Published: Dec 17th, 2019
“I love motivating others and seeing their results and happiness!” - Lauren Drain Kagan
“I never thought in a million years I would look and feel how I do today!” - Lauren Drain Kagan
“I eat about 4-5 meals a day of lean protein, healthy fats, veggies, and my carbs depend on my body goals at any given time” - Lauren Drain Kagan
“Don’t be rigid in your thinking, never stop learning and don’t be jealous.” - Lauren Drain Kagan
Published: Dec 10th, 2019
When running, the rate of absorption and breakdown of food increases in your body so as to give you enough energy for the activity. How you breathe while running is important because the oxygen that you take in is used in your body’s metabolism. You need to take in more oxygen and expel carbon dioxide rapidly.
The proper technique of breathing while running would improve your performance; it would help you to run faster and longer with relatively less effort. It would also prevent you from getting side aches and side stitches caused by poor breathing.
Pay attention to the following tips to establish a proper breathing technique when running.
Breathing through your nose is great because your nose has an air cleaning and warming mechanism. However, it is not efficient when it comes to running. Your nostrils are obviously smaller than the opening of your mouth. You should breathe primarily through your mouth because it feeds enough oxygen into your body. It is even better to breathe through both your mouth and your nose. Do not think too hard about it, just let your mouth hang open as you run.
Air doesn’t actually get in your belly as you breathe. The expansion and contraction of your belly just signify the amount of air you are taking in and pushing out. The more air you take in the further down your lungs pushes the diaphragm and the more air you exhale the further up your diaphragm retreats.
Most people make the mistake of breathing with the chest while running. The muscles around the chest cavity are rigid and hence do not allow for expansion of the lungs outwards. This is a shallow form of breathing. You should breathe with your belly. It allows you to take up and store more oxygen for your run. The way to do this is to watch your stomach expand and contract as your chest remains still.
You can practice this technique by:
In time, you will learn to rely less on your chest muscles and more on your diaphragm.
Fatigue always sets in quicker when you take shorter breaths. Longer breathes take in more air and expel out almost every bit of it. More oxygen would, therefore, be available for your muscles to function for longer without getting exhausted.
You should take longer breaths when running and try to make their duration uniform throughout your run. It is important to note that longer breaths do not mean very slow ones it just means extended and deeper breathing. For effective longer, breaths try to breathe in for two to three steps that you take and breathe out for the same number.
When exhaling your diaphragm and chest muscles normally relax. This is the point when you could easily get hurt when your body twists or turns violently. Taking calculated steps is important in your breathing during your runs because as your foot lands on the ground your entire body absorbs the shock of the impact. Landing on the same foot all the time during your exhales burdens one side of your body, weakening it and making it vulnerable to injury. You are more likely to experience frequent side-aches above your left or right hip as a result.
You should ensure that you alternate your left and right steps for every exhale that you take. This would distribute the shock of impact equal to the left and right sides of your body throughout your run. It is of course hard to keep track of what each foot is doing and when the next exhale would find it.
Therefore you need to create a coordinated pattern of foot strikes and breathing that your body would soon get accustomed to without applying too much thought. You could do this by ensuring that your first exhale coincides with your left foot strike and the second exhale coincides with your right foot strike. If you get it right a dozen times at the beginning of your run, you can then stop keeping track; the pattern would automatically fall in place.
To minimize the effect of foot strikes on your body, you will need good running shoes. The best running shoes for sufferers of Plantar Fasciitis would do the job. They have soft spongy footpads and thick under soles that absorb the shock of impact hence reducing foot pains and side aches. A pair of knee brace should be also considered to minimize injuries.
According to Runnersconnect.net, most runners use a 2:2 or a 3:3 pattern of breathing. This means that they inhale for every two or three steps and exhale for the same number. The breathing gets longer with the number of steps you dedicate to every breath. The 2:2 pattern is efficient for shorter runs while the 3:3 pattern is suitable for longer runs that would require more endurance.
For experienced runners, an odd 3:2 breathing pattern is favorable. This means that you take three steps for an inhale and two steps for the exhale. This pattern ensures that most of your foot strikes land on your inhales when your core and diaphragm are on guard and your body is stable.
To practice this breathing pattern:
Breathing is an essential part of running that is often overlooked. It is important that you apply the proper breathing technique to keep away exhaustion and minimize injury and strain to muscles.
