Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015- The Year of Not Falling for Gimmick

It's coming up on 2015 and the craze of setting resolutions is upon us.  The quest for better health, losing weight, getting in better shape are among the top resolutions many will set come January 1st.  And the solution that most will use to take on their resolutions?  They will be of the quick fix, gimmicky, too good to be true variety.  Pills, shakes, mangled exercise science applications, cleanses, detoxes, super-foods, etc.
And why is that?

Because losing weight and getting healthier is an emotional endeavor.  And companies prey on that emotional attachment.  But you're smarter than that, right?

Let 2015 be the year that you don't fall for the shiny object promising this & that because chances are if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  We are smart people, but we seem to fall for every little magic pill or new "secret to weight loss" without using any sort of logic or rationalization.  Let 2015 be the year you use logic and rationalization.  In one of my upcoming articles for Watchfit, I focus on the latest craze of waist training and the dangers that are inherent in doing something like that.  Basically a fad or gimmick that has a celebrity endorsement and promises the world.  My key takeaway from that article?  Making sure there is a physiological reason for the results that are claimed.

"We go to great lengths to find the quickest and easiest way to get results, to find that one “magic pill” that will make our lives easier and/or better.  But if there is no physiological reason as to why something will work, then it’s most likely a gimmick that won’t have long lasting results.  
We are always in search of that one thing that will help our aesthetics without analyzing whether or not it’s actually healthy for us.  Yes, we are a society that bases a lot on appearance and less on what will make us healthier, but what if instead of wasting the time and energy we spend on gimmicks like waist training, we focused on solid exercise and nutrition programs.  We’d have a much healthier society as a whole."

That was my conclusion.  We waste so much time searching for the next best thing instead of looking at what works and what has always worked.  Exercise and nutrition!
We over complicate and cloud common sense with a lot of garbage that is unnecessary.

If there was a magic pill or secret way to lose weight, don't you think everyone would be doing it?  Don't you think doctors all over the world would be prescribing this magic?

That's because it doesn't exist.  What does exist is following a consistent exercise and nutrition program. One like we have at AMP where we test you strength, your conditioning, and we stay on top of your nutrition. We try to steer you in the right direction and away from fads and gimmicks, because why waste your time and money.  

Let 2015 be the year you make the healthy choice, the one that will leave you with long lasting results, not ones that last a few weeks and go away.

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why New Years Resolutions Suck

"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time" -Abraham Lincoln

Take one day at a time, because looking to far into the future can derail what you are trying to accomplish today.  
This quote plays into the exact reason why resolutions fail. We look too much into future instead of focusing on one day at a time, getting better one day at a time.  

1% Better Every Day!
As we get towards the end of 2014, we look forward to what we want to accomplish in 2015.  What worked in 2014, what didn't work in 2014, what can I improve? Because we all want to improve something.  

Millions of Americans will set to create New Years Resolutions around this time, only to give up on them by March.  Why is that?
The issue that comes every year from setting New Years resolutions is that we set goals that are either too lofty or too vague.  Most often it lies with being too vague.  Starting an exercise program, eating healthier, creating a better financial situation, or whatever it may be creates a lack of specificity. And without specificity, its easy to get away from them.  

Or it could be that your are just not ready for change.  When January 1st hits, we all want to change.  But do you REALLY want change?  Are you prepared to take the necessary steps that need be done in order to get in better shape?
Change or being ready for change comes in phases:  

  1. Precontemplation. No intention for change nor is aware of problematic behavior or may be let down by past failures.
  2. Contemplation. Aware of the need for change and intends to take action, but isn't committed just yet. 
  3. Preparation. Has decided to start changing behavior and has a plan of action, like going to AMP
  4. Action. Has made changes by developing effective habits and behaviors.
  5. Maintenance. Has made changes over the long haul and is working hard to prevent sliding back to their old ways. 

Where did you fall?  If you are like most people making resolutions, you are in stage 2 or 3.  Let AMP help you get to stage 4 & 5 by creating a training program for you and keep you accountable.

Another reason we struggle with our New Years resolutions is we want to change everything all at once.  We really lack the ability to focus on so many things at once.  Research has shown that when we try to change a single behavior at a time, the likelihood that we'll retain that habit for a year or more is better than 80%.  When we try two behaviors, our chances of success are less than 35%.  When we try three behaviors or more, our success rate plummets to less than 5%.  

That is why resolutions fail and
why resolutions are a waste of time!
Is it any surprise, then, that when we try to massively overhaul our lifestyle in short order, the changes simply don’t stick?  Of course not.  But, let’s be honest.  Most of us aren't known for being patient.  And most people who try to start an exercise or nutrition program want to be in shape, like, yesterday.

