personal trainer

Holidays! How to Enjoy them

turkey

Happy Holidays!

 

Here in the states, it’s going to be our annual turkey day tomorrow! Where we all come together and stuff our faces with some of our favorite foods. Then we get Christmas next months followed by New Years.

What I keep seeing over and over are fitness accounts on social media putting fear into people by saying ridiculous things such as ‘stay on track, eat light, the average person gains 10-12 pounds over the holidays!’ WHAT?! It’s only a month. You eat heavy 3 days. That’s it. 3 days consist of eating, yet you are telling these people not enjoy it by telling them some really stupid fact. To be able to gain even just a pound, let’s say, in a week’s time, you have to eat a surplus of 3500 calories! That’s a lot of calories. If you have really made your healthy lifestyle a habit, quit sweating it. Use those rolls and piece of pie as your fuel the next day to hit those PR’s.

What I am getting at guys, is quit falling for all the BS you see on the internet. Scientifically, you would have to be binging nearly daily over the course of this next month to gain even more than 5 pounds really, and not working out at allJust keep your gym routine going, stay hydrated and don’t EVER punish yourself nor feel guilty for eating. And especially do not ever work harder because you simply enjoyed your time with family. Eat that turkey and enjoy every bite!

 

-a

My Transformation So Far

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I’ve changed a lot in this last year. And I’m not only talking about this physically. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve tried different things. Figured out what works.

Consistency is everything.
I worked out before but it was sporadic. Once I started making it a habit daily, I not only started to enjoy it more but I also craved it. Eating correctly was the same. We always think ‘oh that’s not so bad. Its just today I’ll eat it.’ But when you think like that everyday, its bad.

Where I started
I was just doing the workout games for the Kinect when I started working out on a regular basis. They were fun and gave me a good competition with myself. I saw my improvements and how often I worked out in one spot. That’s where I made it a habit to move my body, I gained strength of being able to do body weight things and got a greater range of motion. It was my stepping stone. Once I felt like I was beyond the games on my level, I started slowly buying more weights to go in my home gym set up. I bought a couple of ebooks from fitness Instagram people I followed that I liked to get me to figure out this whole weightlifting thing. I started researching moves and exercises on bodybuilding.com and fell in love. Weightlifting is awesome for a thrill, a challenge and a way to let your stress out.

As for eating, I started learning about macros on my own after seeing many fitness accounts on social media talk about it. Props to my own mom for pretty much believing the IIFYM type of diet. She always said its about how much you eat of things, calories in have to be less than calories out to lose weight. Whether that’s calories in of carrots and lettuce or Snickers bars. So props to you Mom, for being ahead of the game.
Anyways I started figuring out the macro thing for myself as well as learning about how to reverse my metabolism. It was a slow process. But it did happen. I figured out my maintenance macros to build muscle at the weight I was starting at. I kept up with my calories, carbs, fats & proteins daily. Its a bit of a game at first-figuring out what works and how to fit everything in. But once you get the hang of it, you can pretty much do it without even punching each bite in.

My Routine Now
After working on my metabolism and figuring out really what works for me, I’m not as crazy about my macros. I don’t punch in anything anymore. I don’t even think I have MyFitnessPal on my phone anymore. I listen to my body now and I follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet should be whole healthy foods. 20% whatever else you want. That’s it guys. Once you change your habits you change your cravings, your taste buds and foods you reach for automatically. Its that initial change that sucks. Once you get past those first couple of months or so, you get used to it. And the results just come with it. You’ll realize how crappy certain foods make you feel and you honestly won’t miss them anymore. You’ll want to workout because it actually gives you energy. You just have to get started.

For my working out, remember I am a trainer by day and a coach by night. I love my body plenty in many different ways. But I do still work myself out. I lift heavy about 4-6 days a week. I do cardio maybe twice? Always after a lift session, usually on leg days I’ll do the step machine. If I do cardio on the treadmill, its always HIIT cardio and never more than 20 minutes long. Same for the stepper- no more than 20 minutes.
My ab progress? I started out doing abs 2x a week, but now I just engage my core with everything I do. And if I do abs in a class I teach or for conditioning, I’ll do it with them. Otherwise, I’ve stopped doing hard core an exercises in my own personal gym time.

