Top 5 Super Foods for Athletes....

Working out regularly is one of the best ways to keep your body in peak condition. But working out on an empty stomach – or worse, a stomach full of junk food – can lead to less than optimal results. Feed your body regularly with the following super foods to provide optimal fuel for your workouts... and see the biggest rewards!

1) Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a heart-healthy whole grain that contains valuable soluble fiber to help soak up unwanted fat and cholesterol in the bloodstream. But perhaps even more important, it's packed full of good carbohydrates – the most critical energy source for athletes. Oatmeal maintains your energy for a longer period of time during your workout and curbs appetite by slowing the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream. Oats are also a good source of B vitamins, important for athletes as a source of energy.

Quick & Healthy: Mix plain oatmeal with milk and add a handful of nuts or seeds and dried or fresh fruit. Toss it in the microwave and cool off with a splash of milk before eating.

2) Yogurt
Yogurt is a well-known source of calcium, which supports healthy bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. But did you know that calcium also plays a role in muscle metabolism? If you're feeling zapped of energy during your workout, consider looking at your intake of calcium to see if you are meeting the recommended levels. If not, try adding some yogurt to your breakfast, lunch, or snack. Rich in Vitamin B-12, this super food also helps athletes prevent fatigue.

Quick & Healthy: Sweeten plain yogurt with your favorite fruit and top with nuts and seeds for a quick snack before or after your workout.

3) Blueberries
This miniature super fruit is chock-a-block full of nutrients and is the star of the show when it comes to antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can help to reduce oxidative damage to cells resulting from free radicals produced during periods of strenuous activity. Nutrients in blueberries may also promote healthy blood pressure. These super foods contain Vitamin C to support your immune system, and are a source of energy-enhancing carbohydrates and fiber to help sustain your energy and keep you in the game.

Quick & Healthy: Blend fresh or frozen berries into your favorite smoothie or top up your morning breakfast cereal with these tiny burst of nutrition.

4) Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes may not be your typical vegetable of choice for dinner, but you might want to start making these nutrient-dense super foods a staple after you hear what they has to offer. Sweet potatoes contain more of the antioxidant beta carotene than any other fruit or vegetable. They are also a source of Vitamin C and one of the only fat-free sources of Vitamin E. Of course, Vitamins C and E both have antioxidant properties and aid in muscle recovery among athletes. Last, but not least, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of iron, which is important in oxygen production for athletes during a workout.

Quick & Healthy: Bake, grill or microwave these nutritious super foods. My favorite way to prepare them is by making sweet potato fries. To do this, cut them in to thin slices, place on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and garlic and roast them in the oven.

5) Salmon
Salmon is a source of high-quality protein, iron, and Vitamin B12 – which is important for optimal athletic performance. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids. The nutritional fats found in salmon have been shown in epidemiological and clinical trials to reduce the incidence of heart disease. Recent studies have also indicated that omega 3 fatty acids may be beneficial to intestinal health. In addition, omega 3 fatty acids may have anti-inflammatory effects, protecting against conditions such as arthritis. It's no wonder salmon and other fatty fish have been touted as super foods!

Quick & Healthy: Consider fish a healthy fast food that can be a beneficial addition to your meal in just 10-15 minutes by poaching, baking, grilling or microwaving it with your favorite herb. Add canned salmon to your sandwich or salad for a nutrient dense recovery meal.

Top five worst foods you can put in your body!

The Five Worst Foods to Ever Eat and why, I am often asked what the worst foods are to eat. The answers may be so shocking to you because they are foods that most of us consume daily! I have listed my top five below. Don’t worry, I have given you healthy substitutes to replace them and you won’t even miss them!

1. French Fries

Potatoes are bad enough when consumed in their raw state, as their simple sugars are rapidly converted to glucose that raises insulin levels and can devastate your health. But when they are cooked in trans fat at high temperatures, all sorts of interesting and very unpleasant things occur. It is theoretically possible to create a more “healthy” French fry if you cook it in a healthy fat like virgin coconut oil. Due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is extremely stable and is not damaged by the high temperatures of cooking. This is why coconut oil should be the only oil you use to cook with. Replace with Sweet Potatoes which are high in vitamins. Cut into French fries, place on baking sheet, dab on whipped egg whites, cook until golden brown and crunchy. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you like! Delicious and healthy! .And it is a well known joke in the field of nutrition that it just might be better to have one cigarette instead of one French fry! Now think of that!

