Archive for June, 2011

Healthy Summer Foods

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

As summer begins we all want to look good so we can go to the beach and pool in a little less than a parka and snow pants, but to do that we need to realize that exercise only does not cut it. You need to continue to eat well, and I don’t mean fat free ice cream. Let’s discuss some ideas for healthy summer foods that are still tasty but will help you stay in shape throughout the summer.

The first goal is to keep the foods light and refreshing. No one wants to eat a heavy meal in 100 degree weather. Nor do you want to cook that heavy meal and heat up your kitchen with the weather being hot outside. The beauty of the summer is that is when the farmer’s markets come to town, the fruit is abundant and the veggies are at their peak. Not only do they taste great, well, most of them, but they are low in calories, they have lots of vitamins, minerals, fibers and other great stuff that is good for you. Of course, the best part is that fruits and veggies are very refreshing when the temperatures peak.

Besides tasting good, being super refreshing in the summer, fresh fruits and veggies are what I call “free”. Do not worry about overeating these items, but do make sure you are getting fresh fruit and fresh veggies, not the canned stuff that soaks in syrup. You can happily eat these without worrying about how much you are eating. Free!

Just think how tasty a piece of watermelon on a hot summers day sounds or a cold salad with some grilled chicken instead of a heavy peace of steak. Next time you think about eating on a hot day, try some fruit and vegetables instead of something heavy.

P90X2 – Coming Fall 2011

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Currently in development, P90X2™ is the sequel to Beachbody’s best-selling workout program, P90X. With P90X2 workout, P90X grads can get even stronger, more flexible, and more ripped. This program is designed for maximum intensity and efficiency. In fact, this completely new 90-day program features cutting-edge workouts so intense, we only let you do them
5 days a week.

Muscle Confusion™ 2

If you doubt your muscles could feel any more confused than the first time you did P90X—you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! P90X2 is going to up the ante with movements, sets, supersets, and complexes that are going to have your muscles so baffled, they won’t know which way is up.

Less is More

As intensity increases, training volume needs to decrease to allow more time for recovery, so in P90X2, you’ll only be training 5 days per week. Remember what you learned in P90X: The body can only grow stronger at rest. This time around, you’re earning more of it. Hard training is all about efficiency, and P90X2 has evolved to the point where less really is more.

P90X2 Workout

The P90X2 program is made up of three phases, each focusing on a different aspect of your fitness: Foundation, Strength, and Performance, that will help your body evolve in ways you never imagined. You’ll begin by improving your foundation, where instability plays a large role. Then you’ll build strength and, finally, power, which all translates to improved performance.

Expanding on the original program, P90X2 workout embraces the latest research in applied science to keep your muscles “confused” even longer. The end result is a program that everyone from 5K aspirants to professional athletes can benefit from.

What gives P90X2 its edge?

Dr. Marcus Elliott and the Peak Performance Project.
In order to take P90X2 to the next level, we enlisted the services of Dr. Marcus Elliott. One of the most sought-after trainers in the world of sports, Dr. Elliott now presides over Beachbody’s Scientific Advisory Board and has lent his expertise to the evolution that is P90X2. Until now, his groundbreaking training techniques have only been available to world-class athletes. With P90X2, now you can take them home.

Do Your Measurements Right

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

So the folks at Beachbody posted a video today that I thought was worth posting here for everyone to see.  It shows you how to do all of your measurements correctly.  I thought it was the perfect follow up to my last post about how you should stay off of the scale and measure your success by inches and not pounds.  Watch this video, make sure your are taking your measurements properly and again, stay off the scale.

So grab your measuring tape, your body fat tester, a friend and a notepad and let’s get measuring!

Muscle Does Not Weigh More Than Fat

Friday, June 10th, 2011

I know you hear it all the time, muscle weighs more than fat but that simply isn’t true.  1 lb of fat weighs the same as 1 lb of muscle.  The issue at hand is the density of both materials.  Muscle is more dense than fat and that is what we need to understand here.  Muscle is clearly heavier by volume than fat but as far as weight goes, 1 lb of muscle on the scale is the same as 1 lb of fat on the scale.  Now a 1 lb lump of fat will take up more space, hence, volume, than a five pound lump of muscle.  I hope that makes a bit more sense now.

Picture a person who weighs 130 lbs with 15% body fat, they will look much smaller and leaner than a person at 130 lbs with 30% body fat. They weigh the same but since the fat is big and  lumpy and takes up more volume that person is bigger. Because muscle is more dense than fat the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller and leaner.

