Tag: exercise

8 Easy Ways to Build Lean and Strong Body

You probably heard often enough that if you want to increase your strength or muscle mass, you must also first increase your weight, and in reverse, if you want to reduce your body fat, your strength will drop down automatically. This might be true if you are already training intensively for long period of time. However, for most people you can increase your muscle mass and reduce body fat at the same time by following these easy tips:

sleeping-girl

Adequate Sleep

This may sound odd. How come you are telling me to sleep when I want to be lean and strong? But the fact is, while you sleep, your body will be engaging in catabolism that converts body fat into energy. Sleep is also essential for your muscle to recover and become stronger. Hence, if you are on a short term business trip and you must choose between adequate sleep or training, sleep would be a wiser choice.

Good_Food_Display_-_NCI_Visuals_Online

Adequate Food

This might also sound strange. How come you are telling me to eat when I want to slim down? The key here is long term success. If you drastically reduce your body weight with extreme diet and exercise from the beginning, you run the high risk of metabolic damage like “The Biggest Looser” contestants experience. Clearly this does not give you the license to gorge on a buffet. The trick is eating reduced portion with increased frequency. You should also emphasize quality over quantity.

squat

Proper Training

When people talk about exercise and weight loss, most would think of jogging or cycling. Although heavyset people run the risk of knee and ankle injury if they jog too much. Those with thick spine also run the risk of sciatica if they cycle with bent pose for too long. Weightlifting is usually ignored even though you can increase your basalt metabolic rate by up to 48 hours after weight training. And especially for deadlift and squat, you will also increase your testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factors production, all essential for lean muscle development. Of course you might need the help of a good coach to help train you how to squat and deadlift properly so you won’t injure your back and knees.

purpleyamphoto

Eat Your Carbs

Some people are better adapted to low-fat high-carbs diet while others are more suited with low-carb high-fat diet in their quest for healthy weight management. The key here is consuming what your great grand parents would recognize as food. Unfortunately some people took carbs avoidance to the max which will cause three things:

  1. Bad mouth odor. This is due to the catabolism that also occurs while you sleep. Only with chronic deficiency in carbohydrate, it will occur the whole day, overworking your liver and causing bad breath. Catabolism is also the cause of your bad breath when you just wake up.
  2. Loss of energy. When you engage in anaerobic activity such as weightlifting, your muscle relies on glycogen in your muscle and blood as a source of energy. Glycogen itself comes from digested carbohydrate.
  3. Difficulty in burning fat while training. This is essential although it sounded weird. But the fact is, the fat burning metabolism cycle that occurs during aerobic exercise needs to be triggered with carbohydrate. That’s right, fat burns with the flame from carbohydrate.

Of course quantity must adjust to your body type and quality is essential. Steamed yam, boiled potatoes and brown rice is far superior to noodles and biscuits.

spoon-sugar

Avoid Excess Sugar

Whoa, you just told me to eat carbs, and sugar is carb right? So why avoid sugar? It is true that a moderate quantity of sugar (less than 6 gram) prior to exercise can help increase your strength while training (and consequently burns more calories). But outside this phase, sugar consumption is best avoided. This is due to the high speed of sugar absorption inside the body. This feature is useful for those running a marathon. But for normal people, sugar consumption will only lead to a spike in blood sugar followed by fat build up.

beer

Avoid Alcohol

This is essential! Other than containing high calories. alcohol consumption will also lead to fat deposit in the abdominal region. Alcohol will also lower the energy availability in your muscle and slows down your metabolism while training. That’s why, if you want to have a 6-pack abs, you should avoid alcohol.

