How to increase your metabolism – The Exercises

September 7, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug, The Health Bug

It’s been a while since I posted about how to increase your metabolism, and since then I have had conversations with many. It seems to be one of the hottest on going topics in health and fitness, and there doesn’t seem to be one killer answer to the question either. So for the sake of those who ask and for anyone else who is facing this problem, these are a few exercises you can include into your fitness program along with the 13 ways to increase your metabolism.

Instruction

Complete as many exercises as you can of each one within 15 minutes. Take a 1-2 minute break in-between each set

Dumbbell Split Squat

Dumbbell Split Squat

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells with your arms hanging at your sides.
  • Stand in a staggered stance.
  • Put your right foot in front of your left.
  • Keep your torso upright and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Raise yourself back up into the staggered stance.
  • Max out to 8-10 reps
  • Switch legs and repeat.

Allow the heel of your rear foot to raise off floor during descent so that the weight is transferred to your forefoot. Your knees should also point in the same direction as your feet throughout movement.

Cross-Body Mountain Climber

climberworkouts-exercises-cross
This exercise will work your abs muscles and should be performed at high speeds for maximum results.

  • Assume a push up position.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Tense your abs! You will have to hold them that way throughout the entire exercise.
  • Pull your left knee as close as you can to your right shoulder, without allowing your hips to sag.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat, this time raising your right knee toward your left shoulder.
  • Do 10 reps

If that gets a bit easy, do it on higher ground. That should test you.

Chin-up with Knee up

Pull up Knee upChinup-Kneeup

This exercise can be quite brutal at first, but once your strength increases you will be on your way to staying eternally ripped.

  • Grab a chin-up bar with your palms facing your body.
  • Do a pull-up so your chest reaches the bar, while also raising your knees to your chest. Slowly lower your body and return to the start.
  • If you can’t complete a chin-up, simply raise your knees while hanging from the bar.
  • Do 10 reps (or to failure)

All three of these exercises are bodyweight exercises and will work every part of your body. Working all parts of your body with compound exercises is an essential ingredient to maintaining overall fitness, but this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more exercises and techniques that will boost your metabolism even further.

Just a quick tip: make sure you wear the right athletic footwear like New Balance shoes for better performance on your exercise routine.

What metabolism boosting techniques have worked for you so far?

See you in the comments.

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How to keep fit while making money online

August 15, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug, The Health Bug

Gain health and wealth while you make money onlineIf there is one thing that affects us all that no one has universally solved, it is how to manage our time effectively. Every one does have personal preferences on their approach to this and some manage their time better than others, and there are plenty of online tools that help us to do so, but that’s all they are, tools. We still have to put those tools into action.

In the Adult world it seems that everyone is BUSY, regardless of the profession they are in. This often leaves us with less time to spend with families, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends or any other things we may deem important to us. The real problem is not that we are busy, just that we are bad at managing our time.

Even with the rise of the Internet and the mobile web, the problem still seems to exist and it affects a group of individuals that I myself am a part of.

Those who make money online and like to keep fit!

Without a doubt, making money online is easier than making money from an offline business (in general), but you will still face similar hurdles. I also know that there are those of you out there (new and old) that do 17-hour days and don’t have time to fit anything else in. This usually happens with the online newbie’s more than anyone else, but at times, that’s just how it is. But believe me when I tell you this.

THIS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE!

You can keep this up for 3 –6 months max, but after that you will need to have systems in place to begin to work effectively, give you more time and for the people reading this, time to keep fit!

As that famous quote states:

IF YOU HAVE NO HEALTH, YOU HAVE NO WEALTH!

And this can’t be any truer for this group of people, myself included.

So what systems should you have in place?

no excuses, you must manage your timeNo smoking, stay fit and healthy

The keyword here is ‘Autopilot’. The tools and methods outlined below will allow you to eventually free up more time and find time to workout… while still making money online.

Get organized
Get-Fit-Dude

To do list software

Whether you use them on your phone, laptop or PC, be sure to use one of these. Sure you will plan things and on some day’s things won’t go according to plan. But by doing this it gives you structure, and whenever there are changes to your schedule, the time overlap into your other tasks will only be give and take.

