Six Easy Exercises for Targeted Ab Training

Do you want a toned body? If yes, then ab training is meant for you. Here are six simple exercises for targeted ab training. They are very easy and you can add them into your routine without any inconvenience. Have a look:

Bicycle Crunch

The bicycle crunch is a very effective workout for stronger and more toned abs. This variation of the crunch targets three muscle groups at the same time. It is a hybrid of the regular crunch, the reverse crunch and the side to side motion that works the oblique’s. To efficiently perform this exercise all you have to do is start by lying on your back while keeping your legs raised and bent at 90 degrees and your hands behind your head. From there you should lift your upper body and touch your elbow with your alternate knee.straight bring your right knee to your chest and back to its position. Repeat the process with your left knee as if you were climbing a mountain. You should avoid hiking your hips during the workout, and you should keep your core tight.

Straight Leg Raise

The straight leg raise may look very easy, but let me assure you that it is not. In fact, it requires a considerable amount of core strength to pull it off effectively. Also, it is an extremely effective workout for your abs.

For this exercise, you have to start from a supine or face-up position while placing your hands on your lower back. From there slowly lift up your legs up to 90-degrees to your abdomen while keeping them perfectly straight and bring them back down slowly. If you keep doing this exercise on a regular basis, your abs will be stronger in no time. This exercise is not recommended for people with back pain.

Mountain Climber

The mountain climber is an endurance exercise that will do wonders for your core and is a great addition to your ab training. To perform this exercise effectively, you have to start from a high plank position. Now, keeping your hips level and body straight, bring your right knee to your chest and back to its starting position. Repeat the process with your left knee as if you were climbing a mountain. You should avoid hiking your hips during the workout, and you should keep your core tight.

Fitness Progress
Mountain Climber Progression – perform off an unstable surface like a BOSU or medicine ball.

Slider Pike

Starting from a high plank position while keeping both your feet on sliders or towels, pull your feet towards your hands as your hips raise towards the ceiling into a pike position. If you are facing difficulties with this technique, then you can do a more straightforward variation by performing sliding mountain climbers. You will require sliders or towels to do this exercise effectively.

Hip Lift

Hip Lifts are very similar to leg raises, but are way more demanding. To perform this exercise for a high intensity ab workout, you have to start by lying on the ground with your hands by your sides and as you raise your legs up to 90-degrees also raise your hips up. You can also rotate or laterally move your hips as you raise them to add more of an oblique workout with the same exercise.

Spiderman Plank Crunch

This variation of the crunch is pretty much the only workout that affects your entire core. And the best thing is that no equipment is required for it. To perform this workout, you have to start from a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground. Try to keep your body perfectly straight. Bring your right knee to your right elbow and take it back to the plank position. Then repeat this procedure with the left leg. If this is not for you try the Jefit Plank to Side Kick as a second option or a progression to the Spiderman.

Use Jefit App to Keep Track of All Your Ab Training Needs

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. In addition, the app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Is it More Beneficial to Workout Before or After Work?

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One of the decisions you have to make when going to the gym is knowing when to actually go. You may be wondering, “should I workout before or after work?” While there is no right answer as it all comes down to your personal lifestyle and preference, in this post, we will help you make the decision. Here are all the things you need to take into account when it comes to deciding whether to work out before or after work.

Should I workout before or after work? Here are some points to consider.

How busy it is

One of the main concerns is how busy a gym is. It’s great to be with like-minded people. However, being in a too-crowded gym is not. However, this can make it too crowded. This may mean that you’ll have to wait to use popular equipment such as the treadmill, squat rack or leg press. Waiting time means that you will have to extend the time you spend at the gym.

Before work is typically quieter than after work. There are some early birds that want to get in a quick workout to wake up and be energised for the day. Then there are those who would prefer the extra sleeping time and head to the gym after work instead. Bear in mind though, this can also greatly depend on your local gym and how often you go. If you go two times a week, then you’ll need more equipment to cover a full body workout. If you go 4-5 times, then you will be needing fewer facilities. So take this into account as well.

There are certain peak times that the average gym has. In the morning, 6 am to 8 am tend to be busier. When it comes to after work times, anything from 5 pm to 8 pm can be busy. A great way to determine when your gym’s peak hours are is to Google it! On the right-hand side of the page, there should be a Google reviews section that contains a graph of “popular times”. You can use this to see whether working out before or after work is best for you.

So if you find that after work is too busy, then try coming in the morning so you don’t have to wait for equipment or rush to get to the elliptical first!

Energy levels

Like we mentioned before, there are early birds and night owls. If you find that you’re too sluggish in the morning, then after work may suit you better. However, if you find that a morning workout leaves you energised and ready to tackle the day, then stick to a before-work workout!

After all, there is no use going to a morning class if you’re going to spend half of it being tired and groggy. Likewise, why go to the gym in the afternoon if you’re too exhausted from work to properly train. Go when your energy level is at its highest so that you can make sure that you are getting an efficient workout that will actually help you progress.

Do you need to eat before a workout?

There is a lot of debate about whether or not you should eat before a workout. However, it’s really up to your personal preference. If you like to train fasted, then a morning workout may be a great option. That way, you can just roll out of bed, change into your training gear and head to the gym. On the other hand, if you need to eat, then bear in mind that this means you’ll have to work up earlier to have a small snack such as a banana with peanut butter. And yes, this will mean having to sacrifice a bit more sleep as well.