I have created a guide for nutrition for those wanting help but don’t know where to start. Its completely FREE!!!
Just leave me your email and I’ll send it over! It has an intro to macros, a list of things to eat for each meal of the day, even a couple of recipes.

-a

‘Health Coaches’ versus the Real Deal

You know what is really grinding my gears lately? I see all of these ‘health coaches’ wanting to ‘change your life’ with products like Herbalife, Beachbody, & so on, and yet, all they did was buy into a company to sell some crap to you.

Anything sound wrong with that to you?

COACHES WHO SELL PRODUCTS ARE ONLY SALES PEOPLE!!!!

They are not certified trainers, nutritionists, dietitians, personal trainers, not in any way affiliated with the health care community AT ALL.

And yet they are getting big and have followers listen to their every word while spending their hard earned money on these gimmicks that will never work, or will simply be a quick fix.

Most of these things are a pyramid scheme, whether they come out and say it is or not, it is. You buy under someone else who then helps you sell to more people and get them to buy in under you to sell as well. That’s what it is. No one actually has any education nor training on anything they are teaching you. They simply teach you to use their product and that’s that.

THE DIFFERENCE IS REAL

I have spent thousands of dollars in not only my college education but also in certifications that may I add were not cheap nor were they easy to obtain. I had to spend hours for several months to study and prepare for these exams. Sleepless nights. On top of keeping up with my college studies. And yet, here are these people pretty much claiming they are what I have worked hard to become, and then selling you products and information that are pretty false with zero science nor any backing in their statements.

Please be careful in who you are giving your money to and who you are listening to. These products are not the miracles to lose weight. Shakes are not food and should not be treated as such. Chemical loaded garbage is not how you will obtain any sort of health and you should be consulting and getting your help to reach your goals from a trained professional. We actual professionals out here honestly working hard to become certified and educated on topics to better help you with actual science and proven studies feel defeated when others out there are simply buying into a business and then doing our jobs. I am not even saying this to promote my own business, but also for the many professionals out there who have to be just as frustrated as I am.

 

Be careful. Be cautious with whom you are taking information from. And please ask someone if they are wanting to give you advice in fitness and health what their credentials are to be able to do so…..

 

a

Leg Day Workout

If you are looking to torch those legs, here’s the workout I did today that will really leaving your legs feeling like jelly (I was shaking for an hour after)

HEAVY back squats (I did these on the Smith Machine)

First set is warm up, so use a light weight (sometimes you can just use the bar to warm up and worry more on form than resistance). 15 Reps.

12/12. Add weights that cause you to struggle starting on 9-10. Add more weight (it can just be a small amount) each set. GO DEEP. Sit back like you are trying to sit down on a chair. If you struggle on activating your hips first before your knees or have a hard time sitting back, do box squats where you literally squat down and back until your booty lightly sits on a bench/chair/box and then immediately come back up. Keep the chest up and head tall. If you are just starting, try to keep your knees behind the toes. Have feet shoulder width apart and toes slightly pointed outwards.

10/10. Use the heaviest weight you can. Make sure you have the form down correctly before going as heavy as you can. Push through your heels, thinking about almost lifting your toes up.

smith m

-Leg Press

I did another warm up set of 15. Light weight.

12/12. Heavy weight where you start struggling again starting at rep 9-10.

10. Push through your heels. Feet shoulder width apart just like in your squats.

leg press

-Leg Extensions (feet together) superset with 10 squat jumps

12. Heavy enough weight it is hard at reps 9-10. FLEX your quads at the top of the motion.

10/10. Heavy weight. Increase weight for each set.

leg ext

-Leg Extension (each leg separate) superset with 10 jumping lunges (alternating legs)

12. Flex quad at the top of the motion.

10/10. Heavy weight. Keep the rest of your body stable and from moving.

single leg

-Walking Plate Lunges

3 sets of 10.

Holding plates in each hand by your side, do walking lunges where you have room. 1 rep=lunge on EACH leg.

lunge

-Sumo Goblet Squats (10 pulses on the last rep of each set)

12/12. Holding a dumb bell like a goblet in your hands in front of you, stand in a wide stance (wider than shoulder width apart) and squat low, sitting back. Pulse 10X on last rep, while sitting low and deep.

