Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Video + exercise description - Wall Handstand

Hey guys,

After you've got used to the invert position by performing the wall headstand and learned how to balance your whole bodyweight by holding the crow stand the time has come to combine those two exercises to the third step of the handstand push up progression - The Wall Handstand. This exercise is essential for the further steps because it is the start position for the next 7 steps! So it is of utmost importance that you train in this step until you feel really secure in the handstand position and can hold your weight easily! Btw.: You gonna need some more courage to kick yourself up harder into the handstand position than you needed for the headstand due to the extension of your arms (higher start position). I'm sure you gonna make it!

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


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). Keep your arms straight during this exercise! Now try to hold this position for the requested time and bring your legs back down slow and safe!


Target: 1-2 sets of 2 minutes (if you can't manage the target instantly, hold it as long as you can hold it safely)


Caution: If you don't believe that you can manage this exercise or if you're totally unfit or if you feel to weak for holding this position then skip the handstand push up progression (and also this exercise) until you feel you can do it safely!

At my youtube channel (Andreas Heller) you can already find more videos to the Progression Series (I'm gonna explain these exercises in further postings).

Cheers,
Andi

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cycle 12 - A big rest in Italy

Hey guys,

I've just arrived back from my relaxing trip to Sardinia, Italy (some pics below).
It's one of the most beautyful places I've ever seen in my entire life! The whole island is full of amazing landscapes, charming little villages and wonderful seasides. It's also very nice to relax your mind there, because you can find true silence (which is almost impossible if you live in a big city) and unbelieveable good food. If you ever get the chance to vist Sardinia, take it (but make sure you get a rental car to see the parts which are not filled with tourists!). I was so overwhelmed that I start thinking about launching an additional blog for learning basic Italian that you actually could use when you visit Italy (real daily use stuff that you definitely need; most Italians, especially if you're not in a touristic city centre, don't speak english and they appreciate if you can speak a little Italian).

Unfortunately this is my fitness blog and I want to tell you about my progress in this post...
Seen from a healthy and fit lifestyle perspective the last week was a desaster...I'd eaten tons of delicious pasta, pizza, white bread with olive oil and dolce (sweets & desserts). Additionally, I'd drunk a bottle of tasty domestic red wine  and 8-10 Cappuccini each day. Italian food in Italy is soooo delicious but unfortunately not the most healthiest (they have healthy food as well, but I love the unhealthy stuff more)! Anyway, I've enjoyed it and as it has been only one week it's ok for me. I haven't done any workouts, expect squats from the "30 Day Squat Challange". I'd been on the road or at nice little cafès every day and had been too tired every evening to work out...I know an excuse doesn`t count but I see the last week as a big rest from my "normal" routines.

However, as I'm back to normal now, I'm going to start my fitness plan and my healthy diet from tomorrow on again!

Results (the few I have):

Area 3: The 30 Day Squat Challenge

Day 6: 75 in a row
Day 7: 80 in a row
Day 8: Rest
Day 9: 100 in a row
Day 10: 105 in a row
Day 11: 110 in a row
Day 12: Rest
Day 13: 130 in a row
Day 14: 135 in a row
Day 15: Rest
Day 16: 140 in a row (Today)

I switched day 15and 16 compared to the original plan. Until now I've been able to perform all squats in one set each day, which is good so far.

Up to the next (regular) week!

Cheers,
Andi









Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Recipe for a tasty Broccoli and Cashew Nut Soup - Health Benefits included

Hey guys,

First we talk a bit about the reasons why we should eat the used ingredients and then I provide you with a recipe to combine them to a delicious soup. Broccoli is literally a superfood worth to be eaten more often than most of us do. It's widely known for it's healthy benefits, e.g. its help to prevent different kinds of cancer (lung, stomach, prostate, liver, bladder, skin etc.) and it contains immense amounts of vitamins and minerals. Broccoli also helps your body to kill viruses and bad bacterias and it supports the reparation of your muscle cells after hard workouts. Another benefit is that it's high in natural fibres that could help your digestion. Cashew nuts also contain lots of antioxidants and healthy fatty acids. The nuts and the soy cream add vegetable proteins. To get all this nice benefits, one possibility is to combine everything to a delicious soup which could be used as an appetizer or as a main dish as well.  

