5 Strength Training Disciplines That Will Build Muscle

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The words “strength training” have been thrown around the fitness industry for many decades now. It has been gaining a lot of traction, especially among females. There are different types of strength training disciplines that you can focus on and follow with your Jefit strength training tracker, depending on your fitness goals.

5 Strength Training Disciplines that Build Muscle

1. Bodyweight

Bodyweight refers to training that uses only your bodyweight exercises. There is no need for extra weights or machines. This is why bodyweight training is often overlooked by people when it comes to building strength and muscle. However, you only have to look at the world’s top gymnasts to know that this is a big mistake. Gymnasts, who are big on bodyweight exercises, are some of the strongest athletes in the world.

Pros

Workout anywhere: If you can’t make it to the gym, you can easily have an effective workout at home or when traveling. Just do bodyweight exercises!

Great for beginners: For those who want to ease into strength training, using your bodyweight is a great way to start. It can really make a difference in building your strength and confidence. After you get started with bodyweight exercises, you can move onto other strength disciplines such as gym weightlifting or powerlifting. Bodyweight exercises are also ideal for Tabata and circuit-type workouts because of the easy transition between exercises.

Cons

Hard to see your progress: With other training disciplines such as powerlifting, you can easily observe your improvements. This is when you are able to lift or squat a heavier load than your previous PR.

With bodyweight exercises, you don’t have the weights to tell you how far you have come. A great way to solve this is by using a strength training tracker to note and log your workouts so you can track your progress.

2. Gym Weightlifting

This is the most common type of strength training. It refers to the use of weight machines and free weights, such as dumbbells, as the primary method to build muscle.

Pros

Not as intimidating: This is great, especially for beginner gym goers, as dumbbells are easy and simple to use. Even machines have easy-to-follow instructions labelled on them. They’ll also have images that highlight the parts of the body in use so you know where you are supposed to be feeling the burn.

Versatile: You will have plenty of options with gym weightlifting. There are machines that have multiple uses in one so you can train more than one part of the body. Dumbbells can also be used in different ways. For example, you can use dumbbells for bicep curls and then an overhead press. You can mix and match exercises depending on what your fitness goals are, which means you will not be limited.

Good for beginners and seasoned gym goers:  Gym weightlifting is perfect for everyone. The equipment comes in a range of weights so whether you need 1kg or 40kg and more, you can find them. The same goes for the machines. You can adjust the load according to your personal preference.

Cons

Long wait: As gym weightlifting is so popular, during peak times, you may find that you have to wait to use the equipment. A way to get around this is by alternating turns with someone. For example, during your buddy’s rest time, you can complete your set and vice versa. Don’t forget to record your set with your strength training tracker so that you can keep a record of your progress.

3. Powerlifting

Powerlifting focuses on brute strength and consists of three primary movements:

  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Deadlift

The aim of powerlifting is to hit your maximum strength for one repetition for each of these exercises.

Pros

Builds strength: Powerlifting is one of the best ways to build up your strength as it is the main goal of powerlifters. Unlike other disciplines such as bodybuilding, powerlifting targets your strength ability as opposed to concentrating solely on aesthetics.

With powerlifting, you really will progress towards your strength and muscle goals, particularly in the legs, back and upper body. To help record your progress though, make sure you use a strength training tracker to log your workouts so you can see just how well powerlifting has improved your training.

Good technique: One of the most important aspects of fitness is making sure that you have the correct technique. If you don’t, you dramatically increase the risk of injury which is very dangerous.

Powerlifting has a big focus on technique. With only 3 primary movements, people can spend more time learning the right forms and techniques without rushing.

Cons

Narrow focus: Powerlifters can potentially disregarding other important exercises to only focus on the big 3, or only view them as “accessory” training.

Unless you are a competitive powerlifter, it is good to incorporate other movements into your training program as well so you can get a well-rounded workout.

No cardio: With an emphasis on absolute strength, powerlifters tend to neglect other aspects of fitness such as cardio. It is good to include some exercises that elevate your heart rate so that you can get in shape and stay in shape.

4. Olympic Lifting

In comparison, Olympic lifting, also known as weight lifting, has two main movements: the clean and jerk, and snatch. These moves are explosive, meaning that there isn’t just a focus on strength but also velocity. The aim is to move the bar as quickly as possible in these overhead vertical movements. To do so requires more than strength; flexibility, agility and mobility play a big part in weightlifting as well.

Pros

Uses all the muscles in the body: If you want to work out all your muscles at once, then Olympic weightlifting is the way to go. This is particularly helpful for those who want a more time-efficient way of training and have limited time at the gym. You’ll still get optimal results.

Works on speed: As I mentioned before, weightlifting is more than just a measurement of strength but speed as well. Weightlifters simultaneously perform high-velocity movements with heavy loads so you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Fun: Olympic lifting is also fun. Due to the movement’s dynamic and ballistic nature, it isn’t as easy or simple as bicep curls or other typical workouts.

Cons

High injury risk: While all workouts do have an injury risk, Olympic weightlifting has the worst reputation for being more prone to injury. To minimize these chances, it is important that you learn the correct form and technique to be able to properly and safely execute these moves. Bear in mind the slow and steady is the key in progressing your strength training. Do not rush and load up on heavy weights as this is actually detrimental to your performance and health.

Keep in mind, slow and steady is the key in progressing your strength training. Do not rush and load up on heavy weights as this is actually detrimental to your performance and health. A common progression in terms of load is a 5 percent increase in upper and 10 increase in lower body exercises.

Use a strength training tracker to follow your progress so you can steadily improve while still being safe and smart about it.

5. Strongman

Strongman focuses on strength endurance as opposed to just brute strength. It consists of functional strength movements such as moving heavy weights over long distances. It takes us back to our primal instincts and movements such as pushing, pulling, walking, lifting, carrying, and bending with heavy loads.