2. Donuts

Doughnuts are fried, full of sugar and white flour and most all varieties contain trans fat. Store-bought doughnuts are made up of about 35 percent to 40 percent trans fat. An average doughnut will give you about 200 to 300 calories, mostly from sugar, and few other nutrients. It’s too bad that Americans view doughnuts as a breakfast food as, nutritionally speaking, eating a doughnut is one of the worst ways to start off your day. It will through off your blood sugar and won’t stay with you so you’ll be hungry again soon. Instead enjoy a whole wheat English muffin topped with sugar free preserves! You wont even miss that gut bomb called a donut!

3. Soda

One can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites. I can’t think of any good reason to ever have it. The diet varieties are also problematic as they are filled with harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Studies have linked soda to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease, yet the average American drinks an estimated 56 gallons of soft drinks each year. Plus, drinking all that sugar will likely suppress your appetite for healthy foods, which pave the way for nutrient deficiencies. Reach for a club soda with a splash of lemon juice or a twist of lime! Refreshing and calorie free!

4. Bacon and Hot Dogs or all cured meats that contain Nitrates

Many foods, especially cured meats such as bacon and hot dogs, use nitrates to preserve color and maintain microbial safety. Nitrate is harmless, but it can convert to nitrite, which can form nitrosamines, a powerful cancer-causing chemical, in your body. Opt for Nitrate free turkey bacon or nitrate free veggie hots dogs, the taste will be the same without all the calories, fat, and sodium.

5. Potato Chips

They are high in fat, high in sodium and good for nothing except weight gain, raising your blood pressure and increasing your waste line! And stay away from the low fat ones that contain Olestra. Olestra is not a healthy fat substitute as it is a fake fat which binds with fat soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K. These vitamins keep the immune system healthy and prevent some cancers, but Olestra binds with them and eliminates them from your system. Olestra has also caused digestive upset in some people too! new jeep colorado.Exchange your salty potato chips for whole wheat crackers, whole wheat pretzels, or air popped pop corn!

The Number One Food Additive to Avoid

1. Sodium nitrite
The most dangerous additive to red flag—until we know more— is the preservative sodium nitrite, used to preserve, color, and flavor meat products. Sodium nitrite is commonly added to bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, smoked fish, and corned beef to stabilize the red color and add flavor. The preservative prevents growth of bacteria, but studies have linked eating it to various types of cancer. "This would be at the top of my list of additives to cut from my diet," says Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., M.P.H., R.D., L.D.N., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Under certain high-temperature cooking conditions such as grilling, it transforms into a reactive compound that has been shown to promote cancer."

Lean for life..heavy bag training.

A good heavy bag program strengthens your cardiovascular system, tones and strengthens your muscles, burns fat, increases bone density and connective tissue resilience. Not only can you get into great shape, but you can develop functional self-defense qualities at the same time.

By repeatedly striking the bag, you activate all of the major muscles groups in your body. The arms, shoulders, abdominal, and leg muscles must be coordinated and conditioned. This training also builds athletic qualities such as speed, power, balance, timing, and coordination. I incorporate my heavy bag work as well as the other exercises I have come accustom to from my years training as a professional fighter into my daily weight & fitness training.


Cardio Boxing for Super Fitness

Sports scientists agree that cardio-boxing is one of the best forms of exercise, because it conditions the total body and provides a complete workout for your cardiovascular and endurance systems.

The major benefits of cardio-boxing include:

• Increased Stamina
• Increased Strength
• Increased Speed
• Increased Coordination

Cardio-boxing also promotes a person’s well being by strengthening their self-discipline and combined with strength training it’s well and truly the total package for self-defense and fitness and usually consists of:

• Adjusted heart rate work
• Actual boxing techniques

The usual workout consists of the age-adjusted heart rate work starting with 10 minutes for beginners and leading up to 20 minutes for the more advanced. For the second part of the workout, you’ll need to perform and practice 20 minutes of actual boxing techniques.

