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The race goes not to the swift, but to those who keep running !

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Which Body is Better for Health and Performance? Answer Join me at Beachbody.com-

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See why power 90 was so successful at changing the in home fitness market.

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Check out the creator of the most Intense exercise videos in the world Insanity and Asylum ! Shaun T !!

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P 90 X The Extreme In Home Fitness program- Xmikew.com

Monday, February 27, 2012

Days 19-21

Day 19-21

Day 19
This was a good Legs &Back workout!~

I enjoy the kick class at my Gym I just wish it was longer, my quandry is my club has runs at 8 am and Kick is at 9:15am I want to do both I think they start a little earlier after daylight saving time (the runs)

Okay catching up
Lydia congrats on one year it has been over two for me yippee( thanks to mac & melanie, tawny &trudy and the rets of the gang for keeping me here)...
Annie in London Hi!!!

I live outside of Boston , Marlborough,MA; good english name
Sunny Glad you joined my fit group on Fb everyone is welcome, find me at facebook/xmikew
Are you and your hubby retired?
Trudy how is it jumping? way to get the walks in!!
Mac you are the fire of us all Go Girl!!!
Tawny great job you and Jimmy!

Day 20
Okay so we had a tough Kick class my hammies are still sore
I took Travor hiking on a couple of the trails in Westboro we have some awesome open space here man!He went swimming in Lake Chauncy and learned to walk on swamp boards( small 2 board,board walks in the bogs), pretty cool.
Day 21
I ran 6 yesterday before church as it was a great morn to run
Tonite: Back to chest and back and the pullup program I am doing, message me if you want a copy!

Paul: MOF gO buddy!!

Next week 7 miles , go mike


The Masters(men) in my club ran a 2:53 marathon relay at Hyannis yesterday a 6:40 pace for 6.5 miles each
[b] SMOKING!!!![/b]

Day 21 Tonite Chest & Back and my 7 weeks to 50 pullups program

Message me if you want the agenda for this!

Losing Weight? Hell YES !

Bottom Line these body by VI products work my butt and hips are smaller, and I plan to have a rocking weigh in on Day 30!

Okay enough

MikeY

Friday, February 24, 2012

90 Day Challenge Day 11-18

Okay fell behind on posting sorry

Are you on track to weet your weight loss goals? Have you loss weight this year?, If not why?

Here is the recap





Day 11, Last Thursday - Did Shoulders and arm to catch up on the strength workouts

Day 12 Friday - Ran 5 after work felt good, a little too much traffic ( on a Friday night ) in big Marlboro!

Day 13 Saturday Killer kick class at Boost!, Then did the back part of Legs and back.

Day 14 Sunday - Ran a good solid 6 + miles ~ getting there.

Day 15 Monday Back on track Chest and back, Push up count is improving every week!

Day 16 Tuesday
Nice solid run 5 miles in 45 minutes! Cardio Abs

Day 17 Wednesday
Shoulders and arms I nailed this one hard! Ready to up the weights for both shoulders and Bis

Day 18 Thursday
TOOK OFF , WE ALL NEED A DAY OFF RIGHT?

Day 19 Friday today
Readyto run this am but I did not get to sleep until 1 am so after work, then backs & pullups
my modified version of legs and back).

How is this Challenge going?
It is awesome , never felt better, lot of improvement in strength and cardio endurance.
I need to get another Insanity workout in here soon!
Enjoying the Vi Shakes, Vi trim and Vi slim, this stuff rocks
I am now ablke to fit into the slacks that were too tight last month!

Pics coming on Day 30!

Ask me how to get Body by Vi products!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Presidents week

In Celebration of Presidents weeks we are giving away, a Vi Shake sample, Nuero and a Nutracookie, Just need to sign up on the 90 day challenge,
Get your samples or your freebies!
Message me!

Mike

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lift Heavy Things- Grok Workout!

Law #4: Lift Heavy Things

Grok Workout

Quick Bodyweight Routine

Gym Circuit

Begin each workout listed in this section with a five-minute warm-up of low intensity cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, stationary cycling or other cardio machine at 55-75% of maximum heart rate) followed by light stretching. Conclude each workout with a five minute cool down identical to the warm-up. Be certain that you have medical clearance before attempting any strenuous workout, including those described in the Primal Blueprint.

Grok Workout

This workout is fun, different, very challenging and can be done anywhere. It’s inspired by my old friend Rip Esselstyn – former professional triathlete, world record holding masters swimmer, Austin, Texas Firefighter and author of The Engine 2 Diet (www.engine2.org). All you need is a bench or chair for a few of the resistance exercises. The following descriptions may be a bit laborious. Please check MarksDailyApple.com for regularly updated videos of workouts like this and many others.