10/10. Raise your weight. Repeat as before, pulsing 10X on the last rep in your low squat.

goblet

-Standing Calf Raises SuperSet with Seated Calf Raises

12/12. For standing, you can start like a squat with a barbell (or Smith Machine) and literally come up on to your toes, flex your calf muscle, and go down. For seated, if your gym has the machine for calf raises, use it, or you can use a dumbbell/barbell resting on your knee(s) and simply lift the heels and point your toe, flexing your calf at the top of the motion, and back down.

10/10. Repeat.

calf raises                               SeatedCalfRaise              Seated_Calf_Raise

 

Finish with 15 minutes on the Stair Master OR do 20 minutes HIIT on the treadmill alternating every 30 sec from sprinting to walking on an incline.

 

DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH GUYS!

 

a

FAQ/Q&A

As a trainer, a coach, and simply an Exercise Science student, I am often asked questions, and they are the same for most people. So, I am making a good post to answer the most common questions all at once!

 

What should I be doing for my pre and post workout? Should I invest in those powders? If so, what kind?

In general, I don’t promote any special brands nor kinds of pre/post workouts. Why? I don’t use any myself, unless I am just really dragging one day. Otherwise, you can do really well just by eating carbs or even having a good ole cup of Joe. By having carbs, caffeine, or a small amount of sugar 30-90 minutes before you workout should do well enough to get you going. I do not recommend eating very heavy things, or a whole meal. I personally find it easy to upset my stomach. If you want to eat a big meal, I’d suggest maybe 2 hours before working to try and digest a good bit before you go bouncing and sweating. A good example of something to have for a pre workout would be a small pb&j with natural jelly and peanut butter, on 1 piece of whole wheat bread folded in half (to make a half sandwich), or even just simply eating a banana or two. Nothing fancy, no spending more money on unnecessary powders or drinks. As for post workout, be sure to consume carbs, protein, and you can also have some sugar as your body will use the sugars well right after you workout and/or when you first wake up. For post workout, I used to do shakes, but honestly, I am not huge on shakes as it is. If you are, go for it. You don’t have to spend tons on them though. Go to amazon and find a flavor that sounds good, look at reviews, and order. No need to spend $100’s of your hard earned money on such, though. You can simply get your post workout refuel from foods. Yes, I said it. You can. Don’t buy into the gimmicks that you require protein shakes. If you want, you can just have a meal of lean meat or leafy greens for protein (or even the popular peanut butter), have carbs such as a plain baked potato (rice cake with the peanut butter), and vegetables/fruits. Easy as that.

I just started working out, do I need to have different days for different muscle groups like I see everyone doing on IG (leg day, chest day, etc)?

No. If you just started there is no need to go hardcore like a bodybuilder. You can do full body workouts and worry about form first before you actually add resistance/weight. Make sure you can do your bodyweight first. For example, if you can not knock out multiple push ups (full on push ups, not on the knees, chest all the way down), you should NOT be worrying about bench pressing. If you don’t have the balance and control to do a squat that keeps your chest up and bending from your hips before you bend the knees, don’t add a bar on your shoulders until you can. If you almost fall every time you lunge, work on balance first (hold one leg up, keep balance for 60 seconds, switch legs, then add an unstable surface to do it on, then try with eyes closed) before you do weighted walking lunges or Bulgarian squats. You could also just split it up where you do upper body one day (arms, shoulders, back, chest, abs) one day and then do lower body the next (glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings). You should be seriously working out and more advanced to be splitting the muscle groups into their own special days. You should know your way around the gym and be lifting decently heavy. Otherwise, it really isn’t necessary.

Do I need to really carry around a gallon jug of water everyday? Is a gallon a day really necessary?

