Essential medical examinations prior to engaging on a long-term physical exercises (Part 2)

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Electrocardiogram is an instrument which has some sort of electrical wirings attached to the chest and extremities of a person to be examined. When the machine is run, a white longpaper comes out wherein the tracing of the heart activities is written. This tracing will then be interpreted by a medical expert.

The most important information that can be derived from ECG is the patency of the coronary arteries that supply the heart with the much needed blood. If one or more coronary arteries is/ are blocked, heart attack could take place, and the patient may die. The ECG will not only tell the attending physician that the patient has blockages of the coronary arteries; it will also indicate the location of the blockages.

Knowing beforehand that the patient has coronary blockages is very important because by taking in proper medications, heart attack could be prevented, and the patient may be allowed to engage in a restricted physical exercises. If heart attack was not prevented, and it happened, the ECG could definitely detect it, and proper measures could be done to save the life of the patient.

The heart has four chambers: (1) the left ventricle, (2) the right ventricle, (3) the left atrium, and (4) the right atrium. Through the ECG, the physician will be informed if there is enlargement of any one of the chambers. For instance, if the left ventricle is enlarged, then it can be surmised that the patient may have a long standing hypertension which has been left untreated. If the right ventricle is the one enlarged, then some degree of blood flow obstruction in the lungs can be considered. If the right or left atrium is enlarged, then some defects in the heart valves could be detected. With any one of these findings, would-be participant in gym sessions could be properly advised.

Another important information which the ECG could reveal will be the presence of the so-called atrio-ventricular blocks wherein the electrical current coming from the sinus node, a structure in the upper portion of the heart which produces the spark for electrical current,   is not properly transmitted to the ventricles. With this, the normal rhythm of the heart is disturbed. If this happens, the person concerned will not be able to perform highly strenuous work or physical exercises.

Other information that can be gathered from the ECG tracing are the following: (1) the rate and rhythm of the heart, (2) the position of the heart in relation to the chest cage, and (3) alterations in the blood levels of electrolytes, such as calcium or potassium.

Threadmill Stress Testing

Stress testing is a procedure wherein the patient performs a threadmill exercise, and the load is gradually increased. As he exercises, the pulse rate, symptoms of any heart disease, blood pressure, and tracing of electrocardiogram (ECG) are monitored. Normally, as the person exercises, the pulse rate and blood pressures increase, but there should never be chest pain and/or abnormalities in the ECG tracing. If the blood pressure decreases, or the patient experiences chest pain, or there are ECG abnormalities indicating heart problem, the exercise test will be discontinued.

The thread mill stress testing is usually required for would-be gym enthusiasts who at one time or another experienced chest pain, especially if it was provoked by exerting effort, such as going up the stairs, lifting a heavy object, or running! It was usually relieved by rest! In this case, it is possible that the person concerned is suffering from ischemic heart disease (IHD), wherein some parts of his/her heart is/are not well supplied with the much needed blood, and he/she is prone to suffer from heart attack!

Individuals suspected of suffering from IHD need to undergo this test so as to firmly establish if he/she is really suffering from the disease. If, indeed, the individual has IHD, he/she needs to have daily medication(s) as he/she engages in a long-term physical exercise program. There are cases, however, when a medical doctor will immediately disallow a person to proceed with any physical exercise program if the findings in the threadmill stress test revealed that he/she has heart problem that could endanger his/her life.

Essential medical examinations prior to engaging on a long-term physical exercises

Urinalysis

The laboratory examination of urine is called urinalysis. It is one of the cheapest laboratory examinations, but a lot of important information could be derived from the results. Normally, you do not find many white blood cells (WBCs) in the urine; but if there are more than 5 in one microscopic field, it is possible that you have urinary tract infection (UTI). Sometimes, it is accompanied by the presence of red blood cells, which could also be more than 5 in one microscopic field. UTIs can be classified into upper or lower infection. If the presence of significant WBCs is accompanied by the presence of protein in the urine, then it is upper urinary tract infection, which means that the kidneys are involved.If there is no protein in the urine, but there are lot of WBCs, then it is lower infection, which means that the urinary bladder and/or urethra is/are the one(s) involved.

UTIs which are not treated, or attended to, for a long time could lead to end-stage kidney diseases that could lead to hypertension and long standing medical problem. It is advisable that before you embark on a long-term physical exercises, that you need to ensure that your kidneys and urinary bladder are free from infections so that you will be spared from developing hypertension which, most of the time, prevents would-be gym enthusiasts to engage in physical exercises, especially those requiring high intensity.

