FAT to FIT Help Center

TashaFollow Tasha’s success!

Steve was tasked to put his own training methods to the test on National Television. He accepted the challenge, and after gaining as much weight as he could, together they lost over 120lbs using the our diet and exercise program we offer at our gym, Max Fitness Club. Tasha’s program included educational tools, meal plan, workout regimen and weekly weigh ins.

Pfat To Pfit Book CoverPFAT TO PFIT PROGRAM

After being flooded with questions, we decided to share our program with people outside our gym. We created a similar workout to give you the same results whether you belong to a gym or not, called Pfat To Pfit (the “P” in Pfat To Pfit is a play on our last name, “Pfiester” in case you wondered! The “P” is silent). It includes the following.

1. Get Pfit Handbook: addressing diet, exercise and the mental battle of weight loss
2.  2 Workout Routines: 1 for the gym and 1 for home, including links to how-to videos for each exercise
3. Meal Plan: 7-day meal plan with recipes & shopping list
4. Bonus Material: Q&A with Steve, Steve’s Weight Training Routine and Workout Worksheet

80% of your success depends on this education. It’s a small investment for a BIG reward!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Pfat To Pfit Program and get started!

CLICK HERE for more video footage of Tasha & Steve.
CLICK HERE to follow all content on Fit To Fat To Fit at PFITblog.
CLICK HERE to watch the full episode on A&E.com.

Dr Stopper Workout ProgramNEW!!

Not ready for to take the plunge into following Tasha’s program? We have a brand new introductory program that starts with only 15 minutes of exercise a day and builds each week – perfect for someone who needs to take things slow, safe and easy.

CLICK HERE for the DOCTOR STOPPER Beginner Basic Training Program

This Fitness Gift That Outshines the Rest

shield of strength plate weightDesigner Fitness Jewelry

If you are looking for a fitness gift that really stands out, I do believe Shields of Strength jewelry should top every fitness lover’s shopping list. I have never laid eyes on such beautiful pieces of fitness jewelry.

When I got my plate weight necklace Friday afternoon, I honestly couldn’t contain my excitement. This picture doesn’t even really do it justice. It is truly breathtaking. As you probably know, most fitness jewelry is “cute” or cool, but rarely can anyone say it’s beautiful. However, Shields of Strength designer jewelry is absolutely over the top beautiful and stylish.

Merry Fitness Gift List

shield of strength plate weightEach year I share some of my favorite gift ideas. After discovering Shields of Strength‘ Facebook ad, I knew they needed to be on my list. However, I didn’t realize just how far up on the list they’d be until I saw their jewelry in person.

I will admit, this pendant isn’t cheap, but it is a quality piece that is designed to outlast and outshine the competition. The polished stainless steel paired with Swarovski® crystals takes fitness jewelry to a whole new level. What I love most about this necklace is they tied faith in to the fitness mix (my favorite combo) – and added 2 Samuel 22:33 on the pendant which says, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”

christmas giftsShields of Strength is top on my Merry Fitness Gift List this year! They have a wide variety of unique gift ideas, ranging from affordable gifts at $6.99 to nicer pieces of jewelry over $100. They even have jewelry for a variety of different sports, key chains, dog tags, weight belts, gym bag clip-ons and other gifts. There is literally something for everyone so you should have no problem finding the perfect custom gift for your friend or loved one.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP!

fitwomen-ban

My Top 10 Shields of Strength Gift Picks:

  1. All Plate Weight Jewelry (Such a BIG Selection to choose from!)
  2. Dumbbell and Cross Combo Necklaces
  3. Philippians 4:13 Shoe Laces
  4. Plate Weight Rings
  5. Boxing Glove Necklace 
  6. Scripture Athletic Tape
  7. Plate Weight Christmas Ornament
  8. Philippians 4:13 Lifting Straps  FOR HIM!
  9. Sledgehammer Necklace  FOR HIM!
  10. Philippians 4:13 Football Pendant FOR HIM!

 

I Will Beat Her Motivational Apparel

I Will Beat HerMy new line is coming out SOON! It could be ready in a matter of DAYS!! CLICK HERE to get on my mailing list and be the first to get the news!!

I’m working hard to get stuff out before Christmas. I hope you like everything! I’ve been working on this for a while! Here are some pics of me wearing some of the first generation samples, along with the final designs.

The theme for my first line is all black, white, pink and grey – match them any way you like!

