Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas!

Looking for some last minute holiday gift ideas for that fitness enthusiast on your list? Well I've got a few suggestions that might help you out!

"The Primal Blue Print" By. Mark Sisson: An excellent book on health/wellness from an evolutionary (caveman) point of view. I recommend this book to all my clients and love it due to the fact that it's much more than a book on evolutionary nutrition, but also a life style book. Its main theme is primal/paleo style nutrition but also touches on fitness, natural human movement, sleep, and stress! If you're looking to get back into shape and regain ultimate health, this is a great book to start!

The Lebert Equalizer System: One of my personal favourite pieces of fitness equipment hands down! It's very, very versatile allowing you to perform a push ups, body weight rows, single leg squats/lunges, dips, and much more with a variation for all fitness levels! If you're not using the Lebert Equalizer, you have no idea what you're missing out on! You can find out more about the Lebert Equalizer by clicking this link.

Kettlebell DVD's by. Mike Mahler: Mike Mahler is one of North Americas top kettlebell instructors. He's authored ebooks books on the subject, as well written for a hand full of major fitness publications! Mike's DVD's are second to none, put together with clear and precise instruction, expertly detailed programs, and there's one for you no matter what your fitness goal might have in mind! Learn more by clicking this link.

Online Program Design: Everyone needs a little help with their training! So why not get someone you love the best gift of all? A program designed for them by highly qualified professional, and founder of Jungle Fit, Timothy Bell. Online training allows you to have a personal trainer at your finger tips to answer your questions and adjust your program any time you need. It just makes sense if you want to achieve your goals in half the time and at an affordable price! Just read one of the testimonials from satisfied clients! To learn more click here.

The "Body Weight Solution" by. Timothy Bell: An in depth ebook, detailing tons of pushing, pulling, pressing, squatting, lunging, and core variations and progressions. No matter who you are, where you life, how in (or out) of shape you are, this book is for you! You'll learn how to challenge your fitness through clearly detailed step by step instructions on body weight exercises, no need for equipment. You'll also learn how to put these skills together in a fitness program to help you meet your goals, no matter what they might be! To learn more just click here!

"We're Working Out!" A Zen Approach To Everyday Fitness By. Al Kavadlo: An excellent book by one of NYC's fastest rising fitness educators! Al's unique simplistic and refreshing view on fitness is something that everyone should experience. For those who are looking to get into health and fitness, then Al's book will really help you jump into the swing of things with the perfect mind set. For the experienced trainee , Al's book will help remind you of what's truly important when it comes to health/fitness and refresh your outlook! To learn more just click here!

... So now that you have some great ideas, there's no excuse! Get out there, get shopping and share the gift of health/fitness with those you love! Happy Holidays from me (Timothy Bell) to all of you!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Assisted Pull Ups!

Pull ups are one of my favourite exercises, and one of the best upper body strength and conditioning tools. However, they can be quite the challenge for most people to work towards performing. There are a multitude of ways to work towards achieving your first pull up, a bunch of which I have outlined in my book "The Body Weight Solution". When working with a partner or trainer, they might assist you by placing their hands on your lower back, pushing you up lightly reducing the amount of weight your pulling. Getting proficient at body weight rows of all kinds will also help prepare your body to start attacking the chin up or pull up. But what if you want to start performing pull ups right now, all alone? What if you're not strong enough to perform them without any help??


Try using a resistance band to take some of the pressure off and help you chin that bar! Simply loop the band through the handles over the bar and secure it tightly. Be sure to use a strong quality band that shows no signs of wear and tear. Then place your knee through the loop and BAM! You now have an instant spotter to help you get up and over that bar. Using a band with greater tension will reduce the amount of body weight you're pulling, using a band with less tension will force you to lift more weight. It's that simple, and you can pick up quality resistance bands from just about any fitness store. Now enjoy the video at the top to learn how to set up the band and start performing chin ups or pull ups today!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Burpees For Everyone!

If you train with me then I'm sure you already know that I LOVE BURPEES! Ok, so maybe I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love how they're such an amazing total body conditioning tool, I love watching clients push through their limits with endless numbers of them, and I love how easily scalable they are for anyone. However, I hate them with a passion when I'm actually pushing through a long set of them! Isn't that the beautiful thing about burpees? Not only do they push you to your limits physically, but also challenge your mental toughness. If you can push yourself mentally and physically to your absolute limits during your workouts, and you don't quit, then you'll be able to take that intensity and focus into your everyday life! So here for your viewing pleasure, is a video detailing various burpees for all fitness levels! Throw them into your conditioning/fat loss routine today and start pushing your self further than you've ever gone before!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

All About Push Ups

It's not every day I get to write about an exercise that doesn't even need a description! We've all seen them before, we've all had to do them at one point or another, and most people HATE them with a passion. Today, we're talking about push ups! Ahhhh yes the simple push up, one of my absolute favourite exercises to perform, teach, and even watch and when performed with correct form the push up works almost every single muscle in the upper body! If you had no equipment what so ever, and needed to get an amazing workout, and for some strange reason you could only choose one exercise to accomplish this, than it just might be a push up variation you would choose. So let's dive in a little deeper and find out why!

1. No Equipment Needed: To perform just about any variation of the push up all you need is you and a space large enough to lay face down. That's about it, and it really doesn't get any more basic than that!

2. Easily Adjusted To Any Fitness Level: No matter your age, sex, location, fitness level, or goal there's a push up variation to suit your needs! Most people starting a new fitness program lack the upper body strength and abdominal stability to perform full push ups. Luck for them, the push up can be easily adjusted though a number of ways such as performing push ups from their knees, or with their shins on a BOSU ball. The same goes for those who no longer find regular push ups challenging, there are countless variations (Hindu push ups, plyo push ups etc.) to challenge you for the rest of your life, a few of which I've outlined in my ebook "The Body Weight Solution".

3. Can Hit Every Muscle In The Body: I know what you're thinking, how can a push up hit your legs? Well it's simple! There's a few push up variations that I teach regularly that integrate your legs, giving you a total body workout. For example, the 6 point burpee could be counted as a push up variation and we all know that burpees really work your legs! Or how about the push up detailed in the video attached to this blog! As for the upper body, the basic push up works the chest, shoulders, and triceps as well as challenging your abdominal muscles, core, and lats! That's just the basic push up, other variations hit more muscles or put a greater emphasis on certain muscle groups.

4. Can Be Used To Achieve Any Goal: If your goal is fat loss, there's a push up for that. If your goal is to gain strength, there's a push up for that! Hmmm, I feel like I'm talking about the push up as if it's an app for your iPhone. That aside, it's very true that there will always be a push up that will challenge you enough to place into a strength routine, and there's always a push up you can perform for much higher reps to place into a fat loss/conditioning routine.

