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Max Strength: By Doing Almost Nothing

Sometimes Less Is More.

 

Work. Family. Kids. Sports. Weekend outings. Summer vacations. Did I say work?

Look, your time is limited, I get it. With everything going on in your life, you really don’t need to (or have time to) add more on your plate. This includes trying to add in countless hours in the gym to get strong.

That being said, I do hope you realize that strength is the mother quality of all physical qualifications. In fact, strength is a skill and like any other skill, it does require practice.

Furthermore, strength training should be used to achieve two primary goals: injury prevention and performance enhancement.

(The change in body composition, fat loss, muscle gain, etc are all nice byproducts too though.)

But, in this day and age non stop schedules and countless hours running around between 8+ hour segments at the office, we’ve got to learn how maximize our results while compressing our time efficiently.

Here’s a new strength training technique I’ve been playing around with lately to do just that.

For this example, we’re going to use one of my favorite exercises, the deadlift.

Now, some of you may be already freaking out saying, “Mike, I can’t deadlift for ‘X’ number of reasons!”

Stay with me, because using this protocol we’re actually using a partial range of motion and no negative (lowering) phase, which may decrease the likelihood of hamstring and lower back injuries.

Check it out below…

sumo-deadlift

The Technique.

Here we go… The basic technique: Using a sumo, wide stance, and keeping your back straight and vertical (thus skipping the hinging movement at the waist where most people struggle); squat down, grab the bar, pull/deadlift the bar up to your knee level, then drop the bar.

Regrab and repeat for 2-3 sets x 2-3 reps at around 85% of your 1-rep max.

Then follow immediately with a plyometric exercise such as a 10-20 meter sprint, or 6-8 box jumps.

Rest for roughly 5 minutes between sets and aim to do this two times per week.

Researchers for this type of training and following this schedule for 8 weeks showed a 120 pound increase in deadlift max ad gained less than 10 pounds of mass. In fact, one early adaptor actually started this type of training in his 70’s and was able to pull over 400 pounds without even a lifting belt at such a “young” age.

This type of structured training and scheduling keeps your recovery efforts high and allows central nervous system to not get so overwhelmed. Which is exactly what happens to a lot of guys when they train for strength.

It really does go to show that in a world where more is always better, that sometimes minimalism can still produce pretty awesome results.

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6 Things That Happen In Your 30’s? (And How To Fix It)

6 Things that happen in your 30's...

 

  1. Our Sex Hormones Go On Strike!

What makes unique as male and female go far beyond our added appendages and/or breasts. The big differences between the sexes have all to do with our sex hormones and their production and function from the onset of puberty and throughout our lives. And just like in our teen years during the first stages of puberty, when our hormone production is in overdrive, things can go bat-shit-crazy (and make us feel the same way), only this time, 20 years later, it’s not the over production that’s driving the bus but the actual decline in our lovely sex hormones that’s causing our “changes.”

In men, levels of testosterone decline at a rate of about one percent a year, and by age 70, the decrease can approach 50 percent, according to MayoClinic.com. Lowered levels of this hormone can affect increases in body fat, hair loss, mood swings and erectile dysfunction and even lower sex drive (aka no more libido)… you know- the reason 3/4’s the male population is on that “little blue pill” now-a-days.

In females, it’s actually just the opposite, where at first their estrogen levels begin to decline causing physiological abnormalities and symptoms including: lack of menstruation and delayed development, perimenopause or even early menopause resulting in hot flashes and night sweats. Fatigue is a common complaint associated the condition. Women report forgetfulness, insomnia, lack of sexual desire and painful intercourse when estrogen levels are low or begin to decline. Irregular menstruation or lack of menstruation occurs. Bladder infections and headaches might occur. Mood changes that lead to crying, feelings of depression and irritability are also symptoms. Bone loss also occurs that leads to osteoporosis. Inability to become pregnant can signal low estrogen levels in younger women.

  • The Fix: If symptoms are increasingly problematic, it’s always smart to consult with your primary care provider or OB/GYN to make sure there’s not an underlying health problem. But there are also natural ways to help you balance out your crazy sex hormones too including: 
    • eat healthy fats (including coconut oil and avocados)
    • exercise- especially High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions
    • Reduce stress
    • Get more sleep
    • Supplement with Vitamin D3

 

2. We Lose Muscles Mass

From the time you are born to around the time you turn 30, your muscles grow larger and stronger. But at some point in your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and function. The cause is age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging.

