I congratulate all of you who turned in a score sheet this week. Keep up the good work.
As you know last week we had a tie at the top, so we rolled the points over into this week. We added up the point totals for the first two weeks – and we have our first winner!
Congratulation to Chrissy Schultz, who will receive a check for $50! All that hard work paid off – literally!
Next week the points for the weekly prize reset – so keep getting after it and working hard. The habits you are building now can pay off for a lifetime!
Week 2 Top Ten
Overall Top Ten
Now Make It Happen!
For most people Valentine’s Day is an excuse to eat chocolate and spend time with your honey. Look, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of chocolate, and I love my honey, but how about mixing it up a little?
Today I am going to introduce the concept of partner training. If you are in our boot camps you know we like to mix it up and train with one or more other people from time to time. Isn’t it about time you introduced your significant other to the joys of training?
There are a ton of benefits to partner training, including:
Partner training definitely cranks it up a notch in our boot camps. Pushing and encouraging each other is a great way to kick up the intensity and blast through a plateaus.
So here’s one you can do at home with your honey – They’ll LOVE you for it!
The Valentine’s Day Workout for Couples- Tabata Style Partner Training
This 20-minute total body partner workout will consist of all body weight-based exercises. For each exercise at each outlined station below you will alternate between 20 secionds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this 30-second sequence eight times for four total minutes followed by a one-minute rest before moving on the the next sequence.
Station#1- Partner Push-up-Row Combo
Partner Push-ups: Hold your partner’s feet from a standing position as they do as many push-ups as they can, then switch roles
Partner Rows: Hold your partner’s hands from a standing position as they do as many body weight rows as they can, then switch roles
Station #2- Partner Resisted Stationary Lunges- Static or Dynamic
Partner Lunges: Drop into a deep lunge position and hold as your partner applies downward force on your shoulders for you to fight against, then switch roles.
Station #3- Partner Resisted Pillar Circuit
Partner Pillars: Get into a pillar position and hold as your partner applies downward force with hands on your ribcage, then switch roles (alternate between front and L/R Side Pillars)
Station #4- Partner Resisted Squats- Static or Dynamic
Partner Squats: Drop into a deep squat position and hold as your partner applies downward force on your shoulders for you to fight against, then switch roles.
Now really, who would want to go to dinner and a movie when you can work up a nice sweat like that?
And there’s always the post-workout hot tub to look forward to!
Get It Done!
If you want to achieve more, sometimes the best thing to do is ‘quit.’
Sometimes the easiest way to make things happen in a positive fashion, for example…
…is to quit doing some of the things that are standing in the way of your progress.
Here are some ideas to get you rolling:
And one that may ruffle your feathers…
What excuses can you quit making?
So instead of quitting the way most people do…they quit thinking big and they quit setting lofty goals…go a different route and quit doing some of the things that are standing in your way.
Quit telling yourself it’s impossible, and start making it happen!
What an incredible first week of our 6 Pack 6 transformation contest! As you will see, the competition is tight, but everyone is still in the game!
To everyone who turned in their first week score sheet I congratulate you on a job well done. Even if you didn’t score as high as you wanted, you took a step in the right direction by identifying what you need to work on. Do it better next week!
For those of you (few) who signed up and didn’t turn in your sheet – What’s The Deal? You have everything in your hands you need to get organized and a system specifically designed to get you on the right track and accountable. No excuses – I want to see those sheets next week!
At the end of week 1 we have a tie at the top – the weekly $25 prize will roll over to next week, and everyone is still in it, so keep going strong! Without further adieu, here is the top 10 for Week One.
Week 1 Top Ten
|Evelyn P.||72 Points
|Jeanne T.||71 Points
|Lisa A.||70 Points
|Steph G.||70 Points
|Karyn M.||69 Points
|Nadia K.||69 Points
|Greg S.||68 Points
|Judy S.||68 Points
Now Make It Happen!
We live in a carb obsessed world.
Ok…never mind…I was channeling Dr. Seuss for a second, but seriously the fascination with carbohydrates as they relate to nutrition, performance and fat loss is confusing, and rarely does more than a day go by when I don’t get asked about it.
