Tuesday, July 8, 2014

5 Ways To Sneak In A Quick And Meaningful Workout

Guest post by JMP Member Samantha Hosenkamp

Busy workdays shouldn't mean sacrificing your health

Are you in a constant state of "I'll start working out tomorrow?" Do you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? Fitting in a workout can be challenging, but it's certainly not impossible. These five easy tips can make you feel healthier, happier and more energetic throughout the day:

Take a stand against sitting

Did you know that sitting can increase your risk of an early death? The Harvard Health blog explained that prolonged sitting (desk jobs during which you sit 6-8 hours a day) can shorten the lifespan of even those people who workout regularly.

Try standing when taking phone calls, opting for a standing desk or setting a timer to get up every hour and stretch.

Break it up

If you can't get a full 30 minute workout in during the morning or evening, try breaking your daily workout into 10 minute increments. Wake up and do sets of pushups, squats, lunges and planks for ten minutes. Take a ten minute walk during your lunch break. Do ten minutes of yoga after work while watching TV. Time flies when you're having fun (exercising)!

Buddy up

It's easy to skip workouts when you're the only one who's accountable for your behavior. Find a friend who loves to do a workout you love. Set a reasonable goal--three workouts together per week--and stick to it. Perhaps you decide to run together in the morning and then have a quick cup of coffee together. An evening hike with a buddy is always a nice way to end the day. 

Get inspired

Feeling unenthused about your workout? Go to your favorite social media website (Facebook, Instagram) and find inspirational accounts to follow. Accounts that post awe-inspiring running pictures or motivational quotes might help prep your brain for your workout. I like to look at them first thing before a run to get motivated. 

Find your play

Famed runner and philosopher Dr. George Sheehan encourages people to find their play in his book 'On Running.' Your play is that state of sheer joy you experience when doing something you love. Exercise doesn't have to be a chore. Find something that makes you happy. Something that excites you. Be it running, a Zumba class, yoga, a walk with a friend--whatever it is, let it be in the spirit of play and 'workout' will have an entirely new, fun connotation. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

3 Simple Things To Lose Weight, That Won't Cost You A Cent!


Weight loss doesn't have to be complicated!  I may not be easy, but it is simple.  Here are three tips to help support your weight loss efforts that won't require you to pull out your wallet.

1) Slow Down Your Eating.

Take 20 minutes to eat your meal before going back for seconds.

It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full and you can stop eating.  Slow down, let your body catch-up with your brain and you will eat less.

2) Drink 2 Liters Of Water During Your Day.

Drink at least 2 liters of water through out the day.

Besides the fact that the human body needs lots of water to function optimally, water also fills you up.  Drink enough water between meals and you will eat less at meal times.

3) Get 7 Hours Of Sleep.

Sleep at least 7 hours every night.

Sleeping 7 to 9 hours per night helps the body shed unneeded body fat.  Partly because it helps reduce stress levels (which improves body composition) and because the body’s primary fuel source at rest is fat.

So you want to lose weight?  Eat slower, drink more water and get a good night’s sleep.  Simple.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stop Running To Lose Weight!

Yeah you read that right!  The guy who has run since elementary school, and is training to run a marathon at the end of an Ironman triathlon, just said stop running if your goal is to be thin.  Running is a terrible way to drop fat and reduce body weight.  Running is a high impact activity that is hard on the joints, not considered fun by most people, and an inefficient way to burn calories and fat which is why a lot of you are running in the first place.

I can already feel the runners and triathletes starting to unleash the fury in defense of their sports.  Hold on! Don't get your spandex in a bunch!

What I am trying to say is that the only people who should be running are those of us training for a sport that requires running or people who actually enjoy running (me.)  If you read my last post you know that running (or any steady state high intensity aerobic training)  falls pretty far down on the Hierarchy of Fat Loss.  If you want to actually lose body fat and you are already doing the recommended 3 hours a week of strength training, then stop running or plodding along on the elliptical machine or the spin bike, and just do high intensity intervals.

Seriously!  Stop sitting (or standing) on a cardio machine at the gym or at home, watching TV or reading a magazine, or doing your homework, or chatting on the phone, or whatever it is you are doing to distract yourself from the monotony of grinding out a workout just to say you worked out.

I know for a fact that most of you don't have tons of free time to waste working out 'doing your cardio.'  Why do 30 minutes, 45 minutes or even an hour of mindless cardio when you can burn more calories with just 20 minutes of high intensity interval training?

Is it a harder workout? Yes, of course.  You won't be able to watch TV or talk on the phone while you are doing it, all you will be able to do is concentrate on the exercise and breath.  But it will be over in 20 minutes and you will actually be getting fitter and thinner!

Here is proof if you don't believe me:

A landmark study in interval training was done by Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, and Bouchard C.

Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism.Metabolism.1994 Jul; 43(7):814-8

In this study the researchers compared 20 weeks of endurance training against 15 weeks of interval training and recorded the energy cost of the endurance training group at 28661 calories and the interval training group at 13614 calories.

The interval group showed a nine times greater loss in subcutaneous fat than the endurance group (when corrected for energy cost.)  So calorie for calorie, the interval training group lost nine times more fat overall.  And get this, if the interval group had lost the same fat as the endurance group, then we would still be getting the same results but in less time.

So tell me again why we are wasting our time on moderately intense cardio?

If you are not already doing high intensity interval training then it's time to start!  Here is a simple interval workout you can do from home in 10- 20 minutes that requires no workout equipment and will get you headed down the right path.

Intervals For Beginners

Warm up for 2 minutes by either marching in place (easiest), running in place (medium) or jumping jacks (harder.)

Then you will do one of the following:

 1) go from a seated position on a sturdy chair to a standing position (easy)
2) do body weight squats (medium)
3) do jump squats (harder)

Set a timer or look at the second hand on your clock and do the exercise for 30 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds, then repeat 4-10 times, starting with the easier exercise and less repetitions and work your way up to longer and harder intervals.

Then cool down by walking around your house for 2 minutes.

That's all there is to it.  So stop wasting your precious time on worthless cardio exercises, and stop running if you really don't like running.  I'm sure your body will thank you.

I thank you and if you have questions please leave me a comment and I will answer it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Secret To Fat Loss

We all know that what you eat (known as your diet,) is 90 percent of the equation when it comes to weight loss and more importantly, fat loss.  This is not a secret to anyone (I hope!)  No matter how much exercise or physical activity you do, you can’t out train a crappy diet.  You just can’t.  But once you fix your nutrition that alone is not enough to guarantee a healthy or disease-free/ injury-free life.  But I have the secret to being fit and healthy long into your later years, and if you aren’t doing it now, it isn’t too late to start, even if you are in your last couple decades.

Strength training, resistance training, lifting weights, pumping iron, or whatever you want to call it is the single most important physical activity you can do to create a fitter, stronger, more injury resistant, thinner, you.  That’s right I said thinner!

No cardiovascular activity, not running, not the elliptical at the gym, not your favorite aerobics  or spin class, not even walking the steep hills around your house, can compare to strength training when it comes to ridding yourself of the dreaded belly fat, love handles, thunder thighs, etc.

The problem with cardio is that it only burns calories when you are doing it: 30 minutes of running results in 30 minutes of extra calories burned.  But once you stop running, within about 2 hours afterwards your body returns to the calorie burning level you were at when you started your run.  So if you run (or do any cardio activity,) for 60 minutes then you are looking at about 3 hours of extra calories burned.  That’s it!  You now have 21 hours where you are not burning extra calories.  Sounds like a terrible trade-off to me.

But strength training is completely different!  While strength training doesn’t burn as many calories as running when you are doing it, it does burn a ton more calories over the long haul.  And here is why- resistance training builds lean muscle, and the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more calories are required for burning to get you through your day.  See lean muscle needs energy all the time to move you from one activity to another.  So lean muscle burns extra calories 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, including when you are sleeping!  Run for an hour or sleep for 8- tough choice right?

