The Stand & Walk Challenge: 03rd Jan-23rd Jan 2022

Hi Guys, I am back with details of the next challenge. I have decided to call it the 21-Day ‘Stand & Walk’ challenge. 

By the way, if you did not take part in the last challenge, this No-Sugar guide will give you the complete highlights of the 21 No-Sugar Challenge that was conducted in our Fabulous Body Facebook Group a few weeks back!

The Rationale Behind The 21-Day ‘Stand & Walk’ Challenge

Most of us are chronic sitters. We sit for almost 8-10 hours daily. 

Our bodies were meant to move; movement is in our DNA. 

However, our health suffers due to technological advancements, as most of us are glued to our computers in a hunched-over position!

A study labeled chronic sitting as the new smoking. I wrote an article with the same title more than a decade back. 

Yes, I have been educating people about the detrimental effects of sitting on our bodies.  

Besides sitting, we also lead an overall sedentary lifestyle. Another study concluded that the average step count for most people is around 2500 steps, significantly less. 

The ‘Stand & Walk’ challenge has a two-fold aim: 

First, it’ll help you inculcate walking as a habit in your daily routine. 

For this, you would be required to buy a fitness band if you don’t own one. 

Phone app won’t do as we don’t carry our phones everywhere, plus they underestimate our steps.

There are many cheap options on Amazon that you can check out. 

Another study concluded that your step count increases by 27% if you own a fitness band. I can surely vouch for this as I have owned one for more than ten years. 

The second aim of this challenge is to teach & educate on how you can alternate between sitting and standing. Ideally, build a habit of not sitting for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. 

If you want to participate in this challenge, send us an invite to join our Facebook Group

It’s Free to Join, and so is the Stand & Walk Challenge:

Hope to see you on the inside:)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYOejogsbo_/

Is it bad to squat everyday with a barbell on my back with weights?

Hey,

Thank you for your question.

Squatting is a natural movement a child does unconsciously. I have a 2 year old son, and he does a perfect squat every time:)

I am from Haryana, India, where villagers there sit in a low squat position my dad calls “Ukudu” meaning a low squat. When females clean the house with a broom, they do a low squat as well.

My friend’s wife recently had a baby girl with a natural birth. He made sure she performed hundreds of free squats daily.

Further, a quote by Giulia Enders in her book “Charming Bowels” which sold a million copies quotes:

” Over 1.2 billion people who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulitis and fewer problems with piles,”

Thats the power of free squatting.

Some studies on barbell squats:

studydiscusses whether the depth of squat has any effect on knee health or even lower back health, and results were clear that there was no effect.

In another study, 27 male powerlifters and 28 males weightlifters were analysed and no effect of squat trading on knee stability was demonstrated.

Next comes the frequency: How many times can you effectively squat in a week?

Well, this depends on your goals, nutrition status, genetics, how much sleep you are taking etc.

Ideally squatting 2-3 times a week is more than sufficient provided that overall your workout volume is low (squat being a compound exercise challenges your lower back).

I do squat few months a year, but since my structure is more suited to parallel grip deadliftsI prefer the latter.

Should skinny people aspire to gain weight, do aerobic exercise regularly?

Hey,

A lot has to do with your nutrition and how much rest you are taking overall.

When you are trying to gain weight, you need to progressively overload which allows you to build more muscle mass.

Ideally, I recommend lifting weights 3 times a week. Here’s why.

In order for progressive load to happen, you need to fully recover before you go for your next training session.

Now, I feel working out 3 times a week (which equates to roughly 3 hours) is not enough and one needs to stay active overall.

You have two options in this case:

Walk

(and/or)

Cardio

I personally walk a lot and clock more than 50,000 steps a week. I feel this is the best form of aerobic training for 2 reasons:

1-You can easily think clearly and use this time to plan your day, set your goals etc, and at the same time get aerobic benefit. You can power walk if you wish to. Steve reeves (my role model) was a firm believer in power walking.

Steve Reeves—Power walking with a pair of light dumbbells.

2-Walking won’t interfere with your recovery, especially your nervous system. You see when you lift weights, you are not only training your muscular system but also your nervous system which takes a longer time to recover.

But if you love (this is the key word), doing cardio—like going for a jog, or do it on your favourite recumbent bike, by all means go ahead.

But limit it to 2–3 sessions for a total of no more than 90 minutes. This however depends on how good is your nutrition, how much sleep you taking everyday, genetics, and most importantly whether you are progressing in the gym or not.

Hope this helps.

What should I think about while doing a workout in the gym?

Hi,

Here’s what goes on in my mind:

Since, I only workout 2 to 3 times in a week, that’s like 2 hours in the whole week (not even 1% of your time), so might as well make it count.

For me, going for a workout its like going to war for me. I need to prepare myself mentally, and I start shutting from the outside world usually an hour prior. Its very tough to gym, especially during peak timings, fortunately my work allows me to workout in the afternoons when no one is around:)

So I am focussed. I have a training dairy that I have been maintaining since 2 years which has detailed records about my weight, reps, total volume etc. Since, my overall goal is to gain lean muscle, I know I need to progressively overload my previous weight. I need to make sure to make every set, every rep count. You build muscles quickly when you can concentrate fully on the muscles being worked as you start to develop superior line of communication between the brain and muscle.