For the average person, no. Unless you are sweating a lot or really are trying to lose serious weight, no that much isn’t necessary. Be sure on days you do workout (especially cardio/outside/humid weather) you do need to be consuming more water than on days you aren’t as active. You should hydrate before, during, and after your workouts. And even if you do choose to drink a gallon a day, find a refillable water bottle you like and can carry around and figure out how many refills it would take for you to get to a gallon/or whatever your goal for the day is. I personally buy the 1.5L bottles of Smart Water and refill it anywhere from 2-4 times a day. Get a water filter on your kitchen sink if possible and you are good to go. No need for carrying the gallon jug all over the place. They are a bit big and bulky. And keep water bottles in reach (car, backpack, bag, desk, workplace, locker, etc) so you never have an excuse. That’s why I suggest getting a cheap bottle and size you like, I pay at most $3.00 for the Smart Water and just refill the bottle several times. I can pay for 4 of those at a time and have 4 bottles to place in areas so I have no excuse to not be hydrating.

I am doing the shake/juice/cleanse/ridiculous diet. What is your opinion?

These fad diets are ridiculous. The week long cleanses? Please, conduct even your own research on them. You do not have any reason to be cleansing for so many days in a row, and so often. If you need to cleanse after eating horrid food for a long time, simply eat RAW fruits and vegetables for a day. That’s it, guys. Cleanses are a scam. How can you even be cleansing really if those juices are just stripping the fibers and good stuff from the produce anyways? Cleansing should be making you to excrete the unwanted things from your body, without fiber, that doesn’t really happen. Eat a giant leafy salad with a drizzle of oil. Eat baby carrots as snack. Eat apples and bananas. Eat a bag of broccoli. It’s really not hard, expensive, nor needed to do for multiple days at a time. And don’t think you need to cleanse twice a month. As for the shake diets (Beachbody, SlimFast, blah blah), I am not an advocate for only consuming a shake in which has loads of sugar, hardly any nutritional value, for most meals of your day. Please tell me how a blended, sugar loaded drink can be better for you and make you lose more weight than simply eating fruits and vegetables. You can’t. There is no justification there. Besides the companies making you spend money. Most people won’t even last on the diets anyways. Why? Your body wants to chew food. It wants SOLID FOOD. A shake is just that-a shake. Juices are just that-juice. Your teeth are made for you to chew and consume solid food. It’s what your body is made to consume and use for fuel. Please give it that. Having a shake maybe for breakfast along with some fruit/eggs/etc would be more likely what I would suggest you do with them. Otherwise, you won’t stay full nor satisfied for long.

Is low carb the only way I can lose weight? I see it everywhere!

NO! NO! NO! Let me say it again: NO!. Why do carbs get a bad rap? Because most people are consuming terrible, refined, and fat loaded carbs rather than the carbs you need. EVERYTHING HAS CARBS. I bet those diets forgot to mention that fruit has natural sugars, it has carbs. Vegetables? Yup, they have carbs. Everything but water has carbs. And guess what? Carbs are literally what make your body run. Even your BRAIN uses carbs to work. Your body requires carbs to function and work. So how does it make any sense to be telling you carbs are the enemy? Instead, they should be telling you that the processed junk is what’s actually bad for you. If it says ‘low-carb’ it means it’s HIGHLY processed and terrible for you. I doubt it has much of anything your body can actually use. Think about that as you go down the aisle with all of the Atkins products.

I don’t know where I am messing up. I eat granola bars, flat bread, low fat foods, salads, organic stuff, drinking juice/diet drinks, and work out. What am I doing wrong?

In general, the magazines, TV, and internet promote ‘healthy’ foods for you to have, even though they are the opposite. Granola is not actually the healthiest thing in the world. That quaker man is lying to you. Look at it. See that sugar content? How about the nutritional values: the carbs/protein/fats are close to those of a candy bar. Think about that. Low fat foods are a chemical shit storm. Stay away. Unless you are getting sprouted/whole grain/unrefined bread (read: NOT WHITE) then you aren’t really being healthy. White breads/tortillas/rice have been stripped of all nutrients. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat, sprouted, and flax versions to get nutritious values your body can actually use. For salads, I see this too often. Yes, you are eating vegetables, but it looked like you were having vegetables with your ranch rather than the other way around. Dressings are what get you. If you are drowning your veggies in ranch/honey mustard/1000 island, you are loading up on unwanted fats and sugars. No bueno, guys. Instead, opt for oil based dressings, or simply squeeze a lemon or orange. I even use salsa to change things up. If you are drinking regular orange/apple/grape juice, you are consuming your days worth of sugar pretty much. Unless you can find no added sugar versions, you need to stick with making your own if possible. Pain in the butt, but worth it. For diet drinks: the sugar alternatives have been shown in studies to do so much damage to you. One of the main things that could be damaging your diet is the fact that these ‘0 calories’ sweeteners are actually causing you to crave more junk food, causing you to mindlessly go butcher your eating habits. They have also been shown to aid belly fat, cause migraines, and bloat you. Simply steer clear of these. Stevia is a great alternative, but there’s a catch even with it, unless you are getting Stevia and read the ingredient list and it ONLY has Stevia listed, you are still getting fooled. Even the ‘Stevia in the Raw’ packets are not pure stevia, they are usually mixed with dextrose and other fillers. Stevia can be found in a pure form usually as a liquid you can use a dropper to add to baking/drinks/whatever you want. It is an acquired taste, but once you slowly start using it (I started by adding it into my teas/coffees) you won’t miss regular sugar.

