Monthly Archives for October 2011

Archives for October 2011

3 Ways Halloween Candy Is Healthier Than You Think.

Trick... or treat?

The scariest part of Halloween may be having those tempting bags of candy a little too close for comfort. But, I was able to pull together a few science-based reasons to allow yourself an indulgence. As if you needed the encouragement.

  1. Researchers from Louisiana State University found a link between fruity candy (i.e., gummy bears, etc.) and smaller waists and lower body mass indexes. It sounds like a fake headline – and it flies in the face of exceptions, so how can it be true? There’s no question that fruity candy is terribly unhealthy; it’s loaded in sugar, empty calories and devoid of nutrition. But participants reported eating an average of 1.3 ounces of candy – a fairly small quantity. So it may speak to the importance of moderation and allowing for the occasional splurge.
  2. Eating dessert more often can help you lose weight. The University School of Medicine in Athens concluded, based on their research, that people who ate four low-calorie desserts a week lost 9 pounds more than those who had only one larger splurge. In other words, don’t deprive yourself. Instead, recognize that some desserts and candies are healthier than others (eating dark chocolate, for example, has some tremendous benefits) – and have only a few bites.
  3. Cutting up your candy = eating less. We know that we can make optical illusions work for us when trying to eat right. Using a smaller plate, for example, causes people to consume less. Similarly, it’s wiser to eat out of a bowl or off a plate than straight from the bag or box. According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, cutting up candies results in 60 fewer calories eaten. It tricks the mind into believing more candy has been consumed, and thus the sweet tooth is satisfied sooner. You can also use this with other snacks and treats, too!

There’s a common thread in all of this: Moderation is more effective than deprivation. When we deprive ourselves of the foods we crave, those cravings get stronger and stronger until we break under pressure. Instead, it’s perfectly fine – and healthier – to occasionally indulge responsibly. Tonight, give yourself permission. 🙂

Happy Halloween!

Squatting Barefoot: Is It Better?

Barefoot squats: If it's good enough for Arnold, it's good enough for me!

Maybe I’ve spent too much time doing yoga in Hawaii (it is day 6 after all), but I’ve come to love doing squats with bare feet.

Several months ago, I read something about squatting barefoot while doing research online. While it doesn’t have a cult following like barefoot running, squatting sans socks is definitely an increasingly popular trend.

So, I decided to give it a try.

As the barefoot squatting devotees had mentioned, I was able to balance better without sneakers. It’s just foot against floor, with no compressible cushion in between. By being barefoot, I received better tactile feedback from the floor – and so it’s easier to balance or adjust. With increased sturdiness, you may even find that you’re able to increase the resistance.

While most gyms require socks, shoes and shirts, I encourage you to be a rebel and give barefoot squatting a try. I honestly think you’ll be surprised – and impressed – by the difference it makes. And maybe you’ll become a believer, too.

Bottom line: If squatting barefoot is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Have you ever tried barefoot squatting? Let me know in the comments below!

How to Work Inner Pecs.

Hey Davey,

Quick question, when working out my chest how can I gain more muscle in the inner/middle of my chest? I have pretty good pecs, but I have a little bit of a valley between my pecs and they are kinda separated so I almost have the appearance of “moobs.” Any ideas of how to fix this?

Adam

Hey Adam,

Many men strive for chiseled, balanced pec muscles – but working the inner area can be a real challenge. In fact, there’s actually some debate whether or not you can actually target this area of your chest through exercise. Ultimately, it’s going to take additional research to settle the debate once and for all.

In the meantime, I do have a few exercises and techniques for you to try.

  1. Close-grip bench press. When performing bench press exercises, changing the width of your grip changes the muscles being used. A wider grip targets the outer portions of you pectoral muscles, while a closer grip brings the focus inward. With your arms fully extended, try gripping the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart. As you lower the bar toward your chest, you’ll feel it in your inner chest and triceps.
  2. Flies. There are a number of ways to perform pec fly exercises. You can use a machine, dumbbells or a even your own bodyweight. While the machines are great, dumbbells provide more of a challenge. Recline on a flat bench with a dumbbell in either hand. Keeping your arms straight, extend them outward from your sides. Using your chest muscles (and keeping your arms as straight as possible), pull your arms straight up in front of your face. Lower, and repeat.

