Monday, January 28, 2013

Joseph's Tips for Quick Fat Loss!!

Here's another blog entry from one of our trainers, Joseph Mattingly.

How do I quickly lose fat?  The million dollar question right?  Every day we hear so many answers to this question.  Countless programs attempt to answer this, with so much conflicting information, so many products, so many infomercials.  The following is a mostly exhaustive list, of my own personal beliefs, gained from experience, studies of recent scientific research, and my own anecdotal observations from training others for 5 years, along with training myself and friends since high school. 
  1. No wheat or gluten-containing products.  This includes the obvious like cereal, bread, pizza, pasta, pastries etc., and the not-so-obvious, like basically any man-made snack, including pretzels, peanut butter crackers, to whole wheat pitas.  Gluten is everywhere, so be on the look for it on packages, and better yet just avoid man-made foods which will make things much easier. 
  2. At least one salad with greens every day.  No iceberg lettuce here.  We are talking spinach, radicchio, etc. 
  3. Overall general diet makeup that consists of Protein, Good Fats, and Low be consumed in that order.
    • Good Protein:  Lean meats such as chicken and turkey, or anything grass-fed, eggs, game meat, whey protein, but NO SOY! 
    • Good Fats:  Butter from grass-fed cows, coconut products, extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil, avocados, raw nuts such as: almonds, walnuts, and peanuts and peanut butter sparingly. 
    • Good Carbs:  Vegetables of all kinds, but especially greens like broccoli and spinach, and colorful varieties like red bell peppers and carrots.
Good luck!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Non-Traditional Cardio Activity

Continuing with our monthly guest is another installment from one of our trainers, Joseph Mattingly.

If you are like me, you don’t particularly enjoy cardio.  You may loathe the cardio area in the gym as do I.  You may not mind running outside from time to time, but cannot stand the thought of pounding away on the treadmill. The cardio area may turn your stomach.  So here is a solution.  For now, avoid the treadmill, stair-master, elliptical, bike etc. Instead of the old steady state machine-type cardio, here are some tips and ideas to break up the monotony and increase the intensity and effectiveness of your cardio sessions.  For all eight of these exercises/routines, minimal rest time is encouraged.

Ball Slams:
Find a heavy medicine ball, bend over, pick it up overhead, and slam it.  Now REPEAT.  If you want, throw in some side to side action, either with the slam, by slamming to one side then the next.  Or by slamming the ball then sliding laterally and then slamming it again, going from point A back to Point B and slamming the ball at each point.  There are lots of variations so be creative.

Battle Ropes: 
Slam the ropes up and down, side to side, alternating, slam and then lateral slide and slam again, or all of the above done back to back etc.  However you do it, do it quickly and powerfully and for at least 30 seconds.

Tall hill, short doesn’t matter.  Run the long hills and sprint the short hills.  Here at PROMATx there is a short hill/incline in front of the parking lot that doesn’t look like much.  However, sprint up that hill and back down, 5-10 times in a row and it starts to look more imposing.

Jump around a lot.  Squat jumps, jumping knee tucks, box jumps, broad jumps, high knee skips, lateral bench hops etc.  All of these movements target the legs, core, and heart and burn tons of calories, all while making you more athletic. 

Up and down, side to side, jumping jack, knees up, jog and jump, reverse jumps, etc.  There are many variations to keep the jump rope interesting, and for many people just your regular up and down jump rope motion will be plenty challenging, especially in the beginning.

Weighted Sled: 
The weighted sled, whether pushing it, or pulling it, is one of the best, if not THE BEST way to burn fat, ramp up intensity, and puke quickly (just joking).  This is currently my favorite fat burn/intensity-booster exercise.

Circuit Training/Low- or No-rest Periods:
For this type of training, you can use free weights, machines, body weight, or a combination of all three.  Whatever implements you use, the most important way to get cardio out of your lifting is to minimize rest periods to a minute or less between sets and exercises.  Try to have a plan, and that way you can bounce from station to station quickly with no wasted time and effort, which will make your workout that much more productive and fun.  Another tip, use antagonist muscle groups, i.e., chest and then back, as a way to keep moving without repeating the same muscle group over again.  My favorite way of doing this is to do a “push”, then “pull”, and then a lower body move.

Cardio Intensive Sports:
Go sign up for a cardio based sport, such as basketball, soccer, flag football, Ultimate Frisbee, tennis, swimming.  If you sign up with a friends you will be more inclined to actually come to games and practices, so consider this especially if you are not a very self-motivated person.

