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Incidental Training could save Your Life!

Incidental Training: Everything Can Be Training

By  on March 11, 2019

I saw an interesting documentary on the BBC a while ago called ‘The Truth About Slim People’, that followed the lives of slim people to see what they did differently from their larger counterparts. These people didn’t eat particularly carefully, or stick to any exercise regime, and yet they never seemed to gain weight.

Meanwhile, some people who count every calorie still don’t seem able to shed the pounds.

While I discussed some possible reasons for this in a previous video, the idea that this program honed in on was that the slim people were simply more active throughout the day. They would walk more, they would bob their leg, and they would take the stairs instead of the elevator.

This concurs with an interesting theory that our body will automatically seek a state of homeostasis and therefore prevent us from losing weight. Ever noticed how your weight doesn’t fluctuate on a week-to-week basis much? That’s probably because your body ramps up and down activity in order to adapt to the amount of calories you consumed that day.

Eat a little more, and you might find that you think harder (that’s right: thinking burns calories), you move a little faster (perhaps there is a spring in your step as you bound up the stairs), you shiver more, and your metabolism ramps up.

Conversely though, on days where you didn’t quite get as much to eat, you might find yourself crashing out early on the couch, lowering your resting metabolic rate (study), and tossing and turning less when you sleep. Your body has reached a state of healthy homeostasis and it requires a pretty big jolt to break this comfortable equilibrium.

Use a fitness tracker and you might be forgiven for thinking that the workout you just did helped you to burn a ton of calories. 180 in an hour is roughly an average for weightlifting for instance. The problem is that we often forget to deduct the calories we would have burned that same hour by just doing nothing. That’s probably around 50. Meanwhile that really you only burned an additional 130 calories – less impressive. That’s like a four finger KitKat.

The point of all this is that when it comes to health and particularly weight loss, the amount of movement you do throughout the day is probably more important than the amount of effort you put in down the gym for an hour.

More Reasons to Move Regularly

And this makes sense too when you consider our evolutionary background. In the wild, we would not have spent 95% of our time inactive, and then attempted to blow all of our energy in a single hour of intense weight lifting! Is it any wonder that this often leads to injury?

Sitting all day is actually immensely destructive for our health and has been linked with all kinds of health problems. According to widely reported research conducted a couple years back, sitting increases your chances of suffering from a wide range of diseases. In the study, Brazilian researchers looked at data from 54 countries and found that across the board, sitting for more than three hours was linked to 3.8% of deaths from all causes. The conclusion? That restricting sitting to less than three hours a day could increase your lifespan by an average of 0.2 years!

Another piece of research looked at information from across 47 previous studies and found that sitting raised the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and ‘early death’ (cardiovascular disease and cancer will do that…). What’s more, this held true even for those that exercise regularly. In other words, you can’t ‘undo’ a lifetime of sitting by hitting the gym a few times a week. Physical activity helps but only to a small degree (those that are physically active are 30% less likely to die but they don’t get let off the hook!).

Another study conducted by a team from the University of Queensland in Australia had even more morbid findings. They found that on average, each hour of sitting in front of the television would reduce the life expectancy of adults by 22 minutes!

In another study, a team at the University of Queensland in Australia analyzed data on the television- viewing habits of 8,800 Australians. They calculated that each hour of television correlated with 22 minutes off the average life expectancy of an adult older than 25.

Remember that correlation does not mean causality! And I certainly wouldn’t put too much stock in these findings… but still, it’s definitely an interesting point to consider.

There are more reasons to move regularly too. Doing so, for instance, can help to combat anxiety (study), boost executive function (study), and reduce blood pressure and other markers of poor health.

The Solution: Incidental Exercise

So what is the solution?

One answer is ‘incidental exercise’. This refers to the exercise that you do throughout the day and typically encompasses things like ‘taking the stairs instead of the elevator’ or carrying shopping to your car.

If you’re struggling to lose weight, then take a look at your daily routine and ask yourself how much activity is involved. If you drive to work, sit at a desk, then come home and sit on the sofa… then you have room for improvement!

Incidental exercise is really about making healthy choices throughout the day: doing things like getting off the bus a stop early.

You are simply making the conscious decision to move more, thereby overriding your body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis. If you set yourself reminders to move or use tricks like standing desks, then you can reduce the amount of time you spend sat down.

Take a look at your routine and find places where you could easily insert a little more activity without making yourself overly tired or sweaty.