Sliced_Matsusaka_wagyu_beef

Eat Your Protein

Plenty of nutritionist and doctors said that you only need to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kg body weight per day. So if you weigh 70 kg, you only need to eat 56 grams of protein. 3 ounce of beef contains approximately 21 grams of protein, 250 ml of milk contains 8 grams of protein and one hard boiled egg contains 6 grams of protein. But if you want to increase your muscle mass and loose body fat, you need to consume far more than that. Based on latest research, you need to consume up to 2.0 grams of protein per kg body weight per day in order to cain optimal result. Again, quality is essential. Hard boiled eggs and steamed wild caught fish is far superior to hotdogs.

fish

Fish Oil Consumption

This is something most people tend to ignore. Modern food is rich is highly processed vegetable oil. Even bread, biscuits and instant coffee often contains them. And most highly processed vegetable oil and margarine is rich in trans fat and omega-6. Trans fat itself is proven to be the leading cause of the rise in obesity and heart disease. Omega-6 will also cause a host of health issue from arthritis, heart disease, to obesity. On the other hand. omega-3 has the function to neutralize most of the harmful effects of omega-6, other than muscle and joint anti-inflammatory function that will allow you train with increasing frequency. You might be tempted to say “but I already ate my fish oil but don’t feel any of the benefits.” And the problem lies with the composition of omega-3 to omega-6 you are consuming. Don’t get it wrong, cheap fish oil usually contains far more omega-6 than omega-3 due to the low quality of raw material they use. That is why cheaper brands dare not to say how many omega-6 is actually in their supplement and they would not state it doesn’t contain omega-6 either.

Exercise, Osteophorosis and Why You Can’t Trust Media with Blind Faith

First and foremost, I enjoyed reading New York Times. I believe that most of the time, they provide in depth analysis on the news they are reporting unlike most media these days. However, as with everything man-made, sometimes some things fell through the crack. And this time, the article that fell through the quality control is “Exercise is not the Path to Strong Bones“. When I first read the title, I was like “Really? Could past hundreds of researchers be wrong?” and keeping a healthy skeptical mind, I decided to read on. This is my conclusion and I hope you can understand my logic and apply it the next time you read any controversial news.

What Does the Research Say?

Instead of quoting other research I have linked on my previous articles, we will only be looking at the researches qoted in the NYT article:

blausen_0686_osteoporosis_01

1. “Effect of exercise on bone mineral density and and lean mass in postmenopausal woman” done at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre and University of Washington. In this case, the study was done over 12 month period (1 year) on 173 sedentary, overweight/obese women at the age of 50 – 73. If you simply read the conclusion from the research abstract, you will find:

“Overall, the results from this randomized controlled study suggest that a yearlong moderate-intensity aerobic exercise intervention does not affect total body bone mineral density, bone mineral content, or lean mass in overweight/obese postmenopausal women.”

And if you read the full text you can read here, you will find on the research methodology

Facility sessions consisted of treadmill walking and stationary bicycling. Strength training, consisting of two sets of 10 repetitions of leg extension, leg curls, leg press, chest press, and seated dumbbell row, was recommended, but not required, to decrease risk of injury and maintain joint stability. Performance of strength-training activities was minimal, with only 0.4% of all recorded facility-based activities falling into this category”

I.e., past research on 2001 on post-menopausal women doing weight bearing exercise does increase bone density. This time the researchers DELIBERATELY minimize strength training on the ALL test subjects, only telling them to do stationary bike or other non-weight bearing, non-impact training THEN concluding that “exercise does not help increase bone density”.

615_age_and_bone_mass

2. “Effectiveness of resistance training or jumping exercise to increase bone mineral density in men with low bone mass done” at University of Missouri. This study was also done over 12 months period, with 38 test subjects age 42 – 46 years old. Their conclusion is quite straight forward:

“RT (i.e. Resistance Training) or JUMP (i.e. jumping exercise), which appeared safe and feasible, increased BMD (bone mass density) of the whole body and lumbar spine, while RT also increased hip BMD, in moderately active, osteopenic men.”

Of course the New York Times reporter tried to downplay this by writing that the result was not very significant. But make no mistake. These are middle aged men with low bone density issues, actually increasing their bone density is already a very welcomed result. Bone formation due to strength training happens at slow rate anyway and keep in mind that qualified personal trainers and physiotherapists knows this, hence we would also train older individuals in one legged balance and core stability training to improve their ability to recover when they trip (i.e. arrest falling down).

3. “Peripheral QCT sector analysis reveals early exercise-induced increases in tibial bone mineral density” done by US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. test subjects were 57 women in their 20’s. And I think the title already gave way on the research result.