Few more tips:
-Don’t use your phone, except for stop watch
-Don’t watch TV
Yes, you can listen to music only if it appeals to you, boring music can really put your mood down, idea is to excite yourself and get into the ‘zone’ so that you can give your best.

Don’t try and impress the opposite sex by lifting more than you can. Seriously stay away from ego lifting!
Of course this is the ideal case scenario, and one needs lot of mental strength to have consistent workouts like that, but my aim has always been to progress not perfect:)

The saying “Every day is arm day”, does it actually work? Do you build muscle faster like that?

Hey,

Almost 75% of your musculature is located in your lower body and your back.

Rest is present in your shoulders and chest.

And finally, your arm muscle (which comprises of no more than 5% of total musculature; honestly I don’t know the exact % but it not be more than 5%)

So ask yourself this question:

If I do barbell curls, or concentration curls everyday, will I build muscle faster?

I am sure you know the answer by now.

If you want to build muscle overall, then you need to train the biggest muscles in your body in the following priority:

Legs: Squatsand Deadlifts

Back: Deadlifts, Pullups, Lat pulldown

Shoulders and Chest: Military press, bench press

Arms: barbell curls, triceps pushdown

Give priority to the muscle groups as given above and thats the fastest way I know how to build muscle.

You can download 15+ Free FBX workouts that will help you build muscle in the most effective manner.

How do trap bar deadlifts compare to conventional deadlifts?

Hey,

There are many benefits of using a trap/shrug bar over conventional deadlifts:

-The center of gravity of the resistance is in close alignment with the center of gravity of the lifter when using a trap bar. This enables the lifter to remain more upright and takes stress off the lower back, making trap bar deadlift a quad dominant movement as opposed to a hip dominant one.

-Your shins are spared using a trap bar.

-Trap bar deadlift works more musculature than its conventional counterpart, as there is more knee flexion, which then results in more muscle growth over time

You can read the full articlehere.

I can’t do pull-ups. I am working on it. However, I want to know if there are any alternative exercises to pull-ups?

Hey,

back training

Pull-ups works your latissimus dorsi. Infact its one of the best exercise to train your back!

I can perform 15 pull-ups at a time, and also use a weighed belt.

However, I was not strong many years back. Just like many gym goers, I wasn’t able to do even a single pull-up!

There are two alternative’s to pull-ups until you get strong enough to pull your own body weight:

1. Lat pulldown Machine

girl lat pulldown

2. Assisted Pull-up Machine

assisted-pull-up-strength-machines-02-fiss431

3. Band Assisted Pull-ups (in case you don’t have the assisted machine in your gym)

rubberband_pull_up


Hope this helps:)

Can you list some of the main benefits of doing Planks? Also ​can you provide a Plank Workout Routine which I can do after my workouts?

Hey,

-Plank exercises helps your build a stronger core.

-It can help you with your posture

-It is a great complementary exercise along with other flexion and extension movements

-Its super-safe as it requires no extension/flexion so it doesn’t put any stress on your lower back

-You need any equipment to perform plank

Its mandatory to ensure good form.

The alignment of plank is of prime importance.

For example, in the pic below notice the alignment.

Most people distort their neck position which disrupts the entire balance.

There are many plank variations one can do.

Beginners can start with a Knee Plank and then move unto a standard plank and then onto advanced versions of plank like

Plank Walks

Plank Ups & Down

Bird-Dog Plank

In the video below, I have given 11 Plank variations that will challenge your core like anything.

I highly recommend to do your Plank exercises on off days or After your workouts, as they tire the core easily.

You don’t want to squat with a tired core do you?

Enjoy the video and let me know if you have any comments.

Skinny Fat Weight Training Routine

Here is a sample Skinny Fat Weight Training Workout from my best selling program LEAN [Phase 2]:

This is Workout [A] which is a combination of Shoulder + Legs.

whereas Workout [B] is a combination of Chest + Back + Arms:

These workouts comes every 4-5th day. The total volume for each major muscle group comes to around 9 sets/week whereas for smaller muscle group it is 6.

The rep range is between [5-7] whereas I recommend a longer rest interaval of 2-3 minutes which allows one to regain their full strength before they get on with their next set.

The main idea is to progressively overload with weights.

I have explained in detail the science behind why I have designed these FBX-LEAN workouts and the ‘Why’ behind it. So if you are a nerd like me, you will enjoy the program.

Read about the program in more detail:

LEAN-The Ultimate Skinny Fat Solution

Tabata Workouts at Beach

Full Body Advanced Tabata Workout

I am at Mao Khao beach in Thailand.

Beautiful setting, less crowd, besides creating an ADVANCED TABATA Workout for you,

I optimized my Vitamin D levels….

Got tons of electrons….. (a concept called grounding…which I will discuss sometime in future and why it is super-important for your health…see I am not just about losing fat or building muscle…haha..you know that already??)

and replenished my electrolytes & minerals from my favorite food in the world: Coconuts

If you are at a beginner (or even an intermediate) level, don’t try this workout, as it’s high impact. 

Lets burn some serious calories and save time….

Enjoy the video:)

Akash