Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lean Abs & Strong Core: Sculpting 6-Pack Abs - The International Benchmark of a Fit Physique!

‘Six-pack Abs’ are considered the international benchmark of a fit physique by many, and while generally speaking, lean abs are associated with healthier bodies, in reality this level of fitness is more about rocking an aesthetically appealing physique than it is a requirement for health & wellness, or a strong core.

In fact most of us should know by now that we all have ‘six-pack abs’ hiding under there somewhere, and that it is just a matter of revealing them by reducing the subcutaneous layer of fat lying over top of and obscuring them.  Furthermore, we should all know by now that we cannot spot-reduce this layer of body fat, no matter how many abdominal exercises we do, but rather we most reduce our overall body fat % to approximately less than 8% to begin revealing our abs, through a combination of diet, exercise and genetics.  Of course having visible lean-abs and having as strong core usually go together, but not always. One can have very strong core yet look as soft as a baby seal, and vice versa - one can have the most shredded abs ever, yet be as weak as this same baby seal, (I apologize for the lame analogy). 
This article was originally written for & printed in Four EL magazine, OCT 2013 issue. Photo by Cory Sorensen

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Is Beer Healthy? Which Beers are Healthiest?...

Is beer healthy?...

With a resounding YES, I hereby declare that beer consumed in moderation is healthy!  Thank goodness I could honestly say yes here, or I think I might have set off a boycott amongst our readership, and certainly risked losing my job here at Four EL!  Beer is considered divine around here at Four EL and everybody on the staff is an aficionado.  I know that I’m the resident fitness guy here, but we have some (self-proclaimed) beer connoisseurs that write for us, that I’m sure would have loved a chance to field this month’s nutrition topic.  Admittedly, I drink beer almost daily, but I often find myself in a New Belgium Fat Tire (Amber Ale) rut, for lack of a better word.  Hey, when you find something love, why not stick with it?!  But some of our staff is out there field-testing in our local San Diego bars & microbreweries by noon every day, so they no doubt have a more well-rounded palates than I, so I must confess, a lot of my research was done via the internet.  San Diego is also home to some incredible microbreweries like Stone Brewing and Port Brewing, so we are also a bit biased to our home brews! 
                But let me dive into this discussion of what criteria it takes to consider a beer a healthy anyway.  Well I just applied the same criteria that one would to all other foods:  Is it nutritious, low in sugar, low in saturated fats, low in sodium, and relatively low in calories?  The good news is most beer inherently qualifies based on all these criteria!  (Caveat: As long as no more than 2 to 3 are consumed daily for the average man.)  In my consideration, alcohol content was a neutral factor and not a criterion, as there are as many cons as there are pros regarding alcohol consumption.  Generally speaking, the lower the calorie the beer, the lower it is in alcohol content, but then the more likely one is to drink more of that particular beer, to attain the satiety and ‘buzz’ they’re desiring when choosing to drink a beer in the first place.
Originally written for and printed in Four EL magazine by me, OCT 2013