I have tried eating 100% ‘clean diet’ but I always end up eating like I did before. I saw someone say that that was the only way to actually becoming fit/thin/healthy. Is this true?

Nope. Unless you have SERIOUS dedication, you won’t stick to it. Especially if you live with/date/hang out with/work with/go to school with people who don’t eat that way, it’s hard. It literally puts a mental toll on you. You get seriously obsessive with ingredient lists, never wanting to eat other people’s cooking, never eating out, and simply just getting into a dark place. It’s a great idea and on paper, but to stick to something so serious is just bad. Plus if you do eat that way, when you do ‘treat’ yourself, you’ll get insanely sick. Balance. It’s all you need to find in life. If you can eat 80% whole, healthy, ‘clean’ foods, and then just 20% of the other stuff you like (donuts, alfredo, mac and cheese are some of my own faves lol), you’re doing really good. That’s why I have fallen in love with and have continued the Macro counting thing for nearly a year so far. I still eat things I love with my boyfriend/family/friends, but for the most part on a day to day basis, I am eating tuna, chicken, salads, raw veggies, etc. Even many body competitors are changing from the clean diet of eating chicken and brown rice only to following the flexible/IIFYM diets. It’s not hard, plus if you want to put on muscle, you really need to be eating to fuel the muscles otherwise, when you workout (read:cardio) you might dip into your muscles to burn for fuel for it. Not good.

I don’t want to look like the Hulk. Do I still need to be having protein? And lifting weights like the guys? I just want to ‘tone up/slim down’.

Unless you are currently or plan to take steroids, you won’t look like a man. Women naturally only have a super tiny amount of testosterone. We are full of estrogen instead. Men are the opposite, they are stock full of testosterone, making them getting huge and bulky more quickly and a bit easier than women can possible. Look it up for yourself if you are wondering. The facts are out there, guys. Lifting weights helps you actually burn more calories. Did you know that? 1 pound of muscle you add will burn 50 more calories a day just at rest than if it was 1 pound of fat. Put on 10 pounds of muscle, you burn 500 more calories in a day (at rest), so 500 X 7 (days in a week)= 3500 extra calories burned in a week alone (that’s not including your workouts). Guess what? 3500 calories is equal to a pound. You would lose a pound a week. Simple math. So lift the weights, girls. And as for protein, protein is actually already in you. It’s in and needed to sustain every single living cell. It is one of the amino acids that you need to recover and build muscles properly. Even if you don’t workout much, the body still needs protein. If you workout and lift to gain muscle, then you need to increase your intake to maintain. Simple.

 

 

If you have any questions that aren’t listed here, don’t hesitate to contact me!

 

-a

Benefits of Writing IT DOWN

We all get busy, we all think ‘well that isn’t so bad’ or ‘I worked out a few days ago…I think’. We all get wrapped up in school, work, family, friends, pets, chores, errands, and just keeping our heads above water (trust me I know-I work two jobs as well as a full time students and I get up and have to be somewhere by 8am every single day of the week-I GET IT). But while you are guessing about your food intake, you thoughts on how much you are eating, how much you are actually active and pushing your goals onto ‘next week’, today is still here and you can fix it all TODAY. RIGHT NOW.

