Resistance Band Training

Resistance bands are one of the oldest exercising tools used in both fitness and rehab that recently have also been gaining more and more popularity.

Similarly to their free weight counterparts (i.e. Dumbbells & Barbells) resistance bands provide some degree of resistance, they allow for free range of motion, and variable movement speed. Also like free weights, they provide progressive resistance (meaning resistance can be added).

Unlike free weights, resistance bands do not rely on gravity to provide resistance, they provide continuous tension, and it also become more difficult to cheat the exercises with resistance bands as momentum can to always be used to your advantage.  Another great benefit to using resistance bands is that they provide linear variable resistance meaning that as the range of motion on the bands increases, so does the level of resistance.

Aside from the aforementioned resistance bands are great because they are

  1. Cost Effective
  2. provide great total body workouts
  3. Travel Friendly
  4. Easy Storage
  5. Provide variable training
  6. No training partners needed (i.e. spotters)
  7. Can be combined with other equipment during the workout (i.e. Dumbbells and barbells for added resistance.

My favorite resistance bands on the market right now are the ones sold by bforebands because their bands are incredibly variable.  you can interchange the bands to be attached to any anchors, the doors, ankle wraps, and regular handles.  They also have lateral bands which are great for resistance leg and glute exercises!

to get 10% off all your bforcebands orders you my bforcebands coupon code “LETLERFIT” at checkout!

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Cellulite: What is it?

Cellulite, many of us know about it, many of us see it on ourselves or other people, many of us try to get rid of while some succeed and some fail.  Cellulite does not discriminate, teens and adults alike are susceptible to having it.  Skinny individuals sometimes may even have more than what our horribly plastic society considers “fat” individuals.The bottom line…it’s NOT cute! so what exactly is it? Why does it form? How can we prevent it? Can we get rid of it?
cel·lu·lite
ˈselyəˌlīt/
noun
  1. persistent subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin, especially on women’s hips and thighs. Not in technical use.

Medical Terminology: adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis, and gynoid lipodystrophy

Street Terminology: cottage cheese skin and orange peel syndrome

Before I giving the down low on cellulite, I want to say something to the men: you TOO can fall victim to cellulite! It’s not just women (although we are more prone to getting it because put simply our bodies try to hold on to fat more than the male anatomy)!  Cellulite can also form anywhere! Even though it is found mostly on the thighs and hips, it can form in the arms, stomach, back.  Basically anywhere that can get “fat.”

Cellulite  can be caused by the following:

  1. Hormones
  2. Genetics: Before moving on to the next cause I wanted to state that genetics may predispose you to the tendency of developing cellulite, BUT it does NOT mean you WILL get and it’s not something that can be prevented or go away.
  3. Diet: over eating processed carbs, fats, salt, without enough fiber and water can cause a person to develop cellulite
  4. Lifestyle: Those who smoke, the sedentary, and those who sit in one place for a long time (desk jobs) may be more likely to develop cellulite
  5. Clothing: Wearing panties so tight that they restrict blood flow may actually contribute to cellulite development

Treatment:  There are probably a million and one cosmetic treatments on the market that cost a pretty penny.  So far from the case studies I have personally looked into, NONE of them have been scientifically proven to actually work.  There are also topical scrubs (i.e. sugar scrubs, coffee scrubs, rubbing amino acids, etc) and although those are much less expensive, once again from what I have looked into, they are not backed by science.  Anti cellulite creams? same thing! currently no medical research has been found to back up those claims.  Below is a small excerpt from Scientific American about what the aforementioned actually does:

“Most all creams will only address the fat. So the Nivea [Good-Bye Cellulite Gel-Cream] and others with L-Carnitine transports fats into the [cells’] mitochondria to be used as energy. Caffeine creams will help by blocking the making of fats by the alpha receptors. Some creams have aminophylline, (a compound in some respiratory drugs) which, like caffeine, works by blocking the alpha receptors. In most creams, you find some way of targeting only the fat cells [and not addressing the connective tissue or circulation aspects of cellulite]. ”

So what does work? Exercise, water, proper diet.  The goal is to decrease the size of your  own individual fat cells.

 

Setting Realistic Goals

This topic was suggested to me by one of my clients. Totally wishing I would have thought to cover my opinions on his topic sooner, as I think setting realistic goals is key in anyone’s fitness journey.

