Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to Everyone

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New year, if you don't celebrate Christmas then a Happy Holiday to you :)

The Holiday Season is full of extra activity and of course some extra eating which does not always help us stay on track when it comes to our Health and Fitness goals so here are a few tips that may help you do some damage control that will hopefully make those New Year's resolutions a little easier.

Tip Number 1. Make sure to have fun and enjoy all of the events, don't feel guilty taking part and having a nice meal with family and friends, that's what this time of year is all about!

Tip Number 2. I know there are going to be some big eating days over the holiday season but that doesn't mean on the non social get together days that we can't cut back a little on our food. If you eat a bit less on most of the days during the week then there will be some more room for extra calories on those social gathering family meal days.

Tip Number 3. The same goes for days where you plan to have a big family meal or even social outing where you know you are going to be eating and drinking a little more than usual. On these days eat lighter during the day to allow for that extra helping or dessert you know you will be having later in the day.

Tip Number 4. With all the hustle and bustle going on during the holidays, you may feel that giving up on your workout routine may be the only option to make it through alive and mentally in one piece. My recommendation is to still tray and get some workouts scheduled even if you can not make it as often or for as long. Anything is better than nothing and will help keep you in the routine. Once we stop a routine it can be hard to get back into it and taking some time to yourself to get some exercise will be a nice mental break from all the other running around you have been doing.


What's in My Gym Bag? - GetFitOver40

You have all seen those "What's in My Gym Bag?" videos on YouTube and I have had a few people ask me about what's in mine so I thought I would make my own "What's in My Gym Bag?" YouTube Video Review.

First off let's talk about the Gym Bag itself after all it is what everything goes into and helps you organize everything. I have used many gym bags over the years, I tend to go with all black bags since they don't show the dirt and abuse as much as a lighter colored gym bag would. That said my latest "FILA Tech" gym bag is mainly black on the outside with some blue highlight piping but has a very brightly colored interior. Why the brightly colored interior you might ask? Try finding your black wrist straps, wrist wraps, gloves, and all the other dark colored gear you use inside that black hole of a gym bag. I know you understand where I'm coming from. I have spent so much waisted time trying to locate dark items in my all black gym bag and even given up later to find it when I got home at the bottom of my gym bag. Some other important features your gym bag should have are additional pockets or compartments to segregate your gym items so you can keep everything organized.


Let's move on to what I really keep inside my gym bag...

You must have a small towel for wiping things down and of course keeping dry. I am not a super sweaty person but having a towel around is a good idea for some of those more damp workouts.

Since you are losing all that moisture you will need to have a water bottle with you, I take a standard shaker bottle with me filled with some ice, BCAA's and a little creatine.

I like to bring an assortment of what I call my little helpers. Items like wrist wraps, wrist straps, knee sleeves and of course my leather weight belt. I find I have become somewhat dependant on most of these workout items and feel if I did not use them during my workouts, then I would not be able to lift as heavy and may perhaps even be prone to more injuries.

One item you may not find in my gym bag every workout are my Olympic weight lifting shoes. I use my Adidas Olympic weight lifting shoes mainly on squat days as they get my heels up off the ground which puts my shin at a slight angle helping to get in that correct squat position.

Getting on to the tech gear, I always make sure to bring my Polar H7 Heart Rate Chest Strap. I strap it on for every workout I do, the Polar H7 Heart Rate Chest Strap is paired with my iPhone 7 Plus where I use the Under Armour Record App to tracks my workouts, I get very detailed information about each and every workout I complete, including the duration, calories burned and all my heart rate data including max and average beats per minute.

Speaking of Beats! I recently purchased a pair of Beats PowerBeats 2 earbuds, these are my new workout headphones and I love them, fore sure the best gym headphone option I have used to date! I do bring my backup pair of JLab headphones for if I ever forget to charge my PowerBeats.

Some other random items I pack along with me in my gym bag are: A protein bottle that has pre-measured protein in it so all I need to do is add some water and bingo, I have a ready made protein shake. Some Pre-workout packs for those days I know it's going to be a tuff one. Deodorant, that one is self explanatory! Tanning glasses for my contest prep tanning sessions. And last but not least a pen, just in case I need to write something down old school.

Well that's it, that's what's in my gym bag :)


November Updates - Online Personal Training

In this November Update video I talk about a few different things going on these days but really focus at the end of the video on My Online Personal Training.

Some of the updates covered are... How is my 4 day per week Every Day Every Muscle Group Training going? Is it working for me? Is the "At Home Ice Pack" CoolSculpting reducing any of that trouble area fat? Is my Movember Bro-Stache staying or going? I also mention a recent Black Friday purchase I made for some new PowerBeats 2 Earbuds I purchased for my workouts.

Getting back to my Online Personal Training, I have been focusing on a 6 week package with many of my Clients as I feel it is a perfect amount of time for the both of us to work together to figure what they are already doing right and some areas that we can work on to help them reach their goals so make sure to watch this video if you are interested in some Online Personal Training geared for people with real lives!


What is Workout Intensity?

For the purpose of this topic we are talking about Workout Intensity in regards to Building Muscle, not for other areas like fat loss, cardio vascular training although there usually is some crossover involved. So if you want to get stronger and more muscular then read on...

First off let’s talk about what Workout Intensity is not!

The Busy Body: That person that jumps from machine to machine and never stops moving, they will do bench press and then drop to the floor and rip off a set of situps immediately followed with another set of bench press and so on… This is more or less a circut training session which is in some ways comparable to CrossFit when doing Metcon activities. Great for all around functional ability but not always geared towards fully benefiting maximum muscle growth.