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I will beat herfullsizerender

i-will-beat-her-apparel

Still Stuffed? Reduce the Pooch in Just 3 Days

steve and bonnie pfiesterIf you’re like me, you’ve stuffed your face since Thanksgiving! Ok, I didn’t really do that bad on Thanksgiving, but I have been “off” my diet for too long! You know what they say! “It’s all fun and games until your jeans don’t fit!” hahahahaha

Seriously, my diet vacation all started with the hurricanes that hit right after our competition. It continued through our vacation to Utah and ended with this past weekend. You know how it is, it’s like you say to yourself “I’m already fat. Might as well go out with a bang”. LOL

I found myself rubbing my belly like I was hoping to make a wish. My once flat tummy is no where to be found. It’s not like I gained 10lbs of stored fat over Thanksgiving week, but I’ve been letting the weight slowly creep up on me. But, that’s not all that is happening to make me feel so ridiculously fat. I’m literally stuffed.

stuffedGet Rid of the Evidence

Let’s talk about getting “unstuffed”. There are only two ways to get rid of the extra baggage you are carrying from over eating. One way is to burn it off with exercise (which takes a bit longer, but is most definitely necessary). The other way is to let your body run its course and let it get rid of food naturally. Yep, poop the weight off. Ha! I know! Not a fantastic subject, but it’s an important topic.

There are actually two things that happen when we go off our diet. Not only are our portions out of control, but we tend to eat more sodium and hold more water too. These two things alone will regulate once we get a grip on our diet. As it regulates, so will your weight.

We typically have temporary weight gain from water retention and filled bowels. While I am quite certain I have actually gained body fat, a lot is going on inside me way after my last big feast.

You can’t expect to eat these huge portions and not feel huge yourself. Where do you think that copious amount of food goes? Yep, it goes right to your gut – literally. It spends roughly 30 minutes to 2 hours in your actual stomach, but that’s not what makes us feel fat. Look at where the stomach is. When is the last time you grabbed just below your boob and thought, “boy I feel full!”? No, we grab our low stomach, where all our intestines are (which are probably already full from our last huge meal. And we unbutton our pants or put on stretchy pants to make more room for the intestines to do their job. Isn’t that an attractive thought!? LOL!

Just Three Days

portionsSo the million dollar question, “How can I feel thinner in just 3 days”? Easy! It takes up to 80 hours to rid yourself of the last huge meal you ate – that’s just a little over 3 days until you are truly through with that meal.

The key to feeling thin in just 3 days, is to immediately begin eating smaller portions so that you literally have less food in your gut. I love to eat brothy soups during this time period, to reduce food volume but still get that full feeling.

The first few meals may be the most difficult to adjust to, as your body has become used to the larger portions. Although your stomach is the size of your fist, it can be stretched out when you eat larger portions. However, it’s not the size of your stomach that really is an issue, it’s the type of meals you eat.

Each meal sets you up for the next. Another words, if you just ate a large unhealthy meal, your body will get your digestive system prepared for another large unhealthy meal. Once you stop that particular eating pattern, your body will begin to expect (and be content with) smaller, healthier portions.

upset stomachHowever, if you are a yo-yo dieter who eats small meals one minute and huge meals the next, expect your body to be just as confused as your scale. You will likely find small portions unsatisfying unless you maintain consistent eating patterns. As soon as you begin to maintain smaller portions, you will begin to feel thinner in just 3 days!

Of course you don’t want to just leave it up to your digestive system to rid yourself of the overage. You want to start burning off the stored fat too! So, make sure you get some good cardio in and pump those muscles back up with weights so your muscles feel tight and tone too. You’ll be AMAZED how much better you will feel by the end of the week!!

PFIT TIP: Today, I am addressing portion control – but what about all those extra calories you ate over Thanksgiving? Start burning some calories now to burn off fat stores from overeating. Your new eating habits coupled with a consistent exercise program can get you faster (and much happier) results.

Dr Stopper Workout ProgramNeed a Diet Plan?

Get 4 different 7-day sample meal plans with the new Dr. Stopper Beginner Fitness Program for only $9.99!!

Don’t forget to subscribe and connect with me on Twitter and Facebook!

5 Reasons Potatoes Get a Bad Rap

red potatoesIt doesn’t take much to get a bad reputation these days. One bad article or negative post on social media, and the whole world can go anti-anything in one day.

Potatoes are a good example of a good vegetable getting a bad rap simply because people have gotten mixed messages from mainstream media. We live in a world full of carbaphobics. Most people are taught that carbs are bad and protein is good, but that’s about the extent of it. This is just one of many reasons why the potato has been left off the plate.

5 Reasons Potatoes Get a Bad Rap

1. Simple carbs complicate things.

There is a huge difference between a complex carbohydrate and a simple carbohydrate. The problem is, most people don’t know the difference. This complicates things for people who are trying to learn how to eat right. As a result, many people just avoid carbs altogether instead of learning which carbs are good and which ones are bad.

For instance, simple carbs are “bad carbs”. Simple carbs include baked goods, cereal, sugar, corn syrup, molasses, soft drinks, fruit drinks and processed foods. Complex carbs are “good carbs” and include whole grains, beans, nuts, fruit, nuts and vegetables – including (you guessed it) potatoes!

DO: Trade French fries and potato chips for homemade baked potato fries or grilled home fries.

fullsizerender2. We mess up a good thing with bad stuff.

