Intermittent Fasting

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https://leangains.com/the-leangains-guide/

Intermittent fasting and Leangains

How does Leangains differentiate itself from some other intermittent fasting based diets? Here’s a brief primer.

The basics

In-depth coverage of my approach, and the benefits of intermittent fasting, can be read about here.

A much shorter summary can be found here.

Fasting and feeding

My general position on the fasted phase is that it should last through the night and during the morning hours. Ideally the fast should then be broken at noon or shortly thereafter if you arise at 6-7 AM like most people. Afternoons and evenings are usually spent in the fed state.

However, the fast could also also be broken later in the day depending on your personal preferences and daily routine. I personally tend to break the fast as late as 4-6 PM since I work well into the night and rise later than most people with normal jobs.

The recommendation for fasting through the earlier part of the day, as opposed to the latter part of the day, is for behavioral and social reasons. Most people simply find it easier to fast after awakening and prefer going to bed satiated. Afternoons and evenings are times to unwind and eat. For adherence reasons during dieting, I’ve also found that placing the feeding phase later in the day is ideal for most people.

The protocols

I work with four different protocols depending on when my clients train. Depending on setup, one, two, or three meals are eaten in the post-workout period.

Fasted training

Training is initiated on an empty stomach and after ingestion of 10 g BCAA or similar amino acid mixture. This “pre-workout” meal is not counted towards the feeding phase. Technically, training is not completely fasted – that would be detrimental. The pre-workout protein intake, with its stimulatory effect on protein synthesis and metabolism, is a crucial compromise to optimize results. The 8-hour feeding phase starts with the post-workout meal.

Sample setup

  • 11.30-12 AM or 5-15 minutes pre-workout: 10 g BCAA
  • 12-1 PM: Training
  • 1 PM: Post-workout meal (largest meal of the day).
  • 4 PM: Second meal.
  • 9 PM: Last meal before the fast.

Calories and carbs are tapered down throughout the day in the example above.

Early morning fasted training

Here’s a sample setup for a client that trains early in the morning and prefers the feeding phase at noon or later. Read this for details regarding this protocol.

  • 6 AM: 5-15 minutes pre-workout: 10 g BCAA.
  • 6-7 AM: Training.
  • 8 AM: 10 g BCAA.
  • 10 AM: 10 g BCAA
  • 12-1 PM: The “real” post-workout meal (largest meal of the day). Start of the 8 hour feeding-window.
  • 8-9 PM: Last meal before the fast.

For the sake of conveniency, I recommend getting BCAA in the form of powder and not tabs. Simply mix 30 g of BCAA powder in a shake and drink one third of it every other hour starting 5-15 minutes pre-workout. Tabs are cheaper, but much more of a hassle (you’re going to have to pop a lot of tabs). Check my supplements guidefor specific brand recommendations.

One pre-workout meal

This is the most common setup for my younger clients that are still in college or have flexible working hours.

Sample setup

  • 12-1 PM or around lunch/noon: Pre-workout meal. Approximately 20-25% of daily total calorie intake.
  • 3-4 PM: Training should happen a few hours after the pre-workout meal.
  • 4-5 PM: Post-workout meal (largest meal).
  • 8-9 PM: Last meal before the fast.

Two pre-workout meals

This is the usual protocol for people with normal working hours.

Sample setup

  • 12-1 PM or around lunch/noon: Meal one. Approximately 20-25% of daily total calorie intake.
  • 4-5 PM: Pre-workout meal. Roughly equal to the first meal.
  • 8-9 PM: Post-workout meal (largest meal).

