10 Commandments of Gym Etiquette!

fitness-meme-3Continuing with my “10 Commandments” series, today I’m sharing etiquette rules that every gym goer should follow.

  1. Thou shalt not walk in between an exerciser and the mirror. When someone is working out, they’ll often use the mirror to spot themselves and to ensure proper form. If you walk between the exerciser and the mirror, you’re blocking their view – and being rude. Walk around them.
  2. Thou shalt wipe down equipment. If you sweat on it, clean it up. No one wants to lie down in your workout juice.
  3. Thou shalt not sit on the equipment while texting, browsing Grindr or taking selfies. Gym equipment is for exercising. And playing on your phone is not exercising. Even if you only check your phone during your rests, you’re likely resting a lot longer than you think. The reality is, your gym is probably busy and someone else might be waiting to use the machine. Keep your phone in your pocket.
  4. Thou shalt put weights away. Unless you’re exercising with a personal maid, there’s no one to clean up after you – so put your equipment away. And besides, lifting weights to put them away can make you strong, too.
  5. Thou shalt neither hog nor hover. Hogging equipment is when you spend way too much time on a given machine, especially when the gym is busy. If you’re on a machine for more than a few sets, allow other people to cut in during your rests. On the flip side, if someone is using a machine that you want, don’t hover around them like a fly on shit. During their rest in between sets, politely ask if you can cut in.
  6. Weightlifting BackwardsThou shalt ask how to use equipment if unsure. If you have questions, ask a trainer or someone at the front desk. Ignorance is not bliss because you’ll probably end up hurting yourself – or, even worse, as a gif on the internet.
  7. Thou shalt not smell. Going to the gym isn’t an excuse for slacking on hygiene. Don’t invade our nostrils with offensive odors or smells. Wear clean clothes and apply some deodorant.
  8. Thou shalt not do curls in the squat rack. Squat racks are for doing squats, and most gyms only have one or two. They’re a precious commodity. If you’re doing another exercise, like curls, you actually don’t need a rack at all. So don’t take up prime real estate.
  9. Thou shalt not go to the gym while sick. Exercise is important, but working out sick is bad for yourself and the people around you. Give your body the rest it needs – and don’t ruin things for the rest of us.
  10. Thou shalt ________. You tell me! Write the 10th commandment of gym etiquette in the comments below.

10 Commandments of Weight Loss.

JESS3_Twinkies_hostess-moses-twinkiesThough we all have different bodies and different metabolisms, there are some constants when it comes to achieving effective, sustainable and lasting fat loss.

  1. Thou shalt not starve. Believe it or not, starving yourself is the least effective way to lose weight long term. That’s because it dramatically slows down your metabolism as the body tries to conserve calories. Once you do resume eating, the pounds will pack right back on.
  2. Thou shalt eat smarter and move more. If fat loss could be summed up in one simple commandment, it would be this. By eating smarter, fewer calories go into your body. By moving more, increased calories are burned by your body. This combination of healthy eating and exercise creates the calorie deficit needed for weight to be lost.
  3. Thou shalt not fall for fad diets. When it comes to weight loss, there are no shortage of marketing gimmicks promising quick fixes. Don’t rely on marketing; rely on science. And though the science of weight loss isn’t as sexy as popping a pill or eating only cabbage for a month, it’s effective and sustainable.
  4. Thou shalt eat carbohydrates. Though they get a bad rap, carbohydrates are used by our bodies for energy – and can help you power through a difficult workout. No carbs means no energy, and that’s a recipe for disaster. Instead of cutting carbs altogether, move from simple carbs to complex carbs.
  5. Thou shalt strength train. Don’t fall into the “I only do cardio” trap. By including strength training in your workout routine, you’ll ensure that you lose mostly fat – and not a combination of fat and muscle. Retaining your hard-earned muscle doesn’t just look good; muscle keeps your metabolism cranking.
  6. Thou shalt not have endless cardio workouts. Cardio is an important component of any routine, but people looking to lose weight often spend endless workouts on the treadmill or elliptical. Long cardio workouts can actually result in muscle loss and belly fat.
  7. Thou shalt understand the difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger is your body’s need for food, while your appetite is really more about cravings. To help determine hunger levels, score hunger and fullness using this scale.
  8. Thou shalt eat lots of fiber. Most of us don’t get enough fiber, but this is especially true for dieters. Fiber takes a long time to digest. As a result, it helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
  9. Thou shalt read nutritional information. Ignore the subjective marketing hype of product packaging; instead, go directly to the objective nutrition information and ingredients. Pay special attention to the serving size, calories, sugar and saturated/trans fat.
  10. Thou shalt stay hydrated and well-rested. Your body needs water – and drinking enough of it can help lessen hunger. Nine cups per day are recommended for women and 13 for men. And last but not least, getting plenty of rest is an important ingredient for weight loss. It keeps cortisol levels down and gives your body plenty of time to rebuild and recover from workouts.

