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Your Training 18 The Goal Crusher

Paige Hathaway went from skinny and shapeless to a strong social media icon through sheer determination and the beauty of iron.

Boot Camp Rebooted! Tony Horton’s exclusive plan for Oxygen


One-on-One Let Oxygen be your personal trainer.


Fitness News The latest scoop.


Turn Up the Burn! End your workout with a fat-blasting, Tabata-style finisher.


Bust Plateaus With Powerhouse Pyramids

Shake It Up! Tasty raspberry protein smoothie

44 Your Health 38

Health News News you can use.


Mind & Body News Flex your gratitude muscles.


Head First Female athletes are concussing at higher rates than men but get less attention than their male peers. What’s going on and what should you know about concussions?

Build your best body with one (or both) of these triedand-true training protocols.

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Recruit More Muscle! Tony Horton, creator of 22 Minute Hard Corps, has designed an exclusive workout for Oxygen that’s tough, effective and fast.

In Every Issue


Advisory Board


In the Moment


Editor’s Letter


Fit Gear




Nutrition & Fat Loss 35 Nutrition News

We feed your need to know what to eat.


Fat Loss News The latest research on getting lean.


Shake Up Your Day Pucker up with Oxygen’s raspberry lemonade protein smoothie.


Smart Snacking These great salmon snacks will satisfy your need for good taste and musclebuilding protein.

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Like to Bike? Get your workout on two wheels.

26 6


Ho-hum chicken breasts get a makeover with simple ingredients that get your postworkout fuel on the table in half an hour.


What to Eat & When to Eat It Here’s the real deal on what to eat to fuel up and recover no matter when you hit the gym.

Hit the Road! Sign up for a spring race.

88 Oxy Voices 84

In the Spotlight Tiffany Lee Gaston replaced an eating disorder with strength and joy.


How She Fuels Three-time Bikini Olympia winner Ashley Kaltwasser found her recipe for success and rose through the contest ranks in record time.


Mom Up! Good news about exercise and motherhood.


Success Story Monica Bencomo found new confidence after combining clean eating and weight training.


Success Story After years of fad diets, Jennifer Sierra finally found her lifetime weight-loss solution.

92 Supplements 94 Supplement Review

A look at some of the latest products.

Future of Fitness We hear from the rising stars in fitness.




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What is your fixhale your favorite wtness inspiration? Whether neighborhood orkout, a run through the it’s what inspires or your yoga mat, we wan or tweet us us you. Share it with us on Inst t to see your photo coing the hashtag #oxygene agram xhale and upcoming issuuld be featured in an e of Oxygen!





On Oxygenm Can ritual change a morning yo on morning rit ur life? Check out our artic le uals of fit girls . On Pinterest: Kabobs are gr we’re kicking it up a notch w eat, but ith our Baja fish kabobs. Fo llow our boar d for this tasty recipe plus m uch m On Instagram ore! : #WorkoutW every week w e’ll have a ne ednesday ww to try. Like the workout? Take orkout for you a pic of yourse in action and tag @oxygen lf magazine.








1 Subjects in a 60-day study using the key ingredient in Hydroxycut ® Black (C. canephora robusta) lost an average of 10.95 lbs. with a low-calorie diet, and in a separate 8-week study, subjects lost 3.7 lbs. with a reduced-calorie diet and moderate exercise.


Based on AC Nielsen FDMx unit sales for Hydroxycut ® caplets. 2Hydroxycut ® Black contains caffeine anhydrous to help boost metabolism and increase energy. Read the entire label before use. © 2016 Scheana Shay has been remunerated.

HYDROXYCUT.COM Facebook logo is owned by Facebook Inc.

MAY 2016 y ISSUE 199

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GROUP PUBLISHER Cheryl Angelheart


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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Diane Hart Nope. I do food prep whenever I get some time, and it never lands on the same day.


Yes! I shop for groceries on Saturdays and prepare my lunches for the week on Sundays.


Yes. I find when I prepare my meals for the week upfront, I stay on track.

CONTRIBU TORS Michael Berg, Erin Calderone, Sarah Tuff Dunn, Ronnda Hamilton, Nancy J, Matthew Kadey, Jerry Kindela, Peter Lueders, Linda Melone, Myatt Murphy, Robert Reiff, Tosca Reno, Elisabetta Rogiani, Jessie R. Shafer, Cory Sorensen, Michelle Basta Speers, Steven Stiefel, Joe Wuebben


Oxygen is printed monthly in the U.S.A. © 2016 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. The information in Oxygen is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals. Consult your physician before making changes in your diet, supplement and/or exercise program. OXYGEN, 24900 Anza Dr., Unit E, Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Toll Free: (800) 951-2259 Oxygen (ISSN 1095-7073) is published twelve times per year (2016 Cover Dates: #195 Jan, #196 Feb, #197 Mar, #198 Apr, #199 May, #200 Jun, #201 Jul, #202 Aug, #203 Sep, #204 Oct, #205 Nov, #206 Dec) by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an Active Interest Media company. Advertising and editorial offices at 24900 Anza Drive, Unit E, Santa Clarita, California 91355. The known office of publication is 5720 Flatiron Pkwy, Boulder CO 80301. Periodicals postage paid at Boulder, CO and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Oxygen, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Subscription rates in the United States are one year $24.97. Canada: $39.97. Foreign: $54.97 (US funds only). The publisher and editors will not be responsible for unsolicited material. Manuscripts and photographs must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Vol. 19, No. 5. Printed in the United States by RR Donnelley, Strasburg, VA. Copyright © 2016 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, either in whole or part, in any form without written permission from the publisher.

advisory board EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., FACSM Chief science officer, American Council on Exercise Tom Holland, MS, CSCS Exercise physiologist certified by ACSM, NASM and ACE, author of Beat the Gym (HarperCollins, 2011) and an elite endurance athlete Len Kravitz, Ph.D. Exercise physiologist and coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico

FITNESS & TRAINING Mindy Mylrea, FitFlix Productions Fitness consultant, international presenter and author Sara Kooperman, CEO SCW Fitness Education and Les Mills Midwest and a lecturer for the American Council of Sports Medicine and National Academy for Sports Medicine

Jim White, RD National spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, ACSM Health and Fitness specialist, and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios Cathy Savage, Cathy Savage Fitness Competitive Figure and Fitness coach and choreographer

NUTRITION Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN Sports nutritionist, president of High Performance Nutrition and author of Power Eating (Human Kinetics, 2013) Heidi Mochari-Greenberger, MPH, RD Director of nutrition, Columbia Center for Heart Disease Prevention, New York Presbyterian Hospital Tosca Reno, BSc, BEd, NTP Motivational speaker and presenter and author of The Eat-Clean Diet series (Robert Kennedy Publishing, 2007) and

The Start Here Diet (Ballantine Books, 2013) Monique Ryan, MS, RDN Chicago-based sports nutritionist and author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes (VeloPress, 2012)

MIND/BODY & NATUROPATHY Stephanie Bot, PsyD, CPsych Clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst and a clinician, educator and writer Julie Chen, BSc, ND Licensed practitioner of naturopathic and homeopathic medicine

SPORTS MEDICINE Jennifer Solomon, M.D. Board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, fellowship-trained in spine and sports medicine, and a clinical instructor at Weill Medical College of Cornell University



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Strength in body and mind

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Shout out!

Oxygen readers never hold back. Here’s what you told us this month.

Hubby’s a Fan, Too!

I am a HUGE fan of the magazine and am so glad I found you! Every issue, I’m so excited to try the recipes as part of my weekly meal prep, and I’ve even gotten my husband on board. The exercises have spiced up programming for my patients and clients, too. Thanks so much! — ANN, VIA EMAIL

The Challenge Was Gold! I have been a loyal Oxygen reader for many years. LOVE it! I wanted to thank you for putting on Oxygen’s Ultimate 90-Day Challenge with TeamAmanda and TeamErin. Great coaches! I was on TeamAmanda and loved the workouts and food guidance. It came at a time in my life when I really needed to reset. Not only did it give me a new training program to follow, but the online support by our teams also was amazing. It really made it feel as if we were able to connect with other ladies that are all part of our tribe. Thanks to Oxygen for being such a positive influence and inspiration to women who are at many different places in their journey. — LIZ, VIA EMAIL







Edgewood, New Mexico

Hurst, Texas Age: 26



Age: 37

Give Us More Pregnant Athletes, Please! I think that your magazine should feature a pregnant bodybuilder on your cover. It would be so eye-catching from other fitness magazines and empowering to women who are scared to work out during their pregnancy from fear or misleading information. I believe that your magazine can show the world that being fit, healthy and lifting weights while pregnant is highly encouraged and very possible to do!

questions I ask daily. It was refreshing to read that you and the Oxygen team are asking the same questions and going the extra step in finding the truth and if that is best for your readers. Frankly, I thought my time with Oxygen (or any other fitness publication) was over for a while. But I think it just might be the right time now!



Oxygen: The Best in Fitness I wanted to reach out and thank you for the recent “Are ‘Truths’ Holding You Back?” Editor’s Letter in the March issue. The past year I have struggled to find credible sources when it comes to fitness and nutrition facts. “What’s real and what’s just a marketing trend?” are

Oops!: In a recent issue, we inadvertently referred to the nutrition facts for ½ cup lowfat (2 percent) cottage cheese as those for 1 cup nonfat cottage cheese.


Workout Is Spot On! I love the “Powerful & Lean for Life” article in the April issue of Oxygen! Great new exercises!


Hey! What do you think? Tell us what’s on your mind. Look fo next re r our submissi quest for o Facebo ns on our and you ok page co featured uld be here!



nada Digby, Nova Scotia, Ca Age: 30

EMAIL US VISIT US ONLINE FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @oxygenmagazine JOIN US ON FACEBOOK PIN US ON PINTEREST @oxygenmag HASHTAG US ON INSTAGRAM #oxygenmagazine All content submitted to Oxygen will be considered for publication. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.



Jennifer Campbell

“Recruit More Muscle,” Page 76 Fitness model and graduate student Jennifer Campbell grew up sporty and competed on the triathlon team at the University of Iowa, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and business administration. She served in the Army for four years before becoming a personal trainer. She’s now studying to get a master’s degree in nutrition education through American University in Washington, D.C. “I think it’s important to walk the walk and lead by example,” she says. “I like to train really intensely, and if I don’t have enough fuel in my tank, I know it will reflect in my workout.” The photo shoot was a great experience, she says. “It’s always fun collaborating and combining the physical side of fitness with the creative side.”

Linda Melone

Shoshana Pritzker

“30-Minute Muscle Builders,” Page 58 The author of this month’s nutrition feature, Linda Melone, CSCS, says the chicken finger recipe is her favorite. “It’s fun to take a traditionally bad-for-you fast food and create a healthy version of it,” she says. The freelance writer has recently been co-hosting The Burn: The Bowflex Radio Show (available at along with Oxygen advisory board member Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, an exercise physiologist and elite endurance athlete. “We interview people about fitness, like a two-time cancer survivor who has scaled the world’s seven highest summits,” she says. Her own training has evolved lately, she explains. “I’ve had to get creative with my workouts after hurting my knee,” she says. “I traded in the treadmill for stairs. (Ironically, they don’t hurt my knees.)”

“Shake Up Your Day,” Page 44 A lot of thinking goes into the smoothie recipes created by Shoshana Pritzker, RD. “Most (if not all) of the ingredients should have a healthy benefit backed by science, the calories must stay within reason, the ingredients have to be easy to find, it needs to work with whey protein powder and it has to taste good,” she says. The nutritionist has a private practice on the South Shore of Long Island and conducts groups online to help women everywhere ( “It’s a perfect way to reach someone who’s always wanted to see an RD but hasn’t necessarily had the time, money or motivation to make it happen,” she says. The latest addition to her family is a 1-year-old vizsla named Gunner. “Vizslas are lovable, active dogs,” she says.


Instagram: 3.4 million Facebook: 5 million

Being unhealthy comes in all forms, whether it is being too thin or overweight. I grew up playing soccer and being active, but I had never made my health or fitness a priority. I had never lifted weights. I didn’t consider myself an athlete. These words, taken from Paige Hathaway’s bio, seem almost disingenuous. How could someone who looks like this have ever been unhealthy? But everyone’s fitness journey starts somewhere, and Hathaway’s began in her 20s when she started lifting weights to enter a bikini competition as a poultice to ease a painful breakup. Suddenly her thin, shapeless body began to develop curves, her strength skyrocketed and her confidence bubbled over.

Never Give Up! Strength training also uncovered an inner power Hathaway didn’t know she had: perseverance. After doing well in a few competitions, she (along with hundreds of other women across the globe) decided she wanted to be a fitness model. But while others crumbled under the weight of rejection, Hathaway endured, hitting up every available fitness show, expo and conference and handing out comp cards to anyone who would take one.

Time and again, she got rejected for fitness modeling. Until … she didn’t. Sponsors started noticing, her social media started to grow and suddenly she was somebody. “The universe has a weird way of working out, and I believe that if you work really hard, stay positive and never give up, anything is possible,” she says. “You may not be the most gifted, have the most talent or even be the most educated, and that’s OK. Determination alone is omnipotent. The hardest-working person in the room will always prevail above the rest.”

Social Media Cred Today, she is one of the most recognized women on social media with more than 3.4 million followers on Instagram and almost 5 million on Facebook. Her PHFit online program helps hundreds of people get in shape and lose weight every month, and her website has more than 5,000 subscribed members. “I never thought that people would be so responsive to me and to what I have to say about health and motivation,” Hathaway says. “Everything that I have done so far has been a direct result of those who have empowered me. Now it is my turn to empower others.”

By Lara McGlashan, MFA, CPT, Fitness Editor Photography by Cory Sorensen

Paige Hathaway went from skinny and shapeless

of iron.

Everything that I have done so far has been a direct result of those that have empowered me. Now it is my turn to empower others.�

SUPERSET YOUR WAY TO BOLDER SHOULDERS As her gift of empowerment to our readers, Hathaway designed this shoulder workout exclusively for Oxygen, a system of supersetting that increases the time-under-tension, thereby increasing your opportunity for growth while also helping save your joints. “Supersetting allows you to pre-exhaust specific heads of the deltoid with the first exercise, thus allowing you to recruit another area of the deltoid while using less weight,” she explains. “This encourages hypertrophy while also helping prevent injury.” Because shoulders can be a persnickety muscle group, Hathaway recommends a thorough and specific warm-up. “The shoulder joint has more origins and insertions than any other joint in the body, and warm-ups should be taken very seriously,” she says.

