Muscular Efficiency, Calorie Burning, and Fat Loss

Many factors contribute to the success or failure of an exercise program and one of the commonly overlooked factors is muscular efficiency. This post discusses how muscular efficiency affects your results and explains how you should exercise to maximize your results.

     Efficiency is generally considered a good thing, but when it comes to fitness, it can actually be a problem. Specifically, the issue is with muscular efficiency, because increased muscular efficiency results in fewer calories being burned during workouts, which ultimately means less fat loss. Muscular efficiency can have a significant effect on the ability to lose fat, but many people are not familiar with this concept, so they don’t create their workouts to minimize the negative effects. Therefore, this post will briefly describe muscular efficiency and explain how it affects your results.

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The Problem with Fat Cells

Losing weight can be a definite challenge and even when people have some success, they often gain it back later. There are many reasons for these struggles, but one of the reasons has to do specifically with how your fat cells react to gaining fat, which is discussed in this post.

     Losing weight is probably the most common goal in health and fitness and many people struggle to lose fat and have an even harder time keeping it off. Some of this difficulty results from focusing too much on quick weight loss schemes instead of following proven strategies, involving a well-designed nutrition and exercise program. However, even when eating healthy and exercising, you can still run into problems due the way typical long-term behaviors affects your fat cells.

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Functional Training: What it Really Means

Chances are you have heard the term functional training, but there is also a good chance you have not been given a good explanation of what it really is. This is because there is a lot of confusion about functional training, both in the fitness community and the media. This post explains the real meaning of functional training and discusses why it is important to you.

     Functional training has become a very popular over the last decade, but there is still a lot of confusion about what functional training actually is. As is often the case in health and fitness, once a topic becomes popular, such as with functional training, marketers jump on the bandwagon and start using the term to promote as many products or exercises as possible. This results in many exercises being labeled as functional when the term does not really apply, which naturally just leads to confusion and questions about which exercises should be considered functional and why.

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The Eat This, Not That Mentality

The eat this, not that mentality of comparing foods and swapping out one food for another has become very popular, but is it a good way to approach nutrition? This post examines this approach and explains how to get much better results by using other nutritional strategies.

     Chances are you have heard of the “Eat This, Not That!” series of nutrition books. At this point there are at least 7 different books, not including updated versions, and you can frequently see segments on morning TV shows where the viewer is asked to guess which of two foods or meals is lower in fat or calories. Needless to say, the eat this, not that mentality is very popular right now, but is it really a good way to approach nutrition?

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Mirrors can Improve Your Exercise Results

Exercising with correct technique is very important, but unfortunately, most people have significant form flaws when they workout. This article explains how you can use a mirror to develop better exercise technique and improve your overall results.

     In previous posts, I have written a lot about the importance of having correct exercise technique for both the safety and effectiveness of your workouts. While there is no question that technique is important, you may not know how to improve your technique, especially when learning new exercises. The best way is probably to hire a qualified personal trainer to teach you proper technique, but for many people that is not a reasonable option. In that case, one of the best things you can do is watch yourself in the mirror while you are exercising.

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Supplements: Which Ones Live up to their Hype? – Part 2 – Protein Powders and Meal Replacement Powders (MRPs)

This post discusses the positive and negative qualities of protein powders and meal replacement powders. Admittedly there are a lot of bad supplements out there, but these are ones that actually may be worth buying.

     In part 1 of this series I covered the general supplement categories of vitamins/minerals and performance enhancers (click here to read) and discussed which ones are worth the money and which ones should be avoided. In this post I am going to take a similar approach with protein powders and meal replacement powders (MRPs). These are some of the more popular supplements sold today and in general, they are above average in terms of quality and value.

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Deciding what Foods you should Eat – The Big Picture

This post takes a look at nutrition from a big picture approach. It explains how focusing on one or two aspects of a food can provide inaccurate information about the overall nutritional quality of that food. It also discusses the importance of looking at your nutritional program as a whole and not just examining the individual foods you eat by themselves.

     I want to start this post by simply saying that nutrition is complicated and it can be very confusing, especially when there are so many different diets and opinions about how and what you should eat. Since there is so much competition among nutrition plans, each one tries to market a unique angle to help it stand out from the crowd. As a result, much of the information focuses on explaining why one particular plan is better than all the others. While this certainly helps attract new customers, it also makes people lose sight of the big picture by making them focus on the aspect(s) of the program that makes it different or unique. However, when it comes to nutrition, the last thing you want to do is lose sight of the big picture.

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Fact or Fiction: No Pain, No Gain

This post discusses the expression no pain, no gain and explains why pushing yourself harder is not always better. Your body needs to be challenged to some degree, but you also need to include adequate recovery time in your workout routine.

     No pain, no gain is one of the most commonly used expressions in fitness and chances are just reading those words made you think about working out. Well, probably not just working out, but working out really hard. It is known that the human body must be exposed to increasingly difficult challenges (higher weights, more reps, less rest, etc.) to stimulate further gains and exercising at an easy or comfortable level will, at best, only maintain your current fitness level. As a result, people often say no pain, no gain as a way to get the point across that you need to push yourself if you really want to improve. However, is no pain, no gain really an accurate statement?

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Health and Fitness Psychology – 7 Tips to Ensure Your Success – Part 2

Everyone knows that eating right and exercising are important for overall health and fintess, but many people overlook the importance of psychology. This post looks at 7 psychology related tips to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Part 2 covers increasing your knowledge, believing in your program, making a commitment to yourself, and not comparing yourself to others.

     In the first part of this post I cover the first 3 tips, which involved creating a supportive environment, deciding what you want to accomplish, and creating short, intermediate, and long-term goals (click here to read part 1). I ended part 1 by basically stating that the more you understand about your routine, the better your overall success will be and that leads right into the next tip.

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