Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The HIT / HIIT Project - Week 1 - Workouts and Results

Hey guys,

Again, it took me some time to get it started, but finally I did start with the HIT/HIIT project.

So, here are the workouts from last week:

Workout 1:
Sparta Style - I did a workout which is commonly known as "the 300 workout". You can find it all over the internet and it is told, that this was one of the workouts that the actors from the movie "300" had to do every now and then in the preperation phase for the movie.
Here's how it goes:
Perform every exercise without any rest (or at least with as few rests as possible) during the circuit.
25 Pull Ups (I did supported ones...shame on me ;) )
50 Deadlifts
50 Push-Ups
50 Box Jumps
50 Floor Wipers
50 Single-Arm Clean & Press (with a kettlebell or a dumbbell), 25 each side
25 Pull Ups (I did Pull Downs instead for the final)

Result: I needed 25:48 min.

Workout 2:
Crossfit Style - I chose a workout called "Loredo" from the Crossfit website for that week.
Six rounds for time of:
24 Squats
24 Push-ups
24 Walking lunge steps
Run 400 meters

Result: 35:40 min.

Workout 3:
Freeletics Style - I did the "Aphrodite" workout from the freeletics app.
It's a ladder workout and you should do it with as few rests as possible.
50 Burpees
50 Squats
50 Sit Ups
40 Burpees
40 Squats
40 Sit Ups
Follow his pattern with 30 reps, 20 reps and finally 10 reps.

Result: 36:14 min.

Workout 4:
Laura TIFW Style - I decided to do "Legs on FIRE #1" from the Thursday Throwdowns.
Here's how I did it (without a rest):
30 sec Squats
30 sec Deep Squat Hold
30 sec Squat Jumps
30 sec Deep Squat Hold
30 sec Lunge (right foot back)
30 sec Lunge Hold
30 sec Lunge (left foot back)
30 sec Lunge Hold
2nd set was the same with 20 sec each and 3rd set with 10 sec each.

Those were my workouts from last week! I can recommend every one of those if you want to try a nice HIT/HIIT workout yourself.

Cheers,
Andi


Monday, September 30, 2013

Phoenix from the ashes - Time to restart a strong and healthy life

Hey guys,

Some time has passed since I wrote the last article at my blog, but now I'll restart again!

I just came back from a 30 min. low-intensity run and I feel as if somebody had shot me into my right lung after 5 minutes already ...How could this even happen???

Over the last 6 weeks I've figuratively beaten down my health and fitness level with lots of cigaretts, junk food, sweets, ice cream and stuff like that (in fact the healthiest meal during that period was a half chicken which was drowned with 7 liters of beer in my stomach at the Oktoberfest im Munich). Additionally I haven't done any sports (in fact I haven't even moved much).

From today on, I'm back again and I will start with the program I wrote about in this post.

Cheers,
Andi

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Beast Mode Challenge - How many Push-Ups can you do in 24 hours?

Hey guys,

Today I wanna start with a new, irregular published series of challenges which I call "Beast Mode Challenges". A beast mode challenge is a really hard challenge that forces you to spend all of your energy in a predefined period with one single exercise. Of course it's up to you which movement speed you choose or which variety of the exercise you want to perform, I just predetermine the main kind of exercise and the period. What you make out of it is your choice! The only thing I want you to take care about is that you always maintain a proper movement execution, hand in hand with a good posture (it's about quantity AND quality to your own safety)!
Please join a beast mode challenge only if you are healthy and in good physical condition!

Todays challenge is "How many push-ups can you do in 24 hours?".

As you know, push-ups (or press-ups) are a very good exercise for the muscles at your chest, triceps, shoulders, core etc. But that's not the topic here...Let's come to the "description and rules" of the challenge:

Just choose a day when you have nothing else to do (e.g. at the weekend) and try out, how many push ups you can perform in a whole day and post your results in the comment area below (or, if you're not part of google+, feel free to send me an email with your name and your results to helleagy@gmail.com and I will post it for you!). Of course you can do as much sets as you want (even sets of 1 rep would be good) spread all over the day.

Exercise example:


or (as an easier version)


or any other variety you can imagine.

I always wanted to know how many I can do in 24 hours, what about you?

Btw.: According to Wikipedia, the current world record for most push-ups in 24 hours is by Charles Servizio (USA) who achieved 46,001 push-ups in just 21 hours, 6 minutes on 1993, April 24 to 25 (I already mentioned that in my 30 day push up challenge post, but it's so impressive and it fits here so good that I mention it again).

Beast mode on, let's go hardcore!!!

Cheers,
Andi


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Workout plan reloaded...some weeks of HIT/HIIT are coming - Freeletics, Crossfit, the Spartans and Laura shall skyrocket my overall fitness level

Hey guys,

After a break of approx. 4 weeks in which I haven't trained very much due to some small injuries and a lack of time (I know excuses dosn't count normally), I decided to restart again with a new workout program. Don't get me wrong, I love the Convict Conditioning stuff as well as German Volume Training and Kettlebell workouts, but, as mentioned earlier this blog, you should vary from time to time. So for the next 2-3 month I think I should try to go hardcore with high-intensity strength & cardio combined workouts to shred most of the left over body fat.

I will do at least 4 workouts each week and I will choose between routines from the following:

- Freeletics: This is an interesting approach developed by some guys in Munich, Germany. The workouts consist of some bodyweight exercises (e.g. burpees, air squats, pull ups, push ups, jumps) performed in high speed with huge rep targets and as few rest periods as possible during the routines.

- Crossfit: I bet most of you know what Crossfit is, don't you? If not, here is a very short summary: It consists of short WODs (workout of the day) which are designed with bodyweight exercises, some heavy lifting exercises and some slightly acrobatic stuff (like handstand push ups).

- Sparta Workouts: Those workouts stand for some circuit stuff that you can find in the internet and that is reffered to as Sparta Training (in reference to movies like 300 or series like Spartacus). It's not a specific program or so!

- Laura Flynn Endres' Fitness Quickies or Thursday Throwdowns: My friend Laura has designed some really nasty HIIT routines to bring everyone to his/her own kind of fit (you can find more information on her website here).

- Others: Maybe I will bring in some HIT/HIIT routines which I design myself or which I found elsewhere in the web.

After each week I will tell you exactely which workouts I've done and how my results were.

I hope this "tool kit" of different routines from different programs will give me the boost I want for melting down body fat and improving overall fitness even more.

Regarding the nutrition part: I will do my normal diet and I try intermittent fasting (16/8 method) additionally to give it an extra boost (an article with details on intermittent fasting will follow next week).

So guys, time for the end of year fat loss rally (even if there are still 4 months left).

