Weird Workout Hacks that Actually Work

It’s not hard to find hundreds of search results for workout tips when searching the internet. That’s why I was on a mission to find quick and easy workout tips that actually work, proven by scientific studies. Below are my findings:

 

1

Talk to Yourself- While most people get bothered, and slightly scared, by others who talk to themselves while working out, the results of a recent study might get you mumbling too. In a study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Journal, researchers found that physical exhaustion, or the desire to stop working out, is largely psychological. The study recommends consistent and orderly self-talk in order to produce desired effects. By using statement such as “I am strong,” or “I can do two more reps,” you may find yourself pumping out an extra rep or running longer than ever before.

 

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Grow a Milk Moustache- Chocolate milk, that is. While some athletes turn to a protein shake for post-workout, chocolate milk may be just as good of an option. Chocolate milk is a good post workout drink because it is a great blend of carbohydrates and proteins, all mixed into one. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that muscles protein synthesis is greater when milk-based proteins are consumed post workout, versus soy-based proteins.

 

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Hit the coffee shop- This may be no different than usual for you coffee-lovers out there, but studies show there is a perk to having coffee or caffeine before a workout. Not only can caffeine help you burn a greater number of calories during your workout, it can also delay depletion of muscle glycogen, according to an article by the American College of Sports Medicine.

 

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Activate your Glut-4- Doing 60 seconds of exercise right before eating and 60 seconds of exercise about 90 minutes after eating will activate your Glucose Transporter 4. Doing this will allow more calories to flow toward muscle cells than fat cells. Also known as glut-4, this naturally-occurring protein in your body can do amazing things with the excess sugar and calories in your body.

 

 

The most effective workout tips are those that work for you. Every person’s physical make-up is different, but most important everyone’s motivation for exercising is different. Some of the above tips may help you tremendously, and others not at all. Give them a try!

 

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards and the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. 

 

5 Little Known Ways to Get a Leg Workout at Home

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We have all been there at some point: snow blocking the roads, sick child at home that needs pampering, car is in the shop, or probably the most common, I just don’t have the time today. But you need to get to a gym to get a leg workout, right? What to do?

While less than ideal, I typically take these days as an opportunity to work not only major muscle groups, but also minor muscles that are often neglected during traditional exercises. As goes the old idiom, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” so goes a body is only as strong as its weakest muscle. So here are four at-home exercises that can work both your major and minor muscle groups which require little to no equipment.

  1. The Windmill Lunge

Typically, when we do lunges, we are doing front lunges, which give the quads a fantastic burn, but otherwise do not work other muscles. The windmill lunge will work all parts of your leg, including the inner thigh muscles and hip adductors. To do a windmill lunge, begin with a normal forward lunge, with your right foot forward. In your next lunge, step forward at a 45 degree angle. Continue to rotate 45 degrees each lunge, and after five lunges you will have just completed a reverse lunge. Repeat until fatigued and then switch legs.

  1. Jump Lunge

One of the worst aspect about at home workout is that without equipment, it is difficult to do explosive movements which activate those “Type 2” muscle fibers, which are the muscle fibers responsible for your heavy lifts. Doing a jump lunge will activate those type 2 muscle fibers. To do a jump lunge, it’s easy; do a lunge, then jump up in the air and switch your foot position for the next lunge, then land. The faster you move, the better the burn!

  1. One-Legged Squat

This exercise requires a lot of balance to execute correctly, so in case you fall over your first few times, make sure you have something to grab onto. Stand on a step with one foot and keep your other foot off the ground. Lower yourself with your planted leg until your butt and knee are parallel, then stand back up. If you can, try not to hold onto anything while doing these. Again, balancing engages minor muscles as well as your core.

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  1. Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl

Likely the easiest exercise from this list, find an inflatable exercise ball and lie down on your back. Place both your heels on the ball and lift your body off the ground. Now bring the ball in closer to your body by curling your legs. Repeat until fatigued. For a more challenging exercise, use a smaller exercise ball, which will throw your body off balance and engage more and different muscle fibers.

Whether your home is your ideal workout spot or you’re crunched for time and can’t leave the house, these exercises can get you the workout your body needs.

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards and the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. 

Back Exercises You Can Do at Home

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Come on, you know where the back machines are in your gym right? Well if you don’t, it’s the group of machines that rarely have anyone on them. That’s because people like to work muscle groups that get attention, like biceps and abs. However, those with strong backs will be the first to tell you it is one of the most important muscle groups on your body, not only for posture, but for any type of athletic movements.

 

Facts about your back muscles:

  • Your back muscles are the second strongest muscle group in your body; only your legs have more power.
  • A wide back creates the illusion of having a much smaller waist than you actually do. Therefore you look a lot trimmer than you really are.
  • Back training burns more calories than most exercises because they are the second biggest muscle group in the body.
  • For athletic movements, a strong back will enable you to throw further, climb and pull higher, or punch harder.
  • The lower back is used in nearly every exercise that you do for your entire body.

So, how do you exercise your back if you don’t have access to gym equipment? Easy, just follow the below workout I designed for you. Feel free to add or take away reps if the exercises are too easy or difficult for you.