Back Slide Arches (arms, abs, back, legs) – Sit on the ground with legs extended straight in front of you, upper body perpendicular to the ground, arms at your side and slightly behind your butt. Lift your legs and butt off the ground with your arms, arching your back in the same motion by pressing into the ground with your feet (toes pointed) and dipping your head backwards. Hold the arch position for one count and then return your upper body to perpendicular position. While suspending your legs in the air with your arms, thrust your straight legs backwards as far as possible and land on your butt. Return hands to position behind butt and commence another arch sequence. As you thrust your body between your arms, notice that you travel a few feet backwards with each rep. It’s best to do this exercise across a long room or outdoors on a field or beach, setting a goal of traveling twenty or forty yards as you number of reps.

Spiderman Crawl Pushups (abs, pecs, biceps) – After you have traveled down the line with your Back Slide Arches, you will make your way back to your starting point with Spiderman Crawl Pushups. After your final arch, stand up and bend forward, arms hanging at your feet (you are facing backwards the way you came). Crawl forward with your hands (feet stay put) until your reach the pike position for a pushup. Commence a Spiderman pushup by driving your right knee forward to touch your right elbow and returning leg quickly to pike position. Then, drive left knee forward to touch left elbow and return quickly to pike position. Keeping hands on the ground, walk forward with your feet until they reach your hands, then walk with hands to return to pike position. Notice that you are traveling down a line back to your starting point for the arches!

I like to complete a ladder of Spiderman pushups starting with ten (a complete right knee-left knee sequence counts as one), then doing nine, eight, seven…down to one, then back up to ten. On a field or beach this represents twenty to forty yards of travel. Advanced exercisers can strive to perform the move as fast as possible, so it looks like you are practically running in place.

Chair Squats (quads): Stand feet shoulder width apart in front of chair or bench. Sit quickly by lowering butt, trying to keep knees centered over the balls of your feet. After barely touching the seat, stand quickly. Pump your arms for momentum and commence a set of 25-75 chair squats, going as fast as possible, until failure. When you get the hang of it and establish a nice rhythm, challenge yourself to go faster and faster!

Mini Chair Dips (pecs, lats, triceps, quads): Stand feet shoulder width apart in front of chair or bench. Reach straight arms backwards and grasp the bench with both hands still shoulder width apart. Dip down, bending elbows and dropping butt into sitting position. Dip until elbows are at 90-degree angle – butt will be below the level of the bench. Perform dips as fast as possible, completing 25-75 reps until failure.

Chair Jumps (cardio, legs, core): Standing slightly to the right of the chair or bench, step up and over with left leg onto center of chair or bench. Then quickly step up onto chair with right leg, while at the same time moving left leg off and over to the left side of chair. Then step right leg off chair, joining left leg to stand on opposite side of starting point. Commence return trip by stepping up quickly with right leg onto center of chair, following with left leg while removing right leg and returning to original starting position, followed by left leg returning to original starting position. The exercise should be performed as fast as possible so legs are shuffling on and off the chair and are only together for a split second at any position before one leg commences the next move in sequence. Perform 25-75 reps until failure, going as fast as possible. Pump your arms to assist your effort and keep your eyes on the chair to ensure balance.

Scissors: Lie on your back and extend your legs six inches off the ground, taking care to press your lower back into the ground for support and to fully engage the abdominals. Hold position for twenty seconds, then commence twenty “scissors”, spreading your legs wide and back together. Hold starting position for twenty seconds, then rest. After thirty seconds rest, assume starting position for twenty seconds, then raise both legs skyward until they are perpendicular to the ground, then slowly return to starting position. Complete twenty repetitions from skyward to starting position. After your last rep, then return to starting position, hold for twenty seconds, then rest. Note that this is an advanced exercise and carries a risk of back strain. If you feel any strain whatsoever in your lower back, cease your efforts and rest. As your abs fatigue, the strain will be transferred to your lower back, making it essential to press your lower back into the ground at all times during the scissors. It may help to raise your head off the ground a bit to help achieve a strong connection between the lower back and the ground.

Lunge-Burpees: Stand feet shoulder width apart. Squat down and place your hands on the ground right in front of your toes. Leaving your hands there, quickly jump your legs backwards into the plank pushup position. Complete a pushup, then jump legs out spread eagle style and complete another pushup. Then jump legs back together and complete another pushup. Then jump legs up to your hands. Then jump straight up in the air as high as you can. Then perform a lunge by extending right leg forward and bending until thigh is parallel to the ground. Then extend left leg forward into lunge position and return. Then touch toes and jump into pushup plank position to commence another series.

Quick Bodyweight Routine

If you are pressed for time, 7 to 15 minutes of bodyweight resistance exercises can produce an outstanding workout. If you don’t have a proper overhead bar for pull-ups, improvise using railings, stairwells, door frames, park playgrounds, tree branches – anything that can support your weight. To experienced gym goers, this routine of the most basic movements might seem a little bland. However, if all you ever do is squats, lunges, pull-ups, pushups and planks you can still become as rock solid as the guys and gals in the Bow Flex commercials. Retired football legend, Heisman Trophy winner, and Olympic bobsledder Herschel Walker (who was once traded by the Dallas Cowboys to the Minnesota Vikings for – counting eventual draft picks – a total of 19 other players!), reportedly never touched weights, instead relying on simple exercises like pushups (with his wife riding on his back – captured by a memorable Sports Illustrated photo) and 2,000 sit ups per day to develop his massive – and extremely functional – physique.

