Robert’s Blogs

Byrobert

Secret Fitness Supplement Revealed….

Top secret post recovery drink guarantees to do the following: 
• Increase strength and performance
• Dramatically speeds up muscle recovery time
• Protects from over training/increase glucose and protein reuptake  
• Allows for increased muscle growth
• Scientifically tested to increase fat loss
 
Contains the following vital explosive ingredients:   
 
• Calcium: Helps build and maintain strong bones. It’s also vital for nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood clotting.
 
• Protein: Important for a number of bodily functions including brain development and the growth of body tissues.
 
• Vitamin A: Maintains normal vision and skin. Helps regulate cell growth and integrity of the immune system.
 
• Vitamin B-12: Essential for the growth and health of the nervous system. Linked to normal activity of folic acid and is involved in blood formation.
 
• Vitamin D: Promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and influences bone mineralization, the strengthening of bones.
 
• Potassium: Regulates the body’s fluid balance and blood pressure. It also is needed for muscle activity and contractions.
 
• Phosphorus: Helps generate energy in the body’s cells and influences bone mineralization, the strengthening of bones.
 
• Niacin: Keeps enzymes functioning normally and helps the body process sugars and fatty acids. It is also important for the development of the nervous system.
 
• Riboflavin:Helps produce energy in the body’s cells and plays a vital role in the development of the nervous system (Milkdelivers.org)
 This amazing drink is none other than….. 
 
“Chocolate Milk”

Believe it or not, but chocolate milk contains an optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio. This ratio is critical for helping refuel tired muscles after strenuous exercise and can enable athletes to possibly exercise at higher intensities in subsequent workouts.
There are a plethora of protein/sports drinks to choose from but these findings may suggest, regular chocolate milk can be just as advantageous for recovery from glycogen depleting exercise compared to their high priced counterparts.
Muscles can only get bigger and stronger when there is sufficient glycogen in the muscles themselves to produce adenosine triphosphate(ATP). This is the chemical in your body that allows your muscles to contract. From a workout stand point this speaks volumes in terms of getting optimal results. If muscles are prevented from contracting your workouts will suffer greatly.
 After a hard workout your muscles crave glycogen. There is a window of opportunity which is estimated to be 1-2hrs after a workout session to consume carbohydrates.
Our body releases the hormone insulin in the presence of carbohydrates. Insulin will do one of two things: shove the digested carbohydrates molecule into a muscle cell for latter use as energy or it can cram the molecule into a fat cell.  If we continue to eat an excess of carbohydrates but never empty our glycogen stores then the carbohydrates will be stored as fat. 
 
This is one of the reasons why people who embark on an exercise program seem to be able to eat more food and at the same time store less fat. When drinking chocolate milk, immediately after a workout, insulin will shuttle both carbohydrates and protein into your starving muscles. Just take a look at the money you will save:    
Popular sports drink = $3.00 per serving
1 gallon of milk = $3.50, 128 ounces = 16 ounces = 1 serving = 8 servings per gallon  
Nesquik powder/syrup $4.95, 15 oz = 37 servings = 1 serving = 2 tablespoons
$8.95 for 8 servings of chocolate milk vs. $24 for 8 servings of sports drink
And you have at least 29 servings of Nesquik left over!     
 
 
There is no magic bullet…. just hard work (exercise) and a sensible diet plan.
 
I drink protein shakes for variety, accessibility, protein and added calories. I don’t drink them because I think they will improve my performance or give me a Greek God bod.

In the ever growing world of fad workouts, and bogus nutrition plans, the health conscientious person is often left bewildered and confused.
 
Use common sense and sound judgment. Don’t be fooled into thinking product A will solve your fitness problems.
 
Nothing compares to exercise, intrinsic psychology fitness motivation and a balanced diet!!!!

“Having a goal is the easy part: it’s putting in the hard work that really tests a person’s strength of character” – Jason McCartney
First published 2007

Byrobert

Top 5 inspirational Sports Stories(2008)

5) Natalie du Toit:
In 2001 Natalie was riding on her motor scooter when she was hit suddenly on the side by a careless driver, causing her to lose her left leg just above the knee. Less than 2 yrs later she qualified for the finals of the 800 meter freestyle at 2002 Common Wealth Games. In 2008 Natalie qualified for both the Paralympic and Olympic games. Amazing! 

