Habitually, I hear the phrase "muscle weighs more than fat." Really? Are you sure?
"Muscle weighs more than fat" has been used over and over and over by people; including extremely misinformed fitness enthusiasts. When I correct someone for using the phrase it often becomes an argument starting with "You're wrong!"
"How can you tell me that?" and, of course, "You're telling me everyone else is wrong?"
Since I'm going against the common misconception I must be wrong, and shouldn't be working in this field; or so the thought goes.
However, the fact is, muscle DOES NOT weigh more than fat. It is dense and compact, but it does not weigh more. Once more for good measure: Muscle does not weigh more than fat.
One pound of muscle = One pound of fat
16 oz. of muscle = 16 oz. of fat
453.59 grams of muscle = 453.59 grams of fat
The difference is volume- not weight. It's the amount of space that fat and muscle take up in the body that leads to this misconception. It is why fitness educators are consumed with body composition. It's also why so many of us loathe scales.
Read Weighing in: What does the scale offer?
It explains how someone with a lot of muscle can look very small, lean, compact and in shape, while someone who weighs the same, or less, without as much muscle, can look soft, overweight, or very fat. High muscle content also explains how someone who weighs more can wear a significantly smaller clothing size.
The picture below is a great representation of the concept.
Now that you know muscle does not weigh more than fat you should make a conscious effort to continue strength training. If you're not doing it already; get started. It's never too late.
When it comes to drinking more water; there are guidelines like drink 64oz., or half your body weight in ounces of water. For those who find it difficult it's not the measurement of water that's important. What is important is how to drink more water. It's how to get that much water down with all of the other drinks available.
Where to start: One plus One
The thought of drinking a half gallon of water is overwhelming if you've never done it before. It really puts a new spin on the "glass is half full" mantra. However, starting small can make a big difference.
Start small if you're not used to drinking a lot of water. You don't need to be "hardcore" and carry a one gallon jug of water every where you go. For the most part, you'll quickly tire of the whole water drinking process this way.
Instead, add a single bottle of water into your day until you acclimate to the increase in water. If you normally drink one glass of water, which is not unusual for some people, add another glass. Once you're acclimated to two glasses; add a third glass. Keep adding a glass of water until you get to the recommended amount, or until you reach the amount of water needed to stay properly hydrated.
Start your day with water
Increase water intake by drinking water as soon as you get up. Water replenishes your body of water loss from basic bodily functions such as sweating, breathing and urination. Start each day with a 20oz. bottle of water if you're not used to doing this. Move on to a bigger amount as you become used to it.
It's also important to drink water first thing in the morning if you are a coffee, tea or soda drinker. Each contains caffeine; a natural diuretic which can aid in dehydration. The consequences of dehydration can be severe. Headaches, dizziness and lack of proper metabolic function are just a few things that can ensue.
Replace or alternate water with sugary drinks
Start replacing your sodas, juices and coffees with water. This doesn't mean to replace all of them, but cut back slowly. Alternate one glass of water with any non-water drink you have. This will certainly increase your water intake, and help with proper hydration.
Change your habits to drink more water
The21-Day Myth is just that- it's a myth. It can take much longer, or less, to create a habit. Why? Because even the best intentions for the best habits can be a struggle. It's easy to break the good habit cycle and fall back into your comfort zone with bad habits. It's also easy to do this several times before a habit becomes second nature.
Instead, push through the habits one day at a time. Each day you drink more water is another day conquered. For days you falter; remember that this is normal, and everyone has done this. The difference is continuing the good habit even after having a bad day or five.
There are many health issues that cause prolonged back pain, but it's thoughtless daily activities that contribute to stiff, aching backs. Which activities? Activities such as washing dishes, applying makeup and laundry. Have you ever noticed how often you stretch your back while doing these daily activities? Probably more often than you think.
Slouching creates back pain while washing dishes
Washing dishes is a culprit that contributes to low back pain even though it's "harmless." Bending over a deep sink, or slouching, creates a throbbing lower back; especially if standing at the sink for a long time. Bending down to the dishwasher also strains your back. In addition, a phone conversation with poor posture while washing dishes is sure create problems.
Dish washing remedies
To ease back pain bring the dishes closer to your body. Instead gathering dishes in the sink wash them or put them in the dishwater immediately. You'll spend shorter periods of time at the sink this way. Or, place dishes in a designated tub on the counter. Although no one wants dirty dishes on the counter it reduces bending and reaching into the sink.
Laundry is a back breaker
Beside washing dishes, bending, twisting and standing with poor posture during laundry causes back aches. People pickup clothes from the floor carelessly, or carry heavy loads of laundry that you can't see over. Not seeing over the load makes you arch profoundly and crane your neck.
Change the way you pick up laundry to decrease back pain. Bring one leg up while picking clothes up from the floor. For example, think of the Warrior III Pose, also known as Virabhadrasana III. Sound weird? Maybe, but it tightens the abdomen and improves balance and posture. Unlike the actual yoga pose, use one arm to support yourself as you pick up clothes with the other arm.
Also, lighten the load. Don't pile the laundry basket so high that you can't see over it, and make a second trip instead.
Applying makeup isn't synonymous to back pain
Applying makeup is not a chore, but it can certainly be back-breaking. From plucking eyebrows to applying lipstick, women commonly lean over the bathroom counter top to get close to the mirror. This awkward angle adds to back stiffness and aches.
