Thursday, September 29, 2016

Just Get Over It !

Just get over it ! Sounds really simple and believe me, I wish that answer was that simple. However, when it comes to issues that cause a lot of emotional connections with addictions, that statement is almost impossible. Many people struggle with an addiction of some kind. The first thing you need to do is understand the WHY? You might deny it a few times in the beginning of the true reason you are addicted to something, but eventually you will break that wall down.
Once you understand the why, you can now start to identify and break the behaviors associated with your addiction. Do your addictions affect your life? If they do, what can you do better to manage the behaviors associated with them?
You may feel like you don't know where to turn because you tried it all. Why do you struggle? That is the million dollar question that I want to help you work through today!
-Emotionally connected to food. This is huge in our culture. Feeling lonely? A tub of ice cream will fix it. Break up or fight with your significant other? Chocolate always does the trick. Constantly judging yourself? Dieting is an easy thing to focus on to "punish" yourself for not being good enough. Ever hear of "comfort foods"? I know you have your favorites. For me, when I was younger, my favorite was baked mac and cheese with the bread crust. Carbs on carbs smothered in cheese with stewed tomatoes ! Yes that was my go to when I wanted a taste of home. Did you know when you eat out of emotions you are just trying to cover up and fill a void in your heart? Maybe you should ask yourself what is really wrong and how you can address it !
-Imbalances in food groups is also a big problem. Fad diets are a large issue when it comes to this topic. Either eliminating or making an irrational statement about it certain foods. Such as, eating fat will make you fat, or cut carbs for fat loss. Sure, in short term these things might work but your body needs these foods for nourishment. Cutting yourself off from these food groups will lead to overeating and binging more often because they are deemed "off limits":
-Habits are made which means they can be broken.Habits are powerful. Your relationship with food can become a habit, something you don’t think about twice. You may binge and purge. Or, you always turn over the labels of foods to check the calories. Or, every time you travel home to see your family, you overeat, because it’s “what you do together.” If you can learn to break the habit or exchange it for something else, you will have more success in keeping a better one.
-Did you ever think that you are hungry because you are not eating enough? Might sound baffling to some but the truth is that many people are under eating and then overeating to compensate which leads to yo yo dieting. Try to maintain a healthy eating "habit" all day by consuming small manageable meals,
These are some of the ways you might be able to “get over it.” Knowing why you struggle can help you get past the obsessive thoughts. Although this list is not extensive, these are some common ways the struggle with food presents itself for the 75% of women who confront obsessive thoughts and disordered eating habits. Awareness of these factors can be helpful in getting over some of these issues.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stay injury free !

Staying injury free is important in your longevity in fitness and health. Over time, your body will start to break down, you might have more injuries or just nagging body aches. What you can do int he mean time is prevent some of those occurrences using maintenance methods in your training. Your health is at the forefront of your training. Every time you don't get enough rest or your body breaks down because of overuse, you are putting yourself in position for injuries to occur. Instead of pushing the pain away, try these methods out instead !
Let's start with the shoulder. It's the most mobile joint in the body which means it's at the highest risk for injury. Your shoulder has all sorts of intricate muscles, ligaments, and tendons that can start to deteriorate if they’re used incorrectly. If you are experiencing an issue with your shoulders, try to back off of them for a while. Learn to adapt your training with different pressing movements that don't involve a position that causes pain.
To protect your back, build your glutes. Your glutes and lower back tend to fire at about the same time during squats and deadlifts, and if one is weak, the other has to compensate. Be sure to learn how to adapt your training to train your glutes to fire. Maybe you need to get more isolation movements down and then add in the more complex ones. When doing squats, fire those glutes to protect your back !
Your linear progression over time. This simply means that you should be using a lighter weight and gradually increasing the load over time.To protect your knees for the long haul, train in phases so that you’re not always squatting super heavy unless that is your sport of choice. The quads respond better than almost any other body part to moderate weight and high reps.
Arm training that is becoming painful might be because you are overloading that joint. Arm training should not be as heavy as squatting, pulling, and pressing, since your relatively small elbows have to take almost all of the load. Keep your workload in the 15-20 rep ranges and not super heavy for 2-4 reps.
You need to approach each training session with a long-term mindset.Learning how to remain safe and injury free can keep you in the game injury free for a long time !

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The hard decision!