    If you don’t have access to weights, you can do slider push-ups on the floor. On a flat and smooth surface, press your palms against the floor in a push-up position. Place a facecloth under each palm. Keeping your body in a push-up position, slide both hands out to either side. Then, pull back in. Repeat.

  3. Cable cross-overs. Though I don’t usually do cable cross-overs, they are a great exercise – and you will feel them in your inner pectoral region. Stand equidistant between two cable towers with the handles close to the top. Grasp the handles and pull in front of you. Bending a bit at the elbows, cross one hand over the other and complete the exercise. Repeat.

Whether or not these exercises will specifically develop your inner pectoral region, they will build and enhance your chest. And fear not: Pectoral muscles are notoriously slow to develop, so keep with it! And make sure that you continue to increase the levels of resistance to keep your muscles building!

Love,
Davey

Is Coconut Water Good For You?

I'd like to drink his coconuts...

Not ten minutes ago, I found a young coconut – popped a knife into it, and filled up a glass of fresh coconut water. Of course, you need not travel to Hawaii to get coconut water; it has become increasingly popular (many people swear by it) and coconut water can be found in many grocery stores including Whole Foods.

But all the hype begs the question: Is coconut water actually good for you?

First things first, coconut water isn’t coconut milk. Coconut water is found in unripe coconuts. As the coconut ripens, the milk becomes part of the coconut’s meat. Coconut milk is processed from this high-fat, high-calorie meat – and so it’s quite different in terms of both flavor and nutritional content.

Coconut milk is high in flavor, but also low in calories and sugars.

Many nutritionists consider coconut water to be nature’s sports drink – and a great alternative to beverages like Gatorade or Powerade. Like traditional sports drinks, coconut water contains water, carbohydrates and electrolytes. But unlike sports drinks, it contains none of the added artificial flavors, refined sugars or coloring. In other words, coconut water is a step up from sports drinks – though, keep in mind, sports drinks are really only needed during prolonged exercise.

Coconut water is also high in potassium. In fact, coconut water has more potassium than a banana! And, as such, many of the health benefits often associated with coconut water (i.e., muscle performance, heart health, kidney cleansing, etc.) are really just a result of the high potassium content. But potassium can be found in lots of fruits and veggies – and often with more fiber than coconut water.

Bottom line: There’s nothing magic about coconut water; it’s simply a delicious, low-calorie alternative that can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. It’s great to drink after a hard workout (and definitely a huge upgrade from sugar drinks like soda) – but, at the end of the day, nothing beats good, old-fashioned water.

The Gym: Gay Church?

This morning, I was eating breakfast with one of the yoga instructors from my Hawaiian retreat at Kalani. We were talking about exercise, and how people can really use their time at the gym to connect with their bodies, life and their inner radiance.

For some people, going to the gym can be frustrating. Their mantra might be, “I hate being fat, I hate being fat, I hate being fat.” And as they exercise, they marinate themselves and their bodies in this negative energy.

But going the gym can also be a much deeper, more glorious experience. Through the breath and present moment awareness, working out can be an expression of your glory. I often joke that the gym is “gay church” – but in some ways, it really can be a house of worship. It can be a time where we go within and connect and ground ourselves to the source. By seeing exercise in this new light, we infuse our entire body with positive energy.

The next time you honor your body with the gift of exercise, I invite you to make the experience more loving and more radiant through your thoughts, words and actions.

Study: Does Yoga Work?

Yoga has become increasingly popular - but does it really work?

Since I’m on a week-long yoga retreat at the Kalani center in Hawaii, I thought it’d make sense to talk a bit about yoga – and whether or not it works.

In the last few decades, yoga has become increasingly popular. And though many people, myself included, could point to personal or anecdotal evidence about its effectiveness, this several thousand-year-old tradition hasn’t been extensively researched.

Sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, and led by Dawn Boehde and John Porcari, Ph.D., researchers at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, set to change that. For their study, researchers divided sedentary women into two groups and subjected each individual to a battery of fitness tests. The first group continued their inactive lifestyle for the duration of the 8-week study; the second group participated in three 55-minute yoga classes each week for two months.

After the full 8 weeks, each group was again tested. Not surprisingly, fitness measures didn’t improve for the inactive group. But for the yoga group, marked improvements were discovered in flexibility, strength, endurance and balance.