Written By: Elsie Doss
Published: 8 Dec 2019
The sumo deadlift is an adaptation of the conventional deadlift. It happens to be a little more technical than others so learning may take some time. The few subtle changes causing the exercise to have different muscular benefits help this deadlift to be a bit easier, however. Just what muscles do sumo deadlifts work, you ask? Well, I will be answering that, and some other frequently asked questions soon.
The conventional deadlift is pretty straightforward. Stand with your legs shoulder length apart and keep your back straight while leaning down and while lifting it. That is, of course, is not a very detailed explanation, but it is the main idea. We will be going into a lot more detail about the sumo deadlift later.
First off, we need to start with the basics. What exactly is the sumo deadlift? It is just a little different than the conventional. While lifting conventionally, you put a certain emphasis on various parts of your body by standing a specific way. The bar is raised differently than it is with the sumo type, and how high the bar can be lifted is directly affected by this.
The sumo version of deadlifting is ideal for beginners. This is because there is less stress put on the back. Starting in a squatting position makes it easier as well. The lower stance allows for people with poor mobility to deadlift too. This type of deadlift is used by individuals trying to improve their strength or by some experts just trying to add more to their exercise routine.
Sumo deadlifting is accepted in powerlifting competitions and even the Olympics. Strongmen competitions are different, however. The sumo styles ease of use and the ability to lift more weight disqualifies it. If you are wondering what type of deadlifting is for you, I will walk you through figuring it out, at least when it comes to the sumo lift.
At first, you need to evaluate your exercise routine and see what fits. All of the types of lifting have different focuses and determining your weaknesses will probably be a good start. What are your reasons for going into deadlifting? If your answer has to do with building up your strength, then this is a good start. Conventional deadlifting is better for reps, which are not as easy while lifting sumo.
You do not want to confuse your body with too many various workouts. Choose the main idea to bring to fulfillment and go with it. Having clear goals helps with decision making. Also, you want to ensure that your body is flexible enough for this stance. You are going to need to at least need the flexibility to pick up the bar without letting your knees buckle or anything like that.
Body type can also help dictate what method is best for you. For the sumo deadlift, your short torso and long arms go a long way. If you are a hasty type of person who likes to grab the bar and lift, this particular deadlift style may not be for you. It requires careful, slow, and steady movements.
There are many advantages to deadlifting itself, let alone doing it the sumo way. I will answer the previous question: what muscles do sumo deadlifts work? This deadlift version works the same muscles as the conventional but has a new emphasis on a particular group of muscles - the quadriceps. Not only does it give your lower back a little rest, but it also targets your quadriceps and increases activity there. The backs of your lower legs will be your best friends after this exercise.
The distance you lift the bar is also a little shorter and easier than the conventional. It is even sometimes easier to teach and learn as a beginner. Keeping the spine straight is not as hard either.
If the standard style is painful because you are always hitting your knees, go no further. The space between your legs and the bar is more generous, and the path it takes is much shorter. This concept applies to the sumo deadlift in general. It is easier to learn, to pick up, and better for beginners. You just want to make sure it really is for you. Go over your reasons and goals, then decide if you want to try. I suggest that nonetheless. Trying something new in your routine is good every once in a while. Remember to keep an open mind and be willing to try other types of deadlifts to find the one for you.
1. Build Up
Make sure that you are going to lift weights you know you can handle. When starting out it is best to do this to prevent any injury. Knowing the way that you are most comfortable picking up the bar is important too. Whether you use an alternating grip or the standard, be prepared to use it and properly. The technique is especially crucial with the sumo deadlift.
Do not go into this thinking that you will be better at one style over the other. This may be true, but avoiding a type because this is not recommended. You can build up the weaknesses that are found when trying different methods.
You may also want to do somebody stretches to loosen up. When you are physically and mentally prepared, approach the deadlift bar and get into position.
2. Body Position
The position you want to stand and lift the bar is the reason for the name ‘sumo’. With your legs far apart ensure that the middle of your feet matches up to the bar. Do not spread your legs too wide, or you will risk your legs locking, making it harder to retrieve the bar.
Also, make sure your toes are pointed outward and your feet are past the rings on the bar itself. The more inward your toes point, the harder it may be on your hips. Bend at the hips and straighten out your arms, staying below and in line with your shoulders. Using whichever lift that grip you are most comfortable with, grasp the bar and begin the ascent.
