Archive for January 2013 – Page 2

Why I don’t workout in the Gym

Why I don’t workout in the Gym

Gym Equipment

Gym Equipment

I know a LOT of you reading this have Gym Memberships that use them.  I also figure a LOT of you who have Gym Memberships don’t ever go.  Of the people who do, unless you go to classes or have a personal trainer, I’d venture to say you aren’t getting the most out of your workouts.  Most likely, you do the same exact thing every time you go to the gym.  Many people who have memberships have them so they can say they have memberships and it’s “the thing to do”.  Understand this is my opinion which may or may not count for anything and that’s fine.  This is just coming from someone who is working hard to maintain a level of fitness that creates a sense of well being and is making a living from working out at home.  I was in great shape in College and worked out hard there.  But even there, I rarely went to the Gym and we had about every piece of workout equipment you can imagine.  First of all, even in College, I didn’t have time to go the Gym regularly and I knew I had to be consistent to get results.   I also didn’t have a clue on how to use most of the equipment there and didn’t feel like taking the time to learn how to use it.  So, even when I was in GREAT shape in College, I didn’t use the Gym, which was free.  I ran, did pushups and situps and was just generally active and that worked for me then, and it’s working for me now.

Why I didn’t workout in the Gym THEN

When I graduated from College and got a job, I was a young professional.  There were guys my age who would either go into the Gym early in the mornings or after they got off of work and then spend an hour or two there.  I guess in my mid 20s, I was too busy “living life”.  Then, I met my wife and while we were dating and newly weds, we were extremely busy.  Then we had a couple of children, I was upwardly mobile in my job and was working 10 to 12 hours a day and was just running crazy “chasing the dream” (some people call it the rat race).  That continued all the way through my 30s.  Plus on top of all that, we lived in a relatively rural area and I would have had to drive 2o to 30 minutes, depending on traffic, to get to the gym and then 2o to 30 minutes to work and then after spending an hour to hour and a half, including shower time etc., I was looking at spending 2 hours a day to go to the Gym.  Then, on top of all that, add in that I would likely make excuses not to do it but 2 or 3 times a week and I instinctively knew that wouldn’t work.  In fact, Tony Horton even has said if you are only working out 2 to 3 times a week, you might as well throw yourself down a flight of stairs.  You will get the same results and be just as sore.  I knew that from working out earlier in my life.  Add onto that the Gym fees and the people in there just to make a show and pose in front of the mirrors and the guys in there to “meet chicks” and the sweaty equipment or waiting to get on the equipment, it just wasn’t something I wanted to get into.

Why I don’t workout in a Gym NOW

When I was 41 years old, I saw the P90X infomercial on TV.  And, I didn’t order it.  I had been scammed by other stuff and I needed to research it more.  Then, after a bit of research, my wife told me I wouldn’t do it.  That is when I ordered it.  I was so sore when I started I couldn’t turn over in my sleep.  Yes, it still took an hour to an hour and a half to get through it, but all I had to do was walk to my living room to do it.  I didn’t have to wait on sweaty equipment.  I didn’t have to put up with people judging or laughing at me and I didn’t have to pay extra for a personal trainer.  I didn’t have to pay for a Gym Membership.  All I had to do was pop in the DVD and get my mind right and do it.  When I got started, I did get a set of Bowflex Selecttech Dumbbells.  I also got the Pullup Bar and that was all the equipment I needed.  As far as supplements, I got the meal replacement shakes, the activit vitamins, the P90X Recovery Drink (hich is INCREDIBLE) and I got my mind right and was ready to roll.  That was before we even had Shakeology.  I lost 80 lbs in about 180 days doing 2 rounds of P90X and I knew I had made the right decision.  Not only do I workout at home and not have to deal with the Gym headaches, but my kids get to see me working out and I think that has influenced them to workout later in life and know they can do it at home and for themselves.  Again, the bottom line is, you don’t have to do what I do, but do something to End the Trend of Obesity.  We have a lot of great products you can use to workout at home and get a GREAT workout, but do something.  You can do it.  I can help.  Contact me and let’s chat about how I can help you get in the best shape of your life!!  Check out the video and watch my story about how I found P90X and my story about starting it.  I did it…you can too!!

Is running bad for you?

Is running bad for you?

Is Running  Bad for You

Is Running Bad for You

IS running bad for you?  It depends.  It depends on your goals, your lifestyle, your programming, and your mindset.  I heard someone ask a question once, “What is it that most children do every day that most adults never do?”  The answer, of course, is run.  I ran in College.  I told you in past blogs I graduated from a military college.  So, for us to go for a run was not only something we did to get in shape, but it was something some of us we loved to do to just clear our heads.  We began running during our basic training period at O-Dark-30 in the mornings in formation with a little 2 mile run while “singing” a cadence.  We had study period from after dinner in the evenings until 10:30 PM.  The barracks had to be quiet and people studied.  It was that or go to one of the academic buildings or library within an easy walking distance from the barracks.  At 10:30 PM, it was not unusual to throw on our PTs, running shoes and go down to the Sally Port (the big arch shaped entrance into the barracks) and when the bugler played the note sounding the end of study period, we would take off for a 30 minute run.  We had to be back in the barracks at 11:00 PM for “All In” but we got a good run in and then would take a shower and go to bed or continue studying if we had a big exam.  So, running wasn’t just something we did to train for a race or weight loss, running was a part of our every day activity.  We also got some interval training in when we SPRINTED from our cars as upperclassmen to make it back into the barracks before time was up.  We were also very active.  We didn’t sit around all day.  We walked to class, to the mess hall, we marched in formation, etc.  As a result, we didn’t have many “running injuries”.

