Sunday, December 29, 2013

Motivational Monday

Motivation!!!!- I dare you to watch this and not be pumped up to run through a wall into 2014 and after everything and anything you want!

There is no perfect time to start!!  It seems like we are always waiting, waiting for certain circumstances to start something, to go after something.  WHY?  Are we that scared to actually DO something?  Listen up!

There is no perfect time!

You need to make your own moments, you need to take those moments and go with it.  There's a great line in Caddyshack"See your future, be your future. May, make--make it. Make your future..."

You want to know when the perfect time is?  It's NOW!!  


The new year is always the time to start something, a resolution to be healthier, or to eat right, or to exercise. Don't wait for things to be less busy, don't wait for there to be time, don't wait for the perfect scenario to get back to the gym, don't wait to start changing your nutrition habits, don't wait!!

Get After It Today!!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fitness Friday

Squats are one of the best exercises that can be part of your arsenal.  However, they get a bad name because people associate squats with knee pain.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  Squats can in fact make your knees stronger and healthier by making the muscles around it stronger.  When your form is poor, that's where the knee pain can come in.  Here are 6 reasons to SQUAT!

What's more important than just squatting well, is having good posture.  Good Posture can help with injury prevention, reduce back pain, improve breathing, and a whole lot more.

Recovery is where all progress is made.  You can't beat yourself up time and time again with intense workouts and hope to get some where.  Sometimes you need a day or two for a full recovery, or even a week where you de-load and do less.  Progress is made in how well you can recover, not how hard you can push yourself.

Weekend Workout
40 second on/20 seconds off
Jumping Jacks
Prisoner Squats
Jump Squats
Reverse Lunges w/ Rotation
1 min rest
2 point Pushup
Speed Squats
Spiderman Climbs
Dead Bugs
1 min rest
Seal Jacks
Mt Climbers
Body Extensions
Lateral Lunges
High Knees
1 min rest
Split Shuffles
Ice Skaters
Side Plank Left
Side Plank Right
1 min rest
Curtsy Lunge Left
Curtsy Lunge Right
Lateral Lunge Left
Lateral Lunge Right

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Motivational Monday

You are limitless.

You're a champion.

You work harder than everyone else.

And you'll achieve everything that you put your mind to.

There are always those days where nothing goes your way, and it seems like every thing and every one is against you.
But you thrive on that kind of adversity, those challenges that life throws at you.  Why?  Because you don't set limits. 

I know each and every day you training hard, getting your nutrition on point because you love the feeling of success, you love being able to reach your goals, you love feeling strong. 
Excuses won't get in your way.  You wont make them up.  Its never too cold, never too early, you always have time because you see the value that a healthy lifestyle has. 

You are awesome because you push yourself past limits you thought weren't possible, you get out of that comfort zone, you get comfortable being uncomfortable.  You take on challenges head on and you are never satisfied...

For you are limitless.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fitness Friday

Choosing the right shoe is super important when it comes to exercise.  Different forms of exercise may require a different type of foot wear.  Choose accordingly!! ( you may have to zoom in to see the image)

How do you gauge if you've had a good workout or not?  Usually the go to is how sore it makes you the next day or two.  However, that is not the best sign of a good/great workout.  Don't fall for the myth that soreness leads to results.  Progressive challenge is good, but fitness should make you better, make other tasks easier, not harder.

Stress is a natural part of life.  It happens.  However, there a daily habits that could be stressing you out more than you know it.  Make sure you're breathing normally, taking slow deep breathes can reduce your stress levels dramatically as can exercise and laughing.  (what did the fish say when it swam into the wall?<--- scroll down for answer)

Are you positive?  Do you think highly of yourself?  Do you ever participate in "fat talk" or bash your own body image?  If so, watch THIS!!!!

Weekend Workout

Jumping Jacks
Ice Skaters
Jump Squats
Alternating Reverse Lunges
Mountain Climber
Prisoner Squat
Dead Bugs
Alternating Lateral Lunges

40 seconds on/20 seconds off  3 rounds

A: Dam
See I just made you laugh and lowered your stress level!!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Motivational Monday

Don't hit the snooze button!!!

Every day is a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way.  Each day you have a choice to take the easy way out, or get after whatever it is you want.  Some days you're going to have to grind it out, struggle, push through, but you have to keep going.  Taking the easy way out is exactly what it is.  EASY! 
That's not you.  You push, you claw, you climb, ignoring the voices in your head to take that easy road. 

  It's a

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fitness Friday

Since nutrition is a big part of seeing results from all your hard work in the gym, I figured I would dedicate this weeks edition of Fitness Friday to Nutrition!!(pssst, AMP at  we offer nutrition counseling/consulting).

How many times have you attempted a "diet"?  My guess is at least a few times with some mild success. You lose some pounds, but once you stop, it comes back.  Definition of "yo-yo dieting."  It's now being shown that this type of dieting is more detrimental than just the weight coming back.  Signals for fullness don't easily adjust when going from a restrictive diet to that of a normal diet.  This may explain why some people struggle after taking up a diet.  

Most diets tend to restrict one thing or another.  Quit the Restrictions!!!  Often times people restrict because they think a certain food is evil.  Eggs, dairy, carbs, fruit.  Why?  Because you heard it some where? Eliminating and restricting yourself is a hard thing to do, and often times, unnecessary.  I mean have you ever seen anyone become overweight from eating too much fruit?

The solution?  Focus on habits, focus on small changes.  If you do that, you're sure to see results.  Then you'll have people asking you what your doing and how did you get your results.  First you'll have to say AMP, then second tell them you've taken charge of your life, that you've decided to put lifestyle change ahead of fad diets.  If' you've ever had someone ask you "what are you doing to look so good" check THIS out!!!