Cheers,
Andi

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Low-Carb Paleo Blueberry Muffins - Sooo tasty

Hey guys,

It's time for a new recipe! This time I'll show you how to bake really delicious paleo muffins. Just a few carbs (with low glycemic loads), no processed ingredients and still very tasty. A perfect fit for a diet like mine and also for a Sunday evening coffee and cake meeting (without a gain of weight).

Ingredients for 12 muffins:

- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 eggs
- 3.5 oz. (approx. 100g) ground almonds
- 0.7 oz. (approx. 20g) desiccated coconut
- 2 tsp. cinnamon powder
- 0.5 tsp. (wine stone) baking powder
- 2 oz. (approx. 55g) grass-fed butter (or coconut oil)
- 3.5-5 oz (approx. 100-150g) blueberries


Preparation:
Preheat an oven to 350° F (approx. 180° C). Grease 12 cups of a muffin pan or fill them with paper muffin liners (if you don't have a muffin pan just use paper muffin liners alone, but then it's better to use 2 layers of muffin liners for 1 muffin). Now scrape the vanilla bean and melt the butter or coconut oil in a saucepan. Meanwhile you can start to prepare the dough.
Add the bananas, the mark of the vanilla bean and the eggs to a big bowl and mix it with an electric hand mixer.


Add the remaining ingredients (except the blueberries) gradually to the bowl while you are still mixing until the dough is creamy.


Carefully mix in the blueberries by using a spoon or something like that. Pour the dough into the holes of the muffin pan or into the muffin liners and place it/them in the center the oven. Bake it for 30-35 minutes and enjoy!



 
 
Yummy,
Andi

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Kettlebell Circuit Training - Part IV of IV (Body Circles & Squats)

Hey guys,

The time has come to finish the Kettlebell Circuit series. Today I show you the last two exercises you need for having a full body kettlebell workout that you can perform once or twice per week.
Just add them to the previous exercises from the last kettlebell circuit posts. Try to do three sets with the mentioned reps without a rest between the eight exercises (30 sec - 1 min rest between the sets).

7. Exercise: Body Circles – 10x counterclockwise, then 10x clockwise 



- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and pick up the kettlebell as described in the other exercises (only difference: grasp the handle at its outer edges).

- Now circle the weight counterclockwise to the left rear (slightly above hip level) in the biggest possible circle (hold the weight with your left hand only). Your arms should be almost straight during the motion.

-When the kettlebell arrives behind your back, continue the motion to the right and hand it over to the right hand.

- Now circle the weight to the front again (remember: the whole movement is flowing).

- In front of you (at the middle) hand the weight over again to your left hand and continue with the next rep.

- You should intercept the kinetic energy after the 10th circle by smoothly following the circle motion with your body until the weight stopped (one body rotation should last). Now change the direction of the motion.


8. Exercise: Kettlebell Squats – 10x 



-Hold the kettlebell upside down in front of you (with your arms bent) and perform a regular full squat (keep your back straight and your knees behind your toes all the time).

-Take care that the weight is carried mainly through your heels and that your thighs are at least parallel to the ground in the bottom position.

Now that you have a guideline for a full body kettlebell circuit, I hope some of you will give it a try and I hope you like the series.


Cheers,
Andi

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Colorado Experiment - How to make Hulk green with envy

Hey guys,

Because of the great success of the GVT posts I decided to write some more stuff about fast and effective increase of muscle mass. In todays post I want to summerize the findings/methods from a very interesting strength experiment that could help you to increase strength and muscle mass very fast as well. You may have heard about the Colorado experiment before (Tim Ferris has written about it in "The 4-Hour Body" and I have written about it in "The LLA-Method").

In the world of real bodybuilding there was an experiment at the Colorado State University in May 1973 that has been much-noticed in the last years. This experiment was conducted by Arthur Jones et. al.

The Colorado Experiment

During a 28 days lasting experiment the former bodybuilder Casey Viator increased his lean muscle mass by approx. 63 lbs. [28.67kg] in total (and, additionally, he lost 18 lbs. [8.13kg] body fat in that time). He exercised just 14 times, always on an average of 33.6 minutes! He swears that he hadn’t used any illegal drugs during the experiment.

How could Viator achieve such unbelievable results?

His training was based on some main principles that are still up-to-date:

High Intensity – Viator had followed the HIT principle. Extremely high intensity to muscle failure had been his standard procedure in every single exercise (in his case he had chosen the weights so that he could perform approx. 10 reps per set). He had done only a single set of each exercise per session. A special focus had been on the correct execution of the movements (to avoid injuries!).

Training Volume – Due to the high intensity to muscle failure within one set, there was no need to train longer or more often. Today it is well known among scientists and trainers that a training session should be less than 60 minutes, because afterwards your body starts to release a huge amount of the stress hormone Cortisol. The result of this process is that you actually lose muscle mass (catabolic effect) instead of increasing it. Of course, this negative effect is partly compensated (sometimes overcompensated) by the stimuli of the training. Nevertheless, if you exercise too long, you waste a lot of valuable life time for small or, worst case, negative effects on your body.

Eccentric Contractions (lengthening contraction) – By now many sport scientists of this world have confirmed that the eccentric part of an exercise is worth a bit more (or at least the same) than the concentric when it comes to effective strength and muscle building training. It can be said that eccentric muscle work is almost always the second part of the movement, when you move back to the start position. Now that you know that eccentric contractions are an important part of an exercise, it is weird that many of all trainees who you can see in the gyms don’t pay any attention to this part of the movement. Estimated 80% of the (mostly male) trainees try to lift (or move) big weights (uncontrolled and with momentum) and neglect the eccentric part totally (e.g. when they perform lat pulldowns they let jolt up the bar or they let the barbell almost fall down on their chest while performing bench presses). For an efficient and target-aimed training you should execute the concentric part explosively and the eccentric part slowly and controlled (3-4 seconds).

Quality – During the whole experiment they had focused strictly on complete and correct movement execution.

Further key success factors that were important for the experiment were:

-Application of supersets

-Sufficient sleep and recovery

-Usage of a full body workout program in every session

It would be overconfident to think that everyone of us is capable to copy Viator’s results easily. He is, undoubtly, a real „beast“, who has enormous mental strength at his disposal and his genetic predisposition is a „one of a kind“ thing as well, for sure. Nevertheless all of us can learn some things from this experiment and the latest training science findings to improve our workout routines.

Cheers,
Andi

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Kettlebell Circuit Training - Part III of IV (One-Arm & Normal Swings)

Hey guys,

Part 3 of the Kettlebell circuit series is on! Today I show you the fifth and sixth exercise of my routine. Both exercises are ballistic moves that can strongly improve your rear kinetic chain (read more about its benefits here). If you ask a skilled trainer which exercise he recommends for a well-shaped crispy butt than the answer will probably be "Kettlebell Swings".
Just add both swinging exercises to the previous kettlebell exercises to extend the circuit.