Why is running bad for you?

Well, it isn’t.  We were born to run.  Running is something, like I said, that every kid knows to do and does and if you pay attention, you’ll hear parents say “QUIT RUNNING” in nearly every social situation.  Try telling a 4 or 5 yr old they shouldn’t run around a pool, or in church, or in school.  They don’t get it.  We try to explain that it’s dangerous and they could get hurt, but they don’t get it.  It CAN be bad for you if you aren’t careful though.  I remember being in my early 30s and thinking “I’m a runner.  I used to run all the time”.   So, I laced up my shoes and hit the road.  About a mile in I remembered, I hadn’t run in YEARS.  The next day I paid for it.  If I hadn’t listened to my body I could have pulled something, developed shin splints or worse.  So, the way to make sure you don’t get injured when you do that is to take your time and ease into a running routine.  Read up on it and make sure you do it right.  Don’t think that you were born to run and it will come naturally.  If you have a sedentary lifestyle and you sit most of the day and haven’t worked out in years, you really are risking injury if you just hit the road.  Running can be fun and as I said, you can do it to clear your head, to lose weight or to train for a race, but if you injure yourself, it can be a very frustrating and long road of recovery.

How to make running fun

I don’t know why I just wrote that.  How can running be fun?  I said to myself when I graduated that I would never run again unless someone was chasing me and I pretty much kept my word to myself until after I had children and started putting on weight.  I thought I could do what I did in College.  In College, I ate very little and ran all the time.  I didn’t take into account that my body had already started to change.  I was heavier so my ankles and knees paid the price.  I started too fast.  I didn’t really know what I was doing and didn’t have a goal in mind.  My shoes were awful (I didn’t want to spend $100 on a pair of running shoes) and besides, our ancestors ran barefooted, right?  So, here is what I suggest if you want to start running and adding that into your workout program.

  • STRETCH  Make sure you stretch before and after you run and even during the day when you think about it.  Flexibility will help you prevent injuries.  Yoga or Tai Cheng (a Beachbody Program) is an absolutely incredible thing you can do for your body.
  • Add some strength training, especially lower back and core work, to strengthen your muscles and joints.
  • Get a good pair of shoes, fitted for your feet.
  • Have a goal in mind and start slow.  If your goal is a marathon, plan on running it a year from now, not a month from now.
  • Listen to your body.  If you start to get pains where they shouldn’t be, stop and evaluate it.  Injuries typically don’t heal themselves without rest.
  • Know your limits.  I will likely never run a marathon, and that’s ok, but I still like hitting the road and putting a few miles under my feet now and then.  I don’t have to run a marathon for self-worth.  I’m good with doing what I can do.

We have many products that can aid in your ability to recover faster and hit the road running and blow by the competition.  The main one to increase lung capacity and athletic ability for running that we have is Insanity.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it.  It is interval training but it stands interval training on it’s head.  It is long bursts of activity and short periods of rest rather than short bursts of activity followed by long periods of rest.  It’s worth checking out.  The main thing is to be careful and listen to your body and running can turn into something that is good for you, healthy physically and mentally and something you can do for a long time.  Abuse it, and your knees, joints and the rest of your body could pay the price for a long time.  If you really want to start, check out Runner’s World.  They have great tips for starting running if you have never done it or haven’t done it in awhile.

Why is America Fat?

Why is America Fat?

Why is America Fat

Why is America Fat

I touched on a bit of that yesterday when I talked about Nutrients in Food.  The question Why is America Fat is not an easy question to answer.  As I said in another blog, it used to be that the wealthy and more educated people were fat, simply because they had more food to eat and had easier jobs.  The uneducated people and laborers were skinny or even anorexic.  Now, that situation has basically reversed itself, although you can’t say that economic and education levels are the only factors.  After all, I have a BS in Civil Engineering.  So, I do consider myself fairly well educated, and although my job wasn’t intensely labor intensive all the time, it wasn’t solely a desk job either.  I was out on construction projects quite a bit, especially early in my career.  Also, the South has higher obesity rates than other places, but it isn’t in all people groups in the South, and it cuts across all socioeconomic lines.  It seems, based on what I’ve seen and read, obesity rates also cut across ethic lines as well.  So, why is it that chairs are getting larger, airline seats are getting larger and we are seeing more and more obese people all around us.  I was watching a TV show the other night and it was showing a group of school of children and it hit me…most of them were overweight at best and some were even obese.  When I was in school, obese children were rare and overweight was not very common.  What happened?  Why the shift?

How did America get Fat?

It seems it is a combination of many things.  Our politically correct society now tells us we need to accept everybody and to not hurt anyone’s feelings.  This has caused us to be accepting even of things that are harmful to our neighbors, brothers and sisters and even ourselves.  We can no longer call a spade a spade.  So, we overlook behaviors in ourselves and others that are destructive.  Restaurants serve portions that should easily be served to two, possibly three people (I rarely get a “to go box” for my leftovers because there usually are none).  There are endless rows of “all you can eat” restaurants on top of all of that.  We don’t eat regular meals and snacks to prevent hunger or going into “starvation mode”.  Our food isn’t as nutrient dense as it used to be.  Nutrient Density is a relation of nutrients in food vs. the amount of calories.  We eat more processed foods because it is readily available and it is cheap.  There are “dollar menus” now at nearly every fast food restaurant and there are fast food restaurants on nearly every corner.  Take all of that and couple it with a lack of activity, desk jobs, many many hours of sitting, bombardment of advertising making it so appealing and virtually no exercise, and what you get is a recipe for disaster.  It is no wonder we are getting fatter and fatter.  It’s not just a matter of looking bad.  It’s a matter of health, vitality, quality of life and also of National Security as over 9 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are too fat to be allowed to serve in the military.  We are getting “too fat to fight”.