Weekend Workout Tip:
Replace Bad Habits: Everyday you'll be tempted to fall back on old habits.  TO make a lasting change in your health and fitness, you must do everything you can to resist that.  Try adding a new healthy habit to your routine to replace an old unhealthy habit.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Motivational Monday

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
-Nelson Mandela (July 18 1918 – December 5 2013)

We try to instill a confidence in all our clients at AMP to take charge of their health and fitness.  Hearing the words "I can't" is like nails on a chalk board.  How do you know you can't until you test yourself?  How do you know it's not possible till you try?  The purpose of training is to push yourself to do things you once thought were impossible.  Never could do a push-up before? Work at it till its done!!  Then what you once thought was impossible, is easy.  

No matter how much you try to reach what you thought was impossible, the key is to keep trying.  Keep getting after it.  Each time you fail, or fall, its another learning experience, another chance to get better, stronger.  Falls, slips, regressions are going to happen.  They are a part of life, but the most important thing you can do when you fail, is to pop right back up, dust yourself off and work. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fitness Friday

Why do you train? Why do you work out?  Quite often it's to lose a few pounds, add some muscle, get in better shape.  Added benefits that you may not have thought of  are reducing the onset of dementia and increasing memory.
Researchers are still not sure as to the exact mechanism that helps stave off dementia or makes daily activities easier, but there are improvements.  As for improving memory, there are many hormones at work that encourage the growth of neurons in the brain.  I brought this up in a past post called "Is your workout making you smarter?"

See all the more reason to come to AMP!!  
Get in killer shape and get those Brain Gainzz!

Balance and coordination a key aspect to fitness and often times people struggle with balance.  Exercising by using one sided or unilateral movements can help improve balance.  Doing exercises like single leg dead lifts or bird-dogs can help improve core strength and in turn balance as a whole.  Try this 8 Minute balance workout.  

Avoid negative, hateful comments about yourself.  You can't and won't hate yourself to a healthier, leaner body.  Love your body, accept it, and accept the process of transforming it.  If you give in to thoughts like:
I can’t eat that, I’m so fat/disgusting/weak, I have no will power, I’ll never look like her, I wish this was easier then you need to take a step back and reevaluate yourself.  Read This!!

What exactly is 200 Calories?  It can come in all sorts of sizes depending on what you're eating/drinking.  Check out these photos to see exactly what 200 calories looks like.  

The yogurt serving happens to be my favorite, however not all yogurts are created equal.  Make sure you look for some key things when shopping for yogurt.  Beware those hidden sugars and don't fear the fat.  

Weekend Workout Tip
Strength Train!!
Strength training helps build lean muscle tissue which helps keep your body metabolically active.  Muscle uses more energy to keep it active and uses more energy to recover from workouts.  Having more muscle may lead to higher energy demands keeping more metabolism boosting tissue on your body. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Motivational Monday

"Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more 

skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This 

is never-ending."

-Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Get 1% better everyday.  There are always ways in which we can improve in any aspect of our lives.  Never be satisfied, never be complacent.  Always strive for that next level of awesomeness.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fitness Friday

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!  Now Black Friday is upon us.  It's a HUGE shopping day where people fight crazy crowds just to get a deal on some new item.  It just sounds stressful and not quite worth it. Instead of getting mixed in all that insanity, how about trying one of these 10 THINGS.  Especially the sleep part.

Did you practice gratitude yesterday?  Did you know that it holds so many positive health attributes?   One of them being happiness.

Lift Heavy!!  Somehow it became acceptable or recommended for women to lift heavy?  Why?  Women around the world do it on a daily basis.  Read THIS, and don't be afraid to go "beast mode" on some weights this week.
In addition, there are so many benefits to lifting heavy including bone density, body composition, and above all else, confidence.

Lastly, I want to ask you How Healthy is your Yogurt?  It could be that your yogurt has as much sugar as Coke or Pepsi.  Moral of the story, make sure you read those labels.

Enjoy your Post Thanksgiving Weekend!!

Weekend Workout Turkey Burn
For these 4 exercises you are going to do 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 5 rounds

Jump Squat
Split Squat Jumps

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happiness = Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for everything in our lives. It is showing gratitude for what we have. Showing gratitude can lead to happiness. 

It's is apparent that there is a link between happiness and gratitude..  Think about the people that have come in and out of your life.  Friends, family, teachers, random people etc. (Watch this video)

Out of all those people, there is usually one person that influences your direction the most.  My question for you on Thanksgiving is who has been the most influential person in your life?  

Who is the one person that has shaped who you are today that you are extremely grateful for walking into your life?


Would you have the courage to tell them, to let them know how much they mean to you?  

Show that gratitude, you never know what it'll mean to that person.  They may not even know.  

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Motivational Monday

“You can have, do, or be anything you want,” as long as you prioritize and you have perspective.”
-Tim Morris

There is nothing that you can't achieve, nothing you can't become as long as you are willing to put in the work.  Anything and everything is possible, but it all comes down to how bad you want it.  Are you willing to sacrifice certain things?  Are you willing to give it everything you got?

"When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful."
-Eric Thomas

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fitness Friday

Starting an exercise program is an exciting and healthy journey, however the results that may come from it may be a bit slower than you want.  Don't get discouraged by the fact that your results are progressing slower or differently than you may have hoped.  Results kinda follow a pattern.  You get increases in your strength, and as your strength improves, you can perform better in your training sessions.  Once that happens, those fat losses will improve.  The key to all of this is patience.  

It could be that your lack of results come from the fact that you are sabotaging your results by not taking care of yourself.  For example training too often, or for too long can lead to burn out and/or adrenal fatigue, and not sleeping can lead to a decrease in recovery.  Try to avoid some of the items on this list.

