Weight Lifting Exercises

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

Weight lifting and Exercises Metabolism

 

  • Trapezius
  • Deltoids
  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Forearm
  • Abs

 

Trapezius

“Get huge traps!”

EXERCISES

Upright Rows

  • Use a close or wide grip.
  • Bring the bar up to the chin.
  • The elbows should come up higher than the bar.
  • Exhale on the lift.

Dumbbell Shrugs

  • Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing inward and the weights hanging at arms’ length at your sides.
  • Drop both shoulders down as far as possible then raise your shoulders while rotating them in a circular motion from front to rear. Keep your spine as straight as possible.
  • You can do this standing or seated on a flat bench with your feet on the floor.
  • The non-rotating version is shown here.
  • You can also do this with a barbell.

Most shoulder exercises also work the traps

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Deltoids

“Get so wide you have to turn sideways to get through a door!”

EXERCISES

Overhead Barbell Press

  • Legs should be shoulder width apart.
  • Press the bar up in your direct line of vision.
  • Don’t arch your back when pressing up.
  • Don’t lockout you elbows at the top of the movement.
  • Exhale on the lift.
  • Your arms should be 6 -8 inches wider than should width.
  • This can be done in front or behind the neck.

Upright Rows

  • Use a close or wide grip.
  • Bring the bar up to the chin.
  • The elbows should come up higher than the bar.
  • Exhale on the lift. A narrow grip primarily works the traps, a wide grip will shift the strain to the side delts.

Side Lateral Raises

  • Can be performed seated or standing.
  • gradually rotate the wrists so that the little finger is highest. It is like pouring a jug of water. Works the side delts for width!

Front Lateral Raise

  • Same as the side lateral raise except you raise the dumbbells to the front.
  • This works the front delts primarily. You can also use a barbell or do one arm at a time.

Overhead Dumbbell Press

  • Hold two dumbbells above your head.
  • With a slow motion move up and down keeping the dumbbells facing end to end.
  • Have a friend help you lift the weights to your start position for the first rep. Great deltoid exercise!

Arnold Press

  • Invented by Arnold Schwarzenegger! Same at the dumbbell overhead press except your have your palms facing your head at the bottom of the movement. Slowly twist to the top position where the dumbbells touch end to end.

Almost any exercise for back or chest also works the shoulders. Hit them hard for a few sets directly but be careful not to overtrain them! Injuries are very common to this area.

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Chest

“Pack pounds onto your chest!”

EXERCISES

Full Bench Press Video w/ Audio! (MPG, 37 sec., 3.95MB)

Basic Bench Press Video without Audio (MPG, 16 sec., 1.58MB)

Bench Press

  • Lie on your back and take the barbell from the supports, using a grip that is six to eight inches wider than shoulder width.
  • Lower the bar slowly to the nipple region, and then press it back to the locked-out position.
  • Don’t bounce it off your chest! Don’t let your butt come off the bench!
  • If you have trouble keeping your back on the bench without arching, put your legs up in the air. Mainly works the lower chest region, but the whole pectoral-deltoid area is stimulated.

Decline Bench

  • The opposite of incline.
  • Works the lower outer chest region.
  • Some bodybuilders say this stresses the chest harder than flat bench presses.
  • Adjust the bench between 30 – 45 degrees depending on what feels best.

Incline Bench

  • Set the bench to an angle of 25 – 30 degrees if possible.
  • Bring the bar down to the center of the chest just under the chin. Works the upper chest mainly, along with the front delts and triceps. As you increase the angle, the stress shifts from the upper chest to the shoulders.

Cable Crossovers

  • Grab a handle from the high pulley in each hand.
  • Lean forward with one foot in front and slowly bring the cables together.
  • Maintain tension in the pecs! Slowly return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Press

  • Similar to the barbell version, but you use two dumbbells.
  • With the dumbbells pointing end to end lower them to your sides. Pause at the bottom, and then press to arms’ length.
  • Dumbbells give you a greater range of motion for a greater stretch. Develops the pec-delt tie-ins and the inner chest.

Incline Dumbbell Press

  • The inclined version of the flat dumbbell press.
  • Lower the dumbbells slowly, going for a full but controlled stretch at the bottom. Great for developing the upper chest!

Incline Flyes

  • Lie face up on the incline bench.
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and place them at arms’ length above your shoulders with palms facing inward and the arms straight.
  • Using a semi-circular motion, lower the weights down to each side of the chest.
  • Keep your elbows slightly flexed!
  • Works your inner pecs. You can also do this on a flat bench.

Pullovers

  • Be sure to keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold a dumbbell over your head with your arms as straight as you can keep them.
  • Slowly lower the weight back behind your head until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  • You can also do this with your body perpendicular to the bench. Works your pectoralis minor.

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Triceps

“Get big triceps fast!”

EXERCISES

(toddclose.mpg, 31 sec, 2.91MB)

Close-Grip Bench Press

  • These place intense stress on the inner pectorals, anterior-medial deltoids, and of coarse, triceps.
  • The narrower the grip on the bar, the more stress you place on the triceps and the less you place on pecs and delts.
  • Your grip should leave your index fingers 5-8 inches apart.
  • Have a training partner help you lift the weight off the rack so that your arms are above your chest.
  • Be sure that your upper arms travel nearly directly out to the sides.
  • While slowly bending your arms, lower the weight to your chest.
  • Without bouncing the bar, slowly push the weight back up to starting position.
  • This exercise can also be performed on incline or decline benches. Try varying the width of your grip to see how it differently if works your pecs, delts, and triceps.

Triceps Parallel Bar Dips

  • This is generally considered a pectoral excersize, as it places intense stress on the pecs, anterior-deltoids and triceps, but when the torso maintained erect underneath the body, this is one of the best movements for the triceps.
  • Jump to a supported position on the bars with your palms facing inward, arms straight, legs bent, and ankles crossed.
  • Keep your torso perfectly erect throughout the movement.
  • Bending your arms, lower your body as far down between the bars as possible.
  • Without bouncing in the bottom position, slowly raise your body to the start position. When you become strong enough to use extra weight, you can dangle a dumbbell or plates beneath you with a rope or belt.

Pulley Pushdowns

  • This basic movement stresses the entire triceps muscle complex, particularly the outer and medial heads.
  • Grip the bar overhand with your index fingers no more than 3-5 inches apart in the middle of the handle.
  • Your feet should be shoulder width apart about 10-12 inches back from the handle.
  • Fully bend your arms, pressing your upper arms against your torso, where they should stay through the duration of the set.
  • Leaning slightly forward, move your forearms down, slowly straightening your arms.
  • Hold the straight-arm position momentarily, while flexing your triceps intensely.
  • Slowly return to the starting point. A good variation is the rope handle. You can also do this exercise with an undergrip on the bar and with different width grips.

Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions

  • These fundamental favorites isolate intense stress on the triceps, particularly the medial and outer heads.
  • Taking a narrow overgrip in the middle of a moderately weighted barbell, lye on your back on an exercise bench.
  • Keep your feet on the sides of the bench to provide balance.
  • Extend your arms straight up above your head.
  • With your upper arms remaining motionless throughout the set, bend your elbows allowing the barbell to travel downward in a semicircular arc until it slightly touches your forehead.
  • Reverse the direction of the movement of the bar using only tricep strength to slowly straighten your arms. There are many effective variations, such as using different grip widths, doing them seated, using an undergrip, or using a decine or incline bench.

(toddext.mpg, 26 sec, 2.34MB)

One-Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

  • This movement stresses the entire triceps muscle complex, particularly the inner and medial heads.
  • Take the dumbbell and grip it so that your palms are facing the inner-top plate and the dumbbell is hanging straight down (perpendicular to the gym floor).
  • To keep the weight from slipping, encircle your thumbs around the dumbbell handle.
  • Lift the dumbbell straight up above your head. This is the start position.
  • Lower the weight slowly behind your head until your arms are full bent.
  • Without bouncing in the bottom position, slowly raise the dumbbell back to the start position. You can increase the strictness of this movement by sitting at the end of a flat exercise bench, or on the floor with your back braced against the bench.

Standing Barbell Triceps Extensions

  • This is a fundamental triceps exercise, stressing the inner and medial heads of the triceps muscle complex.
  • Take a narrow overgrip in the middle of a moderately-weighted barbell.
  • With feet about shoulder width apart, stand erect and extend your arms straight up from your shoulders.
  • Keep your upper arms in the same position, while you lower the weight slowly behind your head until your arms are completely bent.
  • Without bouncing in the bottom position, slowly raise the bar back to the start position. You can vary the width of your grip on the bar or use an undergrip to isolate different parts of the muscle. You can also do these seated to isolate your legs from movement, making the exercise somewhat stricter.

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Biceps

“Build your biceps beyond belief!”

EXERCISES

(toddcurl.mpg, 34 sec, 3.13MB)

Barbell Curls

  • Undergrip the bar at shoulder-width.
  • Avoid swaying your torso to help you move the weight… that’s Cheating.
  • Press your upper arms against the sides of your torso to keep them in position throughout the set.
  • Use biceps strength to curl the weight in a semicurcular arc to your chin.
  • Powerfully contract your biceps at the finish position, then slowly lower the bar back to your thighs.
  • Experiment with different width grips to work different parts of the bicep muscle. You can also do these kneeling.

(todddbcurl.mpg, 44 sec, 3.89MB)

Dumbbell Curls

  • Like barbell curls, these place intense stress on the biceps and lesser stress on the forearm.
  • The undergrip is the primary method used to grip the dumbells, but for variation and to add more stress to the forearms, use an overhand (supinated) grip.
  • Press your upper arms against the sides of your torso to keep them in position throughout the set.
  • Use biceps strength to curl the weight in a semicurcular arc to your chin.
  • As the dumbbells reach the halfway point, rotate the wrists so that your palms are facing upwards (pronation) for the second half of the workout.
  • Powerfully contract your biceps at the finish position, then slowly lower the bar back to your thighs.
  • To intensify the work on your biceps, this exercise can be done seated. You can also alternate dumbell curls, lifting one weight as the other is coming down. Try these while seated on an incline bench to rip you a new one!

Hammer Curls

  • Hammer curls work the biceps incredibly intensely; however, they are intended as a brachialis and forearm supinator exercise.
  • Press your upper arms against the sides of your torso to keep them in position throughout the set.
  • Use biceps strength to curl the weight simultaneously upward and foreward in a semicurcular arc to shoulder level.
  • Powerfully contract your biceps at the finish position, then slowly lower the bar back at your sides.
  • To intensify the work on your biceps, this exercise can be done seated.
  • If seated, you can alternate hammer curls.

