Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Collected Fitness Wisdom #26

Yes, I know it hurts to hear it, but cakes, cookies, crackers, microwaved meals, chips, sodas, granola bars, sugary sports drinks or energy drinks, and 1000's of other products that line our supermarket shelves were never meant to be part of the human diet, so it's obvious why it causes so many health problems for us.

This gets back to what I always say about trying to include as many "1-ingredient" foods as you can in your diet if you want to eat like we were meant to eat.

~Mike Geary

"Toned" is just a made-up word for "Gained some muscle, lost some fat!"

~Jon Benson

Each time I reach a personal best, I become fixated on making that best, even better. Why? Because it is proof to me that I can and still have the ability to improve myself. I still have the "choice" to be better. I can choose to walk in everyday and do nothing more than what I did yesterday. I can choose to sit and blindly go through movements and drills without reaching deep within myself and choosing to try harder---just enough to get me by. But that is not me.

~John Izzo

For exercise, I  always favor 100 percent of the time all forms of strength training over any form of cardiovascular training for fat loss and really for anything.

~Geoff Neupert


Friday, September 24, 2010

Get The Most Out Of Your Cardio Intervals

I'm on vacation with limited internet access and this is only the second time I've been able to check my email. I just found out that Craig Ballantyne is having a half-price sale on his 31 Interval Training Workouts program.

If you've read this blog more than once, you know I'm a proponent of interval training. It takes less time and is more effective than slow, boring cardio.

I'm glad to see that intervals are becoming more mainstream but, unfortunately, that also means there's a lot of misinformation out there. While away, I've been reading a few fitness magazines and while some of their programs would be considered interval training because you don't maintain a steady space, I don't think the way they've designed the programs is optimum.

Did you know there's a right and wrong way to do intervals for best results? Did you know that even if you're already doing intervals you need to change it up regularly so your body doesn't adapt?

If you're interested in varied and effective interval programs, check out Craig's 31 Interval Training Workouts.

Craig knows his stuff; he's not some Johnny-come-lately jumping on the interval bandwagon. He's got all kinds of interval workouts in the program, including kettelebell intervals, hill sprint workouts, ladders, and lots more. No equipment? No problem. Craig includes no-equipment bodyweight cardio circuits.

Whether you're new to intervals and looking for guidance or you're a veteran exerciser looking for variety in your interval workouts, check out Craig's 31 Interval Training Workouts.

The sale ends tomorrow (Friday) at midnight.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How To Choose The Gym That's Right For You

Fall is often the time when people start a new fitness program. For moms with kids, they have a little more free time when school starts back up. For others, as summer winds down, they’re not as busy with weekend outings, vacations and other activities.

For most people, the first consideration in choosing a gym should be a convenient location. The facility should be close to where you live, work or regularly visit. 

People lead busy lives. Having to spend an extra 30 or 40 minutes going to and from the gym often ends up becoming an excuse to skip workouts when time gets tight. A fitness center can have the fanciest equipment, the trendiest classes or the cheapest rates but none of those things will do you any good if you don't go regularly.

Next, think about what will make you comfortable. If you're middle aged or a senior and would feel intimidated by young hardbodies, think twice before joining the club favored by college kids and bodybuilders or the Chippendale dancers.

If you're overweight and would feel uncomfortable exercising around the opposite sex, check out single-gender facilities. If you have injury or medical concerns, make sure you feel confident that any health club you consider joining can set you up on a workout that is safe and effective for you.

Decide what features are most important to you. Do you want a personalized workout routine? Are classes your favorite way to exercise? Do you need a facility with extended hours? Will you be happy repeating the same basic exercise program month after month or do you want a gym where you have the option of changing your routine? Do you prefer the atmosphere of a big club or a small one? Do rows and rows of equipment excite or intimidate you? Will you be exercising before work? If so, will you want to shower at the facility? Do you need child care? If you are a lapsed exerciser who really enjoyed lifting weights, will you be happy at a gym consisting solely of 10 or 12 pieces of hydraulic equipment?

Unless you are an experienced exerciser, make sure you find out the qualifications of the instructors and trainers. Unfortunately, there are fitness centers that will hire people with little or no knowledge or experience. People often assume that the big guy they see at the gym knows all about building muscle or that the skinny girl who takes all the classes can help them lose weight. However, for all you know, both those people could just be genetically lucky. Or, unfortunately, Mr. Muscle could also be Mr. Steroid and Ms. Skinny could be Ms.  Eating Disorder. A great body does not make someone a knowledgeable fitness professional.

Knowledgeable or genetically lucky?

