Tag Archives: fitness industry

Is your treadmill keeping you fat?

skinny-treadmill-woman Are you trying to lose some weight?

Do you want to lose that stubborn fat that just won’t go away? Are you running, either outside or on a treadmill, for hours at a time at that same old speed you’ve always done?  You should be shedding that fat like it’s your job, right?  That’s what all the magazines say, and the websites are telling you, and that one friend who seems to know everything says “if you want to lose weight, you have to do cardio for an hour every day.”

Well, those magazines, websites, and know-it-alls…. they are wrong.  Maybe you’ve heard this. But, judging by all the people that I see do endless amounts of cardio and zero weight training, you probably didn’t believe it.  In reality, all the running you’re doing could actually be hindering your fat loss goals.  It may be causing you to hold on to all that fat.  That sucks.

Why does this happen?  To answer that we’ve got to dive a little deeper, into how the body works.  Going all the way back to the days of the caveman (no, I’m not getting into the paleo diet here) there was actually a benefit to being able to hold onto fat.  Why? Because you didn’t know when your next meal was going to arrive.  Holding onto fat meant your body could run off the fat stores during the periods when you didn’t have food to eat. That was a good thing.  In today’s world, your next meal is probably already planned (It’s not? Well it should be if you’ve got goals!)  That means your fat stores don’t serve the same purpose that they used to.  Now, they are less life saving and more life threatening…

Your body back in the day was trying to be as efficient as it possibly could.  It wanted to adjust so that it could hold on to as much life saving material (fat) as possible.  That is what happens when you do the same amount of cardio, at the same time, and at the same speed, every. single. day.  Your body adjusts to it.  Your body becomes efficient.  Your body can now go farther, for a longer time, and use less calories to do so.  It’s like having better gas mileage. While in a car that’s a good thing, you save money, sweet! But, in your body you don’t save money, you save fat. Not such a good thing.  All the while, not making any muscular change (remember that phrase). In the fitness world of fat loss, this is the worst thing that can happen.  If you want to lose fat, you need to make your body INEFFICIENT.  When your body is inefficient it will burn more calories while doing less work.  It sounds counter intuitive, but that’s how the body works.

So how do you lose fat? couple-lifting-together

By doing high intensity exercises.  For example weight lifting (my personal favorite. If you didn’t know, now you know) or doing interval training (sprints) or circuit training. Why does this work better?  These types of exercises cause muscular change (remember?), or help to build muscle.  “Wait, I don’t want to build muscle, I just want to lose fat…”  Well my friend, I’m sorry to say this to your face, but…. you’re wrong just like your friend was.  You do want to build muscle, and here’s why.

When you build muscle your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) increases.  “What the heck is that?”  Your RMR is the amount of calories your body burns while at rest.  The higher that number is, the more calories you burn throughout the day just by being alive.  The more calories you burn in the day, the more fat you can lose while your sitting at your desk. See the correlation?

Here is a way I heard it described once that really hit home for me.  Think about cardio as paying rent at an apartment, and lifting weights (high intensity exercise) as paying the mortgage of your house.  When you pay rent you are just trading $$$ for space, right?  You don’t actually get to own anything at any point. Cardio is the same way, when you do cardio, yes you burn calories. But, once you stop running, you stop burning calories too.

Now, if you are lifting weights it’s more like paying your mortgage. With the mortgage you will eventually (if all goes well) own that house, it will be all yours and no one else’s.  While weight training, yes you burn some calories and no, maybe it isn’t as many as you would on the cardio session. BUT, when you finish that weight training session guess what happens… you keep burning calories!!!! And not just for an hour.  Your body is burning calories for sometimes up to 48 hours later.  Why, because you have to recover, and rebuild your muscle tissue that was torn.  Now you will be rebuilding and growing more muscle. Muscle burns a few more calories per day than fat does, which in turn increases your RMR.  That means by building more muscle, you will be burning more calories throughout the day, and if your body is trying to build muscle it won’t use that as an energy source. Do you know what that means???????

That means you’ll be burning those fat stores to get you through that 2 hour meeting that could’ve been an email…and that is freaking awesome! I mean the fat burning, not the pointless meeting…

That is the reason weight training should be involved in everyone’s weekly routine.  If you like running, awesome! Then keep running, but make sure you add in that weight training too.

Will all that being said, If you aren’t eating properly then none of this matters anyway. So, here is what you need to do in order to shed that fat.  Eat right, lift weights, and sleep.  Doesn’t sound too hard right? Right.

Now, step off the treadmill. Venture into that weight section of the gym, and crush that fat!

