Tag Archives: power

Healthy Strawberry Smoothie

It’s easy to get sucked into unhealthy breakfast foods–they’re practically everywhere. Too much unnatural sugar here, too much hydrogenated fat there, and so on and so forth. Here at Hungry & Fit, we try to provide you with healthy and enjoyable recipes. This one especially takes no time at all–in fact, just one minute of your time. I think you may be able to swing that. We present to you a Healthy Strawberry Smoothie–nice and refreshing for the summer and doesn’t hurt the waistline either! This new research from a Cornell Food & Brand Lab research team found that of the 147 participants who do not struggle with weight problems, 51% consume fruits and vegetables for breakfast. We partnered with Wyman’s to build you a better breakfast. It’s pure, unadulterated frozen fruit, ready for the smoothie of your choice. 

DSC_0103 Continue reading

What Do Female Athletes Look Like?

This was inspired by observing high school female athletes. Being in your teens as a female comes with a ridiculous amount of self-esteem issues, self-judging, and self-criticism. Media doesn’t help this (but at least it’s getting semi-better) so girls think they all have to be that cookie-cutter shape–those “thigh gaps,” an unhealthy body fat percentage, and no muscle. I saw one girl, probably going home from sports practice, look at a car mirror to find her reflection. I can online imagine what was going through her mind when she looked at her thick thighs. And I want to say, GUESS WHAT GIRLS–you are athletes. And athletes aren’t “Angels” (see below). Your bodies have a purpose.

Continue reading

The Mecca – Gold’s Venice – Not Just a Bodybuilding Gym?

While the fitness industry is growing at an incredible rate, there has been an unfortunate amount of negative energy between different communities. In the past, athletes got along really well and were considered a clique (in high school, college, etc.) but now people can’t even agree over who is an athlete and what is a sport. Different kinds of athletes (Olympic/sport, martial arts, strongman, powerlifting, endurance, CrossFit, etc.) have all become increasingly hostile and instead of supporting other groups, they put others down in order to lift themselves higher. Since there is no clear competitive comparison of any of the different communities, it all comes down to subjectivity and trash talking. It’s a shame since everyone working towards a healthier lifestyle should continue to motivate one another. While I won’t get into anything in-depth about the can of worms I just opened, I will get back to the topic at hand. Let’s talk about (arguably) the most famous gym in the world.

Gold’s Gym – The MECCA of Bodybuilding – Venice Beach, CA – Since 1965

photo (81)

These are various pictures of me wearing Gold’s apparel…the gym’s in the background are NOT of Gold’s

Ever seen Pumping Iron starring Arnold and Lou Ferrigno? A lot of that footage was shot at Gold’s and Muscle Beach. (Lou was in NYC) Watch Mike O’Hearn‘s YouTube videos? Mostly at Gold’s yet again. Pictures from your favorite bodybuilders on Instagram? Venice! The Mecca has always been the place to be for bodybuilding and it has become even more popular than it was when Pumping Iron came out, despite the rise in competition. (I’ve been to a lot of good gyms across the world and I am sure you have too!) There is no question that the weather, members, posters on the wall, and equipment scream “come here to be a pro bodybuilder” but let me approach this with a different angle. Is Gold’s not just a bodybuilding gym? 

When we moved (back) to L.A. (Santa Monica) recently, I told myself I need to join a new gym because I cancelled my YMCA and 24 Hour Fitness memberships. That gym needed to be 1) open late, 2) have amazing equipment, and 3) be able to motivate me in some way. Well, Gold’s was open until midnight, had dumbbells up to 200 lbs, and was full of extremely hard-working and passionate people. Whether they were big or small, strong or weak, natural or not, these people were giving it their all and I love that drive, since I DO NOT HAVE IT. But we all know one thing… I am NOT a bodybuilder! So the final question was, is this gym good for someone like myself? Someone who does not have any concrete goals but just works out because he/she enjoys it. Someone who has participated in sports and martial arts their whole life, using concepts and exercises from every community to become the best athlete possible. And that is precisely why I ended up a member at Gold’s. Because of the following that make it NOT JUST a bodybuilding gym.

photo (80)

(The following is a random list of things that I love at Gold’s, that a bodybuilding gym does not NEED, but this one has them anyway!)

