Archive for category The Straight & Narrow…
6-Week “Spring into Spring” Challenge:
What is it?
Your New Year’s Resolution didn’t work out how you planned? Afraid you are not going to be “bikini ready” come Summer time? Maybe you have struggled with one fitness goal for a long time, be it diet or exercise related, that you want to kick start now and build new healthy habits? Then this is for you. Starting on Monday, March 18th we will be working as a team to build new habits and get another step closer to where we wish to be in regards to our health.
Oh yeah, it’s FREE
This is simply an organized effort to get us all motivated to do whatever it is that we have been putting off. It will simply cost you a little bit of time and effort.
Who is it for?
Pregnant and wanting to eat healthier for Baby, or needing to get more exercise in? Overweight and wanting to shed a few? Feeling fit, but you know that a cocktail every night isn’t good for you so you want to cleanse your system? Doing the same thing every day at the gym and wanting to add something new, like Yoga? Want to try cutting out certain foods to figure out why your energy levels are so low, or why your digestive system seems out of whack? Yeah, this is for all of that.
How does this work?
We are all wishing to accomplish something, and we are all here to support one another and hold one another accountable. We will use Facebook to stay connected to each other, share ideas, and ask questions. There will be weekly organized hikes and other outings in the Orange County area to get us all together physically as well. I will also post random health and fitness related articles that I find interesting and relevant.
We will use www.facebook.com/sanchezfitness to communicate with each other during this challenge. Please click the link above or search “Sanchez fitness” on Facebook and “like” it.
First, everyone will announce their SPECIFIC, measurable, personal challenge in detail, including their baseline and expectations. For Example, I eat really clean and exercise about 5 days per week (resistance training mostly), but I need to do more cardio before I hike the Inca Trail in Peru this June. I currently do cardio once per week. I am challenging myself to a minimum of 5 hours of cardio per week for 6 weeks. All announcements need to be done on the Sanchez Fitness Facebook page by March 17th!
You must post your progress weekly, if not more, or it will be assumed that you did not complete your challenge. Please feel free to have conversations on this page that are related to the challenge. If you have any questions, post them! If you feel like you know something that can benefit other challengers, post it! If you are going for a run and want to invite others to join you, post it! If you notice that someone hasn’t been posting, help them by reaching out to them!
Examples of Nutrition goals:
Eat all natural only
Eat whole foods only
Eat organic only
Eat local foods only
Eat more vegetables
Drink more water
Eat more often
Eliminate artificial sweeteners
Eliminate processed sugar
Eliminate late-night snacks
Examples of Exercise goals:
Start/do more general exercise
More resistance training
Lose 5 lbs
Lose 10 lbs
Lose 15 lbs
Lose 20lbs (Over 200 lbs only)
Lose X% body fat
People are often overwhelmed with too many rules to follow when trying to accomplish their fitness goals. They feel too restricted by their diets, stressed because they don’t know enough about exercise, and frustration causes them to fall off the program entirely. The 6-week Spring into Spring challenge allows people to focus on one thing: one thing that they have been wanting to try, or one thing that they know they need. As you check in weekly, you will see all of the other challenges that your peers have chosen for themselves, and they will in turn be able to see how well you are doing with your challenge. Not only will we all be able to hold each other accountable, but we will also be able to use each other as motivation to stick to our personal challenge. You might even be motivated by someone else to take on an additional challenge! Remember, this is not a competition where one person wins all, but an opportunity for us to feed off one another’s energy as we better ourselves. So who’s in?
March 18th– April 27th
It has been a little over 7 weeks since the New Year and gyms everywhere are already starting to get empty again. Have you noticed? Or were you yourself one of the sheep this year?
Why is it that most people cannot keep their fitness resolutions? Are their goals too aggressive? Did their priorities change? Did they get burnt out on spinach and egg whites? I have a theory that you may or may not agree with, but I have watched so many people make these mistakes and I can often tell when someone will give up early on a fitness goal. First, let’s go over “SMART” goal setting:
S= Specific. Make sure you know exactly what you want to accomplish. Don’t tell yourself “I want to get in shape”. Round is a shape, but most of us don’t find that flattering. If your goal is in fact aesthetic, then find a picture of yourself or someone else (similar body type!) who you want to strive to look like.