Pros

Functional strength: One of the biggest benefits of strongman training is that you can use the strength you have built in the real world. As it replicates primal, human movements, you are able to use the skills that you develop with strongman training in your everyday life.

Variety of exercises: It is easy to never get bored with Strongman as there is a wide range of movements to try.

Cons

Hard to find equipment: It can be difficult trying to find a gym that caters to this discipline. Strongman uses equipment such as large (really large) tires and yoke for motion-based exercises. You will have to find a specialized gym.

High risk of injury: Because you are not only lifting heavy loads but carrying and moving them around, there is a high risk of injury involved. You need to really be careful with these motion-based workouts. Make sure that while you push yourself, you are still smart about it.

As you can see, there are many types of strength training that you can try. While each has their own advantages and disadvantages, find the one (or even two) that you enjoy the most and is more suited for your fitness goals. And remember, to really know whether it is working for you, make sure you use a strength training tracker that will help to log your progress and results.

Jefit is a gym workout app that also functions as a strength training tracker. You can easily maximize your training by using the workout log to track your strength training, share your progress and results with others, and be part of a supportive community.

Which strength training discipline do you enjoy the most or want to try? Leave us a comment below, we would love to know!

strength training tracker

How to Calculate Your Fat & Muscle Mass

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The amount of bodyweight someone carries does not distinguish between muscle and fat weight. Overall bodyweight does not paint a true picture of how well someone is doing regarding their diet and exercise. For example, when I step onto the scale, it tell me I weight 227 pounds, great. I’m more interested, though, in the ratio of that bodyweight number. Meaning, how muscle and fat do I currently have? What is the ratio of my lean muscle and body fat? This, in my opinion, is the more important question that we should ask ourselves every few months. As an example, my goal is 85 percent lean muscle and 15 percent body fat. If you are female gym-goer maybe that ratio looks like 75/25.

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Muscle, water, connective tissue, organ weight and more are included as part of lean body mass.

Jefit Body Composition Metrics

The Jefit website offers the ability to record and track the five key health metrics seen below. There is also the ability to input and track bodyweight, girth measurements and percent body fat via Jefit iOS and Android platforms. What is great about the website, however, is the option to see your breakdown of lean muscle mass and fat mass. Check it out!

  • Current Weight
  • Percent Body Fat
  • Lean Body Mass
  • Body Fat Mass
  • BMI (Body Mass Index)

How to Calculate Fat & Muscle Mass

First, you need your bodyweight and percent body fat numbers. Once you have these, you can then figure out the ratio of muscle and fat mass that comprises bodyweight. A few items to keep in mind. Men have about 3 percent essential fat while women have about 13 percent essential fat. This is the minimal amount of body fat that someone needs to maintain for overall health.

The average college-age male, who is a non-athlete, has about 15 percent body fat, while a female of the same age will have about 23-25 percent. A college athlete will have considerably less body fat. Here are two examples that demonstrate how fat and muscle mass are calculated.

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Let’s look at the case study from above from a Jefit user. This is from a 227 pound male who is carrying about 17 percent body fat.

First, multiply bodyweight by percent body fat. The number you get is fat weight mass. In this case, it’s 227 x 16.8 percent = 38.13 pounds, which is the fat mass.

Next, subtract fat weight (38.13) from bodyweight (227), this equates to lean mass (not pure muscle mass) which in this case is about 189 pounds. About 44 percent of this number is pure muscle mass, which in this case, is about 83 pounds. The weight of your bones (skeletal system) comprises 15 percent of your bodyweight.

What the Math Looks Like

227 x 17 percent = 38 pounds of fat weight, therefore, 227 – 38 = 189 pounds of lean mass. It’s important to understand that this number, 189 is comprised of: muscle, bone, connective tissue, fluid, skin, organ weight, etc. Otherwise known as all the good stuff. The 38 pounds is fat or adipose tissue. The ratio for this male individual would be 83/17. Or, 83 percent lean mass and 17 percent fat mass.

Men carry more muscle than women. An average male (18-39 years old) has about 44 percent of their bodyweight made up of muscle mass. About 34 percent of a female’s bodyweight is made up of muscle mass.

Use Jefit to Record & Track your Body Composition Metrics

To ensure an exercise and nutrition program is truly working, record a few baseline numbers mentioned above. Over a period of time, you should experience a slight increase in lean mass, a decrease in fat mass and your ratio should also change. Recording and tracking body composition (and strength) metrics should help keep you motivated. An assessment can be beneficial because it keeps you consistent, with both training and your nutritional intake, because you know at a future date, your metrics will be looked at again for comparison.

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Common Mistakes When Trying to Build Muscle

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It can be frustrating when you put in hours each week at the gym or with your home workout, yet you see minimal or no gain. Here are some of the more common mistakes that could be preventing you from building muscle and what you can try instead.

Don’t Skip Leg Day

Let’s start with the most common mistake. Focusing wholly on your upper body may cause you to end up out of proportion, but more likely than not, this won’t be the case – you won’t be able to build the upper body muscle to begin with. Having strong legs allows you to support a bulkier upper body, making it easier to build muscle. Many compound leg exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, are also better at increasing testosterone, which helps when developing muscles elsewhere.

A study by the University of Texas found that “performing squats synthesizes more testosterone and growth hormone than a similar session on the leg press.” Although the test subjects lifted more weight on the leg press, their exhaustion was 42 percent higher after doing squats.

Avoid Sugar Spiking

Consuming too many sugary energy drinks, chocolate milkshakes or even some protein bars, could be taking away your ability to gain muscle. While they may give you the energy and protein necessary to build muscle mass, the excess sugar, in turn, could be inhibiting your ability to take in muscle-building amino acids. Look out for low-sugar drinks and snacks that will still give you the protein and energy. Keep in mind, men should consume no more than 38 grams a day and women 25 grams a day of added sugar.

