I want you to succeed!

And my responsibility to make sure that happens, is by providing you with reliable, practical, accurate information.

Today I want to share with you a few articles that I thought were outstanding.

The first discusses a new study that just came out that supports why exercise is so important when it comes to transforming your body.  I know often times people feel all they need to do is work on their nutrition (diet).  That is the most important aspect for sure, but guess what?  Exercise actually helps you to control your food craving because of the hormones it stimulates. 

Exercise May Help Regulate Body Weight

To keep it simple and plain, the article discusses how certain hormones are released in the body just before and just after eating.  What the research is now showing is that exercise actually affects the hormones that encourage the desire to eat as well as the one's that tell you when you've had enough.  Just another reason to make sure you get your exercise in regularly.

I don't know if you knew this or not, but there is a growing movement of fitness coaches that are celebrating the effectiveness of the row machine for cardio.

Making The Cardio Scene With The Rowing Machine

For one, the row machine works the total body, unlike the traditional treadmill which just asks you to pick up your leg while it carries the other one back for you effortlessly.  The row machine, with proper instruction, is a great tool to work your entire body and be able to utilize interval training easily in your cardio routine.  So, it's low impact, works the total body, and you can utilize cardio intervals with ease, sounds like a good addition to your cardio choices.

If you're like me, you enjoy having tips or cheat sheets to help you stay on track.  Just some quick notes to keep you focused, are easy to remember, and get results.

I think you'll like this one:  7 Tips to Help You Lose Weight and Improve Your Fitness

So there you have even more info to help you --

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
I have to apologize right up front.  I realized today, after thinking a little deeper on the issue, I may have mislead and confused some people. I claim that I want to give all of you accurate, practical information that will help you achieve your goals.

So for the record, let's get this specific issue clear.

Over the past week I have received several questions asking, "If I'm not losing weight (on the scale) am I still making progress in my training?"  This is an excellent question and a great one for Mid-Week Motivation.

The short answer is Yes!

Remember, a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of fat, which both weight the same as a pound of muscle. 

The difference is one of space.

Think of body fat as taking up the space of a grapefruit, while the same weight of muscle would only take the space of a tangerine.  So while you may not see the numbers change on the scale, you should notice a difference in how your clothes fit -- because your muscle takes up less space, you should see the progress in inches first, not weight.

What I mean by that is, you may not see your loss of body fat on your typical bathroom scale, but that does not mean you haven't gotten rid of some unwanted body fat.

When you begin a good nutrition and exercise program it is not unusual to initially see the overall body weight number on your typical bathroom scale actually go up. 

Why?

Because if you're like most of the population, chances are you've been under-eating.  Meaning, you've probably been consuming way too many carbohydrates and not near enough protein to feed your muscles properly.  So when you start eating properly, your muscles soak up all those extra calories because they have been starving all this time.  And in most cases, the muscles soak up the good nutrients a bit faster than you are able to burn off the extra body fat (stored sugar for energy).

To take it one step further and hopefully make this a bit more clear, think of it this way.  From what I've gathered from my research, we are all born with a certain number of fat cells and a certain number of muscles cells.  The amount of each of these does not change!

What does change is the size (volume, amount of space they take up) of each of those types of cells.  You can shrink your fat cells through exercise and good nutrition, thus creating a "smaller", healthier you.  While at the same time slightly increasing your muscle cells (which take up less space) which thus allow you took look smaller, feel better, and live longer, all without seeing much change on your typical bathroom scale.

So again, YES, you may still be making progress even if you don't see the number decreasing on your typical bathroom scale.

Lastly, I've been saying "typical bathroom scale" throughout this blog, because technology has now advanced to a point where you can buy a bathroom scale that will provide you with a body composition number (body fat compared to lean muscle).  They are relatively inexpensive and do a decent to good job of giving reliable information on which to base your progress.

So don't get down on yourself just because you don't see the number decreasing on your typical bathroom scale.  Instead, get a better bathroom scale, keep planning your meals in advance to stay on track, and get your exercise in consistently with no excuses.

Now Go Out and Get It Done!
In this day and age of information overload, sometimes it's easy to miss the important information that matters.  We are so overwhelmed with hype, commentary that's called 'reporting', and marketing hype disguised as research, it's difficult to decide what information is worth your attention.

That's where I come in --

As part of my effort of keeping you in the know, and properly informed, this article came across my desk and I just had to share it with you.  It contains many of the things you probably already know, but don't practice as strictly as you should.  In addition, it also shares some habits (you know how big I am on habits), that also lead to weight gain.