Ingredients:


- 18 oz. (approx. 500g) broccoli
- 1 red onion
- 1 handful cashew nuts
- 6.5 fl.oz. (approx.200ml) soy cream (optional)
- 20 fl.oz. (approx. 600ml) heated vegetable stock (prepare it with hot water)
- 1 small piece of butter
- 1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- nutmeg powder, salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Chop the onion and braise it lightly in a saucepan with heated butter. Cut the broccoli florets to pieces. Peel the stems and cut them to pieces as well. Now put the broccoli pieces (all of them) and the cashew nuts into the saucepan and pour in the hot vegetable stock. Let the whole stuff boil for approx. 5 minutes. After 5 minutes of boiling the broccoli has already lost around 20 % of its anti-carcinogenic content, so don't boil it much longer (the anti-carcinogenic compounds react very sensitive to heat)! Purée the content of the saucepan and add soy cream, balsamic vinegar, nutmeg powder, salt and pepper. Stir it well and pour it into bowls.



Now you can enjoy a very healthy and tasty dish!

Cheers,
Andi

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Video + exercise description - Supported Squats

Hey guys,

I proudly present you the third step of the squat progression - The Supported Squats.
This exercise was the first third-step-exercise that I reached. At this step the legs have to carry more bodyweight than they had to with the jackknife squats. It's almost like normal squats but supported a bit by your arms. Nevertheless your back has to be as straight as possible and in the downside part of the movement your legs have to control the whole bodyweight without support while they have a little support at the upside part. This movement strengthens your quadriceps, butt and other muscles of the lower limbs already pretty strong and your flexibility continues to increase.

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


Stand, with your feet shoulder width apart (or a bit wider), in front of a sturdy object that is higher than your hips. A bar, the back of a chair or a table could be good options. Now grasp the object and hold loosely onto it. Your back should be as upright as possible during the whole exercise. Lower yourself down slowly by bending at the hips and knees until your hamstrings reach your calfs and you cannot descend any further (2 seconds).  Hold the finish position for a moment and push yourself up using mostly leg power (again 2 seconds). For the last part you can support your legs by pulling yourself up slightly with your arms. This is meant to take a little of the pressure off your legs (especially for the first inches away from the bottom position). Repeat this movement without a rest. If you can't manage to meet the target instantly, do as much reps as possible until you can do the requested amount.


Target: 3 sets of 30 reps


Caution: Do not raise the heels at any point during the exercise and, even more important, try to avoid that your knees travel forward past your toes (leads to less strain on your knees and this could prevent knee injuries)!

P.S.: At my youtube channel (Andreas Heller) you can already find more videos to the different Progression Series (I'm gonna explain these exercises in further postings).
Cheers,
Andi



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cycle 11 - Results of my Workout Routines

Hey guys,

I have to tell you, that the last few weeks have been really, really busy weeks for me. I've done a lot of video work for my youtube channel (especially Kettlebell stuff), published 2 books (one about nutrition, the other about fitness and sports) at kindle direct publishing (both in German), started with the English translation of one book (I hope you'll like it once it is finished!), done all of my scheduled strength training sessions (again I cut out the cardio stuff...unfortunately), worked a lot in my office and planned my holidays (I'm going on vacations to Sardinia, Italy for one week from Saturday on)!!!

Today, as usual, I present you the results of the last cycle. I decided to change the design of the result posts a bit caused by the use of The Plan - Part III to make it clearer for you.  On Saturday I'll post one more article before I fly to Italy (and I think about scheduling one post for Wednesday next week) and then I'll continue publishing an article every other day again from Sunday next week on.

