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Mar 24, 2011


Accountability is sometimes the only "ingredient" missing from hitting your ultimate goal.  The new year crowd had great intentions, but due to a lack of accountability, they "lost their way" by the end of February.  By the way, I like to use quotes in random "places" because it's "fun".  "See"? 

Anyway, that got me thinking... I've been running boot camps for over 3 years.  One thing I've noticed is that when just one person is missing, I hear others ask, "I wonder where she is at?" and things like that.  It's no suprise that when people do miss group settings they have to answer to others.  It's usually a legitimate excuse like being sick, out of town, etc., etc.  But when things are fine and others are expecting you, you have an incentive to simply show up.  One of my web-coaching clients emailed me a link to an app that can be very useful when all you need is accountability.  That also struck an idea to share some accountability ideas that I've done with my clients as well as learned from others being in the fitness biz.

Trick # 1
This is an app you can use with your Iphone.  One of my web-coaching clients told me about this one.

Trick # 2
The website speaks for itself...

Trick # 3
Choose a charity.  Choose an amount.  Choose a goal.  Choose a deadline. (For example, The American Red Cross, $50, committing to 3 resistance workouts a week for 10 weeks, which equals 30 resistance training workouts).  Tell anybody and everybody about this.  If you don't hit the goal/deadline, you gotta shell out $50 (or more) to the charity you chose.  Tel help with proof that you're doing the workouts, use a workout log or take a picture of yourself with your phone at the gym.  When money is on the line, it can spark "interest" <---- by the way, AWESOME use of the quote right there.

Trick # 4
Blog about it.  That's right, tell the whole world your plans and your goals.  I've seen numerous people do this and it does work.  Blog your ultimate goal and then tell how you plan on doing it.  If you blog it, you're serious.

Those are just a few tricks to spark your efforts again. But don't make this mistake... you can't draw motivation from other people.  Motivation and the desire has to come within you, and that starts with the "why".  Sure, motivation books and audio sources are great tools to keep you in the game (I even use them), but your biggest source must be within you.   Use the tools around you (friends, family, co-workers, etc., etc.).  There is no shame in that.  Why do you think I ask my wife to hide the Girl Scout Cookies?  :)

To your success,

Mar 16, 2011

Recipes and Rants

Alright boys and girls.  This post is in two parts.  Part one is fast, easy recipes that I have collected from other trainers, fitness enthusiasts and my clients/readers.  I'm a simple kind of guy.  I like things that are easy to make.  So I hope you find the recipes useful.  Then, part two is a rant.  It's been a while :)

"Protein Pudding"
1-2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
1 tbsp of natural almond or peanut butter

Mix the above ingredients with just enough water for a "pudding-like" texture

"5-Minute Hummus" (A friend on facebook shared this one)

Click here for the 5-minute hummus -----> 5-Minute Hummus

 "Protein Yogurt"
1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1.5 cups of vanilla greek yogurt
1 tbsp chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix the above in a bowl and enjoy

"Pizza" (and I call it "pizza" because, no, it's not "Papa John's pizza", but it's a good substitute for when you want to dramatically cut calories).  One of these pizzas will save at least hundreds of calories...

100% whole wheat pita
10-15 turkey pepperoni slices
Tomato sauce to taste (any flavor you like... I like garlic and herb)
Any chopped veggies you like
1/4th cup of low-fat mozzarella cheese

Spread the sauce on the pita.  Top with the rest of the ingredients and bake in the oven at 350-375 for around 15-20 minutes.

"Chicken Parmesan" 
4 oz chicken breast tenderloins (grilled or baked)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (any flavor)
2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and top with sauce and cheese.... "nuke" it for 45 seconds to a minute

Now look, I understand that people have different opinions on nutrition.  I know, I know.  Dairy is the devil and there's gluten in the pita bread that will rape my brain cells in my sleep.  Whatever.  This is better than junk food.  Now onto the rant...


Yep, that's right.  It's time for another rant. There's alot of crap going on and it's driving me crazy.  (I can literally hear you whisper in your own head, "oh boy", and you know what?... that's AWESOME).

1.  This new "HCG Diet".  People!  C'mon!  Inject some HCG and eat 500 calories.  That's the "gist".  Are you kidding me??  I usually don't bash diets because I believe everyone is different but I also believe you need to be on a diet that you can stick to.  <---- HA!  "Stick to".  Ohhhh man, I'm like, really awesome at typing stuff like that.  People are smarter than that.  I hope none of my readers are on it.  If so, I'm sorry if I offen.... NO I'M NOT!  C'MON! SERIOUSLY!?  I taught you better than that!  How much was it?  Really??  I could go to Mexico and drink a mystery drink along with a tapeworm and get the same results. 

