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Triple ​Star Records

Lost Children Foundation, Incorporated

Literacy, Personal Training, and Continuing Education


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Recomping ???

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (702)
Recomping ???

First, to offer some perspective, let’s briefly talk about bulking and cutting. Bulking is trying to gain weight, and ideally most of that weight would be muscle. When Bulking one intentionally consumes more calories than their body needs, in conjunction with weight training, in order to gain weight with the understanding that fat gain will be inevitable. The idea is to limit fat gain as much as possible while maximizing muscle gain. Cutting on the other hand is the exact opposite. When cutting, one intentionally consumes less calories than their body needs in order to lose weight with the understanding that muscle loss will be inevitable. The idea is to limit muscle loss as much as possible while maximizing fat loss.  

You can see how it's impossible to achieve these two goals simultaneously . You cannot not be in a caloric surplus and a caloric deficit at the same time. 

Now when recomping, the idea isn't to get the number on the scale to move up or down, but to improve body composition. In other words, one isn't interested in weight loss, they just want to have less body fat and improve the appearance of their physique by increasing the size of their biceps, their shoulders, and maybe decrease their waistline. 

Now this is possible with people who are untrained. In fact clients of mine will frequently tell me that their clothes fit differently after several months, but unless their diet is such that it allows them to lose weight, the number on the scale stays put. 

Also, recomping is only worthwhile if you're someone who is unhappy with a particular part of your body, or your physique, rather than how much you weigh . For instance, many dresses are sleeveless. If you're a woman who isn't over weight, you can certainly improve the appearance of your arms without losing or gaining weight, but if you have too much body fat the muscles of your arms won't be visible due to the layer of fat covering them. 

In essence, if you're happy with your weight, but not your physique, than recomping is for you, but if you're not happy with your weight, than you need to focus on increasing or decreasing your weight. 

As for the exercises you should employ,  the rep ranges should be in the 12-15 range for three to five sets. If someone wants to improve the size of their chest, the exercises should include bench press, incline bench press, chest flyes  and cable cross-overs. For triceps and shoulders, in addition to bench press and incline press, because those two movements hit the shoulders along with the chest, military press should also be included, and to further isolate the shoulders, you can include lateral raises, front raises, and rear delts flyes.  For compound exercises ( bench press, military press, and shoulder press ) a lower rep range ( 6-8 reps, 8-10 reps, or 10-12 reps ) is fine. For back, bent over rows, lat pull downs, single arm dumbbell rows, and cable rows are compound exercises that will hit the back and ,to some extent, the biceps. 

Now isolation exercises for the biceps and rear deltoids of the shoulders are crucial due to the size of the muscle groups in the back. Just relying on compound movements for biceps and the rear deltoids is insufficient because ( since the back is such a large muscle group ) they aren't as involved in those compound movements. They're involved, and it's fine just to rely on them if your goal is simply a full body workout, but if increasing the size of your biceps or rear deltoids is your goal, you'll need more stimulation. For isolation exercises ( lateral raises, front raises, etc. ) one should stay within the 12-15 rep range. This is for two reasons. The first reason is safety. Isolation exercises involve one muscle and one joint. The higher the rep range, the lighter the weight, and the less pressure that is put on the joint responsible for flexion or extension during the contraction of muscle. The second reason is that your body is a machine that's designed to work together. When "isolating" a muscle, you're not isolating the muscle in the sense that the muscle is the only muscle that's involved in that movement. What you are doing is limiting the involvement of any other muscles that are involved in that movement. The heavier the weight, the lower the rep range, and the lower the rep range, the more other muscles will become involved. Obviously, that's not what you want.

