Monthly Archives: June 2012
I think people over-think certain exercises – especially abs. Everyone’s looking for a new abdominal exercise to fixed the midsection, but half the time they aren’t even doing the basic exercises correctly, or they’re not doing them often enough to really make a difference.
Rounded back, legs up, relaxing abs between reps, pulling neck forward, & holding too much air while repping out a bunch of crunches are just a few mistakes people make all the time.
Steve Pfiester shares some foundational principles on how to get the most out of the mother of all abdominal exercises: The Crunch. He’ll teach you what to do – and what not to do. Whether you want LL Cool J abs or Jillian Michaels – you have to do them right to really work.
Read Steve’s Blog: Get Perfect Abs
Check it out – and apply the tips during your next ab workout! And don’t forget to subscribe to both of our blogs for all of our tips and news!
FEEDBACK: Who’s Got the Best Abs?
After you learn how to get the abs of your dreams, check out what celebrities made Wet Pain’s Best Abs in Hollywood list. Do you agree or disagree? Would you rather have Jennifer Aniston’s abs or Monica Brant or T.O.? Who’s abs make you drool?
Steve’s Blog: Get Perfect Abs
Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE & FOLLO!
Why do we look to food for entertainment? It’s nothing new. Countless Kings have held feasts that lasted for hours and even days – and honestly, we still do it. A feast like that was once in a lifetime for many, and now we dine like Kings and Queens every single day.
God gave us 5 ways to enjoy life and only one of them involves the tongue, yet we rely on the tongue to give us the majority of our daily pleasure instead of our other 4 senses. As a result, Americans have a huge obesity problem and an equally large lazy problem. We do less activity and more eating. No wonder America is getting fatter by the minute.
There’s more to life than eating. Yes, I said it. If all you think about is what you are going to have for your next meal, maybe you have an eating problem and are relying on food for more than it’s nourishment. Food’s number one purpose is to keep you alive. The quality of food greatly determines your quality of life. Food is fuel, not entertainment.
If you want to change your life, don’t neglect your other senses. You know, the ones that don’t cause weight gain?
Here are 4 ways to entertain yourself without tilting the scale.
1.) Sight: If you’re looking for entertainment, there are a ton of things to see. Movies, sights, nature, broadway, plays, zoos, amusement parks, museums, art shows, sports events and countless other things can give us hours of great entertainment without packing on the weight.
2. Hearing: Have you been to a good concert lately? How about a comedy show? Even a good podcast can be a great way to spend time you might be tempted to entertain your taste buds. Broaden your horizon and step out of your comfort-food box!
3. Touch: Besides the obvious, like good old fashioned romance, there are so many ways to be entertained by touch. Petting a dog and holding a child are not only fun but they are actually healthy. In addition, exercise stimulates and invigorates our entire body. Don’t believe me? Try exercising intensely and think of all the things you feel. Your skin tingles and sweats, your heart pounds, and your body feels different after you exercise. Another great way to entertain your touch receptors is with a massage, pedicure or facial. Even a nice long bath can be a great way to pamper yourself in place of loading up on an excess of calories.
4. Smell: Aromatherapy is proven to have amazing affects on the mind and body. If smells didn’t matter, we wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars on perfumes, bath and body products, and home fragrances. Research studies on many of the essential oils in aromatherapy show positive effects for a variety of health concerns including pain, anxiety, depression, stress and even coping with a terminal illness. That’s just how much the power of smell impacts your entire body. This is also why making time for a relaxing bath with aromatherapy is a double-whammy. Your skin and nose are both entertained, all in one awesome healing experience.
“I just don’t have time.”
This is the number one excuse I hear when it comes to people needing to lose weight or get in shape. Yet, a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 95% of people 15 and up spend an average of 5 hours a day doing leisure activities like watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Out of all the activities, watching TV made up of half of the time. Since people spend 32 hours a week online, I would guess a lot of the other time is spent online – because only 20% of the people surveyed said they spent it exercising.
The moral of the story is we HAVE the time, we are just not USING the time wisely.
8 ways to manage your time better so you can make time to get fit:
1. Set a schedule. Your workouts should be just as important as arriving to work on time. Work is an investment and so is work in the gym. If you just hope you have time left over each day, you will never workout. You must set aside the time and make it happen.
2. Schedule your social media time. Instead of getting on facebook and twitter all throughout the day, schedule times to check it quickly, reply and get off. You can suck up a ton of time trying to make sure you don’t miss the latest greatest post online. It won’t kill you to wait a few hours to find out your BFF had suchi for lunch without you.
