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Move Over Squats, Deadlift is King!

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There has been much debate as to whether squats or deadlifts are better for building muscle. A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that deadlifting twice a week for 10 weeks improved speed and power by to 49% during explosive movements. In terms of power and strength, deadlifts are one the best exercises that can help take your training from average to above average. What makes deadlifts so special is that the movement produces total body strength due to the amount of muscle activation that takes places when properly performing the exercise. If you’re serious about adding strength and making improvements in your training, deadlifts are the way to go for both men and women.

erectors-glutes-hamstrings

Muscles activated while deadlifting:

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Back (erector spinae)
  • Quadriceps
  • Adductors
  • Hamstrings
  • Trapezius
  • Forearm
  • Abs

* Many other smaller muscles activate to increase stabilization throughout the movement, making deadlift a movement that produces fast results

See below to read more about the study:

What’s more, “improving maximal force output with large muscle mass exercises is likely to have carryover to other dynamic movements such as sprinting and box jumps,” explains study author Matt Stock, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences at Texas Tech University in Lubbock—which is great news if you’ve been working to master plyometric moves.

Performing a deadlift isn’t just good for putting some power behind your next sweat session. “It has huge allover benefits,” says Faheem Mujahid, owner and master trainer at Influence Atelier in Miami. “Not only does the majority of the exercise isolate and target the glutes and the hamstrings, but the quadriceps are involved as well, by helping to extend the knee joint. Plus, it is one of the few exercises that works the adductor magnus, which helps provide leg stability.”

Stock adds: “It is particularly useful because it relies heavily on our often forgotten about muscles of the ‘posterior chain’—the hamstrings, glutes, and spinal erectors. Ignoring these muscles within an exercise program has potentially dangerous consequences, particularly as we age and for knee health during sports.”

Effective as they may be, deadlifts can wreak havoc on your back if done incorrectly. The key to getting them right: Really working to engage the transverse abdominis muscles. “If that’s not happening, all the pressure will hit the spine, which is a big no-no,” says Mujahid. “When the transverse abs are engaged properly, it automatically engages the thoracic lumbar fascia [muscle in the lower spine] at the same time, which offers spine protection.”

How do you know if you’ve got a handle on your core? Try this trick that Mujahid uses with his clients: “I tie a piece of yarn or a pair of shoelaces in a knot around my client’s waist. Whenever the core isn’t engaged, my client will feel pressure from the string,” he explains. “Feeling that contraction against the core gives them a little reminder to pull in that belly button.” Via news.health.com

Photo: Muscleandfitness.com

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Ilen Bell is co-founder and CEO of Black Fitness Today, the digital magazine dedicated to empowering the black community – mind, body, soul, culture and money. He lives in Tucson, AZ with his wife and daughter and nine-to-fives it as head strength and conditioning coach for a military special operations unit.

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Body

Your Guide To Shopping For Produce

Find out what produce you should definitely buy organic, and what is okay to buy conventionally

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It seems to be getting harder and harder to know what is being sold to us at the grocery store. We know that the beautiful, shiny produce is the most affordable but probably contains the highest amounts of wax, pesticides and other chemicals. However, organic can be a bit pricey and possibly unavailable, depending on where you have access to shop.

Did you know that the USDA found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples it analyzed? The pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

See what happens when you pour hot water on conventional apples. The chemicals literally melt! It’s important that we buy organic and if we cannot, at least wash our produce prior to consuming (Video: Laurline Eldemire Lawrence via Facebook):

Check out the most recent list of produce that you should preferably buy organic, known as the ‘Dirty Dozen,’ and which produce is safe to purchase conventionally, known as the ‘Clean Fifteen.’ While you may not find every produce item you like to eat on these lists, this is a great start!

fruit, vegetables, organic

Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen. Credit: EWG

Read the full report here:

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Culture

Angela Rye Set To Join BET For New Program

The cultural and political thought leader’s new series ‘Angela Rye’s State of the Union’ begins January 31st

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Angela Rye, BET

It’s about time! We are excited to learn that Angela Rye, Principal and CEO of Impact Strategies, CNN political commentator and NPR political analyst, will be joining forces with BET to deliver a new program, launching this month.

