For men and women interested in health and fitness, yoga can provide a fun and healthy activity to combine with other healthy habits like gluten free energy bars, a regular sleep schedule, and better strategies for coping with stress.
Millions of people have tried yoga, and millions more are curious about how this Eastern mediation and exercise practice can provide stress relief, enhanced flexibility, and better muscle tone, along with a variety of other health benefits. Unfortunately, there are also many misconceptions about yoga and who it can benefit.
The following are the 10 most common myths about yoga and a little debunking to give folks interested in yoga some straight talk about how it can improve their health and well-being:
Yoga is not a real workout
Ask a yoga class after a vigorous session whether they feel they’ve had a workout. While yoga can often be less intense than other forms of exercises, there are variants of it that increase the heart rate and work muscles just as effectively as conventional exercise.
Yoga is a religion
While spirituality is a big component of yoga for many people, yoga itself is just a means of exercise and meditation. The precepts of yoga are compatible with just about any faith, and promote kindness and peace.
Only flexible people can do yoga
Yoga helps promote flexibility. For people who are a little stiff, yoga can help facilitate greater flexibility. While the more advanced levels of yoga do require quite a bit of flexibility, beginner exercises can help those of us who are less flexible develop this attribute.
Yoga is expensive
Compared to gym dues, at-home treadmills, and exercise gear, the investment you make in yoga can be quite small. All you need to do yoga is some comfortable clothes, a yoga mat, and a book or video instructing you on a few basic poses. Even yoga classes are highly affordable, and some community centers, churches, and other groups offer free yoga instruction.
Real men don’t do yoga
Actually, men were the original inventors of yoga. Yoga was developed thousands of years ago by men in the East. Today, women do outnumber men in yoga classes, but, guys, is that necessarily a bad thing?
Yoga is a time-suck
A decent yoga session can take as little as 10 minutes. The great thing about yoga is that you can do it just about anytime, anywhere, making it very copacetic with modern lifestyles.
People with disabilities or chronic pain cannot practice yoga
Yoga can be quite beneficial to people with disabilities, or who suffer from arthritis or other chronic pain. It all depends on your specific circumstances and the program of yoga you undertake. Speak with a physician and your yoga instructor ahead of time to learn if yoga is right for you.
Yoga is for the young
Yoga practitioners come from all ages and walks of life. Many older people find yoga’s low-impact nature and emphasis on peace and reflection helpful.
Yoga is for hippies
Blue collar workers, CEOs, and a wide variety of others have found peace, contentment, and fitness through yoga.
There is only one form of yoga
There are actually quite a few yoga methods. Vinyasa focuses on breath, power yoga helps build strength, hot yoga uses heat to facilitate development, and hatha yoga is a slower form of the discipline.
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Let’s start out by saying this: Everyone has a baseline of maintenance calories that they need to just exist and stay the same weight. If you’re 200 pounds and your needed maintenance calories are 2,500, you have to create a surplus in order to gain weight. If you want to “get big,” you need to eat more than 2,500 calories: a surplus.
The differences lie in how many calories of surplus you create.
There are two ways to do this: clean bulking and dirty bulking.
Clean bulking involves a small surplus, like 100 calories extra a day or 15 percent over your maintenance requirement while continuing to meet your macros. This gradual pace will minimize gains in body fat while helping you put on one to two pounds per month. While you’re going to put on fat while bulking no matter what, if you want to stay as lean as possible while adding fat and muscle, go for clean bulking
Dirty bulking is taking in a much larger calorie surplus, usually without tracking macros, following a set diet, or doing cardio. This is done without regard to fat. Do this if you want to fill out but do not really care about the rate or ratio of fat to muscle you’re putting on.
You might now be asking yourself: why would anyone dirty bulk? Well, the basic premise is this: the more you eat, the bigger you’ll get. This is true, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get more muscular. People don’t realize that the body can’t build unlimited muscle in a set amount of time. In fact, it’s impossible for someone who’s been training regularly to gain 30-40 pounds of muscle in a few months or even a year. The only people who can gain even 18-20 pounds in a year is someone totally new to the gym, lifting weights, and training.
Why should I clean bulk instead of dirty bulk?
- The body can only build a set amount of lean muscle over a period of time. This isn’t a “more = better” equation; past what the body can do naturally, you can’t speed up the process any significant degree by doing it more. Any extra calories that you eat are just going to be stored in the body as fat.