In fact, physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss.

As seen, this loss of muscle mass is predominantly seen in sedentary individuals but is also present in active individuals. Now, although I know we all want to look good naked, in fact that’s why most people first start working out (whether they actually say that or not – we know it’s true); but when your muscle mass starts deteriorating, you’re putting yourself at risk for a whole heap of other functionality problems including: aches, pains and weakness making daily functions more difficult. And loss of muscular coordination and balance leading to increased risk of falling.

  • The fix: Again, with anything that is ever-present, it’s never a bad idea to consult your PCP to check for any underlying health related issues, but the best fix for preventing Muscle Mass Loss is build muscle. How? Strength/Resistance training. Focus on compound/complex lifts and exercises that work multiple groups of muscles at the same time (i.e. presses, rows, squats, deadlifts, etc). These multi-joint exercises give you the most bang for your buck as far as muscular recruitment and stimulation as well as produce a better hormonal response throughout your body after the fact. Thus, killing two birds with one stone. 

 

3. We Lose Our Muscles, So We Just Get Fatter

Now that our hormones are on the fritz and we’re dropping muscles faster than Pop-Eye puts them on after a handful of spinach, why not just sweeten the deal by realizing after 30 we’re all just getting fatter. Unfortunately, males and females alike typically experience noticeable rises in body fat due to the effect of lowered hormonal levels, inactivity and muscle loss. Put these three in a pot and stir and out you get an unwanted cycle of fat growth, especially around the mid section and hip areas. This gain of girth leads to increased aromatase activity, which in males converts testosterone to estradiol (precursor to even more estrogen). Most predominant in females, estradiol further reduces testosterone and increases the susceptibility of abdominal fat production.

  • The fix: Get moving! Start by adding strength/resistance training 3x per week coupled with 2-3 bouts of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and a healthier diet and get your weight under control while all the while balancing out your hormones and building lean muscle to help boost your metabolism and torch the extra fat around your midsection. 

 

4. You Can No Longer Touch Your Toes.

Flexibility decreases in your 30s. Mainly because if you’re like most people out there and you spend most of your day sitting in an office chair for hours on end. But even if you’re active throughout the weeks you can become stiff simply because many of the activities you do–running, weight lifting, even basketball–don’t call for a full range of motion. And it’s not just muscular inflexibility, you have to take into account the shortening of connective tissue as well as tight muscles.

The leading symptoms I’ve seen from being a long term desk jockey are: forward rounding of the shoulders (even at a rested position- think about how you sit while typing away on your desktop); overly tight hamstrings which lead to lower back issues and tightness; super tight hips that don’t allow for proper squatting mechanics; and more including over stretched lats and crazy complicated calf and feet problems.

  • The Fix: Say yes to yoga and mobility work every day (or as often as possible). Yoga and mobility/stretch workouts require you to go through full ranges of motion and to hold those positions. Take a class once a week or find an online program similar to www.romwod.com  (which is what I use every day) and use the moves everywhere. Set an alarm to get up and stretch/move every hour of your day. Your body will thank you for it more than you can know!

 

5. Your Beatin’ Heart

Stamina peaks for most of us around 31 or 32, but within the next 5 years our aerobic capacity declines. Plus, as we’ve already learned that as we age we start losing muscle mass, keep in mind that the heart is a muscle just like any other, and as you age, you lose some strength. Also starting in your 30s, your body’s ability to extract oxygen from your blood diminishes, your cholesterol counts and blood pressure rise, and fatty deposits begin to build up on the walls of your arteries. Oh joy! Now we’re talking about: high cholesterol, high blood pressure and clogged arteries!

  • The Fix: Schedule a checkup. Ask your doctor to work up your lipoprotein profile. Catch the trouble early enough and it’s a good bet that exercise alone will prolong your life. Also, it’s recommended you maintain your aerobic capacity with regular interval training.
    • Add this workout in between your strength/resistance training days 2-3 x per week:
      • Start with a 10-minute warmup of light jogging. Then sprint for 45 seconds at 80 % of your maximum heart rate.
      • Recover with 90 seconds of walking or light jogging
      • Repeat your cycle of sprints eight to 12 times.
      • Cool down with a 10-minute jog or walk.

