Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body

Good article from the New York Times to check out:

Protein Banana Walnut Bars

I ate the whole thing in just a few days...
1/2 cup rolled oats
6 scoops vanilla protein powder (3 scoops unsweetened, 3 scoops sweetened)
2 cups walnut meal (grind the walnuts in a blender…that’s it!)
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

2 medium bananas (very soft, mashed)* I used frozen, thawed over-ripe bananas from my freezer
2 large Omega-3 eggs
2 Tbsp pasture butter
2 Tbsp water as needed

Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Then mix the two bowls together. If needed, add a tbsp or two of water to mix well.

Heat oven to 350F. Place ingredients in a metal 7 x 11 non-stick baking pan and bake at 350F for 12 mins until a knife comes out clean from the SIDES of the pan (not the middle). It should be slightly undercooked in the middle when you first take it out. If you bake this too long it will be very dry.
Makes 15 small bars ** I have horrible cutting skills as noted by the picture above...
Nutrition Facts: 190 calories, 12 g protein, 8 g carbs, 1.7 g fiber, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1.5 g omega-3 poly fat, 6 g omega-6 poly fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 33 mg sodium

Brian Regan- Hilarious Nutrition Standup

Julie Foucher

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fat Loss Tips from Precision Nutrition

5 Questions for Fat Loss
Most people have heard about how to eat for fat loss. But
they just can’t figure out what to eat when it comes time for a meal. And that’s largely because they’re asking themselves the wrong questions.

That’s why we created this simple cheat sheet. It helps you ask the right questions at the most critical time – when it’s time to pick up the fork and spoon. To get the most out of this cheat sheet, simply print it out, fold it up, and make sure to ask yourself the following questions before your next meal.
Q1. Are you eating too much food?
When fat loss is your primary goal, you should stop eating when you’re about 80% full. This will leave you satiated but not belly-rubbing full. So, for this next meal, do you plan on eating a little less than you normally would?
You can eat from a smaller plate than usual. You can leave a little on the plate, instead of finishing everything in front of you. Or you can stop at one serving instead of going back for seconds. Whatever strategy you use, make sure you’re decreasing your calories compared to what you might normally eat.
Q2. Are you eating enough protein?
Your protein intake determines whether you’re going to lose body fat or lean muscle. (Obviously, we want to lose the first and keep the latter.) So, for this next meal, is there enough lean protein included? Men should eat about 2 palm-sized portions and women should eat about 1 palm-sized portion.
You can choose from sources including: lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, lean game meats), lean vegetarian sources (tofu, tempeh, legumes), or powdered protein supplements. Whichever type you choose, make sure you’re eating more protein than what you might normally eat.
Q3. Are you eating too many sugars or starches?
Too many starches and sugars in your diet can prevent fat loss (or even cause fat gain). So, for
this next meal, are there too many starches, particularly processed ones like bread or pasta? Men should eat less than 1 fist-sized portion and women should eat less than 1⁄2 fist-sized portion. Also, the amount of sugar should be minimized.

Starches in the diet include grains, pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, and other carb-dense foods. And added sugars can be found in pop/soda, fruit juices, salad dressings, desserts, sweet snacks, and more. Again, you don’t have to cut these out completely. You just have to be sure to eat fewer of them than usual.
Copyright © 2011 by Precision Nutrition Inc.
Q4. Are you eating enough vegetables?
By replacing your grains with greens, you’ll still feel satisfied at the end of a meal while also increasing your intake of fiber and other important vitamins/minerals. So, for this next meal, are you eating enough vegetables? For fat loss, men should eat about 1 cup while women should eat about 1⁄2 cup.
While most people think of salads when veggies are brought up, many other options are available. Baked, grilled, sautéed, or steamed veggies all count. As do foods like pesto or even kale chips. Regardless of which veggies you choose, make sure you’re eating more than usual.
Q5. Are you including enough healthy fats?
Highly processed fats, often found in processed foods, can ruin your health and lead to fat gain. However, a healthy mix of other naturally occurring fats is important for fat loss. So, for this next meal, are you eating some healthy fats?
You can choose from sources like olive oil, avocados, raw nuts (not roasted), raw seeds, and omega-3 rich fish oils. Whichever type you choose, make sure you’re adding healthy fats to your diet while replacing the unhealthy ones.
Copyright © 2011 by Precision Nutrition Inc. 

