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Bodybuilding – When And How To Take Your Creatine

Potentially the most popular bodybuilding supplement on the market is that of creatine. Creatine has been used for many years by those looking to help build muscle mass and get more from their workouts.

By helping to restore the CP stores in the muscle, taking creatine allows you to work out longer in the gym and for an extended period of time. Without it, you may find your workouts begin to lag, and as such, you don’t experience nearly the same muscle building results as you would have if you were

using it.

But one question that many ask themselves is exactly how they should be taking creatine. Is it best to take before a heavy weight lifting workout? Or should it be spread out throughout the day? And what foods or drinks should you have it with? All are common questions that are asked.

When To Take Creatine

For most people, taking creatine immediately following a workout will be the best method since this is when your muscles are going to be most receptive to taking up nutrients – the creatine along with them. Creatine gets stored better in the muscle cells when an insulin spike is present, and as such, if you are drinking a post-workout beverage with dextrose, adding creatine is a very smart idea.

Taking it with juice also works, but keep in mind that juice is about 50% fructose, which has no effect on insulin levels at all. Taking it with straight dextrose is a more effective approach.

When you are in the loading stage though and taking 20 grams per day for the first five days, then you’ll want to spread this out into 4 even dosages so that you are not as likely to experience stomach upset.

Creating and Low Carb Diets

For those who are trying to build muscle while following a bodybuilding lower carb approach, creatine can still definitely be used, but keep in mind it might be taken into the muscle cells slightly slower than if you had taken it at another point in the day.

Keeping Muscle Creatine Stores Full

Finally, the last critical thing to know about creatine is that in order for it to actually be of benefit for you, you must keep your muscle creatine stores full after the loading phase. If you are going to approach your supplement protocol in a haphazard effect, taking it just every now and then, you likely are not going to see many benefits from supplementing with it.

After the loading phase is complete, you must be sure to then continue on to maintain yourself by taking in 3-5 grams of creatine per day thereafter, depending upon your current body weight (heavier individuals will need more).

So, if you’re currently contemplating creatine – or are taking it but not in the right way, give these points some consideration. Taken correctly, creatine can make a big difference in the results you get from your workout.

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Bodyweight Training – The Feared 8 Count Bodybuilders

Why do so many people fear the dreaded 8 count body builder? Because they are a brutal bodyweight exercise that have been used in the military by the Elite Navy Seals.

I have read and bought many books on military training on every part of the military. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and they all show the exercise the 8 count body builder as one of the exercises that help get them in great shape.

But one book a Navy Seal training manual talks about how every Friday they would have to do 1×100 of this brutal exercise. And how the Seals hated it, I read this many years ago when I was just making a transition from weight training to bodyweight training.

I thought how hard could it be? First time I did it I managed 60 of these bodybuilders and thought about never doing them again. But, there was no way that was going to happen I was on my own mission to do 100 in 10 minutes and accomplished it.

What made me want to know more about these and the fact that the author of the book left out the feared 8 counts out of the workout section because how brutal they are. I liked that. If he left it out because he hated them I wanted to do them.

It’s been many years and I still do them and it is still a feat to accomplish 100 in under 10 minutes. My best was 600 in 1 hour and 100 in under 15 minutes wearing a 40 lb weight vest.

These are tough workouts and the exercise will work your body pretty complete. I have combined 8 counts with bodyweight squats and also used a combo using bodybuilders and a jump rope, both are amazing fat burning and strength building workouts.

If you just managed 50 of these beast the average man would not be average anyone who is a little skeptical drop down for some right now and see how many you can get in 1 minute or 2 minutes I think you will be surprised.

The only down fall is that most people will never do them as a regular part of their workout, and the reason is they are very demanding. You can be like everyone else and do everyone else s workouts; you know the workouts designed by the average man for the average man.

You want to be elite? You train and do the exercises that the elite train with!

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There Is No Wrong Way To Meditate: Breathing Meditation

I never knew if I was meditating correctly. It’s hard to jump into something you’ve never done before, and when asking for guidance only finding ‘enlightened’ answers. I would ask if I’m doing it right, and all I would get is that there is no wrong way of doing it. You see, I needed confirmation along the way, that I was on the right path. What’s the point of picking up a habit, to realize when it’s set, that it’s the wrong one?