Another important thing that should be looked at in the results of urinalysis is the presence or absence of sugar. If sugar, or glucose, is positive in the urine, it is possible that you are suffering from diabetes mellitus (DM), which could lead to debilitating medical problem—if untreated for a long time—and that could eventually restrict your participation in any gym activities.If you want to confirm whether you have DM or not, you can request for fasting blood sugar (FBS)! If FBS is elevated, then you probably have DM, and you need to see a medical doctor to correct it!

Chest X-ray (Postero-anterior view)

The chest x-ray helps you evaluate your lungs and your heart.It will help you find out if you are suffering from any infection, such as tuberculosis or pneumonia. If, indeed, you have tuberculosis, then medications should be started with dispatch, because treatment takes some time—from 3 to 6 months! Aside from safeguarding your health, there is also a need to protect the health of those around you—at home and in the gym! Tuberculosis is classified as infectious disease; therefore, it could be transmitted from one person to another, threatening public health! Preventing the spread starts from you! If you have it, do not report to the gym, unless you have been taking your anti-tuberculosis drug(s) for at least 2 weeks! Although medical literatures claim that a tuberculous patient ceases to be infectious after taking anti-tuberculosis drug(s) for at least 2 weeks, you are advised to continue taking them for at least 3 or 6 months, depending on the types of medications prescribed to you by your medical doctor.

Aside from lung infections, the chest x-ray will reveal whether or not you have enlargement of the heart! If, indeed, you have heart enlargement, you are advised not to immediately join any physical exercises, especially those with high intensity; it could endanger your life; you need to see a medical doctor to find out the cause(s) of your heart enlargement. Possible causes of heart enlargement are long-standing hypertension, defects in the valve(s) of the heart, or lung problem. The cause should be pinpointed, and appropriate management needs to be started soonest. If your medical doctor has given you the go-signal to proceed with your gym sessions, then you can start it any time.

Chest x-ray will also reveal any carcinomatous process, or cancer, in your lungs! Although it may not have an immediate adverse effects on your gym activities, in the long run, it will drain your health and your capacity to have gym sessions. Therefore, once you have learned that you have cancer, see a medical doctor!

Causes of injury while doing physical exercises (Part 3)

Inadequate sleep

It has been established in some researches and has been published in some literatures that every human being should have an 8-hour sleep every night—not more and not less!The reason for this is that sleep has a restorative power on human strength, vitality, stamina, and alertness—among other things! If you lack sleep, chances are, you are relatively weak, and your alertness is quite low!Being bodily weak and lacking alertness are the most injurious combination—a perfect recipe for injuries, so to speak—because in doing physical exercises you need to be strong and alert! Without the necessary strength, you may not be able to finish your usual work out; without alertness, you may have poor coordination in doing your work out! In one or both case(s), you are prone to injuries!

Under stress

When you are under stress—brought about by personal, family or work-related problem—your health will take a toll of it! In fact, stress is one of the causes of having poor sleep! Aside from preventing good sleep, stress drains and sips your energy and—like inadequate sleep—it alters your concentration and focus! Again, with the combination of lack of strength and alertness, you are not far from having injuries while working out!

Inappropriate diet

When you work out, ensure that you have a good meal prior to it! When it is described as “good,” it means only one thing: that it is not too heavy nor too light! Actually, it is only you who can more or less determine how heavy or how light your meal should be prior to your gym work out! It is only you who knows exactly what particular gym exercises are you going to have; thus, you can adjust your meal according to that activity, or activities! If you are planning to have weight lifting and threadmill exercises, there is no doubt, you need to take relatively heavy meal with preponderance of carbohydrates! If you are going to participate in yoga exercises, then relatively light meal could be taken! Again, these are mere suggestions! The only person who knows you—in and out—is you, yourself! Based on your previous physical exercises, you learned that at the middle of your work out you had gotten hungry and had needed to stop to take in something! That meant that your meal prior to your working out was not enough to sustain you all throughout the gym session! Therefore, you need to adjust next time! Doing the same physical exertion, you need to add more calories to what you used to take in prior to working out.

In another scenario, while doing your gym session, you felt that you were experiencing stomach cramps and feeling of fullness! You felt like you wanted to vomit in order to relieve yourself! If that is your case, it is possible that you had overeating, and you started your session sooner than what was allowable! After meal, give yourself at least one hour of rest before starting your gym session! But if you had overeating, longer time might be needed!

Based on your previous experiences, take in the most appropriate diet—in terms of quality and quantity—prior to gym session to avoid the feeling of dizziness, or stomach cramps, which could lead to injuries.

