Shoulder Boulders – 5 mistakes when training shoulders

Shoulders can be tough to train because people feel limited with exercise moves. Ok Military press, then what else is there? Lots of people make up moves but shoulders are tricky and many train them wrong!

Here are 5 mistakes many people make and how to correct them!

1. Over working anterior delts – Since they typically carry the heaviest loads, your front delts are not only primary movers during overhead presses, they’re also secondary movers during chest and triceps workouts, helping during presses and dips. If you’re doing front raises in addition to a lot of shoulder, chest and tri compound lifts, you’re likely overworking your front delts.

Solution – workout chest and delts on different days and be mindful of the secondary muscles you are working out when training larger muscle groups

2. Under working Posterior delts – In the same breath as #1 since anterior delts tend to get too much emphasis, posterior delts tend to get too little. Rear delts assist during lat exercises, such as rows and pulldowns; but if you’re targeting your lats correctly, it’s unlikely that your rear delts are receiving enough work on back or shoulder day to reach their full potential.

Solution – Add rear delt training into your back day or if you train them on shoulder day don’t wait to the end of your workout, mix in moves to target all the heads of your delts.

3. Speed Racer – You lift too fast to make any growth to the muscle fibers.

Solution – Try sitting during shoulder moves to prevent any momentum from legs and isolate shoulders. Or try to add counts to your lifts – 1 count up, 1 count pause and 2 counts down, this will ensure you are properly firing off your muscles.

4. Poor form – Along with speeding through the moves, improper form can not only stall any progress and muscle growth but also can cause injury. Plus, correct form is especially important on shoulder day, because of the ball-and-socket joints’ vulnerability to injury.

Solution – Throughout each set, focus on the deltoid heads you’re targeting, not on the resistance. Work the muscle, not the weight. After reaching failure in a shoulder exercise, don’t cheat to eke out extra reps. Instead, do a drop set, have a partner help with forced, reps or use the rest-pause technique. Quality over quantity, especially with shoulders. Shoulders are smaller muscles so don’t worry if you are using lower weights. Proper form with appropriate/challenging weight will result in muscles growth!

5. Mix it up – You do the same should moves over and over.

Solution  – Try including a different pressing exercise each shoulder workout. Here are three free-weight presses you likely aren’t doing: underhand presses (press a barbell over-head with a shoulder-width underhand grip); Arnold presses (press dumbbells from underhand at the bottom to overhand at the top); and rack military presses (press each rep from a dead stop off of power-rack supports set at chin level). Or you can perform many shoulder moves with cables or machines and go unilateral. You can also do wide-grip bent-over rows to focus more on your posterior delts. A Smith machine is an effective tool for wide-grip rows; hold each contraction and flex your rear delts. Don’t be afraid to change your grip or tool (dumbbells, barbells, or cables).

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If you want to get a new shoulder routine or a full body monthly program email maketimeforfit@gmail.com. I can help you fit workouts into your busy schedule! Start today!

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Physical Fitness is Priority #1

I’ve always been the person to make sure I get a workout in. No. Matter. What. Whether it’s a run, a lift, yoga, whatever, each day I do something to better my physical fitness. Sometimes it’s tough. Sometimes people may think it’s selfish. To me, it’s a necessity. To perform at optimum level you need to take care of yourself first and foremost. I need the endorphin rush I get from my workouts. If I workout later in the day, my body and mind thrive for that rush. I’ve learned over the years that to wake up at 5, 4 or even 3 am to get some type of workout in, is not only worth it for me, but worth for my family and work life.

I read this article and it hits the nail on the head.

Enjoy!

 

You are what you eat!

Food has so much effect on your feelings, attitudes and your appearance! Here are few foods that are good for skin!