Well with meditation it’s somewhat true. There really is no “right” way of meditating, but there are certain techniques that can be followed. You will find that you enjoy one particular meditation style over another, and after you try a couple you will realize that there really is an underlying pattern; you really do end up clearing your mind.

So how does it work?

Well even though there are many ways to meditate, I will share with you my favorite one! I have first hand knowledge, and though I practice different forms of meditation at different times, I prefer this method. Now it would help if you were to think of mediation like you would of a workout. Is there only one way of doing cardio? Of course not! But there are proper ways to run, or to swim or to do jumping jacks, to ensure maximum efficiency. Is there only one way of losing weight or gaining muscle? Of course not, but there are rules to diets, and there are proper ways of breathing as you lift weights. With that let’s move on to:

Breathing Meditation

I place this one first because it is perhaps my favorite. I was fortunate to try Vipassana Meditation where I learned to sit still and, you guessed it, breathe! Begin by sitting in a dark room, preferably early in the morning, or late at night, when few outside noises would disturb you. Your objective is to pay attention to the sensations at the tip of your nose as you breathe in, and breathe out. You need to stay away from distractions, because, especially when you’re starting out, your mind will look for every opportunity to skip to something else. We live in a society where we expect our senses to be bombarded with stimulants, and your mind is ready to move quickly from one thought, or idea to another. Meditation fights that. You probably don’t pay attention to your thoughts as you go about your daily routines, but when you close your eyes, sit in a comfortable position and focus on the sensation of your breath at the tip of your nose, that’s when you notice how hectic your thoughts really are.

Now don’t worry if you have a lot of questions about the technique. It’s very simple, just pay attention to your breath. Even if you are doing it wrong (which you can’t) you will still be meditating. Meditation is focusing on something simple. That in turn places you in the now, and calms your mind, but it’s possible that until you experience it, you will be unable to relate. Still, I will share with you my experience, and you can give it a try.

My first time

Well let’s begin with me sitting in a room full of people that have been meditating in this way for years. I however listened to the instructions, closed my eyes, and started breathing in this meditative way for the very first time in my life. Since the technique seemed so simple, I felt that I needed to know if I was doing it right. I was able to follow along with the sensations as I breathed in and out, and then in again, and all of a sudden my mind was questioning the technique. I would again breath in and out twice or at most three times, and then I would imagine telling my friends about the mediation.

In fact, I probably spend more time thinking about anything other than my breathing, during my first meditative session. It’s natural though. That’s just the working of a busy mind. I learned to catch myself each time my mind would trail off, and bring it back to observe the sensations at the tip of my nose. I would go for longer stretches at a time, now maintaining my focus as I inhaled 6 times, then longer, and longer still. This process was long. I tried not to move and was uncomfortable. I couldn’t keep my mind focused so I grew frustrated with my seeming onset of ADD, but eventually I improved.

For me meditation is just a repetitive task, and a successful technique is one whose effects I feel upon completion. My mind did feel clearer and I was more relaxed, every time I finished meditating.

Good luck and I hope you really enjoy your meditative experience.

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Top 5 Cycling Workouts

While any riding will help there are some workouts that are more effective than others. Some rides are to get your ready to train. Others are to help you recover. But there are certain key workouts that require a lot of effort and payoff with big improvements. Spring is just around the corner so here are the top 5 workouts that will improve your speed, endurance and help burn the winter pudge by spiking up your metabolism.

Warning: As with any exercise program, check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to do intense exercise.

Velmax Intervals

These are power based intervals I created based on research on increasing VO2 max and thresold power. To do these properly you will need a power meter and have tested your functional threshold power. These are among the hardest intervals I have ever done so if you have less than a year of training under belt or are coming off a layoff, don’t do these as you will probably throw up if done correctly.

The performance gains from these are quite rapid so the prescribed intensity is for the first time you do these intervals. Usually each workout you will increase either the number of intervals or wattage you do them at after the first workout.

Warmup 15-20 minutes

Velmax intervals

30 seconds at 135% of FT power / 30 seconds easy Repeat until you can’t sustain the wattage.

As wattage fluctuates I would usually set a target and when you can’t sustain 10-20 watts below that level the workout is over.