You can even set yourself easy little goals – such as doing ten press-ups every hour, on the hour. You’ll be surprised at how much lighter, more energetic, and less stressed you feel.

The Next Level: Incidental Training

But we can take this a step further with what I like to call ‘incidental training’. I assumed this was already a thing, but looking around I couldn’t find any reference to it.

The idea behind incidental training is simple: you’re going to integrate actual training into your routine – so that you aren’t just doing a single workout a day, but are also distributing shorter ‘micro workouts’ throughout your day.

Examples might include performing single legged calf raises off a curb while waiting for a bus, or performing an isometric curl against some railings. I use calf raises while bouncing my baby to sleep, and I play a game with here where I hold her in the air and perform sit-ups. You might keep a grip trainer by your kettle and use that whenever you’re waiting for the water to boil. Or you might perform some stretches in the shower. You can curl shopping bags and suitcases, or you can do a pistol squat down to the ground the next time you need to pick something up that you’ve dropped.

Another old trick is to leave a piece of equipment somewhere and then use that every time you go past. A lot of people do this with a pull-up bar – performing chin ups or pull ups every time they walk through their doorframe.

Or how about doing a very short 5 minute run around the block before lunch?

Does this work? What about overtraining you ask?

The answers to both these points depend on the type of training and what your goals are.

Studies show that micro workouts involving cardio are sufficient for increasing cardio fitness to some degree and that they actually help to improve adherence. Beyond a basic level of fitness though, you’re likely looking at HIIT sessions, which are still very intense and will leave you sweaty and panting for a good while.

It is possible to encourage growth in your muscles in a short space of time by using intensity techniques like drop sets to flush them with metabolites and cause muscle damage. Target a single muscle group, do a couple of drop sets, and in 10-15 minutes you can get a decent burn going that will equate to growth the next day. But doing this repeatedly throughout the day will take time, leave you sweaty, and potentially prevent recovery.

Lifting a very heavy weight on the other hand for just a couple of repetitions is even more likely to be effective in increasing your mind-muscle connection, your correct movement patterns, etc. Again though, there is some risk of burning out your CNS here, and of introducing injury. And it’s hardly convenient!

So we need to be strategic.

High rep and high weight work can be useful throughout the day as a way to ‘top up’ your training, to make up for shorter or missed workouts, or to feed the muscles with enhanced blood flow, to encourage recovery and growth. You can trigger significant changes in a short space of time, as long as you have been training long enough to know what triggers your body to change.

This is one way I’ve been coping with the lower energy levels and reduced free time that comes from being a parent.

Likewise, by using lighter weights and body weight, you might be able to benefit from what is known as ‘greasing the groove’ – as described by Pavel Tsatsouline. This means that you’re repeating a movement over and over again, so as to improve your ability to perform that movement correctly. This applies in golf where overtime your swing becomes more and more perfect.

But seeing as ‘strength is a skill’, you can see the precise same benefit by performing very light deadlifts if you keep a barbell in your garden. Pull-ups are also a great example, as are things like attempting handstands or planche. Keep some parallettes by your TV and have a go every now and then throughout the evening. You’ll be reinforcing neural connections through a process called myelination, thereby improving the efficiency of the movement, and thereby the strength.

Practising pistol squats

Better yet: why not try using overcoming isometrics to increase neural drive (static contractions where you push or pull against something without moving), or the concentric-only exercises I talked about in my work capacity video. In short: removing the eccentric portion of the movement that often incurs the most muscle damage and inflammation means that training is less likely to impede your subsequent workouts.

That’s why the aforementioned example of squeezing a grip trainer while the kettle boils is perfect.

Look for ways to insert incidental training into your routine to complement your current program, and you could see significant strength, size, and endurance gains.

Training Other Things

The other thing to remember is that weightlifting is not the only kind of training. I talked about a training program for the mind the other day, and discussed ideas such as performing mental arithmetic to boost working memory. You can easily do this while doing other mundane tasks.

Or how about engaging in a little ‘mindful ironing’ – meaning you focus 100% on the ironing to turn it into a form of meditation!

Flexibility is something that can be practiced anywhere, any time. Again, stretching in the shower is ideal, as is stretching before bed to improve sleep.

Or what about throwing a few punches next time you’re watching TV?

Why walk somewhere when you can jog? Or jog backwards and develop your legs and coordination in a whole new way? Who cares what people think.

Why stand when you can stand on one leg and improve your balance?

