Monthly Archives for December 2012

Archives for December 2012

Tips: New Year’s Resolution Success!

A recent study found that 73% of Americans give up on their fitness-related New Year’s resolutions. In all actuality, the news comes as no surprise. But instead of focusing on the negative, let’s look at the positive: More than a quarter of Americans stuck with their fitness-related resolutions!

So what can we learn from them?

When people gave up, it was for the following reasons:

  • 42 percent said it’s too difficult to follow a diet or workout regimen
  • 38 percent said it’s too hard to get back on track once they fall off
  • 36 percent said it’s hard to find time

Let’s take a closer look at each of these stumbling blocks.

Too Difficult to Follow Diet/Workout

When you’re trying something different, it’s a good idea to ‘lean’ into the change – rather than jump right in with both feet. As humans, we’re creatures of habit; we’re not good at dealing with change. Instead of going from 0 days per week at the gym to 6 days per week, it’s much more sustainable to start small. Go two days a week, and then build up from there. This will prevent burnout.

The same philosophy applies to diet. Instead of trying an extreme and unsustainable diet – like giving up carbs altogether – do something that’s less dramatic. Strive to make one meal a day healthier – or aim to include steamed veggies with most of your dinners. Start small and remember that even small changes add up to big results over time.

Too Hard to Get Back on Track

Everyone falls down. There’s a great proverb that says failure isn’t falling down, but refusing to get back up. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle or anything in between, your journey will almost certainly be paved with obstacles.

I tell my clients to define their obstacles. For example, eating out at restaurants can be a huge challenge for someone looking to lose weight. But once you’ve defined the potential problem, you can create a game plan for dealing with it. You can have the waiter box up half your meal before it arrives at the table. Or you can research restaurants in advance for healthy options.

Know your challenges and create a game plan for dealing with them.

It’s Hard to Find Time

The 27% of people who succeed at their resolution know something very important: No one finds time. You create time.

Our schedules are all very busy and hours aren’t like pennies that you might find on the sidewalk. I’ve never met anyone that said, “Oh, I just found an hour! Let me go work out!” Instead, we need to look at our schedules and prioritize our health over other less-important commitments (like watching TV).

Moreover, keep in mind that regular exercise extends your life – and makes you healthier. In other words, it’s more accurate to say that no one has time NOT to workout.

The bottom line: This year, apply the wisdom of the 27% and stick with your resolution. You deserve it! This is your year!

Build Muscle with Davey Wavey’s New Workout Program!

I have some exciting news!

With the New Year’s holiday just around the corner, it’s time to make your resolution for 2013! For that reason, I’m thrilled to launch my brand-new program, Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

And I have a special discount for you!

Many people want to add muscle to their body, but few understand how to do it. This program changes all of that! If adding muscle is part of your goals for the new year – whether it’s building a bubble butt or a total body transformation – then this is the program for you!

I know that this program works because it has worked for me. If you follow the step by step guidelines, there’s no doubt that your body will build muscle exactly where you want it. Period.

Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle is:

  • A complete, comprehensive exercise and nutrition program with sample workouts and exercises
  • The perfect solution for men and women of all ages and fitness levels
  •  Based on real science – not gimmicky marketing or the latest fads

This program is already helping people build the body of their dreams, and I know it can work for you, too.

Because you’re a loyal blog buddy, I also have a special discount for you. Use discount code size13 during checkout to save 25%. This coupon expires January 5th at midnight, so don’t delay! AND, if you order before January 5th at midnight, you’ll also receive my Get Ripped Workout exercise video series (a $59 value) for free!

(Already have my Get Ripped Workout and don’t need another copy? Email me and I’ll give you a code for a 50% discount on Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.)

Start the new year off right by downloading this program – and creating the body of your dreams. I can’t wait to see your results!

Here’s to a happy, healthy and loving 2013!

Love,
Davey Wavey

P.S. This special discount expires on January 5 – so don’t delay! Use discount code size13 during checkout to save 25% today!

Tips for Better New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s New Year’s resolution time! And so I wanted to weigh in with seven of my best tips for making wiser, smarter resolutions for the new year!

In the comments below, please post your resolution. Like I said in the video, there’s power in committing something to writing – and sharing your resolution with others increases your accountability.

And if you’d like to build a more muscular body in the new year, then be sure to check out Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle. Use discount code fitness during checkout to save an extra 25%!

I hope you love my new program – and a happy new year to you and yours!

Too Much Cardio to Build Muscle?

Dear Davey,

For a little while now I have been trying to put on some muscle mass (I’m a fairly skinny guy), but have been having a hard time. I have been told by a few people that it is because I do too much cardio. I’m a cycling instructor here in Canada and I teach 3 – 5 cycling classes a week. Is there a way to gain muscle mass even though I do a large amount of intense cardio on weekly basis?