For example, if your threshold is 300 watts then your Velmax target for your first workout is 405 watts. It’s okay to go above but don’t drop below 400. When you can’t keep it above 395 watts, the workout is over and cool down. The first time you do these it is common to only get 15-20 repeats. Keep the same wattage target until you can get over 30 repeats. When you can up your wattage for the next workout by 10-15 watts.

Athletes I work with have gone from averaging 400 watts for 18 intervals to 450 watts for 31 intervals in just 3 weeks. This translates into increased higher sustainable power, higher sustainable heartrates and better recovery ability from hard efforts.

The reason they work so well is that the 30 second work period really drives the heartrate up but the 30 second recovery isn’t enough for your heartrate to come down much. With each interval your heartrate and oxygen usage keeps going up until you hit your Vo2 max. The recovery time is enough for your legs to clear a bit allowing your to do more work than you could if it was continuous. This allows you to accumulate a lot of time at your maximum oxygen capacity eliciting a rapid improvement in your cardiovascular system. While very effective, I once again to not try these if you aren’t used to intensive training.

Tabata intervals

Tabata intervals are named after the doctor who did the research into the effectiveness of short high intensity intervals versus longer, moderate exercise. Tabata describes the interval protocol. 20 seconds work/ 10 seconds rest repeated 8-10 times. Dr. Tabata’s research showed these intervals to be the most effective for eliciting improvement in both the aerobic and anaerobic system.

The key is the maximal efforts with shorter recovery periods. Incomplete recovery leads to an increase in oxygen debt leading to and improved ability to process oxygen. In a six week study these intervals done 5 days per week increased VO2 Max by 13 percent, aerobic capacity by 14 percent and anaerobic capacity by 28 percent. This is with only 20 minutes of exercise a day including warmup and cool down.

20 seconds hard / 10 easy spinning X 10 repeats = 5 minutes of hell

Then ride easy for 5 minutes and do it again.

Gauge you effort level based on your current fitness level. If you are new to cycling or just getting back into go about 80% instead of all out. If you have been training regularly give each 20 second interval a 100% effort. Don’t try to pace yourself, just attack each interval like its the last in the set.

If you are using a power meter you want to target 150% of your functional threshold power for the 20 second hard efforts. When you start do just one set of intervals but as your fitness increases you should increase the number of sets you do.

4 X 4 intervals

Norweigian researchers Hoff & Helgerud have found you can get better increases in cardiac output from frequent high intensity exercise than longer but less intense training. The basis of Hoff & Helgerud’s endurance training theory is the 4×4 interval. This means 4 intervals of 4 minutes each, at 85-95% of HR max (for top endurance athletes between 90-95% of HR max), with low-intensity breaks of 3-4 minutes. This is training which is meant to give the biggest increases in VO2max âEUR” which according to Hoff & Helgerud is the deciding factor for endurance (something I only partly agree on but anyway).

The theory is based on training the heart at maximal Stroke Volumes to expose it to maximal shear stress – conditions which are only reached at the highest heart rates. Why 4 minutes? Apparently it takes over 2 minutes for the heart to reach maximal stroke volume under these conditions, so you need to keep working for a longer period of time in order to get maximal training effect here. They have found that intervals that last longer than 4 minutes usually mean a drop in intensity and are therefore less effective.

The researchers had the athletes doing multiple days in a row of just 4×4 intervals (up to 18 sessions in 14 days) with 2-4 weeks of lower volume training to facilitate recovery, while still maintaining the gains without as much work needed. On average subjects saw a.5% improvement per workout.

The experiments have led to large increases in VO2max, up to 10% increase in the course of the experiment for already highly-trained athletes. If you are training with a power meter or heartrate monitor do the intervals as follows: Warmup 15-20 minutes. 4 min at 120% of your threshold power at high cadence 100-110rpm or build to your maximum heartrate from the fitness test.

– Recover for 4 minutes

– Repeat for a total of 4-6 times.

– Cooldown for 10-15 minutes

Muscular endurance intervals

This workout is good for increasing force development. Putting out a lot of power is the combination of pedal cadence and gear selection. Aerobic conditioning and pedaling drills will let you spin, and this workout will help you be able to do it in a bigger gear. This workout is great because it works the cardiovascular system and really works the legs. In time your legs won’t get as tired from sustained hard efforts.

While doing the low rpm intervals focus on being smooth and relax your upper body. If you have knee problems switch to higher cadences until your knees don’t hurt.

