Archive for September, 2016

How to get better at any exercise

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For many of the women I train, pushups are their worst enemy. They are not shy about letting you know their dislike of them either. Just trust me on that one.

 

The main reason people don't like pushups is the same reason I don't like fixing things. I'm not very good at it.

 

But they are one of the best exercises you can do for your entire body. So we do pushups in my boot camps. I often get asked about how to be able to do more pushups or move from doing pushups on the knees to pushups on toes.

 

I present to you the Grease the Groove technique.

 

Terrible title, effective method. We will use it for pushups, but you can apply it to any exercise you want to get better at. Pullups, presses, burpees, etc... it will help you get better at all of them.

 

I learned the Grease the Groove (or what the cool kids call GTG) technique from a former Soviet Special Forces trainer named Pavel Tsatsouline. He had the revolutionary idea that if you want to get better at something, you should probably practice it. Weird huh?

 
Pavel in action

Pavel in action

 

Here is the equation he came up with for you math people:

 

specificity-frequent

 

So here is how to be able to do more pushups. First you need to know what the maximum number of pushups you can do is. For this example we will use 10 pushups.

 

Several times a day you would drop down and knock out 4 pushups there, 5 pushups here. All throughout the day, but the key is to never get to the point where it is a struggle to do the pushups. You want to train as often as possible throughout the day, while still being as fresh as possible.

 

How about changing from knees to toes? You can still use the GTG method, but with a twist for the knee pushups. Because knee pushups do not properly mimic the toe pushups, you need to try something different. Switch from knee pushups to doing pushups at an angle. You could use a bench, a wall, etc... to practice your pushups. You can start at a 45 degree angle and start working your way down from there. Apply the same GTG technique with the angled pushups.

 

The basic premise is that you are strengthening the neural pathways through something called synaptic facilitation. Remember that, it might be on Final Jeopardy one day.

 

Big words aside, this is a straight forward and effective way to get better at something. Pick out an exercise you are weak in, apply the same GTG technique for whatever exercise it is for 6 weeks, and I bet you will get great results. After you set a new personal record, drop me a line and let me know!

How to eat 3.1 million fewer calories

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Google is an amazing company in many ways. Don’t believe me? Go Google it. You know you’ve made it when your company name becomes a verb.

 

They have something called their People Operations team. At most places it is called an HR department. The mission of the People Operations Team is “find them, grow them, keep them”.

 

As part of their job, the People Operations team wanted to help improve employees’ health. They started a study they nicknamed “Project M&M”.

 

Project M&M experimented with where the M&Ms were placed and in what container. They got great results from putting the M&Ms in opaque jars, while putting healthy snacks (figs, pistachios, etc…) in glass jars.

 

In 7 weeks the New York office (comprised of 2000 people) ate 3.1 million less calories from M&Ms. That is amazing!

 

You can use some of these same tactics for yourself. Try making two, small changes in your kitchen area.

 

1. Make healthy snacks visible and readily available

 

If you have a bowl of your favorite fruits on the counter, vegetable cut up and ready to snack on in your fridge, or other healthy options in plain eye sight and ready to go you are much more likely to make that better choice.

 

2. Hide the less desirable snacks

 

I get it. Sometimes a person just needs some chocolate. But if you have a bowl of Hershey’s kisses on your desk in a clear bowl, you will eat 248% more! Put your sweet stash out of sight and in a place where you will have to work to get there. I guarantee it will cut down on your consumption of it, but it will be there for your chocolate emergency.

 

Try those two changes and see how it works for you!

Go for a lifestyle change, rather than a weight loss plan

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lifestyle-change Something I preach about constantly is the importance of a lifestyle change, rather than just the “I need to lose X amount of pounds” goal. When all you are focused on is that number on the scale, you let a lot of things fall by the wayside.

 

Not every pound is created equally. You want to carry as much lean muscle mass on your body as possible. That way you will burn more calories at rest and your goals will be easier to reach.

 

If you are doing strength training as part of your workout (and you should be), you could add a pound of muscle and lose a pound of fat. On the scale it looks like nothing! But in reality, you are doing awesome.

 

When you are only focused on weight loss, it makes you more susceptible to fad diets. Here is a hint- if a diet tells you to completely give up proteins, fats, or carbs stay away. Your body needs all 3 of those macronutrients to function properly.

 

You can fall into the trap of starving yourself to get the weight down. You don’t have to starve to get results! You can eat meals that nourish your body, made up of foods you actually like, and you don’t have to be hungry all the time.

 

The key is to make your meals more nutrient dense. This will provide you with the energy you need without making you take in more calories than you need.

 

Focus on the making fitness and health a way of life. Move more (especially outside of your workouts), eat healthier, take care of your muscles, get plenty of rest, and enjoy yourself! Life is too short to walk around feeling unhappy and unwell all the time.

