Pull Your Way To Stronger Biceps and Lats

PULLUPS, one of those exercises that strike fear in many people’s eyes. They are super hard to do but they are great for building better biceps and lats. In the video below I explain how we can help anyone into doing pullups by a simple band technique that we use. In fact, we have seen clients go from banded pullups to doing their first ever full pullup in our facility. Check out the video below:

Holiday Parties and the Waist Line War

We are here, the last 2-weeks till Christmas and 3-weeks till New Years Eve. The parties over the next 3-weeks will be of abundance and it will be the “Parties vs. Waistlines War”. You know what I am talking about, we want to maintain our weight but there are parties and sweets at every store, workplace, and home. Its hard to say no but we know if we don’t we won’t be pleased come Jan. 1. Well, there are ways to enjoy some of those parties, maintain weight, have a great time, AND be happy on Jan. 1, 2014. Here goes:

1. Pick A Party- Its pretty safe to say that we all know the repercussion of eating too many holiday cookies and indulging at every party. From now until the end of the year pick 1 party/week to indulge in. By doing this we are setting ourselves up and planning ahead. Now usually I wouldn’t tell anyone to party it up every week but if its the difference between 3 or 4x/week and 1x/week well, 1x takes it.

2. Eat Before Hand- You picked your party that you want to indulge in. These are usually the ones with all your friends and you can’t wait to have a great time. There is always those parties that you are less than excited about or just go to, show up, and head out. These ARE the perfect opportunity to eat beforehand, about 30-minutes or so. Going to a party hungry and craving food is one of the worst things we can do, ESPECIALLY when its a party we don’t really want to be at too long. Take the opportunity to eat beforehand and not indulge at these parties.

3. Drink Up- Make sure to drink 3 glasses of water BEFORE drinking any alcohol. Alcohol will be in abundance at every party and its just like food. Pick the parties to indulge in and leave alcohol out of the other ones. Drinking 3 glasses beforehand also sets you up to stay more hydrated. Furthermore continue to drink up a big class of water after each alcoholic drink too. You will be thanking me the next morning 😉

4. Go Small- No matter what parties you are attending take the smallest plate you can find. WHY???? The bigger the plate the more food you can put on it. Take a small plate, load it up with veggies, some low-fat dip, shrimp, fruit and nuts. Eat it and enjoy, wait 30-minutes before going back. It takes longer for the brain to register digested food than the stomach. Let the brain catch up.

5. Exercise Into and Out of A Party- If you first thought was dancing then use that to your advantage as well. Dance the night away. What I really mean is to make sure to exercise the day before, the day of, and the day after your indulging party. What’s the best way to do it? Hit endurance cardio/strength the day before, metabolic work the day of, and either an endurance or interval cardio the day after. This way you effectively get all the strength and cardio work in and prep for the party in advance through exercise.

5 Tips To Live Stress Free For The Holidays

Hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day and followed some of the tips we sent out last week. We are officially into December and that means a few things; lots of shopping, crowded malls, parties, family time, and well probably some stress to go with it. I will be the first to admit that I am certainly not a “mall-person” but there is something neat about being around all the decorations, music, and joy. It kind of brings me back to when I was a little kid. Anyway, if you are like most people around the holidays, the days seem to fly by, we are rushing everywhere, and there are 101 things “to-do”. We have you covered with a few tips and pointers to live stress free (well almost 🙂 and get done what actually needs getting done.

Here are our “Top 5 Tips For  A Stress Free Holiday”

1. Plan Ahead- Make sure to plan ahead for the next day and better yet categorize each and every thing that needs to be accomplished. The best way to do this is to have a category A, B, and C. Category A objectives must get done that day, B’s need to be get done in the next 3 days, and anything on the C list usually can wait or can be done after category A and B.

2. Take A Brain Break- Every hour to hour and a half take just 5-minutes stop what you are doing and… CHILL OUT. This actually helps with productivity and allows us to clear our minds for a few minutes.

3. Get Away- No not on a vacation or anything, although wouldn’t that be nice 🙂 Get away for 30 minutes each day and do something to relax you. I love to run and it relaxes me so that is my “get away time”. For you it maybe a walk, a book TV, just something to do each day to re-set yourself and have time to yourself.

4. Unwind Before Bed- Before going to bed make sure to start unwinding at least 15 minutes prior. This is important because if you go from busyness to bed it makes it very hard to fall asleep. Take 15 minutes befor hand and start to let the heart rate come down and relax. Some warm tea or water also helps to soothe the body and mind.

5. Make Sure To Sleep- Now that we have unwinded before bed its important now more than ever that we get enough sleep. Sleeping 6 hours a night wrecks havoc on the brain, body, and recovery system. Shoot for 7 with a goal of 8. I personally feel tons better when I can get 7-8 hours of sleep. My mind feels clearer and body just feels much better.