For a unique challenge, set an ambitious numerical goal for each exercise and don’t move to the next exercise until you complete all of them. If it’s 100 squats, you might have to rest at 40, again at 60 and again at 85 to reach the goal. When you get to a goal like 50 pullups, it might require 5, 10 or even more “sets” to get the reps done. Talk about a real ass kicker! I did a blog post about how I became nauseous from the extreme effort of a workout consisting only of squats, pull-ups and pushups…on an empty stomach.

The following quick bodyweight routine is particularly applicable to those who frequently use the “time and place” excuse not to exercise. I can relate a busy schedule vaporizing that desired 80-minute round trip excursion to the gym. Give yourself 10 minutes and a little floor space in your hotel room, or sneak away from T-ball practice and hit it hard with the available apparatus at the school playground. Having a slow day in your cube at the office? Move the swivel chair aside and hit the deck (just do it towards the end of the day when the sweat factor won’t compromise any remaining appointments on the docket!).

Squats as previously described

Lunges as previously described

Pullups (back, lats, pecs, biceps): Grasp bar (or tree branch) at shoulder width with overhanded grip. Raise chin above branch (or bar) and return to slightly past 90-degree elbows (advanced exercisers may want to extend arms fully). You can alternate sets with an underhand grip; this is technically called a chin-up. It’s also an excellent exercise with a slightly different muscle load. Chin-ups are considered to be a little easier so choose this option if you struggle with this exercise.

Pushups (lats, pecs, triceps): Assume pushup plank position (arms extended below you, body straight). Lower your chest to the ground and return to plank position, repeating until failure. Advanced exercisers can push body into the air after each rep, clap hands and land back in plank position for next rep.

Ab Planks: Hold pushup plank position with either extended arms or resting your elbows on the ground. Maintain position until failure. Then, lean on one hand and rotate upper body into sideways plank position (straight line from your head to toe) to stimulate oblique abs. Hold position until failure. Return to pushup plank position, hold until failure, then lean on other hand and rotate upper body into sideways plank position facing the other direction. Hold position until failure. Rest one minute then repeat exercise, this time extending opposite arm over your head when holding the sideways plank positions.

Gym Circuit

It’s understandable that you might feel more comfortable in a controlled indoor exercise environment than you would chucking a medicine ball down a field (especially if the soccer practice kids are pointing and giggling). While I encourage you to experiment with more primal activities, going through the basics in the gym can also produce an outstanding workout. Every gym has the equipment necessary to complete this workout. The rest is up to you. An experienced lifter can do three sets for each exercise, while a novice can begin with just a single set of each exercise, working up to two per workout after a few sessions, and eventually to three.

Start on any machine (or free weight) described below with a weight that you can perform eight to ten reps before temporarily exhausting the muscle as described in detail in Chapter 6. If you are doing more than one set, increase the weight five or ten pounds on each successive set, resting only 15-20 seconds between sets. It’s expected that you will reach fewer reps on successive sets with higher weights. After you’ve finished one, two or three sets (depending on your plan for the day and experience), rest thirty to forty seconds before moving on to the next exercise, always maintaining a high intensity level and high degree of difficulty throughout your session. Be sure to maintain safe technique and rhythm. Stabilize your spine and maintain a balanced center for all workouts, resisting the urge to sway or jerk for momentum in order to get that last rep.

Squats (quads, buttocks, calves): They say core is king but squats are perhaps the most fundamental, functional and primal exercise of them all. Sprinting speed, climbing strength, stability, and core strength are all impacted by this one movement, which probably generates more Human Growth Hormone than any other single exercise when done properly. Grok squatted for just about every occasion – eating, resting, eliminating, lifting, foraging and hiding out during hunting. When you can develop excellent lower extremity strength and balance, you minimize the risk of injury, particularly to your back and neck. These are the areas that typically get tweaked when you fail to engage your leg muscles for lifting or fail to stabilize your body adequately for sports and other complex movements.

You can benefit from doing squats without using any weight at all. Review the “Chair Squats” description in the Fireman workout for a high speed variation of the typical tightly controlled repetitions. As you become stronger and accustomed to the proper technique, use your imagination to add more weight: drape a log across your shoulders, a duffle bag full of clothes or even a small child on your back – just like Grok.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart in natural comfortable position, not necessarily pointing straight ahead. Cross arms over chest and lower your butt slowly as if sitting in a chair. Try to maintain a straight spine (it will travel from 90 degrees to a 45 degree angle), but resist the urge to lean forward. Use your quads to absorb the load both sitting and standing. Go down in a smooth and steady movement until your knees are at about a 90 degree angle and then return to a standing position without locking your knees, particularly if you have weight on the barbell. Do as many repetitions in a set as you can while still confident you can return to a standing position (failure sucks on this exercise in particular!).