... As simple as the push up may look, it's still very important to learn how to perform it with proper technique. Find a trainer with an extensive knowledge in body weight training, so they can teach you how to align your joints, use the correct muscles, and correct your form on every push up variation. Learn how to perform the push up, practice it often, use it often, and progress as you become stronger, it will be a technique that serves you for life!

Sample Workout:
Repeat 7-10 times
15 - 20 Bear Squat/Dive Bomb Push Ups
100-200 Skips

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Circuit Training! Why I LOVE IT!!

Circuit training is without a doubt one of the most effective/efficient forms of training! Circuit training involves taking a group of exercises and performing them one after the other with little to no rest.

Circuit training greatly increases conditioning, cardiovascular health, muscular endurance, strength, and it's amazing for fat loss! Due to the high amount of stress that circuit training places on the body it's best to use lighter weights, body weight movements, and less complex movements in order to reduce the risk of injury and maximize results.

If you're looking to dramatically increase you energy, drop body fat, improve your conditioning, and produce a lean/functional physique than circuit training is your answer! It's also great for producing amazing results in half the time most people spend in the gym. You can get an amazing workout in as little as 25-45 mins depending on your fitness level.

If you're a trainer who offers small group training, then circuit training should be something you're implementing in order to maximize not only income, but results and safety as well! By setting up a circuit that your clients cycle through, you'll be able to watch each of them and correct form with ease. Due to the nature of circuit training, you really don't need a large array of fitness equipment to get a great workout, saving you money on purchasing new equipment. I've even outlined great examples of body weight only circuits for fat loss and conditioning in my ebook "The Body Weight Solution".

So no matter who you are, what your fitness level might be, or what equipment you have access to, if you want to be in the best shape possible then you need to add circuit training to your fitness routine!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Asking For Directions

It's a problem some of us have, let me explain. Have you ever been driving in a new city, and you have the whole route planned out thanks to "Map Quest", the sun is shining and the sailing is smooth. So far so good, the whole trip is going to plan ... that is until something very small sets you off course (most likely a map quest error!) and now your lost all the way on the other side of town! And rather than ask for directions (because after all you know what you're doing), you just drive around for hours lost and going in circles. Finally after hours of frustration, pounding on the wheel of the car, and cursing "Map Quest" in to the ground, you stop and ask for some directions. Turns out if you would have stopped and taken a left turn at the lights just up the road, it would have taken you just 6 mins to get where you needed to go. DAMN!! And you waisted all that time driving in circles by passing that left turn each time.

I'm sure this sounds more than a little familiar to most people! That's because most of us have one hell of a time (mostly us guys) asking for a little help on the road to where ever it is we're heading. But, just like the story above, sometimes asking for help can get us where we need to go MUCH faster and with a lot less stress, head aches, and wasted time! This is no different when it comes to our workout program and fitness goals.

How people at your local gym (you might be one of them) have been working out for years, day in and day out doing the same thing and seeing no change in their body? How many people do you see sweating their faces off on the treadmill, then the bike, then the elliptical machine for 2 hours and still look flabby and have little to no muscle tone? Or, how many gym goers do you witness hitting the weights and injuring themselves with terrible form? The saddest thing is, all of these issues could be solved or prevented by just asking for a little help!

Asking for a little help would save valuable time and money for anyone who's having issues like the ones mentioned above. All the money spent on pain killers due to improper form, supplements to help lose fat or bulk up, or paying expensive gym memberships month in and month out for years could all be avoided by asking for some help! But who?? Who are you going to ask? Who are you going to call ... NO no Ghostbusters! You need to ask for help from an educated fitness professional, a certified and reputable personal trainer.

Yes, I realize that getting a trainer does have a price tag attached. However, it's an investment into your health and wellness. Any good personal trainer will be able to teach you how to stay healthy and fit for the rest of your life. They'll be able to teach you how to get an amazing workout with little to no equipment, and how to consistently push your fitness levels for the rest of your life. Also, a trainer will immediately put you on the right track to fitness success by creating a program custom designed to meet your needs and goals. That means no more months of seeing no results, it's all steady results from here on out!

You always have the option of working one on one with most trainers if you need the motivation or are looking for a workout partner. I would highly suggest this option firs and foremost, nothing beats one on one attention from a professional. But if it's just out of your price range, or you already have a solid fitness base/back ground, then why not have a trainer create a program for you to do on your own? This would allow you the benefits of the trainers expert knowledge and your program would constantly progress! You'll have to be very self motivated and on top of your game, but it's a close second to actually working with a great trainer!

So stop driving in circles! Get a great highly qualified trainer who has a past of successful/happy clients and get training. Or get a program from them and work towards your goals with some guidance.

Heck, a lot of trainers offer custom designed programs and online personal training. You can even work with me (Timothy Bell) through and sign up for online personal training. I'll assess your fitness level, health history, fitness goals, and access to equipment to accurately create you a one of a kind fitness program! You'll have unlimited contact with me, as well as weekly updates and feedback on your progress. It's the next best thing to actually training here with me! For more info head to

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The October Issue Of Jungle Fit Magazine!

The October issue of the FREE Jungle Fit Magazine will be available shortly at This issue includes contributions by myself (Timothy Bell Jungle Fit founder) as well as ...

- The always excellent Dr. Peter Pain, Kingston Ontario's top chiropractor and the founder of "The Live Well Centre". Dr. Pain drops by and leaves us with a great article on how to move well and stay well for life!

- Al Kavadlo, the author of "A Zen Approach To Every Day Fitness", weighs in with a great motivational article that is bound to get you excited to take on any goals you might have!

... As for myself, I've written a piece on 2 excellent exercises to regain or maintain mobility and functional strength. Yes, it also includes a free workout involving the 2 exercises described in the article! So be sure to head to and down load your copy today!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thanksgiving Is Here!

That's right everyone it's that time of year again! It's getting a little colder outside, the leaves are starting to change, fall is in the air ... and with fall comes Thanksgiving. Well, for those of you who are living in Canada anyways! Lucky for us Thanksgiving is one of the easiest holidays to eat almost on point with a paleo diet. But, lets be realistic here! I know that you'll all be eating what's considered paleo such as turkey, veggies, cranberries etc. but I also know that you'll all be eating stuffing, pie, potatoes, corn, warm fresh home made baking ... you get the point.

Now let me tell you that every now and then there's nothing wrong with treating yourself, especially when it comes once a year. I know that I will be! The problem is not treating yourself ... the problem is moderation! A lot of us dive into Thanksgiving like it's the last time we'll ever eat, and we don't make it one night, we make a whole weekend out of it! The key is moderation, leave it to one meal, not the whole weekend. Try to stick to the healthier paleo options that are on your table, and allow yourself a small amount of the not so healthy stuff. I also think is goes without saying that you should STAY AWAY FROM SECONDS OF ANYTHING NOT PALEO! Yes, that includes grandmas famous pumpkin pie and moms award winning cookies!