My New Affiliate Nutrition Company

Click HERE: About Time Nutrition Products

How to Foam Roll the IT Band

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

3 Exercise Training Circuit

  • KB Goblet Squat
  • KB Swing
  • MB Slams

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Call Me Maybe" Tempo Controlled by Heart Rate

One of my research projects in college was to analyze physiological responses to varying genres of music.  One area I didn't focus on, however, was manipulating heart rate and music  tempo simultaneously.  Pretty cool stuff here!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

100+ Facts about 25 Well-Known Foods

Did you know...

  • Asparagus is a good source of vitamins A, C and E, B-complex vitamins, potassium and zinc
  • An avocado has more than twice as much potassium as a banana.
  • Broccoli contains twice the vitamin C of an orange
  • Onions are a rich source of quercetin, a potent antioxidant.
  • Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system
Al the above....and much more...can be found at the following:

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Study Shows Fast FOod Leaves You Depressed

A new study in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed people who frequent drive-thrus and load their shopping cart with Entenmann’s and Twinkies suffer more depression.

Check out the following for more info:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Why getting physically stronger will help you live longer"

I wanted to share a great article that was forwarded to me from my friend, Coach Vic Brown, of Boston University (  The article discusses the power of strength training and is well-written.  You can check it our here:

OK, I'll admit I have a crush on the reigning Crossfit Games Champion, Annie Thorisdottir- AKA The Fittest Female in the World!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Better Every Year

Really loving this new article from Alli McKee, as I think along the same lines as her (always seeking self-improvement in all facets of life).  Check it out by clicking here:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Adductor Rolling

Deadlifting and Squatting produces a fair amount of adductor tightness in my legs.  If you're in the same camp, consider implementing foam rolling of the affected area.  See video above for specifics.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fantastic Quote from Nutritionist Mike Roussell

"Being lean is not normal in today's society. This means you need to do things that normal people don't do. You need to pack your own lunch; you need to request food be prepared differently than what's listed on most menus; your idea of 'fast food' should be a protein shake; and you can't take the weekend off from your diet like you do your job."

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Trap Bar Deadlift Quad Dominance

My favorite lower body bilateral exercise remains the Trap/Hex Bar Deadlift.  Check out Coach Greg Robins here discuss how to avoid "Quad Dominance" in this exercise.

Monday, August 27, 2012

9 Ingredients to Add to Your Super Shakes!

Nutritionist Chris Mohr submitted the following list.  I use 7 of them regularly.  Let me know what you put in your Super Shakes!

  1.  Raw cocoa powder.  There is no sugar added, just a rich, dark chocolate taste that is loaded with antioxidants.  Try 1 – 2 TBS in your next smoothie.
  2. Spinach.  Yes, spinach — in its leafy green goodness form.  No, it won’t give your smoothie a gross flavor (but adding blueberries, too, will make the color more appealing).  We often add 2-3 large handfuls of raw spinach to our shake and blend to oblivion.  It’s loaded with fiber, iron, and other powerful vitamins and minerals and what a simple way to add more leafy greens to your diet.  Give it a whirl! 
  3. Walnuts.  We love nuts and have touted the benefits of these and other nuts.  But these guys in particular add a nice flavor (and nutrient boost) to the shakes.  Walnuts will help fill you up, with all their quality fat, protein and fiber.  Of course they’re also high in a vitamins and minerals, to boot, and give the shake just a different flavor than traditional nut butters.
  4. Pomegranate seeds.  While it’s a tedious job to extract each seed one by one, several stores now carry these seeds in a small container — no messy work at all — nothing but the beneficial seeds.
  5. Chia seeds.  While we’re on the ‘seed theme’ — let’s continue with these little sesame seed looking little guys that pack a powerful punch.  High in fiber.  High in protein.  Hight in omega-3 fats. Just be careful — blend and drink soon after, as these little guys make any liquid pretty gelatinous in just a short time.
  6. Kefir.  Ever hear of it? If you haven’t tried it, you should.  It’s a drinkable yogurt that’s high in calcium and healthy probiotics (food for your gut) that have been shown to boost immunity. 
  7. Green tea.  You can make a cup than use that as the liquid (blended with ice, it will cool it down immediately).  But the antioxidants in tea are well worth it and may have powerful effects like protecting your skin from sun damage, reducing your risk of heart disease and maybe even burning a little belly fat. 
  8. Black coffee.  It’s high in antioxidants.  You’ll get a little caffeine boost.  And if you like the flavor, it could be a nice shake that is loaded with nutrients.  I wouldn’t necessary mix it with green tea, but here’s another alternative as a liquid base.  Use a chocolate protein powder and, voila, you’ve got a mocha shake.  Awesome!
  9. Fresh ginger. You’ll find ginger root in the produce aisle of your grocery store.  Grate about 1 TBS (it has some heat, so don’t go overboard) for a nice kick to your dish.  But the antimicrobial and immune boosting properties make this one well worth it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stick to the Basics

