Warrior Workout

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 18, 2011 by Firstsource

Get stronger, fitter and burn pounds of bodyfat with this high intensity, MMA-inspired routine

By Joe Wuebben

You can try to find a more well-rounded athlete in terms of overall fitness than a mixed martial arts fighter, but we doubt you’ll be able to.

A high level MMA fighter has the endurance to go five 5-minute rounds with a little bit still left in the tank at the end; the power and strength to land lethal strikes and execute crippling submission holds; and the overall athleticism to master various fighting disciplines, from wrestling to karate to boxing. Not coincidentally, virtually all successful MMA fighters possess lean, athletic physiques to show for it (with rare exceptions, like Roy Nelson). So if the UFC body type is what you’re after, why not train like a fighter?

“The types of workouts I do with my MMA athletes don’t require any running or aerobic work, because there’s no aerobic work done in a fight, only anaerobic,” says Adam Zart, head strength and conditioning at Hayastan-IMB Mixed Martial Arts school in Charlotte, North Carolina (HayastanIMB.com).

“We do sprint-based intervals, and by doing this, the guys respond faster to putting on muscle and losing bodyfat in addition to improving their cardio levels. But it’s not necessarily muscle mass they’re putting on – it’s more muscle density. Most of the exercises we do are big, compound, leg-based moves. In fighting, the guys are squatted down a lot and shooting in for takedowns, so these guys can’t afford to get tired legs.”

“[Zart’s] strength and conditioning program for me has been amazing,” says Tony Tan, a trainee of Zart’s who will be making his amateur MMA debut at Patriot Fights in Charlotte on September 10 (ImperialFighting.com). “I noticed results in my cardio after just one week – being able to spar longer and not be tired afterwards. I was also worried about having to cut weight, but I haven’t had to do that at all, as the pounds just fell off naturally without having to change my diet, and I feel much stronger.”

The below workout, designed by Zart, is a collection of basic yet intense movements that, when performed as a circuit (one exercise after the other with minimal rest, then repeat multiple times) can whip anyone into shape, fighter or otherwise. Give it a try the next time you’re looking to complement your traditional lifting program with a dose of high-intensity, fat-burning conditioning work.

THE WORKOUT

Perform each of the following three exercises continuously for 30-60 seconds, depending on your fitness level (a beginner would start at 30 seconds and work up to a minute). Rest 30 seconds between each exercise and, over time, decrease rest periods in 5-10-second increments (down to as little as 10-15 seconds) as you get in better shape. For beginners, perform as many rounds as you can in 10-15 minutes, taking extra rest as needed. As you progress, perform as many rounds as you can in 30 minutes keeping rest periods to 30 seconds or less.

SPEED ROWS

How To: Using either a rowing machine (like a Concept 2 rower) or an elastic resistance band anchored high up in a doorframe or on a pull-up bar. Perform the rowing motion as fast as possible for the duration of the set.

PLYOMETRIC PUSH-UPS

How To: Explode out of the bottom of a push-up so that your hands leave the ground at the top of each rep with your arms extended. To start out, perform with your hands on top of a high box (an easier variation than hands on the floor). Repeat for reps until 30-60 seconds is up.

TWISTING MEDICINE BALL SLAMS

How To: Stand facing away from a solid wall (brick or cinder block), about a foot away from it, holding an 8-12-pound medicine ball in front of your midsection with your elbows bent. Twist explosively to one side, slam the ball off the wall, then catch it and repeat to the opposite side. Repeat for 30-60 seconds in a side to side twisting motion.

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Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2011 by Firstsource

Grilled Chicken Skewers

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2011 by Firstsource
Gretchen Roberts
Try this Mediterranean inspired dish to keep your body in top shape

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders
Bamboo skewers

Serves 4

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine first five ingredients in a glass dish or resealable plastic bag. Add chicken tenders and coat thoroughly. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.

3. Heat grill to medium. Thread chicken onto bamboo skewers and grill 3-4 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Discard remaining marinade.

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):

194 calories
24 g protein
2 g carbs
7 g fat
0 g fiber
64 mg cholesterol
222 mg sodium
0.5 g sugar

Healthy Grilling

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2011 by Firstsource

Healthy Grilling

Barbeques can present you with diet-busting temptations, or clean options. The choice is yours.

By Ian Cohen

Few things please the palate better than a juicy burger or steak coming off the grill. When it comes to backyard barbecuing, red meat reigns as king. Unfortunately, it also wreaks havoc on your health with its artery clogging, saturated fat – fat that you busted your butt to shed at the gym. So the next time you fire up the grill, consider these healthy food options that not only taste great, but will also keep you lean and healthy throughout the summer.

