Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Your desk job is your limiting factor!

Are you one of the many people in America who have an office job requiring you to sit for multiple hours on end? You might want to take a second to read this and consider the risks that your job has on your health !
We as humans are not meant to grind through our work mentally for hours on end. Nor are we meant to be sprinting, lifting and working out all day either. We can create a healthy work-life balance not only outside of work, but also during work.Knowing what strategies to take to make your life better and long lasting can be the key to a healthier lifestyle.
First let'start with your desk. A standing desk is necessary if you’re going to have a long-term career in an office. WHY ? A standing desk will increase blood flow throughout the body, help you avoid joint pain, lengthen the tendons and ligaments that are constantly flexed while sitting, and will create a psychological sense of freedom.
However if standing is NOT an option, here are some better ways to decrease your risk when sitting.
-Sit with a nice, tall posture, with your shoulders rolled back and down. Your chest should be pushed slightly outward and your feet should be flat on the floor. Your neck will be in line with the rest of your spine, not leaned forward. Your feet, legs, knees, and hips should all form 90-degree angles.
-Engage your muscles when sitting.You can flex your core, do calf raises and even clench your butt muscles. Sure you might feel silly but you are protecting your body from the damages of sitting all day. No matter what you do, always strive for some minimal movement while sitting.
Go outside !! Yes take a quick walk around the office on your lunch break, Go in the sunshine ! Every hour or two, take a 5-minute break to go outside to breathe fresh air, see actual sunlight, and get out of the office atmosphere.If other employees can take smoke breaks, you should be able to take nature breaks too.
Maybe on your lunch break do some form of meditation. It doesn't matter where. Find a nice and quiet place to put your mind OFF and take 5 minutes to collect your thoughts. Your little getaway can be anywhere from a grassy median in the parking lot to an empty, unused conference room.
Get in some extra movement by taking the stairs. This is a small change that adds a lot of activity to your life over time. If you struggle at first, make it a challenge to see how far you can get without taking a break. Keep track each day and be proud of your improvements. Be a bathroom gypsy! Go to a different floor so you have to walk and get there !
It is more important than ever for companies to invest in their employees’ health by giving workers more freedom with small breaks intermittently throughout the day, and creating an environment that encourages personal well-being.
If you are more productive, more creative, constantly engaged while at work, and bringing in better results, there is really nothing your boss can complain about. Let your work speak for your actions. Hopefully your company will take notice and create an environment that invests in all of its employees.
reference: breaking muscle

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What is harder, diet or training?

What is harder? Training or diet? Without even thinking twice, the most difficult aspect of health and fitness is the dreaded four letter word: DIET. Why is it so hard for people to grasp the concept of "dieting" and not starving themselves? Too many people fall into a yo-yo trap of starvation, binging, and regret. Well I have a HUGE tip for you, learn to practice that skill. What I mean is practice how to diet effectively. You don't expect to get stronger at lifting if you don't lift heavy do you? The same works for dieting. You have to practice in order to be successful long term.
How can you practice this skill? It's actually pretty easy and simple to start doing and soon enough those will become habits.
-Choose the system of food timing that works for YOU. For me, eating 6 meals a day is just not going to happen. So I choose to eat 4 throughout the day. You might work better will small meals 6 times a day or even 3 big ones. Whatever you choose, stick to those times to eat and don't stray. Get in good habit of eating at those times on a regular basis.
-Having a hard time with the sugar cravings? You might want to learn to cut out those foods for just 30 days. Your body will start to adapt to this switch and you can start feeding it quality foods to fill that void. If one month sounds a bit daunting, try doing it for a week !
-Learn self control. This might be the one that takes the MOST practice but you need it in times of desperation. We all have the one food that you can literally eat all of it if placed in front of you. For me it's peanut butter. In order to learn how to not go crazy with the portions I learned to have self control when a craving hit. I learn to how I can mentally talk myself out of it and guess what the craving usually goes away !
Using the above tricks can come in handy when you are out and don't have the best food options with you. You will have the power of your mind and self control to really knock out those cravings and start to transition to a healthier way of life!

Monday, August 29, 2016

HOT HOT HOT !

OMG it's so hot out to train! Is it still August?  What?!?! The end  of August?  When is it going to be just a little cooler out?

I have no science to back this up, but I feel like raining outside  is at least 50% harder in the summer months. Now I am talking about  running and especially CrossFit. Many boxes are "outside-ish" because they are in very open buildings. For many boxes, the summer is HOT and the winters are very COLD !!! But right now the summer is HOT and it feels like we are melting as soon as we get there during warm up.

