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From Couch Potato to Fitness Rockstar… A Realistic Approach to Finally Getting In the Weight Loss Game For Life

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Calories in and calories out. Overtraining. Crazy workouts that all promise you the same ripped and shredded physique without giving you anything to really get you there. Loud trainers. Late night commercials that claim to have everything you’re looking for, but never do.

Are you tired of all of that? So am I. Way beyond tired. In fact, I would bet good money that you’re tired of it all too. You’re sick of waking up to the same ol’, same ol’ commercials, the same magazine workouts that promise that you too can be cut and shredded, ripped and even jacked.

But year after year, your body really doesn’t change, does it? Do you just find yourself buying a new pair of bigger pants all of the time? If so, I know your pain because I’ve been there.

When I just hung out as a couch potato, I found that I got couch potato results. I struggled to find clothes that fit, instead of enjoying the latest styles. Hey, I might be a guy but I still like to look good! What about you? Do you find that you’re missing out?

It’s time for a new type of plan. I divided the plan into “phases” that you’ll need to complete in order to really hit the ground running. Ready? Let’s go!

Phase One: Mindset

This is probably the most controversial — at least it was for me. A lot of people feel that fitness and wellness are things that are only physical. I see my body as being something that has a mental element. If you don’t take care of your mind, then the body will not do what you’re trying to get it to do.

In this case, we want to strip off fat and possibly even build muscle. The road to six pack abs starts in the mind, where everything else starts from.

You have to make a commitment. I hate to even think of this as a summer program, because it needs to be a lifestyle that you stick with long after the summer needs.

The benefits of exercise are many. It’s been shown that even a 2 week course of high intensity interval training can produce positive changes in overweight and even obese men (1).

If that’s exciting news to you, then trust me — it gets better from here. When you actually take care of yourself starting with your mental state, you’ll find yourself doing all sorts of things that you never really thought that you would be able to do. Try it today: believe that you can get through this phase. It really doesn’t stay “hard” forever.

Phase Two: Diet

Diet is one of my favorite phases now, but it doesn’t always that way. You have to make sure that you think about the benefits that are coming your way. If you’re going to get a slimmer frame, you have to get your diet in line. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

I used to like pizza and beer as much as the next guy, but there comes a point where you have to evolve out of eating that way. It’s just going to keep you from getting the results that you want. Besides, the beach is calling — you don’t want your belly to be the center of attention.

There’s now growing research interest in the links between diet, mood, and behavior (2), but I think the link has always been there. I feel so much better now that I’ve found the diet that works for me.

You need to make sure that you are exploring the right diet. An elimination diet to weed out intolerances and sensitivities is a good thing. (3) If you know that you are sensitive to wheat, you can avoid it. But you might have to remove it from your diet and then add it back in carefully to really tell whether or not this is really the case.

Common intolerances and sensitivities include wheat, soy, tree nuts, shellfish, and dairy. Eggs, sulfites, food dyes, and MSG are also not unheard of. Make sure that you’re looking also at food quality. Sustainable choices are always going to be better than the alternative, but you have to do what you can with your budget. Getting organic produce may not be a possibility across the board, but who knows what happens when you can join a CSA (community supported agriculture) project or even grow some of it yourself?

I hate recommending any one diet because there’s so much that goes into our food. There are people that don’t have access to really good food choices, while others have plenty of choices. You’re going to have to start eliminating things that are going to hold you back and embrace the choices that you can have. You might find that a basic diet of oily fish, fruits, vegetables, meats, and some nuts & seeds will give you what you’re looking for.

Don’t forget to track and measure what you’re actually eating and drinking. It’s easy to think that you’re getting all of your protein requirements in, only to find that you’re really not. That would make it hard to build that muscle that you’re looking to get.

It might take some time to get used to tracking absolutely everything that goes into your body, but the results are definitely worth it. You still need to calculate how many calories you need as well as what your macronutrient percentages should be. I like to go with a 7 day zig-zag of cycling my carbs, protein, and fat.

High days means a high carb day, but I also lower my fat and protein as well. These are usually days where I’m lifting big and I take my carbs in after each workout session.

Low days means a low carb diet, but I definitely get in my protein. You’ll have to keep experimenting here, but you’ll eventually find a rhythm that your body likes.

Phase Three: Exercise

It should come as no surprise that exercise is last. Even though exercise is important, if you don’t have belief in yourself you really won’t get very far. It would make a lot more sense to try to get your exercise taken care of in a more systematic way than you might have in the past.

