Monday, December 29, 2014

Top terms you should understand in the GYM !

Starting a new fitness program or routine can be scary. Especially when you don't know half of the terms people are throwing around. Between short acronyms for phrases like AMRAP or EMOM to knowing the difference between muscle fatigue and failure. It's almost treated like a language of it's own when used in the gym!! Have no fear... I will educate you on lingo to keep you in the loop of common words that are used in the gym !!!!

Anaerobic vs Aerobic

-anaerobic means without oxygen and aerobic means with oxygen
-anaerobic exercise is done nearly all-out like a sprint, that can't be continued for a long time.
-aerobic uses oxygen. It's a lower-intensity activity such as moderate bicycle riding uses a different energy pathway that can be done for an extended period of time.


-Dropsets are an advanced training technique
-When you reach a point of momentary muscle failure you then reduce the working weight by 20-30 % and immediately resume the set, training to a second point of muscle failure.


-Failure occurs when the lifter is unable to complete another repetition with good form.
-Typically a set ends as fatigue sets in and your unable to overcome what's called a "sticking point." That point where you can't push the weights anymore.

Glycemic Index of foods

-This is a measure of how fast carbohydrate foods enter the bloodstream after eating, ranked on a scale of 0-100.
-Higher glycemic foods elevate insulin levels quickly, which encourages the storage of body fat (except post-workout, when they can refuel working muscles).
-Lower glycemic foods produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin, which in turn may help control obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and appetite.


-The process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.
-The number of calories your body requires to undertake its most basic functions—including digestion, breathing, circulation, repairing cells, releasing hormones, even sleeping—is called basal metabolism.
-Your individual metabolism is determined by many factors, including your weight and body composition, your sex, and your age.


-Periodization is the systematic planning of your training.
- The best way to make size and strength gains long-term is to cycle periods of volume and intensity.
-You don't want to lift a full body workout every day. It's more effective to split your workouts into different body parts and focus on each one.
-Intensity is also a factor. Your body needs time to recover from a hard workout so make sure to cycle your workouts.

Unilateral Training

-Training just one side of your body at a time.
-If you had an injury, muscular imbalance, or particular goal, you may consider training each side independently, which can easily be done with dumbbells or cable machines.
-A benefit is to help balance out the muscles to create an equal force when lifting.


-This is a state in which your body's recovery ability can't keep up with the volume and intensity of your training program.
-It can be identified when your mental and physical state is compromised due to training.
-Common symptoms include but are not limited to the inability to fully recover causing ongoing muscle soreness, irritability, anxiety, high resting heart rate in the morning upon waking, depression, and insomnia.
-Overtraining can cause stalls in your progress in the gym and your body will hit a plateau in which no changes occur.
-To reverse overtraining, take a break in the intensity of your program, more sleep and keep track of your diet.

Hopefully you learned a few new terms that you may have not been familiar with. Never be afraid to research something you hear or ask a question to your personal training staff! It is of your benefit to LEARN as much as you can and to be able to feel confident when in the gym!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feeling under the weather???

Feeling a bit under-the-weather lately? With the seasons slowly changing and the weather is somewhat confused.. let's face it we are in Florida.. one day it's hot the next we freeze !!! This can lead our bodies have a hard time adapting to these changes causing a disruption in our natural homeostasis. Not to mention the various colds, flu's, and viruses that are being passed around everyday.

If you feel like you are coming down with something, there are a few quick home remedies that can fight off the sick feeling and possibly prevent you from catching something worse !

I myself am a huge advocate for natural remedies vs. medicine. This may not be for everyone and I completely understand that medicine has their place but sometimes it's easy home remedies that can get you moving a bit faster and a little healthier !!!

First off make sure that your protecting your immune system with Vitamin C. Take at least one serving per day of a supplement along with eating foods high in vitamin c such as oranges, kiwi, broccoli, berries or tomatoes. The daily value for vitamin C is 60 mg.

If you have congestion, drinking hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat.

Along with congestion usually brings slight dehydration. Use a humidifier at night which will add moisture to the air soothing your membranes in your nose to help ease breathing.

Drink plenty of fluids to help break up your congestion. Drinking water will prevent dehydration and keep your throat moist. You should drink at least 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water daily. Include fluids such as water, sports drinks, herbal teas,or ginger ale if you have a sour stomach. Limit cola, coffee, and other drinks with caffeine because it acts like a diuretic and may dehydrate you.