 

6. Putting on the Pounds

Unfortunately, we can’t eat like we did in high school anymore… or even college for that matter. Research shows that in fact, your body consumes 12 fewer calories per day for each year after 30. This can also be used to explain why many reach their maximum body weight between ages 34 and 54. Simply put, we are continuing the eating habits of an active 25 year old even as an inactive, over stressed, over worked 35 year old… Just doesn’t add up.

  • The Fix: Limit your fuel. You need less fuel now, so don’t feel obligated to clean your plate at every meal–leave that to the dishwasher. When you snack, don’t eat from the box or carton. If you dole out a reasonable portion, you’ll be less likely to absentmindedly eat the whole container…. oh, and I might as well say again: GET YOUR ASS MOVING & WORKOUT!

 

 

So… what do we do now?

Let’s face it, the carefree days of old have been replaced by 24-7 responsibilities: a wife, a baby, a mortgage, and a boss who reminds you of all three. Burritos that disappeared in a blink of an eye. You’re overworked and overstressed and physiological capacity and body’s overall performance is decreasing by 1% per year from 30 onward… what can you do to slow it down?

To counter this physiological decline, switch your strategy to preventive fitness. You need to continue lifting heavy weights to preserve the muscle you built in your 20s; stretching takes priority, because you’re going to start losing flexibility; and regular interval training is on the list so you can combat the loss of stamina that will start in the middle of this decade.

The good news: It’s never too late to make a fresh start… but that’s just it, you’ve got to start, might as well START NOW!

Cheers,

Michael

 

PS. Do You Like This Article? Are you a Busy Mom or Overworked Dad? If so, we’re rolling out a brand new training program designed specifically for Moms and Dads to take back control of their lives!  Complete the form below to get all the juicy details about our #FITMOM | #FITDAD Training & Nutrition Program before anyone else! Space is limited so act now!

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EXHIBITION

Would you let your kids smoke cigarettes?

Ok, now that I’ve got your attention with that subject line let me explain. You see, Mikah and I were able to rest and recover last week while on vacation and during that time I dove into a new book by Gary Taubes (The Case Against Sugar) wherein he discloses the correlation between our high sugar diet and the obesity trend that is continuing to rise and sweep across our nation.

Here’s the analogy behind the book: Say your child petitioned for permission to smoke a pack of cigarettes a week. Say his or her logic was that a pack a week is better than a pack a day. No dice, right?

O.K., now substitute sugar for cigarettes.

Comparing the dangers of inhaling cigarettes with chowing down on candy bars may sound like false equivalence, but Gary Taubes’ “The Case Against Sugar” will persuade you otherwise. In his book and through his exacerbating research on sugar (and what he calls “Big Sugar”) Taubes concludes one thing… The stuff kills.

Taubes begins with a kick in the teeth. Sugar is not only the root cause of today’s diabetes and obesity epidemics (had these been infectious diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have long ago declared an emergency), but also, according to Taubes, is probably related to heart disease, hypertension, many common cancers and Alzheimer’s.

I’m not going to blow you up with the entire synopsis of this tale against sweets, however if you’re like me, you’ve read this review just as I read Taubes’s book — respectfully interested in the history and the facts, but really wanting to be told how much sugar is too much. Taubes anticipates our self-interest, ending the book with a chapter just for us: “How Little Is Still Too Much?” But like some cryptic oracle, he answers the question with still more questions: How many cigarettes are too many cigarettes? What if the person who smoked a pack a week outlived the person who smoked a pack a day? Would we conclude that inhaling a pack of cigarettes a week is safe?

The problem lies therein is with our society’s eating and excess mindset. While I completely agree with Taubes that “Big Sugar” has much to answer for, just like it is this author’s opinion that “Big Pharma” needs to be held in check too, I unequivocally believe that personal responsibility and accountability must be laid on us as the consumers as well. In an economy driven by supply and demand, if we continue to demand the products that are shown to make us sick and fat, our suppliers will continue to fill their pockets.

Michael

PS. Ready to dive in? Click the link below to grab your copy of Taubes’ book:

Chronicles of Narnia, Microwaves, Kim Kardashian, and Fresh Fruit?

