Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fitness Friday

Green, Red, Orange, White, and Purple! All fun colors, but they're not just for looking at.  They present a guide for what kinds of fruits and vegetables to have.  Each color representing certain nutrients that are unique to the color.  You see, these colors tell us what phytonutrients are inside, and you want to get at least a cup of each to maximize your health.  Here's a great little cheat sheet to help you out.

There's always conflicting information out there about what you should eat, what you shouldn't eat.  Frankly it can get very confusing, especially when there are foods that you were told were bad for you are actually quite beneficial.  Here are 7 foods that make the list, with my favorite being eggs, as eggs make people panic.  You're missing out on a lot of key vitamins and mineral by skipping the yolk. 

Are you stressed?  Did you know that high stress levels can lead to an increase in body fat through several hormonal pathways?  Its a delicate balance of several hormones, namely insulin & cortisol. 
The takeaway from this article is to manage your stress levels along with your blood sugar and by all means avoid combining high stress with high sugar crap foods. 

 "Greatness is never on sale"  -Eric Thomas

Weekend Workout
Plank 60s
Side Plank 40s
Dead Bug 20x
Bird/Dog 20x
Ab Runner 20x

KB/DB Snatch 5 x 5 each arm

Elevated Split Squat
TRX/Ball Rollout
TRX/Bodyweight Row

Burpee 10-8-6-4-2-1
KB Swing 20

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Motivational Monday

Most people are focused on the result, I look at the results as a bonus.  Sure I have specific goals that I'm working towards but I think the process of getting there is much more important than the end result.  It's the work that transcends, the work builds character and sharpens you.  The work teaches you humility & aggression.  The work strengthens you physically and mentally.  The process is really what it is all about.  The results...they will take care of themselves. 
-Adam DiBella

Switch your mentality to things you can control like behavior.  Set up behavior goals, performance goals.  If you take care of that, the results that you want in the end usually will take care of themselves.  Focus on eating clean, focus on getting in your training sessions. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fitness Friday

It's cold and flu season and undoubtedly that means you're gonna get sick.  You want to get in that training session because you hate to miss a workout, but are you doing more harm than good to your body by working out sick?  Well you have to look at your symptoms.  A quick neck check will show you whether you should take the day off, or head to the gym. 

The average body is 75% water.  Are you doing your best to keep it hydrated?  There is a chance that dehydration is making you sick, fat & tired.  With each percentage of dehydration, your body becomes less and less efficient, which makes you body work that much harder to reach balance.  Remember to drink your water!

What's the #1 piece of nutrition advice you get when you say you need to go on a diet?
What have I said before? Avoid demonizing a particular nutrient being that they all serve a purpose.  Your body needs carbs, its a primary source of energy.  Now I'm not saying go out and gorge on bread and pasta(unless you're planning on running a high endurance race like a marathon).  I am saying be smart.  What you need to start planning on is avoiding processed carbs.
The ultimate goal is play around with your carb amounts, experiment, and see what works for you.  Some do better with more, some with less. 
While we're on processed carbs and not demonizing nutrients, lets talk about fat.  It turns out recommendations to shy away from fat were wrong and sent us on a collision course with the obesity problems we're facing today.  Sugar, rather than fat is the real culprit of our nutritional struggles. 
Weekend Workout:
KB Deadlift
KB High Pulls
KB Goblet Squat
KB Reverse Lunges
45sec on/15sec off
Glute Bridges
Dead Bugs
KB Deadlift
KB High Pulls
KB Goblet Squat
KB Reverse Lunges
45sec on/15sec off
Vipr/DB Lunge Forward/Reverse/Lateral 8per leg
Rows 15
Side Plank 30s

Monday, February 17, 2014

Motivational Monday

"The biggest part of success is simply showing up."

What exactly does that quote mean?  More importantly, what does it mean to you?

When I think about that quote, I think about persistence.  I think about why I wake up in the morning. I think about why I put in long hours trying to drive AMP to be the best possible training facility.  I think about you, our fitness family, our AMP family. 