Key points

  • No calories are to be ingested during the fasted phase, though coffee, calorie free sweeteners, diet soda and sugar free gum are ok (even though they might contain trace amount of calories). A tiny splash of milk in your coffee won’t affect anything either (½-1 teaspoon of milk per cup at the most – use sparingly and sensibly if you drink a lot of coffee). Neither will sugar free gum in moderation (~20 g).
  • The fast is the perfect time to be productive and get things done. Don’t sit around, get bored and brood about food.
  • Meal frequency during the feeding phase is irrelevant. However, most people, including me, prefer three meals.
  • The majority of your daily calorie intake is consumed in the post-workout period. Depending on setup, this means that approximately 95-99% (fasted training), 80% (one pre-workout meal) or 60% (two pre-workout meals) of your daily calorie intake is consumed after training.
  • The feeding window should be kept somewhat constant due to the hormonal entrainment of meal patterns. We tend to get hungry when we’re used to eating and maintaining a regular pattern makes diet adherence easier. If you’re used to breaking the fast at 12-2 PM and ending it at 8-10 PM, then try to maintain that pattern every day.
  • On rest days, meal one should ideally be the largest meal, as opposed to training days where the post-workout meal is the largest meal. A good rule of thumb is to make meal one on rest days at least 35-40% of your daily calorie intake. This meal should be very high in protein; some of my clients consume more than 100 g of protein in this meal.
  • When working with clients I am always open to compromising on the above rule. If your preference is to eat a larger meal in the evening instead of noon, or whenever you break the fast, it’s no great harm. Some people prefer to save the largest meal on rest days for dinner with their family instead of having a large lunch and that’s fine by me if it makes them enjoy and adhere to their diet better.
  • Macronutrients and calorie intakes are always cycled through the week. The specifics depends on the client’s ultimate goal: fat loss, muscle gain or bodyrecomposition. The details will be revealed in the book. Generally speaking, carbs and total calorie intake is highest on training days. On rest days, carbs are lower and fat is higher. Protein is kept high on all days.
  • Here are the supplements I recommend everyone to take on a daily basis: a multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D and extra calcium (unless dairy is consumed on a regular and daily basis).
  • For fasted training, BCAA or an essential amino acid mixture is highly recommended. However, if this feels like too much micromanaging or simply questionable from an economic standpoint, you could also make due with some whey protein. The importance of protein intake prior to fasted training is outlined in this and this post.
  • People sometimes ask me which protocol is best. I tend to look at things from a behavioral perspective first and foremost, so my reply to that is to choose the protocol best suited to your daily routine and training preferences. When dealing with clients I make the choice for them. If you work a 9-5 job and your only option is to train after work, training fasted is generally a bad idea and I always choose the one or two meals pre-workout protocol.
  • Even from a physiological perspective, each protocol has it’s own strengths and theoretical benefits. With “physiological perspective” I mean in terms of nutrient partitioning, fat loss and muscle growth. This deserves an article on it’s own. I have some interesting and compelling arguments that I think are very unique.

Diet methodology

Calories, foods and macronutrient choices play an important role in the optimal diet.

Diet psychology

The right mental attitude is a crucial factor for a successful diet and training routine. This is an area that is all too often overlooked. I’ve explored this subject through many different perspectives.

About Us…

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About Fairfield Wellness and Physical Therapy

Fairfield Wellness and Physical Therapy ( FFWPT ) is located inside the magnificent gym: 360 Fitness – Performance – Sports.

The Healthcare Team includes co-founders:

  • Chiropractor, Dr. Sean McLaughlin, DC
  • Physical Therapist, James Bonardi, MPT

Also available through Fairfield Wellness and Physical Therapy:

  • Acupuncture with Morgan Reade, LAc
  • Hand Therapy with Anthony Goss, OT, CHT
  • Massage Therapy with Nyisha Bryant, LMT
  • Dietician & Nutrition Counseling
  • Pain Management
  • Orthopedic Surgeons Co-Management of Care

Other than a one-stop shop for your health services, the location also includes so much more to embrace your fitness needs, including:

  • Personal Training with a hand selected and extremely knowledgeable group who search hard to customize and fit your needs
  • cardio equipment with the luxury of watching beautiful flat-screen tv’s
  • child care while you workout
  • free weights & dumbbells
  • plate loaded machines
  • resistance cables
  • spin classes
  • fitness classes
  • burst speed training on the 4-lane track
  • batting cages
  • Customized GROUP training classes
  • indoor turf football field
  • K Dojo MMA training
  • juice bar
  • and more…

Searching for a one stop shop for your health needs…search no more.


Fairfield Wellness and Physical Therapy

25 Greenbrook Road

Fairfield, NJ 07004

973-403-9911

FFWPT@hotmail.com


HOURS:

Monday: 9am – 7:30pm

Tuesday: 2pm – 7:30pm

Wednesday: 9am – 7:30pm

Thursday: 2pm – 7:30pm

Friday: 9am – 5pm

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FFWPT: Paleo Diet Linked to Decreased Colorectal Cancer

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Paleo Diet Linked to Decreased Colorectal Cancer

Paleo Diet Linked to Decreased Colorectal Cancer | The Paleo Diet

According to research recently conducted at Emory University in Atlanta, adherence to the Paleo Diet may significantly slash colorectal cancer rates.1 For their study, published online last month in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers examined the dietary habits of 2,301 men and women, 30 to 74 years old. Participants were categorized based on how closely their diets resembled the Paleo Diet. Overall, 564 participants developed colorectal adenoma, a benign tumor of the colon or rectum. Scientists classify colorectal adenoma as a precursor to colorectal cancer.2 For women with diets most closely resembling the Paleo Diet, tumor rates fell 29 percent compared to control groups. For men, Paleo Diet benefits were even more pronounced, with tumor rates falling 51 percent.

