Chocolate mini pronuts recipe - Women's Health and Fitness magazine

Ingredients (Serves 18)

  • 4 tbsp flour of choice (if using coconut flour, reduce quantity and increase milk to offset extra absorbency)
  • 4 tbsp hazelnut meal
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk (lite)
  • 2 scoops (60 g) chocolate or mocha whey protein powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 70 g dark organic chocolate, melted
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Toppings

Chocolate

  • 100 g dark chocolate, melted
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 scoop (30 g) whey hot chocolate

Vanilla 

  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla whey
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp water

Peanut butter

  • 5 tbsp high-protein peanut butter powder (we used The Nutty Whey)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil,
  • melted
  • 2 tbsp water

Method

Set oven to 180oC. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Combine the two and mix well. The mixture should resemble a cake batter and run off the spoon. You may need to add another egg yolk. Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into mini cupcake silicon cases or donut baking trays. Bake for eight to 10 minutes until the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from cases and cooling fully on a wire rack. Continue with remaining mix. You may use a corer to remove the centers or carefully cut with a knife. Store in an airtight container until ready to glaze. 

Glazes

Combine each mix in a bowl. The mixes should be reasonably runny so that they coat the back of a spoon. If too runny they will thicken as they begin to set. Place in the fridge for five-minute intervals to speed this up. If too thick, add additional liquid. Dip each donut into your glaze of choice top side first. Allow to stop dripping before placing onto a wire rack to begin setting. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

SOURCE: WOMEN’S HEALTH & FITNESS MAGAZINE

Target Body Part:
Arms, Chest

Equipment Needed:
Medicine Ball

 

Step 1

Starting Position:

In a standing position, lean over slightly at the hips keeping the back flat.

Step 2

Begin with the medicine ball at the chest with elbows out to the sides and forcefully push the ball toward the floor underneath the chest.

Step 3

Catch the ball when it rebounds and repeat quickly.

 

SOURCE: AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE

Building your abs requires more than just nailing the best exercises. Here’s how to build up your six-pack musculature while chiseling your midsection!

As someone who makes a living training and learning the best approaches for fitness success, I can affirm that some approaches and tips are better than others when it comes to chiseling your six-pack. I’ve summarized the most important abs-sculpting tips here, starting with some common misconceptions about abdominal training.

MUST-KNOW TRUTHS ABOUT SIX-PACK ABS

1) YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRAIN ABS EVERY DAY TO STIMULATE THEM

When you train other muscle groups like legs and back, you indirectly involve you abs, so your core gets a great deal of secondary stimulation. Of course, you only get that ab activation if you’re doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, and standing military presses, so never rely solely on machine work!

However, you don’t need to train your abs every day. Your abs are a muscle group just like any other, and they require post-workout recovery time. While your abs do have a higher degree of slow-twitch muscle fibers, which means they have a higher endurance threshold, you’ll still reap the best results by allowing them to fully recover between workouts.

2) TRAINING ABS DOESN’T DECREASE BODY FAT AROUND YOUR MIDSECTION

You can do crunches until you’re blue in the face, but they won’t significantly “spot reduce” the body fat around your midsection. There’s no way to selectively reduce your body fat; you need to bring your overall body-fat levels down, which means watching your total caloric intake and burning more cals through exercise.

3) YOUR ABS WON’T BE VISIBLE UNTIL YOU REDUCE YOUR BODY FAT

Unlike many other skeletal muscle groups, you need to carry low body fat to reveal your abs, independent of how many exercises you do for them. Reducing your body fat requires you to either burn more calories or consume fewer calories. Genetics also play a role in body-fat levels, making it easier for some people and more difficult for others.

4) A VISIBLE SIX-PACK DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU’RE HEALTHY.

Six-pack abs can be one sign that a person is maintaining a healthy weight, especially given the incidence of obesity today, but it doesn’t automatically mean they’re healthy.

I know a number of individuals with six-packs who are unhealthy because they under-eat or consistently perform excessive cardio. Finding a balance is key to not just getting your six-pack but maintaining it.

5) ANYONE CAN HAVE A SIX-PACK—OR AT LEAST A FOUR-PACK

Metabolic abnormalities aside, I believe this to be true, but it requires immense dedication and consistency both inside and outside the gym. Keep in mind, though, that the overall shape of your six-pack is determined by genetics.

You may have an 8- or 10-pack—yes, I’ve seen them—or just a four-pack depending on the genetic cards you’ve been dealt.

EATING FOR A SIX-PACK

It’s difficult to follow a mass-gain eating plan and expect your abs to become more visible. Sure, you can make your abs stronger through training, but more than any other muscle group, six-pack abs are made in the kitchen.

In fact, most physique athletes generally follow a calorie-restricted diet or one in which they eat enough calories to maintain their current condition. It’s the exceedingly rare individual who can add lean body mass and chisel his or her six-pack at the same time.

If you want a summer six-pack, your best bet is to keep a close eye on your diet. Instead of decreasing everything you’re eating, it’s smart to actually increase protein intake when on a calorie-restricted nutrition plan. This will help you stay satiated and spare your hard-earned muscle mass.

Besides watching your carb intake—especially sugars—be mindful of hidden calories in beverages, and consume plenty of filling vegetables that aren’t calorically dense. The overall goal is to consume fewer calories each day than you burn.

