Want to Build Muscle? Then Try This Popular 3/7 Method

Many gym goers don’t mind working hard if they can ultimately add muscle via the routine they’re on. The popular, and fairly new, 3/7 strength training method does just that! Many of the training programs, however, circulating around gyms don’t always end up building muscle for different reasons. Gym goers, for the most part, understand the need for high intensity and volume (sets x reps. x load). Especially when a building phase is called for in a training plan.

The majority of individuals who workout like to use a traditional sets and repetitions based training program. Meaning, performing a Barbell Squat, is typically done, using 4×6, or four sets of six repetitions, with a few minutes recovery between sets. The 3/7 Method allows you to stay on one piece of equipment, performing more overall sets back-to-back, but in less time.

The Jefit team recently created two new strength programs (free wight and machine) using this type of training protocol. Click the title of each program below to be taken to the specific program.

3/7 Method Research Review

Personally, if you really want to know the efficacy of a strength training program, explore the research. If there are research papers published on a topic, like the 3/7 Method, that’s usually a step in the right direction.

In a 2019 study published in the European Journal of Physiology, the 3/7 Method compared well to a more traditional 8×6 program. Stragier and colleagues tested elbow flexor strength using 70 percent of 1-RM. The goal was to test the efficacy of a new strength training method on strength gain, hypertrophy, and neuromuscular fatigability.

The new training protocol (3/7 method) consisted of five sets of an increasing number of repetitions (3 to 7) during successive sets and brief inter-set intervals (15-seconds). This format was repeated two additional times after 150-seconds of recovery compared to a method consisting of eight sets of six repetitions with an inter-set interval of 150-seconds (8 × 6 method). Subjects trained two times per week for a period of 12-weeks. 

Young beautiful woman training in the gym. Concept of fitness, workout, sport, health

In a second study (2016), Laurent and colleagues looked at untrained subjects performing Smith Machine Bench Press, twice a week for 8-weeks. Subjects were assigned to one of three groups:

1.) A group that trained the exercise with the 3/7 method.

2.) A group that trained the exercise with 4 sets of 6 repetitions (with 2.5 minutes of rest between sets).

3.) A group that trained the exercise with 8 sets of 6 repetitions (also with 2.5 minutes of rest between sets).

Training Results

In the first study mentioned, the 3/7 and 8 × 6 methods significantly increased both 1-RM load (22.2 ± 7.4 and 12.1 ± 6.6%, respectively) and MVC force. The 3/7 method provided a better training stimulus for strength gain and muscle hypertrophy than the 8 × 6 method.

In the second study, each of the three groups used 70 percent of their 1-RM for bench press. Following the study, the researchers found the 3/7 method increased bench press strength to a greater extent than training with 4 sets of 6 repetitions. Compared to a moderate volume classical method (4 sets of 6 repetitions), the 3/7 method was superior. But, compared to a higher volume classical method (8 sets of 6 repetitions), the 3/7 method wasn’t as effective. However, the 3/7 Method was performed in about a third less time compared to the other groups due to the short (15-seconds) bouts of recovery between sets.

Hopefully these great results that we came across for the 3/7 Method, opens up some eyes and you hopefully give one of the programs above a try. Stay Strong with Jefit!

Use Jefit to Record & Track Your Progress

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 has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and features 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 sustainable fitness lifestyle.

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Muscle Growth Requires: Intake, Timing and Distribution of Protein

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Many Jefit app users spend a lot of time working hard in the gym, lifting the appropriate amount of weight to progressively overload their muscles. Additional focus is also placed on optimal sleep and nutrition. With all that, they may still have trouble building lean muscle mass, commonly known as a “hard gainer.”

Key to Muscle Growth? Protein Intake, Timing and Distribution

Preventing sarcopenia can be a serious challenge for the majority of people over the age of 35. Performing 2-3 weekly strength training sessions can help your cause. Also, eating a balanced diet with adequate protein are essential components. Finally, eating an additional 500 calories a day will keep your body in an anabolic state. Still having trouble adding muscle? Monitor the amount of daily protein as well as how it’s distributed throughout your day.

