Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Introduction to Total Body Workout

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit”. Total body workout follows a similar philosophy. Total body is a quick mass builder for beginners. Here, you stimulate each muscle about 3 times a week instead of exercising each muscle once in 7 days as you normally would in a split exercise schedule.
More Testosterone
A full body workout targets all major muscles, head to toe in a single session, releases maximum testosterone and growth hormones. Testosterone and growth hormones are required for muscle building.
Gradual Buildup
Rome was not built in a day. Building body requires patience and persistent effort. You will have to increment weights, increase intensity gradually or else you will achieve burnout faster than you can imagine.
How to do it?
The total body workout I suggest can be achieved with a simple dumbbell set and a pull up bar.
Here is a sample workout for a week.
Caution: Always warm up for 5-10 mins before starting any exercise. Best warm up is to jog in-place. Then there are jumping jacks too. Warm up is used to ensure muscles aren’t stiff during exercise which could lead to injury. Remember to stretch after an exercise session. This leads to better muscle recovery.
Always consult your physician before embarking on any exercise program.

Day 1
Sets: 3
Reps: 12-14
Pushups (reps: maximum achievable)
Bent over rows
Military press
Bicep curls (any variety)
Triceps extension

Day 2
Cardio: Run for 25 mins with moderate intensity.

Day 3
Sets: 4
Reps: 6-8
DB Bench Press/ Pushups (If pushups, rep maximum)
Chin ups
Arnold press
Bicep curls
Chair dips

Day 4
Cardio: Swim, bike or run for 25 mins with moderate intensity.

Day 5
Sets: 3
Reps: 12-14
Pushups (rep maximum and use variety, like wide-hand, close hand or diamond)
Pull downs/Chin ups/Bent over rows
Military press
Bicep curls
Bent over triceps extension

Day 6
Run with moderate intensity for 40 mins.

Day 7
Rest! This is important. Do not over train, as it could lead to muscle injury.

Keep varying exercises. This ensures maximum motor unit recruitment, hence better muscle development.

Nutrition corresponds to 90% of bodybuilding effort. Eat 5 times a day. Each meal should be small quantity but enough to satiate you. Make sure you eat carbohydrates since your muscles need glucose after a workout to build. Eat enough protein to ensure muscle recovery is optimum. Fats can be eaten in the form of nuts, seeds, eggs.

Someone rightly said, ‘health is wealth’. Do not smoke, and drink responsibly. Take care!

Stop Aging

Time doesn’t stop or wait for anyone. Aging cannot be stopped. If there be an elixir that provides immortality and youthfulness, it would sell hotter than Windows©. But let’s face the truth, there is no such elixir and nothing can be done to stop aging. But a lot can be done definitively, to slow the aging process and retain youthfulness. No, this talk is not about Botox or facelifts, but about a natural and ‘healthy’ way to achieve an eternal aura that every one desires.

The aging process
There are many hypotheses for aging. The most prominent one is which says aging is a cause of by-products of breathing, free radicals and oxygen radicals. Another one is which says that as we age, our cells lose the ability to divide, thus making our immune system weaker. There are many others that have lots of scientific jargon, but for our consideration, the above two are just okay.

First things first
To age gracefully (slowly, it meant,) and to retain that youthfulness, all habits that induce toxins in our body need to be stopped. First and foremost is smoking. It introduces 4000 different chemicals out of which at least 50 are known carcinogens (cancer causing) and many are poisonous and stroke causing.

Drinking alcohol doesn’t kill brain cells; it actually damages ends of neurons which convey messages to neurons. It ultimately results in problems conveying messages between neurons. The brain cell is not damaged per se, but the way it connects to other brain cells is damaged. Imagine you at age 70 driving car and thinking about making a left turn, but your hands turning the wheel towards right. Yes! It’s a fact, and it happens a lot.
So, stop harming your bodies right away.

‘I eat hence I am’
‘You are what you think’ and ‘you also are what you eat’. Physiology and psychology are interrelated. Mind improves body and body improves mind. If you eat processed food a lot, you store junk and toxins in your body which are difficult to remove. Imagine this; adulterated gasoline would only make the engine of a car sputter. Think of your body like an F1 race car that requires very high quality fuel. Your body requires the following fuels: carbohydrates, proteins, good fats, and minerals and vitamins.
You get all above in vegetables (raw, cooked, cruciferous ones), fresh fruits, sprouts, lentils, fish, nuts, seeds and eggs.
Jack LaLanne, the great fitness and nutrition expert and the person who at age 70 towed 70 rowboats, one filled with people for a mile, once said “If man made it, don’t eat it”, and “if it tastes good, spit it out”.  
In old age you simply cannot put in processed food and expect the body to convert it into energy. What you need is clean food.

Eat less
Eating food puts a lot of pressure on the body. Digestion is one of the most energy consuming processes in the body. The formula to a healthy long life is ‘Eat less, but eat often’. Only eat when hungry, and drink lots of water, as water flushes out the toxins from your body.

Exercise for about 30minutes each day. It keeps the metabolism up and rejuvenates life cells, strengthening the immune system. Exercise can be anything from brisk walking to running miles and miles a day, but exercise every day.
As age progresses, less brain cells are made by our brain, which leads to reduced efficiency in motor functions. Exercise creates new brain cells and releases endorphins which positively boosts mood, removes depression and boosts self-esteem.  Exercise has the following health benefits;
·         It increases energy levels.
·         Strengthens heart.
·         Lowers blood pressure.
·         Improves muscle tone and strengthens bones.
·         Reduces body fat.
·         It makes you look fit and healthy.
Caution: Before you embark on any exercise program make sure you consult your physician.

Final words
Aging can be a worrisome, but disciplined adherence to the above facts can make it divinely beautiful.