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I just wanted to share this video…it puts everything into perspective and also makes you realize how rediculous the excuses are that people have for not working out. There is always something that will come up, so just plan your training accordingly and suck it up if you really want to meet your goals. If you don’t, then continue to settle for being average.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

How Motivated Are You?

Here’s another one of my favorite motivational speeches. This could be the best one ever actually. As an athlete it just gives you chills no matter how many times you listen to this. The concept applies to life in general though. Looking at all of the “inches” that we pass up everyday can be the difference between success and failure. Maybe not huge successes or failures, but small ones that add up to big things in the long run. Meeting new people and contacts, being open to new ideas and ways of thinking, pushing yourself for the extra rep at the gym, all of these things make a difference to your overall character and ultimately the success that you will have in all aspects of your life. I won’t talk too much because I don’t think I’m quite as articulate as Al Pacino…
Check out this video and let me know what you think!

As I sit here overlooking the cardio room of the gym I see something that disgusts me everyday. I see people doing the same monotonis workouts day in and day out. I recently read someone’s take on “working out” versus “training.” They defined it as working out is a hobby and training is a lifestyle and an attitude. I totally agree with that because I know a lot of people that “workout” and those same people also look the same forever. Now I give them a lot of credit for getting into the gym but honestly, why waste your time on an inefficient training program?

I also know a lot of people that train hard and live a healthy lifestyle. These people are constantly setting goals, pushing their standards, and developing new ways to improve themselves. That is what training is all about. I could rant all day about this but I wanted to give you all a few quick changes that can be made if your training program does indeed SUCK….

Problem #1: Using the elliptical machine for cardio

8-elliptical%20trainer
Reason #1 Why this sucks: The machine does a ton of work for you. It’s okay for people who have had injuries due to the low impact nature but if you are healthy, get off that machine, it’s way too easy and you will struggle to get your heart rate up.
Solution #1:Perform your interval conditioning on the bike, run sprints, attack the Prowler and you will burn a lot more calories and force your body to move without a machine doing the work

prowler

Problem #2: Using the Leg Press instead of performing squats
Reason #2 Why this Sucks: Many people can press a lot of weight but the problem is that you are sitting down! None of your stabilizer muscles are working and you are not even moving your own body. How many movements do we do from a 45 degree seated angle, pushing up or forward?

 

Solution #2: SQUATS If you have been reading my posts you know that I love squats. They are the king/queen of all lower body movements. You recruit all major leg muscles as well as stabilizers (trunk) and you burn a ton of calories by lifting some heavy weight in addition to your own body weight. Get off your butt and do some real work!

Check out that form!

Problem #3: Performing high repetitions with low weights

Reason #3 Why this sucks: Many women want to get a “toned” look and all the rage out there says perform high repetitions with low weight so you won’t get “bulky.” Well I’ve got news for you ladies, unless you are on the ARod steriods diet you will not get bulky. Women lack the testosterone and growth hormones to initiate such a reaction. Performing lots of reps is a waste of time and energy.
Solution #3: Increase your resistance and lift safely. Lifting weights is progressive and technique is crucial. Find a qualified personal trainer to help you out with your training cycles. Lifting heavy weights not only improves strength, gets you super fit, and burns a ton of calories which revs up your metabolism, but it makes you feel pretty bad ass!

Problem #4: Using body part split routines.

Reason #4 why this sucks:This training style was adopted by bodybuilders in order to achieve high levels of volume to ellicit the hypertrophy phase (muscle size). Unfortunately it carried over into the general population and for most people, it becomes pretty ineffective.

 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have 5 days a week to devote to strictly lifting weights in isolation.

In the real world people need efficient and effective intense training programs that will help them achieve their goals. Now if you goal is in fact to develop volume and muscular size, this program works. If you want to get a lean, athletic, and fit look; you should be performing large muscle group movements and shooting for a full body training style. This style not only elevates your strength levels, overall metabolism, and torches that unwanted body fat because of the high intensity aspect.

