Post 105: Talk Yourself Into a Great Workout

Talk yourself into a great workout.

Is there any truth to the idea that positive self-talk or positive affirmations can improve your workout performance?

The answer seems to be yes. Here is a very detailed article I found that talks about this. For those of you pressed for time or those who don’t like to read scientific studies, here is a summary.

Summary

1. Create several positive affirmations that you believe in.

2. Use them consistently throughout the workout.

3. You will be able to workout longer with less perceived pain.

Here is the link to the article. Thanks to the NY Times.

Keep Telling Yourself, ‘This Workout Feels Good’

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
Jupiterimages/Getty Images
PHYS ED

Gretchen Reynolds on the science of fitness.

Tell yourself during exercise that you’re not as tired as you think you are and you could make that statement true, a new study shows, reminding us that the body intertwines with the mind in ways that we are only starting to understand.

For the new experiment, which was published last month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, and other institutions turned to a group of 24 healthy, physically active young men and women and asked if they would be willing to ride a bicycle to the point of limp exhaustion, repeatedly.

Physical fatigue is a surprisingly enigmatic condition. Scientists don’t fully understand how the body knows when it has had enough. Many of us might guess that activity ceases once our muscles have run out of fuel or fluids. But in studies with rodents, even after they are pushed to run until they drop, scientists have found reserves of fuel in the animals’ muscles. Physiologically, they remain capable of more exercise, although their bodies don’t seem to think so.

Such experiments have prompted some scientists recently to propose a different theory of exercise-related fatigue, in which the brain, rather than the muscles, initiates exhaustion after receiving and analyzing inputs from the body. An attractive element of this theory, often called the psychobiological model, is that it allows more wiggle room. If exhaustion is determined by the brain and is, to some degree, subjective, then theoretically the right tweaks during training could convince your brain that you can go farther or harder than it would otherwise allow.

That possibility motivated the new experiment, which was designed specifically to determine whether verbally encouraging yourself during a draining workout can affect your mind’s calculations and stave off fatigue.

To test that idea, the scientists first took a series of baseline physical measurements of their volunteers. Then, during a separate lab visit, the volunteers were asked to pedal a computerized stationary bicycle at about 80 percent of their predetermined maximum force until they felt that they could pedal no more and quit.

Throughout, the scientists measured each rider’s heart rate, pedaling power and pace. Having attached electrodes to the riders’ foreheads and cheeks, the researchers also monitored their facial muscular contractions — i.e., grimaces — an accepted physiological indicator of increasing physical exertion. And they asked the riders several times during and at the conclusion of the ride how hard the exercise had felt, on a scale of zero to 10.

Once each rider’s measurements had been recorded, they were randomly divided into two groups. One group was told to continue with their normal exercise routine for the next two weeks. Those in the other group were coached in “self-talk,” the kind of verbal banter that many athletes engage in during workouts, whether done aloud or silently.

For many of us, self-talk is haphazard and, if the banter turns berating, it can be demotivating. In this case, however, the chosen volunteers systematically learned how best to talk to themselves in an encouraging way. Provided with phrases that psychologists previously had found to be motivating, such as “You’re doing well,” the volunteers were asked also to jot down any expressions that they had used during exercise in the past. A popular choice was “feeling good.”

Each volunteer then chose four phrases that appealed to him or her, and was told to start repeating these frequently during subsequent, normal exercise sessions. The volunteers practiced this self-talk during exercise for the next two weeks.

Then each group returned to the lab and underwent another cycling test to exhaustion, during which the riders in the self-talk group studiously repeated their mantras; some aloud, some silently.

Afterward, it was obvious that self-talk had bolstered riders’ feelings and performance. The group that had talked to themselves had pedaled much longer before succumbing to exhaustion than in their first rides and reported that the pedaling had felt easier, even though, objectively, their heart rates and facial expressions had remained the same, indicating that the physical exertion had been just as great as in the initial ride.

The riders in the other group, meanwhile, generally repeated their performances from before, lasting about the same amount of time before quitting and feeling about the same degree of discomfort.