Are you really staying away from SUGAR?  Chances are no matter how hard you try, there a still things that have "sneaky" sugars in them.  This list is quite extensive.  A big place sugar can hide is in your yogurt.  Not all yogurts are created equal, and the ones with the fruit in the bottom are the worst offenders.  My advice: grab plain yogurt and add your own toppings like berries.  Oh and don't fear the fat.  Make sure when it says low fat it doesn't mean high sugar.  Read those labels.  

Injuries happen.  Those little aches and pains creep up from time to time and it may be hard to want to train, or you may think you can't train.  Often times there are little tweaks you can make to a training routine to get around an injury and ensure you keep up with your training.  Here are 5 tips on how to get around an injury. 

Speaking of injuries, often times an injury stems from an imbalance somewhere in the body.  I've long talked about the dangers of sitting to much and the affect it can have on your body, specifically your lower back and hamstrings.  When you sit for long periods of time, your hamstrings end up in a contracted state, and when you try to stretch them, they get mixed signals and end up tightening more.  Ease into stretching and you'll be way more successful at getting some length.

A little different Weekend Workout. Going to switch it up to a Weekend Workout Tip, so your tip for the weekend is:

Vary Your Intensity!
Don't go balls to the wall all the time.  Sometimes changing up the routine gets your body to use a different energy system.  While working out at a high intensity burns a ton of calories, your body also has to use  more nutrients to fuel the workout and the "after burn."  Let your body recover by mixing in some lighter, recovery/mobility based workouts.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Motivational Monday

Rule #1: Find what you're fighting for.
Rule #2: First learn rule #1. Everything else is just details.

Why did you start training?  Why did you suddenly become enamored with changing your life to be healthy and fit? 

It all starts somewhere.  I started training when I was in college and for me training equaled better times on the track.  The stronger I got in the gym, the faster I got on the track.  Seeing my times drop fueled my hard work when I was training. 
I continue to train so that I can move.  Movement is a gift, being able to move is something most people take lightly.  We take it for granted, till the day that we no longer can move.  Don't take it for granted. 

I can't tell you what to fight for.  You have to look deep inside yourself and find what it is you're fighting for.  We're all searching for a passion, a sense of purpose.  I've been lucky to find mine in a small training facility called AMP, helping people move better, helping people stay healthy, helping people with their fight.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fitness Friday

You only get one chance at life, so you might as well make the most of it.  In that same regard, you only get one body, so you might as well take care of it the best you can.  If you only had one car to drive for the rest of your life, you'd be sure to take care of it to the best of your ability, right?  No difference with you body.  It's your one vessel in life.  Mike Boyle presents a very good thought process on this idea. 

We are always recommending that our clients cut sugar from their diet as it as unhealthy habit and reeks havoc with the body.  What is quite possibly worse than sugar and doesn't get as much attention is high fructose corn syrup (hfcs).  This equally has a negative affect on the body. 

Now what is great for your body, and has been vilified is FAT!  Contrary to popular belief, fat is indeed healthy for you for so many reasons, among them certain hormone production, and a healthier brain.  However, you must eat the right kinds of fats.  Omega 3 and Omega 6 need to be in balance.  Most often 6 is in a way higher ratio to 3 than what is ideal. 

Lastly, not really fitness related, but some great quotes on kindness.  It was World Kindness Day on November 13th, and it seems people don't always keep this in mind.  My favorite of the page:

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” - Plato
In the same regard, you never know what someone is going through, so always give the benefit of the doubt and be kind, not judgmental.  If you'd like a reminder, there's always a bracelet.  I have mine!!
Weekend Workout
Grab a Single Dumbbell and rock out this little circuit, first on one arm, then the second.
Circuit 1
Squat Press
Single Leg Deadlift
Push-up Position Row
Floor Press
Reverse Lunge
2 sets of 15 reps per exercise
Circuit 2
Lateral Lunges 15 per side
Jump Squats 15
Hamstring Curls with Hip Press 15
Burpee 10
TRX/Swiss Ball Suspended Crunch 15
4 sets

Monday, November 11, 2013

Motivational Monday

"Embrace the suck."

Lets face it, things happen, life happens.  There are struggles every day that you have to fight through.  What are you going to do?  Give up? 
Push through those crappy days, those days where you just don't have it, those days you'd rather sit on the couch than head to the gym. 


Every reward, every achievement lies on the other side of the suck. You face the suck. You accept it. Then you start throwing elbows.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fitness Friday

Recovery, Recovery, Recovery!  Success when it comes to changing your body comes not during the workout, but in how well you can recover after it.  This could mean how well you sleep, or how much you stretch, or how often you foam roll.  Now we know that foam rolling sucks and kinda hurts, but it is a necessary evil to keep your body in working order. 

Sleep is a super important but often over looked aspect to fitness and health.  Not only does sleep quality/amount affect adults as we've mentioned before, but it affects our children as well.  It seems the same hormonal effects sleep has on adults are the same for kids.  More needs to be looked at, but it is intriguing. 

Are you focusing on being strong?  Are you strong?  Break some stereotypes, lift some heavy stuff and get stronger.

We always talk about being positive.  Positive actions and thoughts breed positive results.  This mental trick can help you to keep going during a workout.  By chanting a certain mantra that you can do it, or to keep pushing, or something positive, you'll be able to go longer.  It's science!!

Getting in shape and seeing results is a lot more than just working out.  A lot comes down to what you are putting in your body.  However, there are always times where we don't know what to have for breakfast/lunch/dinner.  In our technological world there is an app for everything, and now there's an app for getting dinner ready.  Check out some of these apps for some great dinner ideas when you're in a hurry. 