I'm constantly the "K.I.S.S." Principle to my clients.  The simple stuff will ALWAYS win in the end.  My colleague, Tony Gentilcore, recently wrote a post on this very topic.  He summarized keeping it simple better than I could, so I wanted to share his sentiments:

- Focus on compound movements that force you to integrate the entire body: squat, deadlift, chin-ups, bench press, military press, lunge variation, row, etc.
- For the love of god, step away from the Smith machine.
- And would it kill you to wash your gyms shorts on occasion?
- Stress QUALITY over quantity. I’d rather someone go to the gym and perform 5×5 deadlifts (making sure technique is solid on each rep) than spend an hour doing god-knows-what.
- 3x per week, full-body, is a solid approach for most people.
- Throw in a day (or two) of interval based training and you’re golden.
- Please don’t skip your soft tissue or mobility work.
- Walking shouldn’t be considered exercise.  It’s called life.
- How much weight should you use?  If you can easily hit all your reps, bump the weight up 5-10 lbs.  It’s not rocket science.  And no, you won’t get big a bulky.  Stop thinking you’re going to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger in a week.
- Just to mix it up a bit, save “bench day” for any day other than Monday. Trust me, the world won’t end.
- Training sessions should be no longer than 45-60 minutes (75 minutes, tops if you include SportsCenter highlight breaks).
- The bulk of your exercises should be barbell and dumbbell based.
- If you can’t perform at least five bodyweight chin-ups (man or woman), you have no business performing 46 sets of bicep curls.
- Do some push-ups (or TRX rows) instead.
- Find a good training partner.  It makes all the difference in the world.
- Less is more.  Try to limit yourself to 3-5 exercises per session.
- Don’t be intimidated to ask for help or to be coached.  Even the best in the business ask for help from time to time.

Another Successful Boot Camp

I just wrapped up another awesome Boot Camp tonight.  We had a full turnout and finished with a great effort from all those involved.  Nice mix of bodyweight strength training, resistance bands, Agility Ladder movements, conditioning drills, etc... Great stuff!  I'm lucky to have my camp next to a park where we utilize the equipment ("Neutral Grip Inverted Rows" for back and arm strengthening pictured above).  Hope to see everyone back in the future for more hard work!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Want to Stink This Winter?"

The following comes from an article written by Str & Cond Coach Mike Boyle:

Catchy title? This article is for all you parents who are trying to help your kid get in shape for a winter sport. I spoke with a mom the other day who inspired me to write this. There is a saying I use often in my talks. It is in fact the title of this article.
If you want your child to perform poorly this winter I have the answer. The answer is cross country. I have had countless parents over the years tell me that they can’t figure out why little Janie or Johnny had such a bad winter sports season. They worked so hard in the fall, running all those miles.
Lets get some facts straight. There are no team sports where you run for miles at a time. Even if you actually “run” miles in a game, those miles are actually a series of sprints interspersed with a series of walks or jogs. In the case of a rare sport like ice hockey, you actually sprint and then sit down. Running long distances does not prepare you to run short distances. There is a concept in sport called sport specific training. The concept basically means that from a conditioning perspective the best way to condition for a sport is to mimic the energy systems of that sport. If the sport is sprint, jog , walk, than the training is sprint, jog , walk. Makes perfect sense.
There is another very large concept to grasp here. It is simple. Train slow, get slow. The reality is it is very difficult to make someone fast and very easy to make someone slow. If you want to get an athlete slow, simply ask them to run slower, longer. Simple. They may be in shape, but it is the wrong shape.
Another problem with a steady state sport like cross country? Injuries. Did you know that something like sixty percent of the people who take up running get injured? Those are really crappy odds.
Last and certainly not least, who dominates in sports? The fastest athlete! The athlete with the highest vertical! Yes, conditioning matters but, train for the sport.  Lift weights, jump, sprint. Gain power. It takes years to gain strength and power. You can get in shape in a matter of weeks. Most kids are playing their sport at least a few times a week in the off season so strength and power are much bigger concerns than conditioning.
So this year, don’t give the gift of slowness, If you are not a cross country runner, don’t run cross country. If you like a nice outdoor run and don’t care about speed, be my guest. If you want to get faster and get in great sport condition than train the way the best athletes train. Use a combination of strength training and interval training to prepare properly.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sticky Fingers


