Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
He breezed through the rigors of a marathon 21 months on the campaign trail. On polling day he mixed it up on a basketball court. And within hours of his election victory, Barack Obama was back in the gym for another grueling workout. Has an American president-elect ever been fitter for office?
Exercise, Obama says, is the key to remaining fresh and focused in the face of a punishing schedule. "The main reason I do it is just to clear my head and relieve me of stress," he told an American fitness magazine. "My blood pressure is pretty low and I tend to be a healthy eater."
While presidents before him were keen to display their physical fitness - Bill Clinton, for example, would take three-mile jogs through Washington's National Mall, accompanied by a posse of secret service agents on bicycles - few could match the dedication shown by the early-rising Obama, 47.
"Most of my workouts have to come before my day starts," he told Men's Health. "There's always a trade-off between sleep and working out. Usually I get in about 45 minutes, six days a week. I'll lift [weights] one day, do cardio the next. "I wish I was getting a 90-minute workout," he added. But even at his current pace, Obama will have spent at least another 2,700 minutes in the gym before inauguration day on January 20.
So the busiest man and father in North America has time to workout 6 days a week? Suddenly the rest of our excuses look pretty lame.
Monday, December 22, 2008
So, as my little gift to you, here is short exercise video I put together with three of the best exercises to help you get rid of flabby arms. They require no equipment, and virtually no space. Combine these three exercises with the Plank exercise I posted a little while back, and you now have four great exercises you can string together in a little mini-circuit that you can do anywhere, anytime.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
are one of the proud few who are actually sticking to a diet and
training program over the holidays?
Can you allow for a little wiggle room for some holiday treats?
You sure can!
Strange as it sounds, you can use the holiday season and all its
indulgences to your advantage, and actually see improvements in
your body, especially with your upper arms.
Assuming you’re following a strict diet and training program for
90% of the time, 10% of the time you can be free to eat what you
This is based on research that shows that when you are in a
state of caloric depletion, your metabolism attempts to compensate
by switching into starvation mode and slowing down; ultimately
leading to decreased calorie burning throughout the day.
Think of a campfire: Forget to stoke it with new fuel and it
slowly smolders out, add a few fresh logs and it blazes to life.
Your metabolism is much the same.
You can use this to your advantage. If you are maintaining a
rigorous physical training schedule with a spot-on diet, the extra
calories will actually help your body recover faster, build more
muscle, re-fuel you for you next workout, and keep your metabolism
blazing. That means eliminating saggy and flabby arms even faster
over the holidays.
And you thought you would have to put your goals on hold until the
new year didn't you?
So how can you put this into practice?
Six out of seven days per week, train hard and keep your diet clean.
Come the seventh day, forget about the diet and training for a day.
Eat what you want and relax. Just be sure to plan your schedule
around days that you know you will want to indulge (office parties,
Christmas Day, New Years Eve).
There you have it. Use this little bit of knowledge and you can
actually further your progress over the holidays. Just make sure
you stick to the 90%-10% rule!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Lucy is referring to the exercise video of the "Exercises For Flabby Arms - Plank" that I demonstrated a post or two back.
A: Hi Lucy,
Thanks for the compliment.
For most people, I would recommend starting with a 15 second hold on all fours, then do 6 second holds for each limb (when you lift one limb off the ground) and then go back to another 15 second hold on all fours.
I sometimes use this exercise as test of an athlete's cores strength and endurance, in which case they need to be able to hold on all fours for two minutes, then 30 seconds on each limb, then 1 minute on all fours again. That’s what I encourage people to work up to because, if you can do it, it shows that you have incredible core strength and endurance.
Of course, start with what you can at first, and slowly build yourself up by a few seconds at a time. You will need to perform this exercise at least twice a week to make improvements, and I recommend doing two sets each time you do it (taking a 2 minute break in between your sets).
Hope that helps,
Sunday, December 14, 2008
(bonus points for anyone who can find all the Canadian-isms in my rant)
"It’s the holidays; I’ll start fresh in January."
How many times have you said this?
Being a trainer, I’ve heard this more times than I can count.
There was a time in my life where even I used to say it too.
The calendar is chock full of ‘excuse opportunities’ as I like to call them. The big one, of course, is the Christmas holidays. After all, with all the goodies around, you couldn’t possibly not indulge, could you?
You know, if it was only the Christmas holidays that were the problem, then it wouldn’t really be that much of a problem. After all, what’s a couple weeks out of the year to forget about your exercise and nutrition, and just do whatever you feel like for a change? No big deal right?
I’ve often told clients that there is no difference between 100% and 90% when it comes to your diet and exercise plan. What I mean by that, is if you eat clean and stick to your exercise plan 90% of the time, your results are going to be pretty much the same as if you were 100% spot on; there really is no need for perfection is there?
Problem is, most people blow this 10% “free time” before they even get the year started.
And that is the start of the perpetual excuse cycle...
The goodies start flowing in December. Christmas parties, office parties, relatives and friends showing up at a moments notice; seems like everyone who comes to your door is carrying a plate of cookies, or Christmas baking of some sort. No hope even trying to fight it right, so what’s the big deal giving in for a month? After all, it’s just a month right? You’ll start back at it in January with a newly instilled sense of determination. Right! Okay, so now you can relax until the new year.