 

PS- if you want to take the guess work out of what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat I have spots left for my new Weight Management System. You can go to this link below to learn more and to reserve your spot.

----->Learn More

70% better results, guaranteed

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We all know that we should be eating better, but do you realize just how important it is for your results? It is estimated that 70-80% of your results come from what you eat and drink.

That is why proper nutrition is so crucial, but it is also the hardest part to figure out. What do I need to eat? When do I need to eat? How much do I need to eat?

Those are all questions that need to be answered to dial in your eating plan. It used to be a matter of trial and error, which usually becomes heartbreak and frustration.

But now you can have the solution right at your fingertips.

This is where Pro Diets Weight Management Software comes in. You are guaranteed to get results with this.

 

Pro Diets™ is based on perfectly-portioned meals that are instantly customized specifically for you. It calculates your exact amount of calories, exact ratio of proteins, carbs and fats, exact foods… EVERYTHING!

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All you have to do is answer a few questions, choose what meal plan you would like, and then it sends you 7 days of exactly what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You will also get a grocery shopping list, so you know what to get ahead of time.

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If you don’t like something on the list, you swap it out with something you do like. This is not about denying yourself, this is about eating foods that will give you sustained energy and that you will actually enjoy.

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One of the coolest features, is that it comes with a free, mobile app. Anything you can do on your computer can be done just as easily from your phone. This app is awesome!

Every meal of every day… Individually customized so that you will eat foods you like and STILL reach your fitness goals.

And it is only $14.95/month

Go here --->Pro Diets to reserve your spot.

 

Give up coffee?

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About 6 weeks ago I decided to quit drinking coffee. I love coffee and I get up at 4am, so this was not a decision I came to lightly. I was not having any negative health problems or anything like that, it was more of a mental thing.

I felt like the coffee drinking was getting out of control. It was the first thing I did every morning, every day. It got to where I would have a cup at 4am, then 7am, and then started having on in the afternoons as well.

It was beginning to feel like too much of a crutch, so I gave it up. There were some headaches and cravings, but overall it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Along the way I was checking to see if there were any health improvements. I did notice a slight increase in energy, but nothing major.

Fast forward to now and I am back drinking coffee, but on a slightly different level. It is not an every day, several times a day habit now. Coffee is something I appreciate much more, but have less.

My whole reason for sharing this with you is so you can take an inventory of your nutrition habits. Is there something that has gotten out of control? Do you feel like you can’t go a day without it? If so, whatever that is might be a candidate for quitting.

Maybe it is a daily Mountain Dew, Little Debbie, or pack of Skittles at 2pm. Give yourself permission to give it up. This is not forever, and you get to determine how long you will give it up for (1 day, 1 week, 1 month). The end goal is for you to take control of your habits, instead of them controlling you

The Power of Encouragement

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My friend Dr. Patty Long told me something very interesting this week. She was in a conference last week and one of the presenters was talking about the differences between men and women. One of the biggest differences they talked about was the higher rates of depression among women.

 

Women are more than TWICE as likely as men to go through depression. There is a biological reason for that. Researchers believe that lower levels of serotonin are linked to depression. Women produce HALF the amount of serotonin that men do.

 

There is hope though! There is an easy way to increase serotonin levels and it is actually something that I talk about a lot.

 

Encouragement increases serotonin levels.

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Here is your homework for the weekend. Reach out and encourage a woman in your life who you think really needs it. It could be a genuine compliment, a word of praise, or a thank you to someone who has helped you.

 

Dave Jack is a guy in the fitness world that I respect and admire tremendously. One of his favorite sayings is:

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Whose soul can you feed this weekend?

Dave Ramsey is all about systems and you should be too

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Awesome guy, with an awesome business. And Dave Ramsey is in the picture too.

 

It was my wife’s birthday last week, so I wanted to do something special for her. She is a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan, so I took her to see his live radio show in Nashville.

I have a read a few of Dave Ramsey’s books and listened to his radio show a few times, but I am not nearly the fan my wife is. That being said, I was very impressed with how he runs things.

At Ramsey Solutions, they have a system for everything they do. Rather than leaving things up to chance, there is a certain way everything gets done. From how tours are done, to how people do the debt free scream , to when Dave visits with the audience on his breaks, and everything in between.

This way they can get repeatable and reliable results without relying on will power. We have a limited supply of will power, so the less you have to use the more successful you are.

There are a lot of places you can start, but here are 3 systems to help you get started.

Eliminate decisions

Set a firm workout time. Write it down, put it in your phone, or whatever you need to do but set a firm time. That way there is no negotiating, that is your workout time and that is that.

Prep ahead of time

Get your workout clothes ready, prepare meals ahead of time, have your water bottle filled up. These are all things that will help you DO the healthier things you want to do, rather than THINK about doing them.