Improper shoes

Every sport event requires a particular type of shoes; shoes for running cannot be used for playing basketball; and it cannot be used for playing tennis! Using the wrong type of shoes in a particular sport event will lead to injuries! Remember that not all shoes are created equal! One could provide more traction than another! One could be more flexible than another! The qualities of the shoes are adapted to the needs of a particular sport event! If you want to buy shoes for your sport event, go to shoe stores which are manned and managed by experts who could give you the right and scientific advice.

Reference:

Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. “The Runner’s Handbook”. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc. 1996.

Causes of injury while doing physical exercises (Part 2)

Overdoing the physical exercise

As mentioned in the previous articles of Powertec, it is not advisable that you immediately increase the intensity of your physical exercises! You need to gradually increase it in terms of rate, the load, and the distance! For instance, if you are doing the treadmill exercise, and you have been covering 3.0 kilometers in your previous sessions, it is not advisable that you immediately go up to 6.0 kilometers in the next session! If you have been doing weight lifting, and your maximum load has been 5.0 kilograms, it is injurious that you immediately shift to 8.0 kilograms! If your rate in the treadmill has been 5 kilometers/hour, don’t attempt to immediately shift to 15 kilometers/hour, lest you will injure yourself!

In the field of running, aside from the distance and the rate, you need to consider—and factor in—the terrain of the place where you will run! If you are a flatlander, never attempt to speed up when you find yourself in a hilly section of the training site—much more if you are going down a very steep—and downhill—section (Glover, 1996)!

Undertraining

Undertraining can be defined as lack of preparation for   a certain target which you, yourself, has set! For instance, if you aim to lift 10 kilograms of weight as your final target, then you need to gradually work for it! Every week, you need to incrementally increase the weight that you are lifting until you reach your target! It is injurious if your degree of training is far below the demands of your target, and yet you try reach it! If you cannot devote more time and effort to meet your target, then you might as well reduce its level!

To make it more concrete and understandable, consider the following examples in preparing for a sport event:

If you are going to participate in a particular sport event, be sure to adequately prepare for it. If you will run for a 5-kilometer event, it is not wise that you only practice for a 3-kilometer! If you will swim for 500 meters, it will be disastrous if you only prepare for 300 meters! If you have 15-round boxing fight, ensure that you prepared for it—and had assumed that your fight would last for 15 rounds—and that your preparatory work out was designed for that maximum length of fight! The safer way to do it is that your preparation must be slightly more demanding than what is required!

Being overweight

If you are overweight, there are a number of possible injuries that could happen to you. For one, injuries at the knees are very likely! If you are doing threadmill exercises, and you are overweight, the weight of your upper body puts a significant jarring effects on your knees, and injuries could take place! This possibility increases if your age is 50 and over! If you are overweight, the best that you can do is to enroll first in weight reduction program so that you will have a body weight that is ideal for you. Once you have attained your ideal body weight, then you can proceed to pursue your different physical exercises!

More likely, if you are overweight, then your blood pressure could be higher than normal! Have your blood pressure checked before you embark on intense physical exercises! If your blood pressure is high, and you engage in intense physical exercises, you might suffer from stroke while doing the regimen! If you cannot immediately reduce your weight, and you really want to have some physical exercises, the least that you can do is to ensure that your blood pressure is normal! This is not an overstatement! It is a strict precaution because stroke is fatal!

Reference:

Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. “The Runner’s Handbook”. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc. 1996.

Causes of injury while doing physical exercises (Part 1)

Injuries take place when they are least expected! It seems that they are part of life, even if most can be avoided if one has the necessary knowledge to avoid them!An injury could be physical exercise related, or not! It could be due to the following:

Poor flexibility and overstretching

If the muscles are tight, brought about by lack of stretching, they are more prone to be injured. For this reason, before engaging in any form of exercise, you need to pay more attention to improving the flexibility of muscles at the lower back, the calf and hamstring muscle, Achilles tendon and the iliotibial band (Glover, 2009).

Stretching has to be done properly; otherwise, injuries could take place. If a particular muscle, or set of muscles, is (are) injured, don’t stretch it (them)! If you stretch an injured muscle, you will exacerbate the pain and delay the disappearance of any inflammation! Leave an injured muscle alone and give time for the tenderness and swelling to go away. When it is no longer painful, then you can start improving on its flexibility! If you experience recurrent back pain, don’t do any exercise(s) that will aggravate it (Glover, 2009)! You may need to see a medical doctor if you experience recurrent back pain!