3. Bringing it Up
Take a good breath, lower your hips more, and keep your head facing forward. Distribute the weight to the backs of your feet. Spread the floor with your feet and extend your body with your hips. When the bar meets up with your hips, lean back while pulling your shoulder blades together and drive your hips into the bar. This brings you to the height of the lift, and all that is left is the descent.
4. Back to the Ground
Using your hips, bend back down and slowly place the bar on the floor. Keep the weight steady on the way down and, voila! You have completed your first sumo deadlift. Your hips and quadriceps will appreciate the extra attention. Your back leg muscles get less attention than they do with the conventional deadlift. However, the glutes, hamstrings, and tour adductor muscles get the same amount of care with both types of deadlifting.
5. Bring it On… Again
You probably want to more than just one lift, right? That’s cool. Just make sure to completely place the bar back on the ground after each lift. If you do not, it is not actually deadlifting.
You will have to mix it up, by doing only one type of deadlift can overdevelop muscles and put unneeded strain on the body. It also does not have much carry over when it comes to training for other sports or lifting competitions.
If you are training for this type of lift specifically, you may still want to throw in some conventional lifts here and there, to balance your muscular composure. The Olympics accept this version as do powerlifting competitions. The only athletic institution you may run into problems with this style is at a strongman competition. Besides, strongman competitions are supposed to be a bit stricter when it comes to regulating the types of lifts allowed.
Deadlifting is an amazing way to increase your fitness. With so many different types, it can be overwhelming when choosing one to do. The sumo deadlift and the Romanian deadlift seems to be the best ones for beginners. The sumo deadlift is relatively straightforward, having a practical and helpful reference to sumo wrestlers.
This weight training exercise is suitable for most people. Since each individual person has their own needs, finding the one that’s right for you may take some time. Patience and willingness to try new things is a must.
What is your favorite way to deadlift? Has the sumo deadlift helped you in your athletic endeavors? Let me know in the comments what you think!
Written by Elsie Doss
Published: Dec 15th, 2019
I started training about 9 years ago, it all started casually, I remember my friends who invited me to go and train with them... and there was born a great passion that made me what I am now.
I made many mistakes, but it is the mistakes I made that will lead me to give the best of me and above all not to make the same mistakes anymore, besides being always fascinated by the knowledge of this sport and then apply it to myself.
The main advice I can give you is to be patient and always persevere if you believe in something, do not let yourselves be conditioned by what they can tell you to try to stop you or stop you from reaching your dreams.
Oh yes, for me it is essential in my training because it helps me to completely isolate myself and stay focused, most of the time I listen to electronic music
What I think most of the time, is the awareness of pushing myself beyond my limit, always surpassing myself and failing that last repetition would be like wasting all the training.
I do not follow standardized nutritional protocols, but I rely more on a carbohydrate cyclization always in relation to how my body reacts and my metabolism.
Until today I have never done a real bulk because I was lucky enough to have a good ability to build muscle, but I think that in 2020 I will experience a real bulk season.
My training routine varies a lot according to the objectives and the period. I cycle large muscle groups with minor muscle groups to always give different stimuli to the body.
As done since the beginning, my diet to reach my "best" condition is mainly based on sources of carbohydrates as "clean as possible" proteins minimizing their biological alterations as much as possible.
Difficult to make specific names because there are many I admire all those athletes who in addition to the goal of fitness that can be of different aspects, also manage to build their own family which I think is one of the most significant goals of life.
As a supplement, omega-3 multi-vitamins are never lacking and I find myself very well using a mix between dextrin cycle and a vegetable hydrolyzed protein as a post-workout, as well as other molecules that I insert according to my psycho-physical needs.
Published: Dec 9th 2019
I started lifting in 2010 after a knee injury due to soccer!
Lifting without taking enough rest time.
The advice I can give to stay consistent is: To not compare yourself with somebody else or to try to look like your favorite fitness model, you should just try to be better than yesterday.
Set up small and realistic goals, then set up bigger goals progressively. Listen to yourself first.
Take time to learn and appreciate the process.
Yes for sure. I listen to American hip hop like Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Nas, Young Dolph, Pusha T... I listen to all types of hip-hop except the new generation which I'm not a big fan of.
I think about the hardest times of my life. I think about my brothers and my mum. At this moment I feel like I have no choice, it's about success or die trying.