Finally, pick a behavior based goal.  Not one based on the outcome.  You can't control the outcome.  Avoid going into 2015 saying, "I want to lose "X" amount of weight in "Y" amount of time because what if you don't hit that mark? Do you just give up?  Behavior on the other hand is easily controlled by YOU!  
Every single day you have complete control on behaving in ways that take you towards your goals or away from them, so if the outcome doesn't happen, you can look at your behavior over the course of a month to see what you could have done different.  

Here's what I want you to do:

  • Select one habit or behavior & ONLY one habit/behavior. Whatever you think will have the biggest impact on your life.
  • Write down your plan. What steps do you need to take?
  • Find someone to keep you accountable!
  • Post Publicly:  For January, we want to use our white board to write your habit down so you are accountable to it

So what have we learned?  We need to pick ONE habit or behavior (because we can control behavior) and go with it. We need to ensure that our habit or behavior is specific and not just "eating healthier."  Get specific, for example "2 vegetables at every meal, or training 16 times in January"
Create more ease with your goal setting and I guarantee your "resolution" will be more successful.

Your final thing to do?
Write it down on our white board!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014


How much sleep does the typical adult get?  A little under 7 hours.  Even further, about 1/3 get under 6 hours.  Well what exactly does that mean for your health?
Studies suggest that people who sleep fewer than six hours per night gain almost twice as much weight over a 6-year period as people who sleep 7-8 hours per night.  Why?

  • decrease in satiety hormones, increase in hunger hormones
  • altered glucose tolerance, insulin resistance & diabetes
  • inflammation
  • obesity
  • disruption of cortisol levels and rhythm
  • decrease in testosterone and increase in estrogen
  • loss of lean mass, including muscle, bone and organs
  • decrease in thyroid stimulating hormone
  • heart attack
  • stroke


So why don't we get enough sleep?  Is it because we are so busy, or that our brains are still processing, or is is it more of just staying awake because you want to despite how tired you are.  Maybe you're just mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, or catching a TV show.  Solving that problem can help you lead to better and more sleep.

So now we all know that it's important for our health, however, I think many underestimate how much sleep can affect everything in your body from brain activity to hormone levels or think that we can get away with little sleep.  It is just as important as exercise and nutrition.  Earlier in the week, we posted about setting a routine when you go to bed.
This includes set up your room so that you can get a quality nights rest. 
Here are a few good tips include:
  • Turning off the TV, phone. 
  • Making sure its dark enough 
  • Cutting out the caffeine
  • Stretching
  • Setting a Bedtime
  • Temperature( I know I like it where its not too hot or too cold)

Either way, creating a game plan will make a world of difference in the quality and quantity of your sleep.  Just like nutrition, you need to set up habits to be successful, and it is no different when it comes to sleep.

Take control of your sleep environment and behavior and see how successful you are.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Just Breathe!

It's one of the simplest things we do, yet it has become one of the most complicated things as well.  Breathing!  
Breathing occurs in two different ways, when relaxed and when under duress.

Why is has it become complicated?   In one word, STRESS.
Our bodies response to stress, whether its from someone attacking us or from a deadline at work, is typically the same biologically speaking.  It results in an increase in cortisol and a difference in how we breathe.  

You may have heard me mention cortisol and how it can wreak havoc on fat storage.  This comes down to increases in stress.  The bodies normal response to immediate stress is a short increase in cortisol.  This gives us a quick burst of energy, sharpens our memory, increases our immunity, and decreases our sensitivity to pain.  These are all important and natural functions of cortisol and ensure that we are able to weather the curve balls that life throws at us.

However, and this is a big one, if the stress doesn't let up, neither does the cortisol.  Unfortunately, what is healthy in small bursts becomes dangerous over the long term.  If you have persistent stress in your life, then you have cortisol levels that are out of balance:  your body makes so much cortisol that it detrimentally affects your health.  For example, increases in abdominal fat or our ability to breathe.

Ideally we want to just breathe using our diaphragms, however when we're stressed or under duress, or even when we're exercising, we use other muscles as well.  For example, we use our chest and neck muscles as well.  What this ends up leading to is tightness in your neck, shoulders, and/or back.  

What I want you to do now is lay on your back, take a deep breathe in, and notice 1 of 2 things.  Did you belly rise or did your chest rise?

If you're like most people, you saw a big rise in your chest over your belly.  

What does that mean?  Probably that you are in a constant state of "panic breathing" or "compensatory breathing."
Take a look at this!

In addition, try some of these tactics:
•    Reduce stress.  Easier said than done.  Learning how to cope with stress more effectively may be all it takes to balance your cortisol.
•    Be consistent with Sleep.  Going to bed at the same time each night will help to regulate your circadian rhythm. Practice this habit to ensure you get enough sleep.
•    Exercise.  This is a great way to reduce stress, however it doesn't have to be all out, exhausting exercise.  It can be movement, like going for a walk.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Strengths & Weaknesses

“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we focus solely on our strengths, we only get better & stronger at what we're good at.  Only by taking a look at our weaknesses, assessing what they are, can we solve them and turn them into strengths.  