By allowing yourself a little bit of whats' not usually on your paleo menu you won't feel deprived. And by not over eating all those terrible things, you won't feel guilty and set yourself back weeks of hard work! So please, enjoy your Thanksgiving, enjoy the time with your family in endless amounts, but enjoy the food in moderation!

Also, for those of you who are looking to work off some of those Thanksgiving weekend calories here's special Thanksgiving workout for you all! Take care, and Happy Thanksgiving!!

- Sprint 50 meters
- 10 Hindu Push Ups
- Sprint back 50 meters
- 10 deck squats (or jump squats)

that's one round, rest 1 min between rounds, repeat 5-7 times!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wrist Pain Free Push Ups!

 Pain in your wrists during push ups? Don't worry! It's a common problem. I've worked with countless clients who've experienced the same issue and we're able to relieve it simply, and quickly, by making some slight form adjustments. Assuming you don't have any serious joint injuries or wrist injuries, these adjustments might be able to help you even if you have weak wrists or minor injuries. Now, lets take a look.

 1.) Stop Leaning Too Far Forward: 
 If you're leaning too far forward during your push ups you'll be hyper extending your wrists and putting extra pressure on the joint. This can cause stress and strain. If you're forearms aren't particularly flexible it can cause pain all the way up through your forearms. As you move down through the push up the pressure will increase and make the strain worse! A simple way to fix this issue is just reduce the amount you're leaning forward. The correct position is to have your shoulder inline with your wrist joint, and avoid having the shoulder ahead of the wrist joint. This should alleviate the issue but if it doesn't ...

2.) Use Push Up Handles Or Perform Push Ups On Your Fists:
 Some people still have pain through their wrists even when their perfectly aligned and not leaning forward.  Performing your push ups while holding onto push up handles or performing push ups on your fists, is a simple fix that works for most people with this issue. By holding on to push up handles or using your fists, you'll eliminate having to flex your wrists at all and place the wrist in a "stacked" and strong position.

 For more details, check out the video above and get on your way to performing push ups without the wrist pain!

- Tim 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Sneak Peek At The "Body Weight Solution" EBook!

Hey everyone! I'm very pleased to announce that the my first ebook "The Body Weight Solution" is all finished and will be up on the Jungle Fit website ( this week! That means you'll be able to purchase your own copy save it to your computer, iPod or iPad, ebook tablet, or even your own phone to take anywhere with you in the world. With "The Body Weight Solution" you'll learn how to progress from the most basic to some of the most advanced body weight exercises and you'll learn how to put them into a fitness program that suits your life style!

So for those of you who have been following me and looking forward to the release of the book, here's a sneak peak of the introduction ... it's not the whole thing, but just something to tide you over until your grab your own copy. Enjoy!

" Body weight training is and will always be the most functional, versatile, and natural form of exercise. The benefits of mastering one’s own body weight, and the movements we’re designed to perform, are limitless and have stood the test of time. This can be seen in some of the worlds greatest athletes, who train for the most part or exclusively using only their own body weight as resistance. I’m sure that few would argue that the strength/agility of a gymnast, the power/flexibility of a martial artist, or the gracefulness/mobility of a dancer is anything short of extraordinary. All of the aforementioned athletes train almost exclusively with the use of their own body weight. This alone goes to show the versatility of a body weight training program, and how it can be adapted to suit the needs and goals of anybody willing to take advantage of this amazing art of training.

Body weight training can be used to gain strength, lose body fat, increase lean muscle mass, boost metabolism, regain/maintain mobility and flexibility, improve balance and coordination, as well as boost athletic ability and conditioning. All it takes is a properly designed program using the correct exercises pertaining to your goal, basically use the right tool for the right job! Fortunately, body weight training costs little to nothing at all and requires very little to no equipment. So, regardless of your income or geographical location, body weight training can be done any where at any time without having to spend a dime. All you need to get a great workout is a space large enough to lie down and enough over head space to jump up.

The only thing preventing the majority of people from taking advantage of the benefits of body weight training is one simple thing, a lack of knowledge. Most people have no idea how to correctly perform body weight exercises safely let alone the progressions that are needed to steadily change and evolve their workouts. Which brings me to why you have most likely purchased this book...."

Hopefully you'll enjoy the book just as much as I have enjoyed writing it and putting it together for you all!

You really don't need a lot of money, fitness equipment, or even a gym membership to get into the best shape of your life. It is my wish that the "Body Weight Solution" will help show you how to get the life and body you deserve using only your own body. Be sure to visit the website at and pick up your copy as soon as it's released!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paleo Proof!

Lately I've been doing more than my share of talking about why we should all be eating a paleo or primal diet. It promotes natural gene expression, low body fat percentage, boosted immune system, healthy hormone balance, boosted sex drive, better sleep, lower internal stress and reduced inflammation inside your organs/joints. It's literally the key to living a longer, healthier, happier life and looking AMAZING as well! All you have to do is drop processed foods, grains, refined sugars, and reduce your dairy intake and only eat fruits, veggies, meats, nuts/seeds. That's it, that's all, and that's what will change your life. Everyone is out here looking for a quick fix, we're looking for some magic pill or machine that will melt away our body fat and make us look like the models on T.V. but it doesn't exist. What does exist is REAL FOOD and functional training. Eating real food and learning how to use your body weight to provide you with an amazing workout is what will give you the body and life you want. The key to life long health, strength, and looking great is already here it just involves you and the grocery store! Buy a bunch of fresh veggies, fruits, fresh meats, nuts and seeds ... then eat only that in as many combinations as you possibly can! You do have the power to do this, it will change your life, it has changed mine and many of my clients as well as countless others around the world. It's simple, it's what we've been designed to eat over millions of years of human evolution. Just take a look at the man in the photo above, he got that body without a gym by eating real food and getting plenty of physical activity through his everyday life. For more proof just take a look at any of the following photos ...

... the proof is out there, yes they may not live like us and they might not have ipods or big flat screen T.V.'s ... but they're genetically the same as us in every way. Without a doubt their lives depend on their health and fitness, and if real food is good enough for them to survive, then just imagine what it will do for you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Muscle Up!

It's been a little while since I've written about a certain exercise. But every now and then I feel compelled to share with you my thoughts on an exercise that holds a special place in my heart! So without further introduction let's dive into learning about the muscle up!
Muscle ups are one of my absolute favourite exercises, they combine both upper body pulling and pushing while training explosive strength! The muscle up consists of a full pull up bringing your body up high enough to slightly lean over the bar and transition into a dip. It's great for building functional strength, enhancing athletic ability, and really smokes the upper body in a very unique way. Yes, this movement is rather advanced but that's why there are so many great ways to work up towards being able to perform this technique!

