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This week’s Fitness Post is brought to you by personal trainer Igor Klibanov from Fitness Solutions Plus.

If you perform resistance training (AKA strength training, weight training, etc.) on a regular basis, chances are that you organize your workouts in one of two ways:

1.     You do straight sets. In other words, you do an exercise, rest, and repeat the same exercise.

2.     You do circuit training. In other words, you do one exercise, then move on to the next, and so on. Once you’re done all the exercises you had, you repeat the entire sequence.

But there is one other way of training. It’s called “supersets.” Supersets are when you perform 2 exercises for opposing muscle groups back to back. A classic example might be to do an exercise for the chest, followed by an exercise for the back.

One major advantage of supersets is that you can get a lot more done , compared to straight sets. Think about it this way: you do your exercise for the chest (like pushups), and the more repetitions you do, the more tired you get. So you have to rest long enough for your chest muscles to recover before you can do that exercise again. So while your chest is resting, why not do an exercise for a muscle group that is fresh? Because when you’re working the fresh muscle group, the chest gets a chance to rest.

When you pair up exercises to work opposing muscle groups, you take it a step beyond. You see, muscles naturally work in opposites. When one shortens, the muscle on the opposite side lengthens. Flex your biceps, and your triceps lengthens. Flex your triceps and your biceps lengthens (by the way, a technical, geeky note: the words “bicep” and “tricep” do not exist. There is always an ‘s’ at the end. Always. Even if you’re referring to just one arm.)

The major advantage of this is by working opposing muscle groups, they recover faster than if you were simply resting. For instance, working biceps, and then triceps will help the biceps recover faster than if you were just working biceps and then resting.

The same applies everywhere else in the body.

So if you want to get a lot more done in the time that you have (thereby really speeding up your metabolism), give supersets a try. If you want specific exercises to use, you can get my seminar, Strength Training for Beginners.

Quick Summary 

3 of the most common ways of organizing your workouts are:

  • Straight sets. In other words, you do an exercise, rest, and repeat the same exercise.
  • Circuit training. In other words, you do one exercise, then move on to the next, and so on. Once you’re done all the exercises you had, you repeat the entire sequence.
  • Supersets. Supersets are when you perform 2 exercises for opposing muscle groups back to back.

The major advantages of supersets are:

  • You can get more done in the same amount of time
  • You speed up recovery

According to Northwestern Medicine, keeping your heart healthy during the fall/winter is important. They have put together tips on how you can manage your heart-healthy during the colder months. Here’s how:

  • Dress for the weather. Wear layers and especially wear hats, gloves and heavy socks.
  • Come inside often. Give yourself breaks to warm up if you’re spending time outside in the cold.
  • Avoid excess alcohol. Alcohol can make you feel warmer than you really are and therefore can be particularly dangerous when you’re outside in the cold.

Number of servings:  4 Oven:  400°F

Ingredients

QuantityIngredient
4 tbspOlive oil
1 lbPotatoes, your choice – washed, not peeled, thinly sliced
1Medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 clovesGarlic, thinly sliced
2-3 sprigs eachThyme, Rosemary
4Fillets – tilapia (5-6 oz)
2Thinly sliced lemons
1 cupDry white wine
4Medium tomatoes, diced
½ cupKalamata olives (or other black olives)
4 tbspChopped parsley
1Lemon – juice

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the potatoes, cover and cook until tender.
  3. Add onions, garlic, herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender – about 5 minutes.
  5. Lightly season fish with salt and pepper, place on top of potato and onion mixture and top fish with lemon slices.
  6. Increase heat to medium high, add wine and cook it until reduced by about 1/2 – no more than 2 minutes.
  7. Cover and place in oven to bake for 8 minutes.
  8. Transfer fish and vegetables to plates, saving the sauce in the pan.
  9. Place the pan on the stove at high temperature – reduce the broth 1-2 minutes.
  10. Add the tomatoes, olives, parsley and lemon juice to the pan.
  11. Cook until sauce thickens – about 10 minutes.
  12. Drizzle sauce over fish and serve.

Recipes From Our Resident Expert, Marsha Rosen, RD
Here are some heart healthy recipes provided by Marsha Rosen, RD (Registered Dietitian). Marsha is Mike Salem’s sister and in addition to offering private nutrition counselling, Marsha provides group lectures, seminars and cooking demonstrations, and is a sought-after contributor to health-related publications.

If you have nutrition question for our dietician, you can email Marsha here…

Do you have a heart healthy recipe that you would like to share? Send your recipes to info@mikeynetwork.com

  1. Limit your intake of salt and caffeine. (No more than the equivalent of four regular cups of coffee per day.)
  2. Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
  3. Have regular check-ups with your physician. Early detection is the key to a successful solution.
  4. Keep a positive attitude and wear a smile… it takes only 22 muscles to smile, but 37 to frown.
  5. Make time for leisure activities such as reading, hobbies, sports, TV etc.
  6. Invest in CPR and AED education and training, and encourage your family and friends to do the same

Stress is an inevitable part of our every day lives – from trying to manage work, to trying to find time for family and yourself. It’s important to recognize and manage it because stress can significantly raise the risk of heart disease and stroke. It could lead to the detriment of your mental health such as depression and anxiety if stress is overlooked over an extended period of time.

Stress first develops in the mind but has huge repercussions on your body. Stress can take a toll on your physical well being, damage your heart health, and over time can increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

Sometimes it’s not as simple as changing a job you dislike, change your work schedule, or avoid difficult people and situations. Here is our advice on how to better manage stress:

Get enough sleep

Getting adequate sleep is vital for mental and physical health. Fall short on rest can take a serious toll on your energy levels throughout the day, productivity, emotional balance, and your weight.

Avoid sleeping in on weekends. The more your sleep schedule alternates, the more likely you will experience jetlag-like symptoms. To make up for those late nights, opt for a nap during the day rather than sleep in to prevent your natural sleep-wake rhythm from being thrown off.

Get off your phone! Plenty of us are guilty of mindless browsing on our phones before bed. Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone is needed to help regulate sleep and wake cycles. The light emitted from all the screens of electronics suppresses melatonin production. Try listening to music or read a book instead.

Follow smart eating habits

Cut down on the alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. These disrupt your ability to get good rest and interferes with your sleep cycle when you are out of it, especially if you have any of them closer to your bedtime.

Avoid eating large meals late at night. Try scheduling your dinners earlier if you’re planning on having a large meal. Your digestive system requires a time and energy to digest food which may be pulling you back from your body on concentrating to sleep.

Exercise

Exercise during the day for optimal results. Regular exercise allows you to sleep better at night and energizes you throughout the day. Exercise speeds up your metabolism and stimulates hormones like cortisol. Morning or afternoon does not make a big difference but working out too close to bed can make sleep afterwards difficult.

It can take several months of consistent physical activity before you can get the full sleep-promoting benefits. Just walking at least 10 minutes a day is enough to improve sleep quality. If you’re not a fan of intense exercise, yoga and stretching are great alternatives to help regulate your sleep.

Have any advice on how to get the best sleep you’d like to share? Please comment down below!