Thursday, April 25, 2013

Breaking Plateaus In Your Workouts

Your body creates an internal set point for your weight. This weight is affected by many factors including: lifestyle, age, gender, genetics, and other triggers such as hormones, energy, appetite, water, and stress. The most effective way to releasing weight (undesirable pounds and inches) is to set a goal of 2-4 pounds per week. When you first start out you may release up to 10 pounds in a week. This is partially due to the benefits of nutritional cleansing and some extra water loss due to a shift in your activity levels which will make you sweat more (and require you to consume more water).

If you do reach a plateau with releasing weight or gaining weight there are several things you can do to break the plateau and take your performance to the next level. Some methods are physical and others mental/emotional. Either way, if you feel like you are hitting a plateau ask yourself if you are sleeping less, under more stress, drinking less water, exercising less, or eating more. If none of those things apply to you then here are some other tips to help you achieve your fitness goals:

  1. Break monotony in your program and change up your workouts. A trainer can help you in this area. Doing the same exercises everyday can stunt your growth (plateau). Take a dance class or cycling class. You can modify any of your training sessions by adjusting the duration (time), frequency, type, or the intensity.
  2. Try doing 2 workouts per day for a while. Doing "2 a days" can help you burn more calories and also prevent overtraining (by splitting up your workouts) which is a major cause of plateaus. The leanest and fittest people are almost always the most active. Try doing cardio in the morning and a weight circuit in the evening.
  3. Increase your water intake to meet your performance needs. Shoot for 1 oz. per pound of desired body weight. After the workout add 1 pint of water per pound lost. This means you will need to weigh in before and after the workout. If you exercise in the heat be prepared to take in more water before, during, and after the workout.
  4. Stick to 400-600 calories per meal. Focus on balance and variety with lots of color (shoot for 5-7 colors). Your meals should contain healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Snacks should be fruits, vegetables, or healthy nuts. It is easy to overeat meals when they are full of sauces/toppings, preservatives and hidden fats. Buy a cookbook or use an online calorie counter (they make smart phone apps) to help you count calories.
  5. Use a thorough body analysis to measure your results. Have a trainer help you with this for accurate measurements. The analysis should include a body fat test and a thorough measurement of inches. Muscle weighs more than fat per volume so you could and will gain muscle and lose fat and may show a net gain of zero at times. A body fat test along with body measurements is a better indicator of progress than weight itself.
  6. Accept your body type. Appreciate what you have so you can move forward in fitness. Resenting your body can create stress hormones which will keep the undesirable weight on.
  7. Take your Isagenix Accelerator and Isagenix Want More Energy pre-workout (30 minutes before). The Accelerator has ingredients that are designed to help the body release fat. Read more. Want More Energy helps you stay energized and hydrated. Read more. You can also add 5 grams of protein (Isagenix IsaPro) to the Want More Energy to help spare muscle protein breakdown when you are doing intense workouts.
  8. Drink an Isagenix Isalean shake within 45 minutes after any workout. This will help fight inflammation, build & repair muscle and connective tissue faster, and improve recovery time between workouts.
  9. Get your sleep. You need 7-9 hours of restful sleep to promote fat loss.
  10. Be honest about your stress levels. If your stress levels are high then take a yoga class, spend time journaling/reflecting, meditate, or just talk to a friend.
  11. Do an Isagenix 9 Day Cleanse. The 9 day cleanse is an intense approach that can help you get back on track and reset your metabolism. Read more on 9 Day. Read more on 30 day.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

RHF Quick Fitness Guide

An all-in-one reference guide to seek balance in your fitness plan...

Get Moving.
3 days of strength training and 3 days of Core & Cardio for 30 minutes should be sufficient to support health, functionality, and build strength. Keeping your body guessing is key to your success. Metabolic training is also something you need to learn about. RHF focuses on metabolic training and muscle confusion. At RHF we perform a ton of total body moves that burn a ton of calories while making you a fitness machine! If you are trying to reduce your weight substantially you can still train at RHF, but you may need to up your frequency to produce the desired results.