 

Lower-Fat Meats

If cutting out meat just doesn’t cut it for you, consider at least substituting some leaner cuts when barbecuing, such as pork tenderloin, beef flank or sirloin steak. These cuts contain significantly less saturated fat than hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausage, while also offering more nutrients and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. 

 

Poultry Preferences

With its warm bun and delicious fixings, bypassing the hamburger can be tough going at the family barbecue. A great way to maintain the joys of the burger-eating experience is to switch it up by substituting a turkey burger. Just be sure to use mostly lean, ground, white-meat turkey, or you risk losing those low-fat advantages. 

 

Want to trim the fat further? A skinless chicken or turkey breast will give you the delicious, low-fat offering you crave. With just 3 grams of fat for a 3 oz. portion, these lean poultry products present a stellar substitute to their beefier cousins who come in at 15 grams of fat for every 3 oz serving. Be mindful however, that these numbers won’t mean squat if you leave the skin on since that’s where the majority of poultry fat is found. 

 

If it’s protein you’re concerned about, rest assured chicken and turkey are among the leanest ways to get it. As a matter of fact, a 3-ounce serving of lean chicken or turkey, without the skin, will provide about 27 grams of protein, compared to 23 grams of protein for a similar sized serving of beef.  

 

Go Fish

Land dwellers aren’t your thing? Then fish is an excellent option for your summer barbecuing. Aside from its great taste and low-saturated fat content (5 grams in a 3 oz. serving), fish is a high-quality protein (22 grams on average for a 3 oz. serving) that offers all the essential amino acids your body is incapable of producing on its own. As an added bonus, certain types of fish like salmon, tuna and freshwater trout are rich with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. And of course you can’t go wrong with the high-protein, low-fat, enormous-taste qualities of shrimp.

 

Veggie Options

Corn on the cob is a given at most summer barbecues, but it doesn’t have to be your sole veggie selection. After all it’s summer – vegetables are in full swing. Zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms and a variety of colorful bell peppers are all low-fat, vitamin-rich foods that are very barbecue friendly. Grilled vegetables can often retain more vitamins than steamed ones. Whether skewered, foiled-wrapped or placed right on the grill, these healthy veggies will add some sizzle to your BBQ staples. And just like meat, they can be seasoned with your favorite spices to add to their flavor. 

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Got an iPhone? Enjoy grilling your meats? Always wished there was a way you could somehow combine your love for your iPhone with your love for barbequed steak? Well pal, consider your prayers answered.

Thanks to iDevices iGrill Barbecue Thermometer you now can know exactly when your chicken breast is safe for human consumption. iGrill is essentially a meat thermometer attached to a Bluetooth device that can send cooking stats to your phone at distances of up to 200′ away. It can even give you updates on two separate kinds of meat and overall grill temperature. 

Finally, a device that allows you to enjoy Angry Birds while cooking up shish kebabs!

The iGrill is available at Amazon.com for $99.95.

Ten First Date Fears

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by Firstsource

On a first date, I’m a regular anxiety-fest. Second-guessing everything I say, trying not to fidget, and working on overdrive to figure you out.

And, of course, after our first date, I’m going back to my friends to dish over every detail, especially if I really like you. What am I so worried about? More importantly, what can you do about it? Here’s a peek at my first date fears and hang-ups and what you can do to put me at ease.

1) Is this a date?
I often find myself in the following situation: I’m sitting across from a guy, having a great time, enjoying the company. Everything is going well. Except, I can’t stop wondering whether he thinks I’m a potential girlfriend or just a girl friend. Now that we’ve graduated from playschool (ahem, college), having friends of the opposite sex is par for the course. But as great as it is to have a buddy to obsess over UFC with, the gray area between platonic and romantic can make things awfully perplexing, too.

If you’re into me, you’ve got to come clean about it. Start by employing the magic word. No, not “please.” I’m talking about “date.” As in, “I’d love to take you out on a date some time.” Telling me that we should “hang,” “grab a drink,” or “meet for lunch” is not always going to get your romantic intentions across. This goes double if we’ve been long-time friends, co-workers, neighbors, or colleagues.

2) Does he like what he sees?
Maybe you’ve already seen a picture of me. Maybe we met briefly at a party or in a dark bar. But chances are, I’m still going to be wondering whether you like what you see. Telling me straight off the bat that I look great starts things off on the right foot. Plus, I can stop worrying about the cow-lick I spent an hour trying to flatten, and that frees up my mind to focus on getting to know you.

3) Why won’t he look me in the eyes?
Are you nervous? Strung out? Bored? Hypnotized by my breasts? Regardless, when a guy won’t look at me straight on, I feel like my eyes are emitting death-rays. A cool superpower, but not exactly what I had in mind when I was putting on the mascara. Be aware of your body-language, too. I’ve been out so many times with men who sit back, totally aloof, while I smile and nod and try my best to carry on a conversation with someone who might as well be a rock (and not the cuddly “pet” kind, either).