Do this workout twice a week with at least two days between workout as your legs will take longer to recover from this workout than higher candence aerobic riding.

Warmup 15 minutes building up top end of your aerobic range (90% of your average heartrate from your fit test) Cadence 90-100 rpm.

Work set 5 X 10 second stomps with 3 minutes recovery between efforts (choose a hard gear, slow to walking pace and then stomp on the pedals trying to accelerate as hard as you can for the 10 seconds). 5 minutes easy riding after the stomps followed by 10-30 minutes at 70 rpms at the top end of your aerobic zone. (If you are using a power meter this will be 85-90% of your Functional Thresold wattage). Cooldown 10 minutes easy spin to clear the legs and gradually bring down the heart rate.

Threshold intervals

Your Functional Threshold (FT) for practical cycling purposes is the maximum heart rate or power you can sustain for about an hour. The higher your threshold power the faster you can go for a sustained period without having your legs blow up on you. Very simply, the way to raise your anaerobic threshold is to ride at your threshold heart rate or power for progressively longer periods. These are hard but effective. If you have done the fitness test you will have calculated your anaerobic threshold heart rate and/ or power if you have a trainer or on-bike meter that measures wattage.

Start with 2 X 10 minutes at your threshold heart rate with 5 minutes recovery between intervals.

Each week increase the amount of time of the intervals by 2 minutes until you are up to 20 minutes each.

To increase from there look to add a third interval or multiple days of threshold intervals in a row. This can be very taxing but when you recover from the workouts you will be stronger.

Mixing it up

While you will get your biggest improvements in fitness from high intensity workouts there is still a need to longer and easier rides. While you can build great endurance performance with the workouts listed above, if the events you do are long (ie. over 2 hours), you need to get your body used to spending that kind of time on a bike. As well, lower intensity rides are great in promoting physical and mental recovery. Sometimes it’s hard to push yourself hard enough to get the training benefit from intervals because of mental burnout, so mixing up your training is a great way to keep fresh mentally and keep progressing physically.

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Avoiding Stress Before Cheerleading Competitions

Cheerleading competitions are awesome and really stressful on everyone involved. Here are some ideas about how to keep your stress level down whether you are a competitor, coach, or parent.

First, be prepared. The best way to combat the stress of competition is to have a routine that everyone on the floor has mastered and feels confident completing. From stunts to tumbling passes, make sure that everyone’s timing is dead on perfect several run-throughs before you load the vans to head out to the competition. This means making sure that practices count, and everyone is present for every practice. No excuses. Even participants who might not feel the greatest can come in and watch and spot so that they are aware of any last minute changes.

Second, make sure your squad is prepared with what they need. Does the routine require props (signs, megaphones, poms, flags, etc.)? Make sure they are loaded in the transport the night before you have to leave.

Triple check everything!

Third, make sure competitors have everything they need for the uniforms they are wearing. Buy the jumbo-size slider bags (2.5 gallons). Have participants bring in what they need (Shoes, midriff, shells, skirts, socks, hairbows, spankies). Neatly pack each complete uniform in a slider bag. Label the bags with each participants name with a permanent marker. If available, pack extra uniform pieces in different sizes as well. Keep all of the uniforms together! Don’t give them to the participants until it is time to get ready!

Fourth, pack the make-up kits. Make sure that you have decided on a make-up color scheme and eye pattern before you get to the competition. Don’t experiment when you are at the venue! Have a dress rehearsal one night the week before competition. If your squad uses hair pieces, include them in the rehearsal and pack them up with the make-up kits. If not, make sure you plan accordingly for hair rollers or curling irons for the style that your squad is using and pack plenty of hairspray. Go full out with uniforms and make-up. Run the routine a few times through for parents and students. Some squads charge admittance as a fundraiser and invite the school and community. They may offer a spaghetti dinner or hot dog supper along with the entertainment. After the run-through, it’s the perfect time to pack the uniforms. Everyone is together, and it makes it so much easier.

Keep two accordion folders with copies of the registration information. Give one to an assistant coach or trustworthy parent. Make sure that schedules, payment confirmation, and any other pertinent information to the competition are kept in the accordion folder.

