Alexis works smart and eats smarter to attain the goals she has achieved

Muscle and Fiction

Common Myths and Misinformation in the fitness media

Alexis work smart and eats smarter to attain the goals she has achieved

Alexis works smart and eats smarter to attain the goals she has achieved

Here are some misconceptions and myths that I think we’ve all heard,read or encountered and some explanations and solutions to go with them.

If i exercise then it will negate all of my bad eating bad habits:
This always coincides with the “calories in calories out” concept. The flaw here is that a calorie is not just a calorie, that meaning that a calorie of Kale i not anything like a calorie of Pizza. Nutrient density is important in anyones diet who is looking to make long term productive changes in their body composition. Plain and simple, you cannot out exercise a bad diet.
I just want to “tone” my muscles:
Muscle tone is a totally misused and misunderstood word by fitness beginners and used by certain “fitness professionals” as deceptively as a used car salesman. The term “tone” when dealing with the musculo-skeletal system is in reference to motor unit recruitment. This is when the motor neuron (the nerves that send the signal from the brains to there respective body part) is able to reach out to as many muscle fibers as possible. High motor unit recruitment is what gives athletes both the edge in performance and that lean chiseled look (providing that their diet is in sync).
The other misconception that follows this one is that muscle tone can be achieved by using low resistance for high repetitions. Muscle tone is easiest to achieve if you perform multi joint exercises at 85% of muscle capacity and clean up your diet.
Women need different exercises than men.
This is honestly such a BS line and i’ve heard it used by “celebrity trainers” who try to make what they do seem special.
Although our hormonal make up obviously different our physiology is pretty much the same. the problem i see happening is that guys tend to do to much upper body(arms, chest, abs) and woman tend to do more lower body(legs, hips, abs). make sure that you train your whole body in all 3 planes of motion (sagital,frontal/coronal, and transverse) to keep it balanced.
Women should lift lower weights and do higher repetitions than men.
Flat out…WRONG!!! Without “Scientific Assistance” it is super difficult to achieve that kind of hypertrophy (muscle growth) in either men or women. The easiest way to directly affect change on the musculo-skeletal system is to add a level of resistance that will force the body to make an adaptive change and 3lb pink “lady weights” aint gonna do it. Again, being able to move 85% of your 1rm (1 rep max) using multi joint exercises is the best way to make this happen.
You should always stretch before exercising.
Static stretching before exercise has been shown to diminish strength and performance in athletes. Stretching is fine but save it for the cool down afterwards. a movement prep cycle using movements that will get the heart rate elevated, the joints lubricated, and the muscles activated will be much more beneficial and help to get your head in the frame of mind to do what ever the program of the day is.
it can take you anywhere from between 3 to 20 minutes depending upon what you have planned for your program for the day.
{if you need further information on this let me know and i’ll be glad to do a blog on concepts in movement preparation}
i can spot reduce (loose fat in one area):
this is one of the most abused myths in the industry and i really works my nerves because it plays on peoples fears.
The human body is an amazing organism that works systematically. Nothing in the body is meant to work in a vacuum. this being said, if you train the whole body, the whole body will benefit from it. I know we all have certain areas that we want to improve but again i stress, if you start to regulate your diet properly and also employ multi joint movement at appropriate resistance loads the benefits will come. The more muscles you use the more calories you’ll burn. exercises like dead lifts, stats, bodyweight pulling, push ups, overhead pressing and sprinting are optimal for this.
I’ll burn only fat at my target heart rate.
cardio equipment often features graphs listing target heart rates for fat burning, the body is too complex for them to be accurate. In all honesty the best time time spent burning fat is when you’re sleeping which is one of the best reason to make sure that you’re getting good rest. a good variety of interval training, both low and high intensity will help with this as well.
Shakes are great for weight loss.
This is so wrong!! Garbage in, garbage out!! Most shakes are made of inferior protein, sugars and coloring agents. They totally off set your blood sugar and insulin resistance. Eat real foods, lean grass fed meat, wild caught fish , colorful vegetables, and grains like quinoa, millet, and faro. These food also require more digestive work and use more energy burning more calories. as far as post workout nutrition i’ve found very few things that compare with sweet potatoes as far as nutrient density and convenience.
Eat only egg whites and not the yolks.
Egg yolks have taken a bad rap for a long time although they contain most of the vitamins and minerals in the egg including half of the protein. also, since the typical “egg white only” breakfast is usually neurotically fat free it can cause a significant insulin spike and promote hunger cravings as well as mood and energy swings later in the day. it was made as a perfect whole food and should be treated that way, in my opinion.