Even if you’re verbally responsive and asking all the right questions, I’m going to feel awful if you aren’t making eye contact and your body language is screaming “Not Interested!” By all means, if you really aren’t interested, after this first date, do not ask me out on a second date. Throw away my phone number. Chances are, if we aren’t clicking, I won’t be calling you, either. But I am working hard to be nice. I expect the same from you.

4) Why did he pick this place?
I once went out with a man who informed me that he takes girls he’s only marginally interested in to Dippin’ Dots (no, we were not consuming the “Ice Cream of the Future” at the time). Not exactly the best thing to admit to on a first date, but the guy (now history) got me thinking harder about all the places I’d been to on dates.

These days, I usually ask the guy to choose the locale of our first date, because it gives me a little insight into what he likes and how well he’s got me pegged, so choose wisely. And honestly, if you’re taking me to Dippin’ Dots, you’ve made it loud and clear that you’re just cruising for a one-night stand.

5) How does he go about ordering dinner?
Are you ordering for me? Are we sharing several dishes? Are you ordering a bottle of wine with the meal? Are you saving room for dessert? Are you vegan? Vegetarian? Kosher? How much do you spend on food? How much food do you eat? Do you want to stuff me in a blueberry pie and eat me (i.e. are you totally psychotic)?

Since we Homo sapiens tend to eat several times a day, what and how you eat is a significant indicator of our compatibility. If I’m an omnivore and you are a raw vegan who only eats food he has personally foraged, it is just not going to work out. Asking about my food preferences before you plan our first date does so much to minimize surprises. Starting out with just coffee or a drink is a great way to avoid culinary snafus as well.

6) Is that a major wardrobe malfunction or a fashion statement?
I once went out on a first date with a man who showed up with his shirt on inside-out. No big. Kinda cute, actually. Except his shirt was inside-out on our second date, too. After this occurred a third time, I finally asked him (completely sincerely) whether this was a fashion statement (after all, I kid you not, he did work in fashion). “Oh!” He exclaimed. “You’re right. It is inside-out!” Yes. Men have had major wardrobe malfunctions on first (and second and third) dates with me, and it is just about the most distracting thing on this planet.

I’ve spent many an evening wondering how you’ve managed to go all day with that tag stuck on your pants, your buttons not aligned, and mismatched socks. Unless your date is a super-bitch, a little wardrobe malfunction is not going to make or break you. It might even be endearing in a Nutty Professor kind of way. That being said, I would not recommend skipping the fly check before you go out.

7) Is he for real?
More important than what you say is the meta-data I’m filtering while we’re out. For example, do your stories feel like they’re way too practiced, i.e. like they’ve been told too many times to too many women? Are you disclosing too much too soon? Are you excited about me? Are you a good listener? I’m looking for signs that the person you are projecting is The Real You. Don’t insult my intelligence. If you’re giving me the song-and-dance, I’m going to totally be on to you.

8) Should we do the check dance now?
Do you have any idea how much thought and deliberation I’ve put into my half of the check dance? When I was younger, I always insisted on splitting the bill 50/50. I was told enough times that this practice of mine is emasculating, and I switched to sitting there coyly while the man reached for his wallet. But some dates clearly took this as a sign of snooty entitlement.

Thus, the check dance. I hate the check dance. The whole show is really for your benefit. What can you do about it? Easy. On your way back from the head, settle the check discretely. Then, when I suggest that we get the bill, you can just say, all suave-like, “It’s already taken care of.” Wow. That is so hot.

9) So, is this date over?
Okay, so sometimes I get really, really horny. I admit, sometimes I even want to take you home on the first date, but I’m really embarrassed to ask. I’d feel so much better if you made it sound like it was all your idea. I know, pretty silly of me, right? I have to admit, the same part of me that will never disclose how many men I’ve really slept with also doesn’t want to be the one asking you upstairs. Do us both a favor and give me an opening I can work with.

10) Does he really want to see me again?
At the end of a date, I want to be clued in. Is this goodbye or see you later? If you don’t think we’re a good fit, you don’t have to be rude about it, but don’t go making promises to call me, either. I really hate it when a guy gives me all the signals that he’s interested, only to never be heard from again.

On the other hand, if you’re really excited about me, just tell me. No matter what your guy friends tell you, acting all nonchalant at the end of a date is not going to help you. What’s the worst that could happen? She could say flat-out that she’s not that into you. Better that than risking getting your signals crossed because you played it so cool that you came of icy.

