By Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
We all want to be fit, strong and lean, and that takes fueling your body to have more energy to train harder and build muscle, and then burn off the fat. On the other hand, if your order of priorities is reversed and being lean is your primary goal, then some new ideas about exercising on an empty fuel tank may speed up the process for you. Reader beware! This experimental strategy is not for performance enhancement or the faint of heart.
Mini-Fast with Exercise Hypothesis
The whole premise of this hypothesis is based on a basic metabolic understanding that your body burns fat while you fast. A paper was published in the journal Medical Hypotheses by clinicians from Tijuana, Mexico. This interesting journal is a great vehicle for scientists to discuss theories that may deserve serious research attention, but it is not a research publication. The authors of the pilot program wanted to see what would happen with fat burning if they had people perform exercise in the middle of a mini, 12-14 hour daily fast for 12 weeks. Twenty-seven obese men and women participated in the program. This was more of a clinical assessment than a research study: the design was “open-label,” meaning that the subjects knew they were in the study group, and there was no control group.
During every 24 hours, there was a 12-14 hour fast with moderate-intensity exercise nested within the fasting period. Low-fat, low-glycemic index foods were encouraged, but there were no caloric restrictions. Exercise times did not have to be consistent, and could move from morning to noon to evening, with the fasting period moving as well. The participants exercised for 45 minutes, three to five days weekly. The actual exercise consisted of brisk walking, jogging, stair climbing, treadmills and elliptical gliders. It would be hard to do much more activity in the midst of a fast.
In addition to the mini-fast and exercise program, the participants were encouraged to consume high amounts of non-calorie liquids, especially during the fasting periods, use stress-reduction techniques, and they received psychological counseling. The authors suspect that these ancillary support measures aided diet and exercise compliance.
The outcome of the 12-week program is impressive. Total weight loss averaged a little more than nine pounds. Even better, fat loss averaged over 16 pounds, a 25 percent drop in fat mass. Their health parameters associated with cholesterol and glucose control also improved with a three-inch loss in waist circumference.
We have no data beyond this 12-week program. While these dieters were successful during the program, they had a counseling support program to help them stick with the plan. We don’t know how well they will sustain the mini-fast strategy beyond the study period, nor do we know what happens when they stop following the strategy. The authors suggest that this is a sustainable lifestyle program and does not present an alternative maintenance plan.
This is an obese group of subjects who exercised very moderately three to five days a week with at least two rest days every week. Nothing in this publication can tell us how it might apply to a fairly fit individual who would like to lose fat but still enhance fitness. In fact, longer, more intense levels of exercise would be very difficult, and even painful to sustain in the midst of a mini-fast on a regular basis. This is not a strength, muscle or endurance-building protocol. Even though in these subjects it appears that muscle tissue was at least preserved, and possibly even gained during the 12 weeks, in an athlete it is likely that strength, power and endurance might be diminished while following this type of plan. We have no data on those factors.
Your Experimental Plan
If performance is NOT your goal and you’d like to get leaner, then you can experiment on yourself using the basic mini-fast with exercise strategy, and a few pointers that may make it more sustainable in your fitness-oriented life. But be careful. Exercising without much fuel in your tank may be difficult, and even dangerous. Balance and coordination are compromised, and blood pressure can drop when blood sugar levels are low. Be mindful of your activities and do not train alone.
I call this a periodized plan because your fasting and training will alternate throughout the week to try and maximize all the possible metabolic benefits of exercise while fasting, and exercise with some small amount of fuel on board. You will have higher and lower training days, allowing your body to burn fat and still stay more fit. Additionally, for anyone who is used to higher levels of exercise, this should just feel better.
The post Burn Fat Like Crazy with a Mini-Fast and Fat-Burning Workout appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: Burn Fat Like Crazy with a Mini-Fast and Fat-Burning Workout
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/burn-fat-like-crazy-with-a-mini-fast-and-fat-burning-workout-2/
Published Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:38:43 +0000
Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs
Powerful and thick thighs require gut-busting exercises like squats and leg presses. However, once you have acquired adequate thigh mass and strength, you should consider adding some balance and sharpness to the muscle bellies in your thighs. Although tough to accomplish, leg extensions provide a great way to carve the separations between the muscle bellies, and to accentuate the “teardrop” shape of the four quadriceps muscles of the anterior thigh.
Active Muscles in Leg Extensions
The three vasti muscles comprise most of the anterior thigh.1 The vastus medialis covers the medial (inner) part of the femur bone (thigh bone). When it is well developed, it forms a teardrop-like shape over the medial side of the knee joint. The vastus lateralis muscle attaches to the lateral (outer) part of the femur bone. The vastus intermedius connects to the femur bone between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscles. The fibers of all three vasti muscles come together at the quadriceps tendon, which crosses the patella (kneecap) to attach to the tibia bone just below the knee.1
Together, the three vasti muscles extend the leg at the knee joint, although the vastus intermedius may be more fatigue resistant than the vastus lateralis.2 The vastus medialis oblique (VMO), which is a small part of the vastus medialis muscle, attaches to the medial part of the patella. It is thought to help the patella track properly during movement of the knee. Improper tracking can increase the likelihood for knee injury.