5. Exercise: 1-Arm Kettlebell Swing – 10-15x right arm, 10-15x left arm


- Stand with your feet shoulder-width (or a bit wider) apart slightly behind the kettlebell. Now bend at the knees and hips (your back has to be straight the whole time!) until you can grasp the curved handle of the weight with an overhand grip. Straighten yourself again with the kettlebell in one hand. 

- Start to swing the Kettlebell just a little bit forward and then dip down slightly and let it swing back under your hips (between your legs).  

- Explosively extend your legs and hips and raise your upper body upright simultaneously when the kettlebell starts its forward movement again.

- You should be able to bring the weight (with your arm almost straight) at least chest height through the momentum/ballistic energy that is initiated by the extension of your hips and legs (not through the strength of your arms!). If you aren’t able to bring the weight that high, you should work on a more explosive hip/leg extension.

- Let the kettlebell travel the way back in the same bow path until it swings back under your hips (back straight and legs slightly bent in the finish position). You should perform the reps in a flowing motion without interrupting it (the kettlebell actually has to „swing“).

 - Put the weight back on the floor after the last rep and start again with the other arm (you can also
change hands during the swing motion if you feel safe with the flowing movement).


6. Exercise: Regular Kettlebell Swing – 15-25x


- Do the same movement as explained above with the only difference that you hold the kettlebell with both hands this time.

Take care that your back is straight all the time and that you perform the exercises perfectly! If you're not sure, don't hasitate to ask a personal trainer!

Cheers,
Andi

Monday, August 5, 2013

Health benefits of green smoothies and two tasty recipes - Go green or go home

Hey guys,

Detox, anti-aging, super healthy, weight loss, booster of happiness and many more are the claims made by different websites and bloggers who promote green smoothies for an improved health. I read some articles about green smoothies and I agree with the supporters of them in many points. Only difference is that I see them as an addition to my diet not as its main part (like many authors do)! It's worth to drink a green smoothie every now and than because their ingredients are mainly greens, veggis and ripe fruits which contain a lot of healthy vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and dietary fibres. All those ingredients are capeable of promoting the above mentioned effects. Most authors describe green smoothies as smoothies made with 60% fresh (organic) fruits, 40% fresh (organic) green (leafy) vegetables and pure water or non-dairy milk. If you browse through the internet you will find lots of websites, books and blogs that provide you with recommendations, information and recipes. It's worth to take a look at some of them because green smoothies are really a good and tasty addition to a healthy diet (and they have a low glycemic load!). My girlfriend tried some self-created varieties and I want to show you the recipes of my favourite ones:

Green Smoothie No. 1

Ingredients:
- 2 green apples
- 1/4 lettuce
- 3 sticks celery
- 4 pcs. spring onions
- 1 thumb-sized pc. fresh ginger
- 6 fl.oz. (approx. 180 ml) mate tea
- 2 kiwis
- 3-6 fl.oz. (approx. 90-180 ml) organic soy milk (amount depends on your texture preferences)

Preparation:
The preparation is actually pretty simple. Wash all ingredients and cut them into pieces and put all together into a blender. Mix it for 1 minute and...tatata...ready to drink!


Green Smoothie No. 2

Ingredients:
- 7 oz. (approx. 200 g) fresh spinach
- 1 peeled banana
- 1.5 oz. (approx. 40 g) sliced almonds
- 6 fl.oz. mate tea
- 2 kiwis
- 3-6 fl.oz. organic soy milk (amount depends on your texture preferences)

Preparation:
The preparation is actually pretty simple again. Wash all ingredients and cut them into pieces and put all together into a blender. Mix it for 1 minute and...tatata...the next one is ready to drink!


In summer you can also add some ice cubes to the blender or you can store the drinks in a fridge for one hour before you consume them to give it a more refreshing touch!

Btw: I, personally, like the second one better because of its taste, but both are super healthy and with two varieties you have more options.

Enjoy your smoothie!

Cheers,
Andi

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The last days of my German Volume Training experiment

Hey guys,

Finally I've finished the GVT program. It was really a good experience and I definitly bulked up a bit and I can see a high increase of strength endurance as well. Although I had sore muscles almost every day, it felt very good after each workout and I could almost see the changes of my body composition after each day, which is really a nice thing. Unfortunately the last days were filled with some problems so the results are good but not enormous. I hadn't had access to a gym on some days so I substituted chest/back day once and leg/abs day twice with a home workout. On the leg days I did kettlebell swings (10 sets of 15 reps) to replace leg curls, kettlebell squats (10 sets of 10 reps) to replace barbell squats and single leg calf raises with a kettlebell instead of seated calf raises. On the chest and back day I did slow full push ups (10 sets of 10 reps) as a substitute for barbell presses and one arm rows with a kettlebell (10 sets of 10 reps) as replacement for one arm rows with a dumbbell. Another problem (which is more serious) is/was that I somehow hurt a tendom in my right shoulder a bit. I'm pretty sure that it was my fault because I did this high volume training without a proper warm up. I always started directly after entering the gym and this caused the trouble with my shoulder (especially the slow dips put big stress on it). That's also the reason why I cut out the last shoulder/arms session and why I did some extra rest days. Now I have to recover a bit with some ligther workouts until I'm totally fit again...

I will definitly do a GVT 30 day program again next year because the benefits were huge, but next time I'll take care of proper warming up at each and every session. I highly recommend to give the program a try if you haven't done it yet!

Here is the table of my workouts:


In the next few weeks I'll do some Convict Conditioning calisthenics and some other stuff (like I did before I started GVT).

Cheers,
Andi

Monday, July 29, 2013

Flat Bent Leg Raises - Video + exercise description

Hey guys,

Once you are able to perform the target reps of the flat knee raises exercise you should move on to the next harder version of the ab working exercise series - The Flat Bent Leg Raises. This exercise is very similar to the flat knee raises, it's just harder due to leverage. 

Let's come to the how-to-perform explanation:


Lie down flat on the floor or a mat. Keep your arms flat beside your torso and your legs together. Bend your knees approx. 45 degrees (at flat knee raises it was 90 degrees) and lift your feet slightly from the floor (around 1-2 inches). Make sure that your torso stays stable on the floor during the whole exercise (no hollow-back!) and that your abs are contracted all the time. Slowly bring your legs up over your hips until your feet are above your pelvis (remember to remain your knees locked in the 45 degree position). This move should take 2 seconds. Hold the finish position for a count of one. Now move back slowly to the start position (2 seconds) and start the next rep. If it's possible don't allow your feet to touch the ground during the exercise (if this exercise is to hard, you can slightly let them touch the floor every 3-5 reps)! If you can't manage to meet the target instantly, do as much reps as possible until you can do the requested amount. The 2-1-2 cadence is very reasonable for this exercise (ab muscles have mostly slow-twitch fibres). No shortcuts allowed here (same like the other ab exercises)!


