5 Cool Things

1. Training the transverse abdominus (TVA) isn’t as important as learning how to brace your abdominals. The TVA’s main functions are abdominal hollowing and forced expiration. Abdominal hollowing should not be used while exercising. When you hollow your abdomen you are only activating your TVA. When you brace your core you are contracting not only your TVA, but your internal and external obliques as well. Contraction of your external obliques will increase spinal stability, which is very important while lifting weights. It’s also important to brace your core while doing core stability work.
2. The old ‘breakfast is a must’ myth. To be honest, I believed this one until recently too. The studies out there are pretty interesting. This study showed that children who eat breakfast generally have better body composition. Yet the reason for this is because they have a more balanced caloric intake. Results of some studies are taken way out of context and are used to back claims that really have no business being backed. I would say that people who eat breakfast probably aren’t going around snacking on chocolate bars and coke all day, so their diets are probably going to be healthier over all, which in turn leads to better body composition. This still does not mean that eating breakfast will lead to lower bodyfat levels. All the studies that I’ve seen show a correlation between obesity and breakfast. A correlation isn’t causation.
It’s not really possible to pin obesity on one thing, such as breakfast. In intermittent fasting, you may not feed until you are awake for maybe 4 hours. It doesn’t mean that when you eat, you go off the deep end and eat everything in site. If you don’t like eating when you wake up, that’s fine, but make sure you have an actual meal when you start your feeding instead of the Timmy Hoe’s that your boss brought in.
3. Ever heard the bullshit claim that you can only digest 30 grams of protein per serving? This claim is just plain dumb. It’s stemmed from this study I never believed this information because I’d been consuming 50+ grams of protein per meal for quite a while and it simply worked for me. I think people came to the conclusion that you can only digest 30 grams of protein per serving because that was the serving size they used in the study. Yet subjects were in a fasted state when whey and casein were digested. This means that the digestion rate would be increased compared to if they consumed the protein in a fed state. Add some actual food to the equation and it will digest much slower.
If you have 50 grams of protein, where the hell is the other 20 grams going to go? Is the Protein Fairy going to visit you and steal them? No, it’ll digest slowly. Here is a study they did on 11 dudes. They all ate pizza, containing 600 kcal, 75 grams from carbohydrates, and 37 grams from protein and 17 grams from fat. Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) were ALL being digested 5 hours after the meal was complete. Seems like a hell of a long time, considering pizza is generally thought of as a quick digesting food. If you ate something like salmon, roasted potatoes, and veggies, don’t you think it would take even longer for your food to digest?
4. Stabilizing your lumbar spine is important! I rarely ever do any core work, but I’m going to start. A gentleman I met my seminar two weeks ago, helped me set up for a bridge. I wasn’t as good as I thought… To say the LEAST. It turns out he’s a chiropractor. He then assessed my core torsion. I failed that too. It looks like it’s bird-dogs for me for a while.
From what I have seen in the gym, people rarely do bird dogs. When they perform them they don’t do them properly. Here is a good clip on bird dogs.
There are easier progressions, but I like how the demonstrator places on object on the trainees back. This really ensures that the prime movers for the exercise are the glutei maximi and not the lumbar erectors.
5. Here is something I want to share with you about holiday eating. The holidays are a time to enjoy yourself. Part of enjoying yourself is enjoying the excellent options of holiday food out there. I don’t know about you, but come Christmas, I will be destroying turkey, cranberries, stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies and a crap load of dessert. How can you deal with eating feasts while trying to lose fat?
It’s so simple, yet I doubt many people do this. Say you eat breakfast and lunch before your dinner feast. You simply make your breakfast and lunch have a crap load of protein to make you satiated. Meat would be the best choice in these meals. Carbohydrates and fats should be kept minimal. So a salad with a steak or chicken would be a good choice. This will keep your appetite low until dinner. Then when dinner comes, feel free to kill it. If I do this, I will consume somewhere around 200-240g’s of protein and maybe a little fat from the meat. This comes out to somewhere around 1000 kcals. Dinner will probably set me back another 2000 calories or so. My total daily intake then is 3000. 3000 calories is low for me. For someone smaller than I, they could easily take in half as much protein as I am and that would drop their total kcals down to around 2500.
So if you are trying to shed fat, don’t fear the season to be jolly!

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