Category: Fitness

The Bent Over Barbell Row

It cannot be stated enough, that when in the gym working out, you are best off by making the most efficient use of your time with compound movements that work multiple muscle groups at the same time rather than trying to work single muscles for hours on end. The thing that happens with newbies to weight training who want to do the easy, single muscle lifts, they will develop muscle and strength imbalances. These imbalances can cause you injury and also does not make for a fit and trim looking body. The best way for one who is new to get the best looking body that is also strong, is to concentrate on doing compound lifts that work more than one muscle group with a single lift. Additionally, for every pushing or pressing lift you perform, you also want to do a corresponding pulling exercise to be sure and work those mirror muscles. The Bent Over Barbell Row is the perfect, complimentary lift for the bench press as it targets the muscles on the opposite side of your body.The bent-over row (and any back exercises, for that matter) are important to incorporate into your strength routine to maintain the balance of strength between the back and front of your body. Strength balance obtained from a proper push-pull program is vital to healthy skeletal function, posture and joint health – and can even serve to improve aesthetics to a greater degree in the long run from a greater quantity of large muscle group improvement throughout the body. Cooperative muscle groups including those serving agonist/antagonist roles along with those that function for stability need healthy strength relationships

Muscles worked by the Bent Over Barbell Row.

As you can see in the above picture, Bent Over Barbell Rows are primarily a back exercise. However, they recruit the rest of your body as well-which is what makes them a must-have for any strength-training routine.The Bent Over Barbell Row also targets your biceps, as well as muscles in your shoulders and forearms, plus your legs and core. The abdominal and lower-back muscles contract to stabilize while performing this excellent lift. Strengthening these muscles improves your posture and spinal stability, thereby, reducing the risk of lower-back injuries.

How to execute the Bent Over Barbell Row

Stand with your mid-foot under the bar (medium stance)

Bend over and grab the bar (palms down, medium-grip)

Unlock your knees while keeping your hips high

Lift your chest and straighten your back

Pull the bar against your lower chest

Return the bar to the floor. Breathe. Straighten your back, take a big breath, hold it. Then perform your next rep.
Bent Over Barbell Rows are easy to cheat. You can lift heavier weights by using your hips. But your upper-back should do most of the work. If your torso rises too far above horizontal, the weight is too heavy. Lower it to work your upper-back mostly, not your hips.

Programming

Exercises like the Bent Over Barbell Row should be thought of more as an exercise rather than as a lift. The Bent Over Barbell Row is an exercise that is used to strengthen a muscle group(s) that aids in the performance of other LIFTS, namely the deadlift, but also the bench and squat to a degree. In order for an assistance exercise of this nature to be  most effective, you need to be able to feel the muscle group working. You  should do 4 or 5 sets of 5 to 10 reps of Bent Over Barbell Rows in your workout.  Note: If you do not feel a massive pump in your upper and mid-back when you are doing this exercise, you should re-evaluate how you are executing the exercise as you are doing things wrong.

 

The Overhead Press

Like many, if not most weight trainers, I have a love-hate relationship with the Overhead Press. I love it because nothing builds more confidence, nor strokes the ego like pushing a heavy weight over your head. When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by the Olympic weight lifters and their heavy presses, these men and women were so strong and fit. Hoisting a heavy weight over head has always been a display of strength that I wanted to emulate. However, as much as I love this particular lift, I also hate it.

Why do I hate it?

Simply because it is the hardest lift to progress on. It is the lift that every lifter will fail on first in their training. It is the lift that will kick your tail with the least amount of weight when compared to the Squat, Dead Lift and Bench Press. This is a tough lift to master if you have a desire to continue increasing your workout weights because it uses small muscle groups when compared to those other big lifts. With smaller muscles being utilized to complete the lift, it is only natural that you are not going to be able to lift as much weight. Yet, because this lift is such an important one to master, it is included in every lifting program I use. These smaller muscle groups play a role in assisting other muscle groups for functional strength, and lets face it, strong shoulders on a man or woman are far more eye appealing that weak, drooping shoulders.

Which muscles are used with the Overhead Press?

The Overhead Press is the perfect lift you should incorporate into your lifting routine in order to build up and strengthen your shoulders. You will find that it is also fantastic for our upper traps, upper chest, triceps, posture, and even our abs, making it one of the best lifts for improving shoulder girdle,  and developing more appealing aesthetics while also strengthening your hips, and building stability through the legs.

You will find the Overhead Press to be an excellent exercise for developing stronger abs and obliques. While it is somewhat inferior to the chin-up, it does do a much better job of stimulating your abs than the Bench Press, Squat, and Dead Lift. In fact, if you’re doing both chin-ups and overhead presses, your core will get a fairly solid workout, you may not even need ab isolation exercises.

How To Overhead Press

The movement begins in the bottom (start) position.

Stand with your entire body tight and rigid.

Hold a barbell just above your upper chest, hands slightly wider that shoulder width.

Now think of an imaginary straight line drawn from the elbows through the wrists and hands and into the ceiling.

Press the bar up along this path as the elbows extend, taking the same path back down to the starting position.

Standing Vs. Seated

You could find in your home gym that you do not have clearance enough with your ceiling to properly execute the Standing Overhead Press, and this is fine since you can also preform this lift from the sitting position. In fact, some people prefer to be seated during their Overhead Presses. Though the movement itself is nearly identical whether you’re sitting or standing, there are some important differences between doing this movement when standing. The standing barbell press builds more total-body strength than the seated overhead press because it requires more core stability and tension from the hips and legs. Seated presses don’t require the same stability because the body is taking stability from the bench. However, you can typically lift a little heavier when seated because of the stability provided by the back rest if you have one.