4) Randy Couture:
In March of 2007 Randy Couture came out of retirement at age 43 and challenged 27yr old Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight title. The insiders of mixed martial arts(myself included) not only thought Randy didn’t have a chance to win but was actually going to get seriously hurt in the process. The result: Randy almost knocked out big Tim 8 seconds into the fight and completely dominated him for all 5 rounds… gives hope to all 30,40, and 50 yr old fitness wanna b’s doesn’t it!   
   

3) Bethany Hamiltom:
In 2003 Bethany was attacked by a 14 ft tiger shark which ripped her left arm off just below the shoulder. By the time she reached the hospital she had lost 70% of her blood. She was surfing 3 weeks later and in 2004 received an ESPY award for Best Comeback Athlete of the Year.   

2) Lance Armstrong:
In 1996 Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Doctors told him he had a 10% chance of survival. Lance went on to win his 7th consecutive Tour de France title in 2005… Nuff Said!

1) Derek Redmond and Dad:
 Derek Redmond pulls his hamstring in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and is helped to the finish line by his father. Simply Priceless!! 

“Attitude is contagious is yours worth catching?”   –  Australian Cricket Team Motto

 
 Training Tips: Michael Johnson, US Sprinter, Multiple Olympic Gold Medalist
1. Dream small: think in small increments: make short term goals
2. Write down your goals: it keeps your goals clear and in focus  
3. Be specific: focus on specific goals
4. Be realistic: you can accomplish most things that you set out to do but it will take time
“Know yourself: find your core, that thing you’re chasing. Set goals based on what you really want”

I can’t see how anyone after reading and viewing these tremendous stories can make anymore excuses… you can change the way you look and feel… the ball is in your court!  The question is do you really want it?

  

Byrobert

The Great Greenie Hoax…

What the green companies don’t want you to know……  

·  Wheat Grass: As the name implies comes from sprouted grains. Taking shots like a shot of vodka is extremely popular in places like Manhattan and California. I remember working out at a very trendy health club located on the Upper West Side, where people would actually line up out the door for this stuff. One day after a  hard exercise session the owner finally convinced me to give it a shot, I accepted.  To my surprise they were right!! I definitely felt different? But not the kind of difference I would pay money for. My stomach was upset for hours, along with a horrible case of flatulence and the flavor tasted pretty much like I thought it would, like liquidized grass!

Many health food stores often make the grandiose statement that 1 ounce of wheat grass is nutritionally equivalent to 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of green vegetables. That’s a 1:35 ratio! No wonder I had so much gas!! The actually numbers from the USDA when comparing wheat grass with broccoli and spinach demonstrate that ounce for ounce there is nothing substantially different from the 3. Looks like Popeye was right! Just eat your spinach kids.    

  Proponents claim improvement in energy, digestion (opposite for me) and a purifying and detoxifying effect on the blood. Maybe that’s why my tongue was green for the rest of the day?  No studies have been performed to warrant these claims. 

·   Blue-Green/Algae/Spirulina: organisms containing blue pigment and chlorophyll that habitant seas and lakes. They provide a major source of nutrients for fish and amphibians.  Did you ever notice how perfectly divided the earth’s resources are between man and animal? My guess is unless you have gills there is no reason to think there are any benefits from eating algae. These substances contain toxins called microcystins that can be harmful to pregnant women and children, gee I wonder why?

·    Chlorella:  More algae goop. This algae has the highest chlorophyll levels of all the super greenies already mentioned.  The Chlorophyll molecule is very similar to human hemoglobin. This in theory (a lot of theory here) will aid in blood flow and help detoxify the body. Sorry but the broken record is about to play again: THIS IS NOT SUBSTANTIATED BY RESEARCH.

Exercise has been demonstrated to be one of the things that actually increases plasma volume. More volume means the blood is more dilute and less likely to cause platelet (disc shape cells that form blood clots) stickiness. Sedentary people have thicker platelets which through time can form blood clots in blood vessels and cause heart attacks or strokes. Translation: active people have a lower risk of heart disease and strokes, less sticky blood, and it’s not because they drink Chlorella. Your best bet is to go for a brisk walk right past that long line at the health food store and keep going for about 30 min. There are so many different kinds of healthy, edible,  vegetables; you have no reason to spend additional money on these on items. Just go to the local grocery store and enjoy!