For those who study and follow the Paleo lifestyle, these results are hardly surprising. As the Paleo Diet becomes increasingly popular, however, it’s also more frequently misrepresented. Just last week, for example, Janet Helm of US News & World Report wrote about Paleo, “I don’t support this restrictive, meat-heavy diet that bans so many nutritious foods, such as dairy, grains and beans.”3 The Paleo Diet, of course, includes healthy animal foods, but disparagingly calling it “meat-heavy,” ignores the fact that it’s very vegetable-heavy. Could the Paleo Diet’s high vegetable level explain its protective effects against colorectal cancer?

Vegetables, of course, contain fiber and Western diets contain far less fiber than those of our Paleolithic ancestors. Whereas mean daily fiber intakes in the US range from 10 to 18 grams, our Paleolithic ancestors consumed upwards of 100 grams daily.4, 5 Some 40 years ago, an Irish surgeon named Denis Burkitt introduced the theory that increased consumption of dietary fiber decreases colorectal cancer risks.6 Burkitt’s theory gained traction and was eventually accepted as common knowledge, but a number of cohort studies and randomized controlled trials in recent decades have strongly challenged his contention.7 Although many prominent institutions, including the Harvard School of Public Health, no longer accept Burkitt’s theory, it may be premature to conclude that fiber consumption and colorectal cancer are unrelated.8

In an article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, anthropologist Jeff Leach points out that fiber levels in studies challenging Burkitt’s theory, even for participants in the uppermost quintiles, are still far below evolutionary standards.9 We should also acknowledge fiber’s beneficial effects with respect to gut microbiome health. Increased fiber consumption promotes decreased intestinal inflammation, decreased body weight, and decreased obesity-induced chronic inflammation.10 While the causes of colorectal cancer are not entirely known, the Mayo Clinic lists inflammatory intestinal conditions, insulin resistance, obesity, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and sedentary lifestyle all as factors that may increase colorectal cancer risks.11

So what does this new research associating the Paleo Diet with decreased colorectal cancer really tell us? Does the Paleo Diet’s vegetable-heavy, and thus fiber-heavy, aspect account for this benefit? We cannot say so definitively. We can say, however, that the Paleo Diet is more than just a diet. It’s a lifestyle that promotes wellness and prevents disease. Most diseases, especially cancer, have multiple roots, the combination of which eventually grows into disease. This recent research is a testament to the holistic nature of the Paleo Diet and Paleo lifestyle, encompassing many informed decisions, which likely collectively protect against colorectal cancer.

Christopher James Clark, B.B.A.

Christopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Nutritional Grail.

REFERENCES

1 Whalen, K., et al. (2014). Paleolithic and Mediterranean Diet Pattern Scores and Risk of Incident, Sporadic Colorectal Adenomas. American Journal of Epidemiology. Retrieved from http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/10/17/aje.kwu235.abstract

2 Srivastava, S., et al. (May 2001). Biomarkers for early detection of colon cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, 7(5). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11350874

3 Helm, Janet. (November 5, 2014). 8 Positive Outcomes of the Paleo Trend. US News & World Report. Retrieved from https://www.yahoo.com/health/8-positive-outcomes-of-the-paleo-trend-101439975577.html

4 Clemens, R., et al. (July 2012). Filling America’s Fiber Intake Gap: Summary of a Roundtable to Probe Realistic Solutions with a Focus on Grain-Based Foods. Journal of Nutrition, 142(7). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22649260

5 Leach, JD. (January 2007). Evolutionary perspective on dietary intake of fibre and colorectal cancer. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 61(1). Retrieved from Evolutionary perspective on dietary intake of fibre and colorectal cancer

6 Burkitt, DP. (July 1971). Epidemiology of cancer of the colon and rectum. Cancer, 28(1). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5165022

7 Lawlor, DA, and Ness, AR. (2003). Commentary: The rough world of nutritional epidemiology: Does dietary fibre prevent large bowel cancer? International Journal of Epidemiology, 32(2). Retrieved from http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/2/239.full