Check it out:  Worst Foods For Weight Gain

Are you a person that spends more than 6 hours a day at your desk?  Then this article is especially for you.  I had previously posted something along the lines of how sitting can effect life expectancy, but this one goes a bit further.  I cannot stress enough the importance of getting up and moving.  Your body was not made to sit or stand idle for long periods of time.  Whether it's to get a six pack or live a long, active life, movement has got to be a regular part of your weekly, if not daily, schedule.

Here's some motivation to get moving:  Inactivity is Harmful

Time and time again you've heard me mention the importance of interval cardio training as a way to shed body fat quickly and effectively.  Well here's a bit of a spin on the interval method, but using weights.  A good article to cut down on your cardio even more and still get outstanding results.

Transform your body in even less time:  Getting Serious Results


Now you have some excellent information that you can actually use to get results quickly and effectively.  And guess what, you didn't have to buy anything!

So --

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
We made it to the end of another productive week.

Since it's Friday I wanted to make sure to share with you another exercise to add to your locker of exercises to keep your routines fun, fresh, and challenging.

I've received a few questions asking for alternatives to jumping rope during circuit training.  Not everyone likes, nor can handle the impact of rope jumping.  You're in luck.  I have just the movement to help keep your hips flexible, your core working and your heart rate moving.

When I was a kid the movement was called squat thrusts and part of the Presidents Fitness Council protocol that we all had to do as part of Physical Education class.  Well times are a changing for sure, but this exercise is still one of the most challenging cardio movements I know.  The beauty of the movement is that no matter what your fitness level almost anyone can do it in modified form. 

It's a great movement to use between 3-5 resistance (weight lifting) movements to keep your heart rate elevated and give that "sprint" feeling (think interval training) between the lower heart rate of weight lifting.  In addition, because we tend to sit so much as a society, it allows you an opportunity to keep your hips flexible and functional so you can decrease your chances of back pain from stiff, inflexible hips.

In the video below I share with you 4 different versions that should meet just about any fitness level. 

So now you have no more excuses for not including a cardio component in your circuits.

And as a side note, always remember to engage your core as your perform this movement.

Happy July 4th.  As promised here you go!

I feel like it's time for this post.  Whether it's in person at the gym, or through email, people often ask me, "what are the things I absolutely have to do to get my body to change quickly".  Now 9 times out of 10 I usually try to avoid this question because if I give you the 5 things that absolutely need to be done, most people do 3.  And then they wonder why they aren't getting results. 

But, I figure I've been asked enough at this point that it's about time to give you the secrets to getting the body you want in as short a period of time as possible.

Ready?

There are literally 5 things that you absolutely have to do to get your body to change quickly.  You follow these 5 rules and I can virtually guarantee you will get the body you want in as short a period of time as possible.  This isn't based on theory, these are the techniques I use with my clients that get results fast!

1.) Warm-up:
Take the time to do a good 10-15 minute warm-up. And I don't mean going to jump on some piece of cardio equipment. Research shows that's a waste of 10-15 minutes.  Instead, do some self massage.  It will serve the same purpose of getting your body ready for exercise, and even better, it helps to alleviate the knots and tight muscles that come from sitting or standing all day long.  Truth be known, it will also decrease your chances of injury dramatically.  Need a little reminder (self-massage warm-up)

Follow this warm-up with some good old fashioned stretching.  Yes, the jury is still deliberating as to whether stretching is beneficial, but my experience has been it works wonders to prepare your muscles for the workout ahead. Here's a quick reminder on the stretches (warm-up stretches)

2.) Core:
From what I can tell too many people leave training their midsection to last, when they are tired from their workout.  And then if they do actually train their abs/core, it's half-hearted at best, usually only doing some kind of crunches, and thus get little to no benefit.  Training your core is as important, if not more important, than any other body part. Here's couple to get you started (core exercise examples)

3.) Resistance:
If I haven't done a good job of it before, let me clarify now, if you want to change your body and get lean, resistance exercise is the absolutely the best way to do this.  And to the women out there who think lifting weights will make you bulky, not so. Women typically do not produce enough testosterone to even come close to creating the bulky physique they worry about.

That being said, resistance training doesn't have to be lifting weights.  You can use bands, suspension straps, or traditional weights if you prefer.

Circuit                                                                                 Circuit   
Squats (with flavor -- see my you tube channel)                Squats (with flavor --you tube channel)
Lateral Raises                                                                     Chest Press (dumbbell)
Split Squats                                                                        Rear Deltoids
Push ups                                                                             Lunge (back) to Bicep Curls
Deadlifts                                                                             Deadlifts
Back (seated row)                                                               Triceps
Step up to balance and shoulder press                                  Pull-ups
Bicep Curls (dumbbell)                                                         Lunge (back) to Shoulder Press
Tricep Push-downs                                                               Breast Stroke (see you tube channel)
Jump Rope --- 70-100 times                                                 Jump Rope -- 70-100 times
                                                                                        
Circuit_3_Cheat_Sheet.pdf                                            Circuit_3a_Cheat_Sheet.pdf

4.) Cardio:
If you've been following my blogs for any length of time you know I'm big on doing intervals for cardio.  Because it gets the job done quickly with minimal damage to the knees, hips, and lower back.

