Twenty Ten – No Equipment Interval Workout!

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Ok, I think it’s time for a workout.  I get a lot of questions on how to get and stay lean.  While diet plays a large part in determining how lean you’ll be able to get, you still have to find ways to boost your metabolism.

A lot of people are under the assumption that you have to drastically reduce your food intake if you want to lose weight/fat.  I’m here to tell you that is NOT the case!

In actuality, when you dramatically reduce your caloric intake you will initially lose weight.  Some of it will be fat but most of it will probably be fluid.  Once that is gone, you’re progress will slow down and eventually stop.  The reason for this is because your body is an efficient machine.  It will realize that it is receiving less nutrition, so it will counter your move by “turning down” your metabolic thermostat.  The sad thing about this is that over time, this will become your new “set point”, so if and an when you go back to eating regularly, you’ll usually rebound and actually GAIN weight, over and above where you started.

The truth is, you want to feed your body WELL and OFTEN!  By doing so, you are telling it that it will regularly receive good nutrition so there won’t be a need to dial things down.  In fact, by introducing some good metabolic training methods, you can actually “turn up the heat” and get your metabolism into a higher gear!  Personally, I eat anywhere from 5-7 times a day, and I consume roughly 3200-3500 calories. That’s a far cry from some of these 800-1200 calorie plans that I see a lot of people trying.  You’ll starve AND get frustrated doing that.

Sure, we want to work out to make our muscles either harder or larger.  That still won’t do you any good if you have a thick layer of body fat covering them up.  Think of the Princess and the Pea…  Wow, I might be dating myself there!  This is where Interval Training comes into play.

Interval training works because it is extremely efficient at raising your metabolic rate, and then keeping it there.  It’s different than steady state cardio in that you’re doing shorter bursts of higher intensity work so that you’re actually stimulating your muscles rather than just simply burning calories.  The effect is twofold.  Plus, with interval training, your metabolic rate stays elevated longer after you finish your workout as opposed to steady state cardio, which means you burn more calories for an extended amount of time.

Watch the video and see how you can incorporate interval training into your routine.  Replace some of your steady state cardio with interval training and turn up your thermostat!

Stay Fit Forever!

Shut up and Squat!!

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“SHUT UP AND SQUAT!!”

As a trainer, you have no idea how many times I have wanted to say that to somebody.

It seems like there are so many excuses people use to justify why they shouldn’t squat. “It hurts my back!” or, “It hurts my knees!”, or the ever famous, “My doctor told me that squatting is dangerous!”.

Really??! Has your doctor ever seen one of these?

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The other thing I get a lot, especially from women is, “I don’t want my butt to get too big!” Tell me, do their butts look too big to you? Didn’t think so…

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The truth is, the squat is an essential functional exercise that everybody needs to learn how to execute correctly.  I don’t mean that you need to get out there and use a ton of weight, or put yourself in a dangerous position, but squatting, when done correctly forces you to learn how to use your hip extensors, your gluteals, your quadriceps and your core all at the same time!  What a great movement! One that you will use throughout your day, every day, for the rest of your life.

Whether it’s sitting down on the toilet, getting up from your favorite easy chair, reaching down to pick up your child or better yet, your grandchild, squats are what you’ll be doing. So you’d better learn to do them right!

My suggestion to you is to try and find a way to incorporate these into your workouts. Over the long run, you will notice more strength and more flexibility.  In general, they will make every day tasks much easier to perform.

So now, shut up and squat!!

Fit Forever,

Tony

Focus On: Abdominals – Vertical Plank/Crunch Combo

Just a note, these Focus On segments will be an ongoing part of the blog. In them, I’ll focus on a specific body part and illustrate, explain and demonstrate how and why the exercises work.

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Here’s a great, two part movement for really whacking your midsection, especially the Rectus Abdominus, commonly referred to as your “six pack”.

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The Rectus Abdominus is an important postural muscle. It also helps in
keeping the internal organs intact and protected. It also aids in creating
intra-abdominal pressure such as when you’re lifting heavy weights. It’s one of
the most “visible” core muscles when it’s not covered up with excess
body fat.

The two movements that I’m going to show you are the vertical plank and an
upper abdominal crunch with your legs elevated. Here’s a video demonstration of
how to perform the movements and what to pay attention to:

OK, that’s it for today! Try to incorporate this combo into your workout
and really concentrate on squeezing out the reps rather than using momentum. I
guarantee you’ll feel them, and they’ll go a long way into etching out your
very own six pack!

Let’s get Fit Forever together!

Tony

Bare Bones Full Body Workout

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One of the most common excuses I hear from people is that, for one
reason or another, they just can’t make it in to the gym.

Well, I’m here to tell you that where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Here’s a simple, beginner to intermediate full body circuit that can be
performed with just a pair of dumbells and an exercise mat in about 10 square
feet of space. It consists of 10 different exercises that target just about
every body part you own. The idea is to do one exercise after the other until
you reach the end of the circuit. Then, depending on your levels of stamina and
endurance, you’ll rest anywhere from 30-60 seconds and start over.

Initially, you want to complete 3 full circuits, which will probably
take about 20 minutes. Once your conditioning has gotten better, you should add
another circuit, and keep increasing until you can keep this going for about 40
minutes with only a 30 second break in between circuits.

This is not meant to bulk you up, but you WILL achieve a better level of muscle
tone while creating a great metabolic response as well. You’ll burn more
calories doing this than doing the same amount of time of steady-state cardio.

So, now I challenge you! Do this workout and time yourself for a total of 3
circuits. You don’t need to use heavy weights because it’s the volume of work
that will get you! When you’re done, why don’t you comment below and post your
time/weights used. In fact, keep track and see if you’re able to better your
record each time you do the workout.

Finally, sorry about the 70’s porn soundtrack, but when you’re working with
royalty free music, you have to be open minded…

All kidding aside, this music is graciously made free for public use by a guy
named Kevin MacLeod. Thanks Kevin, your generosity to the internet folks is
greatly appreciated!

OK, that’s it for now. Gotta start thinking of what comes next! See ya soon and
remember…

Stay Fit Forever!

Tony