Body composition versus Body weight……

we are constantly barraged with (mis)information about weight loss programs,pills, other sensationalisms that hope to trigger a fear based reaction to get you to purchase products. The days of the professional carnival weight guessers are far behind us and in my own opinion unless you are competing in an event that requires you to “weigh in” at a certain weight it is a fruitless and disappointing chase to be a “perfect weight”. Size on the other i’ve had clients who have shrunk down there waist size but have not lost as mush weight as they thought they would have to to be healthy and that really is the main idea behind “fitness”. Being happy and healthy Feeling good about yourself and comfortable in your own skin.

What is body composition? Body composition is the body’s relative amount of fat to fat free-free mass. Those with optimal body composition are typically healthier, move more easily and efficiently, and in general, feel better than those with less-than-ideal body composition. Achieving a more optimal body composition goes a long way toward improving your quality of life and overall wellness.
Educated fitness professionals all agree that excess body fat is a serious health issue and tends to come along with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, adds excess load to the joints and musculo-skeletal system. Extra fat around the abdomen and waist is associated with a higher risk of diabetes, and heart disease.
People tend be preoccupied with how much they weight and mistakenly associate body weight with over all health when in fact this is not an optimal measurement of an individuals over all health. A person can actually weigh less and be in a far worse state of health. I recently took part in an 8 weeks dietary , behavioral , and exercise challenge that when i started i was measuring 19.4 body fat % and by the end of it i was at 15.3% with only a 10lb weight difference but a 4 size difference in my waist size.
one of the reasons for the mass media using the measurement of weight is that it’s easier to step onto a scale then it is to get proper body fat measurements done and they use the scale to terrorize people into purchasing all sorts of “quick fix” pills and products. My first piece of advice for this is to calm down. If you’ve found yourself in a state of health that you don’t find to be what you want do not panic. Let’s equate it to getting lost in the woods, the last thing you want to do is panic and start failing around running into trees and off cliffs and such. remain calm, and learn your location. where are you?? really?? what are your measurements and what percentage of your composition is fat/adipose tissue and what percentage is good useful fat burning muscle. having an understanding of this will help you to map a strategy for getting yourself closer to where you want to be. Keep in mind also that this is not an overnight thing and it will require time and effort to attain certain goals. You didn’t get this point overnight o there really is no “sensible” way that you can change it like that.
having an understanding of how much skeletal muscle you have will give you a better idea also of how strategize a reasonable diet plan and what is required to fuel the useful muscle so that it can burn the “excess” fat. keep in mind that muscle is denser that fat and equal size measurement s of muscle will weigh more than fat. I use the term “excess” to point out that we all need to carry a certain percentage of body fat just to survive. No one does well for extended periods of time at a to low of a body fat percentage. many of the bodies functions require fat, joints,eyes, and oh yeah……YOUR BRAIN!!! Fat is not an enemy, it is very useful but carrying an excess amount can lead to any number of health issues.

also beware of the “state farm” body index scale that shows what your “optimal” body weight is an accordance with your height. by this scale many professional athletes who are consistently in the 12% to 9% range rank as “morbidly obese”. i would find this laughable if it didn’t unnecessarily scare the hell out of so many people. The measurement was designed by the state farm insurance company back in the 40s and is so off based that if some one tries to apply it to you don’t be surprised if they also think that leaches are the best way to rid evil spirits from young children.

