Apr
16
2012
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Want Your Midsection In Shape Before Summer?

 

Think Doing 1,000 Sit-Ups Will Get You There?

 

Think Starving Yourself Will Get You There?

 

If you answered "YES" to any of these questions, then you better keep reading.

 

It's a simple guide, but one many forget; especially those that wait till the last minute and want instant results.  By the way, you can't cram for abs, like you crammed for tests back in school.  I don't care what the media tells you!

 

Getting lean and staying that way basically boils down to 3 consistent steps:

 

1.) Make a Plan:

     Yes, I'm sure you're tired of hearing me say it, but it's the truth.  There is no successful outcome without a plan!

     +  Make time to plan your meals and track them

     +  Make time to plan your fitness (if you're serious, you can't afford to miss workouts)

     +  Make time to get your rest.(transformation happens during recuperation--not while working out)

 

2.) Do Circuit Training:

     If time is an issue when it comes to working out, then circuits is the best way to go

     Ditch the social time workout

     +  Do cardio intervals to get the most out of your cardio time

     +  Try alternating upper and lower body exercises (3-5 exercises in a row)

 

3.) Consistent Good Nutrition:

     It doesn't have to be perfect, but better than you're eating now.

     +  3 meals per day containing a protein, carbohydrate, and fat (here -->)

     +  2 snacks per day that are basically "mini-meals" (one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon)

     + Cut down or eliminate the sugary drinks and go for water or ice tea (unsweetened).

 

It's honestly that simple.  Just like a travel itinerary or a retirement plan -- you have to make a plan and stick to it.  Doing these 3 simple steps consistently will get you the results you want and deserve.

Happy Labor Day!

Hope you've enjoyed your long weekend and are ready to tackle the short week ahead.

Today I have 4 items I would like to share with you that I am sure will take some of the guess work out of getting started on creating that new you.

The first is the easiest of them all.  A new study just released states that it only takes a commitment of 15 minutes/day to actually add 3 years to your life.  Imagine that, just 15 minutes per day and you can add 3 more years to your life -- quality years of course.

15 Minutes of Fitness Per Day

We are all looking for ways to get the results as fast as possible.  So it doesn't surprise me when someone asks, "What is the best time to workout?"  To be honest, the best time is the time that you can commit to on a regular basis.  I realize not every person is an early riser, but if you've considered starting or changing your workouts to the morning, here's -- 5 Reasons to Incorporate Morning Workouts.

The next article I would like to share with you is actually for you to share with one of your friends that is on the fence about whether or not to commit to an exercise program.  So often people make fitness as challenging and intricate as brain surgery.  It doesn't have to be that way.  It actually can be boiled down to the basics.  I realize there is a ton of information out there that can confuse even the seasoned veterans.  So here you go:  3 Simple Rules of Fitness

And finally, the last article of real value today is one that is actually a response to a person I ran into at the grocery store today.  He asked me did I really believe that lifting weights could actually help him lose weight faster.  DEFINITELY!!  I've been in the fitness biz for over 17 years and let me tell you, it never ceases to amaze me how many people begin a weight loss program and only do cardio.  If you're serious about wanting to shed body fat as quickly as possible, including resistance exercise is an absolute must.

Weight Training Routines and Weight Loss

And for the gentleman I met at the grocery store today -- add some weights and watch the difference it makes.

You know the saying --

Get On Track and Stay On Track!!
The year continues to click right by us.  Here we are on the last week of August -- WOW does it fly.

But more importantly, it's Monday and time for some Tips, Tricks and Info to get you on your way to that new you!

First off, here is an article that is nothing short of terrifying -- really, I'm serious!  This article goes into detail about what will happen to the obesity rates in the United States if we don't seriously do something NOW!

Obesity Rates Are Projected to Soar -- Half the Population . .

My hope is that this next article will be key in avoiding the article I just shared with you.  I've seen it in other countries and a few progressive companies here in the U.S. have been using it.  How cool would it be to be paid to workout out?

