Thursday, January 27, 2011

Restart Your Fitness Routine

Check out this awesome guest blog post by my friend and colleague Ray Wetterlund III, CSCS - owner & founder of RWIII Fitness (La Jolla, CA). Lots of great info! Enjoy.

Many New Year Resolutionists have faced the difficult challenge of restarting a workout routine after a brief or extended reprieve. ‘Getting back into the swing of things’ is no easy task to undertake for renewed spirits. However, a successful fitness program starts with the right mindset.

Here are a few tips for those of you looking to restart your fitness routine after a break.

Restructure the way you think - Make realistic fitness goals for yourself, instead of setting too many lofty goals. Creating a to-do list is a great way to stay on top of your fitness goals, and helps you lay out a strategy to achieve them. Pre-planning your goals helps you piece together the details of your health regimen as well.

Pre-plan - Plan your fitness and exercise regimens ahead, so that you’ll be less likely to back out tomorrow. Setting aside time for a work out the day before, will set you up for success. Packing a gym bag or healthy lunch the night before will motivate the desired follow through effect.

Consistency is key - In order to reach your health and fitness goals, exercise must be incorporated into your daily routine. The body and mind both naturally crave consistency. Figure out what your workout schedule will be and solidify it on your planner, and soon your body will get used to the routine. A healthy amount of sleep and standardized meal times also help maintain consistency for your new workout routine.

Kinetic Energy - Once you get moving, you will feel better and motivated to continue with your fitness routine. If your fitness goals are on the loftier side, start small with 15m yoga or pilates at home, then graduate to 1 hour sessions at the gym. To get moving is key, but start slow and soon you’ll be back to your former speed and ability.

Track every workout - By keeping track of your fitness regimen, you will be able to see your small milestones and it will help you build fitness momentum and motivation.

Think welfare, not weight loss - Keeping the big picture of overall health and wellness in mind is important for fitness program sustainability. Since exercise is all about maintenance, it is important to focus on behavioral changes, and not just see the short term goals.

Those are some awesome tips! Now get going, set your goals, make a plan, be consisent, get moving, track your progress and have fun.

It's time to take ACTION & take care of business. Afterall, life is too short to spend it on the couch watching reality TV!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jack LaLanne - The Godfather of Fitness

Yesterday, the health & fitness world lost a true icon whose been cracking the whip since the 1930's. Jack LaLanne's life on this earth expired at the young age of 96 due to complications from pneumonia.

Known in the fitness world as the "Godfather of Fitness", Jack performed multiple feats of strength and endurance. His first such stunt was an underwater swim the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, loaded with 140 pounds of equipment, in 1954. He went on to stage many attention-getting events, including completing over a thousand pushups in a little over 20 minutes, and towing 65 boats filled with thousands of pounds of wood pulp in Japan.

To honor Jack LaLanne and all he stood for to promote optimal health & wellness for all men, women & children, here's a link to a video that I posted back in April of last year - A Blast from the Past - Jack LaLanne.

Here's to you Jack and thank you immensely for all you have done to pave the way for all of us who follow in your footsteps.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Losing Fat & Gaining Muscle at the Same Time

Here's a question that one of my gym members asked me this morning.

Question: "Can I lose fat and gain muscle at the same time? "

Answer: The answer to this question really depends on your goals. For more advanced exercisers or bodybuilders looking to gain large amounts of muscle while losing large amounts of fat, those goals often conflict with one another. Building muscle requires eating more calories than you burn while losing fat requires eating fewer calories than you burn. When losing fat, your muscles aren't getting the fuel they need to grow larger.

However, the average exerciser looking to improve body composition can lose fat while improving lean body tissue over time and beginners will likely get the greatest benefits of both fat loss and muscle gain. In fact, one study found that women who followed a cardio and strength program for 6 months lost an average of 10% body fat while increasing their muscle by about 2.2%, while another study showed that men experience similar improvements after following a 16-week strength training program. This shows that beginners respond quickly and efficiently to strength training and cardio.

The key is to keep a balance of both cardio and strength training, whether you're a beginner or a more experienced exerciser. Doing all cardio with no strength training can compromise your muscle mass, while doing only strength training without cardio can compromise your fat loss. If you're in that situation (e.g., a marathoner, endurance athlete or a bodybuilder), your goals and training approach may be different. For the average exerciser, however, having a balance between the two is the best way to maximize fat loss while preserving muscle mass.


Source: Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness