Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fitness Friday

We live in a world where everything had to be done yesterday.  No one takes the time to focus on small changes and progress slowly.  Results must be immediate, progress must come in an instant.  There is no place where that is seen more than in the gym.  It's all about pushing more and more weight, doing more and more reps.  It's never about progressing in a safe, slow manner and doing things correctly.  Remember work smarter, not necessarily harder.

Simplicity is sometimes the best route when constructing a fitness plan.  However, we are always after that new shiny toy, that new gadget that is going to "guarantee results!!"  Focus on a simple plan of lifting, having a sound nutrition plan, sleeping, and being consistent in your approach. 

Speaking of having a sound nutrition plan, what is the new nutrient we are all "demonizing?"  It seems to be carbs vs fat at the moment.  If you want an interesting take on the debate of following a low/no carb diet vs a no fat diet, take a look at this little experiment a set of twins did.  The results are pretty amazing!!

Many of you work at a desk every single day and as a result your posture and your health may have suffered a little.  Now there's talk of adding physioballs or treadmills at desks so people don't sit as much.  Does a better chair, or even standing or walking at a desk make a difference?  Maybe, maybe not!

Weekend Workout Tip:
Don't be afraid to dial it back a little every now and then.  Taking a deload week, or even just a day or two to put in mobility work, or even just a full on break from training can do wonders for your progress.  You can't keep pushing and pushing and pushing all the time.  Your body needs a break from time to time.  When you're feeling run down and unable to give your all to your training, try taking a rest day or two and focus on little things like stretching, foam rolling, and mobility exercises that wont stress your body or your nervous system. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Motivational Monday

A year from now you will wish you had started today.
-Karen Lamb

Have you ever set a goal for yourself, only to struggle through the journey, and then you end up either giving up, or getting frustrated?  It's easy to get frustrated, its easy to lose faith, but you have to keep grinding.  Pushing off dreams and goals for another time is only going to result in you achieving nothing.  Whether its working out, or eating healthy, or whatever, set a goal and then get after it!!
Don't hold back, don't procrastinate. 

Tomorrow doesn't exist. 
Start now, start today. 
What is it you want to achieve this year?  I know for myself, its two separate but equal things.  I want to be able to take AMP to that next level, and I want to step up my presenting/writing game.  I know I have to start today, because if I put it off one day, then who knows, maybe I put it off a week, a month, and by then I've accomplished nothing.  Which is why I joined The Unattainable Life group.  It holds me accountable each and every day.  My deadline is every day.  Every day I have to put in work or I don't hit my goal. 
Bringing AMP to a new level is always in progress.  But this year, I want to push new programming, I want it to grow.  Each month it will involve hitting certain milestones, certain goals. 
As for the presenting & writing, Massapequa Life just published an article for January, with February and March to follow.  That's a great first step for me. 

Find something or someone that will hold you accountable to your goal.  Something that will force you to act, or suffer some consequence.  Like my Unattainable Life Group.  Find some sort of contest, or race, or competition to push you.  Like I said, we all need to be pushed!!
Ever cram the night before a test, or wait till the night before a big project is due to finish or even start it?  It's that sense of urgency, that need to hit a deadline that pushes us forward, that makes us strap down and finish exactly what we need to finish.  Deadlines help position yourself to succeed, because that final date is always staring back at you.  It forces you to prioritize and plan.  Otherwise, you will let things slide…you will keep putting off the workout, and insisting that tomorrow you will start eating better.  We need to be pushed. 

Without a deadline,
you'd never start.

What are you waiting for?  Set your goal now, and get after it!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fitness Friday

Most people start an exercise and nutrition program with the goal of transforming their body.  They want to lose fat.  But how do you get there?  First you need to follow 4 steps, you need to focus on 4 different things.  Laying a foundation of nutrition, movement, sleep, and stress control will help you on your body transformation journey.  There in no magic pill or missing link that will instantly change you.  Its a journey.  Just do what's best for you, not someone else. 
Speaking of magic pills, everyone is searching for that magic supplement that will change their lives.  Three that might be the most overrated when it comes to health are raspberry ketones, glucosamine, and glutamine.  So try to avoid falling for gimmicks and just put in the work. 

Are detox diets necessary? They seem to be the new "it" thing to do.  However, their benefits are exaggerated.  If you have a fully functioning liver, your body is already "detoxing" itself.  The best way to detox?  Make sure you're eating clean, whole foods.  If you want a simple "detox," avoid processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, & sugar, and boom!  Detox City!! 

When we say avoid sugar, what we really mean is avoiding added sugar.  Sugar has been demonized lately as being the cause of everything from obesity, to heart disease, to diabetes.  And rightfully so.  If you're looking to cut down on sugar, try to avoid things such as fruit juices, soda, candy, and surprisingly low fat/diet foods. 