Far too often I get emails from followers saying they want to drop 50-100 pounds ASAP.  Wanting to lose 50-100 pounds is a great long term goal.  Where I like to start is short term weekly goes.   For example, why does someone need to lose that much weight? What habits did they create that made them gain so much excess weight? I am a huge follower of the baby steps principle.  I absolutely HATE when “fitness and health professionals” put people on ridiculously restrictive diets.  Sure they might restrict themselves for ,maybe a week but then it all hits the fans.  Binging is what we want to AVOID as we should be trying to promote a lifestyle change.  The other day I got an email from someone who was confused because they bought a nutrition program from someone and all it included was a “No No” list.

NoNo list example

Fit of all, almond milk and coconut milk aren’t even considered dairy!!!  Avocado is GOOD for you.  Nuts are GOOD for you.  I could rant on and on about this No No list.  How is this person even in business?! This is just not how you help someone establish a healthy lifestyle.  Start with them, help them remove sodas, processed juices from their diet first by replacing it with water, then tackle the fried and switch it with grilled or bakes for example.  But baby steps!  Not that don’t eat this, don’t eat that nonsense. On a sidetone, PLEASE don’t send me an email saying that you bought someone else’s program, but want my free advice.  Not happening.  But anyways…

Set daily goals:

-Today I will have veggies at every meal.

-Today I will have my smoothie without added sugar

-Today I will have more water than usual

and those are just a few

Set Weekly Goals:

-This week I will lose .5-1 pound.

-This week I will only have 1 bag of chips

-This week I will only have whole grain carbs

-This week I will not eat fried foods

-This week I will go from exercising zero times a week to 1-2 times a week.

Get the picture? Baby steps lead to achieving Monthly Goals:

-This month I will lose 5-10 Pounds (everyones body is different and loses weight at different paces, the goal is to focus on healthy habits)

-This month I went from eating 30 bad meals, to 15 bad meals

-This month I hit my exercise goals

Which helps you meet your annual fitness goals.

If there is one take home phrase I would love for “baby steps” to stick with you.  Don;y focus on bad decisions, focus on all of the good decisions.

 

Leafy Greens: My love hate relationship

Leafy greens and I have a love hate relationship.  I am probably the only vegetarian in the world that abhors veggies (except broccoli), but I eat them anyways because they are an integral part of a balances diet.  Vegetables in general are incredibly nutrient dense with very little calories.  Green veggies in general tend to be the most nutrient packed containing Vitamins A, C, K, B, and E along with minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium just to name a few.  Green vegetables are also extra high in protein and fiber.  Now before I continue I want to warn you guys that this is going to be a long, but info-packed post.  Because it is very long and I still have a workout to test, youtube videos to record, and chemistry to study I will not be doing extensive proof reading, only skimming.

Now that I have given that disclaimer I can move on.  So, our bodies have a something called t-bet genes.  They help with the production of immune cells and feed off the foods we eat, more specifically our consumption of green vegetables.  The t-bet gene also allows our body to produce innate lymphoid cells that line our digestive systems and act as a barrier against bad bacterias and allergies.  Without proper consumption of green vegetables you are depriving this gene in being able to carry out its daily activities inside our body.  Leafy greens are high in antioxidants and disease fighting compounds such as photo-chemicals.  Phyto-chemicals help reduce inflammation, regulate cell production and elimination, and they get rid of carcinogens (cancer causing agents often hidden in the processed garbage we eat).

How many servings should we aim for?  According to one of my nutrition textbooks the average American eating 3 servings a week! unfortunately, that’s no where NEAR enough.  The goal should be 4-6 servings of greens a day!  My advice, find a way to make them yummy, but be advised the more you take veggies out of their raw form, the more you strip them of their vitamins in minerals.

Although their are more green vegetables than the ones I am about to list, I chose the following 7 because they are either under-recognized or under-appreciated.

1.  Sprouts:  (Under-recognized) help our bodies to extract the necessary vitamins, minerals, healthy essential fats, and amino acids from the food we consume.

