Fitness & Wellness

Do You Know Your Portion Sizes

Do You Know Your Portion Sizes

Weight loss isn’t easy, but you can learn to choose healthy food and make it not only easier, but delicious, too. However, even when choosing healthy food, some foods need to be eating sparingly. That means you should have only one or two portions a day. In order to do that, you need to know how much is a portion. Do you know your portion sizes? It can make the difference between successful weight loss and weight gain.

Overeating is a national epidemic.

Learning portion control is a help in preventing overeating. While you may be able to load up at a buffet and go back for seconds, it doesn’t mean you should—even if you want to get all your money’s worth of food! Stuffing yourself not only jeopardizes your weight loss program, it creates other problems, such as bloating and stretches your stomach so you eat more afterward. You’ll learn to eat less and feel less hungry when you have portion control.

Your brain won’t help much if your body is hungry.

Studies show that most people’s sense of portions goes out the window when they’re body is starved for something to eat. That’s why learning a few tips can help make it easier, since most people won’t take the time to measure, weigh and calculate each portion. Let’s face it, I don’t want to do that either. It interferes with the enjoyment of the meal and makes you feel more like you’re conducting a scientific experiment.

Here are some quick tips on portion sizes that don’t require a scale.

When eating meat, poultry or fish, the cut should be as thick as a deck of cards. You can also judge it by your hand size. Look at the size of your palm without considering fingers or thumb. That’s a portion of meat. Pasta served with an ice cream scoop is one portion. (You don’t have to use one, that’s just a visual aid.) A serving of veggies is the size of your fist. Look at your computer mouse and you’ll see how big a potato should be. Those huge pancakes are far too big for a portion. It should be the size of a CD. Your thumb is a good measure for a stick of cheese, but for cubed cheese, one portion is the size of two dice. If you cup one hand, you’ll be able to pour in one portion of pretzels, chips or other snacks.

One way to help you maintain smaller portions is to use a smaller plate. The amount on the plate then look bigger.

Studies show that people drink less beverage when it’s served in a tall thin glass over a short wide one.

Drink a tall glass of water before the meal to fill you up and address any dehydration issues you may have. Sometimes, those can leave you feeling hungry.

You’ll have less tendency to overeat if you wear formfitting clothing. When your waistband starts binding, you’ll notice you’ve had too much.


Workout Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

Workout Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

workout mistakesIf you want to get the most out of your workout and see the results you want without working harder, here are some common workout mistakes that you can avoid. You normally see people doing these things at big box gyms, where there’s nobody to help. These errors can do more than just make your workout harder with slower results, they also can be the cause of injury. See if you fall into the group that needs to make some corrections.

Using the wrong form for exercises, including lifting is at the top of the list for common mistakes.

Using the wrong form has its consequences, the worst being injury that can set you back for months. When your form is off, you won’t get the best results and may spend twice the time you would to see your hard work pay off, which can be discouraging and dampen motivation. It often takes more than just watching the exercise performed correctly, you need someone to watch to insure you do the movements right. It’s easy to feel like they’re correct, but that doesn’t mean it’s so. Get help to learn the right way to prevent injury and boost your results.

Thinking if it hurts that it must be doing some good is a big mistake.

It’s one thing to work through some minor aches, but quite another to face a massive pain and ignore it. While some people don’t push themselves enough, others push beyond a safe level. They move too quickly, increasing the intensity and length of each workout to the point that it causes injury. It’s far better to measure your progress by number of reps, time it took to do them, intensity and amount of weight used for exercising than use the level of pain as a marker.

Failure to plan is one of the biggest mistakes.

Not only do you need to set goals, you need a plan to reach those goals and a way of tracking your progress to be successful. If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to know when you’ve reached your destination? Goal setting and tracking helps you stay motivated, too. It allows you to look back on the progress you’ve made on those days when you’re ready to quit. It also gives you direction and keeps you on track, relieving you of trying to remember where you were at the workout previously.