We often only do what we're good at because it is comfortable and we know we'll be successful at it.  There is a lot of fear in taking a look at our weaknesses because we fear that they will lead to failure. 

We all have them.  They keep us from accomplishing what we want because of that fear.  

Make your weaknesses your strengths.  Attack them, change them.  

Recently I've switched up my training program so that my areas of weakness can become my strength.  I got so comfortable doing things that I'm good at, that my strength was stagnating.  
Now it's time to assess my weaknesses, do things I'm not so comfortable doing, do things that I'm probably not good at, and make what were my weaknesses, my strengths.  

What do you think your weaknesses are? 
How can you make them your strengths?

Examine your weaknesses.
Figure out your strengths.
Figure out how to make your weaknesses into your strengths.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


"Let your passion be the reason for your existence and your successes the result of your persistence"

Where does your passion lie?  
What are you passionate about?  

Our passion lies with making sure we give you our very best. That starts with our dedication to your success and that means a passion for education, your education.
That's why we take the time to instruct, coach, and correct everything we do.  That's why there is a section full of articles that have the potential to help you, to give you tips on how to be better.

There is an enormous amount of useless misinformation out there that is full of pseudoscience and mumbo-jumbo.  It's an overload of misleading, awful information that the public just eats up, because health, fitness, and losing weight is emotional.  It has such an emotional factor to it, that anything that promises weight loss, or increased health, no matter how irrational or fraudulent it may be, sells.  In reality, most of it has no basis in the real training world.
"Get your flat abs doing these 3 moves."  Really?!?  No, your abs will not get flat doing those 3 moves.  Yes, your abs will work, but flat abs come from proper diet and exercise intensity. 

Take this pill, or powder, or whatever and boom, you'll lose weight.
Try this cleanse!!
Too much info dilutes really good info.
With each and every training session, we try to teach our clients a little more.  It could be something small like a new way to stretch, if you should stretch at all, or maybe its learning how to foam roll, or about proper nutrition, but the key is, its something.
Something you can take away from your training session and apply to your every day life.
Nothing makes us prouder than seeing a client incorporate our advice and see success.
We are always available to answer any questions you have or and advice you may seek.  We don't keep anything a secret, we don't keep our methods to ourselves.
We believe that an educated client makes the best client because an educated client will take ownership over their progress and their success.

Lastly, our greatest joys come in the little things, like seeing a client hit a PR on a lift, or all of sudden being able to move pain free, or having that a-ha moment where they get it, even if its just an a-ha on one particular exercise.  They still get it.  

That is what we are passionate about.  I ask "What are you passionate about?"

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Movement & Life

"Movement is life. Life is a process.  Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself."
-Moshe Feldenkrais

Take a look at the quote above.  How do you interpret that?

Movement, much like life, is a process. Each day you wake up is an opportunity to move, to improve your ability to move, to find new ways to move that you may not have thought of. When was the last time you crawled around on the ground? Or rolled around?  Go crawl your face off!

We have such a structure to our lives, where we are told to sit still, to not move, and this structure is basically killing us. Stillness leads to inactivity which leads to our muscles getting weak & tight. How often do you find yourself in a state of stillness?  Sitting, standing, laying, etc?

Still, we wonder why most of us have some sort of chronic pain. Like our knee aches, or our elbow, or our neck, or most especially our backs.  Do you have back pain?  My guess you have some sort of nagging ache that comes and goes, however it goes away once you start moving.  

Well duh!  

Movement is one of the best forms of therapy for chronic pain. The research is out there.
No drugs or surgery!  Just movement.  

Want to feel better physically and mentally, MOVE!
It won't change everything, because its not a miracle drug, but I guarantee that if you move more, you will feel a whole lot better.  

The moment you stop moving is the moment you stop living.

Don't stop living!
Go out and improve the quality in which you move, improve how often you move.  You'll be amazed how much your life improves, how some of those aches and pains go away,(I'm not talking soreness) how much happier you'll be.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Don't Be Afraid To Fail

You've failed many times, although you may not remember.
You fell down the first time you tried to walk.
You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn't you?
Did you hit the ball the first time you swung the bat?
Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.
R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.
English Novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books.
Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.
Don’t worry about failure.
Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Where do your priorities lie?