2. Spinach: (Under-appreciated) Contain vitamins A, C, K, and B-vitamins along with minerals such as calcium, iron, fiber, selenium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and copper.  They also provide us with folic acid, omega-3s (hint hint to all of my vegetarian/vegan friends, omega 3s are not just found in fish and iron is not only found in red meat, you just need to eat 10x the amount if your source is coming from plant), and lutein for eye health.  Spinach aids in overall heart health and is an anti-inflammatory veggie.

3. Kale: (WAYYYYYYY Under-appreciated) is one of the MOST NUTRIENT DENSE foods in the world!  It contains Vitamin A, K, C, B vitamins, and minerals such as manganese, calcium, copper, potassium,  and magnesium.  You can also find antioxidants and phytochemicals (quercitin and kempferl) that help protect the heart, regulate blood pressure, fights cancer causing agents, lowers cholesterol (which lowers risk of CHD), and also contains lutein and zeaxanmin to help keep your eyes healthy.  Because kale is low in calorie and high in nutrition it is an excellent veggie to stuff yourself with (especially when losing weight).

4.Swiss Chard: (Under-recognized) contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and minerals copper, manganese, magnesium, and natural sodium.  Swiss chard helps maintain an overall healthy skeletal system, lungs, heart, and immune system.

5.Collard greens: (under-recognized) contain vitamins A, C, K, are a great source of fiber, and phytochemicals diindolylenethane and sulforaphane that contain cancer fighting agents.

6. Dandelion Greens: (under-recognized) are like root rooter for your system.  Need a fast acting cleanse? Eat tons of dandelion greens!  They also are an excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, protein and vitamins A, C, and B.

7.Broccoli: (under-appreciated) are high in fiber, antioxidants, photo-nutrients beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and sea-xanthin.  Also have copious amounts of floats, B vitamins, vitamin A and K, and minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and phosphorous.  Contribute towards a healthy colon, urinary tract, and pancreas.

Not sure what all of the aforementioned vitamins and minerals do for us? scroll down to my micronutrient post!

Macronutrients vs Micronutrients part 1

Macronutrients vs Micronutrients.  What are they? We all hear about them, but do we really know what they are?  Today’s post is on the subject of macronutrients.

Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, Protein has 4 calories per gram, and Fats have 9 calories per gram.  Ever wonder how they figure out how many calories should be listed in the nutrition label? This is how!  So for example, if something has 15g of carbs it carries over to 70 calories.  Easy peezy.  🙂

Macros are incredibly simple to understand.  They are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  Let me start with carbohydrates.  So many misconceptions about whether they are good for you.  I LOVE carbs! They’re my best friend when I lack energy before a workout and for repairing my muscles after a workout.  I do of course, consume the good carbs.   The USDA recommends that 45-65% (depends on activity level) of total caloric intake to come from carbohydrates.  Carbs are converted into the body’s primary fuel source and they help certain amino acids synthesize (hint hint to all of my athletes).  When the body has carbohydrates to pull from it can use the other macros (fats and proteins) for their intended jobs (we will get to them in a bit).  They also aid in metabolizing fats, in other words, eat fats and carbs together (healthy ones of course).  Fiber is another type of carbohydrate and even though your body cannot digest fiber it is essential in overall digestive health.

The next kind of macronutrients are proteins.  The USDA recommends that 10-35% of your total intake should come from protein.  The average America however, consumes WAY TOO much protein.  Our cells are mainly composed of proteins that actually define our behavior and physical appearance.  How cool is that?  Proteins are also used for basic bodily maintenance like growth and tissue repair.  When carbs are not readily available to your body, your body takes its energy from protein.  Your digestive and immune system enzymes are made up of proteins.  Your body also uses protein for hormone regulation.

The third kind of macronutrients are fats.  20-35% of your daily intake according to the USDA should come from fats.  Fat is essential for your bodies growth and development and has the highest concentration of energy.  Fats are used to absorb vitamins A, D, E, K and Carotenoids for example and also serve as cushions to your organs.  Fats are also used to maintain the cell membrane.

In quick summary, depriving your body of any macronutrients is definitely something I do not recommend because as can be seen from the aforementioned, each macro plays an integral role in your body.  On Wednesday I will be posting about micronutrients.  Lastly, I apologize in advance for any typos.  Everything I have gone over in this post has come from class notes or my head (yes I pay attention in class)

Any further questions? Please do not hesitate to ask!

Haven’t gotten a chance to visit my website? not a problem! www.LetlerFit.com