Greg’s Blog

GIANT Sets… Not What You Think

Posted by on Sep 4th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on GIANT Sets… Not What You Think

GIANT sets don’t mean they are going to make you big and bulky 🙂 Its just a name for a group of four or more exercises put together and done one after another. Its not as scary as it sounds BUT is a great way to hit the entire body in a quick workout. The great part about giant sets is that typically one exercise has little to no impact on the next.

Benefits:

– Work the entire body

– The workout is quick and effective

– Not your typical workout structure and thus provides some fun and a new way to train

– Must hit big movers for this to be effective

– Perfect for vacation or when you are short on time

The way that you would set up this giant set is to pick a leg exercise, upper body pulling movement, upper body push, and core exercise. Another way to use this is as a “finisher” type of set for one body part so choosing 3-5 different leg or upper body exercises to do in a row for a single set.

If we were to use this method for a quick workout while on vacation it would look like this:

1A. Squat- 10 reps

1B. 1-Arm Row- 10 reps/arm

1C. Pushups- 10-15 reps

1D. Leg Lifts- 15 reps

After each exercise you would take about 20s break between, then after hitting all four exercises you would break for 60-90s and then repeat for 3-4 total sets. Each set you would increase the weight and try to maintain the reps.

If you wanted to use this method as a finisher for a single set here are a few ideas:

Arm Blast

1A. DB Biceps Curl- 12 reps

1B. Band Triceps Pushdown- 12 reps

1C. DB Hammer Curls- 12 reps

1D. Bench Dips- AMAP

 

Leg Blast

1A. Squats- 15 reps

1B KB Deadlifts- 10 reps

1C. TRX or Stability Ball Hamstring Curls- 15 reps

1D. Rev Lunge- 8 reps/leg

 

Upper Body Finisher

1A. Pushups- AMAP

1B. Pullups- AMAP

1C. DB Press- 10 reps

1D. Bentover Rows- 10 reps

1E. Chest Flyes- 15 reps

1F. Rear Delt Flyes- 15 reps

Finishers For Fast Fat Loss

Posted by on Aug 28th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finishers For Fast Fat Loss

Before we dive into this blog and I give you 4 totally awesome finishers there are a few rules we need to review first. When it comes to fat loss we need to make sure we are doing these:

Rule #1 Make sure your nutrition is in check- Limit starchy carbs (breads, pastas, cereals, desserts), increase protein, lots of greens veggies, low-carb fruits at 2 meals a day, unlimited water intake, eat more veggies 🙂

Rule #2 Look at Rule #1 and redefine again

Rule #3 Make sure you are getting in 2-3 high intensity metabolic strength sessions/week

Rule #4 Make sure you are doing 2 high intensity interval sessions/week

Rule #5 Make sure you are pushing yourself at each workout. I don’t mean simply showing up, that’s a given. I mean really focusing in and pushing yourself. If you can talk during a workout or feel the need to “go for a run” after a workout did you work as hard as you could have?????

Now if you are doing those 5 things and are ready to take it to the next level here are “4 Finishers For Faster Fat Loss”

Finisher #1-  40/30/20

Choose two exercises from the list: sprints, ropes, sleds, pushups, TRX rows, jumps, or down and ups.

Now perform each for 40s, rest for 20s, each for 30s, rest for 10s, each for 20s, rest for 30s and then repeat 2-3 more times.

Finisher #2- How Far Up The Ladder Can You Go

This finisher is not for the faint of heart 🙂 You will alternate between pushups and jumps. You will do 1 pushup then 1 jump, 2 pushups then 2 jumps, 3 pushups then 3 jumps, 4 pushups then 4 jumps, etc… You will continue alternating between the two until you can’t do any more reps. For pushups you can go to the knees if needed, as this will probably be your limiting exercise.

Finisher #3- Full Body Fat Burner

This one is a combination of exercises and affects the whole body!! Take a dumbbell in each hand. The first thing you will do is a down and up pushup, after standing up you will curl the weight, press it overhead, bring them back to the shoulders and perform a squat. The repeat.