Well, it’s Monday… and after a long weekend, plus the gloomy/foggy start to today, it’s a straight up weird, Negan from TWD kinda Monday.

But regardless, here we are.

So check this out…

My way too beautiful bride, Mikah had to leave town this past weekend, leaving me with the two crazy kiddos to ourselves.

We did it up right I must say…

All three “Chronicles of Narnia” movies…

A little Sooner Bedlam Victory!

Ice cream for dinner- yep!

And between all the playing, watching movies, eating, and more playing, I took a moment or two to catch up on my fit magazine articles.

And to be completely honest, it kinda pissed me off!

Why?.. simply because I had trouble finding any article or pertinent information in the abudance of magazines I was perusing that was even closely relevant information (or useful tips) that would benefit anyone over 25… who was working full time… and raising a family… etc…. you get the picture.

Not that the information provided wasn’t correct, or even useful to some… I just didn’t find it practical! And I’m a fitpro!

So, as I’m reading the articles, I’m now taking notes and I decided to throw out some of the things that stood out to me that were either incorrect by my standards or were just not practical for a normal, working adult to follow.

And not only that, it would also be an article about something that
really works. Something that’s TRUE. Because if you ask me, not all
the stuff you hear today is necessarily true…

There are so many myths out there nowadays, it can be hard to stay
focused on what works.

That’s why, in the meantime until we get on the news, I want to
send you some ‘wrong stuff’ about working out & nutrition that I
often hear about…

-> Microwaves <-
They don’t cause your food to have less nutrients. It’s actually
the heat and the amount of time you’re cooking that affect nutrient
losses, not the cooking method.

 

microwave

-> Kim Kardashian <-
She did NOT get that butt by wearing Skecher Shape-ups. She got it
from… I don’t know actually.

kk-butt

-> Fresh fruit <–
Is no better than dried fruit. Except for vitamin C, dried fruit
contains just as many nutrients and sugar for energy as fresh fruit.

citrus-fruits

-> Fast food salads <–
Are not always better than ‘regular’ fast food. If you use the
dressing, McDonalds Southwestern crispy chicken salads will have
300 more calories than a Big Mac.

 

mcd-salad

-> Fat-free products <–
Often means that you’ll get way more sugar. As an example, low-fat
peanut butter will save you 10 calories per serving… but to make up
for it the food companies will use maltodextrin, which is a sugary
filler.

 

Fat free grunge rubber stamp on white, vector illustration

-> Cravings <–
Do not mean that we are ‘lacking’ something in our body. Cravings
are simply emotional. We crave certain foods because of the
memories and emotions relating to that food in our lives.

 

cravings

 

So there you have it, some bad myths busted so you KNOW what to
believe 🙂 Hope you got something out of it!

My first Triathlon…

 

tri-running

About 4-5 years ago, I decided I was going to train and compete in a triathlon.

It seemed logical to me.

I was around 30 years old.

Played and competed in all kinds of sports my entire life.

I had been training clients now for 8 years or so, so I knew the science side to it all.

Hell, I had even bought a new road bike and got comfortable walking around in spandex.

But, what I hadn’t accounted for was my mind. I wasn’t ready. And about 4 or 5 weeks into training… I QUIT.

Blamed in on my achy knees and ankles.

Told myself I would never be “runner,” I was too big. Too muscular, I should just focus on power lifting and “cultivating mass.”

Why? Because I was scared.

Was I scared of failure? Or was I scared of success? I don’t really know… but I was scared so I QUIT.

Maybe I couldn’t finish the race?…

And if I do finish then maybe people will have this whole new level of expectation of me and I’ll never live up to the hype as a “triathlete?”

Maybe people will think I’m fat in my tri-suit…

I told myself every excuse imaginable to not do this race half a decade ago… and unfortunately at the time I was of a weakened mindset and I actually listened to the bullsh*t stories and I QUIT before I ever really began.

Fast forward 5 or so years to this past summer.

As many of you know, since early 2015 I have been a journey of self discovery and expansion.

My goal is to constantly push myself to expand and create the greatest life imaginable for me and my family. In order to do that I have to constantly push myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually to grow.

