Friday, April 11, 2014

What's the real spice of life?

      Balance Training!!
      Well, that's how I see it anyway.
      I like to train in many different ways with many different tools and I like to introduce all the various aspects of fitness and strength training to my clients. One aspect of training is balance. Balance training is critical for overall strength. It's not just about if you can stand on one foot with your eyes closed and not fall over, it's more about total body awareness. What do your muscles have to do to continue supporting your joints when your center of gravity and/or base of support is changed or challenged? Well, they have do a lot and most of us never notice or realize this until it's pointed out, or until we lose our ability to maintain our balance.
      So, we train. For me, balance training is the most difficult and most challenging part of my routine. My brain and my body go into overdrive, the focus and attention that balance training demands can be overwhelming at times. But, one amazing thing about balance training is that gains and improvements can happen really quickly. Usually, after just one or two tries with a new balance challenge you'll start to feel it changing and getting a little bit easier to handle and control.

      And, it can be really fun! BOSU balls are a good tool for challenging your balance. Whether your focus is on joint stability or deceleration like in this video clip. Training balance can be slow, or quick, it can be done with or without external loads like a ViPR or kettlebells, it can be done as it's own thing or integrated in with a strength workout. If you've ever worked with me then you know that I like to include balance training in my workouts as often as I can.

At Be Fit Personal Training studio where I train, we have a COR Bench. It's just a bench, except that it's filled with air. So, every exercise you do on it challenges your core and your ability to balance.
      It's another tool that we can have some fun with!
      Here's me trying a split squat jump, or lunge jump on the COR bench. As you can see in both these videos, I'm not doing a great job on keeping balanced, but it was fun and now I know I can do things like this.
      So, don't neglect balance work in your fitness routines. It does and will aid in overall strength gains.

       Happy Balancing!
                                                         Train Today to Move Tomorrow!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How do you know?

      When talking about exercise, healthy eating, fitness programs or routines, there is so much information out there it's a wonder how any of us can figure it out. How do you know what's right for you? How do you know what's bullshit and what's legitimate? How do you know where to start?
      None of us truly knows. It's a matter of trial and error. And, yes that's it.
      It means trying lots of different things until you find what you like and what works for you. If you like something, do it. If not, don't. Although when changing habits, we sometimes do have to grit through things that can be uncomfortable for a while. But, that's not to say that you have to suffer to lose weight or be in pain to think you're making gains in the weight room, you don't and you shouldn't. It all comes down to finding what you like and what works for you. I like seeing if I can do push ups while balancing on four medicine balls, or seeing if I can jump onto the COR bench and land in a squat without face-planting.

      I'll give you some examples of my progress. It's taken me about 3 years to get to where I am now with the way that I eat. I started by gradually cutting down, then out all together adding sugar to my coffee. I started drinking a ton of water. I started including healthier snacks like fruit instead of crackers or chips. I started cooking more for myself and eating less processed foods and more whole foods. Now, I feel much more in control, I feel much less bloated and run down, I know what I'm eating and will quickly notice if a food makes me feel gross. So, even though it's taken a long time and a lot of trials, I'm confident now that what I eat will fuel my body in the way that I need.
      It's taken me much longer than that to get to where I am now physically and with my workouts. When I first started working out regularly I thought that how my body moved was just how it moved. That I couldn't change that. I was wrong. The prime example of this for me was how I performed squats. I would see other people getting deep into their squats while keeping an upright posture and all the right parts were doing all the right things and I knew I wouldn't be able to do that. I was too stiff, I was not strong enough, I just wasn't made to do that, are all the things I would think. But, now years later and thousands of squats later, I continue to get better. In this photo, I'm using the BOSU ball as my
guide point for my depth. Who would've thought that I'd be able to maintain my position like that? Not me. But, there it is. Not only have my squats improved, but everything has improved. And, that's with problems like tendonitis in my elbows and other minor injuries that are fairly regular for me. Even with set backs, I've improved and I continue to improve and continue to get stronger.
      My point is that things take time and they take a lot of work. I know that no one wants to hear that, but it's the only reality for any lifestyle change. I encourage my clients to just take things one at a time and before you know it, all the goals are met and it's time to start making new ones. So, we may not know what to do or where to start, but I don't think that matters if you try. I know that if you try, you'll find the best way for you.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

these changing times........

