Eccentric Exercise – More Benefits, Less Time

eccentric exercise, eccentric trainingDoing eccentric exercise can help you build more muscle, lose fat and takes less time. Eccentric training is defined as the active contraction of the muscle along with lengthening of the muscle. For example when you are doing a bicep curl, the eccentric part of the exercise is the lowering motion that occurs after you lift the dumbbell. The movement is done slowly to keep the muscle in a state of contraction for longer. Sometimes this type of training is known as “negative training” because it is the negative part of the movement. There are ways to do this at home and there are ways to do this at the gym. I will post some videos below from YouTube that will demonstrate some of the concepts of eccentric exercise.

Eccentric exercise trades quantity for quality. The goal is to put more of your muscle fibers to work. This means that you can get a better workout in, with better results in less time. This is not to imply, however, that it is easy. In fact, if you do this correctly it will be very tough and you will have some significant muscle soreness.

Examples of eccentric exercise

Push ups – doing an eccentric push up should be called a ‘lower down’ instead. You can do them from your toes, from your knees or against a wall. You start in push up postilion and then you lower yourself down VERY slowly to a count of 10. If your arms are too fatigued from the lowering you don’t have to do the upward motion of the push up. Just get back into position and do it again. Try to do it for a total of 6 lower downs. If you have enough strength left at the lowest part of the movement on the last one you can hold the lowest position for 10 seconds for some extra muscle contraction. Give it a try during your next workout!

This first video is the author of the book The Calorie Myth demonstrating how to do squats with eccentric exercise.

This next video is great for doing eccentric exercise with pull ups. I’m not strong enough (yet) to do pull ups the right way so this is how I strengthen the muscles involved in doing pull ups. I do have a pull up bar but I have also been known to do this on the trapeze bar on my kids’ swingset or on some playground equipment.

This next video shows how you can do a shoulder press, chest press, row and squats using eccentric training.

I’d love for you to try some of these exercises and post in the comments how you did. If you do these right you may find that you experience some significant muscle soreness the next day. Rest and let your muscles build and repair.


Beachbody Coach Sneak Peek

coach sneak peekWhat is Beachbody coaching?

I would love to share with you what I do as a coach. Yes, it is a business and yes I love building an extra income by coaching. But the real reason I do it is to inspire and encourage others. There is nothing like having someone thank you for helping them make a breakthrough in their health journey. Another reason I love coaching and helping other coaches is that it helps me stay accountable to continue healthy living. I lead by example and as I watch all of you work hard it helps me to work hard too.

I am not a dietitian or a personal trainer or a salesperson, I don’t hold a business degree and I have not always been the perfect picture of health and fitness. So what qualifies me to be a Beachbody coach? One main ingredient you need to be a successful coach is the desire to be better than you were the day before.

The week long coaching sneak peek involves a small private Facebook group. Each day I will give you a different glimpse into the business opportunity with posts and short videos to watch. Coaching is not a get rich quick deal. To be successful in any business you have to build relationships and that just takes time. But if you take it seriously and make consistent efforts you will have success. If you decide that coaching is for you I will provide free training, encouragement and support along the way.

Don’t forget to shoot me a friend request on Facebook if you aren’t my “friend” already. I’m looking forward to giving you a ‘Sneak Peak’ into what I love to do!


Edible Flowers to Spice Up Your Favorite Salad Recipe

salad recipe

Source: Wikimedia Commons, Krista

Looking for a new salad recipe? Are you tired of boring salads? Want to kick things up a notch? Want to take a plain Jane salad and make it fancy? Here are some great tips that might help put some variety into your quest to eat more vegetables.

Add some blooms found right in your vegetable patch.

There are edible blooms that grow in your flower garden but you can also find edible blooms right in your vegetable patch.  Some of these ‘edible blooms’ you actually know quite well, even if you haven’t thought of them as the flowering part of your vegetables. The broccoli and cauliflower we are familiar with are both actually flowers, just as the artichoke is also the flower of the plant.

In addition to the heads of cauliflower or broccoli being edible flowers, you can also allow the flower to flower, so to speak, and enjoy them as well.  The pretty yellow flower of the broccoli can be picked, cleaned, and enjoyed sprinkled on top of a bed of lettuce. The flowering shoots on cauliflower and artichokes can also be eaten. Experiment with the flavors to create a delicious, colorful gourmet salad.

Zucchini and other squash varieties have beautiful blooms that disappear after the vegetable forms. These blooms are delicious. To prepare them you can pick them when they are still small and closed. Wash them and prepare them by dipping in a light batter and fry briefly in a hot skillet. Add the cooked blossoms on top of your favorite mixed green or spinach salad. You can also just add the blossoms to your salad raw. It’s a quick way to make your salad into a gourmet salad.

Herb plants can be more than just seasoning.

You can use fresh herbs to add a gourmet touch to your salad, but you can also add the flowers from many of those herbs. Thyme, basil, fennel and cilantro blooms can be picked and added to your salad, sauce or dressing. I have never used the herb borage but it produces tasty flowers as well. You can also harvest dill flowers as they appear, but before the seeds form. They are great in your salad or in a yogurt dressing.

For a nice, delicious surprise in your salad you can allow an onion or garlic bulb to blossom. Instead of clipping your chives down to the ground, allow the pretty blue flowers to just open, then cut them immediately and serve on top of a spinach salad for a real gourmet look and taste.

A Weed by Any Other Name

Next time you’re mowing your lawn you may want to rescue those pesky dandelions. We consider dandelions a weed but they are actually an herb and they sport edible flowers. If you pick them when they are still closed they taste similar to honey. Once the flower opens, it will be bitter so pick them early when they are young.

Now that you know just how many options there are for finding gourmet ingredients right in your own vegetable garden, herb garden, and even your lawn, maybe it’s time to take a closer look.