Flexibility increased from 13 – 35% for the yoga group. Strength and endurance likewise increased, especially in the core and chest; participants were able to perform 6 more push-ups and 14 more curl-ups at the end of the study. With an average one-legged stand time increase of 17-seconds, the yoga group saw improvements to balance as well. As many yoga classes aren’t cardio intensive, participants didn’t experience improvements to their aerobic abilities.

Bottom line: For the average person, yoga is a great form of exercise that can yield tremendous benefits; yoga does, in fact, work – and it can be an essential and rewarding part of your workout program. It’s also worth noting that the study lasted only 8 weeks. While the gains illustrated in this study are tremendous, imagine the changes you’d experience in a year or more.

If you’d like to learn more about yoga, or if you’re interested in giving it a try, download Davey Wavey’s Underwear Yoga program. Through the two workout videos and accompanying materials, you can start reaping the benefits of yoga without even leaving your home. Namaste 🙂

Video: How to Self-Massage.

I love treating my body to the occasional sports massage; not only is it a relaxing experience, but it comes with a number of great benefits including reduced joint and muscle tension, improved blood flood, increased flexibility and so on.

It’s a great gift for you body.

Unfortunately, massages aren’t cheap. But if you’re looking to enjoy all the benefits of massage without the hefty price tag, try using a foam roller as demonstrated in this video via my fitness YouTube channel.

Heart Attack Grill: Celebrating Gluttony?

Last night, I caught a few minutes of the nightly news. In a segment, they featured a newly-opened Las Vegas restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill. The menu is loaded with ultra-high calorie options (a meal can contain upwards of 8,000 calories) and, in an effort to be tongue-in-cheek, the building is modeled after a hospital. Even the waitresses are dressed as nurses.

The owner of Heart Attack Grill, Jon Basso, talks about the restaurant as a celebration of gluttony but maintains that it’s all in good fun. Indeed, life is a lot more enjoyable with a sense of humor – but is our obesity epidemic really a laughing matter? With 1 in 4 deaths caused by heart disease, and with 785,000 Americans having their first heart attack each year, I’m having a tough time seeing the joke.

In fact, Blair River, a 575-pound man and spokesman for one of Basso’s previous restaurants, died last march of obesity-related illness. Making a joke out of such a serious – and deadly – issue is, at best, in poor taste. And if we want to laugh at ourselves, weight issues and the obesity problem in this country, let’s do it in way that illuminates solutions rather than celebrates the problem.

In a way, making intentionally and dramatically poor nutritional choices – like the “flatliner fries” cooked in pure lard or a milkshake made with butter – is a defilement of our human bodies. Our bodies crave nourishing foods – and a “quadruple bypass burger” with four patties and eight slices of cheese is far from that.

Lest we forget that we only get one body in this experience of life, it’s important to treat it with respect, honor and love – rather than cramming four-days worth of calories down our throat and flooding our system with artery-clogging fat. As anyone who has lost a loved one to heart disease can attest, that America is dying of obesity is an epidemic – and not a joke.

9 Tips to Increase Protein in Your Diet: Think Outside the Shake.

Fuel your muscles with adequate protein intake.

Most Americans get more than enough protein – and eating too much protein isn’t a good thing. But for those of us who hit the gym frequently and maintain high levels of muscle mass, it’s not always easy to get your daily requirement. I, for example, need about 140 grams of protein a day. That’s a tall order!

The easiest way to meet your protein requirement is with a high-quality protein supplement or shake. Unfortunately, they usually taste terrible – and so you may find yourself wanting to think outside the “shake.”

