7 habits that separate the fit from the flabby

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7 habits that separate the fit from the flabby

Many people ask me how to quickly and easily get fit. While I know they are hoping for a simple answer, the reality is that getting and staying fit is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. 

So what do fit people do in their “healthy lifestyle”? Take a peek with the following 7 Habits of Highly Fit People…

Fit Habit #1: They Don’t Buy Junk

Fit people know that if they keep junk food in the house they will eat it sooner or later. So they don’t buy any. Even buying junk food for your kids or spouse is not advised since 1) you’ll likely eat some of it eventually, and 2) your loved ones shouldn’t be eating that junk either. It’s called junk for a reason.

Rid your home of chips, cookies, candy, baked goods, pre-packaged snacks and anything else that belongs in a vending machine. Replace the above with fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and other healthy whole foods snacks. 

Fit Habit #2: They Have Priorities

Fit people make exercise a priority. Along with keeping a job, paying the bills and going to the doctor, exercise is an important part of their lives. What I’ve found is that fit people put exercise before leisure time. Sure, fit people enjoy leisure, but it is scheduled around their workout time. 

Treat exercise time with the same importance that you would a business meeting or trip to the dentist.

Fit Habit #3: They Stop When Full

Fit people stop eating when they feel full. Sound simple? It is, but how many times have you stuffed yourself simply to clear your plate? Or how many times have you eaten another piece of cake despite being stuffed? 

The next time you feel full, take it as a sign to stop eating. Yes, even if your plate isn’t empty. 

Fit Habit #4: They Push Themselves

Not only do fit people make time to go to the gym, they challenge themselves during each workout. While it is easy to simply go through the motions while exercising, you’re cheating your body out of great results when you don’t push yourself. Exercise should make you sweat, make your muscles burn, and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment. 

Find ways to make each workout more challenging. For competitive people, the best way to push yourself is to exercise with a friend of similar strength. Another great way to challenge yourself is to set small attainable goals. These goals could be to push heavier weight, to sprint longer, or to do cardio at a higher intensity setting.

Fit Habit #5: They Don’t Eat and Watch

Fit people know that eating in front of the T.V. is mindless eating. When your attention is on your entertainment and not on your food, then you’ll be less tuned in to what and how much ends up in your mouth. Eating in front of the T.V. is also very habit forming. Ever notice how you crave munchies just as a reflex of sitting in front of the T.V.?

Eat before or after your entertainment and pay attention to what and how much goes into your mouth. 

Fit Habit #6: They Drink Water

Fit people drink lots of water. And not just in addition to other beverages, but instead of them. Water is their main drink, while other drinks are occasional treats. Calorie-filled drinks are one of the quickest ways to consume excess calories which quickly turn into fat. 

Consider water your beverage of choice. Drink plenty of it each day and drink other beverages only a few times each week. 

Fit Habit #7: They Are Supported

Fit people don’t leave their motivation to chance. They know that if their personal trainer, boot camp instructor or workout partner is waiting for them, then they are less likely to skip a workout. It is so easy to hit snooze or to talk yourself out of the gym as soon as your behind hits the couch after work. Fit people take the option of skipping out of the equation. 

Want instant support? Call or email me today to get started on your own customized fitness plan. 

I hope that these habits have inspired you to make a change for the fitter in your own life. 

If you already do some of these habits then congratulations – you are on your way to a better body. Make an effort to incorporate the rest of the habits to take your results to the next level. 

If none, or very few, of these habits describe your lifestyle, then I’ve got good news – you now have 7 effective new habits to start that will get you some awesome results. Don’t try to tackle all 7 at once – pick one or two to add each week and gradually work up to all 7. 

As always, you are welcome to call or email me with questions or to get started on your own customized fitness plan.

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Fitness Myths Debunked

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Fitness Myths Debunked

I’ve got to warn you. There are false rumors going around about strength training. 

The truth is that strength training is one of the absolute best things you can do for your health and appearance. 

If you’ve fallen for these 5 myths then you’re missing out on tremendous potential results. 

