Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Giving the Gift of Health with OMW

One of the best things you can do for those you care about (and yourself!) is to help them become and stay healthier. Whether they are family members or friends, their health will have an impact on your life. Your support and encouragement can make a big difference on theirs. Even better, exercising together can help keep both of you on track, leading to greater and longer-lasting results!

Due to popular demand, we've been busy working on making this easier. You can now buy OMW account upgrades as gifts for anyone with an email address. Just head over to www.oneminworkout.com/gift and fill out the form. Complete your gift purchase and we'll electronically send your gift to the recipient's email.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Forgetting to Work Out? Check Your Inbox to Stay On Track

Sometimes you get busy and put off your workout for a day. You promise yourself you’ll do it tomorrow but you get even busier. Before you know it, you’ve completely forgotten about your workout. So much for the beach body (or other goal) you wanted for the summer!

This has happened to all of us so that’s why we added "Exercise Reminder Emails" to all OMW accounts. If you haven’t logged an OMW exercise for 3 days or more, we’ll send you reminders by email periodically. Instead of being yet another way to put things off, checking your inbox can now help you get and stay in shape.

These reminders will show you how long you’ve been letting yourself slide and how many XP points you’ve lost. You can get back on track and recover some of the lost XP by doing an exercise right away. Just click the “Exercise Now” button to go to your OMW account and do an exercise.

We find these reminders quite helpful but if you prefer not to receive them, you can turn them off from the Reminder Preferences section of the Settings page in your account.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

3 Reasons Most Workout Programs Will Fail You (And How to Avoid Them)

If you’re like most people resolving to get in shape this year, you want to be healthier, to move and feel better, and hopefully also look better. Just as importantly, you want results that last. Unfortunately, many workout programs will fail at helping you achieving one or more of these goals. They all sound exciting when you first start out but for one reason or another, you’ll stop doing them and lose any benefit you may have gained. Here are three common reasons why these workouts can’t deliver lasting results, and how to fix them.

1. Ineffective Exercises

This is the most insidious reason of the three because many people don’t even realize it. They think following a workout class or video automatically means they’ll get results. However, just because you are doing an exercise doesn’t mean it’s actually benefiting your body. Whether it’s for cardio, strength, or flexibility, exercises are only worth your time if they push yourself to your limits. Your body adapts to new challenges - exercises don’t. This means any exercise you do will eventually become unsuitable for you unless you change it by increasing the difficulty.

Don’t just do more repetitions of the same (or similar difficulty) exercises. This doesn’t build strength and muscle effectively. Rather, you end up building endurance for that particular exercise as your body learns to perform them more efficiently. So, even though you spend more time working out, you don’t get much to show for the extra time and effort. Plus, as your workouts get longer, the higher the chances you’ll fall off the exercise bandwagon.

What To Do: 

Increase the difficulty of any exercises in your workout that aren’t challenging. This means putting your muscles under more load, or effective weight. Your body will adapt to the heavier loads which stimulate muscle growth and thereby improve function and aesthetics. Review your workout regularly to ensure that you are always spending your workout time wisely.

If you are lifting weights, increase the weight so that each repetition takes a good amount of effort. Finishing a set of 6 to 10 reps should be challenging. If the weight is too light, you’re just wasting your time.

If you are doing one of those popular low- or no-equipment workouts that use bodyweight exercises, try this: grab a heavy item like a jug of water or sand to increase your bodyweight. Even better, learn how to modify your exercises so that you can increase your effective bodyweight without grabbing an extra weight. If you don’t know how to do that, you can learn how from my One Minute Workout.

2. Excessive Intensity and Volume

Ever think of trying a high intensity workout or boot-camp program? High intensity exercises are great for stimulating your body to grow but it needs to be ready. If you’re out of shape, jumping into a high intensity workout is an easy way to get hurt. Once you get hurt, you’re likely to stop exercising.