There are a ton of ways to cook potatoes. Since they are relatively inexpensive, it is a staple at most fast food restaurants. We have French fries, curly fries, waffle fries, hashbrowns, tater tots, potato salad, mashed potatoes with gravy and every flavor of potato chip you could imagine. More people eat potato products than actual whole potatoes. The potato itself is healthy, but the way it’s often cooked is not.

DO: Use the K.I.S.S method – Keep It Simple Stupid. Bring back the whole potato. Top a baked potato with healthy toppings for a fabulous healthy and hearty meal. Throw some red new potatoes and seasonings with your favorite meat in a slow cooker for a really simple but tasty meal. Add chopped potatoes to your low-calorie vegetable soup to help it stay with you longer.

3. We eat too much.

I’ve never met anyone that didn’t like potatoes. I could honestly eat potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner if my waistline would let me. It’s not that the potato itself makes me fat, it’s the fact that I want four helpings. Biggie fries is the perfect example of going overboard on serving sizes. Potatoes are healthy, but overeating is not.

DO: Measure your food to track your calories so you don’t go over your caloric budget.

4. People are misinformed and misled.

Did you know that a medium potato has more potassium than a medium banana, which is known for its potassium content? Bananas are carbohydrates too, but that seems to be overlooked because they have been labeled “healthy,” while potatoes get left out for no apparent reason.

DO: Adults should get at least 4,700 mg of potassium daily. One medium (5.3 ounce) potato contains 620 milligrams of potassium.

flexing couple5. People don’t know how to fuel the body properly.

Did you know there is a good time and bad time to eat certain foods, depending on your activity? Potatoes, like many healthy carbs, are an excellent fuel source for your body. Eat potatoes to help fuel you through your day or boost your workouts.

DO: If you are carb-conscience, eat your potatoes when you need the energy most. Add a little healthy fat (like avocado or olive oil) to help slow digestion and give you energy that lasts and lasts.

FOOD PREP TIP:

• Potatoes are one of the few vegetables that are great as left overs. While leafy veggies welt or get soggy, potatoes continue to soak in the flavor of the herbs and spices they are cooked with. So, don’t be surprised the potatoes get better each time you eat them!

• Weigh and measure food before you store it away so you have quick access to exactly the right portions to help you reach your goals.

• Use potatoes to power your workouts. They are great fuel for strength and conditioning training.

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Potatoes USA.

Fitness Posters: Best Motivational and Informative Tools for Gyms

The Fitness Poster

Have you ever noticed gyms, even home gyms, are often decorated with fitness posters? This is not just because they need art on the wall and it just fits the gym theme. No! The real reason they plaster these posters everywhere is because they help us succeed.motivational posters

Even if we go to a gym and have a set goal, sometimes, it’s necessary to get an additional dose of motivation and fitness posters help us do just that. A fitness poster of some super fit chick lifting a heavy weight or a shirtless guy in the sprint position showing off every ripple of muscle does something to the gym-goer. Just like most advertising, we want what we see. The only difference is, we know we have to work for it.

When I see a picture like that, I want to BE that girl lifting heavy or I want to DO what that guy is doing to get shredded. I want to succeed. That’s why I love motivating people so much with my motivational quotes and posts on social media. Because I know what motivational images do for me. I NEED it! We ALL do!!

The other purpose for a motivational poster is it’s informational. It can provide you with the information you need to succeed. It might show you how to do certain exercises correctly, demonstrate the benefits of doing sports or give useful information and advice.

Check out some popular types of fitness posters, which can be used in any type of a gym.

Fitness Motivational Posters

motivational posterOne way to make me want to really work is to remind me what I could look like if I keep training hard by placing motivational fitness posters of other people working out. Depending on the type of the gym, it can be a poster of any kind of exercise – weight lifting, running, yoga, pilates, crossfit or any other kind of training. It doesn’t even have to be something I do to get me going. All fitness is inspirational to me.

Motivational posters just remind you of what you are there for. And, you really need to be reminded at every turn, so it’s great to have them plastered everywhere. For instance, the yoga studio can be decorated with the photos of people doing yoga and gracefully strong postures while a cool shot of someone running may be just what you need to see when you are on a treadmill.

Bodybuilders Posters

bodybuilding posterPhotos of bodybuilders remind gym goers of their potential. It shows you what your muscles could look like if you keep training and dieting. Even if you don’t want to look like a bodybuilder, bodybuilding posters can inspire you to build your body. In the gym, you are the sculptor and your body is the clay.

Pictures of famous bodybuilders remind you that the sky is the limit and people do make their dreams come true. Seeing their pictures proves that all the hard work in the gym is rewarded if you try to do your best, which is inspiring for both the beginners and experienced athletes. We are all in this together!

female bodybuilderEven pictures of unknown athletes are inspirational – reminding you that there are tons of real people getting amazing results. Whether they are pictured  just standing there drinking water or pumping iron, just seeing how a body is capable of looking, can be just what you need to push yourself a little further.