No.....I'm not talking about the lead member of the rap group Onyx here.   I'm talking about the latest trick for Olympic gymnasts using honey.  Check out the full scoop here:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Great Wisdom from Coach Mike Boyle

No one has ever gotten better lifting light weights. Light weight is an oxymoron. A weight should be appropriate to the goal but, rarely, if ever, intentionally light. The load should be based on the strength level of the person. The reality is if you are lifting a weight ten times, numbers nine and ten should be difficult. If you can lift a weight 20 times but choose to do only ten, you are wasting your time. Period.

The essence of effective strength training is a concept called
progressive resistance exercise. This means that that even if
the resistance may be light to begin with, it should not stay 
that way.

I go crazy when someone tells me about the routine they’ve been
doing with their eight-lb hand weights. (P.S. Call them dumbbells.
Calling them hand weights is a dead giveaway that you are clueless.)
My first question is this. How long have you been doing this?

Often, people respond with something like, “I’ve done this three
times a week for three months.” The doctrine of progressive
resistance says that the first two weeks were beneficial and
the next 10 weeks were wasted. It’s no wonder people stop working out.

Once you have passed the first three weeks of training, you
should lift a weight that is heavy but allows perfect form.

Be wary, however, of another all-too-common mistake. When we
say the load should be heavy, people begin to cheat. We are
not encouraging cheating. Strive for perfect technique in all
exercises AND progressively increase the resistance.

Work on basic strength in basic exercises. If your trainer
has you practicing your golf swing with a dumbbell in your hands,
get a new trainer. Do not wave dumbbells around and call it strength
training. Learn to body weight squat, learn to do a push-up. Good
basic training should strongly remind you of the calisthenics you
used to do in high school.

Here’s the truth. The secret is, there is no secret. If you want
to hit a golf ball further, you need to get stronger. You will not
get strong lifting a five-pound dumbbell.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Take the stairs :-)

For better "tone," try fewer reps and more challenging weights

Good piece from Anahad O'Connor in The NY Times

Protein at every meal

I was reading a good article by nutritionist Brian St. Pierre recently about a concept I instill with my PT clients: ingesting protein at every meal.  Great sources of protein include wild salmon, lean beef, and chicken.  Check out the full article here:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Excellent Interview with Dr. John Berardi

Dr. Berardi remains one of my go-to sources for the best nutrition information available.  Here is a segment of an interview he gave for a local morning show in Toronto.  Great stuff!  You can click on the sidebar on You Tube for other pieces of this- and other- interviews.

Only One Body

Imagine you are sixteen years old and your parents 
give you your first car. They also give you simple 
instructions. There is one small hitch, you only get 
one car, you can never get another. Never. No 
trade-ins, no trade-ups. Nothing.

Ask your self how would you maintain that car? 

My guess is you would be meticulous. Frequent oil 
changes, proper fuel, etc. Now imagine if your 
parents also told you that none of the replacement 
parts for this car would ever work as well as the 
ori ginal parts. Not only that, the replacement 
parts would be expensive to install and cause you 
to have decreased use of your car for the rest of 
the cars useful life? In other words, the car would 
continue to run but, not at the same speed and 
with the efficiency you were used to.

Wow, now would we ever put a lot of time and effort 
into maintenance if that were the case.

After reading the above example ask yourself another 
question. Why is the human body different? Why do we 
act as if we don’t care about the one body we were 
given. Same deal. You only get one body. No returns 
or trade-ins. Sure, we can replace parts but boy 
it’s a lot of work and it hurts. Besides, the stuff 
they put in never works as well as the original 
“factory” parts. The replacement knee or hip doesn’t 
give you the same feel and performance as the original 

Think about it. One body. You determine the mileage? 
You set the maintenance plan?

