Archive | July, 2010

Take A Flying Leap! Jump Through That Window And…

26 Jul

by Phillip Tomlinson

They are as old as the hills, but they never get stale.

Just peek into any gym and you may be lucky enough to see  the odd gym rat hanging from a bar doing exercises that elevate him all the way up to his chinnie-chin-chin. 

With a lot of effort.

That’s why, if nothing else, these exercises — military boot camp staples that would have you hanging like a bat — still remain tops when it comes to defining upper body strength.

Of course, I don’t have to tell you that whether you place your palms inward for the more challenging chin-up or outward for the little-less taxing pull-up, those two bad boys can be difficult.  Very difficult.

But, any way you slice it, because these twin terrors have been known to kick some butt to the point of embarrassment, it’s safe to say a majority of gym goers prefer to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground.

Except for one who caught my attention sometime ago.

She was really the exception, I realized, when she jumped up, clung to the bar like a chimp — and a champ, I might add — and matter-of-factly pumped out 10 repetitions of no-joke chin-ups.

Despite her small stature, she definitely packed a real no-nonsense wallop and, while effort was definitely not one of her shortcomings, I discovered through our subsequent conversation that  nutrition was.  Here she was doing one of the most difficult strength-training exercises, along with a kick-ass weight training routine, while practically running on fumes. 

This was all the more impressive, but definitely not smart because of the havoc she was wreaking on her body, especially when you consider the impact of nutrition on muscle development.  

While the right nutrition is a necessary constant, it is especially crucial before and after weight training sessions.  No ifs, ands or buts, this is where you need to keep the words “before” and “after” in the forefront of your brain.  In this instance, the definition of “before” and “after” is timing.  And it is everything.  Let’s put it this way:  With the right nutrition, timing could have the most impact on fat loss, muscle growth, recovery and physical performance.

I’m sure you will agree that if you are going to bust your chops working out you may as well get the most out of it.  So, since we’re now on the same page, I cannot stress this enough:  The timing of your meal is just as important as what’s in it.

When you put your shoulders to the wheel in a strenuous workout, you are in effect waging an all-out assault on your muscles.  Really.  That’s because free radical formation starts to tear down your muscles as does the trauma induced by the exercises.  And, as you may be aware, free radicals are molecules that have been linked by various studies to cancer, hardening of the arteries, heart disease, premature aging and so on.

Of course, the right pre-workout fuel, while minimizing the negative effects of free radicals on your body, can also prime you for optimum muscle growth and fat loss.

In addition, the muscle damage that occurs during exercise is beneficial because it allows you to sculpt that sleek, new high-performance you — but only after you have replenished muscle stores with the right post-workout nutrition to repair that damage.

That window, however, only remains open for so long after your exercise session ends.  And once it slams shut, you have in effect assaulted your body and left it defenseless.  So, if there was ever a great time to take a flying leap, it would be right here.  This is definitely one time when jumping through that window real fast could do you a lotta good.  This is where you will make the greatest gains.  In fact, your health may just depend it.

According to various experts, ignore this and you may very well be spinning your wheels to nowhere.

Since I know you’d rather be on your way to somewhere, you can find a pre- and post-workout meal guide in the BodiinSync Prescription below:

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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  1. Prepare a protein shake (with water) that supplies at least 40 grams of whey protein.  It is one of the easiest proteins to digest and has all the essential amino acids.  It is also one of the highest sources of branch chain amino acids which, among other things, promote healing and growth.  Use a product that contains little or no fat. 
  2. With regards to carbohydrate, this is one instance when sugar is appropriate.  You will need 40 to eighty grams of carbohydrates.  To do this, you could combine the protein, a banana, some berries (strawberries, raspberries, etc) a couple of ice cubes, half a cup of cooked oatmeal in a blender to make a creamy shake.
  3. Drink a half of the mixture 15 to 30 minutes before working out and the other half immediately after you workout.
  4. You may take your multi-vitamin here as well as vitamin E and C which, according to research, have been shown to help remove free radicals that cause muscle fiber breakdown.

NOTE:  As for the shake, you could simply make two identical shakes — one before with 20 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbohydrate, and another immediately after working out.  If you are on the go and cannot manage this, then a great option is to choose a product with 4o grams of protein and up to 80 grams of carbohydrates, mix with water and drink a half before working out and the rest after working.  Biotest Surge Recovery (1 1/2 servings) provides 25 grams of protein, 46 grams of carbohydrate and 2 1/2 grams of fat.

