- Increase the incline – the incline is an excellent tool when you are aiming at burning as many calories as possible. You could increase the incline intervals between the workouts and see the difference. The result of this method is that the burning of calories would continue steadily long after you have stopped exercising.
- Work out the upper body – most elliptical trainers today are equipped with some type of bars. Ensure that you make full use of those bars to exercise the arms and upper body. Remember that the more muscles you exercise the more muscles you can develop, the more fat (calories) you melt.
- Use the elliptical trainer’s maneuverability fully – the calories burned on an elliptical trainer very much depends upon how many muscles you are using during the exercise. Some of these machines come equipped with forward ad backward movements. Use these back and forth movement to attract the involvement of as many muscles as you could. With this method, as with the incline increase, the calories burned on an elliptical trainer would be continued beyond the exercising time.
- Work out timings – the more you work out the more you burn – whether this is on the elliptical trainer or on anything else. Hence, try to work on the elliptical trainer for about half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening. This would rev up the rate of calories burned on an elliptical trainer and you would enjoy excellent results.
- Turn it on gradually – when you start using the elliptical trainer, you would and should start with the lowest possible adjustments. You would need to be regular first of all when you exercise on this trainer, and then gradually increase its difficulty so that the calories burned on an elliptical trainer could really be felt and seen.
- Minimum workout time – it is true that – as usually advertised, just 15 minutes workout can do wonders with an elliptical trainer. However, very often 15 minutes would be just sufficient to have the body geared up for more. Hence, for the best result and higher number of calories burned on an elliptical trainer try extending the minimum time on the trainer to 30 minutes. If you could do this twice a day (morning and evening) this would be even better.
- Your body size – you could burn while exercising on an elliptical trainer anything between 300-600 calories per session. The amount of calories burned on an elliptical trainer is very much dependent upon how your body is shaped. The larger is your body, the more calories you would be likely to burn when exercising. A petite woman would burn only half the calories a large woman would burn for the same amount of effort. Hence, if you are small built do not be discouraged by the initial low output. The amount of calories burnt here is directly proportional to the time and difficulty spent on the trainer.
Since I grew up in the era of the Jane Fonda workout, a breakthrough for mature women, I’ve been teasing my father that his brush-clearing project is his workout program. Unfortunately, his workout probably doesn’t have the same commercial potential as Jane’s because not that many folks have a 100-acre parcel to workout on.
Still, the principles behind what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, and the enormous benefits we’ve seen in his health in the last year hold promise. His heart, lungs, voice, outlook, and sleep have all improved since he’s been dedicating himself to the Brush-Clearing Workout Program.
Janet: Pop, how long have you been clearing brush?
Erwin: Since I was big enough to hold an axe I guess.
Janet: What was it that called to you to begin clearing brush in the wide-scale way you have been in the last year or so?
Erwin: I got tired of it reaching out to swipe us off the tractor as we mowed the field.
Janet: You also had a memory of what the place looked like when you were a boy, and a vision of what you hoped it would look like again if you applied yourself with concerted effort.
Erwin: Yes. It will never look like it did when I was a boy.
My Grandfather Riehl had three steady hired men. The tillable soil was all tilled. The rougher ground was planted in chestnut trees which were grafted varieties that my grandfather had produced; first by cross pollination and then by grafting the wood of the promising seedlings onto other unproved seedlings. These he had planted on the hills that were too steep and rough to farm. To keep the weeds down he pastured sheep on this area.
Janet: Tell us why the brush is there is the first place. Since you are the professor of brush-ology, give us the basics.
Erwin:There are two kinds of land classification, and then of course all of the shades in between. The residents of the good, flat, all-tillable lands in central Illinois are living in The Prairie The other end of the scale is The Forest.
The folks on The Prairie do not have much of a brush problem. They farm right up to the fence rows and in many cases there are no fences.There is no ready source of seeds for the brush growth, as the farmers are almost in a world by themselves.
