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.

Mar
13
2012
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I can't tell you how many times I've answered the question about the safety or dangers of red meat.  And I'm not just referring to the difference between organic versus non-organic nor grass versus corn or grain fed.  Some people have serious concerns when it comes to consuming red meat. 

 

And to be quite honest, you should be concerned about what you put into your body.  With all of the chemicals that we read about being added to our food, you'd be foolish not to be more discriminating when it comes to your daily meals.

 

But sometimes marketing hoopla and research can go a bit overboard.

 

Check out this article:  All Red Meat Is Bad For You!

 

Now that's one powerful title.  And after reading the article it's enough to make anyone swear off red meat -- PERIOD!

 

But when you sit and think about the "study" they cite, I noticed they didn't discuss whether any of the participants exercised or not?  Did any of the participants consume alcohol or eat processed foods as regularly as they consumed red meat?  Did they have family histories of poor health? You can see where I'm going with this.

 

While you should limit the amount of red meat you consume, you should also be aware that other factors play a strong role in mortality rates -- not just red meat.

 

And because we live in such an information age we are fortunate enough to get articles like the one below, that help to put a little perspective into the mix.

 

Why Red Meat Is NOT Bad For You!

 

Whether you are a vegetarian, eat no red meat, or only consumed a limited amount per week, the bottom line is not to believe everything that comes across our hyped up media, just because it claims to be a study.

 

You're intelligent.  Think it through.  Do what makes sense to you, and don't be led around by your emotions and a few so-called research studies. 

 

 

 

Health comes in many varieties and can be achieved in many ways.  Make sure the one you choose is a decision made by you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!
Well, it's Monday again.  So of course it's time for some information that actually works and saves you the trouble of trying to make sense of all the media hype and misdirection.

The first article is for those of you who are wondering does timing of meals really matter when it comes to putting on or keeping your muscle.  Believe it or not, it actually does matter.  Research has confirmed something that those of us in the fitness community have known for a while, eating an easily digested meal, high in protein and low in fat, directly after your workout preserves and assists you in gaining muscle.  And remember the goal when it comes to transforming your body -- maintain your muscle and shedding the body fat. 

Here's a little help:  Muscle Building Effect of Protein Post Workout

The second article is an excellent read.  Especially for those of you who really don't want to keep track your fitness progress and goals.  Believe me when I say, it doesn't matter until you write it down.  I don't exactly know what mechanism it is, but there is something about writing down a goal that is very motivating and spurs a sense of accountability.  And what better way to achieve a goal than to make yourself truly accountable.  That's how success happens in any realm -- making yourself accountable.

Need a reason?  Here's 5 Reasons to Keep Track of Your Fitness Goals

And then we move to an issue that is always concerning to me, people looking for shortcuts when it comes to weight loss. I have to admit, there are many "diets" that can provide short term weight loss and body transformation, but few of them are truly safe.  And to be quite honest, virtually none of them are something you can keep up for any length of time.  So why bother?  I mean seriously, transforming your body is a lifestyle change that takes time.  It is something that you do step by step -- getting a bit more consistent each day and each week.  Lasting body transformation is not something that happens quickly -- we're talking about changing habits here.  So even the most committed do back step once in a while.  But with a good program, consistent effort and realistic goals, You Can Do It!

Check this out:  The Danger of Weight Loss Shortcuts 

(by the way, holding your breath as a form of body transformation, doesn't work)


Only the real deal info here --

So 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!
So it's Monday again.  Where does the time go?  No matter, it's time to give you some more information that will give you the transformation you're looking for before the summer ends.

The first important article I want to share with you is about motivation.  Yes, I realize that is typically my Wednesday topic, but this article came across my desk and I was impressed.  It basically talks about the importance of being clear why you want to transform your body.  Just wanting to be thinner is too vague.  Wanting to look good and fit into a bathing suit, while motivating, may not be quite enough to get you to change the habits that are holding you back.

Check this one out:  How to Give Purpose and Vision to Your Workouts

The second article I would like to share is about getting better results, and who doesn't want that, right?  I can't tell you how many people I see day in and day out, come into the gym, go through a half-hearted workout and then wonder why they don't see their body changing.  It takes more than just showing up to get the results.  Sure, showing up is half the battle, but the other half is putting in the work necessary to make those changes happen.  Coming to the gym to socialize won't give you the changes in your body you're seeking.

Here's 5 Tips To Get More Results From Your Workouts

And as you know me, I've saved the juicy one for last.  Thankfully over the past few weeks I've had several emails and a few personal inquires about how to safely do interval training.  I've always said anyone can do it, but it does take a bit of moderation to get the process started off correctly.  I think this article does a good job of giving you the quick and dirty on how to get started safely.  And then look out -- cause you're going to start seeing massive results when you apply interval training as your cardio of choice. 

Should You Be Trying High Intensity Training?

Quick, short and to the point!  Information you can use to make sure you see the changes you deserve.

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.