Fitness Futures: My Crystal Ball For 2009

2008 is in the rear view mirror, and 2009 is only a couple weeks away. Sadly, it appears as though the fitness industry as a whole has again failed to produce any significant results on a broad scale to effectively reverse the scary obesity epidemic that is plaguing our society. It’s not only adults that are getting fatter and sicker, but our kids too! However, on a positive note, I feel that in 2009 we can make real progress if we take advantage of some exciting breakthroughs that can help provide the long-term answers to solve this ever-growing problem:

Fitness Trend#1- Fitness Boot Camps Will Continue To Increase

One-On-One personal training will always be with us. There is a lot to be recommended with this type of training: The highly focused attention of one-on-one personal training can help an individual focus on a specific goal more readily than group fitness protocols for instance, and some of our clients just prefer one-on-one, and we are happy to accommodate them.

However one-on-one training just doesn’t make sense for many people. Often the price gets in the way, regardless of the value. Others just prefer training in a group envinroment. No problem! Fitness Boot camps are probably the hottest thing in the fitness game right now. Fitness clients are able to better access personal training services in a unique and dynamic team environment that provides better social support and accountability for only a the third of the cost of typical one-on-one training rates.

Fitness boot camps are popping up all over the country, and for good reason. But just because someone calls their program a “bootcamp”, perform due diligence and make sure to join a program with qualified instructors who are getting results with their clients.

Fitness Trend#2- Interval Training Kills Aerobic Training For Improved Fat Loss And Fitness 100% Of The Time

High-Intensity Interval Training is rapidly gaining popularity as the best form of improving both fitness and fat loss. Thankfully, 2009 will see more people doing sprints and less people doing marathons to lose weight. However, make no mistake about it, lots of people are still going to do hours of snail-paced cardio to burn fat.

Aerobic or endurance training is essentially going at a slow, low intensity pace for a long period of time (typically at least 30-60 minutes). In other words, the focus of endurance training is on the total volume of exercise (not quality). Think about all those speed limpers you see every New Year foolishly running for hours pounding the pavement or treadmill to get rid of that winter blubber. Sadly, this results in minimal fat loss and lots of overtraining injuries (e.g. tendinitis).

With interval training, the focus is on the intensity of exercise (quality). Intervals consist of alternating between shorts bouts of all out high-intensity effort and active recovery periods for a much quicker and focused amount of time (typically 10-20 minutes of intervals works best). This approach is scientifically proven to burn nine times more fat AND lead to faster improvements in fitness than the aerobic alternative.

Two landmark scientific studies come to mind here:

The Tabata study compared the effects of four minutes of high-intensity interval training with 45-60 minutes of low to moderate intensity cardio. The interval training group burned just as much fat as the endurance group and also had greater improvement in both anaerobic (think sprinters) and aerobic (think distance runners) fitness… in only four minutes!

The Gibala study compared the effects of 20 minutes of interval training (30 second sprint followed by four minutes of rest) with 90-120 minutes of endurance training in the “heartrate zone.” The conclusions of the study were that both methods of training lead to the same improvements in oxygen utilization (or aerobic fitness). In other words, intervals accomplished what endurance training did from a fitness standpoint in only a sixth of the time!

The time is now to hop off the treadmill and start doing some intervals. Come 2009, do yourself and your body a favor and start sprinting your way to better health and fitness.

Fitness Trend#3- Lean Protein And Fiber Are The Carbohydrate Addict’s Answer For Improved Health, Performance, and Body Composition

Americans are carb addicts. We simply can’t get enough starches and sugars in our diet, and we have the bulging midsections to prove it. One of the biggest misconceptions about diet today is that eliminated starches and sugars from your diet automatically means low carb. There’s more to carbs than bagels and banana splits! Eliminating grains (even whole grains) and refined sugars still allows for consumption of the other carbohydrates: fruits and veggies. These nutrient-dense carbs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber and create more stable blood sugar levels to keep your body burning fat all day long. All of my clients who have lost the most fat have followed our guidelines of unlimited veggies all day long (besides corn, peas, carrots, beets, and potatoes). In other words, eat lots of veggie carbs, and very little of the other stuff if you want to see your abs!