Protein Research

Building muscle requires adequate daily protein intake. Research has demonstrated eating protein every three hours, on your strength training days, is needed to build muscle. A 2013 study by Areta and colleagues, published in the Journal of Physiology, showed this to be true. Consuming 20 grams of whey protein every 3-hours, over 12-hours, following strength training, showed superior results for stimulating muscle protein synthesis. The key differences in the study were the timing and distribution pattern of the whey protein. The findings of this novel study were:

“the results from the study provide new information demonstrating the timing and distribution of protein ingestion is a key factor in stimulating rates muscle protein synthesis.”

“this study emphasizes that the timing of protein intake is a separate variable and a crucial factor in the development of optimal nutritional strategies to maintain and/or enhance peak muscle mass in humans.”

Journal of Physiology

A study published in the Journal Nutrients in 2020 by Hudson and colleagues looked at additional protein requirements. The results supported eating at least one meal containing a sufficient quantity of protein. This applies to all adults already consuming 0.8 – 1.3 grams of protein a day. This in turn, helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis, independent of daily distribution, and is helpful in promoting skeletal muscle health. The study went on to mention that the researchers believe there has been a shift in thinking about dietary protein requirements. Their belief is it has gone from a daily requirement to an individual meal requirement. As an example, eating 30 grams of protein per meal, plus one protein shake, would equate to 120 grams a day.

References

Areta JL, Burke LM, Ross ML et al. (2013). Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis. Journal of Physiology 591(9): 2319–2331

Hudson, JL et al., (2020). Protein Distribution and Muscle-Related Outcomes: Does the Evidence Support the Concept? Nutrients 12(5): 1441. doi: 10.3390/nu12051441

Try 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 and training log. The app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and features 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 sustainable fitness lifestyle.

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6 Most Popular Jefit Strength Machine Exercises

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According to Jefit, an award-winning strength planner & tracker app, the most popular strength training machines based on member usage are as follows. These six exercises have all been added to workouts on the app between 1.3 and 1.6 million times. The six exercise, starting with Wide Grip Lat Pulldown, can all be found below. Adding these six exercises to the mix with a few other of your favorite exercises would make a great full body strength program.

IdNameBodypartEquipmentPopularity 
86Wide Grip Lat PulldownBackMachine – Strength1,663,167
24DipTricepsMachine – Strength1,553,837
160Prone Leg CurlUpper LegsMachine – Strength1,479,854
78Decline CrunchAbsMachine – Strength1,351,466
159Cable Rope Triceps PushdownTricepsMachine – Strength1,324,182
45Machine FlyChestMachine – Strength1,305,333
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1. Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

The wide-grip lat pulldown is one of the classic bodybuilding exercises used to help build a stronger back. It is a staple exercise in many Jefit strength programs not only because of its versatility, but the fact that it’s also a great compound movement that targets the back.

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2. Dip

A good test of upper body strength? The ability to push out a few sets of dips. Try performing 6-8 slow, controlled repetitions using bodyweight with good form. Once you have mastered this, progress to weighted dips, a challenging exercise that can build strength and muscle mass in your chest, triceps, shoulders, and back.

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3. Prone Leg Curl

Machine-based leg curls are a great exercise when looking to isolate just the hamstring muscles. With that said they are not the most functional exercise. For more total leg compound movements, but where the hamstrings still come into play, try Squats, Deadlifts and RDL exercises, especially a SLRDL.

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4. Decline Crunch

The decline crunch is the fourth most popular exercise where a machine or piece of exercise equipment is used. The decline crunch exercise allows you to keep your legs steady and isolate your core muscles.

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5. Cable Rope Triceps Pushdown

The cable rope triceps pushdown exercise uses a rope to help target the triceps muscle for better definition and bigger arms.

