Balanced Cardio…


Whether your Smart Goal includes muscle development, fat loss or both, you should always include some form of cardio as part of your training program. Unless you’re training for an high level endurance event, aerobics will not cause muscle loss, in fact it supports the pathways that help you build it!

I recently tested a client, using a simple 2 km walk test. He was a 22 year old male, he “looked” fit, normal weight range for his height, and his body fat percentage was eleven percent. In the pre-test interview he said that he had cut way down on his cardio in hopes that it would increase his muscle gains. He did do some circuit training, but only used cardio, “long steady distance” and or “high intensity interval training” sporadically. When the test was done he was in awe that his performance was “normal”, for A 65 YEAR OLD MAN..!

It’s a scientifically proven fact that muscle proteins are broken down and used for energy during aerobic exercise, but you are constantly breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissue anyway. Protein accretion is the balance between protein synthesis and protein degradation. More synthesis than breakdown indicates an anabolic state that builds lean tissues, more breakdown than synthesis indicates a catabolic state that burns lean tissues. Your body is constantly alternating back and forth between anabolic (building) and catabolic (breaking down) cycles. That’s just a normal part of life. Your Smart Goal should be simply to balance the scales slightly in favor of increasing the anabolic side and reducing the catabolic side just enough so you stay on the anabolic side gaining, or maintaining muscle according to your goal.  This fact of human physiology has often been miss-used to scare people limiting cardiovascular exercise for fear of losing muscle. When you sleep at night you lose muscle as well, but that doesn’t mean you should stop sleeping!

Sure, it’s possible for you to lose muscle from doing too much cardio, but it’s highly unlikely. Staying away from cardio completely because you think you’ll lose muscle is a huge mistake. Only excessive amounts of cardio would cause you to lose muscle because over-training tips the scale towards the catabolic side. It’s difficult to say how much is too much, but I think it’s safe to say that just about anyone could do up to 30-45 minutes of cardio a day, 6 to 7 days a week without losing any muscle… as long as the proper nutritional support is provided. The positive effects that cardio adds to your program far outweighs the negative. Increased blood flow will promote a more efficient pathway for oxygen to reach your muscles; with an increased number of capillaries supplying these tissues, nutrients will reach the muscles quicker, and waste products will be carried away stimulating muscle growth.   

 Eat Clean..! Losing muscle has more to do with an inadequate toxic diet than with excessive aerobics. If you are losing muscle mass there are four likely causes:

 1. You are not eating enough protein. Protein is the only nutrient that is actually used to build muscle. To stay anabolic you must eat five to six protein containing meals. Each meal should be spaced out approximately three hours apart. Research has proven that if you are physically active, you need a minimum of .8 grams to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

 2. Your carb intake is too low. Low carb diets are often used for fat loss, but it is a mistake to cut your carbs too drastically. Carbohydrates are protein-sparing, so even if you are eating large amounts of protein, you can still lose muscle if you your carbs are too low.

 3. You are not eating enough calories to support muscle growth. This is the most common cause of muscle loss. When your calories are too low, your body goes into “starvation mode.” Your metabolism slows down and your body actually burns muscle tissue to conserve energy. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, requiring a great deal of caloric energy just to maintain it. That’s why your body will shed muscle if it thinks you are starving.

 4. You are not performing resistance training. The first Macro cycle should be to build strength and endurance.  It is the resistance training that keeps you from losing muscle. The second Macro you begin to bring in the power aspect of your Smart Goal.

 You are more likely to lose muscle from inadequate nutrition than you are from doing too much cardio. Enter the DIET mentality; many people believe they must “starve” the fat by drastically lowering calories. Some supplement a low calorie diet using protein powders, these are generally loaded with useless chemicals which inhibit the function of the organs increasing toxicity and decreasing performance. This approach can cause you to lose muscle along with the fat. The only way to maintain your lean mass while losing fat is to feed the muscles with plenty of nutritious  CLEAN calories and at the same time, burn the fat off with cardio and or circuit training.

Train for Life! Bart Wagar

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Summer time..!

Stand-up Paddle Board Training..

Summer is here..! Are you looking for a alternative to the gym?.. Or your routine training.. Contact me and book a SUP (stand-up paddle board) session and experience a full body work out like no other..! Get fit and have fun!

Coming soon..! At Eternal Hot Yoga..!

QiYoga By Bart Wagar

Qi is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi is frequently translated as “energy flow”, and Yoga is loosely translated into “yoke”, or “the act of yoking or harnessing”. It is our goal to combine these two amazing principles. You will build energy and harness its power guiding you to an increased sense of well-being.  Our program combines Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong, into a simple flow of movement that when connected to breath is an energy building experience guaranteed to get you off the couch. Anyone at any age can move forward on a path to greater mobility. You can use this program as a stepping stone to a more dynamic practice, or simply ease into its meditative flow achieving a greater sense of self.

