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6 Squat Variations that Up the Ante
Posted By on March 10th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 77
squats

Squats are a classic exercise that really works the leg and butt muscles, but sometimes mixing it up is necessary. Let’s take a classic move, and turn it into the ultimate workout. Do 12 to 15 reps of each exercise three times for a complete squat workout. The Classic With your feet spread shoulder-width apart, lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Drive your weight down in your heels. Pause, and then slowly push yourself back up. Body-Weight  This squat helps strengthen the power of your legs by driving down your entire body weight into the squat. With feet shoulder width apart dip your knees in preparation to leap, and then jump as high as you can. Land, and immediately squat down and jump again. Pistol This squat relies on your upper leg muscles (hamstrings and quads) to hold your body weight up, and gives you killer legs. Stand with your arms straight out in front of you and raise your left leg slightly off the floor, and hold it there. Push your hips back and lower your body to the ground (your left leg should be extended out in front of you). Pause, and then push your body back into the starting position. Repeat and then switch legs. Wide Stance Barbell  Adding the barbell gives you more weight to drive down, and results in a great butt. Hold the bar across your upper back and squat with your feet Read More »

Mass Building Gym Workouts
Posted By on March 10th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 77
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Mass building is of the biggest challenges and it can be difficult to stick to the kind of schedule it takes to create the bodies like those that grace the covers of magazines. But if it’s important to you, all it really takes is a little time, determination, (maybe a few supps) and of coarse some real lifting in the gym, to get the results you want. With this mass building workout, focus on key areas on different days and repeat for six weeks. Day 1 is chest and triceps; Day 2 is leg day; Day 3 is shoulders and abs; and Day 4 is back and biceps. For the odd-numbered weeks (i.e., weeks 1 and 3) you’ll be doing three sets of six repetitions plus a pump set of 25 reps. For the even-numbered weeks (i.e., weeks 2 and 4), you’ll be doing 12 reps on all sets. Pick days and times you can commit to, and go for it. Mass Building for Odd-Numbered Weeks Remember do 3 sets of six, for each exercise with 1 set of 25 at the end. Day 1: Chest and Triceps Leverage Incline Bench Press Dumbbell Flyes Bodyweight Dip Cable Press-down Day 2: Leg Day Squats Leg Press Lunges Lying Leg Curl Standing Calf Raise Day 3: Shoulders and Abs Upright Row Seated Bent-Over Lateral Raise Kneeling Cable Crunch Day 4: Back and Biceps Dead-lift Bent-Over Barbell Row Lat Pull-down Barbell Curl Incline Dumbbells Curl Mass Building for Even-Numbered Weeks Remember to do Read More »

Plateau Blasting Training Tips
Posted By on February 24th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 76
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Hitting a fitness plateau can hinder results, and hurt your motivation. If you’re hitting a wall with your training results, and you want to get back into it, try these few tips to break that wall and get back to getting the results you want! Why Did You Hit a Plateau? First off, a training plateau is when you are no longer progressing in your workouts. You’ve stopped getting stronger, or you’re not seeing any added muscle growth. A big part of why people hit plateaus is they are no longer modifying their training programs or nutrition plans. The body begins to get comfortable, and stays comfortable until you make some changes. The trick is to give your body new muscles to work instead of just working the muscle tissue that’s already been built up. How to Change Your Training Start by changing a few things in your training and continue to adjust accordingly if your results continue to plateau. First off, always try taking a recovery week of rest especially since your muscles actually grow when you rest and re-fuel properly. Some advantages of doing this: Proper muscle recovery and repair time Gives your joints and ligaments a break Go back to the gym refreshed, and with more motivation than before Plan another rest week 8 weeks out to give you a marker to aim for Now, when you get back in the gym try mixing up your workout by making some of these changes: Post-Failure Heavy Overloading On Read More »

Boost Energy & Reduce Stress With These 3 Tips
Posted By on February 17th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 75
stress energy

