(from Level One Training and Fitness, December, 2012)

The zombie apocalypse is on December 21…

…well, probably not, but it’s still a subject which provides a few laughs as an intrepid group of usually about 10 people power their way through ab, upper body, and lower body work during class.

Remember to work hard on the work interval, generally 80% of your maximum ability or higher and then keep your rest interval at about 50%.  The post-workout calorie burn is greater after this type of workout when compared to traditional forms of cardio such as running, jogging, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes.

First visits for non-clients are free and if they like the class, subsequent visits are $10.00. See you there!

“Protein denatures if you premix it and that’s bad.”

That’s not really true.

Remember to check your sources before accepting something as fact. The statement above was made by a supplement shop owner to several people who in turn asked me if it was indeed true. Without getting into the lengthy chemical reactions and associated discussion, protein can become denatured by various means, including through the application of heat. How much heat you ask? Usually around 106 degrees Fahrenheit. But, that doesn’t mean the protein is now “bad.” Take eggs as an example. When they are raw, the protein rich egg white is generally translucent, but upon cooking it turns a solid white. Is the egg now bad? No, only it’s chemical state has changed, but the protein is still present.

Premixing protein (as in a protein shake or smoothie) is not bad.  However, premixing it and not keeping it cold can generally lead you to some, er, gassy problems or worse. Remember, most protein powders are either made from whey or casein, both of which are milk proteins and as such, must be treated as a dairy product, i.e. kept cold or refrigerated.  

So the next time someone tells you not to premix your shake because it will denature and turn bad, smile and say, “That’s not really true…”

Freddy! I gained 7 pounds!!! NOOOOOO!

Fortunately, it was a good 7 pounds!

The importance of building muscle is sometimes understated and buried under a variety of misconceptions. Contrary to popular belief and despite their time spent working out, the vast majority of women will NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT “grow to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger” (Myth #1).

Women are not capable of producing enough testosterone to help with the growth of muscle tissue to such a magnitude. In the case of an actual client, multiple factors led to an increase in her weight: nutrition, cardio, and resistance training. By her own admission, nutrition was not given as much consideration as she had desired and even less was devoted to her cardio. As a result, the resistance training in which she participated contributed to a loss of 2% in body fat and a concurrent increase in lean body mass of 2.5%.

Now before you get any ideas, she did not “convert fat to muscle” (Myth #2); muscle tissue and adipose tissue (fat) are two completely different types of tissue and are created by two different processes.

So, she should “only do cardio” (Myth #3). If that were only the case! You see, she still needs to do full-body resistance training to develop a proportional and toned look when she gets her BF% and weight down to where she wants it.  If anything, she’s in a great position to do just that! On top of that, because she’ll be stronger, she’ll be more able, capable, agile, and just have more athleticism. This will allow her to be more active which in turn will allow her to burn even more calories. See how it works?

Holiday eating

It really is easier than most think.

Honestly, it isn’t necessary to stress yourself over something like good, proper nutrition.  All it takes is some thought, advanced preparation and planning, maybe an hour each week to cook your major meals, and VOILA! You’ve created good eats for yourself. I, for one, dislike turning things into a science project.  First of all, I don’t consider myself a scientist.  Secondly, even if I was a scientist, nutrition probably wouldn’t be my field of interest.  But, I digress.

Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables among others. Have some fruit. Have some good complex carbs. And have some good quality protein: fish, chicken, etc. Oh, and don’t forget the water. Drink lots of water. Now, if you want me to get creative and start cooking for you, that will be extra, but I’m sure you can handle the cooking on your own.

Out and About

Cowles Mountain (pronounced “coals”)

Just outside the northern border of La Mesa and in the eastern limits of the city of San Diego is Cowles Mountain. At a height of 1,593 feet above sea level (vertical ascent of approx. 873 feet via the main trailhead), Cowles provides many with the opportunity to “climb a mountain” without having to travel great distances. A feature within Mission Trails Regional Park (which is also comprised of North and South Fortuna Mountains and Lake Murray), Cowles usually requires a solid 1 hour round trip give or take up to 30 minutes.

Avoid major holidays, mid-mornings, and mid-afternoons as these all tend to contribute to a HUGE increase in foot traffic. Great times to go usually include misty mornings since the mist settles the dust nicely and helps the trail feel a bit more tacky when it comes to traction. Mornings with a low cloud deck or ground fog also tend to be spectacular as you climb “above the clouds.” Night hikes are good fun, just remember to bring a decent flashlight or two and make sure you have a cell with service in case of an emergency.

There are several trails leading to the summit including the main trailhead (elev. 720 feet) at the intersection of Navajo Road and Golfcrest Drive and my favorite, the Barker Way Trail (elev. 760 feet) located near the intersection of Barker Way and Boulder Lake Avenue. The main trail probably carries more than 95% of the hikers with the remaining 5% distributed over the remaining trails including two which originate within the city limits of Santee. 

Movember Update

Thanks to everyone who donated!

With your help, I was able to raise over $200.00 in support of men’s health issues as it relates directly to prostate and testicular cancer. Despite the informal vote which indicated I should keep the ‘stache, I shaved it off on December 2. Not to worry, it will be back next Movember 2013!

Be sure to reach out to us on our Contact page if you have any questions or would like to explore training with Level One Training and Fitness!