Paige’s Favorite Warm-Up Two continuous countdown sets of a shoulder press/lateral raise combo with very light weight (5 to 8 pounds, max). *Each set consists of 10 shoulder presses, 10 lateral raises, eight shoulder presses, eight lateral raises, and so on, down to four reps apiece. *Without resting, do it all again until 56 continuous reps have been completed. Only now is it time to get to work.

Do the moves of each superset back-to-back with no rest in between, and take 60 to 90 seconds of rest between supersets. 1.5 Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press -SUPERSET WITHSeated Up and Out


Standing Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise+ -SUPERSET WITHSide Lateral Band Raise*#


Seated Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise -SUPERSET WITHSeated Dumbbell Upright Pull/Press Combo



12, 10, 8

20, 25, 30

12, 10, 8

10, 12, 15


25, 20, 15


medium weight

15, 12, 10, 8

10, 12, 15, 20

15, 12, 10, 8

20, 25, 30, 35

+For set one, use a 1:2 tempo of concentric to eccentric. For set two, use a 1:3 tempo. For set three, use a 1:4 tempo. *Take only 10 seconds of rest between these supersets. #Work this move at the top of your range.

1.5 Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Seated Up and Out

The shoulder joint has more origins and insertions than any other joint in the body, and warm-ups should be taken very seriously.”




NAME Paige Hathaway

SUPERSET 1 1.5 Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press Setup: Sit on the end of a bench with a short back with your feet flat on the floor and hold a set of dumbbells at your shoulders, palms forward. Move: Press the weights up to full extension, then lower halfway back down. Extend all the way to the top once more and then back to the start to complete one repetition.

Seated Up and Out Setup: Swap your dumbbells for a lighter set and hold them at your sides with your palms facing inward. Move: Lift the dumbbells straight up in front of you to shoulder height, then flip your palms downward and open your arms to the sides so you make a T. Lower them back to the start to complete one rep.

BIRTH DATE July 31, 1987 CURRENT RESIDENCE Newport Beach, California HEIGHT 5’6” WEIGHT 128 SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram, Twitter and Facebook - @paigehathaway WEBSITE SPONSOR Shredz

Supersetting Tip: Make the transition between the eccentric and concentric phase of the press controlled and calculated, and when doing the up and outs, make each move smooth and specific.

MAY 2016



SUPERSET 2 Standing Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise Setup: Stand with your feet hip-width apart spaced evenly on the center of a resistance band (not shown). Hold your heaviest set of dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing inward; place the other two dumbbell sets within easy reach. Move: Lift your arms up and out to the sides, keeping a slight bend in your elbows and raising them to shoulder height and turning your pinkie upward as you reach the top. Pause briefly before lowering slowly back to the start for a count of two. Do all your reps, then place the weights on the floor.

“Focusing on the tempo for the standing dumbbell side lateral raises (below) forces me to keep strict form and avoid swinging the weights as the going gets tough.”

Side Lateral Band Raise

Side Lateral Band Raise Setup: Grasp the band handles and hold them at your sides, elbows slightly bent, palms facing inward. Move: Lift the handles all the way to shoulder height, then raise and lower them exclusively in the top threefourths of your range of motion using a fast tempo for reps. Supersetting Tip: To increase your time-under-tension, use an everincreasing ratio of eccentric to concentric motion for the standing dumbbell side lateral raises: Start with a 1:2 ratio for set one, a 1:3 ratio for set two and a 1:4 ratio for set three. The side lateral band raises act as a burnout, finishing off your fast-twitch fibers and creating a burn that should melt your Lulu’s.

WEEKLY WORKOUT SPLIT MONDAY Legs, Abs TUESDAY Back, Chest, Cardio WEDNESDAY Shoulders, Calves, Cardio THURSDAY Legs, Abs

Standing Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

FRIDAY Biceps, Triceps, Cardio SATURDAY Abs, Cardio SUNDAY Rest Paige Hathaway does cardio for 45 minutes per session and incorporates three to four machines, performing intervals interspersed with plyometrics and ab exercises.



SUPERSET 3 Seated Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise Setup: Sit on the end of the bench and hold a set of dumbbells in your hands, palms facing inward. Hinge at the hip and fold forward until your chest is resting on your legs and your arms are perpendicular to the floor, elbows slightly bent, head neutral. Move: Lift your arms up and out to the sides, raising for a count of two until your upper arm is parallel to the ground. Lower the weights slowly for a count of three and repeat for reps.

Seated Dumbbell Upright Pull/Press Combo Setup: Trade up to a heavier set of dumbbells and sit upright on the bench with the dumbbells at your sides, palms facing inward.

Move: Drive your elbows skyward until the dumbbells come to shoulder height, then quickly pivot your arms in the sockets and flip the weights up to come into the bottom of a shoulder press. Then extend your arms completely, lower back down, pivot your arms again into the pull and lower to the start to complete one rep. Supersetting Tip: To ensure you hit the rear delts for the raise, lock your shoulder blades down into your back and keep your hands in your peripheral vision at all times. When transitioning from the upright pull to the overhead press, make your transition quick but smooth. Rotator-cuff muscles + jerky motions = possible injury.


Competing taught me a lot about myself. It forced me to be strong in my weak moments, made me more self-aware and helped me to become … a goal crusher.”

Seated BentOver Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise

Every Sunday, Hathaway posts a recipe makeover on her social media feed. Here is one of her favorites — and it sounds sinfully delectable! PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE BLONDIES • 1¼ cup natural peanut butter • ½ mashed banana • 3 tablespoons sugarfree maple syrup • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 1 teaspoon vanilla • ½ teaspoon sea salt • ½ cup dark chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips. When mixed together well, fold in dark chocolate pieces. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on 8-inch baking pan, then slowly pour and evenly spread batter. Bake for about 20 minutes. Cool completely before cutting and enjoy! }

“Make sure your head is neutral and you’re looking at the floor, not up, to protect your neck and keep your traps from engaging.”

“I love training because it allows me to stay focused and set goals while also allowing me to express my artistic creativity through my physique.

Seated Dumbbell Upright Pull/Press Combo

MAY 2016



WHY NOT YOU? Meet Beverly “After I accomplished my running goals, I started training for a bikini competition. As a result, not only did my physique change, but my acne disappeared, my skin was glowing, and my mind was clearer and more positive as a result of the diet I followed. Since then, I have won my class and placed top three in multiple competitions. This was when I decided to take the Certified Fitness Trainer course through ISSA. In addition to my career helping others as a Registered Nurse, I wanted to help others with my passion for exercise and healthy living through proper, balanced nutrition. The online route was the best way to go since I work full-time and the support was there when I needed it. The Study Guide provided with the text book allowed my kinetic style learning to thrive and the information was retained much easier. The ISSA is the best organization I could have chosen!” —Beverly Paquin, ISSA CFT

The ISSA Your Trusted Source for Fitness Education Since 1988 y Elkin Har ve

ISSA’s nationally accredited distance education programs provide the education you need to become a Personal Trainer, Elite Trainer, or Master Trainer. Take your certification courses even higher and earn an Associate’s Degree in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Personal Training. TA, MyCAA, and GI Bill approved.





Personal Trainer

SELF-PACED: Study at home at your own pace

• For over 25 years, ISSA has provided fitness education to over 180,000 students and trainers in 92 countries

Fitness Nutrition Exercise Therapy Strength and Conditioning Youth Fitness Senior Fitness Associate’s Degree in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Personal Training

GUIDED STUDY: Structured study track with virtual classroom and lecture series DEGREE TRACK: 10-week undergraduate online course with weekly lectures, dedicated professor, and guided classroom discussion

• Surveys show that the personal training industry has a high degree of job satisfaction and is one of the fastest growing industries • ISSA provides no-cost educational support to all of its students, even after program completion

1.800.892.4772 • 1.805.745.8111 (intl) or visit mention oxy1605


ISSA • 1015 Mark Ave • Carpinteria, CA 93013


26 35 38 40 42

TAKE IT OUTSIDE The Spinning room in your gym is probably one of your favorite workout spots. But this time of year, with better weather, you should think about hopping on a bike and enjoying the experience of the great outdoors. Join the 20 percent of women cyclists who ride more than 60 miles per week in good weather!

MAY 2016




By Lara McGlashan, CPT, Fitness Editor

Learn and Burn

Be a Bike Babe! According to statistics compiled by PeopleforBikes (a coalition of bicycling suppliers and a charitable foundation), women who bike 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer, lower blood pressure and less incidence of obesity than those who do not cycle. Here are some great ways to get into gear: Local: Almost 30 percent of all trips Americans take are less than a mile, and May 20 is National Bike to Work Day, so leave your car at home. No wheels? Consider the Diamondback Haanjenn Metro ($700, diamond This commuter bike has a female-specific aluminum frame and steel fork that absorb vibrations,

and it is perfect for commuting to work, taking a cruise in the park or going for a family ride after dinner. Out of Town: Take a cycling tour of a new city to get the lay of the land as well as some fresh air and great exercise. Check out usabike for recreational, road or mountain-biking tours in nearly every city in the U.S. Alternately, go to and rent a bike (plus accessories in some instances) in whatever city or country you’re visiting. Prices vary for hourly, daily or weekly use. International Adventure: Dust off your passport and check out Exodus Travels, which offers several incredible cycling tours, including the Costa Rica Coast to Coast Ride — a 14-day tour that starts in San Jose and meanders south past coastal coffee farms, banana plantations and volcanoes. (, from $3,295 per person)

Researchers in Finland studied the effects of sustained aerobic activity, highintensity interval training and resistance training on the brain and found that new hippocampal neurons — those responsible for learning — were generated during the sustained aerobic activity. Boost your brain power by including at least one day per week of aerobic activity lasting 30 minutes or more. Jogging, cycling, rowing and stair climbing are great options.

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LOWER-BODY MOVE OF THE MONTH: SEATED BOX JUMPS Improve your explosive power, vertical leap and acceleration capacity while building overall leg strength with this variation on traditional box jumps. By eliminating the stretch reflex created when you descend and load up to spring (as in a typical plyometric jump), you’re training the concentric muscle action exclusively, giving your lower half a new challenge to handle.

zSetup: Place two boxes (or a bench and a box) next to each other, about 1 to 2 feet apart. If you’re a new athlete, your boxes can be the same height. More experienced athletes can use one that is 4 inches higher or more. Sit completely on the shorter box facing the second box with your feet flat on the floor. Your legs should be bent about 90 degrees.

zMove: Swing your arms back, then drive through the ground to jump and explode upward on top of the other box. Use your arms to gain height and your abs and hip flexors to bring your knees upward and forward. Land softly, stand all the way up, then step off one foot at a time and rest 30 to 60 seconds. Do three to five reps for two or three sets.

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Mother May I? It’s May and time for Mother’s Day! Here are ways to get your fit on with kids of any age:

Boost Performance With Salty Yoga? There are lots of incarnations of yoga, but halotherapy — a practice conducted in a room infused with a fine mist of salt air — is the latest up-and-coming trend. Salt is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, and salt caves and baths have long been used by Europeans and Middle Easterners to boost the immune system and alleviate skin conditions and allergies. Is it any different from spending a day at the beach? Aside from the liberal dose of sunblock, maybe not. But regular practitioners insist that halotherapy can boost athletic performance by reducing inflammation in the upper respiratory system, helping oxygenate the body and blood and alleviating congestion.

Infants: Join a StrollerFit or Baby Boot Camp class and get fit while baby looks on. Set the tone for a lifetime of health and fitness! Toddlers: Try a Mommy and Me yoga class and see who wins the flexibility award. (Spoiler alert: It’ll be the kid.) Grade schoolers: Learn a new sport together such as surfing or taekwondo. Teach them that being active is synonymous with fun. Tweens: Drag your kids away from Minecraft and go for a family hike every weekend. Let them choose

the location and help pack the picnic basket to make it more appealing. Teens: Sign up for an obstacle-course race such as Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder with your moody teen — they are guaranteed to laugh with you (or at least at you) as you get dirty together. Collegiate: Get your kid a gym pass to lift weights with you when they’re home on vacation to help build some metabolic muscle and stave off the freshman 15 (and subsequent sophomore 7). Adults: Train together for a triathlon and then enlist a buddy to take on a tri as a trio. Swim, bike and run your way to spending some quality time together.

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Don’t Panic, Rip It! The weather is getting warmer and many of you might be planning a trip to the shore soon. According to the United States Lifesaving Association, rip currents are the leading surf hazard for beach-goers, and more people die from rip-current-related drownings than they do from shark attacks, tornadoes and lightning strikes combined. But getting caught in a rip does not mean certain doom. Follow these steps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Red Cross and you’ll be back to taking selfies on the sand in no time:

1 Don’t panic. The current won’t pull you under, just away from the shore. Take a deep breath and try to calmly assess the situation. 2 If possible, regain your footing. If the current is weak and you’re shallow enough, you could probably just walk out of it. 3 Call attention to yourself by yelling for help and waving your arms if there are lifeguards or other people nearby.






Because rip currents typically run perpendicularly to the shore, you can’t easily swim straight back to your towel. Instead, swim sideways, parallel to the beach. Rip

currents are rarely wider than 100 feet, so you should be free of the current fairly quickly with this tactic. 5 Once you’re out, swim at an angle away from the current and toward the shore to avoid getting stuck again. 6 If you still can’t escape, float on your back or tread water and stay calm until the strength of the current weakens as it moves offshore, usually about 50 to 100 feet away. Then swim at a diagonal toward shore until you reach safety. 7 In general, steer clear of swimming near piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist in these areas. 8 Pay attention to warning signs and flags, and if the water looks like a blender, skip the dip; when in doubt, don’t go out. Note: Riptides are often strong enough to knock you off your feet and pull you out to sea. If you do not know how to swim, avoid water deeper than your ankles and stay near a lifeguard tower.