While some people try to push their progress too fast, others don’t adjust their program, even after they improve their level of fitness. They miss a great opportunity to improve their progress and reach an even higher level of fitness.

Many people fail to include diet as part of their workout program. The right type of diet is important for more than just loosing weight. Since each person has different goals and needs, we provide individual help in nutritional planning.

Working out alone is better than not working out at all, but it can be a mistake. Having the support of a like-minded community can bring huge benefits to everyone.

One reason I started underground athlete is to provide people who are serious about getting into shape the guidance and help they need to get their fittest, fastest.


How To Stay Healthy On Vacation

How To Stay Healthy On Vacation

healthy on vacationIt’s that time of year when people start taking vacations. Some travel by car, while others hop on a plane to get to their destination. I can’t tell you how many times clients come back with extra pounds or a set back in their fitness program. You can stay healthy on vacation if you plan for it. Just making a few adjustments for time and dietary concerns can help you stay fit and even enjoy your vacation more.

Traveling long distances by car or in a plane can take its toll.

If you’re flying, eat before you go to the airport or take a healthy snack or meal along to eat while you wait for your plane. Not only does airport food tend to be highly processed and higher in calories but lower in nutrition at the food courts, it’s also quite pricey. You’ll save calories and money. Be prepared for your food to go through the security checkpoint by having it in a container if it’s homemade or tucked in your carry on if it has its own wrapper. For those driving, a small cooler of healthy snacks or small meals in a cooler are far better than stopping at an unknown or fast food restaurant along the way. It’s best not to eat in the car, but make a stop at a rest station where you can enjoy your meal. Eat smaller more frequent meals on the road.

Whether you’re flying or driving, get exercise with other forms of transportation.

While you might have to rent a car if you’re flying, that doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time. Walking or renting a bike is an excellent option. Many places rent bikes for people who want to see the sites and enjoy the surrounding atmosphere. In Chicago, for instance, there are several bike rentals, which also include skate rentals and quadcycles, one of which is at Navy Pier. It’s the perfect way to cover a lot of territory, yet get an up close and personal view of the city, while staying fit. You’ll find bike rentals in many larger cities.

Prepare in advance by checking out the facilities or having a workout you can do anywhere.

Many hotels have workout facilities, so when you’re planning, consider that before making reservations. If you’re staying with family or friends or don’t have an available gym, plan your workout ahead. If you’re doing strength training, resistance bands take very little space and can help you get a great workout. Body weight exercises don’t require any equipment, so it’s another practical option. A trainer can help design a plan that you can use when you’re on the go.

Schedule your workout into your plans to insure you do it. You can use sightseeing and hiking for cardio workouts.

Stick with your dietary plan as close as you can, but allow yourself the luxury of splurging at a few meals. Sure, splurging will set you back a little, but if you’re in a town with a restaurant you’ve been dying to try, it’s worth the one-time splurge. You can still look for healthy foods on the menu.

Relax and enjoy. This is a vacation, remember? Take time to soak in everything, but don’t stress yourself out to do it. It’s time to renew yourself.

Visit the local farmer’s markets. You can often pick up a low cost lunch that comes right out of the garden.


Rise Up

Rise Up

rise upAnybody ready to rise up and take charge of their body, health and life may have great resolve initially, but may not know the path to follow. That’s where UA can help. We provide guidance based on your level of fitness, special needs and goals. Before we create any program for a member of our community, we assess their overall fitness in all areas, balance, strength, endurance and flexibility. We identify weaker muscle group, too. We consider any special needs, such as physical limitations that might require an adjustment to form or exercise and the member’s ultimate goals. Only then do we create an individualized program.

When you’re ready to rise up, nutrition plays an important role.

No fitness program would be complete without a complete nutrition program. You need not only adequate nutrition to build muscles, but also the appropriate caloric intake. If you have too many calories, you’ll gain weight or won’t lose it, with too few calories, you’ll put your body into starvation mode, slowing your metabolism and making it hard to lose weight. Everyone has different needs, different preferences and different ways they process some foods. We consider all aspects to help you rise up.

