So it's Monday again.  Where does the time go?  No matter, it's time to give you some more information that will give you the transformation you're looking for before the summer ends.

The first important article I want to share with you is about motivation.  Yes, I realize that is typically my Wednesday topic, but this article came across my desk and I was impressed.  It basically talks about the importance of being clear why you want to transform your body.  Just wanting to be thinner is too vague.  Wanting to look good and fit into a bathing suit, while motivating, may not be quite enough to get you to change the habits that are holding you back.

Check this one out:  How to Give Purpose and Vision to Your Workouts

The second article I would like to share is about getting better results, and who doesn't want that, right?  I can't tell you how many people I see day in and day out, come into the gym, go through a half-hearted workout and then wonder why they don't see their body changing.  It takes more than just showing up to get the results.  Sure, showing up is half the battle, but the other half is putting in the work necessary to make those changes happen.  Coming to the gym to socialize won't give you the changes in your body you're seeking.

Here's 5 Tips To Get More Results From Your Workouts

And as you know me, I've saved the juicy one for last.  Thankfully over the past few weeks I've had several emails and a few personal inquires about how to safely do interval training.  I've always said anyone can do it, but it does take a bit of moderation to get the process started off correctly.  I think this article does a good job of giving you the quick and dirty on how to get started safely.  And then look out -- cause you're going to start seeing massive results when you apply interval training as your cardio of choice. 

Should You Be Trying High Intensity Training?

Quick, short and to the point!  Information you can use to make sure you see the changes you deserve.

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
I'd say we are in the full swing of summer.  Temperatures all across the country are unusually high.  And that means you will need to take a bit more caution and preparation when it comes to keeping up with your workouts.  Remember your body is over 70% water, so staying hydrated is just one issue to consider, especially when training outdoors.  Here's a few other things to keep in mind to be sure that you are able to stay on track with your workouts safely.

How to Exercise In the Heat

OK, so you've been putting in your time in your workouts, but you're still not seeing the results you want and deserve.  Frustrated is probably an understatement right?  Chances are you probably just need a little tweak to your program to get things moving in the right direction.  And I suspect it's a small tweak.  Check out this link to give your own program a quick review and get yourself back on track to making that transformation.

Why Your Weight Loss Efforts May Be Failing


Time and time again I keep hearing people tell me they are not able to lose the weight they want because they are not interested in joining a gym.  Well I've got a little news for you, you don't have to.  Believe me when I tell you there is no magic air at your local gym that creates results.  No, it's the work that you put in while you're there that creates that's change. So know that transforming your body doesn't mean you have to be a member of a gym to get results.  In fact you can transform your body just using body weight exercises! Need a couple of programs or routines to get you started, and save those monthly membership dues? And of course there is always my DYNAMIC X -- The Anti-Boot Camp Class (click here for info).

4 Unique Body Weight Exercises That Burn Fat In 4 Minutes

Short, sweet and to the point.  If you take these Tips, Tricks and Info every Monday and apply them -- you are already on your way to transforming your body and getting the results you deserve. 

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
Well it's Monday again.  I do hope you had a great weekend.  Today I won't waste your time with a lot of verbiage and build up.  Let's just get right into it.

The first article I want to share with you is about how the American past time has gotten completely out of control.  What past time am I referring to. . . . . snacking.  One of the main causes it seems, is that so many of us eat on the go. These days, it seems there are not as many of the old family dinners many of us grew up with. In fact in my household for many years it was required that we all make time to sit down and have a meal as a family.  It was an excellent opportunity to not only assure a good meal was being consumed, but it was also a good time to be a "family".  We are all so busy much of the time we don't make time to actually sit down and eat as often as we used to, whether it's by ourselves, with family or friends.

Believe me this is rather eye-opening. The American Diet Then and Now


The second article was just too outrageous to not include today.  It's basically a review of how ridiculously high in calories some of the foods are at your local dinner and fast food joint.  There is actually a shake that is listed, from a rather popular food establishment, that is over 2,000 calories and contains more than 3 days worth of Saturated fat, in just one 24 oz. serving.  OUCH!

Definitely worth the read, if for no other reason than to see if any of your own favorites are on the list.  Top 8 Calorie Heavy Meals


Okay.

So let's say the above 2 articles don't really apply to you.  But at the same time you're really not where you want to be physically. Maybe you want to be a bit leaner.  Perhaps you have just have a few pounds left to get you to your goal.  I think this next one will do just the trick to get you over that little hump and seeing the results you want.  Getting Lean -- Fine Tuned, Raw, and Real

So now you have the info:

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
I want you to succeed!

And my responsibility to make sure that happens, is by providing you with reliable, practical, accurate information.

Today I want to share with you a few articles that I thought were outstanding.

The first discusses a new study that just came out that supports why exercise is so important when it comes to transforming your body.  I know often times people feel all they need to do is work on their nutrition (diet).  That is the most important aspect for sure, but guess what?  Exercise actually helps you to control your food craving because of the hormones it stimulates. 