These are just a few ideas of how to break that monotony of walking on a treadmill or swinging on the Arc Trainer.  Try your hand at a few of these ideas, but be sure to have a towel and water bottle close'll definitely need it!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Resolution or Revolution?

It's here...a new year.  If you are like many, you probably have made some new year's resolutions.  Are they the same as last year or the year before that?  Maybe it's time to make a different kind of change.  How about starting a "REVOLUTION"??  Look up revolution in the dictionary and you'll find the definition:  a sudden, complete, or marked change in something.  Let's make that "something" be you!!  Refer back to our post last year at this time about setting goals/resolutions.

Shake things up in your life by committing to changes in your lifestyle.  Don't go cold-turkey on everything but take baby steps.  Replace one unhealthy habit/action/food with a healthier version.  Get up off the couch, put away the electronics and get active.  We've all said it before..."I don't have time to workout or go to the gym" yet we spend hours on our smart phones, tablets, and computers.  Refer back to any of our hundreds of blogs about how to exercise and what you can do to activate your day.

Start a revolution in your house by cleaning out heavily processed foods.  Replace soda bottles with water bottles.  Start a revolution in your body by committing to a healthy breakfast every day.  Yes, I said EVERY DAY!  Starting your metabolism off in the right direction in the morning will set the tone for the rest of the day.   It will also help you make better choices.  Get the whole family involved in making better, more nutritious food choices.  Spend a few more nights at home with a healthy, home-cooked meal.

Revolt against high rising health insurance premiums by taking control of your health.  No one else will do it for you so step up and take action.  Check with your health care provider to see if they offer discounts if you participate in healthy activities or join a local health club.  Some employers may even reimburse you for the cost of your membership!!

Revolt against the rising number of diseases such as obesity and heart disease.  Don't become one of the statistics.  It's your life and your body and you only get one life to live.  Make it the best and you (and your family) will reap the benefits.

Take control and start your revolution today!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Ultimate Holiday Fat Loss Workout

Today's post is from one of our trainers, Joseph Mattingly.  Even though the holidays are over, you can still use this workout to burn some fat!!  The holidays are a tough time to achieve fitness goals, and for most people to just maintain their current fitness/leanness level is a major victory.  To anyone in this predicament here is a workout that will really stoke the metabolism and burn major calories.  It’s a simple workout and all you need is a pair of dumbbells and a jump rope.   If you don’t have the space for a jump rope, just feigning the movement will work well enough.   It can be done at home, on the road, or PROMATx Health Club!!  In general, whole body workouts are going to burn the most calories and this series of movements should more than cover all the major muscle groups.  Now on to the workout….

The workout will be done in a circuit fashion for as many rounds as you can do for at least 30 minutes.  Try to rest as little as possible, preferably going from one exercise right into the next if you can.  Try to avoid complete failure and sloppy repetitions, until the last round of the workout, as you will save your nervous system from early decline and get more overall quality repetitions and volume out of the workout.  If you must rest, try to only rest after each circuit is completed.

  1. PUSHUPS:     From the knees or full pushups depending on your ability.  For me, this usually means sets of 30-50.  It may mean 10 or 20 for you.  However many you do, just make sure you are not going to complete failure right out of the gate.
  2. BENT OVER ROWS:  (15 repsMain key here is to keep a tight core and low back arched with eyes ahead. Don’t jerk the weight up, squeeze it up.
  3. JUMP ROPE:    (60 seconds)   Variations of the regular jump will ramp up the intensity and hence calorie burn, and are encouraged.  These would include high jumps, double jumps, one leg at a time, high knees, lateral bounce, jumping jack (feet land close together and then wide) etc.
  4. THRUSTERS:   (15 reps)    Go into a full squat holding two dumbbells at shoulder level.  As you come out of the bottom of the squat, start pressing the dumbbells overhead until you are standing with the dumbbells extended overhead.
  5. ONE-ARM ROW:   (20-25 repsDo these free standing to make them more difficult.  You support yourself with opposite arm on knee/thigh, instead of bench or other fixed support.  If you have heavy dumbbells, then drop down to 10-15 rep range. 
  6. LATERAL JUMPS:  (30 seconds)   Find a line on the floor or lay your jump-rope down in a straight line.  Now jump laterally over the line and back, trying to never step on the line/rope.

Do this workout with as much intensity as possible, as little rest as possible, for as long as possible, and reap the results.  If done on an empty stomach your fat burning will be increased even more.  Happy Holidays!