Let's get the obvious out of the way.  It's Hot...Like..."face of the sun" hot. Bumper plates are melting to the floor and if you've missed the 5am class, you've missed your only possible chance at a reasonable workout temperature. You seem to sweat enough to fill a pool and lose so much water weight. The worst part is now you have to get into a HOT car after you just got done with a WOD,

Let's talk about your summer nutrition. Parties, bar-b-ques. possible drinking almost nightly because its "the summer" are in full swing. I mean who really wants to miss out on all that fun to get some "gains" in the gym ??? Well funny thing is that all of that food affects you in the gym. It can start a bad cycle because you feel like crap so you skip the gym and then feel like more crap. So now your routine is off and why start working out in the middle of the week?

Vacations, kids off school, family events, and friends tend to get in the way during the summer months. Just as you started to get your training situated with a schedule, now you have to rearrange it to fit your life back together. Does this sound familiar?..."I'm leaving town, but I'm going to be hitting a box while I'm there, and doing some body-weight workouts..." Sure you are...for like the first day.
While we all have the best intentions, it's hard to stay at the top of your game while you're out of town, and coming back will have you feeling like a newbie again.

Does the summer lead to too much flexibility? Having flexibility in your day allows you to lie to yourself about "going later" until "going later" turns into "going tomorrow." And eventually, not going at all. But wait!  There's hope! Are those school bells I hear in the distance?  Are those forecasts for cooler weather I'm dreaming about? Don't worry.  While it may seem like you'll never swim your way out of the puddle of sweat you're in, we'll all be wearing jackets, and your schedule will be better in no time !

Friday, August 26, 2016

Choosing the right place for your fitness !

Starting CrossFit can seem INTIMIDATING ! Well starting anything new can feel that way but you have to remember everyone starts somewhere ! CrossFit is a community of people who have a common goal, to improve fitness. Yes, looking good comes out of that too however the work needs to be put into it for results to come.
There’s a lot more to consider, from how to avoid injuries to finding the perfect box for you. Finding the right place with the right community is a big part of your success. Here is a little guide on what you should be looking for when searching out your perfect box.
-CrossFit Lingo- Yes it's almost a language of our own. We talk in abbreviated words. The WOD is likely the first thing you’ll look for when you walk into your new gym, and it’s what your body will remember on your way out. That workout will involve “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement”, which is the definition of CrossFit.
-Bring the intensity- Athletes new to CrossFit might be initially alarmed at the intensity level box members bring to workouts. As many WODs are a race against the clock and other members. You’ll be asked to perform them at a high rate of speed and a high heart rate all with GOOD form. Friendly competition between gym members will have you performing at a higher level than you thought possible on your own!
-Pain threshold- If you are new to CrossFit or any type of training, you will be sore! That is totally ok and normal to feel. Basic maintenance like ice packs, ibuprofen, fish oil and foam rollers will help get you through the first few days. Just like anything in life, the more you get up and go the better off you will feel.
BIGGEST QUESTION !!! How do you choose your box?
No CrossFit box is created equal. You need to find one that you personally mesh with. It might not even be the first one you sign up with. If a coach has a good technical background but you don’t respond to his/her style of teaching, it doesn’t matter how knowledgeable that coach is you won't benefit from it. Put simply, you’ll get the best results from the coach you like the best.
You should also schedule time to talk with the coaches or owners about your own fitness goals and find out whether that gym is able to help you meet those goals. My goal as a coach is to get you as fit as possible, and how you look and feel will follow that.Regardless of your own athletic background or ability, be sure your gym offers a dedicated introductory class so you’re not immediately thrown into that intense CrossFit class.
Protect yourself from injury ! Performing any intense activity three to six times each week will certainly increase the odds of injury and overuse. But if you’re smart about your CrossFit training and the preparation you and your coaches put in before and after workouts, you’ll dodge a dreaded injury that could set training back for weeks.
Now that you have the knowledge needed for your CrossFit endeavor, its time to get out there and find a box to call your new fitness family!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fitting into Fitness... Do you?



This is going to get a little personal. I love writing a lot of informative content however every once in a while a though strikes me that I want to share. Fitting into fitness is something that sounds silly but I think a lot of people can relate.

We all want to "fit" into something or be a part of a group of people who enjoy doing the same things. One thing that I feel is the biggest misconception is the great divide among fitness communities. Let's be 100% honest about this, it's FIT SHAMING. I know that might sound harsh but it is a form of harassment and judging. If there is one thing I want to do in the fitness community is share a positive light on ALL forms of fitness. You can be whatever and do anything you enjoy. Yes that's right, you need to enjoy it or why do it.

You might even be asking yourself where this is coming from. Along the years I have dabbled into many types of fitness. Why? Because I truly love it. When you find something that works for you, you stick with it and it's more FUN than working out. You wake up wanting to do it instead of dreading it. However, being involved in many types of fitness comes with a hefty price to pay and that is judgement.