Thanks,
Jason

Hey Jason,

The real story here isn’t cardio – it’s calories. In order to build muscle, you need to create a calorie surplus. That is, you need to take in more calories than you burn.

If you take in fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight and mass. If you take in the same amount of calories that you burn, you’ll stay the same. But if you want to increase the amount of mass on your body, you need to take in a greater number of calories than you burn. The surplus calories can be put to work building new muscle mass.

Of course, this assumes that you’re exercising and engaged in a workout program that promotes muscle growth (i.e., heavy weights, train to muscle failure, etc.). If you’re sedentary and spending your time watching TV, then those surplus calories will build fat – not muscle. And even if you are hitting the gym, it doesn’t mean that your training necessarily targets gains in muscle size. In other words, make sure your workout is on point.

If you’re looking to build muscle, the recommended calorie surplus is 250 – 500 calories. So, calculate your recommended calorie intake – and then add 250 – 500 calories to it.

Doing frequent and intense steady-state cardio makes it harder to build muscle because you burn many more calories than the rest of us. Whereas I could gain muscle by eating around 3,150 calories, your requirement may be considerably higher – and difficult to achieve. This is why, for many people, frequent and intense cardio sessions can cannibalize their muscle gains.

If you can’t cut back on the amount or duration of cardio, then it just means you’ll have to top your plate a little higher – a problem that most of us would love having!

Love,
Davey

P.S. It’s worth noting that high intensity interval training is the type of cardio recommended for individuals who are trying to build muscle. High intensity interval training is more anabolic in nature and better for muscle retention.

How Much Food Does the Average American Eat in a Year?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American eats nearly 2,700 calories a day. With the exception of athletes and very active individuals, this caloric intake exceeds expert recommendations by several hundred calories. Over time, all those extra calories add up – and it’s no wonder that 2/3 of Americans are overweight.

In the journey to eating smarter, we need to look at where we’re at today. We need to assess the situation before decided which areas of our diet are most ripe for improvement. To that end, and while these numbers will vary greatly from individual to individual, I think today’s infographic is a great place to start.

(Scroll down for additional commentary)

For me, there are a few important takeaways.

At first glance, it can seem encouraging that we consume 415 pounds in vegetables annually (which translates to more than 20% of our overall food intake by weight). That is, until you realize that corn and potatoes account for 173 pounds of that. Though there’s nothing wrong with corn and potatoes, let’s make more space for other veggies in our diets.

An obvious area for improvement is the 110 lbs of red meat we consume. In a frequently cited study, Harvard researchers found that 9% of male deaths and 7% of female deaths would be prevented if we lowered red meat consumption to 1.5 ounces (or less) per day. That would be just over 34 pounds annually. In other words, replacing 2 out of 3 beef dishes with a leaner meat – or vegetables – would be a wise move for the average American.

We also eat a lot of non-cheese dairy products. In other words, we a great opportunity to substitute with dairy alternatives that are less calorie-dense, like almond milk.

Speaking of calorie dense foods, we’d all be well served by reducing the 141 pounds of caloric sweeteners consumed annually. In part, this is fueled by the 53 gallons of soda we drink annually. And the 24 pounds of ice cream. Replacing just a few glasses of soda and other high-sugar products per week would go a long way to a healthier lifestyle.

In the comments below, let me know how your personal eating habits differ from the average American. And what areas for improvement are there in your diet?

 

Are Sweet Potatoes Healthier Than White Potatoes?

The potato is the most popular vegetable in America. In fact, studies have found that the average American eats an astounding 117 pounds of potatoes each year.

So, here’s the question: Does switching from white potatoes to sweet potatoes promote better health? Or is it just a passing culinary trend?

When it comes to calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein, white potatoes and sweet potatoes are – despite the hype – very similar. In terms of fiber, the sweet potato does have a slight advantage at 3.3 grams (per a 100-gram serving) versus 2.1 grams for white potatoes. The extra fiber in sweet potatoes can help make you feel fuller, longer.

The more notable differences can be found through a vitamin and mineral comparison. While both vegetables contain similar quantities of many nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin K, sweet potatoes are much higher in beta-carotene and vitamin A.

Because of the additional nutrients found in sweet potatoes, they are slightly healthier than their white counterparts. But preparation, rather than the type of potato consumed, can have a far greater impact on your health. Instead of consuming chips or fries, ensure that your potatoes are baked or boiled. And, like anything else, they should be consumed in moderation.

 

Earn Your Body.

Some things in life come easy, like taxes. Or the love of family and friends. But biceps don’t grow on trees – and many great things worth having come as the result of dedication and hard work.