LOL

It has been proven in countless studies that people who physically WRITE down their goals before they start trying to obtain them are more likely to stick with it and actually achieve them. 

Here’s some more statistics for you. This is the more troubling one:

 

50% (yes-HALF) of the people who start a new diet/workout routine or program will END UP QUITTING. 

This should be startling to you, as it is to me. Why? Why do we constantly put our health on the back burner? Years from now, you will have so many aches and pains, along with some diseases or disorders probably and wish you had taken your health seriously NOW before it was too late.

CHANGE YOUR APPROACH

Can we stop only dieting/exercising to lose weight?! This is aggravating as a fitness professional, it’s all I see. If you start think about simply getting healthy, becoming active to prevent diseases, to keep your body working properly, and to eat right to fuel it. It’s like you have a Lambo and you decide to never wash it, never have maintenance done and you decide to use orange juice instead of gas. Really guys? I love cheese fries as much as the next girl but I know my body can’t USE that junk for much of anything besides storing it as fat and hating me for putting that fried stuff in it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do eat a balanced diet, so I eat loads of fruits, veggies, protein packed lean foods but I also eat when I get a craving. My goal isn’t surrounding whether the scale says SKINNY or it says FAT ASS. Because guess what? That scale DOESN’T know me. For most of my life, for my height, according to those ridiculous charts doctors go off of based on height and weight to determine your BMI and whether you are overweight or not, I have ALWAYS fell under the overweight column. Even though I have been an athlete, with muscular legs and been in small clothing sizes. So I don’t believe the scales. You should ditch yours, too.

 

weight

 

That’s what weight is-mass times acceleration of gravity. Yet so many people spend their lives worrying about this stupid calculation. Chill out. Eat. Workout. Be happy.

 

Keep a journal-for work outs and for food

When you write down things and see it on paper, in one place, you can really start to realize what it is you need to work on, what you are doing that might be really working for you or damaging your goals. 

For food, I always come back to MyFitness Pal. Why? Because this world is glued to a freakin piece of technology constantly in their hand at all times, so by having an app you can take anywhere, you can even pull up foods if you are out to eat and about to order, to see what fits your macros/calories or any of that stuff if you count them. You can scan barcodes on most foods and it’ll pop up automatically, showing the content and serving size immediately. For average people, they do not realize a few things when it comes to eating

1.) Calorie/fat amount. This is a big one. If you asked someone the amount of calories in something they were eating, they would usually guess a number incredibly lower than what it really has in it. Educate yourself! If you thought there was only 300 calories in a slice of pie but it really has 800- you are seriously underestimating you daily amounts. So be sure you are aware of these things.

2.) Serving Sizes.  This is another biggie that I see even with educated individuals. Marketing people for foods and brands are smart. They know how to get you to buy their product and eat it. If they say that 1 serving of something is only 100 calories, you are sold and go digging in, head in the bottom of the bag like a vulture. Please read further on your nutrition label. The serving size is probably tiny, like 10 crackers, 2 cookies, etc. You have to watch this. If there were only 100 calories in a serving, but you just mindlessly ate 12 servings, well…….

 

As for your exercising and working out, you can easily do this by setting a goal-let’s say you want to work out at least 3-5 days out of a week. So write that goal and put it on the fridge. Now invest in a calendar, one you can hang somewhere you can see it daily, like the fridge, the wall, your bathroom, the front door, where ever. Get one that you can go back and see your progress later, so not just a washable weekly/monthly board one. Now pick two color markers. On each day, you will mark with a check mark in one color or a big X in the other color. The check mark will mean you worked out, the X will represent that you did not. 

 

download

(You can also Google ‘Workout Calendar’ and find some awesome templates to print out and use if you want!)

 

Of course you can do your calendar digitally, but there’s something about marking it yourself-with your own hands, and having a physical connection with this log. It’s just like writing your goal, you can type it out but it won’t be the same as if you wrote it in your own handwriting with pen and paper. There’s a psychological connection when you actually write with your own hands that you don’t get from technology. You can also see your progress and how you have been adhering to your goal all at once, rather than clicking on the days one at a time on your computer. But, to each their own. Do whatever works best for YOU!

 

Happy Working out guys!

 

-a