The overwhelming scientific literature proving the fat burning benefits of a diet high in lean protein and fiber is finally catching the eye of mainstream consumers. Protein is the most important component of each and every meal or snack you consume. It builds and maintains muscle, allows your body to preferentially burn fat, increases metabolism through the thermic effect of feeding, and fills you up. Fiber (ideally obtained from fruits and vegetables, specifically green vegetables) helps slow digestion for a more steady supply of nutrients and sustained energy, it prevents overeating at each meal, and it helps keep you more full between meals. Thus by combining protein and fiber every two to four hours, you provide your body with the optimal one-two belly fat burning punch for a leaner and healthier you.

Without a doubt, people who eat more protein and fruits and veggies next year will reap the rewards of this.

Well, those are the top fitness trends for 2009 according to my crystal ball. I hope the information in this article gives you the push you need to be the trendsetter for your own body and the bodies of those whom you care most about in the New Year!

Fat Loss Forever!


10 Holiday Diet Strategies Save You From Stretchy Pants

Nobody likes to be left out of the holiday fun, including all those holiday parties. Here’s some pointers that will allow you to be social and enjoy yourself  without splitting your pants before the New Year:

1.) Train With High-Intensity Activity Before and/or After a Big Meal or Holiday Feast

I know, I know, tell it to the judge. I promised diet strategies, but I simply cannot go without recommending some activity. Your body is most receptive to higher carbs within 30 minutes before and within three hours following an intense workout. Ideally you would want to workout out before AND after a big meal, but if you can only do one, that will suffice. Don’t obsess over it – just pick one or the other and do it. Your best options will be 20 minutes of circuit resistance training or cardio interval training. Even a 20-30 plus minute walk a few hours afterwards can help a little bit..

2.) Do NOT save up your calories for your Holiday Feast

Eat as you normally would on a good nutrition plan – Every two to four hours, get in your protein and veggies. If you go into that huge meal in a fasted state, you are going to overeat, and because you are so hungry, your body will be craving all the high sugar and fat foods! You are just setting yourself up for a sugar crash and fat gain.

3.) Do NOT Gorge Yourself

Maintain your discipline, and eat until you are satisfied, not until you have to loosen your belt.  Remember this: binge eating is not the habit of lean individuals. It is imperative to understand that that holiday meals are not a ticket to eat as much as you can in as little time as possible. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

4.) Eat a High-Fiber, Protein-Rich Meal An Hour Before the Big Party

This is another great way to help you from stuffing your face with sugar cookies. Fiber and protein are a powerful combination in helping you be full and satisfied. A great strategy is to have a protein shake with some flaxseed. Nutritious, delicious, easy to prepare and it won’t go from your mouth to your hips.

5.) First Things First – Eat Your Vegetables

Just because it’s a holiday meal doesn’t mean you can’t eat any nutritious food. Head for the vegetable and meat tray and get something good in you.  This will leave less room for the unhealthier, higher calorie treats.

6.) Water, Water, Everywhere

Water competes for space in your stomach and really does help keep you from overeating. For every plate  of food you eat, drink a glass of water. After that second plate, when you have 1 full liter of water in your stomach, I bet you might just throw in the towel!

7.) Immediately Resume Your Normal Eating Schedule at the Next Meal

Ok, you had your fun, and what’s done is done. It’s time to get right back on the wagon, and back to normal, healthy eating habits. Don’t let one meal become one week become one month.

8.) Don’t Eat Junk Food at Breakfast or Bedtime

Eating a highly refined carbohydrate meal first thing in the morning will make your blood sugar levels go crazy for the rest of the day resulting in greater junk food cravings and uncontrollable hunger. On the other hand, eating a big meal before bed will result in a bunch of unused energy that will be stored as body fat and  can cause trouble sleeping.

9.) Don’t Drink Your Calories

It is way too easy to get way too many calories  in liquid form. One can easily consume over 1,000 calories per day from liquid calories alone. This means that in one week, you will gain 2 lbs of body fat from just fluids! Those holiday lattes ARE good, but the extra fat attached to your backside not so much! Also, sugar laden and alcoholic beverages tend to make you hungrier in general and often hungrier for junk food in particular. Furthermore, your body cannot burn fat until the alcohol is processed out of your body, as well as the fact that alcohol consumption actually lowers leptin levels. Decreased leptin levels increase hunger and decreases your body’s use of fat for fuel. Thus alcohol can prevent the fat burning process from resuming until several days later and/or even cause unwanted fat gain, setting you back anywhere from a few days to as long as a full week!

