Blog Archives

Fat vs Muscle: 4 Myth-Busting Truths

It’s amazing how easily people adopt certain beliefs or principles just because it sounds good. People spew out headlines from the latest magazine articles without even thinking twice. Or they take pieces of information someone shares with them in the gym, without even questioning it, or researching it further. We are too gullible  As a result, the world is riddled with partial truths, misunderstandings and downright lies.

Get After the Truth – pFACT or pFICTION?

Here are 4 statements that are often either misunderstood or just plain wrong. Find out if these claims are fact or fiction.

1. Muscle weighs more than fat. 

If you fill one container full of fat, and another matching container full of muscle, the container of muscle would outweigh the container of fat. If you needed the two containers to weigh the same, you’d have to remove some of the muscle to balance the scale. To help our clients understand this better, we actually bought a replica of 5lbs of fat and 5lbs of muscle to show our clients. With the help of our replicas, it’s now easy to see why you would weigh the same but appear smaller if you were to lose 5lbs of fat and gain 5lbs of muscle. Also, it is shocking to see just how BIG 5lbs of fat is. We often act like gaining, or losing, 5lbs is no big deal – but you can see here that it is indeed a HUGE deal. Answer: pFACT. Muscles does weigh more than fat.

2. Muscle can make you bigger.

Look at the replica of 5lbs of muscle. It is clearly smaller than its equal weight in fat – I’d guess at least two-thirds the size. Food makes you bigger, not muscle. And, muscle can get stronger without necessarily getting bigger. If you keep your calories the same and workout, you’ll likely change your shape but not your weight – gaining muscle and losing fat. If you do this, you will actually be smaller, not bigger. The problem is, many people who start lifting weights tend to eat more (thinking they can “afford” to eat more). Or, if they boost their protein, they forget to reduce calories from other substrates to make room. As a result, they accidentally increase their overall calories, causing weight gain. Answer: pFICTION. Muscle can’t bulk you up unless you eat to bulk up.

3. Muscle can turn into fat.

Muscle is always muscle, and fat is always fat. Muscle can’t change its very nature and turn itself into fat, or bone, or anything else for that matter. However, it can decrease in size (muscle waste) if it’s not used and perserved. And, in the event you lose muscle mass, your metabolism can slow down causing weight gain. Another issue is people, like football players and other young athletes, continue to eat how they ate when they were active. As they slow down, their eating should slow down as well. That’s why many once-fit football players are now fat ex-football players. They pack fat on top of their muscle simply because they don’t adjust their eating to fit their new activity (or non-activity) level. Answer: pFICTION. Muscle doesn’t turn to fat.

4. Muscle helps you burn fat.

Muscle is less efficient than fat. Muscle is like a Dodge Viper, and fat is more like a Toyota Prius. Another words, muscle burns through the gas (calories) faster than fat. 1 gram of fat gives you 9 calories of energy, but 1 gram of protein only gives you 4 calories. So, you can see how fat stores give you more “mileage” per say. Why this is important to understand is because we want to BLAST through the calories, we don’t want a fat efficient body. We want a gas guzzling muscle car body that burns gas like crazy. With that said, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – which is very helpful when you are trying to lose weight. Answer: pFACT. A muscular body burns more calories, even at rest.

#GetAfterIt! Ten-Four Good Buddy

As a ambassador for Reebok, I have to say, I’m proud that Reebok is encouraging people to “get after it” (that’s why you may see the hashtag #getafterit in many of my tweets.) It’s not enough to “just do it” we need to GET AFTER IT – and chase your goal like never before. “Get After It” has a sense of urgency, a sense of forward motion, a sense of of taking something all the way to the finish line. Get After it isn’t easy. It’s not just showing up – it’s being in it to win it. As a CrossFit partner, Reebok wants you to put your body to the test and train like a champ. If you are ready to get after it, burn fat and tone muscle with this intense BCx circuit! Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

TEN-FOUR BCx WORKOUT

10 rounds of the following 4 exercises for time with little to no rest. You can slow down, but try not to stop.

