10 Weird Facts About Getting in Shape for Men

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10 Weird Facts About Getting in Shape for Men
 

 
June 27, 2012 - 10:00 am | Permalink
There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to fitness for men. Learn 10 weird facts about getting in shape, many of which are counter-intuitive and a lot different from what most of the “gurus” will try to tell you.


The fitness industry is a vast one, and it seems like everyone and their brother these days has a product that promises to make you a buff meatmuffin “in just 4 minutes per week!” or some nonsense like that. The fact of the matter is, getting in shape requires real dedication and time. That doesn't mean it has to be hard, but it does mean you have to be consistent. For more than a few minutes per week. If you've decided to get serious about getting in shape, you'll be interested in learning some of these interesting factoids that will make the process as efficient as possible.


1.) Lift weights to increase your flexibility. By performing weight-training exercises through your full range of motion, you can build strength and extensibility in your muscles and connective tissues all at once, says Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S., an Indianapolis-based strength coach. "Exercises such as lunges, chinups, squats, and Romanian deadlifts improve your performance in the gym and on the sports field better than static stretching," he says. (Note: Hartman does recommend static stretching for injury prevention-see The Rehab Clinic on page 134 for an example.)

2.) Drink milk. There's been a backlash against the stuff in recent years due to the fat and high calorie content. But switch to skim and you've got one of the cheapest, simplest, and most effective post-workout shakes available. "Twenty ounces provides an ample serving of carbs and both whey and casein protein, two kinds that are absorbed at different rates," says Hartman. "The combination is ideal for supporting growth right after a workout."

3.) Put more weight on one side. "When you lift outside the gym, whether it's grocery bags or boxes," says Joe Stankowski, a trainer in Wilmington, Del., "you're rarely handling the same load on each side of your body." That's why it makes sense to train with asymmetrical loads-particularly, unevenly weighted dumbbells. "Start with 5%-10% more weight on one side than the other," says Stankowski. In your next workout, lift that heavier weight with your other hand. The uneven load will force your muscles to work harder to balance the weight, shocking your body into new growth. But be careful: Always use weights you're sure you can handle safely and with good form.

4.) Don't lower the bar to your chest on a bench press. "Pull it there," says Stankowski, who learned the trick from powerlifting legend Ed Coan. "Actively bringing the bar down to your body forces you to engage your lats-muscles that are crucial for supporting your bench press and lifting big weight." But take it easy: Pull the bar down with control for safety.

5.) Don't do cardio in the "fat-burning zone." It's one of the oldest myths in fitness: the notion that you need to raise your heart rate to a certain level and maintain it for a certain amount of time in order to burn the most fat. "That's utterly untrue," says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., a strength coach in Santa Clarita, Calif. "The idea is based on the fact that low-intensity exercise burns a higher percentage of calories from fat than high-intensity exercise," which is fueled more by your carbohydrate stores. "But it's a higher percentage of a smaller number." Think about it: Reclining on a couch is about as low-intensity an activity as there is-which means the calories you burn just lying there are primarily from fat-but because you're burning so few calories overall, it's hardly an effective method for fat loss. "Forget about the diagrams hanging on the cardio equipment," says Cosgrove. "Do high-intensity intervals or lift weights." You may not burn quite as high a ratio of fat to carbs, but you'll burn substantially more calories overall, leading to greater fat loss.

6.) Go below parallel on squats. Contrary to the advice of many trainers, studies have shown that the lower you squat, the less you risk injury. "Ask any orthopedic surgeon where the knee joint is most unstable," says Cosgrove, "and he'll say 'at 90 degrees'" (when your thighs are about parallel to the floor). That's because the shinbone is able to shift around more in relation to the thighbone at that position. Add to that the fact that, because the range of motion is shorter, you can add more weight to a parallel squat than you can to a full squat, and you've increased the damage risk even more. In addition, when researchers at the University of Connecticut compared the results of two subject groups-one that squatted as deep as possible, and one that squatted only to parallel-they found that the full squatters added significantly more muscle to their thighs.

7.) Eat eggs yolk and all. "Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there," says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., professor of exercise physiology at the University of Connecticut. Each one provides a good serving of vitamins and minerals-such as vitamin E, iron, and zinc-and six or more grams of easily digestible protein (with all the essential amino acids). While it's true that a large egg yolk contains four to five grams of fat, it's primarily the hearthealthy, unsaturated kind. "Egg yolks also contain choline," says Volek, "a substance that breaks down fat, helps make up the membranes of nearly every cell in your body, and produces neurotransmitters." Need another reason to scramble over to the dairy aisle? When compared with the price of meat and fish, eggs are one of the cheapest muscle foods on the market.

8.) Master your insulin. "Everything you eat tells your body either to burn fat or to store it," says Toronto strength coach Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S. The foods you consume cause strong hormonal responses in your body, particularly from insulin-a hormone that can shut down fat-burning in a hurry. "One of the most important fat-loss strategies is to not let your insulin levels climb too high at any time in the day," which you can accomplish primarily by following a high-fiber, low sugar diet, says Ballantyne. At the same time, elevated levels of insulin can be very beneficial immediately following a workout, when the body needs a fast protein fix. "Insulin can effectively carry protein into your muscles," Ballantyne says, "leading to faster recovery from your workout and greater growth."