What's next?  This??...

2. I love it when I'm asked at the gym about ab exercises that work and I explain how AWESOME the plank is, and how a solid strength and conditioning program along with a calorie deficit diet can help shed fat off the abs (I know, yada, yada, yada) and then they proceed to doing crunches and talking to their friend on the phone about how jacked and wasted they are going to get next weekend.  Gym visit FAIL.

3. I talked to an old friend last night on Facebook.  She's lost 15 lbs.  She said, "I exercise, watch my portions (cut calories) and increased my protein.  See?  Quit making it complicated people.

4. Am I the only American that doesn't watch "American Idol" or "The Bachelor"?  If I am, then consider me a great American.

5.  Every time I see Joan Rivers or Justin Bieber, I feel like I die a little bit inside.  That's all.

Mar 11, 2011

3 Keys to Losing Fat and Maintaining Muscle at the Same Time

Before we get into the guest article from Brad Pilon, I wanted to give you a heads up on our next boot camp.  It was originally scheduled to start Monday, 3/28, but with Spring Break coming up, I was asked if I could move it.  The next 4-week boot camp now starts Monday, 4/11.  I hope everyone has a safe, yet fun spring break.  Enjoy yourself!  For more information and to save your spot for the next boot camp, you can click below:

Click here for the next 4-Week Fat Loss Boot Camp

 Now onto the good stuff :) (guest article from Brad Pilon) 

3 Keys to Losing Fat and Maintaining Muscle at The Same Time
By Brad Pilon, MS

There are three main keys to losing fat and gaining muscle. If you’re missing any of these you will most likely fail in your attempts to build a lean muscular body. So what are they?

1) Eat Less Calories than you burn off
2) Resistance Training
3) Eating enough protein to maintain muscle mass

That’s as short and sweet as I can put it.

Any diet can work as long as it gets you to eat less calories than you burn off. The key is to find a diet that suits your personality and your lifestyle. If you’re like me you don’t have time to spend on diet rules and focusing on good foods and bad foods, and what to eat and what not to eat, and meal timing and all of that.
The diet that will work for you will most likely be the one with the least amount of rules, or in fact no rules at all but rather just provide a guideline or two. For me that diet is Eat Stop Eat. It is the simplest nutrition program I have ever come across. There is only one guideline, and that is to take a 24 hour break from eating once or twice per week. That’s it, simple and effective.

This type of eating program might work for you, or it might not. You just have to try it first. As long as you can find a diet you can stick with for the long term you’ll be able to lose weight, the next key it making sure all of that weight comes from fat. This is where resistance training comes in.
You have to do some form of resistance training in order to maintain and build muscle mass while you’re losing fat. If you are following an effective diet without doing resistance training you could end up losing muscle mass along the way. If this happens you could lose body weight without actually improving the look or shape of your body.
Your actual bodyweight doesn’t matter as much as your percentage of fat. If you can lose 5 pounds of fat, but gain 3 pounds of muscle you will only lose 2 pounds of bodyweight on the scale, but you’ll look 8 pounds different. Even though 2 pounds doesn’t sound like much, the difference on your body fat percentage is the key.
This is why weight training is so important while dieting. Weight training is the best way to make sure you don’t lose muscle while you diet, this helps with overall health as well as improving the overall look and shape of your body. After all when you diet the goal is to show off the lean muscle that is under the fat.
The third key to building muscle while losing fat is protein. You have to eat just enough protein to make sure your muscles can grow. This is a controversial topic that many nutrition ‘experts’ still don’t agree on. But the bottom line is protein is your friend when it comes to building muscle and especially when you’re dieting.
Mix these three key ingredients together and you’ll have a potent fat loss and muscle building program that can transform your body in no time.
Brad Pilon is a nutrition professional with over eight years experience working in the nutritional supplement industry specializing in clinical research management and new product development. Brad has completed graduate studies in nutritional sciences specializing in the use of short term fasting for weight loss.

His trademarked book Eat Stop Eat has been featured on national television and helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat without sacrificing the foods they love. For more information on Eat Stop Eat, visit

Mar 8, 2011

Just Say No to These Exercises

If you don't work or live near the Dallas/Acworth GA area or you're not interested in Boot Camps, you can skip this paragraph.  I'm trying to be more fair in announcing upcoming Boot Camps.   In the last boot camp, we couldn't accept anymore people because the suite can only hold so many. I was given some grief about that :)  With that being said, I am now giving you more time to join.  Our next 4-week boot camp starts Monday, 4/11.  For details and to reserve your spot, you can click below:

Click here for more info ------------> 4 Week Boot Camp Info
OK, pressure is off of me  :)

Being in the fitness industry, I see things work and I see things that don't work so well.  With that being said, I want to help you make better decisions when working out.  Below is a list of exercises that I don't use in my programs because they are either unsafe or ineffective. 