Eat garlic to fight a virus ! Garlic acts as a natural anti-viral which is quite used in the treatment of viral infections like cold, influenza, sinus that causes stuffy nose to fight against the infection. Garlic contains a pungent ( if you eat it fresh) which releases secretions that helps to drain the nasal passages and makes you breathe comfortably. It also helps to increase your immune system when taken regularly. You can also add a garlic pill to your daily vitamin regimen !!

Make a quick detoxifying drink made of ginger and apple cider vinegar. Mix 1 teaspoon of grated ginger in 8-12 oz of water with 1 TBS. ACV with the "mother" and a splash of lemon. You can consume either hot or cold !!

Increase your intake of spicy foods while you are suffering from stuffy nose. Include lots of red chillies, onions, ginger and garlic to your food. It will facilitate the easier flow of mucus from nasal passages, thereby relieving you from blocked nose. Not to mention that you might not be able to taste it anyways so the spicy won't bother you too much.

For a sore throat or cough consume honey. Consumption of honey of about 2 teaspoons, on a regular basis can treat the problem of stuffy nose or sore throat. You can consume a glass of warm water containing honey (2 – 3 teaspoons) to obtain better results. Honey can be also taken with milk to treat the problem of stuffy nose.

Feeling sick is never fun. If you can tolerate some home remedies before it gets too bad, you might be able to prevent yourself from a FULL blown cold or flu this season!! Always wash your hands after coming in contact with people or items people use frequently. Don't go to work sick and spread your germs. Believe me you will be less productive anyways and will only get your workplace sick. Be smart and eat as healthy as possible. Yes eating unhealthy foods might seem like they will help you "feel" better but ultimately the healthy foods is what will help you get over being sick !!!

Have an awesome Monday !!!

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Catching your ZZZZ's might be better than getting up early !!

Catching your ZZZZ's is more important than you might think !!!

Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Making sure that you are getting enough sleep is important to your health. So just before you choose to skimp on your sleep, I might give you some extra reasons to hit the snooze !

Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation.

Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

Lack of sleep can have major effects on how you react to stressful situations. Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. Lack of quality sleep may cause you to make more mistakes such as traffic errors, inability to concentrate at work, and driving errors. Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.

Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. When you have too little sleep, it can leave you too tired to do the things you like to do. Sleep is important in muscle growth and recovery. Lack of sleep can hinder your results.

Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat. Your body has hormones that follow sleep patterns. When your sleep is compromised so are your hormones and the rate at which they are produced. The largest hormone affected are your cortisol levels which is the stress hormone.

So what is the magical number of hours of sleep that we need per night ? Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health.

It's important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep. Ask yourself these questions:
Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep?

Do you have health issues such as being overweight?

Are you at risk for any disease?

Are you experiencing sleep problems?

Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?

Just like your body has a set point for metabolism and how many calories we should consume based on activity levels, our sleep patterns are affected in the same way! A person’s basal sleep need – the amount of sleep our bodies need on a regular basis for optimal performance – and sleep debt , the accumulated sleep that is lost to poor sleep habits, sickness, awakenings due to environmental factors or other causes.

Short sleep duration is linked with:
-Increased risk of drowsy driving
-Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
-Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
-Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
-Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information

To get better sleep, follow some of these tips:

-Create a sleep schedule and stick to it EVERY DAY !
-Make a habit of creating routine in your sleep schedule like taking a warm bath or reading a book.
-Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. Turn off computers, phones and tv's at lease 30 minutes before bedtime!
-Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
-Exercise regularly
-Avoid stimulants before bed like caffeine

Make sleep a priority just like eating healthy each day! Don't skimp on sleep to get more done. You will only set yourself back for tomorrow ! Don't forget that you have tomorrow to get whatever you didn't get done today!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Toning and Bulking... the in's and out's of what it REALLY means !!

So you want to look lean, slender, and fit.... BUT you just want to "tone" up and not "bulk" up. Does this even exist?? What is the difference really or is there one ? So many women use the word "tone" as if it's a different than lifting weights. The myth states that lifting light weights for high repetitions will "tone" the muscles, whereas lifting heavy weights for lower reps will "bulk" the muscles.
The message being portrayed is that any man or woman interested in looking like a fitness model on a magazine cover should stick to light weights, because heavy weights should be used for those who wish to look like bodybuilders. WRONG !!!

To change the muscle you need to CHALLENGE the muscles. There is no such thing as spot reduction of a certain area just like you need to lift heavy enough to create changes or they just won't happen!