Myth #1 Muscle Turns Into Fat 

Why would anyone want to build muscle if it could morph into fat after a span of disuse? Rest assured that this is a myth of the highest order.

Muscle tissue is muscle tissue. Fat tissue is fat tissue. One will never become the other. 

Myth #2 Strength Training Doesn’t Burn Fat 

On the contrary, muscle mass is your number one ally against fat gains. 

A pound of muscle burns 10-20 calories each day, while you’re just living and breathing. Regular strength training helps you increase your muscle mass as well as preserve existing muscle mass, turning you into a fat burning machine. 

Myth #3 Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulk Up 

Yes, strength training increases the amount of muscle on your body; so many women take this to mean that their body will become body-builder-esque, which is quite the look you’re going for. 

The truth is that the female body simply doesn’t contain high enough levels of testosterone to produce that level of results without a very focused and dedicated effort. 

The tighter, toned figure of a recreational female weight lifter is every bit feminine. 

Myth #4 Strength Training Is For Young People Only 

Ha, that’s a used-up excuse that senior citizens across the globe have shattered. 

Assuming that your doctor has given you the OK, you have much to gain from a regular weight lifting routine. 

Improved balance and coordination, better strength and flexibility, and a decreased risk of osteoporosis are just the beginning. 

Myth #5 Use Light Weight and High Reps To Tone 

This myth, popularized in the 90’s, that very high repetitions of very light weights would result in a toned physique, has become outdated. These high repetitions will increase your muscular endurance but will not add strength or tone. 

We now know that in order to truly challenge your muscles, heavier weights with lower repetitions are a must. Start with an 8-10 repetition range and push your muscles with each set. 

Including strength training as a part of your fitness routine is essential for achieving a fit and toned body. 

My custom-made fitness programs remove all of the guesswork for you. I know what works, and I make it my mission to see you reach your goals. 

Call or email today and we’ll get you started on the program that’s best for you.

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4 Tips to Faster, Healthier Results

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4 Tips to Faster, Healthier Results

Have you ever been frustrated over a lack of results from your workout routine? If so, you are in good company. Even the most seasoned athletes experience times when their results plateau. 

When you continue to put in the same effort day after day with little or no results it is safe to say that you’ve hit your own fitness plateau. 

Your body adapts quickly to any repetitive routine. The definition of ‘insanity’ is to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This holds true for your workouts. When your results stop then it’s time to do something new. 

I have good news—the following 4 tactics are guaranteed to crank your workouts up to the next level and to deliver the fast results you want. 

#1: Focus on Negatives

Each time that you do a weight lifting repetition you are utilizing three types of strength. These are:

  1. Positive strength: the motion of lifting the weight.
  2. Static strength: holding weight in a contracted position.
  3. Negative strength: the motion of lowering the weight.

Most people completely miss the benefit of the negative in each repetition by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control. It is understood that the negative portion of a repetition is just as important as the positive portion, and possibly more important. 

Focus on the negative portion of each repetition by lowering the weight very slowly. Concentrate on the negative contraction, and make each repetition count. 

If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier-than-normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly. 

Another way to utilize negative repetitions on a machine is to lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg. 

#2: Do a Drop Set

Drop sets have long been used to fight off exercise plateaus. This technique is great for adding muscle strength, endurance and for increasing the cardiovascular benefit of your workout – resulting in more fat burn. 

Here, in a nutshell, is how to do a drop set: When you perform an exercise to exhaustion, don’t stop there. Drop the weight by 80% and do another set. 

You could take it a step further by dropping the weight twice, making it a double drop. Or drop the weight three times for a descending drop set. 

Use this technique only once or twice per workout, on the final set of the exercise. 

