Posts Tagged reach your goals

6 Week “Spring into Spring” Challenge

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

Start juicing

Drink more water

Eat more often

Eliminate dairy

Eliminate Gluten

Eliminate Grain

Eliminate ALCOHOL

Eliminate Tobacco

Eliminate artificial sweeteners

Eliminate processed sugar

Eliminate preservatives

Eliminate late-night snacks


Examples of Exercise goals:

 

Start/do more general exercise

More cardio

More stretching

More resistance training

Lose weight

Gain muscle

 

Weight-loss goals:

 

Lose 5 lbs

Lose 10 lbs

Lose 15 lbs

Lose 20lbs (Over 200 lbs only)

Lose X% body fat


Why?

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?

When?

March 18th– April 27th

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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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Losing My Stage Virginity…

Last weekend I did something that I never would have seen myself do. Not in a million years!

For the last few months I have been working out hard. Really hard. I have been spending WAY too much time critiquing myself in the mirror, obsessing about any and all imperfections. I may not be able to stop my hair from falling out, but can I get my calves to grow? Fill out my shoulders? Tighten up my abs? That I CAN do.

I have been shaving my legs and getting spray tans- all the while laughing at myself. I am a simple person from a simple town. What am I doing??

After months of preparation, Saturday was show time. I was smooth, tanned, and ready to step on stage at my very 1st fitness competition!

I had a blast! I did not place, but I was very happy with the way that I looked. I am happy that I competed and I hope that I can continue to do things like this (things that motivate my clients to achieve their goals as well).

If you want to see some pictures of me and the guys that kicked my butt, go to www.musclecontest.com

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REAL Performance Enhancement

We’re not talking about a pill, a powder, or any sort of supplement. In fact, you will notice that I will RARELY recommend any sort of performance-enhancing supplements.

The term “performance-enhancement” is commonly associated with steroids and other hormones athletes use to get the extra edge on their competition, but what are YOU performing? A 100 meter sprint, or just the simple movement of getting up out of a chair? (which is not as simple as it may look…)

A chiropractor that I work with in Newport Beach, Dr. Nona Djavid (who is a miracle worker), referred her patient Kathy to me. Kathy had hired a trainer to help get her in better shape and she really wanted to focus on her abs. However, any time her trainer would have her do an abdominal exercise her lower back would hurt. It would also hurt doing weighted squats. It would sometimes continue to hurt for days after…

Her trainer’s solution: Skip abs.

What?! This just sounded inexcusable to me (isn’t that what he was hired for?), so I had her come in for an assessment. The first video is Kathy doing an Overhead Squat Assessment. You will notice that her lower back remains arched throughout the movement, and she is slightly off balance (notice her toes lifting off the ground). It is hard for her to keep her hands overhead, and the whole movement is-for lack of a better term- uncoordinated.

Note: Besides demonstrating the exercise to her 1 time, she received no further direction from me besides “slow down”, which you will hear me say a few times.

Based on what I saw (low back, toes, blah, blah) I took her through a series of specific stretches, activation/deactivation techniques, and exercises. Our “workout” portion of the assessment only lasted about 25 min. Before you watch the next video please note: I did not have her practicing any squats of any kind during the “workout.” We simply encouraged certain muscles to calm down a bit, and others to kick it up a notch…

Notice how much more solid that looks? She is centered, balanced, and her back is in a much stronger position. Look how high those hands are at the bottom of that squat! Ladies and gentleman: THAT is Corrective Exercise! Keep in mind, these results are temporary unless she continues to work on the things that I showed her. She has.

3 weeks later, and Kathy has been training her abs pain-free!

Feels good to brag sometimes… 🙂

Do you know someone that has a hard time getting into better shape because their back hurts when they workout? Over the last 6 years I have learned a lot about how to retrain a person’s body to be able to perform complex movements without pain. You can find many trainers that know how to make you lose weight, but don’t you already know how? Eat less, move more! Right?! So if you are going to spoil yourself a little and hire a trainer, make sure you are getting your money’s worth! Hire a professional.

FYI: I do offer complimentary assessments. Just sayin’…

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Too Tough Sticking to Your Goal? Try AA!

One of the biggest reasons people hire a personal trainer in Orange County is for accountability. Yes, your trainer should be there to educate you, push you, and to motivate you when it gets tough to stay on track, but the accountability that they provide is of up-most importance for a reason. It makes you do something that you might not normally do. Remember the entry about waking up before work to go to the gym? I bet if you had a trainer waiting for you at the gym it would be easier to wake up! Nobody wants to lose their hard earned money…

But what if you don’t have extra money to spend on personal training? How can you get that accountability without the cost of a personal trainer? Have you already tried having a workout buddy, but they are too flaky? Do what I do.

Tell everyone about your goals!

Why? Because whether they want you to succeed, or are hoping that you don’t, they WILL keep asking you:

“How is the weight loss goal coming along?”

“How much weight have you lost?”

“You look great! Are you still trying to get in shape?”

These people are your new “Army of Accountability.”

If you can get used to the attention that you WILL get- especially if it is obvious that you are getting closer to your goal- you will have constant reminders that you are on a mission. Lets be honest- nothing is a worse blow to your ego than a large group of people watching you quit. Who wants to be known as a quitter? Not me! So please allow me to lead by example:

I am entering a “Men’s Physique” competition in about 5 weeks. GNC Muscle Contest on March 26th in Culver City, Ca. This is something that I was somewhat “iffy” about, so I started telling everybody that I see on a daily basis because I didn’t want to be able to back out. I even went as far as  to contact Raquel Beezley, Miss California USA 2008, to ask for advice on my stage presence.  Now I have an Army of Accountability! I will keep you all posted on how I do in the contest…

So get out there and share your goals with your family, friends, co-workers, and your colleagues at the gym (THEY will remember), but don’t stop there. Show them all how dedicated you are. Earn the right to tell them how well you are doing. Reach your goal so that instead of asking you how its going, they will be asking you for advice! You will reach your goal, and along the way, you might just inspire others to do the same…

So tell me, what is your goal?

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