Rye is set to host and executive produce the quarterly news show, which is poised to dig deep into issues and stories affecting black America.

“Working with BET always provides a reminder of why I began to do this work,” Rye said in a statement to Blavity. “It is essential that we have platforms where we can discuss our politics, our challenges, and our culture through our respective lenses. The upcoming special will provide a glimpse of what’s to come with our partnership.”

The first episode of the series is tentatively titled “Angela Rye’s State of the Union,” which will be a primetime rebuttal to President Trump’s State of the Union address airing Wednesday, January 31 at 10PM PT.

Read more on Blavity

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Gee Bryant A Force To Reckon With in the Fitness Industry

Atlanta’s Transformation Specialist Talks About His Road from Uncertainty to Becoming a Successful Businessman and Celebrity Trainer

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gee bryant, ri28

Fitness expert, success coach and entrepreneur Gee Bryant has always been a hustler with a “MUST get it” attitude, and he’s walking in his purpose. He’s the brains behind the #1 online fitness program Results in 28 Days and owner of The Loft Atlanta, Phlexx Fitness and is CMO of Fitness Plane.

Gee says that he never had a “real” job and did whatever he could to make money. He tried multiple business ventures that eventually led him to become a personal trainer, as a way to work for himself while also staying active. Even though fitness was never cool where he’s from, Gee says he’s always been in his own lane. He has always recognized that he is unique and learned that by being a personal trainer he had a major impact on people. This hobby eventually transformed into a passion.

gee bryant

Growing up in Philly, Gee says there was a lot of pain – he used to reflect on it and let it consume him, but now he uses his pain to push him further.

“You can’t be a victim your whole life.”

In 2015, after starting to create buzz around his name as a personal trainer, Gee decided to move to Atlanta with just his car and clothes. He created boot camps, trainings, began marketing himself on social media and just doing anything to make money, to pay rent, and to NOT go back.

“If you ain’t willing to go crazy, then leave the entrepreneurship game.”

Gee created a business plan with the mindset, “I’m going ALL IN.” He started with, “How much money do I want to make? And, How many people do I need to help?” He also began reading books and focusing on personal development.

“As you expand, your mind has to expand as well.”

Gee had a plan and a goal, and decided to do anything he could to make it all come true. His efforts started to work so well that Gee had an overload of clients, which then gave him reason to open up his first gym.

During this time he was constantly growing his brand on social media and in the fitness profession, but knew he wouldn’t be able to fully execute his vision without the right help. So, he reached out to trainers to hire and assist in his gym.

“I’m a control freak, but I had to learn how to let go. It’s better to have someone who can do something 70%, than you trying to do it 100%. If you try to do everything you’ll burn yourself out.”

Gee began pushing online programs that he created on his own, recorded on YouTube and from that he started increasing his clientele. From there, he built his website.

“For this to go global, it has to be beyond me.”

It was then that Gee created the RI28 program. Gee says he makes his program different.

“I get their mind right. Your body won’t go where your mind won’t let it.”

Gee says his program is so effective because it’s easy to follow, he has the RI28 Facebook support group, it’s only a 28 day program, the meal plan and workouts are included, he has a team of like minded people behind him, and it’s SIMPLE.

ri28, gee bryant, joseline hernandez

The Loft Athletic Club opened in Atlanta, GA this year. Not only did Gee need a bigger space, but he says, “It was time.” Loft Atlanta is FOR Atlanta.

“I did it MY way, he says.” He never cheated the process, and changed and helped thousands of people do the same thing.

What he wants people to know is that they can do whatever they want, not become a product of their environment, and he wants his legacy to be a legacy of SERVICE.

Gee encourages other entrepreneurs to be obsessed and consistent about their brand and reminds us that small daily improvements = long term results.

2018 is here and there is so much more for Gee Bryant to accomplish. Make sure to follow him @geebryant and via his website to not only stay in the loop with what he’s up to next, but to get all the information on how to join any of his programs or find his facilities.

gee bryant

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