The vastus medialis and especially the VMO part of this muscle are primarily responsible for tibial rotation (rotation of the tibia bone of the lower leg on the femur) during knee extension. This rotation or “twist” has been shown to increase the activation of the VMO portion of the vastus lateralis even more than doing knee extensions with the hip adducted (thigh rotated so that the medial portion of the knee is facing mostly upwards).3 Dorsiflexion of the foot (moving the ankles so the toes are pointing towards your head) also increases the activation of the VMO by more than 20 percent.4 Likely this is because the dorsiflexor muscles stabilize the tibia during knee flexion and resist rotation of the tibia on the femur as the knee straightens.
The fourth muscle of the quadriceps group is the rectus femoris muscle. It attaches to the anterior part of the hip bone just above the hip joint.1 The largest bulk of the muscle fibers are located on the upper three-quarters of the thigh, whereas the largest belly of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis are more inferior (i.e., closer to the knee). The distal end of the rectus femoris muscle becomes tendinous and it creates a deep valley between the lateral and medial vastus muscles as it approaches the knee.1 It assists the other quadriceps muscles by extending the leg at the knee joint, although it is less effective when the hip is flexed than if it is straight.
The three vastus muscles of the anterior thigh are strongly activated by single-leg knee extensions. The rectus femoris is not activated as strongly, but it does undergo some overload when the anterior thigh is under contractile effort, about halfway up to the top of each repetition.
1. You should always warm up your knees with some stationary cycling prior to getting into leg extensions. Furthermore, the resistance on your first set should be fairly light to allow the joint to fully warm up before you get to the heavier stuff.
2. Adjust the knee extension machine so that the pivot point of the lifting arm is directly adjacent to the center of the side of your knee joint.
3. Position the ankle roller/leg pad over the lower part of the leg (above the ankle joint).
4. Take about three seconds to slowly extend (straighten) both leg so that the weight is lifted upward from the stack.
5. Continue upwards until the tibia and the femur bones form a straight line and the knee angle is straight. Hold this for two seconds at the top.
6. Slowly lower the weight (about four seconds down) towards the starting position. Once the knee has reached 90 degrees, start the upwards extension phase again. Continue for 12-15 repetitions for the first set. Lower the number of repetitions but increase the resistance for subsequent sets.
7. On the next sets, lift the weight upwards until the knee joint becomes almost straight, but just slightly short of a total knee lockout. Be careful that you do not “jam” the knee joint into a fully locked out position, because this could cause knee cartilage damage5, especially with heavy weights. Hold the top position for a count of three before lowering the weight.
8. Lower the weight slowly (four to five seconds) towards the starting position where your knee is flexed to 90 degrees. Just before the weight stack contacts the remaining plates at the bottom, start lifting it upward for the next repetition.
The downward movement should be slower than the upward phase because you are resisting the pull of gravity. The slow lowering of the weight stretches the muscle under a resistance and this is a great stimulus to improve muscle shape and size.6
Make sure that you do not hold your breath during the lift upwards.7 Rather take a breath at the bottom (start) of the lift, and exhale as you extend the knees/legs. Take another breath at the top and slowly exhale as the weight is lowered. Take another breath at the bottom and repeat the sequence.
This is a mechanically simply exercise, but it really can be very challenging and blood depriving8,9, especially if you try to control the weight as it is moving up and down. However, if you are willing to work through some discomfort, you will be soon enjoying your new shape and slabs of carved thighs.
1. Moore K.L. Clinically Orientated Anatomy. Third Edition. Williams & Willkins, Baltimore, 1995; pp 373-500.
2. Watanabe K, Akima H. Neuromuscular activation of vastus intermedius muscle during fatiguing exercise. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2010;20:661-666.
3. Stoutenberg M, Pluchino AP, Ma F et al. The impact of foot position on electromyographical activity of the superficial quadriceps muscles during leg extension. J Strength Cond Res 2005;19:931-938.
4. Coburn JW, Housh TJ, Cramer JT et al. Mechanomyographic and electromyographic responses of the vastus medialis muscle during isometric and concentric muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 2005; 19:412-420.
5. Senter C, Hame SL. Biomechanical analysis of tibial torque and knee flexion angle: implications for understanding knee injury. Sports Med 2006;36:635-641.
6. Alway SE, Winchester PK, Davis ME et al. Regionalized adaptations and muscle fiber proliferation in stretch- induced enlargement. J Appl Physiol 1989;66:771-781.
7. Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1334-1359.
8. Denis R, Bringard A, Perrey S. Vastus lateralis oxygenation dynamics during maximal fatiguing concentric and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2011;21:276-282.
9. Ueda C, Kagaya A. Muscle reoxygenation difference between superficial and deep regions of the muscles during static knee extension. Adv Exp Med Biol 2010;662:329-334.
The post Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM
Title: Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/ripped-leg-blast-for-carved-thighs/
Published Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 19:11:16 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
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The post PRIMAL Preworkout appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: PRIMAL Preworkout
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/nutrition/supplements/preworkout/primal-preworkout/
Published Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 16:51:41 +0000
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