I’m someone that’s definitely used to working out very hard, but starting over meant some tweaks. One thing I do now is activate my muscles a bit more before trying to do anything else. This means exercises like the glute-ham bridge and barbell bridge come in handy.

Think of it like waking up your muscles and letting them get used to the idea of working out before you hit the hard stuff. It’s not necessary, but anything you can do to prevent injury is a good thing.

I also like HIIT, or high intensity interval training. If you pair resistance training with HIIT the benefits get even better. This study (4) indicates that there are even benefits for people looking to fight both skeletal issues and Type 2 diabetes issues at the same time. Stronger bones come from strength training.

However if you’re not ready to go with weight just yet, bodyweight exercises are still a good move. The basic bodyweight exercises that I love most are the squat, the lunge, the push up…and I really can’t ignore the pull-up, can I?

You can still go back to your jump rope as well — if you’ve been on a few “fitness kicks” in the past, you might actually have one in your closet. HIIT is all about doing your best effort for a short burst of time, then resting briefly before doing it all over again. The benefits of this on your heart and body as a whole are tremendous. (5)

You can buy interval timers to make it easy to know when you need to “switch” to the next exercise on your list. So a sample HIIT exercise might be 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off of one exercise, then you switch to the next one after you rest. Take time to make sure that you record how many reps you did for the round in question — it can help you feel better about your workout progression.

The Road Ahead — Are You Ready to Shed That Couch Potato Tag For Good?

Now is the perfect time to make sure that you can get the body that you want. I’m not going to say to you that it’s going to be easy. I’m not even going to tell you that it’s something that’s guaranteed to happen. It’s not like reading this post is going to make you magically drop 15 pounds. However, if this post inspires you to finally take control of your health, then I’m all for it. If this post encourages you to drop the processed food and begin eliminating food that you might have trouble with, then I’m all for that too.

But it all starts with you. You have to want it, and you have to want it bad. If there’s one thing I could tell a younger, more desperate version of myself, that would be it. Just try. What do you really have to lose here, except fat itself? Go for it!




Dog Training Tips – What You Need to Know

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While kids everywhere else in the world (especially in Finland!) relax and probably enjoy their studies, the kids in India aren’t so lucky.

Everyone else already has a laptop and is well-versed with it, and yet our children continue to do things the old-fashioned way.

It’s typical of this country to lag behind in a number of departments but it’s sacrilege when it comes to hampering the future of our nation. To be honest, this has been my biggest gripe for a while now, thanks to being able to see the difference the way different education systems work.

At least, they don’t hit children anymore because this generation of kids are more than happy to stand up to their adults and rebel verbally and violently.

Speaking of disciplinary action such as this, why should we use it especially since most dog trainers have moved away from training dogs this way as well. There are certain cases, like training dogs in a city, that can make things more difficult. However, a few simple tips can help one navigate these sometimes troublesome waters.

A Few Thoughts on Dog Training
You might say that humans and animals are different but it begs the question: Is cruelty necessary?

It isn’t, truly. But that’s how dogs have been trained in the past.

The general attitude towards teaching obedience training has been harsh, to say the least. Whether it is a beating or even shock collars to keep them in check, one wonders if it is fair since we wouldn’t be allowed to treat humans that way too.

So, it is not with love and affection that the poor canines were trained but by subjugation and inculcating behaviors that were forced due to the “fear of punishment”.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed and a method known as ‘positive reinforcement’ has changed the way dog training is done now.

In other words, instead of punishing them for bad behavior, we reward them for good behavior instead.
What does happen is that when they are rewarded, they tend to do what pleases the ‘master’ if only for a few more treats.

It is how school children should be treated as well when learning manners too. One should refrain from criticizing their children but encouraging them for their achievements, however minimal.

That said, here are a few dog training tips that one can use even if the services of a dog trainer isn’t required at all.

Dog Training Tips – The Basics
The most popular commands that are taught are sit, down, heel, recall, stay and close where the right behavior is rewarded and the wrong is ignored.

While these commands are necessary, there are others that can cause problems with friends and family, and so here are a few situations that a dog must be trained for:

#1: Not to Bite
When they have the urge to bite, tug at their leash so as to divert their attention to something else that interests him or her.

#2: Fetch an object
Throw a tennis ball and walk away so that the dog gets it back for you. Then you can teach it to fetch other objects such as the newspaper too as it understand the meaning of this command.