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6. Machine Fly

The machine fly or butterfly machine exercise is an easy, effective way to target your chest and inner chest muscles.

When the time comes that you need to update or create a new Jefit strength program, consider these six popular exercises. More than a million gym goers have already done so!

Use Jefit to Track Your Progress

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 sustainable fitness lifestyle.

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3 Reasons Better Sleep Can Improve Your Fitness

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Working to achieve peak fitness is an effort that never ends. As soon as you reach your goals, there is always going to be the question of either maintaining them, or setting new ones to hit. In among all of that, there are the marginal improvements you can make when it comes to getting the most out of your potential. For example: while we all know about the importance of diet and exercise when it comes to reaching your peak, how much attention do you pay to the – arguably equally important – issue of sleep?

Sleep isn’t just a way to recuperate energy at the end of a long day; the quality and the quantity of rest you get at this crucial time has major implications for your health, both physically and mentally. Also, when it comes to your improvements in the gym, you’d be surprised just how influential a decent night’s sleep can be in the mix.

If You’re Not Sleeping, You’re Not Gaining Muscle

The physical process of building muscle is, in its simplest form, actually kind of brutal. To achieve this goal, you are literally breaking down the muscle (micro tears), then letting it heal, forming stronger fibrous bonds. This healing does not happen immediately, but actually takes place overnight, particularly while you are sleeping. In other words, if you’re not sleeping, you won’t get the most of your muscle building workout. You’ll also find that the next time you hit the gym, you won’t be able to do quite as much as before.

Sleep and exercise exist in a tandem, in which each benefits the other and gives the best results for both. Not only that, when you get a good night’s sleep, your body will produce the optimum amount of growth hormone, which is essential in delivering the benefits you want.

Quality of Sleep Matters as Much as Quantity

You’ll surely know how it feels to wake up in the morning, having bedded down at a perfectly reasonable hour but then been assaulted by insomnia, snatching an hour of sleep here and a few minutes there in between tossing and turning and occasionally looking helplessly at the ceiling. Nothing feels quite right in the light of day after a night like that – you’ll be grouchy, your energy won’t be there, and even a gym session will not shake that weird feeling.

There are no sure-fire cures for insomnia, but there are a few things you can do to make it less likely. Leave your phone alone for at least an hour before bed; for that matter eliminate all TV and other screen time. In addition, meditation, has been shown to have a positive affect on insomnia. There are other things that you can do as well, but those are a few highly beneficial ones.

Exercise Can Help You Sleep: So That’s Good

While a good night’s sleep is beneficial for getting the most from your workout, there is a bit of good news to be had here. The reverse is also true – if you have a regular exercise routine, it should benefit the quality and quantity of sleep you are getting. As long as your diet regime is well-judged (so lots of clean proteins and as little caffeine as possible), your workout should burn plenty of excess energy, leaving you feeling pleasantly spent at the end of a day and ready for a night of uninterrupted sleep.

It’s great if your workout makes you feel pumped and full of fire, but that hyped-up feeling should be left in the gym. If you’re still experiencing the side effects of adrenaline while you’re getting ready to hit the hay, then there is a problem. A regime of light stretches at the end of every routine should allow you to get some equilibrium before you get in the shower.

Sleep is of vital importance to any fitness regime, and to all aspects of your physical and mental health. If you find that you are struggling for that essential restful sleep when you go to bed at night, then take every effort to find a way of improving things; including speaking to a doctor if it becomes chronic. Sleeping well is a foundational building block to everything else in life, and is the most important thing in any wellness routine. By following the above advice and working as hard as you can to establish that routine, you’ll see the best results both in the gym and beyond.

Use the Jefit App to Track Your Workouts

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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4 Tips on How to Set Smart Fitness Goals

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More and more gym-goers are now returning to the gym which typically mean new fitness resolutions. However, according to U.S. News, 80 percent of people give up on their resolutions within the first few weeks of beginning a new routine. So to help you avoid being part of this statistic, here are some tips on how to set smart fitness goals as you return to the gym.

