a man or a woman.

For women, here 2 exemples of moms who have become strong and fit without having a bodybuilder body. This is the story of Veronica  and Bronwyn .

Have a the body of a famous bodybuilder doesn’t happen in one night. Naturally we don’t have the amount of homones to have the body of a famous bodybuilder. We need to eat a huge amount of food (8 000 – 10 000 calories per day) and a huge amont of drugs (no, no, it’s another type of pharmacy, it’s true).

I’m fat, I want only lose weight

I’m fat, I want only lose weight

It’s a good reason to start strenght training. By losing weight, you surely want to keep your muscles. I mean, yout want to keep your muscles while you lose fat. With strength training you lose quickly centimeters (inches) in different body’s parts. It’s true that the overall weight loss may seem slow, that’s why is important to track your measurements. With strenght training when you eat with a caloric deficit, it’s increase your metabolism so you lose fat.

It’s boring

What I like with strength training, it’s we can see our progress quickly. It’s like increase level in a video game. I think people get bored when they expect nothing to do between 2 sets. This is why I advise people to have headphones to listen to their own music selection or an audio book to increase motivation.

Muscles and strength training

muscle fiber

Don’t be fancy, it’s interesting to understand how our muscles work to avoid failling into the Matrix’s trap. What I mean is that the only person you gave to impress is yourself and not the others.

It’s our muscle fibers that are small muscle cells that build up our muscles. Our muscle fibers are long, cylindrical and have the size of a strand of hair. Our muscle fibers are composed of myofibrils surrounded by sarcoplasm. I really summarized that but if you want to see it in detail, click here .

We have around 642 skeletal muscles that work together to make move our body. Imagine, when you bend your arm, your biceps contracts and your triceps does the opposite (elongates) to let the elbow bend. Every muscle of your body work as a team to make you move.

We have different type of muscle fibers :

Slow twitch (Type 1 fibers)

Slow twitch fibers are used to convert oxygen into energy for a long period of time. They don’t move quickly to be resistant to fatigue. These are the fibers we use most for marathons.

Fast twitch (Type 2 fibers)

Fast twitch move quickly so they’re not resistant to fatigue. Our body has 2 categories of fast fibers. The type 2A fiber has an endurence characterisitc used for long sprints. The type 2X fiber has « super fast » characterisitc used to short sprints or lift weights. I really summarized that but if you want to see it in detail, click here .

Each individual has a different percentage of slow and fast fibers. It’s for this reason that people are naturally better to run long distances or sprints. It’s funny because we can see it in strength training with people who are better to do sets with high or low repetitions.

It’s the end of the first part and the second part is event more interessting.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. To read Part 2, click here.

P90X, Insanity, Weight Watchers, Shakology And Nutrisystem (part 1)

diet plan

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

There is more than 1 million fitness product and diet system. This is what I think of certain.

P90X et Insanity

p90x

P90X and Insanity are the most successful fitness infocommercial in history. A program you can do at home and it’s a routine focus on strength training instead cardio.

Advantages

P90X and Insanity are solid program if you have time, energy and willpower. If you like feel so tires that you could die after a training session, it’s for you It’s DVD with intruction step by step to follow during 90 days. Do a strength training increase more self-confidence faster than cardio.

Disadvantages

P90X works because you must do a training of 60-90 minutes, 6 days per week and you must also change your diet to respect the program.

To do this program you must be commited at 100 % especially for the time. For people who don’t have the time to do this program everydays, it’s easy to miss 1 or 2 session and give up. I don’t like feel so tired that I could die after a training session, it’s also for the same reason I don’t do crossfit.

This program during 90 days with DVDs and what’s happen after these 90 days ? A lot of people had a great transformation during these 90 days but after they regain weights they lost.

It’s a program during 90 days with DVD, what’s happen after 90 days ? A lot of people after had a better body started doing what they were doing before. No more DVD, nobody to motivate by shouting at them. This program don’t resolve the problem at the root. This program don’t create healthy habits.

I prefer feeling tired and happy after a training session instead to be so tired I could die.

Weight Watchers

weight watchers

Each type of foods have a number of points. You have un number of points to respect in the day. As long you stay your total of points, you should lose weights.

Now Weight Watchers have a part online and another part with people where you will weigh regulary and see people who will help you to respect your number of points.

Advantages

The part to count points is a great idea and I think is the reason of Weigh Watchers success. When you’re surounded by people with the same goal to have a better health, it’s very motivating to reach your goal.

The feeding process is simple.

Disadvantages

The new version of points system. This update match with the old conventional wisdom « Whole grains are good, fats are bad ». Pizzas have points ? It’s weird for me.