Ideally, what you want in The Forest is fine, big trees. These big trees discourage the growth of brush by their tall shaded environment with a thick mat of pine needles accrued from the passing years. This discourages the growth of brush.
Between these base points, there is what is called The Edge. This is where we are. The seeds of the brush are carried by the birds, the wind, the rains which wash the seeds on down the hills and along the banks of the streams.
The railroads used to clean out their box cars and throw the leavings along the right of way out here in the country where they figured nobody would even notice. We did. That is how wild oats came into our part of the country. This is an ornery weed that is totally worthless and very persistent in re-seeding itself.
The thing that is really bad about the brush along the edge of the fields is that the trees reach out for the light of the field, and grow in that direction. Often they are so low that they hit the operator when mowing the field unless they just layout another ten feet, and this of course takes that much away from the open ground and adds to the underbrush.
Janet: How do you cut brush?
Erwin: In older times there was just one way, and that was a good sharp axe. Today, to at least partially offset some of the disadvantages that we have inherited in what some people call “progress,” we have the chain saw. I also use the pruning shears that my aunt and uncle used in their grafting work. Between these two great tools I can handle anything that has appeared in front of me so far.
The major trouble comes when the vines wrap around the larger trees. Sometimes the tops become so inter-twined that the tree will not fall even after it is cut.
Two possible solutions in addition to just leaving it hang and hope that it will fall some day. Sometimes on the smaller ones I make a cut about four feet above the ground level, and this will drop the tree trunk four feet nearer the ground. Sometimes it works.The safer way is to hook the tractor onto the mess and keep pulling until it comes apart.
So we have the brush on the ground. I have a big flat bed trailer for my tractor. We load the brush on the trailer and take it to a burning pile. It takes work. I have a neighbor who is built like Paul Bunyan’s ox. I call him my “pet elephant.” I have another neighbor who lives near the burning pile. He keeps it burned.
That is how I do it. I recommend brush clearing for health and mental health. There is a firm satisfaction in seeing the erstwhile messy edge of the field become once more looking like a field.
According to the women surveyed, men looked their best when training abs, particularly exercises involving lower abs such as leg raises and incline bench work. Things that involved speed, flexibility and fitness ranked high, whilst heavier movements were deemed the least attractive, with leg extension and cable cross-overs topping the list. In gym attire, shorts met a resounding “no” but hoodies and long sleeved lycra-based tops were seen as the sexiest.
Men voted that women looked sexiest on the stepper, or performing hamstring exercises such as lying leg curls, squats and lunges, with stiff-legged deadlifts winning by a mile. Running topped the list of most unattractive things a woman can do in the gym, with bicep curls a close second. Shorts were polled as the sexiest thing a woman can wear to the gym, and three-quarter leggings were runner-up. Not surprisingly, the I-pod was the most unattractive thing a woman could wear to the gym, presumably because it stops those ab-superior men from being able to approach the booty-working ladies.
As an extension of style and individuality, your gym attire and gym weaponry and choice of exercises says a lot about who you are as a person. More so than just clothes, your gym accessories say things about your personality and are almost a new form of body language for those who are aware of such things. As for what sweatbands say about you, the jury’s still out on that one.
A great pedometer (like the Omron HJ 112) will significantly enhance your walking experience. The pedometer will give you some measurement that will cause you to walk more and try harder in order to get more steps or use more calories. Just wearing a pedometer will help increase your everyday movement without any extra effort on your part. Everyone can find 30 minutes in their day to do a good healthy walk. If the weather is an issue, either too hot or too cold, you can use a treadmill indoors or if you can’t afford the investment in a good treadmill, Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds DVD is superb. Make the time. Make yourself a priority. You will find that these three improvements to your daily routine will pay huge dividends in how much better you feel and how much better you can cope with the stresses in your life.
Exercise in moderation is necessary to live a really healthy life. If you don’t like exercise, a brisk walk isn’t really too difficult to learn to cope with. Everyone has the time for a 30 minute daily walk, so make it a priority and it will give you so much more energy to make the rest of your day superb!