If you want to transform your body, you have to put in the time, energy and effort. If you want to change the way you look and feel, push yourself beyond your comfort zones, eat smarter and exercise often. Be consistent. Be persistent. There’s no magic. No shortcuts. And no excuses.

What have you done to earn your body today?

Is Running Backwards Good for You?

The London Backwards Running Championships

I’m a big fan of movement – regardless of the form that it takes. Your body craves movement, and it’s an essential element in a healthy, productive and balanced lifestyle.

So what’s the deal on backwards running? At some point or another, you’ve probably tried it. It’s just like running forward – only in reverse. And though it’s not quite as popular as barefoot running, it’s gaining many new converts.

Why?

For one, backwards running requires more energy. And more energy means more calories burned. Researchers at the United of Milan in Italy concluded that backwards running is less efficient, and thus requires 30% more energy than running forward at a given speed. If you’re looking to lose weight, that’s a huge benefit.

Beyond burning more calories, running backwards requires a stride that results in less impact. A recent study found that backwards running is an especially attractive option for individuals with bad knees.

Because it’s not our natural stride, it’s also believed that backwards running can help improve balance. In fact, according to an article in The New York Times, it’s often used as a therapy for Parkinson’s patients.

At the very least, it’s a great way to mix up your workout or to try something different. I’d recommend starting with just a few minutes of backwards running so that you can learn the movement over time. And since you can’t really see where you’re going, be cautious. It’s safest to walk or run backwards on a track wherein you’re able to use the painted lane lines to guide you.

The bottom line: If you’re looking to burn some extra calories, have knee issues, want to improve your balance or are just in the mood to do something new, backwards running may help you put your best foot forward backward. Either way, it’s better than sitting on the couch.

Is Pole Dancing a Good Workout?

Haley Star and Davey Wavey pole dancing!

Is pole dancing a good workout? Just ask my thighs. Or my arms. Or my abs. All of which are incredibly sore after my first pole dancing class.

Yesterday, Haley Star and I filmed a video at a local pole dancing studio for my main YouTube channel that I’ll be posting in early January. While filming the video was a lot of fun, I didn’t anticipate how much of a workout that I’d get from climbing up and spinning around the pole.

Truth be told, pole dancing works a full range of muscles – and even provides a great cardio workout that incorporates elements of high intensity interval training. In pole dancing, some of the poses involve isotonic contractions wherein opposing muscles (such as the biceps and triceps) contract to produce a controlled movement. For other poses, isometric contractions are incorporated by holding a static position without joint movement (as in the photo).

From what I can tell, one of the great benefits of pole dancing is that you can accomplish something each class. There are many different moves to learn at so many different ability levels. It’s very rewarding to accomplish a move – and the sweet taste of victory may even make you want to exercise.

Beyond being addicting, pole dancing is also a lot of fun. People often tell me that exercise is boring. In my humble opinion, only boring people have boring workouts. Spinning around a pole to your favorite beat is exhilarating… and even a bit liberating. You may find yourself awakening the sexy vixen or stud within – and unleashing your new-found confidence on the world around you.

At any rate, I’m definitely hungry for more.

Have you ever tried a pole dancing class? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below.

 

How to Workout in Your Room!

Even if you have a small space, you can get a HUGE workout! These exercises are great to do in your bedroom, hotel or office! Checkout the other workout video that I filmed with The Lean Machines: http://youtu.be/LJjoRt4FAK0

Check Out Today’s Video!

7 Best Healthy Holiday Cooking Tips.

While salsa might not be a traditional Christmas food for many, the colors are perfect for the season!

When it comes to the holidays, it’s not just about trimming your tree. It’s about trimming unhealthy fats, sugar and salt from your favorite seasonal recipes.

To that end, try a few of my favorite tips!

  1. Cut added sugar in half. If a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, opt for half a cup. Then, add a bit more citrus, vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon and you’ll be fine.
  2. Reduce the butter. You can usually cut the butter in half, and then replace it with applesauce or bananas. I’ve even used avocados as an excellent butter substitute.
  3. Opt for reduced or lower-sodium variations of packaged foods – or, even better, go fresh!
  4. Replace unhealthy dips with salsas and guacamole – they’re already red and green! You could even pair a red tomato-based salsa with a green tomatillo-based salsa. Hummus is another healthy dip alternative. If you do prefer dips, replace sour cream with Greek yogurt.
  5. Cut added salt in half. You won’t even notice a difference – and, if you do, add herbs or seasoning. Your blood pressure will thank you!
  6. Use fresh or frozen fruits and berries instead of frosting, syrup or jam on desserts.
  7. Incorporate lots and lots of veggies. Vegetables add bulk to your meal without all the extra calories. Beyond providing plenty of nutrients, vegetables are high in fiber – thereby making you feel fuller, longer.