First thing is first, you need to be able to push and pull your own body weight. Start off by mastering body weight rows, and dips with your feet on the floor. Once you have accomplished this, begin to work on your pull ups and dips without your feet resting on anything at all. Pull ups and regular dips can be challenging to master, but that's why we have progressions!

Try pull ups while standing on a chair, squat down and hold the bar at arms length, the majority of your weight should be put on your arms and upper body. Think hanging from the bar with very light pressure on your heels. Then pull up while giving just enough push from your legs to get your chin/chest up to the bar but still making it challenging. For dips try elevating yourself by resting your feet on a stability ball or bench. This will force you to push a greater amount of body weight than you would by simple keeping your feet on the floor.

Once both of these progressions become too easy, move on to working towards full pull ups and dips. Again, this may take time and other progressions may be needed to achieve a full pull up or dip (there will be plenty in the upcoming ebook "The Body Weight Solution"). Once you have both the pull up and dip down, practice them over and over again! Try all sorts of variations, add weight to both, try them explosively by trying clapping pull ups or plyo dips (a dip where you actually push so hard your hands come off the bars). You'll need all the practice you can get before moving onto the muscle up. A great product for dip and row training is the Lebert Equalizer if you don't have one yet I would highly recommend getting one!

Now that have the pull up and dip it's time to try some muscle ups. Chances are, you wont be banging out muscle ups right away, but that's ok again it takes time and practice! Try jumping up into your muscle up, find a low bar grab a hold of it and squat down until your arms are fully extended, this should look similar to your chair pull ups. Now, explosively jump upwards and at the same time pull yourself up as you would for a pull up. The jump should allow you to pull yourself high enough to lean over the bar and position yourself for the pressing/dip phase. Once this becomes too easy, find a bar that is high enough that you can only grab it with your arms full extended over head. Now, jump up and grab that bar and using the momentum from the jump pull yourself up and into the muscle up.

Sooner or later all of these will become far too easy, and that's then it will be time to just work on getting your first full muscle up. It's normal to kip/kick/swing into your first muscle up, over time your kick and swing will decrease as you become stronger. It's also normal for one elbow/arm to flip up into the dip position first, this is simple because your dominant side is doing a little more work. Again, over time you'll become stronger and both arms will transition into the dip phase at the same time. Just keep practicing, workout hard, and don't get discouraged. Big movements take time and practice, just working on them can be a workout in itself. Remember, fitness is a journey and not a destination.

For more great body weight progressions and workouts for any goal, be sure to grab your copy of the soon to be released "The Jungle Fit Body Weight Solution" ebook. It will be available at and will change the way you look at body weight training. The book shows in full colour detail how to progress from the most basic body weight exercises to some of the most advanced, including the muscle up, hand stand push up, pistol squat, and much more! For more information e-mail me at or visit the website at

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Body Weight Solution!

As some of you know I've been working on my latest project called "The Body Weight Solution" for a little while now. If you have no idea what it is that I'm talking about I'll fill you in! "The Body Weight Solution" is an e-book that will take you through the most basic body weight exercises and show you how to progress towards performing intermediate and advanced body weight training exercises. The book will has a "No Fluff" approach, meaning it's packed with information, full colour pictures, easy to understand instructions, sample workout programs, an FAQ section created by my blog/twitter/facebook followers, and much much more! This book will teach you how to master your body through all planes of motion and allow you to build a solid base using only your own body weight to achieve any fitness goal.

The book should be ready to purchase from the Jungle Fit website ( very soon, but please be patient. I want to deliver the best quality product for all of you, and every time I think it's ready to be sold, I find 5 more things I want to add, change, or switch around! But, I promise it will be well worth the wait! To keep updated on how things are coming along with the book follow me on Twitter under "JungleFit", I'm sure you can access me by simply clicking the Twitter feed on the side of this page. Or subscribe to my updates and news letters by simple e-mailing me at . Also, there are plenty of videos on the Jungle Fit youtube channel to tide you over until you are able to purchase your own copy of the book, just head to .

Thanks to everyone of you for all of your support!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jungle Fit Magazine Aug 2010 Issue!

It's that time again, that's right! Time for a new issue of the FREE online "Jungle Fit Magazine". As always the "Jungle Fit Magazine" strives to bring you the best in evolutionary fitness and health, and this months issue is no different! In the August 2010 Issue you will find loads of great stuff such as ...

- An article written by myself (Jungle Fit founder Timothy Bell) on mastering the one arm push up! It's elusive, it's tough, and its a sure test of upper body strength. Read up and learn how you too can master this technique

- A great piece written by Cornwall CrossFit's own Kyle Pichie about West Side Barbell power lifting techniques. Kyle's insights on both power lifting and Olympic lifting are deep and rewarding to read. You can feel his passion for hoisting some iron spill right out of your computer screen!

- My friend Al Kavadlo, and author of "A Zen Approach To Every Day Fitness", puts in his two cents with a very refreshing piece on bare foot running. Al's unique way of writing for the every day person is a welcome addition to the Jungle Fit Magazine!

- Taking your workouts to the next level using such great products as "Mike Mahler's Kettlebell DVD's", the fantastic "Lebert Equalizer System", or Jungle Fit's cutting edge "Online Personal Training" with Timothy Bell!

... It's going to be a great issue with tons of useful information to enrich your training and life! Remember to subscribe by simply e-mail me at!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Exploring Your City

Lately I've been posting a lot on having fun with your workouts and getting creative to avoid getting bored or have stale workouts. That being said, this post will be no different! A lot of people still view working out as just another chore on their list of things to get done during the day, but it doesn't have to be this way. We can always make out workouts fun and interesting by changing up exercises, working out with a partner, changing workout locations, going outdoors, or even exploring your own city.

Let me explain.

Every city has a ton of great places to workout that have yet to be touched or used as your own personal gym. I've spoken before about the great workouts you get get done at a local jungle gym (view jungle gym workout here) but what about all the other great places in town? For example, what about your local track? You could run sprints or perform lunges/push ups on the bleachers. What about your local park? You could easily perform a great body weight workout using nothing but a picnic table, try over head pressing on end of the table, step ups on the bench, one legged squats by allowing your butt to touch the bench before standing. If you felt like getting really crazy, how about using bike racks for parallette and gymnastics training? Practice your L-sits, plaches, and much more. I've even worked on muscle ups and chin ups on construction scaffolding, maybe not the safest thing in the world and can get some construction workers a little upset with you , but I'm sure your seeing my point!