I don't want to lose, I don't want regret, I just have one life, I want it all, I'll give it my all and I will get all I want.
I don't have any particular nutrition, I stopped eating red meat since 2016 and I eat more vegetarian.
I stay lean all year round.
Ulisses Jr and Simeon Panda.
Creatine, vitamins, magnesium & zinc.
Social Media links:
Facebook @Morgannakhisa: Facebook.com/Morgannakhisaofficiel/
Instagram @Morgannakhisa: Instagram.com/morgannakhisa/
Published: 7th Dec 2019
I started training at the age of 17 when I moved to Canada for my undergraduate degree in engineering. I was always actively involved in sports in school but with the increased course load and irregular schedule of classes, I couldn't play any sport in university so I started going to the gym as it was easily accessible. From there on I was spending all my free time learning about exercises and dieting principles and eventually started using whatever I used to learn in the gym and for my meals.
The biggest mistake I did was try to stay shredded all year round. Being an ectomorph, putting on muscle should've been my main goal but instead, I was just trying to get leaner and leaner. So I wasted a lot of crucial years that could've been used to get stronger and bigger.
In order to be consistent, you have to have the drive and patient mindset. You have to treat fitness as a lifestyle and not actively seek results too fast. Once you start to learn to enjoy the process, staying consistent becomes easy.
While training I only listen to hardstyle (EDC) music as it's energetic and upbeat and sometimes dark which is what I need to get in the zone. My favorite artists are Coone, Brennan Heart and Ran-D.
In the beginning, I used to imagine a family member dying if I didn't complete it. It helped a lot. Now I just visualize my goal and completing that last rep would mean getting closer to my ultimate goal.
I follow carb cycling religiously which I feel is the best way to ensure you retain maximum muscle while getting and staying lean.
I used to stay lean year-round before I started competing, but since 2016 I bulk for 6 months and then cut for 4 and then maintain for 2 months.
I like to train intense and heavy, very similar to how old school bodybuilders used to train. I keep switching my splits every 3-4 months. Currently, it is:
I utilize carb-cycling with 3 low carb days (as low as 100g) followed by one high carb day (as high as 1000g per day) so I create a big deficit on my low carb days and get to at least maintenance calories on my high day to keep my body guessing and continue burning fat without hitting a plateau.
I love Dorian Yates mentality and ideology as well as Jay Cutler as they show how an underdog can become a champion with the relentless pursuit of their goals.
In Mens Physique my favorite athlete is Jeremy Potvin who when I started was my idol and now is a good friend.
My year-round staples are Greens supplement, Creatine HCL, Whey Isolate, Fish Oil, Multivitamin, COQ100, and a good pre-workout.
Social media links:
Published: Dec 8th 2019
I was always a very active kid and I started weight training back in 2009.
There were not many pieces of information laying around about fitness and it took me some time to find my routine. It's great to seek advice from those who are more experienced.
I wish I would have sought that advice a little bit sooner.
It's a simple yet hard thing to do. If you planned to go train on any giving day, simply go. Never skip training and I promise the inner laziness will go away and you will start to be consistent.
Usually underground hip-hop. Tech N9ne is my all-time favorite artist.
I think about my past when I was sick and I told myself: Once I recover from this sickness, I will put my heart and soul to push my body to its limits.
Yes, I eat a whole plant-based diet which gives my body and especially my muscles all it needs without the need for any fitness related supplement.
Staying lean and gaining muscles is, in my opinion, the best way to build muscles.
My goal is to shock my muscles. That’s why I train differently every new week. For example, I do bodyweight exercises in one week and do slow weight reps in the other week.
I never change my diet. I lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Training and eating should always be done with sustainability in the back of your mind.
Find what works best for you all day and stick to it all year round.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nimai Delgado, and Nick Strength and Power are awesome.
B12, Omega 3 and Vitamin D3 during winter.
1. Stick to a whole plant-based food diet. Plants are the most nutritious foods on the planet and they usually are not kcals dense. Meaning you can eat a lot, while still losing fat and gain muscles.
2. Our bodies and our muscles are mostly made out of water. So drinking quality water is a must.
3. Be consistent and dedicated. Working out should never be looked like as a temporary commitment, it’s a lifestyle which should last and accompany you your whole life.
