Monday, February 6, 2012

Jillian Michaels in "Self" Magazine

Self Magazine's interview with Jillian Michaels brought up some interesting tips I wanted to share.

Q: When I work on my abs, I never feel it in the lower portion, where I need it most. What am I doing wrong?
A: You are probably relying on exercises, like a traditional sit-up or crunch, that targets mostly the upper part of your abs. Keep in mind that there's really no such thing as 'upper' or 'lower' ab muscles. Each muscle group runs more or less vertically along the length of the abdomen. But you can work the upper or lower portion of a muscle group. To tone the lower part of your abs, try leg raises, reverse crunches or the tried and true tummy toner Hollowman pose: Lie flat on your back, raise your legs and shoulder blades several inches off the floor and 'hollow' out your entire torso, holding the pose for about 30 seconds.

Q: How can I tone my arms without adding to much bulky muscle?
A: It's very difficult for women to gain muscle mass because we don't have the same amount of testosterone as men do. This hormone is needed to bulk up. Additionally, you have to eat a lot of calories to build muscle mass. So feel free to train your way to chiseled perfection. Try tricep dips and push-ups.

Q: I've been cutting calories and exercising daily, but I'm losing only one pound a week. How can I speed it up?
A: A pound a week is great. You can lose up to 2 pounds a week if you make additional changes: Cut back or totally eliminate processed foods. The benefit is multifold. Most processed food has excess calories in the form of saturated and trans fats, refined grains (White bread), sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. The last three in particular aren't filling, have no nutritional value and raise insulin levels, which can make you hungry. Remember the phrase ' empty calories ' ? Studies show that alcohol also promote fat storage, so cutting back on that helps as well. Finally, get eight hours of sleep. People who clock a full night's rest produce more of the fullness hormone leptin and less of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Besides, it's much easier to stick to a healthy diet and workout schedule when you're well-rested.

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