The Truth About Sugar

Is sugar considered a poison?

Is all the added sugar in your diet hammering your physique and health, ABSOLUTELY.  Simply eliminating added sugars will put you on the fast track to improved health.  Most people look at sugar as this wonderful sweet substance that makes everything bland taste amazing (can someone say flour) .  I am here to give you an alternative way of looking at sugar, to quote Dr Lustig “poison!”

Dr. Lustig in the following video will explain in a very entertaining and intriguing way how sugar functions and affects our body once we ingest it.  You will definitely be surprised at the answer and probably never look at the substance the same again.

For the good of your health take an hour and sit down with the family and watch this talk.  It will change your viewpoints and probably your physique forever.

Without further ado, SUGAR – THE BITTER TRUTH

Does this mean we need to eliminate sugar completely and never consume the crap, OF COURSE NOT.  You guys should know I don’t ask you to give up those modern foods 100% of the time.  It all comes down to the 90% rule.  You can eat “forbidden” foods, during the 10%.

Personally, I don’t believe consuming sugar in moderation is healthy.  Moderation tends to get blown out of proportion and this is one thing I think we should limit as much as possible.  Save sugar for special occasions, holidays, and times with friends.  NOT for every time you walk past the candy dish.

Now, utilize the knowledge you just learned, pass this along, and help make America healthier.

-Trevor

Workout Intensity

Aren’t you glad I am not this guy 🙂 but nice dramatization none-the-less.

 

I got this email from BJ Gaddour, owner of Fitness Asylum out in Milwaukee,  a few days back and felt I needed to pass this along to all my clients

One thing that is very hard to judge is intensity.  If we go too hard we poop out towards the end, if we go too easy we leave to much on the table and don’t get maximum results.

BJ does a great job explaining both what metabolic training is – what we do at boot camp everyday – and what signs to look for to monitor whether you are working too hard or the dreaded not hard enough.

Check it out…

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What is Metabolic Training?

Metabolic Training is the ultimate fusion of anaerobic strength and aerobic cardio exercise and adds a new twist to the classic bodybuilding routines of the past.

A metabolic workout is essentially a total body interval workout using short, max effort anaerobic work periods (typically 15-60 seconds in length) performed in an alternating set format (such as supersets, circuits, complexes, Tabatas, etc.) with short, incomplete rest periods between exercises (typically 10-30 seconds in length).

The high training intensity builds strength and muscle, jacks up anaerobic metabolism, and creates a large post-workout afterburn for up to 48 hours after completing your workout.

The high training density, or work completed per unit of time, causes a great deal of direct calorie burning during the workout to best stimulate fat loss.

Finally, the negative work-to-rest ratios (e.g. 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest) inherent to the vast majority of metabolic workouts create a cumulative fatigue that also stimulates aerobic metabolism and thus provides incredible cardiovascular benefits.

That being said, metabolic training is not for the weak of mind or heart and it’s all about working as hard as you possibly can at your current fitness level.

Four Signs You’re NOT Working Hard Enough

1.) Lack of Muscular Burn: Anaerobic exercise with short, incomplete rest periods creates a great deal of lactic acid accumulation causing intense muscular fatigue and burning. Simply put, if your muscles aren’t burning, you’re not working hard enough. However, this does not mean that you need train to muscular failure on every set. However, for the optimal training effect you should come close to but stop just before technical failure, the point at which going any further would comprise proper exercise form and technique.

2.) Lack of Personal Confrontation: Studies show that training intensity, not volume, determines the degree of metabolic boost from a given workout. That being said, if you don’t have at least a couple moments during your workout when you feel like you want to quit or you hate your life, you’re not working hard enough. Progressive overload remains the hallmark of any solid fitness routine and if you are not pushing past your comfort zone your body will stop adapting to ANY routine. This is nothing more than the man in the mirror test- get some!

3.) No Sounds of Exertion: If you’re not grunting, groaning, huffing, or puffing you’re simply not working hard enough. Your heart rate should be up the whole workout with your lungs working overtime and you might even get a nice little workout booger or two by the time it’s all said and done. In other words, these total body workouts create a systemic effect that activates your body’s fight or flight response to help you go the distance. I’m not saying you have to scream like a rabid animal, but I am saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. Finally, I think another good analogy is the 4 letter word test- if you’re not fighting back the burning desire to yell out a profane 4 letter word or two, well then you’re probably not working hard enough.

4.) Not Sweating: A good metabolic workout will have you glistening during the first couple minutes of the workout and your shirt should be soaked halfway in. If you’re not dripping in a pool of your own sweat at the end of each workout, you simply did not use use heavy enough loads or advanced enough exercise variations to create a metabolic disturbance. Either that or you were resting too long between sets. In general, you should never take more than 60 seconds of rest between sets with metabolic training and 10-30 seconds seems to be the sweet spot.