Exercise, The Key That Can Open the Door to Good Health

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 8:48 PM Comments comments (85)

The benefit of exercise is unquestionable.  We have all heard that exercise is “good” for you.  When we’re young, it is so easy to exercise.   It happens naturally, and it takes very little effort when we are in our twenties, but wait, once we are in our mid-thirties, and heading toward forty and fifty, not only is regular exercise tremendously important; it is tougher to do because regular exercise, at least two to three times a week, requires a commitment and has to be built into one’s lifestyle.
Everyone exercises without even trying when they are young, but once we get older and busy with our lives, families, careers, and numerous interests, we tend to put exercise at the bottom of the list or on the back burner.  Only those people who are dedicated to an exercise regime will reap the benefits of healthy aging and a healthy lifestyle free of debilitating diseases that accompany old age.
In retrospect, if you doubt the positive impact of exercise on the body, just compare a person who made exercise a regular part of his/her life with one who did not.  The difference in the two individuals is incontestable.  The person who exercised will look healthier, may even be slimmer, more energetic, and most of all he/she will be mentally sharp and have a good image of self.   Believe me, when I say, these individuals are happy.
People, who keep exercise at the forefront of their lives, are the healthiest people on the planet.  Take a look around you.  A cancer patient or person suffering a heart attack has a greater chance of survival because of the benefits of exercise.  So fight sickness with the best remedy of all−a regular exercise regime.
Not many people, fifty and over, can boast that they don’t take medication.  Many of us rely on pills to keep us healthy, to control our blood pressure, our cholesterol, diabetes, to keep our joints flexible, and, yes, to relieve pain, but I say to you now, the best pill anyone can take is exercise.  Just as you make time to take your medication, you need to take time to exercise, the best pill of all. 
The purpose of this blog is just to impress upon my readers how important exercise is to living healthy.  Stay tuned for more good advice about very simple ways to enhance the only life you have.  No one can do it for you; you are all on your own.  Take one day at a time, and make exercise count.  You won’t regret it, and your body will thank you.
Dustan Howell
LCF Personal Trainer

Hormones that effect weight loss

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 10:11 PM Comments comments (45)
Hormones that affect weight loss:
Insulin is a protein chain or peptide hormone that is produced by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. The role of insulin is to lower blood sugar, deliver nutrients into cells that need it, and to store fat.  
  • Insulin causes the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose and turn it into glycogen in the muscles and the liver.
  • Insulin also prevents utilization of fat as an energy source. In absence of insulin, or when insulin levels are low, the body doesn’t take up glucose and fat is used as an energy source. 
  • Insulin controls other systems in the body as well, and regulates amino acid uptake of the body’s cells.
  • Insulin has several other anabolic effects throughout the body as well.
Glucagon (also a peptide hormone) is secreted the by alpha cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. It’s role is to raise blood glucose levels. The pancreas releases glucagon when blood glucose levels are low.
  • Glucagon causes the liver to convert glycogen into glucose, which then is released in the bloodstream.
  • High blood glucose levels stimulate the release of insulin, which then in turn allows the glucose to be taken up, and used by insulin dependent tissues.
  • Glucose and insulin keep blood glucose levels stable.
Cortisol, also known as hydrocortisone, is a steroid hormone (or a glucocorticoid) produced by the zona fasciculate of the adrenal cortex. It is released in response to stress and low blood glucocorticoids.
  •  It’s main functions are to raise blood glucose levels through gluconeogenesis, suppress the immune system, and assist in metabolizing proteins, fats and carbs.
  •  It also decreases bone formation.
  •  Release is controlled by the hypothalamus of the brain
  • Activates anti-stress and anti-inflammatory pathways.
  • In several studies, cortisol has been shown to (somewhat) suppress lipolysis or the breakdown of fat.
Leptin plays a major role in regulating energy intake, expenditure, appetite, metabolism, as well as behavior. It’s one of the most important adipose-derived hormones.
  •  Functions by binding to the leptin receptor.
  • Leptin tells the brain that the body has had enough to eat, thus producing a feeling of satiety. Leptin may make it easier to avoid the temptation of higher calorie foods.
  • Leptin’s ability to manipulate bone mass was first recognized in the year 2000. Leptin can affect bone metabolism.
  • Leptin receptors are in the hypothalamus and the hippocampus.  Leptin deficiency has been proven to alter brain proteins and neural functions in obese mice.
  •  In humans, low circulating plasma leptin has been linked to cognitive changes associated with anorexia, depression, HIV and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