Programming

Start light with barbell overhead pressing and concentrate on form. When beginning, leave 5 reps in the tank at the end of each set and focus intently on each rep. For example, if you choose a weight with which you can do 10 reps with good form, don’t do more than 5. If you feel your back arch harder as you press, or you can’t finish with your arms parallel to your ears, the weight’s too heavy.

Progress by adding 5 pounds to the bar each week. Your body will safely accommodate this hike in load. Strive to do 15-25 total reps, which is the accumulation of all your working sets.

 

NOTE: There are a few different variations of the Overhead Press. I will be addressing these separately as I build upon this menu of basic lifts.

 

Back Squat AKA The Squat

The squat, commonly known as the “King of all exercises”  is the most basic strength exercise in weightlifting, and is one of the most commonly used exercises  as it is the most effective exercise in weightlifting for building basic strength, particularly of the legs and trunk.

The squat makes your legs, thighs, and core muscles stronger and in turn, increases your overall strength, mobility and balance. Squatting  works your entire body from head to toe, by engaging almost all muscle groups including your neck, back, stomach, hips, thighs, and feet. Due to this mass engagement of muscles, your body’s circulatory system gets fired up which revs up your metabolism. A high metabolism means your body uses more calories, which will result in fat loss. As you can see. the combination of all these functions working in unison provides your body with significant benefits. You may have heard from those who lack knowledge of squats that they are bad for the knees and ankles. This could not be farther from the truth as squats actually help to restore bad knees by conditioning them to become stronger, and inevitably prevent future damage.

How to execute the squat:

Place the barbell behind your neck—retract your shoulder blades tightly and rest the bar in the meat of your upper traps, un-rack the barbell and step back from the hooks.

Place your feet between hip and shoulder width apart with the toes turned out so that at full depth each thigh and the corresponding foot are in line with each other. Always remember this cue, “where your feet point is where your knees go”.

Set your back in a bit of an arch, and then take in a large and deep breath, and hold it in, while you forcefully tighten all your trunk musculature.

Before you execute the actual squatting movement, remember that you want the barbell to travel in a straight plane of movement down and back up in a straight line with your center of gravity. Then bend at the knees and hips almost simultaneously. You will want to break at the hips just before breaking at your knees simply because a little forward lean will help the bar dig into your rear delts a bit better, and be more stable.

Squat down as directly as possible into the bottom of the squat with an upright posture, maintaining tension on the legs throughout the movement and controlling the speed of the descent. Full depth is achieved when the knees are closed as much as possible without losing the arch in the back or when your hip joint is parallel with your knee joint (if you cannot sit into a full depth squat, you need to work on mobility). Upon reaching the bottom position, immediately transition and stand as aggressively as possible, again with the knees and hips together in a hip hinge movement to maintain your upright posture. Try to lead the movement with your head and shoulders while directing your gaze to a spot in front of you.

Programming

There is a large number of possibilities when it comes to programming the back squat. Most commonly weightlifters will use sets of 1-5 reps, but it’s not unheard of to use as many as 10 occasionally, briefly and far out from competition. Really, what it comes down to when deciding a rep range is between if your focus is on overall strength (low rep), or if you desire hypertrophic growth or toning (high reps).

 

The Bench Press

While the squat is the “King of all Lifts”, the Bench Press seems to be the most popular. The Bench Press is such a popular lift, it is often the lift a good many lifters concentrate on the most while neglecting other lifts of equal importance. Most young men who begin lifting want a big chest and big arms, and they believe the Bench Press is the method of achieving this. While this is mainly true, you  must not neglect the rest of your body when taking on a serious lifting program.

The Bench Press is indeed  a full body, compound exercise. However, it works your chest, shoulders and triceps most. It’s the most effective exercise to gain upper-body strength and muscle mass because it’s the upper-body exercise you’ll lift the most weight on. The bigger your bench, the bigger your chest.

Ladies, the Bench Press is an important lift for you too!

Training your pecs will build muscle underneath the fat that makes up your breasts. As long as you aren’t dieting too severely, you will not lose your breasts. If anything, the added muscle helps your breasts appear fuller. Training the Bench Press can give a little boost to your cleavage! By developing your pectoral muscles, you are actually creating a natural bra for yourself. Ladies, the bench press is an important lift for you too if you care about having a body that is well balanced in strength and appearance. And you can do this without having to feel like you have to “go heavy” when you do this lift.

How to properly execute the Bench Press.

  1. Lie on the bench with your eyes under the bar
  2. Grab the bar with a medium grip-width and then squeeze it as if you are trying to bend the bar.
  3. Unrack the bar by straightening your arms
  4. Lower the bar to your mid-chest
  5. Press the bar back up until your arms are straight

Hold the weight for a second at the top, with straight arms. Breathe. Then take a big breath, hold it, and lower the bar again. Keep your butt on the bench when you press it back up. To avoid shoulder pain, tuck your elbows 75° when you lower the bar. Don’t try to stretch your chest by flaring your elbows 90° out. You’ll impinge your shoulders if your upper-arms are perpendicular to your torso at the bottom. Tuck your elbows 75° to Bench Press pain-free.

