Tag: fat loss

A Few Tell Tale Signs Your Trainer Sucks

After many years of working in the fitness industry, you see a lot of things. From funny, to ridiculous, and just plain stupid, the gym attracts all sorts of walks of life. This is also the case for those that decide to become personal trainers. I myself at one time was a personal trainer, not that I don’t train people at all anymore, I have just limited my time due to life getting in the way. The personal training market, just like the fitness industry itself has skyrocketed over the last 15-20 years. Which in a lot of ways can be a good thing that people are becoming more interested in taking control of there health, and getting into shape. But when they are being led by someone completely incompetent in the field, it becomes the blind leading the blind, which is unfortunately what we see in most cases today on the daily. So….all that being said how is a new gym goer able to tell if there trainer is even worth there time? Well, here are a few tell tale signs that your trainer may be completely clueless.

  1. They are involved in a multi level marketing company that sells supplements. No I am not going to name names here, but say your trainer recommends supplements to you and you google them or go to their website and all it talks about is being a sales representative, or joining the team, its probably a scam. And if your trainer is trying to sell you product from them, it’s because they are clueless on nutrition first of all, and got sucked into this companies’ pyramid scheme, so guess what chuck, now they are peddling this trash to you to make up for losing a boat load of cash when they signed up to be a part of the scheme.
  2. Doing random exercises that they themselves have never even done before. This is a situation of someone who doesn’t really walk the walk as they say. If your trainer is having you do a bunch of random exercises that doesn’t seem to coincide with your actual goals, it’s most likely because they don’t, and your trainer is literally just making shit up as he or she goes, to simply occupy your killer 30-60 minute session! So in other words they are having fun with you to pass the time. Of course that’s in between checking there phone messages.
  3. They are on there phone more than they are training you! This is a no brainer one right here. If your trainer can’t even make it thru 5 minutes of your session without playing on there phone, to me it’s clear they don’t really give a shit about your training session and don’t care about what you are doing either.
  4. My favorite is the out of shape trainer. I mean honestly, how the hell are you training someone when you can’t even get your own shit together enough to get yourself in shape. And the fact that someone would want to be trained by someone who isn’t in shape is beyond me.
  5. Unable to program workouts. This one is huge which is why I saved it for last. Finding a trainer that actually understands how to properly program exercises into your routine to get you the best results is actually very difficult to find. It’s hard enough just to find someone who at least walks the walk, but finding a trainer that really understands the body, recovery times that vary for different people, and also finding a trainer that is willing to really listen to what you are telling them is how they should be basing your programming. In most cases, trainers will recommend exercise programs and diets that are really just a version of what they do. This is a massive error. Everyone is different. Your body is not the same as mine, and is not the same as the next person. That is why a good trainer will be asking you questions to figure out what foods you tolerate better in your diet to help you thrive, vs just plugging in random foods into a basic cookie cutter program. Or when it comes to exercise they should be learning about your history and background in training and exercise before trying to recommend anything. And did we even mention goals? Your personal goals should always be number one. If it doesn’t match to your goal, don’t waste your time with it, period. But too often newer trainers without enough experience will simply recommend what worked for them, instead of really dialing in to there clients needs. When this happens unfortunately the clients results are sub par in comparison to what they could have been. Okay so my rant is over now, hopefully some of you that read this learned something from this, and do not get taken for your hard earned bucks!

I Broke My Own Rules…

So I was laying in bed the other day, it was 4:45am, and I was wide awake. Now, I normally get up around 5:30am anyway so in less than an hour it will be time for me to start my day. Normally, if I feel “ready” to get up, I just get up and get my day started, I don’t roll back over and go to sleep. I find that it makes me feel like a slug the rest of the day. And against my better judgement I rolled back over and fell asleep. I made up excuses in my head, literally telling myself I didn’t have that much to do so why not sleep in. Worst mistake I made all week. Why? Because not only did I get bombarded by the alarm clock at 0530, I actually hit the snooze and fell asleep until 6am. When I finally woke up I actually felt much worse than I did at 4:45am when I was up and ready to go.

Why am I bringing this up you may ask? Because there is something important anyone can learn from a simple situation like this. When you aren’t feeling it, or are on the fence about executing something, that is when you really need to do it. Do it anyway. Don’t feel like working out? Do it anyway. Even if you are a little off that day, do it. Go through the motions. Because you will find that even going through the motions will have you feeling better than if you just skipped out all together. And pushing through days like these can be a huge momentum builder as you move forward. Don’t make excuses, instill some discipline, and get shit done!