Equally effective and a big favorite of mine is kettle bells.  With some proper instruction, this activity is the absolute best for burning calories, strengthening your core, as well as building some solid muscle in the hips and glutes (butt).

Follow this program with a good cool down stretch (the same movements you did to warm-up) and you should be on your way to a transformed body in a few weeks.

5.) Nutrition:
I'll keep this short, as this is becoming a bit long.  Whether you call it the Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet or anything else, staying with lean meats, minimal starchy carbs such as breads and pastas, plenty of veggies, and some nuts is the best way to go.  Need a little more clarification?  Here you go (nutrition made easy).

Get on Track and Stay on Track!
I just came across this flyer that I wanted to share with you.  If you or anyone you know could use these services please contact me.


DO YOU NEED AFFORDABLE SURGERY?

TIRED OF PAYING THOSE OUTRAGEOUS PRICES?


ONE ASSESSMENT VISIT

ONE C.A.T. SCAN


ONE M.R.I.


FIRST SURGERY APPOINTMENT IS FREE!


ALL THE ABOVE FOR ONE TIME FEE OF $17.95!!!


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SINCERELY,

Dr. Know Nothing


Now obviously this is not a real flyer, nor is it meant to offend anyone that is having serious medical issues.  I am trying to make a point.  Actually 3 points. 

  • If it sounds too good to be true -- it usually is. 

    • You get what you pay for.  And lastly,

      • Nothing is really free.

        I recently had 2 previous clients call me from out of state. 

        The first client contacted me for help because he was stuck in a plateau for the past 6 weeks and couldn't figure out why.  So we went over his workout program, examined his nutrition and assessed his cardio routine. 

        He stated he has been doing cardio intervals for the last 6 weeks, which I initially thought was outstanding.  Then I asked him how long his intervals lasted.  He said an hour. 

        I promise there is no way you can do serious intervals for an hour.  If you're going from 50% to somewhere around 75-90% of your max heart rate, utilizing the interval method, you couldn't last for an hour unless you're a seasoned marathon runner. Since he's been doing intervals for over 2 months, I asked him to push his intensity level up on the fast section of his intervals. 

        If it's feels too easy, it is.

        The second client was a woman I had originally worked with to rid her of knee pain.  After a couple of months, her work required her to move out of state. Once she settled in, she emailed me to say she had found a new trainer and was working to get back on track.  During our call she shared with me what a bargain this trainer had been and how she always felt challenged, "He always had new movements that were fun to do, or so I thought".  She went on to tell me that she had suffered a serious knee injury and wanted to know if I had any suggestions on rehab. And this is the statement that made me want to share this post with you.  "I realized, with ice packed around my knee and realizing I wasn't going to be able to do any kind work out for at least 4-6 weeks, that's why you always had me doing exercises in steps". 

        Nothing is a bargain when it comes to your health.  You get what you pay for, sometimes unfortunately.

        Challenge yourself to do the work you need to do, to get results you deserve.  Don't waste time!  If you commit to doing cardio, do it the best you can.  Work your way up slowly, but push yourself a little each time.

        There are few if any shortcuts.  But I will tell you, get the right instruction, and doing it right, is worth every minute you spend doing your workout. 

        Now Go Out and Get It Done!
        I already had a post for you today, seriously packed with info on the 5 absolute things you need to do to seriously transform your body.  Believe me when I tell you, you will want to check back next Monday with me for that one.

        But then life happened. 

        I sat and spoke at length with a former client, and 2 points kept coming up.  And then I began to wonder how many of you are struggling with these 2 issues.

        1.) "Pareto's Law" or the 80/20 rule, and

        2.) Getting out of your comfort zone

        First things first.  Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule?  It's a mathematical equation that basically predicts that typically 80% of output is a result of 20% of input (simply stated-- 20% of your habits create 80% of your results).  And it applies to virtually anything.  Now in my opinion that's one heck of a rule of thumb to learn from and live by.

        So let's put this in real world form. 

        • Stats say that 20% of the population generate 80% of the wealth

        • 80% of company profits come from 20% of the products and customers

        That means that 20% of your meal choices are creating 80% of your results, and that means when you skip meals too!  If you miss meals, you will nibble during the evening hours before you go to bed.  I hear it all the time. 