Consuming the Wrong Kind of Calories

When trying to build muscle, you do need to consume additional calories. However, it’s important to eat the right kind of calories. Fast food, ice cream and pizza will more likely cause you to pile on fat. Increase your calories in more healthy ways by eating more fish, chicken, rice, potatoes and vegetables.

Mis-using Supplements

Some people can go overboard on supplements like creatine and fish oil, using these instead of taking up a healthy diet or taking too many causing nutritional problems. There are then those who take the wrong kind of supplements (i.e. performance enhancing drugs like steroids). Steroids are notoriously common amongst some gym-goers but as most know, they can run all kinds of other health risks. You’ll bulk up faster, sure, but you also damage your body in the process, causing severe long-term health problems.

Avoid Too Much Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise, is very beneficial, but, should be reserved to a minimum when trying to bulk up. This is because it steals the calories needed for repairing muscle tissue, converting the calories instead into fuel for aerobic exercise. Try limiting your cardio to twenty minutes, three times a week and see if this has any impact. A few short, HIIT sessions could also work well.

Ignore Weight Training Technique

There are specific techniques to follow for each strength training exercise. For example, proper deadlift form, requires keeping your legs about hip-width apart, not arching (flexing) your back, tucking your chin etc. These will all help build muscle more effectively in addition to protecting your spine and hips in the process. Make sure that you’re using the right technique with each exercise, otherwise you could be preventing yourself from building muscle.

Reference

Shaner, A.A., Vingren, J.L., Hatfield, D.L. et al. The acute hormonal response to free weight and machine weight resistance exercise. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 2014, 28, 4, 1032–1040.

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How to Get Back on Track After Overeating: 9 Tips for Recovering from Binge Eating

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So, you’ve overeaten. That’s okay, most of us do it once in a while. With our favorite foods in front of us, it can be hard to stop sometimes. However, the aftermath often has us feeling bloated, full, and sometimes a bit upset with ourselves. It can be hard recovering from binge eating but to help you out, here are some tips on how to get back on track after overeating—both physically and mentally.

9 Strategies on How to Get Back on Track After Overeating

1. Get Moving

One of the best ways on how to get back on track after overeating is to get moving. By that, we don’t mean punishing yourself by spending extra hours slogging away in the gym. Punishing yourself is not the goal and you shouldn’t either. But it is a good idea to move.

After your meal, get up and go for a walk around the block or park. Just by doing this, you will help your body metabolize your food. It will also assist in alleviating the fullness or bloated feeling that you may be experiencing.

2. Stay Active

With this being said, make sure you stay active and keep your exercise regime. Don’t compensate food for exercise but just maintain your usual training to get back on track.

3. Hydrate

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Another great tip on how to get back on track after overeating is to make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your fluids up. Drinking water can get your digestive system moving and speed up your metabolism. This, in turn, makes your body digest your meal faster.

In addition, drinking extra fluids means that you can reduce dehydration. In fact, it also helps to get rid of extra water that you are retaining so that you feel less bloated.

4. Get enough sleep

Make sure that you have an adequate number of hours of sleep. Depriving yourself of sleep will set you up the next day, filled with sugar cravings and hunger pangs. Do yourself a favor and make sure that you rest properly and get quality sleep. This way, you will wake up feeling refreshed.

5. Control your portion sizes

The next day, don’t skip meals. Skipping meals to compensate for overeating is not a good idea. In fact, it can have the opposite effect and lead to increased hunger or intense cravings. This can potentially lead you to binge eating even more.

Instead, get back on track with your diet and pay attention to your portion sizes. Make sure that you eat balanced meals that have vegetables, protein complex carbs and healthy fats. A more manageable and healthy option is to cut back a little on your carbs and fats for the next day or two. Keep it to a reasonable amount but don’t skip them entirely.

6. Focus on whole foods

Increase your vegetable and fruit intake and load up on plant-based foods. The extra fiber will help increase your satiety levels and leave you feeling fuller for longer. Focusing on whole foods as well, help diminish any sugar cravings that you have and feed your body the nutrients it needs.

It will give your mind a break and leave you feeling better and more refreshed. It will also help you get back on track with your goals.

7. Avoid the scale

It can be tempting to step on the scale and see how it has affected your weight. While the scale is not the most accurate way to measure your progress, it is often what people turn to, to track their weight.

Most people will weigh more after overeating. This may not be because you’ve put on weight but because of increased water retention from the extra sodium that was in your meals.

So if you are recovering from binge eating, step away from the scale. It won’t help you if you do; it can make you feel defeated or feeling worse.

Instead, follow these tips on how to get back on track after overeating before stepping on the scale, if you must.

8. Remember it’s about a healthy lifestyle

Putting things in perspective is a great way on how to get back on track after overeating. By reminding yourself, it’s about an overall healthy lifestyle, you can gain a new perspective. One day of bingeing is not going to completely derail your process or make all your previous efforts useless.

Remember that.

9. Forgive yourself

The most important tip you can learn on how to get back on track after overeating? Forgive yourself.

It is all too easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you’ve let yourself down or like you have just undone all your progress. But the truth is, this happens to everyone. We are human so sometimes we indulge a little too much in our favorite foods.

Focus on the next day and get back on track without punishing yourself or putting yourself down. This can do more damage in the long run that goes beyond just overeating. Forgive yourself and let it go. Tomorrow is a new day.

Become part of a supportive community with Jefit

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has an extensive exercise library database, as well as the ability to update and share your workout log. With your fellow Jefit members as part of your supportive community, you can share and help each other on a range of topics, including eating and nutrition, keeping each other motivated.

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Jefit Workouts Now Include Trainer Audio Tips

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Jefit strives to continually improve upon their award-winning app. The latest upgrade, released this week, includes select workouts accompanied with trainer audio tips. There are six new bodyweight and strength training workouts found on either Android and iOS platforms. The programs are featured on Jefit Elite or the free version of the app.

These and future audio-based workouts, can be found on either version of the Jefit app located in “Find Workout” under the “Audio Cue” tab.