9.) Try barbell complexes instead of post-workout cardio. A complex is a series of barbell exercises performed one after the other without rest. Doing a few after your weight routine will not only help you burn more fat than the treadmill but will also reduce the risk of your body using its muscle tissue for fuel (a danger with any cardio activity). "Complexes work much the way intervals do," says Hartman, "by stimulating a lot of muscle and forcing your body to burn more fat during and after the workout." For example, perform 10 reps of these exercises in the following order: good morning, squat, push press, front squat, Romanian deadlift, and bentover row. The weight you use should be the most you can handle on your weakest exercise in the complex. (So, if you can do only 10 reps with 135 pounds on the front squat, use 135 for every exercise.) Rest three times as long as it takes you to complete, then repeat 3-10 times, depending on your level of conditioning.

10.) Don't always train your biggest muscles first. While performing chin-ups before arm curls, for example, is a good rule of thumb, it isn't a flawless formula for growth. "Muscles don't work alone," says Cosgrove, "so if your chin-up is weak, it could very well be the result of weak biceps, which help you complete the movement." A better rule of thumb: "Train whichever muscles are weaker first, even if it means violating other rules you've heard."


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 10 Weird Facts About Getting in Shape for Men - 6/27/2012

40 comments for "10 Weird Facts About Getting in Shape for Men"

 5 years ago '07        #2
DaForce13 27 heat pts27
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good read
 5 years ago '06        #3
niceguy954 31 heat pts31
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#2

the return of the chocolate milk threads
 06-29-2012, 08:52 PM         #4
Ed Bundy 
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who knows whats true anymore...ive read things that contradict some of these, then ive heard things that support some of these, then ive heard things that contradict, etc. etc.

who really knows
 5 years ago '11        #5
Sandor Clegane 68 heat pts68
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 niceguy954 said:
#2

the return of the chocolate milk threads
chocolate milk
 5 years ago '04        #6
regularjoe 58 heat pts58
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 Wallabees said:
chocolate milk
I feel like I'm the only person who doesn't like chocolate milk, chocolate in general, and ice cream. (Although, I'll eat ice cream from time to time.... like twice a year).
 5 years ago '07        #7
jack_napier 
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props
 5 years ago '11        #8
bd2eazy 38 heat pts38
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 Ed Bundy said:
who knows whats true anymore...ive read things that contradict some of these, then ive heard things that support some of these, then ive heard things that contradict, etc. etc.

who really knows

yeh, its all about finding what works for you.
 5 years ago '04        #9
Mr_Plenty 
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^^^^^^^^the big t*ts in your avy is the truth
 5 years ago '04        #10
chirpflare 173 heat pts173
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 Mr_Plenty said:
^^^^^^^^the big t*ts in your avy is the truth



btw skim milk is bad for you. stick to whole milk.
 5 years ago '04        #11
BadNews640 
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if low intensity-long time cardio works for you, do it. if high intensity intervals work for you or work better, do it. While milk may be good for carbs/protein, a whey protein shake/banana or oatmeal is much better if you're trying to cut. these articles may be true, but listen to your mirror and body and certainly not a scale.
 06-30-2012, 02:37 AM         #12
KingoBling 
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 regularjoe said:
I feel like I'm the only person who doesn't like chocolate milk, chocolate in general, and ice cream. (Although, I'll eat ice cream from time to time.... like twice a year).
maybe its because most "chocolate milk" is milk ingredients, corn syrup, water, butter milk, chocolate flavour,.............
 5 years ago '07        #13
TH35 103 heat pts103
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 regularjoe said:
I feel like I'm the only person who doesn't like chocolate milk, chocolate in general, and ice cream. (Although, I'll eat ice cream from time to time.... like twice a year).
I thought I was the only one. I don't like chocolate ice cream, cake, cookies, milk, etc... chocolate is disgusting. I never touch it, other than women.
 5 years ago '06        #14
Johnny Tapwater 3 heat pts
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add me to the , chocolate is disgusting train...
 5 years ago '10        #15
The Pharaoh 4 heat pts
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could be useful. Thanks.
 5 years ago '05        #16
Stuart Scott 200 heat pts200
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 Gattsau said:
Stopped reading when he said drink milk.
This.
Almond milk tho>
 5 years ago '10        #17
murd410 31 heat pts31
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 TH35 said:
I thought I was the only one. I don't like chocolate ice cream, cake, cookies, milk, etc... chocolate is disgusting. I never touch it, other than women.
I'm on this same train but I can handle milk and I'm a big dude
 5 years ago '10        #18
onlybuilt1906 8 heat pts
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I drink about a gallon of Skim Milk a week. What are these anti-milk theories? And I'd love for someone to explain good fat and bad fat, as in the egg yolk they were speaking of. I've been smashing hard boiled eggs, while giving the yolks to the dog...
 5 years ago '10        #19
Trilluminati GA 433 heat pts433
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 5 years ago '06        #20
niceguy954 31 heat pts31
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this went to a milk thread real quick
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