8 Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health. Fiber and Colon Cancer: Following the Scientific Trail. Retrieved from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fiber-and-colon-cancer/

9 Ibid, Burkitt

10 Kuo, SM. (January 2013). The Interplay Between Fiber and the Intestinal Microbiome in the Inflammatory Response. Advances in Nutrition, 4(1). Retrieved from http://advances.nutrition.org/content/4/1/16.full

11 Mayo Clinic Staff. (August 2013). Diseases and Conditions: Colon Cancer: Risk Factors. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/basics/risk-factors/con-20031877

FFWPT: THERE IS NO MAYBE

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http://www.schwarzenegger.com/fitness/post/there-is-no-maybe

Arnold Schwarzenegger

07/29/2013

There is No Maybe


By Jim Smith

Earlier this year, it was announced that Arnold was accepting

a position at Muscle & Fitness and FLEX magazines as their

new executive editor.  I started considering why Arnold would

take on this new role, especially with his hectic work schedule.  

I didn’t have to think about it long before it came to me; he was

reconnecting with his passion

Fitness and bodybuilding have given Arnold passion, direction,

belief in himself, and strength of body and mind.  Ultimately,

Arnold had a blueprint for his life that was fueled by his early

struggles and early successes.

In fact, Arnold’s successes in life – bodybuilding, movies, and

politics – were all driven by the power of his mind.  He believed

in himself when no one else did.  He did another repetition in the

gym, when the pain caused others to quit.  He took acting and

speech classes when everyone said he couldn’t make it.  He set

goals, hit them, and kept driving forward. 

Where Did the Passion Go?

Deep down, it is passion that drives all of us.  Or at least, it used

to drive us, when things were much simpler.  As a child, our

possibilities seemed endless and there was no limit to our dreams.  

We marveled at every new experience and we gave freely with

our hearts.  We had passion for all things.

We could be and do anything we wanted.

But reality smacked us in the face and kept the pressure on as

we moved into adulthood and all of the responsibilities that come

with it.  Our belief systems changed, subtlety, and without us

knowing it. 

We substituted passion with ‘safe and practical.’  We bought

things and got jobs to pay for them.  We got comfortable in the

daily grind of our 9-5 jobs because it was secure.  We forgot

about that child and their hopes and dreams.  

We grew ‘comfortably numb.’

We became afraid of the unpredictable and found security in

repetition.  We became cynical and angry with those who

seemed happy all the time and chalked it up to their naivety. 

We turned inward and became selfish. 

We began to only think of our needs and wants because satisfying

them gave us temporary relief from our current situation.  

We silenced that child inside of us, too afraid – like Bukowski’s

Bluebird – to show weakness and expose our true selves.

But all is not lost.  There is hope.  There is always hope. 

Real strength can come from being honest with yourself and

stating the truth.  The strength needed to change your life – in an instant.

We can rekindle that passion again; we just have to break the pattern.

Pattern Interrupt

152770612329925745 9oIyTdvV f.jpg

The amazing thing about your life is that you can change it literally

overnight just by changing how you perceive experiences and by

developing a relentless mindset. 

You can wake up and say, “Today I will be different.”  You can decide

that things are going to change and you are going to be the person

you always wanted to be; no matter how many obstacles you have to overcome.

You can say:

Today, I will replace “maybe” with I can, I will.

Today, fear will not drive my actions.

Today, I will listen to others and show kindness to strangers.

Today, I will quit complaining about my job, my car, others’ actions –

and I will focus on myself and what I need to do to make my life better.

Today, I will set goals and work toward them relentlessly.

Situations happen to everyone every day.  Our perception of these

situations determines if they are good or bad, positive or negative,

opportunities or obstacles.

We can reframe any experience that we initially identify as an obstacle

into an opportunity and use this opportunity to keep driving forward.  

Maybe it wasn’t the path you imagined, but you have to keep moving.

Creating a new and positive mindset can change everything.

Champion of Your Life

To illustrate this point, let me tell you a story.

I found an interview where Arnold was reminiscing about doing

seminars all over California at prisons and institutions, talking

about what it takes to become a champion.  When he asked the

attendees what they wanted to do with their life, someone would

inevitably answer, “Someday, maybe I could pursue (insert goal here).”

Arnold’s response? 

There is no maybe.