Alternatively, you can train after work so that you can make sure you are well fed beforehand. Just be sure that you don’t eat too much otherwise you’ll be too bloated and might get a stitch.

If you’re looking for tips on what to eat before and after a workout, check out this article!

Psychological Effects

Exercising makes people feel great. It releases endorphins that make you happy whether you workout before or after work.

Working out in the morning before work means that you’ll wake up feeling alive and refreshed. You’ll also feel really great knowing that you’ve already gotten your gym session over and done with. It’ll boost your mood, meaning you’re starting the day right (and your family and co-workers will be happy about that too!).

Working out after work has its place as well. Work can be pretty stressful, or you may have had some conflict with your family or friends. What a better way to get rid of that anger or stress out than by exercising it out? Go hard in that group fitness class, zen it out in yoga, walk it off on the treadmill, or lift those weights to lift the stress off of your shoulders.

You’ll also get a better sleep if you workout in the afternoon (but not too late at night!).

Workout before or after work with Jefit

Jefit is a workout log app that comes with a range of features. From the ability to schedule your workouts, track your record, connect with other members, and customize your workout plan, there is not much Jefit can’t do to help you get on track to hit your fitness goals. Download Jefit now!

workout before or after work

Five Tips to Keep You Healthy Inside and Out

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There’s so much more to looking good and feeling fit than building up muscles. Fitness starts within the body and is a combination of fitness of the mind and body. The western culture has lost the connection between the mind and body, so we embark on the latest fitness craze and fad diet, only to fail a few weeks down the line. Reconnecting the mind with your fitness goals will help you to achieve a lifelong regiment of good health.

To really focus on fitness goals you need to feel fit on the inside. You also need to feel good about yourself. If there is anything you can change do it! For example, perhaps you’re feeling stressed at work, which is causing you to choose unhealthy foods or alcohol as a quick fix?

Here are five tips to help you develop a healthy mindset in order to meet your fitness goals and most importantly, stick to them!

Regular Health Checkups

Make sure to attend all of your regular health checkups to check on your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. This will ensure you have a clean bill of health for starting any exercise regime and will flag any potential health concerns. Make sure you raise any concerns that you have with your physician.

Eat Healthy

The old adage of “you are what you eat” is true and not just an old wives tale. If you eat foods that are considered healthy, you will automatically feel healthier. Try to avoid processed foods, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and unhealthy fats. Include in your diet fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain foods, protein and keep hydrated with plenty of water.

Sleep

Sleep is our bodies opportunity to regenerate. Getting too little or too much sleep can affect our physical and mental health massively. A lack of sleep can affect the whole body, causing lack of concentration, reduced motor skills, impaired immune system and even our cardiovascular health. Feeling exhausted will tempt you to eat unhealthy foods as your body will crave carbohydrates and sugar to give you energy.

Try to get into natural daylight during the day. Artificial lights and darkness doesn’t provide us with a clear definition between night and day. Avoid looking at your smartphone before bed and don’t drink any caffeine after 2 pm. If all else fails visit your medical practitioner.

Exercise

The combination of exercise and a healthy diet are what ultimately enables you to reach optimal health. Have clear goals and start gradually. Mix up your routines, for variety so that you don’t become bored. Seek expert advice from personal trainers as to how to develop the best routine for you. Most importantly, use Jefit app to help track and stick to your goals.

Be consistent and make small changes to your life. Once you have formed the habit of keeping yourself healthy – you are on your way. Exercise helps decrease stress in your life, in addition to keeping you healthier, both mentally and physically.

Work on Your Mobility

Mobility refers to the ability to move freely around a specific joint. When you have healthy range of motion (ROM) in all the joints, your body is free to move and adjust to its position in the most efficient way. As a result, activities and movement are more natural and less restrictive. When you have sufficient joint mobility you also get more out of your workouts at the gym. As a result of inactivity, chronic stress, and aging, your ROM and mobility begin to decrease. It is important that a regular mobility routine is incorporated into your exercise program. Specific areas should be addressed to improve joint mobility such as the hips, shoulders and lumbar and thoracic spine as a start.

Use the Jefit App to Keep You Healthy

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep track of their fitness goals. Not only does it give you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community, it has the largest exercise library that covers both weight training and cardio.

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Get Strong With the Pilates-based Hundred Exercise

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The Pilates workout developed over 100 years ago by former gymnast, Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) can be challenging. The idea behind it was basically to get people to exercise more while also helping them get out of pain. In the 1920’s he created an exercise routine consisting of 34 unique movements. One of the more challenging of which is the hundred. Each movements used in Pilates is designed to engage multiple body parts simultaneously, often strengthening one muscle group while stretching another. His program is based on core strength development and he believed a person was only as healthy as their spine.

His teachings, originally called “The Art of Contrology” focused on uniting the mind and body to create a direct connection to the muscles. Each precise movement requires mental concentration and physical control.

One of the many Joesph Pilates well-known movement quotes is:

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Value of Adding the Hundred to Your Workout

There are many options available when it comes to performing core or more specifically abdominal exercises. The hundred exercise will overload your core with one set of a hundred repetitions, if performed correctly. The key is first engaging the abdominals. This helps to position the pelvis in a neutral position. Most individuals have either an anterior or posterior pelvic tilt. The muscles that make up the core are known in the world of Pilates as the “powerhouse.” According to Joseph Pilates, the powerhouse is the center of the body, and when strengthened, it offers a solid foundation for any movement.

