Archive for December, 2007

A Message Especially For You (Let’s Make 2008, GREAT!)

Auto Date Friday, December 21st, 2007

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Introduction
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No More Empty Promises

December 31st is almost here. Champagne, parties, fireworks, the countdown to the New Year – and to top it all off, a special kiss at the stroke of midnight – no mistletoe needed! Across the country, there’s an undercurrent of hope and motivation – a chance for a fresh start.

And so, each and every year we make (and break) New Year’s Resolutions by the millions!

En masse, we jump out and make promises that we have EVERY intention of fulfilling. But usually, by the time March has rolled around, we’re right back where we started, with our empty promises mocking us with hollow glee.

The secret is finding a way to back those intentions up with discipline, while keeping things practical enough to actually become a habit.

If you’re sick and tired of making empty promises, here’s my prescription for success…

FOR THE PERPETUAL PROCRASTINATOR

If you’re one of those guys (or gals) that has let your good intention turn into a spare tire, there are five simple ways you can make ’08 a year of the hard, hot body you’ve been dreaming about.

Numero Uno #1 Quit making excuses!

Forget waiting to finance a home gym. Don’t even wait until you can hit the gym. Work now with what you already have. No dumbbells? No problem. Fill up water bottles or dig through the pantry for a few 16 oz. cans. Take the initiative and make this the first step toward toned and tightened arms!

Look, if you don’t have any space, no equipment and a little bit of time, then I’ve got THE BEST workout for you. And best of all, it’s FREE. Just get it right HERE.

Number Two #2 Make An Appointment

Make an appointment. Right now, pull out your calendar or Palm Pilot and schedule 30 minutes or 1 hour sessions throughout available slots in your schedule. Pen it in and then follow through!

If you are having problems with commitment, then I’ve got EXACTLY what it is that you need. You need a good dose of Chump Repellent, to keep you Inner Chump at bay so you can be the Champ that you want to be. You can get that right here

Number Three #3 Do It Now, The Earlier The Better!

3. The earlier the better… If you want to see this year’s resolution come true, work out in the morning. Not only are you better rested in the morning, but working out first thing will energize you throughout the day and jumpstart your metabolism. Better yet, the excuse “It was a killer day at the office,” or “I’ll be later for dinner” won’t be able to stand between you and your workout.

And if you’re having a problem about going to the gym, then don’t worry about it. I’ll meet you at your house in my FREE DVD Working Out With Rhadi: The Bodyweight Workout.

Number Four #4 Recruit Someone To Help You

Buddy up! Recruit a friend to be your workout partner. There IS strength in numbers. Not only will you hold each other accountable, but you’ll also encourage and motivate each other along the way. As an added plus, you’ll likely find that having someone there to BS with can really make the time fly!

Don’t have a workout partner in mind? 

I’m available 24 hours and 7 days a week.

Just invite me over.

If you need to start things off a little bit slow because you haven’t been working out for a while and want to progress on your own time, then I’ve got exactly what you need in The Backyard Workout.

Number Five #5 Maximize Your Moments! Daily Duties=Opportunities

Daily duties = Opportunities. When faced with the choice of the elevator or the stairs, hit the stairs. Quit waiting around in frustration for the best parking space and park at the far end of the lot on PURPOSE! Keep your eye out for day to day opportunities to “go the extra mile.”

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SUFFERING FROM
STAGNATION?
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If you’re already working out regularly and eating right, but you’re still not getting the results you feel you should be, the culprit may be stagnation, a.k.a. “stuck in a rut.”

Here are four ways to kick your workout into hyper-drive…

1. Shake things up! If you’re bored with your workout, or things just seem to have lost their spark, change your routine. Add in a new exercise; play around with your sets, reps and the rest you take in between. Alter your bench incline to see what happens. Enroll in one of those trendy classes most gyms now offer. The key to success is keeping things fun.

What I did for the heck of it is train for and complete a marathon.
Quite honestly, I was getting tired of the bands, the medicine balls, the weights, the same old workouts, so I change it up a bit. I finished something that I always wanted to do, I found something else that I’m passionate about and I ACTUALLY look forward to working out and lifting some weight again. (I took a year break from lifting weights.)

