Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Understanding Why You Gain Weight

Guest blog from my colleague and good friend, Ross Newsom, CPT - owner of Got 2 Get Fit in Tacoma, WA.

A question I get over and over again, which also happens to be one of the main goals of most of my clients and prospective clients is 'how do I lose the weight?'

Many clients who are working out often believe that exercise alone is the solution to weight loss.

Unless you are willing to workout for 3-4 hours a day 5-7 days a week, then exercise alone will not do it. The food is the fuel to keep you going so it will be almost impossible to sustain that type of workout routine anyways without supplying your body with good whole food nutrition.

The truth to maintain a long term healthy weight loss program is to combine a well balanced diet with a structured exercise plan that includes strength training and cardio training.

So how do we do it? Let's start with the nutrition side. Do you know how to eat healthy? A big part of knowing how to eat healthy is understanding what your body is doing with the foods we digest.

So let's get started with a short educational video from Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness on how our body works when processing foods:


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Taco Bell Drive Thru Diet - A Bad Joke

Check out this great video of Josh Trent, NASM-CES, of fitnessSD and Wellness Force as he takes you for a ride 'thru' Taco Bell. You know.......that place that offers you 'healthy fast food' & home of the 'Taco Bell Diet'!

C'mon folks, are we really that naive to think that fast food is really healthy enough to provide us the necessary nutrients we need for optimal health & performance? You better get your head out & think again!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cardio is DEAD!

Guest blog from Jim "Smitty" Smith from the Diesel Crew.

I was going to start this post with that one picture. You know the one I’m talking about. That really obese chick with the leopard bikini walking on a treadmill. Oh the sweet, sweet memories.

But I figured I would tone it down a notch and just talk about the reason “cardio is dead”.

Most of you are informed but some are not.

When people talk about “cardio” they are typically referring to cardio for fat loss. This cardio for fat loss is usually low intensity efforts for a long duration on the treadmill, elliptical or stepper.

This very concept is counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

When performing low intensity cardio on a treadmill you are burning calories. That is true. But, the amount of these calories and the metabolic disturbance is dependent upon the effort. Which means that we are burning a few calories and this happens during the session. The “metabolic disruption” is very minimal, ie. our post-workout metabolism has not increased.

We want a solution that not only burns a great number of calories during the training session, but also increases our metabolism for many hours AFTER the workout (EPOC, Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). In fact, if you train again within this elevated metabolic window, the benefits are even further enhanced.

There are many alternatives for turning on EPOC, for this article we’ll show you High Intensity Resistance Training. If you think about linking different (typically non-competing) resistance training movements into a circuit, then you have the idea.

What Equipment Do You Need?

The cool thing is NONE! Use your own bodyweight and link the movements. Here are just some off the top of my head.

  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Squat Jumps
  • Pull-ups
  • Burpees
  • Burpees into Pull-ups

If you want to make them harder, put on a weighted bookbag with some books in it!

What Equipment CAN I Use?

Everything and anything you want. You could use anything that adds resistance to strength training movement patterns:

  • sandbags
  • dumbbells
  • bag of dirty laundry
  • barbells
  • bodyweight
  • machines
  • bear cubs
  • kettlebells
  • rocks
  • tires
  • roadkill
  • or any combination of any of these
  • many others


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Taco Bell Diet, Biggest Loser & Nonsense

Here's a video of my friend and colleague, Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness. I have to agree 100% with EVERYTHING that he says and the frustrations that we, as personal trainers and fitness professionals, have to deal with. Can fast food diets really help you lose weight? Is it really possible to lose 20-30 lbs. in 1-week? Is it 'real world' fat loss to begin with? Finally, whatever you do, please, please please....WASH YOUR HANDS!! It's time to condense the nonsense!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

To See Through Your Eyelids

Last week I developed a blog post titled "Your Vision, Your Faith, Your Future", which depicts certain necessities for a better, healthier and happier life. In the spirit of this post, I wanted to share a similar outlook for living better today than we did yesterday and days past.

Last Sunday while at church, the pastor was speaking to us about "seeing" our future. To visualize in our mind and in our hearts to what our eyes cannot "see". To look beyond our present as we long for bigger & better things that lay ahead. The question is "how do we get there?" How do we get from point 'A' to point 'B'?