Up Your Water Intake.
Over 70% of the population is chronically dehydrated according to some studies. You should consume daily half your body weight in ounces minimum (150lb female should consume 75 ounces). Try flavoring your water with lemon or electrolytes to break the monotony. Try this trick: 8 ounces with meals, 16-20 between meals, and 12-24 ounces during workouts (30-60 minutes).

With Change Comes Challenge.
To get the maximum benefit from your training you need to push it to the limit. RHF often engages in max effort training to help you get faster results. This will truly challenge you to break through plateaus. This also helps you break through mental barriers.

Plan Out Your Plates.
You can avoid rapid drops in blood sugar by spacing your meals 3 hours apart. Seek color, balance, and variety in your meals. Front load your calories to avoid bingeing later in the day and evening. Eat breakfast (first thing in the morning). Late night bingeing is a common problem with people who are struggling to find balance in their nutrition plan. Imbalance can wreck havoc on your metabolism and energy. Ask for help in determining your caloric needs.

Time Your Nutrition to Meet Your Performance and Recovery Needs.
 It is extremely important that you eat 100-200 calories before you workout (1 hour before). It is also important to consume the adequate amount of carbohydrates and protein post-workout (within 45 minutes). Ask for help in determining your performance needs.

Find Compromises in the Kitchen.
Try reversing your portion sizes. Maybe eat more salad and half a sandwich (easy on the dressing) instead of the other way around. At the buffet, you should load up on produce before prancing around at the other stations. There are plenty of compromises you can make that make great sense. If in doubt, ask for help. There are tons of great ideas out there.

Kick the Convenience Foods.
Eating convenience foods derive from impulsive behavior (lack of proper planning) and then evolve into compulsive metabolic disasters. No one is immune to being tempted by convenience foods. Always look for calories, fat, AND total ingredients. Remember the rule of balance, color, and variety. Be mindful and conscious of what you put in your body. You can never go wrong with plant-based foods!

Rest is a Weapon.
Proper rest and relaxation is a weapon. Use it to your advantage. Rejuvenating your body is VITAL to your fitness success. Rest is also a chance to give thanks to your body for all the stress that is put on it both environmentally and self-induced. Restful activities include yoga, meditation, visualization, a power nap, sleep, or anything else that calms you and levels your blood pressure. Sleep is non-negotiable. A good night's sleep is more than just revitalizing yourself for the next day. Sleep reduces frequency of colds, helps slim waistline, and strengthens your heart. Lack of sleep is linked to higher level of stress hormones that affect sugar metabolism and may raise blood pressure. Shoot for 7-9 hours each night of restful sleep.

6 Reasons to Work Out with a Partner. Who's Your Burn Buddy?

Grab a Burn Buddy! Training with a friend is a great idea. Here's why:

Increased motivation.
Cancelling a workout with a friend is hard to do; a lot harder to cancel than those half-ass plans (yah I said that) you made with yourself to hit the "bacardio" equipment informally for 1 hour a day (I hope you skip this idea it is lame). No "5 Hour Energy" needed come 4pm if you have a burn buddy to lean on for an after-work sweat session. Channel all that "work stress" by sweating it out! After 3-4 weeks of meeting your burn buddy it is a habit and a great one!

Your workouts can be more fun.
News flash...The elliptical machine and bicep curling stations are the least exciting ways to get serious results. Face it, it is true. With a burn buddy, you can get your heart racing by doing fun activities like playing one-on-one basketball or tennis. You can also attempt to cheat death by attending RHF Burn30 Bootcamp LOL. If working out on your own, you can take turns leading each other through routines (please go to bootcamp instead). Make it a mutually beneficial process and it will be a big part of your life.

Your workout will be harder (higher intensity).
We all have an inherent drive to compete (whether you admit it or not you do). Who really wants to be last? Environment is often stronger than will power, so what you do together will look a lot different than a routine you do on your own. Think about it. Your abilities should be in the same ballpark, but always be ready to pick your burn buddy up when needed!

