Tag Archives: muscle

Sep. 30.

Welcome to the Sweet Side

Welcome to the Sweet Side

sugar

What is sugar?

Sugars come in the form of carbohydrates. There are two basic categories: complex and simple.

Complex: Have 3 or more sugars linked together. Complex, usually contain fiber and more micronutrients, causing a slower rise in blood sugar levels.

Simple: Have 1 or 2 sugars linked together. They are quickly absorbed in the blood stream and first to be used for energy. They will cause a quicker rise in blood sugar levels.

A list of sugars:

Sucrose

Glucose

HFCS

Fructose

Maltose

Lactose

Galactose

Maltodextrin

 

How is sugar used in the body?

Sugar enters the body via the blood stream. Once blood sugar levels rise the pancreas starts to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that communicates to cells to absorb glucose and use it for energy. As cells take in sugar the blood sugar level will drop. This will then signal again to the pancreas to produce glucagon; glucagon communicates to the liver telling it to release stored sugars. This process insures the body is getting adequate energy along with the brain.

Sugar is needed because insulin is needed. Without insulin the body will not use glucose for energy.

The glycemic index indicates how fast various carbohydrates enter the blood stream. The higher the number the faster it enters the blood stream. Fifty-five or below is considered low on the GI index, on behalf of Tour de Pizza we would like to mention how low pizza is on the glycemic index!

gi-chart

Who should watch sugar intake?

Most Americans eat 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, equaling 350 extra calories, by the end of the week that’s 2,450 extra calories!  Sugar intake probably should be monitored by most Americans. Also those with type 2 diabetes, for their bodies either ignore the insulin or don’t produce enough of it. Type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin.

If you do not have health concerns where you are recommended to watch your sugar intake, moderation is key. A Few cookies a day or a small cup of ice cream will not hinder your fitness goals.

When is best to indulge?

It makes sense to most to eat sugar in the morning, allowing it to be used all day for energy not causing fat gain. This may actually have the opposite effect.  In the morning you are just waking from a fast, making the body more sensitive to insulin. Whether you eat a donut before bed or at breakfast, glucose and insulin are the same to the body, the only difference is the body may be slightly more sensitive to the insulin in the morning, after fasting through the night.

Pre and post workout are good times to use insulin to help with recovery and performance. Eating a larger amount of glucose pre workout will help fuel you muscles during the workout since blood glucose is readily used for muscle contraction. Sucrose is ideal for it is made of both glucose and fructose. This may be because mixtures of sugars absorb quickly and cause the greatest break down of carbohydrates for energy (oxidation), which will in turn increase performance. Post workout sugars will fill glycogen stores that were burned while training; promoting a faster recovery and avoiding an energy crash after exercise.

Artificial sweeteners and hunger

Without diving too deep into this topic, artificial sugars and natural sugars need to be balanced in ones diet. If the body is too low in sugar it will cause hunger and most times a fat craving causing excess calorie consumption. High carbohydrates diets are less likely to provide excess energy (calories) than those of high fat diets. High carbohydrate diets are also more sustainable over a long period of time.

 

Too much or too little of anything can be harmful and/or toxic.

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spine
Jul. 28.

Posture Perfect

Posture Perfect

Your posture can say a lot about you. As a first impression posture speaks volumes about your confidence. Your posture also tells of your day to day activities. Your daily repeated habits teach your central nervous system to create these habit pathways therefore causing poor posture. These learned pathways often throw the body out of alignment, causing  pain and/or injury.

How to tell if you are out of alignment?

-          The first sign you may notice is pain. Many times clients are in pain and do not realize the pain is not caused by the muscles at the site of the pain. Pain is often and indicator  of an alignment issue caused by muscle imbalances.

-          If you predominately do everything with your dominate side. Meaning you carry bags on one side, you get out of bed with one leg, you pick up things with the dominate hand etc. these all can cause the muscles to become stronger on one side of the body, pulling the skeletal structure out of alignment.

-          How you sleep is a big one. Do you sleep on one side? Do you sleep in the fetal position? Having the body keep this position for 8 hours every day can be causing you posture issues and your pain.

Muscle Relations

The body can be divided into two groups of muscles that work in pairs around joints to create motion: tonic and phasic.