This leads to the bottom line.  Get rid of your scale.  Do not weigh yourself obsessively, it won’t tell the whole truth.  It would do better for your self-confidence and for the truth about how you are doing with your workouts if you take measurements (both body fat and with a tape measure).  Next thing you know you’ll be fitting into those jeans you haven’t worn in a while and you wouldn’t have even expected it.

Go ahead and do your measurements now…go here to do your measurements right.

Climb Michi’s Ladder

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Michi’s Ladder is not a diet. It’s a simple substitution plan. To lose weight, try swapping the foods you eat for similar foods in tiers 1 and 2. The more you eat in tiers 1 and 2, the more you’ll increase your chances of losing weight.

There are some healthy foods in lower tiers, but they’re either calorie dense or nutrient deficient. To lose weight, you want to maximize the nutrients in every calorie you consume.

Note on frying: Foods should be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, poached, baked, or broiled. Frying automatically drops even the best foods into tier 5.

Click here to download a PDF of Michi’s Ladder.

So tell me again…what’s your excuse?

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

I had the privilege of again being a part of this years Special Olympics “Wall of Honor” for those athletes participating in the Summer Games in events that consisted of swimming and track/field. As I stood there with other officers looking at and greeting the families of the Special Olympians and the Olympians themselves, some who needed the assistance of walkers or who were in wheelchairs, I saw them smiling and full of happiness that they were participating in an activity that brings them joy and some freedom from their illnesses or disabilities.

All of these athletes try their hardest, some wanting just to finish the race and some going for gold, but I believe that by them realizing they can do something active with the disabilities they have, then that brings them a huge amount of happiness.

So the next time it comes to you doing something active for your health and you hear yourself say, “Oh, I am too tired”. “My legs are sore”. “I don’t have time”, think about how lucky you are to be as healthy as you are and that you do not have to have anyone looking after you all of the time.

I am extremely grateful to be as healthy as I am and be able to do the things that I am capable of doing. So, tell me again what’s your excuse for not getting out and about and living the healthiest and happiest life you have been given to live?

Lean, Mean, Muscle Machine

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Some people don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk or like Arnold Schwarzenegger (pre extra marital affair days), but they want to have good cardio and some definition of muscle tone without the bulk. (Think spin coach and aerobic instructor). There are some who want to look lean, but still have muscle mass, “being cut” by definition. (Think tri-athlete).

So, I am hopefully going to be able to address both body goals.  If you want to be a lean “look I have muscles and no underarm flab” machine, then find something you will enjoy doing again and again. Swimming (not wading in the pool), biking riding at a moderate pace to include hills on a road bike for about 15-20 miles, hiking at a moderate pace at a minimal to steady climb for about 1-2 hours, running at a moderate pace at about 4.5 miles/hour for 3 miles. Work your way up slowly in being able to do the activity for longer intervals and push yourself, not to the point of exhaustion, but to accomplishing the goal you set for yourself that day. Never doubt how well your body can do when you push yourself and know you can do it. If you like a lot of variation then try joining an aerobics class, spin class, kick boxing and my current favorite craze the Insanity program and P90X. With the proper diet and nutrition, your energy level, cardio and lean muscle definition will develop. Also, do the workouts consistently for at least 4-5 days a week. Hey, maybe even 6 days and rest on the 7th day because even Jesus needed a break.

Remember 3 things: Strength training, cardio exercise and eating well (often and have proteins).

For those who want to look lean, yet have those ripped abs and chiseled muscles, I would still recommend doing Insanity and P90X. If working out in your home is not for you, then hit the road running or biking, whichever you prefer. Then it is time to hit the weights. You want to be “cut”, well then don’t do less weight and more reps (like the ones who just want lean muscle). You have to raise the weight and do a minimum of 12-15 reps and 3 sets. If you are striving for the “no neck, barrel chest, tree trunk legs” then go for max weight with minimal reps (probably 4-5 reps) and 3-4 sets.

Once you lean yourself down, you will want to “define” yourself with weight training, but also realize that you will need to make it up in calories if you plan on lifting a lot. It will depend on your weight, but for a guy, a 2,500-3,500 calorie consumption might help in the “bulking” and “cutting” process of muscle building. Still keep in mind to do the cardio portion of your exercise regime.
What you put into your body will result in the effort you put out. Eating like a slug makes you feel like a slug. So remember no matter what healthy body you choose to have, keep it healthy, simple, active and always push it to do better for you.