The points system factors is little for the quality of foods. They prefer that you eat pastas or processed foods inteads real foods. Something like steak, vegetables or eggs. In addition they sell some processed foods labeled « health » packed with sugar and preservatives. Of course Weight Watchers foods have « nice » points.

You can become dependent on the points system. Each meal is a mental calculation to respect the day’s total points. At the end of the day, often, people have « extra » points and to reach the day’s total points, they eat unhealthy foods, «  I have the points anyway ! ».

Focus on weight loss. It’s real, you can loss weigth eating unhealthy foods and Weigth Watchers leader understood this very well. It’s dangerous because people look healthy outside but they’re unhealthy inside, internal organs are severly damaged.

Follow a outdated points system and sponsored by unhealthy foods aren’t a long term solution. The points system is good but there no education about foods and ingredients.

Nutrisystem

nutrisystem

You receive foods at home. Then in microwave, you eat it and you lose weight.

Lose weights and continue to eat the foods you like ? It’s weird for me.

Advantages

Nutisystem’s system is simple. You receive your meals at home, you put them is your freezer and heat them for each meals and you lose weights. Following the plan exactly you should eat less calories that before. Eat less unhealty foods than usual is a way to lose weight with success in the short term.

Disadvantages

You think you will be more healthy by eating muffins, pankakes, etc ? You’re wrong !

Nutrisystem has been created to people who want some results without efforts to build some new « healthy » habits. These foods are all weak substituts for real food equivalent.

I prefer take care of me 90 % of the time and eat a real cookie ou have a real pizza one time per week instead to eat bad imitations everydays and pretend I’m healthy.

Like Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem match with the conventional wisdom « Whole gains is good, fat is bad, avoid cholesterol ». It’s better to just eat « real foods » !

Like Weight Watchers, food education is minimal. A little healthy habit is build but nothing for the after Nutrisystem. Because is so simple, people forget everything during vacation or they can’t pay for the foods receive at home

Comme Weight Watchers, l’éducation sur les aliments est minimum, une petit habitude saine est constuite mais aucune préparation pour la vie après Nutrisystem. This system works only for the short term.

Yes, you can lose weight by eating less, but these meals aren’t healthy. Do they give you the energy you need to feel good ? Nutrisystem is good because it’s simple but poor quality of foods, lack of education and dependence on an unsanitary and unsustainable food system. They can do better.

Did you have some experiences with others programs or diet system ?

-Steph

P.S : Do you want a free training program ? Click here 

Quickly Build Self-Confidence

self-confidence

I read an Nerd Fitness article  and I want to share this with you.

Self-confidence can be quickly build ? This is one of the traits that everyone want to maximize. It’s a huge impact for the first impression.

To be sure that you and me are on the same frequency about confidence :

James Bond – He’s an incredible ability to stay calm and cool under pressure. He’s able to tell you a subtle « punchline » in incredible situations.

Your best female friend – she can initiate a conversation with anyone and become a good friend in minutes.

Your friend that quickly evolves into a company and you have the impression that he has it from birth.

Can we build our confidence or is out of control ?

What’s self-confidence

self-confidence

I’m not speaking of people working for 6-packs or people who follow seductions courses (yes, I did, I admit). These approaches to build self-confidence aren’t complete, they doesn’t create a real solid foundation. If you read the Neil Strauss book « The Game », I advice you « The Truth, an uncomfortable book about relationships ».

The true self-confidence shows to the world who you really are (and it excites you). Think about your friends that changes behavior when they want to try to impress anyone. I know you’ve seen it several times and it’s weird !

It isn’t necessary to change who you are to impress someone, stay who you are and still progressing. We all work for progress, but we also need to respect ourselves. We work every day to self-improvement.

Could you think of what kind of self-confidence you want to build :

  • The quiet confidence of someone who commands respect ?

  • The boisterous person enters in a room and everyone wants to become best friends with ?

  • The lovable goofball that doesn’t take itself too seriously ?

Once we found the kind of self-confidence we want to build, we can apply this following tips.

Moves with confidence

self-confidence pose

Do you know that sitting in a certain way just a few minutes before an appointment or an interview can boost your chances of success ?

This is crazy, right ? This is really serious ! Just by changing your posture, you can psychologically develop more confidence in few minutes. You don’t believe me ? Ok, now uses a posture where you look to have a great self-confidence.

You feel better ? You feel you can do whatever you want ?

That’s non-verbal communication. This is how we stand, how we walk, how we look. Once you understand these things, you can « hack » your body language to increase your self-confidence unconsciously.

There is an Amy Cuddy’s video about this subject .