Decisions. Many people like to make them however choosing the right one is half the battle.As humans, we are terrible at reasoning. We use concrete emotions first then we use rationalizations.We are excellent to listen and make rational decisions when other people are speaking yet we often fail to see the rules which govern our own systems and behaviors. For these reasons we are also terrible at converting desire into action, but what is the biggest issue regarding this decision making? Information overload.
If you go on Google right now and type in "What is the best fitness program" you will get hundreds of programs that pop up. This leads to way to much information. The amount of available information and information overload can lead us to endless frustration. This leads to analysis paralysis, program hopping, and its malicious little cousin, goal hoping!
Training programs can become a round a bout when trying to find ones that work for you. Each program will have its own variations and will make its case for why it’s the best approach. if you are a beginner try not to fall into this trap. Do not commit to one program and then switch it to a new one because you don't see results just yet. There will always be an alternative way to do it. Remember it's consistency that trumps it all in training !
Maybe you are just lacking motivation to get and keep going. If you’re just looking to get better and don’t particularly care about your rate of progress, I recommend one of two options: find a coach you trust not to injure you, or set a deadline to start (less than a week) and commit to some program, any program, for six months. Here are 3 simple guidelines to follow.
-Avoid any promises of instant, easy results. “Just six minutes a day for 6-pack abs!” has always been a lie.
-Keep it simple.
-Keep it specific to the goal. Don’t start a couch-to-5K program if you’re looking to get stronger.
The next big mistake is program hoping. I am guilty for this myself. In the beginning your body adapts fast and you get a lot of new fitness gains along the way. At some point, your body will stop adapting and it's a lot longer between those PR's and increases in muscle size and strength. This is a natural growth curve, but to someone used to seeing improvement virtually every session, it can feel like being stuck. And stuck is a place no one wants to be.
Here is a major set back if you keep program hoping, any time you switch a program, it will set you back one to two weeks while you learn the new exercises and adapt to the new set-rep scheme. You need to allow your body to adapt to the new stimulus and training in order for it to grow and change.
Last is the issues of no progression forward. What does this mean? You need to work harder at the things you are weak at in training to break through that plateau and this includes diet as well! This is a tough one to address because it’s character we need, not information. Information is, in fact, the problem. You know what you "should" be doing yet ask yourself if you are really doing those things. Want to get a faster mile time but you aren't practicing intervals? Want to get stronger but only make it to the gym 2 times a week? Want to see changes in your body but still have cheat days 2-3 times a week? You might want to look at your behaviors and see where you are coming up short.
Sometimes you don't need information at all. What you need is a little bit of perseverance and heart to get you through training. If you want to be successful you must believe in yourself first !

Monday, September 26, 2016

Intensity is Key!

Intensity. It's a word thrown around in fitness that many people have gotten wrong. When I say intensity what you do think of? Many people it depends on your sport of choice. For a runner, that might mean interval sprint work. For an olympic weightlifter it is how much weight for 1 rep. In bodybuilding, intensity is the contraction on the muscle. CrossFit hones in on Intensity, as force x distance / time. In other words, how much real work did you do and in what time period.
So as you can see this, you need to be specific on your goals first and then determine your intensity for that sport. There is one common misconception about intensity and that is when to push it and when form and skill is in place. There is this vision of intensity leading to over training, so people tend to steer clear of feeling the slightest fatigue.
Sadly, many of us are NOT elite athletes or at risk of over training. Compare these two (partial) lists of symptoms and decide for yourself:
Overtraining Syndrome
Insomnia
Loss of motivation
Fatigue
Weakened immune system
Joint Pain
Adrenal Fatigue
Insomnia
Loss of motivation
Fatigue
Weakened immune system
Joint Pain
Hmmm. looks rather similar doesn't it? Facts don't lie, more than 2 cups of coffee on average are American's consuming a day and this included energy drinks as well. Combined with stress and lack of sleep, it's no wonder you think you are over doing it. But are you?
Whether you train for hypertrophy, strength gains, body composition changes, or improvements in speed or endurance, you can rely on a simple formula for that improvement:
Sufficient Stress + Sufficient Recovery = Improvement
If your body is stressed you go though 3 phases:
-Alarm: the body recognizes stress for the first time
-Resistance: Repair what is broken (your muscles)
-Recovery or exhaustion: if you gave your body what it needs to repair it will come back stronger, however, failure to do this will result to exhaustion. The exhaustion stage can lead to over training if tapped into too many times.
So how do you get stronger without over training? There is a thing called over reaching. Placing enough of a stressor on the body along with repair and recovery, will lead to you coming back stronger thus pushing a little harder next time. Your body will only change when there is stress applied. The body is a beautiful LAZY machine. Yes it would rather do it the easy way and conserve energy than push itself all the time.
Fixing ongoing stress is a little more complicated than taking it easy. You should plan an intelligent de-load combined with a strong plan for recovery and maintenance. During any deload, your training intensity and volume both slow down for a few days. You keep your caloric intake where it was during the days you trained. Spend some of the extra time on additional recovery, from ice baths to contrast showers to massage and meditation.
Your body can handle a lot, but over reaching too often is where you can get into a lot of trouble. You are NOT as fragile as you think you are. Every person that is a high caliber athlete is made up of the same thing you are. The difference in capacity between you and the pinnacle of humanity is measured in inches, not miles. Adaptation happens when we have to respond to threats to our survival. Use some intelligent planning you’re going to make better progress than you’re making now. Train, eat, sleep,repeat.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I have the secret to weight loss!