Share Your Exercise Habit You hug your yoga mat to your chest like a baby and hoard your resistance bands in your closet. But by sharing these workout tools with your kids, you’ll make everyone more fit in myriad ways. How so? The warmer mothers are to their children, the better off those children will be, according to new research on mice by the University of Manchester in the U.K. “For the first time, we’ve identified specific genetic variations in offspring that lead to preferential maternal treatment,” said study author David Ashbrook, “which in turn improves offspring fitness.” — SARAH TUFF DUNN



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Make it burn! Getting in shape for the summer doesn’t have to be about deprivation. After all, Oprah Winfrey says she eats bread every day and still lost 26 pounds. It’s about moderation, she says, and we agree. First, cut calories moderately. You should only reduce your calorie intake about 20 percent below your baseline for bodyweight maintenance. That means an active woman who consumes 2,000 calories a day and stays at a consistent weight should consume no fewer than 1,600 calories per day to lose weight. Second, heighten your awareness of how much you’re putting into your mouth and be mindful of portion control. It’s as easy as using your hand. For instance, a clenched fist is about equal to a cup. You should aim for two clenched fists’ worth of veggies (at minimum) every day. The front of a clenched fist (the knuckle side) equals about ½ cup — that’s a portion of pasta. The end of your index finger from the first joint to the tip equals about 1 ounce of cheese. The measurements across your palm are about the same as a 3-ounce portion of meat, fish or poultry. Third, there are a few simple things you can do to shave off about 200 calories every day to help you toward your goal of looking your best for summer. Pick a calorie “swap” and a calorie “burn” from these lists and give them a try. And don’t think of it as a diet — to paraphrase Winfrey, think of it as the way you’re going to live the rest of your life. It’s a matter of the right foods in the right portion sizes, effective supplements and a training plan that makes sense for you. The good news is that you’ll keep muscle and lose body fat, and you won’t starve yourself, either.

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swap 100 When you’re cooking, use olive-oil spray instead of pouring it on. You’ll save about 120 calories by not using that tablespoon of oil. Cut out soda, sweet tea or sugary sports drinks in favor of water. We know you’ve heard that one before! Besides the calorie savings of switching to water, you’ll help boost your metabolism. Science has shown that drinking about 2 cups of water can raise your metabolic rate by 30 percent for up to 40 minutes. And remember, diet soda might have few if any calories, but it is loaded with artificial sweeteners that can lead you to eat more. Make your omelette with one egg yolk, some egg whites and chopped veggies instead of whole eggs and full-fat cheese. If your eggs just aren’t the same without a couple of slices of delistyle cheddar, sprinkle in an ounce of fat-free shredded cheddar instead for about 45 calories (and you’ve shaved off about 120 calories).

Choose 95 percent lean ground beef instead of regular lean ground beef. A 3-ounce serving of broiled 95 percent lean beef is about 145 calories, compared to 230 calories in 80 percent lean. For meat that’s lower in saturated fat (and even lower in calories), substitute grilled turkey breast.

Use lemon juice instead of mayo to flavor your tuna salad. For its 15 calories, one lemon has up to 40 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C and replaces some of the electrolytes that you lose during a workout. If you miss the creamy texture, use 2 tablespoons of hummus for about 70 calories instead of the 180 calories in mayo. Nonfat plain Greek yogurt is another great swap.

Use a salad-dressing “spritzer” or lemon juice instead of regular salad dressings. The spritzers have 10 to 15 calories per serving, while even a basic oil-andvinegar dressing has about 140 calories in 2 tablespoons. If you crave a regular dressing, keep it on the side, but don’t spoon it onto your leafy greens — dip just the ends of the tines of your fork into it before spearing a mouthful of salad. Try mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes. Cauliflower has a fraction of the calories of potatoes, and it’s nearly impossible to taste the difference. You can spice it up with garlic or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, just as you would for potatoes. One cup of mashed potatoes has 230 calories or more, but its vegetable counterpart has about 100 fewer calories. Here’s a major calorie crusher if you like to bake: Use applesauce instead of sugar in your recipes. A cup of unsweetened applesauce has only about 100 calories, but a cup of granulated sugar has 760 calories. For every cup of applesauce in a recipe, reduce the amount of liquid by ¼ cup, but replace sugar with applesauce in a 1:1 ratio. For a recipe that serves six, that’s more than 100 calories per serving. Applesauce also can be used instead of oil. Try

swapping out half the fat in a recipe with applesauce. (Instead of a cup of oil, use ½ cup of oil plus ½ cup of applesauce.) The savings: Half a cup of applesauce has 50 calories, but ½ cup of oil has more than 800. For a recipe that feeds six, you’ve saved more than 100 calories per serving!

burn 100* Take a leisurely 20-minute bike ride. If you’re limited to the stationary bike in your basement or gym, make it a half-hour with the resistance set to light pedaling. Scrub the floors vigorously for 20 minutes. Take a 12-minute jog at a pace of about 5 mph. If you work on a high floor of a skyscraper, walking down the stairs for 30 minutes burns 100 calories; if you’re on a lower floor, running up the stairs for six minutes also will do the trick.

Give a jump rope a whirl for 10 minutes at a moderate pace. Do a light workout with weights for 30 minutes. You can get the same effect from just 11 minutes of circuit training with minimal rest. Many martial arts burn about the same amount (judo, karate, taekwondo, jujitsu): You’ll expend about 100 calories in just eight minutes of training. If all you can do is some mild stretching, you can still work off 100 calories by bending and stretching your body for about 35 minutes! *Assumes a woman who weighs approximately 155 pounds.

Walk the dog for 30 minutes. (Don’t cheat: It doesn’t add up quite the same if your pup stops and sniffs every other blade of grass.)

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By Jessie R. Shafer, RD


Super Easy Green Salad This salad may be monochromatic, but it’s bursting with every flavor of the rainbow. Crunchy and mild cucumber, spicy jalapeno and vibrant lime juice complement the sweet and juicy honeydew melon. Fresh pumpkin seeds give it a crunch, and a sprinkle of fresh cheese adds creaminess for a completely unique salad perfect for graduation parties, Cinco de Mayo and summer celebrations. Makes 6 servings.

Great Fit Food!

Honeydew We’re talking about it being awesome, folks! This melon fruit has high water content and is a good source of potassium, both of which are beneficial for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Honeydew also can be good for your skin. It contains vitamin C and copper that promote collagen products and tissue repair. Look for – melons that are nearly spherical (perfectly round) and feel heavy for their size with no waxy or fuzzy surface. To store – keep whole melons at room temperature up to five days. Once cut, store honeydew in a covered container in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

• 4 cups cubed honeydew melon • 1 cup sliced cucumber • ¼ cup loose-packed fresh cilantro leaves • ½ teaspoon grated lime zest • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno, seeds removed • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt • ¼ cup dried pumpkin seeds (green pepitas), coarsely chopped • ¼ cup crumbled feta, goat or cotija cheese Toss first seven ingredients together in large bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to four hours. Just before serving, top with pumpkin seeds and cheese. Nutrition facts per serving (1 cup): calories 92, total fat 4 g, saturated fat 1 g, carbs 12 g, dietary fiber 1 g, sugar 10 g, sodium 156 mg, protein 3 g

MAY 2016





Va Vacations Pack On Pounds??


What’s in the glass? Calories in common beach beverages: 1 glass/6 ounces wine = 100 to 160 calories* 1 bottle or can/12 ounces beer = 100 to 200 calories* 1 shot/1.5 ounces hard liquor = 80 to 100 calories* — and remember that mixers, such as juice and soda, add more calories 1 glass/10 ounces margarita = 450 calories 1 glass/10 ounces piña colada = 550 calories 1 glass/10 ounces frozen daiquiri = 560 calories

*Depending on alcohol by volume (ABV) and sugars. Typically, the higher the ABV, the higher the calories.



What’s Raising Your Cholesterol? It could be stress. Common cholesterolraising culprits are poor diet, high saturated and trans fat intake, smoking and lack of exercise, but many cardiologists believe stress is an under-recognized factor contributing to high cholesterol. Nearly 28 percent of U.S. adults age 20 and older either have high total cholesterol or are on cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic stress can raise cholesterol in two ways: 1) By causing you to stop or reduce exercise and eat more unhealthy foods. 2) By stimulating adrenalin and cortisol, two hormones that release triglycerides and free fatty acids, raising LDL (the bad one) cholesterol over time. Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, advises patients to think of three things they are thankful for when they go to bed or wake up in the morning to help reduce stress.

Good News!

Sales of Soda Plummeting While soda sales continue to decline, shoppers are replacing them with other choices, such as bottled water, sparkling flavored water, energy and sports drinks, and ready-to-drink coffee. In the last year, popular diet sodas, such as Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke, experienced a 9.8 percent and 5.5 percent decline in unit sales, respectively. Though sales of full-sugar soda were up modestly (1.5 percent), other options experienced big growth. Unit sales of coffee drinks and sparkling flavored water were each greater than 15 percent, and sales of energy drinks and bottled water each grew by more than 7 percent. If you are one of the many shoppers replacing your drinks with the most hydrating choice, plain water, remember to use a refillable, reusable bottle. U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone.

Say It Ain’t So! Hate to break it to you: Kids who have excess body fat at age 10 have a greater risk of developing diabetes — and not just later in life but as a teenager. A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics tested body fat in 600 children over a two-year span. The researchers found that every 1 percent increase in body fat in the children over the two years equated to a 3 percent decline in insulin sensitivity, a shift that allows excess sugar to build up in the blood and lead to diabetes. “Our findings suggest that we should encourage children early on to be physically active and that we should reduce their screen time,” said lead study author Dr. Melanie Henderson.

The Downfalls of BMI

Hey, maybe it isn’t so great a barometer of health as once thought! BMI (body mass index) is a numerical measure of a person’s height and weight and has become the proxy for determining whether a person is considered healthy. Many companies use BMI as a factor to decide employees’ health-care costs. But new research out of UCLA reports that using BMI, which does not take muscle mass and other factors into account, to gauge health incorrectly labels more than 54 million heavy Americans unhealthy when they are not. Here’s the Truth: Close to half of Americans who are considered “overweight” by virtue of their BMIs are actually healthy. Additionally, the study found that more than 30 percent of those with BMIs in the “normal” range of 18.5 to 24.99 are unhealthy based on their other health data. Jeffrey Hunger, co-author of the paper and a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said the research shows that BMI is a deeply flawed measure of health.

MAY 2016




By Lara McGlashan, MFA, CPT, Fitness Editor

Shades to Lift Your Spirits? Yup. Wearing sunglasses not only protects your eyes from damaging UV rays but also may help improve your mood. In research published in the journal Cognition and Emotion, squinting was shown to raise aggressive tendencies by up to 44 percent. Why? Researchers theorize that the same muscles around your eyes and forehead that contract when you’re angry also contract when you squint, mistakenly signaling your brain that you’re mad. Keep a smile on your face with the new Nike Tailwind. These new glasses have UVA and UVB protection as well as Nike Max Optics, which reduce tiring, harsh, white light.

Sugar Buster A new six-year study published in the journal Circulation of more than 1,000 adults found that those who had at least one sugar-sweetened drink per day had a bigger increase in visceral fat — the kind associated with diabetes and heart disease. Addicted to bubbles? Make your own sparkling water, natural fruit soda or fizzy tea with the Bonne O, a new carbonating system with no CO2 tank and zero solid waste. Eco-friendly, sustainable and belly, $150

1 in 10 Number of Americans who eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to a government report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, only 13 percent of people ate the 1½ to 2 cups of fruit daily, and less than 9 percent had the 2 to 3 cups of recommended vegetables. To break that down, a banana and half an apple satisfies your daily fruit requirement, while a large salad for lunch and steamed broccoli for dinner will more than fill your veg. Sneak in your servings with these simple ideas: Toss a cup of spinach into your morning smoothie with some fruit, almond milk and protein powder. Yes,



it will turn a rancid color, but it will still taste fabulous and satisfy a fruit and a veg for the meal. Puree carrots, tomatoes, kale and zucchini, and mix the blend into pasta sauce and tomato-based soups. Spiralize zucchini and carrots into long noodles. Throw some blueberries and lemon zest or pureed pumpkin and cinnamon into your pancake mix. Make a “kitchen sink salad” that includes not only lettuce but also items such as dried cranberries, artichoke hearts, sliced grapes or strawberries, roasted red peppers, black beans, grilled corn and jicama.

mind+body news


Flex Your Gratitude Muscles An attitude of gratitude can help everything from your mood to your booty — six easy ways to be thankful.


Exercise More. Giving thanks can get you to the gym — and keep you going. A study by the University of California, Davis, found that gratitude-givers exercised an average of 1.5 hours more per week. Bonus! Think of exercise as a gift you’ve been given rather than a chore you must do, and you’ll be less likely to fall off the workout wagon.

Sleep Better. Forget sheep; count your blessings! According to a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and WellBeing, spending just 15 minutes a night jotting down grateful sentiments can make you sleep better and longer. Bonus! Better sleep means more workout hours logged and less cravings.

By Allison Young

Don’t just count your reps, count your blessings! Science says that giving thanks can do a lot more than change your outlook; it can benefit your body, health and even the number on the scale. Read on for the crazyawesome perks of practicing gratitude, plus tips to cultivate more of it.

You’re Grateful — Say It! “Gratitude is good medicine,” says Robert Emmons, Ph.D., psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, author of Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier. Studies have linked the practice of gratitude to lower blood pressure, lower levels of bad cholesterol and even improved immune function. Bonus! When a person expresses gratitude, they’re more likely to care about their health and even get regular checkups.


Boost Willpower. If you’re agonizing over whether to eat that slice of chocolate cake, gratitude could help bolster your selfcontrol. In one study, psychologists from Northeastern University found that writing about a grateful experience can help us think long term rather than focus on instant gratification. “Grateful people are less likely to make rash, hasty decisions they will later regret,” Emmons says. Bonus! Keeping a gratitude journal can cut your fat intake, keeping you on the road to shaping the physique you want.

Improve Energy. When your inner slacker kicks in, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym. The antidote could be gratitude. One study found that those who regularly wrote down things they were grateful for reported higher energy levels and increased life satisfaction. Bonus! Gratitude is contagious. You not only reap the rewards but so do those around you.


Gratitude is good medicine. 40


Put It in Writing. Pick up that pen! People who keep a gratitude journal report being 25 percent happier. Writing a letter also can get the good vibes flowing. In a University of Pennsylvania study, writing and delivering a gratitude letter had a positive impact on happiness one month later. Bonus! Practicing gratitude has also been shown to fend off stress, anxiety and depression.


GET YOUR GRATITUDE ON! More ways to increase your thankfulness.

1. Before you get out of bed, think of three things you’re grateful for. 2. Write a meaningful letter to someone you’re thankful for. 3. Start a gratitude journal and write down one thing you’re grateful for each day. 4. 5HÁHFWRQ a nice thing someone did for you, or think about a person you’re grateful for. 5. Send a daily gratitude note to a buddy (and vice versa). 6. Write what you’re thankful for on Post-its and stick ’em on your bathroom mirror.

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fat lossnews

By Jerry Kindela, MA, DHS

Picture Perfect!