Down and Up Pushup + DB Curl + Press + Squat

You will do this combo over and over again for 2 minutes. As you get stronger you can make this finisher 3, 4 or 5 minutes long

Finisher #4- Hill Sprints From Hell

This one may be tough because you need to find a hill to run up. But if you have one this is an awesome finisher. Run up the hill for 30s and walk/jog down for 90s. Repeat this up to 6 rounds. As you get stronger and faster you can start to add time on to your sprints by a few seconds or add on an extra round.

These are all great ways to finish a workout!!

6 Nutrition Tips To Succeed Long-Term

Posted by on Aug 20th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Nutrition Tips To Succeed Long-Term

If you are looking to lose weight and/or tone up don’t succumb to quick fix diets and fads. There is a lot of nutrition info. out there and it can be very confusing. Healthy eating with long-term results comes from basic guidelines that are worked on every week. I can’t think of too many things more frustrating then dieting yourself down 15-20lbs only to gain it back and more a few months later. This is an unfortunate side-effect of short-term thinking and eating “in the now”

Here are guidelines for the long-term:

1. Have a basic timing of meals that you stick to EVERYDAY. Its not an eat when you are hungry plan its eating at designated times. Eating at set times, even if you are not hungry, will decrease cravings later on, control hormones, and keep your metabolism high.

2. Re-route your carbs. When we eliminate breads, pastas, cereals, and rices over time, many people think its a no carb diet. NOT-TRUE. We are not limiting the carbs we are making better choices. A no carb diet would mean no fruits and high-carb veggies either…there is a very big difference here.

3. Protein is King!! Hands down you just can’t go wrong with protein, at EVERY meal. Try to get in 20-30grams/meal. Protein increases satiety and helps to prevent additional food cravings. It also rebuilds muscle. When you get “sore” what actually happens is a muscle breakdown. You must take in protein to recover and restore this.

4. Just because a food label “claims” its healthy doesn’t mean it actually is. Do some research into the ingredients of the product, sugar/carb content, and calories at the very least. I would also be looking at trans fat content, protein, sodium, and ingredients on the label that I can not pronounce (usually additives that are fake sweeteners). A perfect example of this is a Protein Bar, they are usually just masked as a “Healthy Candy Bar”. Read the label and make your own decisions on them, I prefer to use real food.

5. If you have to cook it, peel it, or clean it that’s much better than having to pop it in the microwave, open the bag, or get out the can opener. Healthy foods need some prep time to make, be cleaned, cut, etc… Its one way to know its healthy.

6. This guideline is just one I can’t get away from. Get 7-8 hours of sleep/night and you will make better food choices. It’s simple, when we are sleep deprived are brains don’t function at 100% and there fore we are far more liking to make bad food choices or not even think about what we are eating. Adequate Sleep=Better Choices

6 Ways To Get Stronger AND Not Be Weak

Posted by on Aug 14th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Ways To Get Stronger AND Not Be Weak

1. Squat and Deadlift– I don’t care how you do it but you must squat and deadlift if you want to get strong. I have never met a strong person that did not do at least one or both of these exercises regularly. These exercises just can’t be beat when it comes to overall muscle recruitment, functionality, and muscle building power. Everyone from the teen athlete to grandma should do some form of these if you want to get stronger.

2. Watch Recovery Days- Wanna not be weak? Well, you can’t be working out all the time OR too infrequently. People who are really strong don’t wait for 4 days to hit their next session, they also don’t go all out every day. Make sure to tweak your rest days based on what works best for you. Some higher intensity days, some lower, and about 2 days rest between heavy workouts should do it.

3. EAT- I am telling you straight up that you can’t get strong, build muscle, and NOT eat. It won’t work. You have to eat AND not surprisingly the same foods as if you wanted to lose weight. The only real difference is the portion. For putting on muscle a little more food is required, either way though you simply gotta eat 6 meals a day to get strong and lean.