Boxing is a combat sport.

Boxing is a combat sport where two participants, generally of similar weight, fight each other with their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee and is typically engaged in during a series of one to three-minute intervals called rounds. There are three ways to win. Victory is achieved if the opponent is knocked down and unable to get up before the referee counts to ten seconds (a Knockout, or KO) or if the opponent is deemed too injured to continue (a Technical Knockout, or TKO). If there is no stoppage of the fight before an agreed number of rounds, a winner is determined either by the referee's decision or by judges' scorecards.

Although fighting with fists comes naturally to people, evidence of fist-fighting contests first appear on ancient Sumerian, Egyptian and Minoan reliefs. The ancient Greeks provide us our first historical records of boxing as a formal sport; they codified a set of rules and staged tournaments with professionals. The birth hour of boxing as a sport may be its acceptance as an Olympic game as early as 688 BC. Modern boxing evolved in Europe, particularly Great Britain.

A true test of a man's fitness...just look at his gut!

Extended, bloated bellies have everything to do with poor diets, becoming too large in the off season and an organ called the omentum.

If you pick up a medical A&P text that is detailed and updated, you will find an organ known as the greater and lesser omentum, (I won't go through all the technical mumbo) that is located under the abdominal wall, and attaches to the stomach, colon and the liver. This organ is primarily composed of fat tissue with a cover of what is called peritoneum.

This organ serves as a sort of filter and deposit for excess fat that is consumed (saturated fat). As such this organ is able to grow larger in relation to fat consumption independently of subcutaneous fat deposit. As this organ grows larger it creates a round belly and pushes against the abdominal muscle creating a hard or extended belly (EB).

Does anyone have that uncle who eats fried foods and drinks beer all day with the 10in biceps 15 inch legs and a belly you could ski down? Or the guy in the gym with the 22 inch arms barrelled chest, massive legs & a gut so round you think he is pregnant. This is an example of an enlarged omentum, and my bet is uncle jimmy lou and those guys that every gym in this country has isn't as fit as he thinks. No, I am certain of it.

If you look on any BB stage you will no doubt see many guys who when relaxed still have a six pack, but an extended round belly. Typically most BB's will only diet down for a period of 12 weeks, allowing enough time to adequately shed subcutaneous body fat, but not sufficient time to shrink back down the omentum (which can be done by the way).

For example after the new IFBB regulations of EB, Ronnie Coleman came in that year with a flatter stomach. On top of better abdominal control, he stayed in a contest diet mode all year round and ate less over all food (including saturated fat). Look big arms, shoulders and legs may look impressive, but it's your gut that tells the world just how disciplined and fit you are.

The power of the left hook!

Classic stance, weight is on rear leg, knee slightly bent, transfer of weight to left foot, the left foot swivels inward on the ball of the foot as hips and shoulder start to rotate and body pivots. This creates a significant force that is transferred through the punch. The elbow of the hooking arm is bent at 90% and the inside of the arm is parallel to the floor. The punch is thrown fairly close to the opponent (close range), but too close or your hooking arm will end up wrapping around the back of the opponent’s neck. Thumb is up and knuckles point outward. The chin is kept tucked and the chin is protected by the left shoulder and right fist is kept high in a guarding position.

This punch is thrown outside of the opponent’s vision and is difficult to defend against. Right hook leaves you wide-open and better a combination would be a straight right with a left hook.

A good punch to execute after the left jab has pushed the opponent back. Jab and then a quick left hook can be practiced on the heavy bag. Develop a hook off the jab.

Your Body Under Stress

"Fear makes men forget, and skill that cannot fight is useless."

The sympathetic nervous system mobilizes the body's energy reserves during times of stress. It neutralizes processes controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system, such as digestion, while ramping up secretion of adrenaline and noradrenaline, dilating bronchial tubes in the lungs, tensing muscles, and dilating heart vessels.

It also causes your heart rate to increase.

There's a direct relation between stress-induced heart rate and both mental and physical performance. Too low, such as when you're just waking up, and you can't think or react very quickly. Too high, and one's ability to think and perform motor skills degrades.