Five Ways to Keep It Off! Looking for some proven ways to lose weight? Created by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, the Healthy Weight Registry analyzes the most common habits among people who not only never seem to gain weight (lucky them!) but also maintain a healthy weight. Turns out, the behaviors follow a familiar success strategy: Keep it simple. As study co-author and director of the lab Brian Wansink, Ph.D., and author of Slim by Design (HarperCollins, 2014) says, “If you struggle with weight, try adding these simple practices to your routine and you may be surprised how easy it is to be healthy!” z Eat breakfast. An impressive 96 percent of slim people don’t skip the morning meal. (Sixty-five percent say they eat vegetables at dinner every day, and 33 percent say they don’t drink alcohol.) z Exercise five or more times per week. Forty-two percent state they exercise this often; 27 percent exercise three to four days per week. z Weigh yourself once a week. Fifty percent weigh themselves at least once every seven days. z Don’t eat mindlessly. Ninety-two percent report they are conscious of the kinds of foods they eat. z Use at least one “nonrestrictive” weight-control strategy. Fortyfour percent cook at home, avoid processed foods and choose to eat high-quality foods.

The word is in — a photo can be one of your most effective fat-loss tools. That’s why keeping a photo journal of your weight-loss efforts may be just the motivation you need to succeed. At least that’s what Isaac Elías Kuzmar Daza, a medical professional and Ph.D. student in Spain’s University of Alicante, suggests. During a 16-week program, Daza monitored the weight-loss program of a number of people, tracking changes in body mass index, hip-towaist ratio, and exercise and food diaries. He also included full-body photos, which were taken weekly. These, he observed, appeared to be highly motivational: “What patients want is a photo rather than cold numbers.” It appears that one of the most motivating factors was the ability to see the waistline shrink. At the study’s conclusion, 90 percent of study participants had completed the treatment and a whopping 71 percent met their weight-loss goals. So where’s that smartphone? BONUS! To share motivation, hashtag us on Instagram #oxygenmagazine or visit us on Pinterest/oxygenmag and pin anything you like.



The 3 C’s of life: choices, chances, changes. g You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. — ZIG ZIGLAR 42


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shakeupyourday FIT & FLAVORFUL

Cool off after a hot workout with this refreshing blend of protein and nutritious summer flavors. By Shoshana Pritzker, RD, CDN

RASPBERRY LEMONADE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE Makes 1 serving 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder • ½ cup nonfat milk • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries • 2 tablespoons lemon juice • ¼ cup sugar-free pink lemonade or water • ice (if desired) Add whey protein and milk to blender. Pulse until combined. Then add raspberries, lemon juice and pink lemonade (or water). Blend until well-combined. Enjoy! Nutrition facts (per serving): calories 227, total fat 1 g, saturated fat 0 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 31 g, sodium 177 mg, carbs 25 g, fiber 8 g, sugar 13 g




ries pber mer? s a r k Thin st for sumin. u a j e r a Think ag rries e b en Froz e great ! ar round year

Radical Raspberries: This tiny pink punch of flavor is known for its wealth of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, including quercetin, a flavonoid with powerful heart health benefits. In a recent study published in the journal International Society of Sports Nutrition, scientists determined that with or without exercise, quercetin has the ability to reduce plaque formation and help shuttle bad cholesterol out of the body. Flavor Boost: Blending some lemon juice into a smoothie helps bring out the flavors of other ingredients while adding a host of health benefits. In 1747, sailors discovered that lemons could heal scurvy because of the vitamin C content. Today, we know that vitamin C not only prevents scurvy but also boosts immune function and is important for the absorption of ferrous iron to help prevent anemia.

WHY WHEY IS SO GOOD Protein is the building block of muscle and helps promote recovery. And the latest research shows that when it comes to fat loss, whey protein is coming out on top. A recent study out of the journal International Society of Sports Nutrition wanted to better understand whey protein combined with longterm resistance exercise. What the study found was that those taking whey protein post-exercise had a greater increase in muscle mass. In addition, postworkout whey protein connoisseurs lost belly fat, too!

smartsnacking WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT IT?

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Crush Your Cravings

PROTEIN POWER! Research shows that eating higher protein snacks like these fish balls can work to keep you from overeating later on. How? Compared to highly processed carbs that are found in many packaged snack foods, protein is slower to digest, resulting in prolonged feelings of fullness. The high-quality protein in this snack also makes it great for posttraining recovery. THIS SPUD’S FOR YOU! The orange flesh of a sweet potato is a tip-off that it’s loaded with beta carotene, a potent antioxidant associated with better heart health. Beta carotene also can be converted to vitamin A to keep your immune system in tiptop shape. GREAT CATCH! A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who combined exercise with higher intakes of omega-3s experienced improved fat loss and better cholesterol numbers. So, yes, you should eat certain fats to shed the fat. OPEN SESAME! Sesame seeds not only deliver some ticker-friendly unsaturated fats but also supply a dose of selenium. And that should make you even happier to nosh on these balls when a snack attack strikes. A recent study in The Journal of Nutrition found that adults with optimal blood selenium levels were at lower risk of suffering from depression.

These great salmon snacks will satisfy your need for good taste and muscle-building protein. By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Cravings can strike at any time, which is why it’s essential to always have a healthy snack option nearby to keep you from giving into the cookie monster or tackling the vending machine. And while the past few years have seen an explosion in packaged snack-style foods on offer, it’s still almost always better to make your own. These Asian-influenced salmon balls won’t disappoint. They have a little bit of sweet and little bit of salty, not to mention plenty of nutritional heft courtesy of the salmon and sweet potato. Plus, they are a cinch to prepare. So get ready to tame your cravings without wrecking your waistline.

THAI-STYLE SALMON BALLS Makes 7 servings 1 serving = 2 balls

1 medium-size sweet potato, peeled and cubed 2 (5- or 6-ounce) cans pink or sockeye salmon, drained and flaked 1 large egg, lightly beaten ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 2 scallions, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce juice of ½ lime

1. Steam, roast or boil sweet potato until fork-tender. 2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sweet potato in large bowl and mash. Stir in remaining ingredients. Form into golf-ball-size balls. You should have about 14 balls. Arrange on a greased or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until firmed up and darkened. Let cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Nutrition facts (per serving): calories 98, fat 3 g, sodium 340 mg, carbs 5 g, fiber 1 g, protein 12 g

Bonus! If you want a little extra crunch, you also can roll the formed fish balls in sesame seeds.



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by erin calderone, MS, CSCS photography by cory sorensen

End your workout with one of these fat-blasting, Tabata-style æ3.8-*78Ű

Tabata ďŹ nishers ďŹ nishers are no joke,


There’s something deliciously satisfying about an exhausting sweat session that depletes that absolute last molecule of muscle glycogen and leaves you pleasantly puddle-like. OK, maybe we’re masochists, but there’s no better way to push the metabolic envelope and achieve that jelly-like state than with finishers. Finishers are quick, high-intensity circuits formatted in true Tabata style: They last about four minutes and are designed to tap your short-term energy systems and fatigue a large amount of muscle mass in a short amount of time. This means mega calories burned, a surge of growth hormone released and a delightful boost in postworkout nirvana.

Incinerate That Fat!

Finishers are best done at the end of a strength workout or cardio session when you have just a little left in your tank to burn before hitting the showers. The kkey with finisherss — and any Tabata, really — is intensity. intensity t ity Th Those 20 seconds d off work ok have tto b be d done all-out, and you y sho should be b b begging i ffor th those 10 seconds d off res rest. t” is i going i to t be b difObviously, your “all-out” ferent post-lift than it would have been at the beginning of the workout, but dig deep and you’ll find that last bit of fuel that needs to be incinerated. Here are four finishers, each with different equipment and/or exercises. Choose the one that is most appropriate for your training protocol du jour. For example, if you trained heavy legs, select No. 1 or 2, or if it’s chest day, try No. 3 or 4. Note: Tabata finishers are no joke, especially if you’re doing them at their intended all-out intensity, and all athletes should have an adequate base of cardiovascular fitness as well as very good form before doing them. So make your selection and we’ll meet you in the puddle in four minutes. 52


Swing Shift (4 minutes) Seconds Move 20 Kettlebell Swing 10 Rest Repeat eight times through.

FINISHER 2: Kettlebell Queen (4 minutes) Seconds Move 20 Kettlebell Swing 10 Rest 20 Kettlebell Hang, Clean and Push Press 10 Rest Repeat four times through.

FINISHER 3: The Ups and Downs (4 minutes) Seconds Move 20 Squat Jump 10 Rest 20 Mountain Climber 10 Rest 20 Skater Jump 10 Rest 20 Burpee 10 Rest Repeat two times through.

FINISHER 4: Have a Ball (4.5 minutes) Seconds Move 20 Wall Ball 10 Rest 20 Ball Overhead Slam 10 Rest 20 Skater Jump 10 Rest Repeat three times through.

n Setup: Stand behind a kettlebell with your feet just wider than your shoulders and turned out slightly. Keep your spine neutral as you bend at the hips and grasp the kettlebell with both hands. Lock your shoulder blades down to activate your lats and core. Move: Swing the kettlebell back between your thighs, keeping your back straight, then snap your hips forward to generate enough power to swing the kettlebell back through your legs and up in an arc in front of you to shoulder height or higher. Control the momentum of the kettlebell as it swings back down and through your thighs and repeat, using an even cadence.

Tip: Exhale forcefully as you snap your hips with each swing. This helps you maintain a stiff core and transfers the power through your body up to the kettlebell.

Setup: Stand with your feet just wider than your shoulders with about 10 degrees of outward rotation, back neutral, shoulders down, chin level. Move: Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, then extend your knees and hips explosively, jumping into the air and swinging your arms down and back as you jump. Land softly, compress immediately into the next squat and then repeat.

Tip: Make this move more quadintensive and cardiovascular by making the jumps shorter and quicker rather than going for height.

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Setup: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and turned out about 10 degrees. Grasp the kettlebell with one hand and pick it up off the ground, coming into the hang position: knees slightly bent, hips pushed back, spine straight, shoulders over your toes. The kettlebell should hang in front of you with your arm straight. Move: Extend your knees and hips powerfully to pull the kettlebell straight upward along the front of your body. As it reaches chest height, rotate your wrist outward so that the kettlebell swings around your hand and catch it gently on your forearm in the “rack” position, wrist straight, elbow down. Dip down in a quarter-squat (not shown), then quickly extend your legs, hips and arm to push the kettlebell up until your arm is straight, shoulder firm.

Tip: A push press is not the same as a jerk, and your feet don’t leave the ground. Use your quarter-dip to generate some power, extending your legs quickly and squeezing your glutes as you come to full extension to help press the weight upward.

MAY 2016



n n Setup: Get into a pushup position on your toes, hands underneath your shoulders, core braced and back neutral. Move: Keeping your hips low, alternately drive your knees into your chest as quickly as you can, “running” underneath your body while maintaining form.

Tip: Don’t let the toe of your lead knee scrape or rest on the ground. Your whole leg should be in the air for maximum calorie — and abdominal — burn.

Setup: Start in an athletic ready position: knees slightly bent, eyes forward, spine neutral. Move: Leap to the side, landing on your lead foot, bending your knee and bringing the other leg back behind you. Bring your arms across your body as you land, mirroring the leg behind you. Push off your lead foot, leap the other direction and continue, alternating sides.

Tip: Use your arms to get more drive, swinging them up and sideways to get a larger leap. Upgrade: Place a Dynamax ball on 9-*ç447&3))4 your skater jumps over it!



Setup: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Move: Crouch and place your hands on the ground, then jump your feet back into plank. Immediately jump your feet back up to your hands, then extend your legs and hips and leap into the air, reaching your arms overhead.

Tip: As your energy wanes, you may begin to “worm,” undulating &8>4:,4)4<39-*ç447 then come back up instead of remaining solid. Slow your pace as you fatigue and focus on tightening your abs and exercising control rather than ç&.1.3,9-74:,-.9Ű

4 Setup: Place a piece of tape about 5 to 8 feet above you on a concrete wall as a target. Face the wall, standing about 3 to 5 feet away, with a medicine ball held at chest height, elbows down. Move: Squat down low, then extend your legs and hips explosively, throwing the ball up to hit your target. Catch the ball on the rebound and absorb the momentum by bending your arms and immediately descending into another squat. Continue, linking your reps together smoothly.

Tip: The lower you squat, the more upward power you generate and the less taxing it will be on your arms to toss the ball.

Setup: Hold a medicine ball at chest height, feet shoulder-width apart and back neutral. Move: Reach the ball up and overhead, then slam the ball down to the ground as hard as you can, following through by dropping into a half-squat and swinging your arms down. Immediately pick the ball up and repeat.

Tip: Focus on executing a powerful extension of your arms during the slam, and resist bending your arms and letting your triceps take over. }


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Traditionally, a Tabata is 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times for a total of four minutes. This hits the immediate, shortterm energy systems, which begin fatiguing about two minutes in. If you go longer, you’ll be forced to reduce your intensity in order to maintain that 20/10 pace. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however: Longer Tabatas tap into your aerobic system, building cardiovascular endurance. A recent study out of Southeastern Louisiana University found that three sets of four-minute Tabatas using kettlebell moves had a similar cardiovascular and metabolic response as repeated sprints on a stationary bike while also burning more calories than the bike protocol. And speaking of burn, a study done at the University of Wisconsin repeated a fourminute Tabata for four rounds, (with one minute of rest between sets) for a total of 20 minutes. Subjects burned up to 360 calories per workout — the equivalent of an intense 30-minute run! So do you have to be a four-minute purist? Not necessarily. But we suggest trying traditional Tabatas æ789'*+47*8-449.3, higher — it’ll be the longest four minutes of your life, guaranteed.

MAY 2016



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Includes the following: • Detailed weekly workout charts that map out your complete training plan. • A downloadable e-booklet of Sarah Grace’s nutrition philosophy, including her preworkout and postworkout eating tips, snack and shake recipes, how to break down the macros, and her sample one-day meal plan.



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Ho-hum chicken breasts get a makeover with simple ingredients that get your postworkout fuel on the table in half an hour. (Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more time in the gym, folks!)

By Linda Melone, CSCS

Photography by Cory Sorensen

Athlete’s Crispy Chicken Fingers Recipe, Page 61 1. Oats stabilize your blood sugar and help keep you feeling full longer. 2. Thyme can help ease stomach troubles and acts as a diuretic, helping rid the body of excess water. 3. Mustard seeds are high in antioxidants and selenium, which helps keep inflammation at bay.

