It’s been about a month since I received the Total Gym XLS, and I wanted to check in and give everyone a quick update. I’ll be continuing to post monthly updates on my progress, so stay tuned if you want to watch my progression from couch potato to beefcake. BEEFCAKE!
When the Total Gym XLS first arrived, it looked rather intimidating. But after setting it up (a 5-minute process that doesn’t require any assembly) and watching the introduction DVD, my mind was set at ease. The system comes with a training deck that shows you how to do every exercise imaginable, and build a workout program that’s custom-tailored to your needs.
As I looked through the training deck, I saw a section labeled “6-8 Minute Workout with John Carleo”. Saving time on workouts is what drew me to the Total Gym in the first place, so I immediately started reading up.
John Carleo is a professional trainer and athlete, and he’s developed a step-by-step program specifically for the Total Gym XLS that gives you the most effective workout when you’re crunched for time. The best part? It takes just 6-8 minutes a day, 6 days a week!
The program breaks down what exercises you’ll be doing each day, along with the associated card for each exercise. You’re to do one set of eight reps for each exercise during the first week, and add one rep to each set every week until you reach 14 reps per set. Then, raise your Total Gym’s height up one level, and begin the routine again at one set of eight reps per exercise.
If you’re like me and don’t feel like organizing your deck each morning for that day’s workout, simply follow the included 6 To 8 Minute Workout DVD, where he’ll guide you through each exercise. This helps to make sure you’re doing each exercise correctly, and helps with the timing as well. (If you don’t have a TV / DVD player near your Total Gym, stick the DVD in your laptop and place it near your workout area.)
It’s a solid workout program, targeting different muscle groups on different days, thereby giving your muscles time to repair in between workouts. I was killing it for the first few weeks, dropping five pounds on the scale and one belt hole on my belt. But then disaster struck!
I threw out my back while helping a friend move (lifting some furniture with my back instead of with my legs), and I was down for the count. It was frustrating losing my momentum like that, but I did the only thing I could do given the circumstances – I focused on my diet, cutting out some of the “junk” that contributed to my expanding waistline in the first place.
First on my hit list was soda, as it’s a waste of calories (140 calories in a 12oz can, nearly 750 calories in a Big Gulp). I also got rid of all the unhealthy snacks lying around (Doritos, Tastykakes, M&Ms, etc) and I’ve replaced them with fruits and granola bars.
I’m a big believer in taking things slow.. I’ve seen people go on diets where they get rid of EVERYTHING at once, and they were absolutely miserable. I’m sorry, but that’s just a recipe for disaster. It’s important to chip away at the bad things bit by bit, so it’s not such an overwhelming change. Over time, you’ll find that you don’t miss the things you cut out, and your body is so much healthier for it.
By making these subtle changes to my diet, I was able to keep off the weight I initially dropped, despite not being able to work out for awhile. Now that I’m getting better, I’m excited to get back on track and hit it with everything I’ve got. Hopefully I’ll be able to drop another 5-10 pounds by Memorial Day.
Disclosure: Guys Gab was provided with a Total Gym XLS free of charge, however the opinions expressed are my own.
We’ve Got Six Simple Tips To Build Muscle Fast
Have you ever come across someone with an impressive physique that leaves you speachless? The amazing part is that many of these guys have lives outside of the gym, with busy careers and even families. It makes you wonder how they’re able to maintain that muscular physique with everything else going on in their lives.
Building muscle is complicated and requires both patience and hard work in order for you to experience better results. Sadly, most people lack the patience, giving up before they see any significant gains. We’re here to help, with six ways on how you can rev up your results!
1. Lifting More Weight Over Time
Weightlifting is one of the best ways to keep your body weight in check while building muscle. However, most people ignore the fact that building muscles require adding more weight over time. Regardless of the style of weightlifting, if you aren’t increasing the weight over time, don’t be surprised by the slow muscle building.
Successful bodybuilders always come up with the perfect workout program that entails lifting heavier and heavier weights. We both know that the path may be tough, especially when you are unable to bump the pressure higher. At this juncture, trainers always insist on coming up with other strategies such as supersets, which help you increase your body’s potential. In the next week or two, you’ll be ready to handle the next weight level.