Now, don't stop reading this just yet. I want to express a concern that I feel a lot of people don't even realize they do on a daily basis. In my own personal opinion, FITNESS IS FITNESS. I don't like the divide. Think of it this way, you might see a marathon runner, olympic lifter, bodybuilder, CrossFit athlete and even a swimmer. They are all athletes and all doing fitness right? You may like one over the other a bit more but overall they are doing fitness. WHY the judgment then?

Can a power lifter also be a swimmer? Does a bodybuilder always lift isometrically? Can a CrossFitter do a "Bro" workout? YES! All areas of fitness play onto the next. It blows my mind how so many fitness communities claim they are community yet shame another form of fitness. It's actually heartbreaking because this keeps people from wanting to try other things. I ENCOURAGE you to try new things. You might be good at and like something you never though you would because you feared the "judgment" of the fitness community you belong to.

Coming from me, as you can see in the above photo, I do what I love. I have been on both sides, judged by both sides of the fitness community and it does hurt. However as a fitness professional my goal is to break down this divide and start showing people they can do all things. My passion is FITNESS. I do what makes me happy. I have learned that you can't change the minds of people you can only educate them of the benefits of trying to be well rounded. Don't get me wrong, if you are in a sport as a competitive athlete you will be training in that domain predominately. That does not mean that you should judge others based on the fitness choices they make,

If you are like me and enjoy fitness, then next time you are in a group of friends or your community of people and they start making fun of another form of fitness, you might want to stick up for the other people out there doing their thing. Sometimes it's just plain ignorance of how hard another form of fitness can truly be and maybe all we need is to become more well rounded and educated on ALL forms of fitness !

Stuck in a Fitness Rut??

It happens to the best of us, we fall hard into a training rut. What causes this ? Many things can be a huge factor. Your job, relationships, even stress from life can bring you down. Wouldn't it be nice if we can keep the motivation that you get some days for others that seem impossible to get through? Falling into a rut can seem impossible to get out of, however you have to keep climbing until you get out of it.
You never "lose" this motivation, it's just dispersed elsewhere for the time being. You have all the power to get it back it might just take some digging. Lucky for you I have a few tricks to get you back to that motivated state of being !
#1- What is the cause of your lack of motivation? If you can learn to pinpoint what is really going on, you might even find that it has nothing to do with training and you are just putting that on the back burner. What are your goals? What are you trying to achieve? Many people want everything NOW and when the going gets rough they just give up!
** Quick trick ** Imagine yourself reaching the goal you want. How does that feel? That should be motivation enough to push you through the rough days !
#2-Be honest with yourself. What are your goals? Are they realistic for the time frame you are in? Make your goals clear and to the point. Don't allow yourself to negotiate and set a timeline for you to achieve it!
** Sign up for an event that your goals pertain to. It sets a deadline for you to accomplish it **
#3-Thoughts become action. If you believe it you can achieve it. Know that anything is possible. Not only can you do it, you deserve to do it, and do it well. As the famous American industrialist Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.”
** Make a vision board. Put all your goals on there, start with small ones and then big future goals. Look at it every day and keep pushing until you reach them! **
#4- No matter how small the step, it's still a step ! You need to value the journey. Take time to look at what you did accomplish and what you are moving toward. Don't allow yourself to compare to the future because you are not there yet. Don't dwell in the past either, take today for what it's worth !
** Do a transformation photo collage ! You can see where you were to the present moment. Many people will be shocked at the changes ! **
#5- What is the most common reason to quit? Willpower and the mind! Yes your mind is a muscle. Use it for good and you will have all the power in the world to accomplish what you want. However, you also need to respect and trust the process. It's a journey. Your mind and body are linked in a constant state of communication. How you move, speak, stand, and sit has a direct link to your emotions. Think about what state of mind you need to be in to succeed in achieving your goal. Do you need to stand up straight, smile,and have open body language? You might be surprised at what else you can achieve simply by changing your thought processes.
** Conduct yourself with positive energy. Be the person in the room people gravitate towards because you have that energy people feed off of ! **
Next time you hit a rut, stay positive and be prepared for the negative feelings it brings. Learn how to cope with them and overcome the emotions it brings. Be positive and be fearless!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lose Fat and Build Muscle? Is it possible?

Can you loose fat and build muscle at the same time? That's a question that is debated a lot in the fitness industry. First off you need to know your goal. Do you want to build muscle ? Are you happy with your current body composition? I don't feel you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Now this is only my opinion based on the research I have done and what I have seen with my own body composition.
Here's the science behind it. If you gain some muscle mass within a certain time period, your metabolism will speed up. You’ll burn more calories at a faster rate and you may actually end up shedding some fat because you gained a little muscle. But what really changed ? It was your body composition and distribution of fat/ fat loss.
So what is your goal? If you want to build muscle, you NEED to be in a calorie surplus. These are the variables you can control as much as possible to create the best environment for gaining muscle:
• Eat MORE than you burn
• Proper macronutrient split
• Minimal cardio
• Heavier weight-lifting sessions (8-12 reps for hypertrophy is most common), longer rest periods
• Larger separation of body part splits to focus more on each muscle group

If you want to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit. These are the variables you can control as much as possible to create the best environment for burning fat:
• Eat less than you bun
• Macronutrient split specific to fat loss
• More frequent cardio for longer durations (preferably a mix of HIIT with steady state for at least 30 minutes a day, 5x a week)
• Faster-paced weight-lifting sessions, higher rep ranges, shorter rest periods, keeping HR high throughout
• Can combine more muscle groups and even incorporate total body workouts
You cannot both gain muscle and lose fat at the same time and get the results you want. If you think you can do everything all at once because you want to build muscle and shed fat it just won't happen that way. To maximize your time, your expenses, your energy, your efforts and all other resources you are putting into changing your body composition, you need to focus on one or the other. Either gaining muscle or losing fat for a certain period of time in order to truly get great quality, long-term, measurable results.
Reference: Nicole Wilkins

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Break the sugar addiction and give your body what it needs !

Did you know your sugar addiction can be causing a WHOLE lot of other issues ? When you eat too much sugar, you are eating empty calories, increasing your blood glucose and insulin spikes, and increased risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. However, the real problem is that the sugar may cause nutrient deficiencies. Sugar can actually reduce the rate at which your body absorbs other nutrients it needs or depletes them completely.eating too much sugar can induce deficiencies. Even when our overall micronutrient intake appears to be adequate.
If your suffering from sugar addiction, you might want to check the below to see what your body is lacking!
Vitamin D
- Vitamin D comes mainly from the sun. However, with work indoors, it's hard for people to get enough of this nutrient. Increased sugar intake in the form of fructose may decrease the amount of Vitamin D your body absorbs. Fructose can enhance the breakdown of vitamin D in the kidneys while also impairing the body’s ability to synthesize it. The result is a reduction in vitamin D levels, and the potential for the harmful effects of deficiency increase the risk of infection, higher risk of autoimmunity, increased rates of certain cancers, and overall lower immune function.
Calcium
-Calcium is known for supporting skeletal health which includes bones and teeth, as well as assisting in blood coagulation and acting as an electrolyte helping nerves send signals and muscles contract. But, calcium is another nutrient negatively impacted by a high sugar intake!
Magnesium
-Magnesium is important because it helps regulate muscle and nerve function, making protein, building bone, synthesizing DNA, and regulating blood sugar levels, magnesium is required by literally every organ in our bodies. In other words, it’s pretty important W!hen magnesium levels are too low, blood sugar regulation can also be impaired setting the stage for even greater magnesium depletion due to the higher levels of glucose in the blood!
Chromium
-Chromium is a trace mineral involved in macronutrient metabolism and blood sugar control, and although we only need small amounts of it to be healthy, a high sugar intake can increase the likelihood of deficiency. Consuming excessive amounts of simple sugars causes more chromium to be excreted in the urine.
Vitamin C
-Did you know humans can't synthesis Vitamin C? The reason is due to a mutation in the GULO (gulonolactone oxidase) gene, which codes a protein needed for converting glucose into vitamin C .Both glucose and vitamin C use the same transporters to enter cells, and research has shown that high levels of glucose (whether in the intestines or in the blood) can slow down or limit the absorption of vitamin C by our bodies.
The takeaway isn’t to avoid anything containing sugar, but to focus on whole foods whenever possible, and emphasize nutrient-dense sources of sugar like berries and = molasses when you do want something sweet!
referencd: The Paleo Mom

Monday, August 15, 2016

Become a Morning Person !