  1. Eat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has half the calories and twice the protein of traditional yogurt, thus making it a great choice.
  2. Add protein powder to other foods. If you add a scoop or two of protein powder to other foods – like oatmeal, muffins or pancakes – you’ll get the protein you need but without the nasty taste. Just make sure you use a protein flavor (like vanilla) that works with the food’s flavor.
  3. Stock up on cottage cheese. Love it or hate it, cottage cheese is another rich source of protein. In fact, 1 cup contains a whopping 28 grams. Mix in some fruit and sprinkle some almonds on top, and you are good to go!
  4. Consume lean meats. Chicken, turkey and other lean meats are a great way to get more protein. Not a carnivore? Try these 5 vegan protein tips.
  5. Start you day with eggs. As eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, they haven’t received nearly the amount of love that they deserve. There is a difference between dietary and blood cholesterol, and most people can enjoy eggs without seeing blood cholesterol spikes. If you’re concerned, opt for egg whites – but know that much of the egg’s 6.5 grams of protein are contained in the yolk.
  6. Protein-ify your salad. There are a ton of great ways to up the protein content of any salad. I love sprinkling sunflower seeds or nuts on my salads. Chickpeas are also a good source of protein. Or, top the salad with a hard-boiled egg or chicken.
  7. Snack on nuts and nut butters. Two tablespoons of peanut butter have 8 grams of protein; one fourth cup of unsalted peanuts has 7 grams. Find ways to incorporate nuts into your snacks (i.e., peanut butter and bananas, trail mix, etc.).
  8. Eat fish. Fish can be an extremely healthy addition to your diet – and many of us don’t eat enough. Just six ounces of tuna has 40 (yes, 40!) grams of protein. Bake it, broil it, grill it – or consume it raw (if it’s Sushi-grade).
  9. Get more plant-based protein sources. Though many people don’t realize it, plants and veggies can be a great source or protein. Beans, barley, brown rice, broccoli, artichoke, onions, potatoes, spinach, etc., are all good choices.

In other words, while protein supplements are easy, quick and effective, there are plenty of ways to think outside the shake and increase your protein intake. If you have any other tips, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Exercise to Build Body Confidence.

I'd like to get more than my car serviced at this car wash...

If you exercise and eat right, it’s no secret that you’ll transform your body. You’ll be stronger, fitter and healthier – and it will certainly boost your confidence. But I think the reverse is true, too.

Hear me out.

Let’s pretend you get a new car. It’s your pride and your joy. Because you really enjoy this car, and because it’s something you value, you take care of it. You wash it regularly, clean it – and maybe even apply a few layers of wax. You change the oil and have it serviced regularly. You might even fill your car with premium fuel. Because it’s something that you appreciate, you invest time and energy into it.

I think the same is true for our bodies: As I learn to value and appreciate my body, it’s easier for me to make decisions that honor it. Because I value my body, I want to treat it right.

I’m grateful for my body and the functions it performs. As such, I want to keep it in prime condition. Fueling my body with candy or fried foods becomes less appealing; my body deserves so much more. And because our bodies crave to move and to stretch and to play, going to the gym is a wonderful way to honor it.

Yes, exercise and nutrition can make us feel better about our bodies. But feeling better about our bodies can also inspire us to exercise and eat right. In other words, it’s an incredible and empowering feedback loop that you can put to good use.

New Study: Use Exercise to Shave Off 30 Years.

DILF Alert: Are you my daddy?

Forget skin creams, cosmetic surgery and youth-in-a-bottle gimmicks, a newly published study by Norwegian researchers shows that exercise can shave 30 years off your body’s biological age. Sorta.

As we age, it’s no secret that our bodies transform. Our metabolisms slow down and our muscle mass tends to decrease over time. But, according to research, it doesn’t have to be this way. Phsyical activity – rather than age – is a far more important in determining an individual’s fitness level:

By increasing the intensity of your exercise, you can beat back the risk of metabolic syndrome, the troublesome set of risk factors that can predispose people to type 2 diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular problems.

The study compared measures of fitness with cardiovascular risk factors and other assessments of overall health across different ages of sedentary and active individuals. Middle-aged gym bunnies rejoice: Active 50 year-olds were found to be just as healthy and fit as less active 20 year-olds.

Researchers dug deeper into the findings and found that, in terms of effectiveness, the intensity of exercise was far more important than the duration of exercise. Rather than spending countless hours at the gym, it’s wiser to engage in shorter, high intensity workouts. Specifically, the study mentions the effectiveness of interval training (alternating high and low intensity cardio) as a quick way to improve overall fitness.

The bottom line: High intensity workouts do wonders to improve your overall health and fitness – and thus, can shave decades off your body’s biological age.

6 Common Squatting Mistakes.

No comprehensive leg routine is complete without the powerful compound exercise known as squats. Squats are performed a number of ways – with dumbbells, bodyweight, kettlebells, resistance bands, etc. – but most often with a barbell.

While barbell squats are a great exercise that can yield excellent results, there are a number of common squatting mistakes that I’d like to highlight.