Do you have anymore commandments of weight loss to add? Share them in the comments below! And to lose stubborn body fat once and for all, download the Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

What Is The Best Shoulder Exercise?

shoulder-workout---get-big--shoulder-workout-for-size---mens-fitnessHaving strong, bulging shoulders isn’t just sexy; it’s functional. With shoulder injuries impacting up to 69 percent of the population, taking advantage of a balanced and well-rounded shoulder workout can help reduce the risk of injury.

So which shoulder exercises are the best? The American Council on Exercise teamed up with researchers from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse to find out. The findings were published in a recent study.

For the study, researchers compiled a list of ten common shoulder exercises. Next, a set of healthy, male volunteers were recruited. Each volunteer participated in one practice workout and then two test workouts. To determine muscle activation, special electrodes were placed on the three different muscle heads of the shoulder (front, middle and back).

After crunching the data, researchers found that different exercises were best for each of the different muscle heads.

To work your anterior deltoids (the front shoulder muscle that you see in the mirror), the dumbbell shoulder press is the absolute best. No other exercise came close. A distant second was the dumbbell front raise followed by battling ropes (which you commonly see in crossfit classes).

When it comes to the medial deltoids (the middle shoulder muscle), the 45-degree incline row and bent-arm lateral raise were the best performing exercises.

Last but not least, the seated rear lateral raise and the 45-degree incline row were best for the posterior deltoids (back shoulder muscles).

Keep in mind, while most people focus on the anterior deltoids (because those are most visible when they look in the mirror), it’s important to have equally balanced shoulder muscles for proper function, to minimize imbalances and to reduce the risk of injury.

If you’re unfamiliar with any of the above exercises, scroll down below for some demonstrations!

Incorporate these exercises into your shoulder workout for optimal results.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Best for front shoulders)

ShoulderPress

45-Degree Incline Row (Best for middle shoulders/back shoulders)

InclineRow

Seated Rear Lateral Raise (Best for back shoulders)

DeltoidRaise

Why People Want You To Be Fat.

no-480x360If you’re changing the way you look and feel by making better nutrition and fitness choices, you probably have a few great cheerleaders in your life. These people can provide encouragement and help you overcome challenges. But not everyone is rooting for your success.

You’ve probably heard things like:

  • “Just skip the gym today.”
  • “You don’t like my cooking? Is that why you won’t eat this?”
  • “Exercising is fine, but I think you’re obsessed.”
  • “Everyone else eats this – but you have to be different.”
  • “Oh, I’m sure one piece of cake won’t make a difference.”
  • “You know, most people who lose weight just end up gaining more back.”
  • “I think you’re losing too much weight.”

Rather than support you in your success, these diet saboteurs want to bring you down. Whether they’re friends, family, coworkers or a significant others, it’s important to understand their motivation.

Sometimes, it’s about power and control. If you stay overweight or out of shape, your partner may think that you’re less likely to attract attention from other people. With fewer options, this gives your partner more perceived control. But as you lose weight and attract more attention, your partner may feel control slipping from his or her grip. Ultimately, your partner may fear losing you to someone else; your partner may believe that you’ll leave him or her for someone more attractive.

In other instances, it’s about self-denial. When you lose weight and become healthier, it puts other people in an uncomfortable position of confronting their own weight issues. Your success becomes a personal assault on their own weight, and so they fight back by trying to sabotage your results. If you fall off the bandwagon, it makes them feel better about their situation.

Sometimes, the biggest saboteur in our life is ourselves. You commonly see this with people who have been sexually abused. If they lose weight, they may become more attractive and thus experience more unwanted attention. Sometimes, people have a fundamental fear of being perceived as beautiful. In these instances, it’s important to work with a professional.

Understanding what motivates diet saboteurs is an important step in transforming these toxic relationships. If you suspect your partner is afraid of losing you, have an open conversation. Communicate. Talk to your family and friends and let them know why this is important to you and why you want their support.

Have you ever experienced a diet saboteur? Share your story in the comments below.

 

3 Things I Learned From The Gym.

a40958112cb69149d799060bd2d1554eI’ve been going to the gym regularly for some 15 years. From childhood through now, I’ve spent something like 4,500 hours working out. It’s a lot of time. And in that time, there’s a few things that I’ve learned.

1. IT’S EASY TO TELL WHO EXPECTS RESULTS.

Next time you go to the gym, take a look around you at the people exercising. You’ll likely see a full spectrum of effort. At one end of the spectrum, you’ll see people chatting with friends or texting on their phones. At the other end, you’ll see people engaged in a balls-to-the-wall workout giving 100 percent.

The golden rule of exercise is that you will always get out of your workout what you put into your workout. There’s no magic to it. And in this sense, it’s very easy to see who is expecting real results from their workout. It’s those people that are challenging themselves and pushing their limits.

The question becomes: Where do you fall on that spectrum?

2. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMEONE STRONGER. AND SOMEONE WEAKER.

It’s easy to become competitive, especially at the gym. But comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game to play. It’s a recipe for disappointment, frustration and even injury. The reality is, unless you’re a professional power lifter, there’s probably always going to be someone stronger than you at the gym.

And that’s okay.

Rather than compare yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself. Rather than lifting more than the guy next to you, lift more than you did last week. This helps ensure that you’re lifting the amount of weight you should be lifting, rather than the amount of weight you wish you could lift.

Everyone is at different places on their fitness journey. Respect where they’re at – and respect where you’re at.

3. KNOWLEDGE = RESULTS.

Going to the gym is a big and important step. But showing up isn’t enough. And though giving 100 percent is crucial, there’s more to it.

Your workout also needs to be smart. Every repetition of every set of every exercise needs to be tied to a master plan. You need to have a strategy. I can’t stress this point enough.

Whatever result you want, there is a specific strategy or strategies for achieving that result. It might mean lifting heavy weights at low reps. Or doing high intensity intervals. Or lifting light at high reps, and so on. Look at the decades of scientifically valid research and educate yourself on exercise. Put knowledge to work for you.

In the comments below, share what you’ve learned from working out!

Does Cardio Build Muscle?

Hey Davey,

I run a lot and I’m sure it’s great exercise for my legs. Does going out for a run mean that I can skip strength training my legs?

From,
Jim

254_fitness_tip_flashHey Jim,

The short answer is no.

Both cardio and strength training are important components of a well-rounded workout, but each provide unique benefits.

Strength training exercises like squats, deadlifts and dumbbell lunges help build a bigger and stronger lower body. By overloading your muscles with increasingly heavy resistance, your muscles will grow in size and strength.

In other words, a good round simply isn’t going to give you the same muscle building benefits as an effective strength training program.

That doesn’t mean cardio isn’t important. Though cardio might not be the most effective way to get that bubble butt, it gives you the endurance that you need to get through a challenging workout. If you’re too winded to get a few more repetitions, you’re selling yourself short. Moreover, regular cardiovascular exercise is important for overall health.