Informative Workout Posters

Another thing you see a lot at gyms are informative posters. As a gym owner myself, I’ve personally witnessed members gathered around a poster to simply gain more knowledge. Whether they poster is showing how to do an exercise correctly or is a helpful diagram of muscles and their names, they can be a really effective learning tool.

Posters may list recommendations of what exercises are best for people with certain problem areas, tips on how to lose weight or build muscles, pieces of advice on what types of training to choose or show you how to use a machine. Either way, informational gym posters can contain endless amounts of data, which can help anyone improve their fitness.

For example, as pictured right, it can be a print on yoga types and their benefits or how jogging improves health. This seriously makes me want to go do a yoga class right now!

motivational postersMotivational Fitness Posters with Quotes

If you have followed me for any length of time, you KNOW how much I love motivational words and thoughts. Sometimes we just need someone, or something, to talk some sense into us. I know I need it, so I always love to pass on words that have motivated me.

Motivational words inspire us and push forward to new achievements. Sometimes its an inspirational message containing a quote of famous athlete, who shares their training philosophy or how they reached the top. Other times, it’s a motivational phrase that is short but extremely powerful. I’ve learned it is important for the poster design to be eye-catching, not too complicated and super easy to read.

I bet you can think of a few phrases you’ve read somewhere right now – proving they work!

A No Pain No Gain Motivational Poster

no pain no gain

One of the most popular phrases for inspirational fitness posters is “No Pain No Gain”. You’ve probably seen this phrase written different with designs, from just words written on monotonous background to the ones paired with beautiful photos. It’s not only motivational, it’s the truth. Results will take work, but it reminds you it is worth is. No pain (work), no gain (reward).

When choosing the ones for your gym, think about the message, the image, the placement and the purpose. What are you trying to get across and strategically place the poster where you know it will impact someone the most?

You can get a ton of great posters online. You normally get more variety online at a better price. For instance, this site offers a great selection of fitness posters – both motivational and informational. And, you can order custom prints, designed specifically for your gym.

Set yourself up for success. Get the tools you need to succeed!!

Get more gym set-up tips: “The Secret to Home Gym Success“. 

Beginner Bodyweight Workout Program

Dr Stopper banner3We created a program we called the “Dr. Stopper” because we believe it has the potential to stop, or reduce, all those trips to the doctor’s office. Many common ailments are due to a lack of activity.

The program is SUPER simple and starts with only 15 minutes of exercise as little as three times a week. By the end of the program, you will work up to 45 minutes of exercise.

While the exercises are super simple, they are extremely effective. They don’t require any equipment, except a jump rope – and that’s even optional. While the exercises are simple, the intensity is through the roof because you are going as hard as you can. All we ask is for you to do your best.

One Workout For Every Fitness Level

slim-woman-overweight-sideThe neat thing about this workout is anyone can do it – and anyone at any fitness level can do it together without holding each other back. Why? Because it’s based on time not a certain number of repetitions. Let’s say you have a friend who needs to lose 80lbs working out with you, but you only need to lose 20lbs. You will each do the same exercises for as may repetitions as you can for 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off (rest). You may get 25 repetitions but your friend might only get 10. It doesn’t matter how many reps each of you do as long as you BOTH gave YOUR all. In the end, you both walk away feeling like you got a great hard workout even if you worked at different fitness levels.

Exercises That Improve Your Life

1a956eca2bfcc30872dcb029ae0487a2Another reason this workout is great for improving your overall health is each exercise simulates real activities of daily living (ADLs). In other words, we aren’t doing bicep curls to strengthen on small muscle, but we are using exercises that use and strengthen your entire body as a unit.

For instance, you will do a sit up, just like you sit up out of bed, and air squats that use the same muscles you need to get up out of a chair. There is one exercise called a “Get Up” that is a functional movement to help improve how well you get up off the floor. Plyometric exercises like jump rope or jumping jacks work on your ability to jump up in a quick instant which can help you navigate around a puddle or move quick safely, reducing chance of injury.

Another strategic part of the workout is how the exercises are put together. They aren’t just randomly listed. They are put together in a way to improve your conditioning. For instance, some of the exercises have you on the ground, followed by an exercise that has you back on your feet. This up and down type of activity helps improve your cardiovascular system, as well as mobility.

While all the exercises can be modified, and may seem simple at first glance, even fitness pros will be challenged because they will be working at their 100% maximum effort.

Meal Plan

fnmc3xrg4jv6tb5-rect2100The Dr. Stopper comes with the workout worksheet with links to video instruction, a workout activity sheet to track activity and 4 sample meal plans.