WHY SHAKES?  Because, in this case, liquid nutrition is best.  It hits your muscles in minimal time and with minimal effort on the part of your digestive system.

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BODINSYNC GOES TO CENTRAL PARK — Join me for my fun and exhilarating Bodinsync Summer Challenge outdoor workout.  SCHEDULE:  Friday, July 30, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10; Saturday, July 31, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10.  For more information or to sign up, please send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com

Price:  $20 (usually a $90 value

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One, Two, Three… Magical Baby Steps To Satisfaction

19 Jul

By Phillip Tomlinson

You might have found it magical too that cold November evening that suddenly turned warm when I came face to face with joy and satisfaction on a Manhattan sidewalk.

“Sir, can you please help me across the street?” came the voice that started that remarkable temperature change as I dashed through the frosty air along 14th Street, hardly relishing the short couple of blocks between the subway and me.

I can hardly remember if I had seen or heard her first, but I am certain of one thing:  She left an impression that was as immediate as it was lasting.

Dignity.  Style.  Purposeful determination.  More like Katherine Hepburn holding a walker.

I offered a hand to support her, but she quickly declined with resolute calm.  “No, no,” she said.  “Just walk beside me.”

She would have none of it, being quite content to do her own lifting.

Because my companion’s body was really on borrowed time, it was perhaps the slowest I had ever walked since learning to take my first steps.  But that hardly mattered because, while the traffic light went through several changes as we inched our way across the street, I learned a thing or two on this interesting journey before it ended at the bus stop on the other side.

For one, this was definitely “the road less traveled.”

On baby steps, she had made it all the way here from the far reaches of New Jersey.  And, by hook or by crook, with more baby steps, she would get on this other bus across the street and feel the satisfaction of making it up to Washington Heights to visit her hospitalized daughter that night.

Have you taken any baby steps lately?  Or are you constantly being done in by the big picture?  You know, the mental tug-of-war that paralyzes you when it comes to the commitment it takes to get into shape and make it a permanent lifestyle.

If the latter has you in a tailspin, how about simply taking baby steps?  Inching toward your stop on the other side.  And, by the time you are fully on the bus, you’ll be in pretty good rhythm — rolling toward satisfaction.

If you are like most, you are already moving your body by doing the things we all do in the course of normal living — getting up, sitting down, walking and so on.

If you haven’t yet figured it out, that’s as good a place as any to start taking baby steps, because you could use these same functional body movements, building on them each time to increase the degree of difficulty, eventually getting yourself into the kind of shape that’ll spell — you guessed it — satisfaction.  In heaps.

While this takes some effort, it can be a lot of fun on the way to your destination.  And, most of all, rewarding when you get there, especially if you decide to take the advice of a guy named Frost who once wrote about taking the “road less traveled” and it making all the difference.

Since I have a feeling you’d like to get on “the road less traveled,” check out the following BodinSync Prescription that could make a helluva lotta difference:

 

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THE BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION 

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  1. Pick up two small hand weights and stoop down as if to tie your laces – one leg in front of the other.  The leg in front should be firmly planted on the ground,  while the one behind, heel up, should be supporting most of your weight.  Your hands should hang at your side, palms facing forward.
  2. Stand up shifting your weight to your front leg while simultaneously lifting your back leg off the ground.  You should be standing only on one leg while retracting the other leg up in front as if trying to touch your knee to your chest.  As you stand, curl the weights up to your shoulders  and press them overhead.  
  3. Lower the weights back to your shoulders and down to your sides.  THAT’S ONE REPETITION.
  4. Aim for 10 repetitions on one side.
  5. Rest for 30 seconds.
  6. Do 10 repetitions on the other side, making sure to first switch your leg position, placing the one you started with in back.

NOTE:  This routine can be made

  1. Easier by touching the toe of the sneaker in back lightly to the floor, only lifting your knee up in front when you have safely curled and pressed the weights overhead — returning that foot in like manner as you descend back to the starting position.
  2. Harder by trying to pick your back leg up off the floor as early as possible as you stand up, and by increasing the weights.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TRYING MORE OF THESE FUNCTIONAL WORKOUTS, YOU MAY SEND YOUR E-MAILS TO

nattydregs@aol.com

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BODINSYNC GOES TO CENTRAL PARK — Join me for my fun and exhilarating Bodinsync Summer Challenge outdoor workout.  SCHEDULE:  Friday, July 23, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10;  Friday, July 30, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10;  Saturday, July 17, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10;  Saturday, July 24, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10;  Saturday, July 31, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10.  For more information or to sign up, please send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com

Price:  $20 (usually a $90 value

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Dogged Devotion Seven Days A Week

12 Jul

by Phillip Tomlinson

Pick any day and the story would be the same.  All week. 

