Peter’s Transformation


I would like to give a huge congratulations to my client Peter for his amazing transformation!  By exercising 3 to 4 times per week, sticking to his Precision Nutrition meal plan and healthy habits, in just 8 weeks Peter has lost 26.4 lbs and 15.25 inches! You can really tell the difference in the face and midsection.  Amazing and great work!!


New Year


Many people make fitness resolutions for the new year and that is awesome if you have.  I too have made goals for myself this year but I came across this and it made me realize just how important gratitude is.

Life can get hectic and we can get caught up with things that may seem important at the time but in the big picture they really aren’t that big of a deal. The important stuff in life are the little things…the smiles, the kindness, the laughing, small gestures for people, magical moments that make your skin tingle, anticipation and excitement of seeing a loved one, helping others, a positive word of encouragement from and to people, noticing the beauty of life that surrounds us, and the many other little things that when you look back on your life you will realize just how important they all have been to you.

My biggest resolution this year is to not take things for granted and to let gratitude of all the amazing little things in life be my dominant feeling.  Have an amazing year everyone!

Motivational Tip – One Step at a Time

A complete lifestyle overhaul all at once is a huge undertaking and can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed which can cause you to lose focus and give up. Instead focus on one small goal at a time and when staircasethat goal becomes a habit, focus on another one. An example of a small goal is adding more fruits and vegetables in to your diet. These small goals introduced one by one add up to big changes over time and before you know it your lifestyle will be completely different than it used to be!

Resolution Checkup

As you probably know, two of the most popular new year’s resolutions are to eat healthier and get in shape.  You may have set these resolutions for yourself this year and anyone going to the gym or driving by it can see by the parking lot of circling cars that many, many other people have as well.

new-years-resolution-appleJanuary and February are typically the busiest months of the year for gyms and fitness professionals but inevitably the number of people exercising decreases as people get frustrated with lack of results, or the high motivation they had at the beginning of the year starts to fade away.

We are now at the beginning of March and it’s time for a resolution checkup!  Are you on track with the goals you set at the beginning of the year or have you lost your motivation?  Are you starting to skip workouts or maybe you’ve given up completely?  Whatever is going on, it’s time to reassess your goals and I will show you some ways to stay on track so you can achieve results and obtain the health and fitness you deserve.

Goal Setting

The first step is to come up with a big goal then break it down in to some smaller short term realistic goals that you believe you can achieve in a realistic time frame.  Making resolutions in January goal_setting_activitiessaying you want to lose weight, eat healthy, and workout more are too broad of goals.  Of course that is what you want to achieve but how much weight do you want to lose and by when?  What junk foods are you going to limit as you go about your day?  How often and on what days and times are you going to work out?  These are some questions you will need to ask yourself to develop a clear picture in your mind of where you want to be fitness and health wise in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and beyond.

The next step once you have thought of a big long term goal then broken it down in to smaller short term goals, is to write them down and put them in a place where you will see them often daily.  Having a constant reminder of your goals will keep them fresh in your mind.  Your mind is a very powerful tool and what you focus on you get so focusing positively on your goals will keep you inspired and motivated.

Breaking your big goal down to monthly targets will really help you stay focused and motivated on what you need to do and will also help alleviate overwhelming feelings.  Always remember that small steps forward on your fitness journey will inevitably bring you to your destination.

Set a Resolution at the Beginning of Each Month

2013-CalendarThe average person who sets a resolution in January is very motivated in the beginning then life happens and those resolutions get left behind until the following year.  Then the same resolution is made and left behind and so on and so on.

I believe you will have a much better chance of success if you set a small resolution at the beginning of each month.  This relates to breaking your big goal down in to smaller goals.  Figure out what you can do this month that will help you toward your goals, write it down, and resolve to do it.  The sense of accomplishment from achieving a goal you have set for yourself is so huge and satisfying that it will drive you further and further to new heights of fulfillment and joy.  I believe all of us are happiest when we are making progress.  Life doesn’t stand still.  It is constantly changing and when we change and grow with it we can be swept away to our highest potential.  Resolve to be the best you can be and you can do this by setting monthly resolutions and doing your best to achieve them.