2. Are you slacking in the stretching and warm-up departments? Quit skimping! All you’ll need are an extra three to five minutes. Not only can this prevent soreness and injury, but it can also boost the effectiveness of your core workout as well.

3. Sometimes, distraction is a good thing. To pass the time, take your iPod along to your workout. Upload your favorite playlist and get in the “zone”, or train your brain while you’re at it, with books on tape or CDs that teach you another language. Maximize your time!

This would be a great time to listen to Chump Repellent. If you’re a grappler or Judoka, this is an excellent opportunity to listen to the advice provided in The Gold Mettle Plan.

4. Pump yourself up! Don’t wait around for someone else to do it for you. Take matters into your own hands! Remind yourself how great you feel after a workout. Pose for pictures that track your progress and post them all over! When someone tells you how great you’re looking, don’t be humble – pat yourself on the back! You’ve worked hard – take pride in your accomplishment.

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Closing
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There’s no elevator to the top in this game.

Each step takes blood, sweat and sometimes, tears.

Don’t let anybody lie to you – it won’t be easy!

But it WILL be worth it.

And I’ll be there with you….. Every Step Of The Way.

May God Bless you and keep you as you enter into the New Year.

Take care,

Rhadi Ferguson

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VERY IMPORTANT
INFO BELOW
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P.S. On January 9th, I’m having a FREE No-Charge Teleseminar on the Topic: “How To Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever”  I’ll keep you informed, it will be something that you will not want to miss!! Quite honestly, I’m expecting you to be there. Especially, if you want to make 2008 your best year ever.

P.P.S. Remember January 9th at 9pm EST. I’ll give you all the details later.

Glycemic Index: High Octane Fuel for Your Fire

Auto Date Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

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Introduction
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Thanksgiving is over, but Christmas is still just around the corner. While the Holidays are a great time to get together with your friends and family to celebrate all that you have to be grateful for, regardless of how thankful we may be, we’re all plagued by a sneaking suspicious that all of those extra calories can and will prove a major setback when our training schedule begins again.

Fortunately, there’s no need to be a humbug and totally deprive yourself. Instead of slashing your carb intake, or getting caught up in the madness of “good” carbs versus “bad” carbs, the answer is a dietary program known as the Glycemic Index.

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What Is The Glycemic
Index?
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The premise of the Glycemic Index is simple: forget about good or bad – all carbs are of equal importance, it’s simple a matter of timing.

The key to success to understand when one carbohydrate choice is better than another – in light of your own individual training schedule and goals.

Fuel for Your Fire…

Strength and conditioning training puts tremendous energy demands on your body. Those demands call for fuel, and there are basically only three real sources of energy:

1. Carbohydrates. Carbs are the body’s most efficient fuel source. They are also the body’s primary energy source.

2. Fats. Fats are an incredibly rich source of fuel, but unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to break fats down. It also requires a tremendous amount of oxygen. Fat is most efficiently burnt during aerobic, versus anaerobic, training.

3. Proteins. Protein CAN be used as a fuel source, but not only is the breakdown process very inefficient, the protein your body uses for energy is derived from muscle breakdown – the last thing you want!

Since we already know that carbs are the primary and most efficient fuel source for our energy demands, the trick is tailoring your carb intake for the best results possible.

A powerful way to accomplish this is deciphering what the Glycemic Index can bring to your workout!

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How the Glycemic Index
Works…
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When you eat carbs (sugar, grains, fruits, vegetables, etc.) they’re broken down into glucose and then released into the bloodstream.

Glycemic Index (or GI from here on out) is a rating that measures the speed at which specific carbs are transformed into glucose and released into your bloodstream. Pure glucose has a rating of 100 – the highest rating. The higher the number, the faster the breakdown and release of glucose will occur.

Lower GI ratings are slower to break down and enter the bloodstream.

Check out the GI for several common foods:

Carrots 92
Honey 87
Corn flakes 80
While rice 72
White bread 69
Raisins 64
Corn 59
Sweet potatoes 48
Oranges 40
Peanuts 13

(For more GI ratings, you can visit: http://www.glycemicindex.com/)

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Many make the mistake of thinking that all carbs with a high GI are “bad” and should be avoided.