I should know because it’s a story I’ve re-lived time and again whenever I am on or around East 61st Street in Manhattan — especially at the end of the day.  You could even say it’s routine. 

But it’s hardly mundane, since there’s nothing mundane about devotion.  The kind of devotion that catches the eyes of just about every passerby who walks by this unusual scene.  If it were a reality show it would most surely be called “A Woman And Her Dog.”

Of Course, there’s nothing unusual about a woman walking her dog, because walking your dog simply becomes a routine — well, much like eating your breakfast.  No big deal.  Unless it turns into a multi-hour affair.

And whadduyah know? 

Yep, it’s a multi-hour affair every time this woman and her dog set foot outside their door.

And here’s where that reality show would be revised to “A woman And Her Narcoleptic Dog.”

Stealth-like sleep attacks.  No joke. 

Everyday, seven days a week, this giant, shaggy, white dog keels over just about anywhere.  Drops like it’s been shot, while it’s owner stands — leash in hand — waiting with unfailing devotion until Mother Nature calls a halt to the poor animal’s cruel-joke-of- a-slumber, sometimes an hour or two later.

How about some loving devotion?

Think you’ve got it in you?

And I’m talking more than breakfast here.  More than routine.  I’m really talking about a multi-hour affair.  And it’s all about loving devotion to yourself.  And, guess what?  You’re holding your own leash when it comes to that.  What exactly?

Eating.  Yes, eating. 

And you’re not allowed to fall asleep on this one. 

Here’s the deal:  If you want to prime your body to be a fat-burning machine, you’ll need to devote some time to eating.  Make it a multi-hour affair.  Seven days a week.  No, this is not a typo.  Yes, that’s exactly what I said.  And no, that’s not what I mean if you think I’m suggesting you stuff yourself silly.

In short, you must devote yourself to — six times a day, seven days a week — making sure you are well fed.  But also know this:  If you are wedded to eating three square meals a day you will eventually become round. 

Conversely, if you’re on a starvation diet, that’s no way to get that killer body that’s been eluding you.  That’s because science has established that most calorie-restrictive diets cause your body to work against you, conspiring to store fat like you are a black bear hibernating in winter.  What’s more, this will also rob your body of precious lean mass.  Yes, you will most certainly lose muscle and, at some point, that muscle will be replaced by — you got that right — fat.  A vicious cycle.  And — I should add — circle, because it’s at this point that you are sure to become round.

 And if you’ve been following the BodinSync blog, you know that muscle is fat’s kryptonite because for every pound of muscle you gain, you burn some 50 calories per day. 

Here’s the whole picture in a nutshell:  When you shovel truckloads of calories into your body by eating three square meals, there are large gaps of time when it’s operating without fuel and, as a defense mechanism, will suddenly start storing fat.

The solution?

Break those three meals up into six.  This will stoke your furnace and cause your body to burn calories pretty much all the time.

Why?  Every time your body digests food, you burn calories. 

So, with dogged devotion, work on turning your body into a fat-burning machine and you’ll not only look better, but feel better.  And another bonus?  

You’ll be sure to catch a lot of eyes.  

For guidelines on eating to cut flab and on how you may come out on top in the battle of the bulge, visit the BodinSync archive and read ” Delicious! Savor Butter Without Guilt.”    Also click on the following link:  http://www.menshealth.com/men/nutrition/food-for-fitness/build-muscle/article/9049402df3f85110vgnvcm10000013281eac/3

See the BodinSync Prescription below for what an ideal eating schedule would look like.

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THE BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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8 a.m.:  Breakfast; 11 a.m.: Snack; 1 p.m.: Lunch; 4 p.m.: Snack; 6 p.m.: Dinner; 8 p.m.: Snack.  Your own daily schedule may call for a different timeline.  The important thing is that you structure your meals in this way — roughly two hours apart.