Our Turn To Hurt..GATTI/WARD II.

Although Arturo Gatti was known for his loyalty and humor outside the ring, no one took and delivered pain the way he did inside it. News of his passing was a final blow, to his fans and loved ones

Micky Ward
Probably my biggest memory of all three fights is when he knocked me down in the second fight. I think it was the third round. He hit me with a right hand on the back of the ear and it knocked my equilibrium off and I went down into the turnbuckle in the corner. I got up and I didn't have a clue where I was, and the referee's counting and I'm saying, "Yeah, I'm all right, I'm all right," but, you know, I'm not all right. So the ref lets it go, and Arturo throws a right hand from hell that catches me right on the button… but instead of putting me out, it woke me up! So I fired back at him, and then I was catching him with punches. It was just the weirdest thing. I'm out on my feet, and then he catches me with that right hand, ba-BOOM, and I wake up. I was like, thank you. Because if he didn't hit me with that punch, I probably would have fallen down on my own.

Protein Needs After Exercise

Most athletes know of the importance of eating before exercise, however, what and when you eat after exercise can be just as important. While the pre-exercise meal can ensure that adequate glycogen stores are available for optimal performance (glycogen is the the source of energy most often used for exercise), the post-exercise meal is critical to recovery and improves your ability to train consistently.Consuming protein has other important uses after exercise. Protein provides the amino acids necessary to rebuild muscle tissue that is damaged during intense, prolonged exercise. It can also increase the absorption of water from the intestines and improve muscle hydration. The amino acids in protein can also stimulate the immune system, making you more resistant to colds and other infections.

Bottom Line
If you are looking for the best way to refuel your body after long, strenuous endurance exercise, a 4:1 combo of carbohydrate and protein seems to be your best choice. While solid foods can work just as well as a sports drink, a drink may be easier to digest make it easier to get the right ratio and meet the 2-hour window.

Thanks to Lynn pictured above:

Ladies!! The whole truth on staying lean & fit for life.

Many people think of muscle building and think about men, but building muscle is so important for women as well. One of the best ways to lose weight is to build muscle, so if you want to lose some weight and tone up, muscle building can help.

Strength training has a ton of benefits for women: more strength equals more muscle and less fat, it builds better symmetry, you feel sexier, your butt will look better, prevents osteoporosis, etc…

Here’s one thing though, don’t worry about:

“I don’t wanna get all big and bulky!”
You won’t. If you’re a woman and you’re reading this just go to your local gym and ask 5 big muscular guys how hard it was for them to put on muscle. Then ask 5 skinny guys how hard it is to put on muscle (and how long they’ve been training). The truth is: you need to put in a lot of focused effort (and testosterone) to get “big and bulky”.

How women should strength train
Train with the same strength training protocols as a man and focus on strength first. Next, focus on building muscle. You’ll lose fat at the same time. Stop looking at the scale and start looking at the mirror to determine how “fat” you are.

How women can lose weight fast
The same way men do, with interval training — you can burn fat fast in 12 minutes or less. Stop doing slow, long distance (long time) cardio training–it sucks for fat loss. You’ll burn more fat, calories, and keep more muscle doing interval training. Plus, it’s better overall for your cardiovascular system, heart, lungs and health.

That’s the basics of muscle building for women. Here are a few tips especially for women:

Tip #1 - Keep Pushing
First of all, when it comes to tips for muscle building for women, it is so important that you keep pushing. While working out too much can be counter productive, Don’t be afraid to work out hard.

Tip #2 - Workout at Least 3x Weekly
If you really want to get the best results from strength training and muscle building, you’ll need to work out at least three times every week. If you have never done weight lifting workouts before, you may want to get started with just two workouts each week. However, once you get comfortable there, make sure you work up to three or more workouts if you really want to build up that muscle.

Tip #3 - Eat for Muscle Building
You’ll also need to eat good foods if you’re going to build your muscles. Many women forget this part and it hampers their muscle gains. Sure, a healthy diet is going to be important, but you will need to make sure that your muscle have enough food to build lean tissue instead of going into a catabolic state. Focus on getting good protein. Also, protein has a higher thermogenic rate than other foods so you can eat more of it and still lose weight.