Forward and Reverse Lunges (quads): Close behind squats in importance for virtually every physical activity are lunges. Stand feet together with dumbbells in each hand, arms at your sides. Lunge forward with right leg and lower until your thigh is parallel to the ground, knee bent at about a ninety-degree angle. Return leg to starting position, repeat. Then lunge forward with your left leg and complete a similar repetition. Then, step backward with right leg until left (forward) thigh is parallel to ground. Return right leg to start and repeat. Then complete two reverse lunges with left leg.

Bench Press on Ball (pecs and arms, along with legs for stabilizing): Be sure to ask someone to “spot” you on this one. Sit on ball with legs spread slightly and extended onto ground for balance. Grab barbell and lean backwards into bench press position. Ensure that your wrists are in line with your elbows. Extend arms to lift bar. Slowly return bar to a level where elbows are bent 90 degrees. The bar will be just above your chest and your hands will be just wider than shoulders on the bar. As you improve, you can move the arms farther apart to work the muscles on a different plane.

Lat Pulldown (lats and back): Hold lat bar with hands about eight inches apart. Kneel or sit on bench with arms extended overhead. Pull bar straight down until even with upper chest. Slowly release to extended arms position. As you improve in this exercise you will be able to perform wide grip pull-ups, an even more effective and explosive lat/back/biceps movement.

Shoulder Press (deltoids): Sit on bench with dumbbells in each hand. Raise dumbbells to shoulder height. Elbows face out, thumbs face in. Stabilize spine with abdominal muscles. Raise dumbbells overhead. Slowly release to shoulder position. Proficiency in this exercise will give you the strength to try to move into some very advanced exercises like handstand push-ups (at first against a wall, and later unsupported).

Shoulder Shrugs (traps), progressing to “Travelin’ Shoulder Shrugs”: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells in each hand at your side. Or use a barbell with arms extended at your side. Elbows face out, palms face down. Shrug shoulders, taking care to keep neck relaxed and focus the exercise resistance on the traps. This exercise will provide a degree of strength that you can eventually apply to compound movements like carrying a couple barbell plates walking around the gym or around a running track – seriously!

Adapting what can arguably be considered a non-primal “isolation” exercise (and one that’s not very popular due to the “I carry too much tension up there already” factor) by moving while your muscles are under stress converts it into one of the most functional – and primal – exercises under the sun. Ever tried to carry your suitcases from baggage claim, load them on the shuttle, unload them and drag them to your trunk after a long trip? If you don’t seize up on the spot, you’ll get hit hard when you wake up the next morning!

Of course, your leg-press/squats will get you ready for this “traveling shoulder shrugs” workout too. If you have the very common tendency to carry stress in your trapezius, use extreme caution on this exercise by choosing light weights and moderate set difficulty. By doing so, you will gradually improving the strength, range of motion and blood circulation of these muscles and alleviate the tendency for them to absorb all of your tension.

Dumbbell Row (mid back): Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent and supple. Hold dumbbell in each hand and bend forward at the waist with spine and head at about a 45-degree angle. Straighten and extend arms down, pointing elbows out and thumbs in. Commence exercise by raising elbows straight up in the air so that your back muscles pinch together.

Bicep Curls: Sit on bench with upper body straight. Grab dumbbells or resistance cords in each hand and rest them on thighs. Commence exercise by curling dumbbells up to your shoulder, then releasing slowly back to thigh. Keep spine stabilized throughout exercise.

Back Crunches: Lie face down on the ground with arms clasped together and resting on your lower back. Arch carefully by lifting your chest and legs off the ground. Hold position of maximum arch for a count of one, then return slowly to starting point. Stretch back muscles after completion by assuming a “prayer” pose – kneel, bend forward pressing chest into thighs and extend arms fully along the ground.

Woodchopper Abs (with resistance cords): Stand feet shoulder width apart, bend knees about 45 degrees and maintain straight spine. Grasp resistance cords in both hands and position hands directly in front of knee that is nearest to resistance point. Swing arms across body and upwards towards opposite shoulder, then return to opposite knee. Take care to isolate the resistance on your abs, letting your arms go along for the ride instead of engaging them to move the cords. Repeat until failure, then turn in the other direction to commence exercise starting with hands in front of other knee nearest the resistance point



Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/references/lift-heavy-things-workout-suggestions/#ixzz1mv5frrSz

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

90 Day Challenge Days 8-10

Okay Day 8 Monday
Did a Great 8888! round of Chest and back & Cardio Abs
Went out to the workout shop at the end and did 40 extras puullups
Nice!! Back and chest still sore
Tuesday Day 9 off
Enjoyed Valentines evening with my Lovely wife
Big ass salad and chicken , appetizers and a nice roaring fire ...
Day 10 Workout 1
Got up at 4:45 and ran 4.8 miles in 47 Minutes calf sore afterwards, feels better now!
WORKOUT 2
Now 6 :40 PM Time for Shoulders and arms & Cardio Abs
Yousa
Lets do this folks!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

90 Day Challenge Days 5-7

We all want to lose weight and look young, fit & trim right?
Getting there , join me for the ride!



