Background There are a lot of different exercise methods, all with one specific goal. We employ them to get fitter, leaner, faster, and stronger. Fasted exercise is one such method. Unfortunately, even though it’s a firm fan favorite, it carries plenty of misconceptions. Purportedly, fasted exercise is more beneficial than other forms of exercise because it burns more fatty acids than glucose. Hence, people think that they’re using stored body fat – not glucose – as fuel. To break down the rationale; fasted exercise evangelists believe that eating before exercise prompts your body to use the glucose from that meal in order to fuel theRead More →

Introduction Exploring further into the intersection of substance and exercise, last week’s article on how alcohol affects exercise resumes as this week’s dive into marijuana and exercise. Marijuana’s well known for its psychoactive effects. But since California passed Prop 215 in 1996, the plant has enjoyed a medical renaissance. To better understand the medicinal claims, you have to get familiar with the herb’s main properties. Specifically, cannabis is composed of cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds found in the plant itself. When you consume cannabis, these compounds interact with your cells and effectuate the claimed medical benefits. Amongst the more prominent cannabinoids, THC (D9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is often cited forRead More →

Some Background Taking time off feels terrible. Just as you’re getting into the swing of things, you get injured, your work schedule gets busy, and life takes over. However, inactivity can be voluntary. Feeling counterproductive and guilty, it’s easy to forget that rest is crucial to the fitness process. After all, growth happens during recovery. But how much time off is too much? Whether resting or injured, understanding inactivity and its effects on the progress you worked so hard for leads to better fitness decisions. The Relevant Factors Just as with other aspects of fitness and nutrition, everyone reacts differently. Hence, numerous factors play aRead More →

Some Background Anyone looking to get into better shape, whether by building muscle, losing fat, or partaking in more exercise in general, needs to understand how alcohol impacts that process. A better understanding leads to better results. After all, you don’t want to apply discipline and willpower just to be pegged back by drinking. Especially since alcohol can have a trifecta like effect, messing you up before, during, and after a workout! Considering how much you lose control after having one too many, and how debilitating you feel the morning after, it’s a fair assumption that a boozy workout should be avoided. Surprisingly, the researchRead More →

Some Background  “It’s the most important meal of the day!” Breakfast’s status as the crucial start to your day refuses to go away. From an early age, we’re told we can’t skip it. It’s pervasive throughout all cultures, every parent convinced their kids – and was convinced themselves – that something has to be consumed right after waking, or somehow their whole day will be thrown off. To say it’s a misconception is an understatement. There’s no reason why you have to eat first thing in the morning. Let me be clear, I’m not advocating against breakfast foods. There’s nothing wrong with those. Instead, it’s important toRead More →

So What’s a Lean Bulk!? It’s the holy grail – staying lean while gaining muscle – and at some point, everyone’s been after it. At the outset of all those pursuits, there’s always the dreaded question; “can I bulk without the fat?” Unless you’re new to weightlifting, properly weightlifting, or don’t mind taking something extra, a lean bulk may be the only way. Let’s get the most fundamental question out of the way. If the fat gain is inescapable, exactly how much of it do you have to bear? How little of a calorie surplus can you get away with while maximizing your gains? EagerRead More →

Some Background Whether you’re looking to shed body fat or put on lean mass, you’ll need to know your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). With that number in hand, it’s a lot simpler to achieve your goal. Just by subtracting, or adding, you’ll shed fat, or gain muscle. All you need now is the number. So you search for an online calculator, plug in your stats and figure you’re set. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple as online calculators offer estimates which may be off the mark. The margin of error onthat number can be as high as 200 to 300 calories. So few calories mayRead More →

Introduction Everyone’s favorite scapegoat, the fast – or slow – metabolism is always to blame. It’s either too slow, making fitness a difficult goal, or someone else’s is fast, making their achievements seem effortless. Either way, it’s a convenient but misapplied excuse. When talking about a fast metabolism, most people conjure up an image of someone who eats whatever, whenever, exercises, and still maintains an ideal physique. As always, it’s not so simple. Specifically, the way your metabolism functions isn’t in a straightforward slow or fast mode. Hence, there’s no magical “fast” switch that’s permanently enabled for those that do little to stay fit. So whoRead More →

A Little Background You have to eat every three hours. Don’t question it, it’s broscience law. “It’s so you can keep your metabolism working and stay lean!” Like most popular nutritional belief, this piece of advice refuses to go away. The premise is simple and on the surface, makes sense. Purportedly, by eating often your digestive system stays active and the thermogenic calorie burn is continuous. But why is this opinion so pervasive? My guess is that it’s tied to the “eat one gram of protein per pound of body weight” myth. Specifically, since it was previously assumed that your body can only break downRead More →

Fountain of Youth You’ve heard it numerous times; drink more water! You probably made it your New Year’s resolution. And why wouldn’t you? Staying hydrated promotes weight loss, detoxifies your body, minimizes headaches, aids digestion, and increases energy. At its most fundamental, water hydrates. Those hydration levels are the measurements our body’s water reserves. Conversely, a lack of hydration is indicative of low water reserves. Dehydration happens for several reasons, two of the more prominent being; lack of water, or a state of diuresis. The latter happens when you consume diuretic substances like coffee, tea, alcohol. Although not always in liquid form, diuretics cause moreRead More →