#3: Not to bark at visitors
Since this can be scary for visitor, train them to “sit” as soon as the doorbell rings.

#4: Crate training puppies
Using a kennel crate works best as they are more likely to pee or poop when they are asleep.

In Closing
So, are there any other dog training tips that you would like to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.

Also, here is an article on the best dog foods.

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What You Need for the Perfect Gym Storage Solution

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PowerGym Plates

If you operate your own professional gym or are looking to create a home setup, it’s crucial that you carefully consider your storage solutions. A tidy gym is without doubt a happy environment for people to work out in!

Good storage will help protect equipment from scratches and other damage, make it easy to find where equipment has been left, and prevent hazards such as trips.

It can also help the gym to feel more of a clean and organised environment that can keep members motivated while working out, which typically leads to a higher retention rate.

When it comes to gym storage, there are not many companies around that share the same expert knowledge as PowerGym Fitness. PowerGym is a supplier of commercial gym equipment, from weights and barbells to high-end strength training machines, with clients throughout the world.

They are also experienced in providing gyms with advice and support for installing the perfect setup.

PowerGym Fitness have provided us with some pointers on how you can create the perfect gym storage solution for your commercial facility or home setup.

Dumbbell Racks

The type of storage you will require can depend on the type of equipment that your gym provides. For example, some gyms may specialize in cardio equipment as opposed to strength training, or vice versa. That said, most gyms will typically include dumbbells.

Dumbbells are a popular form of free weights that can help users to build muscle mass. Dumbbell racks are one of the best ways that you can keep your gym tidy and free of hazards.

Without a rack, there would be no designated place for members to collect and return a dumbbell. Dumbbells left on the floor can cause damage and can be hazardous for other members when walking around the gym space.

These racks are designed to securely hold a certain amount of dumbbells when they are not in use. All round, it adds a safer and more organised structure to your environment and increases the longevity of the dumbbells.

Weight Plates Holders

As with dumbbells, most gyms typically include some type of weight plates. Tri grip and bumper weight plates are two examples that are available for purchase at PowerGym Fitness.

The plates can be attached to a barbell which can be used for effective and flexible weightlifting routines. One type of weight plate holder includes a storage tree.

This provides the option of a simple vertical holder where the plates can just slide on to a storage horn. Another option is a wall weight plate storage, allowing easy access to plates from a wall position – plus, it saves up space and improves the aesthetic design of your gym!

Mat Hangers

Gym mats are essential for exercises that require closer physical contact with the floor. This can include press-up exercises as well as Yoga, Pilates and studio workouts. Mats provide an extra level of comfort so that you don’t encounter discomfort when encountering the floor.

Mats can be used by a lot of people each day, so naturally there’s a lot of wear and tear. Mats that aren’t stored properly can lead to greater damage which will result in you needing to replace the mats sooner than should be required. With a mat hanger, when the mats are not in use, they can be stored safely to prevent unnecessary damage.

Barbell Storage

Whether you use a barbell freely or with a weight plate attached, it’s important that you store the bar appropriately when it’s not in use. Bars can be very heavy which can lead to floor damage and potentially serious injury if it drops to the floor or is left unsecured.

Like with weight plates, there are options for horizontal and vertical storage. These storage products can either be attached to the wall or the floor. They provide an organised and safe place for barbells to rest when not in use.

Cable Attachment Racks

Cable attachments are additional products that can help athletes take their strength training to the next level with varied workouts. With several types of attachments available, from revolving bars to handles and ropes, they expand the options that are available on a cable machine.

Most of these attachments are quite small, so it can be easy for them to become lost or get muddled in with other pieces of equipment. A cable attachment rack is a great way to store the attachments so that gym members can easily see where the attachments they require are placed.

Power Rack Storage Horns

Power racks are fantastic pieces of equipment to have in your gym. They are premium products that often act as the centerpiece of the gym. Power racks provide a safe space to perform a wide range of exercises, with freedom of choice left to the user.

Alongside the power rack, it’s widely recommended that you get storage horns that will seamlessly attach to the power rack. These horns can then be used as a storage option for weight plates. It will allow you to free up space around the gym and provides users with a quick and easy way to access the plates they need.

Storage Cages

The storage options that we have talked about so far clearly relate to products that have been specifically designed for certain gym equipment. To improve the tidiness, safety and structure of your facility event further, you can get a storage cage that will hold the rest of your smaller items.