If you want a double whammy…exercise plus a blend mix of fresh eaten veggies(juicing or extracting skip the chewing process which makes salvia enzymes needed for full vitamin and mineral absorption) should get keep you in pretty good shape and add to your savings as well :).

“Things are not going to improve for you in life until YOU improve” 
-Les Brown
first published in 2007

Byrobert

Exercise and Fresh Air…

” Close houses are injurious to health………….brethren and sisters that have come into the city from living in the canyons and those who have arrived from the states have not been troubled with colds until they came into warm houses, that gives them colds, by depriving their lungs of the benefit they are organized to receive from the atmosphere”.  -Brigham Young (1801 -1877)

When we workout hard our cardio vascular system is working over time to deliver much needed oxygen to our muscles. If you are a city slicker like me, you have probably developed the bad habit of exercising only at the local gym. The problem is health clubs today are poorly suited to supply the appropriate mix of inside to outside air exchange. Most are only equipped with ceiling fans, pushing everybody else’s carbon dioxide (and who knows what else) into your lungs!  Muscles need and demand fresh oxygen!
There is something called “recovery oxygen uptake” and it basically means even after your muscles have stopped contracting, heavy breathing continues for an extended period. Your lungs are trying to restore metabolic conditions to the resting level. It makes sense to give the body as much fresh oxygen as possible, especially during and after intense exercise.

 The remedy is simple and comes in two parts.
1) Whenever possible try exercising outdoors. Try getting at least 30-45minutes of fresh clean air daily. You can try some of the following: biking, hiking, walking, swimming or any other outdoor activity. Try making it a habit of training 1-2 times a week outside instead of the usual stuffy closed indoor environment.
 
2) Own a home gym: I try not to endorse any products but you might consider owning a home gym. There are many to choose from, but I always go with names that are recognized in the field. If you have the money, 4 names stand above the rest…Bowflex, Hoist, Icon and Precor. I own various modalities from all 4. They have the best warranties and equipment on the market today. I workout with the doors and windows open most of the time (even during the colder months), this allows my lungs to suck up all that clean dandy fresh air. The great thing about owning a home gym is you control the ventilation, along with not having to wait around for equipment to open up. If you want to go down the less expensive road here are some other great choices you might want to consider: selectable dumbbells and exercise bands (Bodylastics is a good choice). Both run under a $100 and can give you an incredible workout in your home.
 
Try these small but simple ways to get healthier… your lungs, immune system and muscles will thank you for it!                     
 
 

” I don’t believe in pessimism, if you think it will rain, it will” – Clint Eastwood  
first published in 2007

Byrobert

Laughter relieves all…

I just came upon a news article about a tragedy of a Wal-Mart worker getting trampled to death by a mob of shoppers in Dec 2008. I thought it only fitting that I would steer away from the diet  and workouts and talk about something everybody posses that can dramatically improve your health.
Laughing…

I love this short article written by Joseph Wirthland an LDS Christian scholar

The first thing we can do is learn to laugh. Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?
There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh.

I remember loading up our children in a station wagon and driving to Los Angeles. There were at least nine of us in the car, and we would invariably get lost. Instead of getting angry, we laughed. Every time we made a wrong turn, we laughed harder.
Getting lost was not an unusual occurrence for us. Once while heading south to Cedar City, Utah, we took a wrong turn and didn’t realize it until two hours later when we saw the “Welcome to Nevada” signs. We didn’t get angry. We laughed, and as a result, anger and resentment rarely resulted. Our laughter created cherished memories for us.

I remember when one of our daughters went on a blind date. She was all dressed up and waiting for her date to arrive when the doorbell rang. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children; then she put on her coat and went out the door. We watched as she got into the car, but the car didn’t move. Eventually our daughter got out of the car and, red faced, ran back into the house. The man that she thought was her blind date had actually come to pick up another of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife.
We all had a good laugh over that. In fact, we couldn’t stop laughing. Later, when our daughter’s real blind date showed up, I couldn’t come out to meet him because I was still in the kitchen laughing. Now I realize that our daughter could have felt humiliated and embarrassed. But she laughed with us, and as a result, we still laugh about it today.

The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.