- Dirty bulking can slow down your entire fitness process. It happens often: a skinny guy will want to get bigger and decide he doesn’t care about gaining excess fat. He bulks up by chowing down on Big Macs, brownies, and pasta with no regard to his macros. After a few months into his smorgasbord, he wakes up and realizes that he’s not happy with his body. He hasn’t come close to his lean ideal, but now he has the added problem of carrying around extra fat (usually in the stomach). Now our guy has two options: he can keep bulking and gain even more fat, or he can start cutting—which essentially puts him back at square one. For every pound or two of body fat you gain, that’s about a week of dieting and cardio.
- You’ll feel better overall. You’ll function better, have more energy, and reduce your risks of heart disease. Eating when you aren’t hungry and stuffing yourself when you are is a recipe for feeling bloated, tired, and sluggish. Clean bulking, on the other hand, integrates cardio sessions throughout the week to leave you feeling energized.
Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I clean bulk?
Aim to eat about 15 percent more calories than you need to maintain your current weight. This is enough to build new muscle near your maximum potential but will keep fat gains at bay.
While you’re clean bulking, eat within your macros. Be sure to consume plenty of carbs, proteins, and limited amounts of fat. The meals should be very similar to what you ate while shredding, but in slightly more abundant quantities. We especially love the Promax Pro Series bars for when you need energy for a big cardio session.
At 16 years old, trying to find who out you REALLY are is pretty tough. There are always people trying to influence you to do or be something that you’re not, and it’s easy to get caught up in the wrong crowd. I joined a couple of sport teams as a Freshman and Sophomore but didn’t like what I found. Even though I loved the games, most of the teams at my school were just big cliques and I didn’t want to be a part of that. I was looking for a sport that had a great community that could help me find positive friends and amazing inspiration. Then finally, I found rock climbing. The world of rock climbing took my life by storm and I’ve loved every minute of it. Each session is a total body workout, which has challenged me to become a better athlete in every aspect. Now, I’m proud to say that I’ve never been beaten in a pull-up or push-up contest and that I’ve shamed multiple football players at arm wrestling. It’s also led me to some amazing people that I love to be around, and encouraged me to be MY best, which is the total opposite of what I found on my high school teams. So because of rock climbing, I now have a sport that I love, friends that inspire me to be great, and a body that I believe can do anything.
Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
I can’t settle with just one, but I love PROMAX Chocolate Peanut Crunch and PROMAX LS Salted Caramel!
Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
Fitness and nutrition are important to me because I want to be able to go out and do amazing things with my life. I’ve seen some of my friends get into drugs and completely destroy themselves. They’re sick all of the time, they can’t do anything active, they look terrible, and the only thing that matters to them is their addiction. I’ve hated seeing great people turn into total wrecks, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me. I want to take care of myself and be healthy so that I can live a long life that’s full of fun and amazing adventures.
What is one unique thing about you?
I have three older brothers who’ve been toughening me up since I was small. We would all wrestle, play street hockey and rugby together, and get into trouble at any chance we got.
I’ve played sports all my life, but ate whatever I wanted. It was about my sophomore year of college that I realized that I wanted to make fitness an important part of my life. I was not happy with the way I felt or looked. I have transformed myself into my best self. I love being able to transform my body and prove that you can achieve whatever your mind believes. Being healthy and fit has become a habit and one of the things I love to do. I will never be satisfied and hope to inspire more females to join the fitness world and enrich the minds of the world to know that we can do anything as long as we believe we can!
Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
PROMAX Original Lemon Bar.
Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
Fitness makes me push myself everyday into a place where I achieve all the things I want to. It’s amazing what our bodies can do. I love that I can strive and achieve something that not everyone can. I love seeing where my mind can take me. I want others to believe in themselves and see the potential they have to achieve the impossible.
What is one unique thing about you?
I am a first grade teacher and I bring my beliefs about fitness into the classroom as much as I can. Too many children are being consumed with technology and are not enjoying the world we live in. The obesity epidemic is hitting more and more children and I want to inspire my students to not only be active, but to believe they can achieve anything.
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When it’s time to think of examples of impressive physicality, it’s hard to come up with a better example than an MMA fighter. They have strength, endurance, flexibility, and everything else one could hope to achieve with their body. So how do they do it? In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways MMA fighters train, and how you can use them to take your workout routine to the next level.
