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5 Tips to Get Swimsuit-Ready FAST!

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Dr. Phoenyx AustinBikini season is here! Excited? I sure am!

As much as I do love wintertime (and all the celebration it brings), I still have to admit that I sure did let out a “Hallelujah!” when the last bit of chilly weather finally left the east coast. That said, I know there are some of you feeling a bit apprehensive about swimsuit season because you’ve put on a few pounds during winter hibernation. But don’t freak out and let your insecurity get the best of you! I’ve got some good news: You still have enough time to get things right and tight before the end of summer. And trust me, you’d be amazed how quickly you can transform your body when you have a great coach (ME!) and the right game plan.

Hate feeling self-conscious when you’re poolside? Ready to strip down to your swimwear and feel totally confident? If you answered YES, then I’m here to help you reach your goal! Get committed, follow my advice below (To. The. Letter!), and I promise you’ll be well on your way to looking, and most importantly, feeling HOT in your fly swimwear. Now let’s get down to business and review my 5 tips to get yourself swimsuit ready:

1.     Strength train

If you want to get swimsuit ready in the fastest time possible, this is a must. You’ll want to perform full-body strength training at least three times a week, and as far as specific exercises, skip isolation exercises (like dumbbell curls), and instead perform compound exercises that use many muscle groups at once− such as squats, pushups,  pull-ups, rows, and lunges. Overall, compound exercises will be more efficient at maximizing calorie burn during your workout, will help boost metabolism up to 48 hours after your workout, and will help you develop lean, toned muscles that look sexy in your swimwear.

Learn about BodyELITE, my advanced supplement specially formulated to boost metabolism and enhance physical/mental performance

2.     Streamline your cardio sessions

People oftentimes complain that they don’t have enough time to exercise. At the same time, however, when they finally do make it to gym, instead of getting in a good sweat, these same people will jump on a cardio machine like the treadmill or elliptical, put it on the lowest intensity and cruise along while reading a magazine and talking on their cell phones. Guys, this is not the way you want to go about things during Swimsuit Season Crunch Time. So first and foremost, you want to start limiting your cardio sessions to 60 minutes or less. Next, you want to maximize those 60 minutes by choosing workouts that provide the most calorie burn for your buck. And hands down, one of the best workouts for this is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) because it’ll really blast your heart rate and burn more calories in less time than your traditional steady-state cardio session.

Fit Tip:Fasted cardio is a very efficient way to tap into fat stores and rev your metabolism. To learn more about fasted cardio, check out my video.

3.     Drink ample water

Skimping on water can reduce the effectiveness of your workouts because even mild dehydration can negatively affect exercise performance and fat-burning potential. And here’s another reason to drink ample water: Dehydration can lead to bloating due to the body’s natural compensatory mechanism of holding onto water when you don’t drink enough of it. So in essence, the best way to rid yourself of excess water weight is to drink more water. As far as how much, The Institute of Medicine recommends a fluid intake of 91 ounces for women, and 125 ounces (or approximately 1 gallon) for men.

4.     Cut back on processed carbohydrates

Processed carbs like breads, pastas, bagels, cookies, and crackers are typically loaded with sugar, as well as sodium and other preservatives that can contribute to blood sugar spikes, weight gain and bloating. So cut back on processed carbs, and up your intake of fresh veggies, lean protein, and consider healthy meal replacements like protein shakes and protein bars. Also, for those of you curious about fruit, yes fruit is obviously healthier than processed carbs, but you still want to be mindful of your fruit intake because fruit does contain natural sugar that can make you gain weight.