Studies show the following benefits from laughter
·        Your immune system takes a beating when you allow negative thoughts to go unchecked. These thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that bring unwanted stress that lowers your immunity
·        Positive thoughts on the other hand produce neuropeptides that relieve stress
·        Laughter releases natural pain killers in your body
·        Laughter stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the feel good hormones called endorphins (MayoClinic.com)

Enjoy a good laugh at least once a day…:)
first published in 2007

Byrobert

Stress relief with Exercise

“study how to preserve your bodies in life and health and you will be able to control your minds”- Brigham Young(1801 -1877)

Here are great reasons how and why exercise helps us feel better when it seems the world is crumbling right before us…..  

1. Makes you feel less anxious — Stress can make you feel anxious, and studies show that people feel less jittery and hyperactive following exercise.
2. Relaxes You — One exercise session generates between 90 and 120 minutes of relaxation response. This post-exercise euphoria improves your mood and leaves you feeling relaxed.
3. Increases alertness — Studies have shown that when large muscle groups repeatedly contract and relax as in yoga, the brain receives a signal to release specific neurotransmitters, which in turn make you feel relaxed and more alert.
4. Makes you feel better about yourself — Think about it… when you look better,  you will feel better about yourself. That feeling of self-worth contributes to stress relief.
5. Reduces depression — Some researchers believe exercise can be more effective than medication for treating depression in some people.
6. Helps you sleep more restfully — Stress can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, but studies show that people who exercise regularly sleep better than those who don’t.
7. Increase energy — Stress can leave you tired and weary, but even a 10-minute walk can go a long way to upping your energy level. And the old adage is true – the more energy you use, the more you seem to have.
8. Rids the body of stress-causing adrenaline and other hormones — Vigorous activities such as indoor cycling and sports such as basketball are particularly effective.
9. Encourages a healthier diet — People who exercise regularly tend to eat more nutritious food. And it’s no secret that good nutrition helps your body manage stress better.
10. Helps you take care of yourself — exercise alone or with a friend, it’s important to take time for yourself during stressful periods.`-Published by David Stempler
Copyright © 2001 Wantagh Racquet Sports, Inc.. All rights reserved.
An Independently owned and Operated Licensee of World Gym International, inc

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom” Jim Rohn
First published in 2007

Byrobert

More should be less…

We have developed the more is better mentality in this country especially when it comes to food portions.  Just look at these statistics from 30 years ago.

1970 Calories 2008 Calories
2 slices of pizza 500 2 slices of pizza 850
1 cup of coffee, 8 ounces 45 1 Grande Cafe Mocha,16 ounces 330
Med popcorn 270 Tub 630
Bagel, 3 inch diameter 140 Bagel, 5-6 inch diameter 350
Cheese burger, 333 Cheese burger 590
Soda, 8 ounce bottle 97 Soda, 20 ounce bottle 242

             Adapted from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

 Don’t think those extra 350 calories in pizza matter? Remember it takes 3,500 additional calories to gain 1 pound of body weight. Let’s say we went back in time gave the average person in 1970 the 2008 version of the food items found on this table. The person in 1970 would be digesting a whopping 1,607 additional daily calories! That would be a 3.2 lb increase in just 7 days! Of course there are no time machines, but I think you get the point.  Along with the portion sizes our serving utensils have gotten bigger as well.  In the 1990’s the standard dinner plate increased from 10 to 12 inches.  In a study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine, investigators found that when people were given larger than normal bowls and spoons they actually served themselves larger portions and finished the portions as well. The more is better principal is also being applied to how we view the pricing of food as well. A 32 ounce Big Gulp is 99 cents and 388 calories. For only 20 cents more you can get the Double Big Gulp for 64 ounces at $1.19. That’s double the amount calories for only 20 cents. People are getting exactly what they are paying for: more fat around their Big Gulps!      

 

“Success is a journey, not a destination.”- Ben Sweetland 
First published in 2007

Byrobert

Muscle Building Workout Myths…

Myth 1: You need to workout for long periods everyday to see results.