Arnold continued, “You have to get up and say, ‘I want to be a

champion and I will do whatever it takes.’  You have to create a

goal and go after it.  If you don’t see it and you don’t believe it,

who else will?”

“You have to visualize and that creates the will.” 

In my experience, if you give yourself this ‘out’ by thinking ‘maybe’,

then you’ll never make it.  Trust me, if you think maybe you can

do something, a lot of doors open up to quit when things get hard.

Maybe is not going to cut it when the only time you can work on

your passion is after your 9-5 job is done for the day and you’re

tired as hell.  Yes, for now, if you want to change your life, you are

going to have to continue to work at the job you have while you

work on your passion during your free time.  And when you’ve

built up your passion and eliminated the excess in your life, then

you can move to your passion full time.

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it is going

to be worth it.

Rest assured, when you are absolutely sure of yourself and

where you want to go, you will not let anything stand in your way. 

You can become the champion of your life by living like there

is no tomorrow.

The time is now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim is a proud Dad, strength coach, and entrepreneur. 

Co-author of the best selling Athletic Development Training system

and co-founder of the CPPS certification for coaches, Jim has been

recognized as one of the ‘most innovative coaches’ in the fitness

industry.  Jim is regularly featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness,

and Muscle & Fitness.

Website: http://wwww.dieselsc.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dieselstrength

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dieselstrength

FFWPT: THERE IS NO MAYBE

Leave a comment

http://www.schwarzenegger.com/fitness/post/there-is-no-maybe

Arnold Schwarzenegger

07/29/2013

There is No Maybe


By Jim Smith

Earlier this year, it was announced that Arnold was accepting

a position at Muscle & Fitness and FLEX magazines as their

new executive editor.  I started considering why Arnold would

take on this new role, especially with his hectic work schedule.  

I didn’t have to think about it long before it came to me; he was

reconnecting with his passion

Fitness and bodybuilding have given Arnold passion, direction,

belief in himself, and strength of body and mind.  Ultimately,

Arnold had a blueprint for his life that was fueled by his early

struggles and early successes.

In fact, Arnold’s successes in life – bodybuilding, movies, and

politics – were all driven by the power of his mind.  He believed

in himself when no one else did.  He did another repetition in the

gym, when the pain caused others to quit.  He took acting and

speech classes when everyone said he couldn’t make it.  He set

goals, hit them, and kept driving forward. 

Where Did the Passion Go?

Deep down, it is passion that drives all of us.  Or at least, it used

to drive us, when things were much simpler.  As a child, our

possibilities seemed endless and there was no limit to our dreams.  

We marveled at every new experience and we gave freely with

our hearts.  We had passion for all things.

We could be and do anything we wanted.

But reality smacked us in the face and kept the pressure on as

we moved into adulthood and all of the responsibilities that come

with it.  Our belief systems changed, subtlety, and without us

knowing it. 

We substituted passion with ‘safe and practical.’  We bought

things and got jobs to pay for them.  We got comfortable in the

daily grind of our 9-5 jobs because it was secure.  We forgot

about that child and their hopes and dreams.  

We grew ‘comfortably numb.’

We became afraid of the unpredictable and found security in

repetition.  We became cynical and angry with those who

seemed happy all the time and chalked it up to their naivety. 

We turned inward and became selfish. 

We began to only think of our needs and wants because satisfying

them gave us temporary relief from our current situation.  

We silenced that child inside of us, too afraid – like Bukowski’s

Bluebird – to show weakness and expose our true selves.

But all is not lost.  There is hope.  There is always hope. 

Real strength can come from being honest with yourself and

stating the truth.  The strength needed to change your life – in an instant.

We can rekindle that passion again; we just have to break the pattern.

Pattern Interrupt

152770612329925745 9oIyTdvV f.jpg

The amazing thing about your life is that you can change it literally

overnight just by changing how you perceive experiences and by

developing a relentless mindset. 

You can wake up and say, “Today I will be different.”  You can decide

that things are going to change and you are going to be the person

you always wanted to be; no matter how many obstacles you have to overcome.

You can say:

Today, I will replace “maybe” with I can, I will.

Today, fear will not drive my actions.

Today, I will listen to others and show kindness to strangers.

Today, I will quit complaining about my job, my car, others’ actions –

and I will focus on myself and what I need to do to make my life better.

Today, I will set goals and work toward them relentlessly.

Situations happen to everyone every day.  Our perception of these

situations determines if they are good or bad, positive or negative,

opportunities or obstacles.

