How Over Training is Holding You Back

We’ve got six more days left of the 20 day challenge, and if you missed out on the first fourteen days…you can still start NOW! Click below to download the workout program, and #gohardorgohome 😉

20 Day Workout Challenge

I want to briefly talk about Overtraining with you. For some of you, just getting in your 3-4 workouts per week is an accomplishment in and of itself, and every time you accomplish that goal…pat yourself on the back!

However, it’s easy to become a gym addict…working out 6-7 days per week and each workout session is 60-90 minutes or even more. THIS is Overtraining. This is the technical definition of “Overtraining”:

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a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness. Overtraining is a common problem in weight training, but it can also be experienced by runners and other athletes.

It won’t get you lean, strong and healthy…and this is why:

  • Microtrauma to the muscles are created faster than the body can heal them.
  • Amino acids are used up faster than they are supplied in the diet. This is sometimes called “protein deficiency”.
  • The body becomes calorie-deficient and the rate of break down of muscle tissue increases.
  • Levels of cortisol (the “stress” hormone) are elevated for long periods of time.
  • The body spends more time in a catabolic state than an anabolic state (perhaps as a result of elevated cortisol levels).
  • Excessive strain to the nervous system during training
  • Persistent muscle soreness
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Reduced heart rate variability
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Mental breakdown

So please make sure to have rest and recovery days. Working out any longer than 60 minutes increases your cortisol levels above proper levels and can create an environment suitable for the overtraining syndrome described above. If you really like working out, you can workout 5-6 days per week but make sure your workout sessions are kept to a minimum of 20-40 minutes maximum. You can throw in a couple longer sessions but you need to make up for it by decreasing the length of some of your other workout sessions that week.

Now….Happy Monday and #HIIT it!

Fight the Flu & Cold with these 4 Natural Home Remedies

It’s time to check-in and give you a couple tips and tricks to help you succeed at the January Fitness New Year New You Challenge.

This past week, you followed the January Fitness Challenge Workout Program and you hit the gym (or home gym) to work on toning and building a foundation by doing compound exercise movements, such as the Deadlift and Barbell Squats. You are probably a little sore, so please make sure to utilize the active rest day and give yourself a physical and mental break so that you can #gohardorgohome for week #2.

If you don’t let those muscles rest, you will just keep yourself from making any progress (such as strength and endurance gains). So get that rest! What’s a good active rest activity? Shopping at the mall! Reward yourself with a new workout outfit!

What’s one of the top 10 reasons a person stops working out? They get sick! And once they take a week off, because they got the flu, they have a really hard time getting back into the habit of working out regularly. So what is a good solution to this problem? Do everything you can to ensure you don’t get sick.

Easier said than done, right? The key here is your immune system. You need to keep that immune system functioning at its highest capacity during flu season. How? Consistently consuming a healthful diet (little-to-no alcohol, no smoking, avoid processed food, low sugar intake, LOTS of dark green leafy vegetables, lean proteins, LOTS OF WATER). Eating as “clean” as possible is the key.

But let me share a few immune system boosting tips, including a little natural home remedy secret concoction that I take daily during cold and flu season (or even when I’m traveling in “high risk” areas like airports/planes/buses).

#1 – Taking a Probiotic and taking Magnesium for optimum digestive health [yes your digestive system health directly affects your immune system]

#2 – Taking Vitamin D3 and Zinc

#3 – Taking Bee Pollen before going on a trip where I will be in “high risk” areas, like airports/airplanes/buses/trains or if you’re starting to feel a cold coming on taking bee pollen can help keep the cold at bay.

#3 – My Secret Concoction – drinking 8 ounces of filtered water with 3-4 drops of 100% Pure Oregano Oil stirred in – this not only helps improve your digestive health but it seriously helps fight off the cold and flu (even if you’ve already contracted a cold, it can help your body fight it off faster) [please make sure to dilute oregano oil, take it according to directions on bottle]. I take it every night, right before going to bed.

That’s it, quite simple, but it REALLY works to boost my immune system so that I can stick with my workout regimen and keep hitting it hard at the gym!