10 Jax

10 Burpees

10 Push-ups

10 Sit-ups

10 ROUNDS FOR TIME

Note: Track your time each time to track your improvement.

Try more BCx Workouts on our BCx Youtube or Join in our online BCx Boot Camp program at FitStudio.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lose 10lbs in 10 Seconds: 4 Ways to Appear Thinner Fast

My blog title may seem a little too good to be true at first glance, but keep reading, because what you are about to read can literally change your appearance in a matter of seconds. Yes, you won’t actually LOSE 10lbs, but with these tips, you’ll look like you did!

When it comes to belly bulge, the first thing that comes to mind is FAT, but that isn’ always the only problem – and sometimes it’s not the problem at all. I’m talking about the dreaded pooch. Belly fat and a pooch can be two totally different things. It’s one thing to have fat, but you can have a pooch and not even be overweight. Or, you can look even heavier than you are simply because you have both belly fat AND a pooch.

If you feel like you have Poochitis, then this blog is for you!

Here are 4 simple tips to get thin fast!

1.  Suck In – Often times people don’t have as much belly fat as they appear, they just don’t hold their stomach tight. Even worse, it seems “letting it all hang out” is almost a trend, especially with teens. Kids paint on their skinny jeans that happen to stop right below their belly – and they just let their stomach poke right out and do whatever it wants. With hip-hugging pants and low-rise bathing suits, their pooch us more exposed than ever. If they simply would tighten their abs and suck in, they’d easily appear to drop 5-10lbs in an instant.

Tummy Tip: Maintaining a tight belly doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it is. Post notes around the house, and even in the car, to remind you to suck in. Eventually, your tighter tummy will be your new resting posture.

2. Eat Small Meals –  It’s hard to suck your tummy in if you eat too big of portions and walk around stuffed all the time. If you want to maintain a flatter stomach, limit the size of your meals and snacks so your stomach isn’t loaded up with digesting food. It’s not just the last meal you ate either. You have food in your stomach and intestines from several snacks and meals that push out on your abdominal wall. If you want to suck in with ease, don’t fight a stuffed gut.

Tummy Tip: This graphic, from The National Post, is supposed to show us just how big Starbucks’ new Trenta cup size is, but I think it reminds us how easy it is to fill up our stomach. If our stomach’s average capacity is 900 ml, then no wonder we feel fat after having a small sandwich and a Big Gulp. Our stomach is completely overstretched, making it close to impossible to hold our stomach in.

3. Tone Up – If you want maintain tighter abs, you’ll need to work your ab muscles. Doing abdominal exercises tightens and strengthens the muscles needed to hold your stomach in. The more you do them, the easier it is to hold your stomach tight. My favorite tummy tighteners are Plank exercises. Try our “Plank & Simple” at FitStudio for a killer core workout that will help you tone and tighten your midsection.

4. Improve Posture – Look at how poor posture automatically makes someone appear to have a belly. Picture standing up straight as if you are taking the slack out of your stomach. When you are hunched over, your folds of skin and fat accordion together. Yet, when you stand up tall, you lengthen you body and tighten the slack in your skin, giving you a much thinner appearance. Plank exercises also help improve posture, strengthening and elongating the core.

Tummy Tip: Have a friend take a photo of you standing normal. Then have them take a picture of you standing with really bad posture, as well as really good posture. Compare the 3 photos to see the difference good posture will make in your appearance.

Get More Belly Busting Tips in 60 Seconds at FitStudio

Real Women + Real Success = Real Motivation

There is nothing more motivating than seeing people just like yourself, reaching their goals. Why? Because when we see a super fit person, we think maybe they just have good genes. Or, maybe we think they have no life, with all the time in the world to pump iron and pose in the mirror. BUT, when we see someone who works full time, has kids and maintains a crazy schedule AND gets fit – now THAT’s impressive and motivating! We want REAL people with REAL results.