When executing the hundred exercise, remember the following six points:

  • Maintain a neutral pelvis by engaging your core. Pull the navel in towards your spine.
  • Keep your chin tucked (and relaxed), looking at your navel during the entire exercise.
  • Keep the arms straight and the elbows locked out.
  • The arm movement (up/down) is no more than 6-8 inches.
  • Keep the toes pointed.
  • Focus on the breath (inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts, 10 times during the 100 repetitions).

The traditional hundred exercise, involves keeping the legs straight, about two inches off the floor. This is difficult for most people when first attempting. Instead, try performing the exercise with the hips and knees kept at 90-degree angles. If this is too basic for you, keep the legs together and straight. Instead of raising them a few inches off the floor, extend them outward from the bent knee position (as seen in the top photo). Notice how the body is kept in an arc or “scooped” position during the exercise. In a Pilates class, the hundred acts as a dynamic warm-up for the abdominals and lungs.

There is a reason why Joseph Pilates made the hundred the first exercise in his 34 movement routine. It is because it heats up and prepares the body for the remaining exercises. This exercise can be very challenging when done correctly; it involves the entire body.

Jefit’s Versions of “The Hundred”

The Jefit app offers the hundred exercise. Here are four variation of the traditional Pilates hundred exercise that you can try now on the Jefit app.

Use Jefit to Record the Hundred and More

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. In addition, the app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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HIIT or LISS: Which One Will Get Me Better Results?

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While we all know that getting in daily exercise is important to everyone, there is much debate about what kind of exercise is best for us, especially with cardio training. There are two popular forms of cardio HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and LISS (Low Intensity Steady State Cardio). Each has their own pros and cons, so if you are wondering whether to do HIIT or LISS, here is what you should know.

Is HIIT or LISS Better For Me?

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LISS – Low Intensity Steady State Cardio

LISS or Low Intensity Steady State Cardio, is a form of aerobic (“with oxygen”) exercise. This means that improves your oxygen intake. LISS is typically performed for 30-60 minutes at a steady pace with limited changes in speed or intensity. It is referred to as low intensity as you usually only hit 45-65% of your estimated maximum heart rate.

Advantages

If you are comparing HIIT or LISS, LISS is advantageous in a number of areas.

Less demanding on the body

Because it is low intensity, it is less demanding on the body. It is also easier on the joints, tendons and ligaments.

Less injury risk

It also means that the risk of injury is also much lower than other alternative forms. You are moving at a steadier pace so you are not pushing yourself too hard, with can be hard on the body.

Better at initial fat burn

One of the best benefits of LISS is that it is better at fat burning than HIIT, initially. You use the fat stored in your body as the primary source of energy as opposed to glycogen. This is why when people start doing LISS, they see great results.

Disadvantages

However, there are some downfalls that might mean turning to other forms of cardio for the results that you want.

Longer sessions

While the sessions themselves are not as taxing as HIIT, this means that your workouts will be much longer; you are not using as much energy as fast. If you are busy or don’t have much time, LISS may not be the best option for you.

Less motivated to workout

Following on from that, because the sessions are longer, you may be less motivated to actually get started in the first place.

Only burns calories during the workout

Another downfall of LISS is that you only burn calories while you are doing the workout. Unfortunately, once your session is done, you will not continue to burn calories afterwards.

The body adapts quickly to LISS

While I mentioned that LISS is great for fat burning initially, the keyword here was initially. This is because your body will quickly adapt to your LISS workouts, meaning that the once-great results you may have seen at the start will not last long.

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

On the other hand of the spectrum is HIIT aka High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT has become a buzzword in the fitness industry, gaining momentum in popularity.

HIIT consists of shorter more intense sessions of 10-60 seconds of work. This is alternated with rest or light activity time (this is where the interval part of the name comes in). HIIT brings your heart rate up to 70-90% of your maximum heart rate.

Unlike LISS, HIIT is anaerobic (“without oxygen”) exercise because your body uses more oxygen than it can be supplied. This why with HIIT, you will run out of breath more quickly and your muscles will burn (caused by the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles). The rest periods in HIIT are important because it allows your body to clear the lactic acid and rebuild oxygen levels.

Advantages

Here are some advantages of high intensity interval training that may help you decide between HIIT or LISS.

Shorter sessions

If you are deciding between HIIT or LISS, the time factor may be a big key to consider. HIIT sessions are much shorter and more time efficient than LISS sessions. This is because the intensity levels are higher so you will become fatigued quite quickly.

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)

Unlike with LISS, HIIT workouts help keep your body burning calories long after your session is done because of EPOC. EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, refers to the amount of oxygen required to return the body to its normal metabolic level (called homeostasis).

The body has to work hard to rebuild the oxygen levels up that it lost during the session, which is why you continue to burn calories and fat post-workout, even for up to 24 hours.

Better for long-term fat loss

While people see great results with LISS at the start, HIIT is better for long-term fat loss results.

Helps with muscle retention

One reason why people tend to avoid cardio is that they do not want to lose muscle. HIIT helps with retaining muscle because it includes weight training and movements that activate the muscles the same way that strength training does.

Disadvantages

More demanding on the body

Due to the high intensity nature of HIIT, you do place a lot more stress on the body. This also means that there is an increased risk of injury.

Longer recovery time

It does take longer to recover from a HIIT workout so due to the physical demands, it can be challenging to complete HIIT workout every single day so you will have to find alternate workouts in between to give your body a break.