4. Don’t Train in Isolation- Isolation workouts are for those not willing to put the effort into big compound exercises. There is no isolation exercise that will do more for you than a compound exercise. Give me an isolation exercise that you feel is effective and I can name a compound exercise that is 5x better for you. Pushups are better than tricep extensions, squats exceed leg curl machines, pullups are superior to bicep curls, and the list can go on an don. The point is do your compound exercises before or in place of any isolation exercises.

5. Don’t Rely on Supplements- I see this all the time from people looking to lose weight to those looking to get stronger. They rely way to much on supplements and fads as means to an end rather than something extra to help them. No amount of supplements will get you to where you want to be if you don’t put in the hard work, time, and effort each and every day. There is no satisfaction like working your ass off each week and reaping the rewards. Supplements are exactly what they say, a way to supplement what you are doing to get results, not a stand alone solution.

6. Perform the Right Cardio- You probably never thought there was a right and wrong way to do cardio huh. Well, there is and I can tell you that if all you do is cardio you are getting weaker everyday, especially if that cardio is primarily long distance (I know we have runner’s reading this so keep in mind we are talking about getting stronger/leaner not performing cardio for racing. Long distance cardio is shown to decrease power and strength over time which is why I prefer a mix of long-distance AND intervals). YOU MUST STRENGTH TRAIN and then consider your cardio options. Cardio alone does almost nothing to make us stronger with the exception of our heart, when not supplemented with strength training. So, you strength train and do cardio?? Make sure you do the right combination of cardio, 2 high intensity days, 1 steady state (long-distance) and 1-2 recovery cardio days when looking to build muscle.

 

100% REAL

Posted by on Jul 30th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 100% REAL

There is no nutrition, fitness, or tips or you in this blog. This is just my 100% real thoughts and opinions on how I feel about the industry, what’s going on, and fitness businesses. This was a blog that I wanted to write at the beginning of the year and never really got around to it. Then a few weeks ago I saw an awesome coach get totally screwed by a big box gym and I was really pissed and upset that this happened. Let me also say that this blog came to be because the same week I got some awesome feedback, emails, and facebook comments that blew me away.

First of all I got into this industry to help people and help them make a change in their life. What motivated me when I started was writing programs, getting clients to follow the programs, training people, and seeing results. Last week I was reminded (unfortunately) about what I hated about this industry and it was like a smack in the face. I did not get into this industry and certainly didn’t open up a facility to:

– Lie to people

– Make someone feel like crap about themselves just so they will buy what I sell

– Listen to people complain

– I definetly never get into this industry because I saw clients as dollar signs.

– Be a salesman and I am certainly no “businessman” and have no formal business education. I am a coach.

I got into this because I love to train and I wanted to train people. Last week was also a week when I was reminded so much of why I love doing what I do, I got to see:

– An email from a client about losing 15lbs

– An email from someone losing her first 7.4lbs

– Saw that a client ran her first mile without stopping!!

– Got told 3 times that week how great the coaches have been

– Talked to a great coach who made a difficult decision but stuck to his guns against what I consider a very horrible way to treat your employees and I couldn’t be happier for this person and the decision made.

– Watched the influx of positive comments come through facebook for our transformation clients

– Saw a few “firsts” and light bulbs so to speak go off for clients this week.

– Added more people to the weight loss club board

– Saw more people smiling and happy in the facility than any other place I go..except maybe Disney 🙂

That’s exactly what motivates me to continue doing what I do. Its exactly the reason that I push all the negativity about the industry aside and continue to push this facility and look to make things better each month. Because our clients and coaches care and they deserve the best, and  I saw that big time last week. I saw clients come together and support each other, new friendships made, and so much community inside our small facility, My own light bulb went off and I realized that it just doesn’t matter what any other facility does or what fad someone might come into the industry with, what DVD’s came out, or what new diet someone is pushing. In the end all that matters to me is that I surround myself with great clients and coaches, and I get to see someone smile, and we get to make a difference in someone’s life. THAT to me is what motivates me today.

Killin’ The Hill

Posted by on Jul 24th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Killin’ The Hill

I am going preface this blog but saying this is NOT your regular interval training workout. In fact this workout is going to be the exact opposite of your everyday interval session. Most intervals look like this:

30 seconds on/ 90 seconds off- Repeat 6-8 times

Hell, that’s how most of my intervals or variations of intervals are written for our clients. These intervals work and they alone have a lot of variability that can be changed. BUT, I wanted to give you something “Out of The Box” and fun to use

Disclaimer: You may want to perform these when no one else is around.