If you want results, listen up ! I have the secret you have been waiting for. You can forget your coach, your training program, even your diet. Yes it's that amazing and I want to share it with you. The secret to a healthy life along with increased fitness goals is so simple that I can't believe you missed it all these years.
The key to everything is in your life overall is consistency. If you don't have that, no matter what variable you want to accomplish in your life will not happen. Sorry to let you down thinking there might be a quick fix to getting the results you want but it's not like that. Ask yourself how consistent you are at this moment. Do you want to get stronger and leaner yet only workout 2 times a week? Do you want to eat healthy but sabotage yourself with eating fast food more than you sit at the dinner table with a healthy meal? All these things add up and it's no ones fault but your own.
Being a trainer, i see this all the time. It's very difficult to explain to someone that the goals they want cannot be achieved because of their lack of consistency. Let's put this into perspective. I had an athlete who wanted to squat double body weight, yet did not dedicate the time to squat more than one time a week. Or they go over board when they do squat and can't move for 3 days. The next example is one that is an everyday common struggle that I try to fix. Diet. Diet is simply the food you eat, it does not mean to lose weight. Now, ask yourself about that goal of losing that last 5-10 pounds and performing better in the gym. Now look at your diet. Do they align? If yes, great then we need to work on your training, if no, start being real with yourself.
If you have no consistent behaviors, how do you expect that you will see tangible results? The point is, before you go ranting on to your friends about how this program or that diet doesn’t work, ask yourself objectively if you’re actually doing the work. If you aren’t following the program as it was designed, how would you even know if it’s working or not?
Inconsistency in training can lead to a multitude of issues. First it might lead to injury. Why? Your body is constantly being taxed like it is the first day of training over and over again when you are inconsistent. People are getting hurt because they’re trying to get their bodies to perform at a level they haven’t prepared for with consistent, methodical training over a course of years. It takes time and years to develop the body to maintain a higher level of performance and ability. Why are some successful? They put in the hours of work!
Now it's time to start being consistent in your life. How is this done you might ask. You write it down. Find an accountability partner and share it with them. Log your workouts, log your food, log your sleep, log the amount of time you spend on your specific goals.
Life is not perfect and you will have to make changes here and there but your progress toward your goals will almost never be linear. However, there is one thing for certain: If you do nothing consistently, that’s exactly what you’re going to achieve.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Food is the addiction!

The struggle is real ! You can easily tell the difference between what is the "healthier" option, however saying no to foods that are right in front of you is a much harder task to do.
Think about it this way, you know that grilled is better than fried, dry means no sauces, and to steam your veggies instead of saute in butter. The hard part is knowing when to stop eating the chips as salsa at the restaurant, ordering cheesy fries with extra cheese, waking up to a nice bowl of Ben and Jerry's to ease your emotions, or even the opposite spectrum of not allowing yourself to eat the foods you want or over exercising to purge them.
Why can't we just say NO to these behaviors? Because, you are on the struggle bus! And you know what, that struggle is real. We don't have perfect lives. The one thing you need to ask yourself is: "Why is this so hard?" We have the power of choice in every circumstance. You can pick what you want and don't want. Your goals are specific to you yet we find ourselves compromising for the sake of others.
When I talk to people about emotional eating, mind you that emotional eating is both overeating/ under eating/ negative food relationships. Most commonly I see things like sugar addiction, exercise addiction, binging and purging along with replacing emotions for food as comfort.
If you think about this, many of you can relate to the following statements, or you might realate to ALL of them:
Worry and stress about food
Obsessively count calories
Occassionally binge or purge
Restrict certian foods
Purge or exercise to “make up” for food
Emotionally eat
Or think about wanting to be free from thinking about food
Now be real with yourself, does this sound familiar? Of course it does! The truth is, you don’t have to have a diagnosed eating disorder to have an unhealthy relationship with food. But you also don’t have to battle food forever or to the degree you are now. So why do we struggle? Sadly it comes from when we were young. Society brings on a lot of unhealthy food messages that conflict with reality. Think about it, we were rewarded with food as children for good behavior, for getting good grades, and even for winning a sporting event. Food is entertainment thus enjoyable but can lead to a negative food relationship down the line.
To break this cycle, identify your emotional connection with food.Ask yourself when is the first time you used food for reward or punishment ( dieting)? For some of you that might be later in life, but for others this came at an alarming young age that left an impression.
Next, what went wrong with that relationship with food? When did food become something more than a source of energy, vitality, and fuel for living your life to the fullest? What shaped your food philosophies, your positive and negative beliefs about foods and about what you “should” and “shouldn’t" eat? Many times this comes from a simple comment that someone made in your childhood or something you have experienced.
Now, assess your current food relationship. Ask yourself these questions:
How much of your day is spent thinking about food?
How do your struggles and your thoughts about food hold you back in your life?
How is your current relationship with food?
So now what can we do? For the next 4 days you have homework. I want you to be real with yourself. IF you don't track your food intake, now is the time to start. Just for the next 4 days, be consciously aware of what you are eating and the emotional connection behind it. Do certain foods bring you anxiety? Are you eating out of emotions or just simply being bored? What is your current energy level and what did the food do to help/ hinder feeling better ? How did your body respond?
A lot of question but it help to give a great understanding of what your body is doing. If you are interested in learning more about how to track, plan and see progress with your emotional eating, be sure to contact me today and I can help you with that !

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Q: Is alcohol ruining my fitness goals?

