Saturday, June 25, 2011

Collected Fitness Wisdom #36

Anytime you move your body through space as opposed to just moving your arms or a fixed object there’s a higher level of muscle activation, you just incorporate more muscles as opposed to laying on your back and doing a dumbbell press where nothing is really activated except those pressing muscles.

If we flip over and do a pushup, now you’re whole body is activated, so you’re getting much more bang for your buck. Your glutes,your quads, your lower back, your abs, everything comes into play and your stabilizers.

~ Jason Ferruggia (on the benefits of bodyweight exercises)

Our muscles never function in isolation. In the real world (not a gym), they work together in an intricate, global manner to allow us to stabilize, to brace, to support, and to MOVE. Focusing on MOVEMENT is what gets us stronger. Engaging our minds and entire bodies in the practice of movement is what allows us to be fit.

Gym machines with pre-determined pathways do not provide natural movement opportunities. They often force us into an unnatural pattern and give us a false sense of safety and accomplishment. Really - pushing a load over your head cannot truly tax your body's capability unless you stand up out of that comfy seat, take away the external support and engage the internal support of your core musculature.

~ Kim Ball

Okay, I get it. It’s not the best idea to walk around with elevated blood sugar levels (especially if you want to lose body fat). But do you really think that people eating beets and carrots are causing our diabetes epidemic? Or do you think that the prevalence of obesity is directly correlated with the consumption of baked sweet potatoes? Come on. If the worst thing someone did was to snack on an afternoon banana, there wouldn’t even be a single diabetic outbreak in this country.

~ John Alvino (on avoiding high glycemic fruits and vegetables)

I don't "get" diet foods. They are usually full of more chemicals and sweeteners than anything else and are probably less healthy for you. I am a big believer - if you are craving something whether it be ice cream, brownies, pizza, fettuccini alfredo... just have it! If you want chocolate get some real chocolate (I recommend EuropeanJ). Of course count it as one of your splurges making sure at least 90% of your week you are eating foods that will get you closer to your goal but if you want something don't think that having the "diet version" is going to end your craving. Plus the "diet version" may be fat free but is still full of sugar and is still not part of your 90%. If you're going to splurge, go for it and have what you are craving."

~Rachel Cosgrove

It takes training to increase strength, build endurance and DEVELOP the abdominals, but to SEE the definition in your abdominals – or any other muscle group for that matter – is almost entirely the result of low body fat levels.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but if you can’t see your abs, it’s not an issue of "muscle development" at all. You simply have too much body fat covering up the ab muscles.

~ Tom Venuto


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