So how the heck can you put all this together into a workout? Easy!! You could, for example, walk to your local track, run 8 sets of 50-100meter sprints then rest for 5 mins and finish up with 3 sets of lunges and push ups to failure. Or how about heading to your local jungle gym and start by practicing your gymnastics work before pumping out a circuit of chin ups, push ups, step ups, squats, and rows. You could always go for a walk down town and every time you reach a bench perform 15 dips, 15 push ups, 8 one legged squats per side and continue your way down the street for a total for 20-30 mins. You might get some strange looks, but hey you're taking care of your body and looking after your health, and if that's weird then so be it! Just try to have fun with your training, it doesn't have to be a chore.
There is a world of fitness around you waiting to be explored, just open your eyes!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Listening To Your Body

Working out while we're tired, stressed, or sick .... we all do it from time to time. The reasons are various but usually pretty simple. It could be that you're afraid if you miss a workout that it'll slow your results, some of us use workouts as a stress management and feel incomplete when we don't workout, others just think a workout might make them feel better ... which can be true, but when should we take time off from our workout?

We all know that working out can be a stress reliever, however it can place more stress on your life. If you're stressed about your work, family life, and relationship and on top of that you're worried about not getting a workout in and you find yourself training without a clear head, then it might be time to take a step back. I would suggest sitting back and looking at your life and trying to address your stress at the root of the problem. You might also want to train with a partner or trainer to help you focus and vent your issues to get some feed back and advice. After all your trainer should be there for you as a professional but also as your friend. Your workout should add to your life in a positive way, never negative, it should be a time to leave your problems behind and focus one yourself and improving yourself to become the best you that you can be!

We all get tired and what ever the reason may be a lack of energy is a big problem when it comes to your workouts. It could mean you're not sleeping enough, you're not eating enough or enough of the right foods, or perhaps your stressed out (as mentioned above). First things first, take a good look at your diet, your body needs quality food to run at optimal levels. Make sure you have your caveman/primal/paleo diet on lock down. If you fill your body with crap ... it will run like crap, end of story! Second, take a look at your sleep and sleeping patterns. Make sure to cut out things that stimulate the mind before bed such as the computer, television, too much music etc. It takes quite a while for your mind to calm down after so much stimulation all day long so the earlier your cut it out, the better you will sleep. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep, around 8 hours a night should be pretty decent for most people. When the time is right, a little nap never hurt anyone either! It's like recharging your batteries, you'll feel much more alert and fresh for the rest of the day after a good nap. If you have all this on track, and you're still not feeling the best, you might want to cut back on your workouts or the intensity of your workouts for a week and see how you feel. It can be very easy to burn yourself out when you're trying to reach your fitness goals, but remember that fitness is a journey not a destination, and you'll never reach your destination if you're burnt out!

Last but not least, working out when you're sick ... just don't do it! Working out is a stress on your body, and being sick is a BIG stress on your body! When you're sick just take the time off and make sure you're resting a lot and eating very, very clean. The good news is that if you're following a caveman diet along with a great workout program you should naturally have a very strong immune system! But, if you do find yourself sick please stay home, don't go to the gym and don't go to your trainer. Not only will you be doing yourself harm, but you're putting others at risk as well. If you get other people sick, they can't workout , and if you get your trainer sick, then all his/her clients wont workout and they lose a week or more of work! So take a step back, eat well, rest like crazy, drink a ton of water, and a little sun light never hurt anyone. If you just cant sit still and need to do something I would suggest some joint mobility training or light stretching/yoga on your own.

Just remember that some times you need to take a small step back to take a couple big steps forward.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Jungle Fit Magazine

Health and fitness is a gift that myself and other health and fitness experts give to our clients on a daily basis. It's an amazing gift that in a funny way gives right back! Nothing in this world beats watching my clients progress and get stronger with every workout. Nothing can compare to watching them moving in ways they never though possible, lifting weights they never could have imagined, and freeing them selves from their battle with excess body fat! I love my client's, they're my co-workers, students, and most importantly my friends.

But why stop with my physical clients? What if I could share the gift of health and fitness with the whole world? What if I could share the insights of not just me, but also those of my fellow colleagues/fitness professionals? This would be huge, it would be a gift to the whole world, sharing with them our combined knowledge on a regular basis on a wide variety of topics in all of our areas of expertise.

Well, this is no longer a "what if", it's now a reality my friends. Jungle Fit will be releasing the first ever issue of "The Jungle Fit Magazine" with in the coming days. Just like any good gift, the gift of the Jungle Fit Magazine will be completely FREE! Free to share with your friends, family, co workers, facebook friends, YouTube viewers, and anyone else you feel like sharing this gift of health and fitness with.

This months issue will feature great articles on topics such as ..

- Blending your kettlebell and body weight training
- The basics of the Olympic lifts
- Macebell training tips from India
- Should you be using a weight belt or not?

... By expert health and fitness educators from Canada and around the world. This months contributors include myself as well as my colleagues and friends Kyle Pichie, Kirk Tyo, and Girish Sarma. Here's a little more info on each of them!

- Kyle Pichie, one of the most entertaining and well educated trainers I have had the pleasure of meeting. Kyle works as coach for CrossFit Cornwall, based out of Cornwall, ON ( and has a passion for heavy lifts! His expertise in all things CrossFit (especially Olympic lifts/Power Lifting) makes Kyle a very dynamic trainer and someone I'm very excited to share with all of you!

- Kirk Tyo, not enough praise can be given to this man when it comes to the field of health and fitness as a whole. Kirk (a certified Chek Holistic Lifestyle Coach) trains out of Physical Limits based out of Cornwall, ON ( and changes his clients lives by approaching fitness, nutrition, and stress management as a whole. His knowledge on regaining your functional strength or and improving your physique through the most scientific and up to date means possible is second to none. I am very proud to bring Kirks wealth of knowledge to all of you!

- Girish Sarma, an armature boxer and Certified Macebell Trainer based out of India. Girish has a passion for health and fitness that burns so strong it can be felt across an ocean! When it comes to traditional Indian training or macebell training, Girish is the man to seek out. His constant innovation, dedication, and nose to the grind stone work with his macebell training can't be touched. View his videos here (, you'll love some of his variations on traditional exercise. I could not be more pleased to bring to all of you Girish Sarma!

- Of course there will also be an article by myself, Timothy Bell Jungle Fit founder and body weight training expert. To learn more about Jungle Fit visit the website at or head to the YouTube page at for some great videos as well as free workouts!

... So be sure to stay tuned to the Jungle Fit Facebook page or send me out an e-mail at to be added to the e-mail list for your free copy of "The Jungle Fit Magazine"! It's a gift that will keep on giving, and just might change your entire life!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Having Fun With Body Weight Training

(Double Click the video to watch fully on YouTube, Sorry about my blog cutting half of it off!)