It is important to keep the parents feeling as little stress as possible as well. Their kids are performing in front of a lot of people. They have probably put a lot of time and money into cheerleading at this point. They want a good return and a happy kid when it’s all said and done. Make sure they have directions to the venue, a schedule for the events with their squad(s) times and stages highlighted if possible, a set meeting place for before the competition and after the competition, a schedule of the awards ceremony, and a list of possible places to stay and eat if it is an overnight competition. Many parents like to “book” together when it comes to travel arrangements. Make sure they know where the squad will be staying well in advance so that this is an option for them. Make sure that you keep the parents in the loop at all times about possible changes to schedules or venues. You can set up a phone tree, but don’t count on that always working. Use email, text alerts, and Facebook notifications to alert parents to what is going on with the event.

Preparation Checklist:

1. Routine has been successful at practice several times with no errors.

2. Each coach has a least two copies of the competition music.

3. All props are accounted for and packed.

4. There are two folders with all registration information.

5. All uniforms are packed and labeled and transferred together.

6. All make-up kits are packed.

7. All parents have several ways to contact them to keep them up to date with the schedules.

8. Room reservations (if necessary) are paid in advance and confirmation is in hand.

9. Departure time allows for delays, hair and make-up issues, and possibly a few run-throughs before the competition.

10. Participant waiver forms are in hand with insurance information. Many times these are sent in earlier with the registration. Keep a copy with you!

Some helpful hints for the multi-tasking coach:

1. Use Vaseline on teeth to keep lips from curling up and sticking. Funny, but it works!

2. Use hairspray sprayed on the upper thigh and buttocks to keep spankies from riding up during the routine.

3. Artist brushes work really well when applying eye make-up. The longer handles allow you to work without being right in the girl’s face.

4. Use hairpieces if the squad can afford it. They are so much easier than trying to do hair for every competition.

5. Make-up is always the same for the girls. Same colors and “designs” on the eyes or face.

6. Bring extra hair pins, extra hair ties, and extra safety pins!

7. Don’t get emotional in front of the squad before the competition. Don’t freak out when someone drops a stunt in the practice time. Don’t start crying or laughing hysterically (whichever may be your coping). Wait until they are off the competition floor. If someone makes a mistake, try not to dwell on it. They will fell bad enough when it happens.

8. If you can afford it or the parents would like to help, have a small gift for the kids when they are done. Even if it’s just a keychain or a stuffed animal to help them commemorate their achievement of competing, it will mean a lot to them.

The more you are prepared, the stress you are going to feel. The less stress you feel, the less stress the participants will feel!

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Pros and Cons of Circuit Training Workouts

For sure, every person would love to enjoy sumptuous food laid on the table. Somehow every person also loves to shed their excess fats in the body. Bulging tummy and fatty limbs are not so-sexy, so the best solution is to:

• Get the proper diet for weight and fat reduction

• Perform daily exercise to burn the excess calories

For sure, it is entirely different if you love to gain weight and loss fats. Most of the time, some people associate weight gain with excess fats. While it is true that fats can increase our body weight, protein can also do the same. The latter is desirable as it signifies a healthy body while fats, as you know it, is dangerous to health.

As for the exercise, one of the most recommended is the circuit training workouts. It is a form of exercise that entails the performance of intensified aerobics as well training workout to enhance endurance and resistance. The term ‘circuit’ refers to a series of work-out for the different parts of the body. Circuit training workouts sound good to those who want to keep their body in tiptop shape.

Circuit training workouts have the advantages and disadvantages too. To wit:

Advantages:

• Provides a total exercise program for the whole body

• Does not require expensive exercise equipment

• Can be done in groups, with the more experienced ones helping those beginners and with the supervision of the fitness instructor

• Can be customized according to your preference

Disadvantages:

• This work-out targets weight loss through fat burning. This is not the kind of work-out for those who are building weight through muscle toning

• As this work-out is typically done with groups, and there is tendency that there might be some who cannot go along with the routines and may also not be able to execute the exercise properly.

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How To Recover After A Skateboarding Session

If you’re like me, you love to skate. A two to three hour session at your local park isn’t uncommon, and it leaves you feeling amazing. People skate for all types of reasons, but it goes without saying that the health benefits you stand to gain from skateboarding like feeling amazing after exercise, and the challenge and rewards available make us keep wanting more. The problem I face, and a lot of other skaters face is the soreness and aching after a session. This can be especially apparent the next day. Some skaters deal with it differently than others. Some people seem immune to the pain and can wake up every day and go skate like crazy, no matter how beat up they got the day before. For the rest of us, here are some solid tips to getting the most out of your skate sessions without feeling beat up the next day.