Workers Tout The Benefits Of Exercise On The Clock

When it comes to change, the hardest thing is to get started.  I remember speaking to many people over the years that tell me how difficult it is to get the process of change started.  Let's be honest, making changes in any part of your life can be challenging in the beginning.  I think this next article has some great ideas on how to get yourself on track.

4 Tips on How To Get Started

OK, so let's say you have been exercising and are just not seeing the results you want.  Or probably more to the point, you're having trouble staying on track.  You want to make the commitment, but it's a struggle to start or keep it going for any length of time.  You're not alone, lots of people have difficulty starting a new routine, let alone keeping it going till they see their results. This should help:

5 Ways Dieters Sabotage Themselves

If we are going to avoid half of the population becoming obese by the year 2030, we better get started. 

Here's my part, passing on tips, tricks and info that matter.  And if that wasn't enough, I'm currently running DYNAMIC X --  "The Anti-Boot Camp Class", just in case you need a little jump start.  You can get all the info here: DYNAMIC X

Well there's your Monday dose.

Remember, you don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going!

Now Get On Track and Stay On Track!
Hello Monday!

It always amazes me how quickly the weekend goes by.  I do hope the information I'm sharing with you on Monday's is really helping you break through your plateaus and achieve new results. There is nothing that will take the wind out of your sails faster than putting in all that time and not seeing the results you deserve.

Just this past weekend I was stopped by a complete stranger, asking for advice on how to get lean. He shared with me his frustrations about his body transformation due to bad information -- believe it or not, he was doing hours of cardio and cutting out certain food groups. This suggestion from a "friend" gave him almost zero results. In fact, he complained that he actually felt as though he had gained fat.  Your body is a machine -- it has to be fed every 3-4 hours a protein, carbohydrate and a healthy fat. And always remember, marketing is for the purpose of selling X amounts of units of a certain product.  Marketing is not sincerely interested in giving you knowledge and products that work wonders -- they're interested in selling hope.  Which often times ends up misleading you.

On to the good stuff.

The first article I want to share is to remind you that just because you don't see the scale moving, doesn't mean you are not making progress.  Yes, I made this point a few weeks back, but found yet another article definitely worth the reminder.

When You're Exercising But Your Body Is Not Changing

Keeping in line with the previous article. Have you ever notice that when someone is in the process of transforming their body, they often seem to be cranky and just plain not in a good space.  Assuming they are not a physique competitor, that's usually a cue that their calories are too low and/or they are way over trained.

How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Sanity

And what Monday post would be complete without a good old reminder about one of my favorites, the importance of interval training, to decrease the wear and tear on your joints, increase your results, and cut your workout time down significantly.

The 30-30 HIIT Cardio Workout

So now that you have information that works ----

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
                    
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!
Let me first say a big Thank You to all of you that wrote in wanting more information on target heart rate.  I very much appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions so that you can get the results you deserve.

No one goes through their workout for the fun of it.  If you put the time, energy, and sweat into it you expect results, right?

What's that old saying -- Time is the currency of the 21st century.  So none of us has any time to waste doing things that don't get results.

Here's the answers to the questions I received this past week.

  • What's the big deal about the amount of time spent doing steady state cardio for weight loss?

Did you know that there is a 50-90% injury rate in the first 6 weeks for those just starting a serious exercise program?

Why?

Because most people just starting out are not prepared physically for what most programs suggest as the best way to lose body fat.  And yes, you guessed it, most programs suggest hours and hours of steady state cardio.  All those hours and miles do serious damage to the lower back, hip joints, and knees.  That's what makes interval training so effective -- it challenges you more as you get better.

  • In my previous blog I mentioned the inaccuracy of the standard 220 - age to determine your heart rate zones.  The variance of 10-12 beats for 70% of the population versus 20-24 beats for 30% of the population is important because it means the difference between not training intensely enough to get results versus risking too much intensity. 

Plain and simple it's dangerous to not wear your own heart rate monitor and not know the range that works for you. Rather than spend hours beating your lower body into oblivion, use cardio intervals to decrease your overall hours doing cardio, and increase your results.  One of the few cases where less will equal more.  Sounds like a good deal to me.