Q: Is alcohol ruining my fitness goals?
A:Alcohol in your system can have some detrimental influences on your fitness goals. In order to get down to the truth of the matter lets get right into some facts.
1-Slower recovery time from training. If you are putting in a lot of effort in the gym with the intention to get stronger and better cardiovascular capacity, you might want to cut out your weekly drinking sessions. Hard workouts drain the glycogen stores (carbs stored in the liver and muscles) and leave your muscle tissue in need of repair. High levels of alcohol displace the carbs, leaving your stores still 50 percent lower than normal even eight hours later. In order to fuel your body you need to increase your recovery with healthy foods such as proteins and fats.
2- Fat loss slows down. What is alcohol? Sugar and calories that do nothing for your body. Sure in the moment of being with friends you want to let loose and kick back but what are your goals? This is an important question to ask yourself.When alcohol is on board, your body is not trying to deal with the surplus of calories and it chooses to prioritize metabolizing the alcohol over burning fat and carbs.Excessive alcohol consumption really chews up muscle in those trouble some areas. It also increases levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), which further encourages fat storage, particularly in your midsection.
3-Drinking effects your sleep. Alcohol decreased sleep duration and increased wakefulness particularly in the second half of the night, especially in women. Your body needs sleep for recovery and if you are not getting enough, recovery is stalled and efforts are plateaued.
4-Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes dehydration and a loss of important minerals and nutrients. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, which can reduce your capacity to absorb nutrients.For every gram of ethanol you drink, you pump out 10 milliliters of urine (that's about 9.5 ounces for two beers). As little as 2 percent dehydration hurts endurance performance.
If your goal is to get stronger in the gym, taking the steps to eliminate stress and excess calories are important. If you are not seeing the results you are after, take a look inside some of your lifestyle habits that might be stalling your efforts.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Are fit and healthy the same thing?

Health, fitness, wellness and getting them right. As a fitness professional, many people have "goals" they want to reach yet they don't have a clear cut path on how to get there. When working with clients, the first thing I want to know are the simple goals and challenges my client faces. I hear it all, I see it all, and sadly people think I can't tell when you aren't telling me the truth.
When discussing goals, the most common ones I have heard are as follows:
1-Performance goals or specific training goals.
2- Health goals, nutrition and lifestyle
3-Weight loss or muscle build
So looking at this list, you can see a trend of goals that all link together, however, if you come in to a session with me, talk about drinking/ smoking, that you ate bad foods and losing weight is hard, I have no sympathy.
Sadly, I take 100% pride in what I do and who I train. The lack of discipline is not from the trainer, you need to look at your life and your habits. The reality is people who are often overweight or in pain actually need to get healthy first. Somewhere in the fitness industry people have fitness and healthy mixed up.
Ruining your health to look good just doesn't make sense.Why not get a great body as the by-product of being healthy and training intelligently, and not the other way around? So many people are ready to compromise their health for looking good. Being "fit" doesn't always mean you are healthy.Think of the chemicals you are ingesting with all those supplements you are taking. Why not just eat real food ? Or look at women who are eating the same calories a child should eat and doing endless cardio. Is that all healthy behaviors? It’s clear many people value how they look more than whether they are healthy or not.
Body image is a big, big problem. This means there is a breakdown in how we are thinking and the quality of our thinking. For women, it creates a huge roadblock to getting healthy both mind and body which will in turn yield results. However, it is always the case of " I want to lose weight" regardless of the bad behavioral habits. The biggest issue is emotional eating.
Emotional eating has a cycle that is hard to break. It usually starts with a negative thought or emotion. To deal with this emotion you self-medicate with food, normally higher fat and carbs, then you will self-judge and criticize yourself for not sticking with the diet. What happens next is restriction or purge because of guilt. It is a real vicious cycle.
Healthy thinking = perfect body. When the quality of your thinking is better, then your experience of yourself and your body is more positive as well. When you stop trying to be a perfectionist, stop self-judging and being so self-critical about your body and start to accept and love yourself, your focus changes. You just can’t ever be happy in your own skin if you are constantly comparing and competing with others, judging yourself and others, or obsessing over every little region of your body or your training program.
My goal is always to change behaviors. I want to educate my clients about what the roadblocks are and how to fix them. When the motivation is out of being healthy and not losing weight, you are more likely to stick to the program because there is not a perfectionist mindset. The more I train people and help them adopt healthy behaviors, the more I realize we need to focus less on adding things to our lives. Learn the word NO and focus on the positive things in your life. What can you remove that doesn't give you joy? Say no to working longer hours. Say no to more alcohol and indulging. Say no to the TV, computer, tablets, phones, and staying up late. Say no to the self-judgment and that little voice inside your head that says you aren’t enough or are unlovable. Say no to punishing yourself in your workouts and guilt Mondays in the gym. Say no to the negative internal dialogue and self-talk.
Learn to love yourself FIRST and everything else will fall into place!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Do you have it ?