4 Tips on How to Set Smart Fitness Goals

1. Don’t Focus on Too Many Goals

Many people choose to use this as a reason to completely overhaul their lifestyle. They want to lose weight, bulk up, cut out sugar, workout 5 times a week and the list goes on. And this is just fitness goals! This is why it is so easy for people to fall off the wagon; there are just too many goals to keep track of with so many changes to make. By scattering your focus among many, you can’t channel your full effort into them.

So one of the tips on how to set smart fitness goals – as you return to the gym – is to focus only on just a couple of fitness goals. This way, you can really put 100 percent effort into them and be able to maintain them for longer.

It is better to make progress with fewer goals than none at all with many.

2. Focus on the S.M.A.R.T Principle

Another way on how to set smart fitness goals is to follow the S.M.A.R.T guidelines. Your goal should be:

S for Specific – Make sure that you clearly define your fitness goal. Vague goals do not give you enough direction; you need to know exactly what you want in the end and make it clear on when you can say, you did it.

For example, don’t say I want to lose weight or I want to gain muscle but I will lose 5 pounds or I will gain 3 pounds of muscle mass by doing x, y, and z.

M for Measurable – Your fitness goal needs to be something that you can actively track. Break down your big goal into smaller, measurable goals.

For example, I will lose 1 pound by week 4. I will lose another 2 pounds by week 8.

A for Attainable – Do you have the time, money, resources to achieve this goal? If you set a goal that is not attainable, you risk demoralizing yourself.

For example, do you have the time to work out? Can you afford a gym membership or personal training? Do you have the time to set up a home gym? Adjust your goals accordingly so that you will be able to attain it in the end.

R for Realistic and Relevant – Don’t set yourself up for failure. While your goal should challenge you, it should also be realistic and achievable. It should also be relevant to you. Is your goal aligned with your life and direction you want it to take? If you are not interested in weight loss but would rather build muscle, then set that as your goal. Otherwise, you won’t have the motivation or discipline to see it through.

T for Time – When do you want to achieve it by? Give yourself enough time to realistically achieve it but not too much time because then there won’t be a sense of urgency.

For example, I will lose 5 pounds in 6 months.

3. Write Down Your Goals

Another tip on how to set smart fitness goals for a new training goal is to write it down. Something about having your goal written down on paper in tangible form makes it more permanent and real. Place these papers somewhere you will see every day such as above your desk at work or home, or on your bedroom door so you can be reminded every day and use each day as an opportunity to make progress.

Also, pay attention to the words you use. Use words like “will” to create a sense of determination and positivity.

For example, I will lose 5 pounds in 6 months instead of “I want to”.

4. Write an Action Plan

If you want the best opportunity to attain your smart fitness goals, then also write them down into an action plan, including your S.M.A.R.T guidelines, a timeline and the smaller measurable goals. This will not only give you a direction but a plan to follow. It will also be really motivating being able to track your progress and tick things off as you go.

Use Jefit to Track Your Workouts

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. Not only does it 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. If you have a smart fitness goal, why not get Jefit to help you keep on track? What are your fitness goals for the remainder of 2021? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to know!

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4 Reasons You Have Low Energy at the Gym

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Despite what sport or workout you do, recovery is crucial. Without taking the time to rest and recover, you risk overtraining and making yourself more prone to low energy and injury. You’ll also feel not as great as if you’ve had the proper rest that you need. So how do recovery methods differ for each workout? Find out here.

Different Recovery Methods to Avoid Low Energy

How to Recover from Cardio

Hydration is key to help avoid low energy. You sweat a lot from moderate to intense cardio so make sure that you replace lost fluid. If you weren’t drinking water throughout your workout either, drink even more.

If you’ve only done moderate level cardio, then It’s best to stay away from sports drinks that are marketed towards athletes. These drinks contain high levels of added sugar that aren’t needed for moderate workouts.