If you have any favorite healthy holiday cooking tips, please share them in the comments below!

Muscled Boys Live Longer. [Study]

A strong, muscular physique isn’t just for show. As it turns out, stronger boys were found to live longer – even if they later became overweight as adults.

In a recent study, Swedish researchers tracked more than one million adolescents from ages 16 to 19 over a period of 24 years. Scientists used various exercises – like leg curls and push-ups – to determine each adolescent’s strength level.

Over the course of the study, 26,145 of the men died. The leading causes of death were accidental injury, suicide, cancer, heart disease and stroke.

According to the data, those teenagers who scored above average in terms of muscle strength had a 20% – 35% reduced risk of early death. When risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure were taken into account, the link between early death and adolescent muscle strength remained. Indeed, strong teenagers lived longer – even if they grew into overweight or otherwise unhealthy adults.

In the data, researchers found that strong adolescents had a 20% – 30% lower risk of suicide over the course of the study. Interestingly, strong teenagers were up to 65% less likely to have any psychiatric diagnosis including depression. In other words, it appears that physically weaker people may be more vulnerable when it comes to mental health.

On the flip side, the teens with the lowest level of muscular strength were the most likely to die before reaching middle age.

Researchers stressed that their findings don’t mean that building muscle – in an of itself – extends your life. Instead, muscular strength can be a good indicator of overall fitness levels.

How to Overcome Trigger Foods.

Today’s guest post is by my good friend, Diane Petrella, MSW. Diane is a spiritual weight release coach and one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Do leftover Halloween treats call out your name? Do candy bars compel you to snack when you’re not hungry? Do you welcome, or fear, holiday cookie platters soon coming our way?

How you relate to trigger foods helps you lose weight more easily or creates constant struggle. Take time to decide how you want to manage this before the abundance of holiday sweets appear.

What is a Trigger Food?

A trigger food is one that causes you to lose self-control once you begin eating it. You then overeat to the point of feeling physically uncomfortable, emotionally upset with yourself, or both. Common trigger foods include fat and sugary foods such as cookies and ice cream, or fat and salty foods such as potato chips.

A trigger food may prompt an overeating episode even when you’re not particularly stressed. You see the food, feel the urge, start to eat and can’t stop. Sometimes an emotional reaction prompts the urge to eat specific foods. For example, you feel frustrated and immediately react by grabbing potato chips.

There are two opposing approaches to manage trigger foods. One says avoid them; the other says give yourself permission to eat whatever you want. Let’s take a closer look at both.

Strategy 1: Avoid Trigger Foods

A traditional approach to addictions is to avoid addictive substances. While there is debate about whether certain foods, mainly sugars, are physiologically addictive, many people agree that a psychological addiction can occur. Avoiding trigger foods altogether is one way to deal with foods that you are unable to eat in moderation. For some, this is all or nothing; for others there’s flexibility. For example, you may not bring certain foods home but decide to eat them at a party.

If you choose this approach, reflect on these questions:

  • Will you feel a sense of deprivation if you don’t eat these foods?
  • If so, will that trigger a yearning to binge eat?
  • How will you handle it if family members bring these foods home?

There is great freedom in taking a stand against something that causes you harm. Those who use this approach successfully keep an empowered mind-set. Instead of thinking they “cannot” have these foods, they “choose” not to eat them. This approach works when it feels like a free choice.

Strategy 2: Allow Trigger Foods

A second approach is to give yourself permission to eat all foods. This helps you break free from a self-depriving notion that you “should not” or “cannot” eat certain foods. It is believed that by removing the restriction you feel liberated from the tension surrounding these foods.

If you choose this approach, reflect on these questions:

  • Will you be able to satisfy a taste craving with a reasonable portion?
  • Will you be tempted to binge eat on these foods when stressed?
  • If you eat for emotional reasons, have you successfully found other coping strategies?

It’s sometimes easier to set boundaries on our behavior when we feel we have choice. If you allow yourself to eat these foods, you may experience a freedom that, paradoxically, minimizes your desire.

A Conscious Choice

Take time to think this through, especially with holiday season approaching. Find what works best for you. As you improve your lifestyle habits, develop new coping strategies and maintain a confident mind-set, your relationship with trigger foods will change. You may not want to eat them, or you may still enjoy them, but there will be no tension around them. Your struggle will be over.

How do you handle trigger foods? Let me know in the comments below!

Exercises for Bigger Arms: Davey Wavey and Phil Fusco.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed male model Phil Fusco about his workout routine. Today, I’m excited to share a video that we made together while visiting New York City. In it, Phil and I share some of our favorite arm exercises.

And trust me, it was almost more hotness than I was able to handle. I think I’m still sweating. Take a look!