Friday, March 12, 2010

Making Your Exercise Efficent Plus Everything I Ate Friday

Wednesday night I joined a newly-certified Personal Trainer for a high-protein dessert and some conversation. This guy just happens to be Will's twin brother and is a self-proclaimed "geek" when it comes to reading about health and fitness and how the two relate. After about 4 hours of talking I had several pages of notes that I condensed into 5 key points to share with you all:

1. Running is not the most efficient use of your time during a workout:
  • Running provides a limited range of motion with a ton of bone impact.
  • Many people run incorrectly which usually leads to overuse or general injuries. You can learn to run correctly by running barefoot (which will hurt!) or by purchasing a thinner-soled, flexible shoe such as the Nike Free 5.0. Harold showed me the pair he uses:
  • During a 1 hour run you could hypothetically burn about 500 calories, while 30 minutes of weightlifting will burn approximately 200 calories. As your body repairs the muscle from weightlifting over the next 24 hours or so, you will burn about 12.5 extra calories per hour which equals 300 calories in a day. TRANSLATION: if you're pressed for time, lift weights.
2. Are you squatting correctly?
  • If you are squatting by jutting your knees forward in order to move your butt back, you're doing it wrong! (I made Harold show me how to do this correctly 4 or 5 times because there is a serious difference!)
  • Here is a Tony Gentilcore blog post on box squatting. Scroll all the way down to the picture titled "The Ascent" to see how to do a correct box squat.
  • Harold's Tip: learn the correct form first and then add on weight.
3. To lose weight, add muscle first:
  • People who are looking to lose weight may feel that they should shed fat before considering strength training. It kinda makes sense; you don't want to look bulky if you're going to lose weight, but your body will actually shed more weight by strength training first.
  • If you put on muscle mass prior to losing fat mass, your metabolism will increase so you will be able to burn more fat.
  • Read more about this from EliteFTS.
4. Deadlift. Period.
  • "So, what is your favorite ex---" "Deadlifting."
  • Harold is dead set on deadlifting because it involves the most muscle activation, plus he claims it will make your butt look great (ehem, ladies).
  • Deadlifting can seem a bit intimidating for women and men because it's usually associated with "meatheads," but it is actually an incredible way to tone and increase heart rate. Plus, you can't become a "meathead" without eating a ton of food in conjunction with weightlifting.
  • If you've never deadlifted before, start out with just a bar and then add on weights until you are comfortable. Once you're comfortable with the weight, push yourself!
  • Here is a great article on the technique for deadlifting from Strong Lifts.
Other than deadlifting, Harold likes to circuit train. Jog as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then do a few pull ups. Mix it up and don't be afraid to step into the weight area of your gym because that is where you will see true results!

5. Eat fats:
  • Above is a picture of Harold serving up some Greek yogurt, walnuts and raisins. As he was preparing the dessert he looked at the yogurt container and said, "I hate serving sizes."
  • The whole FDA guideline situation came up as we were eating and we both agreed that we wished people would eat more healthy fats (hello avocados!) and attempt, albeit slowly, to un-think everything they've been taught about low-fat foods.
  • In short, have your coconut oil and cook with it too!
When I asked Harold for a final word he said the following:

"For the vast majority of people, your health is the only thing you have control over. It's with you from the day you are born until the day you die. The most important thing people can do is to educate themselves on how to eat right and move right." Amen.

Check out Harold's Health and Fitness Blog for more tips or to contact him directly!

Now onto what I ate today! This morning I ate half of a pumpkin skuffin with peanut butter for breakfast:

For lunch I went out to a sushi restaurant with my friend Jill. I ordered miso soup to start:

For a main I had an eel-cucumber roll and a california roll (I was feeling a bit boring) with brown sushi rice:

I followed up lunch with some Choco-Cado pudding at home (I'm so happy I made double the recipe!):

For dinner my mom picked up falafel. I love love love love falafel and my favorite place to get it in Nassau County (yes, in the entire county) is at David's Famous Pizza and Boreka's in Cedahurst. Once Will drove me to Cedahurst to get a cavity filled at the dentist and I made sure we left early enough to grab some falafel before I wouldn't be able to eat. So. Good. Unfortunately, Cedahurst is a bit out of the way for regular falafel-eating so my mom picked these up from a more local spot. Good, but not as good as David's:

I had my falafel with homemade split pea soup courtesy of my mom:

After dinner my mom, dad, brother and I went to see my cousin in her Elementary school's production of "The Wizard of Oz." She's the munchkin in the middle:

After the play we went to Red Mango where I had a craving for chocolate (I guess I didn't eat enough pudding earlier!) I was ecstatic to learn that their chocolate syrup is organic so I ordered Pomegranate and Original flavor twisted with chocolate syrup and raspberries:

Tomorrow I am going to the best Italian restaurant in Manhattan (literally!) and I cannot wait to share with you what I eat! I will be dreaming in foodie heaven tonight....

With health,


1 comment:

  1. Yo!! The numbers used for calories in the running/weight lifting explanation aren't 'real' numbers: Those were just the ones that made the math easier. Also, Mel meant 500calories for an hour run. If you only burn 100 calories, something is going wrong.

    Also, I'm not a huge fan of jogging, so its not in my programmed workouts. But, when the mood arises, I'll occasionally go out for a run.