2. Compound Exercises
Currently, the number of weight-related complications are on the rise. Thankfully, people have begun to realize the many benefits that hitting the gym can bring when it comes to avoiding injury. However, when it comes to building muscle, the type of workout dictates the results. It’s for this reason that we see some people experiencing quick effects as compared to others.
According to professional trainers, many bodybuilders understand the need to focus on multi-muscle exercises. Based on people’s busy schedules, gym time is usually limited. So, the idea here is to maximize your efforts in the gym. In other words, it’s wise to engage in activities that boost one or two muscle groups for quick results. Most successful muscle builders follow a rule that ensures 80% of the workouts target at least 2 muscle groups at a time. This is a method that you should follow as well.
The shoulder press is one of the few workouts that favor the rule. It strains the muscles within the shoulders, as well as those around the triceps. Also, there are the squats, which boosts the muscles around the quads and the hamstrings. The bench press is also useful when it comes to multiple-muscle workouts, as it exercises the shoulders, triceps, chest and even the biceps to some degree.
3. Fuel Your Body
Fueling your body is essential when it comes to ensuring a productive workout. Many people are still not sure of what diet suits a successful muscle building workout. But, even platforms such as MyMusclePal agree that proper food and supplement intake is vital to your success, and that this should be done before and after the workouts.
From the little scientific knowledge that we have, we know that amino acids are needed in the body to help in synthesizing new muscle mass. Also, carbohydrates are needed to provide the energy required to develop the new muscle tissue. Therefore, failing to include the two in your diet plan may mean zero results.
4. Know When You Reach A Plateau
As stated earlier, the bodybuilding journey is complicated and requires a lot of patience and smartness to experience useful results. There is the plateau, and many individuals are always asking what it means. As the name suggests, a plateau is that point in your journey where an individual goes 1-2 weeks without any progress. This state may halt one’s quest to a perfect body. The sad thing is that most people don’t understand how to avoid hitting a plateau.
Most people realize that they have hit the plateau when it’s late. However, the smart fellows are always on the forefront to ensure that the situation doesn’t occur in the first place. The best way to address this is to mix up your workout program. For example, some people prefer changing the order in which they perform the workouts. Others change the amount of rest they take between sets while others prefer changing the type of exercises. The key is to keep your body guessing and not fall into a routine.
Gym sessions can be quite interesting. The craving for a ripped body makes the tiring activity even more interesting. It’s the cravings that see most people focus more on working out and less on taking some time to rest. It’s vital that you allow time for your body to recover.
Resting before going back to the gym is a must. It’s smart to come up with a workout program that allows sufficient rest time. However, the amount of rest needed is based on the type of workout you’re doing. For example, activities such as weightlifting require a day off between muscle groups. But for events that get one working out at a higher frequency, a full two days of rest might be necessary.
6. Eat More Protein
Weightlifting breaks down the muscles. It’s this break down that influences masculinity in the long run. We both understand that we need proteins to ensure that the muscles are built back up. Therefore, when it comes to bodybuilding workouts, eating more proteins is vital. Protein is essential when it comes to facilitating the recovery process. According to research, you need roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Thus, coming up with a perfect meal plan that allows sufficient intake of protein is really important. Otherwise, all of your hard work will be for naught.
Most of us admire a muscular body when we see one. However, some of us don’t understand the secret behind the perfect physique. To many, bodybuilding is a complicated task and may take forever to achieve. However, with an accurate program and tips provided in this article, the muscle building journey can be made short and achievable. Good luck!
How To Enjoy A Good Diet Plan Without Starving Yourself
Although calories are the primary cause of weight gain, you don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight or keep fit. The key factors to losing weight are watching your calorie intake and controlling the portion of the food you eat. Choosing the foods that keep you full for a long time and eating in different intervals can also help you maintain good health.
Here are five ways to diet without starving yourself:
Choose Food That Is High In Fiber
Any food that is high in fiber consists of fewer calories and helps one to stay full for a long time. These kinds of foods have healthy nutrients such as vitamins, calcium irons and so on. They include fruits like apples, blueberries, oranges, and vegetables such as green leafy vegetables. So always incorporate such foods in your diet for excellent results. Instead of buying juice from the supermarkets, make your own at home with a blender.