No refunds, no warranties, no do-overs?

How about this perspective? One of my clients is a 
very successful businessman. He often is asked to 
speak to various groups. One thing he tells every 
group is that you are going to spend time and money 
on your health. The truth is the process can be a 
proactive one or a reactive one. Money spent on your 
health can take the form of a personal trainer, 
massage therapist and a gym membership or, it can be 
money spent on cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and 
plastic surgeons. Either way, you will spend money.

Same goes for time. You can go to the gym or, to the 
doctors office. It’s up to you. Either way, you will 
spend time. Some people say things like “I hate to 
work out”. Try sitting in the emergency room for a 
few hours and then get back to me. Working out may 
not seem so bad. Much like a car, a little preventative 
maintenance can go a long way. However, in so many ways 
the body is better than a car. With some good hard work 
you can turn back the odometer on the body. I wrote 
an article a while back (Strength Training- The Fountain 
of Youth) that discussed a study done by McMaster 
University which showed that muscle tissue of older 
subjects actually changed at the cellular level and 
looked more like the younger control subjects after 
strength training.

Do me a favor, spend some time on preventative 
maintenance, it beats the heck out of the alternative. 

Just remember, you will spend both time and money.


27 Rules of Conquering the Gym

Outstanding piece from Jason Gay that he wrote earlier this year.  Always worth re-reading.  Enjoy...
This is the time of year when even people who hate the gym think about going to the gym. Many of us are still digesting whole floors of gingerbread houses, and jeans that fit comfortably in October are now a denim humiliation.
Sweating is a good way to begin 2012. Exercise, like dark chocolate and office meetings that suddenly get canceled, is a proven pathway to nirvana. But if you're going to join a gym—or returning to the gym after a long hibernation—consider the following:
1. A gym is not designed to make you feel instantly better about yourself. If a gym wanted to make you feel instantly better about yourself, it would be a bar.
2. Give yourself a goal. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds. Maybe you want to quarterback the New York Jets into the playoffs. But be warned: Losing 10 pounds is hard.
The New Year's push to lose weight is bringing crowds to gyms. Jason Gay offers tips to conquering the gym. Photo: Getty Images.
3. Develop a gym routine. Try to go at least three times a week. Do a mix of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. After the third week, stop carrying around that satchel of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.
4. No one in the history of gyms has ever lost a pound while reading "The New Yorker" and slowly pedaling a recumbent bicycle. No one.
5. Bring your iPod. Don't borrow the disgusting gym headphones, or use the sad plastic radio attachment on the treadmill, which always sounds like it's playing Kenny Loggins from a sewer.
6. Don't fall for gimmicks. The only tried-and-true method to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours is food poisoning.
7. Yes, every gym has an overenthusiastic spinning instructor who hasn't bought a record since "Walking on Sunshine."
8. There's also the Strange Guy Who is Always at the Gym. Just when you think he isn't here today...there he is, lurking by the barbells.
9. "Great job!" is trainer-speak for "It's not polite for me to laugh at you."
10. Beware a hip gym with a Wilco step class.
11. Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.
12. Nope, that's not a "recovery energy bar with antioxidant dark chocolate." That's a chocolate bar.
13. Avoid Unsolicited Advice Guy, who, for the small fee of boring you to death, will explain the proper method for any exercise in 45 minutes or longer.
14. You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that's super tough!
15. If you're motivated to buy an expensive home exercise machine, consider a "wooden coat rack." It costs $40, uses no electricity and does the exact same thing.
16. There's the yoga instructor everyone loves, and the yoga instructor everyone hates. Memorize who they are.
17. If you see an indoor rock climbing wall, you're either in a really cool gym or a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson.
18. Be cautious about any class with the words "sunrise," "hell," or "Moby."
19. If a gym class is going to be effective, it's hard. If you're relaxed and enjoying yourself, you're at brunch.
20. If you need to bring your children, just let them loose in the silent meditation class. Nobody minds, and kids love candles.
21. Don't buy $150 sneakers, $100 yoga pants, and $4 water. Muscle shirts are for people with muscles, and rhythm guitarists.
22. Fancy gyms can be seductive, but once you get past the modern couches and fresh flowers and the water with lemon slices, you're basically paying for a boutique hotel with B.O.
23. Everyone sees you secretly racing the old people in the pool.
24. If you're at the point where you've bought biking shoes for the spinning class, you may as well go ahead and buy an actual bike. It's way more fun and it doesn't make you listen to C+C Music Factory.
25. Fact: Thinking about going to the gym burns between 0 and 0 calories.
26. A successful gym membership is like a marriage: If it's good, you show up committed and ready for hard work. If it's not good, you show up in sweatpants and watch a lot of bad TV.
27. There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.
Where's my infomercial and best seller?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Resistance Training to Improve Flexibility