3. Turn off your iphone app notifications. Every iPhone app asks you if you want Push notifications. If you’re not careful, you’ll be getting some kind of notification every freakin’ second. Sure, notifications are very helpful - especially when starting social media. But, as your social media grows, so do your notifications. Notifications are not only be very distracting, and suck up battery life, they waste a lot of time. If your phone notifies you every time you get a tweet, mention, app update, post or game requeest – TURN IT OFF. It will “push” out precious time you could be “pushing” weight in the gym!
4. Remove or reduce email alerts. Half the emails that once pinged my phone, ipad and laptop were ads, promotions and junk. Although I do get a lot of work email, they aren’t going to die if I don’t respond 30 seconds after they email me. Instead, check your email every 2-3 hours depending on your email traffic. Some people may only need to check it once in the morning and once at night. But, bouncing from Word, to web, to email every time your computer dings is completely distracting and will have your mind and time all over the place.
5. Stay focused on your priorities. Most of us are huge procrastinators. TV, internet, cell phones, ipads, skype, ichat – you name it, distract us from doing important tasks. You have 2 options: you can bounce all over the place and barely complete anything, or you can stay focused on what matters most before you allow for distractions. This means do the hardest work first. Then, move on to the next important thing. As you prioritize, you find you will have less time and your free time will be stress-free.
6. Organize errands. When I lived 45 minutes away from town, I learned to bundle my errands up in one productive trip. However, living in a town where I can pretty much go anywhere in 5 minutes, causes me to be a little less careless with my errand time. If you really want to save time, keep a list of errands that need to be run and plan them ahead of time. You’ll spend less time driving around, and take fewer trips to the same places, if you simply think it out before hand.
7. Quit being so available. If you are like me, you’ve probably answered the phone while in the shower. Really?! I mean, what are we thinking! I think it won’t kill someone to wait for me to take a darn shower and dry off before replying. Before we had cell phones, portable phones and answering machines, there used to be something called “no answer”. Yep, imagine that! The phone rang and no one picked up – and it wasn’t the end of the world. Next time you are in the middle of something. and the phone rings, let it go to voice mail and call them back as soon as you can without it slowing you down.
8. Learn to say no. This one is particularly hard for me. I have a real hard time saying no. I always want to help, and I hate letting people down, but always saying yes to everyone will kill you – and kill a lot of time. This is especially important with socialites. They have fear of “missing something” if they don’t go to every party, lunch, meeting, and social event. Choose your social time and friends wisely, always putting your family and loved ones first. If you say yes to everyone all the time, ultimately, they are not the one that will suffer – YOU will suffer. Then you’ll be no good to anyone.
NOTE: The CDC’s recommended exercise is for good health. 10 hours a month is 4 30-minute workouts per week. Of course you want to workout more to LOOK fit, but to fight disease and improve health, 30 minutes a day is fantastic.
Your body does only what you tell it to do.
It doesn’t care if you don’t feel like working out. Your muscles will still work, and fat will still be burned.
You don’t have to always like it or look good doing it.
Your body will still make serious changes despite your attitude or appearance. You can even hate every minute of it every single time you workout, and your body will get hotter and hotter every day.
You can succeed even when you fail.
Even if you don’t get those few extra reps or those last few steps, you will still make positive changes. Even if you didn’t reach a new personal best and your time was the same as your last race, your body can still change, still improve, and still fight fat and aging.
Your body reacts to action, not thoughts.
Even if you have a fowl mood and drag your lazy, stressed out, ticked off butt to the gym, your body can still have a good workout. And if you can’t celebrate your workouts, celebrate your body for responding to your actions and not your mind.
Action trumps motivation any day of the week.
Many of you may think it’s easier to workout if you are motivated, but in the end, your body really doesn’t care what you think – it only matters what you do.
JUST. SHOW. UP.
No matter how sorry you feel for yourself when the day is through, you need to workout. No matter how stressed you are or how tired you are, the bottom line is you NEED to workout. It will make you look and feel better and you’ll be SO happy you did it when it’s over.
The more often you resist the temptation of skipping a workout when you have a bad day, you will have an automatic response to work off your stress in the gym instead of at the bottom of an alcoholic beverage or taking your stress out on your kid, spouse or dog.
A fit you is a less stressed you, a healthier you, and a better you. Workout No Matter What! Believe me, I’m the queen of pity parites, so I promise to practice what I preach and improve on working out no matter how my day goes.
Caitlin B posted her very honest and inspiring story in our BCx Forum at FitStudio.com. She probably doesn’t even realize it, but she gives some of the best advice in the business. As you read her post, take notice of the bold sentences and see if you get her tips.