Start Training in Martial Arts
Unfortunately, punching a bag in your local gym alone isn’t going to make you an MMA-worthy fighter, nor will it give you the same level of workout and discipline training that the best fitness buffs want to achieve. On the plus side, however, it’s not hard to find a gym or dojo that offers classes in Brazilian jujitsu, taekwondo, judo, or one of the other popular martial arts. Taking martial arts lessons will give you practice at punching, kicking, and blocking with a partner, not to mention get you in touch with an instructor who can teach you proper technique and exercise discipline.
Increase Your Endurance Training
MMA fighters don’t just train to grow big showy muscles – they train to use those muscles for extended periods of intense physical activity. A good MMA fighter can punch and kick at near-maximum exertion for up to five minutes at a time. That takes both training for power endurance and aerobic endurance. To build up muscle power, adopt a routine of doing explosive exercises in intervals of 15-20 reps (or 30-45 seconds) for five rounds, with only 30 second rest times in between. Building aerobic endurance, on the other hand, means increasing the length of time you spend on cardio and/or integrating long runs into your exercise regimen.
Build Your Core
Having the strength to deliver a good, hard kick or punch comes from your core. If you want to get MMA fit, you’re going to have to go beyond just sit ups. Fit as many core-strengthening exercises as you can into your routine, with a focus on doing fewer reps with more weight. The more weight you lift, the stronger your muscles will get, even if you’re doing fewer reps than you were before.
Go for Strength over Bulk
If you put a bodybuilder next to an MMA fighter, chances are the MMA guy is going to look less bulky. Don’t let that fool you, though – MMA fighters may not always have the physique of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, but that’s because they know that muscle size and muscle strength do not always have a 1:1 correlation. Your muscles will grow bigger as you exercise them, but following an MMA regimen focuses on strength, endurance, and overall muscle development, rather than just achieving maximum muscle tone. Stick to exercises that are about building strength, not the ones that just puff you up.
If you’re going to train like an MMA fighter, then you need a healthy source of protein to power your workouts. Promax energy bars are the perfect source of protein and nutrients for building strength. For more information, feel free to visit our product page.
What Is Body Mass Index, or BMI?
Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a formula that looks at your weight in comparison with your height, in order to help determine how healthy you are. It can be a useful tool among a variety of factors that should be examined together when assessing your health. Athletes and serious fitness fanatics make use of BMI in building fitness, along with intense physical activity and diet adjustments, like snacking on energy bars.
You can calculate your own BMI score, using either metric measures, or pounds and inches, to see where you fall on the Adult BMI Chart. The result is your BMI. It places you in a category that gives an indication of your “degree of fatness.” The BMI formula takes your weight in kilograms (kg), and divides it by your height in meters, squared (m2).1 The result is a number that will fall within a range on the BMI charts, indicating that you are either:
- Underweight – with BMI less than 18.5
- Normal weight – with BMI between 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight – with BMI at 25 to 29.9, or
- Obese – with BMI at 30 or more.1
If you prefer using height in inches and weight in pounds, just follow this formula: calculate weight x 703, divided by height squared.1
How Is BMI Used?
Health professionals may use BMI as a screening tool to get an estimate of your total body fat. High body fat and obesity are potential risk factors for illness later in life. If your reading indicates a high BMI, you should undergo additional diagnostic tests to get the full picture and to sort out causes for the reading, apart from body fat.2
Some groups of individuals will obtain different readings than others, apart from their level of body fatness. For example, women generally have more body fat than men, and older adults will usually have more body fat than younger adults. Nevertheless, as a measuring tool, the BMI is used for men and women in the same way, and the adult weight distribution charts are also identical for men and women.
The difference comes in how the readings are interpreted. Children and teens are calculated the same way, but the outcome is judged differently because of the greater differences in body fat between boys and girls.2 When a high BMI is obtained, indicating overweight or obesity, the health care provider should perform additional assessments, such as examining diet, level of physical activity, skinfold thickness measurements, and other options, to obtain a fuller picture of an individual’s health.
If you are a highly developed athlete with greater muscle mass, chances are you follow a regimen of intense workouts, which demand high nutrition levels, as well as often being supplemented by nutrition bars. You may get a BMI reading that suggests you have more body fat than you do, when, in fact, you are not overweight. Your greater weight is possibly the result of high lean body mass, or bone and muscle, rather than high body fat.2
Why Is Obesity Such a Big Deal?