Are you a morning person? Chances are you don't spring out of bed in the morning ready to rock and roll, ( if you do, let me know your secret). Many people are night owls and stay up late, but did you know staying up later can be messing with your body ? If you learn to become a morning person, you will be more inclined to choose healthier options throughout the day.
According to a recent study by the University of Delaware, research shows that abandoning your late night habits can lead to better food choices and since you’ll be less likely to skip your workout if you’re well-rested, improve your cardiovascular health. But becoming a morning person won’t happen overnight.
Instead start at the top of this list and when you successfully complete it, move onto the next one until you create the habit of a morning person !
-Turn off your screens at least 30 minutes before bed. Your body has a natural response to sleeping cues. Your body produces
melatonin, the hormone that tells your body when you need sleep. If you mess with the melatonin signal, you’re messing with your body’s ability to get the sleep it needs.
-Prep your next day the day before. Nothing is worse than starting the day already behind. Start preparing your meals, clothes, workout and anything that can help you for the next day. Then you can go to sleep without thinking about what you need to get for the next day.
-Are you a caffeine addict? Many of us are and its hard to get through that 3 pm slump without it. Drinking caffeine is not the best for a restful night's sleep. Try a better option such as tea. There is a link between green tea and improved cognitive function, particularly working memory. Just remember, there are still trace amounts caffeine in the green stuff so stop sipping by 3 p.m.
-Instead of going on Facebook or Instagram, try reading a book. Add this to your nightly routine and you will see the calming effects it has on your mind and body. Just six minutes of reading before bed can reduce your stress levels by 68 per cent leading to a better quality sleep, and faster. An even better option would be to journal. Get all those thoughts out before you go to bed and you can sleep with a calm mind.
If you have a hard time falling asleep, try incorporating the above tips and have more quiet time in your life.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Lose fat AND build muscle ?

Can you loose fat and build muscle at the same time? That's a question that is debated a lot in the fitness industry. First off you need to know your goal. Do you want to build muscle ? Are you happy with your current body composition? I don't feel you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Now this is only my opinion based on the research I have done and what I have seen with my own body composition.
Here's the science behind it. If you gain some muscle mass within a certain time period, your metabolism will speed up. You’ll burn more calories at a faster rate and you may actually end up shedding some fat because you gained a little muscle. But what really changed ? It was your body composition and distribution of fat/ fat loss.
So what is your goal? If you want to build muscle, you NEED to be in a calorie surplus. These are the variables you can control as much as possible to create the best environment for gaining muscle:
• Eat MORE than you burn
• Proper macronutrient split
• Minimal cardio
• Heavier weight-lifting sessions (8-12 reps for hypertrophy is most common), longer rest periods
• Larger separation of body part splits to focus more on each muscle group

If you want to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit. These are the variables you can control as much as possible to create the best environment for burning fat:
• Eat less than you bun
• Macronutrient split specific to fat loss
• More frequent cardio for longer durations (preferably a mix of HIIT with steady state for at least 30 minutes a day, 5x a week)
• Faster-paced weight-lifting sessions, higher rep ranges, shorter rest periods, keeping HR high throughout
• Can combine more muscle groups and even incorporate total body workouts
You cannot both gain muscle and lose fat at the same time and get the results you want. If you think you can do everything all at once because you want to build muscle and shed fat it just won't happen that way. To maximize your time, your expenses, your energy, your efforts and all other resources you are putting into changing your body composition, you need to focus on one or the other. Either gaining muscle or losing fat for a certain period of time in order to truly get great quality, long-term, measurable results.
Reference: Nicole Wilkins

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Microwave Society

We live in a society where we are handed everything. Many time we don't need to work very hard to get what we want and life is just at the click of a button. So many people ( me included) want it NOW and later is just too far away. What happened with patience and hard work to get there ??
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither are your gains ! SO many people I coach, give up before they see the changes they are about to make. You need to understand that life has ups, downs, and breaking points that need to be maneuvered around. This is so common in the "dieting" world. Why didn't your "diet" work? Well you probably didn't give it enough time. Did you gain weight overnight ? Chances are no, it was compiled over years of not eating correctly and NOW you deciding to take action.
If you are training for something, the same mentality needs to go into this. You didn't get stronger over night. You needed to train hard day in and day out to get the results you are looking for and even then you might fall short. What are you habits? Lifestyle ? Training atmosphere like?
When learning what you can do to better your health, fitness and life, you should put forth 100% effort to obtain those goals. I am also guilty of wanting it NOW vs. waiting for it to happen over time.
The same thing goes when you are choose your program. First question to ask: Can you follow it day in and day out ? Make sure you choose a diet and training program that you can execute on your schedule. No plan will work if you don't have the time to put into it. The best diet and training program is the one that works for you. Once you find that diet and training program, keep at it, nothing in life worth having comes easy!
If you want long lasting results, you need to be consistent over a measurable amount of time. Thinking that you can have a "quick" fix to anything health and fitness related is not going to end up well in the long run !