Chicken breasts are the little black dress of a clean-eating meal plan. They stand alone as a simple and elegant protein or can be dressed up for the fanciest dinner party. Either way, one thing remains: “Chicken breasts without the skin are a fantastic, low-fat, lean source of protein,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RDN, CSSD, a certified specialist in sports dietetics and the sports dietitian at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. “You need a lean source of protein if you want to gain muscle or lose weight in addition to strength training at least three to four days a week.” In fact, cutting down on protein as part of a calorie-reduction regimen may do more harm than good. “It’s actually detrimental to weight loss,” Jamieson-Petonic says. “If you are not eating adequate protein — such as that found in chicken breasts — your body breaks down its own muscle tissue to get this protein it needs, which impedes weight loss.” Jamieson-Petonic also notes that at 20 to 25 grams of protein, a 3-ounce grilled chicken breast provides nearly the 30 grams of protein recommended at each meal. No need to go overboard, however. “Research shows no advantage in exceeding this recommended amount,” she adds. In addition to protein, chicken contains B vitamins and minerals such as iron. “We need B vitamins for metabolism and normal nerve function and for maintaining healthy red blood cells,” says Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, co-author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel? (Skyhorse Publishing, 2016). “Iron found in chicken carries oxygen throughout the body, which you really need when you are active.” Chicken also contains selenium, which keeps the immune system strong and keeps your thyroid healthy, she adds.

Law of the Legs? To gain muscle and/or lose weight, you want to be sure your amino-acid pool stays full with a high-quality, lean protein like chicken breast, says Glen Tobias, MS, RD, CSSD, a sports performance nutritionist at Atlantic Sports Health in Morristown, New Jersey, and team nutritionist for the New York Jets. “I call it the ‘law of the legs,’ where the fewer the legs the better the protein,” Tobias says. “For example, egg and fish are a better choice than chicken or turkey, which are better than beef or pork.” Plus, in reality, Tobias says everyone wants to lose fat, not necessarily weight. “Muscle is fat-burning machinery. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn, which is why it’s important for women to train with weight,” he says. “The scale should not be used as a barometer for success or failure.” The following recipes provide tasty, musclebuilding and metabolism-boosting options. MAY 2016



ProteinPacked Chicken With Mushroom Sauce 1. Mushrooms are a good source of selenium, a mineral shown to have antioxidant capabilities in the body. When you can reduce the number of free radicals, or celldamaging compounds, overall health and wellness improves. 2. The high fiber content of spinach helps keep you full, aids in digestion and helps curb overeating. 3. A cup of boiled spinach provides high levels of vitamin K, which builds bones and boosts cardiovascular health.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS READY IN 25 MINUTES • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves • 2 teaspoons canola oil • 1⁄8 teaspoon each salt and pepper • ¼ cup chopped onion • 1 garlic clove, minced • 1 package (8 ounces) pre-sliced mushrooms • 2 cups, fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth, divided • 2 teaspoons unbleached flour • serve with steamed spinach Directions: 1. Place each chicken breast half between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to ½-inch thickness using mallet. 2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken to pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook three to



four minutes on each side until done; set chicken aside to serving platter and keep warm. 3. To the same pan, add onion, garlic and mushrooms and saute for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in ½ cup broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid almost evaporates. 4. To thicken sauce, sprinkle flour over mushrooms, stirring frequently for 30 seconds; add remaining broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Serve sauce with chicken and spinach. Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 130, total fat 3 g, saturated fat 1 g, trans fat 0 g, sodium 327 mg, carbs 5 g, fiber 1 g, sugar 1 g, protein 20 g, iron 1.2 mg

MAKES 4 SERVINGS READY IN 30 MINUTES • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce • 2 teaspoons sesame oil • 2 teaspoons honey • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch squares • 2 teaspoons canola oil • 3 scallions, thinly sliced • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed • toasted sesame seeds, optional

Stir-Fry Sesame Chicken With Pea Pods Body Benefits: 1. Snow peas contain vitamin B6, one of the B vitamins involved in the body’s ability to break down carbohydrates, protein and fat. 2. Honey is high in phosphorus, an essential component involved with the body’s energy production. 3. Vitamin K found in peas promotes bone health by triggering osteocalcin, the main non-collagen protein in bones.

Directions 1. In bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil and honey. Add chicken pieces, stir to combine and set aside for 20 minutes; scoop chicken out using slotted spoon. 2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and saute one minute; return chicken to skillet and cook three to four minutes more. 3. In the meantime, cook snow peas in steamer basket over boiling water just until crisp-tender, about three minutes. 4. Serve chicken and snow peas over rice. Top with optional sesame seeds. Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 260, total fat 9 g, saturated fat 2 g, trans fat 0 g, sodium 487 mg, carbs 8 g, fiber 1 g, sugar 6 g, protein 36 g, iron 2 mg

Athlete’s Crispy Chicken Fingers From Page 59

MAKES 4 SERVINGS READY IN 30 MINUTES • 1 pound chicken breast tenders • 1 cup regular oats • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese • ½ teaspoon dried thyme • 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • nonstick cooking spray Mustard dipping sauce: • ¼ cup Dijon mustard • 1 tablespoon honey • dash of hot sauce to taste Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 450. 2. Place chicken tenders between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to ½-inch thickness using mallet. 3. Process oats in food processor until coarsely ground. Place in small bowl with cheese, thyme and black pepper. 4. Lightly spray both sides of chicken tenders with oil and dredge tenders in oat mixture. 5. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until browned. 6. In the meantime, stir together all ingredients for mustard dipping sauce. 7. Serve chicken fingers with mustard dipping sauce. Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 484, total fat 22 g, saturated fat 5 g, trans fat 0 g, sodium 721 mg, carbs 48 g, fiber 6 g, sugar 5 g, protein 25 g, iron 3.5 mg


Curried Chicken in a Hurry 1. Turmeric, a main ingredient in curry, acts as a powerful antiinflammatory and postworkout pain reliever. 2. Garlic helps lower blood pressure and is involved with the health of the heart and blood. 3. Onions contain quercetin, a plant chemical with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties known to decrease risk of high blood pressure and cancers. MAKES 4 SERVINGS READY IN 25 MINUTES • 1 tablespoon canola olive oil • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1 large onion, diced • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt • 1 tablespoon curry powder • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth • 2 cups cooked brown rice Directions: 1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and saute until lightly brown, about six minutes; remove chicken from pan. 2. Add minced garlic, onion, curry powder and salt, and saute an additional five minutes; reduce heat to low and add chicken pieces back to pan; stir in chicken broth. Simmer five more minutes and serve with brown rice. Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 357, total fat 6 g, saturated fat 1 g, trans fat 0 g, sodium 356 mg, carbs 51 g, fiber 5 g, sugar 2 g, protein 24 g, iron 2.3 mg

Quick Luau Chicken 1. Ginger not only adds flavor without additional calories but also acts as an anti-inflammatory, Jamieson-Petonic says. “If you can cut down on inflammation after a workout, you will recover faster and meet your goals more quickly.”

2. Pineapple is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can reduce the number of free radicals in the body. It’s also a good source of thiamin, which is part of the enzyme involved with energy production, JamiesonPetonic says. 3. Although its sodium content is high and should be used in moderation, soy sauce has digestive benefits.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS READY IN 25 MINUTES • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves • ½ cup pineapple or mango juice • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce • 1 tablespoon honey • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1 tablespoon canola oil • fresh chopped cilantro, to taste

2. Combine pineapple (or mango) juice, soy sauce, honey, ginger and garlic in small bowl. 3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add chicken until browned, about four minutes each side. Stir in sauce and heat until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens slightly. 4. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.

Directions: 1. Place each chicken breast half between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to ½-inch thickness using mallet.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 148, total fat 4 g, saturated fat 1 g, trans fat 0 g, sodium 314 mg, carbs 10 g, fiber 0 g, sugar 8 g, protein 17 g, iron .8 mg }

MAY 2016






Build your best body with one (or both) of these triedand-true training protocols.

When I started lifting at thee ripe old d age ag of 16, I really reall eally only knew one protocol: pyramid training. raining. Maybe I watched w Pumping Iron too many times or adopted too much oldm old school advice from the ponytailed, leather-skinned eather-skinned “Mr. California 1986” at our local gym. In anyy case, pyramids p were then and are now the classic way to organize your daily grind. And with good reason: They work.

Create Metabolic Anarchy! Traditional pyramids begin with a warm-up set or two using a light weight and higher reps and progressively increase the weight and decrease the reps until you top out at your maximum possible weight for a certain number of reps (Table 1). Because each set progressively becomes more intense, your body has a chance to warm up and establish a movement pattern, helping perfect form and prevent injury. During the initial sets, your body calls more on the Type I motor units — those that produce less force — to get ’er done, but by the time you hit the last and most intense set, it will call on the Type II — high force — muscle fibers. These are the fibers that incite metabolic change, allowing you to lift heavier, gain more lean tissue and increase your resting metabolism. What’s so great about it? Pyramids are an easy strategy for beginners to learn and are a great way to track progress. So if you’ve been using 10-pound dumbbells for your max biceps curls, you’ll know that when they become too easy, it’s time to jump to the 12-pound weights as your target max. It all makes sense logically and is an easy way to pattern your training so you progress at a rate that best suits your body and abilities. Lately, though, traditional pyramids have fallen a bit out of favor, especially when it comes to muscle building. Some argue that the initial sets done pre-max lift cause excessive fatigue to the Type II fibers, thereby limiting the weight you can actually handle on your final set. Others point out that because the pyramid slowly increases weight and decreases reps, the lifter may subconsciously save her energy for her last and hardest set. And although this last set is a legitimate max attempt, the other working sets are not as effective at causing overall fatigue to the muscles, therefore limiting the hormone release and subsequent muscle growth post-exercise.

Flip It! One solution to these complaints is to flip the pyramid on its head. In a reverse pyramid, an athlete performs two to three warm-up sets that focus on increasing heat and activation in the muscles and core but that are done at an easier intensity for fewer reps so as not to pre-fatigue the muscles. Then the working sets are done in reverse order, with the heaviest set and fewest reps coming first and each successive set dropping in weight and increasing in reps (Table 2). In order to do this correctly, you’ll have to know — or be able to guess fairly accurately — your maximum weight, then decrease it incrementally with each subsequent set. What’s so great about it? Reverse pyramids increase the time-under-tension for the muscle group overall, inciting a greater hormone response and ultimately resulting in greater muscle hypertrophy and endurance over time. It also means your Type II fibers are recruited earlier, not just on the last set, and you may be able to force more adaptation — i.e., growth — by taxing their energy stores.

By Erin Calderone, MS, CSCS

MAY 2016



WHICH PYRAMID IS BEST? One protocol isn’t better than another — it all depends on your goals and abilities. For instance, traditional pyramids are stellar for new athletes trying to increase strength, as well as for those trying to track progress over a longer period. And reverse pyramids are better suited for hypertrophy and endurance because they provide more time-under-tension but are better suited for more experienced lifters because they require you to maintain perfect form even when your muscles are crying out for mercy. Athletes at all levels also can use

both styles of pyramids at different points in a training program, implementing the traditional pyramid during a strength phase and the reverse pyramid when refining and sculpting the physique. Alternately, if you’re trying to bring up a weak area, challenge that muscle group with either sort of pyramid as a shock treatment. So unlike the iconic Egyptian monoliths, your muscles can be built either from the ground up or the top down. Lift by lift, you’ll create your own living, breathing monument of muscle.


These workouts can be adapted for any bodypart. Same approach, different muscles!

Table 1: Sample Traditional Pyramid Workouts Rest two to three minutes between sets to allow time to flush lactic acid and replenish energy stores.

Muscle Group Exercise





Dumbbell Bench Press


Wide-Grip Pulldown


Back Squat

1* 2* 3 4 5 1* 2* 3 4 5 6 1* 2* 3 4 5

12 15 10 8 6 10 12 12 10 8 6 15 12 8 6 4

15 15 25 30 35 50 55 70 80 90 95 45 95 125 135 145

*These sets are considered the warm-ups, and the weights displayed are examples only — you should adjust the amount of weight to suit your ability.

Athletes at all levels also can use both styles of pyramids traditional pyramid during a strength phase and the

Table 2: Sample Reverse Pyramid Workouts Rest 90 seconds or less between sets for optimal hypertrophy and endurance gains. This duration does not allow for complete recovery, requiring your body to adapt by increasing the muscle’s endurance capacity.

Muscle Group Exercise





Dumbbell Bench Press


Wide-Grip Pulldown


Back Squat

1* 2* 3 4 5 1* 2* 3 4 5 6 1* 2* 3* 4 5 6

12 10 6 8 10 10 12 6 8 10 12 15 12 10 4 6 8

15 20 35 30 25 50 55 100 95 90 85 45 95 125 155 145 135

*These sets are considered the warm-up sets. Again, the weights are examples only — choose a weight appropriate to your level.

Get Creative! Don’t feel limited by these two sample pyramid workouts. In fact, the more creative you get with your programming, the more your body will have to adapt. Here are a couple of examples of how you can tweak your training: Inverse: Keep your reps the same (for example

10 each set), but as you fatigue, decrease your weight in order to hit your per-set goal of 10. Do two to three warmup sets and shoot for three to four heavy sets. Double: Use a traditional pyramid protocol for the first three to four sets, then throw it in reverse for the last three to four.

Unilateral: Pick a unilateral exercise, such as a single-arm row, and after a few warm-up sets, do eight to 10 reps with a heavy weight. Repeat on the other side. Then immediately switch back to the first side but do one fewer rep using the same weight. Continue this format for four rounds. }

at different points in a training program, implementing the reverse pyramid when refining and sculpting the physique. MAY 2016



C omplete pl an!

W Wh & When to eat it Here’s the real deal on what to eat to fuel up and recover no matter when you hit the gym. By Allison Young

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High-five to you for finding the workout time that works for you. That’s half the battle. The other half is fueling your fitness to match your power hour. Whether you’re an earlymorning exerciser, a night owl or somewhere in between, when and what you eat before and after your training session can be the difference between killing it in the gym (and on the scale) and losing energy midlunge. Here, we dig into preworkout and postworkout eats so you can get the best nutrient bang for your body — morning, noon and night!