Rock on and stay strong this week during week #2 of the January Fitness New Year New You Challenge!

I am not a doctor.  Any recommendations I make about weight training, nutrition, supplements or lifestyle should be discussed between you and your doctor because working out involves risks. The information provided on BraveAngel.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website or from our products or services.  Never rely on information on our website, from our products or services, in place of seeking professional medical advice.

January Fitness Challenge

January New Year New You Fitness Challenge

Here is the lowdown for this 20 day challenge:

I have posted the workout breakdown below. Print this out and put on your refrigerator or somewhere you view daily so it’s there as a reminder of the workout you are supposed to do that day. Each day, from now until the 31st, you will do a workout. We will have “active rest” days, which means you won’t have a structured workout for that day, but you still need to do something active. If you aren’t sure what or how to do an exercise move on the prescribed workout sheet, just comment on this blog post and I’ll help you out. You can also look up these exercise moves on youtube.com!

The workouts are pretty straight forward. There are about 8-9 exercise moves per workout, and you will do those 8-9 exercise moves as a circuit (do one exercise move, then move onto the next exercise move until you have completed all moves in the circuit which equals one round of the circuit). The last cell of each workout tells you how many rounds to do. For example: “4 Rounds 45s/10s”. This means 4 Rounds of the 8-9 exercise moves and that you will do each move for 45 seconds of effort with only 10 seconds of rest between exercise moves. Use an interval timer or stop watch to stay on track! It is very important to have only the prescribed amount of rest between exercise moves because these are “High Intensity Interval Training” workouts.

If you can’t do one of the exercise moves (because you don’t have the right equipment or because of an injury), just substitute it out for an exercise that works similar muscle groups. For example, if you can’t do chin ups than do inverted rows or bent over bar bell rows or lateral pull downs or tricep dips.

 Click below link to download the PDF document for all the workouts!
Click below link to download the PDF document for all the workouts!

Click Here to Download the free 20 Day Workout Program!

Again, if you have any other questions, comment on this post and I’ll help you out! Also we can chat on the Brave Angel Facebook page or on Brave Angel’s Twitter page.

Rock on and comment below to let me know how the challenge is going for you!

 

Lose More Belly Fat by Supplementing w/BCAAs!!

Happy New Year! We are back!

December was dedicated to our fitness apparel line of clothing because the holiday season get’s pretty busy over at Brave Angel Shop! So we did not have a challenge for December, but we start our January New Year New You Challenge on the 12th! I know, SO cliche, but who doesn’t have something new to strive for when the New Year hits?!

Before the January challenge starts, I want to hit you with some tips and tricks to help you achieve your 2015 fitness goals easier and more efficiently and healthfully too!

I like to keep it short and sweet here on Brave Angel, so I’m not going to get too scientific or detailed when explaining why and how BCAAs will help you lose belly fat (and any excess fat all over your body too!). If you don’t have excess body fat to shed or if your fitness goals are to gain lean muscle mass or you are training for a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon…BCAAs will also come into play when it comes to maximizing your training potential.

What are BCAAs?

Simply put, BCAA stands for branched chain amino acid and is made up of three aminos: leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAAs are essential amino acids, meaning our body can’t make them so we have to ingest them via food or supplementation.

The main proteins that you can find BCAAs in are chicken, beef, salmon, eggs, and whey protein. Sometimes it’s hard to consume sufficient amounts of these proteins, so that is where supplementation comes in handy. The BCAAs I take (from Bulk Supplements) dissolve in an 6-8 ounce glass of water and are flavorless. Very simple to quickly get my dose in before and after my workouts!

What Can BCAAS Do For Me?

I’m sure you can find something that applies to you in this list below!

Benefits of BCAAs (taken from this article):

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    BCAA metabolites were found to be a significant indicator of lean mass in a population of young and middle-aged adults.

  • People who consume a threshold dose of essential amino acids that contain BCAAs with every meal have less visceral belly fat and more muscle mass.

  • BCAAs trigger protein synthesis and inhibit the breakdown of muscle cells.

