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Davey Wavey Fitness posts from the YouTube personality and fitness guru.

Does Muscle Growth Require Variety?

Dear Davey,

I’ve heard guys at my gym saying that your muscles adapt to your workout. They say it’s important to switch things up. I want bigger muscles… so do I need to introduce more variety?

From,
Jay

Games2012_KyleKasperbauer_clean_Elizabeth-615x410Hey Jay,

Let’s separate fact from fiction.

Muscle growth happens when you apply resistance to a muscle that is greater than what that muscle had previously adapted to. This signals to your body that more muscle is needed.

The way to do this is to lift progressively heavier weights. As you continually work against heavier and heavier resistance, your muscles will grow over time.

Of course, there are other variables. You need to fuel your body with proper nutrition. You need to give your muscles sufficient recovery time. You need adequate sleep. And so on.

Variety isn’t a factor in muscle growth.

In fact, variety can even work against you. If you don’t spend enough time with any one exercise, it becomes very difficult to progressively increase resistance. Instead, you’re too busy jumping from exercise to exercise.

For example, perhaps you can squat 150 pounds. Next week, you reach 160 pounds. In another three or four weeks, maybe you get to 170 pounds. And so on. This is a great strategy for increasing muscle growth.

If you’re doing squats one week and then a totally different exercise the next week, and then another exercise the following week, it becomes very difficult to establish a baseline on which to build.

Having said all of that, variety can play an important role – especially if you’re bored, at a plateau or if increasing muscle size isn’t a goal. Variety can help spice things up by giving you new exercises; this can help your workout feel fresh. If you’re trying to break through a stubborn plateau, switching things up (i.e., new exercises, changing the base of stability, changing exercise order) may help. And if you’re not looking to increase the size of your muscles, it becomes less important to stick with the same exercise for extended periods of time.

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

P.S. Want a guaranteed strategy for increasing muscle size? Download Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

Is Milk Actually Good For You?

lady-drinking-milk-1We’ve always been taught to drink our milk. In fact, the USDA recommends that adult men and women should get three dairy servings per day. But are these guidelines outdated – or downright wrong?

A number of recent studies have shown that milk might not be so great, after all. Just a few weeks ago, a new study was published in the journal BMJ. Researchers set out to determine if high milk consumption is associated with mortality and fractures in men and women.

More than 100,000 Swedish adults were recruited for the study. Over the course of several decades, mortality rates and fractures were tracked. According to the data, researchers concluded that having three or more glasses of milk per day increased mortality rates for both men and women, and increased fractures in women.

So does drinking three glasses or more of milk really cause you to die earlier?

Researchers advise caution, and feel that more data is needed before making any conclusions. If this link proves to be true, researchers speculate that it could be due to an ominous ingredient in milk called D-galactose. In animal studies, this ingredient led to premature aging in the body and bones and internal inflammation, which can lead to health issues including cancer and heart disease. But all of that is a big ‘if’ at the moment.

Of course, we do know that milk does have some benefits – mainly, that it’s rich in calcium. But there are plenty of other calcium rich foods like kale, oranges, beans, green peas, chickpeas, quinoa and seeds.

Milk also contains a great deal of sugar in the form of lactose. One cup of milk contains 13 grams of naturally occurring sugar… or just over 3 teaspoons. It’s one of the reasons why I always opt for unsweetened almond milk. It’s creamier than milk, but without the sugar or extra calories. Regardless of whether or not these studies prove to be true, I highly recommend making the switch.

P.S. To look good and feel great through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. It comes with a free gift!

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!

5 Worst Nutrition Tips EVER!

badideaThe only thing more astonishing than the amount of misinformation about nutrition the willingness of people to follow it. Over the years, there’s been no shortage of terrible nutrition advice – and these are some of the biggest offenders.