How do we Reverse the Trend of America getting Fatter?

Again, that is not an easy question to answer.  The first part is obviously education, but not in the sense of getting a High School or College Education, but education as to what food is for.  Food should be used for Fuel and not Fun.  We tend to reward ourselves with food as well.  It’s ok to do that occasionally but not all the time.  All social events have food at their center.  It is so easy to overeat.  The more we educate ourselves and then are allowed to hold each other accountable, the better off we will be.  Part of that educational process is getting people to understand that most of the stuff we put in our mouths does not pass for “food”.  It is processed and full of chemicals.  For instance, anything that has “hydrogenated” in the description is generally bad for you (check your peanut butter label).  I saw a show with Tony Horton on it and he said we need to get back to eating foods that have one ingredient.  That gets better the more you think about it.  Whole foods, not processed foods.  And, if you can’t pronounce it, or it has dyes and flavorings added, you may want to not eat that too.  There are other things you can do but that is a start on the food.  The other thing is to plan meals, eat only what you need and not what you want, and drink plenty of water.  Sometimes the body mistakes thirst for hunger.  Most people walk around in a state of dehydration and instead of drinking water, they eat to attempt to satisfy that thirst.

The second part is obvious also.  Get up and do SOMETHING!!  It doesn’t matter what you do to start, but start doing something.  Take the stairs at work.  Park father away from the store and walk instead of riding around for 3o minutes looking for a spot close to the door.  Get up and move around.  You can also get on a workout program that will start you off slowly and ramp you up.  Then, you need a community of people to help hold you accountable.  One thing that held me accountable was helping other people by becoming a Beachbody Coach.  I tied my wallet to my waistline so it also held me accountable.  The bottom line is do something about it.  Come along with us, enjoy the ride.  Help us End The Trend of Obesity in the United States.

Nutrients in Food

Nutrients in Food

Nutrients in Food

Nutrients in Food

I admit I am a novice on this issue.  I am not a nutritionist.  I know food is good and I need it to live.  I’ve already admitted I’m a “foodaholic”.  I’ve also admitted I’m a “bigger is better” kind of guy.  That is what got me in trouble a bit with Overtraining, right?  But there has to be more to nutrition than just grabbing something that is cheap and convenient.  I mean, have you ever CRAVED a salad like I have?  Most people, if they listen to their bodies, have.  Most will admit to craving chocolate or milk or a Grande Burrito that costs $1.95 from the fast food joint, but few will admit to ever craving a salad.  A few years ago, Melanie and I were cramped up in a convention center and we ate fast food crap all weekend.  We got out and were on the way home and I’ll never forget her looking at me and saying “I need something GREEN!!”  Our bodies were just naturally craving something that it recognized as food!!  I’ve been there a few times where I knew what my body wanted.  Most of the time though, we  just get hungry.  While I’m on that, sometimes the body mistakes thirst for hunger.  Make sure you are drinking plenty of water every day.  The one thing I do believe though, and it isn’t that hard to convince most people, is that our foods aren’t nearly as “nutrient dense” as they used to be.  Farming techniques and other factors have contributed to our foods being less nutritious over time.  That includes not only processed foods we all know instinctively are bad for us but also fruits and vegetables we get from the store or Farmer’s Market.  And, I bet if you are like most Americans, you do not get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, so, that even compounds things further.

Low Nutrient Dense Foods make your Cravings Increase

Eating Low Nutrient Dense Foods do not give your body what it needs.  Here is a basic scenario.  You eat something you think it is good for you.  Your body needs these nutrients to survive (it is smarter than we think).  So, you think you should be full and not be hungry.  But then, a very short while later, you are hungry again and you think….”But I just ate!!”  How does that happen?  Well, in my simplistic mind, the conversation goes like this.  “I need food.”  So, you feed your body, and if you go to a restaurant, it’s likely 2 to 3 times more of a portion than should be served to you or you run through a fast food joint and have them shove a burger and fries at you through the window.  A little while later, your body says “That was good and I needed that ‘X’ Nutrient but it wasn’t enough in there.  I need food again to get it.”  So, you do the same thing and you eat 2 to 3 times more than you should again because your body is craving nutrients it is not getting in whatever it is you are feeding it so, while your body is craving, you are overeating trying to give it what it wants.  While I’m on that, the same thing happens with sugar.  You eat a bunch of sugar laden “simple carb” foods.  Your pancreas goes into panic mode with the sugar spike and it floods your blood with insulin to counteract it.  Then, you have excess insulin so your body craves sugar to counteract that and your blood is loaded with sugar again and the cycle repeats.  Eventually, the pancreas gets overworked and gives up and you have the onset of Type II Diabetes or worse.  That is why losing weight and changing eating habits can reverse the effects of diabetes SOMETIMES and definitely why childhood obesity is so prevalent these days.  Just look at a playground of children and compare it to 30 years ago.  What happened??

