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The Importance of Rest Periods

Regardless of whether you are doing Cardio, Endurance training or Weightlifting the importance of having rest periods cannot be ignored.

Your body builds new muscle tissue while you sleep and rest. It is a very common beginners mistake to forget to rest properly.

Lets say for example that your goal is Muscle Gain via Weightlifting - Well then you need to be lifting weights 3 days per week - say Monday, Wednesday, Friday - with plenty of rest in-between your weightlifting sessions.

If you don't have rest periods you will end up taxing your muscles too much and you won't be getting the optimal amount of muscle gain.

In theory you could do weightlifting as much as 3.5 times per week, doing a full body routine every 2nd day and resting in-between.

Or another way to do it would be to only exercise your upper body muscles on odd days and only exercise your lower body muscles on even days of the month. So yes, you could exercise every day of the week, but you would be giving different parts of your body a break on alternating days.

When it comes to Cardio or Endurance training you want to aim for 4 days per week. eg. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, Friday. And you want to work your way up endurance wise so eventually you are doing a single activity - eg. swimming - for 60 to 80 minutes.

But the end result is that you still need time to relax, recuperate and heal from the physical stress of your ordeal.

If you aren't resting it will result in you developing a number of physical and emotional sideeffects, including insomnia, anti-social behaviour and all the other warning signs of Exercise Addiction / hormone deficiencies.

Exercising burns through hormones in your body like crazy. It eats it up. Those hormones affect other things health wise however and even your personality / behaviour. Your body needs rest periods between periods of strenuous exercise so that you can recharge and rebuild, not just ripped muscle tissue, but also to correct hormonal imbalances.

So if you're still feeling guilty about slacking off during the Christmas / Holiday season, don't worry, it was a well deserved rest period.

Note: Sometimes its also necessary to switch to low strain recuperative periods in your exercise routine. Maintenance / Healing phases. Basically instead of exercising really hard and intense you take 2 weeks and just sort of "chill" while you exercise. You still exercise, but you do it at a less intense level and you avoid anything that is painful such as Power Lifting or marathon running.

Such phases also give your body more time to build up / repair any muscles, and is great for if you are recovering from a minor sports injury.

Lastly SLEEP!

Remember that the best sleeping pattern is a 1 hour nap during the day and 5 hours of sleep every night. Failing that the next best thing is 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep per day.

If you have difficulty sneaking in naps during weekdays, try to have 1 or 2 naps every weekend. Naps and sleeping do wonders for your hormone and energy levels, making you feel more alert and more energetic.

6 Ways to Tone your Obliques

Looking to tone up your abs and side muscles? Here is 6 ways to tone up your oblique muscles.

 Oblique V-Up

Lie down on your side with your body in a straight line. Fold your arms across your chest. Keeping your legs together, lift them off the floor as you raise your top elbow toward your hip. The range of motion is short, but you should feel an intense contraction in your obliques.

10 repetitions each side [ Beginner ]

Saxon Side Bend

Standing straight hold a pair of lightweight dumbbells over your head, in line with your shoulders, with your elbows slightly bent. Keep your back straight, and slowly bend directly to your left side as far as possible without twisting your upper body. Pause, return to an upright position, then bend to your right side as far as possible.

6–10 repetitions on each side [ Beginner ]

Speed Rotation

Start by standing while holding a dumbbell with both hands in front of your midsection. Twist 90 degrees to the right, then 180 degrees to your left. Keep your abs tight and move fast. Bring to center. Alternate the side you start with.

10 repetitions each side [ Intermediate ]

Two-Handed Wood Chop

Stand while holding a single dumbbell in both hands next to your right ear. Flex your abs and rotate your torso to the left as you extend your arms and lower the dumbbell to the outside of your left knee. Lift it back, finish the set, and repeat on the other side.

10 repetitions each side [ Intermediate ]


Medicine Ball Torso Rotation

Start by kneeling down, both knees on the ground. Hold a medicine ball, football or basketball in front of you. Sit with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Quickly twist to your left, and set the ball down behind your back. Twist to the right, and pick up the ball. Bring the ball around to your left, and set it down again. Repeat. Do the same number of repetitions in which you first twist to the left side as you do when you twist to the right side.

10 repetitions each side [ Advanced ]

Side Jackknife

Lay down on your side. Raise your torso off the floor, with your left forearm on the floor for balance. Hold your other hand behind your right ear, with your elbow pointed toward your feet. Lift your legs toward your torso while keeping your torso stationary. Pause to feel the contraction on the right side of your waist. Then slowly lower your legs and repeat. Finish the set on that side, then lie on your right hip and do the same number of repetitions.

10 repetitions each side [ Advanced ]

13 New Years Resolutions for a Beach Perfect Body

Want to have a beach perfect body in 2013? Here are 13 New Years Resolutions to help you achieve that dream and make it a reality.

#1. Never give up. Just keep doing it even though you make mistakes.