As always, if you’ve got questions send them my way!

 

Z

Your How To Guide For Weight (Fat) Loss

You want to lose some weight?  Here is how you do it!

All you have to do, is burn more calories than you take in (eat) throughout the day.  Problem solved, good luck!

 

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This is Cody, Cody lost 4 of these 5lb fat chunks using these tips and a proper exercise program. Be like Cody, be successful. 

Just kidding, I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that!  It really is that easy, though.  To lose weight, the only thing you need to do is use more calories during your day than the calories you eat.  It pains me to say this, but it’s true… as far as straight weight loss goes, it does not matter if you are eating chicken, rice, and broccoli or if you are eating Twinkies and Snickers.  As long as your calories consumed stays under your calories burned for the day/week, you will lose weight.  But, when most people say “I want to lose some weight” what they really mean is, they want to lose fat and not lost muscle.  Which takes a different approach.

Now, with that being said if you want to actually look fit, in shape, or sexy after you lose the weight, it’s going to take a little more effort and planning than just eating fewer calories.  You are going to have to exercise, preferably resistance training, and plan your meals along with eating better quality foods in those meals. That exercise needs to be something that challenges you. Something that makes you work, hard.   I think people are afraid to do the proper exercise intensity and style because they see it as being too difficult (and it should be difficult!), but in reality the workouts are the easy part.  If you talk to almost anyone who has been working out or training for a long time, I will almost guarantee they will tell you the hardest part is not the gym, it’s the meal preparation.  It takes time, and sometimes what it takes is making boring food, but more importantly it takes consistency…It doesn’t always have to be chicken, rice, and broccoli. If you plan things out you can get a little more variety! The planning is key here.

So, how much should you eat? That answer is different for everyone.  If you really want to determine the exact calories you should be eating you have to do some math. By putting a few numbers into the Basil Metabolic Rate formula and deciding how active you are (or are going to be), you can determine how many calories you should be eating.  (If you would like to find this out just shoot me a message and I’ll help you figure it out.)  But, as a general guideline most women need around 1500 calories and most men around 2000 calories for the day. Again, if you are the size of Shaq, or you have bodybuilding goals, those numbers probably aren’t going to work for you. But, for the average man and woman they can be a good starting point.

What do these numbers mean? They mean that you’ll need to track what you are eating, at least in the beginning.  If you don’t keep track, how do you expect to know how many calories you are eating throughout the day? It doesn’t work if you don’t track, at least in the start of your program. You may get to a point where you are eating a majority of the same foods and you just know how many calories they have.  At that point, as long as you are still having success towards your goals, then you may be able to forgo the tracking for a while. Until you reach that point, keeping track is a great place to start. I bet you are eating way more calories than you think you are!  If you would like to use an App on your phone there are a few that I suggest. The first is called FatSecret (feel free to add me as your Trainer) and the second is MyFitnessPal (I’ll be your friend on here too).  These are very convenient tools. Plus, who doesn’t have their phone on them at all times to keep track of their food?  But, there is still something to be said about using old-fashioned paper and pen.  Something about the mind-body connection to actually writing it out makes a difference sometimes.

Now, on to the easy part. Exercise. Pick something you enjoy doing, that is going to make you sweat or breathe heavy, and do that almost every day.  If you need guidance in this part of it, find someone who has some experience and can help you out. Preferably a fitness professional, like myself.

There you go, this is your starting point to reaching those goals!  Take this as your sign that you need to start. Today. Right now. Stop putting it off, and get to work! Now is the best time to start!  As always, I’m here to help if you’ve got questions!

 

See you at the gym,

Z

 

 

The #1 Exercise For A Flat Tummy Or A Six Pack. (It’s not what you think…)

six-pack-abs-01

Hey!

First of all, I have to confess that I “gotchya” a little bit with the title. Here’s why…

There is not one single exercise you can do in the gym that will automatically give you the tummy of your dreams. Whether you are strictly a cardio person, you only do bench press, or you stay on that “ab section” of the gym floor for your whole workout, doing only one of those won’t give you a six pack.  And guess what, doing all of them won’t either… UNLESS you do this one “exercise” I’m talking about.

I know what you’re thinking, “just tell me what to freaking do already!” Well, here it is.  The one thing that will help you the most in trimming down that tummy fat is……………….. COOKING YOUR OWN FOOD.