Why write when you can write left-handed?

Why go through the gate when you can jump over it?

EVERYTHING can be training.

Closing Thoughts

Whether your aim is to get the blood pumping and improve your health with a little more light activity throughout the day, to squeeze training in around an intensely busy schedule, or to improve a specific skill; incidental training is an excellent option. For me, this was the only way to add flexibility training into a hugely packed regime! Let me know in the comments down below how you turn everyday activities into convenient workouts.

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About the article writer Adam Sinicki

Hi there! My name is Adam Sinicki, I’m an entrepreneur, psychology graduate and amateur bodybuilder interested in fitness, self-improvement, technology, and transhumanism. I run an online business (NQR Productions) which allows me to live the lifestyle I want: getting time to hit the gym and to work on my projects and apps. Stick around and I’ll be sharing my experiments and adventures in brain training, bodybuilding, productivity, business, and technology.

F – I – T exercise into your daily Plans

See exercise as your daily ritual

See exercise as your daily ritual

Hi folks,

Today want to mention about making time to exercise.

Like most of us, we have busy lives at home and work.

Here’s some simple ways to do it.

F = Find time. Find means make time, if only a few minutes throughout the day for it.
I = Invest in YOU ! You ARE important. You’re of more value when your body and mind are healthy.
T = Talk. This refers to telling yourself something Positive Daily !!

Here’s some additional tips for you…

First: Begin each day doing just 5 minutes of movement as soon as you wake up.
Who says you have to train for an hour in the gym as soon as you start a new fitness plan? No one with half a brain. In order to create a new healthy habit that you can stick with, begin with a lifestyle change that is so small that you barely notice it. To illustrate, let’s say you have to be at work by 8 a.m., so you usually wake up around 6:30-7:00 a.m. (Note: I’m just using examples to make sure you get the idea, modify this to fit your own schedule). Simply wake up 10 or 15 minutes early and do the following workout*:

15-30 squats

25-50 jumping jacks or run in place for 30 seconds (giving options here, because I notice most people don’t like jumping jacks. You can even dance, do the Twist – MOVE !

10-25 push-ups (with your hands elevated on your wall or kitchen sink if needed)

25-50 jumping jacks or run in place for 30 seconds

5 yoga poses/stretches of your choosing (make sure you take care of your upper *and* lower body)

*Note: I’m listing ranges of repetitions instead of a specific number, because I’m sure a wide range of folks with a variety of experience levels are reading this. If you’re not sure where to start, do this during your first training session: assuming a scale of 1-10 that describes how tired you feel, stop the exercise at #5. Write down how many repetitions you are able to perform and gradually add 2-5 more per workout to make it more difficult. Begin by performing a single set of every exercise listed for as many repetitions as you can safely, which should take about five minutes. When that becomes too easy, make it two sets. When that becomes too easy, make it three sets. You get the idea.

Second: Get your gym gear together the night before.
Before you go to bed, lay out your gym and work clothes for the next day. It’s a lot easier to get organized while you’re still half-conscious than it is before you’ve had your coffee (and feeling like a zombie). For bonus points, put your gym shoes and socks next to the bed. If you workout in the evening, collect your training gear, put it in a bag, and toss it into your car.

Third: Treat exercise as if it is your job.
Exercise should be an enjoyable experience (if you’re doing it right), but there is no denying that you’re not always going to feel like working out. But since exercise is just as important for your physical health as going to work is for your fiscal health, why should it be treated any differently? Treat exercise as if it is a very important appointment by scheduling your training days on a calendar or planner. Aim to exercise on the same days, at the same times, every single week. If repeated consistently, this will train your brain to turn exercise into a consistent habit that doesn’t require much thought process.

Forth: Enjoy a mid-day / lunch walk to relax and unwind.
Remember that early morning workout I gave you in point #1? If you’re interested in bonus points, here’s another easy way to squeeze exercise into your day. Sometime around the middle of your day (maybe at lunch time?), go for a 10-30 minute walk downtown or at a park. Breathe deeply and try to quiet your inner-chatter, enjoying the peace and silence, while you walk. You’ll come back to work re-charged and ready to make the most of the rest of your day (plus, you’ll burn extra calories too!).

Fifth: Remember why exercising is important in the first place.
Never forget why pursuing health and fitness is so important in the first place. Do you want to be a positive example for your children? Could you use more energy to carry you gracefully throughout your days? Would you like to get fit so you can feel more confident in your body? Are you taking expensive pills with nasty side-effects, all of which could be avoided if you made a better effort to take care of yourself? Whatever the case may be, know your why.