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One Simple Way To Burn More Fat Without Extra Cardio

Here is one tip you can use in your weight training if you are not already to really get your metabolism going, without any extra cardio. Simply by adding drop sets, back off sets, or rest pause sets at the end of an exercise can bring the intensity level up to get your body burning fat more efficiently. Now, for those of you that may not be familiar with any of these techniques, let me explain them here….

The Drop Set– A drop set is performed after the last set of really any exercise you may be doing. For example, let us use the bench press as an example. Say you planned on doing 3 sets of 6-8 reps per set. Then, on the last set you do 6 good reps with great technique. Maybe you could have got 7, but stop at 6. Then when you finish your set strip off about 25% of the weight you had on and immediately perform another set to absolute failure. Congratulations, you just did a drop set!

Back Off Sets- A back off set is performed similar to a drop set, except the weight is even lighter than the drop set. Instead of stripping off 25% you are taking off up to 50% of the weight and going to failure, allowing you to really rep out the weight you are doing. This technique works best in my opinion for smaller muscle groups like biceps, triceps, calves, etc.

Rest Pause Sets- Here is one last technique that will really challenge you, the rest pause set. After performing your last set of let’s say ten reps on a lat pull-down, take about 15 seconds rest, and perform another set. Try to get at least 5 reps. Then take another 15 seconds rest and do another set again for as many as possible to failure. This one is killer, but it works.

Try using any variation of these in your training and I guarantee over time you will not only see changes in your body, your exercise capacity and endurance will go up too.

Lat Pull Down

The Importance of a Morning Routine

Is This You?

So….How many of you wake up, and hit the snooze button at least 3-4 times before ever actually leaving the bed? And once you do finally leave the bed how long is it before you actually do something productive with yourself, whether that be exercise, read, or begin some tasks for your job? If you are in the general average then you probably aren’t actually doing anything for at least another hour after you already laid in bed for the first hour. So now we have the first two hours of the day dedicated to….Nothing! Except maybe eating breakfast. And unfortunately these are the same type of people, including some of my closest friends that will tell me, “Derek, I have no time to exercise” what else can I do to lose weight. And being a good friend I will take a look at their current routine and try to help them optimize what they are doing, but in a lot of cases I was not necessary at all. There was no secret, tip, or pill that I was going to give to help them accomplish what they wanted. It all came down to their daily routine and habits!

Benefits of a Routine

Routines can have a profound impact on helping organize your day much more than you think, but it does take some discipline. Getting up a little earlier, or prepping meals ahead of time is not the most convenient, but there is nothing convenient about getting the results you want, it’s just a matter of how bad do you want it? Once you get past the first couple weeks, and this new routine becomes habit you will start to notice some of these benefits…

  1. Reduced Stress– When you actually get up and have your day scheduled, it takes a lot of undue stress off of your life. This way you are not forgetting about taking care of important tasks you may have had for the day.
  2. Gain More Time– When you start holding yourself accountable to your own schedule, the amount of time you will free up can sometimes shock you.
  3. Be Able to Eat Healthier– When you are unorganized and flying by the seat of your pants it is very difficult to get in the right foods you need to meet your fitness goals. More times than not you end up at a drive thru eating trash food. Being on a schedule will free up more time so you can prep some simple, healthy meals instead of relying on quick food options.
  4. Feel Fulfilled– When you put together a daily routine, and you accomplish those little tasks everyday, there is something extremely fulfilling about this process. Because by doing the little things everyday, this leads to big results over time. Fitness and weight loss is the best example of this. Eating the right foods, and not skipping workout sessions is the quickest way to see better results in the gym. But these two things are counting on YOU to fit them in your schedule.

But…

Now, after reading this there are going to be plenty of people that still have the mentality of well, my schedule is already so crazy, I just can’t fit anymore in so I guess the chips will fall where they fall. Let me tell you, that is an excuse. I have yet to meet one person that wasn’t able to find the time to exercise during the day at some point. It’s literally 4% of the day. Discipline, Consistency, and holding yourself accountable are the biggest parts here. You just have to decide to do it.

Understanding Hormones & Weight Loss

Have you ever had that friend that even when they diet and exercised like crazy they still seemed stuck in a plateau that they could not get out of? I think we can all think of somebody that has done this before, but usually not all for the same reasons. One reason may be the closet eater, who hides the fact that they are gorging on bad food choices behind closed doors. Or the excessive drinker, that says they only drink a few beers once a week, and it’s more like 10 beers at 2-3 times a week. The above two examples are not who we are talking about today. We are talking about the guy or girl that is actually putting in all the hard work but just can’t seem to get past that hump. Why is that? Well, the answer could be as simple as your hormones are not in an optimal state for fat loss….Here may be why.

Feeling Stressed?

