Get Faster Results (4 Tactics)

Have you ever been frustrated over a lack of results from your workout routine? If so, you are in good company. Even the most seasoned athletes experience times when their results plateau.

When you continue to put in the same effort day after day with little or no results it is safe to say that you’ve hit your own fitness plateau.

Your body adapts quickly to any repetitive routine. The definition of ‘insanity’ is to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This holds true for your workouts. When your results stop then it’s time to do something new.

I have good news—the following 4 tactics are guaranteed to crank your workouts up to the next level and to deliver the fast results you want.

#1: Focus on Negatives

Each time that you do a weight lifting repetition you are utilizing three types of strength. These are:

  1. Positive strength: the motion of lifting the weight.
  2. Static strength: holding weight in a contracted position.
  3. Negative strength: the motion of lowering the weight.

Most people completely miss the benefit of the negative in each repetition by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control. It is understood that the negative portion of a repetition is just as important as the positive portion, and possibly more important.

Focus on the negative portion of each repetition by lowering the weight very slowly. Concentrate on the negative contraction, and make each repetition count.

If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier-than-normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly.

Another way to utilize negative repetitions on a machine is to lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg.

#2: Do a Drop Set

Drop sets have long been used to fight off exercise plateaus. This technique is great for adding muscle strength, endurance and for increasing the cardiovascular benefit of your workout – resulting in more fat burn.

Here, in a nutshell, is how to do a drop set: When you perform an exercise to exhaustion, don’t stop there. Drop the weight by 80% and do another set.

You could take it a step further by dropping the weight twice, making it a double drop. Or drop the weight three times for a descending drop set.

Use this technique only once or twice per workout, on the final set of the exercise.

#3: Modify the Exercise

There are certain exercises that are considered ‘staples’ in the gym. The squat. The lunge. The chest press. The shoulder press. The bicep curl. You get the idea…

While you shouldn’t throw these exercises out the window, find creative ways to modify the familiar motion in order to challenge your muscles. Try these exercise modifications:

  • Squat on a Bosu ball or balance board.
  • Place a weighted bar across your shoulders and do walking lunges.
  • Use an exercise ball for chest presses instead of the bench.
  • Do a full squat between each repetition of shoulder presses.
  • Do a shoulder press between each repetition of bicep curls.

#4: Use Active Rest to turn each workout into High Intensity Interval Training

Every minute of your workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and to burn more fat. Don’t waste precious minutes with long rest periods between exercises.

While it is important to catch your breath if you feel winded, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest than a passive one. Perform one of the following activities for 30 seconds between exercises and turn your regular workout into High Intensity Interval Training.

  • High Knees with Alternating Punches: Alternately bring each knee high to your chest in a quick jumping movement while alternating forward punches at shoulder level.
  • Burpees: Start in a sanding position and bend at the waist. Once your hands hit the floor, push your entire body back, extending your legs until they’re straight and you’re in the push-up position. Go down for a push-up, and when you push yourself up, jump slightly to bring your feet back near your hands. Finally, jump in the air with your arms fully extended over your head.
  • Side-to-Side Jumps on Bench: Stand on one side of an exercise bench. Place the foot closest up onto the bench, jump up and switch feet, then land on the opposite side of the bench.
  • Mountain Climbers: Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.
  • Side-to-Side Ab Twists: With feet close together, jump and twist your legs left to right – holding your abs tight. Keep a bend in your knees and swing your upper arms with each twist.
  • Jump Lunges with Pop Squat: Start in a lunge position, lunge down then quickly jump up, switching your leg position in midair, land in an opposite leg lunge. Once you’ve done both legs, jump straight into a squat.
  • Medicine Ball Squat Jumps: With feet wider than shoulder-width apart hold a medicine ball at chest level. Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Explosively jump up, raising the medicine ball straight over your head.

If you’d like a sure-fire way to break through your fitness plateau and to melt away unwanted fat, then contact me for a fitness consultation.

Call or email today – I look forward to hearing from you.

