Tag Archives: body mass index

Photo courtesy of: muscleandfitness.com

Top Circuit Training methods for 2013

Methods often remain similar or the same but people try and make small changes all the time that alternate depending on the individual aims and goals of the people involved. This means that we see trends in which kind of circuits are more popular, and there are often new training additions that can be made part of the circuit-training canon, while some are phased out.

Photo courtesy of: muscleandfitness.com

Photo courtesy of: muscleandfitness.com

How to Define

Here are some of the biggest and best types of training circuits available for this year. It will be interesting to see how this differs from current trends when the New Year comes. Will they stay at the top, or will other take their place?

We’re trying to look at specific methods, but if you like the look of particular parts of any of these then feel free to mix and match exercises, just bear in mind that using muscle groups too little or too randomly could put your routine off-course.

What are you training for?

A big factor in deciding the best circuit training method for you is what you intend to get from the sessions. Someone looking to lose weight or improve cardio fitness is going to have a very different schedule than someone gaining mass.

There isn’t that much change that can happen structurally with circuit training. By definition it must be a circuit, and you can guess that they’re going to be as intense as you can handle them, but the exercises within them dictate the type.

The different types of exercise are as follows:

  • Weight reps
  • Natural reps
  • Cardio exercise

It doesn’t take much working out to figure them out, but there are some differences that come from using weights.

Equipment and Extras

Equipment can also change how the workout works. Obviously a muscle-building session will benefit from having heavy weights at your disposal, but routines can be developed without them if needed.

Some supplements could be needed if you’re after the two extremes of results. There are amino acids and proteins for weight & mass gainers, and carb-free fat burners for people who want to do just that.

Read more on fat burners & fat loss supplements

So what’s the best circuit?

All this seems a round-about way of explaining things, but, like learning a recipe for food, it’s the thought behind the actions that make the difference and ensure the person is informed so they get the best results, nevertheless, here are two circuits for either weight gain or weight loss.

Muscle Builder

This can be doubled or tripled, depending on base fitness:

  • 12 x lunges
  • 12 x squats
  • 12 x bench press
  • 12 x pull-ups (can be assisted)
  • 12 x tricep pulldowns
  • 12 x bicep curl
  • 12 x shoulder raise
  • 40 starfish/60 second run/row

Weight loss

This can be adapted based on level of fitness. Adjust appropriately.

  • 200m fast run
  • 1 minute of Press ups
  • 1 minute of crunches
  • 1 minute tricep dips
  • 1 minute squats
  • 1 minute burpees
  • 200m fast run
  • Repeat as before

Being healthy and obese is impossible – the two are mutually exclusive, researchers say

It’s surprising to me that this has to be said, but … oh well. If you are obese, you’re unhealthy. Even if you have normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood-sugar, you’re still unhealthy. A study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, concluded that so-called “healthy obesity” was a myth.

“Healthy obesity” or “benign obesity” is a relatively new term, which has been used to describe a subset of individuals who are defined as obese based on their Body Mass Index (BMI), but don’t have any other metabolic abnormalities commonly associated with obesity (increased blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc). The BMI is the standard way to measure if someone is obese or not. People with a BMI of 30-40 are considered to be obese. But since obesity has only become a global problem in the past few decades, the long term effects are not as well documented as with other conditions.

Researchers wanted to check the validity behind the ideas of “benign obesity”; in order to do this, they conducted meta-analysis on more than 60,000 people across three weight categories – normal, overweight and obese – in eight studies carried out over the last decade. Meta analysis is a statistical method which focuses on contrasting and combining results from different studies, in the hope of identifying patterns among study results.

Their results showed that while metabolically healthy obese people showed a similar risk of problems compared to those with normal weight in the short term, when they analyzes studies that had ten years of follow up, things were significantly different. Study participants in all weight categories with unhealthy metabolisms showed an increased risk of mortality and cardiovascular problems.

“The main finding is that metabolically healthy obese individuals are indeed at increased risk for death and cardiovascular events over the long term as compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals,” Retnakaran said. “These data suggest that increased body weight is not a benign condition even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities.”.