The health care and medical communities are very focused on health consequences of obesity because they are so significant. Obesity puts people at risk for a greater incidence of diseases including: high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and many other factors.
What Is a Healthy BMI?
In general, BMI status from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while 30 or more is considered obese. Athletes are generally assumed to have a higher BMI due to increased muscle mass, but they should be evaluated by a professional who will take into account all related health factors to get an accurate assessment of body fat. By contrast, aging adults who have lost muscle mass may get a low body fat reading that is inaccurate.
Measuring Body Fat – A More Complete Picture
There are limitations to the BMI method of assessing body composition, due to the factors described above, like differences in muscle mass. Obtaining a more accurate reading may require adding other methods that are considered acceptable by the medical and health communities.
- Skinfold Caliper Testing – Often used in combination with the BMI measurement, this test is widely and easily available. It can be performed by someone with the experience and training needed to get accurate assessments. As the name implies, it uses a set of calipers to pinch and measure areas of skin and fat underneath, in several specific locations around the body. The results are converted to a body fat percentage estimate. Experts suggest this method should be combined with a measurement of deep belly fat (not measureable with the skinfold calipers).
- Bioelectrical Impedance – This method sends a very slight electrical current (don’t worry—you won’t feel a thing) through the body, to measure the degree of resistance. Fatty tissue returns the electrical impulse more slowly than lean tissue, so a faster response rate indicates that you have a leaner body. You can keep a scale at home that measures body fat percentage in this way, and some personal trainers and gyms make them available. Experts note that the results can be affected by factors like your level of hydration and how recently you’ve had a meal, so it is best to use this method always at the same time of day, and to combine it with one or more other approaches, in order to obtain a fair comparison of results over time.3
- DEXA or Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry – A more scientifically accurate test, DEXA scans are x-rays that measure density of bone minerals, along with lean body and fat mass. The test is fast and painless, but the price is higher than other methods, and availability is limited to certain medical professonals.3
- Hydrostatic Weighing – Depending on your spirit of adventure and fondness for water, this may or may not be your method of choice. It measures body fat by submerging you completely under water and measuring your weight. This number is compared to your weight on dry land, and, together with the density of the water, gives a measure of body composition. Access and cost make it less appealing for the average person, or even the average health enthusiast.3
Use any of these methods as a comparison device to track progress toward your overall life and health goals, including a lower body fat content. It is recommended that repeat measurements are not taken any more often than six to eight weeks apart, to give the body time to adapt to any changes you make in exercise or nutrition.3 As part of a healthy, balanced diet, many highly active health enthusiasts and athletes supplement with healthy snacks like Promax Nutrition protein bars. For more information about their bars and other protein products, contact them at 888-728-8962.
As athletes, we know that sleep and rest is necessary to our training. Without good rest in between our training, our muscles don’t have the time they need to recover from our workouts and grow. We also know that without sleep, it makes it harder to make good nutritional choices since hormones like Leptin and Ghrelin affect our appetite. But what we hear a lot about regarding sleep is the timing of it—not just how much we are supposed to get a night but in particular for athletes, we hear that we shouldn’t be training so closely to our bedtimes if we don’t want them to be negatively affected. Promax is here to set the record straight. Here are 5 reasons that it’s a perfectly good idea to fit in an evening workout.
You Won’t Miss Out on Sleep
The thing about morning workouts, is that even if you get your workout out of the way before the stress of your day sets in, you often end up losing out on sleep. If you ask many athletes if they hit the snooze button or force themselves to wake up an hour or more early to fit in their workout, many may admit that they sacrifice sleep for a workout. But that’s not a good thing, because we need sleep just as much as we need exercising. Fitting in a workout in the afternoon or evening however, helps avoid missing out on sleep. You’re already up and going on about your day, so why not throw on your spandex and fit in a workout before turning in for the night?
Your Body is Already Warmed Up
In the morning your body is hopefully well rested from the busy day before and so warming up your muscles and getting motivated takes some effort. But in the afternoon and evening, you are already accustomed to being awake and moving around. A study from Northeastern University even found that a body’s temperature is higher between the hours of 2:00pm and 6:00pm and thus it’s easier to push your body to its limits when your muscles are warmer. Who knows, this could begin a new habit of hitting the gym for happy hour, instead of the bar.
