Diet tracking software for the PC – Welcome FitDay again

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Question:

Marc,

I have just started listening to you podcast, very interesting. You mention software or wesites to track your diet. Is there something like Quicken but for diets that I can use to keep track of where I am going with the calories I eat?

Thank you.

Joe

Answer:

Joe, my personal favorite all-time diet tracking software is www.fitday.com It’s web based BUT they now have a PC version.

The secret here is (can’t comment on how long it will last) that you’ll want to login to your member area and look up top for the $10 link.

Fitday sells a PC version of their software and it’s super! It comes out to just under $20 at the time of this post.

Becoming a member is free anyway. I highly recommend it.

If you store your data on a USB keychain device, you can load the software anywhere and keep the data with you! Now it’s just like the web but you get all the extra features.

FitDay PC Version Review (with screenshots)


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Cardio Coach -Guided Cardio Workout

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Sean O’Malley’s cardio workout series will blow you away! If you don’t like cardio but know you need to do it, then all you need is a good coach. I dropped the volumes into my iPod (or CD player) and within 5 minutes I was actually having FUN?!

Pros:

  • Provides personal encouragement and motivation with three cardio coach volume CDs (or MP3s).

  • Sean is a professional athlete. So you know you are getting some good instructions.

  • No matter what your fitness level is, you can adjust immediately for the necessary target heart rates. Unlike some programmed workouts that have to be easy even for advanced athletes, Cardio Coach does an excellent job of keeping the workouts challenging.

Cons

  • I wish there were more of these things

Read the full review of Cardio Coach


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Everybody should own this book

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Strength Training Anatomy
Illustrated Guide to Muscles at Work

A Guide to the Best Exercises for Each Muscle Group

Are deadlifts a back or leg exercise? What are the exercises for biceps? What muscle do squats work? Are pull-ups really effective for working my back?

There is no better physical resource for the beginner then a book called

Strength Training Anatomy by Frédéric Delavier

Every single beginner should have this in reach. Not only will you see the single best exercises for a muscle group but you?ll get colorful details on each particular muscle worked along with clear, step by step instructions on how to do the movement. This is something you can take with you to the gym if you don?t have web access and want to know how you are supossed to do an exercise.

Roughly 124 pages, it?s not huge and it?s not a complex book explaining everything about bodybuilding and nutrition. In fact, this is more of a visual basic anatomy book pertaining to just muscles worked to their respective exercises.

I have never seen a better book in all my years and it?s a classic that will never be out of style unless our bodies change in some futuristic way. As a reference, it?s invaluable.

Strength Training Anatomy by Frédéric Delavier


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To tone or not to tone. That is my question.

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Question: I have heard people talk about toning and tightening their bodies, and I think thats what I need to do, but I’m not sure how?

I do alot of cardio, and as a result have lost alot of weight, unfortunately alot of that was muscle as well. I’m not that bothered to be honest, because I am aiming for the small and wiry look anyway.

I still do 3 days of weight training a week though, although thats really to try and retain my muscle rather than build up anything substantial.
basically my arms and legs are quite small, but very firm, which suits me fine.

It is my body/ trunk / torso (the main bulk of my body) that is the problem.

From losing alot of weight I have alot of loose skin, pretty much my entire front.

I really want to tighten this up.

Answer: There’s no toning exercises or routines. You basically build muscle and then lose the fat surrounding it to show it off. Your question really needs to be… how to I lose this fat around my muscles so that I can show it off.


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Which training program should you choose?

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QUESTION:

I just recently purchased your e-book “The Beginner?s Guide to Fitness and Bodybuilding” a couple of weeks ago and finished reading the whole book in under two hours. Never before have I read a book that takes you step-by-step through the whole bodybuilding process ? you answered every question that I possibly could have had on how to get started with bodybuilding, thank you.

When choosing a training program, which of the two programs would you recommend to a beginner?

1. The “Muscle Nerd?s” Optimum Anabolic Program or
2. MAX-OT

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Ron

ANSWER:

First off, thanks for the compliments Ron. You must be a speed reader to go thru 250 pages in 2 hours. :-) But I didn’t answer one question and that’s what program do I recommend as a beginner.

Neither.

Let me explain what I mean.

Max-OT was written by AST (a supplement company) and it was the first program I successfully used that was very hard, very easy to follow and kept me from overtraining. I spent less time in the gym and made more gains in a month then I ever did in years. I have no regrets about doing that program and it gets 5 stars from me.

Optimum Anabolics was a program that I tried successfully for 2 cycles and while on it, I gained 11 lbs of muscle.
Using the nutrition I outlined in my book and this particular training program, I made gains that I didn’t think were possible. It gets 5 stars from me as well.

But both of these program were very advanced and I would not recommend them to a beginner who was just starting out.

There’s two reasons for that:

1) No beginner truly knows at that stage their limitations and what heavy really means. It takes about 6 months for the mind to muscle connection to be established to the point where you really can feel what’s going on. Where you know your body’s limits and how far you can push yourself.
No beginner can give 100% as they are a beginner and just starting out. It’s a mistake to push yourself too hard and risk injury in such an early stage.

2) It’s not safe to start out, and right out of the gate do a program that is going to require you to be an advanced athlete from the get go. Your nutrition might be set in your mind but it’s going to take at least 30 days for you to put it into action and to feel the full effects.

Just think about it: You need to do this right and you need to start off slow and correctly so that when you do these programs you can take full advantage of them and get optimal results.

I could go on and on…

So what do I recommend?

For a beginner you’ll find a couple of programs in the Beginner’s Guide that you can do right away. Once you have mastered those, then it is time to move on.