Is sugar taking over your life? Wouldn't it be great if you had limitless willpower? No amount of temptation would matter and you can just change your behavior with ease. Too bad that is not how life works. Think about how hard it is for you to break a bad habit? It might seem impossible but it's not because you have the tools to do it !
One of the most prevalent bad habits affecting our health is sugar addiction. When you think addiction, you are thinking pain killers,drugs and behavior addictions. The problem with sugar addiction is that you don't even know it exists. A chronic high-sugar diet will affect your health. It can lead to serious conditions down the road. Besides just being a major impediment to achieving your physique and fitness goals, there is strong evidence linking excessive sugar intake with type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
Instead, set yourself up for success by assuming that you won't be able to avoid sugar just by saying no. Have a plan in place that will help you to stop, or at least diminish sugar cravings before they even start. The last think you need is a binge on Hershey bars and Sour Patch Kids when you are stressed. We must replace a bad habit with a good one. For most of us, making small, sustainable changes will be more successful in the long run than trying to implement all of these strategies at once and becoming overwhelmed.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent sugar cravings is get enough sleep every night. Sleep is when your body restores the brain and your neurotransmitter levels. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will be low on serotonin, the primary neurotransmitter responsible for a positive mood and overall feeling of well-being.
Allow yourself a "re-feed" meal. I hate the word cheat meal because it means you are doing something bad. Having a re-feed meal is stating that you are giving your body what it needs in surplus. You will also increase your leptin levels which will decrease your feelings of hunger. The only two rules that I have for the re-feed meals are to keep it to a one hour window of time, and make it the last meal of the day.
Make breakfast the most important meal of the day! Make sure you are trying to have higher fats and proteins, with a lot of micro nutrients to keep your body energized throughout the day!This provides steady blood sugar levels and energy throughout the day because of the low glycemic load of those foods, which in turn keeps me from craving sugary junk foods at 10 am !
This leads me to say to EAT your food not drink it! Yes people can get away with a shake here or there but eating your food will make you feel more satisfied! Solid food takes longer to digest, is more satiating, and keeps your blood sugar stable for a longer period of time. Including a good balance of fats, protein, and fiber will keep you feeling satisfied and will keep your cravings down.
The encouraging thing is that the longer you stay off sugar, the less cravings you will have. Feeling good on a day-to-day basis will eventually displace the temporary pleasure you get from sugar. You’ll even get to the point where you can enjoy a sweet treat once in a while without going overboard. Until you get there, make use of these tips and strategies to help you stay on the right track.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Squatting below parallel is safer than you think!

Can you squat to parallel? Or do you struggle with obtaining that range of motion? you know that feeling of squatting when your chest falls forward and your heels are off the floor.
If you struggle, or even if you can get all the way down but feel stiff doing so, then read on. I’m going to share six exercises that will help you get your squat to below parallel.
Squatting is the foundation of fitness. Why is this move so important? The squat is a powerful exercise that is one of the three big lifts in powerlifting, and it is a fantastic exercise to target not only the glutes, hamstrings, and calves, but also your entire body.
What happens when your squat falls a part? There are a few common errors I see when it comes to squatting:
-Inability to squat below parallel (without the heels coming off ground)
-Knees caving in
-Upper back collapsing and chest falls to the ground.
Poor hip mobility is most often due to poor postures and movement over time that have led to muscle imbalances. At the bottom of a squat, you need to have a substantial amount of hip flexion. If this range is limited, you may not be able to hit parallel.
In order to obtain full range of motion, you need enough dorsiflexion at the bottom of your squat so your heels do not come off the floor. Dorsiflexion restrictions can be very evident in squatting, and these restrictions can occur due to an injury (new or old), tight or overactive calves, or improper footwear (heels, orthotics) to name a few causes.
How do you fix this? Squat therapy. The therapy is based on four drills that can be used in any order and combination. Each drill will include use of an external object to help you achieve an ideal squat position. In addition to helping your body hit and maintain these optimal positions, these drills will help your body understand what your squat is meant to look and feel like, which has untold benefits.
The four drills are:
Wall Squat
Goblet Squat
Bar Squat
Pole Squat
Benefits from each of these drills will transfer well into any type of squatting activity - the benefits being directly proportional to time spent in therapy. As with most therapy, you can think of it as something of a black-box system. Give it due time and attention, let the magic happen, and come out the other side a better person - or at least a better squatter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Progressive training !

What is progressive training? If you want to see lasting results over time, you need to start with progressive overload training.
What ever trying type you do, should follow some form of overload and recovery with the following components:
Effective overload of cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
Allow time for rest due to the imposed stresses.
Increase the load /intensity in the upcoming training sessions.
A lot of training programs that are currently happening do not have the proper protocol for training and they are to random. Randomness is ok in some cases but if you want to build muscle and strength over time, having a plan is critical for improvement.
So what does random look like in training? It could be doing 3 x 10 of an exercise with no weight recommendation. In cardiovascular, it can mean running a 5 k with no goal per mile. Or even using the same intervals or rep scheme without changing the stimulus over time.
This type of planning may show results in the short term, but there should be some clear plan for long-term development. Here are some specific examples of three clear progressions.
Strength training:
Week 1- squat 3 x 12 reps at #135
-rest 2 mins between sets, 4 days between lifts
Week 2 -squat 3 x 15 reps at #135
-rest 2 mins between sets, 4 days between lifts
Week 3 -squat 3 x 10 reps at #155
-restr 2 mins between sets, 4 days between lifts.
In this example, you see an increase in repetitions the from the first to the second week at the same weight, then the weight increases as the reps decease.
Interval training:
Week 1-Run 5 x 400 M in 1:15
-Rest 2:1 ratio
Week 2- Run 5 x 400 M in 1:05
-Rest 2:1 ratio
Week 3- Run 6 x 400 M in 1:00
-Rest 3:1 ratio
In this example you see the times splits start going down as the rest period increases. You want to have a goal to shoot for when training as well as a time to beat each week to add in progression
The overload-recovery-adaptation-progression sequence represents the basic model for designing any training program. It will show you measurable results over time. Whatever your training goals, this basic concept must be present to continually challenge your systems as your body adapts to the properly-applied exercises stresses. You should always be shooting to progress further for your training sessions and be reaching for more.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The struggle is real....