Use these 5 tips to prevent “stress overload” and enjoy the next few weeks 🙂

Enjoy Thanksgiving, But Be Smart About It

Here is an interesting and very scary fact for you. The average Thanksgiving Day meal is between 3000-4500 calories, for most people that is almost 2 days worth of food!!! How can one meal be so high and calorically dense? Well, the average meal consists of mashed potatoes, yams, macaroni, breads, heavy gravy and lots of turkey.  All these foods (except the turkey) is very high in calories and carbs. A few fun facts about Thanksgiving:

– Each year the average person eats 16-18lbs of turkey/year

-The annual Macy’s Day Parade has been going on since the 1920’s

– Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, popcorn, milk, corn on the cob, and cranberries were not foods present on the first Thanksgiving’s feast table.

So, with a 3000 calorie dinner and enough leftovers to feed the family for a week how can one NOT gain an ounce over the next 10 days. It’s possible as long as we plan ahead and are smart about what we do. Here are my Top 5 tips to get through Thanksgiving Day without feeling like a turkey 🙂

Tip #1: Go as low carb as possible on Wednesday and all day on Thursday until Thanksgiving Dinner. This means eating veggies, protein, and low-carb fruits (no more than 1 or 2) for a day and a half. Yes, we are limited but it will pay off when you get to feast on Thursday night. You are basically setting yourself up for a big dinner and should be treated like a cheat meal.

Tip #2: Eat Slowly. When we eat slowly are able to savor the food and the taste. It also allows the mind to catch up with the stomach. You can actually fill your stomach with food before your mind tells you you’re filled. This means that in the end we overeat and leaves us feeling like we are in a “food coma”. We are laid up on the couch and can’t move. This year try not to get to that point. Slow down the eating, enjoy the food, and let your mind cathc up to your stomach. We don’t need nearly as much food as we think we do.

Tip #3 Make sure to get your exercise done on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Most importantly try and get in an extra 15 minutes or increase the intensity. The last thing we want is to skip our exercise these days. On another note if we able to get all of our exercise done, mentally we will have a more positive outlook on what we eat. Exercise, nutrition, and mental state are all connected.

Tip #4 Try and stay with the turkey, salad, and some mashed potatoes. These are some of the best food choices, well most days but even better on Thanksgiving Day. As a rule of thumb a serving of protein or turkey should be about the size of a cupped hand. The mashed potatoes should be about the size of a fist and you can load up over and over again on that salad.

Tip #5 If you go wild during dinner try and tame dessert by eating fruit and coffee or tea instead of cookies, ice cream and pies. The sugar you get from the fruit will help to sap your cravings. I also find that sipping coffee/tea also helps against eating too many desserts.

Bonus Tip: Try and get out for a walk after dinner about 60 minutes or so after eating. It will help to aid in digestion, reduce bloating, and hopefully give you a little energy.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving feasts and your time with the family, just be smart about what you do before and after the big day.

Solving The Post-Workout Meal

One of the most important meals of the day is your post workout meal, especially when we are talking about any type of strength training. When we strength train the muscles literally break down or mico-tear, this is what causes us soreness. Then the muscles repair a little stronger then they were before, hence we get stronger :)

Its a pretty basic concept; workout, break down the muscles, give them some rest, let them repair, get stronger, repeat. This is also why some workout days are tougher or not as good as others. If we begin to work muscles that are not fully recovered we simply can not generate enough power or strength at the next session. Adequate recovery is a critical part to getting results and it ALL starts with what you do after a workout.

Before we get to what we can do after a workout lets just touch base on a few things that happen as we workout:

– Muscles Protein breakdown increases

– Glycogen (our muscles preferred source of energy) stores are begin to get depleted

– Muscle Protein Balance is negative

This is what happens to anyone that workouts and is more prominent in strength training. The degree to which each person experiences and recovers from these 3 factors is dependent on each person’s intensity, exercise history, stress levels, and age to name a few. Having negative protein balance and breakdown means that the muscle can not recover and can last for up to 24 hours if adequate food is not eaten. Its going to happen to all of us so lets make sure we know how to combat it.

Now that we have a sense of what happens during exercise how do we fix it? The first thing that we can do is to make sure to ingest some quick acting protein within 1 hour or even better within 30-minutes after an exercise session. Rule of thumb, if you need to chew your protein after an exercises session it will already take to long to break down and digest. Make sure to drink your protein in the form of a protein shake. Not only will you get the protein to the muscles faster you also get the added amino acids in these shakes.

Next, we need to do something about those low glycogen stores. Low glycogen stores means that your energy levels are low. If you go into a workout session with low glycogen you simply won’t have enough glycogen to pull from for the strength session. You have two options here, eat a piece of high-carb fruit like an apple or banana OR mix dextrose (simple sugar) with your protein shake. I use the dextrose because again it breaks down very easy and is quickly usable in the body. Furthermore, as we increase our glycogen levels our insulin spikes and drives both the sugar and protein into the muscles for even better usage than taking protein alone.

The last step, make sure to eat a meal consisting of protein and low carb veggies about 60-90 minutes later. We do not want to consume another high carb meal at this time.

The Run Down:

Post Workout Meal: Drink a protein shake of about 20-25g of protein with 20-50g of carbs (high carb fruit or dextrose). The amount depends on your weight goals (weight loss vs. maintnance or gain)

Eat another meal 60-90 minutes after your post-workout meal to further increase protein synthesis and glycogen stores.

Eat normally after this.

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