Muscles appear defined when there is little excess body fat surrounding them and they are regularly exercised. Resistance training is one exercise method that can increase their size and tone. Resistance training should be designed to increase your current strength by thoroughly working your muscles by lifting and creating an external force on your muscles!

When you think of muscle bulking, you might think of huge bodybuilders lifting heavy weights in a gym downing protein shakes.But in order to increase the size of your muscles you don't have to move into the gym and drink protein shakes all day. Like toning, muscle bulking requires strength gains, but from newly grown muscle fibers. Every time you lift you are creating tiny tears in your muscles. This causes inflammation and then muscle repair increase muscle size.

You have to stimulate your muscles to grow by adding weight training to increase additional fibers. In order to increase muscle growing a few factors need to be in place. A proper diet full of fresh foods and lean proteins, six to eight hours of sleep every night and a resistance training routine that targets the specific muscles and overall fat loss will ensure your body to tighten and create nice shapely muscles.

You may be hesitant to begin resistance training for fear of developing large muscles. The male sex hormone, testosterone, is vital when bulking up. Women naturally have very low levels of this powerful hormone compared to men. Lifting weights, even if they are HEAVY, will not make you look like a bodybuilder.

If you are a woman and building muscle is your goal, increase your daily calorie consumption by 350 calories of clean foods and focus on strength training. IF gains in muscle size is your goal, keep cardio limited because your body needs excess calories to grow more muscle.

If you want to build a lean muscle, make sure to include regular cardio exercise along with strength training to challenge those muscles. The less fat your body stores the "leaner" your muscles appear.

Do NOT fear the weights!!! Challenge your body every time your in the gym and change things up!! Try using higher rep ranges at a moderately heavy weight and other times push yourself at a heavy weight !!! Always check your form and be careful when lifting heavy weights alone. The best advice for beginners is to use machines to start before using dumbbells !!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Everything you wanted to know about WHEY !

So many people ask about protein powders. With so many options available to you it is hard to distinguish which one is the best to choose. First off when choosing any type of supplement you need to know when you should use it and why it's an important supplement to your diet.

Protein powders are very popular for good reasons such as:
-They are convenient and ready for people on-the go!!
-Most protein powders are high in protein, low in fat and carbohydrates
-Can be used in a variety of ways: drinking, cooking, or using in foods like oatmeal!!
-If you find the right kind, they have good flavor and can be used by people of all ages not just people looking to build muscle.

When looking for protein you want to keep a few things in mind. What type of protein source do you want it to come from ? There are two typical types: Animal proteins and plant based!!

Animal source proteins include milk protein derivatives like whey and casein, goat's milk and egg white protein.

Vegetable source proteins include soy, rice, pea and hemp proteins.

When comparing the two on nutrition and taste, animal protein trumps plant based proteins. Whey protein is the most common animal based protein used.

Whey protein is derived from milk. The protein portion of whole milk consists of 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein. Another unique benefit of whey protein, and one that is often overlooked, is that it enhances the immune system in several ways.

Whey protein comes in two varieties, whey concentrate and whey isolate. The advantages of each are:

Whey Concentrate: Whey concentrate is more economical per gram of protein. It has a low lactose level that is well tolerated by most lactose-sensitive people. It has trivial amounts of fat and carbs relative to your overall nutrient intake. Whey concentrate is typically the best-selling category of whey.

Whey Isolate: Whey isolate is virtually fat-free for those wishing to eliminate as much fat from their diet as possible. It is typically lactose free for those few individuals who are very sensitive to the low-lactose levels found in whey concentrate. Whey isolate tends to taste slightly better than whey concentrate too, yet its consistency is a little thinner, without the fat.

Some people may hear me refer to Casein protein to be used at night. Casein protein is another milk protein derivative. Since most of the protein (80%) in milk is casein, the terms “milk protein” and “casein protein” are used interchangeably. The difference between whey and casein is that whey is absorbed in the digestive system quickly, whereas casein is absorbed slowly and steadily. Taste-wise they are similar.

The second source is plant based proteins:

Among the vegetable source proteins, soy protein, rice protein and pea proteinare by far the most popular. Soy and hemp are unique among vegetable protein sources in that they supply all 8 essential amino acids.

Soy is the most common for some unique properties.The isoflavones in soy provide antioxidant benefits, heart health benefits and is often used by women transitioning through menopause. The drawback of soy is the flavor. It can be difficult for some and the sugars that are used in these proteins don't mask the flavor completely.