Concentration Curls

  • Sit with your feet 4-6 inches wider than your shoulders.
  • Grasping the dumbbell in hand, brace the back of your tricep against the inside of your thigh near your knee.
  • Use biceps strength to curl the weight in a semicurcular arc to your chin.
  • Your arm should be completely straight with the weight at your hand. Your other arm can either be rested on your other knee or wedged the triceps of your working arm.
  • With palm facing forward (supination), slowly contract your biceps to bring the weight up to your shoulder.
  • Tense your biceps as strongly as possible in this peak-contracted position, then lower the weight slowly back along the same arc to the starting position. The real key to this exercise is mental concentration. Stay focused on working those biceps!

Barbell Preacher Curls

  • This is an excellent overall mass builder for the biceps, particularly adding mass to the lower biceps near the elbow.
  • Lean over the preacher bench with your arms parallel.
  • Grasp the barbell or have a training buddy place the barbell into your supinated (palms face-up) hands.
  • The upper edge of the bench should be wedged under your armpits.
  • Use biceps strength to slowly curl the weight directly upward to shoulder level.
  • After reaching the peak, slowly return the weight to starting position.
  • Don’t attempt to bounce the weight in the bottom position, as your biceps are vulnerable to injury. Ease the weight down.
  • You can also do this exercise with dumbbells; both arms at a time arcing slightly larger than your elbows’ width, or concentrating hard on one arm at a time. You can also do this with a reverse palms-down grip to stress the forearms.

Lower Cable Curls

  • Bodybuilders use this exercise to isolate the biceps.
  • Grasp the handle on each side of you and stand with your hands face up.
  • Use biceps strength to slowly curl the weight toward your shoulder, keeping your elbow in the same place.
  • At the finish position, flex your biceps to give an additional burn.
  • Lower the weight slowly back along the same arc to the starting position.

High Cable Curls

  • Same as the above exercise, exept use the upper handles, pulling the weight from above.
  • Be sure to keep your elbows in the same position as you bring the weight towards your shoulders.
  • At the finish position, flex your biceps to give an additional burn.
  • Slowly uncurl your arms back along the same arc to the starting position.

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Forearm

“Look like Popeye!”

EXERCISES

Barbell Wrist Curls

  • Use a light weight.
  • Have your palms facing up.
  • Keep your elbows stationary on a bench or on your knees while sitting.
  • Most bodybuilders use a rep range between 12 – 15. Experiment to see what works best for you.

Reverse Wrist Curls

  • Same as the Barbell Wrist Curl except with a reverse palms-down grip.
  • Use a light weight. Keep your elbows stationary

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Abs

“Get a cut six-pack!”

AB EXERCISES

Parallel Bar Leg Raises

  • These aren’t as extreme as hanging from a chinup bar but more difficult than regular leg raises. With your elbows and forearm braced on the parallel bars to hold your weight, lift your legs straight up parallel with the floor, then lower them slowly.

Bent-Knee Leg Raises

  • Same as above except with bent knees.

Crunches

  • These are known to be very intense isolating movements for your abs. They equally distribute the stress from the top to the bottom of the adbominal wall. They place secondary emphasis on the intercostals.
  • So, how do you properly do them? While lying on your back, either hold your legs at a 90 degree angle in the air with your lower legs parallel to the floor, or drape them over a bench or piece of furniture.
  • With your fingers interlocked behind your neck, raise your shoulders and back off the floor, force your deltoids toward your legs, and pull your hips upward.
  • Finally, exhale your breath. Hold the contraction for a moment, then slowly lower yourself down again.

Machine Crunches

  • These stress the entire rectus abdominus wall to the max. The intense isolation works the intercostals as well.
  • Adjust the seat height, so that your toes are comfortable beneath the restraint. Hold on to the upper body restraint(s).
  • Now, with an appropriate weight chosen, crunch down and go to town. Be sure to keep your abdominal muscles stretched and go slow to really feel the burn.

List of other ab exercises…

  • Sit-Ups – They are the most basic and common adbominal exercise. Sit-ups work the entire rectus abdominus. You can perform them twisting to one side then the other to hit the obliques and intercostals. They can be performed on the floor or on an incline sit-up bench. With your feet hooked under the restraint and your fingers interlocked behind your neck, crunch your body together!
  • Roman Chair Sit-Ups – These relatively new exercises are designed to isolate the entire abdominal wall, especially stressing the upper half. If done with a twist to one side or the other, these can really work the obliques and intercostals. Simply sit at the Roman chair, hooking your toes around the restraint bar. Cross your arms and crunch! Slow and deliberate motions will really get those abs burning.
  • Leg Raises – These are fundamental for building ripped abs. Lie on an ab board or on the floor. Bend your legs at a 15-20 degree angle and crunch your legs toward your abs in a semicircular arc.
  • Bench Leg Raises – These are just leg raises that are done with your hips at the end of a bench so that you can get a far better range of motion and intensely work your lower abdominals.
  • Hanging Leg Raises – Quite a bit more intense than regular leg raises, these place stress on the entire abdominal wall, but primarily the lower half. Hanging from a chin-up bar with your legs bent at about 15-20 degrees, lift your legs until your feet are higher than your hips. Then, slowly lower your legs back down to starting position.
  • Knee-Ups – These are to be performed on the end of a flat bench. Grasp the sides of the bench with your hands behind your hips and extend your legs with a 15-20 degree bend. Slowly bend your legs and bring your feet toward the bench, then extend them again.
  • Hanging Frog Kicks – These are a more intense version of knee-ups. While hanging from a chinning bar with an overhand grip, move your knees up to your chest while bending your legs completely. Hold this position for a really great burn then slowly lower your legs back to the dangling position.
  • Pulley Crunches – These are a really cool way to work your abs. They not only stress the rectus abdominus to the max, but they also involve some muscle tensing of the lats and serratus anterior muscles at your sides. Use the upper cable of a pulley machine with the rope handle attachment. While on your knees, grasp the ends of the rope with both hands and pull downward with your arms and abs until you touch the floor about 4 inches ahead of your forehead. Hold this position for a two count, then slowly raise back up so you can do it again! Remember to exhale during the contraction. You can do this exercise with one arm at a time or from side to side to involve the intercostals and obliques more.
  • Side Bends – This is a great exercise to completely target your obliques. While standing, grasp a dumbell in one hand and allow it to hang at your sides. Put your other hand behind your neck. Let the dumbell pull that side of your body down as far as possible, bending only at the waist. Then use the obliques of the opposite side to pull your body back erect. About 30 reps on each side and you will be feeling it!
  • Seated Twists – Ready to tone your transverse obliques under your regular obliques? These are the answer. Reportedly these can help trim the waist line and are a great warm up exercise. While seated straddling the middle of a flat bench, place an unweighted light bar or broom stick across your lats, behind your neck. Grasp the ends of the bar with your hands. Forcefully twist at your waist left to right in a rhythm…they get tiring!
  • Standing Bent-Over Twists – These are very similar to seated twists except that instead of sitting, you are actually leaning forward twisting from side to side with your hands grasping the ends of the bar across your shoulders.

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Body Building Nutrition

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

Diet Facts, Fallacies and Strategies for Building Muscle and Burning Fat

by Jeffery Stout, Ph.D.

If the human body could list its top-10 most efficient processes, adaptation would probably rank number one. Evolution over millions of years has turned the species into a form that’s geared not for the production of a slim waist or muscular arms, but for survival. In ages past, periods of famine were common. Yet the human race prevailed. The catch, unfortunately, is that those who have a considerable propensity to store fat survived. Thus, the 20th-century human is someone who has adapted to years of food shortages through a nauseating ability to maintain a pear-shaped torso. So much for survival of the fittest.

Consequently, when the innocent dieter initiates a restrictive diet, the body’s response is to kick into survival mode. That, in essence, is a signal to store fat to offset an anticipated period of insufficient calorie intake. Compounding matters is a gradual decline of the body’s metabolism, rendering the task of fat loss even more difficult.

The process is no different from any other the body performs when encountering change—it adapts. Instead of perceiving food as the culprit, you should view it as fuel. Food is fuel for an increasing metabolism, fuel for the release of fatburning and muscle-building hormones and, finally, fuel for a healthy diet and a normal lifestyle. When you eat food in precise amounts, your body must adapt; however, it adapts to the notion that it will get the energy it needs. When it does, your body will respond with its own goodwill gesture, a liberation of its suddenly unnecessary fat stores.

Facts and Fallacies of Food

All food can be separated into three basic types: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Together they form the basis of all diets and, along with exercise, ultimately determine changes in body composition. You achieve such changes through hormonal release, an increase in metabolism and the preservation and enhancement of muscle tissue.

Proteins are considered the body’s building blocks for muscular repair, maintenance and growth. Adequate protein intake ensures the preservation of muscle tissue and enhances recovery from both strenuous workouts and daily activities. Since exercise causes significant damage to muscular tissue and subsequent growth requires adequate recovery, protein is often the missing factor. If you don’t take in enough protein, your muscle may not be spared and you’ll experience appreciable decreases in metabolism.

Fallacy 1: The RDA for Protein Is Sufficient

The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for protein is approximately .36 grams per pound of bodyweight. Based on that, a 200-pound man would require a mere 72 grams of protein daily. That may be sufficient for a sedentary individual, but when you factor in strenuous activity such as endurance or weight training, the RDA is grossly inadequate. In fact, research studies have suggested that consuming the RDA for protein during periods of intense training may lead to loss of muscular tissue.1,2 It’s apparent that protein requirements depend on an individual’s activity level, to the extent that a range between .64 and .91 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is appropriate. 1.,2

The body’s primary fuel for energy is derived from carbohydrates. They’re especially important for aerobic activities and high-volume weight training and are also used during periods of recovery. As with protein, inadequate intake of carbohydrates can compromise exercise performance and duration; however, based on the recommendations of most dietitians, you might mistakenly believe that there are no perils involved in carbohydrate consumption.

Fallacy 2: The More Carbs the Better

Contrary to what’s often uttered about the merits of carbohydrates, the fact remains that excess carbs lead to excess inches. With the exception of the overly lean individual who has a speedy metabolism, a situation in which weight gain is often the goal, overindulgence in high-carb foods can be as detrimental to waistlines as excess fat. While many people believe that spare carbohydrates are in large part stored for energy, it’s more likely that excess carbs will be converted to bodyfat. 3 Furthermore, studies have shown that subjects can achieve identical improvements in body composition, strength and muscular endurance with diets in which as little as 40 percent of the calories come from carbohydrates vs. those that contain more than 60 percent carb.4,5 Studies have also repeatedly demonstrated that the total calorie intake is the dominant factor in weight loss.6,7

It’s obvious that fats have endured more than their share of abuse. Saturated fats, in particular, are considered a key contributor to heart disease, an epidemic that’s claimed more lives than the flood in Genesis. Fats also carry more than twice as many calories per gram as either carbohydrates or protein. Though it’s true that an excessive fat intake is the best way to make yourself resemble a blimp, it’s also a fact that fat is necessary for proper metabolic function, for hormone production and as an energy source.