Ever heard of a GPS? Of course you have. In this day & age, who hasn't. Well, for those of you who have been shunned from the advances in technlogy, GPS is an abbreviation for Global Positioning System. The GPS provides accurate location and time information for an unlimited number of people in all weather, day and night, anywhere in the world. In other words, you can be anywhere on this earth and as long as you have a GPS, you can use this tool to let you know your exact location.

Believe it or not, we too have an internal GPS built into our bodies.......in our minds and our hearts. This GPS unit was installed in our bodies way back from the time we were in our mother's womb. Once we were born & being the infants that we were back then, we really didn't know how to operate it until we got little bit older & wiser. As we acquired knowledge, we became more efficient at using our very own GPS system. But where does this GPS take us to? Well, that all depends on you!

When you close your eyes, what do you see? What are the things you 'see through your eyelids'? Aside from the darkness before you? Look beyond it and tell me what you 'see'. There you go - you see your dreams, aspirations and goals of the future. You see the things that lead to a better, healthier & happier life. You see success, both personally & professionally. You see the things that have yet to happen but as long as you have the will, determination, and the desire to work hard to get it....you'll get there. That's where your internal GPS comes into play. However, I do recommend that you take the furthest destination from where you want to go as you may be surprised as to just how far you may get.

So I ask you again, when you close your eyes what are the things you 'see through your eyelids'?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Taking the Stairs Instead of the Escalator

The premise of introducing more work for the body results in greater caloric output due to an increase in biomechanical function. In other words, we create more physical movement which gives us more efficiency in buring extra calories. The question is how do we engage people to move more? To become a lot more functional without the mentality of boredom, punishment, an obligation or being too time consuming? How about we add some FUN into the mix of things!

In the beginning of the video below, note the number of people taking the escalator vs. the stairs. Add a group of creative individuals that tranform your ordinary set of stairs into a 'piano' and the results are incredible! Check it out.

Remember to take the stairs......cause the escalator & the elevator are both out of order!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Your Vision, Your Faith, Your Future

Here it is 2010! "The Year of Bigger & Bettter Things"....or is it? How will you go about the New Year in your quest to improving your life, your fitness lifestyle, your happiness, your finanical state, your future? Can you envision it? Can you see yourself living better than last year or years past?

Some deep questions......I know. But these questions are meant to stimulate your way of thinking. To evaluate your patterns of everyday life. To ponder the thoughts & the decisions you make that can either make you or break you. To make the necessary changes for personal and professional improvement. They're meant so that you can reflect on what you can do to live a better, healthier and happier life.

If you haven't already done so, make your "plan of attack", as I like to call it, for the day, for the week, for the month and for the year.

Use SMART goals:
  • Specific - Is the objective precise & well defined? Is it clear? Can you understand it?
  • Measurable - How will you know when the task has been completed? What evidence is needed to confirm it? Have you stated how you will judge whether it has been completed or not?
  • Attainable - Is it within your capabilities? Are there sufficient resources available to enable this to happen? Can it be done at all?
  • Realistic - Is it possible for you to perform the objective? How sensible is the objective in the current business context? Does it fit into the overall pattern of your work?
  • Time - Is there a deadline? Is it feasible to meet this deadline? Is it appropriate to do this work now? Are there review dates?

One of the key elments for success is to envision end goals and developing the proper steps to get there. In doing so, be sure to note the small steps/goals and preceed them with the larger ones that follow. It's one thing to look at a mural from afar, it's another thing to paint it. We have to start small from the inside and work our way out to "see the bigger picture".

Another significant element is that YOU MUST HAVE FAITH! I cannot stress this enough.

  • Have faith in your sense of integrity by doing the right thing each & every day.

  • Have faith in your mental & physical abilities and believe that you will improve your mind and body each and every day than the day before. Hit the ground running with both feet - it's FULL THROTTLE ahead and no looking back!

  • Have faith in your tenacity & believe in the fact that you're tough enough to finish strong, not matter the obstacle or challenge that lay before you. Finish what you started and give it you undivided attention & focus. Get it done and be tenacious in doing so!

  • Have faith in your courage, will & determination to face and confront your fears head on - as long as your faith & belief is strong, you will conquer & prevail!

  • Have faith in your spiritual thirst and quench it by having time for reflection and meditation. Thirst is one of the most powerful spiritual symbols in all of scripture. As dehydration draws the whole of our physical being to a longing for water, a spiritual void will draw our spirits into a search for deeper meaning for our lives.

Remember.....minor setbacks are opportunities for major comebacks! BRING IT all day, every day! Here's to making 2010 a Year of Accomplishments!

Onward we go......