The struggle is real ! You can easily tell the difference between what is the "healthier" option, however saying no to foods that are right in front of you is a much harder task to do.

Think about it this way, you know that grilled is better than fried, dry means no sauces, and to steam your veggies instead of saute in butter. The hard part is knowing when to stop eating the chips as salsa at the restaurant, ordering cheesy fries with extra cheese, waking up to a nice bowl of Ben and Jerry's to ease your emotions, or even the opposite spectrum of not allowing yourself to eat the foods you want or over exercising to purge them.

Why can't we just say NO to these behaviors? Because, you are on the struggle bus! And you know what, that struggle is real. We don't have perfect lives. The one thing you need to ask yourself is: "Why is this so hard?" We have the power of choice in every circumstance. You can pick what you want and don't want. Your goals are specific to you yet we find ourselves compromising for the sake of others.

When I talk to people about emotional eating, mind you that emotional eating is both overeating/ under eating/ negative food relationships. Most commonly I see things like sugar addiction, exercise addiction, binging and purging along with replacing emotions for food as comfort.

If you think about this, many of you can relate to the following statements, or you might realate to ALL of them:

Worry and stress about food
Obsessively count calories
Occassionally binge or purge
Restrict certian foods
Purge or exercise to “make up” for food
Emotionally eat
Or think about wanting to be free from thinking about food

Now be real with yourself, does this sound familiar? Of course it does! The truth is, you don’t have to have a diagnosed eating disorder to have an unhealthy relationship with food. But you also don’t have to battle food forever or to the degree you are now. So why do we struggle? Sadly it comes from when we were young. Society brings on a lot of unhealthy food messages that conflict with reality. Think about it, we were rewarded with food as children for good behavior, for getting good grades, and even for winning a sporting event. Food is entertainment thus enjoyable but can lead to a negative food relationship down the line.

To break this cycle, identify your emotional connection with food.Ask yourself when is the first time you used food for reward or punishment ( dieting)? For some of you that might be later in life, but for others this came at an alarming young age that left an impression.

Next, what went wrong with that relationship with food? When did food become something more than a source of energy, vitality, and fuel for living your life to the fullest? What shaped your food philosophies, your positive and negative beliefs about foods and about what you “should” and “shouldn’t" eat? Many times this comes from a simple comment that someone made in your childhood or something you have experienced.

Now, assess your current food relationship. Ask yourself these questions:

How much of your day is spent thinking about food?
How do your struggles and your thoughts about food hold you back in your life?
How is your current relationship with food?

So now what can we do? For the next 4 days you have homework. I want you to be real with yourself. IF you don't track your food intake, now is the time to start. Just for the next 4 days, be consciously aware of what you are eating and the emotional connection behind it. Do certain foods bring you anxiety? Are you eating out of emotions or just simply being bored? What is your current energy level and what did the food do to help/ hinder feeling better ? How did your body respond? These are critical question and I would love to go into full detail on how we can make your relationship with food better. Contact me today and we can start to change and improve your eating and emotional habits around food !

Un-sleepy foods !

Sometimes the foods you eat before bed can interrupt your sleep patterns. Sleep is critical for you to repair and recover from your workouts and daily life stress. If your sleep is getting interrupted, you might want to look into the foods you are eating before bedtime.
#1 Simple Carbs
Simple carbs like white rice and potatoes have a high glycemic index, which means they contain enough sugar to spike energy levels rather quickly. When your energy levels go up so does insulin. Insulin is a hormone, whose primary job is to clear the body of sugar.When blood glucose levels drop quickly this causes hormones like cortisol and epinephrine to be released. If you have to have carbs at night try to eat fibrous, slow digesting carbs like green vegetables, root vegetables, beans or quinoa.
#2 Coffee
This might seem like a no brainer, but I know that I am guilty of this from time to time. Coffee delivers caffeine, along with a variety of other natural stimulants. Caffeine is a stimulant that has a direct effect on the central nervous system, increasing energy levels and alertness. It may also cause you to be alert and jittery which is the opposite of what you want to happen when winding down to sleep. Instead of coffee, try a nice hot tea. Choose blends that help with relaxation such as chamomile.Choose blends that help with relaxation such as chamomile.
#3 Dark Chocolate
Even though your sweet tooth will be tamed, your body will get a dose of caffeine and theobromine which cause alertness.n fact, per 2 oz of dark chocolate you will get about 80 mg of caffeine! Did yo know that about 2 squares, and almost as much as a small cup of coffee. Need a late night snack? Try having protein avocado pudding.
#4 Steak
Eating red meat in moderation is great but steak is hard for the body to breakdown and digest. Instead of a big steak meal, opt for smaller portions of lighter proteins like eggs, white fish or chicken. Having a casein protein shake is also a good idea. Casein is a very slow digesting protein that releases slowly into the blood stream, providing a steady supply of aminos and nutrients that can help with nighttime recovery!
#5 Asparagus
Did you know asparagus is a diuretic? This means that you will be up at night going to the bathroom if you eat too much. Another interesting fact about asparagus, it also contains raffinose, a carbohydrate that is not broken down easily by the digestive system. If you are looking for some healthy veggies for your meal try eating squash, zucchini, or cucumbers instead.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What you eat matters !