1. Jacobs Ladder – Not one, but two! These are amazing machines and some of the only cardio equipment that I use. Jack up the speed to work on your eye-hand-foot coordination. It helps you maintain relative strength while you build absolute strength.

2. Plyo-Boxes – One that is actually tall. 48” and A TON of them. Different models with one that is just insanely tall. This is one gym where I don’t have to stack boxes on top of each other dangerously to get those high box jumps.

3. Sleds – Multiple sleds in their outdoor workout area. With a countless number of plates to load onto them. Amazing way to build explosive speed and strength in your lower body, while elevating that heart rate. 

4. Endless Rope Machine – There are very few gyms in the world where I have seen one of these. It helps you get a full upper body workout, while working on rope climbing turnover technique, grip strength, and elevating your heart rate. And it’s fun!

5. 200 lb dumbbells – And everything in between. If you are a strongman or powerlifter, heavier weights are necessary for your workouts. You can’t do singles, doubles, and triples with 100 lb dumbbells if you want to make it to the top of the mountain!

6. Cambered Squat Bar – I’m impressed when gyms have 100 olympic barbells. Even more so when they have multiple model hex bars. But when you throw a rackable cambered squat bar into the mix, that makes my day. I love the little things!

7. Olympic Platform – It’s often locked up, but it’s a full Olympic platform with bumper plates, chalk, and no mirror! Olympic lifts are not recommended for bodybuilding so for them to have this platform means this gym is for other athletes too!

8. Kettlebells – Oh, we’re not talking about 12 lb ones. They have 40 kg kettlebells… matching! So you can do your front squats, snatches, and walking lunges with a heavier load! They’re outside too so you can throw up in peace!

9. Punching Bag – Or full body striking bags. Heavy ones. That hang. And 4 of them, at least. These aren’t cheap bags either. Don’t tell anyone but I was testing these out the other night and they took a good beating from my legs.

10. A huge dirty wall – That’s right! A huge dirty wall in back. That way you can do wall assisted handstand push ups without having to take your shoes off, or getting yelled at for taking your shoes off, or getting yelled at for putting your shoes on the wall, etc. You can also do flips off the wall, or use the wall for assisted pullups, etc!

As you can tell, I can go on forever. But I will stop here and tell ALL ATHLETES that visit Los Angeles to stop by Gold’s Venice for a day and get a workout in not just for the equipment but more for the culture. It’s an experience you won’t forget. Plus, you might get to see some real monsters there.

photo (79)

Disclaimer: Chris KING Tucci and Hungry & Fit LLC have NO AFFILIATION, personal, or professional relationship with Gold’s Gym Venice, Gold’s Gym, or any of its employees. This was written because I wanted to write it to get a few points across. As always, stay hungry & fit.

Weekly Workout Round-Up and Plan

We’ve come to a beginning of another week now and let’s see where we are at! Here is the post with our workout plan from last week…let’s see how we match up. This is what actually happened:

Hungry

Chowing down on a Reuben from the Sink!

Chowing down on a Reuben from the Sink!

 

  • Monday: back workout at lunch
  • Tuesday: leg workout and short IM swim
  • Wednesday: arms workout focusing on isolation
  • Thursday: shoulder workout
  • Friday: chest workout and very easy pick-up basketball
  • Saturday: very slow back workout
  • Sunday: rest day?

Fit

My life living with Chris

My life living with Chris

 

  • Monday: slightly less than 2 mile run outside and a BEASTLY leg workout (found and modified from here, you will see this in a post form soon)
  • Tuesday: just about 2 mile run outside and a home arms and shoulders workout
  • Wednesday: morning 30 minute swim and afternoon core and back workout
  • Thursday: Ashley Conrad circuit training
  • Friday: long evening walk
  • Saturday: frisbee golf and then late chest and swim workout
  • Sunday: Rest dayyyy aka plate full of cookies!