Getting the most out of the Nutrients in Food

Let’s face it.  It is just not possible to eat 100% organic and clean ALL of the time. It’s just not.  And for some people, it is just too expensive.  A trip through an organic grocery store or the Farmer’s Market, especially when what you are looking for is “out of season”, can blow your budget fast.  We all know that is what we need to do but it’s just not feasible.  Nearly ALL of Doctors recommend supplements and multivitamins to give your body what it lacks from our meals.  But again, a trip through your local vitamin store or pharmacy is mind blowing if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for and then, is it going to digest and be used properly?  Who knows?  I heard a story once of a man taking vitamins for years and when they pumped his septic tank, they could still read the inscription on the pills…it was going straight through.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.    My solution now is really pretty simple.  For at least one meal a day, I take the guess work out of my nutrition.  I do that with shakeology.  For less than the price of going through a drive-thru, I can get all of my nutritional requirements for the day with no need for a multivitamin.   There are no man-made chemicals and it is all whole foods that have been put into one nutritional shake.  If you want to check it out, let me know.  Or, you can go to www.shakeology.com/jayfloyd and you can get the information there.  The main thing is, don’t let your stomach determine the quantity of how much you eat by not giving your body what it needs.  Eat for fuel, not fun.  The following video will give you more information on shakeology as well.

Nutrition, Simplified!!

 

Overtraining

Overtraining

Overtraining

Overtraining

I’m “that guy”.  Admittedly.  I’m the guy that gets sucked into things and wants to do it bigger and better and ends up getting a bit burned out.  I’m the guy that rides the roller coaster 20 times in a row when the line is short, because I can.  I’m the guy that went out and bought a Christmas Tree Wreath for the front door after I first got married and we had to trim it to make it fit.  Melanie said it belonged on a Cathedral’s door, not the door of a duplex.  I’m the guy that thinks bigger is better according to my wife.  So, I admit, although I hadn’t worked out in 15 years and really didn’t want to, when I started, I really got into it.  I did 90 days of P90X, took no time off (although you’re supposed to) and went straight back into another Round.  I’m the guy that purchased P90X+ as soon as it came out and then lifted too heavy and ended up with a shoulder injury that took a lot of time and then, a wise old martial artist using shoulder manipulation, to “fix”.  I’m that guy.  If one workout a day is good, two is better and three is best.  That just makes sense, right??  No, actually it doesn’t.  Overtraining is actually easier to do than you think, especially when you first start out.  You get some results and then your friends start noticing and then you get addicted and then you want more of that positive reinforcement.  Hopefully this will help you avoid some of those pitfalls.

Signs of Overtraining

There are actually many signs of overtraining.   I remember reading once that you need to know what your resting heart rate is.  You do that by taking it in the mornings before you get up and moving, before you start your new workout regimen.  I know…I know…..when the alarm clock goes off it elevates your heart rate.  Mine too.  But, relax, take some deep breaths and then take your heart rate.  If your heart rate after you train for a few weeks is elevated beyond “normal” for a few days in a row, take an inventory of your body.  It may be that you are stressing yourself out too much with your training and you may need to back off a bit.  I remember getting up and doing  P90X and then going home and doing another cardio workout or something like Slim in 6 or Turbo Jam or one of Beachbody’s other great programs.  I felt the harder and more I worked out the better the results I would get.  Actually, I’ve found out nothing could be further from the truth.  So, watch for some of these signs when you are in a workout routine.

  • Joints hurt when you are resting or you can tell they hurt more than normal when you’re working out
  • Eating a minimal amount of calories but still not leaning out or losing your leanness
  • Hitting it hard every single day with no rest days
  • Can’t complete your normal workout or are excessively fatigued when you do
  • Sleeplessness or unable to relax and become easily agitated
  • Feeling sluggish during the day
  • Get sick more often (immune system breaking down)
  • Feel lousy during the day
  • Elevated heart rate, especially after sleeping
  • Don’t feel like working out at all (repeatedly)

Your body WILL start fighting back at some point.  Your body will make you sick to force you to take downtime or you will notice the other signs.  Someone told me once, the best way to avoid Overtraining is to listen to your body.  You will want to do more workouts, harder and faster but that won’t necessarily give you better results.  Your hormones will get out of whack and you will start to just generally run down.  Every now and then cars, planes, boats, etc. have to have some downtime for maintenance.  Your body is no different.  Force yourself to take that down time.

Overcoming Overtraining

The main thing, as I said, is to listen to your body.  There is a lot of good information out there on the internet.  Enjoy the journey, expect results will happen but expect them to happen over time.  You didn’t get into the shape you are in overnight and you won’t get ripped overnight.  I told people, it took me 15 years to get into the poor shape I was in at nearly 300 lbs and if it took me 15 years to get back in shape, that would only be fair.  The truth is, it doesn’t.  The body is remarkable and if you start giving it what it needs by exercising regularly at a smart pace and adding in resistance, cardio and flexibility, mixing it up with muscle confusion and not pushing it past your limits, and eating for fuel and not fun, you WILL see results.  One of the best things I ever did for my body was the Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  I had to take time off for 3 weeks and not workout at all.  The Ultimate Reset not only is a cleanse, but it teaches you to eat right and it also gives you a break from working out while “resetting your body to original factory settings”.  You can read more about it and watch the videos at www.myultimatereset/jayfloyd  I highly recommend it.  The main thing is to listen to your body, get at least 8 hours of sleep and realize that “more ain’t always better!!!”  Be careful because it’s better to take it slow and make progressive gains than to try to make fast gains and get injured.