TONIC- These muscles are the flexor muscles and often the more dominate muscles. They can easily become tight due to over use or under use.

Tonic-and-Phasic-Muscles

PHASIC- These muscles are the extensor muscles. They are antagonists to tonic muscles. They tend to be more flaccid and weaker than tonic muscles.

 

Common Posture Imbalances

-          Upper- cross syndrome

upper 2

Tonic- Stenocleidomastoid, Scalenes, Levator Scapulae, Upper Trapezius, Pectoralis major

Phasic-Neck flexors, Rhomboids, Serratus Anterior, Lower Trapezius

Postural Change- protracted shoulders, winged or abducted scapula, increased cervical lordosis (curve/”sway” in neck), forward head, thoracic spine curvature increase

-          Lower- cross syndrome

 lower-cross-syndrome

Tonic (tight)- Gastroc-soleus, tibialis, posterior hip adductors, hamstrings, rectus femoris, Iliopsoas ,tensor fascia lata, Piriformis, Quadratus Lumborum

Phasic (weak or inactive)- Peroneus Longus, Tibialis, Anterior Vastus Medialis, Lateralis, Gluteus Maximus, Medius, Minimus, Rectus Abdominus

Postural Change- anterior pelvic tilt, increased lumbar lordosis, lateral leg rotation, knee hyperextension

 

         Forward Head

ForwardHdEv

Tonic- sternocleidomastoids, anterior scalenes

Postural Change- The head is forward. A correct posture the middle of the should is directly in line with the middle of the ear.

 

-         Uneven Shoulders

jennifer-back-smaller-with-good-color-tilt-arrows

Tonic- Trapezius on elevated side

Phasic- Serratus anterior on elevated side

Posture Change- When standing in the anatomical position one shoulder appears to be higher than the other. Scapula distance from spine is different on one side.

Causes172943-bad-posture

Posture imbalances are due to either trauma or repetitive behaviors that teach the  central nervous system to react a certain way when controlling or stabilizing posture. Computers, sitting at a desk, video games, cell phones, purses or repetitive movements due to one’s occupation are common causes of posture imbalances.  Sitting at a desk on a computer without proper posture  is one cause we most often see that causes imbalances throughout the entire body.  A quick exercise to help check your posture throughout the day is the Brugger exercise.

 

Brugger exercise

brugger

  • Sit towards the edge of your seat; this will naturally place your lower back into a curve
  • Separate your legs to 45 degrees each side with your feet turned out slightly
  • Your shoulders are relaxed and down with your chin tucked in
  • Fully extend both elbows. Make sure you keep your shoulders down and imagine your shoulder blades are pushing down then together .
  • Turn your thumbs out, palms up and separate your fingers.
  • Hold for 10 seconds repeating a few times a day.

Correction

1. Implement posture exercises such as the Brugger exercise throughout the day.

2. Side sleepers, grab a large pillow to keep your shoulders and hips open throughout the night.

3. Strengthen the phasic muscles and stretch the tonic muscles.

4. Strengthen your core

 

Pain free training starts here.  

Listed

“Another Example of a Postural Evaluation.” Breddyorg. N.p., 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 July 2015.

Dalton, Erik. “Strategies to Address Forward Head Posture.” Strategies to Address Forward Head Posture. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2015.

Nagelkirk, Jessica. “Dr. Nagelkirk: 4 Exercises to Improve Your Posture.” Dr. Nagelkirk: 4 Exercises to Improve Your Posture. N.p., 19 July 2013. Web. 27 July 2015.

“Lower Cross Syndrome.” Coast Clinic. N.p., 04 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 July 2015.

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Jun. 29.

Soreness & Effective Training

Soreness & Effective Training

Is DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) a true indicator of an effective workout?

Word on the streets is that there is this boot camp that will make you incredibly sore! They must be good trainers and constructing an effective workout right? …..wrong. Let’s go over some basics of what is actually taking place when these actin and myosin are at work.

doms

What is muscle soreness?

Muscle soreness post exercise should hit a peak around 24-48hours and why DOMS is named delayed onset muscle soreness.  DOMS is not related to lactic acid but is an inflammatory response. In an inflammatory response the body produces metabolic waste which then stimulates nerve endings to communicate to the brain there is pain. The body does as it would with any injury, it sends neutrophils to the site of the muscle damage to begin repair.

