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Hit the Weights Ladies!

Molly isn’t your average forty something.  She eats right.  She gets enough sleep.  She controls her stress levels.  She’s figured out how to juggle family comittments while still making time for herself.  Oh yea, and she lifts weights. Don’t worry though.  She’s not the...

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On the Go Workout: How to get fit anywhere

Posted by mylife | Posted in Fitness | Posted on 03-06-2012

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If you’re the type of guy or girl who is on the go all the time but still wants to make time for fitness, then this is your workout.  Weight training is great and it’s really important if you want to develop your physique to it’s fullest, but this quick routine doesn’t require it.  Quick cardiovascular workouts that also involve working your muscles by using your body’s own resistance (like the one I’m about to share here) can pretty effective for those times you can’t get to the gym.

Here’s what to do:

Perform the following exercises in order, for 30 seconds each, going from one to the next without rest.  After you’ve completed all five exercises once, rest for one minute and repeat the circuit 2 more times.  This mini routine can be done on it’s own or after weight training a few times per week, and you should focus on increasing the number of times you complete the circuit (up to five) for the first couple weeks.  Then later on, focus on trying to get more reps of each exercise in the 30 second window while still completing up to five rounds.

Here are the exercises:

(click on the exercise to see a demonstration video)

1. Seal Jump

2. Pushup

3. Prisoner Squat

4. Lateral Jump

5. Burpee

Carbs and Weight Loss: The Simple Truth

Posted by mylife | Posted in Health & Wellness, Nutrition | Posted on 25-05-2012

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Wanna get skinny? Lower your carbs.

Carbs and weight loss are inextricably tied together.  Period.

Sure, the old “calorie in, calorie out” mantra holds true, but when it comes to weight loss, it’s not only the amount of food you eat, but also the type.  Because of this, we all need to remember to think about the amount of macronutrients (carbs, fats, and protein) that we take in.  The cool thing though is that it doesn’t always have to get much trickier than that.

Wanna hear a simple weight loss truth so obvious it’ll blow your mind?

Most people would lose weight if they simply dropped their carbs, upped their protein intake, and kept their “fats” at a lower to moderate level (preferably consuming mostly monounsaturated fats, of course).

And more and more studies support this simple idea.  Some of the latest research from Johns Hopkins University showed that for both men and women, losing belly fat, while on a low carb diet improved general health stuff like vascular function.  That certainly doesn’t hurt, but here’s what’s even better:

This particular study found that after six months, people on a low-carb diet had lost more weight and were healthier than those who had a followed a low-fat diet.

Keep in mind, we still need carbohydrates in our diet, but the amount and the type can easily be tweaked to elicit some awesome changes in the way our bodies look.  So giving low carb a “go” might not be a bad thing for some people to try – especially if you’ve never given it a shot or you’d like to lose weight rapidly.

The Chris Evans Workout

Posted by mylife | Posted in Celebrities | Posted on 25-05-2012

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Chris Evans as Captain America

The Chris Evans workout is designed specifically around what the actor did to get jacked for his role as Captain America in the movies The Avengers, The Avengers 2, and  Captain American: The First Avenger.  It’s a great routine to follow if you’re skinny and want to put on some extra lean body mass but will also work for guys who are already reasonably fit but would simply like to get a bit more muscular.

Evans has had roles as a superhero in other movies before nabbing the lead as Captain America in the newer films.  And actually he has been in pretty good shape in some of those other flicks as well, which include Push, and The Fantastic Four, where he was pretty lean while playing the character Johnny Flame.

Although Chris may not exactly be the most well-known star, he’s worked hard for his success as an actor and he’s always taken working out just as seriously.  He’s one of those guys who has made it a part of his lifestyle.  And working with other big stars probably hasn’t hurt his motivation.  He worked with Jessica Alba in The Fantastic Four and Chris Hemsworth in the latest Avengers flick. And ultimately the body that he built to play Captain America shows that, although he was in pretty good shape to begin with, he has the drive and motivation to be able to take his body to the next level if necessary.

The Chris Evans Body 

Chris Evans has always been pretty lean and didn’t really have trouble with carrying too much weight.  He was never the guy who struggled to see his abs because he could shed those last few pounds of body fat.  If anything, Evans had the opposite problem: a fast metabolism and “skinny” genes that made it easy for him to stay lean but a little harder to put on weight.  This definitely helps when you don’t want to put on extra body fat, but it can be bad in that putting on muscle may be harder as well.  For his role in Captain America, Evans prepared by eating massive amounts of food.  He basically described his eating program as being extremely difficult because he got to the point where he didn’t want to eat anymore – he had to force himself to take down more food.  Most people think they would love to have this problem but the truth is that it can be a big challenge to have to force feed yourself to gain muscle.


