Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Overcoming A Fitness Plateau

The New Year has begun and you've been working steadily on the new you. Progress is slow but your still improving until you hit the emphasis fitness plateau. All progress comes to screeching hault and you feel frustrated. So how do you over come the self defeating hold on your progress? In the fitness business there is simple acronym we use to help us determine what method in your workout program we need to change to help you move past this plateau. This simple acronym is FIT, frequency, intensity, & time. Isn't it interesting the one thing we are striving for is exactly what we need to overcome our plateau? So let's look more closely at these three principles.
First let's begin with frequency. Frequency refers to the number of times in a given week you are exercising. For example, you began your new program January 1st, you've started lifting two to three times per a week, as your fitness level improves you continued with three workouts a week. Now four weeks in and you can tell your body's ready for a change and could stand something new or different. Frequency in this example is as simple as adding an extra day or two of walking in your workout week. The surgeon general recommends that exercise should be done most days of the week, that's four or five days a week. Add an extra day or two to your workout regime and notice how much better you feel and quickly your weigh loss improves.
The I, intensity. Intensity can be a number of things; it can be lifting heavier, cycling faster, adding intervals to push your heart rate. The purpose of intensity is to challenge the body in a way that it hasn't previously been challenged. Another words, if you've been lifting it mean lifting heavier, resting less between sets, or doing higher repetition. It could also be adding an interval between each  set of reps. The object is to present a challenge to the body that will force it to change and need more energy to perform the task at hand.
Finally, time. Time refers to the duration spent doing the exercise. For example, you've been riding the stationary bike three days a week for thirty minutes, you've noticed improvement in the way your body feels after you finish and would even say it's becoming easy. In this example, the simple challenge I would introduce to the body is to lengthen the amount of time spent completeling the exercise. If thirty minutes is what you've been doing it's "time" to strive for 40-45 minutes. This small incremental difference in your workout places additional demands on the body and requires it to respond by providing more energy to your body and burn more calories.
Over coming plateaus can be very simple if you follow these simple steps. So next time your at the gym and feeling frustrated by the dreaded fitness "plateau," remember in order to be FIT you have to think FIT. Good luck!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The One Leg Squat

The one leg squat is one of the simplest (as partains to equipment standards) but effective exercises. It's a great way to recruit all the muscles of the leg and utilize the leg in a very functional way.
Although this exercise requires no equipment it is extremely different for the average individual. When working with clients, I have found the best way to teach this exercise is by using a TRX Suspension strap, Airfit Trainer or other similiar means of suspension training. I have my clients hold on to the strap with both hands and  lower their body to the ground. I coach them to sit into their hips while holding on the straps. This allows them to sit deep into the ground and keep their chest lifted. Over time with practice and improved hip flexibility the leg will gain strength and the movement will become natural.
Attached is a clip of someone completing this exercise, he calls it the "Pistol Squat."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tips for Eating Lean through the Holidays

The holiday time is here and everyone is preparing for time with family and friends; as well as making plans for what to prepare for this years Thanksgiving Dinner. This time of year can bring anxiety to those of us that are watching our weight. This weeks blog is dedicated to helping you find successful ways to manage your diet given that this holiday is centered around eating.
Here are a few things to consider while making your Thanksgiving plans;
1. Don't go into Thanksgiving Dinner Hungry.
Stay ahead of your hunger. Make sure to have a healthy breakfast and a high energy protein snack prior to the meal. This will keep you from being ravenous at meal time and help you make healthy food choices during the meal.
2. Practice Portion Control.
Everyone is allowed a cheat meal once a week, allow this one to be yours, just don't over do it. Practice portion control by eating on a smaller plate or intentionally leaving space on your plate.
3. Don't Over Do Desserts.
I reccommend bringing a healthy dessert option that will allow you to enjoy this time without feeling guilty. If this is not an option, make a dessert selection that has some nutritional value and fewer calories. Sweet potatoe pie can be made lower calorie without heavy cream and can still provide that sweet, seasonal flavor we all love to enjoy.
4. Start the Day After Thanksgiving (Black Friday) Healthy.
The faster you get back on track the better you feel about your ability to manage your diet and the less guilt you feel about your "cheat" meal on Thanksgiving. Begin the day with a healthly breakfast and exercise. It is true you can't out exercise a bad diet; however, research indicates exercise is a catalyst for adopting other health behaviors. So start the day off on the right foot and get up and start moving!

Hope this helps you manage your meal time and enjoy your holidays this seasons! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hydration Tip

Fuel Your Body

Nutrition Tip for the Day: Caloric Intake, How Much Are You Getting? Are you getting to much or too little?

Okay this is a great way to get you started on a new to mission fitness, an equation that helps you figure out your daily caloric needs. Remember it is important to fuel your body with the right nutrients to get the right results.

A SimpIe Method for Determining Your CaIoric Need: Target Body Weight Formula:

Women: 100 + (inches over 5 ft. X 5 Ibs.) Men: 106 + (inches over 5 ft. X 6 Ibs.)

______________X 10 =________________+________________=Daily Calorie Allowance
Target Weight Calories for Weight Activity Level*
(Healthy Weight = Target Weight +/- 10%, depends on several factors)

*Activity Factors

Sedentary or Very Light: Majority of activities done while sitting, no additional exercise. (0 calories)

Light: Routine daily activities plus light exercise equivalent to walking 1 mite. (300 caIoriea)
Moderate: Considerable activity plus regular exercise equivalent to Walking 3 miles.
(500 calories)
Active or Heavy: Strenuous activity plus vigorous exercise such as swiming, running, or skiing. (700 calories)

Are you getting to many?
If your answer is yes, I recommend a protein smoothie/shake. Many of us over do it on unnecesary carbohydrates to makes us feel full or to comfort our emotions. I recommend adding a protein shake between each meal. This will fuel your body with the right nutrients, give your body the energy it needs and keep you ahead of your hunger all day long.
Are you getting enough?
This can be true for some that stay so busy and forget to eat or skip meals. You never want to go below 1200 calories. Less than that leads to poor nutrition and a slower metabolism. Supplement your diet with a protein shake around 10:00 and 3:00. This will give your body the nutrients it needs and keep your metabolism burning all day. Keep up all your efforts, your doing great!

To learn more about the protein supplements I recommend, click on the Meal Replacements & Supplements link at the top right hand side of the page.

Good luck!