Can be intimidating for beginners

It can be intimidating for new people to give it a go at first. It does look intense because it is intense but also very rewarding!

So Should I Choose HIIT or LISS?

The final answer does depend on your preference and lifestyle. If you find yourself skipping workouts because you’re dreading the hour-long jog, then try giving HIIT a go. If you hate the intensity of HIIT, then turn to LISS. A good idea, however, would be to do both on alternate days and rotate between the two so that you can reap the benefits of each.

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep track of their fitness goals. Not only does it give you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community, it has the largest exercise library that covers both weight training and cardio.

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Inactivity Physiology: What is it and How to Avoid it

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We are all coming off a year where – most likely – our workouts and total energy expenditure dropped off dramatically during the course of a typical day. It is totally understandable.

A whole new field of study has developed recently called inactivity physiology.

Inactivity Physiology Defined

The inactivity physiology paradigm can be defined as:

“Inactivity physiology represents a paradigm shift for how we think about how lifestyle causes disease. Simply put, the inactivity physiology paradigm says that “too little exercise” is not the same as “too much sitting” (physical inactivity) and that too much sitting has very potent effects on the body contributing to the most common diseases.”

Think about this for a minute. You get up early to go for an hour run or head to the gym for a long workout. You then hop in the car and drive 30-45 minutes to work. Once you arrive at the office, what happens? That’s right, you sit in front of your computer to work and for meetings. You then typically sit more through lunch and throughout the rest of the day. After work you repeat the 30-45 minute drive home, which is now most likely longer due to rush hour traffic. After you get home you relax a bit, sit and catch the news, sit more during dinner and then watch more TV following dinner.

Well if that is the case, then (most) of the benefits derived from your workout earlier in the day may be erased. Now I know you stressed your body during that hour run or strength workout at the gym. You may think loading your bones and muscles and alleviating some stress is enough. This is all good. Sure, but the issue remains, you’re sitting for eight hours or more each day.

Let’s be honest, we can all increase our activity level a bit more …don’t you think? You need to increase the activity you do throughout the day – above and beyond your exercise session…it’s critical. There is abundance of research showing that additional energy expenditure during the day is vital for long-term health. According to Knudsen and colleagues, “aerobic capacity fell 7 percent in 14 days after reducing steps from 10,000 to 1,500 a day in active men not in exercise programs.  Here are some examples to help avoid this and help add more activity into your day.

10 Ways to Help Prevent Inactivity Physiology

To offset this try adding a few of the following throughout your day to increase daily activity especially while at work:

  • Build a standing work station at the office.
  • Kneel periodically at your desk (when checking emails) and stretch those tight hip flexors.
  • Get up every 20 minutes if you have a desk job and move and/or stretch.
  • If your errands are <1 mile from your house – choose walking/biking rather than driving.
  • Have “walking conference call” meetings at the office rather than sitting at a conference table.
  • Whenever you take calls on a cell phone make sure you get up and walk and talk.
  • Wear a pedometer and add 500 steps a day (goal: 10k/day) see Knudsen research paper below.
  • Turn your lunch into your workout time. Or take a long walk.
  • Limit your TV watching to <10 hours a week.
  • Your goal this week: try to stand one hour each day over the course of the week.

Suggested Reading:

Too Much Sitting is Hazardous to Your Health. Len Kravitz, PhD 

Are We Facing a New Paradigm of Inactivity Physiology? Br J Sports Medicine.

Is Sitting a Lethal Activity? NY Times article by James Vlahos

Genomic Aspects of Exercise, Inactivity, and Health, Frank Booth, PhD

Reference:

Knudsen, S. H., Hansen, L. S., Pedersen, M., Dejgaard, T. et al. (2012). Changes in insulin sensitivity precede changes in body composition during 14 days of step reduction combined with overfeeding in healthy young men. Journal of Applied Physiology.

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The Best Strength Exercises for Cyclists

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As cyclists, we all long for that extra strength to break from the pack or catch up with our opponents in a race. And while cycling is the best workout for improving our cycling fitness and helping us improve our skills, hitting the gym is the only way we can improve our strength. But deciding which are the best strength exercises for cyclists can be quite challenging. After all, there are numerous exercises and workouts that can help cyclists improve their strength.

Therefore, when picking the right strength workouts, you should start by examining which parts of the body need strengthening. When cycling, you use one leg at a time; therefore, you need repeated force production to pedal. You also need a strong core to handle the bike, especially when tackling tough terrains. Therefore, your workouts must address these needs. So here are some of the best strength workouts you can do at home or in the gym.

Top 5 Best Strength Exercises for Cyclists

1. Planks With Variation

Plank is a unique exercise that works your willpower, upper body, and core. The plank is a great workout for cyclists as it focuses on both sides of your body separately. Plus, it’s ideal for your hips as you have to keep both sides level, making sure that no side dips. And just like press-ups, the plank has numerous variations that you can try to make the workout as hard or as easy as possible. Therefore, Cycling Hacker recommends that you start with the basic one on the floor, and once you have mastered the technique, you can try other variations.

The exercise: start by lying down facing the floor with your palms facing downwards under the shoulders. Push your body up as if you are doing a push-up, and then hold the position while engaging the core, leg, back, and shoulder muscles. Try and hold that position for as long as possible and then repeat a few times. If a full plank is challenging to you, you can try resting on your elbows instead of extending your arms or putting your knees on the floor.

You can make it more challenging by introducing a gym ball. All you have to do is start with the plank position with the feet on the gym ball and then start pulling the ball towards you using the core muscles. Hold the ball in that position for a while before rolling it back to the starting position. 

