Archive for September, 2013

The “Whenever You Can” Workout

Not exactly what we are looking for

Not exactly what we are looking for

  I've recently taken on some things in my life that have really cut down on my available workout hours. I'm very lucky that I am able to drop off and pick my son up at school. Family time is not something, I'm willing to compromise on. Getting up earlier is not going to happen either, 4am come early enough.   So what am I going to do? Go back to being fat? No thank you. Although I have to make a confession. I have daydreams of letting myself completely go. Eating like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day if you have ever seen that movie. It's a pretty sweet daydream.

Groundhog Day movie image Bill Murray

  But it ain't happening. Never again is my motto.   Do you have a schedule like that? A schedule where you have 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. That's not enough time to workout!   It isn't enough time if you are trying to run a marathon, but if you are trying to lose fat and get in shape you can make it happen.   Here a "When You Can" workout I did the other day:   1. Got home from teaching my first class: 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest for 8 round. Alternating between pushups and kettlebell swings every round. Took about 4 minutes.   2. Throughout the day: Randomly run up and down the stairs. Also helps break the monotony of working. Dropping down into a plank for 30 seconds here and there.   3. Just before I went to pick up my son: 5 minutes of sprints in the yard   4. Had 10 minutes: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest for 8 rounds for numbers 1 and 2 below. 1. Weighted hip thrusts 2. Alternated between overhead presses and squat/upright row.   5. That night while grilling fish: 15 minutes of Goblet squats, barefoot sprints with the little man, and checking Facebook (keeping it real).   All of that adds up. Look through your day, you have little pockets of time where you can do something! This goes for anybody. Even if you workout every day, you still need to become more active overall.   Audit you day and find out where you are wasting time. Eliminate the waste and fit in some physical activity.

Lose weight by doing this for 8 minutes a week (No Shake Weight needed)

This exactly what NOT to do with your 8 minutes

This exactly what NOT to do with your 8 minutes

  Meal planning may seem monotonous (because it is), but the pay off is worth it. Think about what happens when you do not have anything planned a meal, time gets short, and you are hungry? Fast food, pizza deliveries, microwave salt licks. (No Lean Cuisines are not good for you).  

27% of your RDA for sodium in this box

  What if instead of spending 8 minutes a week looking into a fridge hoping healthy food would magically appear, you spent that time productively? Take some advice from dietitian Keri Glassman's article"Change Your Life in 8 Minutes". Here is what she suggests doing with your 8 minutes:  
  • Write out your challenges for the week (birthday celebration, Mexican food, girls’ night out, etc.) and then write down a plan to overcome the challenges.
  • Plan your dinners at home around your schedule for the week and then create a grocery list to go with them.
  • Write a list for work snacks, and add them to your grocery list.
  • Schedule exactly when you are going to go to the grocery store and then follow through.
  If you notice, not one of those is the actual food prep or cooking we all dread so much. This is formulating a food game plan for the week. It will save you time, money, and calories just by having some kind of plan.
If you do have time left in your 8 minutes, you Glassman suggests you could:
  • Make a pitcher of iced lemon water to store in the fridge.
  • Chop the veggies you have around.
  • Mix a healthy salad dressing to keep in your fridge.
  • Portion out healthy snacks, like nuts, into little bags.
Nutrition is just like working out. When you have a game plan of what you are going to do, you get much quicker results without wasting your time. Make that plan today!

Game of Thromes

Dan_swallowing_at_Ig_ceremony1   I do a little mind reading on the side, so I know what you are thinking right now. "This dude does not know how to spell thrones." It's ok, thromes is a new word to me too. I learned about it at the TEDx Huntsville event I attended with my friend and fitness pro Katie Burrus. If you've never gone to a TED or TEDx event, you need to go some time. Very inspirational.   One of the speakers was Dan Meyer. Dan has done many extraordinary things, but he is best known for being a sword swallower.   He shared the concept of using thromes to drive how you live. Thromes are a combination of dreams and goals, kind of like a bucket list. His friend explained thromes this way:   "If you could go anywhere, do anything, be anyone you wanted to be, where would you go, what would you do, who would you be?"     Have you ever asked yourself? I have to be honest, this hit me kind of hard. It made me realize that I have been dreaming too small and not setting my goals high enough. And I've got some lofty goals!   But you know what? My goals don't make me sweat when I think about them. Have you ever set a goal that makes you sick to your stomach when you think about it? One that makes you shift uncomfortable in your seat when you think about what you will have to do to accomplish it?   I have in the past, but haven't lately. No more. I want to share 3 of my thromes with you. This way there is no turning back for me.   1. Coach 1000 women over the next 2 years through my fitness products and services.   2. Have an adult playground built in the Huntsville area.   3. Speak at TEDx Huntsville   Palms are a little sweaty thinking about all that goes into making those happen, but it will happen. Side note, I am willing to accept any assistance you have to offer me along the way 🙂   How about you? Do you have a list of thromes? Put them out there! Don't be afraid to put yourself on the spot. PressureMakesDiamonds

5 Weird Training Tips for 5Ks

Don't let the pretty face fool you, she is a terror if you talk bad about her dancing

Don't let the pretty face fool you, she is a terror if you talk bad about her dancing

1. Don't be like Racquel Welch   Have you ever seen the sprinters in the Olympics? These are the fastest people on Earth and they have huge upper body muscles. Why is that? Fast arms, make fast feet.   If you run with your arms motionless and in by your side like Racquel Welch dancing on Seinfeld, you are not going as fast as you can. And if you missed the Seinfeld era, my sympathies.   Try following these cues: arms bent at 45 degrees, keep your hands loose (don't clench your fists),  let your arms swing back and forth (not across your body), and think about driving your elbows  back as opposed to pushing your hands forward. These things take a little practice, but can really help.  