  1. Resting the barbell on your neck. If your neck hurts from squats, you’re probably resting the bar on your neck instead of upper back. Resting the bar on your upper back allows you to squat greater amounts of weight and avoid injury.
  2. Not squatting all the way. While performing a partial squat is a great way to get acclimated and build confidence, it’s best to end each squat in a thigh position that is parallel to the floor. If you don’t complete a full squat, you’ll be cutting your results short.
  3. Checking your form in a side mirror. Want to know if your thighs are parallel to the floor when squatting? You can’t tell from a front-facing mirror – and twisting your neck to view a side mirror is dangerous. Instead, ask someone to monitor your form.
  4. Uneven loading. Distracted and chatty lifters sometimes load an uneven amount of weight (i.e., 75 pounds on one side of the barbell and 85 on the other). Obviously, this could result in injury. Pay attention and stay focused!
  5. Unracking in a lunge. When going into your first squat, don’t unrack the barbell in a lunge position. Doing so puts more strain on your front leg and wastes energy. Instead, unrack the barbell with both feet directly under the bar.
  6. Not staying in alignment. It’s wise to keep your knees directly over your feet when squatting. In fact, I like to see the tips of my shoes poking out above my knees when looking down at the ground. Many people have a tendency to buckle their knees inward or slide them too far forward – which can result in undue stress or knee pain.

As you incorporate squats into your routine, enjoy maximized results by avoiding these common mistakes.

Taking the First Step to Fitness…

Dear Davey,

I’ve recently been trying to finally take that difficult first step, and start loosing weight and getting in shape. I’m 22, 5’8, and weight almost 190lbs… I really want to loose a few (like 5) inches off my waist, as I’ve gone from a size 30, to a size 36 in the last 3 years.

I really want to get into better shape, as I’ve felt incredibly unattractive for the last few years, and its really getting me down. I’ve seen so many infomercials for these “loose inches in weeks” and “burn fat in minutes a day” that my eyeballs are about to bleed. I don’t want a miracle, I just want something that will finally work for me, and get to a point where I WANT to take my shirt off, and shower with my boyfriend without feeling like dirt.

From,
Josh

Hey Josh,

I know that a lot of people can relate to your story. And yes, the first step is definitely the hardest step to take.

But let’s back this bus up. I don’t know you – and yet I’m completely sure that you are a unique and beautiful human being that is totally worthy of love and adoration. Our self-worth is intrinsic and you are a valuable human being by virtue of your existence.

You are not dirt; we are all gods and goddesses in embryo. Know that – and don’t let anyone take it away from you.

When you look at your body with kindness or gratitude instead of frustration, shame or resentment, it creates a more loving foundation. And as you learn to love your body a little bit more, it becomes easier to do those things that honor it – like engaging in regular exercise and following a proper diet. By giving your body the gift of movement and nourishing foods, you’ll transform the way you look.

There’s really no secret. Losing weight in a sustainable way requires exercise (both cardio and strength training), a healthy diet and a more loving relationship with your body. It’s not a magic pill or a quick fix; instead, it’s a process – and it takes time, energy and persistence. But it can work for you because it can work for everyone.

Obviously, you’ll have to fit exercise and nutrition into the parameters of your life, your time, your budget and your schedule – but it’s all totally doable.

Maybe you can take the first step right now. Maybe you can look yourself in the mirror and tell your body that you’re going to treat it differently. Today can be the start of the new you.

Enjoy the transformation.

Love,
Davey

10 Tips to Overcome the Munchies.

Got the munchies? Distracting yourself is a great strategy to overcome cravings. And this picture is definitely a distraction...

Got the munchies? Having enough willpower to overcome your appetite for snack foods isn’t always easy.

Speaking of appetite, it’s important to differentiate true hunger from your appetite; they’re not one in the same. Hunger is your body’s need for food, while your appetite is really more about cravings. Since we’re talking about munchies, they often fall under the umbrella of appetite.

Here are a few tips to help you rein in your cravings.