Okay so it was a busy weekend had to work really hard through all of Friday & Saturday.
I took a well deserved rest day on Friday (Day 5)and was up early before work to do

Day 6

Legs & back from P90X and Pure Cardio from Insanity Saturday before work.

I was pretty sore after that but Energized!!



Clean here for the Pure Cardio review:




Day 7 Sunday

I got out before Church and did a nice 6 miler in the 15 degree temps

My Thighs were slightly frostbitten through my tights but i survived and call it a good run, Clover Hill was mine!



Diet has been Squeaky clean and I only caved and had a slice of berry pie last night!

My wife said I looked relay slim this morning nice to here!



Just had a nice portion of Grass fed beef, broccoli & cauliflower and a Vi Shake, Vi Trim and Vi Slim for lunch.

I plan to do a good round of Chest and back , Cardio Abs and then dinner.



go to http:xmikew.com for more information on the Vi shakes , Vi Trim and Vi Slim!



Here is my Video, plan to get more involved with the workouts just learning the video program LOL !







Friday, February 10, 2012

90 Day Challenge Day 4

So do you want to lose Weight and get Lean and Fit who doesn't right?





Here are my Day 4 chronicles, of my 90 Day challange , Need to be strong as the weekend starts tonight and I get weak, LOL!





I ran 4.2 miles at Ghiloni park on the paved trails, nice place with subtle hills for an aggressive speed workout. So I went out and did a little warm up followed by the 12 X 200 m repeats . Legs are a little tired this week, but it was a good workout. I was supposed to do Pure Cardio last night too, but I was toast from the run! My Leg turnover speed is improving weekly!





I think I will Pure Cardio today in place of the "legs" portion of Legs and back. The "back" portion I will do first, thank goodness for remotes right?





Followed up with a good stretch and a big ass salad for dinner, with Chicken.


Salad included peppers, cukes, onions, pine nuts, a little cheese, a slice of salami, and tomatoes, Yum! BTW that term (big ass salad) is a Mark Sissan term , Go to Marks Daily Apple to see all the fun !













video

Thursday, February 9, 2012

90 Day Challenge Day 3

Day 3

Do you want to lose weight or get leaner, Who doesn't?
Okay So I did Shoulders and Arms and Cardio Abs last night on an empty stomach,
( while fasted), did some pullups in the garage and then walked the Dog for 35 minutes. Sat down to a good meal of Sweet potato and Texas chili.
Arms are very sore , thus the point!

See my short Video , I plan to bring longer Videos in the future.


Tomorrow

Sprinting and Pure Cardio !




video



Go here for a review of Shoulder & Arms:

http://youngandfitxmikecom.blogspot.com/2011/03/shoulders-and-arms-day-3-insanity-p90x.html

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day2 90 Day Challenge

Restarted my Challenge yesterday , Did P90 X Chest and Back
Today I ran 4.3 and then did Pylo Cardio Circuit

go to Pylo Cardio Circuit -Insanity Phase 1 WO ~ Body by VI -X MIKE: http://bit.ly/zv0OaC for COMPLETE REVIEW

video

90 day Challenge - $10 million in prizes

Monday, February 6, 2012

Body by VI








Hello and welcome to Body by VI. I’m Mike Wetzel and you have already seen my website, xmikew.com. If not, check it out for good fitness and nutrition tips. My job is to help you get the most out of your Visalus products and the Body by VI - 90 Day Challenge. , This means Losing weight and /or Body Fat!

We have a couple of different ways that we do that, and I would encourage you to use whatever method works the best for you.

1. Our Website – Please look at this page http://xmike.myvi.net/challenge, which explains the Challenge.

2. Facebook – I’m at . http://www.facebook.com/#!/BodybyXMIKE. If you “like” my site (click the like button), I can add you to the support group we have there where you can connect with people going along the same journey you are.

3. Email – My email address is mwetzel394@gmail.com. I’d love to chat with you and see how I can help. If you drop me a line, please let me know that you have filled out a contact form.

4. Go to my Blog for great information and tips, as well as a day to day update of M

y Challenge. My Blog is at xmike Blog

That’s all for now. Shoot me an email and let me know how I can help YOU.

Mike Wetzel

Independent Body by VI Distributor

http://xmikew.com

Blog: X Mikes Blog

Twitter- @xmikewetzel

508-395-2755

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back on Track ( Sick is no Fun!)

Okay back on track

I was very Ill from Sunday the 22ndof Jan, thru Monday of this week,(bad cold, in the lungs, nuff said) I said the heck with working out and

focused on walking and a good diet. Did pretty good, Luckily it was a recovery week from my round of P90x, three weeks to go!

I Ran 4.25 miles Tuesday morning as Patti got us up at 3am , she arrived home

(Monday Aft) from 4 days in Germany. I did get a lot of stuff done in the house as she was gone and I tend to focus on cleaning things

up then.

OH NEWS FLASH!

I cleaned the workbench off in the garage under the House , it had been a mess for three years!