As Gandhi says, what we do, what our actions are, reflect where our priorities lie.  In our society, spending habits in terms of money and time seem to be a good indicator of priorities.  If we spend a lot on one thing over another,  it's clearly more important to us.  Go take a look at your spending habits:

How much you pay for cable TV?
How much time do you watch TV?
How much is your monthly phone bill?
How often are you checking Facebook, Instagram etc?
How much do you spend on entertainment or eating out at restaurants?
How much do you spend on your fitness goals?
How much do you spend on great nutrition?

Are your priorities all lined up with what you say you want?  Or are there multiple things in front of what you say you want?
One of the best things I've heard, or maybe I made it up myself is that you are going to spend time and money on your health.  It's inevitable.  The key question is whether your are going to be proactive with exercise and nutrition, or reactive with doctors and medication.

There are 168 hours in a week.  That is plenty of time to get stuff done whether they are bringing you closer to your goals or further away.  So....
Where are you spending that time?

Here's what you are going to do to find out where your priorities are?  Much like a food journal, I want you to keep track of how many hours you are dedicating to everything you do.
  • Internet time
  • TV time
  • Nutrition/Meal prep time 
  • Exercise time
  • Etc
You can literally add an category you want!

After a week, you'll get a better picture of what you are doing and where you spend a majority of your time.  Then you can see if your actions really line up with what you say you want.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Why Do We Fall?

Have you ever seen Batman Begins?

I have.  Multiple times.  Why? Because the Christopher Nolan trilogy is freakin badass.  
Anyway, as I was watching Batman Begins, I noticed a theme and there is an amazing quote in the movie that I think we all need to remember from time to time, because often we look at failure as an end, as being defeated.  As, well, failure.  
It's mentioned twice, once by Bruce Wayne's father & a second time by Alfred.
"Why do we fall?"
"So we can learn to pick ourselves up"

How many times have you failed at something, before you finally got it?  Every time we fail, we find an opportunity to learn something, not only about the task we are trying to accomplish, but more importantly, about ourselves.  We learn how far we can be pushed, how much we can take, how strong we really are.  
I'm not talking about "hey i can lift 500lbs."  I'm talking true strength, that inner drive to not give up at the first sign of struggle, that inner voice that tells you to get up off the ground when you've been knocked down.

Watch a baby learn to walk.  What happens?  They get up, take a step and boom they're down.  They get up again, get two steps, and down they go.  They adapt, they learn, they find a way to get it done.  And eventually they're walking!

The biggest struggle I've been seeing is doing a push-up.  Maybe its a matter of strength, maybe its a matter of technique, maybe its a matter of learning the motor plan.  But you're not going to give up on it.  You're going to keep at it!  You are going to keep doing those negative push-ups, keep doing those pop-ups.  Why?  Because each time you do them, you learn, each time you collapse, you have an opportunity to pick yourself up, literally, from the ground.

Don't get frustrated at the day to day.  Use every failure as a learning experience meant to make you better.

One of my favorite things to do on my way to work is listen to Eric Thomas, and if you haven't heard of him go on YouTube right now!!
One of my favorite quotes, and it fits today's theme, is
"A setback is a setup for a comeback."

So remember that next time you're in a struggle.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

“Change comes with sacrifice... When you want to make a change you must be prepared to make a sacrifice of escaping the comfort zone!” 
― Israelmore AyivorThe Great Hand Book of Quotes

For those that have been watching our events list, you'll be aware that I gave a presentation this weekend at FEI Eclipse alongside very intelligent speakers and fitness professionals.  If not, well, I gave a presentation this weekend in NYC on motor learning, coaching and cueing.  

All of us at AMP know that I am not the most outspoken person, nor would you describe me as extroverted.  
The running joke around AMP is that I don't talk or use my words often.
If you've seen the board in the back the past few weeks, Mike and Adam have been giving me words of the day to say 10 times to get me to say more. 

So its not a surprise when I tell you that standing up in front of a conference, albeit 10-15 people is not only nerve racking for me, but it takes me so far outside of my comfort zone that I'm uncomfortable.  And that is the sacrifice I have to make in order to change or to make a change.

Not only do I want to make a change for myself, but I want to be a part of a wave of change in the fitness industry itself.  I don't want to be in fear of speaking in front of groups, because ultimately I want to be able to do that, to teach, to educate.  Me speaking and presenting information at these events helps educate trainers in a largely uneducated field.  

So the quote above really speaks to me.  Because I have all these "outside goals" past AMP, I have to change, I have to adapt, I have to be willing to put in effort, I have to sacrifice my own comfort level to be a part of the bigger picture.  My comfort level is either staying introverted like you probably see at AMP, but its all hiding behind my keyboard.  If you read these emails and blog posts and articles that I write, you see I have no problem with words.  But that's typing, not speaking.  It's very easy for me to write, in fact it comes pretty natural to me.  But that can only accomplish my goals only so much.

So what does all this have to do with you?  