“I’m starting another round of BCx Bootcamp. The last four weeks have been major improvement on my fitness. Let me first admit that I did not do every workout. I missed days here and there. Sometimes I could only get through half of a workout. But every Monday for four weeks I kept coming back and doing that Lower Body mission. For anyone getting discouraged by the difficulty (I wasn’t unhealthy, but I was by no means ‘in shape’ when I started this), just keep coming back to it. My times were horrible. And I took really long breaks between sets. Even if you skip a day, so what? After stumbling my way through four weeks, not only do I feel more energetic and stronger, but (most importantly!) my attitude towards exercise has changed. I’m not dragging myself off the couch to go workout. I’m actually looking forward to it. When I add up my times at the end of each workout, I’m not thinking “did it really take me that long?!” but “heh, go me, I just busted it for 50 minutes! Wahoo!”
If I just gave up after not doing so well during my first go through, then 6 months from now I’ll just be the same un-fit me, blundering my way through various fitness programs.
So I started a new round of BCx on Monday. I’m taking everything I’ve learned from the first round. I’m aiming for finishing all the workouts, no skips (unless I legitimately need to). So far, so good. Thanks Bonnie and Steve. I think I may finally be on the path towards fitness!”
What can we learn from Caitlin?
1. You may skip a few workouts. Big deal! A few workouts are better than no workouts. Caitlin obviously strived to do as many workouts as she could, but she didn’t always get them all in – and she still succeeded.
2. Your workouts may not be as long as you want. She admits she didn’t always complete the full workout – but BCx ain’t easy, and even half a workout is more than most people do.They key to success is knowing doing something is always better than doing nothing – and every little bit counts!
3. You just have to keep showing up. This is one of my favorite personal mantras and it’s also my favorite tip she shares. No matter how short, how few, or how ugly her workouts were, she kept showing up each Monday to start fresh. Way to go! Definitely the trick behind creating a lasting healthy habit.
4. You don’t have to be in shape to workout hard. Although BCx is a tough program for anyone, it’s not designed FOR the fit, it’s designed to GET you fit. Caitlin didn’t let her fitness level interfere with her effort level. Way to go!
5. You don’t have to be THE best, you just have to be YOUR best. She admits her time was horrible and she took long breaks to rest. But time is simply a measurement and is there to push you to perform at your personal best. Caitlin didn’t compare herself to others, she compared herself to her own prior performance and noticed she was getting stronger and faster.
6. You can get results despite how crappy you may think you’re doing. Caitlin’s hard work and consistency paid off. She got stronger and feels more energetic. Not only did she feel better but she was also learning to enjoy her workouts and not dread them. She stuck it out when it was tough and has discovered the more fit she gets, the more her attitude changes about working out.
We can learn SO much from Caitlin! What encouraging words to hear. You can fail, you can stink at it, you can even mess up repeatedly, and you can STILL get great results …as long as you JUST KEEP SHOWING UP!
Way to go Caitlin and thanks SO much for sharing your story!!!!
Now, let’s ROCK it this go around – it only gets better from here girlfriend!!
Here’s my mantra pic from my facebook cover. Feel free to steal it if you need a daily reminder to…Just Show Up!
To Join Caitlin B and do our 4-week BCx Boot Camp program online, sign up at www.FitStudio.com and join our program. Post your times and interact with other BCxers in our BCx Forum and connect with us on facebook and twitter too!
It’s easy to beat ourselves up for everything we are not. If I made a list of all the things I hated about my body alone, it would take so much paper I’d have to plant a new tree in its honor. Then, when I was done with my body, I could start cracking on everything else I don’t do well. Then I could list all my fears (and I have plenty of them) …and the list goes on.
Yes, I can easily focus on everything I’m not and everyone else I’d rather be, but God made me perfect in his eyes. Don’t get me wrong! I’M not perfect, but God made me the way He wanted me to be – ME. That means, it takes all those traits, all my flaws, all my personality (good and bad) to make me ME! So, if this is who God made me to be, pimples and all, then it’s up to me to be the VERY BEST that I can be with what I have.
Why do we constantly compare ourselves to people who are not anything like us? Why beat ourselves up for what we are not. Why set the sights so high we constantly get let down. Enough is enough! It’s time to look in the mirror and focus on what you CAN do – not what others are doing.
I probably will never have a perfect body with 6-pack abs and muscular legs, but I can be fit. I am not a rocket scientist but I am making a difference with what knowledge I have. I may never get on stage in a bikini, but I’ll be happy to sing the opening anthem. The more I accept what I’m not, the more I can be at peace with who I am. Why? Because God didn’t make no accidents – and even if I’m not THE BEST, I can always be MY BEST.
Even if we know what we want, we can’t achieve it overnight. We will have set backs and interruptions. There will be uncomfortable times, sometimes even down right painful times, as if someone hit the pause button at the wrong time in a movie. Ironically, there are even times where we are tempted to hang out in our mini-victories along the way, just long enough to get a little too comfortable and complacent. No matter what is slowing you down, unfortunately, there is never a fast forward button in real life to catch you up after you get behind. You have to endure the good, the bad and the ugly if you want to get to the end.
