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Ideal Rep Ranges for Weight Loss and 4 More Goals

The last time you went to the gym to lift weights, how many sets and reps did you do of each exercise? The answer is probably the same for most people: 3 sets of 10 reps.

Why is 3X10 the default set-and-rep scheme so many people use? Does it work as well as advertised? And most important, is there a better way?

Whether you’re aiming to gain muscle, build strength or cross-train, there’s a set-and-rep range that will work best for you. Spoiler alert: It’s not always 3X10, and here’s why.

THE ORIGIN OF 3X10

To learn where the 3X10 approach came from and became accepted as strength training gospel, crack open an American history book to the World War II section.

In the 1940s, army physician Dr. Thomas L. DeLorme needed a faster way to get his injured soldiers back on the battlefield. Typical rehab protocols called for light weight and high reps, but soldiers were spending 6–9 months recovering. DeLorme, an avid weightlifter himself, knew there had to be a better way.

So, DeLorme developed a regimen that called for 3 sets of 10 reps with increasingly heavier weights, a drastic change from the wimpy weights and endless reps previously prescribed. The results were outstanding, and soldiers returned to battle faster than ever.

More important than the 3X10 scheme, DeLorme’s implementation of progressive overload (i.e. gradually increasing the weight lifted over time) soon became the staple protocol for strength training. This concept is still the Holy Grail of getting stronger indefinitely: lift a little bit more than you did last time, rest and repeat.

A REP RANGE FOR EVERY GOAL

But what if you’re not an injured soldier? What if you have different goals, like losing weight or running faster? Well, then there’s probably a better set-and-rep range for you than 3X10. Here are a handful of options based on your goals.

TO LOSE WEIGHT

Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Intensity: 1–2 reps shy of failure
Equipment: Free weights, bodyweight or machines

When people want to lose weight, they automatically assume they should do light weights for tons of reps. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. To lose weight, you’re likely be in a caloric deficit (i.e. eating fewer calories than you’re burning), which means you won’t have a ton of energy reserved to do high reps. Instead, stick to moderate weight and moderate reps. Heavier weights also give your body a reason to hang on to hard-earned muscle as you lose weight.

TO GET REALLY STRONG

Sets: 5
Reps: 3–5
Intensity: 2–3 reps shy of failure
Equipment: Mostly free weights (but some machines are OK, too)

There’s no sugar coating it; getting strong takes a lot of work. And by work, we mean lifting progressively heavier weights over time. Skip the light dumbbells and sets of 20. Instead, opt for big free-weight exercises that use lots of muscles (like squats, deadlifts and rows) and stick with lower rep ranges. Because you’ll be using more complicated exercises, stop each set 2–3 reps shy of failure to ensure your technique is on point.

TO BUILD MUSCLE

Sets: 3
Reps: 8, 10, 12
Intensity: 1 rep shy of failure
Equipment: Free weights or machines

While heavy weights are best for getting stronger, building muscle requires a little more finesse. As hokey as it sounds, the “mind-muscle” connection is very real. Use lighter weights and focus on feeling the target muscle squeezing and burning. Use the same weight for each set, but gradually increase the reps each set until you’re just shy of failure. This laser-like focus leads to rapid gains in muscle tone and size.

TO RUN FASTER AND JUMP HIGHER

Sets: 8–10
Reps: 3
Intensity: Light to moderate (but move the weight as fast as possible)
Equipment: Free weights

Running faster and jumping higher requires more efficient recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. While it’s usually best to lift weights in a slow, controlled manner, lifting weights explosively targets your fast-twitch fibers to make you faster and more athletic. Use lower-body free-weight exercises like squats or kettlebell swings and keep the reps low so you can put everything you have into every set. And finally, don’t go too heavy; if the weight isn’t moving quickly, lighten the load.

TO BUILD ENDURANCE

Sets: 1
Reps: 12 or more
Intensity: Failure (keep going until you can’t do any more reps)
Equipment: Machines

Sometimes one set is all it takes. If endurance is the name of the game, it’s likely you’re using strength training as cross-training for a sport like running, cycling or swimming. Being brutally strong isn’t all that important, so pick a weight, do as many reps as you can (ideally 12 or more) and move on to the next exercise. Machines work best for training to failure since you’re less likely to use poor technique compared to free-weight exercises.  

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Citrus Fruits – Why You Should Eat More Of Them?

Citrus Fruits – Why You Should Consume More Of Them?

Hello All!!!

Brightly coloured and juicy citrus fruits chuck the gloom out of your wintery days. Apart from the being flavourful and pretty, they are good for your health also.

These fruits comprise of limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruit. There are many more varieties and hybrids too.

Orange- for diabetics

Check out the health benefits of citrus fruits

1) Rich sources of vitamins and plant compounds

An excellent source of vitamin C, citrus fruits help in strengthening the immune system and in keeping the skin elastic and smooth.

Do you know that just one medium-sized orange has all the vitamin C you require in a day?

These fruits also have B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus. Moreover, they are rich in plant compounds and have many health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

vitamin c foods

2) Good sources of fibre

Citrus fruits are a great fibre source. A single cup of orange segments have 4 grams of fibre!