Are there days when you wake up and you just don't feel like going to the gym?  Or you don't feel like doing ____?  I'm sure those days exist.  But you know what?

Just Show Up!
If you just get to the gym, you've gotten the hard part out of the way.  You showed up.
There are 86,400 seconds in a day and each one of them is an opportunity for success, an opportunity for greatness, an opportunity to show up!
Just Show Up!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fitness Friday

Nutrition can be downright confusing.  There are so many things that people tell you to eat or avoid, or you can only eat at this time, blah, blah, blah.  So many voices, so much to make sense of.  It doesn't have to be that confusing.  It went from cutting fat, to cutting carbs, and now being fearful of gluten.  We seem to always be in search of that one magic bullet that will enable us to lose weight.  Want the secret?  It takes consistency!  It means consistent effort & work in terms of your training and your nutrition. 

Want more evidence of the craziness of our diets over the years?  You need to check out these charts!
There has been a dramatic shift in our diets from increasing our intake of fruit juices, to decreasing the amount of fat we eat to an increase in processed foods.  It's scary when its presented in a graph and you see the trends of our nutrition. 

Because of these trends in our nutrition, we end up lacking in several key nutrients.  Things like iron, calcium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin D go by the wayside.  Start eating more whole foods.

There have been articles posted here on how exercise affects your brain, but a new study aimed to look at what being sedentary does to your brain.  Granted this study was done on rats, but there is an interesting result that could show why sitting on the couch and being inactive can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. 

There is HOPE!  One workout can change everything for your body, from stress reduction to altered DNA to just feeling happy. So do yourself a favor, and get those workouts in.

Weekend Workout
TRX/Bodyweight Row/Pushups 20s on/10off  8rnds (4 rnds of each)

Plank 60s
Deadbug 20

Reverse Lunge 20son/10off 8rnds (4rnds left leg, 4rnds right leg)

Plank 60s
Superman 20

Swings 20s on/10off 8 rnds

Plank 60s
Bird/Dog 20

Mountain Climbers/Ice Skaters 20s on/10 off 8 rnds (4rnds of each)

Deadbugs 20
Superman 20
Bird/Dog 20

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Are you taking care of your body?

Why do we encourage our clients to do self myofascial release (SMR) when it has the potential to be painful.  Isn't the first rule of training clients to do no harm?  In the case of SMR, the pain is actually a good thing.

For some of you, you may be thinking, "what the hell is he talking about?"

Well SMR pretty much is a mini self massage through the use of foam rollers, lacrosse balls, tennis balls, massage balls and many other tools.  (For a good resource, check out Trigger Point Therapy).

Anatomy/Physiology Lesson:
Muscles are made up of little fibers and cells.  All muscles have fibers that align in a specific direction and all have the potential to grow in size(hypertrophy) and get stronger.  However, when we exercise, these little fibers get what we call "micro tears" in which the body has to heal.  When healed correctly, the muscle ends up stronger than before.  As with any "injury," whether intentional (exercise) or unintentional (sprains, tears, strains etc) scar tissue (think of a web) is formed.

This is where good movement skills come in to play.  When you have solid movement patterns, this scar tissue easily aligns with the surrounding muscle fibers.  When you have less than stellar movement patterns, or a more serious injury, bigger, more restrictive areas of scar tissue forms, causing knots to form.  As what is often the case, most people have compensation patterns and often times form knots in several areas, namely shoulders, neck, upper back/traps.

You need to break up these "knots" using the previously mentioned foam rollers and balls.  As painful as it may be sometimes to break them up, it actually has tremendous benefit.  For one, you increase blood flow to the area, which will encourage the healing process.  Secondly putting pressure on these spots pulls on the scar tissue and forces it to realign with the surrounding muscle fibers.

Grab a foam roller or lax ball or massage ball.  Find those knots, and work them out.  It may be painful, but the only way to restore proper function to the muscle is to work through that pain (this is the only place I'll say "work through the pain").  I can guarantee it'll be the most uncomfortable thing you'll do in a gym, but in the long run, it will be worth it.  The major spots that I see the most issues are the hips/glutes and upper back/shoulder/neck.