If you pay attention to what you are putting into your body, you know there are some catchy words being used to lure you in. It's amazing that people are trying to look into their health but it can be a challenge to separate fact from fiction, especially while trying to figure it out in the grocery store.
Below are some common words that companies are starting to put on many products to make you believe they are healthier than another. Don't let these words fool you into choosing something that might be a bit far fetched from the truth.
Natural
-Natural placed on a food label should already raise a red flag. Natural is as close to the source as you can get it. Think potatoes, fresh veggies, and fruits. They are planted and picked. You don't see the nutritional label on these foods do you? No, because they are a one ingredient food. Taking a look at a boxed food that claims it's natural, how much can be said about that food? Natural is simply a marketing tool that companies use to make their products appear healthier. For instance, Palm oil is “natural.” High-fructose corn syrup is “natural.” Carrageenan is “natural.”But none of these things are going to benefit you. My advice, Read food labels carefully. Research ingredients that you don't know and start choosing foods in their truly natural state.
Calorie is a Calorie
-A calorie is a unit of energy. When people say a calorie is a calorie, they are inferring that quality of food means nothing and that quantity,places more value in the decision. A calorie affects every single person on the planet differently from the next. The important thing is to find a method that works for you, and then don't worry about other people and what they eat. You need to learn what your body likes and responds to. There are so many diets out there, you need to really find one that fits your lifestyle.
No Sugar
-No sugar on the food label does not mean there is no sugar in the product. Brown rice syrup, agave nectar, molasses, stevia, aspartame, and sucralose are all very common added sweeteners. But because they aren't plain white table sugar, companies can add them into products and still claim "no added sugar." Sugars occur naturally in plenty of healthy foods think of fruits. They contain sugar which is something to watch out for when you are tracking your food.
Weight Loss
-You have seen it all, weight loss fads that rear their ugly heads, There are so many that turn up every week, The media is always trying to add something "new" that is not really new. People want to lose weight and build muscle at the same time which is a very hard thing to do. It's fat loss we're after, not weight loss. We want to preserve and/or build muscle while losing fat. This is how we need to think of it. Throw away the bathroom scale. Weight loss was never about weight anyway. Find yourself a reliable and accurate way to track body composition such as progress photos monthly bi-weekly.
If you are really interested in taking your health to the next level, you should learn to understand these words and what they really mean. Don't allow your goals to be ruined by catchy words left on the labels. Look into the labels and get your nutrition on track !

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Good Energy

Energy systems are all around us. Good energy is what we need to encompass and hold onto. You know those days where you wake up and already you feel like something is going wrong. It really only takes about 5 minutes to reset your mind and bring on a positive outlook to your day. In the morning you set the tone for the rest of the day. I tell my fitness clients that they need to eat healthy meal #1 because the rest of the day will follow suit. The same rules apply to your gratitude bucket.
In order to fill up that bucket of good vibes, make sure you read through the list below and start making the mental change you need to become a happy person!
1.)When your feeling a bit off, write down 5 things you are greatful for. If you learn to train your mind to see positive things first, you are more likely to have a better outlook and mindset overall for the remainder of the day.
2.) You need to have your three S's in check: Smile, Set your vision, Say thank you. Learning to smile through the tough moments sends feel good hormones to your body. Along with setting your vision for the day. Do you have something you want to accomplish? This is important to keep your goals in front of you. Along with a Thank you that goes a long way !!
3.)Practice Ho’oponopono. What is is ? It's the ancient Hawaiian act of forgiveness. “This helps erase negative energy and bring healing and good feelings around any situation. To do, picture a person or situation that’s been causing you distress and repeat these four powerful phrases over and over: “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” and “I love you.” “These four phrases, when repeated for several minutes (no matter who was in the wrong), have an almost magical affect, bringing noticeable positive feelings, clarity, and energy around the situation.
4.) Dial in your nutrition. You need to eat foods that nourish your body. Filling your plate with mood boosting foods that contain serotonin, can help you lift your mood. Try foods like, kale, green tea, yogurt, and eggs.
5.) Tell someone you believe in them. Be kind to others and know that you can be someones reason to not give up. Share kindness and love everywhere you go because the world can be an ugly place.
Use the tips to start feeling more greatful for what you do have. Focus on all the positive energy and let go of the things you can't change.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tired of Average !