Tip #4 - Consider Taking Supplements
When it comes to muscle building, you may want to consider taking supplements. Of course you should talk to your medical provider first, but often these supplements can help you enhance the training you are doing and help you gain muscle more quickly. At the very least you should take:

High Quality Whey Protein…
A good multi-vitamin…
Fish Oil
To start. There you go, follow these tips and you’ll be looking fit n’ sexy in no time flat!

Tip #5- Boxing for superior fitness
Ladies I have been preaching it for years. Train like a fighter on your cardio days, instead of long boring time on a stair stepper or tread mill. Heavy bag work, jumping rope, punch mitt work and yes even sparring. These exercises will build confidence, speed & reflexes. At the same time you will sculpt & develop lean muscular arms, thighs, abs and shoulders. Don't believe me? Just check out womans boxing champion Holly Holm pictured above. You will quickly see how very right I am.


AbFitt's Fit/School

FACT: There's a window of about 30-60 minutes after a workout when your body is most receptive to nutrients. This, simply put, is the single-most anabolic time period of the day. Miss this opportunity and you're spinning your wheels. Refuel and rebuild your body with quality whey protein (25-35 grams), creatine (5 grams), amino acids (branched chain), and carbs (70 grams).

FACT: Skipping rope at about 80% mhr for about 10 min. Will burn the same amount of calories as running for 30 min.

FACT: Muscle hypertrophy requires muscle tension, anabolic hormones and growth factors, calories, amino acids, and rest between training. Miss any of these factors and results will elude you.

Train smart!

5 Best nutritional Tips Ever..from me to you.

Eat less and exercise more. Sounds simple enough, but in the context of real life and its demands, it can be anything but simple. Let me simplify your biggest concerns about the things you put in your body 7 how they affect you.

Tip No. 1: Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages. People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really what you need.

Tip No. 2: Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away. Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Tip No. 3: Eat protein at every meal. Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like protein shakes, yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.

Tip No. 4: Eat this,the eight super food:

Black beans

Tip No. 5: Stay clear of or at least be aware of sodium, saturated fat & sugar intake. These "threatening three" are part responsible for the current obesity epidemic in this country as well as sky-rocketing cost of health care. Restaurant food are loaded with the "threatening three", so make smart food choices.


The power of the jab!

I will never forget the day in the gym that I learned the boxing tip that I call the jab tap. My trainer could have told me how to do it, but instead I learned the hard way during one of many sparring sessions. This day I ended up with a very bloody nose. I flicked a jab out at his head and from out of absolutely nowhere I got clocked with a straight right that rattled every bone in my face. After I recovered from the shock, I was in complete disbelief. How did he manage to punch through my jab with a right?

If you think about the mechanics for this boxing tip, two orthodox stances facing off leave very little room for a straight right to land on target when one opponent is throwing a jab. If you follow a straight line from chin to chin, the punches would end up hitting each other midway -- they basically follow the same line. Thus, the only way to land that straight right is to come in at a different angle or move the jab out of the way.

Well, turns out the second method is what happened to me. As my jab neared my trainer, he very quickly tapped it downward with an ever so slight tap as he began to throw a straight right. With the jab deflected downward, my face was wide open and he seized the opportunity turning the forward motion of the tap into a full out straight right that was completely unobstructed going in. The rest is history. It was a hard learned lesson.

I am so grateful for learning that lesson though, because it has come in handy more than once. It is one of those boxing tips that drives home the requirement for perfect timing in boxing. The ability to anticipate someone's move and use their offense in your own offense is what makes this sport so incredible. This boxing tip is also a counter attack.

Richard Seymour's/Fit school....Strength and Stamina

Sets and reps get old. This routine from my H.I.G.T, builds muscle and endurance through pyramid repetitions.

After the warmup, do one rep of exercise pair No. 2, then two reps, then three, then four, and then work back down to one rep. Repeat with exercise pair No. 3. Do as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes.

1. Boxer's Punch + Dumbbell Squat

With a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, throw 32 punches, alternating lefts and rights. Then let your arms hang loosely at your sides and place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and then press back up. Complete 16 squats. Repeat the sequence once.