2. Push-ups

Being able to easily handle your weight is crucial when it comes to cycling, as it will help you absorb the impacts while cycling downhill. And one of the best exercises that can help you handle your weight is push-ups. If you have trouble with push-ups, then you can start by putting your hands on a chair or steps. And then work your way to full push-ups, and the more consistent you are, the quicker you’ll perfect it. With time you can start incorporating balance or weights into your routine.

The exercise: move in the plank position and then engage your core and lower your body by bending your arms. Hold the position without allowing your body to touch the ground and then return to the starting point. But it’s crucial that you keep your core tight, your back in line with your head, and your entire body straight.

3. Squats

Squats are very important for cyclists. They works on every muscle in your legs, knees, and hips, helps with athletic movements, and increases flexibility. And if done correctly, this workout will help your muscles grow while giving you the needed strength.

The exercise: you can start with three sets of ten reps with about a 90-seconds rest between each set. To do the squats correctly, you should stand by placing your feet shoulder-width apart and lower the body to a sitting position by simply pushing your hips backward and bending the knees. Lower your body as far as you can, hold the position and then rise.

4. Lunges

Lunges are ideal for cyclists who want to increase their on-bicycle strength. This workout exercises each muscle on your lower body, particularly the hamstrings, quads, and hips. In fact, lunges are ideal for individuals who plan on working out at home. In the gym, you can mix it up with things like walking lunges and weighted lunges. But make sure you keep the core straight with the head straight and lead with your chest while ensuring that the knees never go beyond your toes.

The exercise: you can start with three sets of ten reps with about 45 seconds of rest between the sets. Start by stepping forward from a standing position with your right leg. And then bend your left one until its knee is almost touching the ground. Finally, you can push yourself up using the right foot and repeat this procedure with your left foot.

5. Deadlifts

The deadlift is a unique exercise that activates your core, back, and leg muscles. Deadlift is a simple routine that will help increase your power and overall muscle strength while supporting the critical movements necessary to make you a fast and efficient cyclist. The deadlift is an ultimate compound movement that is considered one of the best strength exercises for cyclists.

The exercise: you can start with 4 sets of 8 reps with about a minute rest. Stand in front of the barbell and then squat and grip the barbell. Make sure your forearms can easily brush the outer part of your thighs. And then push your shoulders back and lift the weights until the barbell levels with your thighs. Hold the position for a while and lower the weight before repeating the same procedure.

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Final Thoughts for Cyclist

Cycling is a fun activity with numerous health and mental benefits. And when done correctly, cycling can do more than help you stay fit. Cycling can help you lower your stress level. And the only way you can tackle long and tough terrains is by improving your strength with the above simple workouts. But make sure you don’t hit the gym immediately after you have finished cycling. You should allow yourself at least 6 hours between cycling and strength workouts.  

Use Jefit to Track Your Strength Workouts for Cycling

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. In addition, the app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Gym Rules: How to Follow Proper Gym Etiquette

gym rules and regulations

The gym is a great place to meet like-minded people who are there for the same reasons you are – to work out and feel good. However, like most places, there are gym rules and regulations that should be followed. If you are new to the gym or need a reminder, here is a list of things that you should adhere to, for the benefit of all gym goers.

Proper Gym Etiquette: Learn the Gym Rules and Regulations

1. Use a Towel and Wipe Down Equipment

One of the best things about going to the gym is having a sweaty workout that leaves you feeling good. What feels less good, is if other members have to use a machine after you to find that it is covered in sweat.

While sweating can’t be avoided, there are some things that you can do to minimize the damage. Use a towel and lay it on the machine. This way, the towel can absorb most of the residue.

Also do a quick wipe down of the equipment afterwards as well. Most gyms will also have paper towels and spray hanging around the gym so put them to good use., especially with all things related to COVID-19.

This will definitely keep all gym goers happy and keep the hygiene levels up.

2. Don’t Hog the Machines

A gym can only have so many machines. If the gym is empty or no one is waiting for you to finish your set, then go ahead and spend as much time on it as you want. However, sometimes, you may want to use a machine at the same time as another member and vice versa.

One of the unspoken gym rules and regulations, in this case, is to not be a machine hog.

There usually won’t be a set time limit for each machine that you have to adhere to but be mindful that other people may be waiting.

While I am not suggesting that you cut your sets or workout short, a recommendation to work around this, especially during busy peak times, is to have somebody “work in” with you. Let someone else use the machine during your rest time. Then swap.

This way, neither of you are waiting for the equipment or feel rushed to finish your sets because someone else is waiting.

It is time efficient, not to mention great gym etiquette to help your fellow gym goers out.

3. Put Away Your Equipment

A common gym rule that people should follow, and unfortunately do not, is to put away all the equipment that you use.

It is just courtesy to help contribute and keep the gym neat and tidy and put things back where they belong. Not only that, when other members want to use something, they know exactly where it is and won’t have to search for it because you’ve left it out.

When it comes to putting away your equipment, also make sure that it is in the right order. For example, if you are using dumbbells, put the 20 lb. dumbbells where they belong, and not where the 5 lb. dumbbells go.

4. Keep Your Gym Bag Off the Floor

Most gyms have lockers or space for you to store your gym bag and other items. For the sake of other gym members, use them.

This way, you are not leaving your personal belongings out on the floor, taking up room. It is really annoying when you want to use the bench but someone has their things all over it, or if you have to step around people’s things like a landmine.

