Monthly Archives: July 2016

July 29, 2016

How to of strength and mass

Looking for a how to of mass and strength? It’s only natural that many people will be interested in building muscle mass and also gaining strength, but these two do not always go hand in hand.

Interestingly, the overall process for building muscle and strength is the same basic process. There is a level of work required to break down the muscle and build new muscle. To do the work, consider using your body weight, elastic bands, or other items around the house if you don’t have actual weights. However, the body also needs to be fed building blocks in the form of protein and water to build new muscle. Another critical component is rest, which refers not only to the time between exercises, but getting quality sleep each night. This cycle of work, feeding, and rest is what allows for muscle growth.

To build mass, you will do three to four sets of eight reps each. Between exercises, you will rest for about 60 seconds. To build strength, you have to add more weight to your reps, though you will be doing fewer reps than you would when building mass. Strength building can fatigue the muscles faster, so you will want to add extra rest time in between sets, allowing for a greater rebuild. In either case, when you can complete all sets with up to 10 reps, you know it’s time to add more weight. Keep stepping up the weight to advance your progression.

You can choose to work on building mass and strength at the same time by alternating your focus on different days. Though you will see gains over time, you may see greater gains by following a periodization approach. In this approach, you will focus on each individually for a period of three to six weeks, and then alternate back to the other—mass or strength.

Incorporate this how to of mass and strength to optimize your workouts. Doing so will ensure that you are maximizing your opportunity to add muscle mass, strength, or perhaps both.

4 fitness modalities that matter

July 27, 2016

The tao of running | Gary Dudney

Gary Duney is a columnist for Ultrarunning Magazine. He has been a runner for more than 40 years, having completed over 200 marathons and ultra-marathons. He is also the author of The Tao of Running and discusses running motivation in today’s episode.

Gary explains that older runners are able to adjust their workouts to their specific level of fitness. They tend to do well with long, slow distance runs or a combination of running and walking. Running is a simple exercise that provides a great calorie blast. However, many look at running as difficult or painful. In his book, Gary explains that the Taoist recognizes that life may be difficult and full of unpleasant experiences. Similarly, an individual who has never run before will experience both pain and excitement in this new challenge. In accepting all parts of the run, one will have rich and rewarding experience that is felt emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Some people are also afraid to run. In response to this, Gary speaks about the benefits of staying relentlessly positive. It is so very important to substitute the negative with the positive in order to avoid falling into a downward spiral. When things start to hurt during a run, the inclination is to think that something is wrong. Recognize that you are supposed to be feeling this pain when running a hard race. Other people around you are likely feeling the same way. Acknowledge the pain and see it as something positive. Be aware of the negative self-talk. Consider using mantras to help you stay focused.

To find your running motivation, challenge yourself to do a little bit more. Realize that you are only as old as you choose to be and that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Running is also a great option for improving your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. To learn more about Gary Dudney or The Tao of Running, visit www.thetaoofrunning.com or email Gdudney@comcast.net.


Mel goes from couch to infinity

Not a born runner but that can change with Pete Magill

July 25, 2016

How is your mobility

How is your mobility? Do you know what mobility is? Mobility is a restriction of the body that prevents you from moving through a whole range of motion. Mobility is mainly impacted by the flexibility of joints and muscles.

Injuries are a major cause of limited mobility. If you have injured a joint, be sure to see a doctor to resolve the issue. You can begin training once you have been to physical therapy. Some injuries may be so bad that they leave scar tissue, which can also cause restricted mobility. One approach to remedy this is called flossing, which involves using a rubber band to pull the bone into the scar tissue, possibly breaking it up over time.

When muscle injuries don’t quite heal the way they are supposed to, abrasions in the muscle can form and not allow the muscle to straighten to full length. This imbalance can be repaired, though it will take time and effort. One method of achieving this is through SMR, which involves rolling an object on the muscle’s pain point for 30 to 60 seconds. Over time, the muscle will lengthen and be looser, allowing for a wider range of movement.

Stretching is a big part of mobility and flexibility. Static stretching is the type of stretching that most people are familiar with. It involves holding a stretched position for a period of time, ideally 60 seconds. The second type of stretching is called dynamic stretching. This is where you’re doing stretching movements, but in a more dynamic way. This is typical among athletes because it does not give the same weakening of the muscle seen with static stretching. However, it causes a greater force on your body and could cause injury if you’re not properly warmed up. In either case, never stretch a cold muscle. Be sure to warm up the muscles first by moving around and getting a good blood flow.

So how is your mobility? Even if your mobility is good, it is something that we all need to continue to improve over time.

4 fitness modalities that matter

July 22, 2016

Understanding heart rate and exertion

When you’re first starting out with an exercise program, it’s normal to wonder what your heart rate and exertion level should be. Is your heart rate too high? You may be concerned that you might overdo it. Before beginning an exercise program, be sure to talk to your doctor. Make sure your doctor is aware of what you want to do and get his or her clearance before starting.

The two fitness modalities that are central to one’s heart rate and exertion level with exercising include cardiovascular health and endurance. Though many people think cardiovascular exercise is the key to losing weight, it’s really about building greater endurance, being active, and having a stronger heart and respiratory system to live a long, healthy life.

There are two ways to measure exertion. One is with heart rate and other is through feel. To measure your heart rate, you can opt to use a heart rate monitor. Some pieces of equipment in the gym may even have a heart rate monitor included. You can also use a wearable heart rate monitor which will collect the data. These are a great way to know when you’re getting a good workout and can be especially useful when doing high intensity interval training. To measure through feel, use a scale of one to 10.

To get a better look at these exertion zones and the corresponding heart beat levels and feel levels, visit older.fitness/zones. There you will find the formula to calculate your maximum heartrate at any point. The various activity ranges include the basic range, the fat-burning range, the aerobic range, the anaerobic range, and the maximum range. When you’re first starting out, you should not be doing any work in the maximum range more than once per week. Over time, you will get more comfortable with pushing the boundary with your heart rate and exertion levels.


Have you mastered the art of intensity

July 20, 2016

The china study solution | Dr. Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell, MD, is a board certified family physician and instructor of clinical family medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He coauthored The China Study, which sold more than a million copies and inspired the 2011 documentary Forks over Knives. He also is director of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, a nonprofit organization in Ithaca, New York, which promotes optimal nutrition through science-based education, advocacy, and research in partnership with eCornell, Cornell University's online course provider. He lives in Rochester, NY.

The China Study Solution is based on the book, The China Study, which is based on a very comprehensive study in rural China which showed that a whole-food, plant-based diet has the potential to prevent and reverse many chronic diseases.  The China Study became a worldwide phenomenon, selling more than a million copies and inspiring countless readers to reinvigorate their health by making better food choices.

With Dr. Campbell we discuss his 3 food group concept, which is inspired by nature:

  1. Animals, or animal sourced food group;
  2. whole plant food group; and
  3. processed plants or plant fragment.

We also discuss transitioning to a plant-based diet, whether going cold turkey or a gradual transition over time, as well as the options and health benefits.   Changing our behavior can be hard, but Dr. Campbell discusses his six-step approach which he has developed based on many years of observation in his family practice.

While there is plenty of science-based information in The China Study Solution, Dr. Thomas Campbell’s book also provides practical tools and advice on stocking your kitchen, reading food labels and navigating social situations.


The end of heart disease | Dr. Joel Fuhrman

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