  • Tomatoes
    Why: They’re full of lycopene, a phytochemical that provides red pigment and health benefits. Lycopene helps eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays – in other words, it protects against sun damage. To reap the most benefits, heat them up: A half-cup of cooked tomatoes, for example, packs 16 milligrams of lycopene. A daily dose coupled with sunscreen will help block the burn.
  •  Mangoes, Papaya and Apricots
    Why: Got that washed-out look? Load up on some fruit. Mangoes, papaya and apricots are full of pigments called carotenoids, which are stored in the layer of fat directly beneath the skin and can improve color. “They peek through, giving you a rosy glow,” says registered dietitian Karen Ansel, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and co-author of “The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life.”
  • Cocoa Powder
    Why: Flavonals, the antioxidants in dark chocolate, reduce roughness in the skin and protect against sun damage. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cocoa fortified with 326 milligrams of flavonals a day had better skin texture and stronger resistance to UV rays than those who didn’t get as much of the antioxidants. Just a few ounces a day – or a standard Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar – is sufficient. Another tasty way to get enough? Spoon some cocoa powder into your morning coffee, Ansel suggests.
  • Flaxseed
    Why: Think of these as tiny wrinkle fighters. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which erase spots and smooth fine lines. In one study, participants who had about half a teaspoon of omega-3s daily for six weeks had less skin irritation and redness, as well as better-hydrated skin, according to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition. That’s likely because fatty acids attract water to skin cells, plumping the skin and reducing wrinkling.
  • Sweet Potatoes:
    Why: They’re full of vitamin C, which smooths wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen. One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found people who consumed 4 milligrams of vitamin C – about half a small sweet potato – daily for three years reduced the appearance of wrinkles by 11 percent.
  • Spinach:
    Why: Want to protect yourself against skin cancer? Take a page out of Popeye’s book. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that folks who ate the most leafy greens (more than four times a day) developed half as many skin tumors over 11 years as those who ate the smallest amount (once a day or never). That’s likely because the folate in spinach helps maintain and repair DNA, reducing the likelihood of cancer-cell growth
  • Canned Tuna:
    Why: It’s packed with selenium – a nutrient that preserves elastin, which keeps skin smooth and tight. Selenium also prevents free radicals that are produced by UV rays from damaging skin cells, protecting against sun damage.
  • Safflower Oil
    Why: If you have dry, flaky or itchy skin, take note: This common cooking oil doubles as a moisturizer. It contains omega-6 fatty acids, which keep cell walls supple, allowing water to reach the skin. Some research suggests consuming safflower oil can help ease skin problems such as dermatitis, inflammation, acne and dry skin.

Why are you not seeing results?

Often we get caught up with in the instant gratification. You can post a picture online seconds after you take it or you can Google the answer you any question you may have.But somethings can’t be sped up or shortcuts just won’t cut it. Your health is one of those things.  Good things take time, and great things take consistency.

Some reasons you may not be reaching or maintaining your fitness and lifestyle goals.

  1. Fail to plan then plan to fail
    It takes a little bit of effort but a little planning goes a long way. When hunger strikes, the last thing you want to do is make food. You want something easy and quick. Try making salads in a bag or jar so you have a go to snack or meal easy and ready! Planning ahead will help you stay on track and not worry about making a poor decision! Plan your meals out for the week on a Sunday and you can prevent yourself from making hasty choices when hungry!
  2. Share your fitness goals!
    Eating healthy is so much easier as a team than as a individual. Share your goals with your friends and family and work together!
  3. Eat Protein
    Try to incorporate protein into every meal, especially if you have increased your workout routine. Protein helps rebuild your muscles so feed them properly to get the results you want!
  4. Avoid alcohol
    Sometime this is the hardest thing to do! Going out with friends or after a hard day at work you just want a nice cocktail or glass of wine. Be smart and limit your intake to only one drink.
  5. Exercising more to eat more
    No matter what way you slice it you can NOT out exercise a bad diet. Your body needs certain foods for nourishment and you just can’t justify eating an entire pizza and 3 rounds of drinks because you ran 2 miles, sorry it just doesn’t work like that!
  6. Cutting out sweets entirely
    Don’t deprive yourself completely or you are setting yourself up to fail. Keep yourself in check with moderate portions and you can enjoy a treat once in a while.
  7. Eating healthy and living active is a life style!If you keep yourself in check each day you will want sweets and unhealthy foods less and less, your body will stop craving it! Don’t set up a “cheat day” or “cheat meal” just keep consistently eating vegetables, protein and complex carbs and it will be easier to stick to your plan and reach your goals.

Good luck on your journey to healthy living!

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What’s for Dinner? Spaghetti Squash & Shrimp!

I love love love spaghetti squash! It is so versatile and very easy to make – best part guilt free! You can replace pasta with it and reap many benefits from the swap.

“One cup of cooked spaghetti squash only has 42 calories, compared to a cup of cooked pasta with over 200 calories. It only has 10 grams of total carbohydrates, which is one-fourth the amount you’ll get from the pasta. You’ll also get 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.” Plus it has Vitamins A, C, potassium and calcium.