We can reframe any experience that we initially identify as an obstacle

into an opportunity and use this opportunity to keep driving forward.  

Maybe it wasn’t the path you imagined, but you have to keep moving.

Creating a new and positive mindset can change everything.

Champion of Your Life

To illustrate this point, let me tell you a story.

I found an interview where Arnold was reminiscing about doing

seminars all over California at prisons and institutions, talking

about what it takes to become a champion.  When he asked the

attendees what they wanted to do with their life, someone would

inevitably answer, “Someday, maybe I could pursue (insert goal here).”

Arnold’s response? 

There is no maybe.

Arnold continued, “You have to get up and say, ‘I want to be a

champion and I will do whatever it takes.’  You have to create a

goal and go after it.  If you don’t see it and you don’t believe it,

who else will?”

“You have to visualize and that creates the will.” 

In my experience, if you give yourself this ‘out’ by thinking ‘maybe’,

then you’ll never make it.  Trust me, if you think maybe you can

do something, a lot of doors open up to quit when things get hard.

Maybe is not going to cut it when the only time you can work on

your passion is after your 9-5 job is done for the day and you’re

tired as hell.  Yes, for now, if you want to change your life, you are

going to have to continue to work at the job you have while you

work on your passion during your free time.  And when you’ve

built up your passion and eliminated the excess in your life, then

you can move to your passion full time.

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it is going

to be worth it.

Rest assured, when you are absolutely sure of yourself and

where you want to go, you will not let anything stand in your way. 

You can become the champion of your life by living like there

is no tomorrow.

The time is now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim is a proud Dad, strength coach, and entrepreneur. 

Co-author of the best selling Athletic Development Training system

and co-founder of the CPPS certification for coaches, Jim has been

recognized as one of the ‘most innovative coaches’ in the fitness

industry.  Jim is regularly featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness,

and Muscle & Fitness.

Website: http://wwww.dieselsc.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dieselstrength

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dieselstrength

FFWPT muscle charts, water and booty blaster

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FFWPT: Napping can Dramatically Increase Learning, Memory, Awareness, and More

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Napping can Dramatically Increase Learning, Memory, Awareness, and More

March 18, 2014

In some places, towns essentially shut down in the afternoon while everyone goes home for a siesta.

Unfortunately, in the U.S.—more bound to our corporate lifestyles than our health—a mid-day nap

is seen as a luxury and, in some cases, a sign of pure laziness. But before you feel guilty about

that weekend snooze or falling asleep during a movie, rest assured that napping is

actually good for you and a completely natural phenomena in the

circadian (sleep-wake cycle) rhythm.

As our day wears on, even when we get enough sleep at night, our focus and alertness degrade.

While this can be a minor inconvenience in modern times, it may have meant life or death for our

ancestors. Whether you are finishing up a project for work or hunting for your livelihood, a nap

can rekindle your alertness and have your neurons back up and firing on high in as little as 15-20 mins.

Big name (and high-dollar) companies recognize this. Google and Apple are just a few that allow

employees to have nap time. Studies have affirmed that short naps can improve awareness and

productivity. Plus, who wouldn’t love a boss that lets you get a little shut-eye before the afternoon push?

A study from the University of Colorado Boulder found that children who missed their afternoon nap

showed less joy and interest, more anxiety, and poorer problem solving skills than other children.

The same can be seen in adults that benefit from napping.

Researchers with Berkeley found an hour nap to dramatically increase learning ability and memory.

Naps sort of provide a reboot, where the short term memory is cleared out and our brain becomes

refreshed with new defragged space.

Read: Sleep Removes Toxic Waste from the Brain

So how long should you nap?

napping

Experts say a 10 to 20 minute “power nap” is best for refreshing your mind and increasing energy and alertness.

The sleep isn’t as deep as longer naps, which allows you to get right back at your day upon waking.

A 30 minute nap can lead to 30 minutes of grogginess, as you are often waking just as your body enters the

deeper stages of sleep. You’ll experience some of that same fogginess if you sleep for an hour, but 60 minute

naps are good for memory boosting.

The longest naps—around 90 minutes—are good for those people who just don’t get enough sleep at night.

It’s a complete sleep cycle and can improve emotional memory and creativity.

Naps are good for you—physically and mentally. But don’t sacrifice night time zzz’s for an afternoon snooze;

take your nap in addition to a good night’s sleep.

Original: http://naturalsociety.com/science-napping/

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