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BODINSYNC GOES TO CENTRAL PARK — Join Phillip for his fun and exhilarating Bodinsync Summer Challenge outdoor workout.  SCHEDULE:   Monday, July 12, from 6:30 – 7:10 p.m.  (SOLD OUT);  Friday, July 16, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10;  Friday, July 23, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10;  Friday, July 30, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10;  Saturday, July 17, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10;  Saturday, July 24, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10;  Saturday, July 31, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10.  For more information or to sign up, please send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com

Price:  $20 (usually a $90 value

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No Cop On Your Back, So Step On It!

5 Jul

by Phillip Tomlinson

That’s right!

But as for my back, I’ll tell you a quick story.  It happened a few years back, and I was really stepping on it.  Behind the wheel of my new Shelby Charger.  

And I don’t need to tell you that speed can sometimes have an exhilarating effect.  Pulse-pounding.  That winter night was no different as I streaked along an Ohio freeway. 

Then I saw the flashing red lights in my rearview mirror and I knew.

“You going to the hospital?” asked the friendly officer, minutes later, as I sat alongside him in his patrol car.

His followup question came quickly on the heels of my puzzled hesitation:  “Those aren’t MD plates you got there?”

As I shrugged my shoulders sheepishly and nodded my head in the negative, I knew a citation was in my immediate future. 

A few minutes later, as I exited, the officer had a parting compliment:  ” Those are nice wheels you got there.”

Needless to say, I slowed down.

You don’t have to, especially since there is no cop on your back.  Funny thing is if you don’t slow down you could end up with nice wheels. 

Yeah, I kinda figured that I would lose you on that one.

Okay, let’s cut to the chase.  The wheels I’m talking about is your body.  

Ever notice the sleekness of a high-performance car?  Built for speed, right?  Well, on the flip side, speed can help you get a sleek, high-performance body to die for.

Yes, I’m talking about getting your heart pumping.  Really pumping!

And, no, I’m not talking about the long, slow, boring runs or rides that define your cardio workout.

To be sure, you can definitely benefit from those, because they can strengthen your heart, relieve stress, burn calories and so forth.  But why would you settle for being a Yugo when you can be Lamborghini?

You see, your standard cardio has its limitations:  It only burns calories for the duration of the time you are doing it and not afterwards — a lot of effort for your return, and it definitely doesn’t build muscle.

I know — you are probably saying “I don’t really need to build muscle as such.”  But, believe me, if you want that sleek, high performance body, if you want to be as healthy as you can be and you really want to burn calories, then some muscle growth should definitely be part of the equation.

So, back to speed, especially since I know you definitely wouldn’t say no to cranking up the fat burn.  Doing that though means you’ll need to change gears.

At regular intervals.  As in interval training — the exact opposite of the long, slow, even pace that is usual cardio training.

And let’s not forget speed, since it’s the bread and butter of interval training which relies on short bursts of high-intensity exertion interspersed with restful exercise.

The tactic, for example, requires that you sprint all out — whether on a treadmill, outdoors, using a stationary bike, etc., — anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds, slowing down to a lower intensity for another 30 to 60 seconds before repeating the entire cycle.  Depending on your intensity, this could cover a session of 10 to 3o minutes of you repeating this cycle.

The result?  

Fat incineration with a vengeance.

In fact, the proof is in the pudding — according to researchers who conducted studies using two groups:  one who did the usual slow, uniform cardio, and another employing intervals.

Incredibly, the group engaged in interval training — while exercising less — not only burned 9 times the amount of fat more than the other group, but did so mostly after the workout had ended.  Nothing beats this except, of course, weight training.

A real bonus with fringe benefits to boot.  So, get on with it — using whatever mode of locomotion you choose — and feel much more than the wind in your hair.  You could end up with a nice set of wheels.

For some pretty useful information on interval training click on the following link in the BodinSync prescription:

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THE BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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http://www.intervaltraining.net/ 

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BODINSYNC GOES TO CENTRAL PARK — Join Phillip for his fun and exhilarating Bodinsync Summer Challenge outdoor workout.  SCHEDULE:   Monday, July 12, from 6:30 – 7:10 p.m.  (SOLD OUT);  Friday, July 16, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10;  Friday, July 23, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10;  Friday, July 30, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:10;  Saturday, July 17, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10;  Saturday, July 24, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10;  Saturday, July 31, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:10.  For more information or to sign up, please send your E-mail to nattydregs@aol.com

Price:  $20 (usually a $90 value)

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