M= Measurable. Are you trying to improve your running pace by 1 minute per mile? Or are you trying to get your body fat % under 20%? You must first know where you are starting, then make sure to measure how you are doing as you go along. This can be done once per week, or even once per month depending on the type of goal and how aggressive the goal is.
A= Attainable. “I want to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated” isn’t something that most of us will ever accomplish, but losing 2 dress sizes is very doable! If you have a bigger goal, try breaking it up in to smaller, monthly goals.
R= Realistic. You really have to be honest with yourself here. You may want to be at 5% body fat, but do you know what that takes? Are you willing to do the work and make all of the sacrifices necessary to get your body fat down to that level? Why 5%? If you only get to 8% will you be disappointed? Then maybe your first goal should be 10%…
T= Time-bound. When do you want to accomplish this goal? Remember, this helps your goal become measurable, but make sure the time frame you give yourself is attainable!
So why not just leave you with this? Because when it comes to fitness goals, I think that there are a couple of holes in the SMART acronym. In order for you to be able to stick to most fitness goals, you need to change SMART to “SMARTLY”. Now I am not sure if that is even a real word, but hear me out:
L= Life-long. What is it that you REALLY want out of your goal? Is it to look better for your sister’s wedding? To look good in your vacation pictures? If you want to stick to your short term goals, you’d better have some long term goals to follow up with. I will use myself as an example here: I am a married man, and it is important that I live for a long time so that my wife never has to live alone. Because if this I eat better. I try to only eat whole foods (organic when I can), I make sure my weight and body fat % never get above a certain point, and I have cut unnatural things like aspartame completely out of my diet. These things that I do for my Life-Long Goals make my short term goals easier to attain, because I am never far off from where I want to be for MY vacation pictures! 🙂 I also spend more time doing various yoga poses and stretches, as well as certain “core” strengthening exercises, because I not only want to be there for my wife- I want to be able to walk next to her as opposed to having her push me around in a wheelchair.
Y= You. This isn’t anybody else’s goal. Getting healthier because your wife told you to, or getting in shape so your husband finds you more attractive is fine, but what is YOUR incentive? Why is this important to YOU? If there is nothing in it for you, you are far less likely to stick to your program. It is your body. Your health. Your life. Your health is one of the very few things in life that nobody else can control. The way that you will live the rest of your life is (almost) completely up to you. Take advantage of that. Be a little selfish. Think about what you want. Then make it happen…
Need help setting your personal goals? Please email me at: Johnsanchez0@gmail.com
As some of you know, I am involved with a company called 12 Week Fitness Challenge. One thing that I am really excited about is 12WFC’s “Iliana’s Journey”.
Iliana has struggled with her weight for years. She has gone up and down, but has never been able to reach her goal. I am happy to say that starting December 5th, something is about to change! Myself, Scott Perry, and Parker Green are all trainers for 12WFC. We are going to help guide Iliana as she begins her weight loss journey for the last time! Forget about the Biggest Loser, where contestants live on a ranch, have meals prepared, and workout with trainers for 6 hours/ day! This is real. Iliana has to go to work every day. No vacations here! She has to prepare her own meals on top of her already busy schedule. She isn’t doing this for money. She is someone you can relate to.
We have asked Iliana to do 2 things. One, to not change her lifestyle until December 5th. Two, to blog everyday and document her journey.
Please follow along as she starts this new journey to a healthier lifestyle! She may motivate you to start your New Year’s Resolution early!
Click here to support Iliana!
Jim Elliott, an evangelical Christian and missionary once wrote, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
This really spoke to me and I have been wanting to share it with you all. What’s funny about it is that the more I thought about it, the more I was able to apply it to different things in my life. This is a fitness blog however, so I will try to stay on subject 🙂
What are some things that we cannot keep?
1.) Money. We are all eventually going to pass on from this life. Some of us believe that this is only the beginning, and some believe that this is it. Either way we all agree that once our time on earth is done, our money will be of no use to us personally. So why do we let making money become such a priority in our lives? Of course we have to eat, sleep with some sort of shelter, get from one place to another, and be able to communicate with each other. But how much money do we really need?