Vision and Mindset

Vision Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.When you are making these goals and resolutions you must be able to envision what it will feel like when you’ve achieved them.  You must be able to envision them so clearly that you feel as if you’ve already succeeded.  Like I said before, the mind is very powerful and if you can create the picture in your mind with feeling and your senses, that vision will drive you and inspire you to make it a reality.  You will attract the right people to help you get to where you want to go, you will attract helpful and beneficial knowledge from various sources, and you will attract opportunities to help this vision become a reality.

A mental exercise I like to do almost daily is to sit down and visualize how I want my day to go and how I want my life to be.  I picture it in my mind complete with feeling and senses.  For example, as a personal trainer, I envision myself helping people get in shape, eating better, and being the best they can be.  I imagine what that would feel like.  I see them happy which in turn brings me joy and I imagine what that feels like.  I also do this with my own health and fitness, finances, business, and relationships.  I imagine how I want each part to be as clearly as I can and try to feel what that will be like.  As with all things, this can change and grow as time goes on.

Immerse Yourself in Fitness and Learn, Learn, Learn

Another great way to stay motivated and on track with your goals is to learn as much as you can about fitness and learnnutrition.  Reading books, blogs and magazines and watching videos will keep fitness on your mind and you are far more likely to exercise and eat better if you are constantly thinking about it.

I remember when I started to work out I would read Muscle and Fitness or Muscle Media magazine.  I would watch Pumping Iron with Arnold Schwarzenegger or read his Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.  Even though they are more geared towards bodybuilding, they would keep me very motivated to do my workouts.  The same can be said for any book, blog, or magazine.  You will move towards what you are focused upon.

The more you know about a subject the better.  Learning new things strengthens the mind and gives you the best possible chance of succeeding in not only your health and fitness but with any subject of your life that you would like to improve.  Knowledge is power and strength and this can help you overcome fears in your life if you apply that knowledge and try new things.

Seek Help

If you’re having trouble staying motivated or focused then seek help.  A personal trainer can help you set realistic goals, show you proper exercise routines to achieve those goals, and ensure that exercises are done properly so you don’t help-button-mdinjure yourself.  An injury can set you back days, weeks, or months and this is very discouraging and can be the deciding factor for many people to give up.  Personal trainers can also keep you accountable and help you stay focused and motivated.

If a personal trainer isn’t an option for you then find a workout partner who has similar goals as yourself.  A workout partner can hold you accountable as well because you know he or she will be waiting for you at the gym for your scheduled workout.

Support System

You will need to stay focused and on track with your resolutions so it’s a good idea to have Supp-Sys-6a great support system.  Friends and family who support you on your fitness journey will improve your chance of success dramatically.  On the other hand, if you are trying to eat healthy and you are surrounded by people who are eating junk all the time, this can really hold you back.  Try to avoid temptation as much as possible in the beginning until you have good control over your eating habits and if your family at home is eating unhealthy then do your best to encourage them to support you by joining in on healthy food choices.

Stay Positive

positiveFinally, I want to remind you that nobody is perfect and there could be slip-ups or setbacks on your fitness journey.  It is crucial that you do your best to stay positively focused on the end results.  Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach a set goal.  As long as you are working towards it you will get there.  Becoming negative and saying things like “I’ll never reach my goal”, “It’s too hard”, “I’m not good enough”, will sap all the motivation out of you and quite possibly stop you altogether from doing what needs to be done to succeed.  Negative talk and complaining externally and internally needs to be eliminated as much as possible.  Actually, limiting negative talk and complaining can be a good first resolution on your road to success!

So it’s now March and spring is on the way.  I hope you are on track with your goals and if not then I hope this resolution checkup can help you get back on the road to a happy, healthy, fit, and successful you!  Be the best you can be and never settle for less!

Recognizing and Busting Through a Fitness Plateau

“I’ve been working hard over the last few months.  I think I’ve been eating pretty good.  I had great results at the beginning of my routine and was super motivated but now the results have stopped and I feel unmotivated, burnt out, and frustrated!”

Do any of these statements sound familiar?  If so, then chances are you have hit the inevitable fitness plateau.

Over the past 10 years of personal training and helping people achieve their fitness goals, I have seen this happen time and time again and have even experienced it myself.  It happens to everyone and with this post, I want to help you recognize the signs of a fitness plateau and how to bust through it and get you back on your way to feeling great and progressing towards your fitness goals.

First of all, let’s look at the signs that you have hit a plateau.  The most obvious sign is the inability to progress at one’s goals whether it is weight loss, weight gain, strength gains or muscle growth.  Another sign is lack of motivation and fatigue which are psychological responses resulting from your inability to progress and to a lesser degree from over training.

