Many of you have heard of BCAA's and others have either not heard of them or are unsure what they are? In the next few minutes we will talk about what they are and why are they so important to not only my workouts, your body but more importantly implementing them into your daily routine.
Branched-chain amino acids supplements, commonly referred to as BCAAs. When your glycogen levels go low your body relies on the three types of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) for fuel. In order to have fuel to power through your workouts you need these levels to be maximized in order to burn and grow what you want them to grow. Now that you know what they are and how they are utilized how do you find the right ones. Thats a really tough question to answer but you need to find the ones that work best for you. Why because everyone body is different and everyone has diffrent goals in mind. Some people want to lose weight, some want to lean up, some want to gain muscle mass.
Before we talk about picking the right ones lets talk about when should you take your BCAA's. BCAA's are not necessary for every workout. The higher the intensity of the workout the bigger need for them. For example if you are lifting a lot of weights to build muscle mass the more your muscles need them. If you are doing a 30 minute workout on a bike machine you dont need them as much because your muscles are recovering and not as an intense workout. I am not an expert in this field but instead going to offer advise that has worked well for me over the last few years.
I take BCAA's post workout so that my body can recover from the intensity of the workout. Do not just take them in place of something in your eating regimen but in addition and plan them either pre or post workout the same way you do for meals. For example you eat breakfast before or on your way to work and lunch around the same time every day, and workout around 4 then take them either before or after you workout.
In conclusion BCAAS are vital to muscle recovery and the best thing is to test it out for two weeks. Stop them for a week and then see how you feel the day after while still doing you normal routine.
Amino Factor by Nutrithority is my favorite and ask us to try it out and we can get you a Discount
So this is the time of year that most people look back at the year and talk about everything that went right for them this year. I will definitely get to that but as the title you can see 2017 was not all a bag of chips.
2017 was incredibly hard and devastating for me. Many of you already know that my Mom passed this year after a six week battle with Lung Cancer. It was very hard on me as it was totally not expected. My mom taught me many things and one of the most important things I learned was to fight for the things you believe it. If you knew the woman people call Marty but I call her MOM she always fought for things she believed in. She had a passion for feeding others and serving out Veteran's. She spent many hours cooking incredible food and no I am not just saying that because she is my Mother. Ask any of the veterans that she would cook for. In addition to that her treasures were her 5 boys which I am the youngest.
One of the things that kept me pushing was fitness as it has always been my therapy and my way to get rid of stress. Through this tragic passing and knowing that I will be seeing her in heaven one day it taught me some valuable lessons. Those lessons are not in any particular order.
Everyday is still a struggle especially this time of year as Christmas was very tough especially when I was talking to my youngest daughter when she asked if we were going to see Grandma soon. She told me she misses her and I told her I did to. If you have the chance call your mom and tell her what she means to you because I would give anything to talk to her on the phone. Some days are easier then others.
- Through Tragedy you find out who really cares about you and who are real friends
- Take nothing in life for granted cause you never know when things get taken away from
- Show my children the amazing woman their Grandmother was and how she impacted so many people.
- Fight for the things you believe in and don't let anyone tell you that you cant do something.
- So thankful for my brothers and the strong Men they have become
Now that you have gotten a sense of why it was so hard for me lets talk about the Physical side of 2017. It was difficult as I injured myself with a Severe 3 Strain of the IT Band which caused me to put running on hold for about 4 months this year. I still hit a lot of the goals I had set for myself but I really had to push through and dig deep.
I got back to the things that allowed me to lose 130 pounds and kept fighting for that everyday. No matter what rut you are in and if you want it bad enough you can accomplish anything. Below is a Month by Month tracking of how my running, biking, stairs, and walking went and I was able to end the year a few pounds less but built a lot of inner strength.
Rememvber to set your goals for 2018 and forget about 2017 because if you are like me it SUCKED! That is the honest truth and remember to make time for yourself everyday and ask yourself do you want it bad enough today and live from the heart and not the head.
So I ran my first Spartan Stadium Race this past weekend at Nationals Stadium since my injury about 11 Months ago. Before I talk about that let me talk about the injury. I pretty much shredded my ankle in pieces in the 1st mile of the race. IN case you were wondering yes I finished the race on a messed up ankle and according to my doctor that was not the smartest thing I have done. But hindsight is 20/20 right? She also told me that it would have been better if I had broken it cause it was just hanging by a limb. I was in a hard cast for a few weeks and a walking boot for 5 more weeks. It was a long road to recovery.
So now lets talk about the race. It was about 110 degrees with lots of steps and at times I thought about giving up because I was so scared at messing up the ankle again. She told me if I do it again I would have to have major ankle surgery with having to have screws and plates in my right ankle. Thats why I picked a staduim race because the terrain is concrete and no rocks, mudd and other stuff. I definitely will miss that terrain but I am a runner first and a spartan second.