 

Target Heart Rate

Target Heart Rate

Target Heart Rate

Target Heart Rate

Here is my disclaimer.  Before you start any exercise regimen, especially if you haven’t worked out in awhile, see your Doctor.

As I’ve stated in other blogs, I graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.  When I was in College in the 1980’s (I know, I’m getting older), and being at a Military College, we knew nothing about our Target Heart Rate.  We basically just worked out until the workout was over in the gym  or we just ran a certain distance at a certain time.  We were young and it really didn’t matter what our “Target Heart Rate” was.  It was just a matter of getting out there and getting it done.  We would go for a 30 minute run or a 4 mile run, or whatever it was that we were doing and when it was over it was over.  We were in our late teens and early 20’s so, no one paid attention to Heart Rates.  We also didn’t care if we were training for the aerobic zone, or optimal performance, or fat burning or whatever else.  The goal was just to get done without puking, hopefully.  But, I have to tell you, I did see my fair share of puking, especially when we had our PT (Physical Training) tests.  The tests were done for grade and if you didn’t pass it, you were assigned to the “Jelly Roll Patrol” and had Remedial PT every afternoon.  That was not a good thing to be on because of the ridicule that came with it as well as taking time away from valuable study time or precious free time.

Age and Performance with Heart Rate

Of course your heart can take more strain when you’re young.  The older we get, the less strain we want to put on it.  I keep telling my wife and kids that, but she doesn’t listen.  Besides, stress doesn’t count as an Aerobic workout, I don’t think.  So, my best advice is to listen to your body.  I’ve been hanging out with Tony Horton and doing workouts with him live.  He ALWAYS recommends a good heart rate monitor.  If you need some suggestions, let me know and I can tell you which ones we use.  Using a heart rate monitor will allow you to not exceed your maximum heart rate (some even alarm when you get to that point) and it will also calculate, with some degree of accuracy, the amount of calories you burn during a workout.  In the absence of a heart rate monitor, Tony says you can use the number scale.  A 1 would be you are sitting on the couch eating cupcakes and a 10 would be you are about to hurl.  For the average person, you want to be in the 8 to 9 range for a good aerobic fat burning workout.  Anything less than that and you’re “dogging it” and much above that and you won’t be able to perform for long and keep your heart rate up.    It is also important that you determine what you are trying to accomplish.  Are you doing activity just to keep your body moving or are you looking for peak athletic performance?  The chart I posted shows your age along with your target heart rate for your anticipated purpose.  Most “normal” people will not want to workout at peak performance activity, or at least not every day.  So, even if you are doing intense programs like P90X or Insanity, you will want to watch your heart rate.  That is the beauty of working out at home to a DVD.  You can monitor it and pause it and take breaks as needed without any thought of ridicule with others in a “class” type situation.  On the other hand, you will want to make sure you are holding yourself accountable.  Working out with others makes you push yourself, so it really depends on your personality.  Maybe you want a combination of both the gym and at home.  The main thing is to do something!!

Interval Training and Heart Rate

Think back to the 70s and 80s and the jogging craze.  People didn’t worry about a Target Heart Rate.  People wanted to get in shape so they went out “running”.  Running is fine for most people as long as the knees and ankles are protected.  Most people keep their speed constant and just “go for a run”.  They do the same thing if they are running on a treadmill.  Studies, however, show more aerobic benefits as well as increased lung capacity and better heart function, as well as quicker recovery if interval training is incorporated into the workouts.  Basically, interval training is simply getting the heart rate up to a high level, again depending on your goals, and then a slower “recovery” period to allow your heart to slow down some and then elevating it again.  The amount of time at the elevated rate and the amount of the “recovery” time again depends on your purpose and goals.  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has even become the “norm” among people who have limited time and want the best workout possible.  It typically requires little if any equipment and has been proven to burn fat long after the workout is over.  TurboFire is one of the Beachbody programs that incorporates HIIT training.

So, the bottom line with all of this is, know your goals, know your limits, pick a workout that is fun, incorporate some interval training and get some results.  Of course you need to watch your nutrition, but if you just start your training slow and ramp it up, you will see results if you stay consistent.

A final disclaimer….if you become routinely nauseous, light headed or dizzy, or just don’t “feel right” during your workout, or if your heart rate stays elevated after a workout, you will want to see a Doctor.  Let’s be safe, but let’s get in shape!!!

Role of Genetics in Losing Weight and Getting in Shape

Role of Genetics in Losing Weight and Getting in Shape

Genetics

Genetics

Let’s face it.  We’re all different.  Some of us are more different than others.  My family is generally tall.  I’m 6’3″.  My wife is 5’10”.  My 17 yr old is already taller than I am and my 15 yr old is catching up fast.  My 12 yr old daughter is taller than my wife.  Her family is tall too, but genetics is more than tall.  It also has to do with where you come from in the world.  Whether your background is Asian, European, African, etc.  All of us carry our body weight in different ways and we all have to battle different genetic abnormalities.  I don’t think that is a surprise to anyone.  In an earlier blog I said “I’ll never be an underwear model”.  Part of that is I don’t have the willingness to put in the tireless work to get there, there is not a shortage of people who want to be underwear models and my genetics for being an underwear model absolutely stink.  There is an old saying that “Sometimes you just have to run with what you bring to the track”.   I don’t have a choice of what my genetic makeup is.  I just have to deal with what I have.

What Genetic Profile makes up your Body Type?

