Tagged: Cycling

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How to cycle faster – 10 secrets from the pros


BT.com

How to cycle faster – 10 secrets from the pros
BT.com
At around 20mph, two-thirds of a rider’s effort is used to overcome air resistance. According to Tom Barras from cycle training mentor Training-Pro.co.uk and himself a professional rider for 15 years and full-time cycling coach, “Riding with forearms

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Gym and Studio Sync lets Strava users upload their indoor workouts too – Digital Trends

Why it matters to you

Strava now tracks not only outdoor activities like running and cycling, but gym workouts too, providing a more complete picture of a user’s fitness routine.

Strava[1] (iOS[2]/Android[3]) has been one of the top fitness apps for outdoor athletes for several years now, allowing runners, cyclists, rowers, skiers, and even rock climbers to track and share their workout data online. But the company knows that not all workouts take place outdoors and that many of its users spend plenty of time in the gym too. To better meet the needs of those users Strava is updating its platform[4] by adding a new option called Gym and Studio Sync[5]. This feature not only expands the number of activities tracked by the system, but gives users credit for a variety of indoor workouts they do too.

Gym and Studio Sync allows Strava users to link their account with select gyms, fitness studios, and even other apps to automatically upload workout data directly to their online profiles. This gives Strava, which already sees 11 million activities uploaded each week, the potential to become the one-stop shop for storing all workout data, making it easier to track performance improvements from all activities over time. Of course, the data will also be available for sharing with friends too, sparking friendly rivalries and spurring a bit of competition among users.

Strava

So far, Gym and Studio Sync integration has been announced for Flywheel Sports[6] and Expresso[7] cycling studios, the Fitbod[8] (iOS[9]) and LiveRowing[10] (iOS[11]) apps, Life Time[12] gyms, and the Peloton[13] cycling trainer. This gives users the ability to upload data from their morning spin class[14] or workout routine at the gym for instance, or share the data from a cycling or rowing session that they completed indoors while at home. Previously, those types of fitness routines went untracked within the Strava platform, but now any workout conducted with these partners will automatically be shared to the system.

If your favorite gym or studio is not currently on the list, do not lose heart. Strava promises that it will be expanding the list of supported gyms, studios, apps, and devices over the next few months, bringing more partners into the program. The company says that with the addition of the Gym and Studio Sync program, it will now track more than 31 different types of activities, giving users a more well-rounded fitness experience.

To find out more visit strava.com[15].

References

  1. ^ Strava (www.strava.com)
  2. ^ iOS (itunes.apple.com)
  3. ^ Android (play.google.com)
  4. ^ updating its platform (www.digitaltrends.com)
  5. ^ Gym and Studio Sync (blog.strava.com)
  6. ^ Flywheel Sports (www.blog.strava.com)
  7. ^ Expresso (www.blog.strava.com)
  8. ^ Fitbod (www.blog.strava.com)
  9. ^ iOS (itunes.apple.com)
  10. ^ LiveRowing (blog.strava.com)
  11. ^ iOS (itunes.apple.com)
  12. ^ Life Time (www.blog.strava.com)
  13. ^ Peloton (www.blog.strava.com)
  14. ^ morning spin class (www.digitaltrends.com)
  15. ^ strava.com (www.strava.com)
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How To Up Your Fitness, Fast – Without Spending On A Gym Membership – HuffPost UK

Summer might be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean your workouts have to slow down. When autumn rolls around and the evenings get dark, it’s nice to head to a warm gym to keep fit. But what if you don’t fancy giving a third of your take-home pay to your local gym?

Never fear. There are alternatives that don’t involve fighting another gym-goer for the treadmill. You don’t even have to get dressed to try out kettlebell exercises at home in your pyjamas. Take your fitness to the next level and save pennies while you’re at it.

Todor Tsvetkov via Getty Images

Kettlebells

When you’re short on time and you don’t want to get dressed to workout, try kettlebell exercises at home. A kettlebell is a cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. You can use them for strength and cardiovascular exercise. Swinging a kettlebell around is seriously hard work. You’ll work up a proper sweat while burning calories and toning muscles.

Cecilie_Arcurs via Getty Images

Wild swimming

Swimming pools can be pricey and they are often filled with screaming children. If you don’t mind braving the cold, find your local wild swimming spot and go for a dip. Hampstead Ponds is a famous wild swimming lake in London and is a lot cheaper than regular pool, at £2 a dip. 

Swimming is a low-impact workout so it’s great if you are recovering from an injury, plus you’ll start to see your fitness improve in a whole new way. Take a look at the Wild Swimming[1] website for local swimming ponds near you.

Johner Images via Getty Images

Plenty of cities have pay-as-you-ride bikes now, making it cheaper than ever to go cycling. It’s fantastic for building cardiovascular fitness and toning your muscles. Regular short cycle rides are the best way to get fit. Start biking twice a week and gradually build it up – before long you’ll be that person powering uphill on your bike with legs of steel.

NKS_Imagery via Getty Images

Tennis doesn’t have to involve signing up to an expensive club. Whacking a ball around is one of the best ways to get fit while having fun. Tennis is all about quick explosive movements and dynamic strength, plus it builds stamina and encourages coordination. There are dozens of free access tennis courts around the country. Some even offer free coaching for families. Find your nearest free tennis court on the Tennis For Free[2] website.

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While not traditionally thought of as a fitness regime, yoga can be an intense workout if you practice the right style. Ashtanga and vinyasa style yoga not only stretches muscles but also strengthens your core and tones your upper and lower body. A one-hour vinyasa class burns nearly 600 calories. You can easily practice yoga at home by following YouTube videos or join a pay-monthly site. Try Yoga With Adriene’s 45-minute Power Yoga class[3] for starters. 

Portra via Getty Images

All you need to start running is a pair of trainers. The beauty of pacing pavements is you can do it anywhere – whether it’s on your commute to work or along the coastal path on holiday. Start with a short 10 minute jog and slowly build up to 30-40 minutes. Don’t berate yourself if you have to walk.

Just challenge yourself, next time, to run a little further. Running is the perfect fitness regime if you want to see results fast and it is totally free.

Hoxton/Ryan Lees via Getty Images

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It involves short bursts of exercise that you can do at home to build strength, stamina and increase your metabolism. Fitness Blender[4] is one of our favourite YouTube channels for HIIT exercises. You can choose different length workouts, from quick 10-minute cardio sessions to kickboxing and skipping. You don’t need any special equipment and you won’t have to pay a penny. If the sun is shining, take that HIIT regime outside and do it in your local park.

skynesher via Getty Images

References

  1. ^ Wild Swimming (www.wildswimming.co.uk)
  2. ^ Tennis For Free (tennisforfree.com)
  3. ^ Power Yoga class (www.youtube.com)
  4. ^ Fitness Blender (www.fitnessblender.com)
  5. ^ Suggest a correction (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
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How your DNA can reveal the perfect workout

We might like to think we’re brilliantly unique, but we share the majority of our DNA makeup with all the other humans on the planet, and slight genetic[1] variations make us who we are. Now, this information is being harnessed to help both athletes and the average Joe achieve their fitness potentials. 

This technology is the next step in the personalised fitness[2] dominated by Fitbits and other tracking devices. It is science that Olympic athletes including Greg Rutherford premier league football teams are said to swear by.

Most recently, health firm DNA Fit rolled out its Elevate software, which enables clients to access workouts built around their genetic coding on their smartphones and other devices.

To fetch this data, clients swab the inside of their mouths, and post off the cotton bud to the DNA Fit lab. There, technicians test for sensitivity to fats, lactose, gluten, carbohydrates, salt, alcohol and caffeine, among others things. A week or so later, a 25-page diet report and 15-page fitness rundown is sent back. 

As well as determining whether a person is particularly sensitive and prone to putting on weight after eating certain food groups, DNA markers can pinpoint if a person is more predisposed to training for endurance – such as cycling or running – or power – including weight lifting, high intensity resistance training and sprinting. Even details like the number of reps per exercise and recovery times are said to be lurking in our DNA. Trainers use this data to tailor efficient workouts and diets to help their client maximise their health.

The exercise it takes to burn off high-calorie foods – in pictures

“Thanks to the lowering cost of genotyping analysis researches studies are now possible at a fraction of the cost, this helps the science move forward,” DNA Fit founder, Avi Lasarow told The Independent. This is how the team informs the training plans with Elevate, he explains.

Nicholas Jones, the head of firm DNA Sports Performance, has worked with the England rugby and hockey teams and carried out studies into using genetic markers to enhance fitness at Lanchashire University. In a study on rowers published in the ‘Biology of Sport’ journal, Jones pinpointed whether participants fell into the endurance or power bracket. 

“If you match your genotype with your training the likelihood of significant improvement was 21 times more in the power test and 28.5 times more in endurance, test compared with people who were mismatched,” he told The Independent.

“Let’s flip that to yourself who’s just at the gym after Christmas and you want to get fit. You go to gym you and don’t see improvements. You don’t get more strong or powerful you get disgruntled and leave after four weeks. Whereas if you had done the genetic test you’d be much more likely to see the results you’re after quicker. You’re more likely to carry on in the gym as a result,” he argues. 

However, sceptics aren’t so convinced. Focusing on 45 of the 10million gene variants in the human body, as such tests do, gives only a small glimpse into our genetic profiles. 

“If you want to know how good someone is likely to be at sport, you’ll probably get a better idea by looking at them and their body shape,” Mark Thomas, professor of evolutionary genetics at University College London told The Telegraph. 

Maintaining a healthy diet is also key to hitting peak levels of performance.

“You have to think about environmental factors,” says Jones. “Take Team GB runner Mo Farah and his twin brother. Side by side you can see photos of them. His brother is quite overweight and isn’t a world class athlete. His environment has identical genes to Mo but his environment hasn’t allowed him to use the potential of the genes.” 

So, genetic test or no, at the end of the day none of us will become an Adonis without putting the hard work in at the gym. 

Reuse content[3]

References

  1. ^ genetic (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ fitness (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ Reuse content (www.independent.co.uk)
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From texting to having sex: The ultimate full-body workout to flex your muscles WITHOUT hitting the gym

  • Anatomy expert Mike Aunger explains we use far more muscles than we realize
  • Sex uses 657 muscles, dad dancing uses 85 muscles, texting uses 38 muscles

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Sometimes getting fit can seem like an uphill struggle. 

With the days short, the weather cold, and the comfort food tantalizing, we could find a million excuses to avoid the gym – before ourselves for letting New Year’s Resolutions slip.

But anatomy expert Mike Aunger insists we mustn’t be disheartened: there are scores of everyday movements that keep every single one of our muscles active.

Chief among them is sex, which uses every single one of our 657 muscles – depending on your mood. 

Sex uses every single one of the 657 muscles in our body - depending on your mood

Sex uses every single one of the 657 muscles in our body - depending on your mood

Sex uses every single one of the 657 muscles in our body – depending on your mood

Aunger is one of the driving forces behind a new campaign to help people better train, fuel and use our bodies.

The campaign is in aid of raising awareness about muscular dystrophy, a tragic fatal disease that robs children of their bodily movements.

While we may not realize it, we use hundreds of muscles to do everything – whether we’re texting, playing golf, running for the bus, or puckering up for a kiss.

Running involves 99 muscles, while kissing involves 35, and texting 38.

Dad dancing, which focuses on the lower limbs for a good ‘bop’, consumes the energy of a staggering 85 muscles.

You’d be better off, however, dancing the waltz, which uses 135 muscles.

Astonishingly, even watching a movie involves 16 muscles (in your eyes).  

In terms of solid exercise, a golf drive uses 137 muscles, while cycling uses 155.

But really, if a full-body workout is your goal, you’d be better off having sex.

Kissing uses 35 muscles of the face, including eight muscles of the tongue, and three major muscles of the mouth

Kissing uses 35 muscles of the face, including eight muscles of the tongue, and three major muscles of the mouth

Kissing uses 35 muscles of the face, including eight muscles of the tongue, and three major muscles of the mouth

Crying activates the cheeks and the eye muscles, amounting to 17

Crying activates the cheeks and the eye muscles, amounting to 17

Crying activates the cheeks and the eye muscles, amounting to 17

All lower hand and arm muscles - including your biceps and triceps - come into play when texting

All lower hand and arm muscles - including your biceps and triceps - come into play when texting

All lower hand and arm muscles – including your biceps and triceps – come into play when texting

‘In the bedroom, every muscle matters,’ Aunger, who runs London clinic Technique Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine[2] explains. 

‘All your skeletal muscles are essential for movement, no matter how vigorous.

‘All your autonomous (involuntary) smooth muscles play a ceaseless role in digestion, respiration, circulation and bodily function.

‘And of course your cardiac muscles are integral for pumping your blood into all the right places.’ 

That said, for any activity, it is important to stay active. 

‘It’s never been more important to keep your muscles healthy,’ Aunger insists.

‘Physical inactivity can cause you to lose as much as 3–5 percent of muscle mass each decade but you can slow the decline with regular exercise and optimal protein nutrition.’ 

'It's never been more important to keep your muscles healthy,' anatomy expert Mike Aunger explains

'It's never been more important to keep your muscles healthy,' anatomy expert Mike Aunger explains

‘It’s never been more important to keep your muscles healthy,’ anatomy expert Mike Aunger explains

You need to use your shoulders, core, and lower limbs to run for the bus

You need to use your shoulders, core, and lower limbs to run for the bus

You need to use your shoulders, core, and lower limbs to run for the bus

Cycling is one of the best exercises you can give your body, using 155 muscles

Cycling is one of the best exercises you can give your body, using 155 muscles

Cycling is one of the best exercises you can give your body, using 155 muscles

In a bid to get more people embracing their own strength, Aunger has helped design at #657challenge – an attempt at a new version of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

While the incredibly successful Ice Bucket Challenge was in aid of people with locked-in syndrome (ALS), this is to support people with muscular dystrophy. 

Essentially it involves sitting and standing with a full glass of water on your head. 

In a bid to get more people embracing their own strength, Aunger has helped design at #657challenge - an attempt at a new version of the Ice Bucket Challenge

In a bid to get more people embracing their own strength, Aunger has helped design at #657challenge - an attempt at a new version of the Ice Bucket Challenge

In a bid to get more people embracing their own strength, Aunger has helped design at #657challenge – an attempt at a new version of the Ice Bucket Challenge

The challenge involves sitting and standing with a full glass of water on your head

The challenge involves sitting and standing with a full glass of water on your head

The challenge involves sitting and standing with a full glass of water on your head

In terms of solid exercise, a golf drive uses 137 muscles

In terms of solid exercise, a golf drive uses 137 muscles

In terms of solid exercise, a golf drive uses 137 muscles

We engage muscles just craning the neck, making a sound, or clenching the eyes shut

We engage muscles just craning the neck, making a sound, or clenching the eyes shut

We engage muscles just craning the neck, making a sound, or clenching the eyes shut

Those who think that sounds easy should try it themselves: 

STEP 1: Fill a glass of water (to the brim if you’re confident).

STEP 2: From standing, hold the glass in place on your head with both hands (take one hand off if you have to but aim to keep both on the glass).

STEP 3: Bend your legs to lower yourself to the ground until you’re sitting fully cross-legged on the floor (bum must be in contact with the ground).

STEP 4: From sitting, drive back up off the floor without removing the glass from your head (this is where you might get a little water spillage).

STEP 5: Once you’re back standing, assess the spillage. 

To find out more about the challenge, visit Upbeat Active’s blog on Medium[3]

How SEX uses 657 muscles 

We engage muscles just craning the neck, making a sound, or clenching the eyes shut.

Does it count towards your 30 minutes of exercise a day?

That depends on your mood. 

Studies have shown most sex can be equated to something like a brisk walk in terms of exercise.

But no other activity engages muscles quite like sex.

Here is a breakdown: 

FACIAL MUSCLES – 35 muscles

The main muscle used to perform the kissing motion is the obicularis oris, the muscle that control the movement of the mouth and lips.

It is primarily used to pucker up the lips.  

The other muscles that play a noticeable part in the action of kissing are the platysma (which depresses the mouth), elevator labii superioris (which controls the top lip), depressor labii inferioris (which controls the bottom lip) and of course the tongue (made up of eight muscles).

TO MAKE SOUND – 50 muscles

It may feel like a spontaneous moan. 

But that sound is activating all the muscles you hear about in those dreaded ab workouts – including your rectus abdominus (one muscle) and your obliques (four muscles), 

A noise of ecstasy also uses the diaphragm (one muscle), a variety of chest muscles (44 muscles), neck muscles (eight muscles), and upper back muscles (two muscles). 

EYE MUSCLES – 16 muscles (if the lights are on and blindfold off)

The more you open, move or swivel your eyes, the more action your facial muscles are getting. 

Two muscles power horizontal movement.

Another two muscles (superior rectus and inferior rectus) work against each other to lift and lower the eyes.  

And two more power the eyelids.

That is, if the lights are on… and no blindfold is involved.  

NECK POSTURE – 22 muscles

Rotating the head, flexing the head, looking down, looking up, raising the shoulders… these are all a fact of sex. 

And to achieve this, your muscles need to be alert.   

LOWER LIMB MUSCULATURE – 52 muscles

This is the part of the body providing most musculature support for sex – in men and women. 

You can forget squats in the gym – try some interesting positions to really work your quads, biceps femoris (back of the thigh), and calves. 

PELVIS + CORE – 21 muscles

You may not be thinking about your gluteus maximus, medius, minimus, tensor fascia latea, or ilio psoas major and minor when you’re in the moment. 

But these pelvic muscles are the key to the thrust. With these in top condition, performance is a walk in the park. And sex may help you exercise these muscles. 

You also need a strong core, stimulating your obliques and abs once again. 

SHOULDER GIRDLE AND ARM MUSCLES – 26 muscles

These can really come into play depending on the position. 

Your shoulder muscles (including your major and minor rhomboids and your latissimus dorsi) will be exercised when you tense your shoulder blades together. 

You also use your serratus anterior (or ‘wings’ – the muscles that sit under your armpits) biceps, and triceps.

HAND MUSCLES – 34 muscles

The list of muscles used to grab something, or to move your hand, is extensive and wordy. 

But for those interested, an action-packed session will work out a whole of host of muscles including such things as your brachoradilais, pronator teres, palmaris longus, flexor carpi ulnaris, pronator quadratus, and flexor carpi radialis.

HEART – 1 muscle

The cardiac muscle (different to skeletal and smooth muscles) is used to pump blood around the body (and to all the right places).

HERO MUSCLE OF THE PERINEUM – 1 muscle

The bulbospongiosus plays the starring role between the sheets for both sexes. 

Found in the perineum (between the scrotum or vulva and the anus) it contributes to erection, contractions of orgasm and ejaculation in men and clitoral erection, contractions of orgasm and closing of the vagina in women.

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References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Technique Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine (www.techniquephysio.com)
  3. ^ Upbeat Active’s blog on Medium (medium.com)
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TAURINE -The Next Super Supplement for Bodybuilding?