Your mindset plays a huge role when you choose to rise up.

I can almost guarantee that everyone that wants to take charge of their life, particularly their body, has great resolve in the beginning. However, it doesn’t take long before that resolve wains and disappears if there’s no help in the area of motivation. We provide that motivation to help keep you on the track of real change. Our supportive community of like-minded individuals also help you stay on track. Staying motivated is the key to a successful lifestyle change and staying fit for the rest of your life.

Tracking and recovery time are important aspects.

In order to get anywhere, you need a road map and signs along the way to let you know you’re headed in the right direction. We track your progress to help identify trouble spots, detours that are needed and identify the progress made. Tracking is an aid to know when you’ve made progress and when to increase the difficulty of the workout. You’ll always have concrete feedback when your progress is tracked.

You don’t need to struggle on your own when you’re ready to rise up and take charge. We have the knowledge and programs that work.

Sharing your determination and workout time with a like-minded community will help deepen the resolve.

You’ll see results faster with our help and results are a huge motivation.

After just a short time, you’ll notice the difference in your energy level, strength and endurance.


Basics of Program Design: Balancing Pushes and Pulls

Basics of Program Design: Balancing Pushes and Pulls

“I read part of it all the way through” – Samuel Goldwyn

Here’s hoping that you read all of this all the way through (if nothing else than for the picture of the cute puppy balancing). Program design encompasses far too much to
attempt to cover in a single blog post. I do, however, want to talk about the importance of balancing some of the variables that go into it. Anyone can just throw a single workout together
without too much trouble, but that doesn’t mean that day will be good, nor does it mean it will fit into the rest of the week well either.

balance
No, not that type of balance, although it is cool too.

An easy concept to think about is balancing upper body pushes and pulls (think bench press and rows respectively). A good starting point for a lot of people is to have a pull:push ratio
of 2:1, or even 3:1 in some cases. Eventually the goal would be to get this ratio closer to 1:1 over time though for most. What this means is for every horizontal or vertical push you do, you
should do twice or three times as many horizontal or vertical pushes (mouthful of jargon I know, so let me simplify). A vertical push/pull is done with your arms overhead, such as when doing overhead presses or pulldowns respectively. A horizontal push/pull is done with your arms goingforward or backward, such as during DB bench presses or rows respectively. So, for every “chest” or push exercise you do try to do two “back” or pulling exercises as a rule of thumb.

Most people benefit from prioritizing pulls in training because of the nature of society currently. Lots of people sit all day at work with potentially poor posture, go to the gym only to
train the mirror muscles (the chest, biceps, abs, etc.), etc. Below is an example of two upper body days to make this easier to see visually.

Day 1
Bench Press 3 x 6
1 Arm DB Row 3 x 10ea
Seated DB OH Press 3 x 10
Lat Pulldown 4 x 10 ea
Chest Supported Row 3 x 15
Rear Delt Fly 3 x 15

Day 2
Bent Over Row 4 x 8
DB Bench Press 4 x 8
½ kneel 1 arm cable row 3 x 10ea
Cable fly 3 x 12
Sled row 3 x 10 yards
TRX body row 3 x 12

There are times and reasons for deviating from a balanced program but that doesn’t mean it should only be that way. A few exceptions (but not all) are:

  • If you are a powerlifter or olympic lifter
  • You have a lagging body part/area you want to add mass or strength too
  • Have an injury and can’t train a certain part of your body

Powerlifters and Olympic lifters must train in specific ways that will allow them to excel at their sport. Powerlifters for example, must prioritize the big 3 (bench, squat, and deadlift)
which can mean other things don’t get given the same attention. There might be less single leg work done, less upper body pulling (think rows, pull-ups, etc.), among other things.

If someone’s chest is lacking in size and strength, then it could be a good idea to add more volume (sets x reps x weight) to that area for a time. Regardless of the reasons for focusing
on this area it will undoubtedly throw off the balance of the program to an extent. This is why it’s might be beneficial to do from time to time but not for the majority of your training
necessarily.