How to grip the bar.
Grip the bar with your pinky inside the ring marks of your bar, or at least a little bit wider than your shoulder width. When you execute the lift, you want your forearms to be vertical to the floor when the bar touches your chest. Your build determines the grip width you need for this but medium usually works. Wider grips can be tough on your shoulders while a too narrow grip is  ineffective for benching heavy because it puts your forearms  into an incline, and places more emphasis on your triceps instead of your chest.
Do not Flare Your Elbows.

Do not lower the bar with elbows out 90° as you might see done with a bodybuilding-style with your elbows perpendicular to your torso at the bottom. By flaring your elbows, you stand the risk of a painful shoulder impingement  while attempting to get a bigger chest stretch. The top of your upper-arms will smash your rotator cuff tendons against your AC joint on every rep. Your shoulders will inflame and hurt. Tuck your elbows 75° in at the bottom.

Keep your entire body tight.

Lie on the bench with your upper-back tight. Imagine that you are trying to hold a pen between your shoulder-blades by squeezing them together. This action will flatten your upper-back and increase your body’s stability when you lie on the bench. This allows you to push your upper-back harder against the bench which increases your Bench Press. Always make it a point to. squeeze your shoulder-blades before you unrack the weight.

 You also will not want to shrug your shoulders forward. This will cause you to lose your upper-back tightness, your chest will collapse and your hands will be higher. This makes the bar path longer and the weight harder to bench. Keep you back tight, chest up and shoulders back. Always maintain upper-back tightness by pushing yourself into the bench on each rep.

When  setting up to Bench Press, raise your chest towards the ceiling. Do this by arching your lower back and rotating your rib cage up while keeping your butt on the bench. Squeeze your lats to lock your chest in position in order to make the weight easier to press as you’ll touch your chest higher. This shortens the bar path and decreases horizontal bar movement to press it back over your shoulders. Always keep your butt on the bench when you Bench Press. It is acceptable for your lower back to come off the bench in order to keep you chest up, but your butt must not rise.


Always make it a point to Bench Press with your feet firmly planted on the floor.

Don’t put your feet on the bench or in the air to feel your muscles better. No matter if you have seen others do this foolishness, it creates an unstable and ineffective position for Benching heavy weights because you can’t use your legs. Besides helping to keep your body tight as you lift, keeping your feet on the floor is for your safety as it increases stability, balance and strength. It improves your form by helping your keep your chest up and lower back arched. Always Bench Press with your feet flat on the floor.
Programming the Bench Press

Being as these lifting tutorials are geared to the beginning lifter, I advise you to begin with an empty barbell and then increase your weight by 5 pounds with every workout until you begin stalling out.

As with every other lift, there is a large number of possibilities when it comes to programming the Bench Press. Most commonly, weightlifters will use sets of 1-5 reps, but it’s also a common practice to use as many as 10 reps per set. Really, what it comes down to when deciding a rep range is between if your focus is on overall strength (low rep), or if you desire hypertrophic growth or toning (high reps).

Note: When lifting by yourself without someone to spot you, be sure you are using equipment that has safety catches that will protect you if you happen to fail a rep and cannot rack the barbell.

 

 

 

 

The Dead Lift

I often hear people say they just do not have time for working out. I hear and understand this, but I also live a quite busy life. I have a job where I work 60 plus hours each week on top of writing and building this website. Because I am a very busy man, I believe in making the most efficient use of the time I do have for getting in my exercise. Therefore, when I am working out with my weights, my concentration is placed on doing lifts that are compound in nature. What this means, is I do lifts that work multiple muscle groups with each rep and set instead of concentrating on single muscles. I simply do not have time for that and believe that compound lifts give the best bang for the buck for the time spent getting in a workout.

If I was limited to only being able to get in two different lifts in a week, the Dead Lift and Squat would be my first and only choices. This is because these two lifts work your entire body when you execute them. As you can see in the picture above, the Dead Lift leaves almost no area of your body lacking for resistance when you are pulling a heavy weight from the floor. When you build muscle from the Dead Lift, you are causing stress throughout your entire body. You are building up lean muscle mass everywhere, and not just in the highlighted areas in the above picture.

The Dead Lift provides enormous  physical benefit as they not only help build lean mass but also it increases your functional strength in a manner that helps you actually avoid injury while making  your life easier in the performance of daily tasks.

When correctly executed, the Dead Lift will build up your strength to lift weights, boxes and other items with proper form. The increased strength you’ll gain from this exercise may lower your odds of lower back pain and injury. You will find that a strong back is a healthy back. Another benefit from doing Dead Lifts as we age is they will also strengthen our core,  which leads to improved balance.

The Dead Lift can and will promote growth of your muscle size and strength. Muscle size increases over time as the muscle fibers adapt and grow in response to the stress of the strength training. Increased muscle size contributes to strength, but the main factor is the nervous system adapting and being better able to communicate with the muscle cells which will provide you great benefit for any physical task you are ever faced with.

How to properly execute the Dead Lift.

When executed properly, the Dead Lift will strengthen every bone in your body while challenging every muscle within your posterior chain (all the muscles that run from your neck to your heels). The Dead Lift will test your grip strength and core stability to the absolute max. It will find any weakness in your body to be addressed if you ever hope to lift heavy. For that reason you should always start light, well within your means. Only consider building up your working weight  once you have first perfected proper lifting form.

