Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How Mobility & Dynamic Stretching Exercises Can Benefit You

Even through warming up your body before engaging in any physical activity is one of the most stressed things in fitness, it is often one aspect that gets looked over the most. Our bodies are dynamic and have a full range of motion, but it doesn’t take much for your body to stiffen up, so it is important to perform stretches and exercises that engage your entire body to prepare for the workout ahead. The brief guide below will introduce you to several ways you can begin to regain your mobility and how paying attention to your body pre- and post-workout can actually improve your training session as a whole.

Before getting started, it is important to point out that there are two different forms of stretching: static and dynamic. Static stretching is the kind you probably were forced to do in gym class – stationary stretching exercises where you hold a position for a designated amount of time to stretch and lengthen particular muscle groups. While stretching has always been encouraged because of the perception that it can help prevent injuries, studies now show that there is little evidence that static stretching is preventative and instead boast that dynamic mobility exercises are much more engaging and beneficial for the body.

Be Dynamic!

Dynamic stretching is basically stretching through movement and is much more engaging of your whole body. While static stretching is limiting, dynamic exercises allow for your entire body to loosen up through a variety of different movements. Dynamic stretching is ideal for pre-workout, as you can prep your body for the kind of activity it will be doing later on.

Bodyweight exercises like squats, lateral shuffles and lunges are great for engaging your body through controlled movements while also giving you a light cardio workout.

Relieve Muscle Soreness

Muscles become easily contracted and tight following physical activity, so it is important to know how to give them a little bit of extra TLC to loosen them up and keep them ready for the next work out. Tape together a few lacrosse balls, use a large PVC pipe, or invest in a foam roller to help you roll out your muscles when you’re sore. This deep tissue massage is called self-myofascial release and will effectively break up scar tissue and improve circulation throughout your body. Resistance bands are also great for applying tension to muscles through extension.

Start Seeing Improvements

By following a consistent dynamic stretching regime, you will begin to see noticeable improvements in your range of motion. Be sure to assess yourself and any problem areas you have when it comes to mobility before you begin so you can track your progress more effectively and target your individual needs. As stretching becomes a part of your workout, you should start to see improvements in your body positioning, allowing you to train more effectively than before. And remember – if you do end up doing static exercises, do them after your workout when your body has stopped moving so freely.

Treat your body like the mobile and free-moving entity it is and you will see results! What are some of your favorite dynamic exercises to perform before you hit the training floor? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bodybuilding Competition Dos and Don’ts

Getting ready for a bodybuilding competition is already difficult enough as it is, but it can take an even bigger toll on your mind and body if you are not properly prepared to handle the strain and strict conditions of the training process. Preparation is strenuous, and it can become overwhelming thinking about everything you need to consider, so we have compiled a list of basic dos and don’ts for your training and diet that will keep you on the track to success!

If this is your first crack at a competition, find someone who has participated in an event before you get started to help you get a better idea of what lies ahead. First-hand expertise is invaluable, and you will likely be able to get a lot more out of your experience.


DO reduce training when you’re dieting. When you’re cutting out certain aspects of your diet and manipulating the intake of nutrients, it can be difficult for your body to put up with the strain of certain exercises. When your body doesn’t recover like it should, you can do irreversible damage to it. Avoid movements that are overly complicated, and instead rely on basic exercises to build and maintain your muscle mass.

DO include cardio in your training regime. While bodybuilding may appear to be all about bulking up and toning, cardio is exceedingly important to give your body greater range of motion than what you get from basic weight training. Start out your training with a cardio session in the morning and then later introduce a second session in the evening following your weight-heavy workout.

DON’T over train! While it may be tempting to spend over an hour at the gym in hopes of getting cut a little faster, training for too long can actually send your body into a catabolic state where the body begins to fail and makes for a useless training session. Pushing your body to extreme limits can actually weaken your immune system and will make it difficult for you to handle your strenuous regime. Combat overtraining by limiting your workouts to around 45 minutes and by ensuring that you have a solid nutritional plan in place..

DO stay focused. It can be daunting to implement a new regime and abide by certain dietary restrictions, but keep your head up and know that it will pay off in the end! Even if you find yourself losing steam halfway through, don’t let all of your hard work go to waste and keep your end goal in mind.


DO keep protein intake high by eating protein-rich meals and supplementing with protein shakes. The metabolic cost of proteins is high, meaning the more proteins, the more calories the body must burn in order to digest them.

DO reduce fat consumption and rely on essential fatty acids as a source of fat and energy in your diet. Things like flaxseed oil and olive oil are a great supplement.

DO reduce carbohydrates, but be sure you are still consuming an adequate amount. Carbs give you energy, and you will likely find yourself feeling completely depleted if you cut them out of your diet. To ensure your body is using them in the best possible way, consume carbs for breakfast for a boost in the morning and also after a heavy training session when your body is burning through its resources.

DO take supplements to help keep your body’s nutrients in check while your diet is less than regular. This can be as simple as taking a multivitamin every day.