On one level, these findings indicate that “motivational self-talk improves endurance performance compared to not using it,” said Samuele Marcora, the director of exercise research at the University of Kent and senior author of the study.

But a deeper reading of the data, he continued, buttresses the idea that physical exhaustion develops, to a considerable degree, in your head. “If the point in time at which people stop exercising was determined solely biologically,” he said, self-talk would have no effect. But it did.

To be effective, though, self-talk probably has to be consistent and systematic, he said. Some of the riders in the control group muttered or silently exhorted themselves during the cycling — they weren’t told not to — but they tended to do this haphazardly, and without discernible benefit. Better, Dr. Marcora suggested, to deploy phrases that particularly encourage you and repeat them often, even on a schedule, especially as a workout or competition wears on. It is likely we all could stand to hear that, despite intimations to the contrary, we’re “feeling good.”

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com or like me on http://www.facebook.com/mfactorfitness  or tweet with me @mfactormike

Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved.

Post 102: Don’t Read This If You Like Gum.

Is Gum Bad For You?

is gum good for you?

is gum good for you?

What a dumb idea for a post. everyone knows gum is harmless.

  • You can get it everywhere and doesn’t have any warning labels.
  • It helps clean plaque and give you fresh breath.
  • Gum is an ally in our fight for dental hygiene. 
  • It is natural. If I remember right it is made from a rubber tree plant.

But I am a curious type of guy so I first looked at my pack of Extra gum to see what was in there. Nothing on there.

So I went to the website. Now get this. Nothing on there. If you click on product info you get this

“Get all the essential Extra chewing gum facts, from ingredients to nutrition, as well as information on Extra gum flavors including Extra mint flavors, Fruit Sensations®, and many more. Be sure to visit our website to learn more about Extra Gum.”

So you click on that and it takes you to a sales page. No info at all. Suspicious? Don’t you have to list the ingredients somewhere?

I had to go to Livestrong.com to find out that it is generically made out of  “Gum base, sweeteners, softeners and bulking agents, and flavorings all comprise this gum”.

I have no idea what this is so I decided to dig deeper and I found this on www.healthwyze.org. Here is the exact link to the article, 

Before you look at this, remember a couple of things.

1. You may be dealing with a small piece of gum but the process of chewing  gum for an extended period is an efficient way for the body to absorb whatever is in the gum.

2. You may take the stance “that everything gives you cancer so why worry about it?”. Then don’t but if you do, take 5 minutes and type the ingredients in gum into http://scholar.google.com/ and see what comes up. It woke me up in a hurry.

3. Combine ingredients that are at best untested and at worst proven to be horrible for you, combine it with an efficient delivery system and you multiply the consequences. This is science.

4. The best recommendation I could find online is from the Glee Gum Company. I am not involved with them in any way. I just ordered a case to try it out. They sell it on Amazon and it is all natural. It does have sugar so it may not be suitable for certain people.

Glee Gum

Glee Gum

Here is the article.

Why a Stick of Chewing Gum is More Harmful To Your Health Than Anything You Eat

Written by C. Thomas Corriher    

People do not typically ingest gum, so they pay very little attention to its ingredients. The assumption is that if the gum is not swallowed, then the ingredients should not be a concern. However, the ingredients in gum travel into the blood stream faster and in higher concentrations than food ingredients, because they absorb directly through the walls of the mouth, and these ingredients do not undergo the normal filtration process of digestion.

Gum is typically the most toxic product in supermarkets that is intended for internal use, and it is likely to kill any pet that eats it. Commercial gum products contain roughly the same list of toxic ingredients, with differing labeling, which is virtually always designed to mislead.

Common Ingredients of Gum

After looking at several different brands of chewing gum, we found that these were the most common ingredients:

• Sorbitol
• Gum base
• Maltitol
• Mannitol
• Xylitol
• Artificial and natural flavoring
• Acacia
• Acesulfame potassium
  • Aspartame
• BHT
• Calcium casein peptone-calcium Phosphate
• Candelilla wax
• Sodium stearate
• Titanium dioxide

Titanium dioxide is so cancerous that external skin contact is enough to cause cancer. Be reminded that all of these ingredients absorb directly into the blood stream through the walls of the mouth. Some of these ingredients are explained in-depth, because it is prudent to correct the myth that chewing gum is harmless and even good for you (e.g. “it strengthens the teeth”).