Supermans – 1 set – 8 reps – video link

Lay face down with your arms out straight in front of you. Raise your arms and legs 6 inches off the ground. Hold for 3 seconds and return to the starting position.

I Pose Pump – 1 set – 18 reps – video link

Lay face down with your arms extended by your side. Raise your arms and legs 6 inches off the ground. Pump your arms up and down.

T Pose Pump – 1 set – 25 reps – video link

Lay face down with your arms extended outward. Raise your arms and legs 6 inches off the ground. Pump your arms up and down.

Bird dog – 1 set – 8 reps – video link

On your palms and knees with your eyes facing the ground, raise one arm and the alternate leg in line with your back. Hold for 3 seconds. Every two times you raise your leg is one rep.

Bridge– 1 set – 8 reps – video link

Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Put your arms at your side and lift your hips. Hold for 3 seconds and return to starting position.

There you have it, 5 back exercises you can do anywhere and anytime without any equipment. Of course, if you have a gym membership you could add many more back exercises to this workout, such as lat pull downs and pull ups. Always be sure to stretch your back after a workout to reduce soreness and stiffness.

 

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards and the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. 

 

 

7 Little Known Fitness Hacks That Will Change Your Life

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There is so much to learn about workout properly, it can be as confusing as you want to make it. However, there are some simple tips, tricks and hacks that anyone can do to make working out easier and more effective. Below are some simple fitness hacks that you can incorporate today to take your fitness to a higher level.

 

Eat more meals – Note I am not saying eat more food.  Break your meals into smaller portions and eat more frequently. Ideally you should eat a meal every 3 hours. Doing this will keep your blood sugar levels in check, keep your appetite under control so your less likely to binge on an unhealthy snack and increase your metabolism.

 

Tell the world - Tell the world, or at least your world, that you have a goal to lose weight, gain muscle, or even finish a 5k. Most people are willing to let themselves down before their friends and family. Whatever your goal is, telling your friends and family will keep you accountable to them and not yourself. Social networking websites are a great medium for announcing your goals.

 

The “new exercise” rule - Too often I see people in the gym doing the exact same exercises day after day. Your body has an amazing ability to adapt, and exercising is no exception. Over time, doing the same exercises over and over will decrease the effectiveness of your workouts. Make it a goal that every Sunday night you will search the internet for one new exercise you want to do at least 3 times during the upcoming week. Not only will this new exercise be a learning experience, it will take your fitness to a higher level.

 

Workout with a friend - Fact: working out with someone will make you less likely to skip a workout and more likely to complete a workout. So grab a buddy at a similar fitness level to you and be amazed at how far you push yourself.

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Reward yourself - This hack is especially useful for someone who can never seem to workout consistently. One of the biggest problems newbies have is they quit because they don’t have an end goal, or their goal is too long term. Make a short term goal, just a month or two, and if you complete your goal, say lose 7 pounds, reward yourself with new workout clothes. Having a short-term goal and a reward will make you more likely to finish what you started.

 

Exercise to Fast Music - A recent study concluded exercising to fast paced songs made people exercise harder and longer. So load your phone up with fast paced heart thumping music before you exercise to increase the effectiveness of your workout.

 

Active Work Meetings - Why does a day at work have to involve sitting at a desk 8 hours a day? A recent study concluded sitting is deadly, literally. Schedule an active work meeting. Instead of sitting at a conference table with others, burn some calories and take a walk around the building.

 

This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of Weight Loss Stack 52 and Strength Stack 52 weight loss and fitness cards

A Cool Trick to Redirect Calories to Muscles Instead of Fat

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Want a cool trick to help your body decide how to use those calories you just ate? Exercising right before and shortly after a big meal can help to activate a protein inside your muscle cells called Glut4. GLUT-4 is a protein that, when increased, tells your body to put calories into muscle tissue, instead of fat cells.

 

Here is how you activate your glut-4

Step 1: Do 60 -120 seconds of exercise right before eating (i.e. squats, lunges, push-ups, etc.)

Step 2: Eat a meal

Step 3: 90 minutes after your first bite, do another 60-120 seconds of exercise

 

Doing this will allow more calories to flow toward your muscle cells than fat cells.

 

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. 

Busted! 5 Weight Loss Myths that Will Make You Cry

weight loss tips

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This guest post was written by Michael Volkin, inventor of Weight Loss Stack 52 (currently undergoing crowdfunding), the most unique and fun way to lose weight.

Busted! 5 Weight Loss Myths that will Make You Cry

Are you tangled in the web of weight loss fads and endless contradicting information on the web? Hopefully you haven’t fallen victim to one of these fads, wasting money and time with the hopes to lose a few pounds, only to gain more back in return. I know, it’s frustrating and millions of people share your pain.  Below I explain several myths that you might be doing right now to try and lose weight. If you are, then stop wasting your time and money.

MYTH # 1) LOSING WEIGHT REQUIRES HUNGER PAINS

The fact is, what you eat is more important than how much you eat. If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism will slow down, making your body want to store fat.  As a result, your initial weight loss will come from water and muscle, instead of fat.