By the way, this is pretty stupid, too.

1. The Bench Press (Heavy) - You don't have to put in a billion sets of bench presses in order to get a chiseled chest.  The bench press, in which your grip is wide, can put unnecessary strain and stress on the shoulders.  A good substitute is the DB Chest Press, with your elbows in a little closer to your sides.  This takes stress off the shoulders.

2.  Leg Extensions - Hey, any exercise is better than no exercise, but leg extensions limit the range of motion, as well as not allowing your hips to be involved.  There might be a time and place for leg extensions (for example, beginners, bodybuilders who need to isolate that muscle group, and rehab patients (which is honestly out of my expertise).  But for fat loss and functional movement, don't even bother.  There are many good substitutions for leg extensions and that includes Bulgarian Squats, in which I have a love/hate releationship :)   By the way Trish, thanks for the demo!


3.  Seated Leg Curl Machine - Look at the movement of the seated leg curl.  Now look at the movement of getting out of a recliner that has been extended.  I rest my case.  A good substitute for the seated leg curl is the Stability Ball Leg Curl.

4.  Narrow Grip Upright Row - this move, especially over time, can cause what's called "shoulder impingement", in which a tendon is pinched.  I'll skip the scientific lingo and put it this way... "that sucks".  You want defined shoulders?  You surely can't beat the Military Press or 1-Arm Shoulder Press.

5.  Any type of Crunch - crunches cause a waterfall of problems, including putting unnecessary strain on the weakest part of your back.  That means back problems.  And you know what, you're just scratching the surface of working the abdominals when doing crunches.  For some good ab exercises, 
Check out my ab post here  ----->  What Ab Exercises Really Work??

Any exercises you would add?  I'd love to hear it.  Help your workout partners!

To your fitness success,

Mar 2, 2011

Interval Training for Fat Loss Part 2

I got a good response from people regarding my Interval Training for Fat Loss post I did about a week ago.  When intervals are done correctly, it's amazing what it can do for fat loss.  Of course, your nutrition has to be in place.

I was asked three good questions about intervals and I decided to answer them here.  But, not before I put up another random picture because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want and I think it's cool to do stuff like that... oh look, a run-on sentence.

Question #1 - How long should I stick to an interval workout? 
Answer: Good question.

Question #2   Why did you answer my question with, "good question?"

OK, my bad.  Seriously... #1 Answer:
With my clients (and myself), I usually alternate between 2-3 different interval workouts for 4 weeks.  I then change up my interval workouts for another 4 weeks.  This will prevent boredom and help you getting results.  That's what is so great about interval training.  It is so easy to manipulate it by increasing/decreasing rest periods and interval periods, increasing how many intervals you do, etc., etc.

Question #2 (Seriously) - I don't have access to any cardio equipment (treadmill, elliptical, etc., etc.)... what can I do for intervals?
Answer: Great question... what I personally love to do is I complete my intervals outside.  If you have access to a hill that is 20-40 yards long, you can run hill sprints.  Start conservatively! Simply sprint up a hill and walk back down for recovery.  If you're a beginner, you might find just 3-4 sprints is enough and you can work your way up to doing more (as many as 20 if you have enough caffeine).
Hill Sprints are Awesome and Stuff
If the weather doesn't permit or you don't feel like going outside, you can do body movements inside.  Something like this:
Body squats (30 secs), rest 10 secs
Push-ups (30 secs), rest 10 secs
Jumping Lunges (30 secs), rest 10 secs
Burpees (30 secs), rest 10 secs
Plank (30 secs), rest 10 secs

Do the above circuit 3-6 times.  Remember, you can always adjust it according to your fitness level by increasing/decreasing the rest/exercise time, reducing/increasing the # of circuits, etc., etc.  Start conservative and train safe! 

Question # 3 - I like doing my intervals outside, but it's hard to have to look at my stopwatch when I'm doing sprints.  Any recommendations?  
Answer: Absolutely... I am probably one of the biggest fans of the gym boss.  The gym boss is an interval timer that has an alarm and a vibrating function for your intervals.  You can program just about any interval protocol.  It will beep/vibrate as you programmed it.  They are very affordable, around $20.  Their website is . You can also use interval apps on your phone if your phone has the capabilities.

100% Awesomeness... your workouts won't be the same

To your fitness success!