All you will need is loose fitting clothing some water and the willingness to take the first step

Performance Breathing By Bart Wagar

Breath is the essence of life!

Everyone enters the world on an inhalation and leaves the world on an exhalation, how we breathe in between is what sets us apart. Breath supports the concept of give and take; with each breath we exchange ten billion trillion atoms. The air we breathe connects us with every living thing that has ever taken a breath, so we should be aware of this gift.

The purpose of this program is to bring awareness to breath, from our life force and vitality, our daily yoga practice, and our athletic performance. We will practice pranayama breathing exercises from Bhastrika (bellows breath), through Ujjayi, (success breath). We will apply breath work in action as it applies to the bandhas, and embrace vital energy. We will follow this up with 11 modern training and performance breathing concepts that can be applied to any yoga practice or athletic endeavor. You don’t want to show up to the studio, golf course, field, rink, etc. without these tools in your toolbox.

You take approximately seventeen thousand breaths each day which over a lifetime totals about 500 million breaths. Your breathing supports every experience you have ever had from that first inhale to the last exhale. Breath is life! Make it count! 


Mindful Practice

I read this article by Tias Little in the Yoga Journal, it is a good reminder to be mindful in your training program, and yoga practice. Knowing your body, not working to the point of “strain”, and working within your smart goals are extemely important.
Staying injury free is paramount when enjoying the activities we love. I personally have been battling with a “turf toe” injury from surfing. These set backs can weigh on you when you are attempting to maintain a consistent training program. Injuries in sporting activities are bound to happen, but it is within our control to avoid injury when training.. So train smart be mindful in your yoga practice..

Flexibility and Injury

I’m naturally very flexible. But a teacher once told me that flexible people are more likely to become injured than people with stiff muscles. Why is this true? If I’m naturally flexible and the asanas require flexibility, then how do I prevent injury?
—Hope, Northampton, MA

Tias Little’s reply:
It may be the case that very flexible students become injured in yoga practice, although it is not a given. Students with a lot of mobility may be unstable in their joints. That is, the tendons and ligaments that ensheath the joint can be loose, giving the appearance of hyperextension or “double-jointedness.”

For people who fall into this category, their yoga practice should focus on building greater stability around the joints, rather than straining and, ultimately, injuring them. This is done primarily by practicing poses that put weight on the hyper-mobile joint, and then strengthening the tissue (tendons, ligaments, and muscle) that surrounds it. An example is Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). Look at your standing leg to be sure that your upper thigh is aligning above your shin and not bowing out. Once you are in alignment, secure the knee joint by engaging the attachments around the joint. This is akin to a “bandha” wherein the tendons latching onto the joint are made stronger by contraction. This bandha-like action around your joints will prevent the joint from hyperextending.

For flexible yogis, it is necessary to safeguard against “sitting in the joints” —an expression I use to indicate laxity in the muscle and tendon around the joint. Because of their natural excess mobility flexible students may not even know that they are sitting in the joints. So, coming out of the joints and building strength can be difficult to feel because students are so accustomed to being lax (and therefore appear flexible) in their soft tissues. In fact, these students may even be encouraged for their flexibility when in fact it is not good for their joints. “Soft” tissues become even softer!

Often students with considerable flexibility have inherited their body type from a parent or grandparent, so the mobility is felt deeply, and in a historically sense. For students with extreme elasticity, it can more difficult to learn to pull back than it is for students whose bodies require them to extend out without restriction. Therefore, it could be said that it is less likely for stiff students to injure themselves.

From: The Yoga Journal By Tias Little

News.. SportYoga

Starting June 7th of 2011, I will be teaching a SportYoga program in cooperation with Eternal Hot Yoga. The first series will be limited to 10 people, 8 classes, running Tuesday and Thursday Nights @ 6:30 pm, for four weeks. The cost is $120.00. Classes will last around 75-90 mins. long. These sessions are designed as a conditioning program for those interested in keeping their competitive edge, or inhancing and prolonging their recreational sporting activity.

SportYoga  Up Your Game..!

SportYoga is a hybrid conditioning program fusing Yoga with innovative endurance and strength training methods. A flowing vinyasa style will take you through a series of athletic strength, balance, and endurance movements. The poses and movements in this program are designed to provide a full body workout, adding a connection to breath, focus, and increased range of motion. Regardless of age, level of flexibility or specific sport, this program will help you achieve at your level.

Competitive or recreational, enjoying your sport to the fullest is the goal.  It is our goal in developing this program that we can help you to the next level, and aid you in achieving your personal fitness objectives.

Bart Wagar .. Zenfit

Fitness and Athletic Training, where mind meets muscle, Port Perry Ontario