  • With your feet flat on the floor, bend at the knees and grab the bar with hands shoulder-width apart.
  • You have two grip choices: a double overhand grip or a reverse grip, where one hand grips the bar overhand and the other underhand. The reverse grip will allow you to lift heavier. Always squeeze the bar as hard as you can, especially on heavier sets, before the bar leaves the floor.

  • If you struggle with your grip try using chalk or a mixed grip (with one hand facing forwards, one facing back), which will help you cling onto the bar so you can focus on your form.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position by looking forwards with your eyes fixed to a spot on the ground, about 4 feet ahead of your feet. Keep your chin up so your head stays in the best position for lifting.
  • Keeping your back straight and your head facing forward throughout, lift the bar using your legs and driving your hips forward. The Dead Lift should be a fast and powerful lift using your legs and glute strength. Drive upwards as explosively as possible.

  • Aim to maintain a strong spine from the beginning of the lift to the end. Do this by keeping your chest up to prevent your torso hunching forwards over the bar.
  • Your shoulders should remain slightly in front of your hands until the bar passes mid-thigh level, at which point you want to retract your shoulder blades for a strong and stable torso.
  • Pull your shoulders back at the top of the move, then carefully lower the bar to the ground.

Programming the Dead Lift.

Higher reps generally contribute to building muscle. Most power lifters will train with anywhere from 1-8 reps, but when training specifically for strength, the general rep range is 3-5. Bodybuilders and people who want to add muscle to their backs usually stick to doing 8-12 Dead Lifts and sometimes more, it all depends on your goals and what you want out of your training and body.

Dead Lifts are a great tool in your weight loss arsenal to use during the week. Ladies, you will build muscle and strength but here are four benefits you also need to consider:

Work several muscle groups promoting high-level fat loss

Increase primary anabolic hormones that stimulate fat loss and muscle growth

Burn more calories compared to running

Increase cardio endurance if programmed properly

OYO Personal Gym Review, Can I Sell You a Bridge?

I created a new series titled “Worthless Fitness Equipment” with the sole intent of helping people to avoid spending their hard earned cash on pieces of junk that will allegedly help them to build a fitter and trimmer body. If you are a serous fitness buff, you already know that these contraptions are worth about as much as a bucket of sail boat fuel, but these items are not being marketed to you. These pieces of junk are being marketed to those who are lacking in knowledge of physical fitness. These marketing schemers are solely interested in their profits above all and could not care less about the health and fitness of their consumer market. If they did care, they would create items that have actual utility.

They are taking their customers for fools!

No, you are not going to transform your body with this piece of junk in only “minutes a day”! 

Please, when you see anything that tells you that you can transform your body in only minutes a day, by all means, avoid it. Physical fitness, requires dedication that spans a far greater divide than “minutes a day”. Physical fitness requires dedication to a new lifestyle that involves a good amount of effort and time coupled with good nutritional habits. “Minutes a day” are not going to get you there unless you are some type of genetic outlier. If you believe this contraption can get you into the best shape of your life, I have a bridge to sell you. The only problem is my integrity will not allow me to let it go…

It looks like you can use OYO about anywhere!

Do any of the people above appear to be getting even a small amount of a decent workout?

Real People, Real Results?

I can guarantee you, if the gentleman above is driving a golf ball another 30 yards, it is because he is working on his stroke out on the course.

They claim Andy lost 17 pounds and 14 inches and that Dave lost 19 pounds and 23 inches. These claims are an outright insult to the intelligence for anyone who can think. These two gentlemen may have lost weight while using the OYO gym contraption, but the most important aspect can be found in the small print, their weight loss was through diet.

I have never heard of any mathematical formula to figure how many inches you might lose for each pound of body weight, but it appears these crooks are working numbers in some manner for your consumption. I want to put this into perspective, when I was at my largest and strongest as a power lifter, I was 70 pounds heavier than I am now. Because the excess weight was beginning to take a toll on my health despite being stronger than I had ever been in my life, I dropped those 70 extra pounds, and only took about 12 inches off my my torso. At the ages of these two gentlemen, if they had lost all those inches as claimed, you can bet they would have visible loose skin.

Yes, resistance training will do what they claim below;

However, you are not going to be accomplishing much of the above with this thing, especially once you have discovered for yourself it is not all it is cracked up to be and it winds up gathering dust in the back corner of a closet.

Of course they give you a number of exercises to do;

But, the reality is, almost all of these exercises they tell you about can be done with your body weight only as they are little more than calisthenic exercises with a bit of expensive resistance added for effect.

They have another option that will cost you about $125 too!

The bottom line is your money can be better spent on a pair of light dumbbells for a fraction of the cost.  The OYO gives you the option of either squeezing the thing together in different fashions, or pulling the lines apart. You will find that with limited movements, you are likely to at best, develop muscle and strength imbalances, especially if you only use it for “minutes a day” as they state. It would take you several hours to actually get a good workout with this if you want to actually improve your body in both looks and fitness. I have to say, every time I see advertisements pop up for this, all I can think is it appears someone added some resistance lines to an old Thigh Master they found in the trash somewhere.

Here is a simple truth for you. Having a healthy body that is physically fit requires healthy nutrition and good exercise that actually benefits your entire body instead of isolated portions if you are only into working out “minutes a day”. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness you can always have access to the absolute best in health and fitness information for free. We charge no one to access our articles, for any reason, ever. Subscriptions are free and easy to all if you care to join us. We will tell you how it is, and never sugar coat anything as we believe it is always better to give an uncomfortable truth over telling comfortable lies. We have a wide variety of articles and healthy recipes for you, and we are ever growing with new content being added multiple times per week. If you use our search function and cannot find information on something that interests you, let us know and we will get on it for you!

