Monday, January 4, 2010

Muscle Monday

To kick off our year of Muscle Mondays, here are today’s fitness tips, found HERE if you’re interested in checking out this site designed specifically for women’s fitness. The trainer is Brad Schoenfeld.

MYTH: Performing abdominal exercises will give you a flat stomach.
TRUTH: Many women believe that if they perform exercises for their abdominals, they will get a flat stomach. Television "infomercials" for abdominal exercises further help to promulgate this myth. The fact is, the only way to get a flat stomach is to strip away the fat around the midsection. This is accomplished by having a proper nutritional regimen, increasing muscle mass to increase metabolism, and performing cardiovascular exercise to help burn calories. Abdominal training will help to build muscle in your midsection and is certainly beneficial to overall health and well being. However, you will never see the abdominal muscles unless the fat in this area is stripped away.

I’ve been researching best times to workout, best things to do, eat, etc…and there is a lot of conflicting information. And what works for some, doesn't work for others. Now, starting this week, I'd planned to work out just after rolling out of bed, THEN eating breakfast, but here’s what Brad says about that idea:

A popular fitness tenet is that cardio should be performed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach…. The truth is, however, it's not always best to perform cardio as soon as you roll out of bed…. In addition, studies have shown that eating before exercise actually increases caloric expenditure . This apparently is related to the thermic effect of food (TEF) . You see, every time you eat a mixed meal there is a corresponding increase in metabolic rate. When exercise is performed after the consumption of food, metabolism is heightened by about 20 percent over fasting levels. Better yet, these effects are maintained for up to three hours post-workout . And since burning more calories means burning more fat, eating before cardio can have thermogenic effects on exercise activity… Perhaps more significantly, a pre-exercise meal allows you to exercise more intensely . In order to perform at a high level, your body needs a ready source of glycogen; deplete glycogen stores and your performance is bound to suffer.

It’s the first Monday, or Lunedi on my Italian calendar, of the New Year. Back to the cubes, back to sitting on my rear all day, but NOT back to eating whatever is hanging around the office. Please let full time writing be in my future!

How is everyone else in keeping true to their fitness proclamations in 2010?
Today is THE day! (Can you tell I’m trying to pump myself up here? I need a support group! Or at least a personal trainer...)

Buon anno!


  1. Oh wow, all these advice are very useful! Thanks for posting them. :D

    *cheers you on* You can do it!

  2. Great advice, especially the one about sit-ups. I have given birth twice, the second time to twins, and it is very true that you cannot get rid of the midsection just by sit-ups. The diet and type of exercise makes a huge difference! Thanks for dispelling myths.

  3. Well, I don't really have any new years resolutions, but I was hoping to lift weights more, and I did finally for the first time last night. Hopefully I can do that about 100 more times this year and I'll be good! :)