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Month: February 2017

Top 4 Exercises to Build Your Back

Top 4 Exercises to Build Your Back

Have you ever gone online and found a training program but wondered how and why it was put together? Or better yet, have you tried to build your own training program but weren’t sure if you were choosing the best exercises for your goals? Well we’re going to make it a little easier for you. Here are the top 4 exercises for building your back!

4. Dumbbell Row

One of the most simple, and yet foundational exercises in any back routine is the dumbbell row. There are plenty of variations to it, including one or two arms, and supported or unsupported. These different variations can be designed engage your core more, or to move maximal weight and place as much stress as possible on your lats.

3. Barbell Row

The barbell row is another awesome tool that allows you to move a significant amount of weight, which is always a plus when you’re trying to build muscle. Depending on how you angle your body and set yourself up for the pull, you can add emphasis to your upper or lower lats. This movement is a must in your back training.

2. Pull Up

Pull ups are awesome for an added emphasis on your upper back. A lot of back exercises are performed pulling up or towards you, but the pull up hits it from a different angle, being an overhead pulling movement.

1. Deadlift

Deadlifts are the king of all exercises. There’s no cheating them.. You load the bar up and you pull it off of the ground. It sounds simple, but you are working your entire posterior chain in the process. Nothing beats this for overall back development.

Summary

These 4 movements are the foundation for a solid back building routine. The compound movements and amount of weight that you can use are the building blocks for strength and growth. These exercises incorporate several different muscles, so you can be sure that your workout is extremely efficient!

 

Josh Scutnik

SD Evolution

The Nation’s Elite Training Team

Live Happy. Live Healthy. Evolve.

How Many Meals Per Day Should I Eat?

How Many Meals Per Day Should I Eat?

Introduction

How many times per day should I eat? That question might cross the mind of non-fitness minded folks once in a while. But for those of us who have adopted this lifestyle, it’s a pretty common concern. Most of us grew up eating three meals per day- breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That changes based on how our lifestyles change as we get older. Many may continue eating three times per day. Some skip breakfast or are too busy to eat at work and that number drops to two times per day. Others expand on their original three meals and toss in a snack or two throughout the day.

“I’m too busy at work. I just don’t have enough time to eat.”

Once you dive into fitness trends, it just adds to the jumbled confusion about how many times your should eat. Some say it doesn’t matter, it’s strictly calories in vs calories out. Others say the more frequent meals you eat, the better your body composition will be. And then there are studies on intermittent fasting that debate eating all of your calories within a small window, say 8 hours, will create a beneficial response in your body. So who do we listen to? What’s the right answer? We’ll help you decide.

Lifestyle Factors

Some of us naturally fall into one of these categories already. Our lives are busy. The best way to stay efficient is to have a process, a regimen. This regimen dictates when we eat, without thinking about it. If we don’t have the time to eat, and we only “eat when we can”. You might get a small breakfast in on your way out the door and then come home to a large dinner because you haven’t eaten all day. Others might adapt to the busy lifestyle by packing a bunch of small snacks and eating frequently throughout the day. They won’t have your typical “large meal” but several smaller meals every couple of hours to keep them going and fueled for their daily endeavors. A lot of people probably still fall right into the three meals per day category, eating breakfast before work, grabbing a bite to eat on their lunch break, and coming home to make dinner.

This is why we do what we do, but which method works best?

The Effects of Meal Frequency

The science suggests that eating more frequent meals throughout the day may lead to a lower body fat percentage and a higher state of fat-free mass (FFM). There are many different factors that go into this, but we’re going to talk about a few of the major reasons why this method has been so successful

Appetite Control

Do you ever remember being full and deciding, “I could eat an entire pizza right now.” Probably not.. We make most of our poor eating decisions when we are hungry. And typically, the hungrier we are, the worse our decisions may be. The more we let our appetite get out of control, the higher level of cravings we have. Eating more frequently helps to diminish those cravings. You tend to stay in the middle-ground of feeling like you just ate or you are about to eat, but never really hungry or really full.

Blood Sugar Stabilization

You’ve heard of your blood sugars, but you might not know what it really means. We’ll focus on the fitness side of things and what it means for your body composition to keep it really simple. When your blood sugars are too high, your body tends to store more fat. When your blood sugars are too low, your body tends to burn more muscle because muscle is actually utilized faster as a fuel source than fat is.

What affects the level? When you binge or have an entire bag of candy, your blood sugars spike. This is where we are talking about more fat being stored. But inversely, if you go a long time between meals, your blood sugars drop. And this is where we talk about muscle mass being reduced.

Increased Thermic Effect on Food

What is the thermic effect on food? It’s the amount of calories your body burns by processing the food that you’re eating. To give you an idea, 20-30% of the calories from protein you eat, 5-15% of the calories from carbohydrates, and 0-5% of the calories from fats are actually burned as you digest them. Eating more frequently actually helps to increase your metabolism and bump that number up even more!