This stems from the fact that, as your blood sugar (glucose) levels rise, your pancreas has to release more insulin in order to transfer the glucose from the bloodstream and to the tissues that use it as energy, or stores it as glycogen.

However, in addition to this positive, insulin can also pose a few negatives (depending on your workout), namely:

  • Inhibited fat metabolism and
  • Inhibited protein breakdown (which is actually a GOOD thing for use resistance trainers)

High GI foods often entail a spike in insulin production. Excess insulin can rob too much glucose from the blood stream and result in:

  • Fatigue
  • Hunger, and
  • Surprisingly – more sugar cravings!

Left unchecked, this can create a vicious cycle that lasts all day, with the potential to impede fat metabolism and setting the stage for weight gain.

However, when high GI foods are consumed at the RIGHT times (namely just prior to, during and post-exercise) the results are powerful enough to speak for themselves!

Before Exercise…When you make it a point to take in high GI foods prior to exercise, the absorbed glucose is immediately available as a fuel source for your working muscles.

When you make it a point to take in high GI foods prior to exercise, the absorbed glucose is immediately available as a fuel source for your working muscles.For the best results, you should start consuming high GI carbs about 10 minutes before exercising. Your absolute best bet is a liquid glucose carb, like sports drinks (but NOT sports drinks offering less efficient sugar fructose.)

During Exercise…

This trend should continue during exercise, again with a preference for high GI, liquid carbs. One benefit is that you’ll spare using up your glycogen stores. This means that you’ll be able to work out longer, without depleting your glycogen stores to the point of exhaustion.

Post-Exercise…

For 45 minutes after your workout, your body has a window of opportunity where you can most efficiently and effectively replenish your glycogen stores. After this 45 minutes window, replenishment takes considerably longer, and may mean that the process is still incomplete when you head into your next workout. This can put a real wrinkle in future workouts or competitions.

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GI: Specifically for Strength
& Conditioning…
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The GI also has specific applications for resistance training. When it comes to strength conditioning, high GI foods boost insulin and move glucose from the blood to your muscle tissues. At the same time, it blocks protein degradation. This allows you to limit muscle damage during exercise and to enjoy improved recovery after your workout.

However, even greater benefits can be taken advantage of when protein is added to your high GI carbs. The ideal ratio ranges from 3:1 to 4:1. By adding protein to the carbs, you’ll be working even harder to minimize muscle damage, maximize recovery and enhance glycogen replacement.

In the 45 minute window of post-exercise opportunity, resistance athletes should ingest 15g of protein and 40g of carbohydrates. Whey protein is recommended, since it’s emptied from the stomach sooner than other forms of protein supplementation.

What About Later?

Just because the 45 minutes window has closed, that doesn’t mean that carb and protein consumption are no longer vital – it just means that you need to pay a bit closer attention to what and when you’re eating.

It’s “safe” to keep on eating high GI carbs for up to four hours after your workout is over. However, it’s integral that you also include a quality lean protein source as well. During this four hour period, it’s best to opt for a real “meal, versus supplement bars, shakes or other meal replacement options.

Once those four hours has passed, though, do your best to make sure that the carbs you’re eating have a lower GI score, to help maintain both a constant AND controlled insulin release rate.

At this stage in the game, insulin spikes won’t do you (or your workout) and favors, so avoid causing one!

Keep these facts in mind as you head into the tail end of the season of acceptable gluttony! Not only will you avoid potential training set-backs, understanding the basics of GI nutrition can boost your training nutrition all year long!

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Remember!
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This article is just a general overview and some general guidelines about the Glycemic Index and nutrient timing. Elite athletes, bodybuilders, sprinters, long distance runners,etc.,. are individuals who fit into a group that is called “special population”.  For those individuals the guidelines still apply, but they way that they may need to attack their nutritional practices may be different based upon their long term and short term goals (i.e. weight loss, hypertrophy, strength gain, increase in VO2 Max, etc.,.)

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Closing
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Take care and enjoy.

P.S. Please don’t forget that in February 2008 The Total Body Workout will be here.

See clips of the Total Body Workout here and in the previous post.