Skate more often: It may seem counterintuitive at first, but skateboarding is like any physical activity. If you don’t do it for a while then your body has a harder time getting used to the abuse. Some people live in a climate that is cold and rainy during the winter, so they stop skating for a few months until it gets warm again. Then come spring time their body isn’t used to all the banging around and goes through a phase of soreness for a while before it can adapt itself again. If you ride your skateboard more often, your body will stay adapted to the abuse, and it won’t hurt as much after a session. This doesn’t mean going out every day to jump down a 20 stair because you’ll get better at it. This kind of abuse can lead to serious injuries, but if you skate a little bit every day, and work on progressing through your learning curves while maintaining a positive attitude, you will have a better time and get more enjoyment out of it.

Stretching before and after your sessions: It’s easy to get in a couple of toe touches and butterflies just after you start skating hard, and just after you stop skating. In fact, if you don’t make time for stretching, you will have to make time for injuries and soreness later on. Pro skaters do it all the time. They have to compete, film, and jump down huge things all the time to make money, so they learn from the best physical trainers in the world. Those physical trainers will teach you first that in order to avoid injuries while working out, you must learn to stretch. If you haven’t stretched much recently, it’s OK. Start now, and take it slow. Stretch in the morning when you wake up, in the afternoon, just after you get warmed up skating and just after your skate sesh, then stretch again before bed. This much stretching throughout the day will make your body loose and limber, and will help blood and oxygen flow through your muscles and joints, repairing them faster. It’s also a great idea to stretch your upper body like your neck, back and arms.

Doing a warm-down: Just as warming-up is important in skating to ensure you don’t fall when you first start skating, warming-down is important to ensure your muscles have a moment to decompress. To do a warm-down, do some light walking. I usually walk around the skate park after I’m done skating. This can be combined with filming your friends or taking pictures if you’re a photographer. It will help get the blood flowing to your joints for some added recovery.

Eat or drink lots of protein after a sesh: I read lots of blogs and forums about people looking for the best recovery methods, and this one is the same throughout. You must eat or drink lots of protein, 30-50 grams, immediately following a workout, along with coconut water or Gatorade. Your body needs the protein to rebuild the muscle, and the energy drink will replenish glycogen levels and raise insulin levels. Insulin can help restore muscle proteins by inhibiting protein breakdown and stimulating protein synthesis. Since I am vegan, I recommend a plant-based protein shake. You can find these at your local sprouts, whole foods, or online at Amazon.com. Granted, they aren’t cheap, but if you really don’t want to feel as sore after a skate session, they might be worth a try. Also, eating or drinking potassium rich substances after a workout will help replenish spent reserves. Coconut water has lots of potassium in it, making it an excellent post workout drink. I get mine at the local 99 cents store to save money. Make sure to get the one without any added sugar. Your body also needs things like sodium and calcium to refuel muscle energy. Bananas and sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, sodium and calcium. Add these to your post-skate session meals and you’ll feel better in no time. Also, grapes and cherries have antioxidants in them that help your body relieve soreness in your joints. Another tip is to take fish oil or flax seed oil pills. The omega-3, 6 and 9 do wonders for lubricating your joints.

Get better sleep: Sleep is essential to rebuilding muscles, joints and tendons. If you stay up late partying or watching TV after skate sessions, you won’t get the benefits that sleep offers. To make the most out of your Z’s, get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re like me and have trouble falling asleep, you can try to take an herbal supplement like melatonin or valerian root (I found a supplement called ‘relax & sleep’ at my local Dollar Tree). Drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea will also help. Additionally, committing yourself to a ‘technology-blackout’ after 9 pm every night will help you get to bed easier. Whatever it takes, get the sleep you need to recoup and you’ll be able to skate every day at to your fullest potential!

Reduce stress: Acute stress, like the type you get from exercising, is good for you. Chronic stress, like when you don’t get enough sleep, or when you have a paper due at school, is not good for you. To recover completely from your skate sessions in the fastest way possible, make time to do stress-relieving exercises like short hikes, hanging out with friends, and riding a bicycle. These are all things known as active-recovery, and can go a long ways in helping you recover mentally from a hard skate session. Getting social with good friends and laughing are the best ways to relieve stress.