Solution #4: Perform full body, large muscle group movements. 2-3 days a week of full body training with movements such as squats, lunges, chin ups, push ups, overhead presses, weighted core work, prowler sprints, and single leg work will get you in killer shape, create a lean and athletic physique, and make you feel energized and happy.

80

Problem #5: Most people are simply not exerting enough effort.

 

Reason #5 why this sucks: Plain and simple, if you are not working hard (and smart), you will not continue to see gains. I see people all the time that do the same routine over and over. I also see a lot of people do a set of bicep curls and rest for 2 minutes. The only time you should really be resting that long is if you are performing a high level power movement that requires nervous system recovery of 2-3 minutes. For most people with goals of overall fitness, strength, and fat loss; the training should be fairly intense in order to push your thresholds and burn calories.

lift

 Solution #5: Supersets, Circuits, Higher intensity movements. These are just a few solutions to the lack of effort syndrome. Pair up a lower/upper body movement or a push/pull movement. This will allow you to do more work in a shorter amount of time because you are resting less and moving your body through larger movements that will develop more strength and also burn a lot of calories, and ulimately fat.

Don’t get stuck in a rut with your training programs. Efficient, intense, and athletic based fitness programs will get you that great trim body that you are looking for. Kick up the intensity through heavier weights, bigger movements, and interval conditioning for cardio.

Don’t end up like this guy with your useless workouts. Remember what happens to him at the end of the movie….

whitman

But hey, I like to break a mental sweat too…

tattoo

Fitness is a way of life for me. I love training myself and other people. I love the satisfaction of a hard workout and knowing that each time I’m making myself stronger, more athletic, and healthier. I love helping people reach their goals and helping them realize that they have a lot more to give then they usually think.

I also realize that it is not a way of life for everyone. Sometimes it’s frustrating to hear excuses, reasons why people didn’t get to the gym or why they ate 3 pints of Ben&Jerry’s over the weekend. Yes I understand that people are human, things come up and life happens.

BUT…changing your lifestyle to accept that you need to exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep or you will be sick, tired, sluggish, fat, and unhappy. It’s just the way it is. This doesn’t need to happen 100% of the time but it needs to happen at least 80%. If not, look at your lifestyle and start today to make a change. Sometimes it just takes a little reality check and someone to tell you that denial is more than just a river in Egypt…yeah, I said that…

Here are some quick fitness and lifestyle tips for you. Enjoy, apply, and repeat…

1. Make a plan
2. Tell someone about your plan
3. Set goals- long term and short term
4. Lift weights- heavy ones
5. Lift weights safely
6. Have fun with your workouts- train with a trainer and/or with friends
7. Sleep at least 8 hours a night
8. Learn how to squat
9. Eat breakfast
10. Schedule your workouts into your daily planner
11. Eat 5-6 times per day
12. Train outside
13. Push a car
14. Do pull ups and chin ups
15. Focus on how your clothes fit not the scale
16. Quit talking about it and take action
17. Don’t blame anyone but yourself for your poor health
18. Don’t give up
19. Quit focusing on “cardio” and do some real work
20. Always learn proper technique
21. Value yourself and your life- you only get one chance

I joke about this little concept with my clients all the time. They know exactly what I mean and sometimes they are even noticing it for themselves when they are in the gym. I talk about this not to be mean, but to point out something to my clients that they want to avoid at ALL COSTS.

A skinny fat person. You have all seen them. Lots of cardio, no weights, horrible nutrition = high percentage of body fat, even if they do not weigh a lot. Now it’s not like you can tell their body fat by looking at them but you can disect the fact that they have little muscle tone and definition.

So many people work out every day, plugging away on the elliptical and avoiding the weight room like the plague. This is a dangerous combination because as you start to lose any excess weight, you are not supporting your weight loss with lean muscle tissue development. This does nothing to increase your metabolism. Increasing your metabolism leads to a higher amount of calories (and eventually body fat) being burned at rest. This is the ultimate goal because obviously we are not going to be working out and training more than 1 to 1.5 hours per day.