You can drink these sports drinks and other liquids with electrolytes after longer cardio sessions.

How to Recover from HIIT

HIIT, or High Intense Interval Training, consists of short bursts of extreme exercise followed by rest break. This definitely gets your heart ramping up a lot quicker than LISS or moderate exercise. You’ll also be burning calories after your workout thanks to a process called post-exercise oxygen consumption. EPOC refers to the amount of oxygen it takes to restore your body to its normal state. HIIT boosts this process.

As well as drinking fluids and making sure that you’re hydrated, make sure you eat a meal rich in carbs and protein (3:1 ratio is ideal). This way, you are feeding your body the fuel it needs by letting your muscles grow and restore glycogen stores.

HIIT is very taxing on the body so it is best to give yourself one full day in between to recover. Doing it every day or even multiple times a day can really increase your risk of overtraining. Do yourself a favor, and take a break in order to avoid bouts of low energy from too much intense exercise.

How to Recover from Running

After a run, you would have sweat quite a bit. So, surprise, surprise, you will need to restore your fluids. Water and/or electrolytes is your number one priority. Believe it or not, chocolate milk is one of the best post-running drink/snack that you can have. It embodies the 3:1 carb to protein ratio that you need, and of course, it’s delicious.

Have a well-balanced snack or meal as well.

Just remember to incorporate rest days into your schedule. Running puts a lot of stress and pressure on your joints, so it’s crucial to give them a break. At least one rest day a week is ideal, and maybe even two.

If you find it difficult to take a break, it doesn’t mean that you have to be sedentary the entire day. Go for a walk, or do some low-impact activities. Swimming is a great one because it takes the stress off your joints, while still allowing you to get some exercise in.

How to Recover from Strength Training

As strength training focuses primarily on building your muscles, you’ll need to make sure you consume protein and a good amount of carbs after a workout. You would have depleted your muscle stores so it’s important to refuel. This will aid in recovery, help avoid low energy, as well as promote muscle growth.

You’ll also need to ensure that you drink water and have a good, filling meal. Stick to the 3:1 carbohydrate/protein ratio to maximize recovery. You have probably heard the perfect recovery drink with this exact ratio is chocolate milk.

The recovery times and rest days in between strength training greatly depends on your workout schedule. If you split your days between muscle groups, such as back, shoulders, legs, etc, then you can get away with training 5-6 days with one rest day in the week.

If you train the same muscle group in a row, give yourself at least a days rest in between to recover.

Just Listen to Your Body

While the general rule of thumb is to give the same muscle group a rest day, minimum, in between workouts. Otherwise, you risk overtraining. And at the end of the day, just listen to your body. If you’re feeling the effects of training that transcends beyond normal DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), then take a break. You won’t ruin your progress by taking a couple of days off, in fact, you’ll probably help it. Use a foam roller post workout to help recover faster and help with DOMS.

Make sure that you always warm up before your workout and stretch afterwards. It’ll facilitate the muscle recovery process and help to speed it up. It might be a good idea to foam roll as well. This will lessen the recovery times for each activtity.

Workout with Jefit

Track your training, record your progress, and customize your workout plan with Jefit. Jefit is a workout log app that provides you with all the tools you need to hit your fitness goals. We even have a members-only Facebook group where you can connect with like-minded people and share fitness and nutrition tips and advice.

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Six Easy Exercises for Targeted Ab Training

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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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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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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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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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Research Says This Percent 1-RM is Best for Strength Gain

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Do you know what percentage of your 1-RM (one repetition maximum) is optimal to increase strength? It is often thought to improve muscular strength, you lift a lower number of repetitions (typically 5–8) at 66–90 percent of your 1-RM. Jefit looked into this question and this is what the research showed.

What is 1-RM Anyway?