Monday, August 8, 2016

Athlete Mindset

Do you train hard and still feel like you are not getting to the point that you want to be at ? Many people who train 5 x's a week still struggle with a little extra weight. How can this be? It doesn't send the best message to others who are trying to lose weight saying that fitness isn't the end all be all to weight loss. No DIET is!
In a situation pf training and eating right, its more frustrating that giving 100% to your WODs, suffering the pain, pushing yourself through only to be disappointed with the results. Believe me I have been there ( I am there).
My goal is to give you sound and healthy advice for self acceptance with the hope that it will encourage healthier mindset, healthier body, better mood and more appropriate support from fellow Crossfitters and coaches.
Crossfit WORKS, as long as you do it ! Built on the principles of intensity and variety, it encourages body changes better than traditional workouts. WHY ? Because it is continually challenging the body and mind through different training techniques. It’s not important to work as hard as everyone else, you only have to work your hardest. With a different workout every day, your body can never really adjust and settle into comfortable patterns, as is our natural human tendency.
Crossfit offers a rare opportunity to confront self-sabotaging and failure-prone mindsets head on. It's funny how a WOD can humble you really quick.This has the potential to create real, lasting changes to lifestyle by radically changing our views of self, failures and set-backs.
One great thing about CrossFit is having accountability. Your coaches know when you are not there and they will check in on you. Also, they know when you are trying to take it easy in a workout and not train to your full potential.
Here is one set back, people start to think they can out exercise food,. When exercise is viewed as a tool to ‘burn calories’, fixing a weight problem is doomed.The body to many is seen as an enemy or viewed like a machine. When you eat you are inputting and exercising is an output. So rather than taking care or your own needs through nutrition, hydration and the joy of physical movement,people use it as punishment for life.The big difference between people in Crossfit whose bodies change and those whose don’t is their attitudes and beliefs about their bodies. The shift happens from what you look like to what your body can do!
Part of developing that successful mindset of an athlete, I mentioned earlier is to enjoy the physical challenge and to always provide the body with what it needs. Not necessarily what it wants or craves. And not to deny it of its needs either, not eating for example. Aim to heighten your awareness into the thinking behind your exercise and food-related impulses. And watch out for attitudes that suggest you are seeing exercise like punishment and food as reward.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Power of Community

Community is a powerful thing. It' in our nature to seek it out and it's critical for our success. There is a quote: "Surround yourself with like minded people". How true is this ? If you put yourself around those who have the same vision, a similar goal and want to help you accomplish it, you have a beautiful community of people all moving toward success.The opposite effect happens if you surround yourself with people who are not as motivated and won't make you strive towards more, you too then fall into that trap of letting yourself find an excuse.
Think of why having a good community of people is so important. First off if you are training for an event or competition, you now have people to feed off of for energy. Your community will support you and push you to get better.
You learn from those who are BETTER than you. If you are the smartest, fastest, most athletic or whatever the case may be, go to a different place where you can find people who are better than you. Training within a group of people who have more experience than you grants you a wealth of wisdom and new ideas that can absolutely help you perform. It’s part of the reason many athletes travel to train with elite athletes and coaches if given the chance.
Training WITH someone makes you accountable. Why do people need trainers or coaches ? Partly to make them better or learn from them but the other reason is to have accountability to make it to the gym. When you have to let someone down and suffer the consequences of not being there your increasing your likelihood of committing to training regardless of the circumstances.
Find a group of people who do what you do. If you CrossFit, powerlift,or bodybuild, make sure you find a place that you can work with other people who are seeking that common goal. Find a person or a group of people who will push you and get you out of your comfort zone.
The people you train with should build you up and be a positive impact on your life.Ask yourself- what is it that YOU need to bring to the table? If you are low energy, that is exactly what you will attract and who you will be compatible with. Always be the best you can be in any given moment in training.



Reference; Barbell Shrugged 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Scale is a LIAR !