Six Reasons To Workout With a Partner

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by Firstsource

1. You’ll be more motivated.
Don’t feel like working out after work? It’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself but it’s another to cancel on your friend—someone who’s counting on you. “No one wants to be Debbie Downer by bailing and letting down your friend,” says Steve Stonehouse, the Personal Training Manager at Crunch gym in New York City. You’re much more likely to meet your friend for a planned workout session at 6 p.m. compared to tentative plans you made with yourself for, say, sometime after lunch. “After three or four weeks, once you’re in the habit, you won’t even think about canceling on your friend,” adds Stonehouse.

2. Your workouts can be more fun.
News flash: The treadmill and the bench press aren’t the most exciting ways to pass the time. With a partner, you can get your heart racing in more interesting ways (yes, we’re still talking about the gym). Together, you can play one-on-one basketball, tennis and squash. “You can also take turns leading new exercises and switching up the routine,” suggests Stonehouse. Maybe you know a brutal leg lunge that you used to do on your own? Teach it to your buddy one day, and the next, let him teach you something new. “Your body adapts and becomes efficient at moves that you’ve done again and again,” says Stonehouse. “The more you change up your workout, the better your body is going to respond.”

3. You’ll work out harder.
“Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be great than when you’re alone,” points out Stonehouse. (You don’t want to be the weak one who can’t keep up with a seven-minutes mile!) One key tip when picking your partner: Your athletic abilities should be in the same ballpark. A more seasoned gym-goer won’t get as much out of working out with a newbie. “If you’re on the same level, you can push each other,” Stonehouse says. Odds are, you’ll both want to quit around the same time but you’ll go a little longer if your friend is still at it.

4. You’ll finally be able to afford a personal trainer.
Sharing a cheeseburger is cheaper than buying one yourself. The same math applies when it comes to a personal trainer. At Crunch, where Stonehouse works, for example, a one-on-one session costs about $85. Yet a session with a partner is around $50 per person. “One-on-one training is still the bulk of my day but I’m seeing more and more partner training for financial reasons alone,” says Stonehouse.

5. You’ll always have a spotter.
Never again will you have to approach a random meathead and ask him to spot you. Never again will you have to count your own reps. “You also won’t have to worry about forced reps,” adds Stonehouse. What’s a forced rep? “Let’s say you’re on the bench press and you want to stop at 10 because you’re not sure you can make it to 11. If you have a spotter, you don’t have to worry as much and you are more likely to power through the 11th, 12th and 13th reps. And each of those little lifts will add up and make a difference.” Use your spotter to keep an eye on your form as you work, too.

6. Your friends will be thinner.
Before you judge us, we’re not being totally shallow here—having thin friends is for your own good. Researchers at Harvard University found that you can “catch” obesity (along with smoking habits and happiness) because it spreads like an infectious disease. The experts found that a person’s risk of becoming obese rises by two percent for every five obese social contacts they have. “There’s definitely some truth to that,” agrees Stonehouse. “If you’re surrounded by people who are active and eat well, there’s a good chance you’re going to do the same.”

Scientists Weigh In

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by Firstsource

Break a Sweat (More Often)
We’ve said it before—you can’t just cut calories. Now yet another study backs us up. In a recent animal trial, researchers at Oregon HEalth and Science University found that overweight monkeys who were put on a lower-calorie diet lost almost no weight. When monkeys were encouraged to be more active but continued to eat their regular diet, the pounds still flew off. No matter your species, you’ve got to burn more calories through exercise to lose your extra flab.

Treat Food Like a Dog
A drug addict’s brain reacts similarly to the brain of overweight individuals, according to a recent study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The common thread is that the body needs to consume ever-increasing amounts of both substances to keep producing dopamine, the chemical that triggers feelings of joy. Cut back on the amount you’re eating and dopamine levels fall. That may lead to bad moods, withdrawal symptoms, and out-of-control binging. Meaning, if you’re really having a problem kicking excess weight, consider seeing an addiction specialist.

Train on an Empty Stomach
A new European study notes that cyclists burn more fat when riding “on empty” than following a pre-workout meal. The researchers say that being hungry apparently helps the body to keep adrenaline high and blood sugar low—an ideal formula for the oxidation of fat. The only drawback is that without food or energy, it’s hard to make big workout gains. The solution? Go into one to two workouts a week hungry and eat before the others.

Think Weekly, Not Daily
New government guidelines recommend that you track workouts in hours, not days. Each week, shoot for 75 minutes of intense activity, such as swimming, or 150 minutes of moderate activity, like walking on a treadmill. Miss a workout? Just make up the time as soon as you can.

Log on, Get Lean
Too much YouTube won’t keep you lean but clicking on other sites might. A new study reports that guys who regularly log on to dieting sites to track their weight loss are able to lose more weight—and keep it off—than guys who don’t. Experts say the sites create a sense of accountability that’s useful in maintaining set goals.