What's your fitness age?  Estimate your fitness age using this calculator.  What's your score?

Weekend Workout
Do each exercise for 30seconds.  Minimize the rest between each exercise. 

Jumping Jacks
Plank Rotations
Step Ups
Plank Push-ups
Side Plank
Reverse Lunges
Push-up with Rotation

Go through 2-3 rounds

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Motivational Monday

Sometimes motivation doesn't come from a quote or video or a catchy saying like "Just do it."  Sometimes the best motivation comes from a story your read, a story that touches your heart, a story of another's personal accomplishments that inspire you to tackle your own dreams and goals. 

This is one of those stories.  The story of a man that competed in the Chicago Marathon and finished in an amazing time of 16 hours and 46 minutes.  You see, Maickel was born with myopathy and has been fighting all his life.  He has been inspiring people all his life too.  Inspiring them to follow their dreams, helping them "to be better than they think they can be."

I encourage you to read this story and be inspired.  I know I was.

"when the legs and the heart can't walk anymore
you must walk on with your soul."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fitness Friday

At AMP, we focus on a slow approach when it comes to changing habits as it is more sustainable and more successful to focus on one habit at a time.  One big one that we try to instill is drinking more water. Especially when it comes to replacing soda with water.  If you're not aware, soda (yes even diet soda) has detrimental effects on your body.  For a more in depth look on how that soda affects your body, check out what happens.

Another habit we try to teach is eating whole, unprocessed foods.  Lots of fruits and vegetables.  If you were to look at the diets of most countries around the world, what would they look like?  What do you think?
This is what one weeks worth of groceries looks like around the world.  Notice the huge difference in fresh produce and lean meats compared to that of processed, sugary stuff.  That was the biggest thing that jumped out at me.

It's around this time, especially on Halloween that we either dig into that pile of candy, or we decide that it isn't for us and stay away.  Whether you indulge or not is up to you, but make sure you're ok with it. The worst thing you could do is feel bad or beat yourself up about either decision.

On that same note, working out should be a positive experience and never be looked at as a form of punishment.  If you have that mentality, change it up quick!!  You should work out because you love your body, not because you hate it.  Having that mentality makes you regret having a "treat" every now and then. Having that mentality leads to hitting that "cardio confessional" or "wanting a killer workout" to make up for any bad eating choices you may have made.
Exercise is all about being positive and building yourself up, not tearing yourself down.  Remember that!!

Lastly, we all want what is best for our kids, and when it comes to sports, we want them to have the best training possible.  However the best training possible might just be focusing on general exercise as opposed to "sport specific" training.  The more specialized the exercise, the more potential harm it could cause.  Build a solid foundation of strength, coordination, balance etc. first, then work towards more specific skills.

Why Do You Exercise??

Weekend Workout
Alt DB Chest Press 10
Reverse Lunge w/ weight on one side 10
Side Plank 30 seconds
DB One Arm Row 10
3 sets

Forward Lunge w/ One Arm Shoulder Press 10
Single Leg Deadlift w/ Row 10
Plank w/ Rotation 20
3 sets 

Stability Ball Stir the Pot Plank 10 each direction
Cross Body Mt Climber/Piston 20
2 sets

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Motivational Monday

"We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated."
Maya Angelou

There are always times where we will be knocked down, where things won't go quite as smooth as you hoped they would.  But you can't stay down, you mustn't stay down.  With each defeat, there is a lesson to learn, something to solve.  Find out the solution and keep on plugging along.  Make sure you get up!!

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou 

Leave your legacy by being a positive influence on everyone you meet.  Leave a positive mark on the world.  Make people feel special, build them up, don't tear them down. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fitness Friday

We've always heard that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, however it isn't magic.  We always get asked for breakfast ideas, and its really simple.  Whatever you think you can eat, and sustain that habit, then do it.  It should make you feel good, it should be healthy, it should be fuel for your body, and it should be equal to what your goals are.  Make it a point to include saturated fats, protein, and greens in your breakfast.

What we don't want you to include in your breakfast, or any meal for that matter is sugar.  Sugar is hiding in pretty much everything often in surprising spots.  A tiny carton of OJ has as much sugar as almost 2 1/2 donuts.  That's crazy.  What about a salad with as much sugar as 4 1/2 donuts?  Yea that's a little insane.  Be careful with your choices, you never know where crap is hidden. 

Ive often said that men and women should train pretty similar with varying degrees of change.  However, there are ways in which men and women's metabolism differs.  Several having to do with how men and women burn fat and carbs.  This could give great insight into why its easier for men to lose weight over women.  However one thing is for sure, both need to AMP up the intensity. 

Injuries will happen, but when should you ice and when should you use heat?   Here is a quick guide to when to use each modality.  When in doubt, ice within the first 48 hours.  Heat for tight muscles.

At AMP we are following our dreams!!! We wanted to open up a facility that really helps people, that creates a family atmosphere, and above all else gets people the results they are after.  What is your dream?  What is holding you back from following yours? 

Start Following Your Dream Today!
Weekend Workout
Get in a quality warm-up including some movement based exercises.  Animal flow, spidey climbs, scorpions.  Anything that gets the muscles and the core temperature up. 
Split Squats 10 per side
DB Row(or TRX Row) 10 per side
Push-ups 20
3 sets
Split Jumps/Shuffles
Spiderman Climbs
Goblet Squats
Plank Pushups
30 seconds each exercise, minimal to no rest btw exercises, rest 1 minute btw circuits.  3 sets
Tabata Time
20 seconds on/10 seconds off
Bodyweight Squats- 10 second hold in the bottom position
8 rnds
Push-up Challenge
2 minutes of push-ups, go for high score

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Motivational Monday

"You are the only person on earth who can use your ability, it's an awesome responsibility."
-Zig Ziglar

No one can do the work for you, its up to you to put in the work.  You have all the potential and talent in the world, but you must be responsible to use it.  Don't waste it.  Be awesome!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fitness Friday

When we set out to open up our own gym, we had a vision of what it would look like, and a what kind of training our clients would be doing.  We wanted to train people using their bodies, using free weights, using bands.  Our vision was to train the body as one unit, one machine, forgoing all the usual machines you would find in a gym.  It seems like that type of thinking, that type of training is getting more and more popular as those that train this way see amazing results. 