Putting your things away in the designated means that also eliminates the chance of someone stepping on or tripping over your stuff.

To make it easier, try not to bring too many things and only the necessities.

5. Don’t Criticize Others

The gym should be a safe place where people are able to train without judgement from others. Everyone is on their own level with their own fitness goals so leave the criticism at home.

In addition, try not to give advice if it was not asked for. While you may have good intentions, some people like to train differently. Hence, it can be quite annoying to give your opinion when it was not necessary. An exception to this is if you see someone doing something that it potentially dangerous or could result in injury.

These are just some of the common gym rules and regulations that help keep the gym a fun and friendly place, so be sure to follow them!

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community. With Jefit on your phone, you will be hitting your fitness goals in no time at all.

Do you have more gym rules and regulations you want to add? Or have you seen other things that annoy you at the gym? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to know!

gym rules and regulations

Fitness Industry Trends for 2021 According to ACSM

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As we transition into mid-year, Jefit wanted to take a look at the healthy and fitness industry trends. Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) publishes their results on the top industry trends. The survey has occurred the last fifteen years and includes more than 4,000 industry professionals across various disciplines.

No surprise that after a long, pandemic year, with many stuck at home, online training earned the top spot. Other top trends include, online training, outdoor activities and virtual training making top 10 debuts. Previous years top choices, wearable tech and high-intensity interval training (top five since 2014) made the top 5. Bodyweight training, fitness programs for older adults (top 10 since 2007) also maintained popularity again for 2021.

  • Online Training: Developed for the at-home exercise experience, this trend uses digital streaming technology to deliver group, individual or instructional exercise programs online. Online training is available 24/7 and can be a live or prerecorded class.
  • Wearable Technology: Includes devices like fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices that can count steps and track heart rate, body temperature, calories, sitting time and sleep time.
  • Body Weight Training: Uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.
  • Outdoor Activities: Include small group walks, group rides and organized hiking groups. Participants can meet in a local park, hiking area or on a bike trail for short events, daylong events or planned weeklong hiking excursion.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. Despite concerns expressed by some fitness professionals, these 30-minute or less sessions continue to be a popular form of exercise around the world.
  • Virtual Training: This fusion of group exercise with technology offers workouts designed for ease and convenience to suit schedules and needs and is typically played in gyms on the big screen.
  • Exercise is Medicine®: This global health initiative by ACSM encourages health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated referrals to certified fitness professionals in the community as part of every patient visit.
  • Strength Training with Free Weights: Instructors focus on teaching proper form for exercises using barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and/or medicine balls. Resistance progressively increases as correct form is accomplished.
  • Fitness Programs for Older Adults: As Baby Boomers age into retirement, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.
  • Personal Training: One-on-one training continues to be a strong trend as the profession of personal training becomes more accessible online, in health clubs, in the home and in worksites that have fitness facilities. Personal training includes fitness testing and goal setting with the trainer working one-on-one with a client to prescribe workouts specific to individual needs.

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

Reference

ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. 2021 – Volume 25(1): 10-19, doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000631

Visit ACSM.org for additional information

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15 Facts About Muscle and Strength You May Not Know

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As individuals begin to head back to the gym, the focus turns to building muscle and strength. Obtaining additional knowledge regarding both topics will only help your fitness cause.

Fifteen Facts Regarding Muscle and Strength

Muscle: Build and Preserve it as You Age

  • How fast can you build muscle? One study reported, that “high responders” were able to build an average of 4.5 kg of muscle mass (about 10 lbs.) after 12-weeks of a push-pull-legs strength training program (5x/week). The “low-responders” put on an average of 1.2 kg (2.6 lbs.) in that same time span. 
  • Do you know the three types of muscle tissue found in the body? Cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle, and smooth muscle are their names, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are approximately 650 muscles in the human body. Some reports cite more because they count “all” muscle. For example, the biceps brachii muscle has two heads, does this count as one or two muscles?
  • The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body, the calf muscle can generate most force when used, and the jaw muscle exerts the most pressure.
  • Your muscles create at least 85 percent of your total body heat.
  • A meta-analysis published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reviewed 49 studies of men ages 50 to 83 who did regular strength training and found that subjects averaged a 2.5-pound increase in muscle mass.
  • Research has shown three decades of age-related strength loss and two decades of age-related muscle loss, can be recovered or reversed within the first couple of months of starting a strength training program.

Additional Fun Facts About Muscle

  • Starting around age 30, we begin to lose as much as 3 to 5 percent of your muscle mass per decade.
  • The average women’s maximal strength is about 60 percent compared to the average man. When looking at the upper body, women average 25-55 percent of men’s average strength. The gap closes in the lower body, where women are 70-75 percent as strong as men.
  • Muscle is more dense that adipose tissue (fat) and takes up less space on the body. In terms of weight, muscle = 1.06 kg/liter and fat = 0.9196 kg/liter. This makes muscle tissue approximately 15 percent denser than fat tissue.
  • Skeletal muscle makes up approximately 40 percent of total bodyweight. Some researchers suggest that number could be even higher. According to Shephard, in Biochemistry of Physical Activity, the skeletal muscles – when considered collectively – form the largest of the body organs. About 28 kg (62 lbs.) in a 70-kg sedentary man. In terms of a low/high number, men are comprised of about 40-50 percent muscle mass while women are in the range of 30-40 percent. The single number most often sited in scientific research is 42 and 36 percent respectively for men and women.