Incorrect warm-up and cool-down                                         

Doing warm-up and cool-down exercisesare as important as doing the main work out regimen. To most gym enthusiasts, they look down on the warming up and cooling exercises and consider them as mere antics and ceremonial rites!However, they are very important in maintaining and inducing the flexibility of the muscles. Without properly doing them, such as devoting lesser time than required, injuries could take place during the gym session.

Old injuries

It is common to most gym enthusiasts that they have previous injuries. In most instances, these previous injuries have not really returned to their normal functioning; but since it has been long that the accident took place, it has been forgotten and has been stored in the memory as a totally healed injury. In truth and in fact, however, old injuries, in most occasions, are potential weaknesses in the human anatomy. They should be remembered! When a person engages in a physical exercise, without considering and factoring in his previous injury, this old crack may eventually give way, producing injury.

Improper injury rehabilitation

The rehabilitation of an injury takes time. Depending on its severity, it will require a particular length of time; the more severe it is, the longer time it will take. Most gym enthusiasts, however, have the wrong notion that the injury will heal faster if given, and exposed to, some degree of physical exercise! That’s not true! The dictum is this: if not totally healed, don’t engage in any form of exercise! Give all the necessary time for the injury to heal—completely!

Errors in form

Every sport requires a particular technique and form of playing it.Tennis requires one; running requires another; and boxing requires still another! It is very important that upon starting a particular sport, learn the right form of playing it. Don’t start with the wrong form; otherwise, you will keep on using it, and you will injure yourself! If you have been using the wrong form, it is very hard to stop you! It will be very hard for you, and for the trainer, to change your wrong form—your bad habits! The root cause of your problem was that, at the very start of your sport, unconsciously, you had adapted a particular form—and it happened to be   wrong—because it was easier for you to do it! You were not aware that it was the wrong form! That’s the disadvantage of starting a new sport without the supervision of an expert! You tend to do it in your own way! If the wrong forms are not corrected at the earliest time possible, you might injure yourself!

Reference:

Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. “The Runner’s Handbook”. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc. 1996.

Practical management of sprained ankle caused by physical exercise(s)

Definition of Sprain

Stedman’s Medical Dictionary defines sprain as “an injury to a joint, with possible rupture of some of the ligaments or tendons, but without dislocation or fracture”. Sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries among gym enthusiasts and to those who play some sports. Being very common, each one should be prepared and equipped to institute a simple and right management.

Management

With the use of drugs

The initial approach in the management of ankle sprain is to give analgesic—a drug which will eliminate the pain being experienced by the patient. Drugs that can be used are: (1) paracetamol, (2) mefenamic acid, and (3) ibuprofen. The advantage of ibuprofen over the other two drugs is that, aside from its analgesic effect, it could also relax the involved muscle(s)—thereby palliating pain in a shorter time. The standard dose of paracetamol and mefenamic acid for adults is 500 mg every 6 hours, while ibuprofen can be given at 400 mg every 4-6 hours.

These drugs can be given as initial treatment. If the pain is not relieved, or if it recurs after stopping the intake of one of theaforestated drugs, see your medical doctor without delay. The medical consultation is necessary to firmly establish your diagnosis and to possibly prescribe you with more potent drug(s). Always remember that pain managing doctors follow the “Stepladder Approach” to treating pain. They start with the simpler drug(s), and then resort to   more potent ones if the situation will require it.

With the use of other means outside of drugs

In addition to the use of drugs, there are other means of relieving the inflammation and the accompanying pain. These are encapsulated in the word RICE.

Rest

An injuredankle needs rest in order to recuperate. As experienced by most, trauma in the ankle—as in other physical injuries—will lead to inflammation, which will in turn lead to having pain, swelling, and hot sensation over the affected area. It is necessary to temporarily deprive the injured part of any movement and action in order to hasten the recovery. It is recommended by some experts, however, that the injured part be moved and used as soon as possible to return the normal functioning of the soft tissues involved in the injury and to promote blood flow in the affected area.

Ice

In the first 48 to 72 hours after injury, the inflammation could be reduced by placing plastic bag with ice over the ankle for 15 to 20 minutes. This can be done 3 to 5 times in a day for the first 3 days.

Compression

The use of elastic rubber bandage is very important and indispensable. It comes in different length and widths. You can select the size which fits you, or the size prescribed by your medical doctor. You can wrap it around the injured part in order to exert some degree of compression over the affected area. When this is done, swelling in the area can be prevented and the injured part will be largely immobilized, providing it with the necessary rest.

As the name implies, elastic rubber bandage is stretchable; therefore, you can stretch it as you wrap around the ankle, and it will effect a firm hold over the area. The bandage is provided with a metal hook which could anchor it and prevent disengagement.