  • In healthy people, BCAAs improve glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity. In diabetics, BCAA dietary intake with other therapeutic interventions may improve metabolic markers.

  • BCAAs play an important role in muscle and energy production during exercise, which is the reason that they are often used during workouts.

  • BCAAs convey many health benefits and a higher dietary intake has been identified as a predictor of longevity.

  • They have been found to reduce muscle soreness from intense muscle-damaging exercise.

  • They improve training motivation, especially when fatigued.

More Fat Burned for Energy Production VS. Using Muscle Mass for Energy

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Effectively & Efficiently Shedding Excess Body Fat!

To sum it up:

  1. The consumption of BCAAs is linked to less belly fat/more muscle mass.
  2. BCAAs help build lean muscle, can improve metabolism, & reduce muscle soreness.
  3. Consuming BCAAs helps to ensure enough protein will be present in your body during your workouts so that it’s more likely that your body’s fat stores are used for energy production instead of your hard-earned muscle mass!

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What Kind, When, & How Much?

I preach organic, wholefoods clean eating so therefore, I demand the cleanest supplements with little-to-no fillers or additives! There are many BCAA supplements on the market to choose from, which can be a bit daunting, so I want to share with you which brand of BCAA I take! I take “Bulk Supplements” BCAAs, I buy the 500g bag which lasts me 2-3 months. I take one serving before and after my workouts for best possible results. There are no other ingredients in it, it’s just straight up BCAAs and you dissolve it in a 6-8 ounce glass of water and chug it. There is no taste, it’s as simple as that!

If you want more information regarding the benefits of and scientific explanation behind BCAAs, you can check out this article “Ten Benefits of BCAAs”

Final Workouts for Kettlebell Challenge!

20 Day Kettlebell Challenge

Friday, Day 18 of the challenge was a rest day. So #gohardorgohome on Day 19 and Day 20!

We are going to #TBT and do the kettlebell workouts from Day 1 and Day 2. I want you to see how much your strength and endurance has improved since we started the challenge. For Day 19, you will do the workout from Day #1….and for Day 20, you will do the workout from Day #2. You can find the workouts on the first post from the 20 Day Kettlebell Challenge here! I also posted the workouts below to make it easy on you.

Day 19, Saturday, Upper Body Kettlebell #TBT Workout:

 Upper Body Kettlebell Workout
Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Day 20, Lower Body Kettlebell #TBT Workout:

 Lower Body Kettlebell Workout
Lower Body Kettlebell Workout

Post your progress and workout results for this 20 Day Kettlebell Challenge below! Next month we will be starting a whole new challenge, so make sure you follow us to be a part of next month’s challenge!

 

Kettlebell Body Sculpting Moves

20 Day Kettlebell Challenge

Quick Tip: A fellow Brave Angel asked me the other day, “I workout, but I’m not quite sure how to sculpt my body, what can I do?” Here are five really important tips to help you sculpt your bod!

1. Diet is 80% of the equation. If you want to have a lean and sculpted body, you’ve got to watch what you eat! And I’m not talking about avoiding ice cream and sweets, I mean the macro-nutrient ratio of each meal (carbs-protein-fat). Carbs should be about 35-45% of each meal, protein should be about 30% of each meal, and fat should be anywhere between 10-20% of each meal. Carbs should be from unprocessed, unrefined, wheat free grains such as quinoa or brown rice, and you should keep these starchy carbs to a minimum. A majority of your diet/carbs should come from dark, leafy green veggies like Kale and Broccoli for example.

2. Protein and Weight Lifting is key when you are trying to sculpt and tone up! Don’t worry ladies, you won’t get bulky from lifting weights and eating protein. Females don’t have the hormones necessary to bulk up unless they are purposefully adding performance enhancing supplements to do so. Try to get in 1 gram of protein per goal body weight daily! So if I want to aim to be 130 pounds of sculpted and toned body weight, then I need to eat 130 grams of protein per day.

