Exercise & Atherosclerosis

What is atherosclerosis and how does exercise help manage it?⠀
Put simply, atherosclerosis happens when too much plaque builds up in the walls of your arteries. This leads to heart attacks, which I doubt anyone wants to ever experience.⠀

While exercise does not directly reverse atherosclerosis, properly prescribed programming does manage this disease. How? ⠀
-Aerobic exercise results in the reduction of blood pressure and circulating LDL⠀
-Consistent exercise lowers the effect of platelet adhesion and positively influences cytokine dynamics (helps protects your cells)⠀

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

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The Basics of Exercise Order

Do you find yourself slapping together different exercises and hoping it works out or even thinking it gave you the best workout ever? I know i’ve been there. Believe it or not there’s a science to exercise order and sadly enough I have yet to see any of the famous fitspos with 1M+ following use correct order.⠀

Exercise order depends on recruitment goals and is a direct reflection of the energy system-tension relationship. ⠀

Exercise your major muscles (primary) groups using your compound lifts first, move into unilateral exercises (secondary), and end with exercises that target your stabilizers (ancillary). You need your stabilizers for your compound lifts so avoid fatiguing them first. ⠀

If you feel like you need help in every which way, I’ve got you! DM me or Email LetlerFit@gmail.com let me help you exercise correctly and effectively.⠀

If you like creating your own workouts, but are curious to see how they can be tweaked or improved, I help with that as well!⠀

Biagioli, Brian Dominick. Advanced Concepts of Personal Training. National Council on Strength and Fitness, 2012.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Obesity Beyond “Looks”

Obesity leads to ⠀
-Systemic inflammation⠀
-Insulin Resistance⠀
-Disturbances in the secretion and function of adipokines⠀

Not only does it create the aforementioned issues, but it puts you at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (when your body struggles to utilize glucose and produce insulin, and/or it’s inability to act in response to insulin production). Did you know that 90% of all diabetes cases are type 2? Did you also know that this is potentially avoidable with lifestyle modifications?⠀

Risk factors for developing diabetes include:⠀
-Certain Medication⠀
-Race⠀
-Hypertension⠀
-Stress⠀
-Age⠀
-Pregnancy⠀
-Family history (genetics) ⠀
-High Cholesterol⠀

For every 500 kcal of energy expenditure per week that comes from exercise, the risk for type 2 diabetes is reduced by 6%.⠀

Exercise also helps increase ones insulin sensitivity by improving carbohydrate metabolism and glucose tolerance from enhanced cellular uptake.

I challenge you to stop looking at obesity as someone who is “fat” and needs to lose weight to be “skinny” because that’s NOT the issue.   The issue is HEALTH.⠀

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Breaking Down Your Muscle Fibers

Every time I hear someone say an exercise targets fast or slow twitch fibers and have zero idea what they’re talking about, drives me crazy. While science is currently investigating I believe the last number I was told was 16 fiber types, the general teaching consensus is 3. Type 1, Type 2a, and type 2x. Fast and slow twitch in the science community btw is slowly starting to fade away because they realized thats not the best way of describing our muscle fibers. But for now, I put them into the blog explanation below:⠀

Your type 1 fibers are known as the slow twitch muscle fibers because they have the slowest firing rate, least amount of force production, and smallest circumference. They are however most resistant to fatigue and have the greatest aerobic efficiency of the other fibers.⠀

Your type 2a fibers are known as your fast twitch oxidative fibers because they have a fast firing rate, produce moderate force, and have a moderate circumference. As opposed to the type 1 fibers, your type 2 fibers fatigue rapidly because of the high force production and they aid in extended work at lower force output.⠀

Lastly, your type 2x fibers are known as the fast twitch glycolytic fibers and have the fastest firing rate of the 3 muscle fibers, the greatest force production, and largest circumference. They fatigue the fastest, but have the greatest creatine phosphate efficiency.⠀

Biagioli, Brian Dominick. Advanced Concepts of Personal Training. National Council on Strength and Fitness, 2012.⠀

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Do Your Cardio!

Did you know that sedentary individuals have a 20-50% greater risk for developing hypertension compared to individuals who are fit?⠀

Regular exercise can decrease your risk of developing hypertension by:⠀
-improving arterial vasodilation⠀
-Facilitating Baroreceptor adjustment⠀
⠀⠀
Overtime aerobic exercise can reduce diastolic and systolic measures of Blood Pressure by 6-7 mmHG. In order to accomplish this you want to make sure you are exercising aerobically 30-60 minutes, 3-4 days per week at a 60-70% of VO2 Max intensity.⠀

Think a personal trainer and healthy food is expensive?⠀

-Hypertension costs the US 64 Billion dollars per year!⠀
-By simply reducing your blood pressure by 12-13 points your risk of heart attack goes down by 21% and any deaths associated with CVD go down by 25%⠀
-a 10% decrease in total blood cholesterol level may reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease by up to 30%⠀
-47% of heart attack and stroke victims die before getting emergency assistance⠀
-90% of all middle aged adults will develop hypertension at some point in their remaining life.⠀

Moral of the story: CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT…as much as I hate doing it⠀

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

6 Factors That Affect The Effectiveness Of Any Workout

So many people think creating an exercise is just slapping exercises, reps, intervals, rest time, etc. together and it’s gold.  Except that mentality is completely false…believe it or not there is a science to creating an effective workout.  Here are my 6 simplified (emphasis on simplified) factors that affect the effectiveness of your workout.