Ab Rocket Twister, Another Total Waste of Money

Wow, what a grand deal this contraption when you can make five easy payments of $19.95 in order to be able to “Just Rock and Twist to Tighter, Sexier Abs”!

GOLD MEDAL ABS GUARANTEE!

In the ever increasing world of abdominal exercise machines, we find this worthless piece of junk. They claim that by investing five minutes per day, you can develop rock hard abs simply by going through motions similar to that of a rocking chair.

Please, do not let anyone think you are naive enough to believe this malarkey.

But just look at those results below!

Real People. Real Results.Fast

If I was lacking as much integrity as the crooks marketing this damn contraption, I might be a rich man living on a tropical beach somewhere instead of in a place of blistering hot summers followed by frigid cold winters.

Just look at their claim that you can get ripped, washboard abs in half the time!

Do they know what it actually takes to get ripped, washboard abs, or are they counting on you not having a blooming clue how to earn them. I would venture to say, they are counting on you not knowing what it takes to EARN visible abs.

Visible abs do not come easy or just by exercise alone! 

Pay attention to the small print above!

They provide you with a low calorie meal plan to shed pounds and inches.

Visible abs are made in the kitchen more so than in the gym with exercise. No matter how much you work your ab muscles, if you are not eating a healthy diet within your daily caloric needs, no amount of exercise of any type will reveal your abdominal muscles for the world to see.

A good many people desire having a sexy midsection, yet they often lack the discipline required to ever have it. A sexy midsection does not come easy, it requires a commitment to a healthy diet combined with exercise as a lifestyle. These contraptions are marketed to tap into our innate desire for perfectly sculpted abs, by making it seem as if they have the solution to give them to you with little effort. Not to be insulting to any of you, but these shysters are banking on your lack of knowledge regarding how to build a fit, trim and healthy body. They are also counting on people who want to take the easiest route possible towards having a sexy midsection to hand over their hard earned cash. If you have a bulging tummy, the first thing you need to worry about is getting your nutrition in good order. We can help you with this for zero charge ever. Just go to our home menu and click the David’s Way Plan to learn exactly what it takes to  permanently lose your unwanted body fat. This is entirely free to you!

The cretins at Ab Rocket Twister claim that you will get a better workout from their piece of junk than you will get from crunches and sit-ups. They also tell you that you can essentially sit back and the machine will do most of the work for you. These bold claims could not get any more absurd, you could easily think this junk is more of a gag gift than something that is allegedly supposed to be serious fitness gear. But, they would not be still in business if there were no customers buying them.

Let’s be real, there are few people now days who actually have visible ab muscles, which should tell you just how hard it is to get them. We can acknowledge that it has a little to do with genetics, but it is mostly due to the fact that it takes a making the choice to personally commit to a combination of factors, which you must put together in the right amounts. These factors are healthy eating, regular exercise, and a committed lifestyle. There are no short cuts!

Never,ever buy into the lie that you need “revolutionary resistance technology to flatten your entire core. Abs might get built in the gym, but it is the work in the kitchen which will reveal them.  No matter how much you workout, there is one simple truth that applies to all of us. Your diet is 80% responsible for the way you look, exercise accounts for the other 20%.

You cannot outperform a bad diet!

 

What’s The Difference in Burning Calories and Fat?

In my last article I wrote about what calories are, in this one, I will explain what happens when we burn calories and fat. We hear and use the expression “burning calories” and “burning fat” all the time, but how many of you actually know what this means?

We know that we burn calories when we exert ourselves.

We know if we consume more than we burn, we will get fat.

But, when you ask people what actually happens in your body when you burn calories or fat, you will often be met with a blank stare.

When you lose weight, where does the lost body fat go?

In short, it helps to remember that fat is basically stored energy in your body. During the day when you are moving about, or even at rest, your body converts fat to usable energy for your muscles and other tissues through a series of complex metabolic processes. This causes your fat cells to shrink. These metabolic processes generate heat, which helps maintain your body temperature, and waste products. These waste products are water and carbon dioxide, which are excreted in your urine and sweat or exhaled from your lungs.

Are these two women burning calories or are they burning fat?

Is there a difference between these terms?

This is a simple fact for all of us, to lose weight and get in shape you have to commit yourself to maintaining a good diet coupled with regular exercise in order to burn that unsightly body fat. The first thing you must comprehend about a physical fitness regimen is that just because you are burning through calories, it does not mean you are burning fat. It takes about twenty minutes of moderate exercise for your body to get into the fat burning stage. You will not burn even an ounce of fat until you have exhausted your glycogen stores. If you want your exercise to be meaningful to your overall health, your main focus when you exercise should on burning body fat. You simply can’t lose body fat just from burning calories.

When we exercise, for it to have much benefit we must get our heart rate into the fat burning zone for a minimum of twenty minutes before we start burning body fat for energy.  Of course our bodies will start burning calories from the start, however the calories we burn are from the carbohydrates in our system.

For weight loss, it is not enough to just burn through calories alone!