One of the many fallacies about strength training is that it will decrease one's flexibility. I was happy to see the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research [25(12)/3391-3398] refute this ideology at the University of North Dakota.  Researchers measured static stretching at various points (hamstrings, shoulders, etc...) and compared it to a group that solely performed strength training.  The results of this preliminary study suggested that full-range resistance training regimens can improve flexibility as well as the static stretching programs.  Take-home point: do not fear that strength training will reduce your flexibility.  Exercises like the above (2-arm/1-leg Kettlebell Stiff-Legged Deadlifts) are an outstanding way to improve glute (minimus and maximus) and hip strength.  Additionally, it's a great way to improve balance and work on grip endurance.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Incline Bench DB Row w/ISO Hold

I use this exercise a lot to improve mid/upper-back strength with clients.  It's a fantastic choice for those looking to improve posture (which is most of us!)

Obese, Ridiculously Strong, AND an Olympian!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Look Like Barbie, Lift Like Ken

Megan Graham, 3rd place winner of the recent Miss Bikini Universe is trained by a colleague of mine, Ben Bruno.  She is living proof that girls need to lift challenging weight vs "Pink Dumbbells" and hours of non-stop steady-state cardio to look their best.  Ben wrote an OUTSTANDING article with VIDEOS of Megan's workouts.  Check it out here:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I had the opportunity to head out to Littleton, MA last week to meet with members of their Police Department.  Like many other communities throughout Massachusetts, they constructed a new building a couple years ago- complete with a state of the art exercise room for their staff.  While it's a wonderful amenity to have, some of the officers aren't proficient with using some of the equipment...that's where I come in.  

I took the group through a few exercises and stretches based on their available equipment and space.  They had fun and learned a lot.  The plan is to head back in the fall and lead them through a routine they can all progress with on their own.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Super Nutritious Dinner on The Foreman Grille

Perform Better 3-Day Functional Training Summit: Providence

I had the privilege of attending Perform Better's 3-Day Functional Training Summit earlier this month.  I'll be writing a full review in my Summer Newsletter (published July 1, 2012).

Interesting Video on Sugar

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

So True!!!

Total Body workout with Rachel Cosgrove

I had a chance to see Rachel speak last weekend for the 2nd year in a row at a conference in Rhode Island.  As always, she was phenomenal in describing fat loss strategies for training female clients.  No surprises in that there was NOTHING I'd do differently when it comes to exercise-specific selections.  I may take different verbal and psychological approaches with respect to body composition changes, however.  The above video shows Rachel running through a fantastic total body workout that burns calories and improves lean muscle.  These are all exercises I have both my male & female clients performing regularly.

Monday, June 04, 2012

DB Reverse Lunge

Alternating DB Reverse Lunges are a dynamic single-leg exercise I often use with my clients after they are comfortable with split squats and Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squats.  Huge points of focus are keeping the chest tall and driving off the grounded heel when ascending from each repetition.  I like to have clients squeeze their scapulae as that often maximizes perfect posture in their torso.  Look for a good shin angle (~90-degrees) and power production as they come out of the bottom of each lunge.  

Key thing to remember as this type of lunge should be performed BEFORE any forward type of lunging as this variation creates minimal knee stress and requires less deceleration.  I'll start people with bodyweight and progress to external loads (i.e. weighted vest, dumbbells, kettle bells, etc...) 