The term 1-RM signifies the maximum amount of weight someone can lift for one repetition of a given exercise. When you lift any repetition maximum type of weight, you should not be able to complete additional repetitions. If you can, it’s not a true max set for that exercise. The idea is you give everything you have in that first repetition – as the name implies.

Is 1-RM an Effective Way to Test?

Numerous studies have assessed the reliability of the 1-RM test. A 2012 study by Dongguk University, Korea, examined the reliability of the 1-RM test based on muscle group and gender. The researchers reported that 1-RM testing is a reliable measurement to assess muscle strength changes regardless of muscle group location or gender. 

In 2009, a study by Victoria University, published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, looked at the reliability of the 1-RM strength test for untrained subjects. Both men and women, aged 18-35 years, participated in the study. They concluded, 1-RM was a reliable method of evaluating the maximal strength in that age group.

As with anything else, it’s important to make sure your body is properly warm-up prior to executing any max set. This is accomplished by using multiple lighter sets as you “build up” to your 1-RM, final set. Once you have determined a 1-RM in a squat or bench press, for example, you’re then able to work at different intensity levels over time using a specific percent of your 1-RM score. The percentage you work at ultimately depends on what your training goals are.

Examples Using Percentage of 1-RM

The following are a few examples of how an exercise using percent 1-RM can be expressed:

  • 3 x 8 @ 75% – Three sets of 8 repetitions at 75% of the 1-RM
  • 8/80%, 6/85%, 6/85%, 4/90% – Eight repetitions at 80%, 2 sets of six repetitions at 85%, and four repetitions at 90% of the 1-RM
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Research on 1-RM Percentage Use

A small 2012 study by McMaster University, Canada, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, compared training effects of light weights to heavy weights. Over a 10-week period, researchers tested the effects of performing leg extensions with either heavy (80 percent of 1-RM) or light (30 percent of 1-RM) weights. The researchers found that both heavy and light loads increased muscle mass equally. But for building strength, the 80 percent load produced superior results.

In a study out of Brazil, researchers looked at the influence of percentage of 1-RM strength test on repetition performance during resistance exercise. The study involved a small group of healthy, male subjects who had been strength training for at least one year. The leg press, Scott arm, and knee flexion were used in this study due to its common use in exercise programs.

The study conclude that in 80 percent and 90 percent of 1-RM, the number of repetitions is higher in exercises involving lower limbs compared with upper limb exercises. While in 70 percent of the cases no differences were found. It seems that single-joint exercises perform less repetitions than multi-joint (e.g leg extension vs. leg press) while upper limbs showed more number of repetitions and total load in 70 percent of 1-RM.

Additional Research

A 2020 review published in Sports Medicine looked at two popular ways to prescribe load for developing maximal strength. The review involved 22 studies comprising a total of 761 participants (585 males and 176 females). The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of percentage 1-RM and repetition maximum targets as load prescription methods for the development of maximal strength.

The results showed percent 1-RM elicited greater improvements in maximal strength (4.6%) in comparison with RM targets. More research, however, is needed to fully investigate the efficacy of both these methods, specifically direct comparisons between the two methods. 

Finally, Jenkins and colleagues, saw greater increases in muscle activation performing leg extension, to failure, using 80 percent of 1-RM compared to other percent 1-RM over a 6-week period. Maximal muscle activation is important because it’s warranted when trying to increase strength.

Final Thoughts

There are many training variables that need to be managed when trying to increase strength. When it comes to choosing the best percentage of 1-RM to ensure strength gains, the best answer according to the research is probably a range. It will depend also on the training experience of the individual. If someone is a novice and just starting out, research has previously shown as little as 66 percent of 1-RM can do the trick. As a person becomes stronger and more experienced, though, that number increases to about 75 percent. Finally, as the person develops the necessary strength and mobility to handle heavy loads, the percentage can increase once more to 80-90 percent of 1-RM.

Here is a great training load chart from the NSCA that can help.

Use The Jefit App For All Your 1-RM 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. 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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