We all have goals, we all have aspirations, but we all also hide in our comfort zones.  How often have you found yourself staying in a comfort zone out of fear of the unknown, out of fear of what could happen?  Making a change, whether its attaining life goals or health/fitness goals requires some sort of sacrifice to get out of your comfort zone.  

It could be your uncomfortable with that out of breath feeling, or from having to give up control if even only for an hour, or uncomfortable with sweating, or lifting, or even just being uncomfortable with not excelling at something.  Maybe your comfort zone is staying with a so-so diet because getting out of it and starting a healthy nutrition plan is foreign and scary.  

Change is scary, change is foreign, change requires sacrifice. But if you really want to change, I'm telling you to get out of your comfort zone, because in the end, the results, the feeling of satisfaction will be worth it.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Our goal at AMP is to provide you with a roadmap to success, to guide you on your journey, because that is what it is.  It's a journey.  It is not going to happen overnight or in a week or even two weeks.  You know what WILL happen?  

Progress isn't sexy, progress doesn't sell, progress isn't what garners headlines.  But progress works and progress is a part of the journey!!  Every week, every day you strive to be better than you were the day before.  Doesn't matter what it is.  Maybe you stuck to your nutrition plan better today than yesterday.  Maybe you put a little more into your workout this week than last week. Maybe you set a new PR on a lift that you've been struggling with.  

My biggest struggle was hitting a muscle-up.  For the longest time I kept trying and trying.  Failing each and every time.  Getting frustrated, angry, and down right pissed off.  But you know what happened when I finally hit that goal?  I was smiling from ear to ear, proud that I finally accomplished what I set out to do.

Too often we get wrapped up in how far we are from reaching our ultimate goals, which makes it seem impossible to get to.  Discouraged with how far away we are, we miss out on the opportunity to look back at where we used to be, to see how far we've come. 

Think about where you started. Find an old picture or think back to how you felt before you started your journey.  I'm betting that you not only look better but you feel better, have an easier time moving around, have more energy, and just have a better sense of health. 

The Takeaway: Be Proud of Yourself. Be Proud of Your Progress. 

How Often Do You Train?

How often should you train or workout?  There has to be a perfect number to see the results that you want, doesn't there?

Not necessarily, as it all depends on how you're training and how well you recover after training sessions.  Some bounce back quicker than others, posskbly due to their nutrition plan, sleep patterns, or sleep.  Then there are others that need two or more days between sessions to be ready. 
The point is, what is good for one person in terms of "how often," may be detrimental for another person.  Similarly, what one does for their nutrition plan may not work for you either. That's why you're and individual with individualized needs and goals. 
*This is also why the programs at AMP are all individualized*

A common question I get asked is:
"Well how often do you work out or what do you do". 

Being that I'm in semi-good shape, the thought process is that I'm going to say: "Oh, I train every day for at least 2 hours."

The reality is that, depending on the week, I may get in 2 sessions that week, most of the time I get 3 days, and sometimes I hit 4.  Rarely, if ever do I get up to 5 or more. That's probably my max.

My program is pretty well laid out although it may vary a little bit depending on how my body feels.  Typically I will have a squat day, an upper body day, and a deadlift day, each with accessory and/or conditioning exercises to compliment my goal of that particular day. 
If a 4th day is able to be worked in, it usually consists of conditioning exercises like rowing, jump roping, or working with the sled. 

You don't need to work out every day. In fact I wouldn't recommend training hard every day. The most important thing to remember is that you don't make progress during your training.  The progress, the results, come from what you do at home, what you do to recover. 

If you're not reaching your goals, maybe it's time to take a step back from how often you exercise and look at the quality of your training along with analyzing your sleep, stress management, and nutrition habits.  

Two Take-aways
"Quality, not Quanitiy."
"More is not better, better is better."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

AMP Articles of the Week

The number one question on everyone's mind is how to lose fat.  It's pretty much a goal of the majority of people exercising.  The problem is, most likely, you are not doing what you should be doing to get to your goals.  
  • Eating Enough!! -Yes you can eat too little to lose weight. It is possible.  If you're eating 1,200 calories or less, your weight is not going anywhere unless you weigh under 120lbs.  
  • Cutting out SUGAR!! - We've said this a lot.  Try it.  Try it for 2-4 weeks.  No added sugar.
  • Increase Protein & Fat in your Nutrition -  Just do it.
  • Cut back on the Cardio
  • Lift some heavy ass weight

If that didn't break it down for you, here's a simple formula:
(Adequate NEPA/NEAT) + (Adequate + Appropriate Muscle Training) + (Adequate vs Appropriate – Excessive Cardiovascular Training) + (De-stressing your life + Adequate Quality Sleep) + (Adequate but Appropriate Goal Based Nutrition) = FAT LOSS
Take a look at this 4 part series to find out more about the formula.  Pretty much it means add your non-exercise activities, mix in resistance training, a little bit of cardio, a lot of stress relief and sleep and nutrition.  Then you'll see some gainz.

