May 10, 2011

How To Gain Weight - Gym Workout

First off all let's discard that first complaint you are likely to give: “Nothing seems to work, I can eat tons and no matter what I don't gain weight!”. Trust me when I say this, unless you have a tape worm the size of a baby's arm or a serious medical condition you will gain weight and I guarantee that you are not eating enough if you aren't putting the weight on. I thought at one point I was eating a lot, until I was shown the light. Gaining or losing weight is as simple as math, if you take in more calories than you burn you will gain weight, if you take in less you will lose weight. Along with eating the right amount of calories and the right kind of food, there are some other things you need to practice on a daily basis.

Make your workouts short but effective
Your workouts should never be longer than an hour, I had mine down to 40 minutes, they were high intensity, but quick. When I was trying to gain weight I didn't spend any time on the treadmills, exercise bikes or climbers, sounds harsh but if you want to gain weight you need to spare your calories.

Be lazy when you can
Getting advice to be lazy may sound weird but I remember one of my trainers saying to me that I needed to take it easy when not training...reduce my activity where I can. He also told me this: “Don't run when you can walk, don't walk when you can stand, don't stand when you can sit, and don't sit when you can lay down”, that has stuck with me all this time.

Eating has to become a habit
You are both blessed and cursed with the high metabolism and this means that even if you are eating 3 large meals a day, you are burning through them, you need to space your meals out, have 5-6 a day, of course they will be slightly smaller but at the end of the day you need to be eating more calories than you are burning. Because everyone is different I can't tell you how many calories you need consume, but you can start by finding out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is the amount of calories it takes to keep you alive in a rested state, but you will need to add calories for all the other stuff you do on a day to day basis. The simple rule is if you are not gaining weight you are not eating enough, even if you think you are. I found it hard to fit all those meals in because, who wants to make them all? Well I got to the point that some of the stuff I made was so simple and full of bulk that it was almost like going through the motions and became a habit rather than a chore. Sometimes it wasn't pretty or even all that flavorful but in the end gaining weight was my goal and I stuck to it.

Don't Rely on Supplements
Supplements are just that, supplements, they should not be used as replacements for the real However with that being said, adding in a weight gainer product in addition to your regular meals may help, so long as its not replacing a meal of real food. One thing a doctor told me to do was to have a big protein or weight gain shake before bed time as the body will slow down in sleep and burn less calories...this may not agree with you at first or at all, but it's an option that seemed to work for me. Also avoid supplements that may have fat burners in them, or don't contain extra calories...I remember someone telling me they were trying to gain weight but were taking a protein cocktail that had fat burners and things like caffeine in them...I was shocked, but he just didn't realize that some of those ingredients are things that will make you burn more calories or make it harder for you to eat because of their appetite suppressing qualities. Be sure to ask someone knowledgeable about any product you plan on using before you buy it.

Vary your workout
This is good advice to anyone training, hard gainer or not. Vary your workouts, either by exercises, rep ranges, or weight every few weeks, this will help you avoid those nasty plateaus.

There you have it, its a tough road and an uphill climb but it is possible, good luck with your training and your weight gains!

May 3, 2011

Tips to Protect Yourself from Winter Sun

What outdoor activities did you do this past summer? Maybe you went on a vacation to the beach. Maybe you spent some time playing your favorite sports such as baseball, golf, or tennis. Maybe you went swimming or had a barbeque in the backyard with family and friends. Regardless of the outdoor activities you did over the summer, most likely you were aware that it was important to protect yourself from sun while outdoors.

Now winter is approaching. I am turning my attention to putting away my summer items to make room for the winter ones; long sleeve shirts for short sleeve ones, corduroy pants for shorts, and boots for sandals. Most of the sports equipment I have been using is going to get put away as well. But what about those items I have been using to protect myself from the sun? Things like my sunscreens, sunglasses, and sun protective hats and clothing.

You may be putting these items away and not using them during the winter. The National Council of Skin Cancer Prevention reported in their January 2003 newsletter that research shows only 3 percent of Americans routinely wear sunscreen during the fall months, and only 2 percent during the winter months. However, you can still get a sunburn and snow blindness during these months. The colder temperatures do not block the UV rays and reflections off the snow and higher altitudes can make matters even worse. You may be causing yourself significant, long-term damage by not properly protecting yourself.

How do you protect yourself from the winter sun (or any other season)? Follow these simple sun safety action steps recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency: <

Limit Time in the Midday Sun - The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Whenever possible, limit exposure to the sun during these hours. 
Wear a Hat - A hat with a wide brim offers good sun protection to your eyes, ears, face, and the back of your neck - areas particularly prone to overexposure to the sun.

Wearing tightly woven, loose-fitting, and full-length clothing is a good way to protect your skin from the sun's UV rays.

Wear Sunglasses that Block 99-100% of UV Radiation -Sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection will greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other eye damage. Check the label when buying sunglasses.
Always Use Sunscreen  Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 or higher liberally on exposed skin. Reapply every 2 hours, or after working, swimming, playing, or exercising outdoors. Even waterproof sunscreen can come off when you towel off, sweat, or spend extended periods of time in the water.

Avoid Sunlamps and Tanning Parlors - The light source from sunbeds and sunlamps damages the skin and unprotected eyes. It's a good idea to avoid artificial sources of UV light.

Watch for the UV Index - The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun.