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In The Long Run

There is no denying that it is harder to stay in shape once you hit 40. But Carl Lewis makes it look easy. The former sprinter champ reveals his secrets to keeping fit.

He was a pro track-and-field star. Arguably the greatest sprinter-long jumper ever to grace this planet. He won nine gold medals from four Olympic Games - 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996. But that was in the past. The American is now an aspiring actor - he had roles in Alien Hunter and Material Girls - and works with non-profit organizations to help the needy and the under-privileged. He also travels the world as a motivational speaker, imparting some of his athletic skills in the process.

He was in Sngapore last month to open the Nike@Vivo City store, he also spent some time coaching sprinters. As he was asked by some journalists on how Singapore sprinters could improve, Urban decided to ask him how he stays in shape.

Ever the realist, he says it gets harder as one gets older. But here are some tips from him:

Pump Iron
He says as you hit the mid-30s, you start losing testosterone, so you have got to do resistance training to maintain muscle mass. By that he means ;igting weights or doing exercises that use your own body as the resistance (push-ups are a good example).

This sounds strange, given that in his heyday, he stood out on the track with his lean, finely muscled frame looked like the Incredible Hulk. When reminded of that, he says that he used to do a lot of resistance work for his lower body, mainly the thighs, during his competitive days. But now he does a more rounded workout which has bulked up his chest and upper arms. He does do cardio work too, but it is all on the treadmill now. He doesn’t do much running outdoors anymore.

Eat Less
Write down everything you put in your mouth he says. He says you will be shocked at how much you eat. Personally, Lewis took one long hard look at his diet at the age of 29 and turned into a vegetarian. But he doesn’t preach that to everyone. He just feels each and everyone of us should reassess what we put into our mouths and make our own adjustments.

Having dispensed this advice, he cuts to the chase and asks, “Everyone nees two reasons for staying in shape. The first is health. What’s the second?”

“Er vanity?” I venture.

He accepts the answer, even admitting that vanity plays a big role in his motivation to stay fit. After all he is a public speaker and it helps to look good in that profession. but then he admits that it was a trick question. “The second reason can be anything,” he says. “Whatever works for you. For some it may be vanity, for others, it could be the adrenaline rush.”

Pradeep Paul
The Straits Times
20 Jan 2007

This article is an abstract from URBAN, The Straits Times, January 4, 2007

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Why Visiting The Gym Less Will Build Muscles More Effectively?

Do you want to know how to build muscle that will produce the same result as regular trainees in your gym?

Well, there is no easy way, but if you vary the intensity of the workout followed by a recovery period, you will build muscle and become stronger.

Conclusive studies and research in building muscle have shown that recuperation from high intensity strength training is required for a more effective muscle gain. Some studies have also shown that muscles are still over compensating or adjusting to their new strength and growth for up to 21 days after the previous workout.

Furthermore, studies involving fitness enthusiasts have found that by reducing the time spent working out at the gym by two thirds, will achieve the same results to build muscle.

And yet, too many regular trainees are spending far too much time at the gym and not allowing the muscle to recover.

Volume training is an ineffective way to build muscle which will cause more harm to the body then necessary.

Constant physical demand or battering to the body will lower the immune system and result in sickness or injury.

If no results have been achieved over a period of time, stop wasting the time and effort on nothing.

The fact is, to build muscle, recovery is essential.

Muscles take between 4-7 days to fully recover from a high intensity workout, and another 2-3 days for over compensation to take place. Not only that, it can also take up to 14 days for the neuro muscular system to fully recover.

The body and muscle group needs time to adjust to the physical demand imposed on it.

In order to build muscle, a 'perfect technique' must be maintained to maximise the impact on the muscle and to minimise the risk of injury. In addition, split strength training programs have been shown to be more beneficial to build muscle than full body training programs.

In addition, scientific research has revealed that blood sugar level or energy depletes after 30 minutes.

A workout to build muscle should be short and simple.

It should consist of a planned exercise selection, and the time needed to perform them.

In other words to build muscle effectively, aim to stimulate as many muscle fibre in the shortest amount of time followed by recovery at home!

In order to accomplish this, aim for a quality workout that consists of:
1) Building muscle with perfect technique;
2) Push to total failure, where you cannot move the bar when performing a set;
3) Vary the intensity and overload the weight on the bar progressively;
4) Build muscle with exercises consisting of multi joint movements.
5) A required amount of time for muscle recovery, and allow the muscle to adapt to the new strength and growth.

By following these principles, you can build muscle more effectively than the regular trainees who waste their efforts at the gym with high volume training.

Rest days (and eating right)are just as important as workout days. Build muscle by giving your muscles time to recover between each workout sessions!

Jason Oh
24 Feb 2007

For more information building muscle with maximum result, visit this
muscle website that offers helpful tips, advice and resources for gym enthusiast looking to gain muscle without spending too much time at the gym.

7 Reasons Why People Fail At Both Diet and Exercise

Many people try diet and exercise and when they don't get fast results they assume it doesn't work and quit. The next seven reasons examine why many people do not continue their diet and exercise program:

1) Goal Setting. An important step for any fitness success story is setting both long and short-term goals. You need to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. People who do not set goals tend to have a high drop out rates.

2) Those who have difficulty with weight loss usually are not eating a diet that regulates insulin and blood sugar levels. If you are eating any processed foods, sugary foods or any carbs that come in a bag or box you are basically telling your body to store fat

3)Few people take even 10-20 minutes to plan their next days meals. Witout preplanned food you are left to hunt and gather in the outside world which is usually a fat loss disaster.

4) People workout like the 80's. While 80's music may be popular that doesn't mean you have to do the inefficient fat burning exercise of that decade.

Stick to interval training and weight training to lose the fat.

5) Almost no one eats the required amounts of fruits and veggies. Besides all the great nutrients the fiber helps control insulin thus supporting an optimal hormonal
profile for fat loss.

6) People further screw up their hormones by staying out late on the weekends and drinking. Alcohol has a negative effect on insulin. Lack of sleep effects another fat promoting hormone called cortisol.

7)Many people do not preplan before going to the gym. Studies show that those who follow preplanned structured workouts have better fitness levels. Further, if you workout with a buddy and make yourself accountable to someone your chances are even greater. Again, stay with interval training and weight training.

Maybe you noticed a few things on the list you weren't doing or weren't doing consistently. I call this my Super Seven list. It contains the seven essential rules to need to get you started. Get these basics down before you move on to anything more complicated. They are the cornerstone for support and success.

Dr. Lanny Schaffer
24 Apr 2007

Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist who is the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge fitness information please go

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