  • Why are weight lifting circuits more effective in burning fat and maintaining lean muscle?

Just doing steady state cardio does not tell your body to preserve your valuable muscle tissue.  In fact, in some cases steady state cardio will have you lose lean muscle tissue. The more lean muscle tissue you have the higher your resting metabolism (remember when you burn fat as the primary fuel source), so you want to keep as much as possible.  Weight lifting circuits tell your body to maintain the lean tissue because it needs it to lift weights, but get rid of the body fat because it decreases your efficiency.  Remember, your body's goal is go get efficient at whatever you tell it to do. So you want to maintain lean tissue and get rid of unhealthy body fat.

So there you have it.  Even more reasons to stop the useless hours of doing steady state cardio and start doing cardio intervals and/or weight lifting circuits.  You'll lose body fat quicker, look better, have more energy, and decrease your risk of injury compared to hours of steady state cardio.

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
Yes, I'm back from vacation.  Needed the downtime. Definitely feeling refreshed and ready to get back into the thick of things.

Even on vacation I can't seem to escape the marketing machine's grip.  I found some interesting facts about Pizza in one of my "poolside" reading magazines.  At first read I thought, "Wow, this is some good information to consider". But something just didn't seem real.  Then it hit me.

It almost made me pull out my hair, but then I remembered -- I don't have any.

Check out the short video below and see what I mean.

How many times have we all been told growing up as children, that breakfast was the most important meal of the day?  And yet as adults, how many people do you know that continually skip breakfast for all sorts of reasons?  No matter what type of research you give them they seem to refuse to take that extra 5-10 minutes to start their day off right and kick their metabolism on to burn fat.

It seems no matter how often you tell someone the importance of something, their habits will win out, even in the face of evidence.

Fortunately I tend to be a bit stubborn.  I honestly believe that if you can show someone the benefits of doing something a certain way they will make a change.  In most cases, the people that continually skip breakfast still haven't been told information that is important enough to them to make them change their behavior.

Funny thing is the same excuses these people give for not making time for breakfast, are usually the same type of excuses they make for not making exercise part of their weekly routine.  Well, let's see if this motivates you towards a slight change in your habits.

7 Lies We All Tell Ourselves

And then of course I still get the regular emails and face to face questions regarding how hard it is to take 5-10 extra minutes in the morning for breakfast.  As well as the usual, "I'm not a breakfast person because I don't like breakfast foods".  Well here's a little reminder on the importance of breakfast, as well as some very helpful recipes to make sure you get your metabolism awake and burning fat before you even hit the office.

Breakfast and Weight Loss

I apologize, I couldn't resist.  I was cleaning out my office, which seems to be a never ending task, and I came across this article on abdominal training and back injuries.  Couldn't resist the opportunity to share it with you -- especially considering the many times I've advocated for more core training done the "right way".

Is Your Ab Workout Hurting Your Back?

So now you have even more choices and reasons to get the most important meal of day -- breakfast.  Not to mention some great insight as to why I've been making such a fuss about training your abs properly -- to avoid potential injury. 

Heck, if the leading spine bio-mechanics expert in the country suggests the same movements I've been asking you to do, and demonstrating on my You Tube Channel, then maybe it's time you stop beating up your spine and instead trained your abs-- properly.

I think it's time to --

Get On Track and Stay On Track
I have to be honest with you.  I was asked NOT TO share this information with you.  I was told that this should be something that only clients that come to see me should receive.  I was told that, "It's information that the average person isn't going to appreciate without the guidance of regular visits to you or their nutrition counselor".

Well, I do tend to be a bit hard headed so what the heck.

I don't know where the idea came from, and honestly don't really care. But plain and simple, if you skip meals you will gain weight. 

Why?

Well if you've been following my posts this month, you know that going longer than 2.5-3.5 hours between meals is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your metabolism.  Your body needs to feed on a regular basis if it's going to keep burning stored calories (think fat) and maintain you lean tissue (think muscle).

