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??

Let’s talk briefly about this “core” everyone seems to be talking about in all these fitness videos and articles

I wanted to briefly go over anatomically that the “core” is really comprised, and why  we should maintain a strong and balance core. I also briefly outlined a few exercises with slight progression and the acute variables or the parameters to exercise within and/or around.

THE CORE IS WHERE YOUR BODY’S CENTER OF GRAVITY IS LOCATED AND WHERE ALL MOVEMENT BEGINS

“Low-back pain is one of the major forms of musculoskeletal degeneration seen in the adult population, affecting nearly 80% of ALL adults.” –Inman VT, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 2005

  1. What is your Core? What are we talking about some apples here??
    1. Comprised of 29 different muscle groups
    2. Divided into 2 different sets of muscle groups
      1. The Stabilization System – Deep muscles that stables Lumbo-pelvo-hip-complex
      2. The Movement System – allows for movement of the torso and hips
  2. Why do we train our Core?
    1. It’s where all movement begins, so you must have an efficiently strong and responsive “base” to operate from
    2. This allows for optimum movement which we allow for a decrease in risk of injury allowing for your movements to be sustainable for a long period of time
    3. Significantly decrease the prevalence of lower back pain, which is predominantly seen in individuals who work in enclosed work spaces like offices or ones engaged in manual labor jobs
    4. Lower back pain estimated annual cost in the U.S. are greater than $26 billion

……catching the drift??? Training your core properly is a MUST!!

  1. How do I train my Core?
    1. Start out by training the “Stabilization” system
    2. Involves isometric or static holds, meaning, little or no net movement
    3. Begin each exercise by “drawing-in” or “pulling-in” our belly button towards your spine…and hold it there the entire set!
      1. Planks – Side Planks
      2. Floor Bridge – 1-Leg Floor Bridge
      3. Floor Prone Cobra – Ball Cobra & Ball Combo 1 & 2
        1. Pick out 1-4 exercises
        2. Perform 1-4 sets
        3. 12-20 reps
        4. Slow Temp
        5. 0-90s rest
          1. Perform for 3-4 weeks in progression then move onto the movement system
        6. Now were aiming towards that 6 pack!
        7. Still perform the “draw-in” technique on each set
        8. Involves trunk movement, and loading the core musculature
          1. Ball Crunch – Add resistance, rotations
          2. Floor Reverse Crunch – Floor Leg Raises & 1- Leg Raises
          3. Band rotations -Cables, multi-vector, increasing load
          4. Hyper-extensions – Ball hyper-extensions, add rotation, load
            1. Pick 1-4 exercises
            2. 2-4 sets
            3. 8-12 reps
            4. Medium tempo
            5. 0-60s rest

Happy lifting. Build that strong foundation and your house will be structurally efficient to stand the tests of time!

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

Why we all should really take a chill pill following a good workout sesh!

In my post last week I briefly discussed the reason behind, and some examples of warming up before engaging in physical activity. In today’s blog I will do the same but for the back end of the workout routine; cooling down.

Both of these generally overlooked and/or under-practiced activities have many benefits to an individual of any performance level.

Scientific Rationale and Exercise Selection for Cooling Down

Gradually bringing the body to a resting state (5-10 minutes after engaging in a planned physical activity)

  1. Potentially improve flexibility
    1. Using specific or corrective stretches to safely bring the tissue(s) to normaltheir resting length
      1. The more flexibility an individual has for a set group of muscles:
        1. Increased joint RANGE OF MOTION (ROM)
        2. Proper movement patterns
        3. Increased speed/rate of muscle contractions
        4. Less “work” required for limb movement
      2. Removes waste by-products, via the blood stream
      3. Potentially decrease muscle soreness
      4. Allows cardiovascular system to respond to lower demands
        1. Gradually brings down cardio and respiratory rates for equal gas exchanges
      5. Provides an emotional balance after exercise stress
        1. Balancing the fight/flight (sympathetic nervous system) & rest/digest (parasympathetic nervous system)

Types of Cool Downs (just a few examples, there are many, many techniques and styles):

  • Soft Tissue work with Foam Rolling
    1. Helps to promote blood circulation of the tissues being foam rolled
    2. When held long enough (at least 20seconds) on “pain or trigger points” it can aid in the extensibility of the muscle tissues being foam rolled
  • Static Stretches (most common form of stretching seen around the gym setting; although not always done correctly :/ )
    1. This form of stretching decreases muscle excitability
    2. Combines low force with long duration (30seconds – 2 minutes)
    3. Allows for relaxation and elongation of a muscle
    4. To perform correctly:
      1. The stretch is held at the first point of tension or resistance for ATLEAST 30 seconds

Happy cooling down!

Real results for real life

6 months ago Lynnette was sluggish, unhappy and 35 lbs heavier than today.

Today we did her 6 months assessment and wow! 35 lbs lost, 17″ off her waist and another 12″ off her hips.

The reason I wanted to blog about this today is due to the fact that in those 6 months there were many real life events that happened to our around Lynnette. Despite these obstacles she had faith in me and the weight loss process.

She is just a totally different person and I respect and admire this woman. 

   
 
You go girl!! 

Warm ups! And not the ones you unadmittling wear around walmart in the winter times

In a two part series, I wanted to briefly touch on what warming up and cooling down are all about. Without getting into too many specifics and generating walls and walls of texts, I complied some quick information as to WHY the aforementioned techniques should be implemented in any regular workout routine and also offered a couple examples to get you off in the right direction, enjoy!

Scientific Rationale and Exercise Selection for Warming up

Preparing the body for physical activity (5-10 minutes prior to engaging in a planned physical activity)

  1. Increases heart and respiratory rates
    1. Increases the cardiorespiratory system’s capacity to perform work (ability to workout for longer durations = more calories and potential fat burned)
    2. Increases blood flow to active muscle tissues (more muscles being activate = more calories burned)
    3. Increases the oxygen exchange capacity (perform endurance exercises longer without fatigue)
  2. Increases tissue temperature
    1. Increase rate of muscle contractions (power/strength/muscular gains)
    2. Increases efficiency of opposing muscle contraction & relaxation (proper joint movements = reduced risk of injury)
    3. Increases metabolic rate (burn more calories per workout)
    4. Increases soft tissue extensibility (proper joint movements = reduced risk of injury)

Types of Warm ups:

  • Soft Tissue work with Foam Rolling
    1. Helps to promote blood circulation of the tissues being foam rolled
    2. When held long enough (at least 20seconds) on “pain or trigger points” it can aid in the extensibility of the muscle tissues being foam rolled
  • Cardio and Dynamic Movements
    1. When performing cardio before strength training:
      1. Keep the time to under 10 minutes to preserve muscle energy for the lifting
      2. Keep the intensity around 6-7 on a scale of 1-10 or 65-75% max HR to preserve energy stores for lifting
    2. Dynamic Movements
      1. Lunge Patterns
      2. Toe Kicks
      3. Squat patterns
      4. Hip Hinges
      5. Pushing/Pulling
      6. Torso Rotations
      7. Joint articulations/rotations