21 Universal Rewards of Exercise

Aside for proper, wholesome nutrition; most people are out-of-shape because they don’t exercise enough. Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day. When you need motivation or encouragement simply read over this list and feel your motivation soar.

I’ve often wished that I could give each and every one of you a personalized pep talk to get you up off the couch and into the gym, day after day. So here’s my pep talk in bullet form – 21 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise. 

  1. You’ll reset your body: Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep. 

  2. Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better but to also look nicer. Also exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading your clothes in for smaller sizes.

  3. You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life – it’s time for a break. A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.

  4. You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% of them prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it will the most powerful tool available: exercise.

  5. You’ll be stronger: Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.

  6. You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part by an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone, which has an appetite-taming effect.

  7. You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Fight back by burning loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts.

  8. You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch as your confidence sky-rockets.

  9. You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited.

  10. You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.

  11. You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program.

  12. You’ll increase insulin sensitivity: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.

  13. You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done.

  14. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.

  15. You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your blood stream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.

  16. You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease.

  17. You’ll meet cool people: You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, bootcamps, workout centers and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends.

  18. You’ll improve your BMI: You know that maintaining a healthy BMI is key in disease prevention. Exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control.

  19. You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities.

  20. Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back!

  21. You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places.

What are you waiting for? Strap on those workout gloves, lace up those shoes, crank up the tunes and lets get going!

Not part of a solid training program? Come try out Training for Warriors Stockyards, located in Haltom City, TX with our Ultimate 7 day Trial Kick-starter Program!!

 

Talk soon,

Coach Jeff

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To have or not to have my “rest”day

For most, Sunday is a day “off” from the gym, maybe even Saturday as well if you’re following the typical M-F workout; leaving Saturday and Sunday as rest days.

I’m totally okay with that…as long as your on track with your fitness goals: your losing the inches and the body fat % that your aiming for, the scale is moving in your favor, your strength is improving and overall your feeling better about fitness and movement in general.

If not… why are you not working towards those goals everyday? Yes, over-training is a thing, but a very difficult “thing to achieve” for most individuals. So what the means is: Attempt fitness 6-7days a week until you feel you’ve reach a good even pace. Even then I don’t really recommend going a complete 48 hours without any exercise or fitness.

Here’s an easy way to do that:

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Workout 2
Wednesday: rest and recovery or work on core,mobility and conditioning
Thursday: Workout 3
Friday: Workout 4
Saturday:rest and recovery or work on core,mobility and conditioning
Sunday: Workout 5Restday

Rinse and Repeat, and modify as needed for your goals, abilities and progress. I usually like to follow the first 3 weeks of the month are ramping-up the volume and intensity of the workouts (for a progressive overload effect) and then de-loading the 4th week.

This approach helps to minimize over-training and injury while simultaneously producing high levels of strength, lean mass gains and body fat reductions and a consistent and repeatable basis.

How was your fitness in 2015???

With only a few weeks left in this calendar year, I wanted to challenge all who read this blog to really look back on the successes and failures of their fitness endeavors in 2015; in hopes of making your past year’s weaknesses into the new year’s strengths.

Here’s a few key areas to keep in mind and to make note of as you reflect:

Small side note: This exercise will be much easier if you write down and track your goals and progress. The real question is why you wouldn’t be doing that in the 1st place if your health and fitness is really that important to you 😀

  • Did you achieve the goals you set out for?
    • If yes, then what strategies lead to your success?
      • You will want to repeat those best practices in 2016 for further successes
    • If no, what habits do you think you need to change or adopt to get you closer to your goals in 2016?
      • Be real with yourself!
        • Being in denial about things or failing to recognize the realities of life will only have your spinning your little fitness wheels with more lack of progress and frustrations in 2016
  • List 3 BIG things you would like to change about yourself in 2016
    • Make your goals diverse, and not just based off the scale or aesthetics, no one wants to continue to watch the scale for progress…
      • Example
        • Goal 1: Be able to perform 10 perfect push ups each day
        • Goal 2: Limit fast food to twice a week (down from 5)
        • Goal 3: Fit into my 30” favorite pair of shorts for summer
    • For each goal, write a down a realistic set of steps and habits you will need to adopt and put into practice over the new year to obtain your gials
    • Now, keep a journal or a log to follow your steps and to hold yourself accountable to those steps
      • It’s easy to hit the ground running in January, but lose steam in the following months
      • This is why you need to be able to physically see your goals and why those goals are important to you – to keep you motivated through the less-than-motivating times

Just remember, this is a conversation with YOU! All I ask is that you be real with yourself: real with WHAT you want and WHY it is that you want those said goals. If you can’t be honest with yourself about what you really want, how can you expect to construct a path to get you to your goals in a consistent and effective manner?