It’s still not clear exactly why some people have an apparently normal metabolism. Out of the over 60.000 people considered in the study, 8.9% had metabolically healthy obesity while 6% had metabolically unhealthy normal weight. The one thing that appears certain is that estimating someone’s status based on BMI alone is not enough.

“It is important to consider both BMI and metabolic status for estimating long-term risks of these outcomes,” Retnakaran said.

Journal Reference:
Caroline K. Kramer, MD, PhD; Bernard Zinman, CM, MD; and Ravi Retnakaran, MD. Are Metabolically Healthy Overweight and Obesity Benign Conditions?: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(11):758-769. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-159-11-201312030-00008

Eat chocolate and you’ll be thinner – but only if you exercise

I love chocolate, and to be frank, I don’t really care if it goes directly to my hips or not, but millions of women and men all across the world believe differently. For them this study is godsend.

A research letter published by the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that healthy people which exercise regularly and eat chocolate tend to have a lower body mass than those who keep the rich sweets off their table. The survey analyzed over 1000 adults, aged 20 to 80, who on average exercised once every two days and ate chocolate twice a week, and those who ate chocolate more than the average tended to have a lower ratio of weight over height.

The body mass index or BMI is calculated by taking a person’s weight and dividing it by their height times two. The normal BMI is somewhere between 18.5 to 24.9, anything lower than that is considered underweight, and anything higher than that is considered overweight.

“Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often,” said the study led by Beatrice Golomb and colleagues at the University of California San Diego. “Our findings — that more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI — are intriguing,” she added, calling for more detailed research and perhaps a randomized clinical trial of chocolate’s metabolic benefits.

However, experts urge for moderation, especially before establishing a well-understood pattern.

“Before you start eating a chocolate bar a day to keep the doctor away, remember that a chocolate bar can contain over 200 calories which mostly come from saturated fats and sugar,” said Nancy Copperman, director of Public Health Initiatives at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York. “Consider limiting your chocolate fix to a one ounce (28 grams) portion of dark chocolate or adding cocoa powder which is very low in fat to your food once a day,” said Copperman, who was not involved in the study.

Obesity linked to dementia

Obesity linked to dementia, study says

Obesity linked to dementiaAccording to a recently published study reported by Swedish scientists, people who are obese and middle aged are up to four times more likely do develop dementia than people of normal weight.

Published in the journal Neurology, the research was conducted 8,534 Swedish twins over the age of 65, of which data showed that 350 had been diagnosed with Alzheimer or vascular dementia, while a further 114 had possible dementia. Using records of the patient’s past weight compared to their age, researchers found that middle aged people who were overweight are 71 per cent more likely to develop dementia than for people who are of a normal weight.

An person is considered overweight when his body mass index (BMI) falls between the 25 and 30 ratio, while a ratio between 20 and 25 corresponds to a person of normal weight. What’s extremely curious, and more or less supports the hypothesis of the link between dementia and obesity, is that persons falling under a BMI greater than 30 (clinically obese) in their midlife had an almost four times (300%) higher risk of dementia.

“Currently, 1.6 billion adults are overweight or obese worldwide and over 50% of adults in the US and Europe fit into this category,” said Weili Xu of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, who led the research. “Our results contribute to the growing evidence that controlling body weight or losing weight in middle age could reduce your risk of dementia.”

lmost 30% of those in the study, 2,541 in total, had been either overweight or obese between 40 and 60 years of age.

“Although the effect of midlife overweight on dementia is not as substantial as that of obesity, its impact on public health and clinical practice is significant due to the high prevalence of overweight adults worldwide,” said Xu.

Scientists still don’t know why exactly overweight is linked to obesity, by they believe higher body fat is associated with diabetes and vascular diseases, which are related to dementia risk.

Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This robust study adds to the large body of evidence suggesting that if you pile on the pounds in middle age, your chances of developing dementia are also increased.By eating healthily and exercising regularly, you can lessen your risk of developing dementia. Not smoking and getting your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly is also very important.”

Sorensen said that further research was needed to find the links between being overweight and dementia. “One in three people over 65 will die with dementia, yet research into the condition is desperately underfunded.”

It is believed that about one in 20 people over the age of the 65 has some form of dementia.  Similar studies have been made in 2004 and 2005, both leading to the same conclusion that indeed obesity can influence the development of dementia.