Posts Tagged personal training orange county

Why You Didn’t Stick to Your Resolution This Year. Or Last Year…

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

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Iliana’s Journey

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!

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CALORIES ARE NOT ENERGY!!!

Wait, what? I thought that a Calorie was a measure of energy. Am I wrong?

Well, not exactly. First off, the correct terminology to use here would be kilocalorie, or kcal. 1 kcal is defined as being enough energy to raise 1ml of H2O by 1 degree Celsius. That means that when a calorie is being used it produces HEAT.  Does your food continue to get hotter and hotter as it sits there? No. This is because the energy is STORED in your food. The Calories that are in your food are not energy; they are POTENTIAL ENERGY. So when you exercise, your body starts to “burn” this potential energy. Heat is produced as a waste product, and your body temperature goes up.  Pretty simple, right? Are you wondering why am I explaining the difference between energy and potential energy?

Mindset.

People are always concerned about whether or not they have consumed enough energy to perform a task. The reality is though, your body is going to find this energy one way or another. Your body has energy stored in a couple different forms, the largest being fat. In the simplest of terms: if your body does not receive enough potential energy from food to survive, it will then pull energy from your fat storage. This is something that I have to explain over and over again to clients; even those who are pregnant or nursing (and have excess body fat). Here is how the conversation goes:

“My doctor says that I need to eat an extra 200-300 Calories per day because I am nursing”

“How many Calories per day are you currently eating?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never tracked it”

“…then what are you going to add 300 Calories to?”

This dialogue always makes me laugh a little bit, because we Americans are always concerned about not getting enough energy from food, when the reality is that we don’t have a starvation problem here in America. In fact, MORE THAN HALF OF US ARE OVERWEIGHT! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH US?! We need to start looking at food as POTENTIAL ENERGY, because that is a healthier and smarter way to look at it. When you are looking at something you are considering consuming you should ask yourself, “am I realistically going to use all of this energy?” This might help you make better choices.

All that being said, it is important to give your body enough fuel to maintain the muscle mass that you have. Otherwise you will begin to lose your muscle (because your body needed more potential energy) and your metabolism will begin to slow down… But how do you know how many calories your body needs per day? That is a question that is easier to answer if you have had an accurate Body Fat % measurement done recently. Either way, there are websites that you can use to get a good estimate of how much energy (kilocalories) your body uses, both at rest and with exercise. Once you know that you will have a better idea of how much POTENTIAL ENERGY to consume each day.

Here is a great calorie calculator: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm  (click on “Advanced Options” to enter your body fat %)

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Which One Would You Choose?

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!

 

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The Dreaded “Plateau”

I get a lot of questions surrounding this topic. What is a plateau? How do I avoid plateaus? I hit a plateau; how do I get through it?

Put simply, a plateau is a speed bump in your progress that feels like a dead-end. Whether you are trying to build muscle or lose fat, this can be very frustrating. In my opinion, “plateau” is also a word that is WAY overused! People think that they hit plateaus all the time, but this is not necessarily the case. Just because the number on the scale isn’t moving, doesn’t mean that you hit a plateau (are not getting results).

That brings me to the first problem: over-diagnosis. I don’t know about you, but my weight fluctuates by multiple pounds every day. If I consume too much salt or don’t drink enough water to flush out extra salt, my weight goes up. Women: you know what this is like. Every 4 weeks you have a few days where the last thing you want to see is a scale! Right?! People, this is normal! So why weigh yourself every day if your weight can fluctuate so easily? Doing this is just asking for disappointment. Keep the weigh-ins to 1x per week, MAXIMUM! Also, weigh yourself in the morning before breakfast, ideally after a bowel movement. Also very important- don’t weigh yourself after a “not normal” day (heavy drinking, ate way more than normal, didn’t eat enough, ran a marathon, etc…) Doing this is just asking for an inaccurate reading on the scale that can result in several outcomes:

  1. Weigh in lighter than you are, which means you will not show favorable results the following week.
  2. Weigh in heavier than you are, which means you will ask your husband if you look fat, then get mad at ANY answer that he comes up with

Method of measurement:

Is the scale the only thing you are doing to check your progress? This is very common and is a HUGE mistake! Results should never be measured by only one form measurement. Circumference measurements as well as monthly picture can be a great way to check progress. Most people now know that muscle weighs more than fat, right? The idea of being happy that you lost or gained a certain amount of weight doesn’t make much sense if you are not sure that you are gaining muscle, or losing fat.

Plateau as a Scapegoat:

Do you measure and log your daily food intake? Are you consistent day in and day out with your workouts? Are you pushing yourself as hard as you used to with your workouts? Are you still refraining from alcohol when you hang out with friends? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you have not hit a plateau, YOU ARE JUST SLACKING!!! Be honest with yourself. Plateaus are not common and can usually be explained. If something is missing from your program, replace it. If you are not as dedicated to a part of your program, get back on it!

How to get through a plateau:

Ok, so you hit a plateau. You are having a hard time losing more fat: this is why it is so important to log your food. It is easy to go back through your notes to see what can be changed. Check to see what, if anything, has changed. If you notice that something is in your diet that wasn’t there before, get rid of it and see what happens. You can also start eliminating one type of food at a time until you notice a change in how you are feeling and notice that the fat has started coming off again. This will occasionally happen with dairy, as well as wheat gluten, even soy!