EPOC or the After Burn Effect

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 10:08 PM Comments comments (166)
My Blog
Posted on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 8:01 PM
Following cardio or a weight lifting session, your body continues to use oxygen at a higher rate than it did prior to exercise. This sustained oxygen consumption is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The phrase EPOC has been used to describe numerous events that occur while the body returns to homeostasis.  During EPOC, the body is in the process of returning to a pre-exercise state, so it consumes oxygen at a higher rate. This means that calories are being burned at a higher rate.
Four things occurs during EPOC:
1) Replenishment of Energy Resources: Replenishment ensues for the immediate source of energy, known as the phosphagen system, which is includes  creatine phosphate and ATP (adenosine triphosphate). In addition, lactate, a molecule produced while performing intense exercise, is being converted to pyruvate for fuel utilization. The body is also replenishing the glycogen stores that were depleted during the workout
2) Re-oxygenation of Blood and Restoration of Circulatory Hormones
During exercise metabolism, sizeable quantities of oxygen are used to break down food substrates for energy. Consequently, the body continues to utilize energy following exercise to re-oxygenate the blood. In addition, in the post-exercise period, the body restores the levels of circulatory hormones, which increased during exercise, to normal.
3) Decrease in Body Temperature:
As energy is released from the muscle tissues of the body, during exercise, heat is produced, so during EPOC, the body must burn calories in order to return to it’s normal temperature.
4) Return to Normal Ventilation and Heart Rate: Energy expenditure is greatly elevated as the body rapidly returns to a normal breathing rate. Heart rate is also returning to a pre-exercise rate.
Evidence indicates that interval training (HIIT) has a distinct effect on EPOC. Also, it appears that weight training produces greater EPOC responses than aerobic exercise such as jogging.  HIIT disturbs homeostasis more so than cardio at moderate intensity resulting in more calorie expenditure to restore the body to homeostasis. Mechanisms that cause the higher EPOC observed in resistance exercise include elevated blood lactate, and an increase in circulating catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) and anabolic hormones.

The Benefits of Resistance Training

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 9:49 PM Comments comments (47)
It’s been five years since I committed myself to become a certified personal trainer.  I began by looking for one of the premier recognized certification programs.  I wanted the best certification and training, so I committed to prepare myself to complete the American College of Sports Medicine Certification program for Personal Trainers.  I spent two years studying, attending personal training classes, participating in special preparatory workshops, getting First Aid and AED Certification, and doing extensive research into becoming a specialist in the field of personal training.  I was successful and have spent the past three years honing my skills as an ACSM Certified free-lance personal trainer.  My clients are varied, ranging from young athletes to retired seniors.
Resistance training is not the end all be all of fitness. It’s only one aspect, but it serves as a foundation. In other words, if a person is unaccustomed to physical activity, but wants to start and exercise program, they shouldn’t start jogging, nor should they start doing any type of interval training at high or even moderate intensities. They should start with weights. Lifting weights, or resistance training, strengthens you muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which will prepare your body for the various forms of stress it will undergo during other forms of exercise.  
Resistance training (RT) works for everyone.  Age is irrelevant.  What matters is commitment, consistency, and a personal trainer who views each client as unique and has the ability to customize training programs to meet each client’s unique needs.  I begin with my clients where they are and map out a program that guarantees success.  RT is not a quick fix approach, but rather a lifetime approach.   It is, in my estimation, essential to maintain personal fitness and good health as you age.
The one piece of advise I give to my clients and am now passing on to my readers is that whatever method of fitness a client decides upon, it has to be something that he or she can do for the rest of his/her life.  Most people cannot do high impact exercise or high intensity interval training (HIIT) as a way of maintaining health for a lifetime.  Some people cannot maintain an “insanity” approach as a lifestyle, but EVERYONE can do RT for the rest of his or her life.   An investment in RT is an investment in yourself and your health. 
There are a few people who can work alone and be methodical and successful, but I find in my experience that most people need a personal trainer for commitment, consistency, and sustainability.  My goal for all my clients is to help them attain, maintain, and sustain. 
How I work:
·       My fees are reasonable, and I reserve the right to be compensated up front.
·       Clients are responsible to be available for scheduled sessions.  A client may cancel a session with 24 hours notice and MUST reschedule within a week or he or she forfeits the fee.  Special accommodations are always made in circumstances over which the client lacks control.
·       The client must have space available for IHT (In-Home Training).
·       I make every session count so that your money works continually for you.
·       I employ the principles of RT using the progressive overload model so that the client is always developing muscle strength, raising metabolism and increasing fat burning capacity.
·       I recommend at least two sessions weekly.  Three sessions are ideal.  However, a client may combine his or her own personal workout sessions with personal training sessions.
RT works as evidenced by the results of a client (age 60+) with whom I have worked for one year. Prior to RT, my senior client had been diagnosed with osteoporosis and osteopenia of the spine. 
The client decided to continue calcium supplements, declined medication, and started RT in August of 2012.   The client’s 2013 DEXA SCAN showed a 3% increase in BMD (bone mineral density).  I worked with this client twice a week for one year.  RT WORKS!  It takes commitment, consistency, and a skilled personal trainer.  Results are guaranteed.

