Are overhead presses, also known as the military press, part of your shoulder routine? They’re a favorite of bodybuilders who want strong, well-defined shoulders, and it’s one of the best exercises for working the shoulders and upper body. If you could choose only one exercise for broadening your shoulders, this would be it! The overhead press activates the anterior deltoids the most, followed by the medial deltoids, and to a lesser degree the … [Read more...]
The Pros and Cons of Lifting with a Slow Tempo
When you train with weights, there are many variables you can adjust to change the stimulus you place on the muscles you’re working. Most people focus on the weight or resistance and the number of reps and sets rather than the tempo. However, the tempo you use when you lift can affect your training and the results you get too. Some experts recommend lifting with a slow tempo to increase the time the muscle is under tension and maintain better … [Read more...]
6 Mental Hacks That Make It Easier to Stick to Working Out
The problem isn’t that people don’t WANT to be physically fit; it’s they have a hard time sticking with it. Some folks launch into an exercise program with gusto, and their enthusiasm level is through the roof, at least in the beginning. But dedication and motivation take a serious dive after a few months or even a few weeks. In many cases, it’s not physical hurdles that keep people from sticking to a fitness plan, it’s mental roadblocks. Don’t … [Read more...]
How Much Weight Do You Need to Lose to Get Health Benefits?
Losing weight isn’t always easy but if you’re overweight, losing those extra pounds can be beneficial to your health. That’s because fat cells are tiny chemical factories that produce inflammatory chemicals that affect other parts of your body. Therefore, being obese means being in a state of low-grade inflammation, and we know that many health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, are driven by inflammation. … [Read more...]
5 Science-Backed Reasons Why Weight Gain Is A Problem As You Age
One unfortunate reality is most people gain weight with age and if you aren’t strength training, most of that weight gain is body fat. How much weight do most people put on? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, during the decade between ages 30 and 40, men gain around 15 pounds while women put on about 7 pounds. But the weight gain doesn’t stop there. For women, weight gain speeds up after menopause because of … [Read more...]
Are Tests that Measure Resting Metabolic Rate Accurate?
Have you ever wondered what your resting metabolic rate is? Some people are convinced that they can’t lose weight because they have a slow resting metabolic rate. If you’re curious, there are now centers that will test your resting metabolic rate. Some gyms even offer this service for a fee. You might wonder whether it’s worth the time and effort and if the results are likely to be accurate. Let’s take a closer look at metabolic testing and … [Read more...]
6 Mistakes You’re Making with Barbell & Dumbbell Rows
Rows are a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups, including the muscles in your neck, upper back (rhomboids, trapezius, and lats), shoulders, and upper arms. Since you’re working so many muscle groups at the same time, rows are a time-expedient movement that burns more calories than isolation exercises that only work a single muscle group. Who doesn’t like to save time? As with all exercises, you’ll get the most benefits and lower … [Read more...]
3 Studies That Show Strength is Important for Longevity
Strength training to stay strong and preserve muscle mass is an essential part of any fitness program. No matter your age, you need it! Too often, people devote too much time to aerobic exercise and ignore working their bodies against resistance. Doing so improves strength and muscle mass, but there’s evidence that being strong can help you live longer too. Not convinced? Here are some studies that might convince you. Study: Stronger Quads Linked … [Read more...]
Should You Elevate Your Heels When You Squat?
What would a workout be without squats? Squats are the king of lower body exercises because they work so many muscles at the same time. Plus, they’re a functional movement that mimics the movements you do every day. By doing squats, you build stronger quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, although squats are more of a quad-centric exercise than one that targets the hamstrings and glutes. Another benefit of squats is they burn more calories than … [Read more...]
How Hand Placement Affects Bench Press Results
Minor changes to how you lift can make a difference in the benefits you get from an exercise, so never let your workouts become stagnant. Simple changes, like altering hand position, work the muscles from fresh angles and that helps you avoid plateaus. Fitness professionals point out that you should change your training at least every 6 weeks to change the stimulus on your muscles. How you place your hands on the bar when you do certain exercises … [Read more...]
Can Stretching Between Sets Help You Build Muscle Size?