If you are … An early-bird exerciser PREWORKOUT: If you roll out of bed and go straight to the gym, you could putter out during push-ups. “Working out on an empty stomach can result in low blood sugar, a sluggish workout, unfueled muscles and low energy,” warns Jessica DeGore, RD, a Philadelphia-based registered dietitian. But a big breakfast can slow you down. Go for a combo of carbs and protein 30 minutes before your workout, and because you might wake up dehydrated, don’t forget H20. “Dehydration affects your workout performance and your mood, so it’s important to drink water in the morning and throughout the day,” DeGore says. 4 Whole-grain toast (1 slice) + natural peanut butter (2 teaspoons) + fruit 4 Morning smoothie (1 cup 1% milk + ½ cup Greek yogurt + ½ cup frozen blueberries + frozen banana) 4 Overnight oats (½ cup old-fashioned oats + 1 cup almond milk + ¼ cup blueberries) 4 Rice cake (1) + natural peanut butter (1 tablespoon) + jam (1 teaspoon) 4 Dates (2) stuffed with almond butter (2 teaspoons each)

POSTWORKOUT: Save your real morning meal for after your workout. “Eat breakfast as you normally would, consisting of protein, carbs and healthy fats,” says Amy Fischer, MS, RD, CDN, a nutritionist in New York City. “Aim to get between 20 to 25 grams of protein; it will also keep you fuller longer.” 4 Plain Greek yogurt (1 cup) + mixed berries (1 cup) + sliced almonds (¼ cup) 4 Veggie omelet (2 eggs + ¼ cup diced red bell pepper + ½ cup sliced mushrooms) + 1 cup skim milk 4 Canned salmon + whole-grain bagel + avocado (¼)

A lunchtime lifter PREWORKOUT: Noontime workouts aren’t an excuse to skimp on sustenance; be sure to eat a little something before and after your lunch-break lunges. “A midmorning snack gives your body time to break down and process the nutrients needed to fuel the workout,” says Kristin Reisinger, MS, RD, CSSD, a New Jersey–based nutritionist, fitness trainer and founder of IronPlate Studios. Skip salty, fried and tough-to-digest fiber foods (think kale) that can weigh you down and bloat you up.

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4 Multigrain pretzels (10) + red bell pepper strips (6) + hummus (3 tablespoons) 4 Air-popped popcorn (3 cups popped) + Parmesan cheese (3 tablespoons) 4 Apple and walnuts (¼ cup) 4 Banana + almond butter (1 tablespoon) 4 Celery + peanut butter (1 tablespoon) + raisins

POSTWORKOUT: “The hour after finishing your workout is when the muscles are using protein to build muscles and absorbing carbohydrates, so be sure to eat something within that window,” DeGore says. Instead of leaving your nutrition up to the food-court gods, brown-bag a balanced meal that’ll make good on your hard-earned gym gains and power up your brain for the rest of the day. 4 Whole-wheat wrap + deli turkey (3 slices) + spinach (handful) + avocado (¼) 4 Tomato soup + multigrain crackers (12) + string cheese 4 Grilled chicken or canned tuna (3 ounces) + salad + oil-and-vinegar dressing (1 tablespoon)

4 Cottage cheese (1 cup) + blueberries (½ cup)

4 Brown rice bowl (½ cup brown rice + ½ cup black beans + ½ cup steamed broccoli)

4 Green smoothie (frozen banana + 1 cup almond milk + handful spinach + 2 scoops of protein powder)

4 Whole-grain bread (2 slices) + peanut butter (1 tablespoon) + honey (1 teaspoon)

MAY 2016



If you are …


hydration y hacks that really y work

Shake up your water with these nutritionpacked add-ins that go beyond your usual scoop of protein powder. z Branched-Chain Amino Acids — Boosting hydration with BCAAs (aka: the building blocks of protein) means better muscle repair and less fatigue. Add 1 scoop to 1 cup of water. z Tart Cherry Juice — The antioxidantrich beverage can speed muscle recovery postworkout and dial down next-day soreness (just go easy because it’s high in sugar). Add 2 ounces to 1 cup of water. z Chia Seeds — These potent seeds not only give water oomph, but they also supercharge it with protein, fiber, healthy fats and electrolytes. Add 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water. z Himalayan Saltt — Spike your water with a natural dose of electrolytes with this mineral-rich sprinkle that contains sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium to fend off muscle cramps and maintain water balance. Add ¼ teaspoon to 1 cup of water.



An after-work warrior

A night owl gym rat

PREWORKOUT: It can be a long stretch between lunch and a 6 p.m. Spin class. Don’t let your afternoon to-do list trump your midday snack, or you might be ravenous through your workout. “The goal of the preworkout snack should be to provide you with energy to fuel your workout,” says Fischer, who suggests a mix of low-fiber carbs that are easier to digest paired with protein. Having portable and nonperishable options you can keep at your desk also keeps you from the dreaded vending machine.

PREWORKOUT: To avoid scarfing down everything in sight after your twilight training sesh, don’t work out on an empty stomach. “Timing a ‘mini-meal’ rich in protein and some unrefined carbs a few hours before your workout will set you up for success,” Reisinger says.

4 Raisins (¼ cup) + peanuts (¼ cup) or almonds and dried cranberries

4 Baby carrots (12) + hummus (3 tablespoons)

4 Turkey jerky (1 ounce) + dried apples (3 rings)

4 Part-skim ricotta cheese (½ cup) + strawberries (½ cup)

4 Multigrain crackers (12) + hardboiled egg

4 Banana smoothie (frozen banana + 1 cup milk + scoop protein powder + ice cubes)

4 Orange + mixed nuts (¼ cup) 4 Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread (1 slice) + almond butter (2 tablespoons)

POSTWORKOUT: The most important window for refueling is within an hour after your workout. Waiting too long can make you hangry (cue fridge raid!). “Having a simple snack on hand for immediately after training takes the edge off hunger, promotes muscle repair and replenishment, and gives you the time to get home and think clearly about what’s healthy for dinner — no gorging necessary,” Reisinger says. The answer: something portable you can stash in your gym bag. 4 Almonds (¼ cup) and dried cranberries (¼ cup) 4 Chocolate milk, 2% (1 cup) + plaintain chips

4 Plain Greek yogurt (1 cup) + granola (¼ cup) 4 Cashews (¼ cup) + dried apricots (¼ cup)

POSTWORKOUT: Resist the urge to go straight to bed without eating. “Instead of skipping food completely, try to have a small snack, otherwise you might end up feeling sluggish the next day,” Fischer warns. Protein is a must; just go easy on the late-night carbs, which can lead to weight gain. 4 Dried peas (½ cup) + clementine 4 ThinkThin High Protein Bar in Brownie Crunch 4 Roasted chickpeas (½ cup) 4 Almond milk + whey protein powder (1 scoop) 4 String cheese + sliced tomato 4 Lettuce wrap (3 slices ham + 1 ounce feta cheese + 2 leaves romaine) }

4 Kind bar in dark chocolate almond and coconut or RBar in double chocolate 4 Apple + pistachios (¼ cup) 4 Chia pudding (¼ cup chia seeds + 1 cup almond or coconut milk) 4 2 hard-boiled eggs, yolks discarded and replaced with 2 tablespoons hummus + red bell pepper strips

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omen are but theseW female ath concussing at hi gher rates letes recei compared than men, v e t almost no o their ma should you l a e t know abo ntion ut concupsesers. What’s gointe g on, and w ions as an hat active wom an? Heads aren’t only turning, they’re also getting knocked around more, which is upping concussion rates. Concussions, especially among male athletes, are a hot topic these days, even getting Hollywood treatment in the 2015 movie Concussion, starring Will Smith. Yet here’s the surprise: Women have higher rates of concussions than men and can struggle more with recovery. So why is nobody talking about concussions in female athletes?

The Untold Story As with some other health conditions, women have largely been ignored in concussion research. The main reason? “Women don’t play football, and that’s where some of the highest rates of concussions occur,” says Summer Ott, Pys.D., neuropsychologist and director of the Concussion Program at Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute in Houston.

evaluated injury rates in 15 different collegiate sports. And, according to a study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, girls had higher concussion rates than boys among high-school athletes. The study compared concussion rates among 20 different high-school sports.

Bouncing Back Isn’t Easy Women also take longer to recover from concussions and often struggle with certain aspects of recovery more than men. In a study from Radiology, researchers scanned the brains of men and women who had suffered concussions from a variety of causes, including sports, and discovered that parts of the brain devoted to working memory were more active in men following their injury and less active in women. While working memory returned to normal within six weeks for the brain-injured men, that wasn’t the case for women. The mechanism of concussion is the same for men and women. “Concussion is caused

“If you continue to play while you’re still Yet times are changing, namely because researchers are now paying closer attention to concussions in female athletes and focusing on sports in which women do participate, including basketball and soccer, the two highest concussion-causing sports for women. Their research has unearthed some surprising differences.

Female Athletes Are More at Risk For starters, female athletes in general have higher rates of concussions than male athletes. In fact, women who played basketball, soccer and softball concussed at higher rates than men playing basketball, soccer and baseball, according to a study from the Journal of Athletic Training that

dizziness, vomiting or nausea, impaired balance, confusion, memory loss, ringing ears, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light and loss of taste or smell.

Neck Strength, Hormones May Play Key Roles So why then the differences between men and women? Although experts aren’t exactly sure, one theory involves neck strength. “Men typically have more muscle mass, including at the neck, than women, so when a woman is hit in the head, she’s less able to stabilize the head from moving around,” Broglio says. Hormones also may play a role. Women who concussed during the two weeks leading up to their period took longer to recover and experienced poorer health one month later than women taking birth control pills or those who’d been injured during the two-week period after their period, according to a study from The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

injured, your recovery will be longer.”

by the head making contact with something, usually two people hitting against each other,” says Steve Broglio, Ph.D., director of the NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, adding that once you’ve had one, your risk for suffering a second increases. When the head receives a blow, the brain, which is cushioned inside the skull by cerebrospinal fluid, can hit the inner side of the skull. Although most people associate concussions with loss of consciousness, the majority of people with concussions never lose consciousness, Broglio says, adding that it happens in less than 10 percent of injuries. Instead, common symptoms include prolonged headache, vision disturbances,

Finally, the differences may simply come down to the fact that women are better health advocates for themselves. “Women are more honest in their reporting and more concerned about their long-term health,” Broglio says. “Women also aren’t expected to suck it up and get back in the game.”

Heads Up, Cyclists, Soccer Athletes! While concussions can happen to anybody, certain female populations may be at greater risk, including high-school female athletes. “Not only are they playing more contact sports like soccer and basketball, concussions also occur more

MAY 2016



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frequently in developing brains,” Ott says. Another high-risk group is female cyclists who can take a blow to the head in a crash. Trouble is, though, concussions can often be tough to spot, especially if you have a history of migraines or dizziness, which are the two most common symptoms, Ott says. That’s why if you took a blow to the head, you should remove yourself from your sport and get evaluated by a medical expert who’s had concussion training. And if you have significant symptoms like vomiting, numbness or tingling or weakness in some bodypart, going in and out of consciousness and not remembering what’s going on around you, that could signal a more traumatic brain injury, so head directly to the emergency room, Ott says. Follow the same guidelines if you suspect your sport-playing daughter has suffered a concussion.

Patience Pays Off

Today’s evaluations of concussed athletes have evolved beyond the “threefinger” test.

Your recovery time will vary, but expect it to take at least seven to 14 days, knowing that women will take longer than men, Broglio says. Just don’t try to return to your sport too quickly. “If you continue to play while you’re still injured, your recovery will be longer,” he adds. Consult the concussion-trained medical expert you’ve been working with to determine when you’re ready to return; at the very least, you should wait until all concussion-related symptoms have disappeared, Broglio says. Meanwhile, for your concussed daughter, all states have laws pertaining to youth sports concussions, including a return-to-play directive, which requires that these athletes be evaluated before returning to the sport. While certainly worrisome, concussions when managed correctly aren’t a death sentence as the latest media hype would have you believe. “Concussions happen,” Ott says, “but people recover and they return to their lives as normal.”}

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You can’t prevent every concussion, but you can lessen your chance of it happening with the following strategies: 1) Strengthen Your Neck: While not a cure-all, exercises for a stronger neck could help prevent some concussions. Some of these include shoulder shrugs, dumbbell presses and barbell deadlifts. One exercise Summer Ott recommends to strengthen your neck is the seated cervical retraction with resistance. How to Do It: A. Sit upright at the end of a sturdy chair and place the back of your head in a resistance band, holding both ends in your hands. B. Bring your hands straight out in front of you and, at the same time, pull straight backward on the resistance band with your head, tucking your chin. Hold for five seconds, then return to start. Do 10 reps, once a day. 2) Wear a Helmet: If your sport encourages the use of helmets, don one. Anything you can do to give your noggin protection will help. 3) Look for Qualified Coaches: If you’re in an adult league, ask whether that coach has background in the particular sport. And if you have a sports-minded daughter, check that her coaches are trained in that sport and applying appropriate training techniques, Steve Broglio says. If your daughter’s playing at the highschool level, check, too, that an athletic trainer is available at least during games. If not, talk with the principal, athletic director or school board.

Tony Horton, creator of 22 Minute Hard Corps,

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Tony Horton is a busy guy. Besides creating dozens of the top-selling training programs in the last decade, Horton has been living a secondary life, one of philanthropy and patriotism that has carried him around the globe to more than 50 military bases worldwide. He has worked with and worked out with some of America’s finest soldiers, and his new program, 22 Minute Hard Corps, brings those basic training experiences right into your home. The program is fast, efficient and tough, indicative of both the troops that inspired it and the program’s cast, which includes 40 U.S. veterans representing each branch of the military, as well as some of Horton’s own “veterans” — regulars you’ll recognize from P90X’s past. HOW THIS PROGRAM WORKS: Both the workouts below are designed in a ladder-repetition structure with each exercise alternating between an increase and a decrease in reps.

Workout 1: Resistance

Do these moves in a circuit, resting minimally between moves. Go through the routine three times total.



Circuit 1

Circuit 2

Circuit 3

Plyo Lunge Thrust


25 reps

20 reps

15 reps

Arm Balance Row


12 reps

14 reps

16 reps each side

Mountain Squat


10 reps

8 reps

5 reps each side

Punch Pull


16 reps

20 reps

24 reps each side

Flutter Kick


2 reps

15 reps

10 reps

Workout 2: Cardio

Do these moves in a circuit, resting minimally between moves. Go through the routine three times total.



Circuit 1

Circuit 2

Circuit 3

Crawl Jack


8 reps

10 reps

12 reps

Gorilla Crawl


26 reps

20 reps

16 reps

Plank Roll


6 reps

8 reps

10 reps

Knee Drop Lunge


20 reps

15 reps

12 reps

Corkscrew Lift


20 reps

16 reps

10 reps

Sample Workout Week Monday


Workout 1

Workout 2

Wednesday Thursday Workout 1

Workout 2




Workout 1

Workout 2


MAY 2016




Resistance Workout

Plyo Lunge Thrust

Arm Balance Row Setup: Start in plank with your hands on a set of dumbbells placed directly beneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels in line. Move: Pull one dumbbell straight up into your rib cage, then extend your arm toward the sky, opening your chest, shoulders and hips to the side as you come to full extension. Look up toward your hand and pause, then return to plank. Continue, alternating sides.