Exercise May Help Regulate Body Weight

To keep it simple and plain, the article discusses how certain hormones are released in the body just before and just after eating.  What the research is now showing is that exercise actually affects the hormones that encourage the desire to eat as well as the one's that tell you when you've had enough.  Just another reason to make sure you get your exercise in regularly.

I don't know if you knew this or not, but there is a growing movement of fitness coaches that are celebrating the effectiveness of the row machine for cardio.

Making The Cardio Scene With The Rowing Machine

For one, the row machine works the total body, unlike the traditional treadmill which just asks you to pick up your leg while it carries the other one back for you effortlessly.  The row machine, with proper instruction, is a great tool to work your entire body and be able to utilize interval training easily in your cardio routine.  So, it's low impact, works the total body, and you can utilize cardio intervals with ease, sounds like a good addition to your cardio choices.

If you're like me, you enjoy having tips or cheat sheets to help you stay on track.  Just some quick notes to keep you focused, are easy to remember, and get results.

I think you'll like this one:  7 Tips to Help You Lose Weight and Improve Your Fitness

So there you have even more info to help you --

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
In this day and age of information overload, sometimes it's easy to miss the important information that matters.  We are so overwhelmed with hype, commentary that's called 'reporting', and marketing hype disguised as research, it's difficult to decide what information is worth your attention.

That's where I come in --

As part of my effort of keeping you in the know, and properly informed, this article came across my desk and I just had to share it with you.  It contains many of the things you probably already know, but don't practice as strictly as you should.  In addition, it also shares some habits (you know how big I am on habits), that also lead to weight gain.

Check it out:  Worst Foods For Weight Gain

Are you a person that spends more than 6 hours a day at your desk?  Then this article is especially for you.  I had previously posted something along the lines of how sitting can effect life expectancy, but this one goes a bit further.  I cannot stress enough the importance of getting up and moving.  Your body was not made to sit or stand idle for long periods of time.  Whether it's to get a six pack or live a long, active life, movement has got to be a regular part of your weekly, if not daily, schedule.

Here's some motivation to get moving:  Inactivity is Harmful

Time and time again you've heard me mention the importance of interval cardio training as a way to shed body fat quickly and effectively.  Well here's a bit of a spin on the interval method, but using weights.  A good article to cut down on your cardio even more and still get outstanding results.

Transform your body in even less time:  Getting Serious Results


Now you have some excellent information that you can actually use to get results quickly and effectively.  And guess what, you didn't have to buy anything!

So --

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
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!
I already had a post for you today, seriously packed with info on the 5 absolute things you need to do to seriously transform your body.  Believe me when I tell you, you will want to check back next Monday with me for that one.

But then life happened. 

I sat and spoke at length with a former client, and 2 points kept coming up.  And then I began to wonder how many of you are struggling with these 2 issues.

1.) "Pareto's Law" or the 80/20 rule, and

2.) Getting out of your comfort zone

First things first.  Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule?  It's a mathematical equation that basically predicts that typically 80% of output is a result of 20% of input (simply stated-- 20% of your habits create 80% of your results).  And it applies to virtually anything.  Now in my opinion that's one heck of a rule of thumb to learn from and live by.

So let's put this in real world form. 

  • Stats say that 20% of the population generate 80% of the wealth

  • 80% of company profits come from 20% of the products and customers

That means that 20% of your meal choices are creating 80% of your results, and that means when you skip meals too!  If you miss meals, you will nibble during the evening hours before you go to bed.  I hear it all the time. 

Remember this, you can gain weight 2 ways:
1.) under eat and your body will store calories fearing starvation, or
2.) over eat and you have a surplus of calories your body doesn't know what to do with -- so it stores those calories as fat.

So that means, you need to ask yourself what 20% of your habits (in your nutrition and in life) are creating 80% of your problems or frustrations.  Take the time to do this, I promise it will do wonders for your productivity, success, and overall happiness.

The secret is to find what your "range" of calories is that works for you, and stay in it. 

Now onto the second rule that is worth its weight in gold.  Getting out of your comfort zone

Did I miss something over the past 24hrs or did success and accomplishment change?  It still requires work, right?  It doesn't grow on trees, nor can you buy them at a discount on a daily deal site.

I mean really now, if making changes and getting results was simple and comfortable, don't you think everyone would be driving around in sports cars, playing with their smart phones on the patio of their beach front houses, and never gaining an ounce of fat while eating anything they wanted?

Obviously it's not that simple.  In fact you might actually have to be a bit uncomfortable in the process of achieving your said goal(s) --  No matter what it is!

Notice I said uncomfortable, NOT miserable.  Truth be told, I can't think of any client I've had over the past 18 years that told me they were hungry anytime during the day when they followed my nutrition program.

Equally, I cannot think of a client who didn't get serious relief from pain, when they followed my prescription for rolling (self-massage) and stretching. 