When it comes to creating a well-rounded exercise program, it’s important to include both cardio and strength training for the best results.

Love,
Davey

 

 

Study: Eating Out Adds 200 Calories Per Day…

t1larg.fastfoodWhether it’s going to your favorite fast food establishment or eating a sit down meal at a restaurant, researchers have found that dining out adds an average of 200 calories per day to your diet.

The study, which was recently published in Public Health Nutrition, surveyed some 12,000 individuals on two separate days. According to the data, the calorie boost was greater for low income individuals and people who identified as black. High income individuals saw the smallest increase in calories; researchers speculate that higher income individuals may have better access to resources and healthier (but often more expensive) food options.

It’s no secret that fast food and restaurant meals are often more calorie-dense than home-cooked meals. But researchers noted that on days when individuals ate out, they didn’t adjust their calorie intake accordingly. In other words, if you know you’re eating out for dinner, compensate for the extra calories with an especially healthy lunch. It can help mitigate the damage.

Beyond calories, restaurant and fast food eating also resulted in more saturated fats, sugar and salt.

This data clearly demonstrates the impact of typical restaurant meals on our diets. But the choice doesn’t need to be between eating out and proper nutrition. There are certainly steps that each of us can take to ensure healthier restaurant meals. Like drinking water instead of sugary drinks or alcohol. And sticking with baked or broiled options rather than foods that are fried, creamy or breaded. Research restaurants online (some have more healthy options than others) and ask your server for substitutes.

200 calories might not sound like a lot, but when those calories are consumed several days a week, 52 weeks a year – they add up to an alarmingly large number. Be aware of the foods you eat and make smarter decisions whenever possible!

5 Tips: Mindful Eating to Lose Weight & Improve Health.

89696614I’m not a big fan of diets and restrictions.

In fact, I don’t think that a healthy lifestyle is about less. It’s about more; it’s about an abundance of colorful, nourishing foods and a full array of flavors. It’s about freeing your body from excessive fat and living the life you’ve always wanted.

One powerful step in losing weight and improving your health is mindfulness. At first glance, it can sound like a lot of new age gimmickry and wishful thinking. But mindfulness is a change in perspective that opens up new dimensions in your life.

Albert Einstein once said that you can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it. By practicing mindfulness, you’re able to see the world anew – rather than simply treating the symptoms of an underlying problem.

Here are five ways to practice mindfulness from farm to tummy:

  1. Be mindful of where your food comes from. Is eating sacred? I think so. After all, it’s through food that we fuel our bodies to experience this tremendous gift of life. Without food, there is no life. In some ways, the food we eat is an offering to our bodies – not unlike an offering that a pilgrim might make at a temple. When food is viewed in this light, the source of your food – and knowing how it is grown or handled – can become increasingly important. While organic foods may or may not be healthier (the debate is ongoing), there’s an energetic benefit in knowing that your food is grown in a sustainable way.
  2. Be mindful of what your food contains. Ignorance is not bliss, especially when it comes to the foods you eat. By paying attention to the nutrition labels on product packaging, you’ll be more knowledgeable about the foods you eat – and better able to make informed, smart choices. Beyond saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugars and so on, it’s important to read the list of ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, do you really want it inside your body?
  3. Be mindful of how you prepare your food. Whether I’m cooking for just myself or some friends or family, I make cooking an act of love. In fact, I even bought a so-called gratitude board. While it looks and works just like a cutting board, a gratitude board is a reminder to give thanks for the food you are preparing. With gratitude and love in mind, it becomes much easier to make wiser food choices. Moreover, mindfulness of food preparation carries over to restaurant eating. When dining out, mindfulness helps ensure that your food choices support your goals.
  4. Be mindful in your eating ritual. There are many ways to be mindful while eating. First, it’s about saying grace. If you feel silly offering a prayer over the food you’re eating (like a Twinkie, for example), then do you really want to eat it? Second, it’s about being aware of the food you’re actually eating. Rather than mindlessly munching in front of a television, enjoy the eating experience without distractions; you’ll be less likely to overeat.
  5. Be mindful of how your food makes you feel. When you swallow your food, your body is just getting started. How do you feel after you eat? Though fried foods may taste good, they probably make your body feel sluggish or slow and unmotivated. Similarly, soda can spike your blood sugar and can cause highs and lows. Evaluate how your body feels, and make this part of the eating experience. By paying attention to how you feel after eating, you may notice that your crave unhealthy foods less and less.

