Thursday, June 22, 2017

Be willing to do what it takes

Most people walk into the gym with an expectation to get in shape, lose weight, improve their physique or gain strength.  The problem lies in the individual’s misinterpreted understanding of the process to attain the results.  Information is so prevalent today.  In fitness, this creates a wide range of methods and opinions.  As having diversity within our industry is a positive, it can completely confuse the general public.  My program is simple and no nonsense and all about mastering the basic principles in fitness.  Drink water, eat to support your goal, workout consistently and repeat.  Yet, this confuses people. 

Here’s my example:

Client asks: “What should my nutrition look like?”

My suggestion:  “Drink 8 x 8 oz. cups of water, eat 2 servings of vegetables everyday, eat a fist size of protein with every meal and limit your junk calories.”

Client asks: “Shouldn’t I watch my carbohydrate intake?”

My suggestion: “Don’t worry about that right now.  Focus on your water intake, eat your 2 servings of vegetables a day and a fist size of protein at every meal.  Then we will go from there.”

Client asks: “What about intermittent fasting?  Should I try that?”

My suggestion: “Not right now.”

Client asks: “Ok, so I just need to drink more water, eat vegetables everyday and be aware of my protein intake?”

My suggestion: “You got it!”

This is a frequent conversation in my office.  As I try my best to keep it very simple and specific for the individual that I am coaching, their perceptions are misconstrued and complex.  They have this expectation that a complete lifestyle overhaul needs to happen for them to be successful.  They have read about dieting and weight loss and have this hodgepodge idea of what it takes to achieve results.  And that is where the problem resonates.  Completely overhauling your life may work for a few weeks.  But sustaining this extreme lifestyle is very difficult to achieve if you haven’t taken the necessary steps to get there.  That is why I believe in the long-term process and building a lifestyle to support your goals, one day at a time. 

Here are a few things to think about:

·      What do you want?  And are you willing to do what it takes?  These are two vital questions to ask yourself.  Because you must be willing to do the work to attain the results.  This creates personal responsibility and in regards to achieving your goals (in fitness or any area of your life), personal accountability is the vessel to achievement. 
·      Be honest with yourself.  Are you logging all of your calories?  The nibbling or snacking that is going on throughout the day?  How about measuring out the wine you will drink tonight?  Is it really 7 ounces in each glass instead of 4?  Are you counting out your almonds you are eating?  Are you getting in your weekly workouts?  Success lies in the details. 
·      If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably really good marketing.  Listen, let’s not sugarcoat this, getting fit and in shape takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication.  This is a life long journey with no finish line.  Sure, I encourage setting specific goals throughout the year; give yourself a carrot to chase after.  But just understand that life will go on after the initial date has been set.  You need to create a lifestyle that will continue the process. 
·      Are you habitually following through on the basics?  Drinking adequate amounts of water, eating 3-4 servings of vegetables, consuming approximately half your weight in ounces of protein, 15% or less calories coming from “junk calories”, and consistently working out?  Master the above components before moving on to anything more complex.  Seriously, it could be this simple. 
·      It’s vital to getting into a habit of working out basically everyday. This will create a more efficient calorie burning machine. Work your butt off, eat the right foods MOST OF THE TIME and be consistent.  And indulge once in awhile.  Life is short.  Find a healthy balance. Life should not feel like you are on some extreme diet all the time. No fun there! Build the healthy habits and allow some flexibility.
·      Start small, act now and adjust as you go.  There is no need to overwhelm yourself by adding 23 new lifestyle hacks into your already busy life.  This is a recipe to quit.  Instead, choose two, no more than three things to focus your attention on.  Master what you are working on before you move to other habits.  Just make sure to act because action is required to achieving results.  Once the ball is rolling, you can adjust the plan at any given moment.  Evaluating and adjusting will keep you progressing in the direction of your goals. 

You can get lean and in great shape and still enjoy your indulgences once in awhile.  It’s looking at the big picture.  If 80% of your meals do not support your goal, then you probably are not getting the results you want.  Be honest with yourself, be willing to do what it takes and be consistent; this is the recipe to achieving your fitness and lifestyle goals.  Make it happen!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The recipe to changing your physique in 16 weeks

Disclaimer: This is not a quick fix program.  You must put in a tremendous amount of work over the next 16 weeks.  The more compliant you can be with the below principles, the better results you will get. 

