Tips

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

Is Form Or Weight More Important?

Hey Davey,

I want bigger muscles and know that I need to lift heavier and heavier weights, but I have a question. What’s more important? Lifting lighter weights with perfect form or heavier weights with decent form?

From,
Ben

deadliftHey Ben,

I know exactly what you’re asking – and you’re definitely going to hate my answer. Consider yourself warned.

First things first, you are absolutely right. In order to increase the size of your muscles, you need to progressively increase the amount of resistance that you’re working against. This signals to your body that it needs more muscle to get the job done. But it’s also important to do this in a way that’s both safe and effective.

In other words, it’s true that lifting light weights won’t make you bigger or stronger. But improper form can get you injured. Being injured will keep you home from the gym and prevent you from getting the results you want.

As such, the answer isn’t one or the other. It’s both. If you want to increase your size and strength, you’ll need to perfect your form and then lift heavier and heavier weights.

To focus on better form, I recommend taking a few steps:

  1. Check your ego at the door. The amount of resistance that you’re working with isn’t a measure of your manhood. Let go of the idea that you need to be lifting as much as (or more than) the people around you; compete with no one but yourself.
  2. Slow down and focus. Pay attention to each repetition. Don’t rush through it. And, most importantly, don’t use the momentum of your exercise to cheat on each repetition.
  3. Lighten your load. Lower the amount of resistance that you’re using until you’re able to complete a full set of slow, proper repetitions. It’s probably less than what you’re used to, but you’ll be able to build up from here over time.

I hope that helps.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you’re serious about adding lean muscle, I recommend downloading my program, Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle. It’s a step by step guide to building the size you’ve always wanted!

 

Spend An Entire Day Cuddling: 3 Health Reasons!

IMG_4647If you only take one piece of advice from me, let it be this: Find someone you care about and spend an entire day cuddling in bed.

Forget taking exotic vacations. Forget scheduling expensive spa appointments. Forget even leaving your house. Simply cancel all your meetings, clear your calendar, ignore your inbox – and wrap yourself in the arms of a special someone for the entire day.

It’s one of the most awesome, powerful and centering experiences that I’ve ever had.

So why am I writing about my cuddle day on a fitness blog? As it turns out, cuddling has some very real health benefits.

  1. It’s good for your heart. According to researchers, frequent hugs between partners are associated with lower blood pressure and higher oxytocin levels. With about 1 in 3 adult Americans experiencing high blood pressure, it looks like many of us could use some more cuddle time.
  2. It boosts your immune system. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University found that people who get more hugs are less likely to get sick: “The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy… Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.” Enough said.
  3. It lowers stress. In one study, researchers had young girls give unplanned speeches or solve math problems in front of strangers. After completing their task, the girls either received a hug from their mom, talked to their mom on the phone or watched a short video. The girls who received the hug had lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that, among other things, retains body fat around your body’s midsection.

Cuddling is a great way to connect with the people you love and to express your affection. But cuddling also serves some very real health benefits, too. So go ahead… and schedule a cuddle day.

P.S. If you’re looking for an at-home core workout, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Workout. You’ll get instant access to five awesome workouts that you can do without any equipment!

How To Prevent Swampass At The Gym.

1000x1000What is swampass? I’m so glad you asked. :-/

According to Urban Dictionary, swampass or swamp ass is the condition wherein your butt crack becomes extremely sweaty and sometimes smelly – causing your underwear and clothing to stick. In cases of extreme swamp ass, the sweat soaks all the way through your clothing and becomes visible to passersby.

Because so many of us get hot and sweaty at the gym, the risk for swamp ass is high. And for a lot of people, it becomes a source of embarrassment:

Dear Davey,

I’m new to the gym but have been going regularly for a few weeks. My workout is challenging and I sweat a ton during the exercises. By the time I’m finished with the workout, the seat of my shorts is soaked all the way through. It’s extremely embarrassing and I feel like everyone is laughing at me.

As I wrote before, sweating is actually a good thing. It helps cool your body and even can clear your skin.

The amount you sweat is controlled by genetics, diet, medications and even hormone levels. As such, diet is the only variable within your control; a diet free from processed foods (which contain high levels of salt) seems to help. For some folks, staying away from hot or spicy foods also seems to reduce sweat.

Of course, when it comes to your derriere specifically, you can try out moisture-wicking fabrics to keep things cooler (like my DirtyFit brand underwear) or even applying some powder before exercise.

And it’s also worth noting that sweat doesn’t smell. According to experts, sweat only smells when it comes in contact with certain bacteria. In other words, proactive hygiene will help keep things fresh.

Personally, as someone who sweats A LOT, my advice is to embrace your swamp ass rather than trying to eliminate it. Generally speaking, embracing your body’s natural processes is a more effective use of energy and effort than resisting them. Instead, focus on what really matters: Your workout, your goals and your results.

After all, you’re only sweating because you’re working hard… so wear that swamp ass as a badge of honor.

P.S. Speaking of sweat, try my Bootcamp Workout for a heart-pounding, muscle-pumping workout that will help create a lean, strong build!