What’s a net carb?
What about alcohol sugars?
Why are you anti-carb?
Now it’s really the last question I want to address – I am not anti-carb! Say it with me class….
Carbohydrates are an important part of our diet, but unfortunately the vast majority of us get way too many from the wrong sources.
I don’t care what their lobbies say, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are not compatible with losing bodyfat, optimal performance or excellent health.
Now as carbs relate to body composition and fat loss, I am a proponent of limiting certain types of carbs in order to reach your goals in a rapid, safe and effective manner.
Controlling your blood sugar is a HUGE part of being able to lose bodyfat.
Donuts, bagels, pasta and muffins drive your blood sugar up and down like the stock market. Don’t do it!
If and when you are having challenges breaking through a weight loss plateau (we all do), you need to look at diet.
What follows is a blueprint that will help you reduce your sugar and starch intake without driving yourself nuts. Cold turkey works for some, but for the rest here is an excellent plan, step-by-step.
How long to go through the blueprint? Try a week per phase, as this should give your body plenty of time to adapt and not play with your energy levels too much.
Replace all white carbs with 100% whole grain carbs and all refined sugars with natural sugars
Limit all whole grain starch and natural sugar consumption to within 1-2 hours post-workout or immediately upon waking for breakfast
Replace all starches and sugars with fruits and veggies
Replace all fruits with green veggies
Use strategic carb and calorie cycling to take your body to next level (outside this articles scope, but we’ll get there).
Questions or comment? Use the form below.
Now Make It Happen!
As part of our 6 Pack 6 transformation contest, points are received for doing “off day” restorative techniques such as flexibility training and foam rolling.
This short video explains the benefits of foam rolling, and Nancy demonstrates positioning and technique for some lower body work.
The foam roller used in the demonstration is from Perform Better, and I have been very pleased with the durability.
Check out the video, then do your body a favor, and get on a roll!
As a mom of six children, I know how challenging it can be to put healthy meals on the table every day. I want to encourage you that with a little planning every week it is possible to feed your family good, hearty and healthy meals. Here are some strategies to get you started:
1. Plan your week in advance. I always take the grocery sales flyers from the Sunday newspaper, along with all my favorite cookbooks, a calendar to write in, and my planner. I mark days that are especially busy and make sure that those days are the days I use my trusty ole’ crockpot. But I’m getting ahead of myself. For each day plan out every meal including your snacks. Have another sheet of paper next to you to slowly put together your shopping list. As you add a meal, add the ingredients you need to your shopping list.
2. Use your crockpot. If it has been years since you’ve used this gem, drag it out of storage and dust it off because this thing is likely to become your best friend. There are a lot of cookbooks out there for the crockpot. The one that my family loves is The Busy Mom’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Jyl Steinbeck. She claims to be America’s Healthiest Mom. Hmmm…I’d like to contend for that title. LOL
3. Prepare meals in advance. This has been said before so I can’t claim it as my own jewel, but simply making some meals in advance and freezing them really can help. I like to take whole bags of frozen chicken breast and throw them in a pan, cover with foil, toss them in the oven and cook until nice and tender. Then I divide them in separate containers for 3 days worth and freeze the rest individually in freezer bags. This has come in handy so many times.
4. Precut your veggies. This makes salads a cinch during the busy week. When you get home from the grocery store, wash, cut and store your veggies. You can wash your salad greens with a salad spinner. They sell these at dollar stores and you get a nice arm workout at the same time. Store the greens in the fridge in a large plastic container and take out the amounts you need throughout the week.
I hope this gets your creative juices flowing. Cooking healthy does not need to be difficult, but you must plan ahead.
Now get out there and do it!
So you have made a decision to eat healthier. No more fast food, fritos and fudgicles. But what are you going to eat? What food choices can you make that will help you get leaner and feel better?
Let me assure you, healthy eating does not have to be boring! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a great place to start! Filling your fridge and pantry with these healthy foods (and getting rid of the unhealthy stuff) is a big step to changing your habits, and taste buds!