A great guide to the ins and outs of DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness.  That soreness you feel is what you usually aim for, but its usually the sign of a new stimulus and less so from a kick ass workout.  

We all get sick.  It happens.  The question is, should you exercise or train when you are sick.  The answer is yes and no.  It really depends on your symptoms, how you are feeling, your energy levels, and how long you've been sick.  Sometimes grinding through a session while sick can be a bad thing.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Motivational Monday

“What on earth would make someone a non-learner? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills, but the most difficult tasks of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it’s too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just barge forward.
What could put an end to this exuberant learning?
The fixed mindset. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them become afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart. I have studied thousands of people from preschoolers on, and it’s breathtaking how many reject an opportunity to learn.”
― Carol S. DweckMindset: The New Psychology Of Success
Are you stuck in a fixed mindset?  
Are you fighting progress because you are afraid to fail?  
What challenges are you running away from?  

We often get stuck because we are hard wired with behavior patterns.  Re-wire your brain, go after something more important to you than quitting, than jumping off the wagon into unhealthy patterns.  You have control over them.  It's all about mindset!!
Don't be scared of the challenges that are in front of you, attack them head on, because every time you fail, you give yourself a chance to learn and to grow.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

AMP's Articles of the Week

Fitness and pursuing health should be a life long process, not something short term, or pursued when you feel like it.  Taking a short term approach means your missing the point entirely.  Enjoy the journey, fall in love with the process.  Nothing is going to come instantly and it takes consistency over the long haul.  Trying to hop from one thing to another is going to lead you in circles and drive you insane.  Don't try to be perfect, instead look at every day as practice leading up to the next day then the next.  There will be days that you struggle, but just because you struggle doesn't mean you fail.  It means opportunity to learn and to grow.

Are you still searching for that secret ingredient that will lead you to success?  That secret program, that secret nutrition plan that will enable you to see results?  Yea?

The truth is, there is no secret ingredient (bonus points if you get the Kung-Fu Panda reference).  The real secret? To find something that produces results and enjoyment.  

Fad diets will always pop up.  As long as there are people out there in search of the next best thing, there will be "fitness & health" people that will cater to them, feeding them garbage that they think will work.  What happens in the end?  A fad diet runs its course, you rebound, and go in search of the next thing.  Most, if not all demonize one or more nutrients, promise magical results, and throw in some ridiculous rules that have no basis in anything.  Avoid falling prey to these 14 diets.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

AMP's Articles of the Week

The most successful people when it comes to getting healthier and in better shape are the ones that are consistent with their nutrition plan and their exercise program.  Consistency!!  How many times have you heard us say that?  Where most people struggle is having a mindset that doesn't mesh well with consistency.
Here are 6 reasons why you're mindset might be holding you back.  Pssst #1 & #2 are doozies and probably are the biggest two in the group.
6 Reasons- Jill Coleman

Running isn't awful.  But when you put all your eggs in the "running basket" to lose weight, you're missing out on a lot of other types of training.  If you enjoy running, go right ahead and do it, but relying on it solely for losing weight is a up hill battle.  Take it from me.  I trained for 3 marathons and actually ended up gaining some weight.  Mixing up your program with interval training, resistance training, and occasionally endurance training.  You want to make sure you hit all 3.
Run Less to Lose Weight

Speaking of Cardio, why are you doing the cardio exercises you are?  It comes down to low intensity vs high intensity.  This is a great article outlining the debate between the two and makes cases for both.  Focusing on high intensity exercises like sprints can increase your work capacity, your metabolism, and therefore help you lose fat.  With low intensity, your body can gradually adapt to how many calories you burn.  One week you may burn 200 calories doing 30 minutes of running, but the next week it may be down to say 175.  The body is very efficient at holding onto energy.  It does not like giving it up easily.  So the more you do, the more you need later on to get the same adaptation.
Cardio Fat Loss Plan

There is no perfect diet.  Lets just end the debate.  The perfect diet is the one that works for you, the one that you can enjoy, and the one you can sustain for the rest of your life.  Not one that is filled with quick fixes, or one that demonizes a certain nutrient, or one that requires you to drink just juice.  It might take time to find a balance between what you enjoy and what works, but it'll make you less crazy.
Perfect Diet??