First things first, find a hill and make sure its grassy or soft (you will see why)

Warm-Up- Jog/Sprints for 3-5 minutes with additional movements such as planks, squats, lunges, and warrior poses.

Interval #1- Jump up the hill, walk back down

Interval #2- Bear Crawl up the hill, walk back down

Interval #3- Run backwards up the hill (be careful), walk back down

Interval #4- Walking Lunges up the hill, walk back down, sprint up the hill, walk back down

Interval #5- 5 Pushups then sprint up the hill, walk back down, 5 down and ups then sprint up the hill, walk back down

Interval #6- Side Shuffle uphill, walk down, side shuffle opposite side, walk down

Interval #7- Power Skip up the hill, walk down

Perform these 7 intervals for 2-3 circuits followed by this finisher:

Perform 15s of Mountain Climbers + 15s Down and Ups + 15s Hill Sprint- Repeat 5-8 times

This workout may seem a little funky and that’s OK because it is. Its supposed to be different and fun. It also gets us moving in ways that we don’t do anymore, when was the last time you bear crawled, jumped, or side shuffled outside of boot camp??

Are There Still Fitness Myths Amongst Us…

Posted by on Jul 16th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are There Still Fitness Myths Amongst Us…

Over the past 10 years I have heard a lot of fitness myths in regards to fat loss. Many of them the very opposite of what we truly need to be doing mostly perpatrated by fitness ads, magazines, TV, and “health and fitness gurus”. Today there is a different set of myths out there but no more truth to these than any in the past.

1. Aerobic Exercises Is Best For Fat Loss

You know what I think, people love to believe this one because aerobic exercise for 30-minutes is so much easier and relaxing than interval training. You know why interval training is better for fat loss? It grueling, hard, makes you breathe heavy, and BURNS. Really, it elevates metabolism for up to 24hrs. post-exercise, it gets your heart rate up much higher than any steady state session, and takes the body much longer to adapt to this type of training. My suggestion is to make 2/3 of your cardio intervals and 1/3 steady state when it comes to fat loss traIning

2. Machines Are Safest

I think at this point many people realize that machines are certainly not optimal for muscle building. But what about there safety? I have heard the myth that machines are safer to use than body weight or dumbbell training, lets not even mention the barbell as that is the most UNSAFE of them all. This is all false information. ANY of the above could be twisted to be the most “UNSAFE” piece of equipment. When it comes down to it the most unsafe piece of exercise equipment it’s the ones people don’t know how to use, rush through, or pay no attention to form with. Those are the unsafe exercises.

3. Squats Are Unsafe

This is TRUE if you are 6’10”+ then yes squats can be unsafe for the knees. 99% of us are not that tall and thus should not fear squats. In fact for those with knee pain, squats might just be the answer you need. With a limited range of motion and proper form squats will benefit just about everyone. PLUS, they are functional exercises. We sit and stand all day, pick things up off the ground, and carry stuff all the time. These are all essentially some type of squat…so why wouldn’t we practice them?

4. More Is Better

When it comes to the more is better theory here is what we usually hear:

1. Can’t I do 2 classes in a row for faster weight loss?

2. I did 90-minutes of cardio.

3. I strength trained 3 days in a row, full body, high intensity, for 60-minutes.

Here’s the problem with each of these. If you can workout for 2 classes in a row that means that you only put in 50% effort into each class. Doesn’t make much sense, how about 100% effort into one class? More cardio is not always better. Is 90-minutes really better than 60 or 30-minute sessions for fat loss. The longer the session the less energy you can put in making it less effective. More cardio is not better, more intensity is. I see the last one all the time. Someone wants to workout 3 days in a row and we have even been asked about doing 5 days in a row of full-body strength training. The problem: NO RECOVERY TIME!! Doing 3 days with a day of rest between is 10x more effective than 5 days in a row. Typically by day 3 the intensity, weights, and motivation is greatly declined due to excessive soreness, tired muscles, and fatigue.