Table 1: Glycemic-Index Rankings of Foods
(All foods are rated in comparison to white bread, which is scored 100)
High
Instant rice (128)
Crispix cereal (124)
Baked potato (121)
Cornflakes cereal (119)
Rice Krispies cereal (117)
Pretzels (116)
Total cereal (109)
Doughnut (108)
Watermelon (103)
Bagel (103)
Cream of Wheat (100)
Grapenuts cereal (96)
Nutri-grain bar (94)
Macaroni and cheese (92)
Raisins (91)
Moderate
Ice cream (87)
Cheese pizza (86)
White rice (83)
Popcorn (79)
Oatmeal cookies (79)
Brown rice (79)
Spaghetti, durum (78)
Sweet corn (78)
Oat bran (78)
Sweet potato (77)
Banana (77)
Special K cereal (77)
Orange juice (74)
Cheese tortellini (71)
Chocolate (70)
Low
Grapefruit juice (69)
Green peas (68)
Grapes (66)
Linguine (65)
Macaroni (64)
Orange (63)
Peach (60)
All-Bran cereal (60)
Spaghetti, white (59)
Apple juice (58)
Apple (54)
Vermicelli (50)
Barley (49)
Fettucine (46)
Lentils (41)
Fallacy 3: Avoid Fat Entirely

Most American diets contain either too little or too much fat. Neither method is a successful tactic for weight loss. When examining what occurs with most restrictive diets, people assume that all dietary fat can only be deposited in adipose tissue. That’s absurd. In reality the body uses dietary fat for energy when it’s in a state of negative energy balance. 8 As long as your total calorie intake is less than what you expend, the percentage of fat in the diet isn’t as significant as was once thought. Studies have also affirmed that subjects can achieve equivalent differences in weight loss with diets consisting of approximately 10 to 50 percent fat, as long as the total calorie consumption is identical.

It’s evident that the low-calorie, lowfat, high-carbohydrate diets that dietitians and others have been advocating for years are in fact fallacies.

All Carbohydrates Are Not Created Equal

Now that you know to avoid excess carbohydrates, it’s time to look at the type of carbs you should eat. Though all carbohydrates break down into glucose and are released into the bloodstream, the speed at which the process occurs varies drastically with different carbohydrates. The absorption rate is a critical factor in energy levels, fat reduction and overall health. Foods have been assigned a glycemic-index rating, a measure of how fast their carbohydrates enter the bloodstream to be used as energy or stored as glycogen, a preserved form of energy. High-glycemic foods are available quickly for use as energy; while that may seem optimal, in actuality they trigger a hormonal reaction that has reverse effects.
High-glycemic carbohydrates produce a rush of glucose into the bloodstream, elevating blood sugar levels dramatically. The sudden rise stimulates a release of the hormone insulin, which essentially negates the high-energy effects of glucose. The rapid release of insulin shuttles the glucose out of the bloodstream, effectively dropping energy levels to lethargic lows. To make matters worse, it also takes the fatty acid energy source with it, shoveling it into the fat cells for storage. High-glycemic foods, therefore, carry a double curse, keeping you fat and lazy.

In the past experts recommended that foods high in simple sugars— such as candy, cookies and soft drinks—be avoided for the aforementioned reasons. While that’s true, many revered energy sources are also considered high-glycemic foods. Surprisingly, many kinds of pasta, rice and potatoes rank rather high on the glycemic index. Breads and cereals are also often offensive, fast enough to zap energy levels and hoard fat. Fortunately, you can get the opposite results with low-glycemic foods. They provide more stable energy levels and a slower insulin response, favoring the probability of productive workouts and sustained vitality. Those foods rank in the below-70 category on the glycemic index chart (see Table 1). Since foods are usually eaten in combinations, the glycemic index of a meal is usually lower than the glycemic index of its highest constituent. For instance, if you combine equal calories from a bagel and an apple, the glycemic index of that meal becomes more acceptable.7,9 Protein also helps matters, as protein foods efficiently decrease the total glycemic index of what you’re eating by slowing the absorption rate of the carbohydrates. That emphasizes the importance of combining protein and carbohydrates in each meal.

Food: A Potent Hormone Trigger

As discussed above, the hazards of one hormone, insulin, are encouraged when you eat high-glycemic foods. While insulin promotes fat storage, growth hormone, or GH, effectively burns fat, builds muscle and improves the immune system. That provides another advantage to low-glycemic foods. If you emphasize low-glycemic foods and stable blood sugar, you have a positive environment in which GH can exert its effects.

The actions of the muscle-building hormone testosterone are chiefly influenced by the percentages of foods in the diet. Therefore, the percentages of protein, carbohydrates and fat can have dramatic effects on changes in body composition. For instance, if you want to add muscle rapidly, a low protein-to-carbohydrate ratio and a moderately high fat intake are necessary for maximal testosterone output.10,11 That’s not to suggest that you should reduce protein intake but, rather, that the percentage of carbs in the diet should be somewhat greater than the protein. 10 Furthermore, the source of food also influences testosterone concentration; for example, a vegetarian diet produces much lower testosterone levels than a meat-rich diet.

A diet high in red meat, however, also contains an abundance of saturated fats. Though the reasons for avoiding saturated fats are well established, such as their contribution to heart disease, other forms of fat can be quite beneficial for normal metabolism and hormone production. For example, the fat in fish is valuable. In addition, olive, sunflower and canola oils are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, a form of fat that’s a powerful stimulant of testosterone.

The Importance of Nutrient Timing

The number and content of daily meals is an extremely important but overlooked facet of proper nutrition. The timing and quality of foods you eat, especially pre- and postworkout, often means the difference between a successful diet and another failed attempt at physique enhancement. Skipping breakfast, avoiding postworkout meals and consuming highglycemic carbohydrates before workouts can easily transform a sound meal plan into a disaster. In addition, even the most sensible diets ignore the crucial nature of nutrient timing.

Elevating the metabolic rate is one of the most efficient ways to burn fat. The process of digestion of meals requires calories by itself, so the more often your body must break down food, the more efficient it becomes. Therefore, you should eat small meals throughout the day to maximize your metabolic response—and breakfast is the most important meal of the day, although the postworkout meal may be equally important. Studies have shown that diets that include a large breakfast result in significantly greater fat loss than diets that avoid it. Since the metabolic rate is fastest in the morning and slows throughout the day, it’s more likely that the calories you eat at breakfast will be used by the body and not stored as fat. Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, may result in vital losses of muscle and a subsequent decrease in metabolism.

The postworkout meal is equally essential for much the same reason. Your body exhibits an elevated metabolic rate after you exercise, much as it does when you awaken. Not eating food after you exercise, therefore, results in muscle tissue breakdown and, of course, a corresponding tumble of the metabolic rate. Research has proven that the rate of protein synthesis doubles following exercise and remains elevated for more than 24 hours.13,14 In other words, the body is primed for the acceptance of protein for muscle maintenance and growth. Equally important is the need for consuming plenty of carbohydrates. After you work out, your body is somewhat depleted of its glycogen stores. Remarkably, studies have shown that high-glycemic carbohydrates are the preferred source for replenishing the body’s energy stores after training. 15 Not only does that result in greater storage for recovery and subsequent workouts, but it also significantly decreases muscle breakdown.

Postworkout meals should contain about twice the normal amount of carbohydrates and protein, and you should eat them immediately following exercise. For example, if you were eating five meals per day and 3,000 calories, your postworkout meal would be approximately 1,000 calories, while the other four meals would average 500. Postworkout meals should also contain a larger percentage of protein than preworkout meals to keep up with the body’s elevated protein synthesis rate.

People make a lot of mistakes with the preworkout meal. How many fitness enthusiasts eat a bagel before exercise? Due to their alleged energy benefits, bagels are a popular preworkout food, but if you look at their glycemic index, it’s a whopping 103. The detrimental effects of eating such high-glycemic carbs before training are monumental. The corresponding insulin response will not only decrease energy stores for exercise, but it will also prevent fat breakdown. Fortunately, lowglycemic foods have much the opposite effect. They improve exercise performance without significantly compromising energy stores after a workout.9,17 That, in turn, leads to enhanced recovery and accelerated progress.

Consistency

A suggested meal plan [such as the one at the back of this book] isn’t perfect. You’ll need to tinker in order to determine the ideal diet for you. Building a physique takes time, dedication and consistency, and losing or gaining weight should be a gradual process to ensure the right kind of changes. Don’t rush it, stay focused and consistent, and you’ll move ever closer to physical excellence.

Editor’s note: Jeffery Stout, Ph.D., received his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He specializes in neuromuscular fatigue, body composition and ergogenic aids and has published more than 70 manuscripts, abstracts and national presenta – tions in nationally and internationally recognized journals. He’s cur – rently an assistant professor and the director of the Human Performance Research Laboratory at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. In addition, he serves on the editorial board for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

References

1 Tarnopolsky, M.; MacDouball, M.; and Atkinson, S. (1988). Influence of protein intake and training status on nitrogen balance and lean mass. J Appl Physiol. 65:187-193.
2 Lemon, R. (1991). Protein and amino acid needs of the strength athlete. Int J Sport Nutr. 1:127-145.
3 Bagghle, T. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. Champagne, Illinois:Human Kinetics. 1994.
4 Rinchardt, K. Effects of diet on muscle strength gains during resistive training. In: Muscle Development: Nutritional Alternatives to Anabolic Steroids. Columbus, Ohio: Ross Laboratories. 1987. 78-82.
5 Van Zant, R.; Conway, J.; and Seale, J. (1992). Effects of dietary carbohydrate restriction on high-intensity exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 24:S71.
6 Alford, B.; Blankenship, A.; and Hagen, R. (1990). The effects of variations in carbohydrate, protein and fat content of the diet upon weight loss, blood values and nutrient intake of adult obese women. J Am Diet Assoc. 90(4):534-540.
7 Golay, A., et al. (1996). Similar weight loss with low- or high-carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 63(2):174-178.
8 Walberg-Rankin, J. (1995). A review of nutritional practices and needs of bodybuilders. J Strength and Cond Research. 9(2):116-124.
9 Kirwan, I., et al. (1996). A low-glycemic meal 45 minutes before exercise improves performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2815(8):8768.
10 Volek, J.; Kraemer, W.; Bush, J.; Incledon, T.; and Bocics, M. (1997). Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol. 82(1):49-54.
11 Reed, M., et al. (1987). Dietary lipids an additional regulator of plasma levels of sex-hormone-binding globulin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 64:1083-1085.
12 Raben, A., et al. (1997). Serum sex hormones and endurance performance after a lacto-ovo vegetarian and a mixed diet. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 24:1290-1297.
13 MacDougall, J., et al. (1995). The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Can J Appl Physiol. 29(4):480-486.
14 Biolo, G., et al. (1995). Increased rates of muscle protein turnover and amino acid transport after resistance exercise in humans. Am J Physiol. 268(3):E514-520.
15 Burke, L.; Hargreaves, M.; and Collier, G. (1993). Muscle glycogen storage after prolonged exercise: effect of the glycemic index of carbohydrate feedings. J Appl Physiol. 74:1019-1023.
16 Roy, B., et al.(1996). The effect of oral glucose supplements on muscle protein synthesis following resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 28(5S):S769.
17 Thomas, D.; Brotherhood, J.; and Miller, J. (1994). Plasma glucose levels after prolonged strenuous exercise correlate inversely with glycemic response to food consumed before exercise. Int J Sport Nutr. 4(4):361- 373.
Additional References

Anderson, K., et al. (1987). Diet-hormone interactions; protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life Sce. 40:1761-1768. Foster-Powell, K., and Miller, J. (1995). International tables of glycemic index. Am J Clin Nutr. 62(1):8715- 8905.