So there’s our match-up…I think we did pretty well sticking with the plan. Much better than it could’ve been! It’s so easy to divert from the plan due to life and such. Here is our plan for this week:

Hungry:

Scared

Scared

 

  • Monday: 15 minute leg cardio, 45 minute leg workout
  • Tuesday: 10 minute arm cycle, 50 minute arm workout
  • Wednesday: 60 minute shoulder workout, 15 minute swim and sauna
  • Thursday: 60 minute chest workout, 15 minute swim and sauna
  • Friday: 60 minute back workout, 60 minute easy pickup basketball
  • Saturday: 40 minute core workout, 40 minute machine cardio
  • Sunday: 30 minute leg cardio, 60 minute leg workout

Fit

I swear I don't know any gang signs, no clue why my hand did that

I swear I don’t know any gang signs, no clue why my hand did that

 

  • Monday: Legs and Elliptical
  • Tuesday: Arms/Shoulders and Swim
  • Wednesday: Core/Back and Run
  • Thursday: Chest and Swim
  • Friday: Ping Pong and Circuit training OR Run AND/OR Yoga
  • Saturday: Frisbee golf and Rest or Total body
  • Sunday: Legs and Elliptical

It’s extremely helpful to plan your workouts each week because it leaves much less room for excuses and gives you a schedule. We try to stick to ours as best we can. Plan your workouts to stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the Day: What is your workout plan for the week? Post it here!

 BONUS KITTY PIC

Someone was a bad boy...

Someone was a bad boy…

Workout Smart: Speed vs. Contraction and Form

Working as a trainer in a gym, I see all kinds of people working out. Some are experts, some are beginners, and some are just plain doing it wrong. I never like to judge: people workout and train for all kinds of purposes and goals, which means they workout differently. However, there are still ways you can workout the wrong way, despite training differently for various goals. It’s not just annoying to see this, it worries me. Working out the improper way doesn’t just make you look silly, but you could seriously hurt yourself too.

This is where the topic of today comes in: speed versus contraction and proper form. Some guys and girls, usually teenage boys (but sometimes 60+ men which is the most worrisome), will try to do reps of exercises–whether it be curls, rows, pull-downs, you name it–as fast as they can. I’m not sure if it’s because they can’t properly handle the weight so they try to get it done as fast as possible or they are trying to show off their abilities. They are wrong in both reasonings. They might even think that doing it as fast as possible is the right way to do it–WRONG. 

Proper form

Proper form

Don’t get me wrong, I will give an exception where fast training is okay. Plyometrics. Athletes. Competition trainees. These are the few exceptions. Athletes need to use plyometrics (training muscles to exert maximum force in the smallest amount of time possible with the most power possible) to get better at their sport. They improve their speed and power this way. You will see athletes doing plyometric jumps or lifts as well as other agility drills. This is okay! People who are training for certain competitions also need to do power-lifting, in which you will see a lot of jerks and snaps for getting their weight up. This is also okay!

I’m talking about the people who aren’t training for competitions, but just working out to achieve certain goals. The average gym-goer. Form is my #1 priority with my clients and they know it! They learn so well that they are able to point out others’ bad form in the gym while we are training. And because I love good form so much, I hate bad form even more. Attention weight lifters: you do not look cooler, sexier, or fitter when you yank that bar down so fast you pull a muscle.

Us in the weight room

Us in the weight room

Weight-lifting is all about control. Control is power. It’s not even all about not injuring yourself (although working out in jerky, fast motions without proper muscle control is a quick road to injury), it’s about maximizing gains and muscle strength. We could get very detailed about how fast repetitions should be based on what you’re looking for (muscle endurance, hypertrophy, strength, power, etc.), but that’s for another post.

Let’s just go to the basics. You will “feel” the reps more when you slow down. You will feel your muscle working, breaking down, and getting stronger. If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself. Try a set of bicycles (lay on your back, knees up, elbow to opposite knee, repeat). Do 30 seconds of it fast, and then try 30 seconds slow. I’ll bet your abs will feel it a lot more when you go slower. I always have my clients slow down, for example, doing rear delt flyes, even on machines like leg extension, you will get such a better workout if you just slow down. 