Social media links:
Published: Dec 11th, 2019
I started training when I was about 18! My friend at the time, good looking fella, had an awesome physique and was around 3 years younger than me. I guess it just motivated me to want to look good. I went along to the gym with him and as I continued to do so, in my mind it became a competition to try and look better than him haha. I think I become obsessed with whatever I am really passionate about, I give it my everything. The rest is history.
Taking yourself too seriously, over complicating the process and sacrificing too much of your LIFE to succeed in fitness. It’s easy to stress yourself out starting out. Relax and enjoy the process. Enjoy your life at the same time.
Not resting enough. Recovery is key, it’s so easy to want to train every day starting out but it’s taken me 7 years to realise that when I rest more, I advance in all areas. Physically and mentally.
I think set short term goals instead of long term. Focus on each day and remember why you started. Everyone has something that drives them to get themselves to the gym… keep envisioning that and DREAM. I think imagining what COULD happen is motivation. That’s how I’ve been.
I love tech house. Anything that just gets you buzzed and on a euphoric vibe. Saying that, I usually listen to hardcore metal on leg days haha.
That I CAN do this. I almost mentally tell myself to fight through the pain. A lot of training is all in the mind.
Honestly, no. When I’m offseason, I just eat what I want. But, I enjoy good quality whole foods anyway so it’s never really that bad. But if I want a pizza one night, I’ll get one. When on show prep, I just keep it simple. Old school dieting works best for me.
I bulk and then cut, yes. If I’m going to grow, I eat big to get big. I’ve personally never understood trying to stay shredded and grow. It doesn’t work for me anyway!
I literally don’t follow a routine and haven’t for years. I improvise every day and keep everything different, more fun that way. I always aim for progressive overload on anything I do so it works well. I will always aim to hit weak points twice a week, split quads and hams up.
Very plain. Chicken and jasmine rice mainly. I’ll add steaks in too and don’t really switch to fish until 4-6 weeks out. That’s when it really gets bland haha.
Anyone who has a sickening work ethic to become the best version of themselves. There are many physiques I like but what inspires me is the relentless mindset of doing whatever it takes to achieve your goals.
Pre-workout every day and whey protein!
Social media links:
Insta - jameswhipp_
Published: Dec 4th 2019
Due to our fast-paced lifestyle, we tend to eat fast food instead of healthy meals. That is one of the reasons why obesity has become a big health problem in the world. As a result, a lot of people started looking for a way to eat healthily. And, while some of them turned to unhealthy diets, others have chosen the keto diet.
This diet is one of the most followed diets in the world. There are two reasons for that. The first one is low food restriction, which means that you can eat most of the foods you usually eat. This includes cheese, yoghurt, butter, meat, eggs, vegetables, as well as desserts if they are keto-friendly like the keto chocolate shake. The second reason is the ease to follow this diet due to having simple rules. Namely, you just need to know which foods you can and can’t eat and stick to them.
Following the keto diet is very easy, although it requires you to prepare your meals at home. It’s because there are plenty of meals you can prepare in 5 minutes or less. In order to prove this, here are 5 easy breakfast meals for weight loss.
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until well incorporated.
Ingredients (6 servings):
As you can notice, some of these recipes take less and some more time to prepare. So, you can choose which one to make according to your time. Namely, you can make the smoothie if you are in a hurry and make the frittatas during the weekend. Regardless of their preparation time, all of these recipes are easy to make, keto-friendly, and super-tasty.
Written By Elsie Doss
Published: Dec 3rd 2019
I started training when I left football for reasons of incompatibility with university schedules, but I always liked sports so I signed up for a gym because I could have a flexible schedule.
Training badly, without meaning, paying attention to anyone who gave me a simple opinion...The beginning was when I made the most mistakes. Until I put myself in the hands of a professional I didn’t do anything right hahaha.
Don't be in a hurry. You have to love sport, love training, pain, having it as a way of life.
It depends on the day, usually R&B or electronic music.
My objectives, my goals, my progress, and my future.
Normally I stay lean all year because never you know when can have a shoot or work.
I usually vary the training routine based on my objectives. I currently go 6 times a week and give more concentration on my legs and shoulders. The basis of my training is about 4-5 sets per exercise, lowering repetitions and increasing weight.
I maintain the same diet that works for me with an exact amount of protein, low fat, and playing with the amount of carbs depending on how I look.
Sergi Constance, Julian Tanaka, Andrei Deiu and Ryan Terry.
Creatine, BCAA, glutamine, protein, and antioxidants.