10.) Avoid Eating Meals that are High in Both Fat and Carbohydrates

The absolute worst thing that you can do is to eat a meal that is high in both fat and carbs. The high amount of carbs will lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels , which increases the potent fat-storing hormone Insulin. The high amount of fat will lead to a large increase in free fatty acids in your bloodstream. Since Insulin is already present in large amounts, in addition to there being a large amount of free fatty acids now available in your blood, the stage is set for all those free fatty acids to be gobbled up and stored by your fat cells. Good for a Sumo wrestler, bad for you. Following the strategies outlined above will keep this eating pattern to a minimum.

Don’t give into the mindset that holiday fat gain has to happen. Following these simple strategies will help you enter the new year better than ever!

Fat Loss Forever,


4 Quick Fitness Tips To Help Keep The “Santa Belly” Away

We all know how busy the holidays can be. A thousand  things to do and so little time to get them all done. Will it really matter if I miss a few workouts? Just start up again in January?

Don’t do it!

It’s a big mistake to risk losing the lean muscle mass and strength that you have worked so hard to build and maintain. What’s the big deal? Losses in lean muscle mass will lower your resting metabolic rate, which accounts for the vast majority (about 60-75%) of your total daily calorie burning. This means that everyday you will be burning less and less calories which will put you at a much greater risk of putting on ugly, unwanted body fat during the holidays.

Here’s another thing to consider – remember when you first started training again? The soreness? Shortness of breath? Lack of strength? Do you really want all that to start over again?

Look, if you are on a good plan -stay on it! The time you take for yourself to train is an important part of being healthy and feeling great. Is another trip to the mall really worth it?

For those of you who have let your training, shall we say…slip… there are many ways to maintain or increase the number of calories you burn per day, both from exercise and from your normal daily activities, to stay fat-free this holiday season. Use these strategies to maintain and/or increase your current amount of lean muscle mass and maximize your daily calorie burn. Leave the “Santa Belly” to the professionals!

1.) Perform at least one intense strength training session per week

Studies show that only a single strength training workout per week during times when you cannot train as frequently as you normally do is an effective way to maintain your current levels of strength and lean muscle mass.  Anyone can get in at least one good strength training session a week to stay buff during the holidays and to prevent unwanted regressions in fitness. If you are serious about preventing weight gain, three total body strength workouts per week should do the trick . To maximize fat burning, perform three total body strength workouts per week and also perform three cardio interval workouts per week on non strength-training days.

2.) Add it all up.

Can’t spare the 60 minutes? (I’ll bet you could if you tried). When you honestly cannot find a five to 20-minute time slot to complete an effective total body workout, look for hidden chunks of time during the day to get in a certain number of daily repetitions for a certain number of exercises that work your entire body. Got a free moment from now until you need to take the turkey out of the oven? Then, bang out 10 push-ups, 10 rows, and 20 squats. Using this method throughout the day will lead to big numbers by the end of the day that will help maintain your strength and overall fitness.

It is important to note that this “Hit Your Totals” routine is merely a back-up option to the ideal 20-minute interval training workouts which are scientifically proven to burn nine times more fat than ordinary exercise (see my article How You Can Build the Ultimate Circuit Training Workout For Rapid Fat Loss for more info). Short rest periods between exercises create the optimal hormonal environment for rapid fat loss and lean muscle gain, which the long rest periods of “normal” training just don’t.

Make sure to pick multi-joint, compound movements (the BIG exercises) that hit as much of your body’s major muscle groups in the shortest amount of time possible (e.g. squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, rows, etc.). Use the plan below as guide to build your own “Hit Your Totals” workout. Adjust the repetition ranges accordingly based on your current strength levels. The only thing you need is your body weight and adjustable dumbbells and/or resistance bands. Train using this plan up to three times per week, resting a day between workouts. Make sure to alternate between Plan A and Plan B in order to work more of your body. You can either hit your total by doing straight sets (e.g. perform push-ups rest-pausing as needed until you get 100 total), or by simply employ circuit style training (e.g. 20 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 rows, repeat 10x throughout the day to hit your totals).