Mediocre- of only moderate quality; not very good. Most of the time you can link the word "average" to this. In our society, the word average means your doing alright. Your not going over and beyond but your also not drowning either. You are right down the middle. You blend nicely with the crowd and you fit into the norm. For some, this is perfectly ok, for me this is no ok and I choose to be better than average, and you should too.
Do not go where others already laid the pathway, choose to create your own journey and make a trail for others to follow. That is the pure sense of being a leader. Unfortunately, the bar for expectations in our society is very low. People do not want to go over what is expected but would rather sit at the bare minimum they can do. For instance, our lifestyles are growing in size, not just in materialistic things but also physically. Overweight and obesity start to become the new normal. So for people who strive for a healthier life ABOVE average that makes you look crazy.
When you start to do things against the average you are now placed on a box for judgement and ridicule by those who are not walking the path you choose.The insecurities you expose in others when your lifestyle is vastly different from the average population of society, this can provoke some ugly behavior.People can’t help but see your success as a threat to their own comfortable, mediocre existence. When you choose a lifestyle different than theirs in which they can't fathom how you can do it, you now are victim of discouragement to the goals you choose.
I have fallen victim to this ugly behavior many times from others. Since I am "obsessed" with fitness, people discourage that behavior by asking me why I would want to look like a man, or that lifting weights is not feminine enough to be a woman. Funny thing is my life changed the day a picked up a dumbbell for the better. When you choose to make lifestyle habits for your goals, all the other distractions people throw out there don't matter. Going out, drinking, eating foods that don't contribute to my goals, are not in the picture. Some will never understand and that is ok.
When one goal is set another one is already in the works before I finish the first. This is progress. Why should you be ok with just getting by? Those who want it bad enough will be up before you getting after it. It's a mindset you need to have in order to fuel your own desire to accomplish great things.
Ask yourself this, what is challenging you today? The average American lifestyle is boring. Work a 9-5, get home sit down and wish your life was better. Nope, not for me and it shouldn't be for you either. Tired? No motivation? Sore? These are merely excuses to not step outside your comfort zone. Aren't we all tired? Aren't we all a little bit unmotivated at times? Is it easier to just roll over and hit snooze? Sure it is, but what you do after you identify an emotion is what will make or break your determination to be successful.
The best advice I can give is to compete against yourself. Free yourself from the useless, damaging web of comparisons to others’ expectations and live a life you are proud of. Pervasive mediocrity is the only thing standing in your way from going out to achieve great things.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Don't let the whiteboard ruin you!

The Whiteboard is a common accessory in CrossFit that is found in almost every box around the world. What makes this so iconic? It has the workout for the day along with the ranking of athletes. While this might seem like a great idea to see your name on the board, it also brings a lot of pressure into the room as well.
The process of marking your score on the whiteboard is encouraged at your box and there several advantages, however, it might have a few disadvantages that may deter people from using it the way that it should be.
Pros of the whiteboard
-Motivation !! Yes it's the best form of motivation. Why? Your name is on the screen for all to see. The typical CrossFit person is someone who wants to win! Are you willing to give it your all to be the best for that day? Does the whiteboard make you push that much harder? Do you know what one problem is with ranking yourself? You don't realize that numbers are only half the truth in the scenario. Someone can be scaling the WODs and weights indeed will move faster than you.But they have a "better" score and time than you. Sometimes the numbers are just not that accurate to judge.
-The whiteboard helps you to reinforce your goals. Marking your progress down on the whiteboard not only shows your classmates how you’re performing, it serves as a reminder that you are moving in the right direction towards achieving your goals. You can track your training, numbers and hit new PR's.
-Accountability to show up. In CrossFit, your coach is your accountability buddy. They are there to help you and motivate you to have fun and get better. No one wants to not finish the WOD and have to post that on the whiteboard. Just the thought of not finishing is powerful to help you push more.
What are the Con's of the whiteboard?
-Loss of focus in your training. Do you tend to get caught up on the whiteboard and that affects your training? in the midst of your determined pursuit of becoming a great athlete, how much time do you give to the focus of your form, your strategy for the workout, your enjoyment of the workout?
Sometimes the whiteboard can force bad form for speed for a better time to put up there. Remember, the main goal of CrossFit is to improve an athlete’s health and performance through the safe movement throughout the lift. If you are able to keep these qualities in mind while competing against the athletes than that’s great! However, a common problem that many athlete encounter is the sense that you aren’t competing for yourself anymore, you’re competing out of fear of judgment and the sense that you will ‘lose’ if your score isn’t up to par on the whiteboard.
-The problem is that the numbers on the whiteboard are just that, numbers. They don’t tell the whole story. What if one athlete didn’t count all of their reps correctly? What if they didn’t break parallel on every squat? Conversely, how can some numbers show that someone wanted to solely focus on their technique during the workout? If you take a score as pure fact, then you may find yourself questioning the performance of your classmates and yourself.
-those who look at the whiteboard might forget the bigger picture. They may compare their scores for one workout against the rest of the class and judge their abilities as an athlete based on that sole WOD! CrossFit, by its very definition, is a constantly varied form of functional fitness. Just because you struggled with the row on Tuesday doesn’t mean you are a terrible athlete!
In the end, the whiteboard has its pros and cons. What are your thoughts on the whiteboard?