In order to burn calories from your body fat stores, your body requires the presence of oxygen. There is a certain amount of oxygen that your body needs in order to start burning fat and the only way for you to measure the amount needed for your own body is to keep up with your target heart rate during exercise. We have seen on more than a couple of weight loss sites where they allow their clients to figure into their caloric needs the calories burned through activities such as cleaning house. Unless you are huffing and puffing when pushing your vacuum cleaner around your house, these calories burned are pretty insignificant towards losing body fat. It irritates me to no end that these businesses who promote this actually do know, or damn well should know, this kind of calorie burn is next to meaningless. If pushing a vacuum cleaner did not help their clients to never gain weight, this activity is not going to help them lose that weight either.

Understand this, if you only burn calories from carbohydrates, you will lose almost exclusively “water weight”, this actually leads to a decrease in your metabolism instead of an increase.

When you begin an exercise regimen of any type your diet and exercise become a balancing act. The calories burned from carbohydrates are your energy calories. You must manage your caloric intake when you are on an exercise program to replace your burned energy calories. A common mistake that people make is when they reduce their caloric intake too far. They manage to slow down their metabolism when they actually need to increase it. This is why we advise to adjust your daily intake of calories for only a one to two pound maximum of weight loss per week. If you need to lose faster than this, you really should consider doing so only under the supervision of a doctor.

Burning Fat Calories during Exercise

When we exercise, our body goes through a few stages before it reaches the point where we are actually burning body fat. For the most part, you are only burning sugar (carbohydrates) and little to no fat during about the first 20 minutes of exercise.  You have to get your heart rate into the fat burning zone  past the 20 minute mark if you want to burn fat. And, you must increase your intake of oxygen in order to burn that fat. If you are not working out hard enough for your body to want more oxygen, or conversely, if you are working out too hard, you can”t supply your body with enough oxygen for fat burning.

When you do cardio exercise, you must move at a steady pace so your body will utilize your stored fat as its energy source. You must also bear in mind that once you have reached the fat burning stage, it does not necessarily  mean you will stay there. Remaining in the fat burning zone depends on you moving at a pace that is right for your body. Make sure that you are within your target heart rate range.

If you can speak easy, your heart rate needs to increase.

If you can carry on a labored conversation, you are in the fat burning zone.

If you cannot speak, you have gone anaerobic and need to slow down your pace as you are no longer burning fat because of a lack of oxygen to your muscles.

Burning Fat Calories at Rest

Could burning fat while at rest be any better of an option?

Sounds like a  fantastic idea for the lazy among us I would guess. However, in order to burn fat while at rest comes from paying your dues to the resistance exercise, weight training either with weights or your body weight.

The way for you to continue to burn fat calories at rest takes effort beforehand. This is possible through the anaerobic exercise of weight training.

Weight training is the key to burning fat at rest.

Weight training is an anaerobic activity that will cause you to burn more calories than aerobic exercise.

The calories that you are burning during a weight training session are mostly calories from carbohydrates. However, the calories you burn at rest afterwards are mostly from fat. The scientific and biological reason you are burning fat at rest after weight training is because it increases your metabolism which uses your stored fat as energy.  When you boost your metabolism at rest,  you will be more efficient at burning fat calories.

How is this possible?

Muscles grow through protein synthesis, which is one of the most energy consuming processes in the cell . If you’re building muscles, it is not just the workout itself but also the growth of muscles that consumes energy and burns calories. Additionally, muscle tissue is metabolically more active and burns more calories than fat tissue. The more muscles you have, the bigger your resting energy expenditure, which means that your body burns more calories and fat “while doing nothing”.

Live well, Be Well!

Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!

Holy Cow, The BionicGym Review!

Holy cow, an entire gym in such a tiny box!

It almost has to be too good to be true, don’t you think?

500 Calories burned from the couch!

This just makes me giddy as a school girl!

I really just can’t believe this, I believe I will sell off all of my home gym equipment to purchase this fine product.

Such a killer deal too at $649.00 US!

What a perfect gift idea for the couch potato in your life. Since they are too lazy to get their butt up off the couch, now there is no excuse for them to still maintain a beer gut, is there?

Their bold claim:

Now, let’s be real. This is such a bunch of hogwash, and anyone with two brain cells that can rub together should know this. But, since these scam products have such a huge market, it is apparent that just maybe there are a lot of folks who were born just last night. This huge  market leaves me wondering just how many have recently fallen off a turnip truck only to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous marketers. It is mind blowing when you think about the sheer numbers it takes in order to make these scam products sell. And here is the kicker, because each and every one of us have what is known as a Basal Metabolic Rate, we all, already can burn 500 calories while sitting on our couch doing nothing. Yes, your body burns a number of calories each day simply by you existing, your heart beating, your lung taking in oxygen, all of your bodily functions are burning calories during the day as it is. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going.

Burn calories rapidly – at levels equivalent to intense exercise

Increase a person’s heart rate – to levels equivalent to intense exercise

Enable sustained cardio exercise – once you had trained up with it

Increase a person’s VO2 Max levels, i.e. boost aerobic fitness

Deliver the benefits of exercise in a way that is gentle on the joints

There is a bit of truth in the italicized claims, however, they are greatly exaggerated. Which I will address next.

Perhaps what is most revolutionary about BionicGym is it requires less willpower.  Or at least a different type of will-power.  At intense levels you still get all the body’s signalling that it is intense exercise but you can distract yourself by watching TV, etc.

Many forms of exercise require constant mental-effort to complete. For example, when using an exercise bike or treadmill, a person must choose to keep pushing themselves. If they are mentally fatigued, they often can’t exercise for long.