So how do you get past this plateau and back on track to reaching your goals?

  1. Rest!  Sometimes your body just needs a break.  You’ve been working hard for months day in and day out and this can wear your mind and body down after a while.  Try taking a week off of your routine to refresh your mind and body.  This doesn’t mean just sit around on the couch all week eating junk food!  Do something different.  Going for walks, a swim, and yoga are a few examples of active resting that will keep you moving but are much less stressful on your mind and body.  When you start back in to a more rigorous routine, you will be refreshed and ready to get back on track.
  2. Change up your routine.  If you have been doing the same workouts with the same weights and repetitions for the last 6 to 8 weeks then your body has most likely adapted to the stress you are putting on it.  The human body is very good at adapting to the stresses it is exposed to so by changing what you are doing, your body will have to change to adapt to these new stresses.  It doesn’t have to be complicated either.  You can change the number of reps and the amount of weight you are doing.  You can try adding some plyometrics in to your routine which are explosive movements that usually involve jumping.  You can also choose a different exercise for the muscle group you are working or even split your workouts to an upper/lower body split if you are doing full body workouts.  The possibilities are endless and if you aren’t sure what to do then seek out some advice and tips from a fitness professional.
  3. Check your eating habits.  If you have been on a strict low calorie diet for a while now, your body might be in starvation mode where it believes it needs to store the food you’ve eaten as body fat in order to function and give you the energy you need.  You can trick your body back in to fat burning mode by adding one high calorie cheat day during the week.  Doing this will kind of reset your metabolism and tell your body that it’s ok to burn the food you’re eating for energy.  On the other hand though, you might just be eating too many high calorie and processed sugary foods during the week which will stop your weight loss as well.  A good rule of thumb is to eat small meals every few hours that are packed with protein.  This will help you build some muscle which in turn will increase your metabolism and you’ll be burning more calories throughout the day.
  4. Keep your workout time to an hour or less.  The purpose of any workout routine is to challenge your body enough to stimulate change.  You don’t need to annihilate your muscles!  When you put your muscles through intense exercise for a prolonged period of time, your body goes in to a state of catabolism which is muscle breakdown.  This usually happens after an hour and a half of training and if this is done consistently it will result in over-training.  Over-training leads to muscle weakness, fatigue and lack of motivation, a weakened immune system and an overall lack of results.  Studies have shown that the growth assisting hormones the body releases during exercise peak within 30 minutes and decline shortly after.  So try to keep your workout time around 45 minutes to an hour and never more than 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  5. Proper rest between workouts.  In the beginning of your new workout routine you are highly motivated and you want to do whatever it takes to get to your goal.  This is great but sometimes people have a tendency to do too much, thinking this will get them to their goal faster.  Your body needs time to rest and recover between workouts so make sure you are giving your body that much needed rest otherwise you’ll be getting in to the over-training situation again.  If you are doing full body resistance workouts you should try to have at least a day of rest in between each workout.  A couple of full body workouts back to back once in a while is ok but if you are doing that all the time it will have a negative effect on you over time.  If you enjoy resistance training and would like to do it more often then try splitting up the muscle groups.  You could do an upper body workout one day and then a lower body workout the next day for example.
  6. Sleep. The 5 steps mentioned previously will definitely help you break through your fitness plateau but sleep is a big factor in your progress as well!  Your body regenerates and repairs muscle tissue the fastest when you are sleeping so it is important that you are getting plenty of sleep each night.  You should strive to get 7 or 8 hours of good quality sleep each night to ensure that your body is properly rested.  The amount of sleep you get has a direct effect on your energy levels as well as your training performance which is very important when it comes to seeing results.  I struggle with getting enough sleep myself sometimes and it’s easy to get caught up in things but you have to try and do whatever it takes to get that much needed sleep.  Your body will thank you for it!

So there you have 6 steps to help you bust through your fitness plateau and I want to mention one final thought on the subject to help you reach your goals.  Above all else, your mindset is the biggest factor pushing you forward or holding you back.  Be persistent and determined, have a clear goal in mind and hold on to that at all times, don’t let the inevitable setbacks and plateaus stop you, listen to your body and pay attention to your emotions, choose to be happy now instead of waiting for your results to be happy, relax, have fun, enjoy the journey and know that by taking care of your mind, body, and spirit you will be rewarded for your efforts!