Lastly…

  • According to biochemist and former CrossFit owner, Robb Wolf, PhD., building and maintaining lean muscle is the best thing you can do to optimize longevity. “There’s this guarantee of losing muscle mass, losing the ability for maximum power production, as we age that begins in our 30’s,” he explains. Research shows, you lose 3 to 8 percent of muscle mass per decade after you turn 30, and even higher rate after age 60. The process called sarcopenia, or age-related muscle mass loss, that happens as you age; between the ages of 20 and 80, research has found you can actually lose 40 percent of your muscle mass
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Strength: Use it or Lose it

  • Strength appears to peak between the ages of 25 and 35 and is maintained between ages 40-50. It then declines by 12-14 percent per decade after 50 years of age, according to research published by Doherty and colleagues.
  • According to research, individuals who do not strength train lose 5 to 7 pounds of muscle every 10 years. A by-product is a reduction in metabolism by about 50 calories a day. The loss of muscle becomes more pronounced as we continue to age. By the time we reach age 70, the muscular system has experienced a 40 percent loss of muscle tissue and a 30 percent decrease in strength.
  • An average women’s maximal strength is about 60 percent compared to the average man. When looking at the upper body, women average 25-55 percent of men’s average strength. The gap closes in the lower body, where women are 70-75 percent as strong as men.

In the End

Therefore, staying active and strength training regularly, early in life, builds a strong foundation, especially when trying to maintain muscle and strength later in life. The great thing is you can prevent the loss of muscle tissue and strength as you grow old. So it’s never too late to hit the gym and get involved in strength training.

Let Jefit Help Build Muscle and Strength

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. In addition, the app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

References

Davidsen, PK., et al. (2011). Responders to resistance exercise training demonstrate differential regulation of skeletal muscle microRNA expression.
Journal of Applied Physiology.

Shephard, RJ, (1984). Biochemistry in Physical Activity. Springfield, IL: Charles Thomas Publisher.

Doherty TJ, (2001). The influence of aging and sex on skeletal muscle mass and strength. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 4:503-508.

Poon, L.W., Clayton, G., & Martin, P., et al. (1989). Individual similarities and differences of the oldest-old in the Georgia Centenarian Study. The Gerontologist, 29, 43.

Ivey, FM et al., (2000). The Effects of Age, Gender and Myostatin Genotype on the Hypertrophic Response to Heavy Resistance Strength Training. J. Gerontol: Med Sci 55A: M641-M848.

Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, and Hu FB, (2011). Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men. New England J Med; 364:2392-2404.

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3 Popular Diets to Follow—And Ones to Stay Far Away From

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It seems like every day there’s a new diet that emerges onto the scene. Sometimes, they are legitimate and can really help you achieve your health goals. Most are fad diets trying to take advantage of people who are just trying to be healthier. So, here we give you an overview of popular diets to follow and those you shouldn’t.

The Best Popular Diets to Follow

1. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is less of a diet and more of a structured time approach as to when you should eat your meals. The idea behind intermittent fasting is that you have an eating window and a fasting window. This may differ depending on the type of intermittent fasting you want to do. Typically, the eating window lasts for 8-10 hours, and the fasting window is 14-16 hours.

Another type of intermittent fasting includes only eating once a day and ingesting all your calories in that one meal. It really depends on what your personal preference is.

For this post, let’s follow the 8-10 hour eating window and 14-16 fasting period. The popular times that most people go by consists of fasting from 8 pm to 12 pm the next day, and eating between noon and 8 pm. Once the clock strikes 8 pm, you fast again. This is popular because the majority of your fasting window is taken up by sleep. When you’re awake though, you can fill up on lots of water, tea and coffee (without milk or sugar).

However, change your eating/fasting windows to whenever suits you and your lifestyle.

It may take a couple of weeks for your body to adjust to fasting, but once it does, it’ll become easier.

Intermittent fasting helps people curb their appetite and control their hunger. The average person will typically eat fewer calories because they have less time to eat. However, some people may find that they use intermittent fasting as an excuse to binge and eat insanely larger meals during their eating times so be wary of this.

2. IIFYM

Macro counting is another one of those popular diets to follow. It refers to macronutrients which are your proteins, fats, and carbs. If It Fits Your Macros, or IIFYM for short, emphasizes flexible dieting. It allows you to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as it fits within your personal macro count.

Every person has a different macro count, (a certain number of grams of protein, fats, and carbs), that they can eat each day according to their activity level, exercise levels and intensity, and more. This is why it is important to find your own personal macros instead of copying someone else’s. There are too many variables that come into play here.

This means that if you feel like eating ice cream, as long as it fits your macros, you can eat it without feeling guilty! You can adjust the portion sizes of your other meals to accommodate your cravings.

Does this mean that you’ll be able to lose weight (or gain weight if that’s your goal) following IIFYM? The answer is yes. Does this mean that you’ll be healthy? Not necessarily. Even though foods like chocolate, ice cream, and other junk food are accessible on IIFYM, try to focus on unprocessed foods to still be healthy and provide your body with the proper nutrients and minerals.

3. Mediterranean Diet

There is a reason why the Mediterranean Diet has been listed as one of the best and healthiest diets. It focuses on all the good stuff such as eating more vegetables and fruits, legumes, seafood, olive oil, and whole grains. It even allows the occasional glass of red wine as well.

Because the diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, you’ll be eating plenty of fiber. It’s also full of anti-inflammatory foods and stays away from processed ones.

