Mar 302013
 

Despite the cold spring weather, summer is coming and with summer comes summer clothes. Are you ready for them? Here are a few ideas how to get your body ready for the summer wear!

SpringClean Up Your Menu
Challenge yourself to eat 5 different vegetables a day. Have fruit for breakfast instead of that bagel. Switch to black coffee instead of the sugary stuff you’re having now. Eat nuts for sustaining energy in the afternoon instead of that energy drink. You’d be surprised how making just a few minor changes can make you feel great and make a big change on the scale.

Get Moving
This is the obvious one, but you need to start exercising. It doesn’t need to be the endless intense session at the gym 7 days a week. Thirty minutes a day of activity is a great start. Walking, jogging, strength training, group exercise classes, swimming, it doesn’t matter just start doing something!

Track your progress
Need some motivation? Try on those summer clothes and track how they fit week by week. Hang that swimsuit on the mirror so you get reminded everyday of your summer goals. Each week write down how the clothes fit. Are they super tight? Can you zip up the zippers? Do you feel confident in them? Keeping a log can really help motivate you to make the change!

Challenge Yourself
Summer brings a number of exercise events around the area and now is a great time to start training for them! Make a goal to run a few 5Ks this summer or maybe run that first obstacle race. Whatever it is, challenge yourself to move!

Let’s make this summer the summer you feel confident in those summer clothes! Now get moving!

Dec 052012
 

You’ve been on a steady diet for three weeks. You’ve been working out for six weeks. The ‘honeymoon’ phase of the new lifestyle changes are over. Everything is great, but you’re not seeing any change. You feel better, you’re more confident, but you don’t see any changes. It’s frustrating. I’m here to tell you need to be patient and stick to your goals.

No Quick Fix.
There are dozens and dozens of fitness magazines, websites, and just general fitness information out there that it’s easy to get lost in all the information. What’s right? What works? What doesn’t? I can tell you for sure, none of that information works and sticks in just a short time. So if you are tempted to drop your new routine because you are bored are aren’t seeing results. Don’t stop yet.

Be Patient.
You need to be patient when it comes to making changes. Nothing will happen overnight. Right away you’re going to start feeling stronger, you’ll have more energy, you’ll feel more confident, but six weeks is usually a good time frame to start seeing solid physical changes.

Minimize your focus.

It’s easy to gaze at that big picture and forget about the little things. You need to keep your focus small. Yea, we want you to lose 50 pounds, but we can’t do that without establishing some healthy routines first. For example, it’s a goal in itself to start waking up early every day so you can go to the gym. Just going to bed early the night before can be a goal. These might seem like baby steps, but for a busy schedule some of these changes can be a major pain. So keep your goals small.

Create a goal checklist.
One of the easiest way to keep on target with your goals is to track them. The best way to do this is just make a goal checklist. Write down the daily tasks you want to accomplish and as you do them, check them off. This is very similar to what we do at the joefitness gym.

Commit to your goals, be patient, and stay consistent. Nothing is going to happen overnight. If you can keep on target you will see results!

Need help keeping on track with your goals?

Checkout our post on our fat loss action plan.

Dec 042012
 

There is one thing that isn’t mentioned often when changing your diet. Your focus, your attitude, the commitment to your goals. It’s often overlooked, misunderstood, and underestimated. Anyone that has cheated on their diet knows what I am talking about. That moment when your will power withers and you give into a not so diet friendly treat. Or that moment you decide to go home when you know you should be at the gym. It happens. Here are some tips to keep you focused and keep you from bombing your fat loss plan.

Write.
Write down exactly what you want to accomplish. Do this often. There is special connection to writing down your goals and keeping them. Your thoughts are easy to ignore, but there is something unbreakable about putting the ink to the paper. It’s like a personal contract with yourself. Write your goals down. Be specific and review them often.

Meditate.
Take a moment and focus on your goals. No you don’t need to light a bunch of candles and listen to zen music. Just take a moment and focus on your thoughts, focus on what you want to accomplish, visualize obstacles you are going to face and how you will over come them. Just don’t think about it once, do it over and over. If you repeat these scenarios in your thoughts you will be more equipped to take them on later.

Simplify.
Every single client I take on has a mile long laundry list of things they want to change about themselves. It goes on and on, but there’s little focus. The first thing we work on is finding focus, singularity, and clarity on their goals. We find that one thing we need to focus on first. You need to simplify and focus on one task at a time. You’ll find you will be much more successful and much less frustrated when you can master this.