With few exceptions, you can almost always train with an injury (unless you’re in a full body cast or something severe). If you hurt your right leg then that means there is still plenty of
upper body work that can be done. In addition, there is plenty of single leg work that can be done on the left leg as well.

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See, I wasn’t kidding about the cute puppy balancing

When looking at a program to examine whether it is balanced well or not, you can’t just look at one day, but instead you must look at the entire week (AKA microcycle). Better yet,
ideally you would look at the whole month and even the year (depending on how far ahead you plan). When looking at an entire year of training most of the time spent training should be done with balanced programming (barring the exceptions above).

Are you a competitive power lifter who does a ton of pressing and not quite as much pulling? Cool, no worries. Spend a month or so after a meet working on increasing your pulling volume before going into another couple months of powerlifting specific training. Got a body part that is lagging behind in terms of muscular development? Just allocate more volume towards that muscle group for a month or so before going back to a more well rounded program. Programs don’t have to be 100% perfectly balanced all the time, nor should they be. But it’s an important thing to keep in mind when writing programs for yourself or someone else.

Rise Up!


Formula For Success

Formula For Success

formula for successWhen we work with you, we create a formula for success that starts with your level of fitness, special needs and goals. Not everyone has the same goal. Some people want to shed pounds and build muscle tissue. Others want to gain weight and build muscle. Some want bulky muscles, while others want sinewy strength. Some people have special needs, such as knee or back problems that require modification of an exercise. Finally, everyone has a different level of fitness. We’d never expect a person who led a sedentary lifestyle and just started exercising to have the same program as a seasoned athlete.

Some things are part of each fitness program.

Warming up and cooling down are important no matter what the level of fitness. Including all types of fitness workouts, strength, flexibility, endurance and balance, are also important. Ensuring all muscle groups are worked is another constant and part of the formula. However, the actual exercise, number of reps, weight used and intensity will vary based on each participant’s program. When you watch group workouts, it’s easy to see the difference. Each person has his or her own program.

The formula for success includes healthy eating.

You have to consider nutritional needs. Again, there are some basics. Junk food, gobs of preprocessed food and sugary snacks don’t have a place in a healthy diet. Ensuring all the nutrients are included and there are adequate calories, but not so many that you gain weight. At that point, food intolerance, preferences and needs take precedent based on each individual. There’s no one size fits all type of diet, just a few important elements that are the framework. After that, we fill it in with foods and meal plans specifically for you.

Motivation is important for success.

Our coaches hold you accountable. Accountability is an important motivating factor. Not only are you accountable for your inability to follow through with regular exercise or dietary requirements, you also get credit for your successes. The community is another important source of motivation by helping each other and providing encouraging words.

The formula for success does not include juice bars or tanning beds. That’s not part of the program.

A program for success includes coaches that take special interest in your needs and show you the proper form for each exercise, then watch to ensure you understand.

We find that success occurs when clients are monitored regularly. As their level of fitness improves, we adjust the workout to reflect that improvement.

Caring about the client and their progress is at the root of a successful program. We work hard to insure you are successful.


Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?

Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?

Let’s play a game.. I’ll say a word then you say the first word that pops in your noggin..

Ready. Set. Go!

Peanut Butter…

Ketchup…

Milk…

Best Gym…

Fitness…

Pretty easy right.. Without even thinking I know you just rattled off
Jelly
Mustard
Protein (If you said cookies we need to talk)
Underground Athlete
and
Tracker

Amiright?

Fitness trackers have become so dang common that I can break the ice with most people by asking them how many steps they’ve taken that day.

I’m not a big fitness tracker guy but, like coffee, sneakers, buffalo wings, and french onion soup, I’ve tried enough to feel comfortable sharing my opinion with you.

