The 4th Natural Law of a Peak Performance Lifestyle
When Dr Walter Bortz MD stated "Use it or lose it", he knew what he was talking about. Effective exercise is the ONLY way to enhance your lean body mass and muscle tone and increase your strength. Effective exercise is essential for fat burning - it enhances your body's metabolic rate to burn fat more efficiently. Effective exercise increases your energy levels - physical, mental and emotional. Exercise pumps oxygen into your blood and improves your cardiovascular fitness. Exercise helps relieve stress, improves the quality of your sleep and is essential for optimum health and longevity.
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"Effective" exercise simply means achieving the results you want to achieve for your body. If you have any excess body fat, you will want to get leaner and more toned. Optimal body fat for men is 15% and for women, is 22% regardless of your age. Or you may have reached your optimal body fat and want to increase your muscle mass. Or you may be training for a sport and want to achieve maximum power and strength.
Stage One: Burning Fat
When it comes to burning fat, harder is not better. When you exercise, you continually burn calories, but you only burn fat to a certain point. Once you reach that point the amount of fat you burn drops dramatically. This drop off takes place at 75% of your Maximum Theoretical Heart Rate (calculated as 220-ageX75%) - this is the upper limit of your aerobic zone. After this limit your body changes systems to anaerobic (without oxygen) - where your body uses protein and carbohydrate for fuel rather than fat. You actually start burning your muscle for fuel. Over-training is counterproductive! The keys to exercising for maximum fat loss are: aerobic i.e. exercising in your aerobic zone; full body - using your upper and lower body; weight bearing; at a steady pace; and for 30-60 minutes, 3 times a week. The most efficient and effective way to exercise for maximum fat burning benefit is walking with light hand weights. This simple and practical exercise system, designed by Dr Leonard Schwartz is called Heavy Hands Walking. It simply involves walking at a comfortable pace pumping light hand weights. There are three different exercises that you do with the hand weights while you are walking at a comfortable pace, with the basic movement pump and walk in between sets. You can do it walking on a treadmill or outdoors.
Stage Two: Building Muscle Mass
Once you have reached your optimal body fat percentage, and you wish to increase your muscle mass, you are ready to hit the gym for a weight workout. Remember, a weight work out is an anaerobic exercise, meaning it burns NO fat. So you want to put this on hold until you are lean and want to put on weight! Building lean muscle mass is all about quality stimulus, quality raw materials and quality recovery. Quality stimulus means maximum intensity. The most efficient way to work out for maximum growth is to work out all your muscle groups only once per week at maximum intensity - using one warm up set at half of your maximum work weight (meaning the maximum weight you can lift for 8 to no more than 12 reps) and then a second set lifting the full weight you can lift for 8 to no more than 12 reps without sacrificing correct form (i.e. to form failure). The best exercises are leg press machine, stiff-legged dead lift, calf raises, flat bench press, dumb bell bent rows, dumb bell overhead presses, bicep curl, dips and hip curls. You can do all these exercises on one day, or split the workout into a two-day split (working out your lower body one day and upper body the next) or a three-day split (working out your legs one day, your triceps, shoulders and chest the next day, and your back and biceps the third day). For the rest of the week you continue to walk with hand weights to maintain your cardiovascular fitness and low body fat. Combine this workout with quality raw materials (most importantly, 1-2 grams of lean complete protein per day), and quality recovery (sufficient rest), you will steadily enhance your lean muscle mass.
Stage Three: Training for Maximum Power
This stage of training is suitable if you are seeking to take your strength and power to the next level or if you are an athlete training for maximum power in your particular sport. Gerry Morton, CEO of energyfirst trains at this stage for peak performance in his Ironman triathlon events.
EFFECTIVE EXERCISE: HEALTHY RITUALS
The healthy rituals essential for maximizing the benefit of your exercise program are:
QUALITY STIMULUS - It is essential to exercise at the right intensity to achieve your goals. Remember harder is not better particularly when it comes to fat burning. If you over-train, you risk breaking down your lean muscle mass and storing unwanted fat.
QUALITY RAW MATERIALS - First you need to get and stay well hydrated all the time, and even moreso when exercising. I recommend Miracle Sports Water available from your local health food store. It is pure water with added electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, calcium and chromium) with no added sugar or sodium. It is the most effective fluid replacement available, and it tastes great! Next you need to supply your body with clean balanced fuel - meaning, the highest quality lean, complete protein (40%), good fats (30%), and unprocessed carbohydrates (30%) every meal. Whey protein is the best source of lean complete protein hands down.
You need at least 1 gram of lean complete protein per pound of body weight per day for maximum benefit. Drinking energyfirst shakes for breakfast, post workout and anytime is the ultimate clean, balanced fuel. Avoid sugar and all processed carbohydrates, and saturated and processed fats - they will ruin your exercise effort. Eat regularly. Never go for more than 3-4 hours without food.
QUALITY RECOVERY - You need to let your body recover so it can rebuild stronger than it was before. This means high quality sleep - when you sleep you release growth hormone which burns fat and builds your lean muscle mass; and this means never over-training.
Featured Shake Recipe:
High Performance Shake