There you go. There is the answer that I’m sure you didn’t expect (or want) to hear.  But, that’s the truth.  If you want to get ripped like Channing Tatum or Jillian Michaels, or even just slim down your midsection a few pounds after the summer of boating and “beer-ing”, you will most definitely have to start cooking your own meals.  Now, I don’t mean buying frozen prepped meals in a box or making frozen pizza. I mean buying uncooked, real food that you will have to cut, chop, wash, and cook before you eat it.  For example, buy uncooked meat (chicken, beef, pork) with some veggies (carrots, peppers, etc) and then some type of starch or grain (rice, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, yes those white potatoes are fine)  and cook them yourself.  This way you can control how much oil (you don’t need much) you cook them in. Or, you can bake a lot of foods without oil and use seasonings instead. That way you aren’t getting those extra calories out of the oils and sauces that you would if you went out to eat.

Here is something to think about. Restaurants are preparing foods so that they taste good (and boy do they taste good!), not necessarily in order to make them healthy.  Granted, some are becoming better at looking into the health side of the equation. But, most just want to make your taste buds explode with joy so you come back and eat more. That isn’t a recipe for weight loss, or health in general.  (Side note, you can make healthy foods taste delicious without all those extra calories. You just have to plan a little bit).

The biggest reason to cook your own meals may not be just to lose those pant sizes and belt notches. But let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be trim and fit?  Whole, real foods are more nutrient dense than their processed cousins.  “And, your point is….?” the point is that you get more good vitamins and minerals out of real foods than the processed ones.  A cheeseburger you make yourself, will give you more health benefits than the one you get from the drive through up the street, which is comprised of basically empty calories (not completely empty, but I hope you see the point).  Whole foods can help you with all kinds of health benefits that your doctor would love to tell you about, or maybe he does/has already discussed them with you… They can help you lower your cholesterol, they have more fiber, which will help you…well, be more regular in the bathroom… and help to keep your blood sugar regulated which helps control or prevent diabetes, and also weight gain (high blood sugar levels lead to weight gain or diabetes, which if left unchecked or unattended to can develop into more serious issues. Like limb amputation).

So, while you’re crunching away during your noon workout (WHAT!? You don’t work out over lunch?!?!?! I can help with that…) think about what you are going to cook for your evening meal tonight. Do you want chicken? A salad? pork chops?  Then you can swing by the grocery store on your way home to pick up that fresh meal you’re about to make. (Insider tip, stay around the outer edge of the grocery store. That’s where they keep the fresh foods, and you won’t get tempted by the junk in the middle isles.)

Anyway, there is the #1 “exercise” you’ve been looking for that will help you lose that mid-section fluff.  But, don’t forget about that workout either!  You can lose weight just through improving your diet, but you can’t look sexy as hell if you don’t work hard in those workouts and build some muscle!

If you aren’t sure where to start in your weight loss or fitness journey, I suggest starting in the kitchen. But, if you need a little more guidance, or a great workout, then give me a shout. I’m here to help! You can shoot me an email right here… or head on over to my facebook page and drop me a message here

All this food talk is making me hungry, I better go cook something.

Good Luck,

Zach

Is it weight loss that you are really looking for?

If you punch “weight loss” into the internet search engine of your choice you will discover the many options you have to pursue. I have no problem saying there are probably millions of articles, websites, and business devoted to helping people lose weight.  But, is that really what you are in search of?

My guess is that you just think that you want to lose some weight, but in reality it has nothing to do with how much the scale says you weigh, or how many pounds you want to “lose.”  It is more likely that you want to look better and feel better physically and emotionally.  That doesn’t come from “weight loss” that comes from fat loss and learning about yourself and what you are capable of (hint: you can lift more than that).

In my experience dealing with personal training clients they think that just losing weight in general will get them to where they want to be.  If you’re one of the people I have been lucky enough to train you have definitely heard me say “the scale just says a number, it doesn’t define you as a person” or “The scale is just a tool to measure where you were and where you are now.”  Guess what, I have to tell them all more than once…repeatedly actually… Our society is so stuck on the term “weight loss” that it is now ingrained into everyone’s head, and health professionals sometimes have a hard time breaking through that thick skull people develop.  But it isn’t about the number the scale says, looking good and “fit” comes from fat loss.  Fat loss comes from 2 main things, #1 is eating better.  Improving your nutrition will go a long ways in helping you find that former athlete or looking good in that 2 piece bikini.  But #2 is often overlooked when people are trying to “lose weight” and that is strength training.  AKA lifting weights.  Yes ladies you need to keep reading this, guys (most guys) have no issue going to the gym and throwing the iron around, but for some reason a lot of ladies shy away from that part of the gym.  That is a shame  because there are so many benefits of strength training.