You can now afford a fitness pro!
Sharing a pizza LOL is cheaper than buying one yourself (skip this idea too). The same math applies when it comes to hiring a fitness pro. RHF personal training (or any for that matter) is expensive. Sign up for bootcamp for a fraction of the cost. Bootcamp is personal, group training. Read more.

You will always have a helper.
Having trouble trying to figure out where to go and what to do? Struggling with those last couple reps? Surely, between the two of you a plan will be easier to draw up. You can waste a ton of time wandering around the gym. The buddy idea is better than the "lone ranger" philosophy, but I still think you would be best served finding professional help. Seek out a fitness pro!

Your friends will be fitter.
Surround yourself with people who are active and eat well (and sensible) and there is a good chance you are going to do the same. Researchers at Harvard University found that you can "catch" obesity (just like smoking habits and happiness, weird huh?) because it spreads like an infectious "social" disease. The experts found that a person's risk of becoming obese rises by two percent for every five obese (unhealthy) social contacts they have.

There you have it...

Who is your burn buddy? What are you gonna do now?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

7 Key Workout Foods: Get the most out of your workout...

Here's a list of dynamic foods that bring a lot to the table (literally). They fit within a fitness nutrition plan (performance plan) and they are capable of sending your taste buds a nice wake-up call.

Make the lowly tomato your best friend and you could potentially up your chances of staying healthy and recovering faster. They're loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. They are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids. They may boost heart health, fight oxidative stress, protect against a variety of cancers, and combat inflammation. Tomatoes also contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance.

A powerhouse of lean protein, fish lets you load up without blowing your calorie budget. The very leanest choices include white-fleshed fish like flounder or tilapia, as well as most shellfish, including lobster. Even dark-fleshed fish like tuna and salmon are considered lean, and the fat they provide (in the form of fish oil) can help regulate hormones and metabolism and reduce inflammation. Of course, all this muscle-building power will never show up as a six-pack unless you are careful about how the fish is prepared. Watch out for calorie bombs like deli tuna salad and deep-fried fish or calamari.

Açai berry
These small, purple berries are actually one of the best superfoods in the world. Açai berries contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any known food, along with fiber, iron, amino acids, and healthy omega fatty acids. Add them to your diet in the form of juice or pulp and you can expect a load of benefits, including increased energy, faster recovery rate, boosted immune system, and stabilized blood sugar levels.

Dark green leafy vegetables
Popeye was right about eating spinach. Especially if you want to build muscle FAST. The antioxidants found in dark green vegetables help counteract the oxidative muscle damage that comes with heavy training or exercise. So vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, lettuce, kale, and our hero spinach should be high on your list.

This miniature superfruit is chock-full of nutrients and antioxidants. So if you're involved in strenuous activity, a daily cup or two of blueberries can help reduce cell damage. They also promote healthy blood pressure and contain complex carbs and fiber to help sustain energy and keep you full of vitality!

When you're trying to add muscle, protein is as important as any dumbbell or training buddy. Most important, you want increased "clean calories" from whole, natural, unprocessed foods-like eggs. Eggs are one of the most perfect proteins for growing lean muscle. By incorporating eggs (the whole egg) into your diet you can get a high amount of protein for a relatively low number of calories. Just six egg whites will give you 99 calories and 21 grams of protein. Now that's a deal.

Green tea
If you're working out regularly, giving your body a constant supply of antioxidants can promote quicker recovery on a cellular level. And drinking green tea is a good way to vary your antioxidant intake. On top of its antioxidant properties, green tea can help protect the cardiovascular system, increase metabolic rate (which supports weight control), and may provide some anticancer and blood pressure-reducing benefits.

Add these 7 foods to your oxidant-fighting arsenal. Go ahead and rev up your engine with these heavy-hitters for quicker results. But never neglect your regular exercise program and fitness nutrition plan. Those are the real keys to fitness success. Start with a sound regimen, and then focus on these 7 for extra kick!