2.) Time. Time is limited. You can’t buy time. You can’t create time. Time is passing all the time and there is absolutely nothing that we can do about it. BUT, we do have complete control of how we use our (spare) time.
Now, what are things that we cannot afford to lose? Let’s start with our health! There are different aspects of our health that are very, very important:
2.) Food choices
Stress: What causes stress in your life? Is it work? Money? Not having a purpose? Feeling down about your health or your appearance? Low sex drive?
What helps you deal with stress? Hobbies? Exercise? Better self-image? Working less? Having more money? Getting your libido back?
HMMM, it sure does sound like all 3 of these things are interrelated! Don’t you think?
Tying it all together…
I cannot speak for anybody else, so I will give you my personal take on this. The reason that this quote spoke to me is because I have always had that thought in my mind, but not in those words.
I don’t care if I die with $1 Million in my bank account or $0.01 in my bank account. So why work like a dog my entire life if that’s not what I want to do?
I cannot create time. So why spend all of my time working a job that I hate to make more money than I need, which causes me stress that I try to get rid of by spending my hard-earned money? What a vicious cycle this is, and I see people doing this every day. So I looked at what is important to me. Owning a home?? Nope. Driving a Mercedes? Nah. All I want to do is enjoy the small amount of time that I get to spend on this earth. How do I plan on doing that?
1.) Live for a long time- So I eat healthy, natural, whole foods that are free of preservatives and other harsh chemicals. I also exercise and stretch to keep my body strong and feeling good.
2.) Experience- I want to experience new people and places, so instead of spending money on owning a house (which sounds stressful), or going out to fancy dinners, or buying wine, jewelry, etc, I save money for traveling.
3.) Keep low stress levels- I avoid stress like the plague. If I catch myself doing too much work when I don’t NEED to, I cut back to a more manageable level. I also avoid interacting with people that cause me stress. I have even had clients that stress me out so much that I had to get rid of THEM!! Negative stress isn’t worth the money if my bills are already paid…
4.) Hobbies- I think that it is important to have something to look forward to. Maybe losing yourself in a book is your thing. That’s what my wife looks forward to at the end of her day; getting caught up in a fictional story helps her to focus on something besides work so that she can wind down. I started taking Jiu-Jitsu lessons a couple of months ago just to do something fun for my cardio. I am having a blast and have found something new to challenge myself with.
So do yourself a favor. As scary as it may seem: take an honest look at your life. Trim the fat. Get rid of any stress that is avoidable. Have you been putting off a goal or project? Do it! Make yourself happy, because today only happens once. I guess all I am trying to say is this: we only get to do this life thing one time. Make the most of it.
A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook, “Choose one, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. And tell me why…”
This was an easy one for me to answer, because I talk to my clients about this all of the time. Here was my response:
“The pain of discipline is short-lived and is without regret, but the pain of regret can last forever”
The next time you find yourself making a decision about what to eat, think about how that food is going to make you feel afterward. Better yet, ask yourself if that meal will help get you to your goal, or will it hold you back? It is amazing what we will do to sabotage our own efforts, wants, needs, and goals for something that is so insignificant you will never remember it. What did you eat at your business meeting 2 months ago? What was your late night snack last Tuesday? Do you now wish that you would have gone with a healthier choice?
What has been holding you back from achieving your fitness goals? Business goals? Personal goals? Write it down. Seriously! Go grab a pen and write down what it is that you need to change. If you don’t, you will start feeling the pain of regret set in the next time you think about your goal and how you blatantly put it off. Now act on your goal. Do just one thing that you know you have been putting off or not putting enough effort into. I promise you that the feeling you will get after some time is put in will far outweigh the pain of discipline!
Jay was told by his doctor that he was pre-diabetic in early 2011. This scared Jay, who had just lost two friends; both close to his age. Something needed to be done. Now. He had a consultation with a Doctor to talk about the Lap Band, but after some thought Jay wanted to try to lose weight the right way. I met Jay in February when he committed to a 12 week program that I am involved with, focused on motivating people to get into the best shape of their life. You can check this out at www.12wfc.com
Jay was just shy of 300 lbs when he started the program. He had lost a few pounds, but felt like he needed more help with his diet as well as his exercise. The 12 weeks flew by, and Jay proved himself to be a MACHINE!!! He never cheated on his diet and never missed an appointment with me. He was also diligent in his cardio assignments, which would change every couple of weeks.