The 3 ladies in this article worked out at home. They didn’t have a trainer or a dietician. They didn’t have to spend a lot of money. They just had to keep showing up and doing their fitness homework as prescribed online – FREE. Sure, they probably never dreamed it would change their lives, but it did – and it can change your life too. Here are their stories.

Join BCx Online:
BCx Boot Camp – Full version
BCx Express – 30-Minute version

Learn more about our BCx Boot Camp program at www.DoBCx.com 

Is Your Protein Shake Making You Fat?

I always encourage people to boost their protein intake – however, if you want to lose weight, you have to do more than just add protein to your diet.

This is why many people can’t seem to shake the weight (pun intended). They add protein to their diet, forgetting it’s adding extra calories too. As a result, they gain weight or slow progress.

If you want to lose weight, those calories need to be shaved off somewhere else to make room for the calories coming from protein. Just because it’s protein doesn’t mean it’s “free calories”. Although they are good calories, they are still calories. So, in order to reach your goal, you need to set a budget for your shake matching your needs.

1. The Weight Gainer: Weight gainers can add protein to their diet without really worrying about the calories. If someone is a hard gainer, they probably need both fat and muscle weight in order to increase strength and size. So you are the lucky dog that can ignore this entire blog. :)

2. The Dieter: Dieters need to be in a caloric deficit. This means, they need to take in fewer calories than they are burning. In order to budget how many calories are coming from protein, simply multiple the number of grams of protein you are trying to get a day by 4. Since there are 4 calories in one gram of protein, this will give you the number of calories that are required to get your total grams of protein per day. But remember, that is just for the protein. That doesn’t include other ingredients you may add in a shake.

3. The Maintainer: This person wants to either preserve what they already have, or reshape their physique but still remain the same weight. This person will need to trade some fat and carb calories for protein calories so it evens out. In the end, they’ll still be eating the same amount of calories, but they will just be getting more protein.

Shocking Smoothies

FitStudio nutritionist Toby Amidor points out some of the worst offenders in smoothie land.

Smoothie King – NOT SO SMOOTH!
· Forty fluids ounces of “The Hulk Strawberry” weighs in at 1,928 calories, 64 grams of fat, and a whopping 250 grams of sugar.

Jamba Juice – IS JAMMING YOU WITH CALORIES!
· An original “Peanut Butter Moo’d” creamy treat has a staggering 770 calories and 109 grams of sugar.

CLICK HERE to read Smoothie Do’s & Don’ts from FitStudio nutritionist Toby Amidor and get awesome smoothie tips.

Like Toby on Facebook!

CLICK HERE for fun and creative Designer Whey shake & protein recipes

10 Ways to Squeeze a 30-Minute Workout in Your Day

A note from someone who committed to a simple 30-minute workout:
“Hey Bonnie, I wanted to share with you the results I’ve had with the BCx Express program (at FitStudio). My friend and I started doing BCx in January; we worked out regularly before that, but never had a specific program that we followed, so our workouts were less than spectacular. When we started BCx we had a rude awakening, and we LOVED it! Since January I have lost 26lbs and my friend has lost 20. We are both at our goals and feel amazing and we owe so much of that to you and Steve and BCx! We absolutely love the program! Thank you!” (Dana Gillespie Brooke, from Oklahoma)

Do You Have 30 Minutes?

One of the most common excuses I hear is “I don’t have time to workout”. I don’t know if people think it takes 2 hours a day to workout, or if they really honestly feel they don’t even have 30 minutes to spare. I also think people underestimate what 30 minutes a day can do for someone’s body, so they don’t even attempt to set aside the time. But, Dana is real live proof that 30 minutes CAN make a BIG difference.

What a small sacrifice for such a big reward. I’m not trying to sell you on doing our BCx Express program, I’m trying to sell you on the fact 30 minutes a day is not that big of a commitment – and that it can make all the difference in the world.

It’s Time to Not Waste Time

Most of us throw away 30 minutes a day by just being unorganized or unprepared. Time is also wasted, simply because we lose track of time. Whatever the case, here are 10 ways to free up more time in your day.