Fact: While the more is better principal is true for money it doesn’t apply here. When we’re under physical (intense workouts lasting more than one hour) or emotional stress our bodies consume glucose at an extremely high rate. To keep our blood sugar levels in a homeostasis state the catabolic stress hormone cortisol is released which forces gluconeogenesis ( making glucose from non carbohydrate sources) to be performed on adipose and muscle tissue. When muscle tissue is broken down it releases amino acids into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream the amino acids are shuttled into the liver to synthesize glucose. This ensures that our brain gets a sufficient amount of glucose to keep functioning properly. So unless you want to run the risk of catabolzing your own muscles, shorter workouts are usually a better choice. Studies also show that each trained body part needs a minimum of 48hrs of rest between sessions with back and leg muscles taking longer to recover 72 hrs. For example if you train your back muscles on Monday you shouldn’t train back again until Friday. Training body parts that have not been fully repaired will lead to over-training and quite possibly atrophy of muscle tissue.

Myth 2: Only a large amount of calories will lead to muscle growth

Fact: In order for an individual to gain one pound of muscle there needs to be a surplus of an additional 3,500 calories. Spread over a course of one week that’s only 500 additional calories per day.  It is estimated that sports supplements including weight gainers are a multi million dollar a year industry. If you find it hard to put on weight you can make your own weight gainer by mixing whole milk, peanut butter and one scoop of whey protein in a blender. Anything above the 500 additional calories will not be needed and will be stored as fat. A simplistic way of determining calorie needs is to multiple your body weight by 17. Try it and save some money.

Myth 3: Following bodybuilder type routines will get you huge

Fact: Unless you are on steroids, 25 sets per body part will without question leave you over-trained. People need to understand that on top of the drug use most bodybuilders are genetic freaks, probably not me or you. Stick with 12 sets total once every 4-5 days per body part. This will ensure proper rest and recuperation between sets.

Myth 4: You need to lift heavy all the time

Fact: Studies demonstrate that individuals who vary their workouts between light and heavy cycles of training display greater strength and muscle size compared to individuals who lift at a constant weight all the time. The take home message is, while heavy weights produce greater muscle gains compared to light weights, you can’t lift heavy all the time. The body does best when it’s given enough time to repair and heal. Also keep in mind any new training stimulus will result in muscles compensating and getting bigger. So while light training may seem counter productive, your muscles will react by increasing their size once the heavy training starts up again.

Myth 5: There can only be one right way to train to make muscle gains

Fact: In this day and age everybody seems to be an expert when it comes to exercising. While it is true, intense heavy workouts are best to increase muscle mass. The fact remains any new stimulus presented to the body for the first time will increase muscle size, no matter what the program is. It’s really not the kind of workout so much as it is trying to exercise in different ways to trick your body and prevent it from adapting to the workout. Again variety is the key try these gems on for size…..

 

  • Increase the intensity: For example if you do 3 sets of 12 reps with 50 pound dumbbells why not try 3 sets of  12 reps  with 60 pound dumbbells, again your body will not be accustomed to the 60 pounds and will be forced to grow new muscle.
  • Decrease the intensity: I realize this may seem counterproductive but try taking a step back and lower the intensity, your joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and most of all your mind will thank you for it
  • Change the order of exercises: instead of always performing the bench press first in your chest routine try dumbbell flies first followed by the bench press.
  • Vary training modalities:
  1. perform entire week of just machines
  2. perform only full body workouts 3 x week
  3. use body weight exercises for 2 weeks = push-ups, dips, chin-ups and abs,
  4. use high reps(the ultimate ego punisher), nothing lower than 25 for 5 straight workouts.
  • Change health clubs: this may seem less important than the others but nothing beats a new environment with new machines, weights, music and fresh faces. Again your mind will love the breakaway from the mundane scene day after day.
  • Change the time of your workouts: If you workout only in the morning, give the nighttime slot a shot, again something as simple as this, may be all you need to stimulate yourself to new growth.

Disclaimer

Keep in mind that while most people(men mostly) who lift weights would love to look like the bodybuilder models displayed in the magazines…the truth is most of us will not. There are 3 basic reasons for this: 1) Steroids: you just can’t be huge and ripped at the same time without them. 2) Genetics: walk into any gym and you’ll find yourself amongst average looking fitness patrons, it’s only a handful that ever look like monsters! This is due to genetics and not the way they train. 3) Diet: six pack abs are a primary result of a stringent diet. The problem is most people can’t and won’t live on steamed chicken and broccoli. I for one choose to portion control my meals and exercise on a regular basis, so that I can have the occasional slice of pizza. I may not have extraordinary chiseled abs but I also will not runaway from the birthday cake either! In these troubled times, a sound mind goes a long way….
first published in 2007