Sunday, June 30, 2013

Motivational Monday

Don't set out to be perfect everyday.  Perfection doesn't exist.  Just strive to be awesome each and every day and your whole world will change!!

Just focus on being you and getting better each day.  Don't try and be perfect because you just set yourself up to meet impossible standards.  If you just focus on bettering yourself every day, then progress and awesomeness can take place.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fitness Friday

If you've been reading these posts for a while, we really do try to preach keeping a positive frame of mind.  Nothing is more negative than "living until."  What I mean, and what Dr. Brooke means in her article is that it seems we've gotten ourselves caught up in an "until" mindset.  How many times have you said "I'll be happier when...." or "when I look like...."  What this does is create a negative, depressing state. Don't think that way.  It may keep you from great things.  Start living now.  As The Unattainable Life says daily, "Are you really living?" 


Step out of your comfort zone once in a while.  Stretch yourself past what you think you can do.  I guarantee you would surprise yourself.  Same can be said for us.  Chris is pushing himself out of his comfort zone to give a presentation this summer on trainer education. 

Sometimes you just have to take a chance. 

A hot topic as always is CARBS!  Should you eat them, how much, blah blah blah.  YES!! Eat your carbs.  They are a basic macro nutrient that sustains the body.  Your brain especially needs those carbs to function.  For the most part, earn your carbs, meaning on workout days you can push your carb intake a little.  On non-workout days, try to go a little lower on the carbs.  Pretty simple guidelines. 

If you really want to get lean, then focus on consistent effort over time.  It's not going to happen all of the sudden, but a few tips will go a long way. 

Dedicated to your success always!!!

Weekend Workout/Strengthio

Burpees 10
Vipr Shuffles/Shuffles 20
Rope Slams 20
Kettlebell Swings 20
Mountain Climbers 20ea leg
3-5 rounds


Kettlebell Snatch Left- 10
Two Handed Kettlebell Swing- 20
Kettlebell Clean and Press Left- 10
Kettlebell Figure 8- 20
Kettlebell Snatch Right- 10
Two Handed Kettlebell Swing- 20
Kettlebell Clean and Press Right- 10
Kettlebell Figure 8- 20

3-5 rounds

Or just get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Motivational Monday

Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go!!

Realize that you have accomplished so much. Take pride in the fact that every day you are getting better and better. 
But the sky is the limit in terms of how far you can go. You set those limits. 

Believe in yourself and all things are possible. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fitness Friday

Life is all about acceptance.  One of the most important things you need to accept is yourself.  Change how you see yourself, change your relationship with yourself.  Love yourself!!
As far as Molly's tips go, 6 and 7 are my favorites.  I love the idea of setting strength or performance goals and I also love the idea of training because you LOVE your body, not because you hate it.  That is a more positive way of thinking.

How often should you work out?  Well that depends.  I like to have clients set up behavior goals because you can control that.  Setting a behavior goal of say, 16 workouts a month is a pretty attainable goal.  There are of course long term benefits to exercise, but there are also short term benefits as well.  Maybe you should consider upping your game and work out more often.  Maybe skip one or two days in between exercise bouts. 

Speaking of exercise, have you tried working out in your bare feet?  I gave Vibrams a good go, and I loved working out in them.  I felt more solid on the ground when I would do my big lifts, like squats and deadlifts.  However recently, I am just working out in bare feet, or at least in awesome socks.  "There are 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the foot."  Why not give them a chance to get in on the workout and get stronger.  A stronger foot will help with everything else.  I will say, barefoot training did wonders in my recovery from an ankle injury.  So maybe next time you hit the gym, try doing it in bare feet.  That is, if your gym allows it. 

Now after you exercise, REST is super important.  Sleep is where the most recovery takes place.  However, it appears that we are getting less and less sleep, which can be detrimental to our health.  I know I don't sleep nearly as much as I should be.  The beginning of the year I set a goal for myself to get to bed before 11pm.  Most nights I accomplish that, but there are many, many nights that I don't succeed in doing so. 

Weekend Workout
Do an awesome warm-up to get your body ready for exercise.  My go to has been a lot of mobility work(especially shoulders and hips) and animal flow movements.

Split Squat 10 each (for an added challenge, use weights, or put your foot in a TRX)
Dumbbell Chest Press 10 (use a Swiss ball for added core challenge)
Kettlebell Swings 20
Plank Pushups 10 each
Dumbbell Row 10 each
Mountain Climber 20 (TRX or glide disks or weight plates for added challenge)
4 rounds or sets

Jump Squats 15
TRX Low Row or Inverted Row 15
Pikes 15 (TRX or ball or plates)
Squat Press 15
3 rounds or sets

Make sure you use a weight that is challenging enough

Or try a 300 rep challenge
Prisoner Squats 30
TRX or Inverted Row 25
Ice Skaters 50
Pushups 25
Spiderman Climbs 20
Reverse Lunge 50 (25 each side)
Jumping Jacks 50
Pull-ups 20
Inchworms 15
Burpees 15

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Motivation Monday

Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. 

There are always those moments on your fitness journey where you start to feel amazing, and you start having those moments where you realize you're doing things you once thought impossible. 
Maybe its performing that perfect squat, or hitting a personal best.  Or maybe its the thought that you actually feel and move a whole lot better than a few days, weeks, or months ago. 
That's real strength. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fitness Friday

Happy Fitness Friday!!

We always say, you can't out train a bad diet.  This holds especially true when your body is deficient in so many vital nutrients.  Get your diet back on track with some helpful steps from Precision Nutrition.  Fix deficiencies, adjust food amounts and the types of food you eat, and finally fine tune the minor details.  This article is a great resource. 