2. Push-Up + Prone Row

Push-up: Place two six-sided dumbbells on the floor and grip them while you do a full push-up. (Lower in two seconds, push up in one.)

Prone row: In the up position of the push-up (still holding onto the dumbbells), bring your right-hand weight up to your armpit and squeeze your shoulder blade back. Lower the weight and repeat the move with your left arm. (Take one second to raise the weight and two seconds to lower it.)

3. Jump Squat + Curl
Jump squat: Assume a squat position as you hold dumbbells at your sides, your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Press through your heels to explode up quickly. Then land softly on the balls of your feet and sink back onto your heels.

Curl: After landing, let the dumbbells hang at your sides. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights up. (Take one second to raise them and two seconds to lower.)

Post training needs

As you’ve probably heard before, your post-workout meal may very well be your most important meal of the day. The reason is that when you’re finished with an intense workout, you’re entering a catabolic state where your muscle glycogen is depleted and increased cortisol levels are beginning to excessively break down muscle tissue. These conditions are not good and the only way to reverse this catabolic state (and promote an anabolic state) is to consume a quickly digestible post-workout meal as soon as you can after training. The goal is to choose a meal with quickly digestible carbs to replenish muscle glycogen as well as quickly digestible protein to provide the amino acids needed to jump start muscular repair. The surge of carbohydrates and amino acids from this quickly digested meal promotes an insulin spike from the pancreas, which shuttles nutrients into the muscle cells.

The post-workout meal should generally contain between 300-500 calories to get the best response. For example, a 120-lb female may only need a 300-calorie meal, whereas a 200-lb male may need a 500-calorie post-workout meal. Your post-workout meal should also contain anywhere from a 2:1 ratio of carbs:protein to a 4:1 ratio of carbs:protein. While most of your other daily meals should contain a source of healthy fats, keep the fat content of your post-workout meal to a bare minimum, since fat slows the absorption of the meal, which is the opposite of what you want after a workout.

Re define your mid section!!

You hear a lot of foul language in the gym. (Admit it - that's one of the reasons you like going.) But there's one four-letter word that should make you cringe whenever it comes up. That word is core. And the reason it's so obscene is because most of the time, people throw the term around carelessly, without knowing what it really means. Think you're in the clear? If you just said, "I know what the core is - it's your abs and lower back," go wash your mouth out with soap. Then come back and finish this article, in which you'll learn about the body's many cores and how to train each of them.

In order to condition your whole body, you need to perform exercises that strengthen the area surrounding the spine - namely, the abs and lower back. Yes, banging out a set of Swiss-ball crunches can be a part of that training, but it's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to true core conditioning.

Stability training has been going on for eons,but its modern incarnation dates back roughly 25 years. Physical therapists in San Francisco discovered that having their patients train in unstable yet controlled positions (such as on a Swiss ball or balancing on one leg) could alleviate back problems. The concept later became part of the "functional fitness" craze of the '90s, in which more sport- and lifestyle-specific training methods began to replace old-school lifting programs. (In other words, people began to see weight training for health and performance as more than just bench presses and biceps curls.)

In both cases, the training focused on knocking the body off balance so that the central nervous system (the organizer of all your body's muscle activity) would be forced to recruit more muscle fibers to complete the task at hand. Which means when you do Swiss-ball crunches, for example, you're not only training your rectus abdominus (the six-pack muscles), you're training your brain to activate all the other muscles that help keep you on that ball - including your internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus, quadratus lumborum (in your lower back), and many other small but important supportive muscles for your spine.

Once the central nervous system has learned to recruit all those additional muscle fibers (ones that wouldn't necessarily be activated during a traditional crunch), it can put them to use in other exercises and activities- not only helping improve your performance on the Swiss-ball crunch but making your abs pop as well. Essentially, this means that training your body to stabilize itself leads to an overall heightened communication between your brain and muscles, which can lead to a greater capability to build muscle and burn fat, faster recovery times, and greater sports skills with a reduced risk for injury.

Intensity, the key componet to your training...

Muscle will only respond in advanced
trainers or athletes with resistance. If the muscle is not
presented with new challenges ( resistance ) it has no reason to
adapt and grow. Your body has no reason to change( body ) composition ( burn fat, build lean muscle tissue, become faster & more explosive ).