Energy levels can easily be depleted, and for a variety of reasons. If you are of the millions of people out there who battles fatigue every day, it could be lack of sleep, dietary choices or even just stress that’s wearing you down. So here are 3 ways you can reduce stress levels and boost energy. The Stress Response and Your Energy Levels When you are under stress, the adrenal glands in your body produce hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. While short periods of stress are actually good for the body and can improve alertness, when you are under prolonged periods of stress the body can over produce these stress hormones, causing adrenal fatigue. This tired feeling at the end of the day is often perceived as physical tiredness and can keep you out of the gym, which only further depletes energy levels. If you struggle to find the gusto to maintain a regular fitness regimen, here are 3 tips to help reduce stress levels and fight fatigue. 1. Smile: Studies have shown that the simple act of smiling may trigger a positive feeling in the body, even if you aren’t really feeling happy. The emotional expression of a feeling, whether it’s happiness, sadness or anger can actually make you feel that emotion. Making the mere facial expression of happiness (a smile) also triggers the production of a feel-good brain chemical called dopamine. So why not smile? 2. Listen to Music: The soothing abilities of music are well known. Studies Read More »

5 Muscle Building Cardio Workouts:Your Weight Loss Secret
Posted By on February 17th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 75
workout-weight loss

Workouts that help you achieve your weight loss cannot be achieved by simply targeting certain areas. An overall body fat loss must be achieved to lose fat in any trouble areas, so if you’re looking for a way to slim down belly fat, thighs or other hard to reach zones, adding light weights to simple cardio routines can help maximize your results. Here’s how adding light weights to your regimen can turn cardio workouts into a full body fat burning routine. 1. Medicine Ball Workout: This piece of equipment can be found at your local gym and makes it easy to turn just about any exercise into a muscle building cardio workout. Add the medicine ball to regular crunches, side crunches, lunges, squats, burpees, push-ups and more! Here is an example of how to add a medicine ball to a regular movement to boost fat burning potential. 2. Standing Medicine Ball Slam Workout: Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, hold the medicine ball and engage abdominal muscles as you swing the ball over your head, preparing for the slam. Then throw the medicine ball onto the floor, lowering your body down into a squat. Try to catch the ball when it bounces upward, and return back to the starting position. 3. Kettlebell Workout: These weights are easy to hold, so they’re great for incorporating into a variety of cardiovascular exercises. Add kettlebells to your cardio routine by including them in a clean & press, burpees, arm swings, mountain climbers, Read More »

15-Minute Kettlebell HITT Workout Routine
Posted By on February 10th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 74
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Kettlebell workouts using a High Intensity Interval Training technique, (HIIT) can help to jumpstart weight loss efforts and all in just a short 15-minute workout. Here is a short training routine you can do with just your body, and a set of light kettlebells. Dip and Kick Words abdominals, butt, hip flexors and legs Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding kettlebell in left hand; bend left elbow out to side so that left hand is in front of shoulder and ball of kettlebell rests on back of left forearm. Extend right arm out to side at shoulder level, palm down. Lower into a squat, then stand up and kick left leg forward to hip level. Return to squat; continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides (holding kettlebell with right hand and kicking with right leg) and repeat for another 30 seconds. Kettlebell Lunge Works abdominals, arms and legs Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding handle of kettlebell in left hand, arms by sides. Lunge forward with right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees, and pass kettlebell under right thigh to grab handle with right hand. Pushing off right heel, return to start position. Repeat, lunging forward with left leg and passing kettlebell under thigh to left hand. Continue, alternating sides, for 1 minute. Booty Burner Works abdominals, but and chest Lie faceup on floor with knees bent and heels on floor; grasp a kettlebell in each hand by the handle, arms by sides. Bend elbows to bring kettlebells by sides of Read More »

Olympic Exercises for Regular People
Posted By on February 3rd, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 73
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The Olympics this year will host events that showcase the talents of athletes who have been training their whole lives. They’re dedicated, committed and they definitely stick to their diets and schedules. Even though most Americans will never have the opportunity to represent the United States Olympic team, that doesn’t mean you can ‘t train like one. Take a few tips from the top athletes on the planet, to help build your own dedication and meet personal goals. Ashley Wagner, US Olympic Figure Skater placed third at the Olympic trials in 2010 and didn’t get to go to the Olympics in Vancouver. This year she’s a top contender for medaling in Sochi. She didn’t give up on her dreams but instead, she trained harder. Here are some exercises that figure skaters do off the ice. Try these exercises next time you’re at the gym: Bosu-Ball Push-Ups—Using the Bosu-ball (essentially a half sphere stability ball) set a weighted bar across the flat bottom of the ball. Do 10-20 push-ups. The ball’s instability makes a push-up even more difficult. Bosu-Ball Toss—While standing on top of the Bosu-ball (spherical side) have someone toss a medicine ball back and forth. This really works your stability muscles, especially in your core. V-Ups—Lie down on your back and keep your legs straight, with your arms extended straight behind your head. Lift your legs, and at the same time raise your upper body off the floor, reaching for your toes with your hands. Lower yourself into the Read More »