The race was filled with bear crawles up staduim ramps which was hell in itself. Add more stairs then most people prolly walk up and down over 6 months while carrying sandbags, water jugs, rope climbs, rings, cargo nets and did I mention stairs. It felt great to finish but I wasnt happy with my time but it was still in the top 20 for my age group.
So the point of this blog is to dig deep and dont let your fears define you as a person, athlete but press through whatever you are facing and be the best you can be. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish great things. So to wrap this up I will leave you with the words of Shaun T , "TRUST AND BELIEVE IN YOU!!!!"
One of the lastest trends and popular things to do for weight loss and lean up is called ,"Intermittent Fasting" Does this really work and what is this all about.
Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and may even help you live longer.
What is Intermittent Fasting though?
Intermittent fasting (or “IF”) is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It is a very popular health and fitness trend, with research to back it up.
That is the short version and more details can be found here Intermittent Fasting
Now that we know what it is lets talk about how do I do it to be the most effective. There are three methods that are really popular and all of them are very effective.
1. The 16/8 Method: Many refer to it as the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between.
2. Eat-Stop-Eat: This one is the one I like the best and I find most rewarding and it is based on fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
The 5:2 Diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week, only eat 500-600 calories. Eat normally the other 5 days. More details here. This one is by far the hardest one to do but it also is the fastest way to get leaner in my opinion.
Which one is best for you? This is a really tough question to answer because it is dependant on a few things such as your goals, what you are targeting and your fitness level as well.
Try them all and find out which one is best for you!
You always hear this over and over again so why not hear it again like a finely tuned guitar right? Wrong instead of telling you that you need to stretch before running, lifting, group fitness class I want to start by giving you the benefits and end with what could happen to you if you dont. The older you get the harder it becomes to recover and hit the goals you want to.
As a runner and biker my body gets really sore so when I strectch it not only loosens all the muscles that you use intensively but it also reenergizes them at the same time. Now lets look at some benefits:
- Faster recovery time
- Revitalized Muscle and Growth
- Not waking up the next day sore and cant move!!
- Avoids major injuries
- Improves Performance
- Increases Flexibility
Now that we have laid out some of the benefits of this lets talk about when should you stretch. Some experts say before and after which is partly true but over stretching can actual cause issues. For myself I stretch for about 3 minutes before and then really stretch after my workout. In addition I try to stretch before I go to bed. This has helped me tremendously the last couple of years.
Here is an article about 30 Second Stretches so definitely check it out! http://www.runnersworld.com/stretching/make-every-minute-count-30-second-stretches
I dont consider myself an expert in stretching
One of the biggest topics is Food Prep or like I like to call it Quality Leftovers. Many of us grew up with parents who were not only extremely busy but couldnt spend time cooking full meals every night so on the weekends they made some food to last through the week. Our diet is the same way. The business of this thing called life and finding the time to cook quality meals are harder these days too! So in the next few paragraphs we will go over the reasons why Food Prep is important and what kind of food should be in those meals/
Why Should we Food Prep?
For a Majority of people who have set goals such as loser weight, gain muscle, lean down, train for a race, or just want to get into better shape those who meal prep accomplish their goals faster and more effectively then the ones that dont. Food Prep helps you with setting your lifestyle of the balanced life more effectively.
The Things you need to know?
1. Pick Your Food Prep Day - Food Prep all starts and ends with having a plan. Pick the day and keep it consisntant. For me I typically food prep on Sundays mostly because that seems to be the day that always has the most free time in it. For me its hard to always prep if I dont have it in my schedule. With kids busy schedules Sundays is where they have the least going. Block out time in your day so you can do this.
2. Know your Numbers - You shouldnt start to meal prep untiil you know your numbers and what you intend to accomplish. Before you start prepping know how many meals you are prepping for and remember to know your Macros. We wrote a blog on this and so you dont have to find it here is the link! Know Your Macros
3. Keep it SImple - So when you are cooking your meals try to mix it up instead of having the same thing meal after meal. Why you ask is because you dont want to burn out because your tired of the same thing meal after meal. Remember the vitals and what to eat is key. This day and age there are so many options to keep it healthy but do not over complicate it. Here are some hints for you to remember:
Protein: Chicken breast, lean beef, pork , salmon, tuna,, lean lunch meat such turkey breast or no sugar added ham are just a few
- Carbohydrates: Oats, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, whole-grain tortillas and flat bread
- Healthy fats: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil and no saturated fatsl
4. Grocery Shopping - This may be a given but plan out your meals before you shope. Make a list of everything you need and the number one thing to remember to stick to what you know. Be very specific in your list and remember go after you have eaten. A majority of people that go shopping hungry make bad choices
When you Food Prep you have a plan in pl;ace and you have everything you need to eat healthy It is also good to line this up with your workout plan so you have balance. Also remeember give yourself a cheat meal every now and again so you have something to look forward to. This also avoids the Burnout!