Another common pitfall is too much volume. Exercising too much, especially at high intensities, also increases your risk of injury. When performing hard exercises, it is more difficult to maintain good form. Trying to do them when you are tired is asking for trouble. Pushing through fatigue to finish an exercise set with poor form is a recipe for serious injury.What To Do: 

Resist the urge to jump right into new exercises or workouts at full intensity. Instead, ease into them then increase intensity once you are familiar and comfortable with the movement and technique. This gives your brain a chance to learn the new movement patterns correctly. It also gives the weaker parts in your body a chance to catch up to the stronger parts. Remember that while muscles can adapt quickly, tendons and ligaments take much longer. Following this tip will greatly reduce your chances of injury in the beginning, right when you are the most excited about starting a new exercise or workout.

Also, don’t keep adding more exercises and repetitions to your workout regimen. Your body can only handle so much stress before it is unable to recover and repair in time for your next workout. Aim for 10 to 20 repetitions at most. If you can do more than 20 repetitions of an exercise, then it’s too easy for you.

3. Takes Too Much Time, Effort, or Resources

We’re all busy these days. If a workout takes too much time, you’re not going to stick with it for very long. Even with the best intentions, unexpected situations pop up and your priorities change over time. The same thing goes if it takes too much effort to start the workout. For example, having to drive to and from a gym across town creates a very real mental barrier that wears down your motivation each time. Even if you exercise at home, you’re not going to stick with it if you have to drag out and put away equipment each time. And needless to say, when your budget gets tight, workout classes and gym memberships and are the first to go.

What To Do:

Choose shorter workouts that maximize your results for the time spent. Don’t forget to include the time it takes to get to your workout location, setting up the equipment, and cleaning up afterward. Arrange your workout equipment so that they are easily accessible. If you go to a gym or class, pick one that is near the places you usually frequent, such as the office or grocery store. It’s better to go to a closer facility than a nicer one that is out of the way. And remember from earlier, as you get in better shape, don’t make your workouts longer.

Sustainability is Key

So there you have it. These three factors determine whether your workout is sustainable or not. It doesn’t matter how exciting or awesome a workout may sound, if it isn’t sustainable for you, it won’t do you any good. Health and fitness isn’t a short term game. It’s what you keep doing, especially as you get older and busier, that matters.

Need a Workout That Fits The Bill?

When I was younger, I kept running into these problems, whether it was with sport-specific training regimens or workout programs I saw on TV. As I got older and busier, I realized that what I really needed was a workout program that was effective and sustainable. The problem was, I couldn’t find one that fit my busy schedule. Some were sustainable but laughably ineffective. Others took too much time or equipment. So, I ended up designing my own workout system, The One Minute Workout, making sure I didn’t repeat the same mistakes. Since then, I’ve been able to stick with OMW for over five years and am now stronger and in better shape than I’ve ever been before.

If you need a workout that will make a lasting change on your life, join the many others who have started the One Minute Workout and see what it can do for you. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish with small but effective and consistent effort. Sign up and get started for free today.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The One Minute Workout Website has Launched!

Years ago, when I first created the One Minute Workout for myself, there was no website. I kept track of everything in my head. As I added more exercises, it became too much to remember so I logged my workouts on a piece of paper. It worked fine when I had my paper log nearby but when it wasn’t, I had to remember to log my day’s progress when I got back home. Needless to say, I often forgot to do so.

To solve this problem, I built a little personal website to track my OMW workouts online. It fit the bill perfectly and I have been using it ever since. It has enabled me to stay on track over the years to become stronger, move better, and feel healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.

I was happy with the website since it worked well enough for me. But it was apparently too ugly and clunky for anyone else to use (well, at least that’s what my friends told me). So, I knew the website would eventually need to be rebuilt if OMW was to help as many people as it could.

Fast forward a few years past all the blood, sweat, and tears from book publishing and website development. After a busy 2015 and especially crazy past few months, we’re happy to announce that the One Minute Workout website is officially up and open to the public! Now, anybody can start improving their health and fitness with the One Minute Workout by signing up for a free account.

The free account includes the essential basic OMW exercises that everybody needs to be able to do to maintain basic health and fitness. These exercises help build fundamental functional strength so that you can move better and start feeling better. It also includes the OMW online exercise tracker that I personally use so you can measure and track your progress. It’s an easy way to time your exercises and log your progress all from one place. You’ll also earn experience points for exercising and rewards for finishing your minute each day!