Area 1: My Convict Conditioning results


CC from Cycle 11
As you could see in the table I've made progress in every single exercise I've performed last week (except of horizontal pulls which I haven't done this cycle). Still room for big improvements...
In the bridge series I've finally decided to stick to the Full Bridges. As I'm already able to perform them properly and with a good rep figure I think this won't be bad.

As there is nothing special in the CC stuff I introduce to you the second area...

Area 2: Not CC related workouts

From now on I will publish all fitness stuff I've done in the recently finished cycle that has nothing to do with CC. To generate new stimuli for my muscles to grow and improve I'll do vary the exercises in area 2 very often!
On day 3 and 7 I performed 3 sets of my full body kettlebell circuit (again, I love working out with kettlebells and now they made it into my routine like last year!). I've already done all the video work for showing you exactly how the circuit looks like. Next month I'll write two articles that explain every exercise in the circuit in detail (I'm already excited how you will like it!!!). On day 2 I did some pull exercises (like slow lat pulldowns, some pull ups and some negative pull ups). I haven`t written down the results from the pull exercises...something I'm gonna change in the future to make my workouts and results more transparent for you! On day 5 I did 200 push ups in different variations. I just performed as many as possible in a row (first set - 51 reps), made a break of 5 seconds and started again 'till I fulfilled my goal of 200 push ups.

Area 3: The 30 Day Squat Challenge

This area is a temporarily area that I'll only use when I participate in a "special" program like this squat challenge (you can read more about it here).
The challenge started last Saturday with 50 squats. Here is how I've done it by now:
Day 1: 50 in a row
Day 2: 55 in a row
Day 3: 60 in a row
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 70 in a row

That's all from my side for today! If you want, just leave a comment below. I'm always happy to see what you think about this blog, my workouts or anything else you want to share.

Cheers,
Andi



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fitness Goals - The underestimated resources of the fittest

Hey guys,

Today I wanna share some thoughts about fitness goals with you. We gonna talk about why they are so important and how you can set them properly?

We all want to learn from the best and most successful people in the world, in economical terms this is called "following the best-practices". And in our case it's pretty simple...

All successful people in history had a few things in common:
- They never ever give/gave up!
- They never infect/infected theirselfs with negative thoughts/opinions from other people!
- They fight/fought for what is/was important to them!
- THEY ALL HAVE/HAD GOALS!

Successful people in EVERY single part of life, weather it's business, sport or anything else, once had a vision and with this vision they set goals. They wanted to reach their goals so badly that they did almost everything to achieve them. They made a plan how to get there and then they stuck to this plan (maybe with some adjustments) until they got there in the end. Afterwards they set higher goals, made better plans and achieved those goals again...and so on. 

I once worked in a gym and talked to hundreds of fitness beginners and advanced sport lovers about their goals. I asked them why they want to join the gym and what theire expectations are. Barely one of the beginners and just a few of the advanced guys could gave me an answer that satisfied me.
95% of the answers could be broken down to the following:

1. I want to become a fit person.
2. I want to lose weight.
3. I want to fight my health problems.
4. I want to look better (by far the most frequent answer!).

In my point of view this answers are just some words, worth nothing! Every time I got one of those I started to talk with them about how they define their goals. What does "fit" or "good looking" mean to them exactly (ability to run 10k in 30/25/20 minutes, look like Arnie in his best days, bench press their own bodyweight etc.). How much weight they want to lose and why? What health problems do they want to solve and how do they think they can solve them (of course most people needed professional advice on this point)? I gave all of them some suggestions on how to define goals in a better way, because your motivations increases with proper goals and you can see much more success over time. Then I left them alone for some time and started to plan their way after they were sure what they wanted (sometimes, of course, I helped them a bit with finding the right goals).