By having a self-confidence posture before entering a tense situation you’ll unconsciously adjust your brain to respond to this situation.

Here some examples of « great self-confidence » that you can use before an event where you need to have more self-confidence :

  • Hands raised above your head in a victory pose

  • Hands on hips like Superman or Wonder Woman

  • Legs crossed and hands behind head

  • Sprawled out across a seat

Mark the first impression

self-confidence move

Social interactions can be a challenge for some people. Even the most confidence looking person can be a « zero » in social interactions and expects that other people start the conversation.

There are 2 important tips, scientifically proven, that will make you appear more confidence :

Smile – People will respond to the emotion you project. If you project « I’m happy and cool », they will want to be happy unconsciously. The best thing to do to have your brain happy is to start a smile. These studies A  and B demonstrates that. Smiling makes you happier and improves how you think and how you feel about yourself.

Look in the eye – This is a challenge for most people. Do you look the ground when you walk to avoid looking people in the eye ? Or if a person look you in the eye, you turn your head ? Most people do that automatically and shouts « I don’t feel safe ». As you develop your self-confidence, concentrate yourself to keep your eye contact.

An article about eye contact says that studies  have shown that people who had a good level of eye contact (look in the eye) were perceived a being :

  • Most dominant and powerful

  • Warm and friendly

  • More attractive and friendly

  • Most qualified and competent

  • More trustworthy, honest and sincere

  • More confident and emotionally stable

If you have an appointment or an intense conversation with your teacher or your boss, maintaining eye contact is a demonstration of confidence and self-respect.

Test ! While you walk down in the street, keeping eye contact with a stranger. If the stranger looks at you, keeping the eye contact even if your brain tells you the opposite and made a smile briefly and continue your way.

Tell me how was the test and do you have other tips to build your self-confidence ?

-Steph

PS: Do you want a free training program ? Click here

Pass Through Obstacles

pass through obstacles

There are some days I watched a super interesting JamCore DZ’s video (in french). In this video, he gives some advices to overcome obstacles in training.

Obstacles that prevent you to succeed are in two categories.

Category A

obstacles

Lack of discipline

Without discipline you have nothing in life. Everyone knows and the Matrix attack you every day with viruses to destroy your discipline. Less you have discipline, more viruses will be more powerful day by day to prevent you from reaching your goals.

Virus List :

  • Procrastination

  • Disappearance of responsibility

  • Depressed

  • Fear – you feel like a dumb, you don’t love your life.

  • Total loss of self-confidence

  • Mental block

Lack of discipline triggers all these viruses and you live a life of existence instead of a life of substance.

Category B

obstacles

In this category, it’s mental virus that affect your body. This is regarding the training.

Don’t be realistic

People aren’t realistic to loss weight or gain muscle. They think only 3 weeks or 3 months is enough. You want to lose fat ? Ask yourself a question : « It took how long for your body to be in this situation ? ». Now you have the answer ! You will not lose that weight at the speed of light because you will need discipline. Gain muscle, it’s similar. Build a body takes time. Steroids or no steroids ! Everything takes time in life. Just don’t take steroids, it’s really better for your life.

Complication

People complicate things too much. It’s why they can’t succeed. In the world, there are good and bad information and internet amplified everything. It’s up to you to do your research, it’s up to you to study how you can evolve your body by analyzing the information. Many people are creating scandals to get attention and it’s up to you to unmask them. If your life is too complicated and you’re gonna give up.

Consistency

Most people aren’t consistent. They start and they stop, they restart and they stop, they restart and they stop and they wonder why they don’t succeed. When a person starts without stopping, results are there.

Training based on week

Your training isn’t judged on week, it’s judged throughout the year ! Lose fat or gain muscle, it’s on all year. Look yourself now and look yourself a year later, this is the way to think. Don’t think a week but by 6 months or 1 year. The body you have now will not be the same in 6 months or 1 year, if you do things right. It isn’t to do shoulders 2 times a week you’re going to have broad shoulders as Simeon Panda in 3 months.

Everything is based on one year because of your recovery, your nutrition and your evolution during the year. There are moments in the year when you have unexpected things (professional / private) that will affect your training. Yes, it’s happens. Do you know anyone who felt good for 365 days ? No !

Impatience

Impatience makes you in «fool» mode. People are too impatient. They start, they stop and when they restart, they do bullshit. Be called to have faster results. The only thing they will have soon is injuries.

Solution

plan

The plan

You have to have an attack plan ! Without a plan, you’re screwed in life. Have you ever seen an army without a attack plan ? With this plan, you’ll have objectives and objectives will give you daily discipline.