 

Who can get DOMS?

Anyone, at any fitness level.  Someone who has just begun an exercise regiment can expect DOMS but should communicate with the fitness professional about the severity of soreness.

 

Does soreness indicate a good workout?

No. Due to media and ignorance (to be frank) people have begun to chase soreness and rate a workout good or bad based on soreness. This is a dumb idea and will lead to injury. One can perform the same exercise frequently and not get DOMS and still make progress in their program. Extreme DOMS can also be an indicator that the individual over did it, which also indicates that their muscles are not yet capable of proper repair at that training intensity. Multiple studies have indicated that DOMS can cause injury due to compromised kinematics, reduced focus and motivation in lifts and hinders ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production.

 

How do I prevent DOMS?

We are all subject to DOMS, especially those fitness enthusiasts. The best treatment is the full treatment. Meaning make sure your training is progressive and smart, listen to your body while training and don’t ignore flexibility and mobility in your program.

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Does DOMS affect hypertrophy?

No study has shown that it does. DOMS is predominately caused by the eccentric contraction therefore some people will contract slower during the release (eccentric), training this way will not increase hypertrophic gains. Training a muscle group more often will lessen the chances of you getting DOMS and still produce hypertrophic gains.

 

Soreness, is part of the process but does not equal the process.

 

Contreras, Bret .., and Brad J. Schoenfeld. “Is Post Exercise Muscle Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations?” Is Postexercise Muscle Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations? 35.5 (2013): 16-19. Nsca-scj.com. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Oct. 2013. Web. 19 June 2015. 

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. “Decreasing Post-Exertion Muscle Soreness: What’s the Best Way?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 June 2013. Web. 23 June 2015.

 

 

 

 

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May. 15.

The Genetic Battle

The Genetic Battle

Genetic influences on weight loss, performance, muscle building and training.

Starting a weight loss or muscle gaining program can seem possible for some as results just do not seem attainable. If this is you, you might start thinking maybe it is just genetics!  Sure maybe you inherited your smooth appearance, shorter stocky frame and quick fat gaining abilities from your mother; but unfortunately you can not blame your ability to gain results on genetics!

bart

Results are based on many factors including but not limited by genetics. Part of your genetics is body type which consists of endomorphs, mesomorphs and ectomorphs;  some individuals can be a mix of two types based on genes from parents.

bodytypeswomenSeemingly, the individual with the most frustration with their results or the timeliness of their results is the endomorph. With a rounder physique and soft appearance this body type has to PUT.. IN..WORK!! By this I mean consistency. Endomorphs usually have to put in more work as well as be more patient with their results. This body type gains muscle as well as fat quickly! And in my experience does not loose the fat as quickly as the other two body types. Many endomorphs make up the obese population, not knowing or being educated on the training and nutrition protocol best for their bodies, weight gain can happen quickly!  Endomorphs may also be more insulin sensitive, not meaning no carbohydrates is best but to take more caution in portion and choices.  Therefore, though the results seem to never be attainable for the endomorph, with proper nutrition and training in due time this body type can gain the same  results as any other individual body type!

The second body type are mesomorphs. Mesomorphs are how training got its start! Before personal trainers, people would simply took to the guy in the gym who is always fit and muscular and ask him for advice. Little did he know his muscle gains may come slightly quicker to him than others, making his advice incompatible for all body types.  Mesomorphs are often some of the best athletes and body builders out there!

bodytypesMesomorphs gain muscle quickly and loose fat quickly! This body type usually has wider shoulders and hips, and a narrower waist.

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Williams sister’s both amazing athletes with different body types

Lastly, is the ectomorph body type. This body type maintains a skinner appearance in majority of cases. These individuals have narrow shoulders and hips as well as longer limbs and muscle bellies. They are what we call “hard gainers,” meaning ectomorphs usually have a harder time gaining muscle. Again, genetics is not a excuse for one’s abilities! Ectomorphs may not have to be as patient with fat loss but they do need to be patient with muscle gains.

The moral of the story, no matter the body type, nothing can out weigh proper nutrition, training and consistency . Each body type does call for a different training and nutrition regiment. If you have more questions please contact us to set up a free consultation!

ectogains

Fitness Rx Studios client making continual gains despite his ectomorph body type

Knowledge is half the Battle!

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