4 Running Tips for an Injury-Free Workout
Posted By on January 27th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 72
runner-injury

Running injury is common, and as you set out in cold and inclement weather this winter season, safeguard yourself so you don’t end up in rehab.  Injuries associated with running includes runner’s knee, IT-Band Syndrome, calf strain, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and stress fractures. But you can reduce your risk of experiencing any of these painful conditions by taking protective measures. Here are a few tips so you can spend more time running on the trail, treadmill, or pavement and less time in recovery. 1. Don’t Push It. It’s important to always listen to your body. You know when you are doing too much. So when you get signals from your body that you are pushing yourself too hard – listen! Your body needs time to adjust to changes in weather, speed and mileage so you’ll need to allow enough recovery time to handle the varying demands of your routine, and avoid injury. 2. Get Great Gear. A good pair of running shoes, a sturdy sports bra, comfortable shorts, a BPA-free water bottle, and protective gear… it’s all so important. Not just to your performance but to your safety and progress. Pick up durable equipment for your running workouts and know when to put them to rest. A good pair of running shoes will only really last for about 300 miles, and when you are able to see that the midsole is getting compromised and is compressed it’s time for a new pair. Grab gear that you love, so that Read More »

Muscle Building & Cardio: How to Get the Best Results
Posted By on January 20th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 71
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Muscle building and cardio go hand in hand. But as you may have guessed doing long cardio workouts may reduce your overall body composition in a way that reduces overall mass. If your goal is to build muscle overdoing the cardio may actually inhibit your body’s to build the muscle mass you work so hard for. Building Muscle Mass If you want to gain muscle, doing cardio for extended periods of time may hinder your results. Studies have shown that doing weight training followed by 30 minutes of cardio may impede the body’s ability to build muscle. This is because cardio is a fat burning exercise, when completed at a moderate pace for a long duration cardiovascular exercise raises the heart rate which ultimately increases your metabolism, even when at rest. When the heart rate increases, your body goes into fat burning mode, not muscle gaining even when both weight training and cardio are done together. The key to muscle building is to do weight training exercises while also incorporating short interval, high intensity cardio routines into your workout. How to Get There Short interval, high intensity cardio has been shown to burn more fat, but can also help maintain muscle size increases. To achieve your muscle building goals and get the most out of your workout, spend only about 20 minutes on high intensity cardio and the rest on resistance, or weight training. A moderate workout that includes slow running for a long period of time may damage overall Read More »

Workout Basics: Anaerobic vs. Aerobic
Posted By on January 13th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 70
workout

Workouts are all different and to make the most of your exercises, doing a combination of anaerobic and aerobic workouts can help you to reach your ultimate fitness goals. But what’s the difference? Anaerobic workouts don’t require extra oxygen to create energy, while aerobic exercise does require extra oxygen. Both have great benefits, and doing both in a workout regiment will get you the best possible results. Here is a little bit more information about these kinds of exercises so you can tailor your workout regiment for maximum benefits. What is Aerobic Exercise? Aerobic refers to needing more oxygen, and when the body needs more oxygen it means it’s working harder. Aerobic workouts increase your heart rate and thus your blood flow, and ultimately more oxygen is able to reach the muscles. When this happens the muscles are able to clean out the bad stuff, like a build up of lactic acid or carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen. This also helps increase the body’s immune system by getting rid of toxins. Any type of workout that increases the heart rate is an example of aerobic exercise. This is generally the cardio portion of a workout—swimming, biking, running, hiking and walking. By doing any sort of heart-pumping exercise, blood is pumped more effectively and efficiently throughout the body, ultimately making the heart stronger. Cardiovascular exercise is also the best way to lose weight and stay healthy. Not only does aerobic exercise make the heart stronger, but it also helps Read More »