At AMP, we encourage, sometimes down right force our clients to do all sorts of SMR and stretching.  AMP now has an LMT on staff to do Sports Massage to help aid in recovery and "treatment" of any aches, pains, or dysfunctions you may have. 
We do this because we know that in the long run our clients will benefit.  And in the end, that's what it's all about.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Motivational Monday

When diet is wrong medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct medicine is of no need.
~Ayurvedic Proverb

It always comes back around to nutrition and diet.  Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or perform your very best, you must be on top of what you eat.  Take care of what you feed your body.  Training when your body is starving for certain nutrients will lead to plateaus, frustration, and a lack of results. 

Make the most of your training and fuel your body with the right kinds of foods.  That means protein, fat, and yes, carbs. 

To build muscle you need protein. 

To absorb certain vitamins, you need fat.

To use your muscles, you need carbs.

That's a pretty simplistic approach, but if you keep in mind not to demonize any certain nutrient, you'll be fine.  It comes down to finding a balance between the different kinds of foods you eat.  Don't fall prey to any diet that "demonizes" a certain nutrient.   

The better you fuel your body, the better it will serve you in your pursuit of fitness and health.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fitness Friday

Do you put yourself first?  Odds are you probably put yourself last and put pretty much everyone ahead of yourself.  Taking care of yourself, making sure your own health is a priority will benefit everything in your life. 

Are you squatting?  Did you know that squatting through a full range of motion is not only great for strength, but for the health of your joints?  The squat is a natural posture for people.  Think about it.  Toddlers sit in that position quite often.  Think about how many times you probably squat during the day.  Plenty of time to practice getting that butt down.

Focus your attention on insulin and cortisol levels and you can gain a lot of control over your fat loss.  You can control these two hormones through your diet and exercise habits and therefore your fat loss.  Follow these tips to get a grasp on your hormone levels and take control of your body. 

Weekend Workout

Lateral Lunges with Front Shoulder Raise 12 each leg
Forward Lunge with Bicep Curl 12 each leg
Reverse Lunge with Shoulder Press 12 each leg
Kettlebell/Dumbbell Squat High Pull 20
Kettlebell Swings 20
3-5 sets

Massage, Fitness, and You!!

One of the most important aspects when it comes to fitness is recovery.  Taking the time to recover now will set your body up to push harder later.  Without that rest and recovery, it is possible to suffer some setbacks in the form of injury, plateaus, or burnout. 

This is where our new sports massage program can come into play.  Massage therapy can become a vital aspect to your body recovering from the rigors of training by pinpointing areas where you might be overworked, or areas that might be giving you minor aches and pains.  Massage can get out any kinks or knots you may have in your muscles, ease joint pain and improve areas where you might suffer from chronic pain. 

Our Sports Massage consists of 20-30 minute sessions that solely focus on areas of concern that you may have, that our trainers or our Licensed Massage Therapist may see from your movement patterns.  Balance out the wear and tear on your body from training and from life and hop on the table so we can rejuvenate your muscles and joints.  This way you can get your training program back on track without those nagging aches and pains that are holding you back. 


Take your fitness and your health to a new level by adding in this vital recovery tool.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Motivational Monday

It's a new month and that means new goals or reevaluating your original 2014 goals.  Take a step back and see if you're on track.

How did January go with your goal setting and adherence? 
Were you consistent?   

Many people are eager to start a new healthy lifestyle once the new year hits, only to get off track or give up weeks later. 

Why is that? 

It's because they don't have motivation.  They don't have that inner drive that pushes them to get up at 6am and hit the gym before they have to go to work.  They don't want it bad enough to get in a workout on those days when you'd rather just be lazy and stay home. 

But that's not you!!  You have that drive, you have that motivation.  You have your WHY!!

You want it for your health.
You want it to look better.
You want it to have more energy.
You want it to relieve stress.
You want to be strong.

Take the time to find your specific why, that one thing that pushes you, that one thing that motivates you.  Do what it takes to get yourself moving.  Find out what makes it all worth it, what makes all those workouts worth it, what makes eating clean worth it.