Here’s what I’ve discovered

The iWatch

I must preface this by saying me and watches don’t have the best history. I buy a lot of them and wear none of them. My cousin had a Citizen watch when we were in high school and I thought it made him a complete baller. Once I could finally afford a watch that wasn’t casio I bought myself a solid gold Citizen.

It didn’t make me a baller..

Fast forward 20 years.. My wife washed my Apple nano and I said she could make it up to me by buying me the new iwatch.

Mistake… I should have just had her replace the nano or taken me out for sushi!

The only reason I wanted the iWatch was for the heart rate monitoring and fitness tracking capabilities. It was cool for about a week and I felt pretty hipster, but it took too long to check my heart rate and it wasn’t as accurate as I would have liked (doesn’t everyone wear a polar heart rate monitor and an iWatch at the same time to compare data?) Plus the fact that the battery had the lifespan of gnat = not for me.

Enter the…

FitBit

I thought I just needed to simplify my life so I bought a fitbit. The fitbit had what I wanted in the iWatch without all the fancy stuff that confused me. It told me how many steps I took and it let me talk trash to my wife which is always a bonus. I had fun with it for about 3 weeks until it died on me. I wrote the company and they sent me a replacement at no cost. Points for customer service. Two weeks later it lost it’s novelty and it has remained on my shelf ever since. I will say that it was nice to have the sleep monitoring, but if that’s what you’re looking for there’s better options in the market.. Overall if you like simple things, you’re not too competitive, and you only care about seeing daily activity but not necessarily effort, fitbit might be for you..

But don’t be this couple

Or the guy we saw on a 5 hour flight that looked like Arsenio Hall the. whole. time.

Polar H7

When it comes to heart rate monitors Polar is always a solid go-to, quality product, reputable, and versatile. The Polar H7 pairs up with just about everything in the gym. There are some nice apps you can use with it like Polar Beat, Polar Flow, and Polar Team but there was just something missing for me. As much as I tried to love it, I couldn’t… We even used the group heart rate tracking system in the gym for some time. It was cool, but we needed more.

Enter…

MyZone

Myzone Fitness Tracking we use for personal training

I always reserve the right to change my mind, but as of right now May 2017 I’m loving the MyZone system. It’s been everything I’ve desired in other fitness trackers. If I had to analyze it I would say that MyZone satisfies all of my basic human needs.
It gives me certainty. It’s consistent, always works, and the battery life is ridiculous!
It gives me uncertainty by allowing me to set up challenges and connect with everyone in the gym so we can encourage each other 90% of the time and talk trash 10% of the time.
It gives me significance by promoting me to the bronze badge from the iron badge and allowing me to collect “likes” on my workouts… What did our egos do before there were likes???
It gives me love and connection… All the members of UA are connected through this little fitness tracker and it’s kind of built a supportive community inside an already supportive community.
It give me growth. It makes me want to challenge myself to improve every week. It allows me to set goals for yourself. It also recalibrates and gets more accurate the more you use it, so that’s cool.
It gives me contribution. This month we are doing a MEP challenge. MEPs are the little points you get for having your heart rate elevated. Every MEP is a bragging right. They’re like gold around the gym. So this month we’ll be doing a workout where we’ll add up everyone’s MEPs and donate 10cents to charity for every MEP.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about you should go back and read my blog on the human needs here

The coolest part of the myzone system is that you are connected to everyone in the gym and whenever someone walks in the gym I can see if they’re nervous because their high heart rate pops up immediately on the screens. I kid… The for seriously best part is that it can be used in and out of the gym. I can coach people through heart rate zones in New York by just logging into the app and seeing the details of their training. It also stores all the data on the device so you don’t need to have your phone with you while your hiking, biking, etc…

In our group classes we set target heart rates for each exercise which is nice when you want to make sure everyone is pushing hard enough. It also let’s us individualize our group training. Someone who’s more conditioned is going to recover faster and be able to repeat an exercise faster than someone who may not be as conditioned. So as cool as it is too see people’s heart rates going up into the red, it’s also cool to see heart rate recovery rate improve as people’s fitness level improves.