Target: 3 sets of 30 reps



Cheers,
Andi

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Kettlebell Circuit Training - Part II of IV (Windmill & High Rows)

Hey guys,

Today we move on with the circuit...in this posting I'm gonna explain the third and forth exercise of the kettlebell routineWindmill & High Row.
Just add them to the previous exercises from the last kettlebell circuit post. Try to do three sets with the mentioned reps without a rest between the four exercises (30 sec - 1 min rest between the sets). Let's ring the "bells"...

3. Exercise: Windmill (one-handed) – 10x right arm, 10 x left arm


- Grasp the handle of the kettlebell and place the „ball“ on your vertically held forearm. Your elbow should be closely to your body.

- Twist the foot of the counterside in an angle of 45° to the outside and place your hip below the weight. 

- To your own safety, it is important that you look at the kettlebell during the whole exercise.

- Now move your hips backwards and bend your trunk forwards at your hips. 

- While you bend forwards, move the kettlebell straight upside and slightly twist your upper body so that the lower shoulder moves in the direction of your knee. Try to reach your foot with your arm straight.

- To get to the finish position move your hip forward again and erect yourself until you stand straight holding the weight above your head in line with your shoulder.

- Remove the weight slowly to the start position and repeat the exercise.


4. Exercise: High Row (one-handed) – 10 x right arm, 10 x left arm
  

- Stand with your feet shoulder-width (or a bit wider) apart and place the kettlebell slightly in front of you (nearby the foot of the side you start the exercise).

- Now squat down a little (keep your back straight and your knees behind your toes) until you can grasp the handle.

- Extend your legs and hips explosively (the „energy“ should be transmitted mainly through your heels) and initiate the vertical path of movement thereby.  

- The momentum generated by the extension of hips and legs should last out to bring the weight at the height of your shoulder, where you pull it slightly towards your shoulder (a small “row” move at the top position). 

- Remove the weight slowly to the start position and repeat the exercise.

Now you already have 4 exercises for the circle. 4 more are following during the next weeks.

Btw: I've published my LLA-method as a paperback (in German) two weeks ago. Just check it out here if you understand German ;) 


Cheers,
Andi

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why Fitness and Nutrition is Important for Good Health - Some unconventional thougths about finess and nutrition as the key for freedom

Hey guys,

My friend Bradford Lowry and his amazing Google+ community "Fitness & Nutrition" invited me to take part in their first writing challenge on why fitness and nutrition is vitally important for good health. As, in my opinion, this is a very good topic I decided to write my point of view. I hope that this might help to motivate some of you guys to live a healthier and happier life.

Here's what I think about fitness and nutrition for getting a healthy life:

I believe that most of you have already heard about the health benefits of fitness training and good nutrition...it prevents several diseases, makes you look better, promotes the release of happiness hormones, helps to make daily life activities easier and so on. But that's nothing I want to talk about today (even if it all has a connection to my points). That's what many educated trainers and nutrition experts can tell you (me too, but not today). I want to write about a mental thing...the freedom of choice! As bad health is pretty often connected to mental problems, like depressions, burn out etc. I want to take the chance to tell you why I think that fitness and nutrition can prevent those mental diseases through the freedom of choice. If you walk down a crowded road and look at all the obviously unhappy people you see, what do you think is going on in their brains? Many people are stressed out because of their jobs and fear of losing them, money problems and other stuff like that. These people often need a kind of outlet for their stress. Fitness, especially hard and challenging exercises could be this outlet. If you're stressed out and work out hard, you get exhausted and your negative thoughts about the stressor vanish because you have to be concentrated if your exercises are really hard. That's also great for your families health, because unfortunately some people tend to release stress at home instead of enjoying a relaxing family evening. Who else do you see on your walk? Older people who have to use a walking frame. I bet many of them would give away all of their belongings to get back the freedom to go wherever they want, whenever they want. If they had this freedom again they won't be limited by thoughts like "is there an elevator because I can't use the stairs?" or "is the city I want to visit for holidays a flat one because I can't manage to go up and down through small streets?". That stuff limits your choices and that's not good for your mental freedom and health. Who else? Chronically ill people, like diabetics, people with heart diseases, high blood pressure etc. They always have to worry about their drugs and they have to make preparations for the case that something happens to them (e.g. they always have to be nearby a hospital in case of a heart attack). They can only dream about making a trip to a lonely forest with their kids to enjoy the freedom of camping. But that's a choice they couldn't make anymore.  One more group? The obese people. Some aren't even able to walk proper because of their big thighs, every step is a sheer torment, a look in the mirror can sow doubts if they ever find a partner or if they could ever walk down the street again without the pitiful looks of the people surrounding them. Their freedom is often limited by themselves because they are ashamed of their appearance...or because they are just physically not able to do what they want to do. There is one way out to avoid ending up like one of those stereotypes forever...

Proper fitness training & healthy nutrition (with a lot of good proteins and vegetables) can keep you out of trouble and help you to protect or regain the freedom of choice to do whatever you dream about!

These are just some thoughts that crossed my mind after reading the topic (and it's also the end of my article for the F&N contest...I guess I already exceed the word limit...sorry Brad). 

I could go on with this, but these are the major examples that directly came into my head...

I won't finish the post without mentioning that I don't want to attack anyone who belongs to one of the mentioned groups! Of course some are in one of the situations caused by serious troubles they couldn't influence and some are there because of their habits or because of what they have learned about good fitness and nutrition in former days (some stuff that turned out wrong). My target with this writing is to encourage all people who don't have those problems right now that they think about it and do anything to avoid getting in a situation like the ones above. I also want to encourage everyone who already is in one of those states that there is a way out through fitness and nutrition and it's worth a try to get back your God-given freedom again!

Btw: If you haven't done a good deed today, check out Steves charity cycling. He fundraises for really poor kids in the Philippines. It's worth a read! 

Cheers,
Andi

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 11-20 of my German Volume Training (GVT) experiment - Workouts & Results

Hey guys,

The third and forth 5-day cycles are done! When I look in the mirror I definitely see that I've packed on some muscle mass (especially at the chest, arms and legs) and lost body fat. Today in the morning I steped on the scale and I was a bit confused because I actually weigh less than last time...174 lbs (79 kg) - a minus of 1.77 lbs (0.8 kg). As I told you last time I haven't made any other measurements (memo to myself: next time proper measurements!) but I use to trust the man in the mirror more than the scale so I believe that GVT works very good for me. Another proof for the benefits of GVT are my results...I improved my performance in all the major exercises (and I still have sore muscles every single day). Today start the last ten days and I'm really curious about how I'll look like at the end!