How exercise effects fat burn

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 9:47 PM Comments comments (174)
Many are under the impression that their workout turns them into a fat burning machine 24 hours following their workout. It’s a widely held belief that regular workouts result in accelerated fat-burning around the clock.
Not so fast, at least not for moderate-intensity workouts. According to Edward Melanson, PHD, and associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado
“ Moderate duration exercise of and hour or less has little impact on 24-hour fat oxidation.”
Most studies regarding fat burning—from exercise—have been short-term studies, which spanned only several hours and looked at people who were in an unfed state. Melanson’s team looked at a more true to life scenario where they followed the subjects over a 24-hour period; they exercised and ate normally or they did no exercise and ate.
It’s not that we don’t burn fat through exercise; it’s that we replace the calories with the food we eat. Exercise increases your body’s ability to burn fat, but if you replace the calories, you’re back to square one.
This information shouldn’t dissuade you from exercise; however, it should let you know that you need to be more realistic about calories and calories out.
Melanson's team evaluated fat burning in 10 lean, endurance-trained participants, 10 lean but untrained people, and eight untrained and obese people during exercise conditions and sedentary conditions.
Participants were fed a diet that was 20% fat, 65% carbs, and 15% protein for three days before each session and on the day they exercised or did not exercise. On the exercise day, participants rode a stationary bike at a moderate intensity for one hour, burning about 400 calories.
When Melanson's team measured calorie expenditures, they were higher in each group when they exercised compared to when they did not, not surprisingly, but they found that burning of carbohydrate, not fat, seemed to increase in the 24-hour period after exercising.In the journal report, Melanson reports additional fat-burning studies, including one that compared seven men ages 60-75 with seven other men ages 20-30, with no differences in fat burning between groups for the 24 hours after exercise or no exercise.
Why don't we become long-term fat burners after a good workout?  The most likely reason is that we eat, and what we eat affects fat burning. For instance, eating as little as 240 calories of carbohydrate during the hour before exercise can reduce fat burning during exercise, and the boost in fat burning during exercise can be "blunted" for up to six hours after eating a meal, says Melanson, citing other research.
To maintain their low body fat, endurance-trained exercisers may simply eat less fat than they burn habitually, he says.The study findings are ''dispelling the myth that you can create a 24-hour fat-burning situation after exercise," says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist and spokesman for the American Council on Exercise. But, he tells WebMD, the findings were limited to exercisers who did moderate-intensity exercise, and for an hour or less. "These results might not apply to different forms of exercise or higher-intensity exercise," McCall says.
Still, he says, the research results might be a crucial wake-up call. "The point of this study, I think, is [that] he is trying to get people out of that mind-set: 'I just worked out and I can eat whatever I want.'" At least for people trying to lose weight, McCall says, that's certainly not true.Melanson says that the take-home message from his research depends on whether you are trying to lose weight or just maintain. "If you are using exercise to lose body weight or body fat, you have to consider how many calories you are expending and how many you are taking in," he says. The goal is a negative fat balance.
"If your body mass index is below 25, you shouldn't be concerned about losing more body fat," he says.