Next check your protein for the types of flavors and sweeteners they use in it. You don't want to waste the amazing benefits of the protein by drinking something laced in artificial sugars and sweeteners! Manufacturers have hundreds of options to choose from when flavoring and sweetening their protein powder products. They typically fall into one of these categories:
1. No flavors or sweeteners;
2. Artificial or a combination of artificial and natural flavors and sweeteners;
3. Only natural flavors and sweeteners.

Next is the cost of protein. You get what you pay for. A higher quality protein with LESS ingredients is what your body will most likely benefit from. You want to check the label just as you would a food label. Look at the ingredient list. IF you see more than 10 items, be sure that you can pronounce them all and if not then find one that is more suitable for your needs. Also, don't just by the HUGE container of protein because it is on sale. What if you don't like it? First buy smaller quantities and try it out. They now make protein with digestive enzymes in them to cater to people with digestive problems. Many proteins are gluten free as well. Be sure to check the label for this !!! A 2-pound tub of protein may seem like a lot, but it will typically contain only 23-30 servings. If you use the product every day, that’s just under one month.

Manufactures also add enhancements to their proteins to up the nutritional values which also ups the price point.One very common enhancement, and one that most customers prefer, is the addition of small amounts of lecithin to protein powder. Lecithin is a healthy fat from soy. It’s added to improve the mix-ability of the powder and reduce clumping.

Another way to enhance a protein powder is by adding amino acids to improve its nutritional value. Although whey protein contains all the necessary amino acids, it doesn’t provide them in equal amounts. By adding amino acids like glutamine, BCAAs and arginine, the nutritional benefits of that protein are extended and enhanced.

I hope this article gave you the confidence you need to go into a store and pick a healthy protein to fit into your needs. I myself tend to try out a lot of brands until I find one I really enjoy. If you need help choosing one or if you need any recommendations please comment below !!!

Have a great Friday !!!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Finding Balance !!


It sounds simple enough but how well are you doing at balancing out your life, work, relationships, and you time ?? I know that I have a hard time finding the "balance" in my life. Sometimes its easy to let some priorities take over and gain control of our lives we hardly realize that we are living unbalanced and it can cause you to lose sight of what is really important in your life.

A well-balanced person has a far greater ability to focus their attention and energy on attaining their goals, taking productive actions and moving forward in a meaningful way. What does a balanced life look like to you ? Can you even imagine what your life would be like if you balanced out your busy schedules and found time to efficiently accomplish everything? The first step is to take small baby steps and start changing things in sections instead of everything all at once. That will just cause some craziness and really throw your life out of whack!

Here are some great ways to find some balance in your life. Use these tips in your own life where necessary and find time for everything that you want to accomplish without feeling stressed out !

- Disconnect from technology. It might be hard since our lives revolve around technology. We have instant access to anything we can imagine on our phones, computers, and iPods. Long gone are the days of "I can't be reached" to now never being off our phones. Put the phone down and turn off the computer. Give your work brain a rest. It doesn't have to be for long, just an hour if you can and work up to a day to really just shut out the noise of our busy lives.

-Learn to say NO !! It doesn't make you a bad person to say NO sometimes. Your time is also valuable and you have the ability to say NO without guilt. Say no to things that are not valuable or non-essential in your life and don't be afraid to be ruthless!!!

-Your healthy and mind should be a priority! Don't just wait to take care of yourself. Your body and mind are important and self neglect will only lead to more issues in the future if you become sick. Find time to take care of yourself just as much as you take care of other people!

-Purge your life of toxins. This can be the negativity in your life from chronic complainers who negatively impact your life.Surround yourself with positive, supportive, can-do people whenever possible.

-Find time for YOU! Yes, if you need to schedule that too please do it. You are important and your mind and body need to be working in order to ensure that your the best version of yourself. Making time for you is probably the hardest thing to since you are typical overworked and an overwhelmed person, but it is crucial for lowering stress, increasing happiness and encouraging creativity.Try to meditate, stretch or do yoga! FIND TIME !!

-Treat yourself to something nice every once in a while. Go out for a coffee with friends and reconnect your relationship with them. Find time to just enjoy something that is different and new!!! Try a new painting class or learn a new craft like knitting. Your life will only benefit from taking time to unwind.

-Remember to have FUN ! Life is short. Life can have unexpected uncertainties. Have a great time with friends, laugh and joke around and most importantly find time to relax !!

By adding in some of these techniques, your life will soon begin to balance out and you will find that things will become easier. Don't get discouraged if you are trying. Life is about learning and growing from what we don't succeed at !!!