I Have Video Just For You

Auto Date Saturday, December 8th, 2007

I told you all that I have a new DVD coming out in 2008 entitled “The Total Body Workout”. It is the ultimate workout for getting in shape by only working out 3x a week for 30 minutes a day.  I guarantee that this workout is versatile enough that you will be able to do it, use it through your advancements and continue to use it. No matter if you are a beginner, an elite athlete, a woman, man, athlete or coach potato. 

I made sure that I made this workout for everyone and I also put together a bonus DVD that provides some bona fide protocols to get you, your clients, or athletes in some great shape. 

This is the ultimate “Low Budget Training With High Priced Results” DVD set.

For a sneak peak at some of the DVD check out these two video clips:

How To Train The Hamstrings

Auto Date Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

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Introduction
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As we move into the Holiday Season I want to make sure that you all have the best opportunity ever to stay healthy, beat the fat and get in great shape. So, I’m offering my DVD Working Out With Rhadi: The At Home Workout. It’s a bona fide bodyweight workout that’s quick, easy and beneficial to your overall health and wellness.

So make sure that you get your hands on this DVD because its 100% absolutely FREE (except for shipping)

But that’s not what I really want to you to talk about today.

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The Most Overlooked
Muscle In Long and
Sprinting Athletes
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After running a marathon in November on the 25th and a half-marathon on the 4th, I can tell  you this. My quads were zapped, but nothing was as bad as my hamstrings. I really didn’t think that I used them that much, especially at the speed at which I was running (which was super slow –> see http://www.rhadiandtraci.com )  So, I’m going to give you some of the best hamstring advice that you’ll ever receive.

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The Hamstrings:
How to Prevent the Dreaded Pull…
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There are a lot of sports injuries out there that you can fall prey to: sprains, breaks, tears, dislocations – the list could go on forever. Perhaps the most common injury that athletes experience, across the board, is the pulled hamstring.

A number of different factors can set the stage for a pulled hamstring…

  - Strength imbalances between the quads and hamstrings
  - Tight hamstrings (weak hamstrings)
  - Nerves firing “out of time”, innervating the hamstrings
  - Failure to properly warm up

So, why is the pulled hamstring still so common –despite the number of medical and sports medicine advances? What are athletes doing wrong, and how can they do it right – continuously working to strengthen their hamstrings and prevent injury?

A Change in Perspective…
When doctors first began isolating the specific muscle functions, they were restricted to working with cadavers on horizontal, “on the slab” positions – not standing or in other more functional stances.

This began a habit of focusing only on concentric muscle action, while neglecting the eccentric component (and the transverse plane), or overlooking them entirely.

Of late, researchers have come to appreciate the tremendous difference between a muscle’s isolated function and their integrated, full-body function. A perfect example would be the difference in the hamstring requirements of someone laying flat on their back in bed, merely going through the motions of running, versus standing upright and actually going through the physical mechanics of running.

Test this out yourself to truly appreciate how different the two are!

When you run, your hamstrings are responsible for a number of different functions. They decelerate hip flexion, slow down the knee extension and then again speed up hip flexion. They also accelerate lower leg internal rotation, and later accelerate external lower leg rotation. In the midst of all of this, the hamstrings also have to work to provide stability for your body – and all of this in only one full stride!

However, in addition to the concentric and eccentric muscle action, hamstrings also perform a third action – one shared by other muscles that span two joints. This is known as econcentrical action – a term first introduced by a physical therapist by the name of Gary Grey. It’s used to describe any situation where a single muscle must work simultaneously – concentrically at one join, while eccentrically at the other.

In light of these facts, when you take a look at the “traditional” method of conditioning or rehabilitating hamstrings – the leg curl – something just doesn’t add up. As a matter of fact, the unnatural isolated demands that leg curls place on your hamstrings can actually make the MORE (not less) prone to injury! Regardless though, leg curls are still the exercise of choice of gyms and athletes from across the world. It doesn’t take a lot of jumping to come to the conclusion that this may play a large part in why so many athletes battle the dreaded pulled hamstring.

But if the traditional approach isn’t working, what will?

The Hamstring Trifecta
How many times has a pulled hamstring cramped your style? One wrong move can set your training schedule back weeks – even months at a time. And woe unto the athlete that tries to jump back into the game again too early!