Chris’ efforts paid off though and he was able to bulk up, adding an impressive amount of muscle mass.  He also stayed pretty lean.  This resulted in a pretty aesthetic physique, which is the illustrated in the picture above.  Although Chris definitely worked his legs, you can’t see the results of his efforts in the lower body, but his lower body training definitely helped him add mass to the upper body.  The result was a big chest, defined arms and shoulders, and body fat low enough that he maintained abdominal definition.  These are all things women love and they made him a much more convincing Captain America.

The Chris Evans Workout Routine

Chris’ workout plan for Captain America included four months of training for two hours each day.  Because he had to get in awesome shape so fast, he really had to do extensive, intense workouts to get results in less time.  In reference to his workouts, Evans is quoted as saying “We did two hours a day, and it was brutal.  I usually like working out.  Going in sucks, but walking out, you’re like, ‘I’m glad I did that!’ This was different.  I’d walk out and I’d be like, ‘I need to vomit.  I hate this trainer.  I hate this movie.  I want to go to sleep for a week.’  It was just relentless.”

As far as Chris Evans specific training goes, he stuck with a bodybuilding-style split routine, which is what a lot of guys might use when they want to put on muscle mass but also get really great balance, definition, and symmetry with each muscle group.  For beginner to intermediate trainees – and some advanced guys – doing a five day one, two days off split would be recommended.  This means you workout Monday through Friday, hitting different muscle groups each day, and then you rest on Saturday and Sunday.  Rest is paramount when it comes to putting on muscle mass and the truth is that there is a fine line between overdoing and underdoing it when working out to gain size and strength.

The Brad Pitt Workout

Posted by mylife | Posted in Celebrities | Posted on 23-05-2012

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Brad Pitt in Troy

The Brad Pitt workout is great if you are shooting for a physique like the actor had in movies like Fight Club, Troy, and Snatch.  There have been a lot of Brad Pitt style workouts circulating online for a while, but this one is based on the ground breaking new book The Celebrity Workout Book for Men and is the best plan to follow for a similar physique.

The A-List star has long been known for his sculpted, balanced physique and cool attitude.  He maintains a decent build year round, and works extra hard when necessary to take his body to the next level for the latest blockbuster.  And Brad Pitt is still staying in shape as he gets a little older for upcoming films like Killing them Softly and World War Z.  

When Brad started out in the business, he was a super lean twenty- something, with a classic ectomorph-type build.  Since then, he’s molded his body over the years to match the characters he’s played. This workout is perfect for someone who wants to get a physique like Brad Pitt had in Fight Club or even in the movie Troy.  This routine can work for guys who aspire to get either type of physique because the difference in body type is mostly a matter of difference in body weight.  The key with this workout is to develop solid lean muscle mass and reach a low level of body fat all the while avoiding the bulky, blocky look.

Because this routine is geared towards getting in awesome shape and looking great, it’s ideal for guys who have extra weight they want to shed so they can see their six pack, or for guys who are already pretty lean but want more definition and muscle development.

The Brad Pitt Body

The actor is definitely known for being generally fit and also able to take his body to that next level when necessary for certain characters he plays.  He is most well known for the physique he had as Tyler Durden in Fight Club where he was extremely lean and on the lighter side weight-wise.  At the same time, he proved that he could build an impressive amount of muscle mass when he played Achilles in the movie Troy. The big thing with Brad Pitt is that his body is always lean.  He is naturally on the skinny side with a fast metabolism.  He also has a medium bone structure which makes the muscle he puts on his frame look better.  Generally speaking, the strong points on his physique are his shoulders and abs, and also his narrow waist.  The actor also has pretty good pectoral development and sports a more fully developed chest in his role as Achilles.  Women love Brad Pitt’s physique because of how lean and aesthetic it is.  

The Brad Pitt Workout Routine

Brad Pitt in Fight Club

This workout plan is considered to be at the intermediate level because Brad has been training for twenty plus years at a somewhat consistent, somewhat intense level.  Also, his physique is developed to a pretty decent degree, especially in Troy, even by bodybuilding standards.  Even though the actor isn’t necessarily a fitness buff, he works hard in the gym before movies where he needs to have a certain look.  Like other actors, he may be “lazy” sometimes, but he makes up for it with his intense workouts when preparing for new films where he needs to be extra fit. Although Brad Pitt’s workout is considered to be at the intermediate level, it will work for people who are total amateurs when it comes to fitness as well as those who are very experienced in the gym.