The key to success is not strength and it’s not speed, it’s perseverance – staying steady and strong. Our fitness life is like a long distance run. We don’t have to be the fastest or the strongest, we just have to finish and do our very best with what we have. This means, no matter what slows us down, all that matters is we stay in the race.
If you’ve fallen off your diet or you’ve allowed things to get in the way of your training, you just pick up where you left off and keep moving forward, at whatever pace you are able – but you never, ever quit.
One of the perks to being in the fitness industry, and working with great brands like Designer Whey and Sears, is you get to meet some really amazing trainers and athletes.
Every trainer and athlete has their favorite exercises. So, when I met with Mixed Martial Arts trainer, Coach Van Arsdale, to tape his Designer Whey workout, you bet I asked him to share his top exercises and training tips.
I got the inside scoop of his go-to exercises, plus one very surprising tip he had that may shock many fitness enthusiasts and MMA fans. Here’s what I learned!
Coach Van Arsdale shares his top 6 exericses:
#1 Favorite Conditioning Exercises: Sprints on an Incline Treadmill
#2 Favorite Abs Exercise: Sit Ups with a Twist (video demo below with Ryan Jimmo)
#3 Favorite Core Exercise: Barbell Deadlift
#4 Favorite Power Producing Exercise for Quads & Glutes: Single Leg Exercises like Single Leg Squats with Weight Vest, Single Leg Lateral Lunge, Walking Lunges, Hurdle Hop and Hold (over 6-8″ hurdles), 1 Leg Romanian Dead Lift, Single Leg Hip Ups (below).
#6 Favorite Exercise Overall: Barbell Deadlift
Coach’s Training Schedule
Coach’s athletes train 2 times a day 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday. They train 1 time one day a week on Friday and take the weekends off. Yes, you heard right! Coach strongly discourages his athletes train 6 or 7 days a week. He says the body needs rest and gives his athletes the weekends off to repair and relax.
“I strongly discourage my fighters from training even 6 days a week. Their body needs the weekend to rest.”
Each training session is no more than an hour and fifteen minutes, and includes a variety of MMA drills, conditioning, cross training and strength exercises. Coach said 80% of their training is technical training, which also is a lot of conditioning. He said only 20% of their workouts consists of weights and cross training, but that also depends on how close the fighter is to a fight. The closer a fighter gets to their fight, the less cross training they do and the more technical training they must do to prepare. Of course all training is exhausting and very cardiovascular, as well as works every muscle in their body. MMA training is pretty extreme no matter how you look at it. These are tough guys!
Coach’s Partner Circuit Workout
Here is an example of a 14-exercise circuit workout they do at the end of a workout.
Q&A with Coach
@TedCzech, from Twitter, asks:
“Blackzilians have had some tough breaks in the cage lately — what do they need to do to win?”
Coach Van Arsdale‘s Answer: “Focus is the key to winning at any level. Our coaches, athletes and our entire support staff must contnue to work as a team and we must maitain a positive atmosphere throughout the camp. Winning is associated with success, but to champions, what’s done after a loss can prove more vital to success over time.”
NOTE: There are about 25 members of Team Jaco, home of the Blackzilians. Although they may experience some high-profile losses occasionally, insiders report their team has won approximately 75-80% of all their fights and is going strong.
Today’s blog will be short and sweet because I’m about to hit the road and get some killer footage of Head Coach for Team Jaco (Blackzilians, home of Rashad Evans) Coach Van Arsdale train some of his world class athletes.
Anyone who watches UFC, has probably seen coach Van Arsdale in action or on the side lines coaching Rashad Evans. He was on the Ultimate Fighter Season 10 coaching with Team Rashad and has a pretty killer professional record himself as a UFC veteran, Gold Medalist in freestyle wrestling, and inductee in the Iowa’s Hall of Fame of Wrestling.
He’s faced UFC icons like Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva, just to mention a few. He may look tough, but don’t let that full you – he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met in the industry and you should see how proud of he is of his family and kids. The guy is just plain good people.
So what am I doing smack in the middle of a bunch of UFC fighters? I’m going to get some inside training tips, as well as shoot a couple of workouts that YOU will be able to tryout yourself! Stay tuned for the exciting details!!
Welp, I better boogie! I’ve gotta get on the road!! I’ll be posting pics on facebook & tweeting for sure! But do me a favor, be sure to like his brand new fan page. The guy has been so busy training world class athletes, he hasn’t had time to get social – but he’s making time now! He’s on twitter , but just joined facebook, so give him some love and Like Coach Van Arsdale’s page for me! Thanks!!! This is going to be a fun day!
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Watch Mike in Action, with Rashad Evans, right now on LiveExercise.com