It's so important to get some play time into your adult life! I can't stress that enough, or maybe I should use a different word than stress when talking about play! After all avoiding stress is the big point of playing isn't it? Now I know that you're all very, very busy people ... shucks aren't we all!? Some of you find it tough just to fit your workout into your busy day of work and family life let alone find some time for yourself to just get out and play. So why not try and look at your workout as something fun rather than work? Why not try to integrate some play into your fitness routine?

Stay with me here, I'm by no means saying that you should take your workouts easy ... that would defeat the purpose of always giving it your best or steadily progressing. What I am saying is try and get creative, this is especially easy to do with your body weight training! Grab a friend and head down to the local park and try to out do each other on the number of push up/pull up reps you can each get! Or how about turning it into a game of who can do the most advanced pull up or push up technique. For example, wide grip chins beat regular chin up ... or divebomber push up beats Hindu push up! There are a ton of options with friends around and it can be one heck of a workout when you're pushing to out perform one another ... a little friendly competition in the name of fun!

What if you train alone? Easy! Set some challenges for yourself, like trying to get the most amount of push ups you can pump out in one min , then rest for 2 mins and try to reach that same number of reps or exceed it on each set you do! Or if you so happen to find yourself back at a local park or jungle gym (Is my love of body weight training in the outdoors showing just a little too much right here?) try to cross all the monkey bars and throw a pull up in between each and try to go back and forth as many times as you can! Heck today on my walk down town I passed under one of those make shift construction scaffolding's and what would would you know, there were about 8 bars lined up perfect for doing chin ups. That's right I did ... I busted out a ladder set of chins on each bar starting at 1 chin up on the first bar, 2 on the second, all the way to 8 on the last bar! Yes, I get weird looks some times when I'm out but hey it's all in the name of fun and fitness ... besides we're talking about play here, and I don't care what look I get ... I'm having fun!

Now maybe running around the down town streets busting out pull ups and hand stands isn't your style, but I'm sure you can find something that does make you happy! So try some new things, work towards a new goal, get together with friends and have healthy competitions ... it doesn't matter as long as your working hard, and having a ton of fun! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get moving ... with a smile on your face!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ancient Training Methods For Great Results!

Our world is full of new "fitness experts" coming out with new fitness machines (to gain a quick buck) that do nothing for you but act as an expensive coat hanger. And how about all those diet pills claiming to give you that wash board stomach you've always wanted, but are really so dangerous/ineffective you might as well go drink a concoction of cleaners you find under your sink! Yet we've been lead to believe that if we don't purchase this diet pill, or make payments for this confusing pulley system, we'll be stuck broken down and out of shape for life! So what is a person to do? Even if you're looking to get into the best shape of your life, switch up your workout routine, or just get moving again ... in my humble opinion it is always best to look to our past for answers!

Lets start with this, we've been evolving for 2 million years, cavemen were fit, well muscles, had low body fat percentages, and great bone density! So forget all that crap about diet pills, home gym systems, and any other infomercial garbage. The first step is to adopt a caveman diet consisting of meats/animal products, veggies, fruits, nuts/seeds and healthy fats! Cut out the grains, processed foods and other garbage and you're body will change for the better. As I said we've been evolving on foods like this for 2 million years, we've only been farming for 10 thousand ... something has got to give right there!

Secondly, take a look at body weight training. It's a skill that lasts you a life time and costs you nothing to use! On top of that body weight exercises can be done anywhere at any time with little to no equipment except for you and the ground beneath your feet. On top of that it's a time tested superior option for strength and conditioning. This can be seen by it's use through history by every single physical force from the Spartans, with their world wide reputation for being one of the most physically dominant armies to ever live, to Hindu Wrestlers that dominated wrestling during the 19th century! The Spartans were seen on many occasions preparing for battle with what their enemies thought was just a ritual dance of some kind, but was actually early calisthenics consisting of exercises such as burpees and joint mobility. Hindu wrestlers are well known for their use of body weight training as the centre for their wrestling conditioning, making use of Hindu Push ups or Hindu Squats in very high reps, sometimes into the thousands! You don't need to be a wrestler or part of a great army to reap the benefits of body weight conditioning, even if you're a busy mom with 3 kids I would urge you to learn at least the very basics.

How about a little external resistance? Tired of using those machines at the gym or just want to try something a little different than the regular bar bell or dumbbell? Why not pick up a Kettlebell (its origins date so far back they're unknown) so popular through Russia with their military and Olympic athletes to develope superior cardiovascular conditioning and muscular endurance. Or perhaps you could try a Macebell, used again for countless centuries by Hindu Wrestlers to develop brute strength and a steel strong torso! Kettlebells can provide a dynamic element to your training blending both cardio and strength training into one workout while promoting active recovery. The Macebell is excellent for shoulder mobility, core strength, and high levels of muscular endurance. The Macebell can also double as a sledgehammer for sledgehammer work! Each tool requires a certain level of technique, skill, and fitness level to begin using them (again why I say learn to move your own body weight first!) so make sure to get a certified trained professional to teach you how to use both.

I'm sure all this is sounding pretty good right now, or maybe a little sensational. So lets look at two standout examples of what training using techniques from the past could do for you!

Eugen Sandow (pictured above), a strong man of the early 19th century built what is still considered one of the most astonishing, sought after physiques without the use of a bow flex, supplements, or even steroids! Not only was Sandow a sight to behold, he had the strength to match being able to press 269lbs in one hand! Did I mention he was only 5'7 and about 180lbs. Sandow built his body using old tried and true methods, heavy lifting, barbell training with basic lifts, kettlebell work, and a clean diet! Or how about Indian wrestling legend, The Great Gama. The worlds greatest wrestler of all time, undefeated in over 5000 matches, defeating most opponents in just minutes, and standing 5'7, weighing 225lbs of thick muscle and power. Gama built his impressive physique through years of body weight training, mace swinging, and wrestling practice, he was even said to have done 10,000 Hindu push ups each day! Again, no fancy machines, no fad diet, just a whole lot of functional body weight training and hard work!

Outstanding results have always come from a solid foundation in body weight conditioning, lifting heavy, and some high intensity training. It can be seen through out history, and history doesn't lie. Sometimes its a good thing to take a step back (in time) to take two (or more) steps forward!