71 Tips to Lose Fat

Dr. Chris Mohr, R.D., posted an article this week on how to lose fat.  VERY applicable to 95% of my clientele and the majority of folks I come across:
  1. Have a clear goal that anyone in the world can measure and understand.
  2. Drink tea. Research suggests that those who drink tea (black, green, or white, as long as it’s from real tea vs. herbal tea) have lower BMI’s and have less body fat. 
  3. Eat cayenne pepper.  A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that when compared to placebo, capsaicin (the active ingredient in cayenne) increased fat burning. 
  4. Decrease/eliminate simple carbs.  They do nothing for you outside of creating a favorable environment for gaining fat.
  5. Eat more veggies. They fill you up, without providing many calories.  Just avoid the high fat/high calorie dressings.
  6. Eat more fruits: No one ever gained weight from eating more fruit even the so called "high sugar" fruits, like bananas, melons and others.
  7. Lift weights.  Heavy weights.  Build more muscle, burn more calories.
  8. Cut down rest time between sets.  This will keep your heart rate elevated causing an increase in calories burned.
  9. Do intervals.  No more strolls through the park.  Study after study after study continues to show intervals are more effective (and in less time).  And physically just look at the body of a sprinter vs. the body of a marathoner. 
  10. Eat more protein.  Replacing refined carbohydrates with lean protein will not only help satiate you, but will also increase your metabolism, through something called the thermic effect of food.
  11. Eat protein more frequently.  Piggy backing on #10, it’s important to also time your intake so you’re eating protein regularly throughout the day … not just in one lump sum, like most do at dinner.  Every meal and snack should include some protein. 
  12. Supplement with fish oil.  A study published in Lipids fed mice diets enhanced EPA and DHA (fish oil).  The researchers learned that the mice fed diets higher in omega-3 fats had significantly less accumulation of body fat.  Other studies have shown similar results.
  13. Do full body exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, pullups,chinups, pushups, etc.  You’ll get more bang for your buck out of each workout.
  14. Cycle carbs depending on workout routine.  Sure, carbs are important, but you surely don’t need as many if you’re not working out or if you workout just 30 minutes per day and then are sitting most of the other 23.5 hours.  
  15. Start meals with a salad.  Salad will provide some bulk to help fill you up, so you eat less calories overall.
  16. Include low-fat water based soups as snacks.  include this with a salad and the two of them will fill you up before getting to the calorie laden meal.
  17. Don’t forget the fiber.  Think of fiber like a sponge; it absorbs water and makes you feel full. Focus on fiber, not carbs.
  18. Drink water.  Professor Dr. Brenda Davy and her Team from VA Tech found that giving people 2 cups of water before each meal resulted in greater weight loss after 12 weeks.  The reason?  It helps fill you up.
  19. Add beans to your salads.  It’s a nice way to add some additional fiber, protein, and healthy carbs. 
  20. Replace one meal/day with a large salad and lean protein.
  21. Self monitor.  Keep a journal.  There’s no better way to track what you’re putting in your mouth. 
  22. Watch your portions.  Avoid the buffet line and never super size a thing; instead make sure you’re following what the nutrition label recommends for a serving.
  23. Weigh and measure foods.  You won’t know how much you’re eating unless you pull out the food scale, measuring cups and spoons. 
  24. Switch to calorie free drinks.  All calories count, whether they’re liquid or solid, so unless it’s low fat milk, opt for tea or water.  Or something I was introduced to in the Netherlands – large bunches of mint, lemon and hot water. 
  25. Weigh yourself.  Studies show daily weights help enhance weight loss efforts.  Don’t live and die by the number.  And of course a scale doesn’t decipher between fat and lean body mass, but it can still be of benefit to keep things "in check."
  26. Eat whole eggs.  Daily.  A study published a couple years ago showed that those who ate whole eggs vs. a bagel for breakfast ate less at the next meal.  A similar study showed eating whole eggs increases HDL (good) cholesterol. 
  27. Eat breakfast (which is convenient with #26 above).  A review published in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who ate breakfast are more successful with long-term weight maintenance.  Other research has shown the same for weight loss.  Grab hardboiled eggs, scrambled eggs, Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and handful of nuts, or make a smoothie.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.
  28. Eat the bulk of you meals in the AM and eat progressively less throughout the day.  A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that eating the bulk of your calories earlier in the day positive influences weight changes.
  29. Stay upright-you burn more calories.  This means not sitting in front of a computer, TV, phone, etc all day.  Stand and you’ll burn more and be more productive.