Discover common exercise myths and nutrition mistakes that sabotage your fitness journey. Lose fat faster, boost metabolism, and get the body you want NOW with my book, And That’s Why You’re Fat: Health & Fitness Mistakes to Stop Making (Vol. 1)

5.     Put alcohol on ice

Point black, alcohol is filled with empty calories that can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Alcohol releases estrogen into your bloodstream, promotes fat storage, and decreases muscle growth. Moreover, alcohol is processed differently than most other beverages, and as soon as you have a drink, your body eats up all the glycogen (stored glucose) in your liver, makes you hungry, and reduces your inhibitions, so you’ll be more likely to dive into that huge stack of nachos or basket of fried chicken wings at Happy Hour. Bottom line: If you’re serious about getting swimsuit ready, it’s best to put alcohol aside until you’re in maintenance mode. And if you absolutely can’t fathom giving up alcohol for the next couple months, try cutting back to two or three drinks a week max. Also, when you do have a drink, just say no to sugary mixed concoctions and instead choose wine or stick with clear alcohol like vodka or tequila.

Any GET FIT Swimsuit tips you’d like to share?  Tweet me and share in the Comments! – Doc

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to like and share with a friend!

Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, fitness expert, creator of advanced nutritional supplements BeautyElite & BodyElite and the #1 bestselling author of If You Love It, It Will Grow, And That’s Why You’re Fat: Health & Fitness Mistakes to Stop Making. Dr. Phoenyx’s passion is fitness and her goal is to help others achieve their best bodies. For tons more fitness tips and inspiration, check out her website.

Interviews

CrossFit Inc Global Branding Manager Talks with Black Fitness Today Ahead of Manion-WOD to Honor Fallen Hero

Ilen Bell, MS, CSCS, Co-Founder of Black Fitness Today

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Manion WOD events will be occurring at CrossFit gyms across the United States on Sunday, April 29, 2018. Times vary by location. Proceeds from each event will go towards TMF veteran initiatives such as TMF veteran expeditions, veteran-empowerment programs, and scholarships.

 

On April 29th, CrossFit gyms across the country will recognize the sacrifice of 1stLT Travis Manion and complete the Manion-Workout of the Day (WOD) to benefit Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) veteran initiatives such as TMF veteran expeditions, veteran-empowerment programs, and scholarships.

Read our interview with CrossFit Global Branding Manager, Jimi Letchford, and TMF President and Sister of Travis Manion, Ryan Manion.

Who was 1stLT Travis Manion?

Ryan: Travis was my best friend, and younger brother by 15 months. Even though I was the older sibling, I looked up to Travis in many ways because he always set the example. Travis was a high character person even from a young age, and when he saw something wrong, he would stand up. He was an all-league standout in wrestling, football and lacrosse, a member of five championship teams, and an All-American wrestler. Travis was best known as a motivating and popular figure to his classmates. This combination of leadership, athleticism, and academic achievement opened the door to his appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

After graduating from USNA, he decided to follow in our father’s footsteps and was awarded a commission into the United States Marine Corps. After finishing at the top of his class at The Basic School in Quantico, VA, Travis was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, with whom he deployed to Iraq for his first tour of duty. On April 29, 2007 during his second tour of duty in Iraq Travis, his fellow Marines and Iraqi Army counterparts were ambushed. Leading the counterattack against the enemy forces, Travis was fatally wounded by an enemy sniper while aiding and drawing fire away from his wounded teammates. Travis Manion paid the ultimate sacrifice that day, but his selfless actions allowed every member of his patrol to survive.

 

How does CrossFit serve as a vehicle for honoring heroes like 1stLT Travis Manion, who paid the ultimate sacrifice?

Jimi: Every day, millions of people engage in CrossFit workouts around the world. Our Workouts of the Day (aka WODs) are constantly varied, (relatively) high intensity, functional movement challenges that are intended to elicit physical and mental responses like no other workout regimen. The CrossFit program may not be for everyone, but it is for anyone.

Our Hero WODs are a different breed. They’re intended to take you to your limit. It’s up to the athlete to decide whether they’ll push past this limit. During this process, we honor the Hero(es) in which the workout was named. The men and women we honor through these WODs have amazing stories of character and bravery, and knowing about their legacy pushes us to go even further than we thought possible.