Be the best you in 2016!!!

Want to make progress in the gym? HAVE A PLAN!

Seems intuitive and simple right? If you want to make consistent progress and achieve a goal or a specific task in the weight room, then you should have a clear path or plan to get there. Why waste time, money and energy if your not putting those efforts in the right places to get you closer to where you want to be? Seems a little…insane wouldn’t you agree? To keep showing up to the gym day after day, week after week, sweat session after session, and yet you get no closer to where you want to be. And in fact, it’s been weeks, months or maybe even years since you last remember basking in the emotions of moving more weight, hitting higher reps, running faster for longer, seeing a lower % of body fat or getting to a smaller (or bigger: a smaller % of people) number on the scale.

Take heart and if you’re serious about achieving those goals, then take time to prepare a proper plan to get there. Stop making gym efforts in vain and start moving towards the person you’re striving to become, one work out  at a time!

To be successful, you need a plan. Yet, what I see as a professional in the health and fitness industry is a severe lack of planning: whether that’s in reference to nutrition, workout programs or sleep and mood monitoring. I rarely see gym goers wielding a journal  to log the basics of a work out: Exercises used, load/reps/sets, rest times, and effort levels.

I wonder how these individuals know they’re making progress. Do they recall some of the above information from say, a work out 3 months ago? Or how about even last week? How do you progress  program forward if you don’t know where you’ve been. And if you don’t know where you’ve been, then how the heck are you going to know where you’re going? Simple: MAKE A PLAN.

I can recall on many occasions greeting a member as the enter our facility and promptly asking something like , “Hey Mrs. Jones! How are you today? What are you focusing on today?” … Long pauses are never a good sign  “Oh, um…just going to do a little cardio and abs I think.”…You think?!? Come on PEOPLE!

Stop being one of those people that don’t know where they are going in the gym and lets get your back on track to your goals. Use the example below to start planning today!

Example incoming:

Sunday 8/23/2015

Sleep: 7 hours, feeling really rested!

Mood: Optimistic and energetic

Nutrition: Protein oatmeal 2 hours before workout with 32 oz. of water

Routine: Total Body

Warm up: Foam rolling quads, glutes & 5 mins on elliptical @ 65% effort

  1. DB Squat, Curl, Press: Set 1= 25 lbs/15 reps 45 sec rest Set 2= 30lbs/12 reps 60 rest – Moderate intensity
  2. Ball Crunch: Set 1= 25 lbs/15 reps 45 sec rest Set 2= 30lbs/12 reps 60 rest – Moderate intensity

Cool Down: Static Stretch- Quads, calves, lats

Now imagine you take the example above, and used it over the course of a couple weeks worth of different work outs: you would have a good collection of data to reflect on to use to create future workouts that will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your future work outs in relation to getting you to your goals in safest and most effective way. This in turn will get your results, keeping your motivation and momentum high!

Happy Planning!

Calories in, Calories out…Does it all even matter?????

Of course calories matter! I wanted to briefly touch on calories. In a broad sense I describe why an individual should know at some given points in their training cycles roughly how many calories they are taking in, vs the ones they are expending through daily activities and exercise.

  1. Even though knowing how many calories you eat and drink each day vs the ones you expend through your daily lifestyle and exercise activities isn’t the end all be all in moderating weight loss or weight gain, BUT it’s one of the best measures we to do so currently
  2. First thing is 1st, now that you know that calories do hold some importance in the realm of all things health and fitness, get started tracking!
    1. If your tech savvy, then looking in apps like:
      1. My Fitness Pal
      2. Lose It!
    2. If apps aren’t you’re thing, then start keeping small journal, noting and tracking items like:
      1. Date, Time of feedings
      2. Quantity & quality (calories and macros)
  • Water and other fluids consumed at each meal and throughout the day
  1. Can also log and track mood at each meal as well
  2. Now that you’ve started logging and have a few days of data under belt, it’s time to make sense of all these numbers you have in front of you
    1. Let us focus on the TOTAL calories consumed each day
      1. Add up all the calories consumed each day
      2. Calculateyour metabolic rate to figure out what your DAILY CALORIC NEEDS ARE.  (this will also factor in your activity levels ) Use this website:
        1. http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
  • Now, if you’re looking to lose weight, then a safe amount to aim for is 1lb of fat a week. So there’s approx. 3,500 calories in a LB of fat. So take your DAILY CALORIC NEED and subtract 500 from it. This is the amount of calories you need to “aim” for each day, for weight loss
  1. If you’re looking to gain, then it’s the other way around, you need to add about 500 calories to your daily maintaince level to help support lean muscle gain. Even though you’re adding bulk to your diet, don’t take this as the ticket to load up on empty calories from fast food or junk foods. Stick with lean mats, good fats, whole grains, and plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables each day
  2. Now the hard part. You must decide on what needs to be changed about your current food choices and eating habits.
    1. I recommend circling or highlighting what you would like to change in your food logs, and then choose ONE habit at a time to focus on and master.
    2. Once you can complete that habit each day for TWO WEEK, then shoot for another habit.
    3. If you mess up its okay, try again the next day; but don’t take on too many habits at once. I know you want to do all the right things, right now, but you’re setting yourself up to be overwhelmed and to do “drop all the balls” instead of making consistent small progress

