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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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Cauliflower Crust Margherita Pizza | Recipe

Cauliflower-Crust-Pizza

Classic Neapolitan toppings on a 21st-century crust: It’s pizza you can dig into while meeting your nutrition goals. The cauliflower crust is fully baked before toppings are added. Make the “dough” up to a day ahead for an easy weeknight dinner.

Cauliflower Crust Margherita Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe cauliflower pizza crust, baked
  • 1/3–1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 4–6 slices
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)

Directions

Arrange a rack in the top 1/3 of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spoon on the tomato sauce and spread over the crust (the back of a spoon is a good tool for spreading). This may not seem like a lot, but beware, too much sauce turns the tender crust soggy.

Arrange the cheese evenly around the pizza. Add the basil leaves.

Bake until cheese melts and crust edges brown, 8–10 minutes.

Drizzle with olive oil, if you like. Cut into 6 slices and serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 3 |  Serving Size: 2 slices

Per serving: Calories: 299; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Sodium: 502mg; Carbohydrate: 24g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 23g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 787mg; Iron: 13%; Vitamin A: 14%; Vitamin C: 163%; Calcium: 20%

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Cauliflower Crust | Recipe

Cauliflower-Crust

We tried a bunch of methods and landed on this one for delivering a cauliflower pizza crust that has plenty of flavor (thanks, Parmesan cheese!), browns nicely and even holds together when you pick up a slice. Squeezing the liquid out of raw cauliflower is a key step — don’t skip it. One tip: keep the sauce to a minimum to avoid over-soaking the tender crust.

Cauliflower Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Trim off and discard any leaves from the cauliflower; cut it into florets. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it resembles couscous. (Alternately, grate it against a large-hole grater.) Lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter and transfer the cauliflower to the center of the towel. Lift the towel by the corners, pull the sides up, and, working over a sink, twist until the cauliflower forms a ball and liquid seeps out of the towel. Keep twisting until liquid stops seeping from the cauliflower. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Stir in the Parmesan, garlic, almond flour, salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower and stir to combine.

Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper (this keeps the crust from sticking without using a ton of oil). Transfer the cauliflower “dough” to the pan and use your hands to spread and press it into an even 1/4-inch-thick circle. You can use a rolling pin to even it out, if you like.

Bake until set, golden on top and browning on the edges, about 25 minutes.

Serve as a flatbread or add toppings and bake until toppings are as you like them.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 3 |  Serving Size: 2 slices

Per serving: Calories: 200; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 72mg; Sodium: 337mg; Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 14g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 620mg; Iron: 10%; Vitamin A: 4%; Vitamin C: 160%; Calcium: 24%

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Top 5 Causes Of Cancer In India

Top Causes Of Cancer In India

Hello All!!!

‘Cancer’ – the word itself is enough to scare the wits out of you! It is one among the leading cause of death in India currently. Estimates say that every year over a million new cases of cancer are reported in India. What is even more disturbing is that experts feel that cancer cases are on the rise and can cross 5 million new cases a year by 2025.

The treatment of cancer is very expensive and the mortality rates are high. Thus prevention and early detection of the disease are essential to fight it. It is important to be well informed about the possible causes of cancer that you can control. It is essential to minimize exposure to those risk factors.

pill and breast cancer

Cancer in India – Common Causes

While several forms of cancer are not preventable due to genetic reasons or hormonal conditions, the vast majority of cancer cases in India can be prevented. They are linked with lifestyle, dietary and environmental conditions.

Top 5 causes of cancer in India

Air pollution

Rising air pollution in New Delhi can lead to respiratory problems

Poor air quality is a leading environmental risk factor for cancer in India. It kills more than a million people every year. Air pollution is most often the cause of lung cancer instead of smoking, especially in young females.

It may appear that you cannot do much to avoid air pollution. However, you can reduce airborne particles indoors by making sure that there is better ventilation, avoiding burning mosquito coils and incense sticks. You can also ensure that your kitchen is well ventilated so that you don’t inhale the fumes of cooking oil.

Viral infections

People don’t think of infections as a potential cancer cause. But infections with viruses like the HPV or human papilloma virus can lead to cervical cancer in women whereas Hepatitis B infection is linked with liver cancer.

There are immunization drives in India to prevent infection from both types of viruses. If you have not taken the immunization shots yet, you should consult your doctor.

Tobacco

Tobacco both smoking and chewing is the biggest cause of cancer. It is responsible for about 30% of all the cancer cases in India. Smoking and chewing tobacco is directly responsible for lung, oral, throat and esophageal cancers.

Passive Smoke

Just by quitting smoking and chewing tobacco you can make these cancers preventable. Second hand cigarette smoke also increases the risk of cancer. Hence, you should steer clear of smoking areas and not let anyone smoke in the house.

Alcohol abuse

4% of global cancer cases have alcohol behind them. Alcohol is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen (cancer causing substance) that can cause cancers of the breast, liver, esophagus, mouth and many more.

This risk can be avoided easily as studies hint that alcohol poses a cancer risk when it is consumed in excess. It is recommended that men should restrict alcohol intake to only 2 glasses a day and women to single glass.

Alcohol for the calorie conscious

Paan

You must be under the impression that chewing paan is risky only when tobacco is used. However, this is not true. You are at risk even if you chew a paan containing areca nut and betel quid. Chewing paan with any of the mentioned ingredients increases cancer risk. You can suffer from the cancer of the mouth, pharynx and oesophagus. So, quit chewing paan right now!

Other cancer causing factors

  • Excessive red meat
  • Processed foods
  • Fried foods
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Lack of rest

To protect yourself, you need to eliminate the chief causes of cancer and modify your lifestyle.

Hope you found this post useful!

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