5. Light Weights Prevents Bulking and Promotes Toning

It also prevents any type of real muscle gains and strength. Most people use light weights because they fear bulking up and they want to tone their muscles. In order to “tone” we have to do 2 things:

1. Decrease Body Fat

2. Increase muscle size

That’s it, there is no other way around this. Using weights that allow us to perform 8-12 reps is ideal for this situation. It allows us to increase muscle size, burn more fat, increase strength, and has a very noticeable carry over to our real lives and everyday activities. If bulking up is so easy then we would all be looking like bodybuilders. It just doesn’t work that way for 95% of us. There may be areas that bulk faster but I would also look at nutrition to help off-set this.

Are you Juicin’

Posted by on Jul 2nd, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are you Juicin’

I never read much about juicing until my wife got a juicer…and the loads of fruits and veggies that you need to go with it. First off, I was shocked at how much fruit/veggies were needed to produce a small glass of juice. This is of course dependent on how much juice each piece of fruit/veggie can actually produce. So, I started researching juicing to see what the benefits were and I was somewhat surprised at what I was reading. If you have juiced I would love to hear your take on this. Here is what I found and my own opinion on juicing.

If you are someone that doesn’t regularly eat fruits and veggies then juicing could be for you. You will still be able to get a lot of nutrients and will be much better than not eating or consuming them at all. If you regularly eat fruits and veggies it may still be for you, or may not be depending on what you put in the mix.

The biggest con I saw with juicing was the amount of fruits/veggies needed to make the juice. The amount of fruits/veggies that we were using would have lasted me a few days. Then I looked up the nutrition facts and was not surprised to see the incredibly high amounts of sugar, calories, and carbs in one serving. Keep in mind that this paticular juice was heavy on the fruits. On the other hand, if you use the juicer to mix mostly veggies especially green veggies than the calories go down along with the sugar and carbohydrates. I felt what was best was to go with mostly veggies with a little bit of juice for sweetness and taste.

Juicing can be extremely caloriclly dense with little satiety. If you are drinking a juice mostly of fruits you are most likely to get hungry later on, take in large amounts of calories, and spike your insulin levels. A better choice is to drink the juice with some protein and/or low carb veggies to curb hunger and control insulin.

As I researched more on this I also found out that when you juice fruits/veggies you decrease fiber intake. Up to 50% or more of the fiber can be “juiced out” of the raw fruit/veggie. This was of major concern because most of us already lack dietary fiber.

BUT…Juicing could be for you if:

– You don’t normally eat fruits/veggies and want a quick way to get them in or don’t neccesarily enjoy eating them. Its not a replacement but its certainly better than not eating them at all

– You use juicing as a snack and understand the contents of your juice and macro-nutrients in that juice. In addition portion size matters a lot when it comes to juicing due to the increase in sugar, carbs, and calories from fruit.

– You juice mostly veggies. This is a much better way to go if you frequently juice daily or weekly.

– Lastly, juicing could be for you to be used in conjunction with a post-workout meal. Juice is a quick digesting liquid that can be used to replenish glycogen stores quickly. Juicing can also give you the quick energy you need before a workout.

Juicing has pros and cons and its dependent on the person, their goals, and why they are juicing. Just keep in mind what you put into the juice, how much fruits/veggie you use, and when/how you are using the juice.

4 Aspects of Fitness and Health…We Rarely Talk About

Posted by on Jun 25th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Aspects of Fitness and Health…We Rarely Talk About

There are certain aspects of fitness, health, and nutrition that we should all be doing. They aren’t cool, trendy, or well, sexy…but they are necessary if you want to stay healthy, mobile, and agile. Sometimes we get distracted look for the new program or nutrition that has big claims, we want to lose weight, build muscle, and look great. I get that and am totally for it, as long as the work is put in. There are also a few things we should be doing that are rarely talked about but give us great benefits.