Remember: Doing a little throughout the day, adds up by the end of the day. Go for It !!

Here’s to living a Boundrylessly Happy & Healthy Lifestyle – Daily !

You ARE Awesome !

You ARE Awesome !

Push Your way to Fitness

Push your Way to FItness

Push your Way to FItness

Hi Folks,

Today we’re going to discuss how to push your way to fitness.

Of course, one obvious way is to push yourself away from the table when you feel 80% full.
This allows room for digestion. In Asia, this is called “Hara Hachi Bu – eat until you are 80% full.”

You can read more on that by clicking here.

Now, on to more tips.

To get lean muscle tone from pushups, you’ll want to focus on a few things I’ve mentioned below.

One of the all time great exercises is the pushup. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has done a pushup in their lifetime … or at least tried! One thing I’m not too sure of though is that if many people realize just how effective a focused pushup workout routine can be at building solid muscle mass as well as great definition. Probably when most people think of doing a pushup workout they think of doing as many pushups as they can or doing 3 sets of 10 reps. The best pushup workouts do not involve either one of those approaches.

Pushup Fit

Pushup Fit

Yes, I do lift weights for my workout, but I also really enjoy mixing in body weight exercises with it. Here is what I think is the ultimate pushup workout routine for developing both muscle mass and muscle density.

Here is a full pushup workout based on escalating density training — a solid approach to build muscle mass while performing body weight training.

In this pushup workout we’ll incorporate the standard pushup and two common variations in order to work the entire pec muscles. There are certainly some much more extreme variations and I wouldn’t call any of the following three pushups the ultimate pushup, but the routine is what will make these effective!

For fun, I’ve got some of the “ultimate pushup” candidates a little farther down.

Standard Pushup
Diamond Pushup
Wide Grip Pushup

When it starts to get tough to do the 3 reps you should add 10 seconds of rest time. At first you will think this will not happen, but it will!

Warning: this may seem a little “too easy” at first and you’ll probably be tempted to start out doing higher amounts of reps. That’s actually not ideal though. In fact, one of the aspects that makes this pushup workout effective is the fact that you are not pushing to failure.

Now for some … Ultimate, Amazing & Just Plain Impressive Pushups

Here are a few advanced pushup variations for the adventurous. I’ll save the best for last, but they’re all worth a look. To get us started off, here is Craig Ballantyne from Turbulence Training with a quick video demonstrating a few different types of pushups.

Here’s where it gets impressive! My top 3 pushup variations. Click on the names to watch a pop-up video demonstration of the pushup — 90 Degree Pushup is a “must watch!”

#3 – Aztec Pushup
These pushups made the top 3 list for a reason! Start off in standard pushup position and push/jump/explode off the ground so that you can do a jack knife in the air!

#2 – Full Planche Pushup
This is where it starts to get serious. Short description: do a pushup without your feet ever touching the ground.

#1 – 90 Degree Pushup
The ultimate pushup! Do a pushup without feet ever touching the ground. Oh yeah, that’s after you’ve done a handstand pushup — all without your feet ever touching the ground.
Obviously you’ve got to be in amazing shape to even preform these pushup variations! As far as doing an actual pushup workout based off of these — forget it, right!

For another great pushup variation, checkout this about Hindu pushups. Although I only sometimes use them as part of my workout “routine” they are actually really good for you and fun to do every now and then.

Hope this gives you some ideas for your next workout.

Also, reminds you, body weight can be challenging enough to get us fit and toned too.

Here’s to Pushing our Way to Boundrylessly Healthy Living !!

Not so secret ways of becoming Athletically Fit ~

Matthew McConaughey enjoying living fitness at the beach ~

Matthew McConaughey enjoying living fitness at the beach ~

Hi Folks,

For years as a young fitness fanatic obsessed with working out, there was one thing that kept baffling me about athletes workouts despite all the fitness books and muscle magazines I read.

As a big time sports fan into baseball, basketball and of course hockey, it amazed me how these athletes could perform at such a high level during the season and train hard in the gym at the same time!

athletes workoutsI would read articles or even see TV clips of theses pro athletes training hard in the gym to stay in shape for their sport and wonder how they can go out and plan 9 innings or 3 periods of intense NHL hockey after throwing around hundreds of pounds in the gym the day before.