The Hit Your Total Workout For The Holidays

Plan A-

Body weight Squats: 100-200 total
Push-ups: 50-100 total
DB/Band Rows: 50-100 total

Plan B-

2-Leg Hip Extensions: 50-100/total
Off Chair/Couch Dips: 50-100 total
DB/Band Curls: 50-100 total (feel free to swap pull-ups or pull-downs here if you have access to the equipment)

3.) Rage Against The Machines

Machines have made us an incredibly out of shape and overweight society. This holiday season make it a point to not use them! Now I don’t mean to say that you cannot drive to the mall during the holidays. However, when you get to the mall, don’t drive around for 10 minutes looking for the closest space. A little walk will do you some good! Don’t wait in line for the elevator, the stairs will more than likely have plenty of room, and all those steps truly do add up. Stay on your feet as much as possible and resist the temptation to let a robot or machine do the work for you.

4.) Engage in more outdoor holiday activities

I have been in some pretty incredible snowball fights in my day. Though I was always having a blast while pelting my friends behind cleverly built igloos, I was never aware of how exhausting a good snowball fight can truly be until I came indoors afterwards. We never used to notice how cold it was outside because we were moving around and having a blast! Talk about an awesome way to burn calories without even thinking about it! Get outdoors this holidays season and throw around the pigskin or have your very own “Ice Bowl.” Once again, all these calories here and there truly do add up and could make a difference between you fitting in your pants or ripping your pants by the time the clock strikes midnight this New Year!

Now get out there and do it!

How To Use Your Thanksgiving Turkey To Create Healthy, Fat Blasting Meals

It’s time to dust off the big roasting pan, heat up the oven, and get down to business. That’s right, I’m talking Turkey! Although most of us associate Thanksgiving with bloated bellies and after dinner coma’s on the sofa, don’t you dare blame it on turkey. Heap your scorn on sweet potatoes, put a smack down on stuffing, and pummel all those pies – but leave Terrific Tom Turkey out of it! After all, turkey is jam packed with powerful protein, which simultaneously elevates metabolism and promotes fat burning and lean muscle growth. Turkey is also lean protein source as long as you remove the skin, which makes it twice as nice!

So what’s so important about protein? Protein is the only macronutrient (the others being fat and carbohydrates) responsible for building and repairing your body’s tissue stores. More specifically, adequate, regular protein intake is critical to repair muscle damage from high intensity activities such as strength training and high intensity cardio. If you are not taking in enough protein every two to four hours, you are going to have a challenge maintaining your current muscle, never mind enough for growth and repair.

Why is this important? For the simple fact that the more lean tissue (muscle) you have, the bigger “metabolic engine” you have, which enables you to burn more calories (and fat) on a daily basis. Protein is also the least likely macronutrient to be stored as bodyfat, and it takes your body twice as much energy to digest protein than carbohydrates and dietary fat. Sounds like a win-win to me. If you are going to choose to overeat anything this holiday season and get away with it, turkey is probably going to be it.

Another bonus in adding turkey to your menu is that it easy to prepare and one turkey goes a long way. You can save a ton of time in food preparation by roasting a turkey. You’ll have tons of meal option all week! To inspire your turkey consumption efforts we’ve put together some awesome better body recipes that you can create with turkey as your lean protein foundation. Enjoy!

Turkey Salad


– 6-8 oz. Turkey Breast chopped into small cubes
– 1/4 red bell pepper
– 1/4 green bell pepper
– 1/4 red onion
– 2 Tbsp canola or olive oil mayo


Mix all ingredients together and enjoy over a bed of greens.

Makes one male serving and two female servings.

Turkey Cranberry Cream Cheese Roll-up


– 6-8 oz. Sliced Turkey
– 1 Tbsp Fat Free Cream Cheese
– 1 Tbsp Dried Cranberries 1?2 Clove of Roasted Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste
– 2 Whole Grain Tortillas


Soak cranberries in water for 20 minutes or microwave until soft if you are short on time. Mash the 1/2 clove of garlic. Mix cranberries, garlic, and cream cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture into the inside of the tortilla(s). Add turkey breast. Fold up sides, roll up, and enjoy!

Makes one male serving and two female servings.

Turkey Medallions With Cranberry Glaze

Turkey Medallions:
– 6-8 oz. Turkey
– Non-stick spray Turkey Seasoning

Cut Turkey Breasts into small medallions, sprinkle lightly with seasoning. Reheat in a pan sprayed with non-stick oil on medium heat until lightly browned on both sides. Drip Cranberry glaze (below) over the medallions.