Long story short, Jay’s hard work paid off. He sweat his butt off in the gym, educated himself about nutrition, stuck with our meal plan, and in a few short months Jay looks like a different person! In 12 weeks he lost 41 lbs (9% body fat!), gained muscle, and got word from his doctor that his blood sugar levels look great now! Jay signed up for the next challenge and has stayed consistent with all of his hard work. I can’t wait to show you all how great he has done…
Great job Jay! It has been a pleasure to work with you.
Chicken breasts are a common food among us gym-goers because they are a great source of (lean) protein, they are cheap, and they are easy to cook. Today I am going to give you a quick how-to when it comes to grilled chicken breasts. Grilled chicken breasts can be hit and miss depending on who is cooking them and how the stars are aligned that particular day…
It doesn’t need to be complicated, but there are a couple of steps that will guarantee perfectly grilled chicken breasts every time!
We are gonna start with 1 or 2 packages of thawed, boneless, skinless chicken breast. This stuff goes on sale for $1.97/lb, and if you don’t mind pulling the skin off and de-boning it yourself, you can find it for less than $1/lb! Make sure to get chicken that is as natural as possible and doesn’t contain a lot of “solution”, because it will be harder for you to add your own flavor.
Here is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT STEPS when it comes to guaranteeing that your chicken doesn’t come out dry.
Filet it! One reason that a lot of people have problems getting their chicken breasts to turn out is because of the shape of the chicken breasts themselves. They are very thick on one end and thin on the other. By the time the thicker part is cooked through, most of the chicken is over-cooked and dry… Just keep your palm flat against the chicken and use a SHARP knife to gently “saw” the chicken into two (almost even) pieces.
Now for the marinade… I used this one because not only did it sound good, but there were no “weird” ingredients, the sodium levels were pretty low, and there was no sugar. Your marinade must contain some salt, however, or the chicken will not absorb much of the flavors. I also recommend getting something with a vinegar base or adding a vinegar to it (like white or red wine vinegar) for a little tang. Place chicken in a large mixing bowl, add enough marinade to coat the chicken, then cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge until you are getting ready to grill.
Take the chicken out of the fridge before you start to light the charcoal, or at least 30 minutes prior to grilling if you are using a gas grill. If the chicken is too cold when it goes on the grill the muscle fibers will tighten up and the chicken will get tough. I use 100% natural hard wood charcoal because it doesn’t have all the added chemicals that some charcoal does (especially match light) and it has a better flavor to it. Imagine that- better flavor AND better for you!
Once your charcoals are ready and you have spread them out, make sure to do this one thing before you add your chicken…
Let the charcoal cool down for 5 minutes so that you don’t scorch the chicken. Now because there is oil in the marinade, I am not going to oil the grate on the grill, but you can if it makes you happy 🙂 Just place the chicken directly on the grill and try to spread them out evenly without having them touch. Mmm, now doesn’t that look good?
Pay attention to where the hot spots are on your grill. As you start to flip the breasts over (about 5 min), you will notice that some of them are cooking faster than others (example: the 2nd one from the left). Move them around to share the hotter and cooler spots so that they finish cooking at the same time. You can use a meat thermometer to see if they have reached 160 degrees, or hey, just slice one open and check! When they are about ready to be taken off they will become slightly stiffer and not as “squishy” to the touch and, when cut, the juices will run clear.
So they are now ready to come off the grill. Are you ready to eat? HOLD YOUR HORSES! There is still one more step to make sure that these things turned out perfect.
Place the chicken in a glass dish and cover with foil for about 10-15 min. This is a perfect time to set the table, prepare your salad, and grab a healthy (ish) drink like a Vodka/Soda to enjoy with your meal. It will go perfect with your lemon-herb chicken!
- Start with natural, 1% solution chicken
- Filet the breasts for quicker, more even cooking times
- Let them come to room temperature
- Let the charcoals “calm down”
- Tent it!