MyZone is first fitness tracker I’ve owned that really does make me want to be more consistent with my training. No one wants to miss an opportunity to miss getting some MEPs

We’ve got an Underground Athlete bowling night coming up and I guarantee some people will be keeping score with MEPs rather than PINs

So are fitness trackers worth it? I’d say yes…if you can find one that fits your personality.

If you want my vote on which one to get it’s MyZone, but if you have multiple personality disorder, a big bank account, or you’re a gadget hound like Gary Young buy them all 🙂

Rise Up!
Justin

#UAFamily


Are you goals adding value to your life?

Are you goals adding value to your life?

How much thought do you put into the goals that you make for yourself? Do you
currently write down goals for yourself at all?

As Benjamin Franklin once said “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Not all goals are created equal, nor are all coaches and gyms created equal. Great
coaches help you understand what your goals truly are and pushes you to be able to reach
them. Poor coaches push their own goals on you and don’t give you the push you need to get
to the destination you desire. Whether you want to have 6 pack abs, do your first pull-up, or I
don’t know, do the most shake weight reps in a minute…having a coach can make all the
difference in helping you reach YOUR goals.

A-goal-without-action-1024x683

Are well thought out and specific goals better than vague and meaningless ones? Yup.

Can a good coach help turn those well thought out goals into reality? You bet ya. Am I excited
to watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2? Heck yeah! (I mean come on, Baby Groot is
adorable…but I digress.) Creating goals using the framework of S.M.A.R.T. goals can be a great
starting point to getting more from your goals. This acronym stands for

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

Specific: Specific goals have detail and are well defined, they aren’t just vague
statements. Don’t say “I wanna lose weight” as your goal, instead say “I want to
lose X amount of pounds.”

Measurable: Measurable goals are ones that have an easily understood way of being
measured. Squatting 405 pounds is a measurable goals since all you have to do is load a
bar to know you lifted 405 pounds.

Attainable: Attainable goals are ones that you can actually complete and achieve.
An example of one might be to lose 1 lb of weight in one week, while being on
the moon next week might not be.

Realistic: A realistic goal would be a goal that is realistic for your current life situation.
If you travel for work every week then going to a gym in your hometown 4 days a
week might not be realistic.

Time-Bound: Time-bound goals have a specific time to be completed by that holds you
accountable. Don’t say “I want to do a chin-up at some point,” but instead say “I
want to do a chin-up in 3 months.”

A good goal will hit on most of the S.M.A.R.T. framework, while a great one takes all of
these parts into account. Let’s say you write down a goal to exercise 7 days a week in hopes to
lose 5 lbs this month, but you currently struggle to exercise twice a week. On top of that you
have 4 kids, your mom is sick, a stressful work situation, and you have to walk your pet fish
twice a day (random sure, but that’s a commitment for sure).

That goal probably isn’t realistic for your current life situation nor would it be attainable. Start with a smaller goal that you know
you can achieve, and use that achievement as momentum for working towards a bigger goal.

An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal could be to lose 4 lbs of body weight (specific and measurable)
in the next 4 weeks (time-bound and both potentially attainable and realistic). This structure
can be a great starting point to make sure that the goals you create are well thought out and
effective, but it can be taken a step further.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 5.51.12 PM

Coach Adam Feit mentions in the book Conscious Coaching: The Art & Science of
Building Buy-In (By: Brett Bartholomew), that goals should also follow the acronym P.I.E
(purposeful, impactful, and enjoyable).

Purposeful: Purposeful goals have meaning to you and add value to your life. I could make a
goal to be able to pet 5 different puppies in the next 2 weeks, but is that purposeful
(some might argue it has great purpose)?

Impactful: Impactful goals add value to your life and can, well, make an impact in your life.

Petting puppies is all well and good, and definitely should be done, but how will that or
another goal impact your life in a beneficial way?

Enjoyable: Enjoyable goals are ones that you can have fun in achieving. If your goal is to
improve your cardiovascular endurance but you absolutely hate running, then maybe
riding a bike will be more enjoyable and easier to stick too.