Cranberry Glaze:
– 1 Cups Dry white wine
– Turkey or chicken stock, as needed
– 1 1/2 Cups Dried cranberries
– 1/4 Cup of Pine nuts, toasted
– Pinch of Salt

Add 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/2 cup of turkey stock to pan. Add other 1/2 cup of turkey stock, cranberries, pine nuts and pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until reduced in volume by half, about 4 cups.

Makes one male serving and two female servings.

Turkey Shepherds Pie


– 2 cups cubed cooked turkey
– 3/4 cup turkey gravy
– 1 small can whole kernel corn
– drained 1 cup of chicken stock
– 1 cup of water
– 3 cups steamed cauliflower
– 2 cups celery, chopped 2 carrots
– chopped 1 onion chopped 2 cloves garlic
– minced 1 bell pepper, any color
– chopped Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. First you must make the gravy. Take the garlic, 1 cup of celery, carrots, onion, bell pepper, chicken stock, water, vegetables, salt and pepper to taste. Add to a pot, boil until vegetables are soft and blend in a blender or food processor.

Next, you will take the steamed cauliflower and mash it, or place it in a food processor until the consistency is like that of mashed potatoes.

Next, in a baking dish, layer the turkey, gravy, corn, remaining celery and mashed cauliflower. Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Makes 2 male servings and one female serving.

Turkey Florentine


– 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
– 2 tablespoons smart butter
– 1 cup cooked whole grain fettuccine
– 2 cups diced, cooked turkey
– 1 cup turkey or chicken stock 1
– (8 ounce) package fat free sour cream and onion dip
– 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
– 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
– Non-stick cooking spray


Cook spinach according to package directions; drain. Stir in smart butter. Place noodles in a non-stick sprayed baking dish; top with spinach. Combine turkey, stock, onion dip and onion salt and spoon over spinach. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Turkey Green Bean Casserole


– 1 bag of frozen green beans
– 6-8 oz. of cubed cooked turkey breast
– 1 can of organic cream of mushroom soup
– 2 cups Kraft all natural fat free cheese
– Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients into a casserole dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until completely hot. Makes one male serving and two female servings.

Fat Loss Forever,

Nancy Carlson

Killer Exercises for Rapid Fat Loss and Lean Muscle Gain

As a former fat kid and a current real world fat loss specialist who has helped tons of people lose the pounds, I know a thing or two about exercise selection. Because of this I am often asked what the best exercises are to lose fat AND gain muscle fast.

Let’s keep it simple. The most effective exercises for fat loss are also the most effective exercises for muscle gain and visa versa. These exercises all have one thing in common: they provide a UNIQUE challenge to your body AND involve as many muscles in your body as possible.

Both the scientific research and the real world case studies have shown that total body workouts are superior for maximal fat loss and muscle gain. But that’s not all…

We can dramatically accelerate results by preferentially selecting TOTAL BODY EXERCISES within each TOTAL BODY WORKOUT! For example, squats are well known for being one of the best muscle-builders with a serious a fat-shredding effect. However, the squat goes from great to UNSTOPPABLE for changing your body for the better when you make it a combination movement by adding a row or press to each repetition. You can absolutely reap more benefits this way since you have now involved your upper body into the king of lower body exercises.

It’s as simple as the Best Body Equation below:

Performing Total Body Exercises Within Each Total Body Workout:

More Muscles Involved =

More Calories Burnt + Greater Muscle-Building Stimulus =

Greater Fat Lost + Greater Muscle Gain

I must be honest in that I have a true love-hate relationship with the following movements I am about to share with you. Love because of the unparalleled fat-melting, muscle-building results they provide to help get that lean, strong body. Hate because they break me every single workout by leaving me in tears while in a pool of my own sweat. In other words, these are not for the weak of mind, body, or soul!

Alright, enough jabbering already! Here is the official top 10 list of my favorite exercises in the world for fat loss and lean muscle gain:

Exercise#1- Any Squatting Combination Exercise- Squat Thrust/Burpee Variations, Squat to Overhead Press, Squat to Row, Squat to Chest Press, Braced Core Squat, Single-Leg Squat plus Curl to Press, etc.

Exercise#2- The Swing- Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Med Balls, or Sandbags

Exercise#3- Any Lunge Combination Exercise- Alternating Lunge plus Curl to Press, Alternating Lunge plus Twist, Alternating Lunge plus Chest Press, Alternating Reverse Lunge plus Row, Split Jump plus Jerk, Split Jump plus Curl etc.