Doing bodyweight and free weight training is a great way to get a killer workout that will build muscle and torch body fat.  The more muscles you work, the more you challenge yourself, the better.  One thing that people over rely on when they want to lose weight is running.  The problem with running (this coming from a runner) is that the body is extremely efficient when it comes to calorie burning.  The more you run, the better your body gets at it, the less calorie burn.  Check out these other 5 reasons why running is the end all be all of weight loss. 

Sticking to just cardio to lose weight is one of those MYTHS that won't die.  Why? Probably because people keep perpetuating the same BS time and time again with no significant proof.  My other favorites are spot reducing(especially abs) and avoid fats and carbs because they make you fat.  Don't fall for these.  Low fat diets could be worse for you when it comes to losing weight.  Most associate fat they eat for what's on their body, however that's not the way the human body works.  This experiment is pretty awesome and looks at the difference between a high fat diet and a high carb diet.  Definitely worth the read.

If you're stuck in a rut and aren't seeing the results you want, it could be all in your head. Changing your behaviors is probably the hardest thing to do, but the most important.  Little changes in behavior, whether its switching from daily soda's to water, or eating breakfast. 

What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” –Abraham Maslow

We love kettlebells, we especially love swings.  However, just a quick reminder of the form when you're hitting those swings.  Always think hip hinge, not squat and brace those abs!!!

With that said, heres your kick ass workout of the weekend.

Weekend Workout
Tabata Swings
20 seconds on/10 seconds off 8x

Windmill 5x each side
Get-ups 1x each side

Snatches 10x each side
Single leg deadlift 10x each side
Row 10x
3 sets

Windmill 5x
Get-ups 1x

Figure 8 -30 seconds
High Pulls- 30 seconds
Shelf/Shovels- 30 seconds each side
3 sets

Windmill 5x
Get-ups 1x

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Motivational Monday

"Your life is LIMITED, so don't waste it living someone else's life.   Don't be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other peoples thinking.  Don't let the noise of others opinions drown out your inner voice and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
Steve Jobs

We don't have that much time on this earth, you really should make the most out of every moment, every day.  Don't take things for granted, if you have a passion, go for it.  Don't let the fear of failure or the fear of what others may think stop you or weigh you down.  Live your life!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fitness Friday

October is upon us and that means its time for some seasonal fruits & veggies!!  Fall is the perfect time to try some new fruits and veggies.  Everyone knows about apples and pumpkins in the fall, but did you also know its the perfect time for kiwi's, beets, cranberries, & figs.  Give some of these a try this fall.

Fruits and vegetables should be part of a well rounded diet, but sometimes a "healthy diet" can go array.  Often times that occurs when there's some sort of depletion of nutrients, or extreme restrictions.  If you think you are eating "healthy" but aren't seeing the results you want, maybe there are some hidden sources of garbage in your diet. 

Should women train different than men? I've posed that question before and it's still the same answer.  90% of the time, no!! This sorta rant goes off on male vs female training.  An interesting read for sure. 

Some matter how much you workout, recovery is still a huge key to success and is often overlooked.  Most people don't focus as much on recovery as they do on their actual workouts and this could be a huge mistake.  This article highlights several recovery problems and what you can do to change up those habits.  My favorite is always getting more quality sleep.  It really is amazing what quality sleep will do for your body. 

As far as what you do when you wake up, it might be time to think of a routine that is free of email and cell phone messages.  This is something I know I struggle with because I set my alarm on my phone, actually make that an alarm and a backup alarm.  I do like the idea of getting in some quality stretches when you wake up as well.  I really do love a full body over head reaching stretch while laying down. 
What's your morning routine like?  Anything you'd want to change?  I know I'm going to try to not check email/texts when I wake up. 

Weekend Workout
Start with a quality warm-up, maybe some animal flow fun

Start off with this Core Set.  After you finish each super set of strength exercises, you'll throw these in.

Barbell Grappler Twists- 20
Heavy Uni-lateral Suitcase Carry 40yds
Plank 60 seconds

Box Jumps or Broad Jumps 3-5
5 sets

Deadlift- 6 reps
5 sets

DB Row- 12
Hamstring Curl- 20
Goblet Squat- 15
3 sets

Core set

Push ups- 15
Superman pulls- 10
Step up w/ Shoulder Press 10
3 sets

Core set

Conditioning Set
Rower/Battle Ropes/Swings/Sprints
Go 20 seconds all out with a 40 second recovery x 10 sets

Have Fun!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Motivational Monday

"Strength does not come from winning.  Your struggles develop your strengths.  When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength."
-Arnold Schwarzenegger

We find out what we're made of, how strong we really are when we are forced to get up after getting knocked down.  Staying on that daily grind is true strength no matter who or what gets in your way. 

Don't give in, don't give up.  Just keep grinding!!

Fitness Friday

Ever think to yourself, "Why am I foam rolling? It hurts like hell."  Well the idea of foam rolling and myofascial release is relatively new.  Research is quickly catching up to what we have been recommending you do on an almost daily basis.  Foam rolling has been shown to have immediate and long term affects on the body.  In short, there a many benefits to doing it.  If you want to read the research, check it out here!!