It was a great run, no diminished lung capacity etc and my legs were strong from the week off! Had a Vi Shake and a VI cookie for

Breakfast!

Start the third phase of P90X later today, Chest shoulders & Triceps and Ab ripper.

What are you doing to improve your health and Fitness?

Go to http://Xmike.bodyvyVi.com for more information on the 90 Day Challenge that is rocking the Country


Mike

Intermittent Fasting and Stubborn Body Fat

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Intermittent Fasting and Stubborn Body Fat

I have previously hinted that intermittent fasting sidesteps the issues associated with stubborn body fat. Indeed I rarely find any need for advanced strategies to rid my clients of stubborn body fat. I will soon tell you why, but first let me give you some background information to what I'm talking about here.


What is stubborn body fat?

Stubborn body fat refers to areas of the body that hold on to fat the longest. Generally speaking, these areas include the lower abs and lower back in men, and the lower body in women. These areas are damn hard to get lean.

How come these areas are stubborn in the first place? To understand this, let's look at how fat is mobilized (the very short version).

After you eat, insulin and fatty acids are elevated. You are in the fed state and there's zero fat burning going on. Your body is relying completely on glucose oxidation during the hours following the meal.

One way of measuring this is via the respiratory quotient (RQ). An RQ of 1.0 denotes pure carbohydrate metabolism ("storage mode"), while 0.7 denotes pure fat metabolism. To put this into perspective, consider that RQ is 0.95-1.0 for about 1.5-2 hours after a meal, 0.82-0.85 after overnight fasting and 0.72-0.8 after 16 hours of fasting.

As the hours go by and the nutrients from the meal are done being absorbed, RQ drops in conjunction with insulin. There's a shift towards fat burning and mobilization of stored fat. This process is mediated by insulin and blood-borne fatty acids; when levels drop, an energy deficit is "sensed" and catecholamines (adrenaline and nordrenaline) increase.

The catecholamines travel through the blood and bind to receptors on fat cells. A receptor can be thought of as a "lock." Hormones and neurotransmitters are keys that fit into that lock and make something happen. In this case catecholamines trigger fat mobilization by activating hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), which then shuttles the fat out of the cell to be burned off.

Now here's the critical difference between regular fat and stubborn fat: regular fat have a lot of beta-2 receptors in proportion to alpha-2 receptors.

In The Stubborn Fat Solution Lyle McDonald used the analogy of b2-receptors being "accelerators" for fat loss and a2-receptors acting as "breaks" for fat loss. That's the easiest way to think of them without getting too deep into the physiology.

The ratio between b2-receptors and a2-receptors determines how easy it is to facilitate fat loss from one region of the body. "Easy" fat has a high ratio of b2-receptors to a2-receptors, while stubborn fat has a high ratio of a2-receptors to b2-receptors.

One notorious example that Lyle brings up in his book is that women have up to nine times (!) as many a2-receptors as b2-receptors in their hip and thigh fat. Though I can't recall if similar numbers are available for lower ab and lower back fat for men, you can be sure that the a2-receptors outnumber the b2-receptors in these areas as well.



I rarely use fancy strategies for ridding my clients of stubborn body fat. They never need it. It's more or less a linear process all the way down to the shredded state.


Intermittent fasting and stubborn fat loss

How can intermittent fasting then selectively target stubborn body fat more effectively than other diets? Well, to target stubborn body fat we need to activate b2-receptors while deactivating a2-receptors. Intermittent fasting achieves this by the following mechanisms.

1. Fasting increases catecholamine levels.

2. Fasting increases abdominal subcutaneous blood flow, which means that catecholamines will have an easier time reaching those hard-to-get areas.

3. The low insulin level reached during the fast inhibits a2-receptors. A greater time spent in the low insulin state equals a greater time spent in a state where fat can be mobilized from stubborn areas. Now you're probably thinking "why not just go on a low carb diet" to keep insulin low, but keep in mind that triglycerides inhibit HSL in a similar manner as insulin.

4. My research has indicated that the ideal state of fat burning is reached after 12-18 hours of fasting. Coupled with high levels of catecholamines, increased blood flow to stubborn regions, and low insulin for a2-receptor inhibition, this time interval is the "golden age" of stubborn fat mobilization.

Let me just explain real quick what I mean by the ideal state of fat burning. Studies have examined free fatty acid (FFA) oxidation from anywhere between the overnight fasted state to three days of fasting. While FFA oxidation increases the longer time you spend in the fasted state, the contribution of fatty acids to whole body fat oxidation changes.

In short-term fasting there's a significant increase in subcutaneous FFA oxidation. That's just a fancy way of saying that you're mainly burning body fat and nothing else. For up to 14-20 hours* after a 600-calorie meal in normal-weight subjects, fat is only mobilized from body fat stores in resting individuals.

* 14-20 hours in a completely sedentary state should easily equal 12-18 hours in real life.