Anabolism

The evidence also suggests that more meals throughout the day has a positive effect on anabolism. Ingesting a source of protein every three hours optimizes increases in net protein balance. The three hour intervals maximize protein synthesis. These benefits lead to an increase in lean mass, which also increases your resting metabolic rate (calories your body burns at rest), leading to a decrease in body fat percentage.

Summary

Eating smaller, more frequent meals has been shown to have many benefits. It can lead to an increase in lean mass and a decrease in body fat, which creates a lower  body fat percentage. It also helps to reduce cravings and create better blood sugar stabilization.

We typically recommend our clients eat between 4-6 meals per day. Not only in the science, but in our experience, this has shown to be the optimal method. That doesn’t mean the other methods don’t work. There are endless ways to get results and the bottom line always comes down to what works best for each individual client. But for most people, a great start would be here.

 

Josh Scutnik

SD Evolution

Live Happy. Live Healthy. Evolve.

Dealing With Those Who Don’t Support Your Goals

Dealing With Those Who Don’t Support Your Goals

Have you ever started something new and felt like no one supported you? Or even worse, they actually try to pull you away from what you’re trying to achieve. They belittle your goals and accomplishments because they “don’t see the point” and don’t know why you even bother.

This can happen in a variety of situations throughout our lives, but it is definitely prevalent in the fitness world. Maybe you’re attempting to lose 20 pounds. It could be that you want a six pack for the first time in your life. Or it could even be something as significant as a complete lifestyle transformation. You would think everyone in your circle would be behind you 100%, right? Unfortunately that’s not always the case. As a matter of fact, plenty of our clients reach out to us asking what to do about the negative, unsupportive people in their lives.

So what do you do?

Well, it depends on the situation. How significantly you are trying to change your life will dictate how much you will have to decide to change.. And WHO…

You’re not going to say goodbye forever to your parents because they encourage you to enjoy the desserts at a family gathering while you’re in the middle of a cut. But if you’re prepping for a show and your friends are always pushing you to go out and drink with them no matter how many times you tell them what you’re doing, you may want to go MIA until after your show.

“Come on! You can go back to starving yourself after tonight! We’re all gonna be there!”

Some of our friends will get it and some won’t. Some will be there to push us harder than we could have pushed ourselves, and others will do nothing but stand in our way. Are you strong enough to withstand the pressure? If you’re not, then you have a decision to make. Do you give in and give up on your goals or do you reconsider your inner circle of friends.. If they don’t raise you up, do you really want that friend in your life anyway? It’s one thing to not understand what you’re doing and an entirely different thing to put it down. So before you do write anyone off, keep that in mind.

So I can’t have friends if I have goals?

They say you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. If I could golf every Sunday with Bill Gates, Tim Ferris, Michael Jordan, Mark Zuckerberg, and Dwayne Johnson there’s a good chance I’d be pretty successful. You talk about a plethora of knowledge, hard work, and success… But we don’t all have an A-list like that. However, we can create our own A-list. You meet the people most like you by doing what you like to do.. So if you’re riding this fitness wave, there are about 10 million people waiting to be your friend. You could meet them at your gym, at a show, a competition, or maybe a local rec sports league. These people will probably understand what you’re going through. And even better, they can probably offer you ADVICE on how to do it better!

I’m not saying to go replace all of your friends with professional athletes, but could broadening your horizons help you out? Probably.. But before you do anything, make sure your crew knows what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how important it is to you. That’s how you draw the line in the sand. The people who walk across that line to stand on your side are people who add value to your life. Those who stay on the other side? You can take or leave them at your own discretion.

Balancing this beautiful life

I was the party animal in college. I’m not saying I was A party animal.. In the zoo we called a house, I was THE party animal among our party animals. 5 years later my hobbies include sports, lifting, traveling and exploring this beautiful planet that we live on, and finding a tv series and binge-watching the entire thing until I’m depressed that it’s over and I find another one.

Did I find all new friends in the process? Nope. I definitely made plenty of new friends, especially since I spent a year living on the golden coast 3000 miles away from almost everyone I knew. But my best friends are still my best friends. Some of them share my interests and some of them don’t. I see some of them more than others, but a lot of that has to do with geography.

I’m pretty good at saying no. And my friendships are strong enough to have lasted that. I pissed them off for quite a while when they realized I wasn’t the person who was hitting clubs with them any more. But after a while they understood what I was doing and they accepted it. And they’re still my best friends because of that. There are some people who definitely phased out of my life because of it, but that’s ok too. They like what they like and I like what I like. If I saw them for the first time in a few years I’d still give them a massive hug- and then probably not cross paths for another couple of years.

We don’t have enough time to make everyone happy. Decide what’s important to you and who’s important to you. Figure out who brings the most value to your life and who is just taking up space in it. Then get to chasing your goals! You don’t have to stand alone on the mountain top.. You just have to figure out who is willing to climb it with you.