This was an inspiring story.  I really think this will help a lot of people struggling with their fitness journey.  I'm hoping Molly's story can help inspire you, and maybe talk you off a ledge. 

Weekend Workout

Forward Lunge-20
Lateral Lunge-20
Single Leg Deadlift-10ea leg

Split Jumps-20
Spiderman Push-ups-20
Spiderman Climb with Rotation-10

TRX Anti Extension Fallouts-10
Plank- max out for time

Hit this up 3-5 times for a killer workout. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Is Your Workout Making You Smarter?

That could be one of my favorite Simpsons moments.  It's just so catchy.  I am so smart, S-M-R-T!!
Are you getting your S-M-R-T on?  Chances are, by hitting the gym, and challenging yourself, you are. 
The typical gym member has one goal and one goal only as to why they start on a fitness journey.  Its probably to look better.  It usually surrounds losing fat and building muscle.  Maybe there's a secondary goal of improving ones health, or if your my favorite type of client, improving the way you move.  A benefit of undertaking a new exercise program that many overlook is that exercise could in fact make you smarter. 


Well, studies have shown that exercise can create new brain cells which in turn would improve brain function and performance.  After a killer workout, there appears to an increased level of a certain brain protein that helps with decision making, higher thinking, and learning.  According to Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (2008, Little, Brown), exercise signals the release of protein into the bloodstream which increases the production of brain chemicals that improve connections between existing neurons and even triggers the formation of new ones.  How is that helpful?  More neurons, increased thinking, and learning.  

The more complicated the movement or exercise, the more challenging it is, the more thinking involved.  We see people's brains working every session at AMP.  Give someone a ViPR and have them do a GI Joe Lunge/Lunge with upper cut, and watch them try to problem solve their movement pattern.  However the more they do it, the more they learn, and then it becomes second nature to them.  Or try crawling and coordinating moving opposite limbs.  You could sure as hell do it as a baby. In fact it was second nature, but along the way your body reprogrammed itself to walk and run.  Getting back to basics, like crawling, is always a learning experience in itself. Or should I say RE-learning. (BTW at AMP we re-learn movement patterns every day!)

So just another amazing benefit to working out.  

This can easily be applied to students in school.  In fact, it was applied in Naperville, near Chicago, in their high school.  The results were astounding.  Students struggling in math and reading were encouraged to go to gym first and by the end of the year, reading and math scores improved dramatically.  
So eliminating gym class is probably one of the worst things you can do for students not only from an obesity/health/fitness standpoint, but from a mental/learning point too.  So note to schools, more PE, more recess!!

Now if this can work for students, maybe it can work for adults or even the elderly suffering from dementia.  As we get older, it appears that our brains shrink a little.  Well why is that?  Aging kills off brain cells which results in the brain shrinking a little, which in turn leads to a decrease in brain function.  However there is a solution as we've seen so far in this post. EXERCISE!! Exercise is the common theme.    

I'll conclude this post by saying you should exercise.  Not only because it'll make you feel and look good, but because you may just be smarter because of it.  If anything, you'll be able to think and learn better, and who doesn't want that.  I'll leave you with a great quote from the previously mentioned Dr. John Ratey:

Exercise is Miracle Gro for the brain,”

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Motivational Monday

I love hockey!!!  They quite possibly could be the toughest athletes out there.

We all hit our moments where we struggle, we become weak, fatigued, ready to give up, throw in the towel, and quit.  It is at those moments where you have to dig deep, find that inner strength, that inner voice that keeps pushing you forward and get through any obstacle in front of you.

If you're not that big of a hockey fan, or sports fan, just watch how deep Gregory Campbell digs to get through his penalty kill shift.  All on a broken leg.  Not once did he give up, or leave his teammates hanging.

Like I said, you just have to find that inner strength sometimes and give it everything you got!!

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fitness Friday

Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition!!  In the end, it always comes down to what you're putting in your body.  There isn't one "best" diet and not every diet will work for everyone. 
Not One Best Diet

Many people know what they SHOULD do, but how many of us actually do it.  There's always something missing.  Could it be consistency?

It's your body, and you're gonna have to live in it tomorrow.  Make the right choices, because in the end, you have to live with them.  This article is pretty badass!!  Plus it was posted on Arnold's website, so you know its good stuff.

There's always a debate on "cardio." I use quotation marks because cardio is anything that makes your heart rate elevate.  This could be anything from running to kettlebell complexes, to some sort of animal flow routine that you bust out for 3 minutes straight.  Anyway, change up your "cardio" with this article. 

Finally, this article takes a look at your fitness and comparing it to dog training.  Now if you've ever gone through dog training, its all behavior modification.  Rewarding good behavior.  Same goes for your fitness and health.  Take a look.  I'm sure you'll find it as entertaining as I did. 

Weekend Workout!!
For your warm-up just have fun, maybe crawl around, let your freedom of movement flow out of you.  Check out our playtime animal flow video.  We just mess around. 

As for your workout for the weekend
Kettlebell Swings
Atomic Push-ups
Squat Press
Renegade Rows

Hit up each exercise for a minute, record your reps for each exercise.  Rest about a minute between each exercise. 
Try 1-3 rounds, and attempt to beat your reps each round through the circuit. 

For some added cardio, jump rope.  See if you can get to 1000. 


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Motivational Monday

Precision Nutrition put together a 3 part series on getting motivated and maintaining that motivation. 
It's all about finding a reason to go on, not giving up, and not being afraid by diving right in.

Find your deepest reason!!  Why are you doing what your doing?  Find your deep reason

Quit Tomorrow   Whenever you feel like you want to give up, just quit tomorrow

Master your fear Don't let fear be the reason you fail