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Sprint For Your Life

If you love the weights but hate cardio, we have good news for you. A study published in the online journal PLOS One found that three 10-minute sessions of cardio a week can make you healthier, fitter, and yes, even leaner. The simple catch is that you have to perform at least three 20-second intervals of maximum effort. That seems like a small price to pay for getting out of a 45-inute slog on the treadmill. And that is exactly what the study suggests.
In the experiment, this 10-minute protocol produced similar improvements in insulin sensitivity, cardiorespiratory fitness, mitochondrial content, and fat loss as those who did a slower 45-minute cardio session. That means the same results but with nearly five-fold less of a time commitment. Yes, going shorter and faster is a bit more painful, but at least you won’t be bored.

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Cardio And Weight Debate

Do you do your cardio in the same session you hit the weights? While that might be a logistical necessity for some, a study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, And Metabolism examined what happened when you do the two workouts together and then separately. Finnish scientists examined three groups of subjects. The first two did cardio and weight training in the same workout, but switched the order, for a total of three training days a week.
The third group did the modalities on separate days and thus trained four to five times a week. After 24 weeks, all three groups made about the same gains in strength. However, the group who split up their cardio and iron session lost significantly more fat than the other groups. Endurance improved more in the separate group as well.

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Ditch The Diet Drinks

A strategic use of a diet soda to get you through a sugar craving may keep your diet on-track, but a new research review indicates that diet sodas don’t actually help you lose weight. A collaborative project headed by researchers at the Imperial College London’s School of Public Health found that consuming diet drinks might cause people to eat more calories by stimulating their sweet-sensitive taste buds. (They also found that much of the research showing a link between diet sodas and weight loss was financed by food and beverage companies.)
Many nutrition experts disagree with this finding and believe that zero-calorie beverages can help people manage calorie intake. The bottom line seems to be that they are better than a full-sugar soda, but the smartest plan is to wean yourself off that sugary taste.

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Fat Loss Strategies

There is more than one way to skin a fat cat. A recent study published in the Journal Of Sports Science And Medicine compared a low-carb weight-loss plan versus a traditional “clean eating” strategy. Over 12 weeks, one group ate only 30 gram of carbs a day for the first four weeks and then added an extra 10 grams each week for the next eight weeks. They did not count calories.
The other group stuck to a daily calorie deficit of 30 percent below their maintenance needs. They ate a combination of 15 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 55 percent carbs. Both groups trained with weight for the entire 12 weeks. At the end of the experiment, the body-fat percentage and waist circumference decreased by similar amounts in both groups. The low-carb group added more muscle while the other group gained more strength. However, neither of those improvements were statistically significant.

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The Right Crash Diet

Ketogenic diets seem to be the new hot thing … again. A form of ultra low-carb dieting (usually fewer than 20 grams a day, or five percent of total calories), ketogenic diets are difficult to maintain, but one recent study shows when they might best be utilized. Information published in the European Review For Medical And Pharmacological Sciences shows that when you have two weeks to lose five pounds, keto is your best bet.
In the experiment, two groups of healthy participants went on a low-calorie diet (about 800 calories a day) for three weeks. One group received only five percent of their calories from carbs, while the other consumed 20 percent of their total calories as carbs. Both groups ate plenty of protein and about 35 to 40 percent fat. At the end of the experiment, the low-carb group has maintained significantly more muscle than the higher-carb group. While ketogenic diets are not recommended for long-term use (they can hamper production of anabolic hormones), they can be your best choice for fast fat loss.

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