1. Don’t watch TV live. Record shows and skip commercials to save more time for fitness. You’ll have to watch it after it airs of course, but it won’t kill you to find out if your favorite stars kissed a day later.

2.Wake up earlier. Don’t be lazy! Set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier and get your workout out of the way before you even leave the house.

3. Let your hair air dry. Thick hair can take forever to dry. The longer you let your hair air dry, the less time you’ll spend blow drying your hair.

4. Track your time online. Set a timer when surfing online to help you keep better track of time. The clock will keep you on task and prevent you from wasting time.

5. Cook in bulk. Instead of spending time cooking a new meal every night, cook large quantities of meat so all you have to add is a new side.

6.  Cook with a crock pot. Instead of being stuck in the kitchen standing over a stove, throw food in a crock pot and let it cook while you get your fitness on.

7. Plan your day. You’ll never have extra time at the end of the day, so if you want time to workout you need to set aside the time. You can save time by managing your time better.

8. Get your kids to pitch in. Why do all the housework yourself when your family could help? Not only does it teach your kids discipline, but it keeps them active – and can help you free up a little extra time too.

9. Grocery shop. If you don’t stock up on healthy food, you are more likely to go out to eat or take multiple trips to the grocery store, which takes extra time out of your day. Having all the supplies you need at the house is a timesaver, as well as a lot healthier.

10. Multi-task. There are so many things you could be doing at the same time. Checking your email while eating breakfast, washing the laundry while taking a shower, or listening to your favorite podcast while putting your make-up on. The more you multi-task, the more time you can make for your health.

Need a Mommy Makeover?

Baby fat isn’t a term used just for the baby. It seems both mom and dad can gain baby fat too during, and even after, pregnancy too. It’s no surprise most expectant moms tend to eat more during pregnancy. Whether it’s the fact they already feel fat, so “why not?” or if it’s the desire to “feed the baby”, fat happens.

Then you have the daddies who eat like they are eating for two as well. Before you know it, you are not only carrying a two year old around everywhere you go – you are also carrying extra weight around your tummy.

You’re not alone – and Steve is here to help! He designed this Mommy Makeover Workout (also perfect for the daddies too!) specifically for FitStudio.com’s Mommy Makeover winner, Ayren. Here is the written workout, as well as the link to the video so you can follow FitStudio.com.

Mommy Makeover Workout

Do the following workout 3 times a week, or more to boost results.

12 Burpees
12 Air Squats
12 Push Ups
12 Bicycle Crunches
12 Mountain Climbers
12 Kneeling Row with Bands

30 Seconds of Each:
Wall Sits
Dead Bug
Plank
Side Plank Left
Side Plank Right

Complete above workout 3 times.
Finish with 35 minutes of walk or jog.

CLICK on the Video for more instructions and to watch the workout at FitStudio!

10 Travel-Friendly Workouts

Working out while vacationing can be difficult. Whether it’s finding a gym or tracking a route to run,  it’s just not always easy. However, if you bring your iPhone, iPad or laptop, you can whip out endless free workouts that require little to no fitness tools -and if you really want to burn some serious calories, they will have a lot of plyometric exercises in them.

Here are a few of our best BCx plyometric circuits that require little to no equipment and can be done in any hotel room. Click on the link, follow the directions, and watch the FitStudio video demonstrations and give each workout a try! Each workout will take anywhere from 3 minutes to 15 minutes. Do just one, or choose a few! Do them alone, or incorporate them with your weight routine.

1. Boot Camp Warmup – Cardio & Full Body Warm Up
2. Ten-four – Cardio/Full Body
3. Mountain Climber / Burpee Suicides – Cardio/Full
4. Old School – Cardio/Full Body
5. Dead Legs – Cardio/Lower Body
6. Bear Crawl Suicides – Cardio/Upper Body
7. SSS – Skater/squat/shuffle – Cardio/Glutes
8. Burnt 3 – Cardio/Upper Body (pull up bar required)
9. The Fire – Cardio/Full Body (pull up bar required)
10. The Bomb – Cardio/Full Body

Steve’s #FitFluential HIIT Workout For Road Warriors

#1 45 Seconds – Air Squats
#2 45 Seconds – Push Ups with Knees to Elbows
#3 45 Seconds – Burpees
#4 45 Seconds – Alternating Oblique Sit Ups
#5 1 Minute Rest

Repeat 4 Rounds for a fast and effective 20 minute workout!