Go out and ENJOY the life you were given !

Friday, December 5, 2014

A pre-workout BUZZ

That morning cup of coffee might have more benefits than just drinking it as your normal morning routine. With so many chemical laden pre-workout drinks and supplements on the market, it can get tricky to find one that won't make your skin itch or go a little bit bonkers in the gym. Drinking a good cup of black coffee before a workout can be a great way to improve your endurance and wake up those muscles !!!

One of the primary mechanisms behind caffeine’s ability to ramp up your workouts is its stimulation of your central nervous system. Caffeine can shut out a calming brain chemical called adenosine. The caffeine in coffee can block out these receptors giving you a jolt of energy and reduced pain sensation for better workouts.

Caffeine has some great benefits:

- Coffee has fat burning properties to accelerate fat loss. When consumed before exercise your body will utilize the fat stores before the glycogen in your muscles.

-Caffeine can help with maintaining your endurance levels in the gym and increase your athletic performance.So by letting you push harder on the treadmill or during a spin class, caffeine could help you torch more calories and ultimately more fat.

-Drinking coffee can help increase your focus and intention in the gym. With better focus your workouts will be more productive and efficient.

-The increase of caffeine can help with decreasing muscle pain during and after a workout. By experiencing less pain, you are able to power through those tough workouts and tackle more reps and weight.

-Coffee has the potential to protect you from disease. Coffee contains antioxidants which protects your body from free radicals. Coffee also has a inverse affect on diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, and diabetes.

To get the best effect out of drinking coffee before a workout follow these guidelines !

DOSE: To maximize your workouts you need up to three to five milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. That’s 180 to 300 milligrams for a 130-pound woman. Brewed coffee ranges from 60 to180 milligrams in a six-ounce serving.

TIMING: Plan ahead and consume your caffeine roughly 30 minutes to one hour before you hit the gym floor so it can put extra kick in your step throughout the workout.

If you have a sensitivity to caffeine, it might be the type you are consuming. Try different variations of coffee to find the best brew to use that works with your body !! Too much caffeine will leave you jittery and on edge far longer than necessary. Be sure to test out the brew and strength level of the caffeine in the coffee !

Don't forget that drinking coffee is not a free pass to hit up Starbucks for a Venti mocha latte with cream sugar and whipped cream !!! Drink your coffee BLACK NO CREAM OR SUGAR for the best benefits !!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Feel good on the inside to look great OUTSIDE!!!

In order to feel good from the inside out, we need to take care of our minds, body and skin! Saggy, loose skin, blemishes, and discoloration are things no woman whats to hear. It is important to take good care of your skin just like you take care of your body and mind. Let's face it, your skin is one place that you need to take of the most diligently. Great skin comes from the inside out and taking the time to make healthy skin choices can be the difference in how amazing your skin looks and how you feel ! So here we go, these are some hints and tricks on how to keep your skin looking vibrant and healthy even on the days you want to cover up !!

Be vary cautious of the mercury that is found in many products we use daily. Mercury contains particles are far too small for our immune system to destroy and the body cannot break it down. So, it just hangs out wreaking havoc on the nervous system, skin and immune system. Scary thing is that this poisonous metal is easily absorbed through the skin and can accelerate aging.

Try not to use alcohol based products on your skin. Alcohol will dry out your skin making it less desirable. Fight this urge to use alcohol on your skin and choose for more gentle cleansers.

Be sure to eat a variety of fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables have important vitamins and minerals that help in the development and growth of skin cells. Don't ignore the healthy foods. Solid nutrition starts from the inside out.

Water is SUPER important, especially as we age. With age comes a drop in estrogen as well as a decrease in oil production in our skin. The more you hydrate, the less chance you stand of facing thinner, drier and even itchier skin. So, let’s make sure to consume a minimum of three liters per day. Also, try to refrain from showering with crazy hot water. Opt for luke warm water and a gentle or mild soap.

Using vitamin C helps with those ugly dark circles under your eyes.

Be an exfoliating queen ! In order to get to the newer smoother stuff, choose a gentle exfoliating face wash. . I gently massage it into the skin in an upward, circular motion. NEVER pull the skin. You can either rinse with lukewarm water or use a gentle cloth and dab, not rub, it off.

Hope all these tips and tricks will keep you skin looking fresh and bright all year round. Remember that your skin is one place that everyone can see ! Smile ... it makes you that much more beautiful !