My custom-made fitness programs remove all of the guesswork for you. I know what works, and I make it my mission to see you reach your goals.
-Nicole

Top 4 fitness products my clients love

With so many products on the market, it hard to know what brands or products are worth the money and which fall short. Here is a list of things I recommend on a daily basis to help clients, look and feel there best.

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  1. Polar Heart Rate Monitors- I have been having my clients use a heart rate monitor for the past 6 years, before Fit Bit and the I Watch even existed. Knowing how many calories you burn and what your heart rate is during every work out is vital in getting drastic results. While the latest fitness trackers are appealing, they are not accurate. This is why I recommend people to use the goodeas old fashion heart rate monitor.

 

2. EAS protein shakes- These are the best tasting shakes I have found over the years and are great for clients who want to lean up and lose weight. You get a good amount of protein consider the amount of sugar, fat and carbs in the shake. Great for breakfast or as a snack. I prefer the ready to drink ones, however they also make a powder.

 

bosu23. Bosu Ball- One of the single most versatile pieces of workout equipment out there. Easy to use at home or out doors and built to last. I have owned my Bosu for years now and it still works great. This product is great for introducing an unstable surface into training to help clients work out balance and over all muscle health and also keeps work outs interesting.

 
4. Calm Magnesium Supplement- natural_calmMagnesium is one of the six essential macro-minerals that comprise 99% of the body’s mineral content. Magnesium helps build bones, enables nerves to function, and is essential to the production of energy from food.

Magnesium has been shown to have therapeutic value in treating conditions such as headaches, chronic pain, asthma, and sleep disorders. And in recent large scale study, magnesium has been linked to a reduced incidence of conditions such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.

Top 6 Reasons to Exercise Outside

Here in Austin temperatures have been enjoyable and the sweltering heat hasn’t yet kicked in. Here are some reasons why you should get outdoors and take advantage of this great weather we are having

Outdoor exercise lifts your mood

A 2012 report found that spending time in the out of doors made people 50 percent happier than spending time at the gym, according to the Telegraph.

Previous research has linked outdoor exercise with a reduction in tension, confusion, anger and depression, when compared to indoor activity. And it doesn’t have to be a long stroll in the park, either: A 2010 study found that even just five minutes of exercise in a green space can improve mood and self-esteem, the BBC reported.

It Improves your attention and focus

A small study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that kids with ADHD were able to concentrate better after a 20-minute walk in a park rather than a walk through city or neighborhood streets.

“What this particular study tells us is that the physical environment matters,” Frances E. Kuo, director of the university’s Landscape and Human Health Laboratory and one of the study’s co-authors told The New York Times. “We don’t know what it is about the park, exactly — the greenness or lack of buildings — that seems to improve attention.”

It helps you stick with it

While every little bit of exercise counts, let’s be honest: Most of us could probably afford to do a little bit more. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend the average adult get two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio every week, plus two or more sessions of strength training.

Between seemingly endless work hours and the demands of family life, it’s all too easy to skip a workout. However, a 2011 survey found that exercising outdoors is a reinforcing behavior: Outdoor exercisers “declared a greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date” than gym-goers.

It can help keep your weight steady

The fresh air, the sunlight, the scenery, the open space — there’s a lot about being outside that can inspire more activity, especially compared to the beckoning couches and screens of indoor spaces. All that extra movement adds up to tangible results: A 2008 study found that rates of overweight among children who spent more time outside were 27 to 41 percent lower than in kids who spent more time indoors.

 

It will ramp up your energy

Exercise itself is sure to reinvigorate you when you’re feeling sluggish, but fresh air can boost the effect. A 2009 study from the University of Rochester found that just 20 minutes outside can rev you up as much as a cup of coffee, The Telegraph reported.

“Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but this suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature,” lead author Richard M. Ryan, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the university told the publication.

It can ramp up your vitamin D levels

Taking your workout outside is a great (and free!) way to soak up some additional vitamin D. A 2011 study that found vigorous exercisers had higher levels of vitamin suggested that outdoor exercise may be the reason why.

It may be especially helpful for people with a few pounds to lose, according to Everyday Health, since overweight people are almost twice as likely to not get enough vitamin D.

Train like every day is the start of a New Year.