So we have recorded another winter hit the books. The best part about that is Winter is Officially over and it will start to warm up and the humidity of the east coast rolls in like a Blizzard or NorEaster!
Now that the warmer weather is upon us you may have noticed more people at the gym, more people on the running and walking trails. Its like a second wave of those New Years resolutions. This is one of the reasons why I love this time of year. People going after things they strive for and there are a few reasons behind it:
1. People want to get in better shape by eating better, exercising more consistantly.
2. Clearing there mind and releaving some of the stress that is consuming their life.
3. Dont know where to start and trying a new lifestyle! (This is exactly what got me started in the fitness industry as I started my lifestyle change)
So one of the important questions you need to ask yourself on a daily basis and be honest with yourself is : "How Bad Do I Want it" When you ask yourself this tough question make a list of Pros and Cons. What do I need to do to go after it? What do I need to change and/or give up to accomplish this feat? Read this list to yourself every day when you wake to remind yourself on the goal at hand. Make a goal and this may be the most important part of goal setting. Tell someone who you trust and can keep you accountable.
If you need help with this please reach out to us as we are here to help you accomplish not only your fitness goals but your life goals as we believe you cant have one without the other.
Macro This and Macro THat we have all heard that famous word but some of you may be asking yourself what is a Macro and why is it important. In this post we will talk about what it is, why is it important and how to calculate your Macros.
Whats is a Macros?
Macronutrients are what make up the caloric content of a food.
The caloric combination of the macros is where that mysterious total number of calories comes from. So lets break it down on how it is calculated.
- 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
Dont let yourself think iti's about how many calories are in your food, but what kind of calories are in your food. It also has a lot to do with your activity level,
As you can see its not rocket science but now lets figure it out how you can figure out your macros. The ways it is calculated are as follows:
- Activity Level
Many sites have a calculator on how to figure this out but two of the best to go to are:
You need to stop counting every calorie and start counting your macros instead. Eating the right Macros can transform your body the right way and accomplish your goals faster and more effictively. We would love to help you so contact us today for more information or email us at email@example.com
So we are getting very close to 2017 so what does that mean? Yes you got that right its time for our look back at 2016 and some looking ahead to 2017. 2016 was a year of ups and downs for me. Not only on the Fitness aspect but professionally and personally as well. My goal was to run 3000 miles once again and do some interval stregth training as well. We hit those goals but it wasnt with a major setback as I had a significant injury that made me take a couple months of as I was in a cast and a walking boot. That part was very frustrating as I couldnt run at all and had to learn to do a lot of training one footed. It helped me look deep however and focus on the core. Running really starts and ends with the core. I had a desire to really get that stronger.
So you prolly are like wait you injured yourself and still hit your goals. How is that possible? The better question is how bad do you want it? The question to ask yourself and be honest what is stopping you? You basically have two paths to take:
1. Give up and make excuses and go back to your normal way of life
2. Go after your goals and suck it up and see what you can do. It all starts in the heard and when you believe it the heart will control the mind.
The doctors told me that I would be running in three months and full speed in 4-6. I laughed and told her you obviously dont know me. She was like that is the average time frame. I told her within three months I would be at full speed and she laughed. After being in a walking boot and hard cast four 7 weeks it came off and then the training started.
I worked harder then I ever did and here is what happened.
This week we started a new program called Core De Force. It is a MMA style workout that works your complete body while focusing on the core. About 7 or 8 years ago I taught what they call Group X which is better known as Group Fitness. My favorite class to teach was "Cardio Kickboxing" So this new program by Beachbody was right down my wheelhouse you can say,
After just six workout I have to say wow i can feel it in every muscle in my body and already feel my core getting stronger. Even if your uncoordinated like I am you can do this class.
Before I started the program I was feeling bored cause I run and bike a lot but wanted to really stregthen the core so I could get in race training shape. It is very important to take before during and after photos so you can take a deep look inside yourslef and to be able to hit your golas the way you would like to do.
One of the things I like to do is take some videos while I am working out to see my form and to see how far I have come in each workout. Week 1 is down and I am one day behind but I will make that up this week. Taking these videos can also help you with your form to they dont make you just look stupid but that can happen to.
Making a committment to yourself and setting your goal keeps you motivated and pushes you to become the person you want to be. Not only in fitness but in life in general.
If you want more information or want to purchase the program all the information is here. Core De Force Information
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