1. Recovery Modalaties

If you want to recover faster, feel less sore, reverse low back pain, and work out more often and harder you better be foam rolling and stretching. It takes just 10 minutes and can be done 3-5x/week up to daily. Foam rolling gets out all the knots, tightness, and buildup in the muscles caused from exercising while stretching gives us lengthened muscles, a faster road to recovery, and will help your back, hips, and knees, with any pain.

These are important because it helps to counteract muscle soreness and allows us to work harder at the next session.

2. Prehab and Rehab Exercise

Most people think of rehab as going to a physical therapist only when they get hurt or have a pain that they can’t get rid of. We should also be performing rehab exercises if/when we first have any inflammation or a recurring issue. Don’t let these things go weeks without any attention. In addition we should also be doing prehab work. Prehab is performing exercises to prevent injury. If we have a weak body part, a misalignment, or something similiar it could turn into an injury down the road, BUT if we can take care of it now we will prevent that injury and make our whole body stronger.

3. Thorough Cardio Warm-Up

When it comes to obvious yet overlooked aspects of fitness this comes to mind. I see so many people really miss the whole idea of a warm-up in regards to their cardio session or omit it all together. The idea of a warm-up is to get a sweat going, loosen up the muscle, and get mobile in preperation for the upcoming session. If you are sprinting then walking is not a sufficient warm-up, wanna do hill sprints warm-up on the hill, going out for a bike ride then, well, ride to warm-up. In addition squats, lunges, bird dogs, supermans and the like are a good idea to put in for total body warm-up.

4. Know Your Numbers

If you are pushing your body make sure to push your nutrition. Know your numbers:

– Drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water/day

– eat your bodyweight in grams of protein/day

– Take your essential vitamins and know what your limits are based on age, gender, and activity level

– Know your carb numbers, they can range from 1/2 bodyweight-2x bodyweight in grams/day

These are all important, actually they are essential and even more so for the athlete looking to take their game to the next level or the person looking to lose the last 5-12lbs of weight.

 

 

 

4 Useless Exercises and Superior Alternatives

Posted by on Jun 18th, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Useless Exercises and Superior Alternatives

To get on this list exercisers must be more dangerous than the reward given or never seem to help increase muscle mass, definition, or athletic ability to any measurable extent. If you are doing any of these look to make changes for more benefit and less risk of injury.

1. Stability Ball Squats

I have never even tried this one nor would I EVER ask anyone ever to do this. Standing on a stability and then squatting is one of the most dangerous things that can be done in the gym. Why this got popular baffles me. It doesn’t help with athleticism and the danger outweighs the reward 10x. The knees bow out, its hard to get on and off, the ball rolls around, etc…

Superior: Change over to bodyweight, bosu ball, or barbell squats onstead for a safer variation

2. Outter/Inner Thigh Isolation

These are not dangerous exercises at all but in my opinion somewhat worthless if being used on a consistent basis. This includes the inner/outter thigh machine, standing, or lying thighs. I can not name a time in real life when I was ever in that position and needed strength, can you? Furthermore trying to seperate the inners/outters from the thigh can cause more imbalances, how about the quads, hamstrings, glutes, etc… Should we train them all individually?

Superior: Deep squats, step-ups, reverse lunges

3. A Day Of Training Dedicated To Isolated Exercises

This is not a single exercise but a group. Basically if you dedicate a day of working out to training biceps, triceps, inner/outter thighs, front raises, calves, etc… you are wasting time and doing yourself a disservice. I guarantee any smaller musclce you want to work I can do in a bigger, more complexed, and beneficial exercise. Now, if you want to hit these muscles on the appriopriate day for 5-minutes at the end of a workout, go ahead knock your socks off and have fun, I got no problem with that.

Superior: Working the smaller muscles in conjunction with the big movers or for 5 minutes at the end of the workout.

4. Crunches

I have talked about this before, crunches done consistently and/or for long periods of time are extremely unsafe and bad for the spine. Basically, when we crnch we curl up the spine into a compressed motion, rotate the shoulders forward, and usually tuck the chin. The higher you come up in this position the more stress it places on the spine.

Superior: Any plank or any core work where the spine is neutralized.