Just think about it. When you slow down, and thus get the full repetition, you are allowing your muscle to go all the way through the motions, feeling it at each range of motion. Also, another quick note: don’t skimp out on the “negative” motion of a muscle action (aka the release, the elongation, the extensionof a biceps curl, not the actual curl). Many are tempted to quickly let go of the muscle tension and let it “fall down” to the starting place rather than controlling it. Again, we control it, we gain strength, we show power. If we cut it short, then we don’t get to strengthen the muscle at the most important part: the elongation of the muscle where it feels it the most.

Gunz from lifting with CONTROL

Gunz from lifting with CONTROL (haha jokes)

Next time you hit the weights or the machines, remember about good form and slowing down. Don’t hunch, keep your shoulders back, and your heart strong. Use these tips to stay hungry and fit! Cheers!

You may also like…

BONUS KITTY PIC 

Sajah hiding

Sajah hiding

Strong is the New Skinny

hope you’ve been seeing this around. Within the recent decade, gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs have been booming. And along the last couple of years, females have been admired for getting buff. Especially this and last year, as I’ve noticed, there are tons of phrases coming out like “Strong is the new skinny” and I am 100% on board with that. For too long, women have been shuffled into a space where they are expected to look a certain way.

Hello, earth to people–everyone’s body behaves, evolves, and trains differently. That’s it. Check out this post to learn more about fitness definitions like “mesomorph” that describe different body types. Now, I’m not saying, go and eat 5 cheeseburgers because it’s okay to be fat. No, it’s not okay to be overweight for your body type–not because of how you look, but because of the health inside of you and the problems it can create. No, I’m saying, that it’s okay to have more than 15% body fat, that skinny is out, and strong is in.

Abby Wambach, the “gladiator” of the US Women’s National Soccer Team

Once you begin strength training and really building yourself with endurance, strength, and agility, you find power. Think of our Olympians–they’re sexy because they’re strong. And guess what–it is HEALTHIER to be strong. Often times, it can be unhealthy to be skinny. It’s a whole new level of empowerment. I ask you to stop shying away from your broad shoulders like I once did and embrace them. They give you great power for swimming, back workouts, and overall strength. They help you become a better athlete.

Me during a pull workout a few months ago

Me during a pull workout a few months ago

Some people call me skinny and I stop them. I don’t have a lot of body fat, but I do have a good amount of muscle. I am strong, not skinny. I almost take insult to being called skinny now when I would’ve loved that compliment five years. Times have changed and perspectives are almost coming around to where they should be. I am lucky enough to have someone like Chris who admires me for my strength, which all should do of their partners instead of desiring unrealistic and unhealthy figures. I apologize for the rant, but I’m sick of people starving themselves to get a certain look. Feed your body and put it through work. Love yourself, love your body, and love the power that strength can give you.

Treat your body with respect and kindness. STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY 

Work Those Push Muscles: Chest and Triceps Workout

So there are some workout match-ups that tend to be our favorites. One of those favorites is the sweet chest and triceps pair. It’s a great combination and leaves you exhausted afterwards (my arms are very upset with me now that I am typing). So Alana, you’re probably saying, why is it a good combination? Lemme spit some reasons at ya (not literally, come on).

Triceps brachii, large arm model - Muscles of ...

Triceps brachii

1. Convenience: being able to do your chest and triceps at once can really open your workout schedule. This is especially for the people who tend to try to workout every day or every other day. It gives you a few days to work on other muscle groups without worrying about overworking those muscles. Because ultimately, that will lead to injury. And that’s a no-no.

2. Effective: you’re going to get a much better chest and triceps workout if you work them together. If you’re doing it properly, every chest exercise you do will work your triceps a bit and every triceps exercise will work your chest. That’s just how our body works.

3. Power: it makes you feel huge. Think about the strength, effort, and power that goes into benching.

Anyhow, there’s a few reasons for you. Now let’s get to our actual workout. We have a few pictures for you of yours truly.