Healthy? Or...
After narrowing your choices down, go take a tour of each facility. The club that seems like the best choice on paper may not be. Do you feel comfortable? Is the staff friendly and attentive or does it seem like they’re just going through the motions? Do they ask about what you want in a gym or are they just focused on “selling” what they have? When visiting a club, go at the time you intend on using it. Touring a facility at 9:30 AM on a Tuesday because you have the day off doesn’t give you a good indication of the atmosphere or how busy the place is after work at 5:30 PM.

Determining your priorities before you start visiting clubs will help you ask the right questions and make a more informed buying decision. The more comfortable you feel and the easier it is to integrate exercise into your lifestyle, the more apt you will be to maintain the habit.

If you’re ready to get fitter, healthier and more toned, let’s talk about the options you’d have at Body & Soul Fitness. Call Mickey today at (717) 509-7777.   

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2 Bodyweight Circuits For You

Below are 2 no-equipment circuits you can use at home or while you're traveling.

There are 6 exercises in each circuit. Perform 10-15 reps of all 6 exercises with as little rest in between them as possible. (If you haven't been exercising, you may want to start out with 8 reps per exercise.)

Rest 30-60 seconds and repeat. You can work up to 6 rounds if you have the time and fitness level.

If you're looking for more of a challenge, go with Workout B.

Let me know what you think!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Top 10 Transformation Contest Tips by Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is getting ready to close the doors on his Turbulence 
Training Transformation Contest. If you need a jump start on your fat
loss goals, extra motivation or accountability, you should check it out. 
You can read the rules at ==>TT Transformation Contest Rules
Even if you decide not to sign up for the contest, check out Craig's top 
10 transformation tips below. Craig knows his stuff and if you don't 
believe me take a look at the before and after shots of previous TT
Transformation Contest participants.
Top 10 Transformation Contest Tips
By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
If you want to lose fat and gain lean, sculpted muscle at the same 
time, there is nothing better to get you motivated and committed 
than a 12-week Transformation Contest.
Not only can you dramatically change your body, but you can also win
$1000 just for losing belly fat. At least, you can when you join the
Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.
And so here are the top 10 tips to help you maximize your results.
10. Clean out your pantry.
Listen, one of the best fat loss tips is simply, "If you don't have
it in the house, you won't eat it!"
So get rid of as much junk food as you can - and avoid bringing more
into the house. Simply cutting back on junk can help you lose fat fast.
9. Get social support.
Scientific research proves that you will lose more fat if you have
social support, both in "real life" and on the internet. So hook up
with friends who are going to help you reach your goal.
Online, I recommend getting started with Turbulence Training and 
using the Turbulence Training forum to connect with people like you
who want to lose fat. 
8. Use a food journal.
Write down what you eat. This is another research proven tip to help
you lose fat faster. Write down everything you eat. It will help you
eat better.
7. Take before photos.
Yes, it's not a lot of fun to look at your before photos now, but 
when you are done your transformation, you'll be glad you have the 
photos to compare. Plus, you'll need those to win the TT Contest. 
6. Fix your mindset.
No matter what you struggle with, you must switch your mindset to be
a successful transformation. You must go from a person who "can't 
resist cookies" to the type of person that "doesn't eat cookies 
unless they are part of a planned reward meal". That is how you win
transformation contests!
5. You must be in the correct state of change.
The truth is that even the best transformation contest winners don't
lose 30 pounds of fat on their first try. They start, they stop. 
They begin, they give up. 
It happens. And it's okay.
But when they get in the right state of change, that is when they
finally breakthrough and transform! And that's where you have to be.
4. Use a PROVEN, structured, short burst workout program.
Research shows that resistance training and interval training can
help you gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Plus, you can 
burn belly fat AND boost your post-exercise metabolism. You MUST use
this type of workout for guaranteed results.
3. Stop doing slow boring cardio and switch to interval training.
Research shows that it takes up to 50 hours of cardio just to lose 
one pound of bodyweight. 
Who has that kind of time? No one! 
But other research studies show that interval training burns belly 
fat while slow cardio doesn't. So skip the insanely boring cardio 
and start getting results with interval training (as you'll find in
the Turbulence Training workouts).
2. Plan, shop, and prepare your food. 
Take an hour or two on the weekend to go to the grocery store and 
buy all the whole, natural foods you need for the week ahead. Go 
home and prepare as many lunches and snacks as possible so you have
the right food to eat while at work. This is a proven strategy to 
help you lose fat and avoid temptation!
1. Get Turbulence Training. It's the proven, step-by-step guide to 
transforming your body and your life.
If you've ever wanted to do this for yourself - if you deserve it -
and I know you do, then NOW is the time to get started with the best
fat burning workout in the world.
Check it out at ==> TT Transformation Contest Rules
Don't wait. This Friday, September 18th is the last day to sign up. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holly Rigsby Reveals Bikini Body Secrets!