You are having a hard time gaining muscle: when is the last time you switched up your rep ranges, weights used, tempo, rest periods? Are you only doing isolation exercises or are you incorporating compound movements? Are you measuring and logging your food? If not, how do you know you are getting enough fuel to your muscles to allow them to grow? Are you getting enough sleep? Enough rest days?

Here is the bottom line: the possibility of hitting a plateau means that you are trying to achieve a goal. Hitting fitness goals can be tough, especially if it is a big goal. Be honest with yourself. If you know that you are not doing everything that you can, ask yourself why. Maybe it is time to re-commit to your program. Maintenance is easy, and you have that to look forward to. For now, though, show yourself what you are capable of. Prove to yourself what you know is possible. Be consistent. Be disciplined. Hit your goal because you know you deserve it.

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Peach-Banana-Flax Muffins

The better your food tastes, the higher likelihood you have at succeeding at your fitness goals. Sometimes it is not just taste, but time that is a factor. I have been eating steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast every day for quite some time. I enjoy the taste, especially with some blueberries and the occasional scoop of vanilla protein mixed in. The problem for me is time. I wake up as early as 4:00am to get to my first client at 5, so between packing up my meals, showering, the other 2 S’s, and sometimes even hitting snooze, I just don’t always have time to prepare oats… And then my wife got on a baking kick that changed everything!

Lilia started baking muffins on the weekends for fun and when I asked her to create a healthy version for my subscribers, the challenge was on! I am sharing my favorite muffin recipe so far (there have been several versions) and will also share a couple of side notes:

Peach-Banana-Flax Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Oat Bran
  • 1 cup Steel Cut Oats (blended in food processor until it looks more like oat bran)
  • 3/4 cup Flax Seed Meal (helps keep moist and adds healthy Omega-3’s)
  • 3 medium Bananas (7″)
  • 2 medium Yellow Peaches (also helps keep muffins moist. You can sub for 1 more banana)
  • 5 tbsp Honey (or Agave Syrup for Bee lovers)
  • 1 lg Egg
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (protein!)
  • 1/4 cup water (or less… just until you have a good consistency)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • “a pinch” of Apple Pie Spice, or to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together flax meal, fruit, yogurt, water, honey. Combine oats, oat bran, spice, baking soda, salt, then stir into the wet mixture. Spoon into muffin pan (use Pam or lightly grease first!) DO NOT USE MUFFIN PAPERS, AS THEY WILL STICK!!! Bake for 20-25 minutes. This makes about 14 muffins.

Note: You can use 2 cups oat bran instead of 1 cup oat bran & 1 cup oat meal. This will drop the muffin to 145 calories and add 1 gram of fiber! You can also use 2 cups oats if you prefer a heartier consistency.

1 Muffin:

150 Calories

3.5 g Fat (Omega-3’s)

26 g Carbohydrates (Same as 1 serving oatmeal!)

10 g Sugar (You can substitute some of the honey for Stevia or Splenda to cut down on the sugar a bit… currently you get 6g sugar from the honey)

4 g Fiber

6 g Protein

I still get all the benefit of my oatmeal in the mornings, except now it is not only more convenient, but better tasting too! If you have any variations of this recipe that you want to share, please do!

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To Be or Not to Be Gluten Free?

Ok, so there is no way you can go to the store nowadays and NOT see “Gluten Free” labels all over the place. So many people have jumped on the bandwagon to gluten free baking, gluten free this, gluten free that… What’s funny to me is how many of those people don’t even know what gluten is or why they “shouldn’t eat the stuff.”

So just what is gluten?

Gluten, or wheat gluten, is a protein  that is found in wheat. Doesn’t sound so evil, right? So why all the fuss? MARKETING.

There are people who unfortunately have Coeliac Disease and should not consume wheat, rye, or barley. These foods will cause inflammation in the small intestine which causes discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, and malabsorption of various nutrients. This is only experienced by about 1/2 of 1% of the population. That being said, I am glad that there are companies out there who make gluten free foods for those folks who would normally be limited on what they could eat. Here is where I have to laugh a little:

Gluten Free juice. Gluten Free ice cream. Gluten Free yogurt. OF COURSE THEY ARE GLUTEN FREE- THEY ARE NOT WHEAT PRODUCTS!!! Manufacturers have started labeling everything Gluten Free, because since most people don’t know what it means, they are now afraid to eat gluten. Some people have even been brainwashed to believing that wheat gluten causes weight gain, when in fact people with Coeliac disease will often lose weight when they eat wheat because of the malabsorption issues related to the disease. Most people that lose weight by going “gluten free” stop eating things like bread, pasta, pizza, and beer. Is it the gluten that was making them fat, or was it the excess carbohydrates multiple times per day? I’m gonna go with the carbs on this one…

Bottom line is:

If you are sensitive to wheat gluten, don’t eat it. If you are lactose intolerant, don’t eat  dairy. If you don’t have either of these issues, don’t waste your time searching for gluten free foods and fake cheeses. Don’t get scared and buy into marketing ploys so easily. Like I have said before, Google is an amazing tool; educate yourself.

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