Does the name Taurine sound familiar? Well, yes, if you are someone who drinks Red Bull frequently and have actually cared to check the ingredients. For those who haven’t, you can check out the word “Taurine” written in a stylish font at the back of the can. There`s a reason why it’s added to Red Bull and if you weren’t aware, we’re going to break it down for y’all.

What is Taurine?

TAURINE -The Next Super Supplement for Bodybuilding© Thinkstock/Getty Images

Taurine is an organic compound, a naturally occurring amino acid which is found in high concentration in white blood cells, skeletal muscles, the central nervous system and as well as in the heart muscles. It is a major component of bile (bile helps in digestion of fat) in humans. It’s found in the large intestine and accounts for up to 0.1% of your total bodyweight. 

Is It An Essential or Non-essential Amino acid?

TAURINE -The Next Super Supplement for Bodybuilding© Thinkstock/Getty Images

For those of you who are hearing these terms for the first time, let me clear them doubts for you. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins which are categorized into two types:-

Essential Amino Acids :-  These cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from food or supplements. The 9 essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Non-Essential Amino acids:-These are made by the body itself but some of these can be termed ‘conditionally essential’ as well.  That is because external dosage becomes essential under conditions of physical stress or trauma, when the body cannot produce a sufficient amount to meet demand. Some conditionally essential amino acids are: glutamine, arginine, cysteine and ‘taurine’.

What It (Possibly) Can Do 

TAURINE -The Next Super Supplement for Bodybuilding© Thinkstock/Getty Images

Not all supplements act the same way on every consumer. Effects of supplements are very subjective, that’s why we used the word ‘possibly’. 

1. Strength Gains:-It can act similarly to Creatine, increasing cell hydration. Not only will this make muscles appear fuller but also provide indirect stimulus for anabolism.

2. Fat Oxidation:-In some studies, acute ingestion of 1.66 g of Taurine before exercise resulted in a small but significant increase in fat oxidation during sub-maximal cycling in endurance-trained cyclists.

3. Improved Pumps:- Taurine has been shown to participate in the excitation-contraction coupling mechanism in skeletal muscles, which means that it affects the transmission of an electrical signal into muscle fibers. This has obvious importance in ensuring optimal muscle performance, which eventually leads to enhancement in gains. 

4. Improved (Aerobic) Athletic Performance:- A study published by Japanese researchers in 2003 examined 11 men aged 18 to 20, who were told to perform bicycle exercises until they were exhausted. After taking taurine supplements for seven days (each time, before their workout), the men showed significant increases in VO2max (the maximum capacity of a person’s body to transport and use oxygen) and time until exhaustion sets in. The researchers credited the improvement to taurine’s antioxidant activity and protection of cellular properties

5. Taurine and Stress:- Taurine has the ability to calm the CNS, or central nervous system. It can work to reduce anxiety and stress levels as well. Low taurine intake can leave your central nervous system prone to stress and chronic high stress levels. As I mentioned in the start, since it’s a conditionally essential amino, its requirement can go up when an athlete is under physical or mental stress. 

Dietary Sources Of Taurine

Fish , Meat ,Chicken, Egg, whole milk and cheese 

How To Supplement With Taurine

Consume 1-3gm a day, 30 minutes before workout.

Other Important Things About Taurine

Apart from its performance-enhancing benefits, it is also being heavily researched as an anti-diabetic compound due to its effects on various organs of the body of most concern to diabetics (kidney, eye, and nerve health) as well as controlling blood sugar while reducing some forms of insulin resistance.

Due to the multiple benefits it offers, it is a supplement which old people/Vegans/Athletes with medical conditions discussed above can benefit highly from.

More research is needed in healthy athletes and particularly for strength athletes and bodybuilders to determine the complete effects of taurine.

Photo: © YouTube (Main Image)