Past this time point, fat burning increases further. That goes without saying. But it's not necessarily the type of fat you're after that you'll be burning. Somewhere in between the 10- and 30-hour time point, the oxidation of intramuscular fat increases greatly, but no increase is seen in subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat simply can't keep up with demand, so you're playing a game of diminishing returns if you push the fast too long. Coupled with the escalating rate of de novo gluconeogenesis, and subsequent risk of muscle catabolism, fasting for too long may not be very conducive for a lean individual seeking optimal lean mass retention while targeting stubborn body fat.



Men usually need to hit single-digit body fat percentage to have good abs, while women have good abdominal definition at around 15% body fat. Above is a picture of natural body fitness champ and intermittent fasting afficionadoKristine Weber.


Science vs real life

One obvious question critically inclined readers should ask themselves is whether special strategies to mobilize stubborn fat is even needed in the first place. After all, people have gotten ripped without intermittent fasting or the strategies laid out in The Stubborn Fat Solution by Lyle McDonald. Is it not just a question of dropping low enough in body fat percentage?

If we compare a traditional calorie deficit of 3500 kcal per week on a conservative diet vs 3500 kcal on an intermittent fasting setup (or with The Stubborn Fat Solution), would there be any difference in regional fat loss assuming all other factors were kept constant? I don't think we'll ever know, so this boils down to relying on theory and practical experience.

My personal experience is that intermittent fasting helps with stubborn fat loss compared to a conservative diet. This little anecdote is obviously riddled with confounders, and maybe even wishful thinking, but if you take a look at some pictures from my younger days (and here), you'll see that I was quite lean during the modelling days. However, I still had some fat covering the lower ab region and never really seemed to lean out well no matter how hard I tried. Sure, I would lose weight when I cut calories, but not from the right areas. I always ended up getting extremely lean legs, arms and shoulders. I also lost a lot of muscle in my desperate attempts to get good abs, but that might just boil down to me dieting like a retard. As you can see in some more recent pics, I don't have those types of problems any more.

Adding to this anecdotal evidence of mine, I have heard similar feedback from clients and blog readers. Intermittent fasting seems very conducive for targeting stubborn body fat. Got a similar experience to report? Let me know.

Content update, June 20th

When is stubborn body fat a problem?


There were a few things that I forgot to cover when I first finished this article. First of all, at what level does stubborn body fat become an issue? Generally speaking, people don't have a good sense of what is "just too fat" and what is a legit body fat percentage for stubborn fat to even start becoming an issue. I've had tons of clients approach me with their "issues with stubborn body fat" when they we're 15% body fat or more.

Stubborn fat is the fat you need to lose for a good four-and-a-half-pack to turn into a six-pack. If I had to put a number on it, I'd say 10% is the maximum body fat percentage you need to have reached before this is something you can start concerning yourself with.

Below are a few examples of the level of leanness required to even start thinking about stubborn body fat.








Both of these clients were approximately 10% and the marked areas denote those typically stubborn fat deposits. Note that both of them were quite lean and had good abdominal definition from the navel up. The stubborn fat is located at around the navel and below.





With females the whole lower body is "stubborn." Above is a good example of the different fat pattern seen in men and women. Note the lean midsection and lower back. At the same time the lower body appears quite smooth. If she would have dropped a few more percentage points of body fat, she would have had very visible abs - but her lower body would likely not have gotten much leaner. Even female body fitness competitors rarely come in to stage with "ripped" legs.


Stubborn Fat Strategies

Here are a few strategies that you should consider implementing to target stubborn fat. Keep in mind that your diet needs to be in order first and foremost. You can't throw this into the mix and expect results if your diet is sub par.

1. Intermittent fasting. For the reasons I mentioned earlier.

2. Increase your activity level in the fasted state. Add cardio or whatever else to get your energy expenditure up. A personal favorite of mine is lower intensity and longer duration activities like walking in the 12-16 hour time interval of the fast. Not only is this the "golden age" of subcutaneous fat oxidation, but lower intensity activities selectively use fatty acids to fuel the activity. There are other reasons I favor low intensity over high intensity activities (such as HIIT). They interfere minimally with your performance in the gym and can be done on a daily basis, which is not the case with HIIT.

3. Supplementation. While I have gotten lean without thermogenics and alpha-2 receptor antagonists, such as yohimbine, they can speed up the process.

For starters: Caffeine is a dirt cheap thermogenic that will ramp up catecholamine levels. During the fast add caffeine pills and dose depending on tolerance. If you're not a regular coffee-drinker, you can get pretty wired off 200 mg. If you're a habitual coffee-drinker (like me), it might take up to 600 mg to even get an effect. L-Tyrosine may work synergistically with caffeine so you may consider experimenting with that as well. Personally though, I have never gotten much out of it - though many people swear by it.