Kettlebell!! Not kettleball!! :-)
If you haven't given the kettleBELL a try, you really should.  It can be an intense workout, and even just doing swings as part of an interval/"cardio" workout can replace your usual boring "cardio."

Weight loss is often the goal one has when they start working out, however eventually that weight loss comes to a stop and hits a plateau.  There are several factors that could be involved that stunted your fat loss.  In this 3 part series, it breaks down possible changes you could make to your current plan including cutting back on certain exercises/not focusing solely on burning more calories, make small changes to your nutrition, and focus on recovery!!

There are so many reasons to exercise, not just focusing solely on weight loss.  Being healthy and getting off of certain medications is a great reason to exercise.  New research is showing that exercise can be just as beneficial as some pills, even surpassing some stroke medications.  Now, this article doesn't suggest going off of medications, only that maybe we should think about being more active to diminish the need for them.  Hopefully in the future, doctors will be more willing to prescribe exercise over pills. 

Another great reason to exercise is that it can make you happy; and it should make you happy.  Exercise and movement is a gift that far too many take for granted.  Do yourself a favor and move more!!   We are always talking about maintain a positive attitude.  Positivity breeds positive results.  Give this checklist a go, and go to sleep happy.  I have the extreme benefit of working with positive people every day and setting a positive vibe in the gym every day. It does spread.  There are days when the music is cranking and people are grinding and working hard and I look around and smile.  I love those days. 
One thing that makes me happy is the success of other people.  My friend has a blog that I've mentioned before called The Unattainable Life, and if you're not following do it NOW, that has been completely inspirational since its inception.  His latest is 6 ways to really live a happy life and I have to agree with pretty much every thing he says. 

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Have a great, happy, positive weekend!!!

Weekend Workout
Its all about kettlebells this weekend!! It gets your heart pumping pretty quickly, making it an "easy" quick workout.
*Disclaimer: If you've never worked with bells before, find a QUALIFIED trainer to teach you (No, YouTube does not count)
oh and get a quality warm-up in too

Goblet Squat 12 reps
Push-ups 15 reps
Kettlebell Row 12 reps
KB Clean & Press 8 per side
Windmills 5 per side  or side plank for 30 seconds
Russian Twists 20 reps
3-4 sets

Swings 30 seconds
Plank 30-60 seconds
Jump Rope 30-60 seconds
6 sets

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Motivational Monday

Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn't formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.
Lee Haney

Exercise should be done to stimulate your body, to build it up, to make yourself better and stronger.  It shouldn't be punishment, or to break your body down.  It shouldn't be because you hate your body.  That is not the point.  Exercise because you love your body, because you love the feeling of your body moving in space, because the thought of not being able to move is terrible. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fitness Friday

Forming healthy habits is a key step in leading a healthy life.  The best of intentions can be thrown off if you don't prepare for life's little curve balls. 

Fail to plan, plan to fail. 
Starting planning and use some of these tips to keep yourself on track.  The better/more you are prepared, the more successful you will be. 
Speaking about habits, even when we are stressed, we can turn to our positive habits just as much as the negative ones.  If you're used to splurging on food or shopping when your stressed, you'll probably always resort to that, but if you form better habits, then you are just as likely to turn to those positive habits.  This is an interesting article to say the least.  It does show that habits are important either way. 
Lets face it, we're all a little stressed and a little tired on a daily basis.  We could all use a little relaxation every now and then.  Check these 40 ways to relax and take a break to de-stress a little.  Even 5 minutes of relaxation can do wonders for you. 
Lastly, there are always bumps in the road on the path to being in better shape.  However, if you are really struggling, there may be things that you are missing from your arsenal.  Take a look at these 6 things that may be holding you back.  With #1, I would also add not knowing portion sizes. 
Weekend Workout
Sprinting is a great workout!! I love sprinting.  We've started to add it to our Saturday Morning AMP Camps when we are outside and it seems like people sort of enjoy it. 
This weekend, I want you to give it a try. 
Start yourself off with a quality warm-up of skipping, high knees, butt kicks, cariocas, shuffles, bounds, strides, backwards strides, and some sprints at 50-75% effort.  Really concentrate on the warm-up as you want your muscles to be ready for the workout without risking injury. 
If you can get yourself to a track work on running about 100 meters and then walk halfway back for your recovery.  Aim to get about 10 intervals in for a killer workout. 
You could aim to do the same thing on a treadmill, aiming for about 20 seconds of a hard sprint with a 10-20 second recovery.  Try pushing the treadmill while its not on for a really great workout. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Motivational Monday

"No one is going to hand you success.  You must go out & get it yourself.  That's why you're here.  To dominate.  To conquer.  Both the world and yourself."

You have to put in the work.  It may not come easy, it's going to get hard at times, but stick with it.  Keep pushing on, keep working to be successful.  Take on any challenge you may face and own it, dominate it, conquer it. 

Now go out there and dominate!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fitness Friday

I started this Fitness Friday theme as a way to share awesome articles with you.  I'm always reading everything I can to learn more, or just to see what else is out there.  Most of it focuses on fitness and exercise related topics, but I try to find positive articles too.  Hopefully you've enjoyed these Fitness Fridays as much as I love writing them.

We're always looking for ways to improve our lives by doing little things that make us happy.  Exercise, spending time with friends and family, relaxing are all good ways to spend time each day.  However here are TEN scientific ways to improve your life on a daily basis.  I especially love #10 as being positive and optimistic is important for all aspects of health. 