However, stimulated shivering via BionicGym is different. As electrical impulses trigger the legs to move repeatedly, users can simply put BionicGym on, dial up the intensity, and via a kind of remote-control exercise, watch their legs move. This makes it possible to do passive exercise while engaged in another activity – like watching TV or playing a computer game. This also means that many normal environments, from working at a desk to lying on a couch, can become places where exercise can occur.

This company is marketing their gadget to people who are lacking willpower. It is in their own words above. It takes willpower coupled with good nutrition and true exercise to achieve a fit and trim body. Even if one who might be a bit lazy and lacking in will power decides to use this gadget, it is going to be a distraction to their TV watching if the intensity is set very high. After all, it is shocking the hell out of your legs.

The most important thing stated, which is really kind of glossed over in their ad is the line, “Diet PLUS exercise = weight control”.

Not many people can out exercise a bad diet even with vigorous activity. Your nutrition is always key to having a healthy, fit and trim body.

It is a universal truth that abs are “made in the kitchen”.

Can I sell you a bridge?

Look, gullible or desperate people are being sold a bunch of hooey when they are told they can build and tone muscle while burning fat with these scam gadgets. Think about this, yes they do work to stimulate muscles electrically and you will feel them tingling and contracting. But his really means little to you, snake oil might have made people feel better in the moment too. However, you can take a frog that has recently died, hook it up to a muscle stimulator and you can see his dead muscles twitch too. These people are playing on your lack of basic knowledge when they sell these gadgets.

Electrical muscle stimulators are used in physiotherapy for only two uses:

1. To help people re-strengthen injured areas not to burn fat or tone muscle effortlessly. To strengthen weak muscles, the key is to be actively exercising the muscle while the machine is on. The muscle stimulator must be synchronized with your active movement in order to be effective. Physiotherapists have used this principle extensively since the 1940’s and the Russians used it in the 1970’s with their weight training athletes. For example, a weight would be placed on the ankle and the stimulator pads are placed on the front of the thigh (quadriceps muscle). The person then straightens their knee making their muscle contract while the stimulator works on the quadriceps muscle also making the muscle work. By working the muscle along with the stimulator there will be an enhanced strengthening effect.

2. Muscle stimulators are also used to help with pain and muscle spasm relief. Physiotherapists will use them on the back muscles for example to help reduce muscle tension and spasm. They are set to go on for 10 seconds and off for 10 seconds. This repeated contraction and relaxation of the muscles tells the brain to relax the muscles and kill the tension. They are often used in combination with heat which has a great relaxing effect. A muscle stimulator is really a specialized form of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator). As well as causing muscles to release their tension, a muscle stimulator will also reduce pain. It sends electrical signals through the nerves to the brain which helps to release endorphins and block pain signals. Endorphins are your body’s own natural pain killers, fifty times more powerful than morphine.

A portion of their Terms of Service:

SECTION 3 – ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS AND TIMELINESS OF INFORMATION

We are not responsible if information made available on this site is not accurate, complete or current. The material on this site is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting primary, more accurate, more complete or more timely sources of information. Any reliance on the material on this site is at your own risk.
This site may contain certain historical information. Historical information, necessarily, is not current and is provided for your reference only. We reserve the right to modify the contents of this site at any time, but we have no obligation to update any information on our site. You agree that it is your responsibility to monitor changes to our site.

So, the information they provide to get you to buy their scam gadget is not necessarily reliable and apparently it is your tough luck if you did not do your due diligence with research before plopping down your hard earned cash.

Is there any actual use for electronic muscle stimulators?

Per the FDA; While an EMS device may be able to temporarily strengthen, tone or firm a muscle, no EMS devices have been cleared at this time for weight loss, girth reduction, or for obtaining “rock hard” abs. Electric muscle stimulators are federally regulated devices most often used in physical therapy. The majority of these stimulators are administered by a health care professional to ensure proper use and safety for rehabilitation purposes. However, you will sometimes see where professional athletes have incorporated them into their fitness programs, but most of us are not professional athletes. The benefits of EMS have been discussed extensively in theory but the real challenge is the successful incorporation of EMS into a training program. EMS works best as the last training element of the day, separated from other work by at least two hours. You are not going to get the results you might want if you are just sitting on the couch with the dream of getting stronger. The use of EMS is used in conjunction with other strength programs and is not a stand alone program in itself.

From the weight training website T-Nation:

Most users never come near the level of contraction they need for best results, especially in clinical settings. To understand the intensity the athlete needs to experience, have him contract the quads as hard as he possibly can voluntarily, and then have him imagine a goal 30% higher than that! The contraction is massive, and it feels that way! Don’t worry about “burning” the muscle though, as it takes only five-millionths of an amp to maximally contract the quad.

To give you an example of what I mean by cranking it up, my athletes would often have to bite down on a piece of leather or a stick while being “stimmed.” Is it really that painful? Well, it should feel like riding up a very steep and long hill on a bike. That’s the type of “burn” you should feel.

Look, if you are serious about wanting to lose weight and to get in shape, save your money and do not buy this scam gadget. You can do better things with $649.00 than to throw your money away on something that will eventually find itself in the back of your closet, buried under a pile of shoes or something. Here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we offer you free subscriptions to access any and all of our great articles to help you achieve the body you want. We are rapidly closing in on 900 health, nutrition and fitness articles and we provide you with a plethora of recipes which are as healthy as they are delicious. You have nothing to lose by following us except unwanted body fat. If you cannot lose weight to a healthy body fat percentage by following our plan, I will fully refund you for every penny you spent.