You’ll Have a Buddy
It’s not easy to find a friend who has the same fitness goals and motivations as you and even when you do, it’s certainly difficult to find one who is open to getting up at the break of dawn to work out. If you choose to work out in the late afternoon or evening however, it’s must more likely that you’ll find a workout buddy who has a similar work schedule to you so you can find a convenient time that works for each of you.
You’ll Avoid Too Much Sun
The great thing about this time of year is that the sun rises early and sets late. That said, it’s hard to find the motivation to work out when the sun is too high in the sky. More important than motivation, is that it can be difficult to remain hydrated when it’s so hot out. If you make the decision to exercise in the evening, then you can take advantage of the cool summer evenings and be refreshed by your workout rather than overheated.
You Will Sleep Better
Exercise gets a hormone pumping in our body called epinephrine, similar to adrenaline, meaning that we do get a little lift from it. But that said, it’s not a HUGE lift with a big enough effect to keep us up at night. In fact, a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology states that unless exercising at a very high intensity, your workout is not very likely to negatively affect your sleep. Other studies go so far as to show that those who exercise, no matter what time of day, sleep better than those who don’t.
What’s Your Evening Routine?
Do you workout in the evening? If so, how do you schedule your workout and post meal nutrition with your sleep? We’d love to hear about your routine. Feel free to join the discussion on our Facebook page or get in touch directly!
While we’re training, we constantly have certain things in mind. We know that in order to be in our best shape, we need to get a proper amount of sleep, make sure that we remain hydrated, and take special care with nutrition to get the protein and carbohydrates we need. But there are specific parts of the body that we should be focused on taking special care of. Today we’re going to talk about the Achilles tendon. Did you know that when running or doing any sort of movement which requires a push-off motion, you’re not using your quad muscle, but instead using your ankle and Achilles tendon? That’s a lot of pressure for one tendon. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just getting started with your training, it’s important not to forget the Achilles.
Anatomy of the Achilles tendon
The Achilles tendon is located at the back of your ankle above the heel and is the body’s largest tendon. The tendon itself involves three muscular groups: the gastrocnemius muscle, the soleus muscle, and the medial and lateral heads of each. The gastrocnemius muscle is located above the knee and the soleus is below the knee. This means that the way you care for your knees and calf muscles all contribute to the overall wellness of your Achilles tendon.
How do I care for the Achilles tendon?
We’ve talked before about the importance of stretching and how it relates to your training. Stretching is particularly important when it comes to your Achilles tendon. Because the Achilles is related anatomically to so many muscle groups, it is important to keep your lower body well stretched. This means your quadriceps, your calves, and your ankles. It’s also a good idea to keep your hips, abs, and quadriceps strong so that you can use your strength there to alleviate pressure you’re putting on your Achilles tendon.
How will I know if I’ve hurt my Achilles tendon?
There are a few symptoms you’ll experience if there’s a problem with your Achilles tendon. Look out for the following:
-a snapping or popping noise
-pain when rotating the ankle or foot
If I hurt my Achilles tendon, what do I do?
The first thing that’s important to do if you hurt your Achilles tendon is to stop training. Yes, we know that’s hard to hear, but in the long run, it’ll be important that you get the rest and care you need to properly heal so that you can continue training as soon as possible. Make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as you can. In the meantime, focus on anti-inflammatory measures, like icing your Achilles tendon, keeping it elevated, and using compression.
In many cases a doctor will recommend physical therapy, though there are other therapies that can be done to treat problems surrounding your Achilles tendon. One of these therapies is Electric Shock Wave Therapy, which helps to promote the formation of new blood vessels.
Have more questions?
Getting injured, no matter how major or minor the injury is, is a scary thing for an athlete. Here at Promax, we’re here for you. If you have questions about training options you can do that won’t affect an injury, feel free to reach out with questions on our Facebook or Twitter. You can also choose to contact us directly, we’d love to hear from you!
Information posted on this website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Promax Nutrition Corp. (“Promax”) has compiled and prepared this information to help educate viewers about the importance of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors in maintaining good health. Promax intends to provide current and accurate information, but does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or usefulness of any information or resources listed on this Site. Promax assumes no responsibility or liability for any use of, or reliance on this information. This information does not constitute and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your physician with any questions about your health, and before beginning any exercise or dietary program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on this website. This Site has not been reviewed or endorsed by any governmental agency or certifying organization. Publication of links to third party websites and other information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of any Promax product.