And for me personally, it starts with pushing myself physically first. So the time came for me to set a new physical goal for myself. And thinking back, I realized there was one conquest I never quite finished because I was too scared to go all in. One competition still hanging it’s ugly head over me… My triathlon.

It was clear to me then, as much as it is clear to me now that this was THE GOAL I must complete to continue to move forward.

So, I found a race. I set a date. And I trained for it.

Barring any nicks and bruises, sore muscles and achy joints, learning to swim and run and ride a bike again, I trained my ass off… then it happened…

Doubt once again set in.

Fear showed its ugly head again.

The stories began in my mind again…

“You can’t do this.”… “You’re not ready for this”… “C’mon fat boy, you’re going to make an idiot of yourself”

And even though I knew they were just stories and only I could give them power over me, I found myself actually talking myself out of competing in the race again.

In fact, because the race I was registered for was on my birthday weekend, I even tried to use that as an excuse with Mikah to let me off the hook and just find another race to do later in the fall.

But Mikah stood firm. She said “NO, you’re doing this race… period!”

And thank God she did…

So I did the race.

I swam (way better than I thought I could).

I rode like a bat outta hell up the hills of NW Arkansas.

And I ran… I FINISHED… despite all the negative thoughts… I FINISHED… I AM A TRIATHLETE.

tri-finisher

After it was all said and done, there were a few lessons I gathered from my experiences during the race and the events leading up to the race:

  1. I am a still an Athlete. I can train like an athlete. I can compete like an athlete. I’m not the overgrown, ogre of a trainer I used to be.
  2. I enjoy competition. I enjoy competition with others and with myself. This fuels me to push harder and train more when my mind says it’s time to quit.
  3. I am of sound body and mind. There were plenty of opportunities to quit… and I didn’t.
  4. My supporting cast (Mikah) are key to my success in life. Just like she pushed me to compete, the people you surround yourself with will ultimately determine where you go in life.
  5. My kids are my WHY… I am always striving to lead and love by example with my kids. They were yelling and hollering “Go Daddy!” the entire race and I was not going to let them (or myself) down this time. I want my kids to realize they can accomplish any goal they set out to do… just like Dad.

my-why

What’s your goal?

-Michael Watkins

5 Foods That Make You Look Younger

Do you ever happen to see those tv commercials for anti-aging
crèmes, or expensive makeup that ‘revitalizes’ your skin?

Well, let’s imagine for a second that all that stuff didn’t exist
anymore.

Like, let’s say all make-up was suddenly banned by the government
and to get your hands on it you’d have to cross the border and
smuggle it into the country?

That would suck, right?

Well, not really – because certain foods are SO good for you, that
they automatically take care of your skin… AND make you look
younger…

Here are the top 5:

 

sweet-pot

1.    Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes have beta-carotene. This is the stuff that makes
these tubers orange, balances your skin’s pH, helps combat dryness,
and promotes cell turnover, all resulting in smoother skin.

 

 

 

 

wild-salmon

2. Wild salmon
The pigment that makes the fish pink, astaxanthin, is a powerful
foe of free radicals, rogue molecules that damage cell membranes
and DNA and cause skin to age. A study found that eating one
serving every five days can prevent actinic keratoses—ugly rough
patches that are precancerous.

 

 

 

tomatoes

3. Tomatoes
The fruit’s red pigment, lycopene, is a potent antioxidant that
shields skin from sun damage—like sunscreen, but from the inside
out. To best absorb lycopene, eat tomatoes with olive oil.

 

 

 

 

citrus-fruits

4. Citrus fruits
Vitamin C is essential to building collagen, a vital component of
young-looking skin, which starts breaking down in your twenties.
Citrus also contains bioflavonoids, which protect skin from UV rays
and help prevent cell death.

 

 

 

leefy-greens

5. Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, and other greens contain lutein, which protects skin
from sun-induced inflammation and wrinkles.

The key to a glowing skin lies in your stomach! And these foods are
yummy too!

 

 

 

If you’re looking for more nutrition tricks and tips, check out our Exclusive Online Nutrition Coaching Program (Click Picture below for more info)!

Want To Lose 10 pounds in 7 days-

Build Your Gymnast Body in 4 Steps

Look, it’s no secret, gymnasts, both men and women have some pretty amazing bodies. Not just that, but how they’re able to manipulate those bodies through space, making the hardest of moves seem effortless, just absolutely astounds me.