Strength training helps your muscle stay fuller, which is what makes you look good while rocking that bikini.  “But I don’t want to get huge…”  If I had a nickel for every time I heard that… I would be a millionaire already, that’s just in 5 years of personal training. You do not get “huge” just from lifting weights, there is a lot more to it than that.  If it was that easy I would look like Mr. Schwarzenegger, and I don’t…  It takes a lot of nutrition, rep ranges, rest periods, volume of work, the right hormones, etc in order to get huge.  So ladies, don’t worry about getting huge unless you are secretly taking testosterone or steroids.

I’m not saying cardio is a bad thing, it definitely has its place in the fitness world.  But, If you aren’t strength training…well, you should be. Doing only cardio will help you lose weight, definitely. But it won’t get you beach ready. It will get you, what we say in the fitness world, “skinny fat.”  That isn’t what you want.  Yes that means you weigh next to nothing, but it also means you have no muscle. You look thin with your clothes on, but with them off you look…skinny fat, with no definition.  Definition brings curves, you want curves (I’m sure that’s a great tag word ladies will love to hear).

If that doesn’t get you lifting, then here are a few more reasons that you should incorporate strength training into your weekly workout plan:

1) It helps you stay leaner.  Once you lose the unwanted fat strength training helps you to keep those muscles working for hours after your training session.  When you lift weights you are making tiny tears in your muscle fibers, that’s a good thing, and it takes hours/days for them to rebuild. Which means that your body is working hard to recover, and that translates into more calories burned while you are resting, at work, or watching that new season of Orange Is The New Black

2) It keeps your bones strong.  Putting heavy stress on your bones (weight training) causes your body to reinforce them with the nutrients you take in.  So lifting weights will help to keep your from breaking your hip when you are 90 years old.  Your old self, will thank you for that.

3) My favorite one… It makes you stronger.  After strength training you will develop the super human strength to carry all of the grocery bags into the house at once.  No thanks superman, supermom has this under control!  But seriously, strength training will help you to be able to lift up your kids, move boxes without hurting your back, or push your kids really high in the underdog swing move.

4) It helps to prevent other diseases.  Heart disease is the leading killer in the Unites States.  Lifting weights improves your heart strength.  Jump rope for heart should really be turned into pushups for heart. Maybe I’ll start that… That’s just the beginning, Diabetes and glucose levels can be controlled or reduced (depending on which type) with strength training and healthy lifestyle changes.  It can also help with arthritis pain, I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that!

and the last one I’ll mention is

5) It can help reduce stress and improve your mood! Strength training can increase your endorphins (happy chemicals in your brain), it has been proven to be an amazing antidepressant tool, and it makes you feel freaking strong (refer to #3) lifting heavy weights!  That always makes me feel good about myself!

So I’ll end with this.  Don’t go in search of weight loss, go in search of fat loss, through strength training!  You’ll be happier, you’ll be stronger, and you’ll be even more amazing!

In the weights I (we?) trust,

Zach

Is your diet right?

All over the fitness industry the term “diet” gets thrown around, but do you really know what it means?  Almost every fitness professional uses this term on a daily basis, but many of them (including me at one point) use the word diet in the wrong way.  The original definition of diet is “The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.”  This basically means the food you usually eat throughout your day, week, month, and year.  As fitness has become more popular and in the news, the term DIET has become more of a weight loss term, and it shouldn’t be.  Diet is what you eat, not how you eat it.  You can plan your diet in a way that makes you lose weight, or gain weight, stay the same, gain muscle, or lose fat. But, you don’t “go on a diet.”  You are always on a diet, unless you stop eating all together, and if that happens we have bigger issues to address.   I’ll never tell you to “go on a diet” I’ll definitely tell you to adjust your diet and eat better foods, but don’t be fooled by gimmick “diets.”  I mean, do you really want to be following something that doesn’t even really know what it is saying?  I may be nit-picking a dumb word choice, but to me it is more than that.  It is about being aware of what you are teaching people as a Health Professional, and not leading people in the wrong direction.  Be aware if your trainer says go on this “diet” and you will lose weight, because I would bet that the same exact thing has been given to previous clients without any tweaking for your personal use. There are definitely great trainers and fitness professionals out there, but there are some people who promote fitness without any actual knowledge of anything related to fitness. So my point is, don’t “go on a diet” and be aware of the so-called “knowledge” that is thrown around in the fitness industry.  Do your own research, ask around and find someone who has a great knowledge base in the industry.

 

Stay healthy,

Zach