      Things move too quickly for me sometimes.
      In my business, you'll get left behind if you don't keep up with the changing times. Today's technologies, the ever increasing desire for instant gratification, the ever increasing pressure to have an impact and a strong presence online and on social medias. I fear that I am behind the times. I'm a self proclaimed computer and technology dunce. I spend as little time on the computer as possible. However, in order for me to generate an online presence, I need to utilize these technologies and I need to utilize them well. I'll keep working on all that.
      But, let's slow down for a minute. Let's remember what we're doing here. Life moves quickly and if we don't slow down, if we don't have patience, we're gonna miss everything. Let me relate this idea to health and fitness practices. We are inundated daily with the latest and greatest diet or exercise plans, all of which leave out what I consider to be the most important aspect of change which is: you can't undo a lifetime's worth of bad habits in 10 days (or whatever the latest gimmicky product claims). So, what does that mean for the individual looking to make a healthy change? Well, it means patience and understanding are the first steps to making long lasting changes.
      Have patience with the process and take the time to understand how to make the process of making a lasting change can work best for you. We're all different, our needs are all different and our processes are all different.
      My goal is to aid you in that process, to help you understand that it might take a year, it might take longer ,it might take a lot of trial and error, and that is absolutely OK. In my experience, it's the time and the work that must go into making a change that can be the most difficult part of it all. And, as much as we'd rather not admit it, no matter how fast the world changes, that won't. It will continue to take time and work to make lifestyle changes that will last.
      As much as I need to catch up with the technologies, I will always be a bigger proponent of a 'slow and steady, wins the race' approach to health and fitness goals. Don't miss out on experiencing making a healthy change that will stay with you forever by opting for a quick fix that will most likely not last.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Year?

      Ok, so I missed the mark by about a month, but Happy New Year!

      I've been thinking about the new year and things that commonly come with that, and though I've never been one to make resolutions or really think about my future all that much, this year I've been thinking.
What's all the fuss about? How does making a resolution or goal really affect our choices or our lives? I don't know if it does or not, but I've been thinking.
      In my thinking, I've decided to make some changes. Not necessarily resolutions or goals for this year, but small changes for now and for the day to day. The first being my mental attitude. Will approaching each day with a positive mental attitude toward things really make any difference in how I feel or how I handle things? I don't know. What I do know so far with practicing keeping a positive mental attitude is that I actually do feel pretty good. I feel confident in what I'm doing and saying, I feel less aggravated for less amount of time by all the super annoying things like bad drivers, slow cashiers in stores, etc. For me, that's something. So, I resolve to continue to approach my days with a more positive attitude and maybe some of that will rub off on my clients during their workouts.
      The second thing is to do more things for myself. So, I started a new workout program for myself and unfortunately I've been sidelined by a hurt back muscle that requires resting. I'll get back to that when I'm all healed up.  I'm also making more time to do things that I care about, like snowboarding. I haven't gotten up to ride in a couple of seasons, so this year, I'm off to Colorado for a few days!
      I'm not sure if resolutions are the way to go to make changes in your life, but making changes is a necessary part of growing and becoming a better person. Whether it be small seeming inconsequential changes or big changes, I don't think it matters as long as we are willing to do it from time to time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I teach some great classes too........

Be Fit Personal Training
Small Group Workouts

VELOCITY 360: A full body, high intensity class to get your blood flowing. You’ll train in all directions, with this dynamic and exciting workout to build strength, endurance, agility, power, flexibility, explosiveness, stability, competitive drive and mental conditioning.

 Fridays at 5:30 pm w/Siriji
 Saturdays at 9 am w/ Lindsey

FOCUS 360: Designed to develop your mind-body connection. We’ll train to improve form, balance, control, stability, strength, and deceleration by using slower movements to engage all your muscles in a focused and determined manner. We’ll make every rep count!

Sundays at 9 am w/ Siriji

TRX 360: Using the TRX Suspension Trainer, you’ll discover new and exciting ways to make your body your machine by performing functional exercises that will work every muscle group in your body all while maintaining good form and core stability.

Saturdays at 12 pm w/ Siriji

Rates: $20 Drop in         
              $150 for 10 classes
First class is Free!

Special Offers: 
1st 10 classes for $100
Bring a friend, get a free class when they buy 10!

More TRX......

In addition to the classes at BeFit, I also teach TRX classes at ProAction Athletics in and Thursdays at 7 pm. 