When it’s all said and done… Gymnasts look like bodybuilders. They have very defined muscles and extremely low body fat levels. Gymnasts train for strength, power, balance, coordination, agility and conditioning…. they train for the specifically for the sport in which they’re competing.

They train for “Performance” in their sport, rather than “trying to lose weight” or “lose fat.” However, you must realize that the “gymnast body” is a side effect of this style of training.

So, how can you start to build your own “Gymnast Body?”

Here are 4 Steps to start training more like a gymnast today:

NOTE: this article is in no way discounting the years of hard work and dedication that gymnast and other athletes of all levels put in to their training.

 

STEP #1: YOU BETTER BE CONDITIONED.

Maximum-Sprint-Speed

Gymnasts are some of the most conditioned athletes in the world. Even though their routines are shorter in duration, because of the complex, powerful moves they routinely perform, a lot of energy is expended in making it look so effortless and fluid.

For this, gymnasts need to be both aerobically (with oxygen- think marathon) and anaerobically (without oxygen- think sprinter) conditioned. To do this, we’ll look at two different styles of cardiovascular training.

First, you’ll need to perform Low Intensity, Steady State (LISS) forms of cardio. This is the typical workouts most people think of when they hear the word “cardio.” Here we’re talking about jogging, walking, stair climbing, elliptical, and swimming. The whole idea here is to build your aerobic endurance by getting your heart rate elevated to approximately 50% up to maximum 65/70% of your max heart rate for the duration of your workout, roughly 30-60 minutes.

Here’s a simple formula to find your max heart rate:

220 – (your age in years) = Max Heart Rate (HRmax)

For example, for me: 220 – 33 (yrs) = 187 beats per minute HRmax

From there, to find my percentage of let’s say 65% =

187 bpm x 0.65 = 121 bpm. So, for this given workout, I would try to keep my heart rate around 121 beats per minute for the duration of the session.

LISS workouts are not only great for aerobic endurance, but also will help you manage your weight, they’re good for your heart, and are easy enough for everyone to do… aka WALK PEOPLE!

The second form of cardio we’ll add in is more intense and is designed to help you build power, keep your body fat levels low, and get you ready for the short intense bouts of exercise that gymnasts put themselves through during competition.

This is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), also known as simply “interval training,” or “spring training.”

This style of training has gained a lot of popularity over the recent years in the general population especially with the rising popularity of Crossfit and other Boot Camp styled workouts. However, it has been used in the athletic world and arena for quite some time.

HIIT gets it’s name from the program design itself where you are encouraged to push your body to near maximum effort for a very short burst then allowed to recover before repeating this process for a given number of sets or time.

For example, you can easily perform a HIIT session on a treadmill like this:

Walk for 90 seconds | SPRINT for 30 seconds | Walk for 90 seconds | SPRINT for 30 seconds…. and repeat this series for “x” number of sets or for “x” minutes.

Because of the higher level of intensity with these workouts, most HIIT sessions are shorter in duration than there LISS counterparts. These workouts are great for building anaerobic conditioning, as well as getting lean and mean and increasing overall power output throughout your body!

 

STEP #2: BUILD YOUR CORE.

male gymnast

Gymnasts require outstanding core strength. During events, gymnasts must use their core to pull and push themselves in different directions. This style of training gives gymnasts defined core muscles as well as complete control over their bodies. You must keep in mind that these amazing athletes are performing some of the absolutely hardest maneuvers and making them look easy! This takes amazing inner/core strength and control to make things look so effortless.

To get started, begin performing core conditioning exercise drills such as leg lifts, crunches, planches and even handstands against a wall (when you’re ready).

These drills will strengthen the core and define the abdominal and lower back muscles.

Personally, I like to add some of these basic moves, (i.e. planks and other low impact core moves) into my warm up routines prior to my strength sessions; as well as use different core circuits as “finishers” for my workouts too.

Here is an example of a “Core Circuit Finisher” you can use as a finisher to your next strength training session:

Toe Touches x 20 reps

Bicycle Crunches x 30 total

Right Side Plank x 30 sec | Left Side Plank x 30 sec

*perform 2-3 sets with 60-120 seconds rest between sets.