If you’ve always wanted a bikini body, but you’ve been too busy or were confused about exactly how to lose those unwanted pounds, I have some great news…

Me and Holly last year

America’s #1 Mom’s Fitness Expert and genuinely nice person, Holly Rigsby, is giving away an absolutely FREE 34-page PDF report showing you exactly what you need to know to lose your belly fat and get your bikini body.

Click here for Holly's free report ==> Bikini Body Secrets

This is what Holly shares in her FREE report...

1. Clean Eating
2. Challenge
3. Morning Movers
4. Keep Moving
5. Front Load Meals
6. PI’s “Planned Indulgences”
7. Caffeine
8. Supplements
9. Journal
10. Consistency

So why is Holly giving you this incredible free report?

Being a mom herself (and soon to be one again), Holly knows that with school is back in session, moms have a little more free time. She wants to help you get in shape so she's making sure that you have the tools you need to get your fat loss efforts back on track.

So, head on over to ==> Bikini Body Secrets and grab this awesome report.  

P.S. The PDF will only be available for the next couple of days so don’t wait or you might miss it.

Bikini Body Secrets

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lemon Protein Cookies Recipe

From the folks at Prograde Nutrition along with a 20% discount on their protein powder...

In a food processor, add:
• 1 scoop Prograde vanilla protein powder
• 1 1/2 cups raw unsalted almonds
• Zest and juice from one whole lemon (TIP: Roll the lemon first to get the most juice from it)
• 1 tablespoon water

Process till a doughy meal forms. If it seems dry, add water a little at a time until you get the consistency that will form a tight ball if you were to roll it-sticky but not wet (think playdough).

Next, drop it onto a sheet of wax paper. Keeping hands wet to avoid sticking, form into a log, wrap both ends of the log first, then roll tightly to make a packed, compact roll. Put in freezer for an hour, then pull out and with a sharp knife, cut into slices. 
Store in refrigerator in single layers, or keep in the freezer to enjoy when your sweet tooth hits!

Makes 12-1/2 inch cookies.

Nutrient Breakdown per cookie

Calories: 100
Protein: 5 grams
Carbs: 3 grams
Fat: 7 grams

Check out all the great, high quality Prograde nutrition products- supplements, Craver nutrition bars, multi-vitamins, Pre and Post workout drinks, etc. at and use the coupon code SEPT20 to save 20% on their protein powder.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Did You Think It Looked Easy?

After viewing the video, one of my regular boot campers who missed the Labor Day session, said that the workout looked easy. She said she knew it wasn't but thought that the video made it look so.

Did you think it looked easy? If so, you are cordially invited to come and try a boot camp workout for yourself and see how "easy" it is. :-) Heck, even if you don't think it looked easy you're welcome to come and try it out. Just let me know ahead of time when you're planning to attend.

You can get more details about No Pink Dumbbells Boot Camp at

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why Bicep Curls Won't Give You Nice Arms

If you've read more than a few of my posts, you know I'm a proponent of compound exercises for the majority of your strength training. Generally speaking, they're more functional, they're more efficient because they use multiple muscles at one time, and they burn more calories than isolation work.

Since most of my clients are time crunched and interested in fat loss and are not body builders or figure competitors, you'll find very few isolation exercises in my programs.

That said, I'll occasionally toss in some bicep curls. My mistake. :-) The other day I had my boot campers doing some dumbbell curls, which is rare; it was actually more of a break than anything. So what happens? One of my (relatively new) campers chirps in with something like, "I vote for more bicep curls in our workouts. You can really feel that burn."

It goes back to the belief that you can spot reduce or spot tone. People think if their inner thighs burn from leg lifts, they'll get smaller or that bicep curls will give them nice arms.

It doesn't help that we got a slew of "Get Michelle Obama Arms" articles after the president was elected. Unfortunately, many of them focused on arm isolation exercises and failed to acknowledge that most Americans are overweight.

The bottom line is that to get the look that most people want, you need to get rid of the fat covering your muscles. The key to fat loss is good nutrition and challenging workouts involving multi-joint movements. Leg lifts, tricep kickbacks and bicep curls won't cut it.

Most people like doing curls and there's nothing wrong with occasionally adding them to your workout if you have extra time but don't make it a habit. There are better ways to spend your exercise time if you want results.