The video link posted below is an excellent body weight and Macebell conditioning circuit using techniques such as the ones talked about in this post. Try it for yourself!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

10 Easy Ways To Live A Little More Jungle Fit

With all this talk all the time about lifting heavy, eating primal/paleo, running sprints, and body weight training things can get pretty serious in this blog from time to time. So lets just step back from all that in depth talk, take a big breath , and look at the life style of being Jungle Fit! After all Jungle Fit is not just a workout program, but a way of life. It's about eating how we're designed to eat, moving how we're designed to move for a better quality of life and enjoying that life to the fullest. Living Jungle Fit is an investment into your long term health and wellness, there is no short cut when it comes to your well being and why should there be when we're talking about some thing as precious as your health and body?

If you're looking to make the move and start living Jungle Fit, or you're already training with me ... then here are 10 steps to really make it a little bit more of a life style than just a training program!

1. Walk ... A LOT! : Walking, it's what we're designed to do. It's our primary mode of transportation, and a great stress reliever. Go for some hikes, takenightly walks with a loved one, or walk when ever possible where ever you go. Make time to walk, make a point of it when you have time off from work or family responsibilities. I bet you'll feel better!

2. Take A Nap: What the heck does napping have to do with Jungle Fit? Simple, it's like re-charging your batteries. Taking a nap will help you think a little clearer during the day, give you a little more energy,and besides we all love to sleep! Listen to your body, if you're tired during the day you're either over training, not eating right, or not getting enough sleep. Or a combo of all three! So nap to re-charge, even if it's only for 5 min your body will thank you.

3. Get Outside And Play: Break free from that work desk and drone like hum of your computer/T.V.! Take your dog for a walk or play Frisbee with him,or join an outdoor sports club, what ever you enjoy! We're meant to have fun and play, it's time to use our bodies for enjoyment after all that exercise (not that exercise isn't enjoyable for some). Not to mention the sun has the great gift of vitamin D!

4. BBQ: What could be more caveman than cooking meat on the BBQ? Ribs, steak, chicken, pork, veggies. I don't care what type of meat, BBQ makes everything better! Besides, even the Flinstones eat ribs.

5. Workout Outside: Again, it's all about being in the great outdoors. Get outside and train on one of the local jungle gyms, use large rocks as weights, run sprints on the beach, or use tree branches as pull up bars. One things for sure, you'll feel a whole lot more like a caveman using your surroundings in such a primal way!

6. Carry Your Groceries Home: I do this every week. We may not have to hunt our food and carry it home any more but why not get a little taste of what it's like? Head to your grocery store and buy up a good 2-3 bags of groceries and carry them home, I promise your traps will thank you in the morning!

7. Go Camping: I mean real camping, not the trailer park camp ground. Head out on a trip with some friends and build a fire, go swimming in a lake and cook food over an open flame. Nothing beats the feeling of "roughing it" in the wilderness and sleeping in a tent. There is a little something in all of us that is deeply attracted to camping in the wild.

8. Have Sex Often: Not that I have to tell you that, and not that most of you don't try at every opportunity. Sex is great for our love lives, it opens up the flow of communication, relives stress, and can be a mini workout depending on the length It's something were obviously designed to do, we all love it and want more of it! So please (responsibly!) have more sex with someone you love, have it often and enjoy ... I think it's a safe bet to say our caveman ancestors did or you wouldn't be here today!

9. Cut Out The Grains: Cavemen didn't eat them, we're not designed to eat them, you're body will change for the better without them! It's that simple.

10. Run Sprints: I love them, it's my favourite workout of the week. I love, love, love (did I say love yet) running sprints! The feeling of the wind zooming past my face, the feel of the grass between my toes, and moving so fast (well as fast as my 5"7 frame will take me) I feel like I'm The Flash! They're great for lowing your body fat, reving up your metabolism, working every muscle in your body, and you'll know what it felt like for cavemen to chase down a large animal on a hunt! Learn how to sprint, start with about 5-6 sprints of 50 merters each and work up to doing 10 - 20 sprints in total.



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How We're Meant To Move Pt#3: Moving Very Slow

Most of the time when we think of fitness and human movement we think of people running fast or lifting heavy weights. While those are at the forefront of fitness and health (aside from a stellar paleo/primal diet) there's still a third modality we have yet to explore ... moving slowly for long periods of time. I doubt the thought of a long walk across town or a slow hike through the woods pops into your head when thinking about your health/fitness. So what does moving slowly have to do with our health, how we're designed to move, and your fitness. Once again we'll start at the beginning with our ever present caveman ancestors.

As we know, cavemen lived quite the brutal life. Day to day heavy lifting to build shelter, fight off enemies, and carry home kills would have been common place. They would also need to move very very fast from time to time to chase a kill, escape danger, or fight. However, the majority of their time would have been spent moving rather slowly. When not hunting, they would have been searching for other sources of food such as plants and fruits, this would require long walks daily. What about entertainment? A long walk through the woods or a swim in a near by lake would have been more than ideal! Last but not least, what happens when our caveman friend made a kill, it could have been miles from home and I doubt they had mini vans back then! Not only would they have stalked (more slow walking), chased (sprinting) and killed this animal, he would now need to carry it home (heavy lifting, and slow movement). I'm sure you see now where slow movement would have came into play.

Now that we're covered the back ground on slow movement lets talk about how it affects us today. The average North American only takes 5000 steps per day. That's it! It seems shocking, but why should it when we have cars and buses to take us everywhere? Why walk to the store when I can have food delivered to my house, why shop at the mall when I can order everything online and have it brought to my door step? Most people work jobs that require little to no physical movement other than typing at their computer desk or swiveling in their chair to grab the stapler. So is it any wonder why 5000 steps a day is the average?

For most of us the only physical activity we get is actually going to the gym. No wonder so many people hate their time at the local gym! We're cooped up all day long inside in front of a computer, and the only "play" time we get is in the gym under florescent lights, cold colours, and clanking metal. I say (and you can feel it in your gut) it's time to get out!

Take a tip from our caveman ancestors and get outside whenever you can. Try to walk more often, walk to work, talk a stroll at night with a loved one or pet. On weekends make time to get outside and take a hike, walk around down town and take a look at local shops or land marks. Or try a new outdoor activity, take a canoe ride or try kayaking, both are excellent upper body workouts. Many people find the act of walking to be almost therapeutic, loosening up their hips and knees, giving them time to think and enjoy their surroundings. So in a sense moving slowly is also very good for both the mind and body due to its natural stress reliving powers. Just look at how many people instantly say "I'm going for a walk!" when upset. Walking gives us time to be alone with our thoughts, and physical activity when thinking goes hand in hand with higher brain function!