Know the why (purpose) behind the goal you are trying to achieve. Do you want to be
stronger so you could help your family if there is a fire or other emergency? Outstanding! Want
to be able to run your first marathon? Awesome, but what value does that add to your life? Do
you want to lose body fat to fit into those old swim trunks/ swimsuit you used to wear? Great,
but let’s take it a step further. How would fitting into those clothes be impactful or purposeful
to you? What impact would that have on your life?

Creating S.M.A.R.T. goals is a great idea but make sure they are P.I.E. goals as well.

Starting with these frameworks in mind ensures your goals align with your core values and are beneficial to your life.

Rise Up

Coach Tommy Royer


Winneconne, WI - 1 March 2016: A bag of Goldfish baked crackers in cheddar flavor.

7 Tips For Parents Trying To Lose Weight

Remember this….

Waking up Saturday morning at 10am and thinking hmmm what should I do today? Go workout, go for brunch, do a run in Georgetown, bike the W&OD? So many options….
And then one day…

BOOM!

You’re having a baby..

Fast forward a year and a half. You’re filled with love. You’ve never been happier. You can’t imagine your life without this little human.

Unfortunately you’ve never been so out of shape either!

Why does this happen? Well it’s not some metabolic disorder that only effects adults who watch Barney and Teletubbies. Life changes. Your stress level is high. Your quality of sleep is low and you seem to have a never ending supply of mac & cheese, cheddar gold fish, and Annie’s organic fruit snacks at your finger tips.

I know because I’ve been there and I’m still fighting my way out. In the process I’ve learned somethings that can help you keep the back fat and muffin top monster away…

I’ll share them now. You can thank me when you’re snapping those selfies on the beach this summer 🙂

1. What’s Yours Is Yours. What’s Mine Is Mine

Kids are picky eaters and sometimes you’re forced to buy things you’d never have in the house if it was just you, cheddar goldfish would be a perfect example. Keep all that stuff in one or two cupboards or in a separate closest. Dedicated certain shelves in the refrigerator to kids food. Now make that off limits for you. Put up little sticky note stickers or whatever you have to do to stay away.

Winneconne, WI - 1 March 2016: A bag of Goldfish baked crackers in cheddar flavor.

2. Done Is Better Than Perfect

I geek out over program design. I love to overthink periodization I would put together some brutal 4-5 day programs for myself. I’d do triphasic training, conjugate method, wave loading, and french contrast all specifically tailored to my body, my injuries, my weaknesses etc… That was all well and good, but I realized something once I had kids… I couldn’t train like I used to. For one I didn’t have the energy, so although it looked great on paper, it wasn’t happening. Two, I was missing training days because of emergencies, sickness, parenting schedule conflicts etc.. I needed a new strategy. That’s when I decided to just make it a goal to get daily exercise in. It didn’t have to be perfect. It didn’t have to be at the gym. I just had to make sure my heart rate got elevated every single day and it didn’t even all have to happen at one…

3. Clusters

We use cluster sets in the gym to build strength. It’s when you take a heavy (near max) weight and do 1-3 reps, rack the bar, weight 10-30s and do another set of 1-3 reps. This way you can accumulate more reps (volume) with a higher intensity (heavy weight) than you’d be able to otherwise. They’re awesome to do and I highly recommend using them in your training, eventually…. For now lets just cluster our workouts. Sort of the same concept. We’re breaking up the workout into smaller more manageable bites. With kids you don’t have an hour at home just to do a workout. But, you might have 15 minutes 4 times during the day. Here’s a simple 15 minute workout that you could repeat 4x or 5 if your kids decide to take a nap.