Three hours a week of strength training is optimum for building lean muscle but any resistance training you can do will help.  I have included my Hierarchy of Fat Loss article (bottom of the post) which explains what the best use of your time is when it comes to fitness and exercise.
We will talk a lot more about strength training as you can imagine, but I wanted to start here and make it perfectly clear that lifting weights is the most important activity you can do when trying to lose body fat and excess weight.  If any of this sounds confusing or you want more details than post a comment and we can discuss it.
Sorry about not posting last week, it was a really hectic week and training for my Ironman has required more time than I planned.  But to make it up to you I included my favorite healthy breakfast!  Talk to you soon.
Breakfast Tacos
3 eggs
3 corn tortillas
1 cup of fresh or frozen spinach
1/2 an avocado
handful of cheese
1 table spoon of fresh salsa per taco
Saute the spinach in a pan sprayed in olive oil, throw in scrambled eggs and cook on medium heat.
Put tortillas on a plate, then add avocado slices, egg mixture, shredded cheese and salsa.
(Use 1 egg for each taco and adjust the other ingredients for more or less tacos.)
Protein- eggs, cheese
Veggies- avocado, spinach, salsa
Healthy Fats- olive oil, avocado
Carbs- tortillas, spinach, salsa, avocado
Hierarchy of Fat Loss
Below are the keys to losing fat and how they should impact your time spent exercising.  This hierarchy is backed by years of sound research and proven results when put in practice by some of the top fitness coaches in the world.
At JMP Fitness and Performance we strive to get the best possible results for all our clients, so if fat loss is one of your goals, then we are going to work together to implement this hierarchy for fat loss and get you to your goals.
#1) Correct Nutrition
There’s pretty much nothing that can be done to out-train a crappy diet.  You quite simply have to create a caloric deficit, while eating enough protein and essential fats.  There is no way around this.  This is why we use the Precision Nutrition program to make sustainable habit changes to your daily nutrition.
#2) See #1
Yep, it really is that important.
#3) Activities that burn calories, maintain/promote muscle mass, and elevate metabolism.
Two activities fall into this category- traditional strength training and metabolic resistance training (MRT).
Traditional strength training is any form of resistance training (machine weights, free weights or body weight exercises) that are done as straight reps and sets with a progressively heavy load, i.e. squats for 12 reps and 3 sets with a rest between sets.
MRT is what we do in a typical training session; lower body and upper body exercises paired together with much less rest, so your heart rate stays elevated.
Because time to exercise is always (for most people) the limiting factor in our busy lives, the hierarchy is set up to maximize the time you have to train with the most effect type of training for fat loss.
So the first 3 hours in any week that you can use to exercise should be spent doing MRT in a training session with me, or any form of strength training on your own.  Let me say that again, you should do 3 hours of MRT or strength training a week before you move on to any other type of exercising.
#4) Activities that burn calories and elevate metabolism.
High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training falls into this category.  You know it simply as interval training.  A hard effort for 30 seconds to a minute, then an easier effort for 1 to 2 minutes, repeated for 10 to 20 minutes using all different kinds of exercises or cardio equipment.
High intensity intervals burn more calories then steady state cardio (jogging) and elevates metabolism significantly more than other forms of cardio.  The downside of course is that it flat-out sucks to do it!
So once you have done your 3 hours of MRT or strength training, then the next 2 hours you have available in the week to exercise should be high intensity interval training.  You should do it in 20-30 minute blocks but even 10 minute blocks will work if that is all that will fit in your schedule.
#5) Activities that burn calories but don’t necessarily maintain muscle or elevate metabolism.
High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training is included in this category.  This is simply a lower intensity interval method with longer work and longer rest intervals.  A classic example is running hard for 5 minutes and then walking for 5 minutes and doing that for the length of your run.  Basically this means we can burn more fat in other activities (i.e. running) as a result of this inclusion.  In other words, we get some more bang for our buck when it comes to calories burned.
So if you have 5-6 hours available to workout then you can add this to the 3 hours of MRT/ strength training and 2 hours of interval training.  This is generally done in one or two sessions per week.
Steady State High Intensity Aerobic Training is also included in this category.  This just means hard cardio work.  Running, cycling, swimming, rowing, elliptical, stair master, etc.  This time we’re just burning calories, but we aren’t working hard enough to elevate metabolism.  But calories do count!  Burning another 300 or so calories per day will add up.
Lastly, if you have 6-8 hours available to exercise (and who really has that?) then you can include the hard cardio sessions.
The keys to fat loss is proper nutrition, 3 hours a week of MRT/ strength training, 2 hours a week of interval training and if there is time left in your schedule, then 1 to 3 hours of aerobic intervals and hard cardio.
I know this a different plan then most of you have been following under my program, but I feel these changes are essential to getting the best results possible when it comes to fat loss.
Also one other note, if you are one of my endurance athletes who is trying lose fat as well as compete in endurance sports, then your plan is a little different.  Proper nutrition remains at the top, MRT/ strength training for 3 hours a week is still most important, but the remainder of your training time can and should be spent on your specific sports with interval training included as part of your swim, bike or run overall program.
I hope this Hierarchy of Fat Loss helps each of you to understand what we need to do to reach your fat loss goals, and why I have designed your program the way I have.  If you have any specific questions about any of this, from the science to the program design, then please let me know and I would be happy to make sure we are clear and on the same page so we can move forward and achieve great results and happier and healthier lives.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Falling Off The Wagon.

We all do it from time to time.  Take a short detour from our chosen path and fall off the wagon of whatever commitment we have made to ourselves.  In fact it happens with fitness and nutrition quite often.  This weekend I ate wheat products on multiple occasions.  I could tell you it was a special weekend with special circumstances, but breaking a commitment is breaking a commitment, no matter what reasons you use to justify your actions.  So I fell off the wheat-free wagon this weekend.

But here is the thing that matters most, on Sunday morning I got back on it.  I didn't feel bad about myself, I didn't make a judgement about my willpower or my lack of discipline, I just got back on the path and moved forward.  There will always be speed bumps or road blocks on your journey to a better you, sometimes you just have to A.I.O.  What's A.I.O. you ask?  My Air Force brothers and sisters will remember this one: Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome.  Just remember you have a goal you are trying to reach, and one false step won't derail all the hard work you put in thus far.  Refocus, cast off any doubt, and continue on to your destination.

"Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up."
-Chinese Proverb
Ironman legend Julie Moss
So who else stumbled this weekend with their diet or workout plans?  It's Monday, how many of you got back on the wagon already?  Share your story with us; how did you go off track and what tip or trick did you use to get back on that healthy track?
I just reminded myself why I'm wheat-free and why I need to continue to be wheat-free (which for me is I want to really live a full life into my later years, and I want to help my clients do the same.)
Talk to me people!  Let's start a discuss about this.  If you have a story share it, because someone else might be in the same situation as you were, and could use your advice and your experience.
Thanks for reading this and commenting and the next post will be up next Monday, so have a great week and don't forget to give yourself a break and pick yourself up and get back to it.
Healthy Protein Cookies
1/2 avocado
1 banana (large)
1/4 cup flax meal
1 Tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1/2 cup whey protein (any favor you want)
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/4-1/2 cup regular oats (depending on consistency)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
Mix all above together with either a hand mixer or bowl mixer.
Mix in or stir in-
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Place each 2 inch by 2 inch cookie on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes.
Cookies will be firm and golden brown color.
*If consistency is too runny then add an extra 1/4 cup of either flax, oats, walnuts, or protein powder*
This for a single batch.  You will need to play around with the ingredients to suit your tastes, so let me know if you modify the recipe and come up with something better.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Ground Rules

So let’s go over the ground rules for how this blog is going to work.  I have every intention that this project will be a conversation between you and me.  There is definitely lots of information about fitness, nutrition, health and training that I want to share with you that I hope will either make your life better, or at the very least get you thinking for yourself about improving your health.
But with that being said, we aint taking no one-way roads on our journey to enlightenment!

I expect you to get involved with this blog and our effort to change our lives for the better.  I want you to start discussions, ask questions, try things and report back, even challenge what you hear from me as well as what you have heard from others. I want to know what is working in your life, and what is not; what advice was right on, and what just plain sucked.  Together I think we will find some important answers.

Now on to content:  I would love to think you all want to hear how my Ironman training is going and what my latest run splits are for last weekend’s long run, but I know most of you have no interest in that stuff.  Most of you want to hear about going wheat-free, how to make healthy changes to your workout routine or your diet, and what information is true and what is false when it comes to nutrition and training and who can you even believe anymore.

Of course we will discuss all of that and more, including healthy and tasty recipes, tips and tricks for making habit changes, new workout ideas and whatever else you all would like to talk about.  Remember this is your blog too, so tell me what you want to discuss and we will answer questions and debate topics you propose.

I recently went wheat-free and I have gotten a lot questions about how it is going and what the reasoning’s were behind my decision to cut wheat out of my diet.  I will be sharing my insight about a wheat-free diet in future blogs I promise.  Wheat is one of the most toxic “food” substances you can ingest and I highly recommend reading Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis if you have not already.  This will give you a new reality when it comes to the kind of food we are putting in our bodies and the overall effects on our health.  It is a quick read and you can get it online for little money. 

Okay, I know I promised you a healthy recipe for protein bars (cookies) but I can't translate Heather's recipe so I will include it on Monday's post (sorry to be a tease.)  I want to make sure I have the right amount of each ingredient before I cut you loose in your kitchen.

Here is a picture to entice you even more.

Have a good weekend and we will talk on Monday!

Monday, June 17, 2013

You And Me, We Are The Same!

That's right!  We are the same.  We all struggle with finding that balance between good health, daily fitness habits, eating right, working, playing, spending time with your loved ones, dealing with stress, doing the right thing, while at the same time trying to enjoy life!

That's what this blog is all about; you and me just trying our best to be healthy, fit, happy and fun-loving, while the modern world tries to make us- sick, lazy, fat, pissed-off and a workaholic.

But we are fighting back!  And I'm going to show you how we can do it and keep our sanity in the process.

I want to talk about fitness, nutrition, being healthy, and enjoying life.  Not just living longer, but having the best years of your life, no matter if you are 16 or 96.  This in my passion, but I will still need your help to fight the battles.  Together we can change lives of everyone we touch.

I will be sharing my life with you.  My life as a fitness professional, endurance athlete, boy friend, craft beer drinker, small business owner, and someone who struggles with eating right, staying focused and getting my butt off the couch when I would rather watch Master Chef.

You can look forward to fitness tips, healthy recipes, workout videos, inspiring books to read, testimonials from those of us who have made changes, and hopefully some entertaining reading.

Since consistency is the key to life, look for new blog posts on Mondays and Fridays and if you have not already done it, 'Like' the JMP Facebook page and subscribe to the JMP You Tube channel.

Thanks for taking time to read my blog, and we will speak again on Friday where I will put up Heather's famous protein bar recipe. Yum!