At AMP, we don't have what you would call traditional "cardio" machines.  We rely on using other things like stairs, rowers, carry variations and battle ropes for "cardio." Cardio often comes down to what your trying to accomplish.  Are you training for a 5k or marathon? Then yea long slow duration runs are for you.  If you're looking to shed some weight, a little more intensity is good for you.  I will tell you, I was in my best shape when I was sprinting in college and in so so shape training for the NYC Marathon.  Check out this Do's & Don'ts of cardio. 
If you want a quick picture to lay out your intervals, take a look at this.  It's a great break down of what to do and a little science behind it. 

Are you looking for new breakfast ideas?  Check out what the Nutrition Twins are serving up for breakfast!!  Check out there website for more awesome nutrition tips.  They are always full of great ideas. 

Finally, getting in shape is not about dieting.  Its about making changes in behavior to make this a healthy way of life.  Its a lifestyle change, not a short term "diet."  When you think diet, you think restriction and that is the opposite of what we are looking for.  Make sure you don't make these mistakes when changing your eating habits. 

Weekend Workout
Lets start the weekend off right with a little stretch to correct all that sitting I'm sure we've done this week.  Here's a little flow to hit some key spots. 
Start off in a Half Kneeling position and lunge to stretch hip flexors & hold for about 30 seconds.  From that position raise arms above your head and reach back as far as you can.  Lastly reach one arm over head to the opposite side to stretch out the sides.  Do these all with one leg up, then switch legs and repeat all over again. 
Next is to sit in your chair, cross one foot over the opposite knee and stretch out the hip.  This is a biggie as the hip tends to get tight sitting for long periods of time.  Lastly, you can get into a downward dog position to stretch out the shoulders and hamstrings for a great finishing stretch. 

There ya go, get some mobility work going!!

Lets get to work now

Chin ups/Pull-ups
Mt Climbers
30 seconds each exercise.  Rest 30 seconds, get after another round.  4 rounds total
Next move to the next circuit.  Again 30 seconds each exercise for 4 rounds.
Body weight Rows
Jump Rope/Jumping Jacks

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ninja Kick that Negativity!!

We can talk about being positive and having a positive attitude till we are blue in the face but it is up to you to believe in yourself.
Take all that negativity, condense it in a ball, and ninja kick it away!!

We all do it.  We all have some sort of view of ourselves that is distorted from what is in reality.  We typically think we look worse than what other people see in us.  Maybe it is because we know our faults and we focus on them constantly.....or maybe its much deeper than that.

Lets Change That Up!!

Instead of focusing so much on what you hate about your body, focus on what you LOVE about it.  Just about 
every time someone goes to a gym for the first time, or hires a trainer, it comes down to hating some aspect of 
their body, or wanting to lose this, or tone that.  What do you love about your body?  What do you love about 
yourself.  Hitting on positive points makes for better self esteem, and a more positive self image.  

Watch the video below!!

Remember focus on the good, the positive and push all that negative BS away!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Motivational Monday

A few days ago I wrote about setbacks and how responding to them makes you who you are.  I wrote about always grinding through, always being strong. 
One group to check out that epitomizes that daily grind is Grind Society.  Check them out on Facebook.

Anyway, when I saw this video, it got me pumped up and I wanted to share it with you.  If you haven't heard about Eric Thomas, I highly suggest you check him out.  He even has his own app, (I have it on my phone) and its always good to look to for a little inspiration when you feel like you need it. 

Make the rest of your life...
 The best of your life!!

Without Struggle There Is No Progress

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fitness Friday

Comparison is a part of nature.  We all want to compare ourselves to other people, and we tend to gauge our own success against that of some one else.  There is no denying it, but maybe we should focus how we compare.  There is a huge difference between having money and having wealth. 

Sometimes it comes down to comparing what another person looks like.  I want so and so's arms, or stomach, or whatever.  One of the biggest complaints ends up being cellulite,  I'm not even going to try to pretend to understand what women go through but women are always looking for a way to get rid of it.  Take a quick anatomy lesson here to understand it more clearly. 

Even when women want to get rid of cellulite, they turn to "detoxing" the body.  However this is a myth and has no basis in science.  In the end it is one giant marketing scheme meant to sell products.  If you really want to "detox," drink more water and don't put crap in your body.  DONE!  No special diets, or special powders, or 500 calorie diet. 

Stretching is an important aspect to fitness and to training.  Most of it should be done at the end of a workout, when the muscles are warm and pliable.  As we age, certain compensation patterns result from a lifetime of doing things a certain way.  These stretches help keep the body moving efficiently and more importantly, pain free.  The most important parts to stretch are the hips and the shoulders as they get tight quickly through periods of sitting, especially at a computer. 

Weekend Workout
Focus on Recovery this weekend.  Every now and then it's a good idea to throw a de-loading week in your routine.  If you're working out, and dragging along, not giving it the usual 100% intensity you usually do, maybe its time to rest and recover.  Sometimes its the best thing to do for your body.  We push ourselves so hard week after week, day after day that it takes a toll on our bodies. 
Take some extra time and sleep in if you can. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward. - Henry Ford.

Everyone has set backs.  Everyone has a bad day, week, month, even year.  What it call comes down to is how we respond to these bumps in the road, or plateaus in progress.  
You're not alone, you are not being singled out.  I've been injured so many times as I'm sure many of you have been.  It happens and it can throw off your training big time.  The key is evolving and adapting your training to accommodate that injury.  After my broken ankle, I focused on my upper body training, which included a lot of TRX, battle ropes, and push-ups.  I adapted, I took that obstacle and changed myself, changed my training routine to stay active.  

Now I'm not saying all setbacks are fitness/health related.  Certainly there are other things in life that can set you back, but the mindset needs to remain the same.  You MUST maintain that positive mindset.
No matter what you are pursuing, no matter what pops up.  It could be a new diet or exercise program, or new behavior patterns, or just one of life's little curve balls that it likes to thrown every once in a while. Eventually, there comes a time where a wall is put in front of you.  That wall is there to TEST you. How you react to that wall, how you adapt, will show you what you are made of.  