Stretching is something most people do after a strength-training workout to lengthen tight muscles, improve joint flexibility, and help overworked muscles relax. Plus, it feels good too! Who doesn’t enjoy a slow stretch at the end of a workout? It’s a chance to unwind and reward yourself for a job well done. These are all reasons to stretch once a workout is over, but what about stretching between resistance-training sets? Stretching between sets … [Read more...]
Stuck at Home? Stay Fit With Cathe Live & OnDemand!
There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic is impacting everyone and has completely changed the way many of you work out and interact as gyms and parks across the county have had to close. We hope our Cathe Live & OnDemand online workout videos help to keep you fit both mentally and physically during these difficult times. If you’re new or not familiar with our online streaming service here are some important links that can help … [Read more...]
Resistance Training: How to Use Momentum Properly When You Lift Weights
Resistance training is the most effective way to build strength and muscle mass, but the technique you use matters. You’ll make the greatest gains in strength and muscle size if you use proper form and technique. When your form breaks down, you take some stimulus off the muscle and increase your risk of injury. Not only will your training be less effective, but you could end up out of commission for a few weeks nursing an injury. Nothing throws … [Read more...]
How Sugar and Processed Food Cause Weight Gain
At one time, the focus was on fat and how it expands the waistline. Being more calorie-dense than carbohydrates, dietitians warned clients not to consume too much fat to avoid weight gain. In response to this not so sage advice, the low-fat movement was born. Rather than nosh on healthy sources of fat, like full-fat yogurt and avocados, people stocked up on fat-free and low-fat products and filled their grocery carts with refined carbohydrates … [Read more...]
5 Exercises to Build a Strong Posterior Chain
How strong and powerful is your posterior chain? The posterior chain refers to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up the back of your body. These are the muscles you can’t see when you look in the mirror, yet they’re important for performance when you train and for avoiding injury. Some of the muscles in your posterior chain include the trapezius muscles in your upper back, the posterior deltoids, the large latissimus dorsi muscles, … [Read more...]
Can Time-Restricted Eating Help with Weight Loss?
If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably focus on what you eat and how much you put on your plate. Smart! Diet quality and portion size are both factors that impact body weight. Diet quality is important for health too. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a poor diet can explain more than 45% of all deaths due to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. These days, however, there’s a growing interest in … [Read more...]
When Should You Increase the Weight When You Weight Train?
Weight training has a sweet spot, a point where the load is heavy enough to make gains but not so heavy as to cause injury. Your muscles need enough of a challenge to grow, but you don’t want to grab a weight you can’t handle, pump out reps using bad form, and injure yourself. It happens all the time! Whether due to vanity or lack of knowledge, men and women sometimes take on more than they’re ready when they strength train. Some end up with a … [Read more...]
6 Best Fitness Quotes and Why They’re So Spot On!
Fitness quotes abound, for good reason! These short, pithy phrases help us stay motivated when the sweat is pouring and we want to quit! They also help us stay motivated when we aren’t getting results as quickly as we’d like. Some fitness quotes are more powerful than others. Here are some that are spot on target, along with the advice they offer. Keep them in mind when you’re tempted to skip a workout! “If it Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t … [Read more...]
If You Upgrade Your Lifestyle Later in Life, Do You Still Get Health Benefits?
Most of your life, you’ve eaten French fries and washed them down with soft drinks. Your refrigerator is stocked with more cookies than carrots. But you’re now in the middle or latter stages of your life and have heeded the calling of the Golden Arches too many times. Now, you wonder whether it’s too late to make meaningful changes to your diet. You tell yourself the damage is already done, so why not eat for enjoyment rather than health? P.S. … [Read more...]
4 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Workout Routine
Exercise should be routine in the sense that you make the time each day to do it. Having a set time to exercise helps you stay on track and avoid missing workouts. But sometimes a routine can become a bit too routine. That’s when you need to shake things up a little. With so many ways to get a heart-pumping, muscle-defining workout, you’ll never run out of ways to get and stay fit. Here are four signs it’s time to change your … [Read more...]
Which Push-Up Variation is Toughest?
Push-ups are the king of bodyweight exercises. Few exercises offer as many benefits and have as many variations as push-ups. Variety keeps things interesting, helps you stay motivated and keeps you from reaching a plateau. No matter your fitness level, there’s a push-up variation to challenge you. If you’re just starting out, begin with knees on the ground and gradually move up to push-ups on your toes. Once you’ve built up … [Read more...]