An important thing to be borne in mind when choosing a body building routine is to check, on the basis of actual hard data how successful this kind of program has been. It is better in such cases not to rely on the instruction manual, the advertiser’s brochure, or the instructor’s own advice.
Apart from that, it is the following information that must be sought after:
- Training load
- Progress monitoring
- Recovery periods
A trial and error approach is never the safest bet. Before embarking on a body building routine, it is essential to find out the course the entire program would follow over the several weeks that it is to be applied. It is also essential to find out how will the work load be shifted over the entire program. It is also important to monitor progress through several channels. Only weighing oneself might not be enough. Measurements must be taken regularly too.
Recovery periods must be actively taken care of in the entire body building routine. A senseless training and working out during the entire program without adequate rest is not going to prove effective. It becomes essential, hence, to chalk out the entire program before hand with well spaced out rest periods in the middle.
The next important step is to find out if the particular body building program chosen is the one that would be suitable to the person concerned in terms of age, experience with such kinds of programs earlier, etc.
Lastly, it is important to understand that a body building routine may affect different people in different ways. Hence, trying out a program just on the basis of the fact that it worked out for some one else, is not the right approach to take. Everyone has a unique and different body type, and this fact must be respected and very well understood before starting out on such programs.
In fact I would gather that more back width and over all muscle has been gained from the simple, but brutally effective pull-up, than from all of those fancy machines you will find in most commercial gyms.
However as good as they can be I see people continually making the same result diminishing mistakes over and over. These mistakes are bad for one other reason, they open you up for serious injury as well and nothing stops training like an injury.
So without further delay, here are the most common mistakes:
Not warming up, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this, someone will come right out of the locker room take a wide grip and start pounding away on the pull-ups, probably all the while thinking they are doing themselves a favor by warming up there back muscles for the coming workout. Unfortunately, this could get them injured, simply because a wide grip while beneficial does put stress on the shoulder joint and not warming up does not help matters at all.
Body momentum, I do not care what you call it, kicking with your legs or basically using any means possible to get your chin over the bar. It all adds up to the same thing, first you are not making the lats do the work, which is bad, but worse is the fact that all of this momentum and jerking is not good on the shoulder joint and will over time lead to an injury.
I know I mentioned the shoulder before, but it bears repeating, the shoulder is a very fragile muscle and should not be abused because once injured it takes a long time to heal and good luck in doing much training with a bad shoulder.
There is the guy I like to call, Mr. Half rep man, this guy loads up a dipping belt with a ton of weight, straps himself in for pull-ups and then all he does is basically half and quarter reps, and even for these he is jerking and using momentum to pull himself up. Not only is this dangerous, it is just stupid.
To me the pull-up is a wonderful exercise and should be treated as such, not only is it wonderful body weight only exercise, but it builds real world strength, that is strength that you can use outside of the gym as well as in. That being said I would like everyone to take it slow with pull-ups and chin-ups as well, only do what you can do, hey even one good and well executed pull-up is better than twenty sloppy ones.
Add one pull-up to that every week or every other week and soon you will be doing tons of them, but again, take care to avoid the mistakes mentioned above, and you will be well on your way building a stronger and wider back.
Most runners tend to gasp air like a fish out of water, mouth open, head jutting forward, and breathing laboured. It’s not supposed to be this difficult! Breathing through your mouth limits your cardiovascular ability and adds additional load and stress to your body. The overall effect is much like that of trying to swim upstream. Correct breathing should be both in and out through the nose, except at extreme exertion when you may breath out through the mouth as needed. The breath should begin in your belly (diaphragm) and eventually rise into your chest. You’ll need to practice at a slow or walking pace initially. I’ve seen many runners whose speed, posture and overall technique has improved dramatically from just this one change.