An easy way to serve spaghetti squash is with some shrimp and tomato sauce.

Cook the spaghetti squash. Here’s how
Devein shrimp and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side in your  choice of oil (coconut, olive, or regular)
Add garlic to shrimp once you flip the shrimp
Sautee together
Tomato Sauce ( make your own or I’ll get a lower sugar or Simple Truth brand).
Plate shrimp and tomato sauce on top of spaghetti squash and you are good to go!

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August Abs – MTFFplank Challenge

Here are days 3, 4 and 5 of the #MTFFplank challenge.

DAY 3 #MTFFplank is the plank shoulder taps. Start in high plank with shoulders over wrists, hips square and in a straight line with your spine. Keep feet a little wider than shoulder width and a neutral neck don’t look down or up. For the shoulder taps alternate tapping right hand to left shoulder and left hand to right shoulder.  SQUEEZE your belly button to the spine and spread weight evenly through the plane hand and feet. Try not to rock side to side.
Challenge:  50 shoulder taps, easy count; counting each tap. Rest for 20 seconds and repeat 4x.

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DAY 4 #MTFFplank is the side plank. Start on with right arm on the floor shoulder over wrists and hips stacked. Keep you core tight and hips high.
Challenge: Hold right side for 30 seconds switch to left side for 30 seconds. Then increase holds by 10 seconds, so 40 seconds each side, 50 seconds, then 60 until you can’t hold it any more!
We are still in week 1 and just getting started – challenge a friend and get your #augustabs with me!

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DAY 5 of the #MTFFplank challenge is the reverse plank. This plank engages your shoulder, triceps, glutes, hamstrings and core.
Start by sitting on the mat place hands under shoulders finger tips to toes and press hips up. Your body should be in straight line with yourweight even distributed. Be sure to keep your hips up by squeezing glutes, hamstrings and core. 
Challenge: Hold for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then hold for 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then 40 up and 10 rest, 50 and 5 and end with 60 seconds straight. 

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Be sure to tag #MTFFplank so in follow  your journey to get #augustabs!

Start today! Email maketimforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!

Remember to stretch after your workout!

You finish your workout and are ready to walk out the door. Just before you leave you see a few people stretching and you think “I probably should, but i just wait to get home.” Well well well let me tell you that just because you can’t SEE the results of stretching – it is just as important to help reach your goals, whether it’s losing weight or wanting to compete.

Stretching can lead to better posture, fewer aches and pains, greater confidence, and EVEN a cheerier outlook on life (yep! sure can!). Sitting can be hard on your glutes and your back. Stretching helps keep from these muscles from atrophying over time. If stretching hurts – it’s cause you really need it. Breathe through the stretch and imagine your muscle tissues releasing. Practice makes perfect. The more you stretch the easier it is and better you will feel over all.

Here is my cool down stretching routine. Find whatever works for you! I promise with consistent stretching you will feel like a new you!

Walk on treadmill til my heart rate is down (wear a heart rate monitor so you are always aware of your heart rate). Then legs a little wider than shoulder width apart, stretch down feeling it your hamstrings, go to the right side then the left and finish back at center – holding each for about 10-15 counts.

Hip flexors right leg back in a lunge position and press hips forward and squeeze right glute, then straighten left leg and lean forward to feel the stress in your hamstring. I do this 5 times alternating hip flexor and hamstring holding about 8 counts for each stretch. Then do this same thing with the left leg back squeezing that glute and pressing hips forward then straighten right leg out for hamstring stretch on that side, again holding for 8 counts each.

Next I sit on the mat and stretch my glutes by bringing my right ankle to the top of my left knee and you’ll feel that pull in your glutes. The closer the leg is to your body the deeper the stretch. Then do a spinal twist turning to the right – repeat this on the left side.

Then I lay on my back and do some spinal twists with bent knees.

Stretch out my neck from side to side then reach high then I’m done!

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Reference here

Eating at Work!

When I first moved to Texas my job was during the evening so I was forced to eat dinner at work. Making a lunch is one thing but dinner – I know I had to be smart about what I bring because I’m at work making money not trying to spend it! Plus whatever restaurant I could run to during a break from work would not be healthy!