Have fun!

Cheers,
Andi

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dietary Fibres - The priceless "road sweepers" of our intestines

Hey guys,
This is an aricle I wrote for HealthMeUp.com some days ago. As I really believe that the power of dietary fibers for your health and fitness is priceless I decided to publish it here at my blog as well.

Article:
Figuratively spoken, dietary fibers are the „road sweepers“ of your intestines. They support your body in removing the „remains“ of your food effectively in a short period and, thereby, maintain the proper functions of your gastrointestinal tract. 

Dietary fibers belong to the macro nutrition group of carbohydrates (they consists mostly of polysaccharides, like cellulose or pectin) , but they don’t cause the negative side-effects (e.g. a strong increase of the blood sugar level and insulin peaks), which occur especially after eating sugar or refined carbohydrates. The reason for this is that fibers are mainly indigestible and get excreted easily. 

But why are dietary fibers so important to you when they get excreted indigested? 

Actually there are several benefits for your health that are induced by dietary fibers. First off, they swell up in your stomach and reduce the feeling of hunger thereby. Secondly, some parts of fibers are capable of binding toxins, cholesterol and biliary salts and help the body to get rid of them. The next very important point is that food which contains a huge amount of dietary fibers can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates in your intestines. Due to this your blood sugar level will only rise marginally after your meal (that is also the reason why your blood sugar level increases less by eating a whole apple [with lots of dietary fibers] than by drinking a glass of apple juice [without fibers]). The last benefit I want to mention here is that dietary fibers, combined with water in the intestines, are responsible for an increase of the bulk of the stools. This causes some additional pressure on the intestinal walls which promotes a fast digestion and shortens the residence time of food in your intestines. 

All mentioned points lead to the fact that dietary fibers can „clean“ your body from food remains and toxic stuff, lower the release of insulin and lower the level of “bad” cholesterol (which can cause cardiovascular diseases if it is too high).

Foods that are rich in dietary fibers are for example:
-Fruits,
-Vegetables/Salads,
-Legumes,
-Flaxseeds and
-Nuts.

Please always remember to drink enough water when you increase the amount of dietary fibers in your nutrition. Otherwise it could lead to constipation. But you should drink a lot of water anyway, because of its healthy benefits and necessity for your body.

In case that you are used to eat food with a low amount of fibers it is very likely that you have sluggish intestines by now. Due to that, the dietary change to food with high amounts of fibers could cause some inconveniences for a short time in the beginning, but these are comparatively small if you take a look at its health benefits). 

Recommendation: Eat a lot of foods that contain dietary fibers and always drink enough water!

Cheers,
Andi

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Kettlebell Circuit Training - Part I of IV (Clean & Press & Snatch)

Hey guys,

As promised in the previous post about kettlebells, I'm going to describe all eight exercises of my kettlebell circuit during the next weeks. Today we start with the first two exercises - Clean & Press and Snatch.
You should try to do three sets with the mentioned reps without a rest between the single exercises (30 sec - 1 min rest between the sets). Party on...

1. Exercise: Clean & Press (one-handed) – 10x right arm, 10 x left arm


-Stand with your feet shoulder-width (or a bit wider) apart slightly behind the kettlebell. Now bend at the knees and hips (your back has to be straight the whole time!) until you can grasp the curved handle of the weight with an overhand grip. Straighten yourself again with the kettlebell in one hand.

-Start to swing the Kettlebell just a little bit forward and then dip down slightly and let it swing back under your hips (between your legs). 

-Explosively extend your legs and hips and raise your upper body upright simultaneously when the kettlebell starts its forward movement again.

-When the kettlebell reaches about the height of your hips pull it towards your body. Therefore you have to bend your elbows and let it roll softly onto your forearm while you continue the move nearby your body. 

-The kettlebell should land softly on your forearm while your thumb is located at the outside of your sternum and your upper arm is close to your chest (see the third picture below).

-Now press the weight over your head (at the end it should be in line with your shoulder with your palms showing to the front)

-Remove the weight slowly to the start position and repeat the exercise.

Variation: If you aren’t able to press the weight up with a straight back, bent your knees a bit and press the weight explosively while extending your legs simultaneously (keep your back straight). 

2. Exercise:  Snatch (one-handed) – 10x right arm, 10 x left arm

-Stand with your feet shoulder-width (or a bit wider) apart slightly behind the kettlebell. Now bend at the knees and hips (your back has to be straight the whole time!) until you can grasp the curved handle of the weight with an overhand grip. Straighten yourself again with the kettlebell in one hand.

-Start to swing the Kettlebell just a little bit forward and then dip down sligthly and let it swing back under your hips (between your legs). 

-Explosively extend your legs and hips and raise your upper body upright simultaneously when the kettlebell starts its forward movement again.

-When the kettlebell reachs the higth of your shoulders, pull it slightly towards your body to bring the handle below the “ball”.

-Directly perform a „boxing punch“ in the direction of forward-up to place the „ball“ smoothly on your forearm and press it simultaneously above your head. Use the momentum created from your legs and hips.

-At the end the kettlebell should be in line with your shoulder and your palms should show to the front.

-Remove the weight slowly to the start position and repeat the exercise.

Enjoy gaining strength!

Cheers,
Andi

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Kettlebell Circuit Training - Prolog: The benefits of kettlebell training

Hey guys,

Over the next weeks I'm going to show you a detailed description of my full body kettlebell circuit routine (broken down in 4 posts). To get you in the right mood for trying kettlebell workouts in your training routines I start with a small chapter of my new ebook "The LLA-Method - How to get really healthy, fit and sexy for a lifetime" (you can get a copy on amazon).

Benefits of Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebells[1] are like small portable gyms[2]. Even if you don’t have a lot of space you can train every muscle of your body with them (around 22ft² [2 m²] is sufficient). With kettlebells you can work out inside or outside, improve strength, speed and endurance simultaneously and, additionally, lose plenty of body fat in a short period. Exercising with kettlebells is one of the best ways to improve your functional fitness, because almost all exercises force lots of different muscles to work together[3] as a unit (like in “real” life situations). They are also capable of eliminating muscular misbalances[4], tension (especially those in your neck) and their negative after- and side-effects (e.g. headaches). By including several muscle groups simultaneously kettlebell exercises are very demanding and, thereby, improve your cardiovascular system and increases fat burning as well[5]. Those exercises also improve your endurance and „equip“ you with enormous strength without  you bulking up too much[6]. The swinging parts of the exercises are especially good at activating and strengthening your rear kinetic chain which is needed for a trouble-free power transmission from your lower to your upper body (important for walking, dancing, stair climbing and so on). The rear kinetic chain is often a very weak part of the body for white collar workers which is an explanation why this group often suffers back pain and a tense neck. Another big advantage of a strong rear kinetic chain is that it normally comes hand in hand with a well-shaped crispy butt[7]. Vulnerable joints (like knees, shoulders, hips) benefit from exercising with kettlebells, too. The motion keeps them smooth and the muscles around them get stronger and can protect them better. The only critical aspect of kettlebell training is that you have to be very careful in the beginning! You shouldn’t start using higher weights until you are able to perform every exercise perfectly with a “lighter” kettlebell. The risk of injuries is high if you have a bad posture during the exercise (especially if your back isn’t straight). You should never forget that the “impact” on your body is not only caused by the weight of the kettlebell but also by the kinetic energy generated by the ballistic movements, which can be much stronger. Which, if performed right, is capable of increasing the effectiveness, but could lead to serious injuries in case of mishandling.  