Conclusion

Whenever you read anything that tries to make it “research shows”, make sure that they actually link the actual research being quoted and you better understand how the research is actually being done. Because the said NYT reporter managed to make it as if her reporting is very scientific when in fact, it has nothing to do with the known science.

Weight bearing exercise works to increase bone density folks, including on middle aged men with osteopenia and post-menopausal. The thing is, you need to have a a good strength and conditioning coach to build a proper program for your fitness level. If you simply spend the money on an expensive stationary bike or elipse machine, then sorry, it will not help you much, neither will a cheap PT at your average gym.

Will you be the next victim of this silent killer?

Harvard researchers estimated that this killer is responsible for over 5.3 million death in 2008 alone, same as cigarette smoking. Another study published by the Lancet finds that this global pandemic is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. It is …. the globalization of the American lifestyle!

Call it irony, but the rise of technological advancements that brought us modern day conveniences might actually decrease our lifespan. BBC and NY Times among other leading publications have all predicted that the current generation will have a shorter lifespan than the previous generation. This sedentary lifestyle have led Huffington Post to call “sitting is the new smoking”. But if you are thinking that chucking out your sitting desk over for a standing desk will help, then sorry, latest research published on the Cochrane Library has shown that its more of a fad than actual science.

Hence the actual solution to this epidemic is for people to started moving more. Based on the US National Health Interview Survey in 2000, 2005 and 2010, increasing number of doctors are starting to prescribe exercise to their patients. Because exercise has been proven to be a better medicine both to help many things from increase insulin sensitivity for diabetic people, treating depression and anxiety, heck if you have a bad knee, proper exercise (I emphasize that you MUST get a good personal trainer not some guy that got his certificate from some “guru” that never does his own research) is actually more effective than glucosamine.

And no, despite what some people claim, simple 1/2 hour brisk walking is not enough. US based Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends men, women and even children to do both cardio and weight training. Hong Kong Department of Health also recommend both cardio and weight training. So at the end of the day, its not your pills of standing desks or excuses from some doctors with outdated knowledge that will help you. Its regularly hitting some “iron diet”. Are you finally going to get off your bum or are you still waiting to be the next victim of this global pandemic?

Check out my YouTube channel for some strength training ideas and leave a comment there or on FaceBook. Remember folks, if you experience any joint pain or other problems while doing any exercise, you should regress it or better yet, contact me as not all the exercises are for everyone.[:id]Para Peneliti dari Harvard memperkirakan pembunuh

Harvard researchers estimated that this killer is responsible for over 5.3 million death in 2008 alone, same as cigarette smoking. Another study published by the Lancet finds that this global pandemic is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. It is …. the globalization of the American lifestyle!

Call it irony, but the rise of technological advancements that brought us modern day conveniences might actually decrease our lifespan. BBC and NY Times among other leading publications have all predicted that the current generation will have a shorter lifespan than the previous generation. This sedentary lifestyle have led Huffington Post to call “sitting is the new smoking”. But if you are thinking that chucking out your sitting desk over for a standing desk will help, then sorry, latest research published on the Cochrane Library has shown that its more of a fad than actual science.

Hence the actual solution to this epidemic is for people to started moving more. Based on the US National Health Interview Survey in 2000, 2005 and 2010, increasing number of doctors are starting to prescribe exercise to their patients. Because exercise has been proven to be a better medicine both to help many things from increase insulin sensitivity for diabetic people, treating depression and anxiety, heck if you have a bad knee, proper exercise (I emphasize that you MUST get a good personal trainer not some guy that got his certificate from some “guru” that never does his own research) is actually more effective than glucosamine.

And no, despite what some people claim, simple 1/2 hour brisk walking is not enough. US based Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends men, women and even children to do both cardio and weight training. Hong Kong Department of Health also recommend both cardio and weight training. So at the end of the day, its not your pills of standing desks or excuses from some doctors with outdated knowledge that will help you. Its regularly hitting some “iron diet”. Are you finally going to get off your bum or are you still waiting to be the next victim of this global pandemic?