#2. Set realistic goals over the long term and start working on those goals TODAY. A realistic goal is losing 2 lbs of fat per week (you may build some muscle by accident along the way too, but that is an added bonus). Don't get discouraged if you gain weight in the first week because that will probably be new muscle weight.

#3. Don't procrastinate. Its today or never because tomorrow never comes.


#5. Weightlifting helps too. Maintains muscle tone and builds your confidence. But remember that cardio should come first. Aim for 80% cardio and 20% weight training.

#6. Healthy eating means a good balance of everything and not binging all the time.

 #7. If you do binge due to loss of control, don't worry about it, just get right back to your fitness routine and work even harder.

#8. Take your vitamins daily. Easy right? Vitamin supplements make sure you are getting enough and you feel more energetic as a result.

#9. Eat an apple every day. Really easy! Apples contain chemicals which cut back on your hunger so you don't feel as hungry.

#10. Take up new sports and activities that are fun. eg. Archery, boxing, kickboxing, rock climbing, snorkeling...

#11. Get yourself a training buddy / jogging partner with similar goals.

#12. Stretches! Stretching uses muscles you often forget about and maintains flexibility.

#13. Track your progress by counting calories, measuring your weight daily and keep track of everything in a journal. People who track their progress see the results, feel more confident and are twice as likely to stick with it and succeed.

13 Diet and Exercise Resolutions for 2013

#1. Focus on Healthy Fats / Omega-3

Cookies, processed meats, white bread and similar foods are high in Saturated Fat / Trans Fat which goes to your waistline very easily. Focus on healthy fats found in nuts, olive oil, avocados, egg yolks and fish.

The simple act of eating more fish and less red meat will help you shed fat and get more "healthy fats".

Switching from white bread to whole grain also makes a big difference, or cut back on your bread consumption entirely.

Eggs are good for you. Especially the yolk which has healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in it. Those acids cause your body to burn sugar more efficiently, making you faster, stronger, smarter, etc.

#2. Dark Chocolate

A little bit of dark chocolate is good for you. Avoid any chocolate that is mostly sugar (eg. "white chocolate" doesn't even have cocoa in it).

#3. Eat More Yogurt

Cut out cheese and ice cream and eat more yogurt. It is waaaaaaaaay healthier for you and you get more calcium, whereas cheese is too fatty and ice cream actually is not a good source of calcium. Milk itself is not a good source of calcium either because the protein in the milk absorbs the calcium and you don't really get the benefit of it.

#4. Diet Now, Not Later

Don't delay. As you get older it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight. If you're going to get in shape the time to do it is NOW.

#5. Healthy Diet is Only HALF the Struggle

Remember that you have to exercise at the same time as maintaining a healthy balanced diet. Eating healthy is only half the struggle.

#6. Fidget

Fidgeting burns calories. Spontaneous physical activity (SPA) like fidgeting, bending, brushing your hair, doing dishes, etc. can burn 350 or more calories a day or 1 lb of fat every 10 days. Regular fidgeting can burn 36.5 lbs per year.

#7. Try Interval Training

Interval Training is more effective than long cardio sessions for burning calories. Try it for a month and discover the benefits.

#8. Eat Smaller Portions

Snacks are good for you, especially when combined with smaller portion meals. You eat less, store less and need less. Don't pig out just because the giant chocolate bar is there. Take 1 piece and save the rest for later.

#9. Only Eat When Hungry

Don't eat just because its "supper time". Eat when you are hungry and in small portions.

#10. Watch more Comedies

Laughter burns calories. And laughter while exercising, jogging in place burns even more. Laughter also reduces stress and stress causes your body to save fat for later, so less stress = less fat being stored.

#11. Avoid Foods with Sucrose and Glucose

Learn to read labels. Aim for more natural sugars found in fruit (fructose).

#12. Sleep and Naps

Take naps on the weekend. Whenever possible try to sleep 5 to 6 hours at night and get a 1 hour nap during the day. Siestas are good for you. Even primates (chimps, apes, etc) sleep 5 hours at night and nap for an hour in the afternoon. Its healthier and what we are meant to do.

#13. Cut Down on Toxins

Your body absorbs toxins in the air (including second hand smoke) and then stores those toxins inside fat cells like little prisons. Want to lose weight? Tell those smokers in your family to butt out, buy a good quality air filter and avoid anything toxic that you could be inhaling or eating.

New Years Resolutions for 2013

13 Things to Do in 2013

#1. Try Out of the Box Group Fitness

#2. Obstacle Course Races (eg. Tough Mudder)

#3. Bicycle More

#4. Hire a Personal Trainer / Holistic Nutrionist

#5. Learn how to do a Handstand

#6. Workout with Others in your Community

#7. Try Metabolic Conditioning

#8. Try Small Group Personal Training

#9. Kickboxing!

#10. Try Traditional Boxing (more upper body)!

#11. Try Archery! Cause its the hottest thing these days.

#12. Do more Ice Skating.

#13. Stay Motivated and Keep your New Years Resolutions!

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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