A relative easy way to set goals is by using the SMART method (originally developed for Project Management):

S - Specific - if you don't know what you want, you'll never be satisfied with what you get
M- Measurable - if it is measurable you can see if you made it finally, otherwise you'll never know
A - Achievable & Ambitious - a matter of motivation, if it needs no effort, you don't have to train for it
R - Realistic - sorry guys, lose 30 pounds a week or win the NYC marathon is not realistic and leads to frustration*
T - Time framed - if you would say "some day" you never start and "some day" is going to be never
* At least if you aren't one of those world-class, incredible endurance talents like Mutai or Dado

A SMART goal could be like this: "I want to run the 2014 (time-framed) NYC half-marathon in less than 2h (specific & measurable)". If you are physically able and not in a bad form this goal is a realistic and achievable one and a half-marathon is, for most people, quite ambitious.  

Before you start to generate your own SMART goals you should think about this in the first place:
Who (e.g. what abilities do you have, how many lbs. can you lift already, what is your bodyfat percentage etc.) are you right now (starting position) and who do you want to be in the end (final goal). Breake it down to small steps (milestones), that can be reached in a manageable time. Always control yourself if you get to the milestones in your timeline. If not, for whatever reason (maybe illness or overestimation of your future strength increasment), adjust your goals, so that they fit to the requirements of SMART again (you can see goal setting as an evolutionary approach).

After you met your final goal, move on to the next higher goal you want to reach, seen from your new starting position.

As you could see, one hour of thinking what you want and why you want it and another half an hour of setting it out in writing by using SMART could help you to avoid disappointment and strongly help you to become who you really want to be!

Once you have built up a list of your personal goals (could be just one as well), you have to plan your way to achive them. I advise you to write down your plan and also your results. Like that it's pretty simple to monitor if you are still in line with your goals. 

I know that some of you already knew this stuff, but it's so important that it's good to bring it back in mind from time to time.

Cheers,
Andi

Monday, April 15, 2013

My new Book about Fitness (German language) is available!

Hey guys,

I've just uploaded my new ebook "Die LLA-Methode - gesund, fit und sexy werden & bleiben Teil II: Sport & Alltag". So if you can read German, you could take a look at it here.


Cheers,
Andi

Btw.: It's for free until thursday!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Low-Carb Pudding - Another nice dessert for us

Hey guys,


I already published a recipe for a delicious and healthy dessert before - Roasted Apples.
As it's always good to have some alternatives I'm gonna provide you with one more recipe for a low-carb dessert. This one is pretty easy and tatsty but just if you can accept the use of flavored protein powder. If you don't wanna use it because it's processed you can use other sweet stuff to substitute the protein powder (e.g. artificial sweeteners or stevia), but this might be on the expense of taste. It's up to you...I prefer protein powder instead of artificial sweeteners (and I don't like the taste of stevia).

Ingredients:



- 1 vanilla bean
- 6.5 fl. oz. (approx. 200ml) fresh soy milk
- 3.5 fl.oz. (approx. 100ml) cream
- 1 fresh egg yolk
- 1.5 tbsp. vanilla flavored protein powder
- 1.2 tsp. locust bean gum powder

Preparation:
Heat 5 fl.oz. (150ml) soy milk in a pot (don't boil it!). Meanwhile add the rest of the soy milk (1.5 fl.oz.), the liquid cream, the locust bean gum powder, the protein powder, the extract of the vanilla bean and the egg yolk to a shaker and shake it well. Pour the mixture in the pot with the hot milk and stir it until the whole mix thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Pour into serving dishes and decorate it with fruits if you want. Chill before serving.


Enjoy your dessert!


Cheers,
Andi

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The 30 Day Squat Challenge - Nice butt and toned legs included!

Hey guys,

Today is the day...the 30 Day Squat Challenge (initiated by Toni "Strong is Sexy" Hooper) starts....