With H.I.G.T, my fitness program ( high intensity group training ) the basis is to stimulate new muscle
development by recruiting type II (red)( fast twitch ) muscle fibers. Fibers that
will only come into play when the muscle becomes over loaded ( the
lazy muscle fiber ). H.I.G.T does this in two ways. When you have
taxed your muscle lets say with a set of dumbbell presses, most of
the work was done with type one fibers (white) ( slow twitch ) little to none of
your type two (red) muscle fibers came into play. This studied & proven by science.

However by immediately moving from one multi joint
exercise ( exercises that recruit the most muscle fibers to perform
the movement, IE: squats, dead lifts, rows, etc..) to the next, up
to four different exercises for different body parts in a set, type
one fibers have become overworked and force type two fibers to come
and assist, thus causing maximum damage and with proper nutrition &
rest new tissue.

The second way is with intensity, in my routine I achieve this with little to no rest between sets. The body will respond two ways training this way. First, you will burn loads of calories and force the most important muscle in your body to work overtime. Your heart! Pretty much eliminating the need to do boring types of cardio to strip away fat and shed water. Secondly, with little to no rest you fatigue your type one fibers much faster than traditional one set and rest old school training. Thus conditioning your body to recruit faster, type two fibers. The muscle building lean for life, ripped as a Mother F@#!*! Type two ,fast twitch fiber!

My H.I.G.T training will keep you lean & muscular for life, not to mention it is challenging and fun to do, in time of course. At first you will be sending me hate mail.

Richard Seymour

Many of you have been asking about pre-workout nutrition protocols lately

Many of you have been asking about pre-workout nutrition protocols lately; I have seen several research reviews on available products, ingredients, etc. However, I haven't discussed pre-workout nutrition much. Pre workout drinks are still lurking in the supplement category and folks often question if they have any merit.

For years, researchers, sports nutritionists and coaches have repeated over and over again until they were blue in the face that athletes need to consume carbohydrates after a workout. The one study I reviewed last week reiterated this point. However, it looks like there is a new kid on the block; one that may be even more potent and anabolic than post-workout nutrition. It's called pre-workout nutrient delivery and it's anabolic and anti-catabolic; two things you should hope for if gaining lean body mass is your goal.

Remember that weight training results in both protein synthesis and breakdown; the goal is to favor synthesis and reduce breakdown as much as possible. This can be accomplished in well-nourished athletes and in addition to a well-balanced whole food diet, another one way to "nourish" yourself may be by feeding your body some protein and carbohydrates prior to working out. So by all means give a good pre work out drink a go and see for yourself.

Healthy Diet, Fit Body, for fighters and the average Joe!

Strength is the foundation of nearly all physique and performance goals. When you're strong, you more easily gain muscle size, lose fat, run faster, hit harder, play longer, and move more living room furniture for your wife. I have rounded up 10 no-nonsense questions asked most often by AbFitt readers.

1.) Own the "big four."
The squat, deadlift, bench press, and shoulder press are the best strength-building exercises, period. The chinup and row are great moves too, but don't make them the focus of your workout — they can be assistance lifts to complement the bench and shoulder press, keeping your pulling muscles in balance with the pressing ones.

2.) Use barbells first.
Forget all the fad equipment. The barbell is king, the dumbbell is queen, and everything else is a court jester — it may have its place, but it's not essential. Start your workouts with barbell exercises, such as the "big four," as described above. Barbells let you load a lot of weight, and lifting heavy is the first step toward getting stronger. Once your heaviest strength exercises are out of the way, you can move on to dumbbell and body-weight training.

3.) Keep it simple.
Some trainers make their clients lift with a certain rep speed, like three seconds up, one second down. But know this: There's no need to count anything but reps during a set. Simply focus on raising and lowering your weights in a controlled manner, pausing for a one-second count at the top of the lift. Using an arbitrary tempo can lessen tension on your muscles or force you to use varying amounts of weight, slowing your progress. The only way to be sure you're getting stronger is if your loads consistently increase.