We have all heard that stress kills right? Well, not only does it kill you, it also kills any fat loss or muscle gain progress as well. Studies have actually shown that when you are in a stressful state for consistent periods of time you can eat the perfect diet for your goals and still not lose body fat. In fact you will either stay the same, or you may even gain weight! So why does this happen? What is triggered in us that is causing this stress?

Cortisol

Cortisol is the stress hormone, responsible for that fight or flight response in the body that gets released when we are perceived to be under stressful situations. When cortisol stays up it is actually benefiting fat gain, and preventing muscle gain simultaneously. Now lets go back to the question of what is causing this in us? What is causing cortisol to stay elevated? Well, there are a number of things that could be plaguing our day. Here is just a small list…

Job or work environment, family life, Time Management, money management, over training at the gym, excess alcohol consumption, and consistent bad sleep.

This list probably covers the top stressors the average person has in there life. I would say out of all of the issues listed above, the number one issue leading to elevated cortisol is consistent bad sleep. You should always try to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night. Now, I know they say 8 hours is considered best, but I am trying to be as realistic as possible. Quite a lot of us are busy people these days. For example, lately I am in bed around 10 to 10:30pm, and will be up at 4:30am ready to go. Whatever your time window is, please remember to not completely neglect your sleep. Try to make 6 hours be your minimum. Also, remember to keep the “blue lights” off when you go to bed at night. Blue light is the light emitted by television screens and phones, and can interrupt healthy sleeping patterns.

In regards to some of the other stressors listed above I highly doubt anyone is suffering from over training, since it is very difficult for the average person to even over train in the first place. But, as far as the rest of the list goes if you want to make a conscious effort to reduce stress try yoga or even meditation. Look for something you can do to unwind and calm the body. Maybe even massage therapy would be a great idea as well. Just keep in mind if you are at a sticking point in your fat loss results and you know in yourself you are doing all the right things then you may want to consider taking a look at your normal routine and figuring out what changes you need to make to get yourself moving in the right direction. Always remember we are here to help so if you need any assistance in figuring out what to do please feel free to contact me at our email address and we will get it figured out.

Volume vs Intensity? What is best for max results?

Rate Of Perceived Exertion?

Here is something I wanted to share with you guys to put things into perspective for you. How many of you have heard of rate of perceived exertion? If you have great, if not what this means is how much did you actually exert yourself during exercise. From one to ten, rate today’s workout. Was it a 6,8,or even a 10? Now, most people like to think they are giving a 10 effort every single time, but what if I told you that may not be the best approach? Let me explain…

Imagine you and I were at the gym together, and I asked you to do as many push-ups as you could possibly do until failure, not one more repetition in the gas tank. And, let’s say you did 20. Would it be wise to come back to the gym tomorrow and do the same exact thing? Would it be a good idea to even come back and do the same movement in 2 days? The answer is the same… no. But if I said hey, how about you only do 10 or 12 push-ups a day with good form, could you do this everyday? Think about it from this perspective, say you did your push-ups at 12 reps every day for 7 days in a row. You would have done 84 reps in the week. Now, if you did the 20 rep routine that you could only endure 3 times a week, not only did you beat your body up, you also only accomplished 60 reps for the week, which is 30% less volume! I have always been a big proponent of intense training, but if you are only able to do that training 3 good days a week, you may be leaving a lot of progress on the table. Mathematically speaking, in this tiny example there is a 24 rep difference in the week. Multiply that by 52 weeks in a year. You are looking at 1248 repetitions!

Intensity

This is Why the Russians Kick Our Ass

In Russia, they utilize what has been coined as Eastern Block training, a style which incorporates a lot more volume being performed, with lower intensity. The only time the intensity goes up is when you get close to a competition. Other than that you are staying at that 6-7 intensity out of 10 range on your training sessions. But, staying disciplined and consistent with getting in your training sessions, which is key as you can see from the example shown above. So if you are ever wondering if you are training enough or too much because you aren’t seeing progress, I would suggest keeping this in mind. You may need to change up your training routine. If you are exercising 4 days a week, but always feel fatigued and sore, you might be going too intense and may benefit from breaking up your lifting session into more frequent workouts with less intensity. Either that or you are a novice and you have yet to discover what true exertion, or failure is. But that will come with time, just like anything else. That’s it for today, thanks for reading.