Elevation

While sleeping or resting, the injured leg needs to be elevated so as to reduce swelling. However, as soon as possible, while your leg is elevated, use your foot in spelling out the alphabet! Do it as often as you can.

Reference Websites:

“The best way to treat a sprained ankle”, by Dr. Ben Kim.

“3 ways to treat ankle sprain” www.wikihow.com

The five S that should be avoided to stay healthy: the role of physical exercises to negate the adverse effects

Sedentary

It has been emphasized in several articles of Powertec that being sedentary is bad for the health. If a person has been deprived of periodic physical exercises and muscular exertions for a long time, he will be prone to develop cardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic heart diseases and/or hypertension. The lungs, heart, muscles and bones need to be jarred from time to time—by way of intense physical exercises—so that their functional competence will not deteriorate. This advice needs to be taken seriously especially when an individual has elevated fasting blood sugar, or triglycerides, or cholesterol, or different combinations of the three!

Salt

Certain amount of salt is needed in the human blood and different tissues because it is involved in the different biochemical processes that take place in the bodily systems. If its concentration is below the normal value, an individual will feel weak and sleepy; if very much increased, his blood pressure may increase, depending on his age.

When a person is still young, his/her kidneys are very much capable of eliminating extra salt that has been taken in. However, as he/she grows older, the kidneys become less and less competent to eliminate the unneeded salt. With increased concentration of salt in the blood, much water is retained in the piping system of the human body—the so-called intravascular volume—leading to elevation of blood pressure.

One of the ways of reducing salt in one’s body is for one to perspire; this can be achieved by having periodic and regular gym exercises!

Stress

For as long as one lives in this world, stress of different forms will always be there! To some extent, it is needed for one to fully develop his/her personality—emotionally and intellectually. However, when it comes in high level of intensity and frequency in most of the times, then said stress will surely have adverse effects on the health of an individual. In most of the times, stress arises when one does not know how to manage his/her time! It arises when one does not know how to manage his/her finances and relationships—and when one aspires for an ambition that is beyond his/her means! The basic solution to an stressful life is to simplify the needs of life itself! It is a matter of having the right attitude to pursue simple life in this world!

When one is under stress, one of the ways of relieving it is to have gym sessions and other forms of physical exercises.

Sugar

Sugar, or glucose, is the principal source of energy of every human being. Actually, it is the preferential source of energy of every person! Thus, even if there is much protein and fat in the bodily systems, for as long as glucose is available, it will be used as source of energy ahead of fat and protein. When one is suffering from diabetes mellitus (DM), however, the glucose in the blood is not used properly; in fact, it is not burned by the body because it is not taken up from the bloodstream! The only way to use the glucose which is admixed in the blood is for one to take medication(s) for DM. In addition to taking the appropriate medication(s), the concerned individual needs to control his/her intake of sugar-rich foods! In fact, even the quantity of rice—which is rich in glucose—to be taken in every meal will be limited and measured! As a general precaution, even if one is not suffering from DM, if he/she has a family history of the disease, he/she needs to control his/her intake of sugar! More strictly, even if one does not have a family history of DM, he/she needs to abstain from taking in too much simple sugars for he/she could be the first one to have DM in the family!

Physical exercises have been proven to increase the competence of insulin—the hormone responsible for the burning of glucose! With competent insulin, elevation of blood sugar could be prevented.

Smoking

The adverse effects of cigarette smoking on health have been supported by thousands and thousands of medical literatures! There is no doubt that it could cause lung cancer, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease. The only way to avoid contracting these diseases is to refrain—and stop—from smoking! If one is preoccupied with other activities, such as regular physical exercises, smoking could be avoided!

 

Precautionary measures for diabetics before working out

Have your fasting blood sugar checked

The major problem among diabetic   patients is that their blood sugar is high, but it is low in the different tissues of different organs. For example, it is low in the muscles which are used in doing physical exercises. Hence, it is very dangerous to engage in any form of physical exercises because the muscles are deprived of the sugar very much needed for muscular contractions. With family history of diabetes mellitus, or with established diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, you need to submit yourself to a periodic fasting blood sugar examination so that you will know if your blood sugar is  low, normal  or high. If high, you need to have medicine(s) needed to have your blood sugar absorbed and used by your different bodily systems.

Take your medicines regularly   

If you have been prescribed with medicine(s), take them regularly as scheduled. Do not reduce or increase the dosage(s) of your  medicine(s) without the approval of your medical doctor. Always remember that the anti-diabetic drugs you have been taking are active drugs which could drastically affect the level of your blood sugar. If you reduce them, your blood sugar will increase; if you increase them, they could drastically reduce your blood sugar, and you will experience the clinical manifestations of hypoglycemia, such as sweating,  dizziness, shaking of the extremities, increased heart rate, anxiety, hunger, dizziness, headache, blurring of vision, confusion, abnormal behavior and loss of consciousness.

Avoid physical exercise(s) if the dosages of your medicines are being calibrated   

If you  are a newly diagnosed diabetic patient, the first set of medicine(s) that your medical doctor has prescribed to you is still under observation. After two or four weeks of using the said medicine(s), your fasting blood sugar will be checked to find out if  your blood sugar has been controlled—that is, your fasting blood sugar falls within the normal range! If controlled, then the dosages of your medicines will be continued. If not controlled, your dosages will be increased, or another class of anti-diabetic drug will be added. If your sugar is very much lower than the normal range, then your set of medicine(s) may be so high for you that your medical doctor needs to lower your dosages. During this period of observation and calibration, it is very precarious to engage in physical exercise(s)—especially the intense ones—because you are still unsure of the effect(s) of your present medicine(s). If your blood sugar has turned out to be low, and you engaged in intense physical exercises, you could experience the various clinical manifestations of  hypoglycemia as described above, and you will suffer!  The safest attitude is to wait for the right dosage(s) of your medicines before you engage in physical exercises.

Take your meals regularly and as scheduled

If you are taking anti-diabetic drug(s), it is presumed that you are taking your meals as scheduled. If you are taking your medicines regularly but delaying your meals, you might suffer from hypoglycemia! As mentioned in the preceding, your anti-diabetic drugs are active! Hence, they will effect the absorption and usage of your blood sugar! They will not wait for you to take your meals before they will act! Their actions are very independent from taking your meals. Once you have taken them by mouth, they will start to take effect, regardless of whether you took your meals or not! Hence, your blood sugar will lower considerably if you took your anti-diabetic  medicines but not your meals!

Have regular physical exercises once the right dosages of your medicines have been determined

The blood sugar of a diabetic individual is high because the insulin which is responsible for the uptake and use of blood sugar is either low in quantity or poor in quality. A  person may have the right quantity of insulin; but if they are of poor quality, he may contract, or experience, diabetes mellitus in his lifetime! There are reports in various literatures, however, that regular physical exercises will improve the competence of the insulin! Hence, by doing regular physical exercises, a diabetic person may require lesser drugs compared to someone who remains sedentary.

The FOUR STEPS to a Great Physique

 

The FOUR STEPS to a Great Physique

By: Ian Lauer CSCS

www.IanLauer.com

 

The key to creating your ideal body starts in your head.  You first must determine what it is you desire to create.  Once you know that then you must KNOW you WILL get there.  Once you have mastered those first two MOST IMPORTANT steps, the rest is just tried and true repetition.  What is it that you must repeat?  You must repeatedly eat clean meals with only the OCCASIONAL Cheat Meal AND you must workout REPEATEDLY.

 

It really is that simple to create the physique you have always wanted.  Then why don’t more people attain their ideal body?  That is the result of a breakdown in any of the previously mentioned steps.  First they may not have decided WHAT TYPE OF BODY they want.  If one week they are preparing for a marathon, the next a Powerlifting meet and the next month a Tough-Mudder run  their body is going to be so confused that it won’t have a chance to achieve ANYTHING noteworthy.  Once the desired body is solidified it becomes much easier to create it.  Knowing what body you are looking to create is like having the blueprints when you start building a house.  You know what you are going to build so gathering material and formulating a plan become easy. 

 

Let’s assume that step is in place and they know their desired body.  If they know the body they want but don’t believe they can achieve it, they are yet again defeated.  We are EITHER our own worst enemy or best friend when it comes to achieving greatness.  This is because the mind is so incredibly powerful.  Once a person sets their mind to achieving a goal, in most cases, they will find a way to reach that goal so long as it is even somewhat reasonable.  The most important part of this step is TRULY BELIEVING YOU WILL SUCCEED.  Once you know you will succeed the next two steps become easy.

 

EATING CLEAN is not rocket science.  Many dietitians or nutritionists would have you believe it is however.  Sure, having an exact handle on your macros and caloric breakdowns can be beneficial; but, too often people get discouraged by all the “Science.”  It’s really simple if you want it to be. 