I try to get a protein, a carb (forget that carbs are bad! Not all are bad!) and a vegetable when I pack my dinners.  I usually stick with fish and chicken for proteins. Throw in some brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta for my starchy carb. My veggie of choice lately has been Kale. It’s very easy to make and I really like the crunch and flavor of baking it.  Otherwise I go with frozen broccoli, spinach or sweet potatoes.

Eating well is just a matter of planning. It’s hard to throw things together quickly if you don’t have things in the house or you are tight on time.

There are countless ways to prepare chicken, tilapia, and catfish. Find some recipes that you like and make them ahead of time, portion it out in tupperware containers and you’ll learn what works for you!

Good luck prepping!

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Don’t beat yourself up!

I used to get the worst guilt if I missed a workout or ate too much at dinner or even ate a cookie. But it’s important to remember – You are human and you don’t need to be 100% perfect all the time.

It’s simple, try to eat unprocessed foods and if you want a cookie have one maybe two, just not the whole box.

If you put yourself on a zero tolerance diet, you are setting yourself up to fail. Remember the first bite is always the best. Enjoy it then move on.  Don’t beat yourself up if you accidentally splurge!  Just don’t let it ruin the rest of the day.

One bad meal is just that one bad meal! If you crack your phone screen you don’t take a hammer and shatter the rest of it! It’s about moderation. Each meal, snack, dessert are independent of each other so don’t let one bad meal trigger a chain reaction! Plus, the longer you eat unprocessed foods and load up on vegetables the less you’ll crave sweets and other unhealthy foods!

Good luck, happy eating and here’s a quote I like to read if I get off track.

“Balance is key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Go shopping at the mall and then sit down and meditate in your bedroom. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.”
Rachel Brathen
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Pumping Iron?

Did you know?

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, and women are among those at greatest risk. Iron is critical for producing hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body. So without it, everything suffers

Here are few symptoms that may be related to an iron deficiency.

  1.  Exhaustion
    This is tough to tell since many women are busy and just dismiss the tired feeling as normal when in fact it’s the most common symptom of iron deficiency
  2. Quick to lose breath
    Normal activities like walking up the stairs or you typical exercise routine causes you to lose your breath easily, easier than usual, chances are your iron is to blame.
  3. Headaches
    Iron helps produce oxygen so when you are low in iron your body will portions out your iron supply and prioritize getting oxygen to your brain although you will likely experience headaches because it still isn’t enough
  4. Increased anxiety
    Can’t relax? It may be in part to low iron since the lack of oxygen revving up your body’s sympathetic nervous system.
  5. Crave ice chips
    Ever have the urge to chew on ice chips? Those who are iron deficient! If you notice yourself going to the freezer, that’s red flag for lacking iron!

I struggled myself with iron deficiency. My doctor prescribed iron supplements for me when I was in high school and I learned to eat more dark leafy green vegetables and red meat (loaded with iron).

Before you give blood they do a finger prick to test your hemoglobin levels which is produced by the iron in blood. Any time I tired to give blood I would try to increase my iron-enriched foods but didn’t work. I’d have enough iron (hemoglobin) but not enough to give. This was a little battle within myself over the next 10 years.

I pride myself on being healthy, why couldn’t I get my iron up?

I started ID Nutrition four months ago and I’ve noticed a few things improve but little did I know biggest changes are happening on the inside.

About a month after starting ID Nutrition, which based on my personalized assessment included an iron supplement, there was blood drive at my work. I signed up just hoping I’d been eating well enough. Not even thinking of my ID Nutrition supplements.

Sure enough, I was able to give at blood drive at work. My iron (hemoglobin) was just over what it needed to be to donate! WOOOO!

Now, about 3 months later and four months since I started ID Nutrition, another blood drive popped up near my house.

I went in to donate, all the while hoping in the back of my mind that my iron (hemoglobin) was high enough.  The technician told me that hemoglobin levels needs to be 12.5 in order to give blood, mine was  was 13.7.  The technician with the Red Cross was even impressed! I knew this had to be a direct correlation of my use of ID Nutrition and my iron supplements. My hemoglobin level has never been higher and I’m so happy that I can give blood without worry of getting there just to be turned away.

It’s sometimes hard to track positive results form vitamins but this is something tangible and something that I’m so proud of! Not only is ID Life helping me fill in my nutritional gaps but in turn I can help save someone’s life.

Go take your free assessment today and see how quickly you reap the benefits of these pharmaceutical grade vitamins!

Visit jarmstrong427.idlife.com for your free ID Nutrition assessment.

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Reference here