The reality is, change is difficult, it's inconvenient at times, and let's be honest, it's really not all that comfortable.  However, if you want something better than what you have right now, you will have to do something different.  BUT, you can get the results you want if you're willing to change your habits a bit -- and get out of your comfort zone.

Or, you could keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.  We all know what that's called, right?

Be sure to check back next Monday when I share with you the 5 Absolute things you need to do to change your body quickly.

Until then --

Get On Track and Stay On Track.
                    
It's a funny thing, depending on who you ask, fitness can be defined in so many different ways.

Ask your everyday weight lifter and they'll tell you fitness is about big muscles and how much you can bench or bicep curl.

Ask a distance runner and they'll tell you fitness is about shaving time off of their distance; getting faster

Ask a yoga enthusiast and they'll talk about being able to hold a certain pose for a period of time.

Ask a mixed martial arts fighter and they'll tell you fitness is a combination of things, ranging from cardio conditioning, to flexibility, to a certain level of physical strength.

You know who is right?

They all are!

That's why it's so important that you be clear about what fitness means to you.  Because if your idea of fitness matches the mixed martial artist, running long distances and being concerned about shaving time off your best is probably not going to give you the results you want.

If you're serious about wanting to achieve your goals, it's hugely important that you pick workouts and eating programs that support your efforts.

I suspect if you're reading this blog then your goal is not the same as a distance runner, nor a yoga enthusiast.  You want to get out of pain, or transform your body now!

For those of you looking to get lean in as short a time as possible, check out this link: The End to Ordinary Cardio.

Need more motivation and an alternative cardio routine?  Check out this link: The Ultimate 8 Week, HITT, For Fat Burning Program.

And since I like to over deliver quality information, here's one more for the record:  Jump Start Your Metabolism

The above 3 links should get you in shape quickly, still in time to show off your transformed body.

So --

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
Let me first say a big Thank You to all of you that wrote in wanting more information on target heart rate.  I very much appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions so that you can get the results you deserve.

No one goes through their workout for the fun of it.  If you put the time, energy, and sweat into it you expect results, right?

What's that old saying -- Time is the currency of the 21st century.  So none of us has any time to waste doing things that don't get results.

Here's the answers to the questions I received this past week.

  • What's the big deal about the amount of time spent doing steady state cardio for weight loss?

Did you know that there is a 50-90% injury rate in the first 6 weeks for those just starting a serious exercise program?

Why?

Because most people just starting out are not prepared physically for what most programs suggest as the best way to lose body fat.  And yes, you guessed it, most programs suggest hours and hours of steady state cardio.  All those hours and miles do serious damage to the lower back, hip joints, and knees.  That's what makes interval training so effective -- it challenges you more as you get better.

  • In my previous blog I mentioned the inaccuracy of the standard 220 - age to determine your heart rate zones.  The variance of 10-12 beats for 70% of the population versus 20-24 beats for 30% of the population is important because it means the difference between not training intensely enough to get results versus risking too much intensity. 

Plain and simple it's dangerous to not wear your own heart rate monitor and not know the range that works for you. Rather than spend hours beating your lower body into oblivion, use cardio intervals to decrease your overall hours doing cardio, and increase your results.  One of the few cases where less will equal more.  Sounds like a good deal to me.

  • Why are weight lifting circuits more effective in burning fat and maintaining lean muscle?

Just doing steady state cardio does not tell your body to preserve your valuable muscle tissue.  In fact, in some cases steady state cardio will have you lose lean muscle tissue. The more lean muscle tissue you have the higher your resting metabolism (remember when you burn fat as the primary fuel source), so you want to keep as much as possible.  Weight lifting circuits tell your body to maintain the lean tissue because it needs it to lift weights, but get rid of the body fat because it decreases your efficiency.  Remember, your body's goal is go get efficient at whatever you tell it to do. So you want to maintain lean tissue and get rid of unhealthy body fat.

So there you have it.  Even more reasons to stop the useless hours of doing steady state cardio and start doing cardio intervals and/or weight lifting circuits.  You'll lose body fat quicker, look better, have more energy, and decrease your risk of injury compared to hours of steady state cardio.

Get On Track and Stay On Track!
I know I tend to go on and on about the big marketing machine.  How they are not working towards our healthful improvement, but are in fact leading us astray on many occasions. 

Remember how I frequently comment that they are in business to sell products not improve your overall health.  Check out this article.  It's well worth the read and has some serious surprises regarding what foods claim to be healthy and are not.

Foods With Health Benefits, or So They Say

I don't know about you, but that article was quite a wake-up call about the concerns we all should have about marketing and what they claim.

Switching gears a bit, have you heard about the rising amount of people with Gluten allergies?  You may be affected and don't even know it.  Check out this article to get more info on how you can help yourself.

Belly Fat Caused by Glutens and Gluten Allergies

And lastly, let me share some quick and ready to use tips on how to decrease high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

7 Ways to Reduce High Blood Pressure, Bad Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Levels

3 more ways to help you and/or someone you know -- Get On Track and Stay On Track!