The “Sugar-Free” Sugar Alcohols

Sorbitol, maltitol, and mannitol are sugar alcohols. These are usually made from sugar, and they frequently increase the blood sugar just as much as eating sugar. However, manufacturers make deceptive “sugar-free” claims about sugar alcohols, since these ingredients are not pure sugar anymore. While such sugar derivatives aretechnically “sugar free” when the manipulative word games are employed, they nonetheless remain dangerous for diabetics, who are the very audience that these gums are marketed to. Let us not forget that the sugar alcohol containing gums are also marketed to improve our dental health. The sugar alcohols are even more chemically processed than white sugar is; and thus much more foreign to the body by virtue of its artificial nature, so we have reason to believe that these forms of chemical industry sugars will stimulate even more weight gain and inflammation than regular sugar. All of the evidence points in this direction. These chemically-extracted sugar alcohols are documented to cause abdominal pains and diarrhea, whilst aggravating various health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore, the immune system takes a huge hit from exposure to them. This immune suppression will in turn cause greater yeast development in the body, which will lead to cavities and allergies.

Gum Base

Instead of telling customers what they are really chewing, the phrase “gum base” is used to generalize a list of ingredients that is never actually published. As the name implies, it is the foundation agent of chewing gum. We have tried exhaustively to find exactly what modern “gum base” is made from. We found the following babble repeatedly regurgitated by all of the major gum companies. It was obviously meant to derail serious research:

“Gum base is produced through a blend of raw materials which can be categorized in five classes:

  1. Elastomers, act as the key ingredient and provide elasticy
  2. Resins act as binders and softeners
  3. Plasticizers render the elastomer soft to ensure thorough blending of the gum base
  4. Fillers contribute to the overall texture
  5. Anti-oxidants prevent oxidation of the gum base and flavors during shelf life”

Since this was repeated identically at all websites that we looked at, we can only assume that all of these companies are actually owned by the same people, or at least they are working together as a cartel to cover-up an honest disclosure of what is in gum. We eventually confirmed that the ingredients of gum base are commercial trade secrets. None of the websites told us the full ingredients. For instance, exactly what plasticizer is used? Are people chewing on super-toxic PVC? The plasticizing agents could contain dioxins, and quite frankly, they probably do.

After much more research, we found one Chinese company who told us about their ingredients. Wuxi Yueda Gum Base Manufacture Co, Ltd said:

“It is made of several food grade raw materials, which are rubber (food grade), glycerol ester of rosin, paraffin waxes, polyvinyl acetates, talc powder and calcium carbonate.”

Glycerol ester of rosin is often made from the stumps of pine trees. It is used industrially to create fast-drying varnishes. The Internet is riddled with stories of people who had severe allergic reactions to it, usually causing a swollen throat that led to difficulty breathing. Glycerol ester of rosin is now being added to soft drinks, though federal limits ensure that its quantity remains under 100 P.P.M. This safety limitation does not apply to chewing gum.

Talc has been linked to lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and fibrotic pneumoconiosis with just transdermal exposure. It is very rarely put into products that are to be consumed. The only other consumable products that we have seen containing talc arediet aids (most are extremely toxic). Talcum powder was once used on small children, but it has now been replaced with cornstarch, due to safety concerns. It is too dangerous to touch the skin, but absorbing it straight into the blood stream is apparently acceptable.

Polyvinyl acetate is not quite PVC. It is PVA. PVA is frequently referred to as “Carpenter’s glue” or simply “white glue”. Remember that this is not being used as an industrial product, but as something that children are frequently given to chew on (gum base is in bubble gum too). This ingredient compliments the paraffin wax, which is derived from refined petroleum.

Aspartame is one of the most controversial additives of all time, and sits alongside MSG and saccharin in terms of both consumer distrust and poor safety. Its presence in foods has nothing to do with safety, but everything to do with politics and money. Aspartame has been linked to just about every health condition known, from seizures to brain tumors. Some epileptic patients have recovered from their condition simply by eliminating this toxin from their diets. It is found in diet foods, diet drinks, and sugar-free products as an alternative to sugar. Aspartame is a solution that remains worse than the problem. Aspartame is an excitotoxin, which means that it over-excites the neurons in the brain, until they burn out, causing lowered intelligence and a host of neurological problems. Aspartame causes diabetesfibromyalgia, lowered I.Q., obesity, multiple sclerosis, asthma, insomnia, muscle spasms, and a total of 92 known symptoms.

Acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K) has similar properties to aspartame, and it is believed to be a carcinogen. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the F.D.A. for a stay of approval, due to the lack of testing done on this substance. Studies on animals have shown a correlation between acesulfame potassium and various tumors.

While we would love to be able to provide information about calcium casein peptone (calcium phosphate), we cannot. We simply do not know. Its only appearance is in Trident gum (the worst brand), and we were unable to find studies or any other information about it. It might be a whitening agent. It is important to note that casein is a milk extract that was linked with the Chinese baby formula poisonings. Trust this ingredient at your own risk, but we would never encourage the use of something that has its research censored from the public. That tends to be a bad sign.

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is a preservative that has been linked to cancer. It was banned in the United Kingdom and Japan. It is unbelievably sold as a “dietary supplement”, and some people believe that it has anti-viral effects. So do gasoline and rat poison. We do not recommend it, because of the safety implications. It causes kidney and liver damage. Benjamin Feingold (creator of the Feingold Diet) linked it to hyperactivity in children in the 1970’s, as a large component of A.D.H.D.

For the sake of brevity, we shall discontinue examining the ingredients in chewing gum. Chewing gum is easily one of the most toxic products available, and it is difficult to ever know exactly what it contains due to vague terms such as “gum base” and “artificial flavors”. These reflect trade secrets, and the ingredients probably are made of hundreds of other ingredients that they are unwilling to disclose. Manufacturers maintain that customers have no right to know.

Natural gum is available, which is made from chicle, a tree that is native to Central America. There was a time when all chewing gum was made from it, but using it incurs more manufacturing expense. Natural gum can be purchased online or from health food stores.

 

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com or like me on http://www.facebook.com/mfactorfitness  or tweet with me @mfactormike

Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved.

Post 101: Protein Packed Prograde Pumpkin Pie!

Protein Packed Prograde Pumpkin Pie!

Protein Packed Prograde Pumpkin Pie!

Hey M Factor nation, it is day two and here comes recipe number 2. Protein Packed Prograde Pumpkin Pie!

  • Easy to Make
  • Easy to drink
  • Easy to move afterwards!

Put in a blender (or a large mug, if you use an immersion blender):
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. pecans walnuts or almonds
1/2 c. cottage cheese
2 scoops Prograde vanilla protein powder (a little more or less to your taste, depending on how sweet you like it),
3/4 cup COLD water (again, a little more or less, depending on the thickness you prefer-but regardless of thickness preference, MAKE SURE THE WATER IS COLD!).

Blend, pour into a glass, and enjoy a (seemingly) sinful taste of dessert!
(Bonus: No need to unbutton your pants after this one!

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Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com or like me on http://www.facebook.com/mfactorfitness  or tweet with me @mfactormike

Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

 

Post 100: Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Personal Trainer This January.

Is it time to hire a personal trainer

Is it time to hire a personal trainer?

Top 4 reasons for not hiring a fitness trainer this January.

” I am planning on hiring a trainer in January”.

” I am going to be too busy during the holidays to workout. I will start January 1″.

” I need to budget for the holidays.”

You can wait and make a New Year’s resolution but let me give you an opinion from a personal trainer’s perspective. I want to do this because I have seen the same thing happen every year for ten years and hopefully I can give you a couple solid reasons why you need to  to start your new years resolutions today.

1. Limited time slots- Good trainers stay busy all year.

Right now I only have two slots available for training. Most of us will only have a few training times open and they will be filled up quickly. So you may not be able to find times that fit your schedule.

