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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's scary even for me to read.  Especially when I think about the busy schedules everyone has, but the following two links are by far 2 of the most important things you need to consider this year!

 

Yes, I realize that sounds rather sensationalized, but believe me when I tell you the information shared in the following two links will indeed get you thinking about your life differently.

 

The first one I just received -- literally.  And it impacted so much that I raced home to send this blog post out to you right away!

 

23 1/2 Hours by Dr. Mike Evans

 

or just watch the video below.

 



 

The next link is to a post I wrote a little while back that shares some pretty startling research on how sitting for over 3 hours at a time can actually decrease you life span.  Yes, I do realize it's hard to believe, but it is actually backed with some interesting research.  Either way you look at it, it should move you into action.

 

Sitting For Long Periods Can Kill You

 

No matter how you look at, both of these pieces really serve as great reminders that no matter how wonderful technology is, you still have to make time to take care of your body.  And that means, whether it's getting out of pain, getting back to enjoying your favorite activity, or wanting to lose a few of those unwanted pounds, you have to get up, get out and move that body!

 

Have a day that makes you glad to be alive!

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!!
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!
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!
Some days it feels as though I live on two different planets. 

One based in the reality of research and what I've seen work, day in and day out with my clientele, as well as what I witness other fitness coaches doing with their clientele and getting results.

Then there's the other world.  The world of marketing and infomercials where product 'X" is said to achieve certain results based on science I never heard of, nor can find in the vast array of information on the internet.  So I'll call my guru and ask him and he can't make heads or tails of it either.  Which by the way usually means it's a load of poo. 

But that doesn't seem to stop the marketing machine from turning and producing more fantastic and mythical products that will allow you to exert minimal effort and yet get maximum results.  Sometimes it's so painful to watch I have to just switch off the TV -- yelling at the TV doesn't seem to be very effective -- though it feels darn good.  Let's deal in reality.

Do you think it matters where you hold body fat?  I mean besides the fact that you don't want it at all, do you think there is actually a place on your body where, having body fat in this area is actually more dangerous to your health?

Believe it or not, there actually is a difference. Where your body stores body fat actually can determine the length and quality of your life.  Don't believe me?  Check this out and get motivated:

Belly Fat Study and Heart Disease

Want to lose that body fat, but not sure what was the best way -- interval training by far is the best way to lose body fat quickly and effectively.  As long as you do not have a history of heart disease or other coronary issues in your family, and with your doctor's permission, I would encourage anyone who is serious about transforming their body, to explore the outstanding benefits of interval training.

Here's a recent study with even better reasons to explore the option:

Interval Training Study

OK, so now you're convinced and motivated to get more activity into your life.  But as we all know, just losing weight isn't the real key. 

No, not by a long shot.

The true key component to losing weight, is losing the right weight -- meaning body fat!  

Just stepping on the scale and seeing the number go down may make you feel better, but it doesn't mean you're getting any healthier. However, decreasing your overall body fat does mean you're adding years and quality to your life. 

Take my word for it. 

I've measured clients that weigh the exact same and have shown different body fat numbers. 

And guess what?

They look a great deal different. You could be 120lbs and 15% body fat or you could be 120lbs and 30% body fat.  The person with the lower body fat will look leaner, have more energy, a higher quality of life and typically (bad personal habits excluded) a longer life span.

Need a home scale to help you stay on track that will give you reliable info and won't break the bank?

Best Bathroom Scales (be sure to click on the link that says "best bathroom scales")



There's your Truth, Tips, and some serious reality -- Now 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 --
Feb
28
2011
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I realize it may be hard to believe, but we are just about to begin March.  Which means the first quarter is almost over. 

Stay with me here. 

Which means the first 3 months of the year are almost over.  How's your body transformation -- project, resolution, promise, or whatever you're calling it going?

You know you could just start off by having a good breakfast to start getting back on track.

I don't know how it happens, but for some reason breakfast seems to be the most difficult meal to get most people to eat consistently.  I've heard all the excuses from "I don't have time", to "I don't eat eggs", to "I'm really not that hungry in the morning". Trust me if you've been sleeping for 6-8 hours or more, your body is hungry -- even if you don't feel like eating. 
However, if you keep that pattern up, of not eating breakfast, you encourage your body to store calories as body fat.

Why?

Because if you continue to tell your body it will be underfed the amount of calories it needs (which is what you do when you skip breakfast), it will do what it was made to do -- survive.  Thus it will store calories and slow your metabolism down, so that it can conserve energy (think a slow metabolism makes it extremely difficult to lose weight).

So whether you're working to get lean and ripped for summer, or just wanted to get rid of a few pounds, breakfast is the most efficient way to do that no matter how you slice it.

Being committed to your success, I'm going to make this super easy for those of you who consistently skip breakfast for any reason.  Below you'll find some easy recipes to get the right food in your stomach, and still get you to work on time.

Remember, when you eat a proper breakfast consistently you start your metabolism off right.  Meaning, you send the message to your body not to store calories because you will be feeding it the nutrients it needs consistently.

I'm sure you can find at least one option below that will suit your tastes and time schedule.

Don't find an excuse.  Find the solution.







Check back with me next week and I will share with you some lunch options to help keep you on track and reaching your goals.