To choose the right meal plan, we recommend you take your goal weight and multiply it by 10 or 11 (depending on your activity – higher number for higher activity, lower number for lower activity). If you have more than 50lbs to lose, then just reduce your goal weight slowly so you don’t drop calories too fast.

For instance, if my current weight is 170lbs and my goal weight is 125lbs, I would shoot for 1250 – 1375 calories (125 X 10 and 125 X 11). If you are maintenance, then multiply your weight by 12 or 13, depending on your activity. The 4 sample meal plans offered are based on 1200, 1500, 1750 and 1900 calories.

Get your workout plan today. You should be automatically redirected to the download link to get your introduction, worksheets and meal plans. However, as soon as you make your purchase, I will be notified and will also send you the link in case your virus protection blocked the redirect.

screen322x572What You Will Need

• Gymboss Interval App (available for apple and for android phones)
• Jump Rope (optional)
• Matt (for sit-ups and push ups if you are on your knees)
• Workout Worksheet (provided)
• Activity Sheet (provided, to track workouts)
• Meal Plan (provided)

Private Group Support

Once you join the Dr. Stopper program, I will invite you to be a part of our private group support on facebook. This way you have a direct access to Steve and I, as well as others doing the program! Remember, we are ALL starting this today if you want to join in at the same time. It’s prefect for this time of year because you can do it anywhere!

Get Started!

We started this program at our gym this week so I wanted to offer it online as well – and we lowered the cost this week for only $9.99. Get started now and we can all do it together!




My New Buff Boxx: A Healthy Surprise

Have you ever wished you could try a supplement before you had to buy a 3lb container of a protein powder you may not even like? Or, maybe you are one of those fit peeps that wants to stay in the know of what is up and coming. If this sounds like you, you may want to try Buff Boxx!

Buff Boxx is a monthly subscription that gives subscribers an opportunity to sample some of the latest fitness products on the market. Products include all kinds of supplements, gym accessories and premium apparel.

I have to admit, I was surprised to see what came in my first box. Check it out!

Buff BoxWhat’s Inside:
• Buff Boxx Tank Top ($19.99 value)
• Reebok Leggings ($40 value)
• Merkury Bluetooth Headphones ($39.99 value)
• PB2 Samples
• Peanut Butter Thins Crackers
• Cellucor Whey Protein Powder
• Good Wipes Deotorizing Body Wipes
• Buff Boxx Bottle Opener Key Chain

In addition to the tangible goodies inside, there was a meal plan for both a man and a woman, as well as a written workout to try! Pretty cool! I can’t wait to see what comes in next!

buff boxHis or Hers?

Buff Boxx has a “HIS” and “HERS” option so you get exactly what you need to help you reach your fitness goals. Last year Steve gave me a similar subscription plan with fun cosmetics for Christmas. It has been fun getting a surprise every month. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. That’s why this would make a great Christmas gift idea for your special fit friend or family member.

Learn more about Buff Box at BuffBoxx.com.

 

Buff Boxx compensated me for this post, however, all my opinions are my own.

 

  The Secret to Home Gym Success

fullsizerenderWe’ve all done it. We get motivated to lose weight and get in shape. So, we go out on a whim and buy some kind of fitness equipment with high hopes of changing our life and body. Sadly, after a few months (and maybe only a few days) our new equipment begins to collect dust or turns into one giant clothing rack.

The good news is; this doesn’t have to happen to you. While there are many people who have home gym fails, there are people succeeding at working out at home.

In this blog, I hope to help you become one of those success stories with just a few tips.

8 Tips to Creating the Perfect Home Gym Experience

1. Think before you buy.  

thinkingJoyce Meyers says, “Let emotions subside, before you decide”. Unfortunately, people often make quick decisions during an emotional “I feel fat” moment. It’s never smart to make a decision when you are emotional – whether you are super discouraged with your weight or super excited about getting in shape.

That’s why it is important to take your time and think before you buy. You can’t decide to buy something based on good marketing or unrealistic promises. You also shouldn’t make quick decisions based on cheap offers. Your health is worth investing in – and you should base your decision on what is best, not what is cheap or easy. The best is rarely cheap or easy, but the best decision can get you the best results.

So, use your noggin and really research your options. Invest in quality products, like Matrix Fitness new luxury residential gym equipment. Know what you are buying, know how to use it and be certain it will meet your needs.

2. If you don’t LOVE it, don’t get it. 

excitedHow many times have you bought a shirt because it was a good deal, but you never end up wearing it? This happens to me all the time. On the contrary, how often have you splurged on something special, only to love it more every day? The same goes for fitness equipment.

We all like a good deal, but you need to LOVE it so you’ll use it. Rickety equipment that is not comfortable to use, or isn’t the quality you need, can set you up for failure. While you may not need apps on your console, like Matrix Fitness treadmills offer, it sure can make walking at home a lot more fun when you can watch a movie on Netflix or surf facebook.