The holiday season is right around the corner and for the past 10 years I have seen the same pattern happening over and over. It seems that people develop a “I’ll get it is later” attitude when it comes to taking care of themselves and their health. They become dormant, eat more junk food than ever and are content at putting things off, even if their clothes aren’t fitting so well.

Why do we have so many people wanting to work on their fitness each year? Why do they have the “ I will wait till tomorrow attitude” when it comes to their health? The answer is simple, its mind set. Losing weight doesn’t happen overnight, in fact it takes constant, persistence and hard work. Not to mention if the results aren’t there, it can become down right discouraging AND easy to put off till next year.

Many friends and family members ask me what my best piece of advice is when they are trying to get in shape. My answer is simple: set goals, make a plan and stick with it. Attitude is everything and having a plan is key. Weather its hiring a trainer, having a workout partner or even doing it on your own its important to stick to your routine! No one wants to go through the yo-yo effect of being in shape and out of shape over and over. As illustrated below, its hard to continually start from the beginning.

Below I have included a funny story I received. Not only is it good for a laugh, but it illustrates the effect that attitude has on outlook and experience. Notice this poor guys metal toughness go down in flames from beginning to end. I challenge you to stay positive, make fitness a lifestyle and don’t wait until 2016 to accomplish all of your goals, start today!!

Cheers,

NR

WEEK AT THE GYM: ONE MAN’S STORY



If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.

Dear Diary. 

For my sixty fifth birthday this year, my wife (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing on my college tennis team 45 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My wife seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress. 



MONDAY

Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess – with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. She took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attribute it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, all though my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!! 



TUESDAY

I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air — then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda’s rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT-!! It’s a whole new life for me. 



WEDNESDAY 



The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. 
My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too. 



THURSDAY



Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. 
Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men’s room. She sent Lars to find me. Then, as punishment, she put me on the rowing machine — which I sank. 



FRIDAY 



I hate that bitch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps . I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the M—– f—– barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. 
The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director? 



SATURDAY



Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. 
However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel. 



SUNDAY



I’m having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my wife (the bitch) will choose a gift for me that is fun — like a root canal or a vasectomy. 

”Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand – strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO – What a Ride”! Party on Dude

Acupuncture and how it changed my life.

Since 2001 I have been suffering from a chronic, injury that there is no straight forward cure for. After being misdiagnosed for over a year I found out I had exercise induced compartment syndrome, something that is painful and growing more common in people who run a lot or are highly active.

I had two surgeries, tried several varieties of massage and anything that was suggested to me. While all of these thing helped minimally, acupuncture changed the game. Not only did it help my injury, but it helped me with many other health related issues, including relaxation. I highly recommend an open mind when troubleshooting injuries. Don’t be defeated by your pain, there is always a way to feel better, sometimes it just takes trail and error!!

If you don’t know much about it, I have included some basic information courtesy of the internet:

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. Yet it has only been in the last few decades that it has started to gain a presence in the United States. And while there is still a relatively small number of American adults who visit acupuncturists — about 1.4% of adults make an appointment each year — alternative practices such as this are fast-becoming an accepted supplement to western medicine.

In recent years, thousands of physicians have started to incorporate acupuncture into their practices. Researchers have also followed the shifting tide, and every year, a number of new studies are published documenting acupuncture’s efficacy in treating everything from depression to fertility issues. Acupuncture is now even covered by many insurance policies as a viable option for treating pain.

So how does acupuncture work? Why is it so effective? To understand this, you must first understand the philosophy and principles of acupuncture.

The Chinese believe that there is a vital life energy that exists within every single being. They call this force the “qi” (pronounced chee). The qi flows through channels in the body called meridians that form a network connecting the body’s organs. Some of these meridians are negative in orientation, while others are positive. The Chinese refer to these as the Yin and the Yang.

In a healthy individual, the qi flows smoothly through the meridians — circulating the blood, warding off disease, helping the body function correctly, keeping our emotions and and minds uncluttered — and the Yin and Yang are in a state of equilibrium. But when the qi becomes obstructed or disrupted, the Yin and Yang become unbalanced, and the body will experience physical and emotional illness.