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Articles of the Week

First off, if you haven't already seen it, you HAVE to check out Kacy Catanzaro take on the American Ninja Warrior course.  She's the first woman to get through the course and move onto Mt Midoriyama.  It is definitely an inspirational video, to watch her go from one seemingly impossible obstacle to another.  Just when you think she's done, she just proves how strong she is.
Ninja Warrior

Are you not reaching your goals?  Why is that?  Could it be that you're making the same mistakes over and over again?  Make your nutrition plan a priority.  If you could put effort into a solid nutrition plan, you'll be amazed at the results that will follow.  At one time or another, AMP has used several of these tips.
Look Better Naked

Look, fat loss isn't easy.  There are, however, several factors that can take you to the next level.  Balancing stress and cortisol level as well as sleep are overlooked, but important factors to check out.
Here are Ten tips to help you lose some fat and get lean.
10 Secrets

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Motivational Monday


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

Marianne Williamson

There are no guarantees in life other than if you don't take any actions, you wont achieve anything.  Is that how you want to go through life?  Not me.  I want to go all in, take risks, take chances.  I want to fail so that I can succeed later.  Don't be afraid to go all in, don't be afraid to put something on the line for what you want.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

AMP's Articles of the Week

Each week I try to find relevant articles that will help you on your health and fitness journey, because that is what it is.  It's a journey.  It is not going to happen overnight or in a week or even two weeks.  You know what WILL happen?

Learn to love the process, fall in love with the journey because you should be in this for the long haul, not just for a 4 week span.  It's a game of patience.  "Fat loss isn't acute.  It doesn't react to the whims one day, one exercise"
4 Week Fat Loss Lies- Adam Bornstein

Several principles apply when it comes to fat loss.  Among them is staying active, following a solid nutrition plan, reducing stress levels, and being more in tune with your body.  This list drops a couple of other ones that are also relevant, especially #10.  

Diets Fail!  Plans succeed.  When we think "diet" we think suffering or restriction, or being miserable.  It doesn't have to be that way, in fact is SHOULDN'T be that way at all.  Nutrition should be fun, it should make you happy.  Yes, food should make you happy!  Not guilty, or sad, or whatever negative emotions you may associate with food.  
5 Reasons Diets Fail- Dr. Yoni Freedhoff

I've decided that I want to share with you guys what it is I read on a day to day basis that pertains to the training that is going on at AMP.  I love digging up articles that you can use on your own, but I equally love finding articles that AMP & our trainers can apply to your training programs with you.  So this week I am going to share something all about Rib Position because I think its an important thing, and can have far reaching benefits.  
Take a look inside my inner fitness nerdism.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Motivational Monday

"Success is no accident.  It's hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."  -Pele

It takes a lot to get to where you want to be, in life, in sports, in health.  If you're not willing to put in the work, put in the time, put in the love, how can you expect yourself to accomplish anything.  

This is no more true than when trying to change your body, to try and be healthier.  Sometimes it's going to be hard, sometimes it is going to take learning how to train, how to eat. Sometimes it is going to take a little bit of sacrifice in order to reach your goals.  Most of all, you need to love the journey, you need to love the experience that is changing your life. Make an attempt to fall in love with the process.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fitness Friday

An interesting documentary about flipping the food pyramid upside down, Donal O'Neil takes on increasing his fat intake, including saturated fat (gasp) and decreasing the amount of grains and sugars in his diet.  Now, I've definitely talked about increasing fat and protein intake and limiting carbs to vegetables, fruit, and some grains(usually post workout meals).
Take a look, its free for now, but ends tomorrow
Cereal Killers

Traveling this summer?  Going a little crazy on trying to figure out how you're going to maintain your healthy nutrition plan while on vacation?  The key is finding a balance between enjoying yourself and going overboard.  #4 is my favorite.
Tips for Navigating Nutrition During Summer

Are there certain habits that you are following that are sabotaging your results?  Try changing one of the habits listed and see where it takes you.  #1 is pretty under rated when it comes to weight loss in my opinion.
6 Habits

Have you ever gotten negative comments about your body from people that probably shouldn't be saying anything in the first place?  Everyone has different goals, different reasons for training.  Even if you don't necessarily agree with them, its probably best you to keep words to yourself.
Do what makes you happy, and let others do the same.
I Don't Want To Look Like Her

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Motivational Monday

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts."
-Winston Churchill

There are always going to be struggles. Without struggle there can be no progress.  If you find yourself frustrated, if you're ready to give up, STOP!!

Stay strong and keep pushing!!

You're always going to find challenges, but you need to take them head on.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fitness Friday-Articles of the Week

Want to know what the number one problem is that most people face?
At the first sign of struggle or first sign when things get hard, or the results aren't what you expected right away, people jump ship and switch to something new.  No other place is this evident than with nutrition. People start one plan, maybe it's actually eating healthy, and when the results don't come instantaneous, its time to bail and find something new.  They never actually gave the first plan a chance. Remember there are no shortcuts, at times you're going to have be a little persistent.  
Why We Fail!