Make it easier: Eliminate the shoulder press.

Make it easier: Put one knee down when in side plank.

Make it harder: Go for height with your jumps.

Make it harder: Increase the weight and stack your feet in side plank.


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Setup: Assume a widelunge stance with your weight evenly distributed between your feet. Hold a set of dumbbells at your shoulders with your elbows down, chest lifted. Move: Bend both knees and lower to the ground until your knees come to 90 degrees. Extend your legs quickly, exploding off the ground and switching lead legs midair. Simultaneously extend your arms and press the dumbbells straight up overhead. Land softly, lower weights and immediately go into the next repetition.

Punch Pull Setup: Stand with your feet double hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Move: Rotate to the left and drop into a lunge, driving the weight down toward your left foot, keeping your chest up and focus forward. Reverse the move to return to a standing position, then continue rotating to the right, rowing the weight up and behind you, using your free hand to help with rotation, elbow up. Do all reps on one side before switching. Make it easier: Decrease the weight and range of motion. Make it harder: Increase the weight and depth of the lunge.

Mountain Squat Setup: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell near one shoulder. Move: Kick your hips back and bend your knees to squat down, placing your free hand on the ground behind you. Hold the dumbbell steady near your shoulder as you lie all the way down onto the ground until you’re flat. Reverse the steps to stand back up, assisting with your hand to push yourself back up onto your feet and then pressing through your heels to come to a standing position. Do all reps with the dumbbell on one side before switching.

Flutter Kick Setup: Lie faceup with your arms extended along your sides and your legs raised an inch off the floor. Move: Do small kicks with both legs, fluttering them up until they come over your hips, then flutter back down almost to the floor. Make it easier: Start with your legs over your hips and flutter down to about 45 degrees.

Make it easier: Use bodyweight only. Make it harder: Increase resistance and/or speed.

Make it harder: Make bigger kicks with your legs and lower them closer to the ground.

MAY 2016




Knee Drop Lunge Setup: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees bent in a halfsquat, and lace your fingers behind your head, elbows flared. Move: One knee at a time, lower into a kneeling position, keeping your chest lifted. Reverse the steps to return to the halfsquat position. Continue, alternating sides.

Cardio Workout Gorilla Crawl Setup: Crouch on the ground with your hands placed in front of you on the floor, hips low, heels down, knees bent and chest lifted. Move: Reach your hands to the right, then pull your body to the side two “steps.” Reverse direction for another two “steps.” Continue, alternating sides.

Make it easier: Put your hands on your hips and stand up completely between reps.

Make it easier: Move slowly and keep the lateral movements small.

Make it harder: Add a weight plate behind your head and increase your speed.

Make it harder: Increase your lateral range of motion and increase your speed.

Crawl Jack Setup: Get into a forearm plank with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels in line. Move: Crawl forward two steps using alternate elbows and feet, then hold plank as you jump your feet apart and then back together. Crawl backward two steps and repeat the leg jack to complete one repetition.

Plank Roll

Make it easier: Do it on your hands instead of your forearms.

Setup: Get into plank with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels in line. Move: Bend your elbows and lower completely to the floor so you’re lying belly down. Roll 360 degrees along the floor like a log, then once you come belly down, again press back up into plank. Repeat, alternating sides.

Make it harder: Take larger strides with your forearms/feet and increase your speed.

Make it easier: Lower your knees before bending your elbows and lowering to the floor. Make it harder: Move with speed and pop up into each plank quickly.



The man behind the workout Oxygen reached out to Tony Horton to get the inside scoop on his new program, his connection to the military and the workout he created exclusively for Oxygen readers. z You’ve been going to military bases and teaching workouts for a while. What motivated you to connect with our military as an instructor? My father served as a tank commander at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and then Schofield Barracks on Oahu, Hawaii. Unbeknownst to me, commanders like Col. Steven Shepro were requiring the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to do P90X to stay sharp mentally, physically and emotionally. After Shepro’s tour in the Middle East, he was transferred to Andrew’s AFB outside of Washington, D.C. He contacted my cousin David, a lobbyist in Washington, and asked if I would come to Andrews and do a workout for the troops. It was my very first encounter training members of the military, and I loved it. During that trip, I met with Armed Forces Entertainment at the Pentagon, and they set up my first military tour in Italy. The rest is history.

z Are these actually moves that the troops do in basic training?

Corkscrew Lift Setup: Lie faceup with your arms extended along your sides and your legs hovering an inch off the floor. Move: Raise your legs over your hips and then lift your hips off the floor and twist to the side, reaching your toes straight up for the sky. Lower to the start and continue, alternating sides. Make it easier: Keep your knees bent and your pelvic tilt minimal.

What we did in 22 Minute Hard Corps is combine the cadence-driven pace of military training with my functionalfitness expertise, bringing new life into the tried-and-true methods of the armed forces to create a comprehensive, calorie-scorching, total-body workout with each routine.

z What was it like shooting on location for the videos? The sets were really special — the deck of the USS Iowa, various military bases, an airline hangar. On those sets when the sun was hot, the vets were a phenomenal group to work with. They made the production feel easy in some uncomfortable conditions. Wonderful attitudes, great energy, true professionals all around.

z Tell us about the program. The program is one 22-minute workout a day, six days a week for eight weeks. You alternate between totalbody cardio and total-body resistance routines, with each workout made up of three rounds with varying rep combinations. What I have designed here for Oxygen has stayed true to that structure, but I have chosen specific moves exclusively for the Oxygen reader and put them into one resistance and one cardio workout.

z What kind of warm-up do you recommend? Anything to increase core temperature and get you ready to work hard — and of course a cool-down moving at a slower pace and some static stretching to wrap things up. }

z Why 22 minutes? Originally, the program was designed to be 20 minutes, but I asked if we could lengthen it by two minutes — partially because 22 is my favorite number but also because a quick oneminute warm-up and cool-down were needed.

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Make it harder: Tilt your pelvis as much as possible and keep your legs straight. MAY 2016



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She’d Rather Be a Badass This Phoenix mother of three has left her days of eating disorder far behind. In its place is strength and joy. By Diane Hart, editor-in-chief

I am livin g a lifestyle that I lov e.

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running, and track and field to figure competitions, and in doing so, she began to respect her time in the gym or on the road as an emotional release. “I would hit the weights and the pavement hard and my mind would often wander. This gave me clarity and an emotional release when I didn’t know any other way to express my frustration,” she recalls. “I think the ability to sculpt and shape your body the way you want is an incredible thing if you care to take advantage of it. So, too, is warding off illness, disease, heart attack, diabetes and osteoporosis to name just a few reasons I believe women should wish and work to be strong,” she says. For her part, Gaston understands the importance of being a positive role model to her three children — Rylie (13), Alexis (12) and Davis (7) — and an active wife to her husband of 16 years, John Gaston.}

Tiffany Lee Gaston’s hashtag was created because of her sincere belief in the power of change and also refers to her soon-to-be released book From Broken to Badass. “Having gone down a dark path early on and had a very poor self-image, I know change comes from within and learning to manifest a change in my mindset, not my body, was key for my recovery. We can either make excuses or we can create and evoke change within our lives. I choose the latter, and I will continue to because I realize just that, it is a choice. I am living a lifestyle that I love.”




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When it comes to fitness, Tiffany Lee Gaston talks more about it being a salvation for her both physically and emotionally instead of simply a business. The 37-year-old Arizona-based trainer, author and philanthropist credits her commitment to staying fit and inspiring others to do the same as the way out of what she calls “a very dark place” — battling an eating disorder in her preteens just to fit in with her friends. “In literally trying to starve the muscle off my already small frame, I wanted badly to be something I was not,” Gaston says. When she grappled with the eating disorder and came out in front of it, she began lifting weights and running. Later, she learned her small but athletic frame was stronger than she thought. And she came to embrace strength as an athlete. She went from competing in gymnastics, cross-country


Bikini Queen

m i is I

Three-time Bikini Olympia winner Ashley Kaltwasser didn’t get that physique by starving herself. “I eat five to seven meals a day, but they’re not on a scheduled time,” she says. She drinks at least a gallon of water a day and believes in avoiding too many dietary restrictions. “I do consume dairy, like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese,” she says. “I use seasonings to flavor my food, and yes, I even use salt until a week before my show.” Kaltwasser believes in taking a personalized approach to nutrition. “A lower-carb, moderate-fat diet works best for me, but you need to find the diet that works best for you. Every body is different!” The Gaspari Nutrition athlete also indulges in one treat meal a week. “It gives me something to look forward to,” she says. “I don’t like to be overly strict with my diet because it’s detrimental in the long run, mentally.” The collegiate track-and-field athlete, who competed in the 400-meter hurdles, grew up in Akron, Ohio, and now lives in Southern California. Her meteoric rise in the world of bikini competition is legendary, as she won the Bikini Olympia contest in her first appearance at the event. She’s also the only competitor to win the Arnold Sports Festival Bikini International and the Bikini Olympia.

A DIET DOESN’T HAVE TO BE MISERABLE “If you noticed that there is no seafood in my diet, it is because I cannot stand seafood. I gag at the smell of fish or anything from the sea. I believe in eating tasty foods during prep. You don’t have to be miserable! If you don’t like a certain food in your diet, I encourage you to make a substitution.”




Ashley Kaltwasser found her recipe for success and rose through the contest ranks in record time. By Maura Weber b, er-car “A low te-fat a moder ks best r o w t u die , but yo for me find the o need t t works a diet th r you.” best fo

ASHLEY’S SAMPLE ONE-DAY MEAL PLAN zMeal 1: 1 scoop Gaspari Nutrition IsoFusion vanilla protein powder mixed in with a glass of iced coffee, stevia to sweeten and 1 whole grapefruit zMeal 2 (postworkout): 4 ounces chicken, 4 ounces sweet potato, 1 cup cauliflower zMeal 3: 4 ounces ground turkey, 1 cup cooked brown rice, and plenty of hot sauce and chili powder zMeal 4: 1 cup egg whites with ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes blended and made into mini flapjacks zMeal 5: 4 ounces chicken and 2 cups green veggies zMeal 6: 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons flax meal and stevia to sweeten zMeal 7: 1 cup egg whites (“This is an optional meal if it’s been a long day or if I’m still really hungry.”)

ASHLEY’S FAVORITE GASPARI NUTRITION PRODUCTS: zSuperPump Max: “This is great for getting hyped for a workout, especially on mornings when I’m feeling exceptionally groggy. My favorite flavor is black cherry.” zMyoFusion Advanced Protein: “A great-tasting protein powder that I oftentimes mix with my oats in the morning. It has a wonderful thicker consistency.” zIsoFusion Premium Whey Isolate: “Great for mixing into my morning iced coffee. It dissolves well.” zCarnipure: “A great natural fat burner! I love to mix it with my AminoLast.” zAminoLast: “A very refreshing BCAA mix that replenishes my electrolytes and supports my muscles during my workout.” zAnavite: “I use this multivitamin supplement daily.”


By Sarah Tuff Dunn


Clean Up! Kids create chaotic kitchens. But you can stay Zen by knowing there’s a method to the madness in which you spray Method cleaner on the counters: Messy eating spaces make moms and their offspring pack on the pounds. The Cornell Food and Brand Lab reveals that when women are in a cluttered environment, they eat 65 more calories than when they’re in a calm zone. Time to dim the lights and focus on your food, not the fracas.

Pregnancy and weight gain go hand in hand. But a healthy weight gain comes down to getting the optimal amount of sleep, reveal researchers from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. After monitoring more than 750 pregnant women for seven days, scientists in a study presented recently at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine found that those who slept too little — and those who slept too much — were more likely to gain extra weight during gestation.

BEAT THE BLUES WITH WORKOUT SHOES Many moms find their happy place in the gym — and now there’s another reason to schedule a brain-boosting barbell session for yourself. In a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry, researchers found that if a parent is depressed, their children’s grades are more likely to suffer. The study of more than 1.1 million kids found that a mom’s depression has long-term effects on her offspring’s academic performance. So if exercising is your therapy (and many other studies have linked working out with reduced rates of depression), then go for it.

Get Moving on Mother’s Day

Who needs flowers when you’ve got racing powers? These are just a few of the events that get fit moms out of that crumby breakfast-in-bed date on May 8:

• Mother’s Day 5K & Brunch, Denver: • TriGirl Sports Mother’s Day Triathlon, Houston: • The Great Mother’s Day Race, Sarasota, Florida: • Mother’s Day 5K, Charlotte, North Carolina: • Wisconsin Marathon, Kenosha, Wisconsin:



successstory ostpartum p s th n o m Six d muscle, I had gaine fallen in love lost fat andts!” with weigh


Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico Age: 29 Height: 5’8” Old weight: 175 lb Occupation: Restaurant owner, blogger Favorite mantra: There’s nothing worse than wasted potential. “I have this tattooed on my back as a constant reminder to push through any perceived limitations.”


140 lb


“I Turned My Life Around!” Monica Bencomo found new confidence after combining the magic of eating clean and lifting weights. By Lara McGlashan, MFA, CPT, Fitness Editor Depression is an insidious disease, and can be a debilitating one, as well. “I was really athletic in my youth and was captain of the pom-pom squad, ran track, played basketball and danced,” Monica Bencomo says. But when she was 19, Bencomo began to question some things in her life, such as her mother’s mental illness and her father’s absence. “We grew up in poverty, and I rebelled as I grew older, demanding answers,” she says. “I turned to food to ease my pain.”

Say Goodbye to Low Self-Esteem A steady diet of candy bars, fast food and soda meant an accumulation of 40 pounds, and that ballast weighed her down for several years. But Bencomo grew tired of avoiding mirrors at all costs. Needing a fresh start, she left Chicago and moved in with her older sister in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “My transformation started with that decision — to leave my hometown, as well as my negative self-image, behind,” she says. Her initial goal was simply to get moving, so the sisters took to the hills, running and jogging in the New Mexico mountains. As for diet: “Fast food was my main vice, so I let go of that first,” Bencomo says. “I had looked at food as my happy place and letting go of using it as comfort was really hard. But I began to ask myself, ‘Are you eating because you’re hungry or are you trying to replace an uncomfortable feeling?’ And eventually, the honest answer would come and help me with self-control.”