If you want to enhance your health and fitness further, you can get all of the exercises in The One Minute Workout book, workout programming, and more by upgrading to a premium account. This is the exercise system I used to fix my back pain, get the body you see on the cover of the book, and grow stronger than I’ve ever been. Your support will also enable us to develop new content and features to help you and others better.

So, don’t waste any more time reading this and sign up for a free OMW account. Then help your friends and family improve their health and fitness by telling them to sign up! Together, we can make the world a healthier place.

P.S. Don’t forget to use your personal referral link if you want to receive rewards in the future for helping us toward our goal of helping one million people.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

If you do an internet search on “artificial sweeteners”, you’re bound to find a slew of articles decrying them and just as many articles touting them as the next best thing since sliced bread. You’ll find references to studies, good and bad, showing how toxic these chemicals are. You’ll also find references that support their safety. So, are they toxic or not? If not, are they good calorie-free substitutes for table sugar? And the question many of us have, will they help you lose fat?

As for their safety, you can debate either side of this issue almost indefinitely because we just don’t know enough about their complex effects within our bodies at this time. Any substance can be toxic at high enough doses, even those essential to life such as water and oxygen. Several sugar substitutes such as saccharin and aspartame are known to have toxic effects in humans. But they are generally considered safe to consume at the levels needed to make our foods more palatable. However, the stronger your sweet tooth, the more sweeteners you’re likely to eat, inching your consumption levels ever closer toward known levels of toxicity. Whether you ever reach those levels, or have any side effects, depends on your eating habits.

Just take a look at plain sugar. Decades ago, people never imagined we would consume as much sugar as we do today. Over the years, we’ve trained our brains to require higher levels of sweetness to be satisfied. This meant adding more sugar to our foods. While generally considered to be non-toxic at “normal” levels, when you eat too much sugar, you will develop metabolic problems like obesity and diabetes. For many of us, our brains have lost touch with how much sweetness it really needs and our health is paying for it.

The obvious “fix” to this sweetness addiction is to substitute sugar with low- or zero-calorie sweeteners. Indeed, this is the path that many people have chosen although many still have trouble losing unwanted pounds of fat despite the ostensible calorie reduction. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. When you crave high levels of sweetness, you’re more likely to end up eating more treats, even if they are lower in calories per serving. And when you are in situations where you aren’t able to eat sugar-substituted versions of a dessert, such as at a restaurant with friends, you’ll pile on even more calories. Despite intentions to lose weight, your addiction to sweetness trumps any discipline or willpower that you can muster.

The real solution to reduce caloric intake and achieve weight loss is to break this addiction. As you slowly ratchet down the sweetness level you consume, your brain adjusts accordingly. With time, you’ll no longer crave the same level of sweetness as before, making it easier to cut down on your overall calorie intake. In fact, you may find the previous levels of sweetness to be too much for you. I’ve experienced this effect several times as I cut down on various sugar-laden foods.

So, in the end, artificial sweeteners ARE bad for you but not in the sense that they are biologically toxic. Rather, they make the process of losing weight and keeping it off that much harder since they help fuel your addiction to sweetness and high-calorie foods. If you are truly serious about losing fat, do yourself a favor and cut down (not out!) on all forms of sweetness. You might be surprised how many extra calories those low- or zero-calorie sugar substitutes were making you eat before!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Keep Doing More Push-Ups or Pull-Ups

In an earlier article, I discussed the problem with doing a lot of repetitions of low-weight exercises. As the number of repetitions increase, the gains become incrementally smaller. Instead of growing bigger and stronger, muscles improve in metabolic efficiency. While this is good if you want to be able to do that particular movement for a long time, it doesn’t necessarily carry over well to other movements or skills. Muscular endurance also doesn’t help improve the way you look.

When it comes to bodyweight exercises, the same holds true as well. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they’re making the same mistake and end up doing increasing numbers of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, etc. Since your bodyweight doesn’t change that much, doing more of the same kind of push-ups doesn’t increase your strength significantly. You just spend more time working out.

Unless you’re going to be in a competition based on the number of repetitions you can do, your time is better spent increasing the difficulty of your bodyweight exercises. How can you achieve this without using external weights? This is where an understanding of body mechanics and simple physics helps.