Reflect.
You’re stuck. You’ve lost ten pounds, a few pant sizes, co-workers are complimenting you, but your stuck. Your stuck on those next ten pounds. It’s incredibly frustrating and very disruptive to accomplishing your goals. At these moments it’s easy to lose focus. This is when you need to reflect. You need to reflect on your journey so far. Sure the next ten pounds might not be as easy as the first, but it’s important to remind yourself that you have lost ten pounds!

Reward.
Finally, you need to celebrate your accomplishments. You should mark your milestones with rewards. Whether it’s buying yourself some new skinny jeans or going for a whole new haircut, do something to mark this new moment in life.

Find your fat loss attitude and you might find yourself on the path to success!

Nov 262012
 

Today starts the holiday crunch! It’s the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m going to challenge you during this next month to lose 5 to 10 pounds before Christmas so you can look awesome in those holiday pictures! You can do it, here’s how!

I know for a lot of you the next few weeks will be extremely busy. Holiday parties, family get-togethers, school concerts and plays… life gets very busy. I’m here to tell you that know matter how busy you are, you can still drop pounds! It’ll take a little focus on yourself, but you can do it! You only need to exercise 30 minutes per day and make sure you’re making healthy decisions at the plate. Don’t worry there will be plenty of time for all the holiday goodies and drinks!

I put together an action grid for you to use over the next four weeks! I want you to print this action grid off and cross off each task as you complete them. At the end of the week add up your score (each day is one point) and try to get at least a 85%! For fun and accountability: I want you to take a picture of your action grid and email it to me!

Here’s our strategy for those 10 pounds:
-Eat a good breakfast every morning
-Drink lots of water
-Keep most meals Low Carb
-Wednesday and Sundays eat more carbs from fruit
-Eat seeds and nuts for more sustained energy
-You can have a cheat meal on the Saturday
-Relieve your stress by doing strength training 3x per week
-Exercise at Least 30 minutes everyday

Avoid these:
-Sugary drinks
-More caffeine than you need
-Binging on food because you are tired or stressed
-Late night snacking

Don’t forget to send a picture of your completed action grid to me! I know you can do this!

If you are stuck or in a rut with exercise, your diet, or just getting going, yell at me on my Facebook page! I would love to help you out! Now let’s move and drop those pounds!

Nov 202012
 

Workout panic! You might not make it to the gym over the Thanksgiving holiday! I know you all are stressing out over this… Let your anxiety subside because here are two fast paced workouts you can do, no equipment needed!

Turkey Day Meltdown
Jog In Place 60s
Mountain Climbers x50
Jumping Jacks x40
High Knees x30
Push-Ups x20
Side Lunges x10 (each side)
Sumo Jump Claps x20
Single Leg Sit-ups x15 (each side)
Tomahawk Crunches x40
Plank 60s

Complete 3 rounds if you want it easy
Complete 4 rounds if you are tough
Complete 5 if you have turkey meal guilt

Stuffing Burn-Off
Jumping Jacks 45s
Push-Ups x20
High Knees 45s
Air Squats x20
Jumping Lunges 45s
V-Ups x20
Mountain Climbers 45s
Close Grip Push-ups x10
Up-six 45s

Complete 3 rounds for easy
Complete 4 rounds for not so easy
Complete 5 rounds if you should of stayed away from that pie

Want even more workouts? I posted 11 fat-burning bodyweight workout outs here: http://joefitness.areavoices.com/2012/11/13/11-fat-burning-equipment-free-workouts/

Exercise Descriptions & Notes
Side Lunge – Lunge to the side, touching the ground beside your outside foot.

Tomahawk Crunch – Lie on your back, feet straight up in the air, with your hands together and arms straight, touch the ground behind your head and then push your arms past the right side of your feet raising your shoulder blades off the ground, bring your hands back to the ground and repeat on the left side.

Air Squats – Just like a normal squat, keep your hands out in front of you, be sure to get your butt below your knees each time while keeping your back straight.

Close Grip Push-ups – Like a normal push-up except put your hands in a “diamond” position.

Single Leg Sit-ups – Lying on your back, legs straight, with one foot off the ground six inches, sit all the way up touching your elevated foot with both hands.

Sumo Jump Clap – Just like a jump squat. Touch the ground each time with your palms, jump up in the air clapping your hands above your head.

Up-Six – Lying on your back, legs straight on the ground, with your hands under your butt, left your legs six inches off the ground while tucking your chin in your chest.

Nov 162012
 

Here are few fat loss studies I found interesting this week. Check it out!

