High-Intensity Interval Training: How Intense Does It Have to Be?

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High-Intensity interval training is all the rage these days. In fact, this training approach tops the list of fitness trends for 2018, as it has for the past few years. It’s a trendy way of working out that shows no sign of slowing. There’s a reason HIIT training is so popular. It’s a way to get a workout without spending hours per week doing monotonous exercise that doesn’t keep you motivated. In other words, HIIT is short, sweet, and effective. … [Read more...]

Exercising When You’re Sick: Is It Even Worth It?

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We know that consistency is important when you’re trying to get fit or stay that way. After all, exercise isn’t something you can do once in a while and expect to see results! However, life sometimes gets in the way of getting a good workout. In some cases, it’s time constraints that come between you and a sweat session, but sometimes you’re feeling under the weather. In the name of consistency, you might push through and do a workout despite not … [Read more...]

What Are the Best Exercises for Weak, Underdeveloped Calf Muscles?

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What does your lower body workout consist of? You probably do a number of exercises for your quads and hamstrings, but what about the lower part of your legs – your calves? Often these muscles get neglected in the attempt to do more squats and lunges – but these muscles need love too! Who wants to have well-toned thighs and weak calf muscles? Developing your calf muscles creates balance between the upper and lower parts of your leg and athletic … [Read more...]

5 “Old Age” Conditions That Strength Training Helps With

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Image of two senior exercisers working out Interest in strength training declines somewhat with age, partially because older people are less concerned with building muscle for aesthetic reasons. However, aesthetics isn’t the only or even the most important reason to train your muscles against resistance and to build as much strength as possible. Once you’re over the age of 30, a slow decline in muscle tissue begins and it speeds up after the age … [Read more...]

Whole Eggs vs. Egg Whites: Is One More Effective for Muscle Protein Synthesis?

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They call it the incredible, edible egg for a reason. Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. They’re also a source of high-quality protein. In fact, egg protein is often used as a standard by which the protein content of other foods is judged. With a biological value of 100%, a measure of how bioavailable the protein in eggs is, it’s not surprising. Compare that to beef which has a biological value of 80. So, eggs top beef in … [Read more...]

Are Squats a Good Exercise for Your Hamstrings?

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Having strong hamstrings improves every aspect of your life, both as an athlete and in the moves you do routinely around the house. What muscles make up this important muscle group? The hamstrings are a group of four muscles, the short head of the biceps femoris, the long head of the biceps femoris, the semimembranous, and the semitendinous. The biceps femoris muscles make up the lateral part of the hamstrings while the semimembranous and … [Read more...]

What Your Hands Say About How Athletic You Are

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A lot of factors shape and influence athletic performance – muscular strength, the composition of the muscle fibers you have (fast-twitch vs. slow-twitch), body composition, and aerobic capacity. Some of these factors are influenced by genetics – but, it’s more than just genetics. You might assume that certain body types, muscular and strong, have an athletic advantage. Think of the long, lithe limbs of a runner and how those legs spur a runner … [Read more...]

12 Factors that May Lower Your Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

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The brain is the most complex organ and one that still remains a mystery in many aspects. The human brain weighs just over three pounds and is packed with as many as 100 billion neurons, or nerve cells. It’s neurons that carry information and allow you to think, feel, and interact with the world around you. Unfortunately, the human brain and its neurons age just as the rest of your body does. The ability to process information quickly, also known … [Read more...]

Do You Need to Do Isolation Exercises?

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You probably already know that there are two different types of weight-training exercises: compound moves and isolation moves. Compound moves are exercises where more than one joint moves at the same time. When you do a compound exercise, you also work multiple muscle groups with a single exercise In contrast, isolation moves are ones where there’s movement of a single joint and the focus is on a single muscle group. A classic example of a … [Read more...]

Men May Be Stronger but Women Have an Advantage Over Men in Some Capacities

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We think of the male gender as having more strength and power. Just picture a bodybuilder flexing his biceps! That’s not surprising since men have more muscle mass and higher levels of the anabolic hormone testosterone. Strength discrepancies between men and women are most pronounced in the upper body where women have around 52% the strength of men, whereas, in the lower body, women have roughly 66% of the strength that a man does. This means a … [Read more...]

All About Hamstring Injuries & How to Prevent Them

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What could be more inconvenient than a training injury? One of the most common injuries that befalls athletes and amateur bodybuilders alike are hamstring injuries, an injury that can take budding athlete out of commission for a few weeks. If you’ve ever had a pulled hamstring, you know how uncomfortable it can be and how such an injury can limit your performance. Hamstring strains are graded as 1, 2, or 3 based on their severity. How common are … [Read more...]

Does Calorie Counting Work for Weight Loss?

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It sounds intuitive – consume more calories than you burn and you’ll gain weight. Eat less than your body burns and the pounds will drop off. However, some fitness, nutritionists, and health care professionals now think calorie counting is outdated and not the best approach for sustainable weight loss. So, what’s the story on counting calories – does it work or is there a better approach? What is a Calorie Anyway? Calories are the amount of … [Read more...]

How to Stop Eating after Dinner and Why You Should

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Meal timing is a controversial topic. Some studies show that consuming most of your calories later in the day is linked with weight gain, suggesting that timing is a factor with regard to weight control. Yet, the United States Department of Agriculture’s weight control website still states that it’s calories in versus calories out that determines whether you gain weight, not when you eat those calories. Still, it’s hard to ignore the evidence … [Read more...]

Why Hamstring Strength is Vital & the Best Exercises to Strengthen Them

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How strong are your hamstrings? It matters, especially if you play any type of sport that involves running. That’s because strong hamstrings help you run faster as well as decelerate and change directions when you run. If you’re female, your hamstrings probably need more attention than you’re currently giving them. That’s because women tend to be quad dominant, meaning their quads are stronger and more developed than their hamstrings. As you … [Read more...]

Strength Training: Why You Need to Focus More on Your Posterior Chain

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One of the principles behind building strength is to keep your training balanced. For example, you wouldn’t want to build up strength in one muscle and ignore the antagonist muscle group. If the agonist muscle is stronger than its antagonist, it can lead to a muscle imbalance and, potentially, an injury. The same applies to training some muscles and skimping on others. Balanced muscle development is important not only for injury prevention but … [Read more...]

Pyramid Training: Are Straight Pyramids or Reverse Pyramids More Effective?

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Are you getting the most out of your strength training workouts? Strength training is built around the concept of progressive overload. You have to keep progressively challenging your muscles to continue to gain strength and experience muscle growth. Your muscles also need to be challenged in different ways. During most of your workouts, you probably do straight sets. With straight sets, you use the same resistance with each set that you do and … [Read more...]

The Best Exercises for Broader Shoulders

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The part of your body people see the most, especially in the summer, are your arms and shoulders. When you put on a tank top, do you like the way your shoulders look? Many women, especially those that don’t weight train, have narrow shoulders that lack definition. Narrow shoulders make you look weak and it makes your waistline look larger. However, when you have broad, defined shoulders, it creates a taper that makes your waist appear smaller … [Read more...]

What Causes Elbow Pain When You Lift Weights & How Can You Prevent It?

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Weight training makes you stronger and more resistant to injury, but it’s also not uncommon to develop pain and soreness in the body parts you work, especially if you over-train or use sloppy weight training form. For example, you could end up with shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain – but also pain in the elbows if you train improperly or too often. Needless to say, sore elbows are an annoyance when you’re trying to do exercises like bench … [Read more...]