Ice, then take a hot bath: Icing your ankles after a skate session for 10-15 minutes, then bathing in hot water will relax your muscles and make it easier for them to recover the next day. The icing reduces swelling that might happen if you landed on your ankles really hard, and the hot water relieves the tension in your muscles making it easier for blood to move through them. Combined with an after workout stretch, icing and a hot bath can be an excellent way to recover after a skate session.

Body weight squats: Doing proper body weight squats during the day and between skate session will strengthen the connective tissue around your joints, and in effect you’ll have more stability around the joints in your ankles, hips and pelvis. First you’ll want to learn how to do proper body weight squats.

I hope these tips help you have more fun with skateboarding. No doubt it can be very painful at times, but it’s overcoming our personal challenges and getting the reward of rolling away from a trick that make it all worth it. I love skateboarding, and I’m sure you do to. That’s why if it was up to me, I would skate all day every day. However, as we age our bodies don’t recover as quickly, but if you take these 5 tips to heart, maybe your recoveries will be faster, and you’ll be out skating again in no time!

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Why You Shouldn’t Skip the Warm-Up and Stretching in Insanity Workout?

In this post I am going to describe two essential exercises in every Insanity workout, in which you should not underestimate its importance for your own safety first, and in order to perform the workouts in the most efficient way, they are the warm up and the cool down stretching.

Warm-up:

Put it this way, I am a 20 years old male, and while doing the exercise in the warm-up I checked my heart rate and it was 165 bpm (beats per minute) this is according to medical facts is about 85% of my total max heart rate, and believe it or not I was still in the warm-up phase, the real exercises did not even begin yet. During the real workouts itself, I took a lot of rests in the middle, but that is completely normal for anyone if he is doing the exercise for the first time, as the instructor (Shaun T) says.

The following bullets mention the plyometric cardio circuit warm up exercises, you do these exercises 3 times, no brakes in the middle, and make sure that you begin slowly, then each time you complete this interval you push yourself more, until you reached the 3rd interval when you push yourself to the maximum.

  • Jog
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Heisman’s
  • 123
  • Butt Kicks
  • High Knees
  • Mummy Kicks

After you have completed these 3 intervals, you should be pouring a lot of sweat, and that’s the main goal of the warm-up, is to prepare your muscles and lean them for the insane following exercises, in order to prevent injury. You can take now a sip of water for 30 seconds, but remember that you should not stop moving.

Cool Down stretching:

The second part in this brief post is the cool down stretching, many people overlook this part of the workout or don’t do it right, but I think it is a very essential exercise after the intense exercises you do in Insanity workout. It is medically advised that if you are doing some sort of intense exercise for a long period of time, it’s not good that after you finish that you immediately stop.

Many people think that stretching is only important before you do an exercise, but stretching should be done before and after the workout. Stretching is important to prevent cramps in your muscles, because after you exercise your muscles are very warm, and the muscles cannot immediately return to its normal temperature, it takes time, and in this time you should do some sort of soft exercise, and not just because stretching is an easy part of the workout that it should be skipped.

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How to Plan a Barn Dance

Barn dances have become very popular for all kinds of events from wedding receptions through to corporate events, birthday parties and village fetes – even prom nights!. I believe their popularity is due to the fact that people of all ages enjoy these events equally. Here is my guide to planning and running a successful event.

The Venue

Barn dances rarely take place in barns, so there is no overpowering need to go and find a friendly farmer and get him to lend you his barn. In fact barns can make very poor venues (unless specifically prepared or designed for such events) as there are often no amenities such as toilets etc. They can also have a tenancy to get a little cold and they can be quite dusty when the dancers start to kick up the dust from the floor unless the barn has been meticulously swept and cleaned beforehand. It is sometimes better to pick a venue such as a village hall, school hall or a large hotel. If the barn dance is for a wedding then a room in the hotel where the wedding reception is being held is usually the norm. The band will also need room to set up their equipment. Ask them how much equipment they have and how much room they will need. You wouldn’t be able to get say a five piece band with a drum-kit onto a stage that is only designed for a duo. Always make sure that there is ample room for the dancers to dance. A barn dance will need a bigger dance floor than a disco. Ask the venue how large the dancing area is.