If you click on that link you will see the different types of Bodies out there.  An ectomorph is a typical skinny guy.  Ecto’s have a light build with small joints and lean muscle.  Usually ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles.  Shoulders tend to be thin with little width.   A mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique.  Mesomorphs are the best body type for bodybuilding.  They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight.  They are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle.   The endomorph body type is solid and generally soft.  Endomorphs gain fat very easily.  Endo’s are usually of a shorter build with thick arms and legs.  Muscles are strong, especially the upper legs.  Endomorphs find they are naturally strong in leg exercises like the squat.  I am a mixture of Endomorph and Mesomorph with a LOT of Endomorph.  I do tend to put on muscle when I lift but I am also soft and have thick limbs and strong legs.  I used to want to look like an Ectomorph and when I started my fitness journey about 5 years ago, I wanted to be lean and mean.  But over time, I realized there was no need to channel my inner gazelle.  I had done Beachbody Programs like P90X, ChaLEAN Extreme, Insanity, Rev Abs, Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, etc.  My goal was to get lean and cut the fat.  I did lose about 80 lbs and got in GREAT shape, better than when I graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and even though I could see my abs, I didn’t “feel right”.  To do that, I had to workout HARD, sometimes doubles (see my upcoming blog on overtraining) and eat perfectly.  I couldn’t stray one single bit.  A saying has come about since we have so many programs now that you have to find your “soulmate workout”.  I will always love P90X, and it is AWESOME!!  I still do some of the workouts and I am not beyond doing another 90 days of it.  But it just didn’t fit my body type.  I would always tell customers and people I was helping that genetics play a huge role in how we get in shape, cut fat and what programs we really enjoy and respond best to, but you can overcome genetics through proper nutrition and working out hard.  And that is true, to a degree, but your genetic makeup will always be there …and in my case…it will be there haunting me.

Overcoming Genetics and Body Type

The sad truth is, you are going to be stuck with your genetics for life.  You can’t get rid of them and change them for something different.  If you are like me and you are a “foodaholic” like I talked about in “I have NO Willpower”, and you happen to be an Endomorph on top of that, you will always battle your weight.  But, if you learn to eat for fuel and not for fun, and if you couple that with working out and you do find your “soulmate workout”, then you will have fun working out and as you see changes in your body, you become more excited about how you can change your body.  That is exactly what happened to me.  I am now doing a program called Body Beast.  It is definitely my “soulmate workout”.   Coupled with the Body Beast Supplements, I have seen changes in my body.  My shoulders are wider and my chest and arms are bigger.  The other day, I had Melanie measure my arms flexed before and after the Bulk Arms workout.  My arms got a 1-inch diameter pump when measured after the workouts.  I’ll talk more about it later but the Suma Root, Base Shake Protein, Creatine (mono-hydrate) and Fuel Shot are incredible when taken with this program.  I can see me doing Body Beast for a long time to come.  I am now channeling my inner rhino instead of my inner gazelle.  In fact, I think I ate that gazelle for a snack the other day so it’s gone forever.  The bottom line is, find what you like to do, that will give you the results you want that fits your body type and you will have fun working out, see results and it will be a life changing experience.   I also recommend shakeology for all body types.  It’s whole foods and will give your body EXACTLY what it needs every day.  It’s GREAT stuff!!

I have NO Willpower!

I have NO Willpower!!

No Willpower

No Willpower

Well, I shouldn’t say I have NO Willpower, but it feels like that at times.  I have plenty of willpower for things I don’t like, but sometimes none for those that I do.  A good friend of mine even said that to me not long ago.   He is also a Beachbody Coach.  We were at a function and they had a big spread of all you can eat foods.  I did pretty good on most of the stuff, just tasting and sampling things here and there, but at the end of this spread, and when I say spread I mean SPREAD, there was an ice cream bar.  The ice cream bar had chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream, pineapple, cherries, Oreo pieces, caramel and chocolate syrup, M&Ms, Reeses Pieces, sprinkles, you name it.  I got a big ol’ bowl of it and sat down, beside Melanie, who also had hers and we commenced to enjoy it, until my friend walked by and said laughingly,  “You have NO Willpower!!”  I’d like to say that diminished the enjoyment of the ice cream but we just grinned at each other and kept eating.  How is it that I sabotage myself like that??  I had been doing so good!  Working out hard is not a problem anymore.  I’m used to it and I even enjoy soreness.   In fact, I’m very sore today from doing Body Beast Bulk Legs yesterday.  That weekend, we had also worked out twice for about an hour each time with the guys from Les Mills Combat, Dan and Rach!!   I included my sweaty picture for you to enjoy.  So, why do I have NO WILLPOWER when it comes to food?  Peter Gabriel’s song “No Self Control” starts with the lyrics – “Got to get some food, I’m so hungry all the time, I don’t know how to stop, I don’t know how to stop”

How my having NO Willpower started

Me and Rach

Me and Rach

I am not making excuses, but I’m trying to figure out how/why this happens to me.  I have given this a lot of thought.  I was raised on a farm by parents who were raised during the depression era.  My Mom cooked 2 meals a day during the school year (she was a school nurse) and 3 meals a day during holidays and the summer.  We worked hard, we played hard and we ate well, mainly what we grew or raised.   The food was good and plentiful usually.  But, I can still hear my Mom saying, “Be sure to clean your plate.  We didn’t have that much when we were growing up and you should be happy to have it.”  Not many people know this but she basically made me eat rutabagas one time until I literally threw up.  I still love them though.  The bottom line is, eating everything she prepared for us made her feel good and gave her worth as a provider and Mom and it was GOOD!!  Meals were ALWAYS finished with cakes, pies or some sort of dessert.  I developed a sweet tooth early in life.  I used to run through the house jumping up and down to make her pound cakes fall because they were better that way and she’d always holler at me to stop.  Heh.  The more I ate, the more my Dad would say “He REALLY likes that” and the more it pleased my Mom and the more that behavior was reinforced.  I’d have to say we were eating for fuel because we were working hard, but we were also eating for fun.  It was definitely a social time.