Stand in front of a mirror and close your eyes. Now keep your eyes closed for at leat 2 or 3 minutes, and focus on awareness of your posture and your alignment. Start with your feet – they should be parallel. Next, work on the alignment of your ankles, your knees, your hips, and finally your shoulders. Ensure your arms are hanging loosely, fingers slightly curved. Your head should be ‘on’ perfectly straight. Once you are certain of your position, open your eyes. How close were you? Notice where you’ve gone ‘off track’. When you begin your next run, keep those deviances in mind. You’d probably be shocked if you could see how you really look when running at fatigue. Practising body awareness prior to each run will give you a greater sense of how to hold and correct your body whilst running. Ideal alignment is one of the greatest keys to a fluid and pain free run.
STOP USING YOUR ARMS AND LEGS
Try jogging on the spot for 10 seconds. Immediately afterwards, walk on the spot for 10 seconds. Which is easier – which would expend the least energy if you had to do it for 2 hours? Most people say the walking – and they’d be right. This is because you’ve learnt to run by pumping your legs and arms, and predominantly by flexing your calf muscles to push off the balls of your feet. Your calf muscles are a pretty small set – no wonder you get tired out trying to use them to move your whole body. When you pick up your legs to walk, you’re using your hip flexors. These are one of the largest most powerful muscles of your core, and connect your trunk to your legs. They are designed to move you forward. One of the greatest tricks to effortless running is to learn to run from your core. Your core is made up of the inner and outer muscles of your abdominals, as well as your hip flexor (psoas), and several stabilising muscles of the low back. To gain full core awareness you really do need to understand each of these muscles. Practice drawing your belly button in toward your spine, and using your hip flexors to pick up your legs while running at a slow pace. Think of your core as being your centre – from where all strength, power and stability is born.
We just talked about not using your legs, but didn’t really get into not using your arms. This is where rotation comes in. Rotation is one of the most important components of any sport. Your spine rotates each time you move forward. In fact, a study with a legless man showed him walking across the room using only his core rotational abilities. From the waist up, you would never have known he had no legs. This tells us just how powerful our rotational muscles can become, and it also indicates the importance of rotation in running. The arms and legs are merely assistants to the core and it’s rotational ability. You can improve your rotation with any type of twisting movement, like a cable wood chop, and also with dynamic rotational stretching. Try holding a small ball between both hand, in front of your chest. Practice rotating your core and your hips, without tensing or moving the arms. When you run, try to incorporate core rotation instead of pumping your arms.
FOCUS YOUR MIND – RELAX YOUR BODY
It’s all very well to use running as an opportunity to zone out, or plan the day ahead, but this won’t help your technique. A focussed mind will enable you to be aware of and control your core, your alignment and your breathing. Pay attention not just to your movements, but also your mindset. How do you react when you approach some tough terrain? Do you tense your muscles, and start thinking about the difficult task ahead. Relax. Run through a top to toe alignment check. Remind yourself of the attention you’ve paid to running with good technique. Embrace the hill, adjust your stride accordingly, and simply ‘go with the flow’. Relaxing is a skill almost more difficult than any other, however unnecessary muscle tension not only restricts blood flow (reducing speed) but also increases your chance of muscle fatigue and injury. Perhaps it’s worth your while to become a master of muscle relaxation, and focus your mind on using your core and your breathing to propel you forward.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
Finally, don’t try to improve every facet of your running overnight. For one thing, you’ll probably get really fed up and want to give it up. For another, your body simply can’t absorb and utilise that much information all at once. Small adjustments are crucial – why not work on one of the previous steps each week.
- Perform interval cardio workouts — A lot of people make the mistake of performing long cardio workouts at a steady pace. This is a mistake. Doing interval cardio training burns off a lot more fat and also works the abdominal muscles which also helps with those love handles. Interval cardio is done by alternating between a few moments of intense cardio, like running at a fast pace, and then slowing down for a few minutes to a much less intense segment like power walking. Repeating this sequence a few times each workout will burn off maximum body fat and reduce your love handles.