Four Signs You’re Working Too Hard



1.) Diminished Training Intensity: In general, if you need to reduce your training loads from set to set, then you’re probably working too hard. Your goal is to be able to use the sames loads at the end of the workout that you used in the beginning without excessively resting before increasing the loads in the subsequent workout. The only exception here is if the workout actually calls for you to reduce your loads throughout the training session. In addition, it’s better to go into a given work period with a general rep range to work within. For example, if you were using 30-second work periods, a typical rep range within that time frame is 8-12 reps if you’re moving at the typical 3-4 second per rep tempo. If you’re getting more than 15 reps, the loads are too light. If you’re getting less than 6 reps, the loads are too heavy.

2.) Excessive Resting: If you are being forced to rest/pause a couple times during a work period, or you’re resting longer than your rest periods allow for, you’re probably working too hard. If you choose the appropriate exercise intensity, you should be able to train with minimal if any stopping during the work periods within your workout. As the workout progresses, a brief 3-5 second pause here and there to reset and reload is fine, but if you’re taking any longer than that and stopping constantly, then you need to reduce your loads or regress the exercise appropriately.

3.) Excessive Breathing: A good workout will have you breathing hard as your body’s demand for oxygen increases, but you should never be completely out of breath or gasping for air. If you start wheezing or coughing, that’s a clear sign to stop exercising immediately. If symptoms persist, it could be related to exercise-induced asthma or another serious condition and you should seek immediate medical attention. It’s important to note that larger individuals with more muscle mass will have greater overall oxygen demands and will thus be more prone to being out of breath than their smaller, less muscled counterparts.

4.) Dizziness or Blurred Vision: If you get dizzy or have vision trouble during any portion of exercise, then you’re probably working too hard. Either that or you could be experiencing a migraine or vertigo or have symptoms of low blood pressure, dehydration, or lack of nutrition. If this conditions persists, you must immediately discontinue your fitness program and seek medical attention.

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There ya go folks, exercise intensity in a nutshell.  Pay attention to your body during the next workout and adjust your intensity according.  I wouldn’t mind hearing a few grunts and groans at boot camp soon.  Trust me, that effort will get your exactly where you want to be.

Get After it,

-Trevor

 

 

My New Favorite Snack Bar

So the other day I was traveling and needed some food hardcore.  I am not a big fast food fan so whenever I get hungry I usually just stop at a grocery store and browse around till I find something.  Like any convenience store grocery stores have loads of energy bars, health bars, and “give me diabetes now” bars.  I have only found a select few “health” bars I will actually eat.

As I was searching through the “health” bar section and reading labels (yes, I read labels and so should you).  I came across this bar called the Larabar.  It flat out blew me away.  They use at maximum 5 ingredients in their bars.  Their base is nuts and fruit.  I had to stop for a second to catch my breath.  Could this really be true, does a company actually care about the health of its consumers, no way.  I tried to find fault with these bars but just couldn’t do it.  They use whole fruit and nuts.  They are loaded with fiber which makes up for them being a tad high in sugar.  I can deal with sugar from natural fruit sources though.  Flat out AMAZING.

So next time you are searching for a quick snack check out LARABAR!

 

mmmm…banana cookie

 

 

Throw the scale out the window!

Throw the scale out the window!

Yes, you read it right, throw out the scale. Get rid of the sole object that has been causing you agony for all these years. You don’t need it, and its time to part ways.

Can’t do it, well at least tuck it away for later. I am going to show you today the methods of assessment you should be using. You are assessing your progress aren’t you?

If you aren’t, how do you know if you are improving or getting closer to your goals? Heck, maybe you even reached your goal and you don’t even know it yet.

If you are not assessing the qualities related to your goal through a variety of means, then you are simply guessing with your programming and diet, which is certainly not an efficient way to reach your goals. Remember that chemistry test is high school when you guessed C for every answer. How did that turn out for ya?

Why do should we assess?

Periodic assessments tell us whether or not we are doing things right. I am all about following how we “feel” but if you have specific goals like “wanting to lose 30 pounds of fat, gain 10 pounds of muscle, or do 15 full push-ups” you need objective evidence to determine whether the path you are taking is working or if some slight tweaking is in order.

I didn’t say overhaul but slight tweaking. Rarely does anyone need a complete program overhaul usually just a change of pace or intensity.

As a health and fitness professional I do this in numerous ways with my personal and small group-training clients. I require it of anyone in one of those programs because it tells me if the programs I write are working.

My boot camps on the other hand are more self-directed so today I am going to talk about a few quick and easy ways to assess body composition that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

As always, you can always contact me to do an assessment; it only takes about twenty minutes.

Assessing Body Composition

A person can assess just about anything from body composition, speed, power, strength, endurance, and the list goes on and on.

Most of you reading this get all jacked up about body composition so those are the assessment tools we are going to focus on today.

Why the scale doesn’t tell the whole story?

The first assessment tool that anyone thinks of when they are trying to make body composition changes is the ALL-MIGHTY scale. The scale is so 1970, here’s why you should throw it out with those velvet bell-bottoms. Seriously, they are never going to be stylish anymore, get rid of them.

Pro:

1. It’s easy.
2. It’s easy.
3. It’s easy.

Cons:
1. It tells us nothing about body composition. I am more worried about body composition than simply what the scale weight has to say. I might gain five pounds but if I drop a percentage of body fat I am elated.