Fibre has a lot of health benefits to offer. That includes improving digestion and helping in weight loss.

Oranges are high in soluble fibre that helps in lowering cholesterol levels. When compared to other fruits and veggies, citrus fruits are unique as they have a higher amount of soluble fibre than insoluble fibre.

3) Low in calories

Citrus fruits are the best option for you if you are watching your calorie intake. They easily fill you up without adding up calories as they have water and fibre present in them. So, if you want to lose weight, include citrus fruits in your diet.

4) Lower risk of kidney stones

Kidney stones can be painful. There is one kind of a kidney stone that is caused by low citrate levels in urine. Citrus fruits can help in raising the levels of citrate in the urine and thereby lower the risk of kidney stones.

You should drink more of citrus juices and eat these fruits if you want to reduce the risk of kidney stones.

5) Fight or protect against cancer

pill and breast cancer

Studies reveal that citrus fruits reduce the risk of some kinds of cancer. This is because of plant compounds ‘flavonoids’ that help protect against cancer.

6) Have nutrients to boost heart health

These fruits are good for the heart. In a study it was found that those who consumed more of these fruits had lesser chances of stroke and heart disease. They also have soluble fibre and flavonoids that raise good cholesterol levels and lower the bad ones.

7) Protect the brain

Brain How digestion is affected by stress

If you want to ward off neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s), you should eat citrus fruits. These diseases are chiefly due to the breakdown of cells of the nervous system. Inflammation also has a role to play in these diseases.

Citrus fruits have flavonoids with anti-inflammatory properties that help in preventing the deterioration of the nervous system. So, for your brain health, include more of citrus fruits in your diet.

Nays of citrus fruits

  • Too much of citrus fruit or citrus fruit juices can increase your risk of cavities. It is the acid in the fruit that erodes tooth enamel. You are at risk if you sip on lemon water all day long.
  • Drinking the fruit juice is not as healthy as eating the whole fruit. This is because the juice has more sugar and less fibre when compared to the whole fruit.
  • Grapefruit is known to interact with certain medicines.

The final word

Citrus fruits are nutritious and protect from diseases. Stick to consuming the whole fruit instead of the juice for enjoying its benefits. You would benefit by adding more of these fruits in your diet.

Hope you liked reading this post!

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Why I Play: Volleyball Is More Than Just a Game

Why I…” explores the passion of athletes — from all walks of life, at different levels and with diverse interests — in their own words. Finding your passion is key to staying motivated to live a healthy lifestyle.

Kelsey is a professional volleyball player, 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist for TEAM USA and Under Armour sponsored athlete.

At 10 years old, I might have been the lankiest, most incredibly awkward kid you ever saw. I wasn’t really sure where I fit in, but I knew I had a comfort zone in athletics. That was always where everything made sense. When I started volleyball, it was a way to develop skills that would translate to other sports I played. Learning the game and the relationships that were created made me a bit of a gym rat, and I could never quite get enough.

Eventually, I received a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee. I finished my collegiate career transferring my senior year to the University of Nebraska and upon graduation, had my first tryout with the Indoor Women’s National Team. For some reason, I was lucky enough to be kept around. I spent my first summer out of college training and competing day in and day out with the best for a chance to make a spot with the travel team. Just five minutes after coach Karch Kiraly told me I made my first roster and was headed to Montreux, Switzerland, I called my sister crying. I didn’t know then that I would eventually go to the Olympics, but for the first time, I felt it was attainable.

“I knew that I had a comfort zone in athletics.”

To understand what we do as professional volleyball players, you have to understand our schedule. In the summer, from May to September, we represent Team USA, traveling and competing for major titles against  top international teams. The rest of the year, we play professionally overseas in various leagues. I have been fortunate to play in China, Italy, Puerto Rico — and this coming year, I will play in Istanbul, Turkey. It’s an added benefit to turn what you love into a career, but volleyball has given me so much more than just a way to support myself. To travel, eat, live and experience other cultures from a local’s vantage point has changed my life. The new friendships and unforgettable experiences have made me who I am today.

I absolutely love what I do. It’s my dream, and I’m living it every single day — but it doesn’t come without tradeoffs. We play year-round with two weeks off between each season. I see my family about 5–6 times a year. I’ve missed countless holidays, weddings and reunions. In the gym, it’s intense. A group of 30 women, filtering in from all over the country, vies for a spot on the 12-man roster, with just 3–4 in my position as an outside hitter. The entire experience is an emotional roller coaster from the highs of winning that motivate me to want to achieve more, to the lows that make me believe I am not good enough or I’m undeserving of the opportunity at hand.  


READ MORE > A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL PLAYER


At the 2016 Olympics alone, I experienced all of this in a matter of 48 hours. Our team headed into the semifinals against Serbia, a team we beat earlier in the tournament. After two and a half hours of an all-out mental and physical battle, we were defeated. The United States would yet again leave the Olympics without a gold medal in volleyball. I don’t think anyone slept that night. I ran the entire game back in my head over and over again. As I write this, it still hurts just as bad, but one of the greatest moments in my career quickly followed. Just one day later, we fought together as a team to win bronze. While it wasn’t gold, the power of what it represented and the bond it created with my teammates, is just as gold.