- Do complete strength exercises — Many people make the mistake of avoiding working out certain areas of their bodies. Performing full body strength and resistance exercises will increase your overall muscle mass. More muscle mass burns off more fat each minute (because muscle mass burns the most calories in order to sustain itself). Full body workouts will also get your heart rate way up and will get those fat deposits to melt off.
- Watch what you eat — In order to lose those love handles, you need to cut down on your fat and empty calorie intake. Cut down on sugary sodas, pastries, fast food, fried food, and fatty dishes. Lowering your fat intake will get your body to burn fat deposits like those that are making your love handles.
- Work your abs — You need to work your abs, especially your obliques (the abs muscles that run down both sides of your abdomen). Increasing abdominal muscle mass will make it appear firmer and slimmer.
- Drink enough water — You need to drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. I know it may seem difficult but having enough water causes your body to function better and burn off more calories. It also prevents water retention.
- Sleep at least 7 hours each night — Our body develops muscle mass while it sleeps; more muscle mass means more burned off calories and fat. Do you see where I’m going with this? If you don’t sleep enough, you will not develop the maximum muscle mass and burn off less fat.
The Bicycle Exercise
Said to be the most effective ab exercise according to the American Council of exercise, the Bicycle maneuver is a great exercise for all levels of fitness
- Lie on the floor; make sure your lower back is pressed on the ground.
- Take your hands behind your ears. Then bring up your knees at a 45 degree angle.
- Start doing a bicycle pedaling motion. Touch your elbow with the opposite knee (right elbow with left knee and so on, alternating)
- Breathe relaxed and evenly throughout the whole exercise.
The squats are not only the best exercises for the butt, but they also work other muscles. If you’re looking for exercises for the stomach and butt don’t miss this one:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.
- Squat keeping your back straight with your abs in and knees behind your toes.
- Squeeze your buttocks to stand up.
- Make three sets of 12 sets of 12 reps.
These two are the best exercises for the stomach and butt. You must put them into practice regularly to see results, and remember there’s no hurry, do the recommended repetitions at a normal pace to avoid injuries. Good luck!
Rugby produces some unique training requirements not seen in other sports. It is a sport that caters for all types of physiques and places demands on almost all the bodies’ physical characteristics.
I will not go into an in-depth discussion of the various requirements of rugby and variations for each position. However, I will briefly review the main requirements for success. The demands of rugby are varied and I could almost list every physical ability and say it impacts upon performance, however the main factors are:
- Aerobic power – more specifically a high aerobic power over a pure steady state aerobic base e.g. a good 6 minute run test score more important than good 10 km time. (Obviously these two are highly integrated but still are different).
- Lactate tolerance – The key limiting factor during play, affects both aerobic power and speed endurance.
- Speed – More specifically acceleration and repeated sprint speed endurance.
- Agility – The ability to decelerate and change direction or move in a non linear direction.
- Strength – Both maximum strength and speed strength and as any sport requires a strong core as a foundation.
To add to this you could easily point out maximum speed is important in many situations and you can never be called too fast, but in general it is not too decisive. Muscles size is also not hugely important to success as it is your strength, absolute, relative and fast speed that is more important. Though one factor affecting maximum strength is of course muscle cross section area. I have not mentioned above about flexibility but just like core strength it is a fundamental that needs to be used to restore ideal posture and muscle lengths. How much flexibility is optimal past these ideal lengths is an issue of much debate and beyond the scope of this article.
To effectively cover all the main attributes a rugby player needs to optimize performance he must cover six main types of training methods:
- Aerobic training – To develop lactate tolerance and aerobic power.
- Sprint training- To enhance acceleration and repeated sprint speed endurance.
- Resistance training- To build maximum and fast speed strength.
- Agility training – to learn effective mutli-directional movements and changes of pace.
- Plyometric training – To support speed strength in linear and multi directional movements.
- Core and flexibility training – To create the underlying foundations of all the above training.