CrossFit has closely aligned its core values with that of the military. Why might CrossFit be something veterans want to give a try?

Jimi: CrossFit has a very tight-knit community, and a great sense of camaraderie among participants. When veterans join a CrossFit gym, they often find that camaraderie very similar to what they experience while in service to our Country. The idea that you belong to something bigger than yourself can often be lost while transitioning out of the military to civilian life. Like the military, there’s also a competitive nature to CrossFit. That friendly competition is something many veterans continue to look for in the next chapter of their life, and CrossFit is a great way to fill that void.

“If Not Me, Then Who…” is a question that has come to shape 1stLT Manion’s legacy. How is TMF and CrossFit answering this question?

Ryan: “If Not Me, Then Who…” isn’t actually a question, it’s a mantra that Travis lived by every day, and we’re inspiring future generations to put that mantra into action within their own lives. Just before Travis left for his second deployment to Iraq, he attended a football game with my husband Dave, and while they were leaving the stadium, Dave said to Travis “How about I push you down the steps so you break your ankle, and you won’t have to go back?” Travis looked at Dave very serious, and simply replied “If Not Me, Then Who…” He went on to explain that if he didn’t go back, someone less prepared would have to go in his place. This is the way Travis approached everything in his life, even from an early age. Those words have grown into a national movement that is inspiring hundreds of thousands of people to be of service to their own communities, and to be part of something bigger than themselves.  

Jimi: Travis was as true a friend as you could ever find. He always looked out for others, and often times would even thank me for pushing him to work harder. He was also a fierce competitor, and would never cut corners. His mantra of “If Not Me, Then Who…” really does represent how selfless Travis was. To me, Travis is representative of all the other Heroes that our Nation, and CrossFit community, have lost. So, I’d like to tell anyone that will be honoring Travis (or whoever else they’ll be honoring this weekend) to do so with the utmost integrity to the workout standards. Remember that those we honor through our Hero WODs paid the ultimate sacrifice in their line of duty. It is now our duty to never forget them. “If Not Me, Then Who…”

How does CrossFit motivate its members to collectively complete intense WODs sometimes named in honor of fallen military and first responders whom the members have no personal connection?

Jimi: The people that walk into our CrossFit boxes are people that recognize that only hard work will achieve health and wellness. CrossFitters don’t believe that there is a ‘magic pill’ for fitness. It turns out that this psychographic also tends to be very altruistic and humble. As a CrossFit community, all we have to do is tell the story of the fallen Hero, how it may relate to the workout, and the rest just happens. For example, the “Manion” Hero WOD is extremely leg intensive. We know from our relationship with Travis that he always had the strongest legs of anyone on our team. So, Travis’ workout consists of a 400 meter run and 29 back squats (135lbs), done over 7 rounds. The numbers are somewhat poetic; Travis was killed 4/29/07.

Manion WOD events will be occurring at CrossFit gyms across the United States on Sunday, April 29, 2018. Times vary by location. Proceeds from each event will go towards TMF veteran initiatives such as TMF veteran expeditions, veteran-empowerment programs, and scholarships.

How can people exemplify Travis’ character and sacrifice beyond the four walls of a CrossFit box where many join together once a year to complete a WOD honoring Travis’ legacy?

Ryan: Get involved in your own community. Look for your passion and a purpose, and wake up with determination to make a difference in the world every day, no matter how small. Live by “If Not Me, Then Who…” and look for those opportunities that present themselves each and every day that you can be the best version of yourself, and take advantage of them.

What communities does TMF serve?

Ryan: We currently have offices in 8 cities across the country, which include: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington D.C. However our impact and opportunities for involvement are nationwide.

How does the Travis Manion Foundation ensure that children of fallen heroes are not left behind?