You wouldn’t believe some of the features you can get in a piece of quality home fitness equipment. Matrix Fitness offers built-in Polar heart rate system complete with heart rate strap, blue tooth technology and web access. You can get consoles with build in apps for Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. They even offer immersive workouts, which match your pace to make you feel like you are moving through some of the most beautiful scenery across the globe.

While fun features are indeed extras, these extras may be the little extra you need to fall in love with fitness. Just remember, you are spending too much money if you buy something you don’t love and don’t use, no matter how good the bargain is.

3. Be honest. 

honestyYou CAN change. Even if you have a history of being lazy, you can turn into a very active fit person. But, what you can’t fix is a problem you don’t admit you have or a circumstance you refuse to admit.

If you want to have home fitness success, you need to be honest with yourself. You must know what you are willing to do and what you are willing to spend. You must go in knowing it will take work. Even the best equipment will not do the work for you. If you go in this with realistic expectations, you will get realistic results.

4. Choose what you need, not what you want. 

a30-hero-xr_ascenttrainerThis is a biggie. Many people get side-tracked by flashy fun fitness toys and leave out the staples. Or, they will purchase a weight set when they really would benefit more from buying good quality cardio equipment.

Before you make your first purchase, make a list of your goals and then decide what equipment will help you reach those goals. THEN, you can buy some of the fun extras if you still have money left over.

You will quickly discover there is no gimmick or fitness trend that can ever compete with the fitness basics, which are cardio, traditional weight training and a healthy diet.

Tip: Machines that require you to be weight bearing (on your feet) and encourage arm swinging like the treadmill and elliptical burn more calories and are great for weight loss. However, if you have back or knee issues, you may want to choose a machine that is easier on your joints like an elliptical or recumbent bike.

5. Choose the perfect space. 

empty roomEven if you buy the best equipment on the market, your success also depends on where you put it. I had a treadmill in my bedroom for the longest time and I think I got on it maybe 2 or 3 times. However, when my mom stayed at our house while she was doing construction on their home, she pulled that old treadmill out into the living room and used it every morning and night. It was the same piece of equipment, but my failure became my mom’s success simply because she put it in a better place.

Another issue is some people is space. If this is you, you may want to purchase a folding treadmill (like the Matrix TF50 or TF30) or something that is more practical for the space you have.

Many times we tend to put our gym equipment where it looks best instead of where it would be used best. Although my house looked neater when my treadmill was in the bedroom, it proved to be a bad decision. Placement is super-important.

6. Prepare a happy place. 

console-xer-treadThe next factor that is essential when setting up your fitness space is comfort and practicality. If you have to go to the back of the house, where there is no TV or air conditioning, you are probably not going to be very successful. You need to look forward to visiting your home gym area.

This area needs to be your happy place. You may want to hang motivational posters or post motivational quotes on the wall. Think of the things you need to make this space more special and helpful. Do you like cranking up the music or do you prefer a good view?

One of the things I used to do is only watch certain shows while doing the elliptical. Since you can stream your favorite TV show on Matrix Fitness entertainment consoles, you can turn your cardio time into TV time.

One thing I do know is you can’t expect to get on a treadmill that’s crammed in a guest room facing a blank wall and be too thrilled about it.

7. Have a plan B. 

plan bOnce you have decided on what equipment you need and where you are going to put it, have a back up plan in case it doesn’t work for you. In other words, think of all your options. Just like my treadmill, you may have the right equipment in the wrong space.

If you find you are not using your home gym equipment, make some changes. Whether it’s where you put it, when you use it, how you are using it or who you are using it with. It’s imperative you keep troubleshooting until you find what works for you.

 

8. Commit to be fit. 

scheduleWhen you commit space in your home and commit to making the financial investment to take care of your health, you must also commit to using it. This means you need to have a workout plan in place. If you wait to have extra time to jump on the elliptical, it will never happen.

The same way you would set time aside to drive to the gym, you must set time aside to workout at home. You need to protect this time from interruptions if you want it to be a success. This means you don’t answer the phone unless it’s an emergency. You don’t switch out loads of laundry in between sets or stop in the middle of your workout to let the dog out.

If you treat your home workout like you do a gym workout, that means you let the dog out, feed your kids, switch loads and finish up whatever else you may have going on before you start exercising. That way you can dedicate all your energy to making the most of your workout.

console-xr-ascentTry some of the built-in programs. For instance, Matrix Fitness has a wide variety of programs you can follow to take your workouts up a notch. The more effective the workout, the more successful you’ll be.

Lastly, if your home workouts are not “working out”, keep trying. Making a change requires consistency and the willingness to keep trying even if you fail. You never know what will make the difference. It might be timing or it could be the accountability of a friend. But, you will never know what works unless you keep trying different things so you can weed out what doesn’t work.

No matter how many times you fail, you can still become a great success as long as you never quit.

- This post is sponsored by Matrix Fitness. All opinions are my own.

