Archive for August, 2012

Do you just do STUFF in your workouts?

One of the most common reasons people don't get results is they go to the gym and just do STUFF. No plan, no rhyme or reason, they will just go workout.   Don't get me wrong this is MUCH better than doing nothing at all. The problem here is that begin to think that exercise does not work. "I worked out every day for a month and got nothing to show for it!"   My tip for you is to always have a plan before you start your workout. There are so many things to take into account that it gets pretty complicated and you can get overwhelmed. When I design workouts for my boot camp or myon-line personal training business I have 7 things in mind.   1.Which exercises I want to use 2. What the goal of the workout is 3. How to make each exercise harder/how to make it easier 4. What order the exercises will be performed in 5. What speed the reps will be performed at 6. How much of the exercise will be done (sets, reps, time, etc..) 7. How long the rest breaks will be   These are the types of things you should have in mind to make your workouts more efficient and effective. It is a lot of work to put in, but the results are worth it. Or if you have a current plan and you are looking to change things up, think about some of the options above. It is amazing the difference just slowing down your repetitions or decreasing your rest breaks can make.   If you need more help or clarification on this please let me know and I will be glad to help.

Negativity Detox Tip #10- Remember when?


Remember this thing? When you had to bring something to do while you waited on the modem to get going? Good times.

  I would like to start off by thanking all of you who voted for the Healthy Huntsville awards. Because of your votes, I was luck enough to win Healthiest Trainer and Healthiest Male. Plus Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp won the Healthiest Place to Workout.  Very cool and I really appreciate everyone who voted.   Your challenge last week was to give two genuine compliments before 10am each day. This was a way to get your "feel good hormone" levels up for the day. A way to make you feel great, as well as someone else. How did it go? Your challenge this week is to remember when. Remember back to a time when you didn't have so much negativity in your life. Remember a time when you were at your happiest. Why was that? What were you doing? Who were you surrounded by? Where did you work? What was your average day like?   The goal is to get back to a time when you didn't have so many negative influences in your life. Next, you need to try and recreate as much of that life as possible. Is there an old friend you need to re-connect with? Is there a current friend you need to drop? Take a good look at your current life and decide what needs to change.   Obviously we can't all go back to the college years when stress meant Ramen noodles had just gone up from 10 cents a pack to 15 cents. But we can all make changes to simplify and improve our lives.   This week is the final challenge in the Negativity Detox series. I hope this has been something useful and interesting to you. It has really made me stop and think about the way I approach my day.

A New 830am Class and a Magic Number


This is not how to reach the magic number

  We start our first ever 830am class tomorrow! We had a lot of people requesting a class at this time so they could drop their kids off at school and then come exercise. This class is 3 days a for 3 weeks. I am excited to get this class going, so come join us!   Have you ever heard about the magic of 10,000 steps? It sounds like a terrible Disney movie, but it is actually talking about how getting 10,000 steps a day is ideal for health. There are conflicting reports on whether or not this is accurate. Some studies have shown that as little as 6,000 steps a day reduces death rates.   Here is what I know. We all need to move more. So I want to challenge you to do something. First go and get a pedometer. Pedometers are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. As an alternative, you can download an app like Pedometer Free. The downside to using an app is they cannot be used in the background, which means you have to have the app open to count your steps. This means you can't get on Facebook while you walk! Who needs that? Other than that, the app works great.   The goal is not necessarily to reach 10,000 steps a day. The goal is to increase your current step count by 2,000 steps. Then every month add another 2,000 steps per day to your total until you are up in the 10,000 range. In case you are curious here is a list of the step ranges and how they are classified:  
1) Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a "sedentary lifestyle index" 2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered "low active." 3) 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered "somewhat active." 4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as "active". 5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as "highly active".

Negativity Detox Tip #9-Bring the sunshine

      Last week was an easy challenge for me. The challenge was to surround yourself with awesome. I'm very lucky to have an awesome family, boot campers, business associates, church family, and friends. Being around people that constantly lift you up is a priceless thing to have.   Have you ever heard of serotonin? It is commonly called the "feel good hormone" Helps you feel more positive about life and that your life is in balance. Could you use a little of that? It is estimated that serotonin levels are at their highest at 10am. Anybody wake up that late? By 10am I've been up for 6 hours! Most normal people don't get up that early, but they are up by 6 or 7am. Why wait around until 10am to feel your best? You can increase your serotonin through exercise and getting sunlight. or you can try this idea I got from Zig Ziglar. You can "jump start" your serotonin levels by doing something nice for somebody else. How cool is that?   So the challenge this week is to give 2 genuine compliments to somebody before 10am. They have to be genuine and meaningful. "Hey your shoes sure do look tied today", is probably not going to cut it unless you are talking to a small child.   My early morning boot campers are going to be unstoppable. By 630am, they will have already exercised and taken in some sunlight. After some early morning compliments, it is on!   The challenge this week is to make someone else feel good, which will in turn make you feel good.    "A compliment is verbal sunshine." - Robert Orben   

Eat this fat to lose fat


Doesn't look much like oil does it?