Take Your Workout on Vacation

Working out is pretty easy when you have a gym nearby, but exercise takes a little more creativity when you are in the middle of nowhere – and we put this to the test just recently while on vacation.

When Steve and I were in the mountains with our friends, we wanted to burn off some of the extra calories we were consuming. While our friends scouted out the terrain, Steve started looking for heavy objects to use as fitness tools.

They grabbed medium-size rocks for shoulder raises and propane tanks for squat presses. They used heavy lumber to put on their shoulders for walking lunges and used rope for climbing and repelling. Before we knew it, we had a whole outdoor gym ready to make everyone sweat.

This is one advantage to functional training, like our BCx boot camp program. Since we don’t rely on weight machines to sculpt physiques in boot camp, our clients learn plenty of exercises they can do at home – or, like our friends, their home away from home.

The more functional exercises you learn, the more creative you can get with your workouts, no matter where you are. Even the smallest hotel gym can give you the space you need to create an effective workout if you have a good exercise library in your head.

Here are 5 tips to staying fit on your vaca:

1. Get a lay of the land. Look for surrounding paths, streets and trails. If you can drive on them, clock miles and create a route.

2. Make some fitness tools. Turn two one-gallon containers of water into 8lb dumbbells. Rocks, firewood, large containers of laundry detergent and even luggage can be used as used as weights.

3. Invest in small fitness tools. It’s great to have some portable fitness equipment, like jump rope and Bodylastics bands, that travel well and work great too.

4. Pack your tennies. There is one thing you need if you want to work up a sweat no matter what you do – a good pair of tennis shoes. I brought my Spira stability shoes, which are versatile and great for running too.

5. Plan ahead. If you want to have a good workout while on vacation, do some research before you hit the road. Google area gyms and look for cool tourist activities that keep you moving. Pick out a few workouts you can take with you, like the ones we create online for FitStudio.com or DesignerWhey.com.

Even if you go on vacation, that doesn’t mean you have to take a vacation from your workouts too!

Here is the workout Steve, and his friend Brian, did in the mountains.

The Workout:
– Sprint Uphill
– 10 Burpees
– Climb Rope up 20 foot cliff
– Sprint Uphill
– Carry 20-40lb Objects
– Jump the Ranger
– Race Downhill
– Lumber Lunges
– Climb Rope
(repeat)

No Gym? No Problem!

You don’t have to be a member of a gym to get results. People workout in their backyard, basement, garage, driveway, office and living room. However, people still use the excuse “I can’t afford a gym” or “I don’t have any equipment”. If that’s you, I’m here to change your mind.

The fact of the matter is, you don’t need a gym to be healthy. Can it help? Most definitely. Could it be more fun? Sure! The variety a gym offers is very valuable – BUT if you don’t have access to one, it’s not the end of the world.

Somedays, my gym is my living room floor or the pavement – and it works. Here is a killer workout that uses nothing but your body and the ground. So, NO MORE EXCUSE!

Ten-Four, BCx Workout
This workout consists of 10 reps of 4 exercises for 10 rounds. Put on your tennis shoes and join Steve for this insane workout.

Like this workout? Try one of our BCx Boot Camp programs at FitStudio.com

Being Fit Tastes So Good

As most of you know I work for Sears’ online fitness community called FitStudio. One of my jobs is to write motivational tidbits to FitStudio members, which get emailed to members once a week. Here was today’s tip!

This week’s topics:
Razor Back Workout
Walk to a Different Beat Treadmill Workout
Mind Your Munchies Diet Tips
Poll: What’s Your Meal Environment? 

Be sure to join FitStudio so you get more of these helpful tips and workouts. 

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