Weekend Workout
Hit up a solid warm-up that not only gets your body moving and you muscles activated, but works up a sweat!!

Then roll right into the first of two circuits

Step Ups 10 ea leg
DB Floor Press 10
DB Deadlifts 10
BodySaw Planks 10
Chin-ups/Pull-ups 10
Spiderman Climbs 20
4 rounds.  Pick a weight that is challenging for 8-10 reps

For this circuit you are going to use a descending rest.  Each exercise lasts 20 seconds!!
Round one: A rest 20sec, B, rest 20, C, rest 20, D, rest 20 sec
Round two AB, rest 20sec, CD, rest 20sec
Round three ABC, rest 20sec, D, rest 20sec
Round four ABCD
A:  Burpees
B:  Bodyweight/TRX Rows
C:  Thrusters/Squat Press
D:  Reverse Crunch

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Motivational Monday

Motivation doesn't always come easy.  Sometimes is doesn't come from a quote, but maybe it can come from an inspirational story that changes your whole outlook on life and how you see it. 

This woman dedicated herself to working out for 100 days in a row and the results were amazing.  Sure, her appearance changed, she lost some weight and her clothes didn't fit, but the real change came from seeing her confidence change.  From the start of the video to the end, you could see that her own self body image improved and she no longer had the self esteem issues she started with.  She was empowered by what she accomplished, not brought down by measuring herself against a scale.

That's why the scale is overrated.  That's why numbers are overrated.  They never define the true you.  They never give the full picture of who you are.  Numbers cannot measure your self worth, strength, and awesomeness.  Only you can measure that.  Love yourself for who you are, be proud of every accomplishment, no matter how small. 
The scale cannot measure how awesome you are, only you can measure that by looking inside yourself and being proud of who you are.

Follow her inspiring journey here!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fitness Friday

Soreness will happen, but that doesn't always signal that you had a good workout.  Sometimes it is just the result of a new stimulus.  Avoid falling for other myths about soreness and what it really means.
If you are sore, and it is going to happen, try one of these nine ways to reduce soreness.  (Taking pain relievers is NOT one of them)

When it comes to nutrition, everyone thinks that carbs should be the first thing to eliminate.   However, it shouldn't be about elimination, it should be more about choosing the right kinds of foods, even carbs.  Did you know that carbs make up fruit and vegetables?  Clearly you're not cutting those out, so you're not going "No Carb."  Eating carbs also have far reaching benefits, such as having a better mood, and easier fat loss.  Check out other benefits to eating carbs.  But make sure you're eating the right ones!!

10 Commandments of Fat Loss is a simple guide to follow to ensure that you get the most out of your training and nutrition plan.  Develop habits, and focus on performance, and the results will come.

Did you know that there are several drugs that could be hindering your fat loss?  Certain drugs have side effects that can hinder or stop fat loss altogether.  So if you're getting frustrated by not seeing progress maybe one of these drugs is the culprit.

Are you drinking your calories?  Chances are with all the beverage options out there, you could be taking in way more sugar than you even think.  Research has shown a huge correlation between sugar and obesity.  Best way to fight this?  Eat REAL FOOD & drink WATER!!

Weekend Workout/Health Tip:
Are you drinking enough water?  Odds are you are not.  Did you know that by being dehydrated, even just a little, it can throw off the way your body/muscle functions, the way it burns calories, and even the way you lose fat?
So do yourself a favor and make sure you are hydrated.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Motivational Monday

Here's what I want you to do:  Make a fist, and squeeze your hand.  Then squeeze a little harder.  Then squeeze a little harder.  Then squeeze even harder still.  

There's always a new level to go to, a little more you can squeeze, a little more you can push.  You just have to be willing to dig deep, look inside yourself, and find that next level.  

Listen to Eric Thomas talk about Toothpaste.  Squeeze every bit out of life.  We all live life, but some get more out of it than others.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fitness Friday

We all want to work our hardest, we all want to sweat when we hit the gym.  But often times, we hit little snags and get minor aches and pains.  Yet, we push through them thinking that maybe if we warm them up, get loose, the little ache or pain will go away.  Ask yourself, "Does It Hurt?" Don't rationalize pain away.  If you're injured, you're injured.  You need to take step back, regress some exercises, and work on something else like foam rolling or stretching.  Pain is often an indicator that something is wrong, not that you have to work through something. 

Speaking of injuries, did you know that people complain of low back pain more often than anything else?  The problem often times comes down to what kind of position we put our bodies in on a daily basis.  Think about when you drive your car?  How exactly are your feet positioned or more specifically, your right foot?  Turned out?  Or how about your shoulders?  Are they elevated and rolled forward?  Next time you're driving, be conscious of how you're sitting.  In the meantime, give these exercises a go.  If you're not sure you are doing them correctly, with good form, check with a knowledgeable trainer!