#3: Modify the Exercise

There are certain exercises that are considered ‘staples’ in the gym. The squat. The lunge. The chest press. The shoulder press. The bicep curl. You get the idea… 

While you shouldn’t throw these exercises out the window, find creative ways to modify the familiar motion in order to challenge your muscles. Try these exercise modifications:

  • Squat on a Bosu ball or balance board.
  • Place a weighted bar across your shoulders and do walking lunges.
  • Use an exercise ball for chest presses instead of the bench.
  • Do a full squat between each repetition of shoulder presses.
  • Do a shoulder press between each repetition of bicep curls.

#4: Use Active Rest to turn each workout into High Intensity Interval Training

Every minute of your workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and to burn more fat. Don’t waste precious minutes with long rest periods between exercises. 

While it is important to catch your breath if you feel winded, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest than a passive one. Perform one of the following activities for 30 seconds between exercises and turn your regular workout into High Intensity Interval Training.

  • High Knees with Alternating Punches: Alternately bring each knee high to your chest in a quick jumping movement while alternating forward punches at shoulder level.
  • Burpees: Start in a sanding position and bend at the waist. Once your hands hit the floor, push your entire body back, extending your legs until they’re straight and you’re in the push-up position. Go down for a push-up, and when you push yourself up, jump slightly to bring your feet back near your hands. Finally, jump in the air with your arms fully extended over your head.
  • Side-to-Side Jumps on Bench: Stand on one side of an exercise bench. Place the foot closest up onto the bench, jump up and switch feet, then land on the opposite side of the bench.
  • Mountain Climbers: Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.
  • Side-to-Side Ab Twists: With feet close together, jump and twist your legs left to right – holding your abs tight. Keep a bend in your knees and swing your upper arms with each twist.
  • Jump Lunges with Pop Squat: Start in a lunge position, lunge down then quickly jump up, switching your leg position in midair, land in an opposite leg lunge. Once you’ve done both legs, jump straight into a squat.
  • Medicine Ball Squat Jumps: With feet wider than shoulder-width apart hold a medicine ball at chest level. Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Explosively jump up, raising the medicine ball straight over your head.

If you’d like a sure-fire way to break through your fitness plateau and to melt away unwanted fat, then contact me for a fitness consultation. 

Call or email today – I look forward to hearing from you. 

My custom-made fitness programs remove all of the guesswork for you. I know what works, and I make it my mission to see you reach your goals. 

Call or email today and we’ll get you started on the program that’s best for you.

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Your Flat Abs Plan

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Your Flat Abs Plan

One of the most frequent questions that I’m asked is, “How can I get great abs?” 

You may have pondered this question at some time or another. 

Many people are frustrated by their stomachs, to the point of giving up after doing dozens of crunches with zero improvement. 

It’s time to forget everything you’ve heard about how to sculpt your abs. 

Quite simply, crunches alone won’t give you a six pack. 

Doing crunches with the hope that it will transform your abs from flabby to muscular is to believe in one of the most widely held fitness myths. I’m talking about the spot reduction myth. 

Training one area of your body will not specifically burn fat from that spot. 

Are you training as if spot reduction worked? Doing dozens of crunches in the hopes that layers of fat will disappear? 

Sit-ups, crunches and planks will not flatten your abs. 

But a drop in overall body fat will do that for you. 

So you want the secret to great abs? 

The secret is a winning combination of fat burning cardio, resistance training and clean eating. 

It is fully possible for you to dramatically shape up your waistline. 

Yes, Y-O-U. 

My clients routinely lose weight and transform their bodies. You can do it too. 

Answer the following questions to see how your current routine measures up: 

How often do you exercise? If your answer was anything less than 4 times a week, then that’s the first thing getting between you and flat abs. 

How do you define a fat burning workout? A routine including intense cardiovascular training coupled with effective resistance training. Do you do this? 

I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes isn’t a fat blasting routine. Neither is a leisurely 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. The truth is that you can dramatically increase your results while investing less time when you exercise right. 

Cardio exercise is all about maintaining an effective level of intensity. This doesn’t mean that you should be out of breath or gasping for air. It does mean that you need to push yourself. 

Resistance training is the second key part of a fat burning workout. This means working your major muscle groups against resistance in a way that stimulates your metabolism. Again the key here is to find the right intensity and to keep each muscle group guessing. 