Have a backup plan

 

Part of having systems is being ready when things don’t go exactly to plan. What will you do if the car breaks down, your child is sick, or you have to travel for work. Have workouts you can do at home and on the road ready to go.

Bad Mamajamma Training

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Deborah Tomason=Bad Mamajamma

Deborah Tomason=Bad Mamajamma

Have you ever done a kickboxing class? It is such a fun and energizing workout! We did a Cardio Kickboxing series several months ago and people loved it. So we are bringing it back on September 17th!

 

The class is taught by Deborah Thomason who has a black belt in karate, so she knows exactly what she is doing and how to teach it as well. There are several benefits you will get, but here are the top 5 benefits of cardio kickboxing:

1. Get toned from head to toe

You will learn the proper way to punch, kick, and defend. When done properly these techniques will incorporate every muscle in your body

2. Stress relief

Had a rough week? Let all that stress that has built up, fade away as you sweat through class. It is tough to beat punching something for stress relief.

3. Confidence booster

One of the best parts of cardio kickboxing is that you will feel stronger every day. That empowerment will stay with you throughout the day and through your week.

4. Learn self defense

This is not Fight Club. Just wanted to put that out there. But learning how to punch and kick harder while protecting yourself will help you defend yourself.

5. Better balance and coordination

Balance and coordination are two things that tend to go away as we age. They go away because we don’t use them like we used to! Integrating your hips into a punch or standing on one leg to kick will help wake these two attributes back up. You will see improvement in both balance and coordination.

There is an added bonus benefit that is not scientifically proven, but should be. You will become a badmamajamma. And isn’t that what life is all about?

You can sign up here to reserve your spot---> Cardio Kickboxing

The class is only $39 for 3 Saturday classes and is open to the first 15 who register.

Craziness on Smith Lake

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There was a giant, uprooted tree behind my dad’s boat dock. With some maneuvering, he could still pull his boat out and get around it but it was still a thorn in his side.

 

Labor Day Weekend became the perfect storm. We had the manpower and the motivation, but not the right tools for the job. After an hour of sawing at this beast, it got to where we could no longer saw through because the ends were pinching together.

 

In a bit of redneck inspired ingenuity, we decided to tie a tow rope to the tree and drag it off with the jet ski. I hopped on the front of the set ski, my brother on the back, and my uncle hooked the tow rope on. I slowly accelerated and then the craziest thing happened. It actually worked!

 

I had not planned on it actually working. After driving out to the middle of the lake, we were puffing our chests out proudly when it hit us. How are we going to get this brand new tow rope off of this tree? The weight of the tree was pulling the rope so tight we couldn’t untie it from the jet ski and the tree was so far under the water we couldn’t untie it on that end either.

 

We did not have a knife and we were sitting in the middle of the lake hoping someone would miraculously stop by with a knife. That didn’t seem likely, so I became cave man MacGyver.

 

I swam to shore where I saw a pile of rocks. I sharpened one rock against another one, then swam back. After some vigorous sawing (again), the rope was finally cut and we were free of that burdensome tree.

 

There are a few lessons here that I think are valuable:

Have a plan (preferably one that works)

Do you have a workout plan? A plan will save you time, money, and effort. When I worked in gyms, it was very common to see people wandering around from machine to machine, selecting random numbers for weights and reps, and resting as long or as short as they felt. Figure out your goals, get a plan to match those goals, and then stick to it.

 

Get the right tools for the job

 

One chainsaw and that crazy ordeal with the tree would have been over in a short amount of time. With exercise, exercise equipment can help but you need other tools as well. Proper nutrition is the most important tool. When you add in additional tools like: the right amount of sleep, stress management, getting fresh air and sunshine, and avoiding toxins you can maximize your results.

 

Don’t give up because it gets hard

 

Changing your lifestyle is hard! Even with a plan and the right tools, you are going to face hard times. There will be times when you don’t feel like exercising and eating right or doing anything healthy. Don’t give up just because it gets tough! Expect the hard times to come and fight through them, your long term health and happiness are worth it.

 

Bonus lesson for the fellas out there

You should probably listen to your mom and wife.

3 Strange Tips For Your First 5K

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In honor of the Color Run being tomorrow morning, I wanted to offer up a few tips for running 5Ks. The great thing about the Color Run is it that attracts lots of people for their first 5K. If that is you, these tips will be very helpful. But even if you are a seasoned runner, you can still find benefit with these 3 slightly odd tips.

 

1. Don't be like Raquel 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 60-90 degrees, keep your hands loose (don't clench your fists), let your hands swing from cheek to hip (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 make you a faster, more efficient runner.

 

2. 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 mile in your first race. 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, get past that building up ahead. Keep setting mini goals that propel you forward and don't let the big picture discourage you.

 

3. 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!

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