  1. Keep tempting foods out of reach. Control your environment. If you do the shopping, don’t buy snack foods. If you don’t do the shopping, ensure that these foods are in cupboards and out of sight. Ask coworkers to keep candy in opaque containers. Simply seeing snack foods can fuel cravings.
  2. Identify food triggers. What causes you to snack? Is it boredom? Then do something. Is it emotional eating? Rather than just treating the symptoms, examine and treat the root cause.
  3. Drink green tea. Liquid can satisfy your oral fixation – and green tea has a zillion great benefits for your body. Since it’s hot (unlike cold tap water), you’ll have to take your time and sip it slowly. This will buy you the time to let your munchies pass.
  4. Don’t skip meals. Eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner will eliminate any actual hunger pains that your body might be feeling – and the subsequent snacking that may follow. It’s important to keep your body properly fueled with nourishing foods.
  5. Stock up on healthy snack foods. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Replace unhealthy snack foods with more nutritional options. Celery sticks and carrots can make for some satisfying snacking. Unsalted peanuts are another great choice.
  6. Don’t snack from the package. Instead of eating directly from the tap, put snack foods on dishes or in bowls. Rather than eating the entire package, you can better control your portion.
  7. Brush your teeth. Believe it or not, the minty freshness of a clean mouth can curb food cravings. Try it!
  8. Distract yourself. You may discover that your munchies will pass. Call a friend or walk the dog. Distracting yourself from the munchies is one of the best ways to overcome them.
  9. Ask your body what it really wants. Take a minute, look in the mirror and ask your body, “What do you really want right now?” It’s probably not an unhealthy snack.
  10. Read Davey Wavey Fitness. Instead of thinking about snack food, spend your time catching up to my blog. And for more support, sign up for daily text messages from Davey Wavey to help keep you on track.

What other tips or strategies do you have for overcoming the munchies? Let me know in the comments below.

How to Get Back on Track with Exercise.

Grab life by the horns and get back on the fitness bandwagon.

The other day, I was talking to a young man that had fallen off the fitness bandwagon. In his defense, he had a number of pressing life issues and complications – and exercise just wasn’t a priority. He skipped the gym for a few days. As often happens, those few days turned into weeks. And then those weeks turned in months.

In our discussion, he said that he’ll get back to the gym once he starts feeling a bit better about himself. He didn’t like the way his body had changed since forgoing regular exercise; he had gained weight and lost muscle, and his morale was running on empty.

His mindset is totally understandable – but also a bit misguided. It’s through regular exercise that we’re able to feel better and transform our bodies, and so it appears that my discouraged friend was putting the carriage before the horse.

Though this young man intends to continue on his current path until his enthusiasm and body image improves, he’ll likely only become more discouraged and less thrilled about the changes in his body.

To break this downward spiral, the first step is acknowledging the issue at hand. He must realize that more of the same is going to give him more of them same. The second step is taking responsibility. It’s knowing that you have the power to get off your butt and take matters into your own capable hands. And the third step is actually going out there and doing it.

Sure, it might take a bolt of enthusiasm, energy and empowerment – but mankind has overcome greater obstacles. It’s totally possible, totally doable and totally necessary.

Deceive Yourself for Better Results?

Your new fitness mantra: "I know I can. I know I can. I know I can."

When it comes to exercise, what’s the limiting factor? Obviously, you can only lift as much – or push as hard – as your body will allow. But, as it turns out, your mind plays a significant role, too.

In a series of interesting experiments, Dr. Kevin Thompson, head of sport and exercise science at Northumbrian University in England, set out to test the effects of deception on performance.

In a test, cyclists raced a 4000 meter virtual course at their top speed. Then, an avatar was introduced on the course. Though the cyclists were told that the avatar represented their own top speed from the previous test, it was actually programmed to go 1% faster. Keeping up with the avatar, the cyclists actually beat their own personal best times. When, on the other hand, cyclists were told that the avatar would be exceeding their personal best, they found themselves unable to keep up.

The findings of the study aren’t entirely surprising. I’ve seen trainers use deception on clients at the gym. If, for example, a person believes that they can bench 200 lbs for 8 reps as their max, the trainer might slip on an extra five pound plate to either side. The client ends up doing 8 reps of 210 lbs, believing the weight is actually lighter. If the trainer had disclosed the actual weight, the client might have only been able to do 6 or 7 reps.

While this sort of deception can erode the trust in a client-trainer relationship, it does speak to the power of our beliefs. Yes, our bodies have physical limitations – but our minds play a bigger role than many of us may realize.

For me, the takeaway is this: If you tell yourself you can’t do something, you probably won’t be able to do it. If, on the other hand, you believe something is possible – and perhaps even visualize yourself achieving it (many professional athletes use visualization) – then you are far more likely to actually do it.