Exercise#4- Any Push-Up Combination Exercise- Push-ups plus Knee-Ins, Push-up Rows, T-Push-Ups, Spiderman Push-ups, Squat Thrust Push-Ups, Four-Way Push-up Crawl, etc.

Exercise#5- The Chop- Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Med Balls, Bands, or Sandbags

Exercise#6- Olympic Lifting Variations: Dumbbell or Kettlebell Cleans, Snatches, High Pulls

Exercise#7- Dynamic Back Pillar plus 1-Arm Dumbbell Chest Press

Exercise#8- Rear Foot Elevated Deadlift plus Curl to Press

Exercise#9- Med Ball Snatch-Slam Combo

Exercise#10- Dumbbell or Kettlebell Single-Leg RDL plus Row

I’ll be sharing some more great exercises for those specific trouble spot areas (e.g. legs, butt, abs, chest, arms, etc.) in the days to come.

To your best health,

How You Can Build The Ultimate Circuit Training Workout For Rapid Fat Loss

In the past, the cornerstone of most resistance training workouts has been performing exercises in a straight set format. Essentially, this means you perform a certain number of reps, then you rest anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes based on your training goals before repeating this set a certain number of times based on your goals. If you were looking for fat loss and lean muscle gain shorter rest periods were thought to be ideal. For more of a strength or power emphasis, longer rest periods were prescribed.

So, what’s the problem with this format?  Well, though straight sets are extremely easy to comprehend for people new to fitness, they can also be an extremely inefficient way to order your exercises. In most gyms you’ll typically see someone perform three sets of 10 reps for let’s say the bench press (You do know Every Monday is National Bench Press Day, Right?). They pump out 10 reps, go to the water fountain, talk with some buddies, watch a couple of highlights on ESPN, and then head back to the bench to hit up their second set. In general, most people, guys in particular, tend to take about 3-5 minutes between sets. In the case of three sets of 10 on the bench that means it would take up to 15 minutes to complete only one movement pattern (a horizontal push). That means you’d need at least in hour to perform four different exercises. If your goal is to win a bench press competition, you might choose to train this way. However if fat loss is your goal, there is a much better way!

A much more effective and time-efficient approach to ordering your exercises is utilizing the alternating set format. Here you’ll perform one exercise, rest for a short period of time, then perform another non-competing exercise, rest for a short period of time, and so forth. Alternating sets allow you to work different areas of your body when you would otherwise be resting with the straight set format. Plus, by working another area of your body with a non-competing exercise you allow your body to recover from the previous exercise(s). The result is improved training economy and density: more work accomplished in less time, which is the cornerstone of any sound fat loss program. Let’s look at a few ways to perform alternating sets:

  1. Supersets: Alternate between two different non-competing exercises (e.g. upper body and lower body such as push-ups and lunges)
  2. Tri-sets: Alternate between three different exercises (e.g. push, pull, and lower body such as push-ups, rows, and lunges)
  3. Circuits: Alternate between four or more different exercises

Though supersets and trisets are excellent alternating set options, I believe circuit training is by the far the best option time and time again. To demonstrate why, let’s examine my favorite circuit training template using timed set intervals:

The 50-10 Five Exercise Circuit: You will alternate between 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for all five exercises in the following 5-minute circuit:

  • Exercise#1- Squats
  • Exercise#2- Dips
  • Exercise#3- Single-Leg Hip Extensions
  • Exercise#4- Pull-ups
  • Exercise#5- Leg Raises

Perform this circuit up to four times for a 20-minute total body fat burning workout.

Basically, in the same 15 minutes that it took to get in three sets on the bench you could have gotten in three sets of five different exercise for a staggering total of 15 work sets! Plus, the intensity on each exercise can be just as high as in the straight set format because in this five exercise circuit you will have full recovery with over four minutes before you return to any given exercise (just as you did with the straight set format described earlier).

To recap, the key to creating the optimal hormonal environment for fat loss is to perform each exercise with maximal intensity while separated by brief rest periods in order to accumulate a high volume of total body work in the shortest amount of time possible. Circuit training provides for the best of both worlds and is thus simply unmatched for simultaneously maximizing fat loss and lean muscle gain. Use the following template I use with my many boot camp clients for some killer, yet simple fat loss circuits:

  • Exercise#1- Double-Leg
  • Exercise#2- Push
  • Exercise#3- Single-Leg
  • Exercise#4- Pull
  • Exercise#5- Core

I’ll be sharing some more great circuit training workouts from our boot camps in the weeks to come.

Fat Loss Forever,

Nancy Carlson

Go For The GOLD!

Summer is cruising on by…it’s crazy how fast time flies!

It’s August, and as you probably know, the Olympics in Beijing China start in just a few days.

Most of us are not heading to China.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have our own Olympic games.

Nancy has set up a challenge for us at our support site over at

Will you earn Gold, Silver or Bronze?

No matter which one you earn, you will be fitter than when you started, and that’s always a winner!

If you haven’t signed up for your fr*e account, you are missing out.

Nancy does a great job keeping the site fresh with great ideas, and our group has made friends all over the country that are also striving to look and feel great.

Head on over and Go for the Gold….today!

The Best Diet?

Our 5:00am Boot Camp Class got into a discussion this morning regarding a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was designed to determine which type of three diets worked best. For purposes of this letter, the three types don’t even matter, as I’ll explain.

It was a good discussion, but when I thought about it afterward, I realized something was amiss.

Described as a “tightly controlled study” by the New York Times, the 322 participants lost an average of between 6-10 pounds.

Not too bad – right? I mean it must have been a 2 or 3 month time frame, right?

Try TWO YEARS on for size!

That’s .333 pounds a month.

That’s not so good. (In fact it’s downright lousy!)

To me the take home point is this –

It doesn’t matter how good the “diet plan” is –

If you don’t actually DO IT CONSISTENTLY!

I suspect many if not most of these participants were, how shall I put it? – less than truthful about their compliance to the diet.

I come to that conclusion based on experience.

You see, I have a philosophy regarding nutrition – principles that if applied produce the desired results.

If a client tells me it “doesn’t work”, 99 times out of 100, when we look at what he ACTUALLY does, it not the plan that isn’t working, it’s the client not working the plan.

(Note the “if applied” part above.)

So what do we do about it?

Here are 5 principles of nutrition that anyone CAN do.

The real question is – WILL you?

1) Track how much you are really eating. Log 2 weekdays and 1 weekend. is gold, and it’s no cost.

2) To lose weight, all other things being equal (your exercise plan for instance) – you need to eat less. Start with a 300-500 calorie reduction. Use to track it. Adjust every two weeks as needed.

3) Don’t eat food from a box, bag, wrapper or can. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and protein are the basis of a “good” nutrition plan.

4) Don’t make excuses. If you “fall off the wagon” and eat something you know doesn’t help, don’t turn it into a binge. That extra piece of cake DOES make a difference. Once in a while doesn’t mean once a day. Remember, making excuses only burns .02355 calories a day. (OK – I made that up)

5) Plan ahead. Pick a day when you can prepare ALL the meals for the week. If you are not willing to plan ahead, you aren’t serious about making the change.

Which is the most important?

In my opinion – #5.

If you don’t know what you are going to eat next, you’ll eat anything you can get your hands on.

I know, because I am right there with you.

But IF you combine these 5 tips consistently applied (i.e. EVERY DAY) with a good training plan (consistently applied) you will start to achieve the results you want.

As we like to say in Boot Camp – It’s Simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s Easy.

Nothing worthwhile ever is.

To your best health,


8 inches in 16 workouts!

That’s what one of our June “Get Fit NH” Bootcamp participants experienced.

I saw her last weekend, and she couldn’t wait to tell me!

After 1 month – 16 one-hour training sessions, her total body measurements were down eight inches!

She was thrilled, and it won’t be the last time she will see that kind of progress.

You see, she had been training for quite awhile without seeing progress she was happy with.

One month at Boot Camp changed all that.

What makes our fitness bootcamp a solution that can work for “Every Body”?

A comprehensive system of:

  • Fitness Testing
  • Exercise Instruction
  • Resistance Training
  • Abdominal & Core Work
  • Partner and Team Activities
  • Cardiovascular Exercise
  • Flexibility Training
  • Motivation through Team Building and Accountability
  • and A New Challenge…Every Day!

It’s time to get off the sidelines and into the game.

Nothing will change unless you change what you’re doing.

July classes are going strong.

August classes are starting to fill.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Register for “Get Fit NH” Boot Camp Online Here.