8 Stretches for Leg Day

Sore-Muscles-After-WorkoutWhen most people think of fitness, they think of weight training and cardio, but did you know there are actually 5 elements of fitness? To be truly fit, you should be excelling at all 5 elements of fitness.

1. Body Composition
2. Cardiovascular Fitness
3. Muscular Strength
4. Muscular Endurance
5. Flexibility

We spend SO much time strengthening our body and trying to lose body fat that our body constantly stays tight and sore. In addition to running or aerobicizing off the body fat, we strength train because we want that tight and tone fit look. However, the more “tight and tone” we look, the more “tight and tone” we actually are if we aren’t careful.

The very thing that makes our muscles look nicer can cause a host of other issues if we aren’t working on our flexibility too. And, if you know me, you know I am the queen of tightness.

Here are 8 simple exercises that are great for leg day, to help stretch out the legs and low back.

10 Stretching Tips:

Before you begin, look over these 10 simplet tips to make sure you are making the most of your stretching time.

1. Never stretch a cold muscle
2. Stretch out just enough to maximize range of motion during your workout
3. Don’t stretch out too much before or during weight training (you need the extra support)
4. Don’t bounce.
5. Stretches should be nice and easy, being careful not to overstretch a muscle
6. Hold stretches for at least 30 seconds
8. Save most of the stretching for after the workout is over
9. Don’t rush it, you’ll need to relax while you stretch to get the most benefit
10. Incorporate stretching throughout your day – at your desk, while shaving your legs, bending over to pick something up, while watching TV or when driving in your car

Warm Up

Before I even begin to train legs, my favorite warm-up exercise is overhead squats. This helps open up the shoulders and hips, as well as helps you improve posture so you can squat with proper form.

Overhead Squats – Do 4 Sets of 20 reps

Drop your hips as LOW as they can go, driving up with your heels and maintaining a tight upright core, keeping the bar overhead in line with your center of gravity (right over your heels).  You should notice that you should be able to get deeper with each set. Now you are ready to train legs! THEN you can really stretch!

overhead-squats

Time to Stretch!

1.) Hip Flexor Stretch: (Great for anyone who sits a lot)

2.) Calve Stretch:

Do this with a straight leg, and then bend the leg you are stretching and sit down on it to stretch the lower part of the calve. Stretching both parts of the calf can help relieve plantar fasciitis.

3.) Inner thigh and hip stretch:

Be sure to sit BACK into this stretch and really get low to improve flexibility in the hips too.

4.) IT Band & Hamstring Stretch: (great for runners)

5.) Hamstring Stretch: (this helps relieve low back pain & tightness)

6.) Glute Stretch: (Great for Relieving Sciatica)

7.) Low Back Stretch: (This is great especially after leg day!)

8.) Cat Cow Stretch: (resets your posture)

This is great for people who sit at a desk and hunch a lot.

5 Ways to Train for More Guidance and Accountability

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterWe’ve recently had a lot of requests for online training. For the last few years, Steve and I have only done one-on-one personal training and group training. Our first online client came to us by accident. The client was in the states visiting from Russia on business, and while watching TV in his hotel room he stumbled across Steve on Fat to Fit to Fat. He connected with him emotionally and liked what he saw. He started digging online and tracked him down.

After meeting with Steve, he decided to come stay in Florida for a few weeks and train with Steve. After his stay in Florida, we continued to train him in his gym via skype and it has been such a great experience. Steve gets to be right by his side during every rep and continue to be there for him even though he is across the globe. So Cool!

All We Need is Love – And More Accountability

fitness coach memeMost people need the accountability more than they need the latest fitness exercise or workout trend. While it’s always best to get a trainer who is indeed certified from a reputable school, people need genuine instruction and guidance even more than a degree Exercise Physiology.

Steve and I value education very much. In fact, Steve is literally at the college right now teaching the same trainer certification course we once took ourselves. With a degree in Physical Therapy and 4 years of Exercise and Nutrition at FSU, he has always desired to seek knowledge, as well as pass it on. That’s why we love teaching workshops. We love sharing what we’ve learned to help others.

With that said, what makes a good trainer is not how just how much they know, but how much they desire to make a difference. If a trainer truly desires to help, they’ll seek the knowledge they need to provide the right help. They will never give up on a client – even if the client gives up on their self.

Personal training coach funnyPeople need accountability and support – both emotionally and physically. They need scheduled time that is set aside for their fitness – an appointment they can’t break so they show up and stick to a routine. They need to be held accountable not only in WHEN or how OFTEN they workout, but how HARD they workout. That is why a trainer is so valuable, even if you know what to do.

It’s easy to become complacent when no one is watching. However, weight, rest time, pace and intensity all play a big part in whether or not your workout is going to be effective. And, then their’s diet.