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."

There are 2 ways to handle life's little curve balls.  

You either change the problem or you change yourself.  Changing yourself can be quite hard.  If you do it the right way, evolve and take your "wall" head on, it can build you up., make you stronger.  However, do it the wrong way, and it can send you spiraling down.

What I want you to do is to stay STRONG!!!  

                                                                       Never give in
                                                                       Grind it out

Don't venture into that negative place where you feel sorry for yourself, or start saying "why me" or "when is my break" or "I have no luck."  That's negative self deprecating behavior and will only lead you down one path. We don't want that.  

STRONG is empowering yourself to learn from any and every setback so that next time something pops up, you can kick some butt.  STRONG is viewing them as a challenge to overcome.  


Guess what?  S@%T happens!!  You either roll with it and learn from it, or you let it conquer you and break you down.  The choice is yours.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Motivational Monday

If you've never heard anything by Eric Thomas, or seen any videos featuring his speeches, you are missing out on some serious awesome sauce.  Do yourself a favor, hit up Youtube and find his stuff. 
Today's Motivational Monday features Eric Thomas and follows one guy on his daily grind towards a healthy lifestyle.  Sometimes being healthy, eating right, getting to the gym, and putting in your workouts is a grind. 
Keep GRINDING it out!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fitness Friday

Life doesn't get easier, you just get better at handling it.  When it comes to any goal, it's all in your mindset.  I've written numerous times on having a positive mindset and how that translates to success in any aspect of your life.  At the end Alli puts out a great 30 day mindset challenge.  Try to focus on the positive thoughts, and let the negative ones pass over you.  See what happens when you dedicate yourself towards a positive way of thinking.  

When it comes to exercise, there are some truths out there to what you should be doing.  There are also a ton of myths and garbage out there.  Among those truths...Committing to the long haul, progressing a little more each week, focusing on basic multi-joint movements, and getting stronger before trying to up intensity.  Focus on those things and ignore the myths and garbage. 

One big truth is that recovery is super important.  Now when it comes to recovery from workouts, SLEEP is key. If you're not sleeping, your are not getting that proper recovery that you body needs in order for you to reach your goals.  If you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to gain weight than those that hit their 7 hours.  Sleep also goes way beyond the weight loss world, it has effects on blood pressure, diabetes, and heart failure.  But there is good news.  Sleep also has positive effects on regenerating brain cell numbers.  So do yourself a favor and get those restful hours in.  

Lastly, we all want our kids to be healthy, fit, and active.  But are we putting too much pressure on them?  This study provides an interesting take on studying childhood obesity.  Maybe its not so much on the kids themselves, but the example WE are setting for them. 

Have a great weekend!!!

Weekend Workout
Barbell Complex.  Pick a weight that challenges your weakest exercise and go through each exercise with out putting down the weight.  Sounds easy and simple...but its not.

Squat Press
Bent-over Rows
Alternating Lunges
4 sets of 8 reps

Half Kneeling Shoulder Press Left
Half Kneeling Shoulder Press Right
Step-Up Left
Step-Up Right
Row Left
Row Right
Spilt Squat Left
Split Squat Right
Side Plank Left
Side Plank Right
2 sets of 15 reps

Get after it this weekend!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fitness Friday

Most of the time, nearly 90%, we hear the goal of being "toned." But when it comes to training, the common thought is that in order to get that look, its high reps with very low weight.  However, the real truth is, is that men and women should train in just about the same fashion.  Both need MORE intense weight training and LESS gender specific exercises.  Sure there are some variations to training programs, but we all have the same muscles that work in the same way.

Since you're going to be training, and aiming to get stronger, you should also focus on mobility.  We always aim to get our clients more mobility through a myriad of drills, including many animal flow drills.  Having an increased ability to move will decrease the chances of any overuse injuries or any other aches and pains along the way.  How many times have you had an achy back or hip or shoulder???  Yea, that's due to poor mobility.  Work on stretching, foam rolling, and moving better and there will be no need for supplements to relieve joint pain.
One study showed that taking supplements of vitamin D and calcium made no difference in joint pain compared to a placebo group.  Interesting enough, but not totally comprehensive.

But the point is still the same, DO YOUR MOBILITY WORK.

When there is a focus on fat loss, it usually comes down to a choice between training more or eating less.  However, there is only so much training you can do, and there is only so much deprivation you can endure.  Eat too little and you set off a crazy chain of hormonal changes.  "When it comes to hormones, you have to nudge the body." You don't force it."
Jumping from diet to diet can have long term effects on your metabolism and can in turn make your body hold onto more fat than it did previously.  Yo-yo dieting and having weight go up and down leads to a relatively fatter body and a less responsive metabolism.  Like it was mentioned before, it does horrible things to hormonal levels tied closely with fat loss.  "The human metabolism is like tires on a car.  The more we wear it down over time through chronic dieting, the less responsive it becomes.

Moral of the story: Do both.  Focus on exercise and smart nutrition.

Weekend Workout
DB Chest Press- 12
Reverse Lunge- 8 per side
Single Leg Deadlift- 8 per side
DB Row- 12 per arm
3 sets

60 sec of intense cardio (jump rope, rowing, sprints, stairs, battle ropes)

Lateral Lunge 15 per side
Push-ups 15
Crossing Lunges 10 per side
3 sets

60 sec of intense cardio

Pull-ups 10
TRX/Bodyweight Rows 15
Squat Press- 10
3 sets

60 sec cardio

Plank- 45 seconds
Mountain Climbers 30 seconds
2 sets