        Remember this, you can gain weight 2 ways:
        1.) under eat and your body will store calories fearing starvation, or
        2.) over eat and you have a surplus of calories your body doesn't know what to do with -- so it stores those calories as fat.

        So that means, you need to ask yourself what 20% of your habits (in your nutrition and in life) are creating 80% of your problems or frustrations.  Take the time to do this, I promise it will do wonders for your productivity, success, and overall happiness.

        The secret is to find what your "range" of calories is that works for you, and stay in it. 

        Now onto the second rule that is worth its weight in gold.  Getting out of your comfort zone

        Did I miss something over the past 24hrs or did success and accomplishment change?  It still requires work, right?  It doesn't grow on trees, nor can you buy them at a discount on a daily deal site.

        I mean really now, if making changes and getting results was simple and comfortable, don't you think everyone would be driving around in sports cars, playing with their smart phones on the patio of their beach front houses, and never gaining an ounce of fat while eating anything they wanted?

        Obviously it's not that simple.  In fact you might actually have to be a bit uncomfortable in the process of achieving your said goal(s) --  No matter what it is!

        Notice I said uncomfortable, NOT miserable.  Truth be told, I can't think of any client I've had over the past 18 years that told me they were hungry anytime during the day when they followed my nutrition program.

        Equally, I cannot think of a client who didn't get serious relief from pain, when they followed my prescription for rolling (self-massage) and stretching. 

        The reality is, change is difficult, it's inconvenient at times, and let's be honest, it's really not all that comfortable.  However, if you want something better than what you have right now, you will have to do something different.  BUT, you can get the results you want if you're willing to change your habits a bit -- and get out of your comfort zone.

        Or, you could keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.  We all know what that's called, right?

        Be sure to check back next Monday when I share with you the 5 Absolute things you need to do to change your body quickly.

        Until then --

        Get On Track and Stay On Track.
        Jun
        24
        2011
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        I think summer is finally here.  Feels good to have the sun out again. 

        That being said, how's your body transformation going?  Still feeling motivated and getting it all done?

        Or could you use a little variety to your same old routine?

        Honestly, that's why I change my workout routine every 4 weeks or less.  I need the variety to help keep me motivated and challenged to reaching new levels of fitness and conditioning.

        Today I want to share with you a push up version using the suspension straps -- 1- Arm Push-ups. It's a great body weight exercise that I promise will challenge you.  Even if you typically do chest press as part of your overall routine, this movement will not only activate your chest, but challenge your core as well.

                            
        It's a funny thing, depending on who you ask, fitness can be defined in so many different ways.

        Ask your everyday weight lifter and they'll tell you fitness is about big muscles and how much you can bench or bicep curl.

        Ask a distance runner and they'll tell you fitness is about shaving time off of their distance; getting faster

        Ask a yoga enthusiast and they'll talk about being able to hold a certain pose for a period of time.

        Ask a mixed martial arts fighter and they'll tell you fitness is a combination of things, ranging from cardio conditioning, to flexibility, to a certain level of physical strength.

        You know who is right?

        They all are!

        That's why it's so important that you be clear about what fitness means to you.  Because if your idea of fitness matches the mixed martial artist, running long distances and being concerned about shaving time off your best is probably not going to give you the results you want.

        If you're serious about wanting to achieve your goals, it's hugely important that you pick workouts and eating programs that support your efforts.

        I suspect if you're reading this blog then your goal is not the same as a distance runner, nor a yoga enthusiast.  You want to get out of pain, or transform your body now!

        For those of you looking to get lean in as short a time as possible, check out this link: The End to Ordinary Cardio.

        Need more motivation and an alternative cardio routine?  Check out this link: The Ultimate 8 Week, HITT, For Fat Burning Program.

        And since I like to over deliver quality information, here's one more for the record:  Jump Start Your Metabolism

        The above 3 links should get you in shape quickly, still in time to show off your transformed body.

        So --

        Get On Track and Stay On Track!
        I'm slightly keeping with the theme from Monday this week -- don't waste time doing the same old thing that's not getting you results.

        Ask yourself these 3 questions:

        1.)  Are you happy with what you see in the mirror?

        2.)  Do you have too much free time on a daily basis?

        3.)  Do you believe in Santa Claus?

        Now, if you answered "yes" to any of these questions then this post is not for you. 

        However, if you answered "no" to these questions, then please stop doing the same old routine and getting less than exciting results.  You can get the body you want in less time than you can possibly imagine.

        Let me be plain and clear --

        I am asking you to stop doing steady state cardio since you already know it will not give you the results you want. 

        I am asking you to spend less time doing cardio.

        I am asking you to put more effort in getting your nutrition in order.  And lastly,

        I am asking you to be willing to challenge yourself to do something different (that has been tested and I know works)



        Now Go Out and Get It Done!