You Can Do Better: Improve Your Diet, Fitness and Health I.Q. Instantly

You Can Do Better: Improve Your Diet, Fitness and Health I.Q. Instantly

Did you know spices can increase the likelihood of sticking to a healthy diet? And that research has shown chocolate milk has an important role in your fitness plan? Natural bodybuilder and certified strength and conditioning specialist Brad Borland has more.

Do you ever wonder if there is a better way or maybe even a different way all together for improving your diet, fitness and health approaches? Is there a tweak or shift in perspective needed to upgrade those ever elusive results to finally put you over the top to do better?

Read on to get instant tips on advancing, enhancing and developing your greatest asset: You!

Drink chocolate milk for an excellent post-workout recovery aid.

Research has shown that chocolate milk is highly effective at the rebuilding process due to its high protein and carbohydrate content. The protein helps replenish amino acids in muscle tissue and the simple sugars assist in restocking glucose for faster recovery between workouts.

Try to get in at least 20 grams of protein and 30-60 grams of carbs after training depending on intensity level.

Plow through a workout twice as fast with one simple trick and reap major benefits. Superset antagonistic muscle groups. Say what?! Superset refers to performing two or more exercises back-to-back with little or no rest between. In this case antagonistic refers to opposing muscle groups. So, if you were to perform a bench press for example (pushing), upon completion of that set you would immediately move on over to a row movement (pulling) without rest.

While one muscle is working, the opposing muscle is resting. You not only save time by pairing exercises and never stopping, you also reap an incredible fat-burning benefit.

Some great pairings include:

  • Incline or flat bench dumbbell and barbell presses with chin-ups, pulldowns or barbell rows
  • Barbell or dumbbell curls with triceps barbell extensions or rope extensions
  • Squats or leg presses with leg curls or Romanian deadlifts

Cut down on cravings without feeling deprived by flavoring foods.

Adding more flavor to foods gives your palate more to enjoy and, in turn, will create more overall satiety. When we eat a less than interesting meal, it leaves us wanting more, not for the sake of hunger, but for tastes that we’re missing to begin with. Spice up foods with a variety of seasonings, marinate meats with different ingredients each time and add a little sweet to your salad dressing. Find ways to add variety for your tongue by experimenting in the world of sweet, sour and salty. Diets fail because the food can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn how to make some delicious rubs in our intro to wet and dry rubs.

Improve your workouts instantly by carrying around a water bottle instead of visiting the facility’s water fountain.

Many of you have already adopted this habit, but the benefits may surprise you.

You not only have the opportunity to hydrate more often, you also ingest less air than with the water fountain which decreases stomach bloat. Additionally, it’s not only more sanitary than the bacteria-laden public water destination; it also enables you to keep your workout on track by not stopping your momentum and walking across the gym.

Decrease back pain and improve hip flexibility with a simple stretch.

This one hits home as I have had my share of tightness in the hip area in the past. Most trainers would blame a weak back and abdominal wall for back and hip pain. One often overlooked area is the gluteus maximus region. As the largest muscle of the body, the glutes can become shortened over time and cause tightness and stiffness throughout the back and hips.

Perform a simple runner’s stretch by standing in a staggered stance and lunge forward with your trailing leg almost straight behind you and your lead leg bent forward. Lower your body to the floor with your lead leg’s hamstring and calf touching. You should be very close to the floor and feel a stretch in the glute and hip flexor area. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat with the other leg. Do 2-3 times for each side.

Press and row images by everkinetic.com

Brad is the founder of Workout Lab. He is a consultant, writer, fitness specialist, husband and father. He earned his Master's degree in Kinesiology, is a member of the Air National Guard and is a cancer survivor.

  • Pingback: You Can Do Better: Improve Your Diet, Fitness and Health I.Q. … | Fitness

  • Steve Jones

    I can attest to stretching revealing back pain. My days have become busier and busier lately, and as a result, I’ve found myself cutting my workout routine short by eliminating stretching afterwards. After a few weeks of this behavior, I started to get terrible pains (sharp and dull) along the length of my spine and around my neck/trapezius.

    I’ve actually found that if you’re having upper back pain, like between your shoulder blades, a great way to relieve this is by stretching your chest (same situation here as the article suggests – tightness in another muscle group can cause pain in another). The doorway chest stretch is perfect for this – http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/ChestGeneral/Doorway.html

  • John M

    Chocolate milk? Most chocolate syrup uses high fructose corn syrup, and is high in simple carbs, which you really don’t want. Try a chocolate flavored protein powder in Almond Milk. Tastes just like Chocolate Milk, but way better for you. Get your carbs from something else, like oats.

  • http://www.Workoutlab.net Brad

    John M.,

    Yes, you are correct, but for most individuals that have a high workout intensity, the simple carbs will be better absorbed into muscle membranes for better metabolism of not only glucose, but also protein and other nutrients.

    The rise in insulin (from the simople sugars) wil also raise natural growth hormone levels. I only recommend this after an intense training session.

    Taking in fiber after a workout (such as oats) will slow down absorption and delay recovery.

    These findings were reported in numerous studies from the Journal of Nutrition, SCJ, JSC and PubMed among others.

    Thanks!
    Brad

  • Pingback: You Can Do Better: Improve Your Diet, Fitness and Health I.Q. Instantly | WORKOUT LAB

  • Pingback: YOU CAN DO BETTER: IMPROVE YOUR DIET, FITNESS AND HEALTH I.Q. INSTANTLY | WORKOUT LAB