Want To Lose Weight? Sleep More!
When it comes to losing weight the two methods that come to mind are diet and exercise. Well there may be a third. More evidence is pointing to sleep deprivation as a supporting cause of obesity.

A recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal pointed out the link between sleep deprivation and obesity because simply if you are awake more hours you tend to eat more. Sleep or lack of sleep effects the release of appetite regulation hormones. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics points out that 35 percent of the American population is obese and more than 28 percent of them sleep less than 6 hours per night.

So if you want to lose more weight, make sure you are getting more quality sleep!

Late Night Eating = Weight Gain
Eat more at night? You might be storing it as fat. An article in the journal Nature Medicine indicated a study involving removing the gene in mice that controls the regulation the metabolic timing. By removing this gene, it disrupted the rhythm in which the mice ate. The mice ate outside of their normal eating time. The mice that had the gene removed became obese compared to the control group.

What does this mean? This may indicate that eating outside of your metabolic rhythm (at night) could result in weight gain. Late night eating has been linked to weight gain in several other studies, but the reason why hasn’t been firmly established. This study introduces the idea that weight gain from late night eating could be the body’s way of storing the excess calories when energy isn’t in high demand.

We’ve talked about before how I want my clients to stop eating after 6:30pm, this study just reinforces why.

There you have it! It might seem like these studies point out anything new about weight loss, but they do reinforce the healthy habits that are required to lose fat and keep it off! So go get some sleep!

Nov 142012
 

When it comes to workouts, I find many just over think it. There are thousands of variations of workouts and exercises that will work for anyone looking to just get in shape. Here are some tips to picking the right workout routine for you.

Keep it simple
First off, keep things simple. You don’t need a dozen different exercises jammed into a day’s workout routine. You can easily get a great workout with just a handful of exercises.

Keep It Short
Your workouts don’t need to be hours long. You can easily get a good workout in 30 minutes. I find those that workout for an hour or longer aren’t being very efficient with their time.

No Need To Get Specific
Unless you are training for a sport or you’re doing post-rehab work, the exercises you use do don’t need to be very specific. If you think you are going to go workout like a pre-season olympic diver, think again.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat
There is nothing wrong with doing the same workout routine over and over. Sometimes all you need to do to refresh a workout is just increase the resistance or swap out one of the exercises. Don’t scrap a workout just because you’ve done it a few times, just change it a bit and repeat.

Keep it fun
I hate workouts that don’t seem fun to me. Now I use the term “fun” lightly when it comes to exercise, but your workout routines shouldn’t bore you. Don’t be afraid to throw some “fun” exercises into your routine, even if they’re easy.

Location Doesn’t Matter
Gyms are great because they have everything you need to get in a great workout. However, gyms aren’t required. You can easily workout at home, in the garage, outside, at the running track, on the dike, or the basketball court. Location doesn’t matter.

No Equipment Needed
As I was saying above, gyms are great because they have all you need. But all the equipment isn’t needed. You already have everything you need, your body. Bodyweight workouts can be great and challenging!

Challenge Yourself
Workouts should be challenging. If you’re not struggling at least a little bit, your workout might be too easy. If your workouts aren’t challenging enough, they will not produce the results you are going after.

Magazine Workouts
Fitness magazines are notorious for publishing overly complicated workouts. Why? Because it sells. Fitness magazines sell on the idea that people want to do the latest workout from your favorite MMA fighter or actress that was that summer blockbuster. Most of these workouts I find are just too complicated or not very reasonable. Skip the magazine workouts and look elsewhere.

Get Help
Now if this is all still confusing, this is where personal trainers shine. Exercise selection can be intimidating and personal trainers are great at writing awesome workouts. Not only that, the can provide you with an accountability factor that you don’t have when you are working out on your own. So don’t be afraid to get some help!

Just Do It
You can spend a lot of time thinking about what you are going to do and trying the find a great workout, but the most important thing is just get moving! Experiment with different exercises. Don’t sweat the details and just try different workouts. I found this great quote yesterday:

“It’s easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting.”

Need some workout ideas? Check out my post from the other day!
11 Fat Burning Equipment Free Workouts

Nov 122012
 

Here we are almost in the middle of November already! A few weeks ago we talked about keeping you working on the rocking body before the holidays. As busy as the holidays are it’s important to have a plan and stick to it!

Well, how’s it going? Are you hitting your workout goals? If not, it’s not to late to get started. Look you can easily get distracted with all the holiday hustle and bustle, but that’s no excuse to no get your workout in!