Trainer Audio Tips Programs

Here are the six new Jefit Audio workouts include: 4 Beginner, 1 Intermediate and 1 Advanced program. Five of the programs are featured as Elite, while the “audio-based workout” program, can be found on the free version of the app. All six exercise programs are interval based. Approximately 50 percent of the exercises feature trainer audio cues. Finally, switch ON the “Audio Cue” button before starting; it’s “Highlighted Blue”, when it’s ready to go (see lower right side).

  • Beginner Bodyweight Routine (Elite, beginner)
  • Audio-Based Workout (Free, beginner)
  • Beginner Full Body Challenge (Elite, beginner)
  • 3-Day Multi Equipment Challenge (Elite, beginner)
  • Audio Coaching Intermediate (Elite, intermediate)
  • 3-Day Advanced Workout (Elite, advanced)
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Beginner Bodyweight Routine

This 1-day beginner, audio-based coaching routine offers exclusively bodyweight exercises. As a result, the program will challenge your entire body. About half of the exercises in this workout session offer audio coaching tips from a Jefit certified strength & conditioning specialist. The workout includes four supersets, where you will need to execute back-to-back sets with minimal rest.

Audio-Based Workout

This is a 3-day audio-based strength training workout. Approximately 50 percent of the exercises will have trainer audio tips attached to them, to help you execute the movement. The workout program consist of 3 strength training days – each of the workouts contain 1-2 supersets and work all major muscle groups. All three sessions include a combination of bodyweight, dumbbell and barbell.

Beginner Full Body Challenge

This 2-day audio-based coaching workout offers audio cues, the same that you would hear if working with a personal trainer or coach. Remember to turn “on” you Audio Cue button at the bottom of the page. The majority of the exercises use a dumbbell and some stretching and ab work is included. At the end of each session there is an “ab burner” series.

3-Day Multi Equipment Challenge

This program is a 3-day audio-based coaching strength workout. What you can expect on days 1 and 3 – are dumbbell only workouts. Both of these sessions are full body. As for the second workout, a combo session, exercises use dumbbells and a barbell. Again, this particular session is a full body workout. Have fun!

Audio Coaching Intermediate

This intermediate exercise program offers three strength training sessions, each of which is an audio-based workout. The program includes various dumbbell & barbell specific exercises that use audio trainer tips to assist gym-goers in using good form.

On day 1, the workout includes a bodyweight warm-up followed by a full body dumbbell workout. Similarly, the day 2 workout includes bodyweight & dumbbell exercises that target your entire body. Day 3: This particular strength session includes only barbell specific exercises following a dynamic warm-up.

3-Day Advanced Workout

This 3-day advanced strength program has the added feature and benefit of having audio coaching tips for about half of the exercises found in each exercise workout. On DAY 1: You can expect a dynamic warm-up to prepare your body for the upcoming leg strength training day. DAY 2: In this 2nd workout session you have exercises focused only on push and pull movements. Lastly, DAY 3: Includes pressing movements for the shoulders in addition to a few core exercises. Enjoy the audio coaching tips and stay strong!

Use Audio Cue Programs on Jefit App

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, training log, the ability to track data, audio cue tips, and 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.

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Six Elements That You Need For A Healthy Diet

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One of the biggest trends today surrounds our health. There are resources available on every type of diet. From intermittent fasting, to Keto, low-fat, high/low-carb, high protein diets, you name it. Figuring out what is best for your diet is not about finding the next quick-fix solution for your health, though. The best thing for anyone out there is to watch their consumption (intake) versus exertion – ie: calories entering the body must be smaller than calories being expended. When it comes down to it, a healthy diet is all about balance, and if you are eliminating entire food groups based on a cycle of binging and feeling guilty, you’re never going to get your diet to a place of being healthy.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Health is not just finding a thigh gap, wearing the skinny jeans and enjoying smashed avocado on toast with a perfectly poached egg on top. Health is more than what you eat, it’s how you exercise, how you feel about your body and your mental health all rolled into one. However, what you eat is a big part of the rest of it. If you spend all your time eating foods that aren’t nutritious and are way above the calories you need to fuel your body, you’re going to overeat without even filling the hunger gap that you are feeling. In the end, educating yourself about what your body requires as well as the calories and nutrients in your food is how you can drive yourself toward a healthy diet.

Balancing food that is nutrient-rich and filling with the things that you love (usually food that is high sugar and great tasting, like chocolate) is how to ensure you have a healthy diet that is long-lasting. Restriction and purging isn’t healthy. Labelling food as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ isn’t healthy, either. There is the fact that there are nutrients that our human bodies require for survival, though, and it’s these nutrients that make up the basics of a healthy diet. We’ve written about these six nutrients below, and how you can incorporate them into your day-to-day life.

Protein

It’s something that social media influencers seem to be always talking about, from protein powders and bars to chicken and eggs. Protein has the spotlight and it’s not just by bodybuilders, either. It’s an essential part of good health, not only for keeping you fuller for longer, but for good hair, skin and your muscles. Every cell in your body contains protein, so ensuring you have a balanced amount of protein in your diet is important. Meat, fish, chicken, tofu, and eggs are all good sources of protein. You can also find good protein sources in nuts, soy and beans, so if you’re not all into meat you have options.

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Carbohydrates

Contrary to the other stories circulating online, carbohydrates are not evil. They’re not going to be the only thing that will make you fat – because anything you eat in excess will do that. A low-carb craze is on the rise, and this can be dangerous for some, particularly because carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy body. They are fuel for your brain and nervous system and they protect against disease. The catch is to choose carb sources that are wholesome, so whole grains, fiber-rich vegetables and fruits instead of the refined grains. Everything in moderation but choose nutrient-rich carbohydrate alternatives 80 percent of the time.