  2. Stop sweating in your work clothes   How awesome is it when you finish a run, get dressed for work, and you are still a sweaty mess? Wait, that is not so awesome. The first thing you need to do is a proper cool down. If you immediately stop your run/walk and go get ready, you will sweat a ton more. Try fitting in a 5 minute walk and some light stretching afterwards.   Most of us are not into cold showers, so try this simple trick. Run cold water on the inside of your wrists. Because there is a large concentration of blood vessels there, it will help cool the rest of your body.  


3. Jedi mind trick   One of the most important parts of running is the mental game.  It can be really overwhelming to think about going 3 miles, when the furthest you've gone is one mile. Treat it like you would eat an elephant. One bite at a time.   Tell yourself to make it one step further, get to the next light pole, then the 5th mailbox. Keep setting mini goals that propel you forward and don't let the big picture discourage you.    
The areas in red are the areas you will work with one "simple" exercise

The areas in red are the areas you will work with one "simple" exercise

4. Stay still, avoid injuries   Growing up my mom would always say "Planks don't stank." And even though my mom totally did not say that, the saying is true. When your core is weak it can lead to injuries and decreased performance.   Planks are a simple, yet effective exercise that can help make you a more efficient runner.  Here is how to perform a plank: -Lie face down on the floor, with your forearms on the floor and your elbows under your shoulders -Push off the floors only your forearms and toes are touching the floor -Don't let your hips sag down or your butt come up in the air   A good goal to start with is 30 seconds. If you can't get the full 30 seconds, just get to where you can. Look to add more time every week. When you are able to hold the plank for a minute straight, make it harder. Pick up one leg, raise on arm, lift and arm and a leg, etc...


5. Get up on the good foot and blow out the candles   You're out running, your legs feel great, breathing is on point, and then someone stabs you in the side with a knife. The dirty side stitch cramp. They are awful and can really cramp your running style. Let the hilarity sink in.   A simple way to prevent these side stitches from occurring is to breath out when your left foot hits the ground. These side stitches are basically spasms of the diaphragm that running can cause because it makes the organs attached to the diaphragm jump up and down. You put a much larger strain on the organs attached to the diaphragm when you breathe out when your right foot hits. The organs on the left side are much smaller, so there is less strain.   If you do get one, the best way to fight through them is to slow down and breathe out with pursed lips (like you are blowing out a birthday candle).   Hope these help!

Get comfortable being uncomfortable

GetComfortableBeingUncomfortable   "Get comfortable being uncomfortable" is a phrase I have always liked. When it applies to other people 🙂 It's always a little rougher when you are talking about yourself.  
We live in a world where every convenience can be taken care of.   Want some water when you get thirsty? It is everywhere!   Hungry? Try to drive 5 minutes without seeing a fast food place, grocery store, or convenience store that carries food.   Houses and cars are heated and cooled. My wife's car even has those sweet bun warmers in her car.   We aren't uncomfortable very often.   So when we do become uncomfortable, it freaks us out a little and makes us back away. When you are running, do you stop because your legs would not move any further or because you were very uncomfortable? Same with lunges, squats, presses, etc...   I want you to redefine your limits. Chances are, you already know where you are weak. Start there.   For me, it is the running part. I'm not a big fan of it. So that's what I will be working on the most. What is it for you? The best way to become strong is to work on your weakness.   One of my weak spots in life has always been public speaking. It wasn't a problem when I was working for other people doing one to one personal training. All I had to do was show up and train.   For any business owners out there, you know that you are your business. You have to be out in the public eye to grow your business. I will go speak in front of any group, any time anywhere now.   I'm not comfortable doing it, but I am comfortable being uncomfortable so I do it.   I still get nervous. I still feel like I am going to throw up. But I know that it won't kill me, despite my dangerously high heart rate.   This weekend I am even teaching a fitness dance class for charity. Talk about being out of your comfort zone... This one might actually kill me, but it's for charity so I'm in.   Are you comfortable in your workouts? I'm not saying they are easy workouts, but are you comfortable? Can you finish every set you do? Do you always feel like you had something left in the tank after a run? Are you going through the motions in the class you are taking?   If so, I challenge you to pick it up a little. Use heavier weights, run a little further, try that class that scares you.   You know what happens after that? You see it was not as scary as you thought. Then you will continue to conquer your goals and redefine your limits.   It will not be easy, sometimes it's not much fun, you won't be comfortable, but it will definitely make you improve.   Get comfortable being uncomfortable and the sky is the limit.

Weird way to avoid emotional eating



  I was talking to a friend of mine named Mitzi awhile back and she shared something really interesting. Mitzi is a yoga instructor by trade, but is more like Yoda. Give you great insight she can.
Yoda doing Yoga, your mind is blown

Yoda doing Yoga, your mind is blown

We share a client who does boot camp and yoga. Mitzi was talking to this client about the main benefit of boot camp for her. The client said the thing she benefits most from the class is that she can get her anger out. It is something I had not really thought about. As a guy, we are pretty straight forward. Get mad, hit something, move on. Not really the same for women is it? They tend to internalize things and let it eat at them. No pun intended. One of the main things I learned at the Emotional Eating Seminar we had awhile back is that people tend to eat emotionally when a need is not being met. (In case you missed the highlights you can go here --->>>Emotional Eating tips for some other great insights) It is ok to get angry! It is ok release your anger in a healthy manner. You know what does nothing? Going on Facebook and putting a vague statement about what is currently making you angry. What is that outlet for you? For me, it is exercise. Specifically it is intense exercise. It is hard to be angry when you are completely exhausted. Punching bags are incredible for this sort of thing. For others it could be running, yoga, or any form of exercise that gets rid of anger. Find that outlet for you and see if it helps you combat emotional eating. If you are looking to do a yoga class or just need a go to person for yoga questions, visit Mitzi's web site. She is always looking to help people ease into yoga, as well as help people who are interested in becoming yoga instructors.

Stop being a victim and Own It!

Own it
This e-mail might sound a little harsh, but stick with it and I think it will really help you. If you are overweight, out of shape, not where you want to be in life, broke, etc... it is on you.
Some of us have had more opportunities in life than others. Some of us have had bad things happen to us. It's all about how you respond.   I love this quote: Choices   I speak from little experience on this. I've been fat, I've been depressed, I've been in jobs I didn't want to be in. I justified each and every one of those situations, so I didn't have to get out of my comfort zone and change.   It was easier for me to blame my circumstances, other people, the economy, etc... Two words allowed me to change.   Own it.   Take ownership of your life! Don't wait on someone else to change your life, it's not going to happen. Your family can't do it, the government can't do it, even your trainer can't do it.   Other people can inspire you, motivate you, and help you along the way but you have to do it. What you do with the tools and the opportunities are on you.   Are you overweight? Own it Are you out of shape? Own it Always tell yourself you are too busy to exercise and eat right? Own it   The sooner you own it, the sooner you can conquer your obstacles. Don't play the victim, it only digs you into a deeper hole.   Plus being proactive makes you feel so much better! It's in your hands now, you are not helpless any more. Just remember the Triple A saying.    

Action, Alleviates, Anxiety

  Own that saying and you are well on your way.

3 Fitness Hacks To Speed Up Your Results



I'm a big fan of those life hacks you will see on the Interwebs from time to time. This one is things to simplify your life, like using a straw to remove the stem from a strawberry.   Which works really well if you've never tried it, by the way. Push the straw through the bottom of the strawberry and it pops the stem right off at the top.   Just don't believe the hype on the folding a fitted sheet one. That is impossible and can only be done by people born on a Leap Year during a full moon.   I wanted to offer 3 Fitness Hacks that are fairly simple, but can speed your results up.   Problem 1- You're not a "regular" person   Constipation can not only cause you to hold onto excess weight, but can also lead to painful health problems.   Solution- Go against the usual advice   This may sound counter-intuitive to traditional advice, but research has backed it up. If you are suffering from constipation, try reducing the amount of fiber you take in. Also, make sure you drink a large glass of water right when you wake up in the morning.  


Problem 2- Your heels come off the ground when you squat   When your heels come off the ground when you squat, it begins to put pressure on your joints and tendons. This added pressure not only takes the focus away from the muscles you are trying to work, it makes you more susceptible to back strains, knee pain, and even plantar faciitis.   Solution- Ankle circles   A lot of times tight ankles are the cause of the heels coming off the ground while squatting. High heel shoe wearers are especially at risk. Try doing ankle circles every day.   Put your toes on the ground, heels are up in the air. Then start circling your foot around, almost like you are putting out a cigarette. And if you are smoking, go ahead and put that thing out. Do 10 circles in each direction, on each foot. images Problem 3- Your knees cave in when you squat   Just like your heels coming up, the knees caving in places strain where you don't want it and prevents improvements.   Solution- Shove your knees out   This is more of an awareness thing. Think about 4 steps when you are squatting. 1. Sit back, instead of down (push your hips back) 2. Shove your knees out and keep them out on the way down, as well as the way up 3. Keep your chest up 4. Push through your heels as you stand up   If your knees continue to cave in towards each other, try wrapping a mini-band around your knees as you squat. I use this one from Perform Better. Helps give you a better feel for how you should be pushing out with your knees.   Hope you found these helpful!  
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