Nevertheless, you should realize that the advantages of kettlebell training far outweigh its disadvantages (the only „real“ disadvantage could be eliminated easily by learning the right techniques; and they are not that complicated).



[1] Btw. Kettlebells have already been used in former times as training tools. In the so called „Western World“ they almost vanished from the focus of trainers and trainees for about 100 years due to the development of training machines. In the last decade they regained popularity in Western countries (they were continuously used by the Russians!), as the society slowly bethink of useful, functional strength training again (instead of just appearance-orientated training).
[2]Caused by their little need of space you can store them almost everywhere.
[3] This supports the release of natural growth hormones, which help you to get results faster.
[4] E.g. if your right shoulder is stronger than your left one.
[5] Especially if you follow the LLA-Diet (see my upcoming book “The LLA-Method Part I: Nutrition”). With this diet you are almost always in a mode of fat metabolism.
[6] Through the fat burning and the constant contraction of your abs/legs you will approach a „sixpack“ as well as toned legs and a nice rounded butt.
[7]For many personal trainers the kettlebell swing is the perfect exercise for a well-shaped butt.


I hope you liked this chapter of my book and, of course, I hope you now want to read some more about kettlebell exercises in the next weeks.

Cheers,
Andi

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The first 10 days of German Volume Training (GVT) - Workouts & Results

Hey guys,

I've started the GVT program 10 days ago (read more about GVT here) and I can tell you it's brutal. Everyday some of my muscles are sore...after chest/back days I have sore muscles, after leg days my legs are shaking and after arm/shoulder days I have problems lifting my glass waterbottle...good feeling ;)

I mesured my weigh before I started and it was 173.5 lbs (78,7 kg).
Now, after the first 10 days it's 175.9 lbs (79.8), a plus of 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg).
As I haven't changed my diet it should be pure muscle mass (propably a bit more as it's very likely that I've lost some body fat additionally).

Unfortunately I haven't done any other measurements than using the scale and the mirror (my main benchmark was and still is the look in the mirror).

Here's what I've done:


So the first two 5-day cycles are done, 4 more to go! I'm really excited how the story continues...
 
Cheers,
Andi

Monday, July 1, 2013

The ultimate method to bulk up fast naturally - The incredible German Volume Training!


Hey guys,

Today I want to talk to you about a very interesting method that can help you to add up to 10 lbs (5 kg) lean muscle mass in 30 days without the use of steroids or other stuff! You read it right, 30 days/10 lbs without drugs! Sounds crazy doesn't it?

According to my own experiance and the words of the famous strength coach Charles Poliquin aka “The Guru of GVT” this is actually possible. The magic method that can get you there is the so called German Volume Training (GVT)!

If you search the internet for GVT you can find several articles about GVT including some of Charles Poliquin (e.g. here) and one that I've recently written for HealthMeUp.

In this post I'll provide you with the knowledge to do GVT like I do it, which is similar but still a bit different from the commonly used method (mainly because I switch/exchange some exercises from the "normal" workout design). Normally GVT consists of 2-3 stages, but as we aren't professional weigthlifters or hardcore budibuilders the first stage is enough for spicing up our regular workout routines. I recommend to integrate the first 30 day stage of GVT in every training year once (but not before you have at least 1 year of training experiance because it's really hard and you have to be safe with free weigths).

About the origin of this method exist several rumors but all of them have in common that it first got pretty famous in the 70s in Germany (which is the reason why it’s called German Volume Training).

The main principle of GVT is to use an extensive volume (10 sets of 10 reps) with some basic exercises (4 exercises each session) in a 3-day split which works your muscles so hard that they are forced to grow rapidly to stand the load.

Here’s how it works:

Guidelines – In every training session you should perform 10 sets of 10 reps of two main exercises as supersets (meaning 1 set of exercise 2 is directly following 1 set of exercise 1 then 90 seconds rest) and then 3 supersets of 10-12 reps of two supplementary exercises (only rest 60 seconds between the supersets here). If you don`t want to train with supersets,you can do the exercises with normal sets, what means you do exercise 1 with 10 sets followed by exercise 2 with 10 sets (in that case rest time should be only 60 seconds between the sets). Use 60% of your 1 rep maximum load (the load you can lift only once) for the main exercises (which represents approximately the load you can lift 20 times to failure). For the supplementary exercises use the load that you can lift around 10-12 times to failure. Don’t change the weight during a session, even if you think it’s too light during the first sets (what you probably will think when starting with the first sets of the main exercises) or too heavy (probably the case in the last sets of the main exercises). If you can’t manage the 10 rep target in the last sets that won’t be a problem (in fact it’s quiet normal in the beginning). Once you’re able to perform 10 sets of 10 reps properly you should increase the load by 4-5% and go on.

Regarding the cadence: 4020 for example means that you lower the weight for 4 seconds (eccentric part) and directly lift it for 2 seconds (concentric part). No short rest at any position.

My (adapted) 30 day plan of GVT:

Day 1 – Chest & Back:

Main exercise 1 – (Decline) Dumbbell presses (or Bench Press); 10 sets of 10 reps; cadence 4020

Main exercise 2 – One-Arm Dumbbell Row; 10 sets of 10 reps (each side); cadence 4020

Supplementary exercise 1 – (Incline) Dumbbell Flyes (or Cable Flyes); 3 sets of 10-12 reps; cadence 3020

Supplementary exercise 2 – Chin-Ups (or Lat Pulldowns if you can’t do chin-ups); 3 sets of 10-12 reps; cadence 3020

Day 2 – Legs & Abs:

Main exercise 1 – Barbell Squat; 10 sets of 10 reps; cadence 4020

Main exercise 2 – Lying Leg Curls; 10 sets of 10 reps; cadence 4020

Supplementary exercise 1 – Hanging Leg Raises (or Bent Leg Raises); 3 sets of 10-12 reps; cadence 2020

Supplementary exercise 2 – (Seated) Calf Raise; 3 sets of 10-12 reps; cadence 2020

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Arms & Shoulders (I decided to start with the supplementary exercise here, because handstand push ups need all your concentration and shouldn't be done with tired muscles):

Supplementary exercise 1 – Handstand Push Ups (or Inverted Shoulder Press); 3 sets of 10-12 reps; cadence 2020 (find an explanation here)

Main exercise 1 – Parallel Bar Dips; 10 sets of 10 reps; cadence 4020

Main exercise 2 – Hammer Curls; 10 sets of 10 reps; cadence 4020

Supplementary exercise 2 – Reverse Cable Flyes; 3 sets of 10-12 reps; cadence 2020 (find an explanation at Steves blog here)

Day 5 – Off

Start again with Day 1 and continue this 5-day-cycle for 6 times.