For more ambitious supplementation
, add the alpha-2 antagonist yohimbine or a supplement containing yohimbine in addition to caffeine pills. Take the equivalent of 0.2 mg/kg body weight shortly before fasted cardio or during the fast. This works out to 16 mg yohimbine for an 80 kg/175 lbs male if you have pure yohimbine hcl.
Other commercial thermogenics, such as Meltdown, contain 3 mg yohimbine per capsule; so you'd have to take up to 5 capsules to reach similar levels. But proceed with caution:the product says, "Never exceed more than three total capsules daily or in a single dose." Personally, I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary with such dosing (>3 capsules), but I need to throw in a disclaimer here lest someone screws himself over. It would be best to start low to assess tolerance. Meltdown contains quite a few other ingredients that might make the effects stronger and more unpredictable versus straight yohimbine hcl (i.e., 5 capsules of Meltdown might be more potent than 15 mg of Y-HCL in terms of stimulatory effect and perhaps side effects).

Important: Keep in mind that insulin negates the effects of yohimbine on alpha 2-receptor inhibition. Always take it in the fasted state and never between meals. Considering the half-life of yohimbine is very short (30 min), you can also experiment with more frequent dosing during the fast. For example, three dosages taken every second hour until your first meal. In that case I would probably not recommend starting with 0.2 mg/kg, since there will be a gradual buildup of the active compound. 0.15 mg/kg is a better starting point for multiple dosages in a relatively short time frame (every second hour).

An 80 kg male could use the following schedule.

7 AM: 12 mg yohimbine.

9 AM: 12 mg yohimbine.

9 AM-10 AM: 45 to 60 min walk.

11 AM: 12 mg yohimbine.

1 PM: Meal one.

Another option: AlphaBurn. Pure yohimbine may lead to feelings of anxiety and even panic attacks in predisposed individuals. A better alternative can be found in Alpha Burn, and other supplements containing rauwolscine, which is a stereoisomer of yohimbine. Reg from Predator Nutrition recently sent me a box of these and I can vouch for it's psychoactive effects not being as rough as pure yohimbine. While it won't make you as jumpy and jittery as yohimbine, it seems to have a pretty potent appetite suppressive effect. If you consider buying this, see mysupplement guide to obtain a code, exclusive to Leangains readers, that gets you 5% off any order from Predator Nutrition.

4. Fasted Weight Training. Heavy weight training jacks up catecholamines very high and heavy training in the fasted state creates the most powerful response. Heavy training and fasting are both stressors to which the body responds with increased catecholamine output; in combination it seems the effect is synergistic. How can we combine everything mentioned up to this point and heavy weight training to facilitate stubborn fat loss? Like I've said in the past, I'm not a fan of using weight training as a means to create a calorie deficit. I also do not recommend training completely fasted, since that would be highly counterproductive to the anabolic response. But I've found a way around all this.

Protocol needed: Fasted Training (see the Leangains Guide for details).

We're going to assume that you're at the gym at 10 AM and break your fast at 12-1 PM.

10 AM: Training is initiated on an empty stomach and after ingestion of 10 g BCAA or similar amino acid mixture. This "pre-workout" meal is not counted towards the feeding phase.

10-11 AM: Weight Training: I suggest using a setup similar to reverse pyramid training, which is my favored approach. This is a high intensity, low volume setup. Keeping intensity high is key in order to reap the catecholamine-related benefits. Do 2-3 sets of 4-8 reps for compound movements and 1-2 sets of 8-10 reps for assistance movements (curls, triceps work, etc). Do no more than 5 movements per session.

11-12 AM: When you're done, which should be in no more than an hour, insulin (which was temporarily elevated by the pre-workout BCAAs) will be back to fasted baseline again. Immediately take 0.2 mg yohimbine and do 30-45 min of steady state cardio; cycling, treadmill walking at 3-3.5 mph (slight incline optional), brisk walking outside, etc. The yohimbine will rapidly take effect.

12-1 PM: Eat.

5. Carb refeeds. Refeeding on high carb meals, with a low fat content, will boost leptin and kick up hormonal output and metabolic rate a notch. It may sound counter intuitive for those not familiar with this concept, but it may in fact be just what you need to get past a fat loss plateau, or to see fat loss in stubborn areas. Much can be written about this, but Mark Sisson recently wrote an easy layman's guide to carb refeeds that you might want to check out if you need a quick summary of the benefits.

For a more thorough explanation of refeeds and leptin, I urge you to check out Lyle McDonald's excellent series onbody weight regulation. There's plenty more on this topic on Lyle's site; just do a search for "refeeds", or "refeeding", and you'll be busy for hours.

If you follow my approach, as I've laid out in the Leangains Guide, you will refeed after every weight training-session.


Keep it simple

As a final note, keep in mind that none of the above mentioned strategies are essential in order to get to your desired level of leanness, assuming that entails a ripped six-pack. I've gotten myself and several clients very lean without supplementation, cardio, and with fed state training.

In the end, getting rid of stubborn fat comes down to patience. There's no "quick fix" solution. Only various strategies that may present some hard-to-define benefits in theory.

When determining what strategies you can use (and this goes for any diet), first look at what you can implement into your daily routine with a minimum of added effort. Don't go out of your way to find advanced strategies that increase the perceived challenge of your diet. That's always a recipe for failure in the long term.

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