When you understand your body and it’s limitations, then you can look into Max-OT or Optimum Anabolics.

My strong hunch is..

You’ll end up doing both. Because as you should have learned by now, variety is the key. There’s no golden program. Max-OT isn’t better then… Optimum Anabolics is not the last program you’ll ever do.

My point is:

I don’t recommend either program for a beginner. I would highly recommend them for an intermediate or advanced athlete. After about 6 months and when your nutrition is peaked, then look at these programs. In fact do both. The results will be amazing! I did them both and I wouldn’t trade the experience.

Basic Training Program

Advanced Training Program


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Can drinking diet sodas make you gain weight or lose muscle?

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Can drinking a diet soda make you gain weight or lose muscle even if you are drinking plenty of water? This is a pretty simple answer.

If the soda gives you more calories then you need:

Yes

If the soda doesn’t:

No (diet sodas are less to 0 calories)

Regardless, you don’t want to flood your body with sugar or sugar substitutes. Limit your intake. Keep yourself hydrated. And drinking sodas won’t make you lose muscle.

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How to get six pack abs

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In addition to this audio blog, I found this article by Tom Venuto to be right on target.

Enjoy!
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Abdominal Fat: What is the best way to lose it? by Tom Venuto

If I hear this question one more time, I’m gonna scream!
Ok, let me clear this up once and for all: You can’t “spot
reduce” fat from one specific part of your body! You lose
fat systemically. That means you can’t control where it
comes from. When fat is oxidized for energy, you will draw
it from all areas of the body, and the first place you tend
to put it on will be the last place it comes off.

Everyone has certain “stubborn” areas where the fat seems
“hard to get rid of” but the fat WILL go, it will just be
the last place to go.

The best way to burn fat off your abs is not to do more ab
work, but to do more cardiovascular work: Bike,
Stairmaster, treadmill, elliptical machine or rower -
they’re all great fat burners. Work at about 70-85% of your
age-predicted maximal heart rate (220-your age) and
maintain it for 30-45 minutes 5-6 days a week for optimal
results.

Train your abs about twice a week, just as you would any
other body part. Doing your abs every day will do almost
nothing to remove the layer of fat covering the muscles. In
fact, it?s possible to have a great set of abs that you
can’t even see because they are covered up with a layer of
fat!

And don’t forget, nutrition is half the battle when it
comes to fat loss! If you’re drinking beer and eating pizza
on a regular basis, it doesn’t matter what you do in the
gym, you’ll probably never get a great set of abs.

Tom’s formula for ripped abs:
Nutrition: 50%
Cardio: 49%
Ab exercises: 1%

About the Author:

Tom is a lifetime natural bodybuilder and has won numerous
competitions including three state and three regional
titles, and runner-up at the Natural Mr. USA and Natural
North America.

Tom Venuto’s e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, is
rated by Clickbank.com as the #1 fitness e-book and the #1
diet e-book on the Internet ,with users in 107 countries.

For information on Tom’s “Burn The Fat” e-book, click here:

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle


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A Review of Critical Bench, the Customized Bench Program

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As much as I enjoyed Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto, I enjoyed this 31 page e-book by Mike Westerdal called Critical Bench, the customized bench press program. Reading it was a breeze as nearly 10 of the pages are an actual week by week customized program. Once you tell the service at Critical Bench your previous benching experience (how much you’ve done and how many reps) they were able to figure out my theoretical maximum and design a program that would have me increase my pressing by as much as 50 lbs.

Listen to the review and where to find a huge review of this program.

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Tracking your pogress in three easy steps

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If you’ve listened to any of my podcasts before, then you know that if you aren’t tracking your diet, you are wasting your time. And frankly that’s a big part of the game. But progress isn’t just about your diet. It’s a little more.

Your progress should be tracked by:

  • Nutrition
  • Training
  • Measurements

Tracking Your Nutrition:

You already should know that diet tracking doesn’t get any simplier then going to FitDay.com and entering your foods. You’ll get nice looking graphs and calorie counts for a quick diagnose of how close you are to a particular goal.

Track Your Training:

Head on over to Bodybuildingjournal.com and sign up. It’s a free resource. You can track your training and measurements in one simple place. You really don’t know if you are making progress workout to workout if you aren’t writing it down. This service gives you an easy way to graphically see how you are doing on a daily and weekly basis.

Track Your Measurements:

Don’t bother with one of those fat scales. They are inaccurate and there’s too many variables that can cause invalid read-outs. Simply grab a fabric tape measure or a cheap myo-tape at Bodybuilding.com and take some simple measurements in key areas. You can also pick up a fat caliper too and do a nice, one spot pinch test in the privacy of your own home. Visually inspecting via the mirror or weekly photos is recommended. Do these type of measurements on a weekly basis. There’s a lot of daily things that can cause different readings. So take them weekly using the same scale, same day and roughly the same time of day.

Progress tracking isn’t just about diet. It’s about nutrition, training and the way you look.

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Losing weight is simple but not easy

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If you follow the fat diets, supplement companies and tv ads, you’d get a lot of conflicting information on how to lose weight, gain weight or simply maintain. But really, minus any medical conditions, here’s the three basic principles that you will ultimately follow to reach a goal.

1. If you burn more calories in a day than you consume, overtime you will lose weight.

2. If you consume more calories than you burn, overtime you will gain weight.

3. And if you consume exactly the same number of calories as you burn, you?ll maintain your current weight.

It’s simple but not easy. Doing this on a daily basis is not that easy. Tracking your diet is simple but it requires action and dedication.

Regardless, these three principles must be followed in order for you to reach a goal. It’s simple and it’s foundational knowledge you must have in order to succeed.


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