Extra Lean Ground Beef
Note that milk based products such as yogurt have a significant amount of carbohydrate, so if you are keeping an eye on total carbs watch this. Choosing lowfat varieties will help keep the total saturated fats down as well.
Fruit is nature’s dessert, and we know not to make most of our diet be dessert! While fruit is very good for you, be aware the sugar content in fruit needs to be recognized and monitored. Also frozen vegetables and fruits are a great option, especially when not fresh is out of season or not locally grown.
Beans (Your Favorites)
Whole Wheat Pasta
Steel Cut Oats
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
If you haven’t tried some of these varieties of vinegar, I encourage you to try them on your salads and in your cooking. They are a great way to spice up and add flavor to your meals!
Be creative and add healthy variety to your diet. Don’t get stuck eating the same old thing all the time. Trying new things helps keep you motivated and also helps you get the vitamins and minerals you need.
No excuses! Start eating healthier today!
As a fitness trainer, I get a lot of questions regarding “What exercises are best for ______” fill in the blank. For my female clients, the thighs and glutes are the most common concern. Well today I’m going to share my personal favorite lower body exercise and all of its awesome variations. It’s called the Rear-Foot Elevated Lunge Variation (a.k.a. Bulgarian Split Squat). This exercise is so effective that you’ll pretty much make your body thunder-thigh proof once you master it!
Before we get into this, one thing I definitely don’t want to do is feed into the idea of individual body part training and spot reduction on certain areas of the body. There is no such thing! You can’t do situps to get the flab off your gut, and there’s no single exercise to get the fat of your butt! Total body training is the key to effectively eliminate the body fat that is hiding those areas that people are having trouble seeing – the stubborn fat areas that prevent a good body from becoming a great body. Plus, a diet high in lean protein, fiber, and green veggies and low in unnatural fats and refined sugars and starches is absolutely necessary to bring out your best. It is also important to know that you lose fat in a genetically predetermined way. You can do all the crunches you want but without total body training, proper eating habits, and enough time to get to those stubborn fat areas you will never get rid of your gut, jiggly arms, or the unnatural desire to get out the thighmaster.
Alright so here we go – my favorite family of lower body exercises. The Lunge – pretty exciting huh? Actually – Yes! Lunge variations are my favorite because I prefer single leg exercise in lieu of their double leg counterparts for a lot of reasons. For people with back issues, single leg exercises allow them to safely perform lower body exercises without putting their lower lumbar spine in jeopardy of hyper flexion or excessive rounding that can injure. It is also very common to have strength and flexibility imbalances between the right and left side, so it’s important to address one leg at a time to really shore up the weak links from the start.
My favorite lunge variation is called the rear foot elevated lunge. So basically we’re going to elevate the back foot on a chair, bench, box, or any other sturdy foot support, usually about 12-18 inches high. You’ll put your front leg well in front of you in order to make sure that your front knee and ankle are lined up. In general, I tell people to exaggerate how far you put your front leg forward so that the front knee is almost slightly behind the ankle as this really helps reduce sheer force on the knees. Initiate the exercise by loading the front heel and dropping your hips as low as you can in a pain-free range of motion while staying really tall up top with a proud chest and shoulders down and back. Finish the rep by explosively driving through your front heel to return to the top of the movement. You can start with body weight only in search of front thigh parallel to the floor or lower depth and then progress by adding speed of movement or by adding dumbbells. You can even incorporate some very cool combination movements with this lower body exercise like adding a curl to press at the top of the movement or even by raising dumbbells overhead to really challenge your core and single-leg balance and stability.
I have yet to find an exercise that hits the legs as hard as this baby does. In particular, it really helps strengthen your vastus medialis muscle, that inner quad muscle that looks like a teardrop, that’s heavily responsible for tracking your patella and keeping your knee caps in line. So if you have a history of overtraining or patella-femoral issues this exercise is phenomenal for keeping your knees as bulletproof as possible.
Also, what’s great about it too is that it provides a very good stretch for the hip flexor of your back leg, an area that is often very tight, especially for guys. Any exercise that allows you to simultaneously stretch and strengthen your body is a real keeper. So get off the fancy machines, and start cranking it with something that really works, and start today!
Get It Done!