New years eve rolls around, and you party a little too hard. New years day is spent recovering from the night before, and of course we all know how greasy foods seem to cure a hangover right? So much for starting your new diet and exercise plan January 1st. Besides, there’s still so many goodies lying around left over from the holidays and the new years party, and in your condition you’re not likely to be heading to a gym anytime soon. You‘ll need a week to get back to work and get into a routine anyway, so you’ll start next week.
February rolls around, and you managed to get a couple solid weeks in at the gym, but it’s been a rocky start. Valentines day is here though, and the chocolate is a calling. You have a nice calorie ridden dinner with your significant other, and of course, a decadent dessert. So much for this week. Besides, you can’t NOT eat those chocolates you got right? That would be rude. You take a couple days to consume all the goodies, and you don’t feel like going to the gym because you're so bloated and sickly feeling from all the sweets, so you’ll get back at it next week.
Finally it’s March, and spring is just around the corner! Uh oh! That means summer is on the way too! Better buckle down or you’re going to be avoiding the beach AGAIN this year. Nothing worse than feeling fat and bloated and trying on bathing suits. But, then again, there is still snow on the ground, you’ve got time, no need to panic. But you should start thinking about putting some use to that gym membership you bought back in January.
April arrives, and you maybe got another solid week or two at the gym, but then Easter hits, and the stores are stocking their shelves with chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, and other nice goodies. You find yourself unable to resist the temptation, yet again. Chocolate is just too damn good, but after this, that’s it! And you mean it too!
Spring is now in full effect, and now May long weekend is here. The official start to the camping season, (and drinking season). You might go camping, you might stay at home, but either way, it’s a holiday and time to celebrate. Bring on the chips, hot dogs, and beer!
Oh no! June is here already!? Okay, time to get serious now. Summer crept up on you again, how does it always do that? If you really push hard, and I mean REALLY hard, you might be able to feel a little better about your body for August. At least you’ll get one month of summer time fun with a half-decent body right? And September is still summery anyway right?
July hits, and the heat is on, literally. It’s getting harder to go to the gym in this 35+ degree weather. You simply can’t go for your after work run anymore because it’s just too hot. Oh, but guess what? It’s Canada day long-weekend! Let’s have a barbecue at the lake! That’s what summer is all about right? Going to the beach, camping, barbecues, boating, cold drinks. You work hard all year to get to the summer, you’re not going to not enjoy it right?
August is a complete write-off. It’s too hot to work-out, there is a barbecue every weekend, the kids are at home and you’re trying to keep them busy, and then you have your holidays coming up too. Oh well, so much for this summer. Next year will be different. NO! Forget I said that, you’re not going to wait until next year. September is right around the corner, and the kids will be back in school, the weather will be better, and you’ll be back at work and in a routine. September it is then, so just relax and enjoy the rest of your summer and you’ll start fresh next month.
It took a couple weeks to get the kids into their routines and get settled back at work, but now that you are half way through September conditions are perfect to get serious about your diet and exercise again. You might even take a trip somewhere warm this coming winter, so you’ll want to be in your best shape for the beach. Okay, down to business now!
October brings the beautiful colors of the fall, and the weather is perfect for exercising, and you are starting to get a little momentum with your diet over the last couple weeks. It hasn’t been perfect, but it’s certainly better than the month before. But here comes Thanksgiving and what is Thanksgiving without the feast? Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, mmmmm. Sounds good doesn’t it? Okay, after this, things are going to get serious.
Oh shoot, forgot about Halloween. All that candy lying around… is gotta go somewhere. All right, after this THAT IT!
Now that November is here, you are really treading on thin ice. That holiday to Mexico is coming up just after Christmas, so you’ve got less than two months to make some serious headway with your body just to get BACK to where you were last November. After all those indulgences over the past year, and your inability to stick to your exercise program for longer than a couple weeks at best, you’ve actually put on 10 lbs since last year. That means that you’ll have to lose at least 20 lbs to look a little bit better than you did last year. Oh man, where does the year go? You might be in trouble if you can’t get it together in the next couple weeks.
Ahhhh ta hell with it! It’s December, and who are you kidding…. Christmas parties, office parties, relatives and friends showing up at a moments notice…Wait a minute. Why do I have this feeling of Déjà Vu?
Does all this sound familiar?
Stop making excuses, and STOP PUTTING IT OFF!!
If you don’t make NOW the time to get in shape, then when will you?
Stop saying tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes.
Let me make something perfectly clear. The only reason that you don’t have the body you want, the ONLY reason….
...is because you haven’t made it a priority.
It’s not because of genetics...
It’s not because you were dealt a bad hand...
It’s not because your mother has large thighs so you are doomed to have large thighs...
It is because you’ve put everything else ahead of yourself.
You must take responsibility for your body. It is the way it is because YOU made it that way, good or bad.
Do NOT wait until January.
If you do, you seriously run the risk of ending up in the exact same position you are now….
…except maybe 10 pounds heavier
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