How I kicked the No Willpower habit

I haven’t.  I am getting better, but I will always be a recovering “foodaholic”.  I have no idea how alcoholics or children/parents of alcoholics feel.  I do know a little about nicotine.  I saw my Dad quit smoking when he was in his early 50s.  It took him almost dying of a rupture in his lung to bring him to his senses but it was something he learned to live without.  FOOD on the other hand, is something we need to live.  That is what makes it tough.  It’s still social.  “Let’s go to lunch” – “Let’s go to Dinner” – Church Socials, Super Bowl Parties, nearly EVERY social gathering is going to have food.  At our Sunday School Party this year, I walked around the table, full of stuff people brought and looked at Melanie and said, “Where is the food?”  She said, “On that table right there.”  I said, “No, that is nothing but desserts, where is the food?”  She said, “That’s it.”  Everybody brought sweets.  There were some deviled eggs, meatballs and little smokie sausages but other than that, it was SUGAR/CARB HEAVEN!!  And, as much as I wanted to resist, I just had to sample a bit of everything, in an attempt to make the people who brought it happy I guess.  So, I’ll always be a “foodaholic”.  I think that explains why we have the obesity problem in this country and around the world.  Something we need for survival can so easily get out of control.  So, I’m still in the process of learning how to eat for fuel and not for fun.  I read somewhere that “You are not a Dog!  Stop rewarding yourself with food!”  That is what I’m still learning to do, and every day is a challenge because the stuff out there that is so yummy is so cheap and so accessible.  That is why I love Shakeology.  I can get my chocolate fix every day and it’s healthy and good for me.  Join me on the journey to better health and let’s kick this NO WILLPOWER problem together.

Scales measure weight, not worth.

Scales measure weight, not worth.

Scales Measure Weight

Scales Measure Weight

I know that sounds like something you should say “DUH” to, but hang with me and think about this.  When I started thinking about this, I couldn’t help but think about that little girl in the comic that looks at another little girl and they are standing beside the scales in the bathroom.  One says to the other “Don’t step on that, it will make you cry!!”  That’s funny because it’s true.  Maybe not literally but it has the effect of putting us in a foul mood.  So many people get up in the morning, take a shower and the last thing they do in the bathroom is step on the scales and go off to face the world depressed.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we let this little device which could be so handy be such a major part of the way we view our worth in the world?  It is like we wrap ourselves up in this thing and if it tells us what we want to hear, we’re happy, but if it doesn’t, we’re sad.  It’s like we need it to give us good news and move in the right direction and that is how we view our worth.  It used to be that on the scales, more weight was better.  Not long ago, weight was a sign of wealth and prosperity.  Poor people were thin because they didn’t have enough to eat and had to do manual labor.  Heavier people were more wealthy and had the easy way to make a living.  In fact, it is still that way in Africa and the Middle East.  So how did we get here?

Kicking the Scale Habit!!

When I weighed nearly 300 lbs, I RARELY got on the scales.  I knew it was bad news so why subject myself to that?  I didn’t want to know.  I was delusional and I liked that world.  Really!!  But then, when I started my P90X journey in an effort to become that Underwear Model, the scale began to call my name again.  Our scale didn’t even work anymore so, I had to go buy a new one and then make sure it would go high enough to weigh me.  So, then I had to weigh myself to get a starting weight.  WOW what a downer.  But that was the least of my worries.  What came next was the real blow.  I had to take PICTURES.  We call them the “Before” pictures but they weren’t before, they were “NOW” pictures.  They were in a bathing suit….shirtless.  If you have ever seen any of them, you know, they were NASTY!!  So, yeah…not a good thing.  That was more depressing than the scale.  It was basically 6 pictures.  Front, Front Flex, Back, Back Flex, Side – arms at side and Side – turned at a 45 degree angle.  Those pictures were WAY more disturbing than numbers on a scale.  I realized that people at the pool didn’t care how much I weigh.  They were looking at me….ME in all my wonderful shirtless glory…..not the scale.  And regardless of what we try to convince ourselves of…we really do care what people think about us don’t we?  So, it is not REALLY the scale that matters.  But, we attach worth to that number as if it had a hold on our life.

The final truth about Scales!!