You should try to consume healthy food choices and save those foods (and beverages) that are high in fat, sugar and calories for special occasions. Yes, you can have those unhealthy food choices from time to time, in fact, it’s encouraged. Without a cheat meal or snack every now and then, you will get frustrated and lose sight of your goal.  Please note, I said a cheat meal, not a cheat day. I see too many people doing cheat days, which is way too much for your body to overcome on a weight loss plan.

MYTH # 2) EAT NO FAT WHATSOEVER

This is a very old and popular myth. Your fat intake should be limited to around 15% of your overall daily calorie intake. Fat is needed in any diet to lubricate your joints, keeps your skin smooth and elastic, provide a source of energy, help your nervous system function properly and more. Olive, flaxseed and fish oils are good sources of fats. Fats to avoid include saturated fats and hydrogenated fats (also known as trans fats).

 

MYTH # 3) AVOID CARBS

You’ve certainly heard this before, “Carbohydrates are bad for you and should be avoided”. This myth has been trending lately as fad diets like Atkins and its copycats become more and more popular. The truth is carbohydrates have a moderate amount of calories (about half as many as fat). Simple carbohydrates (sugar) should be limited, but complex carbohydrates: whole grain and starches are high in nutrients. The problem with carbohydrates is portion control. Too many people eat at restaurants with huge portion sizes loaded with 5 times the amount of carbs needed for a given meal.  The best way to control your carb portions is to cook for yourself.

MYTH # 4) MEAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET ENOUGH PROTEIN

Meat is a great source of protein, but it certainly is not the only source. Meat can also be high in fat and sodium so many people look for alternative sources of protein. Egg whites are a prime source of protein and so are various vegetables and legumes like peas, spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

MYTH #5: EXERCISE AT LEAST 30 CONSECUTIVE MINUTES TO GET AN EFFECTIVE CALORIE BURNING WORKOUT

Adults should engage in a workout regimen for at least 30 minutes a day at least 4 days a week. Research has shown that the activity does not need to be done all at once.  The 30 minute routine can be split into two 15 minute intervals and provide the same health benefits.

MYTH #6: VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS ARE HEALTHIER EATERS THAN CARNIVORES

Vegetarians on average eat fewer calories and less fat than carnivores (non-vegetarians). However, vegetarians can make eating choices that contribute to weight gain by eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods as well as food with little nutritional value. The term vegetarian is not synonymous with health.

 

 

The best way to be sure you are getting a well balanced, nutrient rich diet is to eat more whole foods and less processed, pre-packaged foods and to avoid eating out as much as possible. Make eating out an occasional treat, but try to prepare most of your meals yourself and you will be on your way to living a healthier, leaner lifestyle.

With your new found knowledge of weight loss, grab yourself a deck of my new invention, Weight Loss Stack 52, weight loss cards.

 

 

 

We Made It To 6 Months!

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We started as an idea and a dream 6 months ago, and we’re live and kicking 6 months later!

 

Thanks to our readers and followers!

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Use these Workout Tips to Get a Beach Body in Half the Time

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The warm weather is upon us and the skimpy clothes are coming out of the closet. If you always wanted to look great in skimpy clothes but didn’t want to spend an hour a day at the gym, then use the below time-saving workout tips to tone up and look great.

 

Ditch the treadmill warm up and do a bodyweight circuit instead – Instead of spending 10 minutes warming up on a treadmill before a workout, perform a 5 minute bodyweight exercise circuit instead. The bodyweight circuit is more fun and warms up your entire body in half the time. You can shuffle 7 Strength Stack 52 cards for a quick bodyweight circuit or make up one of your own.

 

Stop squatting with heavy weight – If you’ve ever seen power-lifters training their legs, you have almost certainly seen them performing barbell squats with a large amount of weight on the bar. Barbell squats are effective for large powerful legs, but getting nice toned legs doesn’t require heavy weights. Try Hindu squats instead of heavy barbell squats. Not only do Hindu squats save time by not having to load hundreds of pounds of weight on a bar, it’s safer and easier on your knees and back.

 

Stop performing one rep at a time. So many times I see people in the gym doing the standard 10 rep set. Try mixing it up a little and doing a 5 rep set but perform each rep 1 and a half times. Perform 1 entire rep of an exercise, then before returning to the starting position, go only half way and finish the rep again. You will finish the set quicker and you will activate more muscle fibers, especially if you are not use to doing reps this way.

 

Do “the superman” to build up your back – Many bodybuilders know that a strong back is the key to looking strong. A strong back puts your body in alignment and gives you great posture. The problem with getting a strong back is it usually requires a piece of gym equipment. However, there is an easy bodyweight exercise you can do at home called the superman. To perform this exercise:

  • Start by lying face down with your arms extended over your head.
  • Lift your arms and legs creating an elongated u shape with your body.
  • Your back should be arched and your legs should be several inches off the floor.
  • Hold for 3 seconds and return to the starting position.

All of these time saving workout tips will make you look great under one condition, you have to actually do them. Getting started is the hardest step, so be sure to schedule time for your workout and have nothing interrupt that time.

 

This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards and Quick Sweat Dice