 

BASIC EATING GUIDELINES:

Eat 6 times a day

3-4 meals (roughly 300-500 calories each) Female-Male respectively

2-3 snacks (roughly 100-200 calories each) Female-Male respectively

Have a protein source with each meal/snack

                Drink 1-1.5 gallons of water a day

                Don’t drink liquid calories such as soda, juice, etc.

 

Once you get on track with basic clean eating you’ll be fueling your body appropriately and prepped for the results you are looking for with your training.  What does that training look like?  Again, we need to keep it simple.  If you get too caught up in the latest craze you can easily miss the boat that has worked for tons of people for years…weight training.  Weight training with consistency has consistently given great results.  If you’re reading this article, chances are pretty good you already know the many benefits of weight training so I won’t bore you with details.  Sufficed to say, the most important part of weight training is doing it consistently.  Some will say that dumbbells or barbells or machines or bands or manual resistance or bodyweight is best…don’t worry yourself with all the mumbo jumbo.  Instead focus on knowing that when you get consistent with a resistance training program YOU WILL GET RESULTS.

 

There are a number of different pieces of equipment you can choose from to get the body you want.  As a matter of fact POWERTEC offers a multitude of options themselves.  You have everything you need to train your entire body with any of the following pieces:

 

  • LEVERGYM
  • MULTISYSTEM
  • FUNCTIONAL TRAINER
  • COMPACT GYM
  • FULL RACK with Lat Tower
  • HALF RACK with Lat Tower
  • ROLLER SMITH with Lat Tower

 

All of these pieces offer enormous weight capacity and gym quality movements.  This means you will WANT TO WORKOUT on YOUR Powertec Equipment.  Nothing is worse than a shaky shotty piece of equipment.  With Powertec you know you are getting heavy duty equipment for home use.

What does all this mean to you?  You will have the ability to do ALL of the exercises necessary to build your ultimate physique on any of the mentioned POWERTEC pieces of equipment.  Additionally, what I really like about POWERTEC is the ability to add on later.  This means if at some point in the future you decide you want to pick up some accessories for additional specialty exercises you have that option!  Examples of these would be accessories such at the Preacher Curl/Row, Pec Fly, Leg Press, Leg Extension/Curl, etc.  And again…you can add these on later!  The choice is yours to make.  Pick the piece that works for your spatial needs and get to work knowing YOU WILL arrive at your desired destination if you follow these FOUR SIMPLE STEPS!

 

1. Decide on the body you want

2. Know you Will Achieve it

3. Eat Clean

4. Workout with Weights Consistently

 

 

RIPPED in 60 + 30 featuring the Powertec Levergym

 

RIPPED in 60 + 30

Featuring the POWERTEC Levergym

 

By: Ian Lauer CSCS

www.IanLauer.com

 

 

Are you looking to create your best physique ever?  If you’re reading this chances are pretty good that your answer is a resounding YES!  The good news is that you have come to the right place.  The bad news is that it doesn’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy.  But then again, anything worth accomplishing never is.  Over the years I imagine you have read a slew of workouts and most likely tried a multitude of them.  Changing up your workouts on occasion when you feel you have reached a plateau is a good way to bust through and reach new heights.   That’s what this workout is all about.

 

In the majority of workouts you are focusing on a certain number of reps and sets.  That’s a fine way to workout.   As a matter of fact, the majority of my personal workouts are based on certain rep ranges.  But, on occasion I like to focus on “The Clock.”  You may be asking, “What does that mean?”  I’m eluding to the old concept of “TUT” AKA: “Time Under Tension” combined with “Intensity.”  As a review, TUT means the Time Your Muscle is Under Tension during any given set.  When I say INTENSITY, I’m talking about moving from set to set without wasted time.  You will quickly see that you find yourself working harder and more intensely through the entire workout and during every set when you do this.

 

So, where does the “Ripped in 60 + 30” come into play?  Well, as mentioned before we are combining TUT with INTENSITY and the 60 + 30 are the time periods for each respectively.  In other words, you will be cranking out reps for 60 seconds at a time followed by 30 seconds of rest before the next set and so on and so forth.  The goal for this “Ripped in 60 + 30” workout is a 2:1 Work to Rest ratio.  This is opposite of the Work to Rest ratio of many workouts which are typically more in the range of 1:2-1:5 featuring more Rest than Work.

 

Be aware that when you start a workout such as this you will be forced to use less weight than you would typically use.  This is a result of the temporary muscle fatigue that happens.  We are essentially forcing the body to utilize different energy systems that don’t put out the same kind of power as those that readily recharge and available when you take longer rest periods.  Don’t let this bum you out!  Be aware that at this point you are challenging your body in a slightly different way that will lead to dramatic new results.