Principle #1: Workout Design

·       Perform 7-9 training sessions a week
·       One day completely off, so that means 1-3 days may have 2 workouts in that day. 
·       3-4 strength workouts (you can do traditional body part splits or upper/lower body splits; the key is to push yourself and move well during these sessions)
·       2 cardio workouts (lower intensity, 45-60 minutes: treadmill walk or run, bike, elliptical, swimming; conversation pace for these sessions)
·       2-3 high intensity interval/circuit workouts.  
            (bike sprints/running sprints/bodyweight circuits, etc; volume control is key here, too much and you risk injury)

Here is an example: 

·       Overtraining can happen when you are not recovering properly so pay attention to when the body is in a fatigued/stressed state; when you notice this fatigued state, decrease training session volume and intensity for a  few days so you can bounce back and continue training and high effort levels
·       Consistency with your workouts is a key component

Principle #2: Nutrition should support your goals

·       Main foods will be: lean proteins (chicken, lean steak or hamburger, ground turkey, fish, eggs) – approximately 1-2 g per pound of bodyweight; 3-4 servings of vegetables (all colors), 2-3 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of healthy fats (avocado, raw nuts, healthy oils and natural nut butters) – measure and know what 1 serving is as these calories can add up, 1-2 servings of lean dairy (milk, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt) – one servings is 1 slice of cheese or 1 cup of milk; specific carbohydrates like small amounts (fist size) of brown rice/pasta/bread (1 serving a day) – carbohydrate consumption is dependent on training volume/performance goals
·       Know your basal metabolic rate (, this is the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. This matters when you are trying to get leaner. Put together a detailed food log periodically throughout the 16 weeks so you get an idea of the food coming in.  (I recommend starting on day 1 and food log for 7-10 straight days to get started)  
·       COUNT EVERYTHING that you eat. Any nibbling, snacking, all counts! Once we get this food log, we can adjust the calories/macronutrients to support your goals. 
·       If you eat 3 meals a day that equates to 21 meals a week; 18-19 of those meals should support your goal. That's 72-76 out of 80 meals in the month. The meals you decide to indulge on shouldn't be large portions because that can disrupt the rest of the week. For example, if you take the kids to pizza, enjoy 2 small slices and 2 big plates of salad with light dressing. So indulge a bit but don't shoot yourself in the foot. 
·       Limit alcohol intake to 4-6 drinks per week. (1 drink is 12 oz light beer/4 oz of wine/1 shot of hard liquor.) Though drinking is fun to do in a social environment, these calories can sabotage your fat loss goals, especially if the buzz you get leads you to late night munching, now we are in trouble.

Principle #3: Mindset

·       There will be days you may not feel like working out or food logging, and you must do it anyways.  These are the days that matter. 
·       Don’t give in to self-limiting thinking.  How you perceive working out and improving your nutrition will matter when it comes to being consistent over the next 16 weeks.  You just have to “clock in and do the work.” 
·       It's all about being honest with yourself. Are you counting all of your calories? Are you getting in your workouts? Are you taking the time to prep your food?  Look in the mirror, ask yourself, “how bad do I want it?”  It’s up to your consistent action to answer that question. 
·       Many people want results in fitness but aren't really understanding the work that it takes to achieve the goal, so then they think their 2 or 3 workouts a week and "OK" eating" should work. It takes time, effort and a complete mindset shift to get there.
·       Life will go on after the initial 16 weeks of when the goal was set.  You must create a longer term mindset and lifestyle in order for you to sustain the results you will get.  It’s not a type of thing where you will wake up one day and “arrive” and you stop doing all the action that it took for you to achieve your goal.  If you want to maintain the results that you earned, work still has to be done. 
·       During the process there will be ups and downs.  If you are consistently doing the work, no matter the circumstances in your life, you will reap huge benefits. 

*Please consult with your physician regarding your exercise protocols.
*Results are based on each individual’s compliance, genetics and overall desire to achieve their goals

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