1. We started out with a super-set (one exercise after the other, no rest) of push-ups and triangle push-ups, working our chest in the first and triceps in the latter. You don’t need any equipment for this, so no excuses! Go until failure.

2. Our next super-set was incline chest press and incline pec fly. This really requires good strength and power (especially chest press). Unforunately, no pictures of us doing this. For chest press, you sit on the inclined bench, and push your arms straight up.

For pec fly, get in the same seated position. But start your arms out, like you’re going to give a tree a hug, and bring inwards (you tree-hugger!).

3. For this we didn’t do a super-set, because we wanted to spot each other for bench press. Personally, I’ve lost a lot of my strength, and can’t bench nearly what I used to (you’ll see low weight in the picture, the bar = 45 lbs). It’s just good to be there and spot for each other to get the weight up and getting help getting it down. We did decline bench press. Go for a good weight and, as usual, go til failure.

4. For our last super-set we combined triceps cable press and double-hand triceps extension. This really killed our triceps (in a good way!). For anyone uncomfortable with triceps exercises, I find that the cable press is an easy pathway to get comfy with working those triceps. You position yourself with the feet shoulder-width apart, facing the cable, and press down the steel triangle or horse rope down and bring your arms back to 90 degrees.

For triceps extension, grab a good weight and place behind your head and do vertical raises.

5. And lastly, to end our muscle workout, we did a cable cross-press. This will get a good pinching burn in your chest and triceps. We juiced out the rest of our strength through these. Always go to the end of your workout. Never stop pushing. Unless you feel sharp pains, THEN STOP. Stand away from the cables, grab each cable in each hand and cross over your hands.

For this entire workout, we did four sets of everything and pushed to failure. It could range from 8 to 100, it’s up to your body and your strength. We ended it with some excellent twenty-minute bouldering where Chris finished a new route that had been challenging him for weeks!

Please let us know if you have any questions! Cheers!

Work your Glutes Gracefully — the Plié Squat

We all want to better up our buttocks–whether it be to look nice or to gain a good amount of muscle and strength. Either way, you need a path to get there. And now I give you…the Plié Squat (with turns)! It’s good for anyone wanting to build quad and glutes muscle or simply tone. Trust me, it’s a toughie (I’m still feeling the remnants of muscle fiber tears, three days later).

Gluteus maximus muscle * compressed with pngcrush

Your Very Own Gluteus Maximus

Just because it sounds fruity and fluffy, doesn’t mean it won’t kick your glutes into gear. And this is not just a exercise for girls, it helps build great muscle which is where a lot of your leg strength comes from. And, anyways, anyone who knows me, knows that I hate gender restrictions and suggestions. Do what you do and do it for you. Usually, it’s just a Plié squat, pure and simple. However, I like add two lunge turns to one rep (inspired by Women’s Health) to really get the heat burning in my quads and glutes. Want some power? Get ready for a Plié!

The Plié Squat (with lunge turns)

  1. You can choose to do this with or without weights (I typically like using a barbell with weight because it’s easy to control)
  2. Attention! Begin in a wide stance, with your toes pointing away from your body (like horse stance, nice wide stance, but remember that toes point outward!). You will look like you are about to do a very wide-stance Plié.
  3. Squat down as low as you can without compromising your form (back should be straight, knees in line with toes, and neck straight). Make sure your knees do not fall inward. 
  4. Turn to your left from the squat position, creating a lunge to your left side
  5. Return to squat
  6. From squat position, turn to your right for a lunge to your right side
  7. Return to starting standing position
  8. Looks below for a picture instruction of these steps

That’s one rep. So I hope that you’re starting to see that maybe this isn’t as easy as the name makes it out to be. I usually go for 12 reps (painfully groaning my way there) and 3-4 sets of those reps. You will definitely feel your legs crying of fatigue after this and most certainly feel those muscle fiber tears the next day (and the day after that…aaand the day after that).

Tell me how this went for you!  And as always, if you want free consultation or workout plan, feel free to email me at alana.ppowell@gmail.com

Cheers!