10 Commandments of Building Muscle.

davey wavey gymLike many gym goers, you’re probably looking to add some bulk in the form of muscle.

It’s true that all of us have different bodies and have experienced different fitness journeys – but there are some common threads that can help create an effective foundation for building muscle.

  1. Thou shalt perform 8 – 12 repetitions of each exercise. Different repetition ranges target different goals; for purposes of building size and strength, most trainers recommend a rep range of between 8 and 12. Lower ranges target strength and higher ranges target endurance.
  2. Thou shalt perform each set until failure. Simply put, this means that you’d be unable to perform an additional repetition at that resistance level without compromising form. If you are targeting 10 repetitions, this would mean that you couldn’t do an 11th. If you can, increase the resistance.
  3. Thou shalt use an overloading stimulus. This means subjecting the muscles to more than they’re capable of handling. When you do that, you’ll be creating tiny tears in your muscles, which then must be rebuilt back up stronger than they were before.
  4. Thou shalt progressively overload. Keep in mind, your overloading stimulus won’t be so overloading after a few weeks or a month. As your muscles grow, you’ll need to up the resistance to keep your muscles growing. You’ll need to continue doing this until you reach your goal.
  5. Thou shalt use free weights. If you’re just getting started with building muscle, you can get great results with your body weight (i.e., push-ups at home) or by using machines. But to really progress to create athletic-level muscle size and strength, you’ll need to hit the free weights. They allow you to progress to higher levels of resistance without the balancing assistance and limitations of strength training machines.
  6. Thou shalt eat before and after exercise. Before your workout, consume some sort of complex carbohydrate to ensure a steady release of energy during your workout. It will help you power through the routine. After your workout, consume simple carbohydrates (the resulting spike in your blood sugar will quickly get the glucose from the carbohydrates into your muscle cells where they’re needed) and protein.
  7. Honor thy body with rest and recovery. After you’ve created the tiny tears in your muscle, you must back off and allow your body a chance to rebuild them. This process makes the muscles stronger and bigger.
  8. Thou shall still do cardio. The truth is, cardiovascular exercise is great for all people, regardless of their goals. Because you don’t need the additional calorie burn, you’re doing cardio for the overall health benefits; as such, limit cardio to a handful of sessions per week that last less than 30 minutes. High intensity interval training is best-suited for individuals looking to retain and/or build muscle.
  9. Thou shalt consume sufficient calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat. Remember, you can’t build something out of nothing! To add any type of mass, you must consume more calories than required to maintain your body weight. Most trainers recommend a calorie surplus of 250 – 500 calories per day. Proteins provide the amino acids that muscles need to generate new tissue. Carbohydrates and dietary fats, on the other hand, provide the energy for the process to occur. Without these in place, your results will be hampered.
  10. Thou shalt assess progress. Every few weeks or perhaps once a month, look at your progress. Take measurements including muscle size, waist size and so on. Compare pictures. And then adjust your program accordingly. If you notice that you’re gaining fat, for example, decrease your calorie surplus accordingly.

Do you have any additional commandments for building muscle size? Share them in the comments below.

P.S. If you’re looking to add muscle mass, download Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle. It’s a guaranteed, step-by-step guide to achieving your size and strength goals.

Having These 5 Things On Your Counter Makes You Fat (or Skinny).

Tomek-Batko-FastFood-Adam-Cekiera-Dailymalemodels-03As it turns out, our environment plays an important role in supporting (or not supporting) our health and fitness goals.

Keeping an exercise ball by the television, for example, can be a great reminder to exercise during commercial breaks. And having the exercise ball nearby makes things easier; you don’t have to get up, dig around the closet and find it.

Food can work in a similar way, according to a book by Brian Wansink, the director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. In particular, Wansink focuses on food left out on the counter for storage. Even though it’s easy to resist foods once or twice, we eventually cave to the constant reminders and easy access.

Here are five examples:

  1. Cookies. When individuals leave cookies out on the counter, they tend to weigh 10 pounds more than their cookie-less counterparts.
  2. Chips. Much like cookies, leaving chips on the counter is associated with an extra 10 pounds of weight.
  3. Cereal. While many people perceive cereal to be a healthy choice, most of us buy cereals that are packed with added sugar. As such, keeping cereal on the counter is associated with an additional 20 pounds of weight.
  4. Fruit. Good news here. Keeping fruit on the counter can be a reminder to snack healthy. If you have a fruit bowl on your counter, you likely weigh 8 pounds less.
  5. Candy. Surprisingly, candy is only associated with a 3 pound increase in weight versus people who don’t store candy on their counter.

Of course, it’s hard to prove causation. Does having a fruit bowl cause you to eat healthier and weigh less, or are healthy eaters more likely to have a fruit bowl. It’s probably a little of both. But in either case, hiding unhealthy foods away (or, better yet, not buying them in the first place) and stocking your kitchen with readily available healthy options is a smart decision.

P.S. If you’d like to transform your body and health through an improved nutritional plan, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.