Do you eat a clean diet? Diet is a big stumbling block for most people—especially as it relates to their midsection. Here’s a fact: If your diet is out of control then your abs will be too. You can’t trim your waist without trimming the junk out of your diet, regardless of how hard you exercise.

  • Keep calories in check. Do you know how many calories you eat? The best way to find out is to record everything you eat for a few days. Tally the number of calories that you eat each day and do an evaluation—feel free to recruit me to help out with this part. Together we’ll chart improvements for your diet and adjust your calories for maximum results.
  • Just say “No” to junk food. While this may seem obvious, your definition of “junk food” may need an alteration. Refined sugar is one of the biggest culprits in the junk food world—it is found in soft drinks, blended coffee drinks, cookies, cakes, packaged snacks, and other sinfully sweet treats. Processed fat is another monster. As a rule of thumb you can safely view all processed or refined items as junk food.
  • Eat more frequently. The key here is to never let your metabolism “crash” by going hours without eating. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to skip breakfast—as this is the meal that ‘breaks the fast’ that your body goes into each night. Stick with eating small meals every few hours and always avoid stuffing yourself.

You should now understand why you are better off not wasting time on crunches—while it is important to exercise your abs a couple of times a week, you won’t expect fat to fall of that area after 100’s of crunches. 

Do you want to flatten and sculpt your waist once and for all? Simply decide that you really want it. Commit to yourself—you deserve it. 

See me for fat-blasting workouts that deliver results. Together we will get you on a program that will melt the fat off your abs, exposing shape and definition. 

Call or email me today to get started

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Take It Off: Your Better Body Plan

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Take It Off: Your Better Body Plan

Have you ever seen a really impressive “before” and “after” photo on a weight loss product? 

Well, there’s something that the diet industry doesn’t want you to know. There is more involved than just the diet product, and it’s the same across the board. 

Look into the eyes of any person in their “before” picture and you’ll see that they are deeply disturbed. The body they have is no longer in sync with the body they are able to accept. 

They changed the body that they accept, and became disturbed. 

Now look into their eyes in the “after” picture – see the sweet satisfaction? They now live in the body that they decided they could accept. What an amazing feeling that is. 

Why are you still living life in your “before” body? 

Sure, you have obstacles that get in your way – your schedule, your job, your kids, the weather, your knee injury from college…but ultimately you have the body that you accept. 

I’m going to repeat that so it will really sink in. 

You have the body that you accept. 

Transform from “Before” to “After”

You may not realize it, but you already posses everything you need to transform your body, and it all starts with taking responsibility for the body that you have today. 

You are in your current shape because, until this moment, you’ve been OK with it. 

Oh I know you aren’t thrilled with it, and you even talk about losing weight and getting fit—but you haven’t changed what you’ll accept. 

Here’s how to transform your body in 3 steps: 

Step One: Feel Disturbed

It has been said that emotion creates motion. This is essential when it comes to personal transformation. Just like those folks in the “before” pictures, to transform your body you must first decide that you can’t live another day in the body you currently have. 

Get your emotions stirred up. Make a list of all the reasons that you’re ready to lose weight and get fit. Get disturbed. 

Step Two: Decide What You Want

Without clarity you’ll never get where you want to go. Now that you’re disturbed with the body you have, decide what the body you can accept looks like. 

Think in concrete and specific terms. Just like the captions under ‘before” and “after” pictures—“Shannon lost 50 lbs,” “Matt lost 8 inches from his waist,” “Catherine went from a size 20 to a size 4.” 

Get a clear picture in your mind of what you’ll look like in your “after” picture and decide what the caption will read. 

Step Three: Take Action

The time spent between your inspiration (now) and taking action determines whether you will succeed or fail. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck between inspiration and action—there is always something that you can do immediately. 

Take action by emailing or calling me now to set up a fitness consultation. 

I am here to take you from your “before” picture to your “after” picture. What will your “after” caption read?

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