DON’T reduce too much too fast! Cutting down heavily on your caloric intake will cause you to drop weight at a rate that will also deplete your muscle mass. Ensure that you make steady progress by carefully manipulating your caloric intake to optimize weight loss at about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

DON’T be afraid of a cheat meal every now and then. Designate a day throughout the week where you allow yourself to give into your cravings. You’ll be satisfied with your decision and will also kick start your body’s metabolism, so everyone wins! Be warned that you will probably have to cut out your cheat day several weeks out from competition, so take advantage while you can.

Now go on and get training!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to Shred Fat After Bulking

Both bulking and cutting are important parts of any exercise routine. While building muscle, many find they’ve also gained some excess body fat in the process. With summer coming up, losing that excess fat is becoming more and more important. We’ve come up with some easy tips to help you shred fat without losing the muscle mass you’ve worked so hard to gain:

Do Fat-Burning Exercises

If you’re not losing the weight you want with your current regime, you’ll need to alter your workout routine. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT cardio, is the best way to shred fat and keep your body guessing what’s coming next. HIIT fat-burning exercises can be completed on the track, on treadmills, the bike, step mill or elliptical machine. What’s most important is that you rotate between high-resistance and low-resistance, as well as fast and slow paces.

Remember: don’t cut out weight lifting. In order to keep your muscles and lose fat, you’ll need to continue lifting while increasing your cardiovascular exercise.

Eat Fat-Burning Foods

In order to lose weight, you’ll need to reduce your calorie intake and make sure you’re taking in the right kind of calories. Foods with empty calories – such as sweets, fatty meats and fried food – should be completely cut out or severely limited. Other foods that boost your metabolism and make better fat-burning foods should be consumed more:
  • Whole grains are harder for your body to break down than processed foods, so you’ll burn more calories simply by eating foods that contain whole grains.
  • Low-fat dairy products help preserve muscle mass and maintain a robust metabolism.
  • Hot peppers and spicy foods heat up your body and also cause you to burn more calories.
  • Protein not only helps you build muscle, but it also contains amino acids that help you burn fat.

Take Fat-Burning Supplements

When you need extra help or you want to see results faster, taking fat-burning supplements can be the perfect boost you need. Kenya White Matcha Tea is the ideal supplement for burning fat. While there are many alternatives available, no other supplement is as tried, true and tested as green tea. Kenya White Matcha Tea is like green tea on steroids. While there are no literal steroids involved, Kenya White Matcha Tea contains 25 times more polyphenols than typical green tea.

Polyphenols are chemicals that act as antioxidants. They are thought to help protect your cells against damage, help prevent cancer and heart disease, and reduce the buildup of fat in blood vessels. Polyphenols also inhibit the enzyme called catechol-O-methyltransferase, or COMT. This enzyme degrades the body’s primary fat-burning hormone and therefore makes it harder to lose weight.

By consuming Kenya White Matcha Tea and Polyphenols regularly, your fat-loss efforts will be easier than ever. While consuming the right foods and completing the right exercises is still a necessity, this fat-burning supplement ensures you’ll start to see results fast.

To find Kenya White Matcha Tea, more fitness supplements and fitness tips, visit Team ANR today.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for CrossFit

If you haven’t heard of CrossFit, you might just be living under a rock. CrossFit is a fitness regime that’s been developed over several decades. It is the first fitness program to really define fitness in a measureable way: “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” In other words, CrossFit is one of the best workout programs – if not the best – to optimize your fitness levels over time. While you can follow a CrossFit workout routine at home, there are many advantages to signing up for and participating in CrossFit classes:

1. It’s a Social Workout That’s Fun – A CrossFit program is the exact opposite of a solo, boring treadmill-to-weight lifting regime. CrossFit workout routines are constantly varied so you’re not repeating the same workouts every other day. After you complete your first class, you’ll quickly learn how fun it is, how easy it is to make new friends and how supportive the community really is. With CrossFit coaches and the community by your side, you’ll never have to workout alone again!

2. You Can Measure Your Results – Beyond being able to see your body transform from flab to fab and the scale go down to where you want in no time, CrossFit programs consist of varied, high-intensity interval trainings that allow you to score your workouts and then repeat that workout during another week to re-score and measure your progress.

3. You’ll Make Progress Fast – There are several factors that make CrossFit truly top-tier among all the best workout programs. First, the friends you make in class and the overall community encourages you to keep coming back. Next, the workouts are intense. Varied, high-intensity interval training (or HIIT) is more efficient and effective than repeating the same low to moderate exercises over and over again. Your muscles adapt to your exercises, so in order to gain new benefits often, you must switch up your regime often.

4. CrossFit Workout of the Day – CrossFit provides free instructions every day with a CrossFit Workout of the Day (WOD). These WODs are easy to follow and will help you keep up your fitness levels even on those days when you just can’t make it to class.

5. CrossFit Will Change Your Life – There’s a reason that people can’t stop talking about it. CrossFit can do so many things for those who choose to try it out: improve your self-confidence while making you more humble, strengthen your heart while you lose body fat and gain muscle, improve your flexibility and introduce you to a whole new, supportive group of friends. You are guaranteed to feel better physically, and most Cross Fitters find they become more confident and successful in other aspects of their lives as well.

Today there are over 4,000 CrossFit affiliates around the world that anyone can check out. Find the one nearest you and start changing your life for the better today!