Choosing a band

Most barn dance bands have a website these days where you can hear snippets of their music or see videos of their live performances. Choose your band to suit the occasion and the likely taste of your guests. Remember that a barn dance band also has to be listened to as well as danced to.

Barn dance bands come in an array of different forms from the traditional accordion, guitar and fiddle arrangement to the more rock and roll type electric barn dance bands. Most bands will sing a song between the dances so that there is always some entertainment throughout the dance. The more rock and roll end of the bands will usually have a few rock and roll numbers for the end of the night and be able to “mix things up” a little to suit everyone.

When choosing a band it is true to say that you get what you pay for. Do not choose on cost alone. It may be better to pay more than you expected to get an evening that everyone remembers for all the right reasons and not the wrong ones. Nearly all barn dance bands come complete with a caller, but always remember to ask if this is the case. Make sure your bands equipment is PAT tested and the band has Public Liability Insurance. This is becoming obligatory in many venues and all barn dance bands should carry such insurance.

Catering

Most dances have some form of food for the guests. It can be a simple buffet, a hotpot or even a hog-roast at a larger event. The food break is usually planned to be about halfway in the proceedings. So if the dance started at 8pm then the buffet would start to be served around 9.30pm. Some venues insist you use their own caterers. Check on this beforehand.

You will also need a bar at your event. There are exceptions such as church socials etc where this is deemed inappropriate. Ask if the venue has a bar or whether you will have to bring one in to cover your event.

What happens during a barn dance?

The band will arrive in ample time to set up their equipment for the barn dance and do a preliminary sound check to make sure all is well. Although the dance may have been designated to commence at a certain time a band cannot perform if not enough people are there on time. This is something that always needs to be taken into consideration.

Before the evenings entertainment commences, the Caller will contact the organiser to do a final check on the start time, and the timing of any breaks etc. It is usual for the band to perform two separate period with a break in the middle.

During the dance your guests will be requiring a few rests between the dances.Most bands entertain with songs between the dance numbers to ensure that there are never any awkward silences. During the interval, between their first time of performance and the next, the band usually provides background music on their sound system. If not, then the venue can usually provide this for you.

If a buffet or hot food is to be served during the night, the interval is usually the best time for the refreshments. This is also often the time organisers to make any speeches or give any gifts or prizes.

Make sure your bands equipment is PAT tested and the band has Public Liability Insurance. This is becoming obligatory in many venues and all barn dance bands should carry such insurance.

When the performance commences, the Caller will invite the guests on to the dance floor and will “walk through” all the barn dance moves before the actual dance begins. Following commencement of the dance, the Caller will continue to call out the moves throughout the dance (so no one needs to have a good memory). And remember, mistakes only add to the fun and jollity!

Barn dances can be great fun for all ages. Enjoy planning your event!

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How to Get Six Pack Abs While You Sleep?

Yes, I have had my coffee today, and no, I am not on drugs! It’s true! You can build six pack abs while you sleep! Read on and let me show you how.

In order to get six pack abs, what is it that you are first going to have to do? That’s right, you are going to have to lose belly fat and of course, total body fat in order to have your six pack abs revealed. This is one of the greatest misconceptions when it comes to getting six pack abs….people thinking that all they have to do is crunches and voila, you got yourself a six pack! Wrong!

You have to lose belly fat first. Want to now how you can lose belly fat…even while you sleep, so that you can start having your six pack abs revealed? Drum roll please…..focus on building lean muscle and increase the intensity of your workouts.

When you build lean muscle and intensify your workouts, you will burn off a crap load of calories…and will continue to do so….even while you sleep!

The quickest way to build lean muscle and intensify a workout is by super setting your workouts. This would be you switching between two different workouts simultaneously until 3-4 sets are done. For example, if you are working out your arms, you would do one set of dumbbell curls, then without resting switch over and do triceps pull downs, and repeat this cycle until 3-4 sets are done for each workout.

By doing this, you are basically combining both cardio and weight training in one. Trust me, your heart rate will be running on full speed and you will be sweating your butt off! With doing this type of workout, you will increase your metabolism, burn off fat faster, and burn calories even while you sleep. The end result, a low body fat percentage, and your six pack abs will begin to show!

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