Weight is just a number. A number that can have a huge impact on your mood, your self esteem and overall attitude for fitness and eating healthy. Many people think the "number" is the end all be all in weight loss. People get caught up in training to be skinny. A hard truth to learn, if you want to be strong, healthy and energized, you need to train like an athlete, eat like a nutritionist, and sleep regular 8 hour nights. If you are doing what feels like EVERYTHING and you are not seeing results, you might want to hire a coach who can help you. But lets look at why the number on the scale is not the best representation of weight loss.
Your weight is determined by a few factors. They are mainly fats, bone, water and muscles and the percentage composition of these elements should be the magic number you should be concerned about.Do you know that muscle weighs more than fat? When you exercise, you are losing fats and gaining muscle mass at the same time. This is the reason why the kilos on the scale are not moving. Hence, that weighing machine in your bathroom does not accurately reflect your real anatomy.
If you want to have an accurate journey of your weight loss, give the following advice some thought.
-Take before and after photos- A picture is worth a thousand words. Photos typically never lie. You will be amazed at how different you look in a short period of time.
-Use In-Body Analysis machine- While they may not be the most accurate, this machine gives you a clear picture of your percentage body fat and muscle mass and also allow you to track your progress. It is available in any commercial gyms.
-Challenge your body-Mindless jogging will not help one gain muscle mass. Frequent visits to the gym may also not aid in achieving your optimal physique if you do the same set of exercises everyday. We often see many female gym-goers heading straight for the conventional treadmill. They can run for an hour every single day and yet look the same a few weeks after.
-Nutrition is key! Something else we don’t often consider is how exercise affects our activity for the rest of the day. If you do a tough workout and then take a nap or skip an afternoon walk, something you wouldn’t normally do, you’re burning fewer calories.
Exercise can also increase your appetite, causing you to eat more calories which can also sabotage your weight loss goals.
If you start an exercise program, keep a food and activity journal to get an idea of a normal day for you. Resting more or eating more are things we often do without being aware of it post-exercise. Keeping a simple log of your activities will help you make sure you’re getting the same amount of activity, even with your workouts. If you're exhausted after every workout, that may be a sign you’re overdoing it. You want to keep a little gas in the tank after most of your workouts.
-Another irony with weight loss is that, the heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn with exercise. For example, a 200-lb pound person can burn about 400 calories during 30 minutes of stair climbing, while a 125-lb person burns about 250 calories doing the same thing. As you lose weight, your body expends less energy to move your body around, which means you’ll lose weight more slowly.This is one reason why losing those last few pounds can be so difficult.First, remember that losing weight is a good thing, even if it means the weight loss slows down over time. Second, as you lose weight, you may need to recalculate how many calories you need and how many calories you’re burning. Adjusting the numbers as you go can help you stay on track with your weight loss and avoid plateaus.
By keeping all this in mind, you are on your way to a healthier mind, body and outlook on weight loss and fitness.

Need help on your Fitness journey ? Contact me today and I can help set up a plan for you! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

INTENSITY is key !

Training intensity, if you have it and maintain it results will come. What is intensity ? By scientific definition, intensity is defined as power: force multiplied by distance, then divided by time. Simply put: Intensity is doing more work faster.
Intensity is TAUGHT and learned. Many people do not understand this component to training. Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing the most favorable adaptation to exercise. Real intensity occurs when you are in the uncomfortable state for an extended period of time. Learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
One common misconception about intensity is that it is done in short bursts but the workload is at maximum effort. Take Fran for instance, to maintain intensity, the normal population of people who workout can complete it in under 7 minutes. If you are looking to increase your work capacity, take little to no rest and push past the uncomfortable. You should be MORE impressed by the intensity of the workout versus the volume of the workout.
What does this mean? Volume is the the amount of workload you are doing over a period of time. A "high" volume day might mean multiple sets with moderate reps but not at a high intensity. Anyone can move slower for longer. However, not everyone can move quickly and maintain that throughout the workout. Do more work in less time not more work in more time.
There is this thought that MORE is MORE when in fact that is not the case. Everyone wants to do more work to get better results. While you can do more work, if the intensity doesn't match your workload remains the same yet longer.
As a coach, my goal is to have my athletes reach their intensity level for what they can do at that moment. Scaling workouts is great for all fitness levels to reach their capacity. Each and every workout posted has a reason for the time cap selected. Some days it's for very fast workload and others it's learning how to maintain endurance. That’s one of the arts of coaching a group class I have to accommodate for what is relative intensity.
One mistake new athletes make about learning intensity is finding 'the wall'. Yes we all have that point in training where you gave it all you got and now you have no more. That is missing the point. If you go all out on exercises #1 but have zero gas in the tank for the remainder of the workout, then you are missing the point of what intensity is. However, if you are gassed but go into the next exercise without resting, you are working past your threshold therefore making it more resilient to intensity changes. You are teaching your body to red-line later than sooner !!!
Don't try to "save" yourself for a workout. Go out there and push the limits a little bit. Then you can't say "It wasn't hard enough".

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Embrace Beautiful !