Check out my YouTube channel for some strength training ideas and leave a comment there or on FaceBook. Remember folks, if you experience any joint pain or other problems while doing any exercise, you should regress it or better yet, contact me as not all the exercises are for everyone.

Exercise or Diet for 6-pack

[:en]Ah, the eternal question. Which is more important?

If Coca-cola, Nestle and PepsiCola has their way, then diet soda is actually helpful for weight loss and exercise is much more important than diet. Well, for the obvious reasons, we can’t simply take this at face value right?

Meanwhile at the end of the spectrum, mainstream media like New York Times and and CBS are all saying how dieting is more important than exercise.

Now here is where it gets interesting. According to University of North Carolina research, from 2003 to 2012, US per-capita consumption of soda and junk food has actually decreased. So if diet is more important, then the number of obese people living in US should be decreasing right? Except that according data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2012, the number of obese people in USA during this period actually increased. So surely diet is not the most important thing.

Well, according to research done by Mayo clinic, apparently over the past decade, US population physical activity continues to decrease. And according to the latest research done by Loughborough University, exercise actually help decrease appetite, and works much better at lowering your body fat content than diet. So apparently in this case Coke and Pepsi might be more right than NYT. As Aleksey Torokhtiy, Russian weightlifting gold medalist said on reddit AMA, he doesn’t go on any diet, he just eat anything he likes to eat.

So have you hit the weight room this week ladies?

Click here and subscribe to my channel for simple exercises that will help you get loose fat and get strong![:zh]Ah, the eternal question. Which is more important?

If Coca-cola, Nestle and PepsiCola has their way, then diet soda is actually helpful for weight loss and exercise is much more important than diet. Well, for the obvious reasons, we can’t simply take this at face value right?

Meanwhile at the end of the spectrum, mainstream media like New York Times and and CBS are all saying how dieting is more important than exercise.

Now here is where it gets interesting. According to University of North Carolina research, from 2003 to 2012, US per-capita consumption of soda and junk food has actually decreased. So if diet is more important, then the number of obese people living in US should be decreasing right? Except that according data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2012, the number of obese people in USA during this period actually increased. So surely diet is not the most important thing.

Well, according to research done by Mayo clinic, apparently over the past decade, US population physical activity continues to decrease. And according to the latest research done by Loughborough University, exercise actually help decrease appetite, and works much better at lowering your body fat content than diet. So apparently in this case Coke and Pepsi might be more right than NYT. As Aleksey Torokhtiy, Russian weightlifting gold medalist said on reddit AMA, he doesn’t go on any diet, he just eat anything he likes to eat.

So have you hit the weight room this week ladies?

Click here and subscribe to my channel for simple exercises that will help you get loose fat and get strong![:id]Ah, pertanyaan abadi. Mana yang lebih penting?

Kalau kita mau mengikuti pendapat Coca-cola, Nestle dan PepsiCola, minuman soda diet itu bisa membantu mengurangi berat badan dan olah-raga itu lebih penting dari diet. Namun untuk alasan yang kita semua tahu, kita jelas tidak bisa percaya begitu saja bukan.

Sementara itu ada pula pendapat yang bertolak belakang, dimana media massa terbesar seperti New York Times dan CBS semuanya mengatakan diet itu lebih penting dari olah raga.

Naah, mari kita teliti lebih dalam. Menurut penelitian dari Universitas Carolina Utara, konsumsi soda dan makanan cepat saji perkapita di Amerika dari 2003 ke 2012 telah menurun. Bila diet itu penting, maka jumlah penduduk gemuk di Amerika seharusnya berkurang bukan? Namun menurut data dari survei National Health and Nutrition tahun 2007 hingga 2012, jumlah penduduk gemuk di Amerika dalam jangka waktu ini justru meningkat. Tentunya diet bukanlah yang paling penting.