15-Minute Muscle Builder

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

THE 15-MINUTE MUSCLE-BUILDER

OUR FAVORITE piece of fitness equipment: the classic barbell.

You can use it not only for jousting, but also to do this total-body exercise from Mark Philippi, C.S.C.S., the strength coach at UNLV. Do six repetitions of each move without changing weights and without rest. After you’re finished, rest 1 minute and repeat (give yourself 2 minutes if you’re a beginner). The benefit: Hard work=hard muscle. Start with a 45-pound barbell. Too hard? Try some dumbbells.

* Results may vary from person to person.  Results not guaranteed.

1. Squat and press

MUSCLES WORKED: entire body Place the bar behind your head and rest it behind your shoulders, holding it so that your elbows are pointing down [A], Slowly sit back as you lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor [B]. Pause, then press your heels into the floor, push yourself back up to the starting position, and use your upward momentum to drive the bar over your head to do a shoulder press [C]. Lower the bar to the starting position and repeat.

* Results may vary from person to person.  Results not guaranteed.
2. Good morning

MUSCLES WORKED: lower back, hamstrings From the same starting position as for the squat and press [A], bend forward at the waist by moving your hips backward while your back remains slightly arched and your knees slightly bent. Lower your chest; your back should go no farther than parallel to the floor [B]. Return to the starting position.
3. Bent-over row

* Results may vary from person to person.  Results not guaranteed.

MUSCLES WORKED: upper back Hold the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, then bend at your waist, holding the bar at arm’s length. Keep your back flat throughout the movement [A]. Bend your elbows to pull the bar to your chest [B]. Pause, then return to the starting position.
4. Upright row

* Results may vary from person to person.  Results not guaranteed.

MUSCLES WORKED: shoulders Grab the bar with an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Rest the bar at arm’s length on the front of your thighs [A]. Keep the bar close to your body and pull the weight up to your lower chest, keeping your elbows above the bar [B]. Pause, then return to the starting position. 5. Biceps curl MUSCLES WORKED: duh, biceps Hold the bar with an underhand grip, your hands shoulder-width apart [A]. Keep your elbows close to your sides and curl the weight toward your chest [B]. Pause at the top of the movement, then return to the starting position.

* Results may vary from person to person.  Results not guaranteed.

Training for Weight Control

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

HEAVY DUTY TRAINING:
EFFECTIVE FOR WEIGHT CONTROL?

by Shawn Franckowiak, B.S. & Kevin R. Fontaine, Ph.D.

Strength training has been long been recommended to normal and underweight individuals as a means of increasing muscular mass, enhancing fitness, and vitality. Indeed, organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine (1995) have advocated strength training consisting of single sets of 8 to 12 repetitions on 8 to 10 exercises per workout for healthy persons. However, it is not as clear whether strength training should be recommended for overweight persons whose goal is weight (more specifically fat) loss rather than weight gain. In this article we will describe the potential role strength training can play in weight loss efforts, and outline some broad recommendations to enhance its effectiveness.

In order to lose body fat, you must create an energy deficit (i.e., expend more calories than your body needs to function). Unfortunately, when you create such a caloric deficit you do not lose just body fat. That is, the body takes energy from body tissue indiscriminately. In fact, any diet produces not only fat loss, but muscle loss as well. A recent analysis by Ballor and Poehlman (1994) indicated that an average of 28% of the weight lost among dieters who do not exercise is actually fat-free mass compared to 13% among dieters who also exercised (primarily aerobic exercise). Indeed, if the caloric deficit is severe enough (e.g., very low calorie “fasting” diets) even organ tissue is lost. Moreover, since dieting is an unnatural act, the body begins to adapt by reducing resting metabolic rate (RMR) (i.e., you have to create progressively greater caloric deficits to continue to lose body fat at a given rate). Given this, the primary goal for strength training for weight reduction programs is to preserve fat-free mass while losing body fat. The preservation of fat-free mass also serves to keep the metabolic rate as high as possible so that fat loss can be promoted even with a relatively modest caloric deficit. In addition, strength training may be a useful strategy for maintaining the fat loss (i.e., keeping the weight off) once the person has reached their goal. That is, building as little as one pound of muscle after dieting will allow the person to consume an additional 50-100 calories per day. Remember, muscle is metabolically active (i.e., it needs a modest amount of calories to survive) while fat is not.

When fitness professionals develop exercise programs for overweight persons, they sometimes do not advocate strength training. One major reason for this is that many overweight persons are reluctant to engage in strenuous anaerobic activity. It is far easier to convince the overweight person to engage in lower intensity aerobic activity (“to burn fat”) than to workout with weights in a high intensity fashion. Indeed, it is quite common for us to be told by an overweight person seeking treatment “I want to lose weight, not gain it.” Such individuals need to be rationally convinced that, in the long run, strength training will be of substantial benefit to them. It will not only help them lose fat more efficiently during dieting, but it will also help them to maintain the fat loss once they return to a less restricted diet.

Let us look how we can have overweight adults strength train by using Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty Training Axioms. Note that these will need to be modified for optimum safety and effectiveness given this special population:

Intensity

Intensity is the name of the game in strength training. You have to work hard enough to set the growth machinery into motion. However, with the overweight individual you cannot simply launch right into training to positive failure. It is possible, even likely, that the person has never weight trained in their life. As such, you need to slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the workouts (perhaps over several weeks) until the person is physically and mentally capable of working an exercise to failure. Remember, training to positive failure is a skill that takes time to learn. You must also consider that, with a caloric deficit, the person is not likely to be able to train at the same level of intensity as someone who is not dieting. So you want the person to train as hard as they can, but within the context of an deficient caloric status. We would not suggest intensity generating techniques (e.g., static contractions, negatives etc.) while the person is dieting. These techniques make such a profound inroad on recovery that they could be detrimental to someone who is dieting. It should go without saying but any overweight individual (irrespective of whether or not they have existing health problems) should consult a physician before engaging in this, or any other, type of training.

Brief

The workout for an overweight individual should only be as long as the person is interested in working out. Most often, individuals that are overweight mention that time constraints make it difficult to participate in a regular strength training routine or they lose interest with long workouts. Making workouts short and intense should provide necessary stimulation of muscles without producing disinterest or boredom. We suggest single work sets of 3 to 5 multi-joint exercises which focus on the larger muscle groups (legs, hips, back). Weights can usually be lifted using approximately 60 to 80% of their initial 1RM and slowly progressing from there. Workouts should be conducted at a rather brisk pace and should be kept to less than 30 minutes.

Infrequent

Overweight persons are usually making major life changes to fit in strength training. Remember that time is the most cited excuse for not exercising. Indeed, one reason many people are anti-strength training is the belief (propagated in the popular muscle media) that you must train very frequently (up to 6 days a week) in order to make progress. The brevity and relative infrequency of Heavy Duty (HD) training may be very appealing to the overweight trainee. We would suggest training two to three times a week initially in order to develop the skill to adequately perform the movements. As the intensity increases, the frequency of training should be reduced even further to ensure proper rest and recovery.

Safety

As mentioned before, these individuals may have major health risks that will be of concern to the fitness trainer. HD training focuses on safety above all else. Make sure these individuals acquire the skill to perform each exercise properly before having them train alone. Stressing slow controlled movements and good form will lessen the chance of injury. Obviously, the use of machines would be preferred because they require less skill to execute the movement. Apart from general instruction regarding proper exercise technique, a great deal of emphasis should be placed upon educating the overweight person with respect to muscular soreness, correct breathing, and any other factor which may be relevant to their training. It has been our experience that many overweight persons are particularly sensitive to, and sometimes fearful of, the sensations that go along with intense exercise (e.g., heavy breathing, elevated heart rate etc.). Any information that can alleviate fear in this regard would be of great benefit to the overweight trainee.

Conclusion

The benefits of HD Training are not restricted to those who simply want to increase their strength and muscular body weight. In conjunction with reduced caloric intake, overweight persons can use the HD approach to attempt to maintain their existing muscle mass. By preserving this mass, their dieting effort will likely be more time-limited and effective. It needs to be made clear to the overweight person that the goal is fat loss, not weight loss per se. Indeed, the ability to maintain their fat loss will be enhanced greatly by using HD principles to increase their muscular bulk once the period of caloric restriction has ended. In sum, brief, intense and infrequent strength training can be a valuable component of a comprehensive fat loss regimen.