By adjusting your body position and placement of your hands and feet, you can make nearly any bodyweight exercise trivially easy or incredibly difficult. Just look at what gymnasts do, especially on the still rings. The iconic Iron Cross position is an incredible way to train your shoulders, forearms, biceps, chest, and lats at the same time. The significantly harder Maltese Cross is so difficult that it’s similar to bench pressing double your bodyweight!

If you can already do 10 to 20 push-ups, try increasing the difficulty by moving your hands apart, forward, or even backward. Play around with different hand placements and see what makes it harder for you. Work on that variation until it becomes easy. Then, increase the difficulty again. If you do sit-ups, try slowly extending your legs and arms until you can do V-ups easily. If those become too easy, then it’s time to up the difficulty even more by doing hanging abdominal exercises such as hanging leg lifts on a pull-up bar.

For those of you competing based on how fast you can complete a certain number of repetitions, such as in CrossFit, then you’ll definitely want to increase your strength and power. As you get stronger, the perceived difficulty of each repetition goes down, making it easier to do more. Plus, you’ll be able to do each repetition faster. So, instead of training more repetitions of the technique you’ll be competing with, train with harder variations. When it comes to game day, you’ll be surprised how much better you perform.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Ripen Pineapples Perfectly Every Time

Getting fresh pineapples from the store used to be hit-or-miss for me. Sometimes I’d get lucky and find one that was fragrantly ripe, sweet, and ready-to-eat. But more often then not, there would only be green ones in the entire bin. After picking the best from the bunch, I would sit it on the counter for days, or even a couple of weeks if need be, waiting for it to ripen. Even though the color would change from dark green to golden yellow, they still lacked the intensely aromatic sweetness of a truly ripe pineapple.

Eventually I found out that I could make them ripen faster and sweeter by putting a plastic produce bag over them as they sat on the counter. Unfortunately, there were three problems with this technique.

  1. Uneven Ripening. The top of the pineapple would be ready faster than the bottom. If I left the bag on longer to let the bottom ripen all the way, the top became over-ripe and began fermenting.
  2. Inconsistent Results. Sometimes the pineapples became sweet but other times, they were still quite sour despite taking on a nice golden color. Also, even the sweet ones would make my tongue feel prickly, as though I was eating an unripe pineapple.

  3. Mold! This happened all over the surfaces that were covered by the bag and also where the pineapple sat on the counter. I was able to prevent mold on the bottom by placing a folded paper towel between the fruit and the counter but mold still persisted elsewhere.

One day, I was taking bananas out of the bag they came in and saw it was just the right size for the pineapple I had also bought. So I put that bag over the pineapple and several days later, I had a beautifully ripened golden pineapple that was extremely sweet throughout. No mold had formed and the fruit didn’t make my tongue feel prickly either. It was the best fresh pineapple I have ever had from a grocery store! I’ve been using this method ever since and have had perfectly ripened pineapples each time, regardless of the stage of ripeness at the store.

So, what’s the trick to the banana bag? I think it’s the holes that are punched throughout. A bag without holes doesn’t allow much air movement. As a result, the gases released by the fruit (ripening-hormones released by the fruit?) accumulate unevenly. Since the top of the bag is completely enclosed, the concentration of these gases is probably higher there, making that part of the fruit ripen faster. The bottom of the bag is open to the air, enabling these gases to disperse a bit. As a result, the bottom ripens more slowly. Also, since humidity doesn’t escape readily from a bag without holes, the surface of the fruit becomes a prime environment for mold to form.

Putting holes throughout the bag alleviates both of these issues by allowing humidity and gases to escape. This enables the ripening process to occur more evenly while decreasing the probability of mold growing.

Is there anything special about the banana bag material itself? I don’t think so as I’ve also tried cutting out 15-20 quarter-inch sized holes in a regular produce bag and using it to ripen pineapples. That has worked just as well too.

So, the next time you want to get a pineapple at the grocery store, there’s no need to pass up on the delicious fruit if you can’t find one that’s ready to eat. Just grab a clear grocery bag, cut some holes in it, and put it over your pineapple for a few days. Watch it turn golden yellow and when you can no longer resist the wonderful pineapple scent every time you walk by, it’s ready for eating!