By keeping your protein intake high, you’re less likely to lose lean tissue and burn more body fat. The basics of getting your abs to pop don’t get much simpler than that.

TRAINING FOR A SIX-PACK

Eating for your six-pack is an around-the-clock activity, but the training aspect only entails a 15-20-minute workout about every 2-3 days. Train your abs intensely and help them recover with proper rest and nutrition. The only other “secrets” to ab training are consistency and using good form.

You can choose any number of exercises to emphasize (not necessarily isolate) specific areas of your midsection, and most individuals will inevitably gravitate toward a few favorites. Here are a few of mine.

Lower Abs: Target this region by raising your legs with a stable upper body, which shortens the rectus abdominis from the lower end.
Top exercises: Hanging leg raises or captain’s chair leg raises, decline-bench reverse crunches, mountain climbers.

Upper Abs: This area is targeted when you stabilize your lower torso and draw your upper body toward it, shortening the distance between the ribcage and pelvis.
Top exercises: Rope cable crunches, decline-bench crunches, machine crunches.

Obliques: The obliques run along the sides of your six-pack. I like to train them with higher volume and lighter weights so that the muscles don’t build up considerably over time, which affects the thickness of the midsection.
Top exercises: Captain’s chair oblique raises, cable wood choppers (light to moderate weight), decline-bench Russian twists.

SIX-PACK WORKOUT TIPS

  • Choose three exercises—one from each category—and do 4 sets of each movement for your abdominal
    workouts.
  • Keep rest periods fairly short between sets, about 30-60 seconds.
  • For bodyweight exercises, use a controlled movement and go to muscle failure; don’t stop at a predetermined
    rep target.
  • For weighted upper-ab movements like machine or cable crunches, choose a resistance that lets you reach
    muscle failure at 12-15 reps.
  • For weighted oblique movements, keep it light.
  • Do Russian twists for time—about 40 seconds.

GET STARTED ON YOUR SIX-PACK

Ultimately, doing hours of endless reps doesn’t guarantee a tight midsection. Train your abdominal core from multiple angles using a variety of exercises to ensure better results. Eat below maintenance or burn more calories through exercise to drop body fat. Train and eat smart in concert, and your six-pack will begin to show!

Plyometrics are great for cardio, toning and fat loss here, we take a look at how the humble plyometric box can be a killer workout session.

The benefits of plyometric exercises  - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine

“The plyo box has been popular among athletes and hard-core fitness enthusiasts for a while now, but has become more mainstream since the introduction of CrossFit,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.

“They are great for cardio-based and high-intensity training, but can also be used for rehabilitative purposes and for evening out physique imbalances.Plyometric boxes and aerobic steps come in a range of heights and sizes to adhere to varying fitness levels and exercise goals. While fixed-height boxes are available and usually come in sets of three to four, try opting for a sturdy, adjustable step if you are tight on space. And if you aren’t confident in the jumps, we say go for foam rather than metal or wood versions: a lot less chance of skinned shins.

For cardio/fat loss: Plyometric training involves using explosive bodyweight movements to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time – making them the perfect fat-burning tool. Explosive movements also mean power and strength, especially in the lower body, can be achieved. Again, keep rest periods short and repetitions as high as possible – although given their taxing nature, sessions shouldn’t go much longer then 30 to 45 minutes. Tip: “When performing box jumps, start in a quarter squat and hinge from the hips to engage the hamstrings and glutes,” says Strickland. “Landings on the box should be soft to help avoid injury.”

For toning: While plyometric training is renowned for explosive bodyweight movements, Strickland says that there are a range of toning exercises that can be performed simultaneously. “Think anything from single-leg step-ups to incline push-ups using the box,” he says. “The varied range will target muscles you never even knew you had.”

“With proper technique, kettlebells can be used to train your entire body for both toning and fat-burning goals,” says Strickland. “I run a half-hour class and never repeat the same exercise, so boredom is never an issue.”

Compound movements such as the kettlebell swing, in which the center of gravity shifts, work the entire body while moves native to dumbbell workouts often isolate one or two muscle groups.

“Kettlebells, in my experience, allow people to get deeper into the movements than say a dumbbell,” says Strickland.

For toning:  Kettlebells of varying weights can be used to load isolated muscle groups. When setting up your home gym, opt for a set of light, medium and heavy kettlebells to ensure everything from shoulders to legs can be worked. Strickland’s favorite for a killer lower-body toning session?Image result for kettlebell workout “I often work some of my favorite kettlebell exercises into a circuit to ensure the muscles are exhausted while also providing a killer cardio and fat-burning workout,” he says. “Try a burpee to kettlebell deadlift to kettlebell upright row. Say no more, this will push your whole body to its limits, and then some.”

For fat loss/cardio: Fat loss and cardio fitness are best achieved through circuit-style training, with limited rest and higher repetitions to ensure the heart rate is elevated for long periods. Strickland suggests high-intensity interval work, with exercises performed for 45 seconds at max reps followed by a short 15-second rest. Sessions should last for about 20 to 30 minutes all up. “Work from the larger muscle to smallest, allowing you to achieve a wider variety of movements. It also means the most taxing, compound movements are completed first,” says Strickland.

SOURCE: WOMEN’S HEALTH AND FITNESS MAGAZINE