    It just doesn't seem right that you could eat fat to get rid of fat does it? This study and several others have shown that consuming Medium Chain Triglycerides (what the cool kids call MCTs) can help you drop fat.   The most common source of MCTs available is coconut oil. Coconut oil is getting easier to find these days, make sure to look for the virgin or extra virgin coconut oil. Just like with anything else, the less processed the better with coconut oil.   So what do you do with this coconut oil? I was just talking to a friend/client of mine about this and she mentioned some people just let it melt in their mouth. I'm not there yet. If you've never seen coconut oil, it has the consistency of Crisco. It is solid at room temperature, so imagine putting a dab of that in your mouth.   I use it to cook my eggs and vegetables in coconut oil. Do you use olive oil to cook with? I would recommend cooking with coconut oil because it has a higher smoke point. When your cooking oil begins to smoke that is when taste and nutritional breakdown starts to occur. Maybe some of you have some recipes that you can share, feel free to. Olive oil still has a lot of benefits, so I use it as a salad dressing.   Here is the bottom line. I am NOT telling you to start eating a vat of coconut oil with a spoon. MCTs are good for you, but they do pack a lot of calories still. Everything in moderation. If nothing else, try replacing your current cooking oil with coconut oil.   "Coconut oil is truly the healthiest oil you can consume."  -Dr. Joseph Mercola, from the World's #1 Natural Health Web Site

Negativity Detox Tip #8- Surround yourself with awesome


Thanks dog, I needed that.

Last week we had to take a look at ourselves and decide if we were the source of negativity. It's tough to do. In fact, I had several people unsubscribe from my newsletter after that one. On the other hand, I have had a lot of people tell me how much this series has helped them deal with some serious issues in their lives. I always appreciate feedback, negative or positive, to help me do a better job.   This week is a much easier one to do. Your challenge this week is to surround yourself with positive and optimistic people. If there is one thing I bring to the table it is a positive and optimistic attitude. In my opinion, it is the greatest gift you can give somebody.   My boot camps are built on being positive and encouraging. I'm very lucky to have a great group of boot campers who are also positive thinkers. Attitudes are contagious, which would you rather catch?   I am in a BNI group (a business networking group) and everybody in there is super positive. Every week I walk out of our meetings feeling inspired and ready to take on the world.   Do you have that friend that is always happy to see you, always encourages you, and always has a bright outlook on life? How awesome is it to hang out with that person? You need more of that in your life.   Over the past few weeks we have been eliminating the negative sources in our lives, now it is time to replace them with positive ones. This week try to surround yourself with awesome.

6 Olympic habits we all need


You don't like my hair? Looks pretty good in the reflection from my Olympic gold medal.

Man I love the Olympics. Such amazing and inspiring athletes, especially when you learn about all they have done to get to that point. I especially enjoy reading about their training methods and schedules.  Even though they compete in different events, there are 6 habits they have in common that you can implement in your life. 1. Plan your workouts Did you know some Olympic athletes plan their workouts 4-6 years in advance? That is crazy! I thought I was doing good by planning out my boot camps one month in advance. Do you know what you are going to do before you get there or are you just winging it? When I worked in gyms I would see people do that all the time. Wander around aimlessly, do a machine here and there, go from room to room. These were people who never got results. Planning your workouts will make your exercise sessions more efficient and effective. 2. Feed your training You can not reach your goals by starving yourself and you also can't reach your goals by eating McDonald's every day (despite McDonald's being the sponsor of the Olympics). Whether your goal is to look better or perform better, you have to put the proper fuel into your body to get there. 3. Do something to get better every day If you have a goal, there should be at least one thing you do every day to reach that goal. There is no standing still, either you get better or you are falling behind. 4. Get a coach These are the most talented and gifted athletes in the world, why do they need a coach? I don't care how motivated you are, how dedicated you are, or how much you think you know a coach can always make you better. I have a degree in the fitness field, own several top level certifications, I study every day to get better at my job, and it's still not enough. I still turn to the experts in my field to help me get better because I will slack off and I definitely don't know it all. You need someone watching you, encouraging you, and sometimes pestering you to achieve your best. You cannot reach your potential alone. 5. Take care of your body Top level athletes treat their body like gold, pardon the pun. Sleeping 8-10 hour with a 30-90 minute nap during the day, stretching, foam rolling, massages, chiropractic adjustments, etc... If you want your body to keep responding to the tests you throw at it, you have to take care of your muscles, bones, and joints. 6. Keep their eye on the big prize, but break it up It's easy to get discouraged if someone rolls out the next 4 years of your life and every day is planned out to a T. It's easy to think the task is too hard, you have too far to go, or that you won't be able to do this. Let the end goal motivate you, but break it up into mini goals. Some examples could be: -do 4 workouts a week for a month -sleep at least 7 hours per night for 2 weeks -make it through one day without a soft drink Those mini-goals will begin to add up and will give you the confidence to keep you on track.   I hope these Olympic habits can help you not only in your life, but to appreciate just how dedicated these amazing athletes are.  

Negativity Detox Tip #7-Is it you?

Your challenge last week was to think of three things you like about your job. If you couldn't think of at least 3 things, you need to either find a new job or find some ways to relieve stress at work. I suggest the The Office Chair Workout as a way to get your workout in at work or possibly get you fired and into a new job. (Disclaimer-Joe Martin Fitness claims no responsibility for firings and or office chair related injuries) This week, it is time to look at you. Are you a source of negativity? This week pay attention how you interact with people. Are you constantly nagging them? Are you always putting them down? Do you ever have anything positive to say? Are you putting other people down to lift yourself up? This isn't just face to face, it is especially on things like Facebook, text messages, and e-mail. People will write all kinds of horrible things that they would never say to a person's face. Facebook is probably the king of this, especially between "friends". Simple rule of thumb: if you wouldn't say it to their face, don't put it in electronic form either. So this week turn the microscope on yourself. Would you want to be treated the way you are treating others? Are you constantly being negative? Just by being mindful, I bet you will treat people much better this week. It is time to check yourself this week.  

The Office Chair Workout


How many of you are trapped at your desk for 8 plus hours a day? Are there a lot of days you don't even get the chance to take a lunch break, much less take time to workout? The American Heart Association recommends that you get 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 times a week at a minimum.


Pretty hard to do that when you work an exhausting and time consuming job. This is where the office chair workout comes in handy.


Before we move on, just know that you have to meet 2 requirements to do this workout:


-you have the freedom to move around a little bit


-You don't mind people thinking you are the crazy person in the office


This workout is assuming you work 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. It also assumes you have a chair with wheels on it, just stick with me. This workout will not always be feasible, but a little something always beats a whole lot of nothing.


Here is how it works:


Set an alarm to go off every 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes you will do the exercise for 1 minute, changing exercises every hour.


Hour 1- Jumping Jacks. As an alternative, you can do chair jacks. Just do the upper body part of the jumping jacks. Don't be surprised if people think you are drawing attention to yourself.


Hour 2- Squats. Use your chair as a guide. Feet shoulder width apart, push your hips back, keep your knees out, sit away from your knee caps, and slowly lower yourself down towards your chair. Lightly tap your chair, then stand all the way up.


Hour 3- Chair Plank. Place your forearms on the seat of your chair, walk your legs out until your body is in a nice straight line. Hold that position, make it harder by rolling the chair back and forth with your forearms


Hour 4- pushups. you can do the pushups on the floor, hands on your desk, hands on the wall, knees on the floor, hands on your chair, any option will do.


Hour 5- Push back/walk in. This is mainly where the wheels on the chair come in. Place your hands on the edge of your desk, hands shoulder width apart, explosively press backwards (if you are on carpet, don't push quite as hard if you are on hardwood floors). Next, you will dig your heels into the ground and walk yourself back to your desk. Great hamstring workout.


Hour 6- High knees. Run or march in place getting your knees up as high as possible.


Hour 7- Reaches. Feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, lift your right heel, pivot, and reach your right arm across your body to the left side, repeat with your left arm. Make sure to pivot each time, letting your belly button lead you to the side. Make it more challenging by holding a lower squat.


Hour 8- Basketball shots. Knees slightly bent, feet shoulder width apart, we will start with the right hand being the "shooting" hand. You will pivot and step to your left, reach out with both hands, and grab the invisible ball, step and pivot back, then shoot the invisible basketball. If you have ever seen a 3 point competition, that is what you are mimicking. Alternate the shooting hands each minute, so both sides will each get 2 sets in. If you want to make it a little more interesting, this is a great way to get rid of all the balled up papers and trash around your desk.


This will net you 32 minutes of exercise every day at your desk. You can start working in crazy stuff like foam rolling, stretching, yoga, etc... later on after you fully break your co-workers in. You will find that you are more productive, energetic, and will more than likely reduce a lot of your back pain due to the decreased amount of sitting.

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