Here is how it goes:
Day 1) 50 Squats
Day 2) 55 Squats
Day 3) 60 Squats
Day 4) REST
Day 5) 70 Squats
Day 6) 75 Squats
Day 7) 80 Squats
Day 8) REST
Day 9) 100 Squats
Day 10) 105 Squats
Day 11) 110 Squats
Day 12) REST
Day 13) 130 Squats
Day 14) 135 squats
Day 15) 140 squats
Day 16) REST
Day 17) 150 squats
Day 18) 155 squats
Day 19) 160 squats
Day 20) REST
Day 21) 180 squats
Day 22) 185 squats
Day 23) 190 squats
Day 24) REST
Day 25) 220 squats
Day 26) 225 squats
Day 27) 230 squats
Day 28) REST
Day 29 240 squats
Day 30) 250 squats

You can use weights if you want, you can choose your own speed and you can break them up over the day...depends on how you like it most! I, for myself, try to do air squats with a slow pace all at once every day!

Remember: Squats strengthen and tone your legs and your butt as well!

Join us if you want to! Summer is approaching and toned legs as well as nice butts are in demand! 

Cheers,
Andi


Friday, April 12, 2013

Cycle 10 - Results of my Workout Routines

Hey guys,

sorry for the delayed post, but I've been busy the last days. Anyway, here are my results of the last cycle:

Cycle 10
Again I made one 3-day part of Convict Conditioning and another one with (partly) different exercises for the various muscles. The CC part (day 5-7, the flat knee raises on day 1 and half squats on day 2)  was quite good and improving (except of the pulls). Only special thing to mention is that I skipped straight bridges and did full bridges (step 6 of the bridge progression) instead. This worked out pretty well actually (through my Trifecta flexibility stuff that I perform every day I'm able to do a proper bridge already). You might have noticed that I've reached the target reps for flat knee raises 3 times in a row by now, which means that I'm going to move on to step 3 in the leg raise progression next week. As announced in "The Plan - Part III"  I've done some special exercises in the first part of the week as well. For the push up muscles I performed the same push up compilation as I did in cycle 9. Instead of horizontal pulls I made lat pulldowns and on day 3 I replaced bridges and handstand by a nice kettlebell circuit (3 sets). I'm gonna write an article (with video) about this circle next month, so you can see it. It contains swings, snatches, pulls etc. (8 exercises in total) and works the whole body (especially posterior chain muscles, core and shoulders).

Looking forward to see what the next week is going to be!

Btw.: I'll cut out the "normal" squat routines for one month from saturday on, because I join the "30 Day Squat Challange" initiated by Toni Hooper (I've been invited and I love a good challange from time to time). The other exercises will be performed as normal. 

Cheers,
Andi

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thank You for the first 10.000 Pageviews!!!

Hey guys,

I've just seen that my blog jumped over the 10k mark in pageviews and I really feel happy to see that so many people like/read my articles! Therfore I just wanna say a big "thank you" to everyone who has visited my blog by now!! I hope you've enjoyed my articles and could get something out of them to improve your own life as well.

Next target: 100.000 Pageviews

I'd love to see you on my blog again! I'm gonna try to provide you with much more useful articles/recipes/workout descriptions furthermore. Keep following me on my journey if you like and feel free to tell your friends about it!

Cheers,
Andi

Video + exercise description - Crow Stand

Hey guys,

It's time for the movement description of my favorite exercise so far - The Crow Stand.
The crow stand represents the second step of the handstand push up progression series. Compared to the wall headstand (which was the first step), this exercise is meant to improve your balance, to give you enough power to carry your entire bodyweight with arm and shoulder strength and to develop basic "stabilizer" strength in your shoulders, wrists and fingers, instead of getting you used to the invert position. This point is essential because it forces you to perform at least a short set of an upside-down pose exercise (like the wall headstand) additionally (to stay used to that pose as well). I like this exercise a lot because in my youth I'd tried it several times and never made more than 2 seconds but now I'm able to hold it for 1 minute or longer (here I've beaten my younger me already - Yeah!).  

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


Squat down with your knees apart (bodyweight on your forefeet not your heels). Place your palms shoulder-width apart on the floor in front of you. Your arms should be bent a bit in this position. Now place your knees at the outsides of your elbows and lean forwards slowly. Now start tipping yourself forward little by little and carry more and more weigth through your palms and analog less through your feet. Eventually the point of balance will shift, your feet will lose contact with the ground and you balance your whole weight through your palms. Hoist the legs up tight and hold the position for the target time. Sometimes you have to use your finger strength (press them hard on the floor) to stop you from falling forwards. Afterwards reverse the movement by slowly shifting your weight backwards until your toes touch the floor again.