What is beauty ? What is fitness ? What do you consider attractive? What is a "10" ?? These are very hard questions to answer and they are 100% opinion biased. We are are living in a society where the media is cultivating a "thought" of what we should be like.
It’s a little scary when you see women being placed into situations where they are now the undermined figure. How many girls, boys, even those of us now adults, were inundated growing up with all of this imagery of what we need to be to have value??
Think back to the day that you started worrying about how you looked, what food you ate ( didn't eat) and the opinions of others? Chances are you know exactly the moment that you felt this. For me it was in 4th grade. It was an overnight switch of your thinking "normal" to you need to lose weight and look like those you see on TV/ magazine covers.
Those moments linger for years as we struggle to find meaning to life. Many people can shake the "awkward" years however, many do not and fight every day to make sense of what is deep inside. What is the intrinsic fear of not being good enough ? How do you break past that cycle of wanting to look like or be like someone else?
Fitness changed my life, for the better. I started using fitness for strength and not punishment. I learned that being strong is way more than being "skinny".I can be strong and take care of myself without feeling like I can't. The best feelings are being a part of something greater than yourself. The fitness community has many different avenues to go down. When I found lifting it was the first time that I can be in a room and lift what a guy is lifting and get respect in a good way for being strong. Sure I might be the only female in there but, I am not looked at as being weak, no I am being looked at as confident and strong. It seems to me, that when I do a workout with the same weight as some of the guys, high fives are not far away.
Let's just be clear on the amount of photo shopping that is going on. Magazine covers claim the woman got shredded eating cupcakes and doing hot yoga. Now i am not here to say that you might be genetically gifted and can do that, I am stating that the majority of people cannot. Many magazines and websites are covered with pictures of the supposed most beautiful people in the world, talking about how they look awful today, or have a spec of cellulite, or their makeup looks bad. What about a REAL person? No sleep, no makeup and yoga pants doesn't look great on anyone.
Enter weightlifting and CrossFit. You rarely hear the women at CrossFit say they want to be "skinny". Mass moves mass, skinny wouldn't work ! In fact, you often hear something along the lines of I’d rather be strong. I want to be healthy. I want to feel good.”
What are our goals? Do a muscle up? Increase our dead lift, or clean, or squat? Get a better Fran time? Do the workouts at Rx and stop scaling? Not, how do I lose weight, eat less and fit into a size 2?
So here is my question to you: Are you proud of what you look like or what you can do? I have been on BOTH sides of this. I trained for Figure Competitions to "look" a certain way and I trained to "perform"for CrossFit. I will say, knowing that I can lift something, endure a workout better than a guy, train hard, learn new skills and even rip my hands, CrossFit made a mark on my life. CrossFit forces focus on function over form. Now one cares what you weigh we care about what you do. You find a sense of pride in trying new things, eliminating doubt and fear. YOU determine your own value. So what is sexy? What is beautiful? What are your goals? It’s time for you to decide for yourself.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Stress... Can this be holding you back ?

We all know our diets play a HUGE role in how we perform. If you follow anything, you should consume quality lean meats, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds with occasional starchy veggies. You should limit your intake of sugars and many processed foods. This is mostly common sense that we know and should practice. However, even if you are eating healthy whole foods, you still may fall victim to another nutritional roadblock which is not eating enough. While eating poorly is always the primary issue that needs correcting, not eating enough can cause athletes to lose muscle mass, lack energy and place them in a state of high stress.
Have you hit a plateau? Are you constantly stressed, tired and feel like your running in circles? If so, ready, follow and change your diet to see improved results.
#1- Stress is a problem we all face. Stress from life, work, relationships and then you add in exercise/ training. The stress we face can become chronic in nature which puts your body in a highly stressed state often without the chance to recover. This creates high cortisol levels that creates negative health conditions on our bodies.
#2- Stress and muscle mass are not friends. If you are not eating enough, your body is stressed. If your life is crazy hectic, your body is stressed. When you are in a high state of stress, your body will turn to muscle instead of fat for fuel. WHY? Survival. Your body will eliminate what it doesn't need to survive. Your body needs fat so it will spare muscle. The complete opposite of what you want to see happen.if you’re consistently under-eating, you could start to experience a loss of muscle mass. This will only be compounded if you’re not eating enough AND you’re working out. Why? Because your body needs carbohydrates and fats to use as energy in a workout. But if the body doesn’t have an adequate source of those nutrients, it will look to get the energy elsewhere, usually from the existing fat stores in your body, or by burning your muscle mass for energy.
#3- Eat less, weight less? Nope sorry to break it to you but many people who think eating less is beneficial ( myself included) are fallen into the "skinny" diet trap. If you’re not supplying the body with fuel from proper nutrition, it will hold on to your stored fat and start burning muscle tissue for energy. Increased stress caused by a lack of eating enough calories can lead to a rise in cortisol levels. This increases the storage of visceral fat cells in areas like your stomach.
#4- Hypertrophy work "should" make a difference. You know all the accessory movements to your lifts? They should be increasing your lean muscle mass ONLY if you are properly fueling your body for the increased work on those muscles. If you want to build muscle, you need to lift heavy weights. If you want to be able to lift weights that progressively get heavier, you need to be eating more so that your muscles have the strength and energy to move that weight.
#5- Lack of energy and constant fatigue. This is a HUGE sign that your body needs more. More food, more sleep, more recovery. To increase the amount of food you eat without stuffing your face in a few monster meals, look to eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day, spaced evenly apart. Doing so will help to regulate your blood glucose levels, not to mention providing you a gradual energy release.
The case in point here is to EAT MORE not less. Fuel your body. Fuel your workouts and start taking care of the hard earned muscle your body is working for !