2. It can fluctuate greatly depending on the time of day you decide to step on and for the ladies out there the “time of month.” Two words: water weight. No you did not just gain 5 pounds of fat from breakfast to dinner.

3. People can get way to attached to the scale and constantly measure themselves day after day living and dying by the number. I have seen the scale become an addiction and have had to remove it from client’s lives because it caused that much emotional trauma. It’s a tool, and only that, a poor tool.

Ready for an easier, more objective way?

An easier and much more objective way to tell what is going on in your body is to measure your waist right at the belly button. This gives better insight into body composition than the scale weight every day of the week. If this number consistently drops you are doing things right if fat loss is your goal.

(Again women, when bloating and retaining water become the norm, you know when, disregard these measurements because you are getting inaccurate readings of what is actually going on.)

Don’t measure everyday either. Stick to the same day, at the same time, every other week to do your measurements. Once every two weeks is perfect. You need to give time for the program to work and your body to adapt. Measure in centimeters too because you need to be able to record little changes. Plus, the entire world uses the metric system because if flippn’ makes sense. How does 12 inches equal a foot, come on people.

Need More?

If you are someone like me who needs lots of information to assess the entire situation you can do a few things.

1. Have a meeting with me and I will do all the work for you.

2. Set-Up an excel spreadsheet and record the changes in girth at multiple different body parts most notably, the neck, shoulders, chest, waist (at the belly button), hips, thigh, and calve. Always do the same side of the body and at the same time during the on each assessment. Every two weeks is frequent enough.
3. Use a cheap set of calipers to take your own body fat or have someone you trust do it. Then enter those numbers into a formula to get a number.

With my clients, I utilize a 3 -prong approach when assessing body composition: body fat percentage, body part girths, AND scale weight. This gives me a much more accurate picture of what is going on in my client’s or my own body.

If you want to buy your own set go to amazon.com and type in “calipers tape measure” and some great options will pop up for you.

Review

• If you are looking to make changes in your life, you must measure or assess or you are simply guessing with your programming. Start assessing NOW.

• Consult with me to have an assessment done or buy a kit of your own from amazon for less than $30, set up an excel spreadsheet and start recording.

• If you are not losing weight consider adding an extra half an hour of exercise to your regimen or cutting out 200-300 calories.

• If you do only one measurement measure your waist circumference directly at the navel.

• Stay emotionally unattached to the numbers. They are simply a guide to whether or not your programming is effective.

Success: Why some succeed and others fail

I want to share with you a few thoughts from conversations I have had with some of my clients this week, mainly concerning success.

All of us have goals in life.  We want to do this and we want to do that.  They sound so great and wonderful in the safe-haven of our head, but once we are called upon to act on them something usually comes up.  There is always tomorrow, right?

Many of you reading this newsletter have goals of losing weight, but they are just that, goals.  I want you to stop thinking about goals and start thinking about expectations.  Expect yourself to lose weight, expect yourself to eat better, expect yourself to attend workouts regularly.

Why?

Your health, your body, and most importantly you deserve it.

Goals leave too much room for error.  If we fail, too bad, there is always tomorrow.  If you start viewing your goals as expectations you completely change your mindset towards them.  Now all of sudden thoughts of failure are no longer a question.

Here are a few quick ways to start going from goals to expectations:

1.    Write down where you expect to be in 1 month. 3 months, 6 months!

2.    Create a vision board (grab a sheet of a paper and grab some magazines or the internet and cut out images of what you want).  Some may want to lose inches, some gain muscle, some make more money, some become a better cook.  Whatever it is find an image paste it on the board.  Throw some quotes on there for good measure too.

Now put the board somewhere where you can see it every day.  This will be daily motivation for you especially during times when you doubt yourself.  And you will doubt at times, but this will remind you to keep on track.

3.    Hold yourself accountable, tell people about what you want to do.  Reward yourself if you reach your goal: massages are great.

4.    Become part of a group that will help, encourage and support you and become an active member.  Ask questions, give advice, and help others.

5.    Most importantly, TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY.  Don’t wait till tomorrow or until the “right” time comes because it never will.

No matter what it is take action, do SOMETHING to get the ball rolling.  Start building momentum.

Commit to Boot Camp, start cutting out the junk in your diet, schedule a meeting with me to clean up your nutrition, start emailing me questions on how to improve, utilize the resources you have available to you and TAKE ACTION.  If you invest in the process, you will reap much faster rewards and you will develop an unstoppable internal drive.

My most successful clients are the ones who invest themselves in the process.   They make a DECISION at some point and expect themselves to succeed.  Essentially they commit to the process.  They email me great things they have read, they give me tips to share with other clients that work for them, they ask questions, they text me while at restaurants to find out what to eat.  They listen and take immediate action.

Success is not always easy and there will be ups and downs.  Surround yourself with the right people, develop the right habits, and find yourself a mentor so those downs won’t last long and those ups will change your life.

Talk soon,

Trevor