I advise you to use a stop watch to control rest times and to use a training log to control improvements!

After 30 days you can either follow another workout routine or you can continue with GVT. I used to switch to another routine afterwards, but if you want to continue you can find a lot of possible workout designs in the internet.

Btw.: If you follow the GVT it is important that you eat a lot of good proteins and that you rest and sleep enough for getting the best results!

Have fun bulking up!

Cheers,
Andi

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cycle 19 - Results and a big change in my workout routine

Hey guys,

I've finished cycle 19 and I decided to make a change in my routine. The next 30 days I will use a totally different workout design to give my results a boost, because I feel like my body got used to my current workouts and therefore it needs a change to overcome the plateau. My plan is to use German volume training for a 30 day cycle and, afterwards, I will come back to my current workout design. GVT is a method that is capeable to bulk you up very fast without the use of drugs (I'll publish an article about GVT next monday).

Here are the results of cycle 19:

Area 1: My Convict Conditioning results

This week I have only done kneeling push ups (30/30/18), flat bent leg raises (30/30/20) on day 1 and half handstand push ups (7/7/7) on day 7.

Area 2: Not CC related workouts

I did 50 box jumps and 200 squats on day 3 and several pull ups on day 3 and 5. On day 6 I did 10 sets of 5-10 reps leg press (pyramid up to 705 lbs [320 kg]).

Area 3: HIIT cardio

No HIIT this week. But I accomplished a 3.5 mile run on day 2.

Area 4: The 30 Day Push-Up Challenge

Day 29: 145 push-ups
Day 30: 150 push-ups


That's all!

Cheers,
Andi

Monday, June 24, 2013

Half Handstand Push Ups - Video + exercise descriptions

Hey guys,

After a long period of getting used to the invert position (see Wall Headstands) and gaining enough balance (see Crow Stands) and strength (see Wall Handstands) to master handling your whole bodyweight on your arms only, it's finally time to start with the actual exercise - The Handstand Push Up. To begin with hspu I advise you to do Half Handstand Push Ups first, as you will still need to add more power to your shoulder muscles to perform the full range-of-motion of the exercise. I can tell you from my own experience with this exercise that it's a real feats of strength and bearly seen in a gym, so it might be possible that you get some attention from other gym members who are confused to see you doing this. Most people train their shoulders with press exercises, where you lift a weight (dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell) over your head, but there are few people who are able to press weights equivalent to their own bodyweight, which is actually what you do by performing hspu (and you gained the strength for starting with it through the preliminary exercises). By practicing half hspu your upper body strength and your balance will continue to increase rapidly and this will make a huge difference in appearence, strength for other exercises and health of your muscles, joints and tendons at your arms, neck and shoulders. It's vitally important that you don't overestimate yourself by doing hspu. If you feel that you aren't ready for them, do the previous steps for one more month to get a safer feeling. If you feel that your muscles get tired during the exercise stop immediately, because muscle failure could be dangerous as you are upside down and I guess you don't want to crash on the floor with your face first. You don't have to start with a big range of motion, just do a small one in the beginning and increase it from session to session.

Let's start with the how-to-perform explanation:


The first part is similar to normal wall handstands: At first you have to find a solid wall or tree stem (you can use the same as you already used for wall headstands). Get down on all fours and place your palms about shoulder-width apart on the floor (approx. 6-10 inches from the wall). Your arms should be extended. Now bring the knee of your stronger leg close to your corresponding elbow and straighten out the weaker leg. Push down with the strong leg and kick the other leg simultaneously in the air. Both legs should now move up in the direction of the wall. After your feet touched the wall, straighten your legs until your body is aligned. Breathe easy through your nose. The contact with the wall should be with your heels only (the body is slightly curved in the pose).
Now comes the actual push part: Just bend slowly at the shoulders and elbows until your head is halfway towards the ground. Pause for a second and push yourself up slowly to the start position. Repeat the movement as often as possible (up to the requested amount). If you can't manage to hit the target instantly just do 2 sets of as many reps as possible and try to add a rep every session until you are able to manage the target reps. As it may happen that you get problems with your shoes "sticking" to the wall (depending on the surface of the wall) you have two options to avoid this. Firstly, at some surfaces it could help to do the exercises with socks only (they "slip" better along some walls as shoes do) or, secondly, you try to get a bit off the wall with your feet during the push part (as it would be, if done without the support of a wall).


Target: 2 sets of 20 reps


When you don't feel ready for handstand push ups yet, but the wall handstand already became an easy exercise for you, you may have the feeling of doing a step in between those exercises. If this is the case, you can do Inverted Shoulder Presses to gain more strength in your upper body. I also add this exercise after performing half hspu to squeeze the last power out of my shoulders and triceps (it's not as risky as hspu are when your muscles are already tired).

As I'm just writing an article for my blog and not a whole book about hspu, I won't describe the whole exercise but show it to you in a video. Just take care about a straight back and do 10-20 reps per set.


Last to say: I really love doing handstand push ups and I bet you will as well!

Cheers,
Andi

Friday, June 21, 2013

"The LLA-Method - How to get really healthy, fit and sexy for a lifetime" - Release of my new ebook about strength and cardio training!

Hey guys,

today I've released my new kindle ebook "The LLA-Method - How to get really healthy, fit and sexy for a lifetime Part II: Strength and Cardio Training" on amazon for a really affordable price ($3.99)! I've already published this book in German and now it's time to present you the strength and cardio part in English as well! I'd translated it on my own and I want to take the chance to thank my amazing proofreaders Eric Kitei, Drew Jarrett, Christen Madison and Gerard Christenhusz for helping me to adjust the language stuff so that it becomes a proper read for you!

