Juicing: The Basics

Juicing: Don’t let the fad sites fool you.

Juicing has been the topic of conversation regarding weight loss for some time, but aside from all the fad posts about juicing, is it really worth it? If done correctly, juicing has its benefits in terms of your fruits and veggies intake, but as a dietary option, you’re out of luck. Let’s look at the obviously positive aspects of juicing though. Juicing is good for the individual that either has a horrible time remembering to eat their fruits and veggies, or for those who simply hate the stuff. As we all know, fruits and vegetables have essential nutrients for our body, so its imperative that we eat them. What juicing does is that it gets all these fruits and vegetables and puts your daily servings in one whole glass, convenient right? Here’s the thing though, straining out the juices from these two food categories also effectively removes other minerals and vitamins that are also essential for our bodies and stuff like fiber, which is found in the pulp of fruits, is also taken away when juicing. So you’ll still want to consume some physical form of your fruits and veggies aside from the juicing to get the most of what you what. Another setback is the idea of juicing to watch your weight. If you are supplementing your current diet with juicing, you have to consider what’s being put into your juice concoction. If you’re splurging and tossing all the delicious fruits you want and omitting many of the essential vegetables, you’re racking up calories and reducing the nutrients you need. The most effective juice mix should be primarily vegetable based with one or two fruits of your choice as a flavor additive. One thing though, you CANNOT replace eating with JUST juicing; it’s a horrible idea. You need the stuff other foods give  you that juicing just can’t supplement essential stuff that meats and other healthy foods can give you. In conclusion, your best bet is to look at juicing as a supplement to your diet, just not your diet alone.

Your One Hundred Pushups

Are you ready for the challenge?

There is a common pushup routine that many athletes use to increase their overall body strength, but primarily their upper bodies, called “The One Hundred Push Up Plan”. By the end of the program, you should be able to do, as the title says, one hundred consecutive pushups. In it, you test your normal number of consecutive pushups. BAsed on this number, you follow a weekly program doing a set number of pushups a number of times, once per day, every other day. You start pushing yourself as the days progress, and at the end of the week, you retest your maximum and readjust the plan if necessary. Eventually, you should get to your goal, whatever that may be (the plan is good for any pushup goal, not just the advertised one hundred.

However, I feel that there is a better plan out there. This plan is called “The Evil Russian Program”.

The program starts out the same. Test your maximum consecutive push up amount. Then, every day for two weeks, you do a given percentage of your maximum at a given interval for that day. For example, on Day One of Week One, you do 50% of your maximum number every 60 minutes. you do these from the time you get out of bed, to an hour before you go back to bed. Don’t sweat it if you can’t make a specific interval; sometimes work and other events get in the way. Just try to make up for it if you can. The first day of every week, retest your maximum, but don’t worry about re-adjusting your reps unless you feel that you need to.

I like this plan much better than the One Hundred Pushups plan. The Evil Russian Program only /seems/ more difficult on the surface, but in reality it’s specially designed for anyone of any body type to do. The fact that the required number of reps per interval is based on a percentage means that you’ll never actually be maxing yourself in any given interval, yet by the end of the day you’ll have done as many as ten times your maximum. Furthermore, even if you can only do two or three pushups at a time, you’re not forced into maxing yourself every interval. This is an important concept, because if you strain yourself too much, you can damage the muscle, rather than build it. Depending on your situation, the One Hundred Pushups Plan may not be the best for you.

In summary, the Evil Russian Program pushes you harder than the One Hundred Pushups Plan, for about the same amount of work. As a side benefit, it also helps to establish a daily exercise routine, which can be a hard thing to get into if you’re just starting out. It bears mentioning that people with overly-busy schedules probably won’t be able to do this often, in which case they should stick to the One H4undred Pushups Plan. It’s not a bad program; the Evil Russian Program is just more efficient and works better in my opinion.

Below is the two week schedule. Re-test your maximum every Sunday, and adjust your number of reps as needed. Repeat the two-week schedule as needed.

WEEK ONE
Sunday: Test your maximum. Then, do 30% max. every 60 minutes.
Monday: 30% max. every 60 minutes
Tuesday: 50% max. every 60 minutes
Wednesday: 60% max. every 45 minutes
Thursday: 25% max. every 60 minutes
Friday: 45% max. every 30 minutes
Saturday: 40% max. every 60 minutes

WEEK TWO
Sunday: Re-test and re-adjust your maximum. Then, do 35% max. every 45 minutes
Monday: 55% max. every 20 minutes
Tuesday: 30% max. every 15 minutes
Wednesday: 65% max. every 60 minutes
Thursday: 35% max. every 45 minutes
Friday: 45% max. every 60 minutes
Saturday: 25% max. every 120 minutes

Run for Your Life 2013

One of the many crazy obstacles runners have to overcome to get to their goal in this horror race.