Fat

It often gets a bad name, fat, but healthy fats are delicious to eat as well as being a good fuel for your body. Fat supports your body in its ability to build cells, clot blood and help you to absorb vitamins and minerals properly. It’s high in calories, sure, but those calories are worth ‘spending’ on fats because of their ability to fuel your body correctly. Unsaturated fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are found in flaxseeds, seeds, nuts, and fish. Coconut oil is also a popular fat source.

Vitamins

Warding off disease and staying healthy is important, and you need micronutrients and vitamins to make that happen. There are thirteen essential vitamins that the body needs including A, B6, C and D as part of a healthy diet. They can lower the risk of certain cancers and are powerful antioxidants that your body needs to fight off illnesses. Some people like to take vitamin supplements to support their diet, but as long as you are eating a varied and balanced diet, you won’t need to.

Minerals

In the same way that vitamins work, minerals support the body and are essential for your body to function properly. They build healthy bones and teeth, regulate your metabolism and help you to stay hydrated. Calcium, zinc and iron are the most common and you can find these in a range of your foods. They support your blood cells and hormone creation, with zinc boosting your immune system and wound healing.

Water

You could survive for a few weeks without a source of food, but you cannot survive without water for more than a couple of days. Water rules every system of your body, making up about 62 percent in terms of your body weight. Your muscles and connective tissue – like fascia – are made up of about 70 percent water. Mild dehydration can cause you to feel exhausted, sluggish and impair your physical performance when you are at work. Water improves your mood, boosts your brain function and is a shock absorber and lubricant for the body. You don’t have to chug down water to stay hydrated, not when your diet is laden with fruit and vegetables.

These nutrients are all the basics that constitute a healthy diet. The rest of your health comes from the way that you think about food and how you balance your meals and the timing of those meals.

Use the Jefit App

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, training log, the ability to track data and 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.

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5 Bodyweight Exercises When You Can’t Get to the Gym

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Sometimes you can’t get to the gym. It might be because of bad weather, bad traffic, or maybe you just aren’t feeling the travel there and back. Instead of skipping your workout for the day, here are some bodyweight exercises that you can easily do in the lounge or bedroom. This way, you can fit in the daily exercise you need—without the need for any extra gym equipment!

Before we lay out all the great ways to workout at home, we have put together a workout for those days where you can’t make it to the gym. It’ll load right into the app if you’ve signed up already!

20 Minute Bodyweight Home Workout

Some of the Best Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do

Lunges

Lunges can easily be done using just your bodyweight. Stand with your knees slightly bent, legs hip-width apart. Then take one leg in front of you into a split position and squat down until the front leg is parallel to the floor. Bring your leg back to its original position and change sides.

The great thing about lunges is that you can really add variety and mix it up. Here are some changes you can make:

  • Step backwards with your leg instead of forwards
  • Instead of stepping back from your lunge back into your starting position, remain in the split position and lunge from there. Then after you have completed your set, revert back to the start and swap legs.
  • Walking lunges – Instead of staying in the one spot, move forward with each new lunge, alternating legs. This will really work on your balance as well.

Squat

Bodyweight squats are a great workout. To do the squat, stand shoulder-width apart and bend at the hips until your knees are parallel to your glutes. Make sure you keep your chest up, then stand up to the original position. Just like lunges, you can also change things up with the squat.

Here are some squat variations:

  • Pulse at the bottom instead of standing up with each rep.
  • Only stand up halfway before squatting down again (half squats)
  • Hold the squat at the bottom position to really feel the burn.

Tricep Dips

You don’t need a specific gym bench to work on your arm strength. You can use your bed, chair, or bench at home.

Sit on the bench with your legs bent in front of you. Push off the bench until you are supporting your weight with your arms. Lower your body to the ground, bending at the elbows. Push yourself back up to starting position.

This will give your triceps a good workout. If you want more of a challenge, instead of putting your feet on the floor, grab another bench or chair and place your feet on it so your legs are suspended between the two. Then repeat the same instructions to do the dip.

Make sure that whatever you use, such as a chair, that is is stable and can provide good support.

Plank

We can’t forget core work! The plank is one of the best bodyweight exercises. Get on the floor on all fours, using your forearms as support. Slowly extend your legs until they are straight. Squeeze your core, making sure your hips aren’t too high or low. If your hips are too high, your body will make an upside-V. If it is too low, your hips will be sinking to the floor in the middle. Your body should be in a straight line. Now, hold for 1 minute. If you can’t then go for as long as you can, trying to increase your time with each rep.

Try a side plank as well. This is when you turn your body to face one side, for example, leaning on only your left forearm. Lift your hips off the floor, making sure that you body is once again in a straight line. Extend the other arm into the air above you. Repeat on the other side.

Calf Raises

People tend to neglect their calves but it is good to get some calf exercises in. Stand on a step or block, something to make you elevated. You should be resting on the balls of your feet. If necessary, hold onto something for support such as a wall or chair.

Then lift off your heels as far away from the ground as possible. It should be like your standing on your tippy-toes. Bring them back down in your starting position, then repeat.

Want a challenge? Try doing single leg standing calf raises, which is balancing on one leg at a time only. Then repeat on the other side.

Make a Circuit

Now that you know some great bodyweight exercises, you don’t have to skip your gym time. Use these workouts and make a circuit depending.  You can also change it up depending on different variables.

For example, one circuit might be to do 1-minute of each exercise with 30 seconds rest in between. During that 1-minute, do as many reps as you can do, while performing the move with the correct form for 5 rounds.

In another circuit, you can also set yourself a goal, e.g. 20 air squats, 15 calf raises on each leg, that you have to meet before moving onto the next exercise. Superset it (no rest between each set) until you have finished one round of the circuit. Then repeat for as many rounds as you want.

Bodyweight exercises may use no or minimal gym equipment but they still can give you a killer workout. Try these bodyweight workouts for when you can’t get to the gym, so you can fit in your daily exercise.