Favourites

Apple iphone
– Remember the milk
– To do’s
– Things

PC
– Remember the milk

Time stamp posts

If you are like myself and part of your day consists of writing and/or publishing content, then set aside a time of day to do this. Once you have done so, and if you use online software such as WordPress, you can edit the time that the content is to be published. I set mine up either the night before or before midday the next day. This allows me to focus my time on other things that I do on the web, or time to schedule a workout at the gym.

Portfolio of potential guest writers, staff or partners

Join online communities of your niche. You will meet great people and possibly start a few new friendships. This is also a great way to meet other great writers, potential staff to help you out and possibly some strategic partners.

TweetLater and Tweetfeed

If you use Twitter for your business operations, then both of these services will allow you to post items to Twitter at a specific time during the day (such as new blog posts). This again will save you loads of time and allow you to get on with other tasks, or time to work out at the gym.

Social book-marking tools

Posting content to social book-marking sites can prove to be very valuable to your business operations, but it can also be a huge time sap. There are tools out there that allow you to post items to many social book-marking sites at once. By doing this you save A LOT of time, and again, more time for the gym.

Examples

Ping.fm
Socialposter.com

There probably are other methods out there to help you organize your time, but these are essential methods that I use daily and it seems to work well. Of course, do keep in mind that there will be times where full commitment is required, but when it’s not, you have yourself a winning plan. Implement these methods in a way that suits you best and you will save A LOT of time, have great health and wealth, while making money online.

What time management methods do you use?

See you in the comments.

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Chicken Legs Syndrome (part 2) How to beat it?

August 2, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug, The Health Bug

Now that you know what chicken leg syndrome is from the previous post, I’ll outline the ways to ACTUALLY get rid of them. The exercises described here are ones that started to work for myself (6′ 2” sky scraper – long legs are hard work) so if you are shorter than that, i am sure your results will start to show a lot quicker than mine did. Just remember, like i’ve said before, it won’t be easy unless you already have a relatively good foundation to already build on. So follow the below and keep at it.

Note: I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but please…STRETCH before you do these exercises. If you don’t, feel free to let me know the outcome. 🙂

UPPER LEGS

Muscles

  • Quadriceps (the front of the thigh)
  • Hamstrings (the back of the thigh)
  • Abductors (the butt muscles)
  • Adductors (the inner thigh)

Leg extensions

leg extensions  workout tips

This exercise helped me go from a size 34 to 36 in trouser size (not wearing a belt). This exercise works the quads and can be done using a machine in the gym.

Instruction

Select an appropriate weight and load the machine. If you have not used this machine before, you may have to experiment with the amount of weight selected.

Execution

  1. Extend your legs as far as possible, without locking your knees.
  2. Keep your ankles and lower leg muscles relaxed (don’t point your toes) when lifting the weight to avoid straining the muscles on the back of the leg. Each leg can also be exercised separately.

Lunges (with dumb bells)

dumb bell lunges to gain leg muscles

This was a classic ‘give me pain for days’ exercise back in the early training days. I would do lunges (without weights) up to 30-40 metres down a track and by the last 10 metres my legs would seize up. You don’t need a track and you can do these in the gym. This exercise is great for building your butt.

Instruction

Finding some dumb bells. (start with light weights)

Execution

  1. Lock the dumb bells to your side (straight armed)
  2. Now step forward with one foot with your feet being around 2 feet apart.
  3. Make sure to have your front leg flat on the floor with both your set of toes pointing forward.
  4. Proceed by bending your legs until both your knees are at 90 degree angles.
  5. Now push back up to starting position.
  6. Repeat

Barbell Squats

squat to gain big leg muscles

I call this the all rounder ‘trademark’ exercise, as it works most of the muscles in your legs (especially the butt). This exercise used to scare me when i first started out and still does to an extent. I would recommend having some one spot or support you for this (or start with dumb bell squats) because if you fall, it could be real nasty!

Instruction

Lay the bar in front of you.

Execution

  1. Lift the bar
  2. Rest a barbell on your shoulders (behind your head) with your feet ‘shoulder width’ apart
  3. Keep your back straight, bend your knees and lower your body towards the floor. You should go as low as you can without lifting your heels off the floor and without bending forward at the waist.