References

American College of Sports Medicine

Glycemic Foods in Alphabetical Order

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

Food – Glycemic Index
Acorns stewed with venison – 23
All-bran – 60
Apple – 54
Apple juice – 58
Apricots, canned, syrup – 91
Apricots, dried – 44
Apricots, fresh – 82
Arrowroot – 95
Bagel, white – 103
Baisen (besan, chick pea flour) chapati – 39
Bajra (millet) – 82
Baked beans, canned – 69
Banana – 77
Banana, unripe, steamed 1 hr. – 100
Barley chapati – 61
Barley flour bread – 95
Barley kernel bread – 55
Barley, cracked – 72
Barley, pearled – 36
Barley, rolled – 94
Beans, dried, not specified – 40
Beans, dried, P. vulgaris – 100
Beets – 91
Bengal gram dal with semolina – 77
Black bean soup – 92
Black beans – 43
Black gram – 61
Black gram dal with semolina – 66
Blackbean seed – 11
Black-eyed beans – 59
Bran Buds – 75
Bran Chex – 83
Bread (Acacia coriacea) – 66
Bread stuffing – 106
Breadfruit – 97
Breakfast bar – 109
Breton Wheat Crackers – 96
Broad beans (fava beans) – 113
Brown beans (Mexican) – 54
Brown beans (South African) – 34
Buckwheat – 78
Bulger bread – 75
Bulgur – 68
Bunya nut pine – 67
Bürgen Fruit Loaf Bread – 62
Bürgen Mixed Grain Bread – 48
Bürgen Oat Bran & Honey Loaf – 43
Bürgen Soy Lin – 27
Bush honey, sugar bag – 61
Butter beans – 44
Butter beans + 10 g. sucrose – 44
Butter beans + 15 g. sucrose – 77
Butter beans + 5 g. sucrose – 43
Cactus jam – 130
Cake, angel food – 95
Cake, banana, made with sugar – 67
Cake, banana, made without sugar – 79
Cake, flan – 93
Cake, pound – 77
Cake, sponge – 66
Capellini – 64
Carrots – 70
Castanospermum australe – 106
Cheeky yam – 49
Cheerios – 106
Cherries – 32
Chick peas (garbanzo beans) – 47
Chick peas, canned – 60
Chick peas, curry, canned – 58
Chocolate – 70
Cocopops – 110
Cordial, orange – 94
Corn Bran – 107
Corn Chex – 118
Corn chips – 105
Corn hominy (not modern corn) – 57
Corn tortilla w/desert ironwood – 54
Cornflakes – 119
Cornmeal – 98
Couscous – 93
Cream of Wheat – 100
Crispix – 124
Croissant – 96
Crumpet – 98
Dates – 41
Digestives – 84
Donut – 108
Fettuccine – 46
Fish fingers – 54
French baguette – 136
French fries – 107
Fructose – 32
Fruit cocktail – 79
Fruit leather – 100
Fruit loaf – 67
Glucose – 137
Glucose tablets – 146
Gnocchi – 95
Golden Grahams – 102
Graham Wafers – 106
Grapefruit – 36
Grapefruit juice – 69
Grapenuts – 96
Grapes – 66
Green gram (mung beans) – 54
Green gram dal + paspalum scorbic. – 111
Green gram dal with semolina – 89
Green pea soup, canned – 94
Hamburger bun – 87
Haricot/navy beans – 54
High Fibre Rye Crispread – 93
High fructose corn syrup – 89
Holsom’s – 64
Honey – 83
Horse gram – 73
Ice cream – 87
Ice cream, low fat – 71
Instant noodles – 67
Jams and marmalades – 70
Jatz – 79
Jelly beans – 114
Jowar – 110
Kaiser rolls – 104
Kelloggs’ All Bran Fruit ‘n Oats – 55
Kelloggs’ Guardian – 59
Kelloggs’ Honey Smacks – 78
Kelloggs’ Just Right – 84
Kelloggs’ Mini-Wheats (blackcurrant) – 99
Kelloggs’ Mini-Wheats (whole wheat) – 81
Kidney beans – 42
Kidney beans, autoclaved – 49
Kidney beans, canned – 74
Kiwifruit – 75
Lactose – 65
Lentil soup, canned – 63
Lentils, green – 42
Lentils, green, canned – 74
Lentils, not specified – 41
Lentils, red – 36
Life – 94
Life Savers – 100
Lima beans broth – 51
Lima beans, baby, frozen – 46
Linguine – 65
Linseed rye bread – 78
Lucozade – 136
Lungkow bean thread – 37
Macaroni – 64
Macaroni and Cheese – 92
Macrozamia communis – 57
Maize chapati – 89
Maize meal porridge, refined – 106
Maize meal porridge, unrefined – 101
Maltodextrin – 150
Maltose – 150
Mango – 80
Marrowfat, dried – 56
Mars Bar – 91
Mars Kudos Whole Grain Bars (choc
chip) – 87
Mars M&Ms (peanut) – 46
Mars Skittles – 98
Mars Snickers Bar – 57
Mars Twix Cookie Bars (caramel) – 62
Melba toast – 100
Mesquite cakes – 36
M’fino wild greens – 97
Milk + 30 g bran – 38
Milk + custard + starch + sugar – 61
Milk, chocolate, artifically sweet – 34
Milk, chocolate, sugar sweetened – 49
Milk, full fat – 39
Milk, skim – 46
Millet – 101
Mixed grain bread – 69
Morning Coffee cookies – 113
Muesli – 80
Muesli Bars – 87
Muffins – 88
Mulga seed (Acacia aneura) – 11
Nopal prickly pear cactus – 10
Nutella spread(Ferrero) – 46
Nutri-grain – 94
Oat Bran – 78
Oat bran bread – 68
Oat kernel bread – 93
Oatmeal cookies – 79
Orange – 63
Orange juice – 74
Organic Agave Nectar – 14
Parsnips – 139
Pastry – 84
Pawpaw – 83
Peach, canned – 67
Peach, fresh – 60
Peanuts – 21
Pear, canned – 63
Pear, fresh – 53
Peas, dried – 32
Peas, green – 68
Pineapple – 94
Pineapple juice – 66
Pinto beans – 55
Pinto beans, canned – 64
Pita bread, white – 82
Pizza, cheese – 86
Plum – 55
Popcorn – 79
Porridge (oatmeal) – 87
Post Flakes – 114
Potato crisps – 77
Potato mashed – 100
Potato, baked – 121
Potato, boiled, mashed – 104
Potato, canned – 87
Potato, instant – 118
Potato, microwaved – 117
Potato, new – 81
Potato, Prince Edward Island, boiled – 90
Potato, steamed – 93
Potato, white, not specified, boiled – 80
Potato, white, Ontario – 85
Power Bar (Powerfoods) – 81
Pretzels – 116
Pro Stars – 102
Puffed Crispbread – 116
Puffed Wheat – 105
Pumpernickel – 71
Pumpkin – 107
Ragi (or Raggi) – 123
Raisins – 91
Rajmah (red kidney beans) – 27
Ravioli, durum, meat filled – 56
Red River Cereal – 70
Rice Bran – 27
Rice Bubbles – 128
Rice Cakes – 110
Rice Chex – 127
Rice Krispies – 117
Rice pasta, brown – 131
Rice vermicelli – 83
Rice, brown – 79
Rice, Calrose – 124
Rice, instant, boiled 1 min – 65
Rice, instant, boiled 6 min – 128
Rice, Mahatma Premium – 94
Rice, parboiled – 68
Rice, parboiled, high amylose – 69
Rice, parboiled, low amylose Pelde – 124
Rice, Pedle – 109
Rice, specialty – 78
Rice, Sunbrown Quick – 114
Rice, white – 83
Rice, white, high amylose – 83
Rice, white, low amylose – 126
Rice, wild, Saskatchewan – 81
Rich Tea cookies – 79
Rockmelon (muskmelon) – 93
Romano beans – 65
Rye – 48
Rye flour bread – 92
Rye Kernel bread – 66
Sao – 100
Sausages – 40
Semolina – 94
Semolina bread – 92
Shortbread – 91
Shredded Wheat – 99
Shredded Wheatmeal – 89
So Good (Sanitarium) – 43
So Good (Sanitarium) – 43
Soft drink, Fanta – 97
Soy milk – 43
Soya beans – 25
Soya beans, canned – 20
Spaghetti, boiled 5 min – 52
Spaghetti, durum – 78
Spaghetti, protein enriched – 38
Spaghetti, white – 59
Spaghetti, wholemeal – 53
Special K – 77
Spirali, durum – 61
Split pea soup – 86
Split peas, yellow, boiled – 45
Star pastina – 54
Stoned Wheat Thins – 96
Sucrose – 92
Sultana Bran – 102
Sultanas – 80
Sustagen Hospital Formula – 61
Sustain – 97
Swede (rutabaga) – 103
Sweet corn – 78
Sweet potato – 77
Sweet potato (Ipamoea batatas) – 63
Taco shells – 97
Tapioca, boiled with milk – 115
Tapioca, steamed 1 hr. – 100
Taro – 77
Team – 117
Tofu frozen desert, non-dairy – 164
Tomato Soup – 54
Tortellini, cheese – 71
Total – 109
Ultracal – 55
Vanilla Wafers – 110
Varagu – 97
Vermicelli – 50
Vitari – 40
VO2 Max Energy Bar (chocolate; Mars) – 69
Waffles – 109
Water Crackers – 102
Watermelon – 103
Wheat Biscuits – 100
Wheat bread, gluten free – 129
Wheat bread, high fiber – 97
Wheat bread, white – 101
Wheat bread, wholemeal flour – 99
Wheat bread, Wonderwhite – 112
Wheat kernels – 59
Wheat, quick cooking – 77
White teparies broth – 44
Whole greengram – 81
Whole-wheat snack bread – 105
Yakult (fermented milk) – 64
Yam – 73
Yellow teparies broth – 41
Yogurt, low fat, artifically sweet – 20
Yogurt, low fat, fruit sugar sweet – 47
Yogurt, unspecified – 51

Glycemic Index and Exercise Metabolism

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

SSE#64-Volume 10 (1997), Number 1
Table of Contents of all Sports Science Exchange Articles

 

 

 

Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D.
Dept. of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
Member, Sports Medicine Review Board, Gatorade Sports Science Institute

Key Points

  • 1. The glycemic index (GI) of a food represents the magnitude of the increase in blood glucose that occurs after ingestion of the food.
  • 2. GI tends to be lower for foods that have a high fructose content, exhibit high amylose/amylopectin ratios, are present in relatively large particles, are minimally processed, and are ingested along with fat and protein.
  • 3. Consumption of lower GI foods 30-60 min prior to an endurance exercise bout tends to promote the following effects during exercise:
  • Minimizes the hypoglycemia that occurs at the start of exercise.
  • Increases the concentration of fatty acids in the blood.
  • Increases fat oxidation and reduces reliance on carbohydrate fuel.
  • The GI of a food consumed during exercise is probably less important than at other times because the insulin response to carbohydrate ingestion is suppressed during exercise.
  • Consumption of high GI foods soon after exercise will probably optimally promote the restoration of muscle glycogen.
  • Although manipulation of the GI of ingested foods may alter exercise metabolism, the effect of the GI on exercise performance is controversial and requires additional research.