Does a vanity table help? Yes, but that's if you're not leaning over the vanity, and if the seat is the right height. To ease a stiff back use a vanity with an adjustable mirror. Use an adjustable mirror in the bathroom too so you don't stoop your neck while standing.
Change posture and gain core strength to reduce back aches
Whether bent or twisted during daily activities posture has a direct correlation to back pain. Good posture, and holding in your abdomen, reduces back pain. Hold in your abdomen during daily activities, and add the abdominal vacuüm to your exercise arsenal.
If you're not sure how to do a vacuum; here's how
Stand upright with your feet shoulder's width apart. Place your hands on your hips. Inhale as much air as possible and slowly release it. Pull your core in-and-up from the navel. Once the air is expelled hold this position for at least 20 seconds.
The abdominal vacuüm strengthens the transverse abdominal which supports the spine. Over time, you'll build a strong core to offset back pain.
Yesterday, I sent this e-mail to all of my clients; past and present. However, anyone who works out or is on their feet a lot can use this information.
Running your personal training business goes beyond the course book. It's a hands-on process that takes time to learn. As a certified personal trainer the course work teaches you the basics, but it doesn't teach the details that make your business run smoothly or successfully. With all the course studies there are still five useful tips a certified personal trainer can't learn from a book. They must be learned through experience.
Running is a sport that some people must work hard at, while others have a great genetic disposition to run fast, with less effort. Regardless if you are slow or fast, there is always room for improvement. Long distance runners want to run faster, longer, while sprinters want to run fast speeds in short distances.
Although there are exercises to help gain speed, there are other techniques you can use to aid the process.
The Gangster Lean
It's not really the gangster lean, but leaning back during your race is one way to slow down. Not all runners are guilty of this, but even some of the fastest runners lean back, with their chest out, head up and feet in front. This causes you to slow your fast stride, or stop accelerating. Instead, keep your body slightly forward, head straight, with your feet just behind you, never looking behind to see where the competition is.
Focus on the finish line
Your mental focus is just as important as the physical aspect of running. Whether you're running sprints or cross-country, your focus should be on breaking records or making the time you expect. Focusing on the other runners or personal issues breaks your stride concentration, breathing and efforts to push hard.
Never, never, never give up
Although Winston Churchill's famous quote "Never, never, never give up" was not meant for running, it still holds true. No matter how tired, or unsure of the result, do not let doubt or worry get in the way. It is easy to stop trying and quit when this happens. Feeling defeated will only slow you down, so push yourself to the finish line.
Keep your form
Although your form has several components, such as foot strike, arm swing or the way you hold your head, keep proper form to move faster. Extra energy is lost on movements that slow you down when you use improper form. Keep your head and back straight, swing your arms naturally and try to improve your foot plant. Your natural gait can take time to change, so take the changes in stride.
Don't over-stride your stride
It seems over-striding would be one way to get a leg up on your opponent, but this running style causes injuries and slows your pace. Out-striding your natural stride causes you to strike the ground with your heel, which acts as "breaks." It also places your center of gravity behind your feet, another component that does not help increase speed.
Large breasted ladies, with or without implants, should wear great lifting underwire bras. Light, lacy bras are gorgeous, but it's not the best way to fight gravity since there is no support.
Although women have no choice with drooping—it’s going to happen with time—wearing an underwire bra helps prolong sagging.
I tried the Fit for Life nutrition plan by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond for two months. It was the most miserable two months ever. I've been on many nutrition plans because I am a figure competitor, butFit for Life left me starving. Even though the Fit for Life food combining trend is meant to help with food satiation it made my hunger soar.
Fit for Life's food combining method
The Fit for Life's food combining method starts with eating fruits and fresh juices until noon. After, meals are combined so proteins and starchy carbohydrates are separated at meals. For example, I'd never eat a steak and potato together.
I'd have steak with non-starchy carbohydrates instead. The next meal would contain a potato and non-starchy veggies if I still want to eat a potato. A salad is also eaten with each meal. Fruits, especially melons, are never eaten with other foods. Dairy is excluded and fats are minimal.
Fit for life believes food combining allows enzymes to break down foods optimally.
On the brink of starvation
For me, the Fit for Life nutrition plan is very difficult. I believe in some of the principals Harvey recommends, but eating nothing but fruit in the early mornings left me hungry and grouchy. I was so hungry that I felt like my stomach was eating its way out of my body--Think Aliens with Sigourney Weaver.
After cross-referencing Harvey's book with The Food Combining/Blood Type Diet Solution by Dina Khader, M.S.R.D., I realized this program isn't the best for me. Khader specifically states, "Also, athletes who burn their calories rapidly would lose too much weight being strict food combiners." In my case, I wasn't losing weight, but gaining because I didn't eat enough calories to sustain my hunger from hard workouts. This caused me to binge by noon or 1:00 p.m.
Another problem I ran into is Fit or Life was created by a vegetarian. I care less that Harvey is a vegetarian, but I'm a meat eater, and found that I was even hungrier because I reduced my protein significantly. Unlike some bodybuilders, I don't believe in eating massive amounts of protein, but Fit for Life only recommends one protein meal per day.
I can't blame it all on food combining
Food combining is not conducive to my work schedule. The meals are made with whole foods so I don't have time to eat between personal training clients. I train seven clients back-to-back which means eating a salad, veggies and a starchy carbohydrate isn't happening. This is why I binged. Even after modifying the program, as Dr. Khader suggested, I realized it still was not enough food to sustain my needs.
However, if I worked in an office, sat at a desk and lived a sedentary life Fit for Life's food combining would work for me.