When a trainer is genuinely invested in their client, they will hold them accountable for what they are doing when they aren’t working out. What are you eating? Why do you keep messing up? One-on-one private training gives us plenty of time to talk about life, struggles, schedule and meal prep, and create some strategies.

If you have been wanting to take your workouts up a notch, maybe it’s time to do some personal training. Whether you decide to train with Steve or me in person or online, or you decide to hire a trainer at your gym, I promise it is worth the investment so you don’t waste hours, money and time in the gym aimlessly going through the motions.

Know Your Training Options:

You have many options, depending on your personality, what tools you have available (home gym or fitness center), time, money and goals. Here are just a few different options

1. Written Workout Program $

If you are self-motivated, know how to workout on your own and have no problem pushing yourself, then following an online workout program is great. Some people just need to have a schedule to follow. Or, they need to revamp their workout and be shown fresh new content or training styles. If that is you, an online workout program is fantastic as long as you truly stick to it and do the workout like it is written. You may even do a combination of working out on your own, but add a little one-on-one training so you know you are doing the workout like it was written.

2. Group Workouts $$

BCx Boot CampGroup classes are the most affordable way to get fit with a trainer. Most gyms offer some classes free, but closed-group classes and group workout programs that cost extra have the most benefit for the client.

In a standard class, you can miss a class and no one notices. No one will call you and ask you where you’ve been. And, the teacher may not call you out in class and correct your form or tell you that you can do more. However, if you sign up for group training, that’s a different ballgame. You are signing up for more accountability and you expect results.These type of classes (like our BCx Boot Camp classes at our gym) are more intimate and people do notice if you aren’t there so you have a lot more accountability.

3. Besty Training $$$

besties workoutIf you can’t afford to workout with a trainer alone, or you just prefer to do it with your BFF, couple training is a great way to get the instruction you need for less. Most trainers give a discount for training with someone. The important thing is to train with a friend who is compatible with you.

Depending on the type of exercise you are doing, it can be difficult to train a girl who is 5’10” with their 5’1″ BFF, because the trainer will have to adjust every machine differently. The same goes with weight. It’s great to have a friend who is comparable in strength. While it’s not a requirement, the more compatible you are, the more smooth and effect the training will be. However, a good trainer should think fast and adjust as needed to give you the best workout possible even if all you have is one set of dumbbells.

4.Online Training $$$

Online TrainingThere are different kinds of online training. There are online trainers who sell their programs but you never really workout with them, and there are trainers who do online personal training via skype or Facetime. Many do both. Online training is great for people who may not have the tools and experts they need in their area. It’s also great for people who are looking for a specific type of trainer. Maybe they like one of their online trainers they follow more than the trainers they see in their own gym.

Even if a trainer is great for someone else, your trainer has to be great with YOU. Selecting a trainer is a very personal thing. You need to connect with them, trust them, enjoy your time with them (even if you don’t enjoy their workouts) and be comfortable with them. Online training broadens your choices, as well has gives you both more flexibility. They can train you anywhere and any time no matter where you live.

5. One-on-One Personal Training $$$$

personal trainingPersonal Training is the best kind of training you can get. Of course it costs more (typically from $50-$100 a session), but you are getting private time with your expert and you are the only one they are focused on for that time.

Very similar to online personal training, you have to find the right trainer for you. There is nothing wrong with trying different ones until you find the one that seems to connect with you and can get you the results you want. While it may cost you several hundred dollars a month to train with a certified trainer, it is a true investment. You aren’t just paying for the time you spend with them, but you are paying for the education they will give you.

A really good trainer will not just take you through the workout, but they will teach you along the way. Some trainers don’t like to share their knowledge because they want you to rely on them (and not fire them). However, I’d rather share my knowledge with someone so they get results with or without me because the more they understand what they are doing, the more likely they are to succeed. That’s why I do what I do – I’m in the business of helping people.  Besides, their results will surely pay off for us both. The better job I do, the more referrals I will get.

Whether you decide to follow a written plan or hire a trainer, training with purpose is essential to success. It’s not enough just to go through the motions aimlessly. Decide today to make a set plan and follow it. You’ll be SO glad you did!

Train with Us!

Bonnie Pfiester, W.I.T.S. Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Evolution Nutrition Coach
Certified Functional Training Specialist
Certified Kettlebell Athletics
BCx Boot Camp Trainer
Live Exercise Instructor
NPC Bikini Competitor
CLICK HERE to request training with me. (Coming out soon! “PFIT Girl 6-Week Workout”!!)

Steve Pfiester, B.S.P.T., W.I.T.S. Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Functional Training Specialist
Certified Kettlebell Athletics
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
Certified TRX Trainer
BCx Boot Camp Trainer
Live Exercise Instructor
W.I.T.S. Teacher, Indian River State College
NPC Bodybuilding Competitor
NPC Classic Physique Competitor

CLICK HERE to request training with Steve. (Do the Doctor Stopper with Steve starting Nov. 19th – more info to come!)

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