 

STEP #3: PERFORM BODY WEIGHT MOVEMENTS.

female gymnast

Gymnasts are not only ripped, but they also have complete awareness of their bodies. As mentioned, they’re able to perform some of the hardest maneuvers imaginable and make it seem almost easy. This takes a great amount of body strength and control as well as a complete sense of self as it relates to their bodies moving through space.

Plus, let’s face it, there are not a lot of barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells being used during meets! Don’t get me wrong…. I love lifting weights and use all these tools and even more, but there’s something to be said about knocking out some good old fashioned sets of push ups, pull ups, sit ups, squats, and sprints.

Gymnasts are known to regularly perform body-weight training routines as part of their training programs. These exercises are used promote muscle growth throughout the entire body.

The best part?… Body Weight Training is not only beneficial to the Olympians in Rio right now, but also the general fitness enthusiast. These exercises and routines are relatively easy to learn and require little or no equipment beyond a chin-up bar and some floor space.

So next time you’re at the gym (or even at the house) build a workout around only using your body for the weight and challenge yourself to get a good sweat in without ever even picking up a dumbbell! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how efficient this style of training is.

Here is one of my favorite, and challenging, body weight movements only workouts:

*Perform 10 reps on each movement in a circuit like fashion with little to no break. Then repeat for 9 reps each; then 8 reps;… keep descending on reps until you perform only 1 rep per movement of:

Squat Jumps

Pull Ups (or variation)

Push Ups

Sit Ups

 

STEP #4: GET SEXY FLEXY.

sexy flexy

While you’re getting lean and mean, let’s not forget to take time to focus on getting flexible too. What can bend will not break. It’s a common flaw with a lot of programs out there where people only focus on strength and conditioning and don’t take enough time to work on their recovery and flexibility.

This can be as easy as making sure to stretch every day for a few minutes. Or take it to the next step by adding in a yoga or pilates class in a couple of days per week.

Adding in these workouts will not only help you recover and aid in your range of movement (aka flexibility); but During these sessions you spend a lot of time holding your body in a static position and progress to other positions. This promotes extreme strength and stability throughout the entire body both anteriorly and posteriorly. In addition, they’ll trash your core and work your lower back/hips thoroughly.

I challenge you big bodybuilder types out there right now to hit up a yoga session next week and let’s see how big and bad you really are!

 

NOW, LET’S  SEE WHAT A WEEK’S SCHEDULE COULD LOOK LIKE USING THESE FOUR STEPS:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
AM Body Weight + Core LISS Body Weight + Core LISS Body Weight + Core HITT
PM HIIT Yoga HIIT Yoga HITT REST

 

There you have it. Four steps to start your own gymnast styled training routine. Now train hard and go for the GOLD!

 

3 worst foods everrrrr…

(please pronounce the “everrrr” like you’re a teenage girl from Beverly Hills, it makes it so much more impactful)

Losing weight, staying fit, and getting toned is all about calorie
control. Meaning that if you burn more than you eat… you lose.

However, even if you count your calories like a scientist.. there
are SOME foods that will just RUIN all your efforts – no matter
what.

Here they are:
-1- Processed Meats (usually high in salt, fat, and cholesterol…
and if it’s preserved with chemicals it increases your risk of
colon cancer)

processed meat

-2- Frozen dinners (small portions, but big calories. Also heavily
processed and high in salt)

 

frozen dinner

-3- Doughnuts (just one can have 300 empty calories… meaning you
get 300 calories with zero nutrients)

 

donut

-4- Foods that are labeled “low-fat” or “fat-free” (when you get
rid of the fat, you lose the flavor… and to compensate, food
companies add more sugar & salt, resulting in the end product being
worse than the normal version)

 

low fat no fat

Ok I know the subject line said worst 3… but while writing this I
had to include that last one 🙂

Not sure if you knew this, but ever since all the “fat-free” diets
were introduced.. obesity really came on the rise.

Fat is not necessarily your enemy, just choose the right fats
(which is anything BUT “saturated” or “trans” fats)

So no matter where you go grocery shopping, now you know what to
steer away from!

 

P.S. If you’re ready to take your own nutrition program to the next level, be sure to check out my new online nutrition coaching program at:
-NEW- 8 Week Nutrition Coaching