The Mediterranean diet will reduce the risk of heart disease as well as obesity, type-2 diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. One of the best things about the Mediterranean diet is that it is sustainable long-term, which is crucial for any diet that you may follow.

Fad Diets

Unfortunately, there is a myriad of fad diets out there. Stay away from these diets as they are usually very, very restrictive and provide no long-term benefits. They will also be very difficult to maintain in the long run.

Meal Replacement Shakes

While it is popular to drink a protein shake as a snack when you’re hungry, it becomes a problem when you only drink meal replacement shakes instead of eating actual meals. This is based on the belief that these shakes have fewer calories in them than actual food, therefore you will be consuming fewer calories in a day, leading to weight loss!

Meal replacement shakes are not as satiating as proper meals. You’ll most likely feel a lot hungrier on this fad diet. Also, it won’t provide you with the proper nutrients and minerals that your body needs.

1,200 calorie diet

This fad diet is founded on the belief that you can only ingest 1,200 calories per day to lose weight. While it’s true you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, the actual number of calories greatly varies from person to person. Some people may eat up to 1,500, while others can eat well over 2,000 calories and still lose weight. It depends on your body type and size, the amount of activity you do, and other lifestyle factors.

Following the 1,200-calorie rule does not take these individual factors into account, and it is also an extremely low number. If you’re someone who needs to eat 2,000 calories to be in a deficit, eating significantly lower at 1,200 can cause problems such as moodiness, headaches, and nutrient deficiencies. It can also increase the risk of bingeing, which can be psychologically damaging as well.

Diets like meal replacement shakes are all fads because they are not sustainable long-term, and people tend to quickly put back on any weight that you may lose in the beginning. So be careful about staying away from quick fixes and too-good-to-be-true promises. Look at the other popular diets to follow instead, like macro counting. Remember that this is a slow and steady journey and that it will take time—but it will be worth it.

Get Healthy with Jefit

The best way to become healthy is to make sure that you eat a nutritious diet and workout regularly. If you’re looking for a way to connect with others to learn what other popular diets to follow there are, as well as food and workout tips, then join our Jefit community. We have a members-only Facebook page where you can talk to others and motivate each other to keep up the great work!

What other popular diets to follow do you suggest? What works for you? Leave us a comment below, we would love to know!

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Build a Strong Functional Core with These 3 Exercises

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You can usually tell the shape someone is in by looking at one area of their body. The health benefits of a strong, functional core go well beyond simply aesthetics. A strong, functional core makes life in the gym much easier. It also improves posture, decreases the chances of having back issues, makes activities more enjoyable and improves balance and stability.

“Sports and other pleasurable activities, (like) golf, tennis or other racquet sports, biking, running, swimming, baseball, volleyball, kayaking, rowing and many other athletic activities are powered by a strong core.”

Harvard Medical School

Working to Develop a Stronger, Functional Core

Let’s look beyond diet for a moment. Good nutrition is key if a 6-pack is a goal. It is important to work the various movement patterns that the core – not just your abs – can perform. Speaking of movement patterns, the body has seven basic movement patterns. These are pull, push, squat, lunge, hinge, rotation and gait.

It is important to work these specific movement patterns as you train the core. The core is made up of 29 different muscle groups. The goal is to work the core from various angles, incorporating those specific muscle groups. These muscle groups are responsible for spinal flexion, extension, rotational movements, lateral flexion and finally core stabilization.

What is Core Stabilization?

Core stability is the ability to maintain equilibrium and control of your spine and pelvic region during movement. When the word stabilization first comes to mind, you may render up a vision of a plank exercise. Yes, performing a plank with its various progressions, will improve core stabilization. There are other great exercises that also require maintaining a stable core as you execute the exercise. Two such movements are Pallof Press and Dead Bug. Each one will help you to develop a stronger more functional core.

Pallof Press

The Pallof Press is considered an anti-rotational exercise. This is because you ‘re trying to prevent the body from rotating as you perform the movement. When you do this exercise, you end up working the deep core stabilizers, as you engage the core. The exercise can be done from either a standing, kneeling or half-kneeling position. The exercise is typically performed off a cable machine. You can also use exercise bands or tubing but the exercise may not be as challenging. The Jefit app offers a progression to this great exercise, called Cable Pallof Press with Rotation.

Dead Bug

The same core stabilizers needed for this exercise are also used for the other exercises mentioned here. The difference is you’re supine and do not need any exercise equipment. Core stabilization exercises should be part of any exercise plan. They get even better whenever you add movement to them, like this Dead Bug exercise seen on Jefit Instagram.

Do Abdominal Rollouts for a Stronger More Functional Core

One thing is for sure, ab rollouts, will definitely challenge your core. Use an ab wheel or substitute with a barbell or EZ-curl bar (with a pair of weight plates). It is important to keep a neutral pelvis during this and all the exercises mentioned. To get the most out of this exercise and its variations, perform the rollout in a slow, controlled manner. At the end of the rollout, pause for 1-2 seconds before pulling back in. The Jefit app offers this exercise in the form of a Barbell Rollout (kneeling) or standing.

Final Thoughts

There are many different core exercises available to you on the Jefit app. Finding the specific exercises that work for your needs and the activities you do can be challenging. Moving forward, try to choose core exercises that involve the different movement patterns discussed here. Finally, adding one or all three of these core exercises will help build a stronger more functional core.

Use Jefit App to Record & Track All Your Exercises

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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