I've written about this time and time again, but the value of sleep can not be overstated.  There are so many benefits to getting a good nights rest.  On the flip side, there are severe detriments to being sleep deprived.  After one night of poor sleep, your hunger increases, your immune system is put at risk, and you lose focus easily.  Long term, risk of stroke, diabetes, & obesity increase.

There is a lot of talk about fat and how much or how little you should eat.  People get easily confused with all the overload of information that is out there.  Fats are essential to eat.  Don't let
"low fat" = healthy in your head.  Cooking is where using some sort of fat becomes iffy.  Some oils are better to cook with than others.  Use this handy dandy chart to figure out what kind of oil/fat you should use for what. 

Weekend Workout
Warm-up: Pick a distance, about 30-40ft
High Knees
Butt Kicks
Frankenstein Walks
Forward "Tebow" Lunges
Reverse Overhead Reach Lunges

DeadBugs x20
Bird Dogs x 20
3 sets

Ladder Workout
1-10-1 reps (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1)
Reverse Lunges
Pistons/Cross Body Mt Climber

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Motivational Monday

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” 
-Zig Ziglar

From our experience, he is spot on.  As a species, humans tend to drift towards ease and comfort.  We set out with good intentions and goals, but we never quite get around to turning those intentions into reality.
Those good intentions, while important, tend to go unaccomplished, mainly because they are often vague and too general.  These general, vague ideas are impossible to focus on because they are always changing, they are moving targets so to speak.    

Are you focusing on moving targets?  Maybe one of your goals for 2014 is to eat a more healthy diet, or lose some lbs that have crept on.  Maybe it's just establishing a regular training routine and actually sticking with it.  
Your success comes down to two things: picking a steady specific target and creating a "snowball" effect.

Imagine a target shooter trying to hit a small bull’s eye on a distant target.  He begins to aim, but then the target suddenly moves to the right, and before he can position himself to aim again, the target darts to the left.  Will he ever hit that target?  Not likely.
Without setting specific goals, your good intentions are exactly like that moving target.  You would like to lose some weight, feel a little better, make a change in your diet--but without clearly defined goals and methods, you can’t focus and make it happen.
The way to steady the target so you can finally hit the bull’s eye is to define your goals and write them down: 

How much weight do you want to lose?
What nutrition strategy can you sustain? (ahem Precision Nutrition Coach @AMP)
How many days are you going to train? (ahem AMP)

Once you have a destination, you can start creating a plan, and with a plan you are more likely to get there.  But you have to start moving toward your goals.  

The Momentum Principle of Success (Brian Tracy) states:
“This principle says that although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going."
The hardest part of reaching a goal is just getting started.  That first day, that first step, that first temptation can be rough.  It isn't easy and it certainly isn't fun.  If it were easy, everyone would do it.

So how do you get that momentum, that snowball effect?  How do you start moving?  Accountability!!!  Having someone else involved in your efforts can be the most important factor in your success.  It's hard to change lifelong habits.  Set deadlines, make commitments, find something that will motivate you.  Hold yourself accountable!!

Once you get started, and once you start to see semblances of SUCCESS, everything will snowball and you will find that momentum kicking in.  Then it becomes easier and easier to keep going.

Focus your goals, set specifics, make a plan and be accountable.  Success is there for you to take!! You can do this and AMP will help every step of the way!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fitness Friday

What if there were a drug or magic pill that could treat and/or prevent many of the chronic diseases a majority of Americans face?  Well you are in luck, there is!  It's called EXERCISE!  The benefits of exercise are long and well known.  It can help improve memory, lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, ease arthritis pain, and reduce general inflammation.  Moral of the story:  The more you move, the better you'll feel.  Do you know someone that could benefit from exercise?  I'm sure you do.  Tell them to start moving, their health depends on it!!

2014 is upon us and January is all about setting new goals.  Letting go of bad habits and letting go of negative thoughts is a great way to start off 2014 on a positive note.  Let go of negativity, fear, worry, regret, and quite possibly the most important, let go of self hate.  Let go of that voice in your head that says you're not good enough, or strong enough, or the right weight.

If your goal is fat loss, take a look at these tips that could help speed up your progress.  Among my favorites on the list are drinking water(#31),  doing strongman exercises(#17), and getting more sleep(#47).

Weekend Workout
Make sure you start with a proper warm-up to get your core temperature up and get mobility in your joints

DB Chest Press-12
Reverse Lunge- 8
Row- 15
3 sets

Lunges- 15
Push-ups- 15
Ice Skaters- 30
3 sets

Pull-ups- 10
Bodyweight Row- 10
Squat Press/Thruster-10
3 sets

Plank- 40 seconds
Mountain Climbers 20 seconds
4 sets with no rest