This can include things such as medicine balls and bags, as well as boxing equipment. The cage can usually be locked for added security and with lockable wheels, it’s easy to transport the equipment from place to place.

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Top Five Supplement Reviews To Check Out

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In this modern world, we are so used to having a lot of “instant”. Most of us are not used to the long and arduous processes, even though we think we do. You may have noticed the impatience of most people especially when it comes to services. They want to have what they want right now, and this is why most companies adapt to the situation.

You can see it in their products and services; they want to deliver it fast enough to save more time. The same reason applies to humans who want them all as soon as they can. Even the food industry has to go with this notion, but this has also led to a new trend: obesity.

This may not be a problem in most countries. In the West though, it is considered a major health issue. There has been an increase in the overall weight of the US population for example; at least 40% of the people over 20 are overweight as this article reveals.

It has been such a serious problem due to the prevalence of fast-food chains. There is nothing wrong with consuming them, but many depend on them for their daily diet. With all of its sugars and salt, it can be quite detrimental to your health in the long run.

New Horizons in Medicine

Fortunately, there have been advances in the field of medicine as well. Weight loss has become way different compared to the way it was in the previous century. People did not know anything about it. There was a time when fat is considered as the devil’s advocate of being overweight, and sugar was thought to be the healthier option. Even though this has already changed in recent times, there is still a prevalence of this kind of thought in many circles. If you want to lose weight, you need to read and learn more about the proper way of doing it.

There might be a lot of factors that can contribute to this goal but we are just going to narrow it down to three: diet, exercise, and genetics. There is nothing that we can do with the last one though since this is already in our system. Some people might be lucky enough that they do not need to control their diet or even exercise. Their bodies have already reached their full potential, so all they need to do is to maintain it.

Unfortunately, others are not that lucky. It is either they need to have a rigorous diet plan, more exercise, or both. It is a lot of effort to lose the mass, but it can be worth it in the end. You may visit Supplement Smarts website and other similar sites to learn more info regarding this.

If you are experiencing difficulties or you want to have the results faster, then you might need to take a supplement for that. There are many options in the market these days, so choosing just one can be quite confusing. You also need to understand that not all of these supplements may work for you. Below are some of the best substances that can certainly help you with weight loss.


Options for Cutting Those Flabs

  1. Caffeine

Everyone knows what this is; it is just the main ingredient in the most popular beverage in the world besides water. Aside from being the universal pick-me-up in the mornings, it has also been found that caffeine can assist in weight loss.

It speeds up metabolism moderately, which also helps in the faster absorption of calorie intake and fat burning process. However, you do need to take it in conjunction with other substances for it to take on full effects. You also need to be careful as it can still cause dependence.

  1. Green tea Extract

Another common beverage that has some medicinal properties, green tea has been around for ages. It has its origins in China, but the rest of the world is already enjoying it. However, green tea is the fresher version and it has little to no added processing in its consumption.

It is rich in antioxidants, as well as having the ability to burn fat. It is more focused on the stomach area though, where most of our extra fat goes anyway. If you want to reduce your waistline, then having this a part of your daily supplement may help with that. Check this link to know more.

  1. Garcinia cambogia Extract

This might seem to be unfamiliar to most people, but it has been gaining some popularity in the previous decade due to its mainstream exposure. It is a green fruit with pale flesh, and it is native to Indonesia although other countries have started cultivating it as well.

Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, also known as citric acid lyase. This is said to help in losing weight by also removing excess fat from the body. There are still ongoing studies about this as there is unclear evidence of how it works. However, it is safe to consume as long as you control your dose.

  1. Hydroxycut

This is another form of supplement, but this time it is a combination of other substances including caffeine, wild mint extract, and cumin extract among others. It was developed by MuscleTech Research and Development, and it aims to help you lose those extra pounds.

It has been rather popular for the first ten years of its existence due to these various extracts. Even though it is under one name, there are many kinds of it available in the market. Some of them even exclude some ingredients like caffeine for those who have adverse effects from taking them.

  1. Glucomannan

Lastly, this is a diet supplement made from a root vegetable called konjac or elephant yam. It is full of fiber amongst other nutrients, which make them great for controlling your eating habits. Once you eat or drink a supplement, it will make you feel full because of all the fiber.

It will also help with digestion and excretion of wastes in your stomach. However, you will need to drink a lot of water when using this as it can promote too much hydration loss. You will also need to check on your doctor if you can use this safely and follow the dosage always.


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