Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

With gratitude to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No, Virginia, There Is No Spot Reduction

The other night one of my boot campers repeatedly ask me how to make her arms smaller. I kept telling her over and over that you can't spot reduce. I told her that as she continued to eat right and exercise her overall body fat would decrease but she persisted.

Was cardio the answer? Should she do more arm exercises on her days off from boot camp? Should she use lighter weights during boot camp so she don't build her arms?

Yikes, has she learned nothing from me? I guess I should be glad she didn't ask me about this stupid thing. ================>

Anyway, rather than writing up an entire article myself, I found this one that explains it...
You Cannot Spot Reduce and There is No Such Thing as Toning

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Practical Fat Loss Tips

Here are some practical fat loss tips courtesy of Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training.

- Plan, shop, and prepare every week so you have the right nutrition.
- Come up with two solutions for every obstacle in your life.
- Use a structured, professionally designed workout
- Get social support
- Have a mindset of "I'm going to DO this", not "I'm going to 'try' to do this"
- Plan your day & do not let others get in your way of success!

OWN the day,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reminder - Workout for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Saturday, May 22nd

If you're in the Lancaster, PA area, please join me on Saturday for a fun and challenging group workout benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Get all the details here Workout for St. Jude

Monday, May 17, 2010

Are You Setting The Right Kind of Goals?

You hear it over and over...the importance of setting goals. And I definitely agree that the right kind of goals can help you get better results.

You've probably read that you should set SMART goals...

* Specific
* Measurable
* Attainable
* Realistic
* Timely

Saying "My goal is to be healthier" is not specific. Saying "My goal is to lower my blood pressure to 110/70" or "My goal is to get off my diabetes medication" is specific.

A body fat percentage is measurable. A dress size is measurable.

You get the idea.

But maybe there's even a better way to set goals.

Performance vs. outcome goals

Sometimes we set goals that we are not totally in control of achieving. If your goal is finishing in the top 10 in your age group in a race or winning a sales contest at work, you don't have complete control over the end result. Those are examples of outcome goals and are, at least partially, in the hands of others.

Outcome goals are good but should be supported with performance goals.

In the above examples, the runner might make a goal of running x number of days/miles per week. She might also want to include interval training or strength training x number of times a week to improve her speed and/or strength.

The salesman could decide to make x number of calls every day to past customers to see if there's anything they could use help with. He might contact previous customers and ask if they'd be willing to talk to potential new customers about the results they've experienced from his service/product.

This also applies to weight loss. You should set a goal of losing x number of pounds or x number of clothing sizes (and then breaking that down to smaller goals) but you should also incorporate performance goals.

Instead of relying solely on the scale which can sometimes be affected by things beyond your control, make some performance goals.

For example, decide that...

* I will exercise x number of times per week.

* Every lifting day, I will strive to increase the number of reps or the amount of weight on at least one exercise.

* I will eat x number of servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

* I will prepare healthy meals for the week on Sunday.

Focus on the things you can change, like your behavior, and the outcome you want will follow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

3-Month Summer Student Memberships $99

Body & Soul Fitness Studio
3-month summer student
membership on sale now.

* $99 w/ student ID.

* No enrollment fee.

* Women only gym.

Call Mickey @ 509-7777 to schedule an appt.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Collected Fitness Wisdom #20

I think with dieting, it’s all about just enjoying the process. If you can find a way to make that enjoyable and not just one giant lecture on self-denial and self-deprivation then you’re gonna make it work.

~Brad Pilon

I started lifting weights after 40. I had done Pilates and cardio with a little yoga, but after 40, I wanted to maintain my muscle tone. It's one thing to be in shape and thin, but it's also great to have definition. That's what makes you look healthy.

~Vanessa Williams

It’s interesting to know how high your heart rate goes up in interval training, how low it recovers, but heart rate does not dictate fat loss. That one kind of needs to sink in on people, but just because you have your heart rate elevated for a certain amount of time doesn’t mean you’re going to lose fat, as all these cardiovascular studies have shown where the results have been disappointing.

