Let’s be honest, in December the alcohol consumption can increase exponentially, especially here in Austria. Every office has its own Christmas party, where free alcohol flows generously. After work you go for a stroll to the “Christkindlmarkt” (Christmas market) and meet some friends for a punsch or a mulled wine. On Christmas you will have two or more generous glasses of wine because you are so bored of talking with the whole family. And there is no New Year’s Eve without bubbles. Well, alcohol throws an additional challenge on the hard dieting folks which should first have a look on Stefan’s great article on how to manage holydays. But is alcohol really impairing your fat loss? Let’s have a closer look to it.
In this part of my Strength Training For Women series, I will cover the scientific basics of muscle building for women, make some clarifications on the role of testosterone and discuss the main differences between men and women when it comes to strength improvements and muscle building. Why? Because I have enough of weak, frail women. I want women to be healthy and strong! Continue reading “Strength Training For Women – Part 1”
Why Exercise Variation Isn’t Always Optimal
During our long flight from Vienna to Tokyo I’ve got a bunch of downloadable magazines for free. Of course I’ve taken some of the fitness related ones even if they are often full of bro-science (=not evidence based crap), but they are a good inspiration for writing blog posts though. One of them was looking really nice: it had a really strong looking woman on the cover, instead of just one of the pretty & skinny girls. I started reading the training and coaching philosophy of this apparently “evidence-based” lady and my jaw dropped as the words “muscle confusion” (=constantly changing the exercises in your training plan) as driver for muscle growth were used. Well -spoiler alert- the opposite of muscle confusion is rather a driver for hypertrophy. Let’s see why and where variation may or may not make sense.
If you step into a good gym, it is quite possible to get overwhelmed by countless possibilities to train. Different machines, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, there is much to choose from and you have to select an exercise for your training program. What makes a good exercise? What is “the best” exercise to grow your chest/booty/biceps? Read on to make an informed decision the next time you hit the gym! Continue reading “What Makes A Good Exercise?”
The idea of repetition ranges is pretty old, dating back at least to the ’50s. It’s the concept that training with certain weights and therefore repetitions elicits different adaptations like strength, muscle building and endurance. And on the first glance this makes perfect sense, as you get better at what you train. But if you followed the fitness industry for some time, you find conflicting ideas of what makes muscle grow the fastest. So grab a protein shake, put on the “Conan” soundtrack and let’s have a closer look. Continue reading “The Hypertrophy Range Myth”
…and why you are actually a bodybuilder without knowing it.
My first approach to a gym was over ten years ago: I wanted to do something for my physique and since the only sport I was doing was horseriding, I decided to subscribe to a commercial gym. In those days I would never have admitted I was doing bodybuilding. To be honest I’ve been laughing at the -in my eyes- over confident bros posing in front of the mirror, sipping protein shakes and grunting and screaming during their sets. Well, life happens, and now I am a broette doing exactly the same stuff. But if you think about the definition of “bodybuilding” I was already doing it ten years ago: I did exercise to lose fat and gain muscles. And if you are training to lose weight, get in shape, tone up (whatever you want to call it) and not for performance in a specific sport you are a bodybuilder too. Don’t like it? I’ll try to convince you of the opposite 😉 . Continue reading “Six good reasons why you should do bodybuilding”
Will rounding your back kill you?
Posture and form for everyday movements and during exercise got a lot of attention over the last years. Depending on whom you listen, you get a wide array of statements. From “it doesn’t matter” to “don’t do this, you will die” you will find someone from each camp defending his beliefs almost religiously. I want to give you a quick and easy understandable summary of what science has to say about the controversial topic of flexing your lumbar spine. Continue reading “To Flex Or Not To Flex: Keeping Your Spine Healthy”