Quit making excuses…please…Making excuses does not produce results

noun
plural noun: excuses
1. a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

Guys and gals, let me tell you that I work without a lot of different people on a daily basis and I can say that excuses ARE NOT like butt-holes, because people have many many many excuses… especially when in it comes to the health and fitness arena.

I’m going to BRIEFLY discuss a couple common reasons I feel people are excusing themselves from a consistent progress and/or justifying why they are not or have not achieved their goals and to becoming the person they WANT to be.

  1. I  just don’t have enough time Jeff!
    1. Okay, I get it, you’re a single mom with 3 kids and work two jobs; of course there’s always extreme cases where the “no time” excuses COULD be legit (even then you can make it work) but more times than not, it’s just a plain ole’ excuse in my books, and here’s why –> There’s 168 hours in a week. To lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle or just improve overall fitness, you’re looking at investing only 5 HOURS a week on a CONSISTENT basis to lifting and doing some cardiovascular work… so that leave’s you, oh…. 163 hours! Just take some time to think about that one the next time you drain 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there on Facebook or Instragram and then complain that you have stubborn weight you can’t get rid of because you don’t have the “time” to workout.
  2. Lack of a plan
    1. Just Google “workout plan for…” and you’ll find hundreds, thousands even of programs and workouts geared towards weight loss and muscle gain. Even though these programs are not individualized to you and your specific needs and goals and at times might require items or equipment you don’t currently have access to; it’s a platform to work from, and something is always better than nothing. And if you are serious about wanting to change yourself for the better, live longer and achieve the goals you have set for yourself, then I recommend investing in a health and fitness professional to design and guide your work outs or to just follow a simple program you find online. If all else fails, get good at the basics, on a CONSISTENT basis. Meaning, do 100 body weight squats, 50 push ups and a 2-3 minutes worth of core work like bridging and planking. If you were to just do that every day for a month, you would see IMMENSE changes in your body and mood, trust me.

Take some time today and figure out if your using either of the excuses above. Don’t let these rather small obstacles get in the way of you and your goals!

I have worked in many different jobs from being in the health and fitness industry, service industry and outside sales that entailed traveling on a regular basis. Regardless of my circumstances of long hours at work, being on the road and only having a resistance band to work with, and having to help raise a daughter, I always found time to make sure I kept my health a priority and so should you! WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY ..

Happy Lifting!

A few reasons to skip the seated chest press machine on your next work out

So your a member of a gym and just like most other members, you have some goals you would like to achieve.

Maybe you’re not very familiar with traditional strength building exercises like squats, dead lifts,Olympic lifts, etc. So instead of working out where all the meat heads might be grouped up, you gravitate towards the machine area(s) of your gym and that’s where you find some solstice: The machines are close together for less travel time, they are usually are arranged by body part for less confusion and heck, they even come with a nice picture and set of instructions of how to perform each exercise. So whats my big issue with these machines and using them as your predominant source of strength training?

  1. There is almost NO functional carry over and some of these movement patterns my confuse your body. What I mean, is sitting in a machine and performing an exercise does a few things:
  • It dis-engages a lot of your core and post musculature which is now being supported by the seat and/or other components of the machine being used. The more support the machine gives your body, less your body actually has to do. This is a problem because in real life activities outside the walls of your gym , you bodies core and postural position play a major rule in making movement patterns proper and sustainable keeping risks of injury low via balance and core stability which are negated in machine work.

2. Some of the movement patterns promoted by machines are non-functional. For example, when is the next time your going to need to be seated and push a load horizontally as seen in a machine chest press? Or when’s the next time your going to sit and have to wrap your arms around a barrel as seen in the pec fly machine? Most likely answer for both situations and most members = NEVER! Time is a very precious commodity and we as gym goers wants result, so why kill both in the gym with exercises or movement patterns that will have very little impact on your day to day activities and possibly robbing you of precious progress?

Get a better bang for your buck!

Start out with basic body weight movement patterns and routines. Master these primal movements before adding some light resistance or load to increase caloric burn and strength. These movements will promote functionality and help you to work a little harder in the gym in less time, which means getting you to your fitness goals in a safer and more effective manner.