  1. Don’t eat egg yolks. Why this advice sucks: It’s no secret that eggs are high in cholesterol and that most of the cholesterol is contained in the yolk. But dietary cholesterol tends to have a fairly low impact on the cholesterol levels in blood. Some people with high cholesterol diets have low blood cholesterol and some people with low cholesterol diets have high blood cholesterol. Beyond cholesterol, the yolks are packed with other important nutrients that are essential for your diet. Unless you have high blood cholesterol, eating the egg yolk is a actually nutritional benefit.
  2. Eliminate fat. Why this advice sucks: Decades ago, reduced fat diets and low-fat foods became extremely popular. Unfortunately, much of the low-fat hype and low-fat foods have survived through present day. In reality, fat doesn’t make you fat. Consuming more calories than you burn results in weight gain. Our bodies need healthy, essential fats – like those found in avocados and nuts and extra virgin olive oil. While fats are very calorie dense and should be consumed in moderation, opting for low-fat foods won’t do much to help the cause. In addition, many reduced fat foods are loaded up with sodium or sugar to help replace the favor. And that’s definitely not a good thing.
  3. Don’t eat carbs. Why this advice sucks: Carbohydrates, as it turns out, are crucially important to proper bodily function. Instead of reducing or eliminating all carbohydrates, it’s much wiser to eliminate simple carbs (i.e., sugar, candy, white rice, white bread, etc.) in favor of complex carbs (i.e., brown rice, whole wheat bread, etc.). By eliminating carbohydrates entirely, you won’t have the energy to power through your workout or any other physical activity. In addition, a lack of blood sugar from a low-carb diet can severely slow and limit brain function. Opt for complex carbs.
  4. Don’t eat after 7PM. Why this advice sucks: Science just doesn’t back this claim up. Studies have found that what you eat – and how much of it – is far more important in determining weight gain than meal timing. There’s nothing wrong with eating late at night. If you are eating late at night, pay special attention to what you’re eating. It’s not a green light to mindlessly snack on a bag of chips. Instead, continue to make smart nutritional choices all hours of the day.
  5. Detox your body regularly. Why this advice sucks: Detox diets are a marketing gimmick, plain and simple. Your liver and kidneys detoxify your body naturally. This isn’t accomplished by a packaged juice product that’s devoid of the essential nutrients your body needs. Not only are detox diets unhealthy and counterproductive, but they’re also downright miserable.

What’s the worst piece of nutrition advice that you’ve ever heard? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Easy Way to Eat Healthy!

photoOne of my favorite fitness gurus is a YouTuber/yoga instructor/mother of four kids/backyard farmer named Rebekah Borucki. She’s an endless source of inspiration and her Instagram is basically the best thing since unsweetened almond milk.

The other day, Rebekah Instagrammed a quote that I want to share:

When coming from a place of self-love & not denial or punishment, all eating decisions become effortless & worthy of you.

Consider the following scenarios.

John walks by a pizza shop serving fresh slices. He’s hungry – and he’s tempted by the crispy pepperonis, melted cheese and oozing greasiness. He thinks to himself, “I really want to eat that pizza but I know that I shouldn’t.” He knows that he’s trying to cut calories and the pizza won’t help. Though he desperately wants to eat a slice or two, he musters up his willpower, denies himself the pizza and manages to continue on his walk.

Anna walks by the same pizza shop and sees the same slices. She is also on a weight loss journey, but is immediately reminded of the important roles that her body fulfills. While she has her ups and downs, she knows that her body is beautiful in its own right and that it is deserving of the very best. She knows that junk food is for junk bodies – and that her body is worthy of so much more. An effortless and knowing smile comes to her face, and she continues on her walk.

While neither individual ate the pizza, it’s clear that Anna’s experience is one that’s centered around true power. Rather than wrestling with denial or deprivation, Anna’s perspective comes from an abundance of self-love and worthiness. Not only does it help foster a healthier mindset, but it’s a perspective that is sustainable – and one that can result in powerful life changes.

So… If a healthier lifestyle is one of your goals, with whom do you wish to identify? John? Or Anna? The choice is always yours.