  30. Ask your waiter to doggy bag ½ your meal before serving it to you.  If you wait and tell yourself you’ll just eat half.  You won’t.  So don’t even have it put in front of you.
  31. Use the stairs, skip the escalator and elevator.  These won’t make or break success, but every little bit helps, so get in all the movement you can.
  32. Eat low energy dense foods.  These are foods that are high in water and lower in calories, such as fruit, veggies, soups, salads, etc.  Studies at Penn State University have showed that the inclusion of these foods helps individuals eat less total calories overall.
  33. Don’t grocery shop hungry.  Rather than stick to your list, you’ll buy everything in the aisle; foods that are sure to sabotage your goals of getting lean.
  34. Replace side dishes with steamed veggies.  Restaurants will often allow you to switch the fries or chips with steamed veggies; all you have to do is ask.
  35. Bake, don’t fry
  36. Switch to smaller silverware; it forces you to take smaller bites.
  37. Use a grill
  38. Order dressing on the side, dip the fork in dressing, and then in the salad.  This saves a ton more dressing than if one was to order it on the side, then poor the entire cup on the salad anyhow.  Less calories equals less weight. 
  39. In the airport?  Carry your luggage, don’t roll it.  Again, not a deal breaker in terms of success…just another way to increase energy expenditure.
  40. Skip the “Venti lattes” and opt for plain coffee or, better yet, tea.  Those extra large “designer” coffees can pack a wholloping 500 or more calories per serving!
  41. Got oats?  Plain rolled oats will help fill you up more than the high sugar breakfast counterparts.  Moreover, 1 serving provides a lot less calories than the sugar coated alternatives.
  42. Fidget. A study published in the journal Science showed that those who fidgeted more often, changed posture frequently, etc weighed less than those who did not.  This extra movement was termed NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis).
  43. Laugh often.  A study presented at the European Congress on Obesity found those who laughed hard for approximately 10-15 minutes each day burned an additional 10-40 calories/day.  Multiply that by 365 and those calories can add up! 
  44. Don’t use email within your office—get up and walk to a co-workers desk.
  45. Switch to water first thing in the morning vs. juice; you’ll save 100+ calories.
  46. Steam your veggies—don’t sautée oil
  47. Leave something on your plate at the end of the meal-every little bit counts.
  48. When out to eat, split a meal.  The portions are usually big enough to feed a family.
  49. Skip dessert
  50. Don’t socialize around the food tables at parties; you’re more likely to pick, even though you may not be hungry.
  51. Don’t eat your kids leftovers; every little bit of food adds up, including these "BLTs" (bites, licks and tastes)
  52. Keep chips, dips, and other high fat snack foods out of the house—it’s not about willpower, it’s about being realistic.
  53. If you have a dog, take it for a walk—don’t just let it out in the back.
  54. If you don’t have a pet, offer to walk a neighbors dog.
  55. Use smaller plates and bowls, there will be less room for you to fill up and it makes less food seems like more.
  56. Skip buffets.  You will feel you like you have to get your moneys worth and overeat.
  57. Slow down.  It takes approximately 15-20 minutes for the stomach to sense it’s full.  If you woof down your food like a starving dog, you’ll likely out eat your hunger.
  58. Decrease your food intake by 100 calories per day; theoretically this translates to nearly 1 pound per month (1 lb = 3500 calories).
  59. Buy a pedometer and accumulate at least 10,000 steps each day.
  60. When possible, walk or bike to do your errands. 
  61. Don’t buy in bulk, unless you’re buying toiletries or feeding an army.  The more that is there, the more that you’ll eat.
  62. Stay away from the alcohol—I don’t care if it’s low-carb anything, alcohol provides 7 calories/gram, which means a lot of empty calories and just 1 drink lowers your inhibition so you overeat other calories too
  63. Plan ahead.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
  64. Pack your meals for the week on Sunday; you never want to be without options.
  65. Keep some healthy snacks — like nuts — in your glove compartment so you’re prepared at all times.
  66. Take before pictures and write down your goals.
  67. Get new friends.  If your friends prefer pizza, wings, nachos and beer on a regular basis, find one’s who are like minded and want to be healthy.  Research has suggested that friends enhance (or can hurt) success.
  68. Put yourself first.  Many people (women in particular) put everyone else ahead of themselves and let their health fall by the side. 
  69. Be honest with yourself—you’re not fooling anyone by “sneaking” different foods.
  70. It’s not all or nothing; if you fall off the bandwagon, jump right back.  Don’t let yourself continue to fall until all progress has been lost.
  71. Wake up early to exercise; you’re more likely to get it done if you don’t wait until after work.