The Permanent Gym Resident: That person who is always at the gym, that seems to be there every time you go, they are there when you arrive and still there when you leave? Time at the gym means nothing, especially if much of it is filled with socialization, texting and long breaks. I often see these people going through the motion when they actually do workout, perhaps they are pacing themselves for a long day at the gym?

Mr. Way too Much Weight: You know that guy, the one that is using every 45 pound weight in the gym on the leg press and then only bends his legs slightly while grunting and straining? Or the guy on bench with three plates a side getting his spotter to do most of the work. You have to use correct form and you need to do the bulk of the work using your own efforts, otherwise how will you know when you are improving, perhaps your workout partner is getting stronger and doing more work for you ;)

The Cardioholic: That person that wants to lift weights but ends up doing mostly cardio since their workout starts with a bunch of cardio and ends with a bunch of cardio along with a token workout effort jammed in the middle. They probably have are good intentions but if you want to get stronger and more muscular then the weight lifting needs to take priority over everything else.

Mr. 5 Exercises Per Body Part: When your muscle is done, it’s done, if it takes you 5 different exercises to tire that muscle group out then you are for sure not being intense enough! You should be able to completely tire your muscle out with one exercise, sure it may take 5-6 sets to get there but I know it is 100% possible. And once your muscle is fully fatigued, it's time to move onto a new muscle group that's fresh and ready to go. Otherwise you are simply beating a dead horse over the head and not getting max benefits from your workout. You will need to makes sure to mix-up your exercises on follow up workouts but you should also be able to hit each muscle group several times per week if you are not doing so many exercise for each muscle group during each workout.

So what is Workout Intensity?

Workout Intensity has nothing to do with how long you workout or how many days a week you workout, or how busy you are at the gym. It all has to do with preparing yourself to mentally and physically give 100% of yourself for each exercise you do until that muscle can do no more!

This does not mean that every set is at 100%, the idea is to build the weight up for your final last 2-3 sets where you deliver 100% of your focus, strength and energy to that exercise so that when you are finished, you can say you have completely exhausted that muscle group and then move on to a fresh muscle group.

I like to do 2-3 warmup sets where I keep adding weight and build up to my heavy set, my heavy set will be the goal set where I plan to do as much weight and as many sets as I can to failure. Sometimes if I feel I had a really great set, then I will do a drop set or two to finish the muscle off even more. If I feel like that muscle group has more to give, then I will drop the weight a little and do one or two more sets with decreasing weight, again to complete failure on both follow-up sets.

You don’t need to do a ton of different exercises for each muscle group, 1-2 exercises is fine as long as you completely exhaust your muscles when you train an exercise. Once that muscle group is exhausted there is no need to continue training it, that would be anti-productive and you are so much better off switching to a completely different muscle group and giving it your full attention. This way you can hit more muscle groups during each workout and be able to train each muscle group more times per week for maximum results.

When you leave the gym, you should be completed exhausted, the idea of trying to do another exercise should at this point be physically and mentally imposable.


Ice Packs to Get Rid of Body Fat - CoolSculpting - Brown Fat

In this Review/Video I talk mainly about how you can use cold temperature to get rid of fat in two ways. One way is by literally "Freezing your fat off" using a technique similar to CoolSculpting but one that can be done at home rather than in a clinic. And the second method is by using Ice and cold temperature to switch on a metabolic fat burning switch "cold-induced thermogenesis" in your body by activating your Brown and Beige Fat Cells as a fuel to heat your body.

CoolSculpting or "Cryolipolysis" is a Clinical Procedure that uses a machine that first vacuum sucks a problem area of your skin/fat into its cup and then applies super cold temperature to the area without damaging the skin, nerves and blood vessels. This is done by not going under 10 degrees Celsius. This is cold enough not to damage skin, nerves and blood vessels yet get the fat to about 4 degrees Celsius which is the temperature that Fat will freeze, By freezing the Fat, it will kill the Fat Cells which then die off over time and are absorbed by the body.

CoolSculpting is not recommended for people that have a lot of fat to get rid of, it is for addressing those trouble spots and to help contour the body by removing fat in those areas.

In this video I talk and show the possibilities of using Ice packs at home to simulate this CoolSculpting method and though it is technically possible one must use caution since over cooling/freezing an area can cause permanent scaring or damage to the skin, nerves and blood vessels from frostbite.

The second method of reducing fat in your body is by using "cold-induced thermogenesis". You can do this by simply tuning down your thermostat. The colder you can stand it, the more calories your body will burn and over time as you get use to the colder temperature your body will get better at converting its fat into heat energy. So you will feel warmer and be burning way more calories at the same time. Even limited exposure to cold temperate can train your body into burning more and more fat over time even when exposed to the same cold temperate for the same amount of time.

The reason this works is because we have three types of fat cells in our bodies: White Fat Cells that we store up when we overeat for use later on as active energy, Brown Fat Cells that are used strictly for Heat energy, and Beige Fat Cells which are actually converted White Cells that can be used for either activity or heat energy. As we train ourselves to get use to colder temperature we recruit more and more White Fat Cells to to be transformed into Beige Fat Cells which means we get better and better at staying warm in cold temperature and can use more of our fat cells for heat energy. What does this mean? Without dieting and without exercise you can literally cool that fat right off your body.

A couple good ways to kick start cold-induced thermogenesis is by drinking a 500ml bottle of ice cold water in the morning on an empty stomach. You can also place an ice pack on the back of your neck near the trap or upper shoulder area for an hour 3-5 days per week. Of course keeping your house cool will not only save money on your heating bill but also greatly help you burn more calories and lose fat through the day.

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