Still content is king, so here are some information about the topics of the book that can help you to get the physique you want:

The LLA-Method is a fitness and nutrition concept, developed by graduated sport scientist Andreas Heller (author of www.andisfitnessblog.com). "Part 2: Strength and Cardio Training" aims to provide you with comprehensive and well-founded knowledge about the fundamentals of strength and cardio training, written in a compact manner.  First off, the book introduces important knowledge about strength training with some of its varieties (e.g. workouts with free weights, kettlebells etc.). Afterwards the field of "Kettlebell Workouts" is covered with more in-depth information and a very effective and time saving full body kettlebell circuit will be presented to you (including pictures).  In the following chapter HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) as the “royal road of cardio training” will be described (including possible workout designs). The final chapter provides you with some tips on how you can implement the LLA-Method easily into your life and you can find some additional tips for daily life fitness. “The LLA-Method Part II: Strength and Cardio Training“ can help you to improve your life by showing how you can get really healthy, fit and sexy for a lifetime. Do yourself a big favor and read this book! Last to say: Have fun in your better new life…

The LLA-Method - How to get really healthy, fit and sexy for a lifetime Part II: Strength and Cardio Training

 
 
If you want more information you could find a short excerpt of the book on HealthMeUp (one of the major fitness and health websites in India)! 
 
Please find below some pre-release reviews and reviews from the German version:
 
Steve from hoylesfitness.com: "I read this book over the weekend and enjoyed the variety of content on offer. Explaining a mixture of kettlebells, bodyweight and weight training, the book provides an insight into exercise without making outrageous claims. If you are new to exercising and looking for a good start guide, look no further!"  
 
Sven (Germany): "Very rich in information and easy to read. The book has shown me the failures of my former workouts and helped me to improve it. Special thanks to the author!"
 
Suse (Germany): "As a fitness beginner I received some tips through the book which I directly implemented to my workouts. It showed me the benefits of kettlebell training and gave me a better understanding of it. The cardio part was also very interesting. I could read this book in one go, because it is not filled with useless stuff but gets straight down to the nitty-gritty."
 
Marion (Germany): "My husband bought this book and is very satisfied with it. He read the book more than once and can highly recommend it!"
 
Get a copy here to improve your life:
US: amazon .com ($ 3.99)
UK: amazon .co.uk (£ 2.99)
India: amazon .in (Rs. 240)
 
Cheers,
Andi
 


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cycle 18 - Results of CC, non-CC, HIIT and Push Up Challenge

Hey guys,

Results, results, results...Cycle 18 is finished...That week I haven't done a lot but as you know, consistency is what counts most (and, at least, I did a few workouts)...

Area 1: My Convict Conditioning results

This week I have done only kneeling push ups (30/25/22) and flat bent leg raises (30/21/22) once (day 1).
Nothing else...(due to a lack of time).

Area 2: Not CC related workouts

On day 4 I did my kettlebell circuit and on day 8 I did 50 box jumps and 50 squats.

Area 3: HIIT cardio

I did 30 minutes of HIIT cardio once that week. I'd just warmed up 6-7 minutes and added some sprints, uptempo runs, hill runs and stair sprints as high-intensity intervals until I'd filled the 30 minutes.

Area 4: The 30 Day Push-Up Challenge

Day 21: 115 push-ups
Day 22: 120 push-ups
Day 23: 125 push-ups
Day 24: REST
Day 25: 130 push-ups
Day 26: 135 push-ups
Day 27: 140 push-ups
Day 28: REST

That's all for cycle 18....up to the last days of the push up challenge!

Btw.: Tomorrow my new ebook is going to be released on amazon! Will tell you more tomorrow!

Cheers,
Andi

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tortilla de verduras - Super healthy and delicious low-carb meal

Hey guys,

Summer's here and I bet some of you like having a picnic every now and then. If you are wondering what would be an awesome dish to take with you, try a tortilla de verduras! It's super healthy, low in carbs, high in proteins, fibres and antioxidants (due to the vegetables inside). Tortilla de verduras is really an awesome dish that could be eaten as a main dish, appetizer or you let it cool down and take it with you to a picnic.


Ingredients:



- 1 eggplant
- 4 garlic cloves
- 10 dried tomatoes (in oil)
- 1 bell pepper (yellow/orange or red)
- 7-10 eggs
- olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- some herbs (if you like)


Preparation:
Preheat an oven to 300° F (approx. 150° C). Cut the eggplant into slices and put them on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Now wash the bell pepper, cut it into stripes and place them onto the baking sheet as well. Afterwards cut the garlic in thin slices and spread them on the eggplant and pepper pieces (make sure that there is at least one slice of garic on each slice of eggplant).
 

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and leave it there for approx. 15 minutes (until the eggplant is ligthly browned). Now cover the eggplant and the bell pepper with aluminum foil and cook it for 10 more minutes. Now take the baking sheet out of the oven. Cut the eggplant slices, pepper stripes and the dried tomatoes into small pieces, put them into a preheated sauté pan and stir-fry them with some olive oil. Crack the eggs  into a bowl. Add salt and pepper (and the herbs) to taste and beat them until they turn a pale yellow color. Pour the eggs slowly into the pan with the vegetables and let the egg mixture coagulate at low heat.

 
Use a spatula to loosen and lift the edges of the tortilla (the mixture), allowing the uncooked egg mixture to run underneath.When the egg mixture is fairly set and browned underneath, put a plate on the tortilla, turn it and let the other side coagulate as well. When the tortilla turned golden brown, pierce the top with a knife to make sure that it is cooked all the way through and slide it out of the pan on a plate.


 

You can enjoy it warm or cold as a snack, appetizer or main dish.

Cheers,
Andi

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cycle 17 - Results of CC, non-CC, HIIT and Push Up Challenge

Hey guys,

It's time to present you the results of cycle 17. This time I'll keep the post short and simple as there weren't any special trainings or so that week.

Area 1: My Convict Conditioning results


Still improving...

Area 2: Not CC related workouts

On day 3 I added my kettlebell circuit training to the CC routine. During the next week I'll start to post a series about kettlebell exercises and the benefits of working out with a kettlebell here at my blog! I hope you'll enjoy it! On day 5 I did 100 spiderman push ups to cover ab workout and the demanded push ups from the 30 day challenge at once. On day 6 I made several pull ups (different varieties), barbell rotations (the exercise recommended by Steve Hoyles, remember?) and 10 sets of 5-10 reps leg press (pyramid up to 620 lbs [280 kg])...afterwards I had a terrible muscle soreness at my butt...but variation in workout routines leads to even better results, so I'm fine with the sore muscles.

Area 3: HIIT cardio

I did 30 minutes of HIIT cardio twice that week. I'd just warmed up 6-7 minutes and added some sprints, uptempo runs, hill runs and stair sprints as high-intensity intervals until I'd filled the 30 minutes.

Area 4: The 30 Day Push-Up Challenge

Day 13: 85 push-ups
Day 14: 90 push-ups
Day 15: 95 push-ups
Day 16: REST
Day 17: 100 push-ups
Day 18: 105 push-ups
Day 19: 110 push-ups
Day 20: REST

That's all for cycle 17.

Cheers,
Andi