Meanwhile, I would train my ass off in the gym to the point of exhaustion and would be limping around for a week with sore legs or have trouble putting my shirt on because my chest was so sore from “chest” day at the gym. Even being active in my own recreational sports was difficult because of the debilitating soreness from my weight training workouts.

athletes workouts
I was always led to believe building muscle in the gym would make me stronger and faster…

I wanted to find out how these guys did it. I know genetics, talent and performance enhancing drugs play a roll in pro sports to enhance recovery and performance, but I knew there had to be more.

It was actually the media frenzy of drugs in sports with the baseball scandals and the Olympics that help lift the curtain on how athletes actually trained and how it was different from bodybuilders and regular gym goers.

More and more TV clips, books and videos on how  athletes workout started appearing and I realized these guys weren’t doing bicep curls and spending an hour on the treadmill to stay in shape for their sport.

More specifically their workouts weren’t split up into high volume bodypart workouts like chest, back, and legs or the isolation exercises that came along with this old school bodybuilding method.

athletes workouts
1. Frequency not Failure

As I started reading more about the strength coaches of pro athletes I seen they were using FULL-BODY workouts based around natural compound movements that not only built show muscle, but more importantly, (with millions of dollars on the line), it build GO muscle that was functional and improved performance in their chosen sport.

Basically, instead of pulverizing one specific muscle with many exercises all in one workout once a week (like bodybuilding workouts do) they work all their large muscle groups with just 1 or 2 multi-joint exercises each and every workout 3-4 times a week.

Some still do some basic lifts like the squat, bench press and deadlift but with variations more specific to their sport and focusing more on lifting fast and explosive with light weights than grinding out slow heavy reps to muscular failure.

This is how they recover faster and prevent extreme muscle soreness from their workouts that allows them to get stronger and faster (not necessarily bigger) in and out of the gym because they are stimulating their muscles, not annihilating them.

athletes workouts
2. Conditioning not Cardio

The second difference in their training that became obvious was their “cardio” workouts. They didn’t spend hours each week slaving on a treadmill Slowly watching the calorie counter tick away.

They did metabolic conditioning workouts that were based on high intensity interval training. Even with all the high tech trainers and equipment available to these pro athletes they were flipping heavy tractor tires, pulling weighted sleds, sprinting up hill and swinging heavy sledge hammers around to stay lean and increase endurance.

athletes workouts

3. Core not Crunches

Not only were these athletes ditching single joint isolation exercises for biceps and triceps like seen in many gyms but they were also avoiding isolating their abs as well with endless crunches, despite sporting some of the best 6 packs seen away from a bodybuilding stage.

With the combination of full-body weight training workouts to build muscle, heart pounding bodyweight interval training to incinerate body fat and specific core focused training to develop strong abs these guys train their core the way it was meant to be used, for spinal stability and support.

By focusing on training the core which includes all 360 degrees of your torso such as the main rectus abdominals, the surrounding internal and external obliques, and the lower lumbar muscles of your back with stability and rotation exercises you work your core in multiple ranges of motion naturally and avoid the back breaking spinal flexion that crunches and sit-ups force you to do.
athletes workouts

So there you go, the 3 secrets of athletes workouts and building a body like a pro athlete, not a pro bodybuilder, so you can look better, feel great and perform at the top of your game…

A REAL Hero has left us ~

Jack-LaLanne a Living Hero !!

Jack-LaLanne a Living Hero !!

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to drop a quick note and let you know
that a REAL hero of mine has passed away.

Jack Lalanne, fitness pioneer has passed away
at age 96.  And he was active right up until
his death.  We should all be so lucky.

Jack was a fitness icon and a hero of mine.

At 42 (way back in 1957!) Jack LaLanne cranked out
over 1,000 freaking push-ups in 23 minutes on the
“You Asked For It” television show.

He swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s
Wharf in San Francisco — handcuffed, shackled and
towing a boat.

Oh yeah, he was 60 at the time!

“The only way you can hurt the body is not use it,”
LaLanne said. “Inactivity is the killer and, remember,
it’s never too late.”

Amen Jack.

Jack Lalanne died on Sunday. Yahoo news has a good
obituary.

http://yhoo.it/gNtqAr

And check out the video on the home page of his sit

www.jacklalanne.com

 

God Bless you Jack and your family ~

Knowing you, you’re keeping them fit and active up there now too !!

Jack LaLanne Living Health !!

Jack LaLanne Living Health !!