Abs Muscle Toning Stimulator Review, Don’t Be a Rube!

Have you seen this product being advertised?

Rocking that hard body through electrical stimulation!

Would you just look at those claims above!

Are you ready to throw down your hard earned cash yet?

At such a cheap price, you might consider it…

Wouldn’t it be the best thing since icing on cake if you could spend $48.98 US on a product that will give you the results pictured below?

Hot damn!

This product is scientifically proven!

Just look at those before and after results!

Do the people in the before and after pictures look like the same individuals to you?

Me neither!

Have you lost any brain cells reading this yet?

Does this contraption make you feel as if you might have lost a few IQ points?

Thirty minutes per day and not a single mention of nutrition being a part of the equation to be able to rock such a hard body in their ad.

I am not in any way, shape or form trying to be disrespectful in what I am going to say next. But, I surely hope you are not naive, or gullible enough to believe these hucksters. Please, consider how ludicrous these claims are before handing over your hard earned money to these people. These claims are indeed too fantastic to be true. I know you are smarter than this…

Of course, I fully understand there are people who have become desperate enough to try anything in order to lose weight. It is sad that these good folks are preyed on by by nefarious groups who know their products are worthless, especially those who need help losing weight the most. I have to say I have nothing but contempt for those who take advantage of others in this manner. My friends, this device is not going to work for you. If you want to achieve a healthy and fit body, it is going to take more than thirty minutes per day with a electrical ab stimulator. You must get your nutrition in order by changing your entire mindset about, and relationship with food. You must make permanent and lifelong changes to your nutritional habits. There is no easy way towards losing weight and gaining a fit and trim body.

For instance, the saying that abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym, is an absolute truth. You can do all the sit ups in the world, and never lose your gut.

And, it is a truth that you cannot spot reduce any areas of your body.

Even if you could spot reduce, your body would only look odd from the imbalances in your appearance and you would not be any healthier.

In order to rock the hard bodies pictured in this ad, you will need to consume fewer calories than you burn each day, and then be willing and able to put in the work with physical exercise that raises your heart rate into the fat burning zone.

The following is from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

Q. Why does FDA regulate electrical muscle stimulators?

A. Electrical muscle stimulators are considered devices under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Under this law and the agency’s regulations, the FDA is responsible for regulating the sale of all electrical muscle stimulators in the United States. Therefore, firms must comply with appropriate FDA premarket regulatory requirements before they can legally sell their stimulators. Most electrical muscle stimulators (EMS devices) that have been reviewed by FDA are intended for use in physical therapy and rehabilitation under the direction of a health care professional. If a company wants to sell EMS devices directly to consumers, the company needs to show FDA it can be used safely and effectively in that setting.

Q. These electrical muscle stimulators are advertised not only to tone, firm, and strengthen abdominal muscles, but also to provide weight loss, girth reduction, and “rock hard” abs. Do they really work?

A. While an EMS device may be able to temporarily strengthen, tone or firm a muscle, no EMS devices have been cleared at this time for weight loss, girth reduction, or for obtaining “rock hard” abs.

Q. Is FDA concerned about the unregulated marketing of these devices?

A. Yes. FDA has received reports of shocks, burns, bruising, skin irritation, and pain associated with the use of some of these devices. There have been a few recent reports of interference with implanted devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators. Some injuries required hospital treatment. It is very important that these devices be properly designed, manufactured, and labeled with clear and complete instructions for use and that anyone using them follows the instructions carefully. FDA is also concerned because many of these devices have cables and leads. If those cables and leads do not comply with electrical safety standards, there is the possibility of electrocution by users and other household members. FDA is currently investigating firms that are illegally marketing EMS devices.

Q. What does FDA regulation accomplish?

A. Firms that market EMS devices are required to comply with appropriate FDA premarket regulatory requirements before they may legally sell their devices. The firm must be able to demonstrate that these devices are as safe and as effective as similar devices that are legally marketed. Devices may only be marketed for uses that are established for the device or for uses that the firm can support with data. At this time, FDA is not aware of scientific information to support many of the promotional claims being made for numerous devices being widely promoted on television, infomercials, newspapers, and magazines.

Q. If I use an electrical muscle stimulator that has met FDA regulatory requirements, will it give me the same kind of effect that lots of sit-ups, stomach crunches and other abdominal exercises will?

A. Using these devices alone will not give you “six-pack” abs. Applying electrical current to muscles may cause muscles to contract. Stimulating muscles repeatedly with electricity may eventually result in muscles that are strengthened and toned to some extent but will not, based on currently available data, create a major change in your appearance without the addition of diet and regular exercise.

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we have dedicated ourselves to helping others to lose body fat to healthy levels through nutrition and exercise. We have not in the past, or now sugar coat how you can achieve this. There are no short cuts, and a healthy body dictates that you are committed to yourself enough to make a true commitment to a healthier body for the rest of your life. If you are not prepared to dedicate yourself to healthier living for he rest of your life, you have already lost your battle.

Your life expectancy can easily be shortened as a direct result.

It can be said that “Life aint fair”.

While this might be true, it is the reality we live in. But we can help you along the way if you choose to follow our methodology which can be found at this link.

Subscriptions to David’s Way to Health and Fitness are easy and free for all. Our content will always be free to our wonderful readers, that is my pledge. Our work is a direct result of personal experiences, along with diligent study and research to ensure our integrity is never compromised. We welcome questions and comments and will answer all.

David