Why?

Because the human body was built to survive.  Your ancestors out survived the dinosaurs for many reasons, one of which is that your body will slow down your metabolism when it receives insufficient calories on a regular basis (think skipping meals).  In that way you burn less energy and thus the survival of the species is ensured.

Now granted, most of us are not on the verge of starvation nor is the population anywhere near being threatened for it's survival.  But your body doesn't know this.  It has survived for thousands of years using this type of survival mechanism and it's worked just fine.

Unless of course you're trying to lose weight.  Skipping meals in fact tells your body to not let go of any excess calories (think don't burn fat).  Whereas eating every 2.5-3.5 hours sends the message to your body that it does not need to store extra calories for survival because you will give it the nutrients it needs consistently.

Now some people have had a hard time believing me.  While others have had a hard time wrapping their brain around such a concept.  So I thought it would be a good idea to share this TOP SECRET information.

Check out the link below.  I think you'll be surprised at how well the diagram explains the process.  And by all means, the next time someone tells you they don't eat breakfast because they're not hungry, just smile and hand them this diagram or email them this link.


I think it's safe to say you've officially run out of excuses for missing meals.

Reasons or Results --

Happy New Year!

Hope you had a great new year's celebration.  I trust you had a chance to say goodbye to some old habits, those annoying unproductive relationships, and other unnecessary distractions. Now it's time to start off on the right track.  Time to get clear on your goals for the year, develop a plan, with short and long term goals, and consistently stick with it each day. 

Quite simply, let's get to it.

I don't know if you've been the type of person that hates to write things down or create plans.  I know I was.  I just figured I would keep a tally in my head and that would be sufficient. 

Boy was I wrong. 

First off, no matter how smart you think you are, or how well you plan, there are always things that occur that you didn't plan for.  And if you try to keep all the lists, goals, and daily routines in your head, you'll go bonkers. Or worse yet, start to lose track of the goal, the important deadlines, and daily tasks that need to be completed to get you to your goal.

Remember, if it's important, it's worth writing down and keeping track of it.

Nothing is worse then to come out of one those periods where you've been putting out a crisis fire, you sit back to catch your breath for a moment, and suddenly realize that you are completely off track and behind.  It's not only irritating, but frustrating.  Let's be honest, nothing ever runs as smoothly as we plan on paper, with or without goals, lists and deadlines.  But I assure you, nothing is more frustrating than not having a plan.  It's your guiding compass to keep you on track and to assist you in getting back on track after dealing with distracting or critical issues.

So if you're going to start off right this year, let's start by creating a list each day of the things that need to be completed.  Of course these daily lists serve the purpose of keeping you accountable to a goal you've chosen as important. A goal, that when you achieve it, will remind you you're still alive and kicking.  A goal that will make your life more fulfilling to you.

So to help you create your plan for a new you, here's a list below of the 10 of the Easiest Tricks to help you Lose 20lbs or more in 6 month or less.  Courtesy of Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink -- outstanding book!


Easy Tricks

1.)  Include a Fruit and Vegetable with you lunch and dinner.

2.)  Don't eat white foods at dinner

3.)  Use the half-plate rule (fill half your plate with salad or veggies).

4.)  Have a sweet or salty afternoon snack only if you first eat a piece of fresh fruit.

5.)  Drink one glass of water before every meal or snack.

6).  Use the Restaurant Rule of Two:  Limit yourself to two items other than your entree.

7.)  Never eat in front of the TV.

8.)  Eat a piece of fruit on the way to work every day (as part of complete breakfast).

9.)  Save desserts for the weekends.

10).  Freeze half of what you make, and serve the other half.

These 10 Easy Tricks should provide you with an excellent base to get you started on a new you.  It provides you with guidelines that, when followed, put you in control, and keep you on target to achieve your goal (which is why you set the goal in the first place).

This year is going to be different.  This is the year you make your goals happen, whether they are physical, financial or otherwise; get it done.  No more winging it.