The Ultimate Weight Loss Supplement….Discipline

I wanted to touch on something today that is really a punch in the gut for most average people, because in today’s modern world most of us have no self control or self discipline, and it effects us every single day. Even the most simple things you may brush off and not even notice have an effect on your day. For example, the alarm clock, the awful, no good, loud, and obnoxious alarm clock. What do 90% of people do when they hear that sweet sound? Hit snooze at least 3 times, or turn it off and just go back to sleep. Well, right there you already lost. Now you have set yourself up to play from behind the rest of the day, staying in a more stressful, reactive state, rather than being prepared and ready to take on the day’s tasks. Another great example of no discipline can be seen when someone starts a new diet. They start off a few days doing great, and then they completely fall off the wagon and binge on trash food. Or even better, they go get a solid workout in at the gym, and then go “reward” themselves by having some sugary treat that is not only cancelling out the hard work you just did, it’s actually putting you in a worse state! The “reward” if you want to call it that is having the discipline to put in the hard work, and go home and eat sensibly, so then in 8 weeks you can look back and say, “damn, I feel great”! And the reflection in the mirror will show it too. A wise man once said there are only two major pains you will feel in your life….The pain of discipline, and the pain of regret. So the question is do you have the discipline to do what is necessary to take yourself to that next level, or will you give up and have to deal with the pain of regret? The choice is yours.

Why is Re-gaining Weight so Common?

How many times have you seen someone who was obese, begin to lose weight using diet and exercise, and get very close to their end goal, and then they end up stalling out, or even worse, start to put the weight all back on. They seem to be doing most of the right things, but a few slip ups here and there and the weight just sticks back on to them like glue. Here’s why….


Why You Keep Re-Gaining Weight

As we grow up, from a child to an adult, our bodies naturally end up with a fixed number of fat cells that we develop during our childhood years. Then as we hit adolescence that number pretty much stays where it is, unless we begin to eat so much that our body is forced to create new cells. This only occurs when all other fat cells have been filled to the maximum capacity, causing the body to adapt by making new cells. And the worst part is once these cells have been created, they do not go away. You can diminish them down by losing all that excess stored energy that is inside the cell, so in other words you can shrink the fat cells, but you can not eliminate them. So if you were obese with 40% body fat, and drop your body fat percentage to say 17%, you will still have the cells with you equivalent to 40%, but they are not filled because you have utilized the bulk of those cells for energy through what is called lipolysis, which is your bodies’ ability to take stored fat and use it up as energy. Now this is a great thing, to go from 40 to 17 percent, but since such a high percentage of fat was present at one time, this will make you more sensitive to re-gaining body fat since those cells are still present.

The biggest issue with having all these extra cells is when you do lose body fat, those cells are used to being filled up, which provides you extra energy for daily tasks. And since your body has burned through all that extra energy, it will offer resistance at times to try to get itself back to what it thought was normal, aka homeostasis. Also, when these cells are depleted through fat loss, the bodies leptin levels, (hunger hormone) will get kicked on in a lot of cases because again the brain is thinking you are depleted and need to eat, so leptin gets kicked on, and hunger sets in, causing you to over eat or totally cheat on your diet.

Is There Any Way To Eliminate Fat Cells Then?

There is one method that doesn’t technically “kill fat cells”, but converts them into a more useful type of fat, and that is cold exposure. You see there are two types of stored fat cells, white adipose tissue cells, and metabolism stimulating brown fat cells. By using cold therapy, research has shown that white fat cells can begin to convert to brown fat cells, making them more susceptible to be utilized as energy. Now when I say cold therapy, we aren’t even talking about cryo chamber cold or anything like that, we are just talking about cold showers, or applying ice to certain areas of the body. Very simple things to do to help with converting the cells, but there is a catch to this. The cold therapy must be consistently done to keep that conversion happening. So taking a morning walk without a coat, or taking a cold shower, even applying ice after a workout to certain areas all can be beneficial to keeping those fat cells brown, and in a burning state. So if you can’t eliminate them, just convert them!

Low Carb Cashew Turmeric Chicken Salad

Being I am a huge fan of chicken salad I needed to find a good low carb recipe for this to help fill in the void. This one definitely hit the spot on flavor. Check this out!

Low Carb

Chicken Salad Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken, approx. 1lb
  • 6 tablespoons cashew cream
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut aminos
  • 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1 inch piece of turmeric root, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • Cracked black pepper

Cashew Cream Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole, raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

First soak cashews at least 4 hours or overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse.

Put the cashews and 1/2 cup water in a high-powered blender. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until the consistency is similar to whipped cream. The texture should be very creamy with no bits of nut left at all.

Next, in a small bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons of cashew cream, plus the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, Dijon, olive oil, turmeric root, parsley and salt.

In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, dressing, celery and shallot, and add all the other ingredients in together. Once mixed evenly you can add black pepper if you like to taste. That’s it! Enjoy! Really the hardest part with this recipe is prepping the cashews ahead of time for later use. Other than that this is a breeze to make, and it tastes amazing. Give it a shot.