The other thing to consider is the quality of trainer that will be available. Most fitness trainers just starting out will have times available and that can be a mixed bag.

I would use the analogy of shopping Christmas eve. You can find a present but the great presents are probably already taken.

2. The average person will gain 5-10 pounds over the holidays.

Why not avoid that by starting now? if you are overweight already what will another 5-10 pounds look like? Get a good fitness program together and get ahead of the curve.

Get into the habit of regular exercise so you can burn up the holiday calories not store them. Learn how to eat better and maybe add a couple healthier recipes to holiday meals.

By building discipline and  limiting overindulging you will be much happier with yourself!

Do this and you can participate in the holidays instead of falling victim to them.

3. Time is Tight: Consider In Home Training.

This can be a legitimate reason for not training during the holidays. If your gym is 15 to 30 minutes away you can be looking at up to two hours of your day being tied up with your workout.  Add in bad weather and that can be a sizable chunk of your free time.

This is where in home personal training can be a godsend. How cool would it be if all you had to do is open the front door to get a workout? I do all the workout planning and I bring all the equipment. In home training has always been a great way to go because it is convenient.

Not having to drive to a gym can save you hours each week. You train in the comfort and privacy of your own home and you save time. The added benefit here is that the hour of working out will make you more productive  the rest of the day so you end up getting more done!

4.  Money is tight: consider training online.

One of the things I want to do with my training is make it available to the public. My goal this year is to make my workouts and nutrition advice available to anybody who wants it. Below this post you will hopefully see a green box. Sign up and you can get my “workout of the week challenge” delivered to your inbox every week. These workouts are designed to be done in home with a minimum of equipment.

In addition I offer telephone and Skype consulting on a 30 minute or full hour basis. This works great if you are starting a program and have specific questions or even if you are experienced and want to fine tune your workouts.

Lastly, you can always get workout DVD’s such as P90x or the Insanity dvd’s. Dvd’s are a great way to workout if you do them. But you have to be disciplined enough to put the disc in the DVD player.

So please don’t be left behind come January. Get started now and have a great, healthy and happy holiday season.
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Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com or like me on http://www.facebook.com/mfactorfitness  or tweet with me @mfactormike

Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 99: Fall Pumpkin Apple Pie Shake

Fall Pumpkin Apple Pie Shake

Fall Pumpkin Apple Pie Shake By Nedah Warstler of leanKitchen.com

Guess what?

Thanksgiving is coming up. You may also know that the average person gains 5-10 pounds over the holidays.

So as part of my duty to fight flab and promote clean eating, I officially declare this week to be “Fall recipe week”. What better way to start than with a shake

. Not any shake but a Fall Pumpkin Apple Pie Shake.

Ingredients: 2/3 cup cold water 4 ice cubes 1 scoop Vanilla Prograde Protein ½ small apple 2 Tbsp pureed pumpkin (canned or fresh) 8 almonds 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend. Serve and Enjoy!

Nutritional Information Calories: 170 Fat: 6 grams Carbohydrates: 15 grams Protein: 14 grams

 

If you like this and would like more recipes, please click here to go to the recipe page on my website.

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Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com or like me on http://www.facebook.com/mfactorfitness  or tweet with me @mfactormike Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 98: Workout of the Week: A Functional Circuit Extravaganza

Who is ready to work on balance, core strength and have fun doing it?

image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=987

image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=987

Well I can’t promise the fun part but the the rest was true.

For this week’s workout you are going to need several pieces of equipment. If you don’t have it we can improvise.

Equipment needed

  • Powerblocks or dumbbells
  • A Bosu ball or Bollinger wobble discs
  • An exercise ball
  • A circuit timer. You can download these for free for your phone. Look for interval timers. I use the HIIT timer.

If you don’t have a Bosu or Bollinger wobble discs you can always stand on one leg.

Interval settings: 45 seconds work/ 15 seconds rest. 16 sets total per round.

A crazy functional workout
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Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com or like me on http://www.facebook.com/mfactorfitness or tweet with me @mfactormike
Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |
Notes: