Tips

Need some fitness or nutrition tips? Here are a few of Davey Wavey's favorites!

Are You Pooping Wrong?

yljxpomnx9ibldawzebkLet’s talk about poop.

More specifically, the new counterculture craze of squatting to take a poop. While most of us find the image a bit barbaric and animalistic, the reality is that… we are animals. Our bodies evolved to squat and poop; it’s important to remember that sitting toilets are a relatively new invention.

According to squat aficionados, sitting on the toilet creates improper alignment that results in unnecessary pushing and straining. Squatting, on the other hand, is allegedly a more natural position that opens the anal sphincter and moves our internal plumbing into alignment. This allows for a more effortless, faster and efficient bowel movement.

In fact, according to a 2003 study, squatters spend 79 fewer seconds taking a poop.

Seriously.

home-02To simulate squatting on our current toilets, there are a whole slew of new products. In a Men’s Health article, Eric Spitznagel tried the Squatty Potty. It’s essentially a glorified stepping stool. You can either place your feet on it to elevate your knees and simulate squatting, or – if you’re more adventurous – you can plant your feet on the Squatty Potty and hover over the toilet seat to release your excrement.

Though a doctor of gastroenterology told the author that his Squatty Potty may or may not make much of a difference (more research is clearly needed!), the experiment made Spitznagel a believer. He swears his poops are better, healthier and more effortless.

Of course, you can save yourself the $79 and make your own Squatty Potty out of a stack of books to get the same experience. Maybe you’ll become a believe, too.

After all, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta poo.

P.S. Another east way to upgrade your poop is to upgrade your diet; download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter and get started today!

 

Is Muscle Memory A Myth?

fitness-tips-for-menFirst things first, “muscle memory” refers to the retrieval of previously learned information that is applied with greater efficiency. In terms of strength training, it’s the idea that exercisers can rapidly return to previous levels of strength and muscle size after an extended period of inactivity.

You’ll commonly see “muscle memory” in action after an athlete is injured. Despite losing gains, the athlete may quickly recover to previous performance levels in significantly reduced time.

Let’s start with the obvious: Muscles don’t remember anything. As such, the term “muscle memory” is a bit misleading.

Your brain, on the other hand, does remember.

Think about your first few months at the gym. Or even your first year or two. There’s a lot to learn. You have to figure out what routine works best for you. You have to decide which machines or exercises are effective. You have to determine how much weight to lift. You need to learn form and balance. A great deal of time and energy is spent on your fitness learning curve.

When you return to the gym, you don’t need to re-learn the learning curve. It’s a one time thing, sort of like learning how to ride a bike. And that’s part of the reason why it’s much easier to make progress the second time around.

There may also be a biological component to muscle memory, having to do with cell nuclei which is detailed at long length here. In a very over-simplified nutshell, the extra muscle nuclei obtained by strength training seems to be very long lasting – even in muscles that are inactive for a long time. The extra nuclei enable the cell to rapidly start synthesizing protein for gains in size and strength.

All of this is great news, especially if you do fall off the workout bandwagon. It’s much easier to re-gain your gains the second time around. So what are you waiting for?

P.S. For a science-based, guaranteed approach to building muscle size, download Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle. You’ll even get my 30-minute ab workout as a free gift!

17 Tips For A Healthy Thanksgiving!

431A few years back, I shared 11 tips for a healthy Thanksgiving. Just to recap, here they are:

  1. Just take a small scoop of cranberry sauce. It’s loaded with sugar and can have 300 calories per half cup.
  2. Remove the skin. While the skin adds great flavor and is a nice treat for special occasions, it does contain extra calories and fat – and is usually coated in butter.
  3. Go light on the gravy. Gravy, depending on how it is prepared, can be loaded in fat, calories and tons of sodium. Just use a touch of it.
  4. Eat before dinner. Have a healthy lunch before going to Thanksgiving dinner so that you’re not hungry. This will help prevent overeating.
  5. Opt for healthy sides. Instead of going for buttery, cheesy or creamy sides, opt for steamed vegetables and smarter choices.
  6. Save your calories for the dinner. Appetizers, munchies and finger foods are notoriously high in calories and unhealthy fat. Moreover, they’re not filling. Save your calories for the main course.
  7. Drink lots of water. Water boosts your metabolism and helps you feel full. And it’s definitely a much wiser choice than eggnog.
  8. Use a small plate. Studies show that if we use a small plate, we eat less. Moreover, wait 15 minutes before going back for seconds. It takes time to feel full.
  9. Talk! Instead of chowing down, take time to talk with your friends and family. By eating slower, you give your body time to digest and feel full – thereby lessening the likelihood of overeating.
  10. Have a few bites of dessert. If you have room, just take a few bites of the dessert options. It will satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging. And if you’re full, take your dessert to go rather than cramming it down.
  11. Don’t feel guilty. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, and if you eat a lot – so be it. All of us occasionally indulge and it’s part of creating balance in your diet. Don’t feel guilty about it – because guilt often manifests itself as additional overeating.

Today, I’d like to share 6 more strategies that you can use.

  1. Smarten up your recipes. If you have any influence over the foods being prepared, it’s easy to make your dishes healthier but cutting the recommended quantities of ingredients like sugar or butter. You can also replace ingredients like butter with healthier substitutions – including avocados!
  2. Skip seconds. While you may feel inclined to load up a second plate of food, resist the urge. Instead, give yourself a good fifteen minutes to digest your first plate. You’ll probably discover that you’re already a lot fuller than you think.
  3. Load up on protein and fiber – before the meal. When eating breakfast or lunch before Thanksgiving dinner, opt for foods that are high in protein and fiber. Because fiber and protein digest slowly, it will take the edge off of your appetite.
  4. Minimize alcohol. Though consuming alcohol may help make family conversations more bearable, it’ll also load your meal up with empty calories. That is, most alcoholic beverages are high in calories but low in nutrients.
  5. Play football instead of watching it. While it’s tempting to sit on the couch and watch a football game (though, honestly, that doesn’t tempt me at all), it’ll be far healthier to engage in a family game of football in the backyard or a nearby park. It’ll burn off some of that pumpkin pie. If football isn’t your thing, try another activity – or just go on a walk.
  6. Focus on your family. Sometimes, a shift in perspective can make a big difference. Instead of thinking about Thanksgiving in terms of the food, shift the focus to friends and family. The main event isn’t the buffet; it’s spending time with the important people in your life.

The reality is, Thanksgiving is one of more than a thousand meals that you’ll consume this year. It’s not going to make or break any diet. But having said that, you can use the above tips not just on Thanksgiving – but each and every day to improve the way you look and feel.

P.S. If you want to upgrade your diet (and, in turn, your life), I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Especially with the holidays coming, it’s a wise investment in the quality of your life.

How To Be A Good Spotter: 7 Tips!

Bench-PressIf you’ve spent much time in a gym, you’ve likely been asked to provide a spot. Or, there’s probably been a time or two when you would have benefited from a spotter.

Years ago, I was lifting at a gym that didn’t provide safety pins to hold the weight plates in place. On my last repetition of bench pressing, I missed the rack and dumped 175lbs worth of weight plates across the gym floor. More than creating a spectacle (which it was), I was lucky to escape injury. If I had asked for the assistance of a spotter, the whole debacle could have been avoided.

What is spotting?

Simply put, it’s the act of supporting another person during an exercise to ensure safety and allow the exerciser to lift or push more than he or she could on their own.

Some spotters are good. And some spotters suck. So to be a better spotter, here are a few tips focused around bench pressing:

  1. Communicate. Asking someone for a spot is a bit like asking someone to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. Good spotting relationships are built on a foundation of communication. Being on the same page involves asking the exerciser what they need from you and how many repetitions they are aiming to complete.
  2. Help only when needed. When someone asks you to spot, they’re not asking you to do the work for them. If they’re struggling and moving the bar slowly, don’t provide assistance. If the the exerciser is failing and gravity is pulling the bar down, do provide assistance.
  3. Don’t use full force – unless needed. When you do provide assistance, apply the proper amount of force. Usually, this means providing just enough force to lift the bar. The exerciser should still be working throughout your spot. The exception would be a sudden drop in the bar or total failure on the part of the exerciser; in this instance, full force is necessary to safely re-rack the barbell.
  4. Spot lift off. When bench pressing, lifting the barbell off of the rack may require some assistance. You’ll commonly see this in powerlifting competitions. It’s always smart to ask if they’ll need help with this movement.
  5. Help re-rack. You’ll probably be expected to assist in the re-racking of the barbell upon completion of the set. This is especially important if the lifter has reached failure. Many accidents happen when exercisers miss the j-hook, so be proactive during this part of the exercise.

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    Should have had a spot!

  6. Know the technique. Different exercises require different spotting strategies. For the bench press, keep your hands near the bar but don’t touch it until needed. Having a mixed grip of one hand under the bar and one hand over the bar will enable you to use maximum lifting strength if required. Spotting on a squat, on the other hand, is much more technical. If you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable spotting, just let the exerciser know. It’s better to speak up than risk injuring the exerciser.
  7. Pay attention. When someone asks you for a spot, they’re putting their safety in your hands. It’s not the time to look around the gym or check your cell phone. Pay attention. A good lift can go bad quickly, and you’re the safety net to prevent serious injury.

If you have any tips, spotting stories or pet peeves, share them in the comments below!

P.S. If bigger muscles are your goal, download Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle!

5 Steps To Stay Full Longer!

Hey Davey,

I’m 90 pounds overweight and can’t seem to stay full for more than an hour. I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to feel like I’m starving. For example, the other night I had a massive dinner at a Chinese restaurant. An hour later, I was hungry again. So I ordered a second dinner from KFC. I can’t believe how much food I’m eating.

Any advice for staying full longer?

Thanks,
Chris

tumblr_my7w12DSyA1rman8co1_1280Hey Chris,

When it comes to feeling full longer, not all foods are created equal – and there are a few handy tricks that can help curb hunger.

Here are five steps to follow.

  1. Step 1: Ask yourself if you’re you really hungry? Know the difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger is the body’s need for food whereas appetite is the psychological desire for food. With this in mind, rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 – with 1 being insatiably hungry and 10 being in pain from overeating. Using this hunger scale, you’ll slowly learn to both identify true hunger and do a better job of differentiating psychological desires for food.
  2. Step 2: Drink water. Believe it or not, water is actually filling. It creates more volume in your stomach, which can make a significant difference. Best of all, water has no calories. Various studies (including this one) have demonstrated the power of water in weight loss.
  3. Step 3: Add fiber and lean protein to your diet. Fiber takes a long time to digest and numerous studies have illustrated the satiating effect of lean protein foods. For this reason, high fiber and lean protein foods cause you to feel more satisfied. As a result, you’ll consume fewer calories throughout the day.
  4. Step 4: Opt for high volume foods. High volume foods are foods that contain lots of air or water. As such, they’re much less calorie dense. Think vegetables and salads. Because these foods add bulk to your diet without adding a large amount of calories, they’re worth loading up on. By eating a large volume of food, your stomach will feel full.
  5. Step 5: Eat nuts and peanut butter. Nuts are high in both protein and fiber, and are a great healthy snack that will fill you up. Peanut butter is also a good treat. Researchers at Purdue University found that people feel fuller and eat less after snacking on peanut butter than other foods.

I hope you’re able to put these steps to work for you.

Love,
Davey

P.S. To transform your life through the foods you eat, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. I’ll show you how to eat in a way that supports your health and fitness goals.