Set 1
Jumping Jacks x 30s
Air Squats x 50
Mt. Climbers x 30s
Air Squats x 40
Plank x 30s
Air Squats x 30
Burpees x 30s
Air Squats x 20
Seal Jacks x 30s
Air Squats x 10

Set 2
Substitute The Air Squats With Push ups (knees or incline would be fine)

Set 3
Substitute The Push ups With Total Reverse Lunges

Set 4
Substitute The Reverse Lunges With Squat + Overhead Press ( use dumbbells or anything with a little weight to it )

4. Make A Promise

Warning: This Is Evil…. I did this one to my wife and she hated it, but it worked like a charm. She was doing whole 30 a couple months ago and she was trying to not eat any sugar. At that time my son also became obsessed with Batman and wanted a Bat mobile. We weren’t about to go out and just buy him a bat mobile, mainly because the next week he’d probably like Spider-man and want whatever he drives around… Anyway… I came up with the brilliant idea that mommy would promise to buy him a bat mobile if she didn’t eat sugar for 30 days. Every day after that my son would check in and make sure mom didn’t eat any sugar that day.. You can’t lie to your child and when you really do want to give them something that they want so bad.. win-win-win… 30 days later she didn’t have sugar and he had a Bat Mobile, which now sits in the garage because he’s obsessed with Power Rangers.

5. K.I.S.S

Nutrition is the real challenge not only for parents but for everyone struggling to lose a few lbs. I’ve food prepped, counted calories, counted macros, done the ketogenic thing, the paleo thing, the carb back loading thing, the meal planning thing, the intermittent fasting thing etc.. The one THING that they all had in common is they were all impossible for me to keep up with long term. The one strategy that I’ve used that’s easy and effective is carb cycling. You could over think that too if you choose but I like to K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid). One day you have carbs the next day you don’t. It’s that simple. Now the way I do it now is I have carbs on strength training days and I go no carb on conditioning days.. If you want to dig deeper into this method that works you can download the recharged E-book on the right hand column.

6. Smarter Not Harder

To some people an hour on the treadmill ie hamster wheel seems like a good idea, not to me, but to some people. I recommend you throw that strategy away with the dirty diapers. Instead work your way over to the free weight section or if you’re home get some dumbbells and do complexes. This is a quick and effective way to maintain strength ( or even improve it depending on your fitness level) work capacity and shed fat.

Here’s How:

Choose 3- 5 exercises you can do with dumbbells or a barbell. The ones I like best are…
Bent Over Rows, Pendlay Rows, Deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts, Cleans, Front Squats, Squat + Press, Back Squat, Overhead Press, Push Press

Now that you’ve selected 3-5 exercises that you’re comfortable performing choose a protocol.
6×3,3×8,and 4×6 are my personal favorites.

Take 1 minute rest between rounds.

Let’s take the 6×3 example. Here’s how you do it… Do 3 reps of each of the 3-5 exercises you selected without putting the bar or dumbbells down in between exercises. So 3 Rows, 3 deadlifts, and 3 front squats x 6 rounds with a 1 minute rest in between.

Your heart will be on fire. Your muscles will burn and you will be hating life… If you’re doing it right.. The good news is it doesn’t last long and IT WORKS.

7. Drink

Sometimes those little ones just push you to your limits. Fear not, have an extra cup of black coffee in the morning. It’s OK! Quality coffee ( My Favorite Being Ethiopia Yirgacheffe ) is loaded with antioxidants. It’s proving to be good for Alziemers, Parkinson’s, and colon cancer, but more importantly for this blog…fat loss. Studies show that the caffeine in coffee can boos metabolism 3-11% and increase fat burning by up to 10-20%. Now just don’t go do what most people do and take that to mean it’s ok to order a grande double frap double whip etc etc Just black coffee!

Here’s one more tip parents.. It’s not a fat loss tip but just a general one. Don’t be so hard on yourself tip… This parenting thing is tough. Give yourself some permission to mess up and credit for your successes. Set realistic goals and remember sometime just maintaining is progress worth celebrating..

Rise Up!
Justin

PS We’ve revamped our Fit Mom program and we’ll be doing a test run with 10 moms in May. If you’re not a current member at UA and would like to be in the pilot program you can apply here