Target: 1 set of 1 min (if you can't manage the target instantly, hold as long as you can and try to increase the holding time from session to session)

P.S.: As long as I couldn't manage to hold the requested time I attempted the crow stand 3-4 times per session. 

If you try this exercise I would love to here how long you could balance the position!

Cheers,
Andi


Monday, April 8, 2013

Serrano coated Pesto-Mozzarella filled with Dried Tomatoes on Rocket Salad with Pine Nuts - Just delicious...

Hey guys,

If you really want to show off with a delicious but healthy low-carb appetizer you should definitly try this recipe. Not only does it look impressive it also tastes delicate and transforms your dining room into a 3-Star restaurant (especially if you care for the right ambiance).
The Serrano ham and the mozzarella contain a lot of good proteins and the rest of the ingredients give your body lots of vitamins and fibres that it demands. Best thing is that even if it looks special it's pretty easy to prepare.

Ingredients (for 2 servings):




For the salad:
- 4 oz. (approx. 110g) rocket salad
- 1 oz. pine nuts
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste

For the mozzarella:
- 2 mozzarella balls
- 4 slices of Serrano ham (or another crude ham)
- 4 walnut halves
- some basil leaves
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 dried tomatoes (in oil)

Preperation:
Heat a pan and toast the pine nuts until they are fragrant and begin to brown without oil. Chop the dried tomatoes in small pieces. Cut a pocket into the mozzarella balls in which you fill the dried tomatoes. Put the basil, a dash of olive oil and the walnuts in a mortar and use the pestle to grind it. Slather the mozzarella with the basil pulp and wrap it with the Serrano ham. Now heat a pan with some olive oil in it and sauté the coated mozzarella shortly from all sides. Meanwhile wash the rocket salad and arrange it on 2 plates. For the salad dressing mix olive oil with balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Decorate the salad with dressing and toasted pine nuts. Eventually you just have to put the mozzarella on the salad and voilà...




 

Enjoy your meal!

Cheers,
Andi

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Video + exercise description - Straight Bridges

Hey guys,

After you are able to perform 3 sets of the short bridge, the next step towards the full bridge is the Straight Bridge. This exercise activates your spinal muscles as well, but this time you gonna need arm and leg power (mostly arm power!) to perform it, while short bridges just require you to activate the spinal muscles mainly by pushing through the legs. Due to the fact that you need both, arm and leg power, to perform a full bridge later on, this exercise is the logical second step. Straight bridges are a very hard exercise for your triceps and the muscles between your shoulder blades, too. So if you want to perform full bridges one day, you should be able to perform straight bridges first. For me this exercise is pretty though. My feet always slip backwards slowly while I perform the exercise so I suggest that you search for an anti-slip floor when you start performing it.

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


Sit down with your legs straight in front of you. Your knees should be totally straight and your feet should be approx. shoulder width apart. Place your palms on the floor (fingers in the direction of your feet) on either side of your hips (or a bit backwards). Now press down through the hands, tensing the arms as you simultaneously push your hips upwards by using the spine muscles until your body forms a straight line. Draw the chin up and look towards the ceiling. Your bodyweight will be carried through your palms and heels at that point. This part of the movement should last 2 seconds. Hold the pose for 1 second and reverse the motion until you almost touch the ground again (2 sec). Now start the next rep without a rest. If you can't manage to meet the target instantly, do every set as much reps as possible until you can do the requested amount.


Target: 3 sets of 40 reps


Paul recommends to do the exercise only once a week but I prefer to do it twice (see "The Plan -Part II").

If you can't manage this exercise properly (like me in the beginning) you can ease it up by doing it with bent legs (like in the short bridge) first until you reach a level of strength where you can perform it like it should be.