It’s not about heart rate. It’s about the effort and the quality that you put into the training and the intensity that then changes the hormone profile, decreasing the insulin, making you more insulin sensitive, increasing the adrenalin immediately after training and during training so that fat burning occurs, and possibly, because it’s such a debatable subject, increasing the metabolism for hours, or 24 hours after training, or 36 hours after training, like some studies suggest.

Heart rate has no direct effect on fat loss is what I’m saying.

~Craig Ballantyne

It’s like our society is plagued with individuals who want things YESTERDAY and can’t understand why they don’t see immediate results. Maybe it’s a product of the information age where you can get any product you want at the click of a button.

People have to realize that that kind of attitude doesn’t work with exercise, health, strength or fat loss.

~Chris Lopez


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Workout for St. Jude - Saturday, May 22nd

If you're in the Lancaster, PA area, please join me for a fun and challenging group workout benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Workout for St. Jude
Saturday, May 22nd at 9:00 AM

Body & Soul Fitness Studio
618 Columbia Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 509-7777
Plenty of free parking.

Please spread the word among your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.

Donation is $15 per person or if you prefer, feel free to get sponsors.

It really helps if I have an idea of how many people will be attending so if you could let me know you’ll be coming that would be great. However, if you decide last minute that’s great, too. Raising as much money as possible is obviously the goal.

The workout will last approximately 60 minutes, including warmup and cooldown.

All fitness levels are invited. Exercises will be adapted or substituted, as necessary.

Anyone 12 and older is welcome to participate.

All proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where no child is ever turned away due to parental inability to pay and no family is billed for charges not paid by insurance.

Here's a short clip of our previous workout in March...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

3 Amazing Fat Burning Interval Training Options by Craig Ballantyne

Happy World Fitness Day!

Here's a great artcle from Craig Ballantyne on different types of interval training.

3 Amazing Fat Burning Interval Training Options
By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

If you are looking to cut down on the amount of time you spend in the gym without jeopardizing your fat loss goals, then including interval training alongside your strength training program is the only way to go.

Just imagine spending half the time in the gym - if not more - and getting way better results. Isn't that what you deserve?

I thought so.

And to make the notion of ditching long, slow, boring cardio even more convincing is the fact that you will be far less susceptible to sustaining an overuse injury with interval training.

For some of you, however, the thought of giving up your daily cardio machine routine is too much to bear. But not to worry because you can still use your favorite machine, but we'll just tweak things a bit so that you get more out of your workout in half the time.

1) Interval Training Option #1 - Classic Intervals

For example, try incorporating intervals on the treadmill by running hard for 30 seconds, at an 8 out of 10 intensity level, followed by 60 seconds of light recovery at a 3 out of 10 intensity level.

That is one interval, and so you will repeat this process up to 6 times, while using a five minute warm-up and a 5 minute cool down.

Each week try to do more squats in the same amount of time. This may sound easy, but trust me; it can be as difficult as you make it!

2) Interval Option #2 - Short Burst Squats

I personally recommend a Gymboss timer for this type of training, but it isn't essential.

So, for the bodyweight interval training you will do as many bodyweight squats as you can for 20 seconds and then hold the bottom position for 10 seconds, then repeat your squats for 20 seconds, and then hold at the bottom for 10 etc. Repeat these intervals for 8 rounds.

(Mickey's note: That is a killer workout. It's only 4 minutes but it will seem like forever if you do it right.)

3) Interval Option # - Kettlebell Swings

If you have a kettlebell, you can do swings or kettlebell squats for 30 seconds and then walk for 30 seconds and alternate for 6-10 rounds. That's a great way to finish a fat burning workout.

Alright, so those are just three of the countless ways in which you can include interval training into your workouts that will burn fat faster and help you avoid spending more time than necessary in the gym.

If you want more info on Craig's Turbulence Training system, visit

If you love training, using nothing but your own bodyweight, check out his TT 6-Month Bodyweight Program

If you want the motivation and social support of a transformation contest, take a look at the TT Transformation Contest page