These days celebrities are turning to even more weird and wonderful ways to keep in shape from Beyonce’s hula hooping and maple syrup/ cayenne pepper creations to Gwyneth Paltrow’s love of callanetics and litres of green tea.
Here we’ve teamed up with the guys Myprotein.com to look at the science behind each one, there benefits and how you can use them to look just as good as they do….
Jessica Biel, Lean Protein and The Jacobs Ladder
Known for her rock hard body in the film ‘Blade: Trinity’ Jessica Biel claims her sculpted physique is mainly down to a lean protein diet and a varied gym routine of weights, yoga and running 5 days a week. But more recently she’s also added The Jacobs Ladder to her routine as she trains for role in the up and coming film ‘Total Recall’ with Kate Beckinsale and Colin Farrell.
What is the Jacobs Ladder?
It’s essentially a moving ladder/ climbing frame that’s set at a 40 degree angle which you mount and then climb (one step at a time) at your chosen speed. The clever thing about the Jacobs Ladder is it actually reacts to your speed, so if move quicker the ladder itself moves quicker but if you’re tired the ladder slows down.
The Jacobs Ladder is used by a lot of athletes because it’s a brilliant way to get the heart pumping and to burn calories, without the harsh impact on your joints that say excessive running can. Also the exercise incorporates the arms and legs at the same time so not only is it a great full body workout but more importantly as a general rule of thumb, the more Muscles you recruit for an exercise the more calories you burn. So in theory the Jacobs Ladder would burn more calories than say a static bike.
Jessica Biel Nutrition Tip:
Jessica quite often talks about her love of protein shakes and it seems for good reason since protein out of any other nutrient (carbohydrates and fat) has been shown to not only keep you fuller for longer but can also actually burn more calories to simply digest. In fact a study conducted in Switzerland and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that whey protein (the protein found in protein shakes) had a higher rate of ‘cumulative fat oxidisation’ (Kevin J Acheson, 2011) than any other protein. Put simply this just means that the protein found in protein shakes actually burns more calories just digesting it than most other foods. (The scientifically formulated weight loss Protein Shake Elle True Diet is available from www.myprotein.com £33.99 for 1.8kg.)
Gwyneth Patlrow, Green Tea and Callanetics
The mother of 2 recently showed off her amazing post baby physique as she made an appearance in the U.S hit TV show Glee. She says it’s down to the ‘hour and a half, five days a week of Callanetics’ she does and her love of green tea.
What is Callanetics:
Callanetics is basically a non-impact exercise technique that uses your body weight (or very, very light weights to offer some more resistance) to perform micro movements, also known as ‘pulses’, to work the Muscles at very deep levels for a toning effect.
The great thing about Callanetics is not only is it a form of cardiovascular exercise that puts a demand on the heart and lungs but it’s also brilliant for muscular endurance too so will tone the muscles whilst helping the body as a whole lose body fat. Also because of the huge variety of exercises it means the body never gets used to just one exercise so you continually shock the body into adapting and improving.
Gwyneth Paltrow Nutrition Tip:
As well as Callanetics Gwyneth is also known to be a big fan of green tea, drinking up to 5 cups a day. In addition to having cancer fighting properties green tea also contains a type of flavonoid called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which studies show can improve how your body uses excess body fat as energy. Now the average sized cup of freshly brewed green tea has 25 to 30 mg of EGCG in it but a study conducted at the Department of Physiology at the Geneva University Hospital in Nice, France found that 270mg of EGCG was most effective in ‘promoting fat oxidisation’ (burning fat.) That’s why many people prefer taking Green Tea Extract since it contains a purer and more concentrate version of EGCG (Mega Green Tea Extract from www.myprotein.com contains 225mg of EGCG per capsule.)
Beyonce, Cayenne Pepper and Hula Hooping
As well as performing her very own Hula Hooping routine whilst on tour during her song ‘Work It Out’ it seems Beyonce also incorporates this timeless kids toy into her workout routine too and it seems for good reason.
What is Callanetics:
Hula Hooping really doesn’t need much explaining since every schoolyard would have had one. It’s a large plastic hoop which you can place around your waist and then circle your hips in an effort to keep the hoop circling the body and above the ground.
It’s actually a really great way of training all the muscles of the core such as the rectus abdominis muscle which is the muscle that produces those enviable abs and the lesser known transverse abdominis which is the muscle that wraps around the stomach like a corset and when trained efficiently can actually produce a thinner, firmer waist.
Beyonce Nutrition Tip:
Whilst the idea of surviving solely on a diet of cayenne pepper, maple syrup and water drinks has been widely discredited by experts, there is some method in the madness since research has found consuming capsaicin, found in cayenne pepper, may encourage your body to use more fat as fuel. The study conducted at the University of California Los Angeles Center for Human Nutrition showed that capsaicin causes your body to heat up and therefore ‘burn’ more fat.