4.) Maintain a log.
Write down your exercises, sets, reps, and the fate of each workout. Keep track of your best lifts and the most reps you've done with a certain weight on an exercise. Constantly strive to improve those numbers.

5.) Don't overdo it.
Try to stick to three or four lifts per workout. Keeping your workouts short helps you take advantage of hormonal surges. When you do too many exercises in a session, at least some of them get done half-assed. All you need is one main lift per workout (one of the big four), one or two assistance lifts (for keeping the body in balance and further strengthening the muscles that perform the main lift), and then core or specialty work at the end (ab exercises or some forearm or calf moves, depending on your goals). Doing any more lessens your results.

6.) Think five.
You should rotate many different rep ranges in your workouts, but sets of five seem to offer the best blend of muscle size and strength gains. If you're pushing through one of the big four moves, you'll find that your form often breaks down after five anyway.

7.) Add weights slowly.
The main reason people plateau and stop gaining strength is that they go too heavy for too long. Abandon your ego and do your main lifts using 10% less than the most weight you can lift for the given rep range. Increase the weight each session — but by no more than 10 pounds — and stick with the same lifts. You'll rarely plateau again.

8.) Take to the hills.
Cardio is a must if you want to be lean and healthy, but long-distance running or cycling increases levels of hormones that break down muscle tissue. To get stronger while getting leaner, do cardio in short, intense bursts. Go to a moderately steep hill and sprint to the top, then walk back down. When you're ready, sprint again. In your first workout, do only half as many sprints as you think you could. In your next workout, do two more sprints than you did the first time. Continue adding two sprints to your workouts until you can't improve anymore. Then do sets of sprints.

9.) Balance your training.
Whatever you do for one side of the body, you must do for the other side. Follow that rule in your workouts and you should be able to avoid injury and muscle imbalances. If you're doing squats (mainly a quad exercise), also do Romanian deadlifts (which hit the hamstrings hard). Your chest exercises should be balanced with back-training lifts. You don't necessarily have to do your balance work in the same session, but it should be done in the same week. In general, follow a ratio of two-to-one between your pulling-and-pushing movements. So if you bench-press on Monday (and most of the world seems to), you can do chinups on Tuesday and bent-over lateral raises on Thursday, for example. Every other pressing exercise you do should follow this formula.

10.) Do it right. Form is key.
You may think you know how to perform the big four, but you could probably get more out of them. Here are some quick pointers for each one.

Squat: Begin the squat by pushing your hips back as far as you can. Keep your lower back arched and you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings. When your hips are bent, begin bending your knees and squatting low. This is what you need to squat maximal weight.

Deadlift: Use the same stance you would to perform a jump — your legs should be narrowly placed. When you bend down to grab the bar, keep your hips down and your back straight, with your shoulders directly over your knees.

Bench Press: Start with your head off the bench. Keeping your feet steady, grab the bar and pull your body up off the bench and forward, so that when your butt comes down on the bench your lower back is very arched. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Your range of motion should be significantly shorter for stronger pressing.

Shoulder press: Flare your lats when the bar is at shoulder level. It will allow you to use more weight.

There's a secret every trainer in Hollywood knows, and it's one you should know, too.

Here is the stone-cold fact: One pound of muscle increases your metabolic rate by only 6 calories per day! Now the real kicker is that realistically, per month you can only expect to gain as much as 1 to 2 pounds of muscle if you're male; females can add up to half a pound of muscle per month. That's assuming you're training consistently and eating adequate amounts of protein. This just lets you know that gaining muscle takes just as long as weight loss, and doesn't boost metabolism much at all, so it's not the quick answer to losing more weight!

Does this mean you should give up weight training all together and not worry about muscle mass at all when losing weight? Absolutely not! I recommend doing cardio at least five times a week and resistance training two to three times per week for the most success when actively trying to lose weight. When you lose weight and create a caloric deficit, your body does not discriminate between fat (your fat stores) and muscle (your lean body mass), so it just takes where it can.

Resistance training helps to preserve your lean body mass when you create a caloric deficit, leaving you strong and not emaciated. Do you have your weight training schedule ready for your weight loss program? Talk to a personal trainer or take a circuit training class at your local gym. This will ultimately help you stay lean and lose weight at the same time.