We work closely with families of the fallen, and specifically organize service expeditions for survivors. These expeditions allow family members of fallen military to spend time with others who can relate to their journey, while providing them an opportunity to carry on their loved one’s legacy by being of service to a community in need. We host 8-10 domestic or international expedition each year, and one such expedition is specifically for teens who have lost a parent or sibling in service to our country. These young adults learn that while their loved one may be gone, they can honor their memory and carry on their legacy through the actions they take each and every day.

Where can people find information on joining or volunteering with TMF?

Ryan: Anyone can join the mission by visiting travismanion.org. We have volunteer and engagement opportunities throughout the year, which includes our Operation Legacy service projects and the 9/11 Heroes Run 5K series.

What do you want people to know most about Travis?

Ryan: Travis always challenged himself to be the best person he could, and he did that by focusing on being big in the little things. Because of that, he was prepared when bigger challenges arose. The legacy that Travis left behind, and for that matter all our fallen heroes, is one that we all have a responsibility to carry on. The way that we do that is by look towards the character they lived with, and challenging ourselves to think about how we can be the best version of ourselves – because “If Not Me, Then Who…”

 

 

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What is Irradiation and How Can It Maximize Your Lifts?

Ilen Bell, MS, CSCS, Co-Founder of Black Fitness Today

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A couple weeks ago I attended the Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) seminar, which focuses on training mobility. The course was a solid reminder and in some cases a perception-altering experience about human anatomy, physiology and functional movement. I’ll break down some of the components, theories and principles of FRC at a later time but for now, I want to focus on tension, a key principle in the FRC system. However, for the purpose of this post, I’ll focus on how tension can increase general strength and performance.

How can tension take your lifts next level?

Tension – not to be confused with the general bodybuilding idea of “time under tension,” which usually is referring to keep a prime mover under tension, such as the pectoral during bench press. Irradiation is rather the isometric contraction of the non-prime movers and the prime mover along with the necessary contraction to produce movement or not; it depends on the situation.

Tension is a common word for “irradiation,” is often overlooked during training. Irradiation comes from Sherrington’s Law of Irradiation which states:

A muscle working hard recruits the neighboring muscles, and if they are already part of the action, it amplifies their strength. The neural impulses emitted by the contracting muscle reach other muscles and ‘turn them on’ just as an electric current starts a motor.”

Simply put, the more motor units recruited to produce movement or reduce movement, the better neural activation to help you control the weight or load.

Example: Think about a time when you had to push a car or lift a heavy object.

How did you prepare for the push or pull of the car or whatever that heavy object was?

Did you only concentrate on using your legs (prime mover)?

Or did you create tension throughout multiple muscle groups, possibly every muscle group (irradiation)?

More than likely you used irradiation. Why? Because your primal instinct kicked in and you realized to move that car or heavy object, it would take a lot of effort (neural drive) and you called on your central nervous system to recruit all the potential strength you possessed to apply maximal force.

Incorporate irradiation in your training

If done properly, irradiation can yield some quick gains to your lifts and increase strength simply by increasing neural muscular efficiency – the ability for the central nervous system to recruit the muscle required for your desired movement when called upon. The greater efficiency you have in recruiting motor units to produce movement or resist movement, the greater your force production or strength/power application will be.

How to perform irradiation

It seems easy but easy is not simple and simple is not easy. With that said, create tension throughout the entire body. For example, if you’re performing standing biceps curls, you create an isometric contraction throughout your entire body; feet (ground contact), quads, glutes, abdominal complex, forearms, scapulae retracted and of course tension and controlled movement in/with the biceps.

Although the primary focus in the above example is to perform a biceps curl, the irradiation effort thorough out the body is also training the nervous system to produce activation in all muscle groups more efficiently.

 

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Training

How To Do The Barbell Hip Thrust…

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Are you struggling to build bigger glutes?

Check out my video to learn about the 4 cues you must use with the barbell hip thrust in order to perform them with excellent form and maximize your gains.

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