When you have daily discipline, you will increase your self-confidence, it’s automatic. When you reach 2-3 goals in a day, you feel good before sleeping. When you reach 0 goal in a day, you feel bad before you sleep, you feel like a dumb. This self-confidence will increase from week to week, from month to month and nobody can tell you anything because you have the disciple.

To continue to increase your self-confidence, you must protect yourself. There are 2 things :

  • Your environment – your environment is very important. Surround yourself with positive people who do the same thing as you, because if you surround yourself with fool, your self-confidence going away and you will be in « fool » mode.

  • Your support – your support is very important that can be friends, family, boyfriend or girlfriend.

When we’re surrounded by positive people, we inspire on each other to be better. When we’re surrounded by fool, we become stupid.

When you increase self-confidence, you increase your focus. You’re not distracted by unnecessary things.

When you increase your focus, you increase your happiness because you realize your daily goals and you’re proud of reach them. Day by day, from week to week, from month to month, from year to year, you accumulated the number of objecives reached. Nice scores !

When you increase your happiness, you increase your determination because you see that your plan is working. Ready for the next level ?

With this solution, with your plan, viruses of categories A and B are ineffective. The Matrix will try every day to send you these viruses but you build your kingdom and nobody can invade your kingdom !

Did you wrote your plan ? What’s this ?

-Steph

Be A Winner

winner

Say you’re a winner isn’t arrogant, it’s a state of mind because the first step to success is in the mind. When it’s legitimate, when you have the talent, when people around you tell you that you’re good in something, why not trust in you ? People often confuse arrogance and self-confidence. Self-confidence is a good thing that allows you to have the lifestyle you want. Trust in you allows you to exceed you in the gym, to overcome you in your studies or your work. When you trust in yourself, you manage better the difficulties that a person who doesn’t have self-confidence, you have already noticed it, right ?

winner girl

This is the difference between athletes who make bodybuilding competitions being on stage and judged by people who don’t lift weights and athletes of powerlift or another sports that are judged by performances. In life, it’s a performance history because when you have a problem, you have to find a solution. You can talk with the person with you have the problem but you have to act to change the situation. Being a winner it’s not just in the gym or in a sport, it’s in life.

winner boy

I’m good in the gym and that’s why I give challenges to myself and I do it also with others people in the gym, it’s cool. We motivate together and we exceed our limits. You can do the same thing in your area, it allows you to get used to do difficult things, to get out of your comfort zone. I guarantee you that when you have a problem in your life, you will have more self-confidence to find the solution.

That’s be a winner, find the solution to every problem.

-Steph

Exercises and self-esteem

 self-esteem

You see I’m sure you think that sitting in front of a screen all day and sitting in front of the TV at night will not affect your physical health and your self-esteem. A « sit on a chair » life is normal for students, office worker and retired people but that does nothing to increase your physical condition, your energy, your self-confidence or your well-being. To feel strong and have a positive attitude, you can have it only by having a regular exercise program.

sedantary

Regular exercise makes your heart and your bones stronger, reduces your chances of developing a chronic disease with your blood pressure, you control your weight and reduce your anxiety and depression feelings. You boost your energy level, your oxygen capacity, your muscles, your well being, all that is necessary to increase your self-esteem. Frankly it’s a success to have create a training program, stick it and feel results. Cleveland Clinic’s studies have shown that doing 20-30 minutes exercise per day eliminates undesirable weight gain and boost your self-confidence. That’s good.

Society is obsessed with body image, you noticed it and it influences a lot of self-esteem. According to Heath & Fitness Association, image of your body is as important as your strength and your skill in a sport. Doing regular exercises has a positive effect on your self-esteem (especially for people who have low self-esteem).

body image

There is no formula that says how often or how much exercise you should do to influence your self-esteem but there are some guidelines: 20-60 minutes of exercises that challenge majority of your muscle groups 3-5 times a week; 8-10 resistance exercises (weight) to gain strength 2-3 times a week and a stretching session for flexibility 2 times a week.

Yoga, meditation, tai chi and qigong decease your blood pressure, anxiety, depression, anger and improves your psychological functions. According to the “Yoga Journal”, yoga decreases level of cortisol and adrenaline and helps to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and insulin resistance. Meditation stimulates the prefrontal cortex, which controls the level of happiness and healthy immune function. Being focusing on your breath, relaxes your blood pressure, improves your coordination, your quick reaction, your memory, your IQ. You sleep better, manage your emotions better, improves your relationships with others and your have a more positive image of you.

tai chi

Me and all people I know who exercises regularly, we have a better self-esteem and I guarantee you, we do stuff that you have no idea, aahahahahah! C’mon do it, you’ll see by yourself.

-Steph