Top

Fuel Utilization During Exercise

The goals of dietary intervention for the athlete are to fill carbohydrate (glycogen) stores in the muscles and liver and to make both carbohydrate and fat readily available in the blood for use by the muscles. Carbohydrate fuel can support higher intensity exercise than can fat and is stored in more limited amounts in the body. The metabolic challenge is to maintain carbohydrate supply to the muscles but to somehow slow its depletion by relying optimally on fat as a fuel. Insulin plays a key role in fuel partitioning because insulin tends to increase the metabolism of carbohydrate and reduce fat use. An interesting question is whether or not certain foods can provide sufficient carbohydrate, affect insulin minimally, and also encourage fat use for energy.

Many studies have investigated the ergogenic value of consuming carbohydrate before, during, or after an exercise bout. There is overwhelming evidence that carbohydrate consumption before and/or during prolonged exercise can enhance endurance performance. Thus, a typical recommendation for the daily diet of athletes is to increase carbohydrate intake to at least 60% of the energy in the food ingested or to ingest at least 7 g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. There are also recommendations about the amount and frequency of carbohydrate consumption during exercise (e.g., Walberg – Rankin, 1995), but these recommendations typically do not include any comment on the specific type of carbohydrate that should be consumed. The remainder of this review will summarize the evidence that consuming different types of carbohydrate causes different effects on exercise metabolism and, possibly, performance.

Top

TYPES OF CARBOHYDRATE FOODS

Biochemical Forms
Biochemically, most carbohydrate foods can be classified as mono-, di-, or polysaccharides. Simple and Complex Carbohydrates and the Glycemic Index
Carbohydrate foods are often classified as “simple” or ” complex” carbohydrates-mono- and disaccharides are grouped as “simple” and polysaccharides as “complex.” Although one might guess that simple molecules would be absorbed more rapidly than larger ones, this assumption is not always correct; digestion and absorption do not occur at the same rates for all carbohydrates within a biochemical grouping.
A newer system of carbohydrate classification is the “glycemic index” (GI). The term has been used for some time in clinical nutrition, particularly as it pertains to diabetes, but has only recently been used in the healthy, active population. This term refers to the relative degree to which the concentration of glucose in the blood rises after consumption of a food, i.e., the so-called “glycemic response.” Testing of the GI requires ingestion of 50 g of carbohydrate from a variety of foods, and measuring the blood glucose response over 2 h. After the blood glucose concentration over the two hours is graphically represented-with glucose concentration on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis-the area under the blood glucose curve is measured for each food and compared to consumption of 50 g of glucose as the reference. The glycemic index is given as a percentage, i.e., the percentage of the area under the blood glucose curve for the test food compared to that fo r glucose. Accordingly, a GI of 70 indicates that consuming 50 g of the food in question provokes an increase of blood glucose 70% as great as that for ingesting 50 g of pure glucose.

Factors that influence the glycemic index of a food include the biochemical structure of the carbohydrate, the absorption process, the size of the food particle, the degree of thermal processing, the contents and timing of the previous meal, and the co-ingestion of fat, fiber, or protein (Guezennec, 1995).

Mechanical or thermal processing of food that breaks the food into smaller particles or makes it more susceptible to the actions of the digestive enzymes increases the glycemic index of the food. For example, making flour from wheat will increase the glycemic index relative to ingesting wheat kernels. Finally, because ingestion of fat and protein tends to slow stomach emptying, absorption of carbohydrates and elevations in blood glucose usually occur more gradually if the carbohydrates are consumed along with fats and proteins.

Tables listing the glycemic index of foods have been developed mainly for use with diabetic persons (Foster-Powell & Brand Miller, 1995), but because blood glucose appears to be so critical to athletic performance these tables may also be useful for athletes.

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THE INFLUENCE OF GLYCEMIC INDEX ON EXERCISE METABOLISM

Feedings Prior to Exercise
Food consumed prior to exercise should supply carbohydrate that can elevate or maintain blood glucose without dramatically increasing insulin secretion. This would theoretically optimize the availabilities of both glucose and fatty acids for use by the muscles. One concern about feeding carbohydrate prior to exercise is that a rapid increase in blood glucose- and thus insulin- might cause hypoglycemia at the start of the activity. A second effect of hyperinsulinemia prior to exercise is a reduction in lipolysis. Both of these conditions may increase reliance on muscle glycogen during the exercise.
The evidence suggests that consuming higher-GI foods 30-60 min before exercise causes more of a decrease in blood glucose upon the initiation of exercise and increases reliance on carbohydrate as a fuel during the exercise. These facts tend to identify lower-GI foods as promoting a preferable metabolic response prior to exercise. However, there is conflicting evidence on whether or not these metabolic differences have any effect on endurance performance.

During Exercise
Much research has focused on provision of food, particularly carbohydrate-rich items, during exercise to slow the depletion of body carbohydrate and thus delay the onset of fatigue. The concerns about carbohydrate feedings increasing insulin and thus depressing fatty acid availability are obviated when the carbohydrate is fed during exercise because the exercise-induced elevation in epinephrine depresses the release of insulin from the pancreas. After Exercise
A goal of feeding after exercise is to elevate glucose as soon as possible to provide substrate for glycogen synthesis; as reviewed by Robergs (1991), glycogen synthesis can occur more rapidly if carbohydrate is consumed quickly and in adequate amounts after exercise.
If no food is consumed after exercise, a low GI meal ingested prior to exercise may be warranted because it is likely to cause higher blood glucose and insulin concentrations after exercise than a high GI meal. However, glycogen synthesis will be faster if high GI meals are consumed as soon as tolerated after exercise. The increased blood glucose-and especially insulin-after exercise appear to be critical for resynthesizing muscle glycogen.

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OTHER HEALTH ISSUES RELATED TO GLYCEMIC INDEX

There are several general health implications for high versus low GI diets. Much of the early research regarding the effects of GI used diabetic subjects because most of the complications of diabetes are related to excessive blood glucose levels; a lower GI diet moderates blood glucose in these individuals.
Because blood glucose has been implicated in appetite control, it has been suggested that a lower GI diet may increase satiety and make it easier to control food intake and body weight. Holt et al. (1992) tested the effects of six test meals on serum and glucose and insulin, and hunger. They found a direct relationship between GI and hunger during the 3 h after the meal, i.e., the high GI meals caused a greater feeling of hunger than did the low GI meals

Finally, total and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol may decrease on a lower GI diet. Synthesis of cholesterol in the liver is sensitive to insulin concentrations, which tend to be higher with a high GI diet (Jenkins 1987; Kiens and Richter 1996). For example, Jenkins et al. (1987) reported a 15% drop in cholesterol of normal subjects after 2 wk on a low GI diet.

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PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

It is valuable to consume carbohydrate before, during, and after prolonged endurance exercise to provide fuel during exercise and substrate for glycogen synthesis following exercise. It is possible that carbohydrate foods with different GI may alter exercise metabolism and further affect performance. The research concerning GI and performance in athletes is limited, and recommendations concerning carbohydrate choices are still tentative. In addition, it is important to note that only a limited number of foods have been tested for their GI.

Consuming low versus high GI foods in the hour before exercise may moderate the decline in blood glucose that occurs at the beginning of exercise, reduce reliance on carbohydrate as a fuel, and increase lipid use during exercise. However, there is insufficient evidence to claim that these metabolic changes translate to reduced muscle glycogen depletion and improved endurance performance. Although fructose has a relatively low GI, it should be used in small Amounts and in combination with other carbohydrate sources because it often causes gastrointestinal distress. Other foods with a low GI that may be consumed before exercise include most fruits, pasta, rice, and possibly legumes if they are tolerated. The glycemic indices of commercial sports drinks have not been published, but drinks high in glucose would presumably have the highest GI, whereas those with more fructose or sucrose would tend to have a lower GI. It is important to note that the glycemic index of a food is not easily predictable. Multiple foods are generally consumed together; each food can impact the glycemic response of the other. In addition, the metabolic state of the person will influence glycemic index of a food. For example, a person with low glycogen stores will likely have less of an increase in blood glucose following food consumption than when initial glycogen stores are high.

The GI of foods consumed during exercise is probably not critical because the insulin response is muted during exercise. Thus, there will be less influence of GI on metabolic responses to exercise.

The best evidence for ingesting high GI foods is for post-exercise recovery of muscle glycogen. Several studies have shown an improved glycogen synthesis over at least the first hours of recovery when GI is high. High-GI foods include most breads, potatoes, and high-glucose sports drinks. If the recovery time is 20 h or longer, the GI of the carbohydrates ingested is probably less important than the quantity of carbohydrate consumed.

The possibility that a chronic diet of high-GI foods promotes higher insulin sensitivity and greater storage of muscle glycogen and triglycerides is intriguing for athletes, but this possibility need to be confirmed by studies using subjects who consume high-carbohydrate diets. Much more research needs to be done on the relationship between GI and general health, but because a low-GI diet seems likely to cause lower blood cholesterol and improved appetite control, a low-GI diet on an everyday basis is probably a good choice for athletes and non-athletes alike.

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GLYCEMIC INDEXES OF COMMON FOODS
(Scale of 1 to 100)

Glycemic Food Listed in Alphabetical Order – PDF

Glycemic Food Listed in Numerical Order – PDF

Breads & Grains

  • waffle – 76
  • doughnut – 76
  • bagel – 72
  • wheat bread, white – 70
  • bread, whole wheat – 69
  • cornmeal – 68
  • bran muffin – 60
  • rice, white – 56
  • rice, instant – 91
  • rice, brown – 55
  • bulgur – 48
  • spaghetti, white – 41
  • whole wheat – 37
  • wheat kernels – 41
  • barley – 25

Cereals

  • Rice Krispies – 82
  • Grape Nuts Flakes – 80
  • corn Flakes – 77
  • Cheerios – 74
  • shredded wheat – 69
  • Grape Nuts 67
  • Life – 66
  • oatmeal – 61
  • All Bran – 42

Fruits

  • watermelon – 72
  • pineapple – 66
  • raisins – 64
  • banana – 53
  • grapes – 52
  • orange – 43
  • pear – 36
  • apple – 36

Starchy Vegetables

  • potatoes, baked – 83
  • potatoes, instant – 83
  • potatoes, mashed – 73
  • carrots – 71
  • sweet potatoes – 54
  • en peas – 48
  • Legumes
  • baked beans – 48
  • chick peas – 33
  • butter beans – 31
  • lentils – 29
  • kidney beans – 27
  • soy beans – 18

Dairy

  • ice cream – 61
  • yogurt, sweetened – 33
  • milk, full fat – 27
  • lk, skim – 32

Snacks

  • rice cakes – 82
  • jelly beans – 80
  • graham crackers – 74
  • corn chips – 73
  • life savers – 70
  • angel food cake – 67
  • wheat crackers – 67
  • popcorn – 55
  • oatmeal cookies – 55
  • potato chips – 54
  • chocolate – 49
  • banana cake – 47
  • peanuts – 14

Sugars

  • honey – 73
  • sucrose – 65
  • lactose – 46
  • fructose – 23
  • Beverages
  • soft drinks – 68
  • orange juice – 57
  • apple juice – 41

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References

Brand Miller, J.C. (1994). Importance of glycemic index in diabetes. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 59:747S-752S.