Since positive self talk is easy, free and makes your fitness goals more achievable, why not give it a try?

Compound vs. Isolation Exercises.

Compound vs. isolation exercises: Which is best for you?

You’ve probably heard people talk about compound and isolation exercises. While it sounds complex, it’s actually pretty simple. Here’s what you need to know.

Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups and span multiple joints. A great example of this is a squat. In addition to engaging your core, it works – to varying degrees – your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes and even your lower back.

As compound exercises engage more muscles, a greater number of calories are burned. In addition, compound exercises allow for more efficient workouts (i.e., less time at the gym) because you’re hitting multiple muscles at once. And because these exercises simulate real world activities, they improve performance (i.e., balance, reaction time, etc.) and decrease injury risk.

Other compound exercises include:

  • Deadlifts
  • Step-ups
  • Lunges
  • Bench press
  • Push-ups
  • Barbell rows
  • Pull-ups
  • Shoulder press

Compare this to isolation exercises; they work just one muscle group and span one joint. An example of this would be a bicep curl. The only joint is your elbow, and the exercise is training your bicep.

Isolation exercises are often used in physical therapy and to correct muscle imbalances. Because other muscles can compensate for weakness when doing compound exercises, it’s sometimes necessary to isolate the muscle being activated – and that’s exactly what isolation exercises do. Moreover, isolation exercises are great for increasing the size of a specific muscle. For example, you can do the aforementioned bicep curls if you really want your biceps to pop.

Other isolation exercises include:

  • Tricep extension
  • Lateral raise
  • Front raise
  • Leg extension
  • Leg curl

So which is best for you? It depends.

Whether you’re just starting out or a professional athlete, most trainers will recommend using primarily compound exercises and then isolation exercises as needed. Since compound exercises create a complete, functional and efficient workout – they’re generally preferred. Some isolation exercises may be included depending on the individual’s goals or needs (i.e., the desire for larger pecs or to correct a particular muscle imbalance). So it’s likely that your workout program will include some combination of both.

10 Tips: Eating Healthy on a Budget!

Hi Davey,

I really want to get in better shape. I’ve been following your blog and doing a lot of the “at home” training as I cant afford a gym. Actually, I cant afford a good diet either. I’m unemployed and have to stretch my dollars.

Are there any suggestions you could make for a good diet on a very low budget?

Cheers,
Pauly

Hey Pauly,

That healthy diets tend to be more expensive is a huge challenge for this country and our planet. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that unhealthy diets – though cheaper at the register – will contribute to expensive and potentially debilitating medical issues down the road. So while the upfront costs of an unhealthy diet may be less, the longer term costs can become quite staggering.

Having said that, there are plenty of ways to eat healthier while still on a budget.

Try these tips:

  1. Buy in bulk. Lean meats can be expensive – but when you buy in greater quantities, the cost per serving becomes discounted. Freeze your bulk purchases and defrost as needed.
  2. Drink water. And not just any water – drink tap water. The water that comes out of your faucet is probably quite similar in quality to the water you can buy in bottles, but it’s a fraction of a price. The national average price for tap water in the United States is $2.00 per 1,000 gallons. Now that’s cheap. Moreover, water is a healthy (and cheaper) alternative to other beverages – like sugary juices and soda.
  3. Buy in season. Seasonal produce tends to be much cheaper than purchasing out of season; stock up when you can.
  4. Buy generic. Opting for store brands can save you a bundle. The foods are likely similar in taste, ingredients and flavor – and usually only differ in price.
  5. Eat eggs! Yes, eggs are cheap – and a great source of protein. True, eggs have cholesterol – but dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol are not one in the same; they are healthy (and delicious!) to eat in moderation.
  6. Eat fish – from a can. Canned tuna is another great way to get protein without breaking the bank – just make sure that the sodium levels aren’t too high. Fuel your body by adding tuna to salads and sandwiches.
  7. Avoid packaged and processed foods. If your meal is coming out of a box, it’s probably not going to be healthy. Cooking from raw ingredients isn’t only healthier, it’s cheaper. To that end, make your own meals.
  8. Buy frozen veggies and fruits. Fresh produce, especially when it’s not in season, can be super expensive. Berries, in particular, tend to be very pricey. However, buying frozen produce is a great alternative – and because the produce is frozen at peak ripeness, frozen produce often contains more nutrients than the fresh alternatives.
  9. Grow a vegetable garden. If you have the outdoor space and some extra time, grow your own vegetables. It’s fun, easy and it will help curb your weekly grocery bill.
  10. Don’t buy junk food. Instead of buying junk food like potato chips and candy – which are neither filling nor nourishing – put that money towards healthier, more wholesome purchases.