Cheers,
Andi


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cycle 9

Hey guys,

This is the first result post after I've made major adjustments to my workout routine (read more about it at "The Plan - Part III"). I have to admit that I really enjoyed it to do some exercises that are not part of the Convict Conditioning progression series and I feel like it really could help me to improve my strength and my ability to go further in the CC series in the future.

Here is the table of results from last week:

Cycle 9

As you can see, the first part of the cycle was quite normal. I've made progress in every exercise, which was pretty good. Regarding the bridge series I decided to do just one set of straight bridges and two sets of angled bridges (which are already the third step). I did this because I still have my problems with the straight bridge exercise, but feel like I could get better results for my lower back by performing the next step from time to time (maybe I'll alternate both exercises until I am able to meet both rep targets). The major changes have taken place in the second part of the cycle! I told you that I'll do other exercises for the same muscle groups (represented by the "big six"-areas). I decided that I won't bind myself to specific exercises but to do those of which I feel like that they are able to help me improving my strength best. That way it could happen that I'll perform different exercises every time (or always the same...depends on my mood) which gives new impulses to my body and, hopefully, helps it to move on faster. Last week I substituted kneeling push ups by a compilation of different push up (pu) variations - wall pu, incline pu, kneeling pu, floor pu (legs wide apart), regular pu, floor pu (side-to-side), decline pu, floor pu (1 leg elevated), diamond pu, fingertip pu, hindu pu, uneven pu, clapping pu, chest tap pu, superman clap pu (I made a video compilation of them for my buddy Doug - you can find it here) - I performed every pu variation between 5-10 reps. Instead of horizontal pulls I made wide-grip lat pulldowns and wide-grip pull ups (normal and negative ones) which I didn't count (my focus in documentation is still at the CC part! The other part is just a supportive one.) In the leg raise area I did the normal flat knee raise exercise like last week (but this time I've hit the target once - two to go!). I did the normal squat exercise as well. By now I'm not performing half squats anymore but I'm still not flexible enough for full squats so I do a middle thing between both (and stay with the 2x50 target). As in the first part of the cycle I did wall handstands (the worse result came from muscle soreness in my shoulders which I "earned" through the push up compilation). As bridge exercises I did angled bridges (I guess the result is quite good for the beginning). That was all for the week as I cut out the HIIT, because of a hurting ankle (the left one hurts a bit since the last HIIT session).

Let's see what the next week can give me (and us)!

Cheers,
Andi


HIIT

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beans + Pepperoni + Carrots = One healthy low-carb pan meal

Hey guys,

I try to cover different issues in this blog, like fitness exercises, nutrition, motivation and some other thoughts related to these topics. For the nutrition part I like to post some recipes, which should help you to diversify your meals during a low-carb diet. Sometimes I provide you with more complex recipes, sometimes (more often) I write down recipes, that are easy to prepare. Beside the effect that you get some tasty recipes it should also show you, that even a low-carb diet could be very rich in alternatives.
Today I'm gonna show you how to cook a really easy but delicious one pan/pot meal. Even though beans have some carbs the glycemic load is quite low and they are rich in vegetable proteins (so they fit into my diet).

Ingredients:


- 1 can/glass of broad beans
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2,5 oz. (approx. 70g) tomato paste
- 4-5 carrots
- 2-3 oz (60-90g) peperoni (salami)
- some olive oil

Preperation:
Peel the carrots and cut them into slices. Put them in a pot (filled with water) and boil them for 10 minutes (they still should be al dente). Meanwhile peel the garlic and chop it into small pieces. Cut the peporoni into pieces as well. Wash the beans under cold water and drain them. Now heat some olive oil in a pan or pot and add the beans. Let them sauté for approx. 5 minutes and add the garlic. Put in the carrot and peperoni pieces as well and let the whole stuff sauté for 5 more minutes. Afterwards add the tomato paste and a bit water. Now let it simmer for 5 minutes (until there is no more liquid in the pan). Arrange it on plates or in bowls and enjoy!


Cheers,
Andi