As you can see, the benefits for moving slow in nature are vast. It's easy to see why we're designed to move slowly, as cavemen it helped us travel, hunt, and conserve our much needed energy. In modern times, it is a great stress reliever, physically therapeutic, and (in my opinion) still the best mode of transportation with in time constraints. So when you're all done your workouts, or on the days in between, get outside and get moving ... slowly.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How We're Meant To Move Pt #2: Moving Fast

In the last section of this 3 part series we went over how as humans we're designed to lift heavy, in this post we'll look into why it is that we respond so well to moving fast. But what exactly do I mean by moving fast and how does it play into natural fitness and getting to your health/fitness goals faster and more efficiently? Lets first take a look at how moving fast would have come into play as early cavemen.

As we know 2 million years ago there were no grocery stores to go and buy your food! Each day would have been a hunt to survive for another week or two. As you can imagine, hunting with crude tools and weapons would have been no easy task, you would have to act fast and on instinct to get your meal. Cavemen would have had to sprint, not a casual jog, but full out sprint with everything they had to catch up, chase down and kill their meal. Also, it was a time where man was not always on the top of the food chain, we were also prey. There would have been plenty of danger from large game trying to eat us, and I don't know about you but if I had a large angry/hungry wild cat trying to eat me you had better believe I would run with everything I had! Not to mention rival clans/tribes that could pose a threat and we would once again be forced to run at top speed away from danger. With this being said it's simple to see why a caveman would never have run 5k each day as it would be a great wast of his time and energy and put him in danger of starving or being eaten/killed.

Moving fast (such as sprints) is a natural act that is embedded into your genes. Watch children run as soon as the figure it out, watch dogs in the park, or even think about how good it felt when you were younger to just move fast! It's hard to deny that truth, but survival aside and the rush of moving fast put on the back burner, how can moving fast get you leaner and push you to new levels of health and vitality in this modern world?

Studies prove that moving very fast for short periods works much better for dropping your body fat than slow steady cardio training. This can be shown by simply looking at an Olympic sprinter vs a marathon runner. When you move very fast you burn much more calories than you would just jogging. 8-10 sprints of 50-100 meters will burn more calories (including burn more calories from fat) than a 45-60 min jog ever will. It's simple, when you burn more over all calories you'll burn more from fat as well! Also, when you move fast, you boost your metabolism increasing your bodies ability to get lean and stay that way.

With long steady state cardio we have another story. You train your body to want more carbs (sugar), you'll be training it to hold onto body fat to use as energy as well, and it's tough on your joins in activities such as running. Just look at almost anyone you see jogging down the road and ask yourself if that's what you want to look like? You'll find the vast majority look like they never workout or worse look out of shape and even a little chubby.

Need some more proof? Look at any sport that requires you to move fast for short bursts such as soccer, hockey, sprinting, gymnastics, basketball etc. All of the athletes in each of those sports have stellar physiques and low body fat percentages

Now moving fast doesn't have to be just sprinting, it can come in the form of interval training, for example on the bike (indoor or outdoor) peddle 30 secs - 1min as hard as you can and 30 secs of peddling and repeat that 10 -20 times. You could do high intensity circuit training using body weight, kettlebells, gym rings, and med balls or a combo of all. Just pick some full body exercises and do each for 30 secs - 1 min and go all out and rest for 1 min between circuits. You could always jump rope for 100-200 skips as fast as possible then rest for 30 secs and repeat 10-15 times. If you're confused or feel lost then hire a professional to work with (

The possibilities are endless, and the rewards are vast! If you want to get lean, start moving fast and I MEAN FAST! Even if you're alone or have your trainer standing over you, push yourself hard, be out of breath, feel like you have been beaten down and it will give you results. And remember if you need to, it never hurt to just imagine your a caveman trying not to be eaten!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How We're Meant To Move Pt #1: Lifting Heavy

We should all be lifting heavy things to promote optimal health and longevity. It's just that simple! I don't care what your fitness plan is or what style of training you enjoy the most, if resistance training is not a part of your life then make it part of your fitness program today! Our caveman ancestors would have had an excellent body weight to strength ratio, and for good cause. Living in the wilderness, hunting your own food (usually big game), fending off danger (animals or others looking to hurt you/loved ones), and building shelter would have all required a great degree of strength and would have kept us hard and resilient. Cavemen would have needed to be able to pull their own body weight with little to no effort as well as have a high degree of strength to move external weight just to survive each day. In today's society we may not be faced with the same (if any) challenges our caveman ancestors dealt with on a daily basis, but we are genetically the same as those cavemen we came from. So how can being strong and lifting heavy help provide us with the best quality of life in our modern society.

1. Lifting heavy promotes functional strength: Lifting in patters of motion that we use on a daily basis are best for promotion of functional strength. This means total body movements such as the squat, dead lift (getting up off the couch, picking up kids or laundry), chin up, push up, over head pressing (putting away groceries), lunges (any athletic activity), rowing/pulling etc. These are all movements that we use all the time in sports and day to day activities making us stronger in our everyday lives.

2. Lifting heavy helps burn fat: When we lift heavy in total body movements like the ones listed above we burn a lot of calories and promote lean muscle gain. This revs up our metabolism and keeps us burning calories even at rest (our body burns a lot of calories to grow/maintain muscle). Total body movements use a lot of muscle groups, the more muscle we use the more fuel they burn to keep moving (calories). The more lean muscle we have, the more calories we can burn, the more calories we can burn the lower body fat we will have.

3. Lifting heavy helps build lean muscle: Lean muscle is a good thing! It helps give our body a sleek/athletic shape making us fill out our clothes a little better or look great on the beach. It's not very hard to get men to strength train, women on the other hand can some times be a challenge. To all the women reading right now, strength training will not make you look like a bulky man! Take a look at all those fitness models out there, they don't look like men and they lift weights and strength train. To lose body fat and get that lean look (man or woman) you must lift heavy and often! Lean muscle also gives our bones a little extra padding and helps protect us from injury during sports or accidents that can happen in our daily lives. Look better, perform better, and help protect yourself from injury.

4. Lifting heavy has many faces: Lifting heavy is all relative, what's heavy for one person may not be for another and not all training forms work for each person. We have different injuries or availability of equipment. You don't have to run into the gym and start squatting, benching, and dead lifting to gain lean muscle or get very, very strong. Body weight training has progressions from beginner to elite athlete and can be very challenging/rewarding. Just look at Olympic gymnasts who never lift anything other than their own body weight! They have excellent physiques and tons of strength without owning a home gym. If body weight training isn't your thing then maybe power lifts or Olympic lifting could be for you! Find a qualified coach/trainer and learn the technique. The point is, make your strength training challenging and heavy with great form for best results no matter what style you choose.

... In the next 2 chapters of the Jungle Fit Blog we'll touch on more of how we're meant to move to look our best and move our best. If you're looking to change your life and don't know where to start a Jungle Fit - Boot Camp is a great way to get back into shape or change up your fitness program. Learn how to move your body and control your body weight, lose body fat, and gain lean muscle.