Let’s talk about your exercise during the holidays. I know it might be your instinct that if you can’t do an hour or two of exercise it might not seem like it’s worth it. Well that’s just not the case. Just few minutes of exercise can make an impact on your goals.

It works like this. I always like to think exercise is a catalyst of healthy behavior. If you exercise, then exercise will lead to eating healthy, and so on. There is a caveat to this theory. Some lean on exercise as a crutch for unhealthy behaviors. They use exercise as an excuse for the unhealthy stuff they have done. Don’t be that person. Make exercise the excuse to eat healthy, not that other way around.

The problem with exercise is we often percieve exercise being a more is better thing. That’s just not the case. In fitness we have a minimum effective dose. The least amount of exercise that produces the most results. For most people I find the minimum effective dose for exercise is a lot less than they think it actually is. Producing solid weight loss results can be done easily with just 20 – 30 minutes of daily exercise. Seriously. That’s it. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated either. If you are finding it hard to make it to the gym, just workout in your living room. You don’t need any equipment, just some space and your body weight will do. By the way, if you do workout at home, turn the TV off, silent the phone, and turn the music on. The world will survive without you for 20 minutes.

Here is a simple 15-20 minute equipment free routine you can do at home:
-Jog in place for 1 minute
-Jumping Jacks for 1 minute
-Plank for 1 minute
-Push-ups x10
-Squats x20
-Crunches x20
Repeat 3 times, repeat 4 times if you’re feeling ambitious.

I know you can do this! Keeping up with your workout routine will keep you stress free, healthy, and looking great! Just remember a little bit of something can add up to a lot over time. So just keep moving!

Check out the rest of my Holiday Action Plan Series here:
Holiday Action Plan – Pep Talk
Holiday Action Plan – Diet Guide
Holiday Action Plan – Fat Loss Action Grid

Nov 022012
 

If you think losing 10 pounds is hard, try losing over 170 pounds! I’m not going to say my client Steph did it with ease. She did the work and she got rewarded with an amazing new body. Her story is inspiring.

Her amazing story is in today’s paper. Check out her story in The Forum: http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/379138/

Steph is a trainer’s dream. She’s dedicated to her change. She works hard as hell. She does more than what I ask of her. And the best part, she NEVER says she can’t.

So what does it take to lose all that weight? One word. Momentum. Steph will tell you it wasn’t easy to lose all the weight, being consistent with her workouts and diet is what got her where she is now. She had ups and downs. There were times she didn’t hit every goal, but she was consistent and relentless. She kept moving forward.

Steph’s workouts didn’t start out super intense. She just started. She just got moving. Sure she was self-conscience, but she was committed to learning how to exercise, working hard in her workouts, and making every day count.

Steph’s diet was and is still mostly low carb. She will admit she allows herself to cheat her and there, but the low carb lifestyle she adopted allows her to enjoy the “not so good for you” meals. Like I said before, it was her commitment and momentum that made her drop into single digit dress sizes.

Check out Steph in action here:

If you want results like Steph. You need to take action. Just get moving. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

I am super proud of Steph and all the hard work she has done to get where she is at today. She truly is inspiring. Great job Steph!

Nov 012012
 

Here we are! Day one of November! Can you believe it? The past two days we’ve been talking about how we are going to rock these next two month and keep you looking and feeling awesome! If you haven’t had a chance to go back and read those, you should!

Busy schedules make it really easy to get lost in the holiday madness. You can easily lose track of those hard earned results you’ve been working for. To make things easy, I put together this handy Action Grid for you. It’s really simple to use, when you complete a task (i.e. drink water) cross it out on the corresponding day. At the end of the week add up all the items you crossed out and give yourself a score. For each task you should shoot for at least an 85%.

Easy peasy, right?! Look, eating healthy is hard enough with a busy schedule. With this easy little chart, all you have to do is cross off your goal for the day and move on. No journaling. No entering calories into an app. Just one simple little mark on a piece of paper. The best part, I know you are well on your way to master a new healthy habit when you can score at least a 85% on a goal for three weeks in a row.

A couple things to remember is that it’s our goal to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Exercising can be anything that get’s you moving and active. So if you don’t have time to get to the gym, but you have time to go for a 30 minute walk, go for it! The one thing I do want to see is at least three times a week you do strength training. This can be a workout at the gym, a group exercise class, a workout DVD at home, or 3o minutes of bodyweight exercises in the office.

Here’s the download link so you can print off your own and start tracking your goals! Download here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/joefitnessbonus/Actions_Grid.pdf

If you keep up these simple goals over the next two months, you are going to look amazing in those holiday pictures! So get tracking, take action, and get results!