The goal of acupuncture is to restore the body to a harmonized, balanced state. And to achieve this goal, the acupuncturist will insert ultra-fine, sterile needles into the body’s acupuncture points. These acupuncture points are set along the body’s meridians, and the needles are believed to release blocked qi in the body and stimulate biochemical changes that trigger the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

While it’s been a challenge for science to determine how acupuncture exactly works, since it combines a number of mental and physical components, its efficacy has been extensively studied.

Fitness Tracking

It seems today fitness trackers are all the rage and there are constantly new options coming out on the market. I am a big believer in using knowledge as power and encourage all of my clients to track their calories burned and consumed. Apple has the newest device on the market in the IWatch, this seems like a comprehensive way to get lots of helpful information. The video below talks more about what the IWatch can do. Do you use a fitness tracker? What type have you had the best results with?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8Tig6IrmEU
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Motivation: Sometimes its remembering the obvious

Often times the short, simple powerful sayings or even song lyrics are the ones we remember. When getting to any goal, especially the goal of weight loss its all about the journey and maintaining a positive mindset. Some days this is harder than other, even for the successful. I think thats why simple thing say it the best, they are the things that we can look at in our spare time and a provide a extra little kick in the butt that we need. I plan on starting to incorporating these into my blog. I hope you find them as helpful as I do! Remember, stay positive, persist even on days when its hard, visualize that beautiful light at the end of the tunnel and keep things simple.

-N

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Dangers of High Heels

I am  always cautioning my clients on the dangers of wearing high heels. Not only do they can damage to your feet, but your whole body!! This video does a great job of explaining the risks in a straight forward manner. If your like me, facts tend to help with motivation when it comes to making changes for the better.

Video:

high Heel Shoes, How can these Affect Women’s Health

 

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The Real Effects of Alcohol

One of the topics that produces the most controversy and eye rolls when it comes to conversations about fitness is alcohol consumption. How bad is it for you? And are there some drinks that are ok to have? Can you lose weight and drink? Not only is there a lot of misinformation out there, but also many people struggle with sustaining from their stress relief in a glass.

The bottom line is is alcohol is poison to your body. It has a negative effect to your general health and it will most definitely impede your progress when it comes to fitness.

In order to process the toxins produced by alcohol, the liver will STOP doing things advantageous to weight loss. If you must drink, try to limit your intake to your cheat meal once a week in order for your body to click on all cylinders for at least 6 days in a row.

Avoid drinks with high sugar and carb contents. Stick to light beer, clear liquors and sugar free mixers and you will minimize the damage. Also avoid in-taking mass amounts of food while drinking, your body will not be able metabolize the calories and they will be stored!

If you know the consequence chances are you will think twice before sucking down that next post work beer. what to write about for college essay Kasinopelit – Kaiken Uhkapelejä – Vuodatus.net – Netticasino

F is for Flexibility

Many people are quite fanatic, almost religious, about their workout routines. They follow the same regimen on the same schedule week after week, month after month. Others enjoy introducing variety into their workouts to stave off boredom. However, a very low percentage of people include flexibility training as a normal part of their workout. Little do they know they are not only limiting the effectiveness of their workout they are also placing themselves at greater risk of injury as well.

As you age, it is natural that your muscles lose strength, size and flexibility. This affects the range of movement around your joints and may lead to stiffness in the muscles and joints. This same lack of flexibility limits the effectiveness of your exercises and makes one more prone to joint and muscle injury. So as you age, flexibility training becomes even more essential.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

1) Make sure you hold each stretch for a minute or more.

2) Take deep breaths, this promotes muscle relaxation and increased range of motion.

3) Do not bounce. Bouncing doesn’t allow you to lengthen and stretch the muscle, instead you tend to snap it back and fourth like a rubber band.

4) Try trigger point therapy or self- myo-facial release as part of you flexibility routine. Both of these techniques help you address the reason you tight in the first place… the knots in your muscle.

5) Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility.

 

Below is a instructional video of how to perform myo-facial release on your IT Band, one of the biggest problem areas for most people.

 

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