 

Your muscle pump and ensuing workout when hitting the Ripped in 60 + 30 is going to be ridiculous.  You will probably notice an increase in appetite.  This is telling you that your metabolism is increasing.  You will also probably notice an increase in post workout muscle soreness.  This too is telling you that your workout has challenged you in a new way.  To top it off you will notice you will be breathing much heavier than usual during your session.  This is the result of the additional work your cardiovascular system is facing in the workout.  All of these are good things and will help you get closer and closer to your target body.

 

You’re probably wondering how long these workouts are and what they look like?  Let’s address question number one first.  For every exercise you will perform FOUR SETS.  That means each exercise is FOUR MINUTES of TUT and a total of TWO MINUTES REST totaling SIX MINUTES TOTAL PER EXERCISE.  In any given workout we will hit FIVE EXERCISES.  The resulting total time is THIRTY MINUTES PER WORKOUT.  You may be thinking, “Thirty minutes isn’t long enough.”  Well I have some news for you…if you stick to “The Clock” strictly you will be amazed at the workout you get in just 30 minutes!  You will get a thorough Weight Training AND Cardiovascular workout in.  I should say that this workout is not about developing your peak strength.  This workout is about getting YOU Ripped!

 

ProNOTE: You can use this training concept with any piece of POWERTEC training equipment.

 

Now that you know what the program is about and understand it’ basic concept, let’s take a look at a specific example of the “RIPPED in 60 + 30” on the POWERTEC Levergym. 

 

 

RIPPED in 60 + 30

Featuring the POWERTEC Levergym

 

THE LIFT:

MONDAY (Chest)

Perform Four Sets for Each Exercise.  Rep each set for 60 seconds and rest for 30 seconds before continuing on with the next set.  Once you finish four sets for a given exercise, move on to the next and start within the 30 second rest period.

 

Bench Press

Incline Bench Press

Chest Fly (Accessory)

Decline Bench Press

Neutral Grip Bench Press

 

TUESDAY (Back)

Perform Four Sets for Each Exercise.  Rep each set for 60 seconds and rest for 30 seconds before continuing on with the next set.  Once you finish four sets for a given exercise, move on to the next and start within the 30 second rest period.

 

Barbell Row

Lat Pull-down (Overhand)

Low Cable Row

Lat Pull-down (Underhand)

Straight arm Press-down (Mimicking a Dumbbell or Barbell Pullover)

 

WEDNESDAY (Legs)

Perform Four Sets for Each Exercise.  Rep each set for 60 seconds and rest for 30 seconds before continuing on with the next set.  Once you finish four sets for a given exercise, move on to the next and start within the 30 second rest period.

 

Squat

Leg Curl

Leg Extension

Alternating Lunges

Calf Raises with Barbell Attachment

 

THURSDAY (Shoulders)

Perform Four Sets for Each Exercise.  Rep each set for 60 seconds and rest for 30 seconds before continuing on with the next set.  Once you finish four sets for a given exercise, move on to the next and start within the 30 second rest period.

 

Shoulder Press

Upright Row (Using Barbell Attachment or Low Cable Attachment)

Single Arm Side Raises from Low Cable Point

(This is the ONE EXCEPTION to the 60 second per lift.  Instead do 30 seconds left arm 30 sec. right arm 30, seconds rest and repeat so that you still get 4 sets for each side.)

Front Raises (From Low Cable Attachment)

Rear Delt Pull (Using Fly Accessory)

 

FRIDAY (Arms)

Perform Four Sets for Each Exercise.  Rep each set for 60 seconds and rest for 30 seconds before continuing on with the next set.  Once you finish four sets for a given exercise, move on to the next and start within the 30 second rest period.

 

Preacher Curl (Accessory)

Triceps Pushdown

Barbell Style Curl

Triceps Dips (Accessory)

Low Cable Curl

Lying Triceps Extension AKA Skull Crusher from Low Pulley Position)

 

SATURDAY (Abs / Lower Back)

Perform Four Sets for Each Exercise.  Rep each set for 60 seconds and rest for 30 seconds before continuing on with the next set.  Once you finish four sets for a given exercise, move on to the next and start within the 30 second rest period.

 

Sit-ups

Supermans

Russian Twists (With Weight Plate)

Twisting Plank

Leg Raises

 

There you go!  In exactly 3 hours per WEEK you can get in all the Weight Training AND Cardio you need to get RIPPED!  It won’t be easy.  It may not always be fun.  But if you stick to it, IT WILL WORK!  Now, get on your POWERTEC Levergym, put in your 3 hours per week and GET RIPPED!