 I design these workouts as a monthly progression.

Each week of the month, the workout is a bit more challenging in some way. It may be more complex movements, or a faster pace, or a heavier work volume.

All workouts can be modified to suit your individual fitness level and as you become stronger and more adept at using the TRX, you are able to make the workouts even more challenging for yourself.

Rates for classes at ProAction are: $15 for drop-ins and $120 for 10 classes.
Online payment and registration for classes is available.

Go to the website listed above, register for a class and come learn why I love the TRX so much!


                            Train today to Move Tomorrow!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giving Thanks!

      Before I get into any 'this time of year' stuff about thanks and gratitude and what not, let me just say that I strongly believe that feeling grateful for the things we have in our lives should be a year long endeavor. I don't like that we follow this idea that gratitude, family, love, support, community and all the rest is, or should be, emphasized around Thanksgiving and Christmas time. I believe those things should be practiced and valued all the time and it shouldn't be any different now or ever.
      There, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the things in life that we're grateful for. What are the things that you value in your life? As a fitness professional, I value my health overall. As an individual, I value the fact that I get to be in my clients' lives day in and day out. Yes, that may fall into the professional side of things, but it's more than that for me. My decision to begin my journey into fitness training and exercise is the best one I've made. Everyday I feel so lucky to be included in the lives of people that put their health at the top of the list and that I can help get them, and keep them healthy and strong.
      I've learned so much in the last few years about myself, about us as humans and the human condition. Working with so many different people gives me a unique perspective, I think, on what health, fitness, exercise, and strength means. I think that the influence of media and society can very easily mar a person's idea of fitness but when you get down to it, all we really want is to be comfortable, to be happy, to be balanced. What that means is so different for each person. I'm constantly grateful to be able to help my clients find what that means for them. And, what they may not realize is that they are helping me to find what that means for me.
     So, Thank You and let's keep moving into another healthy and happy year!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Isagenix and weight loss

Isagenix Offers More Predictable Weight Loss, Researchers Report 

UIC researchers say subjects lost weight more easily and consistently on Isagenix.
UIC researchers say subjects lost weight more easily and consistently on Isagenix.
Losing weight is easier and more consistent on a weekly basis when using an Isagenix system as compared to normal dieting, according to University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) researchers.
The authors of the award-winning UIC study involving Isagenix products discussed their findings early last week during the American Society for Nutrition’s Scientific Sessions annual meeting at the Experimental Biology conference in Boston.
“The subjects’ weight loss was more predictable on Isagenix products over the course of the study,” said graduate student Cynthia Kroeger, who was listed as the first author on the open-access paper published in Nutrition & Metabolism.
Kroeger shared that the total reductions in body weight, body fat, and visceral fat (sub-abdominal fat) by the end of the 10-week study in subjects in the Isagenix group were also greater in comparison to the subjects in the group following a “heart healthy” diet.
The greater reduction in visceral fat found in the Isagenix group versus the “heart healthy” diet group was particularly remarkable, Kroeger said. She explained that the reason is because visceral fat is linked to the production of several markers related to insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk.
The study found, in summary, that Isagenix products led to a 56 percent greater reduction in average weight loss, 47 percent greater reduction in average body fat loss, twice as much visceral fat loss, and 35 percent greater reduction of oxidative stress markers related to cardiovascular risk.
Graduate student Monica Klempel added that the subjects on the Isagenix system also found staying on the Isagenix products much easier than complying to the “heart healthy” diet. Klempel, who is listed as the first author on the open-access paper published in Nutrition Journal, participated directly in helping subjects of both groups stay in compliance over the duration of the study.
She said that the subjects found the Isagenix products such as IsaLean Shake unexpectedly enjoyable despite its 240 calories. “They found the shakes surprisingly satisfying and filling,” she said.
Both of the graduate students also expressed their delight in finding out that their study received national recognition at the conference. “They referred to the winners as the ‘best of the best’ as far as sound science and applicability to the obesity epidemic goals,” Kroeger said.
The study’s poster was one of six winners of the Obesity Research Interest Section of which is the largest section within ASN’s interest sections. The winners of the section also were selected to present their research at the conference.
Krista Varady, the lead author of the study, said that she was pleased that the study won in because of the fierceness of the competition. “It’s very impressive,” she said.
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