The Winning Formula? Weights and Clean Eating Within six months, Bencomo had dropped that 40 pounds and was flush with renewed confidence. “Once I lost that weight, I started auditioning for dancing gigs again and did that professionally for years,” she says. “I also met and married my husband who is a professional chef and who helped me learn even more about healthy eating and cooking.” After the birth of her first child at age 26, however, Bencomo had a come-to-the-iron moment. “I gained 50 pounds with my pregnancy and was shocked at how my body had changed,” she says. “I knew that cardio alone would not transform my body this time, so I joined a gym and got into weight training. Six months postpartum I had gained muscle, lost fat and fallen in love with weights.” People at her gym were so impressed with her turnaround that Bencomo started an Instagram account (@momswearheels) and a blog (moms to help answer the multitude of questions about how she did it. “And I recently had a daughter and am having an awesome time showing my followers and readers how to get in shape after babies all over again!” she says. “Exercise saved my life when I was battling depression in my youth. Moving my body, treating it as the temple it is, and developing the discipline needed to do so has made me a healthier, happier person with a much brighter future. I feel blessed to have been able to turn my life around.”


Name: Monica Bencomo

FACTS Name: Jennifer Sierra Hometown: Houston Age: 30 Height: 5’2” Old weight: 183 lb Occupation: Human resources executive assistant Words of wisdom: “Food should not control your life. Instead of saying ‘I can’t have this food’ say ‘I choose not to have this food.’”


108 lb


b e fo r e

It’s Your Choice! After years of fad diets, Jennifer Sierra finally found her lifetime weight-loss solution. By Lara McGlashan, MFA, CPT, Fitness Editor Is it possible to be born big? Jennifer Sierra believes it is. “I was a 12-pound baby and have no recollection of ever being a thin person growing up,” she says. “At 13, I realized I had a weight problem and started searching for the magic pill, trying all the fad diets I could. That continued for 14 years. I’d temporarily lose weight simply to put it back on once I felt comfortable or grew tired of the diet.” The yo-yo weight cycle was detrimental to her metabolism as well as her mental health. “With every new diet, I would automatically feel down and depressed knowing I would have to let go of the food I loved,” she says. “My battle became emotional, and when I had had enough of whatever diet I was on, I would binge-eat all the foods I craved and would feel happy — until I saw the unflattering reflection in the mirror.”

The Best Decision! Sierra’s weight ballooned when she was pregnant with her first son, and after delivery, she weighed 183 pounds. But it wasn’t until two years later when she saw an image on social media that she didn’t recognize as being herself that she decided to make a change. She bought a treadmill and started doing cardio at home, and a few weeks later, she enlisted the help of a family friend who was a personal trainer.

“Initially, I just wanted to be skinny — that was my goal — but my trainer was prepping for a bodybuilding competition, and as I watched him transform, I became intrigued,” she says. “I wondered if I could do a competition like that myself and made it a long-term goal to do so.”

Shedding Fat, Gaining Muscle Her trainer gave her a program of strength training and high-intensity interval training cardio and slowly helped her add some lean muscle to her body while melting fat. He also helped her create a macronutrient-based meal plan with a higher protein intake and a moderate carbohydrate and fat intake. “The challenge for me was wrapping my head around macronutrients,” she says. “In past dieting attempts, I was so focused on calorie counting that making the initial switch was difficult.” But she trusted her trainer’s plan and was amazed as a balanced approach to eating began to strip off what years of crash dieting could not. By 2013, she had reached her goal weight of 118 pounds and began angling toward competition. However, a series of health setbacks and a subsequent pregnancy prevented her from getting onstage as planned. But the desire never left her mind, and in 2015, she finally made it, 11 months after giving birth to her second child, and appeared onstage at 108 pounds and 10 percent body fat. “Health and fitness are not a one-size-fits-all thing, and each goal requires equal amounts of hard work and dedication,” she says. “I would like to continue competing in fitness to keep me accountable and ensure I don’t fall back into my old habits. Most of all, I want to be an example to my children and family that our health is the most important thing.” }

g, fitness-fits-all thin d n a Healtht a one-size uires equal are no ch goal req ork and and eants of hard w amou tion.” dedica MAY 2016




33 • 143 LB • 5’7”


40 • 125 LB • 5’6








26 • 125 LB • 5’7”

BREATHING TREATMENTS: “I started working out after I was diagnosed with asthma in middle school,” Sherika Holmes says. “My doctor recommended I get involved in sports to make my lungs stronger. I fell in love with basketball and weight training, and after a couple of years, I no longer had asthma.” She brings intensity to everything she does in the gym. “I love to get my heart rate pumping and love the energy when doing tire flips, boxing drills and sprints,” she says. “However, I can’t go without my good ol’ weights. I like the feeling of being strong.”

BEEF UP: Julie Baker lettered in volleyball and basketball in high school, and that’s when she started weight training. “My basketball coach said I needed more meat on my bones, so I didn’t have a choice,” she says. Baker explains that her 90-year-old grandmother, Doris Brewster, inspires her to keep pushing herself. “She continues playing softball and bowling (she beats everyone she plays), and she participates in the Senior Olympics,” she says. Plus, she credits support from her boyfriend, Dion Chavez. “He motivates me every day to do my best.”

FATHER KNOWS BEST: Growing up, Ashley Azevedo saw her dad, Ryan Azevedo, making fit lifestyle choices, and she picked up his habits. “When I was younger, he competed in triathlons and always kept a healthy diet,” she says. Azevedo followed in his footsteps and started working out when she was 16 years old, and she thinks her dad’s approach is effective. “Kids usually want to do what the adults in their lives are doing, but they don’t ever want to be told what to do,” she says. “Model a healthy lifestyle and your kids will want to join in.”

BACKED BY MOM: Holmes has her own gym in Memphis called Sherika Fitness and explains that her secret weapon to business success is her mother, Linda Norris. “She put in a kitchen sink, built office walls, painted and repaired equipment,” Holmes says. “I wouldn’t be the person I am now without my mother.” During Holmes’ workouts, she gets motivation from an unusual genre of music. “I like listening to slow love songs by Sam Smith or K. Michelle, who sings a lot about heartbreak,” she says. “This motivates me to smash some things in the gym.”

CHANGE IS GOOD: Baker works out five or six times a week and varies her program from week to week. “I like to circuit train and end each set with plyometrics,” she says. “I complete my workout with 30 minutes of cardio, and I vary it from day to day with walking, running, elliptical and stair climbing.” Nighttime is her workout time. “It brings me down from all the demands of a work day,” she says.

NEW LOVE FOR HER BODY: Azevedo survived a car accident that left her unable to exercise for a year. “The ultimate feeling of defeat came when a doctor recommended that I not engage in any heavy lifting or running ever again,” she says. Determined to get back to fitness, Azevedo took it one step at a time and is now back at it in the gym. “I am just grateful for a body that allows me to move and function,” she says.

MORE THAN A TRAINER: Holmes enjoys sharing her love of fitness with others. “I teach fitness classes, but I am more than a trainer,” she says. “I am a listener, motivator and their biggest fan. I am passionate about helping women and girls get healthy and love their bodies.”


TIPS THAT WORK: “Prepare vegetables and fruits in baggies or containers for the week,” Baker says. “They are easy to grab and go.” She also packs her gym bag the night before and makes time for some rest and relaxation. “I give myself every Wednesday to make it all about me,” she says. “I don’t go to the gym, and I allow myself to take care of errands, get a manicure or pedi, and take a nap, too.”

DEADLIFT LOVER: A program of weightlifting five times a week and cardio two to four times a week works best for Azevedo. “The cardio isn’t always strenuous; sometimes it’s just a good hike or long walk,” she says. Her favorite exercise is deadlifts. “They hit so many different muscle groups, and they’re so challenging. I always feel so accomplished after a good set of deadlifts,” she says.

Ashley Azevedo

Sherika Holmes

Julie Baker

Memphis, Tennessee

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Los Angeles

Gig: Fitness trainer

Gig: Elementary instructional coach

Gig: Certified personal trainer


Think you have the fit factor?

Meet 6 women who’ve got the fit factor By Maura Webe








24 • 112 LB • 5’3”

FAMILY FIRST: Paige Lodge credits her brother Andrew Lodge with showing her the ropes of weight training. “He was the first person to show me how to lift weights with proper form, and from then on, I fell in love with the gym,” she says. “I love challenging myself to increase strength and being able to visually see the results that come from hard work.” Her favorite exercise is the deadlift. “It is an exercise I can work at weekly to increase weight, and it’s a great lower-body builder.” FOOD LOVER: Lodge is in school training to be a dental hygienist, and she also has a passion for learning about nutrition. “Whether it’s a cookbook or nutrition research, I love learning how foods can harm or heal,” she says. Lodge calls herself a “veggie monster” because of all the greens she eats, with zucchini and Brussels sprouts being her favorites, and she has one treat meal a week. MAKING TIME FOR IT ALL: Lodge works hard to stay on top of a busy schedule. Working out in the morning gets her started right, then it’s off to school. “If I were to let myself fall behind and fail to prepare for work/meals/school/etc., it would definitely catch up with me and I wouldn’t be the happy person I am today,” she says. “Whether it be in the gym or the grocery store, I’ve learned the power of positivity. My motto is to spread love as thick as you would peanut butter!”


34 • 102 LB • 4’1


GRAD-SCHOOL BLUES: Celia Torres developed some bad habits while pursuing a master’s degree in communications from the University of Texas-Pan American, but she turned things around afterward. “The week after I graduated, I started working out,” she says. “I was experiencing health complications from the weight I had gained and the bad eating habits I had developed.” Since then, she has kept up the good work. “My grandmother passed away from diabetes. Watching her suffer has been my motivation for maintaining healthy eating habits and exercising.” These days, she gets up at 4 a.m. to hit the gym. “It sets me up for a productive day,” she says. SOUND OF WEIGHTS: Torres explains that her favorite exercise is the deadlift. “I love the sound of the weights hitting the floor,” she says. “Plus, it engages almost every muscle in your body.” She lifts weights five days a week, doing one bodypart a day, and does high-intensity interval training for her cardio. “I like to do sprints outdoors, especially at a nature park or the beach. I’ve also become an avid hiker,” she says. PURPOSE-DRIVEN: Training time is alone time for Torres. “I have several projects on my plate at once, so it’s nice to focus solely on pushing the weight and maintaining that mind/muscle connection,” she says. “I always get excited about the opportunity to outperform myself.” She believes in keeping a positive attitude, meditating and listening to podcasts on life fulfillment.


50 • 108 LB • 5’3”

INSTANT ENERGY: Nelli Sivriver started out training casually for health, then kicked it up a notch. “I got more into it as I saw results in the way I looked and felt physically and emotionally after a workout,” she says. Her training approach changed as she learned more and pushed herself. “I used to do supersets, which didn’t seem to give me big results. Now I try to work a different muscle group each day,” she says. She does cardio about four times a week and weight-trains five to six days a week. “As soon as I pick up some weights, it gives me instant energy.” KEY TO SUCCESS: Rice cakes and peanut butter are a standard snack for Sivriver. Her experience tells her that nutrition is the key to getting the body you want. “Some people think that if they exercise a lot and don’t follow nutrition, they will be fine, but that is not right,” she says. “Also, people think that that if they do excessive cardio, they will see results, but I personally don’t think so.” NEW NORMAL: Sivriver explains that she came to the United States from Russia 25 years ago. “Times were different then, and all I knew was to be a homemaker,” she explains. “When I chose fitness as a hobby, I learned that a woman can be anything she wants to be. Fitness has changed my lifestyle and my outlook of life for the better.”

Paige Lodge

Celia Torres

Nelli Sivriver

Summerland, British Columbia, Canada

Harlingen, Texas

Maple Grove, Minnesota

Gig: Student

Gig: Television producer/reporter

Gig: Hairstylist

Send your story to

MAY 2016



supplementreview DMAA boosts brain chemicals to support fat burning.

Garcinia cambogia helps inhibit body-fat storage.

“DMAA, also known by its chemical name 1,3-dimethylamylamine, is one of the most potent thermogenic compounds available,” says Jared Wheat, CEO of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. “Research demonstrates that DMAA is safe and effective for supporting fat loss; yet many supplement companies have removed DMAA from their products because of pressure from the Food and Drug Administration.” Over the past several years, DMAA was used in place of ephedrine (now banned) in stacks to accelerate fat burning. DMAA helps increase norepinephrine levels, the brain chemical also known as noradrenaline. “This compound works as a powerful central nervous system stimulator, increasing energy levels, alertness, focus and even enhancing release of stored body fat,” Wheat says. When you’re seeking greater benefits from your thermogenic, turn to DMAA found in HydroxyElite.

Your Formula for Fat Loss HydroxyElite uses tried-and-proved ingredients to help you succeed on your program. By Adam Gonzalez You can overthink success in almost any aspect of life. That even applies to your fat-loss program. You know that you need to cut calorie intake and rev up your metabolic rate through cardio and weight training. But you don’t need to weigh every portion of every food on a scale: You simply have to keep track of what you’re consuming and what you’re doing in the gym. All you need is a diary or a good memory — rather than the over-analysis that comes with excessive scientific calibrations. The same thought process applies to your fat-burning supplement. Some products overthink which ingredients they include in their formulation, constantly changing their ingredients to keep pace with fads and fear mongering. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals doesn’t make this mistake with HydroxyElite, its top-of-the-line fat burner. HydroxyElite contains ingredients that have been scientifically proved safe and effective in boosting fat burning. Here’s more about what HydroxyElite contains and how these ingredients will help you succeed on your plan without overthinking success.



Caffeine helps prevent bodyfat storage and increases the benefits of other ingredients. Years ago, the most potent fat burners included what was then known as an “ECA stack.” This stack included ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin. Ephedrine was banned from the marketplace because of misuse, and athletes and others trying to reduce body fat sought an alternative that was as effective. Caffeine has long been noted as a potent fat burner in its own right, but research also demonstrates that it increases the effects of many other fat-burning ingredients. One of these is DMAA, which is why HydroxyElite also contains 100 milligrams of anhydrous caffeine in each dose.

Not only do you want to encourage release of fat from storage, but you also want to prevent calories you consume from being packed onto your body as fat in the first place. Garcinia cambogia helps block fat storage by inhibiting a key enzyme that your body needs to make fat from the carbohydrates you’ve consumed. Otherwise, carbs that you don’t burn shortly after consuming them are readily converted to fat and stored for later use. Inhibition of this enzyme also reduces the production of LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides, helping to improve overall health.

See and feel the burn It’s not only important to feel the effects of your fat-loss supplement but also to recognize visible results when you put on your favorite jeans or look in the mirror. HydroxyElite was designed for accelerated body-fat reduction. It not only contains DMAA, caffeine and Garcinia cambogia, but it also includes Bacopa monnieri, rauwolscine extract and Bauhinia purpurea. For best results, take one to two capsules in the morning and one capsule after lunch. Do not exceed more than four capsules per day. }

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