Brouns, F., W.H.M. Saris, E.H. Beckers, et al (1989). Metabolic changes induced by sustained exhaustive cycling and diet manipulation. Int. J. Sports Med. 10:549-62.

Burke, L.M., G.R. Collier, S.K. Beasley, P.G. Davis, P.A. Fricker, P. Heeley, K. Walder, and M. Hargreaves (1995). Effect of coingestion of fat and protein with carbohydrate feedings on muscle glycogen storage. J. Appl. Physiol. 78:2187-2192.

Burke, L.M., G.R. Collier, and M. Hargreaves (1993). Muscle glycogen storage after prolonged exercise: effect of the glycemic index of carbohydrate feedings. J. Appl. Physiol. 75:1019-1023.

Craig, B.W. (1993). The influence of fructose feeding on physical performance. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 58:815S-819S.

Costill, D.L., W.M. Sherman, W.J. Fink, C.Maresh, M. Witten, and J.M. Miller (1981). The role of dietary carbohydrates in muscle glycogen resynthesis after strenuous running. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 34:1831-1836.

Foster, C., D.L. Costill, and W.J. Fink (1979). Effects of preexercise feedings on endurance performance. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 11:1-5.

Foster-Powell, K. and J. Brand Miller (1995). International tables of glycemic index. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 62:871S-893S.

Flynn, M.G., D.L. Costill, J.A. Hawley, W.J. Fink, P.D. Neufer, R.A. Fielding, and M.D. Sleeper (1987). Influence of selected carbohydrate drinks on cycling performance and glycogen use. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 19:37-40.

Goodpaster, B.H., D.L. Costill, W.J. Fink, T.A. Trappe, A.C. Jozsi, R.D. Starling, S.W. Trappe (1996). The effects of pre-exercise starch ingestion on endurance performance. Int. J. Sports Med. 17:366-372.

Guezennec, C. (1995). Oxidation rates, complex carbohydrates and exercise. Sports Med. 19:365-372.

Guezennec, C.Y., P. Satabin, F. Duforez, J Koziet, J.M. Antoine (1993). The role of type and structure of complex carbohydrates response to physical exercise. Int. J. Sports Med. 14:224-231.

Holt, S., J. Brand, C. Soveny, and J. Hansky (1992). Relationship of satiety to postpreprandial glycaemic, insulin and cholescystokinin responses. Appetite 18:129-141.

Horowitz J.F. and E.F. Coyle (1993). Metabolic responses to preexercise meals containing various carbohydrates and fat. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 58: 235-241.

Jenkins, D.J., T.M. Wolever, G.R. Collier, A.Ocana, A.Venketeshwer Rao, G. Buckley, Y.Lam, A.Mayer, and L.U. Thompson (1987). Metabolic effects of a low-glycemic-index diet. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 46:968-975.

Jozsi, A.C., T.A. Trappe, R.D. Starling, B.Goodpaster, S.W. Trappe, W.J. Fink, D.L. Costill (1996). The influence of starch structure on glycogen resynthesis and subsequent cycling performance. Int. J. Sports Med. 17: 373-378.

Kiens, B. A.B. Raven, A.K. Valeur and E.A. Richter (1990). Benefit of dietary simple carbohydrates on the early postexercise muscle glycogen repletion in male athletes (abstract). Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 22:S88.

Kiens, B., and E.A. Richter (1996). Types of carbohydrate in an ordinary diet affect insulin action and muscle substrates in humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 63:47-53.

Kirwan, J.P., D. O’Gorman, D. Campbell, G. Sporay, and W.J. Evans (1996). A low glycemic meal 45 minutes before exercise improves performance (abstract). Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 28:S129.

Massicotte, D., F. Peronnet, C. Allah, C. Hillaire-marcel, M. Ledux, G. Brisson. (1986). Metabolic response to [13C]glucose and [13C]fructose ingestion during exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 61:1180-1184.

Murray, R., G.L. Paul, J.G. Seifert, D.E. Eddy, and G.A. Halaby (1989). The effects of glucose, fructose, and sucrose ingestion during exercise. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 21:275-282.

Robergs, R.A. (1991). Nutrition and exercise determinants of postexercise glycogen synthesis. Int. J. Sport Nutr. 1:307-337.

Sherman, W.M. (1991). Carbohydrate feedings before and after exercise. In: D.R. Lamb and M.H. Williams (eds.) Perspectives in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Vol. 4: Ergogenics: Enhancement of Performance in Exercise and Sport. Indianapolis: Benchmark Press, pp. 1-34.

Thomas, D.E., J.R. Brotherhood and J.C. Brand (1991). Carbohydrate feeding before exercise: effect of glycemic index. Int. J. Sports Med. 112: 180-186.

Thomas, D.E., J.R. Brotherhood and J.Brand Miller (1994). Plasma glucose levels after prolonged strenuous exercise correlate inversely with glycemic response to food consumed before exercise. Int. J. Sport Nutr. 4:361-373.

Walberg-Rankin, J. (1995). Dietary carbohydrate as an ergogenic aid for prolonged and brief competitions in sport. Int. J. Sport Nutr. 5 (suppl.):513-528.

Zawadzki,. K.M., B.B. Yaspelkis, and J.L. Ivy (1992). Carbohydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise. J.Appl. Physiol. 72:1854-1859.

Pilates Exercises

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

Tips to Remember

by Nicole Dorsey

Pilates-based mat moves are the ultimate at-home method for strengthening and lengthening your body without machines, says Brooke Siler, certified Pilates instructor and author of The Pilates Body (Broadway Books, 2000). “The stomach, hips, lower back and buttocks are the powerhouse of your body and [are] instrumental in maintaining good posture and alignment,” she says. “You will be using and toning these big muscles during every step of the mat exercises.” As you move through these sometimes challenging calisthenics, keep in mind these basic tenets of the Pilates philosophy:

  • Breathe deeply and naturally to fuel and replenish your body. Don’t hold your breath at any point, especially during the more taxing abdominal exercises.
  • Always do the exercises with precision, concentration and control. Avoid quick, jerky movements and keep all exercises fluid and graceful, as a dancer would.
  • Listen to your muscles, especially when you initially start exercising. Depending on your present fitness level, some exercises may be too demanding to complete fully the first few times through. “Don’t give up if you can’t get the moves right away,” says Siler. “Regular Pilates practice takes patience and persistence.”
  • Also, remember to breathe deeply and stop exercising immediately if something causes acute pain. If you have lower-back problems, see your physician before beginning this regimen.

The Exercises

by Nicole Dorsey

You’ll start the mat exercises with simple, preparatory moves and progress to more difficult maneuvers; so when in doubt, do the exercises in order. Practice the easier ones until you feel confident in your body’s ability to take the next step, and only then move onto the following exercise. Brooke Siler, certified instructor and author of The Pilates Body, suggests you read through all the instructions first and visualize each movement before you begin the exercise. “Always find your powerhouse muscles — abs, butt, lower back and hips — and use them to strengthen and support you,” she recommends. To maximize your form, look for Brooke’s expert tips, excerpted from The Pilates Body, at the beginning of each exercise.

The Hundred


This is a warm-up exercise which begins to circulate oxygen through your blood and prepares your body for exercise. Make sure you breathe with every pumping repetition.

1. Lie back with knees bent slightly over chest (at 90-degree angles with the floor) and bring arms alongside your body, palms down. Maintain a flat back and let your belly sink into your spine.

2. Lift head and neck off the mat and begin pumping your arms straight up and down in tandem as if you were slapping water. Pump your arms and breathe simultaneously for 20-30 breaths, and eventually work your way up to 100 repetitions with your head raised.

Rolling Like a Ball

Inhale on the roll-back, exhale on the roll-up, and do not use your shoulders to propel your body.

1. Sit tall with knees into chest and place a hand underneath each thigh, bringing knees close to your chest. Tuck chin into chest, keep elbows wide and lift feet slightly off the floor using your midsection muscles to balance.

2. From your tailbone, roll backwards to your shoulder blades (not your neck); then, forcefully but slowly, use those powerhouse muscles to bring you back to the starting position. Rock back and forth with control six times.
Single Leg Stretch

If your neck gets tired during this or any other exercise, rest it on the mat for a few seconds. And always focus your eyes between your legs — don’t strain your neck by looking up.

1. Lie back with knees into chest, neck and chin up, and hold onto left shin with both hands. Extend your right leg up perpendicular to floor and exhale deeply, watching your abdominals contract. Hold here for a few breaths.

2. On the next inhale, switch leg positions with control and keep chin lifted. Hold opposite (right) shin for a few breaths. Slowly alternate sides for three repetitions, and press your lower back even further into the mat as you move smoothly through the motions.

Single Leg Circles

As you grow stronger, you’ll gradually make bigger circles. Maintain control through your hips and legs during each part of the circle.

1. Lie back with head down to the mat and arms at your sides, palms down. Press your palms to the floor to boost stability. Extend right leg straight up to ceiling and keep opposite (left leg) cemented down to the floor. Press your spine to the mat and make sure your lower back maintains contact at all times.

2. Slowly make giant clockwise circles with your right heel without letting your lower back arch up at all. Envision leading each circle from the inside of your knee instead of your outer thigh. Perform 3-5 powerful, slow circles with each leg. Finish with your leg pointing across your opposite thigh.

Straight Leg Stretch

You’re training all those powerhouse muscles in this challenging stretch, so use a sense of rhythm to control your momentum as you switch sides — imagine the rhythm of windshield wipers beating to help you along.

1. To start, lie back and pull both knees into chest to stretch the spine. Then, extend left leg straight up to ceiling and curl torso up until you can reach your ankle (or shin) with both hands. Keep your opposite leg (right) about 8-10 inches off the mat and press your lower back to the mat. Inhale deeply and pull straight right leg closer to your head.

2. On a deep exhale, switch straight legs by scissoring them until you can grab your right ankle with both hands. Keep eyes focused on your belly and don’t rely on your chest or shoulders to help. Perform 5-10 repetitions with each leg without rocking or straining.

Crisscross

There are so many ways to cheat during this exercise, so mentally move through this checklist to improve your technique:

  • Feel your waistline twist each time and never rush through the exercise.
  • Keep elbows extended wide and do not allow them to touch down.
  • Do not let extended leg drop too low toward the mat or you may jeopardize your back.
  • Use only your powerhouse muscles to initiate the movements; avoid using neck, shoulders or lower back.