What are some of the ways that you bring mindfulness to eating? Let me know in the comments below! And for more information, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!

Why Are My Muscles Sore After Exercise?

Dear Davey,

After I exercise, my muscles get very sore. I understand that this can be beneficial but why is it happening?

From,
Ben

daniel-garofali-workout-2What you’re experiencing is something called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and, as you noted, it’s actually a good thing.

Most often, individuals experience DOMS when trying something new. It could be a new routine, new exercise, new amount of resistance or so on. DOMS, as the name implies, occurs a day or two after the exercise. Injury-related soreness, on the other hand, occurs immediately and should be treated by a professional.

There’s still a lot that we don’t understand about DOMS. It was initially thought that DOMS was the result of lactic acid buildup from exercise. But the latest theory is that DOMS is the result of micro-tears in the muscle fibers caused by exercise. Though muscle damage sounds like a bad thing, these tiny tears are rebuilt stronger and bigger than before; this is the very process by which our muscles grow and strengthen.

Over time, DOMS can subside as your body adjusts and evolves. And it’s important to recognize that DOMS isn’t required for muscle growth and it’s not an indication of the effectiveness of an exercise routine. In other words, a lack of DOMS doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.

The treatments for muscle soreness are widely debated. Though stretching was once believed to prevent and alleviate soreness, recent studies are suggesting otherwise. There has been some success in alleviating soreness through massage or the use of a foam roller. Some individuals and trainers prefer active recovery. Or just plenty of rest to give your body time to recover, repair and rebuild.

Love,
Davey

What Does Percent Daily Value Mean On Food Labels?

Dear Davey,

I’m so confused by the percentages listed on nutrition labels. How can something have 140% of a nutrient? That doesn’t even make sense. Please explain what these numbers mean.

From,
Jordan

man_reading_labels_t540People are often confused by the percentages listed on food labels. So here’s the deal.

These percentages are called daily values and they are a guide to the nutrients in one serving of a given food. For example, a cup of milk might have 30% of your daily value of calcium. That means, in theory, you’ll need to get another 70% of your daily value of calcium through other foods to meet your body’s daily biochemical needs.

When a serving contains 140% of a nutrient, it means that you’ve exceeded the recommended daily intake by 40%. If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends 1,000 mg of that nutrient, a 140% listing means that the serving contains 1,400 mg of that nutrient.

Makes sense, right?

It’s very important to note that these standards are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and are set by the FDA and don’t differentiate on the basis of age, sex, medical condition, etc. Because nutrition isn’t a one size fits all approach, your actual daily needs may vary from these recommendations; they are simply meant as a very general guide.

You’ll also notice that there’s not a daily value for trans fat or sugar. That’s because experts recommend avoiding trans fats and minimizing added sugars for optimal health.

Exceeding your body’s daily needs for fat, cholesterol and sodium may put your health at risk. As such, using the daily values on nutrition labels can help you identify smarter food choices.

As I mentioned before, your daily nutritional needs may be quite different from the daily values listed on food labels. My mother, for example, has high blood pressure; her doctor recommends strict limits on the amount of sodium she eats. An endurance athlete may consume 3,000 or 4,000 calories a day; his or her daily nutritional needs will be very different.

If you have any questions about how much of a nutrient you need, just ask your healthcare provider for more detailed guidance. And for more information, check out 5 things to look for on nutrition labels.

Love,
Davey