3. Eat moderate amounts of healthy fats. Your body needs fat to function, and will hold onto fat if you don’t eat enough healthy fat. Aim for about 15-20% of your daily caloric intake to be from healthy fats.

4. Cardio…How much and when? Only do between 25-45 minutes of cardio about 3x/week max. Too much cardio and you won’t be able to keep that lean, sculpted muscle you just earned by lifting weights! Also, too much cardio will make you want to eat like a beast and make it REALLY difficult to stick to your diet guidelines I just mentioned above. Fit your cardio in around your weight lifting days. Do cardio AFTER you lift weights or in a separate session of its own so you have enough stamina to get through your weight lifting sessions.

5. Weight Lifting. As for weight lifting, try to lift heavy weights 5 days/week. Alternate days. Meaning, focus on upper body muscle groups Day’s 1, 3 & 5 and lower body muscle groups on Day’s 2 & 4. This way you can really target those muscle groups and also give your muscles one day of rest.

Now, here are Day 16 & Day 17 of the 20 Day Kettlebell Challenge!

Day 16, Wednesday, Upper Body Sculpt:

 Kettlebell Upper Body Sculpt
Kettlebell Upper Body Sculpt

Day 17, Thursday, Lower Body Sculpt

 Kettlebell Lower Body Sculpt
Kettlebell Lower Body Sculpt

Two Simple Kettlebell Workouts!

20 Day Kettlebell Challenge

Welcome to the final week of the 20 Day Kettlebell Challenge! We are going to lift and swing our kettlebells right through Thanksgiving and all those wonderful temptations that Thanksgiving brings! Day 13, Sunday, was a rest day. So really rock out these two workouts over the next two days. The workouts for Day 14 and Day 15 are below. Watch your form and enjoy every minute of these two strength endurance kettlebell workouts!

Day 14, Monday, Upper Body Endurance Workout:

 Kettlebell Upper Body Endurance
Kettlebell Upper Body Endurance

Day 15, Tuesday, Lower Body Endurance Workout:

 Kettlebell Lower Body Endurance
Kettlebell Lower Body Endurance

Let that Kettlebell Swing!

20 Day Kettlebell Challenge

Below are the workouts for Day 11 and Day 12 of the 20 Day Kettlebell Challenge. You will be doing a full body workout both days. One workout will be geared towards giving you a cardio blast and one workout will be strength and endurance training. Here they are, enjoy!

Friday, Day 11, Kettlebell Cardio Burn:

 Kettlebell Cardio Burn
Kettlebell Cardio Burn

Saturday, Day 12, Kettlebell Full Body Burn:

 Kettlebell Full Body Burn
Kettlebell Full Body Burn

Full Body On Fire Workouts

Kettlebell 20 Day Challenge

Ok, so here it is, Day 9 and Day 10 of the 20 Day Challenge with Kettlebells. These are full body workouts that will get all of those muscles, your abs, legs and arms, fired up! These are great cardio workouts as well! Enjoy and post in comments section with your results!

Day 9, Wednesday, Full Body Kettlebell Workout

 Full Body Kettlebell Workout
Full Body Kettlebell Workout

Day 10, Kettlebell Cardio Workout

 Kettlebell Cardio Workout
Kettlebell Cardio Workout

Kettlebell Strength & Endurance Blast

20 Day Kettlebell Challenge

Here are the next two workouts in the 20 Day Kettlebell Challenge! Today, Monday, you will do the Upper Cardio Blast and tomorrow, Tuesday, you will do the Lower Cardio Blast.

Each workout is only 12 minutes! The key here is to push yourself to the max for that entire 12 minutes. After you finish the 12 minutes, you could try to do some light cardio for 10-20 minutes to get an additional calorie burn. Just remember, focus on those 12 minutes and make sure to give it your absolute best! Enjoy!

Monday, November 17th, Kettlebell Upper Cardio Blast:

 Kettlebell Upper Cardio Blast
Kettlebell Upper Cardio Blast

Tuesday, November 18th, Kettlebell Lower Cardio Blast:

 Kettlebell Lower Cardio Blast
Kettlebell Lower Cardio Blast