Speaking of mistakes, women tend to make the most mistakes when it comes to nutrition.  Most commonly, over thinking everything.  They tend to go to extremes with choices, go to plans they see on TV or celebrities endorse, and reach for "healthy" snack bars.  This isn't an attack on women, but in general they tend to get sucked into quick fixes, and putting to much thinking into everything they do and eat. 
10 Mistakes Women Make

There is a lot of misinformation out there and it is easy to get confused.  With so many buzzwords floating out there, it's hard to figure out what to eat, what not to eat.  Check out the 8 worst offenders.  "Detox" is my favorite on the list as there is NO need to detox.
8 Things Nutrition Experts Wish You Would Stop Saying About Food

Fruits and vegetables are super important to ones nutrition plan.  You see, they are full of phytonutrients that help keep us healthy.  These can impact everything from hormonal status, to disease risk, to your ability to fight off colds.
Color Chart

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Motivational Monday

"Not everything that is faced can be changed.  But nothing can be changed until it is faced."
-James Baldwin

How can you change anything if you don't try?  We've all tried a new diet here or there, or a new exercise program, but how were the results?  Have you really gone 100% after what you want or are you just trying shortcut after shortcut.
We all try to take shortcuts, it's human nature.  Find the quickest and easiest path to your goal.  The problem with that thinking is that when it comes to health, fitness, and losing fat, there is no easy or quick path.  It takes hard work, consistency, & perseverance.

Think about what you can control, what you can measure, what you can track.  Not over the course of a week or a day, but months, years.
Choose your goal, develop some realistic expectations of what its really going to take to get there, track your progress, and hold yourself accountable.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fitness Friday-Articles to Check Out This Week

There's so much information that gets circulated that it's hard to figure out what right and whats wrong or misguided information.  Weight loss is a trillion dollar industry, yet we still have a rising obesity epidemic.  It takes hard work, consistency, and perseverance to lose weight, and no amount of "miracle cure or pill" is going to help when your diet and exercise programs are out of whack.
Dean Somerset- Missing the Boat

Speaking of which, the biggest perpetrator of said "miracle pills or fixes" stood before congress and was made an example of.  Science does not back any of his claims or anything he "endorses" and the public eats it up.  Why?  Because he is a doctor...on TV!!!  If these actually worked, would we be having the obesity epidemic we are now?
Diet Scams

Lift heavy!! Lift heavy relative to your strength and your abilities.  There is the perpetual myth that lifting heavy, especially for women will make them bulky and huge and She-hulk.  Couldn't be further from the truth.  Why, in a world where you might need to pick up child that could weigh 25lbs would you only choose to lift 3-5lbs?  Doesn't make sense to me.  Challenge your muscles to get stronger, because your body will thank you for it.
Lift Heavy

The "perfect diet" is going to be the one that works for you and is healthy.  It is not one made up of strict rules of what you can eat, what you can't eat, what you should only eat at this time or that time.  How about instead you strive to get better at your choices?  Choosing healthier options over crappy ones will lead to better habits, and one day you'll wake up healthier and probably in way better shape.
"Perfect" Diet

Try following some of these tips to develop some healthier strategies, in terms of fat, carb, and protein intake.
10 Nutrition Tips

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Motivational Monday

"you can fail at what you don’t want,
 so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love."

Don't let fear take control of your life.  Do not let anyone tell you that things are out of reach.  Nothing is out of reach.
Take a chance on what you love, because it is possible to fail at what you don't.

If you haven't heard Jim Carrey's words yet, I implore you to watch the video above, or find the entire 26 minute video on YouTube.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fitness Friday

What's the most important tip on living a healthy life?  54 experts weigh in on what's most important, including us as one of the experts!  Take a look!
54 Health and Wellness Experts Reveal the Single Most Important Tip for Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Water is an important part of your health.  We should all be aiming for about 2-3L per day, but how often are you hitting that goal?  Did you know water acts as a lubricant for your joints?  Could that joint pain be from lack of hydration?  Oh and it can make your skin look better!
Water Water Everywhere!

How many of you know exactly what to do, but find yourself struggling with maintaining success with your nutrition and exercise program?  Knowing the information is only half the battle.  The other part? Accountability!!  If no one is holding you accountable, then you are more apt to slide on your program.  Find someone to answer to, someone you HAVE to check in with, and maybe you'll see the results you're after.
I know what to do, but I'm still out of shape!

The scale is deceptive.  It really doesn't paint the whole picture.  Every time you step on the scale, you make a determination that it only measures muscle and fat.  Not true at all.  So much goes into what that number is. Glycogen stores, water levels, undigested food, & hormone levels to name a few unexpected areas that CAN & usually DO show up on the scale.
Deceptive Scale part 1
Deceptive Scale part 2