1. Lie back with hands behind your head for support and knees bent into chest. Extend right leg straight out, and twist upper body until right elbow nears left knee. Inhale as you twist up and lift torso up until upper back and shoulders are off the mat.

2. On a deep exhale, switch sides until left elbow nears right knee. Imagine your back and butt anchored to the mat so your body does not rock during the transition. Using precision and slow motion, alternate 5-10 times on each side of your body.

Single Leg Kicks

The key to this lower body exercise is to remain lifted through your shoulders and remain perfectly still through your upper body as you kick. Try to lengthen through the crown of your head to maintain a long neck.

1. Lie on your stomach and press pubic bone firmly to the mat. Come up to your elbows and stack them directly beneath shoulders. Ball your hands into fists and press them into the mat in front of you. Squeeze your butt and thigh muscles to stabilize yourself. Kick left heel into left buttock with a double beat (or kick). Keep right leg super-straight and in contact with the mat while the left leg kicks.

2. Alternate sides for five repetitions, and when you¹re done, sit back on your heels to stretch your spine.

The Saw

Cement your hips and butt to the mat and allow all movement to initiate from the waistline. If you’re really inflexible, allow one or both knees to bend slightly through the twisting motion.

1. Sit up tall with legs extended in front of you; open legs wider than your hips; flex your feet. Stretch arms out to your sides, parallel to chest.

2. Twist torso to the left until right fingers touch (or approach) your left toes. Exhale deeply, stretching through your chest as you edge closer to your left toes. Inhale and prepare to switch sides. Pull your navel firmly in toward your spine to protect your back, and twist first to the right side through your waistline. Alternate four very controlled repetitions as you stretch head and neck to opposite sides; your head should be the last part to come up.

Modified Swan Dive

Do not drop your head back or slump through the shoulder blades. To properly stretch your back, neck and shoulders, you must draw your navel up to your spine and keep your chest lifted.

1. Lie on your stomach and bend both arms so your palms are flat on the mat underneath your shoulders. Squeeze inner thighs together and press the tops of your feet to the mat. Inhale and begin to straighten your arms, pressing your torso up to the ceiling.

2. Press arms up to full extension and keep belly tight to inhale/exhale deeply for a few breaths. Contract your butt muscles to support your spine and gradually lower back to start position; repeat three times.

Stretching Workout

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

COOL DOWN

After all that exercising, you really ought to ease off a bit. Here’s the finest stretching routine known to man

Life conspires to shorten our muscles. Every hour we spend sitting or driving, every mile we run, every weight we lift helps make certain muscles shorter. Unless we stretch these muscles to help them return to their original lengths, they stay short. And shorter, tighter muscles ruin our posture, and make it more difficult to perform simple, everyday tasks. The stretches shown here will increase your muscles’ range of motion to improve performance in sport and exercise, help prevent injury and generally make life more comfortable for you. As one muscle stretches, another contracts. In this illustration (right), while the calf and hamstrings are stretching, the tibialis anterior and quadriceps are contracting. If any muscle stretches too far, the stretch reflex kicks in and the muscle suddenly goes from a stretch to a contraction to avoid injury. Say you fall asleep in a meeting. As your head nods forward, your neck muscles stretch suddenly, and then just as suddenly contract to jerk your head back up. In sport, you sometimes have too much momentum and the stretch reflex can’t keep the muscle or its connective tissues from stretching too far. A strain, sprain or tear is the end result. Here’s a scary fact: once a ligament or tendon is stretched too far, it never returns to its original length, so the joint it connects to is permanently less stable than before the injury.

YOUR GOALS
Beginner: Accustom your muscles and connective tissues to stretching exercises, and increase range of motion in crucial joints, such as those in your hips, lower back and shoulders.

Intermediate and advanced: Dramatically increase range of motion for sport and exercise. Some stretches in this programme build strength.

BEGINNER


Frequency: At least three times a week. Stretch duration: 15 to 20 seconds per stretch. Technique: To perform most of the exercises in this section, simply get into the position shown in the illustration, feel a gentle pull in the targeted muscles, and hold that position. Don’t try to push or pull yourself into dramatically deeper stretches; that will simply activate the stretch reflex, and your muscles will contract while you’re trying to stretch them. This produces muscle fatigue, if not injury. Your flexibility will improve over time without adding that extra, unproductive effort. Try to perform each stretch three times. You can do all of the stretches indicated in circuit fashion, one right after the other, and do three circuits. Or you can do each stretch three times before moving on to the next. Progress: Increase each stretch to 25 to 30 seconds’ duration. How long: You can use this programme your entire life, and add other stretches you learn. But if you want to increase your strength and flexibility for sports performance, move up to the Intermediate programme.

FLEX TIME

Most of us think the time to stretch is right before a cardiovascular or weight workout. We’re wrong: “The biggest myth about stretching is that it’s a warm-up,” says exercise researcher Len Kravitz. “You shouldn’t stretch until you’re already warmed up.” A cold muscle is easily injured, so you don’t want to stretch until you’ve already raised the temperature in your muscles by several degrees. Stretching after a workout, as part of your cool-down, is ideal. On the other hand, you don’t need a warm-up if you just get up from your desk a few times a day and gently stretch out tight muscles.

INTERMEDIATE


Frequency: 3 to 5 times a week Stretch duration: 20 to 30 seconds for static stretches (in which you hold a single position). Other stretches are described below. Repeat all stretches three times for maximum benefit. Technique: You’ll use three techniques in this routine: CR, CRAC and static. CR stands for contract-relax, but all you need to know is that you flex a muscle hard for six seconds, then relax and stretch it for 12 seconds. CRAC stands for contract-relaxagonist- contract, but you don’t have to remember that. All it means is that you flex a muscle, then stretch it, then flex the opposite muscle, then stretch the original muscle again. As soon as you feel that last stretch, you’ll realise why someone came up with this complicated technique. You’ll see your muscles go further than they ever have before. Just as important is that second-to-last step, flexing the muscle opposite the one you’re stretching. You’ll actually make your muscles stronger here, at the point where they’re most likely to be injured in a match or a strenuous workout. Finally, you’ll also do some static stretches; these are simple ‘get into a position and hold it’ exercises, similar to the ones in the Beginner section. Static stretches are for your hip flexors, knees and lower back, which might get hurt during more aggressive CR and CRAC stretches. Precautions: A study at the University of Mississippi showed that CR stretches can improve flexibility by up to 18 per cent. That’s a huge increase, but it comes with some risk. You should feel all these stretches in the middle of the muscle. If you feel it most strongly in a joint, stop the stretch. The next time you train, try a gentle static stretch for that body part. Who needs them: These stretches are best used during periods of hard training for specific goals – preparing for a sports season or training for an endurance event such as a marathon. At other times you’ll probably want to go back to a program that includes only static stretches.

FLEXIBLE OPTIONS CHEAT SHEET
TECHNIQUE HOW TO DO IT THEORY REALITY
Static Get into a position and hold it, usually for 15 to 30 seconds. A safe and effective way to increase range of motion and limit injuries. No downside here; it seems to work well for everyone.
Active-Isolated (AI) Contract a muscle for 2 seconds, then relax and stretch that same muscle for 2 seconds. If you hold a muscle in a stretched position for longer than 2 seconds, the stretch reflex kicks in, rendering the stretch useless and possibly dangerous. Two seconds in a stretched position is not enough time to fully stretch muscle and connective tissue, unless the stretcher is already a highly conditioned athlete.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF); includes CR and CRAC techniques described previously Contract a muscle for 6 seconds, relax it, and then push or pull the muscle into a deeper stretch. Often, a therapist or trainer helps you perform the stretches. These techniques ‘switch off’ stretchreflex mechanisms, allowing a greater increase in range of motion. Physical therapists have been using PNF successfully for 50 years. It requires far more effort than static stretching though, making it a bad idea if you have a muscle or bone disease.

Aerobic Exercise and Diet Tips

18 Oct 2011 Sports and Fitness

Exercises and Diet Tips for a for a V-Shaped Physique or an Hourglass Shape

Aerobic Exercise 30 Minutes

Do at least 30 minutes of exercise, like brisk walking, most days of the week. The idea is to use up more calories than you eat. You need to use up the day’s calories and some of the calories stored in your body fat.

Eat Less Fat and Sugar

This will help you cut calories. Fried foods and fatty desserts can quickly use up a day’s calories. And these foods may not provide the other nutrients you need.

Tips for Cutting Calories and Fat

  • Eat only small, single servings of foods high in fat or calories.
  • Eat less sugar and fewer sweets.
  • Drink less alcohol or no alcohol.
  • Choose foods whose labels say low, light or reduced to describe calories or fat.
  • Choose 1 percent or skim milk products and reduced fat cheeses.
  • Replace ice cream with fat-free frozen yoghurt.
  • Make sure fish, poultry and meat are lean. Trim skin and fat.
  • Broil, roast or steam foods.

Eat a Favourite Rich Food, Sometimes

That may keep you from craving it. But eat only a small amount. Make sure your other foods that day are low in fat and calories.

Eat a Wide Variety Of Foods

Variety in the diet helps you get all the vitamins and other nutrients you need.

Eat a Wide Variety Of Foods

Best Exercises for a V-Shaped Physique or an Hourglass Shape

  • Jumping rope with a speed rope
  • Stationary biking with light to moderate resistance and high RPMs (90 to 120)
  • Fast walking with little to no incline

As a V-Shape or an Hourglass, your mantra is high reps, low resistance and low weights for both upper and lower bodies. High reps mean at least 25 to 50 repetitions for each of your exercises. As you slim down and lose weight and mass, you can increase resistance and weight. But you still must maintain your high reps for each exercise. Hourglasses who bulk very easily may have to keep the resistance and weights at a low level forever. If you are currently engaged in high resistance or heavy weight exercises and you’re not willing to cut them out entirely, try to cut down on the number of times you perform them during the week. As you trim down, you can ease back into them.

  • Ski machine at high speed with little to moderate tension for both upper and lower bodies
  • Elliptical machines with no resistance (only if you’re not overweight)
  • Jumping jacks
  • Standing knee to opposite chest, L-kicks, leg-outs, one-legged leg lifts, and vertical scissors
  • Cybex, Nautilus or other weight machines with light weights and high reps
  • Upper-body routine with a 4-pound aerobic bar, doing push-outs, behind-the-neck presses, front presses, upright-rows, bicep curls, and triceps kick-backs
  • Dead lifts with little or no weight
  • Angled squats (if you’re not overweight)
  • Leg extensions and leg curls w/light weight/high reps
  • Swimming for distance (crawl stroke)
  • Jogging or running
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