Workout with Jefit

Need more ideas for bodyweight exercises? Jefit has a ton of them in our exercise library! Combined with a workout log, customizable workout planner, you have everything you need to have a great workout session. We even offer a members-only Facebook group so you can chat with other Jefit members! Join here today!

bodyweight exercises

Jefit Improves Workout Efficiency in the Gym

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An important component of an exercise session is workout efficiency, and this is often the missing link to strength gains in the gym or home. There are four components that go into this: Training, Actual, Rest and Waste. The last term, waste, is defined as simply “wasted time” during a given workout. We are all guilty of this at times. The more you focus on the time spent working out, the better off you will be. This is because you’ll be less likely to lose motivation to exercise and your muscles get more overall work.

Jefit App Improves Workout Efficiency

We all know the deal when we exercise at the gym or in our home. Time is spent on the duration of each exercise performed. Then there is time utilized on rest or recovery between each set of exercises. After that, it’s all up to you how long each workout will take. If you’re into the social scene at the gym, you know it can take an hour or two before you hit the shower. The key is reducing “wasted” time. This is time beyond exercise duration and rest time. Why? Because you can get more bang for your buck if you do. Who wouldn’t want to squeeze in more sets of a favorite exercise or work a body part longer? You can, when you eliminate what Jefit refers to as “Waste” on their app (see photos below).

What is Considered Waste Time in the Gym?

Here is an easy way to think about workout “waste” time moving forward. It will also help to improve your workout efficiency if interested. Keep the following formula in mind during each workout.

Waste Time = Training – Actual – Rest

Many of us carve out time each week dedicated to working out. In order to get better at what ever you do in the gym, quality time is paramount to develop movement skills and lifting technique. When someone improves workout efficiency, more time is dedicated to their “actual” exercise. Meaning, their wasted time is reduced to a few minutes or better yet, to zero. Waste time is any left over time after your exercise and rest are subtracted from the time spent “training” at a location (gym or home). The important question is, what are you doing with that extra time? Talking with friends, stretching etc.

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As you can see from the three examples above, the workout on the left has a waste time that is too high (note: the app may have been left on post workout). The second, or middle picture is better while the last photo has a workout efficiency that is spot on (“0”). This person wasted no time in their workout session.

Use Jefit App to Improve & Monitor Workout Efficiency

Jefit app, was 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, training log, the ability to track data and 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.

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More Push-Ups Means Less Likely to Get Heart Disease

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Did you know there is a direct relationship between push-ups and heart disease? As it turns out, the maximum number of push-ups you can do, in one attempt, can predict illness in men.

Many athletes and gym-goers alike are interested in how much weight they can lift. Especially, when it comes to exercises like deadlifts, bench press, squat and various Olympic lifts. You hear numbers like “1-RM” often used. This refers to one-repetition maximum or the most weight an individual can lift for one repetition.

There is a research study re-circulating on the Internet regarding the number of push-ups men can do and the impact it has on their health. The study reports that if someone can pump out 40 push-ups, in one attempt, they are less likely to develop heart disease. WOW!

A study was conducted by a group of researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal JAMA Network Open. The study tested and followed over 1,100 active male firefighters for a 10-year period. The average age of the men was 40 years old. The results found that men who could perform 40 push-ups were 96 percent less likely to develop heart disease a decade later compared to men who could do only 10 push-ups

JAMA Network Open, 2019

The Benefits of Push-Ups

Building up your capacity to perform more push-ups is beneficial to both a novice or an experienced gym-goer. The push-up exercise is a great compound movement that targets the chest, shoulders and arms. It can be used as part of a dynamic warm-up, used in a circuit, placed in a Tabata workout or added while traveling to maintain strength. Push-ups are also great for building strength or endurance depending on the experience of the person; this will depend on the speed or volume (sets x repetitions) of work performed.

Now that you know there are associated health benefits with doing more push-ups, you’re hopefully motivated to do more or get back into doing them. The number of push-ups is also an excellent indicator of your upper body fitness level.

Push-Up Test

First, test yourself to see how many push-ups you can perform in one-minute. You have basically two options, perform as many as you can and record the number. Option two, do a specific number of repetitions, recover, and continue until your minute is up. Note how well you did using the following guidelines. The key is to perform each repetition in a controlled manner, lowering your body until your chest is a few inches from the floor or the arms are bent at 90-degrees. Here are a few guidelines to see how you initially rate. Don’t worry if you do not score high first time out of the gates. Be more focused on your score following four-weeks when you’ll test yourself again using the scoring format below.

Below Average: less than 15 push-ups

Average: 20 push-ups

Good: 30 to 35 push-ups

Excellent: 40 to 50+ push-ups

4-Week Push-Up Plan

If you are looking to improve upon the number of push-ups you can do, try this 4-week plan.

Week 1: Perform 8 sets of 8 repetitions of pushups. Use strict form. Rest two to three minutes between sets. Perform 2-3 workouts during the week.

Week 2: Complete 6 sets of 10 repetitions with 1-2 minute of rest between sets. Perform 2 workouts.

Week 3: Do 4 sets of 15 repetitions with 1 minute of rest between sets. Focus on performing slow eccentric contractions (lowering phase) with each repetition. Think about lowering your body using a 3 count and “explode” up on a 1 count. Perform 2-3 workouts.

Week 4: Complete 4 sets of 20 repetitions using two minutes of rest between sets.

Week 5: Test Yourself Again

New 4-Week Push-Up Challenge on the Jefit App

Check out this new program on the Jefit app that will help you increase the number of push-ups you can do in 4-week. Jefit is very interested in finding out who can improve the most in this area. We are not interested in the number you can do initially. We are, however, very interested in your improvement after trying our 4-week plan. Let us know how many more push-ups you can do four weeks from now! Try our Jefit 4-Week Push-Up Challenge program – it’s for all fitness levels.

Record and Track Your Push-Ups Using Jefit

Jefit is a workout log app that comes with a customizable workout plannerschedule, and exercise routines. It also comes with like-minded people who can help you decide what to eat before and after a workout, share training tips, advice, and wins. Use the Jefit app to get on track with your fitness goals, and join our members-only Facebook page here!