It is certainly easier and more doable for guys who aren’t very experienced with training to get a body like Brad in Fight Club than it would be to get the body he had in Troy, but either body is respectable and achievable in its own right.    Since conditioning is important here, as is having   balanced development, a bodybuilding split routine is used and cardio is done separately to help maintain metabolic rate.  Moderate amounts of cardio also help to curb lipogenesis (new fat gain) if your diet isn’t perfect. Cardio is often useful when you don’t want to become really big and blocky, especially if the weight you put on tends to be more fat mass than muscle.  Since Brad always ends up looking very aesthetic with whatever type of build he has, the goal with this plan is not to end up looking like a refrigerator.

What To Do

The good thing about this routine is that it’s pretty simple.  There is a workout for six out of seven days of the week, with Sunday being the only non-workout rest day.   Each day is devoted to a different individual muscle group and each muscle group is only worked once per week.  This set up is fairly common and can be an effective approach for both the amateur trainee and the advance weight lifter alike.   On Monday you hit the back muscles.  On Tuesday the focus is on the chest.  For Wednesday the focus shifts to the legs and abs.  On Thursday, you work biceps and triceps and on Friday you hit your shoulders and abdominals.   Cardio is only done on Friday and Saturday.  Both days call for one hour of non-stop cardio done either on the treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bike, starclimber (or variations of these) at 75-80% of your max heart rate.  On Friday, you perform the cardio workout right after your shoulder and ab workout and on Saturday since there is no weight training performed, cardio is done independently.   On all weight exercises, repetitions are between 12 and 20 and several sets are used for most exercises with 1 minute rest between sets.

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Coffee Benefits: Five Things you Should know

Posted by mylife | Posted in Health & Wellness, Nutrition | Posted on 19-05-2012

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Research has now shown that coffee has many health benefits.  People used to think that coffee was just a satisfying addiction – like smoking but maybe not as bad.  These days though, more studies are coming to light that illustrate how this drink is not only harmless, but in many cases may even improve your health.  Coffee is consumed in most cultures around the world and in fact the caffeine contained in that “cup of joe” happens to be the most widely consumed psychoactive drug on the planet.  But that little buzz you get from a each cup may not be the only benefit.  Here are five things you should know about your Java:

1. Coffee can make you happier.  According to a Harvard study, women who drank a few cups per day had a lower risk of depression than those who didn’t didn’t indulge in the habit.  Similar results were seen with men in other studies.  And the risk directly correlates with consumption: the more coffee you drink the lower your risk of being blue, which researchers think is a result of the effect of caffeine on mood neurotransmitters.

2. The drink may protect your brain.  The  Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease recently found that coffee contains a substance that when combined with caffeine can boost levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF).  This is a growth factor that seems to have the ability to ward of Alzheimer’s disease in mice.  The amount of coffee used in the study would be the equivalent to consuming four or five cups for humans and has also been shown to decrease the risk of Parkinson’s disease.  Scientists think that coffee may also play a part in creating brain cell connections and forming new neurons.

3. Coffee may protect you from diabetes.  According to a recent medical review, drinking coffee reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and the more you drink the lower your risk.  This may have something to do with the drink’s positive effects on insulin sensitivity in the body.  Another possibility is that coffee increases metabolic rate and some people who drink more coffee may eat less total calories throughout the day.  

4. Coffee may lower men’s prostate cancer risk. A recent study at Harvard showed that men who drank six cups of coffee per day decreased their risk of developing a particularly deadly form of prostate cancer by 60 percent.  There was also a 20 percent decrease in their chance of getting any other type of prostate cancer.  Fortunately for some, the study also revealed that drinking just a small amount of coffee – even one cup – can decrease prostate cancer risk by 30 percent. 

5. Your cup of joe may help prevent cancer.  New research shows that coffee could help to ward off basal cell carcinoma, the most common cancer in the world.  Another study showed that women who drank at least three cups of coffee per day decreased their risk of skin cancer by 20 percent, while men in the same study had a 9 percent risk reduction.  An important point is that decaf coffee didn’t have the same anti-cancer benefit so there may be something about the caffeine in coffee or the way it interacts with other compounds in the drink that attenuates cancer risk.  

Check out the benefits of cottage cheese here

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