I was privileged to go to a Tony Horton Fitness Camp about 10 months after I started my journey.   I had already lost 80 lbs and was at my goal weight, but I still didn’t look like I wanted to.  I still had a ways to go.  He said something that has stuck with me since.  He said basically, and this is paraphrased, it doesn’t matter how much you weigh.  Weight, unless you are obese, is one of the worst indicators of overall health.  The questions to ask are:  How do your clothes fit?  How do you feel?  What is your cholesterol level?  What is your blood pressure?  What is your resting heart rate?  Are you adding resistance to your workouts to build and/or maintain muscle tone?  Those are the questions we need to answer.   That made sense to me at a very deep level.  There are a lot of people who “diet” who lose weight.  But then, after losing the weight, they have no muscle tone and they end up being “skinny fat”.  They are thin but they are not functional and are prone to injury and illness because they haven’t added resistance and cardio to their workouts.   We all know diets don’t last because they make us miserable.  One of the worst things you can do to your body is Yo Yo Dieting.  You lose weight, but you lose fat AND muscle.  Then, you get off of the diet and you gain back all fat.  So you diet and you lose fat and muscle.  Then, you get off the diet and you gain back all fat.  In the end, you weigh the same but you are VERY unhealthy.  The best way, we know by instinct, is to “Exercise More, Eat Less”.  But, the truth is, “Exercise Right and Eat Clean.”  Exercising right is making sure you have resistance, cardio and stretching in your regimen.  Eating Clean is eating for fuel and not fun.  So, are you ready to make a change?  There are so many things you can do to jumpstart your health.  We even have a program called The Ultimate Reset and you can learn to eat right and not workout while you are doing it.  It will bring your body back to “factory settings” and you will feel better than you have in years.  Bottom line…forget the scales and worry more about your overall health.  I haven’t weighed myself, literally, in about 2 months…and I’m good with that, even though I will never be an underwear model.

I will NEVER be an Underwear Model!!

I will NEVER be an Underwear Model!!

Not an Underwear Model!

Not an Underwear Model!

I know.  It’s sad.  But, I had to finally come to that realization.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Underwear Models are absolutely fantastic.   I graduated from a Military College.  In fact, it’s one of the best.  The Citadel is known all over the world for turning out leaders.  When I graduated in 1989, I was in the best shape of my life, up until then.  But then, I got into the real world and discovered “real food” again and I remembered I LIKED it!!  Well, it wasn’t REALLY food, it was processed crap and it was cheap, but it passed for nutrition.  So, I gained a few pounds in my Twenties.  Then, I met my wonderful wife and got married.  She is a FANTASTIC cook.  So, I gained a few more pounds.  Then, we had our first 2 children within 20 months of each other and I gained a few more pounds.  A couple of job changes and a job that had me at a desk about 70% of the time and more pounds came on.  It didn’t happen overnight.  It happened over a course of about 15 years.  The next thing I knew, I was weighing about 300 lbs at 6’3″, but, I felt ok.  I was comparing myself to other people who weren’t ever going to be Underwear Models either.  So, I was OK.  I was headed toward middle age, balding, and dare I say….FAT.  I didn’t know what to do.  I knew I didn’t want to join a gym.  That was out.  I knew it would be wasted money.  I knew I would go a few times and get frustrated and quit and I would be locked into that gym membership for a year.  I didn’t want to use sweaty equipment someone else just got off of.  So, I resigned myself to …that is the way life  goes.  You have a good youth.  Then you become a middle aged, overweight, balding dude.  Besides, I looked better, in my mind at least, than most of the Dads who were out there coaching recreation baseball with me and I had no major health issues, so, just “go with the flow”.

Why NOT be an Underwear Model?

I knew I could be better but who has time, money and energy for all that?  Then, one day I was sitting at home and saw an infomercial for P90X.  Get ripped in 90 days.  I knew from listening to the infomercial that it was real.  I mean, the pictures looked great and if I could get ripped in 90 days, at home…let’s go for it.  I was going to be an UNDERWEAR MODEL after all!!  So, I didn’t order it.  I was skeptical as most people are.  I researched it a bit online and asked people about it.  Then, the next week, it came on again.  I told my wife….THIS is what I was talking about.  She said, and I quote, “You won’t do it!!”  That was what I needed to hear.  I ordered it.  Then it came in.  I got started, I got sore, I got frustrated, and I was determined to look like an underwear model in 90 days.  But, it didn’t happen.  I found out you can get ripped in 90 days, but you have to be torn first.  I wasn’t even FOLDED.  So (big sigh here) I did another round of P90X and lo and behold, I started to see my Abs.  So, I ordered P90X+ and at 43, I was actually looking like I was ripped.

The mental mind shift of a Non Underwear Model.

Well, then after losing about 80 lbs and seeing my abs for the first time in over 15 years, I realized, there is not a shortage of people trying to be Underwear Models.  I was, after all, still middle aged and balding, but I was no longer fat.  I can tell you, all those years I was in denial.  I thought I was in good shape because I had no major health problems and I felt ok and could keep up with the kids, for the most part, when I was coaching baseball.  I had no idea how much damage that spare tire was doing to my internal organs.  I know it was very bad on my knees and hips.  The good news is the body has a great way of bouncing back if you start treating it right.   It will even reverse the damage you do to it in a lot of cases.  I know I’ll never be an Underwear Model but I do know this….I can be the best me I can be and I can keep up with my 5 year old now and I can do the things I always wanted to do.  You don’t have to be ripped to the bone and you don’t have to parade around in tight spandex.  What you do need to do though is SOMETHING!!  You can increase your lifespan, decrease your medications, and live a happier healthier life.  Life is meant to be lived, not just to survive until you die, so, like I said in another blog post, just do SOMETHING to get your health going again.  I can help you.  We have major programs for beginners to the ones that will make you want to puke they are so hard.  You can start slowly and you can ramp up to it until you reach YOUR goals but do something for your health and start today.  The cool thing is, they are FUN!!  So, stop procrastinating and come along with us and help us “End the Trend of Obesity” in this Country and around the world!!  By the way, I’m now in better shape at 47 than I was at 25.  By a long shot.