As the sages say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

My prescription is a simple, triple exercise protocol that uses a stability ball to employ functional training in what at first seems a non-functional position. Each exercise in the Trifecta Treatment is performed in a supine position and targets your hips and hamstrings using motions eerily similar to running – even though you’re lying down.

For the best results, you should perform the Trifecta Treatment between two and three times a week, ideally AFTER your regular resistance training workout.

The Exercises:

The three exercises of the Hamstring Trifecta include:

  A Bridge Lift – Where your legs are atop the stability ball, you’re flat on your back and your arms are spread out wide horizontally on the floor. From the starting position, lift your butt off of the ground until your body creates a diagonal line from head to foot. Hold and squeeze.

  The Supine Leg Curl – The Supine Leg Curl begins in the elevated Bridge Lift position. This time, you’ll use your resting feet to roll the stability ball towards your body, until your knees are bent at a 45 degree angle, and there’s a sharp diagonal line from your head to your knees.

  Lift the Hip – This position is similar to the Bridge Lift, but instead of making a straight diagonal line, your hips through your knees will be a bit more elevated, and instead of resting your heels on the stability ball, your feet will rest with the soles flat against the ball.

Sets & Reps…
Your workout will progress over a 12 week period, with the ability to introduce new challenges beginning on Week 13.

During Week 1, you’ll be training both legs simultaneously. You’ll do three sets of five reps for each of the three exercises. Each set will include 15 nonstop reps in a set – five Bridge Lifts, five Supine Leg Curls, then “walk” the ball out and do five Lift the Hips. Allow yourself a minute or two in between sets.

Starting Week 2, add two more reps to each of the exercises until by Week 6 you’ll be doing 15 reps of each exercise for a total of 45.

On Week 7, you’ll raise the stakes and begin single leg work. The reps and sets go back to Week 1 demands. Since one leg is resting while the other is working, you should omit the rest period in between sets. Again, each week, you’ll add two reps to each exercise until you’re back up to a total of 45 exercises in a set.

Beginning Week 13, you can spice things up a bit by varying your speed or by increasing your workload, by adding a weighted belt to the mix.

Pre-habilitation – Not Rehabilitation
With the rigorous demands of training and competition, the athletes I coach can’t afford to spend weeks off the mat in rehab. That’s why we use the Trifecta for “pre-hab”. Additionally, we employ specific, powerful, results-oriented warm ups and continuous drilling designed to make the mechanics of proper hamstring function second nature.

Don’t be like all of those other chumps out there that only train and condition the muscles that they can easily see when they’re checking themselves out in the mirror, while neglecting the muscles they can’t. Using this short sighted approach will cancel out all of the positive results in your abs, chest, biceps and quads when you’re carrying around foundational weaknesses in the rear that can lead to injury and lots of lost training time!

With the Trifecta up your sleeve, you can kiss the dreaded hamstring pull good-bye!

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New Stuff
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I just wanna let you know that in the next couple of weeks (2008) I’m going to release my new DVD “The Total Body Workout”, it is bona fide and truly spectacular. You will certainly be amazed with  the workouts and the content.

In the Total Body Workout you will discover:

- How To Increase Lean Muscle While Reducing Fat

- How To Properly and Appropriately Train Your Abs So That You CAN Have and
GET That Six Pack That’s Been Escaping You

- Exactly What Exercises To Do and The Order In Which To Do Them
- How You Can Simply And Easily Turn Your Home Into A Gym

- How To Utilize What You Have To Get What You Need

- The Secret To Developing The Body That You Want With The Exercises You Need

- How To Use Protocols To Get A Good Workout In, When You Don’t Have Much Time

- The Little Known Secrets That An Olympian Uses To Stay In Great Shape

- The Exercise Protocols That The Pros Use, So You Will Have Something To Build Up To A Workout That Is Always Exciting And Never Stale Because It Has So Much Variety

All This and much more. I will provide you with a “sneak peek” of the video tomorrow…

Take care.

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Closing
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If you haven’t taken advantage of my F.REE DVD offer at http://www.TheBodyWeightWorkout.com then please do so. The only thing that you have to pay is the shipping cost, other than that, its yours for FREE.

I wish you a great holiday season.

Please stop by http://www.rhadiandtraci.com if you’d like to read about my marathon and half marathon adventures last month.

Take it easy. Take care and have a good one.