The other problem is that many of these people do not support their bodies with proper nutrition. Many times when weight loss is the goal, food restriction becomes the solution. Well this is fine when you are cutting out soda and ice cream, cutting out breakfast and a healthy mid-afternoon snack is NOT a good option. Restricting important calories (the healthy ones) will only aid in the slowing of your metabolism.

Combine an extreme deficit in calories, a lot of aerobic training that burns calories but does not develop lean muscle tissue, and an avoidance of anything that does develop lean muscle tissue and you have a recipe for the creation of what we can the SKINNY FAT PERSON.

skinnyfatguy

This person has a super slow metabolism, and probably gets frustrated because they believe they are working out so hard, and why is their body shape not changing? Well…if you have a slow metabolism and you do not build lean muscle, you will not lose body fat. If you do not lose body fat and gain muscle, your body will look soft and you will not fit in your clothes the way you would like to.

In order to get rid of this epidemic of skinny fat people, we need to do three major things:

1. Lift Weights
2. Eat 5-6 times per day, small meals and snacks with high amounts of protein, fiber, fruits and dark leafy vegetables
3. Perform high intensity interval training for your conditioning to avoid steady state “cardio”

skinnyfat1There is a huge difference between a 150 pound person who has 18% body fat and a 150 pound person who has 35% body fat. The 18% person has 27 pounds of fat on their body. The 35% person has 52 pounds of fat. I can guarantee 100% that the 18% individual looks very sleek, tight, and muscular. Even though they weigh the same, their composition is TOTALLY different.

All of this information goes against what most people read in magazines and see on TV but think about it…is our culture doing so well with our fitness habits? It’s time for a change…

Ramp up your intensity, lift some heavy weights, and eat!

*Dec 03 - 00:05*Desk email

Many people stick to their traditional gym workouts; cardio machines, nautilus machines, abdominal machines. Do you see a pattern developing?

Machines are ineffective tools for building muscle and losing body fat. They only move you in one plane of motion, they do not activate a large amount of muscle area, and they do not promote overall strength and power.
If you really want to step out of your comfort zone and train hard, efficient, and have some fun while doing it; try lifting and pushing some odd objects.

With odd shaped objects you recruit every muscle in your body to do the work, you burn a huge amount of calories due to that recruitment, you elevate your metabolism to levels you have never known and that can continue up to 36 hours post workout, and you test yourself mentally by moving with unstable circumstances that are not always perfectly placed like a machine or even a barbell.

Here are several ways to perform odd object lifting and to get the best training session of your life.

Kettlebells (Swings, Cleans, Snatches, Push Presses)

Can you tell that I love Lance or what?

Can you tell that I love Lance or what?

Prowler Sprints

prowler

Ring Exercises (Rows, Dips, Push Ups)

Keg (filled with water or sand) Throws, Presses, Cleans

One of the best exercises around

One of the best exercises around

Medicine Ball Throws (overhead, rotations, presses) Find a heavy ball and utilize a strong wall or go outside for some throws for power and conditioning

Sandbag (presses, lunges, cleans, squats, throws) This unstable element creates a huge workload no matter what the exercise. Throw that on your shoulders or hold it overhead for some squats, lunges, or farmer carries.

Farmers Carries (farmers walk implements, kettlebells, sandbags)

Scott showing how it's done

Scott showing how it's done

Tire Flips

Tire-flip

Sledgehammer- use the tire that you just flipped for some rotation or overhead swings with this baby and your core will be on fire

sledge-hammer

Stone Lifts and Carries- This is a great method but most people do not have access to stones. If you don’t, you can always find some heavy and odd shaped ones in your yard and have some fun with that.
Give these exercises a try and you will see a huge gain in strength, lean muscle development, overall conditioning, and an elevated metabolism for ultimate fat loss.