Snack In Between Meals
Snacks can help you control the number of foods you eat in a day, thus reducing the calorie intake. There are healthy snacks which have fewer calories and has nutritional values too. These snacks include; popcorns, carrots, nuts, fruits such as the apples can also be eaten as snacks because they are high in fiber. Other snacks like sweet potatoes or arrowroots can be prepared in more tasty ways to spice them up. For example, sprinkle some black pepper on shredded sweet potatoes and bake them. This would be an excellent snack for your kids instead of a sandwich.
It’s Okay To Cheat
Don’t be hard on yourself all the time. Cheating on your diet is okay, but it all depends on how much you indulge in. For example, if you are craving for pizza, one or two slices cannot be harmful to the body. But taking a whole box of pizza is what might not work for you. You can make your homemade pizza and add an ingredient that is healthy. You can top the pizza with vegetables or healthy proteins from white meat.
Look For Diet Plans
There are diet plans suitable for maintaining a healthy weight. One of the most known diet is the ketogenic diet. The ketosis diets consist of meals that have a high content of fat, the right amount of protein and low or non-carbohydrates. The primary goal of this diet is to reduce the storage of fats in the body which is mainly caused by the overconsumption of carbs. Therefore, the body burns the fat present for energy production instead of relying on carbs, this guide will help you about ketosis diet plans, and learn how to follow them based on the kind of body results you want to achieve.
Exercise helps to boost metabolism in the body, hence increasing the fat and calorie burning process. So, exercise regularly either at the gym or even at home. You can also engage in exercises that do not require working out with equipment such as running, jogging or even doing squats.
Starving yourself to lose weight may end up bringing more harm than good to the body. You need food for your body to remain healthy, along with a supply of the required nutrients. So use the above tips to help you adopt a good diet that does not need you to starve yourself.
5 Habits You Need To Break In Order To Get Fit And Healthy
There are some things you do, or fail to do, every day that could be sabotaging your attempts at becoming healthier. To achieve success with your weight loss journey, you need to work on breaking some of these bad habits and ensure you protect your body against any practices that are unhealthy. The key is to ensure that you integrate change into your lifestyle gradually.
To help you make the right choice, here are some of the habits you should break that will lead you to getting fitter and healthier.
1. Eating late at night
There are many reasons you should plan your dinner to take food an hour earlier. A study on cell metabolism showed that people who eat dinner early and stayed for 16 hours without taking anything were slimmer compared to those who consumed a similar amount of calories late in the night. Another reason you need to check the time you eat is that it allows you to sleep better. Late-night meals could cause indigestion, which will definitely interfere with sleep. If it’s already late, don’t take complete meals. A Naturelo supplement would be good to give you the nutrients you need without interfering with your comfort.
2. Not getting sufficient exercise
Exercise comes with many benefits that can not only ensure you are fit, but also stay healthier by helping your body burn extra calories. Some people have formed a habit of skipping their workout sessions, and this is fueled by laxity. Exercise improves blood flow and different studies have shown that people with moderate to high levels of activity live longer and are healthier. It keeps your heart healthier and strengthens muscles. You will feel and look great after working out.
3. Skimping on sleep
Sleep deprivation is something you need to avoid. Research shows that failure to get enough sleep could affect many things: it can compromise the immune system, you will have impaired judgment, and your heart health is affected. Sometimes being deprived of sleep causes depression and makes it more challenging to lose weight when you are dieting. You should aim to receive not less than 7 hours of sleep each night.
4. Not drinking enough water
Your body is made up of 60% water, so it’s not surprising that drinking water contributes to your well-being. Hydration helps to keep your mood stable and ensures your memory does not decline. Water will enhance your motivation and give you the strength to take on different challenges. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults should drink on average 8 cups of water every day. Many people don’t observe these guidelines, so you need to get into the habit of drinking plenty of water every day.
5. Choosing foods because of healthy-sounding labels
Marketing has evolved and one of the tactics used is appeal to emotions. Some manufacturers will give their products fancy names that purport to say they contain the right ingredients. Many people are swayed by this trick only to realize they bought something not so healthy. For example, some products labeled as fat-free may deliver more sugar than you need. Don’t be duped and only buy after you have verified the ingredients included are good.
Your choices in life are reflected in your health and fitness. That’s why it’s important to always make the right decisions and ensure you don’t consume foods that are unhealthy. Check your daily habits to ensure they contribute to you getting healthier and fit. This includes taking enough water, eating healthy foods, and working out.