Is eating healthy on a budget a challenge? Yes. But it’s not impossible – and, longer term, it will result in better health and reduced medical and healthcare costs down the road.

Love,
Davey Wavey

P.S. If you have any tips for eating healthy on a budget, please share them in the comments below!

Low-Carb Fruit List.

This day and age, carbohydrates get a bad rap. In reality, carbs are essential for mental and physical performance as the body uses these sugar molecules for fuel. Not consuming enough carbs can result in low energy levels or even, perhaps, even a state of ketosis.

Fruits contain not just carbohydrates – but also a whole slew of great vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Because fruits are so nutrient-rich, it’s important to find ways to incorporate them into whatever crab-restrictive diet plan you may choose.

Just because you're on a carb-restrictive diet doesn't mean forgoing fruit. Use this list to incorporate lower-carb fruits into your diet.

To that end, the chart below sorts common fruits from low to high carb per serving. Use this chart as a general guide to make nourishing fruits a part of your balanced diet:

  • Date, 1 fresh: 2 carbs
  • Rhubarb, 1/2 cup: 3 carbs
  • Apricot: 4 carbs
  • Passion fruit: 4 carbs
  • Lychees, 1 oz: 5 carbs
  • Prune, 1 dried: 5 carbs
  • Strawberries, 1/2 cup: 5 carbs
  • Cranberries (raw) 6 carbs
  • Tomato: 6 carbs
  • Papaya, 1/2 cup: 7 carbs
  • Raspberry, 1/2 cup: 7 carbs
  • Blackberries, 1/2 cup: 9 carbs
  • Blackcurrants: 9 carbs
  • Grapes, 10 medium: 9 carbs
  • Plum: 9 carbs
  • Tangerine: 9 carbs
  • Blueberries, 1/2 cup: 10 carbs
  • Fig: 10 carbs
  • Guava: 10 carbs
  • Lime with peel: 10 carbs
  • Peach: 10 carbs
  • Pineapple, 1/2 cup: 10 carbs
  • Kiwi: 11 carbs
  • Avocado: 12 carbs
  • Cherries, 1/2 cup: 12 carbs
  • Grapefruit: 12 carbs
  • Lemon with peel: 12 carbs
  • Melon – honeydew, 1/10: 12 carbs
  • Nectarine: 16 carbs
  • Orange: 16 carbs
  • Apple: 21 carbs
  • Melon – cantaloupe, 1/2: 22 carbs
  • Pear: 25 carbs
  • Banana 27 carbs
  • Raisins 1/2 cup 29 carbs
  • Mango 35 carbs
  • Dates dried with sugar 62 carbs

Why You’ll Love TextFit!

What are some of the issues that hold you back from achieving your fitness goals? According to most of the people with whom I’ve talked, it’s a lack of motivation. They need that extra kick-in-the-butt to get ’em on track.

Well, I’d love to be your extra kick-in-the-butt. And to that end, I’ve released a brand new motivational tool called TextFit by Davey Wavey Fitness. It’s simple to use, affordable and effective.

Maybe Alex Pettyfer is checking his latest TextFit message... Or not.

Sign up for TextFit and you’ll receive two text messages each day on your mobile phone – sent from yours truly. The text messages are jam-packed with gut-busting nutrition tips, muscle-building exercise advice, inspiration, motivation and everything else you need to make your goals a reality.

TextFit is just $2.95 per month (that’s less than 10 cents per day!) and you cancel at any time. It’s no strings attached – just the way you like it. 😛

Best of all, it works. According to one study, individuals that received diet plans via text messaging lost 5x the amount of weight compared to individuals who didn’t. Regardless of your fitness goals, TextFit will work for you.

As an extra bonus, if you sign up – I’ll send you a free copy of my 30-Minute Ab Workout. It’s a $33 value – and you can keep it, even if you ever cancel.

Without further ado, sign up now and start getting your messages today!

Love,
Davey Wavey

P.S. Right now TextFit only works with mobile phones in the United States and Canada – but I hope to expand Internationally down the road!