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5 Things to Eat Before and After a Workout and Why

What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Wondering what to eat before and after a workout? What you munch on can make a difference in your performance and how you feel. This is because there are certain foods that can help maximize your efforts to help make each training session a great training session. Here, we tell you what to eat before and after a workout, so you can reap the benefits every single time.

What to Eat Before and After a Workout: The Best Foods

Before a workout

There are some people who train fasted. People who train fasted might be those doing intermittent fasting, who exercise early in the morning or simply prefer to workout on an empty stomach. Then there are those who need to eat something before a workout. Eating prior to a workout can give you the energy you need to make it all the way to the very end. Like we mentioned before, there are some foods that can give you better benefits than others.

Avoid Fat

While healthy fats are beneficial to your health, before a workout is not the best time to consume them. They are slow-digesting, meaning that instead of giving you the energy to pump you up before and during your session, it can instead make you feel sluggish (which is the last thing you want to feel while training).

So limit your fat intake, especially if you are doing high-intensity workouts. But if you do need to eat some healthy fats, then it is best to save it for low-moderate intensity exercises.

Focus on Protein

Because you want to focus on losing fat and not muscle, protein is really important. It will assist in preventing muscle catabolism, which is the break down of muscle tissue. In addition, it will also aid in recovery and growth. So make sure that protein is on your meal list as an integral part of each meal.

Focus on Carbs

Carbs are also an important macronutrient to consume prior to a workout. However, the type of carbs you should eat depends on how soon after eating you plan to workout. If you are training 2-3 hours after your meal, then complex carbs are great. If it is anytime less, then simple carbs are the way to go.

What to Eat 2-3 Hours Before a Workout

Consume a source of lean protein with vegetables and brown rice. It’s a classic dish for a reason—it has a great balance of vegetables, protein, and complex carbs. Complex carbs release energy slowly so by the time you train, your body will be ready. Another great meal idea is a veggie omelette with a side of protein on whole grain toast.

What to Eat 1-2 Hours Before a Workout

Protein smoothie with fruit and veggies. Now is the great time to have that protein shake. To amp it up, add some fruit such as a banana or berries, as well as some greens. A handful of spinach, kale, or celery can help you fit in a serving of vegetables.

Oats. Get some carbs in with healthy oats, and add in some protein by mixing in protein powder. This is a versatile dish that you can mix up by changing the flavor of your protein powder. Also, you can include some honey to sweeten it up. This meal will give you slow-releasing energy that will keep you satiated throughout your workout.

What to Eat 30 Minutes – 1 Hour Before a Workout

Now is the time for simple carbs. They are great for 30-minute windows because they break down fast, meaning you will feel energized faster.

Banana. This is a favorite pre-workout snack. It is easy and convenient. It is made up of simple carbs, natural sugars and potassium. However, this is only stored in the body for a limited amount of time so only eat it when you are about to workout soon. Add some peanut or almond butter for some added protein.

Rice cake with peanut/nut butter. A great balance of carbs and protein. Also, it is pretty delicious!

Water

Make sure you drink before you even start exercising. This will keep your body fluids up, which is important as you will lose water through sweating. If you are exercising in the afternoon or night, then make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.

After a Workout

It is critical that you eat after a workout to replenish the depleted glycogen stores you used during exercise. This will also help speed up the muscle recovery process. For optimal results, try to eat within 30-minutes to 1 hour of exercising.

Again, focus on protein and complex carbs. The protein will help with your muscles in recovery while also assisting in rebuilding new muscles. Carbs will replenish glycogen stores.

Some Meal Ideas

Protein Shake. A protein shake isn’t required after a workout but the reason why you may see people filling up those shakes post-workout is that it is a convenient way to quickly get that protein in. Choose your favorite flavor and try to mix in some fruit for some carbs like a banana or some berries.

Protein, vegetables and rice. If you are still confused on what to eat before and after a workout, you can never go wrong with this dish. This meal works just as well post-workout as it does pre-workout. It has a great balance of the important things you need to refuel your body. For a veggie option, try black beans as it is a great mix of carbs and protein as well.

Greek yogurt, berries and granola. Choose Greek yogurt over regular yogurt as it has more protein. The berries are micronutrients which can aid in muscle recovery, with a side of carbs in the form of granola. Delicious!

Chicken sandwich on whole grain toast with a side of salad/vegetables. Don’t like chicken? Swap it for beef, turkey, or even tofu and beans. This is a great mix of carbs, protein, and your greens.

Pita Bread and Hummus. Dip some yummy pita bread into hummus for a great carb/protein balanced meal. It’s a great vegetarian option for those who follow a meat-free diet.

Other Key Points

Now you know what to eat before and after a workout, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Water plays a vital role in your body—whether it is before or after training. So drink up!

A simple way to remember what to eat before and after a workout, just remember your protein, carbs, and vegetables. That should give you a good balance of the important nutrients and minerals you need.

Track Your Progress with Jefit

Jefit is a workout log app that comes with a customizable workout planner, schedule, and exercise routines. It also comes with like-minded people who can help you decide what to eat before and after a workout, share training tips, advice, and wins. Use the Jefit app to get on track with your fitness goals, and join our members-only Facebook page here!

What to Eat Before and After a Workout

What Are the Best Options for Managing Chronic Pain?

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More than 20 percent of the U.S. adult population, or 50 million people, are trying to manage chronic pain. More than 20 million of them have what is known as “high-impact pain” where the pain is so severe, it can limit everything from activities of daily living to exercise to going to work. These estimates are from the Centers of Disease Control and the National Interview Survey that looked at the health of more than 30,000 adults.