ways to measure body composition

bio-impedance meter- a commonly used method for estimating body composition, and in particular body fat. Since the advent of the first commercially available devices in the mid-1980s the method has become popular owing to its ease of use, portability of the equipment and its relatively low cost compared to some of the other methods of body composition analysis. It is familiar in the consumer market as a simple instrument for estimating body fat. BIA[1] actually determines the electrical impedance, or opposition to the flow of an electric current through body tissues which can then be used to calculate an estimate of total body water (TBW). TBW can be used to estimate fat-free body mass and, by difference with body weight.
Accuracy-Many of the early research studies showed that BIA was quite variable and it was not regarded by many as providing an accurate measure of body composition.
body fat caliper-The skinfold estimation methods are based on a skinfold test, also known as a pinch test, whereby a pinch of skin is precisely measured by calipers at several standardized points on the body to determine the subcutaneous fat layer thickness.These measurements are converted to an estimated body fat percentage by an equation. Some formulas require as few as three measurements, others as many as seven. The accuracy of these estimates is more dependent on a person’s unique body fat distribution than on the number of sites measured.
DEXA-scan-Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DXA (formerly DEXA), is a newer method for estimating body fat percentage, and determining body composition and bone mineral density.
X-rays of two different energies are used to scan the body, one of which is absorbed more strongly by fat than the other. A computer can subtract one image from the other, and the difference indicates the amount of fat relative to other tissues at each point. A sum over the entire image enables calculation of the overall body composition.
h2O dip test- Estimation of body fat percentage from underwater weighing (or hydrostatic weighing) has long been considered to be the best method available, especially in consideration of the cost and simplicity of the equipment. Most other ways to estimate body fatness, such as by skin folds, body girths, body impedance, air displacement volume and body scanners are based on equations which predict body density, and are inaccurate. In contrast, underwater weighing gives an actual measurement of body density rather than a prediction.

They weigh the same but 5 pounds of muscle takes up much less space then an equal pound amount of body fat.

They weigh the same but 5 pounds of muscle takes up much less space then an equal pound amount of body fat.

this is the most awesome 8am i've seen in a while

Training Abroad South of the border (bringing sandbags to the beach)……

Traveling with a client in Mexico. We’ll be staying at an eco-hotel in Tulum, Mexico about 15k down Boca Piala towards Punta Allen. The conditions here are phenomenal, sunny but with a great off shore breeze and temperatures in the high 80s. This Mornings training consisted of about 30 minutes of technical pad work (Muay thai) on a leveled out area with nice soft sand. She really has gotten into the technical aspect of Muay Thai recently because I’ve started working her in with some higher level competitors and although she has no interest in actually fighting herself she really likes getting to push herself to keep up with individuals who are ring ready. After that we hit the beach for some “tempo runs” which consisted of 15 second 75%sprints with a 1 minute rest. We hit 16 sets, 8 down the beach and 8 back up. After that we finished with some explosive low rep calisthenics and crawling patterns in the sand.

this afternoon i loaded up the 3 Ultimate Sand Bags the i brought with me as i really wanted to keep up with the resistance training program we’d had her working for the 3 weeks prior to this trip.  Tomorrow i plan to put her through some movements with the sand bags that will require a higher skill level, alignment and balance so i’m not so much worried about “volume” as far as weight goes so i’m setting the bags up so they will shift more. I’m also going to break out a Jungle Gym XT suspension trainer for some body weight training. most likely i’ll use a movement prep cycle and pad work for a warm up.

for tomorrow afternoon i’m planning on having her do some High Resistance interval sprints in the loose packed sand. These will consist of 6 seconds all out sprint with a 1:30 rest. We’ll hit about 16 to 18 of these. I don’t want to really do to many 2 a days but she really enjoys training and that’s my part on the trip. Hopefully she will take my suggestion to take a yoga class at Maya Tulum on wednesday.

I forgot to take photos today but will try to grab some tomorrow.

Welcome!!

TO VAN VLACK STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING!

Using movement based skill training I will help you to design an effective, fun, & safe program that will both improve your strength and over all fitness.

With a focus on becoming stronger, faster and more movement capable the aesthetic goals are purely a byproduct.

You’re not going to just come in to a great facility and have a great time training but you will learn how to design your own programs so that you can virtually train anywhere with very little or even no equipment.

Focus, purpose, and intent are the basis of this concept because what we do outside the gym is as important as what we do on the training floor, diet, rest and recuperation are three key elements that we will work on together to modify your new lifestyle to fit your needs.

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