  1. Work:Rest Ratio:  This ratio basically means the amount of time you are performing an exercises compared to the amount of time needed to recover correctly from the exercise during a workout.  Did you know that when we exercise it triggers our body’s energy systems?  For the purpose of keeping this blog simple I will be grouping ATP with our Phosphocreatine system, even though they are technically separate depending on training factors.  So anyways we have our ATP-PC system which is any activity lasting up to 15 seconds, we have our anaerobic system which is activity lasting up to 90 seconds, and our aerobic system lasting greater than 90 seconds.  Now, did you know that the correct rest interval is one of the MOST important factors of a workout?  But how do you know how long you should rest?  To start, look at the dominant energy system working based on how long your bout of exercise is.  Typical recovery for the ATP-PC system is anywhere from 30-50 seconds, for our anaerobic system is 1-3 minutes, and for our aerobic system it is typically a 1:1 ratio.  Again, this is a very basic run down, but I hope it helps to open up your eyes to one of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym without knowing it is one of the worst mistakes.
  2. Muscle Groups:  Ever had an instatrainer give you HEAVY deadlifts at the very end of you workout?  Well, fire them!  Again, exercise is not just “let me slap sh** together.” There is a method to the madness, that sadly only a handful of trainers these days understand.  Again, for the sake of keeping it simple you work the larger muscle groups in compound exercises first and progress towards the unilateral exercises, isolation exercises, and smaller muscle group exercises.  Meaning Squats, Deadlifts, and Bench press go first on your weight training days and THEN you add your lunges, romanian deadlifts, hamstring curls, push ups, bicep curls, etc.
  3. Hydration:  Dehydration can cause muscles to cramp, fainting, poor muscle recovery post workout, and more disaster.  Before any exercise, especially in hot/humid environments it is crucial that you are well hydrated before, during, and after! Drink roughly 2-3c 1-2 hours before exercise, roughly 1c during, and 2-3c after your workout on top of your regular non exercise related hydration.
  4. Rest:  Rest days are vital!  They allow your muscles to repair and grow! Overdoing exercise can put your body in a catabolic state (your body takes energy from muscles…thereby breaking muscle down).  Even elite athletes get rest days!  For the average person I recommend tops 3 days back to back of exercise before taking a 1 day rest.
  5. Pre-Workout Fuel:  If you don’t properly fuel up for you workout, how can you expect your body to have the proper energy it needs to perform the workout?  Before a workout if you eat 2 hours to 90 minutes before have a solid healthy meal with protein, whole grains, and a healthy fat.  If you can’t eat something until 60-30 minutes before your workout have something light!  Like a peanut butter sandwich, a banana with peanut butter, etc.  But having a carb and protein source is crucial!
  6. Post Workout Fuel:  Did you know exercise causes stress on the body?  A stress our body is well equipped to recover from as long as it gets the energy it needs post workout to carry out its recovery process.  If you are like me and cannot stomach a hardy meal post workout I drink a post workout shake. The important feature to my shake is it is NOT just protein.  It also contains fast digesting carbohydrates.  Many protein shakes on the market fail miserable because they offer less than 5 grams of carbohydrates post workout…when carbs are more important than the protein (both still important though!)  The average person can refuel just fine with a 1:1 ration of protein and carbs, while a more advanced gym goer benefits from 1:2 protein and carb ratio…again this is the simplified rule of thumb….calculating based on body weight and exercise type can be a pain for someone who does not know how.

Hopefully this helps you tweak your current routine, even if it is a basic switch….leave the complicated applications to the knowledgeable trainers, coaches, etc.  For the average gym goer do your best with the basic run down!

Not sure where to start and want a real fitness professional to guide you?  Let me be your coach! fill out my starter questionnaire: here

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Sleep Deprivation and Exercise Performance

We all sleep, we all lose sleep when things get crazy, and we all feel out of whack when we do start to lose sleep.  Some of us are athletes and are demanded to train at a certain level day in and day out.  Sometimes balancing our training and personal life gets so hectic that we sacrifice sleep in order to fit everything into our boys schedules, but what happens to our athletic performance when we lose sleep?

Studies have showed that a lack of sleep in an athletes body has lead to an inability to properly metabolize glucose as well as an increase in cortisol levels.  An increase in cortisol levels comes from our body’s increase in stress levels that are induced by sleep deprivation that sometimes we don’t notice.  It can lead to an impaired memory, age-related insulin resistance, and an inability for your body to recover it’s muscles.  Lack of sleep also decreases the levels of human growth hormone.

So what does the aforementioned actually mean for an athlete?

1. Glucose and Glycogen (stored glucose) are your muscles source of energy.  For an endurance athlete being able to utilize the glucose in your muscles and liver is extra important.  Not only does sleep deprivation decrease glycogen stores but it also decreases utilization, which greatly .

2. Raised cortisol levels mess with muscle tissue and repair, which is needed to full recover from a gruesome training day.

Recap: Many athletes think diet is the most important factor in recovery and taking your training to the next level.  In  reality, diet and sleep go hand in hand if you want to recover and be able to train harder the next day.

athlete being able to store glucose and utilize it 100% in your muscles and liver is extra important.