Leg curls (laying down)

leg curls to buld quadracept muscles

I might have joked about the ‘not stretching’ situation earlier. But no playing with this exercise… STRETCH.  If you’ve watched any form of performance sport over the years you may have seen how a hamstring injury has put those individuals out of action for some time. I’ve luckily only suffered from cramp from not stretching. Decrease the levels of salt in your diet. Never the less this is a great exercise for building the back of your legs.

Instruction

Find a machine and lay on your front.

Execution

  1. Bend your leg at the knee and curl the weight towards your butt.
  2. Keep the upper portion of your leg still and your butt muscles relaxed.
  3. Lower your legs to the starting position
  4. Repeat

LOWER LEGS

Muscles

  • Gastrocnemius (The top part of the lower leg. Known to most as ‘The calf ‘)
  • Soleus (Building this makes the back of your lower leg wider)

There are a few calf raise exercises out there and different people will see different results from each type. But out of all the calf raise exercises these are the ones that i saw the best results from.

Standing dumb bell Calf Raise

Instruction

  1. Hold dumbbells in one in each hand or one at a time.
  2. Position toes and balls of feet on calf block with arches and heels extending off.
  3. Place hand on support for balance. Lift other leg to rear by bending knee.

Execution

  1. Raise heels by extending ankles as high as possible.
  2. Lower heels by bending ankles until calves are stretched. Repeat.
  3. Continue with opposite leg.

Machine Calf Raise (standing or seated)

Instruction

  1. Select an appropriate weight and load the machine. If you have not used this machine before, you may have to experiment with the amount of weight selected.
  2. Understand how the release mechanism works before loading the weights.

Execution

  1. Sit on the calf raise machine with feet resting on the foot support.
  2. Adjust the bench so that the knees are snug under the pad.
  3. Brace the abdominals and remember to breathe out on execution and in on recovery.

All of the above exercises have given me desired results at some point or another, but i would suggest that you mix up the exercises a little week by week/ day by day or which ever suits you best (will leave that till another post). If in doubt when you are at the gym….ASK!

For those that workout at home, I’m not going to bother outline home workout methods for legs. Quite simply because you’re not going to get any real significant body changing results. Now go get that gym membership, follow the above and put some meat on those bones!

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The Chicken Legs Syndrome

August 1, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug, The Health Bug

How to build leg muscles

This is a thing that affects most men (myself included). You know, legs as wide as your ankles 😮 . I may have been blessed in the high metabolism department, but because of that, i grew up suffering from what i call ‘ The chicken legs syndrome’.

What is the chicken legs syndrome?

It may not be as drastic as having legs as wide as your ankles (well it is for him >>), but it is legs that are skinny enough to drive that nagging fear of not wanting to wear shorts in the months leading up to summer, or fear of wearing lycra if you’re an upcoming athlete. Of course some athletes like 100/200m runners get away with it, as a ‘model’ 100/200m runner would have skinny lower legs muscles, but very high and powerful calf muscles (which gives them the very much needed short bursts of energy).

Most guys that do go to the gym won’t have too many problems building their upper body muscles. But the leg muscles are a much larger muscle group than those up above, and they require much more work if you want to increase their size. The majority of people tend to turn away when faced with difficulty in anything that we may face in life, and it’s no different here. Guys would beef up their upper body muscles, forget to work on there legs and end up looking top heavy. Being top heavy is bad because it affects and can cause:

1) Imbalance

2) Unnatural look

3) Performance (especially in a sport)

And it’s very noticeable. Working this muscle group is also essential for developing and maintaining a high metabolism.

So how can we beat chicken leg syndrome?

As i stated, it won’t be easy, but with some persistence, perseverance and by following the basic guidelines below, it won’t be long until you find yourself joining the Fat legged brigade.

Start as you mean to go on

You must start working on your legs from day one. If you fail to do this the results of your upper body workouts will start to surpass the efforts of your lower body workouts. When imbalance does start to occur, it will be hard to catch back up and will start to turn into a game of cat and mouse.

Alternate

Your leg workouts. By doing this you will be working all of the necessary muscles so that none get left behind. So be sure to implement that into your plan.

Keep up the cardio

Cardio exercise and other sports do stimulate your muscles to a certain degree. This usually isn’t enough to result in muscle growth, but it is essential for maintaining muscle activity.

ACT NOW! ….well not just yet. This is just a starter on the menu. Stay tuned for the next post. I’ll be outlining some of the key exercises that started to work for myself.

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