Menurut penelitian dari Mayo Clinic, nampaknya dalam satu dasawarsa ini penduduk Amerika semakin malas bergerak. Sedangkan menurut penelitian terakhir dari Universitas Loughborough, olah-raga membantu menurunkan nafsu makan, dan jauh lebih efektif dari diet untuk menurunkan kadar lemak badan. Jadi dalam hal ini kelihatannya Coca-cola dan Pepsi justru lebih benar dari New York Times. Seperti kata Aleksey Torokhtiy, peraih medali emas angkat besi dari Russia, “saya tidak pernah berdiet, saya makan apa yang saya kepingin makan.”

Jadi ibu-ibu sekalian sudah pergi ke gym bulan ini?

Klik disini dan berlanggananlah ke saluran YouTube saya untuk ide latihan sederhana yang bisa membantu anda mengurangi lemak tubuh dan menjadi kuat![:]

Myths about Fat and Health Articles

If you read my previous article about juicing, you might have guessed that I’m not a big fan of Paleo diet. And that is correct. But recently it seems to be popular to bash Paleo diet such that even international business times and the telegraph all published an article about how bad Paleo diet is based on a single study which I personally believe doesn’t really answer a lot of question.  Well, unfortunately your writer here is a science based contrarian and this article will instead be dedicated on giving some reason why I still love my bacon and butter:

1. What the research actually said

mouse

First of all, the “latest research” done in Australia (don’t you just love the land from down under that came up with the multifidus story) only involved mice, not humans. Second of all, the mice in the study was force fed 81% fat diet while the control group were only fed 10% fat. Mind you that even if you ate a diet consisting 100% from sausage mcmuffin, you would only be eating 39% fat, less than 1/2 of the rat study and rats don’t normally eat so much fat anyway. So this is definitely something very unnatural. Least we forget that there has been numerous study on Paleo diet on diabetic people, paleo diet on people with certain heart disease, and Paleo diet on healthy individuals. All which gave positive result by the way.

The point I want to take is, never take a conclusion based on a single research, and always have a trusted source (which apparently is hard to find) to translate this research for you. Even the human trials have very limited sample size in very limited setting, hence depending on your genetic make up, Paleo diet might or might not be good for you. In fact, based on a research done in Israel last year, depending on your gene, tomatoes might spike your blood sugar level more than pasta.

2. Why You shouldn’t jump head first into Paleo instead

masai

Wait, so if this latest trend of paleo bashing is not correct, does that mean its ok to go all paleo?

Well, not so fast. As the latest research from University of Chicago has proven, our ancestors actually do eat carbs, including all the way back from 10,000 years ago! And these starches are important for the growth of our brain!

An underlying premise of the Paleo diet is that our human genome has stopped evolving over the past 10,000 years and we are most optimized to function with the diet at the time. These “researchers” then observe the Maasai tribe in Africa and other nomadic tribes around the world before concluding that if you want to be healthy (even if your ancestors are rice eating asian), you should eat like the Massai.

Except that humans do still evolve even to recent times. One study on Eurasians from 6500 to 300 BC with Caucasian farmers has shown multiple genetic mutation for better adaptation to the Caucasian shift to agricultural society. Another study has shown how even our saliva has evolved. Yet another showed another evolution to improve our immune system. Mind you these are just a few of the studies over the past decade that simply debunked the Paleo underlying premise.

3. What I would recommend

Tumpeng-Jawa

As recent article on national geographic based on Professor Stephen Le’s research elegantly put it, you should eat what your ancestor’s ate 500 years ago. Or as the popular saying goes, don’t eat something your grandma would not recognize as “food”.

So, if you have moved to a different country with different climate, have a mixed racial background, or want to be bigger/taller from the previous generation, does that mean you are stuck? Well, I for one always believe that you should experiment, mix and match, and see which works for you. My mentor is 100% British background and he was diagnosed with celiac disease a decade before the gluten free craze, so he eats rice instead. Use caution, see which works for you, and have a trusted expert help you translate the latest craze. I for one love alcohol but having alcohol will quickly bury my 6pack and eating a tonne of rice would not affect my body fat composition. Most of the established science regarding sports medicine diet are correct and well, both Hafthor Bjornsson and Brian Shaw, No. 1 and 2 strongman champion ate a balance source of carbs, fat, protein and fiber.