My recommendation: Try this 100 challenge most days of the week. This template can be used as a warm up, a work out finisher, or it could even be the meat and potatoes of your program if your a beginner:

60 Body Weight Squats

10 Pull ups (trx incline rows, inverted rows or assisted pull ups <– working on decreasing assistance from week to week)

30 Push ups

I will end by saying, I think machines can find a place in anyone’s routine for certain benefits, but should by no means be the bulk of anyone’s program for the reasons stated above.

HAPPY LIFTING!

Check yourself…literally. Lets set some daily goals we can achieve and start the week with a productive apporach. Here’s how…

Happy Monday to you all!

I Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and is ready to conquer the week again. I just wanted to pop off a quick post this morning to keep everyone’s motivations high for week; set the tone if you will:

Don’t look ahead too far; it’s Monday. You may have a crazy week ahead of you with work, school and life but remain calm and focused. Write down a goal(s) or items you wish to achieve each today on a piece of paper (or on a nifty advanced piece of technology, but I prefer the good ole’ pin and paper when it comes to goal and tasks setting myself) and keep it on you at all times today.

Refer back to this piece of paper frequently throughout the day to keep you focused on the tasks at hand and to check off your completed objective (there’s a nice sense of achievement when you check off things letting you know you are making progress to desired outcome). Chasing these daily, smaller-tasks or small rocks will get you too the end of the week, and if you follow this routine long and consistently enough, you can start to achieve your long-term goals, or bigger rocks.

Practicing daily goal setting also helps relive anxiety,pressure and stress so you won’t feel as overwhelmed by daily or weekly to-dos, which can cause someone to focus on too many things at once, or not at all, both of which are not ideal for productivity.

So let’s make a heck of a productive week together!

What’s on your list for today??

Stay on track! …Fitness never sleeps

Congratz!!!

You’ve made it to the weekend. You’ve put 5 good workouts in this week; despite work, kids and life. You’ve been overstretched a little, or maybe a lot. with your responsibilities and you are ready to unwind for the weekend.

Just remember that fitness and living a healthy lifestyle that gets you to your goals does NOT stop at the gym or Friday.

There’s a 168 hours in a week; you committed 5 or so this week to fitness and burning calories. Just make sure that what you do OUTSIDE of the gym is reflecting the goals you’re looking to achieving INSIDE the gym!

It’s okay to relax and enjoy yourself. Just do so in MODERATION. Find that balance in your life between hard work, and “letting go” <- frozen style.

Keep up the hard work and stay focused. Ask yourselves:

Why am I going to the gym?
Why do I invest the time, money and energy to get to a gym 5 days a week?
Why are these “goals” I have (hopefully written down somewhere in clear sight so you can see it each day) important to me?

Ask yourselves these questions and let it be a barometer in the decisions you make this weekend and I PROMISE you, come Monday morning, whether it’s Chest or Leg day for you, you’ll be feeling and looking much better because of it!

Key take away: At the end of the day, the choices you made towards nutrition and physical activity either:
A) Moved you closer to your goals
or
B) Moved you further from your goals

Don’t RUN for weight loss! …And this is coming from a runner

Okay, so the title of my blog sounds a bit paradoxical, or hypocritical, but give me a minute or two to explain myself.

Let me break this down real fast: Most people run for goals or reasons based outside of performance; at least among the general population. And since most of those people are running for weight loss and not for pure enjoyment or for any specific training protocol; I am a little concerned. And here’s why:

There is a little thing we call Ground Reaction Forces – This is the force the ground sounds back up through our musculoskeletal systems once our bodies and gravity have been applied to the surface. And here’s why it’s important and alarming at the same time:

1) Walking = 1-1.5 x’s one’s body weight is transmitted back through our system

2) Running = 2-5 x’s ones body weight is transmitted back through our system

3)Jumping = 4-11 x’s ones body weight is transmitted back through our system

Wow!!! Maybe those numbers don’t rock your world like mine just yet, so let me put this into perspective based on a 160 lb person.

1) 160-240 lbs of force is pushed back up into the body

2)320-800 lbs of force is pushed back up into the body

3)640-1,760 lbs of force is pushed back up into the body

Now take those numbers from line #2 and imagine that , but stretched out over a course of a several thousand times, like during a typical 2-3 mile run. Now you catch my drift.

I just wanted to explain that if weight loss is your goal, there is much more effective ways to reduce body fat, build muscle and strengthen our bodies other than wrenching your ankle, knee and hip joints to the max; as in circuit or metabolic training.

Hope you enjoyed the food for thought. Happy lifting!!


Studies used: 

Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 1995.

The influence of walking speed on dynamic loading on the human musculoskeletal system. Med Sci Sport Exerc 2000; 32:1156-9