Alright Everyone, mark your calendars and start signing up for another crazy 5k “Run for Your Life” SoCal zombie run in San Bernardino. For those of you new to this 5k run, the best way to explain this run is to put it in very simple terms: it’s a crazy race for your life. You’re essentially running from other “zombies”. These zombies are in fact, other runners who registered to participate in the zombie role. You as the runner not only have to outrun these zombies, but outrun them while avoiding or overcoming several obstacles that are presented to you along the course of the run. There have been some pretty crazy obstacles such as blood pools, mazes, and mini nightmare rooms, so be prepared to be scared. As of now, tickets are priced at 87$, which  you can buy here. Aside from the craziness of the run, there’s an after party with great music, food, and drinks to cool you off after a run for your life. Be sure to check it out before tickets sell out, this race sells out quick!

The 101 on Beach and Hill Running

Both terrains offer excellent benefits to your health and running performance, but there are some precautions to consider

Running can get boring at times and depending on the type of ground you are running on, it could mess your feet up and then some. Though all terrain runs also have their fair share of medical precautions (which I will inform you al on later on), there is much to benefit from trying out the more rugged trails in your area. First off, let’s talk about beach running. For you ladies and gentlemen who want to lose weight, your best option is running on the road than the beach, given  you’re a beginner in the art of running. Even though you burn up to 30% more calories running in the beach than you would on the road, you’re also utilizing one and a half more times the energy more than you normally would running on the road. This would cause problems for beginner runners in the sense that you could burn out quickly if you’re not adjusted to the idea of pacing yourself during a run. A benefit to beach running, aside from the increase calorie burn, is the fact that you’re toning the muscles groups on your legs a lot more than on solid ground. Skipping the science-y lingo, since your feet get less collision on the sand, your entire leg muscle groups are more effectively utilized. It pretty much has to do with the fact that your feet are sinking in the sand rather than hitting a solid ground. Also, be careful doing beach runs; you’ll be more likely to get shin splints  than you would running on the road.

Aside from beach running, hiking or running up hills boast a lot of health benefits than health risks. Let’s talk about one of the more obvious benefits of hill running: Aside from getting a good burn from an extensive cardio workout,  you’ll also be working on some muscle strength. Since you’re running up an elevated path, you’re essentially subjecting your body to resistance training which builds up all the muscles on your legs. Aside from just the lower body workout you’re getting, you’ll also be sculpting your upper body more as well. Since running uphill makes your arms to drive harder forward than you would on the road, you’re exercising those upper body muscle groups. The muscle workout you gain from hill runs also improve speed, that’s a plus for many runners wishing to get a faster mile time. One of the things to consider however, when regarding hill running, is the potential issues that you might experience if you aren’t too experienced in all terrain running, or just running in general. Always make sure to pace yourself and not overstrain your body to its limits when hill running. Depending on how high you’re going, fatigue can be a dangerous thing, so I’d personally suggest to have an experienced hill runner with you to coach you along your desired path. Balance can become an issue during running, so be sure to stretch out your legs to prevent any sprains or twists. Another thing to consider is to be sure to remain adequately hydrated during your run. No matter if its hot or a nice day for a run, never forget to bring some water to drink, dehydration is a horrible thing to experience when you’re up a hill.

Running in the Cold IS Possible

Though it doesn’t get as cold as this in LA, we still feel that chill in our run

 

Wintertime can sometimes become a drag when it comes to your training regiment. Luckily for us Los Angelians, we only really deal with colder temperatures and the occasional storm during this time. However, with the winds not cooperating with us recently, we still deal with the issue of how we can run in California’s version of “freezing cold”. Don’t worry, just because the temperature becomes unbearably low, doesn’t mean that there isn’t gear out there that can help you overcome it and help you continue your training. There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re choosing your running gear for the cold, two of which being wind resistance and heat regulation. Seeing as temperatures have gone as mid 40s during winter, it is best that you consider compression equipment and running jackets. Compression leggings, such as the 2XU Graduated Performance Tights or the CW-X Pro Running Tights, which are between 100$-120$, help you keep warm due to the blood flow regulation that the compression helps control. Normally, this should be enough coverage on your legs to prevent your body from losing temperature, but if you feel that even with compression tights, your losing body temperature, consider running pants. Just like with jackets, make sure you avoid natural fabrics which may absorb sweat, like cotton, because that sweat retention can lead to your body losing some heat do to the sweat cooling in the outside. Regarding jackets, avoid bulky coats, since it will be unnecessarily heavy and may have natural material that could absorb your sweat and make you colder. Softshell Jackets, which you can purchase in Back Country’s website here, sells good water and wind resistant jackets for your running regiment in this cold weather. Hats and gloves are essential for to keep warm during your run as well. In fact, you lose most your body temperature (about 70%-80%) from your head, with the rest being lost through your hands and feet. Having good sweat repelling gloves and hats/beanies can keep the majority of your body temperature in check, so you don’t start freezing during your run and catch a cold. Now, there may be some issues about having thin compression clothes or Softshell jackets, but in all honesty, your core will be providing you with all the heat you need to burn through your run. Runner’s coming from areas where it snows a lot might need to deal with some extra gear, like neck gaiters and masks, but normally, a bit of research and some of these suggested equipment can make your running a lot more confortable.

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