“It’s the truest expression of myself, it’s what drives me to be a better player, a better person, and to pursue something that has never been done before …”

I fell in love with this game because the volleyball court was where I found myself most free and it still is. I always say that if you want to know who I am, watch me play, nothing defines me more than when I’m on the court with my teammates competing. It’s the truest expression of myself, it’s what drives me to be a better player, a better person, and to pursue something that has never been done before — win an Olympic gold medal for the USA Indoor Women’s National Team.

Volleyball has given me so much more than I have ever been able to give it. I’ve learned to face pain and know I’ll be OK. I’ve learned some of my strongest, most loving relationships have come from people I can’t speak the same language with. I’ve learned who you are is not determined by anyone but yourself. And I’ve learned that gratitude is the most essential key to living.

Hometown: Bartlett, Illinois
When I’m not playing volleyball, I’m…: playing beach volleyball or making new recipes
Guiltiest pleasure: Dark chocolate, red wine
Favorite city to visit: Anywhere in Italy, Chicago or Santa Cruz
Cat or dog: Dog

The post Why I Play: Volleyball Is More Than Just a Game appeared first on Under Armour.

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Jellyfish Sting Cures and 4 More Summer Health Myths, Busted

Some of the hallmarks of summer — flip flops, sunshine, the beach and the ocean — also cause significant confusion. We talked to the experts to keep you from falling for common summertime health myths.

MYTH #1: SUNSCREEN PROVIDES ADEQUATE PROTECTION FROM THE SUN’S RAYS

Fact: Sunscreen is a summer staple but slathering on SPF doesn’t provide total sun protection.

While sunscreen can be important, especially if these other options aren’t available, it should not be thought of as your first line of defense against the sun’s rays,” says Rick Alteri, MD, medical editor for the American Cancer Society. “No matter how high the sunscreen’s SPF is, some of the sun’s rays will get through, which is why it’s important to take other measures to protect yourself.”

Alteri suggests wearing protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses that block UV rays and seeking shade, especially from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. when the sun is most intense.

To maximize sunscreen’s effectiveness, read the label and follow the directions, paying special attention to how often it should be reapplied.

MYTH #2: FLIP FLOPS ARE THE IDEAL SUMMER FOOTWEAR

Fact: Flip flops may pair perfectly with shorts, dresses and bathing suits, but the flimsy footwear lacks proper support.

[Flip flops] lack support so prolonged walking can aggravate problems such as heel pain and plantar fasciitis,” says podiatrist James Christina, DPM, CEO and executive director of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

In some cases, wearing flip flops can be even more serious. More than 25,000 people ended up in the ER with flip-flop related injuries in 2014, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

For lounging around the pool or hanging out at a backyard barbeque, flip flops are just fine, but Christina suggests more supportive shoes like sneakers for longer walks or sports activities, noting, “It’s easy to trip and fall or twist and injure [your] foot or ankle if [you’re] doing any running or similar sports activities.”

MYTH #3: YOU MUST WAIT 30 MINUTES AFTER EATING BEFORE SWIMMING

Fact: There is no scientific evidence that swimming on a full stomach causes cramps or increases the risk of drowning.

Blood is diverted to your digestive tract after a big meal but there is still plenty of blood flow to your arms and legs to allow you to swim safely, so go ahead and take a dip.


READ MORE > TORCH CALORIES WITH THIS SIMPLE 30-MINUTE SWIMMING WORKOUT


MYTH #4: YOU SHOULD DRINK MORE WATER DURING THE SUMMER

Fact: As temperatures rise, it’s tempting to think your water intake should, too.

A 2016 report from the National Center for Health Statistics found men drank an average of 14 eight-ounce glasses of water every day while women drank almost 12 eight-ounce glasses of water daily — more than enough to stay hydrated even during the heat of summer.

“Your hydration needs vary depending on height, weight, nutrition and activity level,” says Faisal Tawwab, MD, with MultiCARE Physicians in Orlando, Florida. “Unless you are losing ample amounts of hydration via sweat, you will probably be just fine continuing your regular water routine.”

Tawwab’s advice: If you feel thirsty, drink. If you sweat a lot, drink. If your urine is dark, drink. Stick with water over calorie-laden sports beverages to keep your calorie intake in check.


WATCH > FIT TIPS: EASY WAYS TO HYDRATE (THAT AREN’T WATER)


MYTH #5: URINE EASES THE PAIN OF A JELLYFISH STING

Fact: If you’re unlucky enough to be stung by a jellyfish — it happens to approximately 200,000 people in Florida annually, according to the National Science Foundation — don’t bother asking your BFF to pee on the wound.

A 2017 study published in the journal Toxins found that urine is ineffective for reducing the pain. It could actually make the pain worse. Popular remedies like lemon juice and shaving cream are also useless. The research showed a combination of vinegar and heat was the best remedy — and less likely to create any awkwardness with your friend.

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