Let’s begin by first taking a look at the differences between acute and chronic pain. According to Medicinenet.com

“Acute pain is of sudden onset and is usually the result of a clearly defined cause such as an injury. Acute pain resolves with the healing of its underlying cause. Chronic pain persists for weeks or months and is usually associated with an underlying condition, such as arthritis. The severity of chronic pain can be mild, moderate, or severe.”

Medicine.net

It seems that everyone you talk with these days is dealing with some form of chronic pain. From those that I’ve spoken to, three areas of the body seem to be most prominent: the low back, knees and shoulder area. It also seems that each individual has their own way of trying to manage their chronic pain.

Case Study: Managing Chronic Pain

Over the past few months I’ve known a few people who were diagnosed with various stress injuries. Each resulting from either exercise or a repetitive movement. No one in this group had ever broken a bone or experienced any type stress fracture in their life…until now. As a result, their gait was thrown off and their body became severely de-conditioned over time. The body is an amazing organism. When we have an injury, the body tries to compensate in order to function. Each individual tried to maintain some type of basic exercise routine as best they could. For example, one friend tried to maintain her fitness level by biking outdoors for about 30-75 minutes 3-4 times a week. They had a stress fracture in one of their toes that they were dealing with.

As a result of an injury, it’s easy to start popping medications in order to alleviate the pain. Chronic pain can take its toll not only physically but mentally as well. It’s also easy to try different alternative therapies because you’re trying to be proactive. Different therapies, like massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and even regular exercise and yoga may help. The issue, however, is they don’t address the root cause of the pain. Why did the injury happen in the first place? What is the mechanism hiding behind the injury? Different specialist will give you varying reasons why this has happened to you. Some will not even offer you that much insight, just try to treat it. They treat the symptom(s), again, not the root cause.

Myofascial Therapy Can Help Manage Chronic Pain

A few friends found that myofascial therapy worked really well. This is typically performed by someone like a physical therapist who has had additional training working with fascia. They are trained to address the issues not with various modalities but manually (i.e. using their hands) helping to release tight fascia (connective tissue) around the injured area.

One person found that the Egoscue Method worked really well. This method was founded by anatomical physiologist, Pete Egoscue, decades ago. He built a great reputation helping famous golfers get out of pain. It involves a full digital assessment followed up with specific bodyweight only exercises to address the issue and realign the spine and body. He has a great book, which I’ve read and recommend often, called Pain Free on Amazon.

This was one of the first therapies that offered me, when I was previously injured, an idea of why my injury occurred in the first place. For me it was all about finding that mechanism that caused the injury in the first place. I was then able to address it, and begin to work on specific exercises to – in my case, realign the spine and hips – eventually getting me back to a healthy (posture) baseline. My job is to now work on those specific, daily, movements (i.e. prehab) in order to prevent this from happening again.

Additional Modalities for Managing Chronic Pain

Massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, cryotherapy, flotation tank, chiropractic, yoga, foam rolling and even exercise can all help. Each modality is beneficial and has a place at the table in managing chronic pain. I have personally tried each of them and, to some extent, they all work albeit temporarily. When trying to relieve chronic pain, it’s best to have a trained therapist observe your standing posture, and how you move. Remember, if you have movement competency issues – and most of us do – you need to work on addressing those issues first. Otherwise, you may end up spending a great deal of money and investing a lot of your time without ever eliminating the pain and finding the answer to why it ever happened in the first place.

Hopefully the advice in this article is something you can use if or when needed. Don’t get comfortable taking medication or trying different therapies just because that’s what you’ve done in the past or someone recommended you give it a try. Question everything, think out of the box, be your own advocate and first and foremost, determine the root cause of the pain.

Jefit Elite Can Record & Track Your Injury History

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, training log, the ability to track data and 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.

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Jefit Data Incident Public Announcement

Dear Jefit user,

We are releasing a public announcement about a cyber-incident that may have exposed some of your Jefit account information (No financial data involved). If your Jefit account was registered before September 20th, 2020, your account might be impacted by this incident. We are also sending direct emails to users whose account might be impacted by this incident. We take the protection and proper use of your information very seriously, and inform you now to explain what happened and the steps that you can take to protect your email address and Jefit account.

What happened?

Recently, we became aware of this data incident from a few user reports and immediately investigated. Soon after we discovered the data breach due to a security bug and took a series of actions to make sure our system is safe and to further protect your account.

Upon discovering this breach, we took immediate action to secure our servers and the impacted accounts. We also began an investigation to understand the scope of the incident. We were able to identify the root cause of the data incident and confirmed that other Jefit systems were unaffected, and contacted law enforcement.

At this time, there is no sensitive financial data involved since we never stored customer’s payment information. All the payment process was directly handled by Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or directly processed by the payment gateway company when customers purchase products on our website. Nevertheless, we are providing this notice out of an abundance of caution because some other part of your account-related data was potentially accessed by the perpetrator of the cyber-incident.

What type of information was involved?

The account realated data that the perpetrator gained access to some or possibly all of the following:

  • Jefit account username.
  • Email address (associated with the account).
  • Encrypted password (hashed with unique salt to each account).
  • IP address when creating the account.

Please note that not every account has an IP address associated with it. We only keep IP addresses for anti-bot and abusive account registration purposes.

What we are doing to prevent any future breach of data?

Upon discovery of the cyber attack, we immediately secured the servers and patched the bug. We also conducted a forensic investigation to confirm that no other systems were impacted. We have taken security measures to strengthen our network against similar incidents in the future. We are also adopting a much stronger password policy on our product to further protect user’s accounts in the future.

What can you do?

We want to make sure you are aware of steps you may take to guard against potential phishing email attacks or other forms of fraud. Although all the passwords have been  encrypted before saving to our system, we encourage existing users to change their Jefit passwords to more secure format / combination. We take the privacy and security of your information seriously, and sincerely regret any concerns or inconvenience that the incident may have caused you. If you have any additional questions or concerns please contact us via privacy@jefit.com.

Sincerely,

Ying Lin, CEO

March 19th, 2021

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